When you think about the 21st-century innovations that will drive the future of the fire service, almost every new technology depends on faster and more dependable digital communication. In short, the future of technology in the fire service demands that we embrace 5G technology. 5G (fifth generation telecommunications) promises faster data speeds, less latency, and greater reliability. Increased connectivity and technologies From increasing connectivity to enabling wearable technologie...
While conducting research for my 2021 Wisconsin Public Safety Commission (WIPSCOM) conference presentation, it became immediately clear that securing the nation’s public safety answering points (PSAPs) is no longer just an IT challenge. Shifting from an analog to digital operating environment — the next generation of 911 — will require strategic investments into three key areas: people, processes and technology. As call center technology evolves nationwide, the need for greate...
VdS (VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH) has announced the release of Compact Guidelines VdS 2100 for dependable pipe connection elements and fittings renewed, comprehensively supplemented with findings for reliable production, with regard to leak tightness and stress crack resistance, as well as other aspects. Automatic sprinkler systems The decisive instant protection in case of fire (more often than every 5 minutes in a company in Germany) is automatic sprinkler systems. An important part of th...
With the COVID outbreak making business travel and exhibitions almost impossible over the last 15 months, it was great to see the productts on show at Fire Australia. Whilst scaled down from previous editions of the show, Fire Australia 2021 still featured a comprehensive conference programme which ran alongside the exhibition. The Australian partners, FlameStop, were among the 80 companies exhibiting and took the opportunity to promote products from the Solo and Testifire ranges. Rob Glover,...
AB&I Foundry, a pioneering manufacturer of cast iron soil pipe and fittings, is pleased to announce that Kyle Chadwick will be joining the AB&I sales team as a Regional Sales Manager covering the Upper Midwest, most notably the Minnesota, Ohio and Iowa territories.Kyle will be responsible for reaching out to existing customers and developing new partners within the territory. Kyle’s appointment supports the Company’s strategic direction, strengthening customer relat...
After years of Brexit negotiations and an ongoing climate of prevailing uncertainty, businesses across the UK are still adjusting to the realities of life outside the European Union. Following the end of the UK’s transition period with the European Union, at the end of last year, the United Kingdom is no longer subject to European laws. However, for many companies, the last-minute nature of the Brexit negotiations mean that they remain unclear on what has actually changed in practical te...
FIREX International Connect 2021 is a brand-new, month-long digital event running throughout June. The upcoming FIREX International in-person event will take place at ExCeL London from 12-14 July, providing the first opportunity in over two years for the fire safety industry to unite face-to-face. “Both events present unmissable opportunities for the industry to reconnect and explore the innovative approaches to fire safety that have been born out of a challenging year,” said Chris Edwards, Group Director at Informa Markets. “Attendees will get to grips with the newest fire safety solutions, product launches and the impacts of the latest guidance and legislation.” Tall building evacuations The month-long online event running from 1-30 June will provide visitors with the opportunity to connect with new and international audiences through video calls and messaging, browse fire safety solutions and products, connect with suppliers and access thought-leadership content from any location. Visitors can plan meetings using the 1.2.1 meeting service or the Connect 2021 AI platform Visitors can plan meetings using the tailored 1.2.1 meeting service or the Connect 2021 AI-augmented platform, which will make intelligent recommendations based on their online profile. A series of tech-based presentations and thought-leadership panel discussions focusing on the industry’s most important topics, including building safety and tall building evacuations, are scheduled throughout June. Building safety regulations Over 32,000 visitors from 120+ countries are expected to attend both events to connect with and view thousands of innovative products brand new to the market from more than 600 of the biggest names in the industry, including AICO, Coopers, Quelfire, Vimpex and Independent Fire Inspections. Learning, understanding, and complying with the latest changes in fire and building safety regulations has never been more important. With incoming legislative reforms from the ‘Fire Safety Bill’ and ‘Building Safety Bill’, and a growing focus on safety culture within construction, the return to live events at FIREX International could not be timelier. Fire safety associations FIREX International is supported by key fire safety associations the FIA, ASFP, FPA and more Attendees will have the opportunity to share learnings in-person on the latest guidance and standards whilst being able to source, demo and procure innovative fire and building safety solutions from over 600 of the suppliers. FIREX International is supported by key fire safety associations the FIA, ASFP, FPA and more. FIREX International in-person will be delivered in line with the industry recognized, and Government approved, Informa AllSecure standard – designed to ensure the safety of all attendees. Informa AllSecure was piloted in September 2020 and approved by the UK Government on 19 November 2020 as a model for running large events safely. It involves several health and safety measures, including deep cleaning, social distancing onsite, staggered arrival times and PPE, including face masks. Workplace wellbeing conference Connect 2021 will kick off with the workplace wellbeing conference on 1-3 June. The event’s official charity partner is Mind, and it will feature in-depth content for anyone involved in wellbeing initiatives within their organization and offer guidance to people looking to support their wellbeing or the wellbeing of the people they work with. Confirmed speakers include astronaut Major Tim Peake CMG, former political aide and mental health advocate Alastair Campbell, gold-medal winning Olympian Amy Williams and Mind CEO Paul Farmer. Attendees who register for FIREX International in-person or Connect 2021 will be able to access five co-located events for free: Facilities Show: In-person and Connect 2021 IFSEC International: In-person and Connect 2021 Safety & Health Expo: In-person and Connect 2021 Workplace Wellbeing Show: In-person and Connect 2021 (not including the workplace wellbeing conference) Intelligent Building Europe: In-person and Connect 2021
Usually, if the application requires acoustic and visual notification, the market offers two separate products. Nevertheless, sometimes for public buildings, hotels, and hospitals, but also for industry and other verticals, it may be necessary to have a combination of visual and acoustic alarms in one device. AVENAR all-in-one 4000 Bosch Security System’s AVENAR all-in-one 4000 is one product that can provide such a solution. This product is able to combine not only a sounder and a strobe, but also a fire detector from the AVENAR detector 4000 series. AVENAR all-in-one 4000, combines visual and acoustic alarms in one solution and also complies with EN54-3 + EN54-23 standards. The solution features more than 125 devices per loop, offering high project flexibility for different use cases. They have very low power consumption and do not require an additional external power supply. High connection reliability In stand-by mode, it is powered by the loop and in alarm mode, the in-built battery provides additional power. This concept supports also the smart energy concept – 100% effective alarming, in case of a complete power cut. In other words, this uninterruptible solution helps to increase the level of the building and public protection, even if a stub line is broken or the bus system is permanently damaged (e.g. by fire). AVENAR all-in-one 4000 offers high connection reliability and reduces project costs, thanks to optimized installation and maintenance time. Acoustic and visual alarm in one device In case of smoke or fire detection, the acoustic and visual alarm of the AVENAR all-in-one 4000 will be activated at the same time In case of smoke or fire detection, the acoustic and visual alarm of the AVENAR all-in-one 4000 will be activated at the same time. All devices are synchronized with each other. The sounder part of the device will trigger an alarm sound and for the visual notification, 12 LEDs lights, which are around the device, will start to blink. Additionally, the user can choose the intensity level for the sounder and flasher. AVENAR all-in-one 4000 is suitable for indoor use and can be placed on the wall or ceiling, offering the option of surface and flush cabling. Via the fire alarm panel software, the sounder and flasher can also be activated separately. In combination with the detector head of the AVENAR detector 4000 series, this solution will also offer superior fire detection. Without detection function, a cover is available. Furthermore, a locking clip offers protection against theft. Wide range of applications AVENAR all-in-one 4000 is a suitable solution that meets the requirements of various building structures like hotels, shopping malls, hospitals, and commercial buildings as it demands a customized approach. When applying the fire alarm system in a hotel, it is a challenge to have an individual alarm concept. In order to solve this problem, AVENAR all-in-one 4000 offers custom-made notification combined in one device for all persons who sojourn the building. Healthcare security In healthcare spheres, it is important to inform all the patients about the danger, especially for handicapped persons that need special attention. In this case, the dual notification provides information for both senses, acoustic and visual.
