Take Control of a Senior Living Facility

Oct. 27, 2008
Uncomplicated Security is a Necessity
Untitled Document

One of the main reasons seniors opt for adult-living communities is the prospect of affordable, convenient, stress-free living. Residents of these communities cherish their independence, but they also love the idea of declaring their independence from mowing the lawn, fixing the plumbing, hiring contractors and dealing with day-to-day home maintenance and repair.

The last thing these seniors want to worry about is the protection offered by their life safety system. Last month, Security Dealer looked at monitoring services suitable for these customers. This month it's the other side of the fence.

Paumanack Village in Melville , NY is a new 100-unit adult-living community on Long Island . At Paumanack Village , Dave Warasila, of Doych Electric, is the dealer responsible for the installation, not only of the life safety system, but also of the intercom, alarm system, all the electric, day and night lighting, on-site generators and more. According to Warasila, he has been doing these installations in senior-living communities for more than seven years.

Focus on Life Safety

“In a complex like this one,” Warasila explains, “The senior residents, all 55 and over, do not need the aggravation and potential confusion that can come from a complex fire alarm system, or one with limited communication capabilities.”

Warasila's team is installing Fire-Lite's MS-9600 control panel in the building, in conjunction with the company's ACC-25/50ZS audio evacuation system and 450 detectors, including three in each apartment. He feels that Fire-Lite is the best value for the project. It also makes sense from an ease-of-use and safety perspective, he says.

“With the Fire-Lite system, combining an addressable control panel with voice evacuation, residents can clearly understand what's going on —without having to decipher different tones,” Warasila comments.

“The industry is finding that voice is the most effective way to go when evacuating people,” he continues, “especially when alert tones are used for chemical spills, bomb scares, earthquakes, tornado warnings and things like that.”

The MS-9600 is a compact fire alarm control panel with a capacity of 318 addressable Fire-Lite devices on one Signaling Line Circuit (SLC). The panel uses surface-mount technology and is designed for not only ease-of-use, but also easy programming and maintenance. Warasila paired the MS-9600 with Fire-Lite's ACC-25/50 audio evacuation system, which features up to 1500 watts of digital audio power for the clearest possible transmissions to people who may be partially hearing-impaired. It also offers the capability for up to 24 separate audio circuits, up to five customizable messages and full manual paging to allow first responders to provide precise evacuation directions to occupants.

The Added Benefits

You can't sacrifice quality in this business, Warasila states. The Fire-Lite system not only makes it simpler to satisfy industry and regional fire codes while meeting the needs of senior residents, it also makes it easier for installers, contractors, maintenance and repair people to do their jobs. The Fire-Lite system is not proprietary.

Warasila continues, “Systems in need of repair can lead to potentially disastrous downtime. With Fire-Lite systems, finding compatible parts is never a problem. You can go anywhere and pick up the part you need the day you need it and get your system back up and running fast. There are probably six locations within 15 miles of the Melville site that will have the parts we need, accessible, on the shelf, five and sometimes six days a week.”

Steve Nadel of Safeguard Security, the security company responsible for performing annual inspections, maintenance, central station monitoring and general service at Paumanack Village and many other senior-housing projects all over Long Island agrees. “I'm the king of Fire-Lite,” he says, half in jest. “The easy access to parts is certainly important. In my profession, I'd have to put the reliability of the product at the top of my list, as well as the ease with which I can get technical service assistance.”

Nadel also points out that the flexibility of the Fire-Lite system is particularly advantageous in an adult-living community. ”We use these products for more than just fire alarms,” he says. “We can also incorporate medical-emergency monitoring and notification into the system. We can install pull cords in all the apartments that can send a distinct signal to the control panel, which in turn notifies the appropriate medical personnel of the exact location of a medical emergency. In so doing, the Fire-Lite systems can save lives in many more ways than one.”

The first of the residents are just now beginning to move into Paumanack Village . They are getting comfortable in their new surroundings and are secure knowing they are well protected in the event of an emergency. This system translates to stress-free living for the building's new senior residents, which is really what facilities like Paumanack Village are all about.