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

By Dr Chris Iddon CEng MCIBSE – Natural Ventilation Design Manager with SE Controls

For centuries, windows have been the preferred and sometimes the only means of ventilating buildings to ensure that carbon dioxide, temperatures and pollutants can be vented and replenished by fresh air.

They remain an important part of the ventilation solution as windows can provide greater air flow rates and the capacity for purge ventilation required by Building Regulations ADF (for example to vent odours caused by spillages) and also the greater flow rates required for cooling during the warmer summer months, both during the day and as part of a night purge strategy.

Ensuring openable windows comply with Building regulations

Nevertheless, designers should be aware that any window upgrade undertaken as part of a building refurbishment or repurposing project that incorporates the replacement of high-level openable windows, must comply with Building Regulations Part K (Part N in Wales). They stipulate that window opening controls must be accessible and located no more than 1900mm above floor level (AFL) or 1700mm AFL, if obstructed.

Consequently, ordinary window handles on such high level vents do not meet building control requirements and alternative opening control methods should be considered. The regulations clearly specify that if the window controls cannot comply, then an alternative remote electrical or safe manual solution should be provided.

At SE Controls, we provide a range of solutions for the operation of high level windows; using push button operated electrical actuators, either stand-alone or linked to automatic indoor air quality monitors, such as our NVLogiQ system, or via a manual winding mechanism. We can also provide assistance to help designers specify the most appropriate solution.

Whatever method is used, windows still provide a simple, effective and economic route to air quality and temperature management, whilst allowing the all important ability for them to be controlled by building’s occupants.

Ventilation is not just about ensuring that fresh air can enter a building, but enabling contaminants to be removed, or at least diluted, to improve overall air quality. Although there are numerous methods of improving air quality, just opening a window is one of the easiest and most accessible, but it must be compliant.

For more information please visit www.secontrols.com.

An Advanced, intelligent fire system with touchscreen repeaters, internet control and backwards compatibility, has been chosen to protect Ringmer Community College in East Sussex.

Originally opened in 1958, Ringmer Community College is a leading secondary school Academy with specialisms in technology and the arts. The college also has a Sixth Form that boasts excellent engineering and media facilities.

The specification and installation of the new fire system was undertaken by Pyrotec Fire Detection, long-time partner of Advanced. The completed network includes Advanced’s TouchControl remote control terminal/repeater panels which feature Active Maps and zone plans, networked with an eight-loop MxPro 5 panel and a two-loop MxPro 4 panel with an IP Gateway for control and monitoring via the internet.

The use of Advanced’s updated EN54-2, 4 & 13 approved MxPro 5 panel, with its older MxPro 4 sister and its latest product, TouchControl and internet control, on the same network demonstrates the backward compatibility and interoperability built into Advanced’s product range.

The Principal at Ringmer Community College, Kathryn Stonier, said “Safety of our staff and students is the utmost priority and the Advanced system ticks all the boxes in that department. We needed a system that could work seamlessly right across the site and we’re very pleased with the performance of the Advanced products and the new TouchControl panel. We’re also impressed by the ability to update and expand the system in the future without the need for a full replacement.”

Mark Mathers, spokesperson for Pyrotec Fire Detection, added “We needed a system that not only covers the main building, but also the outlying buildings and the swimming pool. We install Advanced panels in ninety eight percent of our projects, mainly due to their ease of installation, configuration and commissioning and they were the obvious choice. The spare loop capacity also allows for future upgrades and the potential addition of new buildings.”

TouchControl is a fully functional remote terminal and repeater and 10 HD inch touch device that delivers new features including integrated graphics, called Active Maps that are easily added to the system from almost any drawing, even google maps.

TouchControl’s unique interface offers fire panel and network control and reporting right down to individual device level and allows users to immediately identify zones and devices in fire, fault, disablement and test using dynamic colour-coded status buttons. The TouchControl panel is available across most of Advanced’s analogue addressable fire systems.

Robin Kemp, Advanced Sales Manager for the South, commented: “We spend a lot of our development time ensuring we deliver the right products for installers and end users, especially in terms of long term cost of ownership and each of installation and use.”

MxPro offers customers a choice of two panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network, backed up by free training and support. MxPro panels can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, multi-loop panels in 200 node networks covering huge areas. MxPro’s legendary ease of installation and configuration and wide peripheral range make it customisable to almost any application.

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.

Kidde Safety makes sense of the complicated new requirements for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in private rented housing.

