aston university solar panel installation

Incumbent service provider, Midland Fire Security Services has today announced the completion of Aston University’s new solar panelling on the Students’ Union and Nursery buildings, as part of Aston University’s Decarbonisation Scheme. This move will not only deliver significant energy cost savings but also marks the beginning of a greener approach for the University.

Aston University successfully secured a £2.2 million Salix Government Grant in 2021, which provides Government funding to the public sector to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and lower energy bills, funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Education, along with the Welsh, and Scottish Governments.

Having already successfully provided the highly complex electrical infrastructure and state of the art Fire Alarm Systems network for the University, Midland Fire was invited to source and install the new solar panels, on the roof of the University’s Students’ Union and Nursery buildings as well install carbon-reducing LED lighting technology in the University’s research institute, library, and sports centre to complete this major project.

aston university solar panel installation

Q. Peak Duo ML-G9 (375-395) Solar Panels for Maximum Efficiency

Midland Fire opted for the Q.Peak Duo ML-G9 solar panels for the project. The Q.ANTUM DUO Z technology used in these panels has a zero-gap cell layout to maximise efficiency with no wasted space.

The Q. Peak’s innovative design delivers optimal energy yields and the system’s all-weather technology ensures the panels are robust enough to withstand extreme weather conditions including high winds and snow, as well as the ability to generate power even in low light. 

Smart PV Controller – Energy and Cost Savings at Your Fingertips

With the UK setting a target of net zero by 2050, businesses need to act now. The Smart PV Controller (SUN2000-100KTL-M1) puts you in control by harnessing energy and delivering savings. This simple design links directly to the meter, providing accurate, up to date readings and displaying the rewards in terms of cost savings and the reduction of emissions for a clear evaluation.

The installation of the solar PV systems at the nursery is estimated to deliver an annual yield of 34,211 kWh with an annual CO2 saving of 7,971kg. Not to be outdone, the Students’ Union building’s savings are estimated annually to be around 84,745 kWh giving an annual CO2 saving of 19,746 kg.

aston university solar panel installation

Thorlux Lighting – A Greener Approach

As part of this transformational project, Thorlux Lighting LED carbon-reducing lighting technology was installed. This resulted in a kWh saving per annum of nearly 60% at the University’s Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI) building, a staggering 70.38% at the University’s library and 55.99% at the Woodcocks Sports Centre. Overall, the Aston University project will save around 430 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.


James Timmis, Project Manager at Aston University said: “‘This was a challenging installation at Aston University, completed around live buildings and a busy Graduation schedule. Luke, Dave and the rest of the Midland Fire team worked hard to ensure that all works were completed on time, budget and without disrupting University events. This project, and other like it, serve to further bolster Aston University’s sustainability credentials and underline the importance placed on sustainability in all Estates projects.”


Luke Sillito, Director at Midland Fire Security Services said: This project came with significant challenges, not only to maintain the smooth running of Aston University during the works but to adhere to the strict time constraints for both access to the buildings during operational hours and to complete the project within the specified time. I would like to thank the Project team at Aston University, RIDGE and PMP Consultants for the extensive group effort required to achieve this and for helping us to make this project a resounding success.”

A Firm Foundation for a Brighter Future

The solar panels are secured to the building’s structure using Van Der Valk’s Straight Standing Seam Clamps for the pitched roof space, teamed with hammerhead bolts and mounting end clamps and a Trapezoidal fixing on the flat roof areas for maximum stability and security.


Business As Usual

The university needed to continue to offer its students, staff, visitors, and external clients the same quality of service and minimum disruption throughout the project. Any work that may cause significant noise or be disruptive to the University’s daily activities was restricted to, and completed, out of hours and any construction-related debris was cleared at the end of each shift.

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.

burton albion corporate a side

Midland Fire took part in the May 2022 corporate 5-a-side tournament held at Burton Albion Football Ground.

The lads did us proud. A great day out and a chance for everyone to relax after a busy first half of the year.

You can see more photos from the day on the Burton Albion Website

burton albion corporate a side midland fire

burton albion corporate a side midland fire

burton albion corporate a side midland fire

burton albion corporate a side midland fire

burton albion corporate a side

midland fire ssaib certified security installers

Midland Fire are SSAIB Certified – Demonstrating competence and confidence in our ability to provide security systems to UK businesses and local authorities.

The award covers the installation, maintenance and testing of Access Control Systems, CCTV Systems and Intruder Alarm Systems.

