Firefighting kit has a number of functions. It protects crew members in a wide range of situations and makes them instantly recognizable in an emergency. Replacing the firefighting kit at the right time keeps fire firefighters and rescue personnel safe and comfortable, no matter what the emergency. Call outs for firefighters According to the UK Home Office, in the last year, 28 per cent of call-outs for firefighters and rescue staff involved responding to fires, 42 per cent of call outs...
Innovation in the fire protection industry can oftentimes be slow to move forward, particularly when compared to other similar industries. This is because legislation, regulation, and enforcement, while all necessary proponents within the sector, can often slow the tide of revolutionary ideas. However, the ability to innovate in this industry can quite literally be a matter of life and death. The developing intricacies of modern infrastructure and the demand for more sustainable solutions must...
SFP, the restructuring and turnaround group, publishes a new free Guide to Business Survival with easy to follow practical steps which includes a number of remedies to help fire and security businesses navigate through the current crisis. The Guide to Business Survival is set up in three clear stages of keeping or getting a business back on track. True financial position Part One explores the steps a business can take without having to resort to borrowing, and the importance of a cashflow for...
As the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations begins around the country, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) continues to offer support to the health sector during the pandemic. Having already seen staff from various parts of the Service helping with training new ambulance drivers, supporting the community hubs and working as ambulance drivers, CFRS is now offering its support with the vaccination program. Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland said: "The pandemic has been such a challenging t...
Fire and rescue service employers have unilaterally scrapped a ground-breaking agreement with the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) which had enabled firefighters to assist the NHS and care sector response to COVID-19. Negotiations over health and safety measures for firefighters delivering high-risk COVID-19 duties were ongoing when the National Employers issued a communication ending the agreement on the evening of Wednesday 13 January. The decision appears to be supported by the National Fire Chiefs...
Packexe were awarded a Royal Warrant in 2016 for supplying Packexe protection film to the royal household and last year, the company added a Queens Award for Enterprise to their name. Recognized in the category of innovation for their time critical glass management tool, Packexe SMASH, Packexe have been supplying emergency teams across the globe with their innovative extrication tool for the last decade. Packexe SMASH Packexe SMASH is designed to hold glass securely in place, reducing the ris...
The new Detention Center in Crawford County, Arkansas has raised the bar when it comes to Life Safety measures. The new Crawford County Justice Center was built due to alarming overcrowding issues that endangered the safety of the inmates and staff. The new 307 bed facility is now a beacon of safety, especially when it comes to Life Safety & Fire Protection. Installing Life Safety system In February of 2018, The Association of Builders and Contractors of Arkansas awarded American Fire Protection Group of Little Rock the Excellence in Construction Eagle Award for the implementation of an innovative and premier Life Safety system. The Eagle Award recognizes outstanding work on construction projects. A winning project is evaluated on the material submitted, the attractiveness of design, complexity, workmanship, innovation, unusual challenges and the problems that were overcome. Fire hydrants, wet and dry sprinkler systems installed Total of 673 sprinklers were installed to protect the entire facility, including institutional sprinkler heads in inmate areas The Life Safety work on the 64,000 square foot facility took 18 months to complete and totaled US$ 320,000. The project included the installation of 1,140 linear feet of underground piping, 3 fire hydrants, an enclosed backflow preventer, 2 wet sprinkler systems, 1 dry sprinkler system, and 2 remote fire department connections. A total of 673 sprinklers were installed to protect the entire facility, including institutional sprinkler heads in inmate areas. The duration of the project and scope of work presented several challenges. These challenges were answered with detailed scheduling, trade coordination, and effective internal and external communication between all parties. These efforts aided in ensuring that there were minimal scheduling issues. Project collaboration with Smith-Doyle Contractors In addition to the aesthetic and safety, the other goal of the project was to work with companies that could come in under budget and finish ahead of schedule. American Fire Protection Group came through big on both, coming in 2 months ahead of schedule and US$ 3 million under the project’s budget. American Fire Protection Group worked with Smith-Doyle Contractors who are located in Cordova, Tennessee. Don Abernathy, Vice President of Smith-Doyle Contractors said, “It was a pleasure working with American Fire Protection Group on their multi-prime project. Working together to deliver the project to Crawford County 60 days early and over US$ 3 million under budget took a team of dedicated professionals.” Don adds, “We applaud their efforts in staying dedicated to the project and to the team. We look forward to working with American Fire Protection Group on many additional projects in the future.” Institutional ceilings installed Another issue that was overcome came from the special ceiling requirements Another issue that was overcome came from the special ceiling requirements. Being a detention center, institutional ceilings were required in all areas where detainees could have access to the ceiling. Once installed, the institutional ceilings are locked in place. So early scheduling and collaborating with the ceiling contractors was completed to plan out the flow of trim out. The epoxy floors were another area where limitations were placed on installation and trim-out. All parties worked to establish a schedule that helped to alleviate confusion and to ensure safety and protection. Setting the standard for Southeast detention centers Additionally, the Crawford County Justice Center was featured in the January/February issue of Correctional News Magazine. The article was titled ‘Success in the Southeast’ and praised the new facility as setting the new standard for detention centers in the Southeast United States. American Fire Projection Group, along with all Eagle winners will be recognized at the EIC Banquet on April 7, 2018 in Hot Springs, Arizona. The ceremony will feature a multi-media presentation highlighting the Eagle award winners, printed programs, publications and releases through the regional construction-related news media.
