Scorpion installation at Southampton University
The University of Southampton is a campus typical of many universities – with a number of large buildings occupied by both students and staff. Buildings include libraries, lecture theatres, classrooms, offices, sports halls and accommodation. The diversity of these buildings can make compliant testing of all detectors a challenge.
We joined Detect Fire and Security engineers to have a look at a few of the buildings. The first was the Estates Department which housed a lift shaft with a point detector installed. Testing of this detector not only required the presence of a fire engineer but also a lift engineer and facilities staff from the university. As well as adding additional cost to the testing – this also took a significant amount of time and effort to arrange. On the day of testing, the lift had to be put out of action, causing disruption to the running of the department.
The second building, part of the Chemistry Department, housed a number of lecture theatres and high hallways. These contained a concealed ASD system which spanned across a secure area. The pipe path, linking the ASD panel to the fire panel, had a security door in between – meaning it required significant time and effort to access the area and carry out testing.
As the contracted fire and safety maintainer, Detect Fire and Security, typically test the university’s detectors using Testifire. However, those in hard-to-access locations, required a different approach and it was here that they considered Scorpion.
The justification for installing Scorpion saw the installers and building manager analyse the cost of installation against the cost of accessing the detector by other means. They considered cost areas such as access equipment and additional personnel and also looked at the amount time it would take to organise.
The installation of Scorpion in the lift shaft and the ceiling void was quick and simple. Future tests of these detectors can now be easily achieved from ground level – crucially at the same time as all the other detectors.