Association for Specialist Fire Protection

Issue 28 - December 2017

ASFP responds to the Regulatory Review

ASFPThe Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has submitted its response and recommendations to the call for evidence from the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, led by Dame Judith Hackitt.

The ASFP highlighted a series of initial recommendations for changes to legislation and guidance; it calls for a more concise suite of legislation; a mandatory sign off process at various stages in the construction process; as well as formal competency requirements for fire professionals, greater clarity in product testing and mandatory third party certification for fire safety products and installers of fire protection systems. The full response is available for download from www.asfp.org.uk.

Explaining that there are numerous stakeholders involved in the design, commissioning, installation and approval of fire protection measures in buildings, the Association recommends a  mandatory ‘sign off’ process for stakeholders at various stages in the construction process and throughout the life of the building. This, says the ASFP, would greatly assist stakeholders’ consideration of their duties and would increase compliance.

The Association is working with a number of stakeholders to address many of the concerns it has raised. Working together with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the ASFP has begun developing a Plan of Works for Fire Protection which complements the existing RIBA work plan methodology, used by UK architects to manage and plan the building design and construction process. The ‘Plan of Works’ aims to ensure that there is a detailed specification for fire protection at the design stage and a schedule for fire throughout the construction process.

Competency is also highlighted as a major issue with no current requirement for fire consultants; fire risk assessors or installers of fire protection to be trained, evaluated, licensed or included on any register. The ASFP also calls for a system of training, competency evaluation and qualification of all the major players in the construction supply chain and following occupation of the building. The Association is working with the Institute of Fire Engineers to provide training and competency evaluation for all stakeholders to specifically address the qualification issue. The programme in development will enable trainees to obtain an IFE qualification in passive fire protection.

With poor installation an issue for construction in general, the Association also calls for more frequent inspection of installation work to ensure defects are discovered before it is too late and the relevant work closed up. The Association also highlights the need for improvements in the quality assurance and testing of products and materials and calls for mandatory third party certification of fire protection products and installers.

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R Lewis protects aviation museum

R Lewis & Co (UK) Ltd has been awarded the intumescent fire protection package at Aerospace Bristol, a new £19m museum that will tell the amazing story of Bristol’s world-class aerospace industry and give visitors the chance to step aboard Concorde.

The original specification for the structural steelwork called for a water-based fire protection system but following discussions with the site management team about the expected site conditions, a more suitable solvent-based solution was specified.

The cold rolled steel elements on the museum’s outside cladding required 2 hours of fire protection and the client wanted to maintain the hanger aesthetic for this prestigious building. Using expertise from three of its divisions – the Hydrocarbon Coatings Division, the Passive Fire and the Engineering and Detailing teams – R Lewis was able to engineer a passive fire protection solution to coat the cold rolled members.

Working together with our supplier partners, the Carboline Company, R Lewis was able to approve and certify the final coating applications completed at site, delivering the desired life safety requirements while maintaining the museum’s specified aesthetic.

Working closely with Kier Construction Ltd Western & Wales within controlled working conditions, R Lewis on-site coating teams were able to achieve successful spray applications that provide both one and two hours of fire protection to exposed hollow and ‘H’ section steelwork for this building.

Subsequently Kier Bristol requested intumescent coating training support to further assist key members of their construction team.

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Paroc offers glue free system

Paroc is offering a fire protection system to protect the structural steel of buildings. Using high quality Paroc FPS 17 fire protection slabs, the system provides fire protection for up to 3.5 hours.

Certified under European Technical Approval 08/0093, the system can be fixed with fire springs or pins and washers, including cap head pins and a discharge gun system. These accessories can be supplied as a package from Paroc.

Such systems are necessary because, when exposed to fire, all commonly used structural materials lose some of their mechanical strength. Heavily loaded steel can lose its designed safety margin at a temperature around 550°C – regardless of the grade of steel.

The thickness of fire protection insulation needed depends on the duration of fire resistance specified in regulations; the critical temperature and the section factor of the steel; the perimeter of steel section exposed to fire (A) and the shape and size of steel section (total volume, V).

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Soben International soars in Singapore

Soben International is thrilled to announce the securement of a number of contracts for the development of Singapore’s aviation landmarks, the Seletar and Changi Airports.

