Tag Archives: Fire Alarms

Hochiki Europe systems partner Tees Fire Systems secures £1.5 million contract to protect University Hospital of North Tees

Specialist fire and security engineer Tees Fire Systems (TFS) Limited has just won a seven-figure contract to install a new hybrid system at the busy University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton.

TFS Limited is one of 20 companies nationwide that are part of life safety systems manufacturer Hochiki Europe’s exclusive Systems Partner Network. The accolade recognises TFS Limited as a company with extensive expertise in the life safety and security industry and affords the business use of the latest products and technologies available from Hochiki Europe.

The University Hospital of North Tees provides services to people living in East Durham, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and the surrounding areas. The hospital was founded back in 1968 and has current capacity for 563 beds across eight floors. The estate is managed by North Tees and Hartlepool Solution LLP.

As part of the contract, TFS Limited made the decision to specify products from Hochiki Europe for the project. Kevin Hynes, managing director at TFS Limited, said: “When our tender for the University Hospital contract was successful, we were praised for our technical knowledge. This is a testament to the hard work of our sales team and our status as an Hochiki Europe Systems Partner.”

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During the course of the contract, TFS Limited is providing ongoing technical support for the end user around the installed solutions. The company also holds monthly progress meetings with hospital facilities managers to keep disruption to staff and patients to a minimum.

Mark Smith, UK sales manager at Hochiki Europe, added: “Installing life safety systems in healthcare environments can be challenging due to the complex layout of the buildings and the vulnerability of some occupants. As well as keeping disruption to a minimum, it’s also important that the new installation doesn’t compromise the functionality of existing systems. Over the next two years, we’ll work closely with TFS Limited to ensure that the new fire alarm system provides the highest levels of safety from the very moment it’s installed and best protects staff, patients and the premises.”

Steven Taylor, assistant director of estates and capital for the North Tees and Hartlepool Solution LLP, which is the organisation responsible for managing the healthcare estate, concluded: “We were very impressed by the technical knowledge and significant experience demonstrated by TFS Limited when it comes to working within a busy hospital environment. TFS Limited’s approach and insight is refreshing and provides the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust with full confidence that the project will be well managed and progressed in a collaborative manner.”

Work to install the new system began in June this year and is expected to be completed by Summer 2020.

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False fire alarms “can cost economy £1 billion and stretch Fire Services” states Siemens Building Technologies

Siemens Building Technologies is warning UK businesses about the potential consequences of false fire alarms during the busiest period of the year. False alarms from remotely-monitored fire detection and fire alarm systems cost the UK economy an estimated £1 billion in business disruption* with 95% of automatically-generated alarms being proven to be false**. This places Fire and Rescue Services and the public at unnecessary risk.

“The majority of automatic fire alarm calls are proven to be false and often caused by either false fire triggers or the inadequate maintenance of alarm systems,” commented Don Scott, fire engineering consultant at Siemens Building Technologies.  “Christmas is already a time of heightened risk of fire for many businesses with the Fire and Rescue Services stretched to capacity across the country.  False alarms create further pressures when the Emergency Services have to challenge whether alarms are genuine before attending incidents – the time lost could end up costing thousands of pounds in repairs or, at worst, put lives at risk.”

Ionisation or single-sensor optical smoke detectors are a common cause of false alarm activations as they have difficulty in accurately distinguishing between airborne pollutants, such as steam, aerosols, dust, cooking fumes, insects, sparks, embers and a real fire. The incorrect siting of detectors can also be triggered if there’s excessive air movement from mechanical heating or ventilation.

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Multi-sensor detectors are responsive to more than one fire phenomena (ie smoke, heat and carbon monoxide) and are proven to be more immune to false alarm phenomena, thereby giving fewer false activations. For more stringent applications, beam detectors, heat detectors and aspirating detectors are available.

Regular maintenance programmes

A regular maintenance programme ensures the correct functioning of a fire alarm system. Inadequate servicing and testing compromise safety. If an alarm system is ageing or becoming unreliable, replacement is advised when offset against the cost of disruption to a business. Generally, detectors should be replaced every ten to 15 years, depending upon the environment in which they’re installed and the manufacturers’ recommendations.

Dave Green, national officer at the Fire Brigades Union, added: “False alarms use up resources which could be better served elsewhere. They also increase response times to actual emergencies. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Fire Services should always be called when any alarm is raised.”

Green concluded: “Fire Services are under more pressure than ever before, dealing with more incidents and more fires, but with increasingly fewer firefighters. Since 2009, there has been a 23% decrease in the number of firefighters across the UK. This huge decrease in the number of firefighters has meant that preventative work, which would help to reduce the number of false alarms, has worryingly fallen by the wayside.”

