Tamper-proof audit trails for fire prevention
How fire protection contractor Britannia Acoustic & Fire use PlanRadar to document installations
Britannia Acoustic & Fire Ltd is a leading fire protection contractor based in Essex. Founded in 2019 by two experienced directors, Tony Nunn and Mark Fairman, the company has quickly built its reputation by taking on projects both large and small, from new build housing to retrofitting cladding on large blocks of flats and delivering acoustic and fire protection to a new film studio in North London.
Their small office-based team manages a large team of site managers and subcontractors out in the field. Britannia offers a range of solutions for preventative fire stopping. Simple jobs involve penetration sealing, fitting pipe collars and other small interventions, while larger contracts involve installing cavity barriers and fire boarding systems. They also offer a full fire and acoustic consultancy service.
At the company’s core is a commitment to fire safety and excellent customer service. Britannia Acoustic & Fire Ltd are CHAS, SSIP registered and IFC accredited and seek to give their clients true peace of mind when it comes to fire protection.
The test: practical applications on-site
While Britannia’s directors briefly considered using BORIS software, after a demonstration of PlanRadar it was clear that the software was flexible and could cover all of Britannia’s needs. One challenge that was highlighted to overcome was how the site team, and subcontractors, in particular, would adapt to using an app.
In order to test PlanRadar with the site team, it was first introduced to subcontractors on a small project. During the test, subcontractors found that PlanRadar could replace all of their paperwork, which was sometimes as much as five pieces of paper that needed to be filled out before they finished their day. Once it was clear that this time could be saved, the subcontractors and site managers were enthusiastic about using PlanRadar.
Today, Britannia have used PlanRadar on more than 20 projects and intend to continue using the software on each new project in the future.
The major project: cladding remediation work
Following the successful small project test, PlanRadar’s value became even clearer on one of Britannia’s largest projects to date. The project required the installation of compartmented fire protection to the exterior of a large block of flats. With cladding already installed on the flats, Britannia’s team needed to first remove the cladding to install the necessary fire protection measures and then reinstall the cladding. This required the expertise of an abseiling team and all tasks, therefore, had additional challenges caused by working at height.
Due to new, more stringent safety regulations regarding cladding, every step would need to be thoroughly documented and photographed. This documentation would have been exceptionally time-consuming to complete manually. The client also required real-time updates so that they could monitor progress throughout the project.
PlanRadar enabled Britannia to deliver the project on time and with all of the necessary evidence safely logged. By creating tickets for each action and logging progress and photographs on a digital plan of the façade, the team was able to ensure that each element was successfully installed. They were also able to account for the materials used, the personnel involved and the date and time of each action and provide the necessary photographs.
In addition, PlanRadar’s flexible report templates made it easy for Britannia to provide their client with regular, thorough progress reports. In the end, Britannia were able to successfully complete the project and pass it to NHBC for quality control and sign off.
A solution for Britannia – and their clients
For Hayleigh Lake, Office Manager at Britannia, PlanRadar has streamlined several tasks. Her responsibilities include setting up new projects with digital plans sent by clients, assigning the site team to the project and selecting the tickets and lists they’ll need to use. Site supervisors are added as in-house users, while subcontractors use free subcontractor accounts to access their tasks and track their work.
Lake also uses PlanRadar to run reports for clients. Some only require a report at the end of a project or at key milestones while others need a more regular supply of information. She also credits PlanRadar for lightening the load of paperwork. “Using PlanRadar, we’ve been able to get rid of all unnecessary paperwork and have completely replaced site worksheets. I also don’t have to pull together different pieces of paper in order to update our directors on a site’s status, they can log in to the system and easily find the information they need.”
While using the software doesn’t prevent problems arising in a project, PlanRadar does make it easier for Britannia to identify issues. For example, Lake notes cases where the management team could see from PlanRadar’s user statistics that certain subcontractors hadn’t logged into the app or looked at their tasks. They could also see how long subcontractors were spending on a specific ticket. That meant that they could intervene before receiving a report from a site supervisor.
PlanRadar gives Britannia the tools they need to document and report their work to clients while saving the team time, reducing paperwork, simplifying communication and giving them oversight of all their projects.