Luke Sillito, Director comments: “With over 20 years’ experience in life safety and security systems we aim to provide the best possible service to our customers. By being SSAIB Certified for security we have a security-specific certification complimenting the 13 other certifications we hold for electrical and life safety systems. It puts the company in an excellent position to fulfil the needs of our customers, safe in the knowledge that we meet the quality standards set out by the SSAIB.”

Who are the SSAIB?

The SSAIB was set up as a non-profit organisation to ensure the competence and quality of life, safety, security, telecare systems and manned guarding services provided in the UK.

SSAIB’s schemes comply with all police policies (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic) and insurers – often as a condition of their underwriting – place particular demands on security and fire safety system providers. In the event of an incident, insurers will need to be satisfied that all reasonable precautions have been taken to mitigate risk.

The costs associated with losses in the aftermath of an incident are not just limited to the immediate losses – as such incidents often lead to longer term consequential losses to the business. Using a certificated provider should minimise the likelihood of such events and demonstrate that all reasonable steps have been taken to protect businesses and consumers.

Contact Midland Fire for commercial security systems

If you require access control, CCTV systems or intruder alarms for your business please contact Midland Fire for a free quotation and system recommendation.

midland fire cyber essentials certified

We are pleased to announce that Midland Fire have achieved Cyber Essentials Certification – Demonstrating that we have the processes and technical setup to minimise the risk of attack from cyber criminals.

Cyber Essentials is designed to provide technical controls to organisations computers and portable devices – reducing the risk of common cyber threats. it is backed by the government and the National Cyber Security Centre and required for many tender schemes.

Tim Parker, Compliance manager comments: “The process involved auditing our devices and internal network – ensuring that the software we use is supported and that devices have appropriate access control and malware protection. By doing so, we have reduced the risk of a cyber-attack on our systems.”

By meeting the standards set by Cyber Essentials, Midland Fire are well positioned to meet the IT security needs of existing and future contracts. Looking for a new fire alarm provider? Please get in touch for a free consultation.

midland fire warwick castle fire alarm install

Warwick Castle has appointed Midland Fire Security Services to manage, upgrade and maintain its fire safety systems, guarding more than 1000 years of history for generations to come.

As the incumbent fire safety provider, Midland Fire will protect the castle and estate buildings on the 64-acre site including the Knight’s Village. The mediaeval-themed woodland retreat has become a jewel in the crown of the Warwick Castle experience since opening in 2016, with lodges, glamping tents, a banqueting hall and over one kilometre of raised wooden boardwalk to guide visitors around the site.

The Staffordshire-based firm was invited to assess the fire alarm systems in place at the Knight’s Village site, to review and enhance the fire detection system throughout the outdoor boardwalk area. Following their successful assessment and upgrade at the site, Midland Fire has now been awarded the service contract for the entire Warwick Castle estate.

A bespoke approach to fire safety solutions

The extensive woodland setting at the Knight’s Village site created its own logistical and environmental challenges for the team at Midland Fire.

Following a thorough assessment of the area, including the potential effects on the fire safety system design from the weather and local wildlife, a robust solution was created to provide complete protection.

After careful planning, the answer, aptly for the site, was armour, with the team opting for a strong, stainless steel braided linear heat detection cable network interfaced with the existing Protec fire alarm system.


Thomas Sleath, Business Development Manager at Midland Fire Security Services said: “As Warwick Castle’s new fire safety provider, the logistics of the Castle, its many outbuildings and the Knight’s Village site, offered us an interesting challenge.

“Our bespoke fire safety solution incorporates fully networked GENT Vigilon fire alarm systems, air sampling fire alarm detection in key areas, and strong, braided linear heat detection cable from our project partner, Patol, to complete this complex fire safety solution and offer full protection to this historic site.”


Matthew Halford, Head of Facilities at Warwick Castle said: “We have been very pleased with the good value and straightforward proposals for new installations provided by Midland Fire, followed by great quality installations. This ultimately led us to award the full maintenance contract from 1st January 2022.”

Linear Heat Detection Cable

The design of Patol’s linear heat detection cable ensures vital early detection of fire and overheating alerts. Encased in armour worthy of a knight, the strong stainless steel braided coating offers maximum protection for use in challenging or extreme conditions.

This advanced heat detection method is essential in circumstances where more standard forms of point detection, such as smoke alarms or heat detection, wouldn’t work due to the location or setting.

The outdoor nature of the Boardwalk at Knight’s Village required the cable network to have protection from environmental impacts, such as exposure to the elements or risk of interference from wildlife.

The cable network detects any warning signs, including hazards at temperatures well below flame point. If an issue is detected, it triggers a real-time alert to the monitor unit which is interfaced with the existing Protec fire alarm system, which not only raises the alarm but pinpoints the exact position and threat level so immediate action can be taken.

