Fire Safety Inspection
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 s...
The National Security Inspectorate (NSI), the UK’s independent certification body specializing in the security and fire safety sectors, shared in the success of this year’s IFSEC and FIREX exhibitions as the integrated events proved important forums for approved companies and applicants, as well as key industry stakeholders, to engage face-to-face with NSI experts. The three-day events provided a vital opportunity to raise awareness of the valuable role of independent certific...
The recent FIREX International exhibition proved a great success for the GGF, as the glass industry's trade body was inundated with enquiries on fire-resistant glazing. The GGF had its biggest ever platform at FIREX with a 30m2 stand that included three full size product exhibits showing the various stages of the fire-resistant glazing process, as well as glass performance before and after the effects of smoke and fire. Host of visitors It certainly was an attention grabber with a constant st...
Isover, a manufacturer and supplier of innovative insulation solutions, will be showcasing its U Protect passive fire protection range for HVAC applications at this year’s FIREX International 2019 on stand FX110. A critical risk to address when designing a building is the potential spread of fire within HVAC systems from one compartment to another. As such, at this year’s FIREX International, Isover will be focusing on its U Protect system, which offers passive fire protection for c...
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 c...
Oshkosh Corporation, global designer and manufacturer of specialty vehicles and vehicle bodies, released its sixth annual Sustainability Report, highlighting the company’s strong commitment to operating its businesses in a sustainable manner. Our focus on sustainability continues to be a core strategy for the company, encompassing people, community, innovation, sustainable operations, an ethical culture and strong governance. Oshkosh Sustainability Report “I am proud of our team me...
Eric Lounsbury has joined the Hannay team as the new Facilities Director and Coatings/Finishing Manager. Wide-Ranging Experience For the past 4 years, Eric has been the site facilities manager at GlaxoSmithKline’s plant in Oak Hill, New York. Prior to GSK, Eric acquired several years of wide-ranging experience as a chief building engineer for CBRE amongst other positions. Eric’s hands-on skills and knowledge are a great asset for Hannay Reels.
Orange Fire Protection, which provides fire sprinklers, extinguishers and alarms for commercial and residential properties, relocates to new, 6,500 sq ft offices at Queens Court in Wakefield. The business, which launched in 2016 with eight staff, has more than tripled in size over three years and now has a workforce of 26. A heightened awareness of fire safety in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017 has led to a number of new contracts for the business. High-End Residential Development Orange Fire Protection director Lewis Klimo said: “The fire protection industry is in much higher demand at present and we are receiving large numbers of enquiries about the services we offer, including high-tech sprinkler systems and water mist fire suppression systems, for various building types.” Only last month we were awarded contracts to install our systems in three further projects" “Only last month we were awarded contracts to install our systems in three further projects, including designing and installing a wet and dry riser system to protect a new 18-storey high-end residential development in London.” Making Buildings Safer Property agent Eddisons acted on behalf of Harrogate-based landlord Westcourt Group to secure the new Queens Court offices for Orange Fire protection. Eddisons head of agency Steven Jones said: “Orange Fire Protection works in the crucially important area of making our buildings safer and it was rewarding to be able to help them relocate to great new premises that will accommodate their growing team.” He added: “A shortage of quality office space is pushing up rents in Wakefield and there are certainly signs that demand for premium space is growing in the town.” Eddisons is a multi-disciplinary firm of chartered surveyors. Established in 1844, it operates across the UK and has a head office in Leeds. Harvey Burns & Co acted as joint agent on the deal.
