The aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City highlighted the critical need for dependable communications among first responders during emergencies and disasters. In response, Congress established (in 2012) the independent First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to deliver a nationwide broadband network dedicated to public safety. AT&T was later chosen as the private company tasked over 25 years with building out the network. This month marks the first full year of Firs...
IFEDA, the Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association is celebrating 30 years of raising standards within the fire protection industry. The association was formed on a desire to bring fire extinguisher technician training to the independent fire trade beyond the confines of the manufacturing companies. Credit for the association should go to Mr Dave Hulse and his company National Fire Training. Through his good offices and at the direction of the founding committee members, IFE...
Members of the fire and emergency services pledge to serve and protect their communities from hazards of all kinds. Yet instances of bullying, harassment, and discrimination within the emergency services ranks persist. These actions are detrimental to the fire service, putting members in danger, discouraging people from joining or staying in the service, and tarnishing the reputation of the entire fire service community. The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), International Association of B...
The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) announces the 2019 Safety Stand Down theme. This year’s ‘Reduce Your Exposure: It’s Everybody’s Responsibility’ campaign will take place June 16-22, focusing on increasing understanding of occupational cancer risks and implementing recommendations in the Lavender Ribbon Report, developed by the IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) and the NVFC. Firef...
To celebrate and support the nearly 70 percent of firefighters who volunteer their service, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire has announced a partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC). A donation of $75,000 will be made by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire to the NVFC to help support volunteer firefighters nationwide. Health & Safety Of Firefighters The NVFC is a non-profit membership association representing the interests of volunteer fire, EMS and rescue services. The...
Did you know an estimated 30% of smoke alarms in the UK are inoperable due to missing, flat or disconnected batteries? For a property to comply with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it is vitally important that all fire safety equipment is kept in perfect working order at all times. This involves checking that the fire safety equipment is accessible, well maintained and hasn’t been tampered with. There are many ways you can take care of your fire safety equipment, to ensur...
Dublin-based specialist electrical and security distributors, Richmond Electrical Wholesale (REW) has announced enhancing its product portfolio by introducing Comelit’s full range of third-party accredited high-specification solutions, including a full range of addressable and conventional systems. Fire Security And Detection Solutions The partnership ensures an all-encompassing service capability to present fire safety and security solutions that meet industry standards and present with a five-year guarantee, without compromising on style. Says Noel McStay, Commercial Director of REW: “As we are already a main distributor in Ireland for Comelit’s Intercom systems and with a great working relationship, we had little hesitation in extending our range to embrace the new fire detection solutions. We knew the product portfolio would be offered with the same focus of futureproof technology, compliance and design.” REW-Comelit Partnership He adds, “We also recognized attention would be given to simplifying the installation process to enable our customers to present entire fire and security systems. Put together with our specialist team knowledge of Comelit’s products, we are able to work in partnership with customers to design and recommend to complete required specifications, all with the backing of full technical support.” Francesca Boeris, Managing Director Comelit Group added: “The outlook for the Irish construction sector is bright for the year to come and we are delighted for REW to become our exclusive partner, enabling them to offer complete fire and security solutions. The partnership provides the opportunity for us to extend our close working relationship and ensure customers have access to a portfolio of fire detection products that achieves the highest safety standards, without compromising on the style and aesthetic that is synonymous with the Comelit brand.”
Many volunteer departments are forced to make do with an inadequate amount of turnout gear or with worn-out, non-compliant gear they can’t afford to replace. That’s why MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are working together again in 2019 to distribute new turnout gear to volunteer fire departments through MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway Program. This annual program began in 2012 to help departments in need properly outfit their crew. To date, the program has delivered 455 sets to 95 departments. Longstanding Partnership The NVFC is excited to partner with MSA and DuPont again this year on our annual giveaway" “The NVFC is excited to partner with MSA and DuPont again this year on our annual giveaway,” said NVFC Chair Kevin D. Quinn. “Proper turnouts are essential to ensure the safety of our boots on the ground, but many volunteer departments struggle to provide adequate protection to their firefighters. We are grateful to MSA and DuPont for their generosity in giving back to those who serve.” “MSA is pleased to continue this longstanding partnership with DuPont and the NVFC to provide advanced turnout gear to volunteer fire departments in need,” said chief operating officer of MSA’s Globe firefighter protective apparel Tom Vetras. “For more than 100 years we’ve been dedicated to protecting those who protect us, so when there are first responders in need – we’re proud to be able to help.” Gear Giveaway Program “With DuPont’s continued focus on protecting firefighters, we are proud and humbled to partner alongside MSA and the NVFC on this much needed gear giveaway program,” said John Richard, vice president and general manager, DuPont Kevlar and Nomex. “Ensuring that these brave men and women are protected as they selflessly serve their communities is paramount to DuPont, and we look forward to the kick-off of another successful Globe Gear Giveaway campaign.” The 2019 application period for MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway is now open The 2019 application period for MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway is now open. 13 departments will each receive four sets of new gear, for a total of 52 sets. The first 500 applicants will also receive a one-year NVFC membership, courtesy of MSA. MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway Criteria To be eligible to apply for MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway, departments must meet the following criteria: be all-volunteer or mostly-volunteer (over 50 percent) serve a population of 25,000 or less be located in the U.S. or Canada and legally organized under state/province law demonstrate a need for the gear department or person applying must be a member of the NVFC. To help departments meet the membership criteria, MSA will provide a complimentary NVFC Membership to the first 500 applicants.
