The banking sector is the division of the economy that is committed to looking after financial assets for others. There are many types of buildings associated with the banking sector. Most have large office buildings that operate behind the scenes, controlling all the data and transactions that pass through, as well as branches, banking centres or financial centres to offer face-to-face services to its customers.
Thornbury Bank Fire
In October last year a fire tore through Barclays bank on Thornbury High Street in Bristol after an explosion caused by thieves ignited the ground floor. The explosion was used to remove the cash machine from, the thirteenth attack of its kind that year.
Fortunately the bank was closed at the time of the attack so no one was injured. However, it took four fire crews to bring the blaze under control and considerable damage was caused to the first floor, leaving the bank out of action for an extensive period of time.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the business banks are often susceptible to arson attacks and attempted robberies such as these, which only increases the need for a strong and reliable fire detection system.
What are the Risks and Challenges?
There are a number of fire risks and challenges associated with buildings in the banking sector.
- Corridors and Back-of-House Areas
Banking facilities are often old buildings that consist of a maze of corridors and a number of secure vaults, storage cupboards and office spaces which may be difficult to protect.
Visitors may be unfamiliar with the layout of the building and could easily become disoriented when taken through to meeting rooms or discrete areas for private discussions.
Vaults often contain very valuable items, as well as a number of flammable materials. These areas can be difficult to protect from fire as access is often very limited.
- Office Space
As with most office spaces ill-maintained or damaged equipment, particularly electrical equipment such as computers and photocopiers can create sparks or excess heat that can easily catch onto flaamable materials such as the abundance of paper that is usually present, waste bins and furnishings.
Why is Suitable Fire Detection System Essential in the Banking Sector?
The banking sector is a highly competitive industry and customers are increasingly looking for flexible ways to meet their banking requirements. As a result of this, many banks operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Electronic infrastructures are heavily relied upon and can receive millions of transactions a day, therefore, any unexpected disruption to service caused by fire could have a devastating effect on business continuity and customer relationships.
As well as the need to provide a continuous and reliable service, banking sector buildings often employ hundreds of staff and hold a mass of valuable equipment. Not only could fire damage necessitate costly repairs to structures or equipment, but put human life at risk. Buildings open to the public also have a legal obligation to protect their visitors from fire. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that a suitable and reliable fire detection system is in place to provide an adequate warning of fire and allow evacuation to be carried out with as much time as possible.
Cost Effective Solution
It is important to consider the lifespan of a fire detection system when selecting the most suitable system for your business. Most fire detection systems have a lifespan of a round ten years, and, therefore, while the initial cost should be considered, the total cost of ownership (maintenance, servicing and breakdown costs) should also be contemplated.
Open Protocol Solution
Eurofyre believe that clients should have the option to employ their own fire alarm system maintainer and accordingly provide the highest level of support achievable. To support its decision to offer as much freedom as possible Eurofyre’s ProFyre range of fire detection systems all provide and ‘open’ protocol solution, giving the owner full control of how the system is managed.
What are the Most Common Systems Used in the Banking Sector?
There is a wide range of fire detection systems available on the market today, each providing a suitable fire detection solution for a number of different applications. Some of the most commonly used fire detection systems used in the banking sector include:
The ProFyre range of analogue addressable detection systems provides a complete, reliable, high-quality fire detection solution.
ProFyre A2 systems are well suited to smaller installations that require less than 2 loops, 8 zones, 256 devices and now cause & effect programming.
With the ability to have a maximum of 8 loops and up to 250 addresses per loop, ProFyre A4 systems provide the ideal solution for medium to large installations.
ProFyre T8 2-wire addressable fire alarm panels allow all device types to share and receive power via just two wires. ProFyre T8 provides all the advantages of an addressable system, with the simplicity of a conventional system.
ProFyre C8 and C24 systems have been designed with ease of installation and commissioning in mind and, therefore, provide a saving in associated costs and time.
Complemented by a full range of conventional field devices, ProFyre C8 and C24 fire alarm panels provides a simple, yet effective, solution for small to large applications.
As vaults can be difficult access areas, usually due to high levels of security, an aspirating smoke detection system, such as the EF-FT15, can provide a suitable fire detection solution. Discrete sampling points can be installed inside a vault and the detection units can be placed in accessible areas such as storage cupboards or corridors where they can easily be serviced and maintained.
Eurofyre are proud, British manufacturers of specialist fire detection systems for commercial and industrial applications. Our range of products includes, but is not limited to, analogue addressable fire alarm systems, 2-wire fire detection systems, conventional fire alarm systems, aspirating smoke detection and video smoke detection.
Our expertise and experience enables us to supply complete systems for any application. Please feel free to get in touch if you need help with choosing the right system for your application or if you would like to discuss any of our products.