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May 18, 2021

The Dragon has landed: the answer to fire-safety challenges

When it comes to communication equipment fire safety is a bigger priority for procurement teams than ever before. As our customers look for ways to meet more stringent fire safety regulation, we catch up with Tom Kuklo, Global Product Manager – In Building Solutions to hear how in the 12 months since the launch of DragonSkin, we have helped our customers fulfil fire safety requirements.

Tom Kuklo, Global Product Manager – In Building Solutions
TAGS : IN-BUILDING, DRAGONSKIN

What is DragonSkin?

Dragonskin is our unique, standalone answer to protecting mission-critical public safety communications in the event of a fire. Launched in April 2020, it was, and still is, the only in-building coaxial cable to pass the stringent UL 2196 certification test without use of a metal conduit or extensive wrapping. The cable has been proven to successfully transmit radio frequency signals through a minimum of a 2-hour burn, continuing to operate after severe heat conditions and when suddenly cooled down with water, verifying that the cable continues to operate even in extreme physical conditions. This makes it one of the only solutions to meet the regulatory requirements now in place across multiple jurisdictions in the United States. 

DragonSkin has the additional advantage of being a standalone and flexible cable. This means, even when retrofitting a building, installation is far easier, faster and cost effective and there is no compromise on RF performance. For us, DragonSkin was developed by listening to the pain points our customers were experiencing and creating a single solution to solve them. 

Scale of uptake 

In the last 12 months we have seen a huge response to the DragonSkin launch with dozens of deployments across the US. To date, we have deployed DragonSkin in projects across 19 states, with more due to roll out later this year. In large part, the NFPA 1221 regulation requirement where fire survivability is required; “a listed electrical circuit protective system or a fire-rated cable that is listed to maintain circuit integrity shall be used” has driven the quick adoption of DragonSkin. As many of our customers look for a solution that allows them to meet regulation and ensure infrastructure meets the highest safety standards, we’ve been able to deliver not only a cable that ticks safety boxes, but enables low total cost of ownership, with no compromise on connectivity. 

In practice 

We’ve seen a huge variety of installations in the first year of rolling out DragonSkin, with numerous AHJs (authority having jurisdiction) approving installs and designs using DragonSkin across the US. 

One of the major benefits we have seen when it comes to the practicalities of installations, is that DragonSkin can be deployed with minimum disruption in the environment it is being installed. For example, hospitals have formed a significant proportion of our initial installs. The nature of this environment is that disruption needs to be avoided to maintain the smooth running of the hospital. Due to the flexible and easy to install nature of DragonSkin, this has been possible, allowing us in many cases to exceed expectations of how easy the process of upgrading infrastructure to ensure compliance would be. Again, in senior villages which are complex installation settings due to the variety of buildings and the need to minimize disruption, DragonSkin has been installed smoothly and efficiently, meeting regulatory requirements without complication. 

 

Conclusion 

Launching a new product during the first few months of a pandemic is a real acid test to gauge the scale of the challenge you are looking to help customers overcome. The response to DragonSkin demonstrates that, as the world start to emerge from one of the most difficult years in memory, it is a real innovative product that helps our customers to solve some of their most challenging problems. R&D has always been a huge focus for us at RFS and DragonSkin underlines that the approach of putting real-world problems our customers are facing at the heart of R&D ensures we get it right. 

To hear more about our unique DragonSkin cable, get in touch with Tom Kuklo.