As more and more countries in Europe and North America commit to net zero, a key strategy is replacing old fossil fuel-driven forms of power generation and replacing them with renewable energy, such as wind turbines and solar panels. The wind industry has seen a particular boom, with tens of thousands of new turbines installed every year across the globe. However, like any other heavy machinery, wind turbines can catch fire due to mechanical or electrical failures. These fires can have impacts...
On Saturday, June 5, North Carolina-based Kidde – a foremost manufacturer of residential smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers, and safety accessories – and The Home Depot will join North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey in celebrating “Smoke Alarm Saturday.” The annual event, held each year on the first Saturday in June, unites fire departments and fire safety partners across North Carolina in raising awareness of t...
VdS (VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH) has announced the release of Compact Guidelines VdS 2100 for dependable pipe connection elements and fittings renewed, comprehensively supplemented with findings for reliable production, with regard to leak tightness and stress crack resistance, as well as other aspects. Automatic sprinkler systems The decisive instant protection in case of fire (more often than every 5 minutes in a company in Germany) is automatic sprinkler systems. An important part of th...
According to AAA, more than 9 in 10 Memorial Day travelers will drive to their destinations this year. The advocate for safe mobility predicts a 52 percent increase in vehicle travel this Memorial Day weekend over last year and reports that 34 million Americans are planning to take road trips now that COVID-19 restrictions are loosening up. In the interest of public and responder safety, leading fire service organizations are reminding firefighters, EMS providers, and roadside service provide...
After years of Brexit negotiations and an ongoing climate of prevailing uncertainty, businesses across the UK are still adjusting to the realities of life outside the European Union. Following the end of the UK’s transition period with the European Union, at the end of last year, the United Kingdom is no longer subject to European laws. However, for many companies, the last-minute nature of the Brexit negotiations mean that they remain unclear on what has actually changed in practical te...
More than 4.5 million U.S. properties are at a high-to-extreme risk of wildfire, with more than two million of those in California alone, according to estimates from Verisk, a foremost global data analytics provider. To help promote the importance of building resilient communities for property insurers and their customers, the National Fire Protection Association is providing Verisk with robust data on communities engaging in wildfire mitigation efforts. Verisk will leverage the data from the N...
Gunning London, the Chartered Building Company that specializes in internal and external refurbishments, has launched a new division, Gunning Fire, to meet the increasing need for professionally installed fire door and fire stopping solutions. Gunning Fire division Having achieved independent UKAS accredited certification from Bluesky in April 2021, the division will offer fire door installation, fire door maintenance, fire stopping (compartmentalization), and cladding refurbishment, delivered by their in-house team of installers. And as a member of the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP), Gunning Fire will be responsible for the overall coordination of all fire safety projects. Gunning London carries considerable experience in the field, having completed numerous fire stopping projects Gunning London carries considerable experience in the field, having completed numerous fire stopping projects in the past as principal contractor. These include extensive fire compartmentalization works for the University of the Arts London, the installation of fire doors and fire break partitions for the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine, and fire upgrades to Fair Acres, a residential estate in Kent. Fire safety for properties The Gunning Fire division will be led by Richard Shatford, who sees this as a logical development for a long-standing company. Richard stated, “Much of our work over the last few years has been in fire protection and with so many educational, heritage and residential properties looking to provide the best possible safety measures, this new division will allow us to keep up with the increased demand we have experienced.” Tom Gunning, Director at Gunning London, said “Gunning Fire allows the company to put its customers first: “While we have a history of successfully completing fire safety works, we have never been fully autonomous to offer the service we feel our customers deserve. But as a principal contractor we will be able to ensure that all aspects of a project run to our high standards.”
VIKING Life-Saving Equipment has acquired HydroPen, the company behind the unique HydroPenTM container firefighting solution supplied to hundreds of ships. HydroPen's rapid uptake has been due to its combination of innovation, efficiency and ease of use. Attached to a ship’s hose and raised on a telescopic arm by a single crew member, water pressure alone powers its ‘drill and spray’ nozzle to penetrate a container door before switching to spray mode to extinguish a fire with water, foam or CO2 – directly at its source.HydroPen was founded in 2016 by Martin Winkel, CEO and Jesper Rosenfelt Hansen, CTO and system inventor. Their inspiration was to apply innovative, safe and user-friendly technology, to revolutionize firefighting on board container vessels. fire-fighting equipment improvements Around the same time, the need for new solutions was on the rise across the industry. Nine major container ship fires were reported in 2019, followed by ten incidents in 2020, while the leading transports and logistics insurer, TT Club estimates that a container fire occurs on average once every 60 days. The International Union of Marine Insurance has called for ship design and fire-fighting equipment improvements on Ultra Large Container Ships. The acquisition also follows a fire in April onboard a 4,200TEU container ship off Malaysia, which called 50 local firefighters into action after the vessel returned to anchorage. “This is a significant acquisition for VIKING and for safety in the container shipping industry,” says Lasse Boesen, Senior Product Manager, VIKING. “We approached the HydroPen originators shortly after the system won the 2017 Danish Tech Challenge accelerator prize. From its official launch at SMM 2018, VIKING became HydroPen’s exclusive distributor, going on to support orders from some of the industry’s biggest names.” integrating HydroPen We are integrating HydroPen into our portfolio, in another evolution of our full scope strategy for marine safety: “Once crews familiarize themselves with HydroPen, there is no going back - and since its introduction, the system has already proven itself in live firefighting situations. Recently, HydroPen has also generated interest among land-based fire-fighting operators who have been quick to recognize its value," adds Boesen. “We are integrating HydroPen into our portfolio, in another evolution of our full scope strategy for marine safety,” says Henrik Uhd Christensen, CEO, VIKING. “The HydroPen system meets a specific and widespread industry challenge and safety concern while aligning with VIKING’s role as an innovation leader and trusted safety partner, as also demonstrated by the system winning the Safety at Sea Award for Best Safety Product, Fire-fighting.” container firefighting technology Both HydroPen’s Martin Winkel and Jesper Rosenfelt Hansen are happy to see VIKING carry the baton forward on bringing the HydroPen system to market. “VIKING and HydroPen have enjoyed an exceptional spell of cooperation from day one” says Mr. Winkel and continues: “Driving innovation at the service of saving lives is at the core of what we’ve wanted to achieve with HydroPen and we are confident that our innovation will be safe with VIKING. Together we have successfully positioned the HydroPen system as the most innovative container firefighting technology in the industry and we can’t wait to follow the journey ahead, both as active stakeholders in the transition period and beyond.”
