DeafWatch Fire Alarm for the Deaf Installed at the University of Northampton

University of Northampton select DeafWatch as their preferred solution for fire alarm warning system for Deaf and hard of hearing people, and instigate a roll-out across their two campuses.
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* University Of Northampton
* Safety
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* Education
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* Derbyshire - England

Nov. 24, 2009 - PRLog -- DeafWatch, the fire alarm system for Deaf people from Wireless Alert Solutions Limited has been chosen by the University of Northampton for the protection of the Deaf and hard of hearing people throughout the campus. (

Fire Alarms for the Deaf

The University of Northampton is one of the latest and most innovative higher education institutions in the country. The university has always taken its duty of care for Deaf and hard of hearing students and staff seriously, and previously had a legacy paging system in the most vulnerable buildings. They turned to Wireless Alert Solutions Limited’s DeafWatch system as they were looking for a new system that provided complete coverage across all campus buildings.    

Support & Maintenance Problems

The existing legacy paging system did not provide full coverage, while technical developments meant that the system was suffering from an increase in support and maintenance costs. The system coverage was also limited by its 2 watt broadcasting licence, which inevitably led to increased costs as expansion demanded additional transmitters. The DeafWatch system and its 5 watt broadcasting licence was able to overcome coverage problems.  The Technically Assigned frequency operated by Wireless Alert Solutions was specifically chosen for its ability to penetrate internal and external environments.

Frequency Modulation

The DeafWatch frequency modulation consistently outperforms other frequencies in both an internal and external environment, and between large building structures. The University of Northampton has two separate campuses, which could be completely covered using a combination of DeafWatch transmitters ( at strategic points. By exploiting the addressable fire alarm system from these points, students and staff at the university receive relevant fire alarm messages detailing the specific location of the fire. This was made possible by the DeafWatch personal receiver, which has a backlit 20 character display, and is around the size of a matchbox.

Campus Solutions

The campuses were covered efficiently, effectively and securely by a flexible approach and a combination of solutions. DeafWatch improved the coverage at the Avenue Campus by protecting every building from the same location as the previous system (which could only cover one building), while also having individualised messages for each building.  The more complex Park Campus has fire alarm signals that report to the 24 hour security centre at reception. A cost effective solution was to cover the campus with only three transmitters, so that during the day users would be warned of a fire alarm across the whole site. Considering that users may not want to be woken up at night by an alarm across the whole campus, night-time transmitters were added to each hall of residence. Each of these systems have a dedicated set of night-time receivers which only respond to the fire alarm message of their respective buildings, thus ensuring that users are only woken when necessary.

Environmental Obstacles

Due to a large hill running through the 87 acre campus, one of the halls of residence, William Carey, could not be reached. This environmental obstacle was overcome by programming all the global personal receivers to respond to either the global fire alarm signal or the William Carey night-time signal.

Cost-Effective Conclusion

Installing the DeafWatch system at The University of Northampton is an example of how the flexibility of the Wireless Alert approach to fire alarms for the Deaf and hard of hearing people allows for cost-effective solutions. ( Wireless Alert Solutions work closely with Ofcom, the On-Site Communications Association (OSCA) and other organisations to keep up to date with the latest information, and also ensure that the technology provided in Wireless Alert Solutions Limited systems offers the best value for money solutions.

“DeafWatch from Wireless Alert Solutions Limited has allowed us to cover
more buildings with less fuss than before. We are particularly impressed
with the range and penetration of the DeafWatch transmitters, and this,
combined with their competitive pricing has been very satisfactory.”

Derek Harris, Senior Engineer, University of Northampton, Office of Facilities Management

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Fire safety systems for disabled people. DeafWatch is a comprehensive fire alarm system for alerting Deaf and hard of hearing people. RefugeWatch enables two way wireless communication for refuge evacuation mangement.
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