Fire Safety Management
Financial assistance can be one of the biggest challenges for students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. For individuals who have already graduated from high school or earned a GED, the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) offers its Second Chance Scholarship contest to help. Those seeking to pursue a college undergraduate or graduate degree or trade school education – including returning military, parents returning to the workforce, etc. – are en...
It is the legal duty of the responsible person in any building to make the evacuation of disabled people equal to that for able-bodied people, as Anthony Smith, Managing Director of Vox Ignis, explains. When the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was first introduced in 1995, it gave disabled people long overdue access to goods and services, education, employment, transport and accommodation. This was, subsequently, incorporated into the Equality Act in 2010. Evacuation of mobility impaired pe...
In May 2021, sparks in a ventilator ignited a deadly blaze in the intensive care unit of a COVID-19 treatment building at an Indian hospital. Investigations into the incident later revealed a variety of gaps in the building’s fire protection measures. While incidents of this severity are thankfully relatively rare, this tragic example serves to remind us of the particular risks associated with healthcare settings. The presence of countless fire hazards, the difficulties of effectively m...
Kentec Electronics, a manufacturer of life-critical control systems, has welcomed Fortus Group Holdings (‘Fortus’) to its Kentec Authorized Distributor (KAD) scheme, providing the fire and security distributor with dedicated product training and support, enhancing its ability to provide comprehensive solutions to installers. The KAD scheme is a global network of specialists, experts and trained fire alarm distribution companies, that are recognized for their high levels of Ken...
New training for firefighters aims to fight the cancer threat to them from fires, by taking aim at the toxic substances that fires produce. UK firefighters surveyed as part of University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) research were four times more likely to have been diagnosed with cancer than the general population. It’s thought that firefighter’s exposure to those toxic substances could be playing a part in their increased risk of getting cancer and other diseases. Better cleaning...
Wildland fires are an increasing threat in the United Kingdom. They’re high risk, difficult to manage, and create a set of very particular circumstances for firefighters, who are battling the blaze. And with wildland call-outs measured in days, rather than hours, fire services need a kit that’s as tough as the terrain that they’re working on. Defender wildland firefighting suit FlamePro, a British manufacturing specialist of life-saving garments for firefighters, has unveiled...
Volunteer firefighters who are also National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) members have one final chance to enter and win a personalized MSA Safety Incorporated’s MSA Cairns XF1 Fire Helmet. This is the last of three helmets that will be given out in 2021. MSA Cairns XF1 Fire Helmet The jet-style design of the Cairns XF1 Fire Helmet reduces snag hazards, provides a personalized fit, and houses its own integrated light module. Plus, the soft goods are removable, washable, and replaceable, helping firefighters align with cancer awareness programs, as written by the Firefighter Cancer Support Network. Approvals include NFPA 1971-2018 Structural Firefighting and NFPA 1951-2013 Rescue and Recovery. To be eligible to enter, applicants must be an active U.S. volunteer firefighter and a member of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC). Interested individuals can learn about member benefits and join on NVFC’s official website. One recipient will be randomly selected to receive the helmet. The entry period is open now through September 30, 2021.
Fire-Dex announces the acquisition of Marken PPE Restoration, a UL verified Independent Service Provider (ISP) of clean and repair services based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. This business is the third ISP Fire-Dex has acquired, following the purchase of Gear Wash in 2019 and Done Right Fire Gear in 2020. This acquisition will allow the company to expand its efforts to provide clean and repair services to departments in untouched regions throughout the West. Making solid connections The broad service offerings will include advanced cleanings, inspections, repairs, alterations, PPE rental gear, and record keeping. Marken PPE Restoration will act as a fifth Gear Wash location for Fire-Dex, including Milwaukee, WI, Hudson, FL, Pelham, GA, Memphis, TN, and now Las Vegas, NV. This untouched market will allow us the opportunity to make solid connections with new departments" “At Gear Wash, we couldn’t be more excited about this new expansion into Las Vegas and the surrounding areas,” states Taylor Burke-Gilman, President at Gear Wash, “This untouched market will allow us the opportunity to make solid connections with new departments while bringing our innovative clean and repair services to them. We are confident that the Marken PPE team will be a perfect addition to our organization.” High-Quality services With over 11 years of PPE cleaning and repair experience, Marken PPE Restoration operates in a 7,000 square foot facility with a dedicated team of nine associates. “The facility and staff at Marken PPE Restoration are incredible,” states Steve Allison, Chief Executive Officer at Fire-Dex, “The reliable team at Gear Wash are extremely committed to providing high-quality services to departments as we expand in the West.” Fire-Dex continues to experience exponential growth by obtaining numerous businesses including Chieftain Safety Manufacturing, TECGEN PPE, Darwood Manufacturing, Gear Wash, and Done Right Fire Gear. The company continues to expand its workforce by aggressively hiring at all locations.
