Fire Safety Inspection
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) announced that it has entered into a partnership with Papworth Trust as part of the Primary Authority Scheme (PAS). The partnership means that CFRS will support Papworth Trust on all fire safety matters across their premises in East Anglia. Papworth Trust Papworth Trust is a globally renowned disability charity that supports thousands of people, their families and carers every year. They provide a range of high quality services for disabled and dis...
After a period of decline the number of pupils being expelled from mainstream schools is increasing, placing more pressure on the need for Pupil Referral Units and the security at these premises, which is vital for managing student and staff safety. ASSA ABLOY High Security & Safety Group offers a range of locks and doors suited to the sensitive needs of Pupil Referral Units and pupils in care. Secure Education doorsets The breadth of doorset solutions means the High Security & Safety...
Professional security installers are the essential lifeblood of IFSEC and FIREX International, so they are delighted to announce their long-standing partners SSAIB as the official Installer Partner for the 2020 shows, taking place once again at London’s ExCeL from May 19-21. As the certification body for security and fire alarm installation professionals, manned guarding services and monitoring, SSAIB-approved companies are exclusively invited to IFSEC International and FIREX Internationa...
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...
A life-safety systems manufacturer, C-TEC, has restructured its UK sales team to facilitate further growth and expansion. Simon Griffiths is C-TEC’s new Northern Fire Account Manager, replacing Brian Foster, recently promoted to the newly-created role of UK Sales Manager. With over 20 years’ experience in service engineer, project management and business development roles at Honeywell, Cormeton Electronics and Reflex Systems, Simon’s brief is to create new business and provide...
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service has undergone its most comprehensive, independent inspection in many years and has been rated as “Good” for its effectiveness, efficiency and how well it leads and manages its staff. The findings come from a report published on Tuesday, 17 December 2019 by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), who inspected Suffolk’s service earlier this year. Inspectors reviewed every aspect of the service, f...
A Cambridgeshire firefighter becomes the first female at March Fire Station to be the officer in charge of emergency incidents and qualified to drive a fire engine. Firefighter Vicky Vata was successful at the crew’s drill night on late November 2019 where she was assessed by officers from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service’s training center. The qualification, known as ‘safe to ride’ means Vicky will ride a fire engine as the officer in charge of an incident, taking details from emergency call handlers and ensuring the crew tackle the emergency safely. Vicky can also drive a fire engine if another qualified officer is available. Responding To Emergencies Around The Clock Vicky said: “I’ve been at the station now for a few years and have enjoyed serving my local community, which my employer, the Oliver Cromwell Hotel, has supported me with. I’m very proud of the role we have in the town and I want to make sure we are able to respond to emergencies around the clock, which is why I wanted to gain more skills and offer as much as I can.” The crew here have been very supportive and have helped me immensely through the process" “The crew here have been very supportive and have helped me immensely through the process. Being able to practice leading incidents during drill nights and also learn from the experienced people at the station has proved so valuable. I wasn’t really aware that I was going to be the first to pass the qualification, I just wanted to make sure I was giving the most I possibly can to the community.” Encouraging Women To Join As Operational Firefighters Watch Commander Andy Powell said: “Vicky is not only a great firefighter but is also a very positive influence at the station. She is keen to help others and is often first in the queue to help with community visits to the station. This marks the culmination of a lot of hard work, not only from Vicky, but the rest of the crew that have helped with hours on the drill yard getting ready for the assessment.” Station Commander Ian Smith added: “We are all extremely proud of Vicky, this is a great achievement for her and the station. One of the Service’s key priorities is to encourage more women to join as operational firefighters, which Vicky has been very helpful with. Vicky has shown how development opportunities are available for firefighters once they join the Service, which will hopefully help encourage more people to join.” Vicky was joined at the drill night by Mayor of March, Councillor Rob Skoulding, to celebrate passing the assessment.
