Electrical Fire Safety
One lesson of Grenfell is how many fire system technicians operate without the appropriate qualifications. Since the Grenfell tragedy, Dame Judith Hackitt has called for all relevant trades to hold formal qualifications, and for industry to implement a system in which clients and end users can be assured that operatives are fully competent. Another lesson is that fire service audits of buildings are no longer fit for purpose. For instance, the current system does not require proof that a fire s...
Lux Intelligent manufacturer Advanced has launched a new CPD training module focusing on emergency lighting testing compliance. Emergency lighting testing Created against a backdrop of changing emergency lighting standards, including the new category of 'stay put' lighting, the new training module is designed to bring end users, facilities managers and engineers fully up to date with current requirements and help them ensure compliance. On top of this, it will provide them with the tools they...
Advanced has added an Android app to its Lux Intelligent emergency lighting testing system. This is in addition to the existing iOS and desktop versions. "We've developed the app specifically for areas of the public sector who said they require Android," says Advanced's Marketing Manager Aston Bowles. "However, it was part of our plans anyway to grow the ecosystem of apps and services we offer in the cloud," he adds. Cloud monitoring Cloud monitoring via mobile and web apps makes emergency li...
The ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware & Access Control Group has launched an innovative door closer that offers unrivalled performance for user flexibility and fire safety for buildings in the healthcare, education and hospitality sectors. Unlike any other door closer in its class, the new DC300G-HF is a responsive solution, satisfying multiple door control issues for healthcare professionals, students, customers and staff. This includes flexible operation and use, while also maintaining full certif...
Sealing plugs by Beele Engineering have been used for years to make pipe transits fire resistant, smoke proof and gas tight. The extended XL version means installation of the plug on one side is all that is required to achieve the desired fire resistance. Beele Engineering recently acquired the MED certificate for its SLIPSIL XL-120 plugs, which means they are CE certified in accordance with the Marine Equipment Directive 2014/90/EU. MED-Certified sealing plugs The Marine Equipment Directive (...
To help meet the requirements of the updated BS 7671 IET Wiring Regulations, Marshall-Tufflex has extended its range of Firefly fire clips. In the event of a fire the clips are designed to prevent cables falling and creating a hazard – providing a safer evacuation and allowing easy access for fire service crews. Firefly fireclips The Firefly range now includes clips suitable for use on Marshall-Tufflex Maxi, Mono, Twin165, Twin Plus, Sterling Profile, Sterling Curve and Odyssey trunking...
Following a decision of its Board, Euralarm has welcomed its newest member Halma plc. The company will join the Fire Section of Euralarm. Halma will now benefit from Euralarm’s services in terms of representation towards European institutions and standardization organizations. This includes the monitoring of legislative and standardization issues relevant to the industry. Halma will have access to the extended network of national associations and major companies in the electronic fire safety and security sectors, which form Euralarm’s members. The new membership will create opportunities for both sides, as it also strengthens the association. The Fire & Security Division provides products that protect both lives and property Fire Detection And Alarm Systems Halma plc is a global group of technology companies with the aim of growing a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day. The Fire & Security Division provides products that protect both lives and property. Within the fire detection & alarm sector these products include wired and wireless fire detection (smoke, heat, gas, multi), audible and visual warning devices, beam and flame detectors, single or networked control and indicating systems. In the field of security, the company offers wired and wireless security product solutions covering applications from small residential to large commercial premises. Gaining Vital Knowledge On Markets Companies joining Euralarm get a unique insight into what is happening in other European markets and the opportunities that they might offer. They not only tap into the political expertise and in-depth understanding of the EU policy but can also make personal connections with technical and political experts, along with potential business partners. Being a member of Euralarm enables companies and associations to gain vital knowledge and expertise on standardization. Members have their voice heard in Brussels and can support and direct standardization and legislative processes.
ADI Global Distribution (ADI) has announced the winner of its 2018 Customer Appreciation Car Giveaway Sweepstakes. Roddy Bieber, vice president special hazards, alarm, and detections, (SHAD) at American Fire Protection Group, Inc., was selected from more than 5,000 entries to win the sweepstakes and a new Jaguar F-PACE. For 16 years, ADI has been showing appreciation to its customers by presenting one lucky dealer each year with a new car. Entries for the Customer Appreciation Car Giveaway Sweepstakes are collected at all U.S. ADI Expos, and major industry trade shows throughout the year, and the winner is randomly selected. Fire Safety Solutions Expert ADI’s main focus is to help our customers grow their businesses" John Sullivan, senior vice president of strategic accounts, was on hand to award Roddy his new car. “ADI’s main focus is to help our customers grow their businesses,” said Sullivan. “Our customers are extremely important to us, and this sweepstakes is just one of the things we do to express our gratitude for their support. For 2019, we’ll be giving away a Porsche Macan, so I encourage you to come out to ISC West or one of your local expos to get your name in the drawing.” Bieber began his career in life safety in 1986 in Colorado and has been an owner and manager of several businesses in the industry. He has been with American Fire Protection Group, Inc. since 2015. Before that, he served as the general manager of APi Systems Group Inc. for 10 years before the two organizations merged. Roddy is a member of the National Fire Protection Association, the Texas Fire Alarm Association, and is a past board member of the Fire Suppression Systems Association. “What a surprise! When I got the call from John Sullivan that I had won the sweepstakes and a new Jaguar I was shocked,” said Bieber. “I’ve been an ADI customer for over 25 years and my company, considers ADI to be a very strong partner. The customer service we get from our local team is top notch.”