In an unprecedented collaboration within the fire and security industry, three not-for-profit organizations with expertise in fire and security doorsets have combined their knowledge to offer guidance on a newly-published document on flat entrance doorsets. The joint publication: ‘A Guide for Selecting Flat Entrance Doorsets; A publication for housing associations, landlords, building owners and local authorities in England’, relates to new doorsets and is the product of DHF (Door & Hardware Federation), Secured by Design (SBD) and the Fire Industry Association (FIA). The publication brings together the best collaborative advice available from the industry in one straightforward document to highlight the fundamental issues of fire safety and security for those selecting fire doorsets. The publication makes the point that there is no conflict between fire and security with Building Regulations ADB and ADQ carrying equal weight Equal Weightage For ADB And ADQ Importantly, the publication makes the point that there is no conflict between fire and security with Building Regulations ADB (fire) and ADQ (security) carrying equal weight with neither taking precedence over the other. It explains why only factory produced doorsets can meet both ADB and ADQ. Specifiers can have confidence in using the publication as an authoritative source of information as they are guided through the complexities of an extremely important area of Building Regulations to help them make informed choices. The publication, which can be downloaded from any of the co-operating organizations’ websites, comes in the wake of the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy and in response to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Governments’ (MHCLG) Implementation Plan – ‘Building a Safer Future’, released at the end of December 2018. Enabling Safer, Easier Escape This new guidance document recommends that all fire doorsets are factory-prepared, and audited by a third-partyThis new guidance document, which launched in March of this year, recommends that all fire doorsets are factory-prepared (as opposed to prepared on-site), and furthermore, audited by a third-party. It is suggested these recommendations will offer greater assurance on door performance and protect occupants, control the spread of fire and enable safer, easier escape in the event of an incident. “We are delighted to have collaborated with SBD and FIA, in sharing our joint expertise on doorsets and fire safety,” explains DHF’s CEO, Bob Perry. “It seemed a natural partnership to come together and offer guidance on what to look for in a flat entrance doorset, how this relates to the latest advice supplied by Government (MHCLG) and why third-party certification of fire and security doorset manufacture, installation and maintenance is a critical part of the protection against fire ingress and unlawful entry. “Third party certification of manufacture, installation, maintenance and inspection of fire, smoke and security doors is something DHF has lobbied for tirelessly, as well as issues surrounding poorly or ill-fitting door closers,” he continues. “These form a vital part of fire safety.” Importance Of Third-Party Certification It is worth noting that although this document is specific to England and Wales, it is also useful information for Northern Ireland and Scotland"FIA’s CEO, Ian Moore, says: “We are very pleased to work with DHF and Secured by Design in producing a guidance document to assist housing associations, landlords, building owners and local authorities on what to look for in a new flat entrance doorset and why third-party certification of fire doorset manufacture, installation and maintenance is a critical part of fire protection. “This underlines the Fire Industry Association’s objective to improve and perfect fire protection work and builds on MHCLG guidance within the Government’s building safety program. It is worth noting that although this document is specific to England and Wales, it is also useful information for Northern Ireland and Scotland.” Establishing Effective Security Standards Chief Operating Officer of Secured by Design, Jon Cole, emphasized how important it is for the three organizations to work together to provide a holistic overview. Third party certification, by suitably qualified bodies, has certainly delivered consistency and quality within the security sector"He says: “For many years, we have worked closely with national and local government, manufacturers, trade associations and standards authorities at home and abroad to establish effective security standards in the building and construction industry. We insist on United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited independent, third-party certification to provide product control and to ensure that specification and quality is maintained over time.” “Third party certification, by suitably qualified bodies, has certainly delivered consistency and quality within the security sector. This is why, we have campaigned for flat entrance doorsets to have dual certification, meeting all the relevant requirements for security and fire resistance in a single combined design specification. We believe that certification remains the best and only way to assure that effective quality products are delivered to market, providing additional assurance of performance.”