Attenti, a pioneer in the electronic monitoring industry, will be presenting their domestic violence deterrence solution at The Emergency Services Show. Taking place at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre on the 7th and 8th of September, The Emergency Services Show is the UK's largest event for the emergency services. Law enforcement officials Comments Roni Weinberg, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Attenti, "Domestic abuse is the world's hidden pandemic. We're excited to be presenting our solution to law enforcement officials at the Emergency Services Show and demonstrate our domestic violence deterrence solution's effectiveness as a vital tool in tackling the scourge of family and domestic abuse in the United Kingdom." The COVID-19 pandemic further caused a dramatic increase in domestic violence The alarming statistics of domestic abuse and their negative effects on the individuals and families involved are a global phenomenon. The COVID-19 pandemic further caused a dramatic increase in domestic violence – not just in the UK, but around the world, becoming what the UN described, a ‘shadow pandemic.’ Avoiding potential encounters The crime survey for England and Wales showed that 1.6 million women and 757,000 men had experienced domestic abuse between March 2019 and March 2020, with a 7% growth in police recorded domestic abuse crimes. Because domestic abuse is a vastly under-reported crime, the true picture is likely to be far worse than the official statistics show. It is very common for released domestic abuse offenders to return and attack their victims. Protection orders alone are often not enough to prevent an offender from re-attacking a victim. Attenti's electronic monitoring deterrence solution is an effective solution to enforce restraining orders. It can be harnessed to increase the sense of security of victims at home and on the move, while providing improved supervision over both the victim and the aggressor, in order to avoid potential encounters and ensure compliance with court orders. Preventing repeated violence This provides law enforcement officials with an opportunity to rapidly respond to dangerous situations" The majority of the domestic violence victims who have used Attenti's device reported feeling much safer, and most of the aggressors believe the solution helped them meet legal obligations imposed by the restraining order. "Our solution provides a greater level of oversight, meaning that domestic violence victims have far greater protections in place than they ever have. This provides law enforcement officials with an opportunity to rapidly respond to dangerous situations and in-so-doing, prevent repeated violence and potentially save the life and health of a victim." Attenti's successful cooperation with local criminal justice agencies and other government stakeholders has led to the development of domestic violence deterrence programs in Europe and South America. Further, it has the most installations worldwide of domestic violence deterrence solutions, with thousands of individuals monitored and protected daily.
Businesses and building owners can now check on the fire safety status of their properties remotely with the Bosch remote fire safety app, running on the new ‘remote interact’ feature of the Bosch remote services portfolio for Bosch fire alarm systems. The application provides peace of mind to end-users and system integrators alike who can easily monitor the condition of their fire alarm systems from a distance. The app also sends push notifications in the case of emergency events – all available from any iOS or Android personal device. The application is the latest addition to the Bosch remote services portfolio making it even more powerful. Better safety management Bosch remote services simplify service and trouble-shooting tasks for system integrators. The solution can reduce the physical on-site time for maintenance and service jobs improving efficiency and profitability. Additionally, even if the user is not on-site remote services provide better safety management for both systems integrators and their customers; alerting them immediately of potential issues as they occur and allowing system integrators for remote configuration and troubleshooting. Bosch remote services simplify service and trouble-shooting tasks for system integrators Given that usually two out of three service calls can be resolved remotely, remote services support system integrators in providing faster and more transparent service anywhere and at any time. ‘Remote interact’ with its app remote fire safety complements the other three existing services of the Bosch remote services portfolio: ‘remote connect’, which allows a remote connection to Bosch fire systems in the first instance; ‘remote maintenance’, which provides live fire systems data; and ‘remote alert’, which helps customers stay informed about events as they happen by email or SMS. Fire alarm system Together, the products help to improve services, simplify troubleshooting, and make overall maintenance for Bosch fire alarm systems more efficient. Available on iOS and Android, the new remote fire safety app displays clear information about the status of a property’s fire alarm system at the touch of a button and provides easy access to users who can log in quickly via the application rather than signing into the wider remote services portal. Having a direct access to the fire alarm system via the app also improves the dialogue between system integrators and their end-customers, helping to build trust. The application is offered free of charge to existing remote services license holders and is available on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.
