Fire Safety Inspection
As the condition of aging bridges, roadways, transportation resources, and grids across the U.S. has increasingly become the focus of discussion, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued Renovations Needs of the U.S. Fire Service, a new report on the fire service’s aging infrastructure. Two key findings within the report show that more than 21,000 firehouses across the country are beyond 40 years of age with total replacement costs estimated to be in the $70-$100 billion...
Manholes on-board ships or in industrial or offshore plants are generally only used from time to time. The manholes are closed most of the time and are only opened when there is a need for maintenance or other activities to be performed on the installation. Gaskets are used to ensure the steel sealing plates reliably seal off the manhole. The NOFIRNO gaskets supplied by Beele Engineering for these types of systems were recently subjected to one of the most severe fire tests possible. Tested To...
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 r...
Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) has welcomed the Ministerial Statement to the House, given by the then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, in which he updated members on building safety. In particular, he informed those present that following an independent investigation into timber fire doors, no issues had been found with the consistency of the fire-resistance performance of the doors tested. This is good news for the industry and adds fur...
One lesson of Grenfell is how many fire system technicians operate without the appropriate qualifications. Since the Grenfell tragedy, Dame Judith Hackitt has called for all relevant trades to hold formal qualifications, and for industry to implement a system in which clients and end users can be assured that operatives are fully competent. Another lesson is that fire service audits of buildings are no longer fit for purpose. For instance, the current system does not require proof that a fire s...
The National Security Inspectorate (NSI), the UK’s independent certification body specializing in the security and fire safety sectors, shared in the success of this year’s IFSEC and FIREX exhibitions as the integrated events proved important forums for approved companies and applicants, as well as key industry stakeholders, to engage face-to-face with NSI experts. The three-day events provided a vital opportunity to raise awareness of the valuable role of independent certific...
The recent FIREX International exhibition proved a great success for the GGF, as the glass industry's trade body was inundated with enquiries on fire-resistant glazing. The GGF had its biggest ever platform at FIREX with a 30m2 stand that included three full size product exhibits showing the various stages of the fire-resistant glazing process, as well as glass performance before and after the effects of smoke and fire. Host of visitors It certainly was an attention grabber with a constant stream of visitors to the stand of representatives from local councils, emergency services, training companies, health and safety services, construction companies, the media as well as architects, specifiers and building managers. Adrian Blaydon, GGF Technical Officer and Secretary of the Fire-Resistant Glazing Group commented, “It was a great show and really raised the profile of the GGF and Fire-Resistant Glazing. I was delighted with the full attendance at my seminar on the Importance of Fire-Resistant Glazing. I am sure the interest shown from the show’s visitors will lead to many future opportunities for the Federation and our Members.” Importance of Fire-Resistant Glazing Steve Bond, Chair of the Fire-Resistant Glazing Group added, “I was pleased to see the GGF have a much-enhanced presence at this year’s FIREX. The live exhibits showing the effects of fire and smoke captured the imagination of visitors and the GGF video showing fire resistant glazing in action also attracted interest. “With so many enquiries, it has clearly been a worthwhile show and one I hope the GGF can repeat next year. I can’t emphasize enough how important shows like this are, to educate those responsible for fire safety in buildings, on the correct specification, installation and performance of Fire-Resistant Glazing.”
