Association for Specialist Fire Protection

Issue 17 - October 2013

ASFP regional seminar a sell-out success

ASFP seminarThe Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) held the first in a series of regional CPD seminars in Manchester on 26 September 2013. The sell-out event attracted over 130 delegates from across the North West and beyond.

Held in association with the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue, the event received universal praise from the audience for providing essential advice on all aspects of passive fire protection; its specification, installation, inspection and maintenance.

Aimed at improving awareness of passive fire protection, Understanding Passive Fire Protection, offered presentations from technical experts from across the fire sector, including the ASFP, BWF, Glass and Glazing Federation and thefire service. It covered all aspects of passive fire protection, including an overview of risks in buildings in relation to passive fire protection; and introductions to fire doors, fire-resistant glazing, structural fire protection, compartment wall penetrations and firestopping.

The next event will take place in Sunderland on 20 January 2014. Further events are confirmed in, Cardiff and London, with additional seminars in Birmingham, Scotland, Belfast and Dublin planned.

The events are suitable for anyone who is responsible for specifying or inspecting passive fire protection or those appointing trades that could cause damage to existing fire protection in the process of their work. They should particularly appeal to practising Fire Risk Assessors, Responsible Persons, Local Authorities, Facilities Managers, Building Control, and Care Home Providers.

The price of each event is just £25 plus VAT, including lunch. ASFP and BWF members can book at a special rate of £15 plus VAT. A donation of £5 from every booking will be made to the Children’s Burns Trust.

For further information on ASFP activities or to book a place at the Sunderland event, please visit www.asfp.org.uk; call 01420 471612; or email: info@asfp.org.uk

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BM TRADA hosts fire safety workshop

BM TRADABM TRADA is sponsoring a workshop at the Fire Sector Summit on 24 October. The session – Is now the time for a national Fire Safe Register?– will consider methods for ensuring quality, competence and compliance in the design, specification and construction of buildings, as well as in the fire safety management of existing buildings.

Chaired by Mike Wood, Chair of the Passive Fire Protection Federation, the workshop will explore how the responsibilities placed on building occupiers by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order has resulted in a renewed focus on ensuring the competency of all those engaged in delivering safe workplaces. It will also consider the need for products to be fit for purpose, correctly specified, installed and maintained.

Citing national assurance competent person schemes in other industry sectors, such as the Gas Safe Register, the workshop will consider if the time is right for the introduction of a Fire Safe Register, to create a uniform benchmark for all installers and maintainers across the country and a simple, one-stop solution for end-users.
The workshop will review the role of existing third party product, installation, maintenance and risk assessor certification schemes in offering greater assurance to building owners and occupiers, while examining whether a single co-ordinated register could simplify the process and reduce confusion for end-users.  

Speakers will include Peter Gannaway, Chair of the National Social Housing Fire Strategy Group, Dave Sibert of the Fire Brigades Union and BM TRADA’s Ross Newman. The outcomes will be presented in a ‘talking heads’ video hosted by the BBC’s John Humphrys.

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LFS offers steel frame armour

LFS Frame ArmourLondon Fire Solutions (LFS) has developed a Steel Frame Armour system, designed to cover existing timber door frames with a recessed housing for its standard 3-point locking system and fire rated hinges.

The system will enhance and upgrade the original frame, enabling it to receive the fitting of a new LFS ‘enhanced security’ door set which has achieved SBD accreditation and has passed the BM TRADA 30 minute fire test. 

LFS says that in addition to the enhancement of frame security, the advantage of using this system is that there is no disturbance to the adjacent finishes. Using the existing frame as a sub-frame, installation time is considerably reduced, and the property becomes secure quickly, with no visible fixings. 

Once fixed to the head and two jambs, the frame armour creates an interlocking system at every junction. It is machined by laser cutter, and is ready to receive locking plates and hinges that are available from any high street ironmonger, meaning that any maintenance issue can easily be resolved by a carpenter.

The company offers a ‘supply and fit’ installation, complete with BM TRADA Q mark / FIRAS certification, or simply ‘supply only’ with training provided.