The Board of Directors of the Dallas-based American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) has announced the unanimous selection of Robert G. (Bob) Caputo, CFPS, as the association's President. Established in 1981, AFSA and its federation of 31 chapters serve as North America's largest fire sprinkler industry organization. Caputo's tenure will begin on November 1, 2020. "The Board members and I are very excited and extremely pleased to welcome Bob to the AFSA team," says AFSA Chair of the Board Ted Wills, president of Anchor Fire Protection Co. in Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania. "We felt it was important to have an industry veteran at the helm. The future of AFSA is bright, and this is just the beginning." Providing guidance and support This appointment follows an extensive search for an effective leader for the fire sprinkler industry's largest trade association. Caputo has been an important part of this industry for over 41 years and is a long-time member of AFSA and promoter of merit shop contracting. He is the former owner of Consolidated Fire Protection in the San Diego area and has held fire sprinkler contractor's licenses in 23 states. Most recently, he was the vice president for training and technical support for Fire & Life Safety America, based in Richmond, Virginia. As President, Caputo will be responsible for providing guidance and support to the Board while AFSA's experienced team of engineers and other professionals who are dedicated to serving the membership comprised of contractors, designers, manufacturers, suppliers, and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs). Fire sprinkler industry He will also represent the association, interacting with key stakeholders, including regulatory and other public agencies, and increase the visibility of the value of the fire sprinkler industry and those companies that operate merit shops throughout North America and globally. Caputo also will oversee the association's efforts to provide educational advancement, promotion, and utilization of automatic fire sprinkler systems in the U.S. and around the world. Caputo expressed excitement for the opportunity to lead AFSA's excellent team in support of the fire sprinkler industry and noted the recent building of the association's engineering and technical services team, led by John August Denhardt, P.E., FSFPE. "I want to be in touch with our members and their needs and continue to expand AFSA's training and education opportunities. My focus will be on fulfilling the AFSA mission, team building, and 'knock-your-socks-off' services to the membership." Project management tools Caputo is a well-known industry expert, presenting on hydraulic calculations, fire pumps, plan review, and NFPA standards for AFSA and NFPA. He chairs and serves as a member on several NFPA committees, including chairing the NFPA 16 Technical Committee (Foam & Water Sprinkler Systems), NFPA 24, and NFPA 291. He has contributed to the NFPA 13 (2013 and 2016 editions) and NFPA 25 (2014 edition) Handbooks, and developed AFSA programs, including its Project Management Tools and ITM Inspector Development programs. Strong pool of candidates Additionally, Caputo has chaired two chapters of AFSA - Arizona and Southern California. "I am absolutely thrilled with the announcement of Bob Caputo as the new President of the American Fire Sprinkler Association," says AFSA At-Large Director and Search Committee Chair Wayne Weisz, president of Cen-Cal Fire Systems, Inc., Lodi, California. "Even though we had a very strong pool of candidates, Bob's in-depth knowledge of our association as well as the fire sprinkler industry made him the unanimous choice. I am very excited to see what the future holds for our association under Bob's leadership." Fire sprinkler professionals Caputo serves as a member of the Oklahoma State University School of Fire Protection Engineering Advisory Board. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Fire Protection Contractor magazine's ‘Industry person of the Year,’ San Diego County Fire Chief's Association's ‘Fire Prevention Officer of the Year,’ and AFSA's highest honor, the Henry S. Parmelee Award. Caputo attended Chapman College, Orange, California, and the University of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a U.S. Navy veteran and former volunteer fire fighter. "I am looking forward to being part of a team that services such an important industry," comments Caputo. "We are the biggest and best association in the fire sprinkler industry. What fire sprinkler professionals do is important - it matters - and AFSA will be there every step of the way to train and support its members."
First responder radio signal and communications can be significantly impacted by building construction, building size, and other factors. Because of that, it is important that emergency personnel have the ability to communicate in the event of an emergency. The good news is that there is a solution! Bi-Directional Amplification (BDA) Bi-Directional Amplification (BDA) is an Emergency Radio Communication System that provides reliable communication radio transmissions between first responders inside a building, and emergency personnel outside the building. What does Bi-Directional Amplification service include? Site Surveys Design Installation Inspections Maintenance & Service Project Management Post-Installation Analysis Testing and Certification Code References If a building does not meet the required minimal signal strength of -95db for both incoming and outgoing signals, the only effective solution is the installation of a signal booster (Bi-Directional Amplification). Standard codes for building to have radio coverage American Fire Protection Group is an elite partner of Honeywell, for their Gamewell-FCI and NOTIFIER product lines Modern day codes, like the IBC 2015 Section 916, IFC 2015 & 2018 Section 510, NC Fire Code 2018 Section 510, NFPA 72 2010 & 2013 Editions, NFPA 1221 and UL2524, require all buildings to have approved radio coverage for emergency responders within the building based on the existing coverage levels of the public safety communication systems of the jurisdiction at the exterior of the building. American Fire Protection Group (AFPG) is an elite partner of Honeywell, for their Gamewell-FCI and NOTIFIER product lines. AFPG partners with Honeywell on BDA equipment because Honeywell currently offers the only UL2524 listed BDA equipment in the industry. Honeywell lists the following features and benefits for addressable Class B BDAs: Single portfolio to meet any application across US supporting all public safety frequency bands. UL2524 In-building 2-Way Emergency Radio Communication Enhancement Systems listing. CSFM listing. NFPA 72 2010 Edition, NFPA 1221 2016 Edition and IFC 2018 compliant. Built-In NOTIFIER Addressable Monitor Module. Various models available for UHF, VHF, 700MHz, 800 MHz and multi-band. Integrated dual power supply and battery charger with intelligent battery monitoring. NEMA 4 Type (UL Type-4) Approved Equipment Enclosure. NEMA 3R Type (UL Type-3R) Approved Battery Enclosure. Supports higher system gains for efficient link budgeting.
Choosing the right fire suppression system can make all the difference in the protection of vital establishments and entities, including building, assets, and people. Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid The Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid is a clean agent fire extinguishant that was created as an alternative to hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) and a halon replacement. Fire protection systems using the Novec 1230 fluid are assured that: Fluid is stored as a liquid but discharged as a gas. The system will recognize a fire before it starts and will extinguish the fire in just seconds by rapidly removing heat. This works significantly faster than most water-based systems discharge. As a waterless fire suppression solution, the Novec 1230 fluid leaves no residue behind, helping to protect important documents and electronics. Novec 1230 offers the highest margin of safety for human occupancy of any clean agent solution. The Novec 1230 is not governed by any regulatory body, including the Montreal Protocol. Also, the use of Novec 1230 fluids is not required to comply with Halon 1302 phase-outs or HFC phase-downs. Appropriate for Class A, B and C fire hazards. Environmental manufacturers’ warranties are available. Faster fluid evaporation than water Novec 1230 fluid evaporates much faster than water. How much faster? Try 50 times faster! According to American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) research, Novec 1230 fluid evaporates much faster than water. How much faster? Try 50 times faster! For example, on soaking a phonebook in Novec 1230, it would be dry within 1 minute. Benefits of Novec 1230 fluid include: It is environmentally sustainable. It is close in cost to FM-200 & ECARO-25. It can replace halon fire protection systems. It has a high margin of safety. Novec 1230 is an ideal fire suppression solution for these industries: Data Centers Oil & Gas Facilities Museums Art Galleries Aviation Facilities Medical Centers Industrial Facilities Power Plants
It is safe to say that water is vital to the existence on this planet. What was once in abundant supply is now being rationed due to the growth of the populous; therefore making it crucial to protect what resources one has as best they can. In the fire protection industry, one must do their part to protect the water supply. The most sensible way, at present, is through a Backflow Protection Program. An ever-growing number of cities and small towns are requiring approved backflow preventers to be installed downstream from the municipal water supply. Pressurized fire sprinkler Before installation in Texas, for example, a backflow preventer must be an approved assembly by TCEQ, ‘Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’, and the local authorities. The backflow preventer keeps the pressurized fire sprinkler water line from flowing back into the municipal water line, which is possible if there is a loss of pressure from the municipal water line. Backflow preventers eliminate the possibility of polluting the municipal water system Backflow preventers eliminate the possibility of polluting the municipal water system through cross-contamination. Once an approved backflow preventer has been properly installed by a licensed company, it must have an initial test performed by a licensed Backflow Tester (an individual who has completed the required course for backflow testing and has successfully passed the TCEQ State Test for certification). Fire protection industry In the fire protection industry, there are only two approved main assemblies and the position they can be installed. They must be initially tested to certify the assembly and tested annually thereafter. Two examples are: Double Check – Horizontal or Vertical ‘Up’ - The Double Check Assembly is the mainstay for normal fire protection applications. Reduced Pressure Zone ‘RPZ’ – Horizontal only - The Reduced Pressure Zone Assembly is typically used when chemicals are added to the equation, such as a pre-mixed antifreeze mixture to prevent exposed piping from freezing. However, some municipalities require RPZ’s on all applications. The RPZ uses a double check concept with a relief valve and an air. In short, backflow preventers work to protect the water resources; and for now, this is a good start. American Fire Protection Group is constantly staying informed of the latest in technology to help with all the fire protection needs.
