Maintaining adequate staffing is a key challenge facing many volunteer fire departments. While not a new issue, increasing population and call volumes along with the expanded services many volunteer departments now provide have made recruiting and retaining volunteers a top priority in the fire service. The federal government supports volunteer recruitment and retention through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, administered by the Federal Emergency Man...
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is pleased to announce that the fifth NVFC Training Summit will take place June 14-15, 2019, in Portland, OR. Attendance is limited; pre-register today to secure your space. In addition, applications are now being accepted for a travel stipend. NVFC Training Summit 2019 This two-day seminar will provide an opportunity to participate in valuable classroom training as well as exchange ideas and best practices with attendees from across the country. The...
Each spring, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) honors a firefighter who has provided a lifetime of service, an outstanding junior firefighter, and an exemplary junior firefighter program. With the addition of a new award, the NVFC will also honor a firefighter who has demonstrated leadership in the area of firefighter health and wellness. All recipients receive a personalized award and national recognition. The nomination period for the NVFC’s four annual awards is now open, with...
Globe, DuPont Protection Solutions (DuPont), and the National Volunteer Fire Council teamed up once again in 2018 to distribute 52 sets of turnout gear to 13 volunteer or mostly-volunteer fire departments. This annual program began in 2012 to provide departments in need with new turnouts to better protect their personnel. Shinbone Valley Fire and Rescue (Delta, AL) and the Barnsdall (OK) Rural Fire Department are the final 2018 gear recipients. Shinbone Valley Fire and Rescue has 16 volunteer f...
Insitu, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, assisted from the air in the firefight against the Camp Fire in Northern California, now deemed the deadliest, most destructive wildfire in California's history. "Our hearts go out to all of those affected by the terrible Camp Fire tragedy," said Esina Alic, Insitu President and CEO. "We are honored to have had the opportunity to help with fire suppression efforts using our ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) and INEXA suite of informa...
Allied Market Research published a report, titled, North America Fire Protection Systems Market by Product (Fire Detection Systems, Fire Management Systems, Fire Response System, Fire Analysis & Software, and Others), Service (Consulting & Design and Installation & Maintenance), and Industry Vertical (BFSI, Automotive & Transport, Manufacturing, Energy & Power, Healthcare, Oil & Gas and Mining, and Other Verticals) - North America Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecas...
Logistics and warehousing solutions witnessing substantial demand from the e-commerce industry that involves the integration of material handling, stocking, packaging, transportation, inventory management, supply chain management, procurement and shipping security aspects, is triggering the sales of fire protection systems, at a global level. "The E-commerce is far from saturation, considering that even mature markets like Japan are making efforts to create a sizeable share among total retail sales in 2019, creating significant demand for large-scale warehouse spaces. Moreover, as prominent players compete to solidify their market standing in the E-commerce landscape, regional mergers and acquisition activities will continue. In addition, encouraging demand growth from warehouse constructions ahead of World Expo- 2020 is anticipated," explained a senior research analyst of the company. Growth Anticipated For Fire Protection Systems The market is estimated to grow at an annual growth rate of 9.1 percent between 2018 and 2026" As per a recently released intelligence study by Persistence Market Research (PMR), the global revenue generated through the sales of fire protection systems, will exceed the valuation of US$ 45.2 Bn in 2019. With the increasing demand for modern warehouses, global players in the fire protection systems market have started foraying into the nascent markets, says the report. "Given the expanding landscape for fire protection systems, the market is estimated to grow at a stellar annual growth rate of 9.1 percent between 2018 and 2026, representing an incremental dollar opportunity of a whopping US$ 40 Bn during the same timeline," the analyst revealed further. In the wheel of fortune, the PMR report on fire protection systems has placed product type, end-use, and regional segments in different growth quadrants – ranging from slow-to high growth quadrant. Demand For Fire Suppression Systems Fire suppression systems lies in the high growth quadrant, arising from increasing safety standardsIn terms of product type, while fire detection systems occupy a position in the steady growth quadrant, fire