In a report following the incident, it was also discovered that a number of life safety systems including the building’s smoke extraction, wet riser, fire doors and lifts were not working or not present which all contributed to people being unable to evacuate or safely follow the ‘stay put’ advice.
This is one of the most tragic fire related incidents in a residential building occurring as a result of safety regulations being ignored and highlighting the importance that landlords, architects, project managers, consultants, contractors, structural engineers and all others involved in the erection, management or refurbishment of residential or commercial buildings should strictly follow relevant regulations or seek expertise from suppliers to ensure their products are suitable.
Power Control was approached by Tuckers, a consultancy firm specialising in the commercial, retail and leisure sector, to provide compliant backup power systems for life safety systems within a new student accommodation development in Leeds.
Developed in 2017, The Foundry is a nine-story student accommodation complex, housing hundreds of students with common spaces including a gym, cinema, games rooms and study rooms. With it being a residential property, the development must adhere to BS 9999 regulation, a code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings.
As part of this code of practice, all lifts intended for evacuation use in the event of an emergency and all smoke detectors in the building must have a secondary supply of power in addition to the mains supply. Providing a secondary, independent power supply into the building was not possible, so an onsite backup power system was necessary.
Power Control was enlisted to call upon their expertise and advise on the correct backup power supply to support a firefighting lift and two smoke extraction fans. After reviewing the requirements Power Control supplied, positioned, installed and commissioned a 60kVA Borri Ingenio ECS with an EN50171 rating of 50kVA and 2 hours run time end of life at 39kVA. Power Control also supplied and installed the bypass panel.
EN50171 is the safety standard relevant for supplying uninterruptible power to emergency and life safety systems. These systems are known as Central Power Supply Systems (CPSS). They are similar to UPS in that they supply an uninterrupted supply of power however, they are modified to include features such as 120% overload capacity, acid proof IP 20 metal enclosure, batteries with a 10-year life expectancy polarity reversal protection, and deep discharge protection.
As well as all the features required by EN50171, the Borri Ingenio ECS also features Borri’s patented green conversion technology achieving high levels of efficiency in a compact and small footprint unit, making it an ideal space saving CPSS option.
Matt de Frece, commercial manager at Power Control commented, “In addition to EN50171 there are a number of safety regulations that a CPSS system must be compliant with, all have different requirements, and all must be met to ensure the safety of people inside the development.
“Power outages are a common occurrence during a fire, which is why installing a secondary power supply to support life safety systems is crucial.
“With the knowledge that the life safety systems within The Foundry are up to standard, and a source of failsafe power can be relied upon, all those involved in the development of the student accommodation block have peace of mind that in the event of a fire or other emergency, students and others in the building are safe.”