Further to Advanced's previous coronavirus communication, they wanted to update on the current position. Throughout this time, the company remains focused on two key aspects: the health and welfare of the company’s staff and the ability to continue to support the customers and maintain supply. normal levels of customer service Staff who are able to work from home are doing so wherever possible. Customers can continue to reach the usual Advanced contacts by phone and email. Advanced&rsquo...
With many businesses and facilities re-opening sites following the Coronavirus lockdown, fire safety may not seem high on the list to other worries and responsibilities. But here, Mandy Bowden, Fire Business Development Manager at Comelit Group UK, led by fire industry bodies, demonstrates why it must be a priority, ensuring installation of systems is guided by best practice in accordance with the development, and fire safety measures are maintained and regularly tested to ensure compliance. Fi...
Volunteer fire departments are ineligible to obtain funds from the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program because of their dependence on bingo games and raffles for fundraising. With the COVID-19 crisis destroying the ability of volunteer departments to raise funds, access to the EIDL program could provide needed assistance during a time of economic crisis. Under current rules, the assistance is unavailable. Economic Injury Disaster Loans program As the U.S. Small Business Administrati...
The premiere of CEFE powered by INTERSCHUTZ attracted numerous visitors in Shanghai in 2019. Now the international trade fair was scheduled to kick off with its second edition from 9 to 11 December 2020. The situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic is such that the platform for fire brigades, rescue services, civil protection and safety/security will not be back for exhibitors and visitors until a year later. The exact date for the event at the Shanghai New International Expo Center (S...
Nittan Europe’s Managing Director Yoshiaki Kadokura makes the following statement regarding the company’s functioning during these difficult times: “We are experiencing an unprecedented crisis with the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19, and there remain many uncertainties as to how the situation may develop in the near future." "Our thoughts and hearts go to everyone affected by this outbreak, and we greatly appreciate the healthcare workers and all who are on the front line, wor...
As we continue to settle into our new norm brought on by COVID-19, it’s become hard to imagine what the world will look like on the other side. If ever there were a clearer definition of a paradigm shift in the making, it’s this time. Yet, it’s not the only paradigm that has shifted in the last few years. As the climate has continued to change, helping to create more fuel for wildfires, we’re experiencing compounding changes at a global scale. And, the light at the...
Hundreds of fire industry professionals from over 30 countries have benefitted from Apollo Fire Detectors’ free online training courses available throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period. The weekly virtual CPD seminars and product focused webinars have proved so popular that the company has extended the initial six- week program of events into July and August, and potentially beyond. the next phase of courses Warren Moyle, Senior Technical Support Engineer at Apollo Fire Detectors, who has been leading most of the online training said: “We wanted to support the industry during this difficult time by sharing our expertise and technical knowledge.” “We’re grateful that people from all over the world including Greece, Singapore and Egypt have been willing to invest in their professional development and learn more about our products. We’ve had some great feedback and we’re looking forward to delivering the next phase of courses that we’ll be running over the summer.” CPD accredited training courses Apollo is delivering online industry focused CPD accredited seminars covering topics Aimed at consultants and specifiers, Apollo is delivering online industry focused CPD accredited seminars covering topics such as an introduction to BS 7273-4, EN54 Part 23 and an introduction to BS 5839 Pts 1 & 6. Apollo has also condensed its existing full-day face to face CPD accredited training courses into one-hour CPD accredited courses to ensure that customers wanting to attend these sessions don’t miss out due to the lockdown. Throughout July and August, there will also be a series of 30-minute product orientated webinars, providing useful advice and insights to installers, covering features and benefits, applications, demonstration videos and frequently asked questions for numerous Apollo ranges including XPander, AlarmSense and the Apollo Test Set. Techno-Filled experience Customer feedback so far includes: “The webinar was simply wonderful. Techno-filled experience of the trainers was really good. The Q&A session helped me to learn new things. Keep it up and boost our knowledge on Apollo products.” Plus: “Thank you Apollo, these are great sessions without spending time traveling. Your experience in the field gives us many things to learn about the fire industry.” As well as: “Very informative presentation, with good definitions of terminology. Not an area I knew anything about previously.” All webinars are being hosted on Microsoft Teams events, which allows attendees to watch live and interact with presenters via a moderated Q&A. All registrants receive a recording of the webinar after the event, so those who don’t make the live event still get the opportunity to watch it on demand.
Baystone Government Finance announced its completion of $3.35 million financing for the City of New York. Assistant Vice President Christina Ummel said the funds will be used to pay for 19 ambulances pressed into service at the height of the City's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. "The FDNY had an urgent need for additional vehicles that could be used to transport patients from their homes to medical facilities or between facilities throughout the city," said Ummel. "The 19 vehicles purchased with the financing include nine Ford E-350s, three Ford E-450s, five Ford F-450s and one Ford S-350," she added. Delivery of the ambulances Working closely with Baystone, Angie Deming, president of Rochester, Indiana-based Republic First National Corporation submitted a bid for the financing in late March and received approval in early April. The transaction funded on June 4, when the FDNY took delivery of the ambulances. "We were able to finance FDNY, a large municipal fire department in the United States, with Baystone as a valued funding partner. Great partnerships allow for great things to happen. Baystone's expertise helps us help our customers." "State and local governments are facing widescale reductions in tax revenue from the economic and social effects of COVID-19 while also bearing the brunt of pandemic-related costs," said Bradley Buhrow, assistant vice president at Baystone. "These entities are also encountering increased funding challenges as some bank sources pull back from government financing. Given these new realities, tax-exempt government leasing is becoming critical to states and municipalities to acquire the essential equipment they need to keep our communities running." Lower financing rates Tax-exempt municipal leases, also known as lease-purchase agreements, do not require upfront cash outlays. These leases also offer lower financing rates than traditional commercial leases and loans-in some cases, a difference of multiple percentage points. Baystone Government Finance specializes in tax-exempt equipment finance, working directly with governments and equipment finance organizations to help communities acquire the equipment they need. A division of KS StateBank, a full-service community bank located in Manhattan, KS, Baystone has originated and successfully funded billions of dollars in municipal obligations throughout the United States since 1987.
