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Fireco releases free-swing door closer suitable for high-risk areas

Fireco releases free-swing door closer suitable for high-risk areas

Fireco has just released its newest innovation, Freedor Pro. A radio activated, free-swing door closer that allows you to place a door open at any angle. Controlled by the Transmitter through a radio signal, Freedor Pro is not affected by background noise and so false activations are eliminated. This means that Freedor Pro, along with the rest of the Pro Range, is suitable for areas of high-risk.

Areas considered as high-risk can include corridors, stairwells and kitchens. However, there are certain buildings that are also a concern for fire safety, such as high rise buildings, care homes, and HMOs.

Due to recent events, including Grenfell, there has been an increase in demand for fire safety products that are acceptable for places of significant risk. Marketing Manager, Sam Iden explained “Our motto is Compliance Made Easy, so when customers started asking for a product that we didn’t yet have, we knew we needed to act. This led us to develop our existing range, to meet the current need for safe and legal products”.

The Freedor Pro is the latest addition to the professional range of products, which already includes the Dorgard Pro. This means the current products include a free-swing door closer and a door retainer. Fireco is also working on plans for other items to be added to the Pro Range.

Fireco will be demonstrating their new product and giving a sneak peek of future innovations at FIREX 2019. FIREX is 18-20 June 2019 and is held at the ExCel London, the stand number is FX727.

If you would like further information about Fireco’s Pro Range, speak to a member of the team on 01273 320650, or go to www.fireco.uk

Firex details

Date: 18-20 June 2019

Venue: ExCel London, E161XL

Stand number: FX727

Why installers are choosing Fireco

Why installers are choosing Fireco

Nearly one million fire doors are being kept open safely using our products. With approximately 3 million fire doors being bought and installed every year in the UK, there are still a lot more to cover! We want to prevent people from wedging open fire doors, by making compliance easy.

Fireco products improve the daily lives of the end-user by improving access and ventilation, whilst also ensuring that they remain safe and compliant.

So, what benefits do Approved Fireco Installers get?

The Pro range is installer-exclusive

Our Pro range of products is controlled by a transmitter that connects to the fire alarm panel, therefore can only be installed by a professional. This means we supply exclusively through professional installers.

Exclusive pricing

We offer preferential pricing to Fireco installers to give you the opportunity to make a profit from both the supply of our products and the installation.

Free installer workshop

We host free monthly workshops for installers at our office where we cover:

  • how to check a fire door is compliant
  • how to spot selling opportunities
  • how the products work
  • hands-on training on how to fit and commission Fireco products.

New business opportunities

Once you are an Approved Fireco Installer, you will have the skills to be able to identify opportunities with your existing customers and potential new customers.

We have done a lot of work for Together Housing who changed to a silent evacuation system and needed a different door retainer. The Fireco Transmitter is easy to connect to a relay and the products are straightforward to fit. They always work and our customers are happy.

Darren

Easicall Ltd

Fireco will support you

We offer support that is best for you. Whether you need us to assist you with a site survey at a customers premises, or if you need us to come to your business and provide a training session for your team. Also, our customer service team is always at the end of the phone to answer any questions.

We called up with some questions about a site survey. We spoke to Jade and Ryan who were really helpful, I couldn’t fault them at all. They sent a Fireco Engineer the very next day to assist us in doing the site survey. Once we have done that job, we will have another 2 to complete after.

Andi Simmons

Thameside Fire

Made with installers in mind

The Pro range is designed to make compliance easy. They are simple to use and quick to install.

The products work really well and are simple to install. We installed 39 Dorgard Pro, 2 repeaters and 1 transmitter all in a day! We have also fitted some of the new Freedor Pro at a school which the teachers love.

Simon Eley

UK Fire Stopping Ltd

Handy site survey kit

You can buy a site survey kit from us. It contains the Pro range so that you can easily and quickly carry out a mock set up to see how many items your customer will need in their premises. It looks professional and can be stored in the van at all times due to its small size.

If you would like more information about becoming an Approved Fireco Installer, click here.

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How to prepare for a fire in a historic building

How to prepare for a fire in a historic building

With the recent fire that broke out at Notre-Dame in Paris, there has been a lot of discussion about how best to deal with fires in historic or listed buildings. The firefighters who arrived at the scene had a protocol to follow, that had been previously planned in the case of such events. This procedure expressed the order of priority of what needed to be saved: people, art, the altar, any furniture possible and then the building. Following this protocol meant that no one was harmed and most of the historic treasures had been saved. Some of the building was completely destroyed, however, the fire was eventually controlled and a lot of the interior survived, meaning that there is hope for a full restoration.

(Hover to scroll through photos)

So, how should fire be dealt with in historic and listed buildings?