Checkmate Fire Solutions, one of the UK’s biggest passive fire protection specialist, is continuing its expansion with the opening of a new office in Swindon. The Yorkshire-headquartered business already has regional offices in Birmingham and Essex, but rising demand for its compliance and third-party accredited installation services means it now needs an additional location. The new office at Swindon’s Windmill Hill Business Park will be managed by Mark Cawthra, who will oversee the delivery of services to customers across South-West England and South Wales. Passive fire protection and door installations Checkmate can play a key role by delivering Passive Fire Protection, Fire Door, Intumescent Paint and Fire-Resistant Glazing installations"Mark said: “I’m excited to be joining a forward-thinking organization like Checkmate, which has a long-running commitment to improving safety for the public and businesses. Fires are still a worryingly common event - official statistics show that there are more than 15,800 fires a year in non-residential buildings in England - so there is a lot of work to do to improve the integrity and resilience of properties. “Checkmate can play a key role in doing that by continuing to deliver high-quality Passive Fire Protection, Fire Door, Intumescent Paint and Fire-Resistant Glazing installations and associated compliance services. “I’m now looking forward to working with facilities management contractors, NHS trusts, universities, housing associations and commercial property owners across the South-West to help them protect workers, residents, businesses and public services from the potentially devastating effect of fires.” Improving building safety Checkmate's services include passive fire specification consultancy, fire door inspections and fire compliance surveysCheckmate was established in Yorkshire as a supplier and installer of fire stopping in 1989 and has since grown into the UK’s largest passive fire protection specialist. From its headquarters in Elland and offices in Birmingham, Harlow and Swindon, Checkmate Fire operates two divisions - compliance and solutions. The compliance division helps businesses and public sector organizations to improve the safety of their buildings and meet their legal requirements related to RRO and all other relevant regulations. Its services include passive fire specification consultancy, fire door inspections and fire compliance surveys, complete with associated certification and recertification services. Checkmate’s solutions division specialises in third-party accredited installation of fire stopping, fire doors and fire-resistant glazing in new builds, extensions, refurbishments and sites requiring remedial work. Its fully-trained teams have experience of undertaking complex projects in tall buildings (both residential and commercial), hospitals, universities and schools, industrial and office buildings.
“The fire sector is undergoing rapid change whilst constantly evolving, which requires manufacturers to adapt and innovate,” Vimpex Managing Director James Jones explained to guests at the unveiling of the company's ambitious new state-of-the-art manufacturing production facility at Great Wakering, Essex. He was responding to an opening address by Sir David Amess MP, Chair of the All Parliamentary Group for Fire & Rescue. This major development of the company’s capabilities is seen as an important and significant milestone in the Vimpex mission to become the world’s independent manufacturer and distributor of fire alarm sounders and associated evacuation and alarm system equipment and accessories. Transforming Our Business We are excited by the opportunities created by our nearly half million pound investment in transforming our business" Speaking to an impressive array of fire safety professionals including installers, distributors, OEM partners and members of the emergency services, James Jones said, “We are excited by the opportunities created by our nearly half million pound investment in transforming our business with adding this high-capacity manufacturing production facility, which will enable us to rapidly develop our markets for both Vimpex-produced and distributed products.” “We have created a phenomenal capacity for business growth,’ James told guests, ‘which will allow the company to innovate and increase its product ranges, markets and territories, and to significantly increase export activity in targeted markets in which we anticipate a doubling of sales revenues by 2025.” Platform For Significant Growth Vimpex is a freshly emerging UK owned independent manufacturer of fire alarm & evacuation equipment and alarm system accessories. Thanks to recent grant funding from bodies such as South East Business Boost, Southend Best Growth Hub, Manufacturing Growth Programme and, most valuably, Essex Rivers LLG (LEADER), the business has transformed itself into a specialist electronics manufacturer with a platform for significant growth through increased efficiencies, development of its own products and IP along with an energetic push for growth through export.
This week we are saying goodbye to Chief Fire Officer Nigel Hutchinson who is retiring from the fire service on the 10th October. Nigel became Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2005, following three years as Deputy Chief Fire Officer. His fire service career began in West Yorkshire in 1983 and during his time there he served in a variety of roles including operations, fire safety and training, holding senior management positions since 1997. Talented And Dedicated People Nigel said: “I have been extremely proud to have served the public of North Yorkshire and the City of York in the role of Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service for such a long period of time.” “I have had the pleasure of working with some really talented and dedicated people, both within my own organisation and in partner agencies, and I wish to express my sincere gratitude to colleagues for their hard work and support to me over the years. I leave with fond memories. However, after more than 13 years in the role and as the Service moves into a new period of change I feel that the time is right to step aside.” Assistant Chief Fire Officer Jez Rushworth has been appointed as interim CFO/CE with effect from 11th October for a period of three months.
