Smoke control systems
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.
In my last editorial piece for Housing Association I wrote about the government’s proposed changes to the Building Regulations as they relate to fire and broadly welcomed them (the main concern is that the very sensible measures proposed for high-rise residential buildings should also be applied to their shorter cousins).
But principles are only as good as the way that they are applied, and in terms of fire protection, and of smoke protection in particular, the devil is certainly in the detail. If these systems are to work properly they have to be designed properly, installed properly and maintained properly. Sadly, this does not always happen.
Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower, the subsequent Hackitt Review into Building Regulations and the ongoing Public Inquiry, Colt are proud to establish their viewpoint on Compliance and Competence.
The word compliance appears in the Hackitt Review Final Report 46 times and competence appears 152 times - these are clearly important terms for the fire safety industry, yet a recent conference on competence from the Construction Industry Council (CIC) working groups representing specific sections of the construction industry struggled to provide a clear single interpretation of what competence really means.
Dr. Barbara Lane's recent report raised numerous questions about the overall management of the smoke control installation at Grenfell.
SE Controls has become the first company to be approved under the new SDI 19 certification scheme, which has been developed by the Smoke Control Association (SCA) in partnership with IFC Certification and has been introduced to help raise standards across the industry.
Developed to ensure a suitable level of competency is maintained in all aspects of smoke control systems, the scheme also covers a contractor’s ability to provide appropriate levels of service and maintenance following installation and commissioning, in line with a building’s type, size and use.