Fire protection: early detection and alarming
„Software-assisted fire detection – intelligent and foolproof“
The protection of human lives has top priority in Smart Buildings. Effective measures, for example in the event of a fire, are therefore essential for safety and security measures. Carsten Meißner, Senior Consultant Solution Safety at Siemens Building Technologies Germany, explained the use of intelligent algorithms in fire detectors for early and foolproof fire detection at the Intersec Forum of Messe Frankfurt.
Whereas in the past, only the smoke density by exceeding a limit was reported as an alarm, modern fire detectors can be used much more flexibly. Software-supported fire detection takes into account building-dependent parameters such as room height, existing fire loads, the fire risk or existing disturbance variables. Once programmed, a fire is detected early and reliably. If the room utilization is changed, the fire detector can simply be adapted to the new conditions by reprogramming. Fire detectors of the same type can therefore be used in a wide variety of environments.
„Early fire detection: from an idea to (laboratory) experiments into practice“
When a fire breaks out, all is about seconds. People are to be rescued and guided off the building in maximum safety and as quickly as possible. The earlier the fire is detected, the more time is available. Up to now, only knowledge about the formation of smoke in the first up to fourteen minutes after the outbreak of the fire has been available.
Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Festag, Head of Market Development at Hekatron, reported on the state of research into early fire detection from the very first second on at the Intersec Forum 2019 at Messe Frankfurt on 13 March 2019. In a joint project of ZVEI and manufacturers, the development of other combustion gases such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride and organic compounds was investigated in extensive series of measurements on real test fires in addition to smoke. Their concentration was measured as a function of time and a room height of up to 15 metres. The results showed that numerous fire-specific molecular degradation products were already produced in the very early fire phases of up to four minutes. The results are to be incorporated into standardization and further product development.
„IP-connected public address and voice alarm systems“
Voice alarm systems ensure rapid and safe evacuation of buildings in the event of danger. In normal operation, they are used like other public address systems for numerous other tasks such as music sounding or information announcements. Many systems are still operated in an analogue and not yet connected manner today. David Ziegler, Portfolio Manager at Bosch Building Technologies, explained the integration of IP-based public address and voice alarm systems in modern buildings at Messe Frankfurt's Intersec Forum 2019.
In these systems, audio signals and control information run via a common IP network with standardised gateways as a connection to the outside world. In addition to flexible, software-supported routing of the audio signals on more than 100 channels, cabling costs are also significantly reduced. IP networking provides more security through redundancy, encryption and signal improvement through digital signal processors. The efficiency increases, because no patch cables have to be reconnected on site when changes are made. Customer requirements could be implemented quickly and components from third-party manufacturers could be integrated more easily.
„From the supply air to the outflow – intelligent smoke protection pressure equipment“
Smoke protection pressure systems fulfil a life-saving function in larger building complexes and especially in high-rise buildings. When a fire breaks out, positive pressure is effective to control the air supply in staircases designed for escape and rescue routes so that they remain smoke-free for a sufficient period of time. Christoph Sommer, Technical Director at STG-Beikirch, pointed out at the Intersec Forum 2019 of Messe Frankfurt that only intelligent systems can meet the individual requirements of modern buildings.
Passively controlled systems with constant supply air admission may have the adverse effect of pressure in the staircase rising too high and, thus, preventing the doors from opening. More suitable are active systems with electronic control that generate a constant pressure. Various designs are available for this purpose, such as motors with frequency converters or intelligent blades with a precision control flap under a dome light. When designing the system, the individual characteristics of the building and external conditions such as seasons and wind loads must always be taken into account.