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Expanding Minds, Safely

Goodenough College in central London - home to more than 600 postgraduates from over 90 countries – is the first building to be equipped with Apollo’s new range of XPander wireless detectors.

ERIF UK, who designed, supplied and installed the new fire detection system, recommended XPander specifically to protect the antique decoration in the College’s libraries, which might have been damaged by hard-wired devices. The new devices form part of a larger intelligent fire detection system that protects the whole site, which includes function rooms, study areas, libraries and student living quarters.

Goodenough College was founded in 1930 to provide students coming to London from countries across the (then) British Empire with a collegiate life along Oxbridge lines. It continues to offer this opportunity to students from around the world to this day. Situated within the Grade II Listed houses on the north and south sides of Mecklenburgh Square in Bloomsbury, the College required a fire system sympathetic to its heritage.

The client’s specification called for an appropriate fire protection response for the heritage areas of the site, plus a solution to nuisance alarms in the College’s accommodation blocks, caused by a number of sources, including steam in the bathrooms and smoke in the kitchens. ERIF was able to select the perfect Apollo product to match these differing requirements, as Denis Kelly, Marketing Manager at ERIF UK, explains: “All Apollo intelligent fire detectors use the same open digital protocol, making them forwards and backwards compatible. This makes our job so much easier, as it widens our choice of fire solutions. It meant we were able to specify the new wireless XPander range for the heritage locations at the College, so we didn’t compromise the interiors, alongside more established devices like the Discovery Multisensor for combating false alarms in the accommodation blocks. This meant we were able to offer the client the most appropriate fire detection solution for their needs.”

The new XPander range of wireless fire detectors is designed for ease of installation. Devices are connected to the fire system via an interface which is wired to the loop. No special adjustment or programming is required. Once connected, the XPander devices are recognized by the control panel simply as another detector connected to the system.

The Discovery Multisensor has a number of features specifically aimed at reducing false alarms. Incorporating an optical smoke sensor and a heat sensor, it uses algorithms to process the signals to produce one output on which the decision ‘fire/no fire’ is based. Each multisensor also has five panel-selectable operating modes that allow sensor sensitivity to be matched to local environmental conditions.

The fire detection system at Goodenough College incorporates approximately 1,200 Discovery and XPander devices in all, configured around five Advanced control panels and programmed to enable phased evacuation block by block.

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