Det-Tronics FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM ACCESSORIES(7)
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We at AEI Cables have sent out a message to the supply chain highlighting the need to use only approved cabling in critical signal and control equipment following the announcement of a revized version of the Code of Practice covering these areas of performance. In an open letter to customers, industry bodies and organizations, we are highlighting how the systems powered by these cables –including smoke and heat extraction systems–are critical in assisting fire services in the case of fire fighting and a safe evacuation. BS8519 Category 3 Control Cable AEI is the only supplier in the UK with independent approval from LPCB for BS8519 Category 3 Control fire performance cables with a fire survival time of up to 120 minutes. We feel strongly about this issue as a matter of safety and compliance. Using inferior types of cable for these applications is dangerous and poses a major risk. Some of these systems will simply not survive in a fire if a sub-standard cable is installed. Category 3 Control fire performance cables reduce harmful smoke, toxic gases and flame spread in the event of a fire. evacuation alarms The application of Category 3 Control fire performance cables also applies to evacuation alarms for the disabled Indeed, these cables also help fire and rescue services fighting a fire and evacuating people. The standard references and clarifies the products and levels of performance that should be used for all parts of the supply chain from specifiers to contractors and installers. The application of Category 3 Control fire performance cables also applies to evacuation alarms for the disabled in care homes, emergency voice communications systems and voice alarm systems in relevant buildings including tall buildings, office spaces, hospitals, care homes, shopping malls and stadia. AEI Cables’ FiretecEnhanced cabling has been approved and certified by LPCB to BS8519 (Annex B), Category 3 Control in addition to Category 2 Control.The BS Code of Practice under BS8519 contains six categories of cables, three for power cables and three for control cables each covering survival times of 30, 60 or 120 minutes. Mineral Insulated Cabling The Firetec Total Fire Solutions range offers Mineral Insulated Cabling (MIC), FiretecEnhanced fire performance cabling, accessories and technical support from the AEI Cables distribution facility at Washington, Tyne and Wear. All AEI Cables’ products are supplied with approvals from independent bodies including BASEC and LPCB. It also holds approvals from organizations including Lloyds, the MoD, Network Rail and LUL and works to international standards around the world.
The Grenfell tragedy has shocked the public and rocked the construction industry. The ongoing inquiry into the 2017 tower block fire has exposed huge flaws in existing practices across architecture, material specification, and building projects. It is also reinforcing the critical importance of fire protection. It took Grenfell, and admittedly the many years that have followed, for the industry to fully reappraise the product selection and testing regimes needed to ensure resident safety in buildings. Now, the tide is really starting to turn. Fire protection training Research we conducted across the UK, Germany, and France, in the aftermath of the disaster, revealed that knowledge levels surrounding fire and fire protection amongst some of our most trained professionals in architecture was very low. Across the three countries, only 3% of architects were able to correctly define the four basic fire protection terms: active fire protection, passive fire protection, fire resistance, and reaction to fire. Of the architects surveyed in the UK, 8% were able to define the four terms, in France, it was only 6%, and in Germany none. Hardly any of the architects interviewed, a mere 2%, said they’d had comprehensive fire protection training, most had some training, and less than one in ten (8%) say they’ve never had fire protection training. Fire-Protected buildings It was clear, post-Grenfell, that things needed to change, ensuring fire awareness is a top priority Our research confirmed that architects and specifiers had limited knowledge of fire protection and a lack of training in the area of designing safe, fire-protected buildings. It was clear, post-Grenfell, that things needed to change, ensuring fire awareness is a top priority, no matter how much time pressure industry professionals are under. And now they have. I believe that when COVID hit in spring 2020, a window of opportunity opened for fire protection awareness. Working together seamlessly Overnight, the majority of us were confined to our homes and adapting to working remotely where possible. For some businesses - such as ours here at Zeroignition - it had very little impact. Zeroignition is a global company and we have always operated remotely, enabling us to hire the best possible experts from around the world all working together seamlessly, remotely, and across 10 time zones. For other businesses, particularly architects, specifiers, and building consultants within the construction industry, this shift, which remains the same almost a year on, provided a very different way of working. A way that has now been proven to really work. Benefits of homeworking Online webinars have covered a variety of different topics including fire safety The benefits of homeworking are plentiful. One of the major benefits is time, a luxury many of us just didn’t have