An electric vehicle (EV) crash in Woodlands, Texas has prompted significant scrutiny and calls for emergency personnel to be trained on the fire risks associated with high voltage, lithium batteries within EVs (electric vehicles). In response to the tragic accident that killed two occupants last week, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are reminding first and second responders that resources are available to help safely address incidents involving EVs. Although the cause of the recent Tesla incident is still being determined, news reports indicate that, despite intense heat, the fire was extinguished within four minutes. Firefighters; however, remained on scene for four hours cooling the car’s battery with tens of thousands of gallons of water. electric vehicle The popularity of EVs is growing, according to online car shopping site Edmunds. "We're not only about to see a massive leap in the number of EVs available in the market; we're also going to see a more diverse lineup of electric vehicles that better reflect current consumer preferences. And given that the new presidential administration has pledged its support for electrification, the U.S. is likely to see incentive programs targeted at fostering the growth of this technology further," Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights said. The company went on to say that 30 EVs from 21 brands will become available for sale this year, compared to 17 vehicles from 12 brands in 2020. Notably, this will be the first year that there will be offerings in all three major vehicle categories: cars, SUVs, and trucks. While EVs are great for the environment, new technologies often present a learning curve for first responders. In the interest of public and responder safety, NTSB investigated four EV incidents and released a thorough report in November on hazards and gaps. In particular, the NTSB identified two concerning trends: Inadequate vehicle manufacturers’ emergency response guides Gaps in both safety standards and research related to lithium-ion batteries involved in high-speed, high-severity crashes fire suppression The NTSB also found, in part, that: Damage and fire because of a crash may prevent first responders from disabling the high voltage in electric vehicles Thermal runaway and battery reignitions after initial fire suppression can pose additional challenges Stranded energy can cause electric shock and potential fire hazards Safely storing an electric vehicle with a damaged high-voltage lithium-ion battery in a tow yard may not be feasible NFPA has been developing EV safety information for 12 years. The association has worked with every auto/truck/bus manufacturer who sells EVs and hybrids in this country and has received pre-market safety information so that responders have the most up-to-date training, tools, and resources. The NFPA EV Safety Training website, is the most accessed repository in the U.S. for EV responder safety information. This dedicated site offers videos on stranded energy, responder tactics, a fact sheet with on-scene safety information, and direct links to all NFPA EV Safety Training courses and vehicle resources, including U.S. EV Emergency Response Guides. NFPA Distributed Energy Resources Safety Training program To help communities deal with EV-related response and the infrastructure challenges that go together with market growth, NFPA has secured two Department of Energy (DOE) grants related to EVs. The first, entitled NFPA Spurs the Safe Adoption of EVs through Education and Outreach, will allow NFPA to develop free EV safety training for utilities, code officials, charging station installers, EV fleet owners, tow and salvage responders, crash reconstruction teams, manufacturers, dealerships, garage maintenance workers, insurance companies, and EV owners. As part of that effort, NFPA, in conjunction with Clean Cities Coalitions, will also set up community planning meetings in 30 cities around the country to help prepare these locations for a large influx of EVs. The second effort calls for enhancing and promoting an NFPA Distributed Energy Resources Safety Training program. NFPA will update its current EV Safety classroom training for the fire service and develop an online gamification version of the distributed energy resource including how to respond to electric vehicle fires.
Shareholders approved all resolutions proposed at Airbus SE’s 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM), including the renewal of the Board mandate of Chairman René Obermann. The Board mandates of Amparo Moraleda, Victor Chu, and Jean-Pierre Clamadieu were also renewed. 2021 AGM resolutions Following the AGM’s approval of his Board mandate, René Obermann was formally reappointed Chairman at a Board meeting held after the shareholder meeting. At the same Board meeting, Amparo Moraleda was reappointed Chair of the Remuneration, Nomination, and Governance Committee while Jean-Pierre Clamadieu was reappointed Chairman of the Ethics, Compliance, and Sustainability Committee. Separately, Catherine Guillouard remains Chair of the Audit Committee. Due to the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and to prioritize health and safety, shareholders were encouraged to vote by proxy, instead of attending the meeting physically in Amsterdam. Shareholders showed a high level of engagement, with 549 million votes expressed, representing around 70% of the outstanding share capital.
