Some of the oldest and most prized heritage railway carriages in the UK, housed at the internationally-renowned Severn Valley Railway, are now benefitting from enhanced protection thanks to cutting edge wireless fire devices from Hyfire.
Managers at the heritage railway approached Hyfire to provide an early warning of any fire incidents within its historic carriages. Although the rolling stock is stored in sheds overnight, the heat detectors in the buildings are unlikely to detect a fire incident inside a carriage until it is firmly established, so a network of wireless smoke detectors within the carriages themselves was an obvious solution. The system was also designed so that carriages could be stored in any location within the shed. Hyfire introduced one of its local installer partners, Fire Safe Services, to Severn Valley Railway.
John Ambler, Sales Director at Fire Safe Services, said: “We have seen numerous incidents affecting carriages at heritage railways across the UK, so there was clearly a need for enhanced protection at the Severn Valley Railway. The challenge was how to deliver it. Wireless was the obvious choice and, after careful consultation with the Hyfire team, we were able to devise a bespoke system that protects the carriages when they are out of use, without inhibiting their regular use on rail services.”
Depending on the location where the carriages are stored overnight, the onboard wireless devices are able to link seamlessly with the static fire alarm systems in the building, providing an extra layer of safeguarding for the perfectly preserved coaches, which come from different periods in the history of UK railways. To avoid confusing the alarm systems, the devices are removed when the carriages are out on the line and stored in a specially created base station. As soon as the carriages return to storage, the wireless fire devices are returned to their designated location in each coach.
Hyfire offers the widest range of commercial standard wireless fire devices on the market, ranging from optical, multi-criteria and heat detectors to notification, alarm, interface and control units, all fully certified to EN54. All products offer the highest performance and quality in the industry, and are also fully compliant with BS5839 Part 1. Fire panels are wired via a loop to translators, from which wireless devices can be used on their own to build fully wireless systems of virtually any size, or mixed with Hyfire wired products to provide seamless hybrid solutions, offering total flexibility to specifiers and installers.
Des Dukes, Regional Sales Manager at Hyfire, said: “Wireless fire devices can offer solutions to many challenges faced by installers and specifiers, but this was a first even for me. This is probably not a synopsis envisaged by the team who developed these devices, and it just serves to demonstrate how flexible and adaptable they can be. By placing wireless detectors within the coaches, fire incidents can be flagged at the earliest opportunity, which should limit damage and reduce the threat to neighbouring carriages, as well as to the building itself.”
All Hyfire products are developed by fire industry pioneers in Trieste Italy, the global centre for wireless fire device design. The Hyfire range includes all devices required to build a fully wireless commercial fire system, including manual call points, remote indicators, visual indicators, sounders, sounder bases and output/input modules. A range of addressable translators and expanders are available, processing up to 32 devices each, with the scale of the system limited only by the number of devices that the fire panel can handle.
Chris Bond, Infrastructure Manager at the Severn Valley Railway, said: “The shed itself is covered by the primary fire detection system, which uses heat detectors. Our concern was that if a fire broke out in one of the carriages, this could be severely damaged before the primary system activated. Our aim is to try and detect a fire in the early stages to reduce this risk as the cost to restore some of our heritage carriages could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. Wireless was the obvious solution, and it was integrated seamlessly with the existing system.
“Aesthetics was also a major consideration for these historic carriages. The devices needed to be as unobtrusive as possible. Some of our carriages are owned by private individuals or consortia and, following consultation with these individuals and groups, it was agreed that the low-impact design of the wireless devices meant they design had no major detrimental impact on the aesthetics of the carriages.”
Hyfire was launched as Sterling Safety Systems in 2005, bringing to market some of the first commercial wireless detection and alarm devices fully certified to EN54. Since then, the Hyfire brand has become synonymous with quality, reliability and innovation in the commercial fire sector. Hyfire devices are available for Advanced or Kentec panels and come with a five-year warranty, backed up by a dedicated partner programme to ensure the best survey, installation, commissioning, after sales service and exceptional technical support.