We are very excited to announce the launch of our AI-powered Smoke and Fire Early Warning System S.A.F.E. which can detect smoke or fire within just a few seconds. Since the King’s Dock multi-storey car park at Liverpool Echo Arena was devastated by fire on New Year’s Eve 2017, causing millions of pounds’ of damage, Highlight Parking has been developing S.A.F.E. to help prevent similar events and improve the overall safety of car parks.
This innovative solution works with around-the-clock unattended monitoring, typically detecting smoke within seconds. Connected to a cloud application, S.A.F.E. immediately triggers a visual and audible alert, with email/SMS warnings sent automatically to smart devices and to car park control room screens. S.A.F.E.’s AI capability means that smoke can be detected as fast as the human eye, rather than relying on smoke to reach a car park’s ceiling mounted fire wire detectors. The outcome is that emergency measures can be taken far more quickly, so the likelihood of serious damage or injury is dramatically reduced.
“We developed S.A.F.E. because conventional fire systems are based on heat detection, which means a fire may already be out of control before it is detected, as was the case at King’s Dock”, explains David Harrison, MD at Highlight Parking. “By the time fire services had been alerted (13 minutes), despite their quick response, it was too late; nearly 1,200 vehicles were destroyed, and the insurance bill was a massive £20 million. Thankfully nobody was injured.”
As well as the existing risk of a petrol or diesel fire, as electric vehicle become more popular and EV charging points in car parks are increasingly commonplace, there is the additional increased threat of an electrical fire. Consequently, the need for a more sophisticated fire detection solution such as S.A.F.E. is even more imperative.
Harrison continues, “Obviously, fire safety is extremely important to car park operators and Chief Fire Officers who cite speed of response as absolutely crucial when it comes to preventing a fire disaster, like the one in Liverpool. We believe S.A.F.E. provides this.”
FTSE 100 company, Severn Trent Water, has installed S.A.F.E. at its headquarters in the West Midlands. Richard Carney, Project Manager at Severn Trent comments, “The S.A.F.E. system was a guaranteed investment for us. We did of course have a fire alarm system in the car park but, S.A.F.E. provides a far quicker response; we timed it at between seven and eight seconds compared to 12 minutes for our existing system.”
While S.A.F.E. has been developed for car parks, its AI software can be implemented in any other setting such as warehouses, storage facilities, retail and other large building where there is a fire risk. It can be installed using an existing or a new CCTV camera system.