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.

the oaks coventry student accommodation

Main Contractor: McLaren Group

Client: Mechanical Contractors (Ashfield) Ltd

The Oaks in Coventry is a brand new private student accommodation block located just 1km away from Warwick University. It includes space for 382 residents, communal areas and high specification fittings, fixings and furniture throughout.

Midland Fire Security Services Ltd completed the supply and commission of fire detection and alarm system throughout the building. This included the installation of a managed fire alarm system in all living spaces including apartments, communal corridors, kitchens and games rooms.

The recent Grenfell Tower fire has highlighted the complexity of fire safety and evacuation procedures in Homes of multiple occupancies (HMOs) and busy student accommodation blocks. Life safety must be built in during the design stages to ensure that the risk to life is minimised in an emergency.

As a Gent Honeywell Approved Network Installer we were able to specify the latest Gent Vigilon system throughout the building utilising the brand new SAFE programming features designed specifically to bridge the gap between residential and landlord fire alarm systems. As part of the project we helped implement a complex ‘Stay Put’ fire strategy, helping ensure the safety of residents in the event of a fire and reduce false alarms.

Using the latest Gent SAFE programming features

The GENT safe system bridges the gap between BS5839 Part 1 and BS5839 Part 6 without the risk of generating multiple false evacuations.

SAFE, uses the principle of CONFIRMED fires. The panel confirms a fire, if a heat channel of a multisensory detector activates OR two smoke channels activate OR a single smoke channel detects smoke for a sustained period of time (programmable).

At the Oaks, each cluster flat is programmed as a “SAFE Area”, this means that if smoke is detected by a single sensor, the Sounders will operate in the “SAFE Area” only. If after 6 minutes there is no smoke present, then the panel resets itself.  If there is a smoke present after 6 minutes, OR a heat channel operates or a second smoke detector channel operates, then this is deemed a CONFIRMED Fire. The Sounders then play the Voice Message, “This is a fire alarm! Please leave the building immediately by the nearest available exit.” and automated cause and effect operations take place (smoke vent system operates, lifts ground, doors release etc) and the fire latches on the panel.

With the use of a SAFE button, it is possible residents would be able to test their own fire alarms, silence an unconfirmed fire activation and/or extend the delay period, if they knew the cause of the alarm was a false activation. Landlords can check to make sure alarms have been tested at the correct intervals from a central control panel. This will also tell the landlord which areas have had the highest number of false alarms, helping identify problems early.

At the Oaks, the latest Gent S-Quad multi detectors with integrated voice and EN54-23 certified visual alarms were installed throughout the building minimizing risk to life during a fire and reduce confusion when the alarm activates. Different tones and voice messages are used to distinguish between an activation in the cluster flat or from another area in the building. This allows residents to quickly understand if the activation is in their flat or if they should evacuate the building. The control panel for the entire system is located on the ground floor for convenience and compliance with the latest fire regulations.

What is a HMO?

HMO is an abbreviation of Homes of Multiple Occupancy. This includes any property that is rented out by at least 3 people who are not part of the same household but share facilities like bathrooms and kitchens. HMOs are subject to different fire safety regulations when compared to a home occupied by just one family.

Implementing a ‘Stay Put’ Fire Safety Strategy for Student Accommodation or a HMO

In a building of this size with residents living in close proximity to one another, fire safety is a lot more than just providing fire alarms in every room. Using passive fire protection materials, fire is compartmented into each living space allowing residents in adjacent areas to evacuate safely. False alarm prevention is also important given the inconvenience and complexity of evacuating an entire building.

At the Oaks – Bedrooms, shared kitchens and games rooms have their own one-hour fire compartments. This prevents the rapid spread of fire between rooms.

The building is divided into ‘shared apartments’ where up to 8 students may share the same kitchen and games room. Each shared apartment has its own fire alarm system giving residents the opportunity to silence a false alarm (if they burn their toast in the kitchen for example) and also extinguish a fire themselves before the fire brigade is automatically notified. Fire blankets and extinguishers are present in the kitchens of every ‘shared apartment’ for this reason.

