Fire, Security and Safety
A fire door is an engineered safety device that is a crucial part of the passive fire protection of every commercial, public and multiple occupancy building. A fire door acts just as any other door in normal service, in a fire it takes on a critical role – to save lives and protect property. It does this by holding back the spread of fire and smoke through a building for a designated period, giving time for building occupants to escape.
A fire door is not just the door leaf. It is a complete assembly comprising: the door leaf and frame, any glazing, intumescent fire and smoke seals and ironmongery that is used on the door, such as hinges, overhead door closers, latches and locks. Fire doors can easily become damaged when they are in regular use; which may affect their performance in the unfortunate event of a fire. And just like other life safety devices, such as fire extinguishers and alarms, fire doors and final escape doors need regular, stringent inspection, maintenance or replacement to ensure that they will perform as intended in the event of a fire.
Last month I wrote a technical review of the latest Fire Safety Bill, where I outlined the specific details of how the Fire Safety Bill legislation will be implemented and enforced.
Similarly, this month we will be focusing on the latest part of the attempts to create a reformed building safety regulatory system, specifically the Government’s Draft Building Safety Bill and what this will mean for the service and maintenance of buildings.
Safety signs are everywhere: in the workplace, public spaces, and construction sites just to name a few. They act as an essential warning of any upcoming dangers that could cause potential injury or fatality. To create a safe working environment, the correct safety signs should be displayed in clear and visible positions to warn workers and visitors of any hazards and dangers. They are a critical element in a risk assessment where they serve as strong control measures to reduce the risk.
Back in April I wrote about the consultation that the Housing Minister, Robert Jenrick MP released inviting comments on the plans for the future of construction, encompassing the recommendations of the Building a Safer Future recommendations from Dame Judith Hackitt i.e. the forthcoming Building Safety Bill which has now had is second reading in the House of Commons.
The next steps for this legislation will be a review by a select committee during the autumn of this year, expecting Royal Assent next summer. The aim of the Bill is to set out ground rules for improving building safety and implementing Dame Judith’s recommendations, enabling MHCLG in the main, to implement changes without having to revert to a new Bill every time, the overall aim being to ensure that residents are safe in their homes.
More than 4.5 kilometres of ‘Versa’ fire sprinkler boxing from Encasement is being used to conceal surface mounted fire sprinkler pipework, which has been retro-fitted at four South Tyneside Council tower blocks in Hebburn and Jarrow to help protect more than 280 residents.
Even though an independent fire inspection and level four fire risk assessment declared the high-rise residential blocks to be safe, the council chose to continue with the £1.4 million automatic sprinkler installation programme as part of its commitment to tenant safety and fire protection.
Aico’s acquisition of Homelync represents a significant milestone for
social landlords looking to procure connected solutions.
Bristol-based Homelync are an award-winning, innovative technology firm that specialize in smart home integration and analytics technology. With industry-leading expertise in the Internet of Things (IoT), software development and integration, the Homelync team are at the forefront of this progressive market.
Following the Grenfell tragedy, various building regulation updates and Government initiatives attempted to resolve the flammable cladding issue by outlawing combustible materials and mandating its replacement in existing buildings with non-combustible alternatives.
The External Wall Fire Review/EWS1 process was developed as a solution to this issue via a cross-industry working group consisting of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Building Societies Association (BSA), and UK Finance. Launched in December 2019, this process was intended to provide a framework by which mortgage lenders could be assured that the risk on their loans was suitably mitigated, unblocking the logjam and allowing homeowners to sell their properties.