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Dräger has launched a range of solutions for cleaning breathing apparatus, respiratory masks and PPE equipment that reduce the risk of carcinogen contamination within emergency teams as part of its Health for the Firefighter campaign. Dräger have worked in partnership with Harstra instruments, a Dutch manufacturer of cleaning and drying equipment. The launch follows a study undertaken by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) which demonstrated a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) worn and evaluated as fully operational will be contaminated within 25 minutes of use in firefighting situations. Currently, most masks and SCBA are cleaned by hand, which is a lengthy and inconsistent process. It can also pose potential hazards for personnel. Reduced exposure to carcinogens Dräger has developed a package of solutions comprising of cleaning products, logistical support and consultancy services Dräger has therefore developed a package of solutions comprising of cleaning products, logistical support and consultancy services that enable fire services to mitigate firefighters’ exposure to carcinogens through every step of attending an incident. They include: simple-to-use washing machines that clean using high pressure water; drying cabinets in various shapes and sizes to accommodate each fire service’s space and equipment; and testing facilities to ensure products are decontaminated before going back into operation. The final part of the new solution is an improved logistic and workshop capability to quarantine contaminated kit, clean it, and then replenish with sanitized PPE to maintain operational capability. Dräger can design and engineer new infrastructure or work within an existing facility to provide optimum protection and cleaning of equipment. Additional protection Employers owe their employees a duty of care and are therefore looking to provide additional protection" UK marketing manager for Engineered Solutions at Dräger, Andy Taylor said it is now well known that job-related exposures to carcinogens increases the risk of illnesses such as cancer: “Employers owe their employees a duty of care and are therefore looking to provide additional protection during training, post incident and in day-to-day equipment handling operations.” “A new standard operating procedure, which incorporates comprehensive training, must be established by the Fire and Rescue Service including comprehensive training for emergency teams on how to decontaminate themselves following an incident in which exposure was likely.” “Standardizing processes not only minimize the risk of contamination for workshop personnel, but also reduce the exposure of carcinogenic substances for the wearer. The consistency of cleaning also extends the lifetime of PPE.” Washing and drying solutions The Wash4 and Wash6DR models can accommodate between four and six SCBA respectively" Within Harstra’s product portfolio are a range of washing and drying solutions. These include The Wash4 and Wash6DR models which can accommodate between four and six SCBA respectively, including cylinders and up to 18 breathing masks. The Wash4 model provides the user with a choice of cleaning time‘s from 5 minutes wash, 10 minutes or the recommended 22 minutes under pressure. The Wash6DR washes at the same intervals, but without the need for Compressed Air cylinders, instead taking pressure from a high powered air external source. Easy transfer of equipment Essential to the process is the requirement that cleaned equipment is dried correctly in a drying cabinet or drying room to remove moisture. The Dräger portfolio is configurable and allows easy transfer of equipment using compatible baskets in the cleaning and drying cycle, for example the Wash9 facemask washer and the M18/45 cabinets. Once these have been clean and dried they can then be checked and tested, Air Cylinders refilled and the SCBA is ready for operations all using Dräger workshop equipment. Whatever the risk, Dräger has “Technology for Life” solutions to ensure employers provide the best possible protection and employees return home at the end of each shift as safely as possible.
Equipment is an important element in fighting fires, and in keeping firefighters safe. But what new needs are driving the development of equipment? How can equipment expand its role in fighting fires, or in managing building occupancy and traffic flow for that matter? We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the new trends and opportunities in firefighting equipment?
The Polytron 8900 UGLD is an early warning system that quickly detects gas leaks in compressed gas lines and containers. The ultrasonic sensor allows the system to react more quickly than conventional gas detection technology, as it detects the sound of the leaking gases rather than the gas concentration of a gas cloud. Conventional industrial gas warning systems only detect gas leaks when the gas is in the immediate vicinity of the gas detection transmitter. This means environmental influences, such as wind, also play a role. They can delay or even prevent gas detection sensors from detecting a gas cloud. “In contrast, the Polytron 8900 UGLD is not hampered by these environmental influences and detects a gas leak on a compressed gas line as soon as the gas escapes,” explains Philipp Zeissig, Product Manager at Dräger. “An early warning system for leaking gas can prevent a plant or part of a plant from having to be shut down unnecessarily, thus saving time and money.” Clear measurement display The Polytron 8900 sensor is designed for “intrinsic safety” protection. It is an ultrasonic microphone and is resistant to water and dirt. The expected life span of the ultrasonic sensor is more than 10 years. For an easy interpretation of the results by the user, the Polytron shows the measured values in a range of 0 to 100 percent on the display. This scale covers the entire decibel measuring range. The ultrasound level is immediately displayed and transmitted. Alarms are configured for a certain limit above the existing background noise level. Detecting methane gas leaks Gases that are discharged from compressed gas lines or containers at above 2 bar generate both audible and inaudible noises in the ultrasonic range. Industrial noises primarily occur in the audible spectrum. The Polytron 8900 measures in the ultrasonic range and can, therefore, detect methane gas leaks of 100 g/sec within a radius of 15 meters, even in loud industrial environments.