Electrical Fire Safety
Global fire and life safety company, Advanced, has appointed a new business manager to support the growth of its emergency lighting business. Matt Jones joins Advanced from his role as product manager at Apollo Fire Detectors. In his new role, Matt will leverage Advanced’s strong reputation in the fire industry to tap into new emergency lighting markets and grow the LuxIntelligent and EasySafe brands. LuxIntelligent control panels LuxIntelligent is an addressable automatic test system t...
Technologies to protect against fire are among the innovations being shown at CES 2020, the technology event, Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas. The fire market is one of many served by the range of consumer and smart home technologies on display at CES 2020, from artificial intelligence (AI) to 5G, vehicle technology to AR/VR (augmented and virtual reality), robotics to home automation. For example, Longan Vision will display augmented reality systems for firefighters, helping them make good decisions du...
The arrival of winter and the festive season brings added fire and security risks at home and work. Chubb Fire & Security wants to help keep families, their homes and belongings safe and secure. Chubb is part of Carrier, a global provider of innovative heating, ventilating, air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. According to Fire & rescue incident statistics: England, year ending June 2019, there were 268 fire-related fatalities from...
Fire safety solutions expert and fire protection equipment firm, Advanced has announced that it will be showcasing its latest versatile range of fire protection solutions at Intersec 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Advanced will be exhibiting its state-of-the-art fire safety products at F24 stall in Hall 4 of the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Dubai, UAE. Visitors will discover the full spectrum of fire safety solutions offered by Advanced’s Axis EN and Axis...
Portable gas detection equipment needs to work faultlessly and in conjunction with safety best practice. Lives depend on it. But, faced with many daily demands on a safety manager’s time, maintaining compliance across a fleet of equipment is a constant challenge. Matt DeLorenzo, Business Director for Safety io (an MSA Safety Company subsidiary), explains how the Grid Fleet Manager – software service for managing fleets of portable gas detectors – helps to ensure compliance thro...
The Electronic Security Association (ESA) is now accepting entries to its 2020 Youth Scholarship Program — a philanthropic endeavor that aims to support the futures of sons and daughters of first responders. The electronic security industry works intimately with the public safety sector. Police, firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs offer a vital service to our communities, in our shared goal of keeping people, places and property safe. To give back to this group that so positively impacts t...
Bield Response24, Bield Housing & Care’s alarm receiving center (ARC) has become one of the first facilities of its kind to provide fire alarm system monitoring and management. Since 1971, Bield Housing & Care has remained committed to improving the quality of life for older people by offering a diverse range of services to enable them to achieve as much independence and life fulfillment as possible. A not for profit organization, it is now one of the largest providers of housing and care in Scotland, with over 5,300 properties. Bield believes technology plays a vital role in helping it to accomplish these objectives and keep residents safe. Bield Response24 Alarm Receiving Centre Bield Response24 (BR24), the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), has been purpose built to monitor technology enabled care The issue of life safety is a priority and Bield Response24 (BR24), the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), has been purpose built to monitor technology enabled care (such as personal alarms and warden call systems) and fire alarm systems in its housing & care developments throughout Scotland. Like many other parts of the UK, unwanted alarm activations are a big problem in Scotland and cause a great deal of disruption. In 2014 the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) teamed up with partners including the Association of British Insurers (ABI), British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE), the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and the Fire Industry Association (FIA) to undertake a detailed investigation. Fire detection As part of this work, in March 2015 it announced that it will no longer silence or reset systems after a call out to grouped housing developments, as doing so wipes any data that could provide reasons why it was erroneously asked to attend. For Bield Housing & Care this was a costly problem, as it meant when a system required resetting a call had to be made to the fire alarm company responsible for the site, and an engineer had to drive to the location and physically press the silence and reset buttons on the fire detection control panel. In some instances this was a four or five hour return journey and would mean a bill of up to £200. Rapid Fire Services collaborates with Gent by Honeywell Glasgow based Rapid Fire Services was consulted to see if it could suggest some ideas about what could be done. A Gent by Honeywell approved system integrator; Rapid had no hesitation in recommending the use of Gent’s innovative graphics package – an invaluable software tool for any size of network that allows for complete management of the fire detection and alarm system from a central location. The Gent software provides a graphical view of the entire system, enabling easy location of a fire in an emergency and allowing rapid decision making through event-based control of devices. Fully integrated with Gent software RFS fully integrated the Gent software into BR24’s ARC by having a device server fitted beside each Gent Vigilon fire alarm panel Rapid Fire Services (RFS) fully integrated the Gent software into BR24’s ARC by having a device server fitted beside each Gent Vigilon fire alarm panel, which is given a unique IP address that enables it to communicate through the Internet. Personal alarm units are installed in the home and use a resident’s telephone line in the event of smoke/heat detection. This allows the Emergency Call Advisors (ECA) at BR24 to engage in dialogue with the tenant to ascertain the reason behind the fire alert. The ECA then has 60 seconds to decide through discussion with the tenant if the SFRS is required. Warden call systems Warden call systems (WCS) are also used, although they do not offer the same facility to contact the tenant, as the WCS line is engaged with the fire detector call preventing speech module use. With most grouped housing fire detection systems the ARC is only made aware of the main fire alarm activation, not the manual call point or smoke detector that activated the alarm. Therefore, the majority of SFRS calls made will identify the address but not the internal location details. Remote access and monitor system To avoid location issues, the Gent software enables BR24 to give precise location details within the dwelling when placing a 999 call, eliminating search time delays. Furthermore, manual call points or smoke detectors can be silenced while awaiting attendance, reducing anxiety levels to other tenants within the grouped housing development. This poses no threat to system functionality if a smoke is detected from another device. 40% of Bield’s developments can now be remotely accessed and monitored for fire and operational issues, while remote diagnostics ensure that when an engineer is required they have all the necessary replacement parts to repair any faults, saving costs on return visits. Fire alarm systems Assistance can be given to on-site staff who are experiencing problems with their fire alarm systems, fire alarm devices can be remotely adjusted for sensitivity and, of course, it can remotely silence and reset the systems whenever SFRS gives the authority to do so. Gent by Honeywell is synonymous with quality and innovation in the fire detection and alarm industry. Honeywell Gent fire detection systems have been developed to the highest possible standards to deliver the most advanced fire detection and alarm system available in the market today. Gent exclusively supplies its equipment to partners who are selected for their ability to deliver the highest quality of service and solutions for a wide range of industrial applications.