Thirty-three Fire and Rescue Services (FRS), comprising over 33,500 firefighters, are now benefiting from the Local Authority Collaborative PPE Framework. Launched three years ago in June 2017, the Framework gives UK FRSs access to high quality PPE ensembles and volume discounts through a streamlined procurement process. The Framework was set up in response to calls from government and the industry for FRSs to work together to share best practice and deliver efficiencies. It is run by Kent FRS, with PPE supplied by Bristol Uniforms, who was selected as the preferred supplier following a rigorous two-year tender process. Signing up via a purchase only or fully managed service contract, FRSs continue to reap the benefits of the Framework, which guarantees quality PPE that has been independently evaluated and tested, and can save considerable time and costs. utilize latest technology So far this year through the Framework, Bristol has delivered new PPE to seven FRSs, including Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service who opted for a Fully Managed Services Contract. Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, they were measured and received their kit on 1 June. The safety of our firefighters is of the utmost importance to us here in Oxfordshire" Chief Fire Officer Rob MacDougall said: “Bristol Uniforms uses the latest technology in firefighter clothing, and they design PPE to provide fire crews with the very best protection. The safety of our firefighters is of the utmost importance to us here in Oxfordshire. The kit is lighter in weight, breathable and offers more support for the wearer and we are proud to know we are now one of many fire and rescue services in the country to utilize this latest technology in protective clothing for our staff. Thank you to Bristol Uniforms for providing us with a first-class service.” fire and rescue service Chris Colgan, Director of Operations at Kent Fire and Rescue Service, and Chair of the NFCC PPE/Clothing Committee, said: “The National Collaborative PPE Framework is the first of its kind for the fire and rescue service, enabling borderless provision of standardized critical kit." "So far, working with the team at Bristol Uniforms, we have made significant progress in demonstrating that the sector can work as one customer. However, more can be done. The pandemic has shown us that it is not an impossible target to expect all FRS to sign up to national arrangements delivered through the National Fire Commercial Transformation Programme and we are committed to continuing to build on the success of this arrangement." benefits of joint working The selected styles combine innovative and ergonomic designs with the use of high-performance fabrics and fibers "Bristol Uniforms has done a sterling job ensuring service continuity for all FRS throughout the disruptions caused by COVID-19, working closely with the contract management team at Kent FRS on behalf of the Sector. This has been one of the greatest tests of strategic relationship and service management and I am incredibly pleased that the result has been a real proof of concept.” Roger Startin, Joint Managing Director at Bristol Uniforms said: “The demand for our cutting-edge PPE through the Collaborative Framework has been unprecedented as FRSs learn about the benefits of joint working. The Framework has significantly improved and simplified the procurement process and despite very challenging circumstances, we continue to size firefighters for their new kit, manufacture and deliver it on time and to budget.” high-performance fabrics PPE supplied by Bristol Uniforms within the Framework includes Full Structural Ensemble, a Layered Jacket, Rescue Jacket and USAR Ensemble. The selected styles combine innovative and ergonomic designs with the use of high-performance fabrics and fibers, offering maximum comfort, manoeuvrability and protection.
Accela, a renowned provider of cloud-based solutions for government, announced the launch of its Civic Application for Fire Prevention. The solution helps fire departments increase their capacity and effectiveness and ensure they are equipped in the case of emergencies, especially amid an evolving environmental and public safety landscape. It consists of a complete system for managing permitting and inspection processes, including a mobile application available both online and offline to keep fire department staff on track towards inspection targets, process permits faster, and improve business owner visibility. importance of public safety The COVID-19 pandemic and recent incidents of civic unrest has presented unprecedented challenges" This is the latest addition to Accela's suite of out-of-the-box SaaS Civic Applications and makes product evaluation and procurement processes easier and faster for state and local agencies by packaging the solution with three tiered capabilities based on an agency's budget and need. "The COVID-19 pandemic and recent incidents of civic unrest has presented unprecedented challenges for cities and states across the country and brought a renewed focus on the importance of public safety," said Jonathon (JK) Knight, Chief Customer Officer at Accela. local emergency response "Fire departments are core to any local emergency response and require robust digital tools with the flexibility to adapt to changing conditions. Our new Civic Application for Fire Prevention will help departments enhance public safety, increase productivity, and build resilience as they navigate the current public health crisis, protests, and beyond." Accela's new Fire Prevention Civic Application automates all aspects of permitting, licensing, and inspection processes for fire departments to increase emergency preparedness. The solution moves all workflows and functions online, removing paper and manual steps, and significantly streamlines the complexities of the plan review, inspection, and permitting processes so agencies can focus on fire prevention and public safety outreach. seamless mobile experience It also provides a seamless mobile experience for field inspections to increase productivity, enable team inspections, simplify staff training, and minimize person-to-person interactions among firefighters and fire inspectors. The City of Oakland, California's fire department is leveraging Accela to help streamline their fire permitting and field inspections to reach more facilities in less time. Before Accela, we would spend three weeks printing, collating, and pre-sorting the inspection forms" "Before Accela, we would spend three weeks printing, collating, and pre-sorting the inspection forms, and delivering them to each fire station responsible for those areas. After the inspections were finished, the forms had to be physically picked up by the Fire Prevention team and filed away in the Fire Prevention Bureau, resulting in lots of trips back and forth–just to deliver pieces of paper," says Oakland Fire Department Captain Anthony Sanders. valuable best practices "Now, the inspection data is captured as we're in the field on our tablets, and we don't need to do that double-data entry anymore – it's saved a lot of time." The Fire Prevention Civic Application is the newest offering in Accela's suite of Civic Applications. These out-of-the-box solutions provide "consumer-like" experiences for citizens, shorten time to value, and come pre-built with valuable best practices. The Fire Prevention Civic Application is the first in the series designed to make product evaluation and procurement processes more streamlined for governments to speed implementation and improve the economics. leverage cloud technology Accela is offering the Fire Prevention Civic Application in packages -- titled Essentials, Extended and Enterprise -- ranging from low to high complexity for fire departments to choose from based on their size, budget, and individual needs. Larger or more complex fire departments can leverage all pre-built components of the system that are available to smaller or less complex department requirements, with the added capability to customize on top of Accela's preconfigured technology. The announcement builds on Accela's efforts to help cities leverage cloud technology These packages also facilitate quicker installation processes and include training and user guides to reduce the burden of managing software to give agencies more time and resources to properly handle emergencies. The announcement builds on Accela's efforts to help cities leverage cloud technology to respond to high levels of citizen requests during times of crisis. COVID-19 Response Solutions More than 80 percent of Accela's new customers purchased solutions in the cloud, and 66 percent of all Accela customers are now in the cloud. Accela recently launched its suite of COVID-19 Response Solutions to help cities and states respond to the biggest challenges of the current pandemic. These cloud-based solutions were developed to enable agencies to provide online citizen services while working remotely, including scheduling healthcare workers and volunteers, conducting mobile and virtual inspections to help field workers continue critical, timely inspections or construction projects as scheduled, and more. They can be rapidly implemented in as little as 24-72 hours, depending on the solution, to empower agencies to adapt to the circumstances quickly.
