Active fire protection (AFP)
London Fire Brigade’s first Commissioner in 75 years to have served as a commissioned officer in the British army signs a covenant with the UK armed forces. The agreement formalizes the Brigade’s commitment to supporting the Armed Forces community and recognizes the contribution to the country that serving military personal, veterans and their families have made and continue to make. Wider Military Family It is a great honor that one of my first official duties is to sign the Arme...
Registration is now open for the National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) 2020 Training Summit, which will take place June 26-27 in Orlando, FL. The conference is open to all volunteer firefighters, EMS providers, department leadership, and other fire department personnel from across the United States. Travel stipends are available to help more people attend. 2020 NVFC Training Summit This two-day classroom-based training event is an opportunity to learn from leading subject matter exper...
Nittan is a global pioneer of Analogue Addressable communication systems for use in Fire alarm systems. In fact Nittan was one of the first organizations to launch an Analogue Addressable system with our original Sensortec Protocol. More recently Nittan developed the Evolution communication protocol, based on Sine Wave Frequency Shift Keying (FSK) transmission and because it was such a technological leap forward, to this day it is one of the most reliable and powerful analogue addressable syste...
In order to maintain support for Nittan’s older Sensortec Protocol Analog Addressable range, Nittan has developed the ST-H2-AS Heat Detector. This is intended to be a direct replacement for the current ST-H-AS detector, which they are no longer able to manufacture due to component obsolescence. Manufacturing The New Generation Device As a direct replacement there will be a seamless transition between the products. The new ST-H2-AS is available with immediate effect and once existing sto...
A free one-day seminar on the importance of sprinklers and suppression systems and their life-saving benefits is being held next month in St. Ives. The seminar, 'Providing a fire resilient environment for all', organized by The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA) in collaboration with, and hosted by, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service aims to inform industries on how to protect their buildings and occupants with sprinklers and suppression systems. Life-Saving Benefits Of S...
Nittan are delighted to announce that the Fire Alarm Store has become an Elite Distributor for Nittan products. Based in the Wirral, Alex and Alan first started trading with Nittan in September 2015 and have worked closely with Nittan over last 3 years. Their sales have grown significantly over that period, both in the UK and Internationally. Excellent Technical Support The Fire Alarm Store has been awarded Elite distributor status due to their achievements and their excellent technical Suppo...
Nittan has stated that it is delighted to announce UK-based fire safety experts, Eurotech Fire Systems as the Nittan Elite Distribution Partner. Nittan Elite Distribution Partner Nittan was the first system that Eurotech Fire Systems has put its name to when the Company was first established around 10 years ago, and throughout this time Eurotech has shown a superb commitment to the Nittan brand and products. Eurotech Managing Director Michelle Agius stated, “To be recognized for our sales and support after these years is very much appreciated by the Eurotech team."
Nittan has said that it is pleased to announce that FTI, Dublin have been recognized as Nittan Elite Partner of the year. What makes it even more remarkable is this is now the third time this award has been given to FTI. The award is open to all our Elite partners, and despite stiff competition FTI were chosen for the award in recognition of not only a strong sales performance but also a clear commitment to staff training and close cooperation that should be seen as a model for others to follow. Nittan Elite Partner of the year The “Elite” programs have been developed to acknowledge and reward a select group of installation partners and product distributors that have shown commitment to promoting the Nittan brand and have undertaken product training to a high level in order to ensure the uppermost standards of customer service. Nittan has built an enviable reputation for first class fire detection products" “Nittan has built an enviable reputation for first class fire detection products, but it’s essential to back that up with quality support,” states Lee James, General Manager – Product Marketing, Nittan Europe. Elite Partner and Distributor program Lee adds, “Our new Elite program identifies those installers and distributors that demonstrate loyalty to Nittan and have taken the time to invest in the brand by undertaking rigorous training on the full product range. As a manufacturer our end user contact is minimal, these customer facing companies are often the first experience people will have of Nittan so their product knowledge and commitment to Nittan is exceptionally important and deserves to be recognized. The key benefit for Elite members is that we can direct new customer enquiries to them as we know they are a safe pair of hands!” The Nittan Elite Partner and Elite Distributor program is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to providing the best support possible for customers. Nittan shall continue to monitor performance and promote others to Elite status once certain milestones have been achieved.
Nittan has announced the launch of its latest generation EV Firebeam Xtra Loop Powered beam detector equipment. The EV Firebeam Xtra beam detector incorporates a Mini Input Module to report Alarm on Nittan Evolution Addressable Fire Alarm Systems. It provides a reliable, cost effective solution for protecting large areas. EV Firebeam Xtra beam detector Building movement and accessibility have, in the past, made beam detection unreliable, difficult and time consuming to commission as well as hard to maintain, but Firebeam overcomes these issues through its advanced motorized technology. The beam aligns itself to the center of the reflector when commissioning and will automatically re-align itself when building movement occurs. Latest-gen Fire Beam Xtra detector incorporates newly Revised Optics using the latest advanced components The latest generation Fire Beam Xtra detector incorporates newly Revised Optics using the latest advanced components, significantly increasing the range from the previous model. Together with the existing class top features the device is VdS approved and fully compliant to EN 54-12:2015. Redesigned linear stepper motors As well as extending the range the Fire Beam Xtra alignment processes are Five Times Faster, thanks to the completely redesigned linear stepper motors, which have resulted in amazingly fast commissioning and routine maintenance. Under test conditions at 40 meters the auto-align time was 3m02s, using the Fire Beam straight out of the box. Once aligned a routine re-alignment was timed at just 1m07s. This is class-leading performance not only in terms of speed but also in terms of advanced robust design built for precise purpose. Standard Fire Beam Xtra package The standard Fire Beam Xtra package comes complete with the head unit, the low level controller, a single reflector, a user manual and a 3mm allen key. This will enable you to cover distances up to 70 meters. To cover distances over 70 meters, there is a Mid-range and Long-range kit available, covering 70-140m & 140-160m, respectively.
Nittan are delighted that Taybell Fire and Security of Leeds have given pride of place to a Nittan demonstration board. Nittan’s Northern Regional Sales Manager, Steve McCarley handed over Nittan devices and assembled the board with David Thorley of Taybell. Addressable Fire Detection Devices The Nittan demonstration board features the Evolution 1 panel and our key Evolution analog addressable fire detection devices, complementing security and access control products already on display at Taybell. Director Michael Thorley said, “For the past four years Taybell have been installing Nittan Fire detection systems in a number of small and large commercial premises. We have complete trust in the product and happy to demonstrate their ease of use to our customers”.
