Fire curtain maintenance

Posted by Tom Archer on 20/05/22 10:00

To get started on this topic, let’s first explore what a fire curtain is and how it helps keep buildings safe. A fire curtain is a flexible fire-rated barrier that is held out of sight in a headbox until needed. When activated by a fire alarm system, a fire curtain automatically drops down, between guide channels to seal the space where a wall and door would normally have been.

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Topics: service, smoke control maintenance

Common maintenance issues that can cause a smoke control system to fail.

Posted by Tom Archer on 22/04/22 10:00

We frequently write about why it is important to maintain your building’s smoke control systems properly, but less so about what might cause a smoke control system to fail or not function properly when needed if proper maintenance is not upheld. In this blog, we aim to give building owners and operators a better understanding of common issues they should look out for and how they can help keep buildings safe.

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Topics: service, smoke control maintenance

Covid-19 and the maintenance of life-safety systems such as smoke control.

Posted by Tom Archer on 01/03/22 10:00

We have come a long way with Covid-19 since 2020 and now, almost two years on, it feels like we are finally at a stage where we can live with the virus and return to our usual work and social routines. The last time we wrote about the maintenance of smoke control with regards to the pandemic was in March of 2020, when the first lockdowns had just been announced. In that blog, we reminded people that the testing and maintenance of life safety installations in buildings is mandatory under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. Therefore, regardless of whether the buildings you managed would be in constant use or mostly empty, it remains imperative that a regular maintenance programme is adhered to in buildings of all types, be they commercial, industrial or residential.

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Topics: Residential Buildings, service, smoke control maintenance

What the Building Safety Bill means for the smoke control service and maintenance of high-risk buildings.

Posted by Tom Archer on 11/02/22 10:00

As you will be aware, there has been an intense focus on building and fire safety following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. In response to this Dame Judith Hackitt chaired an independent review of building regulations and fire safety which has led to the new Building Safety Bill being put forward.

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Topics: Residential Buildings, service, smoke control maintenance

What are the regulations and responsibilities surrounding the "responsible person" when it comes to the maintenance of smoke control systems?

Posted by Tom Archer on 14/01/22 10:00

If you own or manage a commercial or residential property, you are ultimately responsible for the safety of the building's occupants and providing fire safety systems that are properly maintained and functioning.

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Topics: Residential Buildings, service, smoke control maintenance

Why maintaining your smoke vents properly is so important.

Posted by Tom Archer on 21/12/21 10:00

Smoke vents are a crucial part of a building’s fire safety systems and work in conjunction with other mechanisms such as smoke curtains and sprinklers to protect building occupants and the building’s structure from damage or collapse. How do they do this, though? In this blog, we will outline the basic function of smoke vents and how they work, as well as looking at best practices for maintaining them properly to ensure they do not fail in case of an emergency.

In the initial stages of a fire, temperatures tend to rise fairly slowly and consistently until they reach their ‘flashover point’ when the rise in heat rapidly accelerates. Due to the relatively slow temperature rise when a fire starts, very large amounts of smoke are usually produced in the first few minutes. Without any barriers to contain the smoke or an exit for it to escape the building, it can very quickly fill even a very large space, quickly incapacitating occupants. The limited visibility created by the smoke also makes it extremely difficult for firefighters to locate the seat of the fire to put it out quickly.

It is extremely important that firefighters reach the fire to put it out in the beginning stages when the temperatures are still manageable, because once a fire reaches its flashover point, the likelihood of rescuing any occupants, stock or indeed the building itself (depending on how large the blaze it), goes down considerably.

Smoke vents are instrumental in helping to keep escape routes clear and in allowing firefighters to reach the origin of the fire quickly, helping them to extinguish it faster which saves lives, stock and buildings.

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Topics: service

Maintaining smoke control systems in multi-storey residential buildings

Posted by Tom Archer on 23/11/21 10:00

Testing and maintenance of life safety installations in multi-storey residential buildings is mandatory under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and is one of the most important aspects of facilities management. Since Covid-19 has become a global concern and forcing people to spend more time at home, it has become more important than ever that people are kept safe in their apartments.

 

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Topics: service

What is SFG20 and why is it beneficial to maintaining my smoke control / AOV system?

Posted by Tom Archer on 25/10/21 10:00

Recently, we have been getting a lot of questions from customers who are either thinking about or who are already using SFG20 to help maintain their smoke control systems. In this blog, we aim to answer some of the most common questions around what SFG20 is, how to use it and why it is beneficial.

 

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Topics: service

Why brise soleil maintenance is so important

Posted by Tom Archer on 28/09/21 11:00

Strong winds and storms are becoming a more frequent feature of the autumn and winter weather patterns in the UK. External building features are being exposed to these more unpredictable elements - it is your duty as a building owner or operator to ensure your systems are well maintained.

