Background Information

    The University of Southampton is one of the top 15 research universities in the UK. It has more than 20 academic schools based across six different campuses – five of which are in Southampton and one is in Winchester.

    From the Client

    “We have a long standing relationship with Chris Lewis Fire & Security and now having them maintaining the university’s fire, intruder and access control systems is proving very useful as there’s always an engineer available on site.”

    Mick Garner, Assistant Engineer Estates & Facilities, University of Southampton

    Project Background

    Chris Lewis Fire & Security has been maintaining the University of Southampton’s fire protection systems for more than twelve years.

    Although the university was satisfied with the maintenance services it was receiving from its existing security contractor, it is their policy that every five years its maintenance contracts are put out to tender. When the contract came up for renewal we were delighted to be invited to compete with four other contractors for maintenance of the university’s intruder and access control systems. The contract included the maintenance of over 250 intruder alarm systems and a number of access control systems across the entire campus network, including Southampton General Hospital and Winchester School of Art.

    Chris Lewis Fire & Security was awarded the three-year contract, which includes a possible two-year extension. Mick Garner, Assistant Engineer Estates and Facilities, University of Southampton commented, “We have always been very happy with the service Chris Lewis Fire & Security provides maintaining our fire systems and when they submitted the best quote for the maintenance of our intruder and access control systems, we had absolutely no reason not to award them the contract.”

    The Solution

    Following a detailed inspection of the security equipment in use across the university, our engineers worked closely with the university’s estates and facilities team to ensure our maintenance proposal met with their specification and criteria. Mick Garner added, “We have very specific ways of working so it was important that Chris Lewis Fire & Security’s engineers understood how we wanted to operate and could offer a flexible service in line with our requirements.”

    We initially provided a report assessing the condition of equipment and all component parts - including advice on equipment found to be faulty at the time of survey and costs for repair or replacement. The University receives two scheduled service visits per year to each site, a 24/7 emergency call-out facility (with a maximum four hour response time), replacement parts for all equipment held in stock both on-site and at our offices to ensure engineers have immediate access to system components when necessary. As we now provide both fire and security maintenance to the university, we are able to deliver extremely high service levels and a fast response to emergency call outs. Our specialist engineers are readily available and respond to all emergency call-outs within the hour. The estates and facilities team have 24/7 access to our help desk where immediate remote assistance can be provided over the phone by senior engineers. If remote assistance does not fully resolve the issue, an on-call engineer will be despatched.

    A number of the university’s intruder alarm systems are more than twenty years old. The estates and facilities team have a strategy to gradually update older systems and replace them with new Galaxy Panels from Honeywell. As part of their scheduled maintenance visits Chris Lewis Fire & Security’s engineers advise the university on the condition of its equipment so that it can be confident that new systems can be quickly installed when existing systems reach the end of their useful life.