Organized by the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the AI Specification Awards identify and reward excellence in the specification of architectural ironmongery in the construction industry. DC700G-FT security door closer The DC700G-FT has been shortlisted in the category of ‘Product design and innovation’, which is a new award for 2019. Featuring a distinctive and stylish appearance that was launched earlier this year, the DC700G-FT allows any fire or non-fire rated door to be retrofitted with an electrical locking mechanism. With no morticing or rebating required because the door closer, lock and wiring is all surface mounted, sites do not need to be concerned that the installation will risk a fire door’s certification, or create a lot of mess and disruption. In addition, the locking mechanism releases under its full rated load, so it is safe to use on escape ways, stair cores or final escape doors. Cam-Motion technology The door closer also features Cam-Motion technology for easy door opening while retaining its closing power The door closer also features Cam-Motion technology, ensuring the door is light to open while retaining its closing power. This ensures it meets both the opening force detailed in BS 8300-2:2018, as well as the necessary fire closing force requirements. This is in line with the Equality Act 2010 and Approved Document M and B. Additionally, the DC700G-FT is CE Marked in all three mounting positions and independently tested for use on fire doors. The winners of the AI Specification Awards will be announced on Thursday 21 March at the OXO2 in the OXO Tower building in London. AI Specification Awards Paul Johnson, Commercial Director at ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware and Access Control Group, said, “Buildings evolve and change over time, and nowadays the challenge is balancing any new requirements while maintaining security, escape routes and fire door safety. Our unique and innovative DC700G-FT door closer helps overcome these challenges, by combining Cam-Motion technology and an escape door strike all in one. This offers both smooth operation and reliable closing, with secure locking, while being fully certified. Paul adds, “We are thrilled that our class leading innovation has been recognized by the AI Specification Awards. These awards truly represent the best that architectural ironmongery has to offer, providing a celebration of the finest work in the industry.”
ASSA ABLOY UK, a division of ASSA ABLOY Group, the globally renowned door opening solutions company, has unveiled its new name, with the business now being known as ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland. The new business descriptor reflects ASSA ABLOY Group’s on-going commitment to strengthening the ASSA ABLOY brand, and helping its customers to better understand the organization’s solutions, services and capabilities. ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Alongside the launch of ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions, the Group has also launched two other business descriptors – ASSA ABLOY Entrance Systems and ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions which will be gradually introduced in UK & Ireland, and globally. The change will enable the company to maintain a segmented and focused approach, easily guiding customers to the division that is best positioned to help meet their needs, while ensuring ASSA ABLOY continues to grow as a recognized brand. In line with the introduction of ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, the business units that form ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions in the UK, are also being re-named to better meet their customers’ requirements and provide clarity to their offerings. Creation of the Door Hardware & Access Control Group Security Solutions and Access Control will now combine to create the Door Hardware & Access Control Group Security Solutions and Access Control will now combine to create the Door Hardware & Access Control Group. Meanwhile, UK Specification will be renamed as the Project Specification Group, and Security Doors will now be simplified to the Door Group. The three Groups will also join the newly-formed High Security & Safety Group, which includes the renowned Chubb Locks Custodial Services and Pickersgill Kaye brands, which will also transition to ranges from ASSA ABLOY. The company’s well-known global brands, such as Yale, Abloy and Mul-T-Lock remain the same. Door access control expert Tina Hughan, Marketing Director for ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions in the UK & Ireland, explains “The launch of ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions will help us more clearly communicate our knowledge, experience and expertise to our customers. The new business descriptor encompasses what we offer in a simple, easy-to-understand way, while our new business unit names will help make it easier for customers to do business with us.” She adds, “We are always focused on what we can do to improve the customer’s experience. We believe this approach will help strengthen our existing offering and consolidate our position in the market as a world leader, so we can better support our customers.”
Across the world, fire and rescue services vary greatly, and each will have their own unique circumstances and challenges to deal with. Firefighters in the USA and Australia are more likely to face wildland fires, whilst in the Middle East, firefighters deal more regularly with transport related fires involving hazardous materials. In many European countries, less than 10% of call-outs are fire related at all, with firefighters much more likely to attend traffic accidents, medical emergencies or flooding. A range of different climates also provide firefighters with specific challenges. Providing Optimum Protection These fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight Firefighters in hot and tropical Indonesia for example, will have different requirements to those in hot and arid South Africa, whilst those in Scandinavia operate in more temperate and cooler conditions. It’s important, therefore, that PPE manufacturers can provide a wide variety of options to suit particular environments and operations. PPE must be highly effective, comfortable, and suitable for the job in hand, wherever in the world the firefighters are operating. Selecting the right fabric for your PPE is the first step in providing optimum protection for the environment you are operating in. International fibre and fabric manufacturers have developed a number of highly specialized materials offering a range of benefits. Used in combination, these fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight. Best Quality Firefighting Garments Highly specialized and lightweight fibers for the outer-shell of a garment, for example, can provide outstanding air permeability and breathability, allowing metabolic heat to escape, whilst of course providing vital protection against the intense external heat and flames of a fire. The best quality firefighting garments combine this type of outer shell with an inner moisture barrier and liner system which draws moisture away from the skin, helping to keep the body cool and dry. Strenuous work in a hot environment causes profuse sweating, and if this sweat is not able to evaporate, the body is not able to cool itself effectively. Once the most appropriate fabric is chosen, the design and style of a garment also plays a crucial role in contributing to a firefighters’ safety. Maintaining A Comfortable Body Temperature Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed Whether operating in bushland, floods, on the roadside or even in extremely cold conditions, firefighters need to maintain a comfortable body temperature and stay dry. They are also likely to need to crawl, run, and climb to carry out the job in hand. Any protective clothing must be ergonomic and has to be able to work with them rather than hinder them. As a result, over and above the full structural firefighting garments available to FRSs, manufacturers have also developed innovative designs for more specific applications. For example, Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed, with USAR or technical rescue teams entering enclosed and confined spaces where high temperatures and often toxic smoke are hazards. Particular Protection Against Radiant Heat USAR firefighting garments therefore should be tear and puncture resistant, provide protection against blood-borne pathogens, offer physical protection at high risk points such as the knees and elbows, provide a high level of flexibility to afford maneuvrability in confined spaces, and crucially be lightweight and breathable to minimize heat stress. Alternatively, for firefighters engaged specifically in combatting forest and wildland fires, garments need to provide particular protection against radiant heat, and ideally feature a double layer of fabric to protect against sharp thorns and undergrowth. Today, many FRSs across the world use a combination of structural and technical rescue garments which can be particularly useful when faced with a range of operations requiring different levels of protection. Rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident International Standards Of Performance For PPE Frequently, rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident, for example. So long as these garments are tested and approved as compatible before they are used in combination, this can serve to improve ergonomics and comfort, and crucially can contribute to the lowering of heat stress in firefighters. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage To ensure the best level of protection, most countries demand conformity with both national and international standards of performance for PPE. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) which covers the USA, Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) which covers Europe, and the International Standards Organisation (ISO) which sets standards worldwide. Lighting And Communications Equipment In addition, each country will have its own National Standards Body (NSB), setting standards for its own specific interests. Ultimately, it is down to the customer to decide which standards they would like their PPE to follow. The best manufacturers can create PPE to meet a number of these standards simultaneously. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats Different countries, and even individual FRSs, often have particular additional requirements for their PPE, which can simply be down to style or color preference, or to accommodate particular tools or equipment they use. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats. Operational safety features such as integrated safety harnesses and drag rescue devices can also be specified. In addition, firefighter accessories including tools, lighting and communications equipment all have to be carried safely requiring a selection of loops, straps, D-rings, glove hooks, and pockets and flaps. Developing Innovative Solutions Finally, most FRSs aim to present a professional and clearly recognizable identity to their communities, so particular colors and badging can be an important feature of PPE. This has led to the introduction of a wide range of fabric colors and the increased use of Velcro fixings for identification badges with logos, names and roles being individually catered for. Called upon to handle an ever-increasing variety of challenges, in contrasting climates and situations, firefighters across the world are certainly faced with complex environments in which to operate. By carefully studying these conditions and listening closely to customers, PPE designers and fabric manufacturers will continue to work together to develop innovative solutions to meet these specific needs and create optimum garments for maximum protection and comfort.