extinguishers and fire response systems are projected to represent moderate growth through the forecast period. Fire suppression systems, on the other hand, lies in the high growth quadrant, arising from increasing safety standards. The segment analysis is indicative of the highest market share – at nearly 52 percent – held by fire suppression systems. On the basis of end-use, fire protection systems will witness increased adoption in the industrial sector, lying in the high growth quadrant. While commercial sector showcases moderate rate through the assessment timeline, adoption of fire protection systems in the residential sector lies in the steady growth quadrant. In-depth analysis of the end-use segment indicates approximately 38 percent market share held by the industrial sector. Industries such as manufacturing, oil & gas, mining, and marine are projected to extensively employ fire protection systems given the stringency in government norms aimed at improving the safety standards. Emerging economies hold notable market potential Increasing greenfield investments in MEA is projected to fuel the demand of safety equipment such as fire protection systemsSouth East Asia & Pacific and China – both holding a position in the high growth quadrant are identified as the most lucrative revenue pockets in the global fire protection systems market. With this region, India is projected to be the most lucrative country, in the coming years, considering burgeoning manufacturing sector in the region. Apart from North America, which holds a position in the steady growth quadrant, Latin America, Europe, and Middle East and Asia (MEA) are represented as moderately growing regions in the global fire protection systems market. Increasing greenfield investments in MEA is projected to fuel the demand of safety equipment such as fire protection systems. North America and Europe are also expected to pump significant revenue into the global fire protection systems market owing to stringent safety and security solutions. High-Level Market Fragmentation to Deter Growth Fire protection system manufacturers are likely to improve their customer service in the near-term The global fire protection systems market showcases a high fragmented competitor landscape owing to widespread presence of small and medium-sized tier-2 players, holding nearly 80 percent market share. Tier-2 players, on the other side, occupy approximately 20 percent of the market share. Although the presence of large-size fire protection systems manufacturers is limited, they are anticipated to pump more revenue than smaller fire protection systems manufacturers, estimated to stand at more than US$ 600 Mn. However, considering such market fragmentation and presence of several unorganized players could plaque the market growth, specifically the warehousing landscape. As a part of their differentiation strategy, key players are projected to focus on developing well-structured and efficient supply chain. Moreover, to reach a wider group of consumers, fire protection system manufacturers are likely to improve their customer service in the near-term. Price reduction, wider product offerings, including application specific products, and long-term supply relations are some core focus areas.
Created more than 20 years ago, the French firm COSSILYS21 offers intelligent video-protection solutions. It equips major national banks, numerous regional banks, as well as shops. The COSSILYS21 firm is nowadays a reference in the banking sector. COSSILYS21 and FOXSTREAM have established a strong partnership for several years. When Mister Alain Ghaye, CEO and main shareholder of COSSILYS21, decided to hand over its firm to retire, the idea of bringing closer the two firms naturally made its way. This project was carried out in cooperation with the Managing Director of COSSILYS21, Mister François Bureau, entirely associated in this take-over project. Technological challenges The skills of these two teams represent a powerful asset to deal with tomorrow’s technological challenges in our market" “COSSILYS21 offers a know-how in video manipulation and in the management of server farms. Their offer is strongly complementary to FOXSTREAM’s offer, as our know-how is oriented towards video analysis,” states Jean-Baptiste Ducatez, FOXSTREAM’s CEO. “The skills of these two teams represent a powerful asset to deal with tomorrow’s technological challenges in our market, the Cloud, deep learning, cybersecurity... It is a beautiful human adventure that begins.” “It is a strategic and industrial alliance of two growing companies, both recognized in their sectors,” adds François Bureau, Managing Director of COSSILYS21. “The synergy of both our technologies and our skills will allow our two firms to enhance our clients’ satisfaction. Starting 2019, an ambitious investment plan will reinforce our innovation capacities.” After the purchase of the firm BLUE EYE VIDEO at the end of 2014, FOXSTREAM now acquires COSSILYS21 and confirms its ambition to be a leading actor, strongly present in cutting-edge technologies, on the French and international security and flow management markets.
