CU First Responders Finance (CUFR) is excited to welcome Firefighters First Credit Union as a lead lender to their business lending network. Firefighters First Credit Union will be originating commercial and business loans generated by the CUFR network of first responder credit unions. CUFR’s business lending solutions CUFR’s business lending solutions provide an online platform for member credit unions to refer their members’ business loan requests to a trusted lender. They...
Public and firefighter safety is the number one priority at the Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) in Missoula, Mont. The Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program there seeks to develop tools and technology that can help protect people and communities before, during, and after wildfires. RMRS develops and delivers innovative science and technology to improve the health and use of the nation’s forests and grasslands. Their scientists put tools and knowledge into the hands of managers who...
The latest two winners have been announced in MSA Safety Incorporated’s and DuPont’s 2020 Globe Gear Giveaway. Douglas City (CA) Volunteer Fire Department and Cooper Landing (AK) Emergency Services will each receive four sets of state-of-the-art turnout gear and four helmets to increase the safety of their members. Providing turnout gear MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) team up each year to help volunteer fire departments obtain much-needed gear. With the...
Carbon monoxide (CO), also known as the ‘silent killer’, is especially dangerous because it is not visible and cannot be smelt or tasted. The only way to protect against this potentially deadly threat is with a CO alarm. In honor of CO Awareness Month in November, First Alert and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have partnered to create an online CO awareness and CO alarm training course for volunteer fire departments nationwide, supplemented by an alarm donation program f...
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. As buildings adapt to new occupancy standards and requirements, it is critical that any protective measures do not interfere with ope...
In response to a specific customer requirement, Kentec Electronics, a globally renowned manufacturer of life-critical control systems, has developed through their Special Applications Department an Evacuation and Alert Control Indicating System (EACIE) to provide fire and rescue teams with an intelligent communication structure to support staged evacuation. Evac-Point system Kentec’s made-to-order ‘Evac-Point’ system uses user-defined zone reference labeling to enable Fire Se...
Firefighters working for the busiest fire and rescue service in the UK will receive expert training from a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) scientist who specializes in the flammability of skincare products and fire investigation. Dr Sarah Hall, Senior Lecturer in Forensic Analytical Chemistry and Forensic Science at DMU’s Leicester School of Pharmacy, was contacted by the London Fire Brigade to share her expertise as part of their training package, to help firefighters better understand the link between skin creams and fatal burns. serious risk of injury The collaboration comes after Dr Hall’s research proved that fabrics with skin creams and lotions dried on can catch fire significantly faster than clean material and therefore pose a serious risk of injury or even death. Firefighters can help us to get a truer picture of what the cause of a fire might be" “I am honored to be working with the London Fire Brigade,” said Dr Hall. “Firefighters can help us to get a truer picture of what the cause of a fire might be and the more information we have, the more research we can do." Dr Hall has recorded a series of videos for the LFB, detailing her work and explaining how fire investigation makes a huge difference to the research being done. The short films will be incorporated in the online training provided to new and existing firefighters at the brigade. skin creams and fatal burns “While fatal fires receive a high level of investigation the London Fire Brigade are continually working to understand how accidental fires and injuries can be prevented,” said Dr Hall. “Our research proves that there is a link between skin creams and fatal burns, but we need more information to further our work and firefighters play a huge part in helping us do that. Whenever they attend an incident, even if it is ruled to be accidental, it would be incredibly useful to know more information about the cause, especially if skin creams were involved.” emollient training video Sharon Biggs, Care, Health and Safeguarding Manager in Community Safety at the London Fire Brigade, said: “We are producing an emollient training video for firefighters which will help them to understand how fire risk increases when emollients or skin creams are placed near a heat source or naked flame." Dr Sarah Hall has been working with the National Fire Chief’s Council in an advisory role for a number of years" "Dr Sarah Hall has been working with the National Fire Chief’s Council (NFCC) in an advisory role for a number of years and we believe that her expertise and research will add an integrity to our own training package based on scientific data that supports our own experiences in the fire service. The firefighter training will not only educate our own staff about the safe use of emollients and skin creams but will enable them to feel confident enough to advise individuals they visit about the increased risk and how to mitigate these.” increase in fire risk Since 2010 there have been 56 confirmed fire deaths linked to emollient creams in England. A review found that those most at risk tend to be over 60, smokers and have reduced mobility. Thousands of people use emollient creams daily to manage dry, itchy or scaly skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, so they are easily transferred from skin on to clothing and bedding. The creams alone are not flammable, nor are they flammable when on the body. However, the fire risk increases with every application of the cream as it transfers, dries and builds up on the fabric. Some cream remains even when the items are washed, so it’s important to minimize the risk in additional ways, such as removing long sleeved or loose clothing before cooking or using a safety lighter. details of accidental fires Dr Hall and the MHRA partnered with the NFCC for a new campaign called #KnowTheFireRisk “Our own constantly evolving data collection, which is even more focused on the details around accidental fires, also means that our prevention work can be even more closely monitored and directed,” added Sharon. “Dr Sarah Hall’s work has been an invaluable addition to the ongoing prevention work that we carry out and we are extremely grateful to be able to use the very latest advice for our training package.” In 2018, as a direct result of Dr Hall’s work, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recommended that labeling of emollients and similar prescribed products should have larger, clearer and more visible warnings had to be printed on packaging to encourage safer use and highlight the fire risk. Earlier this year, to further raise awareness of the dangers associated with emollients, Dr Hall and the MHRA partnered with the NFCC for a new campaign called #KnowTheFireRisk. fire service assessment The MHRA recommends that anyone in the high-risk group, or their carers, should arrange a fire service assessment of their personal surroundings. They are also urged to exercise caution when close to naked flames or potential ignition sources (for example, lighting a cigarette).
The Dutch Army has recently completed a live-fire counter-drone trial using Smart Shooter's SMASH Fire Control System. Soldiers from all branches of the Dutch army, including the Air Force, Special Forces, and Marines, attended the trial, which was done in close co-operation with Smart Shooter Dutch Partner, TBM bv. The trial took place at the site of the knowledge center for weapons and ammunition in ‘t Harde. Most of the soldiers were introduced to the system for the first time the morning of the trial, and used it on a Colt 5,56 assault rifle to shoot down different kinds of drones from up to 150 meters. The test was successful, and the system proved to be very effective as all targets were shot down and eliminated. SMASH is a combat-proven Fire Control solution for small arms that ensures each round finds its target. Fire Control System With a unique "One Shot - One Hit" capability, SMASH allows the operator to quickly and effectively neutralize any ground or airborne target, manned or unmanned. It is a cost-effective solution that can be integrated onto any type of assault rifle and combined with other c-UAS systems, to provide an effective multi-layer defense solution suitable for the modern battlefield. Michal Mor, SMART SHOOTER CEO: "We are honored that the Dutch Army has decided to let its soldiers test and experiment with our systems, and are confident that the SMASH Fire Control System is an ideal hard-kill solution against the growing worldwide threat of UASs. Smart Shooter's SMASH systems are already in operational use by different defense forces, providing great results against ground, aerial, static or moving targets, and increasing the accuracy and lethality of small arms".
