Products for electrical systems that are installed into modern, complex buildings have to be fit-for-purpose for today’s challenging demands. With the background of numerous incidents still being felt by the fire performance industry, how is it to set the benchmarks for the future to make sure there is never another Lakanal House or another Grenfell? The long-term answer is for clearer guidance and legislation, if necessary, to enable the whole supply chain to make decisions which are com...
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is pleased to announce that the fifth NVFC Training Summit will take place June 14-15, 2019, in Portland, OR. Attendance is limited; pre-register today to secure your space. In addition, applications are now being accepted for a travel stipend. NVFC Training Summit 2019 This two-day seminar will provide an opportunity to participate in valuable classroom training as well as exchange ideas and best practices with attendees from across the country. The...
Each spring, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) honors a firefighter who has provided a lifetime of service, an outstanding junior firefighter, and an exemplary junior firefighter program. With the addition of a new award, the NVFC will also honor a firefighter who has demonstrated leadership in the area of firefighter health and wellness. All recipients receive a personalized award and national recognition. The nomination period for the NVFC’s four annual awards is now open, with...
Globe, DuPont Protection Solutions (DuPont), and the National Volunteer Fire Council teamed up once again in 2018 to distribute 52 sets of turnout gear to 13 volunteer or mostly-volunteer fire departments. This annual program began in 2012 to provide departments in need with new turnouts to better protect their personnel. Shinbone Valley Fire and Rescue (Delta, AL) and the Barnsdall (OK) Rural Fire Department are the final 2018 gear recipients. Shinbone Valley Fire and Rescue has 16 volunteer f...
Insitu, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, assisted from the air in the firefight against the Camp Fire in Northern California, now deemed the deadliest, most destructive wildfire in California's history. "Our hearts go out to all of those affected by the terrible Camp Fire tragedy," said Esina Alic, Insitu President and CEO. "We are honored to have had the opportunity to help with fire suppression efforts using our ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) and INEXA suite of informa...
Allied Market Research published a report, titled, North America Fire Protection Systems Market by Product (Fire Detection Systems, Fire Management Systems, Fire Response System, Fire Analysis & Software, and Others), Service (Consulting & Design and Installation & Maintenance), and Industry Vertical (BFSI, Automotive & Transport, Manufacturing, Energy & Power, Healthcare, Oil & Gas and Mining, and Other Verticals) - North America Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecas...
Logistics and warehousing solutions witnessing substantial demand from the e-commerce industry that involves the integration of material handling, stocking, packaging, transportation, inventory management, supply chain management, procurement and shipping security aspects, is triggering the sales of fire protection systems, at a global level. "The E-commerce is far from saturation, considering that even mature markets like Japan are making efforts to create a sizeable share among total retail sales in 2019, creating significant demand for large-scale warehouse spaces. Moreover, as prominent players compete to solidify their market standing in the E-commerce landscape, regional mergers and acquisition activities will continue. In addition, encouraging demand growth from warehouse constructions ahead of World Expo- 2020 is anticipated," explained a senior research analyst of the company. Growth Anticipated For Fire Protection Systems The market is estimated to grow at an annual growth rate of 9.1 percent between 2018 and 2026" As per a recently released intelligence study by Persistence Market Research (PMR), the global revenue generated through the sales of fire protection systems, will exceed the valuation of US$ 45.2 Bn in 2019. With the increasing demand for modern warehouses, global players in the fire protection systems market have started foraying into the nascent markets, says the report. "Given the expanding landscape for fire protection systems, the market is estimated to grow at a stellar annual growth rate of 9.1 percent between 2018 and 2026, representing an incremental dollar opportunity of a whopping US$ 40 Bn during the same timeline," the analyst revealed further. In the wheel of fortune, the PMR report on fire protection systems has placed product type, end-use, and regional segments in different growth quadrants – ranging from slow-to high growth quadrant. Demand For Fire Suppression Systems Fire suppression systems lies in the high growth quadrant, arising from increasing safety standardsIn terms of product type, while fire detection systems occupy a position in the steady growth quadrant, fire extinguishers and fire response systems are projected to represent moderate growth through the forecast period. Fire suppression systems, on the other hand, lies in the high growth quadrant, arising from increasing safety standards. The segment analysis is indicative of the highest market share – at nearly 52 percent – held by fire suppression systems. On the basis of end-use, fire protection systems will witness increased adoption in the industrial sector, lying in the high growth quadrant. While commercial sector showcases moderate rate through the assessment timeline, adoption of fire protection systems in the residential sector lies in the steady growth quadrant. In-depth analysis of the end-use segment indicates approximately 38 percent market share held by the industrial sector. Industries such as manufacturing, oil & gas, mining, and marine are projected to extensively employ fire protection systems given the stringency in government norms aimed at improving the safety standards. Emerging economies hold notable market potential Increasing greenfield investments in MEA is projected to fuel the demand of safety equipment such as fire protection systemsSouth East Asia & Pacific and China – both holding a position in the high growth quadrant are identified as the most lucrative revenue pockets in the global fire protection systems market. With this region, India is projected to be the most lucrative country, in the coming years, considering burgeoning manufacturing sector in the region. Apart from North America, which holds a position in the steady growth quadrant, Latin America, Europe, and Middle East and Asia (MEA) are represented as moderately growing regions in the global fire protection systems market. Increasing greenfield investments in MEA is projected to fuel the demand of safety equipment such as fire protection systems. North America and Europe are also expected to pump significant revenue into the global fire protection systems market owing to stringent safety and security solutions. High-Level Market Fragmentation to Deter Growth Fire protection system manufacturers are likely to improve their customer service in the near-term The global fire protection systems market showcases a high fragmented competitor landscape owing to widespread presence of small and medium-sized tier-2 players, holding nearly 80 percent market share. Tier-2 players, on the other side, occupy approximately 20 percent of the market share. Although the presence of large-size fire protection systems manufacturers is limited, they are anticipated to pump more revenue than smaller fire protection systems manufacturers, estimated to stand at more than US$ 600 Mn. However, considering such market fragmentation and presence of several unorganized players could plaque the market growth, specifically the warehousing landscape. As a part of their differentiation strategy, key players are projected to focus on developing well-structured and efficient supply chain. Moreover, to reach a wider group of consumers, fire protection system manufacturers are likely to improve their customer service in the near-term. Price reduction, wider product offerings, including application specific products, and long-term supply relations are some core focus areas.
