Smoke Detectors in Industrial Warehouses

First, What is Fire Detection System?

Fire detection systems work by discovering fires early in their development. This is to ensure early warning to evacuate for the safety of the occupants. Smoke detectors play a significant role in assuring the safety of emergency response personnel as well. There will be a low potential for property loss. Also, the downtime for the operation will be minimized. Because active controls can be made while the fire is still small. Most alarm systems provide essential information to emergency responders such as:

  • the location of the fire, and
  • the process of fire control.
Fire Detection Systems
Photo Credit: bsafealarms.com

Why is it Useful to Couple Detectors with Alarms?

Alarm systems provide notice to the building occupants. And often send signals to a monitoring station either on or off-site. In some cases, alarms may travel directly to the fire centers. Although in some locations, this is not the usual approach anymore.

These systems have several advantages like the ones mentioned above. The one major limitation is that they do nothing to extinguish or control the fire. But suppression systems such as Water Mist Fire Suppression acts as an automatic sprinkler to contain the fire. But they will not operate as speedily as a smoke detection system. Clean agent fire suppression systems are also safe for the environment and displace oxygen to contain the fire. Clean agent and water mist systems can be used together in facility-wide fire suppression. But, fire suppression facilities and rapid notice are still essential. Even when furnished with sprinklers, they still need detection or alarm systems.

smoke detectors with alarms
Photo credit: www.angelsecurity.co.uk/

Fire Detection Challenges in Large Warehouses

Warehouses come in a wide range of sizes. Mostly they have high ceilings of more than 40 ft. (12 m), with some modern automated high rack storage facilities having ceiling heights over 130 ft. (40 m).

The challenge is that in these conditions smoke is heavily diluted. This makes detection hard for conventional detection technologies. Where smoke still needs to form to certain levels before the alarm rings. The fire needs to generate enough before the sprinklers are triggered.

Because of these issues, traditional smoke detectors are usually not advisable for warehouses with high ceilings. There are seen inconvenience and extra costs when it comes to the:

  • installation
  • wiring,
  • testing and
  • maintenance of such detectors.

For example, regular testing of the smoke detectors requires having an inspector introduce smoke into the devices. This demands safely lifting the inspector to the level of the detector on access equipment, which adds to inspection costs. Maintaining and repairing the smoke detectors is similarly expensive.

The situation is even more challenging in warehouses that operate 24/7. Where maintenance is only allowed during a planned maintenance period.

Fire Detection System challenges in a large warehouses
Photo credit: www.ny-engineers.com

Some types of warehouses in difficult environments need a high level of fire protection while posing unique challenges to smoke detection systems. For example, in warehouses that are very dusty or highly contaminated environments, the performance, longevity, and maintenance of the detection equipment are of real concern.

For these environments, smoke detectors in the server room are of utmost importance. It will ensure IT staff gets an early warning in the event of a fire. This allows responsible personnel to make procedures as early as possible to reduce downtime.

Maintenance and Testing

Fire safety measures and appliances in the workplace must be put in effective working order. This includes all fixtures and fittings such as:

  • fire doors,
  • staircases,
  • corridors,
  • fire detection and alarm systems
  • fire-fighting equipment,
  • notifications and;
  • emergency lighting.

Regular monitoring can be costly without utilizing intelligent sensors that can function alone. Assigning inspectors to spot any defects can be time-consuming as there is a need to put things right as quickly as possible.

An employer or nominated employee can carry out checks and routine maintenance work. But, it may at times be inaccurate especially if there is any observed human-error. It is important to ensure the reliability and safe operation of fire-fighting equipment. And install systems such as fire alarms and emergency lighting. This is best done by using competent sensors to carry out regular monitoring and detect any necessary repairs. An automatic record of the work carried out on such equipment and systems will help to prove safety compliance as well.

Optimizing Fire Detection in Industrial Warehouses

As an alternative, smoke detectors are a more effective, early detection option that does not need physical maintenance to access warehouse ceiling areas above high bay racks.

With more detailed and accurate information to analyze, the unit can differentiate smoke from other factors. That could cause disruptive false alarms. For warehouse environments where airborne or any dust particles may also be present. This can be confused as smoke by some systems, the unit must have dust rejection, and data analytics cut nuisance alarms compared to other technologies.

Compared to even other aspirating technologies, the system significantly saves on maintenance costs. And reduces the number of detectors required to protect a single fire zone in a warehouse facility.

Bottom Line: Protecting the Warehouse

Some warehouse facility managers may adhere to the use of spot smoke detectors or other traditional devices. Because of their familiarity with the use of such systems. But, those who use the superior capabilities of smoke detection systems will protect lives and inventory. To a degree not previously possible in warehouse settings. This level of protection will also avoid any serious discrepancy in the supply chain. As well as liability in worst scenarios.

AKCP Offers Smoke Detector Solution

Most large warehouses have high ceilings, which often dilutes smoke. This makes fire detection difficult for conventional technologies, where smoke must collect before the alarm sounds. The fire must also generate enough heat before triggering sprinklers – by which time, it is well underway. So, traditional spot smoke detectors are usually unsuitable for warehouses with high ceilings.

AKCP Smoke Detector

Monitoring for developing smoke is an essential aspect of the security and safety of any facility. Protect your warehouses and infrastructure from fire with the AKCP Smoke Detector. It can be connected to any AKCP base unit, either to an intelligent sensor port, or a dry contact connection. It forms a network-based smoke detection and warning system all over the warehouse. You can also monitor all your smoke detectors status from a single user interface, with mapping features of AKCess Pro Server, you can see which detector is critical at a glance.

Conclusion

Having a quality fire detection system ensures that your business does not suffer from operational downtimes. You can run and work on any of your business plans without dangerous and costly interruptions. From cleanrooms to server rooms and skyscrapers to logistics warehouses. There will always be a reliable, long-term security solution for you.

AKCP covers your needs for smoke detectors and meets your building’s requirements. An effective, reliable automatic fire detection system, leads to an effective fire warning system.

For Smoke Detector Solutions inquiry you may reach us through our sales team: sales@akcp.com

Reference Links:

https://www.caverion.com/catalog/services/fire-detection-systems-and-fire-alarm-specialty-equipment/

https://www.dcvelocity.com/articles/43353-reinventing-fire-detection-in-industrial-warehouses

https://www.hsa.ie/eng/Topics/Fire/Fire_Detection_and_Warning/

https://paper360.tappi.org/2019/05/29/reinventing-fire-detection-in-industrial-warehouses/

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