aston university main building

Midland Fire Security Services Ltd recently completed the upgrade of electrical works at Aston University’s main building – improving the existing electrical infrastructure while ensuring compliance with the latest IET Wiring Guidelines.

The objective of this project was to replace obsolete tap off units, located on the power and lighting rising busbars to 8 floors of the main building, the project is known as phase 4 of previous similar works at the university.

As the appointed principal contractor Midland Fire was expected to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the entire construction phase. Principal contractors have an important role in managing health and safety risks during the construction phase so they must have the skills, knowledge, experience and, where relevant, organisational capability to carry out this work. Sub-contractor management was key to ensuring the process went smoothly with minimal disruptions to university activities.

The principle contractor is expected to meet or exceed The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 – Ensuring accountability and a high standard of service and quality of workmanship.

Project Management and Planning

The main building features laboratories used for research and a constant power supply is required to keep essential equipment like freezers and fridges turned on. A temporary power supply to essential equipment was provided to avoid disruption.

Sub-contractors were specified for certain aspects of the project. This included builders, data specialists, fire stop specialists, cupboard installers and decorators.

A Successful Tender Process Based on Quality

As with all public tenders, the client assessed the proposed methodology and planning of all bidders. This was an important part of the tender, as the chosen contractor needed to provide all aspects of the installation. This Phase 4 project had been carried out 3 previous times by the university and on each occasion the project was not completed within the timescales as planned because of the previous contractor’s execution of works. The evaluation process was based on quality (planning, methodology and previous experience) and price.

Experience in Electrical Works with Planned Shutdowns

As the nominated framework provider for electrical works at the university, Midland Fire had already completed works at other buildings on campus. This helped provide clear evidence that they could deliver the contract with minimal disruption to university activities.

Previous projects including Electrical Installations at The Medical School, MB 7 Workplace, The Library (HV Switch Room Panel Extension) and Student Guild Demolition and Car Park Extension. All of which included an element of planned shutdown works. Midland Fire currently has an on-site presence of 4-8 engineers daily carrying out planned and reactive maintenance.

 

Aston University Busbar Upgrades

Before and After Installation Of New Tap off Units And IFE Ethernet Modules

Upgrading the existing power distribution system

The main building uses a series of vertical and horizontal Busbars to distribute power. They are controlled by tap off units on each floor. Originally installed in the 1950s, the tap off units at the main building were obsolete and in need of replacement.

Rising busbars are vertical metal containment systems containing copper bars – sending electricity around the building. Horizontal bars send electricity to distribution boards (mains switches) which are split into power and lighting.

Tap off units are mains switches that control power to each horizontal busbar. They make up a crucial part of the infrastructure of the building.

Quality Products

All products and equipment specified by the University are manufactured by reputable companies – known for reliability. Midland Fire procured the electrical switchgear from MCH Electrical Systems Ltd, these custom built enclosures were colour coded – applicable to the building location, lockable and housed Schneider Electric MCCB’s and Interface Ethernet (IFE) Modules.

 

schneider electric mccbs

 

IFE Electrical Metering

The Schneider Electric Interface Ethernet (IFE) module allows the university to view, control, and streamline data from electrical equipment assets, helping to reduce costs and improve uptime. A central control unit is used the monitor electricity use in real-time.

The Benefits of Electrical Metering Usage for the University

Adam Reilly Estates Engineering Manager, said “The low voltage distribution network within the Main Building is a mesh of vertical and horizontal busbars dating back to the 1950s. The system design gives us lots of supply options and resilience, including operating the system as a mesh of open LV rings. Whilst the copper busbars are in good condition, the tap off switches are ageing and require replacing. The upgrade project is being carried out over six phases, with phase four just being completed. MFSS have completed two phases of the project.

“The tap off switches are being replaced with Schneider NSX MCCBs within individual lockable enclosures. The Schneider Facility Expert system is also being included, with IFEs being installed in each tap off box. This allows us to monitor contact wear, breaker position and metering data by connecting to the device IP address. The data from the Schneider Facility Expert devices is also transmitted to our AM&T system provided by component, allowing metering data to be processed by our campus metering system without the need to install additional meters.”

