Chubb Protects New £450 Million University Campus

Chubb Fire & Security Limited has won a competitive tender to protect students, staff and property from fire by supplying thousands of portable fire extinguishers to Swansea University’s new £450 million Bay Campus. Chubb, a leading provider of security and fire-safety solutions, is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

The new campus, a 65-acre site on the seafront at Neath Port Talbot, includes the Great Hall, which contains a £32 million 700-seater auditorium and arts centre, halls of residence, academic faculties and a library. It was opened in September 2015 and accommodates more than 1,500 students.

In winning the tender, Chubb is providing more than 4,000 portable fire extinguishers, supported by a four-year maintenance contract. Chubb also retained the existing contract for maintaining the extinguishers at the University’s Singleton Campus.

Philip Moremon, compliance officer at Swansea University, said, “Because of the size of the new campus, it made sense to review our existing relationships and put the entire University’s fire extinguisher contract up for tender.

“At both campuses, delivering quality products, providing value for money and reliability were three important factors when we selected a new supplier, and Chubb met all of these requirements.”

Chubb will install the Good DesignTM award-winning range of Chubb FX extinguishers and then provide an annual inspection of each building, equipping new university sites as development continues to 2020.

“Chubb is responsive and easy to work with, its engineers specified and installed the equipment quickly and efficiently with no problems, despite the strict time constraints due to the deadline opening of the campus to students,” Moremon concluded.

For more information, visit


Wireless alarm system for reburb of old post office HQ

Illustrating the flexibility of its alarm systems for construction sites, Bull Products’ Cygnus system is currently being used during the part demolition and soft strip at 148 Old Street, London EC1, where a major refurbishment of a former post office building is taking place.

The so-called ‘cut and carve’ project by demolition contractors Cantillon involves taking out the main spine wall and 2 floors of the main building as well as the demolition of the central wing structure.  This 12 month first phase of the project finishes in June 2016.  The project will create around 157,000 sq.ft. of prime office space in the City

Cantillon has used the Cygnus wireless alarm system since the project started. A total of 31 alarm units are being used across all six floors of the building, this comprising 16 fire call points and 15 fire and first aid call points meaning that there is an alarm at every exit.  These are linked to the Cygnus control panel in the reception area.

John Rimmer, Health & Safety Manager for Cantillon, is delighted with the Cygnus system, commenting, “The Cygnus system enables us to have far more confidence if there is a fire or first aid event, as wherever you are in the building, there is an alarm unit only 15 metres away where a button could be pressed – there is no need for clanging bells or sounding horns.”  He continued, “With the central control unit in reception we have instant knowledge as to where an alarm has been set off – for instance, on the third floor, unit 15 – and we can also press the button on the control panel to check the system is working at any time.  Our fire extinguishers box is also fitted with a tamper switch which can set an alarm off which is also visible on the control unit.”

As a wireless system, the Cygnus alarm is infinitely portable and thus can be transferred to another site after its initial use.  However, as in this case, the Cygnus system has the potential to be taken over by the main contractors as they start the refurbishment programme and fit-out.

The Cygnus wireless fire alarm system is a major innovation for construction sites and has been designed and developed in conjunction with major construction companies to incorporate all the features required for larger construction projects. The Cygnus system is able to link no less than 480 units in 15 different zones.  Individual units may be either a fire alarm call point, first aid alert point, smoke detector, heat detector or a combined call point and first aid alert alarm.

Where there are multiple sites within range of each other, the CE marked Cygnus system has been designed to operate on different site addresses in order to keep each system separate and free from interference.

A major feature of the Cygnus system is the optional control panel which provides a very sophisticated capability with an event log function which records any events such as an alarm activation, low battery warning, and signal faults, all of which can be viewed if necessary in the history folder held on the panel.  The system also has the ability to test all units and has an evacuate function which will act as a call point to the rest of the alarm units.

Each unit in the system can provide the panel with information at regular intervals.  This explicit information confirms the unit is still present and what the battery status of each device is.  Known as the ‘heart beat’ this message is monitored by the control panel where fitted and if the ‘heart beat’ is not heard for several intervals, the control panel logs a full status for that unit.