Global provider of intelligent fire systems, Advanced, has announced the release of their upgraded addressable carbon monoxide (CO) detector and low frequency sounder base. Designed to meet NFPA / UL low-frequency signalling standards for sleeping areas such as hospitals, hotels and multi-occupancy residential applications, the sounder base generates a 520 Hz tone to alert occupants of a fire or CO / life safety emergency. Advanced CO / 520 Hz Sounder Base Advanced’s high-performance CO / 520 Hz sounder base has been designed for easy replacement of the CO sensor module Advanced’s high-performance CO / 520 Hz sounder base has been designed for easy replacement of the CO sensor module, when end of service life is reached, without the need for replacing the entire sounder base or removing the base from the wall or ceiling. In addition to carbon monoxide monitoring, the device can accommodate any Advanced intelligent smoke, heat or multi-sensor detector. Complete with an on-board electrochemical sensor with three CO detection levels and offering both automatic and manual CO sensor testing, full system-wide sounder synchronization and a replaceable CO module with (approx) six-year lifespan, the sounder base offers superior performance, quality and ease-of-use. CO Sensor Module “We are delighted to add the CO / 520 Hz sounder base to our existing CO product offering. This creative device enables our customers to meet the increasing demands for CO and low frequency applications. For building owners, there is significant savings when the CO sensor module end of life event occurs. The CO sensor module is easily replaced without the need to replace the entire CO / 520 sounder base, or worse yet as with competitor’s products, the need to replace an entire, more expensive, CO/multi-sensor,” said Mike Troiano, CEO/President of Advanced. Advanced’s latest sounder base is fully compatible with its AX range of fire panels. The Axis AX fire panels are capable of activating single or multiple sounder bases in an area or throughout a facility when CO or fire is detected, providing the appropriate synchronised alert and evacuation tones, in compliance with local fire code requirements. Axis AX Fire Panels The CO / 520 sounder base is an updated component of Advanced’s Axis AX full range system In applications that require carbon monoxide life safety detection only, there is no need to install a fire detector, only a low-profile blank cover. The device connects to the fire panel’s two wire SLC circuit, and to power the sounder output, the device requires separate regulated 24VDC or can be powered from an Axis AX Notification Appliance Circuit (NAC). The CO / 520 sounder base is an updated component of Advanced’s Axis AX full range system. The Axis AX system includes easily networked panels, command centers and a range of peripherals, devices and interfaces that make it ideal to suit almost any fire and life safety application. Available across the Axis range of fire panels, PerfectSync automatically synchronizes audio, voice and strobe signals across Advanced’s Axis AX fire alarm networks dynamically, as conditions change. Synchronization of audio and visual signals across multiple notification zones, floors & areas, prevents confusion in an emergency situation and aids in meeting intelligibility standards. Intelligent Fire Systems Solutions Provider Advanced is a world leader in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease of use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large, multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
Fire departments from all over the world gathered at the Congress Centre Ulm (Germany) on Friday evening where for the sixth time in a row the Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award – also known as the ‘Oscar of the Firefighting Industry’ – was presented. The São Paulo Fire Department was delighted to take home the coveted award as ‘International Firefighting Team 2018’ for its firefighting operation in a high-rise. The top three international nominees also included the Prague FD, which entered its fire-fighting deployment at a historic hotel as well as the Mexico City FD, which was honoured for its work after an earthquake. Regularly Outstanding Performances The Volunteer Fire Department from Waltershausen received the award for its 100 km charity run The title ‘National Fire Department Team 2018’ was received by the Volunteer Fire Department from Treuenbrietzen (Germany) for its operation fighting the largest forest fire in Brandenburg’s history. The Special Prize for Social Engagement also went to a German team: the Volunteer Fire Department from Waltershausen received the award for its 100 km charity run. The winners’ courageous missions saw them fight off stiff competition from teams from all over the world and they were subsequently honoured at the awards ceremony in front of some 600 invited guests. “With the Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award, we not only show our respect for every single operation and thank every firefighter for their individual commitment, but also highlight the regularly outstanding performances of fire departments around the world bringing them to the attention of the public”, says Marc Diening, Magirus CEO, in his welcome speech. Providing Humanitarian Aid “This year’s competition has also seen outstanding performances – from firefighting to technical and social assistance to disaster relief – all of which are exemplary in demonstrating the daily importance of firefighters in our society.” The coveted Conrad Dietrich Magirus statues were presented this year by the German aid organization ‘humedica e.V.’ and ‘Team Hahn Racing’, five-time winner of the European Truck Racing Championships. Since 1979, humedica has provided humanitarian aid around the world, especially after major natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis. Wolfgang Groß, who founded the organisation 40 years ago with his brother and who sponsored the awards together with medical emergency team member Daniel Warkentin, was impressed by the operations presented: “People were evacuated from burning houses; entire villages protected from fire. Teamwork can save lives – this evening, we’ve seen impressive cases of this. It is also something that we, too, see over and over again in our missions.” Perfectly Functioning Team Perfect teamwork is the distinguishing feature of the ‘International Firefighting Team of the Year 2018’ Teamwork is also the priority of the second sponsor of the evening. ‘Team Hahn Racing’ has won the European Truck Racing Championships five times. Since 2017, they have entered international truck racing competitions as the ‘Iveco Magirus Bulls’. “Navigating a 1,100-horsepower truck in extreme situations is only possible with a perfectly functioning team”, says driver Jochen Hahn. Together with his colleague Rijk Schuhmacher, he paid tribute during the evening to all of the fire department team members on stage. Perfect teamwork is the distinguishing feature of the ‘International Firefighting Team of the Year 2018’. On May 2018, a 25-storey high-rise in the middle of São Paulo went up in flames. Within seconds, the flames in the dilapidated building spread to two other buildings. Up to 150 squatters were living in the former building of the Federal Police. In a joint effort, 170 members of the São Paulo Fire Department fought to control the fire and bring all persons to safety. Fire Department Team As rescue operations in the building were underway, however, the building abruptly collapsed. With combined strength, the forces searched the debris and simultaneously fought the fire. The firefighters worked for nearly 300 hours; seven people lost their lives in the fire. With its submission, the São Paulo Fire Department prevailed against teams from all over world and was thus able to take home the coveted Conrad Dietrich Magirus Statue. In addition, a visit to the best-known fire brigade in the world, the Fire Department City of New York (FDNY), awaits the winners. This year, the Special Prize was also given at international level and was won by a fire department team from Germany. The athletic team of the Volunteer Fire Department from Waltershausen in Thuringia was awarded the ‘Special Prize for Social Engagement’ for its 100 km fire department charity run. Firefighting Training Course The Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award was again supported by renowned companies in the firefighting industry The athletes were able to donate € 14,500 to Paulinchen e.V. – an initiative for children with burn injuries. In addition to the coveted award, the athletic team won an individual firefighting training course with the Magirus Fire Fighter Academy. An expert jury comprising Paul Baxter, Commissioner Fire and Rescue New South Wales, Michel Bour, Secretary General of the World Firefighters Association CTIF, Danielle Cotton, London Fire Commissioner QFSM, Hermann Kollinger from the Austrian Fire Department magazine ‘Brennpunkt’ and Markus Görtler from Magirus chose the best applications which were then published online for the public to vote for. The entry that received the most votes from the jury and the online voters, was declared the winner. In 2018, the Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award was again supported by renowned companies in the firefighting industry. Emergency One (UK) Ltd., ENDRESS Elektrogerätebau, DÖNGES as well as LUKAS/VETTER/AWG who provided support during all phases of the competition – from the application announcement and submission process to the awards ceremony in Ulm.
