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Due to the concentration of production resources and inventories in ever-larger operating facilities, fire loads and possible consequential fire damage in food processing plants have risen considerably in recent years. The causes of fires are manifold: short circuits, ignition of packaging materials, fires in cold storage rooms, or grease fires are just a few of the causes. The consequences of fires can threaten the existence of companies. High property damage, expensive remediation measures as well as business interruptions, and loss of clients mean that, according to the bvfa (German Federal Association of Technical Fire Protection), almost half of the companies affected by a fire cannot resume operations. VOSSKO, the convenience specialist VOSSKO GmbH & Co. KG, based in Germany, specializes in the production of frozen products. The company serves clients with its country-specific product range in the retail and catering sectors as well as hospitals, care facilities, and schools worldwide. More than 700 employees work at the site in Ostbevern with a production capacity of 30,000 t per year. VOSSKO is thus one of the most important employers in the region. Delivering sprinkler system To safeguard production operations and protect employees, VOSSKO opted for comprehensive fire protection from Rosenbauer, in accordance with the applicable VdS regulations. The delivery and production areas as well as high-bay warehouses are protected with a classic sprinkler system. This is reliably triggered by heat build-up. The filled piping network brings water immediately to the seat of the fire and enables rapid and effective extinguishing. Optimal protection for every area Sprinkler systems with dry alarm valves were installed in the cooling areas prone to frosts, such as the deep-freeze warehouses and the packaging and shipping areas. In these sections, the pipe network from the alarm valve to the sprinkler is filled with compressed air. If a sprinkler opens due to the effects of heat, the pressure in the pipe network drops, the alarm valve opens and the pipe network is deluged. VdS-compliant fire protection concept meets insurance requirements and safeguards ongoing production operations Adequate protection in the waste areas is provided through a deluge system that quickly releases a large amount of water in the event of a fire and thus prevents its spread. Common rooms, offices, and the factory outlet are also protected by a sprinkler system. In the canteen, the RPE Kitchen Ansul kitchen protection system provides sufficient safety against possible grease fires. The extinguishing effect here is based on a reaction of the extinguishing agent with the burning fat and is hygienically harmless. Impressive technology A tank with a capacity of 1,250 m3 of water supplies the extinguishing systems. The pumps with a flow rate of almost 16,000 l/min [4,220 gpm] transport the extinguishing agent to the approximately 6,200 sprinklers installed throughout the plant. This VdS-compliant fire protection concept meets insurance requirements and successfully safeguards ongoing production operations.
Chubb recently installed a hybrid fire solution, comprised of a combination of hardwire and wireless fire systems, in Glenapp Castle, a 21-bedroom, luxury five-star hotel in Ayrshire, Scotland. The solution meets the historic Scotland preservation agency’s stringent requirements. Chubb is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, the foremost global provider of healthy, safe, sustainable, and intelligent building and cold chain solutions. Challenge The owners sought to convert the castle’s entire top floor into a luxury apartment but due to the historic nature of the building, it required a robust fire system in place. Normally if a void in a loft space is under a certain size, it does not need to be covered, but Historic Scotland requires all voids to be completely covered, so close attention to detail was required. Chubb’s initial site visit involved a thorough eight-hour examination, exploring every nook and cranny of the loft space, which revealed many voids, including the eaves spaces and the turrets at the top of the tower. Solution Chubb’s proposed solution comprised of a combination of hardwire and wireless fire systems The project required Chubb to devise a hybrid fire solution – one that would protect both the existing building and the renovation project. Chubb’s proposed solution comprised of a combination of hardwire and wireless fire systems; cabling for the renovation of the top floor; and wireless modules such as smoke detectors and sounders, to the existing cabling in the finished building. During the project, the scope of the renovation changed considerably, which required Chubb to be flexible in adjusting the original fire solution specified. Working closely alongside other contractors, Chubb also worked to interface the fire solution with various other systems including the BMS system, sprinkler system, dynamic emergency lighting system, and pressurization system to keep the fire exit stairways clear. One unusual challenge Chubb encountered was the discovery of bats in the loft space, which required the team to seek a bat license and involve the Bat Conservation Trust. Delayed work due to COVID-19 When the renovation started in January 2020, the proprietor intended to have the luxury apartment open for late summer, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed work until Spring 2021. Glenapp Castle reopened in May 2021 showcasing its new 4,500 square foot luxury penthouse apartment – The Endeavour – which was recently recognized in The Week’s “World’s Top 10 Best Luxury Hotel Penthouses.” Results Chubb team has been extremely thorough in recognizing fire protection required and delivering a bespoke solution Since completing the project, Chubb has enhanced the existing fire maintenance contract in place to cover the full scope of works completed and with the addition of remote monitoring. Due to the castle’s remote location, the owners wanted to ensure that the fire systems would be monitored by Chubb’s alarm receiving center 24/7. Authority Comment “This has been a challenging project for all our contractors, in respect of Historic Scotland’s requirements and the unforeseeable delays caused by COVID-19." "The team at Chubb has been extremely thorough and attentive throughout, both in recognizing the level of fire protection required and delivering a bespoke solution to very high standards,” said Paul Szkiler of Truestone, the owners of Glenapp Castle.