Two-day indoor and outdoor press event in Ulm with innovations, world firsts and surprising news: Presentation of the FireBull tracked fire engine in cooperation with Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG, expansion of the AirCore fire-fighting technology with the TLF AirCore and AirCore TAF60 and partnerships for the future. At the press conference in Ulm on 24th and 25th September 2020, Magirus demonstrates its comprehensive expertise and many years of know-how, especially in the field of off-road and forest fire solutions. The company presents numerous innovations and world firsts on both days. vegetation fire-fighting The launch of the Magirus FireBull takes place on Friday at the company’s own test site Magirus CEO Marc Diening summarizes the direction as follows: “Today we are presenting our solutions for the special requirements of off-road operations, which fire departments and other emergency services are increasingly experiencing today and will continue to do in the future. Especially for vegetation fire-fighting, we are presenting ideas and concepts for the future based on our decades of international experience in this field, all of which are available right now, safe and reliably ready for use.” The launch of the Magirus FireBull takes place on Friday at the company’s own test site. The tracked fire engine, which is ready for series production, was built on a “PowerBully” caterpillar chassis from Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG - one of the world’s renowned providers of tracked vehicles. Thanks to its high payload with low ground pressure - and a fording depth of 1,400 mm, it can be used not only in impassable terrain but also on moors and in swampy areas. sufficient spare capacity In addition to a 10,000 liter extinguishing agent tank, the AirCore extinguishing turbine with a capacity of up to 3,500 liters per minute as well as equipment spaces for loading specific equipment are available in the AirCore version. The PowerBully 18 T chassis has a gross vehicle weight of 30,000 kg. With an operating weight of around 26 tones, the vehicle has sufficient spare capacity for individual needs and equipment Where wheeled vehicles reach their limits, the caterpillar drive provides the necessary agility combined with a high level of driving comfort - regardless of the surface. Magirus demonstrates a total of three new vehicles in which the highly efficient AirCore water mist technology is used. mobile vehicle concept With the new TLF AirCore, Magirus combines the extinguishing turbine on a lifting device, a tank with 3,500 liters of extinguishing agent and the all-terrain Iveco Eurocargo chassis to create a new type of mobile vehicle concept, which in terms of performance features and equipment picks up on and further develops established, tried-and-tested forest fire solutions from countries such as France and Italy. It meets all requirements for optimal performance and safety in the field. As announced at the 2019 press conference, Magirus is taking the next step with its AirCore TAF extinguishing robot As announced at the 2019 press conference, Magirus is taking the next step with its AirCore TAF extinguishing robot. By reducing the overall height from 2.15 meters to less than 2 meters, the range of applications of the vehicle is considerably extended. For the first time, the AirCore technology can also be used to extinguish fires in underground and multi-story car parks - places where the recovery of vehicles was not possible before. remote control technology Even burning vehicles can now be brought safely and quickly out of the danger zone by the AirCore TAF, as an accompanying and/or subsequent cooling can be carried out during the clearing operation. In view of the current problems in the recovery of burning electric vehicles, this opens up completely new possibilities. Using camera and remote control technology, these operations can be directed from a safe distance. At the same time, the turbine output has been increased by up to 6,000 liters per minute. Besides the TLF Aircore and the AirCore TAF60, many other innovations were presented on the first day. These include, for example, the production model of the Alpha Wolf R1 - a tactical deployment robot - as well as remote-controlled units for the detection and prevention of potential dangers via air surveillance and by means of transmission of HD video live communication from the company Alpha Robotics. push technological progress Many of these new products, will be on display on the Magirus stand at the FLORIAN trade fair in Dresden During the press conference, Magirus and Alpha Robotics announced their future collaboration. With his interdisciplinary team, Alpha Robotics Managing Director Oliver Rasche wants to push technological progress in fire departments and disaster control: “We look forward to working with Magirus to find new ways to make the operations and work of fire-fighters and emergency services even easier, better and safer in the future by developing and employing innovative technology and comprehensive tactics.” The company also presented other new products and innovations, including new versions of established vehicle concepts such as the CCFM (French: Camion Citerne Forêts Moyen) forest fire engine to French specifications or the new Magirus MLF (medium pumper), which for the first time is based on an Iveco Daily 4x4 chassis with a gross vehicle weight of 7 tones, automatic transmission and a permanently installed pump. disaster control vehicle The disaster control vehicle LF KatS and the fire engine TLF 4000 are also benefiting from numerous extensions and innovations considering the latest requirements and standards. With the agile fire engine TLF 2000 with its reduced wheelbase, automatic transmission and integrated, internal 2,000-litre water tank, Magirus closes the gap in compact, all-terrain fire engines. Many of these, as well as other innovations and new products, will be on display on the Magirus stand at the FLORIAN trade fair in Dresden from 8th to 10th October 2020.
Fire and life safety systems manufacturer, Advanced has announced the appointment of a dedicated business development manager responsible for the launch and growth of EvacGo, Advanced’s new BS 8629-compliant evacuation alert system. EvacGo, Evacuation Alert System Ken Bullock, who joined Advanced as Regional Sales Manager for South East England, four years ago, brings over 35 years of fire industry experience to his new role as Business Development Manager – EvacGo, Evacuation Alert Systems. Ken has been instrumental in the development of the EvacGo solution and ensuring that it will make life easy for anyone who needs to meet the BS 8629 Code of Practice recommendation, applicable to buildings over 18 meters in height and containing flats. Enhancing fire safety in high-rises I’ve been heavily involved in developing our evacuation alert system and am passionate about the ability of this product" Ken Bullock, Business Development Manager – Emergency Evacuation Systems, said “I’ve been heavily involved in developing our evacuation alert system and am passionate about the ability of this product to help improve fire safety for residents in high-rise buildings. It therefore seemed natural for me to focus on educating the market about the importance of following BS 8629 recommendations and to raise awareness of our evacuation alert solution, EvacGo.” Ken adds, “In developing our system, we’ve worked with renowned fire industry experts to ensure it delivers maximum performance, quality and ease of use. I now look forward to developing these relationships still further as we all strive to build a safer future.” Built using MxPro 5 fire panel components The EvacGo panel is built using Advanced’s industry-renowned MxPro 5 fire panel components, providing the added assurance for installers and building owners that their sites will be protected with robust and proven technology that’s been rigorously tested to EN 54 parts 2 and 4 as recommended in BS 8629. To ensure every aspect of the BS 8629 Code of Practice was followed, the panel is housed in a tamper-proof STS 205 class BR2 security-rated enclosure, made by renowned manufacturer, Gerda with a patented BS EN 1303-compliant lock and key mechanism for exclusive access by the fire and rescue service. BS 8629:2019 Code of Practice compliant BS 8629:2019 is the new Code of Practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of evacuation alert systems for use by fire and rescue services in England. In place since November 2019, this code of practice recommends the installation of a dedicated evacuation alert system intended for the sole use of the fire and rescue services and separate from the building’s fire alarm system. It is relevant to blocks of flats with a story located at a height of more than 18 meters above ground level. Evacuation alert control and indicating equipment installation EACIE installation is already mandatory in new buildings containing flats over 18 meters high in Scotland Although not yet a legal requirement in England, evacuation alert control and indicating equipment (EACIE) installation is already mandatory in new buildings containing flats over 18 meters high in Scotland and considered best practice by a number of fire and rescue services. Gary Craig, Sales Director at Advanced, stated “Over recent months, Ken’s work on EvacGo has focused on ensuring it is easy for building owners and installers to meet the recommendations of the BS 8629 Code of Practice, while ensuring optimum safety for the residents of high-rise buildings and ease of use for the fire service. Ken’s expertise will help ensure the process of specifying, designing and sourcing a BS 8629 system is simple, straightforward and stress-free.” Expansion of evacuation alert systems business Gary adds, “Ken’s appointment adds a vastly experienced voice to this project and the future direction of our evacuation alert systems business. His expertise and track record in driving growth and expansion within the UK market will be immensely valuable, as we experience rising demand for this new product.” Account customers currently looked after by Ken will continue to receive excellent support, as they transfer to Business Development Manager, Amanda Hope.
