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Auckland War Memorial Museum 

Auckland Museum - fire protection case study

In 2004, as part of the second phase of the construction works, the fire protection system in the semicircular extension was to be upgraded. A fire protection company was engaged to conduct this work but subsequently went into receivership in May 2006. Following a highly competitive tender process, Argus Fire was appointed to complete the upgrade and installation.

Working closely with Hawkins Construction and the Auckland War Memorial Facilities Manager, Argus conducted the upgrade to the fire protection system whilst accommodating public access to the galleries and allowing for the continued operation of the Museum. Argus successfully completed the fire protection system upgrade within the set timeframe, installing, integrated smoke and heat detectors, sprinklers, voice sounders and siren speakers, hose reels, fire hydrants and a master Siemens fire control panel.

Ongoing communication regarding the desired system specifications and operating procedures allowed Argus to design and install a bespoke solution that met the specific needs of the Museum and the users.

By March 2009 the installation of fire alarm and sprinkler system within the Stage I building was complete and the integration of the Stage I and II fire alarm systems was conducted, bringing the Museum under the control of one comprehensive fire protection system. The benefits of the fully integrated fire protection system include:

  • Continuity of products, systems and services across the entire building;
  • An integrated and intelligent system simplifies the ability to detect, locate and communicate with fire brigade services, allowing faster dispatch of fire services to the scene of the alarm;
  • An intelligent fire protection system now enables greater accuracy in pinpointing any detector that is alarmed and communicating the exact location to the facilities manager and attending emergency services;
  • Brigade mimic panels and remote display units exterior to the Museum are now on the one system and provide schematic representation of the entire building;
  • A more comprehensive fire protection system now divides the museum into 72 zones (as compared to 48) providing greater flexibility to suit current floor plans and future gallery layout options;
  • Integrated heat and smoke detectors provide both functional and aesthetic benefits;
  • The sensitivity levels of the integrated heat and smoke detectors are able to be adapted to suit ambient temperatures and operating environments (e.g. higher ambient temperatures or increased dust levels);
  • The installation of additional sirens and evacuation sounders ensures that the fire and evacuation alerts can be heard in all areas of the museum, facilitating timely evacuations and reducing the risk of search and/or rescue;
  • The upgrade has ensured that all detectors, sirens and sounders are fully operational (a review of the original system identified detectors and sirens that had been disconnected);
  • The intelligent system in place now is able to identify dirty detectors and those in need on maintenance, avoiding false alarms or system failure; and
  • There is now one system, a single point of contact for ongoing product support, a single maintenance contract and reduced maintenance costs.

The Auckland War Memorial Museum now complies with the New Zealand industry standard NZS4512 (1997) and provides the highest possible protection for Museum workers, volunteers, visitors, the treasured and historic artefacts and the historic building itself.

Project Vitals

Location: Auckland

Date: May 2006
Systems: Fire Sprinkler Systems, Fire Alarm Systems, Special Risks, Fire Hydrant & Charged Riser, Evacuation Systems

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