New cladding fire detection system aims to replace waking watches

A building in West Croydon has become the first in the UK to be fitted with a new cladding fire detection system that removes the need for waking watch patrols.

The Intelliclad system features alarms installed into the combustible external facade of high-risk buildings to detect the early signs of a fire.

Fire Protection Association testing carried out on a specially constructed 10m wide and 9m high cladding rig at the Association's headquarters showed Intelliclad detectors were activated six minutes and 33 seconds prior to cladding being breached by fire on the first test and 9 minutes, 47 seconds prior on the second.

The system has been installed at the 38-apartment Interchange building in West Croydon ahead of remediation works to remove combustible cladding on the building. Further installations on the Intelliclad system are expected to follow at the 33-apartment St Chad's building in Plymouth and another mixed-use building in Bournemouth.

The installation of the system in Croydon was carried out alongside the implementation of Intelliclad's internal fire alarm system, which conforms with BS 5839-1 L5 guidance. The new system means that waking watch patrols have been removed, saving residents £460 a month in bills until remediation is carried out. The cost of installation has been covered by the Waking Watch Relief Fund.

Darron Bough, Intelliclad's managing director, said: "Years of hard work and experience has gone into creating Intelliclad and these installations signal the start of a new era of building safety.

"The scope of this tragic scandal is becoming more and more concerning each day. We are proud to be able to play a small part in making people feel more safe for in their homes as they await cladding remediation – we need the support of those in power to be able to do this on the scale necessary to facilitate real change."

This article originally appeared on Construction Manager
Image: Intelliclad

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Fire safety