Tall building fire safety
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 be...
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....
Autronica, a United Technologies owned fire safety and security company, has announced the release of AutroSense Cascade, a scalable aspirating smoke detection solution that makes installation easier, maintenance quicker, and takes applications further than traditional air sampling detectors. AutroSense Cascade An AutroSense Cascade system consists of two basic module types: Display module – provides control and monitoring of detector modules Detector module – draws air from the risk area and samples it for smoke particles Up to eight detector modules can be controlled and monitored via one display module with each detector module capable of serving up to 250 m of combined sampling pipe. Display and detector module combinations are known as a cluster with devices in the cluster communicating via RS485 Display and detector modules Display and detector module combinations are known as a cluster with devices in the cluster communicating via RS485. This unique modular design allows for clusters to be non-distributed or distributed giving significant design advantages such as maximizing pipework coverage and reduced transport times. AutroSense Cascade is not just about efficient and flexible system design, it also excels with simple user controls, detailed display information, connectivity and easy maintenance. From the designer through to the end user, AutroSense Cascade provides benefits for everyone. Integrated with ClassiFire and waste gate technology AutroSense Cascade embraces exciting new design aspects integrated with proven features and technologies, such as ClassiFire and waste gate technology. Whether it’s providing early warning detection within a clean room environment or providing a problem solving solution for harsh or unusual applications, AutroSense Cascade excels to provide a robust and reliable aspirating smoke detection solution. Autronica is a renowned innovator, manufacturer and supplier of fire and gas safety worldwide. Their products ensure safety in applications on land, sea and in the petrochemical, oil and gas sectors.
Life-safety systems manufacturer, C-TEC, has launched Hush ActiV, an innovative new BS 5839-6 Grade C domestic fire alarm kit. Designed to increase the level of fire protection in flats, apartments and high-rise residential buildings, each kit contains everything you need to create a LD2 standalone conventional fire alarm system in an individual dwelling – easily and very cost-effectively. Said Andy Green, C-TEC’s Marketing Manager: “We are very excited about Hush ActiV, and confident it will be a hit with specifiers and installers in the domestic fire alarm market. As a fully-monitored BS 5839-6 Grade C system, it constantly interrogates the status of the system’s wiring circuits, battery and power supply, reporting any faults to the main Controller. As a result, it offers higher levels of fire protection than the unmonitored Grade D Mains Battery Alarms typically used in domestic dwellings.” easy-to-use detection A key feature of Hush ActiV is its accessibility. Residents are provided with easy-to-use detection, alarm, silencing and test facilities at light-switch level so they can test their own devices, be alerted to system faults and hush any false alarms. In addition, the fact that the Controller’s HUSH and TEST buttons can be operated whilst standing or sitting in a wheelchair at floor level helps facilitate full compliance with the Equality Act. An eco-friendly solution, Hush ActiV offers up to a 50% reduction in the mains power of a typical Grade D system, less plastic and just one replaceable lithium-ion battery per system (providing over 72 hours standby). Each kit contains a Controller, 24V PSU, ActiV multi-sensor, heat detector, three detector bases and base sounder. Additional ActiV detection and alarm devices are available to accommodate larger systems or systems requiring LD1 coverage.
ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland is advising fire safety professionals on the importance of properly certified hardware and training, following warnings from experts in fire safety law that they may now be deemed responsible for any breaches. Liability for fire safety breaches is being increasingly pushed down from building owners and occupiers to those that have been consulted, assessed and advised on the appropriate fire safety solutions for a site. Should these products fail to perform as expected, then those professionals will be held accountable, and could potentially even be prosecuted. Need for suitable fire risk assessments ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland believes that this issue will be a real game changer for the industry, with architectural ironmongers, merchants, and safety and security consultants all set to be deemed responsible. Only recently, a representative from the internationally renowned law firm, Russell Cooke LLP cited a growing trend for building owners to hold suppliers responsible for a lack of suitable fire risk assessments and the use of inappropriate materials and products. In 2014 – for the first time ever – a risk assessor went to prison for nine months for a breach of health and safety rules. It is clear that accountability surrounding fire safety will fall to the supply chain more and more in the future. Compliance to fire safety regulations At ASSA ABLOY, all our products are tested and certified to the appropriate fire safety standards" David Hindle, Head of Door Control Sales at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, explains “We believe this issue will increasingly affect the entire industry. From architectural ironmongers that might be selling product with little or questionable certification, to merchants providing hardware that might not be fit for purpose, and consultants that are potentially not carrying out the right risk assessments for clients, the liability for fire safety in buildings will fall to professionals in the industry. After all, they should be the experts on this matter.” He adds, “It is therefore vital that all of these groups have the right accreditation in place to meet these demands. Relevant schemes include Warrington Certification’s FIRAS Installer Certification, BM TRADA’s Q-Mark Fire Door Installation and the Guild of Architectural Ironmongery’s diploma.” Understanding fire safety legislation David further stated, “It is also vital that architectural ironmongers, merchants and consultants have a comprehensive understanding of the legislation covering fire safety matters in and around buildings, such as Approved Document B, BS EN 1634 and BS 476. Only by combining this specialist industry knowledge with recognized accreditation can professionals advise on and specify the best fire safety products. “At ASSA ABLOY, all our products are tested and certified to the appropriate fire safety standards, and we are taking increasing steps to ensure that those throughout the supply chain can feel confident that they have put forward a compliant solution.” Training and qualification on fire safety solutions David concludes, “We predict that we will be seeing many more instances where professionals will be held accountable for any breaches around fire safety. As a result, it is critical that those throughout the supply chain ensure products are certified, and they have the correct training and qualifications to be able to advise customers on the most appropriate fire safety solutions.”
When a fire starts, every second counts. Fire extinguishers can help save lives when used quickly and effectively. Yet an astonishing 70% of fire extinguisher owners say they would not be comfortable using an extinguisher in the event of a fire according to recent research. For this reason, First Alert and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have developed a new fire extinguisher training course for volunteer fire departments nationwide, supplemented by an extinguisher donation program for community outreach initiatives. Called “Home Fire Preparedness: Fire Extinguisher Best Practices,” the course educates volunteer fire department personnel about the role fire extinguishers can play in fire safety, and how proper extinguisher placement and maintenance can help reduce the risk of severe fire incidents. Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires, with ranges or cooktops accounting for 63% of home fire incidents according to the National Fire Protection Association. Many small kitchen fires could likely be resolved with a fire extinguisher if caught early. home safety plan The training provides insight about the different types of fire extinguishers and when and how to use them However, research revealed 50% of fire extinguisher owners have never operated one, while 60% of respondents stated they would very likely use one in the event of a fire. “Operating a fire extinguisher can make people feel uneasy, which is why First Alert provides tools to help educate the community through local fire departments,” said Tarsila Wey, director of marketing for First Alert, a trusted brand in home safety. “Fire extinguishers are an integral part of a home safety plan, along with smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and having – and practicing – an escape plan.” The training provides insight about the different types of fire extinguishers, when and how to use them, and detailed information on proper maintenance and appropriate placement of fire extinguishers. Participants will also learn the importance of knowing when not to use an extinguisher, but to instead call 911 and exit the home safely. This training will enable volunteer firefighters to educate their community on how to properly and safely use this important line of defense. In the home, a simple way to remember how to operate a fire extinguisher is with the acronym PASS: Pull the pin on the extinguisher Aim the nozzle low toward the base of the fire Squeeze the trigger Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side CO alarm installations To complement the training, First Alert donated 500 rechargeable 1-A:10-B:C fire extinguishers to volunteer fire departments to help them make an immediate impact in their communities. Departments that receive the extinguishers are part of the NVFC’s Fire Corps program, which utilizes community volunteers to assist resource-constrained fire departments with non-operational tasks such as community education and smoke and CO alarm installations. “The education provided in this fire extinguisher course, combined with First Alert’s donation, helps our volunteer departments keep communities safe,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “We are thankful for the commitment our volunteer firefighters make to keep their own neighbors safe from threats of fire and carbon monoxide.” The “Home Fire Preparedness: Fire Extinguisher Best Practices” course is now available in the NVFC Virtual Classroom. The course will be free for the first 500 participants, compliments of First Alert.
