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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.

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 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.

Latest Tyco Fire Suppression & Building Products news

Johnson Controls Unveils TYCO ESFR-34 Sprinkler That Offers Industry’s Tallest Ceiling-Only Warehouse Protection
Johnson Controls Unveils TYCO ESFR-34 Sprinkler That Offers Industry’s Tallest Ceiling-Only Warehouse Protection

Johnson Controls has announced the release of the new TYCO Model ESFR-34 Pendent Sprinkler (TY9286). The latest TYCO ESFR-34 sprinkler is an early suppression and fast response sprinkler that provides the tallest ceiling-only fire protection and narrowest aisle width currently available. TYCO ESFR-34 sprinkler The ESFR-34 sprinkler helps protect storage arrangements of 50 feet (15, 2 m) with a ceiling height up to 55 feet (16, 8 m) and aisle widths as narrow as six feet (1, 8 m). These sprinklers can be installed with a maximum element-to-ceiling distance of 17 inches (432 mm), the farthest distance in the industry. These features make the ESFR-34 Pendent Sprinkler suitable for warehouse and storage operations seeking design flexibility for increased storage. Enhanced fire protection for warehouses These expanding storage and warehousing facilities require proper fire protection solution" “With today’s consumers increasingly turning towards e-commerce, the storage and warehousing industry is being reshaped through increased demand of an ever-changing set of products,” said Lucas Eidenmuller, Global Product Manager for Storage Sprinklers at Johnson Controls. Lucas further adds, “These expanding storage and warehousing facilities require proper fire protection solution that helps them adapt to the needs of the business while keeping products and property safe at all times. This sprinkler provides an innovative solution to that problem.” Deploys fast-response fusible link With a nominal K-Factor of 33.6, the ESFR-34 sprinkler is especially advantageous as a means of eliminating the use of an in-rack sprinkler system when protecting high-piled storage. The sprinkler uses a fast-response fusible link available in both 165°F (74°C) and 212°F (100°C) and is approved for Class I-IV commodities and unexpanded plastics stored in single or double row racks.

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.”

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