FireArrest has announced that it has official launched a new passive fire protection software application. This new innovative passive fire protection app, available to download on Android and iPhone devices, is set to take the fire safety industry by storm. FireArrest App Not only is this passive fire protection app intuitive, but it’s modern design and competitive price point make it the perfect solution for anyone looking to ensure that their premises are compliant with all fire safet...
Fire detection and alarm systems are increasingly complex and sophisticated, benefiting from cutting-edge digital technology. As a fire alarm engineer installing, servicing and/or commissioning such technology, it can be hard to keep on top of your electrical skills and the latest regulations / local installation standards, let alone the many different panels’ features. Any given day could see the typical fire engineer conducting a wide range of differing tasks – from diagnosing and...
Notifier sent congratulations to Senseco Systems, a long standing Notifier ESD in the South East, who have joined the elite club of Notifier Gold Partners. Mick also presented Lee Thompson, Head of Sales and Marketing at Senseco, with a celebration cake, which was very well received by all the staff who were in the office.
Developed in Switzerland and manufactured in Germany, they meet quality standards and set the benchmark for the entire industry. Customers from around the world rely on the cutting-edge technology offered by Securiton. The ASD aspirating smoke detectors respond instantly and with unique levels of precision to the presence of smoke in a wide variety of environments, including IT racks, warehouses, manufacturing facilities and cold stores. All the models are equipped with state-of-the-art High D...
Hundreds of fire industry professionals from over 30 countries have benefitted from Apollo Fire Detectors’ free online training courses available throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period. The weekly virtual CPD seminars and product focused webinars have proved so popular that the company has extended the initial six- week program of events into July and August, and potentially beyond. the next phase of courses Warren Moyle, Senior Technical Support Engineer at Apollo Fire Detectors, who...
Every year, thousands of farmers and commercial grain handlers risk their lives by entering grain bins to remove clumped or rotted grain. As rural communities have come to know all too well, an accident in a grain bin can quickly turn deadly. In just seconds, adults can sink to their waist in flowing grain, rendering them completely trapped without the proper rescue devices. These accidents result in dozens of lost lives each year, and deaths have spiked in 2019 and early 2020 due to the wet har...
Aico celebrates a significant milestone in 2020 with finishing 30 years of renowned market presence in Fire and Carbon Monoxide (CO) protection solutions. Incorporated in 1990 in Oswestry, Shropshire, United Kingdom, Aico has rapidly grown from strength to strength over its 30-year history, with the growth being marked by the move to a new, bespoke head office. New Oswestry head office The new 7-acre site came as a necessity as Aico’s growth and success has seen significant expansion to the team and operations. The new building provides a bold welcome to company visitors and passing traffic. More than half of the overall site is taken up with landscaping, paying homage to the wider county’s famous green countryside, which is a key theme throughout the new build, aiming to preserve current eco-systems and encourage wildlife to flourish. Promoting healthy work environment The building was designed to facilitate the company’s key goal of a healthy work environment The building was designed to facilitate the company’s key goal of a healthy work environment with employee wellness to the fore. Multi-functional rooms make space for the company’s core people development practices and team building, something Managing Director, Neal Hooper attributes to being the strength of the company. Aico MD, Neal Hooper said, “We have a passion for developing people and it shows in our culture. We hold ourselves to high standards and make sure our values of integrity, excellence, teamwork, commitment and sustainability come to life in the way we work. Each member of Aico understands that this new site is theirs and for their teams’ infrastructure to grow and develop in for years to come.” 30-year anniversary celebrations At the beginning of the year, the Lion Quays Resort in Shropshire played host to an event marking the special occasion, with employees treated to a surprise guest speaker in the form of footballing legend Kevin Keegan. Mr. Keegan took to the stage to congratulate Aico on its 30-year anniversary and regaled staff with anecdotes from his impressive career. Reiterating Aico’s ethos of Education, Quality, Service and Innovation, Mr. Keegan spoke of the importance of teamwork, attitude and commitment. Technical Advisor for Aico, Dave Jennings has an impressive 26-year career with the company. He commented, “I started my career with Aico in 1994 and seeing the company’s growth over the past 26 years has been incredible. Aico has advanced and expanded and it’s great to see the new apprentices coming in now so that Aico has a future for generations to come.” Corporate Social Responsibility In a continuation of Aico’s pledge to support local charity The Movement Centre, the opportunity was taken to hold a charity raffle at the 30th anniversary event, raising a fantastic £2,000. This will be donated to The Movement Center as part of the ongoing work carried out by the Aico in the Community initiative, supporting this wonderful charity. The Movement Center is an Oswestry-based charity dedicated to supporting children with movement disabilities, helping to change the lives of these children and their families.
Whether the machine needs to endure frigid temperatures, or it must ward against operator fatigue after long shifts, no one knows a cab’s needs better than the operator. Because of that fact, every machine has specific needs for its cab in order to get the most from its operators. Be it whether that’s a simplified design, solely focused on safety, or a highly-complex set up with numerous amenities. The most efficient way for OEMs to get what they want from their machine is to work with technically experienced partners who understand their specific application to create an operator control station that keeps their needs at the forefront. Ergonomic Design Creating a comfortable environment that fosters operator productivity is much more complex than simple seat selection Creating a comfortable environment that fosters operator productivity is much more complex than simple seat selection. There are many factors that can be considered when creating an ergonomic environment for operators and their specific functions. For example, something as simple as joystick resistance can impact how long an operator can continue working without stopping. Operator efficiency and optimizing ROI of machines is more important now than ever before, and an overall human machine interface designed with that application in mind is the first step to achieving that. Seat assemblies Now to consider focusing on seat assemblies, there are many key factors to consider before starting development. Starting with an operator’s entrance, clearance has to be considered from controls, steering columns, and other key components that are necessary for operation, but could also be a hindrance. Those operational controls, such as joysticks, switch panels, and foot pedals should be arranged and prioritized based on operator usage, while still maintaining clear operator sight lines. Keeping operators comfortable, while still giving them access to the functions necessary to do a job, will not only improve operator experience but will ultimately lead to increased machine up-time and overall profit. Special amenities & safety features A simple, highly ergonomic cab may be perfect for an application. However, a machine’s application and job location pose countless possible additions or specifications to a cab, including various safety features. For example, the work environment may necessitate specialty glass for windows, such as advanced UV protection. Or there may be an increased roll over risk for the machine, so the cab must include specialty ROPS/FOPS certifications. Enhancing operator performance and comfort Crane cabs, for instance, need to have a much larger than normal field of view Aside from important safety features, there may be a number of additional capabilities or enhancements that can improve operator performance and comfort. Crane cabs, for instance, need to have a much larger than normal field of view without creating unnecessary strain on the operator. Utilizing tilting capabilities, as seen here, is extremely beneficial for the operator, allowing them to work more efficiently and comfortably. Additional training seats, specialty radios or infotainment, and even appliances like microwaves can transform a cab into an environment where operators can not only be productive and secure, but also a workplace that they are comfortable and happy to be in for the long haul. Laser cutting and fabrication technology At GS Global Resources (GSGR), they know that every aspect of the cab can be optimized to specifically fit tailored needs. With the company partners at ADC Equipment Innovation, GS Global Resources have invested in the most innovative methods of laser cutting, fabrication, and painting/powder coating. When working with GSGR, there are collaborations involved with OEMs throughout the design process, and through this partnership, get them an engineered cab that is fully populated to meet their needs. Customers are asked to not settle for something that was designed for any machine. Get the operators a cab created with their needs in mind, improving performance for the life of the machine.
