Casinos Can’t Afford to Gamble Life Safety
Mull over the safeguarding of a casino and instantaneously video surveillance comes to mind. But how about considering the fire/life-safety perspective? A Reno, Nev., facility serves as an example of what it takes to provide casinos with solutions that satisfy both codes and the unique demands of these customers.
Today most casinos have rigorous fire safety systems and programs that are designed to protect and respond in the event of an emergency. Whenever an expansion or remodel is undertaken, however, the system is oftentimes challenged to provide the same or better level of protection – both during and after the construction phase.[IMAGE]gaming-1.jpg[/IMAGE]
Such was the case with the recent expansion and renovation of the Peppermill Hotel Casino, a luxury resort in Reno, Nev., that combines a deluxe hotel, restaurants, designer shops and a spa.
The main challenge presented to a local installing security contractor was integrating fire and life-safety systems while ensuring a seamless transition from legacy equipment to the new the solution.
The project serves as a case in point that systems integrators should recognize installation opportunities in the gaming market go beyond video surveillance.
Contactor Efficiency Proved Key
Tuscany Tower, the 19-story centerpiece of the Peppermill’s Tuscan-themed expansion, and the new fire command center building, which replaced the existing system, were the pivotal points of integration. During the tower’s construction, the casino was also building its new event center, as well as retrofitting the casino and expanding the parking garage.
Each of the fire/life-safety areas were treated as standalone fire systems during the construction phase: The new tower construction was independent of the event center, as well as the casino and the existing towers. This approach enabled the project team to meet the unique requirements of each area so in the end, each individual system could be integrated with the central system in the new command center.
All aspects of integration required extensive preliminary planning and coordination with the facility and individual contractors. To maintain an efficient workflow it, was necessary to coordinate the efforts of the electrical, HVAC, elevator and fire/life-safety systems contractors. But there weren’t just these four contractors for the entire facility; there were four different contractors assigned to each section of the expansion/renovation.
Integrating Casino Tower Systems
The Tuscany Tower’s fire and life-safety components in the construction phase were treated as standalone systems with multiple nodes.
All fire protection devices – from alarms to the sprinklers and smoke detectors – are constantly monitored electronically in a fire command room located next to the new tower, according to Doug Hoff, group vice president of Sparks, Nev.-based Tri-Signal Integration Inc., which integrated and installed the tower’s fire/life-safety systems.
“The facility is set up in nodes. If a sprinkler or smoke detector is activated in any of them, there are safety procedures in place designed to automatically contain the problem to that zone,” Hoff explains.
It is commonplace for larger, multistory casinos to be outfitted with voice evacuation systems that interface with the building automation system for HVAC shutdowns. The Peppermill is no different. It takes a lot of preplanning and organization to achieve this . Extensive programming is required to tie all the different disciplines together and accomplish the various life-safety functions. These include correct device labels with the right floor numbers, control by event (CBE) operation and graphic displays with corresponding LEDs for each fire zone and smoke control.
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