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Bigger Warehouses, Bigger Risks…Better ASDs

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Whether driven by the rise in online shopping or simply by the cost-savings available from modern centralised distribution models, warehouses are springing up in key transport hubs and they are getting bigger and bigger. Several have already fallen victim to high profile fires, which have destroyed large quantities of stock and had an impact on supply chains. With their investment in modern super-warehouses, businesses are putting all their eggs in one basket, so it is essential to protect them.

Aspirating smoke detection is the gold standard for providing early warning fire detection in large warehouses and allows an effective intervention before a blaze becomes destructive, but since they are now so large, only the most powerful systems are capable of protecting these key assets.

Fire Risks in Modern Warehouses

Huge fire loads
Flammable goods can be staked 40m high
Narrow racking
Flames can easily jump aisles.
Critical assets
Both the goods and the warehousing infrastructure are crucial to supply chains.

Challenges to Fire Detection

High ceilings
Ensuring that fire detection systems are regularly tested and maintained can be a challenge in small shops, where staffing is often limited and might not include specialised maintenance personnel. A system that is easy to test and maintain is essential.
Configurable racks
Make it hard to install in-rack detection.
Vast areas
Can be more than 100’000 m².

Huge Potential Loss

The vast quantities of goods stored in a large modern warehouse raises further issues should one be lost overnight: business continuity is paramount to deliver promised levels of service, and for high-value manufacturing processes to ensure just-in-time production and delivery.

The uninsurable knock-on effects of a major blaze at a large modern warehouse are therefore many and severe. In many ways, regulations are yet to reflect the need to prevent such a scenario, or the challenges inherent in properly protecting such high, narrow racking of goods on a massive scale.

Although sprinklers can prove effective in potentially reducing the fire damage and time to recover, they can also be destructive to anything from foodstuff to electronics. Only a well-designed Early Warning Fire Detection system (EWFD), alongside staff trained in a fast response, provides real risk mitigation.

Early Warning Means Aspirating Smoke Detection

When it comes to the methods and devices required for EWFD in a large, tightly packed space such as a modern warehouse, aspirating smoke detection (ASD) is the only truly viable method. ASD has a level of sensitivity that standard, single smoke detectors cannot match, while waiting to detect a heat build-up will mean the fire is already out of control before action can be taken.

In some settings, the ultra-high sensitivity of ASD can be a challenge in itself due to the possibility of triggering false alarms. However, a warehouse ought to be a smoke-free area. If even a small level is detected, it’s worth investigating further. An advanced modern ASD system like the SecuriSmoke ASD 535 has multiple levels of pre-alert exactly for this kind of situation. It is intended for a staged response where on-site security can investigate an area before launching a full-blown response involving suppression systems and an evacuation.

As well as its unrivalled sensitivity, the SecuriSmoke ASD 535 specifically offers other distinct advantages in the modern warehouse environment.

Advantages of SecuriSmoke ASD 535

SecuriSmoke ASD 535’s Practical Benefits in a Warehouse

An aspirating smoke detector consists of a sensor and control unit incorporating a fan, and one or several tubes extending out to sample air across a large area. One immediate benefit of this is that testing and maintenance can be carried out at a convenient point at ground level. Because of the large volume of space that each unit can protect, there are also far fewer units to test compared to standard smoke detectors.

Testing and maintenance efficiencies are a major ROI advantage, but ASD also allows greater flexibility of design. Tubing arrays can be altered as necessary to fit new arrangements in the warehouse, and this is particularly useful when tubes are used vertically within racks in order to provide multi-level detection. Such vertical, in-rack sampling is critical for very high ceilings and when tight racking constrains the airflow, trapping smoke within the goods area. However, with other systems it becomes challenging to reach the units for testing, or to adjust systems when racks are rearranged.

Finally, an advanced ASD system offers the reliability that key economic infrastructure deserves. There is no point in investing in state-of-the-art logistics if the chain can’t be relied upon, 365 days a year. The relatively small investment in EWFD, often offset by superior ROI over the long term, is therefore not just worth it, but essential.

Why Choose Eurofyre?

Securiton Partner
As a trusted Securiton partner, Eurofyre goes beyond just supplying products. We offer deep expertise in fire detection solutions for your specific region or industry. This includes implementation assistance and advanced customer support for Securiton products like SecuriSmoke ASD, SecuriBeam ILIA, SecuriHeat d-LIST, and SecuriHeat ADW 535. Plus, we ensure you get the most competitive pricing.
Complete System Supplier
Eurofyre is your one-stop shop for all fire detection needs. As a Securiton recognised partner, we offer expert advice on everything relating to aspirating smoke detection.
Pipework Design
Eurofyre can also provide assistance with aspirating pipe network design to ensure optimum network performance and installation quality.
Demonstration and Training
We have a sophisticated training facility where we offer demonstrations and expert training on a range of systems, including a comprehensive selection of Securiton aspirating smoke detection systems.
After-Sales Support
Eurofyre prides itself on providing after-sales care and support that is second to none. We offer both on-site and telephone assistance to help you ensure that your system is fully operational and working at its best

For more information about Aspirating Smoke Detection, or to discuss any of the other products that Eurofyre have to offer, please feel free to get in touch either by phone on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to [email protected] or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.

Article Credit

This article is a collaborative effort brought to you by Eurofyre and our partners at Securiton. Special thanks to Justin McNamara, Director Marketing UK & Ireland, and Dominic Jeff, Technical Writer, for their contributions.

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