Latest innovations and products in the Fire, Security and Safety sections of the construction industry.

Aico Ltd., the market leader in residential Fire and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms in the UK, has introduced a new 360° tour feature to its website www.aico.co.uk. The tours enable visitors to take a virtual walk around Aico’s Centre of Excellence and one of its Mobile Training & Demo Units.

With over 2000 visitors having crossed the threshold since it opened in 2015, the Centre of Excellence at Aico’s head office in Oswestry, Shropshire can now be viewed online at the Centre of Excellence page on Aico’s website thanks to the new 360° tour feature. ‘Virtual’ visitors can journey through the two storey, state of the art Centre, stopping to look at the range of rooms and facilities available. These include a workshop with a smoke chamber for hands on training, a mock bungalow highlighting common fire and CO risks throughout a property and various conference and meeting facilities equipped with the latest audio visual technology.

The Mobile Training & Demo Unit page on the Aico website provides a similar experience but within one of Aico’s new Units. These fully fitted vehicles feature information boards on all Aico technologies, such as RadioLINK+ and AudioLINK, and alarm ranges, with fully functional product attached. Both online tours also feature icons that you can click on to reveal interesting facts throughout the building.

The Mobile Training & Demo Units and Centre of Excellence have been created to enable Aico to deliver detailed product and alarm technology information, as well as its CPD accredited Expert Installer training.

In addition to the new 360° tours, Aico’s responsive website hosts a wealth of information and extensive selection of support tools and information including a new range of ‘how to’ videos and live chat facility. The home page provides instant clear links to the most visited pages and links to four key areas – Products, Support, Expert Installer and a Where to Buy feature.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Ei Electronics, Aico is the market leader in residential Fire and CO protection in the UK. All alarms are designed and built in Ireland specifically to meet the UK standards and regulations. With more mains powered domestic smoke alarms installed in the UK’s social housing than any other manufacturer, Aico is tried, tested and trusted.

For more information please go to www.aico.co.uk or contact Aico on 01691 664100 or enquiries@aico.co.uk.

Guernsey Fire & Rescue Service is fitting Aico Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms into islanders’ homes as part of a campaign run by the Service to ensure homes and businesses are made safe.

Guernsey Fire & Rescue Service conducts a risk assessment of every property before deciding which alarms to fit, also taking into account the occupiers. “Those considered most at risk, including the young and the elderly, may require extra protection so we will fit additional alarms in those properties” states Martin Lucas, Head of Fire Safety at Guernsey Fire & Rescue Service. “We have been running a free Smoke Alarm programme for eight years – thanks to sponsorship from prominent island companies – but decided to swap to Aico following issues with the alarms we had been fitting.

“This year we are really pleased to be able to include CO Alarms for the very first time. These will primarily be allocated to people over 65, who are known to be most at risk from CO poisoning. We’ve already seen a huge uptake of CO Alarms in the short time we have been offering them.”

A wide range of Aico alarms and accessories are now being offered free of charge by the Service including ten year Optical Smoke Alarms, CO Alarms and Alarm Kits for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing.

Aico’s RadioLINK wireless alarm interconnection technology was a feature of particular interest as Martin explains: “RadioLINK uses RF signals so we don’t have to cause any disruption to property when fitting alarms and interconnecting them together. It’s exceptionally good and is a tested and proven technology.”

AudioLINK data extraction technology on the CO Alarms is another feature that Martin considers to have added value and is encouraging landlords on the island to make good use of it. AudioLINK allows for invaluable real time data to be extracted directly from the Alarm using Aico’s free AudioLINK App which converts the data into an easy to read Alarm Status Report. It’s ideal for landlords as it can be used as part of the annual Gas Safety Checks (CP12) and property checks prior to changing over to new tenants. Landlords are also being encouraged to read Aico’s Landlord’s Guide to Smoke & CO Alarms, which has been published on the Guernsey government website.

“This is one of the many aspects we like about Aico” comments Martin. “Their products work really well and there is an ongoing development programme. We are excited about future developments.”

