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Fire Detection: Protecting Food And Grocery Stores
Fire Detection: Protecting Food And Grocery Stores

During these challenging times, it is more important than ever to protect the supply chain of food, including supermarkets and convenience stores in cities around the world. On average 3,740 fires occur in food and groceries stores in the US annually, including supermarkets and convenience stores, according to a report published by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association). Structure fires in mercantile properties were responsible for the loss of 12 lives and more than $600 million indirect property damages, and this doesn’t account for the cost of business interruption and the effect on the reputation of the store. Many stores haven’t been able to recover after a fire. The report estimates that a single fire may cost $46,000 on average, which in hindsight is considerably higher than investing in a fire detection system. The most common causes of fire in supermarkets It’s important to look at the data from two different perspectives. The first is the number of fires by cause, and the other is to quantify the property loss by cause. The report estimates that a single fire may cost $46,000 on average Fires caused by cooking equipment , including stores with kitchens and warming and portable equipment, account for 21% of incidences, but only for just 7% of total property damage and four civilian deaths (firefighter and first responder deaths are registered on a different report). On the other hand, electrical distribution and lighting equipment malfunctions and defective wiring account for 15% of the total of fires in a given year, but caused $165 million in property loss, or 27% of the total recorded on the report. It is also important to mention that intentional fires are the third cause reported, accounting for 11% of the total fire incidences and 20% of the property loss highlighted in the report. Occupation, materials and risks The kind of store poses a significant variety of risks associated to the type of occupation, the number of occupants and the materials stored and available in the shopping areas. It’s possible to find combustible materials of diverse nature and propagation speed. Cardboard and paper wrapping can be found in all store areas, including book and magazine stands. Cleaning products, oils and fatty products might have a high propagation speed. All of this, surrounded by different kind of plastics, immensely increase the level of risk. Overall, combustible liquids caused 41% of the civilian deaths recorded during the report In my firefighting years I’ve responded to several fires in food supermarkets and distribution centers, and saw tuna cans (canned with oil) exploding and spreading flames to the surrounding areas. Regarding occupation, it is known that supermarkets and groceries stores are places with high levels of occupation, especially during working hours. But one interesting fact that the report found is that fires occurring between 9pm and 5am can cause, on average, $73,800 in property damage. The NFPA estimates that 21% of human life losses happened between 12am and 3am. This highlights the importance of installing and maintaining an automatic fire detection system. Installing fire detection And Protecting Your Store With the variety of materials and the risk level that can be found in this kind of environment, it’s necessary to take a holistic approach. Fire protection should be designed while considering several angles, from passive protection in all interior and exterior structures and cladding to active protection with sprinkler and clean agent systems, proper ventilation and smoke control and automatic fire detection and evacuation systems. On average 3,740 fires occur in food and groceries stores in the US annually Several detection technologies need to work in parallel, depending on the type of products stored, the environment and the expected level of occupation on the protected area. Store height and ventilation need to be taken into consideration and also the kind of lighting in some cases. Depending on the ceiling height, the shopping floor could be protected with beam smoke detectors. If the ceiling is below six meters, or the store shelves obstruct the beam, it’s possible to use spot type smoke detectors. The same approach can be taken for warehousing and storage areas, but here I would recommend multi-criteria detectors, with heat and smoke detection combined. localized protection As I’ve mentioned before, cooking areas have an increased level of risk, which calls for localized protection. Here, I would recommend multi-criteria (smoke/heat) detectors for areas where food is heated and served, and smoke/heat/Carbon monoxide detectors on cooking areas to avoid nuisance alarms caused by cooking smoke and steam. It’s important to mention that until this year it was possible to install heat detection in cooking areas, but the UL 268 7th edition that comes into effect in 2021 will require cooking areas to be protected with smoke detection, and smoke detectors have to be able to reject nuisance alarms caused by cooking smoke and steam. Smaller supermarkets and convenience stores usually have vertical freezers or horizontal open freezers. Here, electrical and mechanical failures can ignite fires, which is why it is important to protect the rear side of the freezers. I would recommend point-type smoke detectors, as photoelectric smoke detectors tend to perform better on smoldering fires. The report mentions that air conditioning equipment and electrical equipment can be sources of ignition as well. To protect A/C rooms and electrical rooms I would recommend combined smoke/heat detectors, or maybe even smoke/heat/CO to assure better detection and avoid unwanted alarms in these business critical areas. There is a type of photoelectric smoke detector that uses two different LED sources inside the smoke chamber. This technology, called Dual-Ray, allows the smoke detector to identify the particles inside the chamber by size. The detector knows if it is sensing dust or steam, and can even differentiate between cooking or cigarette smoke from actual smoke from a smoldering fire. Bosch Building Technologies first introduced dual Ray technology in 2015. protecting the food supply chain During these challenging times, it’s more important than ever to protect the food supply chain and avoid the social and economic impact of fires in food stores, especially in impoverished areas. Supermarkets and convenience stores present a variety of challenges regarding fire protection, which calls for a holistic approach where passive and active protection are equally important. To achieve this target, one key element is automatic fire detection. Smoke and heat sensing technologies must be combined, and one size-fits-all approach is not enough. Detection and effective evacuation are critical to protect lives and minimize property loss.

