Apparatus and Equipment Accessories - Expert Commentary

10 Mesothelioma Prevention Tips For Firefighters
10 Mesothelioma Prevention Tips For Firefighters

The risks to firefighters’ health can steadily increase with each year. Though long-term health complications don’t deter department men and women from confronting these hazards, there are ways to reduce the threat of occupational disease. Respiratory problems (like asthma) are among the most common health problems firefighters experience in their tenure. Other, more serious breathing problems, however, may develop decades later. Studies of firefighters employed between 1950 and 2009 revealed an excess of cancers of the bladder, brain, esophagus, intestines, kidney, lung, prostate, rectum, stomach, and testes. New research has also revealed an increase in rates of mesothelioma among firefighters. 10 Mesothelioma Prevention Tips To prevent developing serious health problems, the 1.1 million career and volunteer firefighters in the U.S. can utilize a few easy strategies. 1. Put on Appropriate Gear Before Exposure to Smoke and Fire A majority of the occupational diseases for which firefighters are at risk affect the respiratory and digestive tracts. The risk stems from cancer-causing particles that typically enter the body through the nose or mouth. Over time, they cause changes in the DNA in the cells lining the lungs, stomach, heart cavity, and more. Prevent inhaling or ingesting dangerous fumes, dust, and smoke by donning the proper self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) before beginning work. 2. Keep Work Gear Separate From Clothing, and Don’t Take Them Home Always keep your gear and clothing separate and avoid taking the gear home to prevent contaminating surfaces Through your normal firefighting activities, your gear will likely accumulate toxic particles after use. These carcinogens (i.e., cancer-causing agents) can be transferred to your clothing through simple contact. Storing your personal clothes together in a bag, trunk, or locker with your gear could be enough to contaminate them. As a result, it’s a good idea to always keep your gear and clothing separate. Also, avoid taking your gear home to prevent contaminating surfaces (such as carpet) there. 3. Completely Clean Contaminated (and Potentially Contaminated) Gear It’s not enough to simply keep firefighting gear and personal protective equipment (PPE) separate to prevent the transfer of potentially hazardous particles. Regularly handling these items could also put you at risk of airborne exposure as well as toxic contact with your skin. Clean all gear and equipment according to the manufacturer’s recommendation and department guidelines to ensure it is safe for future use. 4. Bathe After Possible Exposure to Asbestos and Other Carcinogens The final step in preventing toxic exposure is cleaning is cleaning your hair, skin, and nails after working in hazardous areas. Dust and other pollutants can travel on your body, causing health problems for you and anyone you may come into close contact with. Secondary carcinogenic exposure typically occurs when firefighters bring home contaminants on their body or clothes. Once there, toxic particles may be transferred to fabrics on furniture, carpet, through the laundry machine, and through direct skin-to-skin contact (such as a hug). Wash your skin and hair fully, cleaning beneath your nails too, before going home to prevent unintentional exposure to family members. 5. Follow All Safety Guidelines When Working in Old Buildings, Crumbling Structures Though the use of asbestos (a material directly linked to lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesotheliomas) has dramatically declined since the 1980s, many older buildings still contain large amounts of the material in its insulation, wallboard, and cement. When the materials are mishandled or broken, asbestos fibers can be released into the air, then inhaled or ingested. Follow all safety rules when working in old buildings and crumbling structures to prevent disturbing and spreading asbestos. Replace any asbestos-containing gear with modern, safer versions to reduce your risk of hazardous exposure 6. Replace Old Gear When Recommended, and Replace Any Asbestos-containing Gear Due to the fireproofing qualities of asbestos, it was used as much in firefighting equipment as it was in construction products. Proximity suits, used to provide protection from extreme levels of heat, used a protective layer of asbestos since the 1930s before eventually being phased out of the fabric. Over time and through repeated use, old firefighting equipment and gear may break, tear, or flake, and expose users to asbestos. Replace any asbestos-containing gear with modern, safer versions to reduce your risk of hazardous exposure. 7. Play Close Attention to Your Health and Note Any Changes While following cancer prevention tips can reduce your risk of developing health problems, catching an illness early can also benefit your long-term health. If you notice any changes in your physical, mental, and emotional health, take note of their frequency and severity. Next, make an appointment with your primary care provider as soon as possible to discuss them. For example, if you experience a dry cough for at least eight weeks, you could be experiencing the early symptoms of chronic lung disease. Some respiratory illnesses are reversible and treating them as soon as possible may give you the best prognosis. 8. Make Regular Health Screening Appointments Maintaining a regular schedule of health screenings helps catch abnormalities in their earliest stages Firefighters are regularly exposed to toxic gases, fumes, and dust that can cause respiratory diseases up to 40 years later. Consequently, in many cases of occupational cancer, the individual is not aware of internal growing tumors until it’s too late. By maintaining a regular schedule of health screenings, you may be able to catch abnormalities in their earliest stages. Lung cancer, for example, is considered easiest to treat (and potentially cure) when caught in stages 1 or 2. Advanced-stage lung cancers, on the other hand, may only be treated with palliative care options. 9. Don’t Smoke Smoking tobacco cigarettes not only causes its own long-term health problems, but the habit can also increase cancer risks caused by occupational exposure. Developing mesothelioma, for example, is a greater risk for smokers. Too, smoking can worsen symptoms of respiratory disease (such as cough and difficulty breathing). The International Association of Fire Fighters maintains a page of resources to campaign for smoke-free unions. Other members of the department, family, and friends may be needed to help an individual quit smoking. 10. Research the Latest Safety Protocols The field of fire safety is constantly expanding with new tools and techniques. As recent events continue to reshape the lives of people worldwide, the future of firefighting may likewise change. Continuously researching the latest safety protocols and technology can help protect your overall health for years to come.

