News

  • 40 Years of Manufacturing

    The human interaction with a fire system: Manual Call Points and AV Warning Devices

    June 2013
    It is 40 years since KAC developed the break glass call point as we know it today. Operations Leader Russull McNamara and Marketing Manager Mark Thomson, with input from company founder Ron Reid, outline how the call point and AV markets have developed over the last 40 years, and review the future challenges facing manufacturers in responding to legislative and market pressures.

    Q. How did the manual call point as we know it today evolve?

    Russull McNamara, RM. In the late 1960s, break glass call points were literally just that. Large and cumbersome units containing a sheet of glass, which in the event of a fire, had to be broken by hand, or hit with an object, or in the de-luxe versions, hit with a hammer attached to the device. When the glass broke, a spring-loaded plunger was released, completing the electrical circuit, and showering the operator with shards of broken glass. It sounds primitive by today’s standards, but that was how it was over forty years ago.

    Company founder, Ron Reid, then a young electrician, felt there had to be a better solution. In 1970 he filed a patent based on a switch in a call point bearing on a peripheral face of glass which became the manual call point as we know it today. The glass is scored and a plastic label allows it to fracture cleanly when pressed, operating a microswitch positioned at the edge, while the glass stays safely in place. In 1972, “Trading as Kidderminster Alarm Company”, and using the now World renowned KAC Logo, Ron began making and marketing the first KAC call point. In April 1975, the business became incorporated as KAC Alarm Company Limited by which time it had relocated from Kidderminster to Alcester in Warwickshire.

    The market in those days was driven by the UK. Holland was the first European market for KAC followed by Spain and France which were driven by tourism. By the 1980s, more than 60% of products were exported. The company was later acquired by Honeywell in 2000.

    Q. How have modern call points evolved since their inception?

    RM. All manufacturers’ designs are based on the operating technology pioneered all those years ago. KAC’s current products, the indoor MCP (Manual Call Point) and the IP67 outdoor WCP (Waterproof Call Point), are the fifth generation design attributable to a sustained programme of product development. With each new generation, the product has included additional features for architects, installers, service engineers and end users, who have all benefited. The first products met UK and European requirements, then came the World Series, which met additional requirements from outside Europe. This range has been replaced by the current MCP and WCP devices. Because of market inertia, products needed to offer more than a life safety solution, they needed to be installer friendly and minimise false alarms as seen with some products on the market.

    The key advances have been intelligent call points, first introduced 20 years ago, and resettable call points, which date back more than 15 years. In KAC’s case, the MCP/WCP family also introduced modular construction to replace the hard wiring in previous versions and offer a first fix solution. The unique wiring connector allows the zone or loop wiring to be tested for open and short circuits without the call point itself having to be installed, preventing potential damage during installation.

    The IP67 sealed WCP adds environmental protection, allowing the call points to be safely installed in areas where dust and water are likely to be present. Intrinsically safe versions of the MCP and WCP are also available, allowing the call points to be installed in hazardous areas where the build up of gas or dust could potentially cause an explosion.

    KAC’s current MCP and WCP call points offer many features that benefit installers and users. In addition to their core use in fire systems, specialist call points are produced for many different uses across a wide range of industries. Increasingly, call points are to be found in security systems as emergency door openers; as emergency stops on escalators and in emergency machine stops, in fact, anywhere an easy to operate manual intervention is required. The great benefit is that the call point has to be reset using a tool, so it is obvious that it has been activated.

    With 40 years of product development, the KAC product portfolio is the widest in the industry. There are numerous variants of all types and the company has a long heritage of quality engineering. Fast and easy installation and maintenance are critical installer requirements, and key drivers for each new product range. Given the product will only be used in an emergency, reliability is absolutely critical. All products are approved to relevant standards, ensuring reliable operation even after many years of installed life in the field.

    Q: Standards are obviously important in a life safety industry such as fire, how do they benefit manufacturers?

    RM. KAC welcomes the introduction of rigorous standards. Our policy is to offer products that meet and exceed these requirements and to secure approval wherever an appropriate standard exists. It allows us to demonstrate that independent assessment supports our product claims.

