Articles by Mandy Bowden
With many businesses and facilities re-opening sites following the Coronavirus lockdown, fire safety may not seem high on the list to other worries and responsibilities. But here, Mandy Bowden, Fire Business Development Manager at Comelit Group UK, led by fire industry bodies, demonstrates why it must be a priority, ensuring installation of systems is guided by best practice in accordance with the development, and fire safety measures are maintained and regularly tested to ensure compliance. Fire safety is too often neglected. And in the midst of returning to work and implementing necessary fever screening solutions and social distancing policies, it may even fall further down the necessary requirements, for businesses who are naturally eager to open and ‘get going.’ Providing Fire Safety But the Government and leading authoritative fire industry bodies have made it absolutely clear that, “Coronavirus is not an excuse for disregarding your responsibilities and businesses must ensure that they have an adequate amount of competent people to help in the implementation of both preventative and protective fire safety measures.” Above all else, fire detection is there to save lives; but the way in which systems are presented, will depend on their surroundings. For many facilities it involves more than the best choice of products and services. It also requires compliance to standards, currently changing in light of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, and a need to consider the environment that it serves to keep safe. fire detection technology It is crucial that buildings are fitted with the highest quality life safety systems to ensure ultra-reliable protection Style of a fire detection system would be considered a priority for a hospitality environment, including hotel and restaurant facilities, to blend with the aesthetics and not impact on the ambience created. In any leisure facilities such as a Gym, it is essential fire detection measures and systems are in place that will provide customers, employees and the premises itself, with sufficient prevention against fire at all times. To keep up with demand, a system needs to be simple to install and operational as quickly as possible for the benefit of members and staff. However, a manufacturing vicinity will require latest fire detection technology to ensure the safety of its building, its specialist products and all personnel who operate on site. Similarly, an art studio is a specialist consideration when it comes to fire safety, especially with the use of different materials and substances in every day works by the artists on site. ensure ultra-Reliable protection Both temporary and permanent healthcare facilities in this period have undoubtedly been key to fighting the Coronavirus pandemic, and experienced an expediential increased demand for patient care. With more people to treat and protect, those working or residing within these spaces have to be considered at greater risk in the event of a fire emergency. It is crucial that these buildings have been and continue to be fitted with the highest quality life safety systems to ensure ultra-reliable protection. And the same is true for care homes, a vulnerable group in the fight against coronavirus. They require critical and reliable, functioning fire detection equipment that presents high performance protection, avoiding false alarms to prevent moving elderly residents unnecessarily. In each of these scenarios, the need to act quickly is paramount. Fire Detection Operations Fire safety must be kept a priority to ensure a return to work can occur seamlessly and successfully In healthcare, immediacy is a common theme through the industry, be it providing treatment or responding to a patient’s symptoms. This is no different in fire safety, with detection systems requiring an ease of use, by anyone operating on site. In businesses returning to work ‘post-lockdown’ the appointed Fire Marshalls and responsible persons may not be the ones returning to office locations, so others need to be trained with simple to operate solutions. In summary, fire safety must be kept a priority, arguably now more than ever to ensure a return to work can occur seamlessly and successfully, and with an obligation of care to workers coming back to operating establishments. By understanding these environments and choosing systems accordingly, duty holders can ensure they reduce risks across their premises and maintain a safe ‘new normal’. multi-Sensor detectors Comelit presents its third-party accredited family of ATENA and ERACLE fire detection and fire alarm systems, which offers a diverse portfolio of intelligent, addressable products that are feature-rich, easy to install, simple to operate and offer incomparable reliability. Tested to rigorous standards, the range encompasses smoke, heat and multi-sensor detectors as well as IP rated devices including sounders and callpoints, alongside accessories to complete installations. To support the installer, we have product specific basic and advanced commissioning training courses, together with a full suite of calculation tools for our ATENA addressable systems for both loop loading and battery standby calculations, helping to identify possible issues prior to installation. Comelit is a proud member of the Fire Industry Association (FIA) that insists on third-party certification; as a clear sign of a company’s quality. All demonstrating that we want to work in partnership with our customers to ensure manufacture, design and install of stylish (often bespoke) fire detection systems are a smooth operation for the benefit and peace of mind of businesses and facilities across the UK. All signs that we want to work in partnership with our customers to ensure manufacture, design and install of stylish (often bespoke) fire detection systems are a smooth operation for the benefit and peace of mind of businesses and facilities across the UK.