Only Use Approved Category 3 Control Fire Performance Cables
Only Use Approved Category 3 Control Fire Performance Cables

We at AEI Cables have sent out a message to the supply chain highlighting the need to use only approved cabling in critical signal and control equipment following the announcement of a revized version of the Code of Practice covering these areas of performance. In an open letter to customers, industry bodies and organizations, we are highlighting how the systems powered by these cables –including smoke and heat extraction systems–are critical in assisting fire services in the case of fire fighting and a safe evacuation. BS8519 Category 3 Control Cable AEI is the only supplier in the UK with independent approval from LPCB for BS8519 Category 3 Control fire performance cables with a fire survival time of up to 120 minutes. We feel strongly about this issue as a matter of safety and compliance. Using inferior types of cable for these applications is dangerous and poses a major risk. Some of these systems will simply not survive in a fire if a sub-standard cable is installed. Category 3 Control fire performance cables reduce harmful smoke, toxic gases and flame spread in the event of a fire. evacuation alarms The application of Category 3 Control fire performance cables also applies to evacuation alarms for the disabled Indeed, these cables also help fire and rescue services fighting a fire and evacuating people. The standard references and clarifies the products and levels of performance that should be used for all parts of the supply chain from specifiers to contractors and installers. The application of Category 3 Control fire performance cables also applies to evacuation alarms for the disabled in care homes, emergency voice communications systems and voice alarm systems in relevant buildings including tall buildings, office spaces, hospitals, care homes, shopping malls and stadia. AEI Cables’ FiretecEnhanced cabling has been approved and certified by LPCB to BS8519 (Annex B), Category 3 Control in addition to Category 2 Control.The BS Code of Practice under BS8519 contains six categories of cables, three for power cables and three for control cables each covering survival times of 30, 60 or 120 minutes. Mineral Insulated Cabling The Firetec Total Fire Solutions range offers Mineral Insulated Cabling (MIC), FiretecEnhanced fire performance cabling, accessories and technical support from the AEI Cables distribution facility at Washington, Tyne and Wear. All AEI Cables’ products are supplied with approvals from independent bodies including BASEC and LPCB. It also holds approvals from organizations including Lloyds, the MoD, Network Rail and LUL and works to international standards around the world.

