Integrated fire protection for mines

Issue 2 2022 Fire & Safety

A mining company in West Africa faced the challenge of getting its prefabricated E-Houses fitted with compliant and standardised fire protection systems; before being delivered to site. As these prefabricated structures were outside of the direct management control of the mine and their EPCM partners, the client was unable to ensure systems that were compatible with their existing site fire control network as well as their stringent quality standards.

Modular E-Houses are prefabricated transportable substations, designed to house critical power equipment. Naturally, fire can cause extensive damage to the critical electrical components within an E-House, so early warning smoke detection and immediate shutdown of interconnected systems is needed to protect against the risk of irreversible damage and downtime.

The client expected the FS Group to fit the same fire protection systems they currently have on-site to their internationally sourced E-Houses. This was to ensure that the systems were identical, assembled from familiar components and configured in the same way as their existing systems. The construction of the E-House fire systems would be supervised by the same team responsible for the final delivery, commissioning and integration of the systems into the Mining Fire Control Network.

After consulting with the client and construction partners, a technical specification was drawn up by the FS Group with functional parameters of the fire protection systems. Standard procedures were formulated for the automated shut-down of various sections on the mine in the event of a fire. Fire detection and gas suppression systems were then installed into each E-House.

The FS Group designed and installed custom integration packs that allowed automated interlocks between the fire control panel and plant PLC system. These interlocks include voltage switching capabilities for air handling, lighting, access control systems and voltage-free contacts for interface into the PLC and video surveillance systems.

The following equipment was fitted into each E-House:

- Edwards EST3 system.

- Technoswitch TC3001 conventional detection and gas control unit.

- Apollo conventional point type heat and smoke detectors.

- Honeywell VESDA high sensitivity aspirating smoke detector.

- Brigit Systems HFC227ea (FM200) gaseous fire suppression system.

- Appropriate warning devices, bells and re-entrant speakers and strobe lights.

The mine now has 14 E-Houses on site which are fully protected and interconnected.

Scan the QR code to watch a video case study:

For more information, contact FS Systems, [email protected],


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