Building Fire Safety
Due to the nature of their design and uses, tunnels have particularly unique fire risks, and any fire can spread quickly, risking damage to assets or injuries to teams. Mining, cable and communication tunnels are subject to significantly high risks, as they utilize heavy-duty machinery, flammable materials and cables, which are all subject to the production of excess heat. Here we discuss the prevalent fire risks in tunnels and explain how businesses operating within them can assess and mitigat...
A firefighter needs to evaporate about 1 liter of sweat per hour to be able to regulate the body temperature when exposed to extreme heat. The human body is designed to function within a very specific temperature range between 36.5 and 37.5 Celsius. However, fighting fires test these limits and can increase a firefighter’s body temperature to over 38 degrees. Selection Of PPE While there are many factors to consider to reduce the impact of heat stress on firefighters – such...
Asolvi, Europe’s provider of field service and contract management software, announces that it has agreed to acquire TIVAPP, the German field service solution for the fire protection and security sector. TIVAPP is a specialist service, inventory, test documentation and billing software solution, developed by fire prevention professionals. Founded in Germany, the company has over 20 years of experience in the sector. During that time, TIVAPP has built up a customer base and established its...
CU First Responders Finance (CUFR) is excited to welcome Firefighters First Credit Union as a lead lender to their business lending network. Firefighters First Credit Union will be originating commercial and business loans generated by the CUFR network of first responder credit unions. CUFR’s business lending solutions CUFR’s business lending solutions provide an online platform for member credit unions to refer their members’ business loan requests to a trusted lender. They...
Only approved cabling should be used in critical signal and control equipment in the event of a real fire - and the announcement of a revized version of the Code of Practice covering these areas of performance clarifies the detail. The equipment served by these cables - including smoke and heat extraction systems - assists fire services in the case of firefighting and a safe evacuation in the case of life safety. fire performance cables As the only supplier in the UK with independent approval...
In the years since the Grenfell Tower tragedy of 2017, all eyes have been on fire regulations, which have come under increased scrutiny – and it’s easy to see why. Even after the disaster, businesses across the UK are still lagging behind on mandatory fire safety regulations. It seems that regulatory change has not brought about the desired outcome at most organizations. With all 53 recommendations of the Hackitt Review set to come into effect this year, many a...
The latest two winners have been announced in MSA Safety Incorporated’s and DuPont’s 2020 Globe Gear Giveaway. Douglas City (CA) Volunteer Fire Department and Cooper Landing (AK) Emergency Services will each receive four sets of state-of-the-art turnout gear and four helmets to increase the safety of their members. Providing turnout gear MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) team up each year to help volunteer fire departments obtain much-needed gear. With the latest round of awards, 118 departments in need have received 547 sets of gear since 2012 to better equip their members for response. An additional three departments will be awarded turnout gear in December, 2020 An additional three departments will be awarded turnout gear in December, 2020. The first 500 applicants in this year’s giveaway also received a one-year NVFC membership, courtesy of MSA. Douglas City Volunteer Fire Department The Douglas City Volunteer Fire Department (DCVFD) protects 25 square miles of rural northern California, serving around 1,000 residents and responding to an average of 165 calls annually. Despite their small size, DCVFD plays a vital role in their community, especially during wildfire season. Additionally, DCVFD responds to a high number of medical calls, vehicle crashes, and high- and low-angle rescues, and are often the first and sometimes only resource available. They also provide mutual aid to neighboring departments who likewise have limited resources. Douglas City Volunteer Fire Department’s seven active firefighters share five sets of turnout gear, three of which are more than 10 years old. Because they are funded entirely by donations from their community, they are unable to replace their aging gear or purchase additional needed PPE such as helmets. Providing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Additionally, the lack of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) makes recruiting new volunteers a challenge, and probationary members are issued well-used turnout gear that is often ill-fitting and compromised by age and use. “New and well-fitting turnout gear and helmets will enable us to present as a professional and modern fire department with high standards, as well as allow us to complete our tasks in a safer and more effective way,” said Firefighter, James Dunsdon. Cooper Landing Emergency Services Cooper Landing Emergency Services protects a 70 square-mile expanse of Alaska’s rural Kenai Peninsula Cooper Landing Emergency Services (CLES) protects a 70 square-mile expanse of Alaska’s rural Kenai Peninsula. The community’s population swells from 350 to nearly 1,000 during the summer months due to tourism and seasonal residents. CLES responds to an average of 120 calls annually, including on two of the busiest roads in the state, as well as provides mutual aid to neighboring departments. In 2019, Cooper Landing was the center of the Swan Lake Wildfire, which burned over 175,000 acres and threatened homes and businesses through CLES’ response area. “It became clear during the fire and on dozens of highway motor vehicle accidents that the department's gear, made up of previous donations, was woefully inadequate to protect our members against the elements or the hazards of an involved structure fire,” said Firefighter/EMT, Riley Shurtleff. Firefighting apparatus and equipment All of Cooper Landing Emergency Services’ turnout gear are over 10 years old and were donated by other fire departments. Because they rely solely on fundraisers, donations, grants, and ambulance patient billings, their budget is limited. CLES recently had to purchase new firefighting apparatus, meaning that their ability to afford new turnout and protective gear was significantly diminished. “This turnout gear will greatly increase the safety for our members and be a continued source of pride for years to come,” adds Riley Shurtleff.
Carbon monoxide (CO), also known as the ‘silent killer’, is especially dangerous because it is not visible and cannot be smelt or tasted. The only way to protect against this potentially deadly threat is with a CO alarm. In honor of CO Awareness Month in November, First Alert and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have partnered to create an online CO awareness and CO alarm training course for volunteer fire departments nationwide, supplemented by an alarm donation program for communities in need. Online CO awareness and CO alarm training course Aptly called the ‘Protect against the Silent Killer’ training program, the course virtually trains fire department personnel about the prevalence and symptoms of CO poisoning and proper CO alarm installation to help reduce the risk of CO suffocation incidents and deaths in communities across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency room each year due to accidental CO poisoning and 4,000 are hospitalized. Awareness of CO poisoning is coming at a crucial time as winter approaches Awareness of CO poisoning is coming at a crucial time as winter approaches. According to the CDC, two-fifths of CO exposure occurs during December, January and February. While almost all homes have at least one smoke alarm, only two out of five households said that they have a working CO alarm, according to the American Housing Survey. Installing CO alarms on each level of the home Current National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines recommend installing CO alarms on each level of the home, including the basement, and near every sleeping area. “Installing and properly maintaining CO alarms is the best way to keep your family protected against this potentially deadly threat,” said Tarsila Wey, Director of Marketing for First Alert, the most trusted brand in fire safety, adding, “We are proud to play a role in helping firefighters and communities expand their knowledge about CO poisoning and are glad that our educational tools directly impact their community risk reduction efforts.” Information on proper installation of CO alarms As temperatures begin to drop and people continue to spend more time at home, it is crucial that CO alarms are installed throughout the home and that everyone is aware of the signs of CO poisoning. The training provides insight about how CO is created, the dangers it presents, and the symptoms and risk factors of CO poisoning. The course offers detailed information on proper installation of CO alarms, appropriate in-home placement and maintenance. Presenters also emphasize the importance of alarm and battery replacement and discuss the various types of CO alarms. Complimentary First Alert CO alarms Students will receive the donated alarms in 2021 for distribution within their communities To complement the training, the first 20 students, who are associated with a fire or emergency medical service (EMS) department, to complete this course are eligible to apply for 25 complimentary First Alert CO alarms. Students will receive the donated alarms in 2021 for distribution within their communities to enhance the safety of their neighbors. “We value the dedication of all the firefighters and EMS providers who work tirelessly to keep their communities safe from the threats of CO,” said the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Chair, Steve Hirsch. Steve adds, “Having access to this comprehensive training, along with First Alert’s generous alarm donation, helps to keep fire departments up-to-date on best practices and better equips them to educate their communities.”
