Fire Protection in Kentucky Bourbon's New Urban Interface

Flammable liquids manufacturing? Check. 

Flammable liquids rack storage warehouse? Check.


Open Flame? Check.

Atrium? Check.

Visitors unfamiliar with building layout? Check.

The new Old Forester distillery, located in the historical “Whiskey Row” block of downtown Louisville, KY, presented the distillery and design team with many fire protection and life safety challenges. The building, which opened for public tours on Friday, June 15, 2018, shares the block with other tenants including restaurants, apartments, a speakeasy, and retail stores. This, all in the same block that suffered a major fire during a renovation project almost 3 years before the distillery opened.

Design and construction of the new distillery required years of planning, coordination, and execution – since at least 2013. Fire protection and life safety was critical during the entire process, as this type of facility presented many hazards not typical of downtown city blocks. Many of Kentucky’s bourbon distilleries can be found in the countryside, alongside horse farms and back roads. With the bourbon boom in recent years, many distillers are capitalizing on the excitement and tourism, building distilleries in urban areas.

The design team, including Bravura Architecture, Kerr-Greulich Designers, Brown Forman staff, and various consultants, had to keep Fire Protection and Life Safety a main concern while limiting its effect on the aesthetic goals of the project. Fire Protection and Life Safety features were successfully implemented, due to the planning and coordination of the entire team.

Some of these features include:

·       VESDA® by Xtralis®: air sampling smoke detection to detect smoke very quickly, and gas vapor detection to detect flammable alcohol vapors.

·       Ansul® AR-AFFF Foam: a foam-water sprinkler system, designed for alcohol fuel fires, to suppress a fire.

·       Tyco window sprinklers to protect glass atrium walls.

·       In-rack sprinklers to protect the barrel racks.

·       Minmax® UniVario® Industrial heat detectors for activation of deluge sprinkler systems serving barrel charring and toasting exhaust hoods.

·       A Siemens voice evacuation fire alarm and emergency communication system.

·       A smoke exhaust system for the atrium, to prevent smoke from traveling to multiple floors in the event of a fire.

·       Class I/Division 1 equipment in hazardous areas such as the barrel warehouse.

·       Compartmentalization utilizing fire barriers, fire walls, firestopping, etc.

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Contractors utilized BIM models to coordinate among trades, allowing ductwork, piping, sprinklers, etc. to all be installed in tight spaces and minimize aesthetic impact. Through careful planning by the design team and coordination by the contractors, the life safety systems specified by the designers were implemented without these systems being easily noticed and distracting from the distillery’s unique features. 

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In fact, most visitors will likely only give attention the beautiful copper stills, read the bourbon quotes on the walls, and gaze at the historical decorations, while learning about the bourbon making process and its history. On the other hand, as a fire protection geek, I observed the fire and life safety systems during the tour and was impressed with how it all came together. And at the end, we all sampled an excellent Kentucky bourbon whiskey.

Johnson Controls introduces Autocall™

Legacy of innovation and invention safeguards customers and facilities

Johnson Controls introduces Autocall™, a brand of fire detection systems that combines advanced technology with proven performance to help ensure customers and their facilities are safe every day. 

With a full range of control panels and the industry’s latest addressable technology, Autocall systems are flexible enough to meet the unique challenges of nearly any project. Powerful networking capabilities allow Autocall to take on projects ranging in size from a simple office building to complex, multi-facility campuses. The Autocall Truesite Workstation, a PC-based graphical command center, simplifies system monitoring and puts management of your entire system at your fingertips. Its high-resolution graphical display shows the locations of events on both a campus-wide map and individual building floor plans. All key features and functionality of the TrueSite Workstation are available on Apple or Android mobile devices with the Autocall Mobile Client app. 

Autocall systems feature some of the latest and most advanced fire detection technology available today. Solutions like revolutionary self-testing, addressable notification appliances can help ensure your system is in peak operating condition while virtually eliminating disruption from notification appliance testing. Compact and highly efficient LED notification appliances meet the latest NFPA requirements and Autocall speakers have the clarity to get the message out during an emergency and play background music during normal operations. 

