Five Simple Questions – a Guide to Digital Linear Heat Detection

Question 1:

What type of application are you protecting?

Digital linear heat detection is used in commercial and industrial applications. The detector is predominantly used within the special hazards fire protection industry designed to protect property or processes and is not considered to be life safety.

Question 2:

What environmental conditions are present?

It is common to employ digital linear heat detection in applications with extremely harsh environmental conditions. Detectors are available with an ambient operating temperature range of -60°F to 250°F (-51°C to 121°C) and can be placed directly into environments containing bases, acids, solvents, hydrocarbons, dust, oil, and water.

Question 3:

Interior or exterior application?

The outer jacket of any digital linear heat detector provides protection from the surrounding environment. Knowing whether the location is indoor or outdoor will allow you to choose the correct protective jacket. Most PVC, polypropylene, or other jackets have UV additives designed to slow UV degradation and should be used for interior applications. Fluoropolymer jackets offer superior UV resistance as this is the only jacketing compound that is naturally UV resistant making it ideal for exterior applications.

Question 4:

Is this a classified hazard?

The use of intrinsically safe and explosion proof are often mistakenly interchanged: Explosion proof devices are designed to contain explosions or flames produced within them without igniting the surrounding flammable gases or vapors (source – businessdictionary.com). Intrinsic safety (IS) is a protection technique for safe operation of electrical equipment in hazardous areas by limiting the energy, electrical and thermal, available for ignition (source – Wikipedia). There are no explosion proof digital linear heat detectors. Digital linear heat detectors can be made intrinsically safe when using an intrinsic safety barrier (ISB). When using an ISB, the designer and installer should use good engineering practice, follow all local codes/standards and receive the approval of the local authority having jurisdiction.

Question 5:

What will the maximum ambient temperature be?

Every digital linear heat detector has a maximum ambient operating temperature. Knowing the maximum ambient temperature, including seasonal temperature fluctuations, will allow the designer to determine the correct alarm temperature detector for the application.

* Please note these are not all of the questions that must be asked but rather a quick guide that can walk you through determining if digital linear heat detection should be considered for your application.

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