Water is key to any firefighting operation. Being able to secure an adequate water supply is critical a critical skill for all fire departments. One of the most challenging scenarios to secure a water supply in is when there is no municipal water supply, or it is lacking in volume and flow. When fires occur in these areas, the only alternative is to shuttle water from the nearest municipal supply or a static body of water. To get the highest flow possible, departments must train on shuttle setup and equipment to analyze where improvements can be made.Water supplies should be evaluated based on the largest fire hazard in the area using the source A smoothly operating high-flow water shuttle takes pre-planning and training. A goal of training is to find the bottlenecks (constraints) in the system limiting flow. The theory of constraints is an approach to process optimization use to identify bottlenecks, then eliminate the bottleneck or adjust the process to meet the speed of the bottleneck. The only way to improve the process output, in this case fireground flow rate, is by improving bottlenecks. Improving non-bottlenecks does not improve the process output. Training provides the opportunity to identify and correct bottlenecks. The following examines some common constraints of a water shuttle. Identifying A Water Source The time to identify a water source for a fill site is not when the alarm bell goes off. Water supplies identified for fill sites must be able to provide the target fill rate of 1000 gpm. Natural bodies of water must be evaluated during different times of the year This is based on the restrictions placed on ploy tanks of 100psig inlet pressure and 1000gpm inlet flow. It is possible to fill none poly tanks at faster rate if designed for it, but there are less chance for mistakes if the fill rate is standardized at 1000gpm. Along with flow, adequate volume must be available at the fill site. Water supplies should be evaluated based on the largest fire hazard in the area using the source. Another way to evaluate the minimum volume is the ISO standard. A shuttle must be able to maintain a flow of 250gpm for two hours. This requires a water source to have a minimum volume of 30,000 gallons. Natural bodies of water must be evaluated during different times of the year to make sure the minimum volume remains adequate. Data capture form to appear here! Know Your Flow Rates Normally, using a municipal hydrant system is a good choice for a fill site as it has significant water supply to support a fill site operation. A large or extended fire has the potential to deplete smaller water systems. Some hydrants easily flow over 1000gpm yet other hydrants in the same system may flows less than 1000gpm It is important to know the system capacity when using a municipal supply for tanker operations. Flow from the hydrant can be another constraint at the fill site. Some hydrants easily flow over 1000gpm yet other hydrants in the same system may flows less than 1000gpm. Knowing the flow rate of hydrants used for a fill site is a critical component of fill site pre-planning. Dry hydrants are the most efficient way to access static water supplies Static Sources And Dry Hydrants Static sources can provide a good water supply for filling tankers if the volume is adequate and there is access. Access to a static water supply can be done in several ways, pre-planning will allow the most effective and efficient means to be used when water is needed. The most efficient way to access static water supplies is by installing a dry hydrant from the water source to an area an engine can easily access.Dry hydrants minimize the equipment, time, and personnel needed to start drafting operations at the fill site Dry hydrants minimize the equipment, time, and personnel needed to start drafting operations at the fill site. If a dry hydrant is not installed, a strainer must be connected an adequate amount of suction hose to reach the water. Most engines carry two 10-foot sections of suction hose, this limits the distance between the engine and water source without collecting additional suction hose from other apparatus. The amount of suction carried on engines was tied to the limitation of motorized primers. These primers had the potential for the motor to burn out if operated for the extended period to prime more than 20 feet of 6” suction line. With the advent of air driven primers, it is possible to prime significantly more than 20 feet of 6” suction without equipment failure. If the volume is adequate, static sources can provide a good water supply for filling tankers Dump Tank And Pumps The fill rate must be reduced to allow the portable pumps to keep level of the dump tank during tanker filling Portable pumps can access water supplies that are out of reach of standard engines. Setting up a water supply with portable pumps requires a significant amount of equipment and personnel. To get the desired 1000gpm fill rate, an open relay to supply an engine is normally constructed. The dump tank(s) used for the open relay and the engine’s tank must have sufficient capacity to fill the largest tanker in the shuttle at 1000gpm. If this is not the case, the fill rate must be reduced to allow the portable pumps to keep level of the dump tank during tanker filling or add more pumps to increase the supply to the open relay. Moving The Fill Area If tanker traffic flow is smoother in an adjacent area, the fill area should be moved The physical layout of the fill site can become a bottleneck. It must be large enough to allow two tanker to be positioned for filling. Traffic cones are used to mark the spot where each tanker must stop for the fill lines to reach. If the area is overly congested with the engine and tankers, the area for filling the tankers must be moved. This is facilitated by using LDH to make the fill site remote from the fill engine. Even if the site is large enough to allow the tankers to be filled near the engine, the flow of traffic may be less than optimal. If tanker traffic flow is smoother in an adjacent area, the fill area should be moved. When designating the tanker filling areas traffic flow is a major consideration. The site should be such that no maneuvering is needed, but if it is required the tankers do so when empty. The physical layout of the fill site must be large enough to allow two tankers to be positioned for filling Tankers At The Fill Site Ideally tankers are filled with two 2 ½” or 3” lines. Some new tankers are equipped with LDH fill connection. If the plumbing downstream of the connection is large enough to support the fill rate neither of these connections will restrict fill rates.The plumbing between the hose connection and the tank is a potential for bottleneck of the goal of 1000gpm The plumbing between the hose connection and the tank is a potential for bottleneck of the goal of 1000gpm. Tankers with a single non-LDH fill connection will struggle to meet the target fill rate. This bottleneck may be difficult to overcome without major redesign of the tanker. Two Ways Lines There are two ways lines at the fill site are normally laid out: running 2 ½” or 3” lines from the individual discharges of the engine or running the 2 ½” or 3” lines from a water thief manifold fed by LDH from the engine. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Using individual discharges will require more hose to reach both fill stations. The location of the discharge may require the operator to be standing next to pressurized line. The opening and closing of the discharges will place added wear on the engine’s valves. Using two 2 ½” discharges will allow the desired fill rate of 1000gpm without overloading the capacity of each discharge. Two 2 ½” discharges will allow the desired fill rate of 1000gpm where individual discharges would require more hoses If the LDH is supplied from a 2 ½” discharge with an adapter, it is highly likely the goal of 1000gpm may not be met A water thief fed with LDH provides the option to place the fill lane and the water supply a distance apart. The water thief lets an LDH line be added to fill tankers equipped with LDH fills. The biggest disadvantage is the ability to achieve 1000gpm depending on how the LDH is fed. Engines with true LDH discharges will not have an issue supplying the LDH at 1000gpm. On the other hand, if the LDH is supplied from a 2 ½” discharge with an adapter, it is highly likely the goal of 1000gpm may not be met. This situation can be improved by using a siemese or trimese to feed the LDH for multiple 2 ½” discharges on the engine. Many factors go into selecting the best fill site configuration for a department, it is critical to train and test in order to determine what is most effective and efficient for your department. Manifold systems being set up and operated Choose The Right Place For A Dump Site The dump site is the equivalent