A PIR option is now available on any of the modules which can detect an intruder and alert off-site personnel for added safety protection.

Bull Products offers a full one-year guarantee on all Cygnus devices and provides high levels of technical, on-site and after-sales service support in addition to its standard maintenance contracts.

Further information on the Cygnus wireless alarm system is available from Bull Products on 0844 669 1111, by emailing or by visiting the company’s website at

Bull Products is supported by Vantage PR


Controlling False Fire Alarms in Care Homes with AlarmCalm

AlarmCalmCareHomesFalse and unwanted fire alarms are one of the big issues in fire safety and building management today. The care home and social care industry in particular has unique needs when it comes to false alarm management (FAM). To meet these needs, fire industry leader Advanced has released a new document that shows the potential of automatic fire systems to help reduce unwanted alarms in these settings.

The document outlines the features of Advanced’s AlarmCalm FAM upgrade and its key components, as well as providing an overview of the areas within care homes where different false alarm strategies may be required, based on risk, building design and resident needs.

AlarmCalm is a total package and features enhanced firmware, comprehensive configuration software for Advanced’s fire systems and new intelligent alarm acknowledgement devices called AlarmCalm Buttons. It provides total, easily-managed control over alarm verification periods and investigation delays to outputs.

It allows a site to be divided into false alarm management zones called building areas (up to 200 per panel or 40,000 per network). These are virtual areas used for FAM programming that by default match fire zones but can be set independently to cover multiple zones and points or individual points. The use of building areas makes even complicated cause-and-effect easy to set up.

There is growing awareness of the role that care home staff can play in helping to reduce unwanted false alarms. Advanced’s intelligent, loop-powered alarm acknowledgement device, the AlarmCalm Button, can be used to manually verify if an alarm signal is false, for example from smoke as a result of cooking or heat in the kitchen.

By pressing the AlarmCalm Button, a staff member initiates a ‘second stage’ verification time and (optionally), the local sounder can be silenced. If after the second stage time the signal has cleared, the system will reset to normal conditions. If the signal in the detector is still present, a full fire condition will be signalled. During the second stage period, a fire condition is also indicated if the alarm is confirmed by another method such as sensitivity change or second detector. AlarmCalm Buttons can only extend verification time once (before a system reset). If a real fire ensues, a full fire condition will be signalled.

Advanced believes AlarmCalm is the most easily installed and configured FAM system available. AlarmCalm Buttons are easy to install on the loop and recognised in the panel software on auto learn. They are compatible with a standard UK single-gang back box, can be flush or surface mounted and include a configurable LED, buzzer and slide-in label.

Sounders, beacons and relays in each building area can be operated during the verification period and can be quickly set by all devices of each type or individually by point. Sounder ringing styles are also fully configurable and can use a different tone during verification and alarm periods.

The same approach in the software is taken with investigation delays to outputs, meaning a full FAM strategy can be easily set up and configured. AlarmCalm is currently available on Advanced’s EN54 2, 4 & 13 approved MxPro 5 and Axis EN fire systems.

About Advanced

Advanced is a world leader in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease-of-use of its products sees them used in prestigious and challenging locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control and fire paging systems.


Much more than fire extinguisher maintenance

Is it a year since you were last here? A familiar response from a business to a fire extinguisher technician who has arrived to complete the annual maintenance of the portable fire extinguishers. Mainly seen as a cost, that businesses would like to avoid, especially when businesses are struggling to emerge from the long term problems we have had in the economy. However, the implications of not having a trained technician visiting business premises, on an annual basis as a minimum, should be considered, as should the additional benefits gained from the technician during their visit.

Provided the process of selection of the maintenance contractor is guided by the correct criteria: BAFE approved, third party assessed, carrying all the right insurances and accreditations (check for further details), the technician is worth their weight in gold for your business! In most instances, this technician may be just contracted to service the portable fire equipment but the reality is, a business can get considerably much, much more than this from the technician.

