London Fire Brigade’s first Commissioner in 75 years to have served as a commissioned officer in the British army signs a covenant with the UK armed forces. The agreement formalizes the Brigade’s commitment to supporting the Armed Forces community and recognizes the contribution to the country that serving military personal, veterans and their families have made and continue to make. Wider Military Family It is a great honor that one of my first official duties is to sign the Arme...
Registration is now open for the National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) 2020 Training Summit, which will take place June 26-27 in Orlando, FL. The conference is open to all volunteer firefighters, EMS providers, department leadership, and other fire department personnel from across the United States. Travel stipends are available to help more people attend. 2020 NVFC Training Summit This two-day classroom-based training event is an opportunity to learn from leading subject matter exper...
Nittan is a global pioneer of Analogue Addressable communication systems for use in Fire alarm systems. In fact Nittan was one of the first organizations to launch an Analogue Addressable system with our original Sensortec Protocol. More recently Nittan developed the Evolution communication protocol, based on Sine Wave Frequency Shift Keying (FSK) transmission and because it was such a technological leap forward, to this day it is one of the most reliable and powerful analogue addressable syste...
In order to maintain support for Nittan’s older Sensortec Protocol Analog Addressable range, Nittan has developed the ST-H2-AS Heat Detector. This is intended to be a direct replacement for the current ST-H-AS detector, which they are no longer able to manufacture due to component obsolescence. Manufacturing The New Generation Device As a direct replacement there will be a seamless transition between the products. The new ST-H2-AS is available with immediate effect and once existing sto...
A free one-day seminar on the importance of sprinklers and suppression systems and their life-saving benefits is being held next month in St. Ives. The seminar, 'Providing a fire resilient environment for all', organized by The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA) in collaboration with, and hosted by, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service aims to inform industries on how to protect their buildings and occupants with sprinklers and suppression systems. Life-Saving Benefits Of S...
Nittan are delighted to announce that the Fire Alarm Store has become an Elite Distributor for Nittan products. Based in the Wirral, Alex and Alan first started trading with Nittan in September 2015 and have worked closely with Nittan over last 3 years. Their sales have grown significantly over that period, both in the UK and Internationally. Excellent Technical Support The Fire Alarm Store has been awarded Elite distributor status due to their achievements and their excellent technical Suppo...
Following increased reports of unwanted alarms caused by e-cigarette vaping and the lack of clear information in the market place, The Fire Industry Association has now published Fact File 85, covering their use and possible effects on Fire Alarm Systems. This is free to download from the FIA website. ‘dual optical’ detectors In the recent case of The Frog & Frigate, in Southampton, where vaping is allowed, smoke detectors false alarms, caused by vaping were becoming a considerable problem in the running of the pub. Despite the false alarm issues at the venue, the owner, Derek Gardener was reluctant to ban vaping in the pub and was recommended a solution by installers Fire and Safety Testing in the form of ‘dual optical’ (Dual Wavelength) detectors manufactured by Nittan. Since the installation of Nittan’s EV-DP detectors at The Frog & Frigate one year ago, Derek is happy to report that there hasn’t been a single false alarm in the venue, meaning that his customers are kept happy, entertained and safe.
Nittan welcomes Mark Durbridge as their new Technical and Sales Support Engineer. Mark has been in the Fire Protection Industry for over 30 years, having a proven track record managing and delivering a number of projects as a service engineer, technical manager and production manager. Mark has joined the Nittan team as a very important first point of contact, his extensive technical knowledge and industry experience will enable Nittan to continue delivering the very highest quality technical support and customer service.
Nittan attend another successful FIM Expo event this week, which was held at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate stadium. These events are intended to allow manufacturers and customers to mix in an informal setting, plus have the advantage of two FIA sponsored CPD seminars per day on topics relevant to the industry. Nittan Regional Sales Managers, Barry Simpson and Louise Horne would like to thank all who visited Nittan at this week’s FIM Expo in Bristol, and promise to follow up with individual contacts as soon as possible. Nittan looks forward to seeing customers and colleagues from the industry at the next FIM event to be held later this year.
Nittan has stated that it is delighted to announce UK-based fire safety experts, Eurotech Fire Systems as the Nittan Elite Distribution Partner. Nittan Elite Distribution Partner Nittan was the first system that Eurotech Fire Systems has put its name to when the Company was first established around 10 years ago, and throughout this time Eurotech has shown a superb commitment to the Nittan brand and products. Eurotech Managing Director Michelle Agius stated, “To be recognized for our sales and support after these years is very much appreciated by the Eurotech team."
Nittan has said that it is pleased to announce that FTI, Dublin have been recognized as Nittan Elite Partner of the year. What makes it even more remarkable is this is now the third time this award has been given to FTI. The award is open to all our Elite partners, and despite stiff competition FTI were chosen for the award in recognition of not only a strong sales performance but also a clear commitment to staff training and close cooperation that should be seen as a model for others to follow. Nittan Elite Partner of the year The “Elite” programs have been developed to acknowledge and reward a select group of installation partners and product distributors that have shown commitment to promoting the Nittan brand and have undertaken product training to a high level in order to ensure the uppermost standards of customer service. Nittan has built an enviable reputation for first class fire detection products" “Nittan has built an enviable reputation for first class fire detection products, but it’s essential to back that up with quality support,” states Lee James, General Manager – Product Marketing, Nittan Europe. Elite Partner and Distributor program Lee adds, “Our new Elite program identifies those installers and distributors that demonstrate loyalty to Nittan and have taken the time to invest in the brand by undertaking rigorous training on the full product range. As a manufacturer our end user contact is minimal, these customer facing companies are often the first experience people will have of Nittan so their product knowledge and commitment to Nittan is exceptionally important and deserves to be recognized. The key benefit for Elite members is that we can direct new customer enquiries to them as we know they are a safe pair of hands!” The Nittan Elite Partner and Elite Distributor program is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to providing the best support possible for customers. Nittan shall continue to monitor performance and promote others to Elite status once certain milestones have been achieved.
