An Overview of the WES3 Wireless Evacuation & Detection System

Whether it be wood frame or concrete and steel construction you have an obligation for safeguarding all construction operations from any and all fire risks. The WES3 Wireless Emergency System can better protect your site, your workers and satisfy your local AHJs along with national requirements within NFPA 1, NFPA 241, the IFC & IBC (chapters 33) and OSHA alike.

WES3 is designed specifically for temporary use during construction and alteration projects. With that type of environment in mind the capabilities of the system are meant to be flexible to meet the ever-changing needs of a building in development.

Operating as a flooded mesh network, each device is both a transmitter and receiver to help build connectivity and create multiple paths of communicating to the systems control units. A standard system is capable of managing 999 fully addressable supervised units, with an optional alarm Inspection delay of up to 10 minutes.

WES3 is FCC approved in the U.S. to operate on the 916 MHz frequency and its wireless range capability is roughly a couple hundred feet from device to device in a built and structured environment.

Creating a unique self-sustained encrypted network, each system is 100% self-reliant and entirely wireless thanks to the use of robust alkaline batteries, giving an approximate 3-year battery life in each device under standard usage.

WES3 fully monitors its self performance to accurately notify you of low signal, low battery or device tamper alerts per device address in real time to ensure your system is properly functioning. The individual devices have IP weatherproof ratings to operate in various levels of environments should your application needs call for outdoor deployment of evacuation alarms.

WES3 is made up of 5 basic devices:

System Control Units

WES3 System Control Units are used to both program your system and annunciate your system status throughout your entire project, as well as performing system tests when needed.

Typically control units are located in approved site office locations. These may be the main office trailer as well as any on site medical personnel office locations to receive medical alerts that need response.

WES3 is capable of having multiple control units on one system so you can have more than one location to report back to. (site office, medical office, security office etc…)

It is a good practice to have a site map located next to your main control units to reference a device address and location when an alert comes on the screen. The screen will read a date & time, the three digit address of the unit activated, the device type (call point or detector) and the type of alert being raised (alarm, tamper, medical, low signal, battery etc…)

An upgraded version of the standard base station called, “Connect” is also available. This control unit is fitted with a cellular modem and SIM card. You will be given the capability to program up to 6 cell phone numbers in this unit to send real time text message alerts of system status no matter the recipients location. These recipients will also be able to choose which alert notifications they receive based on response protocols.

*NOTE – You will only need (1) Connect unit per system but may have multiple standard control units.

Call Points

WES3 system Call Points are a three in one solution for evacuation notification, manual initiation and non evacuation medical help requests.

The on board horn strobe is a 95db evacuation alarm. This will be initiated upon a manual activation through the on board evac buttons or when an integrated smoke or heat sensor is triggered.

Typically located at stairwell access points on each floor of a building or at egress points on ground floors, this unit gives better notification than a standard air horn for evacuation as well as manual initiation points per location should there be a reason to evacuate the entire site that is noticed by a worker on that floor.

Medical assistance buttons are also useful for when medical attention is required. This raises a local alarm to the control units only.

These devices are rated to be used outside when needed. Waterproof housings and tested use between -13 to 158 degrees fahrenheit make WES3 a very versatile system.

Smoke Sensors

WES3 smoke sensors are specifically designed for use in dirty construction environments, fitted with dual optical sensors and a dust filter to cut down on false alarms. This device is self monitored and will send a signal to the base station when a sensor needs to be cleaned due to a dirty filter.

Heat Sensors

WES3 heat sensors are a fixed temperature sensor responding to heat at a minimum of 129 to a maximum of 158 degrees fahrenheit.

Each sensor will integrate into a WES3 system and activate a site wide alarm sounding all integrated evacuation alarms when sensing smoke or heat.

These units must be ceiling mounted. Sensors will work best when oriented this way as well as the systems wireless signal communications being designed to push outward from the antenna mounted on the face of the units.

Typically when complying with standards such as NFPA241, smoke or heat sensors will be used when protecting areas of hot work activities, storage of
hazardous or combustible materials as well as large open areas or egress paths for on site workers.

Interface

The WES3 interface unit is a single input, double output dry contact relay device. This will allow integration of the WES3 wireless system with many different systems and dry contact devices for alarm activation and monitoring purposes.

One of the main uses of the WES3 Interface is connecting to a cellular auto-dialer to communicate WES3 alarm activations to a central alarm monitoring station.

Another common use is to monitor high/low pressure or water flow switches on a standpipe, notifying the WES3 control unit that a high/low pressure or water flow has been detected.

Activation of a ‘free spin’ feature on access control turnstile systems is also a use for the interface unit. When an alarm is triggered the interface will tell the turnstile system to allow free spin for faster egress of the site.

Through this device the possibilities are endless with how you can integrate the WES3 system to best suit your individual project needs.

NOTE: If an Interface input is triggered, this will activate a general evacuation notification throughout the site. If an output is triggered, it is due to an alarm activation of the WES3 system.

This photo shows a dedicated WES3 Call Point being used per zone for remotely
activating an evacuation alarm to the system from the fire command location.

Zoned Systems

If the project has multiple buildings or sections where having it zoned would make sense, you can deploy multiple WES systems as necessary.

Because the WES3 system uses an encrypted wireless communication technology, multiple WES3 systems can be deployed on the same site without any wireless communication crossover interference.

Each zoned system would communicate back to its own dedicated control unit. The control units for each zone would generally be located at the approved fire command location.

Click here to learn more about our full line of WES3 products!

  One thought on “An Overview of the WES3 Wireless Evacuation & Detection System

  1. June 4, 2020 at 9:08 am

    Kyle, this is a easy to understand and thorough description of the WES3 system. Well done! It’s even easier to set up and install the WES3 system! The performance has been rock solid on the dozens of systems SAE and our customers have installed all over the USA these past 36 months. Thanks for helping the industry learn more about their obligations to construction site life safety and the ease by which anyone can comply.

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