Using Linear Heat Detection for Airport Terminal Applications

25th August 2014

The airport terminal. A humming centre of travel: excited families going on holiday; business men and women; backpackers; people waiting to greet arrivals or see friends and family off on journeys.

At Heathrow airport, the busiest airport for international passengers in the world, they see an average influx of 191,200 passengers every day, not including other visitors and the staggering number of staff needed to ensure operations run smoothly. With so much human traffic, if fire was to break out the potential loss of life would be incredibly high.

The Impact of Fire

Even if tragic loss of life is possible to avoid, there could be severe impact to the international economy. Delays mean aircraft can't meet their schedules, putting people and cargo in parts of the world where they shouldn't be. Passengers and businesses may lose confidence in a particular airline or airport, leading to loss of reputation and revenue. In addition to lost flight sales, ancillary airport businesses may see a downturn in profits due to lack of footfall.

Fire Risks In Airport Terminals

It's likely that if you're reading this, you've been in an airport terminal at some point in your life. You may even be a frequent flyer. Next time you're due to board a flight, take a good look at your surroundings. Which fire risks can you see?

Some of the many airport terminal fire risks include:

  • power distribution systems
  • shops
  • restaurants
  • transit systems
  • warehouses

Airport environments are often dirty, dusty and can contain corrosive materials. In addition to these conditions, many areas also offer limited access so traditional fire detection may not always be suitable. Linear Heat Detection can prove a life-saving alternative.

The Solution: Linear Heat Detection

Linear Heat Detection systems, such as our FyreLine range, use unique heat sensing cable to measure temperature across vast distances. Linear heat cables can be installed in lengths in excess of 1000m and can trigger an alarm regardless of length exposed.

The cable is coated in a temperature sensitive polymer which, when heated to its rated temperature, will disintegrate causing two wires to touch and create a short. This sends a signal to the fire control panel which can give a measurement of how far away the short has occurred, thus giving the location of the potential fire.

After the fire has been managed, the damaged section of cable can simply be replaced using junction boxes, negating the need to replace the full cable length which can be costly.

We've compiled a list of airport terminal areas where we believe linear heat detection could be successfully deployed, please note that this list is by no means exhaustive:

  • power cables
  • station platforms
  • tunnels
  • escalators
  • passenger conveyors
  • baggage conveyors
  • lift shafts
  • ventilation shafts
  • false ceilings
  • warehouses
  • hangars

To find out more about linear heat detection or the FyreLine system feel free to contact Eurofyre on +44 (0)1329 835024 or by email to info@eurofyre.co.uk.

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Mark Redfearn

Posted by Mark Redfearn

Mark is the technical services manager at Eurofyre.

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