Safeguarding Tower Block Residents from Fire
Residents of a London tower block awaiting the replacement of cladding identified as unsuitable following the Grenfell Tower tragedy are being protected by a wireless detection and evacuation system following guidance issued by the National Fire Chiefs Council.
The landmark tower in Deptford, South-East London, had been subject to a 24/7 Waking Watch at a monthly cost of £15,000 since defective HPL and ACM cladding was identified on the structure in 2020.
Developed by Hyfire in Trieste, Italy, the Taurus fire protection solution features patented Pathfinder Technology which allows point-to-point open air communication between devices and system components over a range of 1 kilometre and greater when expansion hops are deployed.
Fire panels are wired via a loop to translators, from which wireless devices can be used on their own to build fully wireless systems of virtually any size, or mixed with the manufacturer’s wired products to provide seamless hybrid solutions, offering flexibility for specifiers and installers.
Daren Pool, managing director of technology integrator Triple Star Fire & Security Ltd which oversaw the installation, comments: “The brief from the management company was to deliver an interim solution that could cover the communal and residential areas of the tower, allowing them to do away with Waking Watch while ensuring the safety of all residents.
“As it requires around 90 per cent less cable runs than a standard wired system, the latest Taurus range from Hyfire was the obvious choice.
“The wireless devices are not only easier to install in a residential building, given that they can be pre-programmed offsite, they also limit contact with residents, which is of particular benefit in the current pandemic situation. Once the defective cladding has been removed, the system can be adapted in accordance with BS 5839-1 L5 requirements, with the devices inside each apartment used as part of a BS8629 evacuation management system, if required.”
Ollie Murray, Hyfire’s regional sales manager for South-East England adds: “We worked closely with Daren and his team to specify a system with 425 Taurus wireless devices that could be installed rapidly, and with limited impact on the fabric of the building, ensuring safety and peace of mind for all residents of the tower.
“This is exactly the sort of scenario where wireless fire devices come into their own and, as the new system has allowed Waking Watch to be removed, it will start paying for itself immediately.
“The issue of cladding has been a major cause of stress for many residents, and the excessive cost of Waking Watch only added to the apprehension. With this new fire system, we have solved two issues simultaneously and, while the goal remains to have the building fully rectified, I believe the wireless fire system from Hyfire offers enhanced protection in the short-term, as well as savings every month.”