Europe’s pioneer door provider, Hörmann UK, has launched its new FlexFire Protection Curtain, specifically designed to provide the construction and other industrial sectors with unrivalled smoke protection in the event of a fire. Equipped with an intelligent FSA-FLEXControl hold-open device as standard, the curtain closes reliably if smoke develops. When combined with optical smoke detectors that monitor the door area, the hold-open device is compliant with the requirements outlined in EN 14637. The system can also be connected to the on-site fire alarm system for a complete fire protection offering, supported by an optional battery pack to bridge potential power failures. simplifying installation Tested for fire loads of up to 120 minutes, the FlexFire Protection Curtain is both lightweight and compact. Its innovative construction features narrow side guides, which means the fireproof textile curtain can be installed and remain inconspicuous to the internal structure of the building, for a seamless finish. The curtain features concealed magnetic contacts fitted on the side guide to aid fast installation. The curtain features concealed magnetic contacts fitted on the side guide to aid fast installation This is also supported by a space saving shaft-housing unit with integrated tubular drive, which enables almost invisible integration to a building’s infrastructure. If operated in combination with the FSA-FLEXControl Unit and line-monitored tubular drive, the system performs a full automatic teach-in run without the need for any mechanical adjustments, simplifying installation. Innovative solutions Preassembled wiring also makes the door system very easy to fit and service. Tom Langley, Projects Director for Hörmann UK, said: “Our new FlexFire Protection Curtain has been specifically designed to provide the highest standards in fire and smoke protection and meet all the relevant regulations." "We are committed to continuous product development that offers innovative solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of our wide client base and our latest launch is reflective of this.” The FlexFire Protection Curtain is available in galvanized steel as standard, with the opportunity to customize components in a RAL color to suit the interior design of the building.
The global debate on building cladding, which has soared up the international safety agenda in the wake of London’s Grenfell Tower disaster which claimed 74 lives and left another 70 injured, arrives in Doha this month. Building cladding is a key feature of the Safety Design in Buildings Conference (SDiB), which runs on 16 October at The Business Park of the Crowne Plaza, Doha. The conference will feature 11 regional and international experts as speakers. Insight On Improved Protection The spread of the June 2017 fire, which arose from a refrigerator electrical fault and ripped through the 24-storey Grenfell Tower, was largely exacerbated by the building’s flammable exterior cladding. The annual SDiB campaign is a GCC-wide initiative to debate safety standards and practices “In a region dominated by high rise structures, it’s not surprising that the local industry is keen to learn lessons from Grenfell,” said Andreas Rex, show director for Intersec, the world’s pioneer trade fair for Security, Safety & Fire Protection which is SDiB’s Founding Sponsor. The annual SDiB campaign is a GCC-wide initiative to debate safety standards and practices in the built environment. “Like Intersec, SDiB is essential for sharing insight on improved protection of people and assets in the Gulf.” Examine Retrofitting For Fire Safety The SDiB Doha conference will bring leading fire safety consultants, architects, engineers and testing experts together with safety systems suppliers to explore industry standards updates and debate best practice solutions. The agenda will examine retrofitting for fire safety, how to best involve design teams to mitigate fire safety risks, façade fire compartmentation and how mega infrastructure projects can meet international safety standards. Achieving Safety Compliance On Existing Buildings Sreenivas Narayanan, General Manager – Middle East and Asia Pacific of the UK’s Siderise Insulation Limited will outline strategies for achieving safety compliance on existing buildings. His presentation will discuss the need for safety compliance on existing structures and buildings which have been in use for some time. Fire and life safety systems are commonly engineered and designed based on the operational effectiveness" “The issues surrounding the cladding on a project has been a key discussion globally,” he explained. “It's important for all stakeholders involved in a project to understand what the requirements are and how to overcome the challenges. The global façade industry is keen to incorporate the best practice and I would be sharing from my recent interactions to support the local market.” Abilities To Maintain And Commission Fire Cristina Perez Domper, Regional Operations Manager – Product Testing and Certification Building & Construction of Britain’s Intertek will further the debate abilities to maintain and commission fire and life safety systems in high rise tower clusters – capabilities which she asserts are all too often neglected. “Fire and life safety systems are commonly engineered and designed based on the operational effectiveness,” she explains. “What is equally important but