Independent fire & security specialists Plexus FS is celebrating one year since they completed the installation of a state-of-the-art safety system at the iconic Swansea Arena.
Sitting in the heart of the £135 million Copr Bay development, Swansea Arena is a landmark 3,500-capacity multi-purpose indoor arena which has already hosted some of the most recognised names in live music, comedy and theatre since opening in March 2022.
The main construction work started in 2019 and as part of the project, Plexus FS was appointed the Fire Safety and Access Control contract as Director Marcus Elphick explains.
“Thanks to a Meet the Buyer Event at the University of Wales Trinity St David’s, we were able to talk to the main contractor (Buckingham Group Contracting) about the project and potential opportunities for Plexus. After completing the tender process, we were awarded the contract and began work in the November of 2021.”
With a remit to look after a range of systems including voice-based fire alarms with aspiration detection, intruder alarms, access control, disabled refuge points and a CCTV system that synchronised with Swansea Central Police Station, the project was unique.
“Although this was a large project, we had considerable experience in fitting these types of systems into large sports stadia, so knew the challenge that faced us, but also how to overcome the obstacles and deliver on time and on budget,” said Sales Manager Jamie Grey.
One of the key challenges was the sheer size of the main auditorium and how systems such as the fire alarm needed specific instruments to ensure they remained operational at all times and were able to protect staff and visitors.
“With installations like this, you can't fit a standard fire alarm system,” said Jamie, “however as the ceiling of the Arena is over 75ft high, we used an Aspiration Detection System, which constantly samples the air to detect minor fluctuations in air quality, enabling the alarm to react instantly to scenarios where a fire-risk is present”.
In addition to the interior of the Arena, the Swansea-based firm also oversaw the installation of alarms and cameras within the 960-bay car park that sits underneath the venue.
The arena was developed by Swansea Council – as part of its £1bn city centre regeneration programme – with the help of funding from the Swansea Bay City Deal, including support from the UK Government and Welsh Government.
“Swansea Arena is a vital part of our city's infrastructure, and it is important that we ensure the safety and security of those who use it,” said Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council. “The fire and security systems from Plexus Fire & Security have been instrumental in achieving this, and it's great to see local businesses involved in such a landmark project.”