New fire detection solution for high value properities provides a technology first

FireVu is introducing the first fire detection technology that combines Visual Smoke Detection (VSD), flame detection and now temperature sensing technology in the form of a built in thermopile.

The Multi Detector will offer architects and professionals responsible for fire safety a solution that will identify and analyse smoke and heat patterns to raise alerts. It is aimed at heritage and modern iconic high value properties, but is also suited to a range of large premises as used in the education, health and the public sector.

VSD technology operates by identifying characteristic smoke patterns across a video image. It analyses changes in a range of variables such as colour, brightness, contrast, shape, edge content, motion, colour matching and loss of detail to alert operators early to potential fire danger.

The addition of a thermopile to detect radiated heat will give the advantage of raising alerts by using a completely different technology – a double check.

Simon Jenkins, product manager for FireVu comments: “Visual Smoke Detection is already a very effective and proven technology, combining it with thermal radiated heat detecting technology gives us an architecural solution not offered by competitors.”

The Multi Detector will be offered to high value properties and other industries where FireVu has established a strong presence including manufacturing, power generation, airports and air hangars.

FireVu is a brand of the solutions arm of AD Network Video, part of surveillance monitoring pioneer AD Group.

Pauline Norstrom, chief operating officer of AD Group comments: “AD Group is about investing in development and offering innovative solutions to real world problems. The Multi Detector is a remarkable three in one solution combining smoke, flame and thermal detection in a single product that will provide early visual warning of potential fire risks in irreplaceable heritage buildings and iconic modern properties.

FireVu was first developed in the mid-1990s. We have regularly refined and improved the technology’s effectiveness since and will continue to do so.”

FireVu’s property client base includes The Gherkin, London Guildhall and the Co-Op HQ.



Siemens ensures regulatory compliance and maximum protection at PETNET Solutions

PETNET Solutions’ radiopharmaceutical drug manufacturing facility in Lisses, near Paris, requires special fire safety and security measures to keep staff and assets safe. Siemens has installed an integrated solution that comprises fire detection, access control, video surveillance and building automation.  An open architecture approach was taken to ensure interoperability across all technical and security systems and processes, enabling reliable, safe and secure medicine production.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is an imaging technique that uses radioactivity in the diagnosis of disease. Before entry into a PET scanner, minute quantities of chemicals – called radiopharmaceuticals or radiotracers – are introduced into the body of the patient, either by intravenous injection or inhalation.

A subsidiary of Siemens Healthcare, PETNET Solutions operates the world’s largest network of PET radiopharmaceutical drug manufacturing facilities and dispensing nuclear pharmacies. PETNET manufactures and dispenses PET drug products for hospitals, clinics and research facilities.  It is imperative that doses meet all applicable standards for quality and purity – from production until the expiry date. Throughout more than 50 PETNET sites around the world, standardised equipment and processes ensure the necessary consistency.

To keep all staff and company assets safe from over-exposure to the radioactivity constantly present, PET radiopharmacies require special fire safety and security measures, such as continuous monitoring of background radioactivity levels. Regulatory compliance is assured with Siemens’ Compact Monitoring Technology (CMT) for critical monitoring of room conditions, in addition to radioactivity meters.  It is also important for the company to have a clear overview of all systems in order to keep all processes efficient, secure and to comply with regulatory production standards.

Competition in the industry is extremely fierce, so maximum efficiencies for processes and the highest level of business continuity and uninterrupted production are critical.

The PETNET team is able to view images from video surveillance cameras, lock and unlock doors, monitor fire alarms and check air quality and radioactivity levels remotely from a single control point.  Cameras are installed throughout the site, especially in the more sensitive locations; this ensures operators can view all company processes and activities from a safe vantage point. Critical events and alarms can be investigated by authorised personnel from a number of touchscreens across the site, ensuring that the manufacturing process operates safely and reliably.

The radiopharmacy now benefits from a future-proofed solution that effectively and efficiently combines life science systems with total building automation.


ADT provides Newcastle College with the full package

ADT Fire and Security is now providing fully comprehensive fire and security solutions with integration of the fire detection and access control systems for the majority of Newcastle College. For the past six years, ADT has maintained the majority of fire detection and alarm systems at the college. However after demonstrating successful results the contract has been extended to include the installation of new systems as well as the phased upgrades of existing security access controls, intruder alarms and CCTV.

Newcastle College is one of the best performing Further Education colleges in the UK. The college is part of the Newcastle College Group. With a turnover of more than £179 million, NCG is one the largest education, training and employability organisations in the UK.

As part of the new contract, ADT will install MX panels utilising the latest Generation 6 digital fire detection technology in any new facilities. This will provide both Newcastle College and NCG with superb functionality and performance as well as a greater detector lifespan between service changes.