Nittan were proud to take part in the Student Housing Conference 2019 organized by University of Salford, held at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester. This provided the perfect platform for Robin Edmunds – General Manager EMEA Sales to present how Nittan EV-DP Dual Optical Smoke Detectors and EV-DPH Multi-Sensor with Dual Optical Technology can reduce unwanted False Fire Alarms in Student Accommodation and other public buildings. Running the presentation along with our EV-DP video clip was well received with attendees including leading experts from the university accommodation sector.
Across the world, fire and rescue services vary greatly, and each will have their own unique circumstances and challenges to deal with. Firefighters in the USA and Australia are more likely to face wildland fires, whilst in the Middle East, firefighters deal more regularly with transport related fires involving hazardous materials. In many European countries, less than 10% of call-outs are fire related at all, with firefighters much more likely to attend traffic accidents, medical emergencies or flooding. A range of different climates also provide firefighters with specific challenges. Providing Optimum Protection These fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight Firefighters in hot and tropical Indonesia for example, will have different requirements to those in hot and arid South Africa, whilst those in Scandinavia operate in more temperate and cooler conditions. It’s important, therefore, that PPE manufacturers can provide a wide variety of options to suit particular environments and operations. PPE must be highly effective, comfortable, and suitable for the job in hand, wherever in the world the firefighters are operating. Selecting the right fabric for your PPE is the first step in providing optimum protection for the environment you are operating in. International fibre and fabric manufacturers have developed a number of highly specialized materials offering a range of benefits. Used in combination, these fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight. Best Quality Firefighting Garments Highly specialized and lightweight fibers for the outer-shell of a garment, for example, can provide outstanding air permeability and breathability, allowing metabolic heat to escape, whilst of course providing vital protection against the intense external heat and flames of a fire. The best quality firefighting garments combine this type of outer shell with an inner moisture barrier and liner system which draws moisture away from the skin, helping to keep the body cool and dry. Strenuous work in a hot environment causes profuse sweating, and if this sweat is not able to evaporate, the body is not able to cool itself effectively. Once the most appropriate fabric is chosen, the design and style of a garment also plays a crucial role in contributing to a firefighters’ safety. Maintaining A Comfortable Body Temperature Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed Whether operating in bushland, floods, on the roadside or even in extremely cold conditions, firefighters need to maintain a comfortable body temperature and stay dry. They are also likely to need to crawl, run, and climb to carry out the job in hand. Any protective clothing must be ergonomic and has to be able to work with them rather than hinder them. As a result, over and above the full structural firefighting garments available to FRSs, manufacturers have also developed innovative designs for more specific applications. For example, Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed, with USAR or technical rescue teams entering enclosed and confined spaces where high temperatures and often toxic smoke are hazards. Particular Protection Against Radiant Heat USAR firefighting garments therefore should be tear and puncture resistant, provide protection against blood-borne pathogens, offer physical protection at high risk points such as the knees and elbows, provide a high level of flexibility to afford maneuvrability in confined spaces, and crucially be lightweight and breathable to minimize heat stress. Alternatively, for firefighters engaged specifically in combatting forest and wildland fires, garments need to provide particular protection against radiant heat, and ideally feature a double layer of fabric to protect against sharp thorns and undergrowth. Today, many FRSs across the world use a combination of structural and technical rescue garments which can be particularly useful when faced with a range of operations requiring different levels of protection. Rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident International Standards Of Performance For PPE Frequently, rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident, for example. So long as these garments are tested and approved as compatible before they are used in combination, this can serve to improve ergonomics and comfort, and crucially can contribute to the lowering of heat stress in firefighters. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage To ensure the best level of protection, most countries demand conformity with both national and international standards of performance for PPE. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) which covers the USA, Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) which covers Europe, and the International Standards Organisation (ISO) which sets standards worldwide. Lighting And Communications Equipment In addition, each country will have its own National Standards Body (NSB), setting standards for its own specific interests. Ultimately, it is down to the customer to decide which standards they would like their PPE to follow. The best manufacturers can create PPE to meet a number of these standards simultaneously. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats Different countries, and even individual FRSs, often have particular additional requirements for their PPE, which can simply be down to style or color preference, or to accommodate particular tools or equipment they use. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats. Operational safety features such as integrated safety harnesses and drag rescue devices can also be specified. In addition, firefighter accessories including tools, lighting and communications equipment all have to be carried safely requiring a selection of loops, straps, D-rings, glove hooks, and pockets and flaps. Developing Innovative Solutions Finally, most FRSs aim to present a professional and clearly recognizable identity to their communities, so particular colors and badging can be an important feature of PPE. This has led to the introduction of a wide range of fabric colors and the increased use of Velcro fixings for identification badges with logos, names and roles being individually catered for. Called upon to handle an ever-increasing variety of challenges, in contrasting climates and situations, firefighters across the world are certainly faced with complex environments in which to operate. By carefully studying these conditions and listening closely to customers, PPE designers and fabric manufacturers will continue to work together to develop innovative solutions to meet these specific needs and create optimum garments for maximum protection and comfort.
