Fire Protection Systems

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Fire Alarms

We make sure your fire alarm system is fit for purpose and legally compliant while protecting your employees and your business.

Commercial/Public Sector
If you have five or more full-time employees, then the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) order 2005 makes it legally binding that someone must be responsible for reducing the risk of fire in your premises and ensuring everyone inside can escape safely. This could, among other things, identify a need for a fire alarm system, fire extinguishers and emergency lighting.

By failing to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment (or failing to task another competent person to do so) they could be liable to prosecution and any insurance policy may be invalid. Use our expertise of constantly changing legislation to help you complete your Fire Risk Assessment, to provide reassurance that the right precautions are in place protecting your premises, employees and livelihood.

Our fire detection systems can include the supply and installation of all or some of the following:

  • Heat and smoke detection systems
  •  Flame detectors
  • Smoke beams
  • Air sampling and wire-free detection systems
  • Automatic door and ventilation controls
  • Voice evacuation and visual warning systems
  • Fixed gaseous fire extinguishing systems
  • Disabled refuge systems
  • Water detection systems
  • Remote monitoring to Fire and Rescue Service

Residential Customers
Benefit from our experience in fire alarm systems to protect your loved-ones and safeguard your home. By giving you early warning of the outbreak of fire, an effective alarm system can stop a small incident becoming a total disaster.

Use our in-depth knowledge for the professional design and installation of the examples given above, to protect your private property.

What’s more we can include valuable features such as remote monitoring to the Fire and Rescue Service for extra reassurance.

By carrying out a detailed survey of your home, we’ll identify the steps needed to keep it safe from the effects of fire. We’ll advise you on the most cost-effective way of achieving this and show how our systems can be tailored to suit the unique layout of your property.

Fire Extinguishers

The Fire Safety Order (Part 2, paragraph 13) states that:

“The premises are, to the extent that it is appropriate, equipped with appropriate fire-fighting equipment and with fire detectors and alarms; and any fire-fighting equipment so provided is easily accessible, simple to use and indicated by signs.”

It is, therefore, essential that you take considerable steps to ensure that your commercial or public sector property is adequately protected by the provision of fire extinguishers. These simple, portable items can mean the difference between life and death, and between your business being lost forever or salvageable.

Our highly experienced fire protection team will advise on the best integrated fire prevention and protection system for your property, ensuring a secure, fire-proof future for you and your business.

Fire Doors

A fire door is used as part of a passive fire protection system, to reduce the spread of fire or smoke between rooms in any building. This simple addition to any room dramatically increases the time it takes for fire to spread, allowing all occupants more time to navigate away from the fire to safety.

EFT Systems can provide advice, production and installation of cost effective fire door protection for any size of building, with the ability to produce bespoke doors for various needs following a fire hazards and risk assessment.

AVAC Voice Alarm System

Voice alarm systems are used in large, complex buildings with large populations, where the safe, simultaneous evacuation of all floors/areas has the potential to cause injury due to the movement of large numbers of people under stressful circumstances.

In addition to this, the number and width of stairways required in order to achieve simultaneous evacuation would be so great that they would not be financially viable.

In these situations, a strategy for phased evacuation would be implemented, using a voice alarm system, connected to the fire detection and alarm system to evacuate the occupants on the floor of incidence, and to alert occupants to prepare for an evacuation. This is done by automatically playing pre – recorded messages through the system of loudspeakers (as opposed to using the fire alarm sounders).

Examples of typical messages could be:

“EMERGENCY, EMERGENCY, A FIRE HAS BEEN REPORTED PLEASE LEAVE THE BUILDING VIA THE NEAREST AVAILABLE FIRE EXIT. DO NOT USE THE LIFTS.”

“ATTENTION PLEASE, ATTENTION PLEASE, WE ARE CURRENTLY INVESTIGATING A REPORTED FIRE. PLEASE PREPARE TO EVACUATE THE BUILDING. DO NOT LEAVE NOW, PLEASE WAIT UNTIL FURTHER ADVISED.”

The AVAC is a new low-cost, high-quality modular voice alarm system, purposely designed to simplify the provision of a fully BS5839 part 8 (1998) compliant voice alarm system.