Dublin-based specialist electrical and security distributors, Richmond Electrical Wholesale (REW) has announced enhancing its product portfolio by introducing Comelit’s full range of third-party accredited high-specification solutions, including a full range of addressable and conventional systems. Fire Security And Detection Solutions The partnership ensures an all-encompassing service capability to present fire safety and security solutions that meet industry standards and present with a five-year guarantee, without compromising on style. Says Noel McStay, Commercial Director of REW: “As we are already a main distributor in Ireland for Comelit’s Intercom systems and with a great working relationship, we had little hesitation in extending our range to embrace the new fire detection solutions. We knew the product portfolio would be offered with the same focus of futureproof technology, compliance and design.” REW-Comelit Partnership He adds, “We also recognized attention would be given to simplifying the installation process to enable our customers to present entire fire and security systems. Put together with our specialist team knowledge of Comelit’s products, we are able to work in partnership with customers to design and recommend to complete required specifications, all with the backing of full technical support.” Francesca Boeris, Managing Director Comelit Group added: “The outlook for the Irish construction sector is bright for the year to come and we are delighted for REW to become our exclusive partner, enabling them to offer complete fire and security solutions. The partnership provides the opportunity for us to extend our close working relationship and ensure customers have access to a portfolio of fire detection products that achieves the highest safety standards, without compromising on the style and aesthetic that is synonymous with the Comelit brand.”
Taking short lead times and convenient delivery to new heights, manufacturer and supplier of specialist passive fire protection products, Quelfire, has launched QuelQuick, a new same day delivery service to businesses and project sites across North West England. Fire Containment Systems Expert With over 40 years of experience and expertise in fire containment, Quelfire provides a wide range of high quality and certified products and services to specifiers, architects, engineers and contractors for the most effective fire protection in buildings of all sizes, types and ages. Committed to providing first-class customer service and recognising the market’s needs Quelfire has introduced another value-added service to its customers. QuelQuick is a same day delivery service directly to site or contractor’s premises within North West England. One of our key business values is to deliver friendly and first-class customer service to all clients at all times" The new QuelQuick service means that customers that place an order before 11am can receive their goods on the same day, delivered using Quelfire’s dedicated van service. For a minimal surcharge, the team will prioritize picking and packing these items from its flagship Sandbach warehouse with the aim of getting orders out on the road within the hour. The same day delivery service is being rolled out across cities including Manchester, Liverpool, Chester and their surrounding areas, and customers can expect to receive their items within four hours of placing an order. QuelQuick Fast Delivery Service Keith Wells, Managing Director and Fire Containment Specialist at Quelfire, said: “One of our key business values is to deliver friendly and first-class customer service to all clients at all times. With the nature of the industry, we understand that not all sites have the capacity for storage and at the same time, last minute requirements for products can often also be an issue. With QuelQuick we are offering our customers both speed and convenience, as our high-quality products can be delivered to their doorstep within just a few hours of the order being placed.” Manufactured in the UK, all of Quelfire systems have been tested to the latest BS and EN standards “We hold large amounts of stock of most of our products at our warehouse so inventory will never be a problem. The North West is booming with construction projects at the moment, most of which will require fire protection solutions, so we are pleased to be able to roll this service out to the region and support firestopping contractors, main contractors, distributors and M&E contractors in delivering their projects on time and as efficiently as possible.” Certified Fire Collars, Sleeves And Intumescent Wraps Manufactured in the UK, all of Quelfire systems have been tested to the latest BS and EN standards, with a range of fire collars, fire sleeves and intumescent wraps also carrying CE Mark Certification. Some of the products include fire containment systems for pipe, duct and electrical service penetrations, as well as linear joints and cavity barriers, all of which are made at Quelfire’s centrally located premises in Cheshire. With innovation at the heart of the company, Quelfire is committed to investing, developing and testing new products and systems that push the benchmark for passive fire safety in buildings. Quelfire products have been installed on thousands of projects throughout the world, including many hotels, apartments, care homes and offices, with some of their products also frequently deployed across London Underground.
