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Fike Safety Technology provides fire detection system to protect Unilever’s new warehouse facility in Nigeria

Published on 7 May 2014
Fike’s SigniFire continually analyses images from its cameras, looking for tell-tale characteristics that indicate the presence of smoke and/or flames
The fire detection solution consisted of Fike’s SigniFire VFD and CyberCat Fire Alarm systems

Fike Safety Technology (FST), the UK-based manufacturer of intelligent fire detection solutions, has provided a state-of-the-art system to protect Unilever’s new $25M warehouse facility in Nigeria.

Combining Video Fire Detection (VFD) with traditional fire alarm technology, the solution ensures any fire is detected at the earliest opportunity, before any serious damage is done to the stock or building. The warehouse is situated at Agbara in Ogun State and is used to store products manufactured in Unilever’s factory, which is co-located on the same site. The system was installed and commissioned by FST’s approved partner Phoenix Energy (Nigeria) Limited.

Not only do warehouses create a very difficult technological challenge for fire detection systems, but the potential loss due to damaged stock and assets or business continuity is vast. High-racking areas, packed with combustible materials provide the perfect conditions for fires to start and spread very quickly. It is imperative therefore, to deploy fire protection solutions that offer reliable and very early detection capability that is cost effective to install in large areas.

The system consisted of Fike’s SigniFire VFD and CyberCat® Fire Alarm systems closely integrated to provide the overall fire detection solution. SigniFire continually analyses images from its cameras, looking for tell-tale characteristics that indicate the presence of smoke and/or flames. This processing and analysis is built into each camera. Thirty-two IP cameras covering the warehouse area were connected to an IP Network Video Recorder (NVR) for recording. Each camera’s alarm output was also connected directly to the Cybercat® system, ensuring continued protection even if the IP network or NVR failed.

Commenting on the success of the project, Olusola Asebiomo, Unilever’s Project Engineer said, “We were very impressed with the intelligence of the fire detection installation, particularly with the video from the SigniFire system - it was really amazing. We tested it with many different simulated fires and each time the system detected it straight away. It exceeded all of our expectations.”

Using SigniFire also allows rapid incident response, as the operator can view the live scene and initiates an investigation and/or intervention before the sprinkler is operated. This is extremely important as quite often more damage is caused to the warehouse stock from the sprinkler water than the fire itself.

“Unilever chose Fike’s system following an in-depth competitive analysis of solutions from various manufacturers,” said Tajudeen Adeniji, Managing Director of Phoenix Energy. “Fike was the only company to offer the advantages of VFD and both of their systems were FM approved and UL listed, which was a requirement of the project.”

The office and non-warehouse areas of the facility are protected by the CyberCat® Fire Alarm system, with the installation of 120 detectors, sounders, call points and other devices. The built-in intelligence of the CyberCat® system is used to both monitor and activate the sprinklers in the event of a fire, based on information from several cameras in the same zone.

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