“Building on more than a half-century legacy of innovation and invention, our designers and designers are on a mission to advance the state-of-the-art in fire detection technology,” said Andrew Blate, vice president and general manager, Global Fire Detection Products, Johnson Controls. “This commitment to continuous improvement is how we deliver industry-leading, feature-rich, reliable fire detection solutions with zero compromise.”

The Autocall brand offers comprehensive training, along with easily accessible 24/7 technical and application support. Systems also meet local building codes, and Autocall control panels have all the necessary agency approvals.

“But Autocall isn’t just about codes and standards,” said Blate. “Lives are at stake, so we deliver products that allow our customers to rest easy knowing their people and their buildings are protected by one of the most reliable fire detection systems on the market to date.”

Autocall products will be available for purchase and shipment through a network of highly qualified authorized distributors beginning January 2018. To learn more about the Autocall brand, view this video or visit


Aspiring to an addressable future: Aspirating Smoke Detection

Simple but effective, the technique of analysing samples of air drawn from an area for the first traces of smoke and a potential fire threat continues to evolve. In this article, we consider the benefits and the compromises of cumulative sampling and consider some of the most recent developments in Aspirating Smoke Detection (ASD) technology which are addressing the challenges associated with detecting smoke.

Many articles have appeared over the years on the benefits and the limitations of ASD. When it first appeared, the simple technique of drawing air samples to a very sensitive central detector from multiple locations was considered to be at odds with the common approach of providing a matrix of many point-type detectors. People struggled with the concept that each sampling hole individually can be considered to have equivalent sensitivity to a single point-type detector while the combined sensitivity of many holes is significantly higher – making an ASD system particularly effective when smoke is distributed (or diluted) within a space; by high airflows, or simply by the height or geometry of the space.

Understandably, other benefits of ASD, such as the ability to conceal the sampling points (for heritage, architectural or prison applications) or the provision of an easy-to-maintain-at-ground-level detector, or the need to tolerate (and filter out) dust or dirt, are easier to comprehend and have often driven the decision to use them. However, it remains a fact that ASD systems take a fundamentally different cumulative approach to detecting smoke compared with traditional point-type detectors. This has advantages and some consequences.

Focused investment

With ASD systems, the investment is concentrated into one sophisticated detector – as opposed to distributing across many detectors. On balance the sampling pipe, with its multiple sampling holes, can be compared with the wires linking point-type detectors so the installation costs are similar. This means that the ASD detector can incorporate features deemed too costly for normal point detectors including; informative displays, multisensory capability and adaptive algorithms or, in the case of VESDA, the unique feature of a clean air bleed to maintain the integrity of the optical chamber without resorting to adaptive algorithms or drift compensation.


The main consequence of using cumulative sampling is that the source of the smoke is not generally indicated. When first introduced, point-type detectors were similarly limited as a string of detectors, covering a single zone, were connected to the fire panel without any ability to identify which specific point had detected smoke. Such systems are now widely known as ‘conventional point detectors’ and they provided the essential zonal information needed to direct the Fire and Rescue Services to the correct area. While they are still used in some small premises, they have been largely superseded by ‘addressable’ or ‘analogue addressable’ systems.

The term analogue here is typically related to the idea that a measurement of the smoke level at each point is available at the fire panel – in contrast to a non-analogue system which provides only a basic indication of the alarm status (e.g. normal, pre-alarm & alarm) at each point. Of course, most advanced addressable panels are now digital in the sense that that they use digital protocols to communicate with individual point detectors to provide information beyond the alarm status and the smoke level (or ‘analogue value’) at each point.

Regardless of being analogue, digital or digital-analogue, the key advantage is that the modern detection systems are ‘addressable’ and able to direct the Fire & Rescue Services to the individual source device. Despite this, the concept of attending to a zone still dominates the first response with fire panels required to give clear zonal indication supported by a clear zone map of the premises. Arguably, the real value of addressable detection is in determining the source of false or unwanted alarms, helping to identify a poorly sited or unreliable detector giving nuisance alarms or the source of a short transient thermal event which has not escalated to a fire. In an emergency situation, zonal indication is deemed sufficient.