However, brise soleil systems and typical architectural shading products are generally overlooked when considering inspections for damage after storms. Under BS EN 1991-1-1-4 2005, it is a requirement to carry out inspection works to the fixings of external architecture to prevent wear and tear, check for vibration, divergence, and fluctuations to the system which could cause fatigue and cracking.

The potential for property damage, personal injury and even fatalities could easily become a reality if maintenance is neglected. You must ensure you have a maintenance engineer you can trust. One who will check for galvanic corrosion or wear and tear and who will ensure that the installation hasn’t become loose or damaged from high winds.

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Topics: service, Brise Soleil

Maintaining smoke control systems in car parks.

Posted by Tom Archer on 25/08/21 14:00

Colt has worked on many car park projects that require smoke control systems over the years and our knowledge in designing, installing, commissioning and maintaining them is unrivalled.

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, service, smoke control maintenance

Your smoke control maintenance FAQs answered

Posted by Tom Archer on 23/06/21 10:00

When new customers contact us about setting up their contracts, we frequently get asked a few common questions. If you have just taken over management of a new building and are unsure about where to start with your fire safety systems maintenance schedule, this blog may have some of the answers you are looking for. For anything else you are still unsure of, contact one of our friendly and professional servicing specialists or use our ‘What’s on my roof’ uploader tool to identify what systems you have.

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, service, smoke control maintenance

Smoke control servicing: what to expect from a Colt smoke control maintenance expert

Posted by Tom Archer on 09/06/21 10:30

We frequently get asked by new customers what a maintenance visit from a Colt engineer will look like when we come to inspect and test your smoke control systems. We’ve written this blog to give you an overview of what you can expect from each of your Colt maintenance visits.

We truly understand how valuable your time is. That’s why our smoke ventilation servicing process has been designed to ensure that your buildings are safe and legal. Knowing exactly what to expect before, during and after a visit will put your mind at ease and help you to plan your time accordingly.

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, service, smoke control maintenance

Despite the nice friendly names, storms are often anything but. Time to check your Brise Soleil.

Posted by Tom Archer on 08/12/20 11:00

Here in the UK, we get more storms than we used to and Met Office have been giving them nice names. You may remember in February this year we had Storm Ciara followed immediately by Storm Dennis.

Their impact, though, can be anything but nice. Ciara recorded 97mph on the coast, with widespread gusts of 70 – 80 mph even in less exposed inland areas, causing trees to be blown down. The destructive winds and heavy rainfall of Storm Dennis claimed at least five UK fatalities.

The Met Office tells us that our next visitors will be named Bella, Cristoph and Darcy. But beware, they are unlikely to be as nice as they sound.

With strong winds and storms becoming a more frequent feature of the autumn and winter weather patterns in the UK, external building features are being exposed to these more unpredictable elements.

However, Brise Soleil systems and typical architectural shading products are generally overlooked when considering inspections for damage. Under BS EN 1991-1-1-4 2005, it is a requirement to carry out inspection works to the fixings of external architecture to prevent wear and tear, check for vibration, divergence, and fluctuations to the system which could cause fatigue and cracking.

The potential for property damage, personal injury and even fatalities could easily become a reality. You must ensure you have a maintenance engineer you can trust. One who will check for galvanic corrosion or wear and tear and who will ensure that the installation hasn’t become loose or damaged from high winds.

An example of what can go wrong if you fail to maintain your Brise Soleil systems:

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Topics: service, Brise Soleil

What the Draft Building Safety Bill Will Mean for Service and Maintenance of High-risk Buildings

Posted by Conor Logan on 25/09/20 10:15

Last month I wrote a technical review of the latest Fire Safety Bill, where I outlined the specific details of how the Fire Safety Bill legislation will be implemented and enforced.

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Topics: Smoke Control, service, smoke control maintenance, Fire Safety

Smoke ventilation servicing: what to expect during a visit

Posted by Tom Archer on 02/07/20 10:00

In our last post, we outlined everything you need to know about smoke ventilation system maintenance. Now, we will explain what you can expect when you set up a service contract with Colt and call out our engineers for smoke ventilation servicing.

We truly understand how valuable your time is. That’s why our smoke ventilation servicing process has been designed to efficiently ensure that your buildings are safe and legal. Knowing exactly what to expect before, during and after a visit, will put your mind at ease and help you to plan your time accordingly.

Firstly, we will outline some of the types of buildings and smoke control systems we maintain, then we will explain what to expect from a visit, and list some common issues we find during visits. Finally, we will explain how to set up a servicing contract with us.

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Topics: Regulations, service, smoke control maintenance