Hochiki Europe extends range of EN54-23 compliant VADs
A loud audible signal, such as the ringing of a fire alarm, is the most common way of communicating the presence of danger to a building’s occupants. However, for those who are deaf, hearing impaired, or working in a noisy environment, such as a factory setting, communication can be inhibited, making threats harder to detect.
In 2014, UK emergency services were called to attend over 2,500 fires in industrial premises.
With this, and the UK’s aging population in mind, Hochiki Europe, the leading manufacturer of innovative life safety solutions, launched its comprehensive range of Visual Alarm Devices (VADs) to help the rising number of those with hearing problems stay alert in the presence of danger. Following high demand, Hochiki Europe has now extended its VADs range to include products which are suitable for conventional sounder circuits.
VADs provide a visual indication of an emergency, in the form of a bright flashing light, which helps alert people who wouldn’t normally pick up on audible-based fire alarms. VADs became a mandatory requirement in all public buildings through the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, and a new product standard, BS EN 54-23:2010, was introduced at the beginning of last year to bring all VAD requirements into line.
Hochiki Europe’s extended range now includes eight conventional beacons, which can be used as wall or ceiling devices. All of the new products feature high output red or white LEDs, which provide the installer with additional flexibility when deciding on the requirements of each installation. Advanced optics and an innovative lens design are also included, which gives omni-directional light coverage of 0.4 lumens per m2 or 0.4 Lux at low current draw. To guarantee reliability, Hochiki Europe has had its VADs tested and assessed by an EU notified body to determine their coverage volume, based on the distance at which the required illumination is met.
To help building owners and managers comply with the introduction of EN 54-23, Hochiki Europe has also created a simple configuration table which allows customers to source the VAD most suited to their environment by answering a number of questions.
David Brown, Product Manager at Hochiki Europe commented: “There is nothing more important than ensuring a building’s occupants are made aware of an emergency situation in the event of a fire. Last year’s introduction of EN54-23 marked a significant shift in the use of fire safety products. Extending our VADs range to include conventional beacons gives our installers more choice. It also ensures that those responsible for fire safety can install the equipment they need to stay compliant and keep occupants in their sites as safe as possible, regardless of their existing system type.”