Early detection – for early warning

As already described, ASD systems are particularly effective when detecting diluted smoke entering several sampling holes and thus provide earlier detection of such conditions compared to point detectors. However, like point detectors (meeting EN 54-7), they also are required (by EN 54-20) to provide timely detection of fast-growth fires, as characterised by the TF4 and TF5 flaming test fires.

In practice, such fast and clean-burning fires involving a single material are unlikely to occur and it is widely acknowledged that TF4 & TF5 represent the extremes of what a normal optical detector should detect. Similarly, the TF2 and TF3 smouldering fires represent the extremes of what an ionisation detector should detect. The table above summarises TF2-TF5.

While all four tests are equally appropriate from a life-safety point of view – there can be little doubt that there is significantly more time available to attend to a smouldering fire and prevent it escalating – but only if the smouldering is detected early enough! This is where the cumulative sampling of ASDs comes to the fore – but it is further accentuated by the provision of Class-B and Class-A ASD systems which, as illustrated by the values presented in the table, require a sensitivity to the smouldering fires of ~x13 and ~x40 respectively compared to the requirements for a normal optical point detector. This combined effect of cumulative sampling and higher sensitivity is what makes ASD systems so suitable to the prevention of fires – when there is time (and personnel available) to investigate and intervene as opposed to taking to their heels and evacuating the premises.

Having emphasised this point, it is appropriate, in the interest of balance, to note that most optical point detectors respond to TF2 and TF3 long before the limits prescribed. It is generally accepted that many operate when m~0.5dB/m and some can detect the Class B and even the Class A fires defined in EN 54-20. However, with a few exceptions, detection systems using point-type detectors do not provide cumulative alarms or warnings – even though it may be technically possible in modern addressable systems.


Cumulative and addressable detection PLUS individual hole supervision.

Time to investigate

Earliest possible warning of a smouldering fire is a laudable objective but it must be balanced against the inconvenience of false alarms – and the dangerous complacency that they can instil. Hence it is important to distinguish between alarm signals (that indicate a need to evacuate) and warning signals (that indicate an opportunity to investigate). In fact, effective early warning is one useful tool in the war against false alarms – but it is only truly effective where there is an appropriate response plan in place.

An early-warning response strategy should ideally consider the possibility of elusive warning signals – i.e. those where the root cause is difficult to identify. As with all problem-solving challenges the accuracy and reliability of information is key and the comprehensive logs and trend graphs provided by the more sophisticated ASD systems can be extremely valuable when identifying the cause of elusive warnings. Moreover, getting back to the heart of this article, the extent (area covered by) the ASD system should be considered. For example, a four-pipe arrangement monitored by one detector could, if necessary, be replaced by a device which can offer pipe identification.

In a nutshell – for the BEST early warning – a detection system which can combine cumulative detection with addressability is likely to be a winner.

While it is possible for addressable point systems to provide a cumulative effect – i.e. signalling an alarm based on the combined response of several detectors – it is rare for them to do so. In contrast, cumulative ASD systems have, over the years, taken advantage of several techniques to provide an element of addressability or localisation. Essentially there are three approaches that have been commercialised:

1 Each incoming pipe has its own detector…While a 4-pipe/4-detector ASD was available, only 2-pipe/2-detector products exist these days which allow a single zone (of up to 2000m²) to be divided in two.

2 Pipes are scanned sequentially using valves to control the flow… and there are effectively two approaches:

a A 4-pipe scanner is available which monitors all 4 pipes simultaneously. Each pipe can have many holes but the zone is effectively divided into 4 sectors to assist with directing responders to the correct sub-area. When smoke across all 4 pipes is detected it starts a fast scan to identify the source pipe and then runs an intelligent scan, preferentially monitoring the source pipe while alternately checking each of the other pipes in turn.

b Multi-pipe scanners with only 1 (or perhaps 2) sampling holes to each pipe are also available. These use many small-bore capillary pipes which run individually out to each sampling location. While this would appear to be a costly option it is, in fact, quite cost-effective – particularly when the integrity monitoring features provided by the latest device using this technique (see below) are taken into account.

