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article added: 2015-07-07 12:46:10

Leading Textile Retailer Invests in Very Early Smoke Detection with VESDA

Pothys is one of the largest chains of textile showrooms operating in South India with a net worth of over 1 billion Indian rupees ($20 million USD).

Pothys displays and sells a wide range of high quality silk garments and sarees and their flagship store is located in Chennai. The highly flammable nature of silk products combined with the risk of overheating electrical cables poses a high fire risk. A fire in these stores has the potential to cost millions in spoilt stock and building damage as well as compromising customer life safety.

Conventional point detectors were previously installed in their showrooms; however these did not provide adequate early warning of fire and time to investigate and prevent escalating consequences. They were also considered to be difficult to maintain and monitor. The detectors were connected to a main fire panel for purposes of monitoring and assessing alarms. This was a difficult system for staff to use: the panel was unable to pinpoint the exact location of a fire or identify the condition of individual detectors. Time and effort was often wasted trying to find the exact location of a threat which severely compromised an effective response plan. Maintenance was labour intensive and an expensive process: as the fire panel was unable to identify which detectors required servicing, each detector required regular removal, cleaning and recalibration.

VESDA was suggested as an alternative solution offering very early warning detection and ease of monitoring. In case of an impending fire threat, VESDA identifies smoke at the incipient stage, providing plenty of time for early investigation and intervention to avoid potential damage and risk to customer safety. After considering a range of air sampling smoke detection (ASD) solutions, VESDA was trialed in one showroom and was found to provide superior performance over other detectors consistently detecting minimum traces of smoke. The successful trials led to VESDA being chosen as the preferred solution. The proposed design to protect nine stores included VESDA VLC and VLP detectors. VESDA System Management (VSM4) software was also integrated into the design for ease of monitoring.

Two VESDA detectors were installed on each floor with each store containing anywhere from six to ten floors. One VESDA VLP detector was installed in the showroom on each floor, protecting the show room area while a VLC detector was installed in the false ceiling to provide additional protection. Each store contains between ten to twenty detectors protecting the entire facility

The installation of VESDA VSM4 provided a much more user-friendly and cost-effective monitoring experience for Pothys to assess and respond to any event. VSM4 allows Pothys to monitor VESDA systems of multiple stores all from one location, with the ability to provide the location and devices involved in a particular event. This helped the staff to minimise time required to find the threat and initiate an appropriate emergency response. VSM4 also allows for remote monitoring with any pre-defined event notifications e mailed or sent via SMS to two people responsible for managing the system.

Maintenance time and costs are reduced as only ten to twenty VESDA detectors per store need to be maintained periodically, as opposed to a hundred or more point detectors per store. Early warning and intervention means that Pothys can rest assured that its valued customers and inventory are protected from the threat of fire.

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