Specialist in advanced electronic fire and security solutions, Amthal has expanded its team with the appointment of Mick Byron to Business Development Manager. The newly established role within the company will help to support the sales and commercial teams, in their drive to maximize opportunities to promote and progress the business. Mick will strategically coordinate plans to move forward and develop channels and relationships, in line with an ever growing smart product installation portfoli...
Euralarm, the association representing the fire safety and security industry, has presented its Priorities and Challenges 2019-2024. ‘Working together for a safer and more secure future’ is the name of the document that describes areas of cooperation to achieve a safer and more secure society for Europe and build an industry that contributes to sustainable growth in Europe. One of the most basic requirements for each of us is defence against harm, no matter what form it takes. Fire...
Fire and security specialist Amthal, has welcomed the third generation of the Allam family, to join the business under the company’s successful apprenticeship scheme. Luke Allam, son of founder and Operations Director John Allam, has started as an Apprentice Engineer, working closely with the team to progress seamlessly into the company strategy. Course In Fire Emergency, And Security Systems Says Luke: “Amthal has always been part of my life, and when the opportunity of work expe...
Securitas welcomed top Fire Cadets to the Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh, for an action-packed firefighting weekend giving graduate cadets a safe and realistic insight into firefighting. Securitas’ fire and safety instructors In addition to classroom demonstrations, the young cadets gained hands-on experience as they took part in real-life scenarios under the supervision of the Securitas’ highly skilled, trained fire and safety instructors. Scenarios included tackli...
By popular demand, NAPCO Security Technologies, known for innovative technology and reliable professional security solutions, is expanding its award-winning line of StarLink® Universal Cellular Communicators with new models on the AT&T LTE network, so important in various areas of the country. The much-anticipated StarLink LTE AT&T Cell and Cell/IP Communicator models include StarLink Fire® Commercial Fire Communicators, plus StarLink Intrusion Cellular & StarLink Connect®...
In response to requests from fire departments, KIMTEK has introduced the FIRELITE® FHR-205, a new version of its popular FIRELITE® series skid units for use with UTVs. Distinct from KIMTEK's patient transport units in the FIRELITE series, the FHR-205 skid unit positions the hose reel to wind off to the rear. Constructed of KIMTEK's signature rugged, high quality aluminum diamond plate and tubing, FHR-205 skid units are durable, attractive, and produced to KIMTEK's highest standards of ma...
The National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) Home Safety Week runs from 30th September to the 6th October 2019. The campaign is encouraging households to check smoke alarms are right for their homes needs and will provide them with an early warning in the event of a fire. Most homes have smoke alarms installed (95%) but in nearly 20% of accidental house fires in the UK alarm failed to activate. The most common reasons were the smoke failed to reach the detector was because batteries were either missing or defective. NFCC guidelines for superior fire safety at homes Replace alarms every ten years- even if they appear to work when tested Fit additional alarms in the rooms used most Install interlinked alarms, so when one activates they all do Purchased sealed unit alarms so batteries cannot be removed or tampered with NFCC want people to think beyond installing a smoke alarm on the landing and in the hallway" James Bywater, NFCC Lead for Home Detection commented, " NFCC want people to think beyond installing a smoke alarm on the landing and in the hallway and think about the risks in their own home to ensure they have the right detection in the right places. Home detection technology He adds, “This might mean installing more alarms in homes, particularly in the rooms used most. Home detection technology has advanced and products with sealed batteries or interlinked systems are available and as part of the home safety plan so as to give residents precious minutes to escape in case a fire starts." As part of the week, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS) are also asking people to register their white goods and take care with electrical items. Enhanced home safety tips Keep eyes peeled for signs of dangerous or loose wiring such as scorch marks, hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow or circuit breakers that trip. Appliances use different amounts of power so check the amps on the plug and make sure you don’t go over 13 amps in a wall socket. Keep portable heaters clear of curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes. Register larger electrical appliances for vital information on safety repairs or recalls.Clean ovens and grill pans so there isn’t a build-up of fat. Clear out the fluff/lint tray on the tumble dryer after every use. Check and clean filters on washing machines. Clean the rear of fridges and freezers while ensuring the drainage hole is clear. Never leave tumble dryers or washing machines on when stepping out of the house. Think about bedtime routine; turn off or unplug appliances that don’t need to be left on overnight, ensure to shut doors as this can stop fire from spreading and keep keys for doors and windows in an easily accessible place. Be careful with laptops, don’t leave them charging on beds or sofas. Plan an escape route in case a fire does break out in your home.
Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) is demonstrating its continuing support for Fire Door Safety Week by holding a series of free fire door safety seminars. The national awareness safety campaign, which took place between 23-29 September 2019, was launched in 2013 in response to a legacy of fire door neglect and aims to increase the public’s understanding of the role that fire doors play in protecting life and property. Fundamental Issues Of Fire Safety DHF has been a vocal advocate for third-party certification of inspection of fire, smoke and security doors It is led by high-profile organizations such as the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), the BWF Fire Door Alliance (an evolution of the BWF CERTIFIRE Scheme) and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS). DHF’s fire door seminars will take place on the mornings of 14th January, 11th February and 17th March next year, and will be presented by the Chair of DHF’s Timber Doorset Group, Fiona Critchley. DHF has been a particularly vocal advocate for third-party certification of manufacture, installation, maintenance and inspection of fire, smoke and security doors, and earlier this year, joined forces with Secured by Design (SBD) and the Fire Industry Association (FIA) to publish a guidance document on flat entrance doorsets: A Guide for Selecting Flat Entrance Doorsets; A publication for housing associations, landlords, building owners and local authorities in England, which highlights the fundamental issues of fire safety for those selecting fire doorsets. Training Courses On Fire Door Safety The federation has, since 2014, also partnered with BRE Academy to offer fire door training courses, together, developing three all-inclusive one-day training courses on fire door safety to offer greater clarity on the regulations and standards applying to fire doors. Those attending the fire door seminars will receive a free copy of the guidance document Those attending the fire door seminars will receive a free copy of the guidance document. “We are delighted to continue to support Fire Door Safety Week and hope that our free seminars, which are open to all, will promote awareness and safety, in addition to educating delegates on the pivotal role that fire doors play in protecting lives and property,” says DHF’s Commercial Manager, Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens. “We continue to stress that the use of fire doors, correctly installed and with robust fire door maintenance procedures, are a key part of fire safety and urge those in positions of responsibility to seek the correct training with regards to installation and maintenance.”
Digital transformation is affecting all areas of life, as innovative technologies continue to make inroads into all sectors of industry, transforming infrastructures and workflows in the process. Communication itself – between people as well as between people and machines, including vehicles – is undergoing a major change. Data analytics, virtual reality and the Internet of Things are opening up new horizons, while at the same time requiring a careful weighing of implementation options. Innovative Digital Solutions INTERSCHUTZ has made the subject of digital transformation its lead theme for the upcoming fair For all these reasons, INTERSCHUTZ has made the subject of digital transformation its lead theme for the upcoming fair, codified in the slogan: ‘Teams, Tactics, Technology – Connecting Protection and Rescue’. The flagship fair is focusing on two major aspects: the use of innovative digital solutions and the necessary cooperation between the various players and institutions. "A large percentage of our exhibitors are putting the topics of digitization and connectivity at the top of their agenda for their appearance at the show," says Martin Folkerts, Project Manager for INTERSCHUTZ within the Deutsche Messe team. "We are also taking up these aspects recurrently in the conference program, and Hall 16 will serve as a hotspot for digital transformation themes at INTERSCHUTZ 2020." Improving Preventive Fire Protection Hall 16 is the venue where the pulse of the new era will be most strongly felt. Under the title of ‘Digitization & Transformation’, pioneers, lateral thinkers and team thinkers will convene – led by Stefan Truthän, Managing Director of hhpberlin as well as being an active member of the Berlin fire brigade and member of the INTERSCHUTZ Advisory Board for the last two years. "Our goal consists of visions, concepts and solutions for the future," says Truthän. We will be exploring the