3 A purge-and-time technique is used. There is currently only one device using this technique, which uses a single pipe with several holes and a reverse-flow pump to purge the pipe with clean air after smoke is first detected. Once purged, forward flow is re-established, and the time when smoke arrives at the detector is used to determine which (out of five holes) was the source of the smoke. This process takes some time and relies on there being sufficient distance between the holes and on smoke still being present at only one sampling hole when forward flow is re-established.

The future is here

The latest incarnation of an addressable ASD system is a multi-pipe product supporting up to 40 small-bore tubes. The product uses two detection chambers (20 tubes on each) and normally samples from all 20 tubes simultaneously – thereby retaining the cumulative detection explained above. In an early-warning (slow fire growth) scenario, scanning is not automatically initiated because monitoring for any escalation of smoke to an alarm level needs to continue uninterrupted. However, once an alarm is detected, the product samples from each pipe in turn to identify which one(s) are making a significant contribution to the cumulative reading. Thus, Fire and Rescue Services personnel responding to an alarm are summoned without delay and directed to the source hole(s) when they arrive – while early-warning responders have the option to manually initiate a scan.

Finally, in addition to retaining cumulative detection while providing addressability, the 40-tube detector has the unique ability to regularly confirm that each sampling hole is operational – neither blocked nor disconnected due to a broken pipe.

For more information, go to


BuildingReports Partners with for Healthcare Compliance Reporting Management Binders

Managing and organizing the massive amount of paper reporting required by CMS accredited agencies can be a massive headache for healthcare facility professionals. L&R’s Optix Compliance Binders™ provide a turn-key system for rapid deployment of consistent, ready-to-use compliance document organization across healthcare facilities. BuildingReports is pleased to announce that we've partnered with L&R to provide BuildingReports branded versions for DNV GL, Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) and The Joint Commission (TJC).

This value-added service enables members to provide consistently branded and formatted reporting that allows your customers to:

  • Reclaim several man-days of Facilities staff time lost annually to binder development
  • Reduce risk of compliance infractions and fines
  • Improve survey readiness and compliance in the document review portion of accreditation audits
  • Deploy a system that is uniform for every facility in their enterprise


For a relatively low cost, including the binder sets as part of your healthcare service offering gives your organization a competitive edge, helping you retain customers for life. Over 600 healthcare facilities currently depend on on today, but BuildingReports is the only solution provider to offer this specifically to ITM companies in its member network. While you can opt to recoup your costs by reselling them, we strongly encourage you to consider providing them as part of your standard healthcare service contracts.

However, it is strongly advised that members work closely with their customer and Account Manager to confirm which variables are required by the end user. There are several variables that must be considered during the ordering process, including:

What accreditation has the facility been classified as by The Joint Commission?

  • Acute Care Hospital: This can be a range of hospital and healthcare facilities that allow for inpatient services (as opposed to Ambulatory Surgery Centers below). This is likely where the vast majority of our members’ customers will fall, as opposed to Critical Access Hospitals that require a special designation in order to serve communities that may not otherwise have access to acute care medical services.
  • Critical Access Hospital: A designation given to certain rural hospitals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This designation was created by Congress in the 1997 Balanced Budget Act in response to a string of hospital closures in the 1980s and early 1990s. The CAH designation is designed to reduce the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals and improve access to healthcare by keeping essential services in rural communities. This is accomplished through cost-based Medicare reimbursement. There are over 1,800 currently in the US, and over 300 of them are accredited by the TJC.
  • Ambulatory Surgery Center: An ASC must be certified and approved to enter into a written agreement with CMS. Participation as an ASC is limited to any distinct entity that operates exclusively for the purpose of providing surgical services to patients not requiring hospitalization and in which the expected duration of services would not exceed 24 hours following an admission. An unanticipated medical circumstance may arise that would require an ASC patient to stay in the ASC longer than 24 hours, but such situations should be rare.

What size binder does the facility need for each of the 2 to 15 volumes available in each set?

