The Digital Take on Smoke Control

November 5, 2019

Is a physical panel mounted on the wall the most efficient way to provide a code compliant smoke control system in today’s digital age of software? NOTIFIER is reviewing an innovative approach to UUKL Listed Smoke Control.

When you enter a high-rise building in most major cities, you’re likely to find a large firefighters smoke control panel greeting you in the lobby. These panels, developed over 50 years ago, have historically solved the need for UUKL listed Smoke Control systems in building applications. Yet in today’s digital age of software, is a physical panel mounted on the wall the most efficient way to provide a code compliant smoke control system?

Manufacturers across the U.S. are developing new approaches to smoke control, creating advanced technology to meet the modern, complex needs of today’s buildings.  The benefits of these systems span far beyond simply removing a physical panel from a building lobby.

Go Digital to Avoid Spatial Constraints

A key challenge facing facility owners and engineers today is building space constraints. Modern smoke control applications are designed to mitigate this challenge, manufacturing systems for efficiency, flexibility and scale.

These new systems are built on a software platform, reducing the amount of physical hardware required to meet code requirements. In place of a large panel display in a building’s lobby, users can now visualize the smoke control system on a 22’’ or 42’’ touch screen monitor. These dedicated monitors can be placed in a desk console to avoid taking up valuable space in a lobby or entryway.

Enable Safe and Efficient Facilities

This move from hardware to software does more than just save space in a facility. These digital platforms are designed to allow for safer and more efficient buildings. By creating a software based smoke control system true redundancy can be achieved.

Digital smoke control systems can be viewed in multiple locations throughout a building enabling faster response during an emergency event. This visibility also allows for more efficient system testing as digital systems provide detailed views of smoke control operations that can be accessed on screen during maintenance and testing activities. 

Design with Growth in Mind

Today’s facilities are not static structures. Buildings are often designed with future expansion or reconfiguration in mind to allow for increased capacity.

To remain code compliant, the smoke control system installed in a building must also grow. A physical smoke control panel can be cumbersome to update, and may need to be completely rebuilt to properly reflect updates to a facility. Digital smoke control eliminates this concern as the graphical configuration can be easily modified to allow for changes to the facility.

This same flexibility allows for different areas of a building to be uniquely protected in the case of an emergency event. An example of this is an office stairwell requiring dedicated smoke control for pressurization while the main space within that same office utilizes non-dedicated systems for zoned smoke control operations. Modern smoke control solutions provide the flexibility to address these different requirements in one system and take this customization one step further by providing a visual representation that is easy to understand.

Designed for efficiency, flexibility and scale, graphical smoke control software is truly taking fire and life safety systems to the next level. The advancements in newer systems offer a modern and intelligent solution to improve safety and increase visibility for occupants, staff, and first responders.

Click Here to learn more about NOTIFIER’s Graphical Smoke Control System.

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About the author
Michele Ottavio | Senior Product Marketing Manager, NOTIFIER