    Initially, new British Standards were introduced, covering the operating technology developed by KAC. They subsequently migrated to the European arena, providing commonality across the EU and other countries where EN standards are adopted. Standards such as EN54-11, the product standard applicable to call points, play a vital role in ensuring that quality and performance are maintained by manufacturers. By defining minimum performance and reliability criteria under various environmental conditions, they ensure that when installed, the units will operate reliably in an emergency and allow the alarm to be raised.

    EN54-11 covers both break glass and resettable devices, giving greater freedom of choice to system designers. By standardising the size, colour, pictograms and branding on call points, building occupants will immediately recognise the call point, irrespective of which country they are in.

    The Construction Products Directive, CPD, now CPR, adds requirements for manufacturing to the product requirements defined in the EN standards. KAC is a high volume manufacturer offering many product variants; high quality and service excellence are defining features. KAC manufactures in a 35,000 sq. ft. facility in Redditch UK, with around 180 employees. Significant investment has been made in people, processes, new product development and capital expenditure on plant, machinery, test equipment and design software. The latest Kaizen, lean enterprise, JIT techniques and streamlined organisational design are used to increase efficiency, eliminate unnecessary waste and reduce energy consumption. In addition to meeting CPD and ISO 9000 requirements, the plant has ISO 14001 certification and products are manufactured in accordance with WEEE, REACH and RoHS requirements.

    Q: How is the global call point market developing?


    Mark Thomson, MT. We are seeing a number of trends that are driving the call point market. The increasing use of call points in applications outside the core fire systems space and the development of specialist call points to meet specific environmental or operating requirements. In the fire market itself, there is a wider acceptance of the EN54 Standard outside core EU countries. On the commercial fire systems front, there is strong activity in recent EU entrant countries, which are upgrading or replacing legacy fire systems, and the Far East is showing good growth.

    KAC manufactures a huge range of different intelligent and conventional call points to suit the specific requirements of various systems. In addition to units suitable for use in indoor (IP24) and outdoor (IP67) environments, there are IS devices for use in hazardous areas, MED approved ones for marine applications, units that operate at mains voltage and versions for use in high humidity environments. One recent driver has been the migration of the call point’s benefits to other areas. Their ubiquity in commercial buildings means that they are familiar to everyone as a manual system activator of a fire system. All call points can only be operated once and then they have to be reset using a tool. These attributes, make them ideal for other applications.



    Q. KAC is also a major manufacturer of intelligent and conventional audible-visible warning devices. What are the key factors driving this sector?


    MT. Without doubt, the key driver for change in the warning devices space was the introduction of the beacon standard, EN54-23, in 2010, which is soon to become mandatory in most European countries. The standard specifies the requirements, test methods and performance criteria for visual alarm devices using either a red or a clear lens in a fixed installation intended to signal a visual warning of a fire. Traditionally, visible warning indicators have only been used in fire systems to reinforce the warning from an audible device. Sound has always been the primary warning mechanism, but, in order to comply with the new legislation, a beacon must be capable of notifying all building occupants of a fire emergency, including the deaf, hard of hearing and visually impaired.

    The effect is that the light output level from beacons has to increase dramatically from the levels that were acceptable before the introduction of the new standard. KAC has completed an intensive new product development programme to bring to market new beacon design that will comply with the standard.

    The new range features a combination of a highly efficient omni directional light source, new electronics, advanced optics and an enhanced lens design to produce the required light intensity without using excessive current to drive the device. KAC has also focused on delivering a device range that can be used on walls and ceilings and is very easy to install.

    Q: To conclude, why is KAC the leader in the global call point market?

    MT and RM. Of course, many factors contribute to the interaction between customer and supplier. In addition to providing high quality, reliable and approved call points, there are many intangible benefits in specifying KAC call points and AV devices. In simple terms, success is the result of listening to our customers and giving them the products they need to do their job. KAC changed the dynamics of the call point market 40 years ago, and has remained at the forefront of innovation in the sector ever since. We are now on our fifth generation of devices, each of which has moved the operating technology forward and introduced new features.