often overlooked is the ease of maintenance, testing and even commissioning. A fire safety system that cannot be, or is difficult to maintain or to test, will result in it not being tested or maintained which in turn will lead to it not working properly.” Maintenance And Testing Domper says preventative action is key to a comprehensive fire safety strategy through a building’s lifespan. “According to the National Fire Protection Association statistics, nearly 30% of fires in non-sprinkled facilities spread beyond the room of origin. To minimize this, preventative action must be taken to reduce the effects of fire on a facility, business continuity and life safety,” she advises. Fire safety installation that can’t be maintained will eventually end up in non-working fire safety systems" But Peter Van Gorp, Director of Fire and Life Safety of the USA’s AESG says lessons have been learnt and are being incorporated into new builds, though more attention needs to be placed on maintenance and testing. Maintainability Aspect Of Fire Safety Systems “While I used to see blatant mistakes in fire safety system design related issues in the past, I don’t see those that often anymore in newly constructed buildings. What I do still see is mistakes with regard to ease of maintenance and ease of testing. “These aspects are not only overlooked but often completely ignored. Fire safety installation that can’t be tested or maintained or are difficult to test or maintain will eventually end up in non-working fire safety systems like any other installation or system,” he warns. “I hope that my presentation will move authorities, designers, contractors and anybody else involved to give the maintainability aspect of fire safety systems the attention it deserves.” Protecting Major Events Through Stadium Security The presentation will highlight the key requirements for delivering a safe, and secure stadia" Safety for mega projects and events is also on the Doha agenda, which is essential to Qatar as it gears up to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and has huge major event ambitions. Andrew Cooke, Director Security Operations of Doha-based International Centre for Sport Security will outline ways of protecting major events through stadium security design, which he says, has significant bottom-line implications. “By integrating security right from the beginning of the design phase for venues, organizers can make significant savings by identifying potential threats at an early stage in the process and thus preventing expensive rework, delays, penalties and incorrect use of resources and materials later. The presentation will highlight the key requirements for delivering a safe, and secure stadia.” Testing All Components Of A Fire Strategy Having gained extensive experience within the fire sector and witnessing devastating effects of fire first-hand, Peter Stephenson, Business Development Manager at Warringtonfire emphasizes the importance of sharing lessons learnt to mitigate fire hazards. Validating and testing all components of a fire strategy is vital to ensure the safety of all persons" As building assurance is extremely important, Stephenson highlighted Warringtonfire’s involvement in Doha Metro, one of the key infrastructure projects linked to the FIFA World Cup 2022 hosted in Qatar “Validating and testing all components of a fire strategy is vital to ensure the safety of all persons using or working on the infrastructure.” Tests, Inspections, Certifications “SDiB provides a platform to bring industry professionals together to learn and share experiences which ultimately enhance fire safety within the region. At Warringtonfire, we value the safety and wellbeing of our employees and consider it a top priority. This belief is reflected in our tests, inspections, certifications and consultancy services,” added Stephenson. “The key take-away at SDiB is the importance of building assurance, emphasizing that Warringtonfire, with its depth of experience and industry experts, is the first choice as a trusted partner for all fire and life safety requirements.” Digital ‘Passive’ Fire Protection Delegates will also hear how digital tools can now automate fire safety. David Black, Director, Middle East Operations of the GCC’s Joule Group says despite laws and regulations, human error remains a daily risk because ‘passive assets’ - non-digital fire systems - are not prioritized. The emergence of passive protection is one factor behind the expansion of the show’s Fire and Rescue section" “We need to have more transparency on how passive fire assets are managed and checked building to building. This can be achieved through the use of digital platforms,” he said. Digital ‘passive’ fire protection is also high on the agenda for Intersec, which will run at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 19-21 January. Intersec’s Growing Sections “The emergence of passive protection is one factor behind the expansion of the show’s Fire and Rescue section, which is now one of Intersec’s fastest growing sections with more than 450 exhibitors and includes industry leaders such as NAFFCO, Honeywell, Komtes, Hochiki, Draeger, ATEIS, and Thomas Bell-Wright International,” explained Rex. “Additionally, the show will feature a Safety Design in Buildings Pavilion dedicated to Fire Safety in the building materials industry.” The next SDiB conference will run in Abu Dhabi on December 12th.
