Tradition & Culture Versus Life-Safety – VELOX has the solution!

June 7, 2024

The burning of Bukhoor, or Incence at home daily, sometimes more than once per day, is an inseparable part of Arab culture. The heavily fragranced smoke comes from burning scented pellets on a bed of live charcoal in a traditional incense burner called the Mabkhara. This smoke is used to cleanse and fragrance the house as well as personal items such as clothes.

Fire Detection Manufacturers have invested huge sums and carried-out many years of continued research and development to make fire systems detect smoke in a reliable way, usually as quickly as possible.

So, Is it possible to install a fire alarm system/smoke detectors into homes, and respect the tradition of burning Bukhoor, without the issue of ‘nuisance’ or ‘false’ alarms?

Here at VELOX Life Safety, we have first-hand experience of the local traditions. Our company started in the United Arab Emirates in 2006 and our innovations are all executed with both local and global requirements in-mind.

The VELOX R&D team set the challenge of providing the best in detection technology, along with the flexibility for the home-owner to use Bukhoor without causing ‘nuisance alarms’ on the system.

The VELOX Vita 6100 touchscreen panel was developed to meet the needs of small to medium applications with one loop capacity of up to 240 addresses and a compact size of only 30cm/30cm. It was therefore perfect to fit into homes and possibly be enhanced with the specific requirements for Bukoor burning.

Bukhoor mode invented by VELOX!

We are proud to say that the VELOX R&D Engineers pioneered and developed a special ‘Bukhoor Mode’ for the VELOX Vita panel to overcome the challenges detailed above. We were the first manufacturer to recognize the importance of adding this mode and it’s subsequent invention, approval and implementation.

What does the Bukhoor mode do, and how does it prevent nuisance alarms?

The VELOX Multi-sensor Detector has 9 different sensitivity levels of smoke and heat detection. In normal operation both the smoke and heat elements are active and will respond to both smoke and heat presence at industry-approved levels.

In large commercial systems, we are often asked to configure the system with a ‘Day–Night’ mode. This is when different detector sensitivities are required at different times of the day. A good example of this is a ‘Chemistry Classroom’ in a school/university. During school hours, experiments which create smoke are often carried-out, so typically the system would be programmed for the detectors in those locations to have a ‘lower’ sensitivity, or to operate as heat detectors only. This change will help prevent a possible un-wanted evacuation due to the experiments. After school hours though, the system is required to automatically increase its sensitivity to react to any smoke/heat very quickly because the chemistry area would typically be where flammable substances would be stored. The Velox system has the flexibility to schedule these changes at pre-set times of the day and days of the week and is very successful at preventing nuisance alarms in large commercial premises all over the World.

Our Engineers knew that if we could make a easy-to-use interface, the homeowner could utilize the possible changes of sensitivity in the detectors to prevent unwanted alarms if they were about to burn Bukhoor.

After a lot of customer interaction and feedback from the necessary bodies/authorities, a series of easy to navigate screens were implemented to activate the ‘Bukhoor’ mode and put the system into a lower sensitivity for temporary period as and when required.

Is this safe?

Absolutely. The process for activating the Bukhoor mode is protected by a password and also by a ‘countdown’ timer that will automatically put the system back into it’s normal operating mode in either 5,10 or 15 minutes depending on the user’s selection. The user also can select the specific device they wish to apply the mode-to, meaning that if any other device in the system detects smoke/heat, it will override any timer and put the system into alarm.

What about approvals?

The VELOX Vita 6100 control panel is fully approved to EN-54 with the Bukhoor mode feature and is also approved in the UAE by the relevant Civil Defence departments.

The VELOX Vita is also the world’s first EN-54 approved 4G enabled panel. With the addition of a SIM card (and/or TCPIP connection), the panel can be monitored remotely with the VELOX Cloud monitoring software. The VELOX Cloud monitoring software can also be connected to platforms provided by Government authorities for monitoring of alarms and faults. It will also automatically report any panel that is put into ‘Bukhoor’ mode and when the ‘Bukhoor’ mode ends.

Does it prevent nuisance alarms?

Yes! When used, the Bukhoor mode will prevent nuisance alarms in the home and eliminate disruption to the occupants of the home and also any connected authorities monitoring alarms from the property.

At VELOX are very proud to have pioneered the development of a Bukhoor handling mode in our system and also that it has been adopted by the authorities in the UAE as essential for installing a system in a villa.

If you would like to find out more about any of our systems, please get in touch with either the Middle East office or our Global Headquarters at VELOX Canada. -

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