Grenfell Towers Fire – A preventable tragedy?

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As Britain reels from yet another disastrous loss of life,with likelihood that fatalities are probably going to increase, we have to ask – when will the issue of fire safety really be taken seriously and addressed properly?

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Firstly, we’d like to say that our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by yesterday’s fire.

The tragic events that unfolded at Grenfell Towers yesterday were truly horrific and, in all honesty, could be proven completely avoidable. It’s difficult to know here and now, without knowing the cause of the fire, quite how avoidable, but one thing certainly seems to be very evident – the speed at which the fire took hold of the block and ripped through its very core.

Given that the building had recently undergone a £10m ‘refurbishment’, one would hope that fire safety accounted for a decent proportion of any monies spent.

However, given what we also know about the advancement in both active and passive fire safety products, the speed at which the blaze took hold would appear at odds with what was (or should have) been spent as part of that project.

The simple fact here is that for a relatively small increase in the cost of materials used and fitted, better fire safety standards could easily have been met.

For example, if we consider the lighting in the building, it is probably likely that any LED panel lighting was probably not certified as fire-rated. It’s important to note here that true fire-rated safety only comes with compliance to Building Regulations BS476-22, not TPa diffuser material. TPa does not guarantee and is not a substitute, for a certified fire-rated light fitting.

So, in the lobby, hallways and stairwells, non fire-rated lighting products could have been installed, at the expense of certified fire-rated products. In reality, 99.9% of all LED panels fittings installed in the UK, will not have a certified fire rating.

There is also a general belief across the industry that a concrete ceiling obviates the necessity to fit certified fire-rated products, given that the ceiling above will act as a barrier to the spread of fire. Well, looking at Grenfell Towers, this appears to clearly not be the case, given the sheer speed of the advancement of the fire.

Pyropanel is the UK’s only 30-minute fire-rated LED panel in the UK and we’re calling for the Government and Local Authorities to force through legislation that ensures landlords, architects and contractors only ever use certified fire-rated products, to try and stop the spread of fire, and not rely on the fact that a concrete structure will provide a sufficient barrier to save lives.

Fire is a killer – we have seen that borne out yesterday – so we need to do EVERYTHING we can to stop the spread of fire, offer people a safe environment to live and work and give the emergency services at least some chance of saving lives of people caught up in terrible events like Grenfell Towers.

If you would like to talk to us about any aspect of fire safety or where lighting fits in with that, please email safe@pyropanel.co.uk or call 0844 251 2382

Pyropanel Press Release: Has the issue of fire safety in ceilings taken a back seat?

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Pyropanel LED Panel

UK’s only fire-rated LED panel makes its mark after The International Lighting Fixture Design Conference 2017

 

The International Lighting Fixture Design Conference took place over two days in February 2017 and included a presentation by David Mudd, of Lux-TSI, on ‘Thermoplastic Diffusers – How to stay compliant’.

The presentation was given as direct result of confusion and uncertainty from within in the lighting industry itself, about TPa and TPb diffuser ratings and the differences between them and that of a certified fire-rated LED panel, such as Pyropanel™.

The presentation addressed and simplified key questions such as:

  • Does the replacement of traditional fire-rated luminaires, with LED panels that have TP(a) diffusers create a fire containment risk?
  • What role does the LED panel play in a fire-rated ceiling and what constitutes a certified fire-rated LED panel?
  • Has the issue of fire safety taken a back seat?

The presentation defined a clear gap in the market for Pyropanel™ by clarifying three vital health and safety points:

  • The TPa rating of the diffuser on an LED panel DOES NOT deliver the certified fire-rating of an LED panel.
  • For an LED panel to be fire-rated it must be certified to BS476-22.
  • To be fire-rated the luminaire needs be tested by an accredited body. The lighting designer is responsible for ensuring compliance.

Pyropanel™ is the only certified 30-minute fire-rated panel available in the UK, fully compliant with BS476-22, Building Regulations Part B (2013) and Building Regulations L2A and L2B. It is also rated as low glare <UGR 19, in compliance with EN12464-1 ‘Lighting of Indoor Workplaces’.

To find out more about Pyropanel™ visit our website or call Pete on 0844 251 2382.

Another chance to read John Bullock’s Explainer Article on how Luminaires can ruin the fire rating of ceilings

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Back in January, John Bullock, of Lux Magazine, wrote a great ‘explainer’ article on Lux Review, all about fire protection and fire-rated luminaires.

Sadly, the actual link to the article seems to be down at the moment, so we thought we’d give you another chance to read John’s article, with a new link to click to the piece – click here.

It really is worth a read, as it tackles some key questions and dispels a few myths as to what actually constitutes fire-rated protection.

