The name VESDA stands for “Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus” and is classified as an Aspirating Smoke Detector (ASD). That means that this device offers the earliest possible warning of an impending fire hazard by continuously sampling the air in the environment via aspiration and analyzing it, looking for smoke particles and also hazardous / combustible gases in some modules. Although there are some technical differences between each model available, which is to be expected, their basic functionality is normally based on a flare detection chamber, combining laser-based light scattering technology with optical imaging to deliver higher sensitivity, better dust rejection and improved stability and longevity. Each model has its unique advantage or application, but they all normally aspirate air, some through long line of pipes from different areas of the building and can be easily connected to fire alarm control panels, suppression systems and intelligent building management systems.

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IoT and Fire Alarm Systems

The principle of the Internet of Things is that all devices we use in our day-to-day life are actually connectable both to the internet and between each other. This is possible thanks to the arrival of super-cheap computer chips and the ubiquity of wireless networks, that allows us to make any device into a source of data that can then be transmitted to other devices to be interpreted. What actually makes a random appliance into a data source is the installation of sensors to collect diverse inputs, so it is only logic that a system that already relies on a number of sensors can be widely explored by this emerging tech. Fire alarms systems already relies on inputs coming from the sensors and detectors that composes it, but while now we are using those inputs to simply start a suppression system or sound an alarm for example, the integration with the Internet of Things can actually turn these sensors in live data for firefighters to not only understand exactly where a fire is but also track its development before even stepping into the building. The remote monitoring and diagnostic capabilities of an IoT system can help firefighters know where to position personnel and trucks in advance, gaining visibility into how to reach an emergency. Thinking even further, the combination of this technology with Smart Buildings that are becoming increasingly more common, will facilitate even some contingency plans such as shutting down the HVAC system or putting elevators in fire mode automatically after a fire is detected.

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