Fire Safety Inspection
FireArrest has announced that it has official launched a new passive fire protection software application. This new innovative passive fire protection app, available to download on Android and iPhone devices, is set to take the fire safety industry by storm. FireArrest App Not only is this passive fire protection app intuitive, but it’s modern design and competitive price point make it the perfect solution for anyone looking to ensure that their premises are compliant with all fire safet...
The long-awaited announcement by the government to ensure sprinkler systems are mandatory in all new high-rise blocks over 11 meters tall has been welcomed by all. However, what happens next - and how quickly - is crucial for all concerned. The UK government recently announced an amendment to the statutory guidance to building safety regulations, known as Approved Document B, reducing the requirement for sprinkler systems from the current 30 meters to 11 meters in high-rise buildings. New laws...
Volunteer fire departments are ineligible to obtain funds from the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program because of their dependence on bingo games and raffles for fundraising. With the COVID-19 crisis destroying the ability of volunteer departments to raise funds, access to the EIDL program could provide needed assistance during a time of economic crisis. Under current rules, the assistance is unavailable. Economic Injury Disaster Loans program As the U.S. Small Business Administrati...
The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) is promoting awareness of the danger of heart attacks in the fire service. A toolkit provided by the IAFC includes information and resources to assist members and fire departments when responding to on-duty or duty-related cardiac events. The international campaign, titled ‘If You Don’t Feel Well, Don’t Make It Your Farewell,’ offers standard operating procedures (SOPs) including an example policy that departments can u...
Whether the machine needs to endure frigid temperatures, or it must ward against operator fatigue after long shifts, no one knows a cab’s needs better than the operator. Because of that fact, every machine has specific needs for its cab in order to get the most from its operators. Be it whether that’s a simplified design, solely focused on safety, or a highly-complex set up with numerous amenities. The most efficient way for OEMs to get what they want from their machine is to work w...
First Priority Group, LLC, a globally renowned manufacturer, up fitter and service provider of emergency and specialty vehicles, is pleased to announce the introduction of two new product lines for law enforcement and fire vehicle conversions, the BlueTac and RedTac specialized vehicles. The new BlueTac product line will feature pre-configured mission specific vehicles for law enforcement specialty teams. Each BlueTac model is crafted around the core needs of the agencies expanding beyond routi...
Kentec Electronics, a globally renowned manufacturer of life-critical control systems, has added BACnet (Building Automation and Control Network) protocol support to its Vizulinx alarm management solution, to facilitate smart, coordinated and efficient responses to fire incidents. Smart Building functionality Supporting Smart Building functionality, the protocol provides integration between Kentec fire systems and other BACnet protocol systems. Kentec fire alarm systems send real time status messages to other devices on the BACnet network. These status messages can be monitored by a central control and monitoring system, which can then generate automatic responses (for example, to automatically close extract vents, dampers, initiate equipment shutdowns etc. which can help to reduce the spread of fire and support evacuation procedures). BACnet protocol upgrade BACnet protocol upgrade to the Vizulinx alarm management solution provides building management teams" Kevin Swann, Managing Director of Kentec Electronics, said “The BACnet protocol upgrade to the Vizulinx alarm management solution provides building management teams and installers with an easily configurable solution.” He adds, “As a compact module, Vizulinx is easy to retrofit into existing systems and the BACnet upgrade has been designed with efficiency in mind. For example, the object IDs that identify detectors, panels and zones are automatically generated, saving installers considerable time in having to manually ascribe object IDs.” Centralized control of intelligent fire safety system Kevin further said, “End users have centralized control of a highly intelligent fire safety system. It reduces the need for manual intervention, and provides end users with complete visibility of all fire alarm events.” He concludes by adding, “System integration is becoming increasingly important within the management of larger buildings and sites and this upgrade supports our overall business goal to develop systems that make the lives of installers and end-users easier.”
Xtralis has announced the release of its Li-ion Tamer Lithium Ion Battery Rack Monitoring system for efficient gas leak detection in the market. Li-ion Tamer Rack Monitor system The Li-ion Tamer Rack Monitor system can provide an alert to ‘off- gas’ events that occur early in the failure mode of li-ion batteries, well in advance of smoke detection and traditional LFL gas detection. Early warning of off-gas events enable proper mitigation steps to be taken to avoid progression to a catastrophic thermal runaway failure. The Li-ion Tamer Rack Monitor system requires minimal operation and maintenance procedures as the off-gas sensors are designed to be calibration-free and have comparable lifetime to that of the ESS battery system. Off-gas sensors The off-gas sensors can be easily deployed throughout the space and detect failures without electrical or mechanical contact of battery cells. Sensor response can be easily verified with a bump test kit without the need of specialized gas test equipment and test gases. The Li-ion Tamer Battery Rack Monitor system provides an essential early warning signal that is used to integrate with other safety systems to initiate appropriate response processes to reduce the risk from thermal runaway.
InventHelp, a renowned technology inventor and fire protection systems provider, wanted to fulfill the need for a proposed multi-function smoke/fire/temperate alarm with an automated communication system for residential or commercial buildings. For this purpose, InventHelp has released the latest Smart Smoke Detector (AAT-4370). Smart Smoke Detector (AAT-4370) The Smart Smoke Detector (AAT-4370) quickly provides the premises owner and first responders with the critical information they request to ensure the safety of individuals and their property. It promotes peace of mind. It is also easy to use. A patent application is pending. "I am a retired firefighter and from my experience I know that many people have their homes and property destroyed because it sometimes takes too long for the fire department to locate the fire," said Naseem Khan, Inventor at InventHelp. The original design was submitted to the Atlanta office of InventHelp. It is currently available for licensing or sale to manufacturers or marketers.