Taking short lead times and convenient delivery to new heights, manufacturer and supplier of specialist passive fire protection products, Quelfire, has launched QuelQuick, a new same day delivery service to businesses and project sites across North West England. Fire Containment Systems Expert With over 40 years of experience and expertise in fire containment, Quelfire provides a wide range of high quality and certified products and services to specifiers, architects, engineers and contractors for the most effective fire protection in buildings of all sizes, types and ages. Committed to providing first-class customer service and recognising the market’s needs Quelfire has introduced another value-added service to its customers. QuelQuick is a same day delivery service directly to site or contractor’s premises within North West England. One of our key business values is to deliver friendly and first-class customer service to all clients at all times" The new QuelQuick service means that customers that place an order before 11am can receive their goods on the same day, delivered using Quelfire’s dedicated van service. For a minimal surcharge, the team will prioritize picking and packing these items from its flagship Sandbach warehouse with the aim of getting orders out on the road within the hour. The same day delivery service is being rolled out across cities including Manchester, Liverpool, Chester and their surrounding areas, and customers can expect to receive their items within four hours of placing an order. QuelQuick Fast Delivery Service Keith Wells, Managing Director and Fire Containment Specialist at Quelfire, said: “One of our key business values is to deliver friendly and first-class customer service to all clients at all times. With the nature of the industry, we understand that not all sites have the capacity for storage and at the same time, last minute requirements for products can often also be an issue. With QuelQuick we are offering our customers both speed and convenience, as our high-quality products can be delivered to their doorstep within just a few hours of the order being placed.” Manufactured in the UK, all of Quelfire systems have been tested to the latest BS and EN standards “We hold large amounts of stock of most of our products at our warehouse so inventory will never be a problem. The North West is booming with construction projects at the moment, most of which will require fire protection solutions, so we are pleased to be able to roll this service out to the region and support firestopping contractors, main contractors, distributors and M&E contractors in delivering their projects on time and as efficiently as possible.” Certified Fire Collars, Sleeves And Intumescent Wraps Manufactured in the UK, all of Quelfire systems have been tested to the latest BS and EN standards, with a range of fire collars, fire sleeves and intumescent wraps also carrying CE Mark Certification. Some of the products include fire containment systems for pipe, duct and electrical service penetrations, as well as linear joints and cavity barriers, all of which are made at Quelfire’s centrally located premises in Cheshire. With innovation at the heart of the company, Quelfire is committed to investing, developing and testing new products and systems that push the benchmark for passive fire safety in buildings. Quelfire products have been installed on thousands of projects throughout the world, including many hotels, apartments, care homes and offices, with some of their products also frequently deployed across London Underground.
Meesons announces that its FPJ140 2SF has now achieved an EI60 Fire Rating from both directions. The FPJ140 2SF now joins FPJ140 1AF Security Portal in providing fire protection and smoke control on both sides of the flat side doors as per the European Fire Resistance norm: EN 13501-2 & EN 1634-1: 2014. Achieving the fire rating on both directions of the flat side of the portal means that architects and specifiers have reassurance that the Meesons FPJ140 2SF and FPJ140 1AF Security Portal will provide the required levels of resistance to fire. The certification means the portals will retain their structure and integrity in the event of a fire and prevent the passage of flames of hot gases as well as limiting the temperature on the unexposed face of the unit. Cost Effective Solution Meesons FPJ140 2SF and FPJ140 1AF are the only Security Portals that have been specifically designed as fully integrated stand-alone units The FPJ140 1AF can be supplied with a fire rating to meet either EI60 and EI120, providing 60 or 120 minutes respectively. FPJ140 1AF EI60 provides a more cost effective solution and with an option to increase the resistance to fire up to 120 minutes. Meesons FPJ140 2SF and FPJ140 1AF are the only Security Portals that have been specifically designed as fully integrated stand-alone units, which have been independently tested by an accredited third party laboratory, to meet the fire rating requirements set out in EN 13501-2 & EN 1634-1: 2014. Both Security Portals prevent tailgating and are suitable for new buildings and retrofitted into existing openings to create a safe, secure fire line. Fire Safety Strategy Achieving the fire rating on both sides’ means that architects and specifiers can specify Meesons FPJ140 2SF and FPJ140 1AF Security Portals as part of a wider fire safety strategy ensuring the containment or prevention of fire spreading. Meesons fire rated Security Portals prevent tailgating by only allowing the transit of one person at a time As well as maintaining a secure fire line, Meesons fire rated Security Portals prevent tailgating by only allowing the transit of one person at a time, ensuring only authorised users can gain access to a secure area. “Our FPJ140 2SF and FPJ140 1AF are the only Security Portals that have been specifically designed to meet fire rating requirements as a single, fully integrated unit,” said Jeremy Terry, CEO at Meesons A.I. Ltd. “Gaining fire rating on both sides of the flat side doors provides specifiers with the assurance that the portals will perform exactly as tested and from both directions.” Entrance Control Solution The FPJ140 2SF and FPJ140 1AF Security Portals are available with Attack Resistant Class 3 & 4, EN1627-30:2000 or Bullet resistant glazing up to BR4–EN 1063 on the external curved side. This makes them an ideal entrance control solution for highly secure areas that also require the fire line to be maintained. Meesons FPJ140 1AF Fire Rated Security Portal features a manual swing door with automatic sliding curved doors. The FPJ140 2SF features automatic sliding curved doors and flat doors. Both Security Portals can be customised to suit individual client requirements with different types of finish options available as well as the integration of third party devices. Battery backup is also provided, so in the event of power loss the units will remain operational for up to 6-8 hours.