Obviously the technician’s first duty is to carry out the work they are employed for, primarily the service of the portable extinguishers, to the current British Standard 5306 part 3. Whilst on the way around the building, other elements are considered, such as they will ensure that the equipment in place is fit for the risk it is provided for, as things change inside the work place. This could include relocating and fitting any equipment that has been moved around. New machinery, changes in processes, new products being used or manufactured, an added kitchen or temporary Portakabin, these areas need evaluation to consider whether, the Fire Risk level has changed, increased or even decreased. Departments also move inside buildings and the change in fire risk is often not even considered.

In all premises just ensuring fire equipment is located correctly, not obstructed and that there are no signs of tampering or discharge can justify a regular visit alone.   The Fire extinguisher technician is fully trained to recognise all of these areas and will advise on the movement of equipment or, change of equipment if required, using BS 5306 part 8 as the reference document or indeed their bible.

The technician will also inform the staff on the type of portable equipment, and give instruction on how to safely use the extinguishers and what to use them on.

Most fire protection companies now train their technicians in the recognition and installation of escape and warning signs, therefore whilst the technician is on the premises, they will make sure that all the firefighting equipment, doors, alarms and extinguishers etc. are identified to meet the required standard. Evacuation from the building in the event of a problem is crucial and the means of escape has to be clearly signed. The engineer only using signs that conform to the correct standards, detailing non-compliant signs and offering the correct solution will ensure that the means of escape is clear and visible for the site.

This article spoke earlier about instructions of how to use portable equipment. This is not classed as training, however the engineer will check to see if a more in depth training package is required and can advise on this with the responsible person on site.

Once the engineer has completed the service, there are a couple of things left for him to do.   He will fill in the log book and issue certificates of maintenance ensuring that the business has documentation, if needed to show the enforcing authorities as proof, and that maintenance regimes are in place for fire protection equipment.

The technician may also be able to arrange for a Risk Assessor to attend site to carry out a full Risk Assessment in accordance with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. This will ensure businesses are complying with the law.

Many technicians have the ability to carry out fire door servicing, as they are already on site. Checking door closure rates, inspecting gaps, adjusting closers, recommending replacement furniture and intumescent strips when and where required. Probably something most businesses have never considered however one of the best and most important elements of fire protection device’s a company has.

The portable fire extinguisher technician is trained and keeps up to date with all the current codes of practice therefore delivering a more detailed, clear and in depth service than just maintenance of fire extinguishers.

Following the relevant codes of practice, they will keep the responsible person up to date with any changes that occur from his last visit.

The lack of periodical visits may not affect some well managed premises but in my experience most premises would benefit with the regular visit from somebody looking at the fire safety systems and procedures in place.

As the title suggests – would you do without the Fire Extinguisher Technician, who delivers much more than a fire extinguisher service.

Enquiries: 01268 242 340


Fire Safety – Making Compliance Easy

A recent fire which broke out on the British Airways flight in Las Vegas caused utter ‘pandemonium,’ as passengers evacuated. Reports claim as many as 13 people were injured, and amid the panic, hysterical passengers trampled on a woman’s head as they desperately headed for escape.  This terrifying event poses a question – do you know what to do when there is a fire?

Research shows that 14% of people would see what everyone else was doing and ‘go with the flow,’ with one in 20 admitting they would simply ignore the alarm unless told otherwise.

Those responsible for fire safety in their place of work were also asked if they were aware of their legal and safety obligations. 46.5% stated they either did not know what they were or were unclear. So why is the percentage so low?

Fire safety can be seen as a complicated issue. There is a lot to think about with laws, regulations and measures that need to be put in place. It can baffle anyone. But it doesn’t have to be, it can be simpler.

The most common fire safety hazards include:

  • poor evacuation procedures
  • exposed wires
  • blocked fire exits
  • faulty fire doors and
  • fire doors being wedged open.

There are an average of 162 building fires in Great Britain every day, resulting with more than 9,100 fatalities or casualties in 2013-14. This works out at around 25 people harmed by fire every day.  Hazards like wedged open fire doors are occurrences we come across frequently without even realising, which means they can unfortunately be forgotten about.

