Touch down! C-Tec’s revolutionary ZFP fire alarm panel scores at Saints new super-stadium

C-TEC’s revolutionary new multi-loop analogue fire alarm control panel, the ZFP, is playing a central role safeguarding the most exciting development to hit St Helens for decades, the town’s magnificent new purpose-built Rugby League stadium, Langtree Park.

The state-of-the-art arena is set to become not only home to one of the world’s most famous rugby league clubs but is also destined to become a hot-spot for business events with its first-class corporate hospitality facilities, restaurants, meeting rooms and conference space for up to 1,600 delegates. Featuring bright-red seating areas, a mirrored Sky TV lounge designed to house teams of television commentators and a gigantic TV screen and score-display board, the open-air stadium has a capacity of 18,000 and is worlds away from the old Saints Knowsley Road ground.

Leading electrical installation company, Solid State, won the contract to design and install the life-safety systems at the stadium. Working to a tight three-month timescale, nine engineers were deployed to site full-time to ensure the swift and smooth completion of the project which involved installing a vast and complicated assortment of electrical equipment.

Said Paul Turner, Senior Engineer at the BAFE-accredited Lancashire-based company:

“The challenge was to install the life-safety systems within tight timescales and we pulled out all the stops out to ensure they were up and running in time for handover in October. We are all big rugby fans so it was incredibly exciting to be working on a stadium exclusively designed for rugby league matches.”

Two of C-TEC’s powerful 4-loop ZFP touch-screen controlled analogue addressable fire panels were specified. Fully compliant with EN54 parts 2 and 4, the networked panels connect to over 600 devices including 500 Apollo detectors and 85 C-TEC manufactured addressable loop sounder/beacons distributed throughout the site. With their intuitive 4.3 inch, 472 x 248 pixel colour resistive touch-screens, the panels provide clear and constant feedback on all aspects of fire alarm system activity at the stadium. The panel’s full on-screen QWERTY keyboard makes programming and installation straightforward.

Also central to the stadium’s safety and security is SigNET’s LS voice alarm system. With its LCD touch screen, LS is a powerful and highly sophisticated voice alarm, public address and background music system. At its centre is the SS2N network station which allows the amplifiers, fire alarm interfaces, audio inputs, and manual and automatic controllers to be distributed around the ground.

Consisting of three racks of amplifiers, housed in a specially designed communication room and connected to speakers throughout the stadium, the system has been configured to relay communications to certain areas as and when required. Therefore, players can be paged to come out of the dressing room, match officials can make announcements and, in the event of an emergency, a broadcast can be made to notify attendees to evacuate the entire site.

A very important function of the system is its ability to play background music throughout the stadium’s bowl, dressing rooms, foyers and VIP lounges. On match days, the stadium comes alive with music and commentary as the DJ takes up position in the specially designed control room overlooking the pitch.

An assortment of internal and external speakers have been installed at the partly open-air site, most notable of which are 32 RCF Acustica 300W weatherproof coaxial two-way speakers which overlook the pitch. Twenty-five TOA paging horn speakers pump music out around the stadium surrounds so the fans start to experience the atmosphere as soon as they arrive and over 200 Penton, Bosch and ADS Worldwide Omega speakers service the offices, function rooms and concourses.

Said Paul:

“LS is a very robust and reliable voice alarm system which produces messages and music of exceptional quality, essential for a site of this size. We have had music playing while we work and I can honestly say that the sound quality of the music played through the speakers is spectacular.”

A stand-alone mini alert system was created for the Referee to use. All the referee needs to do is press a switch to alert players that it is time to go out onto the pitch and the system will simultaneously notify directors and commentators by way of a sounder that the players are on their way out of the dressing room.

Also installed on site is a SigTEL fire telephone system, connected to 20 red fire telephone outstations, and an extensive range of C-TEC’s PDA range of induction loop amplifiers for the hard of hearing, disabled refuge systems and disabled persons’ toilet alarms. An automatic turnstile monitoring system is also in operation.

Universally known as ‘Saints’, St Helens is one of the world’s longest established rugby league clubs. Since their formation in 1873, Saints have won 50 trophies and a reputation as one of the most formidable rugby league teams. The stadium is at the heart of the regeneration of the huge brown field site which also features a 140,000 sq ft Tesco store.

Currently celebrating 30 years of manufacturing world-class life safety products, C-TEC has recently recertified and revolutionized its entire range of EN54-compliant XFP and CFP fire alarm control panels in addition to adding a host of new products to its vast range of call systems, power supplies and disabled refuge systems. The company has just been nominated as one of the UK’s outstanding examples of manufacturing excellence in the Government’s prestigious ‘Made by Britain’ initiative.

For more information, please contact C-TEC on 01942 322744.