Rescu (Rescu Saves Lives), an emergency alert app that connects people directly to certified emergency dispatchers, has launched throughout the United States, in partnership with over 30,000 local emergency agencies. Rescu is the first and only Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) in a non-hardware platform. Rescu emergency alert app Unlike 9-1-1, the Rescu app does not require speaking to a dispatcher. With Rescu, users can communicate non-verbally to an emergency dispatcher. This means a user can silently send for help in Rescu’s mobile app interface if an intruder enters their home or a user can request an ambulance in the event of a medical emergency that hinders their ability to speak. Rescu is the most efficient way to get emergency help during an emergency. Rescu leverages the first emergency dispatch API and is the only emergency alert app that has its own private dispatch center. Pricing starts at US$ 5 per month. Medical emergency and 9-1-1 alerts Rescu offers the ability to select the nature of the emergency, including Fire, Police, or Ambulance services, with just one click When Founder Paolo Piscatelli’s father, Paul Piscatelli, had a medical emergency and called 9-1-1, pain made it near impossible for him to talk, delaying the arrival of an ambulance. Paul Piscatelli eventually got the medical attention he needed and after he recovered, he and his son were inspired to create a solution that offered a faster way to get help. They created the Rescu app that eliminates the time wasted communicating address and personal information to traditional 9-1-1 verbally on a phone call. Instead, location and other data can be pre-programmed into the app, and Rescu offers the ability to select the nature of the emergency, including Fire, Police, or Ambulance services, with just one click. The app also automatically sends a text message instantly notifying family members and emergency contacts. Providing faster response and greater safety Paolo Piscatelli, CEO of Rescu, shares “It took over 30 minutes for an ambulance to respond to my Dad. With heart attacks, strokes, and other emergencies, a single minute can be the difference between life and death. So, we created a faster and easier way to get help during an emergency.” Piscatelli continues, “We are grateful to the 30,000 local fire departments, police stations and ambulance networks that have partnered with us to dispatch emergency help in seconds - together, we are providing better response and safety to our communities.”
Shareholders approved all resolutions proposed at Airbus SE’s 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM), including the renewal of the Board mandate of Chairman René Obermann. The Board mandates of Amparo Moraleda, Victor Chu, and Jean-Pierre Clamadieu were also renewed. 2021 AGM resolutions Following the AGM’s approval of his Board mandate, René Obermann was formally reappointed Chairman at a Board meeting held after the shareholder meeting. At the same Board meeting, Amparo Moraleda was reappointed Chair of the Remuneration, Nomination, and Governance Committee while Jean-Pierre Clamadieu was reappointed Chairman of the Ethics, Compliance, and Sustainability Committee. Separately, Catherine Guillouard remains Chair of the Audit Committee. Due to the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and to prioritize health and safety, shareholders were encouraged to vote by proxy, instead of attending the meeting physically in Amsterdam. Shareholders showed a high level of engagement, with 549 million votes expressed, representing around 70% of the outstanding share capital.
EUSAS recently organized a successful online European Conference on the topic ‘Artificial intelligence in fire detection and security – without the hype’. It showed once again the importance of technological development for an industry that endeavored to protect lives with particular relevance to the fire and security industry. The conference opened with a discussion on what Artificial Intelligence (AI) is. The general concepts as well as the history and starting blocks of AI were discussed. Also, the current application fields for AI in Smart Living, as well as important requirements for the realization of intelligent Smart Living services, were presented. Focal point for the fire industry were the presentations during the session on the benefits and opportunities of AI for fire detection and security. Artificial Intelligence and Fire Safety In his presentation, Guillermo Rein of the Imperial College London presented an innovative fire protection system that combines building sensors, computer modeling, and artificial intelligence (AI). It is called The Fire Navigator and aims to forecast the movement of a fire inside a large building, providing the fire brigades with essential information about flames and smoke ahead of time. It bridges the gap between fire safety and Building Information Modeling by making use of the data already produced by high-rise building sensors such as smoke and heat sensors. A fast and simple cellular automata model assimilates sensor data, and via inverse modeling and genetic algorithm techniques, it uncovers the ignition location, time, flame spread rate, and smoke velocity. A test case with synthetic data was shown for a real iconic building in London. The Fire Navigator concept would be specially suited for the protection of higher-risk buildings like high-rise and hospital, or key infrastructures like tunnels and power plants. Sensor technology Paul van der Zanden, General Director of Euralarm, elaborated on the connection between AI and the fire industry. He took a holistic approach by defining AI as ‘’Technology used to add value and/or improve the outcome of an existing or new process/system’’. The fire industry has a wide scope and covers many aspects. Within Euralarm fire safety is seen as an ecosystem and therefore fire safety should be part of the development process. The question is if one can use other future spin-off developments from the AI world for the fire safety world Assuming that everything is done in the design to prevent a fire from starting there still is a chance that a fire incident will happen. A key factor that defines the impact of this incident is time. Timely detection and sensitivity for unnecessary alarms have a relation with each other. Both factors can be improved by using new technologies including AI technologies. The question is if one can use other future spin-off developments from the AI world for the fire safety world. The introduction of new sensor technologies available could be one of these spin-offs. With an example from AI sensor technology development, Paul van der Zanden showed how future fire detection can be brought to the next level. AI-related vulnerabilities In his presentation, Ibrahim Daoudi of CNPP presented the vulnerabilities related to the use of artificial intelligence on security/safety products. There are mainly 3 categories of vulnerabilities. The first category consists of adversarial attacks where the aim is to generate data sufficiently modified to mislead the model. The second category concerns physical attacks. It is in fact based on adversarial attacks but applied to real objects. The third category is the traditional attacks on information systems leading to the poisoning of the model itself or its training data. All three the vulnerability categories were discussed and explained. Temporal Deep Learning A new way to detect and localize smoke within such sequences was presented, called cell-wise classification Utilizing temporal information is crucial to detect smoke in video sequences. In his presentation, Andreas Wellhausen of Bosch Sicherheitssysteme GmbH presented the work on temporal approaches based on Deep Learning that are applied to Video Smoke Detection. Two methods were elaborated. Firstly, a combination of convolutional neural networks (CNN) and long-short-term-memory networks (LSTM), secondly the inflated 3D architecture (i3D), which consists of 3D convolutions. These are two state-of-the-art approaches to extract spatial and temporal information out of video sequences. A new way to detect and localize smoke within such sequences was presented, called cell-wise classification. Furthermore, the advantage of temporal approaches over CNN methods, which are commonly used for detection problems in Computer Vision, was shown. Training AI on synthetic data Philip Dietrich of Bosch Sicherheitssysteme analyzed the idea of using synthetic data to train Deep Learning Systems for Video-Based Smoke Detection algorithms. Compared to real data, gathering a large-scale database is significantly easier for synthetic data. It was shown how Deep Learning networks can be trained on synthetic videos. The results were compared with real data. Experimental results support the hypothesis, that domain adaptation improves the generalization on real data As a means of bridging the domain gap between real and synthetic data, the concept of domain adaptation will be introduced. By forcing networks to extract similar features from real and synthetic data respectively, potential artifacts in synthetic data may not be learned by the network. Experimental results support the hypothesis, that domain adaptation improves the generalization of real data. Legislation and outlook While the rapid adoption of AI creates exciting new opportunities for industry and individuals alike, it also poses an important question: do current laws apply to AI? Tadas Tumėnas of Orgalim discussed if and how this new technology should be regulated. He outlined the state of play of AI in Europe. He focused on the definition of AI which should be the essence of the EU legislative framework and presented the Commission’s work related to AI. In the last presentation Lance Rütimann, chair of the Fire Section of Euralarm, said that if the fire safety industry does not take on the task of working with legislators, regulators, and standardization bodies in defining the aforementioned regulatory landscape, then someone else will. This is because the use of Artificial Intelligence to protect lives and assets makes good sense. Understandably, the path ahead is not clear, and there are many, many questions. The fact that the results of the work of the fire safety industry make the world a safer place for millions of people is the best motivation to set the focus on a new horizon.
