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LSZH Cabling: The Next Step In Preventing Gas & Smoke Deaths In Fires
LSZH Cabling: The Next Step In Preventing Gas & Smoke Deaths In Fires

Products for electrical systems that are installed into modern, complex buildings have to be fit-for-purpose for today’s challenging demands. With the background of numerous incidents still being felt by the fire performance industry, how is it to set the benchmarks for the future to make sure there is never another Lakanal House or another Grenfell? The long-term answer is for clearer guidance and legislation, if necessary, to enable the whole supply chain to make decisions which are compliant when choosing products. In the meantime, with the Grenfell inquiry projected to go on during 2019, what is the benchmark?The development of LSZH materials was accelerated following the King’s Cross Underground disaster in which 31 people died Cables With LSZH Materials We have standards through British Standards (BS) and testing regimes which cables should meet to validate that they meet these standards with approvals from various industry bodies including BASEC and LPCB. At AEI Cables, we have developed our Total Fire Solutions range of cables and accessories for all fire safety applications, incorporating Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) features. Traditional PVC cables which produce vast amounts of dense black smoke, toxic fumes and acid gas when exposed to fire, bring an added danger to people who may be caught in the fire. Cables which incorporate LSZH materials emit very little of these substances. In a real fire situation, the cables will enable the fire and rescue services to find and evacuate people and help to protect property Smoke And Noxious Gases Cause More Casualties The development of LSZH materials was accelerated following the King’s Cross Underground disaster in which 31 people died, many of them from toxic fumes. London Underground has banned the use of PVC cables as a result. The adoption of LSZH for cables and other materials is also endorsed by the Building Regulations themselves. According to Part B, referencing fire safety, it says clearly: “The primary danger associated with fire in its early stages is not flame but the smoke and noxious gases produced by the fire. They cause most of the casualties and may also obscure the way to escape routes and exits. Measures designed to provide safe means of escape must therefore provide appropriate arrangements to limit the rapid spread of smoke and fumes.” Helping Fire And Rescue Services The very latest in technology and science, including LSZH materials, offers enhanced fire performance cablingThe very latest in technology and science, including LSZH materials, offers enhanced fire performance cabling, accessories and technical support ensuring critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a real fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes. In a real fire situation, these cables will enable the fire and rescue services to find and evacuate people and help to protect property. At the same time, there is still evidence of non-approved cabling still coming onto the market, and we simply cannot compromise quality of these products being used in these applications. Applications include residential and commercial buildings, shopping malls, airports and protected buildings with a track-record ensuring that fire alarms, sprinkler systems, building monitoring and security systems can continue to operate in a fire.

Continuity Of Power Throughout Buildings Is Key During A Fire
Continuity Of Power Throughout Buildings Is Key During A Fire

