Association for Specialist Fire Protection

Issue 25 - September 2016

ASFP appoints Chief Operations Officer

N RowanThe Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) is to appoint Niall Rowan as its new Chief Operations Officer.

The appointment, which results from the impending retirement of Wilf Butcher as outgoing Chief Executive Officer, forms part of a planned reorganisation of the Association’s structure which will take effect from 1 January 2017.

The revised structure, agreed following a meeting of the ASFP management council which oversees the running of the association, will see several ASFP officers taking on new responsibilities:

- Niall Rowan moves from Technical Officer to Chief Operations Officer to oversee the day to day management of the ASFP undertaking much of the role of the outgoing Chief Executive Officer. Niall will also retain overall responsibility for technical policy and strategy

- Anna Hayes will have an enhanced role based around her current position of Publicity Officer, but taking on increased responsibilities including developing and implementing a marketing and communications strategy

- Tony Corcoran, the current Membership Officer, will now also provide enhanced member-focused support, including members’ forums, an increase in CPD programmes and increased communication with the membership as a whole

- Wilf Butcher takes on the new role of Training Development Officer, responsible for providing a training strategy and framework which will stretch from initial awareness training to an academic qualification in passive fire protection

- David O’Reilly will continue as Operations Officer of ASFP Ireland

The Association will be recruiting a new part time Technical Officer to take on the majority of Niall Rowan’s existing work load, including running the ASFP’s Technical Committee and task groups and being responsible for all the Association’s technical publications. For further details of the Technical Officer position click here.

Speaking of his appointment Niall Rowan declared: “I am honoured to take on the new role of Chief Operations Officer. Interest in the ASFP and its work has never been so high and I intend to build on this momentum to cement its position as the pre-eminent trade association in the passive fire protection area.

“I would like to thank Wilf for the tremendous job he has done in bringing the Association to where we are today and look forward to working with him in the further development of the ASFP’s training activities.”

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SIG & Promat protect energy project

SIGA recent project to create a £141 million state-of-the-art recycling plant has both illustrated the value of technical input provided by leading passive fire protection product manufacturer Promat, as well as the importance of working with leading specialist construction product distributor SIG to ensure a smooth logistical operation.

Both businesses worked closely with main contractor Vinci Construction, as well as specialist fire protection contractor, AF Protection to help create a successful fire protection solution for the new Energy from Waste (EfW) plant at St Dennis in Cornwall.

Suitable products were identified for different parts of the facility which had individual fire resistance and finish requirements, with Promat VERMICULUX®, PROMATECT®-250 and Promat TD boards used to protect different parts of the structural steelwork.

“Promat were able to provide both technical and practical assistance, and their input on some of the interface detailing was particularly valuable” comments Paul Duggan of AF Protection.

Paul also adds “The staff at SIG Plymouth worked closely with AF Protection and Promat on the project. Stock was held in large quantities at SIG’s depot as numerous next day deliveries were required. Having the stock nearby allowed SIG to split pallets, ensuring we received materials on time and to the quantities required, with deliveries often made with a Moffett mechanical offload.”

When fully operational, the new facility will generate 16.6 megawatts of electricity, by diverting 90% of the county’s residual waste away from landfill.

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Firex launch for Rockwool specification tools

RockwoolROCKWOOL Limited recently launched their new range of specification tools at Firex International 2016.

These tools include the new FIREPRO® Solution Finder App, alongside the expanded BIM Solution Finder tool, which now incorporates the full range of fire protection products. These tools have been developed to simplify and support the design and specification process.

Designed for both specifiers and end users, the ROCKWOOL FIREPRO® Solution Finder is a new free to use, multi-platform application, that provides a wide range of fully tested solutions to suit your individual project. Once users have identified the solution required they can then download drawings, 3D images and BIM objects straight to their device.

In addition, the enhanced ROCKWOOL BIM Solution Finder is an online tool for locating and downloading the most recent BIM objects for any project. With an extensive range of fire protection models available, the BIM Solution Finder is the latest must have tool for professionals involved in the design of fire protection systems.