Effective sprinkler systems are often the decisive criterion for immediately stopping the frequent fires from developing their destructive power. To ensure that these important technologies will always function safely in an emergency, experts all over the world rely on the practical VdS Guidelines CEA 4001en for planning and installation. Europe's largest institute for fire protection has now comprehensively updated this standard reference work. Importance Of Sprinkler Systems In Fire Safety Every five minutes a fire breaks out in a company in Germany Every five minutes a fire breaks out in a company in Germany. Equal numbers can be assumed for many other countries with fire damage even in the rather small Netherlands with fire damage costs reaching 1 billion Euros every year. The decisive factor for successful firefighting is always the immediate response in this emergency – making sprinkler systems probably the most important mechanism for the protection of human lives and property against the enormous destructive forces of fire. Until these systems were invented, fires were regarded as natural disasters that could not be controlled and repeatedly destroyed entire cities. VdS, Europe's largest institute for safety, has been testing sprinkler systems since they were first in use on our continent – and is bundling its more than 110 years of experience in loss prevention in the international standard for the safe planning and installation of these important systems: The Guidelines VdS CEA 4001en. This technical support tool, known in the industry as the “Sprinkler Bible”, is now available in a comprehensively updated version. The Guidelines VdS CEA 4001en – “Sprinkler Bible” The regulations for ESFR extinguishing systems have also been greatly expanded" Frank Bieber, head of Product Management VdS Inspection Services, explains the new features: “The core revisions concern, for example, specifications for pipe holders and the use of systems in buildings equipped with SHEVs. Important were also changes for optimal frost protection, requirements for shelf sprinklers specially for the protection of small parts stores, automatic monitoring of systems and the connection of additional users to the water supply." "The regulations for ESFR extinguishing systems have also been greatly expanded. In addition, we have clarified all points about which questions have arisen from our partners in recent years. The new edition of the VdS CEA 4001en offers all those responsible for technical fire protection the usual practical, precise assistance adapted to the latest technologies and conditions. Goal: Proven effectivity in the implementation of reliable sprinkler systems”. Together with experts from practice, science and authorities, VdS inspectors continuously work on the further development and updating of the institute's Guidelines. For users, this ensures optimum protection and fire safety at all times.
When a trade fair decides on a lead theme, that is just the beginning. It is then up to exhibitors to take the next steps by breathing life into the lead theme – by featuring it at their stands, providing hands-on demos and sparking dialogue. "We are absolutely delighted at the early, strong commitment of our exhibiting partners and companies at INTERSCHUTZ 2020," says Martin Folkerts, Global Director of INTERSCHUTZ at the Deutsche Messe group of companies. "Our exhibitors are in the process of developing an abundance of great ideas and concepts which they will be showcasing at the fair, highlighting the opportunities that digitization and connectivity will provide for fire brigades, rescue services, civil protection and security." The following details some of these. Sharing International Experience Digitization, automation and connectivity are more than just modern buzzwords for us" "Digitization, automation and connectivity are more than just modern buzzwords for us," says Dirk Aschenbrenner, President of the German Fire Protection Association (vfdb). "The application of digital technologies is a prerequisite for speed and effectiveness. The use of robotics in danger prevention, for example, is no longer merely a utopia, but, in many areas, has already become a part of everyday life. Let me simply mention the use of firefighting robots or drones to explore emergency deployment sites." In Hannover in 2020, the vfdb association will present the current state of research in the field. "INTERSCHUTZ 2020 offers the best opportunities for sharing international experience among developers, manufacturers and users," says Aschenbrenner. The German Fire Service Association (DFV) is taking the connectivity lead theme literally and planning a showcase whose visualizations are all interconnected by an overarching network/web. Securing Livelihoods At a number of different levels, the web will symbolize the importance of connectivity for the further development of fire protection. "Under the keyword of 'Fire Brigade 4.0', there are already visible opportunities and capabilities to improve, accelerate and change the tasks of the emergency services – even if this might seem a long way off," says Frank Hachemer, Vice President of the German Fire Service Association. "But these opportunities are also associated with challenges that need to be mastered, such as data protection, training and budgets." In addition to technological and tactical connectivity, there is also connectivity between people. "Political and social connectivity will become increasingly important and intensive for mastering problems, for securing livelihoods, for the further development and daily work of the fire brigades," says Hachemer. Digitized Production Different conditions apply to the area of fire prevention and civil protection" "Connectivity is therefore the keyword, not least for the fire brigade associations and – as their umbrella – the German Fire Service Association, which we, as the central element, are placing at the core of our activities – and not just at INTERSCHUTZ." The keyword 'Fire Brigade 4.0' is derived from the oft-cited term 'Industry 4.0', which refers to digitized production and a high degree of connectivity between industrial enterprises. The two terms however cannot be equated. "Different conditions apply to the area of fire prevention and civil protection," says Dr. Rainer Koch, from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Paderborn. "High-connectivity solutions are possible for areas like preventive fire protection and resource planning. And 3D simulation systems for managers and staff training are already available in the training sector." Smart Home Technologies But the conditions for emergency services are different, he