Comelit Group’s dedicated fire division has achieved the stringent EN54-13 standards for its analog addressable fire detection system. The globally renowned fire safety solutions specialist, known for its high specification solutions, presents a range of specialist fire solutions, including conventional systems that are particularly suited to fire detection in smaller facilities and buildings with simple layouts. Atena addressable panels Comelit’s Atena addressable panels can identify the precise location of a fire and are suitable for applications of all types. Mandy Bowden, Comelit’s Fire Business Development Manager said “Those operating in the fire sector, will not only be familiar with the requirement for fire protection products, but also the need to provide evidence that a complete system will function as intended under all expected operating conditions.” EN54-13 is a rigorous system test procedure that goes beyond any individual standard" Mandy adds, “EN54-13 is a rigorous system test procedure that goes beyond any individual standard. Complying demonstrates how our products really go over and above the requirements needed to satisfy the CPD/CPR, operating as a full fire detection and alarm system and not just as a sum of components. It’s a great accomplishment for Comelit, proving our complete system performance capability at all times, in every environment.” EN54-13 standards compliance EN54-13 (referencing the compatibility and connectivity assessment of system components) was first published in 2005. In most European countries, EN54-13 standards compliance is an essential requirement for fire detection and alarm systems. It’s also a British Standard and referenced in BS 5839 Part 1. Francesca Boeris, Comelit UK Managing Director said “This is a great achievement for the fire team and one Comelit is particularly proud, to demonstrate our commitment to innovation and compliance.” Francesca adds, “It provides our customers and the supply chain as a whole with peace of mind that, in using Comelit’s fire products portfolio, lives are always protected in the event of a fire, even in the most demanding situations, when you need the system most.”
Honeywell, a global provider of fire and life safety, launched the first tools from its new suite of Connected Life Safety Services (CLSS), its first all-in-one cloud platform for fire safety systems. Honeywell’s CLSS suite of tools, built on the Honeywell Forge platform, enable fire technicians to minimize disruption, prove compliance and reduce time needed for design, installation, commissioning, inspection, maintenance and reporting of life safety systems. “Today’s global environment requires the fire and life safety industry to innovate with solutions that enable facility managers and system integrators to monitor their systems and diagnose issues anytime, from anywhere,” said Sameer Agrawal, General Manager, Global Fire Software and Services, Honeywell. Fire safety value chain “Many facilities are working to create healthier environments and even limiting occupant density to comply with social distancing. With CLSS, we help system integrators provide their customers with the highest level of safety and service and work more efficiently by giving them insight into the system problem before they even get to the site.” Especially in today’s environment, organizations across the fire safety value chain face multiple challenges: Achieving more with fewer resources - many facility maintenance teams are working with reduced staff. Managing challenges of limited access to facilities due to shutdowns. Dealing effectively with safety incidents, where risks remain the same at any occupancy level. Life safety systems Honeywell’s CLSS platform addresses these challenges by enabling systems integrators and facilities management firms to access the data within a fire system from anywhere, without necessarily being physically be at the control panel. Firetron, one of the largest individually owned life safety systems company in Texas, is using the Honeywell CLSS platform to support the development of compliance records for its customers. With more than 600,000 devices under our management, CLSS provides us with a scalable tools" “We’re always looking for the most technologically advanced reporting so that we can reduce customer time and effort during audits,” said David Maloy, President, Firetron. “For example, our healthcare facility customers are under increasing pressure to provide accurate compliance records per The Joint Commission reporting requirements. With more than 600,000 devices under our management, CLSS provides us with a scalable tool to meet our customer service aspirations.” Provides invaluable reassurance Honeywell’s CLSS platform is also being employed by EDSB Group of Companies, a UK-based provider of fire, security, electrical, mechanical and building services, in a 50,000-square-meter logistics center for a freight carrier at East Midlands Airport. “CLSS offers a level of connectivity that provides invaluable reassurance that the system has been commissioned effectively and is being maintained safely,” said Jonathan Parker, Managing Director, EDSB Group of Companies. “We can also see how old every detector is and when it needs to be changed based on prevailing regulations. With CLSS, we can tailor settings based on a customer’s requirements and verify weekly testing is carried out according to their specifications while also logging faults and fire activations.” Improves fire system commissioning Through application of digitization principles and Industrial Internet of Things technology, Honeywell’s CLSS tools make it easier to design, install, test and commission fire systems while helping eliminate errors and manual data entry throughout the designing, commissioning and maintenance processes. These tools can also improve the delivery of on-time completions and the handover of a compliant system with the relevant reports, saving channel partners - and end users - time and money. During planned maintenance, CLSS streamlines the verification of compliant fire system testing and automatically generates and archives compliance reports for audit purposes. Whether using the CLSS mobile app or a PC, facility managers can monitor their systems and easily access compliance reporting. Cybersecurity landscape CLSS automatically captures the testing activity thereby removing any doubt on which device was tested This real-time view also enables technicians to troubleshoot a system remotely, allowing them to arrive on site with the right tools to service a system the first time, truly maximizing efficiency and minimizing disruption. This is even more critical given the industry’s talent gap of skilled fire technicians. Using CLSS tools, Honeywell partners can reassure their end users that they are in full alignment with mandated inspection and maintenance requirements. CLSS automatically captures the testing activity thereby removing any doubt on which device was tested, when and by whom. It also automatically generates suggested corrective actions and planned maintenance recommendations based upon local regulations. CLSS is protected with extensive built-in cybersecurity provisions. Honeywell is committed to proactively monitoring the cybersecurity landscape, ensuring data is safely stored and securely accessible to permitted system users. Ongoing digital transformation Delivering full backwards compatibility, CLSS safeguards investment in legacy systems, while preparing Honeywell partners and end users for ongoing digital transformation. Honeywell’s CLSS platform will continue to integrate the latest smart solutions, enabled by cloud connectivity, to ensure buildings and their occupants are as safe as possible. The CLSS tools are accessible via a cellphone app and web browser. The CLSS tools are available in markets globally via several Honeywell Fire brands, including: Gent, NOTIFIER and ESSER. It will be rolled out to additional portfolios over the next year.