On-site Works & Planned Shutdown

A weekend isolation and shutdown period was planned to prevent disruption to normal week day working hours. Midland Fire completed as much of the work as possible before the shutdown period such as cable containment and cable installation. All potential equipment had been prepared prior to the event.

An on-site team of Midland Fire staff including 6 Electricians, 3 apprentices and 1 Foreman carried out the works. Work included removing the existing switchgear and installing new units – terminating at the vertical and horizontal Busbar system. To support and assist the university estates team, experienced electricians and Midland Fire managers – Luke and Jack were also on-site.

Projection Completion

The operation was successfully completed 24 hours before the end of the 48-hour isolation window. This gave Midland Fire and the Estates Team plenty of time to carry out testing and inspection of the new installation. After the successful re-energisation of the electrical infrastructure, all temporary supplies to the laboratory and research equipment were removed ready for the start of the working week.

James Timmis, Project Officer said  “Midland Fire has successfully completed many electrical and fire alarm projects under my direction since I have been working at the University. This project was a highly complex electrical infrastructure upgrade with associated building works, undertaken within one of the most sensitive areas of the Main Building on campus, which houses over 30 laboratories of various disciplines. These laboratories were in use, with live experiments running throughout the period of works, so it was business critical to the University that these works were completed within the limited timeframes available.

Not only were the works completed to a very high standard, but also well within the available timeframes. MFSS also sub-contracted and managed the associated building works, which were completed around the needs of the business in a prompt and professional manner.

Overall, MFSS more than delivered in line with the agreed specification for this project and I would not hesitate to recommend them for similar works in future”.

 

For more information and a free consultation contact Midland Fire Security Services Ltd.

Alpha Tower Birmingham entrance

Grade II listed office skyscraper, Alpha Tower’s new state of the art refurbishment includes the latest fire safety technology, following a deal with Staffordshire based, Midland Fire Security Services Ltd.

The Alpha Tower has secured its place in Birmingham’s heritage since opening its doors over 50 years ago. The 28 storey building was the former home of ATV, which formed part of ITV’s regional television network, producing classic programmes including Tiswas, Crossroads and Bullseye until 1982.

Now owned by property company, CEG group, the iconic tower has recently undergone a £20million refurbishment, transforming the building into a state of the art, flexible workspace combined with lifestyle and wellness services, designed to deliver the perfect work-life balance.

The iconic Alpha Tower in Birmingham

The iconic Alpha Tower in Birmingham

Midland Fire Security Services were brought on board to ensure the Alpha building not only met but exceeded fire safety standards and compliance throughout the extensive refurbishment and to secure the safety of the building and its occupants for the future.

Fire detection and life safety system planning

With 196,000 square feet of office accommodation, breakout spaces, a cafe, wellness studio and gym, the Alpha Tower presented many logistical challenges to ensure full fire coverage and protection. Midland Fire carried out a full assessment and evaluation to identify the specific requirements and recommendations for each aspect of the project.

This service included planning and design, through to installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection systems and fire alarm systems to B5839-1:2017 Category L1.

Thomas Sleath Business Development Manager at Midland Fire Security Services said: “It has been a pleasure working to protect such an iconic building as the Alpha Tower. We worked closely with DP Designs of Bromsgrove, to deliver a seamless, phased, service throughout the refurbishment and going forward.”

Maintenance and implementation of life safety systems

As part of this service, Midland Fire deliver quarterly maintenance visits to manage the project and ensure full fire safety compliance at each stage. The service visits enable the team to pinpoint and highlight any potential issues and implement the required improvements to adhere to the BS5839 safety standard.

Following recommendations from a routine service visit, the team installed upgrades to the Alpha Tower’s GENT Vigilon fire alarm system. This provides full fire alarm system coverage to adhere to the BS5839 Part 1 (2017 category L1) code of practice.

GENT Vigilon fire alarm systems monitor activity throughout the building, with each of the 28 floors having its own fire alarm control panel installed. Each control panel is linked to Local Loop Devices on that floor, feeding detailed information back to the panel.

All panels are incorporated into the GENT Vigilon fire alarm network giving a complete, real-time view of the building at all times. GENT Vigilon then feeds that information to the WINMAG PC system front end, which reports activity directly and clearly to the end-user.