    As a global leader in our field it is also vital that we make the customer experience as simple and efficient as possible. We offer flexible delivery times, comprehensive service and technical support, managed by a team of expert staff who work closely with our customers to meet their specific requirements. Our pride in our products is supported by the strong service culture that runs throughout KAC.

  • Mains voltage launch

    KAC Manual Call Points for legacy mains voltage fire systems

    January 2012

     

    The latest addition to KAC’s range of manual call points for specialist applications is the MCP6V, an indoor call point for flush or surface mounting that will switch up to 2A at 240VAC mains voltage. Whilst the overwhelming majority of fire systems in Europe and around the world operate at 24VDC, there are a significant number of legacy mains voltage systems still in commission. These systems are located primarily in the Far East or in countries that have recently joined the EU, and they require continuing support for routine maintenance and replacement of devices.

     

    The MCP6V is a specially terminated unit fitted with a mains voltage microswitch. Externally identical in size and user interface with the normal low voltage version, it features warning signs, visible when the operating cassette is removed, to alert installers and service engineers to the presence of high voltage. The internal layout of the unit has been designed specifically to minimise any opportunity for inadvertent contact with the terminals. The product is tested and approved by LPCB to EN54-11.

     

    KAC Marketing Manager, Mark Thomson, said, “The new mains voltage unit joins KAC’s market leading range of call points designed to meet the needs of specific installation environments. Our recently launched MED approved devices for use in marine fire systems and ATEX approved call points for hazardous areas are two further examples of our commitment to developing product variants that offer additional features or enhanced performance over our standard product range.”

  • New Smoke vent range

    New Smoke Vent Control Call Points

    July 2011

     

    KAC has introduced an orange-bodied version of the MCP indoor call point conforming to EN12101-9 for use as a manual activation device in smoke control management systems.

     

    Smoke vents are installed in diverse applications ranging from traditional industrial buildings, large enclosed public spaces and multiple occupancy accommodation through to data centres containing high value, enterprise-critical equipment.

     

    Typically, smoke vent activation is either electronically from the fire system control panel or manually from strategically located call points. For manual activation, the orange body and clear marking, specified in EN 12101-9, enables the function of the call point to be immediately identified, even by untrained personnel.

     

    Mark Thomson, KAC Marketing Manager, said: “Smoke vent control devices are just one example of the increasing range of products offered for specialist applications. The development also highlights our ability to meet customer needs and adapt to forthcoming standards before they are implemented.”

     

     

  • Call Point MED approval

    KAC products gain Marine Equipment Directive approval

     

    July 2011

     

    KAC has obtained ‘wheelmark’ approval to the Marine Equipment Directive (MED) for selected manual and waterproof call points.

     

    MED approval enables products to be installed as part of fire protection system in passenger ships, cargo ships and tankers. The directive ensures the free movement of equipment within the EU and guarantees the uniform application of standards in Chapter 11-2 of the international SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea Convention).

     

    The MED also defines the design and test standards for the equipment and the procedures required for testing. Compliance with the MED became mandatory on 6th April 2010.

     

    Mark Thomson, KAC Marketing Manager, commented: “Our strategy is to provide products for all applications. Adding MED approval to the range allows us to further our relationships with the world’s largest marine fire systems companies and ensures we are compliant with the latest standards.”

     

    Other products in the range are currently undergoing third party LPCB testing, with approvals expected shortly.

  • New Keywsitch Range

    New Keyswitches

     

    May 2012

    With 40 years’ industry experience, KAC is a world leading call point and AV manufacturer, focused on continually investing in new product development. Keyswitches are used in a wide range of applications across fire and security and our new range reflects this diversity. They enable an increased level of control from a standard call point where there may be security concerns or restrictions over access.

     

    This new range of keyswitches will replace the existing devices. The main plastic housing has been retained as it offers an excellent platform for installation and ease of use. However, we have replaced the key and barrel with an upgraded version that offers greater reliability and improved wiring. The new range is only available in a surface mount option as demand for flush mounted products has fallen to very low levels. Flush mount can be achieved by removing the surface mount back box.