“We are delighted to extend our contract with Newcastle College and NCG,” commented Ian Hodgson, Regional Managing Director for ADT Fire and Security. “We have a long-standing business relationship with them, and as such are very much looking forward to delivering a comprehensive service that offers the highest levels of fire safety and security.”

ADT will now begin a rollout programme across all new and the majority of existing buildings on the Newcastle College site. Moreover, the ADT team will carry out upgrades for NCG’s other divisions Rathbone, a youth charity in Manchester and Belfast and West Lancashire College, which along with Newcastle College, form part of NCG.

Steve Johnson, Group General Estates Manager at NCG said: “For the past six years ADT has provided us with an excellent level of service. As such, the provider was the natural choice when it came to upgrading security and fire systems as well as specifying ADT products for new capital projects. The fact that the team were able to interface multiple systems across a number of sites was another advantage for us and one that will really simplify the installation process moving forward.”

For further information about ADT Fire & Security visit:


FIRERAY Heater Keeps Optical Beam Smoke Detectors Clear of Condensation

FIRERAY optical beam smoke detectors provide wide area smoke detection when it is impractical to use traditional point-type detectors. They are also ideal for large indoor spaces with high ceilings, such as warehouses, sports arenas, factories or shopping malls. There are two general types of detector: projected, which utilise two detector heads; and reflective, which have one detector head and a reflector (prism).

With the onset of autumn, lower temperatures can cause condensation to form on detector lenses and reflective prisms. This obscures the lens and prism, reducing the amount of infrared (IR) light reaching the detector. This has a similar effect to smoke and can lead to unwanted false alarms.

To combat this issue, Fire Fighting Enterprises (FFE) has developed a new range of anti-condensation heaters for its FIRERAY range of optical beam smoke detectors and reflective prisms. 

The detector heater circulates a current of warm air over the lens, raising its ambient temperature by up to 10°C and maintaining the lens at an incrementally higher temperature than the surrounding air. This dramatically reduces the likelihood of condensation forming on the lens which, in turn, reduces the potential for false alarms. 

The prism heater is an ultra-slim heating pad which is fixed behind the mounting plate. As with the detector heater, it maintains the temperature of the prism above that of the surrounding air, preventing condensation from occurring and reducing false alarms. 

As well as being an ideal solution to the problem of seasonal cold weather, the heaters could also be used year-round on detectors and prisms located in temperature-controlled cold storage areas.

Heaters are available for use with the FIRERAY 3000, FIRERAY 5000 and FIRERAY 50R/100R smoke detector ranges. They are highly practical tools for reducing the environmental impact of condensation and minimising false alarms.

Fire Fighting Enterprises is a Halma Company.


Sanctuary Housing installs Aico smoke alarms in new development

Sanctuary Housing, one of the largest social housing providers in the country, has installed Aico’s 160RC series mains-powered RadioLINK alarm systems into all of the 96 flats in its latest £10.4 million development in Newlands Place, Cumbernauld.

Sanctuary Housing manages homes across England and Scotland, providing general rented, sheltered and home ownership accommodation. Sanctuary Cumbernauld, one of its regional operations in Scotland, is in the midst of a £70 million regeneration programme to remove the town’s 12 high rises and rehouse the tenants. The new development in Newlands Place, which features four blocks of 24 two-bedroom flats, will rehome 96 families in modern, comfortable homes.

As a key safety measure the development is being fitted with Aico’s 160RC series mains powered, rechargeable lithium battery back-up smoke alarms. David Robertson, Director at FLN Consulting Engineers, specified the alarms for this new development: “We have specified Aico on all our projects for a number of years having been impressed with the overall quality and reliability of the product.”

Each flat has its own stand-alone system. Additional alarms have been installed in the communal hallways, which are interlinked using Aico’s RadioLINK technology to those in the individual flats. An alarm activated in the communal area will cause the alarms in all flats to be activated for maximum safety. Alarms in flats, however, will not cause the communal alarms to activate, thus avoiding issues of alarms causing unnecessary disruption to other residents.

RadioLINK lets you interconnect Aico alarms and accessories together using Radio Frequency (RF) signals rather than cabling. New properties, such as the Newlands Place development, are seeing the benefits of wire free alarm interconnection as it provides far greater flexibility in alarm installation and adaptation.

