CDS offers high tech solution as fire brigade condemns number of unsafe buildings

Posted: 02.09.2021

With the commissioner of the London Fire Brigade calling this month for urgent action as the number of tower blocks in London with fire safety failings passed an “unacceptable milestone” of 1,000, CDS reports a growing order book as building managers call on its services to install high tech evacuation systems.

London Fire Brigade commissioner Andy Roe said that while more than 700 of the 1,006 tall buildings he identified as unsafe are at risk because of cladding issues, the remainder have other fire safety defects.

And it is 18m plus buildings of this nature whose managers are calling on CDS to help ensure they are protecting residents and complying with fire safety regulations. Additionally having such systems can prevent false alarm callouts – for which London Fire Brigade sometimes imposes heavy fines.

Andy Roe said: “We’re calling on all building owners and managers to take urgent action to remediate their buildings if there are serious fire safety failings. It is completely unacceptable for residents to be burdened with the knowledge, and the fear that can bring, that their building may not be safe in the event of a fire.”

He added that pressure is being put on officers who have to inspect or re-inspect buildings that have changed their evacuation strategy.

CDS has been heavily involved in designing, supplying, installing and maintaining complex fire safety detection systems in multi-storey residential blocks, many with numerous lifts, for several decades.

These include buildings for student, private rental and housing association tenants across the UK.

The addition of a new piece of technology to the CDS arsenal is providing even greater confidence to high rise dwellers.

The new C-TEC EVAC-ALERT system, which helps the fire and rescue service evacuate all or part of a building in an emergency, complies with the new BS 8629:2019 standard which gives guidance on the type of evacuation system installed in high rise blocks.

Housed in a vandal-resistant locked cabinet for use only by the fire and rescue service, the control panel features an intuitive interface, bright LED indicators and easy-to-operate toggle switches for each evacuation zone.

Global property management company Greystar, which has a multi-billion-pound portfolio of large-scale rental properties, is among the landlords choosing CDS to maintain and repair its fire alarm systems.

The contract sees CDS look after the safety of around 3,000 students and 1,500 private rental tenants in more than a dozen of its developments across the capital.

The role involves maintaining and repairing all the properties’ fire alarms, emergency lighting systems, automatic opening vents, sprinklers, dry and wet risers, fire hydrants and disabled refuges.

CDS service manager Keith Helstrip explained: ““These buildings are many storeys high and have several lifts. One has 32 floors. The fire safety requirements are highly complex and obviously of paramount importance and the systems in place have to be rigorously maintained and with a fast, effective, responsive repair system.”

• CDS has created a mini video highlighting how remote monitoring systems can help protect buildings and their occupants while also preventing costly false alarms.

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