C-TEC FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM ACCESSORIES
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The original fire suppression agent has always been, of course, water. In the age of sail, it was ideal. Not so with the advent of the combustion engine, however. When applied to burning petroleum, the fire spreads. It also simply destroys electronics. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and Halon derivatives were the first widely used commercial fire suppression solutions, gaining popularity in the 1950s and '60s. Unlike water, they were highly effective, electrically non-conductive and didn't leave any residue. As compressed gases, storage wasn't a major issue. Unfortunately, Halon was found to be a high ozone depleting chemical; as a result, production was banned in 1990. Evolution Of Fire Suppression Systems Ideal for marine applications, HFC227 is fast, effective and clean With the sunsetting of Halon and the search for alternatives, CO2 gained prominence. However, it has three significant drawbacks: it's a greenhouse gas, requires a large number of cylinders and is potentially fatal if breathed at design concentrations. In the 1990s, HFCs rose to dominance as a fire suppression solution. Ideal for marine applications, HFC227 is fast, effective and clean. Like Halon and CO2, however, it's a greenhouse gas and contributes to global warming. Discharging an average-sized cylinder of HFC227 has the same CO2 equivalent as driving a car 268,760 kilometers. This is why it is being eliminated as part of a phased-down mandate from the EU, and restricted or taxed by various countries such as Australia and Norway. It is expected that similar legislation will begin to affect Canada and US-flagged vessels. Environmental Profile Of HFCs In 2002, 3M introduced Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid. It offers a number of important advantages over other clean agents in marine fire suppression applications. It has low acute toxicity and high extinguishing efficiency. This gives it a wide margin of safety compared to other chemical clean agents such as HFC227. A fluid, it vaporizes rapidly during discharge, is non-corrosive, non-conductive and leaves no residue. It is, importantly, a long-term, sustainable solution with virtually zero global warming potential, e.g., it has an atmospheric life of about a week versus HFC227's 34 years. So confident is 3M of its product, it offers its BlueSkySM Warranty; if it is ever banned or restricted from use due to its environmental properties, the company will refund the cost of the fluid. Unlike CO2, a gas, Novec 1230 fluid can be flown to the vessel or platform allowing less downtime waiting for supplies to arrive by ground For the marine and offshore oil and gas industries, Novec 1230 fluid offers distinct advantages. Because it's a fluid, recharging is simple. Unlike CO2, a gas, it can be flown to the vessel or platform. This means less downtime waiting for supplies to arrive by ground. It also takes up significantly less space. Recently, Sea-Fire Europe ceased distribution of HFC227. The move was strategic and ethical, given the environmental profile of HFCs. Novec 1230 Fluid For Recreational Marine Market With the phase-down of HFCs, supplies are running out. This means in the immediate future there will be a serious inability to service systems. Also, with shortages beginning, costs are rising, making the switch to Novec 1230 fluid a smart move financially. While 3M will obviously benefit from this, the real winner here is our planet and the people we share it with" Sea-Fire recognizes that it may lose business in the short term as boat and shipbuilders continue to choose HFC-based fire systems strictly based on cost alone. But, ultimately, eliminating the use of hydrofluorocarbons is the right thing to do for the marine industry as a whole. As the first manufacturer to introduce Novec 1230 fluid into the recreational marine market in 2012, Sea-Fire is fully prepared for the phase-out of HFCs. Benefitting The Marine Industry "As a corporation, 3M is committed to improving every life," said David Olds, 3M account executive for fire suppression applications. "Sea-Fire Europe made a difficult decision when announcing it would cease distribution of HFC227. While 3M will obviously benefit from this, the real winner here is our planet and the people we share it with." Sea-Fire Marine has long held the belief that it is in the business of protecting people and property at sea. With its recent declaration that its master European distributor Sea-Fire Europe is ending distribution of HFC-based fire suppression fluids, it can add the environment to its list.
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.
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.
Following its successful launch into Fire Detection, Comelit UK has expanded the division’s new team with the introduction of Tim Swift, as a dedicated Business Development Manager. Tim Joins Comelit’s Fire Division Tim has experience in a range of areas from Alarm Systems, Physical Security, Business Development, Fire Protection, and Access Control Having worked in the electrical and electronic manufacturing industry for over 20 years, Tim has experience in a range of areas from Alarm Systems, Physical Security, Business Development, Fire Protection, and Access Control. In his former position at C-Tec, Tim was responsible for a portfolio of innovative fire detection products and to deliver on increased revenue, engaging in new client opportunities and assisting the business in achieving their growth targets. Fire Detection Systems Commenting on his appointment, Tim said: “It’s really exciting to be the second person into a fresh offering that has already set such a high benchmark to the industry. Any company launching into the UK fire market currently is coming at a time when the needs of the customer are changing, as responsibilities are increasing.” He adds, “Customers will know Comelit’s products and solutions in the security division as being of high quality with no compromise on style. And the new fire detection systems are no different, to provide peace of mind to those seeking a complete solution that achieves compliance as standard.” Comelit's New Fire Detection Division Tim’s main responsibilities will be to engage with customers and raise the profile of the new fire detection division across the UK. Demonstrating how Comelit UK is dedicated to providing innovative, compliant solutions as a FIA member, without compromising on quality. Comelit UK’s Managing Director, Francesca Boeris added: “We are thrilled to welcome someone of Tim’s pedigree to the team. His dedicated experience across fire detection and manufacturing provides the perfect combination to help us build on the successful launch of our fire division. Tim’s appointment further highlights our ambitions to attract the top talent. And as the second member of the Fire Detection team, his addition only signifies the start of this exciting chapter in Comelit UK’s journey. It shows our ambitions to grow and support the fire industry, to continue to raise awareness of our innovative product portfolio and work together to achieve our customer expectations.”
