Smoke ventilation system maintenance: what you need to know

Posted by Tom Archer on 11/06/20 10:00

The failure to maintain smoke ventilation systems can be dire. After all, as we’ve mentioned before, whilst fire grabs more headlines, smoke is the real killer.

In fact, twice as many people die from smoke inhalation than they do from burns. Often smoke incapacitates so rapidly that victims are unable to make it to an otherwise accessible exit.

In this post, we will outline everything you need to know about smoke ventilation maintenance, including legislation, frequency, smoke ventilation maintenance services and more.

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Topics: smoke control maintenance

7 reasons why you shouldn't use HVAC control systems for smoke ventilation

Posted by Conor Logan on 02/06/20 10:00

Smoke ventilation systems today require sophisticated control systems with highly complex sequences of operation. HVAC control systems could be seen as a viable solution, as they can be extremely flexible and offer a high degree of programmability. However, while they may be adequate for simple applications, there are a number of issues that mean they do not deliver on all the functionalities needed for more complex schemes.

Here are 7 reasons why:

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Parasitic loads: powering ahead with natural ventilation

Posted by Paul Langford on 27/05/20 10:00

Techniques of natural ventilation that work well in conventional power plants are becoming even more important with the growth in waste-to-energy plants. All power station operators are keen to minimise the ‘parasitic loads’ - the proportion of the energy that they generate that is used to keep the plant running and the relatively small numbers of staff that work there comfortable.

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Topics: Natural ventilation, Climate Control

Digital printing: printing to perfection

Posted by Paul Langford on 13/05/20 10:00

Ensuring stable indoor conditions for digital printing is essential and can be costly. Achieving a constant temperature is fairly straightforward but a consistent humidity level is more challenging. First developed in the early 1990s, digital printing is a rapidly growing and sophisticated technology. Fast and reliable, it is however very dependent on having the correct print room conditions. The moisture content of the paper can affect the toner adhesion, paper jams and the fuser roller temperature.

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Topics: Climate Control

BCO lecture on smoke control in high-rise residential buildings.

Posted by Conor Logan on 06/05/20 10:00

Smoke control in high-rise residential buildings is an important and, sadly, topical issue. Having recently written a post about the talk that I gave to the Institute of Mechanical Engineers on smoke control in general, I now want to focus on high-rise residential buildings , a subject that I also addressed with the engineers and, in particular, in the talk I gave to Northern Ireland Building Control Officers in Armagh.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Residential Buildings, Fire Safety

Why air quality really matters

Posted by Paul Langford on 30/04/20 11:00

We have known for some time that indoor air quality at home can be a problem, but a new report produced jointly by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) highlights just how serious an issue this can be. In particular, it says, poor indoor air quality can impact child health.

It links indoor air pollution to a range of childhood health problems including asthma, wheezing, conjunctivitis, dermatitis and eczema. There are a number of potential causes of indoor air pollution. They can include smoking, damp, the burning of fossil fuels and wood, dust, chemicals from building materials and furnishings, aerosol sprays and cleaning products.

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Topics: Climate Control

CIBSE Patrons appoints Colt’s MD Nick Buckingham to its Steering Committee.

Posted by Nick Buckingham on 29/04/20 10:34

The CIBSE Patrons are regarded as the ‘corporate supporters’ of CIBSE, comprising a group of businesses who collaborate to give financial, technical and moral backing to a wide range of initiatives led by the Institution.

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Topics: CIBSE

IMechE lecture on clarifying the importance of Smoke Control

Posted by Conor Logan on 22/04/20 10:00

I recently, before the Corona virus lock-down, had the pleasure and privilege of giving two lectures on smoke control, one to the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and the other to Northern Ireland Building Control Officers in Armagh. For this second audience I focused in particular on smoke control in high-rise residential buildings.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Fire Safety

Technical Review of Approved Document B (Fire Safety)

Posted by Conor Logan on 17/04/20 10:00

On the 2nd April, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP announced ambitious steps, initiated by the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, to further reform the building safety system, with the aim of ensuring that residents are safe in their homes.

Firstly, MHCLG have published their response to the Building a Safer Future Consultation which sets out plans to reform building safety. This includes creating a new, more stringent, national Building Safety Regulator, currently being devised by the Health and Safety Executive, who will be responsible for implementing, enforcing and overseeing safety in all multi-occupied residential buildings over 18m (or 6 storeys). Importantly, the Building Safety Bill will also provide for the ability to amend the scope in the future, if deemed justified.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Fire Safety

Covid 19 - Testing and Maintenance of Life Safety Systems

Posted by Nick Buckingham on 30/03/20 13:28

Testing and Maintenance of Life Safety Installations in buildings is mandatory under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement at 8.30pm on 23 March 2020, it remains imperative that people living and working in the built environment are kept safe regardless of the current Covid-19 lockdown conditions. Fires still happen, emergencies do not respect crisis management.

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Topics: smoke control maintenance

Putting the onus on owners

Posted by Tom Archer on 11/03/20 10:00

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has issued new guidance for owners of multi-storey buildings in multiple occupancy. It brings together advice from the Independent Expert Advisory Panel in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.

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Topics: smoke control maintenance

The path to the future

Posted by Morwenna Vinall on 04/03/20 11:00

Increasingly companies are looking at sustainability, not just at the systems that they design and the impact those can have of customers’ energy use but also at the way that they run their own organisations. So it is not surprising that Colt, whose products are concerned with making the built environment more sustainable, has embarked on this journey.

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Topics: sustainability

Colt Case Study - Camplings Linen

Posted by Paul Langford on 19/02/20 11:00

If you live in East Anglia and eat in a restaurant with linen tablecloths, or if you stay in a hotel in the area, you may well be using cloths, bed linen or towels that have been laundered by Camplings Linen. Formed by a merger of two companies, it now operates under the brand Camplings in Great Yarmouth and as Swiss Laundry in Cambridge. Both locations had the same potential problem – laundry is a hot and steamy business and, while this is good for the linen, it is less good for the people who work with it.

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Topics: Natural ventilation, Climate Control

No time to relax our vigilance

Posted by Conor Logan on 12/02/20 11:00

Despite the new regulations that have been introduced or proposed following the Grenfell tragedy in 2017, this is not the time to be complacent about fire. The latest available statistics on fire in England showed that fires actually increased in the year to March 2019. In the 10 years to 2012/13 there had been a steady drop in fires every year, but since then the figure has been slowly creeping up again.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke Containment, Regulations

Granger Hertzog’s brief to Colt was to ensure the comfort of the staff all year round

Posted by Paul Langford on 06/12/19 11:00

If you saw the film Rocketman, about Elton John, or watched the television adaptation of His Dark Materials, you will have seen furniture and props from specialist hire company Granger Hertzog. The company operates from a combined office, warehouse and showroom in Park Royal, London, all accommodated within a light industrial shed that is one of a number on an estate.

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Topics: Natural ventilation, Climate Control