System Integration & Control Systems Design

Automated fire protection solutions

April 2013 System Integration & Control Systems Design

Automation and amalgamation of technology driven services can streamline processes to make a business operate far more efficiently. The South African Police Service 10111 Centre in Port Elizabeth is a prime example. The centre boasts a state-of-the-art electronic safety and security system that incorporates fire detection, fire suppression, CCTV and biometric access control.

Control from a single workstation

The installation, undertaken by ITD Protection Systems, integrates the four services via a UTC Alliance system that allows control of everything from a single workstation. This means that the status of the fire detection can be seen at a glance, doors can be remotely opened and locked and the CCTV cameras can be controlled from a single console. The advanced workstation gives personnel complete remote control of the safety and security systems that protect the building.

The user is able to configure the Alliance system to react automatically to different events in and around the building, for example: should a fire occur in an area it would be detected, the CCTV cameras would start recording the event and all the exit doors would be unlocked to allow evacuation. The gas suppression system would then extinguish the fire in those areas that are affected.

Automated fire detection and suppression

Alien Systems & Technologies supplied 80 cylinders of the environmentally friendly gas, Pyroshield, to form the fire suppression system and protect the sensitive high risk areas. The Pyrogen Mag 2 extinguishment canisters were mounted within each call centre console as well as the cable ducts in the basement below the call centre floor.

The systems utilise an analog addressable fire detection architecture that covers the entire premises with more than 400 smoke detectors, break glass units and combination sounder/strobe alarms. The fire panel activates the smoke exhaust fans, controls the lifts and stops the air conditioning in the building should there be a fire. All access controlled doors are fitted with biometric readers for identification, powered over Ethernet, these control access to and exit from secure areas. The system records all entry and exit requests.

The CCTV system is state-of-the-art with UTC cameras installed throughout the building, all powered over Ethernet. Twenty-four-hour surveillance is maintained over external areas such as vehicle parking and workshops using pan tilt zoom cameras. These cameras are also installed on the perimeter to provide surveillance of yard areas as well as beyond the facility boundary.

According to Alien Systems & Technologies, sophisticated amalgamated systems such as these will soon be the norm and not the exception.

For more information contact Sam Wright, Alien Systems & Technologies, +27 (0)11 949 1157,,


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