Everyone has heard of fire prevention and safety, but have you heard of fire detection and safety? The newest and most technologically advanced form of fire safety today is called high-sensitivity smoke detection (HSSD). A system developed by Fenwal Protection Systems, used in combination with the Viega North America ProPress system, and installed by expert contractors United Fire Protection, was a winning combination utilized in the protection of one of our nation's most prized and recognized symbols of freedom, Lady Liberty.
In 2003, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., was asked by the National Parks Service/Department of the Interior, who run the Statue of Liberty and is its sole decision-making body, to raise funds necessary to make a number of critical improvements to the statue. These improvements included upgrading safety, fire and emergency notification systems. The foundation engaged architects and engineers to provide a variety of design solutions. Frank Savino and United Fire Protection in Union, NJ, were chosen as the contractor to install a new high-sensitivity smoke detection system called the AnaLaser II, developed by Fenwal, and chose the Viega ProPress system to complete the project.
The application itself is inside the stairwell area of the statue, which is largely off limits to the public after increased security was established post 9/11/01. A demonstration system was shown to be effective in this area as part of the preliminary design portion of the project, witnessed by both the engineering firm and the U.S. National Parks Service. The AnaLaser II is a high-sensitivity smoke detector (HSSD) system utilizing air-aspirating technology. The fundamental theory is to actively bring the smoke particulate matter to the detector, rather than passively waiting for the smoke to drift to the location of the detector. The AnaLaser II system does this by a series of tubing networks with small holes attached to a central detector unit with a fan, drawing the air from the monitored space back through the tubing network to the detector. The detector utilizes a laser-based, particle discrimination technology to determine both the number of particles and the size of the particulates, in order to determine and discriminate between smoke levels and other contaminants like dust or pollen. The result is a smoke detection system magnitude more sensitive than standard spot detectors. Additionally, because the AnaLaser II uses this particle discrimination technique, no filtering is required, and thus maintenance of the unit is minimal.
The Viega system used to aide in the speed and labor cost reduction of this project was ProPress-a copper solderless press tubing and fitting system used in wet, dry, commercial, industrial or residential applications. The system is faster, stronger and more reliable. With more than 250 fittings to choose from in sizes from 1/2"
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