Why Retrofill? Transformer Safety And High-Rise Buildings
Why Retrofill? Transformer Safety And High-Rise Buildings

From a 48-storey fire in the UAE, to a 200-firefighter-strong blaze at student accommodation in the UK, several high-profile, high-rise fires continue to keep the focus of utilities, regulators, developers, and public associations everywhere on actively seeking ways to reduce the risk of fire with innovative materials. Statistics show that the majority of fire related fatalities occur in a domestic setting between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am. Protecting high-rise residential buildings from fire, where occupancy rates are high but the reaction to danger is lower (while asleep), is a critical engineering challenge. Fire risk assessment While most recently built high rise buildings will be equipped with risk safety provisions such as wet or dry risers, protected staircases, sprinklers, and communications systems as standard, thousands of post-war, purpose-built flats require careful risk assessment and improvement. What was acceptable at the time of build may no longer meet today’s standards or may have been affected by changing environmental factors such as the encroachment of neighboring buildings. While the fire safety legislation adopted in 2006 has driven improvements that seek to address these types of issues While the fire safety legislation adopted in 2006 has driven improvements that seek to address these types of issues, its application has sometimes been problematic, with varied results from site to site. A fire risk assessment is the first step in evaluating the risks posed and identifying options to reduce the potential for a devastating event. Potential fire risk Electricity substations, which are often located in the basement or adjoining a high-rise building, will often be identified as a potential fire risk due to the proximity of a source of a fuel – mineral oil – to a source of heat and sparks. This concurs with the findings of the MIDEL Transformer Risk Report 2020, where respondents identified fire risk as the second most important consideration when assessing transformer risk overall. Mineral oil is widely accepted as the most flammable of the insulating fluids used within a substation’s transformers, but has persisted in its use due to its price point. A mineral oil fire will burn ferociously, producing thick, black smoke, impeding evacuation by reducing visibility and potentially jeopardizing ground floor and basement exits. Fire suppression systems At their worst, there are documented cases where transformer fires have caused loss of life and significant damage to the environment. They are certainly not a risk to be ignored. In newer buildings, the use of mineral oil in a transformer needs to account for the substation to be constructed to the latest fire safety standard – reinforced concrete or brickwork with a minimum four-hour fire containment rating. The fire risk can be mitigated in a completely different way once mineral oil is eliminated from the equation In addition to fire suppression systems involving significant civil engineering works, these measures do not eliminate the risk of fire by preventing it but are necessary to contain a fire once one starts. Additionally in older buildings, where the retrofitting of concrete reinforcements or a complete relocation of the substation would be expensive and technically challenging (if not impossible), the fire risk can be mitigated in a completely different way once mineral oil is eliminated from the equation. Enhancing fire safety One pioneering UK utility is leading the way in mitigating transformer-related fire risk. Following the fire at Grenfell in the UK, the utility considered that any element of risk was no longer acceptable and so undertook a sizeable and substantial review of its property portfolio. It subsequently identified over 100 residential sites where upgrades could be made to further enhance fire safety and the safety of residents. Many of these higher-risk units are located in embedded substations in the basements of the high-rise apartments that rely on them for electricity. The units range from 500kVa to 1000kVa. After exploring the options, the utility embarked on an extensive program of corrective upgrades at a scale never seen before in the UK. Minimizing fire risk One long-term and economic solution to reduce transformer fire risk stood out; replace the mineral oil in each transformer with a fire safe alternative. Synthetic ester fluids are a K-class rated fire-safe and biodegradable alternative to mineral oil, and it is increasingly being chosen by power utilities and end users to minimize fire risk. The significantly higher fire point makes it the ideal choice for improving the safety of transformers The contract for the utility’s schedule of upgrades was awarded to MIDEL Service Partner Grosvenor Oil Services who opted to use MIDEL 7131, a synthetic ester transformer fluid, that has a high fire point of 316°C, far exceeding that of mineral oil (180°C). The significantly higher fire point makes it the ideal choice for improving the safety of transformers located in residential and high-rise buildings. High-Rise buildings The retro filling technicians leveraged their experience of MIDEL’s ester liquids to the benefit of the project - and the safety of residents. For each site, the technicians inspected the condition of the transformer before draining it of the mineral oil and flushing it through. Once completed, the transformers were retro filled with the fire safe synthetic ester and tested. Replacing mineral oil has several benefits beyond the peace of mind it brings to residents in high-rise buildings. For one, it significantly enhances the sustainability of substations: ester fluids are biodegradable and non-toxic – in the event of a leak, it does not pose a threat to the environment or to people that come into contact with it. Unexpected power outages Ester fluids also keep the transformer in better condition for longer, by reducing the impact that water ingress has on components such as the insulating paper. Because of this benefit, ester-filled transformers require less frequent quality testing (once every five years, rather than once every 12 months). Sites are also better protected against unexpected power outages due to failure Subsequently, this reduces utilities’ maintenance burden as well as increase uptime. Sites are also better protected against unexpected power outages due to failure. Finally, it offers the ability to safely increase transformer load, a benefit that became particularly fortuitous when the COVID-19 lockdown significantly increased domestic property electricity demand. Fire-Safe materials While pioneering, this utility is not alone in its efforts. Utilities across the UK are turning to the benefits of fire-safe materials to reduce the potential for transformer fires in high-rise buildings and higher-risk locations such as hospitals, schools, and shopping centers. The benefits and the process of retro filling is well-established, and with many more people expected to work from home for the foreseeable future, there is not a moment to waste to ensure that the thousands of transformers that supply domestic power are fire safe, sustainable and reliable.

