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Fire protection for fire service centre

by Andy Clutton

Command11MarchEssex County Fire & Rescue Service (ECFRS) has opened a new Command and Control Centre, which is protected by Wagner UK’s OxyReduct fire prevention system. The development, which is an extension to the existing Fire Service HQ based at Kelvedon Park, Witham, provides a new 999 call centre, together with training and admin facilities for over 200 staff.

The new server facility runs all of the software for the integrated command and control of the Service as well as a wide-area network for the region. The project was also developed in partnership with Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service, which uses the same server facilities to power its own refurbished control centre.

OxyReduct creates an environment where fires cannot start; by continuously reducing the ratio of oxygen in a closed room through addition of nitrogen to the air. The nitrogen volume is increased to a level in which combustibles do not inflame and an open fire cannot develop. However, the protected area remains accessible for staff at any time. With traditional forms of fire protection a fire has to start before they are activated, so damage is inevitable, both from the original fire and smoke but also from the effects of any extinguishant. With OxyReduct no fire damage can occur and business continuity is assured.

The new server room was designed to be airtight to ensure efficient nitrogen generation and reduce running costs. The 152 m2 facility has an N50 value of 1.2 and uses an OxyReduct Compact unit to maintain the O2 level at 15%. Wagner UK’s Titanus air sampling smoke detection system has also been installed to provide a secondary back-up for the system.

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