Further to this, Corridors and key escape routes also have one-hour fire compartments. They must be kept empty of flammable objects (sterile) to prevent the rapid spread of fire and give occupants time to evacuate safely.

The system is very reliable meaning that only a single escape staircase is required by law.

A timely delivery

Due to the nature of this type of work, there was a tight timescale for the commissioning of the system. We had to be ready to demonstrate/witness test operations of the system to building control.

Several cause and effect fire strategy meetings were held throughout the process to ensure compliance with fire safety regulations.

Midland Fire was responsible for supply and commission only. The finished system was installed by Mechanical Contractors (Ashfield) Ltd.

Need a Fire Alarm System for your Student Accommodation?

Over the past 20 years we have provided reliable Fire Alarms for student accommodation blocks and HMOs of all sizes. Please contact Midland Fire Security Services Ltd for a free consultation.

Moseley Hall Hospital Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Over the past 12 years Midland Fire Security Services (Midland Fire) are proud to have worked on fire and life safety projects with Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust (BCHC). Our reliable design, installation and maintenance service has helped the trust comply with legal requirements on time and within budget.

BCHC NHS trust operates a portfolio with 22 sites, predominately health centre clinics, however the portfolio includes 4 residential hospital buildings across Birmingham and the West Midlands region.

We conducted comprehensive site surveys at each location. We also worked with the existing fire and life safety systems to ensure they are fit for purpose and meet the latest legal requirements.

2007 – Present

  • Access control systems
  • BT Redcare centralised monitoring services
  • Electrical installations in line with site refurbishments
  • Fire alarm system Installation
  • Planned and reactive maintenance services
  • Remedial works and electrical safety testing

Working in a live hospital/care environment

BCHC NHS Trust operates primary care facilities for the elderly including patients with high dependant needs with conditions such as dementia. When working in this environment, extra care was taken to ensure patients were not disturbed.

Dan Sillito, Director at Midland Fire explains: “Midland Fire safety engineers are experienced in working in busy public spaces. All engineers have up to date DBS checks and we took extra care to ensure that patients were not disturbed and planned our work around the hospital’s day to day routine. A detailed risk assessment was completed and agreed with the BCHC NHS Trust prior to any work taking place.

Asbestos is a big concern in older facilities. Our engineer’s due diligence was crucial in checking the Asbestos Registers prior to carrying out work and their awareness throughout each project.  Commissioning works were performed by our fully trained fire system technicians, who are qualified to Gent24 standards and competent in many system protocols.”

Planned maintenance and emergency callouts

Midland Fire has been awarded a planned maintenance contracts for fire alarm systems across the region. Projects include working with fire alarm equipment from multiple suppliers including Gent Vigilon, Ziton & Notifier multi panel network systems.

Our maintenance service includes regular site visits for maintaining the fire alarm systems, planning and liaising with site contacts, testing of control panels and standby batteries, input device testing (MCP’s, Sensors), Cause & Effect testing & reporting defects / recommendations for compliance to BS5839-1 2017. As part of this contract we also provide full customer support, callout facilities and access to our qualified technicians 24hrs a day, 365 days a year.

BT Redcare secure 24 hour alarm monitoring

Midland Fire has recently been awarded the BCHC BT Redcare manned centre monitoring contract. Monitoring is an important part of any life safety system. All monitoring is undertaken by our partner company EMCS monitoring who provide comprehensive monitoring solutions for a wide variety of fire alarm equipment. Midland Fire worked closely with EMCS to ensure a seamless transition to our services.

Helping the NHS stay within budget

Working with EMCS Midland Fire secured a significant discount (and in some cases free) on BT Redcare monitoring equipment. We are pleased to have been able to add value to the contract. The new equipment comes with a full manufacturer’s warranty, reducing the risk of expensive maintenance should equipment need replacing in the near future.