Airbus has taken the next step in reducing its industrial carbon footprint, with the maiden flight of a Beluga super transporter using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), from the aerospace company’s Broughton plant in the United Kingdom. The north Wales line station, which uses the Beluga fleet to transport aircraft wings to Toulouse, Hamburg and Bremen, becomes the second Airbus European site to use SAF, after Hamburg introduced the fuel to its cargo activities at the end of 2019. Decarbonizing industrial operations “This first flight by a Beluga transporter from Broughton, partially fuelled with SAF, marks an important milestone in Airbus’ ambition to decarbonize its industrial operations,” said Tony Derrien, Sustainable Aviation Fuels’ Project Manager at Airbus. Tony Derrien adds, “Combined with our ongoing research into the potential for 100% SAF in commercial flights, reducing fossil-fuels in our own operations underlines Airbus’ commitment to lessening the impact of our manufacturing footprint and contributing towards a more sustainable future for the aviation sector more generally.” Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) The SAF, used by the Beluga fleet, is made from used sustainable feed stocks Sustainable aviation fuels are currently certified by regulators for up to 50% use in commercial flights. The Beluga fleet operating from Broughton will initially be loaded with a 35% blend of non-fossil derived fuel, set to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 400 tons over the next three months. The SAF, used by the Beluga fleet, is made from used sustainable feed stocks, such as cooking oil, and supplied to Airbus in Broughton and Hamburg by Air bp. Decarbonization Roadmap Andy Owen, Beluga Line Station Manager at Broughton, said “The progressive deployment of sustainable aviation fuels at Airbus’ sites is an essential part of our decarbonization roadmap." He adds, "We’re proud that Broughton has become the second Airbus site to introduce SAF in its Beluga-fleet operations.”
Airbus SE is announcing the following changes to the Executive Committee, led by Chief Executive Officer, Guillaume Faury, following approval from the Board of Directors. These changes come at a new juncture for both commercial aviation and defense activities, with the decarbonization of the aviation sector becoming a central ambition for the industry, and strategic European defense programs entering their development phase. The following changes will be effective from 1st July 2021: After more than five years in his role as CEO for Airbus Defense and Space division, and as member of the Airbus Executive Committee, Dirk Hoke has decided to pursue opportunities outside the Company. Dirk Hoke will be succeeded by Michael Schoellhorn, who joined Airbus in February 2019, as Chief Operating Officer and member of the Airbus Executive Committee. Michael will be succeeded by Alberto Gutiérrez, currently Executive Vice President Military Aircraft and member of the Airbus’ Defense and Space Executive Committee, since January 2019. Alberto will be succeeded by Jean-Brice Dumont, currently Executive Vice President Engineering and member of the Airbus Executive Committee, since April 2019. Jean-Brice will be succeeded by Sabine Klauke, currently Executive Vice President Engineering at Airbus and member of the Airbus’ Defense and Space Executive Committee, a position she has held, since July 2018. Grazia Vittadini, currently Chief Technology Officer and member of the Airbus Executive Committee, since May 2018, has decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities after more than 19 years at Airbus. Sabine Klauke will take over this responsibility in addition to her new role as Executive Vice President Engineering. The succession of Sabine as Executive Vice President Engineering, Airbus, will be subject to further notice. Changes to the leadership team "As we emerge from COVID-19 and look forward to the next phases in the development of our civil and military activities, we are making important changes to the leadership team. I warmly thank Dirk for his leadership at the helm of Defense and Space, over the last five years and the achievements obtained under his watch. I also want to sincerely thank Grazia for her key contributions and personal engagement over the last years. I wish them both all the best in their future endeavors,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Guillaume Faury adds, “I'm now very pleased to welcome Alberto and Sabine to the Airbus Executive Committee, while Michael and Jean-Brice will take on key responsibilities in Airbus Defense and Space. These changes will allow us to further address our challenges and deliver on our ambitions, as well as increasing the ‘Team Airbus’ dynamic with deeper collaboration between our different businesses and functions across borders.”
The flammable liquid challenges that have existed in the high hazard industries for over a century are still there today. Moreover, they are not going away in the short term, no matter how quickly we can achieve a carbon-neutral world. Foam, in its various forms, remains the medium of choice in tackling these complex emergencies. How can we best achieve the balance between fire performance & the environmental impact of an evolving emergency? What is behind the acronym ‘F3’? How can manufacturers’ claims be independently certified to deal with this combined challenge? Fire performance is not negotiable, but we also need to acknowledge the importance of responsible environmental stewardship: marrying the two together should be the ultimate aim of all of us in the fire industry. Angus Fire continues to address the changing needs of Firefighters & Fire Engineers alike, whether it’s fire hose, portable pumps, foam equipment or high performing Fluorine Free Foam (F3) concentrates. F3 foam The general term for fluorine-free foam: ‘F3’ to many people means good environmental stewardship because the breakdown products from a foam discharge, and resultant fire water run-off, are not persistent in the environment. However, this may not always be the case since the term ‘F3’ has not been defined by any standard other than GreenScreen. Users need to ensure that the ‘F3’ they select is bio-degradable, one way to do this is to look for the GreenScreen Certified approval. As with any foam discharge, uncontrolled spills are not always preventable, the aim should always be to contain & treat before discharge into the wider environment. Fluorine Free foam, otherwise known as F3 foam. F3 can be split into two types: those suitable purely for hydrocarbons & those suitable for both hydrocarbons & polar solvents (examples include water-miscible products such as IPA, Acetone, Propylene Oxide, etc.). Fire performance & firefighter safety The cornerstone of the fire protection industry are the listed and approved products, foams, and devices. Repeatable validated testing to industry standards such as EN, ICAO, IMO, UL and LASTfire are important depending on the final use of the product. Excellent results in these test standards provide verifiable data to enable users to benchmark foam concentrates during an evaluation. Let us take Angus Fire’s Respondol ATF products as an example. EN1568 scores it 1A for freshwater & 1A for seawater on all fuels. LASTfire grades it GOOD-GOOD-GOOD in all 6 tests where it even achieves the best “GOOD” rating at a low expansion of just over 3:1. Put simply, that’s the best. However, we should note that design standards for individual users are dependent on that key phrase, “the authority having jurisdiction.” That could be the organisation’s internal fire standard, the local fire authority if they have local influence or, more likely perhaps, the insurance company. Broadly speaking that means NFPA11, EN13565-2 or UL162 will apply. It is beyond the scope of this article to go into the specifics for each hazard but application rates for finished foam are comparable for F3 and AFFF and will vary between 4.1 Lpm/m2 & 6.5 