Spartan Emergency Response, a business unit of Spartan Motors, Inc., has received an order for 13 of its industry-leading custom fire apparatus to be delivered to a metropolitan fire department in Texas. The order includes nine custom built engines, one high-pressure engine for downtown high-rise operations, two 105-foot aerials and one 100-foot rear mount platform. This order adds to Spartan's already established and growing footprint in the State of Texas, including Metropolitan and County Fire Departments. Helping first responders in protecting communities We are constantly working to satisfy evolving firehouse needs for vehicle safety, speed, agility, ergonomics, and serviceability""An order of this significance reflects our legacy and leadership in designing solutions that allow first responders to protect the communities they serve with great efficiency and in an optimally safe work environment," said Daryl Adams, President and Chief Executive Officer at Spartan Motors. "We are constantly working to satisfy evolving firehouse needs for vehicle safety, speed, agility, ergonomics, and serviceability. We are pleased to have been selected and we are confident Spartan Motors will help first responders in Texas in the line of duty." Spartan Motors was selected for this order in part because of its ability to produce highly-customized apparatus designed to meet the specific needs of Fire Departments in Texas. Many environmental and operational factors were considered to ensure optimal performance and firefighter safety in extreme conditions. Independent Front Suspension All units are custom built on a Spartan chassis featuring a high engine air intake, new air conditioning system, and the Spartan APSThe aerials will provide departments with industry-leading load ratings and water flow capabilities, as well as several additional features that make them highly efficient and reliable. Both pumpers and aerials include Spartan's Independent Front Suspension (IFS)—a feature that provides a higher level of control and maneuverability that is ideal for carrying the heaviest of loads while maneuvring safely through crowded intersections and tight corners. Additionally, the IFS design provides an unmatched ride quality that exceeds the expectations of local fire departments. All units are custom built on a Spartan chassis featuring a high engine air intake, new enhanced air conditioning system, and the Spartan Advanced Protection System (APS)—a smart occupant restraint and protection system designed specifically for emergency response vehicles. APS includes eight strategically placed airbags, and outboard sensors that feed into an intelligent restraint control module to provide enhanced protection for the driver and occupants. This most recent sale contributes to Spartan Emergency Response's growing momentum with third-quarter sales nearly 30 percent higher year-over-year.
Johnson Controls announces the release of Metasys 10.0, designed to deliver more unified building management. This latest Metasys release provides facility personnel with smarter building automation, faster responses to critical alarms and new integrations with fire detection, security and lighting systems – all with visibility from a single common interface. Metasys 10.0 introduces a new and improved set of integrations. These include new integrations with C·CURE 9000 access control and Victor video management systems, and simpler integrations with SIMPLEX fire systems and with lighting systems from leading lighting providers. Robust data analysis and reporting Providing our customers with access to critical system data from a single interface makes it faster and easier for them to do their jobs"A new Metasys Application Programming Interface (API) enables data to be securely extracted from Metasys 10.0 and integrated with Johnson Controls or third-party data visualisation tools for robust data analysis and reporting. “Metasys has always delivered a strong integrations platform, but we’re really excited about how easy we’re making it for customers to integrate both HVAC and non-HVAC systems into Metasys 10.0,” said Chris Eichmann, vice president and general manager, Global Controls Products, Johnson Controls. “Providing our customers with access to critical system data from a single, intuitively-designed interface makes it faster and easier for them to do their jobs. We’re seeing some great early successes at sites like Georgia-Pacific in Atlanta.” 4-in-1 network sensor series Several new hardware devices were also added to Metasys 10.0, including: Two new equipment controllers with removable screw terminal blocks for easy installation, high capacity memory and fast processing A new 4-in-1 network sensor series with the ability to sense temperature, humidity, CO2 and occupancy – all with one sensor A new TEC3000 thermostat controller with colour touchscreen Another innovative feature is Ethernet ring topology support for Metasys IP equipment controllers. Delivered as part of Johnson Controls’ collaboration with Cisco, it allows controllers to be configured in a ring network, improving system reliability and resiliency. Meeting complex building management needs A key feature is the ability for users to schedule reports to be delivered via email and save and execute report templates on demandAs part of the new Metasys release, the Metasys User Interface (UI) introduces several new features that reduce operators’ time on task. A key feature is the ability for users to schedule reports to be delivered via email and save and execute report templates on demand, reducing time spent configuring and providing reports. For more than a quarter century, Metasys building automation has delivered consistent results to meet even the most complex building management needs. This new major release keeps today’s buildings on top of change, with all the Metasys benefits you expect, including: Operational savings through extended building management capabilities and enhanced productivity Energy savings through coordinated control, precise data and peak equipment performance IT and platform security through best-practice processes Faster troubleshooting and response through advanced diagnostics Greater occupant comfort, security and satisfaction
As wildfire disasters increase across the country, a new study found negligible cost differences between building a typical home and a home constructed using wildfire-resistant materials and design features. "We know from post-fire assessments, accompanied by laboratory experiments, that two factors drive home vulnerability in wildfires: how the home is built in terms of materials used and installation details and the landscaping on the property," said Dr. Steve Quarles, Chief Scientist for Wildfire and Durability at the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. "Our study found little difference in the cost of a new home constructed to wildfire-resistant building codes, as compared to a typical home." Building wildfire-resistant homes The study examines the cost of new construction and retrofitting four of the components most vulnerable to wildfireToday, one-third of all U.S. homes are located in the wildland-urban interface, and more than 35,000 structures were lost to wildfire in the last decade. "Wildfires are becoming more costly, dangerous and destructive. If communities allow development in fire-prone lands they should consider adopting building codes that require new home construction be wildfire-resistant," said report co-author Kelly Pohl, a researcher at Headwaters Economics. "We know these tools are effective strategies for making communities safer, and they are available today." The study examines the cost of new construction and retrofitting four of the components most vulnerable to wildfire: the roof, exterior walls, deck, and landscaping. It also compares three existing statewide or national building codes that have been developed for construction in wildfire-prone lands. Estimating cost One of the frequently asked questions from homeowners and builders is how much it costs to build a wildfire-resistant home" While the perceived cost of implementing such regulations has been a commonly cited barrier to consideration by some communities, little research has previously examined how much it would cost the homeowner or builder to comply with such regulations. "As large, devastating mega-wildfires have exploded in frequency over the past decade, one of the most frequently asked questions we've heard from homeowners and builders is how much it costs to build a wildfire-resistant home," noted David Shew, retired Staff Chief for CAL FIRE. "This is the first time we've had a truly scientific answer to that question." This study was completed in partnership between Headwaters Economics and The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).