implications of phenomena like urbanization, demographic change and digitization" "At INTERSCHUTZ, we will be exploring the implications of phenomena like urbanization, demographic change and digitization in the context of public safety and security. For Truthän it is of paramount importance to act proactively to develop and implement innovative technologies and solutions for concrete application scenarios at an early stage: By making use of big data, we can improve preventive fire protection, and the use of virtual and augmented reality can help support sustainable knowledge transfer and operational tactics." Seamless Data Sharing Above all, however, Truthän is focusing on the major opportunities presented for urban areas and smart cities. "We will be demonstrating the strategies that can contribute to risk reduction in cities and improve public safety through advanced mobile location," he concludes. Another continually recurring topic in this context will be the future 5G mobile communications standard Another continually recurring topic in this context will be the future 5G mobile communications standard. Numerous speakers will be delivering talks on the range of potential applications for 5G technology. Several special presentations will be held in Hall 16 to bring attendees quickly up to speed on the topic of digitization & transformation. At the ‘Smart Public Safety Hub’, exhibitors will showcase joint and interdisciplinary application scenarios for seamless data sharing and connected systems. Demonstrations Of Solutions And Devices The Future Trends in Public Safety special display will provide insights into future technological, organizational and social megatrends in civil safety. The Transformation & Digitization Forum features roundtable discussions and interactive sessions on current and future opportunities and challenges. The Spread the Word Lounge is a hotspot for bloggers, influencers, editors and communication managers. Finally, the Demo Area will serve especially as a hotspot for demonstrations of solutions and devices that can also be tested and examined on-site. Hall 16 will also be the location for startups at INTERSCHUTZ. Seven startups have already been selected to participate at a group pavilion for young and innovative companies sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi).
Allegion UK, a specialist in fire safety and security products and solutions, last week took an impressive 500,000 steps towards raising £500 in aid of Fire Door Safety Week (FDSW) and The Fire Fighters Charity. Using two treadmills, 35 employees from the Allegion UK team worked as one to take part in their corporate challenge to walk, run, jog or dance 500,000 steps in four days. During the challenge, the team joined forces with the West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS), who visited the Allegion offices in Aston, Birmingham, to help them achieve their ambitious goal. Pioneering Safety And Security James Marriott, station commander from WMFS, said: “We had a fantastic time supporting Allegion UK and thank the staff who took part in this challenge. I’m certain that the funds raised for the charity will make a significant difference to fire fighters and their families who are going through difficult times.” Each year our team makes a huge effort in raising awareness – this year was no different" “With our mission being to ‘make the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier’ and Allegion’s purpose of ‘create peace of mind by pioneering safety and security,’ I am in no doubt that we will continue to work together to promote fire safety.’’ Pete Hancox, commercial leader UK & Ireland, celebrated the combined efforts: “In current circumstances, it is more important than ever to make people aware of fire safety. Each year our team makes a huge effort in raising awareness – this year was no different.” Protecting Life And Property “It was also brilliant to welcome the fire service to help us reach our target. Each step taken truly did count towards us raising money for such a worthy cause.’’ FDSW (23-29 September 2019), run by British Woodworking Federation (BWF) and the BWF Fire Door Alliance, aims to increase public understanding of the fundamental role fire doors play in protecting life and property. This year’s campaign explores the crucial role fire doors have in protecting us when we are asleep, with a particular focus on specialized housing and HMOs (House in Multiple Occupation). Last year, the campaign reached a new high, gaining support from more than 350 individuals, organizations and businesses.
Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is asking businesses and residents to pledge to lose the wedge this Fire Door Safety week (23-29 Sept). Launching the campaign, the service is asking all businesses, care homes and residential properties to ditch door wedges that prop open fire doors. As part of the awareness week, now in its seventh year, staff from across AF&RS will be targeting businesses and homes within the service area to highlight the importance of fire doors and the difference they can make during a fire. Along with visiting businesses in Yate, the Technical Fire Safety Team will also be writing to all care homes in the area and offering support to any business that requested a risk inspection. The Service is also promoting its Home Fire Safety Visits, in which crews will visit vulnerable residents at home to ensure they are safe. Research conducted for this year’s Fire Door Safety Week by the British Woodworking Federation reveals concerns about fire safety as well as a lack of clarity about the crucial role that fire doors play in business, care home, and multi-occupancy buildings. Risk assessments Fire doors play a key role in keeping people safe and wedging doors open causes unnecessary risk.” According to 1,000 care home workers, 75 per cent think their place of work could do more to improve fire safety, 63 per cent think their place of work is at risk of fire and only 43 per cent understand the purpose of a fire door. Staggeringly, 82 per cent said they keep a fire door open at work on purpose. Di Clack, Technical Fire Safety Crew Manager, said: “This week, we are asking everyone to pledge to lose the wedge. Fire doors play a key role in keeping people safe and wedging doors open causes unnecessary risk.” “While we will always assist and offer fire safety inspections for business or home fire safety visits for residential properties, since 2006’s Fire Safety Order, it is the responsible person’s duty to carry out risk assessments on the property and they have a responsibility to ensure everyone is safe. We want to provide people with the tools they need to keep themselves safe and simple procedures like closing all fire doors helps to ensure this.” Fire safety practice Good practice is important in buildings with multiple residents who may be vulnerable Brand new for this year’s campaign, driven by the British Woodworking Federation, is an interactive mock criminal trial, aimed at providing manufacturers of fire safety products, consultants, contractors, designers, installers and other potential duty holders with an insight into where they may be liable in the event of a fire incident. Helen Hewitt, Chief Executive of the British Woodworking Federation, said: “We all need to feel protected, and especially so when we are asleep. Fire doors play a vital role as the first line of defence against fire and smoke, containing their spread while buildings are evacuated. But they must be properly installed and maintained, and good fire safety practice must be shared and followed. That’s why we continue to raise awareness every year through Fire Door Safety Week. Good practice is especially important in buildings with multiple occupants and residents who may be vulnerable. It is quite literally a matter of life and death.” A simple five-step safety check includes: Certification (Look for a label, plug or similar marking) Apertures (Altering the door for windows voids the certification) Gaps and seals (Check gaps around the door to ensure they are no more than 4mm) Closers (Ensure the closer shuts the door firmly) Operation (Ensure the door closes correctly around the whole frame)
To mark the start of Fire Door Safety Week 2019, Abloy UK has launched an infographic that uncovers recent statistics around fire door safety and highlights the risks around non-compliance. As well as explaining how fire can spread fast, Abloy also makes recommendations on how to make premises safe from fire, and discusses fire door regulations and responsibility – as well as the penalties for non-compliance. Pat Jefferies, Commercial Director of Abloy UK, comments: “Fire Door Safety Week is an excellent opportunity to shine a light on the issues around the risks of unregulated fire doors, and educate those responsible for ensuring safety in buildings. Although the initiative gives us a relevant platform to highlight these issues, fire door safety should be front of mind all year round – especially when the ultimate cost from non-compliance can be the loss of life.” “That’s why Abloy is committed to educating anyone responsible for the specification and installation of fire doors through our Academy – whether that’s an architect, specifier, systems integrator, landlord or facilities manager. We’ve been training delegates at the Abloy Academy on the points raised in this infographic and so much more for over a decade, and are proud to help ensure public safety through fire door safety education for many more decades to come.”, he adds
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.
