Phoenix Children’s Hospital Upgrades Fire Safety Technology

Founded 26 years ago, Phoenix Children’s Hospital is one of the 10 largest children’s hospitals in the nation. The hospital currently covers more than 40 pediatric specialties and provides health care to some of the sickest children in Arizona.

In order to meet the requirements of a rapidly expanding metro Phoenix population base, the hospital began a $588 million expansion and renovation of its facilities in 2008 with a new 685,000 square foot, 11-story patient tower and an 18-unit Ronald McDonald House -- making it the largest free-standing children’s hospital in the nation.

Providing a fire protection system for such a large project will be a complicated and difficult task. The project requires installing the latest, most-advanced fire protection technology available for the renovated and new structures, such as the patient tower, and integrating this new technology with the hospital’s legacy systems in order to create a single, cohesive system.

Appropriately, the process for choosing the fire system contractor was very demanding.

As Tim Snow, general manager of Detection Logic Arizona, put it, “To win this job, the contractor would have to provide the right credentials, the right product offering, and the ability to support the system in the future.”

The first stage of the process began in March 2008 with the fire alarm Request for Qualifications (RFQ) sent out to several vendors representing each of the three fire system manufacturers approved for the project.

Even for Detection Logic, which has extensive experience in installing fire systems for large applications, winning the project came down to several other factors -- most significantly its system design proposal. The winning submittal had to demonstrate that the design and product selection could best meet all the challenging technology and performance requirements of Phoenix Children’s Hospital while keeping system, installation, and ongoing operational costs down.

For example, the existing fire system for Phoenix Children’s Hospital is based on Edwards Systems Technology (EST) products. To integrate the legacy EST and new NOTIFIER systems, Detection Logic proposed connecting each panel through an Echelon fiber optic network to an ONYXWorks workstation from NOTIFIER in a UL-864-listed configuration.

“The ONYXWorks Monitoring and Integration System is the only system available capable of integrating all of Phoenix Children’s Hospital legacy and proposed systems,” said Fred Lovato, engineering manager at Detection Logic.

For Phoenix Children’s Hospital, these systems could include fire alarm systems, security systems, card access systems, CCTV systems, central station receivers for outlying buildings with no connectivity, and any systems with dry contacts that must be monitored.

Along with the Echelon backbone with ONYXWorks, the proposal included NOTIFIER network panels and detection and notification devices from System Sensor, including intelligent photoelectric smoke detectors, SpectrAlert Advance chimes and strobes, and speakers and speaker strobes for voice evacuation.

“With their ability to communicate clear, intelligible messages, SpectrAlert Advance speakers and speaker strobes are our device of choice for voice evacuation systems designed to protect patients and children,” Lovato said.

They were also selected for their ability to be quickly and easily installed and maintained. The design called for more than 1,200 speaker strobes. As the only plug-in devices, the SpectrAlert Advance products not only speed and simplify installation across large projects, but also reduce labor and material costs associated with ground faults caused by pinched or crushed wires.

In addition to the system design proposal, Detection Logic provided Phoenix Children’s Hospital with information on how they would support the system. Consequently, Detection Logic proposed a range of approaches to enable the hospital to operate and maintain the system effectively, including providing constant training throughout the installation of the system, labeling devices based on Phoenix Children’s Hospital input, and designing a user-friendly system interface.

About the Author

David George is the director of marketing at System Sensor.


  • Live From ISC West: Day 2 Recap

    If it’s even possible, Day 2 of ISC West in Las Vegas, Nevada, was even busier than the first. Remember to keep tabs on our Live From ISC West page for news and updates from the show floor at the Venetian, because there’s more news coming out than anyone could be expected to keep track of. Our Live From sponsors—NAPCO Security, Alibi Security, Vistacom, RGB Spectrum, and DoorKing—kept the momentum from Day 1 going with packed booths, happy hours, giveaways, product demonstrations, and more. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West
  • Visiting Sin City

    I’m a recovering alcoholic, ten years sober this June. I almost wrote “recovered alcoholic,” because it’s a problem I’ve long since put to bed in every practical sense. But anyone who’s dealt with addiction knows that that part of your brain never goes away. You just learn to tell the difference between that insidious voice in your head and your actual internal monologue, and you get better at telling the other guy to shut up. Read Now

  • On My Way Out the Door

    To answer that one question I always get, at every booth visit, I have seen amazing product technology, solutions and above all else, the people that make it all work. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West
  • Return to Form

    My first security trade show was in 2021. At the time, I was awed by the sheer magnitude of the event and the spectacle of products on display. But this was the first major trade show coming out of the pandemic, and the only commentary I heard was how low the attendance was. Two representatives from one booth even spent the last morning playing catch in the aisle with their giveaway stress balls. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West

Featured Cybersecurity

New Products

  • BIO-key MobileAuth

    BIO-key MobileAuth

    BIO-key International has introduced its new mobile app, BIO-key MobileAuth™ with PalmPositive™ the latest among over sixteen strong authentication factors available for BIO-key's PortalGuard® Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) platform. 3

  • Connect ONE’s powerful cloud-hosted management platform provides the means to tailor lockdowns and emergency mass notifications throughout a facility – while simultaneously alerting occupants to hazards or next steps, like evacuation.

    Connect ONE®

    Connect ONE’s powerful cloud-hosted management platform provides the means to tailor lockdowns and emergency mass notifications throughout a facility – while simultaneously alerting occupants to hazards or next steps, like evacuation. 3

  • HID Signo Readers

    HID Signo Readers

    HID Global has announced its HID® Signo™ Biometric Reader 25B that is designed to capture and read fingerprints in real-world applications and conditions. 3