Articles by Stuart Dover
The long-awaited announcement by the government to ensure sprinkler systems are mandatory in all new high-rise blocks over 11 meters tall has been welcomed by all. However, what happens next - and how quickly - is crucial for all concerned. The UK government recently announced an amendment to the statutory guidance to building safety regulations, known as Approved Document B, reducing the requirement for sprinkler systems from the current 30 meters to 11 meters in high-rise buildings. New laws and measures The Fire Safety Bill, which was introduced to Parliament in April, will also empower fire and rescue services to take enforcement action and hold building owners to account if they do not comply with the law. The new measures are welcomed in the construction industry and related supply chains who have been waiting for clarity to improve the increased fire protection so badly needed. This will help to save lives and property In essence, this will help to save lives and property. In the event of a real fire, the need for sprinklers to help suppress the fire is crucial. Moreover, the requirement for consistent supply of power to these systems is equally important. Seeing the detail behind it Many buildings such as tower blocks, hospitals, schools, shopping malls, airports and those areas with large numbers of people moving rely on electrical systems which will continue to operate in a real fire and provide power, providing crucial intelligence to the fire and rescue services. There can be no compromise in the specification of cabling which provides that power, offering fire protection of up to 120 minutes. The sooner the practical guidance can be rolled out, the sooner they can be applied and the sprinkler systems being specified now can be installed in the knowledge that all best practice has been followed in the interests of safety for all concerned. The Institution of Fire Prevention Officers (IFPO) supports AEI Cables in the call to ensure that reliable continuous power is provided for sprinkler systems with the installation of only approved cabling for these purposes. The tried and tested generation of AEI Cables’ fire performance cabling ensure critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes and often support systems which provide vital information. The Firetec Total Fire Solutions range from AEI Cables offers enhanced fire performance cabling, accessories and technical support from one source. Danger ‘significantly reduced’ AEI Cables’ Firetec Enhanced cabling is the only cable to be independently approved and certified by LPCB to BS8519 (Annex B) Category 3 Control for firefighting systems including sprinkler pumps, fire suppression water mist systems, water spray systems, wet riser pumps, wet riser valve and equipment monitoring under the Code of Practice. We also welcome the Government’s move on regulation, with the decision to appoint a new organization to be known as The Building Safety Regulator, to be established under the umbrella of the HSE, responsible for enforcing a more stringent regulatory regime covering buildings over 30 metres tall or of 10 storeys or more in height. It will be responsible for completing a register of buildings in scope and for oversight of their fire safety. The new Buildings Regulator will need to liaise with existing regulatory bodies and fire safety organizations to ensure that it has the most appropriate and up-to-date construction and fire-related knowledge. Call for retrofitting of sprinklers The danger to life, injuries and damage to buildings is “significantly reduced” when sprinkler systems are fitted In addition, a new Construction Products Standards Committee will work on the development of technical standards for construction products and will advise the Government whether voluntary industrial standards should become UK regulatory standards, a role currently undertaken by the European Commission. Again, this is sorely needed to ensure specification of approved products, installed using best practice, brings further reassurance of safety for the public. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) previously made a call for the installation of sprinklers to become mandatory in all residential buildings, hotels, hospitals, schools and care homes taller than 11 metres. The same organizations have also called for sprinklers to be retrofitted where possible. Latest national research carried out by the National Fire Chiefs’ Council and the National Fire Sprinkler Network reveals that the danger to life, injuries and damage to buildings is “significantly reduced” when sprinkler systems are fitted. That speaks volumes. At AEI Cables, we work secure in the knowledge that all of our products are supplied with approvals from independent bodies including BASEC and LPCB. We hold approvals from organizations including Lloyds, the MoD, Network Rail and LUL and work to international standards around the world. We look forward to seeing further detail on how we can work together in the supply chains to apply the highest standards going forward for everyone’s sake.
AEI Cables has further invested in service excellence for existing and new customers by moving into a new UK headquarters. The company has moved into the new modern facilities including a distribution warehouse in Washington, Tyne & Wear, to ensure all service needs are met for its customers. Meeting the demand Stuart Dover, general manager for AEI Cables, said, “The investment means we can move products quickly across our networks in the UK for our customers wherever they are.” “With the increasing demand for specialist products, we can provide stock and the technical support and expertise they require from one location.” Organization Approvals All AEI Cables’ products are supplied with approvals from independent bodies including BASEC and LPCB. It also holds approvals from organizations including Lloyds, the MoD, Network Rail, and LUL and works to international standards around the world. Using the very latest in technology and science, the Firetec Total Fire Solutions range offers Mineral Insulated Cabling (MIC), Firetec Enhanced fire performance cabling, accessories, and technical support from the AEI Cables distribution facility. AEI Cables’ Firetec Enhanced cabling has been approved and certified by LPCB to BS8519 (Annex B), Category 3 Control in addition to Category 2 Control. The BS Code of Practice under BS8519 contains six categories of cables, three for power cables and three for control cables each covering survival times of 30, 60, or 120 minutes.
A major fire safety industry body has endorsed the message from specialist AEI Cables about the importance of using only approved cabling in signal and control equipment following the announcement of a revised version of the Code of Practice. AEI Cables has been highlighting the importance of the systems powered by these cables – including smoke and heat extraction systems – in assisting fire services in the case of firefighting and a safe evacuation in the case of life safety. Fire safety membership Now the professional fire safety membership body the Institution of Fire Prevention Officers (IFPO) is supporting the initiative. Martin Dunne of the IFPO said: “In terms of fire safety compliance, we support the message to the fire safety community to follow the detail of the new Code of Practice under BS8519. Anything which constructively helps to improve fire safety in our buildings is welcomed.” As the only supplier in the UK with independent approval from LPCB for BS8519 Category 3 Control fire performance cables with a fire survival time of up to 120 minutes, AEI Cables is warning of the dangers of using any other type of cable. Approved compliant cable AEI Cables would encourage installers to check with their suppliers that they are using only approved compliant cable" Stuart Dover of AEI Cables, said: “AEI Cables would encourage installers to check with their suppliers that they are using only approved compliant cable for these installations. We’re receiving a very positive response to our campaign to make the industry aware of the implications of the new Code of Practice.” “We must emphasize that any inferior types of cable being used for these applications is dangerous and presents a risk. The standard clearly references and clarifies the products and levels of performance relevant for all parts of the supply chain from specifiers to contractors and installers.” Fire performance cables The applications of Category 3 Control fire performance cables also applies to evacuation alarms for the disabled in care homes, emergency voice communications systems, and voice alarm systems in relevant buildings including tall buildings, office spaces, hospitals, care homes, shopping malls, and stadia. AEI Cables’ Firetec Enhanced cabling has been approved and certified by LPCB to BS8519 (Annex B), Category 3 Control in addition to Category 2 Control. The BS Code of Practice under BS8519 contains six categories of cables, three for power cables and three for control cables each covering survival times of 30, 60, or 120 minutes. All AEI Cables’ products are supplied with approvals from independent bodies including BASEC and LPCB. It also holds approvals from organizations including Lloyds, the MoD, Network Rail, and LUL and works to international standards around the world.
Ensuring the health and wellness of firefighters is a burden shared among equipment manufacturers as well as the fire departments and individual firefighters. Thoughtful design of equipment and other products used in the fire service can be a positive factor as firefighters and other first responders face dangerous situations every day. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What steps can we take to better ensure firefighter health and wellness?