Firebeams and Fruit – New GBSG fire system for Westfalia Fruit

Westfalia factory Spalding

Westfalia Fruit in Spalding has once again employed the services of GBSG to provide a fire system for its new plant in the South Lincolnshire town.

Having worked previously with GBSG for fire systems, Huillam D’Averc, Health and Safety Manager at Westfalia asked for a system that replicated the existing one on another site.

What was required?

The customer obtained the new site at the end of January with the aim to make it a citrus packing plant with 70 people onsite at any one time. They wanted an operating fire system to be provided within a short timescale to enable production to begin as soon as possible. Time is money in every industry so the teams on both sides needed to work efficiently to deliver a solution within budget and on time.

“We only had a month between taking over the lease of the new site and the end of our old lease so we needed to move quite quickly, Huillam D’Averc,” H&S Manager said.

Having surveyed the site, GBSG designed a system to Cat L1 in accordance with BS5839 pt 1, 2017.

What is BS5839 pt 1, 2017?

BS5839 pt 1, 2017 is a code of practice for design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of systems in non-domestic premises. This current update also provides wider advice for the use of multi sensor detectors, voice alarm systems and employees working at night.

What was unique about this project?

Being a food preparation/ packhouse environment the site is white walled with no voids for ease of cabling. As a result, the GBSG team undertook a labour-intensive installation using conduit for cable containment.

image showing fire system with conduit in a white wall factory scenariofire system installed by GBSG in Westfalia fruit factory. Shows the conduit containing cables and the fire beam

In addition, due to the environmental issues of installing in the cold stores where it is damp, the team used a specific installation practice to prevent water ingress into the devices.

Technology and Firebeams provide cost effective solution

Automatic fire detection has been achieved in the packhouse areas using fire beam detection. This is used in instances where standard smoke detectors would be uneconomical or restricted due to height. A fire beam detector is a more economical way to protect large areas. The detector provides coverage up to a range of 160 metres.


If there is any movement in the building the device will through a motorised beam head that continually self-aligns itself to the centre of the reflector when commissioning and will automatically keep alignment when movement occurs. Changes and adjustments can be made from ground level using an easy to access control panel.

Features and benefits of a fire beam detector:

  • commission the beam from ground level
  • manually move the beam head
  • view the air quality
  • view the status of the beam
  • change sensitivity thresholds
  • change the time to fire and fault
  • make the alarm latching or non latching
  • turn on and off the green flashing light
  • see fire and fault counts
  • see how much compensation has been made for dirt build up (you will only have to clean the head and reflector when it needs it)
  • complete a self test
  • turn the beam on and off (it will reset itself after 8 hours)
  • adjust output and receiver settings
  • and even monitor the temperature at the beam head!

Commenting on the installation, Huillam said “The GBSG team onsite were polite and efficient, Leon has been fantastic.”

The system is remotely monitored 24 hours a day 365 days a year by GBSG in Donington. The Helpdesk keeps a close eye on the system and is able to spot any problems as soon as they arise and can often resolve issues remotely too.

Asked for his final comments, Huillam said:

“I would definitely recommend GBSG, one word I would use to describe them is professional!”


Who is Westfalia Fruit?

Westfalia Fruit, formerly known as Greencell is a multinational fruit group that grows, packs and sells fruits including its famous avocados. It has packing and processing facilities throughout Europe and around the world with plants in Spalding where GBSG is based.

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