Barge is fire safe

Friday, December 1, 2006

RED HOOK, N.Y.--When the Coast Guard told David Sharp that his floating Hudson Waterfront Museum needed to upgrade its fire alarm system, it suggested a system he couldn't afford. Fortunately, John Dewey, regional sales manager from FireLite, and Luis Barros, from System Sensor, helped Sharp come up with an economical alternative that the Coast Guard approved.
The museum is on a vintage wooden barge, which Sharp resurrected from the bottom of the Hudson River and refurbished. He offers educational and cultural lessons and advocates for the expansion of public waterfront access in the New York Metropolitan area.
For several years the museum was permanently docked here. When Sharp decided the museum should take to the open waters and tour from port to port, the Coast Guard stepped in and said it needed to upgrade its fire system.
To replace the smoke detectors and fire extinguisher that comprised the previous fire system, Dewey and Barros recommended an MS-521UD 10-zone, 24-volt Fire Alarm control panel with built-in DACT and remote-site upload/download capability, an LED-10 remote LED fire alarm annunciator with remote control of critical system functions, and manual fire alarm pull stations. System Sensor provided the I-3 Intelligent conventional photo electric smoke detectors and heat detectors. The barge is also equipped with SpectrAlert selectable output horn/strobe units, strobe-only units and alarm bells.
The system is capable of operating whether the boat is docked or offshore and it can communicate alarms to people located on or offshore.
The installation was completed by D&W Central Station of New York City. "For us it's a regular job. Our guys are used to doing more complicated jobs," said Warren Davis, president of D&W. D&W is a full service alarm company, with roughly 4,000 accounts, that does fire alarm systems, security, and access control. It is fully approved to install fire systems under the strict requirements in New York City.
This project was done under Coast Guard rules and guidelines, which are generally not as stringent as NYC's regulations. "Certain things were different," Davis said, "like in the unheated areas, we had to go with heat detectors rather than smoke detectors," he said. Another special consideration was the wiring, which had to be under a protective cover to adhere to Coast Guard requirements. The whole project took three to four weeks to finish.
Nick Martello, FireLite marketing director, said, "The interesting thing about this job is they took an off-the-shelf system and put it into a very harsh environment, and it's working fine."