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is effective, efficient and looks after its people. Following an independent inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), the service has been awarded ‘good’ in all three areas in the first review of its kind. And as a result, Kent has emerged as one of the top performing services in the country, of those assessed so far as part of a rolling program to inspect all 45 fire and rescue services in England. During their visit in January this year, inspectors assessed how effectively and efficiently Kent Fire and Rescue Service prevents, protects the public against, and responds to, fires and other emergencies. They also looked at how well the service looks after its staff. Responding to incidents effectively KFRS achieved ‘good’ in the three key areas assessed, and is therefore meeting the high expectations of HMICFRSKFRS achieved ‘good’ in the three key areas assessed, and is therefore meeting the high expectations of HMICFRS. Not only does the report highlight the service’s ability to respond to incidents effectively, and spend public money appropriately, but it also found the service offers ‘excellent wellbeing support’ for staff, noting ‘a culture of trust and empowerment’ with some ‘outstanding’ staff practices. The service has already taken steps to improve areas highlighted by inspectors, such as ensuring local training records are kept up to date, and recruiting more people to its technical fire safety team to increase productivity and achieve auditing targets. Providing good customer service 24/7 Ann Millington, Chief Executive of Kent Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This was the first inspection of its kind and a great opportunity to hear from an independent body how we’re performing. I’m pleased and proud that Kent has been graded a ‘good’ fire service, but we can strive for better – it’s part of our DNA. It’s important we continue to improve the services we offer to our communities – because there’s always more to be done. This positive outcome wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of every member of our team" “This positive outcome wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of every member of our team. I am thankful to have such a strong and passionate workforce, made up of people who genuinely care about each other, keeping our customers safe and providing a good service 24/7. “Thanks also goes to HMICFRS’ inspectors, whose recommendations we welcome and we have started implementing changes in a majority of suggested areas since the visit in January.” Result of firefighters’ hard work Nick Chard, Chairman of Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “I’m very pleased to hear that Kent Fire and Rescue Service is among the top performing fire services in the country following its ‘good’ inspection. This comes as a result of hard work and dedication from firefighters and officers, who together provide the community with a fire and rescue service to be proud of.” HM Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services Zoë Billingham said: “I am pleased that we have rated Kent Fire and Rescue Service as ‘good’ across all three areas of our inspection. This is a modern and innovative fire service that is prepared to find new ways of doing things. Many other fire and rescue services could learn from the example it sets. Responding to fires and other emergencies The service performs well in one of its primary duties: responding to fires and other emergencies"“The service performs well in one of its primary duties: responding to fires and other emergencies. We found good collaboration with other local emergency services, including the ambulance service and the police, which improves the service given to the people of Kent. “We were very impressed with how Kent Fire and Rescue Service manages and looks after its people; some of the practice we found is outstanding. We were struck by the positive relationship between staff and senior leadership, which encourages direct contact and a culture of trust and empowerment. “I look forward to continuing to see strong performance from Kent Fire and Rescue Service in future inspections.”
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has published its inspection report on Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS). TWFRS was graded as Good in all three areas inspected. HMICFRS looked at how effectively and efficiently the Service prevents and protects the public from, and responds to, fires and other emergencies. It also examined how well they look after the people. In its summary the HMICFRS stated: “Overall, we commend Tyne and Wear FRS for its performance. This provides a good foundation for improvement in the year ahead.” Grades given on three areas of work HMICFRS graded the Service on three separate areas of work: Effectiveness (our emergency response and services we provide to the public) Good Efficiency (how we manage our finances and how efficient we are) Good People (our culture, training and how we treat our people) Good In particular, HMICFRS highlighted the Service for: Responding to fires – with one of the fastest response times in the country Knowing our communities – we have a good understanding of our local and community risk Protecting the public through fire regulation Providing an efficient service and making good use of our resources Responding to national risks Being good at looking after our people Passionate staff who are proud to serve their community Testament to professionalism and commitment I am pleased that HMICFRS has confirmed that we deliver a good service"TWFRS Chief Fire Officer, Chris Lowther, commented: “I am pleased that HMICFRS has confirmed that we deliver a good service – one that helps to keep the communities of Tyne and Wear safe. The fact that the Service has been independently recognized as a good service is a testament to the professionalism and commitment of everyone who works for us. “I believe this grading is a fair reflection of our Service and has only been possible because of the teamwork that is evident across our organization. “This is the first time in over a decade that fire and rescue services have been inspected, and it has been a very valuable process. Not only has it confirmed what we do well, but it has helped us highlight areas where we can get better. Improving the Service for staff and public I am very proud of the work they do every day to protect lives and ensure we deliver a professional and effective organization"“We also acknowledge that there are some areas of our Service that require further attention. We have already started to address these areas through our continuous improvement program and we are making strong progress. I am confident we will continue to improve the Service for staff and the public. “Our best assets are our people. I am very proud of the work they do every day to protect lives and ensure we deliver a professional and effective organization.” Delivering good service despite budget cuts Tony Taylor, Tyne and Wear Fire Authority Chair commented: “This is a great – if not remarkable – achievement. Those of us who are close to the Service know it continues to deliver a good – if not great – service to our communities despite disproportionate cuts to our budget of £25million since 2010. “We can only imagine how much better these grades would have been if we had benefited from a fairer funding formula. It’s a great tribute to Chris and everyone who works for the Service that their commitment and dedication to keeping the people of Tyne and Wear safe has received such independent recognition.”
