It’s all in the LEDs…
The only part of a MILS® System that the public are ever likely to see – and the only part they need to see – are the LEDs embedded along escape routes and the compact light and symbol panels. And even these only come on in an emergency.
The LEDs and a copper conductor are contained in strips of transparent polyamide about 22 mm wide and 2 mm thick installed like grouting between floor tiles or along carpeting. These units are highly energy-efficient and around 350 metres of LED strip or over 200 light panels can be powered by the equivalent of a 60-watt conventional light bulb.
These LED strips are connected to MILS® Control software, which is used for designing evacuation plans, simulating evacuation scenarios, and real-time monitoring and reporting and remote controlling in an emergency situation. The software features an open interface with other safety systems to guarantee maximum flexibility.
… and the dynamism
The research and development work behind the technology began at sea, or more specifically with various major fires that took place aboard ships in the mid-1980s. The first installations of the MILS® System have been on cruise ships and Mega-yachts, and the company is now promoting the benefits of the technology for land applications. The MILS® System has already been installed in tunnels in the Netherlands and Spain and in some of the world’s largest metro systems.
Its dynamism is a major advantage over traditional static safety markings, as it enables people to be directed to the routes that will give them the best chance of escaping a structure safely and in the minimum time possible. The MILS® System can also react not only to fire, but also to other emergencies, such as flooding, power outages, and terrorism.
After discussion with building management personnel and members of the emergency services, a 3D software overview of evacuation routes and their use in an emergency is made using a building’s CAD design data.
The inbuilt intelligence of the technology is already being used in non-emergency applications, such as the metro system in Madrid to direct passengers at stations during the rush hour. Retailers, museums, hospitals, airports, and stations are being piloted for business-related guiding of people using the MILS® System.