Fire protection in close quarters

Specialised fire-detection systems from Siemens help protect on-campus accommodation at James Cook University in North Queensland.

University with a tropical twist

Australia has been welcoming unprecedented numbers of overseas students in recent years. As universities rapidly expand their accommodation facilities, they’re using advanced technology to keep students safe.

Surrounded by rainforests and the natural bushland of far-north Queensland, James Cook University (JCU) is a renowned Australian teaching and research institution with campuses in the tropical cities of Cairns, Singapore and Townsville.

Not surprisingly, given its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, the university’s main fields of research include marine sciences, biodiversity, and sustainable management of tropical ecosystems, as well as genetics and genomics, and tropical health care.

To attend these specialised courses, many students travel from far and wide, and JCU’s on-campus accommodation is constantly in high demand. For a new 300-bed Student Accommodation Building on their Cairns campus, the university required a reliable, robust and automatic fire-detection system.

They turned to Siemens Solution Partner Bonlec, a market leader in the HVAC and Fire Safety industry across North Queensland.

Where there's smoke

Reliable fire detection even in very difficult conditions.

In student accommodation, space is usually at a premium. Rooms with individual cooking and shower facilities make this a challenging environment for an automatic fire-detection system. Identifying a real fire among cooking fumes and other deceptive phenomena requires the highest technical sophistication.

The Siemens ASA Technology detector was seen as the only system available in Australia that was capable of preventing false alarms in such conditions. Each apartment has been fitted with an ASA Technology detector and a sounder base to alert the occupant only in the case of a Pre-Alarm Event, or all occupants in the event of a real fire alarm.

In addition, the simple RS720 detector base seal was a value add for the project, due to its ability to reduce condensation issues and insect infestations – a key consideration given the tropical environment.

By installing the Cerberus Pro suite, JCU is safe from unwanted false alarms – saving time, costs and resources, with technology that can be expanded on in the future.

Fire protection in student accommodation: an interactive guide

Discover our recommendations on fire protection in student accommodation in our interactive guide.

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