Aico celebrates a significant milestone in 2020 with finishing 30 years of renowned market presence in Fire and Carbon Monoxide (CO) protection solutions. Incorporated in 1990 in Oswestry, Shropshire, United Kingdom, Aico has rapidly grown from strength to strength over its 30-year history, with the growth being marked by the move to a new, bespoke head office. New Oswestry head office The new 7-acre site came as a necessity as Aico’s growth and success has seen significant expansion to the team and operations. The new building provides a bold welcome to company visitors and passing traffic. More than half of the overall site is taken up with landscaping, paying homage to the wider county’s famous green countryside, which is a key theme throughout the new build, aiming to preserve current eco-systems and encourage wildlife to flourish. Promoting healthy work environment The building was designed to facilitate the company’s key goal of a healthy work environment The building was designed to facilitate the company’s key goal of a healthy work environment with employee wellness to the fore. Multi-functional rooms make space for the company’s core people development practices and team building, something Managing Director, Neal Hooper attributes to being the strength of the company. Aico MD, Neal Hooper said, “We have a passion for developing people and it shows in our culture. We hold ourselves to high standards and make sure our values of integrity, excellence, teamwork, commitment and sustainability come to life in the way we work. Each member of Aico understands that this new site is theirs and for their teams’ infrastructure to grow and develop in for years to come.” 30-year anniversary celebrations At the beginning of the year, the Lion Quays Resort in Shropshire played host to an event marking the special occasion, with employees treated to a surprise guest speaker in the form of footballing legend Kevin Keegan. Mr. Keegan took to the stage to congratulate Aico on its 30-year anniversary and regaled staff with anecdotes from his impressive career. Reiterating Aico’s ethos of Education, Quality, Service and Innovation, Mr. Keegan spoke of the importance of teamwork, attitude and commitment. Technical Advisor for Aico, Dave Jennings has an impressive 26-year career with the company. He commented, “I started my career with Aico in 1994 and seeing the company’s growth over the past 26 years has been incredible. Aico has advanced and expanded and it’s great to see the new apprentices coming in now so that Aico has a future for generations to come.” Corporate Social Responsibility In a continuation of Aico’s pledge to support local charity The Movement Centre, the opportunity was taken to hold a charity raffle at the 30th anniversary event, raising a fantastic £2,000. This will be donated to The Movement Center as part of the ongoing work carried out by the Aico in the Community initiative, supporting this wonderful charity. The Movement Center is an Oswestry-based charity dedicated to supporting children with movement disabilities, helping to change the lives of these children and their families.
Nittan Europe announces its Evolution dual optical fire detectors installed into the NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol. Built in less than three weeks at the University of West of England Frenchay campus, NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol has the capacity to provide up to 300 intensive care beds for coronavirus patients, if local services need them. The new facility is one of seven Nightingale hospitals to be set up around the country as part of a massive NHS effort to respond to the COVID-19 health emergency. The Nittan fire detectors have been incorporated into Ramtech Electronics’ WES wireless fire alarm system, which is designed to provide a simple, fast and secure method of communicating fire and medical emergencies in the complex environmental conditions of construction sites. Whilst WES has been designed to provide temporary protection on construction sites, its ease of use, reliability and quality made it ideal for use in the temporary Nightingale Hospital. Faster deployment of wireless fire alarms Wireless fire alarm systems are ideal for temporary sites as they don’t require specialist trades to set up, and any number of call points can be deployed in minutes and linked wirelessly to cover large or small sites. The signal passes through all commonly found materials including steel, concrete and stone. Nittan Evolution EVC-DP dual optical detectors are incorporated into the WES system. These detectors feature dual optical technology to reduce false alarms caused by non-combustion products such as steam, dust and aerosols. Unlike other conventional detectors on the market that claim to distinguish between smoke and non-combustion products, the EVC-DP effectively measures the actual particle size in the chamber via its combined IR and blue LED technology. Reduced false alarms As steam and dust are much larger particles than smoke, the detector won’t false alarm. This makes the EVC-DP detector ideally suited to use in hospitals, hotels and other areas of multiple occupancy which are prone to steam and dust. The WES wireless fire alarm system featuring the Nittan detectors has been installed into the communal and welfare areas of NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol.
2020 introduced a variety of unique challenges for many industries around the world. Not surprisingly, the fire detection industry was not immune to all of those challenges. However, as much of the global community defined our manufacturing and installing peers as “essential” or “critical” it required us, as an industry, to adapt so we could continue to service our customers with our products and services. Many regions around the world are experiencing significant demand for temporary detection systems. This demand is almost universally driven by an increase in education, awareness, and enforcement. While this is a global shift, our company has experienced a large demand in our own backyard. Within the United States, this is being driven by the adoption and enforcement of NFPA 241. NFPA is the Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations. NFPA 241 has been a “concept” since 1930 and the official text was finally adopted by the NFPA in 1933. As with all standards, it has progressed over the years to accommodate changes in technology as well as safety awareness. Fire safety awareness While general safety awareness on construction sites has always been consistently high, fire safety awareness has significantly increased within the last 5 years. Nuisance alarms negatively consume first responder bandwidth Typically, new, or increased regulation within our industry occurs after a single devastating event or several significant events. In this particular case, it was a combination of both. On a national level, fires on construction sites were reaching dangerous and unacceptable levels and becoming so widespread that enforcement of this standard became a priority in several states. Need for accurate and timely fire detection According to a report released by Richard Campbell of the NFPA in February of 2020 titled Fire In Structures under Construction or Renovation, “the estimated number of fires in structures under construction has increased since 2014 after declining between 2008 and 2010” further creating awareness. For the last few years, the focus of many local AHJ’s (authority having jurisdiction) was on new and active worksites or renovation projects. With the changes imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic today, many non-essential industries have either shut down or had their operations significantly reduced. This means the need for a functioning detection system is more critical now than ever as many facilities remain idle or continue to operate with reduced personnel. Detecting fires quickly and accurately gives our first responders the best chance of saving a person or facility. Conversely, having any “detection system” is often not good enough. Nuisance alarms negatively consume first responder bandwidth, possibly removing an engine or fire company from a genuine event. Temporary fire detection In an article by The Boston Globe, Easthampton Fire Chief David Mottor, president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts said “Ninety percent of these buildings go up every day and nothing happens. It’s during construction before the sprinkler system is activated when they are most dangerous.” Globally, we have seen four approaches to temporary detection for both construction and renovation sites. We will quickly discuss the advantages and disadvantages below: Using 24/7 fire watch Utilizing local first responders or other authorized/trained personnel to offer 24/7 fire watch requires a person or team of people to be onsite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to be physically looking for fires. Advantage: Someone is always on site, actively viewing and patrolling the facility. Disadvantage: Maintaining a 24/7 fire watch can be expensive, further the person or team can only see/find fires in proximity to them as they continue to move about a facility. Using digital linear heat detection Digital linear heat detection is a fixed temperature detector that is constructed using a twisted pair of metal conductors that are separated by a heat sensitive polymer. When the ambient temperature meets or exceeds the detector’s fixed temperature the polymers melt, and the detector shorts out resulting in an alarm. Advantages: Detector can be easily installed at a new construction site or a facility being renovated. The technology is a low profile, non-intrusive and cost-effective form of detection. This automatic initiating device is immune to environmental conditions. Protectowire FireSystems offers Confirmed Temperature Initiation technology (mechanical damage does not cause a false alarm). Disadvantages: Detector can be mechanically damaged during normal worksite operation. If you are unsure, be sure to check with the local AHJ or call your insurance provider Using wireless spot detectors There are a few companies on the market that offer wireless spot detectors that can be networked together. Advantage: Typically, this technology uses a mesh network of detectors. The detectors and their bases are battery operated and can be moved or placed per worksite requirements. Disadvantage: This technology can be expensive. Physical barriers on the construction site may hinder mesh network operation requiring the purchase of additional wireless units. Many wireless technology providers focus on smoke detection. Smoke detectors are often not ideal for the harsh environments associated with construction (dust, temperature changes, etc.). Using a hybrid approach This involves using wireless nodes to supervise linear heat detection. Most manufacturers of the wireless systems offer a wireless node that can accept a third-party initiating device. Advantage: Wireless nodes can be placed anywhere, and linear heat detection technology can withstand the harsh construction environment. Disadvantage: Wireless node battery life can be reduced when using a third-party device. Less cost-effective approach. Solution for Facilities While each of the approaches listed above has its own advantages and disadvantages, you must always consider what is best for your facility. If you are unsure, be sure to check with the local AHJ or call your insurance provider. Established in 1938, Protectowire FireSystems is the global manufacturer of Linear Heat Detection Systems. The Company has been manufacturing in the United States for the past 80 years and counting. Protectowire is dedicated to delivering products designed, engineered, manufactured, and tested with a high degree of performance, reliability, and quality. As one of the manufacturers in the fire protection industry, Protectowire has the experience and knowledge needed to meet the ever-increasing detection challenges of the special hazard and commercial industries.
