Understanding the underlying causes of wildfires enables us to control them better over the long haul. One element is climate change, which has created conditions prone to wildfires by increasing heat, changing rain and snow patterns, and shifting plant communities. But there are also other contributing factors in the growing scale and intensity of wildfires. One is the condition of the forests in Australia, California, and other areas where the incidence of wildfires has increased. In Californ...
DMP releases its new line of alarm communication radios that are FirstNet Ready™ and approved for use on FirstNet®. FirstNet is built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority and is the only nationwide, high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built specifically for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community. It’s the solution to decades-long interoperability and communica...
Following its General Assembly, Euralarm will organize an industry webinar that will run from 16:00 - 16:50 (CET) on October 29, 2020. The webinar is intended to look at the key regulations and standards that affect gaseous extinguishing systems in Europe and to distinguish between approved gaseous fire extinguishing systems and approved components, which is the subject of the recent Euralarm document titled, Guidance on Gaseous Systems: approved systems versus approved components. Free registr...
Comelit Group’s dedicated fire division has achieved the stringent EN54-13 standards for its analog addressable fire detection system. The globally renowned fire safety solutions specialist, known for its high specification solutions, presents a range of specialist fire solutions, including conventional systems that are particularly suited to fire detection in smaller facilities and buildings with simple layouts. Atena addressable panels Comelit’s Atena addressable panels can iden...
Valuation and home survey processes were previously insufficient to establish whether or not external cladding on high-rise buildings [over 18 m height] contains combustible material and therefore would facilitate the spread of fire. Following the Grenfell tragedy and subsequent MHCLG [Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government] guidance, RICS [Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors] along with UKF [UK Finance] and BSA [Building Societies Association] developed so-called EWS-1 form...
Integrated Fire Safety Systems Ltd, a provider in the design, installation, commissioning, and service of fire safety systems has announces it has attained Loss Prevention Standard (LPS) 1014 certified status. This is part of its ongoing strategy to expand its list of accreditations and certifications and provide customers with the reassurance that they comply with, and correctly manage system design, installation, commissioning and servicing of fire detection and alarm systems. Fire and secur...
Honeywell, a global provider of fire and life safety, launched the first tools from its new suite of Connected Life Safety Services (CLSS), its first all-in-one cloud platform for fire safety systems. Honeywell’s CLSS suite of tools, built on the Honeywell Forge platform, enable fire technicians to minimize disruption, prove compliance and reduce time needed for design, installation, commissioning, inspection, maintenance and reporting of life safety systems. “Today’s global environment requires the fire and life safety industry to innovate with solutions that enable facility managers and system integrators to monitor their systems and diagnose issues anytime, from anywhere,” said Sameer Agrawal, General Manager, Global Fire Software and Services, Honeywell. Fire safety value chain “Many facilities are working to create healthier environments and even limiting occupant density to comply with social distancing. With CLSS, we help system integrators provide their customers with the highest level of safety and service and work more efficiently by giving them insight into the system problem before they even get to the site.” Especially in today’s environment, organizations across the fire safety value chain face multiple challenges: Achieving more with fewer resources - many facility maintenance teams are working with reduced staff. Managing challenges of limited access to facilities due to shutdowns. Dealing effectively with safety incidents, where risks remain the same at any occupancy level. Life safety systems Honeywell’s CLSS platform addresses these challenges by enabling systems integrators and facilities management firms to access the data within a fire system from anywhere, without necessarily being physically be at the control panel. Firetron, one of the largest individually owned life safety systems company in Texas, is using the Honeywell CLSS platform to support the development of compliance records for its customers. With more than 600,000 devices under our management, CLSS provides us with a scalable tools" “We’re always looking for the most technologically advanced reporting so that we can reduce customer time and effort during audits,” said David Maloy, President, Firetron. “For example, our healthcare facility customers are under increasing pressure to provide accurate compliance records per The Joint Commission reporting requirements. With more than 600,000 devices under our management, CLSS provides us with a scalable tool to meet our customer service aspirations.” Provides invaluable reassurance Honeywell’s CLSS platform is also being employed by EDSB Group of Companies, a UK-based provider of fire, security, electrical, mechanical and building services, in a 50,000-square-meter logistics center for a freight carrier at East Midlands Airport. “CLSS offers a level of connectivity that provides invaluable reassurance that the system has been commissioned effectively and is being maintained safely,” said Jonathan Parker, Managing Director, EDSB Group of Companies. “We can also see how old every detector is and when it needs to be changed based on prevailing regulations. With CLSS, we can tailor settings based on a customer’s requirements and verify weekly testing is carried out according to their specifications while also logging faults and fire activations.” Improves fire system commissioning Through application of digitization principles and Industrial Internet of Things technology, Honeywell’s CLSS tools make it easier to design, install, test and commission fire systems while helping eliminate errors and manual data entry throughout the designing, commissioning and maintenance processes. These tools can also improve the delivery of on-time completions and the handover of a compliant system with the relevant reports, saving channel partners - and end users - time and money. During planned maintenance, CLSS streamlines the verification of compliant fire system testing and automatically generates and archives compliance reports for audit purposes. Whether using the CLSS mobile app or a PC, facility managers can monitor their systems and easily access compliance reporting. Cybersecurity landscape CLSS automatically captures the testing activity thereby removing any doubt on which device was tested This real-time view also enables technicians to troubleshoot a system remotely, allowing them to arrive on site with the right tools to service a system the first time, truly maximizing efficiency and minimizing disruption. This is even more critical given the industry’s talent gap of skilled fire technicians. Using CLSS tools, Honeywell partners can reassure their end users that they are in full alignment with mandated inspection and maintenance requirements. CLSS automatically captures the testing activity thereby removing any doubt on which device was tested, when and by whom. It also automatically generates suggested corrective actions and planned maintenance recommendations based upon local regulations. CLSS is protected with extensive built-in cybersecurity provisions. Honeywell is committed to proactively monitoring the cybersecurity landscape, ensuring data is safely stored and securely accessible to permitted system users. Ongoing digital transformation Delivering full backwards compatibility, CLSS safeguards investment in legacy systems, while preparing Honeywell partners and end users for ongoing digital transformation. Honeywell’s CLSS platform will continue to integrate the latest smart solutions, enabled by cloud connectivity, to ensure buildings and their occupants are as safe as possible. The CLSS tools are accessible via a cellphone app and web browser. The CLSS tools are available in markets globally via several Honeywell Fire brands, including: Gent, NOTIFIER and ESSER. It will be rolled out to additional portfolios over the next year.