Lpm/m2 for fixed systems & 12 Lpm/m2 for rim-seal devices. The cornerstone of the fire protection industry are the listed and approved products, foams, and devices. Hardware compatibility is also a critical component in the overall system and is a mandate for any UL162 or NFPA 11 designed system. Utilising the existing proportioning equipment, whether mobile or fixed, is a decision that must be taken at the very start of any conversion. Not only must the user decide their position on decontamination, i.e. “How clean is clean?” but also investigate viscosity and the device/foam listings and approvals. Another key performance indicator is drainage time. It may not be as dramatic as fast extinguishment, but it is a measure of foam stability. This can also impact on firefighter safety, especially in the aerospace sector where casualty rescue & retrieval depend on preventing re-ignition. Industrial firefighters also want the comfort of high levels of post-fire security when accessing plant areas for post-fire analysis. Environmental credentials Futureproofing against ever-tightening environmental standards can be as equally challenging as selecting a foam on fire performance. The best practice answer lies with the GreenScreen certification process. This independent, non-profit organisation certifies the end product as a complete mixture, including impurities. This means that any manufacturer displaying the GreenScreen Certified logo has transparency on what, if any, potential environmental hazards are present. The value of GreenScreen is that in addition to a comprehensive & detailed evaluation of a chemical’s intrinsic human health & environmental hazards, it also provides a standardised & easy-to-understand accreditation to facilitate communication throughout the supply chains & within organisations. Most importantly, this provides a bridge between you as fire practitioner & your purchasing department, because it allows for an objective evaluation of foams in conjunction with the UL162, EN & LASTFIRE fire performance ratings. Only foam with acceptable environmental credentials will pass GreenScreen. GreenScreen and Respondol certifications for environmental standards. Certification includes: Ingredients & impurities from the raw materials. Human health and environmental endpoints. Online register of certified products: greenscreenchemicals.org/certified/products The transition to F3 foams can be a daunting one, as you have seen it is not a matter of ‘old foam out, new foam in’. If you are considering who to move to for your F3 foams, Angus Fire takes an innovative multi-faceted approach, starting with a system review to ensure a successful transition with the most suitable foam for your application. Fire ratings, firefighter safety, hardware compatibility, future-proofing & not least environmental credentials are all part of the process, so ensure they are in harmony when assessing your move to F3.
The fire sprinkler system in your building is a critical safety measure and, when needed, it can save lives. Still, even the best systems can malfunction, and sprinklers do occasionally fail. When they do, they can drench the interior of your building, damaging everything from furniture and personal belongings to drywall and building materials. As a property manager, dealing with fire sprinkler failure can feel overwhelming. What do you do next? Where do you start? And why did the sprinkler system fail in the first place? In this post, we’ll discuss the common causes of accidental discharge, and what to do if it happens to you. Reasons for Fire Sprinkler Systems Failure Today, all building fire sprinkler systems must meet NFPA 13 standards. These National Fire Protection Association benchmarks define safety requirements for components and installation, and help ensure that sprinkler systems are well maintained and ready to perform. Still, fire sprinkler systems can fail. Here are a few of the most common culprits: Aging parts Building renovations (collisions with construction equipment, displacement or disturbance, etc.) Incorrectly placed heating systems that activate sprinklers Vulnerable pipes that freeze and cause sprinkler heads to burst Corrosion Fire sprinkler malfunctions can be incredibly problematic, causing extensive damage to your building Regardless of what causes the sprinklers to discharge accidentally, fire sprinkler malfunctions can be incredibly problematic, causing extensive damage to your building and requiring costly repairs from a water damage repair contractor. 5 Things to do if Your Sprinklers Fail There are no flames in your building, but your sprinklers are soaking everything in sight. You have to move quickly to avoid even more damage. Stay calm and follow these five steps: Get everyone out Even if there’s not an active fire in the building, water poses its own set of dangers. To avoid problematic slip and fall conditions, get everyone out of the area immediately. Move them to a safe location outside the building, preferably one you’ve agreed on in a previously established evacuation plan. Shut off electrical equipment Water and electricity are a deadly combination. To avoid electrical shocks, shut off all nearby electrical equipment and appliances, and then, turn off the building’s main power supply, as you exit the building. Turn off the water main Instead of wasting time shutting off broken sprinkler heads individually, go to the building’s main water supply immediately and shut it off at the valve. This will stop all water flow and prevent additional water damage. Take photos of the scene Once it’s safe to re-enter the building, document the scene. Use your smartphone to take photos of broken sprinkler heads or anything else you believe may have caused the accidental discharge. Additionally, take photos of the damage the sprinklers caused to floors, walls, personal belongings, and more. These photos can help response specialists understand the cause of the malfunction and may streamline your insurance claims process. Contact a restoration specialist Even if your water damage looks minimal, you’ll need to contact a skilled water damage restoration expert, like the Chicago-based maintenance and service company, ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba. Accidental sprinkler discharges soak drywall, destroy carpets and textiles, and lead to dangerous mold and mildew growth, which can happen just 24-48 hours after water exposure. Prevent worsening damage and the dangerous conditions by contacting a sprinkler repair specialist right away. Cleanup and water damage restoration services Using your documentation, your insurance company will work to determine the cause of the sprinkler failure Using your documentation, your insurance company will work to determine the cause of the sprinkler failure. This can be a lengthy process that takes weeks or even months. As that happens, your cleanup team will focus on providing water damage restoration services. Typically, fire sprinkler water damage involves ‘blackwater’- a dangerous mixture of sediments and other contaminants that leave behind an unpleasant smell and a film that can destroy belongings. To reclaim your space, the water damage restoration service will focus on extracting the remaining water, drying the space to prevent mold and mildew formation, and decontaminating all surfaces. This is a critical step that you can’t afford to rush. Work with the best water damage cleanup company you can find to ensure positive results. Protecting Your Sprinkler Systems in the Future While it’s impossible to completely avoid every accidental discharge, there are certain steps you can take to safeguard your sprinkler system. Proper maintenance, for example, allows you to avoid preventable issues that could lead to malfunction. You should also take care to keep all remodeling and construction work away from sprinkler heads and systems to avoid accidental damage. These are simple tips, but they can help keep your building and tenants safe and dry - both now and in the future.
