Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, VA, is committed to providing quality education within a Christian environment. They are proud to represent more than 15,000 students from all fifty states and over seventy countries around the world. Their campus spans across 5,000 acres making it the largest evangelical higher educational facility in the United States.
Because of the size of the property, the campus employs their own emergency response team, responsible for monitoring over 80 buildings for fires, crime and the overall safety of students and staff. Due to the number of buildings on the property, Liberty’s emergency response team wanted the ability to supervise all of their fire alarm systems simultaneously. However, none of the previous systems were networked and there was no way to manage them at one time or from one location. Liberty University officials decided to re-evaluate their current systems hoping to find one fire alarm system that could protect the entire campus and be monitored from a single location.
When Liberty University evaulated the Fike Cybercat® panels, they were impressed by the user-friendly ability to install new devices to the system, and to do all programming in-house. Liberty University contacted Greer’s Supply, a local Fike distributor, for a consultation. To all parties knowledge, there was no prior history of protecting a campus of this magnitude with the requirements that Liberty University requested. Greer’s Supply worked closely with a team of Fike engineers to find a solution.
“The challenge was that the campus had no interconnecting copper or fiber communication lines that would help provide a backbone for a networked fire alarm system,” said Kevin Montgomery, Product Manager for Fike Alarm Systems. “The university also utilized voice over IP for phone service. This created additional challenges for using digital alarm communication transmitters (DACTs) in the fire alarm panel for off premises or out of building communication and monitoring.”
After some investigative research and testing, Greer’s Supply presented a solution to the university. Using Fike’s Ethernet Module, the control panels are able to communicate via the internet, linking over 80 buildings to one central location.
Additionally, Fike’s CyberCat fire alarm system is designed to eliminate polling delays and nuisance alarms around the campus. The system delivers information simultaneously from the intelligent sensors to the alarm panel and other devices within the system without any dedicated phone lines or the need for fiber or copper to be networked.
“The Fike CyberCat system has met our needs giving us a reliable system that allows us to network the buildings together,” said Michael Holmes, Liberty University Fire Alarms official. “Our police department can easily monitor the campus for fire alarms allowing our emergency response team to react quickly during an emergency situation.”