As the countdown to Christmas gets well and truly underway with offices and places of work getting into the festive spirit, Siemens Building Technologies is warning UK businesses about the potential consequences of false fire alarms during the busiest period of the year. False alarms from remotely-monitored fire detection and fire alarm systems cost the UK economy an estimated £1 billion in business disruption with 95% of automatically-generated alarms being proved to be false placing Fire and Rescue Services (F&RS) and the public at unnecessary risk. “The vast majority of automatic fire alarm calls are proven to be false and are often caused by either false fire triggers or the inadequate maintenance of alarm systems,” commented Don Scott, fire engineering consultant Siemens Building Technologies. False alarm activations Christmas is already a time of heightened risk of fire for many businesses with the F&RS stretched to capacity across the country" “Christmas is already a time of heightened risk of fire for many businesses with the F&RS stretched to capacity across the country. False alarms create further pressures when emergency services have to challenge whether alarms are genuine before attending incidents – the time lost could end up costing thousands of pounds in repairs or at worst, put lives at risk.” Ionisation or single-sensor optical smoke detectors are a common cause of false alarm activations as they have difficulty in accurately distinguishing between airborne pollutants, such as steam, aerosols, dust, cooking fumes, insects, sparks, embers and a real fire. The incorrect siting of detectors can also be triggered if there is excessive air movement from mechanical heating or ventilation. Testing compromise safety Multi-sensor detectors are responsive to more than one fire phenomena, i.e. smoke, heat and carbon-monoxide and are proven to be more immune to false alarm phenomena thereby giving fewer false activations. For more stringent applications; beam detectors, heat detectors and aspirating detectors are available. A regular maintenance programme ensures the correct functioning of a fire alarm system - inadequate servicing and testing compromise safety A regular maintenance programme ensures the correct functioning of a fire alarm system - inadequate servicing and testing compromise safety. If an alarm system is aging or becoming unreliable replacement is advised when offset against the cost of disruption to a business. Generally, detectors should be replaced every 10-15 years, depending upon the environment in which they are installed and the manufacturers recommendations. Increase response times Dave Green, national officer, Fire Brigades Union added: “False alarms use up resources which could be better served elsewhere, and increase response times to actual emergencies. But it is better to be safe than sorry, and fire services should always be called when any alarm is raised.” “Fire services are under more pressure than ever before, dealing with more incidents and more fires, with increasingly fewer firefighters. Since 2009, there has been a 23% decrease in the number of firefighters across the UK. This huge decrease in the number of firefighters has meant that preventative work, which would help to reduce the number of false alarms, has worryingly fallen by the wayside.”
Johnson Controls announces the release of Metasys 10.0, designed to deliver more unified building management. This latest Metasys release provides facility personnel with smarter building automation, faster responses to critical alarms and new integrations with fire detection, security and lighting systems – all with visibility from a single common interface. Metasys 10.0 introduces a new and improved set of integrations. These include new integrations with C·CURE 9000 access control and Victor video management systems, and simpler integrations with SIMPLEX fire systems and with lighting systems from leading lighting providers. Robust data analysis and reporting Providing our customers with access to critical system data from a single interface makes it faster and easier for them to do their jobs"A new Metasys Application Programming Interface (API) enables data to be securely extracted from Metasys 10.0 and integrated with Johnson Controls or third-party data visualisation tools for robust data analysis and reporting. “Metasys has always delivered a strong integrations platform, but we’re really excited about how easy we’re making it for customers to integrate both HVAC and non-HVAC systems into Metasys 10.0,” said Chris Eichmann, vice president and general manager, Global Controls Products, Johnson Controls. “Providing our customers with access to critical system data from a single, intuitively-designed interface makes it faster and easier for them to do their jobs. We’re seeing some great early successes at sites like Georgia-Pacific in Atlanta.” 4-in-1 network sensor series Several new hardware devices were also added to Metasys 10.0, including: Two new equipment controllers with removable screw terminal blocks for easy installation, high capacity memory and fast processing A new 4-in-1 network sensor series with the ability to sense temperature, humidity, CO2 and occupancy – all with one sensor A new TEC3000 thermostat controller with colour touchscreen Another innovative feature is Ethernet ring topology support for Metasys IP equipment controllers. Delivered as part of Johnson Controls’ collaboration with Cisco, it allows controllers to be configured in a ring network, improving system reliability and resiliency. Meeting complex building management needs A key feature is the ability for users to schedule reports to be delivered via email and save and execute report templates on demandAs part of the new Metasys release, the Metasys User Interface (UI) introduces several new features that reduce operators’ time on task. A key feature is the ability for users to schedule reports to be delivered via email and save and execute report templates on demand, reducing time spent configuring and providing reports. For more than a quarter century, Metasys building automation has delivered consistent results to meet even the most complex building management needs. This new major release keeps today’s buildings on top of change, with all the Metasys benefits you expect, including: Operational savings through extended building management capabilities and enhanced productivity Energy savings through coordinated control, precise data and peak equipment performance IT and platform security through best-practice processes Faster troubleshooting and response through advanced diagnostics Greater occupant comfort, security and satisfaction