Isover, a manufacturer and supplier of innovative insulation solutions, will be showcasing its U Protect passive fire protection range for HVAC applications at this year’s FIREX International 2019 on stand FX110. A critical risk to address when designing a building is the potential spread of fire within HVAC systems from one compartment to another. As such, at this year’s FIREX International, Isover will be focusing on its U Protect system, which offers passive fire protection for circular and rectangular ductwork. Passive Fire ProtectionThe U Protect slabs and wired mats are manufactured with Isover’s ULTIMATE™ mineral wool insulation The innovative U Protect system has been tested under EN 1366-1 & EN 1366-8 and assessed against BS 476: Part 24, offering up to 2 hours passive fire protection in HVAC ventilation and smoke extract ducts, as well as 1-hour passive fire protection for kitchen ducts. The U Protect slabs and wired mats are manufactured with Isover’s ULTIMATE™ mineral wool insulation, which is produced using an exclusive, patented process and formed of long interwoven fibers. This ensures both excellent fire protection, thermal performance and a significantly reduced weight when compared to traditional stone wool solutions. The insulation also features a black aluminum foil facing for an aesthetically pleasing finish and to help differentiate it from standard HVAC insulation. Thermal Building Regulations To further ensure effective fire protection and a straightforward installation, a full range of accessories are also available within the U Protect system, including intumescent paint, glue, screws and tape. Our U Protect System has been tested and assessed against the key current industry standards" Emmanuel Dupuis, Product Manager of Technical Insulation at Isover said: “Choosing the right insulation for HVAC applications is vital to reduce the risk of a fire spreading from compartment to compartment. Our U Protect System has been tested and assessed against the key current industry standards, providing specifiers with a proven system. “In addition to its fire protection properties, U Protect’s slabs and wired mats also have inherent sound deadening properties and can be used to meet the thermal Building Regulations. They’re also lightweight and easy to install, with no glue or intumescent paint required between the slabs or mats.” Latest Technological Innovations “We are very much looking forward to attending FIREX International this year and explaining the many benefits of our U Protect range to specifiers, contractors and customers – new and existing. As well as featuring a demonstration area, allowing visitors to get ‘hands-on’, our sales team will also be available to answer any questions or discuss any specific project requirements.” FIREX International, which takes place on 18 – 20 June at the London ExCel, is a fire safety exhibition, welcoming over 18,000 fire safety professionals to experience the latest technological innovations and hear from industry leaders - all under one roof, over three days.
Oshkosh Corporation, global designer and manufacturer of specialty vehicles and vehicle bodies, released its sixth annual Sustainability Report, highlighting the company’s strong commitment to operating its businesses in a sustainable manner. Our focus on sustainability continues to be a core strategy for the company, encompassing people, community, innovation, sustainable operations, an ethical culture and strong governance. Oshkosh Sustainability Report “I am proud of our team members and their continued dedication to deliver sustainable value, protect the environment and improve the communities where we live and work,” said Wilson R. Jones, Oshkosh Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer. “Whether it’s reducing energy usage and donating time in our communities or developing new and innovative products, our team members are driving sustainability.” Highlights from the Sustainability Report include: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17% since 2014 47% of U.S. salaried team members hired in 2018 were of diverse backgrounds Team members volunteering more than 12,000 hours in communities where they live and work Being named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the fourth consecutive year Oshkosh’s focus on sustainability excellence also helped the company earn the title of one of Barron’s “Top 100 Most Sustainable Companies” for the second consecutive year.
Eric Lounsbury has joined the Hannay team as the new Facilities Director and Coatings/Finishing Manager. Wide-Ranging Experience For the past 4 years, Eric has been the site facilities manager at GlaxoSmithKline’s plant in Oak Hill, New York. Prior to GSK, Eric acquired several years of wide-ranging experience as a chief building engineer for CBRE amongst other positions. Eric’s hands-on skills and knowledge are a great asset for Hannay Reels.
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.