Nittan Europe announces its Evolution dual optical fire detectors installed into the NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol. Built in less than three weeks at the University of West of England Frenchay campus, NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol has the capacity to provide up to 300 intensive care beds for coronavirus patients, if local services need them. The new facility is one of seven Nightingale hospitals to be set up around the country as part of a massive NHS effort to respond to the COVID-19 health emergency. The Nittan fire detectors have been incorporated into Ramtech Electronics’ WES wireless fire alarm system, which is designed to provide a simple, fast and secure method of communicating fire and medical emergencies in the complex environmental conditions of construction sites. Whilst WES has been designed to provide temporary protection on construction sites, its ease of use, reliability and quality made it ideal for use in the temporary Nightingale Hospital. Faster deployment of wireless fire alarms Wireless fire alarm systems are ideal for temporary sites as they don’t require specialist trades to set up, and any number of call points can be deployed in minutes and linked wirelessly to cover large or small sites. The signal passes through all commonly found materials including steel, concrete and stone. Nittan Evolution EVC-DP dual optical detectors are incorporated into the WES system. These detectors feature dual optical technology to reduce false alarms caused by non-combustion products such as steam, dust and aerosols. Unlike other conventional detectors on the market that claim to distinguish between smoke and non-combustion products, the EVC-DP effectively measures the actual particle size in the chamber via its combined IR and blue LED technology. Reduced false alarms As steam and dust are much larger particles than smoke, the detector won’t false alarm. This makes the EVC-DP detector ideally suited to use in hospitals, hotels and other areas of multiple occupancy which are prone to steam and dust. The WES wireless fire alarm system featuring the Nittan detectors has been installed into the communal and welfare areas of NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol.
For commercial fire installations, one can choose DMP’s new CellComF-LTE. Designed with the same platform as DMP’s popular DualCom Universal Communicator, the CellComF-LTE includes two sets of tip and ring terminals for easy installations. This new design meets the NFPA 72 standard for single communications technology. For instance, if the CellComF stops communicating, it’s designed to automatically disrupt voltage on the second tip and ring, that triggers the host panel to annunciate the trouble. Supervized LTE alarm communication “For fire panels, it’s a simpler way of ensuring local annunciation,” says Aaron McGhee, product manager of Control Panels. “And, it’s a much cleaner and faster installation process.” The new CellCom Series includes both fire and non-fire options, each one with built-in LTE cellular. When there’s an opportunity to upgrade non-DMP panels to LTE, this means one will be able to give customers a single path fully supervized LTE alarm communication over AT&T’s or Verizon’s LTE networks. As with earlier-generation products, the LTE communicators are designed to work with digital cellular service from SecureCom Wireless™, enabling dealers to get systems up and running quickly.
Kentec Electronics, a globally renowned manufacturer of life-critical control systems, has added BACnet (Building Automation and Control Network) protocol support to its Vizulinx alarm management solution, to facilitate smart, coordinated and efficient responses to fire incidents. Smart Building functionality Supporting Smart Building functionality, the protocol provides integration between Kentec fire systems and other BACnet protocol systems. Kentec fire alarm systems send real time status messages to other devices on the BACnet network. These status messages can be monitored by a central control and monitoring system, which can then generate automatic responses (for example, to automatically close extract vents, dampers, initiate equipment shutdowns etc. which can help to reduce the spread of fire and support evacuation procedures). BACnet protocol upgrade BACnet protocol upgrade to the Vizulinx alarm management solution provides building management teams" Kevin Swann, Managing Director of Kentec Electronics, said “The BACnet protocol upgrade to the Vizulinx alarm management solution provides building management teams and installers with an easily configurable solution.” He adds, “As a compact module, Vizulinx is easy to retrofit into existing systems and the BACnet upgrade has been designed with efficiency in mind. For example, the object IDs that identify detectors, panels and zones are automatically generated, saving installers considerable time in having to manually ascribe object IDs.” Centralized control of intelligent fire safety system Kevin further said, “End users have centralized control of a highly intelligent fire safety system. It reduces the need for manual intervention, and provides end users with complete visibility of all fire alarm events.” He concludes by adding, “System integration is becoming increasingly important within the management of larger buildings and sites and this upgrade supports our overall business goal to develop systems that make the lives of installers and end-users easier.”
Xtralis has announced the release of its Li-ion Tamer Lithium Ion Battery Rack Monitoring system for efficient gas leak detection in the market. Li-ion Tamer Rack Monitor system The Li-ion Tamer Rack Monitor system can provide an alert to ‘off- gas’ events that occur early in the failure mode of li-ion batteries, well in advance of smoke detection and traditional LFL gas detection. Early warning of off-gas events enable proper mitigation steps to be taken to avoid progression to a catastrophic thermal runaway failure. The Li-ion Tamer Rack Monitor system requires minimal operation and maintenance procedures as the off-gas sensors are designed to be calibration-free and have comparable lifetime to that of the ESS battery system. Off-gas sensors The off-gas sensors can be easily deployed throughout the space and detect failures without electrical or mechanical contact of battery cells. Sensor response can be easily verified with a bump test kit without the need of specialized gas test equipment and test gases. The Li-ion Tamer Battery Rack Monitor system provides an essential early warning signal that is used to integrate with other safety systems to initiate appropriate response processes to reduce the risk from thermal runaway.