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Minister praises Exova investment

Exova WarringtonfireExova Warringtonfire has opened a new centre of excellence in Warrington, adding more than 4,000m2 to its showcase facility to provide customers with increased capacity and expanded testing services.

The company – part of the global testing group Exova – says the extended facility will create a significant increase in application preparation areas focusing on concrete and steel coatings. This will give the site more capacity and improve customer confidentiality, as well as improving the scope of testing available.

Opening the facility, Brandon Lewis MP, Minister for Fire, praised the investment, saying, “It is encouraging to see a global business such as Exova committing investment to the highly skilled services for which the UK is known and which increasingly put us at the forefront of advancing fire safety worldwide.

“The confidence that Exova has shown in our economic prospects is to be welcomed, and underlines that we are continuing on a road to growth.”

Other new services at the facility include controlled access for customers, and booths fitted with gas detectors/explosimeters and active and research testing facilities for residential and domestic watermist systems.

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Fire protection for bolted connections

International PaintAlthough a critical component of a structural frame, the performance of connection sin the event of a fire has not always been given the attention that it perhaps deserves, according to International Paint.

The company says it is essential that a structural connection is appropriately protected from the risk of fire, and has a range of Interchar Bolt Caps that can provide a solution to these critical connection points while incorporating aesthetically pleasing features into the exposed steel.

Reduction in strength and stiffness of steel during a fire can result in structural failure. While structural steel members are routinely protected against the effects of fire through the use of passive fire protection materials, such as intumescent coatings, bolted connections remain a source of potential structural weakness during a fire.

Interchar Bolt Caps are a patented reinforced cap held in place with corrosion resistant gripping clips, designed for a range of typical bolt sizes. They retain material integrity during and after fire exposure, and can protect the bolted connection against possible embrittlement caused by rapid quenching from water during fire fighting activities.

Bolt caps are favoured by applicators as an inexpensive and quick installation solution compared to traditional site-applied coatings. Solvent-free and without the potential for site spillage, they are said to be a sustainable option for the industry.

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IFC group celebrates 2013 success

IFC AwardThe IFC Group is celebrating a number of recent successes; winning the prestigious Fire Safety Engineering Solution of the Year Award at Firex International, the 10th Anniversary of IFC Certification Ltd (IFCC) and gaining a number of new high profile certification and fire engineering clients and projects.

At the inaugural Building Test Expo in Cologne, IFC Group engineers presented papers on CE Marking, product testing and certification, as well as the future of quality marks.  The Expo coincided with the 10th anniversary of IFCC, which was originally established to meet manufacturers' and installers' calls for a more competitive market and choice of certification schemes and assurance organisations in the fire safety sector. Ten years on IFC Certification has now established a strong and growing market share and the Expo picked up a number of new clients in Europe, as well as in the Middle East where the IFC Certification mark is recognised by Civil Defence authorities.

Since the Construction Products Regulation became law in July 2013 the company says that client feedback has been ‘very positive’ with IFCC being extremely busy providing clear independent and strategic advice to clients on how to simplify procedures, testing and to generally reduce their CE marking costs.

In 2013, IFC Certification has also significantly expanded its range of services and schemes to include for example; ISO 9001 Certification, Installer Certification (including Passive and Active), Site Inspection, CE Marking, Fire Risk Assessor Certification etc.

The International Fire Consultants, FIREX 2013 Fire Safety Engineering Solution of the Year Award was for a complex project design that combined passive, active and fire engineered solutions. IFC overcame the engineering challenges on a major building which was spring-mounted to isolate it from the vibration of London Underground lines below. The use of proven passive protection products provided confidence in the performance of the design and kept maintenance and servicing to a minimum, ensuring the components will deliver fire safety as specified.

For further information please contact Jeff Brydon on +44 (0) 1844 275500.

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Firestopit going underground

FirestopitFirestopit have developed PYROPRO LST, an Acrylic Intumescent Sealant to be used in subsurface locations throughout the London Underground network system.

The new product is a one part, intumescent acrylic emulsion, designed to resist the passage of fire while maintaining low smoke and toxicity levels.

