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What are the fire risks associated with electric vehicles?
The question of the safety of charging electric vehicles (EVs) in underground car parks proved to be of particular concern. Some commercial property owners asked why their Fire Risk Assessments haven’t flagged this as a significant risk, while others have voiced the opinion that the UK should follow the practice of some European countries and ban EVs from charging in sub-basement car parks.
Although it is true that there have been several fires reported, there is not yet enough data to evidence how much of a problem this may become. However, good practice would be to avoid installing underground car park charging points if possible and site them in the open instead – but not close to any escape routes, or areas which could impede safe evacuation. It is recommended that EV charging points at workplaces should not be sited near assembly points or flammable storage tanks, etc.
At the Fire Conference 2023 in October, Chris Griffin McTiernan said the Building Safety Regulator will support dutyholders doing the right thing, but will show its teeth to those who fail to comply with legislation.
The Grenfell Tower fire showed that there were clear failings in leadership across multiple industries, Chris Griffin McTiernan, Deputy Chief Inspector at the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) told delegates at the Fire Conference 2023.
But the culture of blame-passing and systematic incompetence will no longer wash, now that the BSR is in place.
He asked the audience whether they remembered where they were when news broke of the Grenfell Tower fire. He certainly did – he was on government business in Nairobi to prepare for the UK Prime Minister’s visit the following week in a push to sell “Global Britain”.
A residential development near Canary Wharf and the iconic Cutty Sark, now benefits from wireless fire protection including detectors, sounders and call points from Hyfire’s Taurus range.
Almost 2,000 devices, including 913 heat detectors, were installed in a complete upgrade of the fire system in the building, including a temporary system – which can later be removed or repurposed – to allow for the rectification of defective cladding.
Comprising five Advanced MxPro 5 panels and including a paging system for residents with visual impairment and other needs, the work was undertaken by Gerrards Cross-based Chameleon Systems, who worked to a design and specification devised by Julian Crouch of Integrity Fire, acting as lead consultant on the project.