FSC Systems protects university gym with aspiration sensing system

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

JAMESTOWN, N.Y.— Fire Alarm Aspiration Sensing Technology (FAAST) systems are known for their use in critical facilities, but FSC Systems will be installing one in a university gymnasium this year.

Shawn Gorgan, VP of service operations for FSC, a Silent Knight by Honeywell distributor based here, said Alfred University was “pretty adamant” it wanted the FAAST system in the new health and wellness center it expects to complete this fall. Gorgan said aesthetics and functionality were two reasons the university chose the System Sensor FAAST system over traditional detectors.

The very early warning fire detection system will be in the new gymnasium and track area. A FAAST system “draws continuous air samples through a network of pipes to immediately detect the slightest trace of smoke, even in the most highly challenging environments,” according to a Silent Knight news release.

Gorgan told Security Systems News that the university, located in Alfred, N.Y., “didn’t want beam detectors one-third down from the ceiling, shooting beams across, because you have basketball hoops that go up and down and baseball nets that cause interference with the beams.” That was a problem in the university’s previous gym, he said.

Also, he said, the new gym’s high ceiling would have required numerous  traditional smoke detectors. “You’d have all these 6-inch sensors roughly 15 feet apart on a radius, so when you look up it’s going to look like a spaceship,” he said.

Gorgan said the FAAST system that System Sensor specially designed for the space—which he said will integrate with a Farenhyt fire panel—will be much less obtrusive in the new gym, where the university plans to hold its major sporting events.

FSC, a fire and security integrator founded in 2001, plans to start on the project this spring and complete it this summer, Gorgan said.

It’s just one of the projects that the eight-employee company has undertaken at the university, which is in the process of upgrading fire protection in all 52 buildings on its campus.

“From eight years ago until now, we’ve upgraded 36 of them,” Gorgan told SSN.

As the university’s budget allows, FSC gets more jobs. “Every year we get two or three more new buildings to do,” he said. Work this summer will include upgrading the university’s second-largest dormitory, he said. The company is installing Farenhyt fire alarm systems in all the buildings.

The university likes the reliability and flexibility of Farenhyt equipment, according to the news release.

“FSC put our first system in years ago,” Mike Neiderbach, Alfred University's executive director for capital operations and legal affairs, said in a prepared statement. “We like the way it works, it's pretty simple to handle, and we don't have problems with it. In my book, that's a big thing.”

The campus benefited from the Farenhyt line’s retrofit advantages by reusing much of the existing infrastructure for upgrades, including wiring, detector sounder bases and more, saving money in materials and labor, the release said.