pre-pandemic. Now there’s no commute to work, to meetings, and to events. As exhibitions and conferences could not take place last year, many moved online, giving industry professionals the chance to engage and learn from the comfort of their own home, often at a time to suit their personal schedule. Since the outbreak of the pandemic last March, it has been reported that a whopping 49.2% of the British workforce were intent on investing time to actively further their learning. The NBS, (formerly National Building Specification) says it has seen a dramatic increase in webinar attendance. Eager participants include product manufacturers and also architects and specifiers. Online webinars have covered a variety of different topics including fire safety. Fire protection standards At Zeroignition we know that education is non-negotiable when ensuring buildings are built safely. Government regulations are being tightened to save lives, and as an industry, those of us in the business of design and construction must also continue to challenge ourselves to know more in order to meet incredibly high fire protection standards. Increased knowledge, coupled with a systematic approach - where products are seen together as a system, rather than individual components - would turn our methodology on its head for the better. Traceability is also a key component to add to the mix. One of the biggest failings unveiled by the Grenfell inquiry was the lack of traceability of products used for the building refurbishment. Investing in research and Development The introduction of a new regulator will help to ensure materials used when constructing buildings are safe This just wouldn’t happen in other industries such as aviation, or automotive, where every component of the structure is known and recorded. The introduction of a new regulator will help to ensure materials used when constructing buildings are safe, fit for purpose, and 100% traceable. Companies must be ready to stand up, take responsibility, educate themselves and invest in R&D to enable them to do things properly. The companies we’ve spoken to are willing to be more transparent, and share a product’s journey from testing, through to manufacture, installation, and maintenance, which is so important and really promising to see. Filling knowledge gaps From the very beginning, we’ve been challenging the industry to improve. To learn more. To try harder. To think differently. I can attest from our conversations with manufacturers that safety elements including fire safety have risen to the very top of the agenda. Never before have I seen companies so invested in R&D to enable them to build smarter, better, and safer – and consign appalling events like Grenfell to the history books. The pandemic has given the opportunity to invest time in filling knowledge gaps. So let’s continue to invest time in education and personal development to do better. Because it really matters. Change is imminent and safety is at the forefront.
Businesses operating within the waste industry are susceptible to a wide range of fire risks. Storage of combustible materials, the ongoing use of industrial vehicles and waste’s natural ability to rise in temperature all add to these risks. The sector’s safety has improved over recent years, with the Environment Agency (EA) making Fire Prevention Plans (FPPs) mandatory for every waste and recycling site. However, there’s still a way to go to ensure maximum safety - and insurers have a crucial role to play. James Mountain, Sales and Marketing Director, Fire Shield Systems Ltd, speaks to an anonymous insurance advisor, operating within the waste and recycling and waste to energy sectors, to explore the next steps the waste industry needs to take to create a safer environment for all. effective fire prevention What are the common fire safety issues you see in the waste industry? While the EA has made FPPs mandatory for all sites, these tend to state the need to install ‘a suppression solution’ For waste and recycling and waste to energy sites in particular, we tend to see a general lack of effective fire prevention and suppression systems. While the EA has made FPPs mandatory for all sites, these tend to state the need to install ‘a suppression solution’. It often won’t stipulate any required standards, particular specifications for compliance, and it also doesn’t always consider the conditions in which the system will be used and should operate effectively. The difficulty is decisions are primarily driven by costs. This can lead to sites unknowingly cutting corners by selecting substandard systems that don’t address their individual risks. For example, a business may select a sprinkler system as a cheaper alternative to an automatic suppression system, however, should a fire break out, that system may be designed to protect the warehouse shell, rather than the teams and valuable equipment inside it. fire safety systems How do insurers usually recommend fire safety systems? In many cases, insured systems will arise from a manufacturer’s deal. For example, a forklift may be pre-fitted with a vehicle fire suppression system, which was installed as part of a bulk deal with the manufacturer. However, that template system may not be fit for purpose in every operating environment, such as those which require the vehicle to operate continuously, with little downtime, to fulfil busy work schedules. If a site demonstrates that it has fire protection measures implemented, some insurers will accept the policy, without verifying how effective those measures are in practice. This can lead businesses to trust