Lighting Fixture Design Conference: Thermoplastic Diffusers and Fire-Rated LED Panels

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International Lighting Fixture Design Conference

Last week saw the International Lighting Fixture Design Conference, in London…

As part of a packed 2-day programme, and as a result of much confusion in the industry itself, David Mudd from LuxTSI gave a presentation on ‘Thermoplastic Diffusers – How to stay compliant’.

The presentation tackled such areas as:

  • Has the issue of fire safety taken a back seat?

  • Does the replacement of fire-rated luminaires with standard luminaires with TP(a) diffusers creating a risk?

  • What role does the luminaire play in a fire-rated ceiling?

  • What constitutes a properly fire-rated luminaire?

The takeout from the presentation was two-fold:

  • The fire rating of a diffuser DOES NOT equate to the fire rating of a luminaire.

  • TPa DOES NOT mean a luminaire is fire-rated. It needs be tested by an accredited body, as the lighting designer is responsible.

Pyropanel is the only 30-minute fire-rated panel on the UK market, complying to BS476-22, Building Regulations Part B (2013) and Building Regulations L2A and L2B.

If you want to guarantee the fire-rated integrity of your ceiling and you need a LED panel that is officially recognised as fire-rated, then Pyropanel is your first choice in certified fire-rated LED panels.

You can see the full article from Lux Review here.

To find out more about Pyropanel click here to go to our website or call 0844 251 2382 today!

Pyropanel First Choice

Do you know what Fire Rated really means?

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Here’s a great ‘explainer’ piece, from John Bullock at Lux, explaining why fire protection is a very misunderstood concept in the lighting industry.

In the article, John looks at the concerns in the industry as to the lack of proper fire protection within luminaire specifications and why there is still confusion over what actually constitutes a proper fire-rated luminaire.

It’s a great read and a real eye opener into the complicated world of fire protection and the true meaning of fire rating.

You can view the full article here

Building Safety Failure

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Fire Safety Failure – NHS Hospital Builder Forgot Fire Risk

University Hospital Coventry opened just a decade ago but will now need
2 years of round-the-clock renovations to make it fire-safe.

Urgent safety works have begun at the £380 million PFI hospital after inspectors found it was built without fire protection or fire safety in mind.

The 1250 bed unit is the country’s most expensive Private Finance Initiative project and 3 other PFI hospitals are also having emergency fire-proofing works including Kings Mill, Royal Derby and Walsall.

Swedish construction firm Skanska declined to comment about fire safety compliance failures at the hospitals, but with remedial works at all 4 sites set to cost an estimated £47 million to fix it is clear that this is no small oversight.

West Midlands Fire and Rescue said it had worked with the hospital to create an action plan for upgrading fire standards. But a source told a national newspaper “If this was any building other than a hospital it would have been closed down. Fire protection is there to stop fire spreading, to give rescue teams time to get the patients out, but they have no chance in hell. These PFI hospitals are a major disaster waiting to happen”.

There are fears over safety standards at all PFI hospitals after fire officials found others in Hereford, Peterborough and Carlisle were also built without fire-proofing and there was nothing to stop fire rampaging through walls and ceilings.

Brite Source Launches Pyropanel™

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Brite Source Launches Pyropanel™
The First Certified 30-Minute Fire-resistant LED Light Panel Available In The UK.

Pyropanel™ Fire-safe LED Light Panels Enable Building Operators to Achieve Compliance with
Building Regulations and Important Fire Safety Legislation.

Leeds, West Yorkshire, 1st August 2016 – Brite Source today announced the launch of Pyropanel™, the first certified 30-minute fire-resistant LED light panel available in the UK. Tested and certified to BS476-22, Pyropanel™ fire-safe LED light panels (EU patent pending) provide 30 minutes certified fire-resistance that enables building operators to achieve and maintain compliance with UK Building Regulations and important fire safety legislation.

Pyropanel™ establishes an important new performance benchmark for LED light panel specifications in new buildings and renovation works; providing 30 minutes certified fire-safety in addition to the significant economic, environmental and health benefits associated with premium quality LED light panels.

By combining low glare, no flicker, no UV and no IR light characteristics within an economic, eco-friendly and fire-safe construction, Pyropanel™ is a unique LED light panel that is ideally suited for installation within the types of suspended ceilings commonly seen in offices, shops, leisure facilities and public buildings.

“Historically UK building operators have not been able to buy LED light panels that are certified fire-safe and have been forced to persist with older technologies when Building Regulations require that a ceiling needs to be fire-rated” said Pete Wiseman – Head of Business Development at Lamp Shop Online. “Pyropanel™ now provides a certified fire-safe solution that allows UK enterprises to achieve their goals for light quality, carbon reduction and energy saving without compromising their fire-safety compliance”.

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