We have supplied our BS 8629-compliant EvacGo evacuation alert system to new build residential development, The Ironworks, in Sheffield.
Built on the site of the former Queens Hotel on Scotland Street in central Sheffield, the 11-storey building comprises 228 one and two-bedroom furnished apartments designed to offer affordable, high-quality rental accommodation. The development also includes shared spaces such as a rooftop garden, communal lounge and workstations, as well as a bookable meeting area that doubles as a cinema room.
In addition to the evacuation alert system, The Ironworks also benefits from robust fire protection of its landlord areas thanks to the installation of Advanced’s flagship MxPro 5 fire panel. Fire and security service provider WPS Fire & Security installed both systems and were involved in the project from the design stage through to commissioning.
The Ironworks forms part of the first wave of high-rise construction to be completed since evacuation alert systems became mandatory in new residential buildings over 18m in England and Wales in December 2022. The amendments to Approved Document B (Fire Safety) of the Building Regulations also stipulated that these systems adhere to BS 8629 – the code of practice outlining how evacuation alert systems should be designed, installed, commissioned and maintained. This should give residents in buildings like The Ironworks reassurance that if they need to leave the building in a fire, the instruction will be communicated clearly and safely.
Each EvacGo panel is housed inside a STS 205 security-rated enclosure with patented BS EN 1303-compliant lock and key mechanism for exclusive access by the fire and rescue service – ensuring minimal risk of unauthorised use and full compliance with BS 8629. At The Ironworks, the main panel is supported by a sub-panel, with one sounder in each of the 228 apartments to alert residents in an evacuation scenario.
Phil Souter, Managing Director of WPS Fire & Security, said: “It was essential to choose a BS 8629-compliant evacuation alert system to meet the changes to the Building Regulations. Advanced is our preferred fire protection supplier, so we knew we could rely on them to provide a robust solution. The EvacGo was easy and straightforward to install, while also giving our customer the confidence their building fully complies with BS 8629 and the safety of their residents is protected.”
Shaun Scott, Emergency Evacuation Systems Application Engineer at Advanced, said: “It’s encouraging to see the first high-rise residential projects since the implementation of Approved Document B near completion, following an uncertain and challenging few years for the construction industry in the wake of the Grenfell Tragedy. The updated regulations provide much-needed clarity to the sector and it’s positive to see residents move into new high-rise buildings with the confidence that systems like EvacGo are in place to help keep them safe.”
All Advanced evacuation alert systems are custom-manufactured to reflect each individual building’s evacuation zones and 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.