Security professionals at the Austin-based historic Texas Capitol averted an electrical fire on April 30, 2020, with their timely action. They immediately reacted to a signal that was triggered by a smoke detector installed in the reference library. The reference library for the public is located on the second floor on the capitol’s north wing.
The smoke detector has a pre-alarm mode for triggering an alert on the fire panel. This panel is monitored by the onsite central office of the security team. The supervisor’s radio sends a trooper to the location depicted by the addressable fire system, which basically detects a distinctive address or location from all detection devices installed in the building. In the library, the trooper smelt a powerful, electric burning smell and found the soot that surrounded a malfunctioned ceiling-mounted light fixture.
The Texas Capitol had totally upgraded and overhauled its life and fire safety system during 2009. Austin-based Koetter Fire Protection had installed this system that incorporates four NOTIFIER fire panels as well as many duct-smoke and smoke detectors from System Sensor in a network for monitoring the main capitol building, parking garage, and extension.
The Texas Capitol’s Fire Marshal John Nichols said that it pays to be diligent. He has credited the fast acting security and detector that is in a pre-alarm mode. Pre-alarm usually implies that smoke has been sensed by the detector, though the seriousness of the event does not warrant a total alarm. He added that it feels good to rely on such detectors.