m-u-t GmbH, globally renowned company in the field of photonics and part of the Nynomic Group, and Rosenbauer Brandschutz GmbH, a company of the Rosenbauer Group, have gotten off to a flying start with the market launch of IGNIS3D. This highly innovative infrared camera system for early fire detection is the first result of a strategic innovation partnership between the two security companies. It employs long-wave infrared video technology for contactless surface temperature measuring. IGNIS3D is marketed under the Rosenbauer brand. IGNIS3D infrared camera system IGNIS3D infrared camera system measures 3D information using ingenious laser range finding As the world's first camera system of its kind, the IGNIS3D infrared camera system measures three-dimensional information using ingenious laser range finding, and subsequently uses this information to precisely cool down potential hazards. Fabian Peters, Managing Director of m-u-t GmbH, said "We are delighted to have gained a proven specialist and important cooperation partner in the Rosenbauer Group, a global manufacturer of firefighting technology for preventive and defensive firefighting and disaster control. With our many years of experience in developing customer-specific solutions and series production of products for early fire detection, we are an ideal partner for Rosenbauer." Early fire detection system Hubert Heissl, Managing Director of Rosenbauer Brandschutz, said "Our products are used across the globe. Rosenbauer, as a long-standing global market leader and full service provider in fire protection, and m-u-t, with its unique technological expertise, are a perfect match. Together, we hope to play a key role in making early fire detection systems an even more prominent part of preventive fire protection." M-U-T GmbH is a globally renowned company in the field of photonics and part of the Nynomic Group, and Rosenbauer Brandschutz GmbH, is a company of the Rosenbauer International AG Group, and specializes in fire detection and safety systems.
Rosenbauer has expanded its FANERGY series with a practical cordless device. The new high-performance FANERGY B16 fan is powered by an environmentally friendly and very efficient electric motor that causes no exhaust emissions, and the noise level at the point of use is also significantly minimized. Two lithium-ion batteries supply the 1.25 kW synchronous motor from 40 cells and provide a carrier capacity of 2 x 11.6 amp-hours. This allows operating times of at least 60 minutes at full speed before replacing the batteries with the quick-change system or connecting an external power source. The high-performance fan can be operated uninterrupted and permanently when connected with the power cord. Ergonomic handling, intuitive operation With its compact dimensions, the new FANERGY B16 fits into any equipment room and at just under 25 kg, is lightweight With its compact dimensions, the new FANERGY B16 fits into any equipment room and - at just under 25 kilograms - is lightweight and can easily be carried and set up by one person. The deliberately simple and sturdy steel tube frame has good haptic qualities and ensures perfect handling of the device both when removing it from the vehicle and when carrying it to the place of use or via a staircase. The high-performance fan is operated via the uniform Rosenbauer Logic Control System (LCS) to prevent mistakes from happening even in stressful situations. It consists of only one button for switching on, one for switching off, and a digital potentiometer to regulate the engine speed and thus the air outlet quantity. Boost mode can be activated for short-term increases in power requirements, which is permanently available during mains operation. Tactical, adjustable ventilation Like all FANERGY high-performance fans, the new battery-powered B16 fan has a ventilation unit that can be adjusted continuously between + 20 degrees and -20 degrees. The generous tilt angle provides maximum flexibility and efficiency and provides an optimal, preset ventilation position for most firefighting situations. With a +20 degree inclination angle, the airflow can enter a building unhindered and with little loss when placed on entrance steps or pedestals, while the -20 degree setting is particularly well-suited for removing smoke from stairs going up (basements) or light wells. The special design of the FANERGY fan unit (all-in-one airflow technology) ensures a very even and powerful air flow with an optimized suction behavior and flow pattern. In addition, it combines different fan technologies and concepts such as overpressure or turbo ventilation in one device. FANERGY high-performance fans can therefore be used very flexibly and for any kind of tactical ventilation. The new battery-powered fan is also immediately ready for use, which can accelerate rescue and extinguishing measures and significantly increase the safety of all involved. Mobile powered high-performance fan Mobile battery-powered high-performance fan with all-in-one airflow technology Air outlet diameter: 16“ (410 mm) Drive: permanent magnet synchronous motor Performance: 1,250 Watt Batteries: 2 x lithium-ion batteries with quick-change system Rated voltage: 36 V Capacity: 2 x 11.6 Ah Charge: 24 VDC or 110/230 V - 50/60 Hz Dimensions (W x D x H): 520 x 650 x 355 mm Weight: < 25 kg Accessories: power supply (Schuko, NEMA, British Standard, CEE, Switzerland), replacement batteries, all accessories from the FANERGY series
UNION, an ASSA ABLOY company, is cutting the hassle out of sourcing fire door hardware with its new Fire Door Kits, featuring a complete range of pre-selected products that work seamlessly together, look good and meet every relevant standard. UNION Fire Door Kits The role of a fire door in supporting fire safety and integrity within a building is critical. UNION Fire Door Kits is a single box solution that helps installers to ensure that they are fitting correct and fully compliant hardware. Until now property owners, facilities managers and installers have faced a bewildering variety of hardware choices when installing or maintaining a fire door set. With the UNION Fire Door Kits, all that worry, guesswork and lost time is now a thing of the past. Door solutions Each Fire Door Kit combines all the hardware needed to install or repair a secure fire doorDesigned for common installation situations, each Fire Door Kit combines all the hardware needed to install or repair a fire door. This includes hinges, door closer, lockcase, levers and signage, as well as installation instructions, fitting templates, fixings and the performance sheets to hand over to the building owner for their records. Crucially, every part included in the Kit is tested to all relevant standards, ensuring the door will meet regulations. There are four different Fire Door Kits, each designed to work in a specific application. The Sashlock Kit is ideal for locking fire doors, while the Deadlock Kit is a perfect fit for locking storage areas. The Latch Kit is designed for non-locked rooms, and finally the Corridor Kit is used for push-pull non-locking fire doors. Installing and maintaining fire doors Alison Aston, Category Manager at UNION, said, “The Fire Door Kit range is the easiest way to install or maintain a fire door. We believe this will be a huge benefit for property owners and tradespeople alike, as they now have a way to ensure a fire door is fitted with all the hardware it needs to meet legal requirements and work perfectly too. It’s simple to stock, easy to order, compact to transport and store on site – Kit in one arm, door blank in the other, and job done.” He adds, “The UNION Fire Door Kit is ideal for any owner/landlord, tradesperson, facilities manager or caretaker wanting to add or maintain a fire door to a property. It brings instant safety, compliance and peace of mind while saving time, and it’s all from UNION, the most trusted name in fire door safety and security.”