In response to a specific customer requirement, Kentec Electronics, a globally renowned manufacturer of life-critical control systems, has developed through their Special Applications Department an Evacuation and Alert Control Indicating System (EACIE) to provide fire and rescue teams with an intelligent communication structure to support staged evacuation. Evac-Point system Kentec’s made-to-order ‘Evac-Point’ system uses user-defined zone reference labeling to enable Fire Services to sound alarms in targeted areas of a building, such as a specific flat or floor, so that the public can be evacuated in line with how an incident develops. It is being delivered through Kentec’s Special Applications bespoke engineering department, which has a long-established pedigree for manufacturing evacuation control panels. The modular design allows for greater flexibility and site customization for the installer and end user and reduces lead time availability. Efficient tall-buildings rescue and evacuations The custom-build panel’s development follows the Grenfell tragedy and the 2019 BS 8629 Standard, which seeks to ensure residential buildings over 18 meters high are provided with an effective means to help the fire brigade evacuate efficiently and effectively, regardless of the manufacturer or specific design. It is available in two and three loop versions (expandable to four loops) with a modular design, where banks of five can be added to increase capacity, if required. In-built LED control panel illumination Evac-Point provides the market with a convenient, good-value and highly-sophisticated option" Derrick Hall, Sales Director at Kentec, stated “Evac-Point provides the market with a convenient, good-value and highly-sophisticated option. Other products on the market are only available in the largest sizes, meaning paying for functionality that is not required.” He adds, “Another differentiation is its in-built LED control panel illumination, provided as standard. The BS 8629 Standard recommends a lit environment, so this additional feature saves installing dedicated lighting separately. Our role as life-safety manufacturers is, as ever, to make the lives of our installers and the end users easier and safer.” Integrated with Syncro AS technology The Evac-Point system is available with a flush bezel so that it can be set into the wall, providing a secure and robust, two-point locking steel enclosure. It is based on the reliable Syncro AS technology, with an open protocol architecture that is compatible with Hochiki and Apollo protocols to provide maximum system design flexibility. Kentec is hosting a webinar on Monday 9th November 2020 from 11 am to 11.30 am, where Derrick Hall, Director of Sales, will talk about BS8629 and how it will impact any residential building over 18m, as well as how Kentec Electronics can help.
Global fire systems provider, Advanced, has been specified on another landmark tall building. Set to stand at 62-storeys high, 22 Bishopsgate in the City of London will, on completion, become the second tallest building in Western Europe. The 278m office building will offer 1.275 million sq. ft. of high specification office space, as well as eight community spaces, covering over 100,000 sq ft, including an innovation hub, curated gallery space, fresh food market, gym and wellbeing retreat. Once completed, Advanced will protect both of Western Europe’s tallest buildings, with 22 Bishopsgate being the latest in a long line of London’s most prestigious and iconic skyscrapers specifying Advanced, including the Shard, the Leadenhall Building, the Heron Tower and the HSBC Tower. Fire Command Centre Advanced’s panels are used alongside Soteria detectors and its networking is regarded as the most resilient At the center of the active fire protection for 22 Bishopsgate are over 80 networked MxPro 5 panels with graphic display and BMS integration, alongside three special build panels for the building’s Fire Command Centre, that will form part of the intelligent fire detection network. Advanced’s panels are used alongside Apollo’s Soteria detectors and its networking is widely regarded as the most resilient and scalable solution on the market. It can be expanded up to 200 node networks covering huge areas with complicated cause-and-effect. As a UK-first, 22 Bishopsgate will utilize a specially developed lift-evacuation strategy in case of fire. The building is separated into four vertical areas by fire-hardened slabs with a two-hour fire rating separating a floor from the one above at levels 26, 42 and 58. renowned networking capabilities Depending on which of the four vertical areas of the building a fire is detected, workers on that floor and the floors above egress via fire escape stairs to the area below and from there can evacuate via the lifts, safe in the knowledge that these are protected by the slabs above. Responsible for every aspect of installation of the fire system from design to completion, PHF Fire, a division of PHF Electrical, used Advanced for its renowned networking capabilities, best suited to managing a network of this size and complexity. dependable fire protection Paul Falkner, Director at PHF Fire, said: “Great emphasis and consideration has been placed on the fire protection for 22 Bishopsgate - a building truly at the at the forefront of fire technology. From working with Advanced previously we knew its products could be relied upon to deliver powerful, flexible and dependable fire protection for the complex nature of a building of this size.” Advanced is a renowned brand in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems Amanda Hope, UK Business Development Manager at Advanced, said: “Advanced is a leader in the market in terms of performance, quality and ease-of-use and being specified in arguably the UK’s most high-profile commercial development, since the Shard, reinforces this. We are thrilled to now not only protect Western Europe’s tallest building, but soon also the second tallest. It was a pleasure to work with the team at PHF Fire where we were able to meet their needs with a system capable of delivering the complicated cause and effect programming and flexible networking required.” false alarm management systems With EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 approval the MxPro is one of the fire industry’s leading multiprotocol fire solution, offering customers a choice of two panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network that enjoys free training and support. Advanced is a renowned brand in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The performance, quality and ease of use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large, multi-site networks in some of the world’s most prestigious sites. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, extinguishing control panels, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
Fire and life safety systems manufacturer, Advanced has announced the appointment of a dedicated business development manager responsible for the launch and growth of EvacGo, Advanced’s new BS 8629-compliant evacuation alert system. EvacGo, Evacuation Alert System Ken Bullock, who joined Advanced as Regional Sales Manager for South East England, four years ago, brings over 35 years of fire industry experience to his new role as Business Development Manager – EvacGo, Evacuation Alert Systems. Ken has been instrumental in the development of the EvacGo solution and ensuring that it will make life easy for anyone who needs to meet the BS 8629 Code of Practice recommendation, applicable to buildings over 18 meters in height and containing flats. Enhancing fire safety in high-rises I’ve been heavily involved in developing our evacuation alert system and am passionate about the ability of this product" Ken Bullock, Business Development Manager – Emergency Evacuation Systems, said “I’ve been heavily involved in developing our evacuation alert system and am passionate about the ability of this product to help improve fire safety for residents in high-rise buildings. It therefore seemed natural for me to focus on educating the market about the importance of following BS 8629 recommendations and to raise awareness of our evacuation alert solution, EvacGo.” Ken adds, “In developing our system, we’ve worked with renowned fire industry experts to ensure it delivers maximum performance, quality and ease of use. I now look forward to developing these relationships still further as we all strive to build a safer future.” Built using MxPro 5 fire panel components The EvacGo panel is built using Advanced’s industry-renowned MxPro 5 fire panel components, providing the added assurance for installers and building owners that their sites will be protected with robust and proven technology that’s been rigorously tested to EN 54 parts 2 and 4 as recommended in BS 8629. To ensure every aspect of the BS 8629 Code of Practice was followed, the panel is housed in a tamper-proof STS 205 class BR2 security-rated enclosure, made by renowned manufacturer, Gerda with a patented BS EN 1303-compliant lock and key mechanism for exclusive access by the fire and rescue service. BS 8629:2019 Code of Practice compliant BS 8629:2019 is the new Code of Practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of evacuation alert systems for use by fire and rescue services in England. In place since November 2019, this code of practice recommends the installation of a dedicated evacuation alert system intended for the sole use of the fire and rescue services and separate from the building’s fire alarm system. It is relevant to blocks of flats with a story located at a height of more than 18 meters above ground level. Evacuation alert control and indicating equipment installation EACIE installation is already mandatory in new buildings containing flats over 18 meters high in Scotland Although not yet a legal requirement in England, evacuation alert control and indicating equipment (EACIE) installation is already mandatory in new buildings containing flats over 18 meters high in Scotland and considered best practice by a number of fire and rescue services. Gary Craig, Sales Director at Advanced, stated “Over recent months, Ken’s work on EvacGo has focused on ensuring it is easy for building owners and installers to meet the recommendations of the BS 8629 Code of Practice, while ensuring optimum safety for the residents of high-rise buildings and ease of use for the fire service. Ken’s expertise will help ensure the process of specifying, designing and sourcing a BS 8629 system is simple, straightforward and stress-free.” Expansion of evacuation alert systems business Gary adds, “Ken’s appointment adds a vastly experienced voice to this project and the future direction of our evacuation alert systems business. His expertise and track record in driving growth and expansion within the UK market will be immensely valuable, as we experience rising demand for this new product.” Account customers currently looked after by Ken will continue to receive excellent support, as they transfer to Business Development Manager, Amanda Hope.
