Electrical Fire Safety
It is the legal duty of the responsible person in any building to make the evacuation of disabled people equal to that for able-bodied people, as Anthony Smith, Managing Director of Vox Ignis, explains. When the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was first introduced in 1995, it gave disabled people long overdue access to goods and services, education, employment, transport and accommodation. This was, subsequently, incorporated into the Equality Act in 2010. Evacuation of mobility impaired pe...
In May 2021, sparks in a ventilator ignited a deadly blaze in the intensive care unit of a COVID-19 treatment building at an Indian hospital. Investigations into the incident later revealed a variety of gaps in the building’s fire protection measures. While incidents of this severity are thankfully relatively rare, this tragic example serves to remind us of the particular risks associated with healthcare settings. The presence of countless fire hazards, the difficulties of effectively m...
Wildland fires are an increasing threat in the United Kingdom. They’re high risk, difficult to manage, and create a set of very particular circumstances for firefighters, who are battling the blaze. And with wildland call-outs measured in days, rather than hours, fire services need a kit that’s as tough as the terrain that they’re working on. Defender wildland firefighting suit FlamePro, a British manufacturing specialist of life-saving garments for firefighters, has unveiled...
A new handheld device can detect the presence of explosive methane gas from up to 100 feet away. For firefighters, the tool provides situational awareness, saves time, and ensures safety from a distance. Knowing the presence of methane gas enables a firefighter to deal with an emergency gas leak and to avoid a deadly explosion. Gas laser The Gas Laser from Teledyne Gas and Flame Detection can shoot a laser beam through a window, a gap in a door, or another common venting point to provide an in...
Volunteer firefighters who are also National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) members have one final chance to enter and win a personalized MSA Safety Incorporated’s MSA Cairns XF1 Fire Helmet. This is the last of three helmets that will be given out in 2021. MSA Cairns XF1 Fire Helmet The jet-style design of the Cairns XF1 Fire Helmet reduces snag hazards, provides a personalized fit, and houses its own integrated light module. Plus, the soft goods are removable, washable, and replaceable,...
Electric bikes and scooters are a newly popular way to travel through urban environments. However, the nifty devices come with a fire risk that could be deadly. In London, firefighters have responded to more than 25 fires, involving e-bikes or e-scooters in recent months, some of them significant incidents with serious injuries. Lithium-ion batteries pose fire risks The fire hazards of e-bikes and e-scooters stem from their use of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can erupt into flames....
Armstrong Fluid Technology has unveiled its industry-renowned Design Envelope Fire Pump unit, along with Fire Pump Manager, a new and connected service for tracking pump performance. In addition to providing important new safety benefits, Armstrong’s new Design Envelope Fire Pump holds the distinction of being the first self-regulating, variable-speed fire pump, to meet NFPA-20 (2019 Edition), Section 4.8 standards. variable-speed fire pump This innovation allows simplification of the piping design for a safer, more economical fire suppression system" “As the first and only self-regulating, variable-speed fire pump available, the Armstrong Design Envelope Fire Pump offers unique points of value for customers. Key among these are the cost savings and performance improvements that result from eliminating many pressure-reducing valves from the sprinkler system,” said Steven Baird, Marketing Manager, Fire Products, Building Systems Solutions at Armstrong. He adds, “This innovation allows simplification of the piping design for a safer, more economical fire suppression system.” Design Envelope Fire Pump Some of the benefits of Design Envelope Fire Pump with Fire Pump Manager and self-regulating, variable-speed technology include: Cost-savings of up to US$ 1,500 per sprinkler branch, per floor, from the elimination of PRVs, Increased design flexibility Increased reliability and safety supported by real-time and historic test and performance data Ability to predict and report potential equipment failure that could result in expensive damage and/or loss of life Reduction of the number of zones in a sprinkler system and the potential elimination of storage tanks Help with fire systems having large differentials between static and residual pressures Armstrong 360 Service and Support solutions Through Active Performance Management and Armstrong 360 Service and Support solutions, Armstrong Fluid Technology believes engineers, contractors, and owners will get the best possible performance and value from fire safety systems, at every phase in the lifecycle of a building. Steven Baird stated, “The new Fire Pump Manager feature helps to ensure safe, reliable performance in fire suppression systems, and provides complete transparency into the testing and reliability of the pump.” As part of the launch program, a complimentary one-year subscription to Fire Pump Manager will be included in the purchase price of the solution.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to assist the state of California in combating the French Fire burning in Kern County. On Aug. 24, the state of California submitted a request for a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) for the French Fire. At the time of the request, the fire threatened approximately 4,000 homes in and around Wofford Heights and Kernville. Fire threat The fire also threatened dozens of businesses, schools, a fire station, wildfire alert cameras, cell towers, power and transmission lines, and the Alta Sierra water tanks, which provide water to residents and firefighting hydrants in the area. The FEMA regional administrator approved the state’s request on Aug. 24, as the fire threatened to become a major incident. Approved Grant FMAGs provide federal funding for up to 75 percent of eligible firefighting costs. The Disaster Relief Fund provides allowances for FMAGs through FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause major disasters. Eligible costs covered by FMAGs can include expenses for field camps, equipment use, materials, supplies and mobilization, and demobilization activities attributed to fighting the fire.
For the second year, DripDrop Hydration (DripDrop ORS), a renowned rehydration therapy company, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), the global association representing the volunteer fire, EMS (Emergency Medical Services), and rescue services, have teamed up to provide dehydration relief to volunteer firefighters. Oral rehydration solution (ORS) DripDrop is providing 200,000 sticks of their oral rehydration solution (ORS) to volunteer fire departments across the U.S. The donation comes as fire departments continue to battle severe wildfires, summer heat, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Through the donation, volunteer firefighters can request one 80-count multi-flavor package of DripDrop ORS, to use in their department, during wildfire response, long incidents, intense training, or other strenuous work. Dehydration affects up to 75 percent of the U.S. population at any given time, and firefighters are at great risk of dehydration, due to the extreme work conditions that they face. DripDrop ORS DripDrop ORS improves on the World Health Organization standard for an ORS with medical-grade electrolytes DripDrop ORS improves on the World Health Organization standard for an ORS with medical-grade electrolytes, making it both the ideal rehydration therapy for the general population and a mission-critical tool for firefighters and other public safety and emergency workers. “No one is immune to dehydration and the effects it can have on our bodies, particularly those who work in extreme conditions like firefighters,” said Eduardo Dolhun, Managing Director and Founder of DripDrop Hydration, adding “We are proud to partner with the NVFC and provide these brave heroes with DripDrop’s ORS, to help them stay healthy and maintain proper hydration levels.” Dehydration, serious health concern for firefighters “Dehydration is a very serious health concern for firefighters,” said NVFC’s Chair, Steve Hirsch, adding “Dehydration can lead to negative consequences, such as decreased performance, weakness and muscle fatigue, dizziness, confusion, and even heat stroke or heart attack.” Steve Hirsch adds, “These impacts are especially risky for firefighters, as lives are on the line. We are grateful to DripDrop for this donation, to provide a much-needed safety measure, to keep our firefighters performing safely and effectively.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to assist the state of California in combating the Monument Fire burning in Trinity County. On August 17, 2021, the State of California submitted a request for a Fire Management Assistance Grant declaration for the Monument Fire burning in Trinity County. At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 5,053 residential structures in and around Junction City, Weaverville, Hayfork, and Douglas City, with a total population of around 5,524. Fire threat Approximately 85 percent of the threatened homes were primary residences. The fire was also threatening 400 commercial structures, the Trinity Water System, 40,000 acres of commercial timberland, the Trinity River Lumber Company, County Fire, Sheriff’s Office, Cal Hwy Patrol, Cal Transportation, and major power transmission lines. The FEMA regional administrator approved the state’s request on August 17, as the fire threatened to become a major incident. Approved Grant FMAGs provide federal funding for up to 75 percent of eligible firefighting costs. The Disaster Relief Fund provides allowances for FMAGs through FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause major disasters. Eligible costs covered by FMAGs can include expenses for field camps, equipment use, materials, supplies and mobilization, and demobilization activities attributed to fighting the fire.
