Farringdon Crossrail Site On The Right Track With WES+

BAM, Ferrovial and Kier (BFK) joint venture continue to set the fire safety standards on the Crossrail project in London by specifying Ramtech Electronics’ WES+ fire alarm system.

The EN 54 compliant WES+ system now installed on the Crossrail project at Farringdon  and other station sites is providing 24/7 fire protection.

When completed in 2018, Farringdon station on the Elizabeth line will be one of the busiest in the UK. Up until this handover date, WES+ will be protecting personnel and assets on site as well as residents and workers in nearby buildings from fire around the clock.

One of the challenges set by BFK’s site management team during the supplier evaluation stage was that the fire alarm system specified must work in all areas of the site and all environments above and below ground..

During system demonstrations on site, the team from Ramtech Electronics were able to show how the WES+’s Category 1 receivers ensure maximum signal reliability and non-interference with other technologies on site and nearby buildings.

This signal is capable of covering large areas and passing through all commonly found materials including brick, stone, steel and concrete. This met BFK’s requirement for all areas of Farringdon station to receive the same wireless signal and audible alarm, whilst remaining in contact with the WES+ base station to allow instant location of the unit triggered and identification of the exact source of the fire for directing rescue services.

“WES+ met our strict performance requirements and we are always receptive to ideas that allow us to reduce the number of cables used on site,” said Alex Pearson, Electrical Superintendent from BFK. “After considering both a wired and wireless fire alarm system, we could see that wireless offered us significant benefits.”

The WES+ system is providing another vital role at Farringdon; that of ensuring the tight build schedule isn’t disrupted by false alarms, a common problem on sites that don’t have a WES+ fire alarm system.

WES+ incorporates a dual anti-tamper feature and latest technology that eliminates false alarms and subsequent lost working hours. A system-wide silent test feature on WES+ further minimises on-site disruption. Easy repositioning of the call points as construction work progresses, a process that only takes minutes, again optimises work rate efficiency.

Aside from the practical benefits of WES+, the system is EN 54 compliant, which ensures that the Farringdon station site meets the highest safety and performance standards. The latest version of The Joint Code of Practice on the Protection from Fire of Construction Sites and Buildings Undergoing Renovation (JCOP) advises that; Components of automatic fire detection and alarm systems should be marked as complying with EN 54 (paragraph 13.8).

Many leading insurers are following this guidance with an ‘expectation’ that all new construction sites use an EN 54 compliant fire alarm system.

Alex at BFK added: “The service offered by WES+ both during our evaluation process and deployment on site has been excellent. The WES+ system is very easy to use, and we hardly notice that it is there, yet we know that it is protecting the project from the dangers of fire 24/7.”

Ramtech Electronics supplied manual call points and automatic heat/smoke detectors to Farringdon Station. The scalability of WES+ means that additional units can be added or removed depending on site requirements and progress of the project.

WES+ heat/smoke detectors provide 24/7 protection, even when personnel are not present on site. If any of the units are activated the base station automatically sends an SMS text notification to nominated personnel, allowing them to immediately alert fire and rescue services.

The three year battery life on the WES+ system will ensure that the system operates for the duration of the project, reducing lifetime costs and waste.

WES+ system is currently deployed on other BFK Crossrail sites  including Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street.