Xtralis Enhanced ECO Brings Efficiency and Affordability to Gas Detection & Environmental Monitoring

Xtralis® announced today the availability of an enhanced version of its award-winning VESDA® ECO™ gas detection product. ECO is a gas detection extension for the world-renowned Xtralis VESDA aspirating smoke detection (ASD) system, which is used in over 400,000 mission-critical early warning and detection applications worldwide. The enhanced version VESDA ECO includes six new gas detection options as well as additional programming, testing, and monitoring capabilities. 

The VESDA ECO approach to gas detection utilizes efficient multi-hole aspirating technology, an industry first, which provides superior gas detection and removes the guess work in gas detector placement. By utilizing a VESDA pipe network, ECO customers can realize significantly lower total cost of ownership (TCO) with savings of up to 46% on initial capital expense, and up to 76% savings in operational expenses versus conventional gas detectors.

The enhanced version of VESDA ECO adds new gas detection capabilities for alcohol, gasoline vapor, pentane, chlorine and carbon dioxide, and provides additional oxygen and ammonia sensing. The initial release of ECO included detection for ammonia (NH3), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), methane (CH4), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), oxygen (O2), propane (C3H8) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The new version also adds a highly intuitive calibration process, field programmable “calibration due” notifications, and a simulation capability of gas tests to analyse the system’s functionality and performance.

“VESDA ECO’s is now providing protection to an ever growing list of diverse applications for world leading companies. Facilities such as steel mills, gas fired turbine halls, and cold storage logistics centers are realizing dramatic cost savings while enjoying significantly enhanced protection with ECO.” remarked Claudio Groppetti, Vice President Business Development, Environmental Protection & Gas Monitoring at Xtralis. “VESDA ECO is redefining how gas detection is implemented in these facilities,” he added. 

Earlier this year, VESDA ECO was awarded the Best in Detection Controls, Devices and Sensors Award from New Product Showcase competition at ISC West. In addition, Frost & Sullivan’s Building and Environmental Technologies research team recognized VESDA ECO with the 2011 North American New Product Innovation Award for the fire and life safety markets. 

Claudio Gropetti from Xtralis will present a technical paper on ECO titled “New Approach to Gas Detection” at ISA Automation Week on October 18 in Mobile, Alabama. VESDA ECO will be on display in Xtralis Booth #300 at the ISA Automation Week 2011 Supplier Showcase, from Tuesday, October 18 through Thursday, October 20.

Industrial Applications Get the Ultimate Protection in One Box – Xtralis Launches Industrial VESDA VLI Smoke Detection System

Drawing on more than 25 years of experience and over 1660 projects with ASD in industrial applications, Xtralis™, the leader in air-sampling smoke detection (ASD), launches Industrial VESDA VLI, the ultimate solution for fire protection of harsh environments in one box. VLI is the only solution specifically designed for harsh environments without any need for application engineering. This is a true out-of-the-box solution enabling 4 times longer lifecycle and lowering maintenance requirements by up to 60%. 

Most recently, Industrial VESDA VLI was one of the products specifically evaluated by Frost & Sullivan research, awarding Xtralis its 2011 North American New Product Innovation Award in the Fire and Life Safety market. Frost & Sullivan, a global growth partnership company, presents its Awards to companies demonstrating best practices in a variety of regional and global markets. The criteria for the award included leading technology, value-added features and benefits and increased customer ROI. 

For 25 years, VESDA has been the solution of choice for harsh environments based on its core features - absolute detection thresholds, clean-air barriers for optics protection, and advanced air filtration - critical factors to effective detection in industrial applications. Other ASD devices that lack these essential features are more prone to contamination and a reduction in useful service life. Furthermore the use, in these other products, of adaptive smoke detection algorithms that compensate for contamination induced detector drift or existing environmental smoke can delay, or in extreme cases miss detection of slow growth fires, the very fires that Very Early Warning detection is deployed to detect.