Frequentis has developed an application which allows location data and video from drones to feed directly into workstations in the control center, through its LifeX and ASGARD solutions. The integrated solution will be presented at the global trade fair for professional mobile communications and control centers, PMRExpo, in Cologne from November 27, 2018. UAVs/Drones Application In Emergency Situations Video and sensor data provided by drones could vastly support rescue forces in their mission Firefighters, police, emergency medical services, search and rescue crews, and lifeguards, responding to a wide range of emergencies every day, are all too often hindered by a lack of critical information. Video and sensor data provided by drones could vastly support these emergency and life safety forces in their missions. At PMRExpo, Frequentis will highlight how Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones can be efficiently utilized in emergency situations by directly integrating their critical surveillance information into the control center’s communication systems. Beyond Visual Line Of Sight Operations The system design is fully scalable and will support autonomous Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations in the future, if permitted by local legal legislation. This will allow emergency services to use drones to quickly gain a real-time aerial view of a situation as it unfolds. The application forwards the live video data to the control center. The data feed can be processed and displayed by both the Frequentis multimedia collaboration platform LifeX, as used in large national public safety organizations, or its communication system ASGARD, which is already used in 35 security centers for industry and fire departments in Germany. Resolution and quality can be configured by a mobile app to use the maximum available bandwidth of encrypted LTE connectivity. High Efficiency Control Center “With the help of this technology the Control Center can quickly and directly gain an information advantage, improving situational awareness, allowing simplification and acceleration of emergency services work processes.” Says Jan Ziegler – Head of New Business Development UAVs.
Very high packing density, intelligent networking, complex processes: Automated warehouses present new challenges for fire protection concepts. Conventional solutions are usually not sufficient to meet the protection goals of logistics providers. These include maintenance processes and a delivery capability, preventing business interruptions and protecting goods and investments. The WAGNER Group will be presenting solutions specially adapted to these requirements, from 19 to 21 February 2019 at LogiMAT, the international trade fair for intralogistics solutions and process management, in Stuttgart. The focus is set on the active fire prevention system, which prevents fires already within their development phase. A combination of OxyReduct fire prevention and TITANUS early fire detection protects the so-called AutoStore small parts warehouseIntelligent, autonomous storage systems open up new possibilities for intralogistics. Time savings and energy efficiency are just two of the advantages that result from these developments. In order to consistently protect plant and high value stock within such highly specialized warehouses, a solution with the active oxygen reduction technology, OxyReduct is recommended. This also includes effective early fire detection using TITANUS. OxyReduct And TITANUS Protects Warehouse The Saxon company KOMSA, Kommunikation Sachsen AG - a service provider and distributor of information and communication technology products - benefits from such a solution. At their headquarters in Hartmannsdorf, a combination of OxyReduct fire prevention and TITANUS early fire detection protects the so-called AutoStore small parts warehouse. Due to the packing density, a fire protection solution had to be found that was not based on sprinkler technologyIn a self-supporting aluminum construction, 25,000 plastic containers, each with a capacity of 70 litres are stacked. Robots ensure an optimum flow of goods. However, due to the packing density, a fire protection solution had to be found that was not based on sprinkler technology. Absolutely essential requirement: no interruption of the delivery capability - even in case of an emergency. This is ensured by an intelligent fire protection solution with highly sensitive air sampling smoke detectors and an oxygen reduction system. Companies Using WAGNER Fire Protection Solutions Leading companies all over the world rely on fire protection solutions from the WAGNER Group. These include Imperial Automotive Logistics, AstraZeneca, NewCold, Preferred Freezer Services, Davert GmbH, KLM Logistik, British Library, BASF and many others. Further information on the systems available and WAGNER's portfolio of innovative fire protection solutions will be available to fair visitors at booth D11 in hall 7.
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.