The Ponchartrain Hotel in Detroit, Michigan, named for the original title given to the area by French settlers, was erected in 1965. After going through many ownership changes, name changes, and eventually closing in 2009, the 25 story tall, 367 room luxury hotel was resurrected in 2012 by Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts. The Crowne Plaza Ponchartrain Detroit was officially opened for business on July 17, 2013. Just as the once distinguished Ponchartrain Hotel had succumb to years of neglect, so had its fire system. The dated, conventional, non-addressable system proved to be a hindrance to the building as it looked towards success as the new Crowne Plaza Ponchartrain Detroit. Audio voice evacuation Fire Pros, the contractor for the project, needed an addressable system that would allow for easy implementation in such a large space. There was THHN wiring installed throughout the entire building. This made it a simple choice for the contractors to use an addressable panel that could communicate using the existing wiring rather than having to rewire the entire building with all new twisted, shielded cable. Potter’s P400 Fire Panel was championed for this job due to its retrofitting capabilities Potter’s P400 Fire Panel was championed for this job due to its retrofitting capabilities, allowing it to easily function using the pre-existing THHN wiring. The original system had a zone configuration with selective signaling (floor above/floor below) and was configured with audio voice evacuation capabilities. There were typically three zones per floor; one for water flow, one for common area or general alarm, and one for the guest room smoke detectors. Distributing intelligent power This zoned configuration made it extremely difficult to determine the exact location of an alarm or trouble on the system. This also made performing the NFPA 72 required smoke detector sensitivity test a substantial disruption to business, as well as time consuming and expensive. The Potter P400’s ability to distribute intelligent power and system expanders throughout the facility on a simple 4-wire bus, made it very easy to configure the entire 1290 point system that included analog addressable smoke detectors and sounder bases. With the detectors and bases connected to the Potter P400, the required sensitivity testing can now be easily accomplished by utilizing software from the main control panel, saving the Crowne Plaza Ponchartrain time and money. Fire alarm systems Fire Pros technicians were able to easily install nine PSN-1000(E) power supply units Fire Pros, led by Bob Proos, was overwhelmingly pleased with the P-Link flexibility offered by Potter’s fire alarm systems, “It is a benefit to have the Potter P400 able to support all NAC’s and SLC cards on P-Link as opposed to peer to peer like many other networks.” Fire Pros technicians were able to easily install nine PSN-1000(E) power supply units, twelve remote SLC cards, two Remote Annunciators, and Voice Evacuation throughout the building due to the flexibility of the P-Link circuit on the Potter P400 panel. It was also very easy for them to incorporate firefighter telephones and elevator recall to ensure the safety of patrons as well as firefighters. The usability of Potter’s panel programming software was found to be especially helpful by Proos and his crew as they programmed their Potter fire alarm system with ease and efficiency. Programming entire system “The software for the P400 Panel is excellent. Our technicians had no trouble programming the entire system.” At one point, after Fire Pros technicians had programmed the system completely, they were notified that due to a requirement allotted by the more stringent Crowne Plaza safety standards, a re-working of the entire system was required. The download speed is excellent! It took 15 seconds instead of 15 minutes like other panels" This re-work was not an issue as Fire Pros technicians were able to easily re-program the system without having to remove any hardware. Using Potter’s easy drag-and-drop software, they were able to interface with the system quickly, “The download speed is excellent! It took 15 seconds instead of 15 minutes like other panels,” Proos said. Throughout the entire installation process Proos was able to communicate with the panel in Detroit, via e-mail reporting, while he was at Fire Pros headquarters in Grand Rapids. Minimizing travel time This made it very convenient to assess any issues pertaining to the installation process while minimizing travel time. Management could easily send information to technicians in the field through the panel, and they were able to instantaneously fix any issue. As the Crowne Plaza Detroit looks forward to serving the city as a premier hotel destination, it is important that they provide a safe environment for both guests and employees. The Potter P400 fire alarm system helps guarantee that every inch of the premises is monitored at all times, producing speedy and detailed notifications. Exact alarm locations The panel makes it simple to identify every problem with specificity concerning time and location “I like to be able to get information that tells me exactly where the trouble is located, so we can address it and notify the fire department as well as our entire staff. The Potter P400 Panel gives a detailed description when addressing trouble notifications which is helpful when giving incident reports to our security department,” said LaTina Johnson, Construction