CDS is behind one of the largest networked Gent Vigilon fire safety systems in the UK 

News | August 2020

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Life safety systems specialist CDS is responsible for one of the largest Gent Vigilon networked fire safety systems in the UK – designed to protect the lives of tens of thousands of students, staff and visitors across more than 60 buildings and three campuses.

The company has been working with Nottingham Trent University for more than 30 years. In  fact, it was a polytechnic when CDS began  its journey with NTU, switching to university status in 1992.

The scope of the work has grown enormously over the decades and CDS now exclusively oversees the 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’ (WINMAG) 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’ latest project was to supply more than 500 ‘Dorgard Fire Door Retainers’ as part of the university’s COVID-19 Secure policy. This provides an easy, safe and legal way to hold fire doors open and reduce the use of touch surfaces such as door handles and door plates.

This urgent response to an evolving situation is just one example of the varied disciplines CDS can offer to support its wider life safety systems.

CDS director Tony Mikunda acknowledged the early work of a now retired director, Clive Johnson, for the foundations laid during the early years of the relationship between the university and CDS.

“This gave the university confidence in our ability to provide a reliable service and 24-hour, seven-day emergency breakdown support,” he explained.

The fact that the buildings are heavily populated puts it into a high-risk category as far as BS5839 pt. 1: 2017 safety standards are concerned, necessitating category L2 protection – the second highest level specifiable.

The CDS-specified Honeywell Gent fire alarm system is installed and maintained in all non-residential buildings across the trio of campuses – the central city site as well as its satellite location, Clifton, five miles away and its agricultural, equestrian and horticultural division Brackenhurst, 15 miles in the opposite direction.

CDS also specifies and maintains disabled refuge systems which provide a safe haven in the case of fire for those with mobility issues.

The company is now busy helping the university review its entire building stock – a process whose scale means the project will take several months to compete.