Building Fire Safety
Oshkosh Airport Products, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation Company, announced the next stops in the 2021 Road Rally featuring the revolutionary new Striker® Volterra™ ARFF hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). After the completion of stops along the Western Coast of the U.S., the Road Rally now sets off for locations in the Central and Southeast regions of the country. The events offer aircraft rescue and fire fighting crews at airports a hands-on and immersive experience to learn about the new...
Fire safety doesn’t happen by accident, it requires universal attention. With that, Karen Trigg of Allegion UK explores why the importance of working fire doors is often overlooked and why now is an opportune time to bridge the gap between fire safety education and action. Improving fire safety within UK buildings is a challenge we are all continuously facing. Irrelevant of the sector, it’s of the highest importance for any building type - from schools and hospitals to high-rise res...
Billed as the ‘Electricians’ Exhibition’ with 90+ exhibitors, free educational seminars, and exclusive on-the-day offers, ELEX is the perfect place for electrical contractors to find out about new innovations, regulations, and standards. C-TEC will be exhibiting its new CAST XFP addressable fire system, its CFP ActiV conventional fire system, and its revolutionary Hush BS 5839-6 Grade C domestic fire alarm solutions at Coventry (16-17 September) and Sandown (4-5 November). Au...
It is the legal duty of the responsible person in any building to make the evacuation of disabled people equal to that for able-bodied people, as Anthony Smith, Managing Director of Vox Ignis, explains. When the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was first introduced in 1995, it gave disabled people long overdue access to goods and services, education, employment, transport and accommodation. This was, subsequently, incorporated into the Equality Act in 2010. Evacuation of mobility impaired pe...
In May 2021, sparks in a ventilator ignited a deadly blaze in the intensive care unit of a COVID-19 treatment building at an Indian hospital. Investigations into the incident later revealed a variety of gaps in the building’s fire protection measures. While incidents of this severity are thankfully relatively rare, this tragic example serves to remind us of the particular risks associated with healthcare settings. The presence of countless fire hazards, the difficulties of effectively m...
The Briton brand is synonymous with the best in door controls and exit hardware and Allegion announces the launch of the newly designed, end-user-focused Briton website. Following updates to their brand style, the new Briton website boasts a streamlined, modern design and concentrates on providing customers with improved functionality and a wide collection of essential resources. The website brings together the full product portfolio of Briton Door Controls and will be updated frequently to ens...
Allegion UK, a provider of fire safety and security products and solutions will be showcasing its flagship Briton door controls and Brio pocket door system, at the NMBS Exhibition, the UK's foremost exhibition for independent building, timber, plumbing and hardware merchants occurring from 8th-9th September at the Ricoh Arena, Birmingham. “Door controls play a fundamental role in protecting life and property by not only helping to restrict the spread of fire and smoke, but also aiding escape from a building," said Kirk Smith, Business Development Manager of Allegion. "With life slowly returning to normal following the easing of pandemic restrictions, it is now more important than ever that we work together as an industry to create safer spaces for our communities and Allegion is committed to helping to ensure that properties are safe for return with fire safety at the forefront of the mind.” Briton door controls A selection of these lifesaving products will be on display on the Allegion stand 154 For more than 100 years, Briton has built a reputation of producing high-quality, highly engineered products that you can trust and stands for the very best in door closers and exit hardware. A selection of these lifesaving products will be on display on the Allegion stand 154 and “we invite you to come along and interact with our door hardware solutions and meet our team of experts,” said Kirk Smith, Business Development Manager of Allegion. Launch of the new website Allegion will also announce the launch of their newly designed, customer end-user focused Briton website. Following updates to the brand style, the new Briton website boasts a streamlined, modern design and concentrates on providing customers with improved functionality and a wide collection of essential resources in a bid to assist users throughout the product selection process. Door control demonstration For hardware merchants, the new Brio Pocket Slide 80 System will be demonstrated. Hidden from view once installed, the universally sized pocket door kit offers a flexible, simple-to-install solution for installers, while reducing cost and valuable inventory space for architectural Ironmongers (AIs) and builders merchants. Pocket door market Show attendees can learn more and experience live demos at the Allegion stand Kirk Smith comments, ‘’The pocket door market is one of the largest door hardware markets in the UK, so it’s only logical for us to add this timeless and sleek product to our growing product portfolio. Designed with ease of use and practicality in mind, the biggest advantage of the Brio pocket door kit is its universal size." "As a ‘one-size-fits-all’ product, it removes the headache of choosing the right-sized solution for a project – making the installation process even easier.” NMBS will be offering exclusive product deals throughout the two days and show attendees can learn more and experience live demos at the Allegion stand.
Wildland fires are an increasing threat in the United Kingdom. They’re high risk, difficult to manage, and create a set of very particular circumstances for firefighters, who are battling the blaze. And with wildland call-outs measured in days, rather than hours, fire services need a kit that’s as tough as the terrain that they’re working on. Defender wildland firefighting suit FlamePro, a British manufacturing specialist of life-saving garments for firefighters, has unveiled a new wildland firefighting suit, challenging the industry by setting a new benchmark for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). The ‘Defender’ wildland suit features military-grade FR plastic hardware. It passes a heat resistance of 260 °C, even after 40 wash and dry cycles, meeting the high demands of the latest wildland standard. Superior comfort and with glow-in-the-dark tape The suit encompasses strategic paneling, which is shaped to offer easy movement for wearers Comfort and ergonomics are at the forefront of the design. The suit encompasses strategic paneling, which is shaped to offer easy movement for wearers. The precise location of the paneling also improves the breathability of the suit. This provides the much-needed airflow, so as to reduce the risk of heat stress, which the extreme conditions of wildland firefighting pose. The Defender suit also features photo-luminescent, glow-in-the-dark tape for operational effectiveness. These strips aid the location of colleagues in near, or even total, darkness. They’re visible even when you can’t see your hand in front of your face. featuring shoulder reinforcement and 3D padding Lugging heavy equipment into remote areas of land is part and parcel of wildland firefighting. Therefore, the Defender suit is equipped with shoulder reinforcement and 3D padding over the main fabric, providing added comfort for firefighters wearing a bulky backpack. The suit also includes ergonomically shaped knee panels, with reinforced fabric, to protect firefighters against thorns, gorse, and other annoying hazards that lurk in the undergrowth. Enhanced Versatility Available in red or yellow, the new Defender suit will also fit any body type, available in an industry-renowned range of 96 sizes and fits. FlamePro’s Technical Sales Manager, Reece Buchner, said “By their nature, wildland fires create a set of very particular circumstances. The remote location, the intense heat and the long duration of these emergencies, all combine to create extreme and high-risk incidents. This means that firefighters need unique protection.” Reece Buchner adds, “The only PPE that will suffice is that, which has been designed specially to protect against every one of the risks that wildland firefighting poses. Our Defender suit does just this. We’re not interested in just meeting standards, we aim to be setting them. Our military-grade materials, teamed with ergonomic design, offer the ultimate combination of protection and comfort.”