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.”
Since its official completion in April 2015, One West Regent Street has attracted a number of office and restaurant occupiers. The first significant Grade A office building to be constructed in Glasgow’s city center for more than five years, it was developed by Clearbell, together with M&G Real Estate, and comprises 143,000 square foot of office and retail space over eleven levels, providing a welcome boost to the city’s commercial property market Engineering firm Weir Group PLC, media organization Global and professional services company Arup took the first occupation of four office floors and the restaurant and café chain Giraffe, has also completed its fit out and is the first retail and leisure operator to occupy the development. Fire detection & alarm system The building was on a very tight site in the middle of the city center with limited access points and no storage for materials" Although One West Regent Street was considered a conventional build by construction experts, the development site is located in the central core of Glasgow, right next to the Buchanan Street shopping area, which proved to be a major challenge in terms of access. Fire Protection Group (FPG), who were responsible for the design, commission and installation of the site’s fire detection and alarm (FD&A) solution said that there were a number of practicalities that had to be overcome when the system was fitted. Stuart Scott, Regional Director, Scotland for FPG said: “The building was on a very tight site in the middle of the city center with limited access points and no storage for materials. One of the biggest challenges was that initially the main method of transporting materials up and down the stairs was via a hoist – however, the hoist was removed early on since the builder closed off the level 1 of the building upwards. Gent by Honeywell Vigilon FD&A system Stuart adds, “This meant that all materials had to be manually transported from ground level by operatives. Despite the fact that this impacted on the amount of time it took to complete the installation we still met all of the deadlines and the system is now up and performing seamlessly, in line with the client’s requirements.” The solution selected for One West Regent Street was the Gent by Honeywell Vigilon FD&A system incorporating Honeywell D1 voice alarm system. More than 600 devices were installed in total throughout the entire building, including Gent’s renowned S-Quad multi sensors and detectors complete with EN54-23 compliant visual alarm devices. S-Quad multi sensors and detectors The system was selected to protect the property and its individual businessesThe system was selected to protect the property and its individual businesses. The layout comprises of a double height reception and open plan floor plates that are virtually column free, ranging from 12,818 to 13,702 square foot. The site also includes a parking area with 40 car park spaces and 54 cycle spaces, so the detectors had to be multi use to cope with the different environments. Scott said, “The best solution for the building was a system that could provide early and accurate detection, such as the multi-sensor S-Quad technologies that Gent provides. The S-Quad devices installed are multifunctional, combining a multi-sensor, speech, sounder and visual alarm into one device – so they can also cut down on the number of overall devices in the building.” Fire safety specialist FPG has been an Elite System Integrator for more than ten years, which enables the company to supply, commission and maintain Gent by Honeywell fire systems. The company, a renowned specialist in protecting life and property from fire, is headquartered in Linlithgow, Lothian, and operates throughout the UK from its centers in London, the Midlands, the North West and Scotland The £60 million One West Regent Street development will help to provide Glasgow with a competitive advantage in attracting new businesses to the region. It is also expected to become one of the city’s greenest buildings with EPC ‘A’ and BREEAM ‘Very Good’ ratings expected to be achieved. The robust Gent FD&A solution will carry on performing seamlessly in the background protecting the existing and new occupants, and the landmark property.
