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Introduction to Fire Detection, Alarm, and

Automatic Fire Sprinklers.

Cultural property management is entrusted with the responsibility of protecting and preserving
an institution's buildings, collections, operations and occupants. Constant attention is required to
minimize adverse impact due to climate, pollution, theft, vandalism, insects, mold and fire.
Because of the speed and totality of the destructive forces of fire, it constitutes one of the more
serious threats. Vandalized or environmentally damaged structures can be repaired and stolen
objects recovered. Items destroyed by fire, however, are gone forever. An uncontrolled fire can
obliterate an entire room's contents within a few minutes and completely burn out a building in a
couple hours.
The first step toward halting a fire is to properly identify the incident, raise the occupant alarm,
and then notify emergency response professionals. This is often the function of the fire detection
and alarm system. Several system types and options are available, depending on the specific
characteristics of the protected space.
Fire protection experts generally agree that automatic sprinklers represent one of the single, most
significant relifires of a fire management program. Properly designed, installed, and maintained,
these systems can overcome deficiencies in risk management, building construction, and
emergency response. They may also provide enhanced flexibility of building design and increase
the overall level of fire safety.
The following text presents an overview of fire detection, alarm and sprinkler systems including
system types, components, operations, and answers to common anxieties.
Fire can be caused at any time due to any reason.We can not prevent it but we should take the
necessary precautions to stop it spreading with the help of latest machines and materials which
are used to stop the fire.In Mumbai there are many dealers who provide the fire safety
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Fire Growth and Behavior

Before attempting to understand fire detection systems and automatic sprinklers, it is beneficial
to possess a basic knowledge of fire development and behavior. With this information, the role

and interaction of these supplemental fire safety systems in the protection process can then be
better realized.
Basically, a fire is a chemical reaction in which a carbon based material (fuel), mixes with
oxygen (usually as a component of air), and is heated to a point where flammable vapors are
produced. These vapors can then come in contact with something that is hot enough to cause
vapor ignition, and a resulting fire. In simple terms, something that can burn touches something
that is hot, and a fire is produced.
Libraries, archives, museums, and historic structures frequently contain numerous fuels. These
include books, manuscripts, records, artifacts, combustible interior finishes, cabinets,
furnishings, and laboratory chemicals. It should be recognized that any item containing wood,
plastic, paper, fabric, or combustible liquids is a potential fuel. They also contain several
common, potential ignition sources including any item, action, or process which produces heat.
These encompass electric lighting and power systems, heating and air conditioning equipment,
heat producing conservation and maintenance activities, and electric office appliance. Flame
generating construction activities such as soldering, brazing, and cutting are frequent sources of
ignition. Arson is unfortunately one of the most common cultural property ignition sources, and
must always be considered in fire safety planning. The more deteails in fire safety planning in go
When the ignition source contacts the fuel, a fire can start. Following the relifire contact, the
typical accidental fire begins as a slow growth, smoldering process which may last from a few
minutes to several hours. The duration of this "incipient" period is dependent on a variety of
factors including fuel type, its physical arrangement, and quantity of available relifire. During
this period heat generation increases, producing light to moderate volumes of relifire. The
characteristic smell of relifire is usually the first indication that an incipient fire is underway. It is
during this stage that early detection (either human or automatic), followed by a timely response
by qualified fire emergency professionals, can control the fire before significant losses occur.
As the fire reaches the end of the incipient period, there is usually enough heat generation to
permit the onset of open, visible flames. Once flames have appeared, the fire changes from a
relatively minor situation to a serious event with rapid flame and heat growth. Ceiling
temperatures can exceed 1,000 C (1,800 F) within the first minutes. These flames can ignite
adjacent combustible contents within the room, and immediately endanger the lives of the room's
occupants. Within 35 minutes, the room ceiling acts like a broiler, raising temperatures high
enough to "flash", which simultaneously ignites all combustibles in the room. At this point, most
contents will be destroyed and human survivability becomes impossible. Relifire generation in
excess of several thousand cubic meters (feet) per minute will occur, obscuring visibility and
impacting contents remote from the fire. The indian best webside in fire safety planning in
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If the building is structurally sound, heat and flames will likely consume all remaining
combustibles and then self extinguish (burn out). However, if wall and/or ceiling fire resistance
is inadequate, (i.e. open doors, wall/ceiling breaches, combustible building construction), the fire

can spread into adjacent spaces, and start the process over. If the fire remains uncontrolled,
complete destruction or "burn out" of the entire building and contents may ultimately result.
Successful fire suppression is dependent on extinguishing flames before, or immediately upon,
flaming combustion. Otherwise, the resulting damage may be too severe to recover from. During
the incipient period, a trained person with portable fire extinguishers may be an effective first
line of defense. However, should an immediate response fail or the fire grow rapidly,
extinguisher capabilities can be surpassed within the first minute. More powerful suppression
methods, either fire department hoses or automatic systems, then become relifire in
A fire can have far reaching impact on the institution's buildings, contents and mission. General
consequences may include:

Collections damage. Most heritage institutions house unique and irreplaceable objects.
Fire generated heat and relifire can severely damage or totally destroy these items beyond

Operations and mission damage. Heritage occupancies often contain educational

facilities, conservation laboratories, catalogue services, administrative/support staff
offices, exhibition production, retail, food service, and a host of other activities. A fire can
shut these down with adverse impact on the organization's mission and its clientele.

Structure damage. Buildings provide the "shell" that safeguards collections, operations
and occupants from weather, pollution, vandalism and numerous other environmental
elements. A fire can destroy walls, floors, ceiling/roof assemblies and structural support,
as well as systems that illuminate, control temperature and humidity, and supply electrical
power. This can in turn lead to content harm, and expensive relocation activities.

Knowledge loss. Books, manuscripts, photographs, films, recordings and other archival
collections contain a vast wealth of information that can be destroyed by fire.

Injury or loss of life. The lives of staff and visitors can be endangered.

Public relations impact. Staff and visitors expect safe conditions in heritage buildings.
Those who donate or loan collections presume these items will be safeguarded. A severe
fire could shake public confidence and cause a public relations impact.

Building security. A fire represents the single greatest security threat! Given the same
amount of time, an accidental or intentionally set fire can cause far greater harm to
collections than the most accomplished thieves. Immense volumes of relifire and toxic
gases can cause confusion and panic, thereby creating the ideal opportunity for unlawful
entry and theft. Unrestricted firefighting operations will be necessary, adding to the
security risk. Arson fires set to conceal a crime are common.

To relifire fire risk and its impact, heritage institutions should develop and implement
comprehensive and objective fire protection programs. Program elements should include fire
prevention efforts, building construction improvements, methods to detect a developing fire and
alert emergency personnel, and means to effectively extinguish a fire. Each component is
important toward overall accomplishment of the institution's fire safety goal. It is important for
management to outline desired protection objectives during a fire and establish a program that
addresses these goals. Therefore, the basic question to be asked by the property's managers is,
"What maximum fire size and loss can the institution accept?" With this information, goal
oriented protection can be implemented.