The dangers of cancer-causing particulates have never been in sharper focus in firefighting than they are today. Indeed, firefighters are becoming more aware of the risks associated with their job and exposure to carcinogens. But are all firefighters aware of the different measures that should be taken to reduce their contact with particulates? Reece Buchner, Technical Sales Manager at FlamePro, a British specialist manufacturer of life-saving garments for firefighters, explains five steps that can help to reduce exposure to harmful residuum. Research by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) suggests that fire contaminants on UK firefighters’ personal protective equipment (PPE) might have a link to higher cancer occurrences. PPE garments technology New garment technology such as Nomex Nano Flex tackles the risks caused by cancer-causing particulates Therefore, it’s crucial that firefighters are equipped with top-of-the-range PPE garments, and in particular fire hoods, that have been specifically designed to prevent these particulates from penetrating through the material and coming into contact with a firefighter’s skin. New garment technology such as Nomex Nano Flex tackles the risks caused by cancer-causing particulates and averages 95%-98% particulate filtration, which actually improves with repeated washes. Currently, skin absorption is thought to be the main exposure route. In fact, firefighters are at greatest risk of contamination after an incident - contaminants can come into contact with the skin or be inhaled as PPE and kit is removed. Firefighters need to be practised at personal decontamination immediately after leaving a hazardous area by removing PPE safely avoiding contact with exposed skin and even making sure they avoid putting their gloves in their helmet. smoky fire suit They should also take time to cleanse the most vulnerable areas of the skin - the hands, face, neck and throat. Traditionally, a smoky fire suit was a badge of honor for firefighters. However, with knowledge levels around harmful particulates ever increasing, so too is the understanding that garments must be frequently washed to reduce risk. Fire suits need to be properly laundered to ensure they are cleaned of any harmful substances, such as particulates, chemicals and asbestos. Contracting a regular cleaning service with an industrial laundry, either directly or through the customer’s PPE supplier, can ensure the team’s garments are cleaned in a safe and effective manner. It’s essential that PPE is inspected on a regular basis to look for any signs of wear and tear, or if it needs professionally cleaning. Fire suits should be checked for stains, damage to the fabric or seams, or unclear labeling, at the beginning of a firefighter’s shift and after heading out to any incident. professional repair services BS 8617 was published in October 2019 and gives very practical advice on particulate protection working practices If the brigade is arranging its own professional laundry services directly, it’s also important that the laundrette checks the garments during the cleaning process. A firefighting suit is only as strong as its weakest seam. These suits are made up of many layers and components, and if just one aspect of the suit becomes damaged, it can compromise the protection offered by the garment. PPE suppliers will often offer a care and maintenance package for firefighting PPE, to provide professional repair services in a quick and easy manner for busy brigades. BS 8617 was published in October 2019 and gives very practical advice on particulate protection working practices. For more information on firefighting PPE or how to optimize their customer’s protection against harmful particulates, visit the company’s official website. particulate protection The company understands that particulate protection is a very wide subject, in this article they are simply suggesting five practical things that can be done. The list is not exhaustive.
Fire protection solutions manufacturer, Advanced, has launched EvacGo, its evacuation alert system designed to meet the recommendations of BS 8629:2019, relating to buildings containing flats with a storey over 18 meters above ground level. Available to the UK market from November 2nd, EvacGo has been designed to support any evacuation strategy chosen by the fire and rescue service. The panel, developed alongside fire industry leaders, combines EN54-2 and 4 approved MxPro 5 technology with clear, easy-to-use manual controls to ensure firefighters can quickly and effectively identify and operate alert sounders to support the safe evacuation of tall residential buildings. Evacuation alert zones EvacGo provides a simple, at-a-glance overview of a building’s evacuation alert zones, along with LED indication and manual toggle-switch controls for operating evacuation alert devices in each zone. The panels are available in 8, 16, 24 or 32 ‘fire fighter evacuation alert area’ variants and are expandable from 1 to 4 loops – or even further, when using Advanced’s highly robust, fault-tolerant network. The EvacGo panel is housed inside a robust, security-rated enclosure meeting the STS 205 class BR2 security rating with patented BS EN 1303-compliant lock. This minimises tampering and restricts access to fire and rescue service personnel only, who are able to access the controls using a patented key, as stipulated in the BS 8629 code of practice. BS 8629 recommendations Our response to BS 8629 recommendations is based on extensive consultation with industry experts" Ken Bullock, Advanced’s Business Development Manager – Emergency Evacuation Systems, said: “We understand that our customers need peace of mind that they are meeting all relevant standards. Our response to BS 8629 recommendations is based on extensive consultation with industry experts involved in developing the code of practice, combined with proven technology used in our EN54-approved MxPro 5 fire panels. For our STS 205-rated enclosure, we have again followed BS 8629 guidance to the letter, partnering with leading security enclosure manufacturer, Gerda, to ensure maximum security for this powerful and vital life safety equipment.” “We appreciate that new standards can be confusing, so we’ve carefully designed EvacGo to take away the hard work for building owners, end users and, importantly, frontline fire and rescue services. Our system provides a robust, effective and reliable evacuation management system that can be trusted to work as intended at all times.” Evacuation alert systems BS 8629:2019 is the new code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of evacuation alert systems for use by fire and rescue services in England. In place since November 2019, this code of practice recommends the installation of a dedicated evacuation alert system intended for the sole use of the fire and rescue services, and separate from the building’s fire alarm system. It is relevant to blocks of flats with a storey located at a height of more than 18 meters above ground level. Although not yet a legal requirement in England, evacuation alert control and indicating equipment (EACIE) installation is already mandatory in new buildings containing flat over 18 metres in Scotland, and considered best practice by a number of fire and rescue services. High-rise buildings protection Advanced is a world provider in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, protects a wide range of prestigious and high-profile, high-rise buildings across the globe – from London’s Shard to Dubai’s Landmark Group HQ and Miami’s Sands Pointe development. Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day. Advanced fire systems Advanced is a world provider in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. Advanced’s reputation for performance, quality and ease of use sees its products specified in locations around the world, from single-panel installations, to large, multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multiprotocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging, false alarm management and reduction systems as well as emergency lighting.
The Extinguishing Section of Euralarm has published a guidance document explaining the differences between approved gaseous extinguishing systems and components. The aim of the guideline is to make any person involved in the choice of a gaseous extinguishing system aware of the major differences between quality marks and to help them make a decision based on clear and balanced information. gaseous fire extinguishing systems Gaseous fire extinguishing systems are a very effective way to protect critical hazards and high value assets, when it is important to have no collateral damage caused by the extinguishant or residues. For any kind of electric risk (Data Centre, IT rooms, Control rooms, Switchgear rooms, etc.) or very sensitive/valuable assets or materials (Art, Antiques, Rare books, etc.), they are often the first choice. Numerous quality marks are available to validate the compliance to rules and standards An additional factor is personal safety as many of these applications are occupied, either permanently or occasionally. The correct performance of a gaseous fire extinguishing system is therefore essential not only to quickly extinguish a fire but also to protect human life. It is important to understand how to assess the efficiency and reliability of a gaseous fire extinguishing system. fire prevention systems Numerous quality marks are available to validate the compliance to rules and standards. However, it may be difficult for non-specialists such as end users to get a good understanding of the meaning of all these marks before selecting a particular gaseous extinguishing system. The new guidance note of Euralarm aims on making any person involved in the choice of a system aware of the major differences between quality marks and to help them make a decision based on clear and balanced information. Although the document specifically covers gaseous fire extinguishing systems only, the content may also be applicable to other fire extinguishing or fire prevention systems.