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2021 Annual Fire Service Achievement Awards. NVFC’s awards recipients Theodore Schroll Jr. will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by ADT, Robert James will receive the Chief James P. Seavey Sr. Health and Wellness Leadership Award, co-sponsored by VFIS and Ward Diesel Filter Systems, Paige Davis will receive the Junior Firefighter of the Year Award, sponsored by California Casualty, and the Colonia Volunteer Fire Department Explorer Program will receive the Junior Firefighter Program of the Year Award, sponsored by California Casualty. It is with great pleasure that we recognize the incredible work of our 2021 award winners" “The past year has tested our nation in many ways, but one thing we can always rely on is the dedication, resilience, and exceptional service provided by our nation’s volunteer firefighters and EMS providers,” said NVFC’s Chair Steve Hirsch. Steve adds, “It is with great pleasure that we recognize the incredible work of our 2021 award winners and highlight the amazing achievements of those who give so much to help their communities.” 2021 Annual Fire Service Achievement Awards A celebration luncheon to honor the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement, Chief James P. Seavey Sr. Health and Wellness Leadership, and Junior Firefighter of the Year awards will take place during the NVFC’s fall meeting scheduled on October 15, 2021, in Jackson, Wyoming. The recipient of the Junior Firefighter Program of the Year will be presented with their award at their department this fall, so that all their junior firefighters may attend. The recipients of the NVFC’s 2021 Annual Fire Service Achievement Awards are as follows: Asst. Chief Theodore ‘Ted’ Schroll Jr. - NVFC Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by ADT Ret. Asst. Chief Ted Schroll has never ‘just belonged’ to anything that he has been involved with. He is a dedicated fire service volunteer and works hard on any assignment, to make things better. Ted joined Wethersfield Fire Department in 1960, in Connecticut, working his way up from Firefighter to Acting Chief, and his energy and dedication are just as strong in 2021. Active member of the fire services Although, Ted Schroll retired as Acting Chief in 1999, he remains an active member of the fire department. He has shared his knowledge within his local department, the Connecticut State Firefighters Association (CSFA), and at the Connecticut State Capitol. Ted Schroll has served in all the executive positions for the state association, as well as served as CSFA’s legislative representative for over 25 years. Due to his thorough understanding of the legislative process, he was able to represent CSFA without missing a beat, during the COVID-19 pandemic and switch to online meetings. CSFA and the fire service representative Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ted Schroll spent countless hours at the state capitol, representing CSFA and the fire service Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ted Schroll spent countless hours at the state capitol, representing CSFA and the fire service. He has been aggressive to secure not only legislation, but also funding for construction and rehabilitation of Connecticut’s regional fire schools. He was instrumental, along with Chief John McAuliffe, in securing state legislation that prohibits career departments from forbidding their employees from volunteering in the communities that they live in. Due to his legislative expertise, he has been a resource to many other state fire associations, as well as the NVFC for legislative questions or concerns. CSFA’s Assistant Secretary Ted Schroll also currently serves as CSFA’s Assistant Secretary and Credentials Committee Chair. He is pivotal in organizing the yearly convention and makes it a family affair with his wife, children, and even grandson assisting the credentials committee at the convention. He was inducted into the Connecticut State Firefighters Hall of Fame in 2010. In addition to his work in the fire service, Ted served active duty in the United States Air Force until 1960 and is a past President of the New England Section of the International Municipal Signalman's Association (IMSA). Schroll has exemplified commitment and dedication to the fire service on the local, state, and national levels for over 61 years and will continue to do so for many more. Captain Robert ‘RJ’ James - NVFC Chief James P. Seavey Sr. Health and Wellness Leadership Award, co-sponsored by VFIS and Ward Diesel Filter Systems Captain Robert James is a 20-year veteran of the fire service. He started as a volunteer firefighter with the Cromwell Fire Department, before relocating to Maryland, where he joined the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department (RVFD), one of the busiest fire stations in Montgomery County. Mentor to young firefighters and EMTs In addition to volunteering, Robert James is a full time employee of the Frederick County Fire Rescue (FCFR) Division, Rescue Squad 3, where he leads the Advanced Technical Rescue Team. In July 2021 he was promoted to lieutenant. As a volunteer, Robert James has received numerous citations and awards from the RVFD and the State of Maryland. He hit the ground running, receiving his first award on his first week on the job, after making a life-saving rescue. His service and dedication have not slowed since. He is a mentor to young firefighters and EMTs, making safety his top priority. Rescue and hazardous materials operations expert Robert James is an expert in many areas, including firefighter survival and rescue and hazardous materials operations Robert James is an expert in many areas, including firefighter survival and rescue and hazardous materials operations, but he is especially proficient in technical rescue and trench operations. He uses his extensive knowledge and skill to mentor new recruits and seasoned professionals. He takes the utmost care in teaching them the necessary skills, while at the same time making their personal safety the primary factor in every aspect of his training programs. Robert travels across the country to teach, train and mentor. In his spare time, he has a podcast, where he discusses best practices for firefighter safety. Commitment to craft and training Because of Robert James’ commitment to his craft and the training that he provides, his fellow firefighters are safer and smarter, which allows them to better deal with the incidents that they face. It also makes them safer and better able to protect themselves now, so as to prevent physical or heath issues later in life. Robert James is a natural leader, which is why he is such a successful firefighter, EMT, trainer, and mentor. He is an inspiration to all who know him and always has his fellow firefighters’ safety and wellness at the forefront of everything he does. Paige Davis - NVFC Junior Firefighter of the Year, sponsored by California Casualty ‘Servant Leadership’ was the title of one of Paige Davis’ recent speeches to her cadets, and that leadership philosophy is befitting for her. She is the first to step up, help, pitch-in, and teach, even if there is no recognition. Davis always cheers for her competition, does the right thing, and acts with honesty and integrity. Bartlett Hackberry Township Fire Department’s junior program When Paige Davis joined the junior program at Bartlett Hackberry Township Fire Department (Bartlett, KS), on her 12th birthday, it was amid a major transition of juniors graduating into regular firefighter positions. This gap created the need for someone to step up and learn to lead, and she answered that call. Throughout this period, the community suffered from a prolific arsonist and experienced several of the worst fires in its history. Keeping safety at the forefront, Paige Davis and other juniors were called upon to assist the department in many ways, during this intense time, until the arsonist was caught. She then helped the junior program transition back from ‘busy’ to ‘normal’, by keeping members active and involved. Cadet & Junior Apprentice Firefighter Program lead She has led the fire department’s Cadet & Junior Apprentice Firefighter Program since 2019 When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and everything changed once again, Paige Davis was a vital force in helping the fire department respond to the new challenges. She has led the fire department’s Cadet & Junior Apprentice Firefighter Program since 2019. Paige is also actively involved in many department activities, including training, mentoring, and recruiting cadets, installing smoke detectors, assisting with fire prevention education, maintaining the department’s PPE inventory tracking system, and managing department technology, including Active911, group chats, and video meetings. Active member of Advisory Board She is also a member of an advisory board that is developing a 25-year plan for the department’s future. Even off-duty, Paige Davis always does what she can to help others. On May 10, 2020, her quick actions saved the life of a toddler who was wondering in the middle of a roadway, when she and her father were driving by. She is actively involved in organizations that work to strengthen and reinforce a sense of community, responsibility, and service, including 4H, FFA, and Civil Air Patrol. As an incoming high school senior, accomplished athlete, and barrel racer with world standings, she encourages others to be involved with their communities during her travels. Colonia Fire Department Explorer Program - NVFC Junior Firefighter Program of the Year, sponsored by California Casualty Colonia Fire Department’s Explorer Post The Colonia Fire Department’s Explorer Post is a vibrant, long-running program that has provided numerous benefits to the fire department and the community. The program is also the primary source of new members for the department, with many of the current members being former explorers. The explorers learn firefighting methods, equipment, and apparatus through training and drills. By participating in community service activities, these young people have become ambassadors of their community and the department, as they prepare