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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 FIA 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. 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.

Safe As Houses: Using Technology To Reduce The Risk Of Fires
Safe As Houses: Using Technology To Reduce The Risk Of Fires

New government legislation due to come into force in the United Kingdom on July 1st will require electrical installations in privately rented properties to be tested and inspected at least once every 5 years. The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations (2020) will require landlords to enlist qualified electricians to complete inspections and provide certification to tenants – or face fines of up to £30,000. While the risk of fire can never be entirely eliminated, the new legislation will introduce higher levels of safety and ensure that one of the primary causes of fire – electrical malfunctions – is regularly tested for. There are a number of procedures and regulations in place for when a fire has already started, but this new law will help to reduce the chances of it getting to that point. After all, prevention is the best form of protection. No safety procedure or response plan will ever fully prepare someone for the reality of a fire. However, a comprehensive prevention strategy and use of the latest technologies to quickly detect and respond to a fire can at least reduce the potential risk to both life and property. Defensive detection A fire can spring from many sources. Current standards do a good job of ensuring properties are well equipped to defend against fires created by overcurrent caused by overloads and short circuits. A comprehensive prevention strategy and use of the latest technologies to quickly detect and respond to a fire can at least reduce potential risk However, electrical fires can also result from mistakes made during the installation process, namely loose cabling or aging circuits that will not be detected by overcurrent protection. Indeed, a defective or worn insulation is the cause of 14% of all electrical fires in buildings. The danger of landlords only performing the bare minimum to protect their buildings is that, should a fire start from a source they haven’t accounted for, the loss and disruption to property could be devastating. For maximum protection, individuals need reliable, innovative products that excel beyond the minimum standards to prevent a fire from starting in the first place. The pending legislation will add to this safety from the start. It will require landlords to use qualified electricians when installing, repairing and maintaining systems, benefitting both landlords and tenants by mitigating electrical issues and instilling greater confidence. Protection against insulation faults The risk of cable insulation faults grows over time and the consequences can be severe. Low-intensity arc faults are more likely to occur in humid, dusty environments, causing injury and deadly fires if precautions aren’t taken. Protection against insulation faults within cables can be assured by residual current devices (RCD), which are triggered by earth leakage currents exceeding 300mA. For maximum protection, individuals need reliable, innovative products that excel beyond the minimum standards to prevent a fire from starting Additionally, final circuits in critical locations (as recommended in IEC 60364), should be protected by an arc fault detection device (AFDD). This is a circuit breaker that automatically cuts off the electricity supply when it detects an arc fault in the circuit. By immediately stopping the supply, AFDDs stop arc faults from reaching temperatures where fires can break out. As well as ensuring that private tenants feel more safe and secure, the new legislation represents an opportunity for electricians to secure more work and develop their skills. Going forward, as the demand for electricians in the private rented sector rises, we expect to see greater opportunity for electrical engineers to win long running contracts with landlords and property managers. Fire may be a risk, but it is not unavoidable. This new legislation promises greater peace of mind for private tenants by ensuring that electrical standards are met and hazards reduced. With expert knowledge and the correct approach to electrical fire prevention, a fire can be extinguished before any damage is done.

Latest Apollo Fire Detectors Ltd news

Apollo Fire Detectors’ Shares Knowledge With The Industry With Free Online Training Courses During COVID-19 Lockdown
Apollo Fire Detectors’ Shares Knowledge With The Industry With Free Online Training Courses During COVID-19 Lockdown

Hundreds of fire industry professionals from over 30 countries have benefitted from Apollo Fire Detectors’ free online training courses available throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period. The weekly virtual CPD seminars and product focused webinars have proved so popular that the company has extended the initial six- week program of events into July and August, and potentially beyond. the next phase of courses Warren Moyle, Senior Technical Support Engineer at Apollo Fire Detectors, who has been leading most of the online training said: “We wanted to support the industry during this difficult time by sharing our expertise and technical knowledge.” “We’re grateful that people from all over the world including Greece, Singapore and Egypt have been willing to invest in their professional development and learn more about our products. We’ve had some great feedback and we’re looking forward to delivering the next phase of courses that we’ll be running over the summer.” CPD accredited training courses Apollo is delivering online industry focused CPD accredited seminars covering topics Aimed at consultants and specifiers, Apollo is delivering online industry focused CPD accredited seminars covering topics such as an introduction to BS 7273-4, EN54 Part 23 and an introduction to BS 5839 Pts 1 & 6. Apollo has also condensed its existing full-day face to face CPD accredited training courses into one-hour CPD accredited courses to ensure that customers wanting to attend these sessions don’t miss out due to the lockdown. Throughout July and August, there will also be a series of 30-minute product orientated webinars, providing useful advice and insights to installers, covering features and benefits, applications, demonstration videos and frequently asked questions for numerous Apollo ranges including XPander, AlarmSense and the Apollo Test Set. Techno-Filled experience Customer feedback so far includes: “The webinar was simply wonderful. Techno-filled experience of the trainers was really good. The Q&A session helped me to learn new things. Keep it up and boost our knowledge on Apollo products.”  Plus: “Thank you Apollo, these are great sessions without spending time traveling. Your experience in the field gives us many things to learn about the fire industry.” As well as: “Very informative presentation, with good definitions of terminology. Not an area I knew anything about previously.” All webinars are being hosted on Microsoft Teams events, which allows attendees to watch live and interact with presenters via a moderated Q&A. All registrants receive a recording of the webinar after the event, so those who don’t make the live event still get the opportunity to watch it on demand.