Across the country, law enforcement officers are finding it increasingly difficult to respond to the near overwhelming number of calls coming from security alarms. Police departments commonly define a false alarm as a call, which upon investigation, shows no evidence of criminal activity, such as broken windows, forced doors, items missing, or people injured. While false alarms bog down police, they can also negatively impact customers and integrators. End users can expect hefty fines for false alarm responses, and when these customers receive large bills from the city, many turn to installers, dealers, and even manufacturers expecting them to accept the responsibility and pay the check. What First Brought The Issue Of Alarm Verification To Your Attention? It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight I’ve been aware of the problem of false alarms for about 5 years. I believed audio capture, through microphone deployment, could be an active part of the solution when used as a second source for indicating ‘out of the norm’ activity and as an equal component with the video surveillance technology. In 2015, I found similarly minded security professionals when introduced to the Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response. After reading PPVAR’s paper on ‘Audio Verified Alarms Best Practices; [April 2015],’ I knew that the Partnership was on to something important. In our lives, two of the five senses we count on day-in and day-out are sight and sound. It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight. What Is The False Alarm Rate? In 2016, the International Association of Chiefs of Police reported that over 98 percent of all alarm calls in the United States were false. This number is obviously staggering, and something we need to work towards correcting. Why Did This Issue Resonate So Strongly With You? When I first investigated this issue, I was sure that the security industry would have already recognized this and was acting to ensure improved alarm verification, preferably through a combination of audio and video technologies. However, I quickly saw that this was not the case, or even close to the norm. I have questioned the rationale behind the lack of adoption and found the deployment of audio is often hindered by the concern of privacy. I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio As CEO of Louroe Electronics, I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio. I’ve had to reassure many security personnel and customers how the law supports the use of audio in public places as long as there is no expectation of privacy. By dispelling fears with facts around deploying and implementing audio sensors, customers can confidently include audio in their surveillance systems and gain a more effective security solution. Who Is Affected By This? Truth be told, everyone from the end user to the manufacturer is affected by this issue. Not to mention the strain this puts on law enforcement who are tired of ‘wasting time’ and effort out in the field on these nuisance alerts. When an end user receives a check for their false alarm, many of them will immediately blame the integrator and or the monitoring center for a faulty set up and management and expect the integrator to remedy the situation, including carry the burden of paying the fines. The integrator, on the other hand, will turn to the manufacturer, assuming faulty equipment and installation instructions; therefore, looking for reimbursement for the cost. What Is The Average False Alarm Fee? It depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for responseIt depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for response. According to the Urban Institute, fees generally range from $25-$100 for the first offense, rising as high as a few thousand dollars per false alarm if a location has a large number in a single year. What’s worse, in extreme cases, alarm systems may even be blacklisted by the police dispatch center if they have raised too many false alarms in the past. Why Do You Believe Audio Is The Ideal Technology For Secondary Source Verification? Video surveillance has been the main option for security monitoring and alarm validation for decades, however industry professionals are realising that video alone is not enough. Video only tells half of the story, by adding audio capture, the responsible party gains a turnkey solution with the ability to gather additional evidence to verify alerts and expand overall awareness. In reality, audio’s range is greater than the field of view for a camera. Sound pickup is 360 degrees, capturing voices, gunshots, breaking glass, sirens, or other important details that a fixed camera many not see. How Would A Secondary Source Verification System Work With Audio? Using a video monitoring solution equipped with audio, the microphone will pick up the sounds at the time a visual alert or alarm is triggered. If embedded with classification analytics, the microphone will send alerts for specific detected sounds. The captured audio, and any notifications are immediately sent to the monitoring station, where trained personnel can listen to the sound clip, along with live audio and video from their station. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response From here, an informed decision can then be made about the validity of the alarm, along with what the current threat is at the location. If the alarm is in fact valid, the information is then passed along to the law enforcement within minutes. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response. It also provides more information in a forensic evaluation. Are There Any Additional Resources You Would Suggest Looking Into? Yes, we would suggest looking into the following to see a few different perspectives on the matter: NSA Support For 2018 Model Ordinance For Alarm Management and False Alarm Reduction Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response Support for the Term “Verified Alarm” and Prioritising Verified Alarm Responses Urban Institute Opportunities for Police Cost Savings without Sacrificing Service Quality: Reducing False Alarms
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 ensure your property is prepared, should there ever be a fire. Equipment Assessment Checks There are two types of equipment assessment checks that should be carried out, including monthly and annually If you’re the ‘responsible person’ for commercial property, you need to ensure your building meets fire safety standards. Here are 5 tips on how to properly maintain your fire safety equipment. Both passive and active fire safety equipment must be check regularly for any signs of wear or damage. There are two types of equipment assessment checks that should be carried out, including monthly and annually. There is a range of equipment checks you must carry out, including fire doors, fire alarm test, emergency lighting and fire extinguishers. Emergency lighting should be checked monthly, with all issues kept in a logbook. Fire doors should also be checked to ensure their seals and frames are in good condition. Fire Alarm Tests All fire protection has to be checked annually including alarms, detectors, lighting, sprinklers, extinguishers and fire doors. They should be carefully inspected. Fire alarms are a legal requirement for commercial premises. To check that your Fire alarms still function correctly, it is important to get them serviced. All fire alarms should be tested, maintained and inspected by a competent person who is able to carry out any remedial work. Fire alarms are a legal requirement for commercial premises Fire extinguishers must be ready to work straight away in the event of a fire, so it is vital they are regularly checked and serviced. You should ensure they are maintained and kept in a functional condition. Every month, the pressure gauge should be tested on all fire extinguishers. Fire Risk Assessments Every year, it is required that a qualified technician carries out a thorough check on all your extinguishers for them to be fully serviced and certified. In addition to regular maintenance checks on your fire safety equipment, it is vital your commercial property has a fire risk assessment carried out every 4 years, with a renewal every 2 years. Fully trained and qualified assessors should undertake this to make sure it is done professionally Fully trained and qualified assessors should undertake this to make sure it is done professionally. By having a fire risk assessment review, it determines whether any changes could impact the ability for your equipment to properly protect your building. Fire Safety Logbook During a risk assessment, all fire doors must be checked to ensure they are in good condition and close efficiently with secure hinges. The fire seals must be fixed in position, with signs on the door present and legible. To keep an overview of all findings and actions, there should be a fire safety logbook and maintenance record that remains at your premises at all times. The logbook is used to record and review any significant findings when carrying out the fire risk assessment. This helps to keep all fire safety equipment functioning effectively and available to respond to emergency fires.