Armstrong Fluid Technology has unveiled its industry-renowned Design Envelope Fire Pump unit, along with Fire Pump Manager, a new and connected service for tracking pump performance. In addition to providing important new safety benefits, Armstrong’s new Design Envelope Fire Pump holds the distinction of being the first self-regulating, variable-speed fire pump, to meet NFPA-20 (2019 Edition), Section 4.8 standards. variable-speed fire pump This innovation allows simplification of the piping design for a safer, more economical fire suppression system" “As the first and only self-regulating, variable-speed fire pump available, the Armstrong Design Envelope Fire Pump offers unique points of value for customers. Key among these are the cost savings and performance improvements that result from eliminating many pressure-reducing valves from the sprinkler system,” said Steven Baird, Marketing Manager, Fire Products, Building Systems Solutions at Armstrong. He adds, “This innovation allows simplification of the piping design for a safer, more economical fire suppression system.” Design Envelope Fire Pump Some of the benefits of Design Envelope Fire Pump with Fire Pump Manager and self-regulating, variable-speed technology include: Cost-savings of up to US$ 1,500 per sprinkler branch, per floor, from the elimination of PRVs, Increased design flexibility Increased reliability and safety supported by real-time and historic test and performance data Ability to predict and report potential equipment failure that could result in expensive damage and/or loss of life Reduction of the number of zones in a sprinkler system and the potential elimination of storage tanks Help with fire systems having large differentials between static and residual pressures Armstrong 360 Service and Support solutions Through Active Performance Management and Armstrong 360 Service and Support solutions, Armstrong Fluid Technology believes engineers, contractors, and owners will get the best possible performance and value from fire safety systems, at every phase in the lifecycle of a building. Steven Baird stated, “The new Fire Pump Manager feature helps to ensure safe, reliable performance in fire suppression systems, and provides complete transparency into the testing and reliability of the pump.” As part of the launch program, a complimentary one-year subscription to Fire Pump Manager will be included in the purchase price of the solution.
PlanRadar announces a new partnership with IFC Group (International Fire Consultants), one of the fire safety consultancies. From the end of August 2021, IFC Group will use PlanRadar in the field to manage inspections, fire risk assessments, and audits across their projects globally. The company supports its clients at every stage of their projects, from design to delivery and maintenance, and on projects of all sizes and levels of complexity. Fire safety measures With increased scrutiny on building owners, developers, and contractors to deliver the highest quality fire safety measures and assurance, IFC Group has found their expertise much in demand. Glen Sumner, Associate Director at IFC Group, said: “After thoroughly reviewing PlanRadar in 2021, we’re very excited to roll out the software to our fire risk assessment teams.” PlanRadar met all of our criteria and have done a great job in supporting our unique requirements" “We had been looking for a software solution that was simple to use, that enabled consistency and that made it easy to share the results of assessments with clients. It was also important for us to be able to work with plans in hand and to be able to mark them up as needed. PlanRadar met all of our criteria and have done a great job in supporting our unique requirements.” Data collection process While IFC Group has always been at the cutting edge of fire safety technology, they were looking to improve the efficiency of the process of recording inspections and to enhance their support for clients in a rapidly moving marketplace. With PlanRadar’s flexible forms and checklists, engineers will be able to use their mobile devices to record their assessment of each element of a building that they inspect. They can also add photographs, videos, voice memos, and other evidence and attach them to a precise location on a plan. By digitizing the data collection process, IFC Group’s engineers can automatically build a complete, time-stamped record of all evidence from a site, including any communication and decisions made. A secure audit trail is stored centrally, making it easy to access at a later date. Fire risk assessment Data can also be quickly exported into custom-built reports in the exact format required Data can also be quickly exported into custom-built reports in the exact format required, ready for sharing with a client. This includes the use of a client-oriented dashboard. PlanRadar’s Matt Ryan, Country Manager for the UK & Sweden, said: “IFC Group initially approached us looking to move their inspections and risk assessment teams to a single digital platform.” Since then, our agile development and customer success teams have worked closely with them to build cutting-edge fire inspection forms, up-to-date fire risk assessment documents, and automated client-ready reports. "Fire safety compliance and legislation is an ever-changing beast, increasing in its comprehensiveness and complexity almost daily – and rightly so. This comes with challenges and extended liabilities, so it’s important for us to stay up-to-speed and support the field at all times.” "Partnering with industry-leaders like the IFC Group helps us achieve that, and helps them increase their teams’ efficiency on the ground, with bespoke solutions to achieve detailed communication and reporting to clients and governing bodies alike.”