Waste management sites are particularly vulnerable to fires, with hundreds reported every year, just in the UK. The materials stored in a waste heap make them particularly risky environments. ‘Hot spot’ fires, as they’re called, can be caused by chemical waste, flammable items, or the heat caused by the natural breakdown of organic materials. A blaze can start quickly and without warning, building into a major issue that can threaten lives and livelihoods. And not only that - but in many cases, insurers now require sites to be putting additional updated fire prevention measures in place, in order to validate their existing policies. All this makes it more important than ever to have effective prevention and detection measures on-site, with the ability to extinguish fires swiftly should they develop. Preventing poor prevention Early detection is vital for preventing the dire consequences of a fire. The traditional approaches - manual inspection, gas detection, or basic thermal monitoring - all come with major limitations. Thermal camera prevention software can instantly detect when temperatures are outside of the normal range They all take time and, to be honest, they’re all pretty unreliable. Waste piles can often be many meters deep. When you smell the smoke or see the flames, it’s too late. The damage has already been done and by that stage, you’re long past prevention. Real prevention needs to start earlier, and deeper below the surface. It is said that necessity is the mother of all invention - and out of this need to keep sites safe comes high-resolution fire prevention thermal imaging. Thermal Cameras Thermal cameras from manufacturers such as FLIR, can constantly monitor temperatures across a site. They are highly sensitive to temperature, being accurate to within half a degree centigrade, and programmed to detect heat signatures deep below the surface. This type of prevention software can instantly detect when temperatures are outside of the normal range. A flame will develop at 122 degrees centigrade. If you can catch an elevated temperature and lower it before it reaches that stage, you can stop the fire before it even begins. Oscillating Water Cannons Should the temperature in any area rise enough to become a fire risk – typically 60 degrees centigrade or above – thermal imaging cameras can trigger an alert, informing the operator. It can be combined with location monitoring software for fast identification of possible ‘hot spots’, and even connected to automated, oscillating water cannons which can locate and extinguish hot spots in seconds. The system will then activate a pair of automated, oscillating water cannons, spraying the affected area to reduce the temperature or extinguish the fire. Distinguish before you extinguish False alarms are a risk with thermal systems. The last thing you want is a sprinkler system going off because a camera detected the heat from a vehicle exhaust. The latest systems can be programmed to distinguish between acceptable heat signatures, such as vehicles, and genuine potential fire risks. On-site fire prevention can now be safer, more reliable, and more efficient, with fewer false alarms Solutions like this have been developed recently by UK machine vision integrator Bytronic, fire prevention imaging supplier Thermascan, and Swedish firm Termisk Systemteknik, using FLIR technology to create a reliable and automated solution to keep sites safe, with rapid detection at a temperature level. In one site, the water cannons were programmed to adjust water pressure and reach based on the location of the hot spot, before automatically deactivating once the temperature has cooled sufficiently. Meanwhile, the thermal cameras – which can detect fires even through thick smoke – monitor the progress of a fire beyond what’s visible with the naked eye. The future of fire prevention? For sites used to manual inspection and sprinkler systems, this technology could be a step-change. The old ways may have been partially effective, but were more likely to be overly sensitive and not targeted to the affected areas, taking more time and potentially causing water damage and pollution elsewhere. With newer automated, thermal imaging solutions, on-site fire prevention can now be safer, more reliable, and more efficient, with fewer false alarms. When hot spots occur, they can be swiftly extinguished with pinpoint accuracy, limiting water waste, property damage, and environmental pollution. It can mean the difference between a successful insurance payment or a significant financial hit, should the worst happen. But with the proper prevention, that worst situation may never occur.