With so many of us having been confined to our homes over the past few months, it’s fair to say that we have started to notice more about our living environments. As we’ve become increasingly familiar with our surroundings, some of us have had the urge to change them. DIY projects have surged, gardens have been given a new lease of life and the rooms around our homes have been decorated (twice in some cases). Doors and fire safety It’s always nice to put up new wallpaper and apply some fresh paint to the skirting boards and doors. But, when doing so, how many of us have really looked at our doors? In particular, the ironmongery. With so many of us getting carried away with maintenance projects at home, some door closers may have been removed to fill and paint the door – not realising the importance of the closer in the first place. Some homeowners may have even painted over hinges, not aware of their importance to aid the closer to shut the door correctly. To use the analogy of a bucket full of holes, a fire door with no closer or a poorly working, inefficient closer will make it impossible for the door to operate as intended – rendering it useless in the case of a fire. How many of us are truly aware of the importance of a fire door and its ironmongery? being aware of the consequences Again, we must question how many of us are truly aware of the importance of a fire door and its ironmongery? It’s common for people to notice a wedged open fire door and not think anything of it – despite the potential consequences. Simply put, we become so used to our surroundings that sometimes we become too comfortable. Fire doors are everywhere. Where we work, where we visit and where we live. They are fundamental to the safety of people and property. When operating correctly, they allow time for escape in the event of a fire. But without closers (or closers that aren’t operating as they should), valuable time is lost. As we know, fire spreads at an alarming rate but when fire doors are closed, the rate is slowed. Yet, despite their importance to our lives, fire doors are generally ignored until they become difficult to open or shut. Testing firedoors The integrity of a fire door itself is also of high importance. All fire doors will have been tested with all the correct ironmongery attached. They are tested to withstand fire and smoke for a specific period of time (commonly 30 to 60 minutes) and any break in their integrity could cause the door to fail. Similarly, if the door has been altered in any way, this runs the risk of both fire and smoke being able to flood through any gaps that have been left as a result of that modification. Gaps around the fire door should be maintained at no more than 3mm around the top, hinge side and the latch/lock side. If the floor levels differ from threshold to floor, then it’s important to seek products that can help overcome this whilst maintaining the recommended gap under the door. And yes, door closers can sometimes seem like an inconvenience. This is especially true in our homes as we navigate through rooms, arms laden with shopping, holding a pushchair or even for people with mobility issues. However, doors should not be difficult to open. Problems and solutions Should you experience an issue with your door and its hardware, there are solutions out there. Any reputable architectural ironmongery manufacturer should be able to direct property owners to the best possible product to suit the situation. In terms of door closers, the best options are adjustable. With the use of an Allen key, an adjustable door closer can adjust on the body of the closer, allowing individuals to fine-tune the unit to compensate for any change in air pressure. For example, a door that operates well in the winter can sometimes begin to slam shut in the summer months, in which case, an adjustable closer can fix this. Managing Fire escape routes Finally, fire escape routes are also critical to the safety of a building’s occupants. For example, most hotel guests may have noticed fire escape stair shafts littered with objects that can deter a safe escape in the event of a fire. Yet, it is an offence to block any escape route and property owners are responsible for keeping these areas clear. Achieving maximum fire safety in your building will leave you with peace of mind Generally, when designing a building and its entry points, it’s important to seek the advice of professionals and look to manufacturers for assistance on product selection and budget. In a field that can feel confusing, they will provide products that suit the environment, ensuring that new installations are fully certified and equipped for the task at hand. In the end, achieving maximum fire safety in your building will leave you with peace of mind. So, as the DIY projects continue and in anticipation for when we’re finally ready to explore the outside world again, it’s key to change our approach to fire doors. Instead of resenting them or forgetting their purpose, we must remember that fire doors and their ancillary products should be rejoiced for what they’re there to achieve – complete fire safety.
2020 introduced a variety of unique challenges for many industries around the world. Not surprisingly, the fire detection industry was not immune to all of those challenges. However, as much of the global community defined our manufacturing and installing peers as “essential” or “critical” it required us, as an industry, to adapt so we could continue to service our customers with our products and services. Many regions around the world are experiencing significant demand for temporary detection systems. This demand is almost universally driven by an increase in education, awareness, and enforcement. While this is a global shift, our company has experienced a large demand in our own backyard. Within the United States, this is being driven by the adoption and enforcement of NFPA 241. NFPA is the Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations. NFPA 241 has been a “concept” since 1930 and the official text was finally adopted by the NFPA in 1933. As with all standards, it has progressed over the years to accommodate changes in technology as well as safety awareness. Fire safety awareness While general safety awareness on construction sites has always been consistently high, fire safety awareness has significantly increased within the last 5 years. Nuisance alarms negatively consume first responder bandwidth Typically, new, or increased regulation within our industry occurs after a single devastating event or several significant events. In this particular case, it was a combination of both. On a national level, fires on construction sites were reaching dangerous and unacceptable levels and becoming so widespread that enforcement of this standard became a priority in several states. Need for accurate and timely fire detection According to a report released by Richard Campbell of the NFPA in February of 2020 titled Fire In Structures under Construction or Renovation, “the estimated number of fires in structures under construction has increased since 2014 after declining between 2008 and 2010” further creating awareness. For the last few years, the focus of many local AHJ’s (authority having jurisdiction) was on new and active worksites or renovation projects. With the changes imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic today, many non-essential industries have either shut down or had their operations significantly reduced. This means the need for a functioning detection system is more critical now than ever as many facilities remain idle or continue to operate with reduced personnel. Detecting fires quickly and accurately gives our first responders the best chance of saving a person or facility. Conversely, having any “detection system” is often not good enough. Nuisance alarms negatively consume first responder bandwidth, possibly removing an engine or fire company from a genuine event. Temporary fire detection In an article by The Boston Globe, Easthampton Fire Chief David Mottor, president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts said “Ninety percent of these buildings go up every day and nothing happens. It’s during construction before the sprinkler system is activated when they are most dangerous.” Globally, we have seen four approaches to temporary detection for both construction and renovation sites. We will quickly discuss the advantages and disadvantages below: Using 24/7 fire watch Utilizing local first responders or other authorized/trained personnel to offer 24/7 fire watch requires a person or team of people to be onsite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to be physically looking for fires. Advantage: Someone is always on site, actively viewing and patrolling the facility. Disadvantage: Maintaining a 24/7 fire watch can be expensive, further the person or team can only see/find fires in proximity to them as they continue to move about a facility. Using digital linear heat detection Digital linear heat detection is a fixed temperature detector that is constructed using a twisted pair of metal conductors that are separated by a heat sensitive polymer. When the ambient temperature meets or exceeds the detector’s fixed temperature the polymers melt, and the detector shorts out resulting in an alarm. Advantages: Detector can be easily installed at a new construction site or a facility being renovated. The technology is a low profile, non-intrusive and cost-effective form of detection. This automatic initiating device is immune to environmental conditions. Protectowire FireSystems offers Confirmed Temperature Initiation technology (mechanical damage does not cause a false alarm). Disadvantages: Detector can be mechanically damaged during normal worksite operation. If you are unsure, be sure to check with the local AHJ or call your insurance provider Using wireless spot detectors There are a few companies on the market that offer wireless spot detectors that can be networked together. Advantage: Typically, this technology uses a mesh network of detectors. The detectors and their bases are battery operated and can be moved or placed per worksite requirements. Disadvantage: This technology can be expensive. Physical barriers on the construction site may hinder mesh network operation requiring the purchase of additional wireless units. Many wireless technology providers focus on smoke detection. Smoke detectors are often not ideal for the harsh environments associated with construction (dust, temperature changes, etc.). Using a hybrid approach This involves using wireless nodes to supervise linear heat detection. Most manufacturers of the wireless systems offer a wireless node that can accept a third-party initiating device. Advantage: Wireless nodes can be placed anywhere, and linear heat detection technology can withstand the harsh construction environment. Disadvantage: Wireless node battery life can be reduced when using a third-party device. Less cost-effective approach. Solution for Facilities While each of the approaches listed above has its own advantages and disadvantages, you must always consider what is best for your facility. If you are unsure, be sure to check with the local AHJ or call your insurance provider. Established in 1938, Protectowire FireSystems is the global manufacturer of Linear Heat Detection Systems. The Company has been manufacturing in the United States for the past 80 years and counting. Protectowire is dedicated to delivering products designed, engineered, manufactured, and tested with a high degree of performance, reliability, and quality. As one of the manufacturers in the fire protection industry, Protectowire has the experience and knowledge needed to meet the ever-increasing detection challenges of the special hazard and commercial industries.