Additionally, Industrial VESDA VLI boasts a ruggedized enclosure, rated IP54, providing protection against dust and water spray. Enhanced aspiration enables longer pipe lengths of up to 360m (1,200 ft) - important for many industrial applications with extended ceiling heights and area coverage. VLI also incorporates exclusively designed and patented an industry-first, patented, fail-safe, intelligent filtration technology designed to reduce contamination in the sampled air, improving detector longevity and reducing service and maintenance by up to 40-60% depending on the environment. The detection chamber background is monitored by another patented Xtralis innovation, in-service background confirmation using a novel user-initiated Clean Air Zero system. A modular design means the intelligent filter, aspirator, secondary filter and detection chamber are all field-replaceable significantly reducing service downtime and associated costs. 

Mike Rowland, Acting Venue Manager for the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC) says, “We were impressed by the Industrial VESDA VLI detection effectiveness. The VLI system has now been installed and operational since mid March 2011 and is meeting our regulatory requirements whilst providing effective detection despite the challenging conditions of our venue, including high levels of dust from active events and varying airflows”.

“The purpose-built VLI sets a new benchmark for fire detection in industrial applications”, explains Dr. Peter Meikle, Xtralis Vice President for Fire Products and Strategy. “As the pioneers of ASD technology, we’ve combined our technological expertise and 25 plus years of industrial field experience to add a new detector to our VESDA line that will provide very early warning smoke detection for the most challenging environments, at the same time simplifying the deployment of the technology”. 

There are over 380,000 VESDA units shipped to date, many of which are in harsh environments. The ability to detect gas, with VESDA ECO further enhances VLI’s capabilities in industrial applications, delivering tremendous improvement in gas detection performance through better area coverage and elimination of the guess work in gas detector placement, ultimately providing up to 46% in capital cost savings, and up to 76% in operational cost savings versus current gas detection technologies. 

Industrial VESDA VLI’s capabilities have been proven in the following applications coal mine, sugar mill, paper manufacturing facility and an equestrian center. Industrial VESDA VLI doesn’t stop there – it’s suited for fire detection in many more hash environments, such as:

  • Mining
  • Manufacturing and processing plants
  • Petrochemical facilities
  • Tunnels
  • Grain silos
  • Power generation facilities
  • Timber, pulp and paper plants
  • Textile plants
  • Recycling facilities
  • Transportation hubs
  • Water treatment facilities
  • Warehouses
  • Fertilizer plants
  • Abattoirs
  • Laundries



Fike Introduces Fire Alarm Event Management Systems

Blue Springs, MO, October 8, 2008 – Fike Alarm Systems is proud to announce the release of its newest products, the Precise Vision™ and Precise Touch™ computer-based event management systems.

Created to help control and monitor facilities during emergency situations, Precise Vision allows facility managers and/or key personnel the ability to respond to alarm and trouble situations with just a few easy clicks -- gaining access to building floor plans, emergency contacts, and security plans. In addition, Precise Vision has the capability to inform appropriate personnel via email about alarm situations.

Precise Touch is an intuitive computer graphics package designed for use in public locations so that responders can quickly locate an alarm situation, view floor plans, identify potential hazards and find emergency exit routes. This intelligent device is also powered with knowledge to locate where a fire started, how it is progressing and what potential hazards may exist, so personnel can quickly locate the nearest exit route.

“These event management packages interface with Fike fire alarm technology, giving users detailed, visual information on exactly what is happening within their facility, so the safest and most efficient action can be taken for the situation,” said Kevin Montgomery, Market Manager. “Both of these products are easy to operate and provide intuitive information for facility managers and/or personnel to respond quickly.”

Precise Vision and Precise Touch were specially designed to work with the Fike CyberCat® fire alarm control panels and can be customized and adapted to meet changing needs of a facility.

Fike is a globally recognized supplier of products and services that protect people and critical assets from dangers such as fire, explosion, and over-pressurization. With over 60 years experience manufacturing safety solutions, Fike offers a complete line of proven, reliable products to customers around the world.


