Apparatus and Equipment Accessories - Expert Commentary

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.

Keeping Emergency Services Teams Secure And Connected
Keeping Emergency Services Teams Secure And Connected

Every day, across the globe, emergency services teams come to people’s aid no matter the situation to ensure their safety. Whether it’s during a natural disaster, or at a significant event, the emergency services are on hand to face any challenge that comes their way. When supporting this crucial workforce, it is essential that they have robust and reliable connectivity. Technology is becoming a vital aspect of public safety and security worldwide, and this trend is only likely to grow. For these new devices to work effectively, full-scale coverage must be in place, and when it comes to people’s safety, there is no room for error. The need for redundancy and high bandwidth  Two of the paramount tools at emergency services disposal are video surveillance and communication devices. Constant visibility and communication are often essential to protecting people and saving lives. The benefits range from providing first responders with a clear picture and understanding of the situation they are about to encounter; to providing greater safety during public events by enabling officers to control crowds and manage traffic effectively. Enhancing visibility and sharing information is particularly crucial during fires to guide firefighters and vehicles through flames and smoke, and to allow the central command center to organize resources effectively. Technology is becoming a vital aspect of public safety and security worldwide, and this trend is only likely to grow Despite any potential challenges ensuring network connectivity may create, public safety organizations cannot compromise when it comes to optimizing security. For IP video surveillance and cellphone broadband connectivity to operate effectively, they require redundancy and high bandwidth. Without these connectivity attributes, devices become useless; for example, there are municipalities where as much as 50 percent of the camera network is offline because of poor product choices and inferior network design and installation. Equally, poor quality networking can be just as limiting as it can lead to public safety organizations being unable to receive real-time data. All areas must also have adequate bandwidth to access data, such as on-scene video, aerial imagery, maps, and images, and many existing public safety networks do not have that capacity. Supporting security and safety robotics Robots and drones have seen a considerable increase in popularity this year, with 60 million such machines being deployed according to ABI Research. They offer a wealth of potential to emergency services teams, whether on land, air, or sea. For example, water rescue robots can go where humans cannot, earthquake and fire robots can search through otherwise non-navigable areas, and drones can survey vast regions. However, for these wireless devices to work effectively, they rely on many features. They need low power consumption so as not to heavily burden the onboard power source of the robotic device and, perhaps, a high level of encryption so information cannot be stolen or hacked. There are also benefits to security and safety as robotic devices can communicate with one another peer-to-peer. Directly mounting radios to robots and drones, fosters dynamic self-learning, data sharing, and more wireless paths in the event one or more of the devices in an area do not have a link to fixed infrastructure. Water rescue robots can go where humans cannot, earthquake and fire robots can search through otherwise non-navigable areas, and drones can survey vast regions The main component that security and safety robotics require is redundant and resilient connections. If the connection is lost, the connected device will go into “safe” mode and stop. Creating a high capacity network that supports mobile devices in complex and fast-moving environments is not a simple task. In many cases, it requires a network that supports many wireless connections and allows for many paths in and out, so that if a link is lost, another path is available for data transmission and reception. This type of network is the best way to ensure that police, firefighters, and emergency units can access and send large amounts of data from wherever they are and in real-time making a massive difference to the efficiency of the emergency services. An example of this is Rajant’s private Kinetic Mesh® network, a wireless network ensuring no single point of failure. It offers reliable, intelligent, and secure wireless broadband connectivity that survives and thrives in evolving and mobility-driven environments. It forms a “living” mesh network that can move with and adapt to the evolving communication requirements of public safety organizations. Technology in action Back in October 2019, the heat from the sun, combined with winds gusting through the foothills of El Capitán Canyon in California, sparked a bush fire in the overly dry, desert hills. Despite four hundred and twenty acres being burnt, firefighters used their experience and skills combined with newfound digital technology to ensure that no structures were damaged, and there were no reported injuries. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Cal Fire, the U.S Forest Service, and other agencies were immediately dispatched to contain the fire. More than 200 firefighters were needed to combat the fire and reinforce containment lines with helicopters and drones in the air and bulldozers on the ground. To operate this equipment, mesh radio nodes, bonded cellular, and satellite technologies were used to link the communication gap in locations where signals are often dropped. Rajant BreadCrumb® nodes were mounted to the fire-breaking, 30-ton bulldozers manned by trained firefighters to uproot vegetation and eliminate the materials that would further spread the fire. Robots and drones have seen a considerable increase in popularity this year, with 60 million such machines being deployed  The reliable connectivity allowed the bulldozers to not only easily communicate with each other and the base, but also to send video footage and data to the tactical truck and central command post over cellular and SAT networks. This situational awareness data transfer allowed for greater efficiency, as well as increased safety for the public and the firefighters. Reliability when you need it most Reliable connectivity solutions are being embraced across the emergency services due to the innumerable benefits they bring to ensuring the safety of the public. For police, firefighters, and emergency units, dependable connectivity allows for rapid, real-time response, and the use of technology can save lives in ways that wouldn’t have seemed possible a decade ago. Planned and unplanned events can benefit from the new technology being introduced, and emergency services need to make sure they have the network capabilities to support them. For environments that are challenging and hostile, this requires a network available on-demand, which can withstand the demands of harsh conditions and mobility while maintaining a level of redundancy and high bandwidth that allows for accessing and sending large amounts of data from any location.

