Fire alarm systems are one of the best investments for your business. Fire is a fast moving, lethal beast that can burn, melt and choke the life out of a building. With over 20 years’ experience in the Fire and Security industry, we have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through what may seem like a daunting prospect, step by step.
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Conventional Fire Alarm Systems
Conventional fire alarm systems tend to be found in smaller premises like high street shops and businesses. They can have one or more zones and manually operated fire call points, automatic smoke and heat detectors connected to them.
Conventional systems are the cheaper option when it comes to fire alarms, this is due to the price of the product and also the installation costs. Unlike addressable fire alarm systems, conventional systems are less versatile and offer fewer options when it comes to configuration. One key difference to note about conventional systems is that they are unable to pinpoint what device has been activated but will instead give a common zone indication.
For example if there were several detectors located in an area and one was activated the fire alarm panel would only indicate what zone had gone into fire and not what device, this could make search times longer when identifying where the activation had come from.
Addressable Fire Alarm Systems
Addressable fire alarm systems tend to be found in large premises like office blocks, hotels, hospitals, schools and airports. They have the capacity to have a large number of automatic detection devices and manually operated fire call points connected to them. Addressable fire alarm panels can also be networked together allowing for larger intelligent detection across the network. Unlike conventional fire alarm systems they can pinpoint which device has been activated, what type of device it is, where it is located and what time the activation happened. This enables search times for activations to be a lot less and essential in large buildings or sites that have multiple buildings when determining what device has been triggered. Addressable fire alarm systems are extremely versatile and can be programmed to suit the fire strategy of any site, they offer the best flexibility to the end user and can help reduce false alarms.
Wireless Fire Alarm Systems
A wireless fire alarm system is very much the same as an addressable system, using the same fire alarm panels, however the detection devices including smoke and heat detectors, manually operated fire call points and other devices are wireless. This means that there is a reduced installation cost because the devices are not hard wired back to the fire alarm panel. Wireless systems are often a good choice in premises which may be listed or there is asbestos present. Wireless fire alarm systems are an intelligent system and offer the same benefits as an addressable system when it comes to flexibility. One thing to take into consideration with a wireless system is the increased maintenance cost which is due to the batteries within the wireless devices that need to be changed roughly every three years.
Disabled Refuge System
In order to comply with ‘The Disabled Discrimination Act (DDA) 2004’; it is an essential component of fire safety law to provide a safe means of passage for a disabled person in the event of a fire or emergency.
All non-domestic buildings of more than one storey need to provide a means of refuge for any person who cannot easily use fire escapes, lifts and stairs during an emergency. There has to be a two-way communication system with all disabled refuge systems.
Disabled Toilet Alarms
A Disabled Toilet Alarm System allows a distressed person to raise an alarm in the event of an emergency. In order to operate the user simply presses a button or pulls the chord of a ceiling pull unit to activate a light and sounder outside of the WC. These systems can act as stand alone or be integrated into a range of Emergency Voice Communication Systems (EVCS).
All systems are designed, installed and commissioned to BS5839 Part 8/9 and BS5588. have intelligence that supports its use.
Public Address & Voice Alarm Systems (PAVA)
Public Address and Voice Alarm Systems are used in order to provide clear and concise messages where it is essential to communicate to a large group of people at one time. This might be used in an environment where there is a high concentration of people – such as a factory, commercial building or school. It is used for providing day to day messages as well as essential communication in case of an emergency PAVA systems can operate in two sectors of the audio world. The first and foremost provide life-critical messaging— ‘Voice Alarm (VA)’—but they can also be of use to provide paging messaging or music, referred to as ‘Public Address’ or PA.
Voice Alarm & Public Address Systems are similar in their function, but Voice Alarm Systems have the advantage of providing monitored backup and are generally used for emergency evacuation system. A voice alarm (VA) is usually recommended by a fire risk assessor but is generally always required in a building subject to a pre-determined or ‘phased’ evacuation plan.
