Smoke is the number one killer in fires. When it comes to fire safety-proofing your building, considering how to manage smoke and its deadly effects should be a priority. Smoke ventilation systems provide occupants of a building compromised by smoke with additional, valuable time to evacuate safely.
No two buildings are the same with regards to usage and layout, so you’ll need to carry out a risk assessment for your premises. Ideally, you should speak to a trusted supplier of smoke ventilation systems who can advise you carefully on selecting the right system. Be warned: not all fire safety suppliers have this expertise so make sure you check before committing to any works.
At the Silver Group, we have a wealth of experience in smoke ventilation system, design, supply, installation and commissioning. Whatever you need, be it a single automatic opening natural vent or a multi-zone, fan assisted mechanical installation integrated with your fire alarm and building management systems, we are a smoke ventilation partner you can rely upon.
If you need more information about smoke ventilation design, supply, installation & commission or other fire safety services that we provide, call us today on 0800 0830131 or complete this short form and we will be in touch right away:
Smoke Ventilation Design, Supply, Installation & Commission Enquiry
What’s involved in choosing the right smoke ventilation system?
So, how do you choose the right system? If you don’t have the necessary in-house experience, this is a task you’d be well advised to delegate. Remember, you’ll be legally responsible should something go wrong and it’s later proven that you didn’t do your due diligence.
Having worked with many of the UK’s leading building and M&E contractors on new projects, as well as property developers and facility managers on existing residential buildings, we have a substantial smoke ventilation systems portfolio. Not only can we advise you on smoke ventilation, but we also have vast expertise in fire security and automation systems. For total integration in your building, we’re one of the leading experts in the UK.
Don’t just take our word for it. Our third-party, independent accreditations are evidence that we meet the highest standards set by our industry.
When partnering with you to create the perfect smoke ventilation system, we’ll take you through four key stages: design, supply, installation and commission. Let’s take a look at what’s involved.
During the design phase, we take all your ideas and requirements and put them into the mix along with current legislation and best practice guidelines. Then we balance those against your budget and timescales. Our expertise means that our final recommendations will ensure complete legal compliance for you and avoid costly mistakes down the line.
Being meticulous about system design and specification smooths the way for a streamlined, efficient installation and commissioning phase.
We can’t stress enough how important it is that you choose the right supplier to work with. Many electricians or fire safety system installers may tell you that they can design and install a smoke control system. However, in most cases they will not have nearly enough knowledge. Have they considered the general airflow or smoke flow dynamics, for example? If not, they would not be qualified to correctly specify the right system required for that particular building.
With over 18 years’ experience in the smoke ventilation industry, our in-house smoke control consultant can ensure that the system is designed and specified to correct building regulations. All buildings present different requirements, in terms of airflow, engineering and architecture as well as bespoke design and aesthetics, but at the Silver Group, there is little we haven’t seen before.
What’s more, we can also incorporate cooling ventilation into your system for the everyday comfort of your building’s occupants. Two systems for the price of one!
How often do you question your suppliers about the origin of the parts they’re using? Particularly if it’s not your area of expertise, you’d be forgiven for assuming your supplier knows best.
Did you know that many manufacturers will only sell their products and replacement parts to certified partners? If you’re using an independent contractor, it’s likely they may not even be able to source these products or parts directly. It is crucial that only the correct parts as specified by the system manufacturer are used and that they are installed correctly. Our expertise and industry accreditations have allowed us to secure agreements with all the leading manufacturers to supply replacement parts to their systems.
Don’t forget that in terms of safety and legality, any work on smoke ventilation systems should only be carried out by suitably trained and competent persons. As the ‘responsible person’, you’ll take personal liability for this decision should disaster strike.
Should you choose an independent contractor, we can supply parts as certified partners and resellers of the UK’s leading manufacturers. However, as a duty of care, we may insist that once installed, you employ us to carry out final commissioning, ensuring the correct ‘cause and effect’ programming is fully operational. Not only does this provide complete peace of mind for the contractor that their work has been checked by a fully competent third party but once we are satisfied, we’ll provide a certificate of commissioning for that installation which is required by the authorities.
If you need any advice on which system or parts you require, please get in touch. Never use parts from another manufacturer that are not 100% compatible with your smoke ventilation system.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that fire safety systems must be installed by a competent person. So, who better to install your smoke control system than the leading experts in this field?
We are not only certified partners of SE Controls, but also certified installers of their equipment. Very few companies in the UK have this accreditation. This is something we’re rightly proud of, having earned it through continual skills improvement training at SE Controls dedicated training facility as well as regular on-site assessments of our engineers.
In addition, we’ve completed similar training and assessments from other manufacturers and are accredited members of The Smoke Control Association.
During installation, should your smoke control system need to be directly linked to your fire alarm system, then unlike many other smoke control systems installers, we have exhaustive knowledge and expertise of both systems and can ensure the correct integration.
Take a look at our case studies where you’ll find numerous examples of the different types of projects that we’ve designed, installed and commissioned. (link to case study categories)
Once the smoke ventilation system is installed, it’s crucial that the system is thoroughly tested to ensure it operates as intended and is as effective for smoke control as needed. This includes complex programming of what’s called the ‘cause and effect’ protocols. These protocols are in place to ensure the system will open the correct vents in the correct sequence at the opportune moment to maximise smoke expulsion from public areas.
Naturally, commissioning is already included when we install the system ourselves, we also strongly recommend it in cases where you have installed it yourself (or used an independent contractor). Without this, the system cannot be signed off and certificated. As a result, you’d be in breach of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005, something we do not recommend.
Once installation and commissioning of the system are completed, we will then carry out a full demonstration and handover to the building management team. An essential part of this handover it to check that everyone who needs to be is fully trained and has complete knowledge of how to operate the system.
Maintenance: how to get it right
We’ll also advise you on what’s required with regards to maintenance and servicing. This usually includes a regular, twice-yearly scheduled service visit (for larger buildings with greater footfall the checks may be more frequent). Whatever the service interval, maintenance is not only a legal requirement but will also ensure the system’s smooth running and prolong its life (and your investment!)
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For more information about our services across fire, smoke ventilation and security, please download our latest brochure.
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Want to know more about Smoke Ventilation?
For a greater understanding about smoke ventilation and why you must have it and act on it for your business, take a look at our blog.
Have an Enquiry?
If you need further help, information or advice on any of our services, please give us a call.
Call our head office on: 0800 083 0131
or if you would prefer to email, email us at:
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Luton, Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard, Harpenden and surrounding area.
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Hatfield, Hitchin, St. Albans, Stevenage, Watford, Welwyn Garden City and surrounding area.
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