Based in the heart of Leicester, Beauchamp City Sixth Form has recently opened its doors for its first term to welcome 350 A-Level students, following a dramatic renovation of a city center office block, formerly home to BT. The new four-story college, opened by The Lionheart Academies Trust, presents classrooms, labs, and IT suites, as well as study spaces and a library which will give students “access to the latest academic research in their chosen areas of study”. To ensure fire safety as part of the transformation process, main contractors worked with Avalon Technology Group, which specified Comelit’s innovative Atena fire panels to operate across the site. Ensuring fire safety Principal of the sixth form, James McKenna, said of Leicester’s newest post-16 provision, “Beauchamp City Sixth Form is an incredible new asset for both Leicestershire and the wider region. There is a long history of scientific and technological achievement born in the Midlands and this sixth form will help a diversity of learners take their ambitions as far as possible.” “Of course, we needed to ensure we did this providing a safe environment for pupils to learn and staff to teach. Fire detection was essential right from the onset to accommodate the renovation work and ensure all facilities were safe. The teams worked together seamlessly to achieve our ambitions and we now have complete peace of mind across our fantastic building.” User-friendly solution Comelit’s Atena solution is a user-friendly touch screen addressable system Comelit’s Atena solution is a user-friendly touch screen addressable system, with the capacity to extend to 4 loops, supporting up to 1000 devices, due to its dual-processor technology. In total, four panels have been networked at the college to manage the overall system requirements. Finished in line with Comelit’s focus on aesthetics, its stylish design has the flexibility to expand with a facility or building requirement. Fire-safety and security Guy Stephens, Director Avalon Technology Group added, “This was a complex renovation to facilitate the integration of security and fire safety, whilst working with the main and electrical contractors to convert the empty office block into such an extensive education facility.” “For fire safety, we required simply to install systems that wouldn’t compromise on the technology component and could also accommodate the sheer size of the scheme, which required a total of 13 loops. Comelit not only achieved this objective but also with a focus on design, suited the modern college environment.” Fire Safe environment Mandy Bowden, Comelit Fire BDM added, “Beauchamp City Sixth Form really does break down the boundaries of delivering a new and unique approach to sixth form education in Leicester City. Even the design of the facility, transforming an office block into a modern-day college environment is dynamic and commands the highest attention to specification detail, especially when it comes to fire safety.” “Comelit Atena fire panels are specifically designed to enable an expansion of loop requirements to accommodate large facilities. With just four panels fitted across the building, we have been able to present compliant fire detection systems across all four floors, so staff and pupils can teach and learn in a safe environment. And there is still room for expansion to enable more to benefit from this ambitious new sixth form.”
Videcon has signed up to distribute Comelit’s range of EN45-13 compliant fire detection systems, including all addressable and conventional solutions. As the provider of security solutions, Videcon has recently evolved to introduce a new fire safety offering, responding to growing demand and increasing responsibility for British landlords and businesses to create a fire-safe environment. Future-Proof technology With its fast growth across the UK, incorporating a fire design service, Videcon has now partnered with Comelit to present its complete portfolio of automatic fire detection systems. Says Alan Fowlie, Fire Sales Director at Videcon: “Growth in the fire protection market has been significant, especially with the expected Fire Safety Bill coming into legislation, coupled with the increasing stringent fire safety regulations, technological advances, and product innovations.” But alongside this, we were impressed with Comelit’s commitment to technical and sales training" “As a company that stays abreast of latest solutions, we were keen to partner with Comelit, who are renowned for a proactive approach to future-proof technology, compliance, and design. But alongside this, we were impressed with Comelit’s commitment to technical and sales training, so that we can all stay up to date with performance and specification requirements.” Fire systems portfolio Comelit’s fire systems portfolio, now available via Videcon, includes control panels, automatic smoke and heat detectors, manual alarm devices, audio and visual indication devices, system accessories (electromagnetic stops, power supply units, etc.), and a range of wireless devices. Mandy Bowden, Comelit Fire BDM added: “Videcon is a true leader, both in the security and now the fast-moving fire market. We are delighted to partner, and work closely with them using our in business together pledge, to ensure our customers can have access to a portfolio of fire detection products and services that achieves the highest safety standards, without compromising on the style and aesthetic that is synonymous with the Comelit brand.” To find out more about Comelit’s new partnership with Videcon and dedicated fire systems portfolio, there is a dedicated webinar taking place on March 12, 2021.
