The Gold Standard
Encompassing 109,000 acres in four Kentucky counties, Fort Knox is the home of the Army Armor Center and the U.S. Army Recruiting Command., Fort Knox has a population of more than 23,000 soldiers, family members and civilians. The Armor Center and the Recruiting Command School — the largest organization on Fort Knox — performs the mission of bringing men and women into the U.S. Army. In 2003, Fort Knox called on Freedom Communications of Louisville, Ky., to completely upgrade the fire alarms systems in a number of key buildings at the base, including 14 barracks where military personnel are housed.
“They told us that they were looking for non-proprietary control panels that they could easily work on and order parts for after the install,” says Brian Banta, vice president of Freedom Communications, the specifier for the base.
Freedom Communication’s winning project bid incorporated the installation of 14 Fire-Lite MS-9600 control panels in the different barracks. The Fire-Lite MS-9600 addressable fire alarm control panel is a compact system manufactured with surface-mount. It includes fire protection features such as maintenance alert, automatic detector test and smoke detector sensitivity printout. The units can also come with an optional Digital Alarm Communicator Transmitter (DACT-UD) to allow remote site upload/download and remote monitoring and diagnostics.
“The impetus for the entire project,” Banta says, “was a need to stay up to speed with post-9/11 codes. Since that time and the sharper focus on terrorism, there has been a big push for military bases around the country to install anti-terrorism mass notifications systems in conjunction with compatible fire alarm systems.”
“From the control panels to the smoke detectors, duct detectors, heat detectors and System Sensor speakers and strobes; it all works together extremely well,” Banta says.
When Freedom Communications was tasked with installing fire alarm control panels in a number of other locations around the base, including the regional correctional facility, two elementary schools and an officers’ club, it again used Fire-Lite products.
Banta explained how the officers’ club project, although a smaller project than the barracks installation, posed its own challenges. “With the officers’ club, we were set with the task of providing a system that could shut down the audio on the dance floor, turn on all the lights and initiate a mass notification message. We were able to put in control modules and relay modules that work with the MS-9600 so that all of these unique events could be easily controlled and monitored.”