Our world is filled with ‘extrusions’. They are small and not-so-small cross-sections that operate as seals, bridging the complex components of machines and moving parts together and helping them to keep them in working order. There are many different types of extrusions, and the diversity of their functionality often puts them at risk of — and makes them important in preventing — situations that can lead to electrical fires. Extrusions are also often made out of different materials, the quality of which can also influence how protected an environment is against the risks of fire. The benefits of silicone One of the more well-suited materials that help with fire prevention is silicone. Silicone is a manmade compound that repels water, is electrically insulating, extremely resistant to high temperatures and, importantly, can be formulated to be a flame-retardant. These qualities and more are, increasingly, making silicone the material of choice for extrusions in manufacturing, at least in part because of these advantages. The While there is certainly more work to be done on the safety front — no environment can be too safe, after allonly other rubber with the highest tolerance for extreme temperatures is viton, but this type of material is at its best when exposed to types of fuel. In other (most) situations, silicone is arguably of superior quality. Heat-resistant or flame-retardant? There are two different types of silicone extrusions that are often confused when talking about fire safety: silicone extrusions that are heat-resistant and those that are flame-retardant. The former is manufactured to function and maintain its mechanical properties at high temperatures. A silicone extrusion operating as an oven door seal would be an example of a heat-resistant type of extrusion. The highest temperature these grades of silicone can withstand is about 300°C. Flame-retardant silicone is formulated specifically to be self-extinguishing. To be certified as flame retardant the material is subjected to a flame for a specified time. The material then has to pass a minimum burn distance, or extinguish in a certain time. Flame-retardant silicones cannot withstand the same temperature extremes as heat-resistant silicones, but have much better self-extinguishing properties in general. They tend to max out at around 200°C. When talking about fire safety, it is the grades that are specially flame-retardant that are important to think about. Although silicone is naturally heat-resistant, it is only heat-resistant up to a point. Special grades are required for the extrusions needed to function in high-temperature areas, like the aforementioned oven door. But this does not make them the same as being flame-retardant. Industry grades of flame-retardant silicone There are several grades of silicone that meet different flame-retardant requirements for specific industries. Including: UL-94: This grade is the general standard in the United States, and is most commonly specified on lighting fixtures and other components. EN45545-2: This grade is the standard in the railway industry, and to a lesser degree across all mass transit vehicles (such as buses). All silicone components used on trains, for example, need to meet this required standard. FAR/JAR 25.823: This is the flame-retardant standard for silicone components used in aircraft industries. Apart from being self-extinguishing, the other main property of flame-retardant silicone grades is that they have a low smoke, low toxicity quality. Meaning that if they do come into contact with a fire, and are subsequently burned, they will not release large amounts of smoke or toxic fumes. Low smoke, low toxicity rubbers have been a legal requirement ever since the tragic Kings Cross Station fire in 1987. In which smoke from burning rubber and When talking about fire safety, it is the grades that are specially flame-retardant that are important to think aboutother materials contributed to fatalities. As implied by the above standards, flame-retardant silicones are commonly found across the aerospace industries, the automotive and rail (and to a wider extension the mass transit) industries, and the consumer goods and lighting manufacturing bases. They are also present in the emergency services sector; usually in vehicles, including in ambulances and fire fighting vehicles. Why are fire-retardant extrusions important? An increasing trend for office spaces and everyday household items is for them to rely more and more on synthetic carbon-based polymers in the form of furniture, fabrics, housings for electrical equipment and as surface coatings for other materials, to name a few. The high fuel values of carbon-based polymers means that their very existence is potentially hazardous in the event of a fire. By having fire-retardant silicone extrusions bridging the components together in machinery and moving parts, their substance reduces the likelihood of a fire breaking out within one of these machines and spreading onwards — and causing catastrophic damage to — the everyday carbon-based polymers in the environment. An increasing trend for office spaces and everyday household items is for them to rely more and more on synthetic carbon-based polymersImportantly, the flame-retardant silicone grades used in extrusions are not harmful to human health, and in any case, exposure to them is minimal. Although some can be in visible areas, such as door seals on trains, by nature most of them are located inside machinery, and do not tend to be out in the open. Fire prevention and the future Silicone might be one of the best materials for extrusions to be manufactured out of, in terms of guarding against and preventing fire hazards. But when it comes to preventing tragedies such as the aforementioned Kings Cross Station incident, nothing can be too perfect. That’s why the standards for silicone are continuously being revised and improved upon. All the time, silicone grades are increasingly put to the test in laboratory settings and tweaked to increase their performance. The standard priorities are: how can we make this material even more likely to help with the reduction and the spread of fires? How can the amount of smoke and fumes emitted in the event of burning be even more diminished? But while there is certainly more work to be done on the safety front — no environment can be too safe, after all — the fact remains that, of all the options currently available, the safest options out there are made from silicone.
One if the few bonuses of the 2020 COVID-19 Lockdown in the UK was the dramatic reduction of aircraft noise around our homes. Certainly in the Southeast of England, it gave us some thought as to the number of aircraft in the sky, and what the consequences might be if something went wrong… Aviation in the UK is split between what is known as Commercial Airport Transport (CAT) and General Aviation (GA). The CAT sector operates out of 25 airports and accounts for around 900 aircraft. However, the GA sector accounts for 15,000 aircraft, flown by 32,000 pilots, operating out of 125 aerodromes licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and over 1,000 other flying sites (According to the General Aviation Awareness Council – our mapping data suggested 1650 sites) (1,2). Roughly 96% of the aircraft in the UK are engaged in General Aviation, engaged in business, leisure engineering and training activities, and HM Government estimate that the sector employs around 38,000 people (3). Each licensed airfield has its own firefighting response, termed airport rescue and firefighting services (RFFS) governed by the CAA guidelines and they are required to be:- .. proportionate to the aircraft operations and other activities taking place at the aerodrome; Provide for the coordination of appropriate organizations to respond to an emergency at the aerodrome or in its surroundings; Contain procedures for testing the adequacy of the plan, and for reviewing the results in order to improve its effectiveness. (CAA 2020) Ensuring Adequate firefighter training So simply put, each airfield needs to ensure it has adequate training, media, personnel in appropriate quantities to deal with any likely incident, given its size and traffic. There are around 1654 airfields in the UK, with 125 of those being licensed However, this is only limited to licensed airfields and the response is typically limited to the airfield itself, and the immediate surrounding area. Airfield vehicles are often specialist aviation firefighting vehicles – not necessarily suitable for driving potentially long distances to an incident. Even so, it is a well-established principle that RRFS would only fight the initial stages of any fire, to be relieved by, and with command passed to local authority fire services. There are around 1654 airfields in the UK, with 125 of those being licensed. In 2019-2020 (to date) there have been 62 air crashes, of which 9 involved a fatality. If we plot the locations of all airfields of any type, all the licensed airfields and the crashes, we can see the spatial relationship between them. Below, we see the two distributions – on the left, crashes versus all airfields and on the right crashes versus licensed fields. It’s clear that the crosses (crashes) and dots (fields) are not always in the same place, so clearly there is a potential problem here – namely the specialized airfield fire response is unlikely to be able to respond. Using the spatial analytical capability of QGIS, the open-source GIS software, we can then start to look at the distances from the airfields of the crashes. We can see that (based on the 2019-2020 data) that on average a crash occurs 3.22km from an airfield, but 15.78km from a licensed airfield (where the firefighting teams are). The maximum distance from a licensed airfield was 57.41km, two thirds of the crashes were more than 10km from a licensed airfield and over a third were more than 18km away. Fig 1a (left) shows crashes versus all airfields. Fig 1b (right) shows crashes versus licensed airfields only. Aircraft incidents pose complex firefighting challenges So, what does this all mean? Well the simple conclusion we can draw from this data is that there is a sizable risk of an aircrash occurring on the grounds of a non-airport fire service. In 2019-2020 there have been 62 air crashes, of which 9 involved a fatality Bearing that in mind, it’s also worth considering that aircraft incidents pose challenges to firefighters and firefighting, that need to be considered. The construction of aircraft has been evolving since the first days of flight, with materials that are strong, light and cheap to produce being adopted and in recent years created to order. This has seen a move from natural materials, such as wood and canvas towards aluminum and man-made materials, and in recent years man made mineral fibres (MMMFs) which are lighter and stronger than natural materials, and can be moulded into any shape. The problem is, MMMFs disintegrate into minuscule fibres when subject to impact or fire, which can stick like tiny needles into firefighters’ skin, leading to skin conditions, and pose a significant risk to respiratory systems if breathed in. As with all fires, there are risks associated with smoke products, with exposure to fuels and other chemicals and so there is the potential for a widespread hazmat incident, with respiratory and contamination hazards. Finally, there is always the risk, more so perhaps with military aircraft, of explosives or dangerous cargoes on the aircraft that put firefighters at risk. The problem is therefore this: There is a constant, but small, chance of an aviation incident occurring away from an airport, and requiring local authority fire services to act as the initial response agency, rather than a relieving agency. These incidents, when they do occur, are likely to be unfamiliar to responding crews, yet also present risks that need to be addressed. PLANE Thinking Despite this landscape of complex risk and inconsistent response coverage non-airfield fire services can still create an effective response structure in the event of an aviation incident away from an airfield. We have drawn up a simple, 5-step aide-memoire for structuring a response, following the acronym PLANE (Plan, Learn, Adapt, Nurture, Evolve). We are aware that all brigades will do this already to some extent (in fact they are obliged to). We are also aware that there was little point going into the technical details of firefighting itself – that is handled elsewhere and in far more detail – but instead we considered a broad, high-level system to act as a quick sanity check on the response measures already in place. There is always the risk, more so perhaps with military aircraft, of explosives or dangerous cargoes on the aircraft that put firefighters at risk In many ways this mirrors existing operational risk exercises, and begins with a planning process – considering the nature of risk in the response area, building links with other agencies and operators, and collating and analyzing intelligence. Services should expand their levels of knowledge (Learn) around the issue, and consider appointing tactical advisors for aviation incidents and using exercises and training programs to test and enhance response. Having identified the risk landscape, and invested in intelligence about it, we may then need to consider adapting our approaches to make sure we are ready to respond, and having carried out all of this activity, we need to keep the momentum going, and continue to nurture those relationships, and that expertise cross the service. Rapid technological advancement Aviation technology does not stand still. Many of us will have seen this week the testing in the lake district of the emergency response jetpack (4), and this is just one example of the pace of technological advances in the sector. Consider the huge emerging market of UAVs, commercially and recreationally and the potential for incidents related to them, as well as their potential application in responses. Finally, Services, potentially through their dedicated TacAd roles, need to keep abreast of emerging technologies, and ensure that the Planning and Learning continues to match the risk. Aviation technology does not stand still So, in conclusion, we have a (very) simple system for preparing for the potential for airline incidents off airfields. We are happy to admit that it’s not going to solve all of every brigades’ problems, and we’d like to think it simply holds a mirror to existing activities. We do hope that it does give a bit of structure to the consideration a potentially complex process, and that it is of some use, if only as a talking point. Best practices and technologies and will be among the topics discussed at the Aerial Firefighting Europe Conference, taking place in Nîmes, France on 27 – 28 April 2021. The biennial event provides a platform for over 600 international aerial firefighting professionals to discuss the ever-increasing challenges faced by the industry. References 1. General Aviation Awareness Council. Fact Sheet 1 - What is General Aviation (GA)? 2008. 2. Anon. UK Airfields KML. google maps. 2020. 3. Davies B. General Aviation Strategic Network Recommendations. GA Champion, 2018. 4. Barbour S. Jet suit paramedic tested in the Lake District “could save lives.” BBC News. 2020. Article Written by Chris Heywood and Dr Ian Greatbatch.