This largely depends on the size of the facility. For example, Critical Access Hospitals by definition have a limited number of beds, so that set for The Joint Commission reporting is only available in the 2 inch size. They will likely need to understand how many pages their reports are, or what thickness their historical binders have been, for each designated binder, which means sitting down with the customer to finalize requirements.

Also, please keep in mind that these binder sets go beyond the reporting healthcare BuildingReports provides for fire and life safety. The 15-binder sets are broken down as follows:

  • Volume 1 - Environment of Care
  • Volume 2 - Fire Equipment Book 1
  • Volume 3 - Fire Equipment Book 2
  • Volume 4 - Fire Equipment Book 3
  • Volume 5 - Fire Drill Reports
  • Volume 6 - Hazardous Materials
  • Volume 7 - Utility Systems
  • Volume 8 - Medical Equipment
  • Volume 9 - Safety & Security
  • Volume 10 - Emergency Management
  • Volume 11 - Construction Projects
  • Volume 12 - Safe & Functional Environment
  • Volume 13 - Plant Operations
  • Volume 14 - Permits & Licenses
  • Water Management Program

To determine what thickness of binder is needed, refer to the following guide based on the thickness of the reporting for each (2", 3", 4" or 5"):

    Order Size

      Sheet CapacityActual Spine Width

      2 Inches350 Pages2.75 Inches

      3 Inches570 Pages4.25 Inches

      4 Inches800 Pages4.875 Inches

      5 Inches950 Pages5.5 Inches

      When you have the required information for your order, follow these steps to purchase:

      1. Register for an account at
      2. Select the CMS accredited agency version for the facility in question from the catalog.
      3. Select the binder and corresponding tabs (monthly, quarterly or semi-annual) need.
      4. If applicable, customize the thickness for each binder in the set.
      5. Proceed to checkout.


      NFPA 720, Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and Warning Equipment

      Upon adjournment of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Technical Meeting in Las Vegas, the requirements of NFPA 720, Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide Detection and Warning Equipment are one step closer to issuance by the Standards Council as incorporated into the 2019 edition of NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code®. NFPA 720, which has worked to minimize occupant risk to carbon monoxide in homes and other occupancies since it was first issued in 2003, will be withdrawn once the 2019 edition of NFPA 72 is issued by the Standards Council this August.

      Several NFPA task groups and technical committees have diligently worked over the past three years to integrate the requirements of NFPA 720 into NFPA 72, with the goal of providing smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm requirements in a single, comprehensive document.

      “Having two separate alarm system documents on different revision cycles has proved confusing and inefficient for code officials, enforcers and authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) responsible for implementing and enforcing the codes’ requirements in their states and jurisdictions,” said Richard Roux, senior electrical specialist at NFPA. “Providing smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm requirements in one document will help make their work much easier and more streamlined.”

      Some 38 states currently adopt or reference NFPA 720, which requires carbon monoxide detection in homes. Some states only require that carbon monoxide alarms be installed in new home construction, while others only require carbon monoxide alarm installations when there is an attached garage or similar construction. Some of these requirements are the result of state statute, while others are amendments to a state’s building code.

      Roux emphasizes the importance of making sure that states and jurisdictions are aware of NFPA 720 being rolled into NFPA 72.

      “All stakeholders who adopt or reference NFPA 720 need to know about the upcoming changes so they can make the necessary adjustments and continue delivering carbon monoxide protection to the states and/or jurisdictions they serve,” said Roux. “At NFPA, we’re doing all we can to make sure we get the word out, and we strongly encourage anyone with a vested interest in this issue to do the same.”

      An article in the May/June 2018 issue of NFPA Journal“Smarter About Smoke,” provides a complete overview of key changes to the 2019 NFPA 72, including the integration of NFPA 720.

      For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.


      Gaining Ground in Global Fire Protection Designing

      SFPE is proud to host the 2018 SFPE Annual Conference & Expo, which will be held on October 28-30 in Nashville, Tennessee. This annual event is frequently cited as the top source of the latest technical information on fire protection designing issues and emerging trends, case studies, research, and codes and standards. With more than 425 leading professionals from around the globe participating in this annual event, it offers unparalleled opportunities for networking with peers and exploring new products, technologies and business opportunities. We look forward to welcoming you to the Music City known as Nashville!