Manager for the property. The panel makes it simple to identify every problem with specificity concerning time and location, which is extremely helpful in such a large building. With easily accessible information on hand at all times, the hotel staff can properly manage any potential dilemma. Problems such as guest disputes over smoking in non-smoking rooms, and pinpointing exact alarm locations in a building of such magnitude, can be easily solved with e-mail reporting. Properly managing situation Johnson says, “It is nice to have a technical reference for what has transpired. It really helps us properly manage every situation on site, which is important because our staff wants to stay ahead of any situation; being proactive as opposed to reactive.” With the Crowne Plaza Ponchartrain Detroit carrying on its historical legacy as one of Detroit’s finest hotels, it is important that the standards for Crowne Plaza as well as ‘The Ponch’ are kept in mind. These standards are implemented to serve the customer in the best way possible, and that includes keeping them safe in case of an emergency. The installation of a Potter Alarm Fire System ensures that the safety standards will always be met.
Premier Inn is the biggest chain of hotels in the UK, featuring in many towns and cities making up a network of over 800 hotels nationwide. With the continued popularity in air travel, Premier Inn decided to construct a hotel at Heathrow Airport Terminal 4. The construction of the hotel was an eight-storey, 613-bedroom hotel offering various size bedroom suites along with customer lounge and restaurant. Protec were employed to design, supply, install and commission both fire alarm and emergency voice communication systems (EVC). The fire alarm system would comply with BS5839 Part 1 recommendations along with holding a full BAFE SP203 approval as per the client’s requirement. Fire alarm system The system, when designed, would have to take into account the use of each room. As some rooms were accessible bedrooms, this would mean the Equality Act 2010 would also apply to the design of the system. An EVC system was required in the hotel, to assist with the safe evacuation of the building in an emergency scenario. The disabled refuge system also had to meet the current BS5839 Part 9 recommendations The disabled refuge system also had to meet the current BS5839 Part 9 recommendations. The system installed was a fully addressable Protec 6000PLUS series fire alarm system, offering a total of 22 detection loops across the hotel. The detection loops monitored a total of 1148 peripheral fire alarm devices such as multi-sensor detectors, manual call points, fire alarm interfaces and wall mounted sounders. Optical heat detectors The design of the system took into account the environmental conditions of the rooms. Factors such as shower steam and aerosol sprays are types of issues which can create false alarms in a hotel, so minimizing these conditions was paramount. Within the bedrooms, Protec utilized the 6000PLUS optical heat detectors to cut down false alarms. The multi-sensor technology is a tried and proven method for bringing down false alarms caused by that of shower steam or aerosol sprays. The multi-sensor technology works by using infra-red and thermal sensor, along with the Protec’s algorithm technology (Algo-Tec™) to differentiate between a fire and a non-fire scenario. It means environmental conditions such as shower steam or aerosol spray do not create a false alarm unlike a standard optical type of detector would. Emergency services teams The disabled refuge intercom points offer a safe temporary waiting area for the less abled person The hotel offered multiple accessible bedrooms which had to be equipped with Protec’s range of visual alarm devices (VADS). The high output LED devices are mounted to the wall or incorporated into the detector head. The bright LED head flashes to notify a person with hearing difficulties when there is a fire scenario. The EVC system is used in an evacuation scenario, assisting the emergency services teams with the safe evacuation of the building. The disabled refuge intercom points offer a safe temporary waiting area for the less abled person to wait and communicate to the emergency services in a building evacuation. The system across the hotel offered two-way voice communication between the outstations at the dedicated refuge points and the main disabled refuge control panel. Disabled refuge outstations Protec continues to work with Premier Inn as their approved supplier of fire alarm systems The fire services use the disabled refuge main control panels to communicate with the person waiting at the refuge area in an emergency scenario. Protec offered a fully compliant BS5839-9 system within the building and consisted of a 24-way main control panel and 21 disabled refuge outstations. Since completion of the Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 Premier Inn project, Protec continues to work with Premier Inn (Whitbread) as their approved supplier of fire alarm systems. Fitting out new projects and maintaining the network of existing hotels throughout the UK, Northern and Southern Ireland. Working closely with Whitbread the Primer Inn portfolio benefits from Protec’s fully comprehensive service and maintenance package offering a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year reactive call out service. With reporting, PPM and Reactive works allocation provided via Whitbread’s web-based Ostara Systems.