NFPA releases 2010 “Fire Loss in the U.S.” report

New report shows lower number of fires but increased fire deaths

September 15, 2011 –Public fire departments responded to 1,331,500 fires in the United States during 2010, a slight decrease from the previous year and the lowest number since 1977, according to a new report (759 KB) issued by the National Fire Protection Association(NFPA).

These fires caused an estimated 3,120 civilian fire deaths, a 4 percent increase from a year ago; an estimated 17,720 civilian fire injuries, also a 4 percent increase from the previous year; and more than $11.5 billion in property damage, a significant decrease from the year before.

Fire Loss in the U.S. analyzes 2010 figures for fires, civilian fire deaths, injuries, property damage, and intentionally set fires. Estimates are based on data collected from fire departments that responded to NFPA’s Annual National Fire Experience Survey.

There were an estimated 482,000 structure fires reported to fire departments in 2010, a very slight increase from a year ago. The number of structure fires was at their peak in 1977, the first year that NFPA implemented its current survey methodology, when 1,098,000 structure fires occurred. 

“We have made tremendous progress in reducing the fire problem in the United States since we began looking at these numbers in the late 70’s,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Communications for NFPA. “But this report shows us that more must be done to bring the numbers down even further. We continue to see the vast majority of deaths occurring in homes, a place where people often feel safest. These survey results will be combined with data from the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA’s) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) to determine how often specific fire circumstances occur and where we can most effectively focus our efforts.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • A fire department responded to a fire every 24 seconds.
  • 384,000 fires or 80 percent of all structure fires occurred in residential properties.
  • About 85 percent of all fire deaths occurred in the home.
  • 215,500 vehicle fires occurred in the U.S. during 2010, causing 310 civilian fire deaths, 1,590 civilian fire injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.
  • 634,000 outside and other fires occurred in the U.S. during 2010 causing $501 million in property damage.

“USFA is pleased to share in the release of NFPA’s annual fire loss report,” said Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines. “NFPA’s survey is greatly valued by USFA and aids in producing national estimates of more detailed fires and losses as reported to NFIRS. These combined efforts enable us to analyze the fire problem at a more detailed level and develop prevention strategies to reduce the risk of fire and loss of life and property to the American public.”

Download the full report “Fire Loss in the United States during 2010”.


Post-holiday safety for peak fire months

NFPA reminds the public to properly store and dispose of seasonal decorations

December 21, 2011 – According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are more home structure fires in the cooler months than any other time of year. As pine needles begin to drop on living room carpets, NFPA is offering suggestions for safe storage and removal of holiday decorations.

“It’s not uncommon to see residents keeping lights and Christmas trees up past December,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “The reality is, continued use of seasonal lighting and dried-out Christmas trees can pose significant fire hazards in and outside the home.”

Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they have a higher chance of being deadly. NFPA recommends getting rid of the tree when it’s dry. Dried trees should not be kept in the home, garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.

In 2005-2009, holiday lights and other decorative lighting were involved in an annual average of 150 home fires, 8 civilian deaths, 14 related injuries, and $8.5 million in direct property damage. To reduce the risk of holiday light fires and keep equipment in good condition for next year, follow these storage suggestions:

  • To unplug electric decorations, use the gripping area provided on the plugs. Never pull the cord to unplug a device from electrical outlets. Doing so can harm the cord’s wire and insulation and even lead to an electrical shock or fire.
  • As you’re putting away electrical light strings, take time to inspect each for damage. Throw out light sets if they have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked or bare wires.
  • Do not place a damaged set of lights back into the storage box for next year’s use.
  • Wrap each set of lights and put them in individual plastic bags, or wrap the lights around a piece of cardboard.
  • Store electrical decorations in a dry place where they cannot be damaged by water or dampness. Also, keep them away from children and pets.

Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months. In fact, half of all home heating fires occur in December, January, and February, according to NFPA's Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment (PDF, 723 KB) report.

NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) are working together to remind everyone that home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season. Learn more information about the organizations’ joint safety campaign, “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires."

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.