Apollo SOTERIA® Installs Fire Alarm Systems And Detectors At Ulster Bank
Apollo SOTERIA® Installs Fire Alarm Systems And Detectors At Ulster Bank

Apollo Fire Detectors’ SOTERIA® range of detectors has been chosen to protect Ulster Bank’s headquarters in Belfast. Owned by RBS, Ulster Bank Group is a bank in Ireland with a branch network across both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The group moved its headquarters to development in Donegall Square East in Belfast in 2000. The building required a life cycle replacement of its existing fire alarm system, which had been in service for 18 years, along with additional detection as necessary to validate L1 coverage. The Project The development was created around the façade of an old Methodist church designed by Dublin architect, Isaac Farrell, and consists of a reinforced concrete frame with flat slab floor construction including a double storey basement. In order to cause the least amount of disruption to staff, the work was all carried out after-hours and at weekends over a 12-week period, while also making sure the system was fully functional and all work areas clean and tidy for staff coming in the next day. Installation of Fire Alarm Systems Integrated services supplier Aramark Ireland was selected by Ulster Bank to perform the role of main contractor for the works. Following a tender process, fire alarm specialist Ashdale Engineering Ltd was appointed to replace the existing closed protocol fire alarm system and PAVA system. Met the customers’ expectations of enhanced detection to minimize the risk of false alarms Aramark project manager Michael Hyland said: “We were pleased to be able to appoint Ashdale for the key role of fire alarm replacement. Having delivered a similar project with them in 2015 for the same client we had total confidence in their ability. Ashdale performed flawlessly and the project was delivered on time and within budget.”  In the role as principal contractor Aramark were also responsible for all the health and safety management relating to the project. Some of the work involved detection replacement in the 25-meter-high atrium, working at height over areas of plant, lift shafts and HV switch rooms. H&S manager for Aramark Gary Henderson said: “The project certainly had its challenges but with planning, consultation and coordination with Ashdale and other contractors we were able to deliver the project safely and without incident.”  Optical smoke detector and heat detectors Apollo’s SOTERIA® range of devices were chosen for this project. This included the optical smoke detector, heat detectors, multisensors, manual call points and interfaces. Covering a range of areas from open plan offices, carpark, plant rooms, kitchens and canteen, SOTERIA® met the customers’ expectations of enhanced detection to minimize the risk of false alarms and provide a future proof system using next generation technology. A total of 645 optical detectors, 89 heat detectors, 24 multisensors, 83 manual call points and 78 interfaces combine to provide the ideal solution for Ulster Bank. All controlled by a fire panel from Advanced. Open protocol and backward compatibly David Moore, team leader at Ashdale, said: “The decision to select the Apollo SOTERIA® range of device for this project was an easy one. Having used SOTERIA® on a number of other projects we knew the devices were easy to install and commission. They also provide a modern aesthetically pleasing look in a modern office environment.” Colin Simms, operations director at Ashdale, added: “It was great to be able to continue our long relationship with Apollo on this project. Ashdale have represented Apollo Fire Detectors for over 30 years in Northern Ireland. With over 27 years’ experience with the product myself, it’s great to see how fire detection technology has developed from the days of Series 90 to the highly advanced SOTERIA® devices we have today. The open protocol and backward compatibly yet future proof design, continue to be key factors for us when we make our recommendations to our clients for fire detection.”

Apollo Fire Detectors Installs Fire Safety Equipment At Former Defense Rehabilitation Center
Apollo Fire Detectors Installs Fire Safety Equipment At Former Defense Rehabilitation Center

To support the COVID-19 site, and despite the warehouse being closed for a stock take, Apollo Fire Detectors personally delivered the essential fire safety equipment the day after the order was placed. Headley Court, in Surrey, will re-open and serve as a temporary community hospital for patients needing rehabilitation or convalescence, those receiving end-of-life care, as well as those who are recovering from COVID-19 and do not require critical or acute hospital care. COVID-19 patients rehabilitation or convalescence The Headley Court facility closed in 2018 and the existing fire systems were no longer viable. Detect Fire & Security Ltd were appointed by Corrigenda Facilities Services to install a new fire system into nine buildings in just four weeks and chose the XP95 from Apollo Fire Detectors. It took four weeks to complete the installation in nine buildings Joe Presswell, Technical Manager from Detect Fire & Security Ltd, explained: “The site was already configured with ward space and other clinical areas, so it was ideal to be converted for use as a community hospital. Upon initial site survey, it was a relatively straight-forward installation, simply swapping the equipment and reprogramming the system onto the new Advanced Electronics addressable fire panels. But the timescales were understandably hugely demanding. We were originally asked to work on three buildings, but this soon changed to nine buildings, with the order in which they were expected to be completed changing throughout the installation. Apollo were fantastic partners to work with, ensuring good stock levels at all times and accommodating all our requirements.” Mr. Presswell continued: “It took four weeks to complete the installation in nine buildings. In normal circumstances it would take around three weeks per building. This was a brilliant team effort.” life-saving devices  Nicolas Duke, Operations Director at Apollo Fire Detectors said: “The Apollo team has always prided itself on its level of customer service and flexibility. Working with Detect Fire & Security on the Headley Court project was a prime example of this. Thanks to the fantastic support and dedication of our operations staff - continuing to work on our life-saving devices through all of the coronavirus crisis - we were able to maintain our stock levels of key products." "The first order arrived on a day when manufacturing was closed due to stock take, therefore it was actually packed and made ready for next day pick-up by the Apollo Leadership Team. We are all proud of the contribution that Apollo and our customers have made to the national response to the virus.” Mike Sutton, Sales Manager at Apollo Fire Detectors said: “Communication and teamwork were the keys to the success of this project.  We really pulled out all the stops to help make this project come together so quickly.  I personally delivered the first batch of products to site and our board of directors’ members were packing boxes in the warehouse to ensure the project could start on time. We’re delighted that the new facility is now fully protected, and patients can be cared for in a safe environment.”

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