maintains. "For information systems to support us in this area, they need to offer a maximum of robustness, user friendliness and speed," says Koch. "In addition to providing already prepared information, these systems would then also be able to interact with building systems – and initial projects for the use of smart home technologies have already been launched. Digitization and automation can definitely facilitate the work of the emergency services here." When it comes to game-changing digital technology, industry is called upon to gear up, and by that I particularly mean industrial manufacturers and automotive makers. "Especially in an age of rapid technical change, INTERSCHUTZ is a definite must for everyone on the lookout for innovations," remarks VDMA Managing Director Dr. Bernd Scherer. Digital Assistance Systems The central prerequisite consists of reliable, manufacturer-independent standards" "Real-time communication over ultra-fast 5G networks, networked deployment processes, digital assistance systems and electric drives are high on the industry's innovations agenda." But digitization must not be an end in itself, as Scherer also makes clear: "Manufacturers of chassis, superstructures and equipment who are members in VDMA rely on reliable, robust and intelligent technology, true to the motto that what is sensible is also that which is useful for the purpose at hand." According to VDMA, the advantages of digital technologies include the promise of transparent and sustainable processes, effective coordination and a significant increase in operational reliability. These promises are not, however, a guarantee. "The central prerequisite consists of reliable, manufacturer-independent standards," says Scherer. "This is the only way for interfaces to function smoothly – regardless of whether they are mechanical, hydraulic, electric or digital in nature." Partnership-Based Networking Rosenbauer is one example of a vehicle manufacturer that has been relying on its own developments and innovations in the field of telematics systems and IT-supported deployment management for over ten years. "These systems are now being massively further developed, with the focus on customer benefit," says Michael Friedmann, Head of Group Strategy, Innovation and Marketing at Rosenbauer International AG. "This is not only about digital solutions for vehicles, but connectivity now also includes new technological options, with the keyword here being drones or smart wearables." Friedmann is convinced that a trade fair is also the right place for this, even in the digital age: "We want direct communication on site, because as the innovations, technology and world market leader at INTERSCHUTZ, we act as a platform for partnership-based networking on the megatrends of our time and on approaches for joint solutions." Optimization Of Processes Digitization, communication and overarching forms and systems of cooperation play an obvious role in this" The fields of rescue services and civil protection are also positioning themselves in relation to the lead theme. Johanniter Unfall Hilfe, for example, focuses on connecting people and technology for the benefit of people. "In the rescue service and in civil protection, everything revolves around the optimization of processes and procedures in order to serve the ultimate goal of saving human lives," points out Hannes Wendler, State Director of Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe (German Order of St. John) in Lower Saxony and Bremen. "Digitization, communication and overarching forms and systems of cooperation play an obvious role in this.” The challenge lies in enabling rescuers and helpers – equipped with specialist skills and all the available technical aids – to consistently act in a targeted and manner based on the situation at hand. Advancing Urbanization "We see ourselves as networkers for people – including our staff members and volunteer helpers," he says. "In addition to progressive HR development, this also includes space for innovative projects and services like telemedicine in offshore rescue and VR rescue simulations." As the flood of data grows, so does the complexity of the decision-making process Stefan Truthän, Managing Partner of hhpberlin Ingenieure für Brandschutz GmbH, focuses on civil security. His company deals intensively with the digital answers to new challenges, such as advancing urbanization, growing infrastructures and the increasing strength and frequency of natural phenomena. At the same time, digitization itself presents people with new challenges: As the flood of data grows, so does the complexity of the decision-making process. Concrete Connectivity Scenarios This leads Truthän to demand: "If civil security wants to take its mission seriously, data and thought silos need to be cracked open and the growing volume of data intelligently connected," he says. At INTERSCHUTZ 2020, hhpberlin will display a series of showcases highlighting the potential of digitization for civil security and fire protection. "Together with RXSK GmbH and selected partners from the digital industry, we will be using concrete connectivity scenarios to demonstrate the possibilities of new, non-redundant and latency-free collaboration," says Truthän. "Only if all actors interact more intensively and transparently than in the past, can cities become safer in the long run."
The original fire suppression agent has always been, of course, water. In the age of sail, it was ideal. Not so with the advent of the combustion engine, however. When applied to burning petroleum, the fire spreads. It also simply destroys electronics. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and Halon derivatives were the first widely used commercial fire suppression solutions, gaining popularity in the 1950s and '60s. Unlike water, they were highly effective, electrically non-conductive and didn't leave any residue. As compressed gases, storage wasn't a major issue. Unfortunately, Halon was found to be a high ozone depleting chemical; as a result, production was banned in 1990. Evolution Of Fire Suppression Systems Ideal for marine applications, HFC227 is fast, effective and clean With the sunsetting of Halon and the search for alternatives, CO2 gained prominence. However, it has three significant drawbacks: it's a greenhouse gas, requires a large number of cylinders and is potentially fatal if breathed at design concentrations. In the 1990s, HFCs rose to dominance as a fire suppression solution. Ideal for marine applications, HFC227 is fast, effective and clean. Like Halon and CO2, however, it's a greenhouse gas and contributes to global warming. Discharging an average-sized cylinder