Tall building fire safety
Bandweaver is pleased to announce that Mark Horton has joined as Vice President and will be responsible for sales team leadership, driving revenue and supporting their extensive agent and partnership network. Mark joins from Ava Risk Group Ltd where he was the Global Sales & Marketing Director and led the sales team on the implementation of the company’s global growth strategy across the perimeter, pipeline, network and distribution markets which included in his portfolio a range of f...
Established by the German Design Council, the 2018 Iconic Awards: Innovative Architecture, honors visionary architecture, innovative products and sustainable design. The respected design award recognizes the importance ASSA ABLOY, the manufacturer of door opening solutions, places on the design of its products. An influential factor when buying a new door closer, the appearance of ASSA ABLOY’s door closer portfolio now features a distinctive and contemporary design, with unobtrusive lines...
Door Group, a unit of ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, has secured a series of high-profile contracts with Transport for London and Crossrail Limited. These contracts have included supplying and installing security doors for major London Underground redevelopments including London Bridge, Bond Street and King’s Cross, as well as station upgrades such as Victoria. newly-built accessible stations The new Transport for London-run Elizabeth line will open from December 2018...
Technologies to protect against fire are among the innovations being shown at CES 2020, the technology event, Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas. The fire market is one of many served by the range of consumer and smart home technologies on display at CES 2020, from artificial intelligence (AI) to 5G, vehicle technology to AR/VR (augmented and virtual reality), robotics to home automation. For example, Longan Vision will display augmented reality systems for firefighters, helping them make good decisions du...
The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) held a Passive Fire Protection Workshop at the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) AGM and Conference in Brighton on 17 July. The session examined how passive fire protection is currently delivered and aimed to determine what improvements could be made with reference to four key pillars within the building lifecycle. ASFP CEO Niall Rowan offered a brief introduction to the vital role of passive fire protection in saving lives and protecting...
The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) welcomes the release of the report following the first phase of the Public Inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, and will comment further once the findings have been examined in greater depth. It is well documented and understood that the major failing of the building was due to the cladding material, and the ASFP looks forward to phase 2 of the Public Inquiry when the circumstances that led to its inclusion in the building will be determine...
Fire safety solutions expert and fire protection equipment firm, Advanced has announced that it will be showcasing its latest versatile range of fire protection solutions at Intersec 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Advanced will be exhibiting its state-of-the-art fire safety products at F24 stall in Hall 4 of the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Dubai, UAE. Visitors will discover the full spectrum of fire safety solutions offered by Advanced’s Axis EN and Axis AX fire systems. They can also see why its powerful features – including unrivalled networking capability, false alarm management and easy-program cause and effect – make it a trusted choice for the tallest to the smallest buildings around the globe. DynamixSmoke solution Advanced will also be demonstrating the company’s award-winning DynamixSmoke solution Advanced will also be demonstrating the company’s award-winning DynamixSmoke solution, which radically simplifies smoke control configuration. Thanks to its innovative, easy-to-use matrix programming, DynamixSmoke ensures measurable time and cost savings. The company’s ‘gold standard’ redundant fire panels will also be showcased at the Intersec event in Dubai. These high-tech fire panels automatically protect users from system downtime to ensure total peace of mind whenever faults or power outages occur. Intersec Dubai 2020 Steve Carroll, General Manager for Advanced in the Middle East region, said: “Intersec is a highlight of our company, Advanced’s exhibition calendar. It offers us the opportunity to spend time with new customers and valued partners introducing our latest products and features designed for the Middle East, Africa, and Indian subcontinent and beyond”. Steve further says, “We’ve built a reputation for developing products that offer unrivalled levels of performance, quality and ease of use. We’re looking forward to discussing how these benefits of Advanced’s systems can help solve our visitors’ fire protection challenges.”
Bield Response24, Bield Housing & Care’s alarm receiving center (ARC) has become one of the first facilities of its kind to provide fire alarm system monitoring and management. Since 1971, Bield Housing & Care has remained committed to improving the quality of life for older people by offering a diverse range of services to enable them to achieve as much independence and life fulfillment as possible. A not for profit organization, it is now one of the largest providers of housing and care in Scotland, with over 5,300 properties. Bield believes technology plays a vital role in helping it to accomplish these objectives and keep residents safe. Bield Response24 Alarm Receiving Centre Bield Response24 (BR24), the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), has been purpose built to monitor technology enabled care The issue of life safety is a priority and Bield Response24 (BR24), the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), has been purpose built to monitor technology enabled care (such as personal alarms and warden call systems) and fire alarm systems in its housing & care developments throughout Scotland. Like many other parts of the UK, unwanted alarm activations are a big problem in Scotland and cause a great deal of disruption. In 2014 the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) teamed up with partners including the Association of British Insurers (ABI), British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE), the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and the Fire Industry Association (FIA) to undertake a detailed investigation. Fire detection As part of this work, in March 2015 it announced that it will no longer silence or reset systems after a call out to grouped housing developments, as doing so wipes any data that could provide reasons why it was erroneously asked to attend. For Bield Housing & Care this was a costly problem, as it meant when a system required resetting a call had to be made to the fire alarm company responsible for the site, and an engineer had to drive to the location and physically press the silence and reset buttons on the fire detection control panel. In some instances this was a four or five hour return journey and would mean a bill of up to £200. Rapid Fire Services collaborates with Gent by Honeywell Glasgow based Rapid Fire Services was consulted to see if it could suggest some ideas about what could be done. A Gent by Honeywell approved system integrator; Rapid had no hesitation in recommending the use of Gent’s innovative graphics package – an invaluable software tool for any size of network that allows for complete management of the fire detection and alarm system from a central location. The Gent software provides a graphical view of the entire system, enabling easy location of a fire in an emergency and allowing rapid decision making through event-based control of devices. Fully integrated with Gent software RFS fully integrated the Gent software into BR24’s ARC by having a device server fitted beside each Gent Vigilon fire alarm panel Rapid Fire Services (RFS) fully integrated the Gent software into BR24’s ARC by having a device server fitted beside each Gent Vigilon fire alarm panel, which is given a unique IP address that enables it to communicate through the Internet. Personal alarm units are installed in the home and use a resident’s telephone line in the event of smoke/heat detection. This allows the Emergency Call Advisors (ECA) at BR24 to engage in dialogue with the tenant to ascertain the reason behind the fire alert. The ECA then has 60 seconds to decide through discussion with the tenant if the SFRS is required. Warden call systems Warden call systems (WCS) are also used, although they do not offer the same facility to contact the tenant, as the WCS line is engaged with the fire detector call preventing speech module use. With most grouped housing fire detection systems the ARC is only made aware of the main fire alarm activation, not the manual call point or smoke detector that activated the alarm. Therefore, the majority of SFRS calls made will identify the address but not the internal location details. Remote access and monitor system To avoid location issues, the Gent software enables BR24 to give precise location details within the dwelling when placing a 999 call, eliminating search time delays. Furthermore, manual call points or smoke detectors can be silenced while awaiting attendance, reducing anxiety levels to other tenants within the grouped housing development. This poses no threat to system functionality if a smoke is detected from another device. 40% of Bield’s developments can now be remotely accessed and monitored for fire and operational issues, while remote diagnostics ensure that when an engineer is required they have all the necessary replacement parts to repair any faults, saving costs on return visits. Fire alarm systems Assistance can be given to on-site staff who are experiencing problems with their fire alarm systems, fire alarm devices can be remotely adjusted for sensitivity and, of course, it can remotely silence and reset the systems whenever SFRS gives the authority to do so. Gent by Honeywell is synonymous with quality and innovation in the fire detection and alarm industry. Honeywell Gent fire detection systems have been developed to the highest possible standards to deliver the most advanced fire detection and alarm system available in the market today. Gent exclusively supplies its equipment to partners who are selected for their ability to deliver the highest quality of service and solutions for a wide range of industrial applications.