The tools complement the comprehensive range of fire protection products available from ROCKWOOL Limited and enhance the high levels of technical support available to customers.

For more information please contact

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Siderise celebrates 25 years of manufacturing in Wales

SideriseThe Siderise Group has reached a significant milestone in the company’s history, celebrating 25 years of designing and manufacturing world leading acoustic, fire and thermal insulation solutions at its factory in Wales.

From the production facility on the Forge Industrial Estate in Maesteg which opened on 1st June 1991, Siderise has grown to become an insulation specialist offering a diverse range of fire-stopping and acoustic solutions internationally.

This industry pioneer has heralded a number of industry firsts; including the development of the world’s first single sheet firestop and cavity barrier systems providing compartmentation in high rise buildings; and a perimeter barrier curtain walling firestop, the first to market internationally.

Technical expertise has led to the development of the first reactive solution for ventilated facades within Europe. Structural fire safe panels for bonded composite panels and a range of open state cavity barriers for rain screen facades are a result of engineering solutions to meet customers’ needs.

Siderise products have been used on a number of high profile projects, including the Athlete’s Villages for both the 2000 and 2012 Olympics in Sydney and London, and the prestigious Canary Wharf Development.

Steve Swales, Chief Commercial Officer, commented: “This 25 year milestone is testament to all our staff, our innovation and an approach to lean manufacturing. Our people are key to our growth and their engineering prowess and exacting standards have led our company to where we are today.”

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Coopers Fire joins Certifire scheme

CoopersCoopers Fire has achieved third party certification from Certifire for its FireMaster A1 fire curtain.

Having already obtained third party product certification from IFC Certification for its range of fire and smoke curtains, Coopers is now seeking to achieve the same level of accreditation via the Certifire scheme.

Recognised by regulatory authorities worldwide, Warrington Certification’s Certifire is an internationally respected mark of fire safety and one of the most authoritative in the industry. Certifire assures performance, quality, reliability and traceability of fire protection products.

To achieve certification via the Certifire scheme a factory production control audit is undertaken as well as testing of products by an approved laboratory. The results of both are evaluated against the required scope by a Certification Engineer.

Once issued the certificate includes the complete field of application for products thus enabling the specifier or enforcement authority to check the suitability of a product for the intended end-use application.

Coopers Fire has a long recognised the vital role of Third Party Product Certification Schemes in offering specifiers, users, occupiers, owners and enforcement bodies confidence that products have been independently assessed and evaluated.

It has a successful history of manufacturing fully compliant fire and smoke curtain barrier systems and recently became the first manufacturer to achieve full compliance to the new British Standard BS 8524 Parts 1 & 2 for active fire curtain barrier assemblies. In addition, Coopers Fire is the only fire and smoke curtain manufacturer with independent third party accreditation for the installation, commissioning and maintenance.

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Further growth for IFC

IFCGrowth has continued for IFC Group, which is experiencing unparalleled success. The team has been further strengthened by several key appointments.

Peter Barker, James Godfrey and Darren Salisbury have joined our respective product and certification areas, bringing with them a wealth of practical and technical knowledge in a wide range of fire safety products. While Colin Winterbourne and William Lightfoot have been appointed to further strengthen our product area and service a high level of client demand.  We also welcome Gary Foy, a detection specialist, supplementing our London team. In addition HR Manager, Jeanette Kelly, is also now in harness. 

The increase in staff has brought further demand for expansion, office space and refurbishment. IFC Group has opened a new office in Bristol, and added a further new wing to its headquarters in Princes Risborough.

Internationally, Principal Engineer, Johannes (Hans) van de Weijgert has been accepted as Chair of ISO/TC 92/SC 2/WG 2 for ‘Calculations’ following Dr Brian Kirby’s retirement.  While Chuck Lewis, Standards & Compliance Director, has been awarded an ISO Panel Leader position, as well as being appointed as Chair of a new ASFP Technical Committee formed to develop a Colour book for Active Fire Curtains.