      Xtralis Enhanced ECO Brings Efficiency and Affordability to Gas Detection & Environmental Monitoring

      Xtralis® announced today the availability of an enhanced version of its award-winning VESDA® ECO™ gas detection product. ECO is a gas detection extension for the world-renowned Xtralis VESDA aspirating smoke detection (ASD) system, which is used in over 400,000 mission-critical early warning and detection applications worldwide. The enhanced version VESDA ECO includes six new gas detection options as well as additional programming, testing, and monitoring capabilities. 

      The VESDA ECO approach to gas detection utilizes efficient multi-hole aspirating technology, an industry first, which provides superior gas detection and removes the guess work in gas detector placement. By utilizing a VESDA pipe network, ECO customers can realize significantly lower total cost of ownership (TCO) with savings of up to 46% on initial capital expense, and up to 76% savings in operational expenses versus conventional gas detectors.

      The enhanced version of VESDA ECO adds new gas detection capabilities for alcohol, gasoline vapor, pentane, chlorine and carbon dioxide, and provides additional oxygen and ammonia sensing. The initial release of ECO included detection for ammonia (NH3), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), methane (CH4), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), oxygen (O2), propane (C3H8) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The new version also adds a highly intuitive calibration process, field programmable “calibration due” notifications, and a simulation capability of gas tests to analyse the system’s functionality and performance.

      “VESDA ECO’s is now providing protection to an ever growing list of diverse applications for world leading companies. Facilities such as steel mills, gas fired turbine halls, and cold storage logistics centers are realizing dramatic cost savings while enjoying significantly enhanced protection with ECO.” remarked Claudio Groppetti, Vice President Business Development, Environmental Protection & Gas Monitoring at Xtralis. “VESDA ECO is redefining how gas detection is implemented in these facilities,” he added. 

      Earlier this year, VESDA ECO was awarded the Best in Detection Controls, Devices and Sensors Award from New Product Showcase competition at ISC West. In addition, Frost & Sullivan’s Building and Environmental Technologies research team recognized VESDA ECO with the 2011 North American New Product Innovation Award for the fire and life safety markets. 

      Claudio Gropetti from Xtralis will present a technical paper on ECO titled “New Approach to Gas Detection” at ISA Automation Week on October 18 in Mobile, Alabama. VESDA ECO will be on display in Xtralis Booth #300 at the ISA Automation Week 2011 Supplier Showcase, from Tuesday, October 18 through Thursday, October 20.

      Industrial Applications Get the Ultimate Protection in One Box – Xtralis Launches Industrial VESDA VLI Smoke Detection System

      Drawing on more than 25 years of experience and over 1660 projects with ASD in industrial applications, Xtralis™, the leader in air-sampling smoke detection (ASD), launches Industrial VESDA VLI, the ultimate solution for fire protection of harsh environments in one box. VLI is the only solution specifically designed for harsh environments without any need for application designing. This is a true out-of-the-box solution enabling 4 times longer lifecycle and lowering maintenance requirements by up to 60%. 

      Most recently, Industrial VESDA VLI was one of the products specifically evaluated by Frost & Sullivan research, awarding Xtralis its 2011 North American New Product Innovation Award in the Fire and Life Safety market. Frost & Sullivan, a global growth partnership company, presents its Awards to companies demonstrating best practices in a variety of regional and global markets. The criteria for the award included leading technology, value-added features and benefits and increased customer ROI. 

      For 25 years, VESDA has been the solution of choice for harsh environments based on its core features - absolute detection thresholds, clean-air barriers for optics protection, and advanced air filtration - critical factors to effective detection in industrial applications. Other ASD devices that lack these essential features are more prone to contamination and a reduction in useful service life. Furthermore the use, in these other products, of adaptive smoke detection algorithms that compensate for contamination induced detector drift or existing environmental smoke can delay, or in extreme cases miss detection of slow growth fires, the very fires that Very Early Warning detection is deployed to detect.