CU First Responders Finance (CUFR) is excited to welcome Nashville Firemen’s Credit Union to their Referral Credit Union program. CUFR’s business lending program provides the avenue for first responder credit unions to refer commercial real estate, apparatus, equipment, and other business loans for potential funding. Nashville Firemen’s Credit Union is happy to collaborate with other first responder credit unions to offer its membership business services through CUFR. The referring credit union gets business loans on their books and the lead lender earns points and a portion of quality loans. First responder credit unions Additionally, there is an opportunity to sell a portion of the loan back to the referring credit union. Nashville Firemen's Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative. It is owned and managed by the membership who share a common bond. Membership is available to the Nashville Fire Department and their immediate family members. Retirees of NFD are welcome to join as well! Membership information and current rates may be obtained by calling. CU First Responder Finance is a partnership between the National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions and Biz Lending & Insurance Center, Inc. Their mission is to develop commercial real estate marketing and business lending programs specifically designed for first responder credit unions.
Our world is filled with ‘extrusions’. They are small and not-so-small cross-sections that operate as seals, bridging the complex components of machines and moving parts together and helping them to keep them in working order. There are many different types of extrusions, and the diversity of their functionality often puts them at risk of — and makes them important in preventing — situations that can lead to electrical fires. Extrusions are also often made out of different materials, the quality of which can also influence how protected an environment is against the risks of fire. The benefits of silicone One of the more well-suited materials that help with fire prevention is silicone. Silicone is a manmade compound that repels water, is electrically insulating, extremely resistant to high temperatures and, importantly, can be formulated to be a flame-retardant. These qualities and more are, increasingly, making silicone the material of choice for extrusions in manufacturing, at least in part because of these advantages. The While there is certainly more work to be done on the safety front — no environment can be too safe, after allonly other rubber with the highest tolerance for extreme temperatures is viton, but this type of material is at its best when exposed to types of fuel. In other (most) situations, silicone is arguably of superior quality. Heat-resistant or flame-retardant? There are two different types of silicone extrusions that are often confused when talking about fire safety: silicone extrusions that are heat-resistant and those that are flame-retardant. The former is manufactured to function and maintain its mechanical properties at high temperatures. A silicone extrusion operating as an oven door seal would be an example of a heat-resistant type of extrusion. The highest temperature these grades of silicone can withstand is about 300°C. Flame-retardant silicone is formulated specifically to be self-extinguishing. To be certified as flame retardant the material is subjected to a flame for a specified time. The material then has to pass a minimum burn distance, or extinguish in a certain time. Flame-retardant silicones cannot withstand the same temperature extremes as heat-resistant silicones, but have much better self-extinguishing properties in general. They tend to max out at around 200°C. When talking about fire safety, it is the grades that are specially flame-retardant that are important to think about. Although silicone is naturally heat-resistant, it is only heat-resistant up to a point. Special grades are required for the extrusions needed to function in high-temperature areas, like the aforementioned oven door. But this does not make them the same as being flame-retardant. Industry grades of flame-retardant silicone There are several grades of silicone that meet different flame-retardant requirements for specific industries. Including: UL-94: This grade is the general standard in the United States, and is most commonly specified on lighting fixtures and other components. EN45545-2: This grade is the standard in the railway industry, and to a lesser degree across all mass transit vehicles (such as buses). All silicone components used on trains, for example, need to meet this required standard. FAR/JAR 25.823: This is the flame-retardant standard for silicone components used in aircraft industries. Apart from being self-extinguishing, the other main property of flame-retardant silicone grades is that they have a low smoke, low toxicity quality. Meaning that if they do come into contact with a fire, and are subsequently burned, they will not release large amounts of smoke or toxic fumes. Low smoke, low toxicity rubbers have been a legal requirement ever since the tragic Kings Cross Station fire in 1987. In which smoke from burning rubber and When talking about fire safety, it is the grades that are specially flame-retardant that are important to think aboutother materials contributed to fatalities. As implied by the above standards, flame-retardant silicones are commonly found across the aerospace industries, the automotive and rail (and to a wider extension the mass transit) industries, and the consumer goods and lighting manufacturing bases. They are also present in the emergency services sector; usually in vehicles, including in ambulances and fire fighting vehicles. Why are fire-retardant extrusions important? An increasing trend for office spaces and everyday household items is for them to rely more and more on synthetic carbon-based polymers in the form of furniture, fabrics, housings for electrical equipment and as surface coatings for other materials, to name a few. The high fuel values of carbon-based polymers means that their very existence is potentially hazardous in the event of a fire. By having fire-retardant silicone extrusions bridging the components together in machinery and moving parts, their substance reduces the likelihood of a fire breaking out within one of these machines and spreading onwards — and causing catastrophic damage to — the everyday carbon-based polymers in the environment. An increasing trend for office spaces and everyday household items is for them to rely more and more on synthetic carbon-based polymersImportantly, the flame-retardant silicone grades used in extrusions are not harmful to human health, and in any case, exposure to them is minimal. Although some can be in visible areas, such as door seals on trains, by nature most of them are located inside machinery, and do not tend to be out in the open. Fire prevention and the future Silicone might be one of the best materials for extrusions to be manufactured out of, in terms of guarding against and preventing fire hazards. But when it comes to preventing tragedies such as the aforementioned Kings Cross Station incident, nothing can be too perfect. That’s why the standards for silicone are continuously being revised and improved upon. All the time, silicone grades are increasingly put to the test in laboratory settings and tweaked to increase their performance. The standard priorities are: how can we make this material even more likely to help with the reduction and the spread of fires? How can the amount of smoke and fumes emitted in the event of burning be even more diminished? But while there is certainly more work to be done on the safety front — no environment can be too safe, after all — the fact remains that, of all the options currently available, the safest options out there are made from silicone.