The fire industry has made it absolutely clear, led by authorized bodies including the BAFE Fire Safety Register, that the current pandemic does not remove the need to comply with any fire safety requirements under the Building Regulations. As we now look beyond the lockdown period, John Allam, Operations Director at Amthal Fire and Security reviews the raft of new proposals demonstrating the Government and industry’s commitment to compliant fire safety and new immediate demands placed on responsible persons. Multi-Occupancy residential buildings Whilst the second phase of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry has been put on hold until July at the earliest over coronavirus restrictions, the government has continued its quest to effect change and bring the Fire Safety Bill and Building Safety Bill into legislation. While the Building Safety Bill will ‘place new and enhanced regulatory regimes for building safety and construction products’, both bills aim to strengthen the ‘whole regulatory system’ for both building and fire safety. The Fire Safety Bill will apply to England and Wales, to amend the Fire Safety Order 2005 and seeks to clarify responsibility for reducing fire risk in multi-occupancy residential buildings. The details of the Fire Safety Bill, which has now had its second reading in the House of Commons, includes recommendations of regular inspections of lifts and sprinkler systems for buildings over 11m tall. Quarterly fire door inspections Building owners will now face ‘enforcement action’ from emergency services if they do not manage fire risk Significantly, it also introduces compulsory quarterly fire door inspections, which is a hugely significant development in its own right, to influence an industry where this is no specific legislation that requires fire doors to be checked. The Fire Safety Bill intends to ensure evacuation plans are reviewed, regularly updated and communicated to residents in a ‘form that they can be reasonably be expected to understand.’ And it highlights the importance of individual flat entrance doors, where the external walls of the building have unsafe cladding, comply with current standards. This will play a key part in increasing residents’ fire safety, whereby building owners will now face ‘enforcement action’ from emergency services if they do not manage fire risk in a building’s structure. Improving the fire safety of buildings In addition, the government is consulting with the National Fire Chiefs Council to begin testing evacuation alert systems for high-rise blocks of flats, which could support fire and rescue services’ operational response by alerting residents if they need to escape. The National Fire Chiefs Council to begin testing evacuation alert systems for high-rise blocks of flats The new program will be governed by a Building Safety Regulator (BSR) that will initially be led by Dame Judith Hackitt during the set up phase, who will be tasked with improving the fire safety of buildings. Launched by The RT Hon Robert Jenrick MP Secretary Of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, he cited the new program as taking, “Ambitious steps to further reform the building safety system with the biggest changes in a generation to ensure residents are safe in their homes.” He added: “This new regime will put residents’ safety at its heart, and follows the announcement of the unprecedented £1 billion fund for removing unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings in the budget.” Major regulatory decisions The BSR will be responsible for all major regulatory decisions made at key points during design, construction, occupation and refurbishment of buildings. And such decisions and obligations must be upheld and maintained throughout a development’s life. The new safety case regime will apply not only to new buildings, but also to buildings that are already in use" In Dame Judith’s own words: “When introduced by the new regulator, the new safety case regime will apply not only to new buildings, but also to buildings that are already in use and occupied. If those buildings were built to poor standards in the past, it will not be the case that you can simply say ‘well it complied with building regulations at the time’. The test will be different. The test will be ‘is this building safe to be occupied?’ and, if not, what are you going to do to improve it?’ … People will be asked to think about what they can do, what is reasonable and what is practicable to do in order to improve the safety of a given building.” Regulating the fire safety industry Both Hackitt and the Government want the BSR to be set up in shadow form before the Building Safety Bill becomes law. The plan is to put the bill before Parliament by the autumn, despite the challenges thrown by the Pandemic. The new legislation proposed by Government will undoubtedly ensure that buildings and those that live and work in them are maintained to be fire safe. In the words of BAFE CEO Stephen Adams: “The time is right to help better regulate the fire safety industry to change end user behavior and create a UK that's safer from the devastating effects of fire.” As BAFE further attests, as lockdown measures begin to be lifted, there will be a need for the competent maintenance of fire safety systems/provisions and fire risk assessment work. Fire doors and risk assessments Amthal is working closely with building owners and managers across the UK to deliver the benefits of safer environment This means for those who own or manage residential buildings, will soon be ‘held into account’ if they do not ensure fire safety in their buildings, and the requirements will impact further on costs and resource allocation, for investigating buildings and ensuring compliance. There is a definite sense to be proactive in acceptance of the new impending legislation. But the concern cited amongst building owners is the industry’s ability to undertake the volume of assessments required, given the lack of current lack of specific legislation on specific elements such as fire doors and risk assessments, together with the steep expectations for fire strategy and evacuation plans. Amthal is working closely with building owners and managers across the UK to deliver the benefits of safer environment within a holistic fire safety approach. Working in partnership, means taking the time to understand the implications of the Government’s Fire Safety Bill, alongside the implications of the Building Safety Bill and BSR program. This way, we can ensure responsible persons confidently achieve all operational requirements for the ultimate benefit of residents’ peace of mind.
The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) is promoting awareness of the danger of heart attacks in the fire service. A toolkit provided by the IAFC includes information and resources to assist members and fire departments when responding to on-duty or duty-related cardiac events. The international campaign, titled ‘If You Don’t Feel Well, Don’t Make It Your Farewell,’ offers standard operating procedures (SOPs) including an example policy that departments can use to outline their actions and processes, and the department’s response to on-duty injuries and illness. Acute coronary syndrome An administrative checklist enumerates areas of concern and highlights a standardized approach to cardiac events. It is important to be proactive and put thoughtful guiding documents in place so that members of an organization know the ‘rules of the game.’ Existence of proper processes, policies and procedures can reduce stress, improve morale, and encourage members to speak up when they experience an event of if they know someone who does. The most common warning sign for men and women is chest pain or discomfort Among the training tools is a PDF that lists ‘the heart attack warning signs.’ The most common warning sign for men and women is chest pain or discomfort, but a heart attack may not be sudden or very painful. Information is also provided on ‘acute coronary syndrome,’ a term used to describe conditions associated with sudden, reduced blood flow to the heart. There is also information on treatments for a heart attack, which may vary according to the type of heart attack (i.e., whether a complete or partial blockage of a coronary artery). Identifying risk factors Other information includes ‘assessing cardiovascular risk’ and screening to identify risk factors and lifestyle habits that can increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. A survey by the IAFC of firefighters who have experienced a cardiac incident provides interesting insights: 47% of firefighters said they experienced a symptom that is not among the typical signs of a heart attack. 20.67% of firefighters took themselves to the hospital; 41% were taken by emergency medical services. 63.3% of firefighters returned to work (full duty). 40% were between the ages of 46 and 55. 68% were career firefighters; 22.67% were volunteer firefighters. “Almost half of all firefighter deaths each year are cardiac-related,” says Fire Chief Gary Ludwig, IAFC President and Chairman of the Board. “Many who have experienced but survived a cardiac incident have reported not feeling right, not feeling well, or that something is wrong,” added Ludwig, fire chief of the Champaign (Illinois) Fire Department. Changing a culture “The best way to change the culture of ignoring warning signs, which are not always chest tightness and shortness of breath, is through education and awareness. If you’re a first responder and your body is signaling to you a feeling that you have never experienced before with extreme fatigue and other symptoms, you need to act and those around you need to act,” said Ludwig, who has worked in the fire and emergency service for more than 42 years. “If a firefighter tells you ‘something is wrong’ or ‘I don’t feel right’ or any similar statement, do not tell them to go home or lay down in the bunk hall. Their body is sending them a signal that something could be seriously wrong.”