Fire doors are one of the most neglected components in fire safety, most of us wouldn’t consider how much we rely on them. In the event of a fire, they are the first line of defence in preventing the rapid spread of flames, heat and smoke. But to save lives, they must work.

Fire doors are meant to be kept closed to provide protection in the event of a fire. Failing to meet these requirements can result in loss of business, big fines and even a prison sentence. In 2013/14 there was 527 fires in care homes and sheltered accommodation in London, resulting in two deaths and 34 injuries. One of the main issues being fire doors wedged open. Wedging or propping open a fire door poses a serious risk to people and buildings, as it allows fire to spread.

It is clear to see why fire doors are wedged open as a means to an end. For many, being able to keep fire doors open makes daily life easier by enabling freedom of movement through busy buildings. It also improves ventilation and reduces the risk of injury from handling a heavy fire door.  The need to hold fire doors open is recognised by fire inspectors across the UK, by recommending solutions such as a door retainer. These keep fire doors open safely and legally, without compromising on safety.

Compliance doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. What simple checks can you make? Making sure exits are clear, fire doors aren’t wedged open and evacuation plans are up to date. These help provide a safer environment.

Fireco makes compliance easy with simple solutions for complicated problems; making buildings safer, accessible and ensuring compliance is taken care of. For more information visit



New Community Cinema protected by Fire-Cryer® Voice Sounders

The former St Thomas More Community Centre in East Dulwich, London is home to a new three-screen cinema with a café-bar and a courtyard garden. Refurbished in 2015, East Dulwich Picturehouse & Café offers diverse programmes to all sections of the local community and is equipped with the latest digital and satellite technology, enabling live broadcasts of the best performing arts productions from around the world. As part of the refurbishment project a new fire alarm system was installed, together with Vimpex’s EN 54-3 approved Multi-Message Fire-Cryer® Plus Voice Sounders to ensure timely building evacuation in the event of fire. The fire alarm system was designed and commissioned by Southern Fire Alarms Ltd in partnership with consultants LTS International and installed by D.W. Electrical.

“There is a high level of noise pollution in today’s modern building environment. Fire alarm bells, sirens, sounders, security alarms, public address and mobile ringtones are just some of the cacophony of noises that bombard building users on a daily basis,” explains David Fell, Sales Director of Southern Fire Alarms. “The confusion of tones means people can become complacent and ignore safety critical alarms. From experience we know that the addition of unambiguous voice messages that are heard and understood vastly reduces this confusion. Fire-Cryer® Voice Sounders deliver this as a very cost effective solution compared to standalone voice evacuation systems.”

A total of 35 Mini Fire-Cryer® slimline base sounders were installed under ceiling mounted fire detectors in all parts of the building. The Mini Fire-Cryer® provides an attractive and unobtrusive solution and is installed on a conventional 2-wire sounder circuit.  A two-stage alarm strategy was deployed – stage one alerts staff using flashing beacons and then after a 3 minute investigation delay stage 2 initiates a full building evacuation aided by the Fire-Cryers® with the fully synchronised message: “Ladies and gentlemen, in the interest of safety this building must be evacuated. Please leave immediately by the nearest exit. Staff will assist you.”

Other models in the Fire-Cryer® range include wall mounted units with optional integral synchronised LED strobe and high-output versions for use in wide open spaces and outdoors. Each voice sounder can be programmed with up to 7 messages from a library of thousands, many of which are multi-lingual, ensuring that any site requirement can be fulfilled. The Fire-Cryer’s® multi-message capability also ensures that system test and all clear messages can be easily transmitted avoiding confusion with the fire/evacuation alarm.

Tel: +44 (0) 1702 216999 Email:


Apollo launch the Intelligent Manual Call Point

Following the launch of its original Manual Call Point in 2013, Apollo Fire Detectors has announced the development of a version which will support Apollo’s new SOTERIA™ range of detectors.

Tom Crane, Product Manager, said: “The development of SOTERIA™ and CoreProtocol™ – our new generation detectors and operating protocol – gave us the opportunity to improve upon our original Manual Call Point by including some additional features which we know will be welcomed by our customers.”