Comelit Group’s dedicated fire division has achieved the stringent EN54-13 standards for its analog addressable fire detection system. The globally renowned fire safety solutions specialist, known for its high specification solutions, presents a range of specialist fire solutions, including conventional systems that are particularly suited to fire detection in smaller facilities and buildings with simple layouts. Atena addressable panels Comelit’s Atena addressable panels can identify the precise location of a fire and are suitable for applications of all types. Mandy Bowden, Comelit’s Fire Business Development Manager said “Those operating in the fire sector, will not only be familiar with the requirement for fire protection products, but also the need to provide evidence that a complete system will function as intended under all expected operating conditions.” EN54-13 is a rigorous system test procedure that goes beyond any individual standard" Mandy adds, “EN54-13 is a rigorous system test procedure that goes beyond any individual standard. Complying demonstrates how our products really go over and above the requirements needed to satisfy the CPD/CPR, operating as a full fire detection and alarm system and not just as a sum of components. It’s a great accomplishment for Comelit, proving our complete system performance capability at all times, in every environment.” EN54-13 standards compliance EN54-13 (referencing the compatibility and connectivity assessment of system components) was first published in 2005. In most European countries, EN54-13 standards compliance is an essential requirement for fire detection and alarm systems. It’s also a British Standard and referenced in BS 5839 Part 1. Francesca Boeris, Comelit UK Managing Director said “This is a great achievement for the fire team and one Comelit is particularly proud, to demonstrate our commitment to innovation and compliance.” Francesca adds, “It provides our customers and the supply chain as a whole with peace of mind that, in using Comelit’s fire products portfolio, lives are always protected in the event of a fire, even in the most demanding situations, when you need the system most.”
Comelit UK has become a member of the British Standards Institution (BSI) to enable its innovative fire division to benefit from access to the high-performance standards set and latest Government influenced, industry thinking. The Italian door entry manufacturer, known for its high specification solutions, offers a range of automatic fire detection systems, including conventional and addressable panels, that are proving successful across the UK in a variety of sectors. Pledging its commitment to offering products and services accredited to the highest level, Comelit has become a member of BSI to ensure it stays abreast of latest certification and standards-related services to the fire industry. Says Mandy Bowden, Fire BDM for Comelit Group: “BSI is ‘the business standards company that helps organizations all over the world make excellence a habit.’" fire detection solutions "This is exactly how Comelit wants to present itself in offering tailored fire detection solutions, where customers can be assured of compliance and good practice always. Our membership to BSI aligns us with an organization that represents the agreed, best and most effective way of creating a product or delivering a service." "I am looking forward to receiving first-hand the latest developments on our industry, while presenting a portfolio of products that achieves BSI requirements, without compromising on the style and aesthetic that is synonymous with the Comelit brand." Comelit will now be able to present its membership of BSI with use of its logo on all printed and digital media; to demonstrate its dedication to an organization associated with quality, credibility and raising industry standards. National Standards Body Anne Hayes, Director of Sectors at BSI added: “At BSI, in our role as the UK’s National Standards Body, we help to improve the quality and safety of products, services and systems by enabling the creation of standards and encouraging their use. We welcome new BSI members on their journey to demonstrate commitment to best practice and organizational resilience.”