Why Fire Safety Must Be A Priority When Reopening Businesses
Why Fire Safety Must Be A Priority When Reopening Businesses

With many businesses and facilities re-opening sites following the Coronavirus lockdown, fire safety may not seem high on the list to other worries and responsibilities. But here, Mandy Bowden, Fire Business Development Manager at Comelit Group UK, led by fire industry bodies, demonstrates why it must be a priority, ensuring installation of systems is guided by best practice in accordance with the development, and fire safety measures are maintained and regularly tested to ensure compliance. Fire safety is too often neglected. And in the midst of returning to work and implementing necessary fever screening solutions and social distancing policies, it may even fall further down the necessary requirements, for businesses who are naturally eager to open and ‘get going.’ Providing Fire Safety But the Government and leading authoritative fire industry bodies have made it absolutely clear that, “Coronavirus is not an excuse for disregarding your responsibilities and businesses must ensure that they have an adequate amount of competent people to help in the implementation of both preventative and protective fire safety measures.” Above all else, fire detection is there to save lives; but the way in which systems are presented, will depend on their surroundings. For many facilities it involves more than the best choice of products and services. It also requires compliance to standards, currently changing in light of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, and a need to consider the environment that it serves to keep safe. fire detection technology It is crucial that buildings are fitted with the highest quality life safety systems to ensure ultra-reliable protection Style of a fire detection system would be considered a priority for a hospitality environment, including hotel and restaurant facilities, to blend with the aesthetics and not impact on the ambience created. In any leisure facilities such as a Gym, it is essential fire detection measures and systems are in place that will provide customers, employees and the premises itself, with sufficient prevention against fire at all times. To keep up with demand, a system needs to be simple to install and operational as quickly as possible for the benefit of members and staff. However, a manufacturing vicinity will require latest fire detection technology to ensure the safety of its building, its specialist products and all personnel who operate on site. Similarly, an art studio is a specialist consideration when it comes to fire safety, especially with the use of different materials and substances in every day works by the artists on site.  ensure ultra-Reliable protection Both temporary and permanent healthcare facilities in this period have undoubtedly been key to fighting the Coronavirus pandemic, and experienced an expediential increased demand for patient care. With more people to treat and protect, those working or residing within these spaces have to be considered at greater risk in the event of a fire emergency. It is crucial that these buildings have been and continue to be fitted with the highest quality life safety systems to ensure ultra-reliable protection. And the same is true for care homes, a vulnerable group in the fight against coronavirus. They require critical and reliable, functioning fire detection equipment that presents high performance protection, avoiding false alarms to prevent moving elderly residents unnecessarily. In each of these scenarios, the need to act quickly is paramount.  Fire Detection Operations Fire safety must be kept a priority to ensure a return to work can occur seamlessly and successfully In healthcare, immediacy is a common theme through the industry, be it providing treatment or responding to a patient’s symptoms. This is no different in fire safety, with detection systems requiring an ease of use, by anyone operating on site. In businesses returning to work ‘post-lockdown’ the appointed Fire Marshalls and responsible persons may not be the ones returning to office locations, so others need to be trained with simple to operate solutions. In summary, fire safety must be kept a priority, arguably now more than ever to ensure a return to work can occur seamlessly and successfully, and with an obligation of care to workers coming back to operating establishments. By understanding these environments and choosing systems accordingly, duty holders can ensure they reduce risks across their premises and maintain a safe ‘new normal’. multi-Sensor detectors Comelit presents its third-party accredited family of ATENA and ERACLE fire detection and fire alarm systems, which offers a diverse portfolio of intelligent, addressable products that are feature-rich, easy to install, simple to operate and offer incomparable reliability. Tested to rigorous standards, the range encompasses smoke, heat and multi-sensor detectors as well as IP rated devices including sounders and callpoints, alongside accessories to complete installations. To support the installer, we have product specific basic and advanced commissioning training courses, together with a full suite of calculation tools for our ATENA addressable systems for both loop loading and battery standby calculations, helping to identify possible issues prior to installation. Comelit is a proud member of the Fire Industry Association (FIA) that insists on third-party certification; as a clear sign of a company’s quality. All demonstrating that we want to work in partnership with our customers to ensure manufacture, design and install of stylish (often bespoke) fire detection systems are a smooth operation for the benefit and peace of mind of businesses and facilities across the UK. All signs that we want to work in partnership with our customers to ensure manufacture, design and install of stylish (often bespoke) fire detection systems are a smooth operation for the benefit and peace of mind of businesses and facilities across the UK.

