CDS installs technical fire safety system at scientific research institute

News | June 2022

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A scientific research institute carrying out sensitive work at a British university appointed CDS to design, supply, install and maintain a highly technical fire safety system suitable for use in a clinically sterile environment.

The centre’s specialised activities, which take place in a ‘clean room’ – a controlled environment with a low level of pollutants such as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particles, and chemical vapours – meant it needed the niche expertise offered by only a handful of fire compliance organisations.

The department, which carries out confidential and ground-breaking research, needed to ensure the safety of its staff, property and equipment with a system which didn’t compromise the sterility of the room and its occupants and wouldn’t cause any contamination when safety checks and maintenance were carried out.

It also needed a very specialised system which could detect fire in a room with the high volume of air flow created by frequent air changes, something beyond the scope of a standard fire safety detection arrangement.

CDS’ 30 plus years’ of expertise in supplying systems for highly sensitive scientific environments meant it was ideally placed to design, supply and install a specialised solution, which it will maintain over its lifetime.

The system needed to comply with BS6266 and BS5839 and have special requirements to allow all services to be tested without having to enter the clean room area.

The CDS team specified a Xtralis Vesda Aspiration, monitored via a Gent Network Fire Alarm, system which samples air though a series of concealed pipes, offering a very early fire detection warning.

The specialised BS6266 element in particular is not offered by many fire detection companies, with the technical elements of being able to offer an early warning, cope with rapid air flow changes and the ability to test the devices without needing to enter the room making the system so technically special.

The department was opened this spring by a well-known space hero.

The new system will help protect the lives of the 300 or so scientists and students who work in the centre.

Clean rooms are used in many industries in which small particles can adversely affect the manufacturing process, such as semiconductor manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, biotech, medical device and life sciences, aerospace, optics, energy and defence.

Staff working in these environments enter and exit the clean room through airlocks, air showers or gowning rooms, and must wear special clothing designed to trap contaminants which are naturally generated by the body.

Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cleanroom_entrance.jpg#/media/File:Cleanroom_entrance.jpg