Wellness, mental toughness and psychological self-care for firefighters are available in the palms of their hands; that is, in a smart phone app. Fire and police agencies can provide their officers access to these and other self-help tools in an app that reflects each agency’s identity and design choices. Employees can be assured that use of the app is totally confidential. Cordico, Gold River, California, west of Sacramento, provides confidential support for firefighters and other employees through an app that incorporates comprehensive and trusted wellness resources. The CordicoFire app is easy to use, available on-demand, and only requires the push of a button. Firefighter wellness tools The app is designed to reinforce and strengthen a fire agency’s existing wellness culture The app is designed to reinforce and strengthen a fire agency’s existing wellness culture and is updated continuously. The app includes firefighter wellness tools, such as self-assessments and a therapist finder. Peer support resources are built into the app, and psychological first aid helps firefighters know when help is needed – and what their options are. There are also sections on the app addressing healthy habits, making marriage work, mindfulness, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Specific to firefighters, there is information on cancer awareness, exposure to hazardous materials, and heart health – among more than 40 topics firemen can scroll through. Self-assessments can identify the sources of stress and how to address them, and/or identify problems with alcohol abuse. Physical fitness videos demonstrate exercises for stress release and injury prevention, and there is a section on nutrition. No additional authentication required Each firefighter is provided a link and password to download the app. Posters promoting use of the app are available, including a QR code that employees can scan to download the app. There is no additional authentication required, and no personal information is shared with the app. Around 90% of employees typically download the app. The app is hosted on Cordico’s server rather than the agency’s server, so there is no tracking of information, which would defeat the purpose of an anonymous app. Anonymity is important to overcome the perceived stigma that could make firefighters hesitate to ask for help. The app is also made available to spouses, significant others and even retirees, who may find that cumulative trauma catches up with them years later. Employee assistance programs People use their smart phones all the time, so it’s easy for anyone to get on the app" “People use their smart phones all the time, so it’s easy for anyone to get on the app, click on a section and read for 10 minutes if they need information, help or emotional support,” says Kevin Dacy, Operations Manager, Cordico. “There is a generation of people comfortable with using apps. We provide them with privacy to look at topics and get the self-help they need.” The app dovetails with an organization’s employee assistance programs and peer support team and/or leaders. Cordico works with agencies to include information about therapists, clinicians and chaplains who are available to help. When an agency decides to use the app, Cordico’s chief technology officer organizes a product launch meeting, and Cordico’s client care team works with the agency until the app has been successfully launched. Pre-Employment psychological evaluations Agencies have flexibility in terms of the graphics and illustrations used on the app and also the information provided, which could include traffic, weather, etc., in addition to other services. (Southern California agencies include a surfing report because the activity can help to relieve stress.) Updates to the app are done on the back end as new information is added. The app password can be changed to limit use of the app to current enrollees. The company evolved to providing pre-employment psychological evaluations for first responder jobs Dr. David Black, CEO of Cordico, shifted his psychological practice to first responders after 9/11. The company evolved to providing pre-employment psychological evaluations for first responder jobs. The app grew out of that service, and now most of the largest agencies in California use the app. Cordico has worked with small and large agencies – five to 22,000 employees – although the average department size using the app is 150 to 200 people. Consulting clinicians and therapists In addition to a concentration in California, the company also does business throughout the United States, with customers in most states. Cordico has around 15 employees, in addition to consulting clinicians and therapists. Although Cordico does not share specific data with an agency about who uses the app, they can provide activity counts. For example, usage of the app could spike after a dramatic incident, which could alert the agency of a higher level of trauma that might need additional education and/or comfort. During the coronavirus pandemic, Cordico’s phone lines and emails have lit up with agencies looking to consider the app to help manage the added stress of dealing with the pandemic. Even during the economic downturn, Cordico is busier than ever.
First responders are on the front lines of the latest health crisis that involves spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Around the country – and around the world – EMS departments are facing the uncertainties of a rapidly-spreading virus. One problem is a shortage of face masks. As cases surge, it will also be harder for ambulance companies to get other needed supplies. In King County, Wash., an epicenter of COVID-19 cases in the United States, Kirkland, Wash., firefighters and Kirkland police officers were placed under quarantine after an outbreak at a senior care facility. Firefighters were either quarantined at home or at a local fire station. These first responders came in contact with the coronavirus at Life Care Center of Kirkland, where dozens of residents and staff were infected. Quarantine for IAFF members Some members of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) in Washington state were under quarantine for possible exposure to COVID-19.It is not the first time EMS has acted as the canary in the coal mine to protect the public" The heightened role of fire and EMS professionals is playing out everywhere. “It is not the first time EMS has acted as the canary in the coal mine to protect the public,” Oren Barzilay of the New York EMT union told the New York Daily News. “And it won’t be the last.” FDNY Not Sending Firefighters to COVID-19 Calls The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) has stopped sending firefighters to answer medical calls that describe symptoms associated with the coronavirus. Instead, calls for asthma attacks, fever, coughs and difficult breathing are being handled by the Emergency Medical Service. Fire companies with certified first responder (CFR) training, which would ordinarily accompany ambulances on such calls, are being asked to “stand down.” The order refers to “Segment 2” calls, although firefighters will continue to respond to higher priority “Segment 1” calls. Union complaint in Boston When coronavirus testing began taking place at Faulkner Hospital in Boston, Mass., the EMS union complained because paramedics working at the facility were not notified of the possible workplace contamination. The EMT substation at the hospital includes a bunk room and contains equipment and supplies. The union complained to the Boston Public Health Commission, which provided assurances they were doing “everything in [their] power to protect EMTs and paramedics.” East Pierce, Wash., Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Russ McCallion created a checklist for medics and fire crews to consider when responding to a potential coronavirus patient. He reminds crews to perform “doorway triage” of patients to decide when to wear protective equipment and when to use special entryways at the hospital reserved for people in isolation.Complicating the decision-making processes is the fact that flu symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms are similar Complicating the decision-making processes is the fact that flu symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms are similar. “We have to maintain the high index of suspicion on every call [if] the patient presents with fever, coughing and other flu-type symptoms,” McCallion told National Public Radio. Fire crews are now instructed to wait outside when responding to such calls. They wait while a few medics enter, suited up with personal protection equipment such as gowns, gloves and masks. Dedicated ambulance in San Antonio In San Antonio, a dedicated ambulance is used to transport patients suspected of COVID-19 infection. The interior walls of the dedicated ambulance are covered completely with plastic sheets. The vehicle will be dedicated to the COVID-19 mission “throughout” and will not be used on the streets of San Antonio. Congress has approved emergency funding for states. The money will be used for testing, to track those who are sick, and for awareness campaigns to slow the spread of the virus. Public health emergency A public health emergency has been declared by the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as of Jan. 31. The declaration enables state, tribal and local health departments to request funding, supplies and resources from DHHS to respond to COVID-19.The declaration enables state, tribal and local health departments to request funding, supplies and resources China alerted the World Health Organization in December to several cases of an unusual pneumonia in Wuhan, a port city of 11 million people in the central Hubei province. In January, officials identified the new virus as belonging to the coronavirus family, which includes SARS and the common cold. It was named COVID-19 and has since spread to all of mainland China and later throughout the world.