Comelit Group’s fire detection solution has been installed at Gleavewood Care Home by KJ Fire Safety, for the ongoing safety and security of staff, residents and visitors. Cheshire-based, Gleavewood Care Home, part of the Minster Care Group, is a two storey care home, with 30 single rooms and a variety of communal areas, alongside an enclosed garden area and multiple facilities and visitor activities on site for residents to benefit. Risk assessment on fire detection systems KJ Fire Safety was called to the site following a risk assessment on fire detection systems KJ Fire Safety was called to the site following a risk assessment on fire detection systems. With recommendations made for a new install, Comelit’s Atena Easy two loop solution was fitted in just three weeks, working around the residents and staff. Ruth Field, Estates Director of Minster Care Group said “Mitigating the risk from fire is a fundamental duty of care in any care home, and an absolute priority across our property portfolio.” Ruth adds, “To ensure the safety of our continued staff and residents at Gleavewood, KJ Fire Safety worked by our side to install Comelit’s system as quickly as possible, whilst being sensitive to our residents and their daily routines. We are really impressed, not only with the fast paced installation, but also the finished Atena Easy control panel, which staff have been trained on, and its proven very user friendly.” Atena Easy system Comelit’s Atena Easy system has been installed as an addressable fire alarm, stylish panel with 2 loops, connected to 130 devices on a completely new cable scheme. The information for the system status is visualized on a graphic display and LED indication for zones and troubleshooting. Nigel Thomas, Managing Director at KJ Fire Safety Ltd added, “Care home owners need to review their fire risk assessments, with a proper understanding of how fire can travel and develop”. Fire detection system Nigel adds, “Good practice, as Minster Care Group demonstrates, is that this is done on a regular basis. When Gleavewood’s risk assessment highlighted critical action, we quickly and efficiently replaced the system with Comelit Atena Easy due to its ease of install and operation without re-using any element of the original system.” Mandy Bowden, Comelit Fire Business Development Manager (BDM) said, “Comelit’s Atena Easy system is simple to install, cost effective and user friendly 1 to 2 loop panel, designed with ease of use in mind”. Mandy adds, “For added assurance, it comes with the full training and support capability of a globally renowned fire systems manufacturer. This makes it perfect for care homes such as Gleavewood, where fire safety is of such critical importance, to ensure peace of mind for all who work, live and visit this site.”
As G&B (North West) Ltd. continues to extend its roofing operations, Comelit fire detection systems have been installed by Bell Lancaster to protect new operations on its exclusive farm site. Based on Giants Hall Farm in Wigan, G&B (North West) Ltd. has championed the research and development of glass reinforced polyester (GRP) roofing systems and currently supplies over one million square meters to the trade every year. To accommodate growing demand for its bespoke GRP components and ancillaries, the company continues to extend its building capacity, requiring latest fire detection technology to ensure the safety of its building, products and all who operate on site. fire detection system Says Simon Altree, Senior Electrical Engineer at G&B (North West) Ltd: “Our range of roofing systems are recognized throughout the industry as premium quality GRP solutions. Together with our ability to offer on-site R&D, technical support, training, manufacturing, storage and distribution facilities means we have to constantly grow to meet demand. And with this comes our responsibility to ensure the security and safety of our site, keeping our staff and assets alongside the building protected at all times." It’s stylish design can accommodate up to 1,000 devices with network ability for up to 64 panels" "In the requirements for a fire detection system, we needed a user friendly, compact system that we could rely on, but also could accommodate the different buildings we operate in. It was also essential to be able to expand as we did across the farm site.” fire detection system For G&B (North West) Ltd, Comelit’s Atena addressable panel was installed, featuring a touch screen and capability to expand from one to four loops. Finished in line with Comelit’s focus on aesthetics, it’s stylish design can accommodate up to 1,000 devices with network ability for up to 64 panels, enabling a fully functional networked opportunity to expand with a facility or building requirement. Paul McDonough, Operations Director Bell Lancaster added: “The fast pace nature of the manufacturing process at G&B (North West) Ltd meant that any fire detection system to extended buildings had to be installed quickly and efficiently to eliminate the threat of any downtime or business disruption. Comelit’s Atena solution achieved this objective, not only with the product, but also the dedicated sales and technical team on hand to ensure a smooth and simple finish.” fire detection solutions Mandy Bowden, Comelit Fire BDM concluded: “What our work with Bell Lancaster shows is our preferred approach to working with clients. Our aim is to grow with them and become the first port of call to propose fire systems for companies such as G&B (North West) Ltd, providing complete fire detection solutions and expert technical backup as required.”