The fact that multiple AVACs can be connected to one host fire detection system makes AVAC ideal not just for simple one zone installations but for virtually all small, medium and large sized applications.

This type of system is ideal for implementing phased evacuation projects in offices, shopping centres, hotels and leisure centres to name a few examples.

Dry and Wet Risers

EFT Systems will advise if your environment would benefit from the installation of a wet or dry riser system. Following our no-obligation survey, we will guide you from start to finish, ensuring your home or business is completely fire safe.

Wet Risers
A wet riser is a constantly pressurised water pipe supplied by a storage tank with pump, a mains pump or from a mains pressure supply.

Wet pipe sprinkler systems are installed more often than all other types of fire sprinkler systems. They are the most reliable because they are simple, with the only operating components being the automatic sprinklers and the automatic alarm check valve. An automatic water supply provides water to the system piping, meaning that all of the piping is filled with water at all times. When an automatic sprinkler is exposed to sufficient heat, the heat sensitive element (glass bulb or fusible link) will open, allowing water to flow from that sprinkler.

Sprinklers are manufactured to react to a specific range of temperatures. Only fire protection sprinklers subjected to a temperature at above their specific temperature rating will distribute water.

Dry Risers
Dry Risers are vertical mains named so due to being normally empty of water.

The opposite of a wet riser, it is used in instances where the immediate environment can be so cold as to freeze. This could apply to an unheated area or refrigerated space. The piping is pressurized with air, at a "maintenance" pressure, which is relatively low compared with the water supply pressure. To prevent the water supply from forcing water into the piping, the design of the dry pipe valve intentionally includes a larger valve clapper area exposed to the maintenance air pressure, as compared to the water pressure. The connection point is on ground level to give the Fire service easy connection straight into a water supply.

Operation if connected to a sprinkler system - When one or more of the automatic sprinklers is exposed to sufficient heat, it opens allowing the maintenance air to vent from that sprinkler. As the air pressure in the dry riser piping drops, the pressure differential across the dry pipe valve changes, allowing water to enter the piping system. Water flow from sprinklers needed to control the fire is delayed until the air is vented from the sprinklers. For this reason, dry riser systems are usually not as effective as wet riser systems in fire control during the initial stages of the fire.

Some view dry riser sprinklers as advantageous for fire protection of valuable collections and other water sensitive areas. This perceived benefit is due to a fear that a physically damaged wet pipe system will leak, while dry pipe systems will not. However, dry pipe systems will only provide a slight delay prior to water discharge while the air in the piping is released prior to the water filling the pipe.

A free, no-obligation survey will be carried out by one of our highly trained fire safety engineers. We will then advise on which sprinkler system best suits you and your property.

Fire Risk Assessments

Current legislation (Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2006) has moved from a fire certificate scheme, issued and policed by the fire and rescue service, to a risk assessment based system where every building owner / occupier has a legal responsibility to ensure that a fire risk assessment is carried out, and that the findings / recommendations are implemented.

The responsible person must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the fire risk so as to identify the general fire precautions necessary to protect all building occupants and reduce the instances of fire occurring.

EFT Systems highly trained fire advisors will conduct a fire risk assessment on your behalf and on completion provide you with a comprehensive document called a “Fire Safety Management Plan”.

Below are a few examples of the type of assessments we will make on your behalf, and advise upon in your Plan.

Identify fire hazards

  • Sources of ignition
  • Sources of fuel
  • Work processes

Identify who is at risk

  • People in and around the premises
  • People especially at risk

Evaluate the risk

  • Are the existing fire safety measures adequate?
  • Control of ignition sources / sources of fuel
  • Fire detection / warning
  • Means of escape
  • Maintenance and testing of fire precautions Fire safety training of employees
  • Carry out any improvements

Record - Plan - Inform - Instruct – Train

  • Record significant findings and action taken
  • Prepare an emergency plan
  • Inform, instruct and train employees in fire precautions

Review

  • Keep assessment under review
  • Revise if situation changes
Fire Safety Signs

EFT Systems provide all types of fire safety signage, ensuring your commercial or public sector premises are fully compliant with ISO 7010. ISO 7010 is now being implemented as best practice throughout the world to communicate safety messages using graphical symbols that transcend language barriers and are universally understood.