After breaking ground in the Singapore construction market in 2004, Soben International has gone from strength to strength, developing a reputation as a reliable provider of fire-resistant boards that are capable of meeting the strict building specifications of Singapore’s regulations.

Thanks to Soben International’s best-in-class systems and certification credentials, the company’s products have been used in top projects across Singapore, ranging from private developments to public companies and government-owned facilities.

Soben’s products have been used in mass railway transition stations, health centres, education centres, recreational sites, accommodation and in hospitality developments throughout Singapore, to name but a few.

As a trusted supplier for a number of years, Soben International’s products have been used in several of Changi Airport’s terminals. In 2006,Terminal 3 used WeatherPro for its roofing, cladding and gangway. Then in 2016, Soben’s NuPanel/NuClad was applied to the panelling of the Arrivals hall, AHU Rooms, and Sanitors’ Area for the newly built Terminal 4.

The early 2017 renovation of Terminal 1 used FP-900/FirePro for a ceiling application for compartmentation above its conveyor belt. NuPanel/NuClad was used for artistic finishes to the terminal’s lavatories. Meanwhile, NuPanel/NuClad is set to be used for wall panelling in the current refurbishment of Singapore’s Seletar Airport.

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Colt launches BIM library

Recognising the many advantages that Building Information Modelling (BIM) has for its customers, Colt International has taken the lead in our industry and created a library of BIM objects.

What makes the Colt BIM library special is that it is completely configurable, enabling its customers to create a Colt product BIM object based on the specifics of their project. The configurator is fast and easy to use and, once done, can be downloaded in multiple file formats.

Colt has a dedicated internal BIM team to ensure that all product data is kept up to date and to provide customer support where necessary.

As Colt continues to develop this library, it hopes to include more of its products. This library is an important step forward, as BIM objects will soon become obligatory, especially in larger projects.

Try the configurator out today, and step into the future

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Pyroplex increases technical expertise

Andy Walsh, Technical Manager of Pyroplex has recently added to his long list of industry relevant qualifications, having been awarded a 100% pass for his FDIS Diploma in Fire Stopping (DipFD).

Leading many governmental technical committees in addition to being a UK Principal Expert in many aspects of fire stopping, Andy’s in-depth understanding of global industry regulatory requirements, makes Pyroplex a highly capable partner in the manufacture and supply of fire stopping products.

Joining as a YTS trainee at 16, Andy worked his way around Reddiplex Group before developing a flair for the technical side of the business. With the company encouraging his ongoing education and knowledge development, Andy now holds several notable qualifications, including an engineering degree (B.Eng.) in Metallurgy and a CMI Certificate in Management Studies. Furthermore, he offers high-level leadership to many technical committees including FSH22/Fire Resistance Tests National Standards Body BSI and FSH/22/-/03 Penetration and Linear Gap Seals.

‘After 34 years within this industry, I remain very passionate about the development of fire protection and the need to promote high standards and best practice,’ says Andy.

‘My ever-growing technical qualifications coupled with my direction and representation in many important committees not only benefits Pyroplex, but also our many customers, who choose to work with us as they are confident that we are fully equipped to deliver an effective and durable solution that will meet all governmental regulatory requirements, however complex the issue.’

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APPLUS+ cladding test facilities

Recent fires in high-and mid-rise buildings demonstrate the importance of the characteristics of the facade. Factors such as surface quality and cavities, etc can play a decisive role in the event of a fire, with the cladding system and facade facilitating the spread of the fire.

Current test requirements only consider the following aspects of a facade’s fire performance: Integrity (E), Insulation (I), Load-bearing capacity (R) and reaction to fire (Euroclass). European standards only set a minimum value for reaction-to-fire characteristics (Euroclass A2s1d0).They do not look at fire spread in a representative way for a facade.

EN standards do not provide a specific resistance-to-fire procedure for the evaluation of facade cladding or other finishes independent of the actual facade. At present, the existing test standards that can be used to characterise cladding elements are BS 8414 along with BR 135, DIN 4102-20 and NFPA 285, until a new European standard is finally agreed and eventually incorporated into the CE harmonized product standard or EOTA documents.

Applus+ Fire Laboratories is able to carry out not only the common resistance to fire and Euroclasses test but also the real scale fire spread tests defined in BS 8414 part 1 & 2, BR 135 and NFPA 285. Please contact us to find out more about our holistic service.