During the latest redesign of the Rosenbauer Rescue Stairs not only the operation has been overhauled, but the CAN bus system has also been implemented from scratch. A reduction of Electronic Control Units (ECUs) was achieved by using controllers from TTControl which are certified for safety purposes. The risk and hazard analysis showed that there are safety requirements up to performance level d, as defined in ISO 13849. Simplified Architecture Based On Safety Certified Electronics With the new architecture, Rosenbauer achieved to put all safety features in one single TTControl ECU, which features the redundancy internally. Safety requirements like tilting and leveling are programmed by two independent developer teams, one team at TTControl in Brixen and another team at Rosenbauer in Leonding. On the ECU the multitasking real-time system SAFERTOS® is operating both developed algorithms in parallel. The safety algorithm stops the Rescue stair all at once. The application algorithm takes care that the machine never moves to a position where the safety algorithm would need to take control and warns the user in advance on the display. TTControl ECU combined with the SAFERTOS® guarantees the freedom of interference As the TTControl ECU combined with the SAFERTOS® guarantees the freedom of interference, the non-safety relevant application software can be maintained and deployed on the same controller without the need to repeat all the safety certification on every new software version. As the products are varying greatly based on the final customer, this is an important feature to reduce the maintenance efforts of the complete software. Reduction of ECUs With this safety architecture, Rosenbauer achieved a reduction of ECUs from six units of three different types to three units of identical type. Another reduction of electronics was performed on the hydraulic valves. The previous generation featured a valve manifold, where each valve had a small electronics module integrated, which was controlled via an individual PWM signal. Now the complexity of the system was reduced by eliminating the electronics on the valves and using two outputs for each valve instead. The TTControl ECUs have everything on board for this purpose. They have sufficient outputs and each PWM output is capable of measuring its current. The accuracy of the current measurement is sufficient for moving the valve in every position via current control without a sensor on the valve. Only actuators with position control are equipped with sensors, while all-speed control is performed without sensors. Software Development On A Virtual Model In this project pioneering work was done in the way of application software development at Rosenbauer. A virtual model was created for the whole hydraulic system, with two PWM signals for each actuator as an input. All sensor signals were measured on the real system, and used as outputs like hydraulic pressures, end positions of the actuators, CAN signals, and current values. This model was used in two ways: On one hand, it was deployed by automatic code generation onto another TTControl ECUs to enable the safety software development team to perform software tests without traveling to the rescue stairs. All relevant characteristics of the 33 ton and about 1million EURO rescue stairs were put in one controller. The software development started on the desk as well, but nobody knew how it would behave on the machine On the other hand, the model was used to develop the application software. Therefore, the hardcoded current and position controllers from TTControl were imported into Simulink. In this way, externally delivered code pieces and the model of the mechanics were operating in one PC simulation, independent of the production status of the machine and with no hardware at all. Testing on the machine Before this model-based approach, the software development started on the desk as well, but nobody knew how it would behave on the machine. The real work started at the point of time when the programmer sat in the machine. With the new method, the programmer knows that the application software is functional and must search the differences or the missing test case during the commissioning only. It turned out that everything working in the simulation also worked in real life, as the tricky part of finding correct resting positions and keeping the first and last stair of the mainframe telescope in a flat position. Efficient Software Testing From Office With the simulation, the development iterations can be driven to a maximum and the programmer gets off all the external influences. A machine of this size can be run only outside, so the programmer is exposed to the weather and to the noise of the diesel engine. For each iteration, the software needs to be downloaded to the controller, and interesting variables must be monitored and plotted for each iteration. In practice, the days get longer and are extremely stressful, as it usually takes very long until all IO checks and mechanical and electrical installations are 100 % finished. The delivery date never changes, but all the other processes take longer as planned, which must be compensated by the extra working hours of the programmer. With the simulation, the software development and testing can be done efficiently in the office, decoupled from noise, stress, and bad weather conditions. The quality and the possibility of maintenance of the generated software are much better this way. Software design The embedded code generator gives the programmer the possibility to concentrate on the software design At the software development itself, MATLAB/Simulink/Stateflow and the embedded code generator give the programmer the possibility to concentrate on the software design. The hard work of writing the code after drawing the Stateflow diagram is automated by the code generator. Even if it turns out during the commissioning that there was a wrong assumption in the model, adding an extra state or transition is only a matter of drawing and has no big impact on software that is already programmed. Another advantage of the model-based design is that the drawings of the software can be understood by the customer service and other stakeholders, who are no programmers. The self-speaking drawings in Simulink/Stateflow can be exported to HTML and published to everyone as in-depth documentation of the software.
Volunteer firefighters who are also National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) members have one final chance to enter and win a personalized MSA Safety Incorporated’s MSA Cairns XF1 Fire Helmet. This is the last of three helmets that will be given out in 2021. MSA Cairns XF1 Fire Helmet The jet-style design of the Cairns XF1 Fire Helmet reduces snag hazards, provides a personalized fit, and houses its own integrated light module. Plus, the soft goods are removable, washable, and replaceable, helping firefighters align with cancer awareness programs, as written by the Firefighter Cancer Support Network. Approvals include NFPA 1971-2018 Structural Firefighting and NFPA 1951-2013 Rescue and Recovery. To be eligible to enter, applicants must be an active U.S. volunteer firefighter and a member of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC). Interested individuals can learn about member benefits and join on NVFC’s official website. One recipient will be randomly selected to receive the helmet. The entry period is open now through September 30, 2021.
REV Fire Group, part of REV Group Inc., a foremost manufacturer of specialty vehicles and related aftermarket parts and services, announces it will introduce the first fully electric North American-style fire apparatus. Developed with technology partner Emergency One Group LTD – maker of the world’s first EV fire truck – this new electric fire truck packs 316 kW of proven automotive-grade batteries to deliver the longest electric pumping duration in the industry. This enables departments to drive and pump on electricity only. Authority Comments “Our superior battery storage solution allows us to complete a fully electric NFPA pump test, while maintaining a safer, lower center of gravity,” said Roger Lackore, Senior Director of Product Development, REV Fire Group Engineering. "A range-extender diesel engine is used for backup when pumping beyond three to four hours on a hydrant or for extended operation in blackouts and natural disasters." The rig features a North American design and is completely customizable to every department’s unique needs “Our new fully electric fire truck reflects our continued drive to innovate industry-leading fire apparatus built with strength and durability specifically for the fire service vocation,” said Kent Tyler, President, REV Fire Group. “As we all focus on working and living in a more sustainable way, it will help fire departments throughout North America protect not only their citizens but the environment as well.” Vehicle availability Available for delivery in 2022, the rig features a North American design and is completely customizable to every department’s unique needs. It is built utilizing locally stocked components, making replacement parts readily available so customers can keep their equipment maintained and in top condition. This new product is available for preorders through any E-ONE, KME, Ferrara, or Spartan ER dealer sales representative.
Armstrong Fluid Technology has unveiled its industry-renowned Design Envelope Fire Pump unit, along with Fire Pump Manager, a new and connected service for tracking pump performance. In addition to providing important new safety benefits, Armstrong’s new Design Envelope Fire Pump holds the distinction of being the first self-regulating, variable-speed fire pump, to meet NFPA-20 (2019 Edition), Section 4.8 standards. variable-speed fire pump This innovation allows simplification of the piping design for a safer, more economical fire suppression system" “As the first and only self-regulating, variable-speed fire pump available, the Armstrong Design Envelope Fire Pump offers unique points of value for customers. Key among these are the cost savings and performance improvements that result from eliminating many pressure-reducing valves from the sprinkler system,” said Steven Baird, Marketing Manager, Fire Products, Building Systems Solutions at Armstrong. He adds, “This innovation allows simplification of the piping design for a safer, more economical fire suppression system.” Design Envelope Fire Pump Some of the benefits of Design Envelope Fire Pump with Fire Pump Manager and self-regulating, variable-speed technology include: Cost-savings of up to US$ 1,500 per sprinkler branch, per floor, from the elimination of PRVs, Increased design flexibility Increased reliability and safety supported by real-time and historic test and performance data Ability to predict and report potential equipment failure that could result in expensive damage and/or loss of life Reduction of the number of zones in a sprinkler system and the potential elimination of storage tanks Help with fire systems having large differentials between static and residual pressures Armstrong 360 Service and Support solutions Through Active Performance Management and Armstrong 360 Service and Support solutions, Armstrong Fluid Technology believes engineers, contractors, and owners will get the best possible performance and value from fire safety systems, at every phase in the lifecycle of a building. Steven Baird stated, “The new Fire Pump Manager feature helps to ensure safe, reliable performance in fire suppression systems, and provides complete transparency into the testing and reliability of the pump.” As part of the launch program, a complimentary one-year subscription to Fire Pump Manager will be included in the purchase price of the solution.