     

    The new range will comprise the following variants, all of which are manufactured to the highest standard and come with the usual KAC three year warranty:

     

     

  • EN54-23 standard for VADs

    Shedding light on the new EN54-23 standard for Visual Alarm Devices      Mark Thomson, Marketing Manager, KAC Alarm Company

     

    November 2013

    Many electrical contractors are aware of the profits available when installing fire detection systems in commercial premises. Compared with “traditional” commercial electrical work such as installing mains power and lighting, the relatively high value of the control panel, detectors, manual call points and AV devices raises the project value and additional charges such as system design, test and commissioning. However, from 01 January 2014 specifiers and contractors need to be aware of an important change when tendering for new fire system work.

     

    For many years, the primary fire alarm warning has been the traditional bell or electronic sounder. Recently, it has become the norm for both audible and visible alarms to be installed, but the Visible Alarm Device (VAD) has been a secondary reinforcement of the primary audible warning device. An important change takes effect from 01 January 2014. Responding to the Equalities Act, both audible and visible warnings must now be equally effective in attracting attention in an emergency.

     

    The new EN54-23 standard applies to any VAD newly installed and used as a primary means of warning as part of a fire alarm system. Conformance is mandatory under the Construction Product Regulations (CPR). EN54-23 sets a base level for performance so that VADs provide a defined level of illumination, designed to be sufficiently bright to attract attention even if the VAD is not in the direct line of sight. There are currently 10 million people in the UK with hearing loss: EN54-23 compliant beacons will provide all building occupants, particularly the hearing impaired, with improved warning of fire alarm or evacuation conditions. Brighter and more noticeable VADs will also increase safety in areas where high ambient noise levels can render beacons ineffective.

     

     

    What are the requirements of EN54-23?

     

    Testing to EN54-23 gives an independent assessment of a VAD’s performance in the same way as EN53-3 for sounders. Since the development of this new standard, systems designers, risk assessors and installers can assess what performance is required of a beacon for installation in a particular location. They can then have confidence in choosing the right device for the job.

     

    EN54-23 specifies three categories: W, wall; C, ceiling; and O; open. The coverage volume, defined by the manufacturer, is that in which the output meets the minimum illumination requirement of 0.4 lux. C devices are assessed on the diameter of a cylinder of light. Manufacturers are typically designing VADs to meet smoke detector spacings, approximately 7.5 metres between ceiling-mounted devices. For ceiling-mounted devices, the manufacturer must define the maximum height at which it can be installed, set by the standard at either 3, 6 or 9 metres. As required for sounders, a wall-mounted VAD must be installed at a minimum height of 2.4m from the floor. W class devices are assessed in terms of the dimensions of the cube of light they produce. The coverage of an O class device is a cuboid of light, again defined by the manufacturer but independent of the height or placement requirements specified in EN54-23.

     

     

    The new KAC ENscape range

     

    KAC has taken the opportunity created by the introduction of EN54-23 to develop a completely new range of sounders, beacons and combined units. ENscape sounders, beacons and combined units fit a common base and provide fast and simple installation as well as high audible and visible outputs. Any of the three types can be installed on a wall or ceiling. KAC’s unique first fix capability, shared with its call points, allows the wiring to be tested without the active devices being installed. The interchangeable modular design enables simple system set-up and later reconfiguration if required.