Autronica, a United Technologies owned fire safety and security company, has announced the release of AutroSense Cascade, a scalable aspirating smoke detection solution that makes installation easier, maintenance quicker, and takes applications further than traditional air sampling detectors. AutroSense Cascade An AutroSense Cascade system consists of two basic module types: Display module – provides control and monitoring of detector modules Detector module – draws air from the risk area and samples it for smoke particles Up to eight detector modules can be controlled and monitored via one display module with each detector module capable of serving up to 250 m of combined sampling pipe. Display and detector module combinations are known as a cluster with devices in the cluster communicating via RS485 Display and detector modules Display and detector module combinations are known as a cluster with devices in the cluster communicating via RS485. This unique modular design allows for clusters to be non-distributed or distributed giving significant design advantages such as maximizing pipework coverage and reduced transport times. AutroSense Cascade is not just about efficient and flexible system design, it also excels with simple user controls, detailed display information, connectivity and easy maintenance. From the designer through to the end user, AutroSense Cascade provides benefits for everyone. Integrated with ClassiFire and waste gate technology AutroSense Cascade embraces exciting new design aspects integrated with proven features and technologies, such as ClassiFire and waste gate technology. Whether it’s providing early warning detection within a clean room environment or providing a problem solving solution for harsh or unusual applications, AutroSense Cascade excels to provide a robust and reliable aspirating smoke detection solution. Autronica is a renowned innovator, manufacturer and supplier of fire and gas safety worldwide. Their products ensure safety in applications on land, sea and in the petrochemical, oil and gas sectors.
The latest enhancements to the Simplex ES Net IP-based fire and life safety network from Johnson Controls optimizes system design and installation flexibility while increasing network capacity, speed and performance. ES Net can now support up to 687 nodes, making it the most scalable, resilient and highest capacity system on the market today. Simplex ES Net IP-Based network ES Net supports multiple network topologies (ring, star, bus and bridged rings) for enhanced design and installation flexibility, improved fault tolerance and the potential to reduce the conduit and wiring. A redundant system with battery backup, ES Net can also support supplemental network traffic without any interference to fire alarm and life safety traffic. Devices such as security cameras, access control and building automation systems can now be seamlessly supported across the UL Listed, supervised network. “The latest updates to the ES Net life safety network give building operators more freedom and flexibility for connecting building systems than any other network currently on the market,” said Anil Konjalwar, senior product manager, Fire Detection, Johnson Controls. “It can support our customers’ largest, most complex applications including hospitals, airports, convention centers, universities and other multi-building campuses.” Advanced IP technology Centralized system management and increased bandwidth allow for quicker upgrades to reduce downtime ES Net harnesses the power of IP technology with data rates up to 100MB per second and a range of network connection choices including Ethernet, DSL and fiber, giving building owners a platform for future growth and integration. Centralized system management and increased bandwidth also allow for quicker upgrades to reduce downtime and operational expenses. ES Net provides greater flexibility during network expansion and allows up to 82,000 feet (25 Km) between nodes. The network’s increased memory capacity, advanced diagnostics and broad bandwidth helps maximize uptime, deliver consistent performance and support future expansion and enhancements. Enhanced operator account security Several upgrades have also been made to the system’s TrueSite Workstation, including ULC Supervising Station Listing, the ability to switch from a primary to backup server, increased support up to 60 clients and enhanced operator account security.