2020 Sees Increase In Popularity For Temporary Detection Systems
2020 Sees Increase In Popularity For Temporary Detection Systems

2020 introduced a variety of unique challenges for many industries around the world. Not surprisingly, the fire detection industry was not immune to all of those challenges. However, as much of the global community defined our manufacturing and installing peers as “essential” or “critical” it required us, as an industry, to adapt so we could continue to service our customers with our products and services. Many regions around the world are experiencing significant demand for temporary detection systems. This demand is almost universally driven by an increase in education, awareness, and enforcement. While this is a global shift, our company has experienced a large demand in our own backyard. Within the United States, this is being driven by the adoption and enforcement of NFPA 241. NFPA is the Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations. NFPA 241 has been a “concept” since 1930 and the official text was finally adopted by the NFPA in 1933. As with all standards, it has progressed over the years to accommodate changes in technology as well as safety awareness. Fire safety awareness While general safety awareness on construction sites has always been consistently high, fire safety awareness has significantly increased within the last 5 years. Nuisance alarms negatively consume first responder bandwidth Typically, new, or increased regulation within our industry occurs after a single devastating event or several significant events. In this particular case, it was a combination of both. On a national level, fires on construction sites were reaching dangerous and unacceptable levels and becoming so widespread that enforcement of this standard became a priority in several states. Need for accurate and timely fire detection According to a report released by Richard Campbell of the NFPA in February of 2020 titled Fire In Structures under Construction or Renovation, “the estimated number of fires in structures under construction has increased since 2014 after declining between 2008 and 2010” further creating awareness. For the last few years, the focus of many local AHJ’s (authority having jurisdiction) was on new and active worksites or renovation projects. With the changes imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic today, many non-essential industries have either shut down or had their operations significantly reduced. This means the need for a functioning detection system is more critical now than ever as many facilities remain idle or continue to operate with reduced personnel. Detecting fires quickly and accurately gives our first responders the best chance of saving a person or facility. Conversely, having any “detection system” is often not good enough. Nuisance alarms negatively consume first responder bandwidth, possibly removing an engine or fire company from a genuine event. Temporary fire detection In an article by The Boston Globe, Easthampton Fire Chief David Mottor, president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts said “Ninety percent of these buildings go up every day and nothing happens. It’s during construction before the sprinkler system is activated when they are most dangerous.” Globally, we have seen four approaches to temporary detection for both construction and renovation sites. We will quickly discuss the advantages and disadvantages below: Using 24/7 fire watch Utilizing local first responders or other authorized/trained personnel to offer 24/7 fire watch requires a person or team of people to be onsite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to be physically looking for fires. Advantage: Someone is always on site, actively viewing and patrolling the facility. Disadvantage: Maintaining a 24/7 fire watch can be expensive, further the person or team can only see/find fires in proximity to them as they continue to move about a facility. Using digital linear heat detection Digital linear heat detection is a fixed temperature detector that is constructed using a twisted pair of metal conductors that are separated by a heat sensitive polymer. When the ambient temperature meets or exceeds the detector’s fixed temperature the polymers melt, and the detector shorts out resulting in an alarm. Advantages: Detector can be easily installed at a new construction site or a facility being renovated. The technology is a low profile, non-intrusive and cost-effective form of detection. This automatic initiating device is immune to environmental conditions. Protectowire FireSystems offers Confirmed Temperature Initiation technology (mechanical damage does not cause a false alarm). Disadvantages: Detector can be mechanically damaged during normal worksite operation. If you are unsure, be sure to check with the local AHJ or call your insurance provider Using wireless spot detectors There are a few companies on the market that offer wireless spot detectors that can be networked together. Advantage: Typically, this technology uses a mesh network of detectors. The detectors and their bases are battery operated and can be moved or placed per worksite requirements. Disadvantage: This technology can be expensive. Physical barriers on the construction site may hinder mesh network operation requiring the purchase of additional wireless units. Many wireless technology providers focus on smoke detection. Smoke detectors are often not ideal for the harsh environments associated with construction (dust, temperature changes, etc.). Using a hybrid approach This involves using wireless nodes to supervise linear heat detection. Most manufacturers of the wireless systems offer a wireless node that can accept a third-party initiating device. Advantage: Wireless nodes can be placed anywhere, and linear heat detection technology can withstand the harsh construction environment. Disadvantage: Wireless node battery life can be reduced when using a third-party device. Less cost-effective approach. Solution for Facilities While each of the approaches listed above has its own advantages and disadvantages, you must always consider what is best for your facility. If you are unsure, be sure to check with the local AHJ or call your insurance provider. Established in 1938, Protectowire FireSystems is the global manufacturer of Linear Heat Detection Systems. The Company has been manufacturing in the United States for the past 80 years and counting. Protectowire is dedicated to delivering products designed, engineered, manufactured, and tested with a high degree of performance, reliability, and quality. As one of the manufacturers in the fire protection industry, Protectowire has the experience and knowledge needed to meet the ever-increasing detection challenges of the special hazard and commercial industries.

Latest First Alert / BRK Brands Inc. news

NVFC Partners With First Alert To Donate Rechargeable Fire Extinguishers For Volunteer Fire Departments
NVFC Partners With First Alert To Donate Rechargeable Fire Extinguishers For Volunteer Fire Departments