A number of shocking incidents involving fire have highlighted the need to better manage risks in buildings. David Adkins, managing director at Risk Warden, explains why some organisations need to give compliance with statutory regulations more focus and how the use of state-of-the-art online risk assessment tools can help to ensure that a building is as safe as possible. The Grenfell Tower disaster in London, in which 72 people lost their lives, brought the subject of fire safety into sharp focus. A government review into building regulations in the wake of this tragedy, led by Dame Judith Hackitt, made it clear that competence – defined as a combination of knowledge, skills and experience – underpins safety for all. It also found that that the current regulatory system is not fit for purpose and, with little or no quality monitoring, has created a situation where poor language confuses guidance with regulation and means that there is an overlapping regulatory enforcement framework. Why you need a fire safety action plan Sadly, Grenfell was not an isolated incident and similar events have occurred throughout the world. In 2017 a fire at a 17-storey commercial building in Iran led to multiple deaths, including those of 18 firefighters, while in 2015 16 people died in a fire in a residential building in Azerbaijan. Perhaps what is most concerning is that these types of events have been regularly occurring for many years – in 2010 a fire in a 28-storey tower block in China killed 53 people and injured at least 90, while in 2004 a fire at a care home in Scotland led directly to the deaths of 14 residents. The inquiry concluded that this tragedy could have been prevented by a suitable fire safety action plan. These examples highlight why it is vital to take the issue of safety seriously by undertaking a formal risk assessment. Put simply, if risks aren’t identified, a building’s occupants are in danger. There are a number of important pieces of legislation relating to this area in the UK including The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which contain a consistent set of requirements. Employers also have a general duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work. The Grenfell Tower disaster in London, in which 72 people lost their lives, brought the subject of fire safety into focus Responsibility for fire risk assessment When it comes to the dangers associated specifically with fire, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) places the onus on a designated responsible person within an organisation to carry out regular assessments to identify, manage and reduce the potential danger posed by fire. Article 9 of the RRFSO states that "The responsible person must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons are exposed for the purpose of identifying the general fire precautions he/she needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on him/her by or under this order". Any failure that leads to loss of life, personal injury or damage to property will expose a responsible person and could lead to prosecution. Outside fire risk assessors If the responsible person does not have the knowledge to carry out a fire risk assessment on his or her own, it will be necessary to call on a competent outside fire risk assessor. However, as Article 18 of the RRFSO points out, "Preference is to be given to a suitable competent person in the responsible person’s employment over a person not in their employment". Just as importantly, it states that, "A person is to be regarded as competent where they have sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable them properly to assist in undertaking the preventive and protective measures". If an outside fire risk assessor is employed then the responsible person must undertake due diligence to ensure that the individual concerned is competent and has successful track record in this line of work. Failure to do so can have enormous repercussions like, for example, in 2017 when a former firefighter and professional fire risk assessor was given a sentence of four months in prison suspended for 12 months for providing a ‘woefully inadequate’ fire risk assessment in his capacity as a private consultant. Failure to undertake due diligence when employing a fire risk assessor can have legal consequences Monitoring and reviewing fire risk It is up to the responsible person to put processes and procedures in place to enable compliance to be fully evidenced. This includes keeping up to date records of testing and maintenance regimes that can be scrutinised by relevant enforcement authorities, as well as enabling the responsible person to monitor, control and periodically review the fire risk assessment, especially during and after significant changes to the use or layout of a building. At the moment there are no hard and fast rules as to how fire risk assessments should be carried out. However, the most important requirement is to identify the fire hazards and how people could be at risk. In addition, emergency routes and exits, fire detection and warning systems, fire fighting equipment, the removal or safe storage of dangerous substances, and the needs of vulnerable people such as the elderly or those with disabilities must be factored in. The aim should always be to remove or reduce the risks as much as is 'reasonably practicable'. A failure to provide satisfactory evidence that a comprehensive risk assessment has taken place could result in invalid insurance, large fines and even the prosecution of any individuals responsible. To that end Article 11 of the RRFSO states that "The responsible person must make and give effect to such arrangements as are appropriate, having regard to the size of his/her undertaking and the nature of its activities, for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures". Today’s state-of-the-art solutions are structured around an intuitive internet-based interface Risk assessment and compliance tools Sometimes, particularly with large buildings or campus environments, the complexity of the risk assessment process requires a more methodical approach that takes subjectivity out of the process. When it comes to satisfying the requirements of Article 11 of the RRFSO where "the responsible person must record the arrangements", the latest generation of intuitive risk assessment and compliance tools can help. Today’s state-of-the-art solutions are structured around an intuitive internet-based interface, which allows a responsible person to be guided through the entire risk assessment process in a clear and thorough manner. This is a significant improvement on the old fashioned ‘pen and paper’ approach, as digital images can be captured and placed directly into a report at the relevant section, while templates for specific building types ensure consistency throughout. This simplifies the identification, management and prevention of any risks related to not only fire, but security, and health and safety too, thereby reducing the potential for danger within a wide variety of environments. It should always be remembered that the risk assessment is only the first stage of the process and where traditional methods often fall down is in taking – or not taking, as the case may be – any necessary remedial action. Online tools provide a more cohesive approach, as once the risk assessment has been completed all work undertaken is clearly outlined, logged and accounted for to comply with audits. This provides evidence of compliance and ensures organisations meet their legal obligations, validate their insurance, take a consistent approach to risk management and provide peace of mind for a responsible person. Making buildings safer There is a clear need for a digital record of risk assessment compliance for the whole life of a building – from design and construction through to occupation. As assessing risk can be a lengthy and complicated process, anything that makes this easier and enhances an organisation’s ability to negate the likelihood of injury or even death should be embraced. It stands to reason that risk management must be more strictly applied in order to prevent incidents that could be avoided – therefore, the use of online risk assessment and compliance tools should be at the forefront when it comes to making buildings safer.
