Tag Archives: Smoke

Fire door safety campaigners “step up first line of defence”

Through Fire Door Safety Week (FDSW), fire door safety campaigners are working to ensure public and private sector landlords and building owners stop risking the lives of tenants and ensure fire doors are correctly inspected, specified, fitted and maintained.

Fire doors are the first line of defence against devastating fires and, when properly built, installed and maintained, they save lives and protect property. Despite this, fire doors across the UK are still often badly fitted, non-compliant, left propped open or damaged and, as a result, could be putting millions of lives at stake.

The team behind FDSW 2018 (which runs from 24-30 September) is gearing up for its campaign that will continue to educate about the critical role that fire doors play in delaying the spread of smoke and fire and keeping occupants and firefighters safe.

The FDSW campaign – entitled: ‘Fire Door Five: Shutting the Door on Fire and Smoke’ – aims to draw attention to the importance of properly-fitted and accredited fire doors as well as raising awareness of the dangers of smoke inhalation and the role that correctly installed fire doors can play in preventing the spread of both fire and smoke.

Part of the activity will see campaigners explore the need to establish a Building Safety Fund to help pay for vital and potentially life-saving fire safety improvements in Local Authority and Housing Association accommodation.

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Informed decisions

Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for FDSW as well as being the British Woodworking Federation’s (BWF) head of technical research and insight, chair of the Passive Fire Protection Forum and a trustee of the Children’s Burns Trust, said: “Through Fire Door Safety Week, we will once more renew our efforts to ensure that residents, landlords and building owners across the UK are armed with the information they need to make informed decisions that will improve safety.”

Mansell continued: “There’s no doubt that, when fully-fitted with their correct and compatible components, properly installed and maintained, fire doors play a crucial role in saving lives in the event of a fire. The legacy of neglect means that more lives could be lost as a result of sub-standard fire protection measures. We know that the necessary corrective actions will cost money and that’s precisely why we are asking the Government set up a Building Safety Fund for Housing Associations and Local Authorities such that they can carry out replacement and repair works. Finance should not be used as an excuse. The stakes are too high.”

Mansell went on to state: “Tenants and the general public will, as always, play a key part and make sure their voices are heard by reporting fire doors that are propped open, damaged or in poor condition, rather than waiting for landlords or building owners to inspect fire doors. Indeed, as part of Fire Door Safety Week, we have created a Five-Step Fire Door Check to help people check their fire doors and empower them to report faults.”

Massive learning curve

Over the last year, there has been significant discussion about the responsibility of landlords, councils and Housing Associations to ensure the safety of their tenants, but according to Mansell there’s still a massive learning curve in terms of awareness about how fire doors that are correctly specified, installed, maintained and of course closed can limit the effect of fire and smoke, and what to do in the event of a fire.

“Due to this uncertainty, our focus for Fire Door Safety Week in 2018 is ‘shutting the door on fire and smoke’. We want to educate everyone on how effective fire doors can be in stopping the spread of fire and smoke.”

A national campaign, FDSW is run by the BWF, the BWF-Certifire Scheme and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme in partnership with the Home Office’s own National Fire Safety Campaign. Throughout the week, there will be numerous events and campaign activities designed to raise awareness about the importance of fire door safety.

*To access a free toolkit of fire safety advice resources to help run your own FDSW activities visit www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk

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ASFP to run free webinar on subject of passive fire protection

Passive fire protection plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of buildings and their occupants. It does this by limiting the spread of fire and smoke by containing it in a single compartment, protecting means of escape and also protecting the building structure.

On Friday 24 February at 11.00 am, Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) COO Niall Rowan presides over a free-to-attend webinar which aims to explain what you need to know when specify, installing, maintaining or inspecting passive fire protection.

The webinar will provide an introduction to passive fire protection and how it works before investigating a range of installation issues, in turn highlighting common mistakes through a useful Case Study.

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Showing that passive fire protection works when correctly specified and installed, the webinar will detail how to ensure installer competency through third party certification.

The event is due to close with an overview of the latest ASFP initiative which aims to develop a construction strategy to encourage collaborative working across the whole design and build process, with the overall aim of improving the quality of installed fire protection within the built environment.

*For further information and to register for the webinar click here

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Rossiyskie Zheleznye Dorogi employs Xtralis’ VESDA-E VLQ to protect vital compact Data Rooms

Russian Railways (Rossiyskie Zheleznye Dorogi, or RZhD) owns and operates Russia’s entire rail system, annually carrying over one billion passengers. With more than 85,000 km of track to maintain and 1.2 billion tonnes of freight shipped each year, RZhD operates the third largest rail network in the world.

RZhD has 12 main lines, many of which provide direct connections to the European and Asian national railway systems including Finland, France, Germany, Poland, China, Mongolia and North Korea.

To support its logistically complex and economically vital operation, RZhD maintains a large number of Data Rooms which vary in size but have one thing in common: the key-critical computing and switching equipment contained in each must be protected from smoke and fire.

As a result, RZhD selected VESDA by Xtralis for this important task.

Xtralis solutions currently protect approximately 50% of new metro and subway constructions worldwide. Indeed, RZhD already employs various VESDA models, from the VFT-15 addressable aspirating smoke detector to Laser Compact (VLC), Laser Focus (VLF), Laser Plus (VLP) and Laser Scanner (VLS).

These solutions protect seven larger Data Rooms on key railway lines, including Privolzhsk, Gorky, South Ural, West Siberian, Oktyabrskaya Railways, Far Eastern Railways and North-Caucasus Railways.

With a communications network modernisation, RZhD began deploying compact Data Rooms across its network. Until recently, these locations, with areas up to 12 m2, featured conventional detection. Upon the introduction of VESDA-E VLQ, RZhD immediately began a program to equip these Data Rooms with VESDA-E VLQ units.

RZhD recognised that, even if small in scale, fires within spaces housing critical infrastructure can result in substantial transportation interruptions. Common causes of fire in these environments include overheating electrical components, cables, power supplies and faulty lighting or mechanical systems.

Xtralis created VESDA-E VLQ specifically to deliver cost-effective very early warning smoke detection for compact areas like Data Rooms. A single VLQ unit can replace as many as four standard spot-type smoke detectors, protecting areas up to 100 m2.

As the RZhD network continues to grow, Xtralis expects to continue to equip the vital rail transport system with VESDA-E VLQ detection solutions.

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