One of the main features of the new Intelligent Manual Call Point is that it is a universal product, not only designed to fit with SOTERIA™ and CoreProtocol™, but also engineered to be backwards-compatible with the Discovery™ and XP95™ digital protocols incorporated in the same unit.

Tom continues: “The development of this new Intelligent Manual Call Point has enabled us to evaluate the device as a whole and listen to valuable feedback from our customers. This has resulted in a number of design changes, including the front assembly becoming a sealed unit, a retaining clip to hold the E-Z fit connector in place, a mounting bracket which the Manual Call Point slides onto to improve the ease of installation and a resettable element which has higher visibility when in alarm.”

Manufactured in the Havant factory in the UK, the Intelligent Manual Call Points offers Apollo’s 10 year Product Lifetime Guarantee and has been engineered to provide easy installation and commissioning.

For further information including details of the full range and installation guides, please visit


Eaton’s BiWire Ultra fire alarm system reduces cabling by up to 50%

Power management company Eaton has announced the launch of its new BiWire Ultra fire alarm system, which is designed for fast and efficient installation. Unlike standard conventional systems, the detectors, call points and notification devices all share the same zone wiring, reducing cabling requirements by up to 50%. Simple to operate and quick to install, it’s ideally suited to small hotels, offices, primary schools, restaurants and retail stores as a means of protecting people, property and business continuity.

Peter Regan, product marketing manager at Eaton, said: “Our new BiWire Ultra system has been designed with simplicity in mind. It is quick and easy to install, reducing cabling costs and the time spent programming and operating the system.”

BiWire Ultra comprises a central panel alongside fully compatible detectors, sounders and EN54-23 approved beacons, all of which are designed to identify fire hazards and notify occupants as quickly as possible in order to ensure safe and controlled evacuations. The range is the latest addition to Eaton’s comprehensive suite of life safety solutions, which aim to help building owners and managers meet their safety obligations in the most effective and efficient manner.

Available in two-, four- or eight-zone variants, the system can support up to 52 devices per zone, wiring faults are easily spotted and indicated by flashing the detector LED nearest the fault.

Supplied with a back-up battery to ensure the correct ratings and to reduce complexity, the central panel has an attractive appearance and a simple user interface. Conforming to the requirements of BS5839-1, commissioning and maintenance is straightforward, making it easy for one person to carry out testing and ensure the healthy state of the system, as required by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order of 2005.

Additional functionality of the system includes a class change facility for schools which automates the class change bell via the fire alarm, expansion card support for fire alarm routing equipment (FRE) and fire protection equipment (FPE) and an Interlink relay for connecting two panels together.

Peter Regan added: “The BiWire Ultra range is the first of its type to offer EN54-23 approved beacons, so whatever the risk assessment, premises fitted with a BiWire Ultra system comply with the latest standards for fire notification. However, the legal and moral obligations of fire safety are not only concerned with installation but also ongoing maintenance and testing, and the BiWire Ultra has been developed with the objective of making that process straightforward. With all of this in mind, we believe this range will appeal to a diverse cross-section of small and medium-sized premises where owners need protection without problems.”

Augmenting the range are a number of complementary devices including call points, a five-in-one fire detector plus a range of EN54-23 approved sounder beacons and sounder beacon bases.

For more details on fire systems from Eaton visit, e-mail , e-mail or call +44 (0)1302 303200.



Door closer enhances fire safety

Powermatic controlled, concealed door closers tick all the right boxes when it comes to meeting fire safety requirements.

The door closer complies with BS EN 1154 and BS EN 1155, depending on the model selected, and as such, carries the CE mark. It is also independent certified to meet the requirements for one hour and half-hour fire doors under BS EN 1634-1 as well as boasting Certifire accreditation.

In addition, Powermatic is totally concealed when the door is closed. This enhances the product’s suitability for fire doors by reducing the risk of vandalism, which could render the fire door useless.

Tel: 0121 766 4200




The next step in alarm evolution

Aico, UK’s market leader in domestic mains powered Fire and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detection, unveils the latest in Smoke and Heat Alarm technology with its new 160e Series.