The US federal government passed a new legislation called the ‘Tax Cuts & Job Act’. This legislation includes incentives for businesses that install new fire sprinkler systems. As fire sprinklers are the quickest way to extinguish a fire, it’s important to incentivize businesses to install one. Money should never be seen as a deterrent to keeping your employees and patrons safe. ‘Tax Cuts & Job Act’ US Congress has added fire protection as an eligible expenditure under Section 179 of the tax code US Congress has added fire protection as an eligible expenditure under Section 179 of the tax code. The Congress has also increased the cap to US$ 1 million (up from US$ 500,000) as the amount that a small business can deduct in a single year. This provision applies only to commercial structures and cannot be used for retrofitting sprinklers into residential structures. However, critical occupancies such as entertainment venues could easily be done under this provision. This change is also a permanent law and unlike section 13201 is not gradually phased out over time. Best time to install new sprinkler system With tax incentives now in place, combined with one of the best economic growth in recent times, there has never been a better time to install a new sprinkler system. When speaking with a tax professional about these tax breaks, make sure to reference the changes in Section 179 of the recently passed tax reform legislation (P.L. 115-97), for up to US$ 1 million in fire protection. What’s included in Section 179? This includes: Roofs Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Fire protection and Alarm Systems Security Systems What types of Building Types are listed in Section 179? They include: Local, Small Businesses Nightclubs Restaurants/Diners (local owner) Bowling Alleys Locally Owned Movie Theatres Main Street America-type Shops High-Rise Commercial Buildings Residential Occupancies Condos Inclusion of fire sprinklers in tax reform The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) spent many years working with the government to ensure this tax reform was completed. Vickie Pritchett, the Director of Outreach and Government Relations at the NFSA stated, “The successful inclusion of fire sprinklers in tax reform is a result of years of steadfast work to educate. Our fire service allies and others were difference makers.” She adds, “The advocate voices made a difference as we worked to bring the stories to life, so legislators would understand and support fire safety inclusion in the incentive package.”
Since the Grenfell tower tragedy in 2017, residential high-rise fire safety has become a top priority for tower block building managers. If a high-rise building is found to contain combustible cladding, then the standard ‘stay put’ policy is no longer considered safe, and instead a temporary ‘simultaneous evacuation’ strategy must be put in place until the cladding issue is resolved. Currently a Waking Watch protocol is the preferred option for ensuring resident’s safety, in order to coordinate a simultaneous evacuation in the event of a fire. But, due to the extremely high cost of Waking Watch, Fire Detection & Alarm systems are being used to help reduce and, in some cases, remove these costs, which can amount to upwards of £100,000 per year. After the Grenfell fire, official figures showed that there are 300 towers with ‘Grenfell-style’ Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) cladding. However, there are many different types of high-risk flammable cladding used on purpose-built blocks of flats, such as timber, high-pressure laminate (HPL) and polystyrene cladding. With more and more unsafe buildings being assessed, the scale of this issue continues to grow. Currently a Waking Watch protocol is the preferred option for ensuring resident’s safety The UK Government announced in 2018 that it would pay for the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding in councils and housing associations. However, there is no legal position stating that private landlords should not pass the cost of this work onto tenants, and with the high costs of replacement, along with mounting Waking Watch costs, private landlords are known to pass this cost to tenants in service charges. Along with the cost of cladding replacement, landlords are also charging tenants for the cost of expensive Waking Watch services. Approved fire alarm systems are fast becoming the preferred safety system, due to the reduced overall costs, as well as the NFCC (National Fire Chiefs Council) recommending these over Waking Watch services. Fire safety regulations in high-rise buildings Following the Grenfell tragedy, the Government issued notice that all buildings over 18m had to be assessed for combustible material in their external walls. Following this, in January 2020, the government also issued Advice for Building Owners of Multi-story, Multi-occupied residential buildings stating that “building owners are to consider the risks of any external wall system and fire doors in their fire risk assessments, irrespective of the height of the building” immediately, until a Fire Safety Bill is put in place. Approved fire alarm systems are fast becoming the preferred safety system In order to assess the fire risk of external wall systems of residential apartment buildings an EWS1 assessment (External Wall Fire Review) must be completed. This risk assessment form provides a ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’ certificate for the building, and must be completed by a competent fire expert. Not only does an ‘unsafe’ certificate affect the owner of the building, with the need for new fire safety solutions, it also directly affects tenants, with mortgage lenders refusing to lend on a apartment until they are satisfied that the facade is safe. Until the building has completed the assessment and been deemed safe, all dwellings within the building are valued at £0, and cannot be sold. 'Unsafe' certificates Buildings that have been awarded an ‘unsafe’ certificate through the EWS1 assessment will need to implement temporary fire safety measures while the cladding is being removed. The key purposes of this guidance, outlined by National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) in May 2018 and then reviewed in October 2020, are: early detection of a fire, warning of building occupants, and management of the evacuation. The measures state: In order to prevent tenants from being removed from their homes, ‘Stay Put’ must be temporarily replaced by a ‘Simultaneous Evacuation’ strategy until the building has been remediated. Temporary protection measures must be introduced to ensure the safety of residents; either a 24/7 Waking Watch or a common Fire Detection & Alarm system designed to BS5839 Part 1 category L5 specification. Fire safety solutions Waking Watch is the quickest and easiest way to fulfill the requirements from the NFCC guidance. This solution requires a trained fire marshal or warden to patrol the building 24/7 and alert residents in the case of a fire. They will also be responsible for carrying out the Simultaneous Evacuation strategy and assisting residents’ evacuation. While the Waking Watch solution works well as an immediate solution to fire safety, the mounting costs of this fix means that it is unsustainable in most situations, with tenants facing unaffordable increases to their monthly rent in order to cover the costs. For example, reports into Raphael House, near Essex, show how a five-person 24-hour patrol costs £50,000 per month. This cost is split between the 154 flats, resulting in average costs of more than £300 a month for each resident. Issues with Waking Watch In addition to the cost, there are other issues associated with Waking Watch, including: Patrols cannot cover all areas of the building at all times No fire detection system within the flats themselves Not a long term solution The alternative solution to fire safety in high-rise buildings, as per the NFCC guidance, is to install a Fire Detection & Alarm system designed to BS5839 Part 1 category L5 specification. Although the upfront cost of these systems tend to be higher than a Waking Watch initiative, the overall expenditure, given the cost and time it takes to replace the cladding, far exceeds the cost of a fire alarm system. NFCC compliant fire alarm