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Kensington Town Hall Case Study: Protecting Public Buildings

Jensen Security and Fire Systems recently completed a programme of work at Kensington Town Hall. Kensington Town Hall was built in 1976, and was designed by Sir Basil Spence. It is the headquarters for Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council and was commissioned to replace the two old town halls when the boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea merged.

The Town Hall stands on an oblong site, just off Kensington High Street. Surrounding the building are rows of houses and a neoclassical Library. The Town Hall is 8 stories high and accommodates over 1500 employees of the council. There are 3 basement car parks, a concert hall and council chambers and a civic suite and sleeping accommodation.

Jensen Security and Fire Systems were contacted as the facilities team at the Town Hall were not satisfied with their current security and fire service system; their existing fire alarm was a closed protocol system and was therefore out of date and not compliant with BS5839 part 1 and part 8 standards. Jensen Security and Fire Systems was requested to complete an assessment on the existing fire alarm and PAVA system, and develop and produce specifications and recommendations to upgrade the system to a compliant life safety system.

Jensen provided a quote for the works and was awarded the contract to install a network of new advanced fire alarm control panels (FACP) and upgrade to a category L3 system and new PAVA system.

A variety of challenges were presented whilst the work was carried out. Engineers worked flexibly to ensure that there was minimal disruption to the council’s schedule- this required predominantly working out of office hours. Moreover, as a significant amount of domestic properties surround the hall, the engineers had to ensure noise levels were managed appropriately during the installation and testing of the new systems. There was also the challenge of operating two systems at once, during the transfer of the old fire alarm and PAVA system to the new systems.

The works took 9 months to complete and a fire alarm graphics system was produced and installed by Jensens’ engineers. The council are now assured that the building is safe for their employees, partners and customers, through the highest standard of installation quality fire alarm and PAVA products.

Jensen Security and Fire Systems are a highly reputable company with the skills required to install or maintain a fire alarm system to a BAFE approved standard. BAFE is the independent, Third Party Certification registration organisation for the fire protection industry- a registration body that develops schemes to support quality standards that companies like Jensen Security and Fire Systems must achieve in order to become third party certified. Holding BAFE approved certification independently acknowledges that the company has the required competencies to provide fire protection services. BAFE is your assurance that the company you are appointing meets all the appropriate standards and are independently audited.

If you have a large scale project that you would like our support with, please don’t hesitate to contact the office on 01733 391888.