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Portsmouth all-through school gets life safety system upgrade from Hochiki and makes use of ‘multi-function’ facility via enhanced ESP controls

Portsmouth Mayfield School is one of the UK’s only single sites ‘all through’ schools, meaning the school has a mix of primary and secondary school age children, all on one site, offering a unique educational experience with a single vision.


Originally opening in 1932, the school celebrates 90 years in 2022 and in the summer of 2021, a year before the celebrations, the school underwent a huge face lift with a brand-new state of the art school built replacing the old and tired building in its entirety. As part of this project the school required a new life safety system. The brief was to protect the 2000+ students, staff and educational assets as well as designing a Class Change System with Lockdown Alert broadcasts.


The installation team was Southern Fire Alarms who have been in operation since 1999 and are one of the south coasts leading installers providing high quality fire and life safety solutions across multiple sectors including industrial, residential, commercial, public sector, leisure, retail and education.


Hochiki Europe were selected as the life safety system and device manufacturer based on the quality and reliability of the devices, as well as the capability of the tech support team.


David Fell, Sales Director at Southern Fire Alarms said:


We have worked with Hochiki products for well over a decade and have a trusted relationship with the team there, we often recommend Hochiki as a well-established and reliable OPEN protocol solution.


In the case of the Mayfield School project, we needed to design, install, and commission a comprehensive yet cost-effective fire alarm system. With over 600 devices including a large number of Visual Alarm Devices (VADs), Hochiki products offered us the greatest flexibility, and allow us to deliver a high-quality bespoke life safety system for the school.”


A key requirement for Mayfield School, was to ensure that a category L3 was met across the entire site and false alarms were to be eliminated. The project also required networking across multiple buildings and floors, so the Hochiki ESP range was chosen for the install. Designed and manufactured to the highest international standards, this range specialises in false alarm reduction, is fully compliant with safety standards for educational settings and has a wide range of devices that work well within a school environment. Not only that, but the range has also extended addressing capability which can be extended from 128 to 254 for certain alarm devices, which minimises costs and allows for greater flexibility.


The Hochiki devices installed at the school were also used to perform as a class change and/or school ‘lock down’ if required. Utilising a different tone to the fire alarm, the entire network was programmed for Cause and Effect based on pre-programmed timetables; at the end of a lesson or break the Hochiki sounders would activate using a different tone to the fire alarm tone. Multipurpose use of fire detection systems within schools is becoming increasingly popular as it is a far more efficient use of systems within the setting. This flexibility is made possible via enhanced, yet simple to use, controls within the ESP products that include variable volumes and tones that allow the system to be tailored to the application specifics.


Learn more about the Hochiki ESP range