FIRE INDICATOR PANELS & EWIS

Fire Indicator Panels

A Fire Indicator Panel (FIP) is the controlling component of a fire alarm system. The panel receives information or signals for ‘environmental sensors’, such as heat or smoke detectors that are activated by the threat of a fire. Additional manual triggers such as break glass units can be incorporated into the system so that occupants of the building can manually trigger the system in the event of a fire.

Once a fire has been detected, the Fire Indicator Panel can produce both audible alerts, such as an alarm, and visual alerts, such as flashing emergency lights, to warn occupants of the building that there is impending danger present. The alarm panels can be monitored by the fire brigade when they attend the emergency and is used to carry out tasks such as shutting down the air-conditioning systems to stop any smoke travelling the vents and preventing further problems.

East Coast Fire and Safety are available to install all fire alarm panels and are also trained in conducting all tests on the equipment to make sure that everything is working and prepared for the event of an emergency and is compliant with Australian Standards.

How does a Fire Indicator Panel work?

Fire alarms and detection systems are used to detect and warn people in the area of danger through both visual and audio devices. These systems consist of a number of factors working together to get the warning out if a fire or an emergency is currently happening within or around a building.

Fire Indicator Panels, in particular, can be monitored by the fire brigades that are attending a fire through the use of Alarm Signaling Equipment (A.S.E). These Indicator Panels are generally located near the entrance of a building, with the appropriate signage indicating the exact location. The unit is at the entrance for easy access for emergency personnel when they first attend the scene to quickly access and begin proper procedures. A fire alarm and detection system block plan will supply all the required information responders will need so that they can effectively locate a fire and provide the safe clearance of any occupants that are in the building.

All the training required for site managers on the operation of the Fire Alarm system can be provided by us at East Coast Fire and Safety. The size of the system that you will possibly need will depend on the size of the building that it is being installed in. As well as installation, we test Fire Indicator Panels to ensure that they are compliant to the Australian standards.

Frequently encountered faults:

Some frequently encountered faults with the Fire Indicator Panels are usually based around lack of maintenance. This includes lack of maintenance to the panels themselves and to the detectors, which should be tested bi-annually to avoid faults. Other faults may be due to detectors not being cleaned correctly, or not being cleaned at all

EWIS/OWS

Emergency Warning and Intercommunication Systems (EWIS) and Occupant Warning Systems (OWS), are crucial for the assistance with controlled evacuations of large buildings. During an emergency they will generate and control audible warning signals. This is used in conjunction with a Fire Indicator Panel to assure the orderly evacuation of a building when a fire has been detected. This procedure can be activated automatically with fire alarm systems or sprinkler systems and can also be manually initiated using a break glass call point.

The EWIS provides the ability to have a verbal broadcast throughout all areas of a building and allows communication between any trained wardens on site via special Warden Inter-communication Point phones (WIP). There are WIP phones located on each floor of the building at the exit points, and the chief warden of the site will use these to ensure that communication with each floors warden is achieved and that all the levels have been evacuated successfully. The Building Code of Australia demands that all multi-story buildings should be fitted with an Emergency Warning and Intercommunication System to comply with Australian Standards.

At any given time a fire warden or attending firefighting personnel may take command of the EWIS systems and give an emergency public address over the microphone to all the verbal broadcast to occupants in all areas of the building or selected areas using the loudspeakers. During non-emergency situations, the system can be used to distribute routine public announcements.

Frequently encountered faults:

Some faults that are frequently encountered with EWIS include but is not limited to:

  • Spent batteries
  • Damaged WIP (Warden Intercommunication Point) phones;
  • Damaged speakers; This can be extremely problematic for evacuations as where there is a damaged speaker, occupants of the building may not here the proper messages that are being delivered.
  • Spent Detectors

Testing on Fire Indicators Panels (FIP) and Emergency Warning and Intercommunication Systems (EWIS) are recommended to happen monthly, with all detectors to be checked bi-annually. East Coast Fire and Safety can conduct all tests and service any equipment that may need replacing or simply complete general maintenance on the systems. Testing and maintaining electrical equipment will assist in your business meeting the Workplace Health and Safety duty of care. We can issue Annual Fire Safety Statements at the completion of all inspections that are nationally recognised.

Get in contact with East Coast Fire and Safety to discuss if your business requires EWIS or the Fire Indicator panels to be installed as part of your fire protection solution for your workplace or for further general information on the systems.

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