Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A TEST SYSTEM FOR REMOTELY MONITORING AND TESTING THE FUNCTIONALITY OF EMERGENCY SYSTEMS IN BUILDINGS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/198313
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A wireless control node for monitoring and operating at least one emergency system in a building is provided. The wireless control node being communicatively coupled with a remote emergency system management platform for an exchange of information. The wireless control node comprising a communication module configured to exchange information with the at least one emergency system over a first communication channel and with the remote emergency system management platform over a second communication channel; a processor configured to receive state information from the at least one emergency system via the first communication channel; determine, by the processor based on the received state information, a change in the status of the at least one emergency system; wherein, upon detecting a status change, the processor is configured to construct a monitor report message comprising at least information on the status change of the at least one emergency system; and schedule the monitor report message to be sent to the remote emergency system management platform via the second communication channel.

Inventors:
O FLAHERTY CIAN (IE)
MCALLISTER TAD (IE)
MCHALE AOIFE (IE)
HAWKINS TIM (IE)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2021/058384
Publication Date:
October 07, 2021
Filing Date:
March 30, 2021
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
THE CONVEX LENS LTD (IE)
International Classes:
G05B15/02; G05B23/02
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016124917A12016-08-11
WO2020037367A12020-02-27
WO2016124917A12016-08-11
Foreign References:
US20190326777A12019-10-24
US20200074832A12020-03-05
US20150015401A12015-01-15
GB2523564A2015-09-02
US20190326777A12019-10-24
US20200074832A12020-03-05
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HANNA, MOORE + CURLEY (IE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

What is claimed is:

1. A wireless control node (220) for monitoring and operating at least one emergency system (240) in a building, the wireless control node being communicatively coupled with a remote emergency system management platform (300) for an exchange of information, the wireless control node comprising: a communication module (222) configured to exchange information with the at least one emergency system over a first communication channel (234) and with the remote emergency system management platform over a second communication channel (236); a processor configured (224) to: receive state information from the at least one emergency system via the first communication channel; determine, by the processor based on the received state information, a change in the status of the at least one emergency system; wherein, upon detecting a status change, the processor is configured to construct a monitor report message comprising at least information on the status change of the at least one emergency system; and schedule the monitor report message to be sent to the remote emergency system management platform via the second communication channel; and wherein the processor is further configured to test an operation of the at least one emergency system (240) based on a test command instruction received from the remote emergency system management platform (300); and select, based on information contained in the test command instruction, an operational test sequence from a database (228) of the wireless control node.

2. A wireless control node (220) according to claim 1 , wherein the operational test sequence comprises a set of instructions for controlling the operation of the at least one emergency system (240) by the processor (224).

3. A wireless control node (220) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the communication between the wireless control node and the emergency system management platform (300) is established over a serial communication protocol.

4. A wireless control node (220) according to claim 3, wherein the serial communication protocol is an asynchronous communication protocol.

5. A wireless control node (220) according to any one of the preceding claims4, wherein the test command instruction is encoded as a single binary bit.

6. A wireless control node (220) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the second communication channel (236) is active at discrete time intervals.

7. A wireless control node (220) according to claim 6, wherein the discrete time intervals are established according to a compliance test threshold value.

8. A wireless control node (220) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the wireless control node is configured to monitor and/or test the operation of a single emergency system (240).

9. An emergency apparatus (200) operable in a building comprising: an emergency system (240), which when activated is indicative of an emergency status within the building; and a wireless control node (220) according to claims 1 to 8 being communicatively coupled to the emergency system, the wireless control node configured to monitor and/or test the operation of the emergency system wherein the emergency system comprises a control unit configured to execute a set of instructions contained in an operation test sequence received from the wireless control node for testing the operation of the emergency system.

10. An emergency apparatus (200) of claims 9 wherein the emergency apparatus comprises a sensor module (260) communicatively coupled to the wireless control node (220), the sensor module being configured to monitor environmental parameters.

11. An emergency apparatus (200) of claims 9 or 11 , wherein the emergency system is any one of an emergency light (240), or a smoke alarm, or an emergency door device (248).

12. An emergency apparatus (200) of claim 12, wherein the emergency door device (248) is configured to position an emergency door into an open or closed position.

13. An emergency apparatus (200) of claim 12, wherein the wireless control node (220) is configured to test the operation of the emergency door device (248) by operating the emergency door into the open or closed position according to an operational test sequence.

14. An emergency apparatus (200) of any one of claims 12 or 13, wherein the sensor module comprising one or more sensors configured for measuring one or more parameters of the emergency door.

15. An emergency apparatus (200) of claims 14, wherein the one or more parameters comprises a gap (252a, 252b) measurement at least between a door frame (244) and the emergency door (242) in at least one location.

16. An emergency apparatus (200) of claim 15, wherein, in response to the gap exceeding a predetermined threshold, the emergency apparatus is configured to transmit sensor measurement information indicative of a compliance failure or an imminent compliance failure for the emergency door.

17. An emergency apparatus (200) of claim 14 to 16, wherein the one or more parameters comprises measuring a stress or strain force between an emergency door seal provided on the door frame (244) and the emergency door (242) in at least one location.

18. An emergency apparatus (200) of claim 17, wherein, in response to the stress or strain force being within a predetermined threshold in at least one measured location, the emergency apparatus is configured to issue a notification and transmit sensor measurement information indicative of a compliance failure or an imminent compliance failure of the emergency door seal.

19. An emergency system management platform (300) for compliance testing of at least one emergency apparatus (200) according to claims 9 to 18 within a building, wherein the emergency system management platform comprises: a communication module for communicating with a wireless control node (220) of the emergency apparatus according to claims 1 to 8; a graphical user interface (630, 700), GUI, running on a user computer terminal; and a processing unit configured to: process the monitor report message received from the wireless control node to determine a change in the status of the emergency apparatus; and generate, based on the information contained in the monitor report message or from information received by a user through the GUI, a test command instruction for initiating a test of the emergency apparatus.

20. An emergency system management platform (300) according to claim

19, further comprises a load balancer (610) configured to manage and store the information received from the at least one emergency apparatus (200), wherein the information is stored based on a unique identification, UID, of the at least one emergency apparatus.

21. An emergency system management platform (300) according to claim

20, wherein the processing unit is configured to initiate a test of the at least one emergency apparatus (200) based on information associated with the UID of the at least one emergency apparatus.

22. An emergency system management platform (300) according to claim 20 or 21 , wherein the information associated with the UID of each of the emergency apparatus (200) comprises a test log, a location, a current battery status or a combination thereof.

23. An emergency system management platform (300) of claim 22, wherein the emergency system management platform is configured to provide a monitoring report of the information associated with the UID of each of the emergency apparatus (200) monitored within the building to a user over the graphical User Interface (700), GUI.

Description:
Title

A test system for remotely monitoring and testing the functionality of emergency systems in buildings Field

The present application relates to a wireless control node, an emergency apparatus and an emergency system management platform for monitoring and operating the functionality of emergency systems in buildings e.g. emergency lights, emergency door, also referred to as fire door, sensors, and the like.

Background of The Invention

Emergency systems, also referred to as life safety systems, are a legal requirement in all commercial and retail buildings, health care buildings and in the common areas of multi-unit dwellings. Owners of these types of buildings are required by law to install emergency systems. Emergency systems comprise, for example but not limited to, emergency lighting sensors, door sensors, smoke alarms, ceiling environmental sensors or floor environmental sensors or a combination of these sensors. Emergency lighting, for example, must be capable of providing sufficient light to facilitate evacuation of a building in the event of a power failure.

Current technology solutions, for example document GB 2523564 A, disclose a status monitoring unit for monitoring the status output by an emergency power unit by tapping into signals intercepted between the emergency power supply unit and a status light of the emergency power unit. Such monitoring system intercept the signals being communicated back and forth between the emergency system and the emergency power supply unit, process the intercepted signals and saves the processed results within the monitoring unit.

Other existing technology solutions are represented by, for example, documents US 2019/326777 A1 , US 2020/074832 A1 and W02016/124917 A1. Document US 2019/326777 A1 discloses an emergency lighting system for simulating power failure in an emergency lighting system. The system includes an interrupt relay coupled between a first power supply and a lighting array, a power monitoring module coupled between a second power supply and the lighting array, and a wireless transceiver configured for transacting data with a wireless backhaul gateway. The lighting system can include a microcontroller configured to perform operations for receiving an interrupt command from the wireless backhaul gateway, toggling the interrupt relay in response to the interrupt command, wherein toggling the interrupt relay terminates power delivery to the lighting array, and measuring one or more power characteristics of the second power supply to determine if the second power supply can power the lighting array. Methods and machine-readable media are also provided.