Among the many benefits of the WINMAG system, any fire safety notifications can instantly be located and identified. The WINMAG system then issues an immediate alert, evaluating the situation, initiating the required action and alerting the reception area which is manned at all times.

GENT S-Quad detectors installed and networked

The fire safety system includes GENT S-Quad series detectors throughout, which feed information directly to the localised control panels. The GENT S-Quad detectors combine advanced sensing technology with multi-alarm functionality. This works in 4 ways:

  1. First, the detector uses a range of sensing elements to identify any potential threat from heat, smoke or carbon monoxide. The S-Quad can easily be programmed to allow for likely changes in key areas such as steam in bathrooms, to significantly reduce potential false alarms.
  2. Once its sensor is activated it sends an alert via the loop devices to the panel and back to control. It then sounds an alarm which can be set to change tone and sound to indicate the threat level.
  3. Tailored voice messages can also be programmed to advise occupants what to do and when to evacuate, ensuring their safety at all times.
  4. Finally, visual alarm devices (VADs) with flashing/intermittent lighting are used to ensure those with hearing loss or wearing ear defenders can be alerted, so everyone in the building can be guided to safety.

Total coverage and protection

To offer complete coverage, all the lift shafts in the Alpha building were upgraded to include state of the art Vesda Aspirating Systems, also known as Air Sampling Detectors (ASD). These devices continually monitor and evaluate the air around them to detect any impending hazard at a very early stage. This buys critical time to assess the potential threat and act accordingly.

Vesda ASDs can be programmed to detect not only potential fires in their infancy, allowing the alarm to be raised in advance of an open fire or intense smoke developing. ASDs can also be equipped to detect hazardous and combustible gases. This allows for early investigation and evacuation to protect life, property and minimise disruption.

Efficient and reliable service

 Thomas Sleath added: “The fluctuating pandemic restrictions at the time of the Alpha Tower project required us to strictly adhere to additional safety measures, which brought with them significant time constraints. However, with careful planning and the experience and expertise of our dedicated team, we managed to overcome these challenges and complete the project on time and within budget.”

At Midland Fire, we’ll work with you to plan and deliver the optimum fire safety solution for your premises, including ongoing maintenance, support and fire safety training. At Midland Fire WE PROTECT.

For more information and a free consultation contact Midland Fire Security Services Ltd.

We are pleased to announce that Midland Fire has been named as a Fusion21 Framework Supplier for the next 4 years.

A fixed group of organisations have been selected to help public sector companies nationwide meet new (and current) legal requirements – With an emphasis on fire safety and building safety. As a Fusion21 Supplier Midland Fire have been assessed against a strict set of criteria including skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours (SKEB).

The company will be able to bid for works across a number of crucial public sector buildings and infrastructure. There are 14 lots on the framework with an estimated value of £880m over a four-year period.

Active Fire Safety Services

Midland Fire Security Services have been successful in “Lot 10 – Active Fire Safety” meaning that they have the skills and experience necessary to fulfil building safety projects to the required legal standards throughout the UK.

About the Fusion21 Framework

Fusion21 is a framework designed to help public sector organisations choose a supplier for key building safety services. Framework organisations can select from any of the approved suppliers in an open tender for major contracts.

A Fusion21 representative “We are delighted to welcome all of the new suppliers onto the framework, including Midland Fire Security Services Ltd. The tender process was highly competitive and the process has identified the best contractors for our members to use.”

“A further, real benefit to our members and their communities is the social value delivery that is aligned to organisational priorities and can be monitored and reported against for all call offs”

Looking for an approved Active Fire Safety Company?

Please contact Midland Fire Security Services Ltd for advice and a consultation.

NHS Staff attend Midland Fire Fire Alarm Training Course

Ross and Oliver after completing their training course at Midland Fire’s Purpose Built training Centre

 

We’d like to congratulate Ross Coxon and Oliver Kelly for successfully completing our MFEUT-02 Vigilon Introduction & Operator Training Course.

Ross and Oliver are part of Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. They are responsible for weekly tests of fire alarm systems – performing basic fault diagnosis and rectification at a number of key NHS premises. This includes hospitals and clinical settings throughout Derbyshire.

