The State of Rhode Island is one of the strictest municipalities in the nation when it comes to fire protection. As a result, when state officials decided to install a code-compliant fire alarm system in their statehouse, they chose the E3 Series Expandable Emergency Evacuation System by Gamewell-FCI.
The Rhode Island Statehouse, which sits atop a hill in the city of Providence, is erected of a beautiful white Georgia marble and lit by 109 floodlights with two searchlights at night. Constructed between 1895 and 1904, the complex is listed with the National Register of Historic Places, based in Washington, D.C.
Not only is the Rhode Island Statehouse the seat of state government, it is also considered an important monument and a significant piece of historical architecture on the Providence cityscape. For these reasons, state officials had to ensure the right life safety system was selected for the job.
"The job was bid by electrical contractors (EC's,) and they received equipment pricing from many suppliers. In fact, the job was originally put on the street specified as a totally different system," says Steve Cunha, Fire Alarm Division Manager with the Fire Suppression Systems Group LLC (Cintas Fire Protection) of Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
According to Steve, the existing fire alarm system was antiquated and did not offer the level of protection the state officials required.
"The EC that was awarded the contract went back to state planners and told them that he wanted to use the Gamewell-FCI E3 Series because of its flexibility and the two-wire network configuration." After careful consideration, all parties agreed that the E3 Series system was indeed the right choice.
The Statehouse's new E3 Series system includes analog addressable smoke and heat detection, intelligent projected beam detectors, with remote test/status stations, and addressable manual fire pull stations. Another integral part of this installation is the E3 Series' Voice/Alarm Communication (EVAC) system. Offering audible instructions on a zone-by-zone, floor-by-floor basis, the EVAC component enables custom instructions to be announced directly to each floor/zone based on the emergency situation.
For better command and control, a smart touch screen annunciator is included for enhanced communication with management. The annunciator is an intuitive, easy to use touch screen interface. The attractive state-of-the-art display is user friendly and allows full control of the system.
Able to support 25,000 devices and up to 64 nodes, the E3 Series is the first system of its kind to offer complete integration using just two twisted-pair metallic wires (or fiber-optic cable). This savings in material and labor costs proves to be one of the E3 Series' biggest selling points.
The E3 Series system also features ARCnet a high-speed data network over which control and sensor data, as well as, audio communications travel. With ARCnet each pair of wires are isolated on a node-to-node basis, increasing system survivability during a catastrophic event.
The E3 Series system is the next thing to a one-size-fits-all platform because of its high degree of scalability and component-style architecture. The line consists of three different cabinet sizes, along with a wide array of printed circuit cards that allow for easy customization of the head-end.
As Rhode Island's officials have demonstrated, engineers, contractors, and the like now have a single system platform that will work in most applications - the Gamewell-FCI E3 Series.