New Regulations apply to all private rented premises in England occupied on or after 1st October last year. They call for a smoke alarm on each floor and a CO alarm in any habitable room with a solid fuel appliance. The landlord must check that alarms work at the start of each tenancy and replace any that do not, highlighting the need for long-term reliability.

The new Regulations do not specify the type, location or power-source of smoke alarms. However, these aspects are covered in the Code of Practice BS 5839-6:2013. For most existing – as well as new – houses up to 3 storeys and individual flats, the Code recommends smoke alarms in any areas where fires might start, such as living rooms, heat alarms in all kitchens and smoke alarms in all escape routes.

Hard-wired Alarms

The Code also recommends Grade D hard-wired, interconnected smoke and heat alarms with back-up power, excluding Grade F battery-only alarms from all rented homes. This is already a legal requirement for rented properties in Scotland. With hard-wired alarms, there is a growing interest in energy saving and Firex smoke and heat alarms from Kidde offer substantially lower, maximum mains energy consumption of less than 15mA – in the order of just 3.5W. This is less than many household items left on standby and represents a 70% energy saving over previous models.

Another Firex innovation is the introduction of long-life lithium battery back-up options for all three sensing technologies. This offers back-up throughout the whole alarm life at a much lower price than rechargeable products, enabling landlords and their agents to meet legal requirements for working alarms at the start of every tenancy and avoiding low-battery warnings.

Carbon Monoxide

The same requirement for a working alarm at the start of every tenancy applies to CO alarms as well under the new Regulations for England. But these only require a CO alarm with solid fuel heating appliances. In contrast, the latest rules for rented properties in Scotland require a CO alarm wherever there is a combustion appliance, including in inter-connected spaces such as integral garages. Appliances include a boiler, fire, heater or stove – whether using gas, oil, wood or other fuels – although, unfortunately, it does not cover fittings used solely for cooking, despite recent deaths from misused gas cookers. A CO alarm is also needed where a flue passes through a bedroom or main living room.

For peace of mind, all Kidde CO alarms are BSi Kitemarked and comply with the latest edition of BS EN 50291:2010. Kidde also manufactures its own sensors, allowing tighter quality controls to be applied. They use safer, environmentally friendly de-ionised water rather than acid-based electrolytes as well. Kidde’s self-contained 10LLCO and 10LLDCO carbon monoxide alarms enjoy a full 10-year guarantee covering both the alarm and sealed-in lithium battery, helping landlords meet their obligations, cost-effectively over the longer term.

Smart Interconnect

Alternatively, Kidde’s 4MCO and 4MDCO hard-wired CO alarms can not only be interlinked with each other but also Firex hard-wired smoke and heat alarms, using Kidde’s unique ‘Smart Interconnect’ feature. Importantly, all the hard-wired alarms have different, distinct alarm sounder patterns for carbon monoxide and fire, supported by different display messages on the 4MDCO model. So, without the need for any further operation of the system, Smart Interconnect automatically alerts occupants of the specific hazard, allowing them to make the right choice for either fire or carbon monoxide.

For more information, call: 01753 766392, email: sales@kiddesafety.co.uk or visit: www.kiddesafetyeurope.co.uk.

The Fire Industry Association estimates that false alarms are costing the UK taxpayer in excess of one billion pounds every year.

As well as this financial burden, high levels of unnecessary alerts also have other negative consequences for both fire services and businesses.

A recent Government report suggested the average response time to non-domestic building fires in England and Wales in 2014-15 was 8 minutes 28 seconds, an increase of 21 seconds from the previous year.

Not only do false alarms distract fire and rescue teams from attending genuine incidents, they can also cost businesses significant amounts of money from lost worker productivity and, in some cases, fines.

There are a number of simple actions that organisations can take to reduce false alarms in their premises.

According to Government figures, nearly two thirds of false alarms are due to apparatus issues. In England and Wales alone, faulty equipment accounted for more than 141,000 incidents in 2015. In most cases, this is due to improper maintenance or installation, as even the most high-spec fire safety equipment can malfunction if neglected or fitted incorrectly.

By choosing a reputable installer to fit intelligent, high integrity systems, building owners and managers can help minimise any potential issues from the moment of installation.

During the lifecycle of the fire safety system, regular inspections and servicing of equipment must be undertaken and recorded in a logbook according to recommendation BS 5839. By doing this, building owners and managers can accurately build up a pattern of false alarms, as well as stay on top of the required maintenance processes, ensuring compliance.

By taking simple steps to confront the issue of false alarms, building managers and owners can help increase occupant safety and avoid the legal and financial ramifications.