a system that isn’t the most suitable for their individual risks. Also, insurance underwriting templates will often only stipulate the need for ‘an approved system’, giving little incentive for businesses to go beyond the minimum approval requirements. That’s where insurers can play a crucial part in driving up standards. individual risk assessment What more could be done? Some certification standards can be used to guide insurer decisions and safeguard sites more effectively Although not compulsory, some certification standards can be used to guide insurer decisions and safeguard sites more effectively. Two key examples of these standards being the FM Approval and SPCR (P-Mark). If a system carries the FM approval mark, subject to an individual risk assessment, businesses and insurers can trust its ability to effectively safeguard a site. Whereas the SPCR (P-Mark) standard acts as an industry benchmark for the fire suppression systems for heavy vehicles and machinery. Both of these standards evaluate the effectiveness of a system, applying a range of tests to ensure they are fit for purpose in practice. The onus for driving safety standards forward is with the insurer. It’s about recommending the right systems for the right sites and environments - education is a crucial part of that. Insurers need to confidently carry out checks to ensure measures and systems are robust enough to adequately protect the site. It’s a win-win scenario. factors influencing risk The standards promote greater transparency on the suitability of systems, preventing businesses from unknowingly selecting a substandard solution and delivering confidence in the safety of the site for teams and assets. For insurers, a safer site means decreased fire risk, meaning pay out costs are also likely to decrease. How has the safety of the industry changed over recent years? Typically, waste and recycling and waste to energy have always been ‘rogue’ operating areas, but safety standards have moved on in recent years, and the EA continues to become more stringent in its fire safety guidance. There are a number of different factors influencing risk across the sectors, making addressing the issue all the more urgent. fire suppression systems By adopting safety standards, the insurance industry can move to reduce inadequate fire prevention systems These include Brexit and the resulting implications of the Basel Convention regulations and China’s ban on solid waste imports, both of which are causing new export restrictions to be placed upon areas which were previously highly relied upon for waste disposal. This is causing a number of waste transportation delays and higher storage levels for waste sites, leading sites to operate closer to storage capacity. In turn, this increases dependence on fire prevention and suppression systems to ensure safe sites. unique operating environments What are the next steps throughout 2021 and beyond? The whole insurance market needs to work together. It’s a collective approach. The EA will continue to push for greater mitigation measures on site. However, by adopting effective safety standards, such as FM approval and SPCR (P Mark), the insurance industry can move to reduce the presence of inadequate fire prevention and suppression systems. Fire safety is all about selecting and insuring the right systems. Insurers need to account for the unique operating environments of sites within the waste and recycling and waste to energy sectors - that is the crucial next step.
AAR MRO Services supports airline operators with everything from maintenance inspections and equipment upgrades to airframe painting and heavy maintenance for all major aircraft in service. The largest MRO operator of its type in the Americas, AAR recently opened the company’s largest facility, located at the Chicago Rockford International Airport. Here, each of two 10-story hangar bays can accommodate hundreds of ‘small’ aircraft, two Boeing 787s or even an Airbus A380, the largest commercial aircraft in production today. Also in each of the two bays are 10 Det-Tronics optical flame detectors that function as the critical sensors for the AAR hangar’s fire protection system. Heavy Maintenance Inspections Aircraft spend anywhere from three days to two months in AAR’s hangars Russel Daubert, AAR Rockford’s Facility Manager, and Chris Wolf, Director of Maintenance, have overseen the 24-hour operations at the MRO hangar since it opened in late 2016. AAR serves multiple airline customers, and like any MRO facility, Wolf says their goal is to “get lines that are current, which means an airline operator will continually bring in one plane after another to keep their fleet operating safely.” Daubert adds, “The biggest portion of our work is airframe overhauls and heavy maintenance inspections, and depending on the aircraft, we can have up to 225 aircraft in each hangar at one time plus 50 to 60 crew.” Aircraft spend anywhere from three days to two months in AAR’s hangars. Fire protection in MRO hangars must be able to handle the challenges associated with servicing aircraft. Conventionally Constructed Fire Hangars According to Wolf, aircraft bring inherent fire hazards to MRO facilities. “These aircraft come in with 70,000 to 80,000 pounds of fuel,” Wolf says. “Add the oxygen tanks on board for passenger and crew safety, plus the possible sparks from electrical equipment or other sources, and you have all the ingredients needed for fire.” Maintenance also involves painting aircraft in the hangars, which can result in the circulation of highly flammable paint plumes under and around wings