St. Mary’s is a brand new student village at Bangor University, comprising nearly 900 rooms alongside a range of cutting edge facilities. HESIS Fire & Security used technology from Gent by Honeywell across the site to ensure that it has the very best fire detection solution in place. Situated next to the Menai Straits at the foot of the Snowdonia National Park in north Wales, Bangor University has a long tradition of academic excellence. With over 12,000 students and 2,000 members of staff, Bangor University is made up of five colleges housing 22 academic schools, as well as over 50 specialist research centers. As part of its ongoing development program, it aims to provide students with the very best places to live and work and the St. Mary’s student village is the latest addition to its accommodation portfolio. Gent fire detection system Liverpool based HESIS Fire & Security was selected to carry out the fire detection system based work With 10 individual buildings including en-suite studio apartments and townhouses with nearly 900 rooms, St. Mary’s also has a café bar, shop, laundrette, common rooms, and sports and fitness facilities on-site. With a strict deadline for completion, the mechanical and electrical contractor on the St. Mary’s project needed to work with a life safety specialist that could deliver a quality installation on time using state-of-the-art technology. Liverpool based HESIS Fire & Security was selected to carry out the fire detection system based work and the company’s Account Manager, Rob Beck, said “We were delighted to be awarded this prestigious project and knew that we could exceed Bangor University’s stated requirements. We have worked closely with Gent for the last five years and we were recently awarded Gent Technology Centre status, demonstrating our resource and capability to design, supply, and commission and service the company’s fire detection and alarm systems to the very highest standards.” Networked Vigilon control panels The solution specified by HESIS Fire & Security is based around Gent’s industry leading Vigilon system. Vigilon combines powerful software in the control panel and intelligent loop powered devices to deliver a flexible, easy to use system. Its modular concept makes systems simple to design for any building and algorithms are used to match the pattern of activity in the sensor with data from test results stored in the panel memory. St. Mary’s utilizes nine networked Vigilon control panels with 10 repeater panels across the site. In addition, over 1,800 devices, including sounders and beacons (VADs) are installed, which signal back to the main security office at Bangor University. Uniquely, the detector heads have been programmed so that instructions are given in Welsh first and then English. Gent S-Quad S4-711 Dual Optical Heat Detector HESIS Fire & Security decided that the Gent S-Quad S4-711 Dual Optical Heat Detector would offer the best level of reliability and prevention of unwanted alarms. Martyn Keenan, Business Manager (North West) at Gent, explains, “S-Quad was the first intelligent loop powered multifunctional device to include a sensor, sounder, speech and visual alarm, and its extensively patented technology has an unrivalled ability to prevent unwanted alarms.” Incorporating four separate sensing elements – heat, carbon monoxide, and dual angle optical forward and backward scatter, the fully EN 54-23 and EN 54-3 compliant S-Quad combines local processing in the sensor and the panel to achieve an immediate response to genuine fires. Visual alarm devices To provide an additional level of safety, visual alarm devices (VADs) were also installed Asked why these were considered the most suitable option for the accommodation areas, Rob Beck replies, “Students are renowned for having very sociable and busy lifestyles, and it’s not uncommon for fire alarms to be activated by mistake as a result of bread being left too long in a toaster, or pans burning on the cooker hob or even steam from the integrated shower rooms. Therefore, in the event of something like this happening the S-Quad dual angle optical multi-sensors allow identification of the particle source, filtering potential unwanted alarms due to steam and dust etc.” The Equality Act makes it the responsibility of all organizations to ensure that access to buildings and services is available to everyone, regardless of any physical disabilities. Therefore, in order to meet this obligation and to provide an additional level of safety, visual alarm devices (VADs) were also installed to offer an appropriate signal by emitting a bright red or white light. Due to a number of delays caused elsewhere during the project, HESIS Fire & Security had to complete the installation and commissioning program in a considerably reduced time scale. Beck comments, “It was tough and there was a lot of pressure on us to meet the handover.” Flexible and versatile fire safety equipment He adds, “However, as well as a lot of long days, our mission was successful thanks to the ease of use, flexibility and versatility of the Gent equipment. This ensured that the commissioning process in particular was very smooth.” For Ken Griffith, Head of Residences and Head Warden at Bangor University, the installation of the new fire detection system has been a resounding success. Ken concludes, “St. Mary’s represents the very best in student accommodation and will enhance the reputation for excellence that we have developed over the years. Student safety is a vital part of our day to day activities and I’m convinced that we now have the very best technology in place to prevent the potentially devastating consequences of fire and smoke.”
