Absolute Protective Systems is a provider of the Gamewell-FCI S3 Series: Improving Fire Safety Behind Bars

The Federal Correctional Institute in Jesup, Georgia had a failing fire alarm system serving 27 buildings. Although the existing sensing and detection equipment was functional, the network running the system was inadequate. Honeywell's retrofit solution combined the existing field devices with the Gamewell-FCI S3® Series panel. The powerful new network dramatically increased functionality, reliability and safety at the prison.

The Needs

• Dependable system ensuring reliability and survivability
• Fully functional and addressable network
• Modern interface that is user friendly and intuitive for all staff
• Open architecture with the ability to shut down individual zones

The Solution

Thanks to the Honeywell Gamewell-FCI solution, the institute now has a complete, fully-functioning addressable network. In terms of survivability, the fire alarm system will continue to function even if one or more areas
are compromised.

“The previous system was set up as one network, but the buildings are housed on two campuses and managed separately by correctional staff,” said Brent Laws, Engineered Systems Distributor, Entec Systems. “Which is why we separated the network into two – one has 21 buildings, the other has six. Then we used a network graphic annunciator to port out the information from each campus to a central control station using the Gamewell-FCI network.”

The open architecture of the Honeywell Gamewell-FCI S3 Series makes shutting down individual zones easy. This helps to avoid nuisance alarms, which are especially unsettling for the institute’s inmates and employees.

The Benefits

• Continual system operation, even when specific zones are shut down
• The system’s graphic displays are very user friendly
• The system requires minimal maintenance, reducing costs overall
• Factory training by Honeywell offers additional in-house expertise

“When we first arrived at the facility, we were amazed at how user- unfriendly the old system was,” said Laws. “None of the buildings had a graphic display and it wasn’t possible to bypass points, disable points or test points from each building independently.”

Ease of Use

Each of the 27 buildings at the institute now has the S3 graphic display providing an intuitive interface for the prison’s employees. This was a huge leap forward in terms of usability.

Factory Training

Two institute employees were trained and certified at Honeywell’s factory training facility in Atlanta to become on-site specialists for the institution. This is especially valuable in a location as remote as this one in South Georgia. And if they can’t resolve an issue themselves, these employees also have the option to call the field engineers at Entec Systems, their local distributor, for additional support. By working together, any issues that arise are always addressed very quickly.

Increased Automation

One of the underlying issues with the original system was a distinct lack of automation. For instance, the Entec Systems engineers quickly discovered that certain smoke beam detectors, including those in the Cell Dorms Common Areas, had been set up in such a way that they needed to be reset manually by prison staff. With the Honeywell Gamewell-FCI solution, the detectors can be reset remotely via the network annunciator.

Reduced Maintenance

When the manufacturer of the original network equipment went out of business, support became a major issue. The Honeywell Gamewell-FCI solution has virtually eliminated the need for anything other than routine maintenance checks, which also reduces the cost of running the system for the institute.

Fire Safety is Paramount in Prison

In any large scale correctional institution, fire safety and prevention coupled with early detection can reach the highest level of importance. In some prisons fire has been used in disruptions and riots, and can even be considered a weapon. At the same time the incarcerated population does not have the normal freedom to exit a fire without the assistance and actions of the trained staff in charge of their security and safety. The new Honeywell Gamewell-FCI S3 networks provide immediate (Point Addressable) information directly to each control center annunciator. This allows the Correctional Staff to take quick action to address any potential fire or life safety problem. It was this level of flexibility and security the ultimately provided the prison with everything it needed to help keep staff and inmates safe at all times.

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