The importance of firefighter health has received increased media attention in recent times, and rightly so. Following Covid-19 more emphasis is now being placed on hygiene and disinfection, which I believe will be one positive outcome of this pandemic. A significant cultural change has been a long time coming to take us away from firefighters wearing dirty kit as a badge of honor that proves their hard work and value, to understanding that clean and well maintained kit supported by detailed and robust hygiene processes that mitigate every contact with contaminants are essential. Firefighters’ exposure to carcinogens Prior to Covid-19, the media were also reporting more regularly on the very real issue of firefighters’ exposure to carcinogens, an issue when embedded in equipment and absorbed. Cancer has been highlighted in some scientific reports to be the leading cause of death among firefighters, with the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) reporting that cancer caused nearly two out of three (61%) firefighter line-of-duty deaths between 2002 and 2017. The National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) also found that in the US, firefighters had a 14 percent higher chance of dying of cancer compared to the general population. The results of these reports need to be underpinned by robust medical research to reflect the landscape, culture, current standards and operational practices for Fire Services in the UK. Cancer caused nearly two out of three (61%) firefighter line-of-duty deaths between 2002 and 2017 While these shocking statistics are relatively well known, not enough has been done to force a change. Manufacturers of medical and safety technology products have a responsibility to innovate solutions that support change. To this end, Dräger’s Health for the Firefighter campaign complements our training programmes and communicates the importance of detailed hygiene processes; from the handling and storage of masks and breathing apparatus equipment through to the subsequent cleaning of the kit after an incident has occurred. Training is the first and crucial step in guiding a cultural shift, and ultimately protecting the health and well-being of our firefighters. Using technology, research and innovation It’s important that training programmes reflect the fact that fire services are the experts – they have the experience and understand what solutions are practical. It is therefore our role to use technology, research and innovation to ensure we work together as partners with applied training helping to create a robust consistency in approach as well as providing a safe environment to train. Dräger’s training is typically split into three areas: Training systems - these encompass mobile or fixed training facilities that enable state-of-the-art training so firefighters can experience real fires or extrication scenarios in a safe environment including compartment fire behavior training (CFBT). At Dräger they include a vast portfolio of potential fire and rescue environments, including petrochemical plants, hospitals, schools, high-rise buildings, vehicles, aircraft and subway stations; Technical training - providing comprehensive know-how on the maintenance and repair of equipment – from mechanical and electronic components through to cleaning and disinfection; Fitness training – providing equipment to help ensure that firefighters are prepared for the physical challenges that come with the job and can be tested and monitored to improve their safety. The science and behavior of a fire and its contaminants Training has come a long way from when it centred simply around exposure to hot temperatures often referred to as ‘burn to learn’. It is now about much more than protecting a firefighter from becoming burnt, but rather teaching the science and behavior of a fire and its contaminants, not only to support fire and rescue operations, but also to protect the firefighter’s own health. While Covid-19 is driving improvements in this regard, what is more difficult is helping fire services to realize that technical training on the cleaning and hygiene processes related to kit is just as important to firefighter health. Consistent and robust hygiene processes are also about technology. While manual cleaning of equipment is still generally the norm, there are many fire services that are moving towards mechanical washing systems, which provide complete consistency in washing temperatures, the amount of detergent used, speed and temperature of drying – which can all work together to disinfect contaminants and to protect the longevity of the kit. Training and support around these systems encompasses the entire purchasing and use life cycle; from helping to build business cases for procurement and logistical installation support, to advice on the exact processes a firefighter should take when leaving a scene and returning to the station. Support also encompasses the ongoing maintenance of equipment and the quantity of stock required. An international look at hygiene and infection control Consistent and robust hygiene processes are also about technology Despite such advances, the UK is still behind other countries in terms of our hygiene and infection control practices. Netherlands and Sweden, for example, are two European countries leading the way in shifting the mindset and using mechanical washing equipment supported by improved logistics for managing and tracking PPE and RPE more widely. For these countries, stringent hygiene practices are commonplace and are not just about fighting cancer or the current pandemic, but also about protecting firefighters and support staff from more day-to-day illnesses such as flu, common colds, cold sores and other communicable illnesses. Within Dräger, my role includes advising on these best-practice examples and new equipment technologies – working with our UK-based manufacturing facility and R&D departments to ensure they are designed with the firefighter in mind, and working with Fire Services, Government and other key stakeholders to help drive improvements to further protect our crews. Having manufactured advanced technology solutions for the Fire Services for more than 115 years, Dräger has the experience and technological know-how to support this necessary change in how we think about equipment, its cleaning, and ultimately how to apply technology and training to make our firefighters safer.
