A potential fire at the Coachman Caravan Company was recently averted, thanks to a newly-installed sophisticated early-warning fire detection system from Chubb Fire.
A fluorescent tube in the company’s aftercare offices had blown, and begun scorching the ceiling, as Patrick Cattle, Coachman’s Health, Safety and Environmental Supervisor explains: “I was walking through the site and an alarm sounded. The fire control panel indicated the zone, so I returned to the main office reception and discovered what had happened.
“The tube was easily replaced, but had this happened over the weekend and we hadn’t had this fire technology in place we could be looking at a very different outcome. It’s fair to say on that basis alone Chubb Fire’s system has effectively already paid for itself.”
Coachman Caravans started building touring caravans 21 years ago, and steady demand in recent years led to the decision to expand its manufacturing and production facility in Kingston upon Hull, which has now benefited from a £3 million extension.
“As part of the works we had to replace the power sub station and all the wiring,” Patrick explains. “After a Fire Risk Assessment, and further consultation with our insurers, a sophisticated fire detection system was specified (a combined P1/M in accordance to British Standard) to protect both our people and our property.”
The company put the contract out to tender and Chubb Fire was selected: “Chubb was very professional and responsive from the outset,” Patrick says. “They were quick to come back to us with a quote, but more importantly they have an excellent reputation for support both before and after installation and this made everybody much more comfortable with the decision. When it came to scheduling the work, they were also very accommodating.
“Every year we close the site for a three-week holiday period and to avoid disruption to operations it was important that the job could be completed within this time. This was a tall order, but not only did they finish on time, but they also left a very tidy job, despite the amount of physical work required.”
The fire systems provided include some of the latest technologies from Chubb Fire’s ControlMaster® range. These were installed in the aftercare building, the manufacturing and office areas, and an additional ControlMaster panel in the security office. Each of the control panels is integrated using a secure network to give site wide information from each location.
The detectors themselves comprise primarily point systems with the exception of the main manufacturing area that has three Atmosfire® aspirating systems. The whole installation is remotely monitored out-of-hours.
“The control panels are the brains of the fire detection and alarm system, performing a number of critical functions, such as monitoring of all detection devices, controlling sounders and signalling and providing power and battery backup to system,” Patrick explains.
“To really make the most of the system we’ll be undergoing some additional training. Chubb Fire is coming in to train the Managing Director, supervisors and heads of department,” he concludes.
Suzanne Donovan, Marketing and Communications Director of Chubb Fire adds: “We are delighted to have been involved in such a major project and particularly pleased that our fire alarm system is already proving its worth. Early fire detection is imperative and Coachman Caravans has seen this in practice.”