The landscape has changed for the protection of people and assets at high-risk facilities as digital fire monitoring innovations come to the fore.
The planets have aligned for digital monitoring technology.
In a pandemic-conscious world where workplace safety and the protection of high-value, vulnerable facilities such as industrial sites, petrochemical sites and data centres has never been more important, this innovation also delivers on other fronts, too. Cost savings … fewer potentially risky physical inspections … better auditing, and more.
What is it?
As the name suggests, digital fire monitoring of sites can be done by software and sensors rather than traditional means requiring visual site inspections, hard-wired alarms and paper trails.
The beauty of such systems is that they work around the clock and can largely be left alone to do their job and protect heavy-industry or tech facilities without the need for on-site human interaction by the digital fire monitoring system.
Which sites can such technology protect?
If a site is vulnerable to harmful events such as fires or critical system failures, digital monitoring may be the answer. That typically covers mining, petrochemical and oil and gas facilities, data centres, stadiums, food-processing and emergency services operations and warehouse storage and logistics centres. The list goes on.
How do sensor networks operate?
Wireless sensors are mounted in selected locations to monitor nodes and transmit data and alerts over WiFi networks via email or smartphone apps. Depending on the site, these sensors can observe and report activity and changes related to elements such as machinery, smoke alarms, sprinkler pressure valves, security alarms and gas detectors, while also assessing temperature and humidity on sites. In the event of an incident, the alerts can be disseminated immediately to an off-site team from the digital fire monitoring system.
What other technology is involved?
An incident management system that is hosted in the cloud monitors operations across multiple sites from a single, central location. The software can be opened in any modern browser and also comes with a phone app for on-the-go notifications and updates. When an event occurs, users can be assigned to investigate or rectify the error.
All incidents are automatically logged as part of a secure auditing trail for reporting purposes, while customised systems can be tailored to the specific needs of a facility.
How do operating systems function?
The operating system is an innovative wireless, self-healing mesh network that collects and transmits information that is critical to any installation or site. The network is capable of monitoring about 5000 nodes or remote devices at any one time. As the software is so sophisticated, it can deliver complete reporting and incident management while eliminating human error.
What are the advantages?
Digital fire monitoring systems can significantly cut costs because they eliminate or reduce the need for people to physically attend a site to check for faults or hazards. This ease of use, as well as the comprehensive nature of the monitoring, also has positive implications for workplace health and safety requirements. The sensors can also capture accurate data for predictive, scheduled and emergency maintenance.
The systems are quick to set up, and minimal training is required to get users up to speed. Tailored software and portable hardware ensures that digital monitoring technology is simple to deploy on remote and hazardous sites.
What if you stick with old technology?
Digital fire monitoring technology is a game-changer for the safe and cost-effective operation of sites. Managers responsible for the smooth running of their business’s facilities ignore such advances at their peril.
The key is to seek the advice of trusted suppliers who can explain all aspects of the rollout of digital monitoring technology.
Delta Integrated Systems provides free site surveys for facilities that are interested in digital monitoring systems. It is a division of Delta Fire Australasia, which specialises in the installation and servicing of fire-suppression solutions to commercial and industrial sites.