The majority of fires within the UK take place within the home; with that in mind, it is highly advisable to regularly update and practice exit strategies in the event of an emergency. In order to raise awareness of fire safety in our communities, it’s important to be clear on what the most common causes of household fires are. Electrical appliances Electrical items are a major culprit of home fires. This can easily be avoided by ensuring a PAT test is carried out each year. It’s crucial to replace damaged or frayed wiring around outlets and to dispose old or faulty appliances. Never overcrowd electrical outlets and only use extension cords when necessary. Overwhelming units by ‘daisy chaining’ extensions to fit more appliances leads to higher chances of an electrical fire. All electrical appliances should additionally be repaired or installed According to the London Fire Brigade, around 60 percent of fires in the home begin in the kitchenby a certified professional. It’s also worth keeping an eye on sockets and fuses that blow for no reason. Flickering lights and scorch marks on sockets or plugs are easy signs which can alert you to unsafe environments. A common habit is to leave electrical items unattended overnight on ‘standby’ mode, this should always be switched off when not in continual use to avoid overheating. Whilst personal home assistant devices are meant to be in constant operation, be sure to look out for hot plugs and turn off outlets when you will be out of the house for extended periods of time such as holidays or weekends away. Smoking materials, lighters and matches The festive season sees a 12% surge in call-outs compared to the monthly average and over the last three years, fire crews dealt with 2,300 fires on Christmas Day alone. When celebrating the festivities try safer alternatives such as battery-operated or LED candles. Faux candles are a great substitute, particularly if you are living with young children. Always let hot matches cool in a metal or ceramic dish or run them under water for extra precaution. Keeping matches nearby lit candles or leaving lit candles unattended overnight are palpable dangers within the home. When celebrating festivities, try safer alternatives such as battery-operated or LED candles Space heaters Portable heaters are the cause of many UK home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Half of those fires occur because objects are kept within three feet of the heater getting far too hot and catching alight. Keeping flammable items at the recommended distance is essential warding off potential fires. Refrain from covering heaters or air vents with dry or damp washing, even if you have installed a fireguard. While some space heaters utilize a self-timer or sleep feature, be sure to manually switch off the heater when it’s not in use. By assuming the heater will automatically turn itself off, you leave yourself at risk as the heater may malfunction. Additionally, as self-timers only control the product itself and not the outlet, the plug still may be at risk of overheating. Cooking According to the London Fire Brigade, around 60 percent of fires in the home begin in the kitchen. It is crucial to be aware of your safety whilst cooking, with some points to always consider: Try not to leave cooking unattended on the hob or grill – if you leave the kitchen turn off the heat Do not cook whilst under the influence of alcohol or medication that can cause drowsiness Be aware of loose clothing that can easily catch fire, take care not to lean over a hob and always keep tea towels and clothes away from the cooker In the event of loose clothing or a cloth catching fire; practice the stop, drop and roll rule – don’t run, lie down on the ground and roll in heavy fabric or a fire blanket to smother the flames Keep the oven, hob, extractor fan and grill as clean as possible – built up fat and grease can ignite and cause fires Use spark devices to light gas cookers, they are far safer than matches or lighters as they don’t have a naked flame. Ensure toasters are kept clean and not placed under kitchen cabinets Never place anything made of metal in a microwave When cooking on the stove-top, use the fan or open a window to disperse any smoke and avoid accidentally triggering any fire alarm If water or food spillages occur whilst the hobs are on and in use, turn off the heat, remove any pans, and let it cool before using any cleaning equipment Preventing spreading To prevent fires from spreading, it’s important to check hidden electrical outlets, particularly those behind large pieces of furniture such as television stands or couches – be sure to keep enough distance between the object and the outlet to prevent crowding. Check these out of sight outlets once a month to ensure there are no obvious signs of scorch marks. It is also a good idea to ensure you add an outlet inspection to any checklist before leaving on holiday. Good fire safety precautions can be practiced as part of your daily routine. Ensure you keep a torch and phone by your bed in case of a fire during the night. Install a dual alarm that uses long-life lithium batteries on every level of your home (including the basement). Test smoke alarms monthly to make sure they’re working properly and ensure you take the time to replace batteries every year for complete peace of mind. Test smoke alarms monthly to make sure they’re working properly and ensure you take the time to replace batteries An exit strategy If you find yourself trapped with no feasible exit to safety, get everyone into one room, ideally with a window and a phone and place bedding around the bottom of To prevent fires from spreading, it’s important to check hidden electrical outlets, particularly those behind large pieces of furniture the door to stifle smoke. Call 999 when possible and open the window to let your presence be known. If you’re on the ground or first floor, you may be able to escape through a window. Use bedding to cushion your fall and lower yourself down carefully – don’t jump. If you can’t open the window break the glass in the bottom corner and make jagged edges safer by cushioning glass with a towel or thick blanket. Don’t make the mistake of investigating what’s happened in the event of a fire or rescuing valuables. If there’s smoke, keep low where the air is clearer. In the event of having to open a door, check if it’s warm. If it is, don’t open it – it is likely the fire is on the other side.