Sources
*https://www.bre.co.uk/page.jsp?id=3527
**https://www.abi.org.uk/globalassets/files/publications/public/property/2018/07/abi-fpa-detection-demonstration-report-2018.pdf

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Eaton Electrical Products becomes member of Euralarm

Euralarm has welcomed Eaton Electrical Products as its newest member. The company will join the Fire Section of Euralarm, which focuses on subjects including fire detection, notification and building evacuation in the event of a blaze.

Eaton Electrical Products will now benefit from Euralarm’s services in terms of representation in front of European institutions and standardisation organisations and the monitoring of relevant legislative and standardisation issues. The business will also have access to Euralarm’s extended network of national associations and major companies in the fire safety and security sector.

Eaton’s technologies help customers manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more reliably, efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton Electrical Products’ solutions include fire alarm devices, fire detection systems, PA and voice alarm systems as well as security systems and intruder alarms.

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Insight in European markets

One of Euralarm’s objectives is to provide an open, transparent and equal platform for Members of all sizes, including by monitoring trends in European and global markets, informing members on developments and promoting action where appropriate.

Additionally, Euralarm uses professional advocacy – when appropriate – to achieve its goals, including building close relations and constructive dialogue with related industries, associations, standardisation, testing and certification bodies and political authorities (including relevant European Commission Directorates).

Companies joining Euralarm gain expertise into ‘political’ issues impacting the industry and its markets and have an opportunity to influence the industry by having a say directly into Brussels.

Euralarm represents the fire and security Industry, providing leadership and expertise for policy makers and standards bodies. Its members make society safer and secure through systems and services for fire detection, intrusion detection, access control, video monitoring and alarm transmission.

Founded in 1970, Euralarm represents over 5,000 companies within the fire safety and security industry valued at 67 billion Euros. Members are national associations and individual companies from across Europe.

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National Security Inspectorate appoints new auditor in Northern Ireland

The National Security Inspectorate (NSI), the UK’s independent certification body specialising in the security, guarding and fire sectors, has appointed Clare McIntyre as security and fire systems auditor and lead auditor for ISO 9001 in Northern Ireland.

Having spent over 20 years in the sector within quality and operations management and system design, McIntyre brings a wealth of experience to the NSI’s expert auditing team. She previously worked for NSI approved companies, transitioning from one of the few female-nominated fire alarm designers to become a fully-integrated security and fire design engineer.

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Clare McIntyre

Having realised her passion for developing and improving standards within the industry, becoming an auditor for NSI was a natural progression in McIntyre’s career.

Richard Jenkins, the NSI’s CEO, commented: “We’re committed to recruiting auditors with practical experience, knowledge and understanding of our sector. Currently, the UK has the lowest percentage of females on the engineering register in the EU at only 7%. Therefore, Clare’s appointment may also serve to embed some change in what has, traditionally, been a male-dominated sector in the UK. ”

NSI to sponsor ‘Outstanding Security Installer/Integrator’ category at 2019 OSPAs

The NSI is proud to sponsor the ‘Outstanding Security Installer/Integrator’ category at next year’s Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs), which take place in London on 28 February.

The UK OSPAs is part of a global awards scheme currently running in eight countries and designed to recognise outstanding contributions and achievements within their respective security sectors. Following extensive research in 2014 by Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International on what constitutes outstanding performance, the OSPA categories and criteria were then standardised, providing an opportunity for countries to run their own evidence-based OSPAs, while also maintaining the ability to compete on an international level.

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Professor Martin Gill CSyP FSyI, founder of the OSPAs and director of Perpetuity Research, commented: “I’m delighted that the NSI is continuing its Installer/Integrator category sponsorship of the UK OSPAs. Since its formation nearly five decades ago, the NSI’s focus has been to raise standards in the UK security sector and those companies securing its approval, across all disciplines of security, are instrumental in helping to achieve this goal. The OSPAs provides a global stage for security excellence so it’s fitting that the NSI is a key player in these awards.”

Richard Jenkins added: “We’re committed to supporting initiatives that celebrate excellence and innovation in the UK’s security sector. The OSPAs are highly respected among the security and buyer communities for their core values and ethics. Gaining recognition with an OSPA is a significant achievement and we’re delighted to be associated with this prestigious event.”

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C-TEC highlights CAST-protocol XFP 1-2 loop addressable fire system at Security Essen 2018

C-TEC will once again be exhibiting at Security Essen in Germany. Located in Hall 6, the action-packed area dedicated to fire detection and live demonstrations, C-TEC’s Stand will feature the company’s “revolutionary” new CAST-protocol XFP 1-2 loop addressable fire system, its range of VdS-certified EN54-4 power supplies and the powerful range of 1-8 loop ZFP touchscreen-controlled addressable fire panels.

Also on display will be C-TEC’s EN54-13 conventional fire alarm system and the company’s award-winning Hush Button fire alarm solution for tower blocks, flats, apartments and other HMOs.

