Acetone in a production area of a factory in west Hull last Friday caught fire, however no-one was injured and the building escaped intact. A recently-installed Fireray 5000 optical beam smoke detector sounded the alarm at 8.45am, when the area had been temporarily unmanned. When workers had left there had been nothing wrong, but the Fireray detector kept watch and quickly spotted the rising smoke.
The alarm signal was picked up by the 24-hour manned security lodge, who called the fire brigade. Ten fire engines from the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service arrived within 5 minutes and quickly subdued the blaze; all staff were evacuated without incident. It is thought that the quick reaction to the fire starting is what saved the building, with the rapidity of the alarm and then the firefighters’ response minimising the scale and severity of the blaze before it could get out of control.
The fire protection system installer for the building, Tim Allerston of Global EFP Ltd., said that they had recently upgraded the beam detectors from 15 year old ones, which had become unreliable and prone to false alarms and fault conditions. The new detectors performed to perfection, quickly detecting the fire and triggering the alarm – resulting in the building, and potentially lives, being saved.
The Fireray 5000, manufactured by Fire Fighting Enterprises Ltd., is an advanced optical beam smoke detector. Suitable for wide-area fire protection, it uses a beam of reflected infrared (IR) light to detect interference from smoke particles across a wide area (up to 100m in length). Recent technological developments by the company have made the product more effective than ever: an automatic, motorised beam head compensation system keeps the beam working as efficiently as possible at all times, even when subject to minor building shift and dust buildup on the lens. Further information about beam detection, which is especially suitable for the broad spaces found in factories and warehouses can be found at www.ffeuk.com .