Using Video Smoke Detection Technology In Cultural Properties

18th February 2015

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Cultural buildings such as Museums, Libraries, Government Buildings, Heritage Properties, Cathedrals and Churches often host an archive of incalculable value. These irreplaceable articles can be physical items, such as paintings, ancient artifacts and books, or indeed the buildings themselves. The contents of such cultural buildings are easily damaged by smoke, fire and the water associated with sprinkler systems and are prone to theft and arson attacks, and it is for these reasons that employing reliable fire detection and security systems is crucial. Even more so, a fire detection system can provide very early warning of fire to ensure that action is taken before any irreversible damage is caused is vital.

What challenges do cultural buildings present?

Cultural buildings are typically large, elaborate buildings with high ceilings. Often, these buildings are old or historic and can be draughty with high airflow. It is these properties that make smoke or fire detection challenging. Nearly all traditional types of detection rely on smoke reaching the detector before its presence can be detected, however detectors are often mounted at ceiling level. This is where high ceilings pose an issue, with smoke stratification reducing the buoyancy and therefore slowing down the movement of smoke and increasing the time it takes it to reach detectors.

It is imperative that fire can be detected very early on in order to protect the valuable items within a cultural building from damage by smoke, fire or fire suppression methods. In consideration of this, traditional detection types are unlikely to be the best solution.

There are a number of alternative smoke and fire detection solutions that could be used to protect this type of property, however one method that stands head and shoulders above the rest is Video Smoke Detection (VSD).

What are the advantages of Video Smoke Detection?

There are numerous advantages to using Video Smoke and Flame detection:

  • Early Detection
    A Video Smoke Detector uninterruptedly monitors an area allowing it to detect smoke earlier than traditional detectors.
  • Accurate Detection
    Video Smoke Detectors detect the smoke at its source and therefore are able to provide an accurate location of the fire or potential fire.
  • Real Time Monitoring
    Often integrated into closed circuit security cameras that are regularly monitored, images can be viewed in real time allowing for immediate suppression response.
  • Cost Effectiveness
    One Video Detector is capable of covering a large area (larger than most point detectors can handle) and can often be integrated into existing surveillance systems, reducing the number of devices needed, installation time, maintenance time and ultimately overall cost.

The Solution...VideoFyre

VideoFyreVideoFyre is Eurofyre's proprietary Video Smoke detection system. Developed using complex algorithms to detect smoke or flame from anywhere within a camera's field of view, VideoFyre is a standalone unit that can be integrated with any analogue video surveillance system.

Unlike most VSDs, VideoFyre is completely self-contained and is not dependant on a large central processing unit for operation. Voltage-free alarm and fault contacts are provided for integration with a local fire alarm monitoring system if required. With simple integration into existing analogue surveillance systems setup is simple and can be carried out via IP address using any PC or Mac internet browser.

VideoFyre is compact and cost-effective and can provide extremely early warning of smoke or fire, therefore providing the perfect solution to protect cultural properties and their contents from fire and its devastating consequences. With the ability to detect fire at its source, VideoFyre is unaffected by smoke stratification and the diffusion caused by high ceilings and high airflow areas.


For more information on video smoke detection or to discuss any of our other products please feel free to get in touch either by phone on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to sales@eurofyre.co.uk or via the online enquiry form situated on our Contact page.

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Mark Redfearn

Posted by Mark Redfearn

Mark is the technical services manager at Eurofyre.

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