The course was tailored to their installed system. Although both attendees have looked after a number of Gent Viglion systems for some time, they have not previously had access to any formal product training.

Our range of fire alarm end user and installer training courses provides an excellent opportunity to help maintenance staff and facilities managers conduct basic fire alarm fault finding without a callout engineer.

Fire Alarm Training Outcomes

The MFEUT-02 training course helps to build the confidence and knowledge to carry out fire alarm maintenance and fault finding. It also teaches best practice when it comes to system isolation and testing procedures – This should lead to a reduction in unwanted false alarms when working on site.

One of the ways considered to achieve this was the use of sensor state changes controlled by the software clock that enables a detector to have different sensing characteristics at different times of the day. Although this was not part of the original course syllabus, we were able to provide a demonstration to the delegates and the opportunity to practice this in a controlled setup. This is important considering how critical life safety systems are in a busy clinical environment. Having this knowledge will make implementation easier on site with less disruption.

Positive Feedback

Ross provided some feedback on the experience:

“Thank you for providing excellent training. Dave’s knowledge and experience is evident which was very reassuring.

Being able to ask questions and go through other things not on the agenda was very helpful and refreshing. It’s given me the confidence in being able to get more involved in maintenance/testing etc on our sites”

Fire Alarm Training Course dates available throughout 2021

If you are a facilities manager or maintenance engineer with fire alarm responsibilities our Fire Alarm training courses could help you learn advanced fault finding and fire alarm management skills. Please visit the Course Calendar for planned dates or Complete our Booking/PreBooking Form to arrange training on days that suit you.

Midland Fire Security Services have recently been awarded the planned maintenance contract for Dudley College of Technology. The contract is for 3 years starting from March 2021 and includes the maintenance and testing of both conventional and addressable fire alarms throughout the college. Midland Fire will also be responsible for the maintenance of the disabled refuge system at Dudley 6th College Campus.

The College has several thousand students enrolled at any one time including apprentices, full time learners, A Level students and adult learners. With the high number of people onsite daily, having an adequate life safety system is vital. The college campus is split over several buildings, each with its own challenges and fire safety considerations.

The Broadway and Dudley 6th

Since 1931 “The Broadway” has been considered the main heart of the college. It is the largest of the colleges buildings and provides dedicated spaces for learning and socialising also acting as a home for the college’s student union. The 6th is a dedicated building complex for 6th form learning including A level studies.

The Broadway is protected by a 5-panel network of modern Gent Vigilon Control Panels with S-Quad Detectors installed throughout the building. The Dudley 6th is protected by a similar system providing reliable fire detection to alert occupants of a potential emergency.

The maintenance of Dudley 6th also includes the Disabled Refuge System with Voice Panel and Outstations (Also known as an EVCS Emergency Voice Communication System). A disabled refuge is a secure location within the building where individuals with additional mobility needs can wait for assistance during an evacuation. The individual or a carer can then use the voice communication system to contact the responsible person safely and securely for assistance.

The Motor Vehicle Centre

Located on Wolverhampton Street, the motor vehicle college provides industry standard facilities that allow students to learn through a range of practical assignments. Midland Fire will be responsible for the maintenance of the Two Gent Conventional Panels – linked together for easier management. Students work on practical assignments including welding and fabrication – minimising false alarms is crucial to the smooth running of the facility.

Wrens Hill Nature Reserve – Wardens Houses

As part of the contract Midland Fire will also be responsible for the maintenance of the Fire Alarm system at the Wrens Hill Nature Reserve (Wardens Houses). The facility is used for conservation and educational projects in conjunction with the college. A conventional Gent Fire Alarm Panel protects these facilities.

 

Midland Fire Security Services look forward to working with Dudley College of Technology – helping to prevent fire emergencies and  ensure the safety of staff, students and visitors at all times.

Looking for Fire Alarm Maintenance for your School or College?

Please get in touch by calling 01283 741000 or sending an email to info@midlandfire.com

wullcomb-building-leicester-4

Midland Fire Security Services has been awarded an extensive maintenance contract for the Life Safety Systems at “The Wullcomb” residential building. Located on Vaughan Way in Leicester city centre, the contract has been awarded by Way of Life Management Ltd.