Vimpex is delighted to be showcasing its ‘BIG 3’ at Intersec 2020 Dubai (Hall 4, Stand C40) — that’s 3 great products and 3 great reasons to come and talk to Vimpex, Europe’s independent manufacturer and distributor of quality evacuation, signaling and building infrastructure system products for installers, distributors and OEM manufacturers. Essential Fire And Security Equipment Identifire: The state-of-the-art Identifire range of 50+ evacuation and alarm sounders, beacons and system accessories are all manufactured in the UK by Vimpex. UL certified, their flawless functionality combines with sleek design to ensure easy installation. They can be customized and come with versatile flush or surface mounted options. Fire-Cryer: The Fire-Cryer range of voice enhanced sounders, proudly manufactured by Vimpex in the UK, is the proven solution that reduces delay and evacuation response times, yet is as simple to install as electronic sounders. Fire-Cryer Solo provides the clearest, unambiguous voice message for communication at critical times. Smart+Guard: The Smart+Guard range has been designed to protect essential fire and security equipment against unwanted false alarms. These toughened hinged protective covers can be easily installed over a range of emergency switches and other devices to provide protection from vandalism, accidental damage or misuse. Established in 1994, Vimpex is the UK’s independent manufacturer and distributor of fire detection, alarm and evacuation products and accessories.
ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland is advising fire safety professionals on the importance of properly certified hardware and training, following warnings from experts in fire safety law that they may now be deemed responsible for any breaches. Liability for fire safety breaches is being increasingly pushed down from building owners and occupiers to those that have been consulted, assessed and advised on the appropriate fire safety solutions for a site. Should these products fail to perform as expected, then those professionals will be held accountable, and could potentially even be prosecuted. Need for suitable fire risk assessments ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland believes that this issue will be a real game changer for the industry, with architectural ironmongers, merchants, and safety and security consultants all set to be deemed responsible. Only recently, a representative from the internationally renowned law firm, Russell Cooke LLP cited a growing trend for building owners to hold suppliers responsible for a lack of suitable fire risk assessments and the use of inappropriate materials and products. In 2014 – for the first time ever – a risk assessor went to prison for nine months for a breach of health and safety rules. It is clear that accountability surrounding fire safety will fall to the supply chain more and more in the future. Compliance to fire safety regulations At ASSA ABLOY, all our products are tested and certified to the appropriate fire safety standards" David Hindle, Head of Door Control Sales at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, explains “We believe this issue will increasingly affect the entire industry. From architectural ironmongers that might be selling product with little or questionable certification, to merchants providing hardware that might not be fit for purpose, and consultants that are potentially not carrying out the right risk assessments for clients, the liability for fire safety in buildings will fall to professionals in the industry. After all, they should be the experts on this matter.” He adds, “It is therefore vital that all of these groups have the right accreditation in place to meet these demands. Relevant schemes include Warrington Certification’s FIRAS Installer Certification, BM TRADA’s Q-Mark Fire Door Installation and the Guild of Architectural Ironmongery’s diploma.” Understanding fire safety legislation David further stated, “It is also vital that architectural ironmongers, merchants and consultants have a comprehensive understanding of the legislation covering fire safety matters in and around buildings, such as Approved Document B, BS EN 1634 and BS 476. Only by combining this specialist industry knowledge with recognized accreditation can professionals advise on and specify the best fire safety products. “At ASSA ABLOY, all our products are tested and certified to the appropriate fire safety standards, and we are taking increasing steps to ensure that those throughout the supply chain can feel confident that they have put forward a compliant solution.” Training and qualification on fire safety solutions David concludes, “We predict that we will be seeing many more instances where professionals will be held accountable for any breaches around fire safety. As a result, it is critical that those throughout the supply chain ensure products are certified, and they have the correct training and qualifications to be able to advise customers on the most appropriate fire safety solutions.”
Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) has taken part in a series of multi-agency training exercises to tests its chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear response. The three training sessions, which fell under CBRNe, were designed to test how emergency services from across the region responded to incidents such as chemical spills and contamination. Training exercises These scenarios involved staff from Avon and Somerset Police, South Western Ambulance Service, Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, National Resilience and other emergency services from across the South West. Each session has tested casualty management, chemical identification, mass decontamination, scene management and inter-service communication. The final scenario, held on 6th Nov, 2019, simulated a chlorine leak that had contaminated 20 people in a small area. Along with this, some casualties had not been affected by the chemical leak but needed treatment within the area. mass decontamination trial While the police managed the scene, AF&RS and DSFRS identified the chemicals involved and conducted the mass decontamination of all casualties, before they were handed to ambulance crews. Darren Kingston, Station Manager and CBRNe lead for AF&RS, said “These training scenarios are a fantastic way for each emergency service to learn and showcase exactly how they would respond to an incident that would be challenging in a variety of different ways”. Emergency response in case of CBRNe outbreak “While these incidents like this are rare, when they do occur it is crucial that we are able to respond in an effective and efficient way, helping to minimize the number of casualties and their injuries. As an ambitious service, we worked hard to make these as realistic as possible, utilizing volunteers as live casualties, multiple agencies from around the region and a realistic site thanks to Avon and Somerset Police.” This was fantastic regional training and while we conduct regular training, these scenarios are a great learning opportunity" “We have already taken away several learning points from these three scenarios and will continue to develop our response as we take part in more training. I would like to thank every agency that has taken part, especially the volunteers who helped to such an extent and were fully committed to their roles.” malicious use of chemical materials ‘CBRNe’ is the abbreviation commonly used to describe the malicious use of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear materials or weapons with the intention to cause significant harm or disruption. The hazards posed by these materials vary but will normally include some form of chemical substance, biological bacteria or virus, radioactive materials or nuclear detonation. Paul Lacey, CBRNe lead for Avon and Somerset Police, added, “This was fantastic regional training and while we conduct regular training, these scenarios are a great learning opportunity. CBRNe requires a close working relationship and a lot of communication between agencies and partners. It is always great to refine these skills and ensure we are able to respond effectively when needed. I would like to thank our police colleagues from across the region and everyone that attended over the three sessions.”
MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have awarded essential turnout gear to fire departments in Illinois and Ohio through MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway. This annual program began in 2012 and provides much-needed gear to volunteer fire departments in the U.S. and Canada. In 2019, a total of 13 departments will each receive four new sets of state-of-the-art turnouts to help them increase the safety of their firefighters. The first 500 applicants also received a complimentary membership to the NVFC, courtesy of MSA. The latest recipients of the turnout gear are the Witt (IL) Volunteer Fire Department and Canal Fulton (OH) Fire Department. Witt (IL) Volunteer Fire Department This gear will be well taken care of and serve these communities for years to come" Witt Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD) is comprised of 35 members and five explorers who respond to more than 225 calls per year over 142 miles of rural service area. The department serves 3,520 residents 24 hours a day on a volunteer basis. Volunteers have been relying primarily on gear that the department received 18 years ago, and it is showing signs of thermal breakdown and aging, which puts responders at risk. With an annual budget of $24,000, WVFD’s budget ranks in the bottom two percent of the state. The local government is operating on a month-to-month basis, and it cannot be counted on for monetary assistance. “This gear will be well taken care of and serve these communities for years to come,” explains Captain Daniel Rogers. Canal Fulton (OH) Fire Department Canal Fulton Fire Department (CFFD) has struggled to equip its firefighters with NFPA-compliant turnout gear. The department is currently comprised of 49 active firefighters; of these, 22 are borrowing coats, 22 are borrowing turnout pants, 26 are borrowing a pair of boots, and 25 are borrowing helmets from neighboring departments. As a volunteer department, CFFD has found it difficult to find the funding to purchase adequate turnout gear. This impacts the safety of their members as well as creates issues during the recruitment process. “The four sets of Globe turnout gear will have the most significant impact on those who have recently graduated from our Explorer program,” says Captain Shawn Yerian. “They will directly benefit by receiving NFPA-compliant personal protective equipment from MSA.” Additional MSA Globe Gear Giveaway awards will be made monthly throughout 2019.