Latest VIKING Life - Saving Equipment A / S news

VIKING Spearheads Testing Of Life-Saving Marine Firefighting Foam
VIKING Spearheads Testing Of Life-Saving Marine Firefighting Foam

VIKING Life-Saving Equipment is driving more investment into its marine fire service business. The inauguration of VIKING’s Foam Lab Odense, which specializes in the testing of a vessel’s reserves of firefighting foam, intensifies the company’s focus on marine fire service, a segment earmarked for significant growth in the coming years. Marine Firefighting Equipment “Our ambition is to cover all aspects of marine firefighting equipment, and our new state-of-the-art laboratory puts us on the global map in this segment, too.“ “Our class approvals comply with IMO regulations for testing all foam types, and we expect to receive DANAK accreditation in the course of 2021 as the ultimate stamp of approval for our work,” says Anders Nørgaard Lauridsen, head of VIKING’s activities in and around the Baltic region. Foam Test If a vessel’s foam is over three years old, it is mandatory for the vessel to undergo an annual foam test at a reputable laboratory. VIKING can offer a simple, user-friendly package solution, whereby shipowners purchase a test kit comprising a container for collecting a foam sample, instructions on how to take the sample on board, and a prepaid shipping label. Certification When the foam is received at the lab, it is subjected to a barrage of tests including, degree of expansion, drainage time, pH value, density, and contamination, to ensure, among other things, that the foam will effectively extinguish a fire. A service checklist and data are saved electronically via an iPad, and a certificate is issued to verify the completion of the test. This ensures traceability and enables monitoring of the condition of the foam. Experienced Specialist Foam samples are heat-treated for 24 hours before mixing them with saline solution There are two specialists at the foam lab, both able to perform a variety of tests, including low and high expansion tests, chemical resistance tests, small scale fire tests, and conductivity tests. When foam samples are received, they are heat-treated for 24 hours before being mixed with saline solution and subjected to a meticulous testing program, defined according to current IMO standards. “VIKING’s Marine Fire Service strategy is initially to handle more than 1,000 foam samples a year, which we’ll receive directly from global shipowners and our servicing stations,” says Anders Nørgaard Lauridsen. Heading Foam Lab Ove Andersen joined VIKING in mid-May to head Foam Lab Odense. He is a qualified marine engineer and has extensive experience, gained from 15 years as an operations manager in the district heating sector and subsequently from his three years at the DFL fire testing laboratory in Svendborg, Denmark. He is fully familiar with international test standards and quality management systems, including IMO1312, IMO670, other regulations for foam testing, and requirements for test equipment. Good Quality Foam “The thought of building something from scratch at VIKING appealed to me.” There are relatively few, yet important, standards for this segment, and from my background in the fire sector, I can say that it’s vital for vessels to have good quality foam on board – particularly foam that’s expandable and has adequate drainage time.” “The same applies here as to other VIKING products, human lives are at stake,” says Ove Andersen. Strong Position VIKING has hired Lone Friis, who holds a bachelor’s degree in laboratory, food and process technology, to assist at the foam lab. The new team of two has recently taken delivery of a sophisticated testing device, which optically reads drainage time and ensures a consistent test process. “We’re a global player with the support of a strong network, and our foam lab will strengthen our maritime customers’ perception of us as a competent partner and full-service supplier to the marine fire service segment, too,” says Anders Nørgaard Lauridsen. Agreement Concepts Marine fire service is often sourced as part of VIKING’s multi-annual service contract for maritime operators, the VIKING Shipowner Agreement (SOA), and is also offered to the oil and gas industry as part of our Offshore Service Agreement (OSA). Foam analysis is a natural, integral part of both of these agreement concepts.