Comelit’s fire detection systems have been installed at the newly reopened St. Catherine’s Church and Pastoral Center, to ensure the safety of all who work and visit the site to enjoy its range of facilities. The popular church in Coventry, which was initially built to serve the local community prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, was forced to close in January 2011 as the maintenance of the building was no longer sustainable. The new building, opened by the Bishop of Coventry, the Retired Reverend Dr. Christopher Cocksworth at the end of 2019, has a multi-purpose hall where the church meeting room, kitchen, facilities and a vestry for quiet prayer, together with an office. The building is accredited fire safe with the installation by Avalon Technology Group of Comelit’s Atena Easy Single Loop System. Church fire safety Reverend Buff Forbes Stone of St Catherine’s said, “The church has been at the center of the community for 80 years, and has been integral to regeneration and social action in the area. It has been on a long journey in the last eight years and we are delighted to finally be able to enjoy the new facilities with our ever growing community.” He adds, “We are so grateful for all the support which has enabled us to have this splendid new building, that will serve our community now and for generations to come. At the same time, we acknowledge those that have worked closely with us to ensure its safety, in terms of fire and security, to ensure our diverse community can enjoy all our Church has to offer with complete peace of mind.” Comelit’s Atena Easy single loop solution is a compact, entry level fully addressable control panel system Atena Easy Single Loop System Comelit’s Atena Easy single loop solution is a compact, entry level fully addressable control panel system. Finished in line with Comelit’s focus on aesthetics, its stylish design can accommodate up to 500 devices making it ideal for small applications, with a fully functional networked opportunity to expand with a facility or building requirement. Guy Stephens, Director of Avalon Technology Group said, “St Catherine’s Church has an integral part to play in the local community and therefore ensuring the fire safety of the building, without affecting the accessibility to all of its new facilities is of upmost importance. Comelit’s Atena Easy single loop system was simple to install and comes with great sales and technical support, to ensure the seamless, ongoing maintenance of the system.” Installation of fire alarms Mandy Bowden, Comelit Fire Business Development Manager adds, “Fire alarms for churches are essential considerations for every part of the vicinity building." "At St Catherine’s, it was important to ensure a modern solution was installed to complement the new facilities and enable a fast and reliable response for the safety of staff and volunteers, together with the wider congregation and of course, act to protect the property itself! Working with Avalon, the Comelit system presented an effective all-round solution, installed with absolutely no impact on the surrounding building.”
Comelit’s specialist fire detection systems have been specified by Avalon Technology Group at newly introduced smaller gym facilities of a leading low-cost leisure group. Standing as the pioneer of low-cost, no contract 24 / 7 gyms, the new leisure facilities in Newark, Beverly and Lowestoft, mark the introduction of ‘slimmed down’ gym concepts, to make them more accessible opportunities in smaller towns. For each facility, the electrical contractor appointed Avalon Technology Group to ensure the fire safety of the building, staff and guests, specifying Comelit’s Atena Easy single loop system. in-built IP connections Guy Stephens, Director Avalon Technology Group added: “In any gym facility, large or small, it is essential to ensure measures and systems are in place that will provide customers, employees and the premises itself, with sufficient prevention against fire at all times. Comelit’s Atena Easy solution proved to be user-friendly and comes with excellent training “To keep up with demand, we needed to select a system that was simple to install and operational as quickly as possible for the benefit of members and staff. Comelit’s Atena Easy solution proved to be user-friendly and comes with excellent training and support capability, alongside in-built IP connections to make it a straightforward system for us to maintain, even on a remote basis.” addressable control panel system Comelit’s Atena Easy single loop solution is a compact, entry level fully addressable control panel system. Finished in line with Comelit’s focus on aesthetics, it’s stylish design can accommodate up to 500 devices making it ideal for small applications, with a fully functional networked opportunity to expand with a facility or building requirement. Mandy Bowden, Comelit Fire Business Development Manager concluded: “The ambition to bring affordable access to leisure facilities to everyone is a growing trend across the UK. And the new smaller concepts provide an opportunity to go into towns that wouldn’t previously have been able to accommodate a full-scale gym. We are delighted to have been chosen to have been chosen by Avalon to supply fire detection systems to each new location as a simple to install, cost effective solution.”
