A great day’s training for FHC users

Yesterday we held one of our FHC training days in association with Xact and were delighted to have 10 delegates, 2 of which travelled from South Africa to be with us.  What’s encouraging is that all the delegates takeaway useful techniques to help them use our software to its fullest extent, from complete beginners to those who been using the software for many years.

School saved by fire sprinkler

A fire broke out at Marriotts School in Stevenage on the second floor of the main building in a toilet cubicle.  The sprinkler system activated and extinguished the fire within minutes with minimal damage to the school building.  This has to be seen as another great example of a fire sprinkler system, saving both life and property.  

Bsi publish BS 9251 for residential fire sprinklers

The long-awaited revision to BS 9251 (fire sprinklers systems for domestic and residential occupancies – Code of practice) has now been published by BSI and is available to purchase through their website, the standard will come into effect from 31 October, 2014. The new BS 9251 standard is a comprehensive revision and will help both designers and specifies provide excellent fire sprinkler protection to help protect the most vulnerable in our society.

Corrosion and Corrosion Mitigation in Fire Protection Systems

FM global have published paper which explains corrosion in fire sprinkler protection systems and factors which affect it such as the pipe weld, residual water in dry pipe systems and the trapping of air in what pipe systems.

The report is extremely comprehensive both in analysing the causes and provides recommendations to alleviate the effects of such corrosion in fire protection systems. 

The full report can be downloaded from the FM Global website


Microsoft windows 10

Windows 10_with_FHCMicrosoft this week announced its plan to launch Windows 10 operating system which will be a replacement for Windows 8.1, the some reason they’re missing out nine.  One nice thing about 10 is at its reintroduced the familiar ‘start menu’ which was sadly lacking from Windows 8 and it looks at last as if Microsoft has started to listen to its desktop users and introducing an operating system which is suitable for those of us who are not using touchscreens.


At Canute we have found the most of our corporate customers have found Windows 8 to be unusable and preferred to stay with Windows 7 pro which is a well proven and stable platform.  On first inspection it does look as if Windows 10 will address many of the deficiencies and add a new range of useful features which will help productivity in the workplace.

Windows undo Microsoft so far the only released a technical preview version of Windows 10 which we have installed and started to evaluate and our customers will be pleased to know that all our software products work seamlessly on this new version.  As we continue our evaluation or keep you posted on our findings and thoughts.


Throttling pipework in the most favorable area.

This week I have been looking at VDS CEA 4001 guidance for sprinkler systems especially the hydraulic calculation section. I came across an interesting section which have not seen another standards, the ability to have a section a pipe in the hydraulic most favourable area of operation which is smaller than the supply pipe.  The purpose of this pipe is to help you  to balance the most favourable area with the most remote area by produce a very high pressure loss in a short section of pipe.  By bringing the 2 areas hydraulically closer together will give you a better QMax calculation and a saving in the required tank capacity.

Say goodbye to Microsoft XP

You're probably aware that Microsoft is now discontinued support for the XP operating system on 8th of April 2014. Although XP is long the tooth it has been a solid and reliable platform and is still has thousands of users including some very large corporate users. So where are we now and should we upgrade or can we stick with XP? Well with all things this is a complicated question and although you probably do not need to rush into changing your operating system is certainly need to be considering it within the next 12 months. There's the issue that Microsoft will no longer provide patches to any security breaches it finds Microsoft has stopped support for its antivirus software 'Essentials' although many other antivirus software vendors will still provide support certainly in the medium term.

If I have to upgrade what to? My personal preference is to move to Windows 7 it's a solid and stable platform and well supported but if you're a single user you may find it difficult to obtain. It's interesting to see the large computer vendor's which supply SMB to large corporate have a large range of computers which can be readily downgraded to the Windows 7 pro. This can only be because most IT professionals do not want to roll out Windows 8.1 across their network so why can't the individual user make the same choice!

If you do not have a choice and have to move to Windows 8.1 then I would recommend that you install 'Classic Shell'. This is an open source software project which basically turns Windows 8.1 into a Windows 7 or even Windows XP looking computer and manages to makes 8.1 workable. In fact with classic Shell it can be hard to tell the difference.

So what's wrong with Windows 8.1 well it stable, it works and it's well supported but it's interface just does not work on a desktop computer it will be fine on the mobile phone or tablet but the interface in my opinion is just useless in an office. No doubt the time will come when we all have touch screens in our office but until that time it's not worth the bother.

You will find that the FHC hydraulic calculation software will work across Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 so you need not worry when choosing your operating system.  You can be assured that Canute will keep developing hydraulic calculation software to work with Microsoft operating systems for many years to come.

BS 9251 code of practice is now out for public comment

After a year's work BSI has now issued BS 9251(fire sprinkler systems for domestic and residential occupancies – code of practice) for public comment. The Revised standard is considerably changed from the 2005 version and provides more clarification and insight. One of the major changes is that it has removed 'residential' and 'domestic' classifications in favour of type 1, type 2 and type 3 classifications this is undoubtedly a move in the right direction and will be give much more flexibility.

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