of HFC227 has the same CO2 equivalent as driving a car 268,760 kilometers. This is why it is being eliminated as part of a phased-down mandate from the EU, and restricted or taxed by various countries such as Australia and Norway. It is expected that similar legislation will begin to affect Canada and US-flagged vessels. Environmental Profile Of HFCs In 2002, 3M introduced Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid. It offers a number of important advantages over other clean agents in marine fire suppression applications. It has low acute toxicity and high extinguishing efficiency. This gives it a wide margin of safety compared to other chemical clean agents such as HFC227. A fluid, it vaporizes rapidly during discharge, is non-corrosive, non-conductive and leaves no residue. It is, importantly, a long-term, sustainable solution with virtually zero global warming potential, e.g., it has an atmospheric life of about a week versus HFC227's 34 years. So confident is 3M of its product, it offers its BlueSkySM Warranty; if it is ever banned or restricted from use due to its environmental properties, the company will refund the cost of the fluid. Unlike CO2, a gas, Novec 1230 fluid can be flown to the vessel or platform allowing less downtime waiting for supplies to arrive by ground For the marine and offshore oil and gas industries, Novec 1230 fluid offers distinct advantages. Because it's a fluid, recharging is simple. Unlike CO2, a gas, it can be flown to the vessel or platform. This means less downtime waiting for supplies to arrive by ground. It also takes up significantly less space. Recently, Sea-Fire Europe ceased distribution of HFC227. The move was strategic and ethical, given the environmental profile of HFCs. Novec 1230 Fluid For Recreational Marine Market With the phase-down of HFCs, supplies are running out. This means in the immediate future there will be a serious inability to service systems. Also, with shortages beginning, costs are rising, making the switch to Novec 1230 fluid a smart move financially. While 3M will obviously benefit from this, the real winner here is our planet and the people we share it with" Sea-Fire recognizes that it may lose business in the short term as boat and shipbuilders continue to choose HFC-based fire systems strictly based on cost alone. But, ultimately, eliminating the use of hydrofluorocarbons is the right thing to do for the marine industry as a whole. As the first manufacturer to introduce Novec 1230 fluid into the recreational marine market in 2012, Sea-Fire is fully prepared for the phase-out of HFCs. Benefitting The Marine Industry "As a corporation, 3M is committed to improving every life," said David Olds, 3M account executive for fire suppression applications. "Sea-Fire Europe made a difficult decision when announcing it would cease distribution of HFC227. While 3M will obviously benefit from this, the real winner here is our planet and the people we share it with." Sea-Fire Marine has long held the belief that it is in the business of protecting people and property at sea. With its recent declaration that its master European distributor Sea-Fire Europe is ending distribution of HFC-based fire suppression fluids, it can add the environment to its list.
Maintaining adequate staffing is a key challenge facing many volunteer fire departments. While not a new issue, increasing population and call volumes along with the expanded services many volunteer departments now provide have made recruiting and retaining volunteers a top priority in the fire service. The federal government supports volunteer recruitment and retention through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). SAFER has provided more than $300 million in grants to help fire departments recruit and retain volunteers from FY 2010-2017 and will distribute approximately $42 million in the FY 2018 grant cycle, expected to open in the near future. Annual Contribution Cap Give volunteer emergency responders increased access to mortgage and other housing assistance programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture The National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) legislative agenda for 2019 is heavily focused on recruitment and retention. In addition to advocating for funding for SAFER, we will be asking Congress to: pass legislation exempting nominal benefits that volunteers receive as a reward for their service from federal income and withholding taxes clarify the tax status of length of service award program (LOSAP) to make plans easier to administer (the NVFC was successful last year in doubling the annual contribution cap on LOSAP from $3,000 to $6,000) make volunteer emergency responders eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program through the U.S. Department of Education, which forgives the student loan debt of public servants who have served for at least 10 years give volunteer emergency responders increased access to mortgage and other housing assistance programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Free Department Portal In addition, the NVFC recently received a SAFER grant to continue its work with the Make Me A Firefighter campaign. Launched in 2014, this is the first national volunteer recruitment campaign of its kind. Fire and emergency service agencies can use the free department portal to find resources and tools to help them with recruitment as well as post their volunteer opportunities in a national database. Department composition should reflect the community’s demographics, and yet many groups, such as millennials, women, and minorities The campaign also works to raise public awareness of the need for volunteers and connects potential recruits with their local fire department through the web site. With the new grant, additional focus will be given to retention of volunteers. Department composition should reflect the community’s demographics, and yet many groups, such as millennials, women, and minorities, are drastically underrepresented in the fire service. Diversify Their Ranks These target groups present significant areas of opportunity for fire department recruiters. As part of the Make Me A Firefighter campaign, the NVFC is working to help departments diversify their ranks and reach these key audiences. Volunteers make up 70% of the U.S. fire service, and most small, rural communities depend entirely on volunteers to respond to emergencies of all kinds. Recruiting and retaining volunteer firefighters, EMS providers, and support members is critical to ensure adequate protection of our residents. The NVFC will continue to provide advocacy and resources to help local departments in their efforts.