Fire extinguishers are red for a reason, aren’t they? Traditionally, red is associated with danger and fire and red is certainly easy to see, even in darker environments. Aesthetic fire extinguishers But a company in Japan is offering a line of fire extinguishers that abandons the signature color for an approach that is more aesthetically pleasing and that fits more easily into modern decor. Disaster prevention brand, Modular Aerial Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS) has unveiled fire extinguishers that are black or white, thus defying convention and better harmonizing with a variety of living spaces. The Japanese company, Morita Miyata Corp. has been making fire extinguishers for more than 100 years The Japanese company, Morita Miyata Corp. has been making fire extinguishers for more than 100 years. Their new sleek, minimalist fire extinguishers have won a Good Design Good Focus Award in the category of disaster prevention and recovery design. The award celebrates outstanding works designed for the prevention of and recovery from natural disasters. Disaster preparedness The concept is to ‘Take Bosai into the lifestyle’ (Bosai is disaster preparedness in Japanese). Beyond aesthetics, there is a practical reason to make the lowly fire extinguisher blend more seamlessly with a room’s decor. The reason is that prettier fire extinguishers encourage consumers to place the extinguisher proudly out in the open, where it is within easier reach to use quickly if needed. The minimal and attractive design allows the fire extinguisher to be placed in a more visible, high profile place in homes, without the ‘harsh’ red interfering with the interior decor. Consumers are prompted to enter the date of purchase and expiration date on the fire extinguisher’s body. Higher effectiveness of fire extinguishers in visible spots In short, fire extinguishers can be more effective if they are not hidden away in a closet or cupboard where valuable seconds are lost locating them in case of a fire. The idea is to unify style and function. Obviously, style is an undervalued element in the entire fire industry, given the affinity for less subtle use of red evident in everything from fire apparatus to web site names. Breaking traditional conventions Abandoning tradition may be creative, but don’t years of convention complicate the concept of changing the color of emergency equipment? For example, in the case of fire extinguishers, although primarily red, they also use color-coded labels to designate their type, such as blue for dry powder, yellow for wet chemical, etc. Also, fire pull stations, for example, are red, but pull stations for police emergencies may be blue instead. The colors have meaning that is understood to building occupants. Therefore, using new colors in public buildings could cause confusion, even if they contribute positively to the aesthetics of an expensive office suite, for example. Extending the concept of ‘Kanso’ to fire extinguishers Extending the concept of 'Kanso' to fire extinguishers has promise, as long as design does not interfere with safety The Japanese interior design concept of ‘Kanso’ is all about simplicity and focuses on the flow and movement of energy in a space. The concept seeks to eliminate clutter from a home and to show restraint and simplicity in every aspect of design. Extending the concept of 'Kanso' to fire extinguishers has promise, as long as design simplicity does not interfere with safety. The Good Design award jury states, “The simple modification of changing the color of the fire extinguisher to black and white is a big step forward in creating harmony with the living space.” Changes in style of fire apparatus and firefighting equipment The jury adds, “There has been a preconceived notion that fire extinguishers must be red in order to grab visual attention. We have just accepted fire extinguishers to be red because that is the way they are. Maybe an innovation like this can happen in other areas. The fact that the development of this product could lead to changing many other preconceptions we have was another important factor for the award.” Should everyone be looking for ‘Kanso’ to make its way soon to fire stations? Might a more positive flow of energy contribute to more relaxed and effective firefighters? Should fire apparatus colors be coordinated with station decor? Could it be that stylish fire extinguishers are only the beginning? These are some of the important questions in the development of new fire extinguishers and other firefighting equipment.
Understanding the underlying causes of wildfires enables us to control them better over the long haul. One element is climate change, which has created conditions prone to wildfires by increasing heat, changing rain and snow patterns, and shifting plant communities. But there are also other contributing factors in the growing scale and intensity of wildfires. One is the condition of the forests in Australia, California, and other areas where the incidence of wildfires has increased. In California, for example, it is well known that the forests are unhealthy and in need of more prescribed burns and other thinning efforts. However, given California’s 33 million acres of forest land, more than half of it publicly owned, even an ambitious effort like addressing the needs of a million acres a year would require decades to fix the problem. managing the landscape We as a society need to decide how we can restore our forests, and start a conversation about what that looks like" “We know that getting our forests back to a healthy state will be the most effective way to cope with fires in the future,” says Jessica Block, Associate Director for Operational Programs at the WIFIRE Lab at the University of California San Diego. “However, massive fires are destroying the ability of forests to recover." The goal is not to stop wildfires but to understand the role of fire as part of the natural processes of managing the landscape. “We as a society need to decide how we can restore our forests, and start a conversation about what that looks like,” adds Block. “We should think of forests as a system we live in, and a system that we should be able to live in. Understanding the system is the goal, so that we can make all the right decisions in the future.” identify and control wildfires Fires are eating up forests that are way too dense and that have way too many standing trees, and state and federal agencies alone cannot solve the problem. Furthermore, the stakes are literally life and death: Thousands will die, whether in the wildfires or from the effects of inhaling smoke. The negative impact on long-term health is impossible to measure. Especially troubling is the impact of wildfires at the so-called wildland-urban interface (WUI), where growing population centers border on wildlands at risk of fire. Current fire models are not designed for these areas, so more work is needed to address these specific risks. Almost everyone agrees that the solution is to identify and control wildfires at early stages before they get out of control and turn into huge fires that impact millions of acres. automatic detection capabilities Today, postings on social media are an early warning sign but may not identify the exact location of a fire New technologies are helping to identify nascent wildfires. One option is the addition of automatic detection capabilities to the AlertWildfire network of cameras that currently keeps watch throughout five Western states to provide early warning of wildfires. So far, human volunteers have been used to track the cameras, but automation is on the horizon. One application of machine learning is to detect a smoke flume. A critical element is the ability to tell the difference between smoke and clouds, which humans can easily differentiate but is difficult to automate. With machine learning, computers should be able to “learn” the difference. Soon, mechanisms will exist to detect the location of a fire via multiple inputs - web cameras, social media and satellite images. Today, postings on social media are an early warning sign but may not identify the exact location of a fire. Working together, the other tools can help to pinpoint the location. Alerts to fire dispatchers must be verified as real to avoid misuse of resources.
During the Grenfell Tower fire incident in 2017, ineffective fire doors allowed smoke and toxic gases to spread through the building more quickly than should have been possible. Sir Martin Moore-Bick made this finding in the conclusion to Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. It serves to highlight the importance that fire doors play in protecting life and property. Grenfell Inquiry findings The Grenfell Inquiry findings have impacted subsequent United Kingdom government guidance and proposed legislation. For example, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) insists that non-fire resisting doors should be replaced immediately with door sets that are third party certified as providing at least 30 minutes of fire resistance. The BWF works to increase ‘mass market’ awareness of the vital role that fire doors play in protecting life and property The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) works to increase ‘mass market’ awareness of the vital role that fire doors play in protecting life and property. The BWF sponsored Fire Door Safety Week (21-27 Sept. 2020) in partnership with the UK Home Office’s National Fire Safety Campaign, the National Fire Chiefs Council and London Fire Brigade. The observance is the brainchild of the British Woodworking Federation, supported by the BWF Fire Door Alliance. Importance of fire doors in protecting life and property While there are multiple types of fire doors available, certified timber fire doors were subjected to government fire tests in 2019 and were shown effective at meeting and exceeding the minimum burn time requirement of 30 minutes. Factors to ensure a fire door performs as intended include product manufacture, quality, installation and maintenance. Correctly specifying, maintaining and managing a fire door can mean the difference between life and death for building occupants in an emergency. Appointing ‘Responsible Person’ to inspect fire doors Everyone plays a role to ensure a fire door performs as intended, from the manufacturer to a building’s users. Building owners should appoint a ‘Responsible Person’ to check the performance of fire doors. Propping open a fire door keeps it from performing as intended in the event of a fire. Fire doors and other passive fire protection industries have common interests with other fire-related organizations. More education can help the whole building industry and every property owner to understand the importance of fire doors. Regular inspection of fire doors Owners should carry out checks at three-month intervals to ensure all fire doors are fitted with effective self-closing devices Sir Martin Moore-Bick also recommended that those who have responsibility for entrance doors to individual flats in high-rise building should be required by law to ensure such doors comply with current standards. Owners and managers of any residential building that contains separate dwellings should carry out an urgent inspection of all fire doors to ensure they comply with applicable standards. Owners and managers should also be required to carry out checks at three-month intervals to ensure all fire doors are fitted with effective self-closing devices that are in working order. Raising standard of fire doors via Third party certification Third party certification is the best way to raise the standard of fire doors and fire door sets across the board to ensure all fire doors in any building type meet safety standards. Also, inspections should be carried out by trained and registered professionals who identify any faults and highlight where doors do not meet standards. Doors in high-traffic areas should be checked more frequently as they are more susceptible to damage.
