08/03/2004

Life and Taxes

Advanced Fire Alarm System Pays Dividends in IRS Facility

 

PHOTO: NOTIFIER

A Long Way from Mustang Branch

Farmers Branch, TX, a city located just 12 miles north of Dallas, is home to more than 30,000 residents, 60 Fortune 500 companies, and one IRS building complete with the most advanced fire control system available. Although now a buzzing suburb of one of our nation’s busiest cities, Farmers Branch is a long way from its humble beginnings. Thomas Keenan, Isaac B. Webb, and William Cochran all arrived in 1842 and received land grants from the government for the area that would become the site of Farmers Branch. By 1843, settlers established a community known as Mustang Branch, named for the Mustang grapes that grow along the many creek beds that flow throughout the region. The name was later changed to Farmers Branch by Cochran to attract settlers to the area’s rich farmland.


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NOTIFIER

Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. To the second part of that familiar axiom, we should add a corollary: It is essential to protect taxes and the people who collect them.

That’s exactly what the fire alarm system installed at the Internal Revenue Service building in Farmers Branch, TX, was intended to do, and for years it did the job admirably. However, like most buildings of its era, the fire system technology installed was beginning to lag behind.

The existing systems were limited in their ability to pinpoint trouble areas and to alert the entire facility to emergencies. In addition, the older systems were unable to clearly provide direction as to which routes to take when exiting the building during an emergency, thus directing the occupants away from the danger zones.

Therefore, it was decided to completely overhaul the fire alarm system for the 20-year-old facility. After all, the building is staffed with more than 1,100 employees in its 322,000 square feet – far too many human assets for management to rely on systems and equipment that are out of date.

The General Services Administration (GSA), which ultimately would purchase the new system, turned to Carl Ball, president, Fire Systems Design, a NESCO affiliate located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Ball, in turn, recommended NOTIFIER, a leading manufacturer of commercial fire alarm systems and part of Honeywell’s Fire Group.

Once the main NOTIFIER fire system control technology was firmly in place, Ball further recommended NOTIFIER’s XPIQ Quad Intelligent Audio Transponder. The XPIQ is an integrated, multi-channel distributed audio amplification subsystem, remotely controlled by a fire alarm control panel through a signaling line circuit. By using a software program and internal switching capabilities, the XPIQ eliminates the need for relays and complex wiring during installation, and it is compatible with NOTIFIER’s complete line of voice evacuation intelligent fire alarm panels. As a result, the XPIQ handles all the switching easily with less wiring.

“The fact that the system can point out the exact device that is in ‘trouble,’ so that it is easily found, is a tremendous benefit,” says Fred Oeltjendiers, IRS facility director, Farmers Branch, TX. “Traditional systems can point out the zone where the trouble is located, but not the exact location. The time savings, which may be only a matter of seconds, can make all the difference in a life-threatening emergency.”

In addition, every occupant of the building can now hear and see an alarm, thanks to the voice messages and strobe lights. The old system was limited in that it was not audible throughout the building. Now, for example, if there is an emergency on floor five of the 15-floor building, people on floors one through four and six through 15 will also be informed of the event.

To Betty Doss, senior support service specialist and the IRS building’s on-site facility manager, the minimal wiring is a huge plus. “Because each floor has an individual transponder, there are very few cables,” says Doss. “Thus, there were fewer wires to be pulled through the entire building, which obviously means less potential damage to the building’s infrastructure. As a facility manager, this made me very confident in the installation.”

So now there are three things in life that we can be sure of: death, taxes, and the fact that the occupants of the IRS building have the biggest and best fire alarm system in Farmers Branch, TX.

Nick Martello is director of Marketing at NOTIFIER (www.notifier.com), a Northford, CT-based manufacturer of commercial fire alarm technology and systems and part of Honeywell’s Fire Group.

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


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Replace core drilling with Connectrac In-Carpet and On-Floor Wireways, the proven connectivity solution in open interior spaces of all kinds. These elegant low-profile wireways are great for AV / telecom connectivity wherever it’s needed.

 

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