VIKING Signs Global Firefighting Foam Agreement With Dr. Sthamer
VIKING Signs Global Firefighting Foam Agreement With Dr. Sthamer

VIKING Lifesaving Equipment reaches a global partnership agreement with a renowned foam manufacturer, putting marine fire safety at the center of its one-stop-shop strategy for maritime and offshore safety. VIKING, the foremost marine safety specialist, acquired Drew Marine’s Fire Safety Rescue division in 2019 and absorbed the operation into its marine fire service (MFS) business, consolidated under a management and competency center based in Rotterdam. The new agreement covers distribution by VIKING of the marine-approved foam concentrates offered under the Dr. Sthamer brand. High Expansion Inside Air Foam Systems Established in Hamburg in 1886, the independent manufacturer supplies concentrate on meeting IMO1312 requirements for Deck Foam Systems and IMO670 for High Expansion Inside Air Foam Systems for Engine Rooms and Machinery spaces. Its products also include next-generation high stability 1% IAF Fluorine Free Foams. Agreement Renewal “This agreement renews and builds on the successes of an arrangement between Dr. Sthamer and Drew Marine FSR,” says VIKING’s Global MFS Service Director William Gielen. “Dr. Sthamer’s reputation for quality is unsurpassed in the marine industry, while its R&D lead and environmentally responsible foams keep it well ahead of the pack.” “VIKING has built its reputation on the quality of its life rafts, immersion suits, and other safety equipment, and customers have the same expectations for MFS.” “We are taking the Dr. Sthamer relationship to a new level, supported by a global service organization and sizeable foam inventories at strategic locations. We are also investing in our Odense foam analysis laboratory, so that existing customers have the VIKING assurance that their marine fire safety is safe with us.”   Foam Supplies & Warranty Initially focusing on foam supplies for existing vessels, including foam tank cleaning, disposal and refilling, inspection and sampling, VIKING’s upgraded commitment includes delivering Dr. Sthamer foam stocks from stocks held in Fujairah, Houston, Esbjerg, Rotterdam, and Singapore. Foams are being offered under a five-year warranty, subject to verification of agreed storage conditions. Technical Training & Sampling Service Dr. Sthamer provides technical training for VIKING MFS ambassadors, who offers full product and service support Dr. Sthamer is providing technical training for VIKING MFS ambassadors, who will offer full product and service support on the characteristics, performance, condition, and storage requirements for branded marine foams. In turn, VIKING is offering a pre-paid, express sampling service for foams. The agreement also foresees condition data being fed back to Dr. Sthamer to support R&D. Core Of Development Plans “We are truly excited to pick up our relationship with William and his highly motivated team under new management,” says Jan Knappert, International Sales Director, Dr. Sthamer. “The VIKING MFS business has a clarity of purpose, is investing in its people and in strategically-located inventories; Dr. Sthamer is always delighted when partners make our products core to their development plans.” Foam-Based Marine Firefighting Systems An estimated 50% of vessels in service have foam-based marine firefighting systems. Part of the plan envisages MFS services including foam supply being included for the first time as part of VIKING’s all-embracing Ship Owner Agreements, which see VIKING taking full responsibility for shipboard safety equipment supply and upkeep fleet-wide for a defined period – usually five years. Saving Time & Money “Helping owners make the right decision on foam selection and giving them the technical support to maintain products in service will ultimately protect lives at sea,” comments Belarmino Dubois, VIKING Global Service Manager for Drydocking and Foam. “Including these capabilities in a broader shipowner agreement covering life rafts, lifeboats, PPE, and more will save our clients time and money.”