The fire industry has made it absolutely clear, led by authorized bodies including the BAFE Fire Safety Register, that the current pandemic does not remove the need to comply with any fire safety requirements under the Building Regulations. As we now look beyond the lockdown period, John Allam, Operations Director at Amthal Fire and Security reviews the raft of new proposals demonstrating the Government and industry’s commitment to compliant fire safety and new immediate demands placed on responsible persons. Multi-Occupancy residential buildings Whilst the second phase of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry has been put on hold until July at the earliest over coronavirus restrictions, the government has continued its quest to effect change and bring the Fire Safety Bill and Building Safety Bill into legislation. While the Building Safety Bill will ‘place new and enhanced regulatory regimes for building safety and construction products’, both bills aim to strengthen the ‘whole regulatory system’ for both building and fire safety. The Fire Safety Bill will apply to England and Wales, to amend the Fire Safety Order 2005 and seeks to clarify responsibility for reducing fire risk in multi-occupancy residential buildings. The details of the Fire Safety Bill, which has now had its second reading in the House of Commons, includes recommendations of regular inspections of lifts and sprinkler systems for buildings over 11m tall. Quarterly fire door inspections Building owners will now face ‘enforcement action’ from emergency services if they do not manage fire risk Significantly, it also introduces compulsory quarterly fire door inspections, which is a hugely significant development in its own right, to influence an industry where this is no specific legislation that requires fire doors to be checked. The Fire Safety Bill intends to ensure evacuation plans are reviewed, regularly updated and communicated to residents in a ‘form that they can be reasonably be expected to understand.’ And it highlights the importance of individual flat entrance doors, where the external walls of the building have unsafe cladding, comply with current standards. This will play a key part in increasing residents’ fire safety, whereby building owners will now face ‘enforcement action’ from emergency services if they do not manage fire risk in a building’s structure. Improving the fire safety of buildings In addition, the government is consulting with the National Fire Chiefs Council to begin testing evacuation alert systems for high-rise blocks of flats, which could support fire and rescue services’ operational response by alerting residents if they need to escape. The National Fire Chiefs Council to begin testing evacuation alert systems for high-rise blocks of flats The new program will be governed by a Building Safety Regulator (BSR) that will initially be led by Dame Judith Hackitt during the set up phase, who will be tasked with improving the fire safety of buildings. Launched by The RT Hon Robert Jenrick MP Secretary Of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, he cited the new program as taking, “Ambitious steps to further reform the building safety system with the biggest changes in a generation to ensure residents are safe in their homes.” He added: “This new regime will put residents’ safety at its heart, and follows the announcement of the unprecedented £1 billion fund for removing unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings in the budget.” Major regulatory decisions The BSR will be responsible for all major regulatory decisions made at key points during design, construction, occupation and refurbishment of buildings. And such decisions and obligations must be upheld and maintained throughout a development’s life. The new safety case regime will apply not only to new buildings, but also to buildings that are already in use" In Dame Judith’s own words: “When introduced by the new regulator, the new safety case regime will apply not only to new buildings, but also to buildings that are already in use and occupied. If those buildings were built to poor standards in the past, it will not be the case that you can simply say ‘well it complied with building regulations at the time’. The test will be different. The test will be ‘is this building safe to be occupied?’ and, if not, what are you going to do to improve it?’ … People will be asked to think about what they can do, what is reasonable and what is practicable to do in order to improve the safety of a given building.” Regulating the fire safety industry Both Hackitt and the Government want the BSR to be set up in shadow form before the Building Safety Bill becomes law. The plan is to put the bill before Parliament by the autumn, despite the challenges thrown by the Pandemic. The new legislation proposed by Government will undoubtedly ensure that buildings and those that live and work in them are maintained to be fire safe. In the words of BAFE CEO Stephen Adams: “The time is right to help better regulate the fire safety industry to change end user behavior and create a UK that's safer from the devastating effects of fire.” As BAFE further attests, as lockdown measures begin to be lifted, there will be a need for the competent maintenance of fire safety systems/provisions and fire risk assessment work. Fire doors and risk assessments Amthal is working closely with building owners and managers across the UK to deliver the benefits of safer environment This means for those who own or manage residential buildings, will soon be ‘held into account’ if they do not ensure fire safety in their buildings, and the requirements will impact further on costs and resource allocation, for investigating buildings and ensuring compliance. There is a definite sense to be proactive in acceptance of the new impending legislation. But the concern cited amongst building owners is the industry’s ability to undertake the volume of assessments required, given the lack of current lack of specific legislation on specific elements such as fire doors and risk assessments, together with the steep expectations for fire strategy and evacuation plans. Amthal is working closely with building owners and managers across the UK to deliver the benefits of safer environment within a holistic fire safety approach. Working in partnership, means taking the time to understand the implications of the Government’s Fire Safety Bill, alongside the implications of the Building Safety Bill and BSR program. This way, we can ensure responsible persons confidently achieve all operational requirements for the ultimate benefit of residents’ peace of mind.