     

    ENscape offers fast installation and safe evacuation for all commercial buildings, including:

    • Areas where people with hearing difficulties may be alone - hotel rooms, public conveniences

    • Environments with high levels of ambient noise – factories, gymnasiums, concert halls

    • Public escape routes – corridors, stairwells

    • Areas with restricted access – boiler rooms

    • Care homes and accommodation for the elderly

    • Buildings with rooms equipped for the disabled

     

    ENscape is available through many major wholesalers. The range is designed to reduce time and cost for installers and users:

    • First fix wiring capability gives greater flexibility during installation

    • The circular design needs no orientation

    • Sounders, beacons and combined units mount into a common base

    • Universal design, suitable for wall and ceiling mounting

    • High output light and sound minimises the number of devices required. Two stage sounders with a global tone set of 32 approved tones enable alert and alarm sequences for a phased evacuation

    • All audible and visible devices in the same zone are synchronised

    • Approved to EN54-3 and EN54-23

     

    The ENscape range of EN54-3 and EN54-23 approved conventional AV warning devices are compatible with control panels from all major manufacturers.  They enable fast installation and reduced costs for contractors. The range is suitable for use in all commercial buildings, has a clean modern appearance and provides outstanding performance and safe evacuation for all occupants.

  • HMI in fire detection

    The human interaction with a fire system: Manual Call Points and AV Warning Devices
    September 2013

    Mark Thomson
    Head of Marketing
    KAC Alarm Company

    The activation of a fire detection system is achieved either automatically, initiated by a detector, or through a manual call point or pull station. Call points are used throughout Europe, Australasia and the Far East and pull stations are predominantly to be found in North America. Although the manual devices are very different in their design and operation, they are both the only Human Machine Interface, HMI, mechanism that an occupant of a building can use to activate the fire alarm system. In certain circumstances, human intervention is going to be the fastest way of raising the alarm. For example, consider a boiler room, which typically will be protected by a thermal detector. If a slow smouldering fire were to develop, the thermal detector would take a very long time to respond, whereas someone entering the room will be able to react to the situation immediately.

    The history


    Long before the development of smoke detectors in 1941, the break glass call point was the only means of activating the simple fire systems of the time. Today’s intelligent automatic fire detection systems are complex arrangements of sophisticated detectors, high performance audible and visible warning devices and automated controllers for external systems such as air-conditioning systems, door controllers and other equipment, all managed by advanced software. The functionality and performance of detectors and warning devices in the system has significantly improved as the result of technology advances, and while superficially the manual call point would appear to be unchanged, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. It too has moved a long way forward from the original design, in which, when the glass was broken, a spring-loaded switch was released into the operating position, activating the warning bells. In those days, it was, quite literally, a question of breaking the glass using the hammer attached to the device.

    Forty years ago, in 1972, KAC Alarm Company came into existence to manufacture a completely new design of break glass call points, in which the idea of scoring the reverse of the glass and using a protective film enabling it to fracture cleanly and safely was first introduced. The fracturing of the glass allows a microswitch to activate the system. This operating principle has been adopted as the de facto industry standard used by all manufacturers, and, together with the resettab le version in which the operating element does not have to be replaced after use, is universally used in all installations.

    Developments


    Developments in call point technology have kept pace with the rest of the industry. In addition to conventional units, intelligent versions interface with the control panel through an embedded interface module, which, using the appropriate protocol for the system, enables the exact location of the device to be identified at the control panel. Resettable versions, in which a plastic element drops down to enable the microswitch to operate when pushed, are a relatively recent development. In both types, replacement of the glass or resetting the plastic version requires a tool to be used by an authorised person. Pull stations operate somewhat differently, there are single action units where the user pulls down a handle, and, more commonly, dual-action versions, where the user has to lift up and pull down or push in and pull down to activate the operating handle. Typically, pull stations feature a T-bar style pull, and, like call points, they have to be reset after operation by an authorised person using a tool.

    In addition to break glass and resettable call points, other operating methods are widely used for specific applications. Key operated, push button and push button with protective cover units are all available from a number of manufacturers.

    Specialist applications

    Arguably, the most important recent advances in call point design have been the development of environmentally sealed, explosion proof and intrinsically safe variants. IP66 or IP67 environmentally sealed units are housed in an enclosure that prevents water and dust from entering the call point. By providing devices that can be installed outside, in wet or dusty areas inside or where equipment has to be hosed down for cleaning purposes, the fire system can be extended throughout the protected premises. In addition, good safety practice and legislation require an emergency stop mechanism to be installed on machine tools and other production equipment; waterproof call points are ideal for this requirement.