Linear Heat Detection Cable Monitor

The Patol linear heat detection cable monitor feeds information from the heat detection cable directly through to the Protec Fire Alarm System. This alerts both the Knight’s Village reception and Warwick Castle’s security team of any issues and displays the exact distance along the cable network to the zone that requires attention, providing crucial information about the level of risk and its exact location.

The monitor also has an end of line terminator with a key switch facility to carry out weekly tests and a reset function to allow for regular fire drills and service/planned maintenance checks.

End of Line Terminators for easy fire alarm maintenance

Patol’s End of Line Terminators complete the bespoke fire safety solution by monitoring the linear heat detection cable for any faults. The key control function enables easy transition between fire, fault, and normal operational settings allowing for easy testing, maintenance checks and reporting along the length of the cable network.

GENT Vigilon fire alarm systems and life-safety solutions

The Castle itself is covered by a fully networked GENT Vigilon Fire Alarm System incorporating life-saving Wagner air sampling detectors, which continually monitor the air within the area of coverage to provide vital early smoke detection.

This advanced sensing technology utilises (HPLS) high power light source technology, which detects and assesses any potential threats using sensors, reducing the chance of false alarms.

Warwick Castle’s 18th-century Conservatory Tea House and warehouse building were also recently upgraded to the GENT Vigilon Compact fire alarm systems and S-Quad loop devices to feed real-time information to the control panels.

Regular maintenance and additional fire safety measures

To ensure the Castle and its grounds are fully protected, Midland Fire provides rigorous planned maintenance service checks at regular intervals throughout the year.

These checks include preventative testing, fire drills, cable inspections/reporting and robust testing of all fire alarm systems and their networks to ensure full compliance with BS 5839 under the Fire Industry Association’s (FIA) guidance.


Thomas Sleath added: “We’re delighted to be able to play our part in protecting this historically important tourist attraction for the future. Our bespoke solution provides full fire alarm coverage to all areas of the Warwick Castle site.”

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.

walkers crisps fire alarm maintenance

We are delighted to announce that Midland Fire have been awarded the site planned maintenance contract for life safety equipment at Walkers Snack Foods (Leicester) – Leycroft and Bursom Road Sites. The site manufactures and packs a range of products under the Walkers brand distributed throughout the UK.

Upgrading the existing Fire Detection System

As part of the service Midland Fire recently completed the upgrade of full site control panels from an Advanced Mx4 panels to Advanced Mx5 Pro panels.

The Advanced Mx4 is a powerful piece of equipment however has been superseded so by upgrading to the latest Mx5 Pro panel we are able to guarantee availability of spare parts and have full confidence in the system moving forward.

The panels are connected to Hochiki loop devices with numerous Vesda aspiration smoke detectors. The system provides continuous air sampling – ensuring the earliest possible warning of a potential fire hazard. The control panels link to a brand new DRAX front end system so that the system status can be monitored from a central location. New Dell IT equipment was sourced to ensure reliability of system monitoring.

Midland Fire will also be responsible for fixed extinguishing systems and water mist deluge systems throughout the site – Ensuring the safety of staff and visitors in the event of an emergency.

Comprehensive Fire Alarm Maintenance

The service contract is based on Midland Fire’s Gold Service Plan. The plan is designed to offer a high level of service with consistent pricing throughout the life of the contract. Spare parts, an annual service and emergency call outs with a 4-hour response time 24/7 are included in the plan. Regular Inspection and testing visits are conducted throughout the year by our team of experienced Fire Alarm Engineers.

Business development manager Thomas Sleath has been working on the project: “Its great to see another international business like Walkers Snack Foods utilising local suppliers for essential services like life safety system maintenance. For any business in the food industry downtime results in problems throughout the supply chain and impacts profitability. By working with us we are able to help minimise the risk of false alarms and fire emergencies on site”

Looking for someone to maintain your Fire Alarm System?

Please call 01283 741000 or email for advice and a free consultation.


Closing date for applications Friday 29th April 2022.

Due to further expansion, we are looking for several ambitious individuals looking for a long successful career within our family run business.

Midland Fire is an Electrical Contractor specialising in fire alarm installation and life safety systems. We have a varied portfolio of works within the education, commercial, industrial and public sectors. We expect our staff to have a ‘can do’ approach and who will help the company achieve its goals. We are passionate about personal development and actively encourage progression within the team.

For the right candidates, this is an exciting opportunity which could open doors to lots of other areas in the business which is actively seeking growth.