The continuity of power in the event of a real fire has never been more important as modern buildings become more complex and the need for the highest quality of products comes under the spotlight. With power for lighting and fire alarms, the fire and rescue services can use the intelligence gathered to evacuate people quickly, confident that they have found all the people in the building. Without power, they are literally scrambling in the dark without good information upon which to make their rescue. The continuity of power will also ensure that sprinkler or water mist systems can continue to operate where they exist. In commercial buildings, there may also be smoke evacuation fans which help to enable safe evacuation. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services Appropriate Cabling At the start of a project, the most appropriate cabling should be specified as part of the electrical system rather than at the end of a project. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services across individual areas and floors. At the same time, there are new designs, materials and products continually coming on to the market for major projects, and with it an increasing need for the various parties involved to work closely together to make sure they get it right. There has been an increasing incidence of non-approved cables on the market and unfortunately it is not until cables have been installed, tested or used that issues become clear. For installers, or those procuring cables, there is a need to check the cable when it arrives to make sure it is exactly what was specified. Should there be a problem, have it checked and seek good advice. Keep records of purchase, including reel flanges with batch markings and a sample of the cable markings. Send lengths for testing and then decide on the most appropriate course of action. Choice of cabling is crucial at the start of major projects as issues may occur later Meeting Rigorous Third-Party Tests For some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios. These include environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes where older people and children move about. Specifiers looking at new large public sector projects such as hospitals should refer to BS 8519 for the electrical supply, and the most relevant cabling system. It is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests This Code of Practice specifies that the type of system selected during the design phase ‘should be derived from a detailed process of consultation with the relevant authorities’ and that ‘the design should be agreed at an early stage.’ The decision-making process for cable selection relevant for life safety and firefighting systems is clearly defined here. This covers three categories ranging from 30 minutes to 120 minutes fire survival time. Categories 1 and 2 cover means of escape for 30 minutes and then 60 minutes respectively, and these cables are tested in accordance with the relevant codes. Category 3 for firefighting to 120 minutes refers to power and control cables meeting the 120-minute test according to the relevant standards. It should be emphasised that only Mineral Insulated Cable (MIC) or a cable meeting the requirements of BS7846 F120 will meet this criteria. For clarity, BS 8519 does not take precedence over BS 5839 for alarm systems and BS 5266 for emergency lighting. In essence, choosing the most relevant cabling and electrical accessories which will continue to operate under fire conditions has become critical. Application Of Medium Voltage Cables As the incidence of non-approved cables continues then so the application of Medium Voltage (MV) cables into high-risk environments including hospitals, schools, care homes, industrial sites and sub-stations serving infrastructure sites also becomes critical. In the context off fire engineering, it is important to select the relevant MV Cables in these areas. Adhering to the latest regulations is no longer enough - there needs to be a risk assessment. In order to do this effectively, it is important to ask – are the fire safety procedures up to date? All AEI MV cables are third party tested and approved by BASEC. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards The whole supply chain needs to take consideration of these areas where vulnerable people often move about such as children or elderly people in hospitals or care homes. The fire and rescue services may need a little more time than a conventional building including reading complex fire alarm information to ensure a safe rescue in the event of a real fire. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards. This is due to ageing structures, high volume of combustible materials, and changing use in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths programmes where more combustible and flammable liquids are being used. Concerns have been raised by architects and and designers about fire protection regimes Sufficient Fire Risk Assessment Recent research by the Fire Brigades Union, for example, showed that a key focus for all educational institutions must be ensuring that there is an effective fire risk management process in place, delivered by suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment carried out by an expert in the field. The best practice under Business Information Modelling (BIM) and all best practice of fire safety engineering methods should be observed in conjunction with project partners. There have been concerns over a number of years around the fire protection regime for new buildings expressed by the architects and designers themselves. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) points to the delays to Approved Document B with regard to the relationship of Building Regulations to changing design and construction. AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service RIBA says the virtual disappearance of the role of the clerk of works or site architect and the loss of independent oversight of construction and workmanship on behalf of the client is a further issue for concern. In essence, RIBA believes that future proposals for the fire safety regulatory regime should be informed by the specialist fire safety expertise of relevant professional organisations and groups, and also take full account of this wider set of construction industry AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service with the support of its parent company Ducab based in Dubai, with the design, manufacture and supply of MIC, Firetec Enhanced or Firetec Power depending on specific needs. The choice of cabling and accessories should not be underestimated at the earliest opportunity to ensure the fire and rescue services are given every chance of success in rescuing people and saving property.
In large factory halls used for metalworking operations, conventional fire alarm systems are often not enough to protect buildings, employees and equipment. In many cases, high ceilings, greater fire hazards and interference from reflected light characterize these halls. The company of MKM Mansfelder Kupfer und Messing GmbH (MKM) faced exactly this challenge. MKM is a manufacturer of copper and copper-alloy precursor and semi finished products. Achieve Better Protection The company wanted to achieve better protection from fire hazards in two of the halls at its Hettstedt site in Saxony-Anhalt, a state in the eastern part of Germany. Conditions in the halls are particularly challenging because the pace of production constantly varies While searching for the optimal solution, the plant fire brigade tested a number of candidates, including quite a few conventional fire alarm systems. Conditions in the halls are particularly challenging because the pace of production constantly varies. “Due to the large size of both halls, in the end we decided that only one solution was up to the job: the AVIOTEC visual early fire detection system from Bosch,” explains Christoph Dammann, administrator fire and alarm systems at MKM. Fire Detection System AVIOTEC is the first video-based fire detection system to be certified by VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH (VdS). Intelligent algorithms integrated in the camera ensure reliable early detection of smoke and flame. This innovative technology also excels in terms of costs and efficiency. Bosch experts planned and configured the solution for MKM and then took care of integrating it into the existing fire detection system and connecting it to the monitoring center of the plant fire brigade. If a fire is detected in either of the two halls, it sends signals to the central fire detection system as well as directly to the fire brigade. Then the firefighters can check the video monitor and take targeted appropriate action to extinguish the fire before it can spread.