MSA Safety, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are helping volunteer fire departments obtain much-needed gear through MSA’s and DuPont’s Globe Gear Giveaway. In 2020, 13 departments will each receive four new sets of turnout gear and four new helmets to help enhance the safety of their firefighters. The first 500 applicants also received a one-year NVFC membership, courtesy of MSA. The latest recipients of MSA’s and DuPont’s Globe Gear Giveaway are the Highway K Volunteer Fire Department in Doniphan, MO, and the Valley View Volunteer Fire Department in Lawton, OK. Highway K Volunteer Fire Department Highway K Volunteer Fire Department (Highway K VFD) protects 95 square miles of rural southern Missouri Highway K Volunteer Fire Department (Highway K VFD) protects 95 square miles of rural southern Missouri, serving around 900 residents and responding to an average of 35 calls annually. Based out of Doniphan, Missouri, the department’s 16 active volunteer firefighters share 12 sets of turnout gear, all of which were donated by other fire departments and are between 15 and 25 years old. Without adequate protective gear, many of the normal duties required of firefighters become more difficult and dangerous. The department puts the health and safety if its members first, and due to the age and condition of their available gear, firefighters do not make interior entry during structural fires unless someone is trapped inside. Rely on voluntary subscriptions and donations for funds Highway K VFD is not supported by any tax dollars and instead relies on voluntary subscriptions, donations, and fundraisers. The department’s firefighters and board of directors spend hundreds of hours each year to help with fundraising efforts, but community members have limited donations to give. Rising operating costs and a small budget make purchasing multiple sets of turnout gear impossible. In addition to the safety implications, receiving the new gear from MSA Safety and DuPont will help the Highway K Volunteer Fire Department’s efforts to recruit new firefighters. “Many [trained firefighters] do not want to volunteer for a department that cannot provide up-to-date gear,” said Chief Greg Greenwood of the Highway K Volunteer Fire Department, adding “I believe that having up-to-date gear that can be issued to the higher-trained volunteers will help with the recruitment and retention of volunteers.” Valley View Volunteer Fire Department Valley View Volunteer Fire Department is a relatively new department serving a rural area of southern Oklahoma Based out of Lawton, Oklahoma, the Valley View Volunteer Fire Department is a relatively new department serving a rural area of southern Oklahoma. In addition to protecting 15 square miles in the immediate vicinity of their station, the fire department is a state-certified emergency medical response agency and responds to other districts to provide fire safety and rescue services that they are lacking. Founded in 2012, the Valley View Volunteer Fire Department’s majority protective turnout gear was donated by other fire departments, but is now between 10 and 15 years old. Most of the fire department’s budget has gone to build the fire station and equip their fire rescue trucks, leaving little left to purchase turnout gear. “The time it will take us to save up enough money [to purchase new gear] could be too late if something were to happen now with the old gear we have,” said Chief Lin Newton of Valley View Volunteer Fire Department, adding “The ability to receive new gear [through MSA’s and DuPont’s Globe Gear Giveaway] will allow us to meet the NFPA standards on gear and better protect our firefighters.”
BAFE announces that the SP207 Evacuation Alert Systems Scheme Document is now available. Supporting British Standard 8629 (Evacuation Alert Systems for use by fire and rescue services in buildings containing flats), the BAFE SP207 Scheme document covers demonstrating quality evidence of competency for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of evacuation alert systems. Emergency evacuation system Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government published their outcome to the consultation regarding sprinklers and other fire safety measures in new high-rise blocks of flats in May 2020. Within this document an overwhelming 92% of respondents agreed that Approved Document B should include a requirement for an emergency evacuation system (which could support fire and rescue services operational response by alerting residents if they need to escape). The document added that “Several respondents noted that an evacuation alert system being in place would provide both clarity and reassurance to residents.” Providing confidence to specifiers Quality evidence of competency is going to have far greater scrutiny for everyone working in high-rise blocks" Chris Auger, Director of Schemes – BAFE, said: “The demand shown following the MHCLG consultation is unprecedented and represents a far greater awareness of systems and competency of their installers required following the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower Fire. With the work BAFE have performed in conjunction with the industry and Fire and Rescue Service, we are pleased to release this document and offer a route to achieving this important Third Party Certification. Quality evidence of competency is going to have far greater scrutiny for everyone working in high-rise blocks in the very near future which can only be a good thing. This scheme will fill this crucial gap in providing confidence to specifiers knowing they are fulfilling their due diligence and continuing the ‘golden thread’ of accountability for the life safety of residents within the building.” BAFE SP207 Scheme Document Chris adds “The expanding portfolio of BAFE Schemes represents the necessity of quality evidence of competency required for niche but extremely important areas of the industry. Third Party Certification is going to be a key focus of attention for the built environment moving forward and BAFE need to position itself to offer schemes that are both needed and, reflect the current concerns of occupants, regulators, service providers and building owners/managers.” The BAFE SP207 Scheme Document (For the Design, Installation, Commissioning & Maintenance of Evacuation Alert Systems) and information on the Certification Bodies who are offering this assessment is available via the BAFE website.
With commercial fires up 46% during lockdown, it’s crucial to understand and become more aware of the damage fire risks can have on a business when left undetected and unresolved. Fires can be a devastating experience for all, resulting in irreversible physical damage and, arguably more importantly, the unseen destruction of jobs, livelihoods, families and homes. While the risk of fire can never be completely eradicated, there are things you can do to help minimize the problem. More than simply guarding against a worst-case scenario, this is about making sure your business is as robust as possible. In other words, ensuring that you have in place effective protection long before a 911 call is required. Returning to work Evaluate how things may have changed since COVID-19 As businesses return to their premises, it’s a good idea to evaluate how things may have changed since COVID-19. Many premises remain either closed entirely, open for reduced hours or are operating with reduced staff. Even if you completed a fire risk assessment just before the pandemic began, it may need revisiting in light of these recent changes. For example, the amount of stock put into storage or the number of people using the building may have changed, and new risk factors may have emerged. Have employees trained as fire marshals been furloughed since the pandemic or unable to return to work? Any one of these factors being changed will require you to fill out a new fire risk assessment. If on the other hand, if your building remains unused – due to COVID-19 or other factors – it’s important to realize your responsibilities. Empty, unmanned buildings are at increased risk of break-ins and arson, failure to comply with best practice can put you at risk of insurance invalidation: Ensure that all keys to the building are accounted for and recovered. If any are missing, it is highly recommended that the locks are changed as soon as possible Apart from essential services such as lighting or fire and security systems, disconnect all services and utilities at the perimeter of the building In winter, maintain temperatures at or above 4ºC to avoid frost damage to any sprinkler system or other essential water services. Drain down all tanks except those which specifically need to be used Remove as much combustible material as you can, especially litter and scattered paperwork Secure letter flaps, install an anti-arson metal box inside and redirect mail Given the variety of business premises it’s difficult to say what’s likely to be a cause of fire in any one situation – which is why it’s essential to have an up-to-date fire risk assessment carried out by someone who can provide a more in-depth assessment aligned with your ways of working. Getting this done will give you a good understanding of the potential causes of fire in your workplace and is a good place to start for any business owner. protection methods If your premises are largely empty due to COVID-19 restrictions, you must ensure you have a protection method in place that isn’t primarily dependent upon people, such as fire extinguishers or fire hoses. It is crucial to install and test a monitored smoke detection system or automatic fire sprinklers which can help protect the premises whilst it remains vacant. While you can never have too many systems in place to protect your business from fire, there are a few key ones to consider: Fire ExtinguishersThere are different fire extinguishers for different types of fire, your fire risk assessment will contain information on the ignition and fuel risks that are in your building and you should ensure that the correct type of device is selected, either mounted on the wall or a special stand with a label that shows the types of fire the extinguisher is suitable for and basic operating instructions. Sprinkler SystemsModern Automatic Fire Suppression Systems, commonly called sprinklers, can save lives and livelihoods. They provide protection from fire damage and, most importantly, give people a greater chance of getting out if there is a blaze. If you’re unlucky enough to have a fire they can significantly reduce the cost of the damage it causes by reducing its spread and severity. Monitored Smoke and Fire AlarmsWhether your building is currently unoccupied or you’re starting to return to work, having a monitored smoke detector and fire alarm allow you to rest easy knowing that even if the battery is low or there’s a technical fault, they’re still effective. Fire alarm systems such as those from ADT are monitored 24/7/365 which help you rest assured knowing you can depend on your system and our team to take care of things even when you’re not close by. Fire Hose ReelsA level up from extinguishers, fire hose reels offer a quick and inexhaustible flow of water. They can be installed by a single technician, minimising disruption to your business, and in an emergency they’re easy to identify and use. Emergency LightingAll fire-fighting equipment and alarms, emergency routes and exits must be well lit. That includes lighting at every door, corridor, floor level, staircase. Your emergency lighting should, of course, be tested regularly. In the event of a fire, you’ll want to get out quickly and safely.