      Additionally, Industrial VESDA VLI boasts a ruggedized enclosure, rated IP54, providing protection against dust and water spray. Enhanced aspiration enables longer pipe lengths of up to 360m (1,200 ft) - important for many industrial applications with extended ceiling heights and area coverage. VLI also incorporates exclusively designed and patented an industry-first, patented, fail-safe, intelligent filtration technology designed to reduce contamination in the sampled air, improving detector longevity and reducing service and maintenance by up to 40-60% depending on the environment. The detection chamber background is monitored by another patented Xtralis innovation, in-service background confirmation using a novel user-initiated Clean Air Zero system. A modular design means the intelligent filter, aspirator, secondary filter and detection chamber are all field-replaceable significantly reducing service downtime and associated costs. 

      Mike Rowland, Acting Venue Manager for the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC) says, “We were impressed by the Industrial VESDA VLI detection effectiveness. The VLI system has now been installed and operational since mid March 2011 and is meeting our regulatory requirements whilst providing effective detection despite the challenging conditions of our venue, including high levels of dust from active events and varying airflows”.

      “The purpose-built VLI sets a new benchmark for fire detection in industrial applications”, explains Dr. Peter Meikle, Xtralis Vice President for Fire Products and Strategy. “As the pioneers of ASD technology, we’ve combined our technological expertise and 25 plus years of industrial field experience to add a new detector to our VESDA line that will provide very early warning smoke detection for the most challenging environments, at the same time simplifying the deployment of the technology”. 

      There are over 380,000 VESDA units shipped to date, many of which are in harsh environments. The ability to detect gas, with VESDA ECO further enhances VLI’s capabilities in industrial applications, delivering tremendous improvement in gas detection performance through better area coverage and elimination of the guess work in gas detector placement, ultimately providing up to 46% in capital cost savings, and up to 76% in operational cost savings versus current gas detection technologies. 

      Industrial VESDA VLI’s capabilities have been proven in the following applications coal mine, sugar mill, paper manufacturing facility and an equestrian center. Industrial VESDA VLI doesn’t stop there – it’s suited for fire detection in many more hash environments, such as:

      • Mining

      • Manufacturing and processing plants

      • Petrochemical facilities

      • Tunnels

      • Grain silos

      • Power generation facilities

      • Timber, pulp and paper plants

      • Textile plants

      • Recycling facilities

      • Transportation hubs

      • Water treatment facilities

      • Warehouses

      • Fertilizer plants

      • Abattoirs

      • Laundries


      Fike Introduces Fire Alarm Event Management Systems

      Blue Springs, MO, October 8, 2008 – Fike Alarm Systems is proud to announce the release of its newest products, the Precise Vision™ and Precise Touch™ computer-based event management systems.

      Created to help control and monitor facilities during emergency situations, Precise Vision allows facility managers and/or key personnel the ability to respond to alarm and trouble situations with just a few easy clicks -- gaining access to building floor plans, emergency contacts, and security plans. In addition, Precise Vision has the capability to inform appropriate personnel via email about alarm situations.

      Precise Touch is an intuitive computer graphics package designed for use in public locations so that responders can quickly locate an alarm situation, view floor plans, identify potential hazards and find emergency exit routes. This intelligent device is also powered with knowledge to locate where a fire started, how it is progressing and what potential hazards may exist, so personnel can quickly locate the nearest exit route.

      “These event management packages interface with Fike fire alarm technology, giving users detailed, visual information on exactly what is happening within their facility, so the safest and most efficient action can be taken for the situation,” said Kevin Montgomery, Market Manager. “Both of these products are easy to operate and provide intuitive information for facility managers and/or personnel to respond quickly.”

      Precise Vision and Precise Touch were specially designed to work with the Fike CyberCat® fire alarm control panels and can be customized and adapted to meet changing needs of a facility.

      Fike is a globally recognized supplier of products and services that protect people and critical assets from dangers such as fire, explosion, and over-pressurization. With over 60 years experience manufacturing safety solutions, Fike offers a complete line of proven, reliable products to customers around the world.