Very high packing density, intelligent networking, complex processes: Automated warehouses present new challenges for fire protection concepts. Conventional solutions are usually not sufficient to meet the protection goals of logistics providers. These include maintenance processes and a delivery capability, preventing business interruptions and protecting goods and investments. The WAGNER Group will be presenting solutions specially adapted to these requirements, from 19 to 21 February 2019 at LogiMAT, the international trade fair for intralogistics solutions and process management, in Stuttgart. The focus is set on the active fire prevention system, which prevents fires already within their development phase. A combination of OxyReduct fire prevention and TITANUS early fire detection protects the so-called AutoStore small parts warehouseIntelligent, autonomous storage systems open up new possibilities for intralogistics. Time savings and energy efficiency are just two of the advantages that result from these developments. In order to consistently protect plant and high value stock within such highly specialized warehouses, a solution with the active oxygen reduction technology, OxyReduct is recommended. This also includes effective early fire detection using TITANUS. OxyReduct And TITANUS Protects Warehouse The Saxon company KOMSA, Kommunikation Sachsen AG - a service provider and distributor of information and communication technology products - benefits from such a solution. At their headquarters in Hartmannsdorf, a combination of OxyReduct fire prevention and TITANUS early fire detection protects the so-called AutoStore small parts warehouse. Due to the packing density, a fire protection solution had to be found that was not based on sprinkler technologyIn a self-supporting aluminum construction, 25,000 plastic containers, each with a capacity of 70 litres are stacked. Robots ensure an optimum flow of goods. However, due to the packing density, a fire protection solution had to be found that was not based on sprinkler technology. Absolutely essential requirement: no interruption of the delivery capability - even in case of an emergency. This is ensured by an intelligent fire protection solution with highly sensitive air sampling smoke detectors and an oxygen reduction system. Companies Using WAGNER Fire Protection Solutions Leading companies all over the world rely on fire protection solutions from the WAGNER Group. These include Imperial Automotive Logistics, AstraZeneca, NewCold, Preferred Freezer Services, Davert GmbH, KLM Logistik, British Library, BASF and many others. Further information on the systems available and WAGNER's portfolio of innovative fire protection solutions will be available to fair visitors at booth D11 in hall 7.
Globe, DuPont Protection Solutions (DuPont), and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have been working together since 2012 to provide new, state-of-the-art turnout gear to volunteer fire departments in need through the Globe Gear Giveaway program. In 2018, 52 sets of gear will be awarded to 13 departments to help better protect their responders. Providence (NC) Fire & Rescue and the Strong Volunteer Fire Company (Mount Carmel Township, PA) are the latest gear recipients. Providence Fire & Rescue is located in the northern Piedmont region of NC, approximately 50 miles northwest of Chapel Hill on the NC/VA state line. Provide Mutual Aid The department’s 29 volunteers run an average of 330 calls each year and provide mutual aid to surrounding departments and across state lines The department’s 29 volunteers run an average of 330 calls each year and provide mutual aid to surrounding departments and across state lines. However, almost half of the department’s responders use personal protective equipment (PPE) that is more than 10 years old, which is considered non-compliant according to the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) standards. Budget restrictions have left the department unable to purchase new gear and have also eliminated the department’s allowance for travel, decreasing their members’ opportunity to receive training unless classes are hosted locally. With a per capita income of only $16,470 and 14.4 percent of their small 3,400 population living under the poverty line, local fundraisers have not yielded enough funds to offset budget cuts. Fire-Related Hazard “In addition to training, this gear will enable our members and the members of our auto-aid departments the reassurance that they are using NFPA compliant PPE on any fire or fire-related hazard,” said Chief Kenneth R. Everett. “This will enable us to continue providing the members of our department safe, compliant PPE for years to come.” The Strong Volunteer Fire Company (VFC) is located near three heavily traveled highways and five state routes. The company has 25 volunteers who protect 3,300 residents over 22 square miles. They are first on-scene for all motor-vehicle accidents, structure fires, vehicle fires, wildland fires, and rescues and respond to two large industrial parks, an explosive plant, three mining operations, multiple schools and nursing homes, and dozens of smaller businesses. Firefighting Capabilities These four sets of gear will greatly improve our firefighting capabilities and provide a higher level of firefighter safety" The company is also very active in the community and hosts multiple fire prevention activities and fundraisers throughout the year to strengthen community support. Over half of the department’s responders do not have gear that meet recommended safety standards. Severe budget constraints have forced the department to buy used gear for its volunteers, and many members have purchased their own hoods and gloves. Additionally, the Strong VFC is expecting additional members soon because one neighbouring company is closing and a second may have to close as well due to financial and membership issues. “These four sets of gear will greatly improve our firefighting capabilities and provide a higher level of firefighter safety for our dedicated volunteers,” said Captain Kevin Mains. “We are trying to plan for additional new members and proper gear is a priority.”