VIKING Signs A Global Firefighting Foam Agreement With Dr Sthamer
VIKING Signs A Global Firefighting Foam Agreement With Dr Sthamer

VIKING, the marine safety specialist, acquired Drew Marine’s Fire Safety Rescue division in 2019 and absorbed the operation into its marine fire service (MFS) business, consolidated under a management and competency center based in Rotterdam. The new agreement covers distribution by VIKING of the marine-approved foam concentrates offered under the Dr. Sthamer brand. Established in Hamburg in 1886, the independent manufacturer supplies concentrates meeting IMO1312 requirements for Deck Foam Systems and IMO670 for high expansion inside air foam systems for engine rooms and machinery spaces. Its products also include next generation high stability 1% IAF fluorine free foams. Marine fire safety “This agreement renews and builds on the successes of an arrangement between Dr. Sthamer and Drew Marine FSR,” says VIKING’s Global MFS Service Director William Gielen. “Dr. Sthamer’s reputation for quality is unsurpassed in the marine industry, while its R&D lead and environmentally responsible foams keeps it well ahead of the pack.” VIKING has built its reputation on the quality of its life rafts, immersion suits and other safety equipment" “VIKING has built its reputation on the quality of its life rafts, immersion suits and other safety equipment, and customers have the same expectations for MFS. We are taking the Dr. Sthamer relationship to a new level, supported by a global service organization and sizeable foam inventories at strategic locations. We are also investing in our Odense foam analysis laboratory, so that existing customers have the VIKING assurance that their marine fire safety is safe with us.”   Providing technical training Initially focusing on foam supplies for existing vessels, including foam tank cleaning, disposal and refilling, inspection and sampling, VIKING’s upgraded commitment includes delivering Dr. Sthamer foam stocks from stocks held in Fujairah, Houston, Esbjerg, Rotterdam and Singapore. Foams are being offered under a five-year warranty, subject to verification of agreed storage conditions. Dr. Sthamer is providing technical training for VIKING MFS ‘ambassadors’, who will offer full product and service support on the characteristics, performance, condition and storage requirements for branded marine foams. In turn, VIKING is offering a pre-paid, express sampling service for foams. The agreement also foresees condition data being fed back to Dr. Sthamer to support R&D. Safety equipment supply An estimated 50% of vessels in service have foam-based marine firefighting systems “We are truly excited to pick up our relationship with William and his highly motivated team under new management,” says Jan Knappert, International Sales Director, Dr. Sthamer. “The VIKING MFS business has clarity of purpose, is investing in its people and in strategically-located inventories; Dr. Sthamer is always delighted when partners make our products core to their development plans.” An estimated 50% of vessels in service have foam-based marine firefighting systems. Part of the plan envisages MFS services including foam supply being included for the first time as part of VIKING’s all-embracing Ship Owner Agreements, which see VIKING taking full responsibility for shipboard safety equipment supply and upkeep fleet-wide for a defined period – usually five years. “Helping owners make the right decision on foam selection and giving them the technical support to maintain products in service will ultimately protect lives at sea,” comments Belarmino Dubois, VIKING Global Service Manager for Drydocking and Foam. “Including these capabilities in a broader shipowner agreement covering liferafts, lifeboats, PPE and more will save our clients time and money.”

vfd