Hybrid Fire Detection for Storage Facilities
Self-storage facilities rent out space, usually on a short-term basis, to individuals that need some extra space to store furniture, household items or anything they don’t have the space to store elsewhere. Businesses also often use self-storage facilities to store other items such as stock, inventory or archived records. The hired space can be a simple locker, a container or small to large rooms.
Items stored by tenants can be very valuable either as individual items or collectively. Therefore it is essential that they are kept safe and secure. Rented self-storage space is usually secured using the tenant’s own locks and the facility employees do not have access to the individual rooms or containers.
A fire detection system is also of the utmost importance to ensure that the goods that are stored are safe from fire and that enough warning is provided to allow action to be taken before serious damage is caused.
Self-Storage Fire – New Years Eve 2018
On the 31st December 2018, a fire broke out in a self-storage facility in Croydon, South London. Fire took hold of the four-storey facility in the early evening. The fire enveloped the entire building and 120 firefighters battled overnight to bring the fire under control.
All of the items stored in the facility were unsalvageable, including family heirlooms, hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of stock, and many irreplaceable personal items. One unfortunate tenant was storing her entire life while in the process of moving house and was left with nothing but the clothes she was wearing and her car.
The devastating fire did not only cause the destruction of thousands of valuable items but also left the company that owned the facility with a lot of unhappy customers, financial implications and a completely destroyed building.
What are the Risks?
Self-storage items are generally full of items like furniture which, when packed tightly into storage spaces, provide a plethora of materials to burn. When these items catch alight, they burn quickly creating very large fires and lots of smoke.
What are the Challenges?
Storage facilities are locked using the tenant’s own locks and keys leaving the facility’s personnel with no access. This means that access for maintenance or repairs to fire alarm systems in the individual rooms is extremely limited. In order to carry out important upgrades, maintenance or repairs, the tenant must be present to allow access. Therefore, work needs to be completed as quickly as possible to cause as little disruption to the tenant as possible.
What is the Solution?
A hybrid fire detection system that combines wireless detection technology with a hardwired fire alarm system can provide the perfect fire detection solution for self-storage facilities. Using wireless devices means that detectors, manual call points, sounders and I/O devices can be installed very quickly and without the need for cabling. In areas where access is limited, new or replacement devices can be installed with very little disruption to the tenant.
By using a hybrid fire detection solution, wireless devices can be used within the individual rooms where time is of the essence and hardwired devices can be installed in public or communal areas where access is less restricted and installation time is less critical.
Wi-Fyre is Eurofyre’s very own hybrid detection solution. At the heart of the Wi-Fyre detection system is the Wi-Fyre Transponder. The transponder is installed into the fire alarms wiring via a compatible interface module. Each transponder can then communicate with up to 30 wireless field devices such as wireless manual call points, wireless smoke and heat detectors and wireless I/O modules.
Wi-Fyre has six user-selectable modes of operation for increased compatibility with a variety of detection systems:
- ProFyre 2-Wire addressable
- ProFyre addressable
- Addressable (collective)
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 work efficiently.