NETWORK RAIL
ARCHIVE FACILITY

The very latest water mist technology for fire-fighting has been used to ensure historic and valuable documents held in the Network Rail Central Archive Store in York are protected by the most effective and efficient means.

Project

The bespoke warehouse archive facility contains an irreplaceable collection of rail-related documents dating back well over a hundred years. Fireworks Fire Protection limited designed and installed a 21st century fire protection and detection system to protect these valuable and potentially fragile documents and records.

A requirement of the design was that the fire protection system should protect each individual storage area separately and be able to detect smoke before it was visible to the human eye.

Testing

A series of fire tests were designed and carried out by Fireworks in accordance with the guide-lines of NFPA750 and the specific requirement of Network Rail under the supervision of their designated fire risk consultant.

Observations

It was observed during the scale testing that fires started in various positions within a section of a typical archive store were quickly controlled by the water mist system preventing the fire from spreading and containing the smoke to the affected area only.
Additionally it was observed that the precious archive documents stored adjacent to the fire source were safe throughout the tests as there was zero water penetration to the document containers.

Conclusion

The tests showed that fires in this type of risk are fairly slow to start and that smoke and gases would be detectable long before the fire had gained enough temperature to operate a conventional sprinkler or water mist head, to this end it was agreed that a sensitive smoke detection system would provide early warning of any incident which would almost certainly be capable of being dealt with by trained personnel on site. In the event that the fire did continue to develop the water mist system provided a local automatic, effective and efficient method of fire suppression preventing the fire from continuing to grow and spread (in all tests the fires were actually extinguished by the water mist system).  The client and their representatives were all satisfied that this was the right solution for the archive being both fast and effective at detecting and fighting fire and preserving the surrounding documents.

Design Solution

To install a pre-action type high pressure water mist system linked and controlled by a VESDA (Very Early Smoke Detection Aspirator) detection system in the archive areas and a wet pipe sprinkler type high pressure water mist system with  conventional point type detection in the Escape routes, corridors and stairs.

Overview of High Pressure Water Mist systems

How it works:
When water is forced through nozzles at high-pressure, a fine mist is formed that has a two-fold extinguishing effect – it rapidly cools down the fire and starves the flames of oxygen to suppress the fire, reduce damage and prevent re-ignition of the fire.

 

MONEY SAVING SOLUTIONS

  • • With fewer nozzles required thanks to optimized spacing and the need for only one pump unit for all applications installation cost and time as well as required service interventions are considerably reduced.


  • • 30% fewer components compared to other competing systems mean ours is lighter and more compact. This allows for easier installation, simplified maintenance and 
valuable space saving.


Cost of water supply is significantly reduced due to less piping, reduced water demand from the water supply. High Pressure water mist systems use up to 50% less water when compared to low pressure water mist systems and up to 80% less water when compared to traditional sprinklers.

 

 

Observations
It was observed that fires started in various positions within a scaled section of a typical archive store were quickly controlled by the watermist system preventing the fire from spreading and containing the smoke to the affected area only. Additionally it was observed that the precious archive documents stored adjacent to the fire source were safe throughout the tests as there was zero water penetration to the document containers.

Conclusion
Crucially, the tests showed that this was the right solution for the archive being both effective at fighting fire and safe for the document storage application..

Requirements
A requirement of the design was that the fire protection system should protect each individual storage area separately and be able to detect smoke before it was visible to the human eye.

Testing
A series of fire tests were designed and carried out by Fireworks in accordance with the guide-lines of NFPA750 and the specific requirement of Network Rail under the supervision of their designated fire risk consultant.

Solution
The watermist high pressure system was linked to VESdA (Very Early Smoke detection Aspirator) detection in the archive areas and conventional point type detection in the Escape routes, corridors and stairs.

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For more information contact us on 01953 458420 or email enquiries@fireworks-ltd.com