FLIR Systems, Inc. announced the launch of the FLIR Fido® X4, the newest, most advanced version of its premium handheld explosives trace detector. The Fido X4 delivers unmatched sensitivity for a broad range of explosives, so users can easily detect threats at levels other devices cannot. FLIR Systems’ TrueTrace® detection technology features a new five-channel sensor array that delivers expanded threat coverage. TrueTrace can accurately detect a wide range of explosives at nanogram to sub-nanogram levels – including military, commercial, improvized, and homemade explosives – allowing users to gain actionable intelligence through identification of threats in as little as ten seconds. A FLIR PackBot Hardware Integration Kit will sync the Fido X4 with the company’s unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) widely used for explosive ordnance and bomb disposal. Fido’s multi-platform adaptability will allow users to switch the device from handheld operation to unmanned systems for standoff threat detection. intelligent sensing solutions FLIR and authorized partners are taking pre-orders for the Fido X4 and shipments will begin in December 2019 “Our new Fido X4 is mission-ready for all critical security applications – from high-volume checkpoint and randomized screenings to foot patrols and standoff operations – going wherever it is needed,” said David Ray, president of FLIR Systems’ Government and Defense Business Unit. “FLIR is committed to providing operators with intelligent sensing solutions that keep them out of harm’s way. With thousands of Fido devices already deployed in more than 40 countries, the X4 builds on a legacy of success for military and public safety personnel worldwide.” Multiple connectivity options Weighing three pounds and ergonomically built to minimize operator fatigue, the Fido X4 is designed for extended operations of up to 16 hours with two 8-hour, hot-swappable batteries. X4’s new simplified user interface features on-board video tutorials, user prompts, and color-coded alarms with strength indicators for quick and decisive operation. Analyzing and reporting results is made easy through multiple connectivity options, so critical data can be shared fast. FLIR and authorized FLIR channel partners are currently taking pre-orders for the Fido X4 and shipments will begin in December 2019. The PackBot Hardware Integration Kit is being developed in 2020.
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.
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.
A number of shocking incidents involving fire have highlighted the need to better manage risks in buildings. David Adkins, managing director at Risk Warden, explains why some organisations need to give compliance with statutory regulations more focus and how the use of state-of-the-art online risk assessment tools can help to ensure that a building is as safe as possible. The Grenfell Tower disaster in London, in which 72 people lost their lives, brought the subject of fire safety into sharp focus. A government review into building regulations in the wake of this tragedy, led by Dame Judith Hackitt, made it clear that competence – defined as a combination of knowledge, skills and experience – underpins safety for all. It also found that that the current regulatory system is not fit for purpose and, with little or no quality monitoring, has created a situation where poor language confuses guidance with regulation and means that there is an overlapping regulatory enforcement framework. Why you need a fire safety action plan Sadly, Grenfell was not an isolated incident and similar events have occurred throughout the world. In 2017 a fire at a 17-storey commercial building in Iran led to multiple deaths, including those of 18 firefighters, while in 2015 16 people died in a fire in a residential building in Azerbaijan. Perhaps what is most concerning is that these types of events have been regularly occurring for many years – in 2010 a fire in a 28-storey tower block in China killed 53 people and injured at least 90, while in 2004 a fire at a care home in Scotland led directly to the deaths of 14 residents. The inquiry concluded that this tragedy could have been prevented by a suitable fire safety action plan. These examples highlight why it is vital to take the issue of safety seriously by undertaking a formal risk assessment. Put simply, if risks aren’t identified, a building’s occupants are in danger. There are a number of important pieces of legislation relating to this area in the UK including The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which contain a consistent set of requirements. Employers also have a general duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work. The Grenfell Tower disaster in London, in which 72 people lost their lives, brought the subject of fire safety into focus Responsibility for fire risk assessment When it comes to the dangers associated specifically with fire, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) places the onus on a designated responsible person within an organisation to carry out regular assessments to identify, manage and reduce the potential danger posed by fire. Article 9 of the RRFSO states that "The responsible person must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons are exposed for the purpose of identifying the general fire precautions he/she needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on