Electrical Installation (Electro technical) Advanced Apprenticeship

This role involves training to become a qualified installation electrician. This 4 year apprenticeship will involve on the job training, and block release class-room training via Derby College and Burton Training Organisation Limited. Successful completion will gain a level 3 Electrotechnical qualification.

The candidates should have both theoretical and practical skills, and will need to pass theory exams and practical assessments to progress.

The place of work will vary, and sites include, Universities, Public Sector Properties, Commercial and Industrial Environments based across the Midlands and further afield on occasions. Working within small teams.

The candidate should have the accessibility to start work early and to be picked up from our offices in Tutbury, or other areas of Burton-on Trent. Hours of work will vary and finish times may change, a basic week will be a minimum of 40 hours.

Person Specification:

  • Have good theoretical and practical skills
  • Clear communication skills
  • A confident, friendly manner & strong interpersonal skills
  • Have an interest in electrical installation and theory
  • Have GCSE or equivalent grade level 4 (grade C) or above in English, Maths & Science
  • Be willing to work at Height, and capable of manual handling
  • Have ability to use hand tools and battery drill

Full time 40 hour basic week

To apply please send your CV and a short introduction to

midland fire security apprenticeships
midland fire security apprenticeships

Midland Fire Security Apprenticeships. 4th Year Apprentice Jimmy with course tutor / lecturer Dave Peach.

National Apprenticeship Week runs from the 7th – 13th February 2022 to celebrate the young people and businesses investing in individuals to help the wider business economy.

This year’s theme is how we will ‘build the future’ reflecting on how individuals develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career and develop a talented workforce for the future of UK business. We wanted to take a moment to celebrate and raise awareness of our current apprentices working to become qualified Electricians.

Electrotechnical Apprenticeship 1st Year Charlie working on a fire alarm control panel

Electrotechnical Apprenticeship 1st Year Charlie working on a fire alarm control panel.

Electrotechnical Apprenticeships at Midland Fire

Midland Fire Security Services have 7 apprentices all at different stages of their Level 3 Electrotechnical Qualification – Installation (C&G). This includes 2x Stage 1, 2x Stage 2 and 3x Stage 3.
On successful completion learners will have achieved the industry desired level of competence to carry out specific roles within the industry.
Each apprentice ‘Earns while they learn’ receiving a salary designed to cover living expenses during their training. Upon completion of training, apprentices are offered a full-time position within the business.

Midland Fire Apprentices get block release (1 week at a time) to attend Burton Training Organisation (BTOL) Ltd. BTOL operates in association with Derby College – teaching both practical and theoretical lessons in preparation for work on site.

On the job training takes place in-between – The apprentices will attend sites with Midland Fire installation teams where they will learn practical skills with supervision.

Jack Sillito, Director at Midland Fire: “Apprenticeships are vital for our future staffing requirements. It means we can train staff from the start of the careers helping them develop into excellent electricians and fire alarm engineers. Once qualified, they can start a role within the business and hit the ground running – already familiar our way of working. A worthwhile investment to secure the future of our business.”


electrotechnical apprenticeship harry midland fire

Electrotechnical Apprenticeship 2nd Year Harry working on an electrical installation.

Grant Funding Awarded

Midland Fire was successful in securing the Staffordshire Means Back To Business Apprenticeship 500 Grant – Helping contribute towards the cost of training. We’d like to thank Staffordshire County Council for their support and look forward to seeing our apprentices learn and develop into skilled electricians and installers.

Looking for an apprenticeship?

If you would like to know more about our apprentice roles or are considering your options after finishing school please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions that you have.

fire alarm protocols closed open managed comparison

As a leading Fire Alarm Provider, Midland Fire Security Services are frequently asked what the difference is between different fire detection systems and protocols. We wanted to provide some clear information so that you can make an informed decision when choosing your Fire Alarm provider.

What is a Fire Alarm Protocol?

In fire detection systems a protocol is the language which allows communication between different devices. Sounders, call points and control modules etc. will need to communicate with the Fire Alarm Control Panel using the same protocol.

Typically these systems can be divided into three categories: Open Protocol, Closed Protocol and Managed Protocol

Closed Protocol Fire Alarm Systems

In a Closed Protocol System, the panel and devices are manufactured by the same company. Engineer functions can only be worked on by the manufacturer. System modifications or fault repairs would need to be carried out by the manufacturer directly.


  • Company working on system will be approved and have correct understanding helping meet legislative duties and requirements of BS5839.1 2017.
  • All components made by one manufacturer.
  • All software provided by one company.
  • All technical support & training provided by one company.
  • Software only supplied to trained personnel.
  • All faults must be down the manufacturer or Installer.