While whole room protection – sprinklers or gas systems – is a common choice, there is an argument for thinking smaller; taking fire detection and suppression down to the equipment, enclosures and even the components where a fire is most likely to start. Traditional Fire Suppression Methods A traditional water-based sprinkler system is the most common form of fire protection found in commercial and industrial buildings. They offer reasonable cost, large area protection for entire facilities, safeguarding the structure and personnel by limiting the spread and impact of a fire. Every square foot of the protected area is covered equally regardless of the contents of the space, whether it’s an empty floor or an object with an increased risk of fire. Sprinklers aren’t always the most appropriate choice. Not all fires are extinguished by water of course, and in some cases, water damage can be just as harmful or even more so than the fire. They are an impractical choice for instance for facilities housing anything electrical, such as data centres and server rooms. There is also the risk of accidental activation, with an estimated cost of up to $1,000 for every minute they are left running. Water damage can be just as harmful or even more so than any fire, so sprinklers may not be appropriate Targeted Supplementary Fire Suppression An alternative method to protect whole server rooms and data centres is gas fire suppression, which either suppresses the fire by displacing oxygen (inert) or by using a form of cooling mechanism (chemical/synthetic). These aren’t without risk; in the case of inert gas, oxygen is reduced to less than 15% to suffocate the fire, but must be kept above 12% to avoid endangering the lives of personnel. Similarly, clean agent gas can be toxic in high doses. There are smaller, focused systems that give the option of highly targeted supplementary fire suppression within fire risk areas. Installing a system directly into the areas most at risk, means that fires can be put out before they take hold and cause serious damage. Both sprinkler and gas systems can contain a fire, but micro-environment or closed space systems are completely automatic, detecting and suppressing the fire so rapidly that activating a sprinkler or gas total flooding system often isn’t necessary. The most popular enclosure fire suppression systems achieve this though the use of a flexible and durable polymer tubing that is routed easily through the tightest spaces. The tubing is extremely sensitive to heat and, because it can be placed so close to potential failure points, detects it and releases the fire suppression agent up to ten times faster than traditional systems. An airline was forced to cancel over 2,000 flights after a “small fire” in one of its data centers Cost-Effective Fire Protection Highly customizable, small enclosure fire suppression is specifically designed to protect business critical spaces and equipment. It is typically used inside machinery like CNC machines, mobile equipment like forklifts and inside server rooms and electrical cabinetry but is suitable for any hazard that’s considered to have an elevated fire risk. Some may question the need or cost-effectiveness of protecting micro-environments. However, examples abound of where fires that have started at component level have gone on to cause damage of the highest magnitude, and the cost of downtime can be crippling to many time-sensitive facilities and processes. An airline was forced to cancel over 2,000 flights in August 2016 when what was described as a “small fire” in one of its data centers ultimately led to a computer outage. The cost of that small fire, and the domino effect that quickly escalated from it, has since been announced as $150m. Admittedly that number is unusually high - the average cost of a data centre outage today is estimated at a more conservative $730,000 – but this is still an expense businesses can ill afford. Preventing Major Losses Staying with the transport industry, newer metros systems have redundant systems in place to prevent interruptions. However, older metro lines, such as the one in New York City, have experienced electrical fires that started small, but grew to such a magnitude that service was affected for months.Older metro lines, such as New York City's, have experience electrical fires that start small but grew exponentially A wind energy customer experienced a fire in a turbine converter cabinet. The loss of the cabinet was valued at over $200,000 and disabled the turbine for six weeks. Following investment in fire suppression systems inside the electrical cabinet, a subsequent fire was detected and suppressed before major damage could be caused. The cost on this occasion was therefore limited to a $25,000 component and downtime was less than two days.Equally - happily - there are also many instances where the installation of small enclosure fire suppression has prevented disaster. In the manufacturing world, CNC machines are valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars and need to be constantly operational to justify the investment. Oil coolant used in the machines can create a flash fire in an instant due to failed components or programming errors. The fact that many of these facilities are run ‘lights out’ with no personnel present further exacerbates the risk. If a fire is not dealt with immediately, the machine will be destroyed; sprinklers don’t react quickly enough for this scenario and would be ineffective. Ensuring Business Continuity One such flash fire occurred inside a protected CNC machine at a machine shop in Iowa. The polymer tubing ruptured within a fraction of a second, releasing the suppression agent and extinguishing the flames. The machine was undamaged and was operational again with a few hours. Contrast this to a previous fire at the same facility in an unprotected machine; it was out of operation for 4 days, costing the business thousands of dollars in downtime In short, fire protection is an essential element of our industrial and commercial environments to ensure both safety and business continuity. However, the nature of that protection is changing, as capacity increases to cost-effectively protect specific areas where fires are most likely to start. Risk mitigation analysis needs to look beyond what has been accepted in the past and find ways to further limit the impact of a small fire using this next level of protection. The benefits can really have a positive effect on the bottom line in the event of fire.