Document US 2020/074832 A1 discloses an alarm system of a building including memory devices configured to store instructions that cause processors to identify an associated digital standard operating procedure for one or more identified events, identify a responder associated with the standard operating procedure and notify the responder of the standard operating procedure to be conducted within the building in response to the identified events, and monitor the responder conducting the standard operating procedure in response to the identified events. The responder receives a first user interface to a user device indicating an area of the one or more identified events and the standard operating procedure to be conducted, and the responder receives additional including status of the conduction of the standard operating procedure and request for input of data from the responder on the first user interface or a second user interface, the input indicating progression of the standard operating procedure.

Document W02016/124917 A1 discloses wireless control and sensing apparatus and method for an emergency luminaire apparatus for wirelessly controlling and sensing of an emergency luminaire and its local environment comprises a power control unit comprising a switch connectable between a power terminal of the emergency luminaire and a lighting circuit for supplying electrical power to the emergency luminaire, a power monitoring module connectable to a battery for supplying electrical power to the luminaire in event of a mains failure, the power monitoring module being configured to measure an output voltage and/or current of the battery, and a wireless communication module configured to communicate wirelessly with a network. The apparatus is configured to control the switch in accordance with a control signal received from the network, to control the supply of electrical power to the luminaire from the lighting circuit and is configured to transmit information about the measured output voltage and/or current over the network via the wireless communication module. In some embodiments, the apparatus forms a wireless network within the emergency lighting infrastructure that can participate in the delivery of the Internet of Things by relaying signals to/from the network and a wireless- enabled device in the vicinity of the apparatus.

Such systems do not offer real-time monitoring of the status of the system and is limited in functionality such that there is no means for enabling an initiation for requesting a status update of the monitoring system or to instruct the emergency system device to perform, for example, a function and duration test, the monitoring units only intercept and cannot function to initiate a test of the emergency system device, there is only a one way communication between the monitoring system and the emergency system/emergency system power supply unit.

Therefore, there is a need to provide a solution for remotely monitoring and testing of an emergency system.

Summary

The present invention aims to provide a wireless control node for monitoring and operating at least one emergency system in a building that overcomes the problems of the known solutions.

Another aim of the present invention is to provide an emergency system operable within a building that can be remotely operated by means of an emergency system management platform.

A further aim of the present invention is to provide an emergency system management platform for performing compliance testing of at least one emergency apparatus within a building and further for gathering compliance information from each connected emergency apparatus.

The terms building, facility or premises may be used interchangeably throughout the description of the present invention.

According to an aspect of the present invention, a wireless control node for monitoring and operating at least one emergency system in a building is provided.

The wireless sensor being communicatively coupled with a remote emergency system management platform for an exchange of information, the wireless control node comprising: a communication module configured to exchange information with the at least one emergency system over a first communication channel and with the emergency system management platform over a second communication channel; a processor configured to: receive state information from the of the at least one emergency system; determine, by the processor based on the received state information, a change in the status of the at least one emergency system; wherein, upon detecting a status change, the processor is configured to construct a monitor report message comprising at least information on the status change of the at least one emergency system; and schedule the monitor report message to be sent to the emergency system management platform via the second communication channel; and wherein the processor is further configured to test the operation of the emergency system based on a test command instruction received from the emergency system management platform; and select, based on information contained in the test command instruction, an operational test sequence from a database of the wireless control node.

It has been found that the present invention is capable of being installed to facilitate in carrying out function and duration testing remotely such that there is no requirement for gateways to be utilized to retrieve information from the emergency system of the building in which the wireless control node is deployed. The emergency system of the present application can be installed within a building. The emergency system may comprise for example, but not limited to, an emergency light capable of providing sufficient light to facilitate evacuation of a building in the event of a power failure. The emergency system may comprise for example, but not limited to, a smoke alarm capable of providing an audible and/or visual output to indicate to occupants of the building that there is a potential fire and therefore requires the building to be evacuated. The emergency system may comprise for example, but not limited to, an emergency door device, also referred to as a fire door device, capable of opening and closing depending on the emergency status of the building for example, in the case of a fire, the emergency door device can be triggered to close thereby containing the fire in a room and preventing the spread of the fire within the building. The emergency system may be connected to the power grid via the electrical layout of the building but in the case of a potential loss of power, the emergency system would be powered by a battery which powers the device when the power from the building is cut-off thereby enabling proper functioning of the emergency system following a power outage and ensuring, for example, emergency standards are adhered to in the event of an emergency. The communication module of the wireless control node provisions a means for exchanging information with at least one emergency system over a first communication channel and exchange information with the emergency system management platform over a second communication channel. The first communication channel may be adapted to support the messaging protocols for the emergency system deployed while the second communication channel may be adapted to support protocols utilized for transmission of information to the emergency system management platform deployed.

The processor is configured to test the operation of the emergency system based on a test command instruction received from the emergency system management platform. In this way, the wireless control node, which is communicatively coupled with the remote emergency system management platform, may be configured to monitor and/or operate the emergency system thereby alleviating the requirement of, for example, an owner of the building or a service provider for the emergency system having to be physically present in order to validate the status of the emergency system deployed within the building. Depending on the size of the building, a number of emergency systems may be deployed within the building and such a task of having to check each individual system can be quite tenuous. The wireless control node being communicatively coupled with the remote emergency system management platform provisions a means to quickly monitor and/or operate at least one emergency system within a building whilst alleviating costs of having to be physically present at the building. For example, each emergency system may be communicatively coupled to a wireless node, which is configured to receive and transmit information to an emergency system management platform. Furthermore, a wireless node may be configured in a mesh architecture to monitor and control the operation of a number of emergency system e.g. each floor of the building may be provided with a wireless node controlling the operation of the emergency systems deployed in each floor. Such an arrangement also provisions a means wherein a test can be initiated or triggered externally from the building via the remote emergency system management platform.

The processor is configured to select, based on information contained in the test command instruction, an operational test sequence from a database of the wireless control node. In this way, storing the operational test sequence locally to the wireless control node is capable of enabling the test command instruction to be encoded and transmitted with limited information thereby preventing the remote emergency system management platform from having to include the operational test sequence within the message body of the command message which would require the wireless control node to decode the incoming message to extract the test sequence which would result in consuming power within the wireless control node to complete such a task. Storing the operational test sequence locally and, for example, triggering, by the processor, a test operation based on the received test command instruction being more computationally efficient for the wireless control node. Rather than just monitoring the emergency system, the wireless control node can now initiate a test of the emergency system so as to obtain real time information and/or updates of the current status of the emergency system. For example, the operational test sequence may provide instructions for a functional and duration test.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the operational test sequence comprises a set of instructions for controlling the operation of the emergency system by the processor. In this way, the device of the present invention is enabled not only to monitor the emergency system but also to control the emergency system. It is possible for the wireless control node to initiate a test of the emergency system or to control the emergency system by modifying configuration changes within the emergency system. Configuration changes may involve changing the message frequency. In other words, the message may be sent over shorter periods or sent over longer periods of time. For example, the message frequency may be once a week or may be once a day.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the communication between the wireless control node and the emergency system management platform may be established over a serial communication protocol. This allows the communication interface to be adapted to, for example, different radio types and to provide a cheap and cost-effective wireless node for monitoring and operating at least one emergency system.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the serial communication protocol is an asynchronous communication protocol. Such configuration provisions a means wherein the wireless control node is capable of sending and responding as schedules permit. Such permitted scheduling may be aligned with compliance testing thresholds or operational sequence scheduling information stored locally within the wireless control node, rather than according to a clocking means which is synchronized for both the wireless control node and emergency system management platform. Asynchronous communication may further reduce the power requirements, since the transmitting of data is performed on an as needed basis. For example, the wireless node once it transmits the test message may go into sleep mode until it receives a signal from the emergency management platform and/or the emergency system.