Guernsey Fire & Rescue Service is also keen to promote good practice when it comes to alarm installation, having hosted a large Aico Expert Installer session which trained over 50 people from the Service, electricians and electrical wholesalers. “We have never been able to bring so many people together to discuss fire safety before” states Martin. “The training day covered the full specification of Aico products and also installation and specification advice. It was so successful that we ran a further one purely for local Building Control inspectors. We would never have been able to do this without Aico. Their support has been fantastic – above and beyond anything we have experienced. I can honestly say we have never had this level of island support before.”

A wholly owned subsidiary of Ei Electronics, Aico is the market leader in residential fire and CO protection in the UK. All alarms are designed and built in Ireland specifically to meet the UK standards and regulations. With more mains powered domestic smoke alarms installed in the UK’s social housing than any other manufacturer, Aico is tried, tested and trusted.

For more information please go to www.aico.co.uk or contact Aico on 01691 664100 or enquiries@aico.co.uk.

Victaulic announces its new fire protection mobile truck tour of the UK. The truck hits the road this summer and will be traveling across the country throughout the year, stopping at handy locations to showcase Victaulic’s innovative grooved piping system solutions.

The truck is designed to help engineers, contractors and building owners discover first- hand proven solutions that are relevant to their projects and to address industry challenges. Seeing really is believing, and Victaulic is committed to helping its customers experience its products before making any purchases.

From effective pre-planning, product selection, system design to prefabrication and on-site installation, the truck addresses each element of a project. Through an interactive blend of hands-on experience, demonstrations, product displays and discussions, visitors will learn how Victaulic’s products and services can boost efficiency, drive growth and impact their bottom line.

Visitors will be able to discover an entire range of LPCB approved products from Victaulic’s recently redesigned FireLock NXT™ devices and butterfly- and check valves to the recently launched FireLock Installation-Ready™ Fittings and VicFlex™ System.

“Our UK fire protection touring truck is a great opportunity for clients and potential customers to explore the comprehensive range of Victaulic solutions in one place and discover the advantages they deliver,” said Alex Dick, Fire Protection Manager UK and Ireland at Victaulic. “Visitors can see actual examples of real live installations, view and have a go at installing Victaulic’s latest innovations. Local representatives will be on hand to demonstrate, answer questions, and give out information to help customers make the very best use of what Victaulic has to offer.”

Those wanting information on truck stops or wishing to book a visit should call Victaulic on 01438 310690 or visit www.victaulic.com.

Global fire systems leader Advanced has appointed Etienne Ricoux as its new Head of Sales.

Previously Advanced’s Regional Sales Manager for Europe, Etienne will now oversee sales across all of Advanced’s territories outside North America.

Commenting on the appointment, Advanced’s Managing Director Ray Hope said: “I’m delighted to announce Etienne’s appointment. We interviewed some very strong candidates both internally and externally, but Etienne’s experience and success in export across different fire sectors, as well as other high value industries, was one of the deciding factors.”

Etienne added: “I’m delighted and very proud to become Head of Sales. Advanced is a great company with a superb team that is driving growth across international markets. Our strategy is well defined and I look forward to developing existing and new regional partnerships.”

For more information please visit uk.advancedco.com.

Kee Safety, a leading global supplier of safety railing systems, has adjusted the design of its Kee Gate range to satisfy the requirements of BS EN ISO 14122-3:2016 Safety of Machinery – Permanent means of access to machinery – Part 3: Stairs, Stepladders and guard-rails. The new Kee Gate range retains the key elements of the existing safety gates, but has been modified to meet the BSI Standard.

Released in 2016, the revised standard defines the requirements for safe access to machines. It applies to both stationary and mobile machinery where a fixed means of access is necessary. The standard specifies that when the height of a fall could exceed 500mm, a guardrail should be installed, and the chosen system needs to meet several dimensional requirements. It also notes that a self-closing gate should be used.

The revised standard states that the gap between both railings and the floor must not exceed 500mm. To remain compliant with this standard, Kee Safety has had to modify the design of its safety gates.

The Kee Gate design now features a larger D bend, which closes the gap between the bottom rail of the gate and floor, whilst still allowing full width adjustability along with a new mid rail which closes the gap between the top of the gate and the mid rail. The new gate is 668mm high, its mid rail is positioned 467mm from the top rail and a lower bottom rail is positioned 433mm from the floor. These modifications ensure that the Kee Gate range is compliant with the revised BSI standard.