Products for electrical systems that are installed into modern, complex buildings have to be fit-for-purpose for today’s challenging demands. With the background of numerous incidents still being felt by the fire performance industry, how is it to set the benchmarks for the future to make sure there is never another Lakanal House or another Grenfell? The long-term answer is for clearer guidance and legislation, if necessary, to enable the whole supply chain to make decisions which are compliant when choosing products. In the meantime, with the Grenfell inquiry projected to go on during 2019, what is the benchmark?The development of LSZH materials was accelerated following the King’s Cross Underground disaster in which 31 people died Cables With LSZH Materials We have standards through British Standards (BS) and testing regimes which cables should meet to validate that they meet these standards with approvals from various industry bodies including BASEC and LPCB. At AEI Cables, we have developed our Total Fire Solutions range of cables and accessories for all fire safety applications, incorporating Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) features. Traditional PVC cables which produce vast amounts of dense black smoke, toxic fumes and acid gas when exposed to fire, bring an added danger to people who may be caught in the fire. Cables which incorporate LSZH materials emit very little of these substances. In a real fire situation, the cables will enable the fire and rescue services to find and evacuate people and help to protect property Smoke And Noxious Gases Cause More Casualties The development of LSZH materials was accelerated following the King’s Cross Underground disaster in which 31 people died, many of them from toxic fumes. London Underground has banned the use of PVC cables as a result. The adoption of LSZH for cables and other materials is also endorsed by the Building Regulations themselves. According to Part B, referencing fire safety, it says clearly: “The primary danger associated with fire in its early stages is not flame but the smoke and noxious gases produced by the fire. They cause most of the casualties and may also obscure the way to escape routes and exits. Measures designed to provide safe means of escape must therefore provide appropriate arrangements to limit the rapid spread of smoke and fumes.” Helping Fire And Rescue Services The very latest in technology and science, including LSZH materials, offers enhanced fire performance cablingThe very latest in technology and science, including LSZH materials, offers enhanced fire performance cabling, accessories and technical support ensuring critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a real fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes. In a real fire situation, these cables will enable the fire and rescue services to find and evacuate people and help to protect property. At the same time, there is still evidence of non-approved cabling still coming onto the market, and we simply cannot compromise quality of these products being used in these applications. Applications include residential and commercial buildings, shopping malls, airports and protected buildings with a track-record ensuring that fire alarms, sprinkler systems, building monitoring and security systems can continue to operate in a fire.
The continuity of power in the event of a real fire has never been more important as modern buildings become more complex and the need for the highest quality of products comes under the spotlight. With power for lighting and fire alarms, the fire and rescue services can use the intelligence gathered to evacuate people quickly, confident that they have found all the people in the building. Without power, they are literally scrambling in the dark without good information upon which to make their rescue. The continuity of power will also ensure that sprinkler or water mist systems can continue to operate where they exist. In commercial buildings, there may also be smoke evacuation fans which help to enable safe evacuation. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services Appropriate Cabling At the start of a project, the most appropriate cabling should be specified as part of the electrical system rather than at the end of a project. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services across individual areas and floors. At the same time, there are new designs, materials and products continually coming on to the market for major projects, and with it an increasing need for the various parties involved to work closely together to make sure they get it right. There has been an increasing incidence of non-approved cables on the market and unfortunately it is not until cables have been installed, tested or used that issues become clear. For installers, or those procuring cables, there is a need to check the cable when it arrives to make sure it is exactly what was specified. Should there be a problem, have it checked and seek good advice. Keep records of purchase, including reel flanges with batch markings and a sample of the cable markings. Send lengths for testing and then decide on the most appropriate course of action. Choice of cabling is crucial at the start of major projects as issues may occur later Meeting Rigorous Third-Party Tests For some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios. These include environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes where older people and children move about. Specifiers looking at new large public sector projects such as hospitals should refer to BS 8519 for the electrical supply, and the most relevant cabling system. It is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests This Code of Practice specifies that the type of system selected during the design phase ‘should be derived from a detailed process of consultation with the relevant authorities’ and that ‘the design should be agreed at an early stage.’ The decision-making process for cable selection relevant for life safety and firefighting systems is clearly defined here. This covers three categories ranging from 30 minutes to 120 minutes fire survival time. Categories 1 and 2 cover means of escape for 30 minutes and then 60 minutes respectively, and these cables are tested in accordance with the relevant codes. Category 3 for firefighting to 120 minutes refers to power and control cables meeting the 120-minute test according to the relevant standards. It should be emphasised that only Mineral Insulated Cable (MIC) or a cable meeting the requirements of BS7846 F120 will meet this criteria. For clarity, BS 8519 does not take precedence over BS 5839 for alarm systems and BS 5266 for emergency lighting. In essence, choosing the most relevant cabling and electrical accessories which will continue to operate under fire conditions has become critical. Application Of Medium Voltage Cables As the incidence of non-approved cables continues then so the application of Medium Voltage (MV) cables into high-risk environments including hospitals, schools, care homes, industrial sites and sub-stations serving infrastructure sites also becomes critical. In the context off fire engineering, it is important to select the relevant MV Cables in these areas. Adhering to the latest regulations is no longer enough - there needs to be a risk assessment. In order to do this effectively, it is important to ask – are the fire safety procedures up to date? All AEI MV cables are third party tested and approved by BASEC. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards The whole supply chain needs to take consideration of these areas where vulnerable people often move about such as children or elderly people in hospitals or care homes. The fire and rescue services may need a little more time than a conventional building including reading complex fire alarm information to ensure a safe rescue in the event of a real fire. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards. This is due to ageing structures, high volume of combustible materials, and changing use in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths programmes where more combustible and flammable liquids are being used. Concerns have been raised by architects and and designers about fire protection regimes Sufficient Fire Risk Assessment Recent research by the Fire Brigades Union, for example, showed that a key focus for all educational institutions must be ensuring that there is an effective fire risk management process in place, delivered by suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment carried out by an expert in the field. The best practice under Business Information Modelling (BIM) and all best practice of fire safety engineering methods should be observed in conjunction with project partners. There have been concerns over a number of years around the fire protection regime for new buildings expressed by the architects and designers themselves. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) points to the delays to Approved Document B with regard to the relationship of Building Regulations to changing design and construction. AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service RIBA says the virtual disappearance of the role of the clerk of works or site architect and the loss of independent oversight of construction and workmanship on behalf of the client is a further issue for concern. In essence, RIBA believes that future proposals for the fire safety regulatory regime should be informed by the specialist fire safety expertise of relevant professional organisations and groups, and also take full account of this wider set of construction industry AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service with the support of its parent company Ducab based in Dubai, with the design, manufacture and supply of MIC, Firetec Enhanced or Firetec Power depending on specific needs. The choice of cabling and accessories should not be underestimated at the earliest opportunity to ensure the fire and rescue services are given every chance of success in rescuing people and saving property.