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LUL Approval for Rockwool system

Since launch, Rockwool’s FIREPRO SoftSeal system has proved a great success with specifiers requiring a high performance fire stopping solution capable of accommodating high levels of movement. Building on this success, Rockwool is pleased to announce that the FIREPRO SoftSeal system has received approval from London Underground Limited (LUL), allowing use both above and below surface.

FIREPRO SoftSeal is a flexible, fire stopping solution that is suited to applications where a high degree of movement needs to be accommodated. The system is capable of handling movement of +/- 25% and can be used for both vertical and horizontal applications. Comprising a medium density stone wool lamella strip, pre-coated with a specially formulated SoftSeal Flexible Coating. 

Rockwool FIREPRO SoftSeal Linear Joint Seals have been tested to the dedicated fire resistance standard for linear joint seals BS EN 1366-4 and shown to provide up to 3 hours of fire performance (EI80).

For further information on the Soft Seal system or any other products in the comprehensive ROCKWOOL Fire Protection range, please visit www.rockwool.co.uk

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Naturvent windows in demand

Ash Fire’s Naturvent smoke control windows have been specified for the multi-million pound refurbishment of the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham’s high-rise housing stock. Naturvent windows were chosen because in terms of performance they are the most efficient Automatic Opening Vents (AOVs) on the market.

Maintaining a clear means of escape is vital for all types of buildings, but especially so with high rise tower blocks. In this post-Grenfell era, residential buildings throughout the country are under close scrutiny to ensure smoke management and fire safety measures are compliant. Residents need assurances that everything possible is being done to ensure their safety, and Naturvent windows are being specified as urgent measures so that, should a fire break out, the means of escape and/or rescue is kept clear of the debilitating, toxic smoke that modern day fires produce so quickly.

However it isn’t just high-rise dwellings where Naturvent AOVs are in demand. Care homes, schools, office and student accommodation are examples of buildings in which Naturvent AOVs are the   specified solution. The image shows a recent installation in a care home in North London. It clearly illustrates how Naturvent provides the maximum free air from any given aperture, either roof or wall mounted.

For more information call John on 07917 769133

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AIM sets the standard  

Specialist insulation converter AIM has long delivered high performing and fully tested fire protection solutions to the construction industry. But following its recent move to state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Crawley, AIM has set a new standard for the production of fire stop blocks.

Made from high density stone wool, AIM Fire Stop Blocks are incorporated into the building during construction, are used to seal apertures and are permanently held in place by compression. In contrast with traditional conversion techniques for fire stop blocks, which utilise a flat blade circular saw, AIM Fire Stop Blocks are precision manufactured using a modern CNC wire cutting technique.

Based on the accuracy of the cutting which can be achieved with CNC methods, AIM Fire Stop Blocks are friction fitted into the decking profile. Moreover, where curved profiles exist, AIM Fire Stop Blocks are manufactured to the exact curvature as opposed to the ‘sloped’ finish normally associated with products of this nature.

As part of the SIG Performance Technology division of SIG, AIM also provides access to a specialist team able to provide expert technical assistance on this range of products. Chris Lea, National Sales Manager at SIG Performance Technology – Fire & Thermal, comments:

‘As we all know, product quality is imperative to ensure accurate and correct installation is achieved on site. The CNC wire cutting technique ensures AIM Fire Stop Blocks are manufactured to accurately suit the trapezoidal profile, which we believe is unique in the market.’ 

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Training from Independent Fire Inspections

In October, Independent Fire Inspections launched the Fire Stopping Inspection Diploma as a classroom-based training programme with all seats selling out within the first few weeks. 

The course offered candidates a valuable opportunity to test the knowledge they had learned by inspecting against specifications and installations. Various practical sessions were ongoing during the course, including sampling sections of the Approved Document B and putting this into practice onsite.  Due to its success a second course has been scheduled in January/February.

Independent Fire Inspections is continuing to expand having outgrown its office and has finalised a contract on new premises in Newark, with a moving date on the horizon. The company is looking to recruit another Surveyor/Inspector with further growth expected in 2018.  It will continue to support the fire industry having secured space at FIREX International for the June 2018 event.

Independent Fire Inspections Ltd is focused on investing in ways to improve and support the industry. It has some new training being released late 2017 early 2018 - watch this space.