him/her by or under this order". Any failure that leads to loss of life, personal injury or damage to property will expose a responsible person and could lead to prosecution. Outside fire risk assessors If the responsible person does not have the knowledge to carry out a fire risk assessment on his or her own, it will be necessary to call on a competent outside fire risk assessor. However, as Article 18 of the RRFSO points out, "Preference is to be given to a suitable competent person in the responsible person’s employment over a person not in their employment". Just as importantly, it states that, "A person is to be regarded as competent where they have sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable them properly to assist in undertaking the preventive and protective measures". If an outside fire risk assessor is employed then the responsible person must undertake due diligence to ensure that the individual concerned is competent and has successful track record in this line of work. Failure to do so can have enormous repercussions like, for example, in 2017 when a former firefighter and professional fire risk assessor was given a sentence of four months in prison suspended for 12 months for providing a ‘woefully inadequate’ fire risk assessment in his capacity as a private consultant. Failure to undertake due diligence when employing a fire risk assessor can have legal consequences Monitoring and reviewing fire risk It is up to the responsible person to put processes and procedures in place to enable compliance to be fully evidenced. This includes keeping up to date records of testing and maintenance regimes that can be scrutinised by relevant enforcement authorities, as well as enabling the responsible person to monitor, control and periodically review the fire risk assessment, especially during and after significant changes to the use or layout of a building. At the moment there are no hard and fast rules as to how fire risk assessments should be carried out. However, the most important requirement is to identify the fire hazards and how people could be at risk. In addition, emergency routes and exits, fire detection and warning systems, fire fighting equipment, the removal or safe storage of dangerous substances, and the needs of vulnerable people such as the elderly or those with disabilities must be factored in. The aim should always be to remove or reduce the risks as much as is 'reasonably practicable'. A failure to provide satisfactory evidence that a comprehensive risk assessment has taken place could result in invalid insurance, large fines and even the prosecution of any individuals responsible. To that end Article 11 of the RRFSO states that "The responsible person must make and give effect to such arrangements as are appropriate, having regard to the size of his/her undertaking and the nature of its activities, for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures". Today’s state-of-the-art solutions are structured around an intuitive internet-based interface Risk assessment and compliance tools Sometimes, particularly with large buildings or campus environments, the complexity of the risk assessment process requires a more methodical approach that takes subjectivity out of the process. When it comes to satisfying the requirements of Article 11 of the RRFSO where "the responsible person must record the arrangements", the latest generation of intuitive risk assessment and compliance tools can help. Today’s state-of-the-art solutions are structured around an intuitive internet-based interface, which allows a responsible person to be guided through the entire risk assessment process in a clear and thorough manner. This is a significant improvement on the old fashioned ‘pen and paper’ approach, as digital images can be captured and placed directly into a report at the relevant section, while templates for specific building types ensure consistency throughout. This simplifies the identification, management and prevention of any risks related to not only fire, but security, and health and safety too, thereby reducing the potential for danger within a wide variety of environments. It should always be remembered that the risk assessment is only the first stage of the process and where traditional methods often fall down is in taking – or not taking, as the case may be – any necessary remedial action. Online tools provide a more cohesive approach, as once the risk assessment has been completed all work undertaken is clearly outlined, logged and accounted for to comply with audits. This provides evidence of compliance and ensures organisations meet their legal obligations, validate their insurance, take a consistent approach to risk management and provide peace of mind for a responsible person. Making buildings safer There is a clear need for a digital record of risk assessment compliance for the whole life of a building – from design and construction through to occupation. As assessing risk can be a lengthy and complicated process, anything that makes this easier and enhances an organisation’s ability to negate the likelihood of injury or even death should be embraced. It stands to reason that risk management must be more strictly applied in order to prevent incidents that could be avoided – therefore, the use of online risk assessment and compliance tools should be at the forefront when it comes to making buildings safer.