In recognition of National Volunteer Week in April, First Alert, the most trusted brand in fire safety, is teaming up with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to show their gratitude and appreciation for volunteer fire departments across the country. With first responders facing unprecedented conditions nationwide, the donation of 1,000 First Alert rechargeable fire extinguishers will go to departments registered with the NVFC’s Fire Corps program to help fire service volunteers make an immediate impact in the fire readiness of their communities. Distributing fire extinguishers While millions of people across the country are spending more time at home – and as home cooking increases – it is important to educate the community about the essential role that fire extinguishers play in a home safety plan. For this reason, First Alert and the NVFC have partnered to develop the fire extinguisher donation program, which will allow volunteer fire departments to distribute fire extinguishers to keep homes and families safe. “With more people home and cooking, the risk of fire incidents increases,” said Tarsila Wey, director of marketing for First Alert. “According to the National Fire Protection Association, the number one cause of home fires in the United States is unattended cooking, with ranges or cooktops accounting for 62 percent of home fire incidents. Many small kitchen fires could likely be resolved with a fire extinguisher if caught early.” Proper placement and maintenance of extinguishers Departments should practice recommended safety protocols and electronically share information Fire extinguishers can help save lives when used quickly and effectively. Yet, an astonishing 70 percent of fire extinguisher owners say they would not be comfortable using an extinguisher in the event of a fire according to recent research. The donation program is supplemented by an online training course, which will enable volunteer firefighters to educate their communities on how to properly and safely use this important line of defense. Departments should practice recommended safety protocols and electronically share information with residents under the current climate of social distancing. “When a fire starts, every second counts. Especially with the increase in people in their homes, knowing the proper placement and maintenance of extinguishers – in addition to smoke and carbon monoxide alarms – can help reduce the risk of severe fire incidents,” added Wey. Placing fire extinguishers in convenient locations It is important to place fire extinguishers in convenient locations in the kitchen and garage, and on every level of the home. A simple way to remember how to operate a fire extinguisher is with the acronym PASS: Pull the pin on the extinguisher. Aim the nozzle low toward the base of the fire. Squeeze the trigger. Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side. Carbon monoxide alarm installations The NVFC’s Fire Corps program utilizes community volunteers to assist resource-constrained fire departments with non-operational tasks such as community education and smoke and carbon monoxide alarm installations. The extinguisher donation program will enable these volunteers to equip residents with this important line of defense as well as provide instruction on how to properly use an extinguisher. “We are grateful to First Alert for this donation to help our volunteer departments keep communities safe and decrease the number of fire-related calls,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “We also are thankful for our fire service volunteers and the commitment they make to keep their own neighbors safe from threats of fire and carbon monoxide.”

Fire Safety Among Smart Home Benefits On Display At CES 2020
Fire Safety Among Smart Home Benefits On Display At CES 2020