There have been challenges with completing fire safety maintenance and installation projects during the current Covid-19 crisis, most notably as a result of the difficulties for installers in safely accessing sites. Many construction projects halted for lockdown and this resulted in approximately 50% of the British installers we work with having to furlough staff. The challenges, however, are not just restricted to the UK. With Kentec panels sold in more than 90 countries across the world, we have seen varying challenges on a global scale. Throughout this crisis, fire safety continues to be paramount and as such key players, such as Kentec, are rightly considered essential businesses. We have continued manufacturing life safety systems throughout the current difficulties and it has been our mission to ensure that where new installations can take place, our panels are readily available to installers, as well as the expertise and technical support that goes with it for ongoing maintenance. Orders for spare parts have also, in fact, been consistently high during this period, as installers have been able to complete minor upgrades safely and end users have taken advantage of the period to do so. Adapting manufacturing processes to align with government guidelines so that customers have not experienced any supply issues with any life safety systems or parts has been a major success. Critical Infrastructure We’ve personally seen an increase in sales for our industry-leading Sigma XT extinguishant panels during this crisis as it is widely used within critical infrastructure, in sectors such as telecommunications, data centres and healthcare. Adapting manufacturing processes to align with government guidelines has been a major success During lockdown, with a vast proportion of the population working from home and relying on the internet to conduct their business and virtual meetings, it has been more important than ever that there is no loss in service in broadband and telephone services. This means that highly reliable and robust fire extinguishing systems are essential to protect essential workers and vital equipment – not only from the risk of fire, but also from the catastrophic damage that false alarms and the release of extinguishant could have, for example, on server room equipment. Understandably, this has resulted in considerable investment in fire systems in these sectors. Glasgow’s Louisa Jordan NHS Facility The recent fire safety installation at the Louisa Jordan NHS Facility Glasgow – located at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) which provides more than 500 COVID-19 beds – is just one example of essential fire safety work being completed during lockdown. Vipond Fire Protection Ltd installed a total of seven Sigma XT gas suppression panels, and 32 detectors located within the electrical room that serves the 10,000m2 facility. The project was completed in what was an extremely tight seven-day turnaround, delivering proven reliability within a crucial healthcare facility. Kentec's Experience Operating Through Covid-19 We have learned that operating through this crisis and supporting installations that are going ahead is best achieved through detailed planning, communication and collaboration. For example, we’re supporting our distributors by shipping directly to their customers, when it is not safe or feasible to open their warehouses. Operating through this crisis is best achieved through detailed planning, communication and collaboration Our own workforce is also adapting to changing work patterns and demands. In the factory, at a practical level, this has meant implementing new shifts schedules starting from six o’clock in the morning to ten o’clock at night to ensure there are never too many people on site at one time. We have staggered arrival, leaving and break times to mitigate any risks involved at entrances, and we were lucky that space allowed us to make the canteen area bigger and increase the number of toilets from three to ten. We have moved work benches to ensure a safe distance between each employee, and where workflows make two-metre distancing impossible we have installed six- and eight-foot screens. Face masks have been provided to all staff and we are also trialling face shields for further comfort and protection. Our office staff have worked from home, and where going to the office has been necessary, they have similarly adhered to staggered arrival times. Internal communication has been essential and I’m immensely proud and extremely thankful for the positivity, proactivity and support that employees have shown through this process. We have also adapted our Kentec Installation Partner (KIP) scheme to be fully remote to ensure training and support is there when it is needed for our installers. We are hosting webinars as another forum to solve installer queries remotely, and our new range of Taktis panels have highly advanced networking capabilities and a vast suite of communication tools that support remote monitoring. It is therefore critical that our installers fully understand how to help end users realise the benefits such panels can deliver and to ensure their installations are completed successfully. Looking Ahead To The New Normal Remote monitoring will become increasingly important beyond this crisis We feel that remote monitoring will become increasingly important beyond this crisis and the advanced communication capabilities of panels will be essential for both installers and end users alike. For installers it reduces the amount of time required on site, because they can access the system remotely to find out what equipment or parts they need to take with them. Similarly, for end users they can access systems remotely to check any alerts or queries off site if necessary. It remains to be seen how the rest of 2020 will pan out, but where projects have been necessarily put on hold, because of the essential nature of our industry we are confident that installers will be able to quickly and easily return to these projects when it is safe and feasible to do so. Communication, collaboration and support will continue to be essential in mitigating the challenges in our future ‘new normal.’
The COVID-19 pandemic presents new economic challenges to county and municipal governments. Fire departments are likely to be impacted as local governments respond to the economic downturn with spending freezes, hiring freezes and spending cuts. Some local governments are hoping for help from the state and/or federal level. Although some governments have “rainy day funds” to address economic downturns, not all of them do. Furthermore, the extent of the current economic crisis may exceed our worst fears. Proposed budget cuts for some fire and EMS departments are in the 10% to 25% range. As the new fiscal year begins in July, many local governments will need to approve a spending plan for next year by June 30. public safety agencies Although public safety agencies have historically been protected by local governments during economic downturns, the severity of the current downturn may change the approach. Lower sales tax collection is expected to be a major impact, although actual information on revenue levels can lag for three months because state governments collect the taxes and then return a share to cities and counties. The Southern California city is like many others around the United States that rely on sales tax and hotel taxes For many, the numbers for April will be available in July. For example, Hemet, California, estimates it has lost 34% of its sales tax revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic because consumer spending is down, and many businesses are closed to the public. Loss of hotel taxes is another hardship. The Southern California city is like many others around the United States that rely on sales tax and hotel taxes. replacing ageing fire engines The League of California Cities says COVID-19 will rob the state’s 482 cities and towns of about $6.7 billion in revenue over the next two fiscal years. Michael Pagano, Director of the Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says that municipalities that depend on sales tax revenue are being hit hard and quickly. In contrast, those that rely on property taxes will not feel an immediate impact, he says. The fire service in Hemet is being affected. Last year, the city paid $1 million in overtime. Belt-tightening will eliminate such expenditures this year. The city will also likely delay filling some open positions and will replace only one aging fire engine rather than two. They will be buying less safety and radio gear. Victoria, Texas, is another city among the many feeling the impact of lost sales tax revenue. fire fighter unions “It’s not an option for people to not get their trash picked up,” Victoria City Manager Jesus Garza told the Victoria Advocate. “It’s not an option for our police and firefighters to not work." With no definite end in sight, there are no easy solutions. Some scenarios, such as a salary freeze, would impact members of fire fighter unions. The president of the Baltimore’s International Association of Fire Fighters Local 734 says such discussions are premature. We know that the city has to balance their budget by July and that everyone is being hit hard by this global pandemic" “We know that the city has to balance their budget by July and that everyone is being hit hard by this global pandemic,” Richard Altieri II, president of the local fire fighters union, told the Baltimore Sun. “But to suggest this sacrifice of our members, who are on the front lines every day, is unacceptable and disheartening.” Baltimore has considered about $11 million in total reductions that may affect first responders. Coronavirus Relief Package California Gov. Gavin Newsom has warned that layoffs for police and firefighters could happen unless Washington provides financial help to state governments. The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that included $875 billion in state and federal aid. However, the Democratic-authored bill is going nowhere in the U.S. Senate. “[There will be] fewer firefighters and police officers to answer emergency calls, reduced garbage pickup frequency, and limited staff for required inspections, processing business license, and permitting,” Nicolas Romo, a League of California Cities representative, told the Sacramento Bee.
