Fire, Security and Safety
The new Building (Amendment) Regulations in December 2018 require stricter fire safety compliance for new, refurbished and converted residential buildings with a floor above 18 metres from the ground. Architects and developers have been adjusting to those changes, but the recent Barking balcony fires have prompted a new government publication, Advice Note on Balconies in Residential Buildings, which will have a wider impact. It applies to all existing residential buildings with multiple dwellings, irrespective of their height.
Compartmentation is a way to keep a fire contained in one place, preventing fire and smoke from spreading quickly and taking over the building. By creating these fire-resistant compartments, fire can be suppressed for around 30 minutes (time can vary depending on the building structure).
There are different elements to creating a fire safe compartment and there are many things that can reduce the effectiveness.
Hyde has recently launched an innovative fire safety framework which ensures that resident fire safety is at the heart of fire safety measures undertaken by Hyde and other users. Its ethos is accountability, competence and traceability, reflecting terms that have appeared throughout the ‘Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: Final Report’ by Dame Judith Hackitt and Government publication: ‘Building A Safer Future: An Implementation Plan.’
How one housing association has led the way with the installation of a state-of-the-art sprinkler system
Housing associations across the country are reviewing fire safety equipment and procedures post Grenfell, yet installation of new fire safety measures is not without its difficulties in high rise flats.
Minimising disruption, creating something that looks aesthetically pleasing and communicating with a diverse range of tenants all have their challenges.
One housing association in Cornwall has taken action and retrofitted a sprinkler system into the county’s only high rise block of flats, Park House. Built in the late 1960s, the 36-metre high building in St Austell is owned by Ocean Housing, and comprises 67 flats across 12 floors.
Ralph Garth, head of health and safety for Ocean Housing explains how the organisation went about a £300,000 sprinkler re-fit. He said, “Following the Grenfell enquiry and subsequent Hackitt review, it was established that Ocean Housing manages its properties well, with no significant improvements required.
Fire and safety are a constant worry for landlords and tenants, but there are some changes you could be implementing to reduce the risk of these hazards. Here, David Boultbee, Technical Consultant at Ultra LEDs tells us why LED lighting is a much safer option than other lighting solutions.
Lighting is important for any building. It improves visibility and increases home security. But some light bulbs aren’t as safe as you might think. And, with faulty wiring and electrical outlets being such a dangerous risk for homeowners and landlords, you’ll need to make sure that your lighting is as safe as possible to reduce the risk of fires and harm to occupiers. Below, I’ll be outlining just some of the ways that LEDs are a safer lighting alternative to traditional forms of lighting.
When quality doesn’t always come as standard.
As a consumer we seek confidence that the product we buy or the service we use will meet our expectations or possibly even exceed them. Needless to say, we all have differing levels of acceptance on quality, service and value.
This confidence in quality is even more important when it comes to products that are designed to keep us safe. We’ve started by exploring some of the more well-known examples of safety innovations and standards.
How getting people to belt up has saved countless lives.
The first seatbelt was invented and patented in 1885 by Edward J Claghorn, yet it took another 74 years until the first three-point belt was developed by Nils Bohlin.
The three-point seatbelt was first installed in a car, as a standard item, in 1959 by Volvo. But it wasn’t until 1970 that a country, Australia, made it a legal requirement to wear seatbelts. Other countries followed and added a substantial public broadcasting effort to change the mindset of drivers and later passengers.
Rapierstar’s specialist technical support has played a key role in helping West Port to achieve high performing fire rated door-sets, by eliminating the risk of failure during testing as a result of the incorrect choice and application of fasteners.
Rapierstar, which is the UK’s market-leading supplier of window and door fasteners, is recommending that fire door manufacturers follow West Port’s lead and not overlook the major role that these smallest of components play in a door-set’s structural integrity, durability and long term quality. West Port door-sets offer outstanding performance in either 30-minute or 60-minute options, providing installers with a trusted fire protection solution.