European Central Bank invests in WES+

The European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany has become the latest high profile customer to invest in the innovative new WES+ from Nottingham-based Ramtech Electronics.ECB

A major German construction company chose WES+ to protect staff and physical assets from fire during the refurbishment of 30 floors of the 40-storey building.

Specifiers at the firm were impressed that WES+ is the only wireless fire alarm with European EN54 system approval, which has been independently certified by international testing house Intertek.

Another important factor that won over the construction company and sent a clear message to the bank that WES+ is a proven technology ‘built for purpose’ was that the technology is used to protect thousands of personnel on site. This ranges from projects as diverse as the Leadenhall Building, Heathrow Airport and Crossrail, through to demolition of Earls Court.

As a closed system, WES+ won’t interfere with the bank’s existing wireless technologies. This is an essential requirement for the ECB, which houses a number of business-critical technologies in the building.

Fire safety was critical on the ECB project as only 30 floors of the 40-storey building are undergoing refurbishment. Staff will continue to occupy the remaining space alongside personnel involved in the refurbishment while the work is being carried out.

WES+ sets a new fire safety benchmark for construction, refurbishment or demolition projects across Europe, most of which rely on very basic evacuation procedures. It is still relatively common in some countries for a manual fire alarm system to be used, for example, ringing a bell. The ECB was looking for a more efficient, technology-based solution that would automatically detect a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which is exactly what WES+ does.

Although a large and complex project, Ramtech Electronics’ wireless technology made it straightforward to specify and install the 500 WES+ automatic fire detection and manual call point units, which are divided into 30 zones. In the event of fire, the building can now be evacuated in phases as appropriate to the fire plan. WES+ allows an unlimited number of call points and active heat and smoke detectors to be installed on site.

All 500 WES+ units were installed within a three-day schedule, immediately after staff had vacated the areas earmarked for refurbishment and work beginning on site. Being a wireless system means that the units can be easily repositioned as work progresses, without the need for specialist trades required with a wired fire alarm system.

“We have had a huge amount of interest in WES+ from across Europe since verification that it achieves full European EN54 system approval – a first for the industry,” said Paul Henson, Sales & Marketing Director at Ramtech Electronics. “The ECB is a huge refurbishment project although WES+, because of its scalability and wireless operation, provided a very straightforward solution.”

Ramtech Electronics’ WES+ meets the Construction Products Regulation’s highest standards for production and performance and carries the CE mark. It uses Category 1, Euro-harmonised radio in compliance with European standards covering the use of radio technology in emergency equipment (ETSI 300-220-1).


This article was published in:

    International Fire Buyer, August 2015

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