While whole room protection – sprinklers or gas systems – is a common choice, there is an argument for thinking smaller; taking fire detection and suppression down to the equipment, enclosures and even the components where a fire is most likely to start. Traditional Fire Suppression Methods A traditional water-based sprinkler system is the most common form of fire protection found in commercial and industrial buildings. They offer reasonable cost, large area protection for entire facilities, safeguarding the structure and personnel by limiting the spread and impact of a fire. Every square foot of the protected area is covered equally regardless of the contents of the space, whether it’s an empty floor or an object with an increased risk of fire. Sprinklers aren’t always the most appropriate choice. Not all fires are extinguished by water of course, and in some cases, water damage can be just as harmful or even more so than the fire. They are an impractical choice for instance for facilities housing anything electrical, such as data centres and server rooms. There is also the risk of accidental activation, with an estimated cost of up to $1,000 for every minute they are left running. Water damage can be just as harmful or even more so than any fire, so sprinklers may not be appropriate Targeted Supplementary Fire Suppression An alternative method to protect whole server rooms and data centres is gas fire suppression, which either suppresses the fire by displacing oxygen (inert) or by using a form of cooling mechanism (chemical/synthetic). These aren’t without risk; in the case of inert gas, oxygen is reduced to less than 15% to suffocate the fire, but must be kept above 12% to avoid endangering the lives of personnel. Similarly, clean agent gas can be toxic in high doses. There are smaller, focused systems that give the option of highly targeted supplementary fire suppression within fire risk areas. Installing a system directly into the areas most at risk, means that fires can be put out before they take hold and cause serious damage. Both sprinkler and gas systems can contain a fire, but micro-environment or closed space systems are completely automatic, detecting and suppressing the fire so rapidly that activating a sprinkler or gas total flooding system often isn’t necessary. The most popular enclosure fire suppression systems achieve this though the use of a flexible and durable polymer tubing that is routed easily through the tightest spaces. The tubing is extremely sensitive to heat and, because it can be placed so close to potential failure points, detects it and releases the fire suppression agent up to ten times faster than traditional systems. An airline was forced to cancel over 2,000 flights after a “small fire” in one of its data centers Cost-Effective Fire Protection Highly customizable, small enclosure fire suppression is specifically designed to protect business critical spaces and equipment. It is typically used inside machinery like CNC machines, mobile equipment like forklifts and inside server rooms and electrical cabinetry but is suitable for any hazard that’s considered to have an elevated fire risk. Some may question the need or cost-effectiveness of protecting micro-environments. However, examples abound of where fires that have started at component level have gone on to cause damage of the highest magnitude, and the cost of downtime can be crippling to many time-sensitive facilities and processes. An airline was forced to cancel over 2,000 flights in August 2016 when what was described as a “small fire” in one of its data centers ultimately led to a computer outage. The cost of that small fire, and the domino effect that quickly escalated from it, has since been announced as $150m. Admittedly that number is unusually high - the average cost of a data centre outage today is estimated at a more conservative $730,000 – but this is still an expense businesses can ill afford. Preventing Major Losses Staying with the transport industry, newer metros systems have redundant systems in place to prevent interruptions. However, older metro lines, such as the one in New York City, have experienced electrical fires that started small, but grew to such a magnitude that service was affected for months.Older metro lines, such as New York City's, have experience electrical fires that start small but grew exponentially A wind energy customer experienced a fire in a turbine converter cabinet. The loss of the cabinet was valued at over $200,000 and disabled the turbine for six weeks. Following investment in fire suppression systems inside the electrical cabinet, a subsequent fire was detected and suppressed before major damage could be caused. The cost on this occasion was therefore limited to a $25,000 component and downtime was less than two days.Equally - happily - there are also many instances where the installation of small enclosure fire suppression has prevented disaster. In the manufacturing world, CNC machines are valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars and need to be constantly operational to justify the investment. Oil coolant used in the machines can create a flash fire in an instant due to failed components or programming errors. The fact that many of these facilities are run ‘lights out’ with no personnel present further exacerbates the risk. If a fire is not dealt with immediately, the machine will be destroyed; sprinklers don’t react quickly enough for this scenario and would be ineffective. Ensuring Business Continuity One such flash fire occurred inside a protected CNC machine at a machine shop in Iowa. The polymer tubing ruptured within a fraction of a second, releasing the suppression agent and extinguishing the flames. The machine was undamaged and was operational again with a few hours. Contrast this to a previous fire at the same facility in an unprotected machine; it was out of operation for 4 days, costing the business thousands of dollars in downtime In short, fire protection is an essential element of our industrial and commercial environments to ensure both safety and business continuity. However, the nature of that protection is changing, as capacity increases to cost-effectively protect specific areas where fires are most likely to start. Risk mitigation analysis needs to look beyond what has been accepted in the past and find ways to further limit the impact of a small fire using this next level of protection. The benefits can really have a positive effect on the bottom line in the event of fire.
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.