An addressable fire system from Advanced has been chosen to protect an international school in Myanmar, thanks to its EN-54 approval and integrated false alarm management solution. The 2-loop Axis EN system was installed after the British International School Yangon specified an EN-54 approved system to protect facilities, including; classrooms, music studios, laboratories, libraries and its five-hundred seat theatre. False alarm management Authorized Advanced distributor, Technology Enabled Solutions (TES) Myanmar, was responsible for the programming and configuration of the fire system as well as integrating it with over 300 devices. As part of the project, TES Myanmar also configured the comprehensive false alarm management software, AlarmCalm. A key challenge for the school was to prevent false alarms that were a significant cause of disruption" Aung Myo Han, General Manager at TES Myanmar Co., Ltd, said: “A key challenge for the school was to prevent false alarms that were a significant cause of disruption for staff and pupils. As a false alarm management solution, the flexibility of AlarmCalm made cause-and-effect programming easy to set up and configure to the specific requirements of the building.” Best-In-Class Solution “Advanced’s quality, ease of installation and local technical support make it an obvious choice for installers, who specialize its solutions time and time again.” AlarmCalm software comes as standard with any Axis EN and MxPro 5 fire system, taking advantage of Advanced’s high-speed robust panels and networks to offer a 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 precisely and to take account of occupants’ needs and area usage. It also includes the optional AlarmCalm button - a loop device that allows residents or trained staff to indicate whether they believe a signal in their area is due to a false alarm. Single-Panel installations Le Thanh Tin, Regional Sales Manager for South East Asia, said: “Our Axis EN system has been certified by FM Approvals to the EN-54 standard and is relied upon across the world to deliver superior protection to a wide range of sites, including educational facilities. These include single-panel installations in schools, through to multi-panel networks, securing numerous academic departments spread across vast university campuses.” AlarmCalm radically reduces these incidents and their impact and can be configured to all manner of sites" “The disruption and distress caused by false alarms has long been a major issue for the fire industry. AlarmCalm radically reduces these incidents and their impact and can be configured to all manner of sites.” Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, protects all manner of sites across South East Asia including the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, University of Macau and Hong Kong Central Library. Intelligent fire systems Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day. Advanced is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease of use of its products see 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, multiprotocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
An Axis AX fire system from Advanced has been installed as part of large-scale renovations at one of Sri Lanka’s most prestigious healthcare facilities. The 2-loop and 4-loop, UL-listed Axis AX fire panels, and more than 500 devices, were supplied, installed and commissioned at the Korea Sri Lanka Friendship Hospital by local Advanced partner, Firetech (Pvt.) Limited. Hospital fire safety system Located south of Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, The District of Matara was gravely affected by the 2004 Tsunami. The Korea Sri Lanka Friendship Hospital was built at a cost of 1.27 billion rupees with the financial assistance from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to provide the residents of Matara District with increased access to crucial health care services. The 750 million rupee re-modelling, fully funded by KOICA and implemented by UNOPS in partnership with the Ministry of Health, saw the construction of a new Maternal and New-Born Heath Care ward complex and upgraded hospital facilities. This has provided a more modern and efficient service to the people of the District and in the Southern Province who rely on the hospital’s wards, operating theatres, intensive care unit (ICU), blood bank, pharmacy and neonatal ICU. 2-loop and 4-loop Axis AX fire panels UL 864-compliant Advanced system was selected to protect the hospital due to its robust design and ease of installation" Michael David, Business Development Manager at Firetech (Pvt) Limited, said “The UL 864-compliant Advanced system was selected to protect the hospital due to its robust design, ease of installation and configuration.” Michael adds, “As experts in fire safety, Advanced has always offered us a fast turnaround for spare parts, technical guidance and well-designed user interfaces ensuring on-site compatibility and ease of use for our engineers and end users.” Dependable fire safety solution Steve Carroll, General Manager at Advanced, said “Delivering a complete and dependable solution for effective notification and evacuation in a hospital setting is crucial to protecting patients who may be at greater risk in fire situations.” Steve adds, “Given its reliability, versatility and UL-listing, the Axis AX system was the obvious choice to recommend to Firetech and met all of the Sri Lanka Fire Department’s requirements.” UL 864-compliant Axis AX system Advanced’s Axis AX system offers enhanced power and performance in a user-friendly format, offering a vast range of configuration, control and interface option all with simple set-up and operation as well as Advanced’s legendary service and quality. The Axis AX system includes easily networked panels, audio panels and command centers, redundant controllers and a huge range of peripherals, devices and interfaces that make it ideal for almost any installation. Fire safety systems major Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 Company, Halma PLC, has an enviable history of protecting some of Asia’s most notable and prestigious buildings, including the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge and the University of Macau. Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day.
