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Heritage Fire Safety

We have recently been appointed by the Church Commissioners to review fire safety matters relating to the use of some redundant churches and are looking forward to seeing many more beautiful buildings.

We were pleased to undertake more work on one of our favourite buildings, Duff House and spent three days on site overseeing the 25-year inspection of the building’s sprinkler system.

We also were asked to take a second look at the possibility of installing a fire suppression system in the Bell Tower, Organ Loft and Triforium of Glasgow Cathedral. Also for Historic Environment Scotland we undertake a feasibility study for a fire suppression system in the 18th C (with 13th century origins) New Abbey Corn Mill.

On behalf of the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association, we have been supporting the owner of a Grade II listed post office building who is faced with a need to install fire suppression as compensation for sub optimal means of escape.

For the Archdiocese of Birmingham we undertook a full fire and security review of the enchanting Harvington Hall which has 14th and 15th century fabric wrapped in a 16th century manor house – with seven priest holes! We also undertook an FRA for the Catholic Chaplaincy at the University of Birmingham.

Just prior to the relaxation of lock down in April 2021 we were asked to review security at Charleston, the Sussex retreat of the Bloomsbury set.

We also undertook a feasibility study of installing a fire suppression system into the iconic Lanyon Building for Queen’s University, Belfast.

We also undertook an update of the fire risk assessment for Derby Cathedral and also reviewed the diocesan offices in a separate building.

Construction Fire Project Support

The new Terminal at King Abdulaziz International Airport has finally opened and closes a chapter of my working life which has lasted almost 10 years and multiple site visits. It’s a magnificent building and I’m very proud to have played a small part in its safe delivery. While we did have a fire on my watch, it was in the laydown and logistics area and did not impact on the project completion.

We also assisted an insurer with a desktop review of the construction fire safety plan for an underground car park in Israel.

An unusual assignment involved a 130-year-old former warehouse building in Manchester which is to be converted into flats. On a site visit we found that the mains-fed FOC Rules sprinkler still pressurised! The alarm valves look to be at least 100 years old.

National Library of Wales

The low pressure water mist system we had previously specified at the Grade II National Library of Wales was completed and commissioned successfully, this is possibly one of the largest water mist installations in a UK heritage building.

A new roof on the oldest part of the Library was safely installed with our extensive input on the construction safety plan with two audit visits. The illustration shows the working areas created off the roof for pre-heating the lead sheet so that the extent of hot work on the actual roof was minimised.

Security Projects

We drafted a Construction Site Security tool kit for a major insurer.

Following a major burglary in a museum we undertook a post-incident review in conjunction with the Museums and Galleries security advisor.