Colossus, a fire-fighting robot, was deployed in the nave of the Notre Dame cathedral during the destructive fire on April 15 in Paris. Pumping water high into the air and onto the flames, the robot was instrumental in turning the tide for firefighters, extinguishing the fire and lowering temperatures inside the nave. Colossus was developed by the French Company Shark Robotics and deployed with the Paris Fire Brigade. The caterpillar-tracked robot stands just two and a half feet tall, weighs 1,000 pounds and can carry another 1,100 pounds of equipment. At Notre Dame it helped firefighters extinguish the blaze and mostly save 850 years of history. It helped firefighters extinguish the blaze and mostly save 850 years of history Robots in firefighting The historic use of Colossus illustrates the growing role of robotics in firefighting, including mobile systems with advanced features to assist an operator in navigation and to perform a wider range of tasks. According to Brian Lattimer, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Virginia Tech, a robotic system is a mechanical device that performs a task using sensors to perceive its environment, computer programs to control the robot based on its environment, and a human operator to assist with robot operation. A variety of robotic systems support a range of fire events, whether involving structures, vehicles, aircrafts, shops or wildlands, he says. In addition, the functionality of robot systems varies to support firefighters in tasks such as sizing up the fire, identifying trapped people, locating the fire, monitoring conditions, controlling fire spread and suppression, says Lattimer. Sizing up the fire, identifying trapped people, locating the fire, monitoring conditions, controlling fire spread and suppression automated robotics Also, aerial robotics such as drones provide added situational awareness, and indoor robots can eliminate fires at close range. There are also fixed systems, such as automated fire monitors, that can be used to extinguish significant fire hazards rapidly. Several robots have found utility in the fire service in recent years. Fire-fighting robots were essential for suppressing the blaze at Notre Dame Other life-saving robots The Tactical Hazardous Operations Robot (THOR), developed for the U.S. Navy’s Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFIR) program, is a human-like robot that can travel across unstable floors on ships, utilize hoses, and open doors. Because Navy ships have hazardous materials on board, extinguishing fires is critical. The robot uses stereoscopic thermal imaging and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors to navigate. It walks and works semi-autonomously with the help of a remote operator. The Thermite Robot is a small tank created by Howe and Howe Technologies for the U.S. Army. The Thermite RS1-T4 is remotely operated with a belly-pack controller that provides high-definition and infrared video in real-time. It has the power to push vehicles from its path, the agility to climb stars and can output 1,250 gpm of water at 200 psi. Thermite is designed as an advanced tool to help operators combat fires safely and efficiently. It has the power to push vehicles from its path, the agility to climb stars and can output 1,250 gpm of water at 200 psi Turbine Aided Firefighting Machine (TAF 20) is a robot created by Emicontrols, a subsidiary of the TechnoAlpin Group. Designed for small spaces such as tunnels, it uses a turbine to clear smoke, move obstacles with a bulldozer blade and focus its water spray from a mist to a jet. an emerging technology component The Fire Ox, a robotic firefighting vehicle that carries its own water tank, is designed as a first response unit. It suppresses fires, assists in search and rescue, and can handle dangerous materials. It is semi-autonomous and can be controlled from up to 200 miles away. Research at Purdue University has yielded firefighting robots with an automatic T-valve system, a “discharge valve,” that can remove water from the fire hose whenever a robot moves to a new location. The technology takes less energy and enables a firefighting robot to maneuver more quickly and efficiently around a burning structure. Robots can withstand hazardous environments and help to avoid injury to firefighters. They are an emerging technology component that will impact the art and science of firefighting for years to come.