for college and life after high school. Ohio Youth Fire & EMS Training Academy (OYFETA) For the past 11 years, the Colonia explorers have participated in the Ohio Youth Fire & EMS Training Academy (OYFETA) For the past 11 years, the Colonia explorers have participated in the Ohio Youth Fire & EMS Training Academy (OYFETA), a week-long event that takes place at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio. Taking a group of teenagers, raised in New Jersey, to a rural college campus several hundred miles away and embedding them with a similar group of teenagers from Ohio and other states, has helped them develop communication skills and behaviors expected of older young adults. Department leaders, academy staff, and parents have consistently said that attendees have returned as responsible teenagers, with improved outlooks on life and education, along with enhanced social and behavioral skills, and a recognition that effort results in success and reward. They quickly learn to behave like a firefighter, work collectively as a team, support those that fall behind, and learn from those who know more. Colonia Fire Department’s Junior Fire Academy program In addition, the Colonia Fire Department’s Junior Fire Academy program is a recruitment/community activity that highlights the OYFETA attendees. Designed to spur interest in the Explorer program, 7th and 8th grade students are invited to experience the physical skills and activities of a firefighter over two days. OYFETA graduates are paired with firefighters to serve as instructors. The success of the Colonia Explorer program has led to other fire departments seeking out their assistance, in creating or improving their own junior/Explorer programs. However, the greatest measure of the program’s success can be seen in the substantial number of former Explorers who are now in full-time fire and emergency services positions, in communities in New Jersey and across the country.
Bosch Security Systems has announced the release of new Aviotec firmware version 7.81 that comprises AI algorithms, which can now detect fire and smoke in changing weather and light conditions. Aviotec firmware version 7.81 The AI algorithms have been developed further in the Aviotec firmware version 7.81, in order to ensure reliability for sheltered outdoor areas. The fire risk in these areas and nearby buildings can now be reduced with intelligent, fast and reliable detection. In the past, only indoor areas could be effectively covered by fire and smoke detection devices. Customers with premises extending from buildings to outdoor sheltered constructions, however, have long been concerned with the potential for fires igniting outdoors. Enhanced outdoor fire detection capabilities The new outdoor fire detection capabilities of Aviotec are particularly valuable to the industry with outdoor storage areas Strong sunlight on high fire loads, such as stacked cardboard, for instance, can generate smoldering and kindle a fire. Risks are higher in dry conditions and with flammable chemicals on site, and hazardous substances can combust or emit toxic fumes, posing further threats to personnel, assets and the environment. Therefore, the new outdoor fire detection capabilities of Aviotec are particularly valuable to the industry with outdoor storage areas. “Finally, we can offer a solution to overcome the challenges and pain points that customers have been raising for years,” explains Theresa Grunewald, Aviotec Global Business Developer at Bosch Security Systems, adding “Aviotec video cameras can now offer dependable, 24/7 protection of entire premises, both indoors and sheltered outdoors.” High reliability in changing weather conditions Changing outdoor conditions are influenced by weather patterns and pose specific challenges to common fire and smoke detectors. For example, wind can prevent smoke from rising to a detector installed on a ceiling. Aviotec detects directly at the fire source, therefore, avoiding the need for smoke or heat to migrate to the sensor. Installed in housing that complies with IP 66 IK10, and NEMA 4X (National Emergency Management Association) standards, Aviotec is protected against rainfall or dust. Built-in Intelligent Video Analytics Aviotec’s sensitivity addresses dim light and night-time conditions together with additional infrared lighting. These qualities go beyond the limits of traditional smoke and fire detectors, especially across sheltered outdoor areas. Open, outdoor constructions, such as industrial storage areas, are more vulnerable to vandalism and theft than indoor areas. In addition to flame and smoke detection, Aviotec provides built-in Intelligent Video Analytics for security surveillance. It recognizes intruders and helps to keep entire premises safe from risks and hazards from the outside in. Operators who are already using an Aviotec solution can upgrade to the new version with a free firmware update.
The greatest fire risk to waste and recycling businesses is, without doubt, battery waste. You can find batteries everywhere – in children’s toys, mobile phones and other general WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) that gets processed through waste streams, as well as in machinery and vehicles as part of the move towards more sustainable operations. And where there are batteries, there are fire risks. James Mountain, sales and marketing director, Fire Shield Systems, highlights the many risks that batteries present to waste and recycling companies and reveals how these issues can be overcome. What are the risks associated with battery waste? No matter their size, shape or form, the main concern with any battery is thermal runaway. This occurs when a fault in the battery cells (due to damage, overvoltage or mechanical failure) produces excess heat. In turn, this creates more heat which rapidly increases the battery’s temperature. In this state, if the battery isn’t controlled quickly it can self-propagate, creating its own oxygen source to propel the flames. This then spreads between cells, producing large fires, toxic gas emissions and in some cases, explosions. A battery in this state is extremely difficult to control or extinguish. Normally, after entering thermal runaway, the battery will be self-contained and left to burn out over time. As a result, machinery, equipment or any other valuable assets nearby will most likely be lost and there’ll be a lengthy period of operational downtime. The greatest fire risk to waste and recycling businesses is, without doubt, battery waste How are the risks arising? Waste and recycling sites are having to deal with a rising number of batteries in their waste streams due to our rapidly growing consumption of electronics. The risk is everywhere – even different types of metal have electrical components that must be removed first before they can be recycled. This is quickly becoming a big problem. It has been made evident over recent months, from the multitude of waste and recycling fires starting from batteries, that there’s often insufficient protection in place. For example, at waste sites that produce sustainable fuels, like RDF (refuse-derived fuel) and SRF (solid recovered fuel), waste streams are screened for batteries before they reach shredding. However, these screenings aren’t always successful. When a battery is missed – which can often occur – it inevitably becomes damaged by the shredder, triggering the first phase of thermal runaway. When the battery then becomes mixed in with the highly combustible RDF and SRF, it creates the perfect conditions for a fire. Similar problems occur at waste transfer stations. Fires frequently occur on sites that are transferring waste with undetected batteries in it. These batteries are highly susceptible to thermal runaway. They could be hit unknowingly by loading shovels, crushed by heavy machinery or they might become water damaged, for example. What’s the solution? The batteries themselves won’t be getting safer any time soon in regard to their manufacture. Industry guidance is in place to help control risks, with specific advice for waste companies. However, there are still no legal requirements regarding the management of battery fire risks for waste and recycling companies. The Environment Agency (EA) is encouraging sites to assess their individual risks and implement a fire prevention plan (FPP) to minimise them, in an attempt to improve safety standards for waste and recycling businesses. Prevention and suppression solutions Ultimately, the goal is to prevent the occurrence of thermal runaway by cooling and controlling potential battery fire risks, in order to minimise the risk to surrounding combustible materials. There are still no legal requirements regarding the management of battery fire risks for waste and recycling companies. However, waste processing moves rapidly and involves many different processes joined together, including bailing, sorting, conveyors and shredders, which creates many different risks that need to be addressed. This also makes it very challenging to identify battery fire risks with traditional detection systems. It’s evident after working with many companies in the sector that heat detection systems are best for waste businesses in terms of identifying and suppressing battery fires. Thermal imaging, liner heat detection and infra-red heat detection are systems that can work in combination with the waste processing stream. If these systems identify excess heat on the conveyor belts, they send a signal to shut down the whole process. Then, local applications, like cannons or deluge systems, can be used to suppress the risk, minimising any damage to surrounding assets whilst causing minimal disruption to the waste process. What will preventing battery fires do? The threat that batteries pose to waste businesses is real and rising. Preventing that risk with the appropriate fire protection: Ensures team safety Reduces downtime Prevents valuable assets from being lost. As our electrical consumption increases, so too does the amount of electrical equipment that we dispose of, which means that the fire risk is only going to rise. To learn more, or to book a free site risk assessment, visit Fire Shield Systems or call 0800 975 5767.