Fire conditions and extrication events that firefighters arrive at today are very different from the conditions faced years ago. According to research at Underwriter Laboratories (UL), modern homes contain larger quantities of petroleum-based products and plastics that burn faster and hotter versus traditional and more natural materials. Rapid fire spread The result is more rapid and hotter fire growth with exponential increases in heat generation, smoke production and toxicity. Faster flashover and fire propagation, coupled with shorter times to collapse and shorter resident escape times, have changed what firefighters encounter in the average fire and its increased risk to their crews. On the other side, extrication calls are also on the rise, with multiple risks and an ever-present chance for fire, like with newer electric vehicles. New risks call for new and improved stationwear When the call comes in, firefighters rely on their turnout gear (TOG) for protection When the call comes in, firefighters rely on their turnout gear (TOG) for protection, but serious burn injury can occur right through the TOG. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) conducted a study that concluded stationwear contributes to overall thermal protection. However, depending upon the stationwear’s fiber content and material fabrication, it may also contribute to possible burn injuries. “Our goal at DuPont is to increase firefighters’ safety and we have dedicated years of study to ensuring what they are wearing under their turnout gear doesn’t contribute to more severe injury, as is the case with polyester and to a lesser degree, cotton,” said Jeff Fackler, North American Business Development Director for DuPont. Facing multiple thermal hazards As firefighters face multiple thermal hazards, they rely on the protective properties of their uniform to keep them safe. NFPA notes that the second leading cause of firefighter injuries in the United States is exposure to heat and smoke. Unfortunately, there has been a lack of reporting data that would help explain the severity, type and specific contributing factors, such as the clothing worn underneath the structural firefighting ensemble. Many authorities leave the choice up to the firefighters to determine what stationwear ensemble is to be worn underneath the structural turnout suit. According to the NFPA, the problem with this approach is the lack of knowledge about the risks of wearing non-certified garments, such as synthetics, and the lack of information focusing on factors that contribute to burn injuries. “We are working with DuPont to educate ourselves on how certified performance garments can help reduce risk of further injury during a fire or extrication,” said Spotsylvania, Virginia Fire Deputy Chief of Support Services, Jason Irby, adding “Stationwear is the last line of defense and the evidence is hard to ignore.” New Research in Preventing Injuries DuPont has worked to add to the level of research and discussion around how turnout gear and stationwear can help protect firefighters. DuPont scientists created Thermo-Man, a life-size manikin with 122 thermal sensors used to predict level, extent and location of potential burns of whole garments in simulated flame exposures. The goal is to test material selection and garment designs, and balance protection, mobility and heat stress. “What we found was that fire will exploit any gaps in turnout gear that may be created as the firefighter bends, climbs and crawls during the firefight,” said Jeff Fackler, adding “As a result, serious burn injury can occur right through the turnout gear, and the role of flame-resistant stationwear is to reduce the severity of that injury. In short, what you wear underneath your gear really does matter.” Stationwear made from Thermo-Man and Nomex Findings showed that garments made with Nomex will not melt, drip or support combustion, compared to 100% cotton DuPont tested stationwear garments using Thermo-Man to analyze and predict the levels of thermal protection that it provides. Stationwear made with Nomex brand fiber is compliant with NFPA 1975. Findings showed that garments made with Nomex will not melt, drip or support combustion, compared to 100% cotton, and Nomex helps reduce the predicted burn injury by 50%, when exposed to a three-second flame. Firefighters carry, pull, lug and climb with hundreds of pounds of hoses, ladders and other heavy gear. They have to crawl, squat, roll and duck in split-second decisions about their safety. More and more, they face challenges in extrication situations, where the chance of fire is high. Occupational Athletes Just like professional athletes, their gear has to be both comfortable and performance-based to allow freedom of movement, breathability and injury prevention. Associate Professor at the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences & Technology at UW-Milwaukee Dr. Kyle Ebersole has been studying the unique physical demands of firefighters for over a decade. “Firefighters and first responders are occupational athletes,” explains Kyle Ebersole, adding “Their job has some extraordinary physical and psychological demands.” Performance-enhancing sportswear Performance-enhancing sportswear like you see in the NFL or the Olympics is relatively new to the sports world. However, DuPont has been working on performance fibers for decades that help first responders perform at their best and help reduce the risk of injury. Stationwear made with Nomex fiber cools more effectively due to lower moisture pickup and evaporative resistance. The air permeability helps enable more heat and moisture vapor transmission and increases both cooling and breathability. Enhanced comfort and protection for firefighters This means more comfort and protection to firefighters in wildfire situations, structural rescue and vehicle rescue This means more comfort and protection to firefighters in wildfire situations, structural rescue and vehicle rescue situations. They can fight the fight longer with better performance and less risk of exhaustion. In the sports world, it’s well known that what you wear has a major influence on how your body and muscles move during various levels of activity. For athletes and firefighters alike, “The reality is if you become injured, you can’t work,” said Chief Jason Irby, adding “If I can help my team by providing stationwear that reduces thermal heat, allows them more time to fight a fire or work on getting someone out of a vehicle and it helps prevent burns closest to the skin, it makes total sense.” Technical advances and smart fabrics Technical advances and smart fabrics are making stationwear more comfortable and affordable, while allowing for better body heat regulation and adding protection against injury – helping give extra peace of mind to first responders. “They shouldn’t have to worry if their stationwear and gear is going to protect them,” said Jeff Fackler, adding “And with stationwear made with Nomex, they don’t have to.”