I gave a lot of thought to identifying the biggest challenge facing the American fire service in 2019. Many things came to mind: funding; fire prevention - if every building was sprinklered and all had working smoke alarms, it would solve a lot of other problems; political influences; initial, regular and ongoing training, and a bunch more. But the one constant that kept popping up is the people issue. Staffing. This obviously isn’t the first time you’ve heard that. Normally, when we talk about staffing, we talk about the number of firefighters on the apparatus. That is not exactly what I'm talking about. What I mean is, in 2019, we better figure out where our next group of recruits is coming from. Measurable Drop In Applicants If one fire department is paying more than another, members jump ship On the career side, numerous areas are reporting a measurable drop in applicants—in other words, they need people who want to be firefighters and medics. In some areas, it’s a bidding war. If one fire department is paying more than another, members jump ship. And who can blame them? They have families to take care of. But when the dust clears, there are still far fewer people interested in this job than we need. Some theories are that the new generation: Doesn’t like helping people Are self-focused Aren’t into doing physical things Are lazy Can make the same money without shift work Can make the same money without risk None of these theories gets us far in addressing the problem. The goal of any fire department is to deliver staffed, trained interior firefighters just a few minutes after someone dials 9-1-1 Big Picture Focus On the volunteer side, all you have to do is listen to a fire radio nearly anywhere in the U.S. (and Canada) and you will hear volunteer fire departments toning out... toning out... and toning out—with little response when members are responding from home or work. It, too, is a measurable problem. There are volunteer departments with little funding and others with plenty of funding. Regardless, there seems to be little “big picture” focus on solving the problem based upon what’s best for the people having the fire. Some say to simply hire career firefighters. Is it that simple? What are the pros? And are there any cons? There certainly are. Trained Interior Firefighters Some departments solve the problem by having their volunteers on duty, in quarters, ready to roll The old model of volunteers responding from home or work doesn’t work very well when you consider the proven fire spread in 2019 vs. fire spread even just 20 years ago. Some departments solve the problem by having their volunteers on duty, in quarters, ready to roll. That may be the least expensive option depending upon the local model. Some hire part-time firefighters. Some unfairly and regularly rely on mutual aid. Some have a fair and balanced mutual aid system. Some have their heads in the sand. The goal of any fire department is to deliver staffed, trained interior firefighters just a few minutes after someone dials 9-1-1. If we don’t have people knocking on the fire station doors to become career firefighters or to volunteer, that goal is in jeopardy. I simply can’t see a bigger, more immediate challenge for 2019 than the “people” issue.
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.
The wildfire season in 11 Western U.S. states has started out slower than last year, although deadly fires could still develop in the second half of the season, as they did last year. Meanwhile, wildfires in the Arctic have reached new levels, especially in Alaska and Siberia. Wildfires in the West killed 160 people and caused $40 billion in damage in the past two years, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. The trend is toward larger fires burning more acres – especially in years that are warm. This year has presented some relief. Through mid-July, California’s wildfire numbers were down: from 34,957 large fires on 3,554,03 acres in 2018 to 23,378 fires covering 2,371,397 acres in 2019, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. 87 wildfire incidents reported so far In Alaska, a dry spell this year has exacerbated 58 large fires throughout the state, including the Hess Creek Fire The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported 310 significant incidents (consuming at least 10 acres) in 2018, compared to only 87 significant incidents so far this year. The largest has been the Lonoak fire in Monterey. There were 38 wildfires that burned at least 2,000 acres in California in 2018; there have been only four such blazes in California through mid-July 2019. However, five of California’s largest fires last year happened in the second half of the year. In Alaska, a dry spell this year has exacerbated 58 large fires throughout the state, including the Hess Creek Fire, the largest so far in 2019. Effects of wildfires on Artic ice On the international level, the scale of wildfires in Siberia has been unusually high and dangerously close to population centers, and some environmentalists are concerned the soot from the fires can deposit on Arctic ice, speed up its melt rate, disrupt the local ecosystem, and even increase the sea level rise. Some fires are also in remote areas that are difficult to reach. Fires throughout the Arctic – in Greenland, Siberia and Alaska – are producing plumes of smoke visible from space. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has called the Arctic blazes ‘unprecedented’. Fires throughout the Arctic – in Greenland, Siberia and Alaska – are producing plumes of smoke visible from space Arctic fires are not only the result of dry vegetation; in some cases, the underlying peat has caught fire. “The amount of [carbon dioxide] emitted from Arctic circle fires in June 2019 is larger than all the combined CO2 released from Arctic circle fires in the same month from 2010 through 2018,” the WMO says. Forests are more vulnerable during droughts Throughout the Western U.S., higher temperatures correlate well with larger wildfires: The warmest weather years have equated to the most fires. Forests are more vulnerable during droughts, but even a wet winter may not relieve fire risks, according to Climate Central. The moisture can spur growth of grasses and shrubs, which dry out on warmer days and provide additional fuel The moisture can spur growth of grasses and shrubs, which dry out on warmer days and provide additional fuel. Climate Central’s analysis is based on data reported by the U.S. Forest Service covering Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Data shows that many states are struggling to use prescribed burns to reduce fuel for out-of-control blazes, but there is much less federal funding for prescribed burns than for fire suppression, according to Climate Central. Compressed wildfire season expected Looking forward, an active but compressed wildfire season is expected across the West as the southwestern monsoon becomes more active in August. While this will effectively end the season across the Southwest, lightning-induced fire activity is expected to increase elsewhere, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. By October and November, California will reenter the fire season amid concerns of higher-than-average fire potential due to the presence of an abundant crop of fine fuels in the lower to middle elevations.
