Why VESDA? Leveraging Air Sampling Smoke Detection Within Your Fire Alarm System
A VESDA “Aspirating Smoke Detector" alerts a facility’s fire safety system before an emergency unfolds, giving you time to evaluate and eliminate the potential hazard before it becomes a true safety issue.
Where there is smoke, there is fire, right? What if you had a system in place that could detect that smoke well before you, or your traditional fire detection devices could sense it? A VESDA “Aspirating Smoke Detector” or Air Sampling Device (ASD) actively evaluates the air in a protected space by drawing it through a pipe network that samples for smoke, foreign particles, gases, fumes, etc. It alerts a facility’s fire safety system well before an actual emergency event unfolds, allowing facilities managers and safety personnel the time needed to evaluate the potential hazard, and eliminate it before it becomes a true life safety issue.
WHEN FACILITIES REQUIRE UNIQUE PROTECTION
The goal of air sampling smoke and gas detectors is to protect spaces by providing early detection of a smoke or gas event before it becomes a significant incident. They’re likely installed in many facilities that you frequent, including educational facilities, warehouses, museums, manufacturing spaces, or healthcare facilities. Yet you won’t always be able to look up to a ceiling of protected space to verify a VESDA system is in-fact deployed. This is because the sampling points that displace traditional spot-type detectors are incredibly discrete, making VESDA a premier choice for buildings that require the highest level of protection when aesthetics are a concern.
VESDA may also be used in facilities that require protection against environmental threats including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen depletion, methane, propane, or fumes. This may include areas like generator rooms, mining facilities, parking garages, or industrial applications. When you have a unique application, always think VESDA.
WHEN PUBLIC SAFETY IS A TOP PRIORITY
Imagine a large public space such as a hospital, airport, or theme park having to conduct an evacuation due to a life safety event. The evacuation is incredibly complex, requires a large number of personnel to properly evacuate the facility, and can raise fear in the patients, visitors, and staff. Early and advanced detection is imperative in avoiding these large-scale evacuations, which pose their own danger for a panic-stricken public. The use of advanced detection can help public safety officials maximize safety while minimizing the financial implications of emergency events. By detecting airborne intrusions early, an event is mitigated before it requires an evacuation, or any other external life safety response. When you think public safety and confidence, think VESDA.
WHEN COST COUNTS
VESDA provides cost savings during installation and throughout the life of the system. Consider the plight of installing and maintaining smoke detectors in a large amphitheatre or gymnasium. Installation would be costly and require days, if not weeks, of work. On top of this, annual inspections would be difficult and time-consuming. Air Sampling Devices, on the other hand, are easily installed, with annual smoke detection system testing performed from a single, convenient location, minimizing time and reducing recurrent expenses. In the case of this gymnasium, or any other lofted ceiling space, this means that all testing can be done from the ground, mitigating the need for any lifts or heavy equipment to conduct testing. VESDA does all of this while still meeting all necessary code requirements.
So should you consider VESDA? If you are a stakeholder in large facilities or connected campuses with high volume populations or structures that make installation and maintenance of smoke detectors challenging, then YES! Absolutely. If you oversee an architecturally unique building with design features that would be compromised by unsightly smoke detectors, then YES. Absolutely! Although it may not be included in your initial contractor bids, know to ask one simple question – why not VESDA?
Original Article: By Greg Lyons
Published by Facility Executive