Advanced fire protection in the heart of Birmingham

Advanced fire protection in the heart of Birmingham

Fire protection products manufacturer, Advanced, has supplied intelligent fire panels and evacuation alert systems to a mixed-use development at the prestigious One Victoria Square, and adjoining One Swallow Street, as part of a major refurbishment to grade A specification.

One Victoria Square fronts onto one of Birmingham’s most high profile and iconic squares and the gateway to the Central Business District. A mixed-use development, it has multiple levels containing mainly office space, with a retail unit on the ground floor. Meanwhile, the adjoining One Swallow Street also has multiple levels but offers residential apartments.

Advanced’s high-performance, fault-tolerant MxPro 5 analogue addressable panels were chosen to provide protection to all levels at One Victoria Square and the linked building, One Swallow Street. In addition, One Swallow Street also benefits from BS 8629-compliant EvacGo evacuation alert systems which were installed to help keep residents safe.

Fire safety specialist, Gem Fire Solutions was involved in the project from design through to commissioning. They installed eight networked MxPro 5 fire panels along with an Advanced graphics system and Apollo devices across both buildings. In One Swallow Street, three EvacGo evacuation alert systems were also installed along with Hyfire sounders.

Jamie Dyer of Gem Fire Solutions explains, “As a mixed-used development, it was important to find a solution that would meet the requirements of both the commercial and residential buildings. Advanced’s ability to provide a full package of fire panels, graphics and evacuation alert systems made the choice simple. The MxPro 5 panels were the ideal solution, providing a powerful platform, comprehensive cause and effect options, a fast network and user-friendly controls. Meanwhile, the BS 8629-compliant EvacGo evacuation alert system gives peace of mind that Swallow Street residents can be evacuated safely in an emergency.”

Shaun Scott, Emergency Evacuation Systems Application Engineer at Advanced, adds, “We offer our customers an extensive range of fire protection solutions to meet the demands of a wide variety of commercial and high-rise residential settings. Our MxPro 5 panels are designed to make life as easy as possible, delivering robust protection that offers real peace of mind, all backed up by our highly rated technical support. Meanwhile, following the Grenfell Tower enquiry and the increased awareness of the importance of effective fire evacuation, we have seen an increasing number of building owners installing EvacGo systems. While the Building Regulations make evacuation alert systems mandatory in new residential buildings over 18m, building owners of smaller buildings, or those being retrofitted, are also keen to meet best practice and keep their residents safe.”

MxPro 5 is a multiprotocol fire panel and is certified by FM Approvals to EN 54 Parts 2 and 4. It offers users a choice of four detector protocols and a completely open installer network, backed up by free training and support. MxPro 5 can be used in single-loop, single-panel format, or easily configured into high-speed networks of up to 200 panels covering huge areas. Ease of installation and configuration, as well as its wide range of peripheral options, makes MxPro 5 customisable to almost any application.

The MxPro 5’s stand-out false alarm management capabilities are available as standard. AlarmCalm delivers unprecedented control of verification and investigation delays. By dividing sites up into virtual false alarm ‘building areas’ independent of fire zones, much more precise control of false alarm management and reduction strategies can be achieved that exactly fit the needs of each part of a building. An optional AlarmCalm button allows trained occupants to verify if they believe a local fire signal is a false alarm too – a highly effective way of eliminating unwanted alarms.

The MxPro 5 BMS/graphics interface allows BMS systems and graphical control PCs to be easily integrated with the MxPro 5 series of fire control panels and remote terminals using a simple RS232 connection. Multiple interfaces can be connected to the network catering for sites requiring control from a number of graphical PCs.

Meanwhile, all Advanced evacuation alert systems are custom-manufactured to reflect each individual building’s evacuation zones, and they have been developed to provide a bespoke solution that allows the fire services to control evacuation floor-by-floor according to the severity and location of the fire. The guidance states that the evacuation alert control system should be installed where a ‘stay put’ policy is in force, so that it can be used to facilitate a timely and ordered evacuation for all residents. An evacuation alert system is vital to help fire and rescue services inform residents of a change in evacuation strategy during an incident and can be used alongside existing methods of evacuation to improve safety for residents. It must be standalone, with its only function being to assist fire and rescue services in the evacuation of the building.

Advanced products are specified in locations around the world, from single-panel installations to large, multi-site networks. The company’s portfolio includes complete fire detection systems, multiprotocol fire panels, extinguishing control, false alarm management and reduction systems as well as emergency lighting.


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