For further information please contact IFC Group on tel: 01844 275500

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Knauf Insulation protects Dublin car park

KnaufThe lightweight and slim construction of Knauf Insulation’s Rocksilk® FireTech Slab has led SIG plc to specify 4,500m2 of the insulation, to upgrade the fire performance of a basement car park in Ireland.

The two-storey car park in Dublin is constructed of steel beams and columns and includes an innovative car lifting stacker system. Michael Neill, National Technical Manager at SIG plc in Ireland, commented: “We required an insulation product that could provide one hour’s fire protection and could also be installed while the car park remained in use so as not to disturb occupiers within the adjoining buildings.”

“After consulting with insulation experts at Knauf Insulation’s Technical Support Team, we opted for Rocksilk® FireTech Slab in 25mm. This product was ideal for the project as it was lightweight, easy to handle and provided the fire protection we required. The 25mm thickness also left us room to install aluminium cladding.”

Knauf Insulation’s Rocksilk® FireTech Slab is a non-combustible, high density, resilient rock mineral wool slab that provides exceptional fire protection for a wide variety of structural steel columns and beams.

Des Forde, General Manager at J S McCarthy, the installers on this project, said: “Knauf Insulation’s Rocksilk® FireTech Slab is a very user friendly product which makes it easy to install. We combined [the] Rocksilk® with 0.9mm stucco aluminium cladding in exposed areas and around the columns so that the services could be mounted and to give impact resistance on the columns.”

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Avesta wins Contractor of the Year award

AvestaAvesta Scotland has been named Nullifire Premier Contractor of the Year, in the award’s inaugural year.

Avesta was selected as the winner on the basis of work carried out over the past year and feedback from main contractors. As one of just 14 specialist contractors to have undergone extensive training to join the Nullifire Premier Contractors Scheme, Avesta demonstrated both its commitment to training and to consistently high standards of professionalism on site.

“We spoke to a lot of tier one contractors and received very positive feedback about all of the finalists,” says Nullifire’s Steve Plater. “But it was clear that Avesta Scotland was head and shoulders above the rest”.

“Each member of Avesta Scotland’s workforce is fully qualified to NVQ Level 2 – and that’s almost unheard-of. Also, since launching the company less than six years ago, Sharon Lobban and Steven McClure [Avesta’s joint managing directors] have built the company into one of the UK’s biggest fire protection contractors. They have a business model that others would do well to emulate.”

The award was presented to the Avesta Scotland workforce at the company’s headquarters in Kilmarnock in August.

“They didn’t know in advance that they’d won the award, so the reaction of the staff when we delivered the news was just amazing,” says Steve. “They were just over the moon. There was real pride in their achievement and you could tell that the company has 100 percent commitment from its workforce.”

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Actionair lead the way on CE mark damper installation and BIM

RuskinActionair/Ruskin have updated their easy to use installation guide detailing its range of CE mark compliant installation methods for their fire and fire/smoke dampers and have released a selection of damper BIM objects.

The installation manual is based on Actionair’s extensive performance and fire resistance testing programme. It is designed to clarify approved CE compliant installation methods for its range of ‘ES’ classified (SmokeShield PTC, CSS) dampers and ‘E’ classified (FireShield) dampers. 

Designed specifically for ductwork and fire stopping contractors, this concise guide will ensure installers have the very latest knowledge to help them complete a CE compliant installation.

With clear installation instructions (including 3D diagrams), the manual provides guidance on current UK building regulations, European fire damper standards, CE marking and third party certification. The guide also contains useful information regarding regular testing, inspection and periodic maintenance in accordance with EN 15650, Approved Document B (ADB) & BS 9999 for fire and smoke dampers.

Actionair/Ruskin is also ready for Building Information Modelling (BIM) by offering a wide selection of free high quality BIM objects downloadable from their Technical Library. Each model includes information which gives the object a recognisable appearance and enables it to be positioned and to behave exactly as the product itself would in reality.

