Tunnel fires can be catastrophic with the scale of lives and property lost. Many tunnels are essential arteries of transport and trade and the subsequent disruption to both can last months and in some cases years.
One only has to think of recent fires such as in the Alps region – Tauern, Gotthard and Mont Blanc to illustrate the horrific power of tunnel fires. The latter, connecting France and Italy, reached temperatures of 1,000 °C (1,830 °F) and burned for 53 hours, 39 people died. 16 people and companies were tried for manslaughter. €13.5 million (US $17.5 million) in compensation was paid by the Italian tunnel operator alone. Repairs, renovations and fire safety upgrades took three years to complete.
Fire detection is not an extra but an essential tool to protect the tunnel and its users from catastrophe.
It is essential that fire detection and prevention systems can reduce the risk and enable fires to be contained and extinguished before developing into unstoppable infernos.
FireVu uses the proven Visual Smoke Detection (VSD) to raise the alert of a potential blaze at the first signs of fire.
It uses a wide range of changes in its wide field of view such as colour matching and loss of detail to alert operators, remotely or on site to potential fire danger. Potential interference to fire detection such as car fumes and the movement of vehicles do not affect its effectiveness.
FireVu also issues early alerts based on detecting flames and reflected flame.
FireVu has been successfully tested and is being used in some of the world’s busiest tunnels such as Palm Jumeirah in Dubai and the AUS $554M Sydney Harbour Tunnel, which handles 90,000 vehicles daily.
The controlled test at Sydney, using a vehicle fire generating temperatures in excess of 500°C generated an alert after just 14 seconds with a further 30 alerts during the test using FireVu’s VSD solution. The incumbent older automated system generated no alerts.
Fire detection is not an extra but an essential tool to protect the tunnel and its users from catastrophe. FireVu works and protects people and high value assets.