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

How to improve productivity when the temperature rises

Posted by Paul Langford on 14/06/16 12:02

This Colt advert first featured in the Financial Times
almost 40 years ago, and still rings true today!

As the temperature rises during the summer months, it is important to asses your productivity levels. If your factory is too hot, then you will almost certainly suffer losses in production, as well as a whole host of other issues.

However, there is a solution. 

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Topics: Productivity, Regulations, Evaporative cooling, Whitepaper

How to select the correct air filters for your HVAC system

Posted by Laurence Cockman on 07/06/16 12:22

Air filters are used in heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to improve air quality in indoor working environments. They can also serve to protect the HVAC equipment.

Pollutants can originate from a source outside or inside the building. In this blog I will discuss pollutants which originate outside of the building.

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Topics: Climate Control, Evaporative cooling

Car Park Ventilation: How much attenuation should a design include?

Posted by Conor Logan on 31/05/16 12:00

As a designer working on a car park project, there are important considerations you will need to make about ventilation to ensure good air quality. Approved Document F (ADF) stipulates that sufficient ventilation must be provided to enclosed car parks to avoid an excessive build up of carbon monoxide (CO). 

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Topics: Regulations, HVAC, Car Park Ventilation

When is smoke control needed in a car park?

Posted by Conor Logan on 24/05/16 12:00

Let me make it clear. I’m talking here about systems providing smoke control, not just smoke clearance as recommended in Building Regulations. These systems are much more complex and costly than compliant smoke clearance systems, so why would anyone choose to use them?

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Topics: Smoke Control, CFD, Smoke ventilation, Car Park Ventilation

Feeling the heat? Upgrade your existing ventilation system!

Posted by Andrew Wright on 17/05/16 12:00

As a factory manager, you may find that in spite of keeping your mechanical ventilation system in perfect condition, the temperature in your plant is increasing. Over the years, the use of your building may have changed, as with the introduction of lean manufacturing practices, there may be a higher density of production machinery with consequent higher heat load in some areas of your facility. This means that the mechanical ventilation system as it was originally designed and installed no longer meets your requirements.

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Topics: Factory Survey, Climate Control, Evaporative cooling