Airbus has taken the next step in reducing its industrial carbon footprint, with the maiden flight of a Beluga super transporter using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), from the aerospace company’s Broughton plant in the United Kingdom. The north Wales line station, which uses the Beluga fleet to transport aircraft wings to Toulouse, Hamburg and Bremen, becomes the second Airbus European site to use SAF, after Hamburg introduced the fuel to its cargo activities at the end of 2019. Decarbonizing industrial operations “This first flight by a Beluga transporter from Broughton, partially fuelled with SAF, marks an important milestone in Airbus’ ambition to decarbonize its industrial operations,” said Tony Derrien, Sustainable Aviation Fuels’ Project Manager at Airbus. Tony Derrien adds, “Combined with our ongoing research into the potential for 100% SAF in commercial flights, reducing fossil-fuels in our own operations underlines Airbus’ commitment to lessening the impact of our manufacturing footprint and contributing towards a more sustainable future for the aviation sector more generally.” Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) The SAF, used by the Beluga fleet, is made from used sustainable feed stocks Sustainable aviation fuels are currently certified by regulators for up to 50% use in commercial flights. The Beluga fleet operating from Broughton will initially be loaded with a 35% blend of non-fossil derived fuel, set to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 400 tons over the next three months. The SAF, used by the Beluga fleet, is made from used sustainable feed stocks, such as cooking oil, and supplied to Airbus in Broughton and Hamburg by Air bp. Decarbonization Roadmap Andy Owen, Beluga Line Station Manager at Broughton, said “The progressive deployment of sustainable aviation fuels at Airbus’ sites is an essential part of our decarbonization roadmap." He adds, "We’re proud that Broughton has become the second Airbus site to introduce SAF in its Beluga-fleet operations.”
The fire sprinkler system in your building is a critical safety measure and, when needed, it can save lives. Still, even the best systems can malfunction, and sprinklers do occasionally fail. When they do, they can drench the interior of your building, damaging everything from furniture and personal belongings to drywall and building materials. As a property manager, dealing with fire sprinkler failure can feel overwhelming. What do you do next? Where do you start? And why did the sprinkler system fail in the first place? In this post, we’ll discuss the common causes of accidental discharge, and what to do if it happens to you. Reasons for Fire Sprinkler Systems Failure Today, all building fire sprinkler systems must meet NFPA 13 standards. These National Fire Protection Association benchmarks define safety requirements for components and installation, and help ensure that sprinkler systems are well maintained and ready to perform. Still, fire sprinkler systems can fail. Here are a few of the most common culprits: Aging parts Building renovations (collisions with construction equipment, displacement or disturbance, etc.) Incorrectly placed heating systems that activate sprinklers Vulnerable pipes that freeze and cause sprinkler heads to burst Corrosion Fire sprinkler malfunctions can be incredibly problematic, causing extensive damage to your building Regardless of what causes the sprinklers to discharge accidentally, fire sprinkler malfunctions can be incredibly problematic, causing extensive damage to your building and requiring costly repairs from a water damage repair contractor. 5 Things to do if Your Sprinklers Fail There are no flames in your building, but your sprinklers are soaking everything in sight. You have to move quickly to avoid even more damage. Stay calm and follow these five steps: Get everyone out Even if there’s not an active fire in the building, water poses its own set of dangers. To avoid problematic slip and fall conditions, get everyone out of the area immediately. Move them to a safe location outside the building, preferably one you’ve agreed on in a previously established evacuation plan. Shut off electrical equipment Water and electricity are a deadly combination. To avoid electrical shocks, shut off all nearby electrical equipment and appliances, and then, turn off the building’s main power supply, as you exit the building. Turn off the water main Instead of wasting time shutting off broken sprinkler heads individually, go to the building’s main water supply immediately and shut it off at the valve. This will stop all water flow and prevent additional water damage. Take photos of the scene Once it’s safe to re-enter the building, document the scene. Use your smartphone to take photos of broken sprinkler heads or anything else you believe may have caused the accidental discharge. Additionally, take photos of the damage the sprinklers caused to floors, walls, personal belongings, and more. These photos can help response specialists understand the cause of the malfunction and may streamline your insurance claims process. Contact a restoration specialist Even if your water damage looks minimal, you’ll need to contact a skilled water damage restoration expert, like the Chicago-based maintenance and service company, ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba. Accidental sprinkler discharges soak drywall, destroy carpets and textiles, and lead to dangerous mold and mildew growth, which can happen just 24-48 hours after water exposure. Prevent worsening damage and the dangerous conditions by contacting a sprinkler repair specialist right away. Cleanup and water damage restoration services Using your documentation, your insurance company will work to determine the cause of the sprinkler failure Using your documentation, your insurance company will work to determine the cause of the sprinkler failure. This can be a lengthy process that takes weeks or even months. As that happens, your cleanup team will focus on providing water damage restoration services. Typically, fire sprinkler water damage involves ‘blackwater’- a dangerous mixture of sediments and other contaminants that leave behind an unpleasant smell and a film that can destroy belongings. To reclaim your space, the water damage restoration service will focus on extracting the remaining water, drying the space to prevent mold and mildew formation, and decontaminating all surfaces. This is a critical step that you can’t afford to rush. Work with the best water damage cleanup company you can find to ensure positive results. Protecting Your Sprinkler Systems in the Future While it’s impossible to completely avoid every accidental discharge, there are certain steps you can take to safeguard your sprinkler system. Proper maintenance, for example, allows you to avoid preventable issues that could lead to malfunction. You should also take care to keep all remodeling and construction work away from sprinkler heads and systems to avoid accidental damage. These are simple tips, but they can help keep your building and tenants safe and dry - both now and in the future.