According to embodiments of the present invention, wherein the test command instruction may be encoded as a single binary bit within, for example, a test command message. The single binary bit may be communicated to the wireless node over the asynchronous communication protocol. With the test command instruction encoded as a single binary bit, the system bandwidth is therefore reduced as the message size would not require a large system bandwidth for communicating the test command instruction. With the wireless control node receiving a single binary bit, the processing efficiency of the wireless control node is also improved as the processor would require minimal processing to decode the single binary bit message being received. Such arrangement being efficient in terms of processing and power consumption.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the second communication channel may be active at discrete time intervals. For example, the discrete time intervals are established according to a compliance test threshold value. In this way, the wireless control node is not actively listening for a message or input from the emergency system management platform thereby conserving power by only ensuring that the channel is active for discrete periods of time rather than being continuously active. Furthermore, the wireless control node can be adapted so as to align with compliance testing which may, for example, require the system to be tested for example, but not limited to, once a week or a fortnight so as to provide a status update of the emergency system. The wireless control node may also be configured to be active at discrete time intervals based on, for example, the communication protocol being utilized between the wireless control node and the emergency system management platform.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the wireless node is configured to monitor and/or test the operation of a single emergency system. In this way, a wireless control node is provided such that it can be deployed within a building having a single emergency system. According to a second aspect of the present invention, embodiments of the present invention, an emergency apparatus may be provided. The emergency apparatus operable in a building, the emergency apparatus comprising: an emergency system, which when activated is indicative of an emergency status within the building; and a wireless control node according to the first aspect of the present invention, being communicatively coupled to the emergency system, the wireless control node configured to monitor and/or test the operation of the emergency system wherein the emergency system comprises a control unit configured to execute a set of instructions contained in an operation test sequence received from the wireless control node for testing the operation of the emergency system.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the emergency system is any one of an emergency light, or a smoke alarm, or an emergency door device. The use of the above-mentioned systems enabling an owner of a building to meet strict building safety compliance requirements. For example, the emergency lighting providing a means to ensure there is sufficient light to facilitate evacuation of a building in the event of a power failure. Furthermore, for example, if a fire door is installed correctly the gaps between the door and the frame/floor should remain consistent over time. Changes to the door from excess heat or cold, failing hinges, failing door closer (also referred to as a self closing device) and damage to strips around the door can impact these gaps. Currently these problems with a fire door can only be identified though visual inspection. To overcome this technical challenge, the emergency door device of the present invention enables a door gap to be measured electronically and information of the current state of the door to be exchanged with the emergency system management platform and therefore be available to the building owner who can monitor remotely without the need for visual inspection within the premises/building. According to embodiments of the present invention, the emergency apparatus comprises a sensor module communicatively coupled to the wireless control node. The sensor module may be configured to monitor environmental parameters. For example, the sensor module may be, but not limited to, a temperature sensor for measuring the temperature of the room in which the sensor module is placed within the building such readings indicative of whether there is a potential fire present within the room if the temperature reading is above a certain threshold, or a humidity sensor for measuring the humidity within the room where such sensor readings may provide an indication to an owner of a building of a potential dampness issue within their facility if a humidity reading is high for example, or an audible sensor for monitoring the noise levels within the facility in which the sensor is placed thereby allowing the facility/building owner to monitor potential issues such a noise pollution within their facility.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the emergency door device is configured to position an emergency door into an open or closed position. In the event of a fire within a building, it is important that the emergency doors within the facility are operational, i.e. there have been no changes to the condition of the emergency door and to provide a building owner with compliance assurance. Furthermore, the ability to enable the emergency door to be positioned into an open or closed position enables early intervention in the case of, for example, a fire within the building so as to contain the spread of the fire and/or assist in facilitating the evacuation of the building. The emergency door device provisions a means for proactive reporting of the status of the emergency door device. For example, the fire door may be provided with a mechanism for operating the door between the open and closed position, which may be monitored and controlled by the wireless node sensor of the present invention to conduct a functional and/or duration test.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the wireless control node is configured to test the operation of the emergency door device by operating the emergency door into the open or closed position according to an operational test sequence. In this way, the emergency door can be checked to ensure that it fully functional and operational and enables near to real-time detection of changes and compliance assurance. Furthermore, such arrangement provisions a means for remote monitoring of the emergency door thereby enabling a stakeholder or building owner to action problems as they occur based on the results of a test sequence. This saves time and costs involved in having to be visit the buildings and being physically present to observe/check the status of the emergency door.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the emergency door device comprises one or more sensors configured for measuring one or more parameters of the emergency door. Wherein the one or more parameters comprises a gap measurement at least between a door frame and the emergency door in at least one location. In this way, the door gap is measured electronically, and the current state of the door is transmitted to the building owner who can monitor remotely without the need for visual inspection. In this way, the sensor of the present invention provides a means to remotely measure door gap in an easy and accurate way and overcome other disadvantages of present solutions that utilize, for example, a plastic wedge gauge for measuring a gap between the door and the door frame. Therefore, with the system of the present invention, it is possible to remotely monitor and test the operation of an emergency door in an easy, quick, and more accurate manner. For example, present solutions are mostly manual and involve a visual inspection, such solutions being open to human error and being time consuming and inefficient.

According to embodiments of the present invention, in response to the gap exceeding a predetermined threshold, the emergency apparatus is configured to transmit sensor measurement information indicative of a door failure. In this way, the arrangement provides near to real-time detection of changes and compliance assurance. The arrangement may enable a remote observer to take action on problems as they occur, enable early intervention such that it can provide proactive and reactive reporting.

According to embodiments of the present invention, wherein the one or more parameters comprises a stress or strain force measurement between an emergency door seal provided on the door frame and the emergency door in at least one location. In this way, the arrangement provides near to real-time detection of changes and compliance assurance. The arrangement enables the detection issues associated with the door seal such as whether gaps exist between the door frame and the door that would lead to the escape of smoke during a fire. As such, the present invention provides a system for monitoring changes in the door seal, and accordingly send notifications to administrator users to ensure that issues leading to compliance failure are dealt quickly before they become real hazards. .

According to embodiments of the present invention, in response to the stress or strain force being within a predetermined threshold in at least one measured location, the emergency apparatus is configured to issue a notification and transmit sensor measurement information indicative of a compliance failure or an imminent compliance failure of the emergency door seal. In this way, the arrangement provides near to real-time detection of changes and compliance assurance. The arrangement may enable a remote observer to take action on problems as they occur, enable early intervention such that it can provide proactive and reactive reporting.

According to a third aspect of the present invention, an emergency system management platform is provided. The emergency system management platform is configured to perform compliance testing and monitoring of at least one emergency apparatus within a building, wherein the emergency system management platform comprises: a communication module for communicating with a wireless control node of the emergency apparatus; a graphical user interface, GUI, running on a user computer terminal; and a processing unit configured to: process the monitor report message received from the wireless control node to determine a change in the status of the emergency apparatus; and generate, based on the information contained in the monitor report message or from information received by a user through the GUI, a test command instruction for initiating a test of the emergency apparatus. In this way, there is provided a means for establishing a solution to remotely monitor a status of an emergency system and/or to remotely operate an emergency system thereby alleviating a means for having to be physically present within a building to perform such tasks whilst also saving the costs and time involved in performing the tasks.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the emergency system management platform further comprises a load balancer. The load balancer being configured to manage and store the information received from the at least one emergency apparatus, wherein the information is stored based on a unique identification (UID) of the at least one emergency apparatus. In this way, the system is able to manage the operation and control of each of the at least one emergency apparatus by an intelligent scheduling process so as to ensure that, for example, multiple emergency apparatuses within the same building are not tested at the same time thereby ensuring there is at least one active emergency apparatus operational within the building environment. Furthermore, such arrangement is adapted to asynchronous communication being used between the emergency system management platform and the wireless control node. Messages are added to the queue and transmitted/received when possible during the communication. Asynchronous communication may further reduce the power requirements, since the transmitting of data is performed on as needed basis. For example, the wireless node once it transmits the test message may go into sleep mode until it receives a signal from the emergency management platform and/or the emergency system.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the processing unit may be configured to initiate a test of the at least one emergency apparatus based on information associated with the UID of the at least one emergency apparatus. In this way, it may be possible to selectively test and monitor the operation of emergency apparatuses and/or systems using their UID of the least one emergency apparatus. For example, the emergency apparatus may be divided into groups of emergency systems that are testing according to a compliance test schedule. In this way, it is possible to save power, since not all emergency apparatuses are tested at the same time, while ensuring that the compliance requirements are met. For example, the processor may first check information associated with each of the connected emergency apparatus to determine whether it should be tested or not.