The product lifecycle of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) is approximately ten years, during which time technology inevitably advances considerably in terms of digitization and ergonomics. Increasingly pertinent in the last decade, and especially since the Pandemic, has also been how kit can be designed for ease of cleaning to ensure firefighters are protected from harmful carcinogens as well as bacterial and viral infections. When we surveyed UK firefighters as part of our ‘Health for the Firefighter campaign’ to understand their concerns about exposure to carcinogens and COVID-19, we learned the vast majority (84%) admitted they were concerned about the risk of cancer, while more than two thirds (68%) fear the impact COVID-19 might have on their long-term health. Unequivocal statistics that warranted action in our technology design. Proven support infrastructure The SCBA product lifecycle allows time for medical and safety technology manufacturers, such as Dräger, to take advantage of technological developments, and thoroughly test and future proof them. It also enables us to utilize our direct relationships with the UK fire services, not only to accommodate day-to-day feedback, but also to learn from our support of major incidents such as Grenfell and the Salisbury poisonings. The SCBA product lifecycle allows time for medical and safety technology manufacturers Following Grenfell, for example, we saw the critical importance of reducing the weight and size of kit to allow for greater ease of movement, as well as how critical it is to have the equipment underpinned by a resilient and proven support infrastructure. AirBoss, Dräger’s latest SCBA offering represents a digital progression, where telemetry and connectivity provide the information, and enable the integration and communication required to further firefighter health and wellbeing. This decade’s launch is no longer a product, but a connected solution. Providing vital information Digitalization is critical. Dräger offers the only operationally-proven telemetry solution, providing vital information which is automatically communicated between the wearer of the BA set and the Entry Control Point – without the need for either team to stop what they are doing to send communications. These signals include manual and automatic distress signals, team withdrawal signals, cylinder pressure, time to whistle and time of whistle. This system also provides comprehensive data regarding the firefighters’ condition in relation to their SCBA, proving invaluable to those responsible for monitoring and directing BA crews. A new feature, unique to Dräger’s AirBoss, are ‘Buddylights’ fitted to the backplate, which use digital data from the set to provide immediate and highly-visible signaling to firefighters of their team’s cylinder pressures and physical condition. AirBoss, Dräger’s latest SCBA offering represents a digital progression Providing comprehensive data The optional Dräger Web client enables workshop, management and command staff to utilize the data created on scene wherever they are, and at any time. Reporting can also be customized for multiple purposes from user or device history to synchronized overviews of complete incidents. The ability to create incident reports on evidential and tactical levels provides comprehensive and valuable post-incident analysis tools for debrief and training purposes, or in case of any investigation or inquiry. For future developments, Dräger is working with partners in the UK looking at solutions for location and tracking of firefighters and providing comprehensive data regarding the firefighter’s condition at an incident. The latter includes information such as body core temperature, heart rate and other vital statistics to allow external teams to monitor the early signs of heat stress and other physiological strains. Reducing physical stress Another critical focus is ergonomics. Improved wearer comfort has been achieved through working with medical experts in this field and shifting the center of gravity relationship between the human body and the set, creating a ventilated space by the SCBA backplate. AirBoss’ new Type 4 Nano cylinder provides a continued reduction in cylinder weight AirBoss’ new Type 4 Nano cylinder provides a continued reduction in cylinder weight, which can also reduce full life costs to the service, as the Nano has an unlimited life. These improvements reduce physical stress on the firefighter which in turn reduces the risk of strain-related injuries and fatigue when wearing the set operationally as well as extending the working duration due to reduced physical exertion. With AirBoss, the weight is carried by the legs and pelvis rather than the back. Improving personal comfort This not only improves personal comfort, but also enhances mobility within confined spaces and while descending ladders and stairwells. In an industry where a split second can be the difference between life and death, these advancements are crucial. On a practical level, the Dräger AirBoss has also been designed to be ‘snag-proof’, ensuring that all attachments are neatly connected or integrated to mitigate any risk of snagging or entanglement. Alterations have been made to maximize cleaning practices, including the introduction of smoother, non-absorbent, water-repellent surfaces to make equipment easier to wipe down and decontaminate. Numerous attachment points have also been included so kit can easily be dismantled for optimum cleaning – both mechanically and by hand. To this point, some fire services are moving towards mechanical washing systems, which provide complete consistency in washing temperatures, concentration of detergent, speed and temperature of drying. Vehicle charging systems The Dräger AirBoss solution is centered around four pillars: usability; safety; serviceability and connectivity Recognizing the financial pressures which the fire services are under, the AirBoss system is designed to enable fire services to maximize the significant investment already made into their SCBA and telemetry. With a modular design, AirBoss is backward compatible with existing Dräger PSS SCBA and Telemetry, enabling elements of the existing set to be upgraded over a period of years. This reduces the requirement to purchase a full suite of new equipment including telemetry, pneumatics, electronics, integrated communications, cylinders and vehicle charging systems. Overall, the Dräger AirBoss solution is centered around four pillars: usability; safety; serviceability and connectivity. These pillars, which support utilizing digitalization, improved ergonomics and ease of cleaning, are how we intend to protect our firefighters’ health and wellbeing, both today and as our future-proofed technology advances to meet the needs of tomorrow.
To manage fire risks, there needs to be a shift away from detecting and responding to emergencies and instead, a look towards connected technologies to provide a pre-emptive, proactive approach. Fires can be highly devastating, putting people at risk and threatening the lives of the public in surrounding areas – not to mention how destructive they can be in terms of damage to materials and property. A connected approach Fortunately, right now, our world is more connected than ever before. The internet has become such a vital component of the world’s infrastructure that it is unlikely many of us get through our day without linking up to the web at one point or another. This has created its own ecosystem called the Internet of Things (IoT), which spans nearly 100 billion physical objects and enables them to communicate with each other. As the IoT continues to expand, the world is only going to become more entwined. Adopting new technology We are seeing this steady increase specifically in connectivity for a multitude of reasons. But the main one is quite simple: the customer is happy. As a technology that is faster and able to store more data emerges, it becomes intuitively efficient and practical for the end-user – having a real impact on outcomes and preventing disasters. Customers are more likely to adopt the use of technology that is easy to learn and offers a solution to an existing problem. With so many relying on technology now for work, school, staying connected to friends and family, and entertainment, it makes sense to look towards incorporating it into daily safety needs within workplaces too. Using technology to improve fire safety Smart fire equipment with IoT software creates a safer community where workers are connected with their team Smart fire equipment integrated with an IoT software platform creates a safer community where workers are connected with their environment, safety managers, and their wider team. Take construction sites over the past year. Some were running with a skeleton crew – with contractors being isolated and distanced from emergency services – and others were closed entirely due to government-ordered lockdowns. However, cloud-based systems were able to be quickly implemented, providing a sophisticated and adaptable fire safety solution for all building sites, regardless of their operational status. This innovation has given property owners, project supervisors, and safety personnel the ability to receive alerts for a variety of events in real-time – helping to prevent disasters. The pandemic has really led to the wider adoption of technology, simply due to the number of individuals on sites. Technology has been able to fill some of the gaps in terms of monitoring safety systems and generating data remotely. Early detection technologies A fire can wreak havoc on the lives of people it affects and overcoming the huge losses can be a challenge. Early detection of the threat of a fire can make a massive difference to the outcome and this is happening right now with devices that monitor smoke or heat. However, very shortly, the emerging technology and the requirement from the industry is a lot less to do with detecting and responding to fires – it is more about monitoring sites, identifying risks, and preventing emergencies in the first place. Multiple industries are looking to technology to provide pre-emptive, proactive management of risks; responding to them once they have occurred is often already too late. Wireless fire alarm systems Wireless fire alarm systems have advanced greatly over the past few decades and contribute to solving these problems. Take our WES fire alarm system for example; it can connect to our REACT platform, which is a real game-changer for the industry as it has features that reduce risk and prevent incidents from occurring – avoiding potential loss of life entirely. Currently, innovative wireless technology is being used to alert all relevant personnel to emergencies as soon as they occur, enabling the situation to be stopped in its tracks before it becomes a full-blown disaster. However, looking ahead, cloud-based data and integrating systems such as REACT with wearable devices, smart PPE, and intelligent hard hats, for example, will take it one step further – raising the alarm to a potential risk so it does not even turn into a minor emergency. using customizable systems via IoT Machine-to-machine technology through IoT increases the safety of employees and prevents risk and hazards Any security system works best when its individual components work together cohesively. Machine-to-machine technology through the IoT now gives those components the ability to instantly and reliably stay connected and “speak” to one another and key personnel – greatly increasing the safety of employees and preventing risk and hazards. Furthermore, customizable systems that create bespoke solutions to suit a site’s needs offer accurate, specific, personalized notifications and alerts – making it possible to achieve the goal of comprehensive protection from both internal and external threats on sites of all sizes, no matter how unique the needs and no matter the operational status of the project. As we become more comfortable with the capabilities and security of the cloud and as unforeseen changes to our way of life become the new normal, the adoption of cloud-based technologies will continue to expand. Power of technology Firms that are embracing and adopting connected technologies are already reaping the rewards – being provided with peace of mind that they have an additional level of health and safety protection, putting workers’ minds at ease and their lives in safe hands. And as we look towards the future of fire safety, the real role and power of technology must be outcome-driven. Using technology to improve the way things are currently done while achieving the same outcomes is not enough – the results really need to change. Luckily, the technology needed to do this is already out there; it just needs adopting by those wanting to take a pre-emptive approach.