There is a sense in some markets that the paper and pulp industry will decline owing to the digital technologies with which people interact every day. While this might be considered logical, the reality is completely different. In fact, the paper and pulp industry has experienced a steady growth and will continue to do so in 2021. Production of paper increased by more than 450% in the last decades and the demand of paperboard in the world is expected to grow significantly, driven by e-commerce and big retailers increasing their presence in the online sales universe. This sustained growth in production capacity and paper consumption presents several fire risks to companies and exposes communities that develop around paper mills, to the impact of disasters caused by these fire risks. Fire risks in the paper and pulp industry Paper and cardboard are combustible, but this is not the only fire risk found in these types of industries. Raw materials and finished goods storage are sensitive to fire. In addition, the paper making process includes several stages where fires can occur, due to hot surfaces or poor ventilation. The most relevant fire risks on a paper plant are: Storage Areas: As mentioned before, paper and cardboard are combustible. Solid paper blocks and reels have hard surfaces that don’t ignite easily, but usually these reels can suffer minor damages or have loose sheets that significantly increase the fire risk. When paper reels are stacked in columns, gaps in the center can act as chimneys and when fires start in the bottom of the stack, this chimney effect will accelerate smoke and hot air spread, increasing vertical and horizontal flame spread. Wood and Bale storage fire risks Bale storage also presents a high fire risk, as loose materials are always present Raw materials for the paper making process can have two main sources, forestry products (mainly wood) or recycled cardboard and paper. Wood storage presents several challenges, especially due to wood chips that are highly combustible and, in some cases, even explosive. Bale storage also presents a high fire risk, as loose materials are always present. Fire in baled paper is difficult to extinguish and generates heavy smoke. In many recycling facilities, these paper bales are stored outdoors, where paper or rags soaked in flammable liquids, embedded between the paper sheets, can ignite resulting in a fast spreading fire. Chemicals, flammable liquids and gases In addition, it is possible to find different types of chemicals, flammable liquids and gases that are used in the paper making process. These materials have their own fire-related risks that need to be taken in consideration. Production Areas: In pulp factories, there are several long-distance conveyors that transport wood and wood chips. These conveyors constitute a fire risk and the most probable causes of fire are bearing damage, overheating of the conveyor and igniting chips in the environment. IR dryers, a common source of fire After the wood has been transported, chipped and digested, the paper making process becomes extremely humid, due to the large amounts of hot water and steam needed. But, as soon as the pulp fiber sheet starts to dry, the hot surfaces in contact with the paper sheets can be a source of ignition. IR dryers used in the process are also a common source of fire in the paper industry. When the sheet of paper is formed, close contact with reels and bearings moving fast can create static electricity that could ignite loose paper or airborne particles. Problems like these are likely to be more extensive in tissue mills. Paper dust is generated in certain parts of the process, especially where paper shits are slit or cut. Poorly insulated steam pipes lead to fire Poorly insulated steam pipes can ignite paper dust or even their own insulation materials. In addition, paper dust gathers in the ventilation grills of machinery, causing overheating and igniting as well. Heated oil is used in several parts of the process as well and if a malfunction occurs on the Hot Oil Roll systems, leaks might occur, exposing hot surfaces to this oil and causing ignitions. A paper mill has hydraulically operated machinery, where leaks or sprays might ignite as well. Service Areas: As in many other manufacturing facilities, several service areas can be found. Electrical and network equipment rooms have an inherent fire risk due to damaged wires or equipment, overheating or short circuits in high voltage circuits. Transformer and generator areas entail fire risks as well. High fire risk for boiler rooms Flammable gas distribution systems can be ignition sources, in case of leaks or damaged pipes or valves Hot water and steam are key components for the paper making process. For this reason, paper plants use high capacity boilers that can be powered by flammable liquids or gases. A high fire risk can be considered for boiler rooms. Flammable gas distribution systems can be ignition sources, in case of leaks or damaged pipes or valves. In addition to the fire risks mentioned in these areas, many maintenance operations can also pose fire risk, especially when hot works are being performed. Sparks caused by welding or the use of certain tools can ignite paper sheets or dust in the air. Poor housekeeping and buildup of paper dust, for example, increases the risk associated with maintenance and construction works. Prevention, the first line of defense According to the Health and Safety Executive from the United Kingdom, 60% of fires on paper mills are caused by machine faults and poor housekeeping. The first line of defense to avoid fire risks in paper plants is prevention. As mentioned before, a high number of fires in these types of facilities occur because of poor housekeeping and machine malfunction. The key is to identify the risks and possible ignition sources, and apply measures to minimize them. As in many industries, fire protection has two main components: Passive and Active protection. Passive fire protection measures Passive measures include fire rated walls, ceilings, and floors in the most critical areas. Chemical storage areas should be physically separated from other dangerous areas, if this is not possible then the walls separating areas should be fire rated and materials must be stored in a way that minimizes the risk of fire spread by radiation or conduction. Proper compartmentalization and intumescent protection of structural elements should be part of the package as well. Passive measures include proper ventilation and smoke control. As mentioned before, paper dust is a major fire risk, which is why ventilation and cleaning of hoods over the paper machine is important to minimize the possibility of ignition. Fire resisting construction should be designed with the following goals in mind: Protection of escape routes Form compartments to contain fires that might occur Separate areas of higher fire risk Protect load bearing and structural members to minimize risk of collapse Sprinkler systems, gas extinguishing systems and hose reels Active fire protection includes sprinkler systems, gas extinguishing systems and hose reels to support fire brigades Active fire protection includes sprinkler systems, gas extinguishing systems and hose reels to support fire brigades. Finished goods stored indoors should be protected with sprinkler systems and the same should be considered for chemical storage areas and certain raw materials. Paper bales, ideally should be protected by sprinklers that are suitably designed to cope with the height and located, in all cases, 3 meters above the level of bales stacked vertically (which should not exceed 5 meters height). Spark detectors in hoods, pipes and ventilation systems Dangerous sparks could be generated in several parts of the paper making process, which is why spark detectors must be installed in hoods, pipes, and ventilation systems. Water spray and CO2 systems can be used to protect machinery against these risks. Means to fight fires, like extinguishers and hose reels, should be provided to support fire brigades. All the elements should be properly identified and all personnel should be trained and made aware of the location of such devices. Importance of fire alarms Fire alarms are required in all paper mills and fire alarm call points should be provided in all locations, according to international guidelines, such as NFPA 72 or EN54. The spread of flames and smoke in paper, wood and chemical storage might become extremely fast. For this reason, early detection is critical. Many technologies might be applied in the different areas of a paper plant. Nevertheless, there are dusty or humid areas where regular heat or smoke detectors might fail under certain circumstances. For these areas, especially located outdoors, innovative state-of-the-art detection solutions might be applied, like Video Fire Detection (VFD). NFPA 72 standard for flame and smoke detection NFPA 72 provides guidelines to implement this technology for flame and smoke detection NFPA 72 provides guidelines to implement this technology for flame and smoke detection, opening interesting alternatives for designers and fire protection engineers. Many EHS managers and fire protection professionals selected VFD, because it is the only fire detection solution that effectively covered their needs. Many engineers, specialized in fire protection for paper plants, explained that they tested linear heat detection, aspiration smoke detection, IR/UV detectors and even beams, but none of these technologies performed as they needed on the dirtiest or more humid areas. Video Fire Detection (VFD) solutions Outdoor storage areas are often unprotected, because deploying flame or heat detection in large open areas can be costly and mostly ineffective. VFD solutions can detect smoke and flames in outdoor conditions, allowing the monitoring and protection of wood and paper bales in large areas. Fire detection and alarm systems should be designed with the following goals: Minimize risk of fires, including the use of fire detection technology in areas where regular detection technologies cannot be implemented or are not practical. Minimize risk of flame and smoke spread, with state-of-the-art detection algorithms that guarantee fast and effective detection. Also, reliable algorithms minimize the possibility of nuance or unwanted alarms. In case of a fire, fast detection gives occupants life-saving time to reach to a place of safety, before the flames and smoke have spread to dangerous levels. Global production of paper and pulp reached 490 million tons in 2020, with many industries and markets depended on the paper and pulp supply chain. That is why innovative ways to protect this supply chain, are key to sustain the paper market growth in the future.