The mechanical and electrical work has begun on the prestigious O2 Arena Development on London’s Greenwich peninsula, part of a £121m scheme which will see the development of a new InterContinental hotel, residential apartments building and conference center facilities. Balfour Beatty, the construction firm behind the Greenwich development, broke ground in a ceremony last month marking the start of works to regenerate the 7.6 acre site. The centerpiece of the development will be ‘The InterContinental London The O2’, a 19-storey, 452-room five-star hotel containing a massive 4,800 square meters of space for conferences and events. The development will also include The Peninsula Tower, a 23-storey building offering 100 serviced apartments with views across the Thames and South London. HESIS collaborates with HE Simm HESIS has worked alongside building services specialist, HE Simm for a project in November 2013 HESIS, a company that specializes in the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance for Mechanical & Electrical and Fire and Security across the UK, won the contract to provide the fire and security systems across the entire site. HESIS has worked alongside building services specialist HE Simm, when they became involved in the project in November 2013. Barry Juggins, Managing Director, HESIS said, “We became involved in the initial stages when HE Simm was bidding for the scheme. Since then, we have worked very closely with them and offered a proactive approach to the design which was seen as a huge positive, particularly in a scheme of this size. This is one of the largest installations we have undertaken and we are delighted to be working on such a prestigious project.” Gent Fire Detection and Alarm solution (FD&A) HESIS has selected a Gent by Honeywell fire detection and alarm (FD&A) solution to be installed throughout the three buildings. The company is part of the Gent 24 Network and was recently awarded Elite System Integrator status. This achievement means Hesis has been recognized as supplying, designing, installing and commissioning Gent equipment to the highest standards. Barry Juggins said, “The whole development is Gent throughout, with more than 2,000 devices being installed across the three buildings. The system was selected to meet the customer’s exacting brief – they are aiming to create the ultimate five star hotel and part of this experience will be ensuring that the guests are protected by the market leading technology.” Fully integrated Fire and Detection system The specific FD&A solution incorporates a fully integrated system that includes loop Vigilon panels and Gent’s innovative S-Quad sensing technology. The S-Quad range of multifunction devices includes sensors with sounder, speech and EN54-23 certified visual alarms. This allows the maximum flexibility for designers providing cover for a building. The advanced sensing technology is enhanced with a device that can alert building occupants with a highly visible visual alarm and a recorded voice message to ensure all occupants are alerted to an emergency. Barry Juggins continued, “There will be S-Quad devices with speech throughout the hotel and apartments, with a full Gent PA/VA system in the Conference Centre. We have opted for dual optical and heat detection in the bedrooms to avoid unnecessary false alarms, due to the particular environmental conditions. Gent Air Sampling detection (ASD) systems We will also be utilizing the Gent Air Sampling detection systems in the voids above the conference centre and the fixed ceilings" He adds, “We will also be utilizing the Gent Air Sampling Detection (ASD) systems in the voids above the conference center and the fixed ceilings, as they will provide the earliest detection and will be much easier to maintain in the future. We’re confident that the elements of speech messaging and reduction in false alarms will undoubtedly add to the quality feel and customer experience.” The hotel has been designed to be sustainable to BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standards and has been built on land reclaimed from previously polluted soil and will have the latest sustainable features such as ‘green’ roofs and surrounds to harvest water to reduce demand on the mains supply. Innovative building technologies Construction for the project will be carried out in just two years, helped by the innovative building techniques, and the installation for the FD&A system is due to is completed at the end of this year. Barry Juggins concluded, “The scheme has been fairly straight forward, the main challenge is the fact that it is three separate builds, the hotel, conference center and apartments, all running concurrently and completing at the same time. The hotel is set to open in the summer 2015 and visitors, residents and employees will be safe in the knowledge that they are being given the ultimate form of protection by the most robust Gent FD&A solution.”
