It’s cost effective, more efficient and requires less human intervention – so it’s not surprising that digital monitoring technology is increasingly replacing older systems as industrial and commercial sites as well as petrochemical plants safeguard their assets.

Digital technology touches every aspect of modern life and business – and fire safety is no exception.

There is an international trend towards state-of-the-art digital monitoring to protect high-value, hazardous facilities such as petrochemical, oil and gas, mining and other heavy-industry sites. As well as data centres and emergency services. At the heart of such systems – which supersede visual inspections of sites and a reliance on old hard-wired technology that connects alarms and controls – is a desire to safeguard people and property from the ravages of harmful events such as fires or critical system failures.

Yet there is still a lack of awareness in some quarters about such monitoring systems and the advantages they can deliver. This is a potentially risky – and costly – oversight for site managers given that the latest digital monitoring systems are cheaper to implement than traditional solutions, while they also aid compliance, free up personnel and require minimal training to get up and running.

How it works

Simply put, digital monitoring can eliminate the physical wiring needed to connect monitors to a central hub. It allows reliable observation of elements such as flame detectors, smoke alarms, sprinkler pressure valves, security alarms, motion sensors and gas detectors, while also assessing temperature and humidity on sites.

Wireless sensors are mounted in selected locations and transmit data and alerts over WiFi networks via email or smartphone apps. It is all hosted in the cloud.

Significantly, the monitors are not restricted to proximity to power sources or a control hub and can detect any on-site changes or incidents, negating the requirement for people to constantly travel to sites for visual inspections. Staff can check the systems remotely from an office or while they are in the field. This makes such systems ideal for far-flung or unattended sites.

Sophisticated digital monitoring systems use the innovative SNAP® operating system, a 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.

The advantages

Eliminates physical wiring

As mentioned, the replacement of direct-wire circuits with digital technology can significantly cut monitoring costs, while using the latest technology also provides access to an expanded range of services.

Immediate communications

For example, digital monitoring enables the immediate distribution of data and communications to work teams in the event of a fire or other critical incident. The data is automatically recorded in digital logs that create a secure audit trail.

Scalable and customisable

Such systems also offer complete reporting and management of all equipment – for example, fire-protection elements – which increases efficiency, saves on people power and eliminates human error. In addition to equipment status monitoring, the sensors can also capture accurate data for – and during – predictive, scheduled and emergency maintenance.

The portable hardware design makes the system easy to install and implement on any industrial site.

Total peace of mind

Most importantly, digital monitoring offers peace of mind for workplace leaders who are ultimately responsible for all aspects of their operations. They get fail-safe, real-time technology that protects their facilities and their people.

Delta Integrated Systems is a division of Delta Fire Australasia, which specialises in the installation and servicing of fire-suppression solutions to commercial and industrial sites. Visit Delta Integrated Systems for more details.

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