Designed to work both internally and externally, on ladder and stair access points, roof hatches, walkways and roof tops, Kee Gate, ensures maintenance, inspection and warehouse staff can fulfil their job, follow best practices and comply with current safety standards, without putting their safety at risk. Kee Gate safety gates are spring loaded so can automatically close behind the user, providing an added level of security and overcoming the potential for human error. This type of system is the preferred solution to chains, bars or sliding tubes, as these traditional forms of protection can lead to a hazardous void, when used incorrectly.

The Kee Gate range is available in galvanised steel and if required can be powder coated in safety yellow. It is available with standard ‘U’ bolts for fixing to uprights of 33.7, 42.4 and 48.3 mm diameter, enabling the gate to be fixed quickly to existing support structures, posts or stringers. An additional fixing pack is provided which allows the gate to be fixed to square, flat or angle uprights. Kee Gate is 1 metre wide and is designed to be trimmed on-site, saving companies the time and money it takes to fabricate their own gates.

As well as being compliant to BS EN ISO 14122-3:2016, Kee Gate also complies with the requirements of EN 13374 Class A, and is CE marked to EN 1090. The system has undergone extensive testing to ensure total reliability of the gates. These include salt spray testing to ASTM B117-11 Neutral solutions over 200 hours to assess the coating’s corrosion resistance, life cycle testing to BS 6375-2:2009 Clause 6.5 – Opening and closing of Gate through 90 degrees 50,000 cycles and Abuse Testing where 9 x 25kg weights were suspended from the gate to test what happens if pressure is applied. This ensures durability, superior corrosion resistance and defence against signs of wear.

For more information, visit www.keesafety.co.uk.

Sheffield City Council has completed a programme to upgrade its fire safety throughout its 1,134 sheltered housing properties using Aico’s Multi-Sensor Fire Alarm for an enhanced level of safety; this will enable residents to live safely in their homes for many years to come, even should their health or mobility deteriorate. An additional 261 properties within three tower blocks will also benefit from this premium fire alarm, following a fire risk assessment and advice from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

A long standing Aico customer, Sheffield City Council is committed to providing tenants with a high level of fire safety. This latest move to a single alarm specification – the advanced Multi-Sensor Fire Alarm – not only provides greater safety but also enables the Council to standardise its fire detection systems across its entire sheltered property portfolio, making it easier to manage and reducing the chance of renewal using the wrong type of detector.

Aico’s Multi-Sensor Fire Alarm contains two sensor types, optical and heat, to constantly monitor smoke and heat levels, sending and receiving information via its intelligent detection software. This sensor information alters the alarm’s sensitivity and trigger points, automatically providing the best response to all fire types and reduces potential false alarms.

Steve Batty, Electrical Team Manager, at Sheffield City Council, explains the decision to standardise on the Multi-Sensor “The choice of detector depended on, amongst other things: the speed of response needed to provide adequate warning, the nature of the perceived fire hazards, the suitability for the environment and the need to minimise false alarms. Being a Multi-Sensor it allows for better coverage where there is more than one type of fire risk i.e. a broader spectrum of fire detection.”

“As these properties are now monitored, nuisance tripping needed to be reduced and the dust compensation feature of this model reassured us that this could be achieved over the lifespan of the unit.” The Multi-Sensor has a unique self-monitoring dust compensation mechanism incorporated into its software that monitors minute changes in dust levels, recalibrating the alarm trigger point as required. This reduces the number of false alarms and maintenance costs.

The Multi-Sensors are officially being installed to Category LD2 (medium protection) but with alarms also in the bedrooms; which in most properties actually equates to the higher LD1 category. This level of protection was carefully chosen by Sheffield City Council for their sheltered properties, and consideration was given to the guidance within the Local Government Association’s “Fire Safety in Purpose-Built Flats” publication.

This same publication, published following the Lakanal House fire, recommended two way verbal communication between residents and the monitoring station and/or warden call system prior to summoning the fire brigade. As a result, Sheffield City Council has also installed Aico’s Ei414 Fire/CO Alarm Interface, which provides a dedicated connection between Aico Alarms and Warden Call systems. The Ei414 is also used by the Council as an interface with the sprinkler system in a sheltered tower block. “Connection of the sprinkler flow switch into the Ei414 enables us to monitor both sprinklers and smoke detection activations in individual flats, dealing with activations effectively and reducing response times for the fire brigade.”