Chief Fire Officer Mick Crennell and a GAFSIP team have delivered three fire engines and other equipment and uniform to the Gambian Fire Service. As part of the Gambia and Avon Fire Services in Partnership (GAFSIP), the service has been helping to enhance the capabilities of the Gambian fire service for nearly 30 years by providing lifesaving equipment, capability and training. Fire engines and breathing apparatus Avon Fire & Rescue Service has donated three fire engines along with breathing apparatus equipment In the latest donation, Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) has donated three fire engines along with breathing apparatus equipment and other equipment to firefighters in the region. CFO Mick Crennell also visited various stations on his visit to the region and held meetings with Gambia’s Chief about how to continue to enhance the relationship. While on his visit, Mick expressed and confirmed the Service's commitment to continue to support and grow the relationship for the mutual benefit of both services. Gambia and Avon Fire Services Mick said, “As a Fire Authority and a Service, we are honored and privileged to be able to have this partnership with the Gambian Fire and Rescue Service and we will continue to support its development. We have seen the level of support grow, and what’s more, we have seen the level of the professionalism of the fire service in the Gambia grow throughout our partnership“. He adds, “We have seen what a difference our equipment and training makes and the lives it has helped save. We are looking forward to the future because this partnership will only continue to get stronger and those in the region will be safer as a result. As an ambitious Service, not only will we help those in our own communities, but also help others where we can. Anyone in the fire service is part of the international family and we will do what we can to help.” Fire equipment and safety training We have never thought that we will reach that place and save lives across the country" CFO Mick Crennell was joined on the visit by Watch Manager and GAFSIP Trustee Paul Kirk, Firefighter Ben Coghlan, Firefighter Rob Morgan, Firefighter Pete Ballard and Watch Manager Steve McGreavy. The Deputy Chief Fire Officer of The Gambia Fire Rescue Service, Lamin Sanyang expressed gratitude on behalf of the service for the assistance stating that the partnership is strong and continues to grow. Lamin said, “We receive training manuals, practical training, and equipment. It is because of this partnership that we were able to get fully equipped fire engines as we cannot buy it ourselves. We are very proud of them. With this donation, we will operate as far as Wuli in the Upper River Region. We have never thought that we will reach that place and save lives across the country.” Fully equipped fire engines delivered The presentation ceremony took place at the State House in Banjul in the presence of the President of Gambia, the UK High Commissioner to The Gambia, H.E. Sharon Wardle, and other senior government officials, including the Deputy Chief Fire Officer of The Gambian Fire Service, Lamin Sanyang.
Kentec’s Vizulinx alarm management unit is providing a sophisticated, flexible and cost-efficient solution for a private residential property in Henley-on-Thames. The unit, installed by DPJ Fire and Security, was chosen because the property owners required a monitoring service that would alert the housekeeper and security team of any faults or alarms rather than a traditional monitoring service provided by an alarm receiving centre. Addressable Fire And Intruder Alarm System DPJ Fire and Security had designed, commissioned, supplied and installed a new addressable fire and intruder alarm system when the property was extensively refurbished, and turned to Kentec’s Vizulinx alarm management solution to solve the monitoring challenge. Steve Bidmead, Director of Projects at DPJ Fire and Security explains that with no ongoing service charges, Vizulinx was the ideal choice for the homeowner: “The Vizulinx unit has the ability to monitor up to 16 inputs that can be configured independently to one another to send alarm, alert, fault, disabled, test, technical alarm and security messages to mobile phones, pagers and email addresses via SMS or internet connection.” Convenience And Flexibility Steve also describes how it provides the utmost in convenience and flexibility: “The unit was installed in under a day using a built-in web server page. It is very versatile and can be configured to monitor any system that can provide a fault-free contact. Future plans include having the unit monitor the water and heating systems.” Brett Boyd, UK Business Development Manager, London and the South East at Kentec, says the Vizulinx is extremely user friendly and the speed of communication is especially useful: “Since all events are sent immediately, users can reduce the number of false alarms by investigating the cause of the alarm before it is escalated, preventing any unnecessary disruption.”
Peterborough firefighters were buzzing to help a local project to enhance the environment for bees. Last week on Monday the firefighters from Green Watch at Dogsthorpe Fire Station attended an environmental initiative called Jimmy’s Bee’s at the newly built Connect Park in Millfield, Peterborough. Building Relationships With Local Residents The crew joined volunteers from the community to dig the grass up, sew and plant wildflower seeds in order to create a fantastic haven for bees. The project was commissioned by Channel 4 due to the third of Britain’s bee species declining since 1980. Planting the wildflower seeds allows bees and other insects to pollinate. Station Commander Matt Murdoch, the officer in charge of Dogsthorpe Fire Station, said: “A key part of being a firefighter is to be an active part of the local community. This allows us to ensure we are reaching the most vulnerable people to help keep them safe. Projects like this are a great way for our crews to pitch in and help the community, as well as make useful links and build relationships with local residents.”