FIREX International, 18-20 June, 2019, at ExCel London will feature 25-plus hours of seminars and panel discussions along with an exhibition of 130-plus manufacturers showcasing products for fire safety. A Sprinkler and Suppression Presentation Area will highlight the important category. Also, for the fourth year, the International Tall Building Fire Safety Conference will take place alongside FIREX International. There will be 18,000 fire prevention and protection professionals from over 70 countries in attendance at FIREX International. Seminars and panel debates, held in the dedicated Expertise and Guidance Theatre, will include sessions covering tall building safety, passive fire protection, case studies, and more. One session will consider how the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union will impact fire safety laws and the fire industry. Implications of fire safety regulations A presentation will cover the development of new tests to assess video smoke and flame detectorsThe aftermath of the Grenfell fire will be the backdrop of several sessions. One will address the competency of fire, emergency and security systems technicians in the post-Grenfell era, presented by Fire and Security Association Chairman Tom Brookes. Also, a panel discussion will consider the process control and record-keeping requirements of Dame Judith Hackitt's proposed ‘golden thread of information’ that spans regulatory, design, compliance, construction and operational management functions. Another session will speak to post-Grenfell implications of fire safety and future regulations, and there will be a summary of the government response to the Hackitt/ADB review and its impact on passive fire protection. Other topics include training, testing, and fire risk assessment. A case study will highlight the importance of smoke alarms in rented properties. A session on defining Fire Industry Association (FIA) Qualifications will address the impact of best practice, legislation and standards. A presentation will cover the development of new tests to assess video smoke and flame detectors. And there will be an update on industry efforts to create an overarching competence body for the fire safety sector. Thousands of products on display The Passive Protection Zone offers an opportunity for delegates to develop their knowledge of passive fire protectionFIREX International caters to everyone within the fire safety buying chain from manufacturers, distributors, installers, integrators, consultants to end users. With tens of thousands of products on display, attendees can test and try them out hands-on. The largest presence at the show will be the Fire Solutions stand, organized by Halma, which will feature six leading suppliers of fire safety technology from the same commercial family hosted at a single stand. The featured exhibitors will be Advanced, Apollo Fire Detectors, Argus Security, FFE UK, Klaxon and LAN Control Systems. The Passive Protection Zone offers an opportunity for delegates to develop their knowledge of passive fire protection via a variety of seminars and workshops. Plus, Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) member companies will be located around the zone, displaying related products. Tall Building Fire Safety Conference The 6th International Tall Building Fire Safety Conference will focus on innovation, drones, fire science and more. Topics on Day 1 will be fire engineering, fire testing and fire science in tall buildings. Day 2 will address fire risk management, insurance and construction in tall buildings. Day 3 will focus on firefighting in tall buildings. FIREX International is co-located with IFSEC International, Facilities Show, Safety & Health Expo and Field Service Management Expo, catering to those working across many platforms, including building management, and protection and safety of people and information.