to a fire hydrant, except it takes a larger footprint and can be placed where it will provide the best benefit to the fire ground. This might mean setting the dump site a distance from the fire ground and supplying the attack engine using LDH.Tankers must be able to maintain a steady flow through dump site without unneeded maneuvering It is more important placing the dump site where the best flow of tankers can be obtained. Tankers must be able to maintain a steady flow through dump site without unneeded maneuvering. Setting up a dump site in an intersection provides additional room to keep things moving at the dump site. Dump tanks impact the overall flow of the shuttle in several ways including footprint and capacity. Real estate is a precious commodity at a dumpsite. It may be necessary to place the dump site a distance from the fireground to have enough room to set up tanks and provide a smooth flow of traffic. The larger the tank capacity, the larger the footprint. Sometimes the tank can be wider than the road, for example a 3000-gallon tank is 14’x14’. This presents a problem when trying to setup on a narrow country road or a congested city street. A solution to this is using the single lane style tank that is 8’x14’ for 2100-gallons and fits nicely in front of or behind the supply engine. Larger tanks also leave more water in the bottom once the limits of the low-level strainer is reached. Tankers maintaining a steady flow through the dump site without unneeded maneuvering Single Or Multiple Dump Tanks? Using multiple dump tanks increases the flow at the fireground, but requires transferring the water from the secondary to the primary tank There must be enough space at the dump site to add dump tanks should additional capacity be needed. If there is no place for tankers to dump, tankers will back up waiting for room in the tank. The easiest way to maintain flow is adding an additional dump tank. Not only must the area have room to add additional tanks once available, the tanks must be spaced out to allow two tankers to dump at the same time. This will increase the flow of the shuttle by keeping tankers moving and putting more water at the dump site. The space also provides a safe area for fire fighter working at the dump site. Using multiple dump tanks is needed to increase the flow at the fireground, but it requires some method of transferring the water from the secondary tanks to the primary tank. This has the potential to create several bottlenecks. For efficiency, water should always be transferred from the secondary tank to the primary tank. Ladders can be used as a bridge over the middle tank to run the transfer hose over to the primary tank When there is another tank between the secondary and primary tank there is the temptation to flow water into the middle tank before going to the primary tank. This is extremely inefficient. A ladder can be used as a bridge over the middle tank to run the transfer hose over. This allow the secondary tanks to have roughly the same available capacity when tankers dump which is important when dumping more than one tanker at a time.A ladder can be used as a bridge over the middle tank to run the transfer hose over. Appropriate Use Of Jet Siphons Jet siphons are commonly used to transfer water into the primary tank from secondary tanks. Along with transferring water between tanks, it is possible to us multiple intakes form the pump going to secondary tanks. Multiple dump tanks require multiple jet-siphons to transfer water to the primary tanks. Each jet siphon requires water from the engine to drive it. Jet siphons can take up to 300gpm each to transfer water at rates over 750gpm. Jet siphons require water from the engine to drive it and can take up to 300gpm each to transfer water Dump sites are tight, while we may want to bring in a second engine to transfer water it just will not fit most of the time The water used to drive the jet-siphons takes away from the pump capacity available to supply the fire ground. With a 1250gpm engine at the dumpsite, using a single jet siphon has the potential to reduce the available capacity of the pump to 950gpm. One way to address this problem is by testing jet siphons to determine the most efficient ones in inventory. The other way is by using a secondary pump to transfer water. Dump sites are tight, while we may want to bring in a second engine to transfer water it just will not fit most of the time. This is when small grass trucks and portable pumps come into play. Both options take up much less room than a full-size engine. Most small pumps have the capacity to drive jet-siphon. It is important to train with this setup to insure the pump can adequately drive the jet-siphons. Use The Strainer Correctly One thing many people fail to recognize as a bottleneck is the low-level strainer. The strainer that has been on the truck for decades is viewed as being fine, it has always worked. In reality, old low-level strainers were designed and optimized at a time when 750 and 1000gpm pumps were the norm, not the 1250gpm and up pumps in use today. An old strainer with a front intake can restrict the pump capacity to less than 50% Couple an old strainer with a front intake as we had at a recent drill, and the pump was restricted to less than 50% capacity Couple an old strainer with a front intake as we had at a recent drill, and the pump was restricted to less than 50% capacity. Fortunately, there a new design strainer was available which allowed the pump to reach 80% capacity. While flow is important when evaluating a low-level strainer, how low the water can be pulled before taking in air is also a primary consideration. A strainer that flows over 1500gpm but leaves 12” of water in the bottom of the tank will eventually cause a bottleneck in the shuttle. There needs to be a balance between maximum flow and maximum extraction capability when evaluating strainers. Old low-level strainers were designed and optimized at a time when 750 and 1000gpm pumps were the norm Supply Engine At The Dump Site The engine with the largest pump must be the supply engine at the dump site Depending on the design, the engine can be the bottleneck to the flow available to fireground. The engine with the largest pump must be the supply engine at the dump site. Even though the largest pump is used, the available flow can be reduced depending on which intake is used. For mid-mount pumps, the side intake provides the highest flow as the water goes directly into the pump. It is common for engines with mid-mount pumps to have front and/or rear intakes. Using these inlets at the dump site allows the engine to be in line with the dump tanks to create a lower profile but this come at a cost. It is common for engines with mid-mount pumps to have front intakes Another solution is using a 90-degree elbow from the side intake to go to the front or rear of the engineThese inlets will provide less than the rated capacity of the pump due to additional losses in the plumbing. Front intakes can restrict the capacity around 50% while the rear intakes can cause a restriction of 25% or more. A solution to this is bending the suction hose from the side to the front or rear, but this will use an entire section of hose just for the bend. Another solution is using a 90-degree elbow from the side intake to go to the front or rear of the engine. Elbows with a large radius provide minimal impact to the capacity of the pump and does not waste a section of suction for the bend. Rear intakes can cause a restriction of 25% or more and a solution to this is bending the suction hose from the side Stationary Tankers Can Be A Problem A line of tankers waiting to dump points to the dumpsite as the bottleneckA stationary tanker is an indication of a bottleneck in the system. Where the tankers are standing still points to the location of the bottleneck. If they are waiting to get filled, the bottleneck is the fill site. A line of tankers waiting to dump points to the dumpsite as the bottleneck. This might mean establishing a second fill site or adding a tank at the dumpsite. Running out of water at the dump site means there is a bottleneck somewhere, if tankers are moving there are not enough for the length of the shuttle route. High-flow shuttles requires continuous evaluation to key water flowing smoothly and make adjustments when needed. As your tanker shuttle is examined in detail other bottlenecks may present themselves. The ones presented here are the more common ones departments have experienced. In order to identify and fix bottleneck, shuttle training on a regular basis is a must. Once a year is the minimum. The more you can train with all the departments that would be involved in your water shuttle the better. Tools to help plan and determine the flow rate of your water shuttle can be found at Ohio Fire Chiefs Water Supply Technical Advisory Committee.