Access control and Fire alarm refurbishment at Moseley Hall Hospital

As part of a major building security improvement project, new door access equipment was installed and interfaced to the main fire alarm system. Midland Fire was responsible for conducting initial site surveys and worked closely with NHS project management and security contractors to ensure the system was adequate for the trust’s needs.

All fire safety system design work is completed in house at Midland Fire to ensure that legislative and technical requirements are met. The system meets or exceeds the requirements of the Fire Risk Assessment, Fire Safety Order Regulatory Reform (2005) and British Standards in Fire Alarms BS5839-1 2017.


We look forward to working with BHCH NHS Trust on future projects.

Types of Fire Extinguisher

Types of Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are a necessary part of fire safety and protection. In order to ensure that you keep your surroundings safe, it is important to ensure that you utilise the right type of fire extinguisher for your unique situation. There are different types of fire extinguishers that serve a variety of purposes and these will be covered in this article to ensure that you are adequately protected. There are six types of fire extinguishers that will be outlined here, each suitable for a different class of fire.

Categories of Fire

Let us first take a quick look at the different categories of fire, this should help you to understand when is best to use each type of extinguisher.

  • Class A – fires involving solid materials such as wood, paper or textiles.
  • Class B – fires involving flammable liquids such as petrol, diesel or oils.
  • Class C – fires involving gases.
  • Class D – fires involving metals.
  • Class E – fires involving live electrical apparatus.
  • Class F – fires involving cooking oils such as in deep-fat fryers.

Water – Category A

Water fire extinguishers are suitable for fires involving solid combustibles (category A), these include wood, textiles and paper. When using this type of fire extinguisher it is important to avoid electrical equipment, as this is another potential fire risk. Water based fire extinguishers are also not for use on burning fat or oil fires.

To use a water fire extinguisher, point the jet at the base of the fire and move it around the area, ensuring that all of the fire is extinguished.

Water based fire extinguishers work on solid combustible fires as they cool down the fuel’s surface.

There are a few different types of water based fire extinguishers, which is worth noting. Some have additives added to the water and this makes them overall more effective. This is due to the fact that this extinguisher sprays, rather than jets, covering a larger surface area, and also the addition of surfactants helps to penetrate the combustibles, cooling them more rapidly.

Another category of water based fire extinguishers is the Water Mist Extinguisher. These extinguishers contain de-ionised water and are capable of fighting class A, B, C and F fires (solid materials, flammable liquids, gases and cooking oils/fats).The mist emitted from the extinguisher suffocates and cools the fire. It also helps to create a barrier of sorts between the person using the extinguisher and the fire itself, therefore improving safety.

AFFF Foam – Categories A, B, E

AFFF fire extinguishers are used for fires that are burning solids or liquids. They are not suitable for use on fires stemming from oil/fat. AFFF Foam extinguishers are used in the same way as water based extinguishers, in that you aim the foam at the base of a solid combustible fire and cover the area of the flames, ensuring that all of the fire is extinguished. However, if the fire is a liquid, you need to aim to build enough foam to cover the surface of the liquid. Therefore, it is a good idea to aim the foam above the flames, or into a corner of the flames if the fire is in a container.

AFFF Foam extinguishers work by forming a barrier on top of the burning liquid, preventing the interaction between the flames and the fuel. The foam prevents reignition from occuring due to the foaming agent.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – Categories B and E

Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are best used for electrical fires, as CO2 is not a conductor of electricity. They were originally intended for use on flammable liquid fires, but have since proven to be very effective on electrical fires. As a result of this, they are commonly used on large computer servers.

When using CO2 extinguishers it is important that you take care as they are not recommended for use in close quarters, as it can lead to suffocation. Not only that, but it is important to remember that these extinguishers are not to be used on category F (fat/oil) fires as it can carry the oil out of the container, therefore spreading the fire. Areas should be ventilated as soon as the fire is under control in order to avoid asphyxiation.

To use a CO2 extinguisher you should point the horn at the base of the fire and keep it moving until the flames have extinguished. The extinguisher works by literally suffocating the fire, as the CO2 displaces the oxygen in the air. As the CO2 dissipates there is a risk that the fire will reignite, so be aware of this.

