Engineered Fire Safety Solution for Major UK Cold Store Business
Patol, working with PWP, is protecting the sites of one of the UK’s largest providers of cold storage, blast freezing and tempering services to the food industry. The project saw the use of Securiton Aspirating Smoke Detection (ASD) and Patol’s Resettable LHDC (Linear Heat Detection Cable) and controllers.
Magnavale is widely recognised as a vitally important cog in the food supply chain. With its three facilities in Scunthorpe, Warrington and Chesterfield, the company offers over 1.95 million square feet of warehouse space and over 200,000 pallet spaces. With the facilities operating at temperatures as low as -20°C, they are a challenging environment in terms of fire protection.
Nottingham based PWP Building Services were appointed to undertake the project through their dedicated Fire & Security Division. Gavin Clarke, Head of Fire Safety at PWP, comments – “The need to effectively protect wide open areas plus the challenges that such low temperatures obviously bring were important considerations in deciding on the most effective fire safety solution. A further factor was the desire to provide early warning with the focus on minimising downtime and ensuring business continuity given the just-in-time service offered by Magnavale and the importance of food security throughout the supply chain.”
The chosen fire safety engineered solution was based on the Securiton range of ASD detectors, supplemented by Patol’s resettable analogue Linear Heat Detection Cable (LHDC) which was employed in the voids and washdown areas. One of the factors in selecting Patol as a partner in the project was the company’s extensive experience in providing cold store solutions. For Magnavale, more than 80 ASD detectors plus the associated air sampling pipework were installed across the sites. The design included heating sampling points to prevent any ice build-up given the sub-zero temperatures of many of the buildings.
The signals from the ASD detectors, along with those from more than 30 LHDC systems, are all routed to a central controller which feeds into the sites’ main fire control panels. This is linked to a CO2 suppression system in the main electrical panels. This is a ‘double-knock’ coincidence two stage alert system which allows Magnavale personnel time to investigate the cause of an alarm before the extinguishant is automatically released.
The ASD detectors employed at the Scunthorpe and Chesterfield sites were a mix of the ASD 535, ASD 532 and ASD 531 panels. The ASD 535 is the flagship detector and designed for use in medium to large scale areas, with an ambient temperature range reaching as low as -30°C, making it particularly suited to cold store applications. The ASD 532 and 531 detectors are more suited to smaller areas, giving PWP the opportunity to address the differing needs of the site’s numerous buildings with the appropriate model.
Based on the success of the Scunthorpe and Chesterfield sites, PWP is now adopting the same approach in an extension at Magnavale’s Warrington facility. This will see the capacity increase from the existing 130,000 square feet of cold storage warehousing space to 164,000 square feet, with a fire safety system which will reflect the new layout. This is part of a significant expansion programme by Magnavale with the business investing not only in its existing sites but also adding new ones to its network of cold stores.
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