Angloco Limited, the UK’s oldest manufacturer of fire engines, has secured a major deal to replace and service most of the UK Ministry of Defense’s existing fire fleet. UK Defence Fire and Rescue Project The £30 million order comes as part of the Defense Fire and Rescue Project – a significant outsourcing contract recently awarded to Capita Plc. Under the contract, Angloco will not only supply more than 80 new state-of-the-art fire vehicles but will also support them both in the UK and around the world, for the next 12 years. Fire safety vehicles supplied The announcement comes after recent news of Angloco’s rapid growth and second factory opening The announcement comes after recent news of Angloco’s rapid growth and second factory opening – a nine-bay, 12,000 sq. ft unit down the road from its 30,000 sq. ft. HQ – capable of turning out 100 fire engines per annum. Commenting on the defense contract, Alistair Brown, Managing Director of Angloco Ltd. said, “This is great news for both the company and the local area – the project not only gives our order book a further boost, but secures more jobs for the longer term.” UK Ministry of Defense contract for fire fleet revamp Alistair adds, “The defense order – along with numerous other projects – means we are now engaged in another major recruitment exercise for more staff across all areas of the business.” Angloco hit the headlines over summer when the management team announced a drive to recruit a further 12 colleagues into the 90-strong business. “This is such an exciting time for the company,” continued Alistair, adding “We have fought off some very stiff international competition but are delighted that a British company will now be delivering the contract.” Caterpillar-tracked fire engines Angloco has a rich history of supporting the UK Ministry of Defense over many decades, previously winning a major project to fully refurbish 88 old fire engines through the 80s and 90s, as well as supplying three caterpillar-tracked fire engines for the Falkland Islands base in 1989. Offering some concluding insight into the specifics of the deal, Alistair added, “The new vehicles are being built to an innovative design which allows one common vehicle type to be used for multiple fire and rescue roles. This not only reduces the purchase costs but makes them far easier to support – wherever in the world they may be.”
Angloco Co. has announced partnering with Adaro Tecnologia to supply the Adalit range of professional safety torches. Adalit professional safety torches Designed for emergency services teams and other demanding professional applications where safety is critical, every Adalit torch features advanced optics, high quality engineering and has received ATEX approval. The Adalit range of professional safety torches include the L-10, the first re-chargeable flashlight to be specifically designed for firefighting helmets and the high-powered L-3000 which combines revolutionary optics with a large digital display. The versatile L5 and L5R Plus safety torches can be used both as a hand torch and on the helmet.
On the 8th June, 2020, the North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service will be opening recruitment process for wholetime firefighters. Between now and then, the fire and rescue service wants to raise awareness of the role of modern day firefighters and encourage applications from all parts of the communities. Raise awareness on fire safety When the recruitment application window opens, the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will be recruiting wholetime firefighters for the following fire stations: Day crewed fire stations (Ripon, Malton, Tadcaster, Selby and Whitby), Self-Roster fire stations (Northallerton and Richmond) and; Shift fire stations (Acomb, Huntington, York, Scarborough and Harrogate). Details about the different types of crewing for the stated fire stations can be found on the company website. Recruiting wholetime firefigthers We’ll soon be launching our recruitment window for wholetime firefighters again" North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Chief Fire Officer, Andrew Brodie said, “We’ll soon be launching our recruitment window for wholetime firefighters again, and it doesn’t get more exciting. Last year’s intake is embedded in their teams on our fire and rescue stations and helping communities to Be Safe and Feel Safe.” He adds, “The role of a modern-day firefighter is varied. It’s much more than just attending emergency incidents, so ignore any thoughts of simply having to fight fires and cut up cars. It’s more about educating communities, engaging with people, delivering activities and events, planning and forming partnerships, and being creative prevent, protect and creating community resilience.” Protecting and creating community resilience Andrew Brodie stated, “Response is a last resort. We need people who are caring, compassionate and inventive, who enjoy working as part of a team and who want to make a truly positive difference to people. Being a good firefighter isn’t about being good at fighting fires, that’s only a part of it. Being a good firefighter is about being good at everything that the role involves.” He further adds, “Such a varied role needs a varied firefighters’ workforce. We welcome applications from all parts of our communities. We need to improve our diversity to reflect our diverse communities, so we are particularly interested in people from groups that are currently under-represented in the Service.” Firefighting standards Andrew said, “But this isn’t about varying standards of entry into the service. Everyone goes through the same process and achieves the same minimum standards.” He adds, “Our message is simple; this is great opportunity to join a progressive and essential organization. So, if you’ve always dreamt of becoming a firefighter or you’ve never considered it before but think it could be the job for you now, we’d love to hear from you.” Firefighters’ eligibility and selection process Firefighters across North Yorkshire play a crucial role in keeping us safe and feeling safe" Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said, “Firefighters across North Yorkshire play a crucial role in keeping us safe and feeling safe, and I’m pleased that we are able to add to our wholetime team. I would encourage anyone interested in joining our brilliant team of men and women to consider applying for these important roles.” Anyone aged 18 or over can apply to become a firefighter; when the application window opens on the 8th of June, 2020. However, candidates will be required to meet all requirements of the role. There are various stages of the application process and the candidates must complete and be successful at each stage to progress to the next stage. The application process for recruitment to the fire service will be open to those who are aged 17 so long as they will have attained the age of 18, prior to commencing in their new role in April 2021.