Last year saw a 14 per cent increase in fires in England, according to UK Home Office statistics. And while around three million fire doors are installed in the UK every year, a lack of understanding during operation, maintenance and management of fire doors is still apparent. In this article, David Hindle, Head of Door Closer Sales at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, will address this issue. Importance of fire doors Fire doors are often the first line of defense in a fire, yet even after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, fire door hardware remains a significant area of concern. In May 2018, an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, led by dame Judith Hackitt, have been published. The review highlighted a range of issues, but the message stood clear, the UK’s current approach to fire safety in buildings is not functioning as intended and a new, holistic approach to fire safety is required. Review of fire inspections In all fire inspections, there is a responsibility from the building owner to include checks on the fire doors In all fire inspections, there is a responsibility from the building owner to include checks on the fire doors. However, there is no legal requirement for them to complete any recommended upgrades or repairs, or to prove that they have done so. This represents a major problem, as doors that do not perform to the required standard could compromise a building’s safety and put occupants at risk. Ultimately, this could lead to liability being assigned back to the building owner or facilities manager. Need to maintain fire safety standards Fire safety is only properly maintained if standards and checks are carried out throughout the lifecycle of the product and building. This is best addressed through regular inspection, maintenance and the replacement of products when required. A review by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme revealed the most common fire door faults, ranging from missing fire or smoke seals, to unsuitable hinges and damage to the door leaf itself. Any one of these issues can render a fire door useless and can seriously impede a door’s capability to protect people from harm. Door leaf and frame maintenance Fire door hardware is often not afforded the attention it requires and is left mismanaged throughout its service life. So what needs to be done to ensure fire door hardware is working as expected? Naturally, the door leaf should not be damaged, warped or twisted, and it is vital to ensure the fire door closes correctly around all parts of the frame, with no distortion between the stiles, top and frame. Gaps between the door and leaf must not be greater than those specified in the manufacturer’s installation instructions or fire certificate data sheet, typically around 3 to 4mm all the way round. Importance of door closers A door closer ensures a fire door returns to its fully closed position and the door seals correctly in the door frame A door closer ensures a fire door always returns to its fully closed position and makes sure that the door seals correctly in the door frame, when not in use. There are three steps to ensuring these components are working correctly. First, open the door fully and check that it closes without dragging across the floor. Next, open it to approximately 5-10 degrees and again check that it fully closes, engaging any latch or seal. Finally, check the door closing speed is approximately five seconds from a 90 degree angle, ensuring the door does not slam shut. Intumescent fire and smoke seals Fire and smoke seals should be in good condition, fit the full length of the door and be secure in the groove. If seals are badly fitted, damaged or painted, then they must be replaced with exactly the same size and intumescent material that was originally specified. If the smoke seals have to be replaced, then they should be fitted in one continuous length, if possible. To ensure hinges are in good condition, check for visible wear, dark marks or stains around the hinge knuckle that could indicate wear and impending failure. Hinges must be strong enough to carry the door mass, plus robust enough to work efficiently no matter the level of usage. The hinges should be firmly screwed into the door and frame, ensuring that the seals at the top and sides of the door are not damaged or missing at any time. Intumescent pads should also be used with hinges, as these are required for the door to get its appropriate fire rating. Locks and lever handles To measure a handle’s condition, one needs to ensure the lock lever fully returns to a horizontal position after use Wiping any metal dust deposits off the handles will help ensure that the latch-bolt is engaging smoothly and completely into the keep during use. To measure a handle’s condition, one needs to ensure the lock lever fully returns to a horizontal position after use. If it does not, the lever may, at best, need adjusting or lubricating. At worst, it may need replacing, as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Again, ensure the lock case is protected by intumescent material. Maintaining record of fire door inspection No matter the component, a record of inspection and maintenance should be kept for all door hardware. Furthermore, those responsible for ensuring the fire safety of a site should encourage others to report any issues with any of the door components. Faults should be fixed as soon as possible, using the correct and fire-rated components. To check the compatibility of components, always consult the fire certificate data sheet or contact the manufacturer.
Adapting workspaces to operate safely during a pandemic presents complications, not least of which is making sure that the measures taken to protect employees from infection do not undermine fire safety. In the course of altering a building to prevent infection spread, there are risks of introducing new life safety hazards and compromising emergency preparedness. As buildings adapt to new occupancy standards and requirements, it is critical that any protective measures do not interfere with operation of life safety systems. Might temporary partitions or barriers block escape routes during a fire emergency? Social distancing measures might entail blocking emergency exists and disrupting the flow of occupants looking to vacate a building. It is also important to avoid blocking firefighter access and facilities. Fire Safety Partitions Temporary partitions could block smoke exhausts, sprinkler systems or other elements of a life safety system Temporary partitions could block smoke exhausts, sprinkler systems or other elements of a life safety system. Call points and detectors should remain unobstructed. Partitions should not be installed too closes to any smoke detector. If installed more than 12 inches from the ceiling, partitions serve as walls that can obstruct the flow of smoke and heat, thus causing sprinklers to malfunction, for example. Another consideration is the need to ensure fire safety systems are operating as intended when buildings reopen after being unoccupied for an extended period. Appropriate inspection, testing and maintenance procedures should be followed, including sprinklers, alarm systems and portable fire extinguishers. During the various lockdowns, routine system maintenance might have been postponed or cancelled. Adapting emergency and evacuation procedures Building occupants should be educated on how they need to adapt their emergency and evacuation procedures in light of any COVID-19 related changes. Building owners and managers should also consider any new fire dangers, for example, might storage of large quantities of combustible items such as hand sanitizer constitute a fire hazard? Maintaining social distancing can undermine the ability to vacate a building rapidly during a fire emergency. Obviously, if there is a real fire, the imminent threat of injury or death takes precedence over the goal of preventing infection by a (less likely) disease. In general, because rules have changed, the uncertainty might slow down evacuation. What is the impact of lower occupancy on a building’s emergency procedures? Despite fewer occupants, there should be efforts to ensure enough trained people are on site to carry out evacuation. Fewer employees and staggered work schedules could require additional fire wardens or fire marshals. More training may be needed. frequent fire drills Larger outside assembly areas may be needed to avoid crowding and/or close proximity during a fire drill What about fire drills? How do you weigh the benefits of being prepared to evacuate versus the risk of infection if social distancing requirements are ignored? Do distancing requirements apply as people move through a fire escape? How much more complicated do these questions become in a high-rise building? What about the use of elevators? Larger outside assembly areas may be needed to avoid crowding and/or close proximity during a fire drill. In the event that social distancing rules are breached during a fire drill, should additional quarantine or contact tracing procedures be implemented? fire safety arrangements At the end of the day, most of these hurdles can be overcome. However, they should not be ignored. Careful consideration of the broad impacts of COVID-19 safety measures on life safety ensures that building occupants remain safe from either calamity. As businesses reopen, adequate fire safety arrangements must be a part of the new normal.
Fire extinguishers are red for a reason, aren’t they? Traditionally, red is associated with danger and fire and red is certainly easy to see, even in darker environments. Aesthetic fire extinguishers But a company in Japan is offering a line of fire extinguishers that abandons the signature color for an approach that is more aesthetically pleasing and that fits more easily into modern decor. Disaster prevention brand, Modular Aerial Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS) has unveiled fire extinguishers that are black or white, thus defying convention and better harmonizing with a variety of living spaces. The Japanese company, Morita Miyata Corp. has been making fire extinguishers for more than 100 years The Japanese company, Morita Miyata Corp. has been making fire extinguishers for more than 100 years. Their new sleek, minimalist fire extinguishers have won a Good Design Good Focus Award in the category of disaster prevention and recovery design. The award celebrates outstanding works designed for the prevention of and recovery from natural disasters. Disaster preparedness The concept is to ‘Take Bosai into the lifestyle’ (Bosai is disaster preparedness in Japanese). Beyond aesthetics, there is a practical reason to make the lowly fire extinguisher blend more seamlessly with a room’s decor. The reason is that prettier fire extinguishers encourage consumers to place the extinguisher proudly out in the open, where it is within easier reach to use quickly if needed. The minimal and attractive design allows the fire extinguisher to be placed in a more visible, high profile place in homes, without the ‘harsh’ red interfering with the interior decor. Consumers are prompted to enter the date of purchase and expiration date on the fire extinguisher’s body. Higher effectiveness of fire extinguishers in visible spots In short, fire extinguishers can be more effective if they are not hidden away in a closet or cupboard where valuable seconds are lost locating them in case of a fire. The idea is to unify style and function. Obviously, style is an undervalued element in the entire fire industry, given the affinity for less subtle use of red evident in everything from fire apparatus to web site names. Breaking traditional conventions Abandoning tradition may be creative, but don’t years of convention complicate the concept of changing the color of emergency equipment? For example, in the case of fire extinguishers, although primarily red, they also use color-coded labels to designate their type, such as blue for dry powder, yellow for wet chemical, etc. Also, fire pull stations, for example, are red, but pull stations for police emergencies may be blue instead. The colors have meaning that is understood to building occupants. Therefore, using new colors in public buildings could cause confusion, even if they contribute positively to the aesthetics of an expensive office suite, for example. Extending the concept of ‘Kanso’ to fire extinguishers Extending the concept of 'Kanso' to fire extinguishers has promise, as long as design does not interfere with safety The Japanese interior design concept of ‘Kanso’ is all about simplicity and focuses on the flow and movement of energy in a space. The concept seeks to eliminate clutter from a home and to show restraint and simplicity in every aspect of design. Extending the concept of 'Kanso' to fire extinguishers has promise, as long as design simplicity does not interfere with safety. The Good Design award jury states, “The simple modification of changing the color of the fire extinguisher to black and white is a big step forward in creating harmony with the living space.” Changes in style of fire apparatus and firefighting equipment The jury adds, “There has been a preconceived notion that fire extinguishers must be red in order to grab visual attention. We have just accepted fire extinguishers to be red because that is the way they are. Maybe an innovation like this can happen in other areas. The fact that the development of this product could lead to changing many other preconceptions we have was another important factor for the award.” Should everyone be looking for ‘Kanso’ to make its way soon to fire stations? Might a more positive flow of energy contribute to more relaxed and effective firefighters? Should fire apparatus colors be coordinated with station decor? Could it be that stylish fire extinguishers are only the beginning? These are some of the important questions in the development of new fire extinguishers and other firefighting equipment.