The Association for Specialist Fire Protection broadly welcomes the Government’s response to the Hackitt review, which accepts the majority of Dame Judith Hackitt’s recommendations. The Association also welcomes the announcement of a review of Approved Document B. The ASFP is encouraged that the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) implementation plan states that the Government intends to implement all the recommendations. However, the Association has some concerns about the pace of change, with the MHCLG stating its intention only to consult on many aspects of the implementation and not until the Spring. Improving The Quality Of Fire Protection Products The ASFP also supports MHCLG’s aim to improve product test standards and ensure clarity in marketing The ASFP welcomed the Hackitt Review’s focus on ensuring fire safety is considered early in the design process and the introduction of mandatory sign off procedures at the crucial Gateway Points of: Planning Permission, Permission to Build and Permission to Occupy. The Association also welcomes the focus on improving levels of competency throughout the construction process and is actively working with the Competency Working Groups established by the construction industry’s Competency Steering Group to deliver proposals for an overarching competency framework. The ASFP also supports MHCLG’s aim to improve product test standards and ensure clarity in marketing. The Association is pleased to see Government support for third party certification schemes for products, which it believes are key to improving the quality of fire protection products, but notes that this should extend to installers as well since this is where many of the current problems lie. Passive Fire Protection Forum The new requirements are quite restrictive and there are some contradictions in the MHCLG guidance The new Government guidance for assessments in lieu of tests (sometimes known as desktop studies) prohibits the use of such assessments for external wall systems for all buildings in scope of the combustible materials ban. It also restricts the use of such assessments in other areas and limits how they are undertaken and by whom, ensuring transparency and requiring companies that undertake these tests to do so to high standards. The new requirements are quite restrictive and there are some contradictions in the MHCLG guidance. Consequently, ASFP will be seeking clarification. ASFP has been working within the Passive Fire Protection Forum on a revised Guide to Undertaking Assessments in Lieu of Fire Tests, which aims to provide guidance on who is permitted to undertake such assessments, with qualifications, experience and training required being clearly defined. A revised version is expected early in 2019. Developing Minimum Standards ASFP CEO Niall Rowan states: “The Association welcomes the Government’s aim to implement Dame Judith’s recommendations as we strongly agreed with her conclusions; many of which reflect what the fire community, including the ASFP, has been saying for some years." We are pleased to see support for third-party certification schemes for fire protection products" "We also welcome the announcement of a full review of Approved Document B, which we believe is long overdue. We are pleased to see support for third-party certification schemes for fire protection products and looks forward to working with Government and other stakeholders to develop minimum standards for such schemes.” Complete Overhaul Of The Building Regulatory System “We also welcome the tightening of the qualifications, experience and training required of those who will undertake assessments in lieu of tests, but will seek clarification as to the scope, particularly for non-building envelope related products.” “We understand the recommendations of the Hackitt Review were detailed and wide-ranging, since they called for a complete overhaul of the building regulatory system. We look forward to working with Government and other stakeholders to achieve the extensive and lasting culture change necessary to ensure the safety of our existing and future built environment.”
m-u-t GmbH, globally renowned company in the field of photonics and part of the Nynomic Group, and Rosenbauer Brandschutz GmbH, a company of the Rosenbauer Group, have gotten off to a flying start with the market launch of IGNIS3D. This highly innovative infrared camera system for early fire detection is the first result of a strategic innovation partnership between the two security companies. It employs long-wave infrared video technology for contactless surface temperature measuring. IGNIS3D is marketed under the Rosenbauer brand. IGNIS3D infrared camera system IGNIS3D infrared camera system measures 3D information using ingenious laser range finding As the world's first camera system of its kind, the IGNIS3D infrared camera system measures three-dimensional information using ingenious laser range finding, and subsequently uses this information to precisely cool down potential hazards. Fabian Peters, Managing Director of m-u-t GmbH, said "We are delighted to have gained a proven specialist and important cooperation partner in the Rosenbauer Group, a global manufacturer of firefighting technology for preventive and defensive firefighting and disaster control. With our many years of experience in developing customer-specific solutions and series production of products for early fire detection, we are an ideal partner for Rosenbauer." Early fire detection system Hubert Heissl, Managing Director of Rosenbauer Brandschutz, said "Our products are used across the globe. Rosenbauer, as a long-standing global market leader and full service provider in fire protection, and m-u-t, with its unique technological expertise, are a perfect match. Together, we hope to play a key role in making early fire detection systems an even more prominent part of preventive fire protection." M-U-T GmbH is a globally renowned company in the field of photonics and part of the Nynomic Group, and Rosenbauer Brandschutz GmbH, is a company of the Rosenbauer International AG Group, and specializes in fire detection and safety systems.