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E-learning from Independent Fire Inspections

IndependentIndependent Fire Inspections Ltd has taken the lead in the inspection of fire protection by providing an E-Learning course specifically aimed at providing competence for the inspectors of fire-stopping, linear gap seals and cavity barriers. 

The Fire Stopping Inspection Diploma is a stepping stone to becoming a Certified Fire Stopping Inspector under the company’s Fire Stopping Inspection Training Scheme.

The Fire Stopping Inspection Diploma is now accredited by the Institute of Fire Safety Managers. It is also currently under scrutiny from the Institution of Fire Engineers in order to gain further accreditation, which is expected to be achieved in the near future. 

The Fire Stopping Inspection Diploma, which is the first of its kind in the UK, will retain dual accreditation from these two recognised institutions, adding value and further verification to the course.  Independent Fire Inspections is also developing a course specifically for Southern Ireland that is expected to be released before the end of October 2016.

Since the launch of the Fire Stopping Inspection Diploma, Independent Fire Inspections Ltd has taken on Lorna Kilcoyne as a Sales Director and the company has also expanded to offer level 2 Passive Fire Protection National Vocational Qualifications through the National Specialist Accredited Centre (NSAC) for the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

For further information contact Lorna Kilcoyneon tel: 01522 805395 or via email at

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Insurers insist scaffold sheeting meets LPS standards

BREInsurance companies are refusing to cover buildings that are ‘wrapped’ in scaffolding materials, unless the materials used are LPCB approved.

The material and any printing must be approved to LPS 1215 LPCB approval and listing of scaffold cladding materials. Suppliers claiming their materials ‘comply with’ or ‘are tested to’ the standard will not be accepted.

The requirements relating to fire protection during construction or refurbishment are specified by the HSE in HSG 168 Fire Safety in Construction and by the insurers’ Joint Code of Practice on the Protection from Fire of Construction Sites and Buildings Undergoing Renovation (JCC). Produced by the Fire Protection Association and supported by the Association of British Insurers, Chief Fire Officers Association, London Fire Brigade and the Construction Federation, the Code applies to construction sites with an original contract value of £2.5m and above. In these projects, any sheeting, netting or wrap material attached to the scaffolding must meet LPS 1215.

LPS 1215 is used by insurers to manage their fire risks thus reducing associated property damage and business interruption losses. It sets out a series of tests for a range of representative ignition scenarios that may occur on site.  

Products approved to LPS 1215 are intended to reduce the risk of the product being ignited and reduce its contribution to the growth of a fire. They are also subjected to stringent audit testing backed up by factory audits. Non LPCB-approved products cannot be assumed to offer the same level or consistency of fire performance.

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Nullifire releases new coatings brochure

NullifireNullifire, part of the tremco illbruck Group, has produced a comprehensive, easy-to-read brochure which details its proven intumescent coatings range which provides passive fire protection solutions across a wide variety of building structures.

The recent relaunch of Nullifire makes product selection simpler for specifiers, specialist contractors and stockists; and the brochure reflects this objective. For example, colour-coded packaging has been designed to assist with product recognition, with the periods of fire protection provided clearly identified.

Each product is detailed in the brochure with photographs showing the colour coding and name clearly, along with technical data, real-life applications, accreditations and certifications, and service and support back-up.

As well as the new literature and point of sale material, Nullifire’s website has been refreshed to support the changes. The strapline ‘Smart Protection’ underlines the brand promise from the industry-leading range of intumescent and fire stopping products.

Steve Plater, National Sales Manager for Nullifire, comments: “The Nullifire brand is strong within the markets where we operate and I firmly believe the rebranding will only strengthen our position: as it makes the product selection process much easier.”

Nullifire is a core brand within the tremco illbruck Group which is fully focused on passive fire protection solutions suitable for site and factory application.  

For further information on tremco illbruck, please call 01942 251400 or to download the brochure visit Nullifire’s Download Centre

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Ash Fire protects Hertfordshire school

Ash FireAsh Fire Management has been commissioned to carry out additional passive fire safety works at a Hertfordshire school.