The University of Edinburgh, one of the UK’s most prestigious educational establishments with a history stretching back to 1582, is now protected by industry-leading intelligent fire panels from Advanced. Edinburgh is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world, with the Old College building being opened in the early 19th century as a school for anatomy and surgery. The original campus was expanded in the 1880s with the addition of the New College, and the university now occupies six sites throughout Edinburgh. Flexible, Reliable And Compatible The new fire system installed at the main campus by long-term Advanced partner FMS Fire and Security Limited, covers the entire university campus. It compromises of multi-loop Advanced MxPro 4 and MxPro 5 panels, connected using fault-tolerant network cards. The new panels installed at the University of Edinburgh are the latest in a long line of installations" Dominic Rea, Director for FMS Fire and Security, said: “The new panels installed at the University of Edinburgh are the latest in a long line of installations we have undertaken throughout the university Campus, all using MxPro components. The Advanced panels installed are not only flexible and reliable but are also compatible with the existing systems already installed.” Two Panel Ranges MxPro is s multiprotocol panel and offers customers a choice of two panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network that enjoys free training and support. Ronald Kerr, spokesperson for the University of Edinburgh, commented: “The safety of our staff and students is paramount and they are now protected by the best fire panels on the market. The university has been shaping history since it welcomed its first students in 1583 and has played a large part in the scientific and literary development of Scotland. Our buildings are a big part of that history and, thanks to Advanced, they will be protected for many years to come.” Alarm Control Across Advanced’s ease of installation and configuration make MxPro customisable to almost any application MxPro 5 offers high performance fire detection and alarm control across multi-panel networks and multiple sites. MxPro 5 panels are EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 approved. They can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, 200-panel networks covering huge areas. Advanced’s ease of installation and configuration make MxPro customisable to almost any application and the panel is fully compatible with MxPro 4. Neil Parkin, Advanced Sales Manager for the North, said: “The University of Edinburgh is the latest in a long line of educational establishments protected by Advanced panels, including Sheffield University, Herriot Watt University and a number of leading independent schools. Our MxPro range offers the performance and reliability required by a site such as the University campus and the system is flexible enough to be expanded and upgraded as technology evolves.” Advanced is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The performance, quality and ease-of-use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
A highly sophisticated Taktis fire alarm and control panel from Kentec, a life safety control systems manufacturer, is providing the highest levels of fire safety at Brenntag UK & Ireland’s facility in Sunderland. Brenntag is a market leader in chemical distribution with a global network of more than 580 locations across 73 countries. Its North East team moved into the new site in Sunderland, one of the company’s 24 sites across the UK & Ireland, last December. Comprehensive fire safety and alarm system Pitts Wilson, the electrical contractor, was approached by Brenntag to recommend and install a comprehensive fire safety and alarm system for the entire site. They selected Kentec’s technology as an integral part of the installation, which has helped Pitts Wilson pass a BAFE/NSI inspection. Kentec’s Taktis panel ranges from 2 to 16 detection loops to provide up to 144 zone indicators and can network up to 128 panels. Its enhanced integration and networking capabilities mean it is able to meet the current and future needs of even the largest sites. Integrated with the Hochiki systems The flexibility of the Taktis panel makes it very simple to install and commission" Mark Ellse, Fire Systems Manager at Pitts Wilson, says Kentec has provided an intelligent solution: “The flexibility of the Taktis panel makes it very simple to install and commission, and because it is fully open-protocol it is also fully integrated with the Hochiki systems on site. “The full color 7” touch-screen display is easy for the customer to use and understand, especially in an emergency. Along with providing a great system, Kentec also provided excellent customer support throughout the project.” Kevin Swann, Managing Director at Kentec, says Taktis is the ideal solution for large and complex sites and infrastructure: “The scalability of Taktis means it provides a future-proofed solution, able to expand and develop in line with Brenntag’s requirements. And because it is truly open protocol, it provides installers and end-users maximum choice in their system design.”
STANLEY Security, one of the UK’s leading security providers, has installed a wireless fire alarm system at Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories, meeting their insurance requirements while saving considerable expense. Based in Leicester, Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories Ltd. operates from a large three storey building which it owns. Harvey’s itself works out of the bottom floor and the remaining building is subdivided into units which are rented out, with the two floors upstairs being dance studios that are mostly used in the evenings and weekends. Requirement Of A L2 Fire System L2 requires Manual Call Points throughout and optical AFD in escape routes and all rooms, corridors and compartmentsAs part of its insurance policy, Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories conducted a Fire Risk Assessment, undertaken by a third party. The assessor stated that an L2 category Fire System was required throughout the building. BS 5839-1:2017, the British Standard for fire detection and fire alarm systems in non-domestic premises, categorizes systems based on their objectives. Category L is a system designed to protect life and ranges from minimal protection 5 to top protection 1. L2 requires Manual Call Points throughout and optical automatic fire detection (AFD) in escape routes and all rooms, corridors and compartments that open onto escape routes, plus further AFD in areas identified as high fire risk. L2 systems therefore often come with a high price tag, especially in a large building such as that owned by Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories. After receiving several quotes that were out of the company’s reach, STANLEY Security provided the company with an affordable, effective alternative. EMS Wireless System For Cost Reduction “One of the key costs in the previous quotes was cabling,” states Ashley Hickling, Fire Sales Manager for STANLEY Security. “Other installers were looking to cable the entire system, or use a hybrid of hard wired and wireless equipment. With a large building, the amount of cabling pushed the price high. Furthermore, there were no cable routes, so a lot of containment would have been required for a hard-wired solution, which is also expensive and not aesthetically pleasing – an issue for the dance studios.” STANLEY Security recommended a full EMS wireless system which negates the need for cabling and reduces the costs The cost of labor to fit the cabling also added to the budget. STANLEY Security instead recommended a full EMS wireless system which negates the need for cabling and therefore reduces the costs significantly. Furthermore, the entire system is financed under STANLEY Assure, a finance solution for customers wishing to benefit from up to date security and fire technology without the risks of ownership and with evenly spread, manageable payment terms with no hidden extra costs. Day/Night Protection Of Building’s Inhabitants In the case of Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories, the cost of the system – including maintenance, replacement parts, call outs and labor on a wear and tear basis – is spread over five years with a monthly payment of just £393.80. Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories now benefits from a modern analog addressable L2 fire alarm system that meets its insurance obligations and protects the building’s inhabitants day and night. If a detector on the system should activate, it can be instantly pinpointed from the Fire Panel, confirming exactly which one it is and where, for appropriate, instant action to be taken.
