Fire detection systems from Patol, a global leader in the design and manufacture of specialist products for industrial applications, are now providing protection in various residential car parks in Ireland. Following the installation of systems utilising Patol’s analogue, resettable Linear Heat Detection Cable (LHDC) in two lots of apartments, residents in Dublin are now assured that they will receive early warning of any potential threat of fire emanating from the underground areas where they park their cars.
Custom Electronics, the commercial electronics provider of Blanchardstown in Dublin, offers a range of effective fire systems for the most demanding applications. Significantly, the company chose to fit Patol LHDC fire detection systems in both the Waterways Apartments in Rathbourne and the Oaks Apartments in Trimbleston, working on the latter project with electrical contractor Abbey Electrical.
Problems of fire detection in car parks
Modern car parks face an ever-present fire risk, but Patol’s LHDC is increasingly recognised as the complete fire detection solution. The unique characteristics of LHDC make it ideally suited for the exacting conditions that are usually present in covered or underground car parks.
The materials used in the manufacture of cars are usually highly combustible and once ignited they can cause intense conflagrations that generate very high temperatures. These can then rapidly spread between vehicles and even between floors and buildings. Car park fire systems need to be able to detect these outbreaks quickly and reliably, preferably needing little long-term maintenance and ideally causing no unwanted alarms. Fast, dependable detection will minimise the damage and the high cost of repair or replacement to the vehicles and building. It will also lessen the potential for pollution during any outbreak and the inhalation of toxic fumes by drivers and passengers caught up in it.
Car parks are often large spaces with a high airflow. However, the build-up of exhaust fumes can still create difficult conditions for conventional smoke sensors to detect the smoke or early stages of combustion. Linear heat detection cable is not affected by such conditions. Nor is it affected by environments that are prone to damp or high humidity. This suitability to work effectively where traditional devices would struggle to detect smoke or the early signs of combustion means that LHDC is not prone to generating false alarms.
Patol’s LHDC is manufactured to detect fire in circumstances where other forms of detection would not be viable – either because of prohibitive system costs or through the inability to operate under the ambient conditions. It is available as resettable or ‘analogue’ and non-resettable, ‘digital’ technologies.
Patol’s analogue LHDC 700-001 is generally used in car park applications. It is a coaxial cable constructed with a copper-coated, steel central conductor, an inner insulation (dielectric), a tinned copper braid layer and an overall protective sheath.
In a car park installation, Patol’s LDM-519-LP controller is typically employed and can be fully integrated on either a conventional fire panel or an analogue addressable system. Monitoring a zonal length of cable for both elevated temperatures and faults, it can be configured to operate in two-wire mode that emulates the operation of conventional heat detectors. It has the ability to trigger for hot-spot detection on small sections of the cable as well as an abnormal ambient temperature increase across the entire zone. An end of line termination box with test switches provides fault monitoring for both open and closed circuit faults, ensuring full integrity of the cable.
Using specialist clips and fixings such as stainless steel ‘L’ brackets or ‘T’ clips and neoprene sleeves with cable ties, Patol’s LHDC is installed either on the ceiling of the car park or in a dedicated cable tray. Typically, it is installed in parallel runs above the cars and access routes. Having the everyday appearance of simple cable means that LHDC is less likely to suffer from wanton attack by vandals, a common problem for point-type detectors. For additional mechanical strength, it can be supplied in an armoured form.
For more information, go to www.patol.co.uk