While fire detection and fire suppression products may be seen as a grudge purchase, the costs and loss of time associated with replacing equipment after a fire can cripple a business. Not to mention the possibility of the loss of human life and resultant legal implications should this grudge purchase not be made.
Andrew Worthington, general manager, Fire Solutions at Fidelity ADT Commercial, says a fire detection and suppression system is not optional. “Having the right system is paramount. Essentially there are two types of systems namely conventional and addressable. A conventional system is suitable for factories with large open areas requiring detection as well as small commercial buildings. For larger buildings and installations an addressable system is recommended.”
From design, implementation and installation an in-depth risk analysis suited to the individual business requirements should be done. Having expertly trained personnel on the job is also key. All personnel should be registered with SAQCC Fire. The equipment used in these installations is highly specialised, complex and technical. It will only work as required if installed properly and linked properly to other systems, if that is the requirement.
There are certain applications that require specific equipment be used, for example, kitchens require the use of heat detectors. Escape routes require the use of smoke detectors. There are also a number of risk specific scenarios that require the use of specialised detectors such as ember detection, UV/IR flame detectors, linear heat detection and duct probes.
The environment to be protected can also determine the most appropriate detection method used when taking into account servicing and safety requirements. He gives an example of areas where it would require scaffolding and working at heights to get to point detectors especially over busy production areas. “Beam detectors would be more suitable in this case,” he says.
Fidelity ADT also offers the design, installation and commission of certified Total Flooding gaseous fire suppression systems, Sapphire clean-agent systems designed with sustainable technology, and advanced gas detection systems that monitor for the presence of toxic or flammable gases to provide an early warning and countermeasure implementation system.
In the event of an incident, Worthington says the monitoring centre receives an instant notification and automatically alerts local fire departments and designated key holders. Because time is of the essence, systems need to be integrated and quick-reacting.
“Ongoing service and maintenance plans ensures this is the case and that safety systems are operating at optimum performance and maintain regulatory and industry compliance. Most insurance companies require that the system meets with a specified design category as defined in SANS 10139. It is recommended that you make use of a SAQCC Fire registered designer to provide you with assistance when designing your system,” concludes Worthington.
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