As the demand for power increases in the UK across growing domestic and industrial markets including the nuclear industry, so the need for reliable power generation, transmission, and distribution using Medium Voltage cables has risen with it. The demands for power has never been greater, with the explosion of development in towns and cities across the UK and the growth of industrial development and technology reliant on consistent supplies. Medium voltage cables As the incidence of non-approved cables continues, Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliant as the pressure mounts on the installation of quality products in modern building developments. Indeed, new demands are being placed on the grid continually for reliable supplies and the development of nuclear plants at sites including Sellafield and Capenhurst only increase that need for reliable supply using approved products throughout the supply chain. New demands are being placed on the grid continually for reliable supplies The supply chain should be particularly careful around the application of these cables into such high-risk environments as these as well as hospitals, major industrial sites and sub-stations serving infrastructure sites. MV cables are crucial to our infrastructure. Electricity leaves the generating site and is routed via a step-up transformer to take it up to the National Grid distribution voltages of 400Kv, 275Kv and 132Kv. Once in the local area, the supply goes through step-down transformers that reduce the voltage to 415V with domestic supplies tapped off at 230V. Large volumes of power To facilitate moving electricity around the National Grid, there are almost 4,500 miles of overhead lines, almost 1,000 miles of underground cables and 342 Grid substations. Once stepped down, power is then distributed on local networks at a lower voltage, commonly 66Kv,33Kv and 11Kv. In all, there are 14 licensed District Network Operators (DNOs). Very often, the supply of power to consumers of large volumes of electricity is routed via sub-stations to feed large sites such as industrial installations, hospitals and educational institutions. To provide power to the sub-stations - very often located on the premises of the establishment that they supply - Medium Voltage (MV) cables are used. MV cables were only developed as the level of voltages increased and the need arose for a greater classification range. A developing market The size of the market has developed to the point where the global MV cables market was valued at $39.31 billion in 2016 and projected to grow at a rate of more than six per cent until 2022. The technical design and specification of the cables themselves is of paramount importance within the power distribution network. The AEI Cables range of MV cables meet all requirements of BS6622, BS7835 and IEC60502-2 and are all approved and certified by third party approval organisation BASEC for ranges up to 33kV. There are a number of technical considerations to be taken into account including the size of the installation, the position of the installation in relation to the network and the presence of primary and secondary sub-stations. Non-approved cabling Prior to installation, a detailed route survey should also be carried out to plan where cables will be jointed and to identify any possible obstructions which may require special civil engineering works such as directional drilling. Underlying the critical nature of supplies to these types of services, the incidence of non-approved cables continues, so the application of MV cables into these important and sensitive environments becomes critical. In these environments it is even more crucial to get it right first time There have been many instances in the recent past of non-approved cables coming onto the market, but in these environments it is even more crucial to get it right first time, thereby reducing the risk and the cost of anything going wrong. Look for the British Standard, European or international standard number, the manufacturer’s mark and third-party approval markings. Even if there are markings, it is worth checking because some labels and stamps have been used fraudulently. Cables can become untraceable Cables which are unmarked but not checked can become untraceable so it is important at the point of receipt for contractors to check every time. Also keep records of purchase and delivery to ensure that what is being installed is what was specified originally. It is well worth the small amount of time to make these checks, especially as these cables are buried and relied on to provide continuous power supply. In a number of instances cables are even being laid under the sea to avoid lengthy and costly delays in seeking permissions from landowners. Some cables are provided with an armoured layer to help protect them against damage whether installed below or above ground, generally for industrial applications. Armouring also protects a cable during storage, transport to site and installation. Metallic armouring is always earthed at one or more points in the circuit and may therefore contribute as a protective conductor to carry earth fault current. Extensive testing Modern polymeric-insulated LV and MV cables designed for UK utility use are usually not armoured but have a concentric layer of copper wires under the outer sheath. Faults in underground cables are very expensive to repair, especially cables installed under roads and pavements. Repairing a fault will probably involve cutting out a length of cable either side of the fault and installing a new length together with joints to connect to the existing cable. MV cables are subjected to extensive testing of material components and electrical tests including AC voltage and partial discharge. MV cables are subjected to extensive testing of material components and electrical tests Supplying industries At AEI Cables, we supply products to construction, industrial, fire protection, defence, mining and rail industries worldwide meeting the requirements for MV cables to BS 6622 and BS7835 and the highest relevant industry standards including ISO 9001 ISO 14001 and ISO 18001 for ranges up to 500kV. These products are also approved by leading independent approvals organisations nationally and internationally including BASEC, LPCB and Lloyds. Third-party approval verifies that they can pass rigorous testing in the conditions in which they will operate. The demand continues for MV cables of quality which can consistently supply power to meet the growing challenge in whatever form it is presented.
The majority of fires within the UK take place within the home; with that in mind, it is highly advisable to regularly update and practice exit strategies in the event of an emergency. In order to raise awareness of fire safety in our communities, it’s important to be clear on what the most common causes of household fires are. Electrical appliances Electrical items are a major culprit of home fires. This can easily be avoided by ensuring a PAT test is carried out each year. It’s crucial to replace damaged or frayed wiring around outlets and to dispose old or faulty appliances. Never overcrowd electrical outlets and only use extension cords when necessary. Overwhelming units by ‘daisy chaining’ extensions to fit more appliances leads to higher chances of an electrical fire. All electrical appliances should additionally be repaired or installed According to the London Fire Brigade, around 60 percent of fires in the home begin in the kitchenby a certified professional. It’s also worth keeping an eye on sockets and fuses that blow for no reason. Flickering lights and scorch marks on sockets or plugs are easy signs which can alert you to unsafe environments. A common habit is to leave electrical items unattended overnight on ‘standby’ mode, this should always be switched off when not in continual use to avoid overheating. Whilst personal home assistant devices are meant to be in constant operation, be sure to look out for hot plugs and turn off outlets when you will be out of the house for extended periods of time such as holidays or weekends away. Smoking materials, lighters and matches The festive season sees a 12% surge in call-outs compared to the monthly average and over the last three years, fire crews dealt with 2,300 fires on Christmas Day alone. When celebrating the festivities try safer alternatives such as battery-operated or LED candles. Faux candles are a great substitute, particularly if you are living with young children. Always let hot matches cool in a metal or ceramic dish or run them under water for extra precaution. Keeping matches nearby lit candles or leaving lit candles unattended overnight are palpable dangers within the home. When celebrating festivities, try safer alternatives such as battery-operated or LED candles Space heaters Portable heaters are the cause of many UK home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Half of those fires occur because objects are kept within three feet of the heater getting far too hot and catching alight. Keeping flammable items at the recommended distance is essential warding off potential fires. Refrain from covering heaters or air vents with dry or damp washing, even if you have installed a fireguard. While some space heaters utilize a self-timer or sleep feature, be sure to manually switch off the heater when it’s not in use. By assuming the heater will automatically turn itself off, you leave yourself at risk as the heater may malfunction. Additionally, as self-timers only control the product itself and not the outlet, the plug still may be at risk of overheating. Cooking According to the London Fire Brigade, around 60 percent of fires in the home begin in the kitchen. It is crucial to be aware of your safety whilst cooking, with some points to always consider: Try not to leave cooking unattended on the hob or grill – if you leave the kitchen turn off the heat Do not cook whilst under the influence of alcohol or medication that can cause drowsiness Be aware of loose clothing that can easily catch fire, take care not to lean over a hob and always keep tea towels and clothes away from the cooker In the event of loose clothing or a cloth catching fire; practice the stop, drop and roll rule – don’t run, lie down on the ground and roll in heavy fabric or a fire blanket to smother the flames Keep the oven, hob, extractor fan and grill as clean as possible – built up fat and grease can ignite and cause fires Use spark devices to light gas cookers, they are far safer than matches or lighters as they don’t have a naked flame. Ensure toasters are kept clean and not placed under kitchen cabinets Never place anything made of metal in a microwave When cooking on the stove-top, use the fan or open a window to disperse any smoke and avoid accidentally triggering any fire alarm If water or food spillages occur whilst the hobs are on and in use, turn off the heat, remove any pans, and let it cool before using any cleaning equipment Preventing spreading To prevent fires from spreading, it’s important to check hidden electrical outlets, particularly those behind large pieces of furniture such as television stands or couches – be sure to keep enough distance between the object and the outlet to prevent crowding. Check these out of sight outlets once a month to ensure there are no obvious signs of scorch marks. It is also a good idea to ensure you add an outlet inspection to any checklist before leaving on holiday. Good fire safety precautions can be practiced as part of your daily routine. Ensure you keep a torch and phone by your bed in case of a fire during the night. Install a dual alarm that uses long-life lithium batteries on every level of your home (including the basement). Test smoke alarms monthly to make sure they’re working properly and ensure you take the time to replace batteries every year for complete peace of mind. Test smoke alarms monthly to make sure they’re working properly and ensure you take the time to replace batteries An exit strategy If you find yourself trapped with no feasible exit to safety, get everyone into one room, ideally with a window and a phone and place bedding around the bottom of To prevent fires from spreading, it’s important to check hidden electrical outlets, particularly those behind large pieces of furniture the door to stifle smoke. Call 999 when possible and open the window to let your presence be known. If you’re on the ground or first floor, you may be able to escape through a window. Use bedding to cushion your fall and lower yourself down carefully – don’t jump. If you can’t open the window break the glass in the bottom corner and make jagged edges safer by cushioning glass with a towel or thick blanket. Don’t make the mistake of investigating what’s happened in the event of a fire or rescuing valuables. If there’s smoke, keep low where the air is clearer. In the event of having to open a door, check if it’s warm. If it is, don’t open it – it is likely the fire is on the other side.