Rosenbauer has expanded its FANERGY series with a practical cordless device. The new high-performance FANERGY B16 fan is powered by an environmentally friendly and very efficient electric motor that causes no exhaust emissions, and the noise level at the point of use is also significantly minimized. Two lithium-ion batteries supply the 1.25 kW synchronous motor from 40 cells and provide a carrier capacity of 2 x 11.6 amp-hours. This allows operating times of at least 60 minutes at full speed before replacing the batteries with the quick-change system or connecting an external power source. The high-performance fan can be operated uninterrupted and permanently when connected with the power cord. Ergonomic handling, intuitive operation With its compact dimensions, the new FANERGY B16 fits into any equipment room and at just under 25 kg, is lightweight With its compact dimensions, the new FANERGY B16 fits into any equipment room and - at just under 25 kilograms - is lightweight and can easily be carried and set up by one person. The deliberately simple and sturdy steel tube frame has good haptic qualities and ensures perfect handling of the device both when removing it from the vehicle and when carrying it to the place of use or via a staircase. The high-performance fan is operated via the uniform Rosenbauer Logic Control System (LCS) to prevent mistakes from happening even in stressful situations. It consists of only one button for switching on, one for switching off, and a digital potentiometer to regulate the engine speed and thus the air outlet quantity. Boost mode can be activated for short-term increases in power requirements, which is permanently available during mains operation. Tactical, adjustable ventilation Like all FANERGY high-performance fans, the new battery-powered B16 fan has a ventilation unit that can be adjusted continuously between + 20 degrees and -20 degrees. The generous tilt angle provides maximum flexibility and efficiency and provides an optimal, preset ventilation position for most firefighting situations. With a +20 degree inclination angle, the airflow can enter a building unhindered and with little loss when placed on entrance steps or pedestals, while the -20 degree setting is particularly well-suited for removing smoke from stairs going up (basements) or light wells. The special design of the FANERGY fan unit (all-in-one airflow technology) ensures a very even and powerful air flow with an optimized suction behavior and flow pattern. In addition, it combines different fan technologies and concepts such as overpressure or turbo ventilation in one device. FANERGY high-performance fans can therefore be used very flexibly and for any kind of tactical ventilation. The new battery-powered fan is also immediately ready for use, which can accelerate rescue and extinguishing measures and significantly increase the safety of all involved. Mobile powered high-performance fan Mobile battery-powered high-performance fan with all-in-one airflow technology Air outlet diameter: 16“ (410 mm) Drive: permanent magnet synchronous motor Performance: 1,250 Watt Batteries: 2 x lithium-ion batteries with quick-change system Rated voltage: 36 V Capacity: 2 x 11.6 Ah Charge: 24 VDC or 110/230 V - 50/60 Hz Dimensions (W x D x H): 520 x 650 x 355 mm Weight: < 25 kg Accessories: power supply (Schuko, NEMA, British Standard, CEE, Switzerland), replacement batteries, all accessories from the FANERGY series
UNION, an ASSA ABLOY company, is cutting the hassle out of sourcing fire door hardware with its new Fire Door Kits, featuring a complete range of pre-selected products that work seamlessly together, look good and meet every relevant standard. UNION Fire Door Kits The role of a fire door in supporting fire safety and integrity within a building is critical. UNION Fire Door Kits is a single box solution that helps installers to ensure that they are fitting correct and fully compliant hardware. Until now property owners, facilities managers and installers have faced a bewildering variety of hardware choices when installing or maintaining a fire door set. With the UNION Fire Door Kits, all that worry, guesswork and lost time is now a thing of the past. Door solutions Each Fire Door Kit combines all the hardware needed to install or repair a secure fire doorDesigned for common installation situations, each Fire Door Kit combines all the hardware needed to install or repair a fire door. This includes hinges, door closer, lockcase, levers and signage, as well as installation instructions, fitting templates, fixings and the performance sheets to hand over to the building owner for their records. Crucially, every part included in the Kit is tested to all relevant standards, ensuring the door will meet regulations. There are four different Fire Door Kits, each designed to work in a specific application. The Sashlock Kit is ideal for locking fire doors, while the Deadlock Kit is a perfect fit for locking storage areas. The Latch Kit is designed for non-locked rooms, and finally the Corridor Kit is used for push-pull non-locking fire doors. Installing and maintaining fire doors Alison Aston, Category Manager at UNION, said, “The Fire Door Kit range is the easiest way to install or maintain a fire door. We believe this will be a huge benefit for property owners and tradespeople alike, as they now have a way to ensure a fire door is fitted with all the hardware it needs to meet legal requirements and work perfectly too. It’s simple to stock, easy to order, compact to transport and store on site – Kit in one arm, door blank in the other, and job done.” He adds, “The UNION Fire Door Kit is ideal for any owner/landlord, tradesperson, facilities manager or caretaker wanting to add or maintain a fire door to a property. It brings instant safety, compliance and peace of mind while saving time, and it’s all from UNION, the most trusted name in fire door safety and security.”
Those responsible for the specification of products which go into new modern buildings have been asking for safe, approved cabling, which play a critical part in electrical supply systems. The number of fires in high-rise buildings in Europe and the Middle East have brought the issue of quality of products for fire performance circuits into sharp focus, not least the Grenfell disaster. Meanwhile, new buildings become increasingly complex, with the use of new materials and the designs of many requiring complex electrical systems to support security and fire safety. New and refurbished buildings such as hospitals, schools, shopping malls or airports, may have complex addressable loop fire alarm systems which provide information on individual detectors. Conventional systems only provide information about specific circuits or zones. Indicating exact location of fire, fault For critical alarm circuits in buildings where large numbers of people move about there can be no greater priority than safetyThe addressable systems feature a fire control panel which receives information and status reports from each device, indicating its exact location and if there may be a fire, a fault, heat or contamination. For critical alarm circuits in buildings where large numbers of people move about – many of whom can be vulnerable – there can be no greater priority than safety. The cabling chosen for these systems is therefore critical. If the power to these alarm systems fails because the cabling does not meet the required performance, then the information available for fire and rescue services is directly affected and with it, the chance of finding people who may be in the building. To meet these design challenges, and with the inquiry into the Grenfell disaster still ongoing, it is the use of the very latest technology and science that is taking enhanced fire performance cabling onto a new level. Safe and compliant cable products Decision-makers in the supply chain want reassurance that the products they are specifying are safe and compliant, meeting all recognized specifications. Calls have been made by the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) for all cable being used in the UK to conform to relevant British, European or international standards amid increasing concerns about the volume of non-approved cables coming onto the market. Installers have welcomed the development of a new generation of fire performance cabling Installers have welcomed the development of a new generation of fire performance cabling which ensures critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes. The standard and enhanced cables in the Total Fire Solutions range are tubed, making them a welcome product for contractors with ease of installation. They are all UV stable and they all come with a hard insulant to resist any fault generation over time. These cables meet all relevant industry standards including ISO 9001 and is approved by the leading industry organizations nationally and worldwide including BASEC and LPCB. Carrying out fire risk assessment For the fire and rescue services, the continuity of power means they can continue to read fire alarm system information which can direct them to the seat of the fire and help to locate people who may be in the building. Responsibility for choosing the right system lies with the ‘responsible person’ under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in business or any other non-domestic premises. This will be the owner, employer, landlord, or may be the facilities manager or building manager. As the responsible