The era of “smart buildings” is here, bringing new opportunities for significant gains in efficiency, safety and environmental protection. In an interview, Rodger Reiswig, director of industry relations at Johnson Controls Global Fire Protection Products, offers his insights into the impact of smart buildings on fire detection and what it means for organisations planning new facilities. Q: How do you define smart buildings? The term “smart buildings” means different things to different people. For some, it’s all about the Green Initiative. Is the building able to sustain itself or reduce its carbon footprint? Can they reuse some of their water or generate electricity from onsite solar cells or wind turbines? Another definition of “smart buildings” is based on sensors. Is the building smart enough to know that, if I’m the first person there in the morning and I swipe my card, it should switch the HVAC system into occupied mode? Can it start to turn the lights on? Can it adjust the window shades to allow the sun to come in? Can it call the elevator down for me because it knows that I’m in the lobby and I’m going to the tenth floor? It’s all about how the systems integrate with one another, not just providing information to each other, but also interacting with one another, causing things to happen from one system to another. Q: How close are we to the vision of an integrated intelligent building where all the systems work together? We’ve already been doing some integration for a few years now with things like HVAC and lighting. Now we’re seeing tighter integration where, for example, we can use the position of the sun to get the best impact of sunlight to start to heat the building in the winter. One of the biggest challenges that we see in the smart building environment is protocols or topologies for how one system talks to another. The fire alarm system uses a certain protocol or language. The HVAC system uses another protocol or language, and so on. Creating an environment where systems can talk to one another and not just send, but also receive information – that’s the difficult part. Everybody can send information out. It’s easy for me to tell you what is happening in a system. But for you to tell me what’s happening in your system and then expect me to do something with that information, that’s when it gets a little bit harder. Q: What makes system-to-system communication challenging? Because of the critical role they play in protecting lives and property, life safety systems require a level of reliability and resilience far beyond that of other building systems or networks. Therefore, we have to be extremely careful about how we allow information from other systems to come into the life safety system, in case that information should affect the performance of the system. In addition, the design and specification of life safety systems is guided via three different means: building codes, standards and listings. Each of those means is controlled by different organisations. Any proposed changes to life safety networks have to pass muster with those entities, and that takes time, effort and consensus-building. When we’re talking specifically about system-to-system communication, the listing entities, organisations like UL and FM Global, regulate how much information can come into any life safety system. The listing documents require that there be some type of a barrier or gateway to prevent unauthorised or corrupted information from coming into a fire alarm system, causing harm or causing it to lock up. Life safety systems require a level of reliability and resilience far beyond that of other building systems or networks We will see all building technologies become more integrated over time as we work through the different entities and people begin to realise the benefits of improved safety, lower environmental impact, and reduced costs. Q: How will fire detection systems benefit from other sensor information available in a building? One of the things being explored is occupancy sensors that tell where people are located in a building. Some type of telemetry could be used to understand where people are concentrated in a facility and, based on that, make the fire alarm system more or less sensitive to smoke. If a lot of people are congregating in one area, there might be more activity and more dust being stirred up. You could use that information to set different alarm parameters compared to, for example, an empty building with no significant air movement. We see that type of operation happening. Knowing how many people are in a building and where they are located is also a critically valuable piece of information for first responders. Here’s another example: let’s say we have a big parking garage next to a mall. Cars come in, and perhaps some people leave their cars running, or the cars aren’t operating as efficiently as they should be. You could have carbon monoxide detectors and occupancy sensors in the garage, and when the garage becomes crowded and carbon monoxide levels start to rise a bit, you could tell the fire alarm system not to go into alarm, but instead to turn fans on to get some fresh air moving throughout the building. It’s performing a life safety function, but at a non-emergency level. Q: Are you involved in any cross-industry standard-setting organisations to enable better communication among building systems? On an industry level, Johnson Controls is very active in the development of codes and standards. We have people who sit on committees for things like healthcare occupancy standards. We have engineers that contribute to product listing documents. We have people who participate in committees that determine how products should be installed and maintained.Fire alarm systems could be used to detect and solve non-emergencies before they become threats We’re even involved with groups, like the National Disabilities Rights Network, that advocate for laws that promote equal access and notification of life safety events. The list goes on. It’s a common protocol that allows all types of systems to get on the same communication platform and be able to send and possibly receive information, depending on the product and the type of system it is.Just to give you an example, there’s a standard called BACnet, Building Automation Control Network, which was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. BACnet is based on entities, so within their system, they need to define what each entity is. What is a thermostat? What is a variable air box? What is a lighting controller? What is a fire alarm smoke detector? We work closely with this organisation to create entities that can reside on their infrastructure so that, for example, the lightning system recognises what a smoke detector is when they send that entity out to the network. It’s one of the most important methods we are using to communicate among dissimilar systems. Integrated systems mean elevators could be used to evacuate people in an emergency We’re working on two fronts: internally and industry-wide. We’re developing third-party interfaces that enable an outside entity to sign a non-disclosure form and get the keys to the kingdom, if you will, on our protocols for how our systems operate – the data stream that we can send out and receive back – allowing that third-party developer to create some of these interfaces themselves. That has been one of our challenges, because we have always said that this is a fire alarm system, and if you want that type of an interface, we need to write it and get it listed. We had to step back and say, what if we developed a barrier gateway and allowed somebody else to develop the protocol and, done properly, became able to receive and send information to the fire alarm system? It’s like what Apple does with apps. We are going down that road with this third-party interface gateway. Q: Have these developments changed how you’re planning for the future development of fire detection systems? Yes, they have. We are looking at how we can use these systems strategically to make life safety systems better. And life safety is becoming more nuanced, proactive and comprehensive. Can I communicate and use this information to unlock the door so people have a clear egress? Can I start to use the elevators to evacuate people during an emergency? We’ve been told traditionally to use the stairwell and not the elevator in the event of a fire. But it takes a person about a minute a floor to get out. That’s a problem if you’re in an 80-story building. You have elevators sitting there. Is there something we could do to allow these elevators to be used to evacuate people? The American Society of Mechanical Engineers has been working hard on developing the language and requirements to do that. It’s just one example of how having systems integrated and talking to each other allows us to create smarter solutions that can help make facilities safer. Q: What advice would you give to building owners, architects, designers or contractors to help them start planning today for the future of smart buildings? The most important thing is to build awareness. The average building owner doesn’t know that a lot of this technology even exists. We need to inform them that there are options they can ask about. One of my recommendations would be to ask your design engineer. As you discuss the kind of windows you want, the kind of flooring and lighting and so on, ask how these systems could integrate together and what the benefits of integration would be. The bigger your facility, the greater the benefits of integrating these systems. Another resource that people don’t use often enough is the AHJs, the authorities having jurisdiction. That’s the local fire marshal, the fire chief, the local first responders. Don’t be afraid to sit down with a fire marshal, tell them what kind of building you’re putting in, and ask them what would help them respond in the event of an emergency in that building. They’ll be glad you asked, because these people see a lot of different buildings and respond to emergencies every day.