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.
A highly sophisticated Taktis fire alarm and control panel from Kentec, a life safety control systems manufacturer, is providing the highest levels of fire safety at Brenntag UK & Ireland’s facility in Sunderland. Brenntag is a market leader in chemical distribution with a global network of more than 580 locations across 73 countries. Its North East team moved into the new site in Sunderland, one of the company’s 24 sites across the UK & Ireland, last December. Comprehensive fire safety and alarm system Pitts Wilson, the electrical contractor, was approached by Brenntag to recommend and install a comprehensive fire safety and alarm system for the entire site. They selected Kentec’s technology as an integral part of the installation, which has helped Pitts Wilson pass a BAFE/NSI inspection. Kentec’s Taktis panel ranges from 2 to 16 detection loops to provide up to 144 zone indicators and can network up to 128 panels. Its enhanced integration and networking capabilities mean it is able to meet the current and future needs of even the largest sites. Integrated with the Hochiki systems The flexibility of the Taktis panel makes it very simple to install and commission" Mark Ellse, Fire Systems Manager at Pitts Wilson, says Kentec has provided an intelligent solution: “The flexibility of the Taktis panel makes it very simple to install and commission, and because it is fully open-protocol it is also fully integrated with the Hochiki systems on site. “The full color 7” touch-screen display is easy for the customer to use and understand, especially in an emergency. Along with providing a great system, Kentec also provided excellent customer support throughout the project.” Kevin Swann, Managing Director at Kentec, says Taktis is the ideal solution for large and complex sites and infrastructure: “The scalability of Taktis means it provides a future-proofed solution, able to expand and develop in line with Brenntag’s requirements. And because it is truly open protocol, it provides installers and end-users maximum choice in their system design.”
STANLEY Security, one of the UK’s leading security providers, has installed a wireless fire alarm system at Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories, meeting their insurance requirements while saving considerable expense. Based in Leicester, Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories Ltd. operates from a large three storey building which it owns. Harvey’s itself works out of the bottom floor and the remaining building is subdivided into units which are rented out, with the two floors upstairs being dance studios that are mostly used in the evenings and weekends. Requirement Of A L2 Fire System L2 requires Manual Call Points throughout and optical AFD in escape routes and all rooms, corridors and compartmentsAs part of its insurance policy, Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories conducted a Fire Risk Assessment, undertaken by a third party. The assessor stated that an L2 category Fire System was required throughout the building. BS 5839-1:2017, the British Standard for fire detection and fire alarm systems in non-domestic premises, categorizes systems based on their objectives. Category L is a system designed to protect life and ranges from minimal protection 5 to top protection 1. L2 requires Manual Call Points throughout and optical automatic fire detection (AFD) in escape routes and all rooms, corridors and compartments that open onto escape routes, plus further AFD in areas identified as high fire risk. L2 systems therefore often come with a high price tag, especially in a large building such as that owned by Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories. After receiving several quotes that were out of the company’s reach, STANLEY Security provided the company with an affordable, effective alternative. EMS Wireless System For Cost Reduction “One of the key costs in the previous quotes was cabling,” states Ashley Hickling, Fire Sales Manager for STANLEY Security. “Other installers were looking to cable the entire system, or use a hybrid of hard wired and wireless equipment. With a large building, the amount of cabling pushed the price high. Furthermore, there were no cable routes, so a lot of containment would have been required for a hard-wired solution, which is also expensive and not aesthetically pleasing – an issue for the dance studios.” STANLEY Security recommended a full EMS wireless system which negates the need for cabling and reduces the costs The cost of labor to fit the cabling also added to the budget. STANLEY Security instead recommended a full EMS wireless system which negates the need for cabling and therefore reduces the costs significantly. Furthermore, the entire system is financed under STANLEY Assure, a finance solution for customers wishing to benefit from up to date security and fire technology without the risks of ownership and with evenly spread, manageable payment terms with no hidden extra costs. Day/Night Protection Of Building’s Inhabitants In the case of Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories, the cost of the system – including maintenance, replacement parts, call outs and labor on a wear and tear basis – is spread over five years with a monthly payment of just £393.80. Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories now benefits from a modern analog addressable L2 fire alarm system that meets its insurance obligations and protects the building’s inhabitants day and night. If a detector on the system should activate, it can be instantly pinpointed from the Fire Panel, confirming exactly which one it is and where, for appropriate, instant action to be taken.