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are expanding their usefulness in the arenas of firefighting and fire prevention, whether in a downtown business district or in fire-prone wildlands. Among other benefits, drones can provide situational awareness, guide emergency response, and perform dangerous duties while keeping fire personnel safe. Drones provide a new solution for extinguishing fires in high-rise buildings, which can occur beyond the reach of fire nozzles and rescue ladders. Chinese autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) manufacturer EHang has announced a large-payload intelligent aerial firefighting solution for high-rise buildings. Urban fire stations With a maximum flight altitude of 600 meters (1968 feet), the EHang 216F can carry up to 150 liters (40 gallons) of firefighting foams and six fire extinguisher bombs in a single trip. A visible-light zoom camera on EHang can quickly identify the location of a fire. The vehicle then hovers precisely in position and uses a laser aiming device to shoot (in succession) a window breaker, the fire extinguishing ‘bombs’ and then a full-range spray of firefighting foam. The EHang 216F devices are expected to be deployed in urban fire stations to assist in firefighting within a 5km (3-mile) radius. Autopilot and centralized management technologies enable a fleet of the vehicles to be remotely dispatched for first response even before firefighters arrive. Multiple 216Fs can be deployed to rapidly extinguish a larger fire. EHang 216F devices are expected to be deployed in urban fire stations to assist in firefighting Fighting and preventing wildfires Drones are also finding multiple uses when it comes to fighting and preventing wildfires. One application is to drop self-igniting ‘dragon eggs’ that spark smaller fires to trim back overgrown forests and help prevent more destructive megafires. The dragon egg system is made up of self-igniting plastic spheres – about the size of a ping-pong ball. Dragon eggs have been an industry standard for years, usually dropped from planes or helicopters The spheres are filled with potassium permanganate powder and injected with glycol as an igniter just as they are being dropped. The reaction sets the balls ablaze after about 30 seconds, which is enough time for them to bounce to the ground through a forest canopy. Controlling the size and scope of a managed fire is simply a matter of how many balls are dropped. Dragon eggs have been an industry standard for years, usually dropped from planes or helicopters. Manned aviation activities Drones provide a new approach, directed the U.S. Department of Interior and the Forest Service. In effect, unmanned aircraft are being used to battle larger wildfires by setting smaller ones first. Another use of drones to set fires involves use of ‘flamethrower’ technology. The drone carries gasoline and shoots a steady stream of fire at vegetation or other targets. Aerial ignition using drones is aimed at supplementing manned aviation activities, not replace them, according to the Forest Service. In fact, there is a strong desire in the fire community to convert some of the missions to unmanned systems, considering the possible dangers involved. Drones can also fly better after dark and in dangerous, smoky conditions. Disaster response strategies The maps were used by search-and-rescue teams to spot missing persons in the area Directing disaster response strategies and mapping the type and location of wildfire destruction are additional missions for drones in firefighting. After California’s deadly Camp Fire in 2018, drones were used on 518 different mapping flights through smoky conditions and collected 1.4 trillion pixels of data, which were stitched together into maps of the destruction. The maps were used by search-and-rescue teams to spot missing persons in the area. Neighborhood homeowners could submit the imagery to insurance providers for rapid claims processing. The images also facilitated access to FEMA relief funds. Assess danger levels The benefits of unmanned vehicles have become obvious in the wake of out-of-control wildfires in Northern California and other Western states. Drones are particularly useful given how fast forest fires can get out of control and the danger to pilots and crew. Drones can be critical during the brief window of time between when a fire starts and when it gets out of control. Situational awareness from drones can help fire crews know how to respond, including the type and amount of resources needed. Drones can also assess danger levels and help to keep crews safe and going in the right direction.
C-TEC’s revolutionary Hush Pro BS 5839-6 Grade C domestic fire detection and alarm system has been chosen for three iconic tower block developments in Manchester, United Kingdom. Located in the center of Piccadilly, Oxygen Towers is a striking set of three new 31-storey, 16-storey and 10-storey buildings consisting of 345 stylish 1, 2 and 3-bedroomed apartments and 12 spacious family townhouses. Protecting futuristic ‘vertical village’ Designed to provide the ultimate living experience, the futuristic ‘vertical village’ combines luxury accommodation with fabulous five-star leisure facilities including a swimming pool, cinema, gym and spa. The stunning development also features lush garden terraces and rooftop gardens. Selected for its cutting-edge technology and capacity to align with the building’s fire strategy, Hush Pro will integrate with the site’s BS 5839 part 1 landlord system to offer higher levels of fire protection than the Grade D unmonitored battery alarm systems, typically used in domestic installations. Hush Pro BS 5839-6 Grade C fire detection and alarm system As a fully-monitored BS 5839 part 6 Grade C system, Hush Pro reports open and short circuit faults As a fully-monitored BS 5839 part 6 Grade C system, Hush Pro reports open and short circuit faults and operation faults back to the fire panel and even allows management and maintenance companies to remotely monitor the system. Once the project is complete, each of the flats will feature an easily accessible low-level Hush Pro Controller connected to a series of Hush Pro smoke detectors, base sounders, multi-sensors and heat detectors all seamlessly interfaced to a powerful network of C-TEC 4-loop ZFP addressable fire control panels to provide all-encompassing fire and fault monitoring of the system. Enhancing fire safety management If, for any reason, part of the domestic fire alarm is compromised, this will immediately be reported to the building management team to allow them to action the fault and re-instate full fire detection coverage to the flat. John Blundell, Head of Solid State Security Ltd (Solid State Living), the specialist fire company involved with the design and delivery of the project, said “As well as enhancing the fire safety management, property and life protection of the buildings, a key factor in our client’s decision to invest in Hush Pro was the system’s ability to notify building management in the event of a real fire and, at the same time, its potential to virtually eliminate false alarms.” Reducing false fire alarms He adds, “Hush Pro’s unique capacity to differentiate between Fire Level 1, usually a false alarm reported locally in the dwelling, and Fire Level 2, almost always a real alarm activated outside of the dwelling, reduces false fire alarms, unnecessary call-outs and the risk of a real fire alarm being ignored. As our client requires immediate notification in the event of a fire but also first-class false alarm management, Hush Pro will prove ideal.” John further stated, “Also of vital importance to our client is that, as the project consists of private balconies with an open plan flat arrangement, Hush Pro is the only fire alarm solution that can actually meet the requirements of BS 9991 Annex D3.” Hush Pro’s powerful false alarm management capability will also prove invaluable at the site" Jason Lawler, 24-7 Group’s Group Director and the person responsible for delivering the electrical and mechanical systems for the project, said “Hush Pro is an outstanding solution. The system will provide residents with easy-to-use detection, alarm, silencing and test facilities so they can test their own devices, be alerted to system faults and hush any false alarms at the Hush Button, which is positioned at light-switch level for safe and easy access. Hush Pro’s powerful false alarm management capability will also prove invaluable at the site.” Integrated BS 5839 part 1 and part 6 fire alarm solutions John Blundell said, “Client satisfaction is incredibly important to us so we were delighted to be able to specify a robust and fully-compliant integrated BS 5839 part 1 and part 6 fire alarm solutions for Oxygen Towers.” He concludes, “With its capacity to provide high levels of fire protection yet also minimize costly and disruptive false alarms, Hush Pro is fast becoming the system of choice for fire strategy engineers and consultants dedicated to enhancing fire safety in high-rise residential and specialist housing projects throughout the UK.”