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.”
FIREX International, 18-20 June, 2019, at ExCel London will feature 25-plus hours of seminars and panel discussions along with an exhibition of 130-plus manufacturers showcasing products for fire safety. A Sprinkler and Suppression Presentation Area will highlight the important category. Also, for the fourth year, the International Tall Building Fire Safety Conference will take place alongside FIREX International. There will be 18,000 fire prevention and protection professionals from over 70 countries in attendance at FIREX International. Seminars and panel debates, held in the dedicated Expertise and Guidance Theatre, will include sessions covering tall building safety, passive fire protection, case studies, and more. One session will consider how the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union will impact fire safety laws and the fire industry. Implications of fire safety regulations A presentation will cover the development of new tests to assess video smoke and flame detectorsThe aftermath of the Grenfell fire will be the backdrop of several sessions. One will address the competency of fire, emergency and security systems technicians in the post-Grenfell era, presented by Fire and Security Association Chairman Tom Brookes. Also, a panel discussion will consider the process control and record-keeping requirements of Dame Judith Hackitt's proposed ‘golden thread of information’ that spans regulatory, design, compliance, construction and operational management functions. Another session will speak to post-Grenfell implications of fire safety and future regulations, and there will be a summary of the government response to the Hackitt/ADB review and its impact on passive fire protection. Other topics include training, testing, and fire risk assessment. A case study will highlight the importance of smoke alarms in rented properties. A session on defining Fire Industry Association (FIA) Qualifications will address the impact of best practice, legislation and standards. A presentation will cover the development of new tests to assess video smoke and flame detectors. And there will be an update on industry efforts to create an overarching competence body for the fire safety sector. Thousands of products on display The Passive Protection Zone offers an opportunity for delegates to develop their knowledge of passive fire protectionFIREX International caters to everyone within the fire safety buying chain from manufacturers, distributors, installers, integrators, consultants to end users. With tens of thousands of products on display, attendees can test and try them out hands-on. The largest presence at the show will be the Fire Solutions stand, organized by Halma, which will feature six leading suppliers of fire safety technology from the same commercial family hosted at a single stand. The featured exhibitors will be Advanced, Apollo Fire Detectors, Argus Security, FFE UK, Klaxon and LAN Control Systems. The Passive Protection Zone offers an opportunity for delegates to develop their knowledge of passive fire protection via a variety of seminars and workshops. Plus, Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) member companies will be located around the zone, displaying related products. Tall Building Fire Safety Conference The 6th International Tall Building Fire Safety Conference will focus on innovation, drones, fire science and more. Topics on Day 1 will be fire engineering, fire testing and fire science in tall buildings. Day 2 will address fire risk management, insurance and construction in tall buildings. Day 3 will focus on firefighting in tall buildings. FIREX International is co-located with IFSEC International, Facilities Show, Safety & Health Expo and Field Service Management Expo, catering to those working across many platforms, including building management, and protection and safety of people and information.