According to embodiments of the present invention, wherein the information associated with the UID of each of the emergency apparatus comprises a test log, a location, a current battery status or a combination thereof. In this way, the processor is able to determine based on the information associated with the UID whether the emergency apparatus should be tested or not. For example, if the battery status of the emergency apparatus is low, the processor will determine that the emergency apparatus will not be tested otherwise this may result in the battery of the emergency apparatus losing more charge and therefore may lose all power and cease to be operational. Furthermore, the processor may determine from the UID that the emergency apparatus may be in the same building or room of a building for example and in order to ensure that there is an emergency apparatus operational within the building, the processor will determine based on the UID that there is already a test in progress for example of at least one emergency apparatus within the building and therefore would not initiate a test of a remaining emergency apparatus within the same building for example.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the emergency system management platform is configured to provide a monitoring report of the information associated with the UID of each of the emergency apparatus monitored within the building to a user over the graphical User Interface, GUI. In this way, the system enables a proactive response from the user who may be an owner of the building in which the emergency apparatus being monitored is located.

Brief Description of The Drawings

The present application will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which: Figure 1 shows an arrangement for monitoring and/or testing the status of an emergency apparatus within a facility(ies) according to embodiments of the present inventive.

Figure 2 shows an example of the emergency apparatus according to embodiments of the present invention.

Figure 3 shows an arrangement for monitoring and/or testing the status of at least one emergency system within a facility(ies) according to embodiments of the present invention.

Figure 4 shows an example arrangement for monitoring and/or testing emergency apparatus(es) according to embodiments of the present invention.

Figure 5 illustrates an example of a graphical user interface according to embodiments of the present invention.

Figure 6 is an example of communication between an emergency system, a wireless control node and an emergency system management platform over communication channels according to embodiments of the present invention.

Figure 7 is an example signal flow diagram illustrating communication between an emergency system, a wireless control node and an emergency system management platform according to embodiments of the present invention.

Figure 8 is an example of a message arrangement.

Figure 9a - 9c are examples of a dali test flag, an app error flag and a tamper test flag.

Figures 10a and 10b show examples of the emergency door sensor according to embodiments of the present invention.

Figure 11 is a flow diagram showing an exemplified method for monitoring and/or testing building regulation compliance of an emergency door according to an implementation of the present invention.

Figure 12 is an extension of the flow diagram of Figure 11 , showing an exemplified method for monitoring and/or testing building regulation compliance of an emergency door according to an implementation of the present invention.

Detailed Description of The Drawings The present invention will be illustrated using the exemplified embodiments shown in Figures 1 to 12. While this invention has been shown and described with reference to certain illustrated embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention encompassed by the appended embodiments.

Figure 1 shows an example of a test system 100 for remotely monitoring and testing the functionality of an emergency apparatus 200 in a building, according to embodiments of the present invention. The test system 100 may be provided with an emergency apparatus 200 located within a building for monitoring and testing emergency system(s) within a building. Such emergency system(s) are a legal requirement in all commercial and retail buildings, health care buildings and in the common areas of multi-unit dwellings. Emergency system(s), also be referred to as, life safety system(s), may be considered any interior building element designed to protect and evacuate the building population in emergencies, including fires and earthquakes, and less critical events, such as power failures. Life safety system may include fire-detection systems including electronic heat and smoke detectors that can activate audible alarms and automatically notify local fire departments. Furthermore, life safety system may include fire suppression systems such as fire extinguishers and building sprinkler systems. Life safety systems may further incorporate protective measures such as the automatic shutdown of ventilating systems and elevators and the division of the building into smokeproof compartments. Owners of these types of buildings are required by law to install emergency systems and to ensure the operational status of such system(s) is fully functional and meets compliance requirements. The test system comprises an emergency system management platform, ESMP, 300 operable so as to provide access, over a network 400, to the emergency apparatus 200 so as to remotely monitor and/or test the emergency apparatus 200. By enabling remote access to the emergency apparatus 200, the current status of the emergency apparatus 200 can be obtained without requiring a user, such as the building owner or an emergency service supplier, from having to physically attend the premises to obtain the current status of the emergency apparatus 200. Such arrangement advantageously saving cost and man hours in the process and providing quick access and updates through the remote access capability of the test system whilst also enabling the ability to remote initiate a test of the emergency apparatus 200 to check that the emergency apparatus 200 is fully operational and functional. By remotely determining that there may be a potential issue with an emergency apparatus 200, the owner or service supplier can be proactive and therefore take immediate action to attend or resolve any operational issues of the emergency apparatus.

Figure 2 shows an example of an emergency apparatus 200 according to embodiments of the present application. The emergency apparatus 200 may be provided with at least a wireless control node 220, an emergency system 240 and a sensing module 260. The wireless control node 220, also referred to as wireless sensor node, may be configured to monitor and/or test the operation of the emergency system 240. The emergency system 240 which, when activated, is indicative of an emergency status within the building. The emergency system 240 comprises a control unit (not shown) configured to execute a set of instructions contained in an operation test sequence received from the wireless control node 220. The emergency system 240 may comprise a set of instructions that are scheduled to initiate a self-test of the emergency system and store the results within the emergency system and provide the results to the wireless control node 220 at discrete periods of time or when requested. In this way, the emergency system 240 may be triggered, by the wireless control node 220, to initiate a test so as to determine a current status of the emergency system and may be configured to initiate a self-test without requiring any external trigger to initiate the test. By collectively monitoring and/or testing the operation of the emergency system 240, the wireless control node 220 is configured to process the electrical signals received from the emergency system 240 to determine a status of the system while being adapted to send a signal to initiate a test of the emergency system so at to obtain a current, real time, operational status of the emergency system. The signal to initiate a test may comprise information to initiate a configuration change of the emergency system. Configuration change may involve changing the message frequency. In other words, the message may be sent over shorter periods or sent over longer periods of time. For example, the message frequency may be once a week or may be once a day.

The emergency apparatus 200 may comprise a sensing module 260 communicatively coupled to the wireless control node 220. In this setup, the wireless control node 220 may be configured to receive information from the sensing module 260 which may be configured with at least one sensor configured to monitor environmental parameters. Such sensing modules configured to enable, for example, a room within which the emergency apparatus is located to be monitored for any changes in the environment.

The sensing module 260 may comprise for example, but not limited to, a sensor for measuring temperature. In this way, the sensing module 260 can monitor for a rise in temperature which may be indicative of a fire within the room and/or building and therefore allow a responder to act on any warning or indication of a fire based on the environment being monitored.

The sensor module may comprise for example, but not limited to, a sensor for measuring a noise level. In this way, the sensing module 260 can monitor for a rise in noise within the environment which may cause, for example, disturbances to other occupiers/residents of the room and/or building and therefore allow, for example, a building owner to monitor noise pollution that may have a negative impact on the environment and people located within that environment.

The sensing module 260 may comprise for example, but not limited to, a sensor for measuring humidity. In this way, the sensing module 260 can monitor for a rise in humidity which may be indicative of a potential dampness issue within the room and/or building which can impact the structure of the room/building and potentially result in mould/dampness build-up that can affect occupants within the building. By monitoring the humidity levels, the building owner can identify any potential issues before they impact the environment within which the sensor is located. In this way, the owner can be proactive in their management of their facility(ies). Figure 3 shows an example of a wireless control node 220, at least one emergency system(s) 240-1 ...240-n, and an emergency system management platform 300 arrangement according to embodiments of the present application. In the arrangement shown, a wireless control node 220 may be adapted for monitoring and operating at least one emergency system, 240-1 ... 240-n, in a building, the wireless control node being communicatively coupled with an emergency system management platform, ESMP, 300, for an exchange of information. The emergency system management platform may be a remote management platform.

The wireless control node 220 may be provided with at least a communication module 222, a processor 224, a scheduler 226, a memory 228, a WiFi component 230 and a Bluetooth component 232.