The continuity of power in the event of a real fire has never been more important as modern buildings become more complex and the need for the highest quality of products comes under the spotlight. With power for lighting and fire alarms, the fire and rescue services can use the intelligence gathered to evacuate people quickly, confident that they have found all the people in the building. Without power, they are literally scrambling in the dark without good information upon which to make their rescue. The continuity of power will also ensure that sprinkler or water mist systems can continue to operate where they exist. In commercial buildings, there may also be smoke evacuation fans which help to enable safe evacuation. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services  Appropriate Cabling  At the start of a project, the most appropriate cabling should be specified as part of the electrical system rather than at the end of a project. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services across individual areas and floors. At the same time, there are new designs, materials and products continually coming on to the market for major projects, and with it an increasing need for the various parties involved to work closely together to make sure they get it right. There has been an increasing incidence of non-approved cables on the market and unfortunately it is not until cables have been installed, tested or used that issues become clear. For installers, or those procuring cables, there is a need to check the cable when it arrives to make sure it is exactly what was specified. Should there be a problem, have it checked and seek good advice. Keep records of purchase, including reel flanges with batch markings and a sample of the cable markings. Send lengths for testing and then decide on the most appropriate course of action. Choice of cabling is crucial at the start of major projects as issues may occur later  Meeting Rigorous Third-Party Tests  For some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios. These include environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes where older people and children move about. Specifiers looking at new large public sector projects such as hospitals should refer to BS 8519 for the electrical supply, and the most relevant cabling system. It is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests This Code of Practice specifies that the type of system selected during the design phase ‘should be derived from a detailed process of consultation with the relevant authorities’ and that ‘the design should be agreed at an early stage.’ The decision-making process for cable selection relevant for life safety and firefighting systems is clearly defined here. This covers three categories ranging from 30 minutes to 120 minutes fire survival time.  Categories 1 and 2 cover means of escape for 30 minutes and then 60 minutes respectively, and these cables are tested in accordance with the relevant codes. Category 3 for firefighting to 120 minutes refers to power and control cables meeting the 120-minute test according to the relevant standards. It should be emphasised that only Mineral Insulated Cable (MIC) or a cable meeting the requirements of BS7846 F120 will meet this criteria. For clarity, BS 8519 does not take precedence over BS 5839 for alarm systems and BS 5266 for emergency lighting. In essence, choosing the most relevant cabling and electrical accessories which will continue to operate under fire conditions has become critical. Application Of Medium Voltage Cables  As the incidence of non-approved cables continues then so the application of Medium Voltage (MV) cables into high-risk environments including hospitals, schools, care homes, industrial sites and sub-stations serving infrastructure sites also becomes critical. In the context off fire engineering, it is important to select the relevant MV Cables in these areas. Adhering to the latest regulations is no longer enough - there needs to be a risk assessment. In order to do this effectively, it is important to ask – are the fire safety procedures up to date? All AEI MV cables are third party tested and approved by BASEC. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards The whole supply chain needs to take consideration of these areas where vulnerable people often move about such as children or elderly people in hospitals or care homes. The fire and rescue services may need a little more time than a conventional building including reading complex fire alarm information to ensure a safe rescue in the event of a real fire. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards. This is due to ageing structures, high volume of combustible materials, and changing use in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths programmes where more combustible and flammable liquids are being used. Concerns have been raised by architects and and designers about fire protection regimes  Sufficient Fire Risk Assessment  Recent research by the Fire Brigades Union, for example, showed that a key focus for all educational institutions must be ensuring that there is an effective fire risk management process in place, delivered by suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment carried out by an expert in the field. The best practice under Business Information Modelling (BIM) and all best practice of fire safety engineering methods should be observed in conjunction with project partners. There have been concerns over a number of years around the fire protection regime for new buildings expressed by the architects and designers themselves. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) points to the delays to Approved Document B with regard to the relationship of Building Regulations to changing design and construction. AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service RIBA says the virtual disappearance of the role of the clerk of works or site architect and the loss of independent oversight of construction and workmanship on behalf of the client is a further issue for concern. In essence, RIBA believes that future proposals for the fire safety regulatory regime should be informed by the specialist fire safety expertise of relevant professional organisations and groups, and also take full account of this wider set of construction industry AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service with the support of its parent company Ducab based in Dubai, with the design, manufacture and supply of MIC, Firetec Enhanced or Firetec Power depending on specific needs. The choice of cabling and accessories should not be underestimated at the earliest opportunity to ensure the fire and rescue services are given every chance of success in rescuing people and saving property.

How Targeted Suppression Stops Fires At The Source
How Targeted Suppression Stops Fires At The Source