How can a building’s fire systems be integrated with access control and other security systems to ensure effective function of both? It can be a challenging and delicate endeavor. Integration of fire and security systems provides multiple benefits and some challenges to be addressed. It is useful to consider fire and security systems as part of the same overall mission to keep a building and its occupants safe, while also being attentive to the differing roles of the systems and how they can complement each other. integrating security and fire systems Integrating security and fire systems is becoming paramount to create improved efficiency “There’s a conflict between life safety and security systems,” says Karen Trigg, Business Development Manager, South East, for lock company Allegion (UK) Ltd. “We must secure buildings without impeding the flow of movement and hindering immediate escape should a fire incident occur. To do this, we must have a greater understanding of building requirements.” In today’s world, integrating security and fire systems is becoming paramount to create improved efficiency and effectiveness of a building’s safety technology — and this integration can provide monumental benefits, says Eric Widlitz, Vice President of Sales for North America for access control company Vanderbilt Industries. video management systems For example, in the event of a fire, an alarm from a fire system can trigger an access control system to release locks on fire escape doors, as well as generate muster reports to provide information on who is inside the building, says Widlitz. “Additionally, video management systems have the ability to provide access to real-time, remote video footage of the fire’s actual location, helping firefighters and other emergency personnel to assess the situation and respond with greater accuracy.” Many challenges and opportunities that facilities face when integrating systems relate to whether a building’s infrastructure is designed well enough to connect security and fire systems, says Julie Brown, Institutional Market Leader for Johnson Controls. By conducting a site assessment first, owners and managers can better determine where physical building updates may be needed. Integration Of Video Surveillance And Fire Alarms Adjusting design in this case can eventually help make the integration of video surveillance and fire alarms easier" For example, if video surveillance is obstructed in certain areas, owners need to identify if the cameras can be moved to a better location or if physical alterations to the building are needed. “Adjusting design in this case can eventually help make the integration of video surveillance and fire alarms easier,” says Brown. “In the event that a fire alarm sounds, owners can have peace of mind that their cameras have an unobstructed view and that they can be automatically alerted to provide visibility into the area affected and potential cause of the alarm. It is critical to occupant safety that building owners address any design hurdles. Budget is often an issue,” says Trigg. “Although a challenge, understanding budgets – not only for the system in place but also ongoing maintenance and upgrades – helps uncover the correct solution, showing that the ‘cheaper option’ may cost more in the long run for some.” thermal imaging cameras Joe Byron, Vice President for the Americas for MOBOTIX Corp, says integrating fire and security opens the door to a world of possibilities. “When specifically looking at industrial applications, these systems require an added layer of reliability in order to guarantee workplace safety and operational efficiency,” he says. This technology is tied into the fire-suppression system and can monitor the temperature of specified machines" Byron points to a specific deployment as an example: MOBOTIX’s work with KUHN RIKON, a world-renowned cookware manufacturer. In 2015, during mechanical pot polishing, an abrasive component spontaneously combusted causing a large-scale fire, leading to a dust explosion, says Byron. “While an unfortunate tragedy, this led to an opportunity to outfit the plant with thermal imaging cameras,” he adds. “This technology is tied into the fire-suppression system and can monitor the temperature of specified machines. With built-in logic, the cameras can alert technicians to heat warnings and, if not acted upon, can automatically shut-down the machinery and queue fire systems if required.” Fire And Security Systems A well-designed and integrated control room can help to organize, automate and streamline critical sensors by implementing workstations that transmit only the most critical information at any given time. “Additionally, operators are better equipped to make more educated and timely decision by leveraging audible alarms, visual LED indicators and video displays with built-in intelligence to change content based on triggers from third-party systems such as fire, building automation and access control,” says Dan Gundry, Director of National Control Room Sales for Vistacom. At the end of the day, fire and security systems are two elements of the same mission: To keep buildings and their occupants safe. However, the two systems often operate independently and may not be integrated. More integration offers benefits, but there are pitfalls to be avoided.
Among the tools of the fire service, some of the most powerful are hand-held devices. These technologies provide information to firefighters than can direct their approaches to emergency situations and safe lives. Today, more powerful devices are available in smaller, hand-held form, sometimes taking the place of much larger and more expensive devices. For example, previously the Los Angeles Fire Department carried just one large thermal imaging camera (TIC) that cost upwards of $10,000 on each fire engine. Structure Damage Evaluation Los Angeles is one of the municipal fire departments in the country to equip every on-duty firefighter with a hand-held TIC A new, smartphone-sized TIC from Seek Thermal, Santa Barbara, Calif., costs just $750 and now offers each firefighter the ability to perform faster search and rescues, execute a self-rescue if needed and locate smoldering hot spots. Los Angeles is one of the largest municipal fire departments in the country to equip every on-duty firefighter with a hand-held TIC. The purchase of a thousand TICs for the LAFD was made possible by the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation through the support of individual donors and organizations such as the Wasserman Foundation and California Community Foundation. Hand-held TICs are becoming more and more popular. FLIR has unveiled the K1 handheld TIC that is more affordable for first responder officers and fire investigators. At $599, the K1 detects heat and provides visibility through smoke and in total darkness to enhance situational awareness for use in wildland fire control, search and rescue missions, structure damage evaluation and investigative work. FLIR has unveiled the K1 handheld TIC that is affordable for first responder officers and fire investigators Gas Leak Detector The K1 is powered by the FLIR Lepton thermal microcamera and uses MSX technology, which extracts high-contrast details from the images taken by an onboard visible light camera and superimposes them onto the thermal images. It simultaneously captures thermal and visible images of a scene and stores up to 10,000 image sets to create post-scene reports, analysis and evidence. A pistol grip design allows firefighters to view a scene from their line-of-sight for improved safety and situational awareness. A spot thermometer easily identifies unseen hot and cold spots for instant troubleshooting. New handheld devices in the fire service also include a gas leak detector and a combination device that is cloud-ready. The Ultra-Trac LZ-30 compact methane-specific leak detector from Sensit Technologies provides fast and accurate readings up to 100 feet away. The device uses TDLAS (tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy) to provide instantaneous alerts to the presence of methane. Potentially Dangerous Situations Firefighters can conduct leak detection investigations themselves without the need for PPM detectors Operating at a distance, the LZ-30 eliminates the need for firefighters to access the gas plume directly and keeps them safe from potentially dangerous situations. They don’t have to climb to elevated areas or access fenced-in property or climb to elevated areas. Firefighters can conduct leak detection investigations themselves without the need for specialized PPM detectors – no need to wait for gas engineers. A simple interface provides user-friendly operation of the ergonomically designed instrument. Another wireless, handheld device includes thermal imaging, firefighter ranging, motion alarm and cloud technology with GPS. MSA Fire’s LUNAR is a small, wireless, cloud-ready device designed to provide higher levels of protection for firefighters through enhanced vision, improved situational awareness, and team connectivity. It is part of a suite of SMA products that, when used together provides a new platform for firefighter safety. MSA Fire’s LUNAR is a small, wireless, cloud-ready device designed to provide higher levels of protection for firefighters Better Situational Awareness It can be used as a stand-alone device or as part of an MSA self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) system. Thermal imaging increases visibility and improves situational awareness. Firefighter ranging combines direction and distance information to find separated teammates and decrease response time. A motion alarm sounds an alert if it does not detect a firefighter’s motion. Production of the device will begin in summer 2020. The ability to provide better situational awareness to firefighters in the palm of their hands can go a long way toward keeping firefighters safer. For example, LAFD says the thousand new TICs are a significant technology purchase and a critical component to their ‘Everyone Goes Home’ initiative. We often marvel at the powers of modern technology, and clearly those powers include saving lives.
