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Fire systems assure safe shopping for Old Market

By Retail Technology | Tuesday March 25 2014

Major new West Midlands shopping development installs state-of-the art fire alarm and detection technology to protect shoppers and a variety of property assets

Hereford’s first major retail and leisure development in more than 25 years is to be protected by a Gent by Honeywell fire alarm and detection (FDA) system.
Old Market, the new multimillion-pound retail and leisure complex in the heart of historic Hereford, is set to open its doors to shoppers in spring this year.
An FDA system from fire industry experts Gent was selected to protect three of the development’s main buildings, which include a multitude of retail units, landlords’ spaces and several public routes. 

The design of the shopping destination is centred around a series of interconnected streets and squares for public use, all of which had to be considered as part of the initial fire and security brief.

High performance requirements
One of the Gent 24 network of approved systems integrators, ADC Fire Systems, has been involved in the project since July 2013, after winning a competitive tender for the design and build of the fire protection and security systems on the site. 

ADC Fire Systems worked closely with one of the scheme’s main contractors, Imtech Meica, to provide the highest performing system for the shopping centre.
The Gent Vigilon system is currently being installed at the complex to meet the requirement for coverage in the main public spaces, access areas and landlord’s offices. The solution will then be interfaced with a third party linear heat cable and all of the individual retail units will be integrated into the Gent system.
The fire sensing technology provided by the Gent range of S-Quad detectors incorporates a unique combination of sensing elements to provide quick, intelligent fire decisions for maximum protection. 

The devices’ patented dual optical scatter technology enables them to be configured to filter specific risks, such as steam or dust, which is anticipated to significantly reduce the probability of false alarms at Old Market, Hereford.

Networked system benefits

Rob George, ADC Fire Systems director, explained: “One of the main FDA requirements for the project was for a repeater panel and the main fire response panel to be installed in the loading bay. By using the Gent Vigilon system we were able to make it a fully functional panel networked together and that allowed us to extend the number of loops on the system.
“The system is also linked to every shop unit so we can provide a two-way signal fire and fault between each individual unit and the Vigilon system. That will ensure if a shop goes into alert the main Gent system would be notified immediately, so it acts as an umbrella that brings it all together”.
Old Market, Hereford is due to open to the public on April 18, at which time the robust and reliable FDA solution will be fully installed and up and running. The development is one of a small number of schemes in the UK to achieve a BREEAM sustainability rating of ‘excellent’ across both the main build and the retailer fit-out.
Simon Adams, Gent business south west and south Wales manager, added: “The Gent Vigilon system and S-Quad detection has already proven to be a robust and reliable solution for some of the nation’s biggest shopping complexes including Westfield. 

"Old Market is a development that has been sensitively designed to reflect the unique city of Hereford and we’re proud that the unique capabilities of our system have been selected to protect it.”

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