Peterborough firefighters were buzzing to help a local project to enhance the environment for bees. Last week on Monday the firefighters from Green Watch at Dogsthorpe Fire Station attended an environmental initiative called Jimmy’s Bee’s at the newly built Connect Park in Millfield, Peterborough. Building Relationships With Local Residents The crew joined volunteers from the community to dig the grass up, sew and plant wildflower seeds in order to create a fantastic haven for bees. The project was commissioned by Channel 4 due to the third of Britain’s bee species declining since 1980. Planting the wildflower seeds allows bees and other insects to pollinate. Station Commander Matt Murdoch, the officer in charge of Dogsthorpe Fire Station, said: “A key part of being a firefighter is to be an active part of the local community. This allows us to ensure we are reaching the most vulnerable people to help keep them safe. Projects like this are a great way for our crews to pitch in and help the community, as well as make useful links and build relationships with local residents.”
Each year, the centrally located exhibition grounds of Hamburg Messe and Congress host more than 40 trade shows and other events that draw a total of more than 700,000 visitors from all over the world. The light-flooded halls and outdoor areas have a total space of nearly 100,000 square meters, enough to accommodate a wide variety of activities ranging from key international trade fairs to smaller exhibitions. Energy and Building Solutions A public address and evacuation solution installed by Energy and Building Solutions Behind the scenes, a public address and evacuation solution installed by Energy and Building Solutions, part of Bosch Building Technologies, helps to ensure the safety. If a dangerous situation ever arises, every second will count for clearing large crowds of people from the enormous buildings and grounds. The new evacuation system with fully compliant voice alarm system is designed to meet the most demanding requirements. “This state-of-the-art solution is necessarily very complex, due to the architecture and acoustics of the high-ceiled exhibition halls, among other factors,” explain construction supervisor Nico Zimmermann and systems specialist Joey Pickardt of Bosch. Bosch networked solution To meet the technical requirements for the new system, the existing cable network had to be completely replaced. “Announcements in individual halls and the foyer can now be directly controlled from any of the three linked locations,” adds Zimmermann. To make sure that they can be heard loudly and clearly, Bosch’s technicians installed more than 1,200 speakers and around 70 amplifiers. The system’s sound quality is so good, that Hamburg Messe and Congress also uses it to play background music and provide information to visitors. It is one of the largest solutions of this kind ever installed by Bosch in Germany.