Plan and prepare

It is vital that there is a procedure in place that states exactly what needs to happen in the event of a fire- just like the one in place for Notre-Dame. This will not only help people to be saved but for irreplaceable items to be retrieved.

To plan for the event of a fire, you will need to have up to date building plans. These can help to locate key artefacts, fire exits, evacuation routes and fire safety equipment. All of this information will show how best to respond.

The Technical Director from the Fire Protection Association has also pointed out the importance of planning and preparing, saying:

“It could be considered amazing that anything was saved, but this will not be by accident. It is likely the French fire services would have prepared for and rehearsed for this event many times over the years, and whilst the resulting outcome may look quite devastating, there will certainly be more fabric to rebuild from going forward, as a result of this pre-planning.”

Prevention methods

Avoiding a fire is the obvious best scenario. A fire risk assessment is a good place to start as this will identify the areas of concern. Once these have been identified, you can take steps to reduce the risk. For example, in a church, a big risk area could be curtains and drapes hanging over walls. To minimise the risk of these, you would ensure they are not placed near any ignition sources such as a lamp or candle and move them away from any fire exits or evacuation routes.

Protect

Fire safety equipment is key when it comes to tackling a fire. This can include: fire extinguishers, sprinkler system, fire curtains, alarm systems, and anything else that will prevent the spread of fire.

Installing fire safety products can be controversial as they can affect the aesthetics of historic and listed buildings, however, there are options that will create minimal disruption to the structure and visuals, whilst still offering protection.

Maintain

After the assessments, plans and modifications have been carried out, they will need to be routinely reviewed. If anything changes, there may be new risks, for example, if there is construction work on site. Or, you may carry out a fire drill which uncovers faults in the original plan. By carrying out regular checks, you will avoid any shortcomings in your plan.

Historic and listed buildings are extremely meaningful and important to heritage as they hold so many memories and have survived through events that shape a country. Just like how the Notre-Dame has been standing tall for 800 years, even surviving through two world wars.

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“Approximately half of those killed by fires in the home are aged 65 or over” states the North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service*. Older people are often more vulnerable when it comes to accidents and emergencies which places a huge importance on fire safety...

Why is compartmentation so important?

It takes seconds for a fire to spread through a hole the size of a pen nib. Compartmentation is a way to keep a fire contained in one place, preventing fire and smoke from spreading quickly and taking over the building.

How do fire doors affect the lives of care home residents?

How do fire doors affect the lives of care home residents?

“Approximately half of those killed by fires in the home are aged 65 or over” states the North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service*. Older people are often more vulnerable when it comes to accidents and emergencies which places a huge importance on fire safety in care homes. Vulnerability can be down to various reasons, such as, mobility issues, reduced senses, such as not being able to smell, and health issues that can lead to a lack of awareness, such as dementia.

Self closing fire doors have a valuable role in protecting residents in the case of a fire. They create a fire safe compartment which prevents fire from spreading rapidly through a building and allowing time for a safe escape, or rescue from the fire brigade. However, in the daily lives of elderly residents, these heavy self closing doors can be very problematic.

Here are some of the ways that fire doors can affect the lives of residents:

  • Some residents may be injured by fire doors closing too quickly on them, causing them to fall or get bruises.
  • Residents in wheelchairs, on crutches or have temporary mobility issues, may find that they have trouble with access.
  • Residents may feel isolated or lonely due to their door being constantly closed, especially if they are living alone.
  • Due to the weight of fire doors they often slam shut. This may be disruptive, and could even wake residents up during the night.
  • Residents may want to open the doors and windows to allow fresh air to flow through their living space, especially if they struggle to go out. However, closed fire doors will limit the ventilation in the room.
  • Fire doors can be very heavy, meaning some residents will need assistance getting through. This can reduce independence and they may even feel trapped in their own home if they can’t get through the doors alone.

These reasons could lead to residents in sheltered housing and care homes to wedge open their fire doors. However, fire doors can only serve their purpose if they are shut.

Click the tabs below for examples of how wedged/closed fire doors have changed the outcome of fires in care homes.

**In 2005, Rhos Priory care home suffered an electrical fire in the laundry room. Residents were told by staff to remain in the rooms, but as the fire got out of hand all 35 residents had to be evacuated. Four of them had to be taken to hospital after the fire, but luckily were discharged the same day.

When the firefighters entered the building they found the self closers in the fire doors had been tampered with, stopping them from closing properly. There were also multiple wedged open doors throughout the building. This prevented effective compartmentation and allowed for the smoke and fire to spread. The care home manager was fined for failing to keep residents safe.