Amthal has worked closely with the management team and residents at Kenilworth Court to ensure fire and security upgrades on site occur without compromising on aesthetics of the Edwardian mansion blocks. Situated in Putney, Kenilworth Court consists of eight purpose-built Edwardian style blocks of flats, completed in 1904 – 1905. Featuring 150 portered flats, with a garden in the middle, it is now run by the controlling company, Kenilworth Court Co-ownership Housing Association Ltd. Security Gates and fire maintenance service The opportunity to upgrade door entry from audio to video capability saw the initial introduction of Amthal to the development. Amthal now additionally maintains security gates and all fire requirements on site at Kenilworth Court So successful in understanding the importance of keeping with original design features, working closely with the management team and residents, from initial specification through installation and project completion, Amthal now additionally maintains security gates and all fire requirements on site at Kenilworth Court. Video security system at Kenilworth Court Steve Logie, General Manager at Kenilworth Court Co-Ownership Housing Association Ltd, said “With the historic significance of our development, and the pride of notable residents who have lived here, any upgrades, however small, must be carefully considered with regards to how it will impact on the aesthetics of the overall premises.” Steve adds, “Amthal understood this and worked closely with us and our residents, carefully taking in feedback to create bespoke video door entry solutions that blend with the grand entrances. Installation was sympathetic, always ensuring wiring was discreet and ‘boxed in’ where necessary.” He further said, “So impressed with their customer service and technical ability, we now consider them our preferred supplier for all fire and security maintenance.” CAME BPT brass entrance panel installed Based on resident feedback, Amthal created and installed a bespoke CAME BPT brass entrance panel for Kenilworth Court, allowing all homeowners to benefit from stylish video door entry technology. Residents and staff also benefit from an upgraded Paxton Net2 access control system, with dedicated fobs distributed to ensure safe and secure block entry. Phil Bryant, Amthal Strategic Accounts Team Manager added, “The key to our success with Kenilworth Court was taking the time initially to create an installation works program with video door entry systems that could blend in visually without disrupting the architectural aesthetic of the development.” Enhanced fire safety The management team has peace of mind that fire and security requirements will be maintained to exceed standards" Phil adds, “We spoke with the management team and residents throughout the design process, bringing door entry styles and samples to ensure everyone was confident in the installed final solution.” He further said, “From this, our engineering team and customer service has built up a trusting relationship where residents understand our needs to operate internally, sometimes within apartments themselves and also through communal areas. And the management team has peace of mind that fire and security requirements will be maintained to exceed standards across the development.” Fire safety solutions expert 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).
A flagship school in Port Talbot, Ysgol Bae Baglan, is being protected by fire panels from Advanced. Built by Bouygues UK, the new super-school is the first vertically integrated school in Wales, merging four older educational establishments into one. With 1,500 pupils ranging from reception class to GCSE level (3-16), it represents a large investment in school infrastructure in Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council. At the heart of the school’s active fire protection system, which covers all areas of the main and lower schools, including science laboratories, specialist technology rooms, garage area and a wide range of sports facilities, is a network of five Advanced MxPro 5 intelligent multiprotocol panels. The network, which incorporates 1,200 devices, was designed, configured and commissioned by Protectorcomms Ltd, a long-time partner of Advanced. Multi-Protocol fire solution Lloyd Harding, Technical Director for Protector Comms Ltd, said: “Advanced panels are well known for outstanding performance and ease of use. This system protects over 1,500 staff and children in a brand-new building, so we needed a system that could offer outstanding quality, reliability and flexibility, with the capability to be expanded or upgraded in the future.” MxPro panels are already installed in many education facilities, including Sheffield University MxPro is the 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. MxPro panels can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into multi-loop, high speed, 200 panel networks covering huge areas and controlling up to 254 individual devices per loop. Mike Tate Head Teacher at Ysgol Bae Baglan, commented: “The safety of our pupils and staff is the paramount consideration when specifying a fire system, so we wanted to ensure that our new school was protected by the high-quality panels on the market. The Advanced panels installed will give us peace of mind, as well the capability to expand the system further should it be required in future.” Analog panel MxPro 5 is fully compliant with EN54 Parts 2, 4 and 13 and is Advanced’s highest performance analog panel. It is EN54 2, 4 & 13 approved and is backward compatible with MxPro 4, offering long-term security for MxPro customers. Phil Calvey, sales manager for Advanced, said: “We’re delighted that Advanced panels have been specified for one of the largest schools in Wales. MxPro panels are already installed in many education facilities, including Sheffield University, Edinburgh University and London’s capital city academy, which was also built Bouygues. MxPro panels are the ideal choice for this type of installation, combining proven reliability with innovation and ease-of-use.” About Halma and Advanced Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, protects a wide range of high-profile sites across the globe – from London’s Shard and the Berkeley Hotel to Abu Dhabi International Airport and Las Vegas’ Golden Nugget Casino. Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day. Advanced is a world provider in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. Advanced’s reputation for performance, quality and ease of use see its products specified in locations around 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.
Apollo Fire Detectors’ SOTERIA® range of detectors has been chosen to protect Ulster Bank’s headquarters in Belfast. Owned by RBS, Ulster Bank Group is a bank in Ireland with a branch network across both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The group moved its headquarters to development in Donegall Square East in Belfast in 2000. The building required a life cycle replacement of its existing fire alarm system, which had been in service for 18 years, along with additional detection as necessary to validate L1 coverage. The Project The development was created around the façade of an old Methodist church designed by Dublin architect, Isaac Farrell, and consists of a reinforced concrete frame with flat slab floor construction including a double storey basement. In order to cause the least amount of disruption to staff, the work was all carried out after-hours and at weekends over a 12-week period, while also making sure the system was fully functional and all work areas clean and tidy for staff coming in the next day. Installation of Fire Alarm Systems Integrated services supplier Aramark Ireland was selected by Ulster Bank to perform the role of main contractor for the works. Following a tender process, fire alarm specialist Ashdale Engineering Ltd was appointed to replace the existing closed protocol fire alarm system and PAVA system. Met the customers’ expectations of enhanced detection to minimize the risk of false alarms Aramark project manager Michael Hyland said: “We were pleased to be able to appoint Ashdale for the key role of fire alarm replacement. Having delivered a similar project with them in 2015 for the same client we had total confidence in their ability. Ashdale performed flawlessly and the project was delivered on time and within budget.” In the role as principal contractor Aramark were also responsible for all the health and safety management relating to the project. Some of the work involved detection replacement in the 25-meter-high atrium, working at height over areas of plant, lift shafts and HV switch rooms. H&S manager for Aramark Gary Henderson said: “The project certainly had its challenges but with planning, consultation and coordination with Ashdale and other contractors we were able to deliver the project safely and without incident.” Optical smoke detector and heat detectors Apollo’s SOTERIA® range of devices were chosen for this project. This included the optical smoke detector, heat detectors, multisensors, manual call points and interfaces. Covering a range of areas from open plan offices, carpark, plant rooms, kitchens and canteen, SOTERIA® met the customers’ expectations of enhanced detection to minimize the risk of false alarms and provide a future proof system using next generation technology. A total of 645 optical detectors, 89 heat detectors, 24 multisensors, 83 manual call points and 78 interfaces combine to provide the ideal solution for Ulster Bank. All controlled by a fire panel from Advanced. Open protocol and backward compatibly David Moore, team leader at Ashdale, said: “The decision to select the Apollo SOTERIA® range of device for this project was an easy one. Having used SOTERIA® on a number of other projects we knew the devices were easy to install and commission. They also provide a modern aesthetically pleasing look in a modern office environment.” Colin Simms, operations director at Ashdale, added: “It was great to be able to continue our long relationship with Apollo on this project. Ashdale have represented Apollo Fire Detectors for over 30 years in Northern Ireland. With over 27 years’ experience with the product myself, it’s great to see how fire detection technology has developed from the days of Series 90 to the highly advanced SOTERIA® devices we have today. The open protocol and backward compatibly yet future proof design, continue to be key factors for us when we make our recommendations to our clients for fire detection.”