ABC Powder – Categories A, B, C and E

ABC Powder extinguishers are very versatile and can be used on many different categories of fires, including organic materials, liquids, gases and electrical fires. They are not to be used on oil/fat fires.

There is a slight danger of inhalation of the powder when it is used within buildings and it is therefore not recommended for use within enclosed areas. To use this type of extinguisher point the horn at the base of the flames and move it in a rapid sweeping motion, driving the flames backwards.

ABC powder is effective as it cools the fire down so much that the chemical reactions can no longer take place. However, there is a chance that the flames will reignite shortly after the powder is administered when the components heat back up.

Wet Chemical – Categories A and F

Wet chemical fire extinguishers are ideal for use on cooking fires including oils and fats. They can also be used on category A fires. The wet chemical extinguisher is simple to use and should be applied in a slow circular motion to the fire, eventually the fat/oil will become a soapy-like liquid and this shows you that the fire is adequately extinguished. Application should be gentle in order to prevent any oil from splashing and the fire spreading.

Wet chemical extinguishers work by providing a blanketing effect, similar to foam extinguishers. They usually contain some form of chemical, such as potassium acetate, that helps to cool and blanket the fire.


It is important that you have the right type of fire extinguisher for your own situation. But remember that safety is key and anybody expected to use a fire extinguisher should have the proper training in order to ensure that they fight the fire effectively.

Do I Need a Fire Alarm?

Do I Need A Fire Alarm?

Nobody ever expects to be caught in a fire but sadly it is not an uncommon experience. Government statistics show that between 2018 to March 2019, the fire and rescue services attended 576,040 incidents including 182,825 fires. There were 7106 fire related casualties and 253 deaths which took place in both a domestic and business setting. Aside from the risk to human life the cost of a fire can run into millions.

So yes, you certainly need to take precautions against fire because the odds of this happening to you or your business premises are higher than you probably imagine.

Protecting your business with adequate fire detection is not only sound common sense, it is a legal requirement. Failure to comply with safety standards could see you facing a fine or imprisonment.

What type of Fire Detection do I need for my business?

The type of alarm system you need, will depend upon your needs and your Fire Risk Assessor will be able to advise you. However all business premises need to have a designated Responsible Person who can ensure that all the security measures are in place and that everyone in the premises knows exactly what to do in the case of a fire.

Even if your business premises are small and you only employ a couple of people who could be alerted, just by someone shouting fire, you do need to know what to do in a case of an emergency. Fire can spread very quickly; exits can become cut off so it is important to have a plan in place even if you do not need to invest in fire prevention measures.

What type of Fire Alarm is best for my business?

There are several fire alarm options to choose from and they all suit different purposes.

  • Automatic Smoke Alarms and Heat Detectors.

There’s no smoke without fire, and a smoke alarm detects smoke or fire in its early stages and automatically sounds an audible alarm. They work by detecting smoke particles in the air, sensing heat or in a combination of ways.

 If you are responsible for a block of flats or hotel where people may be sleeping, a smoke alarm will alert them to the danger before they are overcome by smoke inhalation in their sleep. This type of alarm does not require anyone to act or sound an alarm and can be linked to an automatic 999 dialling system.

An automatic smoke alarm and heat detector is a legal requirement for any residential property such as a hotel or nursing home.

  • Conventional Fire Alarm

A conventional fire alarm can be suitable for low risk environments. These should be positioned in key areas and they divide your premises into zones. These types of alarms include the glassalarms that somebody smashes and they need to conform to British manufacturing standards and be positioned in crucial areas. Your Fire Risk Assessor can advise.

  • Addressable Fire Alarms.

Theseare often used for high risk environments such as hospitals, schools or care homes. Because they are electronically wired together, the location of the fire is immediately visible. These types of fire alarms can be integrated with other fire prevention systems such as sprinklers and the automatic shutting of fire doors.

  • Wireless Fire Alarm.

