Wednesday, June 24, 2015

News: Reflex protects Magna Carta at Lincoln Castle

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Reflex Systems, the Rotherham-based integrated fire and security systems specialist, has been drafted in to provide the fire safety system that will guard Lincoln Castle and its precious consignment – one of only four surviving, original 1215 Magna Carta.

The Hellaby firm secured the contract as part of a £22m restoration of Lincoln Castle, the Lincolnshire County Council site – which includes the 947 year old castle, perimeter wall and Victorian prison, as well as the new David P J Ross Magna Carta Vault – the only location worldwide where the Magna Carta and its sister document, the Charter of the Forest (1217), can be viewed together.

Described as "the most valuable export of Great Britain to the rest of the world," the Magna Carta was signed 800 years ago and is an example of an absolute monarch surrendering some of his powers, the beginning of a process that led eventually to our current system of government. It has gathered momentum and assumed a greater authority in respect of the central key clauses concerning liberty and justice.

Reflex was commissioned to supply a new, integrated fire safety system but as John Pye, managing director at Reflex Systems, explained: "Due to the complex nature of the buildings in an architecturally sensitive environment, there were a number of restrictions and requirements set out by English Heritage in a challenging brief."

Utilising the very best in equipment that blended with the background, Reflex reduced the amount of cabling required onsite, and minimised the disruption to the fabric of the historical buildings by installing hybrid wireless fire detection products. Combining a wired translator unit with battery operated detectors, the hybrid system helped to overcome some of the architectural challenges of the buildings as the individual components did not need to be wired together.

Pye added: "As well as hiding wiring and our equipment during the installation, we also had to make sure the rest of the system was sensitive to the environment. In this case, that included spray painting the heat and smoke detectors in the Magna Carta Vault and prison so that they would disappear against the walls."

Mary Powell, programme manager at Lincoln Castle Revealed, added: "The restoration marks a huge investment for Lincoln Castle, and ensuring that we had the very best in fire protection was a key consideration to securing its future."

Reflex Systems website

Images: Lincoln Castle

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