In any business, fire can cause significant damage and substantial loss of revenue, assets, or productivity due to a period of downtime. However, fires can be prevented through continuous temperature monitoring, as it can detect hot spots or rising temperatures that may lead to a fire. Temperature monitoring, in combination with effective suppression systems, can largely reduce fire risk and safeguard your teams, assets and the environment. How thermal imaging supports fire detection and suppression An effective method of monitoring temperature to aid fire detection and suppression is thermal imaging. Many thermal imaging cameras can work in conjunction with fire detection systems, by providing automatic alerts Thermal imaging cameras work by measuring infrared radiation. Invisible to the human eye, infrared radiation is detectable to thermal cameras, as it releases heat. Thermal imaging cameras measure the amount of heat (or infrared radiation) released from an object or in an area. The findings are then converted into images or videos, which show ‘hot spots’ as bright, orange-like markings, in comparison to cooler areas, which appear dark and blue-like. Thermal imaging cameras are described as ‘non-contact’, as they have the ability to monitor temperatures from a significant distance, providing view is not obstructed. Working In Conjunction Many thermal imaging cameras can work in conjunction with fire detection systems, by providing automatic alerts when the temperature reaches or exceeds a certain limit, or increases at a fast pace. These alerts then trigger an alarm, allowing for quick response and mitigation of high temperatures, reducing the risk of a fire breaking out or spreading. The ability to detect heat or hot spots that are invisible to the naked eye, and untraceable by traditional fire detection methods, such as smoke detectors, prove Temperature monitoring can largely reduce fire risk and safeguard your teamsthermal imaging cameras to be an incredibly effective addition to any business’ fire detection system. Thermal imaging cameras can be connected with fire suppression systems, allowing you to entirely automate your response to fires, meaning you can focus on the safe evacuation of your teams. Systems can be integrated to allow your suppression solution to be automatically released if high temperatures are detected, for example. The benefits of thermal imaging Using thermal imaging to support fire detection and suppression has a variety of benefits, including: Detecting high temperatures before a fire breaks out – the fundamental benefit of thermal imaging is the ability to detect heat or monitor rises in heat before a fire begins. This allows for appropriate measures to be carried out to lower temperatures to avoid risk of a fire breaking out. It can also help to identify shortfalls in existing fire prevention measures, which may have resulted in the increase in temperature, allowing for the rectification of these issues. Detecting smaller flames – due to the ability to monitor subtle temperature changes, thermal imaging has the capability to detect and alert to small fires in early stages, which conventional smoke detectors may not be able to detect. Monitoring even in low-light – as thermal imaging cameras do not require light to be able to capture an image, they are ideal for use in low-light environments. This allows for continuous monitoring at night when facilities are unoccupied, providing 24/7 protection. Protecting in multiple ways – thermal imaging can be used not only for fire detection and prevention, but also for security purposes and equipment monitoring. Their constant monitoring will record any trespassers on-site and can be connected with security alarms to notify facilities owners or managers of a break-in. In addition, the temperature of equipment can be consistently monitored, highlighting any faults that may occur when the facility is vacant Where is thermal imaging best used? Thermal imaging cameras can be an effective form of fire detection in a variety of settings. However, they are often most suitable for use in environments which work with combustible materials, have unconventional infrastructures or have operations involving open flames: Environments working with combustible materials – many businesses, such as construction, waste facilities, manufacturing and agriculture, work with combustible materials. This increases the risk of fire, as combustible materials can easily cause a fire to begin and spread if combined with heat or other ignition sources. Thermal imaging cameras can monitor these operations consistently, to quickly detect increases in heat that could result in spontaneous combustion. Facilities with unconventional infrastructures – across a facility, there are a number of components which can present fire risk. Often, these components are in areas that are difficult to monitor on an ongoing basis. Thermal imaging cameras can monitor specific areas or pieces of equipment, such as boilers or furnaces, to continuously monitor temperatures and alert to any abnormal increases in temperature. Operations working with open flames – in facilities where open flames are used in normal operations, such as on construction sites, thermal cameras can monitor existing flames. This ensures the active fire is effectively and safely contained to one area Thermal imaging cameras are an effective method of enhancing your fire detection and suppression systems, by monitoring temperatures 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to protect your teams, assets and the environment.
Fire and EMS departments are eligible for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) of their costs, related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A streamlined project application process eases the burden of applying for the program, but support documentation is required. Tracking costs For COVID-19 recovery Many departments do not apply for the money because they perceive reporting requirements as too difficult, and record-keeping as too big a challenge. To help, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) provides simple Excel worksheets for tracking costs related to COVID-19 response and recovery. Customizable worksheets capture common reimbursable costs as they are spent. Departments seeking reimbursement should submit a project application online at the FEMA Public Assistance Grants Portal (no paper submissions are accepted). FEMA’s Public Assistance Program The mission of FEMA’s Public Assistance Program is to provide assistance to State, Local, Territorial, and Tribal governments The mission of FEMA’s Public Assistance Program is to provide assistance to State, Local, Territorial, and Tribal (SLTT) governments, and certain types of private nonprofit (PNP) organizations so that communities can respond quickly to and recover from major disasters or emergencies declared by the President. A submission request for public assistance must provide complete and accurate documentation of expenses and usage, including standardized Incident Command System (ICS) forms, Public Assistance Grant forms, verifiable receipts, personnel costs sheets and apparatus sheets. Applications submitted via jurisdiction serviced Applications are submitted through the jurisdiction serviced. Additional documents include supporting plans, assignments, activities and shift records (payroll), pay policy receipts for purchases and rental equipment, and a copy of the service agreement/contract with the jurisdiction. Some activities may be eligible for funding through both FEMA and other federal agency funding sources for COVID-19, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Public assistance cannot duplicate funding from another federal source. Public Assistance program Some activities may be completed through direct federal assistance. If an applicant does not have the capacity to directly complete the activity or oversee activity completion through contract or mutual aid, the Applicant may request that FEMA or another federal agency directly conduct the activity. The assistance FEMA provides through its Public Assistance program is subject to a cost share, with the federal share not less than 75% of eligible costs.
