Fire system installed with military precision
Published:  14 June, 2006

Visitors and exhibits at The Tank Museum at Bovington in Dorset are now protected by a technically advanced fire-detection and alarm system supplied by Gent.

Facilities manager Alan Bradshaw explains, ‘Many of the tanks and other exhibits are irreplaceable and therefore priceless. Vehicles such as the first-ever tank from 1914 and many unique one-offs, plus experimental models captured from the enemy all need to be protected properly. And with 120 000 visitors coming through our doors each year, an effective voice alarm system is critical to ensure a fast and safe evacuation in the case of an emergency.’

The collection of armoured military numbers almost 300.

The new system replaces manual alarms. Further, as the refurbished classical building which houses The Tank Museum has a higher fire risk than more modern properties, a state-of-the-art system was necessary to provide maximum protection.

The Gent system was installed by Wessex Fire & Security. It detects fire or smoke through 85 sensors and alerts the emergency services in the event of an incident. There are also nearly 200 speakers and 37 strobes. The entire project was completed within 12 weeks, with the site remaining fully open throughout.

Many exhibits could not be moved, so work had to be carried out around their bulk using scissor lifts to access 25 m-high roof spaces. These heights exceeded the 12 m limit for point detectors, so Gent beam detectors were used. These have a workable range that can cope with the increased heights and be incorporated into the Vigilon fire-system loop.

Because a substantial number of vehicles are in full working order, control is needed over specific areas so their engines can be run without risking false alarms from exhaust gases. This was achieved by installing key-operated isolator switches.

To ensure that people with impaired hearing can be aware of alarms, Gent’s loop-powered S-Cubed audio-visual alarm devices were installed. The S-Cubed device combines a sounder, speed alarm and strobe in a loop-powered device.



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