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FIRE SAFETY & DISASTER RECOVERY


INTEGRATION, INTELLIGENCE AND REGULATORY COMPLIANCE Paul Berry, Director, Tyco explains why for building managers and fire safety


professionals, this is a time for reappraisal and review, and actions must be taken to ensure that sprinkler systems are in place, up to date and effective.


The tragedy at Grenfell Tower earlier this year has thrown sprinklers into the limelight. In the aftermath of the fire, the head of the London Fire Brigade spoke out advocating for sprinkler systems to be incorporated into all high-rise residential buildings. The official inquiry, which commenced in mid-September, will review existing legislation around sprinkler usage, as well as how that regulation was executed in the months preceding the event. There is a rightful focus on these essential life- saving systems, as the possible consequences of de- prioritising them have become painfully clear.


But for all this renewed focus on sprinklers, the key technology behind them has remained relatively unchanged for decades - heat over 68 degrees causes the bulb in the nozzle to fracture, allowing water to be discharged. A quick sprinkler response is a good sprinkler response, and the existing hardware has been proven to do the job - the aim should be to control or extinguish a fire as soon as possible with just one nozzle operating, preventing it from getting out of hand. In theory, a well- maintained, working sprinkler system should mean that


38 | TOMORROW’S FM


no-one in the building experiences anything worse than an embarrassing fire in a garbage bin, and the basic components can easily achieve that. So what can fire safety teams do to ensure that their sprinkler systems are the best they can be?


Integrate your systems One key way of improving the effectiveness of sprinkler systems is to incorporate them into a wider network of fire and safety systems across the building. With the rise of IP-enabled devices that can be made to talk to one another, from smoke detectors to CCTV cameras.


By managing your whole fire and security landscape through a single platform or control system, you can increase your insight into what’s going on around the site, and help decrease the admin load on frontline staff. The integration of smart systems can provide facilities managers with deeper insights, faster situational judgement and reduced administration workloads, which have the dual benefit of an improved health and safety regime and a reduced bottom line.


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