The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the fire service will continue at least through 2021 and possibly for years to come. Specifically, several aspects of the pandemic have impacted the fire service long-term and have possibly changed it forever. More awareness of Health Issues For one thing, the pandemic has heightened awareness about issues of health and wellness of firefighters. In this regard, COVID-19 has been just the latest in the series of health and wellness issues surrounding the fire service. However, a global pandemic is difficult to ignore or neglect, unlike some other perpetual health concerns, such as physical exhaustion, cancer risks and mental and emotional burnout. Ideally, the urgency of addressing the health concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus will translate into better management of longer-term concerns about the more enduring and ultimately, less retractable health concerns. In the end, concerns about health should be broad-based and intrinsic. Heightened awareness of the broad spectrum of health issues should be ingrained in the fire serve to engender more action, which is much needed and a long overdue. Greater focus on Personal Protective Equipment Another positive of the COVID-19 pandemic is a greater focus on personal protective equipment (PPE) Another positive of the COVID-19 pandemic is a greater focus on personal protective equipment (PPE). Might emphasis on the use of masks during the pandemic translate into broader and long term awareness of the important role of PPE and more consistent usage to protect fire personnel? Concerns about PPE supply during the pandemic also point to a need to manage usage levels of the equipment to ensure changes in the market do not leave a department’s personnel unprotected. Financial and budget challenges for fire departments The COVID-19 pandemic has also emphasized the fragile nature of fire department budgeting at all levels. Departments across the board were negatively impacted as tax revenues and fundraising funds decreased. And it’s not over yet. Financial struggles will continue through the final phases of the pandemic. Addressing the budgetary impact will extend into future budget cycles and fire departments will continue to feel the impact. More than ever, departments will need to look for additional funding sources, such as government and foundation grants. Imminent manpower crisis and concerns The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rates of retirement among firefighters, not to mention the likelihood of lower head counts because of budgetary cutbacks. The stresses of dealing with COVID-19 could discourage possible recruits from joining the fire service. The bottom line is an imminent manpower crisis for the fire service; or, I should say, a hastening of a manpower crisis that already exists. Furthermore, volunteer departments are finding it harder than ever to attract personnel and recruiting paid firemen has its own set of challenges. A legacy of the pandemic might be even more difficulty recruiting manpower for fire service. Training fire service personnel As the public health and safety environment has evolved, so too has the role of the fire service The COVID-19 pandemic stretched the resources of many fire departments as they sought to help out in myriad ways during public health emergencies. For example, more departments were called on to fill in the gaps in emergency management, community safety, etc. As the public health and safety environment has evolved, so too has the role of the fire service. To the extent that those changes persist into a ‘new normal’, fire departments will be struggling to fulfill their expanded roles. Departments will need to invest their scarce resources in training fire service personnel to respond to community needs in new and different ways. Fire services need to do more with less Taken together, these factors point to a need for fire departments to do more with less and fire departments need to up their game when it comes to addressing health concerns, managing PPE supplies, recruiting new personnel, and expanding services to meet the changing needs in the community. However, less funding and fewer other resources reflect an operational environment that may be changed forever. In general, the fire service rose to the occasion during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The aftermath will also require fire service volunteers and professionals to work even harder than they already have to deliver on a challenging and expanding mission.
Andrew and Nicola Forrest have committed 50 million Australian dollars (US$35 million) to the Fire and Flood Resilience initiative through Minderoo Foundation, with a goal of raising an additional 450 million (US$320 million) in direct or in-kind support over the life of the program. The goal of the ambitious investment is to make Australia the global leader in fire and flood resistance by the year 2025. It is an audacious vision that requires an innovative approach, and the organization takes inspiration from the U.S. Apollo mission of the 1960s. In effect, it will be a “moonshot” to advance the cause of preventing and controlling wildfires. Specifically, the first mission, Fire Shield, seeks to ensure no dangerous bushfire in Australia will burn longer than an hour by 2025. respond to wildfires The Flood and Resilience Blueprint further seeks to provide every community in Australia the skills and resources to cope with fire and flood disasters. Finally, it seeks to provide “healthy landscapes” by improving ecosystems to be “immune” to fire and flood disasters. Founded in 2001, Minderoo Foundation exists to arrest unfairness and create opportunities to better the world “We are not daunted by or afraid of taking on the toughest challenges,” says Karen O’Connor, Missions Lead for Minderoo Foundation’s Fire & Flood Resilience initiative. "Fire has a devastating and unfair impact on communities all around the world - and if we can help drive better approaches to prevent and respond to wildfires, we can have a profound influence.” Founded in 2001, Minderoo Foundation exists to arrest unfairness and create opportunities to better the world. black summer bushfires Minderoo Foundation stepped up after Australia’s black summer bushfires in 2019-2020 to help communities respond to and recover from the devastation. The organization also seeks to do whatever it can to mitigate the risk of large-scale damage due to bushfires and build resilience to future disasters. “We understand that fire and flood are critical ecological processes that enable many of Australia’s ecosystems to function, supporting regeneration and new growth,” says O’Connor. “Therefore, Fire Shield does not aim to prevent wildfires entirely but rather to prevent wildfires from becoming disasters.” ground truth data Fire Shield will progress using the “Mission” methodology that involves breaking down major problems into smaller elements that can be addressed in turn. Missions are outcome-focused and time bound. They rely on accurate baseline and ground truth data and an ability to measure impact to know when the mission has succeeded in its goal. Fundamental to the Mission approach is bringing the best people and expertise to the challenges at hand Fundamental to the Mission approach is bringing the best people and expertise to the challenges at hand - whether they are working in scientific research, in government, corporations or philanthropy. Having accurate data and measures are also essential. To that end, Fire Shield is working with partners to develop an ecosystem for data standardization and sharing in order to collectively leverage insights to address future hazards. emergency services “It is also about making sure that people working in fire and emergency services are provided with the right information, in a timely manner, to make the best decisions when responding to fire,” says O’Connor. An example is Fire Shield’s partnership with the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council to support all Australian emergency services to develop new capabilities for fire detection, information sharing, fire simulation and response as well as utilizing data for improved decision-making wherever they are. fundamental principles “No matter what we do, Minderoo Foundation is always guided by the evidence,” says O’Connor. Minderoo Foundation’s Fire & Flood Resilience Blueprint has brought the best available evidence and expertise together to lay out a resilience blueprint for Australia and to inform the design and selection of missions, including Fire Shield. It challenges us to go right back to scientific principles and look for the best possible solutions” Importantly, the Blueprint is a “living document” that can evolve as the evidence base grows. First order problem solving is about going to the fundamental principles that apply to a problem, rather than thinking through analogies or accepted wisdom. “It challenges us to go right back to scientific principles and look for the best possible solutions,” says O’Connor. important resilience problems The initiative is committed to working collaboratively. To date they have secured more than 50 partners across corporations, governments and civil society - and they are always open to more. They are also actively looking to collaborate with international programs with similar goals, to ensure they can multiply rather than duplicate efforts. “We intend to share and publish our work widely, and of course continue to build collaboration, which is central to our approach,” says O’Connor. “We see ourselves as an enabler encouraging, facilitating and convening dialogue among different organizations and sectors of society to identify the most important resilience problems - and get to solutions faster.”