Those responsible for the specification of products which go into new modern buildings have been asking for safe, approved cabling, which play a critical part in electrical supply systems. The number of fires in high-rise buildings in Europe and the Middle East have brought the issue of quality of products for fire performance circuits into sharp focus, not least the Grenfell disaster. Meanwhile, new buildings become increasingly complex, with the use of new materials and the designs of many requiring complex electrical systems to support security and fire safety. New and refurbished buildings such as hospitals, schools, shopping malls or airports, may have complex addressable loop fire alarm systems which provide information on individual detectors. Conventional systems only provide information about specific circuits or zones. Indicating exact location of fire, fault For critical alarm circuits in buildings where large numbers of people move about there can be no greater priority than safetyThe addressable systems feature a fire control panel which receives information and status reports from each device, indicating its exact location and if there may be a fire, a fault, heat or contamination. For critical alarm circuits in buildings where large numbers of people move about – many of whom can be vulnerable – there can be no greater priority than safety. The cabling chosen for these systems is therefore critical. If the power to these alarm systems fails because the cabling does not meet the required performance, then the information available for fire and rescue services is directly affected and with it, the chance of finding people who may be in the building. To meet these design challenges, and with the inquiry into the Grenfell disaster still ongoing, it is the use of the very latest technology and science that is taking enhanced fire performance cabling onto a new level. Safe and compliant cable products Decision-makers in the supply chain want reassurance that the products they are specifying are safe and compliant, meeting all recognized specifications. Calls have been made by the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) for all cable being used in the UK to conform to relevant British, European or international standards amid increasing concerns about the volume of non-approved cables coming onto the market. Installers have welcomed the development of a new generation of fire performance cabling Installers have welcomed the development of a new generation of fire performance cabling which ensures critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes. The standard and enhanced cables in the Total Fire Solutions range are tubed, making them a welcome product for contractors with ease of installation. They are all UV stable and they all come with a hard insulant to resist any fault generation over time. These cables meet all relevant industry standards including ISO 9001 and is approved by the leading industry organizations nationally and worldwide including BASEC and LPCB. Carrying out fire risk assessment For the fire and rescue services, the continuity of power means they can continue to read fire alarm system information which can direct them to the seat of the fire and help to locate people who may be in the building. Responsibility for choosing the right system lies with the ‘responsible person’ under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in business or any other non-domestic premises. This will be the owner, employer, landlord, or may be the facilities manager or building manager. As the responsible person, he or she must carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly and put in place and maintain appropriate fire safety measures. Ultimately, the responsible person faces a fines or jail if they fail to follow these measures and there is a fire. For some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios Any items or products which go into these fire safety systems must be covered by standards set by national, European and international bodies such as British Standards. These will certify that when needed these products will perform their function and operate as expected in real life fire conditions. Ensuring cables meet fire safety standards In support of these standards, cable industry bodies provide testing regimes to ensure that different types of cable are fit for purpose and meet these standards when tested in fire conditions. For installers, or those procuring cables, there is a need to check the cable when it arrives to make sure it is exactly what was specified. Instances of unsafe non-approved cable continue to come to lightFor some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios. These include environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes where older people and children move about. Specifiers looking at new large public sector projects such as hospitals should refer to BS 8519 for the electrical supply, and the most relevant cabling system. Counterfeit Flexible Cords campaign Instances of unsafe non-approved cable continue to come to light. Unsafe flexible cord, intended for use in domestic and industrial applications, has been found on sale in the UK recently, prompting the ACI to issue a fresh alert to the electrical supply chain. The latest find of sub-standard flexible cords is marked ‘Made in Turkey’ and ‘Ermaks’. Samples came to light following the initiative’s recent ‘Counterfeit Flexible Cords’ campaign which alerted the electrical supply chain to dangerous industrial flexible cords. We in the supply chain should all be vigilant to watch out and report these instances of non-compliant cabling wherever we see or suspect they have been installed, while developing only the safest products and systems of our own. We shouldn’t forget that we all have a duty and a responsibility where lives and property are at stake. Importance of MV cables to infrastructure Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliantThe demand for power has never been greater, with the explosion of development in towns and cities across the UK and the growth of industrial development and technology reliant on consistent supplies. Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliant as the pressure mounts on the installation of quality products in modern building developments. MV cables are crucial to our infrastructure. Electricity leaves the generating site and is routed via a step-up transformer to take it up to the National Grid distribution voltages of 400Kv, 275Kv and 132Kv. Once in the local area, the supply goes through step-down transformers that reduce the voltage to 415V with domestic supplies tapped off at 230V. To provide power to the sub-stations – very often located on the premises of the establishment that they supply – Medium Voltage (MV) cables are used. MV cables were only developed as the level of voltages increased and the need arose for a greater classification range. design and specification of the cables The technical design and specification of the cables is of paramount importance within the power distribution networkThe size of the market has developed to the point where the global MV cables market was valued at 39.31billion US dollars in 2016 and projected to grow at a rate of more than six percent until 2022. The technical design and specification of the cables themselves is of paramount importance within the power distribution network. There are a number of technical considerations to be taken into account including the size of the installation, the position of the installation in relation to the network and the presence of primary and secondary sub-stations. Prior to installation, a detailed route survey should also be carried out to plan where cables will be jointed and to identify any possible obstructions which may require special civil engineering works such as directional drilling. Underlying the critical nature of supplies to these types of services, the incidence of non-approved cables for these applications also plagues the industry.
Products for electrical systems that are installed into modern, complex buildings have to be fit-for-purpose for today’s challenging demands. With the background of numerous incidents still being felt by the fire performance industry, how is it to set the benchmarks for the future to make sure there is never another Lakanal House or another Grenfell? The long-term answer is for clearer guidance and legislation, if necessary, to enable the whole supply chain to make decisions which are compliant when choosing products. In the meantime, with the Grenfell inquiry projected to go on during 2019, what is the benchmark?The development of LSZH materials was accelerated following the King’s Cross Underground disaster in which 31 people died Cables With LSZH Materials We have standards through British Standards (BS) and testing regimes which cables should meet to validate that they meet these standards with approvals from various industry bodies including BASEC and LPCB. At AEI Cables, we have developed our Total Fire Solutions range of cables and accessories for all fire safety applications, incorporating Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) features. Traditional PVC cables which produce vast amounts of dense black smoke, toxic fumes and acid gas when exposed to fire, bring an added danger to people who may be caught in the fire. Cables which incorporate LSZH materials emit very little of these substances. In a real fire situation, the cables will enable the fire and rescue services to find and evacuate people and help to protect property Smoke And Noxious Gases Cause More Casualties The development of LSZH materials was accelerated following the King’s Cross Underground disaster in which 31 people died, many of them from toxic fumes. London Underground has banned the use of PVC cables as a result. The adoption of LSZH for cables and other materials is also endorsed by the Building Regulations themselves. According to Part B, referencing fire safety, it says clearly: “The primary danger associated with fire in its early stages is not flame but the smoke and noxious gases produced by the fire. They cause most of the casualties and may also obscure the way to escape routes and exits. Measures designed to provide safe means of escape must therefore provide appropriate arrangements to limit the rapid spread of smoke and fumes.” Helping Fire And Rescue Services The very latest in technology and science, including LSZH materials, offers enhanced fire performance cablingThe very latest in technology and science, including LSZH materials, offers enhanced fire performance cabling, accessories and technical support ensuring critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a real fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes. In a real fire situation, these cables will enable the fire and rescue services to find and evacuate people and help to protect property. At the same time, there is still evidence of non-approved cabling still coming onto the market, and we simply cannot compromise quality of these products being used in these applications. Applications include residential and commercial buildings, shopping malls, airports and protected buildings with a track-record ensuring that fire alarms, sprinkler systems, building monitoring and security systems can continue to operate in a fire.