Hundreds of sensors and devices operating across an entire city – all connected via the Internet of Things (IoT) – combine to provide useful and actionable information for a variety of functions – including public safety and fire protection. Even as IoT sensors and devices monitor buildings to provide vital information, computer systems transform sensor data into intelligence. Communication advances are ensuring that intelligence is shared when and how it is needed. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) divides smart firefighting technology into three categories – environmental (smart buildings or robotics), operational (communications), and personnel (PPE sensors or biometrics). Fire departments in smart cities can fuse and apply data captured from various smart sensors, computing technologies, building control systems, municipal grids, firefighting equipment, mapping information, and apparatus systems to inform budgeting, planning, operations, tactics, and outreach, says NFPA. Here are some ways that smart cities can provide information and insights to enhance fire safety and protection for residents. Perpetual monitoring of building conditions, including temperature sensors, to alert to possible fire dangers Intelligent building platforms can use artificial intelligence algorithms to analyze building systemsIntelligent building platforms can use artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to analyze building systems, track fire inspections, gather pre-incident data, etc. Smart building intelligence (SBI) platforms can also share and analyze municipal data records for new construction project permits, fire hydrant malfunction, street closures, and event planning, among other information. Faster notification of fire events, which contributes to faster response IoT devices that monitor buildings in smart cities can detect fires more quickly, compared to traditional smoke detectors. Heat-proof sensors communicate where and when a fire starts, its intensity, nature, and patterns of spread. Providing more information to enable firefighters to be more effective Improved information flow enhances the capabilities of incident command centers, expands computer-aided dispatch, and provides better situational awareness for firefighters working on the scene. Knowledge of what’s happening on the ground enables streamlined approaches to firefighting and evacuation, enabling “Know Before You Go” smart firefighting. Routing traffic to clear the way for fire and emergency personnel Correlating response plan information with intelligent traffic management systems and collision avoidance technology can help prevent accidents involving emergency and civilian vehicles. For example, all civilian vehicles in a given area may be rerouted to avoid traffic mishaps. Protection and monitoring of fire personnel, including in dangerous environments Integration with personal safety devices and fire suit technology enables tracking of firefighters to provide incident commanders better visibility into where individual firefighters are working to battle a blaze. Radio-frequency identification tracks firefighters’ locations in real-time. Acoustic transmitters provide locations of firefighters who have not moved for a predetermined period of time. Sensors may soon provide additional information, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide pressure, volume flow rate, heart rate, gas pressure, body temperature, etc. Smarter fire prevention equipment, such as smart sprinklers, that can facilitate fire response Sensors interface with a sprinkler device and wirelessly transmit status information to a database used by facility managers and inspectors to identify problems. Sensors even enable sprinklers to spray high-pressure mist into flames at the hottest point in a room. Measuring the volume of water that has been flowing through a sprinkler system reflects real-time progress in fighting a fire and informs when and how to send in fire personnel. Automating fire response, including use of drones A drone could be launched as soon as an incident response is dispatched, and then fly to an incident site to provide real-time situational awareness via video streaming from the sky. Communicating vital intelligence to firefighters, when & how they need it Fire safety and protection is just one aspect of the many uses that can benefit from the connectivity and intelligence of smart citiesInnovations in technology such as Next Generation 911 and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) public safety network ensure effective communication among firefighters. Low-power Wide Area Networks (WANs) and wireless networks transmit a wide range of data to firefighters as needed, using mobile data terminals, tablets, smartphones, or computers. Systems provide more data-rich information in real-time, such as closed-caption video streams or data from IoT devices. Public safety answering points (PSAPs) provide access to cloud-based computer-aided design (CAD) platforms, advanced location information, and data from devices such as phones, wearables, connected cars and homes, and transportation apps. Fire safety and protection is just one aspect of the many uses that can benefit from the connectivity and intelligence of smart cities, although its impact on saving lives is among the most profound.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved deployment of fully automated commercial drone flights, paving the way eventually for new and expanded uses of unmanned automated vehicles (UAVs) in a variety of applications - including the fire market. The approval is narrow in scope and applies to a single company - American Robotics Inc., which petitioned the change. Reese Mozer, the CEO and Founder of American Robotics, has predicted a $100 billion market to provide drone services in a variety of industries. However, FAA restrictions have historically limited their use. Among other benefits to the fire service, drones can provide situational awareness, guide emergency response, and perform dangerous duties while keeping fire personnel safe. unmanned aircraft system Line-of-sight operation with an operator on the ground nearby - typically within less than a mile - have been a requirement for flying any drones. Allowing expanded operation beyond the line of sight and remotely from an offsite location “is critical for the industry to truly take off,” says Lisa Ellman, Executive Director of the Commercial Drone Alliance and a lawyer for petitioner American Robotics. Drones will be allowed to fly along planned routes, limited to altitudes below 400 feet (122m) and in rural areas Under the exemption granted to American Robotics, drones will be allowed to fly along planned routes, limited to altitudes below 400 feet (122m) and in rural areas. The FAA will allow them to have a maximum takeoff weight of 20 pounds (9 km). The petitioner asserts it will only use remote pilots who hold a Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS (unmanned aircraft system) rating to conduct operations. The petitioner will designate a remote pilot in command (PIC) for each flight. reduce environmental impact The FAA will gain insights from observing the operations under the newly granted exemption. Specifically, American Robotics’ proposed operations will provide the FAA with data for use in evaluating operations beyond the visible light of sight (BVLOS) from offsite locations. Once adopted on a wider scale, such a scheme could lend efficiencies to many of the industries that fuel the economy such as agriculture, transportation, mining, technology, and non-durable manufacturing, according to the FAA. Moreover, the operations will achieve a reduction in environmental impact, as they will involve a small aircraft carrying no passengers or crew, rather than a manned aircraft of significantly greater size. Given these considerations, the small UAS operation the petitioner will conduct under this exemption is in the public interest, says the FAA. visual meteorological conditions American Robotics’ Scout drones feature advanced acoustic Detect-and-Avoid (DAA) technology American Robotics’ Scout drones feature advanced acoustic Detect-and-Avoid (DAA) technology that enables them to maintain safe distance from other aircraft. Drones are housed in base stations that allow for autonomous charging and to process and transmit the data they collect from aerial surveys. The company proposes to station the Scout drones in fields at pre-surveyed sites for extended durations, performing flight operations without the need to have a pilot co-located on the site. Operations under the requested exemption would only occur in Class G airspace (1,200 feet or less from the ground) in areas having light air traffic, in daylight visual meteorological conditions (VMC), and would be limited to 400 feet above ground level (AGL). Individual missions would occur within the boundaries of controlled access farmland (or similar rural, controlled access environments) owned or controlled by American Robotics’ customers. permissible deployment of drones It's not a stretch to see how such a configuration could be expanded to wider use of drones to perform missions in areas that are prone to wildfires, for example. Broadening the permissible deployment of drones will drive further implementation of the technology in a host of applications, including those within the fire market.
AEI Cables has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract to supply low voltage power and fire performance cables to the prestigious Sky City project at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). The supply of the cables for power, control and fire performance for the commercial and retail sector of the site starts in September and will continue, until early next year. AEI Cables will work in partnership with its long-term Hong Kong distributor, Fordex Electric Company Limited for the project located at Chek Lap Kok No.3. Supply the cables Sky City forms a core part of the strategy to expand and transform HKIA into a major aviation hub Stuart Dover, General Manager of AEI Cables, said “The need for cables which offer the highest levels of fire performance for an international airport of this kind cannot be underestimated with large numbers of people moving about. We are proud to be chosen to supply the cables for such an iconic world-class project.” A major integrated commercial development, Sky City forms a core part of the strategy to expand and transform HKIA into a major aviation hub. The complex will feature retail units, entertainment facilities, dining space, hotels, and office towers across approximately 25 hectares of land at the north of the airport island. Firetec Total Fire Solutions Using the very latest in technology and science, AEI Cables’ Firetec Total Fire Solutions range offers enhanced fire performance cabling, accessories, and technical support from its distribution facility at Washington, Tyne, and Wear. Applications for Firetec include residential and commercial buildings, shopping malls, airports, and protected buildings ensuring that fire alarms, sprinkler systems, building monitoring, and security systems can continue to operate in a fire. All AEI Cables’ products are supplied with approvals from independent bodies including BASEC and LPCB covering design, manufacture, and supply. It also holds approvals from organizations including Lloyds, the MoD, Network Rail, and LUL and works to international standards around the world.
