Regulations are changing for the better – you need to understand them.

Posted by Conor Logan on 12/08/19 16:53

The Government has produced its consultation document on reforming building regulations relating to fire. This is in the wake of Dame Judith Hackitt’s report, which was a response to the terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Regulations

How does fire design in the UK compare to other European countries – performance versus prescription?

Posted by Conor Logan on 24/05/19 15:57

The review from Dame Judith Hackitt concluded that the current legislation regarding fire safety equipment in the UK is not fit for purpose and that it needs to improve. Learning the best that we can from other countries while avoiding their shortcomings would be a good start. 

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Topics: Smoke Control, Regulations

Why use smoke control? A simple guide to what smoke control is and how it helps protect tenants, staff and businesses.

Posted by Conor Logan on 22/03/19 10:55

We are often asked the fundamental questions of what smoke control is, how it works and what the benefits are of installing it. As these are important for building owners, managers and fire safety engineers to understand, we’ve put together this post to help the responsible individuals better understand why smoke control is so vital to protecting life, stock and buildings.

So, let’s start at the beginning.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke Containment, Regulations

The Ocado warehouse fire, Andover.  Short term benefit outweighs long term resilience?

Posted by Conor Logan on 12/03/19 15:20

On February 8th, the catastrophic fire that engulfed Ocado’s Andover Customer Fulfillment Centre (CFC) finally came to an end, after four traumatic days.

As the fire raged on, 300 firefighters battled on at considerable personal risk, while over 100 residents in the area surrounding the 24,000 sq. metre warehouse were evacuated. 

Statistically, more than 40% of businesses do not survive the consequences of a major fire and Ocado has already started seeing the effects of this one on theirs. Since February 5th, Ocado shares have seen a 14% decrease and the company has started preparing for massive hits to sales as it struggles to fulfill orders. The Andover CFC processed around 30,000 orders for customers each week, which represents 10% of the entire business’ capacity.

Now the immediate danger is over, the question of why this happened must be investigated. Was the repeal of the Local Acts in 2012 a contributing factor?

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Topics: Smoke Control, Regulations, service

When is a U value real?

Posted by Conor Logan on 24/01/17 12:30

As a designer or specifier you will set U value requirements for elements of your building in order to meet Building Regulations, ensure comfort and avoid condensation.

Suppliers will offer products to “comply” with your specifications and quote a U value. But is it the real U value?

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Topics: Regulations, U Value, Air Leakage

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

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

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

The top three considerations when specifying glass louvred ventilators

Posted by Graeme Clark on 08/03/16 12:00

Glass louvred ventilators, or louvred window ventilators as they are commonly known, are becoming increasingly popular for use in natural and smoke ventilation systems. There are several suppliers on the market, offering products that vary widely in terms of performance and controls. How can you make sure you will get exactly what you need when specifying or purchasing one of these ventilators?

There are three critical considerations you should make when preparing to specify a glass louvred ventilator:

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Topics: Natural ventilation, Regulations, Smoke ventilation, Louvre

Specifying smoke control systems: a complex task that you can’t afford to get wrong

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

Smoke control is a ‘wide science’: it requires in-depth knowledge of the building layout, the technical aspects and the bewildering array of regulations in force. Each type of building has its own peculiarities and some have specific regulations and guidance on smoke control.

Specifying a smoke control system is not always easy, and you can’t afford to get it wrong. These are life-saving systems and their failure could have dramatic consequences. And a lack of confidence or knowledge can lead to over-specification with consequent unnecessary costs.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Regulations, Curtains

Have testing regimes in standards got out of touch with reality?

Posted by Conor Logan on 26/01/16 12:00

First of all, don’t misunderstand my objective here. I think better regulation of fire industry construction products is a good thing. A standard that requires relevant testing of fire safety products is of absolute benefit – providing the testing requirements are based on empirical evidence of the products in fire situations.

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Topics: Regulations, Curtains

"Can I trust you?" A brief guide to supplier credit ratings

Posted by Nick Buckingham on 15/12/15 12:00

Our people are often asked by our purchasing department whether a supplier is suitable for our company to use for a project. To try and help others in the same position as us, I have put together a quick run down of what we look for when selecting a supplier. Read More

Topics: Regulations

The latest revision to the SCA Guidance on Smoke Control to Common Escape Routes in Apartment Buildings explained

Posted by Conor Logan on 08/12/15 12:00

The prevention of smoke spread through buildings is of critical importance.

The Smoke Control Association (SCA) has published Revision 2 to its ‘Guidance on Smoke Control to Common Escape Routes in Apartment Buildings (Flats and Maisonettes)’, which is available for download from This revision became necessary largely owing to the ever increasing complexity in the design of buildings, and also to fall in line with amendments to the recently published BS 9991.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Regulations, Corridor ventilation

The recently updated BS 9991 and dual power supplies

Posted by Conor Logan on 01/12/15 12:00

A major update to BS 9991 “Fire Safety in the Design, Management and Use of Residential Buildings - Code of Practice” has been published by BSI and will come into effect on 31 December 2015. The Smoke Control Association, which I chair, played an instrumental role in this update.

Dual power supplies for smoke control systems are mandated. However this Standard now permits a lot more flexibility in their provision, which is very welcome given how often it is difficult to obtain them.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Regulations

Webinar on the latest revision to the SCA Guidance on Smoke Control to Common Escape Routes in Apartment Buildings: Q&A

Posted by Conor Logan on 17/11/15 11:59

I received some excellent questions during the Q&A section during the recent webinar that I presented. Here you can see my answers to these questions, slightly edited for clarity.

The background to the webinar is provided on our recent blog. In this blog we refer to Revision 2 of ‘Guidance on Smoke Control to Common Escape Routes in Apartment Buildings (Flats and Maisonettes)’ from The Smoke Control Association (SCA), which is available for download from This is an important revision to the Guidance.

There is also a recording of the webinar available.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Regulations, Webinar, Corridor ventilation