ICAM IAS Used in Gatwick Airport Lift Shafts


When Gatwick Airport was tasked with installing suitable and reliable fire detection for their public lifts they contacted Eurofyre who worked with their installer to advise and supply ICAM Aspirating Smoke Detection (ASD) systems for use throughout the airport.

Gatwick is a major international airport in the West Sussex region of Southeast England. It is the UK’s second busiest airport after Heathrow and the eighth-busiest in Europe. The single-runway airport has two terminals, north and south, and caters for around 46 million passengers per year making it the second busiest single runway airport in the world.

As Gatwick Airport is open to the public, it has a duty to keep its passengers and visitors safe and, as such, it must have a suitable and reliable detection system in place.

There is a variety of areas in Gatwick’s airport space that all have unique requirements when it comes to fire detection – some straightforward, and some very complex. In particular, Gatwick Airport found providing reliable, cost-effective and easy to maintain detection for their lifts a difficult task.

Fire Detection for Lifts

Lifts are an integral part of any building, especially busy airports. However, employing reliable fire detection for lifts has traditionally been a difficult and expensive task due to a number of challenges.

Lif shafts act like chimneys, which causes air to move very quickly. Lifts travelling up and down the shaft add to air movement meaning that traditional type detection is usually ineffective. Other factors such as increased humidity, moving parts, electrical wiring and switchgear can also cause major issues for traditional detection types.

One of the biggest challenges with fire detection in lifts is maintenance. All fire detection equipment must be regularly maintained in order to ensure efficient operation. This means that access is required to the detectors which often requires lifts to be shut down while scheduled maintenance is conducted, causing an inconvenience to passengers and slowing down the operation of the building.

The Solution

Gatwick Airport’s preferred installer came to Eurofyre to help find a solution for protecting their lifts and, without hesitation, we recommended Xtralis’ ICAM Aspirating Smoke Detection system.

Aspirating Smoke Detection

Aspirating smoke detection works by actively drawing air through sampling holes in a network of pipes into the ICAM’s detection chamber. The ICAM then analyses the air to check for increased levels of smoke. Once smoke is detected, a signal of fire is sent to the fire alarm control panel.

As the detector actively draws smoke from the protected area, airflow is not an issue. The powerful aspirator and sophisticated airflow monitoring used in ICAM detectors ensure that transport delays are minimised and airflow is kept within working limits, providing very fast and reliable detection for lift shafts.

What’s more, the actual detectors can be installed outside of the protected area while sampling pipes can transport the air to them. This means that the detectors can be installed in the lift machine room where they can easily be accessed for testing and maintenance.

ICAM ASDs can be connected to an existing fire alarm control panel or operate independently to provide alarm information via a relay for local actions such as opening and closing smoke vents or to alert an alarm monitoring station.


After offering expert advice and support, Eurofyre supplied ICAM Aspirating Smoke Detection (ASD) systems to provide early warning fire detection in the lift shafts throughout London Gatwick Airport.

ICAM ASD is well suited to a variety of applications including data centres, manufacturing facilities and historic buildings. 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.

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