The Wullcomb is a build to rent development offering 297 apartments, a shared kitchen and dining space “The Perch”, coffee shop, roof top terrace and private theatre and function room “The Bower”. The development also benefits from a secure car park and a 24 hour concierge.

Complete Life Safety System Maintenance

The life safety system at The Wullcomb comprise of 2 networked Gent Vigilon Panels combined with Self-Contained LED Emergency Lighting. Midland Fire will also be responsible for maintaining their Cameo Disabled Refuge System with Emergency Voice Call.

In addition to these systems the contract also includes maintenance of Portable Fire Extinguishers, Lightning Protection, Dry Risers, Sprinklers and Smoke Vents.

Having such a wide range of systems to maintain on a single site provides its own logistical challenges, for example, the fire alarm requires 4 visits per year, the emergency lighting and smoke vents require 2 visits per year and finally, the disabled refuge system, lightning protection system and portable fire extinguishers require a single visit per year. The contract includes 100% testing of all devices on all of these systems within the contract term.

Real Time Monitoring

Another feature of the services provided is the inclusion of cloud based real time maintenance event data logging which gives both the client and Midland Fire greater visibility and control over the planned maintenance activities within the building and ensures a fast response to any issues that may require investigation and rectification.

wullcomb-building-leicester-5

Midland Fire Security Services look forward to this opportunity to work in partnership with Way of Life Management Ltd to provide services to this modern and prestigious housing development.

Looking for a complete life safety and fire alarm maintenance service?

Please get in touch by calling 01283 741000 or sending an email to info@midlandfire.com

As one of the leading Fire Alarm Engineering companies in the UK, we have created a series of professional training courses designed for Electrical contractors, Fire Alarm Engineers and End Users. Learn how to manage your fire detection system to minimize call-outs. We also offer comprehensive WinMag Operator training.

Each course is delivered by Dave Green, our in-house training specialist. Dave has over 35 years’ industry experience, working with Gent Ltd since 1984 giving him excellent technical knowledge of Gent products. Each training course has been written specifically for Midland Fire. Our end user training courses are designed to up-skill your maintenance staff or fire marshals. Our advanced Gent systems training is designed for Fire Alarm Installers and Electrical Contractors looking to improve their technical understanding of Gent products.

Who are Midland Fire Training Courses suitable for?

Employees – End user training allowing employers to up-skill their maintenance staff or fire marshals

Electricians and Fire Alarm Engineers – System installer training courses are designed to give general electricians and specialist fire alarm engineers the knowledge required to work with Gent / Honeywell products.

Bespoke training

Although the training courses are broken down into modules. Delivery of each course is tailored to the attendees needs. So please contact us if you have specific questions or require training on a specific topic or Gent product.

Available courses:

Click here to see course content and details of each course.

How to book

Click here for course dates

Click here for the booking form

Please contact Midland Fire Security Services Ltd by calling 01283 741000 or emailing dave.green@midlandfire.com and we’ll get back to you with availability.

 

 

Midland Fire Security Services is proud to announce that it has recently won a significant maintenance contract working in partnership with Coventry City Council. This contract involves the planned maintenance of close to 250 individual sites.

The contract period is set initially at 2 years, with an option to extend for a further 2 years. It involves the maintenance, testing, repair and installation of Fire Alarm Systems, Sprinklers Systems, Dry Risers and Fire Hydrants throughout Coventry. Each site varies in size and complexity including housing accommodation, some with vulnerable adults, public spaces such as shopping centres and museums. The contract entails providing the planned maintenance of Fire Alarm systems on these sites along with an “all inclusive” 24 hour call out service for faults and repairs.

Fire Alarm Maintenance at Prestigious Buildings

fire alarm maintenance at one friargate coventry

One Friargate Coventry

Included among these sites are a number of prestigious buildings such as Friar Gate which is the principle home of Coventry City Council and Coventry Retail Market. The market, which has been operational for over 60 years was originally built to replace the old market which was destroyed by bomb damage during World War II. The new building was opened by Princess Alexandria in 1958. Its pride is its diversity of goods on sale and the many venues supplying a wide variety of food and beverages. The market has worked extensively at making itself Covid safe and is now, after a closure during lockdown, once gain welcoming traders and customers.