A Water Mist System is a fire protection system which uses very fine water sprays (i.e., water mist). These small water droplets allow the water mist to control, suppress or extinguish fires by cooling both the flame and surrounding gases by evaporation. These types of systems are fast replacing existing Sprinkler systems due to the precision they offer. They can often be found in use on flammable liquids and electrical rooms such as data servers. The mist evaporates and causes a starving of oxygen effect rather than cooling. This type of Fire Suppression system comprises of five main parts:
- Open Head – a nozzle which propels the water out, triggered automatically by automatic fire detection.
- Closed Head – a heat fractured bulb which acts like a valve and releases water like a sprinkler system.
- Cylinder System – cylinders containing a mix of water and nitrogen are placed in or near a room, connected via pipework to run to the nozzle position. Often used for smaller risks.
- Tank/Pump SysteMs – used for larger fire risks. Very similar to the use of a sprinkler system due to the amount of water supplied. It has to have sufficient spare and be able to re-fill within a certain period through the in-house water supply. All tanks and pumps must comply to BS/EN12845. Pumps might also need a high voltage supply with a back up or uninterrupted power supply.
- Valves – these act as taps and let the water flow to particular areas of cover.
Sprinkler systems are major fixed extinguishing systems designed to extinguish flames in the event of a fire and thereby prevent potential disasters.
While historically sprinkler systems have only been present in large commercial and public sector premises, smaller commercial and even residential sites are now utilising this active solution as a cost effective and dependable fire safety solution.
An aspirating system is a different way of detecting smoke, this method is achieved by sampling particles within air which is drawn into an aspirating unit via sampling pipework. Aspirating systems offer very early detection of smoke and are often used in data/server rooms where there is high value assets. Aspirating systems can also be used in high end, bespoke properties where the client doesn’t want to see any conventional detection on the ceilings, this can be achieved by the main aspirating pipework being above the ceilings and small discrete sampling holes within the ceiling. These holes are normally the width of a match and flush with the ceiling, therefore making it more aesthetically pleasing.
Fire Suppression System
When extinguishing fires, Fire Suppression systems are an alternative method to sprinkler systems due to the fact that they don’t use water which damages property and premises. Unlike sprinkler systems they use a suppression agent in order to reduce the oxygen content, which feeds flames.
Fire suppression systems are integrated into a fire detection systems, the detection system is used to trigger the suppression system which will extinguish the fire. Fire Suppression Systems intelligent in design and have been installed to protect environments ranging from simple storage units to multi million pound data, computer, telecommunication and archive centers.
Whether choosing an inert fire suppression gas or synthetic fire suppression agent, our systems operate efficiently to protect life and property whilst minimising any risk of damage to the room or equipment.
Risers / Hydrants
Wet and Dry Risers as well as Hydrants are a form of fire suppression within a building. We inspect, test and maintain this equipment in accordance with BS9990. A Riser system is a network of pipework and valves which allow the fire service to easily and quickly deliver water to the upper floor levels. The maintenance of these pipe networks is essential so there are no leakages, the water pressures can be maintained and they remain accessible with an easy connection for when needed in times of emergency.
A Dry Riser system is designed to be charged with water from the Fire Brigade, and is in use on buildings less than 50m in height. A Wet Riser system is needed in buildings taller than this.
Maintenance of these systems takes place every 6 months, with a major and minor service part of the service. The major service is otherwise known as a ‘wet test’ which includes more comprehensive tests such as the hydraulic pressure test. The second service visit is a visual one and therefore more of a ‘minor service’ visit.
Fire Curtains act as an additional safety measure. Their main purpose as a fire suppression system is to limit and prevent the spread of fire, as well as to protect all escape routes. A Fire Curtain consists of a robust piece of fire-resistant material which is usually suspended from a ceiling, lobby or doorway. It is then lowered and put into use when a fire alarm is activated.
Unlike Fire Doors, curtains can be installed in a number of different locations including places where there is a lack of wall space, such as open plan spaces. Fire Curtains can also be used to replace a non-load bearing wall, which often allows open plan building designs to still meet all the relevant regulations. All Fire Curtains are fitted and maintained in accordance with BS8524.