Award-winning Taktis fire panels, manufactured by Kentec Electronics Ltd., a globally renowned manufacturer of life-critical control systems, are protecting students and property at the University of Nicosia’s (UNIC) new state-of-the-art student residences, located in Cyprus. Integrated fire system The integrated fire system was installed by Kentec Installation Partner (KIP) Glosec Dragon Ltd. (GLOSEC), a Cyprus-based business that specializes in the design, installation and maintenance of security, surveillance, hazard prevention and hospitality systems. The UNIC student residences have been designed to set a new standard in modern student living The UNIC student residences have been designed to set a new standard in modern student living. They consist of two separate complexes, SIX and TRIANGLE, which provide a multitude of dining, relaxing and entertainment options including a cafe, mini-market, gym, TV rooms and games areas. Taktis addressable fire panels Split between six, 12-storey distinctive towers, SIX comprises 307 luxury student residences, and is protected by two, highly-sophisticated Taktis eight-loop addressable fire panels. TRIANGLE complements SIX with an additional 147 modern and spacious rooms, with one six-loop Taktis fire panel installed. Across both SIX and TRIANGLE residential complexes, the fire protection systems include 578 Apollo heat detectors, 530 sounder bases, 94 call points and 339 optical detectors. Additionally, three Taktis Vision Repeaters provide information on the status of the fire alarm system in key positions, across the residences via large and full-color, touch-screen graphical displays. Full-color resistive touch screen display Taktis provides an expandable solution, which includes a full suite of graphics, communications (copper and fiber), analytics and remote management tools. Multiple protocols can be supported on each panel to give installers and end users maximum choice in their systems’ design. Also, the scalable nature of the product provides the highest level of future proofing and networking capabilities. A 7 inches full-color resistive touch screen display and a clear, uncluttered intuitive interface make it easy to use, even for those with minimal or no training, which is essential in the event of an emergency. Fire system integration with CCTV and access control Stathis Ierodiaconou, Managing Director of Glosec Dragon feels the business has worked with Kentec for more than two decades and developed a trusting relationship. Taktis is easy to install, integrates with other systems well and customer feedback has been good" Stathis said, “Our experience with Kentec meant we knew Taktis was the right system for the project’s scope and needs. The project required that remote monitoring was possible from one control room to cover both SIX and TRIANGLE residences. It also needed to be an expandable system, which can grow as the development grows.” With Glosec Dragon also installing and maintaining a suite of other CCTV, wireless access control, intercom, parking and energy-saving systems, Stathis stated that integration was essential. He explains, “Taktis is easy to install, integrates with other systems well and customer feedback has been good.” Flexible fire safety system Anastasia Christodoulou, Manager, at UNIC Residences, believes that student safety is paramount. She said, “We required complete assurance that our fire protection system is providing the utmost protection. We were assured that Taktis does just that, and that its advanced integrative capabilities mean a future-proofed and user-friendly system.” Costas Constantinides, Head of International Development at Kentec, believes the Taktis panel with EN54-13 certification was the ideal choice for this development. He said, “The highly powerful and sophisticated Taktis panel was chosen to ensure the fire safety system had the required reliability, scale and flexibility to protect large numbers of students at such a prestigious development.”
Keeping the power on in Africa is key to the continent’s economic success and the well-being of its people. It’s a 24/7/365 job largely performed by Eskom, which produces approximately 60% of the electricity on the African continent and is the 10th biggest power generating company in the world. And it carries with it enormous responsibility, not least of which is the prevention of fire at its power stations, which could lead to death, injury and the destruction of the facility, says Brendon Cowley, New Business Director of C3 Shared Services, a pioneer in the design and implementation of intelligent video, fire and perimeter security solutions. For this reason, in 2012, Eskom approached C3 Shared Services, whose list of blue chip clients includes various mines and national key points, to upgrade its Mpumalanga power station, a vast entity with a generating capacity of 2100 megawatts of electricity and an impressive average availability of 92.07% over the last three years. early warning system “Our mandate was to supply Eskom with an early warning system that would detect not only smoke or steam but also flames, so that in the event of an emergency we would be able to evacuate staff in the quickest possible time,” Cowley explains, adding that while all Eskom’s power stations are strongly committed to safety, the Mpumalanga facility has taken “two steps into the future”. Often, it’s not the actual fire that endangers lives but the suffocating smoke caused by the fire" The problem with most of the many detection systems on the market today is they’re are activated once the fire is blazing and consuming its surroundings, the resultant smoke being the alarm trigger, he explains. “Often, it’s not the actual fire that endangers lives but the suffocating smoke caused by the fire, which makes it very difficult to evacuate people.” “Most smoke detectors are limited in that there must be smoke to trigger an alarm. In large areas, the height and volume of the air flow can severely hamper a sensor’s ability to detect smoke.” smoke detection system These were all factors taken into consideration when C3 designed the new system for the Mpumalanga Power Station, the result of is a bespoke video-based fire and smoke detection system comprising nearly 400 cameras. “The cameras are programmed to detect and react to flames, which is critical for a power plant as it cannot afford downtime caused by fire damage,” explains Cowley. “The system’s early warning technology gives staff time to react to the fire before it gets out of hand by pinpointing the specific location of the fire.” Able to detect the presence of flames within their various view fields, the cameras have a built-in intelligence that picks up fire light reflected by other objects which might be in the path of the blaze. avoiding false alarms These zones are set to detect specific events such as fire, smoke, and motion The system’s on-screen event display signals, which look similar to CCTV footage, include details of the fire while highlighting flames, smoke, steam, and/or reflective heat with blue and red blocks, in keeping with the workings of video analytics. Each camera can be configured with multiple detection and exclusion zones within its field of view. These zones are set to detect specific events such as fire, smoke, and motion. The activation of a zone can also be linked to a time schedule, so for example, an area that releases steam at certain periods of the day can be defined and linked to a schedule, thereby avoiding false alarms, says Cowley. Because each algorithm runs independently on the camera, operators have wide-ranging flexibility concerning video flame and smoke detection options. Facility managers can easily adjust the sensitivity settings to low, medium, high, and even ultra (smoke only), or even turn off an algorithm altogether. identify the cause of the fire And for post-event investigation purposes, the visual footage allows security managers to identify the cause of the fire, even if the camera is destroyed. Additionally, notes Cowley, the system offers an intruder detection component, making it a valuable asset for security and operational managers. “Our video-based fire detection camera system has proved to be extremely reliable in the field, saving our clients time and money, not only in terms of reduced downtime but also the costs associated with repairs to damaged equipment and facilities. It’s a powerful and effective alternative to conventional fire products.”
C-TEC’s new CAST ZFP fire alarm system is protecting an exciting new hospitality venture in Cheshire, United Kingdom. Situated in the beautiful village of Tattenhall, The Bear and Ragged Staff has been radically transformed from a derelict shell into a high-end pub, restaurant and hotel, by a team of talented professionals, including Brian Mellor, an award-winning chef, and Martin Hilton, an industry-renowned beer sommelier. Featuring a fabulous bar/restaurant, eight en-suite bedrooms, and a first-floor function room, the magnificent venue is prominently positioned on the High Street and set not only to become a focal point in the village but also attract clientele from far and wide for celebratory and corporate events. CAST ZFP fire panel and detectors installed At the heart of the building’s life-safety systems is a C-TEC CAST ZFP fire panel connected to over 100 CAST detectors At the heart of the building’s life-safety systems is a C-TEC CAST ZFP fire panel connected to over 100 CAST detectors, sounders, VADs, and ancillary devices, spanning over four floors. The master 2-loop ZFP panel is located in a storeroom but relays key system information to a state-of-the-art Compact Controller, which is prominently displayed in the elegant reception area. With its bright easy-to-use touchscreen-control interface, the controller is stylish, highly visible and can be easily accessed by the fire and rescue service, and authorized personnel if required. L2 BS 5839-1 fire safety system John Westerman, Director of Wrexham-based Allied Fire Alarms Ltd, the company that specified, installed, and commissioned the system, said “We chose CAST ZFP as the cornerstone of The Bear’s L2 BS 5839-1 system, as it is powerful, intuitive, and has the capacity to connect to multiple intelligent devices. Our client also had some specific requirements for fire detection in certain areas which were facilitated using CAST’s innovative software and extensive programming capabilities.” John Westerman adds, “We were delighted to be involved with this project. As an NICEIC-approved specialist fire company, we pride ourselves on delivering top-quality life-safety systems to our client’s satisfaction and the CAST system we designed and installed has certainly exceeded everyone’s expectations.” CAST intelligent fire alarm system CAST is C-TEC’s own UK-designed and manufactured ‘distributed intelligence’ addressable fire detection and alarm system. Certified to all relevant EN54 product standards, including EN54-13, CAST is also fully compatible with ENVISION, C-TEC’s powerful new remote access, data management, and system testing software.