    To install call points in hazardous areas, they must be either intrinsically safe or explosion proof. Hazardous areas are defined as areas where concentrations of flammable gases, vapours or dusts may occur, either constantly (Zones 0 and 20), under normal operating conditions (Zones 1 and 21) or infrequently (Zones 2 and 22). A whole series of additional conditions relating to the temperature classification and the auto-ignition temperatures of the type of gas or dust to be found ensure that any installed equipment will not initiate an explosion or fire. Hazardous areas are to be found in a very wide range of manufacturing industries, far beyond the obvious petrochemical plants. Food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic manufacture all involve processing potentially explosive substances, while the problems of explosions in grain silos and sugar processing plants are very well documented.

    The difference between the two types is that the input energy entering an intrinsically safe device is constrained so that any arcing or sparking within the unit cannot generate enough heat to start ignition. In explosion-proof call points, the operating mechanism is mounted in an enclosure that is sufficiently robust to prevent any internal explosion from reaching the outside. While bulkier than intrinsically safe units, they are far more robust, enabling them to be installed in very demanding environments such as offshore oil platforms. Typically housed in a GRP or aluminium enclosure, they are environmentally sealed to IP66 or IP67 in order to achieve the explosion proof rating, enabling them to be installed in aggressive environments.

    Other specialist options include call points that will switch up to 2A at 240VAC, enabling them to be used for replacements and extensions in the legacy mains voltage fire systems that are still quite common in many regions. While the operating methodology is the same, call point variants for particular applications are often colour coded for easy identification. The familiar red body is for fire systems; orange for smoke vent control, green for emergency door release, escalator emergency stop and similar uses, blue for security systems and yellow for extinguishing system activation or general evacuation signalling. To suit differing requirements, conventional call points are normally with single or double pole switches and a selection of different resistor values to suit the requirements of various control panel manufacturers.

    Standards and approvals

    For fire systems, the relevant product standard for call points is EN54-11. Using approved devices is important in life safety systems; third party testing by a reputable test house does far more than simply confirm the physical construction and operation of the device. Extensive tests for environmental factors such as operation at elevated temperatures, corrosion tests, EMC tests and shock and vibration are carried out, so a third party test certificate gives the installer and user confidence that the device conforms in all respects to the requisite standard. Even if the installation code of practice does not make it mandatory to use approved devices, to use non-approved devices is a false economy that could potentially put life at risk if they do not operate when required.

    EN54-11 defines a pictogram of a house that must be used at the top of the body of a call point and two arrows indicating the optimum point on the operating element. In some markets, supplementary wording is often added to the house pictogram to remove any doubt about the function of the call point. For other specialised applications, a legend is normally printed on to the call point to identify the function and the body colour will not be the fire system red. The legend will normally be in the form of wording, for example, “Emergency Door Release”, so the issue of different languages for specific markets immediately arises.

    Call point siting


    In buildings, call points must be installed at locations where they will be immediately obvious. The positioning of call points within premises is defined in the UK by BS5839 part 1: 2002, the Code of Practice applicable to the installation of fire systems. All European countries have similar requirements, and although there are minor variations, there are generally few major points of difference. Manual call points should be mounted on all escape routes, and at all exit points from the floors of a building and to clear air, ensuring that occupants can leave the building quickly when necessary and activate the fire system while doing so. It should not be possible to leave the floor of a building without passing a manual call point, nor should it be necessary to deviate from any escape route in order to operate a manual call point. Call points mounted at the exits from a floor may be mounted within the accommodation or on the stairwell. In multiple storey buildings, where phased evacuation is to be used, call points should be mounted within the accommodation to avoid activation of call points on lower levels by people leaving the building.

    In order to provide easy access, call points should be mounted between 1.2 and 1.6m from the floor, and should be clearly visible and identifiable. The maximum distance anyone should have to travel in order to activate a manual call point is 45m, unless the building is occupied by people having limited mobility, or a rapid fire development is likely, in which case the maximum travel distance should be reduced to 20m. Call points should also be sited in close proximity to specific potential hazards, for example boiler rooms or paint spray booths, where an environmentally sealed unit will be required.