This type of fire alarm works exactly the same as the Addressable Fire Alarm and is suitable for premises where cabling cannot be installed. It works on a wireless network.

  • Site Alarms.

Most suitable for use in larger areas such as building sites, a site alarm can include, a hand turned siren, whistles or air horn. 

General Fire Precautions

As well as having a suitable method in place for raising the alarm in case of a fire, there are general fire precautions that need to be in place in any premises of work, apartment block, or anywhere where people gather.

There needs to be a suitable warning system in place to alert people to a fire. Whether this is a shouted command or a complex fire alarm system, it has to be effective and proven to work.

Fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are also mandatory. The ability to fight a small fire at source will help prevent the fire from spreading. The general rule is to have a fire extinguisher in place for every 200m of floor space. It is also important to have fire extinguishers in sensitive areas such as kitchens. These need to be within their shelf life and tested because if they don’t work when they are required, you could be in trouble. Making sure you have the correct class of fire extinguisher is key.

Fire Drills

It is important to carry out a fire drill especially if your business involves many people. The escape route should be designated and there should be a muster point away from the building so the responsible person can check that nobody has been left behind in a burning building.

If there is only one exit from the premises, this needs to be maintained and made as fire resistant as possible. You may need to fit an automatic fire detection system so that if the worst happens everyone can get out of the building safely. Doors on the exit route must be easily opened by people who are likely to be panicking and they should be marked fire exit if the area is used by the public.

Signage, Emergency Lighting and Escape Route Planning

You may need emergency signage and fire safety signs. You may need emergency lighting to sign the way if there is a power failure.

There are also some basic safety requirements that should be implemented. For example, high risk areas such as kitchens should not open directly onto the escape route. Flammable materials such as bundles of packaging should be stored in a safe location.

Although these measures may not concern you if you run a small business premises such as an office, the basic aim is always the same and that is to minimise risk to life and property in the case of a fire.

Whatever your scale of business, everyone should understand exactly what to do if the unthinkable happen.

What are the legal obligations for fire detection and prevention?

The 2005 Fire Safety Order is based on two key principles;

  • 1/ Owners of companies and buildings must appoint a ‘responsible person’ to ensure compliance with the law and heighten awareness of fire protection.
  • 2/ There must be ‘adequate’ means of detecting fire and raising the alarm.

If you are not trained professionally in fire prevention, it can be hard to translate these principles into hard facts and equipment.

Your fire risk assessment will highlight your potential areas of concern but the services of a professional fire risk assessor will provide solutions.

How much does a fire detection and prevention system cost?

The cost of a fire prevention system will depend upon your premises and the type of business you run. Costs could be as little as the price of some smoke alarms or fire extinguishers. You may only need some advice about fire safety measures and an effective escape plan.  Alternatively the cost could run into thousands.

 If you have any doubts about the level of fire cover you need, a professional fire risk assessor will help you. A professional will show you exactly what you need for fire safety so you are not tempted to cut corners, nor invest in expensive equipment you may not need. 

Don’t ignore fire safety!

There is never a good time to spend money, especially if you are running a business and every penny counts. However you can’t afford to ignore fire safety and the longer you leave this issue, the higher the risk becomes.

For the business owner it is not all bad news. Taking action and implementing adequate fire safety measures, gives you one less worry to think about and if there is a fire you can be confident that you have done everything possible to minimise danger and damage to property.

 You can check out the Government’s general advice for fire safety in the workplace for more information. In addition, Your Fire Risk Assessment will help you identify potential problems and a trained Fire Risk Assessor will help you put the findings into practical solutions.

If you would like a free site assessment and advice on how to protect your premises please contact Midland Fire Security Services today for a fast response.

Midland Fire has been supporting Burton Albion and the Community Trust Charity for several years. We recently took part in their corporate 5-a-side tournament helping raise money for local causes.

This month we made it official and became a Burton Albion Community Trust (BACT) ‘Friends of the Community’ supporter. As part of the agreement we will be providing all BACT facilities with adequate fire safety systems.

For more about the BACT please visit the Burton Albion Community Trust website. You can read more about our partnership here.

