Premier Waste UK use Honeywell FAAST system, controlled by Notifier’s innovative Pearl control panel
Premier Waste UK selected Honeywell’s FAAST system, controlled by Notifier’s Pearl control panel for removal of unwanted alarms

With high levels of dirt and dust, waste recycling plants are challenging environments for life safety systems to operate in. Disruption from unwanted alarms can result in unnecessary costs, such as waste redirection, moving stored materials to safety and process downtime. This makes the use of ultra-reliable and accurate fire detection essential.

Premier Waste UK is the nation’s leading provider of waste recycling services and, not surprisingly, its 200,000ft² facility in Birmingham combines dust and moisture in very high levels. A misting system is in constant use to damp down dust and deal with odour issues, and the processing of construction and commercial waste, including packaging, creates a considerable fire hazard.

Minimise problems caused by fire events

To monitor the facility Premier Waste UK has over 15 fire marshals to carry out checks every 60 minutes, as well an on-site fire engine with a water tank holding in excess of 620,000 litres of water, along with five fire hydrants. Having previously used heat detectors to monitor the site, Premier Waste UK was experiencing a high instance of disruptive unwanted alarms – as frequently as every other day – along with a potential timing delay from waiting for the amount of heat to spike quickly enough to trigger the system.

Premier Waste UK’s Operations Director, Wayne Clark, explains, “It was clear that the use of heat detectors didn’t provide the earliest warning that would allow us to minimise the problems caused by fire events. Therefore, we worked with Advanced Fire Solutions to come up with an alternative and it was clear that aspirating smoke detection would be the only technology that could cope with the extreme environments we face.”

Environmental conditions at the plant can fluctuate considerably from area to area and whole plant monitoring was required. After assessing what the aspirating smoke detection market could offer, Premier Waste UK decided that Honeywell’s FAAST system, controlled by Notifier’s innovative Pearl control panel, would offer the most effective solution.

FAAST system

The FAAST system consists of an enclosure, housing the electronics that are powered from a supply, and a fan inside it that draws air in via pipes that are connected to the unit. The air that is drawn in then goes through a unique patented filtration process. It then passes across a dual source blue LED and infrared laser projected into the air itself and, if enough smoke particles are detected, an alarm condition is activated. FAAST’s pipework contains sampling holes at predetermined locations, through which the air is drawn and with a level of sensitivity 300 times greater than a traditional smoke detector, issues can be quickly dealt with before having to evacuate the facility.

Asked to explain why FAAST was selected over comparable devices, Clark replies, “The combination of accuracy, ultra-sensitive detection and proven unwanted alarm immunity in high dust/moisture environments made FAAST the most attractive option for us from a safety perspective. Added to this was ease of installation and the ability for in-house personnel to carry out maintenance. FAAST is also great because it auto-learns the environment and can be used across the whole plant – it remains stable even in fluctuating conditions.”

Pearl fire alarm control panel

The FAAST system is complemented by the Pearl control panel, which offers best in class performance, scalability and functionality. The networkable fire alarm control panel is available in one or two loop models and has been specifically created to be immune from the threat of unwanted alarms, even in challenging environments where there is a high likelihood of them occurring.

“Pearl uses a digital protocol to increase efficiency, reduce power consumption and enable a set of features to improve the system diagnostics, control and usability,” comments Derek Portsmouth National Sales Leader UK & Ireland at Notifier. “It provides a highly resilient system with powerful networking capability thanks to Notifier's superfast ID net. This can communicate a fire signal across a network of up to 16 panels and 20,000 devices in less than one second.”

Premier Waste UK’s Wayne Clark is delighted with the impact of the FAAST and Pearl solution, and concludes, “These products have exceeded all expectations and I can’t remember the last time we had an unwanted alarm. Aside from its performance and ease of use, the entire system is easy to maintain and has also helped us reduce our operational costs, whilst enhancing safety. When a fire event occurs, we can now respond much quicker, and this reduces business interruptions as well as risks. Honeywell has provided us with a solution designed to exceed insurance and legislative requirements and we are really delighted with the result.”