Fire conditions and extrication events that firefighters arrive at today are very different from the conditions faced years ago. According to research at Underwriter Laboratories (UL), modern homes contain larger quantities of petroleum-based products and plastics that burn faster and hotter versus traditional and more natural materials. Rapid fire spread The result is more rapid and hotter fire growth with exponential increases in heat generation, smoke production and toxicity. Faster flashover and fire propagation, coupled with shorter times to collapse and shorter resident escape times, have changed what firefighters encounter in the average fire and its increased risk to their crews. On the other side, extrication calls are also on the rise, with multiple risks and an ever-present chance for fire, like with newer electric vehicles. New risks call for new and improved stationwear When the call comes in, firefighters rely on their turnout gear (TOG) for protection When the call comes in, firefighters rely on their turnout gear (TOG) for protection, but serious burn injury can occur right through the TOG. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) conducted a study that concluded stationwear contributes to overall thermal protection. However, depending upon the stationwear’s fiber content and material fabrication, it may also contribute to possible burn injuries. “Our goal at DuPont is to increase firefighters’ safety and we have dedicated years of study to ensuring what they are wearing under their turnout gear doesn’t contribute to more severe injury, as is the case with polyester and to a lesser degree, cotton,” said Jeff Fackler, North American Business Development Director for DuPont. Facing multiple thermal hazards As firefighters face multiple thermal hazards, they rely on the protective properties of their uniform to keep them safe. NFPA notes that the second leading cause of firefighter injuries in the United States is exposure to heat and smoke. Unfortunately, there has been a lack of reporting data that would help explain the severity, type and specific contributing factors, such as the clothing worn underneath the structural firefighting ensemble. Many authorities leave the choice up to the firefighters to determine what stationwear ensemble is to be worn underneath the structural turnout suit. According to the NFPA, the problem with this approach is the lack of knowledge about the risks of wearing non-certified garments, such as synthetics, and the lack of information focusing on factors that contribute to burn injuries. “We are working with DuPont to educate ourselves on how certified performance garments can help reduce risk of further injury during a fire or extrication,” said Spotsylvania, Virginia Fire Deputy Chief of Support Services, Jason Irby, adding “Stationwear is the last line of defense and the evidence is hard to ignore.” New Research in Preventing Injuries DuPont has worked to add to the level of research and discussion around how turnout gear and stationwear can help protect firefighters. DuPont scientists created Thermo-Man, a life-size manikin with 122 thermal sensors used to predict level, extent and location of potential burns of whole garments in simulated flame exposures. The goal is to test material selection and garment designs, and balance protection, mobility and heat stress. “What we found was that fire will exploit any gaps in turnout gear that may be created as the firefighter bends, climbs and crawls during the firefight,” said Jeff Fackler, adding “As a result, serious burn injury can occur right through the turnout gear, and the role of flame-resistant stationwear is to reduce the severity of that injury. In short, what you wear underneath your gear really does matter.” Stationwear made from Thermo-Man and Nomex Findings showed that garments made with Nomex will not melt, drip or support combustion, compared to 100% cotton DuPont tested stationwear garments using Thermo-Man to analyze and predict the levels of thermal protection that it provides. Stationwear made with Nomex brand fiber is compliant with NFPA 1975. Findings showed that garments made with Nomex will not melt, drip or support combustion, compared to 100% cotton, and Nomex helps reduce the predicted burn injury by 50%, when exposed to a three-second flame. Firefighters carry, pull, lug and climb with hundreds of pounds of hoses, ladders and other heavy gear. They have to crawl, squat, roll and duck in split-second decisions about their safety. More and more, they face challenges in extrication situations, where the chance of fire is high. Occupational Athletes Just like professional athletes, their gear has to be both comfortable and performance-based to allow freedom of movement, breathability and injury prevention. Associate Professor at the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences & Technology at UW-Milwaukee Dr. Kyle Ebersole has been studying the unique physical demands of firefighters for over a decade. “Firefighters and first responders are occupational athletes,” explains Kyle Ebersole, adding “Their job has some extraordinary physical and psychological demands.” Performance-enhancing sportswear Performance-enhancing sportswear like you see in the NFL or the Olympics is relatively new to the sports world. However, DuPont has been working on performance fibers for decades that help first responders perform at their best and help reduce the risk of injury. Stationwear made with Nomex fiber cools more effectively due to lower moisture pickup and evaporative resistance. The air permeability helps enable more heat and moisture vapor transmission and increases both cooling and breathability. Enhanced comfort and protection for firefighters This means more comfort and protection to firefighters in wildfire situations, structural rescue and vehicle rescue This means more comfort and protection to firefighters in wildfire situations, structural rescue and vehicle rescue situations. They can fight the fight longer with better performance and less risk of exhaustion. In the sports world, it’s well known that what you wear has a major influence on how your body and muscles move during various levels of activity. For athletes and firefighters alike, “The reality is if you become injured, you can’t work,” said Chief Jason Irby, adding “If I can help my team by providing stationwear that reduces thermal heat, allows them more time to fight a fire or work on getting someone out of a vehicle and it helps prevent burns closest to the skin, it makes total sense.” Technical advances and smart fabrics Technical advances and smart fabrics are making stationwear more comfortable and affordable, while allowing for better body heat regulation and adding protection against injury – helping give extra peace of mind to first responders. “They shouldn’t have to worry if their stationwear and gear is going to protect them,” said Jeff Fackler, adding “And with stationwear made with Nomex, they don’t have to.”
