An electric switchboard, also known as an electrical switchgear, is a device that distributes electrical power from a single or multiple sources to different circuits within a building or facility. An electric switchboard typically consists of one or more panels that contain switches, fuses and other control devices that regulate the flow of electricity. A switchboard is designed to protect electrical systems from overload, short circuits and other faults, and to allow for safe and easy operation and maintenance.
Electric switchboards are typically located in a designated room or area within a building, often referred to as an electrical or switchgear room. This area is typically secured and restricted to authorised personnel only, due to the potential hazards associated with high voltage electrical systems. In larger facilities or industrial plants, switchgear rooms may be located in a separate building or enclosure for safety and security purposes.
What are the Risks?
There are several fire risks associated with electrical switchboards, including:
- When electrical equipment, such as circuit breakers and transformers, become overloaded or damaged, they can generate excessive heat, which can set fire to surrounding materials.
- Short circuits
- A short circuit can occur when two or more electrical conductors come into contact, causing a sudden surge of electrical current. This can cause electrical components to melt, arc or spark, potentially leading to a fire.
- Faulty wiring
- Damaged, frayed or poorly installed wiring can cause electrical current to arc, resulting in a spark or fire.
- Dust and dirt
- Dust and dirt can accumulate within the switchboard, potentially leading to overheating and fire.
- Unauthorised modifications or the misuse of electrical systems can create hazards, such as overload or short circuit conditions, that can lead to a fire.
What are the Challenges?
Due to the unique nature of electrical switchgear, designing a suitable fire alarm system to protect them from fire can present a number of challenges:
- Limited space
- Electrical switchgear rooms are typically compact and can be difficult to navigate, which can make it challenging when installing and maintaining fire detection equipment.
- High voltage equipment
- Switchgear rooms often contain high voltage equipment, which can pose a risk to engineers and installers and can limit the types of fire suppression systems that can be used.
- Complex systems
- Electrical switchgear systems can be complex and include a variety of components, such as transformers, breakers and fuses. This means that specialist detection equipment is required to provide reliable fire detection.
- False alarms
- Fire detection systems in switchgear rooms can be prone to false alarms due to dust, humidity or other environmental factors, which can result in unnecessary downtime and disruptions.
- Retrofitting switchgear rooms with fire protection systems can be expensive, and ongoing maintenance and testing can also be costly. As a result, budget constraints can be a barrier to implementing effective fire protection measures.
FyreLine EN54 Fixed
Linear Heat Detection (LHD) can deliver the ideal solution for protecting electrical switchboards from fire. LHD uses heat sensing cables to detect rises in temperature. It is unaffected by airflow or contaminants and can provide fast and reliable detection in almost any environment. When the heat sensing cable reaches its rated temperature, the LHD controller sends a signal to the fire alarm control panel and shows the exact location of the event on its LCD panel.
Fyreline EN54 is easy to install, adaptable to different areas, and can withstand harsh environments. It is compliant with the EN54-28 standard and can provide reliable and efficient fire detection for electrical switchgear.
EN54 is a suite of standards applicable to the components of a permanent fire alarm system. It is a mandatory standard that specifies the requirements for detection components and alarm systems and allows the free movement of construction products between countries within the European Union.
This means that if the electrical switchgear is in a facility that is governed by the European Commission, the fire alarm system used must be EN54 approved and bear the CE mark.
Please note: to comply with EN54-28, the FyreLine EN54 Fixed Controller, FyreLine EN54 Fixed EOL and FyreLine EN54 Fixed LSZH LHD Cable must be used as a complete system.
FyreLine EN54 Fixed Design Considerations
A typical FyreLine EN54 fixed detection system will consist of at least one FyreLine EN54 Fixed Controller, a FyreLine EN54 Fixed End-Of-Line and FyreLine EN54 Fixed Heat Sensing Cable.
The FyreLine EN54 Fixed Controller can be installed in an external location, away from the switchgear. This allows for easy and safe access for maintenance personnel.
Interlock mode, sometimes known as coincidence detection, helps to guarantee that an alarm is only triggered when an event has been detected. Two separate heat sensing cables are used and an alarm is only triggered when both cables detect excess heat.
This reduces the risk of false alarms and avoids the unnecessary isolation of power to the switchboard.
Linear Heat Detection Mounting Clips
There are a variety of mounting clips available for FyreLine EN54 Heat Sensing Cable. This includes the L-Clip that is most commonly used on flat mounting surfaces.
External Functional Alarm & Fault Testing
The FyreLine EN54 Fixed End of Line is designed to effectively terminate up to two zones of FyreLine EN54 Fixed Linear Heat Detection Cable in a secure, weatherproof enclosure. This can also be mounted outside of the protected area for safe and easy installation and access for maintenance.
Why Choose Eurofyre?
- Complete System Supplier
- Eurofyre manufactures and supplies all aspects of fire detection, including linear heat detection and its associated products, and can provide expert advice and consultation.
- Demonstration and Training
- We offer demonstrations and expert training on a range of systems, including FyreLine linear heat detection systems, in our very own sophisticated training facility.
- After-Sales Support
- Eurofyre offers both on-site and telephone support to assist you in ensuring that your system is fully functional and operating at maximum efficiency. Our after-sales care and support are second to none.
For more information about EN54 Fixed Linear Heat Detection, or to discuss any of the other products that Eurofyre has 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.