In recent years the complexity and cost of Fire and Gas detection systems have increased rapidly with no measurable reduction in fatality rates or other losses. A principal reason for this disappointing outcome despite substantial investment is that systems designs have lost the focus of what they are trying to achieve.
Another reason worth exploring is that investment in other areas may result in greater benefits. For instance, diverting funds to preventing lifting accidents, helicopter failures and materials handling incidents, could result in greater OVERALL benefit since these account for a larger proportion of risks.
Nevertheless, Fire and Gas detections systems have a major role to play in preventing escalation, and this paper shows how they can be made more efficient in both cost and performance by combining four methods:
targeting perceived hazards,
integration from concept stage with other safety designs,
control of design with effective performance specification, and
control of modifications throughout the system's life.