Revolutionizing Fire Safety: Safegard Systems

Based in Wicklow, Ireland since 1994 and operating in the HVAC Industry, Safegard specializes in the niche area of smoke and fire control/containment within the ducted ventilation systems of buildings. They offer Addressable, Intelligent Smoke Damper and Fire Damper Control Panels, plus the full complement of dampers, which include fire, smoke, volume control, high operating temperature, smoke extract, etc.

With their in-house research and development team, Safegard Systems has continually responded to the growing demand from building owners, facilities managers, and emergency services for more flexible operation and testing of fire and smoke dampers by significantly upgrading its control packages. Safegard Systems, part of Swegon Group, is in the process of upgrading its widely used V5 damper control system and is working directly with consulting engineers and contractors to provide specific fire and smoke control design expertise.

Safegard Systems’ fifth-generation system, the V5 intelligent addressable life safety damper system, is a flexible and sophisticated package designed specifically for the control of smoke and fire dampers. Unlike most fire alarm systems, a dedicated panel can monitor damper end switches and does not assume that, simply because power has been removed, the dampers have reached a failsafe position.

In the event of a fire, the dampers should close immediately to prevent the spread of fire and smoke through the ducting, or open when needed to enable smoke extraction. How they are controlled plays a vital role in keeping escape routes clear and allowing access for firefighters.

The current system has been updated to add several important new features to its widely used predecessor V4, which already provided the ability to manage multiple dampers from a single simple interface without the need for additional hardware. Safegard Systems believes this is critical for the safety of buildings and can also provide lifetime cost savings for building owners.


The V5 employs a solid-state embedded computer for reliability and is simple to use and install. It is based around a two-core network cable that communicates with the local interfaces at each damper. This significantly reduces wiring costs compared to more conventional hard-wired solutions.

The V5 is designed to work on interoperable open protocol platforms and can also be linked to the building management system (BMS) via RS485 or BACnet. This open system approach provides considerable lifecycle benefits to the end client for ongoing operation and maintenance.

The control system consists of a 15-inch embedded panel computer, UPS, and pre-loaded software, which is extremely user-friendly. The server architecture reduces commissioning time, simplifies operation, and allows scope for future changes to the building and its HVAC systems. It also provides full diagnostics for system and device integration.

In many cases, the fire alarm system is used to control dampers, but this strategy does not offer the flexible and sophisticated operation that is built into the V5 system. More basic approaches simply shut every damper in the building in the event of a fire, whereas the V5 offers control of each individual damper. This allows system designers to provide users with a more strategic and targeted approach for fire compartmentalization, pressurization, and smoke extraction.

Heat and smoke detectors can be fitted directly into the damper interface, either to control the damper to which it is fitted or other dampers within the system. It can also be linked to a local test switch, enabling dampers to be conveniently and easily tested remotely or via the test function available at the panel. The system can also be scheduled to automatically test dampers on a regular basis and provides remote access for system health check and maintenance.

“There is growing awareness across the Irish building sector of the need to provide a more flexible and sophisticated approach to fire and smoke control,” said Terry Darling, Head of Sales at Safegard Systems.

“As a result, more people are looking for expert advice and tailor-made solutions that fit their fire safety strategies. They want a sophisticated approach, but one that is also easy to use – and works quickly and automatically in the event of a fire to support the emergency services. The Grenfell Tower inquiry has clearly exposed the inherent dangers in simply looking for the cheapest solutions. It never makes sense to cut corners when it comes to fire safety, and using a purposely designed product for life safety damper control provides peace of mind. However, it can also deliver major cost savings over the lifecycle of the building by cutting maintenance costs and easing access,” added Mr. Darling.

For more information, contact Safegard Systems
Unit 33 Southern Cross Business Park, Bray, County Wicklow, A98 HT99, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 2761600

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