Road & Rail Tunnel Fire Protection
Being trapped by fire in an underground or confined space is possibly one of the worst fears imaginable. Escape options being severely restricted by comparison with surface located fires.
In excess of 20% of people would avoid using a tunnel if an alternative route were available. Operators of underground transportation systems - road and rail - continuously attempt to advertise that their systems are protected by the most modern and safe fire protection systems available.
FIRE DETECTION in multi-carriageway road tunnels, rail tunnels and stations present architects, consultants, engineers and operators with a series of problems and considerations - some of which are listed below:
- Multi - Level constructions with a labyrinth of passages, shafts and tunnels
- A large number of people within concentrated areas
- Grossly restricted escape and recovery routes
- Limited ventilation options - reducing potential survival times
- A dramatically increased potential rate of spread of toxic flame and smoke
- Multiple fire risk considerations
PROLINE product installation allows for localised monitoring of temperature changes within the tunnel and signalling of an alarm condition once the sensor cable temperature rating has been reached or exceeded together with identification of where along the installed Proline digital sensor cable - UP TO 10,000 METRES LENGTH - the alarm has been detected. Integration with a customer central fire alarm control panel is simply achieved without the need for any special tooling or training and replacement of the fire damaged section of sensor cable only is all that is required.
Road Tunnel installations provide a number of additional risk areas which could be more effectively protected by LINEAR HEAT DETECTION than most other detection devices. These include electrical supply cables (where insulation breakdown or overloading present the primary risks), Electrical control rooms - with the electrical cabinets also utilising the linear temperature monitoring capability - and tunnel ventilation ducts.
Rail Tunnel complexes include many more areas where linear detection already has a proven performance record. These include:- escalators, under platform edge where passenger rubbish, food cartons and discarded unauthorised smoking cigarette stubs are at risk of ignition from rolling stock catenary arcing, electrical system short or from the largest risk - the arsonist!, concession areas, ticket offices, electrical rooms and power, communication and instrumentation cabling!
The maximum distance between parallel runs of PROLINE TH sensor cable across the roof/ceiling of a tunnel should not exceed that recommended by the product UL / cUL listing.