Electric bikes and scooters are a newly popular way to travel through urban environments. However, the nifty devices come with a fire risk that could be deadly. In London, firefighters have responded to more than 25 fires, involving e-bikes or e-scooters in recent months, some of them significant incidents with serious injuries. Lithium-ion batteries pose fire risks The fire hazards of e-bikes and e-scooters stem from their use of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can erupt into flames. Complicating the problem is use of unauthorized or third-party batteries that may not be safe. E-bike conversion kits are available to convert standard bikes into e-bikes, but they include only the motors and control gears. Batteries must be sourced separately, often over the internet and by cost-conscious buyers, who may not consider safety issues. Cheaper batteries may be faulty. Using trusted batteries and proper storage Firefighters urge residents to use only trusted batteries and to store them correctly Damaged batteries are also problematic. Spare batteries should not be knocked around, which can increase the likelihood of damage to the cells. Firefighters urge residents to use only trusted batteries and to store them correctly. In one recent incident, a first floor flat in Brixton in south London was badly damaged, after a fire was caused by a fault in the lithium-ion battery pack of a mountain bike that had been converted into an e-bike. In another incident, five people were taken to hospital, after a fire at a flat in Southwark in Central London, caused by the failure of a battery in an electric scooter on charge. In the United Kingdom, anyone over 14 years old can ride an ‘electrically assisted pedal cycle’ (EAPC) without a license and with no need to register, pay tax or ensure the bike. Parameters for e-bikes in the UK The bike must meet certain requirements, such as displaying the power output and motor manufacturer, showing either the battery voltage or the maximum speed of the bike, and having a maximum power output of 250 watts. The electric motor should not be able to propel the bike, when it’s traveling more than 15.5 mph. Assuming a bike (or vehicle with more than two wheels, such as a tricycle), meets the requirements, it is classified as a normal pedal bike and can be ridden on cycle paths, and anywhere else where pedal bikes are allowed. E-scooters for emission-free transport E-scooters are stand-up, electrically powered scooters that are becoming more popular in urban environments E-scooters are stand-up, electrically powered scooters that are becoming more popular in urban environments, providing individual and emission-free transport. In a city like London, e-bikes are a familiar sight. Riders may store and charge their e-bikes in communal areas or hallways, when they are home. This practice heightens the fire danger, because any fire that erupts is likely to block an escape route and trap occupants within the building. Avoiding unsafe mixing of batteries and chargers The London Fire Brigade’s Fire Investigation team has seen incidents involving multiple batteries and chargers for a number of bikes at one property, which has resulted in the unsafe mixing of batteries and chargers. Lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to failure, if charged incorrectly, which may be a contributing factor in some incidents. Batteries can get warm during use and should be allowed to cool down, before attempting to re-charge. They should also be charged on hard, flat surfaces, in order to allow heat to dissipate. Chargers and batteries should not be left unattended or while residents are asleep. Installation of smoke alarms is advisable in areas where e-bikes or e-scooters are being charged.
Given the large global consumption of hydrocarbon fuels across all sectors, the associated risks are constantly expanding. The Allianz Global Corporate Specialty study cites fire and explosion as the largest causes for loss claims filed globally from 2013 - 2018. Fire and explosion Furthermore, fire and explosion are among the top 10 global business risks in 2021. More than 100 major fuel explosions have been reported, since 2019 around the world, most of which were avoidable. The risks are driving an expanding market for fuel explosion prevention systems, although the warning and mitigation solutions previously available in the market offer limited respite. An innovation is the ATOM Explosion Prevention System, by ATOM Alloys, headquartered in Dubai, UAE. ATOM Explosion Prevention System The technology is compliant to NFPA 69 standards and is tested and certified by international agencies The system works with a passive protection module inside fuel containers that does not allow any deflagration to escalate into an explosion. By containing the fire, the system actively prevents loss, reduces disaster risk and gives mitigation systems more time to work better. The technology is compliant to NFPA 69 standards and is tested and certified by international agencies. A range of products has been developed to suit contemporary industry requirements, helping to upgrade to higher standards of explosion safety and to enable efficient transfer and storage of fuels. “At the heart of most fuel explosions sits an unprotected fuel container,” said Ajit Tharoor, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ATOM Alloys, adding “The first fuel tank explosion triggers additional explosions in fuel tanks within the vicinity, thereby multiplying the effect. Our disruptive technological innovation addresses the safety of that unprotected fuel container.” Passive protection module for fuel containers By equipping every fuel container with a passive protection module that is explosion resistant, the technology makes liquid fuel storage and transport tanks explosion resistant. By resisting explosion, ATOM shifts the safety steps from mitigation to hazard prevention. It has multiple product applications, from a jerry can to fuel tankers to bulk storage, which create an ecosystem of safety. Technological innovation to protect workplace and residences “The technological innovation can protect every workplace and residence that uses fuel, from hospitals and malls to schools and industrial complexes, and convert them into zones safe from fuel tank explosion,” said Ajit Tharoor. He adds, “Any explosion wreaks damage and destruction on the business, the community and the environment, but fuel tank explosions can be prevented. For us, it is our purpose, to bring top level explosion safety to everyone who uses fuel.” For firefighters, an explosion prevention system complements their mission and adds another layer of safety, by providing specific advantages, such as: Explosions have a ‘domino effect’ and such incidents generate immense pressure on the firefighting force, in terms of response time, resources and manpower. Resisting explosions without any human intervention can reduce such pressures on the forces and contain the level of damage. At a practical level, in the event of a fire, a protected fuel tank can be accessed easily by firefighters for extinguishing the fire and even decanting fuel from the tank. The explosion prevention system enables industries and communities to equip and take more responsibility themselves, in the prevention of disaster incidents, thus helping firefighting forces to optimize their efforts and work better. Once an explosion is prevented, the safety risks faced by a firefighter are far less, when compared to when they have to handle an explosion, and there is more time to handle fire mitigation interventions. An explosion-resistant retrofit can protect fuel tanks of vehicles that move in explosion hazard spaces. This could be particularly useful for fire vehicles. Innovation in materials science and fire dynamics The technology draws on innovation in materials science, design engineering and fire dynamics. A passive protection module works on the three principles of thermal conductance, flame quenching and structured packing. Made from the intervolving of a reticulated alloy mesh, the patented module works by its passive physical presence in the Deflagration to Detonation Transition (DDT) stage. The ATOM Explosion Prevention System works towards preventing an explosion from happening Fire protection and mitigation systems Unlike the mitigation systems that work after an incident, the ATOM Explosion Prevention System works towards preventing an explosion from happening. It is also different from warning systems, as it works without the requirement of any triggering sensors, chemical reaction or human intervention. While fire protection and mitigation systems have been developed in recent years that address explosions mostly in controlled environments, the tested, proven and certified solution provides a range system of explosion prevention solutions for liquid fuel storage, at industrial scale with cost effectiveness. Additional features of durability, slosh resistance and industrial customization have been incorporated. Specialized sector-based solutions ATOM can be applied at a ready-made product level or as customized process-based integration to existing systems Specialized sector-based solutions have been developed. Essential service providers – data centers, schools, hospitals, hotels, civil defense organizations, etc. are today required to maintain a high level of energy resilience (fuel storage) to avoid service disruption and business interruptions. Such fuel storages are high risk with great volumes of fuel. ATOM can be applied at a ready-made product level or as customized process-based integration to existing systems. Some examples are fuel tankers for the oil and gas industry, mobile fullers for the fuel delivery business, marine fuel tanks for the maritime industry and storage tanks for industrial and civil uses. The defense industry is one of the highest consumers of fuel, and it is required to maintain energy resilience banks as well as store and deliver fuel to militarized/border territories. This places huge demands on supplementary storage and transportation of flammable fuels. Explosion risks faced by defense sector The explosion risks faced by the defense sector are also the highest due to their operations in conflict zones, the presence of highly explosive ammunition in their spaces, and the threats of war, sabotage, and vandalism. Dedicated products for the defense sector include jerry cans, skids, mobile containers, barrels, smart fuel stations, marine fuel tanks and underground built tanks, among others. The explosion prevention system has been granted the Explosion Resistant verification mark by the Underwriters Laboratory. Following successful trials for military application, ATOM has been awarded four patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is registered in PCT countries (most major industrial countries). Explosion prevention system The system has been tested by the Southwest Research Institute, USA and certified by the VCA Dangerous Goods Office, UK The system has been tested by the Southwest Research Institute, USA and certified by the VCA Dangerous Goods Office, UK, Underwriters Laboratories, USA, Bureau Veritas, France, and Emirates Industrial Lab, UAE. It is compliant with NFPA 69, Chapter 14, 2014; ASTM F3429/ F3429 M20; United Nations Rec. on Transfer of Dangerous Goods, Ch. 6.1; IMDG Code and ICAO Technical Instructions. The system has also been registered with WIPO and is in the PCT Registration, Foreign National phase, and the company is a member of the National Propane Gas Association. Asset protection “Every explosion generates damaging effects on the environment in addition to business interruption and losses. The adoption of an explosion prevention system helps organizations and governments fulfill their commitments towards environmental protection, climate change and safety,” said Ajit Tharoor. He adds, “The presence of the system reduces fuel evaporation loss, thereby reducing emission/air pollution. Further, ATOM helps businesses protect their assets, workplace, staff from risks and losses and reduces disaster risk for communities and the environment.”