As the demand for UK housing continues to rise, developers and planning authorities are under increasing pressure to deliver the intended UK Government target of 300,000 new homes per year, by the mid-2020s. The need to build as quickly and as cost effectively as possible, unfortunately often leaves little time to invest in developing a thorough understanding of notoriously Byzantine fire safety standards, increasing the risk of serious, potentially fatal, mistakes. firm understanding of fire regulations Fire safety has pride of place on the construction agenda, having been taken more seriously, following the Grenfell Tower fire. However, a collective acknowledgment of the issue alone is not sufficient. It has to be backed with clear knowledge, and a firm understanding of fire regulations should be non-negotiable for all industry professionals. Approved Document B is commonly used by many industry professionals as guidance Broadly speaking, the industry’s understanding of British Standards is good. However, Euroclass standards are fast becoming more widely used. You only have to look to the most recent versions of Approved Document B, Volumes 1 and 2, where Euroclass standards are referred to throughout the main text, while the British standards can only be found in the Appendix. Approved Document B is commonly used by many industry professionals as guidance. I should stress, it’s not a fire testing document, rather it’s meant as an advisory document. As such, additional research and reading around the products specified for each project is essential. Deciphering the differences To help shed some light on the complex world of fire safety standards, our team of fire safety experts has compiled the table below, which concisely defines the Euroclass and UK standards, and explains how they differ. It’s worth noting, before we get started that UK classifications don’t equate with European reaction-to-fire classifications, and vice versa. The two sets of tests are conducted differently, each using its own methodologies and measurements. Moreover, it is important not to assume a product has met a certain standard unless it can be proven that it has been specifically tested to that standard and carries the associated certification. UK classifications don’t equate with European reaction-to-fire classifications, and vice versa The two sets of tests are conducted differently, each using its own methodologies We hope this outline of the key considerations around fire safety standards has started to put your mind at ease, giving you more headspace to navigate the winding path to a robust, fire-safe project. Read part two of this series here.
Given the large global consumption of hydrocarbon fuels across all sectors, the associated risks are constantly expanding. The Allianz Global Corporate Specialty study cites fire and explosion as the largest causes for loss claims filed globally from 2013 - 2018. Fire and explosion Furthermore, fire and explosion are among the top 10 global business risks in 2021. More than 100 major fuel explosions have been reported, since 2019 around the world, most of which were avoidable. The risks are driving an expanding market for fuel explosion prevention systems, although the warning and mitigation solutions previously available in the market offer limited respite. An innovation is the ATOM Explosion Prevention System, by ATOM Alloys, headquartered in Dubai, UAE. ATOM Explosion Prevention System The technology is compliant to NFPA 69 standards and is tested and certified by international agencies The system works with a passive protection module inside fuel containers that does not allow any deflagration to escalate into an explosion. By containing the fire, the system actively prevents loss, reduces disaster risk and gives mitigation systems more time to work better. The technology is compliant to NFPA 69 standards and is tested and certified by international agencies. A range of products has been developed to suit contemporary industry requirements, helping to upgrade to higher standards of explosion safety and to enable efficient transfer and storage of fuels. “At the heart of most fuel explosions sits an unprotected fuel container,” said Ajit Tharoor, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ATOM Alloys, adding “The first fuel tank explosion triggers additional explosions in fuel tanks within the vicinity, thereby multiplying the effect. Our disruptive technological innovation addresses the safety of that unprotected fuel container.” Passive protection module for fuel containers By equipping every fuel container with a passive protection module that is explosion resistant, the technology makes liquid fuel storage and transport tanks explosion resistant. By resisting explosion, ATOM shifts the safety steps from mitigation to hazard prevention. It has multiple product applications, from a jerry can to fuel tankers to bulk storage, which create an ecosystem of safety. Technological innovation to protect workplace and residences “The technological innovation can protect every workplace and residence that uses fuel, from hospitals and malls to schools and industrial complexes, and convert them into zones safe from fuel tank explosion,” said Ajit Tharoor. He adds, “Any explosion wreaks damage and destruction on the business, the community and the environment, but fuel tank explosions can be prevented. For us, it is our purpose, to bring top level explosion safety to everyone who uses fuel.” For firefighters, an explosion prevention system complements their mission and adds another layer of safety, by providing specific advantages, such as: Explosions have a ‘domino effect’ and such incidents generate immense pressure on the firefighting force, in terms of response time, resources and manpower. Resisting explosions without any human intervention can reduce such pressures on the forces and contain the level of damage. At a practical level, in the event of a fire, a protected fuel tank can be accessed easily by firefighters for extinguishing the fire and even decanting fuel from the tank. The explosion prevention system enables industries and communities to equip and take more responsibility themselves, in the prevention of disaster incidents, thus helping firefighting forces to optimize their efforts and work better. Once an explosion is prevented, the safety risks faced by a firefighter are far less, when compared to when they have to handle an explosion, and there is more time to handle fire mitigation interventions. An explosion-resistant retrofit can protect fuel tanks of vehicles that move in explosion hazard spaces. This could be particularly useful for fire vehicles. Innovation in materials science and fire dynamics The technology draws on innovation in materials science, design engineering and fire dynamics. A passive protection module works on the three principles of thermal conductance, flame quenching and structured packing. Made from the intervolving of a reticulated alloy mesh, the patented module works by its passive physical presence in the Deflagration to Detonation Transition (DDT) stage. The ATOM Explosion Prevention System works towards preventing an explosion from happening Fire protection and mitigation systems Unlike the mitigation systems that work after an incident, the ATOM Explosion Prevention System works towards preventing an explosion from happening. It is also different from warning systems, as it works without the requirement of any triggering sensors, chemical reaction or human intervention. While fire protection and mitigation systems have been developed in recent years that address explosions mostly in controlled environments, the tested, proven and certified solution provides a range system of explosion prevention solutions for liquid fuel storage, at industrial scale with cost effectiveness. Additional features of durability, slosh resistance and industrial customization have been incorporated. Specialized sector-based solutions ATOM can be applied at a ready-made product level or as customized process-based integration to existing systems Specialized sector-based solutions have been developed. Essential service providers – data centers, schools, hospitals, hotels, civil defense organizations, etc. are today required to maintain a high level of energy resilience (fuel storage) to avoid service disruption and business interruptions. Such fuel storages are high risk with great volumes of fuel. ATOM can be applied at a ready-made product level or as customized process-based integration to existing systems. Some examples are fuel tankers for the oil and gas industry, mobile fullers for the fuel delivery business, marine fuel tanks for the maritime industry and storage tanks for industrial and civil uses. The defense industry is one of the highest consumers of fuel, and it is required to maintain energy resilience banks as well as store and deliver fuel to militarized/border territories. This places huge demands on supplementary storage and transportation of flammable fuels. Explosion risks faced by defense sector The explosion risks faced by the defense sector are also the highest due to their operations in conflict zones, the presence of highly explosive ammunition in their spaces, and the threats of war, sabotage, and vandalism. Dedicated products for the defense sector include jerry cans, skids, mobile containers, barrels, smart fuel stations, marine fuel tanks and underground built tanks, among others. The explosion prevention system has been granted the Explosion Resistant verification mark by the Underwriters Laboratory. Following successful trials for military application, ATOM has been awarded four patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is registered in PCT countries (most major industrial countries). Explosion prevention system The system has been tested by the Southwest Research Institute, USA and certified by the VCA Dangerous Goods Office, UK The system has been tested by the Southwest Research Institute, USA and certified by the VCA Dangerous Goods Office, UK, Underwriters Laboratories, USA, Bureau Veritas, France, and Emirates Industrial Lab, UAE. It is compliant with NFPA 69, Chapter 14, 2014; ASTM F3429/ F3429 M20; United Nations Rec. on Transfer of Dangerous Goods, Ch. 6.1; IMDG Code and ICAO Technical Instructions. The system has also been registered with WIPO and is in the PCT Registration, Foreign National phase, and the company is a member of the National Propane Gas Association. Asset protection “Every explosion generates damaging effects on the environment in addition to business interruption and losses. The adoption of an explosion prevention system helps organizations and governments fulfill their commitments towards environmental protection, climate change and safety,” said Ajit Tharoor. He adds, “The presence of the system reduces fuel evaporation loss, thereby reducing emission/air pollution. Further, ATOM helps businesses protect their assets, workplace, staff from risks and losses and reduces disaster risk for communities and the environment.”