In addition, Aico’s Ei450 Alarm Control Switch is being installed for residents’ convenience. The Ei450 is wall mounted and allows residents not only to test all alarms on the system, but also silence them and locate the trigger alarm from a safe, accessible location.

All elements within the fire safety system are being interconnected wirelessly using Aico RadioLINK+ RF technology “to mitigate disturbance for residents wherever possible.”

But it’s not all about product, as Steve comments: “As part of Sheffield City Council’s initiative to improve fire safety to residents and properties, we have been working closely with Aico as well as South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue to invest in fire safety. The service we receive from Paul Cartwright (Aico Regional Specification Manager) has always been excellent. He is continuously available to advise, gives frank and trustworthy advice which is much appreciated within the industry.”

A wholly owned subsidiary of Ei Electronics, Aico is the market leader in residential fire and CO protection in the UK. All alarms are designed and built in Ireland specifically to meet the UK standards and regulations.

For more information please go to www.aico.co.uk or contact Aico on 01691 664100 or enquiries@aico.co.uk.

MSA Safety is launching its new V-TEC™ self-retracting lifeline (SRL). It is the first in the market to include an inbuilt retraction dampener which allows the user to release the cable safely via controlled retraction; this prevents potential injury to the user and damage to the main body of the unit. It also offers safe operation and a reduction in costs and downtime.

Part of the innovative and easy-to-use V-Series of safety harnesses and SRLs, in addition to the inbuilt dampener, the V-TEC also benefits from patented radial energy absorbing technology which ensures control over any force exerted on it. Together, the radial energy absorber and dampener translate the latest technology into ease of use, inspection and maintenance.

Its construction is based on an award-winning design first used in the MSA Personal Fall Limiter. A clear outer casing allows instant inspection and peace of mind, while the radial energy absorber requires no calibration or adjustment before use. A convenient carrying handle is fitted for easy transport.

“The V-TEC carves out new territory in SRL design and shows the kind of engineering innovation and user-friendly features the world has come to expect from MSA Safety fall protection,” says Alastair Hogg Director for Fall Protection Sales and Business Development, International, “our team at the Fall Protection Centre of Excellence in Devizes, Wiltshire, deserves much credit for keeping us ahead of the field.”

He adds: “The V-TEC SRL and other V-Series products have been designed for use with our Latchways® engineered lifelines to bring customers the highest specification of fall protection on the market.”

The V-TEC SRL is made using stainless steel and engineered plastics for great durability and, when necessary, its cable, energy absorber and retraction dampener can all be quickly replaced on site. A choice of galvanised or stainless cables, is available to meet the needs of different situations.

MSA Safety’s new V-TEC 6m self-retracting lifeline is now available from registered suppliers. Other lengths will be launched later this year.

For further information please contact your local MSA affiliate or visit MSAsafety.com.

An industry-leading intelligent fire system from Advanced is now protecting one of the most prominent buildings in Greece’s second city, Thessaloniki.

Founded in 1998, Cosmote is the largest mobile network operator in Greece, and the company’s complex in the centre of Thessaloniki houses its offices and data centre for the whole of northern Greece. The five-storey building has two basement levels, and all seven floors are now protected by an Advanced Axis EN fire system.

Dimitris Ioannidis, spokesperson for Zarifopoulous Security and Control Services, the company that installed the system, commented: “We have used Advanced systems on many of our installations as they are renowned for their performance, quality and ease of use. For the Cosmote Central building we needed a system that met completely with the client’s requirements, and the Advanced panel features ticked all the boxes.”

The contract for the installation was awarded to the team at Zarifopoulous, a long-term Advanced partner, who specified Axis EN panels and associated components, covering five detection loops and over 700 peripheral devices, including 620 smoke detectors.

Etienne Ricoux, Export Sales Manager for Europe, North West Africa and Latin America, said: “Advanced products enjoy a reputation for real quality, performance and ease-of-use and we protect all of manner of sites all around the world. Cosmote is the largest mobile provider in Greece and we’re proud to have an Axis EN system protecting the staff at the Thessaloniki office.”

Axis EN is Advanced’s highest performance analogue panel range, combining 1-8 loop, networkable fire panels with a complete range of wired and wireless loop devices and powerful peripherals. Axis EN is part of Advanced’s Axis range of fire systems which holds global approvals including EN54, UL864 and AS1670. It is designed to go anywhere where high quality, reliable and easy to use fire detection and control is required.