For more information, including a free-to-download white paper on the subject, visit www.hochikieurope.com.

ExGo suppression control panels from Advanced have been installed in a £20m, state-of-the-art data and high performance computing centre at the University of Cambridge that is working on some of the globe’s greatest challenges.

Situated on the West Cambridge site of the University of Cambridge, the building is the new home for high performance computing, centralised data storage and also business operations, teaching, learning and research. The High Performance Computing Centre is working on data from two of mankind’s greatest and data heavy science projects, the Large Hadron Collider and BRIDGE Genome Project.

ExGo, Advanced’s ultra-dependable extinguishant release system, was configured and installed by Advanced customer Advanced Fire Solutions Ltd. The suppression control system installed in the building comprises four ExGo panels with mode select key switch assemblies.

Jonathan Bacon, Managing Director of Advanced Fire Solutions Ltd, said: “We selected ExGo because the installation required a suppression system that could deliver reassurance and long-term reliability for this crucial building. We have an established partnership with Advanced and we knew that the equipment would be of the highest quality. The system also offers the flexibility and expandability to meet all future requirements.”

ExGo has been developed specifically for sensitive and strategic assets such as server rooms, historic and cultural attractions and control rooms. It has been installed in high-profile buildings across the globe, including the Magna Carta vault at Lincoln Castle, Romanian National Library and strategic oil pipelines in Sudan.

Ian Tasker, Manager of the West Cambridge Data Centre, added “The West Cambridge Data Centre reflects the University’s commitment to excellence in the provision of information services to research, students and staff”

ExGo is suitable for almost all single-flooding area applications and includes a range of control options and devices. It is approved to EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 and EN12094-1 and is among the first systems to combine these with EN12094 Part 3 in a single solution. EN12094-3 relates to the integrated manual release on the front of the panel. ExGo can be integrated into Advanced’s Axis and MxPro fire panels, or any third party fire system.

Robin Kemp, Advanced sales manager for the South East region, commented: “The West Cambridge Data Centre is a strategically vital part of the University of Cambridge’s infrastructure and essential to its operations and those of its many international stakeholders. We are delighted to be part of it.”

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.

Wireless communications for Commercial Installations with ‘self-healing’ functions delivering unparalleled communications reliability.

Swindon, Wiltshire 1st February 2016: STANLEY Security today announced the launch of the next generation of wireless security designed to reduce false alarms in residential and commercial environments. The new wireless technology, RicochetR Mesh, delivers more performance than any other wireless security system.

Quick and easy to install STANLEY’s wireless intruder system is an economical and reliable option ideal for homes and businesses. Each RicochetR enabled device provides signalling routes to and from STANLEY Control Panels. Should the wireless connection between two devices weaken, the network will ‘self-heal’ and automatically re-route communications via alternative Ricochet enabled devices delivering unparalleled communications reliability.

STANLEY’s wireless intruder detection products enabled with RicochetR are truly scalable, with multiple wireless networks running side-by-side capturing hundreds of wireless devices.

“We are very excited to introduce this innovative intruder detection system with its breakthrough capabilities with RicochetR Mesh Technology ideally suited for today’s security environments” said Rodney Foot, Product Manager of STANLEY Security. “54% of UK business’ premises are not adequately protected from breaches in security. For the price of a coffee a day you can have round the clock peace of mind including monitoring from our Alarm Response Centre.

“This introduction of our wireless intruder detection portfolio strengthens our position as the leading provider of intruder solutions by providing customers with a truly unique portfolio of high-performance indoor motion detectors that satisfy the demands of virtually any installation, from the most basic residential to the most complex commercial application. All sensors have a sleek, modern look to meet evolving needs and styles, and contain selectable features that let installers use the same models in a variety of different applications – reducing the need to stock multiple units. Another positive, for those premises that require a greater level of security, this platform also supports Grade 3 wired detection.”

STANLEY’s latest generation of motion sensors using RicochetR Mesh Technology provides reliable protection. The user interface is reassuringly simple, the operation intuitive. Communications are secure, responsive and data security maintained.

The wireless range completes STANLEY Security’s intruder detection family. For further information on the Ricochet detection range please visit www.stanleysecurity.co.uk/solutions/intruder-detection/intruder-alarms.

To provide optimal safety to those working at height, Kee Safety, a global supplier of fall protection equipment, has launched KeeGuard® Ladder Kit, a permanently fixed guardrail system that is used in conjunction with safety ladders and self-closing gates.