Nittan Europe, UK manufacturer of conventional and addressable fire detection products, has had its Evolution analog addressable fire detection system installed into TOR School in Glastonbury, Somerset. The system was installed by Coomber Fire and Security Systems who are a Nittan Elite Partner and BAFE SP203-1 & SP101 accredited. The TOR School is an alternative to mainstream school for children and young people who may be struggling to cope in their existing educational environment in the Mendip area of Somerset. As a part of a recent expansion project, a new building has been added which required a comprehensive fire detection system. Addressable Fire Detection System They have been designed to reduce false alarms caused by non-combustion products The Nittan Evolution analog addressable fire detection system, installed by Coomber Fire & Security Systems, has provided the school with a system which is not only reliable, resilient to false alarm, and simple to use, but also saved the school time and money. At the heart of the system is Nittan’s evolution1 control panel, with Nittan EV-PS Photoelectric Smoke Detectors with in-built sounder and EV-DP Dual Wavelength Photoelectric Smoke Detectors. Nittan’s Evolution EV-DP smoke detectors have been installed by Coomber Fire & Security Systems in the science labs and DT workshops to prevent false alarms. They are ideally suited to this demanding environment as they have been designed to reduce false alarms caused by non-combustion products such as steam, dust and aerosols. Optical Smoke Sensor As steam and dust are much larger particles than smoke, the detector won’t false alarmUnlike other industry standard (single optical sensor) smoke detectors on the market that claim to distinguish between smoke and non-combustion products, the EV-DP effectively measures the actual particle size in the chamber via its combined IR and blue LED technology. As steam and dust are much larger particles than smoke, the detector won’t false alarm. Also highly reliable, the Evolution EV-PS Optical Smoke Sensor installed across other areas of the school building has the added benefit of the sounder fully integrated within the sensor itself. This makes for a cost effective, quick installation and is more aesthetically pleasing. The Nittan evolution 1 panel provides complete control and monitoring capabilities for all system devices and has especially been designed with the needs of both the installer and end user in mind. Most Addressable Systems Ease of use was paramount and the panel’s LCD touch screen display and intuitive, easy to use menu structure met this, making the handover from Coomber to the customer very straightforward. Staff at Mendip Partnership School are confident in how to operate the system. Evolution 1 panels have very comprehensive, but simple to use ‘Cause and Effect’ capabilities Evolution 1 panels have very comprehensive, but simple to use ‘Cause and Effect’ capabilities and, like most addressable systems, allow comprehensive programming of the sounder outputs. Furthermore, the Cause and Effect matrix can be set up via the onboard touch screen and menu structure or using the PC tools and downloaded to the panel. The panel also has two configurable rs485 ports for connection and supports up to eight separate password protected users, so that all nominated members from the school can easily access it. Ensuring Total Fire Security For Its Customers Lee James, General Manager – Product Marketing at Nittan said, “Nittan takes care to not only ensure total fire security for its customers, but also puts special attention in fostering relationships with its partners. Coomber Fire & Security Systems, the largest independent fire and security installer in Somerset, is one of our Elite Partners.” “This program was developed by us to acknowledge and reward a select group of installation partners that have shown commitment to promoting the Nittan brand and have undertaken product training to a high level in order to ensure the uppermost standards of customer service. Their work on this project is testament to that.”
An Advanced MxPro, multiprotocol fire system and Apollo detection has been installed to protect people and premises at the Magistrate's Court in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Representing a total upgrade of the previous fire protection to meet L1 requirements, the new intelligent fire system was installed by Network Security & Fire, based in Basingstoke. The original, single loop addressable fire system had been renewed at various points previously, but was no longer fit for purpose. The Estates team specified a new analogue addressable system with high sensitivity smoke detection in the custody suite, together with an automated Voice Alarm (VA) system. Out-of-hours installation The roof void in each court has a central dome that rises two storeys at its highest point" There was no possibility of closing the building while the upgrade was made, so installation of the new fire equipment had to take place out of hours. This was not the only challenge on the project, as John Angell, Contract Manager, Network Fire & Security, explains, "In addition to limited access, we had to take into consideration the need to rewire the vast majority of the system. This was compounded by the design of the building, which features plasterboard ceilings, rather than suspended ceilings, and made access to voids for cable-laying quite difficult." "Within the courtrooms themselves, we also had to take into account the high ceiling heights. The roof void in each court has a central dome that rises two storeys at its highest point. This was not only an issue during installation but could have restricted access for essential maintenance. We were able to overcome this aspect by positioning the fire detectors around the coffer that surrounds the central roof dome." Advanced MxPro control panels Network Security & Fire recommended a fire system, configured around three networked Advanced MxPro control panels carries 260 Apollo Discovery devices, including optical smoke and heat detectors, loop-powered beacons, manual call points and interfaces. It is pre-programmed with a series of automated messages that are activated in the event of an alert A modular voice alarm system is included, which comprises three master and five slave units. It is pre-programmed with a series of automated messages that are activated in the event of an alert, but there is also an option for manual intervention to broadcast bespoke messages using a microphone. Incident detection If an alarm is raised by devices within the courtroom areas, evacuation procedures are initiated in these zones and an alert is transmitted to the custody suite. Equally, should an incident be detected in the custody suite this area will be evacuated immediately and the court areas are put on stand-by. John Angell concludes, "Considering all the challenges regarding the 'live' site and other installation restrictions, this project went incredibly smoothly. We have been able to equip the Magistrate's Court with a modern fire detection system that is reliable, easy to use and flexible enough to meet current and future requirements."