person, he or she must carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly and put in place and maintain appropriate fire safety measures. Ultimately, the responsible person faces a fines or jail if they fail to follow these measures and there is a fire. For some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios Any items or products which go into these fire safety systems must be covered by standards set by national, European and international bodies such as British Standards. These will certify that when needed these products will perform their function and operate as expected in real life fire conditions. Ensuring cables meet fire safety standards In support of these standards, cable industry bodies provide testing regimes to ensure that different types of cable are fit for purpose and meet these standards when tested in fire conditions. For installers, or those procuring cables, there is a need to check the cable when it arrives to make sure it is exactly what was specified. Instances of unsafe non-approved cable continue to come to lightFor some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios. These include environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes where older people and children move about. Specifiers looking at new large public sector projects such as hospitals should refer to BS 8519 for the electrical supply, and the most relevant cabling system. Counterfeit Flexible Cords campaign Instances of unsafe non-approved cable continue to come to light. Unsafe flexible cord, intended for use in domestic and industrial applications, has been found on sale in the UK recently, prompting the ACI to issue a fresh alert to the electrical supply chain. The latest find of sub-standard flexible cords is marked ‘Made in Turkey’ and ‘Ermaks’. Samples came to light following the initiative’s recent ‘Counterfeit Flexible Cords’ campaign which alerted the electrical supply chain to dangerous industrial flexible cords. We in the supply chain should all be vigilant to watch out and report these instances of non-compliant cabling wherever we see or suspect they have been installed, while developing only the safest products and systems of our own. We shouldn’t forget that we all have a duty and a responsibility where lives and property are at stake. Importance of MV cables to infrastructure Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliantThe demand for power has never been greater, with the explosion of development in towns and cities across the UK and the growth of industrial development and technology reliant on consistent supplies. Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliant as the pressure mounts on the installation of quality products in modern building developments. MV cables are crucial to our infrastructure. Electricity leaves the generating site and is routed via a step-up transformer to take it up to the National Grid distribution voltages of 400Kv, 275Kv and 132Kv. Once in the local area, the supply goes through step-down transformers that reduce the voltage to 415V with domestic supplies tapped off at 230V. To provide power to the sub-stations – very often located on the premises of the establishment that they supply – Medium Voltage (MV) cables are used. MV cables were only developed as the level of voltages increased and the need arose for a greater classification range. design and specification of the cables The technical design and specification of the cables is of paramount importance within the power distribution networkThe size of the market has developed to the point where the global MV cables market was valued at 39.31billion US dollars in 2016 and projected to grow at a rate of more than six percent until 2022. The technical design and specification of the cables themselves is of paramount importance within the power distribution network. There are a number of technical considerations to be taken into account including the size of the installation, the position of the installation in relation to the network and the presence of primary and secondary sub-stations. Prior to installation, a detailed route survey should also be carried out to plan where cables will be jointed and to identify any possible obstructions which may require special civil engineering works such as directional drilling. Underlying the critical nature of supplies to these types of services, the incidence of non-approved cables for these applications also plagues the industry.
Products for electrical systems that are installed into modern, complex buildings have to be fit-for-purpose for today’s challenging demands. With the background of numerous incidents still being felt by the fire performance industry, how is it to set the benchmarks for the future to make sure there is never another Lakanal House or another Grenfell? The long-term answer is for clearer guidance and legislation, if necessary, to enable the whole supply chain to make decisions which are compliant when choosing products. In the meantime, with the Grenfell inquiry projected to go on during 2019, what is the benchmark?The development of LSZH materials was accelerated following the King’s Cross Underground disaster in which 31 people died Cables With LSZH Materials We have standards through British Standards (BS) and testing regimes which cables should meet to validate that they meet these standards with approvals from various industry bodies including BASEC and LPCB. At AEI Cables, we have developed our Total Fire Solutions range of cables and accessories for all fire safety applications, incorporating Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) features. Traditional PVC cables which produce vast amounts of dense black smoke, toxic fumes and acid gas when exposed to fire, bring an added danger to people who may be caught in the fire. Cables which incorporate LSZH materials emit very little of these substances. In a real fire situation, the cables will enable the fire and rescue services to find and evacuate people and help to protect property Smoke And Noxious Gases Cause More Casualties The development of LSZH materials was accelerated following the King’s Cross Underground disaster in which 31 people died, many of them from toxic fumes. London Underground has banned the use of PVC cables as a result. The adoption of LSZH for cables and other materials is also endorsed by the Building Regulations themselves. According to Part B, referencing fire safety, it says clearly: “The primary danger associated with fire in its early stages is not flame but the smoke and noxious gases produced by the fire. They cause most of the casualties and may also obscure the way to escape routes and exits. Measures designed to provide safe means of escape must therefore provide appropriate arrangements to limit the rapid spread of smoke and fumes.” Helping Fire And Rescue Services The very latest in technology and science, including LSZH materials, offers enhanced fire performance cablingThe very latest in technology and science, including LSZH materials, offers enhanced fire performance cabling, accessories and technical support ensuring critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a real fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes. In a real fire situation, these cables will enable the fire and rescue services to find and evacuate people and help to protect property. At the same time, there is still evidence of non-approved cabling still coming onto the market, and we simply cannot compromise quality of these products being used in these applications. Applications include residential and commercial buildings, shopping malls, airports and protected buildings with a track-record ensuring that fire alarms, sprinkler systems, building monitoring and security systems can continue to operate in a fire.
The continuity of power in the event of a real fire has never been more important as modern buildings become more complex and the need for the highest quality of products comes under the spotlight. With power for lighting and fire alarms, the fire and rescue services can use the intelligence gathered to evacuate people quickly, confident that they have found all the people in the building. Without power, they are literally scrambling in the dark without good information upon which to make their rescue. The continuity of power will also ensure that sprinkler or water mist systems can continue to operate where they exist. In commercial buildings, there may also be smoke evacuation fans which help to enable safe evacuation. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services Appropriate Cabling At the start of a project, the most appropriate cabling should be specified as part of the electrical system rather than at the end of a project. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services across individual areas and floors. At the same time, there are new designs, materials and products continually coming on to the market for major projects, and with it an increasing need for the various parties involved to work closely together to make sure they get it right. There has been an increasing incidence of non-approved cables on the market and unfortunately it is not until cables have been installed, tested or used that issues become clear. For installers, or those procuring cables, there is a need to check the cable when it arrives to make sure it is exactly what was specified. Should there be a problem, have it checked and seek good advice. Keep records of purchase, including reel flanges with batch markings and a sample of the cable markings. Send lengths for testing and then decide on the most appropriate course of action. Choice of cabling is crucial at the start of major projects as issues may occur later Meeting Rigorous Third-Party Tests For some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios. These include environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes where older people and children move about. Specifiers looking at new large public sector projects such as hospitals should refer to BS 8519 for the electrical supply, and the most relevant cabling system. It is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests This Code of Practice specifies that the type of system selected during the design phase ‘should be derived from a detailed process of consultation with the relevant authorities’ and that ‘the design should be agreed at an early stage.’ The decision-making process for cable selection relevant for life safety and firefighting systems is clearly defined here. This covers three categories ranging from 30 minutes to 120 minutes fire survival time. Categories 1 and 2 cover means of escape for 30 minutes and then 60 minutes respectively, and these cables are tested in accordance with the relevant codes. Category 3 for firefighting to 120 minutes refers to power and control cables meeting the 120-minute test according to the relevant standards. It should be emphasised that only Mineral Insulated Cable (MIC) or a cable meeting the requirements of BS7846 F120 will meet this criteria. For clarity, BS 8519 does not take precedence over BS 5839 for alarm systems and BS 5266 for emergency lighting. In essence, choosing the most relevant cabling and electrical accessories which will continue to operate under fire conditions has become critical. Application Of Medium Voltage Cables As the incidence of non-approved cables continues then so the application of Medium Voltage (MV) cables into high-risk environments including hospitals, schools, care homes, industrial sites and sub-stations serving infrastructure sites also becomes critical. In the context off fire engineering, it is important to select the relevant MV Cables in these areas. Adhering to the latest regulations is no longer enough - there needs to be a risk assessment. In order to do this effectively, it is important to ask – are the fire safety procedures up to date? All AEI MV cables are third party tested and approved by BASEC. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards The whole supply chain needs to take consideration of these areas where vulnerable people often move about such as children or elderly people in hospitals or care homes. The fire and rescue services may need a little more time than a conventional building including reading complex fire alarm information to ensure a safe rescue in the event of a real fire. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards. This is due to ageing structures, high volume of combustible materials, and changing use in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths programmes where more combustible and flammable liquids are being used. Concerns have been raised by architects and and designers about fire protection regimes Sufficient Fire Risk Assessment Recent research by the Fire Brigades Union, for example, showed that a key focus for all educational institutions must be ensuring that there is an effective fire risk management process in place, delivered by suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment carried out by an expert in the field. The best practice under Business Information Modelling (BIM) and all best practice of fire safety engineering methods should be observed in conjunction with project partners. There have been concerns over a number of years around the fire protection regime for new buildings expressed by the architects and designers themselves. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) points to the delays to Approved Document B with regard to the relationship of Building Regulations to changing design and construction. AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service RIBA says the virtual disappearance of the role of the clerk of works or site architect and the loss of independent oversight of construction and workmanship on behalf of the client is a further issue for concern. In essence, RIBA believes that future proposals for the fire safety regulatory regime should be informed by the specialist fire safety expertise of relevant professional organisations and groups, and also take full account of this wider set of construction industry AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service with the support of its parent company Ducab based in Dubai, with the design, manufacture and supply of MIC, Firetec Enhanced or Firetec Power depending on specific needs. The choice of cabling and accessories should not be underestimated at the earliest opportunity to ensure the fire and rescue services are given every chance of success in rescuing people and saving property.
Colossus, a fire-fighting robot, was deployed in the nave of the Notre Dame cathedral during the destructive fire on April 15 in Paris. Pumping water high into the air and onto the flames, the robot was instrumental in turning the tide for firefighters, extinguishing the fire and lowering temperatures inside the nave. Colossus was developed by the French Company Shark Robotics and deployed with the Paris Fire Brigade. The caterpillar-tracked robot stands just two and a half feet tall, weighs 1,000 pounds and can carry another 1,100 pounds of equipment. At Notre Dame it helped firefighters extinguish the blaze and mostly save 850 years of history. It helped firefighters extinguish the blaze and mostly save 850 years of history Robots in firefighting The historic use of Colossus illustrates the growing role of robotics in firefighting, including mobile systems with advanced features to assist an operator in navigation and to perform a wider range of tasks. According to Brian Lattimer, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Virginia Tech, a robotic system is a mechanical device that performs a task using sensors to perceive its environment, computer programs to control the robot based on its environment, and a human operator to assist with robot operation. A variety of robotic systems support a range of fire events, whether involving structures, vehicles, aircrafts, shops or wildlands, he says. In addition, the functionality of robot systems varies to support firefighters in tasks such as sizing up the fire, identifying trapped people, locating the fire, monitoring conditions, controlling fire spread and suppression, says Lattimer. Sizing up the fire, identifying trapped people, locating the fire, monitoring conditions, controlling fire spread and suppression automated robotics Also, aerial robotics such as drones provide added situational awareness, and indoor robots can eliminate fires at close range. There are also fixed systems, such as automated fire monitors, that can be used to extinguish significant fire hazards rapidly. Several robots have found utility in the fire service in recent years. Fire-fighting robots were essential for suppressing the blaze at Notre Dame Other life-saving robots The Tactical Hazardous Operations Robot (THOR), developed for the U.S. Navy’s Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFIR) program, is a human-like robot that can travel across unstable floors on ships, utilize hoses, and open doors. Because Navy ships have hazardous materials on board, extinguishing fires is critical. The robot uses stereoscopic thermal imaging and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors to navigate. It walks and works semi-autonomously with the help of a remote operator. The Thermite Robot is a small tank created by Howe and Howe Technologies for the U.S. Army. The Thermite RS1-T4 is remotely operated with a belly-pack controller that provides high-definition and infrared video in real-time. It has the power to push vehicles from its path, the agility to climb stars and can output 1,250 gpm of water at 200 psi. Thermite is designed as an advanced tool to help operators combat fires safely and efficiently. It has the power to push vehicles from its path, the agility to climb stars and can output 1,250 gpm of water at 200 psi Turbine Aided Firefighting Machine (TAF 20) is a robot created by Emicontrols, a subsidiary of the TechnoAlpin Group. Designed for small spaces such as tunnels, it uses a turbine to clear smoke, move obstacles with a bulldozer blade and focus its water spray from a mist to a jet. an emerging technology component The Fire Ox, a robotic firefighting vehicle that carries its own water tank, is designed as a first response unit. It suppresses fires, assists in search and rescue, and can handle dangerous materials. It is semi-autonomous and can be controlled from up to 200 miles away. Research at Purdue University has yielded firefighting robots with an automatic T-valve system, a “discharge valve,” that can remove water from the fire hose whenever a robot moves to a new location. The technology takes less energy and enables a firefighting robot to maneuver more quickly and efficiently around a burning structure. Robots can withstand hazardous environments and help to avoid injury to firefighters. They are an emerging technology component that will impact the art and science of firefighting for years to come.
