by Will Mason
Detectomat is a German fire protection equipment manufacturer and has been selling wireless and wired fire alarm equipment in the UK since 2005. The equipment has been marketed and sold through a network of reseller partners.
The two main products that were marketed within the UK, was the addressable DC 3400 and a small wireless system the RCP 6. whereas the wired addressable system struggled to gain any market share, the small wireless RCP 6, proved to be very popular due to its low cost, compared with other wireless systems on the market at that time..
The functionality of the RCP 6 was very limited compared to the other wireless fire alarm systems on the market, in fact, the RCP 6 was originally an intruder wireless system converted to a fire alarm system. However, as there was not a recognised wireless fire alarm code, the RCP 6 was allowed to be sold and installed as a wireless fire alarm in the UK.
Due to the limitations of the RCP 6, and reviewing this system against the fire alarm design code BS5839 Part 6, it was considered that it was only equivalent to a Grade F. Therefore, if the designer or installer, was to consider installing the system above a grade F, a risk assessment by a competent person should take place and confirm that the system was suitable for the risk.
However, it was not long before installers from all walks of life were purchasing the low-cost system and installing it into premises that was not suitable.
The system had a couple of upgrades with the RCP 6B and the SRC 3000. But it still was considered a Grade F system.
The life of this system came to an end in 2013, with the introduction Construction Products Regulation, which forced manufacturers to test their products against a recognised testing standard. In the case of wireless fire alarms, the standard now in place was the European Standard EN54-25. The RCP 6 and SRC 3000 would not pass EN54-25 and therefore, could not be sold in the UK any longer as a wireless fire alarm.
To overcome this obstacle, Detectomat partnered with a wireless fire alarm manufacturer in Germany and showcased a new wireless system in 2011, called the SRC 4000. This system was designed to comply with the now enforced wireless code EN54-25. However, some four years later in 2015 the SRC 4000 had still not been launch, but again was showcased at at Firex.
In 2016, the system was now in a test house, trying to gain its third party certification to EN54-25, in the meantime the system as been installed on some test sites, but as of April 2017, it would appear that the SRC 4000 is still awaiting third party certification to EN54-25.
My only conclusion at this time is that Detectomat’s presence within the wireless field in the UK has come to an end. With regards the existing systems such as the RCP 6, RCP 6B and SRC 3000, we would recommend that these systems are not installed in applications greater than a Part 6 Grade F, which is equivalent to a battery smoke alarm. If a Grade A, B, C or D design is required as per the fire risk assessment, then the system will need to be replaced with a compliant EN54 part 25 wireless system.
The current manufactures that have a compliant EN54-25 wireless system is Hyfire by Sterling Safety Systems, The Zerio Plus by Electro Detectors and the FireCell by EMS.
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