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Coopers Fire protects key landmarks

Historical landmarks are always a point of pride for cities and Coopers Fire has been lucky enough to work on some of the most beautiful, weird and wonderful buildings in the world: making them safer, while keeping their beauty intact.

Expertise in fire curtain and smoke barrier installation has led Coopers Fire to be called on by the curators of some of the most famous landmark buildings in the world. We have installed seamless, effective fire and smoke protection in a number of historical and landmark buildings including: a fire curtain installation at the British Museum; smoke management at The Gherkin; a fire barrier installation at the Royal Albert Hall; a fire and smoke curtain installation at York Minster; and smoke curtains in the Sydney Opera House.

Coopers’ fire curtains and smoke protection systems are built-in and totally invisible until they’re needed. Because we design and manufacture our premium fire curtains and smoke barriers, we are able to specify exactly what’s needed and install them without altering the look and feel of a building - which is why most people will never notice the work we’ve done.

Behind the scenes, Coopers Fire are constantly engineering, researching, developing and testing our products, striving for safety and performance. It’s work that nobody sees - but without it, there would be no museums, opera houses or concert venues.

For more information, call us on 02392 454 405 or email info@coopersfire.com.

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Diplomas for SIG specialists

The specialist SIG fire protection service has been developed; with six members of the national team receiving an industry accredited Fire Stopping Inspection Diploma. The SIG team receiving the qualification is the largest and most experienced dedicated Fire Protection team working across the UK.

The SIG Fire Protection Specialists offer expert advice to customers installing fire protection materials, in what is a complex and challenging area, especially as now it is under increased scrutiny.

The six members of the team, Shaun Hugill, Lee Bentley, Aaron Gardiner, Jon Scott, and Dave Steel, as well as National Manager Nigel Gillingham, have all studied and received the Fire Stopping Inspection Diploma, accredited by The Institute of Fire Safety Managers and recognised by the Institution of Fire Engineers.

Nigel Gillingham, National Manager, comments:

‘SIG is committed to investing in our people to raise knowledge and consistently improve skills and available expertise. This has given us a proven level of competency, and we are the go-to people for all fire stopping and protection, with representation in every region of the UK.

‘This diploma applies a different perspective for the Fire Stopping activities we undertake; on our responsibilities; the responsibilities others have for Fire Stopping; our responsibilities to be accurate in our understanding and our knowledge, and our communication in the high risk, high liability Fire Stopping arena. 

‘I am extremely proud of the team’s enthusiasm whilst undertaking this course, and proud that each member of the team passed with flying colours.’

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Success for SAFE4

Airforce H&V has announced the completion of two new SAFE4® EN facilities in London. Reigate Ductwork Fire-rated Services Ltd and Airtech Ductwork Systems Ltd have both completed their Factory Production Control (FPC) assessments, and are now offering the London market smoke extract ductwork to the product standard BS EN 12101-7. 

There are a further four EN licensees at the half way point in the process in the UK, and Airforce H&V will be announcing their success shortly.  Using British Standards, Safe4® continues to enjoy a wide network, extending throughout the UK, to Saudi Arabia, with interest expanding in South Africa, the USA, and the Far East.

It’s hard to keep success a secret.  The expansion of an accredited CPD programme for SAFE4® throughout the UK and Ireland has provided consultants and fire specialists with the comfort of using a ductwork system, fire tested to the very latest standards. Contact us to arrange a CPD.

For those who were early adapters, the addition of SAFE4® to their range has elevated their reputation and competency in the fire strategy segment of their market.  With the support of the SAFE4® technical team, skills and competency are developed locally.

It’s not too late to be a first mover in your market.  SAFE4® are presently licencing manufacturers and distributors throughout CEN countries.  Contact michael@airforcehv.com to explore the potential.  Joining the SAFE4® family, is life changing. We won’t set your world on fire!

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Broof testing at Exova laboratory

Specialist fire testing provider, Exova Warringtonfire Ghent, is now fully accredited for Broof T1-T4 roof testing. The company was recently acquired by Element Materials Technology (Element) to create one, world-class global testing services partner.

The Ghent laboratory can offer all four European roof tests (exposure to external fire), covering the whole European market for Broof classifications (test 1, test 2, test 3, test 4) as well as being able to test according to BS 476-3 for the UK market.

