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Fire protection at iconic former film studio

02 October 2023

A SHARED use office and retail space at the landmark former home of British Pathé is now being protected by Advanced. 360Fire has designed and commissioned a new Advanced fire alarm system with phased evacuation as part of a wider restoration and refurbishment project.

Located at 142 Wardour Street in London’s Soho, Film House was once at the heart of London’s ‘film row’. By the late 1940s, it’s estimated that anything up to 100 film companies occupied the street, including Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox.

Originally the site of the Faraday Electrical Works, the office building was re-built in 1929 in the Art Deco style. Over its long history, it has served as the headquarters for several iconic British businesses, among them Associated-British Pathé film company and, later on, HMV.

Tenanted floors

Taking on design responsibility for the project, 360Fire worked with Mechanical Services Ltd who installed four, four-loop Advanced MxPro 5 panels and one repeater panel alongside Hochiki detectors, thereby covering all six tenanted floors of the building.

Selected for their open protocol nature, the panels are integrated with a voice alarm system allowing for phased evacuation, with lifts operating on a dual signal to the ground or alternative floor, depending on fire location.

An ‘out of hours’ override activated via the panel’s function button cancels the phased evacuation and enables the system to revert to a ‘one out, all out’ system with no delays. Further integration with the BMS enables control over sprinklers, door access, lifts and smoke vents.

The system also makes use of MxPro 5’s false alarm management capabilities. Available as standard on MxPro 5 panels, AlarmCalm delivers “unprecedented” control of verification and investigation delays. By dividing sites into virtual false alarm ‘building areas’ independent of fire zones, much more precise control of false alarm management and reduction strategies can be achieved.

An optional AlarmCalm button allows trained occupants to verify if they believe a local fire signal is a false alarm. This is a highly effective way of eliminating unwanted alarms.

Complex project

Chris Peart, service and commissioning manager at 360Fire, explained: “This was a complex project. The MxPro 5 panels were specifically chosen due to their open protocol nature, flexibility and ease of cause-and-effect programming.”

Advanced’s sales manager Ken Bullock concluded: “I’m delighted Advanced has played a part in giving this iconic building a new lease of life. This project is a great example of the flexibility and functionality afforded by MxPro 5.”

For more information, visit www.advancedco.com