The headquarters of Bulgaria’s Communications Regulation Commission will be protected by high-tech fire systems from Advanced System, as part of a major refurbishment project and drive to reduce cases of false alarms. Located in Sofia, the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) was established in 2002 as an independent state authority entrusted with the management and regulation of all electronic communications in Bulgaria. Axis EN System A recent upgrade of the fire system in the Communications Regulation Commission office was undertaken by Advanced partner, FireTech Engineering Ltd A recent upgrade of the fire system in the Communications Regulation Commission office was undertaken by Advanced partner, FireTech Engineering Ltd. The project saw Advanced’s Axis EN system installed in the building supported by smoke detectors, and Advanced’s AlarmCalm false alarm management solution. Rossen Kolev, Managing Director for FireTech Engineering Ltd, said: “We specified Axis EN as the brains and backbone of the system for the CRC building as we know it offers the highest levels of quality and reliability. The client specified a system that would avoid false alarms and offer the option to expand or upgrade in the future, which is something we can guarantee with Axis EN and AlarmCalm.” AlarmCalm Fire Alarm Management AlarmCalm is a free upgrade to Advanced software and firmware that takes advantage of the high-speed robust panels and networks to offer the best-in-class solution for managing verification and investigation delays to outputs. It allows the false alarm management strategy for a site to be refined right down to points and to take account for resident needs and area usage. It includes the AlarmCalm loop device that allows residents or trained staff to indicate whether they believe a signal in their area is due to a false alarm. Axis EN is EN54 2,4&13 approved and its panels can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, multi-loop panels in 200 node networks covering huge areas. Advanced’s legendary ease of installation and configuration and wide peripheral range make it customizable to almost any application. TouchControl And Dynamic Reporting Axis EN also supports TouchControl, Advanced’s 10” HD touchscreen repeater and remote-control terminal that offers dynamic reporting and control Axis EN also supports TouchControl, Advanced’s 10” HD touchscreen repeater and remote-control terminal that offers dynamic reporting and control via a unique interface that includes Active Maps and zone plans. Etienne Ricoux, Advanced’s Head of Sales, commented: “The Communications Regulation Commission building in Sofia is the latest high-profile building in Bulgaria to be protected by Advanced panels. Our Axis EN panels lead the market and offer the performance, reliability and flexibility needed in a building such as this.” Intelligent Fire Systems Expert Advanced is a globally renowned developer and manufacturer of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease-of-use of its products sees Advanced specified locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control and fire paging systems.
Speciality vehicle maker, Triel-HT of Brazil, has adapted over 120 Allison-equipped Scania firefighting trucks for its national airport and fire corps customers. Among the reasons for choosing Allison fully automatic transmissions, Triel-HT cites 35 per cent faster acceleration, better vehicle control and ease of integration. Nine different Scania chassis have already been adapted for airport and industrial firefighting, civil defence and special explosives transport, among them the P250, P310, P360 FF, P440 FF and G580 models. Manoeuvring Agility These trucks are already present in more than 70 airports and air bases throughout Brazil, including remote units in Manicore and Fonte Boa in Amazonas, the Alcântara Air Base in Maranhão, and the recently renovated Viracopos airport in Campinas, in the state of Sao Paulo. Triel-HT develops the vehicles using in-house manufactured or adapted equipment. The vehicles equipped with Allison automatics comply with international standards for extreme performance and work in harmony with the trucks “The automatic transmissions are preferred due to their convenient operation, ride performance, manoeuvring agility and also the ease of gearbox integration with the essential components and electronic controllers of the fire truck,” said Triel-HT executive Claudio Vincentini. The vehicles equipped with Allison automatics comply with international standards for extreme performance and work in harmony with the trucks, according to Vincentini. Significant Investment Programme Allison automatics accelerate up to 35 per cent faster than manual or automated manual transmissions (AMTs). In addition to the 120 vehicles already delivered, another 12 Scania units with Allison automatics are now in the final stage of preparation, as part of a significant investment programme for airport vehicles. Five of them are for Infraero. Another four units have been ordered by the Department of Civil Aviation and will be sent to the airports of Comandatuba (BA), Barreirinhas (MA), Pato Branco (PR) and Patos, in Piauí. Two units are for the Fire Corps of Maringá, State of Paraná in the south of the country, and another unit is for an explosives transportation application in Peru. The trucks are equipped with diverse gear that can include special clothing, reptile pick-up accessories, pumps for water launch with high flow capacity, and liquid foam generator and dispensing equipment (LGE).