North Shields based Kingfisher Care Home, part of the Amicura Limited portfolio, is a new dementia specialist care home presenting a traditional purpose-built design, a selection of open plan living areas and a stimulating lifestyle program. As part of the refurbishment program, and to achieve latest fire regulations, KJ Fire Safety installed Comelit’s stylish addressable Atena touch screen control panel on a four-loop solution to control fire detection systems across the complete site. User-Friendly Capability Having an effective fire alarm system is absolutely vital at a residential home, and dementia care specialist home" Says Ruth Field, Estates Director of Minster Care Group: “Having an effective fire alarm system is absolutely vital at a residential home, and dementia care specialist home, where evacuation can be extremely complex and literally every second matters.” “As the responsible agent, we had to ensure we worked with the right partner to ensure all aspects of fire safety was accommodated. The recommendation from KJ Fire Safety of Comelit’s new Atena control panel was its user-friendly capability and touch screen panel. In training, staff have commented on its ease of use, providing peace of mind that we can act fast in an emergency situation.” Addressable Fire Alarm Panel Comelit’s Atena is an addressable fire alarm panel with 1 to 4 loops and maximum coverage of 96 zones. Up to 250 devices can be connected to every loop. The information for the system status is visualized on a touch sensitive graphic display and LED indication for zones and troubles. By utilizing a two-staged alarm procedure in regards to evacuation and implementing an effective day / night mode function, Comelit’s addressable panel is able to manage potential nuisance alarms effectively, whilst safely evacuating residents and staff in the event of a genuine fire scenario. Excellent Training And Support Capability Comelit’s fire panel range is an innovative, stylish example of solutions available that are simple to install" Nigel Thomas, Managing Director KJ Fire Safety Ltd added: “Care homes have some pretty unique requirements when it comes to fire safety. By their very nature they’re places where dependent and often very frail individuals live and keeping them safe and secure is paramount.” “As we demonstrated at Kingfisher Care Home, the starting point for keeping new residents safety was to carry out a fire risk assessment, in line with latest legislation, checking all aspects of fire safety were fit for purpose. We made recommendations on a new fire system, choosing to install Comelit as a user-friendly system that has excellent training and support capability.” Mandy Bowden, Comelit Fire BDM concluded: “Kingfisher Care Home is a showcase residential center where fire and security arrangements must be balanced with the need to create a welcoming and caring environment. Comelit’s fire panel range is an innovative, stylish example of solutions available that are simple to install, cost effective and enhance fire safety on site, without imposing on the care home facilities.”
Comelit UK has demonstrated its commitment and growing prominence in the Fire Sector, investing in an additional member of the team by introducing a dedicated Fire Technical Support Engineer. Experienced fire industry specialist David Fraser joins Comelit’s highly specialist team incorporating Wesley Wright as UK Fire Manager and Mandy Bowden as Fire Business Development Manager North. David has over 20 years experience working with leading fire specialists, dedicated to installer focus together with training and operations. He joins Comelit to offer technical support services from specification through to commissioning and preventative maintenance. Commissioning training for specialist teams Commenting on his new appointment, David said: “This is an exciting and challenging appointment within a highly respected, industry leading company, renowned globally for its attention to quality, style and technology. As a member of the FIA, Comelit Group presents an innovative range of accredited automatic fire detection systems“I am particularly looking forward to the opportunities of product support, incorporating commissioning training for specialist teams to enable them to present to their own customers compliant solutions, coupled with specialist technical support as and when required.” As a member of the FIA, Comelit Group, as an Italian fire and security systems manufacturer, presents an innovative range of accredited automatic fire detection systems, including stylish conventional and addressable panels. Expert understanding of fire industry Francesca Boeris, Comelit Group UK Managing Director added: “Given the complexity of fire commissioning and high expectations in wake of the Hackitt Review, it was essential for Comelit to demonstrate how we are not complacent and continue to invest in our team, our products and our services. “David proved to have a clear expert understanding of the fire industry, with a strong grasp of what is required to serve our clients. He is already making an impact, drawing from his extensive experience and invaluable knowledge to guide our fire division and associated partners through the next stage of growth, utilizing latest technology to respond to important market trends. And all naturally without compromising on the high-quality style synonymous with the Comelit brand.”