While whole room protection – sprinklers or gas systems – is a common choice, there is an argument for thinking smaller; taking fire detection and suppression down to the equipment, enclosures and even the components where a fire is most likely to start. Traditional Fire Suppression Methods A traditional water-based sprinkler system is the most common form of fire protection found in commercial and industrial buildings. They offer reasonable cost, large area protection for entire facilities, safeguarding the structure and personnel by limiting the spread and impact of a fire. Every square foot of the protected area is covered equally regardless of the contents of the space, whether it’s an empty floor or an object with an increased risk of fire. Sprinklers aren’t always the most appropriate choice. Not all fires are extinguished by water of course, and in some cases, water damage can be just as harmful or even more so than the fire. They are an impractical choice for instance for facilities housing anything electrical, such as data centres and server rooms. There is also the risk of accidental activation, with an estimated cost of up to $1,000 for every minute they are left running. Water damage can be just as harmful or even more so than any fire, so sprinklers may not be appropriate Targeted Supplementary Fire Suppression An alternative method to protect whole server rooms and data centres is gas fire suppression, which either suppresses the fire by displacing oxygen (inert) or by using a form of cooling mechanism (chemical/synthetic). These aren’t without risk; in the case of inert gas, oxygen is reduced to less than 15% to suffocate the fire, but must be kept above 12% to avoid endangering the lives of personnel. Similarly, clean agent gas can be toxic in high doses. There are smaller, focused systems that give the option of highly targeted supplementary fire suppression within fire risk areas. Installing a system directly into the areas most at risk, means that fires can be put out before they take hold and cause serious damage. Both sprinkler and gas systems can contain a fire, but micro-environment or closed space systems are completely automatic, detecting and suppressing the fire so rapidly that activating a sprinkler or gas total flooding system often isn’t necessary. The most popular enclosure fire suppression systems achieve this though the use of a flexible and durable polymer tubing that is routed easily through the tightest spaces. The tubing is extremely sensitive to heat and, because it can be placed so close to potential failure points, detects it and releases the fire suppression agent up to ten times faster than traditional systems. An airline was forced to cancel over 2,000 flights after a “small fire” in one of its data centers Cost-Effective Fire Protection Highly customizable, small enclosure fire suppression is specifically designed to protect business critical spaces and equipment. It is typically used inside machinery like CNC machines, mobile equipment like forklifts and inside server rooms and electrical cabinetry but is suitable for any hazard that’s considered to have an elevated fire risk. Some may question the need or cost-effectiveness of protecting micro-environments. However, examples abound of where fires that have started at component level have gone on to cause damage of the highest magnitude, and the cost of downtime can be crippling to many time-sensitive facilities and processes. An airline was forced to cancel over 2,000 flights in August 2016 when what was described as a “small fire” in one of its data centers ultimately led to a computer outage. The cost of that small fire, and the domino effect that quickly escalated from it, has since been announced as $150m. Admittedly that number is unusually high - the average cost of a data centre outage today is estimated at a more conservative $730,000 – but this is still an expense businesses can ill afford. Preventing Major Losses Staying with the transport industry, newer metros systems have redundant systems in place to prevent interruptions. However, older metro lines, such as the one in New York City, have experienced electrical fires that started small, but grew to such a magnitude that service was affected for months.Older metro lines, such as New York City's, have experience electrical fires that start small but grew exponentially A wind energy customer experienced a fire in a turbine converter cabinet. The loss of the cabinet was valued at over $200,000 and disabled the turbine for six weeks. Following investment in fire suppression systems inside the electrical cabinet, a subsequent fire was detected and suppressed before major damage could be caused. The cost on this occasion was therefore limited to a $25,000 component and downtime was less than two days.Equally - happily - there are also many instances where the installation of small enclosure fire suppression has prevented disaster. In the manufacturing world, CNC machines are valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars and need to be constantly operational to justify the investment. Oil coolant used in the machines can create a flash fire in an instant due to failed components or programming errors. The fact that many of these facilities are run ‘lights out’ with no personnel present further exacerbates the risk. If a fire is not dealt with immediately, the machine will be destroyed; sprinklers don’t react quickly enough for this scenario and would be ineffective. Ensuring Business Continuity One such flash fire occurred inside a protected CNC machine at a machine shop in Iowa. The polymer tubing ruptured within a fraction of a second, releasing the suppression agent and extinguishing the flames. The machine was undamaged and was operational again with a few hours. Contrast this to a previous fire at the same facility in an unprotected machine; it was out of operation for 4 days, costing the business thousands of dollars in downtime In short, fire protection is an essential element of our industrial and commercial environments to ensure both safety and business continuity. However, the nature of that protection is changing, as capacity increases to cost-effectively protect specific areas where fires are most likely to start. Risk mitigation analysis needs to look beyond what has been accepted in the past and find ways to further limit the impact of a small fire using this next level of protection. The benefits can really have a positive effect on the bottom line in the event of fire.

Latest Tyco Fire Suppression & Building Products news

Tyco Fire Protection To Launch Its Latest Fire Detection Solution At FIREX International 2013 In Birmingham, UK
Tyco Fire Protection To Launch Its Latest Fire Detection Solution At FIREX International 2013 In Birmingham, UK