and fuselage. Hangars in these groups usually require both sprinklers and foam for fire protection Fire protection standards specific to aircraft hangars are spelled out in the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA® 409 Standard on Aircraft Hangars. This document classifies hangars by size and construction type; conventionally constructed fire hangars with fire areas of 40,000 sq. ft. or less are classified in Groups I, II and III. Hangars in these groups usually require both sprinklers and foam for fire protection. High Expansion Foam Suppression System AAR’s Rockford facility is unique both for its immense size and for its construction method, a fabric tension membrane over steel trusses. The 2-inch thick insulated material meets NFPA 701 and ASTM E-84 standards for flame retardancy, fire safety advantages that led the NFPA to decide hangars covered in this fabric would fall in a Group IV classification. Group IV hangars can have an unlimited fire area and need only a low- or high expansion foam suppression system. One of the goals of MRO service providers is to provide fast turns of the planes entrusted to them by airline operators. To support this objective, a hangar fire detection system must have two very important capabilities: quickly detect the presence of flames, and reject false alarms (generated by welding, engine start-ups, etc.) that could unnecessarily initiate suppression systems, interrupt operations and potentially lead to significant aircraft damage. Fire Protection System The project manager for the Chicago Rockford hangar expansion looked to local fire protection contractor The solution for hundreds of hangars in the past 10 years – from military bases to commercial hangars and MRO facilities – has been to deploy optical flame detectors from Det-Tronics. When it was time to specify the fire protection system for the mammoth hangar bays, the project manager for the Chicago Rockford hangar expansion looked to local fire protection contractor, Absolute Fire Protection, Inc., to handle the fire protection system. In turn, John Danis of Absolute called in 3S Incorporated, a Harrison, Ohio firm that specializes in industrial and special hazard systems, to design the detection and foam suppression part of the fire protection system. Because of the size and scope of the Rockford hangar, 3S and Absolute, along with other design and building partners, worked for nearly three years to take the project from initial planning to construction. Multispectrum Infrared Flame Detectors During that time, a construction engineer had calculated it would take no less than 84 detectors per hangar bay to monitor the facilities for fire. Aaron Hinkle, sales engineer at 3S, disagreed. “I realized that was far more than necessary, if we just picked the right product for the job,” he says. All the alarms contractor had to do was install four detectors on each side wall" Hinkle had worked with the Det-Tronics X3301 Multispectrum Infrared (IR) flame detectors on previous hangar projects, and he knew the units possessed the optical power, field-of-view capacity and speed to do what was required. In consultation with Det-Tronics applications engineers, Hinkle came to the conclusion that, “Because of the X3301’s performance attributes, each 119,000-square-foot hangar could be covered with just 10 detectors from Det-Tronics. Using just ten detectors per bay greatly simplified the work,” Hinkle explains. “All the alarms contractor had to do was install four detectors on each side wall and two on the back wall. The front wall is the giant door that opens up to allow the craft to enter and exit.” False Alarm Rejection There were considerable cost savings in equipment and related hardware, as well as labor savings due both to the small number of units to be installed and the fact that the X3301 detectors could be placed at a much easier-to-reach height of just 8 to 10 feet off the floor rather than near the top of the 10-story hangar bays. To maximize false alarm rejection, X3301 flame detectors are programmed to run in Det-Tronics® Hangar Mode™, an option that incorporates a delay mechanism. The mechanism extends the processing time to react to fires, letting the detector distinguish between an actual fire and an event like a short duration auxiliary power unit startup. The operation mode has no effect on detection ranges or field of view, but can prevent an innocent action (such as a crew firing up gas heaters to stay warm) from resulting in an unwanted foam dump. Foam Suppression System AAR’s foam suppression system has gone off only once, and that was intentional An impressive demonstration to date, AAR’s foam suppression system has gone off only once, and that was intentional. To certify that the new system was working properly, Absolute, 3S and other suppliers commissioned the overall protection system by simulating an actual fire suppression event. They recorded it on video, and it’s a stunning sight. Daubert, facility manager for the AAR hangars, was delighted when he saw the video. “Within seconds of being triggered, foam erupts from dispensers in the ceiling. In no time, it has put a layer on every inch of the hangar’s floor. Within 3-and-a-half minutes, the foam has stacked up to a 10-foot depth, smothering any possible fire.” “I had never seen a system of that magnitude before,” Daubert continues. “Seeing just how fast we could stop a fire from spreading and put it out was pretty impressive. Thanks to the Det-Tronics detectors and the system’s other components, it’s obvious our hangar is well protected from the dangers of fire.”