The communication module may be configured to exchange information with the at least one emergency system(s) 240-1 ...240-n over a first communication channel 234 and with the remote emergency system management platform, ESMP, 300, over a second communication channel 236. The processor 224 may be configured to receive state information from the at least one emergency system(s) 240-1 ... 240-n via the first communication channel 234. The state information may comprise information detailing whether a functional test is in progress, whether a functional test has passed, whether a functional test has failed, whether a duration test is in progress; whether a duration test has passed; whether a duration test has failed. Based on the received state information, the processor 224 may be configured to determine a change in the status of the at least one emergency system(s) 240-1 ... 240-n.

The processor 224 may be configured, upon detecting a status change, to construct a monitor report message. The monitor report message may comprise at least information on the status change of the at least one emergency system(s) 240-1 ... 240-n. The processor 224 may be configured to schedule the monitor report message to be sent to the remote emergency system management platform, ESMP, 300, via the second communication channel 236. In this way, a user of a computing device communicatively coupled to the ESMP is able to remotely monitor the state of the at least one emergency system(s) 240-1 ... 240-n so as to obtain the status information of the at least one emergency system(s) 240-1 ... 240-n at the facility being monitored. Such arrangement avoids the need or requirement for a person to be physically present at the building in which the devices are located thereby saving cost and time by enabling a remote monitor of the emergency system.

The processor 224 may be further configured to test an operation of the at least one emergency system(s) 240-1 ... 240-n based on a test command instruction received from the remote emergency system management platform. In this way, the wireless control node 220 may not only function to monitor the state of the at least one emergency system(s) 240-1 ... 240-n but may also initiate a test on the operation of the at least one emergency system(s) 240-1 ... 240-n. Such operational test may be triggered by receipt of the test command instruction from the ESMP 300. In this way, the at least one emergency system(s) 240-1 ... 240-n may be triggered to perform a test. The processor may be configured, based on information contained in the test command instruction, to select an operational test sequence from a database 228, or memory, of the wireless control node 220. In this way, by saving the operational test sequence within a memory 228, the data size of received test command instruction is reduced compared to a received test command instruction that comprises an operational test sequence. In other words, the test command message may comprise the test command instruction and the operational test sequence, such arrangement would require a larger data size to hold such information as compared to a test command message comprising the test command instruction without an operational test sequence which would require a smaller data size due to the information contained therein. The processing demands of the wireless control node may be reduced as the amount of data of the received command message to decode is less than that of the command message included the operational test sequence information. The operational test sequence may comprise a set of instructions for controlling the operation of the at least one emergency system(s) 240-1 ... 240-n by the processor 224.

The communication between the wireless control node 220 and the emergency system management platform, ESMP, 300, may be established over a serial communication protocol. The serial communication protocol may be established via the second communication channel whereby a transceiver (not shown) of the wireless control node 220 is communicatively coupled to a modem (not shown) for exchanging information with the ESMP 300. The modem may be a modem supporting narrowband Internet of Things (NB-loT) connectivity, communicatively coupled to the wireless control node via a Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter (UART) AT-command interface for example. Such arrangement may allow the communication interface to be adapted to different radio types. Furthermore, NB-loT connectivity has favourable radio frequency (RF) penetration and range characteristics, provides nationwide indoor coverage, whilst avoiding a need to deploy gateways onsite for communicating to, for example, an emergency system management platform. Existing cellular networks may be utilized for communicating between the wireless control node 220 and the ESMP 300.

The serial communication protocol may be an asynchronous communication protocol. In this way, the wireless control node 220 avoids having to utilize complex clocking requirements for the establishment of communication between the wireless control node 220 and the ESMP 300 to exchange information. In this way, a cost-effective wireless control node 220 for use in the test system for remotely monitoring and testing the functionality of emergency systems in buildings may be provided. The asynchronous communication may further reduce the power requirements, since the transmitting of data is performed on as needed basis. For example, the wireless node once it transmits the test message may go into sleep mode until it receives a signal from the emergency management platform and/or the emergency system. The test command instruction may be encoded as a single binary bit. The test command instruction may be sent and/or received within a test command message. In this way, the bandwidth utilized for triggering a test of the at least one emergency system is reduced as the size of the test command instruction is a single binary bit. Furthermore, the wireless control node would not consume much processing power to decoding the single binary bit test command instruction. Furthermore, such arrangement allows the wireless control node to quickly initiate a test of the at least one emergency system due to the wireless control node not having to decode a complete received message but only having to refer to the memory to select an operational test sequence.

The second communication channel may be configured such that it is active at discrete time intervals. In this way, the power consumption by the wireless control node is reduced as the wireless control node is not required to be continuously active and listening for a response from the ESMP. The discrete time intervals may be established according to a compliance testing threshold value. As previously discussed, an emergency system(s) is a legal requirement in all commercial and retail buildings, health care buildings and in the common areas of multi-unit dwellings, owners of these types of buildings are required by law to install an emergency system(s). Therefore, compliance testing may require that the wireless control node 220 is configured to test at least one emergency system on, for example but not limited to, a fortnightly or weekly basis to ensure proper operation and functioning of the at least one emergency system.

The wireless control node may be configured to monitor and/or test the operation of a single emergency system. In this way, the complexity of the arrangement of the wireless control node is reduced as there is no requirement for the wireless control node to distinguish between a plurality of emergency systems to determine which one to test or has been tested based on a received state information and/or test command instruction.

Referring now to Figure 4, illustrated is an arrangement in which an emergency system management platform 300 is communicatively coupled to one or more emergency apparatus 200-1 ...200-n. Each of the one or more emergency apparatus comprise at least one wireless control node 220 configured to monitor and/or test at least one emergency system 240. The arrangement shown is configured to load-balance the one or more emergency apparatus using a load-balancer 610 of the emergency system management platform 300. The load-balancer 610 may be configured to manage congestion of information exchanged between the emergency apparatuses 200-1 ...200-n and the ESMP 300. The load balancer 610 may be configured to manage and store the information received from the emergency apparatus(es). The information may be stored based on a unique identification, UID, of the emergency apparatus(es) thereby enabling the information to be easily retrieved and/or used to execute a test the emergency apparatus(es). The information may be stored in a memory 620, or database of the ESMP 300.

In the arrangement shown, the load-balancer 610 may be used to increase the scalability of the monitoring and/or testing of the one or more emergency systems 240-1 ... 240-n of the emergency apparatus(es) 200- 1...200-n by the ESMP 300. The ESMP 300 may be communicatively coupled with a user computing device 640 via an interface 630. The user computing device 640 may be provided with a graphical user interface (GUI), which is accessible by a user through the computing device 640. For example, the GUI may be in the form of a web page, or in the form of a software application installed in the user computing device 640. Through the GUI, the user may interact with the ESMP 300 for the monitoring and/or testing of the one or more emergency systems 240-1 ... 240-n of the emergency apparatus(es) 200- 1...200-n, of a facility(ies). The GUI may comprise a plurality of input and output data fields that are used by the user to interact with the emergency system management platform 300.

For example, with reference to Figure 5, the user interacts with a GUI 700 running on the user computing device 640. The user may insert keywords, in input data fields (not shown), which may be used by the ESMP 300 for processing the monitoring and/or testing emergency system(s) and/or emergency apparatus(es), the results of which are displayed on designated output data fields of the GUI 700 for selection by the user. The keywords may be in the form of criteria for monitoring emergency system(s) or for testing emergency system(s) e.g. complete a functional and/or duration test, retrieve state information. The results displayed may be in the form of, for example, the number of units (emergency system(s)) tested, number of units failed, number of units pending, the property that have been or are being tested and any errors for example associated with the monitoring/testing carried out, such error types being a functional or duration error of the device being monitored/tested etc.

The GUI 700 may display user selectable icons for user selection of, for example, devices (emergency system(s), wireless control node(s) and/or sensing module(s)), locations (facility location for example), list (a list of the devices or test and monitoring reports for example), an option to create a test command instruction for initiating a test of an emergency apparatus such as that described previously.

The GUI may be configured to display information associated with a unique identification (UID) of the emergency apparatus(es) 200-1 ...200-n. Such information associated with the UID of each of the emergency apparatus(es) 200-1 ...200-n may be for example, but not limited to, a test log, a location, a current battery status or a combination thereof.

The emergency system management platform 300 may be configured to provide a monitoring report of the information associated with the UID of each of the emergency apparatus monitored within the building to a user over the graphical User Interface, GUI, in a format as shown in the example of Figure 5.