The Vizcaya Provincial Council in Spain, has invested seven million euros in its fire prevention, firefighting and rescue services. Almost 25 percent of the existing fleet will be replaced by new trucks, which will enhance efficiency and improve rapid response. The 15 new vehicles include six heavy-duty urban fire trucks, three heavy-duty large-tank pumpers, three first-response trucks and three automatic turntable ladders, all fitted with Allison fully automatic transmissions. Heavy-duty urban fire trucks VEICAR built the bodywork for nine of these vehicles, including the six heavy-duty urban fire trucks, which have already been delivered. The bodywork is mounted on a SCANIA P 410 B chassis with 4x4 traction and Allison 4000 Series transmissions with retarders. These trucks have water and foam tank capacities of 4,200 and 200 liters respectively. They are equipped with roof boxes that can be accessed from the ground, eliminating the need to enter the truck to access tools. An LED lighting mast provides supplementary lighting and a further feature is a monitor that provides a joystick-controlled flow rate of 4,000 liters per minute from the pump cabinet. Large-tank pumpers The Vizcaya Provincial Council’s order of three large-tank pumpers is also based on the SCANIA P 410 B chassis The Vizcaya Provincial Council’s order of three large-tank pumpers is also based on the SCANIA P 410 B chassis. The vehicles share the same features as the six heavy-duty urban fire trucks, including Allison 4000 Series transmissions with retarders. They have larger water and foam tank capacities of 9,000 and 300 liters respectively. Like many other vehicle bodybuilders, VEICAR has full confidence in the benefits of Allison fully automatic transmissions. The company has worked in close cooperation with Allison since 2009. Allison fully automatic transmission Rather than using the automated manual transmissions that come as standard in this SCANIA model, VEICAR opted for a fully automatic transmission with torque converter, in this case, an Allison 4000 Series model with retarder (GA866R in SCANIA nomenclature). “The vast majority of our fire trucks are equipped with Allison automatic transmissions. We consider them an indispensable firefighting tool as they maximize vehicle performance, and greatly improve acceleration, reliability and safety,” said Carlos Prieto-Puga González, CEO at VEICAR. Faster acceleration and increased torque Carlos Prieto-Puga González adds, “In addition, their superior acceleration and maneuverability are beyond question, which is vital when there is not a second to be wasted. Most urban firefighters prefer them because they provide greater safety. And if that weren't enough, the vehicles reach the final years of their service life in better condition.” Allison transmissions are designed to offer increased torque and up to 35 percent faster acceleration. When fire trucks respond to emergencies, they are heavily loaded, so the optional retarder has been incorporated to provide high braking capacity, enabling the vehicles to slow down quickly at intersections. Optimum maneuverability on varied terrains Allison transmissions have demonstrated exceptional reliability and durability in the most demanding conditions" “Allison transmissions have demonstrated exceptional reliability and durability in the most demanding conditions and are the transmission of choice for firefighting fleets around the world. As regular users of these transmissions, we have no doubts whatsoever. As bodybuilders, we are always much happier when vehicles are equipped with Allison,” said Prieto-Puga González. Allison automatic transmissions provide optimum maneuverability on soft ground and in tight spaces, greater control on steep grades, smoother driving, better starting capacity, and faster acceleration. This makes it possible to reach higher average speeds and save fuel. Prieto-Puga Gonzalez adds, “A two- or three-minute head start can be crucial. Not losing power during gear shifts means smoother, more continuous and consequently more effective acceleration. It also improves maneuverability and saves time, which, along with the reliability of the transmission, means greater safety for firefighters. These great benefits are even more extraordinary when we consider that Allison transmissions reduce fleet maintenance costs.” Featuring Chelsea 870 power take-off “The easy maneuverability of the vehicles simplifies the drivers' work. They don't have to shift gears and can concentrate fully on the job and the road when traveling at high speed. And with Allison, vehicles can include up to two power take-offs (PTOs) to keep hydraulic equipment working correctly, even while the vehicle is in motion,” said Trond Johansen, European Key Fleets and Market Development Manager at Allison Transmission. “The Chelsea 870 power take-off incorporated into the transmissions has allowed us to fine-tune the entire unit to achieve the best possible onsite fire pump performance,” concludes Prieto-Puga González.
Hush ActiV, C-TEC’s innovative new BS 5839-6 domestic fire alarm system, is providing first-class fire protection at a luxury apartment block in Bolton, United Kingdom. Set in stunning landscaped gardens in Horwich, a small town on the edge of the West Pennine Moors, Swallowfields is a collection of 28 contemporary new-build apartments featuring spacious living spaces and high-specification fittings. Hush ActiV smoke detectors Each dwelling has been equipped with Hush ActiV smoke detectors, heat detectors, and sounders, all connected to a Hush ActiV controller to reduce false alarms and ensure the highest levels of fire protection. Adam Baxendale of Lansafe Ltd, whose specialist fire division completed the project, said “Recent fires, Grenfell in particular, demonstrate how absolutely vital enhanced fire protection is in residential developments.” Hush ActiV offers another layer of safety, protection, and reassurance for residents in addition to the C-TEC ZFP touchscreen-controlled addressable fire system, which was earlier installed to provide LD1 coverage throughout the building. Fully-monitored BS 5839-6 Grade C system As a fully-monitored BS 5839-6 Grade C system, Hush ActiV constantly interrogates the status of the system As a fully-monitored BS 5839-6 Grade C system, Hush ActiV constantly interrogates the status of the system, including wiring circuits, battery, and power supply, and reports any faults to the main controller in the apartment so the resident can take appropriate action and contact the responsible person. Adam further stated, “Hush ActiV gives building management and residents, particularly those living in houses of multiple occupations, peace of mind. Our client was delighted with the solution we provided.” Easy-to-use detection, alarm system Hush ActiV’s accessibility was also a key factor in its specification at Swallowfields. Residents are provided with easy-to-use detection, alarm, silencing and test facilities at light-switch level, so they can test their own devices, and be alerted to system faults and hush any false alarms. The fact that the controller’s HUSH and TEST buttons can be operated whilst standing or sitting in a wheelchair at floor level means that the elderly and disabled can also test the system easily, therefore, facilitating full compliance with the Equality Act. Adam Baxendale adds, “Resident safety has to be everyone’s top priority and Hush ActiV is a superb way of ensuring people are protected and feel safe. It’s easy-to-install, user-friendly and as a BS 5839-6 Grade C system, provides outstanding levels of fire protection.”
Round table discussion
New tools and technologies are emerging that augment the efforts of the fire market to prevent and fight fires. Modern firefighting is benefiting from an ongoing sea change in technological capabilities, spanning equipment, electronic components, greater connectivity and firefighter monitoring, to name just a few. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What technologies will have the greatest impact on the fire industry in 2021?