Helios Fire Systems MD, Garry Adey explores the latest developments affecting the fire safety industry and what businesses can do to prevent and minimise loss and disruption
Fire safety and surrounding legislation are at a critical standpoint in 2020. The latest news is that remedial fire safety work within UK housing association properties alone will exceed £10bn. In a non-profit sector, that figure seems unfathomable.
Meanwhile, Victoria Coach Station, which sees around 14 million passengers a year through its doors, has been hit with an enforcement notice and described as a “walking disaster area” by the London Fire Brigade with a “catalogue of fire risks.”
It doesn’t take a fire safety expert to conclude that the initial costs associated with the implementation and management of fire suppression systems are comparatively small when compared to the alternative risks, financial or even criminal charges. It sadly takes a serious fire disaster to get policymakers to focus again on fire safety and building regulations. The warnings from the fire safety industry after Lakanal (years before Grenfell) didn’t prove to be enough.
Fire can change the course of business in seconds
Fire is devastating to a business. Beyond the initial employee safety concerns, destruction of stock and infrastructure is only the beginning of the impact fire can have. Business continuity and clean-up costs can be untenable, meaning businesses face bankruptcy and loss of livelihood following a fire. Others often find they can no longer afford to be insured as the risk likelihood has increased so dramatically. They may even find themselves facing third-party civil claims, or significant fines by fire and health & safety regulators.
Fires can continue to burn for a long time after, leaving businesses with further out of pocket expenses. Such was the case at a 6-week blaze in a pet supply warehouse in Bristol, or when 200 tonnes of household waste caught alight for 37 hours at a recycling plant in West Sussex. It’s cases like these where the latest fire prevention, detection and suppression technologies can make the difference to keep a business afloat.
Choosing products that are certified and have undergone thorough testing will assure specifiers or building and facilities managers that a correctly deployed fire suppression system will reduce risks to life and livelihood. By installing the right system, a business owner can satisfy insurers that they have assessed and minimised any potential risk, leading to more effective containment of a fire.
#ChooseHelios for best-in-class fire prevention, detection and suppression
The ATFS (Automatic Targeted Fire Suppression) system from Helios detects any temperature irregularities in real-time via its PYROsmart® infrared camera, with a panoramic reach to cover up to 100 metres. PYROsmart® works in combination with a turret extinguishing system that can use water or foam for fire suppression. It’s an early warning detection system that means fire threats are extinguished way before a flame has breached the surface of the material.
PYROsmart® safeguards against widespread fire and substantial financial loss with targeted precision using highly intelligent software. It detects minute temperature changes on the surface of a stockpile. With a 78-megapixel thermal infrared camera, PYROsmart® creates panoramic images or video without requiring contact with the products of combustion. It’s not overly sensitive either, reducing the temptation to turn off equipment to reduce false callouts.
Even the water used to extinguish a fire is hazardous waste and has to be disposed of correctly by relevant agencies. So, we developed an alternative. Coldfire® extinguishing solution is 100% environmentally friendly, plant-based, non-toxic or corrosive and bio-degradable. It eliminates both heat source and fuel elements of a fire, preventing the possibility of re-ignition. Coldfire® reduces costs following an incident as it does not require special disposal and is another comprehensive protective element of a fire suppression system.
Insurer approved for peace of mind
ATFS is highly regarded and endorsed by many waste insurers who trust and recognise Helios as a leader in fire suppression and detection. Using an approved system increases the likelihood of businesses getting insured with a realistic excess premium.
Many different industries can benefit from an ATFS system. We are specialists in installations for waste & recycling management sites, stockyards like tyre stores, aviation hangars, petrochemical plants, server rooms, plant hire yards, warehouses – ANYWHERE where fire suppression and protection reduce the risk to life and of bankrupting a business.