The era of “smart buildings” is here, bringing new opportunities for significant gains in efficiency, safety and environmental protection. In an interview, Rodger Reiswig, director of industry relations at Johnson Controls Global Fire Protection Products, offers his insights into the impact of smart buildings on fire detection and what it means for organisations planning new facilities. Q: How do you define smart buildings? The term “smart buildings” means different things to different people. For some, it’s all about the Green Initiative. Is the building able to sustain itself or reduce its carbon footprint? Can they reuse some of their water or generate electricity from onsite solar cells or wind turbines? Another definition of “smart buildings” is based on sensors. Is the building smart enough to know that, if I’m the first person there in the morning and I swipe my card, it should switch the HVAC system into occupied mode? Can it start to turn the lights on? Can it adjust the window shades to allow the sun to come in? Can it call the elevator down for me because it knows that I’m in the lobby and I’m going to the tenth floor? It’s all about how the systems integrate with one another, not just providing information to each other, but also interacting with one another, causing things to happen from one system to another. Q: How close are we to the vision of an integrated intelligent building where all the systems work together? We’ve already been doing some integration for a few years now with things like HVAC and lighting. Now we’re seeing tighter integration where, for example, we can use the position of the sun to get the best impact of sunlight to start to heat the building in the winter. One of the biggest challenges that we see in the smart building environment is protocols or topologies for how one system talks to another. The fire alarm system uses a certain protocol or language. The HVAC system uses another protocol or language, and so on. Creating an environment where systems can talk to one another and not just send, but also receive information – that’s the difficult part. Everybody can send information out. It’s easy for me to tell you what is happening in a system. But for you to tell me what’s happening in your system and then expect me to do something with that information, that’s when it gets a little bit harder. Q: What makes system-to-system communication challenging? Because of the critical role they play in protecting lives and property, life safety systems require a level of reliability and resilience far beyond that of other building systems or networks. Therefore, we have to be extremely careful about how we allow information from other systems to come into the life safety system, in case that information should affect the performance of the system. In addition, the design and specification of life safety systems is guided via three different means: building codes, standards and listings. Each of those means is controlled by different organisations. Any proposed changes to life safety networks have to pass muster with those entities, and that takes time, effort and consensus-building. When we’re talking specifically about system-to-system communication, the listing entities, organisations like UL and FM Global, regulate how much information can come into any life safety system. The listing documents require that there be some type of a barrier or gateway to prevent unauthorised or corrupted information from coming into a fire alarm system, causing harm or causing it to lock up. Life safety systems require a level of reliability and resilience far beyond that of other building systems or networks We will see all building technologies become more integrated over time as we work through the different entities and people begin to realise the benefits of improved safety, lower environmental impact, and reduced costs. Q: How will fire detection systems benefit from other sensor information available in a building? One of the things being explored is occupancy sensors that tell where people are located in a building. Some type of telemetry could be used to understand where people are concentrated in a facility and, based on that, make the fire alarm system more or less sensitive to smoke. If a lot of people are congregating in one area, there might be more activity and more dust being stirred up. You could use that information to set different alarm parameters compared to, for example, an empty building with no significant air movement. We see that type of operation happening. Knowing how many people are in a building and where they are located is also a critically valuable piece of information for first responders. Here’s another example: let’s say we have a big parking garage next to a mall. Cars come in, and perhaps some people leave their cars running, or the cars aren’t operating as efficiently as they should be. You could have carbon monoxide detectors and occupancy sensors in the garage, and when the garage becomes crowded and carbon monoxide levels start to rise a bit, you could tell the fire alarm system not to go into alarm, but instead to turn fans on to get some fresh air moving throughout the building. It’s performing a life safety function, but at a non-emergency level. Q: Are you involved in any cross-industry standard-setting organisations to enable better communication among building systems? On an industry level, Johnson Controls is very active in the development of codes and standards. We have people who sit on committees for things like healthcare occupancy standards. We have engineers that contribute to product listing documents. We have people who participate in committees that determine how products should be installed and maintained.Fire alarm systems could be used to detect and solve non-emergencies before they become threats We’re even involved with groups, like the National Disabilities Rights Network, that advocate for laws that promote equal access and notification of life safety events. The list goes on. It’s a common protocol that allows all types of systems to get on the same communication platform and be able to send and possibly receive information, depending on the product and the type of system it is.Just to give you an example, there’s a standard called BACnet, Building Automation Control Network, which was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. BACnet is based on entities, so within their system, they need to define what each entity is. What is a thermostat? What is a variable air box? What is a lighting controller? What is a fire alarm smoke detector? We work closely with this organisation to create entities that can reside on their infrastructure so that, for example, the lightning system recognises what a smoke detector is when they send that entity out to the network. It’s one of the most important methods we are using to communicate among dissimilar systems. Integrated systems mean elevators could be used to evacuate people in an emergency We’re working on two fronts: internally and industry-wide. We’re developing third-party interfaces that enable an outside entity to sign a non-disclosure form and get the keys to the kingdom, if you will, on our protocols for how our systems operate – the data stream that we can send out and receive back – allowing that third-party developer to create some of these interfaces themselves. That has been one of our challenges, because we have always said that this is a fire alarm system, and if you want that type of an interface, we need to write it and get it listed. We had to step back and say, what if we developed a barrier gateway and allowed somebody else to develop the protocol and, done properly, became able to receive and send information to the fire alarm system? It’s like what Apple does with apps. We are going down that road with this third-party interface gateway. Q: Have these developments changed how you’re planning for the future development of fire detection systems? Yes, they have. We are looking at how we can use these systems strategically to make life safety systems better. And life safety is becoming more nuanced, proactive and comprehensive. Can I communicate and use this information to unlock the door so people have a clear egress? Can I start to use the elevators to evacuate people during an emergency? We’ve been told traditionally to use the stairwell and not the elevator in the event of a fire. But it takes a person about a minute a floor to get out. That’s a problem if you’re in an 80-story building. You have elevators sitting there. Is there something we could do to allow these elevators to be used to evacuate people? The American Society of Mechanical Engineers has been working hard on developing the language and requirements to do that. It’s just one example of how having systems integrated and talking to each other allows us to create smarter solutions that can help make facilities safer. Q: What advice would you give to building owners, architects, designers or contractors to help them start planning today for the future of smart buildings? The most important thing is to build awareness. The average building owner doesn’t know that a lot of this technology even exists. We need to inform them that there are options they can ask about. One of my recommendations would be to ask your design engineer. As you discuss the kind of windows you want, the kind of flooring and lighting and so on, ask how these systems could integrate together and what the benefits of integration would be. The bigger your facility, the greater the benefits of integrating these systems. Another resource that people don’t use often enough is the AHJs, the authorities having jurisdiction. That’s the local fire marshal, the fire chief, the local first responders. Don’t be afraid to sit down with a fire marshal, tell them what kind of building you’re putting in, and ask them what would help them respond in the event of an emergency in that building. They’ll be glad you asked, because these people see a lot of different buildings and respond to emergencies every day.
