Lights, Camera, Action! Empire, Leicester Square Selects Robust Fire Safety System From Morley-IAS by Honeywell

25th January 2010


Morley-IAS partner, Solid State completes full site upgrade - ZX2e panel provides complex cause and effect functionality for rapid evacuation.

Leading Morley-IAS by Honeywell distribution partner, Solid State, has completed a full upgrade of the existing fire safety system at the Empire, Leicester Square, as part of a major refit and refurbishment programme at the famous West End cinema.

The Empire, originally built in 1884 as a variety theatre, retains much of its original structure. However, in more recent times it has been expanded and today includes five separate screens as well as Empire Cinema Ltd's head office.

"Since acquiring the Leicester Square site in 2005, we have continued the cinema's proud tradition of hosting major film premières every year," confirms facilities and light construction director, Neil Goulding. "In regularly attracting the world's top film stars to these high-profile events, we needed total confidence in the reliability of the chosen solution to provide state-of-the-art fire safety protection, for visitors and staff alike."

Proven solution

Empire Cinemas, who acquired the Leicester Square site from United Cinemas International in 2005, already had an established preferred contractor relationship with Solid State and had similarly successful experience of working with Morley-IAS equipment.

"We recommended a ZX2e intelligent multi-protocol fire alarm control panel," says Solid State service manager, Mike Seary, "as it provides both the high level of robustness demanded together with the flexibility required for an evolving site, which most recently has been remodelled to include two extra screens.

"At the same time, Morley-IAS fully understands the needs of both Solid State and Empire Cinemas and so complements its superior product offering with technical back-up and support that is second-to-none."

Cause and effect

Another important reason for selecting Morley-IAS was its ability to provide complex cause and effect functionality. "This has enabled us to take out the previous ACOPS (Automatic Control of Projector/Projectionist) system, as the Morley-IAS panel provides rapid warning and shut-down capability using integrated isolation devices," says Seary.

Morley-IAS sales manager, UK & Ireland, Keith Minster adds: "The ZX2e's flexibility also allowed for phased evacuation programming throughout the installation period and today the Empire system incorporates an initial warning and investigation period prior to global evacuation via a linked VA/PA system.

"The Morley-IAS ZX Series panels include a simple, easy-to-use and understand LCD screen which immediately identifies the location of individual detectors. This is particularly important in an old, complex building such as the Empire, Leicester Square, which can hold up to 2,000 film-goers at any one time."

Cost-effective solution

Installation, which included relocating the voice alarm rack and fire system cabling, was completed on schedule within three months.

"The Morley-IAS system is a proven and affordable solution, backed up by Solid State's exemplary consultancy support and service quality," concludes Neil Goulding. "As a result, we now have a truly future-proof and cost-effective fire detection and alarm system which ensures the highest levels of protection for all users."