Aico’s mains-powered 160RC series smoke and heat alarms are a popular choice for specifiers and social housing providers as they contain tamper proof rechargeable lithium back-up cells, which last the life of the alarm. These can provide over six months back-up in the event of a mains power failure and the batteries can’t be removed by tenants for use in other household devices.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Ei Electronics, Aico is a market leader in residential fire protection in the UK. All alarms are designed and built in Europe specifically to meet the UK standards and regulations. For more information, please go to


Fike’s Video Fire Detection Protects UK’s Heritage

The SigniFire Video Fire Detection (VFD) system from Fike Safety Technology (FST) has been deployed in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) hangar to protect some of the nation’s most valuable historic assets. Based at RAF Coningsby, the aircraft of the BBMF are regularly seen at events commemorating World War II, British State occasions and at air displays around the UK and Europe. Most notable amongst the WWII aircraft are the Spitfire, the Hurricane and one of only two flight-worthy Lancaster bombers in the world. It was therefore imperative that when the fire protection needs of the BBMF hangar were reviewed, a state-of-the-art solution was chosen to provide effective and reliable fire detection. The new system was designed and installed by T.I.S., an integrated solutions specialist and part of Fike’s nationwide Integrator Network.

The camera-based SigniFire VFD visually detects the presence of fire or smoke at its source. Multiple cameras were installed, covering both the floor of the hangar and the roof space. The technology offers many benefits including fast and reliable response, effective protection in demanding environments, excellent value for money and the bonus of providing CCTV images for security purposes, if required. The video can aid incident response and can be recorded for post-incident analysis.

Following a rigorous competitive tender, SigniFire was chosen for its advanced technology, resilient and redundant architecture and its field proven reliability. The testing phase at RAF Coningsby created an unusual problem, explains, Mark Wilson, Head of Contracts for T.I.S. “Due to the nature of the environment and the priceless value of the assets held in the hangar we were not allowed to light real test fires for the commissioning of the system, so we developed a unique artificial flame and smoke simulator. At the time of testing both the original fire detection system and the VFD were operational. These tests demonstrated SigniFire’s excellent fast response to the initial presence of both smoke and flame.”

Unlike conventional fire detection systems, SigniFire doesn’t use traditional forms of smoke, heat or flame detection. Instead, it works by automatically analysing video images at the point of detection in each video fire detector, looking for tell-tale characteristics that indicate the presence of smoke and/or flames. Distributing the video processing to within each fire detector camera delivers improved resilience and with the use of fire resistant cable allows the system to be BS 5839 certified. Video is recorded on a NVR and monitored remotely on a touchscreen SpyderPanel. SigniFire is also connected to a newly installed addressable fire alarm system in the building.

An aircraft hangar creates one of the most demanding environments for VFD, with day/night light changes, slow moving aircraft, bright sunlight and constantly opening hangar doors. The application of video exclusion zones and double-knock triggers on both flame and smoke detection ensures false alarms are minimised and that the BBMF hangar has reliable and effective protection around the clock. In addition LED white lighting was installed next to each camera to ensure minimum illumination at all times.

For further information please contact Fike Safety Technology on Tel: 01633 865 558, Email: or visit


Aico smoke alarms installed at Her Majesty’s Pleasure

aico1HM Prisons Grendon & Springhill in Buckinghamshire are installing Aico battery operated standalone optical smoke alarms in 230 prison cells as part of their transition to a Category M/L5 system.

Following the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, existing prisons are required to review and upgrade their fire detection systems over a period of years. This needs to meet the British Standard BS 5839-1:2013, the fire detection systems in non-domestic premises, where a Category M/L5 system is recommended in prisons.

Previously, only the main landings had smoke alarms fitted. After a risk assessment was made by the Responsible Person at the prison it was determined that an intermediate solution was required for the prisoner’s cells whilst the upgrades took place.

Neil McCrorie, Health & Safety Advisor at HM Prisons Grendon & Springhill, chose Aico’s battery operated optical smoke alarms as “They are perfect for our need; secure with little maintenance. They were also recommended by another establishment.” He has also been pleased with the support offered from Aico: “The service has been excellent.” Neil worked closely with one of Aico’s Regional Specification Managers to develop the best solution possible.

Aico is a market leader in residential fire protection in the UK. It is best known for its high quality, high reliability mains-powered smoke alarms which are installed in hundreds of thousands of houses across the UK.   For Aico, the use of its battery powered smoke alarm within a prison environment is an interesting new development.

HM Prisons Grendon & Springhill chose Aico’s 10 year lithium battery operated standalone optical smoke alarms. They are ideally suited to this market as the battery is in a tamperproof sealed unit – preventing the battery from being removed which makes it ineffective. They also have a test and hush feature which make silencing false alarms and regularly testing the unit very easy.

Aico is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ei Electronics. All Aico alarms are designed and built in Europe specifically to meet UK standards and regulations. For more information please go to or contact Aico on 01691 664100 or


Interest in fire doors reignited by major industry initiative

Fire Door Safety Week makes a return this year following a hugely successful launch in 2013. The campaign will take place between 15 and 21 September 2014, engaging the breadth of the industry and raising awareness of the critical role fire doors play in passive fire protection in every commercial, public and multiple occupancy building.