Rajant and Dejero’s Technology Springs into Action in the Battle Against a 420-Acre Wildfire on the Santa Barbara County Coast. A wind-driven brush fire triggered evacuations after breaking out along the Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County, California. On a sunny afternoon in mid-October 2019, the heat from the sun combined with winds gusting up to 40 mph through the quiet foothills of El Capitán Canyon, sparking a wind-whipped, vegetation brush fire in the overly dry desert hills. The blaze, dubbed the ‘Real Fire,’ quickly charred 420 acres while threatening more than 100 structures that sat along the Gaviota Coast before firefighters and emergency crews were aware of the fire and able to gain an upper hand on the wild blaze. Wind-Driven bush fire Coincidentally, Rajant and Dejero had just arrived in Santa Barbara for a demonstration with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. Shortly after the fire broke out, word reached the emergency services and crews from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Cal Fire, the U.S. Forest Service, and other agencies who immediately dispatched their teams to contain the blaze before it spread further. The climate in the canyon at the time of the blaze was considered ‘critical fire weather’ with its dangerously dry grass and wind gusts. These conditions only encouraged the wind-driven bush fire to spread swiftly through the foothills on the north side of Highway 101 near El Capitán State Beach, California and east over the ridge. A good stretch of the 101 Freeway had to be shut down immediately—in both directions—and Amtrak routes through the area were canceled. Total communications solution At the peak of the fire, helicopters and fixed-wing aircrafts attacked the flames from the air with retardant and water drops Visitors at nearby ranches, campgrounds, beaches, and resorts were evacuated, and a warning was given to residents living in the nearby Dos Pueblos, Refugio, and Winchester Canyons. At the peak of the fire, helicopters and fixed-wing aircrafts attacked the flames from the air with retardant and water drops, while dozens of engines, along with bulldozers and hand-crews, fought it from the ground. At about that same time the fire broke out, teams from Rajant and Dejero, along with subject matter expert Bruce Arvizu from the Department Homeland Security, had arrived in Santa Barbara. Together, they were prepared to deliver a live safety demo to the Santa Barbara County fire chief on how the companies can together provide the total communications solution. Improved spectrum efficiency The planned public safety demo was also to show how the blending of Rajant’s technology with Dejero Smart Blending Technology (SBT) eliminates drops and gaps—a solution comprised of mesh radio communications, blended cellular, and satellite technologies to bridge the communication gap in remote locations where signals are often weak or lost. While LTE networks provide high bandwidth, lower latency, and improved spectrum efficiency, LTE can also become spotty and drop signals in remote locations and other areas. Dejero’s Smart Blending Technology (SBT) fills in these gaps in the Wide Area Network by seamlessly blending any available LTE with SAT comms to guarantee a connection for the responding teams. Signal continuity becomes even more challenging in valleys, around mountains, and along coastlines, which becomes mission critical when emergency services are responding. Continuous and reliable connection More than 200 firefighters were on site fighting the fire with reinforcing containment lines of helicopters Rajant’s mesh radio technology bridges the gaps in these local areas. When the three technologies are used together, a continuous and reliable connection is provided, ensuring that communications between the responding agencies and their teams in the field are not lost. Meanwhile at the El Capitán canyon, more than 200 firefighters were on site fighting the fire with reinforcing containment lines of helicopters and drones in the air and 30-ton bulldozers on the ground cutting out ‘catlines’ and uprooting vegetation, thus eliminating the fire’s fuel. By plowing through the flames, brush, and trees with the dozers, the emergency crews saved valuable manpower and shortened the fire’s reach and life. When fighting fires with bulldozers, it is critical for the commander in control to receive data from each dozer to manage fighting the fire collectively as a team and to track each dozer individually. Critical local data Rajant and Dejero quickly proposed to the fire chief the benefits of their combined technology at a time of crisis and asked to allow Rajant and Dejero to modify their presentation from a demo to a real life exercise. “Our county firefighters are willing to do whatever it takes to get that job done. When we do our after-action review, the successes and failures always come out. And we like to capitalize on our successes.” said Daniel Bertucelli, County Fire Captain Santa Barbara County Fire Department. Rajant BreadCrumbs® can be mounted to the bulldozers so the critical local data could be transmitted while other situational data and mapping could be revived in the field. Dejero SBT would power the Microsoft Tactical Truck and provide the bridge from the field to the command post over cellular and SAT networks, during this actual emergency situation. Combined firefighting attacks More than 400 acres had burned with no structures damaged and no reported injuries Notably, the SAT comms on the vehicle was to be powered by Kymeta’s flat-panel dish technology, enabling true ‘comms on the move’ to best leverage Rajant’s Kinetic Mesh®. The updated mission was green lighted. On Friday morning, Rajant and Dejero meet with the fire squad at the command control center. Rajant BreadCrumbs and camera systems were mounted to dozers while the Microsoft mobile comms truck, with the Dejero GateWay on-board, maintained a close, but safe, proximity to the dozers to provide LTE. The firefighters manning the bulldozers were able to communicate in the valley when normally they could not. Data was sent from the bulldozers to the van to the internet where the command control center could receive the video feed. The real-life demo was a success. The combined firefighting attacks on the blaze gained the upper hand and went from a 20-percent containment on Thursday evening to 50-percent by Friday afternoon. By Monday, the Real Fire was 100% contained. More than 400 acres had burned with no structures damaged and no reported injuries. Evacuations were lifted for all areas.
Round table discussion
When a fire or other emergency occurs in a building or facility, first responders depend on every available resource to ensure a safe and orderly evacuation and response. One element in any response plan is the facility’s physical security systems, including access control, video surveillance and intrusion detection. How can these systems contribute to an orderly response to a chaotic situation? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the role of security systems in the event of a fire or other emergency evacuation?
Welcome to our Expert Panel Roundtable, a new feature of TheBigRedGuide.com. We will be asking timely questions about the fire market and seeking out experts in the field to provide responses. Our goal is to promote a useful exchange of information on a variety of topics and to create a forum for discussion of important issues facing the fire service and market. For our first question, we look to the year ahead and ask our panelists: What trends are likely to change the fire market in 2020?
Fire Detection: Manufacturers & Suppliers
- Guide Infrared Fire Detection
- Edwards Signaling Fire Detection
- Fire Lite Alarms (Honeywell) Fire Detection
- Hochiki Europe Fire Detection
- Siemens Fire Detection
- GST Fire Detection
- Zeta Fire Detection
- System Sensor Fire Detection
- Chubb Fire Detection
- Gamewell-FCI Fire Detection
- Esser by Honeywell Fire Detection
- Honeywell Analytics Distribution Inc Fire Detection
- Eltek Fire & Safety Fire Detection
- Cervinka Fire Detection
- VRC Terofire Fire Detection
- Nittan Fire Detection
- Draeger Fire Detection
- Silent Knight Fire Detection
- Notifier Fire Detection
- Det-Tronics Fire Detection