Set to stand at 62-storeys high, 22 Bishopsgate in the City of London will, on completion, become the second-tallest building in Western Europe. The 278m office building will offer 1.275 million sq. ft of high specification office space, as well as eight community spaces, covering over 100,000 sq ft, including an innovation hub, curated gallery space, fresh food market, gym and wellbeing retreat. Once completed, Advanced will protect both of Western Europe’s tallest buildings, with 22 Bishopsgate being the latest in a long line of London’s most prestigious and iconic skyscrapers specifying Advanced, including the Shard, the Leadenhall Building, the Heron Tower and the HSBC Tower. Networked MxPro 5 panels At the centre of the active fire protection for 22 Bishopsgate are over 80 networked MxPro 5 panels with graphic display and BMS integration, alongside three special build panels for the building’s Fire Command Centre, that will form part of the intelligent fire detection network. Advanced’s panels are used alongside Apollo’s Soteria detectors and its networking is widely regarded as the most resilient and scalable solution on the market. It can be expanded up to 200 node networks covering huge areas with complicated cause-and-effect. Great emphasis and consideration has been placed on the fire protection for 22 Bishopsgate" As a UK-first, 22 Bishopsgate will utilize a specially developed lift-evacuation strategy in case of fire. The building is separated into four vertical areas by fire-hardened slabs with a two-hour fire rating separating a floor from the one above at levels 26, 42 and 58. Depending on which of the four vertical areas of the building a fire is detected, workers on that floor and the floors above egress via fire escape stairs to the area below and from there can evacuate via the lifts, safe in the knowledge that these are protected by the slabs above. Fire detection systems Responsible for every aspect of installation of the fire system from design to completion, PHF Fire, a division of PHF Electrical, used Advanced for its market-leading networking capabilities, best suited to managing a network of this size and complexity. Paul Falkner, Director at PHF Fire, said: “Great emphasis and consideration has been placed on the fire protection for 22 Bishopsgate – a building truly at the at the forefront of fire technology. From working with Advanced previously we knew its products could be relied upon to deliver powerful, flexible and dependable fire protection for the complex nature of a building of this size.” Fire protection Advanced is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems Amanda Hope, UK Business Development Manager at Advanced, said: “Advanced is a leader in the market in terms of performance, quality and ease-of-use and being specified in arguably the UK’s most high-profile commercial development, since the Shard, reinforces this. We are thrilled to now not only protect Western Europe’s tallest building, but soon also the second tallest. It was a pleasure to work with the team at PHF Fire where we were able to meet their needs with a system capable of delivering the complicated cause and effect programming and flexible networking required.” With EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 approval, the MxPro is the fire industry’s leading multiprotocol fire solution, offering customers a choice of two panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network that enjoys free training and support. Intelligent fire systems expert Advanced is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The performance, quality and ease of use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large, multi-site networks in some of the world’s most prestigious sites. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, extinguishing control panels, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
At insulation manufacturer Glava, they manage high risk and high production volumes. Hence, they are dependent on an efficient fire detection system. Here, they tell us why they chose Autronica. 60 tons of melted glass, and temperatures up to 1300 degrees Celsius: At the Glava manufacturing plant in the Norwegian town of Stjørdal, the production runs non-stop. The temperature is high when shattered glass is molten and spun into insulation, and the consequences of an incident in the smelting plant are enormous. In the afternoon, evening and night, staffing is limited to a minimum. Only four people keep the 3500 square meters of factory under surveillance. Thanks to solid fire detection, they all know they are safe regardless. However, not long ago they experienced a completely different situation altogether. Catastrophic fire at Glava manufacturing plant "In the 90s, the Glava manufacturing plant and headquarters in Askim suffered a major cable fire, where a grand total of 600 kilometers of cable was destroyed by fire. Production was halted for weeks, and 60-70 electricians were hired to fix the problem. If we had had early warning in case of overheating, we could have saved several millions Norwegian Kroner," said Helge Bakken, an electrical engineer working in the Glava manufacturing plant since 1996. He talks about vast amounts of inflammable materials on the premises. "Glava is a large manufacturing plant with lots of machinery, and we are bordering on the limit of what we can keep our eyes on." Efficient fire detection system With Autronica’s solution we have a complete overview form the screens in the control room" Helge added, "When we rebuilt the Stjørdal factory in 2014, we wanted to install a proper fire detection system. We asked for tenders from a wide range of suppliers, and I feared that Autronica would be too expensive. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out they weren’t the most expensive supplier by far. Additionally, the quality and service were far superior to any of the others. And of course, it was a bonus that they are a Norwegian company, and that most of the equipment is manufactured at their headquarters in Trondheim." Fire alarms and emergency lighting "With Autronica’s solution we have a complete overview form the screens in the control room. Graphical sectionalizations show where the alarm is triggered, and we get an early indication of heat generation. With the help of statistics, we quickly see what the normal temperature is. If there is a real emergency, the emergency light system will multiply the chance of evacuating the employees. There are few fault messages, and everyone here takes any alarm seriously," says fire safety manager, Håvard Sesseng.