New government legislation due to come into force in the United Kingdom on July 1st will require electrical installations in privately rented properties to be tested and inspected at least once every 5 years. The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations (2020) will require landlords to enlist qualified electricians to complete inspections and provide certification to tenants – or face fines of up to £30,000. While the risk of fire can never be entirely eliminated, the new legislation will introduce higher levels of safety and ensure that one of the primary causes of fire – electrical malfunctions – is regularly tested for. There are a number of procedures and regulations in place for when a fire has already started, but this new law will help to reduce the chances of it getting to that point. After all, prevention is the best form of protection. No safety procedure or response plan will ever fully prepare someone for the reality of a fire. However, a comprehensive prevention strategy and use of the latest technologies to quickly detect and respond to a fire can at least reduce the potential risk to both life and property. Defensive detection A fire can spring from many sources. Current standards do a good job of ensuring properties are well equipped to defend against fires created by overcurrent caused by overloads and short circuits. A comprehensive prevention strategy and use of the latest technologies to quickly detect and respond to a fire can at least reduce potential risk However, electrical fires can also result from mistakes made during the installation process, namely loose cabling or aging circuits that will not be detected by overcurrent protection. Indeed, a defective or worn insulation is the cause of 14% of all electrical fires in buildings. The danger of landlords only performing the bare minimum to protect their buildings is that, should a fire start from a source they haven’t accounted for, the loss and disruption to property could be devastating. For maximum protection, individuals need reliable, innovative products that excel beyond the minimum standards to prevent a fire from starting in the first place. The pending legislation will add to this safety from the start. It will require landlords to use qualified electricians when installing, repairing and maintaining systems, benefitting both landlords and tenants by mitigating electrical issues and instilling greater confidence. Protection against insulation faults The risk of cable insulation faults grows over time and the consequences can be severe. Low-intensity arc faults are more likely to occur in humid, dusty environments, causing injury and deadly fires if precautions aren’t taken. Protection against insulation faults within cables can be assured by residual current devices (RCD), which are triggered by earth leakage currents exceeding 300mA. For maximum protection, individuals need reliable, innovative products that excel beyond the minimum standards to prevent a fire from starting Additionally, final circuits in critical locations (as recommended in IEC 60364), should be protected by an arc fault detection device (AFDD). This is a circuit breaker that automatically cuts off the electricity supply when it detects an arc fault in the circuit. By immediately stopping the supply, AFDDs stop arc faults from reaching temperatures where fires can break out. As well as ensuring that private tenants feel more safe and secure, the new legislation represents an opportunity for electricians to secure more work and develop their skills. Going forward, as the demand for electricians in the private rented sector rises, we expect to see greater opportunity for electrical engineers to win long running contracts with landlords and property managers. Fire may be a risk, but it is not unavoidable. This new legislation promises greater peace of mind for private tenants by ensuring that electrical standards are met and hazards reduced. With expert knowledge and the correct approach to electrical fire prevention, a fire can be extinguished before any damage is done.
Those responsible for the specification of products which go into new modern buildings have been asking for safe, approved cabling, which play a critical part in electrical supply systems. The number of fires in high-rise buildings in Europe and the Middle East have brought the issue of quality of products for fire performance circuits into sharp focus, not least the Grenfell disaster. Meanwhile, new buildings become increasingly complex, with the use of new materials and the designs of many requiring complex electrical systems to support security and fire safety. New and refurbished buildings such as hospitals, schools, shopping malls or airports, may have complex addressable loop fire alarm systems which provide information on individual detectors. Conventional systems only provide information about specific circuits or zones. Indicating exact location of fire, fault For critical alarm circuits in buildings where large numbers of people move about there can be no greater priority than safetyThe addressable systems feature a fire control panel which receives information and status reports from each device, indicating its exact location and if there may be a fire, a fault, heat or contamination. For critical alarm circuits in buildings where large numbers of people move about – many of whom can be vulnerable – there can be no greater priority than safety. The cabling chosen for these systems is therefore critical. If the power to these alarm systems fails because the cabling does not meet the required performance, then the information available for fire and rescue services is directly affected and with it, the chance of finding people who may be in the building. To meet these design challenges, and with the inquiry into the Grenfell disaster still ongoing, it is the use of the very latest technology and science that is taking enhanced fire performance cabling onto a new level. Safe and compliant cable products Decision-makers in the supply chain want reassurance that the products they are specifying are safe and compliant, meeting all recognized specifications. Calls have been made by the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) for all cable being used in the UK to conform to relevant British, European or international standards amid increasing concerns about the volume of non-approved cables coming onto the market. Installers have welcomed the development of a new generation of fire performance cabling Installers have welcomed the development of a new generation of fire performance cabling which ensures critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes. The standard and enhanced cables in the Total Fire Solutions range are tubed, making them a welcome product for contractors with ease of installation. They are all UV stable and they all come with a hard insulant to resist any fault generation over time. These cables meet all relevant industry standards including ISO 9001 and is approved by the leading industry organizations nationally and worldwide including BASEC and LPCB. Carrying out fire risk assessment For the fire and rescue services, the continuity of power means they can continue to read fire alarm system information which can direct them to the seat of the fire and help to locate people who may be in the building. Responsibility for choosing the right system lies with the ‘responsible person’ under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in business or any other non-domestic premises. This will be the owner, employer, landlord, or may be the facilities manager or building manager. As the responsible person, he or she must carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly and put in place and maintain appropriate fire safety measures. Ultimately, the responsible person faces a fines or jail if they fail to follow these measures and there is a fire. For some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios Any items or products which go into these fire safety systems must be covered by standards set by national, European and international bodies such as British Standards. These will certify that when needed these products will perform their function and operate as expected in real life fire conditions. Ensuring cables meet fire safety standards In support of these standards, cable industry bodies provide testing regimes to ensure that different types of cable are fit for purpose and meet these standards when tested in fire conditions. For installers, or those procuring cables, there is a need to check the cable when it arrives to make sure it is exactly what was specified. Instances of unsafe non-approved cable continue to come to lightFor some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios. These include environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes where older people and children move about. Specifiers looking at new large public sector projects such as hospitals should refer to BS 8519 for the electrical supply, and the most relevant cabling system. Counterfeit Flexible Cords campaign Instances of unsafe non-approved cable continue to come to light. Unsafe flexible cord, intended for use in domestic and industrial applications, has been found on sale in the UK recently, prompting the ACI to issue a fresh alert to the electrical supply chain. The latest find of sub-standard flexible cords is marked ‘Made in Turkey’ and ‘Ermaks’. Samples came to light following the initiative’s recent ‘Counterfeit Flexible Cords’ campaign which alerted the electrical supply chain to dangerous industrial flexible cords. We in the supply chain should all be vigilant to watch out and report these instances of non-compliant cabling wherever we see or suspect they have been installed, while developing only the safest products and systems of our own. We shouldn’t forget that we all have a duty and a responsibility where lives and property are at stake. Importance of MV cables to infrastructure Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliantThe demand for power has never been greater, with the explosion of development in towns and cities across the UK and the growth of industrial development and technology reliant on consistent supplies. Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliant as the pressure mounts on the installation of quality products in modern building developments. MV cables are crucial to our infrastructure. Electricity leaves the generating site and is routed via a step-up transformer to take it up to the National Grid distribution voltages of 400Kv, 275Kv and 132Kv. Once in the local area, the supply goes through step-down transformers that reduce the voltage to 415V with domestic supplies tapped off at 230V. To provide power to the sub-stations – very often located on the premises of the establishment that they supply – Medium Voltage (MV) cables are used. MV cables were only developed as the level of voltages increased and the need arose for a greater classification range. design and specification of the cables The technical design and specification of the cables is of paramount importance within the power distribution networkThe size of the market has developed to the point where the global MV cables market was valued at 39.31billion US dollars in 2016 and projected to grow at a rate of more than six percent until 2022. The technical design and specification of the cables themselves is of paramount importance within the power distribution network. There are a number of technical considerations to be taken into account including the size of the installation, the position of the installation in relation to the network and the presence of primary and secondary sub-stations. Prior to installation, a detailed route survey should also be carried out to plan where cables will be jointed and to identify any possible obstructions which may require special civil engineering works such as directional drilling. Underlying the critical nature of supplies to these types of services, the incidence of non-approved cables for these applications also plagues the industry.
The continuity of power in the event of a real fire has never been more important as modern buildings become more complex and the need for the highest quality of products comes under the spotlight. With power for lighting and fire alarms, the fire and rescue services can use the intelligence gathered to evacuate people quickly, confident that they have found all the people in the building. Without power, they are literally scrambling in the dark without good information upon which to make their rescue. The continuity of power will also ensure that sprinkler or water mist systems can continue to operate where they exist. In commercial buildings, there may also be smoke evacuation fans which help to enable safe evacuation. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services Appropriate Cabling At the start of a project, the most appropriate cabling should be specified as part of the electrical system rather than at the end of a project. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services across individual areas and floors. At the same time, there are new designs, materials and products continually coming on to the market for major projects, and with it an increasing need for the various parties involved to work closely together to make sure they get it right. There has been an increasing incidence of non-approved cables on the market and unfortunately it is not until cables have been installed, tested or used that issues become clear. For installers, or those procuring cables, there is a need to check the cable when it arrives to make sure it is exactly what was specified. Should there be a problem, have it checked and seek good advice. Keep records of purchase, including reel flanges with batch markings and a sample of the cable markings. Send lengths for testing and then decide on the most appropriate course of action. Choice of cabling is crucial at the start of major projects as issues may occur later Meeting Rigorous Third-Party Tests For some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios. These include environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes where older people and children move about. Specifiers looking at new large public sector projects such as hospitals should refer to BS 8519 for the electrical supply, and the most relevant cabling system. It is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests This Code of Practice specifies that the type of system selected during the design phase ‘should be derived from a detailed process of consultation with the relevant authorities’ and that ‘the design should be agreed at an early stage.’ The decision-making process for cable selection relevant for life safety and firefighting systems is clearly defined here. This covers three categories ranging from 30 minutes to 120 minutes fire survival time. Categories 1 and 2 cover means of escape for 30 minutes and then 60 minutes respectively, and these cables are tested in accordance with the relevant codes. Category 3 for firefighting to 120 minutes refers to power and control cables meeting the 120-minute test according to the relevant standards. It should be emphasised that only Mineral Insulated Cable (MIC) or a cable meeting the requirements of BS7846 F120 will meet this criteria. For clarity, BS 8519 does not take precedence over BS 5839 for alarm systems and BS 5266 for emergency lighting. In essence, choosing the most relevant cabling and electrical accessories which will continue to operate under fire conditions has become critical. Application Of Medium Voltage Cables As the incidence of non-approved cables continues then so the application of Medium Voltage (MV) cables into high-risk environments including hospitals, schools, care homes, industrial sites and sub-stations serving infrastructure sites also becomes critical. In the context off fire engineering, it is important to select the relevant MV Cables in these areas. Adhering to the latest regulations is no longer enough - there needs to be a risk assessment. In order to do this effectively, it is important to ask – are the fire safety procedures up to date? All AEI MV cables are third party tested and approved by BASEC. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards The whole supply chain needs to take consideration of these areas where vulnerable people often move about such as children or elderly people in hospitals or care homes. The fire and rescue services may need a little more time than a conventional building including reading complex fire alarm information to ensure a safe rescue in the event of a real fire. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards. This is due to ageing structures, high volume of combustible materials, and changing use in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths programmes where more combustible and flammable liquids are being used. Concerns have been raised by architects and and designers about fire protection regimes Sufficient Fire Risk Assessment Recent research by the Fire Brigades Union, for example, showed that a key focus for all educational institutions must be ensuring that there is an effective fire risk management process in place, delivered by suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment carried out by an expert in the field. The best practice under Business Information Modelling (BIM) and all best practice of fire safety engineering methods should be observed in conjunction with project partners. There have been concerns over a number of years around the fire protection regime for new buildings expressed by the architects and designers themselves. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) points to the delays to Approved Document B with regard to the relationship of Building Regulations to changing design and construction. AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service RIBA says the virtual disappearance of the role of the clerk of works or site architect and the loss of independent oversight of construction and workmanship on behalf of the client is a further issue for concern. In essence, RIBA believes that future proposals for the fire safety regulatory regime should be informed by the specialist fire safety expertise of relevant professional organisations and groups, and also take full account of this wider set of construction industry AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service with the support of its parent company Ducab based in Dubai, with the design, manufacture and supply of MIC, Firetec Enhanced or Firetec Power depending on specific needs. The choice of cabling and accessories should not be underestimated at the earliest opportunity to ensure the fire and rescue services are given every chance of success in rescuing people and saving property.
