Whitesales specialise in fully-compliant smoke vents and access hatches using decades of expertise to offer fire safety consultations about any premises.
We were pleased to run our Ask The Expert stand at this year’s Firex, helping professionals with fire safety challenges.
Q. I own an existing apartment block. The Building Control Officer has asked me to install a smoke vent. What are the regulations and how do I go about installing an AOV system?
A. The regulation covering smoke control in apartments is Building Regulations Approved Document B Volume 2. The usual procedure would be to engage a professional fire engineer to provide a fire strategy for your building. This should be forwarded to your Building Control for approval. If it is a simple requirement, i.e. a single stair vent, the Building Control officer may indicate exactly what is required. Once your requirements have been approved you can move to securing quotations from a selection of approved installers. You must use smoke ventilation equipment certified to BS EN 12101.
Q. I own a fire alarm installation and servicing company and am often asked to maintain smoke controls. Do you offer training programmes so we can understand the legal implications and best practice?
A. It is increasingly common for fire alarm engineers to be asked to maintain both the fire alarm and smoke vent equipment. This often presents difficulties as Code of Practice (CoP) for maintenance of fire detection and smoke systems are very different. The CoP’s for fire detection and alarms are BS 5839-6:2013 for Domestic Premises, and BS 5839-1:2013 for Non-domestic premises. The CoP for smoke control systems is BS 7346-8:2013 but this is not often referred to, or understood by, maintenance personnel. We offer CPD training in Installation, Commissioning, and Maintenance of Smoke Control Equipment for our partner installers.
Q. Do you offer specific CPD or training seminars to help educate fire safety engineers?
A. We offer a free of charge RIBA accredited CPD for smoke control. It’s called ‘No Smoke without Fire – An introduction to Smoke Control in the built environment’. This can be delivered at your premises at a time and date to suit your engineers, or at our premises in Cranleigh Surrey where we have a dedicated training room for your engineers to learn with a hands-on experience. We also offer CPD training in Installation, Commissioning, and Maintenance of Smoke Control Equipment for our partner installers. This helps them to understand when and how a smoke control system should be maintained.
Q. What does the Glass Em-Louvre offer that a window and actuator would not?
A. The Em-Louvre smoke vent is a high-performance smoke vent, which can be installed in façade apertures and curtain walling in both new-build and refurbishment projects. In addition to providing a more effective air flow rate, the Em-Louvre is fully certified to BS EN 12101-2 and impact tested to Barrier Load BS 6180:2011. This makes it suitable for use as a head of stair and end of lobby vent. Windows with actuators are often used as smoke vents but unless the complete and installed unit is certified to EN 12101-2 as an assembled product it cannot be classed as a smoke vent. The Smoke Control Association (SCA) has recently recommended that actuators installed to windows should be avoided as they are outside of certification. Our fully certified Em-Louvre smoke vent is the perfect answer.