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November 24, 2023


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Evacuation alert system helps keep residents safe

Advanced has supplied its EvacGo evacuation alert system to three social housing tower blocks in Halewood, Merseyside.

The three nine-storey tower blocks, Woolton Views, The Fairways, and Ashton Park on Sherbourne Avenue, Halewood, have had Advanced EvacGo systems installed.

ABM Fire and Security Ltd undertook the complete supply, installation and commissioning of the systems which feature a 4 loop, 8 zone evacuation alert panel in each 48-flat tower block. The three buildings are owned by independent housing association Livv Housing Group, and partially managed by an onsite manager.

The EvacGo panels are housed inside GERDA enclosures, designed to minimise tampering and restricting access to fire and rescue service personnel only, who are able to access the controls using a patented key. Argus Vega visual alarm devices and interfaces have been installed in all 144 flats designed to ensure that hard of hearing and deaf residents are kept safe and informed.

Landlords ‘increasingly’ installing evacuation systems

Tony Cahill, Executive Director-Property from Livv Housing Group said: “When we were selecting an evacuation alert system for the three tower blocks, it was essential that it met the criteria for BS 8629. Advanced’s EvacGo is already installed in all of our other tower blocks and it ticks all the right boxes for us to meet best practice and to protect our customers in the event of a fire.”

Shaun Scott, Emergency Evacuation Systems Application Engineer at Advanced, said: “Following the Grenfell Tower enquiry and the increased awareness of the importance of effective fire evacuation, we have seen an increasing number of housing associations and landlords installing an EvacGo system. While the Building Regulations make evacuation alert systems mandatory in new residential buildings over 18m, we’re finding that, like Livv Housing Group, many landlords of smaller buildings or those being retrofitted, are keen to meet best practice and keep their residents safe.”

Floor by floor evacuation design

All Advanced evacuation alert systems are said to be custom-manufactured to reflect each individual building’s evacuation zones and have been developed to provide a solution that is designed to allow 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.

Further reading: Disabled workers’ lives at risk due to poor emergency evacuation procedures, finds report

Installation of evacuation alert systems is now mandatory in all new build residential apartment blocks over 18m. Mandatory from December 2022, Part B (Fire Safety) of the building regulations in England offers guidance to ensure tall buildings are made safer in England, as part of a wider package of reforms. However, for all other new build and retrofit projects, complying with BS 8629 is still seen as best practice, which is why Advanced’s EvacGo has been selected and installed at the Woolton Views, The Fairways, and Ashton Park blocks.

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