The Phase 1 report of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, released Oct. 30, examines events of 14 June, 2017, when 71 people were killed in a high-rise building fire at Grenfell Tower, a residential tower block in North Kensington, London. The report finds London Fire Brigade’s planning and preparation for such a fire was “gravely inadequate.” The report reflects the first phase of the inquiry. Investigators will consider problems related to design, maintenance and renovation of Grenfell Tower in the second phase, as well as whether building and fire regulations were adequate and adhered to. Report Suggests Lack Of Training The report found that otherwise experienced incident commanders and senior officers attending the fire had received no training in the particular dangers associated with the building’s combustible cladding, even though some senior officers were aware of similar fires that had occurred in other countries. Otherwise experienced incident commanders and senior officers attending the fire had received no training in the particular dangers Although the London Fire Brigade purports to maintain an operational risk database (ORD) for buildings in London and has a risk assessment policy accessible by all operational firefighters at an incident, the database entry for Grenfell Tower contained almost no information of any use to an incident commander called to a fire. The database information was many years out of date and did not reflect the changes made by a building refurbishment. “None of the firefighters or incident commanders on the ground seem to have been able to conceive of the possibility of a general failure of compartmentation or of a need for mass evacuation; they neither truly seized control of the situation nor were able to change strategy,” according to the report. Evacuation Plans The report continues: “National guidance requires fire and rescue services to draw up contingency evacuation plans for dealing with fires in high-rise buildings that spread beyond the compartment of origin causing a ‘stay put’ strategy to become untenable. They should understand, for any given high-rise building in their area, when a partial or full evacuation might become necessary and provide appropriate training to incident commanders.” Friends and families still await justice for their loved ones following the report The public inquiry by Rt Hon Sir Martin Moore-Bick is being conducted in parallel to investigations by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and Her Majesty’s Coroner for Inner London (West), Professor Fiona The decision to evacuate the building was delayed by almost an hourWilcox. Once the Grenfell fire was out of control, the decision to evacuate the building was delayed by almost an hour, which resulted in additional fatalities. A decision should have been made to evacuate the tower between 1:30 and 1:50 a.m., according to the report. The “stay put” strategy was not questioned, even in response to early indications the building has suffered a “total failure of compartmentation.” The "Stay Put" Recommendation The ‘stay put’ recommendation was based on general wisdom that most fires are likely to be contained in small areas of a building and that anyone trying to escape is likely to run into dangerous flames, smoke-filled corridors, or to interfere with fire-fighting efforts. Obviously, it was bad advice in this case since the fast-moving fire rapidly spread and engulfed the entire building. Combustible panels on the exterior of the building accelerated the fire. The aluminium composite material (ACM) rainscreen panels with polyethylene cores acted as a source of fuel. The ACM rainscreen panels with polyethylene cores acted as a source of fuel There were serious deficiencies in command and control. Although additional resources arrived swiftly, some senior officers failed to give sufficient practical support or inform themselves quickly enough of conditions and operations within the building, according to the report. Communication Strategies Channels of communication between the control room and the incident ground were improvised, uncertain and prone to error. Control room operators did not therefore know enough about conditions in the tower or the progress of responses to individual fire survival guidance calls, so they lacked a sound basis for telling callers whether help was on its way. In a statement in response to the Phase 1 report, the London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said: “We are disappointed at some of the criticism of individual staff members who were placed in completely unprecedented circumstances and faced the most unimaginable conditions while trying to save the lives of others.” Furthermore, Matt Wrack, head of the Fire Brigades Union commented: “Nobody [has] explained how you would alert residents when there’s no common fire alarm system.” He also said the building was already a “death trap” when firefighters arrived.
Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations to the U.K. Government after the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 were that the competence of the individuals working in the construction and life cycle of Higher Risk Residential Buildings (HRRBs) needs to improve and be clearer. Work had already started in many fire protection sectors to create fully recognized qualifications, and these help raise the benchmark. Improving fire safety training A force driving improvements in training is the Fire Industry Association (FIA). As a trade association, FIA is looking at ways to help its members and the broader industry sectors. One way to do that is to improve the training that FIA has provided to fire detection and fire alarm technicians for over 20 years. Having looked at various ways of doing this, FIA’s members agreed that creating nationally recognized qualifications would help add more professionalism to this sector. To offer nationally recognized qualifications, the FIA chose to become an awarding body registered with OFQUAL [Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation]. Initially, training is focused on the FD&A [Fire Detection and Alarm] sector, with future plans to offer training in other fire sectors. The process of becoming an awarding body was rigorous and difficult. It took FIA more than three years of applying and submitting policy documents before the organization finally achieved awarding body status in 2014. Fire system installation roles Training is provided in the four job roles as described in the fire system installation standard BS 5389/1: 2017 Training is provided in the four job roles as described in the fire system installation standard BS 5389/1: 2017; they are Design, Installation, Commissioning and Maintenance. These roles are also recognized within company third party certifications schemes (LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203). The designer designs the FD&A system, and the Installer installs it. The Commissioning technician checks and signs off the installation, and the Maintenance technician will complete the routine maintenance during the life of the system. Training modules Training in FIA’s four qualifications, at National Vocational Qualification Level 3, is broken down into modules. The Foundation is the information that each job role needs and is common to all four job roles, as is the Environment module and the Health and Safety module. These are the core modules. The final job-specific module picks up on the differences among the roles; e.g., what does a maintenance technician need to know that is different to an install technician? “Providing a qualification requires a process of asking the sector what it wants,” says Martin Duggan, General Manager, Fire Industry Association (FIA). “We went through a comprehensive route with ‘voice of the customer’ days and surveys plus syllabus reviews to check and double-check that the qualification reflects what the industry wants.” The base is the BS 5389 standard, although more was added such as Health and Safety and Environmental aspects. National Vocational Qualification Level 3 Level 3 is for supervisors or unsupervised workers and in a lot of cases, the individual will work unsupervised once they are qualified and have gained experience. The work done to create the services standard EN 16763: 2017 Services for Fire Safety Systems and Security Systems identified Level 3 as the appropriate level. The trailblazer aimed at apprentices in this sector also reached a conclusion that level 3 was the right one, as did FIA’s own research. Many electricians and security companies install fire alarm systems as their skills are very similar; however, the Fire Safety Order (England and Wales) states that a responsible person should only use competent persons to install and maintain fire protection systems. But how do you prove competence? Training in FIA’s four qualifications, at National Vocational Qualification Level 3, is broken down into modules Fire Safety Order “One of the worst things we see from all types of installers into buildings is leaving big holes in compartment walls,” says Duggan. (A compartment wall is designed to contain the spread of fire for a designated period of time.) “These should all be correctly sealed up.” The work being done by Working Group 2 (Installers) as part of the industry response group to Government on Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations includes: Company third party certification (so that the purchasing of services is done through a recognized company). The individuals the companies employ have a relevant recognized qualification. This is backed up on site with a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card or equivalent. Continuous Professional Development (CPD) or refresher training is introduced A basic knowledge of fire safe building and compartmentation is understood. “It’s this final piece that will help drive cultural change quickly, if we can implement it correctly,” says Duggan. “Can we get all installers to understand why we build compartments and why it’s so important not to damage these and allow smoke, heat and fire to move freely about a building?” LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 The benchmark for the FD&A industry has been third party certification with the two schemes LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 The benchmark for the FD&A industry has been company third party certification with the two schemes LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 being well established for the last 20 years; however, there are many companies that still are not registered, says Duggan. The excuse is based on cost, that customers are not asking for it, and that it’s not mandatory. “The way the current legislation works and is policed, it’s only likely that poor installations etc. will be found after a serious fire when it’s too late,” says Duggan. “Unfortunately, customers do not fully understand their duties to only employ competent people, and the courts will ask: What is the industry best practice and what more could have been done to prove your competence?” Third party schemes “We have company third party schemes for most fire protection disciplines and there are qualifications coming online for most sectors as well,” says Duggan. “These are what the FIA would point to as best practice.”