The continuity of power in the event of a real fire has never been more important as modern buildings become more complex and the need for the highest quality of products comes under the spotlight. With power for lighting and fire alarms, the fire and rescue services can use the intelligence gathered to evacuate people quickly, confident that they have found all the people in the building. Without power, they are literally scrambling in the dark without good information upon which to make their rescue. The continuity of power will also ensure that sprinkler or water mist systems can continue to operate where they exist. In commercial buildings, there may also be smoke evacuation fans which help to enable safe evacuation. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services Appropriate Cabling At the start of a project, the most appropriate cabling should be specified as part of the electrical system rather than at the end of a project. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services across individual areas and floors. At the same time, there are new designs, materials and products continually coming on to the market for major projects, and with it an increasing need for the various parties involved to work closely together to make sure they get it right. There has been an increasing incidence of non-approved cables on the market and unfortunately it is not until cables have been installed, tested or used that issues become clear. For installers, or those procuring cables, there is a need to check the cable when it arrives to make sure it is exactly what was specified. Should there be a problem, have it checked and seek good advice. Keep records of purchase, including reel flanges with batch markings and a sample of the cable markings. Send lengths for testing and then decide on the most appropriate course of action. Choice of cabling is crucial at the start of major projects as issues may occur later Meeting Rigorous Third-Party Tests For some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios. These include environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes where older people and children move about. Specifiers looking at new large public sector projects such as hospitals should refer to BS 8519 for the electrical supply, and the most relevant cabling system. It is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests This Code of Practice specifies that the type of system selected during the design phase ‘should be derived from a detailed process of consultation with the relevant authorities’ and that ‘the design should be agreed at an early stage.’ The decision-making process for cable selection relevant for life safety and firefighting systems is clearly defined here. This covers three categories ranging from 30 minutes to 120 minutes fire survival time. Categories 1 and 2 cover means of escape for 30 minutes and then 60 minutes respectively, and these cables are tested in accordance with the relevant codes. Category 3 for firefighting to 120 minutes refers to power and control cables meeting the 120-minute test according to the relevant standards. It should be emphasised that only Mineral Insulated Cable (MIC) or a cable meeting the requirements of BS7846 F120 will meet this criteria. For clarity, BS 8519 does not take precedence over BS 5839 for alarm systems and BS 5266 for emergency lighting. In essence, choosing the most relevant cabling and electrical accessories which will continue to operate under fire conditions has become critical. Application Of Medium Voltage Cables As the incidence of non-approved cables continues then so the application of Medium Voltage (MV) cables into high-risk environments including hospitals, schools, care homes, industrial sites and sub-stations serving infrastructure sites also becomes critical. In the context off fire engineering, it is important to select the relevant MV Cables in these areas. Adhering to the latest regulations is no longer enough - there needs to be a risk assessment. In order to do this effectively, it is important to ask – are the fire safety procedures up to date? All AEI MV cables are third party tested and approved by BASEC. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards The whole supply chain needs to take consideration of these areas where vulnerable people often move about such as children or elderly people in hospitals or care homes. The fire and rescue services may need a little more time than a conventional building including reading complex fire alarm information to ensure a safe rescue in the event of a real fire. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards. This is due to ageing structures, high volume of combustible materials, and changing use in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths programmes where more combustible and flammable liquids are being used. Concerns have been raised by architects and and designers about fire protection regimes Sufficient Fire Risk Assessment Recent research by the Fire Brigades Union, for example, showed that a key focus for all educational institutions must be ensuring that there is an effective fire risk management process in place, delivered by suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment carried out by an expert in the field. The best practice under Business Information Modelling (BIM) and all best practice of fire safety engineering methods should be observed in conjunction with project partners. There have been concerns over a number of years around the fire protection regime for new buildings expressed by the architects and designers themselves. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) points to the delays to Approved Document B with regard to the relationship of Building Regulations to changing design and construction. AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service RIBA says the virtual disappearance of the role of the clerk of works or site architect and the loss of independent oversight of construction and workmanship on behalf of the client is a further issue for concern. In essence, RIBA believes that future proposals for the fire safety regulatory regime should be informed by the specialist fire safety expertise of relevant professional organisations and groups, and also take full account of this wider set of construction industry AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service with the support of its parent company Ducab based in Dubai, with the design, manufacture and supply of MIC, Firetec Enhanced or Firetec Power depending on specific needs. The choice of cabling and accessories should not be underestimated at the earliest opportunity to ensure the fire and rescue services are given every chance of success in rescuing people and saving property.