Established in 1984 in South Africa to contract in the Fire Detection and Automatic Extinguishing Systems market, Specifire prides itself on providing a professional approach to each individual customer. Building on this success, the company expanded in 1995, opening a sprinkler division that is now the biggest installer of fire protection and detection systems in KwaZulu-Natal region, in South Africa. Thanks to its excellent reputation, Specifire has steadily built up a large client base that includes some of South Africa’s biggest companies, including Sappi Fine Papers, Illovo Sugar, Hulamin, Toyota S.A., Unilever and numerous shopping centers. Fire protection and detection systems installed Specifire focuses almost exclusively on the KwaZulu-Natal region, including the city of Durban Specifire focuses almost exclusively on the KwaZulu-Natal region, including the city of Durban – which accounts for approximately 95% of its business. Featuring 150 employees, the company sees annual revenue of up to £6 million – thanks largely in part to the installation of fire control technology in industrial sites such as sugar mills and warehouses. “For our customers, price is always a consideration, so we aim to be competitive, but at the same time we don’t want to compromise our high quality,” explained Martin Holmes, Managing Director, Specifire. “We do everything in-house, from design to fabrication to installation, and finish every project on time.” AutoCAD and Tyco sprinkler systems In over thirty years of business, Specifire has seen exponential growth in the marketplace and constantly evolves its own operations to meet changing demands. The implementation of a new management structure is just one of its latest innovations, along with a renewed focus on services rather than simple installation. “Our mission is to provide the very best in design, installation and service; leveraging advanced technologies such as AutoCAD and Tyco sprinkler systems. By putting detailed planning at the heart of every project, we can ensure success,” added Holmes. “Furthermore, by focusing more on services, we can generate annuity income on a regular basis.” Tycoin-rack and roof sprinklers One recent project that showcases Specifire’s attention to design and detail is the deployment of circa 20, 000 Tycoin-rack and roof sprinklers in a large clothing warehouse. Founded in 1965, PEP Stores is a large multinational discount clothing company based in Cape Town. Operating in 11 countries, including Australia and Poland, the company employs approximately 44,000 people. Operating more than 4,600 retail outlets, the company wanted to build a new 90,000 m2 central hub warehouse that would house and protect its precious inventory from fire damage. Tyco high velocity sprayers and guards Specifire has installed 75% of the Tyco sprinklers and is on target to complete the project within the agreed schedule"“Pepkor has consolidated all its warehousing facilities into one single distribution depot and needed a robust fire-protection solution. We put together a design concept with guaranteed compliance with regulations and won the business,” continued Holmes. “In the past five months, we have installed 75% of the Tyco sprinklers and we are on target to complete the project within the agreed tight schedule.” The Tyco in-rack and roof sprinklers, along with Tyco high velocity sprayers and guards and pre-trimmed wet Alarm Valve (AV-1) assemblies will ensure that millions of dollars’ worth of stock will be protected from fire. The Tyco TY-B Conventional Sprinkler automatically distributes water in a spherical pattern below the deflector. The benefits of this conventional sprinkler include – Quality products that give peace of mind Competitive prices that don’t compromise on quality Effective fire protection of valuable stock “We are the current holder of the ASIB “Best Installation Award” for our nearly £1 million installation at the new premises of Unilever in Durban and we wanted this ambitious project to be similarly well regarded,” said Holmes. “It is certainly a flagship example of how to properly integrate fire protection into a Greenfield development.” Enhanced fire safety and protection For Pepkor, the clear benefits are having peace of mind when it comes to fire protection as well as security in terms of full regulatory compliance. For Specifire, its relationship with Tyco products delivers multiple advantages; from the quality of the sprinklers and valves to the support it receives. “Tyco not only supplies premium quality products at affordable prices, but also has a strong local presence so I know that if I have a question, it will get answered quickly,” commented Holmes. “There are support boffins in the region who will happily come talk about the equipment and respond to any technical enquiries.” Meticulous fire protection specialist Tyco not only supplies premium quality produce at affordable prices but also has a strong local presence" “Tyco not only supplies premium quality produce at affordable prices but also has a strong local presence so I know that if I have a question, it will get answered quickly.” Martin Holmes, MD, Specifire With the Pepkor project nearing completion, Specifire is looking to the future and hoping to build on its reputation as the region’s most professional and meticulous fire protection specialist. It fully expects Tyco products to continue to play a vital role in the company’s ongoing development. Tyco fire safety equipment and solutions Holmes concludes, “The supply, delivery and service we receive from Tyco is excellent; any concerns regarding pricing, availability and technical detail are answered within a day by the local Tyco team,” concluded Holmes. “I simply don’t get that level of support from anyone else.” TYCO Products are part of Johnson Controls, a global diversified technology and multi industrial solutions provider serving a wide range of customers in more than 150 countries globally.