Coventry City Market

Coventry City Indoor Market

 

There are a number of tourist destinations covered by the contract, principle among these are Coventry Transport Museum, The Herbert Art Gallery and Lunt Roman Fort.

Coventry Transport Museum Fire Alarm Maintenance

Fire Alarm Maintenance at Coventry Transport Museum is included in the contract

The Coventry Transport Museum provides a home for a collection of vehicles of designated national importance, and consisting of 300 cycles, 120 motor cycles and 250 cars and commercial vehicles.

The Herbert Art Gallery

The Herbert Art Gallery Coventry

The Herbert Art Gallery, a nationally recognised art gallery and museum located close to the iconic Coventry Cathedral, has permanent galleries dedicated to the visual arts, social and industrial history and Natural History. It is also home to the Coventry Archives, the location of historical documents, photographs, maps and archive material relating to the city.

Lunt Roman Fort Coventry

Lunt Roman Fort

Of significant historical interest is Lunt Roman Fort, built in 60AD by the Romans in an attempt to suppress the Iceni rebellion led by the fearsome warrior queen Boudica. The fort is unusual in the sense that although these type of forts were built quickly from timber in an attempt to secure recently occupied territory, most were later rebuilt using stone. The fort had the advantage of being in easy reach of both Watling Street and the Fosse Way, both major arteries in Roman times and not dissimilar to the M1 & M6 of modern times.

Implementing a life safety system maintenance plan

Providing a service contract to such a large, diverse customer presents its own array of unique challenges. Foremost among these is preparing an accurate asset register for each site detailing the amount and type of equipment installed in each location, creating a comprehensive list of contacts and access information for each of the sites which is made all the more challenging by the current pandemic.

For the planned maintenance, there is a logistical challenge associated with organising our engineering workforce where each visit is booked directly with the site and there is a requirement to attend sometimes as many as four sites per day within specific, predefined time slots. The contract includes a number of schools and nurseries where knowledge of who will be attending site and at what time is important to the safety of the occupants.

In addition to the planned works for maintenance and building modification, the contract also incorporates surveying existing sites which contain obsolete equipment and devising a path to replacing and upgrading to current specifications. In most cases this will involve installing Gent fire equipment other than in locations where a wireless solution is preferable, either for reasons of aesthetics or buildings where asbestos may be found, and in these circumstances EMS radio equipment will be utilised.

From an internal perspective, the task of integrating locations, asset lists and timetables into our inventory system is no small matter. This has involved creating new processes to assist in prioritising and managing the workload. These new processes include devising a methodology for organising and storing paperwork including engineer reports, certifications and site surveys all of which has to be achieved in a fashion congruent with the council’s own prescriptive manner of doing things.

Although there are clearly both challenges and opportunities ahead, Midland Fire Security Services relish the prospect of working in conjunction with Coventry City Council on this large and varied contract.

We thought that we would leave the final word to Kenton Sarjaeant, Compliance Manager for Coventry City Council;

“Midland Fire Security Services took over the Fire Alarm installation, maintenance and repair term contract for Coventry City Council in July 2020. These are challenging times for the country as a whole and they have embraced the requirements of the contract as well as dealing with the added complications caused by COVI-19.

For obvious reasons it hasn’t been straight forward but I am pleased with the way things are going and look forward to further progression over the coming months”

We are pleased to announce that Dave Green is joining Midland Fire Security Services Ltd as a Training and Technical Specialist.

Dave has over 35 years’ experience working with Gent Ltd since 1984 giving him excellent technical knowledge of Gent / Honeywell products. His new role at Midland Fire will be to provide further training to Midland Fire staff and provide advanced technical support to clients and end users – further improving the great service we already provide to our customers.

Dave is very well known amongst Fire Alarm Engineers in the area for his excellent advice and technical support provided in his previous role. Rather than us telling you, we asked Dave to tell us more in an informal interview.

Tell us about your experience

I joined Gent Ltd in 1984 after finishing two years at technical college. Initially starting in the manufacturing side of the business but over time diversifying into first customer service type roles before finally settling in training and development roles of one form or another, not all of which technical, from 1995 to the present day.

