Sarah Phillips

Despite the obvious challenges of 2020, large-scale, industrial and manufacturing sites will always carry a significant fire risk. It’s as important as ever to manage and reduce that risk. Now is the time to make the safety and protection of people, assets and property a priority. Whether a fire begins intentionally, due to human error or because of dangerous environmental conditions, the costs can be substantial. According to a recent report by the Fire Protection Association, the estimated loss caused by fire damage in UK industrial processing and manufacturing plants between 2010 and 2019 was £808 million*. Evidently, traditional fire detection and suppression solutions are not up to scratch.

Bandweaver has a long-standing track record of protecting manufacturing and industrial facilities using fiber optic linear heat detection (LHD) technology. These systems were already well established in industries such as transportation. However, they are still relatively new in industrial applications. Recently though, the market is recognising the key advantages they offer over conventional technology. LHD solutions such as those developed by Bandweaver are becoming increasing popular.

As a result, Bandweaver has continued to grow and thrive in 2020, even in a constantly changing market. This year the company has won several large global projects in a broad range of industries. This includes manufacturing, industrial sites, warehousing, storage and even multi-storey car parks.

The objectives for any client, when selecting and implementing an appropriate fire detection and suppression strategy, are to prevent any loss of life and to minimise damage to the facility and its assets. The solution must be highly reliable and accurate. As well as reduce false alarms and have early detection capabilities for fire or excess heat. Working with regional partners, Bandweaver has consistently delivered such first-class results that surpass the competition.

Bandweaver’s linear heat detection (LHD) solution – FireLaser – was reviewed against more traditional methods, such as aspiration or beam detectors. However, these alternatives were lacking in manufacturing and industrial environments. Faced with unique hazards such as flammable materials, harmful chemicals or machinery operating at high temperatures, the speed of detection is a critical factor. With alternatives technologies, such as sprinkler systems, the fire has to be sizeable before it is detected and the sprinkles are activated. At this point the damage can already be devastating. For instance, the resulting water damage may be just as severe as the fire and smoke damage itself.

In vast, unmanned areas, accurately detecting the size, direction and location of a fire is vital to ensure an appropriate response. The system operates as a combination fixed temperature and rate-of-rise heat detector over the entire cable route. Easy installation of Passive fiber optic heat sensing cable gives complete coverage, making it ideal. This can be within concealed spaces, along storage racks, conveyors or ducting. Furthermore, with Bandweaver’s MaxView software, the alert thresholds of each zone along the cable can be configured independently to suit its precise location – improving accuracy and reducing false alarms.

FireLaser provides a low maintenance solution.  There are no electronics required in the monitored space and is unaffected by such variable environmental conditions. It has no moving parts and is non-corrosive, therefore unaffected by damp, humidity or high EMC conditions. This offers a distinct advantage over alternative technologies in industrial and manufacturing environments. For example, when high quantities of dust and particles are present in the air, blockages and general interference can occur for both beam and aspiration detectors. These systems may incorrectly detect them as smoke and trigger false alarms.

The superior benefits of Bandweaver’s fiber optic LHD solution meant that it was an obvious choice for major projects across the globe. Most recently in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. With increasing market recognition of the benefits of Bandweaver’s FireLaser system, the company has high expectations for continued growth in 2021.