***In 2014, Donwell House care home were fined £380,000 after a woman was hospitalised due to a fire. Following an investigation, the Fire & Rescue Service found that the fire and smoke had spread from a bedroom through to the hallway because some of the doors were wedged open. This meant that the residents were not able to use the corridor for a means of escape and one resident had to be rescued from a first floor window.

If the fire doors were not wedged open, the fire would have been contained in one room which would have prevented the fire from spreading.

****In 2015, a fire broke out at Summerlands Care Home due to a tumble dryer fault. Staff evacuated 17 residents and firefighters evacuated 6. When the fire service went to tackle the fire they noticed that it had been contained due to all the fire doors being closed. This meant that the blaze could be extinguished and damage was minimised. Not only this, all the residents were safely evacuated.

This is a perfect example of how fire doors play a vital role in saving lives during a fire.

Click here to find out how staff safely evacuated all residents with the help of Fireco products.

Wedging doors open is illegal and can lead to major damage to property, business disruption, large fines and even fatalities. Fire doors can be seen as problematic in the daily lives of residents, however in the long run can save lives. There are legal and safe ways to hold open fire doors, whilst also empowering elderly residents.

*https://www.northyorksfire.gov.uk/communitysafety/elderly-vulnerable

**https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/boss-fined-after-care-home-2891676

***https://www.ifsecglobal.com/fire-news/5-care-home-operators-regret-fire-safety-negligence/

****https://www.hantsfire.gov.uk/incidents-news-and-events/news-releases/2015/six-rescued-from-care-home/

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Why is compartmentation so important?

Why is compartmentation so important?

It takes seconds for a fire to spread through a hole the size of a pen nib. Compartmentation is a way to keep a fire contained in one place, preventing fire and smoke from spreading quickly and taking over the building. By creating these fire-resistant compartments, fire can be suppressed for around 30 minutes (time can vary depending on the building structure).

There are different elements to creating a fire safe compartment and there are many things that can reduce the effectiveness.

Fire doors

  • Self closing
  • certified door and frame
  • No gaps around the doors when closed
  • Intumescent seal (swells with heat)

If fire doors are wedged open, the whole building will be exposed to the risk of fire. Even if the rest of the building has perfect measures in place, when fire doors are wedged open the fire will be able to spread anyway. This is why it is against regulations to wedge open fire doors. All fire doors need to be checked regularly to ensure that they are up to a good standard. For more information about how to check your fire doors, click here.

Building structure

  • Floors and walls made from fire resistant materials: bricks, concrete, stucco, gypsum board.
  • Cavity barriers in roof voids (closes gaps in concealed spaces to block fire and smoke)

Compartmentalising a fire will only work if the building is kept in a good condition. There needs to be special attention if any work is done on the walls or floors that change the integrity e.g. drilling. If there is any damage it must be repaired, and any gaps or holes need to be filled.

Smoke and fire dampers

  • Mechanical: pivot system (like window blinds) or curtain system.
  • Intumescent: will react to heat and swell up, blocking all openings.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems will all have a type of fire damper.They must be installed in order to close off any gaps in the room and maintain compartmentation in the event of a fire. Fire and smoke dampers need to be regularly checked and serviced. How often, will depend on the environment they are in and what type is in place. However, it is recommended by British Standards to test them every 1-2 years.

Following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, there have been many investigations into how the fire got out of hand so quickly. The fire started on the 4th floor and in just 12 minutes had spread up 19 floors. The external cladding was the first breach of compartmentation on the tower block. It is said to be the reason for the fire being able to spread up the whole building and therefore entering other flats, which otherwise could have been unaffected.

Another breach of compartmentation that contributed to the spread of fire is said to be that the front doors to the flats did not meet fire resistant standards. The doors didn’t last the regulatory minimum of 30 minutes and some of them also had broken self-closers meaning that they were open during the time of the fire.

This devastating case has highlighted the importance of compartmentation.

Effective compartmentation can save lives if a fire breaks out. It allows for the fire service to tackle the fire and the “Stay Put Policy” to be an effective way to keep residents safe. Compartmentation is especially important for escape routes, so that anyone in the building can safely evacuate.

If you are unsure about the compartmentation in your building, contact a fire safety provider who can carry out a survey.

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How to prepare for a fire in a historic building

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How do fire doors affect the lives of care home residents?

“Approximately half of those killed by fires in the home are aged 65 or over” states the North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service*. Older people are often more vulnerable when it comes to accidents and emergencies which places a huge importance on fire safety...

Why is compartmentation so important?

It takes seconds for a fire to spread through a hole the size of a pen nib. Compartmentation is a way to keep a fire contained in one place, preventing fire and smoke from spreading quickly and taking over the building.

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