systems An NFCC compliant fire alarm system ensures early detection of fire and alert to residents. The BS5839 Part 1 category L5 systems do not replace the mains wired smoke alarms required in each apartment, but instead are installed in the common areas of the building in order to provide additional cover for these communal areas. These fire systems should be: Designed in accordance with BS5839, Part 1, category L5 Heat detectors should be installed throughout the building next to the windows that overlook an area of the external wall, including within the dwellings. An immediate evacuation signal should be triggered by the operation of any single heat detector. Installation of a new common area fire alarm system should not cause any further damage to the compartmentation or have an adverse effect on other provisions in the building. Comparison (Waking Watch vs Fire Alarm Systems) Cost: The government has outlined the average cost of Waking Watch in England as £17,897 per building per month, with the hourly rate per person undertaking Waking Watch duties ranging from £12.00 to £30.00 per hour. A total of £644,292 over 3 years. Additional charges for equipment, facilities, accommodation and services can also be applied. A suitable fire alarm system is likely to cost around £65,000 over the course of 3 years, for installation and yearly recurring costs. This means, over this period, installing a fire alarm system will save a total of £579,292. Long term solution: While both Waking Watch and a Fire Alarm System are considered short term solutions, many fire alarm systems can be adapted for future use once the cladding issue has been resolved, providing suitable infrastructure is created at the design and installation stage. Alerting the whole building at once: A Fire Alarm System is a more time efficient solution to detecting a fire than Waking Watch. The system is able to alert the whole building at the same time, allowing for the simultaneous evacuation protocol to be followed in a more time efficient manner. The NFCC states in their Simultaneous Evacuation Guidance... “NFCC strongly recommends that where a change to a simultaneous evacuation is deemed appropriate and will be required for medium to long periods of time that a temporary common fire alarm system is installed. This is because a temporary common fire alarm, when designed, installed and maintained appropriately is a more reliable and cost-effective way to maintain a sufficient level of early detection. An appropriate communal fire alarm and detection system will generally provide more certainty that a fire will be detected and warned at the earliest opportunity rather than rely on using trained staff.” With many residential high-rise buildings needing additional protection due to flammable cladding, and the excessive cost of Waking Watch, now is the time to consider a Fire Alarm System to keep residents in high-rise buildings safe.
With Grenfell inquiries continuing to uncover a number of fire safety issues, it’s clear that decision makers must learn from critical mistakes in a bid for better fire safety standards. Karen Trigg of Allegion UK highlights the key lessons that must be taken from Grenfell to help ensure a disaster of this magnitude never happens again. On the 14th June 2017, UK witnessed a tragedy. A myriad of critical issues, whether the result of mistakes, oversights or neglect, led to the largest fire disaster in modern memory - Grenfell Tower. Since then, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry has taken steps to uncover what went wrong that morning. But equally important is identifying and learning from the fire safety issues that were in play that day, so as to help ensure an incident like this never happens again. Taking Responsibility With that in mind, decision makers, construction companies, installers and manufacturers are amongst those that, in reviewing the reports, can make clear, steadfast plans to help improve fire safety for everyone. For that, a change in education towards fire safety - and the various solutions that make it possible - must be at the forefront of one’s activity. Because in reality, one is not just talking about ancillary products here, but lifesaving solutions. In November 2020, it emerged that Grenfell Tower suppliers were aware their cladding was dangerous In November 2020, it emerged that Grenfell Tower suppliers were aware their cladding was dangerous, with an inquiry citing, “These companies knew their materials would burn with lethal speed”. Despite the inquiries still bringing issues to light years later, it’s important to move forward on the critical topics that have already been identified. safety hardware manufacturers Aside from cladding, from the viewpoint of fire safety hardware manufacturers, two other key issues stood out from the reports; the failure of compartmentation and flat entrance doors failing to close. Combined, these themes proved fatal. Compartmentation in particular is crucial to containing the spread of fire from one area (in this case, apartments) to another, giving building occupants a safe space and protection from the fire. Commonly, over a building’s lifespan, compartmentation can become compromised with a number of different retro-fitted products. With this, installers (who may not be fully aware of the importance of fire protection) can potentially leave holes where there were none before, thus giving fire and smoke a place to breach the defenses the building once had. On this occasion, learning from the fire doors - which also play a critical part in compartmentalization - is key. ineffective fire doors As stated in Phase I of the Grenfell Inquiry, “The performance of fire doors in the tower, in particular, whether they complied with relevant regulations, their maintenance and the reasons why some of the self-closing devices do not appear to have worked.” In the same section of Phase I, it was made clear that ineffective fire doors allowed smoke and toxic gases to spread throughout the building at a quicker rate than they should have. The market has developed to offer solutions designed to meet the many needs of a building and their users The absence of effective self-closing devices in part led to the failure of compartmentation and was therefore a reason why the doors failed to perform their essential function. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that fire doors (when operating with fully functional hardware) play an essential role in preventing or inhibiting the spread of smoke and toxic gases and are a key factor in preserving effective compartmentation in buildings. delayed closing mechanisms With this information, questions must be asked as to why there was an absence of effective self-closing devices? There could be many reasons as to why there was a lack of self-closing devices, for example, the doors being too difficult to open, or perhaps closing too quickly and were thus removed. Yet the removal of those devices is never the true answer and instead it puts residents at risk. Today, the market has developed to offer solutions designed to meet the many needs of a building and their users, including those with delayed closing mechanisms that can ease access and egress. Yet it’s key to remember that fire doors and their accompanying hardware are there to save lives and property in the event of a fire and can only do so if the correct solutions are present and correctly installed. fire safety education The lessons taken from Grenfell must further prompt an area which is still not as good as it needs to be - fire safety education. It’s fundamental to ensure facility managers, installers and residents all understand the importance of fire safety solutions - from why they’re there to how they operate. The installation process is paramount, too. There are common issues with installation that simply must be ironed out. Aside from this, stricter guidelines need to be implemented as a way of preventing fire incidents such as Grenfell Commonly, the speed to which installers are required to work isn’t leaving enough time for door closers to be fully adjusted and therefore suit the environment in which it’s being fitted. To combat this, suppliers must do what is necessary to support installation - from supplying self-adhesive templates to improve efficiency, to offering spring adjustable door closers which are perfect for time-impaired installers. preventing fire incidents Aside from this, stricter guidelines need to be implemented as a way of preventing fire incidents such as Grenfell. Fire safety solutions such as door hardware are accompanied with certifications but should stricter guidelines be in place for those installing them? Furthermore, when it comes to testing, should higher risk buildings not be treated in the same vein as the everyday vehicles where regular servicing and MOTs are required to ensure they continue to perform? These, amongst others, are the questions that must continue being asked. Finally, a push for improved competence across the board is key. From the product design stage right through to constructing, inspecting, assessing and managing and maintaining all public buildings, including higher risk residential buildings as Grenfell once was. Only when key mistakes are learnt from, and competent bodies placed in the overseeing of refurbishments or new builds of high-risk residential buildings, can everyone truly feel that they are one step closer to complete fire safety