Back in Indianapolis for the first time since 2019, FDIC International 2021 offered a full slate of conference sessions, hands-on training and equipment exhibitions. Attendance was down, but everyone appeared happy to be back at the show, after cancellations and delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Masking compliance was low, despite continuing concerns about COVID-19 and the Delta variant. There was little social distancing. In many respects, the show seemed back to normal. A highlight of the event was the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s (NFFF) 9/11 Stair Climb. It’s a way for attendees to honor and remember those in the fire service community, who gave their lives in the 9/11 tragedy. Hundreds of FDIC participants paid tribute by climbing or walking the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center. MSA’s LUNAR hand-held device on display As always, safety was a huge theme at the FDIC exhibition, including development in hand-held tools As always, safety was a huge theme at the FDIC exhibition, including development in hand-held tools. MSA Safety displayed the new LUNAR hand-held device that helps keep firefighting teams connected, combining direction and distance information with thermal imaging to help find separated teammates and decrease response time. LUNAR uses cloud technology to increase fire-scene management capabilities for incident commanders. LUNAR can be used as a stand-alone device or as part of an MSA SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) system. Thermal imaging with edge detection identifies hot spots and ventilation points, so as to simplify navigation through low-visibility environments. Tethered drone and Reveal FirePRO X thermal camera FotoKite (Perspective Robotics AG), which has a joint development agreement with MSA Safety, featured a tethered drone that hovers over the site of an emergency, in order to provide networking capabilities through the tether for better connectivity. Seek Thermal offers the ‘smallest and lightest’ thermal imaging camera, available for US$ 799 and seeks to bring the benefits of thermal technology to every position on the fire team. The Reveal FirePRO X can now be charged using a four-station charging dock priced at US$ 399. The compact size makes the FirePRO X easy to carry and manage, while its high resolution and fast frame rate ensure superior images. Teledyne gas detection systems exhibited Teledyne displayed a range of gas detection systems, starting with the simple Protégé ZM carbon monoxide meter that can clip onto pockets, helmets, and EMS bags. A new product is the Gas Laser, a hand-held device that can quickly scan common venting points from a safe distance, in order to identify the presence of dangerous explosive gas. Teledyne recently acquired FLIR and the combined companies will provide a spectrum of imaging technologies and products spanning X-ray through infrared and from components to complete imaging systems. FDIC International’s Innovation Hub focused on new technologies coming to the fire service Innovation Hub FDIC International’s Innovation Hub focused on new technologies coming to the fire service, featured in a presentation theater on the show floor. Leading the initiative was SafeTech, a College Station, Texas-based non-profit organization, whose mission is to bring new technologies to first responders and armed forces. One featured company was Tracks North America, which provides unmanned vehicles with fork-lift capabilities. Another was Infysort, which makes superabsorbent pellets – ‘hyper-blown polypropylene sorbent nanomaterial’ that can absorb 50 to 60 times its weight in oil. Hale Products SAM control system HURST Jaws of Life demonstrated eDRAULIC 3.0, a new underwater power extrication tool The SAM control system, by Hale Products, is gaining in popularity, offering computerized/integrated water flow controls that manage a fire truck’s pump, tank, intakes and discharges using touch-screen display for simplified interface. The new SAM Smart Nozzle allows firemen to control flow from the end of the fire hose. HURST Jaws of Life demonstrated eDRAULIC 3.0, a new underwater power extrication tool that can withstand salt water. The Lifeline Firehose provides a source of continuous breathable air coming from the nozzle of a fire hose. The patented coupler design enables the continuous air supply, which can also be used to power air tools. Seeking to help small and medium fire departments replace paper documentation, incident management systems offer low-cost digitization. Environmental awareness From Rosenbauer A topic among fire apparatus companies is idle reduction systems designed to shut off the main engine in a fire apparatus when not needed, eliminating loud diesel engine noise and exhaust, while maintaining power for lighting and air conditioning, for example. It is a reflection of growing environmental concerns among fire manufacturers. For example, Rosenbauer’s Green Star system makes idle reduction easy, using electronic controls to shut down the chassis engine on-scene (if the fire pump is not engaged or no aerial operations under way), and starting a diesel-driven Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). Pierce Volterra zero-emissions pumpers The first Pierce Volterra zero-emissions pumper has been placed in service in Madison Pierce launched their Volterra platform of electric vehicles. The first Pierce Volterra zero-emissions pumper has been placed in service in Madison, Wisconsin. At FDIC International 2021, the Pierce booth included an electric vehicle technology kiosk and took attendees through the electric fire truck’s attributes. CMC Rescue Rope and Harness Systems CMC Rescue Inc. demonstrated rope and harness systems for rescue operations, including special duffle bags and access packs for easy transport of harnesses. The CMC Clutch is now available in 13 mm and 11 mm models, for hauling, lowering, ascending, descending, belaying and deploying twin-tension rope systems. The CMC Triskelion 10-foot tripod features rapid deployment, for example, over a hole where a rescue is taking place and is certified to NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards.
There are often vehicles in a fire department’s fleet that are highly specialized and unique. Firefighters have fond memories of these vehicles and cherish the missions on which the devices provided critical assistance. The volunteer fire department in Windischgarsten, Upper Austria, has one such unique small firefighting vehicle in service. It is built on a very special chassis – a Pinzgauer – from Austria. New Or Old Vehicle Since a replacement for the Pinzgauer was scheduled, the fire department members thought about the tasks that needed to be fulfilled by this vehicle. Ultimately, they decided that repairs and modernization would be sensible in order to extend the life of their Pinzgauer. Rosenbauer enjoyed contributing the experience and skills to the realization of a one-of-a-kind firefighting vehicle Two and a half years ago, Rosenbauer was contacted by the Windischgarsten volunteer fire department through Rosenbauer-Service and invited to an inspection meeting, which they were of course very glad to attend. The fire department wanted to completely refurbish their Pinzgauer. Any corrosion had to be removed from the body and chassis, and lighting equipment had to be renovated or enhanced in order to improve the safety of the emergency services and to facilitate the tasks at the scene of an emergency. The signal system needed to be brought up to date and the necessary equipment renewed and installed so that the intended operational tasks could still be managed by the fire truck. The Perfect Partner After discussions and brainstorming with the fire department, the offer was finalized. In spring 2021, the time had come: after the chassis had been overhauled by a specialist company, the vehicle arrived at Rosenbauer and got down to work. New shutters, roof boxes, equipment compartment devices, LED lighting both in and around the vehicle, new cabling, and supply facilities; all of this was implemented according to the wishes of the customer and fully utilizing our vast experience. Eventually, Rosenbauer was able to hand over an appreciable vehicle to the Windischgarsten fire department, which will once again meet the operational requirements for years to come. Rosenbauer thoroughly enjoyed contributing the experience and skills to the realization of a one-of-a-kind firefighting vehicle.