Established in 1984 in South Africa to contract in the Fire Detection and Automatic Extinguishing Systems market, Specifire prides itself on providing a professional approach to each individual customer. Building on this success, the company expanded in 1995, opening a sprinkler division that is now the biggest installer of fire protection and detection systems in KwaZulu-Natal region, in South Africa. Thanks to its excellent reputation, Specifire has steadily built up a large client base that includes some of South Africa’s biggest companies, including Sappi Fine Papers, Illovo Sugar, Hulamin, Toyota S.A., Unilever and numerous shopping centers. Fire protection and detection systems installed Specifire focuses almost exclusively on the KwaZulu-Natal region, including the city of Durban Specifire focuses almost exclusively on the KwaZulu-Natal region, including the city of Durban – which accounts for approximately 95% of its business. Featuring 150 employees, the company sees annual revenue of up to £6 million – thanks largely in part to the installation of fire control technology in industrial sites such as sugar mills and warehouses. “For our customers, price is always a consideration, so we aim to be competitive, but at the same time we don’t want to compromise our high quality,” explained Martin Holmes, Managing Director, Specifire. “We do everything in-house, from design to fabrication to installation, and finish every project on time.” AutoCAD and Tyco sprinkler systems In over thirty years of business, Specifire has seen exponential growth in the marketplace and constantly evolves its own operations to meet changing demands. The implementation of a new management structure is just one of its latest innovations, along with a renewed focus on services rather than simple installation. “Our mission is to provide the very best in design, installation and service; leveraging advanced technologies such as AutoCAD and Tyco sprinkler systems. By putting detailed planning at the heart of every project, we can ensure success,” added Holmes. “Furthermore, by focusing more on services, we can generate annuity income on a regular basis.” Tycoin-rack and roof sprinklers One recent project that showcases Specifire’s attention to design and detail is the deployment of circa 20, 000 Tycoin-rack and roof sprinklers in a large clothing warehouse. Founded in 1965, PEP Stores is a large multinational discount clothing company based in Cape Town. Operating in 11 countries, including Australia and Poland, the company employs approximately 44,000 people. Operating more than 4,600 retail outlets, the company wanted to build a new 90,000 m2 central hub warehouse that would house and protect its precious inventory from fire damage. Tyco high velocity sprayers and guards Specifire has installed 75% of the Tyco sprinklers and is on target to complete the project within the agreed schedule"“Pepkor has consolidated all its warehousing facilities into one single distribution depot and needed a robust fire-protection solution. We put together a design concept with guaranteed compliance with regulations and won the business,” continued Holmes. “In the past five months, we have installed 75% of the Tyco sprinklers and we are on target to complete the project within the agreed tight schedule.” The Tyco in-rack and roof sprinklers, along with Tyco high velocity sprayers and guards and pre-trimmed wet Alarm Valve (AV-1) assemblies will ensure that millions of dollars’ worth of stock will be protected from fire. The Tyco TY-B Conventional Sprinkler automatically distributes water in a spherical pattern below the deflector. The benefits of this conventional sprinkler include – Quality products that give peace of mind Competitive prices that don’t compromise on quality Effective fire protection of valuable stock “We are the current holder of the ASIB “Best Installation Award” for our nearly £1 million installation at the new premises of Unilever in Durban and we wanted this ambitious project to be similarly well regarded,” said Holmes. “It is certainly a flagship example of how to properly integrate fire protection into a Greenfield development.” Enhanced fire safety and protection For Pepkor, the clear benefits are having peace of mind when it comes to fire protection as well as security in terms of full regulatory compliance. For Specifire, its relationship with Tyco products delivers multiple advantages; from the quality of the sprinklers and valves to the support it receives. “Tyco not only supplies premium quality products at affordable prices, but also has a strong local presence so I know that if I have a question, it will get answered quickly,” commented Holmes. “There are support boffins in the region who will happily come talk about the equipment and respond to any technical enquiries.” Meticulous fire protection specialist Tyco not only supplies premium quality produce at affordable prices but also has a strong local presence" “Tyco not only supplies premium quality produce at affordable prices but also has a strong local presence so I know that if I have a question, it will get answered quickly.” Martin Holmes, MD, Specifire With the Pepkor project nearing completion, Specifire is looking to the future and hoping to build on its reputation as the region’s most professional and meticulous fire protection specialist. It fully expects Tyco products to continue to play a vital role in the company’s ongoing development. Tyco fire safety equipment and solutions Holmes concludes, “The supply, delivery and service we receive from Tyco is excellent; any concerns regarding pricing, availability and technical detail are answered within a day by the local Tyco team,” concluded Holmes. “I simply don’t get that level of support from anyone else.” TYCO Products are part of Johnson Controls, a global diversified technology and multi industrial solutions provider serving a wide range of customers in more than 150 countries globally.
