AC Hotel by Marriott Istanbul Maçka, located on Beşiktaş Akaretler street, has been providing services to guests since 2014 with 98 rooms and 50 employees. The Hotel's Fire Detection and Alarm System (Eaton), Emergency Announcement and Public Address System (G+M), Access Control and Security (Carrier Aritech), CCTV and IP Video (Carrier Truvision), Building Automation and Management Systems (Jonhson Controls) have been established by EEC .
I have known about EEC for many years back from when I worked at the Henkel Çayırova Plant, and I know we had no problems there. I began working here at AC Maçka when the hotel opened and EEC systems were already installed when I arrived. We finished the remaining minor works together. We have continued to work together since then.
When the old Taşlık Hotel shut down, another company bought out the building. They then hired a contracting firm for all the electrical-mechanical works, and when they shut down the works were left unfinished. Our managers took over the half-finished construction and continued with the systems that were being prepared. Marriott's occupational safety specialist visited from the US to inspect the fire and safety systems at the time. Since EEC operates on a turnkey basis, they made all the additional arrangements required according to international standards and delivered it in accordance with expectations.
Originally, since I already knew about EEC, I began working with peace of mind and confidence in them. I am really satisfied with the service I received because it is crucial that they can provide solutions to our problems when necessary. This is about safety, it requires immediate intervention.
As I always tell everyone, the fire safety system here is different than everything else. I am extremely confident that our system is of high quality and works very well. Cooper/Eaton that we use makes it easy for the users and does not malfunction often. Over 8 years, the only malfunctions we have experienced have been with the detectors maybe 2 or 3 times. It is very advantageous in this aspect. You just have to be satisfied with this system. Whoever designed the project, carried out the assembly, chose the materials; they chose appropriately for this building and did an excellent job.
These products that are exactly right for our needs have done their job well under every tough condition and did not put us in any trouble, which is exactly what we want from them.
It instills us with confidence to see our systems working well because this risk can happen at any time, night or day, God forbid if someone is there something bad might happen to them. We can see that our investments were not for naught to this day.
It is also crucial that the report comes from the right place. For example, as the guests are going to their rooms, their child sees the button and presses it out of curiosity; we are able to check that because the information comes from the right place, immediately. As another example, steam will fill up the room if people leave the glass doors of showers open as they are taking a shower. Since we have smoke alarms, we are able to warn them and prevent the paint and furniture of the room from being damaged, which are financial benefits for us.
In a similar situation, we have separate floors for our smoking and non-smoking guests however sometimes foreign guests may even have hookahs in their rooms. It is not really possible to control what takes place in the rooms. However, thanks to our system the alarm activates immediately when smoke is detected and we can remind the customers about our rules against possible risks and warn them. Additionally, this allows us to test the system performance repeatedly.
The fire system is of extreme importance for us in terms of the safety of our guests and employees. We have our fire system maintained twice a year. As part of its global policy, Marriott requires the systems to work perfectly and audits them regularly and rigorously. They will not allow the use of their brand name without first inspecting the systems, and then continue to inspect once or twice a year. As part of this inspection, somebody will act as a guest and stay in a room, look around the hotel, inspect it and then introduce themselves. Each time we pass the inspection without any issues because we test each piece of equipment every time we do maintenance.
I always say "I am glad to have this system in our hotel" because I have friends in other hotels, and I know that our fire system is far more reliable than many other hotels in Istanbul. Our system is proven to work well as tested in real applications.
We also worked with EEC in installing card pass and CCTV systems for our hotel. The products in the CCTV system have been in use for 8 years and I have not had a single complaint to this day. The only thing is that some of those products are now nearing the end of their product lives, but I can say that they have performed very well so far.
Every inch of our corridors are monitored because as far as our concept of security goes, you are only allowed on the floor that your room is on with your card, you are not supposed to be on a different floor. It is possible for people to be on a different floor if they use the fire escape stairs. Therefore this is a question of the comfort and security of our guests. If your camera system works well and under your control, it means that not everybody can wander on any floor, that you are able to see and warn them.
We currently use the card pass system as needed; it has worked well so far without any issues. There are different rules for public and private areas in our hotel. There are areas where staff should and should not go in. You may have a card but should not go in that area. We can track that as well thanks to the software we received from you during installation. We can determine who entered or exited which door, and what time they were there. We know that the system is capable of much more but because our current computer system had to be updated recently, we are not able to make full use of some features. We have new investment plans for this; we will be able to use the software actively once again after we transition to new computers.
After this configuration, we will be able to use the camera system integrated. For example, when a door is opened, we can automatically view the camera image of that area on the security screen. Keeping track is really important and since it will be more controlled with integration, it is sure to be beneficial.
We separated our existing fire alarm speakers and music speakers, and installed a new music broadcasting system using your G+M brand. The quality of our music broadcast is now on a whole different level thanks to the sound quality of these speakers. We use it as two separate systems to allow the users to adjust the volume to their needs. It really helped us in terms of its ease of use.
We shut down during the pandemic; we received some offers from several companies at the time but still decided to stick with EEC. After approvals, we planned everything together from supply to shipment and cabling, and finished it within that time period.
Thanks to automation, it is really quick and easy for me to check the building, otherwise I would have to go around the whole building. I would have to go up and down every morning to start the pumps on the roof, the front and back sides. If we had to do everything manually, it would be impossible to keep up with the work and we would need more staff.
For example, we want our boilers to remain steady at 55 degrees. The system automatically engages and shuts down the boiler based on the temperature, and turns the tank valves open 10% - 30% etc. as needed. The monitoring of this has to be precise and instant, if not for the system, we would need someone on duty 24 hours a day to monitor it. We can now manage the devices, monitor them from the camera system in the control room, and perform several tasks at the same time thanks to the automation system.
Our building automation system has a high quality and detailed software program. I know it because I used it in the previous hotel I worked at. Some limitations were applied during installation due to the requests of the contracting team, I think there are some shortcomings, for example I am not able to set and lock the air conditioners. We are aware that the system is capable of a lot more, we can benefit from it a lot better if we use it comprehensively.
We can contact sales managers when we call them. They do the necessary investigation for us and direct us. I have the emergency phone number for the technical team but I never had to use it to this day. Any time I have a question I can contact the relevant people 24/7 and seek advice. If a customer wishes to go in their room and I need to solve the issue quickly, I ask them for direction and they can help me on the phone without even having to come here.
We do maintenance twice a year. In the first maintenance, we test all the buttons and detectors, and in the second one we test our extra dampers in the rooms. Since the maintenance team always consists of the same people, they know where we left things, what we detected, and it makes it a lot easier for us because they know the building and the process. Moreover, when we are short-staffed, it really makes it advantageous for us that the people coming from EEC are the same people. We can progress quicker and more efficiently. When the team is different, we have to have them accompanied since they don’t know the building or the process. Both their work and mine can take longer than planned. Even if a different team may cause things to slow down, we are always pleased with their work.
To this day, I have never had any issues with work delivery or supplying our needs. For example, a malfunction was identified in the detector during a test, and we request a new one on the same day. Shortly, we received quotations. Any delay we had was caused by us due to our purchasing processes.
Market prices are based on the quality and the recognition of each brand. Some brands sell products, but then you can’t find the service or the product. That is why the prices are standard based on the service we receive compared to the other brands in the market currently, it really isn’t expensive. If we needed a new system, I would pick the newest model from the same brand.
I recommend it because frankly, I have worked with very primitive systems that operated poorly in the past. Imagine that you have a system that you put into operation, but as soon as you turn your back a problem occurs without you even realizing it. Here, we have used this system for 8 years without any issues and it really does give us peace of mind.