New government fire safety regulations coming into force in the new year will put more responsibility at the feet of those managing high rise blocks of flats. And Fire Door Safety Week this week sees fire safety specialists CDS and Drax 360 reminding facilities managers that their decades of expertise will help them comply with the new legislation.
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, which come into force in January 2023, will make it obligatory for the ‘responsible person’ in all multi-occupied residential buildings in England more than 11 metres high to carry out quarterly checks of all fire doors in communal areas and annual checks of all flat entrance doors which lead onto a building’s common areas.
Previously, flat entrance doors in multi-occupied residential buildings may not have been routinely considered as part of the fire risk assessment process.
CDS has been designing, supplying, installing and maintaining complex fire safety detection systems in multi-storey residential blocks, many with numerous lifts, for several decades, protecting the occupants and ensuring the responsible persons comply with fire safety regulations. These include buildings for student, private rental and housing association tenants across the UK.
And now, since bringing fire technology specialist Drax 360 into the wider CDS fold, it is able to offer an even broader range of innovative technology aimed at making fire safety management easier and more accurate.
These include a graphics package – AMX – which makes identifying the source of a fire straightforward, even for a newly trained security employee or someone for whom English is not his or her first language.
Other technologies, such as the Gent Vigilon multiple networked system can protect numerous buildings across a wide area. Fire alarms can be monitored away from the premises, via 4G or the internet and in accordance with British Standards.
Another piece of technology in the CDS arsenal is proving popular with facilities managers at high rise blocks previously protected by a costly Waking Watch patrol.
The C-TEC EVAC-ALERT system helps the fire and rescue service evacuate all or part of a building in an emergency and 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.
CDS MD Simon Abley said: “The new regulation is being brought in following the Grenfell enquiry, which highlighted the essential role played by fire doors in preventing or inhibiting the spread of smoke and toxic gases. Fire doors are designed both to contain a fire within the space in which it broke out to allow time for the emergency services to arrive and to enable the building’s occupants access to safe escape routes. We offer full fire risk assessments and with our range of innovative technologies can also help facilities managers keep track of their physical fire safety assets, locate the precise source of a fire outbreak and check for false alarms.”
The FDSW website offers plenty of advice to property owners on how to ensure their doors tick all the safety and compliance boxes, including a five-step check which covers certification, gap sizes, seals, hinges and closeability.