by Aaron Reiter
Smoke detectors, in many instances, are required. As it turns out, these devices can present functional or aesthetic challenges based on the design of a building space. The aesthetic issues are obvious since chances are good you do not spend time bragging about how beautiful your smoke detectors are and would not be prone to write a poem about how well they complement your decor. The functional challenges for conventional smoke detectors are wide ranging:
- High ceiling detectors are expensive, dangerous and disruptive to inspect, test, maintain, or replace
- Large building volume spaces can dilute smoke, delaying detection or suppression
- Storage racks can hinder smoke plumes, delaying detection or suppression
- Drafty or well ventilated spaces can delay smoke detection, delaying response
Traditionally, there was no alternative to surface mounted detection, but Aspirating Smoke Detection (ASD) is here to save the day, minimizing cosmetic impacts and eliminating some of the limitations of conventional smokes detectors. ASD addresses every bullet point above, plus provides a wider range of sensitivity (.0015 to 6% obscuration/ft), continuous air sampling, calibration-free operation, no interference from dust or particulate matter, and the ability to be nearly hidden in highly flexible detection points.
ASD systems rethink smoke detection with a central unit able to be mounted at ground level for easy access and maintenance. From that central control unit, constant air sampling is managed by drawing air through many sampling tubes that can each be run up to 164′ away. The pipes are very small in diameter, so they provide options for hidden installation and sampling tips are barely visible once secured. Depending on the model, a single central control unit could cover over 21,500 ft²!
One of the most important advantages is only the central control unit needs to be tested by a technician. Therefore, restricted-access, sensitive-area or difficult-to-reach sampling point locations do not need to be visited during routine inspections. This saves A LOT of time and can reduce inspection costs dramatically.
Situations or spaces where Aspirating Smoke Detection is most advantageous are:
- Warehouses & Logistics centers
- Data centers
- Heritage sites
- Power generation/Utility structures
- Manufacturing/Heavy industry
- Correctional facilities
- Cold storage buildings
As with any building, new construction is ideal for efficient installation, but ASD is easily added to existing systems, replacing existing smoke detection and efficiently adding new sampling points at minimal additional cost. Contact us today if you would like to talk about ASD and your building!