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Ablett House - Student accommodation in Liverpool, UK

Eaton fire system boosts protection of Liverpool University students

Eaton has delivered a comprehensive fire alarm system to protect the safety of students at a prestigious university accommodation development in Liverpool.

The power management company supported EFT Systems, a leading fire and security company in the North West, in providing equipment for Ablett House, named after the late Liverpool and Everton footballer Gary Ablett. The centrally-located Ablett House scheme is The Student Housing Company’s latest development in Liverpool.

Completed in a year, the bespoke 12-storey, 396-bed building has been designed to provide students in Liverpool with a relaxing environment in which to live, study and unwind. The state-of-the-art accommodation offers students a choice of three to seven-bed apartments. 

Mindful of the disruption and cost implications that arise from frequent false alarms in student accommodation, The Student Housing Company specified a bespoke fire alarm solution with a sophisticated range of cause-and-effect programming to ensure fast and accurate detection of a suspected fire.  

Students often fall foul of the fire alarm system due to creating a nuisance or unwanted alarms. It is a challenging environment for fire systems but the Eaton system has performed flawlessly.

Alasdair Croft, EFT System’s Project Manager
“What was unique about Ablett House was that it presented a very complicated cause and effect scenario. We had confidence in the product and received on-site training from Eaton to help us with the programming. Their configuration tool was very user-friendly and easy to navigate.”

In order to meet the project’s detection and alarm requirements, EFT installed four of Eaton’s CF3000 intelligent and addressable control panels throughout the student accommodation.

“The CF3000 panels have sophisticated functionality and are simple to operate, which is why we recommended them to EFT,” explained Mike Slater, sales account manager at Eaton. “The installation needed to be completed fairly quickly so we provided design, programming and system support to assist delivery within the tight timescale.”

Unlike conventional panels, addressable control panels can pinpoint the particular detection device that has been activated, thereby speeding up the process of determining the source of the outbreak. This is viewed as being particularly important in a challenging environment such as student accommodation, where false alarms are common.

Student accommodation with a Eaton CF3000 addressable control panel

To help minimise additional cost implications for the owner or manager of a building, the CF3000 panels use soft addressing to decrease installation time and reduce the potential for error associated with manual addressing. The CF3000 panels can operate either as a standalone panel or as part of a networked system. This provides flexibility and means the system can be expanded to meet the requirements of a growing business.

As an added feature, the panels come with powerful programming options that enable the user to control whether messages from specific panels are transmitted around the network or remain local, to avoid unnecessary disruption to the other building occupants. 

Ablett House was the first large Eaton system that EFT has fitted and Alasdair Croft was impressed with the ease of installation. In addition to the network of panels, EFT also installed around 600 optical smoke and multi-sensor detectors throughout the 12-storey building.

“We didn’t encounter any challenges in the installation process,” he added. “I did the handover to the client and demonstrated the cause and effect system and they were delighted.”