It’s a home run for fire protection at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, home to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Toronto Blue Jays' Double-A affiliate team. A new fire system ensures that only the bats are smokin' hot at the stadium.
The stadium's old fire system was badly damaged during a snowstorm when a power surge took the system offline and damaged a number of internal components. Stadium officials worked with fire alarm and security integrator Capitol Alarm Systems Inc., of Penacook, N.H., to identify a more reliable, surge-resistant replacement.
Value and dependability were two key factors stadium officials were looking for when they chose to go with the Fire-Lite Alarms system by Honeywell, said Shaun Meredith, director of facilities at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, the Fisher Cats' home base.
"It's a large investment for us and we wanted to make sure we were getting a good value for what we were paying for," he explained. "It's a ballpark; it's a large facility and we needed a dependable system that would allow us to identify and take care of any issues as quickly as possible."
To increase protection against electric shock damage to its systems, Fire-Lite Alarms recently redesigned its control panels' major hardware components to offer more robust surge protection. For fast diagnostic purposes, new color-coded LED lights were also added, which indicate status of the panel's operations, and when necessary, where service on the system is needed.
"Obviously, that was a big factor in our decision-making process. We wanted something that had good surge protection and was reliable," said Meredith. "In looking at this system, it was a good fit for what we were looking for at the ballpark."
Operation and Maintenance
At the heart of the stadium's new system is an MS-9200UDLS fire alarm control panel. The compact system can monitor as many as 198 initiating devices, such as detectors and pull stations. Since the products are assembled in the United States and sold over-the-counter by security equipment distributors nationwide, parts are competitively priced and readily available.
"It was low-cost, low-budget, but high-quality - all the things you want," said Roger Laro, Capitol Alarms' VP of operations. "We put it in, got it inspected and they had a flawless opening day."
The stadium managers were looking for a system that was simple to operate and simple to maintain, Laro explained. The MS-9200UDLS panel contains a single circuit board, mounted to its enclosure by a quick-remove chassis – an installer-requested element now part of all Fire-Lite Alarms panels. According to Laro, this unique feature makes a fix simple.
"If there's a problem, you just put in a new board – you're in and out in an hour," he explained.
Considering the stadium's old system was constructed on proprietary technology, facility management favored the new system’s open source capabilities, which allow service to be performed by any qualified company and even the knowledgeable facilities staff. Being locked into one service provider for all system fixes, big and small, at non-negotiable prices, is one situation stadium management wanted to avoid.
"They can save themselves time, money and effort, without having to call us in," said Laro.
The system was rounded out with five addressable duct detectors, numerous remote test sensors and indicators in elevator pits, hard-to-get-to spaces and rooms and other places. Laro ran 24 circuits of visual strobes and a 32-zone graphic annunciator, as well.
The Fire-Lite Alarms system communicates all alarms, troubles and supervisory issues to a central monitoring station while simultaneously reporting those same signals to stadium officials via email. For convenient updates on the system's status, including alarms, Capitol Alarm installed a remote annunciator in the stadium's front entryway.
"They've got a system they can depend on, a system that notifies them about any problems before the authorities call them and ask them to come down," said Laro.
The new fire alarm system has been protecting the Northeast Delta Dental Stadium for nearly 2 months, without any issues. That's a vast improvement from the old system, which was having technological troubles on a weekly basis, said Laro.
"They've almost forgotten about it now," said Laro. "It was a seamless transition."