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are expanding their usefulness in the arenas of firefighting and fire prevention, whether in a downtown business district or in fire-prone wildlands. Among other benefits, drones can provide situational awareness, guide emergency response, and perform dangerous duties while keeping fire personnel safe. Drones provide a new solution for extinguishing fires in high-rise buildings, which can occur beyond the reach of fire nozzles and rescue ladders. Chinese autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) manufacturer EHang has announced a large-payload intelligent aerial firefighting solution for high-rise buildings. Urban fire stations With a maximum flight altitude of 600 meters (1968 feet), the EHang 216F can carry up to 150 liters (40 gallons) of firefighting foams and six fire extinguisher bombs in a single trip. A visible-light zoom camera on EHang can quickly identify the location of a fire. The vehicle then hovers precisely in position and uses a laser aiming device to shoot (in succession) a window breaker, the fire extinguishing ‘bombs’ and then a full-range spray of firefighting foam. The EHang 216F devices are expected to be deployed in urban fire stations to assist in firefighting within a 5km (3-mile) radius. Autopilot and centralized management technologies enable a fleet of the vehicles to be remotely dispatched for first response even before firefighters arrive. Multiple 216Fs can be deployed to rapidly extinguish a larger fire. EHang 216F devices are expected to be deployed in urban fire stations to assist in firefighting Fighting and preventing wildfires Drones are also finding multiple uses when it comes to fighting and preventing wildfires. One application is to drop self-igniting ‘dragon eggs’ that spark smaller fires to trim back overgrown forests and help prevent more destructive megafires. The dragon egg system is made up of self-igniting plastic spheres – about the size of a ping-pong ball. Dragon eggs have been an industry standard for years, usually dropped from planes or helicopters The spheres are filled with potassium permanganate powder and injected with glycol as an igniter just as they are being dropped. The reaction sets the balls ablaze after about 30 seconds, which is enough time for them to bounce to the ground through a forest canopy. Controlling the size and scope of a managed fire is simply a matter of how many balls are dropped. Dragon eggs have been an industry standard for years, usually dropped from planes or helicopters. Manned aviation activities Drones provide a new approach, directed the U.S. Department of Interior and the Forest Service. In effect, unmanned aircraft are being used to battle larger wildfires by setting smaller ones first. Another use of drones to set fires involves use of ‘flamethrower’ technology. The drone carries gasoline and shoots a steady stream of fire at vegetation or other targets. Aerial ignition using drones is aimed at supplementing manned aviation activities, not replace them, according to the Forest Service. In fact, there is a strong desire in the fire community to convert some of the missions to unmanned systems, considering the possible dangers involved. Drones can also fly better after dark and in dangerous, smoky conditions. Disaster response strategies The maps were used by search-and-rescue teams to spot missing persons in the area Directing disaster response strategies and mapping the type and location of wildfire destruction are additional missions for drones in firefighting. After California’s deadly Camp Fire in 2018, drones were used on 518 different mapping flights through smoky conditions and collected 1.4 trillion pixels of data, which were stitched together into maps of the destruction. The maps were used by search-and-rescue teams to spot missing persons in the area. Neighborhood homeowners could submit the imagery to insurance providers for rapid claims processing. The images also facilitated access to FEMA relief funds. Assess danger levels The benefits of unmanned vehicles have become obvious in the wake of out-of-control wildfires in Northern California and other Western states. Drones are particularly useful given how fast forest fires can get out of control and the danger to pilots and crew. Drones can be critical during the brief window of time between when a fire starts and when it gets out of control. Situational awareness from drones can help fire crews know how to respond, including the type and amount of resources needed. Drones can also assess danger levels and help to keep crews safe and going in the right direction.
During the Grenfell Tower fire incident in 2017, ineffective fire doors allowed smoke and toxic gases to spread through the building more quickly than should have been possible. Sir Martin Moore-Bick made this finding in the conclusion to Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. It serves to highlight the importance that fire doors play in protecting life and property. Grenfell Inquiry findings The Grenfell Inquiry findings have impacted subsequent United Kingdom government guidance and proposed legislation. For example, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) insists that non-fire resisting doors should be replaced immediately with door sets that are third party certified as providing at least 30 minutes of fire resistance. The BWF works to increase ‘mass market’ awareness of the vital role that fire doors play in protecting life and property The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) works to increase ‘mass market’ awareness of the vital role that fire doors play in protecting life and property. The BWF sponsored Fire Door Safety Week (21-27 Sept. 2020) in partnership with the UK Home Office’s National Fire Safety Campaign, the National Fire Chiefs Council and London Fire Brigade. The observance is the brainchild of the British Woodworking Federation, supported by the BWF Fire Door Alliance. Importance of fire doors in protecting life and property While there are multiple types of fire doors available, certified timber fire doors were subjected to government fire tests in 2019 and were shown effective at meeting and exceeding the minimum burn time requirement of 30 minutes. Factors to ensure a fire door performs as intended include product manufacture, quality, installation and maintenance. Correctly specifying, maintaining and managing a fire door can mean the difference between life and death for building occupants in an emergency. Appointing ‘Responsible Person’ to inspect fire doors Everyone plays a role to ensure a fire door performs as intended, from the manufacturer to a building’s users. Building owners should appoint a ‘Responsible Person’ to check the performance of fire doors. Propping open a fire door keeps it from performing as intended in the event of a fire. Fire doors and other passive fire protection industries have common interests with other fire-related organizations. More education can help the whole building industry and every property owner to understand the importance of fire doors. Regular inspection of fire doors Owners should carry out checks at three-month intervals to ensure all fire doors are fitted with effective self-closing devices Sir Martin Moore-Bick also recommended that those who have responsibility for entrance doors to individual flats in high-rise building should be required by law to ensure such doors comply with current standards. Owners and managers of any residential building that contains separate dwellings should carry out an urgent inspection of all fire doors to ensure they comply with applicable standards. Owners and managers should also be required to carry out checks at three-month intervals to ensure all fire doors are fitted with effective self-closing devices that are in working order. Raising standard of fire doors via Third party certification Third party certification is the best way to raise the standard of fire doors and fire door sets across the board to ensure all fire doors in any building type meet safety standards. Also, inspections should be carried out by trained and registered professionals who identify any faults and highlight where doors do not meet standards. Doors in high-traffic areas should be checked more frequently as they are more susceptible to damage.