Lake Assault Boats, part of Fraser Shipyards and a renowned manufacturer of purpose-built, mission-specific fire and rescue boats, has delivered a custom 26-foot craft to the Bartow County Fire Department located in Northwest Georgia. The boat was placed into service in July and is serving on Lake Allatoona, located 30 miles north of Atlanta. “Lake Allatoona is one of the most popular lakes in the entire country, and we’re honored to have one of our custom craft now on duty with the Bartow County Fire Department,” said Chad DuMars, Lake Assault Boats Vice President of Operations. “The boat’s versatile configuration enables firefighters to quickly and effectively respond to a wide range of on-the-water emergencies.” hydraulically operated bow door The modified V-hull craft’s configuration includes a 9-foot, 6-inch beam and a 63-inch hydraulically operated bow door. Other components include a 1,250 GPM fire pump driven by a dedicated 6-cylinder engine. A pair of 150 hp four-stroke outboards power the craft. The boat is equipped with a full-width T-top pilothouse offering an interior clearance height of 76-inches, and its ergonomic helm station features a 12-inch Garmin touchscreen integrated with GPS, sonar with SideVu and DownVu, and Chart Plotting. emergency response We met the folks from Lake Assault Boats at a trade show, and started a conversation that led to our purchase" “This new fireboat takes our department’s emergency response capabilities to a whole new level,” said Deputy Chief Marcus Warren of the Bartow County Fire Department. “The hydraulic bow door, in particular, enables us to beach the craft on a shoreline and quickly deploy an ATV, equipment, and firefighters. It is also an extremely valuable feature for our dive team during rescue operations.” “We met the folks from Lake Assault Boats at a trade show, and started a conversation that led to our purchase,” explained Deputy Chief Warren. “Ultimately, our order was placed through the Houston-Galveston Area Council purchasing cooperative, and it was a very smooth process.” mutual aid services Lake Allatoona is primarily located in Bartow County, but portions are situated in Cherokee County and Cobb County. The shoreline includes eight marinas, fifteen public boat ramps, many year-round residences, summer cottages, resorts, and hundreds of campgrounds. “The lake can be extremely busy, so we also provide mutual aid services to other department on the lake,” Warren said, “especially during busy national holidays like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day.”
C-TEC’s revolutionary Hush Pro BS 5839-6 Grade C domestic fire detection and alarm system has been chosen for three iconic tower block developments in Manchester, United Kingdom. Located in the center of Piccadilly, Oxygen Towers is a striking set of three new 31-storey, 16-storey and 10-storey buildings consisting of 345 stylish 1, 2 and 3-bedroomed apartments and 12 spacious family townhouses. Protecting futuristic ‘vertical village’ Designed to provide the ultimate living experience, the futuristic ‘vertical village’ combines luxury accommodation with fabulous five-star leisure facilities including a swimming pool, cinema, gym and spa. The stunning development also features lush garden terraces and rooftop gardens. Selected for its cutting-edge technology and capacity to align with the building’s fire strategy, Hush Pro will integrate with the site’s BS 5839 part 1 landlord system to offer higher levels of fire protection than the Grade D unmonitored battery alarm systems, typically used in domestic installations. Hush Pro BS 5839-6 Grade C fire detection and alarm system As a fully-monitored BS 5839 part 6 Grade C system, Hush Pro reports open and short circuit faults As a fully-monitored BS 5839 part 6 Grade C system, Hush Pro reports open and short circuit faults and operation faults back to the fire panel and even allows management and maintenance companies to remotely monitor the system. Once the project is complete, each of the flats will feature an easily accessible low-level Hush Pro Controller connected to a series of Hush Pro smoke detectors, base sounders, multi-sensors and heat detectors all seamlessly interfaced to a powerful network of C-TEC 4-loop ZFP addressable fire control panels to provide all-encompassing fire and fault monitoring of the system. Enhancing fire safety management If, for any reason, part of the domestic fire alarm is compromised, this will immediately be reported to the building management team to allow them to action the fault and re-instate full fire detection coverage to the flat. John Blundell, Head of Solid State Security Ltd (Solid State Living), the specialist fire company involved with the design and delivery of the project, said “As well as enhancing the fire safety management, property and life protection of the buildings, a key factor in our client’s decision to invest in Hush Pro was the system’s ability to notify building management in the event of a real fire and, at the same time, its potential to virtually eliminate false alarms.” Reducing false fire alarms He adds, “Hush Pro’s unique capacity to differentiate between Fire Level 1, usually a false alarm reported locally in the dwelling, and Fire Level 2, almost always a real alarm activated outside of the dwelling, reduces false fire alarms, unnecessary call-outs and the risk of a real fire alarm being ignored. As our client requires immediate notification in the event of a fire but also first-class false alarm management, Hush Pro will prove ideal.” John further stated, “Also of vital importance to our client is that, as the project consists of private balconies with an open plan flat arrangement, Hush Pro is the only fire alarm solution that can actually meet the requirements of BS 9991 Annex D3.” Hush Pro’s powerful false alarm management capability will also prove invaluable at the site" Jason Lawler, 24-7 Group’s Group Director and the person responsible for delivering the electrical and mechanical systems for the project, said “Hush Pro is an outstanding solution. The system will provide residents with easy-to-use detection, alarm, silencing and test facilities so they can test their own devices, be alerted to system faults and hush any false alarms at the Hush Button, which is positioned at light-switch level for safe and easy access. Hush Pro’s powerful false alarm management capability will also prove invaluable at the site.” Integrated BS 5839 part 1 and part 6 fire alarm solutions John Blundell said, “Client satisfaction is incredibly important to us so we were delighted to be able to specify a robust and fully-compliant integrated BS 5839 part 1 and part 6 fire alarm solutions for Oxygen Towers.” He concludes, “With its capacity to provide high levels of fire protection yet also minimize costly and disruptive false alarms, Hush Pro is fast becoming the system of choice for fire strategy engineers and consultants dedicated to enhancing fire safety in high-rise residential and specialist housing projects throughout the UK.”
When Thames Valley Air Ambulance’s Helicopter Emergency Medics became concerned about their current helmet due to its obsolescence and poor comfort, the charity contacted Vimpex who they were aware had successfully supplied helmet solutions to other Air Ambulance Services, including Lincolnshire and Kent. Pacific R6C Rescue Helmet Following meetings to identify product performance requirements, and a product trial by critical care paramedics and doctors, Thames Valley Air Ambulance chose the Pacific R6C Paramedic/Rescue Helmet because it gives the charity a high-performing, future-proofed safety solution that can also be fully customized. Every part of the Pacific R6C Paramedic/Rescue Helmet can be quickly removed without the use of special tools" Vimpex Business Development Manager Steve Clelland explains, “Every part of the Pacific R6C Paramedic/Rescue Helmet can be quickly and easily removed without the use of special tools. Cost of ownership is therefore minimized as repairs and replacement of all components is simple. Pacific helmets are tested in the most extreme conditions required for conformity to relevant clauses of the latest EN standards.” High performance PPE equipment The fantastic life-saving work carried out by Thames Valley Air Ambulance when there’s a life-threatening injury or medical emergency, and relies on the skill and bravery of its team of doctors and critical care paramedics, some of the most highly skilled pre-hospital medics in the world, to deliver advanced trauma care to some of the most seriously injured patients across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire from its base at RAF Benson. Such exceptional individuals, who regularly put their own safety on the line to protect others, need the highest levels of equipment performance, including their head protection PPE, to ensure that their well-being is never compromised. Fire evacuation and alarm systems major Vimpex is Europe's renowned independent manufacturer and distributor of high quality fire evacuation and alarm system products for installers, distributors and OEM manufacturers. The company is also a specialist in the supply of technical rescue and PPE equipment for UK fire, rescue, police, military and emergency services teams.
