Categories: Projects

Comelit’s fire safety update to ambitious school development


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Comelit’s Atena fire detection panels have been installed at an award-winning new eight-form entry secondary school and sixth form academy, designed as part of a £100m development in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.

Designed by architects Bond Bryan and built by Chase Homes, Broxbourne School offers multiple educational buildings, including a new indoor sports hall, 3G football pitch, a multi-use games area for sports such as netball and tennis, together with The Broxbourne Music Centre.

Winner of the School Building Awards, presented by the Education Business Awards, the new campus, completed five months ahead of schedule, will cater to the 1,500 students aged 11 to 18, as well as the wider community.

Says Headteacher of Broxbourne School, Paula Humphreys: “This impressive new school with its extensive facilities and resources replaces our existing school buildings, some of which were over 50 years old. Maintenance and upkeep were uneconomical and the buildings did not meet modern standards or student requirements. 

“We’re all so excited to be in our new buildings which enhance not only the learning experience of our students but also provide a fantastic resource for local groups and the wider community in and around Broxbourne.  Of course, within this, a significant part of the delivery was ensuring the buildings were fire safe, and compliant to latest standards, as a duty of care to all who use our truly impressive new school.”

An ambitious and aspirational space, the fire safety essential equipment needed to measure up to the scale of the development. Here, Matrix Fire & Security, working alongside Greenside Integrated Services and main contractor, Mid Group Ltd, relied on Comelit’s fire safety portfolio.

Knowing Comelit as a trusted supplier, Matrix Fire & Security installed the Atena two-panel network system, which operates on up to 4 loops per panel to service up to 250 devices per loop.  Together with the combined detectors and sounders, Atena’s capability matched the size and scope requirements of the new campus.

Says Ben Lewis, of Matrix Fire & Security: “Having been a Comelit installer for a number of years, we knew instantly that Atena would accommodate the requirements of the school and blend seamlessly with the fabulous teaching and learning environment that has been created.  Being so user-friendly, we could install Atena quickly and work with Responsible Persons on site to ensure competent use, all with the backing of Comelit’s dedicated sales and technical support.”

With its networked two-staged alarm procedure, combined with Class Change and a Lock Down facility, the Atena system also encompasses panic alarms and Fire Brigade notifications programming. It can manage potential nuisance alarms effectively, to minimise disruption to learning, whilst also safely evacuating students and staff in the event of a genuine fire. 

Being as easy to install as it is to operate, the Atena control panels contributed to an efficient delivery programme that resulted in project handover five months ahead of schedule.

Mandy Bowden, Comelit Fire BDM, added: “It’s fantastic to have Atena integrated by our trusted partners Matrix Fire & Security into this impressive educational building. Designed for efficient installation, clever product specification certainly contributed to the efficient build process that saw the project being delivered on budget and so far ahead of schedule.

“To create school buildings fit for 21st Century learning and to the highest standards, holistic design principles must be adopted. While the Atena addressable panels represent just one component of this amazing new build, by being so easy to use, they provide an effective way to keep the school community, and the broader range of buildings’ users, safe and protected.”

For more information on Comelit’s fire safety portfolio, please visit

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