50283 Faulty fire alarm at Hull Paragon station
February 2012 in Train Operations
Station and platform
Concern has been expressed that the fire alarm
system at Hull Paragon station has several faults and design
According to the reporter, these issues stem from
a legacy system which has been modified over time creating more
than one system at the station. In addition, staff do not
have a full set of drawings showing them where every call point is
situated in the station.
The issues include the following:
- Not all of the call point devices provide a delay block when
the alarm goes off. A delay block is an intermittent alarm
that goes off for six minutes, to give staff enough time to
investigate the issue before sending the system into evacuation
mode. The lack of a delay block is resulting in some of the
devices sending the system straight into evacuation mode.
This is causing staff to become complacent - when the alarm goes
off staff do not evacuate the station as they expect it to be a
- There is a cable fault between the panel in the control room
and the panel in the waiting room at the station. This shows
up as several faults and errors on the panel.
- The panel in the control room is too small and is only
connected to the building it is installed, which means that the
staff cannot see some of the devices have been activated
elsewhere. The panel constantly shows faults, which again is
creating complacency amongst staff as they expect to see lights
flashing on the panel. The reporter does not feel that the
system is fit for purpose.
- Several parts of the staff accommodation on platform two are
not covered by the current fire alarm system.
- Some of the retail units at the station are also not covered by
the fire system even though they have fridges and electrical
appliances. The concern for the reporter is that if there was
a fire, it would be alight for some time before anyone realised or
raised the alarm.
- The hotel next to the station has a fire alarm system that is
linked into the station. It is currently not being monitored
because the panel is located in a station office which is rarely
A fire risk assessment has been carried out which
made several recommendations to be undertaken within three
months. The reporter states that these have not been
Could Network Rail and First TransPennine
- Investigate the faults raised, with the possibility of updating
the alarm system so there is only one which does not send the
station straight into evacuation mode?
- Provide staff with a complete plan of the station that
shows clearly how all the systems link together and where all the
call points are?
- Ensure that all parts of the station are covered by a single
fire alarm system?
Response from First TransPennine
First TransPennine Express would like to thank
the reporter for raising this issue. We are currently working
together with CHUBB and Network Rail to resolve these issues and
upgrade the system.
The station has a legacy system which is in need
of an upgrade. There are a number of independent systems in place
at the station which have been introduced due to refurbishment work
at different times. Currently there are two older conventional
systems and two addressable systems.
Problems have arisen because the two operate
independently. Work is planned to upgrade the system in a series of
stages in conjunction with CHUBB and Network Rail. This will
involve integrating the legacy panels and running them from an
We are currently compliant with theRegulatory
Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005and the alarm system will continue
to be tested to ensure that it is fully operational.
With regards to supplying a complete plan of the
station showing call points, we are currently in the process of
obtaining historical records in order to redraft our current plans.
If this information is not available, FTPE will source new plans
and make these known to staff.
Awaiting response from Network Rail