Technologies to protect against fire are among the innovations being shown at CES 2020, the technology event, Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas. The fire market is one of many served by the range of consumer and smart home technologies on display at CES 2020, from artificial intelligence (AI) to 5G, vehicle technology to AR/VR (augmented and virtual reality), robotics to home automation. For example, Longan Vision will display augmented reality systems for firefighters, helping them make good decisions during high-risk events while reducing the cognitive load of incident command personnel. Longan's "Fusion Vision System" provides firefighters with enhanced vision, communication and situational awareness. fire-related products Smart home could be about delivering home analytics through cloudless architectures and new door lock approaches" The smart home market is a major focus at CES. In the case of fire-related products, a smart home can also be a safer home. “For the smart home market at CES this year, we expect to see numerous announcements regarding home awareness,” says Blake Kozak, Senior Principal Analyst at IHS Markit. “This will include brands offering up additional analytics for consumer security cameras with a focus on edge-based solutions.” The show features more than 170,000 attendees, 4,500 exhibitors and 1,100 industry thought-leaders featured on the CES stage. “The impact of this [event] for the smart home could be about delivering home analytics and enhancing privacy through cloudless architectures and new electronic door lock approaches,” Kozak adds. integrated smart home experience An example of home analytics is the Resideo Home app, introduced in December, which will make whole-home monitoring possible for four critical networks of the home – water, air, energy and security. Resideo promises a “simplified and integrated smart home experience." Smart fire monitoring solution provider Rozetatech at CES 2020 offers an Internet of Things (IoT) fire detection solution that uses advanced digital sensors and their wireless capabilities and sends real-time information through mobile phones to 911 rescue centers and fire officers. First Alert has helped protect homes and families for 60 years. Their Onelink portfolio, on display at CES, expands to provide whole home safety and WiFi coverage solutions. Gentex Corp. provides commercial smoke detection and signaling devices for the fire protection industry (in addition to a portfolio of electro-optical products for the global automotive industry). smart home and IoT applications Their newly developed UART-interface alarms can be integrated with any client's wireless module for various smart home EVERDay Technology provides smoke/heat/CO/gas detectors for both commercial and residential applications. Their newly developed UART-interface alarms, such as smoke/heat combo alarms, smoke/CO combo alarms and gas alarms, can be integrated with any client's wireless module for various smart home and IoT applications. Siterwell Electronics includes sensor alarms such as smoke, carbon monoxide, gas, heat, and water level alarms among its range of security and protection products for residential and commercial applications. Siterwell exports to around 66 countries. Other products include a UL-listed commercial fire alarm system, IoT intelligent security and smart home networking products. smart water leak detectors AerNos nano gas sensors detect multiple gases simultaneously to parts-per-billion levels for indoor and outdoor air quality monitoring, hazardous gas detection and other "e-nose" applications. The tiny, accurate, affordable and low-power modules deliver results for plug-and-play integration with commercial product lines. Safera Oy is an international innovator in intelligent stove guard technology and preventive fire safety. The new Safera Sense product provides smart cooking notifications to help users reduce cooking fire risks, assist with cooking temperatures and times, and improve air quality while cooking. smart home devices WaryMe designs and develops a personal safety mobile application to improve a user’s security in public places, schools, transports and companies by addressing major risks such as terrorism attacks, intrusion, fire and even industrial accidents. An all-in-one mobile application integrates alerting, crisis management and mass notification features. “Market players are looking to expand beyond established smart home devices like smart thermostats and networked cameras to products like smart water leak detectors, smart pet feeders, and smart air purifiers,” says Elizabeth Parks, President, Parks Associates. “Familiarity with smart home devices lags behind familiarity with smart entertainment products; it even lags that of smart speakers, which are quite new in the market,” adds Parks. In 2020, we will see players working to advance the visibility and marketing around device integration and specifically focus on use case scenarios around safety, security, and convenience, which have always been the primary drivers of adoption of these types of products.”