Tamworth-based trade association, DHF (Door & Hardware Federation) is emphasizing the importance of making fire safety an ‘absolute priority’ in new-build homes, following an investigation into potentially dangerous fire safety issues in houses developed by Persimmon Homes and Bellway Homes. Fire Safety In New-Build Homes The BBC’s Watchdog discovered serious breaches that had gone undetected during the construction process" The findings, by BBC Watchdog Live, highlighted that a number of new builds constructed by the firms were sold with missing or incorrectly installed fire barriers, which are used to form a complete seal between different areas of a home, and prevent the spread of fire. Without them, experts say, fire and smoke can spread five-to-ten times faster. “The BBC’s Watchdog discovered serious breaches that had gone undetected during the construction process, leaving homes and lives potentially at risk in the event of a fire,” explains DHF’s Commercial Manager, Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens. “In many new builds, particularly timber-framed buildings, fire barriers are a vital part of fire protection and we would urge house builders to ‘get it right’ at the construction stage and to have a workforce that is trained in, and understands, the importance of installing the fire barriers required to prevent potential problems down the line. Ultimately, responsibility for ensuring that buildings are compliant with Building Regulations lies with the house builder.” Importance Of Fire Safety Following the investigation, Bellway Homes stated that it was ‘committed to improvement’ with regards to potentially flawed fire safety issues in developments in Kent and West Lothian, and that mandatory training on, amongst other subjects, fire stopping, has been introduced for all relevant construction staff.Following the Grenfell disaster in June 2017, DHF’s voice has been one of the loudest and most passionate in its call for third-party certification by a UKAS-accredited body of manufacture, installation, maintenance and inspection of fire, smoke and security doors, in order to offer complete assurance on their performance. With a history and heritage dating back to 1897, the federation is undoubtedly one of the most revered organizations, widely respected as the industry’s independent authoritative voice. Fire Door Training Courses DHF works assiduously with BRE Academy to offer fire door training courses Fierce advocates for appropriate levels of training across all the sectors that it serves, DHF continues to place the importance of training firmly ‘up-front-and-center’. The organization works assiduously with BRE Academy to offer fire door training courses; this has been central to its on-going fire safety campaign. Additionally, in March 2019, DHF announced a high-profile collaboration with Secured by Design (SBD) and Fire Industry Association (FIA) to publish a guidance document on fire safety. Named A Guide for Selecting Flat Entrance Doorsets; A publication for housing associations, landlords, building owners and local authorities in England, the publication accentuates the key issues of fire safety for those selecting fire doorsets, recommending all fire doorsets are factory-prepared (as opposed to prepared on-site), that all work be completed under factory production control, and in addition, audited by a third-party. Fire Doors “Since Grenfell, the wider issue of fire safety has been thrust into the spotlight and we are delighted that progress is being made in this regard,” said Patricia. “We continue to stress that the use of fire doors, correctly installed and with robust fire door maintenance procedures, are an essential part of fire safety and urge those in positions of responsibility (such as house builders) to ensure that they are not only fulfilling regulations, as well as legal and moral obligations, but insisting upon appropriate levels of training with regards to installation and maintenance.”
