A garage is a walled, roofed structure that is traditionally used for storing vehicles. A garage can be part of or attached to a house or commercial building or a separate outbuilding or shed (detached). Garages can vary in size and can provide space for one, two or three cars but are also commonly used for storage of a variety of items from furniture and fittings to tools and equipment, or as a space to carry out projects such as painting, woodworking, and other hobbies or jobs.
Garages are designed to protect their contents from precipitation, theft, and vandalism.
Like any building, garages are at risk from fire and, therefore, a reliable detection solution should be installed to ensure that any fires are dealt with quickly and effectively before serious damage is caused to the building or its contents.
What are the Risks?
There are a variety of fire risks associated with garages:
- Flammable Materials
Garages are often used to store an assortment of flammable materials and chemicals; petrol and diesel stored for use in cars or machinery, cleaning chemicals, oils and other liquids can easily ignite, while soft furnishings, wood chippings and other combustible materials can cause a fire to spread rapidly.
- Overheating Equipment
Faulty or overheating equipment such as welding equipment, generators, heaters and other machinery can easily ignite flammable or combustible materials.
Detached Garages, in particular, can be prone to arson attacks and other mindless acts of vandalism as they are often left unoccupied for periods of time.
What are the Challenges
- Suitable Warning
While garages typically belong to a building they are usually completely separate, regardless of whether they are attached or detached. This means that any warning of fire must be loud enough to alert the owner of the property – if the garage is detached or any distance away from the main property, this is almost impossible.
- Challenging Environments
Garages can be damp and dusty or dirty environments. This type of environment can make it difficult for many traditional or residential heat and smoke detectors to operate effectively and may result in an increased number of nuisance alarms.
Running cable between buildings can be difficult, costly and time-consuming. Therefore, using hardwired devices with a wired connection to a centralised control panel can be very impractical.
What is the Solution?
Combining a Panasonic IP67 and ATEX compliant detector with a Wi-Fyre hybrid fire alarm system tackles all the challenges that arise when providing a suitable fire detection system for garages.
Panasonic IP67 and ATEX compliant detectors are suitable for use in outdoor and humid areas. They are rugged, waterproof and dustproof and provide stable and reliable detection for areas such as garages.
Panasonic IP67 and ATEX compliant detectors are hardwired devices. However, they are essentially a bi-metallic switch and do not consume any current in their quiescent condition. Therefore, these detectors can be monitored using a Wi-Fyre wireless input/output module.
Wi-Fyre is Eurofyre’s hybrid fire detection solution. Wi-Fyre allows wireless and hardwired detection equipment to work together as part of the same system. That means that wireless devices can be deployed where necessary to avoid disruption to a building’s operations, reduce installation time and bridge the gap between main buildings and outbuildings.
Wi-Fyre transponders can be installed into an existing hardwired fire alarm installation via a compatible interface module and each one can communicate with up to thirty mixed field devices, including wireless I/O modules.
Alternatively, the Wi-Fyre Wireless LCD Transponder can be used in standalone mode to provide a simple, menu-driven control and indication panel. This means that Wi-Fyre can be used to provide all the benefits of traditional domestic heat and smoke detection with the added benefit of wireless connectivity, the ability to view events and acknowledge, silence and reset alarms.
Where garages are concerned, a Wi-Fyre I/O module can be used to monitor one or more Panasonic heat detectors and report wirelessly back to the Wi-Fyre transponder, thus eliminating the need for impractical cable runs, reducing the risk of false alarms and providing an audible alert to the main building.
A Wi-Fyre survey head is also available and must be used to ensure that the signal between the transponder and its connected devices is strong enough for the system to operate effectively.