The specific test standards are: CEN/TS 1187: Test methods for external fire exposure to roofs; N 13501-5 (classification): Classification using data from external fire exposure to roofs tests; CEN/TS 16459 (exap): Extended application of test results from CEN/TS 1187; BS 476-3: Classification and method of test for external fire exposure to roofs.

Element is BELAC accredited, with expertise in roofing products including membranes, tiles, solar panels, liquid systems and knowledge of build-ups with substrates and insulation. The company is experienced in establishing test programmes with an extended field of application, classifying the maximum product range with the minimum of testing with the added customer benefit of sample preparation and installation being available on site.

Rob Veitch, EVP Fire and Building Products, Element, commented: ‘This full accreditation positions the Ghent laboratory as Element’s Centre of Excellence for roof testing. It offers further benefits for our customers, who can now access the most up to date testing for their entire roof needs in one place, with a highly knowledgeable, specialist team.’

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FSi extends collar certification

FSi has extended the portfolio of European test evidence for the FSi PipeBloc PCP Collar with U/U or ventilated testing on a range of pipe materials from polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC. This continuous programme of testing of FSi products was completed using an accredited certification process in accordance with the latest highest standards available in Europe, EN1366-3, resulting in an EI90 classification.

Moreover, FSi PipeBloc PCP can now offer clients a solution for non-standard applications with coverage for combustible pipes in tight spaces or up against the soffit using an ‘open’ collar system, meaning the FSi PipeBloc PCP collar can be fitted in a ‘U’ or ‘C’ shape for combustible pipes with limited clearance to the wall or soffit.

FSi continues to extend the scope of certification to the highest industry standards to enable systems to offer solutions to complex conditions in the industry, with the FSi PipeBloc PCP Collar being just one of the systems being constantly developed.

To find out more visit www.fsiltd.com or call +44 (0) 1530 515130.

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First for Smoke Control Dampers

Smoke Control Dampers exclusively distribute smoke evacuation products manufactured by RF-Technologies, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of fire and smoke protection products.

The key products available are the Avantage and Kamouflage smoke evacuation Automatic Opening Vents (AOVs). These are the first of their kind available in the UK and Ireland that carry a CE mark, having been independently tested and certified in accordance with the demanding BS EN 12101-8 standard.

AOV lobby vents opening into a shaft or duct as a function of a smoke control system should have an EI and S classification and comply with BS EN 1366-10, BS EN 13501-4 as well as BS EN 12101-8 – the testing, classification and product standard for this type of application.

BS EN 12101-8 requires testing to the product standard BS EN 1366-10, which should not be confused with test standard EN 1366-2, which is a test standard for metal fire dampers.

AOV lobby to shaft vent applications for natural and mechanical smoke ventilation systems have two essential characteristics. They are required to open, to allow the evacuation of smoke and toxic fumes as part of a smoke ventilation system; and when closed, they must maintain the compartmentation of the shaft, thus not allowing hot smoke and toxic fumes to enter an un-effected floor.

By supplying products carrying genuine and appropriate CE marking, Smoke Control Dampers are delivering the solution for safe and legal lobby to shaft AOVs for smoke evacuation in either natural, mechanical shaft or pressurisation systems.

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IFC offers expertise

IFC Group retains its focus on independence and quality adding yet more expertise with the addition of Chris Houchen to the team.  Chris returns to IFC Group after 9 years with a major door blank manufacturer. He has many years’ experience in fire testing and certification. He joins the largest engineering assessment team here at IFC.

In addition IFC Group has welcomed graduate fire safety engineers, David McLaughlin and Michael Whittle to its fire engineering and product evaluation teams respectively, and operational support to its certification team from Samantha Schofield.

IFC Standards & Compliance Director, Chuck Lewis, has recently been appointed to the prestigious position of Convenor for ISO/TC92/SC2/WG1 for General Requirements which will undoubtedly be an involved role.

Whilst time is acute currently within the industry, good progress is being made with the drafting of the Black Book for Active Fire Curtains.  Under Chuck Lewis's stewardship TG7 is committed to delivering this in 2018.

IFC has delivered numerous fire stopping and fire doors training courses for a range of clients at our head office, client premises and in Ireland, led by Colin Keeley and Peter Barker. Feel free to get in contact regarding the company’s ever-expanding training modules.

IFC Group supported a half day seminar at Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue service to building control, Tier 1 construction companies, architects and engineers covering cladding and a holistic approach to fire safety.

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Email: publications@asfp.org.uk