Established in 1975, Melvin Weaver & Sons has provided crop protection products for the agriculture industry for over 40 years. The company’s steady growth throughout these years generated the need for additional space at their Lancaster, Pennsylvania based facility. In summer 2014, Melvin Weaver began planning the construction of a 16,800-square-foot addition to its warehouse. Having a long-time relationship with Kint Fire Protection, Melvin Weaver turned to Kint to explore fire suppression system options for its new warehouse. Kint initially recommended a dry chemical system solution similar to the one being utilized in Melvin Weaver’s existing warehouse. However, after learning the existing system had previously malfunctioned, causing a discharge with tremendous clean-up costs and significant down-time, Kint began brainstorming. Reliable, Customizable Fire Suppression Agent We wanted to provide our customer with a state-of-the-art system and installation" Kint in-house engineer, Frank Hetherington, suggested the Fike PROINERT2 system. Once design and engineering was completed, Todd Van Wagner, Senior Solutions Analyst at Kint Fire Protection presented the solution to Linford Weaver, partner & son of Melvin Weaver. “We immediately began pre-fabricating the suppression nozzle pods so we could send them, along with all exposed pipe and fittings for painting,” stated Todd Van Wagner of Kint Fire Protection. “From the beginning, we wanted to provide our customer with a state-of-the-art system and installation that would serve as a showcase of Kint’s design and installation capabilities, as well as demonstrate the customers’ commitment to fire safety at their facility.” PROINERT2 Project Protects Multiple Spaces This substantial PROINERT2 project included 185 cylinders. And with Melvin Weaver’s business continuing to grow, the system can easily be modified for future expansion. In fact, another impressive feature of the PROINERT2 system is while it is designed to protect the overall space, it’s quite simple to individually protect any number of smaller spaces within it by using selector valves allow the system to direct suppression to only the spaces where it’s needed. “We take pride in providing our customers with the latest in technology and design,” continued Todd Van Wagner. “Melvin Weaver stores their product up to 20 feet high, so we had to come up with a design that would not interfere with the storing or moving of their product, but still cover the entire space.” Kint Fire Protection did this by designing and pre-fabricating custom nozzle pods to accommodate the different nozzle designs required for the space below 16 feet and the space above 16 feet. Once all nozzle pods were built, painted and placed, Kint filled in with the remaining pipe, detection, audio visuals and manual pull stations. Completed in April 2015, this project took approximately 160 hours of engineering time and 5 weeks of installation. Meeting Local AHJ Requirements An advantage of the PROINERT2 system is it utilizes argon and nitrogen (free to replace)“We received a state-of-the-art system that meets local AHJ requirements,” explained Linford Weaver, “And in the unlikely event of a discharge, our business will not be impeded with significant down-time or clean-up costs.” He continued, “Despite PROINERT2 being more expensive to install, FPGCS-002 over a 12-year period it’s actually quite a savings.” Another advantage of the PROINERT2 system is it utilizes argon and nitrogen (free to replace), so the only costs are labor and shipping of any replacement cylinders. Steve Tierney, Fike Corporation regional manager stated, “PROINERT2 was a logical solution to Melvin Weaver’s problem as it prevents any down-time or costs to clean up any future potential discharges, saving Kint’s client money in the long run.” Success Factors Of The System Half the maintenance cost of dry chemical systems. No cleanup costs, no down time, no loss of product in event of discharge. Flexible system design and installation with ease of modification. Suppression gas storage cylinders are all stored together at one location on ground-level, avoiding the storage space and weight capacity issues common with systems that require the cylinders be located very close to the area being protected. Simple semi-annual inspections. Environmentally friendly. Recharge free for gas, only cost is labor. Safety delay to protect workers.
The Hammersmith Hospital in London, UK, has a very busy radiology room for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and X-ray procedures. The different apparatuses within this room and its corresponding data control room are very expensive equipment which were protected from fire by a Halon fire suppression system. Regulation 2037/2000 We know that Halon is damaging the ozone layer and adding to the global warming problem. Therefore, the European Community has issued a regulation 2037/2000 which makes the removal of Halon mandatory by the end of 2003. Fike, together with their business partner Combined Protection Systems, successfully retrofitted the radiology and data control room of the Hammersmith Hospital with ECARO-25, which utilizes DuPont’s FE25™ fire extinguisher. Success factors of the program: Minimum downtime of the radiation and data control room Cost savings compared to other products ECARO-25 A Halon Retrofit Fike’s ECARO-25 makes it possible to leave the existing piping in place and exchange the cylinders and the discharge nozzles only. These major advantages of ECARO-25 make the Halon retrofit as easy as possible even for equipment which is running almost 24 hours a day/365 days a year. Now the Hammersmith Hospital is in full compliance with EC 2037/2000. They chose the easiest and most cost-effective solution that’s also safe for people and the environment: the ECARO-25 fire extinguishing system from Fike Corporation.