Tamworth-based trade association, DHF (Door & Hardware Federation) is emphasizing the importance of making fire safety an ‘absolute priority’ in new-build homes, following an investigation into potentially dangerous fire safety issues in houses developed by Persimmon Homes and Bellway Homes. Fire Safety In New-Build Homes The BBC’s Watchdog discovered serious breaches that had gone undetected during the construction process" The findings, by BBC Watchdog Live, highlighted that a number of new builds constructed by the firms were sold with missing or incorrectly installed fire barriers, which are used to form a complete seal between different areas of a home, and prevent the spread of fire. Without them, experts say, fire and smoke can spread five-to-ten times faster. “The BBC’s Watchdog discovered serious breaches that had gone undetected during the construction process, leaving homes and lives potentially at risk in the event of a fire,” explains DHF’s Commercial Manager, Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens. “In many new builds, particularly timber-framed buildings, fire barriers are a vital part of fire protection and we would urge house builders to ‘get it right’ at the construction stage and to have a workforce that is trained in, and understands, the importance of installing the fire barriers required to prevent potential problems down the line. Ultimately, responsibility for ensuring that buildings are compliant with Building Regulations lies with the house builder.” Importance Of Fire Safety Following the investigation, Bellway Homes stated that it was ‘committed to improvement’ with regards to potentially flawed fire safety issues in developments in Kent and West Lothian, and that mandatory training on, amongst other subjects, fire stopping, has been introduced for all relevant construction staff.Following the Grenfell disaster in June 2017, DHF’s voice has been one of the loudest and most passionate in its call for third-party certification by a UKAS-accredited body of manufacture, installation, maintenance and inspection of fire, smoke and security doors, in order to offer complete assurance on their performance. With a history and heritage dating back to 1897, the federation is undoubtedly one of the most revered organizations, widely respected as the industry’s independent authoritative voice. Fire Door Training Courses DHF works assiduously with BRE Academy to offer fire door training courses Fierce advocates for appropriate levels of training across all the sectors that it serves, DHF continues to place the importance of training firmly ‘up-front-and-center’. The organization works assiduously with BRE Academy to offer fire door training courses; this has been central to its on-going fire safety campaign. Additionally, in March 2019, DHF announced a high-profile collaboration with Secured by Design (SBD) and Fire Industry Association (FIA) to publish a guidance document on fire safety. Named A Guide for Selecting Flat Entrance Doorsets; A publication for housing associations, landlords, building owners and local authorities in England, the publication accentuates the key issues of fire safety for those selecting fire doorsets, recommending all fire doorsets are factory-prepared (as opposed to prepared on-site), that all work be completed under factory production control, and in addition, audited by a third-party. Fire Doors “Since Grenfell, the wider issue of fire safety has been thrust into the spotlight and we are delighted that progress is being made in this regard,” said Patricia. “We continue to stress that the use of fire doors, correctly installed and with robust fire door maintenance procedures, are an essential part of fire safety and urge those in positions of responsibility (such as house builders) to ensure that they are not only fulfilling regulations, as well as legal and moral obligations, but insisting upon appropriate levels of training with regards to installation and maintenance.”
Tottenham based Lancasterian Primary School is focused on the delivery of a safe and welcoming learning environment, ‘where everyone is included and creativity is valued.’ The school is persistently seeking new ways to enhance and improve its offer to the children and the local community. The school had an established high-profile intruder alarm system on site and consulted with Amthal to create a maintenance program that could operate with no disruption to learning timetables. Safe Learning And Working Environment Proactively worked with us to create a maintenance schedule for our intruder alarm" Says Sam Judge, Lancasterian Primary School’s Assistant Site Manager: “The security of our school is naturally a top priority, to ensure staff and pupils can work and learn in a safe environment. We see a careful balance to ensure our focus on creation of a welcoming and nurturing school for pupils and the local community is not overwhelmed.” “It’s something we are consistently reviewing and when we approached Amthal, we were instantly impressed with their understanding of our objectives. They proactively worked with us to create a maintenance schedule for our intruder alarms, to ensure they continue to operate to maximum capacity for the ultimate protection of all who learn with us, and provide total peace of mind and assurance to the site management team.” Well-Maintained Security System An effective school building security alarm system for which users are fully trained" Mark Golding, Amthal Account Manager added: “Ensuring that pupils, buildings and equipment are protected requires an effective school building security alarm system for which users are fully trained, alarm systems that are regularly maintained and service inspections that are logged and documented.” A well-maintained system will ensure compliance with building safety regulations and also help to ensure the school passes OFSTED with flying colours. Amthal is thrilled to be working with schools such as Lancasterian Primary to ensure its security for the benefit of staff, pupils and visitors.” Satisfying User Needs Independently owned, Amthal Fire & Security is dedicated to satisfying end user needs for security safety and convenience offering design, installation, service and remote monitoring of advanced electronic fire & security solutions, including intruder, Fire, Access and CCTV systems. Amthal Fire & Security is accredited by the Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB) United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS) and British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE.)
