St George’s Church of England Foundation School

Gent by Honeywell has supplied a fire detection and alarm system to a school in Broadstairs, Kent.

PFS Group Ltd installed the system at the St George’s Church of England Foundation School, after it was built under the Building schools for the Future programme.

The school, which is mostly open plan and constructed from glass, presented some acoustic challenges. PFS Group Ltd addressed the acoustic environment and potential reverberations with a fully integrated Gent Vigilon Compact Voice system.

Simon Ford, contracts manager at PFS Group Ltd, said: “Panels installed throughout the school comprised an integrated fire detection, voice alarm (VA), and public address (PA) system with a background music facility.

“The use of a clear voice alarm is central to the Gent VA/PA system can, as it greatly increases response time and provides the opportunity to direct occupants to the safest emergency exit.

“It’s basically a three-in-one kit that delivers everything from the fire alarm, and PA right through to the entertainment – it’s an extremely flexible and cost effective solution.”

Samsung Westfield Stratford Store

Since Westfield Stratford City opened its doors in east London last September amid a flurry of publicity, its 300 stores have lived up to the hype with thousands of visitors flocking to the shopping centre. The new £1.4 billion Westfield project is Europe’s largest urban shopping mall and will form a formidable gateway to the London 2012 Olympics. Fire protection specialists PFS Group Limited, is one of a huge network of contractors that was involved with the electrical installation systems in the building’s 1.9 million square feet of retail and leisure space. The Essex based fire company worked with several industry partners to provide the highest quality fire detection solution for the entire Landlord’s area of the mall.

One month before the grand shopping centre opening, PFS Group Limited also won a contract to design, supply, install and commission the life safety systems in Samsung’s Electronic flagship store. PFS Group Limited started work on the project in August 2011 and completed the installation ready for the Samsung store’s opening in early November.

On both occasions, Gent by Honeywell fire detection and alarm (FDA) systems were selected as the most appropriate solutions for the projects. The initial brief for Samsung’s first ever UK store centred around the significance of the unit’s high quality aesthetics.

Simon Ford, contracts manager, PFS Group Limited, explained: “It was very important for the client to have the optimum level of protection for its customers and staff and also an FDA system that was very discreet in its design. The store is all about showcasing Samsung’s innovative products so the cosmetic element of the system was an essential consideration when we designed the solution.”

The Samsung Electronics store, situated on the ground level of Westfield Stratford, consists of two levels of retail space on the ground and mezzanine floors which are open to the Mall’s shoppers, as well as a ‘back of house’ area for employees and stock. PFS Group Limited selected the Gent Vigilon compact system, integrating it with Gent’s discreet aspirating smoke detection systems on the sales floors and a conventional system in the non-public areas.


Air Sampling Detection

Fire industry expert Gent by Honeywell launched its first range of aspirating products, last September to provide customers with one of the most flexible solutions on the market. The Gent range of Air Sampling Detection (ASD) systems work by taking air samples from the monitored area and analysing them for the presence of smoke particles. The full range of detectors means that businesses can choose the right detector to match the specific application as the products meet all of the coverage levels set in EN54 part 20.

Simon continued: “The ASD system removed the need to have several smoke heads in Samsung’s store. The discreet design was ideal for the customer’s requirement and that is also matched by the system’s high quality performance. The active sampling technology enables the identification of a possible fire in its very earliest stages from just 1 gram of material combustion. It provided the perfect solution in this case, where the requirement was for general detection but the normal point systems weren’t suitable.”

PFS Group Limited has had a close working relationship with Gent for several years and has built up a range of expertise and product knowledge in Gent’s products. The company has been part of Gent’s network of System’s Integrators for the past five years and has recently been promoted to an Elite System integrator. There are just 17 Elite System Integrators in Gent’s 24 networks, who have been recognised for their consistent success in the UK fire market working closely with Gent.

Dave Slater, Gent Business Manager South East and London, said: “We launched the new, flexible Aspirating systems in autumn last year which coincided with the grand opening of the Westfield Stratford Centre. It is a mark to the design and performance of the system that it was selected for the first store of one of the biggest international brands, Samsung Electronics. We have received very favourable feedback from PFS Group Limited and are proud to be involved in this landmark project.”


ODEON Cinema, Camden

Fire-Cryer® multi-message voice sounders ensure cinema goers are not confused by conventional alarms during evacuation.The ODEON cinema in Camden, London has upgraded to Vimpex’s Fire-Cryer® Plus 7-message voice sounders to ensure fast and safe evacuation of staff and the public in the event of a fire. The combination of the common alarm tone with clear and unambiguous voice messages ensures that there is no confusion when building evacuation is required. The Fire-Cryer® was specified by Peter Ford, ODEON UK’s Risk Management Director, following its use in many other ODEON cinemas across the UK in recent years. The upgrade was designed and installed by PFS Group Ltd, who has also worked on many of the other ODEON projects.

Project Comments

Commenting on the Camden ODEON project, Andrew Cowen, Director of PFS Group Ltd, said: “Fire-Cryer® is a quality product, which allows us to provide our clients with a ‘value engineering’ solution to enable an existing fire alarm system to be easily converted for voice sounder evacuation.”

The System

One of the main attractions of the Fire-Cryer® for use in applications such as Cinema refurbishments is the easy upgrade from the original sounder circuits, as often the existing wiring can be re-used. The units can be fully synchronised and have a low current consumption allowing simple replacement of existing sounders and bells. The Fire-Cryer’s® multi-message capability also ensures that system test and all clear messages can be easily transmitted avoiding confusion with the fire/evacuation alarm. Each unit can be programmed with up to 7 messages from a library of thousands, many of which are multi-lingual, ensuring that any site requirement can be fulfilled.

A total of 41 Fire-Cryer® Plus voice sounders were used in the upgrade at Camden ODEON, including standard wall-mounted white units and Midi and Maxi high-output variants. The wide product range available within the Fire-Cryer® Plus family is ideally suited to the different environments found in a typical cinema. Maxi Fire-Cryers®, with their high-power 116dBA output, are often positioned behind the screens providing wide coverage for the seating areas. The standard units, available in red and white and with optional strobes, make up the majority of the installations and provide an attractive and unobtrusive voice sounder solution for use in public areas.

The combination of 7 messages and a wide-range of compatible voice sounders ensure that the Fire-Cryer® Plus remains the most advanced range of voice sounders currently available and will continue to be the first choice for designers, installers and end-users.