New system speaks to life safety at senior living facility
One of the main reasons seniors opt for adult living communities is the prospect of affordable, convenient, stress-free living. Residents of these communities cherish their independence, but they also love the idea of declaring their independence from mowing the lawn, fixing the plumbing, hiring contractors, and dealing with day-to-day home maintenance and repair. The last thing these seniors want to worry about is the protection offered by their life safety system.
That's why the staff at Paumanack Village in Belleville, Long Island, NY, thought long and hard when they were selecting a new life safety.
SEEKING UNLIMITED COMMUNICATION CAPABILITIESThat's one of the reasons why in the fall of 2005, Paumanack Village installed an easy-to-use Fire-Lite life safety system in its brand new, 100 unit adult living community.
At Paumanack Village, Dave Warasila of Doych Electric, is the contractor responsible for the installation, not only of the life safety system, but also of the intercom, alarm system, all the electric, day and night lighting, on-site generators, and more. Warasila has been doing these installations in senior living communities for more than seven years. "In a complex like this one," he explained, "the senior residents, all 55 and over, do not need the aggravation and potential confusion that can come from a complex fire alarm system, or one with limited communication capabilities."
Warasila and staff opted for a Fire-Lite system that combined an addressable control panel with voice evacuation, which allows residents to clearly understand what's going on without having to decipher different tones. "The industry is finding that voice is the most effective way to go when evacuating people, especially when alert tones are used for chemical spills, bomb scares, earthquakes, tornado warnings, and things like that," he said.
Warasila and his team installed Fire-Lite's MS-9600 control panel in the building, in conjunction with the company's ACC-25/50ZS audio evacuation system and 450 detectors, including three in each apartment.
Warasila paired the MS-9600 with Fire-Lite's ACC-25/50 audio evacuation system, which features up to 1,500 W of digital audio power for the clearest possible transmissions to people who may be partially hearing impaired. It also offers the capability for up to 24 separate audio circuits, up to five customizable messages, and full manual paging to allow first responders to provide precise evacuation directions to occupants.
MEETING CODE ... AND BEYONDThe system not only made it easy for Doych Electric to satisfy industry and regional fire codes while meeting the needs of the building's residents, but it also made it much easier for the installers, contractors, maintenance, and repair people to do their jobs, according to Warasila. He attributed that ease of installation to the fact that it is not proprietary.
"With some fire protection companies," explained Warasila, "if you ever need service, the only company you can call forever is the company that installed the system, whether you like the service practices or not. And you're also stuck needing equipment manufactured by the original manufacturer, which may not be easy to locate or may even be discontinued."
"With Fire-Lite systems," he continued, "finding compatible parts is never a problem. You can go anywhere and pick up the part you need the day you need it and get your system back up and running fast. For example, there are probably six locations within 15 miles of the Belleville site that will have the parts we need, accessible, on the shelf, five, and sometimes, six days a week."
Steve Nadel, of Safeguard Security, the company responsible for performing annual inspections, maintenance, central station monitoring, and general service at Paumanack Village and many other senior housing projects all over Long Island, explained that the systems have been multifaceted. "We use these products for more than just fire alarms. We can also incorporate medical emergency monitoring and notification into the system. We can install pull cords in all the apartments, which can send a distinct signal to the control panel, which in turn notifies the appropriate medical personnel of the exact location of a medical emergency. In so doing, the Fire-Lite systems can save lives in many more ways than one," Nadel said.
Last fall, the first residents moved into Paumanack Village. These residents can rest assured knowing that they are well protected in the event of an emergency.
"I'd say that out of all the installs we've done over the past seven years," Warasila concluded, "we've had less than a dozen service calls on these systems. They're very reliable."
This reliability together with the system's ease-of-use, translates to stress-free, worry-free living for the building's new senior residents, which is really what facilities like Paumanack Village are all about.