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Honeywell Gent applies its winning formula to Net World Sports
Founded in 2009, Wrexham based Net World Sports has developed into an award winning online sports equipment retailer, supplying an expanding range of quality products to customers worldwide.
The company was recognised as the second fastest growing privately owned business in Wales by the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 in 2016 and since the beginning of 2018 Net World Sports has added another three accolades to its award cabinet, including a ‘Mark of Excellence’ at the Retail Week Awards 2018 in the International Growth Retailer of the Year category; ’International Trading Business of The Year' at the North Wales Business Leaders Awards; and ‘Business Exporter of the Year’ at the FSB Wales Celebrating Small Business Awards 2018.

In order to protect people, property and stock in its offices and warehousing facility, Net World Sports uses state-of-the-art life safety solutions from Honeywell Gent.

Alex Lovén started Net World Sports in his bedroom in 2009 and since then the company’s sales of sports equipment to families, schools and even Premier League football clubs has achieved revenues of more than £18M.

On your marks…

With seven international websites, Net World Sports operates from a 120,000ft2 warehouse facility comprising two large and six smaller buildings as well as a suite of offices, supplying customers with the highest quality products in the quickest time and at the most affordable prices. The company now has over 5,000 products in stock – covering sports as diverse as football, cricket, tennis, baseball, rugby, golf and lacrosse – which are sent to over 100 countries worldwide, with more than 50 per cent of sales coming from overseas.

‘As a result of our expansion we wanted to install a new life safety infrastructure across the site which would protect the safety of our staff’ comments John Hughes, warehouse manager at Net World Sports. ‘The team we have here at Net World Sports is one of our biggest assets and staff safety is of paramount importance to us. The cost of a warehouse fire is not limited to lost goods or buildings – environmental damage to the local area and the cost of business interruption can also have severe implications. I’d heard about Barlows Fire & Security from one of our neighbours on the Wrexham Industrial Estate, so gave them a call to see what they could suggest as a way forward.’

Staying power

Barlows is a family run business, which was established in 1948 as a small electrical repair shop in the village of Malpas, Cheshire, where it is still headquartered. With three additional offices in Manchester, High Wycombe and Lancaster, over 400 directly employed staff and a fleet of over 250 vehicles, its specialist fire and security division has 25 years’ experience in providing life safety solutions to homes and businesses.

Alex Lockett, contracts manager at Barlows Fire & Security, comments, ‘Thanks to our reputation, we gain a lot of work from referrals and I was delighted to receive a call from John and have the opportunity to find out more about what he wanted to achieve. We only work with best in class technology providers and are a Honeywell Gent 24 Approved Systems Integrator. Therefore, after carrying out a comprehensive site survey, I knew that we could configure a system that would meet and exceed all of his stated requirements and accommodate a wide variety of cause and effect programming.’

Back of the net

After assessing all the available options it was decided that the project required a BS 5839 compliant category L1 addressable fire detection system. An L1 system is designed for the protection of life and deploys automatic detectors throughout all areas of the building – including roof spaces and voids. It gives the earliest possible warning of fire and makes sure that there is sufficient time for escape, so as to reduce the possibility of death or injury. The system also had to be P1 compliant to protect the fabric of the entire site and summon the emergency services in the early stages of a fire, in order to minimise the time between ignition and arrival.

The system comprises two networked Vigilon Compact analogue addressable panels – one for the offices and the other for the warehouse buildings – that fully comply with EN54 parts 2 and 4. Martyn Keenan, business manager (North West and North Wales) at Honeywell Gent, states, ‘The Vigilon Compact two loop control panel uses powerful software to deliver a flexible, easy to use system. It has all the functionality of the larger Vigilon panel, as well as a self-contained power supply and battery standby combined with the latest in system flexibility and control panel aesthetics. Furthermore, its backlit LCD display presents clear indication of fire or fault location and the control panel’s innovative character display with push button keypad is simple to use.’

Team selection

Given how quickly the company has grown, the Barlows Fire & Security team wanted to install a system that could be flexible and meet Net World Sports’ needs both now and in the future.

‘Vigilon Compact can be specified with one or two detection loops, each capable of accommodating 200 devices such as repeat panels, interfaces, manual call points, sensors and sounders,’ explains Alex Lockett. It is perfect for this project, as it offers the advantages of combined sensor sounders and loop powered beam detection with integral short circuit isolators fitted into every loop device. Just as importantly, it is fully compatible with Honeywell Gent’s innovative S-Quad multi-sensor technology, which we used throughout the site.’

S-Quad was the first intelligent loop powered multifunctional device to include a sensor, sounder, speech and visual alarm. Four separate sensing elements – heat, carbon monoxide, and dual angle optical forward and backward scatter – achieve local processing in the sensor and the panel and offer the best level of reliability and prevention of unwanted alarms. In addition to a wide variety of S-Quad devices, products from Honeywell Gent’s low current S-Cubed alarm devices where also installed. Offering loop powered, integrated sound, speech and a fully certified EN54-23 class leading visual alarm, S-Cubed is the most efficient loop powered sounder in the industry and its use means that a whole loop of sounders can be powered without the need for additional power supplies.

Winner takes all

While traditional point detectors are the most suitable option for many applications, for high buildings such as the warehouses at Net World Sports, they were not an option. Barlows Fire & Security therefore specified and installed 14 of Honeywell Gent's S-Quad beam detectors, which can be installed at heights of up to 25m, to provide linear beam detection.

Elaborating on the reasons behind this decision, Alex Lockett says, ‘The key advantage of using beam detectors is their ability to react when smoke is scattered over a large area. This is achieved via the use of the obscuration method, which detects smoke particles obscuring the infrared light along the sensing path. When sufficient smoke blocks the infrared light beam, reducing the received signal strength by a predetermined setting, a fire condition is generated – this level of sensitivity enables the beam to identify a fire at a very early stage. The S-Quad beam detectors are powered and controlled via the loop and have features such as “one man alignment and commissioning”, which is achieved using the auto gain setting to ensure the optimum alignment is reached.’

Final whistle

The combination of Barlows Fire & Security’s technical expertise and the industry leading design of Honeywell Gent’s products ensured that the installation was completed on time and with minimal disruption. John Hughes of Net World Sports, concludes, ‘I was very pleased with how smoothly the process was carried out – the Barlows Fire & Security team made sure they were familiar with the site and how we operate, and there were excellent levels of communication at all times. I’m equally delighted with the Honeywell Gent life safety technology that we have and look forward to working with both companies again.’