When Thames Valley Air Ambulance’s Helicopter Emergency Medics became concerned about their current helmet due to its obsolescence and poor comfort, the charity contacted Vimpex who they were aware had successfully supplied helmet solutions to other Air Ambulance Services, including Lincolnshire and Kent. Pacific R6C Rescue Helmet Following meetings to identify product performance requirements, and a product trial by critical care paramedics and doctors, Thames Valley Air Ambulance chose the Pacific R6C Paramedic/Rescue Helmet because it gives the charity a high-performing, future-proofed safety solution that can also be fully customized. Every part of the Pacific R6C Paramedic/Rescue Helmet can be quickly removed without the use of special tools" Vimpex Business Development Manager Steve Clelland explains, “Every part of the Pacific R6C Paramedic/Rescue Helmet can be quickly and easily removed without the use of special tools. Cost of ownership is therefore minimized as repairs and replacement of all components is simple. Pacific helmets are tested in the most extreme conditions required for conformity to relevant clauses of the latest EN standards.” High performance PPE equipment The fantastic life-saving work carried out by Thames Valley Air Ambulance when there’s a life-threatening injury or medical emergency, and relies on the skill and bravery of its team of doctors and critical care paramedics, some of the most highly skilled pre-hospital medics in the world, to deliver advanced trauma care to some of the most seriously injured patients across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire from its base at RAF Benson. Such exceptional individuals, who regularly put their own safety on the line to protect others, need the highest levels of equipment performance, including their head protection PPE, to ensure that their well-being is never compromised. Fire evacuation and alarm systems major Vimpex is Europe's renowned independent manufacturer and distributor of high quality fire evacuation and alarm system products for installers, distributors and OEM manufacturers. The company is also a specialist in the supply of technical rescue and PPE equipment for UK fire, rescue, police, military and emergency services teams.
A network of 10 MxPro 5 fire panels from Advanced, have been installed to protect London’s famous Lloyds Building. About Lloyds Building Also known as the Inside-Out Building, the Lloyds Building is located in the City of London’s main financial district and is a leading example of radical Bowellism architecture in which services for the building such as ducts and lifts are located on the exterior to maximize space in the interior. Built-in 1986, commercial office development became the youngest structure ever to obtain Grade I listing in 2011. The state-of-the-art Advanced fire panels, which were installed as part of a phased upgrade to the fire system, cover all areas of the 14-storey building, include BMS integration for graphics and are linked to over 3200 Hochiki devices, including wireless devices installed within the building’s towers. Installation Of Fire Panels Undertaking phase one, the design, installation, and commissioning of the fire panels and graphics system at the Lloyds Building were Kent-based Pacific Security Systems Ltd. Kirk Short, Director at Pacific Security Systems Ltd, said “Our client’s brief was to retain the existing Hochiki devices and wiring while upgrading the panels and graphics system on site. The system also needed to be both user-friendly and reliable.” “Advanced’s MxPro 5 panels were able to tick all of the boxes. Its network performance is particularly good, no matter the size of the system or complexity of the site Advanced’s products have the capability to deliver complete protection.” “Our customers are always happy with the product and find the panels very easy to operate with limited technical understanding.” Custom-Built Fire Safety Products As part of the work for phase two of the upgrade, a custom-built annunciator for sprinkler, wet riser, and plant status control will be designed and manufactured by the Advanced’s AdSpecials department. MxPro 5 fire system is certified by FM Approvals to the EN 54 standard Regional Sales Manager at Advanced, Ken Bullock, said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to support Pacific Security Systems Ltd with the equipment needed to protect such an iconic London landmark, and as a high performance yet a user-friendly solution, the MxPro 5 just makes sense.” “Our industry-leading fire panel offers the ideal solution for this project, where an intuitive interface that the end-user can easily operate and superior networking capabilities that can deliver protection across a large area, are crucial. Pacific Security Systems Ltd will also benefit from the MxPro 5’s built-in false alarm management software, AlarmCalm, enabling the configuration of the building’s investigation delays and double knock procedures with ease.” Multiprotocol Fire System MxPro 5 is the fire industry’s multiprotocol fire system solution and is certified by FM Approvals to the EN 54 standard. It offers four detector protocols and a completely open installer network, backed up by free training and support. MxPro 5 panels can be used in single-loop, single-panel format or easily configured into high-speed networks of up to 200 panels covering huge areas. Its ease of installation and configuration as well as its wide peripheral range make it customizable to almost any application.