Within traditional commercial and industrial firefighting systems, engineers have primarily focused on permanent installation designs rather than entertaining alternative or supplemental mobile firefighting systems. Permanent installation design is typically better understood, supported, and supplied throughout the fire protection engineering and manufacturing community. However, mobile firefighting systems provide unique solutions and advantages compared to their permanent installation cousins such as flexible deployment, simpler servicing, improved economy, and much higher performance availability. The combination of both systems is frequently the most strategic solution for the facility operator. Limitations of fixed installation systems Permanent installation (fixed) systems include everything from sprinklers, foam systems, primary watermain pumps, and the plethora of piping in between. A large refinery complex will need to address various hazard mitigation and control problems that span both hardware and personnel needs. In the event standard hazard mitigation safety procedures and equipment have failed, the facility immediately initiates a hazard control operation. Passive fixed systems automatically engage the hazard through an array of sensors, mechanical triggers, and control algorithms. A properly designed system with adequate hazard coverage, preplanning, preventative maintenance, and testing will successfully terminate the hazard, while firefighting personnel respond and ensure no further hazards develop. This conceptual approach relies on hardware and personnel all operating as planned…. Combining permanent and mobile apparatus “According to plan” would never have any failures or fires, but history has a different script. In the worst-case petrochemical scenario, fixed systems fail to extinguish a hazard putting the entire response on human and mobile hardware resources. This would include but is not limited to firetrucks, mobile high-flow pumping systems, large mobile monitors, foam proportioning units, and large diameter layflat hose. This type of response escalates into a larger scale operation, sometimes involving agencies beyond the facility operator itself. Although a low probability event, the risk to life and property is significantly substantial. Fixed systems may be rendered inoperable due to the loss of electrical power or actual physical damage Reducing fire-related expenditureMore typical than the worst-case scenario, facilities experience both maintenance-related system downtimes and natural phenomena damage such as extreme weather and seismic events. In this case, fixed systems may be rendered inoperable due to the loss of electrical power or actual physical damage. In any of these situations, mobile fire apparatus may fill the gap requirements of the facility as their flexible storage and deployment would protect them from everything but the worst natural disasters. Their further benefit is that a smaller set of mobile apparatus resources may be used to protect a larger amount of infrastructure, especially while in use in a mutual-aid program between facilities and communities. According to the NFPA’s report “Total Cost of Fire in the United States”, fire-related damages and expenditures from 1980 to 2014 have risen from roughly $200B (adjusted for inflation to 2014) to nearly $330B. The greatest expenditure is in fire safety costs in building construction, amounting to $57.4B. Although the overall losses per year as a ratio to protection expenditures has dropped by roughly 70% over the past 30 years, petrochemical facility losses have continued to rise over the same time. In the worst-case petrochemical scenario, fixed systems fail to extinguish a hazard Petrochemical facility challenges According to the NFPA, refineries or natural gas plants had reported an average of 228 fires or explosions per year through the 1990s. Furthering this data with Marsh’s “100 Largest Losses, 25th edition”, refinery losses have continually expanded throughout the last two decades with 11 of the top 20 largest losses of the past 40 years happening during or after the year 2000. Two primary drivers of this trend are the advanced age of petrochemical facilities and their staggering complexity. As oil margins fall, upstream operational businesses are detrimentally affected by reduced investment in everything to new equipment, maintenance and passive safety systems. There is an observable correlation between a major oil price drop followed by upstream facility fire losses. Even with reduced investment and oil throughput growth rates, US refinery utilisation at the end 2017 was at 96.7%, the highest since 2005 (Marsh, The Impact of the Price of Oil). The short story is that systems and personnel are being asked to do more with less with each passing year. Cost-effective mobile apparatus systems Mobile fire apparatus is generally more cost-effective to procure when using standardised designs and application methodology. They can access open water sources by either drafting (when in close proximity to the water) or using floating source pumps (for variable level or difficult access water sources). Mobile fire apparatus is generally more cost-effective to procure when using standardized designs and application methodology With this open water access, they can provide significantly more water (upwards of 10,000 GPM or more per system if necessary) than any typical fixed fire pumping solution. Moreover, as their primary benefit, they are easy to move and deploy. This benefit allows them to be utilised at the point of hazard as needed while being easily accessible for service. While fixed systems are installed at “every known” hazard and must be continually maintained to operate effectively, mobile systems may be used sitewide or across facilities. This flexibility reduces overall capital expenditure requirements and establishes a valuable primary and secondary firefighting system depending on the hazard and facility resources. Combining fixed and mobile systems Permanent installation fire suppression systems are a mainstay of modern day firefighting. They provide immediate passive response with little human intervention. However, as facility utilisation is pushed to maximum capacity while fixed systems continually age out without adequate replacement or maintenance, mobile systems will need to both fill the response gap and provide a final wall to total loss incidents. The reality is that both fixed and mobile systems need to work together to provide the safest possible operation. Service and training requirements need to also be maintained to manage an adequate, or even better, exemplary response to hazard control incidents. Managing major facility uptime requires continuous oversight and to drive hazard mitigation standards throughout the organisation, including executive management. A safe, reliable and fully-functional plant is also a profitable and cost-effective plant much like a healthy worker is a better worker. Protect your people and property and you will protecting your company’s future.