Ash Fire installed a comprehensive 6-zone fire alarm system with low level colour co-ordinated direction lighting to guide the pupils and staff away from any area of danger and to a place of safety.

A Naturvent SSV was installed in the staff room, a recognised risk area should a fire incident occur, to ventilate the toxic smoke and provide a means of escape. J Hayes, Chair of the school’s Board of Governors, said, ‘Ash Fire’s systems met our requirements perfectly with regard to both cost and security, ensuring we fulfil our responsibilities for the protection of our pupils and staff.’

Further Naturvent systems have now been commissioned as part of next year’s refurbishment of the school’s catering and cookery teaching areas. Paul Evans, CEO of Ash Fire, believes the Board of Governors should be heralded for providing the ultimate in smoke and fire protection.

‘While there is currently a media focus on a proposal to relax guidance on the installation of sprinklers in new build schools, it should be remembered that smoke is a major threat to human life in a fire incident. The importance of venting this smoke is now being raised at EU level through the Fire Safe Europe alliance, of which Ash Fire is a member,’ he declared.

For more information about Naturvent and other products from Ash Fire, visit

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Encon provides protection solution

EnconFollowing a recommendation from independent distributor, Encon Insulation, Knauf Vermiplaster was used to achieve necessary fire resistance to the structural steel at the Plymouth Rivage project, a collection of 14 luxury two and three bedroom apartments right on the waterfront.

The application and installation of a traditional boarding system would have led to a reduction in the finished room size, placing the project in jeopardy. On the advice of Encon, contractors applied Knauf Vermiplaster direct to structure, adding minimal additional thickness and enabling the client to realise their desired floor area.

Vermiplaster is specially designed to fire protect the load bearing capacity of the construction elements so that they remain intact until the fire has been extinguished or the building evacuated. Vermiplaster offers up to 120 minutes’ fire resistance, is CE marked and carries a full European Technical Approval (ETA).

The product is being offered as part of a partnership between Knauf and Encon Insulation, enabling it to reach small builders and contractors who do not necessarily require large enough amounts of building materials to warrant an order directly from a manufacturer.

Chris Barlow, Product Development Director at Encon Insulation said: “This is a new product to the market that can really benefit the fire protection industry. It is easy to apply, quick, and highly versatile. It can be used in places where traditional board systems simply won’t do, and this makes it one of the most convenient products in the market currently.”

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ASFP seeks support for developing guidance on active fire barrier curtains

Colour bookThe Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) is seeking assistance from individuals, manufacturers or installers involved in the manufacture and installation of active fire barrier curtains to assist it in developing independent guidance on the use and specification of active curtains.

Having recognised that there is no independent guidance on the use and specification of active fire curtains, with currently available guidance limited to manufacturers’ literature and short guides on particular end-use applications, the ASFP seeks to address this shortcoming with the production of a ‘Colour Book’ for operable curtains.

The new document will form part of the ASFP’s popular Colour Books range, which contains detailed information on the use, specification, fire testing and certification of various passive fire protection products, together with information on legislation relevant to the product concerned, such as Building Regulations and Risk Assessment legislation. Documents in the range include the ASFP ‘Yellow Book’ – Fire protection for structural steel in buildings; the ASFP ‘Red Book’ – Fire-stopping: Linear joint seals, penetration seals and small cavity barriers and the ASFP ‘Grey Book’ – Fire dampers (European standards).

The recent inclusion in the ASFP’s membership of one of the major UK manufacturers of active barrier curtains – Coopers Fire – has provided the technical impetus needed to commence work on ‘Colour Book’ for active fire  curtain barriers. However, in order to ensure the widest acceptance by the market, the ASFP is additionally seeking selected organisations and individuals outside of its current membership to assist with the production of the guidance.

Participation will normally comprise a small number of half day meetings to work on a draft document. There will be no reimbursement for time or expenses incurred in attending meetings, but all contributors will get an acknowledgment in the document’s Foreword. Any interested organisations should contact the ASFP Technical Officer Niall Rowan for further information ; email:

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