MÜPA Cultural Centre

Fire detection in Budapest cultural centre

About the project

The Palace of Arts in Budapest, known in Hungary as Müpa, is an impressive cultural project. The modern building on the Danube bank is home to the museum of contemporary art, a large concert hall and a festival theatre. Stage smoke led to deceptive alarms in the festival theatre but Schrack Seconet installed CO detectors to solve the problem.

About the solution

Schrack Seconet have been looking after the fire alarm systems of the cultural centre since its launch in 2005. All fire alarm control panels have been connected to each other via the SecoLOG IP hazard management system. Integral RemoteAccess also gives Schrack Seconet remote access to the fire alarm system, though many problems can be solved directly at the centre's desks. The maintenance package also includes 24-hour telephone support. In the event of a problem, Müpa staff can call for assistance at any time, which is very helpful, especially during evening performances.

For the project in discussion: Rudi Palmai, Technical Manager Schrack Seconet Hungary
F&C: What was the specific problem with fire detection at the Palace of Arts?
Rudi Palmai: Artificial fog is very often used, especially during dance performances. This created a massive problem with deceptive alarms. Temperature detectors were not an alternative because the stage is too high. With that many floors, the installations and the laced floor, the ceiling reaches a height of 20 metres! That is why we considered evaluating the CO.
F&C: Why did you think that CO detectors would be the right solution here?
Rudi Palmai: Due to the specific situation, there was a lot to be said for CO detectors, but we wanted to be sure, so we did an extensive test. We installed CO detectors directly in the fog machine. We then evaluated the data on a PC so we could see that it was actually a good solution and  worked.
F&C: So you had prove that the CO detectors were the right fit for the customer. What happened next? What was the next step?
Rudi Palmai: Yes, the test result was convincing proof for the customer. After that, they ordered multiple sensor detectors, which also evaluate CO. We installed a total of 130 detectors in the entire stage area. They are now managed via a new additional fire alarm control panel. It's the ninth one in the Palace of Arts altogether.
F&C: How is the fire detection outside performances?
Rudi Palmai: We have programmed a two-phase operation. At the beginning of a performance, the stage manager in the technical room sets the fire detectors to the criteria heat and CO. After the end of the performance, he switches back to the smoke setting. This set up is detected by fire detectors quicker than an increase in temperature – therefore, it makes sense to programme detection with smoke when the show isn’t on. This ensures optimum fire detection at all times.

MÜPA Cultural Centre
Budapest, Hungary

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