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

How Technology Helps London Fire Brigade With Incident Command
How Technology Helps London Fire Brigade With Incident Command

Drones give Incident Commanders an aerial view, increasing their situational awareness of fires and helping them to develop tactics to tackle them. Station Officer Lee Newman details how the technology was implemented by London Fire Brigade and the continued benefits. Identify external risks The Grenfell Tower fire has resulted in revisions to several operational procedures and the introduction of new equipment within the Brigade. A few months after the fire, the Brigade was tasked with setting up a trial to test the feasibility of having a drone capability to identify external risks and assess building stability at incidents, providing essential safety information that could facilitate ongoing internal firefighting operations. Implement the use of drones The Brigade implemented the use of drones and acquired a Matrice 210 V1 and a Phantom 4 Working with partners who had an existing drone capability, as well as drone experts, the Brigade began work to implement the use of drones and acquired a Matrice 210 V1 and a Phantom 4 as a trainer and reserve drone. In the summer of 2018, an Emergency Services bespoke course was run by Essex Police to train the Brigade’s team of drone pilots, who were all PfCO qualified within one week. From start to finish, it took just nine months to get London Fire Brigade’s drone team operational. Working of the drones On its first day of being available for incidents, the team received an order to attend a 15-pump fire at a leisure center, which was under renovation. They were asked to confirm if there were cylinders on the roof of the building and immediately put the drone to use. The team flew and relayed the camera footage onto a large screen that was fitted into a van provided for the trial. The drone footage was able to identify, to the Incident Commander’s satisfaction, that the cylinders were actually rolls of asphalt due to be laid on the roof as part of the renovation. If the drone concept could have proven its use in one job, this was it. The information from the drone allowed the Incident Commander to decide not to make it ‘cylinders confirmed’ and saved a lot of unnecessary extra appliance movements. Applications of drone Since that first callout, the team has been to around 300 incidents of six pumps or more, including persons in the water, fires, and various missing people’s incidents both in London and into other counties, assisting police forces. From start to finish, it took just nine months to get London Fire Brigade’s drone team operational Drone inventory The Brigade’s drone capability inventory includes a Matrice 300 with an H20T dual thermal and optical camera; a DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual with multi attachments; a Mavic Air 2 and a Yuneec 520. The Brigade also has a Teradek live streaming device and multiple tablets for receiving the streamed footage. The Brigade operates with two Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs – plug-in hybrid SUVs – and has split the drone equipment into two, with one vehicle carrying the drone and batteries, and the other carrying all the support kit and ancillaries. Working in dark conditions The drones are permitted to fly up to 400 ft above ground level or higher in an emergency and can fly as fast as 50 mph. They also can act as a loudspeaker to give instructions or reassurance and shine a bright spotlight in dark or low light conditions. 24/7 service The Brigade has eight pilots trained and operates a 24/7 service The Brigade has eight pilots trained and operates a 24/7 service. The team is working closely with its blue light partners, including the: Metropolitan Police Service, several search and rescue teams, and a host of fire services surrounding the capital, as well as giving advice to other upcoming drone teams around the UK. Use of drone in future The Brigade’s drone capability has been molded to how it sees the future and what it holds in the way of drone use. For example, the Brigade has developed a capability to drop water rescue aides to people at water incidents, which helps to keep them afloat long enough to be rescued. The drone can also be used alongside the swift water rescue teams to provide situational awareness of hazards and the resulting risks during the rescue phase. Delivering fire escape tools The Brigade also invested in fire escape hoods in late 2018 and has already demonstrated how one might be delivered via a drone to a balcony above the height of an aerial appliance while using the Mavic Enterprise 2 to relay instructions via the loudspeakers. These possible new uses are pushing the boundaries of the Brigade’s original concept and demonstrate how London Fire Brigade works to stay ahead of the curve. 

