where these fires are common, a heat alarm may react quicker than a smoke alarm, saving valuable time which can be used to alert and evacuate residents. In terms of location, a heat alarm should be placed as close to the centre of the ceiling as possible. If this is not practical, mount no closer than four inches from a wall or corner. Avoid fitting heat alarms near air vents, decorative objects, or anything which could obstruct the alarm and prevent heat from entering the unit and triggering the alert.

In order to provide a more

omprehensive safety solution, property owners are increasingly looking to interconnected alarm systems when specifying for developments. An interconnected heat, smoke and CO alarm network will trigger every alarm in the system, not just the one that has been activated. This ensures homeowners are alerted to danger no matter what area of the home they are in. Wireless options can also keep disruption to a minimum, and avoid the risk of potential damage to wires in a wired system.

Residents at The Landmark apartments in Dudley stay safe with SE Controls

smoke control systems from SE Controls to ensure escape routes are kept free of smoke in the event of a fire, allowing residents to exit the building safely. Located at the Waterfront complex adjacent


to the Merry Hill retail centre in Dudley, The Landmark was formerly the HQ for a financial services company before being acquired by investment property developer, Seven Capital, who converted it into 181 apartments with Colmore Tang Construction, all of which were sold off-plan within five months. As the travel distance from some of the

apartments to the building’s five existing escape stairs was more than the maximum 7.5 metres allowable for code compliant naturally ventilated smoke control system within Building Regulations Approved Document B, SE Controls designed and installed four individual smoke ventilation solutions. Each of these was based on the specific requirements

n iconic and popular residential development in the West Midlands, The Landmark at Brierley Hill, is using

of each floor within the building and combines both mechanical fan and natural smoke extraction. The ground and first two levels have the

largest floor areas and highest density of apart- ments, so an SE Controls SHEVTEC Extended Travel Distance mechanical fan system was installed to protect the corridors and three of the stairwells where apartments are located more than 7.5 metres from the escape stairs. On the second, third and fourth floors, supplementary automatic opening vents (AOV) are provided to ensure additional stairwells and corridors are kept free of smoke to aid escape from apartments located within 7.5 metres of the stairs. A further naturally ventilated system is used on floors five and six. Although these have the smallest floor area, a further dedicated escape staircase is protected by AOV louvres at the head of stairs. The main escape route in the seven-storey section of the building is also protected by a naturally ventilated smoke system, which covers all the floors.

Although domestic fire and CO safety has improved, especially since the 2015 regulations, there is still a long road ahead. Compliance doesn’t equal safety, and the importance of proper siting is still not universally understood. While going above and beyond legal requirements might feel unnecessary, the long-term benefits of going the extra mile in fire and CO protection are more than worth the investment.

Adrian Keats is national account manager for Honeywell’s Home Safety business

01543 443060


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