Kier Uses Cygnus Wireless Alarm System

Bull Products’ Cygnus wireless fire alarm system is playing a part in the construction of one of the most exciting projects in England, RE:NEW Chester.

The insurance provider for the local authority made strict stipulations about the fire safety and security system it wanted, and the Bull Products Cygnus system was able to match these requirements, compliant with all the necessary regulations.  Dan Hampson, Site Manager for Kier on the project, commented, “We chose the Cygnus system as it has an excellent specification, is very competitive and we are very happy with the service provided by Bull Products.  If any issues ever arise, somebody from the company comes straight to site.  We would definitely recommend this system for any construction project.”

RE:NEW is the name of the development project transforming Chester’s 1936 Art Deco Odeon building into a new world-class theatre, library and cinema.  The £28 million two year project, which is scheduled for completion in November 2016, is to convert and extend the building to house the new theatre, library and cinema areas in a cultural centre and performing arts space.

The local council appointed an award-winning team which include architects, Bennetts Associates and main contractor Kier, to design and construct the project.  The construction programme is complex, involving the complete re-building of the inside of the Odeon cinema and demolishing an adjacent seven storey office block to make way for the new build extension.

To cater for health and safety requirements, main contractors Kier specified the Cygnus wireless fire alarm system to safeguard the construction workers on the site.  This provides comprehensive fire safety and first aid protection all through a fully linked wireless network of detectors, call points and first aid alerts.  There are some 62 smoke detectors installed around the 12,000 m² site, 36 call points and 10 combined call points and first aid alerts, all of which are carefully positioned for use when emergencies arise.  These modules and detectors are linked back to one Cygnus control panel, and there is also an Auto Dialler GSM Communicator installed which provides out-of-hours protection by auto-dialling up to ten phone numbers of responsible persons in an emergency. 

The Cygnus alarm system can link as many as 480 alarm and detector units in different zones on a site, and individual units can be fire alarm call points, first aid alerts, combined call points and first aid alerts, smoke detectors or heat detectors.

Designed for use on construction sites, the CE marked Cygnus system has been developed for use in dense concrete and steel structured buildings and areas where there are many other radio frequencies in operation, and so particular attention has been given to achieving an impressive connection range.  Where there are multiple sites within range of each other, the Cygnus system has been designed to operate on different site addresses in order to keep each system separate and free from interference. 

The optional control panel is a major feature of the Cygnus system and provides a very sophisticated capability with an event log function which records any events such as an alarm activation, low battery warning, and signal faults, all of which can be viewed if necessary in the history folder held on the panel.  The system also has the ability to test all units and has an evacuate function which will act as a call point to the rest of the alarm units. 

Each unit in the system can provide the panel with information at regular intervals.  This explicit information confirms the unit is still present and what the battery status of each device is.  Known as the ‘heart beat’ this message is monitored by the control panel where fitted and if the ‘heart beat’ is not heard for several intervals, the control panel logs a full status for that unit.  A PIR option is now available on any of the modules which can detect an intruder and alert off-site personnel for added safety protection.

Bull Products offers a full one-year guarantee on all Cygnus devices and provides high levels of technical, on-site and after-sales service support in addition to its standard maintenance contracts.