Advanced is a world leader in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease-of-use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.

More details can be found on the website at www.advancedco.com.

Damp and dark homes across the UK are having a direct impact on the levels of serious health conditions being reported, according to a new report by leading roof window manufacturer VELUX®.

This VELUX Healthy Homes Barometer highlights a clear correlation between poor housing stock and ill-health in all countries across Europe. UK residents living in dark homes are revealed to be 27% more likely to report poor health conditions including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In addition, people living in unhealthy buildings in the UK with damp are 34% more likely to be suffering from health conditions.

Across Europe, one in six households are currently living in an “unhealthy” (meaning damp or mouldy) building, increasing their chances of illness by 66%.

Developed in collaboration with Ecofys, a Navigant company, Fraunhofer IBP, and Copenhagen Economics, the VELUX Healthy Homes Barometer examines the effects of housing on the health of people living in countries across Europe, along with the associated costs to society and ways to tackle the problem.

On the back of the findings, VELUX is calling for buildings to become more energy efficient and for the UK’s housing stock to be brought up to par.

Grant Sneddon, Product Manager at VELUX-GBI said “We know instinctively that living in unhealthy surroundings is bad for our health. This study reveals to just what extent those in the UK and Europe are suffering on account of their homes; and also the staggering financial costs to society of not bringing our aging housing stock up to par.”

Europeans living in an “unhealthy” building are more than 1.5 times (66%) more likely to report poor health, and 40% more likely to suffer from asthma, as those who do not.

Meanwhile, Europeans who suffer energy poverty – meaning they are unable to keep their homes comfortably warm in winter – are twice as likely to report poor health and nearly three times more likely to report damp in the home.

The costs of unhealthy buildings are not just felt by individuals either. The overall (direct and indirect) costs to European governments and societies of just two of the many diseases associated with damp living environments – asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – reach a staggering EUR 82 billion per year.

One solution is to modernise Europe’s existing buildings through energy efficient and healthy renovations. This would not only lead to improved health outcomes, lower societal costs and reduced CO2 emissions, but would also provide a much-needed catalyst to European economies. The Healthy Homes Barometer 2017 goes on to examine the level of private capital available for renovation in EU member states – EUR 30 trillion – and what would be required to help unlock some of that total to invest in renovation.

For the first time, using data from the European Commission’s vast Eurostat Database, the analysis provides new evidence on the relationship between housing and health.

The full report can be accessed by visiting http://www.velux.com/health/healthy-homes-barometer-2017

Gradus is contributing to safety for students at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Situated in Houghton Street, Central London and originally constructed in the 1920’s, the Main Building of the London School of Economics and Political Science has recently undergone a restoration project to the North Eastern side of the building, which saw the installation of a brand new staircase.

ASXT11 stair edgings from Gradus were specified for the project to ensure the safety of the staircase, while maintaining a clean and contemporary aesthetic. XT stair edgings comprise an aluminium channel with a slip-resistant insert that extends around the leading edge of the profile to increase underfoot contact with the slip-resistant element of the stair edging. Selected with Glacier standard interior inserts, the stair edgings define the step edge by providing a suitable colour contrast with the floor covering, in line with BS 8300:2009+A1:2010 and Approved Document M of The Building Regulations 2010.

Gabija Bingelyte, Project Manager for the London School of Economics refurbishment said: “Thousands of people pass through the campus each year and, as such, the university needs to ensure a safe and inclusive environment for students, staff and visitors.

“As the market leader with 50 years’ experience in the industry, it was an easy choice to specify Gradus for the project. We chose market-leading XT stair edgings, as they complement the contemporary staircase whilst also providing a superior level of safety.”

Anthony Roberts, Product Manager for Gradus, added: “The XT range offers the ultimate solution for protection against the risk of slips, trips and falls, which are one of the main causes of injuries on stairs.

All of Gradus’ XT stair edgings are available to download as BIM objects. Gradus’ BIM objects provide up-to-date, accurate data about products providing you with the relevant technical information to build into your projects.

For further information on Gradus’ full range of XT stair edgings, or for any other queries, please call 01625 428922 or visit www.gradus.com.