Back in Indianapolis for the first time since 2019, FDIC International 2021 offered a full slate of conference sessions, hands-on training and equipment exhibitions. Attendance was down, but everyone appeared happy to be back at the show, after cancellations and delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Masking compliance was low, despite continuing concerns about COVID-19 and the Delta variant. There was little social distancing. In many respects, the show seemed back to normal. A highlight of the event was the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s (NFFF) 9/11 Stair Climb. It’s a way for attendees to honor and remember those in the fire service community, who gave their lives in the 9/11 tragedy. Hundreds of FDIC participants paid tribute by climbing or walking the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center. MSA’s LUNAR hand-held device on display As always, safety was a huge theme at the FDIC exhibition, including development in hand-held tools As always, safety was a huge theme at the FDIC exhibition, including development in hand-held tools. MSA Safety displayed the new LUNAR hand-held device that helps keep firefighting teams connected, combining direction and distance information with thermal imaging to help find separated teammates and decrease response time. LUNAR uses cloud technology to increase fire-scene management capabilities for incident commanders. LUNAR can be used as a stand-alone device or as part of an MSA SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) system. Thermal imaging with edge detection identifies hot spots and ventilation points, so as to simplify navigation through low-visibility environments. Tethered drone and Reveal FirePRO X thermal camera FotoKite (Perspective Robotics AG), which has a joint development agreement with MSA Safety, featured a tethered drone that hovers over the site of an emergency, in order to provide networking capabilities through the tether for better connectivity. Seek Thermal offers the ‘smallest and lightest’ thermal imaging camera, available for US$ 799 and seeks to bring the benefits of thermal technology to every position on the fire team. The Reveal FirePRO X can now be charged using a four-station charging dock priced at US$ 399. The compact size makes the FirePRO X easy to carry and manage, while its high resolution and fast frame rate ensure superior images. Teledyne gas detection systems exhibited Teledyne displayed a range of gas detection systems, starting with the simple Protégé ZM carbon monoxide meter that can clip onto pockets, helmets, and EMS bags. A new product is the Gas Laser, a hand-held device that can quickly scan common venting points from a safe distance, in order to identify the presence of dangerous explosive gas. Teledyne recently acquired FLIR and the combined companies will provide a spectrum of imaging technologies and products spanning X-ray through infrared and from components to complete imaging systems. FDIC International’s Innovation Hub focused on new technologies coming to the fire service Innovation Hub FDIC International’s Innovation Hub focused on new technologies coming to the fire service, featured in a presentation theater on the show floor. Leading the initiative was SafeTech, a College Station, Texas-based non-profit organization, whose mission is to bring new technologies to first responders and armed forces. One featured company was Tracks North America, which provides unmanned vehicles with fork-lift capabilities. Another was Infysort, which makes superabsorbent pellets – ‘hyper-blown polypropylene sorbent nanomaterial’ that can absorb 50 to 60 times its weight in oil. Hale Products SAM control system HURST Jaws of Life demonstrated eDRAULIC 3.0, a new underwater power extrication tool The SAM control system, by Hale Products, is gaining in popularity, offering computerized/integrated water flow controls that manage a fire truck’s pump, tank, intakes and discharges using touch-screen display for simplified interface. The new SAM Smart Nozzle allows firemen to control flow from the end of the fire hose. HURST Jaws of Life demonstrated eDRAULIC 3.0, a new underwater power extrication tool that can withstand salt water. The Lifeline Firehose provides a source of continuous breathable air coming from the nozzle of a fire hose. The patented coupler design enables the continuous air supply, which can also be used to power air tools. Seeking to help small and medium fire departments replace paper documentation, incident management systems offer low-cost digitization. Environmental awareness From Rosenbauer A topic among fire apparatus companies is idle reduction systems designed to shut off the main engine in a fire apparatus when not needed, eliminating loud diesel engine noise and exhaust, while maintaining power for lighting and air conditioning, for example. It is a reflection of growing environmental concerns among fire manufacturers. For example, Rosenbauer’s Green Star system makes idle reduction easy, using electronic controls to shut down the chassis engine on-scene (if the fire pump is not engaged or no aerial operations under way), and starting a diesel-driven Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). Pierce Volterra zero-emissions pumpers The first Pierce Volterra zero-emissions pumper has been placed in service in Madison Pierce launched their Volterra platform of electric vehicles. The first Pierce Volterra zero-emissions pumper has been placed in service in Madison, Wisconsin. At FDIC International 2021, the Pierce booth included an electric vehicle technology kiosk and took attendees through the electric fire truck’s attributes. CMC Rescue Rope and Harness Systems CMC Rescue Inc. demonstrated rope and harness systems for rescue operations, including special duffle bags and access packs for easy transport of harnesses. The CMC Clutch is now available in 13 mm and 11 mm models, for hauling, lowering, ascending, descending, belaying and deploying twin-tension rope systems. The CMC Triskelion 10-foot tripod features rapid deployment, for example, over a hole where a rescue is taking place and is certified to NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards.
We are currently seeing fewer fires in the United States than in past decades. However, statistically, if a fire is reported in your home, you are more likely to die today than 40 years ago. Today’s homes with their synthetic furnishings and open floor plans burn faster than homes did in the past. Occupants might have fewer than three minutes to escape after a fire starts. Every 24 seconds, a U.S. fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the country. Nationwide, a civilian dies in a fire every 3 hours and 10 minutes, and a home fire injury occurs every 43 minutes. NFPA report - ‘Fire Safety in the United States Since 1980’ These are among the insights put forward in the latest National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report ‘Fire Safety in the United States Since 1980’. The project was sponsored and executed by NFPA, with administrative oversight provided by the Fire Protection Research Foundation. The report notes that a lot of progress has been made in decreasing fires and fire deaths, in the years since the landmark ‘America Burning’ report was published in 1973. The new report focuses on the changing trends since 1980. Deploying sprinklers and smoke alarms The widespread use of smoke alarms in homes has been one of the biggest success stories in fire safety in the past 50 years The combination of an engineered solution enforced by codes and standards, and supported by public education has been effective in bringing down the number of reported fires and fire deaths. Adding sprinklers as an additional safety layer further reduces the fire death rate. The widespread use of smoke alarms in homes has been one of the biggest success stories in fire safety in the past 50 years, although 20.5% of single-family homes have no working smoke alarms, and 7.6% have no smoke alarms at all. Fire sprinklers control 97% of the fires in which they operate, although only 5% of year-round housing units have sprinklers. For homes, there has been a decline in the number of deaths per 1,000 reported fires in apartment buildings, while there has been an increase in the deaths in less regulated one- and two-family homes. Cooking, the leading cause of home fires More work is necessary. Cooking remains the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, and it is among the leading causes of home fire deaths. Cooking is the only major cause of fire that has resulted in more fires and fire deaths in 2014-2018 than in 1980-1984, which emphasizes the need for fire safety solutions in this area. The UL fire safety standards for new electric coil ranges are a step in the right direction, but more work is needed to ensure that something as simple as food preparation does not lead to death and destruction. Smoking, a major cause of home fire deaths Smoking has been the leading cause of home fire deaths for most of the last four decades and has remained the leading cause for 2014–2018 as a whole. Between 1980 and 2018, the annual number of home structure fires decreased from 734,000 to 363,000, while the number of deaths decreased from 5,200 to 2,720. Adjusted to 2018 dollars, the annual level of property loss remained relatively constant, decreasing slightly from US$ 8.7 billion in 1980 to US$ 8.0 billion in 2018. Injuries decreased during the time period from 19,700 to 11,200. When considering population, fire rates per thousand population has decreased from 3.2 to 1.1 during 1980-2018, deaths decreased from 22.9 to 8.3 per million population, and per-capita dollar loss decreased from US$ 38.4 to US$ 24.5. Fires in hospitals and nursing homes The NFPA study also analyzes fires involving hospitals and nursing homes The NFPA study also analyzes fires involving hospitals and nursing homes, as well as catastrophic multiple-death fires and fires in the wildland/urban interface (WUI), as they have the potential to cause significant human loss. Buildings such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and hotels have seen stricter requirements for fire safety in the last four decades and, as a result, catastrophic fires in these types of buildings are now rare. Great progress in preventing hospital fires Great progress has been made in preventing hospital fires. In 1980–1984, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 7,100 hospital fires annually, resulting in an average of five deaths per year. In 2014–2018, there was an estimated average of only 1,100 hospital and hospice fires that caused one death per year. None of the deaths in this period were patients. The wildland/urban interface (WUI) has grown, as has the intensity of the fire problem in these areas. WUI fires burn homes, cars, and a variety of other properties. Fatal injuries can occur in homes, outside, or in vehicles while trying to evacuate. Wildland fire season lasts longer due to human-caused ignition rather than lightning causes. Human-caused WUI fires made up 97 percent of WUI fires.
