Fire casualties too high in SA

September 2016 Fire & Safety

The incidents of deaths and the loss of revenue caused by fires are still unacceptably high in South Africa. The number of deaths in non-residential fires has risen dramatically from 248 in 2004 to 578 in 2013 while the financial losses incurred by both residential and non-residential fires has also risen sharply from R1,2 billion in 2004 to R2,2 billion in 2013. This is according to the SA Fire Loss Statistics 2013.

Interestingly, statistics in the USA show a marked decrease from 2003 to 2013. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the number of non-residential fire-related deaths dropped from 185 to 65 and the costs incurred went down from $2,9 billion to $2,5 billion. Similarly the number of fires decreased from 103 200 to 93 700.

So why this marked difference? Is it perhaps due to more stringent legislation with regard to the selection, installation, operation, testing and maintenance of fire detection and suppression systems? Or perhaps it is due to the need for education of end users to the advantages of a fit for purpose system. Whatever the reason for this discrepancy, there is a critical need for end users to dispense with the attitude that fire detection and suppression systems are a grudge purchase and to see them as a necessary protection of human life and other assets.

Elvey Security Technologies is collaborating with FireClass to help educate the market on the risks associated with inadequate fire detection systems in public buildings.

The FireClass range includes the latest fire detection technology packaged in an easy to install, out of the box, digital open protocol solution. The digital protocol is well tested in the marine and offshore industries and has a proven resistance to poor, damp and damaged cables found in such hostile environments. Certified to EN54 standards, FireClass addressable fire detection panels include optical smoke detectors and various multi-sensor devices including the FC460PC multi sensor smoke, heat and carbon monoxide (CO) detector.

Elvey distributes the full range of addressable panels with specific focus on the highly affordable FC501 unit. The FC501 incorporates up to 128 addresses and 32 zones and the Intelli-Zone feature allows for auto mapping. Installation is quick and easy, and combined with easy programming and a user friendly remote user interface with control buttons, the FC 501 is the ideal choice for users looking for an affordable panel that displays temperature, CO levels and smoke levels. The FC 501 has both manual and automatic walk test and reporting functions and a 3000-event log.


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