One of London’s most prestigious hotels, The Berkeley in Knightsbridge, London, is now protected by a Lux Intelligent emergency lighting test system and MxPro fire panels from Advanced. With a history dating back to the 1800s, the current 214-bedroom Berkeley Hotel was built in 1972, incorporating elements of the original building, and it has recently been subject to a major refurbishment covering all bedrooms, suites, terraces, the lobby, the restaurant, the iconic Blue Bar and the main entrance. Lewis Bowden, spokesperson for Surrey-based Alarm Communication Ltd, the company that specified and installed the system, explained: “Hotels require state of the art emergency lighting systems to safeguard their staff and residents in an emergency situation, helping to facilitate an orderly evacuation and also to guide firefighters coming into the building. As a long-time Advanced partner, we believed that Lux Intelligent, alongside Advanced MxPro fire panels, was the right choice for The Berkeley, offering the stand-out capabilities, features and reliability required of a system of this type.” Luminaires monitored by Lux Intelligent panel Advanced luminaires are monitored and controlled by a Lux Intelligent panel, connected to the building’s fire system More than 200 Advanced luminaires have been installed in the historic hotel, on Wilton Place, which is part of the same stable as Claridge’s. They are monitored and controlled by a Lux Intelligent panel, connected to the building’s fire system. Most of the luminaires are from the Advanced LED-Lite range, which can be recessed into ceilings, offering an aesthetically pleasing solution in the public areas of the prestigious building. Etienne Ricoux, Head of Sales for Advanced, said: “Our Lux Intelligent system offers many benefits including real peace of mind, the ability to work with almost any light, and cost and admin savings. Alongside the MxPro multiprotocol fire panels, we’re proud to be providing market protection to the staff and residents at the Berkley.” Compatible with third-party lights Lux Intelligent ensures all emergency lighting is functioning and compliant to BS5266-1. The system can be retrofitted onto existing wiring and luminaires, keeping installation costs to a minimum. It is one of the most flexible systems available with panels supporting 1-4 loops, 249 devices per loop and up to 200 panels in a network. Lux Intelligent is also compatible with most third-party lights and luminaires, including LEDs, giving installers and end users unprecedented purchasing freedom. Lux Intelligent systems can be remotely managed and monitored using web and iOS apps via the Lux Intelligent Cloud Lux Intelligent systems can be remotely managed and monitored using web and iOS apps via the Lux Intelligent Cloud. Users can add any site in their portfolio to the cloud service and get live system data from site, right down to device level. Fault, test and maintenance reports can be generated from a whole site right down to individual devices. These can be shared with colleagues or maintenance partners in a click. Optimum multiprotocol fire panel The MxPro is the industry’s unbeatable multiprotocol fire panel. Built on almost two-decades of market leadership, it offers greater freedom to specifiers, end users and installers, and includes two panel ranges, the flagship EN54-2, 4 & 13 approved MxPro 5, and the benchmark MxPro 4. Both come in 1-8 loop formats, are compatible with Apollo, Argus, Hochiki and Nittan protocols and can be networked into 200-panel strong systems.
Drones and UAVs being increasing employed to ensure public security Small unmanned aerial vehicles, colloquially known as drones, are being adopted by more public safety agencies around the world than ever before; and the number of lives they’re saving is climbing dramatically. On one recent day, four people were saved by drones, in three separate incidents around the world. Drones Security Drone manufacturer DJI calls it a ‘marked new milestone in public safety drone use,’ in a press release issued last month. On May 31st, Wayne Township Fire Department in Indiana used a drone to drop a life jacket to a fleeing suspect, who had gotten himself into a near drowning situation in a lake. Thermal imaging camera on drones On that same day, officials in a Texas town near Dallas dropped life jackets to a mother and daughter who found themselves in rising floodwater; and police in the UK used a drone with a thermal imaging camera to find a stranded hiker on a dangerous cliff. “We are seeing more and more life-saving stories coming out of these agencies,” says Matt Sloane, CEO of Skyfire Consulting, a group who works with public safety agencies to adopt drone programs. “This technology can no longer be written off as a ‘toy’ or a plaything. It’s a front-line tool in public safety, and it’s already saving lives.” The UAV is one of the most exciting tools to come along that improves first responder safety and efficiency" UAVs for Public Safety For many agencies, including the Wayne Township Fire Department, the technology has been a game-changer. “In my 32 years working in Public Safety, the UAV is one of the most exciting tools to come along that improves first responder safety and efficiency,” said Captain Mike Pruitt, Wayne Township’s UAV program manager. “The possibilities of what we can do with these aircraft are endless.” Pruitt, who worked with Skyfire to start his drone program, says he’s flying the departments’ aircraft several times a week in his area, and in other parts of Indiana where he’s called to assist. Water-resistant drones They even flew last week in heavy downpours with DJI’s Matrice 210 aircraft, a water-resistant drone. More than 900 public safety agencies around the country are flying drones, according to a recent Bard College study, up 200% from last year’s report, but this is only the tip of the drone iceberg, says Sloane. “There are over 100-thousand public agencies in the US,” he says. “Early adopters like Wayne Township are showing the other 99-thousand agencies out there that this technology can be implemented safely, effectively, and will truly save lives.” Public Safety UAV symposium Skyfire has worked with over 120 of those 900 agencies, including the Los Angeles Fire Department, Orlando Fire Department, Miami-Dade Fire, and most recently, Houston Fire. “Big and small, our clients are taking their response capabilities to the next level, and I don’t see this trend slowing down anytime soon,” Sloane says. Skyfire will be holding a public safety UAV symposium with Memorial Villages Police Department and Houston Fire Department July 30th and 31st in the Houston Area.