Chicago Bans Dogs From Firehouses, Despite Long-Held Tradition
Chicago Bans Dogs From Firehouses, Despite Long-Held Tradition

There is a long tradition of canines in the fire service, from Dalmatians riding shotgun in the fire truck to mixed breeds rescued from fires that later become the fire company mascot. The tradition has taken a hit recently in Chicago, where dogs are no longer allowed at firehouses after one station dog killed a smaller breed canine near a firehouse in the Englewood neighborhood. The incident The firehouse dog in Chicago, named Bones, was a mixed breed stray rescued off the street that was living at Engine 116 at 60th Street and Ashland Avenue. A neighbor was walking her smaller breed dog past the firehouse and watched in horror as Bones attacked and killed her small dog. After the incident, Chicago’s Acting Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt issued a department memo: “Any and all prior permissions for dogs in the fire stations or on fire apparatuses are hereby revoked … effective immediately.” Chicago Firehouse dogs Most of Chicago’s firehouse dogs are strays that were picked up and brought to firefighters by the public. Fire crews and paramedics care for the dogs, train them, feed them and get them inoculated and spayed or neutered, then ask formal permission to keep the dogs on site. Historically, permission has been granted, in effect saving the dogs from being euthanized. Breed of choice The tradition of dogs and the fire service goes back centuries, to the 1700s, when carriage dogs first trotted alongside horse-drawn fire carriages. Dalmatians were the breed of choice, given their good temperament, calming effect on the horses Dalmatians were the breed of choice, given their good temperament, calming effect on the horses, and grace under pressure. The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) began utilizing Dalmatians as early as the 1870s. Dalmatians as firehouse ambassadors When motorized vehicles came on the scene, Dalmatians were already associated with firefighters, who continued to keep them on-site as firehouse residents and mascots. Increasingly, Dalmatians and other dogs became public ambassadors for firehouses and were involved in public education about fire safety and emergency preparedness for school and community groups. For example, Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog, a Dalmatian from Clarksville, Ark., was a character in her own set of children’s books about fire safety and traveled around the country teaching children about fire tips. reduce stress, provide comfort Currently, firehouse dogs are other breeds, too, many rescued from house fires or other tragedies. Firehouses often adopt dogs, who become symbols of resiliency, bravery, fortitude – and provide comfort and companionship for firefighters who face high levels of stress on the job. After the 9/11 attacks, two firefighters from Rochester, N.Y., gifted the FDNY Ladder 20 company a Dalmatian puppy, appropriately named Twenty. The dog served as a source of comfort to the firefighters, who lost seven members of the company in 9/11. Dogs recognize signals Taken in as a stray in 1929, a dog named Nip served 10 years with New York’s Engine Company No. 203. During his service, the dog was injured by broken glass, falling debris, scalding burns, and bruises from falling off the fire engine. Nip could recognize all bells and signals. On fire scenes, Nip could alert firefighters if he knew something was wrong and sometimes run into burning buildings to look for victims. Unfortunately, Nip was killed by a hit-and-run driver in front of the firehouse in 1939 (and was stuffed by a taxidermist and displayed at the firehouse until 1974). Dogs promote fire safety Dogs promote fire safety outside the firehouse Dogs also promote fire safety outside the firehouse. For example, accelerant-sniffing dogs are trained to detect minute traces of accelerants that may be used to start a fire, according to the State Farm Arson Dog Program. The special bond between firefighters and dogs is the stuff of legend, despite the recent unfortunate events in Chicago – an ignoble scar on a long, colorful history of dogs in the fire service. Hopes remain that the decision can somehow be reversed, based on social media postings. “This is the first tragedy I have heard of in … 25 years,” said the administrator of the Firehouse Pups group.

What Impact Has COVID-19 Had On The Fire Industry?
What Impact Has COVID-19 Had On The Fire Industry?

The COVID-19 pandemic has had ramifications for almost every industry, some more than others. With the pandemic stretching well into a second year, the non-medical consequences continue, and many are wondering about which of the required changes might become permanent. As regards the fire sector, we asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What impact has COVID-19 had on the fire industry?

vfd