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Fire management at the Humber Bridge

by Andy Clutton

Humber_Bridge_photograph_2012_WEBThe Humber Bridge is a 2,220m single span suspension bridge which, when it opened in June 1981 was the longest in the world. The bridge contains a complex infrastructure that is primarily housed in the two towers. Its Maintenance Manager, John Williams, explains, “These substations contain a plethora of mechanical and electrical plant and machinery, which are relied upon for the Humber Bridge’s operation.”

Within these areas there is a need for fire detection and Beverley based Fire Protection Supplies has provided solutions to the Humber Bridge for a number of years. Trevor Campbell, the company’s Director, states, “John contacted us to discuss upgrading the fire detection control panels and graphics system at the Humber Bridge, which involved installing ZX products and the Visualeyez Graphics Workstation from Morley-IAS by Honeywell.”

Seven panels were replaced overall and these are sited in a variety of locations including the administration offices, where a central control room that contains all the servers and IT related technology is used to ensure that everything is running smoothly. Here the ZX5Se panels were installed, while at the other plant areas across the Humber Bridge saw a combination of ZX1Se and ZX2Se products used.

The panels have been configured to report back to a new Visualeyez Graphics Workstation. In addition to the basic function of displaying alarms at a central location, the system also offers the ability to record and analyse both alarms and non-alarm events. This provides the building’s engineers or management with the tools they need to analyse alarms, faults, review events, assess problems and plan their maintenance and false alarm prevention strategies.

“Visualeyez has provided the Humber Bridge with more than just an alarm monitoring package,” comments Trevor Campbell, “We have configured it so that it operates as a building management system, so the plant rooms are monitored via I/O devices and can send alerts about any issues affecting the equipment. It also has an events page that can generate an automatic report about any situation and can also control, start and test the system remotely, as well as switching on cameras to provide images of a location where an alarm has been activated. To enhance security, access doors and hatches have been fitted with sensors, so if an engineer is on-site, every time a door is opened a security warning is generated that provides a full audit trail of his or her activities.”

It was decided that it would be beneficial to have two monitors within the central control room. To achieve this Fire Protection Supplies fitted a multimedia splitter over Category 5e twisted pair copper data cable, which now enables the two monitors to see the same Visualeyez system. To enable future expansion, the Visualeyez software supports 16 panels and can be upgraded to extend the software’s capabilities.


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