One lesson of Grenfell is how many fire system technicians operate without the appropriate qualifications. Since the Grenfell tragedy, Dame Judith Hackitt has called for all relevant trades to hold formal qualifications, and for industry to implement a system in which clients and end users can be assured that operatives are fully competent. Another lesson is that fire service audits of buildings are no longer fit for purpose. For instance, the current system does not require proof that a fire system was installed by a “competent person.” Fire safety in commercial buildings “The general public would be horrified to learn that someone can fit a fire safety system in a commercial building without any proper qualifications or licence,” says Tom Brookes, Managing Director of Lindum Fire Services Ltd., former Chairman of the British Fire Consortium (BFC), and current Chairman of the Fire and Security Association. When it comes to competency, the whole industry needs to up its game" “When it comes to competency, the whole industry needs to up its game,” says Brookes. “Some larger companies are upskilling their staff and moving towards formal qualifications. If small- and medium-sized enterprises do not follow suit, they will fall behind and may be excluded from the marketplace altogether.” Working Group 2 on installer competence Working Group 2 on installer competence was established after the publication of Dame Judith Hackitt’s final report last year, under the joint leadership of Build UK and the Fire Sector Federation. The group has discussed extensively the need for systems engineers to be suitably qualified and able to demonstrate their competence. “In my opinion, there is too much focus on rival competency schemes rather than overall industry outcomes, which somewhat muddies the waters,” says Brookes. “However, one thing that has become crystal clear is that all fire and emergency systems engineers will likely need to hold a Level 3 qualification in the future.” Training provided BFC, FIA and IFEDA Although quality training is provided through the British Fire Consortium (BFC), Fire Industry Association (FIA), Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association (IFEDA) and others, historically there have been no Ofqual-approved qualifications for the fire sector. (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation [Ofqual] is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests.) Changes are afoot, however. In England, the Fire, Emergency Systems and Security trailblazer apprenticeship attracted around 300 new starts last year. The FIA have replaced their 20-year-old training programmes with a new system that will enable technicians who complete the series to achieve their Level 3 qualifications. Since the Grenfell tragedy, Dame Judith Hackitt has called for all relevant trades to hold formal qualifications BS5839-1:2017 Ofqual-approved qualification The awarding organization EAL are launching a BS5839-1:2017 Ofqual-approved qualification in August 2019. This will allow previously trained engineers to sit an exam and gain a Level 3 award demonstrating up-to-date knowledge. Practical skills testing for more experienced technicians, outside of an apprenticeship, is something FSA are currently working hard on with partners including ECA, NET and ECS. “Our aim is for a few options to become available for operatives to gain some sort of practical competence certification,” says Brookes. “More technological solutions are now being considered for competency evaluation, such as uploading video assessments of candidates to a portal for assessors. This is already used for some NVQ type assessments and widely used in the USA. It may be just what our sector needs at this moment in time.” 'Accountable Person' role Latest Government report following Grenfell states they are looking to create a role in commercial buildings The latest Government report following Grenfell states they are looking to create a role in commercial buildings called the “Accountable Person.” This person will have a legal responsibility to ensure people working on systems are competent. While only for high rise and high-risk buildings, like all developments, it will likely spread throughout the sector. “For as long as I have been in the fire industry trade bodies have called upon the fire authorities and Government to legislate to stop unskilled workers installing and maintaining fire safety equipment,” says Brookes. He notes that both independent third-party certification of businesses and CSCS partner card schemes like ECS for individuals are voluntary arrangements. To date, neither Government nor fire services insist either scheme is used by a fire protection company. “If, heaven forbid, we witnessed another tragedy like Grenfell tomorrow, sadly I suspect the outcome would be very much the same,” says Brookes. “However, looking further ahead, I am confident buildings will be safer once new legislation comes into force and effectively eliminates the threat of incompetent and unqualified fire and emergency system engineers.”
A Gent by Honeywell Vigilon fire alarm and detection (FDA) system, incorporating the Response Plus paging system, has been selected to protect the pupils and staff at the renowned secondary school, William Edwards, in Grays, Essex, United Kingdom. The William Edwards School in Grays, which recently marked the 50th anniversary of its opening this year, required a full design, supply, installation and commission of a new Fire and Detection Alarm (FDA) system throughout the premises, as part of an ongoing refurbishment project. The proposed solution had to maintain a flexible design to incorporate any late changes while other building projects were also taking place. Gent fire detection and alarm system The system selected had to be fully flexible to allow us to build in capacity for the school’s growth" PFS Group Ltd. (formerly Premier Fire Systems Limited), part of the Gent 24 network of renowned independent fire specialists has been an Elite Systems Integrator for more than five years and was involved in the project from its initial stages. The highly experienced FDA specialists had to work within a very tight time period and complete the whole installation out of term time. Simon Ford, contracts manager, Premier Fire Systems Limited, says, “The main challenge was to meet the rigid program of requirements and guarantee that the work would be started and completed within the school summer holiday period, to keep any disruption to a minimum. The system we selected had to be fully flexible to allow us to build in capacity for the school’s growth, and the robust technology offered by Gent was the ideal solution.” Gent Vigilon Analogue Addressable FDA system The Gent Vigilon Analogue Addressable FDA system installed at the school incorporated the company’s Vigilon fire alarm panels and Vigilon repeater fire alarm panels, with a total of 281 devices. The system uses Gent’s S-Quad range of detection to ensure the management of the fire alarm system meets the highest technical sensing methods and standards. The Vigilon system was then integrated with Gent’s new wireless Response Plus paging solution. In the event of a fire alarm being triggered, the paging system will allow each school caretaker and fire marshal to receive instant notifications and precise location details on their wrist pagers. This will enable them to instigate the school’s fire safety procedures without delay, speeding up the response time and assisting in the evacuation process. Wireless Response Plus paging system The paging system will also cover a separate house owned by the school on the far edge of the grounds, which is currently being used to offer exchange teachers a place of stay during their time at William Edwards. As the building is remote and regularly unoccupied for lengthy periods throughout the working day, the onsite paging system will overcome these challenges by reporting any fire present within the house, to enable the staff to react accordingly. The school class change and intruder alerts were also added to the system" Simon Ford continues, “The client is very satisfied with the performance of the products installed, particularly with how easily they integrated into the entire school system. The school class change and intruder alerts were also added to the system and it has performed seamlessly since it was installed.” System installation and service The installation has resulted in repeat work for Premier Fire Systems Limited, and recommendations to other academy schools have been achieved for its business. Donald McFarlane, UK & Ireland Business Manager, Gent by Honeywell said, “We’re delighted to hear the very positive feedback from William Edwards School and we’re glad that the performance of our FDA solution meets the high standards of this outstanding institution.”