Over these many years I have witnessed the Gent business and the industry as a whole evolve beyond recognition. Gent as a business went through several changes of ownership from the Pillar electrical group, to RTZ, to Caradon/Novar and finally, since 2005, to Honeywell. Each change of ownership bringing its own set of opportunities and challenges.

As an industry, we have witnessed not only the development in flexibility and applications of fire alarm equipment but also the on-going increase in professionalism in terms of 3rd party accreditation in the form of BAFE, ISO9001, BS5839:1 design and more recently, associated standard sub-sections for installation, commissioning and maintenance.

What products have you worked with?

In the main I have perhaps been a bit of a “one trick pony” as I have extensive experience in the Gent 3400 fire detection and alarm system  from the late 1980’s, Vigilon F.D.&A from its launch in 1998 and it’s metamorphoses into the current Vigilon Plus range more recently.

In recent years, a considerable amount of my time has been taken up with Winmag (the Gent graphical user interface), BACnet, XLS80 (a Honeywell branded Notifier panel) and more recently the C.L.S.S. remote monitoring and service diagnostics tool.

Have you ever come across any problems when training staff?

I can honestly say that I have not really encountered any problems worthy of mention when delivering training. More often than not, delegates actually want you to be successful and are usually relieved that it is someone else at the front of the training room rather than themselves. There are, however, a few absolutely key elements that should always be taken into consideration during any training activity;

  1. Basic Respect – never talk down to anyone and always value the input and experience of the delegates.
  2. Training is about changing behaviour – acknowledge that change can be difficult for people for a variety of reasons and always empathise and attempt to understand their point of view.
  3. Remember that people do things for their own reasons, not yours. A failure to acknowledge and respect their reasons and motivations will generally end in disaster.
  4. Make it relevant, Informal and relaxed – very few people perform at their best when under duress or when they cannot see a useful application for the information that they are being given.

All of the above may seem like straight forward, common sense but they are all things that I have witnessed either being forgotten or paid lip service to all too often.

What do you enjoy about training?

It sounds corny when you put it into words but what I really enjoy is “the lightbulb moment”, that moment when you help someone to learn a new skill, where you can instantly see the difference that what you are doing as a trainer is making. Training is a profession singular in its ability to offer instant job satisfaction and reward (unless you count being an actor or rock star – neither of which I have the talent nor the temperament for). A trainer generally does not have to wait to witness the results of their work, unlike so many other job roles where you form one part of a larger process. Having started in a manufacturing role where I had no visibility of the process that came before my role, nor indeed what happened afterwards, this instant visibility and reward is not something that I ever take for granted.

What are the common questions customers ask you?

In fire alarm systems, as in most walks of life, the most profound and the most common questions are usually the simplest – “How do I?”, “What Happens if?”, “Is it possible to?”. (You can probably add “How much is it going to cost me?” to that list as well). All of these questions can, as you might imagine, greatly expand dependent on the circumstances in which they are being asked and the knowledge and experience level of the person doing the asking. The key is to have the answers.

What do you hope to bring to Midland Fire Security Services?

In my new role with Midland fire I would hope to be involved in the development of both the people that work within the business and of the business itself. I expect this to take many forms including developing and delivering training materials, providing technical support, coaching and mentoring our engineers, being involved with CPD’s and other customer presentations, to assist in the preparation of tenders and audits, to be involved in launching new products such as the C.L.S.S. gateway to our client base and ultimately to assist in building strong, long term relationships with our customers.

Got a question for Dave?

Dave Green is due to start with Midland Fire on the 31st November 2020 and will be available to provide advice and guidance should you need technical help with any of our products. Please get in touch if you need assistance.

fire-alarm-leasing-available-midland-fire-2

Midland Fire have partnered with Complete Leasing Solutions – The official equipment leasing partner of the FIA (Fire Industry Association), helping to make Life Safety more affordable for your business.

A Finance Lease is the perfect way to fund your new system . With terms available from 1 to 5 years and ownership available on completion of the agreement you can spread the cost of your new fire alarm system and keep up with the latest legislative requirements.

We have added a leasing calculator to our website.

Please visit the Equipment Leasing page for more information.