AEI Cables has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract to supply low voltage power and fire performance cables to the prestigious Sky City project at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). The supply of the cables for power, control and fire performance for the commercial and retail sector of the site starts in September and will continue, until early next year. AEI Cables will work in partnership with its long-term Hong Kong distributor, Fordex Electric Company Limited for the project located at Chek Lap Kok No.3. Supply the cables Sky City forms a core part of the strategy to expand and transform HKIA into a major aviation hub Stuart Dover, General Manager of AEI Cables, said “The need for cables which offer the highest levels of fire performance for an international airport of this kind cannot be underestimated with large numbers of people moving about. We are proud to be chosen to supply the cables for such an iconic world-class project.” A major integrated commercial development, Sky City forms a core part of the strategy to expand and transform HKIA into a major aviation hub. The complex will feature retail units, entertainment facilities, dining space, hotels, and office towers across approximately 25 hectares of land at the north of the airport island. Firetec Total Fire Solutions Using the very latest in technology and science, AEI Cables’ Firetec Total Fire Solutions range offers enhanced fire performance cabling, accessories, and technical support from its distribution facility at Washington, Tyne, and Wear. Applications for Firetec include residential and commercial buildings, shopping malls, airports, and protected buildings ensuring that fire alarms, sprinkler systems, building monitoring, and security systems can continue to operate in a fire. All AEI Cables’ products are supplied with approvals from independent bodies including BASEC and LPCB covering design, manufacture, and supply. It also holds approvals from organizations including Lloyds, the MoD, Network Rail, and LUL and works to international standards around the world.
The Allen-Stevenson School is a private school located on the Upper East Side locality in Manhattan, New York City, occupying two inter-connected buildings. Due to a need for additional space, the school expanded the existing buildings vertically, while renovating the remaining floors and constructed a new inter-connected building, adjacent to the original. The project proceeded in a phased manner and services included advising the client on appropriate phasing and implementation of the fire alarm system upgrade, witnessing pre-testing and coordinating with the FDNY (New York City Fire Department) on all fire alarm system items. fire alarm system upgrade and ARCS Sparc Fire Protection Engineering, LLC (Sparc) designed the fire alarm system upgrade and the new Auxiliary Radio Communication System (ARCS), which were used for bidding by contractors. Sparc also was responsible for all drawing filings and inspection requests with the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and preparing fire alarm system affidavits for the New York City Department of Buildings (NYCDOB). To satisfy the requirements of the New York City Department of Buildings and the New York City Fire Department, and allow for the issuance of the Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, Sparc prepared and filed the building’s Fire Protection Plan, along with the Fire Safety and Evacuation Plan.
The West Tower (Alexandria Center) is a fifteen story office building with technological and medical based tenants, constructed in 2015, in New York City, USA. FDNY fire alarm system LoA Since its construction, Sparc (Sparc Fire Protection Engineering, LLC) has assisted multiple tenants in the West Tower building in obtaining their FDNY fire alarm system Letters of Approval (LoA), which also allowed for the issuance of their Temporary Certificate of Occupancy or permanent Certificate of Occupancy. Sparc’s services include providing guidance to the fire alarm team, regarding the applicable codes, scheduling FDNY inspections, witnessing fire alarm testing, and preparation of affidavits.
AW Technology’s business is a truly global operation. With customers across every continent, AW Technology has a commitment to not only deliver its world class test tunnels and equipment, but to also provide a detailed program of aftercare and support. This commitment to customers sits at the heart of AW Technology’s core business philosophy and has undoubtedly played a huge part in the company’s continued growth and development. 3800 optical heat and smoke detector calibration test tunnel Recent example of AW Technology’s close work with customers is the visit to Argus Spectrum’s new facility in Savonlinna, Finland A recent example of AW Technology’s close work with its customers is the visit to Argus Spectrum’s new facility in Savonlinna, Finland, to provide advice, support and guidance for their newly commissioned 3800 optical heat and smoke detector calibration test tunnel. Argus Spectrum is one of the world’s renowned manufacturers who specialize in the development and production of innovative wireless and wired fire detection and security systems. In 2019 Argus Spectrum established a new manufacturing facility in Savonlinna, Finland to produce and deliver its market renowned wireless technology throughout Europe and International markets. Building strong relationships with global customer base Chris Atkiss, Business Development Manager, AW Technology, made the trip and described the specifics of the visit and the overall importance of ongoing support towards customers. He said, “It’s been well documented that at AW Technology we place a huge importance on building strong relationships with our worldwide customer base.” Chris adds, “This helps us maintain an open communication stream with our customers and ensure we’re able to provide the optimum level of support for their test tunnels. Our detailed approach to customer service means that we prefer to meet every customer face to face before we embark on a project.” Ensuring enhanced fire systems performance He further stated, “This specific visit to Finland was an opportunity for us to meet with Argus Spectrum at their new facility, understand their requirements and ultimately make sure that their tunnel was performing to its maximum potential. The feedback we’ve received so far from the customer has been extremely positive and we look forward to continuing our work with Argus Spectrum and supporting them with future projects.”