Charlotte Manley, C-TEC’s sales director, informed Risk Xtra: “Security Essen is always very exciting for C-TEC as the show presents us with an opportunity to focus on our third party-certified systems for international buyers. We’re looking forward to meeting long-standing customers and potential new partners as well.”

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*Security Essen 2018 runs from Tuesday 25 September to Friday 28 September. To register visit https://www.security-essen.de

Success at FIREX International 2018

C-TEC is still celebrating after yet another highly successful appearance for the company at the UBM-organised FIREX International.

The business not only exhibited at the show, but also sponsored the 5th International Tall Building Fire Safety Conference, the must-attend event for anyone involved in designing, managing fire risk or firefighting in tall buildings.

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Andy Green, C-TEC’s marketing manager, commented: “As a leading manufacturer of world-class life safety systems, we were well qualified to sponsor the Tall Building Fire Safety Conference. Delegates were also invited to a networking lunch on our stand to see live demonstrations of Hush2.”

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Euralarm publishes results of study on false alarms

Euralarm, the European association representing the electronic fire and security industry, has carried out a European study on false alarms. The results have now been issued in paperback format by specialist publisher Eric Schmidt Verlag, with the finalised document – entitled ‘False Alarm Study: False Alarm Data Collection and Analysis from Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems in Selected European Countries’ – available on Amazon.

The study on false alarms was conducted by a Task Group of Euralarm consisting of experts in the field of fire safety technologies, with Sebastian Festag (Editor of the new publication) from Heaktron serving as chairman.

The study focuses on false alarm data collection and analysis from fire detection and fire alarm systems in selected European countries.

In some European countries, the impact of budget cuts, coupled with a perceived high rate of false alarms, has realised changes in the typical reaction of fire services. In some countries, for example, verification is required before intervention forces are deployed in order to avoid unjustified costs. However, this calculation is limited to the impact of false alarms on fire services alone. It could lead to an increase in risk around life safety and inflict more cost overall to society. The study seeks to establish the true cost of false alarms from country to country.

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Evaluation basis

Through its scientific approach, the study offers a clarification of false alarms as a phenomenon. It includes a description of the processes to initiate fire service intervention and formulas to calculate false alarm ratios, as well as a methodology of the overall analysis. This allows for a precise picture of the situation in selected European countries as regards false alarms. Germany, Great Britain/England, Switzerland, Sweden and Austria/Vorarlberg are covered in the study.

The study also contains recommendations and strategies to reduce false alarms, which are based on carefully examined statistics on fires and, in particular, the number of fire alarms due to the detection of actual fires by fire alarm systems compared to the false alarm rate.

The Euralarm Task Group argues that the topic of false alarms must be increasingly integrated into fire protection and fire alarm strategies. Handling false alarms must become an active part of the management of a site. The Euralarm study gives recommendations to realise this end goal.

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Connelly Security Systems Ltd boosts market share following AFA Fire & Security Ltd acquisition

A Glasgow-based firm has “become the premier provider of security solutions in central Scotland” following the acquisition of a security alarm business.

Connelly Security Systems Ltd (CSS) has acquired AFA Fire & Security Ltd of Bathgate in a seven-figure transaction. The deal has allowed CSS to increase its market share and boost its turnover to over £9 million per annum.

Serving both the commercial and residential sectors, CSS provides a comprehensive range of products and services which allow customers to fulfil all of their security requirements with a single provider. The CSS product range includes intruder alarms, fire alarms, CCTV, retail product tagging, access control and monitoring (all of which are supported by comprehensive service and maintenance support).

Handshake

The deal, which is supported by Clydesdale Bank Cashflow Finance, has also increased CSS’ customer base to over 25,000.

Paul Connelly, managing director at CSS, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to increase both the customer base and geographic coverage of CSS through the acquisition of a quality business which the vendors have developed over the last 18 years. I was delighted to receive the continued support of Clydesdale Bank, whom we have worked with for over 30 years, which enabled the acquisition terms to be agreed quickly and completion achieved in a short timescale. It’s an important milestone in CSS’ journey and we look forward to continuing to grow the business and enhance the service we can offer to our customers.”

CSS, which launched in 1986, is based in the Possil Park area of Glasgow and the acquisition sees its headcount increase to 130.

Mark Young, director of SME Cashflow Finance at Clydesdale Bank, added: “We have developed an excellent working relationship with CSS. Its ongoing commitment to delivering the optimal customer experience at every interaction is an approach that makes the company a successful business. The business has been involved in a number of acquisitions which have been successfully integrated into the CSS operating model. This has created strong sustainable cashflow enabling this sizeable acquisition to be funded through our Cashflow Finance offering.”

David MacKay, the previous owner of AFA Fire & Security Ltd, will continue to be involved in the business in the short term to ensure a smooth transition. The acquisition will not result in any reduction in workforce.

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