Gent by Honeywell has supplied an aspirating smoke detection system to the Camden Islington NHS Foundation Trust. It was designed and installed by long-time Gent elite system integrator PFS Group Ltd., (formerly Premier Fire Systems Limited). The new solution replaced the existing optical smoke detection devices within two mental health wards within the Highgate Mental Health Centre in Dartmouth Park Hill, London. According to Simon Ford, Contracts Manager, PFS Group Ltd., a new system was needed within the patient accommodation rooms. Compact Aspirating Smoke Detection units We selected the Gent by Honeywell Compact Aspirating Smoke Detection units, powered by EN54 power supply units" Simon said, “We selected the Gent by Honeywell Compact Aspirating Smoke Detection (ASD) units, powered by EN54 power supply units. One of the specific requirements for the system was to ensure that it could clearly identify the source of a potential fire, down to the individual room. This was accomplished by using the IDENT functionality of the Compact ASD devices.” The Compact ASD units are able to detect fires quickly, faster than point or beam smoke detectors. This often occurs before smoke is even visible, which provides users with valuable prevention time before an open fire can develop. These units are particularly well suited for use in high risk applications, such as medical facilities. Gent Vigilon Fire Network “The ASD devices were fitted within nurse stations and then connected to the hospital’s existing Gent Vigilon Fire Network using new addressable four channel interfaces,” says Simon Ford. PFS Group Ltd. worked closely with hospital ward managers and staff during implementation to keep the impact of work on patients to a minimum. Fire safety system implementation Simon concluded, “We’ve had some really positive feedback from the client regarding the implementation and the system, and we’re hoping that this serves as a pilot for a potential roll out to other wards and hospitals.”
Westside One, a residential building located in Birmingham city center, was constructed little over a decade ago yet its old addressable fire system was ageing rapidly and did not comply with current regulations. Midlands-based fire safety solutions specialists, Fire Safety Services Ltd., who are known for providing the maintenance for the multi-story premises, encountered recurring problems with the existing fire detection and alarm system (FDA), and recommended a complete upgrade to provide the ultimate protection to the building’s occupants. Gent fire detection and alarm system It was important to upgrade the system and select a new solution to bring it up to the current safety standards" Dave Lewis, Fire Systems Manager, Fire Safety Services Ltd., has said, “With the original system there were no sounders other than in the concierge area and the smoke vent doors were not integrated into the main system. It was important to upgrade the system and select a new solution to bring it up to the current safety standards”. Westside One is located on the busy Suffolk Street Queensway in Birmingham and is a 13 story tower block made up entirely of living accommodation. In a building of this nature, the FDA is a crucial element for the protection of the residents, any changes to the system have to be carried out quickly and efficiently to ensure the building is without coverage for the least possible amount of time. S-Quad detectors with optical heat sounders Fire Safety Services selected a Gent by Honeywell two loops Vigilon Compact solution to cover the entire apartment block. A total of 76 devices were installed, including S-Quad detectors with optical heat sounders and interface units to operate the smoke vent doors. The new solution would allow the alarm to be raised on every floor throughout the building and has been programmed to operate the smoke vent doors in emergency situations. As one of Gent 24’s network of approved Systems Integrators, Fire Safety Services Ltd. has had a close working relationship with the fire industry expert for more than seven years. Gent Vigilon Compact solution Dave Lewis states, “The biggest challenge for Westside One was the fact that it is an occupied building. The amount of downtime in between taking the old panels out and installing the new ones had to be kept to a minimum. We needed to get the system up and running quickly and the Gent system saved us valuable time”. He further adds, “On a typical system upgrade of this nature the average time for installing and commissioning is approximately five working days, this project took just three and a half days from start to finish.” Fire Safety Services worked hard to get the detection back in place as rapidly as possible. The team’s familiarity with the Gent technology was a key part of the quick turnaround alongside the flexibility of the system. Robust fire protection solution The high quality Gent FDA system in place is fully compliant with the current standards Dave explains, “The Gent solution provided the ease of install that we required, there was no extra cabling as we were able to use the existing cables. This saved both time and money, so it was an ideal, cost effective solution for the client.” The Westside One project is now complete. The high quality Gent FDA system in place is fully compliant with the current standards, and provides the building’s occupants with the robust protection and peace of mind that is essential in residential accommodation. Honeywell Gent fire detection systems Gent by Honeywell is synonymous with quality and innovation in the fire detection and alarm industry. Honeywell Gent fire detection systems have been developed to the highest possible standards to deliver the most advanced fire detection and alarm system available in the market today.
