Top-class railway safety

October 2006 Fire & Safety

The equipment for a new fire prevention system on board one of South Africa’s premier luxury tourist trains, was ­recently supplied by GE Security.

"The systems integrator which implemented the solution was Cybernetic Interactive Solutions; which is a local electronics company that both installs and maintains systems such as GE Security's Aritech Fire Detection & Control system throughout South Africa and its neighbouring countries," says Lauren Sher, South African country manager for GE Security.

Tim Woolf, owner of Cybernetic Interactive Solutions, explains: "The customer's requirement for this installation was to provide smoke and fire detection facilities in each of the train's compartments; as well as an alarm in the butlers' cabins, the power/control coach and the manager's sleeping quarters."

GE Security's Aritech system that was installed, consists of a conventional fire detection system, coupled with an analog addressable system via input/output modules in each coach; with a repeater panel in the manager's sleeping quarters.

The challenges

"There were several challenges that our team was faced with," says Wolf. "The train environment is a complex one. Within the train there are 18 coaches, with a variety of different functions; from deluxe guest accommodation to coaches that house power generators and also taking into account smoking areas - such as the bar - and cooking facilities in the kitchen coaches.

"In addition the electrical environment is extremely hostile; for instance the ground or earth is not 0 volts and floats up and down continuously. To resolve this challenge our team had to design and install optical interfaces to overcome this phenomenon," Wolf elaborates.

"Also, given the nature of the train's luxurious décor and design, the fire detection units had be be placed in such a way that they would be unobtrusive and yet functioning to maximum efficiency.

"Other modifications to the system included adapting the fire panels, so that they are able to operate off the train's battery system; as well as installing heat detectors in the power generator areas and the kitchen coaches."

Sher concludes: "GE's ongoing commitment to innovation encountered a challenge in this application. However, through the combination of the technical solutions offered by our innovative solutions, and the resourcefulness of the systems integrator, a reliable and suitable outcome has been achieved."

For more information contact Brett Birch, GE Industrial - Security, +27 (0) 21 937 6000, [email protected]

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

How to prevent and survive fires
Fire & Safety Security Services & Risk Management
Since its launch in August 2023, Fidelity SecureFire, a division of the Fidelity Services Group, has been making significant strides in revolutionising fire response services in South Africa.

Spate of Joburg fires calls for proactive fire-safety planning
Fire & Safety
The incident of fire that occurred recently in Johannesburg's Central Business District (CBD) has brought to light the criticality of performance-based fire safety systems. It is imperative to design safety systems that are efficient and effective in managing such unforeseen events.

Beagle Watch adds fire to its portfolio
Editor's Choice Fire & Safety News & Events
Beagle Watch Armed Response and FIRE OPS SA announced the enhancement of the two companies' combined service offerings to provide professional fire safety services to Beagle Watch clients and Johannesburg residents.

Different types of fires
Fire & Safety
Fire is a powerful force of nature; according to SafeQuip, a distributor of fire-related equipment; understanding the different types of fires and how to combat them is essential for safety and protection.

SafeQuip introduces lithium fire extinguishers
Fire & Safety Products & Solutions
With the use of Lithium batteries increasing in many types of portable devices and battery storage solutions, SafeQuip, in partnership with AVD Lithex, is introducing a fire extinguisher aimed at suppressing and extinguishing, and also preventing re-ignition of lithium fires.

Modern warehouses come with added fire risk
Fire & Safety Transport (Industry)
Along with increased investments in modern warehousing in Africa, there is also a need to focus on protecting warehouses from crime, however, fire can arguably be a greater danger to business continuity.

How to prevent solar inverter short-circuits and fires
Fire & Safety
With many South Africans installing inverters as part of solar power systems to mitigate the impact of load shedding in homes and at businesses, users need to be aware of the potential fire risks.

Fidelity SecureFire steps into critical fire response space
News & Events Fire & Safety
With the majority of fire stations around the country being crippled by a lack of resources to offer effective responses, Fidelity Fire Solutions has launched its own ‘first responder’ model, Fidelity SecureFire.

Long-distance connectivity with Simplex ES Net Life Safety
Johnson Controls Global Products Fire & Safety Products & Solutions
ES Net Network Bridge allows fire alarm system data to be transmitted across distant buildings via a customer’s existing network infrastructure, improving system-wide monitoring and control in facilities and campuses where life safety networks are often widely dispersed.

Elvey Group and Technoswitch part ways
Elvey Security Technologies Fire & Safety News & Events
The Elvey Group (a division of the Hudaco Group of Companies) is relinquishing its distributorship of the Technoswitch brand, following Hudaco’s acquisition of Brigit Fire.