Fires in food processing businesses can be absolutely devastating.
The fire danger points are many and varied and often highly combustible. It is therefore critical that fires are detected early, while there is the opportunity to stop situations developing out of control.
Mechanical systems such as ovens and conveyor belts present one source of constant danger. Additionally, flammable hydraulic fluids that power them often span multiple pieces of high value machinery. This means that initially small incidents can put an entire plant in danger.
It is critical that food processing fires are detected early, while there is the opportunity to stop situations developing out of control.
What is more, dust, flammable gas fuels, finely sprayed oils liquids and vapours used in food processes are highly combustible. Add foodstuffs, such as flour, custard powder, instant coffee, sugar, dried milk, potato and soup powder and there is a potent and acute mix of fire hazards.
While ignition energies vary for different substances, in some instances even a low energy static discharge from a synthetic fibre jumper can trigger an ignition.
The consequences for businesses can be catastrophic – many never recover.
Wessex Foods suffered a fire in July 2010 at its Lowestoft plant supplying meat products for 500 UK Burger King outlets. The results were brutal for the business. 150 staff lost their jobs and 700 tonnes of burnt meat had to be cleared.
At least in Wessex Foods’ case, no-one was seriously injured and there were no fatalities, many food processing businesses are not so fortunate.
FireVu can be used to monitor identified areas of specific danger. Wide view monitoring can also be implemented. FireVu’s proven Visual Smoke Detection technology can identify danger early by noting changes in brightness, contrast, shape, edge content, motion, colour matching and loss of detail.
Situations can be assessed, action taken if necessary, either on site or remotely, and dealt with. Video can allow the assessment of incidents and lead to improvements in preventative measures.