Ramtech Electronics, supplier of the UK’s wireless fire alarm systems, is flying high at the £1bn Manchester Airport Transformation Project following deployment of its WES3 and WES REACT platforms. As one of the largest construction programmes in the North of England, the transformation will more than double the capacity of the airport when it is completed in 2020. The complex project comprises the expansion of the Terminal 2 building, to become the airport’s primary terminal along with The Link, a new bridging space as well as new stands and piers, offering better departure gate facilities. Minimizing False Alarms WES3 is a completely wireless, EN54-compliant fire alarm system designed specifically for complex construction projects Laing O’Rourke, the main contractor of the project has specified a combination of WES3 and WES REACT to protect the 1,500 construction personnel that will be on site at its peak. These two innovative systems combine to provide construction teams with a simple and secure means of communicating fire, medical and similar site emergencies. WES3 is a completely wireless, EN54-compliant fire alarm system designed specifically for complex construction projects such as this. Features include a medical alert, allowing an alarm to be raised in the event of a medical emergency from any call point without having to cause a complete site evacuation. Also, an Inspection Delay feature, which enables site personnel to verify that the alarm is genuine before deciding whether to evacuate site, therefore minimizing false alarms. Wireless Mesh Networks When used in conjunction with the WES REACT cloud-based mobile app, WES3 becomes a total fire alarm solution. All WES3 manual call points in their respective zones are interlinked, creating four individual wireless mesh networks, that can be activated simply by activating any call point on site. Once internal fitout begins, WES3 heat and smoke detectors will be added to the system, to provide automatic protection on site 24 hours a day. WES3 utilizes the best quality Category 1, Euro-harmonised radio in compliance with European standards covering the use of radio technology in emergency equipment (ETSI 300-220-1), meaning it won’t interfere with other radio-based systems used on or near the airport. All Point Network The challenges at Manchester Airport Transformation Project were centered on the need for a wireless fire alarm system that was scalable to a project of this size, whilst being fast and easy to reposition the call points. To put this into context, it is the fastest growing construction project in the UK with £1m of new infrastructure added each day. The system also overcame the challenge of scale by incorporating link units into the call point network to boost the wireless signal over larger distances Being a wireless system means that WES3 call points can easily be added and removed as the build progresses, and there’s no wiring, so no need for specialist installation. The system also overcame the challenge of scale by incorporating link units into the call point network to boost the wireless signal over larger distances. The WES3 system was split into four zones covering four concurrent developments within the overall project. Cloud-Based Monitoring All units in their respective zones are interlinked, creating a completely secure wireless mesh network. Andrew Swindells, Laing O’Rourke Programme Health & Safety Lead, explained: “Manchester Airport Transformation Project is a large and complex development and at its peak there will be over a thousand workers on site. We specified WES3 because it is a wireless system, making it very easy to set up and reposition as well as being fully compliant with EN54. WES REACT also provides us with a highly effective cloud-based monitoring platform.” WES3 has a three-year battery life under normal usage, reducing maintenance costs and waste on site. Once the development at Manchester Airport is completed Laing O’Rourke can simply transfer the units to another project as and when required.
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.”