Project Name: Fire Main Works Heathrow Project Title: East Base Valve B3 Re-location Completion Date: June 2021 Address: British Airways, Hatton Cross, Heathrow Airport, Middlesex Contractor: Adenstar Developments End Client: British Airways Products: 600mm and 400mm ductile iron fabricated pipes, fittings, gate valves, dismantling joints, couplings, flanged adaptors, and joint sets Products Supplier: Hambaker Pipelines Manchester Project Overview Hambaker Pipelines can supply FM approved pipes and fittings for the fire main and process sectors Fire main valve and ductile iron re-location. British Airways contracted Adenstar Developments to re-locate a fire main pipeline. Black external coated pipes to conform to BS545 standard were specified. The black pipes are used for identification (fire main) purposes at Heathrow Airport. The pipework also had to be restraint in areas to withhold surges in pressure. Solution The delivery schedule was critical and had to work to a strict delivery schedule. Hambaker Pipelines supplied black factory-applied external coated pipes and anchored gaskets for end-load capabilities. A manufacturing and delivery schedule was identified to the strict schedule to coordinate with a site installation program which was carried out successfully. Hambaker Pipelines can supply FM (Factory Mutual) approved pipes and fittings and a range of specialized pipe coatings for the fire main and process sectors. From diameters 80mm to 2000mm, ductile iron socket spigot pipes, fabricated pipes, ductile iron fittings, valves, hydrants, couplings, flanged adaptors, and bespoke products.
One of the world’s manufacturers of filtration solutions has selected C-TEC’s innovative new CAST ZFP addressable fire system for one of its UK sites. A global expert in the field of filtration, MANN+HUMMEL employs 15,000 people at more than 50 locations worldwide and has a turnover of more than 3 billion Euros. In 2014, it acquired Vokes Air manufacturing plant in Burnley to increase its presence in the booming filtration and air purification market. Addressable fire systems Last year, the company identified the need for a powerful new fire alarm system to protect the site. Further to consultations with Lancashire-based specialist installation company, ADJ Fire and Security, the decision was taken to install one of C-TEC’s new CAST addressable fire systems comprising a network of ZFP 1-loop touchscreen-controlled panels connected to over 250 CAST devices including heat detectors embedded with C-TEC’s unique ‘HEART’ (Heat Analysis and Response Technology) algorithms to ensure each one remains in a high state of readiness for a potential fire alarm situation. Supporting local manufacturers Steve Hutchinson, Head of Sales at ADJ, said, “We were delighted to be asked to equip the MANN+HUMMEL Vokes Air site with an L1 fire detection and alarm system developed by one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of life-safety systems.” “The fact that C-TEC is based in the North-West was important to ourselves and our client as we are both keen to support local manufacturers wherever possible particularly those which produce such high-quality equipment.” Fast and EN54 certified products CAST is C-TEC’s own ‘distributed intelligence’ addressable fire detection and alarm system Hutchinson continued, “Performance-wise, CAST is fast, reliable, and incredibly powerful. As a 40V loop-driven system, it allows you to put twice as many devices on a loop compared to other manufacturers’ systems. The soft-addressing nature of the system also means it’s simple to install, program, and commission as all the devices can be easily programmed at the panel." “Another key factor as to why we chose CAST is C-TEC’s outstanding free-of-charge technical support service. Terry Gordon, the company’s Technical Support Manager, and his team have been absolutely amazing, offering advice, answering any queries we had, and providing phenomenal technical support throughout. I cannot praise them highly enough." "Certified to all relevant EN54 product standards, including EN54-13, CAST is C-TEC’s own UK manufactured ‘distributed intelligence’ addressable fire detection and alarm system."
Previously, the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department dried their hoses using an inclined hose drying system, in which the fire hoses are suspended between the ceiling and the floor at an angle of 30°. Not only was this laborious, the drying result was also not ideal with the hoses sagged in the middle or hung together at the edges and therefore, still remaining wet. Wintersteiger Drytech drying locker The Wintersteiger Drytech drying locker for fire hoses is a special solution that was implemented especially for the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department. Chief Fire Inspector and Fire Chief Markus Auer at the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department said, “The most important advantage is obviously the cost. A drying tower would have been a significant investment. We were looking for another solution when we stumbled upon the Wintersteiger drying lockers for clothing online. Wintersteiger were very helpful and converted the locker to suit our needs.” Fast drying time Another advantage of the drying locker is the fast drying time, as the hoses are dry in just a few hours Another advantage of the drying locker is the fast drying time, as the hoses are dry in just a few hours. Until now, the hoses had to be hung up for a week, until they were dry. A timer clock is used to set the drying time. In the summer time, when severe weather conditions mean that the hoses need to be used more often, the shorter drying time is a big bonus. “The hoses are rolled up tightly and placed in the drying locker. Once they are dry, the hoses just need to be tensioned and put away,” explains the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department’s Fire Chief, Markus Auer. Energy efficient condensation drying The energy consumption is very low as the drying locker uses condensation drying. With this method, the moisture is extracted from the material, cooled on copper tubes, and discharged from the locker into a separate container as condensation. Ventilation systems are therefore not necessary. The drying locker uses approximately 60 % less energy than conventional drying solutions.