Fire stations are unique environments with conditions that could be conducive to the spread of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19. 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) has compiled a list of guidelines that departments can put into practice to reduce and/or avoid cross-contamination of on-duty staff. Shift Change Interaction Firefighters live in close quarters for 24-hour shifts. Reports about “hot” firehouses have helped to emphasize the need to follow best practices to avoid the spread of the diseaseStaff should use a designated entry point, and comply with requirements of a Self-Screening checklist, which includes factors such as fever, uncontrolled cough, prolonged sore throat, a flu-like illness, or diarrhea. Firefighters should remove and store their own PPE and personal items from the apparatus at shift change. Personal belongings (bags, bedding, etc.) should be moved to a privately owned vehicle early to facilitate expedited bunkroom/office transfer. Interaction between oncoming and leaving shifts should be limited. Roll call should be conducted in a large space, such as an apparatus bay, that facilitates a minimum of 6-foot distancing. Station Socializing While in quarters, firefighters should not congregate in small spaces (such as the watch office or kitchen) and should adhere to 6-foot minimum spacing. Fewer chairs should be located in common meeting spaces to deter people from gathering in the same space. Training should be conducted in a manner that maintains 6-foot minimum spacing. Off-duty members should not be allowed into the stations to work out or visit. Station Captains should develop a practice if a member needs to arrive the evening before his/her shift that will limit contact with others. Station Meals Eating should occur in shifts to reduce staff interaction, and eating locations should be varied to alternate places in the station to create spacing. Shared food containers and communal items should be disinfected, and stations should consider supporting local small businesses in the district by ordering takeout. Department Mail Department mail routing should be modified to minimize the potential for staff interaction. Mail pickup/dropoff should be moved to a location, such as an apparatus bay, that minimizes traffic flow through station living areas. Documents should be scanned and emailed whenever possible. When mail must be handled, it’s best to wear gloves and wash hands immediately thereafter. Department Facilities Visits to fire department facilities should be limited to urgent department business. The number of guests should be limited, and they should make appointments when possible. Battalion Chiefs should communicate with Battalion members via phone or video conference. If a Battalion Chief needs to go to a station, he or she Self-monitoring stations should be set up near designated staff entrances and should provide a self-screening checklist and thermometer screeningshould maintain social distancing. Bedding A washable base layer should be used on beds (e.g., sheet, blanket, etc.) to create an additional barrier between the bed and personal bedding. Base layers should be washed after each shift. Self-Monitoring Self-monitoring stations should be set up near designated staff entrances and should provide a self-screening checklist and thermometer screening.
Refrigerants used in cooling systems for homes and businesses are being replaced with alternatives that have less potential for global warming. But the transition comes at a risk: Some of the new refrigerants are flammable. Although less flammable than gases such as propane, for example, new refrigerants can still ignite and burn with a high intensity under ideal circumstances. The new materials have low-flame velocity and are less easily ignited; however, one byproduct of combustion is toxic hydrogen fluoride. Flammability risks of non-toxic refrigerants Non-toxic refrigerants are categorized by flammability risks. A1 designates no flame propagation; A2 indicates lower flammability; and A3 indicates higher flammability. Hydrocarbons such as propane have higher flammability (A3) and are restricted to a lower charge limit that does not address refrigeration needs of large systems. Hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) are mildly flammable, have a low flammability limit (LFL) and have been categorized as an A2L refrigerant. They tend to burn slowly and give off little heat. Hydrocarbons such as propane have higher flammability NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) offers online and instructor-led training to educate firefighters about flammability and toxicity risks associated with new refrigerants. The training also covers asphyxiation challenges, jet stream fires, transportation issues and other life-safety considerations associated with flammable refrigerants. The training covers how to adapt response tactics to mitigate consequences from refrigerants in various types of emergencies. Strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs), personal protective equipment (PPE) and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) protocols and decontamination practices are also covered. Categorising refrigerant flammability The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) provides funding to NFPA to develop training on the emerging technology. According to an ASHRAE report, refrigerant flammability can be characterized by three factors: Likelihood that a refrigerant leak would result in a concentration range that reaches the lower flammability limit; Presence of a sufficient energy ignition source; and Likely severity of a combustion event, and probability of a secondary fire. ASHRAE is the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology Institute (AHRTI) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) are researching the flammability of refrigerants, including factors such as refrigerant charge size, release height, leak rate, humidity, and room size and temperature. When choosing the best refrigerants, it is likely a tradeoff will be required among global warming potential, flammability and efficiency. Codes and standards Codes and standards are being modified to address the use of new materials Currently, codes and standards are being modified to address the use of new materials, although risk mitigation concerns of the fire service have historically not been considered. One issue is the risk of using large amounts of flammable gas in a refrigeration system to cool a larger room. Additional safety measures are needed to make the risk acceptable. Detection of leaks is another issue, especially the need for repeated calibration of leak detectors to ensure accuracy. More than 200 countries will be ushering in the new class of refrigerants.