The International Standard Technical Committee (TC145) is responsible for graphical symbols and has worked continuously for over 20 years to develop the very best safety signs to convey critical safety information.

The main categories of safety signs are in line with the needs of international requirement for occupational health and safety management and are incorporated in workplace safety legislation. ISO 7010 is soon to be adopted as a European norm and will be automatically adopted as the domestic standard within all member states of the European Union.

All workplaces, including merchant and passenger vessels will be required to implement and display the new graphical symbols for safety communication. The objective is to ensure that only graphical symbols with the highest comprehension credentials are used. A plethora of graphical symbols are currently being used without these credentials, have little meaning and are untested in accordance with ISO 9186 to ensure comprehension.

It is essential that if graphical symbols are to be effective, only standardised symbols should be used.

Fire Safety Training

Our Training Solutions EFT Systems will provide you and your staff with the latest information regarding fire safety in the workplace.

Our training packages comply with current fire legislation and the new Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. In addition to this it meets the standards set by the amended 1999 Management of Health & Safety regulation.

EFT Systems works with employers to provide the best fire safety training package for your needs, ensuring value for money and full legal compliance. Your Responsibilities As An Employer The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, 1974 Health & Safety Act and the Management of Health & Safety regulation require staff to receive appropriate fire training / instruction.

An employer’s obligation to their staff is:

  • To continually assess what hazards are present and what level of risk could they be exposed to
  • Be continually adaptive to take into account new or changed risks to health and safety of the employees concerned

A basic fire training package should include:

  • Theory of fire
  • Action in the event of fire
  • Action upon hearing a fire alarm
  • Fire prevention
  • Basic fire safety awareness

Other persons who require specific training are:

  • Fire Marshals
  • Fire Managers

Premises with a large number of occupants would be required to have trained fire marshals who would oversee building evacuation, fire prevention, and carry out first aid fire fighting.

It may also be necessary to nominate a senior person e.g. a safety officer or senior manager, to be responsible for all aspects of fire safety including training, overseeing fire contracts (e.g. fire equipment maintenance) and record keeping. The "senior person" would ensure fire drills and fire training is implemented at the correct intervals.

Gaseous Fire Suppression Systems

Gas or gaseous fire suppression systems are typically used in areas where water damage needs to be avoided. Areas such as computer rooms and archive storage areas are two of the many areas that gas systems are designed to protect. EFT Systems offer a full range of systems including inert and chemical gases.

The choice of gas is dependent on the areas of use and the level of risk along with the safety of staff that might be in the area at the time of the fire. The best system for each client will be confirmed during a site visit by one of our fire protection experts, who will consider the options and give advice based on his/her findings.

Inert Gas Agents
These agents control the fire by causing the oxygen content within the protected enclosure to be reduced to a level that will not support combustion inert gas agents are electrically non-conductive and clean when used.

As they use natural gasses, inert gas agents have a zero ozone depleting and global warming potential, making this product ideal for eco-friendly commercial premises.Inert gas agents are not subject to thermal decomposition and therefore do not produce any hazardous by-products.

Typical applications for inert gas systems are:

  • Telecommunication facilities
  • Computer rooms
  • Control rooms
  • Transformer and switchgear rooms
  • Flammable liquid hazards
  • Shipboard machinery spaces
  • Record Storage

The systems are designed to operate through double knock point detection and / or the use of VESDA aspirating systems to provide very early smoke detection. Gaseous systems are designed to flood the area with the gas to extinguish the fire.

Chemical Gas Systems (Halo Carbon Gas Systems)
Most chemical agents extinguish a fire through a combination of heat absorption and chemical interference with the combustion chain. Halo carbon agents are stored in liquid form at a lower pressure than inert gasses, and as such take up less volume as their inert gas counterparts.

The cylinders are charged with a nitrogen propellant in that, when the gas is released, the nitrogen pushes the liquid extinguishing agent along the pipe work and out through the nozzles. As the chemical is stored at a low pressure, the storage cylinders or vessels may need to be located closer to the protected areas than an equivalent inert gas system.

Typical applications for Halo Carbon Gas Systems:

  • Telecommunication facilities
  • Computer rooms
  • Control rooms
  • Aero engine compartments
  • Transformer and switchgear rooms
  • Flammable liquid hazards
  •  Shipboard machinery spaces

Carbon Dioxide
Carbon dioxide protection systems require particular measures to be applied to their use and management as it is both toxic and asphyxiant at the concentration necessary to extinguish fire. Carbon dioxide is a clean agent with good penetrative qualities, and as such is suitable for use on live electrical equipment.

Typical application for carbon dioxide systems are:

  • Telecommunication facilities
  • Transformer and switchgear rooms
  • Record storage
  • Flammable liquid hazards
  • Shipboard machinery spaces
Smoke Control Systems

In designing a building, the incorporation of a smoke control system can significantly improve its life safety protection. Smoke Control Systems (sometimes known as fire ventilation or smoke vents) come in many forms and range widely in complexity, but their basic objectives are usually the same.

The objectives of smoke control systems are:

  • To keep escape and access routes free from smoke.
  • To facilitate fire fighting operations by creating a smoke free layer.
  • To delay and/or prevent flashover, and the subsequent development of the fire.
  • To protect the contents of the building.
  • To reduce the thermal effects on structural components during a fire.

The key components of smoke and fire ventilation systems are fire dampers; ductwork; smoke curtains; and powered and natural smoke and heat extract systems (smoke vents).

Smoke containment systems prevent the movement of smoke and heat from one area to another. These take the form of physical barriers either as smoke curtains or fire curtains, or as pressure differential systems, also known as pressurisation systems.

Smoke curtains are used:

  • To create a smoke reservoir by containing and limiting the travel of smoke.
  • To channel smoke in a predetermined direction.
  • To prevent or retard smoke entry to another area or void.
  •  Smoke and Heat Exhaust Ventilation Systems - Smoke Vents
Also known as "SHEVs" (smoke and heat exhaust ventilators), this is the generic term for natural and powered smoke extract systems, sometimes known as fire or smoke vents. In general, these remove the smoke from the building allowing low level escape routes to be kept clear of smoke.

EFT Systems offers the following services:

  • Scheme design of all types of Smoke and Heat Exhaust Ventilation Systems (SHEVS - smoke vent)
  • Scheme design of pressurisation systems
  • Scheme design of smoke containment systems
  • Provision of performance specifications
  • Project management
  • Supply, installation, commissioning and maintenance of systems, including all necessary controls, which will be designed to interface with others' control systems.
Sprinkler Systems
 

Automatic sprinkler systems are widely used in fire protection and are suitable and effective in a wide variety of locations. Releasing the required amount of water in line with the risk in the first moments of the fire is vital and is far more effective in containing the fire in the minutes before the fire brigade are able to get to the scene. The measured amount of water released can limit the water damage to property. The sprinkler system is activated through heat detection from a fire.

The heat sensitive sprinkler head opens and releases a spray of water when it reaches a specific temperature. The most common sprinkler head in Britain is the glass bulb type.

An alternative to this system is the soldered strut type where the solder melts at a specific temperature to release the water spray.

Sprinkler systems are tailored to suit the type of fire that is to be expected in the protected areas. Sometimes the system is designed to meet different demands in separate zones of the same building. Huge savings can be achieved by tailoring the systems in this way to reduce the size of pumps tanks and pipe work. Insurance companies offer attractive premium discounts against properly installed and regularly maintained sprinkler protection as they reduce losses dramatically.

The design of a sprinkler system needs to comply with various British Standards and therefore should only be carried out by approved fire contractors

Typical applications for sprinkler systems are:

  • Warehouses
  • Factories
  • Schools
  • Offices
  • Domestic Dwellings
  • Theaters/Cinemas
  • Houses of multiple occupancy
  • Ships and Marine Applications
  • Atria buildings
  • High rise building
  • Shopping precincts
  • Sports Centres