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Open or Closed Protocol in Fire Systems: which is best?

Posted by Conor Logan on 18/10/16 13:30

The debate on the pros and cons of open or closed protocols in the fire alarm and smoke detection controls market has been ongoing for many years. What is it all about and why does this subject provoke so much discussion in our industry?

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation

7 key features of a smoke ventilation control system

Posted by Conor Logan on 11/10/16 12:00

As a property owner or developer, when you have to make a decision on the best control system for smoke ventilation in your building, you are faced with a bewildering amount of information and conflicting opinions as to the most effective approach. Should you opt for a fire alarm control system, an HVAC/BMS control system or one specifically designed for smoke ventilation? Should you choose open or closed protocol?

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, Controls

Testing and commissioning smoke control systems: what to watch out for

Posted by Conor Logan on 04/10/16 12:00

As a designer, specifier or building owner, you will want to be sure that your smoke ventilation system will provide fire safety in all situations.

Design on paper versus the practical realities of construction

It is all very easy to design on paper a system that provides a certain duty and airflow, but this often does not take into consideration the practical aspects of constructing a building. There are some potential pitfalls to avoid to ensure that your smoke shaft or pressurisation system will function as intended.

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, Pressurisation, Smoke shafts, commissioning

Dealing with humidity in factories: ventilate or heat?

Posted by Paul Langford on 20/09/16 12:00

Steam and humidity are by-products of many industrial production processes. But they can have an extremely negative effect on working conditions.

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Topics: Productivity, Climate Control, Industrial ventilation, Humidity

Fire and smoke curtain webinar Q&A

Posted by Paul Compton on 13/09/16 12:00

Thanks to all those who attended my webinar last week on the design considerations when integrating smoke and fire curtains into a building. The webinar is now available as a recording, which you can watch at any time.

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Topics: Fire Containment, Smoke Containment, Webinar, Curtains

Choosing control systems and power supplies for smoke and fire curtains

Posted by Paul Compton on 30/08/16 12:00

Smoke and fire curtains are usually controlled (either individually or in groups) by a zone control panel. The curtains are allowed to fall automatically under the influence of gravity when the power is lost, which can happen in a fire or during a simple power cut. However if there is an electricity outage where there is no emergency, this can be a nuisance, and it can be prevented by using either a local Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) or a Battery Back-Up (BBU).

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Topics: Smoke Control, Fire Containment, Controls, Curtains

Summer's here - are your staff ready?

Posted by Paul Langford on 23/08/16 12:00

With the arrival of summer, most of us will be looking forward to being outside in the sun, but will your staff feel the same about being inside when your building overheats?

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When is natural ventilation the right solution for power plants?

Posted by Paul Langford on 16/08/16 12:00

The quick answer is: in most cases. Power plants generate large amounts of internal heat and tend to be in tall buildings, which present ideal conditions for natural ventilation to work at its most efficient.

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Topics: Natural ventilation, CFD, Energy saving, Climate Control, Industrial ventilation, Power Plants

Do we need hot boxes in smoke control?

Posted by Paul Compton on 09/08/16 12:00

BS 8519 introduced the concept of “hot boxes” to protect damper motors to a wider audience. What are these and what do they offer?

What is a hot box?

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Topics: Smoke Control, Regulations

9 tips for smoke and fire curtain installations

Posted by Paul Compton on 02/08/16 12:00

Installing fire curtains and smoke curtains can be tricky to get right. Here are 9 hopefully useful tips to help you. Read More

Topics: Fire Containment, Smoke Containment, Webinar, Curtains

Fire safety through compartmentation with smoke and fire curtains

Posted by Paul Compton on 26/07/16 12:00

If you think that five breaths are all it takes to lose consciousness, you won’t be surprised to learn that as many as 70% of victims in a fire suffocate. Thick smoke can lead to disorientation and make it difficult to breathe, while the heat can cause parts of the building to collapse and start secondary fires. All this makes it difficult for people to find their way out of the building and for emergency services to make their way in to fight the fire.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Fire Containment, Smoke Containment, Curtains

Controlling temperatures in food production

Posted by Paul Langford on 19/07/16 12:00

Various food and beverage sectors have different climate control requirements, depending on the processes being carried out. However, they all share an overriding concern for overheating and hygiene in order to protect their goods and ensure quality.

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Topics: Climate Control, Evaporative cooling

What type of vent do you need for a smoke shaft system?

Posted by Paul Compton on 05/07/16 12:00

When designing smoke shaft systems, which type of vent do you need?


The choice is short and sweet as there are only 3 basic types available:

  • A smoke damper mounted behind a grille
  • A bottom hung motorised flap
  • A motorised fire door.

Seems a simple choice, but there’s more to it than aesthetics, as you’ll see.

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, Smoke shafts

Designing a smoke control system to achieve extended travel distances

Posted by Paul Compton on 28/06/16 12:00

When designing ventilation schemes for common corridors in residential developments, it is now possible to go beyond simply creating a building design that is compliant, by allowing corridors to be extended beyond the travel distances permitted in ADB.

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, Smoke shafts, Smoke Shaft Series

Do you need natural or mechanical smoke shafts?

Posted by Paul Compton on 21/06/16 12:00

Smoke shafts in multi-storey buildings take up potentially valuable space, so keeping the shafts as small as possible is beneficial and has led to mechanical shafts becoming a popular choice.

But are they always the best choice? We look at some of the issues.

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, Smoke shafts

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