The U.K. government is looking to apply the lessons of the Grenfell Tower fire by strengthening the regulatory system for building safety, including regulations for high-rise buildings. By changing the industry culture to increase accountability and responsibility, proposed measures seek to ensure residents are safe in their homes. The new measures – Building Safety and Fire Safety Bills – expand on a pledge to “[bring forward] new measures to … improve building safety,” which was included in the Queen’s Speech to both houses of Parliament on Dec. 19, 2019. Bringing In New Fire Safety Measures When Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed his plans for government with his new majority, he included mention of housing issues. To ensure residents are safe in their homes, the government will bring forward measures to implement the most urgent recommendations from the first phase of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry. They will also publish a draft Building Safety Bill to implement the recommendations of Dame Judith Hackitt’s review of building regulations. The new measures will draw from all 53 of the recommendations of the independent review of building safety, and in some cases, go beyond those recommendations. For example, the government seeks to give residents a stronger voice and strengthen enforcement and sanctions to deter non-compliance. To ensure residents are safe in their homes, the government will bring forward measures to implement the most urgent recommendationsDame Judith Hackitt’s review found that the current regulatory system is not fit for purpose in relation to high-rise and complex buildings. A new system to oversee the whole built environment will involve local enforcement agencies and national regulators working together to ensure better safety of all buildings. New Regulations, Guidance And Improvements An enhanced regime for high-rise residential buildings will apply to more than 11,000 high-rise buildings, increasing to almost 15,000 buildings within 10 years. Some £600 million of funding has been made available to replace the unsafe cladding in the social and private sectorsPreviously, the government has implemented a range of improvements that did not require legislation, including identification of more than 400 high-rise buildings that use unsafe Aluminium Compositie Material (ACM) cladding, like that used on the Grenfell Tower. They have worked with local authorities and fire and rescue authorities to ensure appropriate interim safety measures are in place. Some £600 million of funding has been made available to replace the unsafe cladding in the social and private sectors. New regulations and guidance ban the use of combustible materials on the external walls of new buildings over 18 meters containing flats, as well as new hospitals, resident care premises, dormitories and student accommodations. Learning From Mistakes The Fire Safety Bill has been brought forward to “deliver meaningful change to ensure an appalling tragedy like Grenfell can never happen again.” In addition to addressing the elements of Dame Judith Hackitt’s review, the Fire Safety Bill seeks to clarify the scope of the Fire Safety Order to include external walls of buildings, including cladding, and fire doors for domestic premises of multiple occupancy. It would also strengthen the relevant enforcement powers to hold building owners and managers to account. A transitional period will allow building owners and managers and Fire and Rescue Services to put in place the infrastructure for these changes.
An Axis AX fire system from Advanced has been installed as part of large-scale renovations at one of Sri Lanka’s most prestigious healthcare facilities. The 2-loop and 4-loop, UL-listed Axis AX fire panels, and more than 500 devices, were supplied, installed and commissioned at the Korea Sri Lanka Friendship Hospital by local Advanced partner, Firetech (Pvt.) Limited. Hospital fire safety system Located south of Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, The District of Matara was gravely affected by the 2004 Tsunami. The Korea Sri Lanka Friendship Hospital was built at a cost of 1.27 billion rupees with the financial assistance from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to provide the residents of Matara District with increased access to crucial health care services. The 750 million rupee re-modelling, fully funded by KOICA and implemented by UNOPS in partnership with the Ministry of Health, saw the construction of a new Maternal and New-Born Heath Care ward complex and upgraded hospital facilities. This has provided a more modern and efficient service to the people of the District and in the Southern Province who rely on the hospital’s wards, operating theatres, intensive care unit (ICU), blood bank, pharmacy and neonatal ICU. 2-loop and 4-loop Axis AX fire panels UL 864-compliant Advanced system was selected to protect the hospital due to its robust design and ease of installation" Michael David, Business Development Manager at Firetech (Pvt) Limited, said “The UL 864-compliant Advanced system was selected to protect the hospital due to its robust design, ease of installation and configuration.” Michael adds, “As experts in fire safety, Advanced has always offered us a fast turnaround for spare parts, technical guidance and well-designed user interfaces ensuring on-site compatibility and ease of use for our engineers and end users.” Dependable fire safety solution Steve Carroll, General Manager at Advanced, said “Delivering a complete and dependable solution for effective notification and evacuation in a hospital setting is crucial to protecting patients who may be at greater risk in fire situations.” Steve adds, “Given its reliability, versatility and UL-listing, the Axis AX system was the obvious choice to recommend to Firetech and met all of the Sri Lanka Fire Department’s requirements.” UL 864-compliant Axis AX system Advanced’s Axis AX system offers enhanced power and performance in a user-friendly format, offering a vast range of configuration, control and interface option all with simple set-up and operation as well as Advanced’s legendary service and quality. The Axis AX system includes easily networked panels, audio panels and command centers, redundant controllers and a huge range of peripherals, devices and interfaces that make it ideal for almost any installation. Fire safety systems major Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 Company, Halma PLC, has an enviable history of protecting some of Asia’s most notable and prestigious buildings, including the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge and the University of Macau. 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.