Tamworth-based trade association, DHF (Door & Hardware Federation) is emphasizing the importance of making fire safety an ‘absolute priority’ in new-build homes, following an investigation into potentially dangerous fire safety issues in houses developed by Persimmon Homes and Bellway Homes. Fire Safety In New-Build Homes The BBC’s Watchdog discovered serious breaches that had gone undetected during the construction process" The findings, by BBC Watchdog Live, highlighted that a number of new builds constructed by the firms were sold with missing or incorrectly installed fire barriers, which are used to form a complete seal between different areas of a home, and prevent the spread of fire. Without them, experts say, fire and smoke can spread five-to-ten times faster. “The BBC’s Watchdog discovered serious breaches that had gone undetected during the construction process, leaving homes and lives potentially at risk in the event of a fire,” explains DHF’s Commercial Manager, Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens. “In many new builds, particularly timber-framed buildings, fire barriers are a vital part of fire protection and we would urge house builders to ‘get it right’ at the construction stage and to have a workforce that is trained in, and understands, the importance of installing the fire barriers required to prevent potential problems down the line. Ultimately, responsibility for ensuring that buildings are compliant with Building Regulations lies with the house builder.” Importance Of Fire Safety Following the investigation, Bellway Homes stated that it was ‘committed to improvement’ with regards to potentially flawed fire safety issues in developments in Kent and West Lothian, and that mandatory training on, amongst other subjects, fire stopping, has been introduced for all relevant construction staff.Following the Grenfell disaster in June 2017, DHF’s voice has been one of the loudest and most passionate in its call for third-party certification by a UKAS-accredited body of manufacture, installation, maintenance and inspection of fire, smoke and security doors, in order to offer complete assurance on their performance. With a history and heritage dating back to 1897, the federation is undoubtedly one of the most revered organizations, widely respected as the industry’s independent authoritative voice. Fire Door Training Courses DHF works assiduously with BRE Academy to offer fire door training courses Fierce advocates for appropriate levels of training across all the sectors that it serves, DHF continues to place the importance of training firmly ‘up-front-and-center’. The organization works assiduously with BRE Academy to offer fire door training courses; this has been central to its on-going fire safety campaign. Additionally, in March 2019, DHF announced a high-profile collaboration with Secured by Design (SBD) and Fire Industry Association (FIA) to publish a guidance document on fire safety. Named A Guide for Selecting Flat Entrance Doorsets; A publication for housing associations, landlords, building owners and local authorities in England, the publication accentuates the key issues of fire safety for those selecting fire doorsets, recommending all fire doorsets are factory-prepared (as opposed to prepared on-site), that all work be completed under factory production control, and in addition, audited by a third-party. Fire Doors “Since Grenfell, the wider issue of fire safety has been thrust into the spotlight and we are delighted that progress is being made in this regard,” said Patricia. “We continue to stress that the use of fire doors, correctly installed and with robust fire door maintenance procedures, are an essential part of fire safety and urge those in positions of responsibility (such as house builders) to ensure that they are not only fulfilling regulations, as well as legal and moral obligations, but insisting upon appropriate levels of training with regards to installation and maintenance.”