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.
The holiday season is fraught with possible dangers from fire. Ranging from dried-out Christmas trees to overloaded electrical circuits, the dangers are high in a season when awareness may be at a low point. Fire departments are well positioned to communicate these dangers to citizens. Social media makes it easier than ever to spread “messages of good habits” when it comes to fire prevention in homes and businesses. A Look At The Statistics The dangers are high in a season when awareness may be at a low point According to the latest statistics, covering 2013-2017, fire departments respond to an average of 160 home fires each year that start with Christmas trees, according to NFPA Applied Research. Electrical distribution of lighting equipment was involved in 44% of home Christmas tree fires, and another 25% were caused by some type of heat source, such as a candle too close to the tree. Excluding Christmas trees, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 780 home structure fires per year that began with Christmas decorations (between 2013 and 2017, according to NFPA Applied Research). On average, 22 home candle fires are reported each day, with the two peak days for candle fires being Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. About 10 percent of fireworks fires occur between Dec. 30 and Jan. 3, with the peak on New Year’s Day. Help From The U.S. Fire Administration U.S. Fire Administration provides a series of holiday, candle and Christmas tree outreach materials to enable fire departments to increase awareness of holiday fires in their communities. A social media toolkit contains content that a department can easily share on Twitter, Facebook or other social media channels. Content may be copied or customized to reach any audience. Messages from the U.S. Fire Administration that departments can share on social media platforms include: The top three days of the year for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. Residents should only use decorations that are flame-retardant or not flammable. Holiday lights should be checked each year for frayed wires or excessive wear. A limit of three strands of holiday lights should be linked. Burning candles should not be left unattended. Battery-operated flameless candles are a safer alternative. Christmas trees should be kept away from heat sources and room exits. Watering a Christmas tree daily keeps it from becoming dry and flammable. Care is required to ensure that the festivities of the season do not come at a cost of lost property and/or lives Care is required to ensure that the festivities of the season do not come at a cost of lost property and/or lives. Fire prevention can lessen the burden on firefighters during a season when spending time with family is at a premium. The sadness of a fire tragedy, especially during the holiday season, can be unbearable. The holiday season is also an appropriate time to acknowledge the hard work that departments and other fire professionals dedicate to preventing and fighting fires. We at TheBigRedGuide.com salute the work of the fire service and the fire industry to keep residents and businesses safe from fire and other emergencies, both during the holiday season and throughout the year. Happy holidays to all our readers, and we look forward to providing even more useful information on our site in 2020.
How can a building’s fire systems be integrated with access control and other security systems to ensure effective function of both? It can be a challenging and delicate endeavor. Integration of fire and security systems provides multiple benefits and some challenges to be addressed. It is useful to consider fire and security systems as part of the same overall mission to keep a building and its occupants safe, while also being attentive to the differing roles of the systems and how they can complement each other. integrating security and fire systems Integrating security and fire systems is becoming paramount to create improved efficiency “There’s a conflict between life safety and security systems,” says Karen Trigg, Business Development Manager, South East, for lock company Allegion (UK) Ltd. “We must secure buildings without impeding the flow of movement and hindering immediate escape should a fire incident occur. To do this, we must have a greater understanding of building requirements.” In today’s world, integrating security and fire systems is becoming paramount to create improved efficiency and effectiveness of a building’s safety technology — and this integration can provide monumental benefits, says Eric Widlitz, Vice President of Sales for North America for access control company Vanderbilt Industries. video management systems For example, in the event of a fire, an alarm from a fire system can trigger an access control system to release locks on fire escape doors, as well as generate muster reports to provide information on who is inside the building, says Widlitz. “Additionally, video management systems have the ability to provide access to real-time, remote video footage of the fire’s actual location, helping firefighters and other emergency personnel to assess the situation and respond with greater accuracy.” Many challenges and opportunities that facilities face when integrating systems relate to whether a building’s infrastructure is designed well enough to connect security and fire systems, says Julie Brown, Institutional Market Leader for Johnson Controls. By conducting a site assessment first, owners and managers can better determine where physical building updates may be needed. Integration Of Video Surveillance And Fire Alarms Adjusting design in this case can eventually help make the integration of video surveillance and fire alarms easier" For example, if video surveillance is obstructed in certain areas, owners need to identify if the cameras can be moved to a better location or if physical alterations to the building are needed. “Adjusting design in this case can eventually help make the integration of video surveillance and fire alarms easier,” says Brown. “In the event that a fire alarm sounds, owners can have peace of mind that their cameras have an unobstructed view and that they can be automatically alerted to provide visibility into the area affected and potential cause of the alarm. It is critical to occupant safety that building owners address any design hurdles. Budget is often an issue,” says Trigg. “Although a challenge, understanding budgets – not only for the system in place but also ongoing maintenance and upgrades – helps uncover the correct solution, showing that the ‘cheaper option’ may cost more in the long run for some.” thermal imaging cameras Joe Byron, Vice President for the Americas for MOBOTIX Corp, says integrating fire and security opens the door to a world of possibilities. “When specifically looking at industrial applications, these systems require an added layer of reliability in order to guarantee workplace safety and operational efficiency,” he says. This technology is tied into the fire-suppression system and can monitor the temperature of specified machines" Byron points to a specific deployment as an example: MOBOTIX’s work with KUHN RIKON, a world-renowned cookware manufacturer. In 2015, during mechanical pot polishing, an abrasive component spontaneously combusted causing a large-scale fire, leading to a dust explosion, says Byron. “While an unfortunate tragedy, this led to an opportunity to outfit the plant with thermal imaging cameras,” he adds. “This technology is tied into the fire-suppression system and can monitor the temperature of specified machines. With built-in logic, the cameras can alert technicians to heat warnings and, if not acted upon, can automatically shut-down the machinery and queue fire systems if required.” Fire And Security Systems A well-designed and integrated control room can help to organize, automate and streamline critical sensors by implementing workstations that transmit only the most critical information at any given time. “Additionally, operators are better equipped to make more educated and timely decision by leveraging audible alarms, visual LED indicators and video displays with built-in intelligence to change content based on triggers from third-party systems such as fire, building automation and access control,” says Dan Gundry, Director of National Control Room Sales for Vistacom. At the end of the day, fire and security systems are two elements of the same mission: To keep buildings and their occupants safe. However, the two systems often operate independently and may not be integrated. More integration offers benefits, but there are pitfalls to be avoided.