      NFPA releases 2010 “Fire Loss in the U.S.” report

      New report shows lower number of fires but increased fire deaths

      September 15, 2011 –Public fire departments responded to 1,331,500 fires in the United States during 2010, a slight decrease from the previous year and the lowest number since 1977, according to a new report (759 KB) issued by the National Fire Protection Association(NFPA).

      These fires caused an estimated 3,120 civilian fire deaths, a 4 percent increase from a year ago; an estimated 17,720 civilian fire injuries, also a 4 percent increase from the previous year; and more than $11.5 billion in property damage, a significant decrease from the year before.

      Fire Loss in the U.S. analyzes 2010 figures for fires, civilian fire deaths, injuries, property damage, and intentionally set fires. Estimates are based on data collected from fire departments that responded to NFPA’s Annual National Fire Experience Survey.

      There were an estimated 482,000 structure fires reported to fire departments in 2010, a very slight increase from a year ago. The number of structure fires was at their peak in 1977, the first year that NFPA implemented its current survey methodology, when 1,098,000 structure fires occurred. 

      “We have made tremendous progress in reducing the fire problem in the United States since we began looking at these numbers in the late 70’s,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Communications for NFPA. “But this report shows us that more must be done to bring the numbers down even further. We continue to see the vast majority of deaths occurring in homes, a place where people often feel safest. These survey results will be combined with data from the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA’s) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) to determine how often specific fire circumstances occur and where we can most effectively focus our efforts.”

      Other key findings from the report include:

      • A fire department responded to a fire every 24 seconds.
      • 384,000 fires or 80 percent of all structure fires occurred in residential properties.
      • About 85 percent of all fire deaths occurred in the home.
      • 215,500 vehicle fires occurred in the U.S. during 2010, causing 310 civilian fire deaths, 1,590 civilian fire injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.
      • 634,000 outside and other fires occurred in the U.S. during 2010 causing $501 million in property damage.

      “USFA is pleased to share in the release of NFPA’s annual fire loss report,” said Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines. “NFPA’s survey is greatly valued by USFA and aids in producing national estimates of more detailed fires and losses as reported to NFIRS. These combined efforts enable us to analyze the fire problem at a more detailed level and develop prevention strategies to reduce the risk of fire and loss of life and property to the American public.”

      Download the full report “Fire Loss in the United States during 2010”.


      Post-holiday safety for peak fire months

      NFPA reminds the public to properly store and dispose of seasonal decorations

      December 21, 2011 – According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are more home structure fires in the cooler months than any other time of year. As pine needles begin to drop on living room carpets, NFPA is offering suggestions for safe storage and removal of holiday decorations.

      “It’s not uncommon to see residents keeping lights and Christmas trees up past December,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “The reality is, continued use of seasonal lighting and dried-out Christmas trees can pose significant fire hazards in and outside the home.”

      Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they have a higher chance of being deadly. NFPA recommends getting rid of the tree when it’s dry. Dried trees should not be kept in the home, garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.

      In 2005-2009, holiday lights and other decorative lighting were involved in an annual average of 150 home fires, 8 civilian deaths, 14 related injuries, and $8.5 million in direct property damage. To reduce the risk of holiday light fires and keep equipment in good condition for next year, follow these storage suggestions:

      • To unplug electric decorations, use the gripping area provided on the plugs. Never pull the cord to unplug a device from electrical outlets. Doing so can harm the cord’s wire and insulation and even lead to an electrical shock or fire.
      • As you’re putting away electrical light strings, take time to inspect each for damage. Throw out light sets if they have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked or bare wires.
      • Do not place a damaged set of lights back into the storage box for next year’s use.
      • Wrap each set of lights and put them in individual plastic bags, or wrap the lights around a piece of cardboard.
      • Store electrical decorations in a dry place where they cannot be damaged by water or dampness. Also, keep them away from children and pets.

      Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months. In fact, half of all home heating fires occur in December, January, and February, according to NFPA's Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment (PDF, 723 KB) report.

      NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) are working together to remind everyone that home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season. Learn more information about the organizations’ joint safety campaign, “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires."

      About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
      NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.