A new ‘real-time’ fire hydrant and sprinkler monitoring system looks set to change the ways building owners and managers maintain fire prevention and mitigation systems.
The AlertU monitoring system from Grosvenor Engineering Group (Grosvenor) incorporates a real-time data feed and features water pressure sensors that accurately measure from 0 to 3,000 kpa. Using fault finding algorithms, it periodically establishes if fire sprinklers and hydrants are experiencing operational problems, and then wirelessly alerts relevant parties via SMS notifications if an issue is present.
Mitch Edwards, National Service Line Manager – Fire at Grosvenor Engineering Group says the new system ensures proactive maintenance, improves compliance and enhances risk management.
“Currently, fire sprinklers and hydrants are only monitored for fire brigade purposes and are not visible to building managers and owners. The industry does not currently monitor systems as the tangible benefits have not been fully understood or recognised however, we expect this to change in the near future,” he says.
“The people who will benefit most from AlertU are building managers and owners, service providers and insurers. The data is recorded and stored, enabling users to interrogate system abnormalities and repair or investigate issues prior to alarms going off, which offers significant cost savings.
“Fire sprinklers and hydrants have been used for decades to effectively prevent or minimise the effects of fires in commercial, industrial, retail and residential buildings.”
One recent study by Fire & Rescue NSW in their 2018 Residential Sprinkler Research Report, found that fire sprinklers significantly improved the safety of occupants in residential buildings under 25 metres in height, preventing 90 per cent of fires from spreading to other rooms.
“While these results are impressive, it is critical that wet pipe systems are not simply installed and forgotten. They need to be maintained to ensure that if a fire occurs, they are functional and successfully do what they were designed to do. A system operating in real-time will help reduce fatalities as well as reduce overall costs,” he concluded.
AlertU measures the presence of water leaks, jacking pump water issues, pump activation and locations. It also monitors and reduces water usage, reduces unnecessary fire brigade callouts, verifies fire testing during the defect liability period, confirms annual testing run duration, monthly tests are undertaken and recorded and it provides alerts for activated pumps.
Grosvenor maintains hard assets for over 17,000 facilities across Australia and oversees $2.2 billion worth of assets under management for large corporate companies. AlertU will be rolled out across Grosvenor’s building network.