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Intelliclad completes first installations of smart ‘Waking Watch’ alternative

14 November 2021

THE FIRST residential installations of an all-new fire detection system that’s able to detect a fire before cladding is breached have now been completed, allowing for the removal of ‘Waking Watch’ patrols and their associated costs.

The 38-apartment Interchange building in West Croydon has become the first building in the UK to have the new Intelliclad system installed in a bid to boost residents’ safety as the wait for cladding remediation works continue. This project was followed by the 33-apartment St Chad’s building in Plymouth.

By having these installations carried out alongside implementation of Intelliclad’s internal fire alarm system – which conforms to BS 5839-1 L5 guidance – the buildings involved have been able to remove the need for costly ‘Waking Watch’ patrols.

Residents at The Interchange will now save circa £460 per month in ‘Waking Watch’ bills until remediation is carried out, with the cost of installation covered by the Government’s Waking Watch Relief Fund.

Natasha Charlton, assistant property manager at Hudson and Kimm Block Management, which manages The Interchange, said: “The occupants and leaseholders at The Interchange have commented that they do feel a lot safer in their homes following the installation of the Intelliclad system. The ‘Waking Watch’ provision did not provide occupants/leaseholders with the same reassurances. The Intelliclad team were very professional and supportive throughout the installation process.”

Installation process

Intelliclad’s system involves alarms being installed within the external façade of high-risk buildings in order to detect the early symptoms of a fire.

A third internal and external installation project is currently being carried out at a mixed-use building in Bournemouth where the ground floor of the structure plays host to a local library with 24 flats immediately above it.

Darron Brough, Intelliclad’s managing director, told Fire Safety Matters: “Years of hard work and experience has gone into creating Intelliclad and these installations signal the start of a new era of building safety.”

He continued: “The scope of the building safety scandal is becoming more and more concerning each day. We are proud to be able to play a small part in making people feel more safe in their homes as they await cladding remediation. We now need the support of those in power to be able to do this on the scale necessary to facilitate real change.”

Necessary intervention

New research suggests that Intelliclad’s application of detectors into the external façade is a much-needed intervention. Statistics indicate that, since 2010, 60% of all high-rise façade fires across the globe have started externally. The causes have included discarded cigarettes on balconies, external lighting malfunctions, air conditioning units breaking down and fires in bins.

The system has been supported by renowned fire safety expert Frances Maria Peacock, whose reports and technical papers have been submitted to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. Peacock has put together an academic report on the comparison between Intelliclad, the ‘Waking Watch’ and traditional common fire alarm systems. This can be downloaded from the Intelliclad website at www.intelliclad.co.uk