Smarter Fire systems Create Safer Buildings

Sameer Agrawal, general manager, Global Fire Software and Services, Honeywell

What is the only building system that is required by law but is also the only system that isn’t used daily? The fire system. It’s like an insurance policy – you continue to pay your premiums, or in this case, service the fire panel – with the knowledge that it would only be needed in limited circumstances, if ever.

Even without an emergency, a fire system requires regular maintenance. That’s the insurance part of the fire system – it’s an extremely critical part of the building when the need arises because if it doesn’t function properly then the building, its assets, and importantly, the people inside it are all at risk.

The future of fire safety, though, is deploying technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile data and cloud computing. As intelligence is integrated into the fire system, it means changing building owners’ mindsets to treat fire and life safety systems like assets, not like an insurance policy. It also moves toward the creation of truly connected buildings by finally bringing the most essential system in the building online.

Making Smart Connections

Incorporating IoT-based tools into a fire system provides many benefits, from making sure that maintenance checks are conducted as outlined by local regulations to providing first responders with real-time and up-to-date information that can potentially result in faster response times.

Honeywell recently unveiled the first all-in-one smart fire IoT innovation system called Connected Life Safety Services (CLSS), which is built on the Honeywell Forge enterprise performance management platform. The CLSS suite of tools enables fire technicians to minimize disruption, prove compliance and reduce time needed for fire system design, installation, inspection and maintenance. More so, it can help detect exactly where the fire is and the nature of it so that emergency responders can deploy specific measures tailored to its location.

In first nine months of availability, the Honeywell CLSS platform* has seen significant adoption with approximately 79% of Honeywell’s U.S.-based Engineered Service Distributors (ESDs) using CLSS tools. With more than 8.3 million connected points on fire systems in more than 45,000 buildings worldwide, CLSS is changing the way that fire technicians approach system alarms by addressing issues pertaining to incomplete or inaccurate information of an on-site situation, false alarms and more – all through a mobile app.

Providing Visibility Anytime, Anywhere

Without being in the building, maintenance technicians and emergency responders can use the Honeywell CLSS mobile app to monitor an entire fire system to see – in real-time – which devices are activated, which devices may soon malfunction, diagnose problems before entering a building, identify false alarms, comply to regulations, and more. It’s enabling the power of predictive maintenance to the fire system and provide better reporting for mandated inspection and maintenance.

The long-term benefits associated with implementing IoT to the fire and life safety industry haven’t fully been realized. To be fully prepared for the disruptive changes ahead, the industry needs to prioritize and adopt digitalization across all aspects of its operations. We no longer need to imagine the future state of fire safety, it’s already here.

*CLSS adoption numbers as of June 2021.