Highlight Parking has launched its AI-powered Smoke and Fire Early Warning System (S.A.F.E.), which detects smoke or fire within a few seconds.
One particular fire that made the news was at Kings Dock multi-storey car park, at the Liverpool Echo Arena, on New Year’s Eve 2017. By the time the fire service had been alerted, the fire had been burning for 13 minutes, and, despite their quick response, it was too late: 1,200 vehicles were destroyed, and the insurance bill was a massive £20 million. Thankfully, nobody was injured.
It was this fire that inspired Highlight Parking to begin developing S.A.F.E., to help prevent similar events in the future, not just in multi-storey car parks, but in any large commercial or public building.
“We developed S.A.F.E. because conventional fire systems in car parks are based on heat detection, which means a fire may already be out of control before the alarm is raised, as was the case at Kings Dock,” explains David Harrison, MD of Highlight Parking.
“Obviously, fire safety is extremely important to car park operators, and chief fire officers cite speed of response as critical when it comes to preventing a fire disaster such as the one in Liverpool. S.A.F.E. provides this.”
How it works
S.A.F.E. works with around-the-clock, unattended monitoring detecting the presence of any 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 control-room screens. Its AI capability means that smoke can be detected as fast as with the human eye, rather than waiting for flames to reach the car park’s ceiling-mounted fire-wire detectors. The outcome is that emergency measures can be put into practice far more quickly, so the likelihood of serious damage or injury is reduced dramatically.
S.A.F.E. in action
FTSE 100 company Severn Trent Water, in Coventry, has implemented the S.A.F.E. solution at its headquarters’ multi-storey car park. With 15,000 employees, it is no surprise that health and safety is of paramount importance to the organisation.
Richard Carney, Project Manager at Severn Trent, says: “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 with 12 minutes for our existing system.”
Not just for car parks
While S.A.F.E. has been developed for car parks, its AI software can be implemented in any space where there is a significant fire risk, such as warehouses, storage facilities, retail, and other large buildings. The system can be installed by uploading Highlight’s proprietary S.A.F.E. software to an existing or new CCTV camera system.
Using its AI technology, Highlight can also develop specialist, bespoke solutions for any internal or external monitoring or information gathering.