Providing the emergency apparatus(es) 200-1 ...200-n with their own unique ID’s enable the ESMP 300 to keep track of which apparatus(es) 200- 1 ...200-n have been tested or undergoing a monitoring. In this way, recording of information associated with each of the emergency apparatus(es) ensures that, for example, emergency apparatus(es) located within one facility or in one room are not tested at the same time. In this way, the arrangement ensures that at least one emergency apparatus is also active and that not all emergency apparatus(es) would be undergoing, for example, a functional test at the same time. The arrangement also ensures, for example, that a particular emergency apparatus is not tested repeatedly. In this way, the emergency apparatus is not operationally impacted due to battery drain from a monitor and/or test being carried out when one has already been carried out and recorded accordingly for that particular emergency apparatus. In this way, the arrangement provides intelligent scheduling of the monitoring and/or of the emergency apparatus(es) 200-1 ...200-n by the ESMP 300. Providing each emergency apparatus(es) 200- 1...200-n with a unique identification enables, for example, when such an emergency system may need to be replaced or visited by a provider, easy location of the emergency system within a facility.

Figure 6 shows an example of a polling signal 800 arrangement between the emergency system 240, the wireless control node 220 and the ESMP 300.

In the arrangement shown, during a normal operation, the wireless control node 220 may be configured to poll the emergency system 240, in this instance an emergency light for example, at least every one second and may be configured to poll the ESMP 300 at least every 30 seconds. The communication between the wireless control node 220 and the emergency system is over a first communication channel. The communication between the wireless control node 220 and the ESMP is over a second communication channel. The second communication channel may be established via a network device such as, but not limited to, an NBIoT enabled modem. The wireless control node may be communicatively coupled to the first and second communication channels via a serial communication interface.

Figure 7 shows an example flow diagram 900 of the signalling between emergency system 240, the wireless control node 220 and the ESMP 300. In the example shown, the emergency system 240 initiates a message, for example, by sending message ‘Hi I’m message T. This message is forwarded, via the wireless control node 220, to the ESMP 300 which echoes back message ‘Hi I’m message T. If the emergency system 240 receives a message comprising, for example, ‘Hi I’m message 2’, in other words a message different to the first message sent, then the emergency system 240 knows that the ESMP didn’t receive ‘Hi I’m message T. If ‘Hi, I’m message T was, for example, an important message the emergency system 240 will re-send this message. If the ESMP 300 wants the emergency system to complete, for example, a function test, the ESMP 300 will send a message with information requesting, for example, ‘emergency system do a function test’.

The second communication channel between the wireless control node 220 and the ESMP 300 may be a cellular network configured, for example, for narrowband internet of things (NBIoT) connectivity. Such a communication channel may be active during discrete time periods, for example 20.0 to 50.0 seconds, preferably 30.0 seconds. During this time period, the wireless control node may be listening for a response from the ESMP 300. In such a configuration, the communication may be over a half duplex channel and operating using an asynchronous protocol for example. The emergency system listens for the echo message back from the ESMP 300. The system may be arranged such that, to meet compliance requirements, the ESMP 300 may be configured to send, for example, once a fortnight, preferably once a week, an important message to the emergency system 240. The emergency system 240 may be configured so that it is not active all the time but configured to identify the important message and perform a task or a response when it receives this message. In this way, ensuring that the system is configured so as to be active when it receives such a message ensures that there is no drain on the battery of the system from having to actively listen all the time.

The ESMP 300 can be configured to break the echo with a different message that the emergency system 240 recognises. When the emergency system receives this different message, in other words not an echo message as shown in Figure 7, the ESMP 300 expects that the state of the emergency system 240 has changed. If the emergency system 240 sends back a normal operation message, the ESMP 300 will continue to send the different message until the emergency system 240 sends back an acknowledgment that, for example, the state of the emergency system has changed. The ESMP 300 then stops sending different messages, such different message enabling a test and/or configuration change of the emergency system 240, and begins normal echoing again as shown in Figure 7 during normal operation.

When the ESMP 300 breaks the echo messaging arrangement so as to, for example, to initiate a test, the emergency system is configured to respond. Every other message received after this test command instruction, each other message being sent until the function and/or duration test of the emergency system 240 is completed, is important to the ESMP 300. The ESMP 300 is configured to not send a message unless the wireless control node 220 does first. If, for example, a function test is happening, the emergency system 240 will not be sending messages and thus the ESMP 300 will also not be sending messages. The wireless control node 220 will poll the emergency system (in normal operation) every 2.0 to 5.0 seconds, preferable every 1.0 second. If the wireless control node detects a change in the emergency system, for example the last status is different to the current status, it will schedule a message for transmission to the ESMP 300 during the next transmission cycle of the second communication channel. The transmission cycle may be active at discrete time intervals. The discrete time intervals may be established according to a compliance test threshold, such as for example every 20.0 to 50.0 seconds, preferably every 30.0 seconds there will be a communication between the wireless control node and the ESMP 300. When the communication channel is active, the wireless control node will receive any waiting messages first from the ESMP 300 (if there is a message waiting it will be processed i.e. decides what the wireless control node 220 needs to do). During at least one cycle, the wireless control node will look at the results of the processes that have run in the meantime and construct a message to be sent to the ESMP 300, such message comprising information based on the processes that have run. Such a messaging style enables wired, slow hardware interfaces (that run processes etc) to communicate with modern servers.

Figure 8 is an example of a message 1000 constructed by the wireless control node 220 when communicating with an emergency system, when the emergency system is a Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) enabled emergency light. In such system configuration, the wireless control node may be configured to communicate with the emergency light over a first communication channel, the first communication channel may be a DALI bus. The system may be configured to execute an emergency light function test. The wireless control node may be configured to poll the emergency light to see if the test is finished. If the test is finished, the emergency light may be configured to send test information to the wireless control node. The test information may be saved within a database of the wireless control node. The message format may be a multi-byte format and may have a specific order as that shown in the example of Figure 8. The data fields may have different sizes such as for example, one data field may have a size of one byte while another data field may have a size of two bytes. In the example shown in Figure 8, the data fields may be: dali_status: dali em gear ‘status’ byte. Represented as values ranging from 0 -255; batt_charge: dali em gear battery charge. Represented as values ranging from 0 - 255; rated_dur: rated battery duration in, for example, 2 minute intervals.

Represented as values ranging from 0 - 255; dur_result: result of duration test in, for example, 2 minute intervals.

Represented as values ranging from 0 - 255; fn_fail_status: cause of failed test; nb_rssi: modem indicated received signal strength; nb_ber: modem bit error rate; tx_timeout: transmission interval in, for example, minutes. Represented as values ranging 0 - 255.

Examples of the dali_test_flag, app_error_flag and tamper_flag are shown in Figures 9a - 9C. With reference to Figure 9a for example, the wireless control node constructs a message 1000 with the test results 1010. The pass/fail state of the emergency light test sequence may be saved and bit- encoded in a single octet format 1010. The 8-bit result, the single octet, test information received from the emergency light is transmitted, unchanged, in the message 1000 body for interpretation by the ESMP 300. Although this example is shown using a DALI protocol, other protocols may be used depending on the emergency system being tested by the wireless control node.

The emergency system 240 discussed in each of the examples above may be any one of, but not limited to, an emergency light, or a smoke alarm, or an emergency door. For example, when the emergency system is an emergency door device, in this setup, the emergency door device may be configured to position an emergency door into an open or closed position. In this way, the emergency system is able to, for example, contain a fire when the emergency door is in a closed position and may facilitate in the evacuation of people from a building by ensuring the emergency door is in an open position. The wireless node may be configured to test the operation of the emergency door device by operating the emergency door into the open or closed position according to an operational test sequence. In this way, a building owner can initiate a test of the emergency door to determine a current state of the door, where the current state of the door may be transmitted to the building owner who can monitor the information remotely without the need for visual inspection.

