Silent Knight Fire Protection

In June 2007, Holly Lane Apartments in Cedonia, Md., a 170-unit community comprised of one- and two-bedroom units, began renovation to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.  Holly Lane Apartments enlisted Hamel Builders, a mid-Atlantic general contractor with experience in new construction, renovation and adaptive-reuse, to transform 15 of the apartments into ADA-compliant units. In order to meet the ADA guidelines, a full interior demolition was necessary.  The ADA units required wider hallways, special bathroom fixtures and modified public sidewalks that facilitated wheelchair access into the apartments, the parking lots and the community room.  Following the completion of these renovations, one issue remained to be tackled: fire protection.  Prior to the renovation, the community was equipped with independent, 110-volt, hard-wired smoke detectors that sounded locally within each apartment. In order to fully comply with ADA regulations, each handicap-accessible apartment required a hard-wired smoke detector that hooked into a central monitoring system, so that in the event of an emergency, personnel would be able to locate the source of the problem and respond immediately.  Hamel Builders enlisted the services of Anderson Fire Protection Inc. (AFP), a full-service fire protection contractor, which chose to use products from Silent Knight, part of the Honeywell Life Safety Group and a provider of industry-wide compatible fire alarm solutions for small and mid-size institutions and commercial sites. At the heart of the new Holly Lane system is Silent Knight’s IntelliKnight Model 5700.  The Model 5700 is a 50-point, single-loop addressable fire alarm control panel (FACP) that combines addressable sensing technology with built-in digital communication, distributed intelligent power and an easy-to-use interface. The system uses standard wire (no shielded or twisted pair required), which facilitates the installation process. Central reporting can be performed by point or by zone, and a built-in annunciator with 80-character LCD notifies personnel in the office area if something goes wrong.   Each of Holly Lane’s 15 ADA apartments is now equipped with a smoke detector that connects to the IntelliKnight panel.  Therefore, when a smoke detector goes off, a relay is triggered which turns on the panel.  Horn strobes, located in each of the apartments’ bedrooms, living rooms and bathrooms, are simultaneously activated, as both audio and visual alerts are required in an ADA- compliant unit.