With over £280 million of the 160 Series alarms sold to date, the new 160e Series builds on this high quality, reliable and proven technology to produce a cleaner, modern designed alarm containing a whole raft of enhancements to increase protection and performance.

The alarms have been completely redesigned to lend themselves to suiting most modern properties and to complement the latest Aico accessories. The new 160e design is up to 18% slimmer when compared to the previous 160RC Series alarms allowing them to be less obtrusive in the room, whilst maintaining the same easi-fit footprint making it simple to upgrade from previous Aico alarms.

The units have been made all the easier to install. Additional screw holes have been incorporated into the base to save on installation times with all hole positions matching previous alarm bases, removing the need to drill extra holes. The holes themselves have been adapted to enable N° 8 Screws to be used and bigger terminals have been incorporated to readily accommodate 1.5mm² cable, making it easier to wire. ‘O’ for Optical and ‘I’ for Ionisation have been imprinted on the alarm test buttons and colour coding added to the back of every alarm to make it easier to check the right alarm type is being fitted.

Components within the alarms provide improved performance in response time and resistance to false alarms. The Ei164e Heat Alarm has a new thermistor giving a faster alarm response when the trigger temperature is reached. The Ei166e Optical Alarm has a new cylindrical sensor chamber encapsulated by a bonded protective mesh to keep out potential contaminates such as dust and insects whilst still allowing the free flow of smoke.

With Aico’s award winning RadioLINK wireless alarm interconnection, a firm favourite of both installers and landlords, the 160e Series of alarms now comes with a plug in RadioLINK+ module negating the need for a separate RadioLINK base. The Ei100MRF RadioLINK+ module simply slots into the alarm and is automatically activated ready to be House Coded in with the rest of the system. Such a design saves on installation time and reduces associated costs.

With the introduction of the RadioLINK+ module, the House Coding slot has now been moved onto the actual alarm making it easy to access and use and, most importantly, enabling all the alarms to be House Coded in situ. This not only makes for quicker installation, but also allows the installer to check RF signal strength at the exact location the alarms will be when protecting the occupants and dwelling.

RadioLINK+ has also made it easier to expand existing systems. With RadioLINK+ only one alarm in the existing system needs putting into Remote House Code mode, which signals to all other devices on the house coded system that a new alarm/accessory needs adding, as opposed to all the alarms.

RadioLINK+ has an enhanced self-monitoring function that recognises system tampering or alarm head removal. Each alarm in the system has the ability to identify the alarm with the strongest Radio Frequency (RF) signal and automatically pair with it. At regular intervals, these paired alarms communicate with each other so that if one alarm is removed from its base the other will acknowledge the lack of response with an indicator light and log this in its memory, even if the missing alarm is replaced. It can also send an ‘Alarm Removed’ signal when connected to an Ei414 Fire/CO Alarm Interface and third party device e.g. Warden Call or other monitoring systems.

Designed to provide flexible solutions, delivering the highest quality protection for BS 5839-6 Grade D applications, the new 160e Series includes Optical, Heat and Ionisation Alarm models. These mains powered alarms come with 10 year rechargeable Lithium cells to provide over six month’s back-up in the event of a mains failure. 160e alarms are compatible with existing Aico alarms and accessories, enabling for full system upgrades or simple system expansion using the new models.

The original 160 Series, launched in 1999, has been installed into millions of properties across the UK. Aico has invested considerably in the range over the years, with a number of key developments such as RadioLINK wireless alarm interconnection and remote control. The 160e is the next evolutionary step forward.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Ei Electronics, Aico is a market leader in residential fire and CO protection in the UK. All alarms are designed and built in Ireland specifically to meet the UK standards and regulations. 2015 sees Aico’s 25th anniversary. With more mains powered domestic smoke alarms installed in the UK’s social housing than any other manufacturer, Aico is tried, tested and trusted. Aico has a dedicated team of Regional Managers to support specifications and supply of products. Aico also offers technical support over the phone and an internal sales team to help with any enquiries.

For more information please visit