Latest Husky Portable Containment news

Husky Portable Containment Receives Second Patent For The Portable Liquid Storage Tank With Floor-Mounted Handles
Husky Portable Containment Receives Second Patent For The Portable Liquid Storage Tank With Floor-Mounted Handles

One of Husky Portable Containment’s core products is the folding frame tanks and they are proud to announce they have received the second patent for the Portable Liquid Storage Tank with floor-mounted handles. Patent No. 10,518,967, Dec 31st 2019, along with Patent No. 8,746,478, June 10th 2014, provides them with complete protection on their revolutionary invention, ‘Easy Lift Handles’. Tear down procedures These handles are dielectrically welded to the folding frame tank liners and provide firefighters with the ability to remove standing water during tear down procedures and they also help fold their tanks with ease by having center-mounted handles in a zig-zag pattern. Firefighters from all over the country have had an initial response saying, “Why hasn’t someone thought of this years ago?” Husky’s design team puts in tremendous efforts in designing new products and new features for the current product line Husky’s design team puts in tremendous efforts in designing new products and new features for the current product line. Standard folding frame tanks over the last 50 plus years have had a fabric chute or drain sleeve that was tied to the top rail of the frame. This would be untied to release the drain sleeve and in turn, drain the tank. Stainless steel buckle system Unfortunately, these could unintentionally come undone and release all the water in the tank during the firefighting process. Not good. Husky changed that back in 2007 with a quick-release drain that has a heavy-duty webbing and stainless steel buckle system that clips to the inside of the liner. The drain sleeve actually drapes over the top rail of the frame virtually eliminating any issues and releases the drain sleeve with one push of the buckle. In 2013 they went a step further and invented the Quick Dump drain system. This is a drop-down framed door that is incorporated into the sidewall of the tank’s frame and liner. Release the two d-rings and latch and the door slowly drops down draining the tank in a fraction of the time. This option has become very popular. They received Patent No. 8,733,579 for this invention on May 27th 2014.

Husky Helps Local Garden Donating Water Storage Tank
Husky Helps Local Garden Donating Water Storage Tank

One of Husky's tanks helped save a garden from draught Husky's portable Folding Frame Tanks are most commonly used to store water for fire-fighting purposes. This last summer, however, one of their tanks helped save a garden from drought. Bartlesville First United Methodist Church had tough time keeping their "Garden of Eatin'" Community Garden alive last summer. There wasn't enough rain to keep the plants alive, and they had no way to transport and store water. Husky joined with several local business to help.      

