Honeywell Gent Fire Alarm Technology Ensures Staybridge Suites’ Guests Sleep Soundly

Innovative system delivers false alarm immunity for state-of-the art Dundee hotel


How do you transform and modernise an abandoned 18th century linen mill into self-contained, luxury living units, whilst optimising fire prevention and false alarm immunity? This was the priority for Percor Capital when selecting a fire safety solution for its latest development in Scotland.

No room for error

Businesses use alarms and other devices to keep their staff, property and customers safe from the risk of fire. Unfortunately, however, sometimes the devices that were installed to protect can prove damaging to a business, as false alarms can cause expensive disruptions. At best, they are inconvenient and at worst they can dissuade customers from using a business at all. This threat is of particular concern for the hospitality industry, where hotels experiencing frequent false alarms can be left struggling with low occupancy rates and compensation demands from disgruntled guests.

An alarming problem

False alarms are a significant issue. The Fire Industry Association (FIA) estimates that they cost the UK over £1bn per year in lost revenue, not to mention the costly and unnecessary burden on first responders. The majority of these false alarms are caused by conditions that make smoke or heat detectors think there is a fire. Cooking is a common cause, as is steam from showers, cigarette smoke, dust and aerosols. The risk of detectors being tricked into erroneously reporting a fire greatly increases in smaller spaces, such as hotel rooms. This was a key concern for Percor Capital with their Staybridge Suites development in Dundee.

Installing peace of mind

Many of the suites retain the mill’s original 1820s features, including exposed brick ceilings and iron beams. The self-catering apartments mainly welcome extended-stay guests, offering fully equipped kitchens alongside flexible living spaces – a combination that could give rise to high levels of false alarm activations.

FMS Fire & Security, one of Scotland’s leading independent fire and security specialists, was called in to design and install a system that would ensure maximum safety levels and full regulatory compliance, while also minimising the risk of false alarms.

Ensuring safer evacuations

“Responsible hotel owners demand cutting-edge solutions that both reduce false alarms and facilitate efficient evacuations when an activation is confirmed. Honeywell Gent’s fully-addressable Vigilon Plus system and voice-enhanced multi-sensor sounders are ideally suited for this kind of application,” said FMS Fire and Security’s Fire Systems Sales Consultant, David Taylor. “The system also offers a range of features making it simple to install, configure and maintain, which was important given the structural confines of the period building,” he added.

FMS designed and installed an aspirating system that provides full coverage throughout both buildings, taking the high rooves, ceilings and limited void spaces into account. Honeywell Gent Voice enhanced multi-sensor sounders were installed in all rooms, along with Visual Alarm Devices (VADs) to aid in the safe evacuation of residents, staff and visitors. The system includes three Vigilon Plus panels, five repeater panels and over 700 alarm and detection devices.

Dianna Bruce, Hotel Manager for Staybridge Suites Dundee, commented: “In addition to the opportunity to experience a piece of Dundee’s unique history, our guests of course expect a peaceful and safe stay. This is why our state-of-the-art design concept extends to our fire alarm and evacuation system.”

Stuart Brown, Honeywell Gent Business Sales Manager – Scotland added: “Having stayed in the Staybridge suites I was very impressed by the architecture and design of the building. I was also confident that the Vigilon fire system was offering maximum protection as well as high false alarm immunity.”