SigNET’s new SigTEL disabled refuge system has been installed at Ireland’s first-ever IKEA store in Belfast.

A networked SigTEL system with two master controllers is now operating at the massive flagship store which stocks the full 9,500 items of the IKEA range. The impressive 29,000 sq metre two-storey Holywood Exchange Building covers the equivalent of five and a half football fields and features a first-floor showroom where customers can view over 55 fully furnished room and home layouts.

The system’s controllers, which are located in the store’s Control Room and Main Entrance, ar e connected to a series of internal and external hands free outstations on the staircase landings.

IKEA’s increasing popularity and the excitement surrounding the Belfast store meant that the pressure was on to get the life safety systems up and running in time for the much-anticipated opening.

Says Colin Simms of Ashdale Engineering, the company which installed the system, “IKEA Belfast was a very exciting project. Installing a disabled refuge system in a building which spans such a huge area is a real challenge. We were also very conscious that everything had to be in place for the grand opening”.
Demand for refuge systems has never been higher due to current Building Regulations insisting that all new non-domestic buildings with more than one storey provide ‘refuge’ areas – relatively safe places where people who cannot easily use fire escapes and evacuation lifts can call for assistance and wait until help arrives.

Demand is also being fuelled by the implementation of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. The Government has issued a supplement to the 12 existing guides entitled “Means of Escape for Disabled People” in conjunction with Disability Rights Commission (DRC) which details the requirement for emergency voice communication systems.

SigNET’s new SigTEL system can be used in all types of EVC application – be it a disabled refuge, fire telephone or stadium marshalling system. Not only is the system incredibly easy to use, it is hugely cost-effective in comparison to others on the market and is ideal for hotels, leisure centres, theatres, cinemas, galleries, shopping centres and any other non-domestic building with more than one storey.

A SigNET Integrity multi-zonal PA/VA system consisting of two 42 unit racks supporting over 500 speakers has also been installed at the site.