    Diagrams from the application guide here

    Choosing a supplier


    When deciding on which call point manufacturer to use, specifiers should consider a number of points. • Are the products third party approved to the relevant specification • Does the manufacturer produce sufficient variants to cover the requirements of the installation • Is the manufacturer set up to produce relatively small quantities of devices in various body colours and with custom legends at an economical cost • Is there a learning curve for the installation team because the design varies from type to type, or is the wiring interface constant across all versions • How is the manufacturer perceived in terms of product quality, delivery performance, technical support and overall responsiveness • Are the conventional products available through reputable channels and can the intelligent ones operate under the main detector protocols: System Sensor, Apollo, Hochiki, Nittan and others • How easy or difficult is installation • Can the zone or loop wiring be tested for open and short circuits after the first fix installation, or does the actual call point have to be installed

    There will be other criteria based on previous experience, but if the answers to the majority of the above questions are positive, it should be a good indication that the supplier is reputable and its products can be relied on to perform to specification.

    To conclude, call points perform a vital role in even the most sophisticated fire system installed in the most modern of premises, enabling anyone to raise the alarm in the event of discovering a fire. In smaller systems, they can be the only method of raising the alarm. Wherever they are installed, they provide a highly visible reassurance for the occupants and visitors to the building that a fire detection system is present.

  • Production Engineering Solutions • November 2014

    Safety first

     

    KAC Alarm Company has a global reputation for design innovation and long-term reliability with its life safety products.

     

    From its impressive facilities in Redditch, the company manufactures manual call points and evacuation devices used in commercial fire and security systems. As Solutions reports, the quality and longevity of these vital products is being

    verified by a new Starrett AV300 CNC video measuring system...read more

     

  • KAC Extends AV Range with New EN54-23 Intelligent VAD

     

    KAC Extends AV Range with New EN54-23 Intelligent VAD

     

    January 2016

     

    KAC Alarm Company has extended its market leading Audible Visual Device range with the launch of a new EN54-23 approved Intelligent Visual Alarm Device (VAD). The product is designed to aid safe evacuations in a variety of applications including those where ambient noise is high and people with hearing difficulties may be alone.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    KAC offers an extensive range of AV devices including Intelligent variants for use with addressable fire alarm systems and the Conventional EN54-23 approved ENscape range. The new Intelligent VAD is suitable for both wall and ceiling mount applications and utilises a universal base for enhanced installation flexibility and reduced inventory.

     

    Incorporating advanced LEDs, the new VAD provides 360  ͦlight output, eliminating the need for device orientation during installation. A variety of installer-friendly features are also included such as large cable entries, tamper-proof operation, ‘poke yoke’ engagement and inbuilt isolation options, along with backwards compatibility.

     

    Raxa Chauhan, KAC Product Manager, comments on the benefits of the new device: “Our new EN54-23 Intelligent VAD provides fire system designers and installers with a fully compliant, addressable fire alarm system which meets current installation codes of practice. Like all products in our Intelligent and Conventional AV ranges, the new VAD offers great value to the installer and facility manager, both in terms of performance and system design flexibility.

     

    “We have seen a significant increase in EN54-23 compliant device sales across Europe since the standard became mandatory. The addition of the new VAD will enable us to continue to support our large and diverse customer base with a complete range of fully compliant fire safety solutions including our market leading call points and AV devices. It also supports our ongoing commitment to ensuring safe evacuations for all building occupants.”

     

     

     

     

     

  • KAC Extends Call Point Range with New Extinguishing M3A and W3A Call Points

    KAC Extends Call Point Range with New Extinguishing M3A and W3A Call Points

     

    April 2016

     

    KAC has extended its market leading call point range with EN 12094-3:2003 approved extinguishing devices.

     

     

    Offering unrivaled quality, reliability and ease of installation, the new indoor and outdoor call points are ideal for use with integrated

    gas extinguishing systems for the protection of high value assets in both commercial and industrial markets.

     

     

     

     

     

     

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