Ramtech Electronics, supplier of the UK’s wireless fire alarm systems, is flying high at the £1bn Manchester Airport Transformation Project following deployment of its WES3 and WES REACT platforms. As one of the largest construction programmes in the North of England, the transformation will more than double the capacity of the airport when it is completed in 2020. The complex project comprises the expansion of the Terminal 2 building, to become the airport’s primary terminal along with The Link, a new bridging space as well as new stands and piers, offering better departure gate facilities. Minimizing False Alarms WES3 is a completely wireless, EN54-compliant fire alarm system designed specifically for complex construction projects Laing O’Rourke, the main contractor of the project has specified a combination of WES3 and WES REACT to protect the 1,500 construction personnel that will be on site at its peak. These two innovative systems combine to provide construction teams with a simple and secure means of communicating fire, medical and similar site emergencies. WES3 is a completely wireless, EN54-compliant fire alarm system designed specifically for complex construction projects such as this. Features include a medical alert, allowing an alarm to be raised in the event of a medical emergency from any call point without having to cause a complete site evacuation. Also, an Inspection Delay feature, which enables site personnel to verify that the alarm is genuine before deciding whether to evacuate site, therefore minimizing false alarms. Wireless Mesh Networks When used in conjunction with the WES REACT cloud-based mobile app, WES3 becomes a total fire alarm solution. All WES3 manual call points in their respective zones are interlinked, creating four individual wireless mesh networks, that can be activated simply by activating any call point on site. Once internal fitout begins, WES3 heat and smoke detectors will be added to the system, to provide automatic protection on site 24 hours a day. WES3 utilizes the best quality Category 1, Euro-harmonised radio in compliance with European standards covering the use of radio technology in emergency equipment (ETSI 300-220-1), meaning it won’t interfere with other radio-based systems used on or near the airport. All Point Network The challenges at Manchester Airport Transformation Project were centered on the need for a wireless fire alarm system that was scalable to a project of this size, whilst being fast and easy to reposition the call points. To put this into context, it is the fastest growing construction project in the UK with £1m of new infrastructure added each day. The system also overcame the challenge of scale by incorporating link units into the call point network to boost the wireless signal over larger distances Being a wireless system means that WES3 call points can easily be added and removed as the build progresses, and there’s no wiring, so no need for specialist installation. The system also overcame the challenge of scale by incorporating link units into the call point network to boost the wireless signal over larger distances. The WES3 system was split into four zones covering four concurrent developments within the overall project. Cloud-Based Monitoring All units in their respective zones are interlinked, creating a completely secure wireless mesh network. Andrew Swindells, Laing O’Rourke Programme Health & Safety Lead, explained: “Manchester Airport Transformation Project is a large and complex development and at its peak there will be over a thousand workers on site. We specified WES3 because it is a wireless system, making it very easy to set up and reposition as well as being fully compliant with EN54. WES REACT also provides us with a highly effective cloud-based monitoring platform.” WES3 has a three-year battery life under normal usage, reducing maintenance costs and waste on site. Once the development at Manchester Airport is completed Laing O’Rourke can simply transfer the units to another project as and when required.
The college occupies 76,000 sq ft of teaching and workshop space, with specialist training installations, including 150 metres of external track and catenary A key driver in the successful delivery of the UK’s £42.6 billion HS2 project, the new National College for High Speed Rail, is now protected by industry-leading fire panels from Advanced. Located in Doncaster, a town historically known for its prominent role in rail engineering and maintenance, the college occupies 76,000 sq ft of teaching and workshop space, with specialist training installations, including 150 metres of external track and catenary. It will train thousands of engineers to meet HS2’s future needs, as well as those of the wider rail sector. With 2,000 apprenticeship opportunities set to be created by HS2, and 25,000 people employed during construction, there has been, and continues to be high demand for appropriately skilled workers. Need of a high-quality fire system The Advanced MxPro panels were specified by the team at GBE Fire and Security, who were appointed by main contractor Briggs and Forrester to specify, install and commission the fire system at the site. GBE’s Business Development Manager, Andy Westgarth, commented: “We’re thrilled to have been involved in this project. The college will create many opportunities for young people and make a major contribution to the Northern Powerhouse. With sensitive installations, including electrical catenary, a high-quality fire system is essential and, as a longstanding Advanced partner, we feel that MxPro panels are the ideal solution.” Multiprotocol fire system solution MxPro is the fire industry’s leading multiprotocol fire system solution. It offers customers a choice of two panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network, backed up by free training and support. MxPro panels can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, multi-loop panels in 200 node networks covering huge areas. MxPro’s legendary ease of installation and configuration and wide peripheral range make it customisable to almost any application. Reliable and easy to use Neil Parkin, Advanced Sales Manager for the North, commented: “This is the latest in a series of high-profile rail sector installations for Advanced panels. We have worked with GBE on many projects and it’s great to be working with them on such a positive project. MxPro ticks all the boxes for the National College for High Speed Rail, combining proven reliability with innovation and ease-of-use.” Advanced are members of the Rail Industry Fire Association (RIFA) and have panels installed in a number of other rail-related buildings, including the Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station, almost 100 London Underground stations, the Hitachi Rail Europe factory in Newton Aycliffe and the Tyne & Wear Metro.
KIMTEK's FIRELITE and MEDLITE units installed aboard emergency vehicles KIMTEK CORPORATION, manufacturers of modular skid units for firefighting and emergency medical transport in ATVs / UTVs, and brush trucks, recently implemented their latest line of skid units that support energy efficient electric vehicles. KIMTEK's commitment to environmental sustainability, quality construction and convenient, modular design features provides important advantages for makers of electric vehicles such as Polaris GEM and Ranger EV models and, most recently, for the California-based Tropos Motors team. KIMTEK FIRELITE Transport 300 series truck skid units Tropos Motors has just debuted its ABLE FRV and ABLE EMS fire and medical first responder electric vehicles with KIMTEK FIRELITE Transport 300 series truck skid units and the MEDLITE Transport MTSTR-104 Transport Cot Units aboard. Ideal for first response coverage at large events, parking garages, commercial buildings, and entertainment venues featuring smooth or paved surfaces, electric vehicles allow fire and EMS personnel access to hard to reach areas where standard full-size fire and rescue vehicles do not fit. "Our latest pairing of MEDLITE and FIRELITE skid units with electric vehicles is part of KIMTEK's history of partnerships with American manufacturers to serve the varied and emerging needs of public safety professionals," KIMTEK's Founder and President, Kimball Johnson, said. "We are constantly seeking relationships that reflect energy efficiency as well as product combinations that best adapt KIMTEK equipment with the needs of our first responders in the many environments in which they work." For more information about KIMTEK's full line of public safety skid units for fire, rescue, EMS, and brush trucks, including those specifically for electric vehicles, please visit the KIMTEK websites at kimtekresearch.com and brushtruckskids.com.