A network of 10 MxPro 5 fire panels from Advanced, have been installed to protect London’s famous Lloyds Building. About Lloyds Building Also known as the Inside-Out Building, the Lloyds Building is located in the City of London’s main financial district and is a leading example of radical Bowellism architecture in which services for the building such as ducts and lifts are located on the exterior to maximize space in the interior. Built-in 1986, commercial office development became the youngest structure ever to obtain Grade I listing in 2011. The state-of-the-art Advanced fire panels, which were installed as part of a phased upgrade to the fire system, cover all areas of the 14-storey building, include BMS integration for graphics and are linked to over 3200 Hochiki devices, including wireless devices installed within the building’s towers. Installation Of Fire Panels Undertaking phase one, the design, installation, and commissioning of the fire panels and graphics system at the Lloyds Building were Kent-based Pacific Security Systems Ltd. Kirk Short, Director at Pacific Security Systems Ltd, said “Our client’s brief was to retain the existing Hochiki devices and wiring while upgrading the panels and graphics system on site. The system also needed to be both user-friendly and reliable.” “Advanced’s MxPro 5 panels were able to tick all of the boxes. Its network performance is particularly good, no matter the size of the system or complexity of the site Advanced’s products have the capability to deliver complete protection.” “Our customers are always happy with the product and find the panels very easy to operate with limited technical understanding.” Custom-Built Fire Safety Products As part of the work for phase two of the upgrade, a custom-built annunciator for sprinkler, wet riser, and plant status control will be designed and manufactured by the Advanced’s AdSpecials department. MxPro 5 fire system is certified by FM Approvals to the EN 54 standard Regional Sales Manager at Advanced, Ken Bullock, said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to support Pacific Security Systems Ltd with the equipment needed to protect such an iconic London landmark, and as a high performance yet a user-friendly solution, the MxPro 5 just makes sense.” “Our industry-leading fire panel offers the ideal solution for this project, where an intuitive interface that the end-user can easily operate and superior networking capabilities that can deliver protection across a large area, are crucial. Pacific Security Systems Ltd will also benefit from the MxPro 5’s built-in false alarm management software, AlarmCalm, enabling the configuration of the building’s investigation delays and double knock procedures with ease.” Multiprotocol Fire System MxPro 5 is the fire industry’s multiprotocol fire system solution and is certified by FM Approvals to the EN 54 standard. It offers four detector protocols and a completely open installer network, backed up by free training and support. MxPro 5 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. Its ease of installation and configuration as well as its wide peripheral range make it customizable to almost any application.
Cadiz Fire Brigade in Spain has recently taken delivery of new, state-of-the-art fire kit supplied by Bristol Uniforms, a globally renowned designer and manufacturer of protective clothing for emergency services across the globe. The contract was secured through Bristol’s international distributor, El Corte Ingles, who fought off stiff competition to secure the four-year contract. Ergonomic XFlex design Cadiz has ordered 780 sets of Bristol’s lightweight, ergonomic XFlex design (called FireFlex in Spain), with integrated safety harnesses incorporated into the jacket and trouser. The kit has a Hainsworth TITAN1250 outer, a highly breathable fabric featuring Nomex and a high percentage of Kevlar, which gives the fabric outstanding tensile and tear strength. In addition, it has a GORE-TEX FIREBLOCKER moisture barrier, which is made from a micro-porous breathable fabric that stops water passing through to the firefighter’s personal clothing, whilst allowing sweat to escape and reducing heat stress. Four-year care and maintenance contract To ensure health and safety of its firefighters, Cadiz Fire Brigade has opted for a four-year care and maintenance contract To further protect the health and safety of its firefighters, Cadiz Fire Brigade has opted for a four-year care and maintenance contract, so as to ensure that the kit is kept in good condition and free from contamination. Total Safety manages all Bristol’s garment care and maintenance in Spain and has worked with Bristol for more than 25 years. It collects soiled garments from customers and returns them clean and repaired within 72 hours. Featuring integrated safety harness Paco Griso, Bristol Uniform’s agent in Spain, said “The new kit has now been rolled out to firefighters in the Province of Cadiz and we are already getting positive feedback from them. They are really pleased with how flexible the kit is and how easy it to maneuver in tight spaces. The integrated harnesses, certified to EN 361, are an additional safety feature which will help prevent serious falls in fire and recuse situations.” Richard Cranham, International Sales Manager at Bristol Uniforms, said “This is a large contract for us in Spain, which was delivered on time, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As the risks of wearing contaminated PPE have become ever more apparent, more and more fire and rescue services across the globe are opting for ongoing care and maintenance packages, so as to ensure their PPE is free of carcinogens and the health of their crew is prioritized.”
A network of fire panels from UK manufacturer, Advanced, has been installed as part of a campus-wide system replacement at the Imperial College London (ICL), Hammersmith, United Kingdom. Six industry-renowned 8-loop MxPro 5 fire panels and a TouchControl remote control terminal and repeater panel have been installed across the Wolfson Education Center, the Institute of Reproductive Development Biology and the Commonwealth Building at Imperial College London’s Hammersmith campus. 8-loop MxPro 5 fire panels The installation, part of a system-wide upgrade, was conducted by Surrey-based Lloret Fire & Security Ltd who were tasked with replacing the existing fire alarm control panels, installing new cabling and devices and commissioning the system across occupied buildings, where live coverage needed to be maintained at all times. Imperial specifically requested a move away from the closed protocol fire system approach, and its associated service charges, which had been in operation for 15 years. Lloret Fire & Security’s experience installing Advanced control indicating equipment in other large-scale educational facilities meant they were confident that the open protocol MxPro 5 could easily provide the levels of flexibility and stability required by the site. Multi-sensor detection system installed Paul White, Design Director at Lloret Fire & Security Ltd, said “The project at Imperial’s Hammersmith campus involved the replacement of the fire system across a range of building environments, from offices, workshops and research labs, through to lecture theaters and conference halls, each with its own specific fire protection requirements.” Multi-sensor detection system was installed to manage and reduce the risk of false alarms In consideration of the site’s false alarm management strategy, multi-sensor detection system was installed to manage and reduce the risk of false alarms. For example, detectors have been configured for day/night use or can be altered as area usage changes. TouchControl repeater panel installed To replace the existing flush-fitted panel positioned front-of-house in the reception area of the Institute of Reproductive Development Biology, and for aesthetic purposes, Lloret Fire & Security Ltd suggested installing Advanced’s touch technology remote control terminal and repeater panel, TouchControl. Combining aesthetics with practicality, the low-profile, high-resolution touchscreen makes it easy to check fire system status via interactive maps and zone plans, while complementing even the most stylish interiors. When in standby mode, administrators can use TouchControl to display branding, advertisements and information, while it will instantly revert to fire operation when a fire condition occurs. Advanced fire safety solutions Amanda Hope, UK Business Development Manager, said “It’s fantastic to see that our partners Lloret Fire & Security Ltd are so confident in the Advanced solutions installed at Imperial. When installing or upgrading a building’s fire system, it’s important to consider which protocol is right for you." Amanda adds, “The nature of our MxPro 5’s open protocol gives end users greater freedom and flexibility over key factors such as detector partners, suppliers, installers and service companies. This in turn helps the end user to more easily achieve best value for money and access top-quality expertise.”
Round table discussion
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?
Welcome to our Expert Panel Roundtable, a new feature of TheBigRedGuide.com. We will be asking timely questions about the fire market and seeking out experts in the field to provide responses. Our goal is to promote a useful exchange of information on a variety of topics and to create a forum for discussion of important issues facing the fire service and market. For our first question, we look to the year ahead and ask our panelists: What trends are likely to change the fire market in 2020?