FIREX 2015 continued to attract decision makers from across the industry with 9% increase in end-users and 27% in visitors FIREX International, organised by UBM EMEA, is pleased to announce another successful year for the leading industry event for fire protection, prevention and detection. Hosted once again at London’s ExCeL from 16-18 June, FIREX International welcomed 4,794 attendees across the three days. Reflects ever-increasing convergence between fire and security industries This year FIREX International moved to sit alongside IFSEC International in the South Halls at ExCeL, reflecting the ever-increasing convergence between the two industries and perfectly complimenting the offering to visitors of both shows. This proved to be a key turning point for the show as it benefitted from 11,0231 additional attendees from the co-located events within the Protection & Management Series. This proved that this series of events has become a powerhouse for sourcing the latest products and innovations, as well as, discovering expertise across security, fire, facilities and safety. Andy Green, Marketing Manager for C-TEC, who once again exhibited at FIREX International said; “We were really impressed with our time at FIREX this year, we have exhibited for a number of years but this was definitely our best show for several years. We were particularly pleased with the great leads we were getting for our export side with plenty of European interest which was definitely boosted by our pre-show activity of setting up meetings in advance.” FIREX International continues to attract the decision makers from across the industry with a 9% increase in end-users and a 27% increase from visitors with a budget over £1 million. Major support from the industry FIREX International once again had major support from the industry, the Fire Industry Association (FIA), Fire Protection Association (FPA), Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) and the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) were all present this year as key partners to the show, hosting topical seminar sessions, advice clinics and information zones. Tony Corcoran, ASFP Membership Officer, ASFP, said: “For the awareness of the ASFP, its membership base and what we’re trying to achieve in the market we got a really strong commitment again from the FIREX, so once again it was a really positive exercise.” Returning after a successful launch in 2014, Security & Fire Installer Live saw experts present live demos and test kit to the extreme so visitors could witness for themselves the limits products can be pushed to. Other popular features that returned for 2015 included the Guidance & Expertise Theatre, the FPA Infozone and the Global Meetings Programme, in association with UKTI. Inspirational Speaker Series Additional highlights at FIREX International included the launch of the Inspirational Speaker Series which attracted large crowds from across the security, safety, fire, facilities management and service management industries to the 400 capacity theatre each day. Kicking off with Baroness Karren Brady on the first day, followed by Sir Ranulph Fiennes on the second day and finishing with Sir Chris Hoy on the final day, each speaker took to the stage to share anecdotes from their own illustrious careers and offer some invaluable advice on leadership and achieving success in any field. Gerry Dunphy, Event Director for IFSEC & FIREX International, said: “We had another great year for FIREX International and it was fantastic to see the show closer aligned with IFSEC International and sharing a hall for the very first time. There was a great buzz across the show floor this year and visitors certainly benefitted from this integrated approach to life safety that we offer between FIREX International and IFSEC International.” FIREX International 2016 takes place from 21st-23rd June at ExCeL London.
FIREX will includes C-TEC’s powerful new proprietary addressable protocol, CAST along with a host of associated devices Organisers of FIREX International have polled their exhibitors to discover all the latest trends and innovations that will be on display this year, the Innovation Trail will allow visitors to navigate all the newest products and services from across the fire safety industry that have launched this year. Highlights of Innovation Trail Highlights of the FIREX International Innovation Trail includes C-TEC’s powerful new proprietary addressable protocol, CAST along with a host of associated devices including a new range of EN54-23 certified visual alarm devices (VADs). Hilti Great Britain will showcase their new universal solution for firestopping combustible pipes. The Hilti CFS-C EL Firestop Collar Endless can fit around not only straight pipes but also pipe elbows, inclined pipes and pipes with limited clearance to walls, ceilings or other pipes. The Firestop Collar Endless has been tested and approved in accordance with the latest European Standards and holds a comprehensive European Technical Assessment. Patol will be using Firex International to introduce new additions to the company’s range of linear heat detection cables (LHDC), providing the capability to detect fire at higher temperatures whilst FFE Ltd will use the annual industry gathering to unveil its bespoke Talentum flame detector. Working with Bloodhound SSC, the team behind a car capable of over 1000mph, the Talentum flame detector will protect the pilot when they attempt to break the Land Speed record next year in South Africa. Protec's Cirrus HYBRID on display Protec Fire Detection will have their Cirrus HYBRID on display, the only multi-sensor aspirating detector that is able to detect fire and smoke from many more fire types than any other aspirating detector. Gerry Dunphy, Event Director- FIREX International states: “Following our move in 2014 to London’s ExCeL we conducted a significant amount of research with both our exhibitors and visitors to get their thoughts on what they like about the show and what they want to see more of, one of the key themes that kept coming up is they wanted to see genuine innovation on the show floor. We are delighted to incorporate the Innovation Trail once again and we have some really exciting products and technology to showcase this year. With so many new products within the Innovation Trail, FIREX International really will provide a one-stop shop for our installer community to get their hands on the latest technology.” Helps visitor to speak to leading suppliers All these new products, plus many more, will make up this year’s Innovation Trail at FIREX International 2015, helping visitors to easily access the new technologies that have come to market this year. Visitors will also be able to speak to leading suppliers that are shaking up the industry with new services, experts will be on hand to answer any questions and demo all the latest products on their stands.