Global FM service provider Atalian Servest has won a contract with the University of Edinburgh to maintain its fire alarm and associated life safety systems. The three-year contract is worth a base cost of £250,000 per annum. Atalian Servest will service over 250 buildings within the historic City of Edinburgh, some of which are Grade-A listed. Premises include prestigious lecture theatres, libraries, seminar buildings and student and family accommodation. The contract will include maintenance of disabled person refuge communication systems and remote monitoring telephone line systems, supporting the safety of staff, students and visitors at the university. Enhancing student experience The University of Edinburgh offers undergraduate degree programmes, and postgraduate taught and research programmes to more than 14,000 students; it is globally recognised for its research, development and high-quality teaching. Daniel Dickson, CEO of Atalian Servest UK & Ireland, said, “Our fire and security team are excited to support such a prestigious university and a global leader in education, and look forward to strengthening our partnership throughout the contract and beyond.” Heather Fleming, Building Services Engineer at the University of Edinburgh, said, “Atalian Servest has been a key partner, delivering other contracts and projects for several years. We welcome the fire and security team to enhance the experience of our stakeholders, students and visitors alike. The company provides the highest level of customer service, innovation and quality.”
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.
Metalline’s fire rated non-combustible Ultima Spandrel panels have been specified to replace the existing window panels on five tower blocks on the Chalcots Estate in Camden. Ultima Spandrel panels The decision by Camden Council to replace all combustible material from their tower blocks is part of a major upgrade to ensure the safety and security of their residents. A key influence on the decision to specify Metalline’s Ultima Spandrel Panel was the fabricators willingness to put their product through an independent fire performance test to prove its integrity. Efectis, fire safety testing firm The fire performance test was carried out independently by Efectis, global provider of fire science and fire safety testing. As a result, Metalline’s Ultima Spandrel Panel is the UK’s first Spandrel panel to achieve a fire rating of 60-minutes integrity and 60-minutes insulation. Constructed from A1 non-combustible materials, the Ultima Spandrel Panel can be specified in a range of finishes including anodized natural silver, bronzes from light to dark, black, regency gold 1 & 2 and a specialist Anolok finish in blue grey and stone grey colors.
Students starting the new term at Stirling University will be able to take advantage of the biggest transformation the site has seen since the campus opened in the early 1970s. During the past 18 months, contractors have been hard at work completing the first two phases of a £38 million project to develop the highest quality student accommodation. The three-year, three-stage development program, which will be fully completed in 2015, will see the creation of 788 contemporary bedrooms in four locations around the university’s main campus. This new accommodation will provide students with well-designed study bedrooms, spacious kitchens with dining space, increased social spaces and better connections to the surrounding landscape areas. Fire detection and alarm system A major part of the redevelopment was to provide the most suitable fire detection and alarm systemfor the entire site A major part of the redevelopment was to provide the most suitable fire detection and alarm system (FD&A) for the entire site. The university had experienced a significant problem with false alarms in the past, recording more than 200 incidents annually. The new FD&A system would have to not only provide the ultimate protection across the redeveloped properties but also help to alleviate the serious issue of on-going false alarms. An FD&A system provided by Gent by Honeywell was selected as the most efficient solution to address this critical problem. S-Quad multi-sensor detectors Robert Abraham, Account Director, G4S Fire and Security System (UK), the company that is responsible for providing fire safety across the whole of the redeveloped site said, “We have worked with Gent products for over 20 years and recognize the benefits this specific solution can bring to a university setting”. He adds. “One of the outstanding advantages of the Gent system is its ability to detect real fires quickly. The S-Quad devices installed throughout the redeveloped campus incorporate the most advanced form of multi-sensor detection, which will overcome the significant number of unwanted false alarms.” Multi-sensor detection technology The university also introduced a number of additional measures to reduce false alarms across the campus, installing a prefect hob timer in the kitchen area to automatically shut off power to the hob after thirty minutes. Additionally, a Dorwatcher device has been installed which emits a piercing scream if the kitchen door is held open for more than one minute. These will help to alleviate any activations resulting from food being allowed to burn on the hob and the resulting smoke or steam leaving the kitchen through the wedged open door from activating the nearest smoke detector. Smoke and fire detection The team at G4S has been involved in the Stirling University project from its initial stages G4S Fire and Security Systems is an Elite Technology Centre, the highest level of Approved Systems Integrators that form part of the Gent 24 Network. Gent awards the Approved Systems Integrators’ status to independent fire specialist companies who have been selected, trained and approved based on their extensive capabilities and considerable experience in the fire industry. The team at G4S has been involved in the Stirling University project from its initial stages, working closely with the developers Graham Construction and their nominated Electrical Contractor, Stothers M&E. Robert Abraham said “We came to a commercial agreement with Stothers M&E, after being asked to cost a fire detection and alarm (FD&A) solution for each phase of the development. We chose the Gent product range because of its quality and reliability, its flexibility of programming and ultimately its ability to meet all of the requirements of the latest British Standards. We were also highly confident that the Gent technology would play a pivotal role in tackling the false alarms issue.” FD&A solution The university currently has 2800 student bedrooms on and off campus and as part of the on-going project three properties were demolished, Murray Hall, Geddes Court and AK Davidson Hall, and brand new accommodation buildings are in the process of being constructed on the original Murray Hall and AK Davidson sites. The FD&A solution was designed according to the specific uses of each room within the new buildings. In the student bedrooms, Gent’s renowned S-Quad multi sensors were installed, which are capable of detecting the products of combustion such as heat, smoke and carbon monoxide. The devices use patented dual optical scatter technology to enhance smoke detection, this allows it to be configured to filter specific risks such as steam and dust, resulting in significantly reduced false alarms. Optical, dual optical, heat and CO sensing elements The S-Quad’s inherent flexibility means it can be programmed to suit specific site applications. Different sensitivity states are set to incorporate combinations of optical, dual optical, heat and CO sensing elements. For instance, in the accommodation bedrooms S4-911-ST-VO units were installed utilizing carbon monoxide, dual optical smoke and heat detection technology in the same sensor to provide the optimum means of detecting a real fire while greatly reducing the risk of false alarms. Robert Abraham continued “Gent provided the design team with an S-Quad detector selection tool. This allowed the design team to select not only the best device for each application but also the optimum state that each device should be set to during commissioning. Whether it is in a bedroom or kitchen, the optimum state can be selected and the system will be able to differentiate its response to real fires, and identify the culprits of regular false alarms such as steam or aerosol sprays.” Vigilon panels, smoke detectors and sensor sounder strobes The entire FD&A system incorporates more than 6 Vigilon Panels, 24 loops and over 1600 devices in total The entire FD&A system incorporates more than 6 Vigilon Panels, 24 loops and over 1600 devices in total, including a range of different panels, smoke detectors, call points, sounders, interfaces and the S-Quad range of sensor sounder strobes. The advanced sensing technology in the S-Quad devices will alert students using a highly visible visual alarm to ensure that all occupants are alerted to an emergency. Robert Abraham concluded “The whole installation was a great success. The timescales were a challenge, which is inevitable in this type of environment, when students are set to move in. The deadlines had to be met, but the process went very smoothly”. Enhancing Campus security “Above all, the system is proving to be highly effective. The university has a system it can trust in and instances of false alarms have been dramatically reduced. On the rare occasions there has been a false alarm incident, there has been an explanation as to why the device was triggered.” The third phase of the Stirling University redevelopment was completed at the end of August with a further three phases planned and the whole project is on track for completion by spring 2015. Once fully completed, the project will help maintain the university’s enviable position as a place where student satisfaction and the all-round campus experience is very high. Students will be able to concentrate on their studies and socializing, safe in the knowledge that they are being protected by the most reliable, high performing FD&A solution, without the inconvenience of multiple false alarms.
