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Fire Suppression System Accessories - Expert Commentary

Only Use Approved Category 3 Control Fire Performance Cables
Only Use Approved Category 3 Control Fire Performance Cables

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.

Fire Protection Awareness Is Finally Off The Back Burner
Fire Protection Awareness Is Finally Off The Back Burner

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.

Waste Fire Safety - The Role Of The Insurer
Waste Fire Safety - The Role Of The Insurer

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.

Latest Detector Testers news

Detector Testers Launches New Solo 365 Adaptor To Test ASD Systems Alongside Smoke Detectors
Detector Testers Launches New Solo 365 Adaptor To Test ASD Systems Alongside Smoke Detectors

Following its launch, the wide range of benefits offered by Solo 365 have been enjoyed by users around the world. Now, through the launch of a new adaptor, Solo 365 has even more to offer. Alongside testing smoke detectors, Solo 365 now has the ability to functionally test ASD systems. This is made possible through a specialist adaptor which is fitted to Solo 365 in place of the standard clear cup. Testing smoke detectors and ASD systems With the adaptor fitted and the ‘Delayed Start’ mode selected – Solo 365 can be raised to the aspirating pipe, its slim-line and light design making it easy to align with a sampling hole. Smoke is then automatically generated and drawn through the pipe – activating the alarm and providing a functional test of the system. The availability of the adaptor puts the ability to test standard point type smoke detectors and ASD systems into one portable tester – for the first time. This not only leads to a more professional approach to maintenance, but also offers a simpler and cleaner solution which can enable faster testing at a reduced cost.

The Fire Safety Event 2019 Announces The List Of Exhibitors Participating In The Exhibition
The Fire Safety Event 2019 Announces The List Of Exhibitors Participating In The Exhibition

Western Business Events (WBE), host of The Fire Safety Event, is in the final week of preparations before it opens the doors at the NEC on 9th-11th April for its largest edition yet. Now in its third year, The Fire Safety Event has seen phenomenal growth since its inception in 2016. The event, which began with 16 exhibitors now boasts over 50 exhibitors for its 2019 edition. High-profile incidents in recent years have put a spotlight on the industry and The Fire Safety Event recognises it has a role to provide ongoing education on new standards and legislation, best practice advice and help support the industry by providing them access to companies and products that will better prepare them. Tall Building Fire Protection The Fire Safety Event also features a Tall Building Fire Protection Area hosted by the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) The Fire Safety Event will provide a platform, which ensures its visitors are equipped to maintain the highest fire safety standards and will welcome back many of its exhibitors from previous years, cementing its place as the must-visit exhibition in the fire safety calendar. As it grows in stature, The Fire Safety Event has been able to attract a higher profile speaker line up, with Dame Judith Hackitt and former NYC Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano as two of the keynote speakers this year. New for 2019, The Fire Safety Event also features a Tall Building Fire Protection Area hosted by the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP). Bringing together expert speakers from across the industry, the seminars will focus on the highly contemporary issue that has drawn media attention in recent years following high profile incidents such as the Grenfell Tower fire and a series of tall building fires in Dubai. Chemical Storage Cabinets Alongside its comprehensive seminar program and other event features, The Fire Safety Event 2019 will feature dynamic, specialist demonstrations from many of its exhibitors, aiming to challenge and educate audiences. Safety storage cabinet manufacturer asecos (stand FS220) will be helping demonstrate the robustness of their chemical storage cabinets – highlighting the importance of safe secure units, particularly around hazardous materials. FirePro UK, will be bringing along their mobile showroom facility (stand FS140) and Kingspan on stand FS180 will be hosting a live burn test on its insulated panel core, showcasing its performance in real world scenarios. The Fire Safety Event team believe that with a line-up of prominent, industry-leading companies and its dynamic, specialist content, the event is set to become the must-visit exhibition for the industry. Fire Safety Calendar We’ve added more elements which aim to challenge and educate audiences and hopefully ensure the event is so pivotal in the fire safety calendar" Event manager Rachel Godfrey comments: “We really value feedback and have taken on board what visitors say, as well as understanding exactly what our exhibitors have said worked for them in previous years. We’ve added more elements which aim to challenge and educate audiences and hopefully ensure the event is so pivotal in the fire safety calendar that visitors count down the days until our next show.” The exhibitor line-up includes – Advanced, AMBIENT SYSTEM, asecos Limited, Association For Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP), Asset Protection Group Ltd, BAFE, Bilco (UK) Limited, Checkmate Fire Solutions Ltd, C-TEC (Computionics) Ltd, Detector Testers, Draggon, The Electrical Contractors’ Association, EMS Radio Fire & Security Systems Limited, Envirograf, Eurotech Fire Systems Limited, EvacLite Ltd, FFE Limited, Fike Safety Technology Ltd. Business Protection Fire & Security Matters, Fire Protection Association, FireArrest, Fireclass, FIRECLOUD365, FirePro UK Ltd, Firetrace Ltd, Firetronics, Fire and Security Association, FSi Limited, Global Fire Equipment (UK), Global HSE Solutions, Honeywell - Advanced Detection, The Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association (IFEDA), Illumino Ignis Ltd, Jactone Products Ltd, Jelf, Kingspan Limited, Klaxon, Miller Knight, National Association of Healthcare Fire Officers (NAHFO), QDOS, Rack System S.r.l, Safety Technology International Ltd, Securiton, SSAIB, The Institute of Fire Safety Managers, The Institution of Fire Engineers, Topscan, Trail Services (uk) Ltd, Turner & Townsend, WAGNER UK Ltd and Xact Training. With such a comprehensive offering, The Fire Safety Event and its co-located events are a must attend for anyone who has an interest in improving life safety, business continuity and business protection within their organisation. The Fire Safety Event will take place on 9th-11th April at the NEC, Birmingham.

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