Among the tools of the fire service, some of the most powerful are hand-held devices. These technologies provide information to firefighters than can direct their approaches to emergency situations and safe lives. Today, more powerful devices are available in smaller, hand-held form, sometimes taking the place of much larger and more expensive devices. For example, previously the Los Angeles Fire Department carried just one large thermal imaging camera (TIC) that cost upwards of $10,000 on each fire engine. Structure Damage Evaluation Los Angeles is one of the municipal fire departments in the country to equip every on-duty firefighter with a hand-held TIC A new, smartphone-sized TIC from Seek Thermal, Santa Barbara, Calif., costs just $750 and now offers each firefighter the ability to perform faster search and rescues, execute a self-rescue if needed and locate smoldering hot spots. Los Angeles is one of the largest municipal fire departments in the country to equip every on-duty firefighter with a hand-held TIC. The purchase of a thousand TICs for the LAFD was made possible by the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation through the support of individual donors and organizations such as the Wasserman Foundation and California Community Foundation. Hand-held TICs are becoming more and more popular. FLIR has unveiled the K1 handheld TIC that is more affordable for first responder officers and fire investigators. At $599, the K1 detects heat and provides visibility through smoke and in total darkness to enhance situational awareness for use in wildland fire control, search and rescue missions, structure damage evaluation and investigative work. FLIR has unveiled the K1 handheld TIC that is affordable for first responder officers and fire investigators Gas Leak Detector The K1 is powered by the FLIR Lepton thermal microcamera and uses MSX technology, which extracts high-contrast details from the images taken by an onboard visible light camera and superimposes them onto the thermal images. It simultaneously captures thermal and visible images of a scene and stores up to 10,000 image sets to create post-scene reports, analysis and evidence. A pistol grip design allows firefighters to view a scene from their line-of-sight for improved safety and situational awareness. A spot thermometer easily identifies unseen hot and cold spots for instant troubleshooting. New handheld devices in the fire service also include a gas leak detector and a combination device that is cloud-ready. The Ultra-Trac LZ-30 compact methane-specific leak detector from Sensit Technologies provides fast and accurate readings up to 100 feet away. The device uses TDLAS (tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy) to provide instantaneous alerts to the presence of methane. Potentially Dangerous Situations Firefighters can conduct leak detection investigations themselves without the need for PPM detectors Operating at a distance, the LZ-30 eliminates the need for firefighters to access the gas plume directly and keeps them safe from potentially dangerous situations. They don’t have to climb to elevated areas or access fenced-in property or climb to elevated areas. Firefighters can conduct leak detection investigations themselves without the need for specialized PPM detectors – no need to wait for gas engineers. A simple interface provides user-friendly operation of the ergonomically designed instrument. Another wireless, handheld device includes thermal imaging, firefighter ranging, motion alarm and cloud technology with GPS. MSA Fire’s LUNAR is a small, wireless, cloud-ready device designed to provide higher levels of protection for firefighters through enhanced vision, improved situational awareness, and team connectivity. It is part of a suite of SMA products that, when used together provides a new platform for firefighter safety. MSA Fire’s LUNAR is a small, wireless, cloud-ready device designed to provide higher levels of protection for firefighters Better Situational Awareness It can be used as a stand-alone device or as part of an MSA self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) system. Thermal imaging increases visibility and improves situational awareness. Firefighter ranging combines direction and distance information to find separated teammates and decrease response time. A motion alarm sounds an alert if it does not detect a firefighter’s motion. Production of the device will begin in summer 2020. The ability to provide better situational awareness to firefighters in the palm of their hands can go a long way toward keeping firefighters safer. For example, LAFD says the thousand new TICs are a significant technology purchase and a critical component to their ‘Everyone Goes Home’ initiative. We often marvel at the powers of modern technology, and clearly those powers include saving lives.
Founded in France in June 2006, QIM specializes in the design, supply, installation and maintenance of quality automatic sprinkler systems. Created on the simple principle of providing quality products and service, QIM strives to ensure it offers the very best, most effective sprinkler protection systems for warehouses. Staying true to these principles, the company continues to see steady growth, with annual revenue reaching nearly £4 million in 2016. Tighter sprinkler regulations Focusing exclusively on warehouse projects, QIM works with some of the most respected construction companies in France. With French law requiring all warehouses larger than 6,000 m² in size requiring sprinkler protection, it is fair to say that QIM is used to large-scale projects. There is now a lot of choice, with many companies and products in the sprinkler world" Despite many changes in the industry, including tighter sprinkler regulations for warehouses, the company has continued to grow. When assessing what has changed in the industry in the last five years, Thomas Delahaye, engineer, at QIM, is clear while stating, “There is now a lot of choice, with many companies and products in the sprinkler world. Prices have also been steadily decreasing.” Tyco Factory Mutual (FM) pumps Despite continuing to grow, the company has never lost sight of its founding principle of providing quality products and service. Reflecting this, QIM’s CEO recently announced the company was seeking to maintain its current annual revenue rather than increase it. Whilst this may seem an odd aim for a company that has experienced such growth, Mr. Delahaye is in complete agreement with the policy, stating “This will allow us to choose our future projects and ensure we completely satisfy each customer.” Like most companies operating in the increasingly demanding construction industry, staying ahead of competition and keeping to tight schedules is vital - not just for their reputation but also their clients. Understanding this, QIM has, and continues to seek out, products and technologies that enable it to meet deadlines and stay ahead of the competition. This is why, Mr. Delahaye explains, the company continues to use Tyco products, “We have used Tyco products almost exclusively since our foundation. They continue to be our choice because of their prices and range of stock.” ESFR-25 sprinkler heads One recent project that the company is particularly proud of is a large warehouse recently completed in Amiens, northern France for an internationally-recognized global commerce company. Measuring 107,000 m2 in size, it is the company’s largest warehouse in the country. The scale and importance of the project meant installation was a huge undertaking; involving a staggering 10,000 Tyco model ESFR-25 sprinkler heads as well as 36 Tyco check valves and multiple Tyco Factory Mutual (FM) pumps. ESFR-25: Early Suppression Fast Response (ESFR) provides effective heavy sprinkler discharge at heights of up to 48ft (14.6m). Their benefits include Competitive prices Unique product range eliminates compromise The technical skills and know-how to ensure success Early Suppression Fast Response Benefits For this project, as with their others, there was no hesitation when it came to choosing which fire protection products to install, with Mr. Delahaye stating, “Tyco have the technical services and skills to answer our questions and solve problems, while their multiple locations mean getting Tyco products is quick and simple.”, stated Thomas Delahaye, Engineer, at QIM. In addition to the excellent reputation and uniqueness of Tyco products, Mr. Delahaye also highlighted another important aspect to the Tyco product range that is always a key consideration for businesses such as theirs own, which is the cost factor, “Tyco products are also very competitively priced compared to others,” added Mr. Delahaye.