Founded more than 20 years ago, CLF-SATREM now employs over 200 people. The company covers seven French regions and saw more than £32 million in turnover in 2015. CLF-SATREM provides the comprehensive installation and maintenance of fixed systems for automatic fire protection using sprinklers and RIA, as well as specialized systems such as water mist and special hazards. Installation of fixed systems CLF-SATREM has enjoyed strong and steady growth since its inception, during which time the company has been involved in flagship projects such as the renovation of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France. However, the introduction of new regulations, combined with a more competitive global economy, is presenting challenges. When it comes to suppliers and partners, CLF-SATREM takes various criteria into account, such as cost and quality. “Certification is a necessity. At the same time, we can feel the contraction of the global market and that puts pressure on us,” explained Pierre Breillout, General Manager, CLF-SATREM. He adds, “However, we have remained at the forefront of the market with increasing revenues because we plan every project in detail, limit potential risk, respond to customer needs and work with the best suppliers.” CLF-SATREM specialized systems When it comes to suppliers and partners, CLF-SATREM takes various criteria into account, most importantly cost and quality. Having used Tyco products in numerous projects, CLF-SATREM is well aware of their unique qualities and how they help overcome the special demands of each and every project. “We rely on a small group of handpicked partners to supply us with the best technology for the job in hand, enabling us to mix and match according to the job specifications,” added Mr. Breillout. “This enables us to be very flexible when responding to RFPs and maximizes our chances of winning new business. It also means we can capitalize on the fast-growing residential market”.
HR Sprinkler is a Norwegian sprinkler solutions provider based in Oslo. Formed in 2013 and offering services ranging from CAD to installation, the company had nearly doubled its revenue to more than £4 million in only its second year. Despite such success, the company is not aiming for world domination. “We’re very happy focusing on the Norwegian market,” said Adam Henrysson, Project Manager, HR Sprinkler. “The economy here is doing well, there is plenty of new construction work. Our focus is on quality of service. That will be key to the success of the business.” Turbine house and water mill For the redevelopment project in Oslo, HR Sprinkler uses Tyco multi-layer composite sprinkler pipes The company is already involved in some of Norway’s most high-profile developments; one being a large-scale redevelopment project in Kvaernerbyen in Oslo. This stunning transformation of a former industrial site, five minutes from the capital’s downtown, began back in 2005 with the demolition of various buildings. The masterplan is to create 1,800 new homes and 55,000 sqm of commercial space; most of which is being converted from existing 150-year-old industrial buildings, including a turbine house and water mill. As with all such complex projects, there are various issues that must be overcome, “There is rigorous site safety,” said Henrysson. “Plus, we need the install to be as quick and efficient as possible – it is a very busy site and we also need to keep an eye on cost.” Composite sprinkler pipes For HR Sprinkler, the solution lies with Tyco fire protection products and components. For the redevelopment project in Oslo, HR Sprinkler uses Tyco multi-layer composite sprinkler pipes (MLCP-S). These pipes combine the advantages of both plastic and metal pipes; offering maximum flexibility and robustness as well as high pressure and temperature load capacities. Tyco MLCP-S sprinkler pipes consist of a safety-welded aluminum pipe equipped with a single polyethylene layer both on the inside and outside that offers raised temperature resistance. These layers are permanently bound to each other by means of an in-between bond coat. These Tyco pipes are designed in such a way that the aluminum layer neutralizes the restoring force of the plastic. This makes it much easier for HR Sprinkler to install the pipes because the force needed to bend the pipe can be kept low. fire sprinkler assemblies We did not need to employ overly skilled specialists on the install, and we met all site safety" In addition, the use of LFII Residential Sprinklers, with Drop Nipples, allows HR Sprinkler to install all sprinklers and pressure test the complete system before the gypsum ceiling is installed. This enables HR Sprinkler to adjust fire sprinkler assemblies (concealed, recessed and pendent) and fit them flush to the finished ceiling. There are many benefits of this, including a reduction in coupling assembly and labor by allowing for the easy adjustment of the Drop Nipple between a branch line and pendant sprinkler. “Tyco products cover everything we need, and everything works together,” said Henrysson. “It makes the entire project far simpler for us. Also, Tyco products are globally recognized. Everyone knows Tyco solutions work.” residential sprinkler installations The Tyco solutions used in the Kvaernerbyen project enabled HR Sprinkler to reduce the working hours usually needed for such residential sprinkler installations by approximately 50%. “Tyco products cover everything we need, and everything works together. It makes the entire project far simpler for us. Also, Tyco products are globally recognized. Everyone knows Tyco solutions work.” Adam Henrysson, Project Manager, HR Sprinkler added, “It made the installation as quick and simple as possible. We did not need to employ overly skilled specialists on the install, and we met all site safety. Clearly this has a benefit to our bottom line, but it also has a tremendous impact on our reputation. We’re seen as a business that can deliver against tight deadlines on highprofile projects. That wins us new business.”
Nittan Fire Alarm system protects the ‘Better Life Hospital’, Bangladesh. Nittan partner, Unique Multi Engineering Limited have installed a comprehensive UL approved Nittan SPERA Fire Alarm system to protect the Better Life Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The system consisting of Nittan’s UL approved NFU-7000 Fire Alarm control panel, 325 detection devices and 36 Pull Stations with 36 Bells. Japanese Designed Fire Alarm Devices The Far Group who own and operate the 18 floor hospital building, containing 226 patient beds and 6 operating theatres, chose Unique Multi Engineering to lead this project due to their strong technical team and commitment to customer service. Nittan’s state of the art SPERA system, was specified due to the proven reliability of their Japanese designed Fire Alarm devices, plus the assurance that all parts carry UL approval.