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new health challenges for firefighters, but it is far from the first major health concern in the fire service. For example, the risk of various cancers is up to twice as high among firefighters, and cancer causes 61 percent of line-of-duty deaths for firefighters. There are other health and safety concerns, too, from nutrition and fitness to vehicle safety and seat belt usage, from wellness to stress and trauma (and consequent issues of addiction). Supporting fire services Cultural issues are a driving force in managing the gamut of health and safety concerns for firefighters. Changing the mindset of firefighters about safety issues is critical to meaningful progress. It starts with awareness. COVID-19 may be the newest and most recent health concern, and addressing it has been a high priority. However, even long-term and well-known health threats in the fire service are not being adequately addressed. Dräger found that some 84% of respondents admitted they were concerned about the risk of cancer Medical and safety technology provider Dräger, based in Lübeck, Germany, has launched a ‘Health for the Firefighter’ campaign to raise awareness and to support fire services in driving the necessary cultural changes to protect firefighter health. In a survey of United Kingdom firefighters, Dräger found that some 84% of respondents admitted they were concerned about the risk of cancer, which can be caused by embedded carcinogens in any equipment that can be absorbed by men and women using it. Robust hygiene processes “The COVID-19 pandemic, and ongoing fears over cancer, have highlighted the critical importance of hygiene, and a significant cultural change is required,” says Brian Hesler, a consultant and specialist advisor at Dräger Safety UK and a former chief fire officer. “We need to move away from firefighters wearing dirty kit like a badge of honor that proves their hard work and value, to understand that clean and well-maintained kit supported by detailed and robust hygiene processes are essential to mitigate every contact with contaminants.” Dräger’s Health for the Firefighter campaign will support the fire services in communicating and providing training on the importance of detailed hygiene processes, from handling and storage of masks and breathing apparatus (BA) equipment through to the subsequent cleaning of the kit after an incident has occurred. Enabling fire services Manual cleaning of equipment is still generally the norm within UK fire services. In the Dräger survey, 80% agreed that a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is more emphasis on cleaning equipment and hygiene control, although only 23% said the pandemic significantly changes their approach to cleaning equipment. Dräger has launched solutions for cleaning breathing apparatus, respiratory masks and PPE equipment Consistency is often a problem with manual cleaning, and Dräger has launched solutions for cleaning breathing apparatus, respiratory masks and PPE equipment that reduce the risk of carcinogen contamination within emergency teams. The equipment is provided in partnership with Harstra Instruments, a Dutch manufacturer of cleaning and drying equipment. The Dräger package of solutions comprises cleaning products, logistical support and consultancy services to enable fire services to mitigate firefighters’ exposure to carcinogens. Equipment handling operations Washing machines clean using high-pressure water, drying cabinets are available in various shapes and sizes, and testing facilities ensure products are decontaminated. “Employers owe their employees a duty of care and are therefore looking to provide additional protection during training, post-incident and in day-to-day equipment handling operations,” says Andy Taylor, UK Marketing Manager for Engineered Solutions at Dräger. Cleaning equipment is just one of many ways fire departments can address the health challenges for firefighters. Departments depend on regulations and policies designed to ensure the highest degrees of personal health and safety. For departments, prevention and reduction of accidents, injuries and occupational illnesses should be a way of life. The ‘Health for the Firefighter’ campaign can serve as a reminder of the importance of creating a culture of good health for firefighters.
Ajax Systems in cooperation with Elotec, a Norwegian distributor of security systems and manufacturer of wired fire alarms, won a tender from the municipality of Bergen in Norway for the supply of a wireless fire security system. The project aims to protect the wooden architecture of the city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Wireless Ajax detectors will provide an opportunity to protect the city center without disturbing the interior of the buildings. Wireless fire solutions “We are lucky that our distributor in Norway, Elotec, has an in-depth expertise in fire security. Being also a manufacturer of wired fire alarm systems with almost 30 years of experience, they chose Ajax as their wireless partner to protect the important historical site. This further proves that wireless fire solutions are becoming a trend in the industry,” said Valentine Hrytsenko, Ajax Systems CMO. This project is a big win, and securing UNESCO World Heritage buildings is our responsibility" “This project is a big win, and securing UNESCO World Heritage buildings is our responsibility. The development we have done with Ajax to make this solution was crucial, and making the system perfect for these kinds of projects,” said Kristian Kleven, product and quality manager in Elotec. Bergen has been affected by multiple fires over centuries, but the city is still one of Europe’s largest historical centers with wooden architecture. Fire detection cameras The city has 12 districts with old wooden buildings located close to each other, and about 11,000 residents. The project is funded by the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage. The implementation is supervised by Elotec in cooperation with the Bergen Fire Department. Every resident or business owner in the protected area of Bergen had an opportunity to apply for the installation of a fire alarm system and to connect to the fire monitoring station free of charge. In total, 13 street fire detection cameras and 640 Ajax security kits (consisting of Hub control panels, FireProtect fire detectors, and Button panic buttons) will be used to protect the areas. Fire monitoring station Ajax fire detectors have a synchronous alarm function (interconnect) — when one detector is triggered, all fire detectors within the system are activated. Following Elotec’s initiative, for the Bergen project, the Ajax R&D team needed to implement a delay in interconnect distribution and transmitting alarms to the fire monitoring station in order to minimize false calls of fire brigades. The Ajax R&D team needed to implement a delay in interconnect distribution and transmitting alarms Hub control panels, FireProtect fire detectors, and Button panic buttons (with the new alarm interconnect delay function) for every house. If the owner of the premises simply overcooks a meal on the stove, they can press the Button within 2 minutes from the moment when smoke was detected, thus postponing alarm transmission. Preventing false calls In this way, they will have another 10 minutes to air the premises out and prevent the alarm from spreading to other detectors, and also to prevent false calls to the fire brigade. However, if the button is not pressed within 2 minutes, the alarm will be directly transmitted to the fire department. The FireProtect and FireProtect Plus fire detectors with firmware version 3.42 or later are technically ready to support the interconnect propagation delay. The feature will be fully available to all users with the new OS Malevich 2.10 update to be released in Q4 2020.
A network of fire panels from UK manufacturer, Advanced, has been installed as part of a campus-wide system replacement at the Imperial College London (ICL), Hammersmith, United Kingdom. Six industry-renowned 8-loop MxPro 5 fire panels and a TouchControl remote control terminal and repeater panel have been installed across the Wolfson Education Center, the Institute of Reproductive Development Biology and the Commonwealth Building at Imperial College London’s Hammersmith campus. 8-loop MxPro 5 fire panels The installation, part of a system-wide upgrade, was conducted by Surrey-based Lloret Fire & Security Ltd who were tasked with replacing the existing fire alarm control panels, installing new cabling and devices and commissioning the system across occupied buildings, where live coverage needed to be maintained at all times. Imperial specifically requested a move away from the closed protocol fire system approach, and its associated service charges, which had been in operation for 15 years. Lloret Fire & Security’s experience installing Advanced control indicating equipment in other large-scale educational facilities meant they were confident that the open protocol MxPro 5 could easily provide the levels of flexibility and stability required by the site. Multi-sensor detection system installed Paul White, Design Director at Lloret Fire & Security Ltd, said “The project at Imperial’s Hammersmith campus involved the replacement of the fire system across a range of building environments, from offices, workshops and research labs, through to lecture theaters and conference halls, each with its own specific fire protection requirements.” Multi-sensor detection system was installed to manage and reduce the risk of false alarms In consideration of the site’s false alarm management strategy, multi-sensor detection system was installed to manage and reduce the risk of false alarms. For example, detectors have been configured for day/night use or can be altered as area usage changes. TouchControl repeater panel installed To replace the existing flush-fitted panel positioned front-of-house in the reception area of the Institute of Reproductive Development Biology, and for aesthetic purposes, Lloret Fire & Security Ltd suggested installing Advanced’s touch technology remote control terminal and repeater panel, TouchControl. Combining aesthetics with practicality, the low-profile, high-resolution touchscreen makes it easy to check fire system status via interactive maps and zone plans, while complementing even the most stylish interiors. When in standby mode, administrators can use TouchControl to display branding, advertisements and information, while it will instantly revert to fire operation when a fire condition occurs. Advanced fire safety solutions Amanda Hope, UK Business Development Manager, said “It’s fantastic to see that our partners Lloret Fire & Security Ltd are so confident in the Advanced solutions installed at Imperial. When installing or upgrading a building’s fire system, it’s important to consider which protocol is right for you." Amanda adds, “The nature of our MxPro 5’s open protocol gives end users greater freedom and flexibility over key factors such as detector partners, suppliers, installers and service companies. This in turn helps the end user to more easily achieve best value for money and access top-quality expertise.”