First Alert And NVFC Partner On Fire Extinguisher Training To Increase Community Safety Nationwide
First Alert And NVFC Partner On Fire Extinguisher Training To Increase Community Safety Nationwide

When a fire starts, every second counts. Fire extinguishers can help save lives when used quickly and effectively. Yet an astonishing 70% of fire extinguisher owners say they would not be comfortable using an extinguisher in the event of a fire according to recent research. For this reason, First Alert and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have developed a new fire extinguisher training course for volunteer fire departments nationwide, supplemented by an extinguisher donation program for community outreach initiatives. Called “Home Fire Preparedness: Fire Extinguisher Best Practices,” the course educates volunteer fire department personnel about the role fire extinguishers can play in fire safety, and how proper extinguisher placement and maintenance can help reduce the risk of severe fire incidents. Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires, with ranges or cooktops accounting for 63% of home fire incidents according to the National Fire Protection Association. Many small kitchen fires could likely be resolved with a fire extinguisher if caught early. home safety plan The training provides insight about the different types of fire extinguishers and when and how to use them However, research revealed 50% of fire extinguisher owners have never operated one, while 60% of respondents stated they would very likely use one in the event of a fire. “Operating a fire extinguisher can make people feel uneasy, which is why First Alert provides tools to help educate the community through local fire departments,” said Tarsila Wey, director of marketing for First Alert, a trusted brand in home safety. “Fire extinguishers are an integral part of a home safety plan, along with smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and having – and practicing – an escape plan.” The training provides insight about the different types of fire extinguishers, when and how to use them, and detailed information on proper maintenance and appropriate placement of fire extinguishers. Participants will also learn the importance of knowing when not to use an extinguisher, but to instead call 911 and exit the home safely. This training will enable volunteer firefighters to educate their community on how to properly and safely use this important line of defense. In the home, a simple way to remember how to operate a fire extinguisher is with the acronym PASS: Pull the pin on the extinguisher Aim the nozzle low toward the base of the fire Squeeze the trigger Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side CO alarm installations To complement the training, First Alert donated 500 rechargeable 1-A:10-B:C fire extinguishers to volunteer fire departments to help them make an immediate impact in their communities. Departments that receive the extinguishers are part of the NVFC’s Fire Corps program, which utilizes community volunteers to assist resource-constrained fire departments with non-operational tasks such as community education and smoke and CO alarm installations. “The education provided in this fire extinguisher course, combined with First Alert’s donation, helps our volunteer departments keep communities safe,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “We are thankful for the commitment our volunteer firefighters make to keep their own neighbors safe from threats of fire and carbon monoxide.” The “Home Fire Preparedness: Fire Extinguisher Best Practices” course is now available in the NVFC Virtual Classroom. The course will be free for the first 500 participants, compliments of First Alert.

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