Nittan Europe, UK manufacturer of conventional and addressable fire detection products, has had its Evolution analog addressable fire detection system installed into TOR School in Glastonbury, Somerset. The system was installed by Coomber Fire and Security Systems who are a Nittan Elite Partner and BAFE SP203-1 & SP101 accredited. The TOR School is an alternative to mainstream school for children and young people who may be struggling to cope in their existing educational environment in the Mendip area of Somerset. As a part of a recent expansion project, a new building has been added which required a comprehensive fire detection system. Addressable Fire Detection System They have been designed to reduce false alarms caused by non-combustion products The Nittan Evolution analog addressable fire detection system, installed by Coomber Fire & Security Systems, has provided the school with a system which is not only reliable, resilient to false alarm, and simple to use, but also saved the school time and money. At the heart of the system is Nittan’s evolution1 control panel, with Nittan EV-PS Photoelectric Smoke Detectors with in-built sounder and EV-DP Dual Wavelength Photoelectric Smoke Detectors. Nittan’s Evolution EV-DP smoke detectors have been installed by Coomber Fire & Security Systems in the science labs and DT workshops to prevent false alarms. They are ideally suited to this demanding environment as they have been designed to reduce false alarms caused by non-combustion products such as steam, dust and aerosols. Optical Smoke Sensor As steam and dust are much larger particles than smoke, the detector won’t false alarmUnlike other industry standard (single optical sensor) smoke detectors on the market that claim to distinguish between smoke and non-combustion products, the EV-DP effectively measures the actual particle size in the chamber via its combined IR and blue LED technology. As steam and dust are much larger particles than smoke, the detector won’t false alarm. Also highly reliable, the Evolution EV-PS Optical Smoke Sensor installed across other areas of the school building has the added benefit of the sounder fully integrated within the sensor itself. This makes for a cost effective, quick installation and is more aesthetically pleasing. The Nittan evolution 1 panel provides complete control and monitoring capabilities for all system devices and has especially been designed with the needs of both the installer and end user in mind. Most Addressable Systems Ease of use was paramount and the panel’s LCD touch screen display and intuitive, easy to use menu structure met this, making the handover from Coomber to the customer very straightforward. Staff at Mendip Partnership School are confident in how to operate the system. Evolution 1 panels have very comprehensive, but simple to use ‘Cause and Effect’ capabilities Evolution 1 panels have very comprehensive, but simple to use ‘Cause and Effect’ capabilities and, like most addressable systems, allow comprehensive programming of the sounder outputs. Furthermore, the Cause and Effect matrix can be set up via the onboard touch screen and menu structure or using the PC tools and downloaded to the panel. The panel also has two configurable rs485 ports for connection and supports up to eight separate password protected users, so that all nominated members from the school can easily access it. Ensuring Total Fire Security For Its Customers Lee James, General Manager – Product Marketing at Nittan said, “Nittan takes care to not only ensure total fire security for its customers, but also puts special attention in fostering relationships with its partners. Coomber Fire & Security Systems, the largest independent fire and security installer in Somerset, is one of our Elite Partners.” “This program was developed by us to acknowledge and reward a select group of installation partners that have shown commitment to promoting the Nittan brand and have undertaken product training to a high level in order to ensure the uppermost standards of customer service. Their work on this project is testament to that.”
Founded in 2012, UK Sprinklers Ltd (UKSL) provides design, fabrication, installation and maintenance expertise in the active fire suppression market for both new and existing buildings. Based in Manchester, UKSL operates throughout the UK, working with end-user clients, developers, architects and consultants in the residential and domestic sectors. The growth of UKSL has perhaps been as spectacular as some of the high-rise buildings it fits out. From revenues of £100,000 in its first year, the company saw sales grow to £2.6m by year three. “We’ve continued to grow and grow,” said Steve Griffiths, Managing Director, UK Sprinklers, “Once we delivered our first successful project, more work followed. Plus, we have been lucky with the timing: we’ve certainly benefitted from a change in building regulations and an upturn in the construction business.” handful of competitors We have to offer customers something others cannot match, whether that’s in terms of service, technology or quality" The change in regulation is the one stating all residential buildings over 30m in height must now have sprinklers fitted in every apartment. The regulation dates back to 2005, yet because of a slow-down in new builds through 2008-09, many new projects didn’t materialize until 2012 – the year UKSL opened its doors. “At the time, most work was in London,” said Griffiths. “We’re now seeing projects across the UK.” With more work comes increasing competition. Griffiths says that while there may have been a handful of competitors for tenders in 2012, today there are hundreds: “Competition is healthy. It means we have to offer customers something others cannot match, whether that’s in terms of service, technology or quality.” Residential Fire Sprinkler System UKSL has been a Tyco Rapid Response Partner in the UK since day one. This means it provides technical information and support to UKSL for all Rapid Response Products, as well as arranging fire protection product training. Tyco’s Rapid Response Residential Fire Sprinkler System is a state-of-the-art fire protection technology designed specifically for the home. It is the most complete fire protection system on the market, offering a diverse selection of sprinkler designs and finishes, Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC pipe) and fittings and a full line of system components. “Fire protection products have to meet industry standards,” said Griffiths. “There is not always a lot to choose from between different brands. But unlike some other manufacturers, Tyco has never had an incident in which a large number of sprinklers have operated inadvertently. Tyco has an excellent reputation for reliability.” warranty against defective parts One recent UKSL project was at Nine Elms in London; a large-scale development project that includes seven residential blocks; the highest of which measures 37-storeys. Tyco solutions were an integral part of the installation for this comprehensive project, and included: The installation of Tyco BlazeMaster pipework and fittings The Installation of approximately 5,500 Tyco LFII concealed sprinkler heads in a total of 645 apartments “Tyco wasn’t specified,” said Griffiths. “We told them they needed to use Tyco. The conversations with Tyco started before we even opened for business,” said Griffiths. “Being a Tyco Rapid Response Partner gave us instant credibility. Tyco is a recognized, global brand. It certainly helped open doors that might not have been so easy. As a start-up, we were able to offer a ten-year Tyco-backed warranty against defective parts and installation. This reassures customers that, even if we’re not around, the manufacturer will pick up the tab.” support provided by Tyco On an operational level, Griffiths says the size, scale and support provided by Tyco ensures jobs run smoothly: “Tyco stock levels are good, which means we can order products to be on site when they’re needed. We’re working on some very large projects, where site space is at a premium. As a supplier, you can’t afford to have stock piling up on site. Stock needs to arrive when it’s needed.” Steve Griffiths, MD, UK Sprinkler Ltd. He added that the company’s relationship with Tyco also extends to product development: “We discuss feature upgrades. I know for certain some of the feedback is being tested in Tyco R&D. We feel valued.”