Drones and UAVs being increasing employed to ensure public security Small unmanned aerial vehicles, colloquially known as drones, are being adopted by more public safety agencies around the world than ever before; and the number of lives they’re saving is climbing dramatically. On one recent day, four people were saved by drones, in three separate incidents around the world. Drones Security Drone manufacturer DJI calls it a ‘marked new milestone in public safety drone use,’ in a press release issued last month. On May 31st, Wayne Township Fire Department in Indiana used a drone to drop a life jacket to a fleeing suspect, who had gotten himself into a near drowning situation in a lake. Thermal imaging camera on drones On that same day, officials in a Texas town near Dallas dropped life jackets to a mother and daughter who found themselves in rising floodwater; and police in the UK used a drone with a thermal imaging camera to find a stranded hiker on a dangerous cliff. “We are seeing more and more life-saving stories coming out of these agencies,” says Matt Sloane, CEO of Skyfire Consulting, a group who works with public safety agencies to adopt drone programs. “This technology can no longer be written off as a ‘toy’ or a plaything. It’s a front-line tool in public safety, and it’s already saving lives.” The UAV is one of the most exciting tools to come along that improves first responder safety and efficiency" UAVs for Public Safety For many agencies, including the Wayne Township Fire Department, the technology has been a game-changer. “In my 32 years working in Public Safety, the UAV is one of the most exciting tools to come along that improves first responder safety and efficiency,” said Captain Mike Pruitt, Wayne Township’s UAV program manager. “The possibilities of what we can do with these aircraft are endless.” Pruitt, who worked with Skyfire to start his drone program, says he’s flying the departments’ aircraft several times a week in his area, and in other parts of Indiana where he’s called to assist. Water-resistant drones They even flew last week in heavy downpours with DJI’s Matrice 210 aircraft, a water-resistant drone. More than 900 public safety agencies around the country are flying drones, according to a recent Bard College study, up 200% from last year’s report, but this is only the tip of the drone iceberg, says Sloane. “There are over 100-thousand public agencies in the US,” he says. “Early adopters like Wayne Township are showing the other 99-thousand agencies out there that this technology can be implemented safely, effectively, and will truly save lives.” Public Safety UAV symposium Skyfire has worked with over 120 of those 900 agencies, including the Los Angeles Fire Department, Orlando Fire Department, Miami-Dade Fire, and most recently, Houston Fire. “Big and small, our clients are taking their response capabilities to the next level, and I don’t see this trend slowing down anytime soon,” Sloane says. Skyfire will be holding a public safety UAV symposium with Memorial Villages Police Department and Houston Fire Department July 30th and 31st in the Houston Area.
The college occupies 76,000 sq ft of teaching and workshop space, with specialist training installations, including 150 metres of external track and catenary A key driver in the successful delivery of the UK’s £42.6 billion HS2 project, the new National College for High Speed Rail, is now protected by industry-leading fire panels from Advanced. Located in Doncaster, a town historically known for its prominent role in rail engineering and maintenance, the college occupies 76,000 sq ft of teaching and workshop space, with specialist training installations, including 150 metres of external track and catenary. It will train thousands of engineers to meet HS2’s future needs, as well as those of the wider rail sector. With 2,000 apprenticeship opportunities set to be created by HS2, and 25,000 people employed during construction, there has been, and continues to be high demand for appropriately skilled workers. Need of a high-quality fire system The Advanced MxPro panels were specified by the team at GBE Fire and Security, who were appointed by main contractor Briggs and Forrester to specify, install and commission the fire system at the site. GBE’s Business Development Manager, Andy Westgarth, commented: “We’re thrilled to have been involved in this project. The college will create many opportunities for young people and make a major contribution to the Northern Powerhouse. With sensitive installations, including electrical catenary, a high-quality fire system is essential and, as a longstanding Advanced partner, we feel that MxPro panels are the ideal solution.” Multiprotocol fire system solution MxPro is the fire industry’s leading multiprotocol fire system solution. It offers customers a choice of two panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network, backed up by free training and support. MxPro 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. MxPro’s legendary ease of installation and configuration and wide peripheral range make it customisable to almost any application. Reliable and easy to use Neil Parkin, Advanced Sales Manager for the North, commented: “This is the latest in a series of high-profile rail sector installations for Advanced panels. We have worked with GBE on many projects and it’s great to be working with them on such a positive project. MxPro ticks all the boxes for the National College for High Speed Rail, combining proven reliability with innovation and ease-of-use.” Advanced are members of the Rail Industry Fire Association (RIFA) and have panels installed in a number of other rail-related buildings, including the Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station, almost 100 London Underground stations, the Hitachi Rail Europe factory in Newton Aycliffe and the Tyne & Wear Metro.