From a 48-storey fire in the UAE, to a 200-firefighter-strong blaze at student accommodation in the UK, several high-profile, high-rise fires continue to keep the focus of utilities, regulators, developers, and public associations everywhere on actively seeking ways to reduce the risk of fire with innovative materials. Statistics show that the majority of fire related fatalities occur in a domestic setting between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am. Protecting high-rise residential buildings from fire, where occupancy rates are high but the reaction to danger is lower (while asleep), is a critical engineering challenge. Fire risk assessment While most recently built high rise buildings will be equipped with risk safety provisions such as wet or dry risers, protected staircases, sprinklers, and communications systems as standard, thousands of post-war, purpose-built flats require careful risk assessment and improvement. What was acceptable at the time of build may no longer meet today’s standards or may have been affected by changing environmental factors such as the encroachment of neighboring buildings. While the fire safety legislation adopted in 2006 has driven improvements that seek to address these types of issues While the fire safety legislation adopted in 2006 has driven improvements that seek to address these types of issues, its application has sometimes been problematic, with varied results from site to site. A fire risk assessment is the first step in evaluating the risks posed and identifying options to reduce the potential for a devastating event. Potential fire risk Electricity substations, which are often located in the basement or adjoining a high-rise building, will often be identified as a potential fire risk due to the proximity of a source of a fuel – mineral oil – to a source of heat and sparks. This concurs with the findings of the MIDEL Transformer Risk Report 2020, where respondents identified fire risk as the second most important consideration when assessing transformer risk overall. Mineral oil is widely accepted as the most flammable of the insulating fluids used within a substation’s transformers, but has persisted in its use due to its price point. A mineral oil fire will burn ferociously, producing thick, black smoke, impeding evacuation by reducing visibility and potentially jeopardizing ground floor and basement exits. Fire suppression systems At their worst, there are documented cases where transformer fires have caused loss of life and significant damage to the environment. They are certainly not a risk to be ignored. In newer buildings, the use of mineral oil in a transformer needs to account for the substation to be constructed to the latest fire safety standard – reinforced concrete or brickwork with a minimum four-hour fire containment rating. The fire risk can be mitigated in a completely different way once mineral oil is eliminated from the equation In addition to fire suppression systems involving significant civil engineering works, these measures do not eliminate the risk of fire by preventing it but are necessary to contain a fire once one starts. Additionally in older buildings, where the retrofitting of concrete reinforcements or a complete relocation of the substation would be expensive and technically challenging (if not impossible), the fire risk can be mitigated in a completely different way once mineral oil is eliminated from the equation. Enhancing fire safety One pioneering UK utility is leading the way in mitigating transformer-related fire risk. Following the fire at Grenfell in the UK, the utility considered that any element of risk was no longer acceptable and so undertook a sizeable and substantial review of its property portfolio. It subsequently identified over 100 residential sites where upgrades could be made to further enhance fire safety and the safety of residents. Many of these higher-risk units are located in embedded substations in the basements of the high-rise apartments that rely on them for electricity. The units range from 500kVa to 1000kVa. After exploring the options, the utility embarked on an extensive program of corrective upgrades at a scale never seen before in the UK. Minimizing fire risk One long-term and economic solution to reduce transformer fire risk stood out; replace the mineral oil in each transformer with a fire safe alternative. Synthetic ester fluids are a K-class rated fire-safe and biodegradable alternative to mineral oil, and it is increasingly being chosen by power utilities and end users to minimize fire risk. The significantly higher fire point makes it the ideal choice for improving the safety of transformers The contract for the utility’s schedule of upgrades was awarded to MIDEL Service Partner Grosvenor Oil Services who opted to use MIDEL 7131, a synthetic ester transformer fluid, that has a high fire point of 316°C, far exceeding that of mineral oil (180°C). The significantly higher fire point makes it the ideal choice for improving the safety of transformers located in residential and high-rise buildings. High-Rise buildings The retro filling technicians leveraged their experience of MIDEL’s ester liquids to the benefit of the project - and the safety of residents. For each site, the technicians inspected the condition of the transformer before draining it of the mineral oil and flushing it through. Once completed, the transformers were retro filled with the fire safe synthetic ester and tested. Replacing mineral oil has several benefits beyond the peace of mind it brings to residents in high-rise buildings. For one, it significantly enhances the sustainability of substations: ester fluids are biodegradable and non-toxic – in the event of a leak, it does not pose a threat to the environment or to people that come into contact with it. Unexpected power outages Ester fluids also keep the transformer in better condition for longer, by reducing the impact that water ingress has on components such as the insulating paper. Because of this benefit, ester-filled transformers require less frequent quality testing (once every five years, rather than once every 12 months). Sites are also better protected against unexpected power outages due to failure Subsequently, this reduces utilities’ maintenance burden as well as increase uptime. Sites are also better protected against unexpected power outages due to failure. Finally, it offers the ability to safely increase transformer load, a benefit that became particularly fortuitous when the COVID-19 lockdown significantly increased domestic property electricity demand. Fire-Safe materials While pioneering, this utility is not alone in its efforts. Utilities across the UK are turning to the benefits of fire-safe materials to reduce the potential for transformer fires in high-rise buildings and higher-risk locations such as hospitals, schools, and shopping centers. The benefits and the process of retro filling is well-established, and with many more people expected to work from home for the foreseeable future, there is not a moment to waste to ensure that the thousands of transformers that supply domestic power are fire safe, sustainable and reliable.
