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Fire Detection and Alarm Systems for PTA

  /    /    /  Fire Detection and Alarm Systems for PTA

Fire Detection and Alarm Systems at Key Transperth Stations

The Public Transport Authority (PTA) is a statutory body of the Western Australian government responsible for regional and metropolitan public transportation services across the state. The PTA initially approached Advanced Technology Products (ATP) in 2004 to procure fire safety engineering services for five of its major train and bus terminals in the Perth CBD including Wellington Street Station, Elizabeth Quay, the Perth Underground tunnels and the Perth Bus Port.

 

Solution

The PTA was seeking a way to improve the integration of its fire safety systems across the interconnected CBD network. Most other train terminals in the greater Perth metropolitan region are effectively ‘standalone’ stations when it comes to fire safety.
For example, if a fault occurs and a fire is ignited at Cottesloe Station there is a clear jurisdiction of responsibility in managing the fire.

Additionally, the fire will be attended to and extinguished quickly with minimal likelihood of the flame travelling to another station. If a fault occurred and a fire was ignited at Perth Underground station, however, there was no clear boundary at the time indicating which team should respond to the incident. If left unnoticed, the fire could very easily spread through the tunnel into neighbouring Elizabeth Quay station.
During an incident response in a tunnel system, smoke must be blown toward one platform or another – so it was pertinent that responders had all the data to logically manage an evacuation.

Due to these safety risks and inefficiencies, the PTA needed a way to manage one set of interconnected train infrastructure coherently. ATP designed, supplied and commissioned a range of networked fire panels that can connect all linked CBD train stations and disseminate all data back to a central control point both in the Perth precinct and at the Public Transport Centre in East Perth.

Part of the reason the PTA engaged ATP to deliver this solution was that we went beyond the confines of either designing a product or selling a product – as a distributor, we continue to design, engineer, supply and install our own unique solutions.

 

This particular solution included:

  • Notifier Fire Detection Panels
  • Multimode Fibreoptic NFN Network OnyxWorks™ Graphics System
  • VESDA High Sensitivity Smoke Detection in the Ventilation System
  • Fibreoptic Linear heat detection in the tunnels Integration with tunnel SCADA system
  • Emergency Warning integrated with Public Address system

 

Implementation

Shaping a resilient strategy for the implementation of this transport fire safety system was vital as we were a small team at the time and had been trusted with a significant governmental contract. We began by determining all critical PTA needs that might crop up over the course of the project. As a government body, the PTA is bound by procedural guidelines for planning and pre-planning major works.

During these conceptual meetings, ATP was invited along to ensure our solution would be able to handle any obstacles. As suspected, a very high level of resilience was needed – a central fire safety system is relied upon by the public every day, but an underground or tunnel-based system is relied upon even more. Concealment of risk in the tunnels means the fire safety system must work when it needs to, so there had to be a very high level of redundancy.

Another significant client need we discovered turned out to be the requirements of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).

The ATP fire safety solution for the PTA included installing fire panels in a north-facing location off Wellington Street. We soon found that DFES cannot respond effectively to incidents that require the use of north-facing panels as they cannot be read in direct sunlight. ATP devised a workaround for this problem.

By installing a 1:1 copy of the Wellington Street panel in a separate location on Murray Street, the fully integrated fire panel system could still be operated in direct sunlight should a crisis incident occur. Exceptional engineering arrangements like this one demonstrated our flexibility on the project as they were not PTA requirements and not part of the original ATP design.

During the installation phase of the project, ATP worked on the system in a fully operable train network to mitigate costly delays for rail passengers and preserve public safety. Any works that impact the ability to respond to a fire throughout the facilities must be conducted outside of the operating times, which ATP was able to accommodate. Working on the tracks did pose challenges – we had to adapt to obstructions within the tunnels (such as the drop-risk to overhead train lines) and work within the prescribed Track Access Permit system.

By maintaining a strong commitment to safety practices at all times, we completed the installation of the fire safety system with no delays and zero LTIs.

 

Outcome

The full ATP solution was implemented for the PTA both on time and budget according to the project schedule and with no impact on the rail schedule. The central control that the PTA now enjoys was able to be shifted to the East Perth control centre, so no further control operations were required in the Perth precinct.

Staff at the PTA no longer need to be physically close to the panels as they are all networked and interconnected. The PTA can now respond to a fire event in any of the Perth station areas quickly and efficiently from one central location.

Following this initial project, the PTA requested that ATP work on all future projects in their official documentation. For the last 15 years, ATP has continued to provide top-tier innovative solutions in fire detection, suppression and safety for the Public Transport Authority.

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