Two seven-story residential apartment buildings in the cultural and social hot-spot of Cardiff Bay are now protected by evacuation alert systems from UK manufacturer, Advanced. The EvacGo panels have been installed to meet the criteria set out in the BS 8629 Code of Practice for the design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance of evacuation alert systems for use by fire and rescue services in England and Wales. Audible warning in emergencies Situated in Cardiff Bay’s Tiger Quay development, Roath House and Queen Alexandra House are a mix of 73 social and market-rented one and two-bedroom apartments managed by Trivallis, one of Wales’ largest housing associations. Trivallis appointed Cardiff-based, Tremorfa Ltd, to complete the installation, requesting that Advanced’s EvacGo solutions be installed to ensure both residential buildings met the BS 8629 recommendations. With all Advanced evacuation alert systems custom-manufactured to reflect each building’s evacuation zones, Advanced supplied two EvacGo systems to Tremorfa complete with a 1-loop card, expandable from four to eight evacuation zones. The two systems were installed alongside a combined total of 63 sounders to provide an audible warning to building occupants in the event of an emergency. BS 8629 requirements Graham Smart, Fire & Security Installation Manager, at Tremorfa Ltd, said, “Having installed Advanced solutions for several years, we knew we could depend on its evacuation alert system to meet the requirements of the BS 8629 code of practice.” “The systems in both apartment buildings are now performing as required and we will be completing the installation of further EvacGo systems at Trivallis’ properties.” EACIE for fire and rescue EACIE must operate independently of fire detection systems and be designed to support any evacuation strategy Evacuation alert control and indicating equipment (EACIE) is now strongly recommended in England and Wales for all new tall residential buildings – and is mandatory in Scotland. The EACIE must operate completely independently of fire detection systems and be designed to support any evacuation strategy chosen by the fire and rescue service. Evacuation alert systems Ken Bullock, Business Development Manager – Evacuation Alert Systems, said, “We are seeing a rapid growth in interest in evacuation alert systems from local housing authorities and private landlords eager to ensure that the safety measures installed in their tall residential buildings meet the latest regulations.” “EvacGo has been built using our industry-leading MxPro 5 fire panel technology and, in developing our solution to meet the BS 8629 Code of Practice, we have consulted with fire industry experts involved in developing the standard.” “Both Trivallis and the residents of Tiger Quay can now rest easy knowing that they have the latest and most sophisticated fire evacuation equipment installed in their homes.” New Code of Practice BS 8629:2019 is the new Code of Practice for use by fire and rescue services in England 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. New high-rise residential developments are among the buildings being prioritized for evacuation alert systems installed. Although not yet a legal requirement in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, EACIE installation is already mandatory in new buildings containing flats over 18 meters in Scotland and is considered best practice by several fire and rescue services.
NevadaNano, a pioneer in gas detection sensor technology, announced that Gastronics, Inc, a U.S.-based gas detection manufacturer known for being a pioneer in wireless gas detection, has incorporated NevadaNano’s Molecular Property Spectrometer™ (MPS™) technology into its wired and wireless product offering. Wired & Wireless Solutions “Gastronics, a company that is known for its vision in problem-solving solutions, recognized the unique capabilities and value our MPS flammable gas sensors bring to their customers,” said Ralph Whitten, President of NevadaNano. “Known for leveraging state-of-the-art technology, the company is setting the standard with its next-generation wired & wireless solutions using NevadaNano technology.” MPS Sensor technology The Gastronics range of products utilizing the MPS sensor greatly improves leak detection and worker safety The Gastronics range of products utilizing the MPS sensor greatly improves leak detection and worker safety in industries including oil and gas, chemical, tank storage facilities, pipeline, and many others. NevadaNano's MPS sensor technology, with built-in environmental compensation for temperature, pressure, and humidity, detects and quantifies 14 of the most common hydrocarbon gases with the one factory calibration, a feature referred to as TrueLEL. MPS Gas Transmitter The MPS Gas Transmitter with the MPS sensor provides a classification of the gas type, which includes hydrogen, H2 mix, methane, light gas, medium gas, and heavy gas. It delivers accurate gas concentration readings across the full environmental range, including rapid environmental transients with best-in-class accuracy while minimizing false positives. Accurate leak detection Bud Dungan, President of Gastronics, states, “By integrating the MPS sensor into our product range, we can now offer our customers the most accurate combustible gas leak detection for multiple gases using just one sensor.” “The no field calibration requirements for the life of the MPS sensor is a very significant shift from industry practices and will be of great value for all our customers. We are proud to be the first to offer this technology in both a fixed wired and wireless product.”
In Paris, visitors will find not only the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, but also the largest fire brigade in Europe. With its 8,500 firefighters, the Paris Fire Brigade is, in fact, the third-largest urban fire brigade in the world, only topped by Tokyo and New York City. Paris Fire Brigade The Paris Fire Brigade is a part of the French army, and each firefighter joins the fire brigade for a period of 5 years. The safety of the firefighters is high on the agenda. It is of utmost importance that the fire brigade is equipped with the best possible fire gear, combining the utmost comfort with the highest degree of safety for the firefighter. A prismatic reflective tape, ORALITE FTP 2100, was selected for offering the highest degree of visibility It is, therefore, no surprise that when the Paris Fire brigade, back in 2017, were looking to upgrade their fire garments, they selected ORAFOL (Orafol Europe GmbH) as their supplier of the reflective trim. A prismatic reflective tape, ORALITE FTP 2100, was selected for offering the highest degree of visibility. Sioen is the manufacturer of fire safety garments. ORALITE FTP 2100 reflective tape Jean-Philippe Roy, Business Development Manager for ORAFOL, explains “Paris Fire Brigade was very determined to offer their firefighters the most visible tape available in the market place today. They carry out dangerous tasks in difficult working conditions, and they must be able to fully trust that they are as visible as possible in all conditions. ORALITE FTP 2100 met their high standards.” He adds, “Being a metalized prismatic tape, it provides the longest distance visibility available. In addition, the fact that the tape is also fluorescent means that it is also exceedingly visible in daytime or smoky conditions.” High-quality safety garment for firefighters Paris Fire Brigade sets forth a very good example for other fire brigades globally in that they have made the deliberate choice of a high-quality solution for their firefighters. No compromises have been made. Jean-Philippe Roy further said, “The thing is that many reflective tapes do meet the law regulated requirements. But meeting the regulation is simply not enough, it is not a guarantee of 24/7 visibility of the firefighters. And when a fire brigade specifies a tape, the risk is that they will just specify regulation compliance, and choose the tape offered at the lowest cost,” Roy explains. EN ISO 20471 standard specification The specification for reflective components on PPE, EN ISO 20471, sets forth the minimum reflectivity for the tapes The specification for reflective components on PPE, EN ISO 20471, sets forth the minimum reflectivity for the tapes. Yet, at the same time, the same specification allows for a drop in reflective performance of 70% in wet conditions. This is exactly why being specification compliant is not enough. It is necessary to carefully evaluate the working conditions that the users will be subjected to and select the best possible reflective tape based on this. Prismatic reflective tapes Jean-Philippe Roy concludes, “Prismatic reflective tapes remain highly reflective also in wet conditions, whereas glass bead tapes see a significant drop. This is simply due to the technologies working in different ways. Fire fighters work in wet conditions a great deal of time, so here a prismatic tape is really the only kind that truly makes sense.” The prismatic tapes from ORAFOL are the preferred choice for many major fire brigades around the world, including also the New York City Fire Brigade.
Round table discussion
Wildfire season presents special challenges to firefighters, and environmental trends point to even more frequent wildfires in the future, due to factors such as global warming. Technology, in all its variety, provides new tools to aid departments tasked with fighting wildfires. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the emerging technologies in wildfire prevention and protection?
New tools and technologies are emerging that augment the efforts of the fire market to prevent and fight fires. Modern firefighting is benefiting from an ongoing sea change in technological capabilities, spanning equipment, electronic components, greater connectivity and firefighter monitoring, to name just a few. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What technologies will have the greatest impact on the fire industry in 2021?
Welcome to our Expert Panel Roundtable, a new feature of TheBigRedGuide.com. We will be asking timely questions about the fire market and seeking out experts in the field to provide responses. Our goal is to promote a useful exchange of information on a variety of topics and to create a forum for discussion of important issues facing the fire service and market. For our first question, we look to the year ahead and ask our panelists: What trends are likely to change the fire market in 2020?