Translation in an emergency setting is a challenge that first responders face on a daily basis. For example, London Luton Airport’s Fire Service would previously have to find a member of staff or a passenger that could help them translate, which is not always possible. As a last resort, the service would carry around a large flipbook containing numerous medical questions in a multitude of languages, but this did not solve the problem of understanding any responses. AI-Powered Language Translation Device Now they have a more instant device to provide a faster and easier way to communicate. It’s called Pocketalk, an AI-powered language translation device designed for instant and accurate two-way conversations at the touch of the button, even in noisy environments. Pocketalk supports 82 languages, addressing 90% of the world’s population. It has been used as an emergency communications tool to break down barriers between first responders like fire service staff and healthcare practitioners and their service users/patients. Quick, Easy, Calm Firefighters can use Pocketalk to communicate quickly, easily, and calmly with people at the scene of an emergency. It helps them to overcome language barriers and achieve a range of goals – from assessing injuries of people who don’t speak English as a first language to asking them for more information about an emergency situation. Organizations face a growing challenge to meet changing communication needs. For example, among the United Kingdom’s increasingly diverse population, around one in ten people do not speak English as their first language. In areas like London, this figure is around one in five people. Emergency Services Donations Healthcare providers including five UK ambulance services received donations and are using Pocketalk Following an announcement earlier in 2020 that 500 Pocketalk W devices were being donated to emergency services providers in Europe to help them deal with COVID-19, London Luton Airport’s Fire Service was one of the organizations to apply for units. Healthcare providers including five UK ambulance services - North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Avon Valley Community Responders, St Johns Ambulance (Norwich), St Johns Ambulance (Greater Manchester), and Special Ambulance Transfers – also received donations and are using Pocketalk. The parent company, Sourcenext, has an interest in language learning, which is where Pocketalk came from. The product vision was simple –to make it easy for people who speak different languages to understand each other. Pocketalk is now helping to break down language barriers all over the world. Awareness & Usefulness The best way to increase awareness of Pocketalk and its usefulness in an emergency situation is to get the devices in the hands of service users, the company says. “During the start of the COVID pandemic, we wanted to help people by donating devices to emergency services teams,” says Tomoaki Kojim, Senior Managing Director of Sourcenext Corp. “This, in turn, has helped these teams to understand exactly how it can be of benefit in an emergency —namely, by providing quick and accurate language translations, without the need for an interpreter (in person or on the phone).” Two-Way Communication Pocketalk helped to open up two-way communication quickly and save time for medical emergencies For the London Luton Airport Fire Service, Pocketalk devices have helped to open up that two-way communication quickly. In medical emergencies, time can be crucial – Pocketalk not only helps them to save time but also to get a detailed account from the patient or any witnesses to an incident. It has also helped with general communication from the passengers, some of whom are distressed when trying to find the correct gate or which bus to catch as they leave the airport. No Language Barrier London Luton Airport Fire Service has not had to change any of its procedures after implementing Pocketalk, but they have been very happy to retire their translation book. It also reassures them that language is not the barrier it used to be when dealing with people during their working day. For them, implementing Pocketalk devices has been easy, and all operational members of staff at the fire station have had a short training session on how to operate the Pocketalk devices. The fire service has also loaned its spare device to passenger services assistants at the airport to help them with any potential communication issues. One challenge to implementing the device could be getting staff to learn how to use it and practice with it in training situations, so they can really rely on it in an emergency. That said, “Pocketalk is easy to use and does not take long to master,” says Kojim.
COVID-19 dominated the headlines in 2020, and it had a profound impact on the fire industry. TheBigRedGuide.com published many articles about the pandemic and its impact, some of which were among the most-read articles of the year. This retrospective will highlight some of those pandemic-related articles, including links to the original content. The Fire Industry Association (FIA) in the United Kingdom published a survey report on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The survey, conducted by FIA, sought to gain a greater understanding of how organizations have been impacted by COVID-19 and of the impact on the wider fire industry now and in the future. Resilience is a recurring theme in the FIA report. At the time of the survey (when the United Kingdom was just past the coronavirus peak), a total of 81% of respondents expected they could continue operating under current circumstances for three months or more. rapidly-spreading virus Roughly a fourth expected their business could continue for six months (23.4%), and another quarter of respondents expected they could last a year (23.4%). First responders were on the front lines of the latest COVID-19 health crisis. Around the United States - and around the world - EMS departments faced the uncertainties of a rapidly-spreading virus. One early problem was a shortage of face masks. As cases surged, it was also harder for ambulance companies to get other needed supplies. Around the United States - and around the world - EMS departments faced the uncertainties of a rapidly-spreading virus In King County, Wash., an early epicenter of COVID-19 cases in the United States, Kirkland, Wash., firefighters and Kirkland police officers were placed under quarantine after an outbreak at a senior care facility. Firefighters were either quarantined at home or at a local fire station. Fire stations are unique environments with conditions that could be conducive to the spread of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19. municipal fire departments Firefighters live in close quarters for 24-hour shifts, and then return home to their families. Reports about “hot” firehouses have helped to emphasize the need to follow best practices to avoid the spread of the disease. The Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) compiled a list of guidelines that departments can put into practice to reduce and/or avoid cross-contamination of on-duty staff. Among other impacts on the fire industry, the COVID-19 global pandemic played havoc with the industry’s trade show schedule, with major events canceled or delayed. County and municipal fire departments were impacted as local governments respond to the COVID-19-induced economic downturn with spending freezes, hiring freezes and spending cuts. Some local governments are hoping for help from the state and/or federal level. address economic downturns Although some governments have “rainy day funds” to address economic downturns, not all of them do. Furthermore, the extent of the current economic crisis may exceed our worst fears. Proposed budget cuts for some fire and EMS departments are in the 10% to 25% range. A consequence of the coronavirus shutdown was cancellation of hundreds of volunteer fire department fundraisers across the United States - from fish fries to bingo to hog roasts to chicken barbecues. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend toward working from home accelerated No more carnivals or spaghetti suppers or gun raffles. And departments lost thousands of dollars. Firefighters are used to wearing protective gear, but one U.S. locale exempted first responders from adhering to a mask mandate to address coronavirus risks. The City Council of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, proposed an amendment to exempt first responders from complying with the city’s face mask ordinance. ensure social distancing Specifically, the proposed amendment states, “Exempted from the requirements of the ordinance requiring wearing of face coverings include law enforcement personnel, first responders or other workers, who are actively engaged in their tasks, if wearing a face covering may hinder their performance.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend toward working from home accelerated. New technologies made it possible for 911 dispatchers to work from home, whether to ensure social distancing or to supplement operations during evolving emergencies. The computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems offer web-based interfaces and mobile capabilities that enable public-safety answering point (PSAP) operators to work from anywhere. Other technologies that are paving the way for dispatchers to work from home include the cloud, virtual private networks (VPNs), and faster data speeds. blocking firefighter access Adapting workspaces to operate safely during a pandemic presents complications, not least of which is making sure that the measures taken to protect employees from infection do not undermine fire safety. In the course of altering a building to prevent infection spread, there are risks of introducing new life safety hazards and compromising emergency preparedness. It is also important to avoid blocking firefighter access and facilities As buildings adapt to new occupancy standards and requirements, it is critical that any protective measures do not interfere with operation of life safety systems. Might temporary partitions or barriers block escape routes during a fire emergency? Social distancing measures might entail blocking emergency exists and disrupting the flow of occupants looking to vacate a building. It is also important to avoid blocking firefighter access and facilities. career options The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting every aspect of our business lives. But buried among the disruption was an opportunity. Newly idled workers could see this as an opportune time for training to expand their career options. Meanwhile, employees still on the job may find that a cancelled or postponed project means they have time on their hands. Training can enable them to make the most of that time. In-person training has come to a halt, of course, because of social distancing requirements. Filling the gap are new online learning opportunities.