Tyco will launch FireClass 501 panel, i-Flow inert gas system, 42bar SAPPHIRE system and AquaMist range Tyco Fire Protection Products will be exhibiting its latest innovations at this year’s FIREX International 2013 in Birmingham. New products launched into the fire detection, suppression and protection markets include the FireClass 501 addressable panel, i-Flow inert gas system, 42bar SAPPHIRE system and the launch of the re-engineered AquaMist range. Launching at the show will be the FC501, the latest FireClass addressable fire detection solution for small systems. Designed to be easy to install and use, the FC501 combines the simplicity of a conventional system with the benefits of addressable digital technology at a price point for less complex applications such as small factories and warehouses, schools and hotels. The FC501 addressable technology saves installers valuable time and is cost effective, with no need for a handheld device to test or programme the system. It enables end users to pinpoint an incident fast and control the system remotely for ultimate ease of use. The i-Flow technology system uses inert gases to extinguish fires in commercial and industrial applications and is one of the safest and most natural extinguishing methods with minimal impact on the environment. Its cylinder racking design concept offers architects flexibility and adaptability when systems have to be installed in tight spaces and it also provides cost benefits due to lower venting requirements. i-Flow features patented technology and incorporates three innovations working together: the i-Flow valve, the i-Flow check valve and the matrix cylinder racking design. The i-Flow valve regulates the flow and eliminates the peak pressure spike associated with conventional orifice systems. VdS approved, the i-Flow valve limits the output pressure, even in the event of a discharge occurring against a closed distribution valve, making it one of the safest valves on the market. Also launching at the show is a higher pressure 42bar SAPPHIRE system, the latest addition to Tyco Fire Protection Product’s award winning SAPPHIRE range of gaseous fire suppression systems. The latest system is designed to work at pressures of 42 bar, offering greater flexibility than the conventional 25 bar system and the ability to reduce pipe sizes and provide a more cost-effective solution. Installers now have the opportunity to protect multiple areas from a single point offering a space-saving solution, as well as the possibility of more remote storage container locations. Tyco Fire Protection Products will additionally be showcasing its latest innovation in water and engineered fire suppression with AquaMist. AquaMist fire suppression system uses enhanced Watermist technology to deliver small droplets into a protected space during fire conditions. There are three systems within the portfolio that are suitable for a variety of applications. The fine mist generated following operation is designed to limit fire growth at an early stage and to significantly reduce the amount of water required without any detrimental effect on fire fighting capability. As the system uses just water, there is no adverse effect on the environment. Jan Schumer, territory manager, UK, Ireland and Africa at Tyco Fire Protection Products comments: “We are very pleased to be exhibiting at FIREX International 2013. It is a key industry event and an ideal opportunity to connect with our customers. Our product innovations demonstrate our ongoing commitment to providing sustainable solutions that draw on the latest technology and representatives will be available on stand to share knowledge and offer technical expertise and engineering support. We look forward to meeting visitors at the show.”  

Tyco’s ANSUL R-102 Rated Top Amongst Commercial Kitchen And Restaurant Fire Protection Solutions
Tyco’s ANSUL R-102 Rated Top Amongst Commercial Kitchen And Restaurant Fire Protection Solutions

ANSUL R-102 features minimum and maximum piping restraints and minimum and maximum temperature limitations Tyco Fire Protection Products is taking the lead in commercial kitchen and restaurant fire protection solutions with its ANSUL R-102 Restaurant Fire Suppression System, protecting more food service kitchens than any other brand. Since introducing automatic fire suppression into restaurants in 1962, the ANSUL brand has developed to represent the pinnacle in engineering and materials technology. The R-102 Restaurant Fire Suppression System continues to be  the number one  fire protection solution across the world for hotels, restaurants, fast food outlets, food courts, hospitals, nursing homes, schools and other food service kitchens. ANSUL R-102 is a pre-engineered, wet chemical, cartridge operated system tested for fire extinguishment in worst case scenarios, with minimum and maximum piping restraints and minimum and maximum temperature limitations. The system has been performance tested under these strict controls and is certified to meet UL300 and LPS1223 approvals. The advantage of the ANSUL R-102 fire suppression system lies in its ability to quickly detect and extinguish a fire whether it starts from an appliance, a plenum or a duct. Using ANSULEX liquid fire suppressant, an advanced wet chemical agent, to extinguish grease and cooking oil fires, the ANSUL R-102 system rapidly knocks down flames and cools hot surfaces whilst generating a robust, vapour securing blanket that helps prevent reflash. The ANSULEX agent is also easy to clean-up and can usually be cleaned from appliances and kitchen areas within 2-4 hours, ensuring minimum business disruption and down-time. Tyco Fire Protection Products currently offers its ANSUL R-102 system in two designs – appliance-specific, which targets individual appliances to reduce the fire hazard risk, and also an overlapping design, where the fire suppression nozzles provide a fire-free zone. Design and specification guidance is provided by Tyco Fire Protection Products’ network of fully trained distributors who will take into account the requirements for each individual system. ANSUL R-102 complies with UL300 and ULC standards and carries MEA, ABS and CE approval, ensuring customers can be confident in a reliable, safe and robust fire suppression system. Chris Prideaux, UK Business Development Manager for the ANSUL R-102 systems comments: “Through our network of fully trained and audited distributors, ANSUL R-102 currently protects 95% of the industry’s top 100 restaurant chains across the world. A 2003 report by the National Fire Protection Association in the US found that over 40% of fires caused within eating and drinking establishments were from cooking equipment, so the need for active fire protection and suppression has never been greater. 1 in 5 businesses suffer a major disruption every year, with 80% either never re-opening or having to close within 18-months. “Our system offers customers reassurance that their business is protected 24 hours a day from the serious damage caused by kitchen fires and ensures that in the event of a fire, they will be back up and running as soon as possible with the minimum amount of disruption.”