Fire stations are unique environments with conditions that could be conducive to the spread of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19. Firefighters live in close quarters for 24-hour shifts, and then return home to their families. Reports about “hot” firehouses have helped to emphasize the need to follow best practices to avoid the spread of the disease. The Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) has compiled a list of guidelines that departments can put into practice to reduce and/or avoid cross-contamination of on-duty staff. Shift Change Interaction Firefighters live in close quarters for 24-hour shifts. Reports about “hot” firehouses have helped to emphasize the need to follow best practices to avoid the spread of the diseaseStaff should use a designated entry point, and comply with requirements of a Self-Screening checklist, which includes factors such as fever, uncontrolled cough, prolonged sore throat, a flu-like illness, or diarrhea. Firefighters should remove and store their own PPE and personal items from the apparatus at shift change. Personal belongings (bags, bedding, etc.) should be moved to a privately owned vehicle early to facilitate expedited bunkroom/office transfer. Interaction between oncoming and leaving shifts should be limited. Roll call should be conducted in a large space, such as an apparatus bay, that facilitates a minimum of 6-foot distancing. Station Socializing While in quarters, firefighters should not congregate in small spaces (such as the watch office or kitchen) and should adhere to 6-foot minimum spacing. Fewer chairs should be located in common meeting spaces to deter people from gathering in the same space. Training should be conducted in a manner that maintains 6-foot minimum spacing. Off-duty members should not be allowed into the stations to work out or visit. Station Captains should develop a practice if a member needs to arrive the evening before his/her shift that will limit contact with others. Station Meals Eating should occur in shifts to reduce staff interaction, and eating locations should be varied to alternate places in the station to create spacing. Shared food containers and communal items should be disinfected, and stations should consider supporting local small businesses in the district by ordering takeout. Department Mail Department mail routing should be modified to minimize the potential for staff interaction. Mail pickup/dropoff should be moved to a location, such as an apparatus bay, that minimizes traffic flow through station living areas. Documents should be scanned and emailed whenever possible. When mail must be handled, it’s best to wear gloves and wash hands immediately thereafter. Department Facilities Visits to fire department facilities should be limited to urgent department business. The number of guests should be limited, and they should make appointments when possible. Battalion Chiefs should communicate with Battalion members via phone or video conference. If a Battalion Chief needs to go to a station, he or she Self-monitoring stations should be set up near designated staff entrances and should provide a self-screening checklist and thermometer screeningshould maintain social distancing. Bedding A washable base layer should be used on beds (e.g., sheet, blanket, etc.) to create an additional barrier between the bed and personal bedding. Base layers should be washed after each shift. Self-Monitoring Self-monitoring stations should be set up near designated staff entrances and should provide a self-screening checklist and thermometer screening.
Among volunteer fire departments, spring is a prime season for fundraising. But not in 2020. Concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus have ruled out the possibility of large public gatherings. A consequence of the coronavirus shutdown is cancellation of hundreds of volunteer fire department fundraisers across the United States – from fish fries to bingo to hog roasts to chicken barbecues. No more carnivals or spaghetti suppers or gun raffles. And departments are losing thousands of dollars. The resulting financial burden is a momentous and imminent threat to the operation of volunteer fire departments, some of which do not receive any government funding. With two months or more of fundraising lost forever, the economic stability of volunteer fire departments is called into doubt. Underlying the problem is another sobering reality: Fires don’t stop just because of coronavirus. However, overall calls are down for some departments, which provides some level of relief. Virtual And Online Fundraising Hope springs eternal that some variation of fundraising can resume if things get back to “normal” in June or later this summer. If not, in a worst-case scenario if stay-at-home orders remain in place for several more months, some volunteer departments could be forced to shut down. Raising money may not get any easier for months to come. Underlying the problem is a sobering reality: Fires don’t stop just because of coronavirus Some departments have experimented with virtual and online fundraisers, with mixed results, although the efforts are unlikely to replace the lost revenue from events canceled because of social distancing and stay-at-home orders. Examples include Facebook Live raffles and various types of electronic donation collections. Some volunteer departments operate social halls and rent them out for a variety of public events. With those events cancelled, too, another possible source of revenue is eliminated, at least for the near term. Volunteer Fire Department Costs Some departments have experimented with virtual and online fundraisers, with mixed results Department costs are unrelenting – and varied. They have to pay basic utilities such as electricity, heat and internet, as well as buy fuel for their trucks. Some have loan payments on fire trucks and other equipment, and various maintenance costs, not to mention insurance on equipment and supplemental insurance for firefighters. Just as many households are reeling from the economic impact of the pandemic, many fire departments also find themselves suddenly thrust into uncertain times facing a downwardly spiraling budget and little way to make up the deficit. Rather than living paycheck-to-paycheck, they are accustomed to working fundraiser-to-fundraiser. In general, donations dwindle in a down economy. Some departments are having to slash up to half their spending, addressing the dilemma with a brutal reevaluation of their department’s finances. They are separating “needs” that can’t be ignored from “wants” that can be delayed or eliminated. For example, purchase of replacement equipment may need to be delayed for a period of time. Navigating Uncharted Waters Volunteer fire departments were already facing challenges such as recruitment and retention declines, and a dearth of funds aggravates the existing challenges. State and municipal governments provide funding to volunteer fire departments in some locales, but can those funds be counted on as governments face their own shortfalls? Tax support and municipal funds may not be a sure thing in the era of COVID-19. The fact is, we are all in uncharted territory.
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany, after Berlin, and home to approximately 1.8 million inhabitants, with its metropolitan region home to over five million. More than one million incoming calls must be handled by the control centers of fire services and police. The control room renewal project (in German Projekt ERneuerung LEitstellen - PERLE) will provide the two emergency services with a modern technical control room solution, in order to meet the organizations current and future requirements, as well as increase safety for citizens of and visitors to Hamburg. Increasing operator efficiency “We were impressed with the innovative solution concept that Frequentis had demonstrated to us, especially the multimedia functionality that will prepare us for the future needs of the emergency services, increasing the efficiency and operator convenience as well as public emergency contact,” said Eiko Hinrichs group leader of PERLE - firefighter and engineer for communication technology. “It gave us a great pleasure, to gain Frequentis as a very experienced and reliable partner for the implementation of our new communication system.“ 3020 LifeX™ is a future-oriented public safety communication and collaboration software designed to fulfill the demands of a next-generation control room (on-premises or hosted) that requires multimedia contact handling for telephony as well as radio for future cross-coupling of these technologies. Its sophisticated, modular architecture integrates a variety of systems with various protocols and can flexibly exchange or upgrade them without compromising ongoing operations. Efficient call handling and resource allocation The technology for Hamburg Fire and Police will be located in two central data centers and in two control centers, accommodating more than 220 workstations. The Frequentis communication system will integrate with the customer’s computer aided dispatch solution and the geographical information system, enabling geolocation and thus assisting operators with efficient call handling and resource allocation. “Receiving this contract during the COVID-19 lockdown period in Germany shows customers trust in Frequentis. We also commend customers who have future-orientated outlooks, considering not only the current needs of their service but also future changes and required functionality,” says Robert Nitsch, Frequentis Vice President Public Safety. “3020 LifeX™ focusses on increasing operator performance and harmonizing communication and collaboration without being bound to a physical location. We are pleased to be supporting the City of Hamburg’s police and fire services with this task and their future development strategy.”
