The Tower Hotel in London is a luxury hotel right by the world famous Tower Bridge on the River Thames. Customer service is their priority, and their customers naturally appreciate the very best in service and hospitality. With this in mind, as well as needing the very best staff, the hotel of course also wanted to make sure their staff had an efficient safety and communication system in place to give hotel customers the very best service.
Due to the amount of guests staying at the hotel, safety and security is paramount. They already use a digital radio system, and they also wanted an application to connect their digital radios to their fire alarm system. This is because any large hotel can have a problem with false fire alarms which are costly and annoying for guests, and the hotel wanted a system so that alarms can be investigated as soon as they happen and that there is no danger to life.
The hotel had earlier added a DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) system using Hytera digital handheld transceivers, and a Hytera base radio by the Fire Alarm panel in their Administration Offices, to the hotel’s existing analogue two-way radio system.
SMC personnel then installed an SMC Gateway which links to the fire alarm. The SMC Gateway is a platform which interfaces digital radio networks with other systems, and runs applications tailored to that system; be it a fire alarm, GPS tracker, a security system or the Internet. The unit can run multiple apps, and can provide an easy way for others to get their applications/systems to talk to radio networks.
The SMC Gateway interfaced the Hytera radio system to the hotel’s fire alarm system, and the SMC Gateway enables both fire alarm and fault events to be forwarded as text messages to the hotel staff and management, such as the exact location of where the alarm was initiated.
The simplex radio system uses a Hytera MD655 mobile transceiver as a base unit connected to the SMC Gateway, and a single radio power supply is powering both the radio and the Gateway via the Hytera rear accessory connector. The installation involved plugging the serial output of the fire panel into the SMC Gateway/Hytera radio combination and the system was tested by generating faults on the fire alarm system, such as unplugging a smoke detector, followed by a fire alarm test. The radio’s alerted and displayed the exact location of the fault/fire using the textual information from the fire alarm panel e.g. “!FIRE! GR FL RECEPTION AREA”
The hotel now has a working system in place so that alarms can be investigated as soon as they occur. The hotel has also been able to put a policy in place so that the alarm can immediately be investigated by a staff member near to the incident, and management can then choose whether to sound the alarm or to clear it down. If it does not receive a response from the staff after a predetermined time it will sound the alarm and call the fire brigade. The gateway also logs all these incidences so that if there is a problem later the exact series of event can be analysed.
The SMC Gateway can provide an easy way for others to get their applications/systems to talk to radio networks, by taking care of the translation of the proprietary radio protocols to IP/serial or other commonly used communications standards. Applications include Automatic Vehicle Location, Alarm Interfacing, Telephone Interconnect and much more.