The Emmi Kaltbach Caves, Kaltbach, Switzerland

A perfect place to age cheese. The special environment in the caves also calls for special fire detection technology. #CreatingPerfectPlaces
A perfect place to age cheese

The Emmi Kaltbach Caves, Kaltbach, Switzerland

The caves of Kaltbach, located in the Canton of Lucerne, have been used to age cheese since 1953. Today, Emmi – the world’s leading producer of Swiss cheese – stores around 156,000 cheese wheels in the caves. The sandstone naturally regulates the caves’ humidity and gives the cheese its unique flavor as it matures.


The smallest amount of smoke caused, for example, by a cable fire is all it would take to render the cheese inedible and therefore unsaleable. That is why a fire detection system was needed to provide protection for the employees, visitors and products alike. Additionally, the complex maturing process in the mineral-rich cave climate that is so crucial for aging cheese also poses special challenges for fire protection. That is why detectors were needed that function correctly and don’t corrode in the caves’ salty and ammoniacal air with a humidity of more than 96%.


Emmi decided for the Sinteso fire detection system for the Kaltbach caves because of its unsurpassed deception-free detectors. About 200 ASA detectors of the Sinteso S-LINE with wet sockets as well as two linear smoke detectors monitor the caves. Fire doors prevent fire and smoke from spreading into other zones. Acoustic and optic alarming devices reliably warn employees and visitors. This allows safe and rapid evacuations as well as fast interventions to protect the sensitive products.


The fire detection system from Siemens offers maximum reliability. And should a fire break out, Emmi’s staff can act quickly. In fact, the evacuation time is 84 seconds – faster than the legally specified maximum. An added benefit: the Sinteso system is more cost-effective than other comparable systems.


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