Previously, the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department dried their hoses using an inclined hose drying system, in which the fire hoses are suspended between the ceiling and the floor at an angle of 30°. Not only was this laborious, the drying result was also not ideal with the hoses sagged in the middle or hung together at the edges and therefore, still remaining wet. Wintersteiger Drytech drying locker The Wintersteiger Drytech drying locker for fire hoses is a special solution that was implemented especially for the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department. Chief Fire Inspector and Fire Chief Markus Auer at the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department said, “The most important advantage is obviously the cost. A drying tower would have been a significant investment. We were looking for another solution when we stumbled upon the Wintersteiger drying lockers for clothing online. Wintersteiger were very helpful and converted the locker to suit our needs.” Fast drying time Another advantage of the drying locker is the fast drying time, as the hoses are dry in just a few hours Another advantage of the drying locker is the fast drying time, as the hoses are dry in just a few hours. Until now, the hoses had to be hung up for a week, until they were dry. A timer clock is used to set the drying time. In the summer time, when severe weather conditions mean that the hoses need to be used more often, the shorter drying time is a big bonus. “The hoses are rolled up tightly and placed in the drying locker. Once they are dry, the hoses just need to be tensioned and put away,” explains the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department’s Fire Chief, Markus Auer. Energy efficient condensation drying The energy consumption is very low as the drying locker uses condensation drying. With this method, the moisture is extracted from the material, cooled on copper tubes, and discharged from the locker into a separate container as condensation. Ventilation systems are therefore not necessary. The drying locker uses approximately 60 % less energy than conventional drying solutions.
In Paris, visitors will find not only the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, but also the largest fire brigade in Europe. With its 8,500 firefighters, the Paris Fire Brigade is, in fact, the third-largest urban fire brigade in the world, only topped by Tokyo and New York City. Paris Fire Brigade The Paris Fire Brigade is a part of the French army, and each firefighter joins the fire brigade for a period of 5 years. The safety of the firefighters is high on the agenda. It is of utmost importance that the fire brigade is equipped with the best possible fire gear, combining the utmost comfort with the highest degree of safety for the firefighter. A prismatic reflective tape, ORALITE FTP 2100, was selected for offering the highest degree of visibility It is, therefore, no surprise that when the Paris Fire brigade, back in 2017, were looking to upgrade their fire garments, they selected ORAFOL (Orafol Europe GmbH) as their supplier of the reflective trim. A prismatic reflective tape, ORALITE FTP 2100, was selected for offering the highest degree of visibility. Sioen is the manufacturer of fire safety garments. ORALITE FTP 2100 reflective tape Jean-Philippe Roy, Business Development Manager for ORAFOL, explains “Paris Fire Brigade was very determined to offer their firefighters the most visible tape available in the market place today. They carry out dangerous tasks in difficult working conditions, and they must be able to fully trust that they are as visible as possible in all conditions. ORALITE FTP 2100 met their high standards.” He adds, “Being a metalized prismatic tape, it provides the longest distance visibility available. In addition, the fact that the tape is also fluorescent means that it is also exceedingly visible in daytime or smoky conditions.” High-quality safety garment for firefighters Paris Fire Brigade sets forth a very good example for other fire brigades globally in that they have made the deliberate choice of a high-quality solution for their firefighters. No compromises have been made. Jean-Philippe Roy further said, “The thing is that many reflective tapes do meet the law regulated requirements. But meeting the regulation is simply not enough, it is not a guarantee of 24/7 visibility of the firefighters. And when a fire brigade specifies a tape, the risk is that they will just specify regulation compliance, and choose the tape offered at the lowest cost,” Roy explains. EN ISO 20471 standard specification The specification for reflective components on PPE, EN ISO 20471, sets forth the minimum reflectivity for the tapes The specification for reflective components on PPE, EN ISO 20471, sets forth the minimum reflectivity for the tapes. Yet, at the same time, the same specification allows for a drop in reflective performance of 70% in wet conditions. This is exactly why being specification compliant is not enough. It is necessary to carefully evaluate the working conditions that the users will be subjected to and select the best possible reflective tape based on this. Prismatic reflective tapes Jean-Philippe Roy concludes, “Prismatic reflective tapes remain highly reflective also in wet conditions, whereas glass bead tapes see a significant drop. This is simply due to the technologies working in different ways. Fire fighters work in wet conditions a great deal of time, so here a prismatic tape is really the only kind that truly makes sense.” The prismatic tapes from ORAFOL are the preferred choice for many major fire brigades around the world, including also the New York City Fire Brigade.
Inmarsat partner and emergency telecommunications NGO, Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) has deployed to western Germany, following torrential rain that has caused the country’s worst flooding in half a century. Rescue operations With thousands of people forced to leave their homes, roads completely destroyed and entire towns devastated, rescue operations began immediately, but were hindered by phone and internet connections going down in some affected areas. To ensure that communities could be contacted and rescue needs ascertained, and coordinated, TSF sent a specially designed vehicle to the most affected areas, offering telecom support to people on the ground, including relief organizations. The areas most in need were identified as the Ahrweiler’s district and the town of Euskirchen. Inmarsat satellite lines and IsatPhone 2 phones Deploying Inmarsat satellite lines and six IsatPhone 2 hand-held satellite phones in Ahrweiler meant that local firefighters and emergency responders involved in the rescue missions, including the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), were able to regain communications.
