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Copyright International Fire Protection 2016
Electric linear detection device installed in an exhaust hood.

Amerex COBRA system – A New Detection system for Commercial Cooking Fire Suppression

Taking the place of fusible links under tension, a technology that dates back to WW II, a new all electrical system is now available. The new COBRA™ system uses either electrical “spot” detectors or a single linear heat detector that runs the length of the hood. The spot detectors are of a fixed-temperature type (485 deg F – 252 deg C) and can either be arranged for placement every 2.0’ (70 cm) throughout the length of the hood, or placed over individual appliances. The linear heat detector is also a fixed temperature device (356 deg F – 185 deg C) where the wire insulation will melt at a pre-determined temperature and cause the twisted wires to make contact, thus sending an alarm signal to the STRIKE™ control panel.

Both types of detection are connected to a control and agent release panel. The detection circuits and actuation (agent release) circuits are fully supervised so a problem with the detection or actuation will result in a trouble signal at the panel, notifying the restaurant staff of the situation. Current systems using fusible links and cable could have a seized cable and never alert the restaurant staff that the system is not functional. The entire system, using the STRIKE™ control panel is self – sufficient in that it runs off of both primary and back-up lithium batteries. There is no connection to electrical power supply from the building. All electrical connections are “plug and play” using factory assembled connectors. The connectors are color-coded and “keyed” making it nearly impossible to install incorrectly. This makes the entire system easy and fast to install.

Electric spot detector installed in a kitchen exhaust hood.

Electric spot detector installed in a kitchen exhaust hood.

The control panel is housed in a stainless steel enclosure with visible LED’s that show system status along with a buzzer to alert personnel of any condition that is not normal. Contacts are available for connection to the building fire alarm system, shutting down make-up air supply, shutting off gas and other interlocks through either contacts in the control panel or through a separate reset relay module also enclosed in a stainless steel enclosure. The control panel has two separate detection circuits and two separate actuation circuits. These are field programmable to fire either simultaneously or independent of each other. Locations with multiple hoods may, if approved by the local fire authority, be able to split those systems with a single control device. This would allow one hood to discharge while the other hood remains functional. There is a history buffer of up to 100 events that can be downloaded during service. As an option, the control panel is also capable of monitoring the pressure in the nitrogen cartridges that expel the wet chemical through the nozzles and on to the fire – a first in the industry.

COBRA STRIKE panel with manual pull station.

COBRA STRIKE panel with manual pull station.

Maintenance must still be performed every six months, however, there are no fusible links to replace during maintenance. Both the linear detector and the spot detectors must be cleaned during maintenance, but not replaced. Either an electric gas valve or a mechanical gas valve may be used with the system.

This new COBRA™ system, all electric detection and control system which is an Amerex Corporation exclusive, ushers in a new era for commercial cooking fire suppression. Unlike current systems that use a series of fusible links under tension on a cable, this and other systems to come will give greater notification of incidents to restaurant personnel, be more reliable, make for a faster and simpler installation. Finally, restaurant fire protection systems can employ modern technology along with faster response and greater reliability by using the COBRA™ system with the STRIKE™ control panel .

For more information, go to www.amerex-fire.com

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