To find out more information about becoming of BACT’s ‘Friend of the Community’ visit or E-mail

Aston University, Birmingham

After successfully becoming one of three nominated framework providers for Aston University’s Electrical Framework, Midland Fire is pleased to announce that we are the Life Safety Framework provider for the next 3 to 5 years at Aston University.

We will be providing all-inclusive service and maintenance to the fire alarm system across campus. The system is made up of over 30 networked Gent control panels complete with full graphics package and a total of over 6000 devices.

The framework includes service and maintenance of all emergency lighting units so we will be conducting 3hr discharge and monthly flick tests including a mixture of self-contained battery back-up and central battery systems. Disabled refuge systems and pager systems are also covered ensuring the protection of all staff, students and guests in the event of a fire.

Midland Fire has over 10 years’ experience working within the education sector including schools and colleges. Please contact us if you would like a free consultation.

midland fire celebrates 20 years of trading

Over the past 20 years Midland Fire Security Services Ltd (Midland Fire) has become one of the most successful fire alarm and life safety system providers in the local area. With a team of 20 engineers the company has come a long way from its inception at the start of the century.

Midland Fire’s focus on commercial fire safety systems have seen them work on several complex projects over the years. Previous projects include fire alarm systems at Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport, Xscape Shopping Centre, Milton Keynes and Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK near Derby.

The company’s engineers are local to the Burton On Trent area, it also employs 5 apprentices to support the future growth of the business.

Humble beginnings

To this day Midland Fire remains a family run life safety company. The company was founded by Gary Sillito in September 1999. Gary worked as a specialist subcontractor to Gent / Honeywell Building Solutions, catering for their more complex commissioning and programming needs. He earned a reputation for quality workmanship and excellent customer service helping the company win projects of their own throughout the East and West Midlands.

Over the last decade the business has continued to grow with the help of Gary’s three sons, Daniel, Luke and Jack who started out their careers as electricians at WT Parker Ltd. Their input and varied experience enabled Midland Fire to be able to carry out more installations throughout the UK and offer more services including electrical services, emergency lighting, door access, gas suppression and fire extinguisher services.  The company has also gained several accreditations to meet suppliers’ requirements and maintain the highest standards of workmanship.

Recent successes

Throughout the busy summer period, Midland Fire have successfully completed a range of complex projects, including the full rewire of fire alarms at Fairfax Multi Academy Trust, several school fire alarm rewires for local electrical contractors, the electrical Infrastructure for the new medical school at Aston University and the upgrade of sub-station fire alarms system at Toyota Manufacturing. Along with this they have secured a 3-year electrical framework contract at Aston University, and multiple contracts with the NHS within the West Midlands, along with various upgrade works to fire alarm systems for local contractors.

For more information or to work with us please call 01283 741000 or email

job vacancy at midland fire

Job Vacancy at Midland Fire: Administration Assistant/trainee

Midland Fire Security Services are looking to recruit an office administration assistant/trainee to help with the day to day running of the business.

The role will involve assisting other office staff as required. Ideally suited to a school leaver or someone looking for or already completing an admin apprenticeship.

  • Small office environment, based just outside of Tutbury, Staffordshire.
  • Hours are negotiable.
  • Own transport preferred for occasional post office runs.

How to apply

Please send your CV to and if we think you are the right person for the job we’ll get in touch.

Midland Fire Security Charity Football Tournament

On 10th May Midland Fire took a break from installing fire alarms to compete in the Burton Albion Corporate five-a-side football tournament.

The tournament held at the Pirelli stadium in Burton On Trent saw MFSS compete against 19 other local businesses looking to take home the coveted trophy.

After a competitive afternoon, JCB emerged as the winners beating the Burton Chamber of Commerce 5-3 in the final. Midland Fire finished around mid-table. Of course…it is the taking part that counts!

The event raised £5000 for the Burton Albion Community Trust. The money raised will go towards sports inclusion projects in the local community.

More photos and videos from the day are available on the Burton Albion website: