CDS helps NTU students in pursuit of their dream career

Final year students at Nottingham Trent University have been learning about careers in the fire safety industry – with advice from the company which is helping protect the lives of tens of thousands of fellow undergraduates, visitors and staff.

Two of the team from fire detection and life safety systems specialist, CDS, joined representatives from other industries at this month’s careers fayre to provide insight and advice on professions they have been mulling over during their time on campus.

They discussed graduate careers in bid writing, finance and business development – all roles CDS is seeking to fill as it expands both geographically and in the services it offers. The company has already moved into Wales, the North, the West Country and along the M4 and M5 corridor into London and recently acquired a water compliance company.

CDS specifies, supplies, installs and maintains fire safety systems for many of the country’s universities and has worked with NTU for more than 30 years. In fact, the Honeywell Gent Vigilon networked fire safety system it installed and maintains there is one of the largest in the UK and operates across more than 60 buildings and three campuses.

The scope of the work has grown enormously over the decades and CDS now exclusively oversees NTU’s fire safety strategy throughout all three of its campuses. Each has numerous Gent Vigilon analogue addressable systems which are networked together and then ‘globally networked’ between each of the three sites – Clifton, City and Brackenhurst.

The project, which saw CDS install an integrated visual fire alarm and detection system using ‘Text and Graphics’ software, was implemented throughout the university’s estate a few years ago. It can be managed via PC, tablet or mobile device, making it the ultimate in system control and end user management.

CDS also works closely with its university clients in helping students stay safe during national Student Fire Safety Week, offering potentially life-saving advice in the form of posters in halls of residence and on social media including Instagram, in partnership with the National Union of Students.

CDS national sales manager Sophie Kelly and bid manager Nigel Smith will be repeating the experience later this month at Leicester University, whose fire safety systems are maintained by CDS’ Leicester-based team.

CDS colleagues raise funds for Leicester hospitals and Lutterworth food bank

Patients at Leicester Royal Infirmary and the city’s general hospital, along with families in need, have benefitted from the fundraising efforts of CDS colleagues over the past year.

Dressing up in ludicrous outfits is the money-gathering vehicle of choice for the CDS team.  A Hallowe’en event which saw a terrifying number of ghosts and witches descend on the offices selling ghoulish cakes helped them raise £500 for the Leicester Hospitals Charity.

The money went into the charity’s ‘area of greatest need’ fund, with recent purchases including a microwave and portering chair in the discharge lounge of Leicester Royal Infirmary, cordless phones for the pharmacy homecare department at Leicester General, a mini fridge for the blood sciences quality team and games for one of the wards.

The charity is also raising funds for chairs for its chemotherapy suite, with each item carrying a £5,000 price tag.

A Christmas jumper day – and another cake sale – raised funds for the Lutterworth Food Bank for the second year running.

While last Christmas saw CDS employees donate luxury foods and toiletries, this year organisers invited financial donations to enable them to buy specific items for families in need.

The food bank is one of around 1,200 nationwide overseen by the Trussell Trust, a charity whose longer-term aim is to end the need for such facilities in the UK.

CDS managing director Simon Abley said: “We chose to focus on the Leicester Hospitals Charity as it serves the community near our head office and several of our team and their families have been treated at its hospitals. The food bank was the choice of one of our directors, Martin Illiffe, who has supported it for many years wearing his Rotary Club hat. While market towns like Lutterworth seem relatively affluent on the surface, there is an undercurrent of families who are struggling, and we are keen to play our part in supporting people in these difficult times.”


CDS wins maintenance contract with kings of the vegan sausage roll, Greggs

CDS has won a contract to maintain and service the fire safety systems at a new distribution centre for one of the best-known bakery chains in the UK.

It will provide annual maintenance at the Greggs’ 66,000 sq ft bakery in Amesbury in Wiltshire, which employs around a hundred people including operatives, supervisors and drivers.

The centre, along with four sister sites scattered across the country, supplies some of the company’s 2,300 stores nationwide which together feed a staggering six milion customers a week.

The contract will see the CDS team maintain the warehouse’s extensive network of Gent Vigilon Panel fire alarm and detection systems, originally installed by CDS, fire alarm and detection systems and portable fire extingushers.

The complex fire safety system has to be rigorously maintained and needs a fast, effective, responsive repair system.

CDS will also carry out twice yearly fire risk assessments at the premises, a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) in England and Wales.

With stricter rules surrounding such assessments due to become law later in the year, more companies are choosing professionals such as CDS to act on their behalf, even though they can legally be carried out in-house.

Building owners could face extensive fines for fire safety breaches under the Building Safety Bill currently going through the House of Lords, making the need to ensure fire risk assessments are kept up to date even more important.

The new measures will also make it easier to identify who is responsible for fire safety, with anyone impersonating or obstructing a fire inspector facing unlimited fines.

CDS managing director Simon Abley said: “We offer a comprehensive and highly technical range of fire and life safety services. As well as helping organisations protect their workforce, residents and visitors, we can ensure they remain compliant.

“Getting to grips with what is required from both a safety and a compliance point of view is a specialised area.

“As well as specifying, installing and maintaining systems, often in multi-building environments, we can help companies avoid the potentially huge costs of false alarms, reduce outgoings by installing remote monitoring systems and consolidate disparate existing systems under one roof.”

• CDS national sales manager Sophie Kelly celebrates winning CDS’ new contract to carry out annual maintenance for Greggs bakery