When Commercial Fire and Communications was contacted by a third party to update the fire safety systems at a large senior living community in Sarasota, we were excited to take on the challenge of this unique property. Our team has years of experience in healthcare and senior living facilities and this market represents one of our most active industry verticals. Although it was a demanding project, with dozens of occupied living units, we were excited for the opportunity to upgrade the facility.
As an upscale retirement community located in Sarasota, Florida, this property serves seniors on 18 acres of land, located between the picturesque Gulf Beaches and the interstate highway.
The south end of the property contains 18 villas with private parking for residents as well as guest parking. The north end of the complex includes a three-story, 21-unit apartment building with a private elevator as well as parking for private residents and guests.
Also located on the north end of the complex, the three-story main building contains not only 127 rooms, but also boasts the kitchen and dining rooms, a fitness center, beauty shop and library. In addition, a maintenance shop attached to this main building houses the fire pump and sprinkler risers.
Fire System Configuration
Previously, the system was configured so that all three complexes (villas, apartment building and main building) reported to the fire alarm panel located in the main building. Each room had one fire alarm sounder that would activate an alarm in that building. In addition, each room contained a smoke detector. However, instead of smoke detectors being monitored by the fire alarm panel in the main building, they were controlled by the nurse call panel.
The main goal of this project at the retirement complex was to replace the obsolete, non-functional fire alarm with a new system that would be safe and code-compliant. Because the units were occupied, we had to handle everything with special care ensuring our work was as efficient and unobtrusive as possible.
Our Fire Alarm Solution
Beginning with the design and permitting phase, we scheduled work with the onsite administrator once permits were issued. Because of the size of the job and large number of devices, we chose to install an EST3 panel containing multiple SLC loop cards and 15 signal expanders. This configuration allowed us to provide up to 2,000 addressable devices and gave us access to 60 NAC circuits.
In order to bring the living quarters up to code, we replaced every device in the complex with updated equipment. Each bedroom, and the hallway outside of each bedroom, received a smoke detector. Plus, we installed low frequency horns in each bedroom and living room for the purpose of alerting residents and staff.
In addition, we increased safety by adding and/or updating:
- Fire Pump Modules in the complex
- Heat Detectors in the elevator shafts
- Smoke Detectors in the elevator equipment rooms
- Duct Detectors on the HVAC units
- Notification Devices throughout the entire main building
Although the project was elaborate, we were pleased to take on the challenge. We delivered on our promise to provide quality, up-to-date systems that offer safety and peace of mind to the staff and residents (and their family members) at this beautiful facility.