The University of Edinburgh, one of the UK’s most prestigious educational establishments with a history stretching back to 1582, is now protected by industry-leading intelligent fire panels from Advanced. Edinburgh is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world, with the Old College building being opened in the early 19th century as a school for anatomy and surgery. The original campus was expanded in the 1880s with the addition of the New College, and the university now occupies six sites throughout Edinburgh. Flexible, Reliable And Compatible The new fire system installed at the main campus by long-term Advanced partner FMS Fire and Security Limited, covers the entire university campus. It compromises of multi-loop Advanced MxPro 4 and MxPro 5 panels, connected using fault-tolerant network cards. The new panels installed at the University of Edinburgh are the latest in a long line of installations" Dominic Rea, Director for FMS Fire and Security, said: “The new panels installed at the University of Edinburgh are the latest in a long line of installations we have undertaken throughout the university Campus, all using MxPro components. The Advanced panels installed are not only flexible and reliable but are also compatible with the existing systems already installed.” Two Panel Ranges MxPro is s multiprotocol panel and offers customers a choice of two panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network that enjoys free training and support. Ronald Kerr, spokesperson for the University of Edinburgh, commented: “The safety of our staff and students is paramount and they are now protected by the best fire panels on the market. The university has been shaping history since it welcomed its first students in 1583 and has played a large part in the scientific and literary development of Scotland. Our buildings are a big part of that history and, thanks to Advanced, they will be protected for many years to come.” Alarm Control Across Advanced’s ease of installation and configuration make MxPro customisable to almost any application MxPro 5 offers high performance fire detection and alarm control across multi-panel networks and multiple sites. MxPro 5 panels are EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 approved. They can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, 200-panel networks covering huge areas. Advanced’s ease of installation and configuration make MxPro customisable to almost any application and the panel is fully compatible with MxPro 4. Neil Parkin, Advanced Sales Manager for the North, said: “The University of Edinburgh is the latest in a long line of educational establishments protected by Advanced panels, including Sheffield University, Herriot Watt University and a number of leading independent schools. Our MxPro range offers the performance and reliability required by a site such as the University campus and the system is flexible enough to be expanded and upgraded as technology evolves.” Advanced is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The performance, quality and ease-of-use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
A new addition to the Red Funnel Ferries fleet of passenger catamarans that criss-cross the Solent between Southampton and the Isle of Wight entered service in summer 2018. With a speed of 38 knots, Red Jet 7 is 41 meters long and holds 277 passengers and four crew. As a new-build vessel, the advanced design for the fire protection had to undergo a stringent approval process to comply with the Marine Equipment Directive (MED) prior to installation by SEC Marine from Southampton. Fire Detection System More than 30 multisensor detectors from the Apollo Discovery Marine range were supplied for Red Jet 7 The modern catamaran received a state-of-the-art fire detection system from Apollo, designed and commissioned by Fireboy-Xintex UK Operations Ltd. The ideal solution for medium and large nautical installations, Discovery Marine has the flexibility to manage different operating environments via interchangeable devices and modes. More than 30 multisensor detectors from the Apollo Discovery Marine range were supplied for Red Jet 7, supported by a Kentec panel. Similar to an optical detector, the Discovery multisensor detector accommodates an optical smoke sensor and a thermistor temperature sensor whose outputs are combined to give the final analog value. Robert Aldous, Managing Director of Fireboy said: “Apollo has worked with us on the specific challenges of nautical fire protection for many years. In our opinion, Discovery Marine is the ONLY choice for new-build fire protection systems. The different devices, all manufactured to the highest standard, give our clients peace of mind on reliability and performance.”
Nittan Europe, UK manufacturer of conventional and addressable fire detection products and systems, has had its Evolution analog addressable fire detection system installed into St. Nicholas Church in Bristol. The system was supplied and commissioned by Coomber Fire and Security Systems who are a Nittan Elite Partner and BAFE SP203-1 & SP101 accredited. Grade II listed, St Nicholas Church was built in 1769, although the crypt dates back to medieval times. St. Nicholas has always played an important role in Bristol, whether it be for worship, providing shelter during WWII or, more recently, home to Bristol City Council tourist office and archive. The church was reopened in 2018 as a center for worship, mission and social engagement continuing this legacy of being a church ‘in the city, for the city’. Fire Detection System To protect this much-loved building, a Nittan Evolution analog addressable fire detection system has been installed throughout, featuring 51 devices including detectors and beam detectors, call points and high output sounder beacons. Coomber Fire and Security Systems is the independent fire and security installer in Somerset Coomber Fire and Security Systems is the largest independent fire and security installer in Somerset. It has extensive experience in fire detection systems for churches and chose Nittan for this project based on the reliability and quality of its Evolution range combined with the increased loop voltage which allows for longer cable runs; ‘ideal in an old church of this size’ states Adam Pitman, Senior Fire Systems Engineer, Coomber Fire and Security Systems. Adam also has praise for Nittan’s service: “Exceptional service as always!” Unwanted False Alarms Evolution is Nittan’s advanced, premium fire system. Evolution uses ASIC technology in the sensors and sophisticated detection algorithms, combining extremely reliable fire detection together with a very high degree of protection against unwanted false alarms. Its advanced, highly flexible protocol allows for substantial amounts of information to be transmitted at high speed and is not affected by the number of devices on the loop. Coomber Security is an expert in fire protection for commercial and industrial applications. They supply, install, commission and maintain, analog and conventional fire alarm systems as well as extinguishers and emergency lighting. Coomber Security has a dedicated team of BAFE accredited engineers to install our whole range of fire prevention systems.
