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Fire Safety Case Study: ABCA Systems / Metropolitan

May 30th, 2019 by

abca case study


ABCA are actively looking to engage with EEM members on the active fire safety framework to expand their customer base and ensure the residents of the members are safe in their homes. ABCA can work Nationwide from their 4 strategically placed offices in Newcastle, Manchester, Cambridge and London with a team of 85 engineers supported by a strong and knowledgeable management team.


Metropolitan Case Study


In 2018 ABCA Systems became the number one fire safety systems national contractor for EEM, a non-profit organisation offering efficiency savings for the public sector, whose current Members include Councils, ALMO’s, Housing Associations, Hospitals, Universities and Emergency Services. As taken from their website “EEM’s priority is to support all Members in their common goal – to provide efficiently delivered and high-quality products and services to the communities they serve.”

Metropolitan Thames Valley is one of the largest housing associations in the UK and a current member of EEM, providing housing at different levels of affordability for 1000’s of people living in London, the South East, the East Midlands and the East of England.

In 2018 Metropolitan were looking for a new fire safety systems contractor to provide maintenance for a range of systems in their properties, in the Midlands and London. They were also looking for a contractor to oversee the ambitious fire alarm system remedials project, whereby over 700 sites were to have their complete fire alarm system upgraded or downgraded based on internally conducted Fire Risk Assessments.


Due to ABCA’s experience in successfully managing similarly sized contracts and the recommendation of EEM, ABCA were selected to oversee both the maintenance contract and the fire alarm system remedial project.


Maintenance Contract

The maintenance contract started in September 2018, with initial attendances from one of ABCA’s multi-skilled engineers to carry out Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) checks at over 1,300 sites spread throughout the country. It was agreed in the contract for a PPM to be carried out on each of the following systems:

  • Fire Alarm
  • Emergency Lighting
  • Smoke Ventilation
  • Lightning Protection
  • Dry Risers
  • Fire Extinguishers & Blankets

These PPM’s involve detailed testing of the systems, with any faults fixed on site if possible and if not, their details are recorded and sent through to ABCA. ABCA engineers are then booked in for re-attendance with any necessary parts and equipment to repair the faults found and ensure all systems are working correctly.

ABCA were also engaged to perform the statutory non-technical checks which are carried out weekly at 790 sites and monthly at 1079 sites spread throughout the UK. These ensure that all the systems covered in the PPM’s continue to work correctly and allow ABCA to catch any faults or possible faults as early as possible.


Fire Alarm System Remedials Project

Upon the awarding of the contract ABCA set up a specialist Install team, headed by our Installs Department Manager, to oversee the smooth running of the project.

Each of the 720 sites involved in the project required an initial survey by a specialist fire alarm system engineer, these surveys were systematically arranged by our Install Co-ordinators. The sites varied greatly in terms of size and scope, with each being carefully considered by our surveyors to ensure the proposed system met British Standards. In a number of instances this was not the case,

Following the initial surveys, the systems were designed wirelessly, to minimise maintenance costs and installation time, to the specifications supplied by Metropolitan Thames Valley. Before the required equipment, parts and labour was arranged in preparation for the actual installation. The installations have been carried out on a region by region basis, ensuring the completion of the project as efficiently as possible.

The contract involved an ABCA surveying each property to ascertain what property type the building was and subsequently designing, installing, commissioning and setting up monitoring for the site as appropriate.

The sites were upgraded using AICO 3000 series products with their Smart link bases and house coding facility for the Grade D systems along with Hyfire wireless fire alarm systems for the Grade A system to ensure minimal disturbance to the residents of the properties.


Corrective Repairs

Due to the success of the maintenance contract and the ongoing fire alarm remedials project, in February 2019 Metropolitan extended the boundaries of their contract with ABCA, to include corrective call outs for any faults found by tenants or staff. These call outs involve an ABCA engineer attending any of Metropolitans sites within four hours of a works order being received.

The call outs can be used for all the Fire Safety Systems covered by the maintenance contract and will be fixed on site if possible. If not, the details of the required equipment, parts and labour will be sent to ABCA whereby an urgent quote for the repair work will be issued within 24 hours. These timescale expectations are in place to ensure all systems are fully functional as soon as possible.

ABCA have also handled a number of special requests from Metropolitan Thames Valley during the running of the contract. The housing association run various properties to support disabled tenants who can require specialist electrical systems equipment. Hard of Hearing fire alarm systems have been designed, supplied and installed at multiple properties depending on the requirements of the tenants to ensure their safety in the event of a fire.


Get in touch

Any EEM member wishing to utilise the EEM framework for Fire & Intruder Alarms and Fire Protection Equipment (EEM0067) should contact louisa@eem.org.uk or roxy@eem.org.uk for the full specification and pricing.



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