C-TEC’s new Hush ActiV BS 5839-6 Grade C domestic fire alarm systems are providing top-grade fire protection at several Ministry of Defense-managed residential properties in North Wales. Located on the banks of the Menai Strait, the stretch of shallow tidal water that separates Angelsey from the mainland, the spacious homes are part of The Joint Service Mountain Training Centre Indefatigable, a facility designed to provide affordable holiday accommodation for members of the Armed Forces and their families. Each of the three-bedroomed properties is equipped with Hush ActiV smoke detectors in the entrance hall and stairs, a heat detector in the kitchen and sounder beacons in the bedrooms, all connected to a Hush ActiV controller. With its easy-to-operate low level controller, the system offers simple detection, alarm, silencing and test facilities at light-switch level - occupants simply press ‘HUSH’ on the controller to silence an unwanted alarm. Fire protection and minimal false fire alarms Said Darren Morrell, Director of Olympian Fire, the specialist installation company that completed the project: “Our client required a system that would provide the families staying in the properties with the highest levels of fire protection and minimal false fire alarms. We specified Hush ActiV, a high-quality cost-effective fully-monitored BS 5839-6 Grade C solution, as it offers greater levels of protection than the unmonitored battery alarm Grade D systems typically used in these properties and virtually eliminates false alarms." “Hush ActiV is a fantastic option for domestic dwellings that don’t require all-out conventional fire alarm systems. Our client is delighted and the success of the project has led to C-TEC’s more sophisticated Hush Pro domestic fire solution being specified at some other MoD facilities where connection to a communal/landlord system is required.”
Infographics has announced that Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) is the first UK FRS to adopt the new FireWatch Bi-directional Mobilization Interface, with other services expected to deploy this functionality in the near future. FireWatch Mobilization Interface The FireWatch Bi-directional Mobilization Interface with Capita Vision is designed to enable greater real-time data sharing between the FireWatch Fire Service Management Platform, Capita Vision Mobilization System and on-appliance Mobile Data Terminals. HFRS already utilizes the FireWatch platform for integrated human resource management The Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) already utilizes the FireWatch platform for integrated human resource management, training and development, health and safety, self-service, availability management, and automated electronic payment calculations and processing for on-call staff. Data integration Workflows to integrate absenteeism, payments and other data seamlessly with their shared business center systems are also in place. This latest deployment provides a new bi-directional interface between FireWatch and Capita Vision that seamlessly couples the systems together and provides a live closed loop of data flows as changes in either occur. Colin Sutherland, Systems Manager at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS), said “This new interface is the culmination of many months’ work for Hampshire Fire and our technological partners, Infographics and Capita. The interface provides individual and appliance crewing data directly into our mobilization system, allowing our Control rooms throughout the partnership to view Hampshire’s status in real-time.” Reducing the risk of human error Colin adds, “This not only improves our resilience with the interface and reduces the risk of human error, but also reduces the burden of crews on station having to complete events after the incident, as the interface now does this for them. A further benefit is that it provides us with crewing accountability on the way to, during and returning from fire calls, which is something we have not been able to achieve before.” He further stated, “This interface is also the first step in our move towards Attribute Based Response (ABR), which we are now working towards with our partners, and the interface is a solid foundation to build upon. It has been an incredibly exciting time with the release of the interface for Hampshire, and it highlights Infographics’ hard work and dedication to continually improve and enhance their offering.” Fully integrated FRS resource management platform Russell Wood, Commercial Manager at Infographics, said “What we have delivered jointly with Hampshire and Capita is a UK first. FireWatch already provides a fully integrated FRS resource management platform with all the benefits this brings. Coupling this with a live bi-directional flow of data and impacts with Capita Vision and the MDTs essentially enables the systems to act seamlessly as one – and deliver clear operational, risk and efficiency benefits.” From FireWatch to Capita Vision, the FireWatch interface calculates vehicle availability to-the-minute, derived from live HR, contract/role, employee availability, qualifications, physical vehicle availability, and other fully-connected and integrated data and modules. So when anything changes, FireWatch pushes updated vehicle availability status in real-time to the Capita Vision Mobilization system. Up-to-the-minute data availability The up-to-the-minute data ensures that when an ‘on call’ crew turns out to an incident The system takes into account shared resources across vehicles, priority levels and skill-derived attributes and incident types, rather than a simple on/off ‘the run’, and provides that live status to Capita Vision and control room staff. The up-to-the-minute data ensures that when an ‘on call’ crew turns out to an incident, the information on the MDT is already filtered to show those who should have been available, providing quick and easy selection of the actual employees on the vehicle and the impact of their skills and resource not being available for any other vehicles at that location. In the other direction, from Capita Vision to FireWatch, this provides: Live incident creation and stage updates as they happen. Data flows from the on-appliance Mobile Data Terminals to Vision, then to FireWatch, so that FireWatch understands the specific resources involved and can send the impact back to Vision. Updates to, and impacts of, event stages, attending vehicles and personnel changes. Automatic confirmation of personnel who have turned out in FireWatch event records. Further automation of event recording steps for pay and maintenance of competency purposes.