DASH CF Custom Apparatus Unveiled By Pierce At FDIC 2011
DASH CF Custom Apparatus Unveiled By Pierce At FDIC 2011

Pierce Manufacturing unveiled the revolutionary cab forward Dash CF custom apparatus at FDIC 2011 There are two Dash CF pumpers on display. Both vehicles feature a 450 hp engine, 70-inch cab with raised roof and an overall height of 9-feet 9-inches. Pierce Manufacturing, an Oshkosh Corporation company, unveiled the all-new Dash CF custom Apparatus at the opening of the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis, Ind. The Dash CF features an innovative tilting cab-forward design that repositions the engine rearward and down low between the frame rails, resulting in a wide-open interior configuration. Two Dash CF apparatus were flanked by seven additional Pierce vehicles inside Lucas Oil Stadium in booth #8805/9902. "The Dash CF is designed to meet the situation readiness needs of firefighters: it is, in effect, built around the firefighters and not around the power train and fire pump," said Jim Johnson, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Fire & Emergency. "Every component of its cab forward design is engineered to help firefighters prepare for any emergency and respond with confidence. We are proud to showcase its many advantages to FDIC visitors, along with a full range of Pierce aerials, pumpers and rescue vehicles." There are two Dash CF pumpers on display. Both vehicles feature a 450 hp engine, 70-inch cab with raised roof and an overall height of 9-feet 9-inches. Each apparatus also features a 177-inch aluminum body, PUC 1500 gpm pump, 500-gallon water tank, Command Zone advanced electronics and single point service access. The Dash CF is is designed in a way so that firefighters can respond to incidents with greater efficiency Other vehicles on display include a first-of-its-kind aluminum rear mount PUC aerial platform, shown courtesy of the Sister Bay Fire Department in Wisc., that features the innovative Pierce Ultimate Configuration, 1500-gpm single stage pump, pump and roll with two-step shift technology, and a short-jack spread of 12-ft 3-inches. The unit also features a Velocity 70-inch cab with 10-inch raised roof, TAK-4 independent front suspension and side roll protection. In addition, a Quantum pumper, shown courtesy of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, Calif., features an overall height of 9-feet 10-inches, a 152-inch aluminum body and an overall length less that 32-feet. The vehicle is built with a 700-gallon "New York style" water tank, 1500-gpm single stage pump, Husky 3 foam system, and stainless steel plumbing. An Arrow XT Heavy Duty Ladder, shown courtesy of the Stoughton Fire Department of Mass., features a 105-ft aerial device, 10-inch raised roof cab, front and side roll protection systems, blue LED rope lighting on all ladder sections, an aerial collision avoidance system and a 500-lb dry tip load capacity. The Saber pumper on display features an extended cab with 12-inch raised roof, 6-person seating capacity and an overall height of 9-ft 6-inches. The vehicle features a 1,000-gallon water tank, 1250-gpm single stage pump, foam system with 30-gallon foam cell, aluminum body with roll-up doors and standard NFPA ground ladder storage. A Responder pumper, built on a Freightliner chassis and with an overall height of 10-feet, is also on display. This vehicle features an extended cab with side storage compartments, 3-person seating capacity (with a Pierce exclusive center third seat), 1,000-gallon water tank, stainless steel plumbing, and a Command Zone advanced electronics system. Also on display is a 75-foot heavy-duty aluminum ladder built on the Impel chassis. This apparatus features a 70-inch cab length, seating for six firefighters, and a frontal air bag and side roll protection system to enhance safety. The vehicle is equipped with TAK-4 independent front suspension, Command Zone advanced electronics and 101-feet of ground ladder storage. A non-walk-in heavy-duty rescue vehicle, shown courtesy of the Hillcrest Fire Department in NC, is on display as well. This rescue is built on a Velocity chassis with a 220-inch wheelbase, seating for six firefighters and both front impact and side roll protection systems. The 20.5-foot aluminum rescue body features four roof storage compartments, a roof light tower, electric awning, 40 kW 3-phase PTO-driven generator, complete breathing air system and a wide assortment of shelves, utility trays, and tool boards. Other Pierce vehicles on display at FDIC include a Peterbilt pumper in booth #9902 and a Freightliner pumper in booth 4120. Finally, the Oshkosh Foundation is sponsoring a "signature wall" within the Pierce booth. For every signature collected at FDIC, the Oshkosh Foundation will donate $1 to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) up to a total $10,000.   

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