Cadiz Fire Brigade in Spain has recently taken delivery of new, state-of-the-art fire kit supplied by Bristol Uniforms, a globally renowned designer and manufacturer of protective clothing for emergency services across the globe. The contract was secured through Bristol’s international distributor, El Corte Ingles, who fought off stiff competition to secure the four-year contract. Ergonomic XFlex design Cadiz has ordered 780 sets of Bristol’s lightweight, ergonomic XFlex design (called FireFlex in Spain), with integrated safety harnesses incorporated into the jacket and trouser. The kit has a Hainsworth TITAN1250 outer, a highly breathable fabric featuring Nomex and a high percentage of Kevlar, which gives the fabric outstanding tensile and tear strength. In addition, it has a GORE-TEX FIREBLOCKER moisture barrier, which is made from a micro-porous breathable fabric that stops water passing through to the firefighter’s personal clothing, whilst allowing sweat to escape and reducing heat stress. Four-year care and maintenance contract To ensure health and safety of its firefighters, Cadiz Fire Brigade has opted for a four-year care and maintenance contract To further protect the health and safety of its firefighters, Cadiz Fire Brigade has opted for a four-year care and maintenance contract, so as to ensure that the kit is kept in good condition and free from contamination. Total Safety manages all Bristol’s garment care and maintenance in Spain and has worked with Bristol for more than 25 years. It collects soiled garments from customers and returns them clean and repaired within 72 hours. Featuring integrated safety harness Paco Griso, Bristol Uniform’s agent in Spain, said “The new kit has now been rolled out to firefighters in the Province of Cadiz and we are already getting positive feedback from them. They are really pleased with how flexible the kit is and how easy it to maneuver in tight spaces. The integrated harnesses, certified to EN 361, are an additional safety feature which will help prevent serious falls in fire and recuse situations.” Richard Cranham, International Sales Manager at Bristol Uniforms, said “This is a large contract for us in Spain, which was delivered on time, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As the risks of wearing contaminated PPE have become ever more apparent, more and more fire and rescue services across the globe are opting for ongoing care and maintenance packages, so as to ensure their PPE is free of carcinogens and the health of their crew is prioritized.”
A network of fire panels from UK manufacturer, Advanced, has been installed as part of a campus-wide system replacement at the Imperial College London (ICL), Hammersmith, United Kingdom. Six industry-renowned 8-loop MxPro 5 fire panels and a TouchControl remote control terminal and repeater panel have been installed across the Wolfson Education Center, the Institute of Reproductive Development Biology and the Commonwealth Building at Imperial College London’s Hammersmith campus. 8-loop MxPro 5 fire panels The installation, part of a system-wide upgrade, was conducted by Surrey-based Lloret Fire & Security Ltd who were tasked with replacing the existing fire alarm control panels, installing new cabling and devices and commissioning the system across occupied buildings, where live coverage needed to be maintained at all times. Imperial specifically requested a move away from the closed protocol fire system approach, and its associated service charges, which had been in operation for 15 years. Lloret Fire & Security’s experience installing Advanced control indicating equipment in other large-scale educational facilities meant they were confident that the open protocol MxPro 5 could easily provide the levels of flexibility and stability required by the site. Multi-sensor detection system installed Paul White, Design Director at Lloret Fire & Security Ltd, said “The project at Imperial’s Hammersmith campus involved the replacement of the fire system across a range of building environments, from offices, workshops and research labs, through to lecture theaters and conference halls, each with its own specific fire protection requirements.” Multi-sensor detection system was installed to manage and reduce the risk of false alarms In consideration of the site’s false alarm management strategy, multi-sensor detection system was installed to manage and reduce the risk of false alarms. For example, detectors have been configured for day/night use or can be altered as area usage changes. TouchControl repeater panel installed To replace the existing flush-fitted panel positioned front-of-house in the reception area of the Institute of Reproductive Development Biology, and for aesthetic purposes, Lloret Fire & Security Ltd suggested installing Advanced’s touch technology remote control terminal and repeater panel, TouchControl. Combining aesthetics with practicality, the low-profile, high-resolution touchscreen makes it easy to check fire system status via interactive maps and zone plans, while complementing even the most stylish interiors. When in standby mode, administrators can use TouchControl to display branding, advertisements and information, while it will instantly revert to fire operation when a fire condition occurs. Advanced fire safety solutions Amanda Hope, UK Business Development Manager, said “It’s fantastic to see that our partners Lloret Fire & Security Ltd are so confident in the Advanced solutions installed at Imperial. When installing or upgrading a building’s fire system, it’s important to consider which protocol is right for you." Amanda adds, “The nature of our MxPro 5’s open protocol gives end users greater freedom and flexibility over key factors such as detector partners, suppliers, installers and service companies. This in turn helps the end user to more easily achieve best value for money and access top-quality expertise.”
Infographics has announced that Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) is the first UK FRS to adopt the new FireWatch Bi-directional Mobilization Interface, with other services expected to deploy this functionality in the near future. FireWatch Mobilization Interface The FireWatch Bi-directional Mobilization Interface with Capita Vision is designed to enable greater real-time data sharing between the FireWatch Fire Service Management Platform, Capita Vision Mobilization System and on-appliance Mobile Data Terminals. HFRS already utilizes the FireWatch platform for integrated human resource management The Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) already utilizes the FireWatch platform for integrated human resource management, training and development, health and safety, self-service, availability management, and automated electronic payment calculations and processing for on-call staff. Data integration Workflows to integrate absenteeism, payments and other data seamlessly with their shared business center systems are also in place. This latest deployment provides a new bi-directional interface between FireWatch and Capita Vision that seamlessly couples the systems together and provides a live closed loop of data flows as changes in either occur. Colin Sutherland, Systems Manager at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS), said “This new interface is the culmination of many months’ work for Hampshire Fire and our technological partners, Infographics and Capita. The interface provides individual and appliance crewing data directly into our mobilization system, allowing our Control rooms throughout the partnership to view Hampshire’s status in real-time.” Reducing the risk of human error Colin adds, “This not only improves our resilience with the interface and reduces the risk of human error, but also reduces the burden of crews on station having to complete events after the incident, as the interface now does this for them. A further benefit is that it provides us with crewing accountability on the way to, during and returning from fire calls, which is something we have not been able to achieve before.” He further stated, “This interface is also the first step in our move towards Attribute Based Response (ABR), which we are now working towards with our partners, and the interface is a solid foundation to build upon. It has been an incredibly exciting time with the release of the interface for Hampshire, and it highlights Infographics’ hard work and dedication to continually improve and enhance their offering.” Fully integrated FRS resource management platform Russell Wood, Commercial Manager at Infographics, said “What we have delivered jointly with Hampshire and Capita is a UK first. FireWatch already provides a fully integrated FRS resource management platform with all the benefits this brings. Coupling this with a live bi-directional flow of data and impacts with Capita Vision and the MDTs essentially enables the systems to act seamlessly as one – and deliver clear operational, risk and efficiency benefits.” From FireWatch to Capita Vision, the FireWatch interface calculates vehicle availability to-the-minute, derived from live HR, contract/role, employee availability, qualifications, physical vehicle availability, and other fully-connected and integrated data and modules. So when anything changes, FireWatch pushes updated vehicle availability status in real-time to the Capita Vision Mobilization system. Up-to-the-minute data availability The up-to-the-minute data ensures that when an ‘on call’ crew turns out to an incident The system takes into account shared resources across vehicles, priority levels and skill-derived attributes and incident types, rather than a simple on/off ‘the run’, and provides that live status to Capita Vision and control room staff. The up-to-the-minute data ensures that when an ‘on call’ crew turns out to an incident, the information on the MDT is already filtered to show those who should have been available, providing quick and easy selection of the actual employees on the vehicle and the impact of their skills and resource not being available for any other vehicles at that location. In the other direction, from Capita Vision to FireWatch, this provides: Live incident creation and stage updates as they happen. Data flows from the on-appliance Mobile Data Terminals to Vision, then to FireWatch, so that FireWatch understands the specific resources involved and can send the impact back to Vision. Updates to, and impacts of, event stages, attending vehicles and personnel changes. Automatic confirmation of personnel who have turned out in FireWatch event records. Further automation of event recording steps for pay and maintenance of competency purposes.
Round table discussion
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?