KeeGuard® Ladder Kit has been designed to provide a working at height safety solution that complies with EN 14122-4. This standard recommends that ‘to prevent falling through the access opening at arrival areas, the opening shall be provided with a gate.’ It also states that at drop edges of arrival areas, ‘a guardrail should be provided at least 1.5m either side of the ladder.’

To ensure it complies with the standard, KeeGuard® Ladder Kit is a ‘retro-fit’ guardrail solution that fits to existing fixed ladder or cat ladders, providing 1.5m guardrailing on both sides of the ladder. Quick and easy to install, it simply clamps on to the existing fixed ladder, forming a continual link from the guardrail to the stringer. The kit’s unique fitting can clamp around a flat or tubular stringer up to 75mm in width/diameter and does not need to be mechanically fixed to the roofing membrane or building’s structure.

“Awareness of the dangers of working at height has increased in the past few years, with legislations such as the Work at Height Regulations of 2005 coming into play” explains John Ingram, Group Product Manager – Fall Protection at Kee Safety. “Great steps have been made to ensure the safety of workers undertaking work at height, and we believe that the introduction of this new product is another step in the right direction.”

Available in a galvanised steel finish, KeeGuard® Ladder Kit has been independently tested and complies with EN 14122-4.

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

Following in depth consultation and acoustic measuring, PEL Services has provided Celtic FC with a modernised Public Address and Voice Alarm (PA/VA) system, without disrupting the day to day activities of the stadium.

Celtic is the top football club in Scotland and its stadium, Celtic Park in Glasgow, regularly hosts big European occasions to a maximum capacity crowd of 60,000. The stadium not only hosts matches, but also daily activities in the hospitality suite. Replacing the crucial safety systems therefore had to be phased to prevent disruption, taking advantage of the limited down time between football seasons. This also allowed some efficient spreading of the capital expenditure budget implications too.

Initially PEL conducted acoustic measurements (crowd noise levels) during a capacity-crowd UCL match, using the services of Acoustics Plus (an independent acoustic consultant). It identified that crowd noise sound pressure level (SPL) can consistently reach 99dB (A) for at least 10% of the measured period and can reach 112-115dB (A) during goal celebration!

Phase one has now been completed with the existing analogue PA/VA system replaced by PEL with a Bosch Praesideo digital amplification and control system for back of house, combined with an Electro Voice (EV) Netmax system for the main stadium bowl area, all connected on a Dante network controlled from Celtic FC’s IT Department. The Equalisation (EQ) of the system was handled by two Sound Web Digital Sound Processors (DSPs). This work has already improved output quality, despite the outstanding need to address speaker types and configuration in Phase three. The new racks not only increase power and quality of signal, they are more compact, more reliable and have power-saving characteristics which will save Celtic FC considerable energy expenditure.

In the design process, looking at a layout which has grown and developed successively in recent years, PEL’s experts identified and advised the Stadium Manager on additional opportunities to enhance the visitor experience as a by-product of essential works.

Phase two is already underway, with a new match-day entertainment system being installed.

David Howell of Celtic Football Club said: “We have been delighted to work with PEL once again on a project which we feel has brought great benefits to the Club and our supporters.”

PEL Services has considerable experience in providing sound solutions for stadiums, having worked with Aston Villa FC on its Holte Stand and Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow, which played a major role in the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

For over 35 years PEL Services Limited has been a leading UK systems company designing, supplying, installing and commissioning sound, fire, security & audio visual solutions. In addition PEL provides a range of service agreements including routine maintenance and fully comprehensive cover, on third party equipment as well as PEL systems, throughout the UK and Eire.

For sales information please contact PEL Services Ltd on 0333 123 2100 or go to www.pel.co.uk and www.pelav.co.uk.

Nittan’s Evolution EV-DP Dual Wavelength Photoelectric smoke detectors have been installed into The Cliff Hotel & Spa in Cardigan, West Wales by Fire and Security Alarms Ltd. (FAS) Carmarthen.

The Cliff Hotel & Spa is a large family-owned hotel featuring 70 en-suite bedrooms, spa and gym facilities, function suite and a golf course. As part of a hotel wide refurbishment project, the existing fire alarm system has been removed and replaced with a sophisticated Nittan Evolution system featuring 260 Nittan devices, including over 200 EV-DP smoke detectors. The system runs on four loops controlled by an Advanced Electronics control panel.

