Monday 12 March 2018

A Swift Opening for South Yorkshire’s Innovative Combined Fire and Police Station

Following the announcement last year by the Government for closer integration in the way the police, fire and rescue services work together, South Yorkshire have recently opened the County’s first joint fire and police station.

Key to maximising speed of exit of the fire tender under ‘blue light’ emergency response conditions was the installation of a pair of 4m wide by 4.5m high Swift automatic bi-folding doors at the front of the fire appliance bay. A standard product by Bedfordshire-based Jewers Doors, Swift doors open fully in less than 7 seconds in automatic mode.

While normally activated by a 2-way push button, the doors are also wired into the alarm system so they open automatically when the alarm is activated. This ensures that the doors are fully open when the fire tender is ready to depart. In the event of power failure, it takes only 2 seconds for each door half to effortlessly be opened manually.

The sideways opening action and the large vision panel within each door leaf ensures the fire appliance driver has full visibility of the door position and the street outside, and is able to exit the bay safely at all times. With vertical lifting doors, it is difficult to judge when there is sufficient height clearance. In an emergency situation, it’s not unknown for the appliance to hit the bottom of the door before it’s fully open, resulting in downtime and costly repairs to both the door and the fire engine.

Swift automatic doors are designed with safety and security as standard. Leading edges of the doors are fitted with full height pressure sensitive edges, so if a door meets any resistance during automatic closing, it immediately stops and reverses. In addition, photocell beams inside and outside create a safe area around the door which greatly reduces the risk of an impact ever occurring. 

 The door panels are manufactured as a single piece construction, fully insulated with CFC-free foam materials to optimise thermal efficiency and reduce noise pollution by 25dB, and fitted with multi-wall rubber seals to all edges to reduce water, air and dust ingress as well as heat loss.

An additional pair of Swift doors was installed at the rear to provide easy access of the fire tender into the bay but as speed is not a critical factor, these are manually operated. These rear doors incorporate a wicket door so staff can enter or exit without having to open the main door. 

The manually operated doors incorporate soft compound weather seals to all edges, which not only reduce water, air and dust ingress and heat loss, but also protect against finger and toe trapping. All doors, including the wicket door are glazed to maximise visibility even when closed.

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