For those not yet in the know, VESDA stands for “Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus”. It’s an aspirating smoke detector (ASD), so as well as detecting smoke like an ordinary smoke alarm, a VESDA tests the local environment for hazardous or combustible gases. It does so by continuously sampling the air in your home, office or factory to provide the earliest possible warning of an impending fire or respiratory hazard.
Instead of having single smoke detection units at strategic points around the building, an ASD utilises a continuous network of pipes running through the building, which draw in and test the air. Dust and dirt particles are also removed during the testing process, meaning that as well as protecting you from fire, a VESDA system actively purifies your home or office environment.
Does a VESDA system require ugly pipes all over the ceiling?
Thankfully, no. In places where visible pipes are going to impact upon the aesthetics of a home or office, VESDA pipes can be completely hidden above a false ceiling. Doing so will also have no impact on their functionality. The real advantage of a VESDA system however, is the sheer speed with which a problem can be detected.
This adds critical time for a quick investigation of the issue, meaning that evacuation is not always necessary. In this way you can limit the damage and disruption to your business that any minor incidents may have and prevent them from becoming major ones. VESDA units are also equipped with multi-level warnings so unnecessary evacuations are avoided and the number of false alarms can be seriously reduced.
Where are VESDA systems being installed?
Until recently VESDAs were mostly used in data centres where huge computer servers at risk of overheating need to be constantly monitored. But the advantages of such a system have not gone unnoticed elsewhere and VESDAs are now making the leap into the mainstream, with many top London developers snapping them up.
You’ll find VESDA being used in everything from apartment buildings, hotels, shops and offices, to cold storage, oil and gas platforms, nuclear facilities and transportation, across the world. They are particularly useful in places with high airflow, where normal detectors struggle to detect smoke.
What are the benefits of VESDA over our current detectors?
The key benefit of aspirating smoke detectors is that they can detect smoke before it is visible to the human eye. Standard point detectors generally do not detect smoke until it is visible, meaning that a fire can be well underway before any action is taken.
Another problem with standard point detectors is that they cannot be positioned too close to electronic equipment such as computer servers because of the negative electromagnetic effects they cause.
The VESDA detector on the other hand, can be run directly above the server, or even inside a sealed server cabinet. In the event of a server overheating and an electronic component beginning to smoke the VESDA detects the problem in less than thirty seconds, alerting staff that there is a problem before it becomes a bigger threat.
Thinking of installing a VESDA system in your building?
West London Security are experts at installing and maintaining VESDA systems in buildings of any size so if you’re looking to upgrade your fire system and need some expert advice, give us a call on 020 8676 4300 or use our contact form.
We’ll be happy to talk you through the system and will give you a no obligation quote as quickly as possible.