The college occupies 76,000 sq ft of teaching and workshop space, with specialist training installations, including 150 metres of external track and catenary A key driver in the successful delivery of the UK’s £42.6 billion HS2 project, the new National College for High Speed Rail, is now protected by industry-leading fire panels from Advanced. Located in Doncaster, a town historically known for its prominent role in rail engineering and maintenance, the college occupies 76,000 sq ft of teaching and workshop space, with specialist training installations, including 150 metres of external track and catenary. It will train thousands of engineers to meet HS2’s future needs, as well as those of the wider rail sector. With 2,000 apprenticeship opportunities set to be created by HS2, and 25,000 people employed during construction, there has been, and continues to be high demand for appropriately skilled workers. Need of a high-quality fire system The Advanced MxPro panels were specified by the team at GBE Fire and Security, who were appointed by main contractor Briggs and Forrester to specify, install and commission the fire system at the site. GBE’s Business Development Manager, Andy Westgarth, commented: “We’re thrilled to have been involved in this project. The college will create many opportunities for young people and make a major contribution to the Northern Powerhouse. With sensitive installations, including electrical catenary, a high-quality fire system is essential and, as a longstanding Advanced partner, we feel that MxPro panels are the ideal solution.” Multiprotocol fire system solution MxPro is the fire industry’s leading multiprotocol fire system solution. It offers customers a choice of two panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network, backed up by free training and support. MxPro panels can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, multi-loop panels in 200 node networks covering huge areas. MxPro’s legendary ease of installation and configuration and wide peripheral range make it customisable to almost any application. Reliable and easy to use Neil Parkin, Advanced Sales Manager for the North, commented: “This is the latest in a series of high-profile rail sector installations for Advanced panels. We have worked with GBE on many projects and it’s great to be working with them on such a positive project. MxPro ticks all the boxes for the National College for High Speed Rail, combining proven reliability with innovation and ease-of-use.” Advanced are members of the Rail Industry Fire Association (RIFA) and have panels installed in a number of other rail-related buildings, including the Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station, almost 100 London Underground stations, the Hitachi Rail Europe factory in Newton Aycliffe and the Tyne & Wear Metro.
With its ability to detect flame and smoke at a very early stage, the Bosch video-based fire detection system is a real asset at all three facilities Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, manufacturing company Mouka Limited has built a leading position on the country’s household and industrial markets since its founding in 1959. With 800 employees and production facilities in Lagos, Benin and Kaduna, Mouka is now Nigeria’s foremost supplier of branded mattresses and foam-based products for sleep solutions. Products such as foam blocks, beddings and duvets, and polyurethane blocks are widely available throughout retail and wholesale channels in Nigeria. Due to the highly flammable nature of foam and polyurethane materials, fire safety at manufacturing facilities is a prime concern. However, when Mouka Limited was looking for a solution that detects fire and smoke in less than 30 seconds – before fire can spread and potentially harm employees – the market had nothing to offer. The reason: Common point-type detectors, detecting smoke particles in the air, rely on smoke particles to rise, which can take several minutes – especially when detectors are mounted on high warehouse ceilings. Visual fire monitoring and detection Fortunately, Bosch offers an innovative product sensitive enough: AVIOTEC, a VdS-certified solution for visual fire monitoring detecting smoke and flames at the source, which is much faster than common point-type detectors. Software inside each device analyses the video images for visual patterns associated with fires like specific motion and shape characteristics or colour changes. When connected to IP-based video management solutions the video images provide additional information e.g. for alarm verification or localization of the fire. AVIOTEC significantly raises the safety of hundreds of employees and shortens alarm response times, thereby minimising the risk of potential damage AVIOTEC was much closer to the insurance’s requirements than any other solution on the market. Working closely with the teams at the three Mouka Limited factories in Lagos, Benin and Kaduna, Bosch provided 34 AVIOTEC devices for video-based fire detection, alarm sounders, strobes and a third-party sprinkler system, all connected to a Bosch addressable Fire Panel 1200 Series. Providing employee safety and minimising damage With its ability to detect flame and smoke at a very early stage, the Bosch video-based fire detection system is a real asset at all three facilities. First, it significantly raises the safety of hundreds of employees at Mouka Limited factories. Second, it shortens alarm response times and thereby minimises the risk of potential damage to equipment and product inventories. And third, analysis of video images of a fire allows for root cause analysis after an incident. In addition, the fact that the system offers fire detection at industry-leading speeds has been appreciated by the insurance provider responsible for setting the insurance premium for Mouka Limited’s facilities. Meanwhile, word about the new state of the art in early fire detection at industrial manufacturing sites is spreading throughout Nigeria – and beyond.
MxPro 5 is Advanced’s highest performing analogue addressable fire panel, fully approved to EN54 parts 2,4 and 13 Elfab, a global manufacturer of pressure relief products, has selected a high performance fire system from Advanced for installation at its corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility. Elfab designs and manufactures rupture discs, explosion vents and detection systems for use in a wide range of applications and industries including oil and gas, chemical & pharmaceutical, as well as for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) in industries such as aerospace, medical, cryogenics and automotive. MxPro 5 fire panel to protect facility and employees Elfab specified an Advanced MxPro 5 2 loop multiprotocol fire panel and over 130 Apollo Discovery devices to protect its facility. The MxPro 5 range is the leading multiprotocol choice, offering world-beating quality, reliability and flexibility. The system was the first MxPro installation by RayFire Services. Owner Ray Hope, described it as: “By far and away the easiest panel to install and configure I have ever worked with.” David Mellody, manufacturing engineer at Elfab commented: “Providing protection for people, plant, processes and the environment across the globe is our business so it was key to select an industry leading fire panel to protect our own facility and employees. “Advanced has an outstanding reputation for quality, performance and ease of use and also for providing excellent ongoing support to customers. The MxPro system is backwards compatible, easily expanded and upgraded which matches Elfab’s fire protection needs both now and in the future.” Topmost performing multiprotocol fire panel Neil Parkin, Advanced’s sales manager for the North said: “MxPro 5 is Advanced’s highest performance multiprotocol fire panel and leads the UK market whether standalone or networked. Already the fire panel of choice for a number of sites in the UK including Tyne and Wear Metro, Durham Cathedral, the Scottish Galleries and The Shard, MxPro 5 delivers more features than other fire panels providing both power and technology for buildings of all sizes. We’re delighted Elfab chose it for its world-class facilities.” MxPro 5 is Advanced’s highest performing analogue addressable fire panel, fully approved to EN54 parts 2,4 and 13. Backwards compatible with MxPro 4, the MxPro 5 fire panel is available in 1, 2, 4 and 8 loop formats with up to 254 devices per loop and 200 panels on a fault-tolerant network. It is the system of choice for protecting sites of all sizes.
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.