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Fire detection delivers big savings

When asked to tender against a detailed specification for a fire detection installation based on conventional technology, Spectrum Security Solutions of Faridabad in India decided that a better solution was possible. Accordingly, the company put forward an alternative proposal for a project that included eight, thirteen-floor tower blocks.

Spectrum Security was successful in winning the contract by proposing a system based on fire detection products from Fike which offered greatly reduced complexity and installation costs.  The original specification for this major project had been drawn up on the belief that using conventional fire detection products, rather than addressable types, would help keep costs down - which proved not to be true.  When Spectrum Security analysed the project requirements in detail, it found that 575 detectors were needed plus 600 call points and 120 sounders. With conventional equipment, eight control panels would also be necessary – one for each of the tower blocks – plus a central repeater panel in the site’s security control room. The total amount of cabling using this approach would have been in excess of 50,000m.

Having worked extensively with Fike, Spectrum Security knew that their products could be used to implement a more effective, versatile and far more economical system. The company therefore put forward a solution that was a combination of addressable and conventional technologies. Though this was a major deviation from the original specification, it was readily accepted by the project managers because of its apparent technical and financial benefits.
The solution developed and implemented by Spectrum Security uses addressable detectors throughout, providing far greater flexibility than a conventional non-addressable system. Where necessary detectors with a built-in sounder were used, eliminating the cost of separate sounders and the time needed to fit and wire them.  Perhaps even more beneficial for this project, Fike addressable detectors have integral facilities for the connection of digital input signals from external devices. This enabled Spectrum Security to connect up to five call points to each detector, eliminating the need for separate input/output modules and significantly reducing the amount of wiring associated with the call points. Additional savings were realised through the use of the versatile Fike Quadnet® control panels, which can support up to four loops per panel and up to 200 connected devices per loop. Spectrum Security found that the requirements of the whole site could be successfully addressed with a single Quadnet® panel, instead of the eight conventional panels and central panel originally specified. An important consequence of the Fike implementation was the reduction of the overall cabling requirement for the project to less than 15,000 m - an enormous 70% reduction in cabling materials and the associated installation costs. While the Fike products helped to make the installation of the fire protection system faster and much more cost effective, there were other clear benefits for this project.

In particular, Spectrum Security values the versatility of the detectors, which incorporate not only optical smoke and fixed temperature modes, but also a rate of temperature rise mode which the company has found to be invaluable in achieving a fast response to fire. Further, the detectors have built-in fault isolators. These proved to be especially useful during the commissioning of the system, and operationally they are beneficial in allowing the system to continue to function with a single short-circuit on the loop cable. Finally, Fike offers an unusual configuration of the sounder integrated with the detectors. In most products of this type, the sounder is permanently linked to the detector with which it shares a housing, but in the case of the Fike products, the sounder can be used independently. This allowed Spectrum Security far greater flexibility in the design of the installation. “This was a large and complex project,” said Deepak Kumar of Spectrum Security Solutions, “so it would be misleading to say that the implementation was entirely straightforward. Nevertheless, the few minor problems we had were easily and quickly solved, with the gratifying result that the installation was completed, tested and commissioned on schedule. “The Fike equipment was very convenient to work with and there’s no doubt that its versatility and its many unique features enabled us to deliver big savings. Our client is very satisfied with the performance, flexibility and, of course, the value for money provided by the system. In fact, the client is so satisfied that it has already placed orders with us for a further 13 major installations based on Fike equipment!”

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