Amthal has worked closely with the management team and residents at Kenilworth Court to ensure fire and security upgrades on site occur without compromising on aesthetics of the Edwardian mansion blocks. Situated in Putney, Kenilworth Court consists of eight purpose-built Edwardian style blocks of flats, completed in 1904 – 1905. Featuring 150 portered flats, with a garden in the middle, it is now run by the controlling company, Kenilworth Court Co-ownership Housing Association Ltd. Security Gates and fire maintenance service The opportunity to upgrade door entry from audio to video capability saw the initial introduction of Amthal to the development. Amthal now additionally maintains security gates and all fire requirements on site at Kenilworth Court So successful in understanding the importance of keeping with original design features, working closely with the management team and residents, from initial specification through installation and project completion, Amthal now additionally maintains security gates and all fire requirements on site at Kenilworth Court. Video security system at Kenilworth Court Steve Logie, General Manager at Kenilworth Court Co-Ownership Housing Association Ltd, said “With the historic significance of our development, and the pride of notable residents who have lived here, any upgrades, however small, must be carefully considered with regards to how it will impact on the aesthetics of the overall premises.” Steve adds, “Amthal understood this and worked closely with us and our residents, carefully taking in feedback to create bespoke video door entry solutions that blend with the grand entrances. Installation was sympathetic, always ensuring wiring was discreet and ‘boxed in’ where necessary.” He further said, “So impressed with their customer service and technical ability, we now consider them our preferred supplier for all fire and security maintenance.” CAME BPT brass entrance panel installed Based on resident feedback, Amthal created and installed a bespoke CAME BPT brass entrance panel for Kenilworth Court, allowing all homeowners to benefit from stylish video door entry technology. Residents and staff also benefit from an upgraded Paxton Net2 access control system, with dedicated fobs distributed to ensure safe and secure block entry. Phil Bryant, Amthal Strategic Accounts Team Manager added, “The key to our success with Kenilworth Court was taking the time initially to create an installation works program with video door entry systems that could blend in visually without disrupting the architectural aesthetic of the development.” Enhanced fire safety The management team has peace of mind that fire and security requirements will be maintained to exceed standards" Phil adds, “We spoke with the management team and residents throughout the design process, bringing door entry styles and samples to ensure everyone was confident in the installed final solution.” He further said, “From this, our engineering team and customer service has built up a trusting relationship where residents understand our needs to operate internally, sometimes within apartments themselves and also through communal areas. And the management team has peace of mind that fire and security requirements will be maintained to exceed standards across the development.” Fire safety solutions expert Independently owned, Amthal Fire & Security is dedicated to satisfying end user needs for security safety and convenience offering design, installation, service and remote monitoring of advanced electronic fire & security solutions, including intruder, fire, access and CCTV systems. Amthal Fire & Security is accredited by the Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB) United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS) and British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE).
Nittan Europe, a UK-based renowned manufacturer of conventional and addressable fire detection products and systems, is proud to have its Evolution analog addressable fire detectors installed into the NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol. NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol Built in less than three weeks at the University of West of England Frenchay campus, NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol has the capacity to provide up to 300 intensive care beds for coronavirus patients, if local services need them. The new facility is one of seven Nightingale hospitals to be set up around the country as part of a massive NHS effort to respond to the COVID-19 health emergency. Evolution analogue addressable fire detectors Nittan’s Evolution analog addressable fire detectors have been incorporated into Ramtech Electronics’ WES wireless firm alarm system, which is designed to provide a simple, fast and secure method of communicating fire and medical emergencies in the complex environmental conditions of construction sites. While WES has been designed to provide temporary protection on construction sites, its ease of use, reliability and quality made it ideal for use in the temporary Nightingale Hospital. Wireless fire alarm systems Wireless fire alarm systems are ideal for temporary sites as they don’t require specialist trades to set up Wireless fire alarm systems are ideal for temporary sites as they don’t require specialist trades to set up, and any number of call points can be deployed in minutes and linked wirelessly to cover large or small sites. The signal passes through all commonly found materials including steel, concrete and stone. Evolution EVC-DP dual optical detectors Nittan Evolution EVC-DP dual optical detectors are incorporated into the WES system. These award-winning detectors feature dual optical technology to reduce false alarms caused by non-combustion products such as steam, dust and aerosols. Unlike other conventional detectors on the market that claim to distinguish between smoke and non-combustion products, the EVC-DP effectively measures the actual particle size in the chamber via its combined IR and blue LED technology. No false alarms As steam and dust are much larger particles than smoke, the detector won’t cause false alarms. This makes the EVC-DP detector ideally suited to use in hospitals, hotels and other areas of multiple occupancy which are prone to steam and dust. The WES wireless fire alarm system featuring the Nittan detectors has been installed into the communal and welfare areas of NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol.
Teamwork, flexibility and a commitment to customer service have resulted in Apollo Fire Detectors being installed, commissioned and in operation in just four weeks at a former defense medical rehabilitation center that is being transformed into a community-style hospital for use during the coronavirus pandemic. Headley Court To support the COVID-19 site, and despite the warehouse being closed for a stock take, Apollo Fire Detectors ensured the essential fire safety equipment was personally delivered the day after the order was placed. Headley Court, in Surrey, will re-open and serve as a temporary community hospital for patients Headley Court, in Surrey, will re-open and serve as a temporary community hospital for patients needing rehabilitation or convalescence, along with those receiving end of life care, as well as patients who are recovering from COVID-19 and do not require critical or acute hospital care service. XP95 addressable fire detectors installed The Headley Court facility closed in 2018 and the existing fire systems at the site were no longer viable. Detect Fire & Security Ltd was appointed by Corrigenda Facilities Services to install a new fire safety system in nine buildings in just four weeks. They chose the XP95 addressable fire detectors from Apollo Fire Detectors. Joe Presswell, Technical Manager from Detect Fire & Security Ltd explained, “The site was already configured with ward space and other clinical areas, so it was ideal to be converted for use as a community hospital. Upon initial site survey, it was a relatively straight-forward installation, simply swapping the equipment and reprogramming the system onto the new Advanced Electronics addressable fire panels.” Essential fire safety equipment He adds, “But the timescales were understandably hugely demanding. We were originally asked to work on three buildings, but this soon changed to nine buildings, with the order in which they were expected to be completed changing throughout the installation.” Joe further said, “Apollo were fantastic partners to work with, ensuring good stock levels at all times and accommodating all our requirements. It took four weeks to complete the installation in nine buildings. In normal circumstances, it would take around three weeks per building. This was a brilliant team effort.” Enhancing staff and patients safety The Apollo team has always prided itself on its level of customer service and flexibility" Nicolas Duke, Operations Director at Apollo Fire Detectors said, “The Apollo team has always prided itself on its level of customer service and flexibility. Working with Detect Fire & Security Ltd. on the Headley Court project was a prime example of this.” He adds, “Thanks to the fantastic support and dedication of our operations staff, continuing to work on our life saving devices through the entire coronavirus crisis, we were able to maintain our stock levels of key products”. Nicolas concluded, “The first order arrived on a day when manufacturing was closed due to stock take, therefore it was actually packed and made ready for next day pick-up by the Apollo Leadership Team. We are all proud of the contribution that Apollo and our customers have made to the national response to the virus.” Communication and teamwork Mike Sutton, Sales Manager at Apollo Fire Detectors said, “Communication and teamwork were the keys to the success of the Headley Court project. We really pulled out all the stops to help make this project come together so quickly.” Mike adds, “I personally delivered the first batch of products to site and our Managing Director was packing boxes in the warehouse to ensure the project could start on time. We’re delighted that the new facility is now fully protected, and patients can be cared for in a safe environment.”