The brainchild of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) and BWF-CERTIFIRE, Fire Door Safety Week reached over 6.5 million people last year and received major support from the Fire Minister, fire industry leaders, fire and rescue services across the country and leading fire door and doorset manufacturers and ironmongers.

But prosecutions under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order continue to be given to building owners and property managers in the UK who neglect their responsibility to ensure fire doors are installed and properly maintained. Already in 2014 a fine of £70,000 and a 15 month jail sentence have been handed out in two fire door related judgements.

John Fletcher, BWF-CERTIFIRE scheme manager, said: “Fire Door Safety Week 2013 really got the industry fired up about the need for properly installed and maintained fire doors. But while prosecutions continue, we are determined to do even more to raise awareness.”

The need for Fire Door Safety Week is clear and this year it promises to be even bigger and better with backing from a wide range of organisations including the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS), Lorient, Fire Kills, Fire Mark Education, TRADA, Exova Warringtonfire, IFC, fire and rescue services, fire door and door-set manufacturers and major players in the ironmongery sector.

You can pledge your support at

Follow Fire Door Safety Week on Twitter @FDSafetyWeek or search for tweets with the hashtag #firedoorsafetyweek


Costa Invest in Fike’s Intelligent 2-Wire Fire Detection Technology

Some of Costa’s newest outlets in the UK are being protected by Fike’s TWINFLEXpro intelligent 2-wire fire alarm systems. From full-sized branches to small kiosks, from Minehead to London, Costa is relying on flexible and reliable protection from an innovative fire detection solution manufactured in the UK by Fike Safety Technology (FST). All the systems have been supplied, tested and commissioned by Commfire Ltd and installed by Zero Electrical Design on behalf of Cordery Build Ltd, the main shopfitting contractor.

“We offered TWINFLEXpro to Zero Electrical Design as an alternative solution for the Costa projects, citing its advanced features and cost saving due to its unique technology and ease of installation” explains, Paul Seager, Managing Director of Commfire. “TWINFLEXpro has now become the first choice for many of Costa’s new builds.”

The TWINFLEXpro system incorporates the Multipoint combined smoke and heat detector with built-in sounder, which allows the whole system to be easily installed using only one pair of wires per zone. As Multipoint offers 7 different modes of detection, the installation is made even simpler since the one device suits all applications. A typical Costa shop has between 12 to 16 devices installed on a 2 or 4 zone control panel. The majority of detectors are set to their default smoke setting, with devices monitoring areas prone to false alarms, such as the main sales counter and back of house preparation, set to heat detection mode. Systems have been installed in London’s Kings Mall, Hammersmith, Chiswick High Road and at St Mary Axe. In addition outlets at Minehead, Shirley in Southampton, Berkhampsted and Lion Retail Park in Woking have used the TWINFLEXpro system.

TWINFLEXpro has the ability to differentiate between call point and detector alarms; can accommodate up to 32 devices per zone; has separate fault monitoring display for each zone; incorporates a man walk test facility and zones can be configured without the need to use resistors or capacitors. A series of programmable inputs and outputs further increases its flexibility and are ideal for interface to shopping centre fire alarm systems.

For further information please contact Fike Safety Technology on Tel: 01633 865 558, Email: or visit


New Aico Firecap Socket/Switch Box Inserts

Aico has launched its latest addition to the Firecap passive fire protection products range: Firecap Socket / Switch Box Inserts.  The new Inserts have been designed to prevent fire, heat and noise from spreading through recessed switches and sockets.

When a hole is cut in a wall for a socket or switch box, the fire stopping capability of that wall is detrimentally affected, allowing fire to pass through.  The hole also leads to heat loss and air leakage into the wall cavity.  Fitting a Firecap Socket / Switch Box Insert provides a highly effective fire stopping seal for up to two hours and minimises heat and air loss.

Firecap Socket / Switch Box Inserts have been independently tested to BS EN 1364-1 and to the principles of BS EN 1363-1:1999 and shown to offer two hours integrity and insulation.

As well as providing quality fire protection, Firecap Socket / Switch Box Inserts provide an effective acoustic barrier to both impact and airborne sounds.  They can be used in wall systems up to and including 67db sound reduction without loss of the wall performance.

Firecap Socket / Switch Box Inserts are simple and quick to install and don’t require the use of adhesives.  They are also highly cost effective, replacing the need for expensive plasterboard lining or putty pads.

Firecap Socket / Switch Box Inserts can be used with metal and plastic single and double socket boxes in both 35mm and 47mm depths.  They are rot proof and maintenance free.  For more information please contact Aico on 0169 166 4100 or or go to