Technology and innovation are shaping the future of the fire industry. During 2020, TheBigRedGuide.com published many articles touching on research, development, and new technologies. This roundup will review some of the most popular articles, including links to the original content. Thermal Imaging & Augmented Reality (AR) Combining thermal imaging and augmented reality (AR) enables firefighters to see through smoke, in effect enhancing their vision in the life-threatening environment of a fire. AR capabilities can be deployed in a visor attached to a helmet, and an affixed thermal camera captures the images. The most recent prototype of such a product is a robust helmet design that withstands rough treatment. The system also includes software processing that augments thermal images to enable firefighters to see the outline of objects more clearly, thus enabling their detection in the field. Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) The fire research program at the Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) in Missoula, Mont., enhanced firefighter safety by improving metrics for determining firefighter safety zones and escape routes, improving and modernizing determination of fire danger, and developing systems and applications such as the Wildfire Safety Evaluator (WiSE) and WildfireSAFE to facilitate the use of these metrics by wildland firefighters. The program has also pioneered the development of metrics for scenario planning and assessing wildfire risk to communities. Internet of Things (IoT) The Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding the variety of technical capabilities deployed in the interest of public safety, and smart cities are leveraging IoT data to provide insights and improve operations. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is promoting technology development through its Science and Technology Directorate’s SCITI (pronounced “city”) solutions lab. SCITI stands for Smart City and Internet of Things Innovation. Crowd Management & Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) has developed a computerized tool to provide data Crowd management can be critical in a fire emergency – or in almost any other emergency situation. The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) has undertaken a project to develop a computerized tool to provide data and situational awareness about crowds based on computer vision analysis of the video. Crowds have become an unusual occurrence during the COVID-19 pandemic, but sooner or later, life will be returning to normal. When it does, the safety consequences of poor crowd management will again become top-of-mind for many in the emergency response fields. Complexity Of GPS Coordinates A solution to address the complexity of GPS coordinates in an emergency situation, “what3words” is an easy way to identify precise locations using a unique combination of three words. The benefits of what3words for fire and emergency services agencies are already being realized. what3words addresses are shorter, easier to understand over the phone, and built-in error prevention technology allows emergency services to immediately verify the location and correct mistakes. Drones For Firefighting And Fire Prevention 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. Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Students and faculty at Hongik University are developing AI and machine learning (ML) algorithms The fire service worldwide collects a lot of data, and a university in Seoul, South Korea, is researching how to crunch the numbers using artificial intelligence (AI) to predict the probability of fires more accurately and to direct fire departments’ assets where they will do the most good. Students and faculty at Hongik University are developing AI and machine learning (ML) algorithms into a model that can predict the probability of fires and enable authorities to take action to make the city safer. The project has used the Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Studio, a Web portal for data scientist developers. The researchers ran various ML modules until they were able to predict fires with 90% accuracy. Firefighters Health Wellness, mental toughness, and psychological self-care for firefighters are available in the palms of their hands; in a smart phone app. Fire and police agencies can provide their officers access to these and other self-help tools in an app that reflects each agency’s identity and design choices. Employees can be assured that the use of the app is totally confidential. Tracking Exposure Tracking firefighters’ exposure to smoke and cancer-causing materials is important when it comes to assessing liability claims, worker's compensation, and coverage for occupational health claims. Tracking and documenting exposure data for firefighters is easier than ever using the National Fire Operations Reporting System (NFORS) Exposure Tracker App, developed by the International Public Safety Data Institute (IPSDI) as part of the NFORS Analytics Data System.
An Advanced fire alarm control panel has been selected to protect Marsham House, a high-end apartment building in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire. Installed to ensure the safety of the 50 luxury apartments at Marsham House is a four-loop MxPro 4 panel covering all public areas and the underground car park of the six-storey building. Hertfordshire-based Amida Fire – responsible for the installation, integration, programming, commissioning and handover of the fire system – specifically sought approval from the main contractor to use an Advanced solution. Addressable fire panel In designing the system, Amida Fire has focused on ensuring false alarms are minimized. The MxPro 4’s confirmation filter has been used in the basement areas of the building so that both heat and smoke need to be detected before an alarm is confirmed as genuine, thus avoiding unnecessary evacuation. In designing the system, Amida Fire has focused on ensuring false alarms are minimized Michael Draper, Director, at Amida Fire, said: “The specification we received for the fire system at Marsham House contained some very particular requirements. Advanced has been our go-to choice of addressable fire panel for over a decade because of its versatility in a wide range of applications. We were confident that once again Advanced would meet all the criteria and so specifically requested that it be installed.” Extract control system Helping to ensure residents’ safety, the MxPro 4, with built-in printer and zone indication, was integrated with the building’s AOV system, BMS, basement air intake and extract control system. It also works seamlessly with the building’s access control and lift systems and is linked to a central monitoring station. Amanda Hope, UK Business Development Manager, at Advanced, said: “The power and performance of our fire alarm control panels mean they easily and effectively integrate with a wide range of third party systems – from smoke control and ventilation to BMS and remote monitoring, among others.” Alarm management solutions Repeated false alarms cost money, cause panic and distress and lead to complacency" “Repeated false alarms cost money, cause panic and distress and lead to complacency. However, Amida Fire’s project at the high-spec Marsham House is a fantastic example of how Advanced’s built-in false alarm management solutions can be applied to simplify the complex process of designing effective false alarm management systems.” Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, protects a wide range of prestigious and high-profile sites across the globe – from London’s Shard and the Berkeley Hotel to Abu Dhabi International Airport and Las Vegas’ Golden Nugget Casino. Intelligent fire systems 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 is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. Advanced’s reputation for performance, quality and ease of use see 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 and false alarm management systems.