When BBC Belfast staged auditions to find fire industry experts to replace their outdated system, Fire Security passed hands down. With a constant hub of activity including TV and radio output in Northern Ireland, the BBC needed an installer and system they could rely on 100 per cent to complete the job efficiently and effectively. The BBC was familiar with Gent, having used the same fire alarm system for over 30 years, but felt it was time for an upgrade to incorporate a PA/VA system that would allow clear messages to be heard throughout the building due to the large numbers of staff and members of the public that walk through the doors every day. PA/VA system The large and complex nature of the building needed a comprehensive life safety system, which Fire Security provided BBC Belfast comprises three blocks consisting of Broadcasting House, which was built in 1938, an office block and television block subsequently built behind it. These blocks incorporate office accommodation, two television, twenty recording and five radio studios. The large and complex nature of the building needed a comprehensive life safety system, which Fire Security provided. Fire Security Limited has been established for over 30 years and is a market leader throughout Northern Ireland, providing and exceeding customers’ requirements in fire detection. Vigilon Voice system Tim Sayer, commissioning engineer at Fire Security, said “The site needed a system that could be used for PA/VA. Vigilon Voice was chosen as it is suitable for public address, live messaging and background music facilities”. Tim adds, “We did have an issue with the PA/VA system operating in studios when recording was taking place. To tackle this we fitted diversion relays on the speaker units that could be activated by the studio microphone switches on the control desks to mute the speakers during broadcasting times.” Vigilon control panels Working in partnership with Locksley Engineering, the appointed electrical contractor for this contract, a total of five Vigilon network panels’ c/w seventeen loops were installed throughout the site to safeguard both the property and the 500 people working in the building. The Vigilon control panels have a simple user interface with LCD screen providing accurate information in an emergency. Every loop device has a unique address assigned to the software which allows fires to be located quickly and assists in troubleshooting in commissioning and maintenance. Advanced sensing technology The advanced sensing technology ensures the Vigilon system identifies false inputs that do not match a real fire pattern The advanced sensing technology and powerful software processing ensures the Vigilon system identifies false inputs that do not match a real fire pattern and as a result are ignored or flagged up. Denis Spurling, Project Engineer for Fire Security said “The nature of the working environment at BBC Belfast made it necessary for us to choose a system that was flexible and identified and responded to real fires quickly, yet minimizing the risk of false alarms”. Enhanced fire safety He adds, “We selected Gent’s Vigilon and Vigilon Voice systems as they fulfilled the BBC’s requirements enabling their security department to respond quickly to fire situations through a central system while ensuring the building remains operational.” Fire Security continues to maintain a strong relationship with BBC Belfast and their relationships with key businesses in Northern Ireland are constantly developing. Honeywell Gent is synonymous with quality and innovation in the fire detection and alarm industry. They are globally renowned for providing high quality fire detection and alarm systems. Fire Security Limited is a globally renowned innovative supply and installation company that strives to meet the customer needs in Fire Detection and provision of Security Systems.
Newcastle upon Tyne is carrying out a £300 million transformation of its city hospitals and has called in specialists, Cormeton Electronics Ltd, to carry out ‘emergency’ fire alarm ‘operations’. The Newcastle Hospitals program is the biggest health project ever seen in the North East and one of the largest in the country. The two key hospitals involving Cormeton are the new Victoria Wing and Great North Childrens Hospital at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), a new super hospital in the heart of the city, and specialist Renal unit at The Freeman Hospital, Cormeton’s cure for both sites has been Gent by Honeywell’s Vigilon fire alarm system supported by the latest S-Quad multi-functional sensing technology. Honeywell’s Vigilon fire alarm system Steve Milbourne, systems design engineer for Cormeton, a Gent by Honeywell Elite System Integrator (ESI), said “Both sites have complex demands but the RVI is particularly challenging due to its scale. The new development comprises a six-story atrium, new main entrance, car parks, ambulance access and even a helipad for emergency patient transfer. The main concern for hospitals is false alarm management, so having a system that can eliminate the risk is essential”. Steve adds, “In the case of a fire, it’s also vital that hospital patients, visitors and staff can be evacuated in an orderly fashion and without panic, so the combination of Vigilon with S-Quad and S-Cubed devices was the ideal solution.” Enhanced fire detection capabilities The Freeman is on a smaller scale and has 10 Vigilon panels with three loops per panel and 900 devices across 120 zones To cover the 200m x 150m RVI site, Cormeton’s design includes 23 Vigilon panels and 69 loops of fire detection as well as 850 sounders. The building has been divided into 270 zones, allowing a managed phased evacuation if necessary. The Freeman is on a smaller scale and has 10 Vigilon panels with three loops per panel and 900 devices across 120 zones. The combination of Vigilon control panels and the S-Quad sensors means the system is able to quickly identify real fires, significantly cutting the risk of false alarms. Vigilon control panels The Vigilon control panels have a simple user interface with a LCD screen providing clear and accurate information in an emergency. Every loop address has a unique customer defined label of up to 64 characters in length assigned to it, allowing fires to be located quickly in an emergency. The S-Quad was chosen due to its advanced capabilities in early detection and signaling of fires and for its unique dual angle optical chamber, which recognizes the distinction between fire-like phenomena and actual fire. S-Quad multi-functional sensing detectors The S-Quad alarm devices incorporate sound speech and strobe effects all in one. Due to its low power consumption, it means more sounders can be installed per loop and the strobe element is fully monitored for circuit failures. Steve added, “The Newcastle Hospital program is ongoing but to date the client is delighted with the fire system. Its flexibility and reliability have been a real hit, giving the client peace of mind.” Work continues on the Great North Childrens Hospital, which is due to be commissioned at the end of October 2009, where three further Vigilon panels will be tied into the system. Tyneside-based Cormeton Electronics Ltd is one of over 60 independent fire specialists and one of only 15 Elite System Integrators around the UK and Ireland who work as part of the Gent 24 Approved Network. Honeywell Gent is synonymous with quality and innovation in the fire detection and alarm industry. They are globally renowned for providing high quality fire detection and alarm systems.