The construction of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, which is one of the UK’s super hospitals and at the time of creation was the largest project of its kind in the country outside of the Olympics development. The steel and glass towers of the hospital now dominate the city’s skyline. The facility has the largest single-floor critical care unit in the world, with 100 beds. Service personnel are treated in single rooms or four-bed bays in a 30-bed military section located in the trauma and orthopaedics ward. The ward has additional features for the use of service personnel only and caters to their specific requirements within a secure military environment. Fire alarm system Protec was set with the task to design-develop a full BS5839 and HTM05-03 compliant fire alarm system which would also work alongside a fire damper system which prevents the spread of fire. The system would need to offer a full graphical representation of the building for control/ integration of the fire alarm system an have a voice evacuation capability to reduce the risk of alarm and distress in a fire scenario. Protec was set with the task to design-develop a full BS5839 and HTM05-03 compliant fire alarm system A Protec Algo-Tec™ fire detection system was installed protecting the staff, patients, visitors and buildings from fire. The fire alarm system is monitored by several main fire alarm control panels, with a further 142 Protec Algo-Tec™ 6000 LCD loop driven panels located out in the field at specific nurse base stations throughout both the entire Acute and MHU buildings. Patented interface units The full network supports, the two main graphic stations which control the whole project with the remaining positions filtered for the MHU Building. There is a further stand-alone MHU Building located off-site about six miles down the road, completed as part of the overall project. In all, 237 kilometers of cable were used across the site, connecting over 25 thousand individual components such as manual control points, sounders, bases, panels, interfaces, beacons, etc. – all Protec 6000 series equipment. By utilizing specially designed and patented interface units, the system controls the hospital’s smoke damper systems. By doing this, it means that via the graphics on the PC, operators can see all areas and the dampers and can control them to prevent any smoke and toxic fumes from spreading, enabling any people in other areas to leave safely. Public address system The total number of smoke dampers used for the project was 1500 in the acute wing The fire detection and alarm systems offer state-of-the-art intelligent networks that pave the way for the next generation of designs, introducing technology that reduces cost by removing the need for duplication of wiring and power supplies. The total number of smoke dampers used for the project was 1500 in the acute wing, with a further 135 in the Mental Health Unit (MHU). The associated Protec smoke damper interfaces allow the control of these devices to utilize the fire detection and alarm loop and avoid the need for separate power supplies, distribution boards, and additional circuit protection. A voice evacuation public address system has also been linked to the fire detection system to make this a truly integrated network and further improve cost-saving efficiency. Smoke damper control Robert Cash, Protec Fire Detection plc Project Manager, said: “As a new build, we have been able to design and install the ideal network systems to make this a future-proof landmark development. Additionally, with the integration of smoke damper control, we have probably shaved around £100K from the overall project cost.” Since the completion of the project, Protec has continued to supply the hospital with fully comprehensive maintenance and service contract. Due to the size of the project, the hospital benefits from a site-based engineer to service and maintain the system and holds meetings with the FM Provider regularly. Also, Protec has secured multiple other buildings on-site which all integrate to the existing fire alarm network.