Nittan Europe, a UK-based renowned manufacturer of conventional and addressable fire detection products and systems, is proud to have its Evolution analog addressable fire detectors installed into the NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol. NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol Built in less than three weeks at the University of West of England Frenchay campus, NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol has the capacity to provide up to 300 intensive care beds for coronavirus patients, if local services need them. The new facility is one of seven Nightingale hospitals to be set up around the country as part of a massive NHS effort to respond to the COVID-19 health emergency. Evolution analogue addressable fire detectors Nittan’s Evolution analog addressable fire detectors have been incorporated into Ramtech Electronics’ WES wireless firm alarm system, which is designed to provide a simple, fast and secure method of communicating fire and medical emergencies in the complex environmental conditions of construction sites. While WES has been designed to provide temporary protection on construction sites, its ease of use, reliability and quality made it ideal for use in the temporary Nightingale Hospital. Wireless fire alarm systems Wireless fire alarm systems are ideal for temporary sites as they don’t require specialist trades to set up Wireless fire alarm systems are ideal for temporary sites as they don’t require specialist trades to set up, and any number of call points can be deployed in minutes and linked wirelessly to cover large or small sites. The signal passes through all commonly found materials including steel, concrete and stone. Evolution EVC-DP dual optical detectors Nittan Evolution EVC-DP dual optical detectors are incorporated into the WES system. These award-winning detectors feature dual optical technology to reduce false alarms caused by non-combustion products such as steam, dust and aerosols. Unlike other conventional detectors on the market that claim to distinguish between smoke and non-combustion products, the EVC-DP effectively measures the actual particle size in the chamber via its combined IR and blue LED technology. No false alarms As steam and dust are much larger particles than smoke, the detector won’t cause false alarms. This makes the EVC-DP detector ideally suited to use in hospitals, hotels and other areas of multiple occupancy which are prone to steam and dust. The WES wireless fire alarm system featuring the Nittan detectors has been installed into the communal and welfare areas of NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol.
Following the enforced lockdown restrictions introduced to help combat the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, SSAIB took the decision to continue to offer certification by embracing new technology and migrating over to remote auditing. With the remote audit process now having been in place for two months, SSAIB spoke with Heather Martin – operations manager of SSAIB-registered firm Southern Fire Alarms Ltd - to discuss their own remote audit conducted during the height of lockdown last month. Annual BAFE SP203-1 audit conducted The West Sussex-based company – who have been SSAIB-registered to install fire alarms since April 2008 – were due to have their annual BAFE SP203-1 on April 22, but saw this changed to a remote audit when it was clear that it was no longer possible for auditor Stephen Jenkins to conduct a visit in person on that date. Despite some initial apprehension about this new development - after initially wanting to postpone the audit following lockdown - Heather revealed that she is now pleased they were able to go ahead with it when they did. First-Ever Remote audit Heather commented: “I was very apprehensive beforehand and thought it would be easier to just extend it for six months - as an audit was the last thing we wanted to be doing with the other business changes we were needing to implement. However – in hindsight – I’m so glad we have done it.” “By doing it now, it means that we can carry on for another 12 months and we’re not trying to scramble with everyone else to get in for an audit in six months’ time – as I’m sure there’d be much more of a backlog had SSAIB not switched to remote audits.” The actual remote audit was less time-consuming than normal, to be honest" With regard to the audit process itself, Heather commented: “The system that SSAIB have put in place was easy to navigate and the guidance document was clear in relation to the evidence that required uploading.” Faster remote audit than normal “On the day of the audit, our auditor Stephen called promptly to explain how he would work through the documents. He then called again the following day to summarize his findings.” “The actual remote audit was less time-consuming than normal, to be honest. I had already uploaded everything that we needed to beforehand, so Stephen called promptly at the start of the day to explain how he would work through the documents." “Therefore, in that sense, I actually gained quite a lot of the time that would have otherwise been spent on a normal audit.” COVID-19 impact on work Being ushered into a remote audit isn’t the only change that SFA – who recently celebrated their 20th anniversary – have had to make due to the continuing battle to contain the coronavirus. However, Heather believes that the company’s “loyal core of key personnel” is their secret weapon to help them negotiate the difficult time we all find ourselves in at present. Heather added: “We’ve had to make quite significant changes to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, we have had to furlough some of our engineers and maintain a skeleton staff in the office. With social distancing, everything has had to be kept at a minimum so we’ve got people working from home as well.” A balance between safety for all of our staff and ensuring the survival of the company" “In some respects, we’re very lucky that we have a low turnover of staff – as it means we have a loyal core of key personnel that have been able to carry on and ensure everything runs as smoothly as it can during this time.” Servicing, emergency breakdowns on "Without that commitment of those key staff members, we simply would not have got through this. It’s not been easy, but we’re working together – as it’s a balance between safety for all of our staff and ensuring the survival of the company.” “We are still carrying out servicing, emergency breakdowns and critical works. We’re just having to adapt, day-to-day and customer-to-customer, to decide whether we can go in and carry out work.” Despite the impact that COVID-19 has had on the Bognor Regis-based installation company – who also added Security Systems to their SSAIB scope of certification in October 2017 – Heather insisted that SFA’s certification with SSAIB was still of the utmost importance and that it was necessary for themselves and the wider industry to remain as a third-party certified organization. Industry-Accreditation Heather said: “I think it’s really important to ensure that we continue our certification with SSAIB during this time – as there is going to be an end to this at some stage and that’ll bring a lot of work, some of which will be tendered. If we don’t have the certification when that end date arrives then we’ll miss out, it’s as simple as that.” “I also think it’s important for the industry as a whole that we have accreditation and that standards are maintained– especially in the current climate.” Reaping benefits of the audit “Of course, other companies might not be in the fortunate situation we are with being able to continue with their certification at this time. However, I’d say those companies who are able to carry on like ourselves will reap the rewards of doing so when everything starts picking up again.” The whole world is still waiting to see how long this pandemic will last, the overall effect it will have on us all, the everyday lives and the various economies around the globe, but Heather – who has worked within the industry for over two decades - revealed that her own post-lockdown plans are a lot more down-to-earth and personal.