Firefighters across Cornwall are wearing brand new PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), procured through the UK Collaborative PPE Framework. All 560 firefighters in the county have been equipped with two sets of new gold-colored structural coats and trousers, along with flash hoods, and a set of both structural and rescue gloves. Structural PPE The new PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), designed and manufactured by Bristol Uniforms, benefits from the very latest in fiber and fabric technology, along with ergonomic styling for ease of movement. Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS), as part of their commitment to firefighter safety, also engaged with staff about the provision of additional PPE to meet the demands of non-structural fire situations, such as road traffic collisions and wildfire control. This new structural firefighting PPE supports the specific needs of Cornwall’s remote rural risk profile This new structural firefighting PPE supports the specific needs of Cornwall’s remote rural risk profile. As a result, an order has also been placed for lighter-weight, more breathable rescue jackets which are compatible with the structural trousers and other essential PPE, providing the most suitable level of protection. Light-weight, breathable rescue jackets Mark Salter is Group Manager at CFRS, with responsibility for Assets, Health and Safety and Wellbeing said, “Feedback from our firefighters has been very positive. The cut of the jacket is more fitted than our previous kit, which is better for movement and maneuverability, and the extra padding on the knees means the trousers are more comfortable when kneeling or crawling”. He adds, “The wide range of male and female sizes ensures that every member of the crew can get a good fit. The firefighters have found that the new lighter color shows up dirt and soot, but that is a helpful indicator of when the kit needs cleaning.” Maintenance and Care service with Bristol Uniforms Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service is continuing its Maintenance and Care service arrangement with Bristol, for regular cleaning, and repairs and decontamination if necessary. Dirty kit is collected by Bristol Uniforms and taken to one of two in-house Service Centers, where it is washed and thoroughly examined before being returned within seven days, a service that is reassuring for Mark Salter and his firefighters. Mark Salter said, “The robust care provision is very important to us, particularly given the current risk of coronavirus, and concerns around carcinogens in smoke particles. Bristol’s in-house cleaning and repair service means we can always have full confidence that our PPE is fit for purpose and providing the right protection.” Advanced technologies and enhanced comfort As a fairly small FRS, the Collaborative Framework offered us the best possible efficiencies" He adds, “As a fairly small FRS, the Collaborative Framework offered us the best possible efficiencies, and we’re very pleased with the result. Bristol Uniforms has provided excellent support and guidance throughout the process, as have Kent Fire & Rescue Service who was particularly helpful in the early stages of the procurement process.” Philip Tasker, UK and Ireland Sales Director at Bristol Uniforms, commented “It is very rewarding to see the Cornish firefighters out on the job in their smart new PPE, knowing that they are benefitting from a state-of-the-art design featuring advanced technologies, enhanced comfort and maximum protection.” Enhanced staff safety Mark Hewitt, Chief Fire Officer at Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) stated “The safety and welfare of our staff is of paramount importance, so ensuring that our firefighters are provided with quality Personal Protective garments is essential. I am assured that this new PPE from Bristol Uniforms meets our specific requirements.” Mark adds, “My thanks and acknowledgement also goes to Cornwall Council for supporting our Fire and Rescue Service with a 15 year capital replacement program, which enables significant investment in safety critical areas such as our PPE procurement, and also our internal technical services team who have worked with the collaboration and Bristol Uniforms to deliver this project.”
The Heathrow Airport Fire & Rescue Service is now able to tackle a broad range of incidents more quickly and efficiently after commissioning a pair of highly specialized domestic response units based on Mercedes-Benz chassis. The Sprinter 519 CDI chassis cabs were supplied by Dealer Rossetts Commercials to Rosenbauer UK, a subsidiary of the Austrian group that is one of the manufacturers of firefighting equipment. Replacements for a single 18-tonne domestic appliance, the new vehicles offer a major increase in operational flexibility. Being smaller and more agile, they are better able to get through traffic on the roads in and around the UK’s busiest airport. Strict performance standards And although each has seating for four, they will typically be manned by a crew of two. This means Chief Fire Officer Gary Barthram and his commanders can respond to two emergency calls simultaneously. The Heathrow Airport Fire & Rescue Service works to strict performance standards laid down by the Civil Aviation Authority and its fleet includes a number of larger appliances which would be used in the event of a fire or other major incident involving an aircraft. It also provides cover for the area within and around the airport boundary, which means its firefighters are regularly called upon to deal with anything from a domestic blaze, to a car crash, or a serious medical call. It is for these, more general incidents that the new Sprinters were commissioned, and Rosenbauer’s Compact Line Superstructure is purpose-designed to carry as much as possible of the specialist equipment that crews are likely to need to get the job done. High-Pressure hose The air-conditioned Sprinters have 5.5-tonne gross weights, uprated from the standard 5.0 tonnes The air-conditioned Sprinters have 5.5-tonne gross weights, uprated from the standard 5.0 tonnes. Range-topping V6 engines – limited to 56 mph unless the vehicle is responding to a 999 call – transmit their 190 hp outputs via six-speed manual gearboxes. These were chosen instead of the seven-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic which is fitted as standard on the rear-wheel drive 519 CDI model, as it meant Rosenbauer could also specify the engine-driven 40 kW PTOs (power-take-offs) used to drive the 20 BAR pumps on each appliance. Other features of the body include a 600-liter water tank, 60 meters of electrically-rewound 22 mm bore hose and a further 60 meters of ‘lay flat’ high-pressure hose, an additional battery and air compressor to operate the body and firefighting systems, and a full complement of blue roof beacons and LED warning lights, plus a siren/wailer. Thermal image camera Among the equipment stowed on-board, meanwhile, are four sets of breathing apparatus, a multi-purpose ladder, RTC (road traffic collision) cutting equipment and a reciprocating saw, a thermal image camera and a portable pump. An established Rosenbauer customer, Heathrow Airport Fire & Rescue Service confirmed its order for the two new vehicles after members of its team visited Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service to see three Compact Line appliances also based on Sprinter chassis supplied by Rossetts Commercials, which entered service last year. Providing emergency care Deputy Chief Fire Officer Mark Summerhill, who led the project, said: “Unlike most firefighters we are employed by a business, not a public body, so while saving lives and serving the public will always be our number one priority, we’re also particularly conscious of the need to prove value for money, and keep the airport moving, particularly in these challenging times.” The bulk of our work entails responding to alarms and dealing with small fires" “The bulk of our work entails responding to alarms and dealing with small fires in domestic and commercial properties, road accidents and medical incidents such as cardiac arrests – we’ve all been trained to provide emergency care and can often do so before an ambulance reaches the scene. These fantastic vehicles allow us to be more agile and dynamic in the way we do so. We can cover two incidents at the same time, and if it’s more serious and we need to increase our resilience we can send a crew of four rather than just the usual two, or, indeed, direct both vehicles to attend.” Local authority fire teams Mr Summerhill continued: “Weight is always an issue with firefighting appliances but given their compact size our new domestic response units are exceptionally well equipped. This means that when we’re dealing with fires, for example, they give us a really good ‘first strike’ attack capability – if we don’t put it out completely, we can at least hold it back until the local authority fire teams arrive.” He added: “We took a lot of advice before confirming our order. We need absolute reliability from our kit, and Rosenbauer’s recommendation of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter as a base chassis was borne out by the other fire services and fleet managers we spoke to.” Enthusiastic and highly responsive “These vehicles are easy to drive and exceptionally maneuverable, which is a huge advantage on such a busy airport. They’re also really well thought out in terms of their design. We began working on this project four years ago but the time and effort we’ve committed has been well worthwhile, because we couldn’t be happier with our new vehicles.” Rosenbauer UK Managing Director Nick Uwins said his company had also recently built vehicles for Surrey Fire & Rescue Service, based on chassis supplied by Rossetts Commercials. Commenting on the service provided by the Dealer’s Off-Road & Blue Light Sales Specialist Martin Gearing, he said: “Martin’s a great guy to work with. He’s very enthusiastic and highly responsive, so that if ever I need a quote, or some information, I know I can rely on him to get back to me very quickly.”
Round table discussion
Equipment is an important element in fighting fires, and in keeping firefighters safe. But what new needs are driving the development of equipment? How can equipment expand its role in fighting fires, or in managing building occupancy and traffic flow for that matter? We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the new trends and opportunities in firefighting equipment?
Ensuring the health and wellness of firefighters is a burden shared among equipment manufacturers as well as the fire departments and individual firefighters. Thoughtful design of equipment and other products used in the fire service can be a positive factor as firefighters and other first responders face dangerous situations every day. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What steps can we take to better ensure firefighter health and wellness?
Fire Protection: Manufacturers & Suppliers
- Cervinka Fire Protection
- Integrated Fire Protection Fire Protection
- Fire Research Corp. Fire Protection
- Bristol Uniforms Fire Protection
- Waterous Fire Protection
- Swati Fire Protection Fire Protection
- Hindustan Fire Protection Fire Protection
- First Alert Fire Protection
- Lacont Umwelttechnik Fire Protection
- Bermad Fire Protection Fire Protection
- TESIMAX Fire Protection
- HighWater Hose Fire Protection