Tyco Showcases Latest Foam Products At Interschutz
Tyco Showcases Latest Foam Products At Interschutz

Tyco's integrated offering is morefocused on the environment Tyco Fire Suppression & Building Products [TFS&BP], a business unit of Tyco International Ltd., showcased its latest innovations at Interschutz in a greatly expanded offering that enables the business to provide unrivalled integrated fire safety and building mechanical solutions globally across commerce and industry. While several key new products were spotlighted for the first time in Europe, TFS&BP also used Interschutz to announce that its SKUM brand, which in the past 75 years has become a world leader in foam systems hardware, is to add the full range of Towalex foam concentrates to its portfolio to transform the brand into a truly end-to-end solutions provider for commercial and industrial markets. It also unveiled plans to launch a number of new SKUM concentrates later in the year that will make significant changes to the global foam concentrate landscape. These new leading-edge SKUM foam concentrates will include the SKUM Towalex 3x3AP that has been described as a truly viable alternative to fluorine-based and fluorine-free based foam concentrates. It is a non-fluorine product based on novel performance chemicals providing high performance at minimal environmental impact and low toxicity. Other new SKUM foam concentrates are the SKUM Towalex ARC 1x1 concentrate that can be used with any type of discharge equipment without having to resort to any modifications, and the new detergent-based, UL-listed Meteor P+ high-expansion foam concentrate. Both are suitable to fight Class A and Class B [Class B and Class C in Europe, Australia and Asia] fires. The new products on show at Interschutz also included the Tyco Fire Products Ultra Low Flow [ULF] Aquamist watermist system, the innovative G-Press Piping System – the latest enhancement to the extensive Grinnell grooved piping products offering – and the Ansul JET-X High-Expansion Foam Generator. They were on show alongside a broad cross-section of other Tyco top-performing water-based, foam and chemical fire suppression solutions, including the market leading Hygood Sapphire environmentally acceptable and sustainable fire suppression system. The Tyco stand also featured the latest SKUM foam hardware and proportioning systems. The new Tyco ULF Aquamist suppression system is being heralded as a complete fire protection solution, with several significant installer and end user benefits. Compared with other watermist systems, it uses less water more effectively, reduces pipe sizes, cuts installation costs and minimises clean-up and water damage. The system offers the ease, simplicity, dependability and high-performance fire suppression of conventional sprinkler systems with the added benefit of using nearly 70 percent less water. Tyco ULF Aquamist utilises small-droplet water technology without the high water pressures and exotic components required by some watermist systems. Grinnell G-Press Piping System brings a number of innovative features that, until now, have not been available for sprinkler fire protection installations and satisfies the market's growing demand for quicker, more precise sprinkler pipe installation and the increasing expectation of improved site safety and security. The system requires only a press tool to complete the installation, and takes up far less space than traditional threaded, welded or flanged systems. Another bonus is that it is up to 50 percent lighter when compared with traditional threaded piping systems. The Ansul Jet-X High-Expansion Foam Generator requires only a small amount of water to generate large quantities of expanded foam. In addition to minimising the damage to the structure or its contents, this extremely low water content means that high-expansion foams can be used in and around many types of electrical equipment. The potential for hazardous run-off is also significantly reduced. It is water motor powered and does not require electrical power. 

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