Gent by Honeywell's fire detection and alarm (FDA) solution has been selected to protect the Goldington Academy in Bedford. S-Quad dual optical network A Gent three panel S-Quad dual optical network has been installed across the middle school’s 1960s’ education blocks, including a sports hall and an arts center/gymnasium. The Goldington Academy, renowned for both its educational standard and its extracurricular activities in sport, music and drama, won Academy status in 2011 and has since been given a ‘good’ Ofsted rating. Now responsible for its own budgets, Goldington Academy was successful in its bid for Academies Capital Maintenance Funding to implement the fire safety improvements. Fire Safety Services (UK) Ltd, part of the Gent 24 network of systems integrators, carried out the installation, following discussions with Ridge Property and Construction Consultants, and in particular Elton Norris. Gent Vigilon system Fire Safety Services installed a number of detectors and sounders across the campus using the Gent Vigilon system Fire Safety Services installed a significant number of detectors, sounders and call-points across the campus using the Gent Vigilon system. Gent’s four separate sensing elements in the S-Quad sensors will play a key part in rapid fire detection for the buildings. Adam Gillespie from Fire Safety Services said, “Reducing false alarms was a key issue in this project. Not only do you have the potential for children setting off the alarms, but there are also environmental factors to consider, such as vapor and smoke being generated in the science labs. Honeywell Gent fire detection systems Adam adds, "To combat this we used the Gent S-Quad sensors, which are extremely reliable at detecting the difference between false alarms and potentially real threats.” Gent by Honeywell is synonymous with quality and innovation in the fire detection and alarm industry. Honeywell Gent fire detection systems have been developed to the highest possible standards to deliver the most advanced fire detection and alarm system available in the market today.
Gent by Honeywell has supplied its innovative fire detection and alarm (FDA) system to a new luxury hotel in the Scottish Highlands. The system was installed by long time Gent system integrator, Northern Security Alarms. The hotel, Links House at Royal Dornoch, overlooks the first tee of the Royal Dornoch Golf Course and incorporates a fully restored nineteenth century manor house alongside a newly built addition. “The main requirement for the project was a flexible and comprehensive alarm system that would cover both buildings and integrate with the hotel’s other systems, and we selected the Gent Vigilon Compact system for the installation,” says Graeme MacDonald, Director, Northern Security Alarms. Intelligent S-Quad detectors S-Quad detectors are ideal as they combine a heat detector, smoke detector and a sounder in one device" The detection system features the Vigilon main control panel that is located in the hotel, a secondary control panel located in the manager’s flat adjacent to the hotel, and a series of approximately 50 intelligent S-Quad detectors placed throughout the hotel. “The S-Quad detectors are ideal for this type of installation because they combine a heat detector, smoke detector and a sounder in one device. Not only did this save on installation time, it also ensured the detectors were as unobtrusive as possible and fitted in to the décor of the luxury establishment,” says MacDonald. Vigilon control panel integrated with fire safety system The programmable Vigilon control panel was integrated with the hotel’s other fire safety components, such as the air pressurization system that is activated by a fire alarm and blows smoke out of rooms and stairwells to aid in an evacuation. It also works with other cause and effect systems and ensures, for example, that once a fire alarm is triggered, the gas flow to the kitchen is shut off, emergency lighting is switched on and fitted magnets in the sash windows release and allow them to drop in order allow smoke to escape. “The use of Gent products definitely made the project easier for us as the products are extremely versatile and flexible and with the use of the Gent software and configurator tools, the system can be configured to handle just about any demands. It also makes working with and integrating with third party systems a lot simpler and efficient,” concludes MacDonald.
Edinburgh Napier University is one of the largest higher education institutions in the country, with almost 18,000 students based across twelve campuses in the Scottish capital. The University has recently embarked on an ambitious £100m investment program to provide some of the UK’s best teaching and learning facilities. One of the campuses currently being developed is the Merchiston campus which houses the majority of the University’s Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Built Environment facilities. Located in the lively Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh, Merchiston Campus is also home to several art studios, engineering & design workshops, as well as an award-winning 500-seater computing center. Gent FDA system installed As part of the Merchiston renovation, the University is extending the campus to introduce a new reception and student gallery. A brand new single story building is also being erected with several sound-proofed state-of-the-art music studios and teaching rooms. The FDA system had to provide the ultimate reliability and integrate seamlessly with the existing system Every element of the extension and new buildings have been planned and designed to the highest standards. The fire detection and alarm equipment (FDA) had to provide the ultimate reliability and integrate seamlessly with the existing system already installed in the campus. Gent Vigilon System A solution by fire industry experts Gent by Honeywell was chosen to cover the buildings in the new development and integrate with the existing system. Stanley Security Solutions worked on the project and supplied, tested and commissioned the Gent FDA solution, with M&E contractor FES Limited carrying out the installation. Andrew Lees, Stanley Security Solutions, said “The main challenge on this project was integrating the new part of the FDA system with the existing solution and also selecting a system that would provide the best protection in the new music studio, without affecting the building’s acoustics.” S-Quad sensors The Gent solution used for this part of the campus was the Gent fully addressable Vigilon system, complete with S-Quad detection. The project required an additional Gent Vigilon 4 loop fire alarm panel, one fully functional repeater panel and more than 400 devices with a combination of smoke and heat detectors, sounders, interfaces and call points as well as the new Vigilon panel being added to the existing Gent Vigilon network. Gent aspirating system The Gent aspirating system was selected as it is the ideal complement to the Vigilon range" Lees continued, “The ideal solution for the music school was a system that could be fitted above the ceiling at a higher level. The Gent aspirating system was selected as it is the ideal complement to the Vigilon range and allows smoke detection to be installed where it isn’t possible to put normal point detection.” The Gent aspirating system that is fitted in the ceiling void of the music school, actively takes air samples from the monitored area and analyses them for the presence of smoke particles, it can identify a possible fire in its very earliest stages and removes the need to have several point type smoke detectors. Smoke and heat detectors Andrew Lees further stated, “The Gent FDA solution was selected as it was the most cost effective option for the University. As one of Gent 24’s network of Systems Integrators, we are very familiar with the company’s products. We push Gent as much as we can the unique functionality you get from the devices and the robust technology means that customers can have complete peace of mind when choosing the Gent brand.” As part of the renovation, the library in the main part of the campus also had its fire alarm and detection system upgraded with the installation of 70 new devices to protect the building and its occupants. Work on the University’s renovation, including the construction of the new music school began in March 2012, with an expected completion date of June this year.