Global fire systems company, Advanced has been specified on yet another landmark development in London, United Kingdom. The installation of Advanced fire panels at the Landmark Pinnacle marks another tall-building win for the manufacturer who, in 2019, announced its specification at Western Europe’s second tallest building, 22 Bishopsgate. Landmark Pinnacle Standing 75 floors high at the head of the South Dock in the heart of Canary Wharf, the Landmark Pinnacle will, on completion in 2020, be the tallest residential building in Europe with more habitable floors than any other building in London, the UK and Europe. With prices starting from £480,000 and amenities including a roof garden, gym, private dining facilities and a cinema, London’s latest skyscraper, at 239 meters tall, will offer stunning views across London and the surrounding counties. 8-loop and 4-loop intelligent MxPro 5 fire panels Four 8-loop and two 4-loop intelligent MxPro 5 fire panels, alongside three repeater panels, specified for the tower will be installed by Bedfordshire-based fire systems integrator company, Firelec Controls Limited. They will be responsible for the design, installation, testing and commissioning of the fire system. The MxPro 5 panels, that were recently certified by FM Approvals to the EN54 standard, will be networked with the tower’s BMS using BACnet, include a custom graphics package and link to over 140 AOV vents and sprinklers with phased evacuation between floors. Richard Randall, Managing Director at Firelec, said “Advanced panels are our first choice every time, combining reliability and superior technical ability. Given the nature and size of the Landmark Pinnacle we needed a high level of protection to secure the public areas of the building and thanks to Advanced’s vast cause and effect capabilities they were the ideal solution for this installation project.” Multiprotocol fire system The MxPro 5 is highly regarded as the unbeatable multiprotocol fire system The MxPro 5 is highly regarded as the unbeatable multiprotocol fire system. Approved to EN54-2, 4 & 13 standards, it offers four protocols - Apollo, Argus, Hotchiki and Nittan, along with 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, 200 panel networks covering huge areas. MxPro 5 panels are backwardly compatible with existing MxPro 4 networks and include a host of features including AlarmCalm complete false alarm management and reduction. Fire protection systems expert Amanda Hope, New Business Development Manager at Advanced, said “Landmark Pinnacle is the latest in a long line of tall buildings to benefit from Advanced protection that includes Western Europe’s tallest and second tallest buildings, the Shard and 22 Bishopsgate. Where complicated cause-and-effect programming is required, our panels deliver state-of-the-art performance and protection and we’re thrilled to have been able to support Firelec with the equipment required.” Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma Plc, have an impressive history of protecting some of the most prestigious and iconic sites across the globe, including London’s Shard, Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia and Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Comelit Group’s fire detection solution has been installed at Gleavewood Care Home by KJ Fire Safety, for the ongoing safety and security of staff, residents and visitors. Cheshire-based, Gleavewood Care Home, part of the Minster Care Group, is a two storey care home, with 30 single rooms and a variety of communal areas, alongside an enclosed garden area and multiple facilities and visitor activities on site for residents to benefit. Risk assessment on fire detection systems KJ Fire Safety was called to the site following a risk assessment on fire detection systems KJ Fire Safety was called to the site following a risk assessment on fire detection systems. With recommendations made for a new install, Comelit’s Atena Easy two loop solution was fitted in just three weeks, working around the residents and staff. Ruth Field, Estates Director of Minster Care Group said “Mitigating the risk from fire is a fundamental duty of care in any care home, and an absolute priority across our property portfolio.” Ruth adds, “To ensure the safety of our continued staff and residents at Gleavewood, KJ Fire Safety worked by our side to install Comelit’s system as quickly as possible, whilst being sensitive to our residents and their daily routines. We are really impressed, not only with the fast paced installation, but also the finished Atena Easy control panel, which staff have been trained on, and its proven very user friendly.” Atena Easy system Comelit’s Atena Easy system has been installed as an addressable fire alarm, stylish panel with 2 loops, connected to 130 devices on a completely new cable scheme. The information for the system status is visualized on a graphic display and LED indication for zones and troubleshooting. Nigel Thomas, Managing Director at KJ Fire Safety Ltd added, “Care home owners need to review their fire risk assessments, with a proper understanding of how fire can travel and develop”. Fire detection system Nigel adds, “Good practice, as Minster Care Group demonstrates, is that this is done on a regular basis. When Gleavewood’s risk assessment highlighted critical action, we quickly and efficiently replaced the system with Comelit Atena Easy due to its ease of install and operation without re-using any element of the original system.” Mandy Bowden, Comelit Fire Business Development Manager (BDM) said, “Comelit’s Atena Easy system is simple to install, cost effective and user friendly 1 to 2 loop panel, designed with ease of use in mind”. Mandy adds, “For added assurance, it comes with the full training and support capability of a globally renowned fire systems manufacturer. This makes it perfect for care homes such as Gleavewood, where fire safety is of such critical importance, to ensure peace of mind for all who work, live and visit this site.”