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June 23, 2021


Lithium-Ion batteries. A guide to the fire risk that isn’t going away but can be managed

Case study

Housing association to save “£3m a year” after replacing Waking Watch with temporary fire system

1,400 wireless fire detection devices have been fitted in residential properties owned by Notting Hill Genesis (NHG) in London, removing the requirement of Waking Watch and saving more than £250,000 a month, according to the housing association.

Hyfire-WirelessWakingWatch-21The temporary fire systems from Hyfire were specified by Clear Safety, a specialist safety and compliance consultancy, and were installed across four sites involving 700 flats, while minimising disruption for residents.

Colin Bygraves, Head of Technical Services at Clear Safety, commented: “The brief from NHG was to specify temporary systems with a lifespan of around one year. These were installed in just over a month at a cost in the region of £584,141, saving around £3 million in Waking Watch costs over 12 months. The rapid installation could not have been completed without Hyfire wireless devices, which can be pre-programmed offsite and fitted in minutes, with no need for complex wiring installation and no impact on the fabric of the building.”

Tom Crane, Hyfire Business Unit Director for the UK and Ireland, said: “This is exactly the sort of project where wireless comes into its own, offering rapid and efficient solutions to urgent requirements. In the COVID-19 era, it’s even more advantageous, as it allows us to minimise time on site and contact with building residents.

“The systems installed on behalf of NHG will not only save around £250,000 a month in Waking Watch costs, they can also be adapted to a new BS5839-compliant fire system in the longer term, or used as part of a BS8629 evacuation system.”

Waking Watch Relief Fund

In December 2020, the UK Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, announced a £30 million Waking Watch Relief Fund, designed to “remove” or “reduce” the need for interim safety measures at high-rise buildings and “help end the scandal of excessive waking watch costs”.

The fund, which opened in February, was launched to cover the upfront capital costs of installing an alarm system, which should be designed in accordance with the recommendations of BS 5839-1 for a Category L5 system.

The installation of fire alarms should enable significant cost savings, believes the Government.

In research undertaken between June to September 2020, the costs of employing a person to carry out Waking Watch duties 24 hours a day exceeds the average one-off cost of installing a fire alarm system in three to six months, depending on the hourly rate charged.

Find out more about the Waking Watch Relief Fund.

Connect with the fire safety community online 1-30 June

Connect 2021 is your first major opportunity to come together with the fire safety community online from 1-30 June!

FIREX Connect, the month-long online event, will give attendees the opportunity to make up for lost time by browsing fire safety solutions, connecting with suppliers and getting up-to-date on the latest legislation from the comfort of your home.

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Mike Floyd
Mike Floyd
July 2, 2021 9:39 am

Let’s hope a quality product such as this is specified correctly for this use.
I have only seen a few and those suffered very high false alarm rates due to detecting smoking in corridors too easily.
Many clients have reported identical problems. One building I visited had an evacuation alarm just as I arrived and not one person had left due to this ‘cry wolf’ effect. 18 storey block !