Gas Fire Suppression
A Gas Suppression System is a waterless fire suppressant that functions by releasing a gas, or a mixture of gases into the air in order to extinguish or prevent the spread of fire within a building. In order to ensure the gas suppression system doesn’t release gas for a false alarm such as in response to dust in the air, we provide a series of detector activations known as “first and second” stage alarms. This is where two different detectors on two different zones need to be triggered in the event of a fire.
During this process, a series of alarms will be triggered. In the first stage a sounder will be triggered, then during the second stage a different tone sounder will be activated. Once the countdown timer has finished, a bell and flashing strobe will trigger when the gas is released.
The main control panel provides details and control of the current status of the system. In an emergency the gas can be released immediately by hitting a break glass point if you want to “hold off” the gas release process. Some of the many benefits of a Gas Fire Suppression System include:
- Safe and environmentally friendly gas.
- No clean up operation required as no residue left behind.
- These type of systems can be applied to a variety of different areas including server rooms, switch rooms, battery rooms and transformer rooms.
Kitchen Suppression Systems
Lazerbeam Fire & Security install and maintain Ansul R-102 fire protection systems in a host of commercial kitchen installations. Ansul fire suppression systems are recognised to be the world wide number 1 protector of today’s commercial kitchens, and with good reason. Restaurants and other commercial Kitchens utilise high temperature cooking oils, slow cooking appliances and deep-fat fryers all of which represent a difficult and unique challenge to maintaining a safe working environment and compliance to Health and Safety legislation.
Ansul fire suppression systems are fixed extinguishing system designed to quickly detect and suppress kitchen fires using advanced extinguishing agents specifically designed to effectively combat kitchen fires and limit damage so that the kitchen can be quickly up and running again once the fire has been safely extinguished. The application of Ansul fire suppression systems can ensure a far safer working environment for kitchen staff and can significantly reduce the insurance costs of industrial and commercial kitchens through the automatic detection and extinguishing of canopy and range fire.
Fire extinguishers are portable devices which discharge a jet of water, foam, gas or other material in order to extinguish a fire. They are active fire protection devices which act as a crucial part of the safety equipment necessary in order to protect your assets. Lazerbeam supply, install and maintain the extinguishers needed in accordance with the needs of your premises at a competitive price. This is all in accordance with your Fire Risk Assessment and to ensure compliance.
Fire extinguishers represent an integral part of any business’ life safety solution, protecting the integrity of your sites and assets and the safety of your staff and customers.
A comprehensive range of fire extinguishers are available including:
- Water Extinguishers: Designed to target Class A fires, including paper, wood, straw and textiles.
- Foam Extinguishers: Designed to target Class A and Class B fires. Class B fires include, liquid spill fires such as petrol, oil, fats and paints.
- Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers: Designed to target Class B fires particularly electrical hazards. Carbon Dioxide is harmless to electrical equipment and is ideal for modern offices, electronic risks, and fires caused by the combustion of liquids such as: oils, fats and solvents.
- Powder Extinguishers: Designed to combat mixed fire risk environments. They are suitable for combating flammable liquid risk, such as methane, propane, hydrogen and natural gas fires.
- Wet Chemical Extinguishers: Designed for Class F fires, particularly cooking oil and fat fires. The extinguisher is also effective against Class A fires.
Fire Safety Signage
Fire Safety signage is an illuminated or acoustic signal which provides information on escape routes and emergency exits. It acts to provide information on the identification or location of fire fighting equipment or to give warning in case of a fire.
An essential criteria for all commercial premises so that all personnel know how to respond in the event of a fire, all in accordance with ISO EN7010.
This is a blanket of flameproof material for use in smothering small fires. It is often used in small kitchen areas as a form of fire suppression, and is considered an essential item in terms of fire safety equipment.
Fire blankets can often be found in commercial kitchens, schools, factories and workshops.