The fire alarm control equipment from UK manufacturer, Advanced, has been installed at the core of a wireless fire detection system protecting Leuchie House in East Lothian on the Scottish Borders. As part of an upgrade to the existing radio fire system at the classical Georgian mansion house in North Berwick which operates as a respite center for people with multiple sclerosis, an Advanced 4-loop MxPro 5 fire panel has been installed alongside the latest EMS wireless FireCell equipment. Fire detection systems The MxPro 5 was selected to protect the five-storey, 18th century building and its residents, thanks to its compatibility with EMS FireCell XP detection – one of the most advanced cable-free fire detection systems available on the market. Responsible for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of the fire system at Leuchie House is Galashiels-based Safe Services, who required a solution capable of delivering seamless protection whilst keeping disruption to the fabric of the building at a minimum. As a listed building, retaining a radio fire system was agreed to be the most suitable form of protection to safeguard the features of this period property. Installing cabling would have been intrusive to the décor and difficult and costly to achieve in the more inaccessible areas of the site. Multiprotocol fire system The MxPro 5 fire panel was the obvious choice for installation at the core of this wireless fire detection system Graeme Millar, Fire Systems Technical Engineer at Safe Services, said: “Having worked with Advanced products for many years, we were confident that we could rely on its solutions to perform as required. Now that Advanced supports EMS wireless FireCell detection, the MxPro 5 fire panel was the obvious choice for installation at the core of this wireless fire detection system, effortlessly ensuring protection across all five levels of the building.” The MxPro 5 is the unbeatable multiprotocol fire system. Approved to EN54-2, 4 and 13, it offers four protocols, Apollo, Argus, Hochiki and Nittan and a completely open installer network that benefits from free training and technical support. Panels can be used in single-loop, single-panel format or easily configured into high-speed networks of up to 200-panels covering huge areas. Protecting historic buildings MxPro 5 panels are backwards compatible with existing MxPro 4 networks and include a host of features including AlarmCalm for complete false alarm management and reduction. Neil Parkin, Sales Manager for the North, said: “Advanced offers a wide range of solutions to help our customers overcome the common problems encountered when protecting historic buildings.” The fire protection now in place at Leuchie House makes great use of the versatility Advanced offers" “The fire protection now in place at Leuchie House makes great use of the versatility Advanced offers – minimizing aesthetic impact, supporting a diverse range of detection options and supporting the fast and safe evacuation of buildings.” Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, protects a wide range of prestigious and high-profile sites across the globe – from London’s Shard to Abu Dhabi International Airport and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. Intelligent fire systems 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 is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. Advanced’s reputation for performance, quality and ease of use see 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 and false alarm management and reduction systems.
Ampac Queensland, the Queensland State branch of Ampac, has been successful in obtaining the order for the Grafton Prison for a total of 64 networked Firefinder Plus Panel, computer graphics, and 366 Wagner Aspirated Systems. This is the largest prison to be built in Australia. Ampac Queensland is proud to be working with their customer, Triple M and fire systems installer, Interfire Systems. Firefinder Plus Panels delivered It’s a slice of countryside nestled in the Clarence Valley, in the Australian state of New South Wales that will soon be home to 1,700 criminals. The newly renovated Grafton prison will have a ‘campus-style’ layout and tablet computers for inmates The newly developed Clarence Correctional Center, located 12km south of Grafton, in Australia, will be a state-of-the-art development and correctional facility for men and women that will also mark a significant shift away from the traditional prison model. With no bars on the windows, the newly renovated Grafton prison will have a ‘campus-style’ layout and tablet computers for inmates to use for financial and technical tasks, such as checking their finances and undertaking training programs. The Clarence Correctional Center The new Clarence Correctional Center at Grafton prison will house up to 1000 maximum-security male prisoners and 300 maximum-security female prisoners, alongside another 400 minimum-security male offenders. Along with rehabilitation, high-tech security and surveillance are also a focus of the US$ 700 million prison development budget plan. The correctional facility project is due to be completed by mid-2020. The prison is being developed by the New South Wales State Government, in partnership with a consortium that includes John Holland, Serco, John Laing, and Macquarie Capital.
State and local agencies in South Carolina used the Rhodium Incident Management Suite before, during and after Hurricane Florence made landfall in September 2018. The cloud-based incident management platform allowed agencies to manage response both locally and along the entire coast where hundreds of crews and resources were deployed. The benefits of Rhodium were first realized while the storm was still gathering strength offshore. Emergency management teams had already used Rhodium to create hurricane pre-plans, which were then adjusted within the software platform as the hurricane’s course shifted. Public safety agencies Rhodium was key to planning and managing our response to Hurricane Florence" Rhodium’s mapping interface was particularly useful in managing evacuations, and post-landfall, to route assets to areas where they were needed most. “Rhodium was key to planning and managing our response to Hurricane Florence,” said Captain Mark Arnold of the Mount Pleasant Police Department which utilized Rhodium’s enhanced ICS forms and mapping features extensively during the storm. Users also highlighted Rhodium’s ability to streamline daily planning and coordination. The platform allows a digital copy of daily plans to be sent to all responding agencies by email. Not only does this save money on printing but ensures that the plan being viewed reflects the latest operational information. Rhodium also assisted agencies in logging and sharing fuel availability at area gas stations throughout the storm. Rhodium continues to be utilized by public safety agencies in the southeastern United States in the ongoing recovery efforts from both Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael.
Everyone at Alberta is appreciative of the work being carried out by all Medical and Support Personnel at Mater Dei. They know that every single moment of their time is dedicated to saving lives and it is because of this that they should have the best tools to ensure a better use of their skills. Hikvison together with local authorized partners, Alberta have donated a Hikvision Temperature Screening Solution so that key workers can monitor the elevated skin-surface temperature of hospital visitors without the need for unnecessary physical contact.
LFB crews were called to a rapidly developing fire on the sixth floor external balcony of Tweed Walk Tower Hamlets – a twelve storey apartment block. The fire spread horizontally along the balcony from the seat of the fire affecting the balcony of the adjacent dwelling. Due to the intensity of the fire the patio doors/glazing located adjacent to the seat of the fire failed. The prompt activation of the Automatic Fire Suppression System (AFSS) restricted the fire damage to the glazing units/frames with smoke logging confined to the ceiling level of the apartment. The external fire was extinguished using a ground monitor and jets. Over recent years the LFB Fire Investigation Team have attended a large number of incidents where fires have occurred on balconies. full compartment fire The cause of those fires has often been due to unsafe disposal of cigarettes by the resident which is the case for the above mentioned incident. Without AFSS the outcome of this incident may well have been more serious with the potential for a full compartment fire which would have seriously compromised the safety of residents and firefighters. Personal contents in the apartments were virtually untouched by the fire, and no fire related injuries were reported.
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
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- First Alert Fire Protection
- Lacont Umwelttechnik Fire Protection
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- TESIMAX Fire Protection
- HighWater Hose Fire Protection