Colt, Compliance and Competence

Posted by Conor Logan on 20/11/19 10:00

Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower, the subsequent Hackitt Review into Building Regulations and the ongoing Public Inquiry, Colt is proud to establish their viewpoint on Compliance and Competence.

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Topics: Smoke Control

Specifying, testing and commissioning smoke control systems – your ultimate guide.

Posted by Conor Logan on 05/11/19 14:00

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.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Pressurisation, Smoke shafts

How to deal with engine exhaust emissions when local exhaust ventilation is not an option

Posted by Paul Langford on 10/10/19 10:00

Problem

Controlling diesel engine exhaust emissions in enclosed spaces such as maintenance workshops is easily done with local exhaust ventilation (LEV), which can be as simple as fitting pipes to the vehicles’ exhausts while they are being serviced in order to draw the fumes outside. However, there are situations where this is not an option, for example in a warehouse where there is heavy vehicle movement inside the building, as vans and lorries come in and out for loading and unloading.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Climate Control, Industrial ventilation

Preparing car parks for the risks of charging electric vehicles

Posted by Conor Logan on 04/10/19 10:00

Car parks may experience a new risk with the growing prevalence of electric cars and, in particular, the likelihood that the cars will be charged in car parks. This may lead to a number of fires in their lithium ion batteries, that will pose a challenge to firefighters and to those responsible for safety in the car parks.

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Topics: Smoke Control

Smoke control system design and installation. Common mistakes and why it is vital to avoid them.

Posted by Conor Logan on 05/09/19 16:30

In my last blog post I wrote about the government’s proposed changes to the Building Regulations as they relate to fire and broadly welcomed them (the main concern is that the very sensible measures proposed for high-rise residential buildings should also be applied to their shorter cousins).

But principles are only as good as the way that they are applied, and in terms of fire protection, and of smoke protection in particular, the devil is certainly in the detail. If these systems are to work properly they have to be designed properly, installed properly and maintained properly. Sadly, this does not always happen. 

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Topics: Smoke Control

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

Are fire alarm control systems any good for smoke ventilation?

Posted by Conor Logan on 25/07/19 16:32

The upsurge in large-scale residential schemes and commercial towers with fire fighting shafts has created the need for much more sophisticated control systems with highly complex sequences of operation for their smoke ventilation schemes.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, Controls

Smart thinking on smoke control - why planning ahead is vital.

Posted by Conor Logan on 28/06/19 15:00

Getting smoke control systems right is essential in a building, since the system should, in the event of a serious fire, save lives.

But it is not simple.

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Topics: Smoke Control

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

Government advice for owners of buildings with smoke control systems.

Posted by Conor Logan on 09/05/19 14:54

What are the responsibilities of the ‘responsible person’ when it comes to smoke control maintenance?  

The Government has produced an important piece of advice that is only three pages long and will tell you all the essentials you need to know. You can read it here

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Topics: Smoke Control, smoke control maintenance

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

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

Posted by Conor Logan on 10/01/17 12:00

 


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 5 reasons why:

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

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