Fire protection in refugee camps

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To direct people of different countries of origin as safely as possible out of a building in case of fire, in addition to the technical possibilities in the field of fire detection technology and voice alarm systems, there must also be a building evacuation plan. Vulnerable persons who cannot understand an automatically generated voice prompt in the event of fire are at increased risk. This can be countered by appropriate fire alarms that, in case of danger, produce voice outputs directly in versions for the respective countries.

The sustained readiness to assist in connection with the current high number of refugees is still very large. However, the strong influx presents major challenges for the competent authorities of the federal government, states and municipalities and also often leads to logistical problems. Arson attacks on planned facilities and riots against refugee camps are becoming more frequent. But even in the lodgings themselves, there are almost daily clashes. Care must be taken to ensure that the safety is guaranteed in the often provisionally converted accommodation. The Federal Association of the Security Industry made it clear at a press conference that expense should not be spared on the safety of shelters for refugees. Given that background, the question arises – among others – of how to achieve reasonable fire protection monitoring of such usage units. Meanwhile, discussions are increasingly being conducted with planners to clarify where, how and by what means we can implement this. Since the current influx of refugees is also pushing the (federal) states to their organizational limits, assignments to suitable buildings that serve as temporary accommodation are often being made under tremendous time pressure. And this is accompanied by a lack of implementation of the necessary precautionary measures in the facilities.

Refugee shelter on a former airport site

The airport in Weeze (North Rhine-Westphalia), where a number of selected buildings were designated for corresponding use, is cited as an example of successful implementation of fire safety monitoring of a refugee shelter. Overall, it currently holds almost 300 refugees. In communication with installers, operators and the planning office, within just 2 weeks not only was a viable design created, but the detailed design and contract award were completed, with implementation started immediately. Currently, the buildings are monitored by total of 13 fire alarm systems (IQ-Control C, IQ-Control M and FlexES Control), to which a correspondingly large number of appropriate fire alarms of different types are connected. 350 optical alarms – some with an integrated siren, 600 optical-thermal alarms, 2600 O²T alarms – also in large part with integrated siren, are used here.

Fire detection and evacuation at the same time

In complexes of buildings in which different population groups are accommodated, it is increasingly important, beyond the alarm itself, to reach as many individuals as possible through appropriate voice instructions. With the innovative technology of the IQ8Quad fire alarms, it is possible to ensure a high level of safety in case of fire, by appropriate instructions that can now be issued in over 20 languages.


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Language choices for the announcemnent texts in the IQ8Quad fire alarm detector


Link to fire alarm technology catalog


If not prohibited by building code requirements, instead of a voice alarm system, fire alarms with voice-supported alerting can also be used. These demonstrate their cost-effectiveness, since, in addition to fast and reliable fire detection, timely alerting and targeted evacuation of affected persons is ensured. Meanwhile alarms that have optional built-in acoustic signaling, flashing lights and voice output are also proven solutions. In this way, along with the alarm, evacuation can simultaneously be initiated, if desired. Since different multilingual voice announcements can be generated, such alarms offer significant advantages precisely in buildings in which an international population resides.

In light of this, in its fire alarm technology catalog, the manufacturer Novar from Neuss, which with its traditional brand ESSER belongs to the global Honeywell Group, provides, among other things, an order form for individual composition of national languages. In addition to the standard languages German, English, French, Spanish and Italian, you can selected from twenty additional languages.



Four functions in a single housing; In the IQ8Quad, besides the sensor for fire detection, and an optical, acoustic and voice alarm system and a wireless component have also been implemented. For the public adress, different texts are available in selectable languages.


Fire protection in refugee camps
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