Council offices or houses provide office space for elected council members and other council departments such as housing, planning, transport and building control. Most districts and cities in the UK have council offices which may include committee rooms and banqueting suites, as well as many other private or shared spaces.
Council offices are often used for meetings with visiting dignitaries, such as members of the Royal Family and other World Leaders, and other distinguished guests such as successful sports teams, film or media stars and artists.
Many Council Offices are historical, or listed buildings, and, therefore, must be preserved for future generations. In addition to council usage, they often can be used for events such as weddings, dinners, luncheons, conferences and many more.
Oxfordshire Council Office Fire
In June 2015, council offices in Oxfordshire were set alight after a car drove through the South Oxfordshire District Council’s building in Gifford. Gas canisters that had been purposely planted at the scene caused the fire to spread rapidly throughout the building. A neighbouring funeral director and thatch cottage were also targeted in the same attack.
Fortunately, the attack was carried out during the early hours of the morning, and none of the 400 workers that use the council building were injured. However, at its peak, 27 fire crews were required to tackle the blaze and part of the council building, and many key documents, were destroyed.
It is suspected that the attack was in connection with a planning row.
What are the Fire Risks?
Like most buildings, council offices have many associated fire risks:
Most significantly, due to the nature of the business that is conducted in these offices, they are often targeted by arsonists.
- Paper and Documents
Like most office spaces, office buildings often contain vast amounts of paper documents and files. If a fire was to break out, these flammable materials could cause the flames to spread rapidly.
- High Volumes of People
As well as a high number of workers, office buildings also receive a high volume of visitors. An increased number of people means an increased risk of fire.
- Electrical Appliances
Council offices often have many self-contained office spaces, each with computers, printers copiers and other electrical equipment that can start a fire if it is faulty or mistreated. Overloaded electrical outlets also increase the risk of fire. Other electrical appliances such as catering equipment can also be a risk.
The Importance of a Reliable Fire Alarm System in Council Offices
Council offices typically have many employers and guests pass through each day and, due to the increased risks of fire, having suitable fire detection is not only required by law but is essential in keeping occupants and important documents safe. In addition, visitors may not be familiar with the layout of the building or evacuation procedures. Consequently, fast and reliable detection is imperative to provide enough time for occupants to evacuate safely.
There are many things to consider when designing a fire alarm system. A fire alarm system is a long-term commitment that requires regular maintenance, repairs and testing. Therefore, total cost of ownership should be considered to ensure that the chosen system is cost-effective.
Eurofyre is a British manufacturer of fire alarm systems and associated safety products for commercial and industrial applications. Eurofyre offers many cost-effective solutions to help keep council offices safe from fire.
All of the systems that Eurofyre provide have an ‘open’ protocol solution giving the system owner complete control over who designs, installs or maintains the system while receiving the highest level of support.
What are the Most Common Systems Used in Council Offices?
Eurofyre provides many types of fire detection systems that can provide a reliable detection solution for applications such as these. However, the most common choices are:
Eurofyre’s ProFyre Analogue Addressable fire detection solution is available in two versions; ProFyre A4 and ProFyre A2:
- Profyre A4
The ProFyre A4 fire alarm panel is a fully expandable, open protocol analogue addressable panel that is well suited to larger applications. This panel is available with either one to four loops or four to eight loops. Each loop can accommodate up to 250 devices making the ProFyre A4 suitable for larger properties.
- ProFyre A2
The ProFyre A2 fire alarm panel offers one or two loops and is designed for easy installation, setup and commissioning. ProFyre A2 is well suited to medium-sized properties.
Eurofyre’s conventional fire detection system is also available in two version; ProFyre C8 and ProFyre C24:
- ProFyre C8
The ProFyre C8 fire alarm panel provides a fully-featured, cost-effective conventional fire detection solution. It is available in 1, 2, 4, 6 or 8 zone versions and is well suited to small-sized conventional installations.
- ProFyre C24
ProFyre C24 fire alarm control panels are not only fully-featured and cost-effective but are also expandable. C24 fire alarm panels are available in 8, 16 or 24 zone versions and provide a high-standard of quality and reliability that is easy to install, commission, maintain and operate. ProFyre C24 panels are best suited to medium-sized properties.
For more information about the FyreLine Linear Heat Detection System, or to discuss any of the other products that Eurofyre have to offer, please feel free to get in touch either by phone on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to [email protected] or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.