What started out as a signature dish in a restaurant, more than 65 years ago, has now become a major company, with over 400 varieties of salad dressings and sauces offered. Ken’s Foods When Ken’s Steakhouse began in 1941, the owners were in search of a special salad and dressing to go with their steaks. The salad dressing soon rivaled the steaks in popularity and a new company was born. Today, Ken’s Foods has grown to include plant operations in Marlborough, Massachusetts, McDonough, Georgia, and Las Vegas, Nevada. The company manufactures not only their own line of salad dressings but also produces products for notable brands such as Paul Newman’s line of dressings. Wastewater treatment system Ken’s Foods has always been dedicated to providing customers with high quality and safe products Ken’s Foods has always been dedicated to providing customers with high-quality and safe products. The company knows that food safety begins at the manufacturing plant. So, when it was time to design its wastewater treatment system, in the company’s new Las Vegas plant, they looked for the best solutions. In 2002, faced with an expansion plan that led the company to build a 185,000 square foot Las Vegas plant, the salad dressing major wanted to ensure that they had the best wastewater treatment system available, to help meet the company’s strategic priorities. Additionally, it was important to the engineering team that they incorporated a system that would maximize efficiencies while maintaining as small a footprint as possible, as space ‘saved’ in operations, is space that later can be allocated for growth and expansion. Keeping it clean and safe One of the critical issues to be addressed in any food manufacturing plant is sanitation. “In a typical day, we’ll get solids, entire chunks of cheese, relish, similar produces, and more into our wastewater system,” said Dave Muskopf, Vice President of Engineering for Ken’s Foods. The company needed a system that could handle large solids dependably. Dave Muskopf adds, “These solids can create real problems when they get through the traps on the floor drains.” To address the challenge, Muskopf and his team turned to World Water Works, Inc. for guidance. World Water Works, Inc. World Water Works, Inc. is a globally renowned provider of complete turnkey installations, including design, build, installation, startup, and operation of water or wastewater systems. Tailored to require as little or as much customer input as desired, World Water Works’ engineering staff is expert at developing solutions that provide long-term reliability and consistent performance. High-performance materials and control technology The products are constructed with state-of-the-art materials and control technology, with an emphasis on durability The products are constructed with state-of-the-art materials and control technology, with an emphasis on durability. In the end, the company strives to design solutions for customers such as Ken’s by using a total systems approach. Bringing their expertise in treat-ability analysis, filtration, and clarification, and combined with a complete line of water treatment products and services, the World Water Works team was prepared to deliver top-notch solutions to Ken’s Foods. Total solutions approach “We installed three solutions tanks at the new Ken’s plant, utilizing a batch treatment solution to wastewater,” shares Kyle Booth, Executive Vice President (EVP) at World Water Works, Inc., adding “They fill one up, start filling the other one, and then treat the one that’s full. Then, a pump will pull the wastewater from the tank and run it through the purification system to a pH adjustment tank, and down the drain.” This efficient operation keeps Ken’s operation/management happy, as well as the local and state authorities, and customers satisfied, by maintaining strict food manufacturing safety practices. Super T Series and 10 Series technology Another challenge that needed to be addressed was the sheer volume of the wash down. “Because of the amount of productivity, this company handles on a day-to-day basis, the volume was an issue that needed to be factored long term,” said Kyle Booth. World Water Works relied on The Gorman-Rupp Company’s Super T Series and 10 Series technology, to address the durability challenge. The Gorman-Rupp pumps are integrated into the total solution. “There are five self-priming, centrifugal pumps down there,” explains Kyle Booth. Gorman-Rupp pumps installed In the process, the first pump takes the outfall from the plant, which is pulled up from the 24-foot tank. This operation requires a lot of suction, due to the tank’s configuration. From there, the system screens the water, making it necessary that the pumping technology can handle any trash, which passes through the drain. Next, the system pumps it into a tank, where the wastewater is separated, from as much of the free oil as possible. The operation forces the wastewater into equalization tanks, so as to regain clarity and purity in the water. Equalization tanks In an application like this, where we’ve got a big section working, we ask a lot of the pumps" “When you batch treat water, you’ve basically got three equalization tanks. The first is filled up, the operator checks the water and the chemistry to see how easy or difficult it’s going to be to treat, and then adjusts the chemistry accordingly to treat the entire tank while the second and third thanks continue to fill up,” states Kyle Booth. He adds, “In an application like this, where we’ve got a big section working, we ask a lot of the pumps. That’s one of the big reasons, why we’ve chose Gorman-Rupp.” Ability to handle solids in demanding situations For Kyle Booth, the equipment choice was both critical and obvious. In the end, the company relied on The Gorman-Rupp Super T Series technology for several reasons, but mainly for its ability to handle solids in demanding situations. Because the nature of the water contaminants at Ken’s Foods’ facility include, chunks of cheese and other food products, the pumping technology had to be up to the challenge of handling very large solids reliably. Two-vane, semi-open impeller The two-vane, semi-open impeller allowed the technology to do so. Furthermore, with the pumps’ removable cover plates, maintenance was simple and painless, ensuring that if and when the pumps get clogged, down time would be reduced and costly delays minimized. “There are always unexpected, unanticipated situations in any treatment plant, but with this solution and these pumps, we’ve encountered absolutely nothing that caused our operation to shut down the system, for any period of time,” stated Dave Muskopf. World Water Works’ treatment solution World Water Works handled the initial startup and training, but our employees run it and maintain it" He adds, “In fact, I and the rest of the engineering team are particularly pleased with their improved ability, to monitor the system electronically via a single operator, during the treatment process. World Water Works’ solution also incorporated oversight of the operation’s setup and training. This treatment plant was a turnkey project. World Water Works handled the initial startup and training, but our employees run it and maintain it.” It was a little bit challenging on start up just to make sure everything was set up correctly and people were communicating well, working together in the manner that was required,” confesses Kyle Booth, adding “But with a strong team and a strategic design, everything works a little more smoothly. The operator at the Ken’s plant has also done a great job.” Dependability and safety are key parameters To many engineers, the cost associated with treating wastewater inside a food manufacturing plant is a necessary evil, simply the cost of doing business. Still, an investment in a dependable and well-engineered treatment system can save significant money in the long run. “If it is not treated properly you face problems, and possible fines from the EPA, and municipal water and sewer authorities,” counsels Kyle Booth, adding “It’s been our experience that trying to save money in the short term with less expensive solutions can lead to increased costs, lost time and bad publicity in the long run. And that’s never been an option for us or our customers.”
The University of Bristol’s emergency lighting upgrade continues with the installation of a further ten LuxIntelligent emergency light testing panels from fire and life safety system manufacturer, Advanced. The new equipment will be installed alongside 21 existing LuxIntelligent panels linked to around 4,500 light fittings, to ensure ongoing compliance with the BS 5266-1 code of practice for the emergency lighting of premises. The LuxIntelligent panels will continue to be retrofitted across a range of university buildings, including seven halls of residences, using existing cabling. The ease with which LuxIntelligent can be used to replace outdated emergency lighting on existing sites allows significant time and cost savings to be achieved. Individual building requirements A variety of LED luminaires have been chosen from the wide LuxIntelligent range, to protect buildings with very different lighting requirements. They include downlighters, spotlights, exit signs, and bulkhead lighting that complement equipment already installed in the historic Victoria Rooms, the Wills Hall halls of residence as well as operating theatres and abattoirs in the veterinary college campus. A variety of LED luminaires have been chosen from the wide LuxIntelligent range Chris Smith, Commissioning Engineer at the University of Bristol, said: “We fit various emergency lighting systems at the University of Bristol according to individual building requirements, however, the emergency lighting in some areas of the University had become outdated and we could no longer source replacement parts, making repairs increasingly difficult. Having used Advanced’s emergency light testing system across other parts of the University for many years, I was confident that we could rely on it for performance, compliance and peace of mind.” Emergency lighting requirements Matt Jones, Emergency Lighting Business Manager at Advanced, said: “It’s fantastic to see our emergency light testing systems standing the test of time and being chosen for this major upgrade at the University of Bristol. We look forward to continuing to support the University as their future emergency lighting requirements grow." LuxIntelligent from Advanced is an addressable, automatic emergency lighting test system, that shows all emergency lights are compliant and functioning, with no engineer involvement required. Each panel has up to four loops each, supporting 249 luminaires, and can be easily networked to work with existing wiring and luminaires, keeping installation costs to a minimum. The system also offers optional cloud monitoring and system management via mobile and web apps. Intelligent fire systems Advanced is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems LuxIntelligent can be used with EasySafe, Advanced’s latest range of addressable, low-voltage emergency luminaires and exit signs. Powered directly from the LuxIntelligent panel, EasySafe devices need no local power supply and are compatible with any existing LuxIntelligent luminaires and exit signs, enabling the easy installation of devices onto existing wiring to form one intelligent emergency lighting system. Advanced is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. Its reputation for performance, quality, and ease of use sees its products specified in locations around the world, from single-panel installations to large, multi-site networks. Multiprotocol fire panels Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging, false alarm management, and reduction systems as well as emergency lighting. Advanced is owned by FTSE 100 company Halma plc, a global group of life-saving technology companies. Advanced products protect a wide range of prestigious and high-profile sites across the globe, from London’s Shard and Lloyds building to Abu Dhabi International Airport and the Hagia Sophia historic site in Turkey.
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?
Welcome to our Expert Panel Roundtable, a new feature of TheBigRedGuide.com. We will be asking timely questions about the fire market and seeking out experts in the field to provide responses. Our goal is to promote a useful exchange of information on a variety of topics and to create a forum for discussion of important issues facing the fire service and market. For our first question, we look to the year ahead and ask our panelists: What trends are likely to change the fire market in 2020?