The decision to replace two historic vehicles of the Greek Armed Forces, the Stagier trucks and the jeeps of the Mercedes-Benz GD, through a tender whose first part is estimated to have a budget of 550 million euros, mobilizes all major automakers active in defense, but also a number of companies specializing in the equipment of such vehicles. Replacing historic vehicles Some unofficial presentations have already been made in Athens, Greence by foreign groups According to information, some unofficial presentations have already been made in Athens, Greence by foreign groups, while the competent services of the Ministry of National Defense are working feverishly on the specifications of the vehicles and the other parameters of the tender. The tender will certainly be a bidding, but it has not yet been clarified the number of vehicles and the exact types of vehicles that will be requested by the Armed Forces. Restarting Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ELVO) This specific supply order, however, is of additional interest, because it is expected to be the first act of restarting the Greek defense industry and especially, the Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ELVO), which after the end of the relevant tender is for sale in the form of Israeli interests. ELVO estimates that it can be the factory in which a growing part of the assembly of those vehicles that the country will eventually choose will be carried out gradually. However, the Israeli industry, Plasan, which has the same vehicle with which it may participate in the tender, also participates in the scheme that acquires ELVO. In fact, a few days ago, the Minister of National Defense, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, speaking in Parliament, explained, “ELVO after the multi-year liquidation regime has become a legal buyer and can therefore, participate in any tender procedures for the supply of weapons benefits of the Armed Forces, if a specific requirement is expressed and in accordance with the current institutional framework.” Interest in tender from European defense companies Of course, the Plasan Israelis are not the only claimants. Italian, German, French and American companies will also take part in the competition, when it is announced. Those who follow the relevant developments closely consider the expression of interest from Mercedes-Benz Defense Vehicles certain. After all, even if Mercedes-Benz vehicle will not be selected, it is possible that its engines will be used, the same sources explain. Another German company that is expected to be interested is Rheinmetall. US firms for fire safety and military trucks From the United States, Oshkosh Corporation, formerly Oshkosh Truck, is reportedly already interested From the United States, Oshkosh Corporation, formerly Oshkosh Truck, is reportedly already interested in an industry that designs and manufactures special trucks, military vehicles, truck bodies, airport fire extinguishers, and related equipment. From Italy, Iveco Defense Vehicles, which belongs to the Anielli Group and is based in Bolzano, Northern Italy, at the same facility as Lancia’s original location, is expected to be a strong candidate. It is a globally renowned manufacturer of military vehicles that was founded in 1937 and later became a member of the Iveco Group in 1975. Iveco Defense Vehicles recently managed to get a contract from France, to the surprise of many. Joint Ventures likely to pitch for tender This apart, The Renault Trucks Defense has also shown interest in the tender offer. Renault Trucks Defense division is wholly owned by Renault Trucks, which in turn is owned by the Volvo Group, which is no longer associated with the passenger cars of the same name, which have been controlled by Chinese interests. The interest of MAN Group is also expected, while until the tender is announced, it is estimated that other groups may appear and later joint ventures may be formed.
When Thames Valley Air Ambulance’s Helicopter Emergency Medics became concerned about their current helmet due to its obsolescence and poor comfort, the charity contacted Vimpex who they were aware had successfully supplied helmet solutions to other Air Ambulance Services, including Lincolnshire and Kent. Pacific R6C Rescue Helmet Following meetings to identify product performance requirements, and a product trial by critical care paramedics and doctors, Thames Valley Air Ambulance chose the Pacific R6C Paramedic/Rescue Helmet because it gives the charity a high-performing, future-proofed safety solution that can also be fully customized. Every part of the Pacific R6C Paramedic/Rescue Helmet can be quickly removed without the use of special tools" Vimpex Business Development Manager Steve Clelland explains, “Every part of the Pacific R6C Paramedic/Rescue Helmet can be quickly and easily removed without the use of special tools. Cost of ownership is therefore minimized as repairs and replacement of all components is simple. Pacific helmets are tested in the most extreme conditions required for conformity to relevant clauses of the latest EN standards.” High performance PPE equipment The fantastic life-saving work carried out by Thames Valley Air Ambulance when there’s a life-threatening injury or medical emergency, and relies on the skill and bravery of its team of doctors and critical care paramedics, some of the most highly skilled pre-hospital medics in the world, to deliver advanced trauma care to some of the most seriously injured patients across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire from its base at RAF Benson. Such exceptional individuals, who regularly put their own safety on the line to protect others, need the highest levels of equipment performance, including their head protection PPE, to ensure that their well-being is never compromised. Fire evacuation and alarm systems major Vimpex is Europe's renowned independent manufacturer and distributor of high quality fire evacuation and alarm system products for installers, distributors and OEM manufacturers. The company is also a specialist in the supply of technical rescue and PPE equipment for UK fire, rescue, police, military and emergency services teams.