Founded more than 20 years ago, CLF-SATREM now employs over 200 people. The company covers seven French regions and saw more than £32 million in turnover in 2015. CLF-SATREM provides the comprehensive installation and maintenance of fixed systems for automatic fire protection using sprinklers and RIA, as well as specialized systems such as water mist and special hazards. Installation of fixed systems CLF-SATREM has enjoyed strong and steady growth since its inception, during which time the company has been involved in flagship projects such as the renovation of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France. However, the introduction of new regulations, combined with a more competitive global economy, is presenting challenges. When it comes to suppliers and partners, CLF-SATREM takes various criteria into account, such as cost and quality. “Certification is a necessity. At the same time, we can feel the contraction of the global market and that puts pressure on us,” explained Pierre Breillout, General Manager, CLF-SATREM. He adds, “However, we have remained at the forefront of the market with increasing revenues because we plan every project in detail, limit potential risk, respond to customer needs and work with the best suppliers.” CLF-SATREM specialized systems When it comes to suppliers and partners, CLF-SATREM takes various criteria into account, most importantly cost and quality. Having used Tyco products in numerous projects, CLF-SATREM is well aware of their unique qualities and how they help overcome the special demands of each and every project. “We rely on a small group of handpicked partners to supply us with the best technology for the job in hand, enabling us to mix and match according to the job specifications,” added Mr. Breillout. “This enables us to be very flexible when responding to RFPs and maximizes our chances of winning new business. It also means we can capitalize on the fast-growing residential market”.
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.
An innovative fire detection and alarm (FDA) solution from fire industry experts Gent by Honeywell has been selected to protect visitors at one of the UK’s largest regimental museums, Scotland’s Highlander’s Museum. Gent Vigilon system The Gent system has been installed as part of a £2.9 million redevelopment program which has transformed the museum into a heritage center where visitors can learn about the history of army regiments raised from the region and their links to clans and local communities in the Highlands and Islands. The Highlander's Museum covers three floors of Fort George’s former Lieutenant Governors’ House. The museum has roughly 20,000 artifacts and an estimated 10,000 documents and photographs. The Gent Vigilon analogue addressable FDA system will protect the entire museum, including 16 separate exhibition areas, common areas and employee offices. S-Quad sensors More than 100 devices installed with the Gent Vigilon system connecting the panels together to retain control on the site The project has seen more than 100 devices installed with the Gent Vigilon system connecting the panels together to retain control on the site. Gent’s four separate sensing elements in the S-Quad sensors will play a key part in rapid fire detection for the building. The system includes the use of the voice messaging capability through the sounder functionality of the S-Quad devices to ensure quick and safe evacuation in the event of a fire. The museum’s refurbishment project involved a complete overhaul of the site’s security system with the Gent FDA solution linking into the main system. Kings Security Systems Ltd, one of the Gent 24 network of systems integrators, supplied and commissioned the new system, working alongside electrical contractors, NG Bailey, who carried out the installation. Installing security and fire alarm system Brian Ross, Account Manager, Kings Security Systems Ltd, said, “It was a first class installation however we were expecting some challenges along the way. The museum is an old building with very thick walls, the running of cabling was difficult and we had to drill through floor joists and channel out walls to install the full security and fire alarm system”. He adds, “As a Gent Systems Integrator, we put this solution forward as we knew it would provide the required flexibility. There are many features to the Vigilon system that stand out, it has voice capability on the loop and at the same time offers a cost effective option which is vital for any commercial project.” Gent on-site paging system There were two separate Gent installations carried out as part of the refurbishment program - as well as the main museum, a Gent onsite paging system was integrated with the intruder alarm in the armoury. Stuart Brown said, “One of the aims of the refurbishment was to house its precious artifacts in the best conditions possible to ensure their long term survival. We’re delighted that one of our robust solutions will be contributing to this vital role, and will play a key part in protecting the historical building, its valuable contents, and the thousands of expected visitors.”