To support the COVID-19 site, and despite the warehouse being closed for a stock take, Apollo Fire Detectors personally delivered the essential fire safety equipment the day after the order was placed. Headley Court, in Surrey, will re-open and serve as a temporary community hospital for patients needing rehabilitation or convalescence, those receiving end-of-life care, as well as those who are recovering from COVID-19 and do not require critical or acute hospital care. COVID-19 patients rehabilitation or convalescence The Headley Court facility closed in 2018 and the existing fire systems were no longer viable. Detect Fire & Security Ltd were appointed by Corrigenda Facilities Services to install a new fire system into nine buildings in just four weeks and chose the XP95 from Apollo Fire Detectors. It took four weeks to complete the installation in nine buildings Joe Presswell, Technical Manager from Detect Fire & Security Ltd, explained: “The site was already configured with ward space and other clinical areas, so it was ideal to be converted for use as a community hospital. Upon initial site survey, it was a relatively straight-forward installation, simply swapping the equipment and reprogramming the system onto the new Advanced Electronics addressable fire panels. But the timescales were understandably hugely demanding. We were originally asked to work on three buildings, but this soon changed to nine buildings, with the order in which they were expected to be completed changing throughout the installation. Apollo were fantastic partners to work with, ensuring good stock levels at all times and accommodating all our requirements.” Mr. Presswell continued: “It took four weeks to complete the installation in nine buildings. In normal circumstances it would take around three weeks per building. This was a brilliant team effort.” life-saving devices Nicolas Duke, Operations Director at Apollo Fire Detectors said: “The Apollo team has always prided itself on its level of customer service and flexibility. Working with Detect Fire & Security on the Headley Court project was a prime example of this. Thanks to the fantastic support and dedication of our operations staff - continuing to work on our life-saving devices through all of the coronavirus crisis - we were able to maintain our stock levels of key products." "The first order arrived on a day when manufacturing was closed due to stock take, therefore it was actually packed and made ready for next day pick-up by the Apollo Leadership Team. We are all proud of the contribution that Apollo and our customers have made to the national response to the virus.” Mike Sutton, Sales Manager at Apollo Fire Detectors said: “Communication and teamwork were the keys to the success of this project. We really pulled out all the stops to help make this project come together so quickly. I personally delivered the first batch of products to site and our board of directors’ members were packing boxes in the warehouse to ensure the project could start on time. We’re delighted that the new facility is now fully protected, and patients can be cared for in a safe environment.”
Teamwork, flexibility and a commitment to customer service have resulted in Apollo Fire Detectors being installed, commissioned and in operation in just four weeks at a former defense medical rehabilitation center that is being transformed into a community-style hospital for use during the coronavirus pandemic. Headley Court To support the COVID-19 site, and despite the warehouse being closed for a stock take, Apollo Fire Detectors ensured the essential fire safety equipment was personally delivered the day after the order was placed. Headley Court, in Surrey, will re-open and serve as a temporary community hospital for patients Headley Court, in Surrey, will re-open and serve as a temporary community hospital for patients needing rehabilitation or convalescence, along with those receiving end of life care, as well as patients who are recovering from COVID-19 and do not require critical or acute hospital care service. XP95 addressable fire detectors installed The Headley Court facility closed in 2018 and the existing fire systems at the site were no longer viable. Detect Fire & Security Ltd was appointed by Corrigenda Facilities Services to install a new fire safety system in nine buildings in just four weeks. They chose the XP95 addressable fire detectors from Apollo Fire Detectors. Joe Presswell, Technical Manager from Detect Fire & Security Ltd explained, “The site was already configured with ward space and other clinical areas, so it was ideal to be converted for use as a community hospital. Upon initial site survey, it was a relatively straight-forward installation, simply swapping the equipment and reprogramming the system onto the new Advanced Electronics addressable fire panels.” Essential fire safety equipment He adds, “But the timescales were understandably hugely demanding. We were originally asked to work on three buildings, but this soon changed to nine buildings, with the order in which they were expected to be completed changing throughout the installation.” Joe further said, “Apollo were fantastic partners to work with, ensuring good stock levels at all times and accommodating all our requirements. It took four weeks to complete the installation in nine buildings. In normal circumstances, it would take around three weeks per building. This was a brilliant team effort.” Enhancing staff and patients safety The Apollo team has always prided itself on its level of customer service and flexibility" Nicolas Duke, Operations Director at Apollo Fire Detectors said, “The Apollo team has always prided itself on its level of customer service and flexibility. Working with Detect Fire & Security Ltd. on the Headley Court project was a prime example of this.” He adds, “Thanks to the fantastic support and dedication of our operations staff, continuing to work on our life saving devices through the entire coronavirus crisis, we were able to maintain our stock levels of key products”. Nicolas concluded, “The first order arrived on a day when manufacturing was closed due to stock take, therefore it was actually packed and made ready for next day pick-up by the Apollo Leadership Team. We are all proud of the contribution that Apollo and our customers have made to the national response to the virus.” Communication and teamwork Mike Sutton, Sales Manager at Apollo Fire Detectors said, “Communication and teamwork were the keys to the success of the Headley Court project. We really pulled out all the stops to help make this project come together so quickly.” Mike adds, “I personally delivered the first batch of products to site and our Managing Director was packing boxes in the warehouse to ensure the project could start on time. We’re delighted that the new facility is now fully protected, and patients can be cared for in a safe environment.”
Sigma XT gas suppression panels, manufactured by Kentec Electronics, a globally renowned manufacturer of life-critical control systems, are protecting NHS staff and patients at the Louisa Jordan NHS Facility Glasgow, located at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC), which provides more than 500 COVID-19 beds. Vipond Fire UK Ltd. installed the fire safety systems within a seven-day turnaround. The system includes a total of seven Sigma XT gas suppression panels, and 32 detectors located within the electrical room that serves the 10,000m2 facility. Sigma XT gas suppression panels Kentec’s Sigma XT gas suppression panels provide three initiation circuits as standard, which means the release of the extinguishant can be configured to activate from any combination of detection zone inputs to allow specific and controlled activations. It also features a large LED display, simplifying configuration and displaying the time remaining until release for added user safety. Gary White, Fire Alarm & Gas Suppression Manager at Vipond Fire UK Ltd, says that Kentec was an obvious choice for this installation. Easy configuration and installation Kentec is known for reliability and customers find its panels are easy to use and configure" Gary said, “Kentec is known for reliability and customers find its panels are easy to use and configure. And with time being a major factor in this installation, speed was critical.” He adds, “As Kentec is a UK manufacturer, we knew panels would not have to be imported and as a long-standing customer, we also knew they would do everything needed to ensure panels were delivered on time. Despite working around the Easter weekend, we were able to install on schedule.” Healthcare facility security Kevin Swann, Managing Director of Kentec, says he is immensely proud that Kentec panels are protecting such a critical facility. Kevin said, “The Sigma XT range is well suited to major healthcare facilities for its capacity, robust reliability and our brand’s signature intuitive user interface.” He adds, “It is testament to the skill, expertise and planning that Vipond were able to install in such a short time period and we are extremely pleased to have been able to support them in their mission. Working in line with Covid-19 regulations Kevin further stated, “The installation acts as an excellent example of how manufacturers and installers within the fire industry are working together, in line with COVID-19 regulations, to ensure that essential installation and maintenance of fire systems can go ahead.” Kentec Electronics is based in Kent, from conception at its global R&D facility in Rochester to its factory and offices based in Dartford, employing approximately 250 people.