In a facility having emergency doors, a building owner is not only responsible for installing emergency doors, such as fire doors, properly but also for monitoring changes in gaps between the door and the frame over time. This monitoring is currently done manually which is inefficient for landlords with thousands of residential units, it is also open to a large amount of human error. Manual testing is also not reactive to sudden changes as inspection is done infrequently. An example of current manual testing options is the utilization of a plastic wedge to measure fire door gaps. If a fire door is installed correctly, the gaps between the door and the frame/floor should remain consistent over time. Changes to the door from excess heat or cold, failing hinges, failing door closer (also referred to as a self-closing device) and damage to the strips around the door can impact these gaps. Currently these problems can only be identified though visual inspection. To overcome this technical challenge, the door gap may be measured electronically, and the current state of the door transmitted to the building owner who can monitor the information remotely without the need for a visual inspection. Other issues related to solutions for measuring a gap are, for example, the visual inspection is open to human error, the visual inspection can be subjective, the visual inspection is time consuming and inefficient, the plastic wedge measurement device is open to damage which may impact the integrity of the measurement, magnetic sensors can only determine if the door is open or closed - there is no measurement capability, these prior solutions do not offer a way to remotely measure door gap.

Figure 10a and 10b show an example of an emergency door device for monitoring and/or testing the compliance of an emergency door 242 to the building regulations. The emergency door device may comprise a sensor module 248 for measuring a gap at least between an emergency door 242 and a door frame 244 in at least one location. In each of the figures of Figure 10a and 10b, there is provided a door 242 connected within a doorframe 244 by hinges 246a, 246b. The emergency door device may comprise at least one sensor module 248 and at least one target 250a, 250b. The at least one sensor module 248 may comprise a number of sensors such as a Time of Flight (TOF) sensor e.g. a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) sensor, an accelerometer, a magnetometer, a humidity sensor, a temperature sensor, a CO2 sensor and the like. For example, each TOF sensor may be configured to measure the distance between at least one location on the doorframe and a location the TOF sensor is positioned. Comparison of the measured distance with the calibrated distance determined during installation may determine any changes in the gap between the doorframe and the door. For example, sensor 248 is installed on the door 242 and TOF targets 250a, 250b installed on the door frame 244. TOF sensors 248 measure gaps 252a, 252b on vertical and horizontal axes at a set interval forming a sequence of averaging measurements. If a change in distance 252a, 252b between a target is detected, a message is sent to the wireless control node 220 with current measurements for interpretation. If the measured door gap 252a, 252b exceeds a certain threshold, it can be extrapolated that the door 242 is open or faulty. In this way, hinge 246a, 246b failures, damage caused by human intervention, door expansion and shrinkage can also be remotely observed by a change in detected distance 252a, 252b between the sensor 248 and a target 250a, 250b location in at least one location of the door frame 244. The wireless control node 220 may transmit the message comprising the door sensor measured information to an emergency system management platform, ESMP, 300 for a remote user to observe a status of the fire door remotely. The remote user may also be able to initiate an operational test sequence so as to obtain a current status of the door 242 to determine if there is, for example, any gaps 252a,

252b exceeding a compliance threshold. In this way, the arrangement may be an automated process providing near to real-time detection of changes and compliance assurance. The arrangement may enable a remote observer to take action on problems as they occur, early intervention such that it can provide proactive and reactive reporting. The emergency door device may also be configured with supplemental sensor integration such as light, sound or environmental sensor etc. An environmental sensor may be configured to detect, for example, changes in temperature on either side of the door thereby providing an indication of the spread of, for example, a fire.

Figure 11 shows an exemplified method 1100 for monitoring and/or testing the compliance of an emergency door to the building regulations using the emergency door device described previously with reference to figures 10a and 10b.

At step 1105, a set of parameters are monitored. For example, the door sensor 248 may be operating in sleep mode, whereby at least some circuitry may be operational and therefore certain parameters may be monitored for changes. The door sensor 248 may be configured to wake up once changes in the state of one or more parameters are detected. For example, the door sensor 248 may further be configured to wake-up periodically and accordingly check whether a state change in the set of monitored parameters has occurred. Furthermore, the door sensor 248 may be activated in response to a polling signal received from the wireless control node 220 or another connected system. For example, at step 1105, the door sensor 248 may wake-up following one or more of the following:

- a switched-on signal is received at the door sensor 248 from a wireless node or another system

- contacts of a magnetometer of the door sensor 248 are in an opened or closed position,

- a polling timer has expired,

- an acceleration threshold of an accelerometer of the door sensor has reached a predetermined threshold.

It should be noted that other parameters may be monitored by the door sensor, and/or cause the door sensor to be activated. Once the door sensor is activated, the door sensor 248 may be configured to wake up the Time of Flight sensors at step 1115 and 1120, so that gap measurements along the x and y axis may be taken at steps 1125 and 1130. In this way, variations in the distance 252a, 252b between the door sensor 248 and the corresponding targets located at the door frame 244 may be measured along the horizontal (x-axis) 250a and vertical (y-axis) 250b axes.

The door sensor 248 and targets 250a, 250b may be affected by environmental changes. Therefore, to take into account environmental changes such as, for example, drifts in temperature or humidity or a combination thereof, the distance values obtained at steps 1125 and 1130 may be compensated to take into account changes within the environment, at step 1135. For example, at step 1135, the door sensor may be configured to perform measurements of environment parameters such as temperature or humidity measurements, and accordingly adjust, based on the values obtained from the environmental parameters, the distance values obtained at step 1125 and 1130. The door sensor 248 may also obtain values associated with the environmental parameters from a connected system e.g. an environmental sensor measurement module. Compensating the values obtained from the TOF sensors may improve the accuracy of the distance measurements. Following the compensation of the distance measurements at step 1135, the distance values obtained at step 1125 and 1130 may be compared with reference distance values determined during a calibration phase e.g. during the installation of the door sensor 248. Furthermore, at step 1135, the distance values may be compared with values obtained from previous measurements that has been performed to determine any changes in the gap between the door frame 244 and the door 242.

At step 1140, the door sensor 248 may be configured to perform magnetometer readings to determine the position of the door. For example, based on the magnetometer readings, a door opening angle may be calculated at step 1145. For example, the door opening angle may be calculated by converting the polar coordinates of the magnetometer to degrees, thereby obtaining the magnetic angle, which may be indicative of the opening angle of the door. The calculation of the opening angle may be performed on the door sensor and/or be calculated on a connected device such as the wireless control node and/or the emergency system management platform.

At stepl 150, the door sensor 248may be configured to determine whether the initiated wake up of the door sensor 248is in response to a calibration measurement of the door sensor being performed. For example, the door sensor 248may check if there are any previous measurements stored in memory of the device. In this way, such a check may enable the door sensor to determine whether an initiated wake up is due to a calibration measurement during an installation or replacement of the door sensor or whether an initiated wake up is subsequent measurement(s) being performed by the door sensor. Such subsequent measurement(s) may be compared to previous measurement(s) or to measurement(s) obtained from a calibration phase during an installation or replacement of the door sensor to determine the changes. In this way, upon installation or replacement of the door sensor, the door sensor may be configured to make an initial reading which may be stored in a memory of the door sensor or a wireless control node communicatively coupled to the door sensor. The initial reading may be part of a calibration phase thus forming a calibration reading that is stored in a memory of the door sensor or in a memory of a wireless control node communicatively coupled to the door sensor. Information obtained by the door sensor 248may be communicated to a wireless control node, such as wireless control node 220 previously described, and/or an emergency system management platform, such as emergency system management platform 300 previously described, via a communications module of the door sensor 248. Upon determining at step 1150 that measurements are calibration measurements, the door sensor may be configured to store 1155, for example in a memory of the door sensor or in a memory of a wireless control node to which the door sensor may be communicatively coupled, measurements of the TOF sensor or the magnetometer sensor or combination of both and wake up the communication module, for example communication module 222 previously discussed. Calibration measurement(s) may be measurement(s) taken during a calibration of the door sensor 248upon installation and therefore differs to a door sensor reading, or measurement, following installation and subsequent measurement(s) performed by the door sensor. Such calibration measurement may be used to compare against a first measurement performed following the installation and calibration of the sensor. Upon wake up of the communication module, the data may be sent to the emergency system management platform 300 via a wireless control node in a manner as previously discussed. The data received by the emergency system management platform may then be viewed on, for example, a graphical user interface 700 discussed above and actions taken accordingly in response to the received information. Such actions may be recording information indicating that a door sensor has been installed at a corresponding location of a premises or recording information that a sensor has been replaced with a new, calibrated, sensor and the like.