The headquarters of Bulgaria’s Communications Regulation Commission will be protected by high-tech fire systems from Advanced System, as part of a major refurbishment project and drive to reduce cases of false alarms. Located in Sofia, the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) was established in 2002 as an independent state authority entrusted with the management and regulation of all electronic communications in Bulgaria. Axis EN System A recent upgrade of the fire system in the Communications Regulation Commission office was undertaken by Advanced partner, FireTech Engineering Ltd A recent upgrade of the fire system in the Communications Regulation Commission office was undertaken by Advanced partner, FireTech Engineering Ltd. The project saw Advanced’s Axis EN system installed in the building supported by smoke detectors, and Advanced’s AlarmCalm false alarm management solution. Rossen Kolev, Managing Director for FireTech Engineering Ltd, said: “We specified Axis EN as the brains and backbone of the system for the CRC building as we know it offers the highest levels of quality and reliability. The client specified a system that would avoid false alarms and offer the option to expand or upgrade in the future, which is something we can guarantee with Axis EN and AlarmCalm.” AlarmCalm Fire Alarm Management AlarmCalm is a free upgrade to Advanced software and firmware that takes advantage of the high-speed robust panels and networks to offer the best-in-class solution for managing verification and investigation delays to outputs. It allows the false alarm management strategy for a site to be refined right down to points and to take account for resident needs and area usage. It includes the AlarmCalm loop device that allows residents or trained staff to indicate whether they believe a signal in their area is due to a false alarm. Axis EN is EN54 2,4&13 approved and its panels can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, multi-loop panels in 200 node networks covering huge areas. Advanced’s legendary ease of installation and configuration and wide peripheral range make it customizable to almost any application. TouchControl And Dynamic Reporting Axis EN also supports TouchControl, Advanced’s 10” HD touchscreen repeater and remote-control terminal that offers dynamic reporting and control Axis EN also supports TouchControl, Advanced’s 10” HD touchscreen repeater and remote-control terminal that offers dynamic reporting and control via a unique interface that includes Active Maps and zone plans. Etienne Ricoux, Advanced’s Head of Sales, commented: “The Communications Regulation Commission building in Sofia is the latest high-profile building in Bulgaria to be protected by Advanced panels. Our Axis EN panels lead the market and offer the performance, reliability and flexibility needed in a building such as this.” Intelligent Fire Systems Expert Advanced is a globally renowned developer and manufacturer of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease-of-use of its products sees Advanced specified locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control and fire paging systems.
The Yamaha motorcycle factory in Chennai, India, is protecting its employees with a low maintenance, high performance fire alarm system, provided by Hochiki Europe. With a population of 6,000 workers in eight large buildings spread across a vast 147,450m2 site, Yamaha’s building designers faced a challenge when developing a centralised fire safety and emergency lighting network. The distance between the buildings and the number of devices needed made it impossible to use a single control panel for the entire plant. At the same time, installing a separate control panel in each structure would be expensive and make it more difficult to look after long term. The company had no doubt that a system from Hochiki Europe was the ideal solution. Remote Monitoring And Centralized Control “With such a large site and so many workers, we needed a life safety solution that could be easily monitored from a remote location to help us pinpoint and correct potential performance issues as quickly and efficiently as possible,” explained a spokesperson, at Yamaha Chennai. “The final system had to help us centralise control, while also minimising disruption due to false alarms.” Technical experts from Hochiki Europe worked closely with life safety installers, Bell Automation, and Yamaha’s designers to develop an effective solution that could be easily integrated into their computer aided design (CAD) models. Hochiki Europe recommended dividing the site’s buildings into four separate groups, each connected to a centralised control panel – provided by the manufacturer. This would overcome the challenge presented by the site’s complexity, while simplifying maintenance and monitoring procedures. Minimizing False Alarm Risk Photoelectric Smoke Sensors from Hochiki Europe were selected for use in all buildings across the site. Offering high-precision chamber technology, rather than standard ionisation sensors, the solution has a greater particle sensor threshold than traditional products, minimising the risk of false alarms. Hochiki Europe’s Intrinsically Safe Photoelectric Smoke Detectors were selected for the site’s paint store area. These detectors have been specially designed to operate on a reduced current and have been third-party approved for use in hazardous areas. They are installed in conjunction with a barrier, which reduces the energy entering the hazardous zone and their components are encapsulated in a non-conductive material, negating the chance of sparking and igniting a flammable atmosphere. Water-Proof Heat Detectors In the canteen kitchen, Hochiki Europe recommended the installation of its Water-Proof Heat Detectors. Featuring a variable Fixed Temperature heat element, these sensors are able to overcome the issue of excessive smoke from cooking food. Their water-proof casing means that they are able to withstand the humidity of the kitchen, increasing durability and cutting maintenance needs. Weather-Proof Sounders and Weather-Proof Manual Call Points were chosen for external assembly areas. The safety products installed in each building were linked to the relevant network each controlled by one of four centralised control panels provided by Hochiki Europe, meeting the requirement for streamlined monitoring. Alok Chaturvedi, Director of Bell Automation, added: “Thanks to Hochiki Europe’s innovative open Enhanced Systems Protocol (ESP), all of the equipment was compatible with thenetwork loop modelled by Yamaha’s designers. This really simplified the installation process and enabled us to complete the work in just four months, well within the company’s strict deadline.” Compatibility With Wider Safety Network Rohit Harjani, country manager for India at Hochiki Europe, concluded: “The Yamaha Chennai site is complex. It has many buildings, each housing hundreds of workers every day. With this in mind, it is vital that the final life safety system was both reliable and effective with minimal maintenance needs to reduce disruption to the business of the plant. “The technologies recommended offered the high performance required combined with compatibility to a wider safety network. These streamlined maintenance and monitoring needs for the company, saving it time and money, while enabling workers to do their jobs in a safe environment.”