Off Shore

Fire detection in Warehouses presents a variety of considerations that go beyond designing in the basic point smoke detection.  The large area and height of a warehouse, how it is occupied and what is being stored all affect the type of technology employed to detect fire.

Linear Beam Detectors offer detection across an open space up to 100m and are used to detect smoke at levels below the ceiling height.  This is useful to overcome characteristics of smoke propogation such as stratification or cushioning from the ceiling by trapped hot air.  Stratification occurs when the temperature of the smoke reaches the same ambient temperature of the air at a certain height and ceases to rise.  A point smoke detector mounted on the ceiling would not be triggered if the smoke did not reach its height.

If trucks or forklifts frequently enter a warehouse false alarms could be caused by exhaust fumes in certain circumstances.  Using techniques such as altering the sensitivity of smoke detectors during certain periods, using heat or flame detectors or using a voting system where more than one detector in a zone needs to be activated to confirm a fire, can overcome these problems.  False alarms breed a sense of distrust and disregard of the system that could ultimately result in loss of assets or life.

Depending on what is being stored will determine the best type of detection to use.  Fires involving low smoke producing solvents are best detected using flame detectors that detect the characteristic modulation of flame in the infrared and/or ultraviolet spectrum.