The sealant will intumesce and form a char that prevents the passage of fire and smoke when exposed to the heat of a fire. In normal use it will maintain the sound reduction index of a structure. It has been tested to 600Pa for air permeability and remains flexible at all times.

Designed for use within concealed areas such as tunnels and the London Underground, PYROPRO LST has been developed around the specific requests of London Underground to have a sealant that meets their subsurface regulations, while at the same time remaining flexible and easy to use for the applicator.

Available in white, grey, and brown – or special colours on request – it has received the ‘authorised for use’ registration number 2199. PYROPRO LST has undergone testing against London Underground Standard 1-085 which incorporates BS 6853 for smoke and toxicity and ISO 4589 Oxygen Index. The sealant has also been tested to EN 1366 – 3 & 4 for service penetration seals and linear joint seals.

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New ‘Naturvent’ system from Ash Fire Management

ASH Fire ManagementAsh Fire Management has announced the launch of its new Naturvent passive fire security system.

The company says that the Naturvent system has been proven and approved to extend escape times in the early stages of fire development and to manage the toxins and smoke created during a fire scenario.

The system also aids compartmentation by providing an exhaust route for the heat generated in the latter stages of the fire, assisting fire and rescue services in the execution of their duties.

Tests were conducted at BRE’s Watford test facility in May 2013, with the calibrations and findings being verified by the Fire Safety Engineering Group of Greenwich University in August 2013.

A series of demonstrations showing the effectiveness of the new system will be held at the company’s forthcoming “Fire Safety Showground Event” situated close to the M25 in London. To attend a demonstration, please register at demos@ashfire.co.uk

For further information please contact Paul Evans on +44 (0) 7792 628510, or John Maxfield on +44 (0) 7917 769133

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CE marking prompts new Actionair literature

ActionairActionair, the damper brand of Ruskin Air Management, is revamping its product literature to address the introduction of mandatory CE marking in the UK.

The 3-stage project begins with an updated 40-page catalogue featuring its Smoke Shield PTC damper range.

The company says that, with CE becoming mandatory on a wide range of building services equipment since July, dampers, as a vital life safety product, are under particular scrutiny.

Actionair’s head of marketing, Charles Shillitoe, said, “CE marking is changing the landscape for damper specification, and we felt our customers needed a completely up-to-date set of technical literature to support them at this important time. The advent of CE marking has increased demand for detailed technical information and installation guidance.”

The revised catalogue provides complete and approved installation methods, and outlines the industry’s approved Guide to Good Practice: Installation of Fire and Smoke Dampers (DW/145) produced by the Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES). This stresses the need for a co-ordinated approach to damper installation, supported by clients, designers, specifiers and installers. It also looks at how all team members can meet their responsibilities by making sure they understand all aspects of the process, from design to handover, and do not solely concentrate on their own area of expertise.

The publication of the Smoke Shield catalogue will be followed by another covering Actionair’s Fire Shield range, and a third detailing its CSS dampers.

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CE marks augment Neutron Fire range

Neutron FireNeutron Fire Technologies has announced that its Firebreak range of passive fire protection (PFP) products has achieved several CE marks following the introduction of the new Construction Products Regulation.

The company’s Managing Director, Luke O’Keeffe, said, “While most PFP products don’t require CE marking now, it is clearly going to be mandatory for all these safety critical products sooner rather than later.

“Our strategy is to be proactive in supporting the requirements of our European customers – many of whom have already decided to purchase or use only CE marked products. This approach is part of our strategy of supporting a global network of customers for whom we offer a comprehensive range of PFP products certified to British, European, American, South African, Australian and other national Standards.”

Neutron’s CE marked products include Firebreak 22 Fire Resistant & Acoustic Acrylic Sealant, Firebreak 33 Silicone Sealant, Firebreak 44 Expanding Foam, Firebreak 66 Intumescent Pressure Sealant and Firebreak Compound (Mortar). 

These products have been used to provide fire and smoke seals for gaps in linear joints and around service penetrations – such as plastic and metal pipes, electric and other types of cables – in numerous construction projects around Europe. Neutron Fire also plans to have an additional four products CE marked before the end of 2013.

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Email: publications@asfp.org.uk