Apollo Ensures Safe Harbour at Portland Marina

A new marina on the South coast of England, which will be one of the venues for sailing events during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, has been equipped with an Apollo-based fire detection system.  Owners Dean & Reddyhoff Marinas awarded the contract to supply the fire protection to H W Smith & Son (Contracting) Ltd.

Apollo Fire Detectors Protect New Portland Marina in Weymouth, Dorset

Apollo Fire Detectors Protect New Portland Marina in Weymouth, Dorset

Portland Marina is situated at Weymouth, Dorset, and has been designed to be a world-class sailing destination. It offers berthing for vessels up to 44 metres in length and a full boatyard service, including lift-out and storage ashore. The berths are fully serviced, with water and electricity laid on, and there are also extensive shoreside facilities such as a washroom, a laundry and showers, as well as a free internet café, bar and restaurant.

A fire detection system was required to provide constant protection to the marina facilities building, restaurant building, 13 business units and four boat workshops.

David Smith, managing director of H W Smith & Son, explains: “As the site is manned 24/7 and the business and workshop units are let to tenants, we agreed on a solution based on Apollo’s conventional technology. This offers a number of benefits to the client, including reduced costs, simplified future maintenance and greater adaptability to changes of use. We recommended Apollo fire detection products because they have proved very reliable in the past.”

The distributed fire detection system comprises 19 Channel Fire control panels in total, varying from six-zone models in the main buildings to single zone models in the individual business units. There are 40 manual call points installed around the complex and a combination of Apollo Series 65 optical smoke detectors and fixed and rate-of-rise heat detectors has been used to meet the local environmental conditions. In addition to internal audio visual devices, the fire system includes 18 IP65-rated sounder beacons, which are installed externally to communicate an alarm anywhere in the boatyard.

Russ Levett, manager of Portland Marina, says: “Our fire system offers the simplicity of the ‘break glass’ option for customers in an emergency while working with other essential equipment to provide comprehensive fire protection. For example, the system interfaces with the fire resistant shuttering in the main offices.

“Portland Marina opened in April 2009 and we haven’t required any technical or customer service support since then, other than routine maintenance. The system is very easy to use and we are very happy with its performance to date.”

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Apollo Holds Court In Buckinghamshire

An Apollo-based fire detection system has been installed to protect people and premises at the Magistrate’s Court in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Representing a total upgrade of the previous fire protection to meet L1 requirements, the new intelligent fire system was installed by Network Security & Fire, based in Basingstoke.

The Milton Keynes Bench was founded in 1979 from an amalgamation of the former local benches at Fenny Stratford, Stony Stratford and Newport Pagnell. The Magistrate’s Court is housed in purpose-built premises in the centre of Milton Keynes, which includes a public area, custody suite and six courtrooms, as well as offices for court administrators and the probation service.

Apollo Fire Detection System Protects Milton Keynes Magistrate's Court

Apollo Fire Detection System Protects Milton Keynes Magistrate's Court

Fire detection challenges
The original, single loop addressable fire system had been renewed at various points previously, but was no longer fit for purpose. The Estates team specified a new analogue addressable system with high sensitivity smoke detection in the custody suite, together with an automated Voice Alarm (VA) system.

There was no possibility of closing the building while the upgrade was made, so installation of the new fire equipment had to take place out of hours. This was not the only challenge on the project, as John Angell, Contract Manager, Network Fire & Security, explains:

“In addition to limited access, we had to take into consideration the need to rewire the vast majority of the system. This was compounded by the design of the building, which features plasterboard ceilings, rather than suspended ceilings, and made access to voids for cable-laying quite difficult.

“Within the courtrooms themselves, we also had to take into account the high ceiling heights. The roof void in each court has a central dome that rises two storeys at its highest point. This was not only an issue during installation but could have restricted access for essential maintenance. We were able to overcome this aspect by positioning the fire detectors around the coffer that surrounds the central roof dome.”

Fire system solutions
Network Security & Fire recommended a fire system based on Apollo’s Discovery distributed-intelligence technology to meet the requirements for the Magistrate’s Court. Around 260 Discovery devices were used in total, including optical smoke and heat detectors, loop-powered beacons, manual call points and interfaces. The fire system is configured around three networked Advanced Electronics control panels.

The modular voice alarm system comprises three master and five slave units. It is pre-programmed with a series of automated messages that are activated in the event of an alert, but there is also an option for manual intervention to broadcast bespoke messages using a microphone.

Explaining his company’s specification, John Angell says: “We would always recommend Apollo as part of a fire detection solution. Their open protocol allows us to choose exactly the right equipment for a project and tailor the solution to the client – in this case enabling us to select the compatible Advanced Electronics control panels and distributed voice alarm system. Apollo’s Discovery range was perfect for this application thanks to its proven reliability in the field and advanced features that minimise false alarm incidents.”

If an alarm is raised by devices within the courtroom areas, evacuation procedures are initiated in these zones and an alert is transmitted to the custody suite. Equally, should an incident be detected in the custody suite this area will be evacuated immediately and the court areas are put on stand-by.

John Angell concludes: “Considering all the challenges regarding the ‘live’ site and other installation restrictions, this project went incredibly smoothly. We have been able to equip the Magistrate’s Court with a modern fire detection system that is reliable, easy to use and flexible enough to meet current and future requirements.”

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Apollo Comes to Wellington’s Aid

Apollo fire detection technology has been installed to protect people and premises at the newly redeveloped Wellington Hospital in New Zealand. Representing a total investment of NZ$265 million, the new hospital required the installation of more than 1300 fire detection devices across multiple buildings, a tailored graphics package and a 50 zone emergency warning and intercommunications system (EWIS).

Apollo Fire Detectors Ltd. Protects Wellington Hospital in New Zealand

Apollo Fire Detectors Ltd. Protects Wellington Hospital in New Zealand

Wellington Hospital is New Zealand’s main tertiary hospital and supplies specialist and acute services, including cardiac surgery, cancer care and neurosurgery.  The project to redevelop the site included the demolition of some older buildings, the refurbishment and upgrading of others and the construction of an entirely new main building. This new complex houses many essential in- and outpatient services over its six storeys, as well as incorporating underground parking at basement level.

Meeting the hospital’s highly complex set of fire protection and evacuation requirements was the responsibility of Aquaheat Industries Ltd, the main electrical contractor on the project. Kevin Williams, Aquaheat’s Fire Alarm Manager, called in fire system specialists Ampac Pacific Ltd, a company that has successfully championed Apollo technology in New Zealand for many years.

Ampac provided a comprehensive fire detection system that incorporates approximately 1300 Apollo XP95 and Discovery devices. These are controlled by nine Ampac FireFinder control panels, which are networked together and supported with Ampac’s own graphics package. The company also developed the EWIS system that is used at this site to provide staged evacuation in the event of a fire incident.

According to Kevin Williams, the Wellington Hospital is one of Aquaheat’s biggest achievements to date due to its size and complexity, but he was confident that Ampac’s Apollo-based fire detection solution would meet the challenge.

He said: “When you are under a lot of pressure to get the job done, you want good support and systems that are easy to configure. We have never had any problems with Ampac systems.”

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