  • Lack of choice for consumers.
  • No options commercially, stuck with single supplier so costs tend to be higher for additions, call-outs, service and maintenance.
  • Life time cost of owning the system is higher in most circumstances.

Open Protocol Fire Alarm Systems

In an Open Protocol System, the panel and devices may be manufactured by different companies – as long as they are compatible. Equipment available to anyone via wholesalers and work can be carried out by any contractor.


  • Available for any contractor to carry out modifications and fault finding.
  • Lots of options commercially, so tends to be lower cost.


  • No training required, so no proof of competence.
  • Easy access to software can lead to untrained engineers working on systems.
  • Like all Analogue Addressable fire systems, once a manufacturers equipment is installed, only one equipment supplier can be used.
  • Panels can still be locked out so an end user can be tied to a single supplier.
  • Different manufacturers for panels & devices – when things do go wrong, more than one company may have to be involved to find a solution, software, etc.
  • End users are not always given full functionality of equipment.
  • May not have technical support from the manufacturer.

Managed Protocol Fire Alarm Systems

A Managed Protocol System is a middle ground between Open / closed protocols. Engineer functions can be provided by contractors but only with approval from the manufacturer. This helps ensure systems are set up correctly but gives the client freedom to choose their own contractor from a pre-approved list.


  • Any contractor / company working on the system will be approved and have correct training and expertise – helping meet legislative duties and requirements of BS5839.1 2017.
  • Choice from a wide selection of companies to work on the system.
  • Contractors will have 3rd party accreditations (such as BAFE) as a requirement for approval.
  • Commercially you have choice, usually a lot of options meaning competitive pricing.


  • Limited companies able to work on the system – But more than in a Closed Protocol System.

Can I use equipment from different providers Together?

Once a fire alarm system is installed the field of devices selected dictate that any additional replacement device must use the same protocol. Therefore, devices from other manufactures are not compatible when installed on the same addressable loop.

Does the protocol give freedom of choice?

Customers can choose any protocol for their fire alarm system however once the choice is made they are locked in to the performance of the fire alarm system using that protocol. To change from one protocol to another would involve replacing the entire system.

The most important factor is that the system chosen meets the required legal standards with the ability to expand if the business needs change.

Contact Midland Fire to arrange a free site survey

Midland Fire offer Open and Managed Protocol Systems from reputable manufacturers, giving customers more choice.

If you would like more information please call us on 01283 741000 or email:

midland fire security siemens solution partner

We are excited to announce that Midland Fire Security Services have been appointed as a Siemens Solution Partner.

From the start of 2022 Midland Fire can specify and install a range of high-quality open protocol fire detection products from Siemens – adding to our existing service offering.

Dan Sillito at Midland Fire: “Midland Fire have chosen to partner with Siemens to bolster our open protocol system offering focusing on the high quality and reliability of their detectors and electronics. By becoming a Siemens Solutions Partner we are able to offer another top-quality open protocol system alongside our current well-established system offerings. We feel this It gives our customers more choice and flexibility over the type of system we install and means we can reach a greater proportion of the market. We look forward to our first Siemens installation in 2022.”

Advanced product Training and Knowledge

As a partner company. Midland Fire staff are fully trained on Siemens Cerberus PRO products. In addition to this we hold third party certifications including BAFE LPS1014. Click here to see our full accreditation list.

Midland fire Security Services Ltd is listed on the Siemens website as Cerberus PRO Fire Partners. You can see the listing by following the website link below.

New products from Siemens

siemens cerberus fire alarm system products

Siemens Cerberus Fire Alarm System

Siemens Solution Partners can install and service the latest Cerberus PRO fire protection system. Cerberus PRO devices feature built-in high-performance isolators. These keep the alarm device active even if there a short on the loop, ensuring maximum protection of people and premises.

Fire and false alarms cost the UK economy £1 billion a year with fire services attending almost 225,000 callouts annually (Fire Statistics and The London Fire Brigade). Siemens Cerberus PRO Advance Signal Analysis (ASA) detectors can identify the cause of fumes before setting off the full alarm. The fire alarm only goes off in case of a real emergency, so occupants know to respond. No more paying the price of burnt toast!

With Siemens Cerberus PRO fire panels even if the control unit CPU fails, the fire control panel continues to works in degraded mode operation meaning continued protection and no downtime.

By choosing Siemens Midland Fire can provide the latest technology and peace of mind to customers at a competitive price.

Contact Midland Fire to arrange a free site survey

If you would like more information please call us on 01283 741000 or email: