Protect Your Warehouse Racking With Linear Heat Detection

December 8, 2017

Warehouse facilities can have a lot of money wrapped up in the racking shelves housing the products they're storing. Commercial fire protection in these environments is critical because of the potential damages and monumental costs if a fire occurs, which could be enough to cause major disruptions to a business' operations and future prosperity.

So, what's the most effective way to make sure warehouse personnel can detect and suppress a fire before it causes catastrophic damage in their facility? Linear heat detection is a great option for warehouse applications, especially those where ambient conditions won't permit the use of spot-type smoke, flame or heat detectors.

In environments that are dusty or dirty, such as manufacturing facilities and associated storage facilities, heat detectors aren't a top choice because they can become clogged by dust and dirt, which can result in false alarms or a lack of detection when it's needed most.

Linear heat detection provides warehouses with an effective way to protect racking systems and prevent costly fires because it's designed specifically to protect long distance. Unlike spot detection, linear heat detection delivers consistent protection along the length of the cable no matter its size or configuration.

Understanding Warehouse Racking Fire Risks

All warehouse personnel should be trained and know how to identify potential fire risks within racking at their facility. Some of the fire risks include:

  • Materials such as wooden pallets and dust that are combustible and can ignite easily, allowing a fire to spread quickly.
  • Poorly maintained machinery, including forklifts or conveyor belts that can overheat or create sparks.
  • Forklift equipment must also be used carefully to avoid damaging any fire alarm cabling

How Does Linear Heat Detection Protect my Warehouse Racking?

Because warehouse racking systems can be large and span large distances within a facility, detecting fires can be a challenge and render traditional fire detection processes ineffective.

Linear heat detection involves installing a heat sensing cable, which will detect heat across the length of the racking system if there is ever a fire, providing reliable heat detection that pinpoints the source of the incident.

Linear Heat Detection Pinpoints the Location of a Fire

The cables, which use a pair of twisted copper-coated steel conductors and covered in an insulating nylon jacket, are equipped with sensing elements that allow warehouse personnel to respond fast in the event of a potential fire. At a set point, the insulating jacket melts and will short out, triggering the alarm that something isn't right and needs immediate attention.

The advantage that linear heat detection provides to large facilities over other heat detection systems is that personnel are quickly and easily able to identify the exact source of the incident. Attached fire alarm control panels can also detect the intensity of a fire and the direction it's spreading by analyzing multiple triggers.

Cables will need to be replaced or repaired in the event an alarm is triggered. The ability to quickly pinpoint fires and deploy suppression can make a dramatic difference in limiting damage in the event of the fire and minimize downtime.

The National Fire Incident Reporting System reports 1,200 warehouse fires occur annually in the US, and cost businesses $155 million in property damage over a span of four years. Don't let your business become a statistic. Installing an effective linear heat detection system at your warehouse facility can significantly minimize your fire and property damage risks, while effectively protecting your valuable assets.

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