Det-Tronics has introduced a new high-speed deluge module (HSDM) for the Det-Tronics Eagle Quantum Premier (EQP) fire and gas safety controller. The HSDM expands the capability of the EQP so it can activate ultra-highspeed suppression systems for high-hazard applications such as, but not limited to, munitions manufacturing. Det-Tronics, a provider of fire- and gas-safety systems, is a part of Carrier, a global provider of innovative heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. The new Det-Tronics HSDM meets today’s standards for an ultra-high-speed detection and releasing system. ultrahigh-speed detection The EQP safety system is FM Approved with the HSDM, making it capable of ultra-high-speed response According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard for Water Spray Fixed Systems for Fire Protection (NFPA 15), ultrahigh-speed detection and releasing systems must be capable of response in 100 or fewer milliseconds (ms) from the presentation of energy source to flow of water from the deluge nozzle. NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code requires that releasing devices for suppression systems shall be listed for use with releasing service alarm control units. A listed fire alarm system has all components performance-certified both individually and as an assembled system. As an ancillary component of the EQP, the new HSDM is hazardous-location rated by FM Approvals, CSA, ATEX and IECEx, has SIL2 and DNV-GL approvals, and is CE marked. code-compliant system In addition, the EQP safety system is FM Approved with the HSDM, making it the industry’s only listed flame detection and releasing system capable of ultra-high-speed response. “After over 35 years of serving this industry, we are very excited about the release of a new high-speed deluge module as part of our ultra-high-speed system offering,” said Michael Hosch, product manager, Det-Tronics. “This new solution allows us to offer a code-compliant system that is listed and meets the current applicable standards for ultra-high-speed detection and releasing systems.”
The X3302 multispectrum infrared flame detector (X3302) from Det-Tronics is now third-party approved for the industry’s field-of-view for hydrogen fires, as well as approved for methane, methanol and synthesis gas (syngas) fires. Det-Tronics, a global provider of fire- and gas-safety systems, is a part of Carrier, a global provider of innovative heating, ventilating air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. The X3302 flame detector’s enhancements include third-party certification to detect a 30-inch (76 cm) hydrogen plume fire at 125 feet (38 meters) on-axis in as little as three seconds, a 25% improvement in on-axis detection range over the previous design. false alarm rejection In addition to being certified SIL 2-capable and performance-certified to FM 3260 for hydrogen fires, the X3302 is now FM Approved to detect methanol, methane and syngas fires, which contain a mixture of 53% hydrogen, 24% methane, 11% nitrogen, 8% carbon monoxide and 4% carbon dioxide. Other certifications include CSA, ATEX, IECEx, INMETRO and California State Fire Marshall. Additional global certifications are pending. Customers will appreciate that the X3302 is easy to install and maintain, which reduces total operational costs" Recently, gas streams for turbine power generation have transitioned to mixtures of hydrogen, methane and other gases. The X3302 can provide fire protection for these applications without requiring supplemental hydrocarbon flame detectors. The X3302 flame detector is also suited for hydrogen storage, aerospace, battery rooms, refining and filling stations. The X3302 flame detector has a patented detection algorithm, heated optics and signal processing features which increase false alarm rejection. Automatic Optical Integrity The patented Automatic Optical Integrity (oi) feature, an automatic calibrated performance test that is conducted once per minute, verifies complete operational capabilities. The detector will declare a fault if it loses more than 50% of its original detection range, proactively alerting operators to a potential loss of fire protection. “We are excited to offer the X3302 with expanded detection capability that addresses the need for reliable, fast multi-fuel fire detection at greater distances,” said Michael Hosch, product manager, Det-Tronics. “In addition to its enhanced functionality and safety record, our customers will continue to appreciate that the X3302 is easy to install and maintain, which reduces total operational costs.”
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