Nittan Dual Wavelength Photoelectric smoke detectors were selected by installer Fire and Security Alarms Ltd. (FAS) to prevent further issues of false alarms that the hotel had been experiencing previously. The primary cause of these had been steam escaping from the en-suite bathrooms and activating the smoke alarms.

As an NSI Gold, BAFE and NICEIC approved contractor, Fire and Security Alarms Ltd. (FAS) provides both design, installation and maintenance of fire and security systems primarily in West Wales. It has a diverse customer base including nursing and residential homes, factories, shops, schools, social and domestic housing. It has built its business on the of quality of its services, providing effective fire and security solutions to customer’s requirements, including The Cliff Hotel where it identified Evolution EV-DP smoke detectors as an ideal solution to the false alarm issue.

Nittan Evolution EV-DP smoke detectors have been designed to reduce false alarms caused by non-combustion products such as steam, dust and aerosols. Unlike other industry standard (single optical sensor) smoke detectors on the market that claim to distinguish between smoke and non-combustion products, the EV-DP effectively measures the actual particle size in the chamber via its combined IR and blue LED technology. As steam and dust are much larger particles than smoke, the detector won’t false alarm.

Nittan EV-DP alarms are not just highly resistant to false alarms, but come with a number of key features and benefits, including their use of a sophisticated and highly flexible Sine Wave FSK protocol for data transfer to and from the panel. This protocol also allows for substantial amounts of information to be transmitted back to the panel at very high speeds. Furthermore, they come with a 360 degree OMNIVIEW LED indicator, permitting clear and visible indication of the sensor’s operation from any angle. Increased EMC immunity is also achieved by the inclusion of a “Bandpass Discriminator Circuit” which is built into every sensor head and loop device.

The Nittan Group has been at the forefront of the international fire protection industry since 1954 and has sales, R&D and manufacturing bases in four countries, including the UK. The company continuously innovates and strives for exceptional quality products that meet the highest of standards.

For sales information, please contact Nittan on 01483 769 555 or by email at sales@nittan.co.uk or visit the website www.nittan.co.uk.

Scaffold boards are used in their thousands on construction sites across the UK, enabling workers to operate safely at height. However, BM TRADA, part of the Exova Group, warns recent incidents have highlighted that the failure of a timber scaffold board can result in serious injury or even death and leave contractors facing prosecution and significant fines.

With failures often the result of used scaffold boards being inadequately checked after having been stored or used inappropriately, BM TRADA has launched its Q Mark Used Timber Scaffold Board Inspection Scheme, to enable certified companies to demonstrate that their inspectors are competent to determine if boards should remain in use.

While there is no legislative requirement for used timber scaffold boards to be regularly inspected, to ensure safety on site, scaffold boards should be checked and assessed on a regular basis when in use and each time they are re-issued or supplied to site. It is also important that boards which have been checked are stored separately to those that have not.

With major contractors recognising the dangers, they are starting to ask how scaffold board issuing companies can demonstrate the competency of those inspecting boards. The BM TRADA Q-Mark Used Timber Scaffold Board Inspection Scheme provides a means of verifying that inspectors are suitably qualified.

While most scaffolding companies will ensure their employees complete a scaffolders’ training course, the BM TRADA Scheme provides added confidence to contractors, since the competence of board inspectors is regularly checked by an independent third party body. This enables contractors to specify their hire with confidence and demonstrate due diligence if required.

To achieve certification under the scheme, the scaffolding company must nominate individual employees who will be covered. Each is required to demonstrate their competence to identify damage which is likely to reduce the strength of used timber scaffold boards. Every nominated inspector is required to complete scheme-specific training, pass an examination and complete a competence assessment at the company’s premises.

BM TRADA will also undertake an initial audit of the company to ensure that a documented inspection process is in place. This process must demonstrate that only approved inspectors carry out inspections, only approved boards are released for use and all rejected boards are segregated.

Companies who meet the scheme’s requirements will be issued with a certificate and certification marks to enable them to demonstrate and promote their certification. Certification is valid for two years and following this is maintained through a programme of annual surveillance audits, with a recertification audit required in the second year before the certification expires.

In addition to offering confidence to contractors, the scheme enables certified companies to demonstrate their competence and highlight their commitment to quality. This offers them a competitive advantage when tendering and can increase repeat business as contractors increasingly recognise the benefit of specifying used timber scaffold boards which are regularly inspected by third party certified competent inspectors.

For further information on the BM TRADA Q-Mark Used Timber Scaffold Board Inspection Scheme, visit www.bmtrada.com, email: sbeer@bmtrada.com; or call: 01494 569821.