Intelligent fire panels from global fire systems pioneer, Advanced, have been installed in a prestigious, £134million Central London office building. Situated in the prime London business address of St Paul’s Churchyard, the nine-story commercial premises, Condor House, stands adjacent to St Paul’s Cathedral and just meters from Fleet Street. Comprising 110,000 sq. ft. of high-quality office space, Condor House is home to a number of professional services firms including financial services provider Barclays Capital and investment bank Moelis & Company. Hailed by the installers as the ‘Engineer’s choice’, a network of Advanced’s flagship 4-loop MxPro 5 multiprotocol fire panels have been installed to protect the site. Integration of MxPro 5 panels and XP95 detectors WFP integrated the MxPro 5 open protocol control panels alongside Apollo’s XP95 range of detectorsResponsible for the complete replacement of all elements of the integrated fire detection, voice alarm and fire telephone system installed at Condor House, including design, installation, programming, testing and commissioning, were Essex-based firm and Advanced partners, WFP Fire and Security. The ‘closed’ nature of the system meant that the cost for alterations and maintenance was higher than the market price of an ‘open’ system. WFP integrated the MxPro 5 open protocol control panels, which recently received FM Approval to the EN54 standard, alongside Apollo’s XP95 range of detectors and interfaces. Advanced’s PC-based graphical interface package, detailing the building layout to make it straightforward for the security team to have visibility and control over the fire system, was also provided. Designing and building custom panels During the project, WFP enlisted the support of Advanced’s AdSpecials department to design and build several custom panels including 200 zonal indicator panels, sprinkler indication panels and bespoke plant with key switch isolation controls to be installed in mobile racking units alongside the six 4-loop fire alarm panels. For customers requiring custom fire panels, Advanced’s AdSpecials team will work with them to design and manufacture unique panels and control interfaces for its fire systems, whatever the installation challenge. The end result is a fully up-to-date fire detection and voice alarm system ready for 10-15 years of service" WFP Fire and Security’s Contracts Manager, Scott Wright, said: “From a technical standpoint, the design and implementation of the fire system at Condor House required intricate planning and execution. We consider Advanced as the engineer’s choice of product when it comes to fire alarm control panels as it’s one of the most versatile ‘open’ systems on the market. The end result is a fully up-to-date fire detection and voice alarm system ready for 10-15 years of service.” Easy to install and configure fire panels Approved to EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13, MxPro 5 panels can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, 200 panel networks covering huge areas and tens of thousands of field devices. Advanced’s legendary ease of installation and configuration and wide peripheral range means that MxPro is customizable to almost any application, and it can be found in challenging and prestigious sites around the world. Ken Bullock, Regional Sales Manager, said: “This project involved a major upgrade from the old closed protocol system. Advanced MxPro 5 panels are compatible with detectors from four of the biggest manufacturers: Apollo, Argus, Nittan and Hochiki. Our panels and compatible field devices are available from a wide range of distributors putting the customer in charge of their budget." Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control “The MxPro 5 range of alarm control equipment was specified because of the openness, flexibility and performance and we were thrilled to work with WFP to provide the solutions they needed to make this extensive retrofit a success.” Protecting commercial properties Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, has a long history of protecting high-profile commercial property from HSBC’s Canary Wharf headquarters in London to Sydney’s famous Westfield Shopping Centre. Advanced is a global pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease-of-use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.