At 1160, upon determining measurement(s) are measurements other than a calibration measurement(s) of the door sensor, a further determination may be made as to whether the opening angle of the door calculated in step 1445 has changed relative to a previous measurement. For example, a calibrated polar measurement of the magnetometer may be determined during calibration of the door sensor 248 and therefore may be used to determine any changes in the polar information of the magnetometer following the initial calibration measurement. In response to determining there are changes in the current polar measurement obtained through magnetometer readings, the door sensor may be configured to wake up the communication module at step 1165, for example communication module 222 previously discussed. Upon wake up of the communication module 222, the data may be sent at stepl 165 to the wireless control node and emergency system management platform 300 via the wireless control node. The data may comprise the opening angle of the door calculated at step 1145. The data received may be viewed on, for example, a graphical user interface 700 of the emergency system management platform 300 or a user computing device 640 previously discussed. Appropriate actions may be taken in response to the data received, such as, any doors identified as not opening or closing properly may need to be replaced or could indicated a fault in the sensor readings and therefore the sensor may need to be replaced and the like. In response to determining that there have been no changes in the polar information of the magnetometer and/or opening door angle, the door sensor 248 may into a sleep mode 1110.

Similarly, at step 1170, upon determining measurement(s) are measurements other than a calibration measurement of the door sensor, a further determination is made as to whether there have been any changes in the values of the x-axis or y-axis compared to a previous measurement. Previous measurements may be measurements obtained by the door sensor after a calibration of the door sensor or following a calibration, a number of measurements prior to the current measurement may be taken into account and averaged and compared to the current measurement to determine any alignment issues. For example, a calibrated distance may be determined during installation and therefore may be used to determine any changes in distance measurements in the x-axis or y-axis of the door to the door frame. In response to determining there are changes in the current x-axis or y-axis measurements compared to an initial calibration measurement or a subsequent measurement(s) following the calibration, the door sensor may be configured to wake up the communication module 222 at step 1175. Upon wake up of the communication module 222, the data is transmitted to the emergency system management platform 300 via a wireless control node for example. The transmitted data may comprise the distance data measured by the door sensor. The data received may be viewed on, for example, the graphical user interface 700 of the emergency system management platform 300 or a user computing device 640 as previously discussed. Appropriate actions may be taken in response to the data received, such as, any doors identified as being misaligned may need to have their hinges replaced or could potentially indicate a warpage of the door and therefore the door may need replacing and the like.

In response to determining that there have been no changes in the x-axis or the y-axis measurements, the door sensor enters into a sleep mode 1110.

In addition to the distance and polar measurements as shown in Figure 11 , strain measurements may be taken by means of a stress/strain sensor as illustrated in the flow diagram of Figure 12. At step 1200, the door sensor 248 may be configured to perform stress and/or strain measurements to detect the parameters associated with the presence of a door seal in the door frame, e.g. surrounding the doorframe to prevent smoke from escaping during fire. For example, based on the stress/strain measurements, using for example but not limited to, a flexible piezoelectric transducer, a force exerted by the door seal to the emergency door can be measured to detect whether the door seal meets the fire compliance standards. An initial measurement and determination can be made as part of a calibration phase e.g. during the installation of the door sensor.

At step 1210, stress and/or strain measurements are initiated to detect the force exerted by the door seal to the door frame, when the emergency door is in the closed position similar to the stepl 150 above. The door sensor is configured to store at step 1215, for example in a memory of the door sensor or in a memory of a wireless control node to which the door sensor may be communicatively coupled, measurements taken by the stress/strain sensor either alone or in combination with the other sensor measurements as discussed with reference to Figure 11.

Similarly to steps 1160 and 1170, at 1220, upon determining that the initiated measurement(s), are not calibration measurements of the door sensor, a determination is made as to whether there have been any changes in the stress/strain force exerted by the strain/stress sensor calculated in step 1205 relative to a previous measurement. Previous measurements may be measurements obtained by the door sensor after a calibration of the door sensor or following a calibration, a number of measurements prior to the current measurement may be taken into account and averaged and compared to the current measurement to determine any alignment issues. For example, a calibrated stress/strain force exerted by the stress/strain sensor may be determined during installation, which could be used as a reference measurement. Any deviation from the reference measurement may indicate a compliance failure or an imminent compliance failure of the emergency door.

For example, if the stress/strain exerted on the door seal is within a threshold value, it may indicate that the door seal is not functioning correctly or it needs replacement. In response to determining there are changes in the current stress/strain force measurements obtained from the strain sensor compared to an initial calibration measurement or a subsequent measurement(s) following the calibration, the door sensor may be configured to wake up the communication module 222 at step 1225. Upon wake up of the communication module 222, a notification is issued to the emergency system management platform 300 via a wireless control node for example. The notification comprises a set of transmitted data including the stress/strain measurement data measured by the door sensor. The data received may be viewed on, for example, the graphical user interface 700 of the emergency system management platform 300 or a user computing device 640 as previously discussed.

Appropriate actions may be taken in response to the data received, such as, any doors identified as having a defective, damaged or missing door seal and therefore the door seal may need replacing and the like. In response to determining that there have been no changes in the strain measurement, the door sensor enters into a sleep mode 1110. The actions to be taken may be triggered and presented to the user in response to the measurement data. The actions to be triggered may include the issuance of a maintenance notification to a maintenance service.

In this way, the door sensor is enabled to take into account any changes in the orientation of the door to the door frame, issues with opening or closing of the emergency door or issues with the door seal. These changes may be determined, for example, by monitoring alignments in the x-axis and y-axis via the TOF sensor, monitoring changes in the polar information via the magnetometer and monitoring changes in the force exerted on the strain material via the strain sensor. In this way, corrective actions may be taken to resolve the compliance issues and ensure the compliance of the building with the standards regulation and safety of the building residence.

A door sensor may be calibrated as part of a maintenance operation. In this way, information stored on the memory of the door sensor may be reset such that upon, for example, re-adjustments or replacement of the door sensor, the initial measurements obtained at steps 1115, 1120, 1125, 1130, 1140, 1200 after wake-up of the door sensor following the maintenance (calibration) may be considered as a calibration measurement at step 1150, 1210. In this way, any manual intervention of the door sensor may be taken into account.

The memory or database mentioned throughout the specification may be considered as computer-readable storage media, which is inherently non- transitory, may include volatile and non-volatile, and removable and non removable tangible media implemented in any method or technology for storage of information, such as computer-readable instructions, data structures, program modules, or other data. Computer-readable storage media may further include RAM, ROM, erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM), electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM), flash memory or other solid-state memory technology, portable compact disc read only memory (CD-ROM), or other optical storage, magnetic cassettes, magnetic tape, magnetic disk storage or other magnetic storage devices, or any other medium that may be used to store the desired information and which may be read by a computer. A computer-readable storage medium should not be construed as transitory signals per se (e.g., radio waves or other propagating electromagnetic waves, electromagnetic waves propagating through a transmission media such as a waveguide, or electrical signals transmitted through a wire). Computer-readable program instructions may be downloaded to a computer, another type of programmable data processing apparatus, or another device from a computer-readable storage medium or an external computer or external storage device via a network.

Computer-readable program instructions stored in a computer-readable medium may be used to direct a computer, other types of programmable data processing apparatus, or other devices to function in a particular manner, such that the instructions stored in the computer-readable medium produce an article of manufacture including instructions that implement the functions/acts specified in the flowcharts, sequence diagrams, and/or block diagrams. The computer program instructions may be provided to one or more processors of a general- purpose computer, special purpose computer, or other programmable data processing apparatus to produce a machine, such that the instructions, which execute via the one or more processors, cause a series of computations to be performed to implement the functions and/or acts specified in the flowcharts, sequence diagrams, and/or block diagrams.

In certain alternative embodiments, the functions and/or acts specified in the flowcharts, sequence diagrams, and/or block diagrams may be re-ordered, processed serially, and/or processed concurrently without departing from the scope of the invention. Moreover, any of the flowcharts, sequence diagrams, and/or block diagrams may include more or fewer blocks than those illustrated consistent with embodiments of the invention.

The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting of the embodiments of the invention. As used herein, the singular forms “a”, “an” and “the” are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. As used herein, wireless control node is also referred to as wireless sensor node. It will be further understood that the terms “comprises” and/or “comprising,” when used in this specification, specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof. Furthermore, to the extent that the terms “includes”, “having”, “has”, “with”, “comprised of”, or variants thereof are used in either the detailed description or the claims, such terms are intended to be inclusive in a manner similar to the term “comprising”.