Established in 1984 in South Africa to contract in the Fire Detection and Automatic Extinguishing Systems market, Specifire prides itself on providing a professional approach to each individual customer. Building on this success, the company expanded in 1995, opening a sprinkler division that is now the biggest installer of fire protection and detection systems in KwaZulu-Natal region, in South Africa. Thanks to its excellent reputation, Specifire has steadily built up a large client base that includes some of South Africa’s biggest companies, including Sappi Fine Papers, Illovo Sugar, Hulamin, Toyota S.A., Unilever and numerous shopping centers. Fire protection and detection systems installed Specifire focuses almost exclusively on the KwaZulu-Natal region, including the city of Durban Specifire focuses almost exclusively on the KwaZulu-Natal region, including the city of Durban – which accounts for approximately 95% of its business. Featuring 150 employees, the company sees annual revenue of up to £6 million – thanks largely in part to the installation of fire control technology in industrial sites such as sugar mills and warehouses. “For our customers, price is always a consideration, so we aim to be competitive, but at the same time we don’t want to compromise our high quality,” explained Martin Holmes, Managing Director, Specifire. “We do everything in-house, from design to fabrication to installation, and finish every project on time.” AutoCAD and Tyco sprinkler systems In over thirty years of business, Specifire has seen exponential growth in the marketplace and constantly evolves its own operations to meet changing demands. The implementation of a new management structure is just one of its latest innovations, along with a renewed focus on services rather than simple installation. “Our mission is to provide the very best in design, installation and service; leveraging advanced technologies such as AutoCAD and Tyco sprinkler systems. By putting detailed planning at the heart of every project, we can ensure success,” added Holmes. “Furthermore, by focusing more on services, we can generate annuity income on a regular basis.” Tycoin-rack and roof sprinklers One recent project that showcases Specifire’s attention to design and detail is the deployment of circa 20, 000 Tycoin-rack and roof sprinklers in a large clothing warehouse. Founded in 1965, PEP Stores is a large multinational discount clothing company based in Cape Town. Operating in 11 countries, including Australia and Poland, the company employs approximately 44,000 people. Operating more than 4,600 retail outlets, the company wanted to build a new 90,000 m2 central hub warehouse that would house and protect its precious inventory from fire damage. Tyco high velocity sprayers and guards Specifire has installed 75% of the Tyco sprinklers and is on target to complete the project within the agreed schedule"“Pepkor has consolidated all its warehousing facilities into one single distribution depot and needed a robust fire-protection solution. We put together a design concept with guaranteed compliance with regulations and won the business,” continued Holmes. “In the past five months, we have installed 75% of the Tyco sprinklers and we are on target to complete the project within the agreed tight schedule.” The Tyco in-rack and roof sprinklers, along with Tyco high velocity sprayers and guards and pre-trimmed wet Alarm Valve (AV-1) assemblies will ensure that millions of dollars’ worth of stock will be protected from fire. The Tyco TY-B Conventional Sprinkler automatically distributes water in a spherical pattern below the deflector. The benefits of this conventional sprinkler include – Quality products that give peace of mind Competitive prices that don’t compromise on quality Effective fire protection of valuable stock “We are the current holder of the ASIB “Best Installation Award” for our nearly £1 million installation at the new premises of Unilever in Durban and we wanted this ambitious project to be similarly well regarded,” said Holmes. “It is certainly a flagship example of how to properly integrate fire protection into a Greenfield development.” Enhanced fire safety and protection For Pepkor, the clear benefits are having peace of mind when it comes to fire protection as well as security in terms of full regulatory compliance. For Specifire, its relationship with Tyco products delivers multiple advantages; from the quality of the sprinklers and valves to the support it receives. “Tyco not only supplies premium quality products at affordable prices, but also has a strong local presence so I know that if I have a question, it will get answered quickly,” commented Holmes. “There are support boffins in the region who will happily come talk about the equipment and respond to any technical enquiries.” Meticulous fire protection specialist Tyco not only supplies premium quality produce at affordable prices but also has a strong local presence" “Tyco not only supplies premium quality produce at affordable prices but also has a strong local presence so I know that if I have a question, it will get answered quickly.” Martin Holmes, MD, Specifire With the Pepkor project nearing completion, Specifire is looking to the future and hoping to build on its reputation as the region’s most professional and meticulous fire protection specialist. It fully expects Tyco products to continue to play a vital role in the company’s ongoing development. Tyco fire safety equipment and solutions Holmes concludes, “The supply, delivery and service we receive from Tyco is excellent; any concerns regarding pricing, availability and technical detail are answered within a day by the local Tyco team,” concluded Holmes. “I simply don’t get that level of support from anyone else.” TYCO Products are part of Johnson Controls, a global diversified technology and multi industrial solutions provider serving a wide range of customers in more than 150 countries globally.
Founded more than 20 years ago, CLF-SATREM now employs over 200 people. The company covers seven French regions and saw more than £32 million in turnover in 2015. CLF-SATREM provides the comprehensive installation and maintenance of fixed systems for automatic fire protection using sprinklers and RIA, as well as specialized systems such as water mist and special hazards. Installation of fixed systems CLF-SATREM has enjoyed strong and steady growth since its inception, during which time the company has been involved in flagship projects such as the renovation of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France. However, the introduction of new regulations, combined with a more competitive global economy, is presenting challenges. When it comes to suppliers and partners, CLF-SATREM takes various criteria into account, such as cost and quality. “Certification is a necessity. At the same time, we can feel the contraction of the global market and that puts pressure on us,” explained Pierre Breillout, General Manager, CLF-SATREM. He adds, “However, we have remained at the forefront of the market with increasing revenues because we plan every project in detail, limit potential risk, respond to customer needs and work with the best suppliers.” CLF-SATREM specialized systems When it comes to suppliers and partners, CLF-SATREM takes various criteria into account, most importantly cost and quality. Having used Tyco products in numerous projects, CLF-SATREM is well aware of their unique qualities and how they help overcome the special demands of each and every project. “We rely on a small group of handpicked partners to supply us with the best technology for the job in hand, enabling us to mix and match according to the job specifications,” added Mr. Breillout. “This enables us to be very flexible when responding to RFPs and maximizes our chances of winning new business. It also means we can capitalize on the fast-growing residential market”.
Nittan Fire Alarm system protects the ‘Better Life Hospital’, Bangladesh. Nittan partner, Unique Multi Engineering Limited have installed a comprehensive UL approved Nittan SPERA Fire Alarm system to protect the Better Life Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The system consisting of Nittan’s UL approved NFU-7000 Fire Alarm control panel, 325 detection devices and 36 Pull Stations with 36 Bells. Japanese Designed Fire Alarm Devices The Far Group who own and operate the 18 floor hospital building, containing 226 patient beds and 6 operating theatres, chose Unique Multi Engineering to lead this project due to their strong technical team and commitment to customer service. Nittan’s state of the art SPERA system, was specified due to the proven reliability of their Japanese designed Fire Alarm devices, plus the assurance that all parts carry UL approval.
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