With its ability to detect flame and smoke at a very early stage, the Bosch video-based fire detection system is a real asset at all three facilities Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, manufacturing company Mouka Limited has built a leading position on the country’s household and industrial markets since its founding in 1959. With 800 employees and production facilities in Lagos, Benin and Kaduna, Mouka is now Nigeria’s foremost supplier of branded mattresses and foam-based products for sleep solutions. Products such as foam blocks, beddings and duvets, and polyurethane blocks are widely available throughout retail and wholesale channels in Nigeria. Due to the highly flammable nature of foam and polyurethane materials, fire safety at manufacturing facilities is a prime concern. However, when Mouka Limited was looking for a solution that detects fire and smoke in less than 30 seconds – before fire can spread and potentially harm employees – the market had nothing to offer. The reason: Common point-type detectors, detecting smoke particles in the air, rely on smoke particles to rise, which can take several minutes – especially when detectors are mounted on high warehouse ceilings. Visual fire monitoring and detection Fortunately, Bosch offers an innovative product sensitive enough: AVIOTEC, a VdS-certified solution for visual fire monitoring detecting smoke and flames at the source, which is much faster than common point-type detectors. Software inside each device analyses the video images for visual patterns associated with fires like specific motion and shape characteristics or colour changes. When connected to IP-based video management solutions the video images provide additional information e.g. for alarm verification or localization of the fire. AVIOTEC significantly raises the safety of hundreds of employees and shortens alarm response times, thereby minimising the risk of potential damage AVIOTEC was much closer to the insurance’s requirements than any other solution on the market. Working closely with the teams at the three Mouka Limited factories in Lagos, Benin and Kaduna, Bosch provided 34 AVIOTEC devices for video-based fire detection, alarm sounders, strobes and a third-party sprinkler system, all connected to a Bosch addressable Fire Panel 1200 Series. Providing employee safety and minimising damage With its ability to detect flame and smoke at a very early stage, the Bosch video-based fire detection system is a real asset at all three facilities. First, it significantly raises the safety of hundreds of employees at Mouka Limited factories. Second, it shortens alarm response times and thereby minimises the risk of potential damage to equipment and product inventories. And third, analysis of video images of a fire allows for root cause analysis after an incident. In addition, the fact that the system offers fire detection at industry-leading speeds has been appreciated by the insurance provider responsible for setting the insurance premium for Mouka Limited’s facilities. Meanwhile, word about the new state of the art in early fire detection at industrial manufacturing sites is spreading throughout Nigeria – and beyond.
FireVu multi-detectors facilitate quick fire detection and remedy at Worcestershire warehouse Budget Waste Management operates a waste removal, disposal and recycling service. It processes the waste it collects at its large waste processing facility in Worcestershire. The company deals with a great variety of material, much of which is flammable. So the risk of fire is significant and the potential impact of a fire outbreak is extremely serious. FireVu multi-detectors rapidly identify fire outbreaks The fire started as a result of an aerosol can contained within the waste being punctured during processing which then ignited. The purple and green boxes that can be seen on the video show FireVu rapidly identifying the outbreak of fire. Crucially, FireVu spots the fire quickly because the multi-detector can identify both the thermal output and visual flame. The system is visual based, so it can detect fire much more quickly at source than systems which rely on an overall increase in ambient temperature, or physical contact with smoke or flame. Other systems will only detect if there is a substantial fire present, by which time a total loss is likely. Early detection means remedial action can be taken quickly, before the fire has taken hold. In this case, an operator is able to stamp out the flames. Without early detection the entire warehouse could have gone up in flames within minutes. Multi-detectors installed by Alert Systems FireVu partner, Alert Systems, installed 7 multi-detectors with an FV1 Annunciator within the warehouse to provide comprehensive coverage of the waste processing areas with associated control room alert functionality. Each FireVu solution is customised to meet the individual client need, and in this case study the detectors were placed in specifically identified strategic locations following consultation between the client and the FireVu team. The result is a very early warning fire detection system that gives Budget (and their insurers) peace of mind of knowing that if a fire breaks out, FireVu will alert them quickly. High tech analytics software analyses video images from the FireVu detector to identify the presence of smoke, flame and heat at source, thus providing fast, accurate, very early warning. Furthermore, FireVu segments the field of view, significantly helping stakeholders to identify the origin point of the fire, aiding efforts to extinguish the threat. The system also provides sensitive calibration features which minimise the risk of false alarms. Why does FireVu stand out in the industry? FireVu offers a unique combination of features not available from other products on the market, including: Can ‘see’ flame colour, brightness and intensity (Planck’s Law) and signal the visually verified alarm in seconds * Works outside and in large voluminous spaces Unaffected by airflow or stratification Thermal detection** with two thresholds to detect heat build-up The visual of the smoke, flame and heat detection provides situational awareness to the owner/operator via FireVu annunciator and Enterprise ObserVer viewing software Can integrate to the alarm panel and automate the shutdown of systems within recommended field of view, **Multi-Detector version Application Scenarios As a visual-based system, FireVu can be applied in many, diverse scenarios. It can be effectively applied both indoors and outdoors; on the outside of buildings or in large atriums/warehouses. Application areas include: High-Rise Buildings Waste Management Facilities Hotel lobby areas Retail outlets Schools Warehousing Industrial Production Line Facilities