In my latest article for TheBigRedGuide.com, I gave a detailed explanation of the differences between British and European fire safety standards. To help shed some light on this complex world, our team of fire safety experts concisely defined the Euroclass and UK standards, and explained how they differ. This article will aim to go one step further and demonstrate what architects, specifiers, and other industry professionals should be looking for when they’re selecting materials and products for a project. While each build is unique, several key factors should always be considered by those responsible for the specification of materials. Keep reading for four factors to consider. Thermal barrier usefulness This is the most important point. It’s crucial that what is specified for the final project is identical to the configuration that was tested. If it’s not, delve deeper and search for comparative data between two or three possibilities. The Field of Application in the Classification Report may cover the configuration, but that should be based on test evidence. Glassfibre insulation is Euroclass A, but it melts in a fire, completely negating its thermal barrier usefulness It should be emphasized that Euroclass B isn’t inherently worse than A, nor is Euroclass A necessarily better – it depends on the application. Glassfibre insulation is Euroclass A, but it melts in a fire, completely negating its thermal barrier usefulness. Equally, combustible material such as wood cannot attain A, as it will eventually burn due to its chemical make-up. This doesn’t make it any less attractive, or useful. As a building material - if correctly specified and fire protected – it is an entirely appropriate selection. The correct rating for each build is dependent on several factors unique to each project. Active fire protection These include, but are not limited to: The actual application requirements. This involves considering important aspects including the height of the building, and what its intended purpose will be. For example, a residential property will be in use 24 hours a day including overnight, and this will create different safety requirements compared to buildings such as offices which are usually only in use during daylight hours. Fire contribution to a system. Assessing how a material contributes to the overall fire risk the proposed system carries, and what measures have been taken to protect the structure in the event of a fire. This includes both passive and active fire protection measures. Consideration of engineering implications of each available product. This requires a careful analysis of how each potential material choice differs. For example, one product may be heavier or much harder to install than another which will impact how fit-for-purpose it really is for the project in question. How products react when they’re exposed to external weather conditions should always be carefully assessed. Some materials degrade as a direct result of exposure to the elements. Over time this will negatively impact the building, and in some cases make it far less safe and secure as the building ages. Better-Informed decision Go beyond product classification reports and hunt for test reports on proposed systems Be wary of claims about individual products. These can become null and void when they are incorporated into a larger system, as the overall fire rating will almost certainly change. This could result in the whole being significantly less than the sum of its parts, completely jeopardizing the safety of the end-users or occupants. Before you commit to a product, make sure you’re well versed in what you’re working with. Go beyond product classification reports and hunt for test reports on proposed systems. This will help you make a conclusive, better-informed decision. However, be warned, this information is notoriously hard to come by, so persistence is key. Make sure only to specify products that have been accredited by a third-party lab. Fire protection treatment Although it’s still legal for companies to self-certify materials, the practice allows for sub-standard products to become readily available on the market. Along with a third-party accredited test certificate, request CE documentation to ensure the product in question is still CE rated after its fire protection treatment. Some treatments will invalidate the CE mark on the non-treated product. The practice allows for sub-standard products to become readily available on the market There’s no denying that current safety standards are wildly complex and, even for the most experienced specifier, can take time to get your head around. Under time pressure, you need peace of mind, so it would be worth involving certified fire safety consultants from the outset. They will ensure you’re specifying certified, fit-for-purpose materials, prioritizing the build’s safety and offering clarity. Robust fire safety A collective concerted effort to thoroughly understand and select products that are tried and tested to create robust builds can only ever be a positive step. Combine this with the Government’s new building safety bill due to come into effect in August (2021), and the fact that many more companies are investing heavily into R&D to produce new materials with safety at the forefront, means the future is looking bright for construction, with robust fire safety baked into a building’s DNA as standard. Developing more state-of-the-art technology and facilities, and sourcing highly-skilled, knowledgeable professionals to ensure all bases have been fully covered, will achieve better fire-rated products and systems across the board. This is key to achieving the outcome we are all chasing - safer material choices that work as a system and deliver excellent fire protection.
Fire conditions and extrication events that firefighters arrive at today are very different from the conditions faced years ago. According to research at Underwriter Laboratories (UL), modern homes contain larger quantities of petroleum-based products and plastics that burn faster and hotter versus traditional and more natural materials. Rapid fire spread The result is more rapid and hotter fire growth with exponential increases in heat generation, smoke production and toxicity. Faster flashover and fire propagation, coupled with shorter times to collapse and shorter resident escape times, have changed what firefighters encounter in the average fire and its increased risk to their crews. On the other side, extrication calls are also on the rise, with multiple risks and an ever-present chance for fire, like with newer electric vehicles. New risks call for new and improved stationwear When the call comes in, firefighters rely on their turnout gear (TOG) for protection When the call comes in, firefighters rely on their turnout gear (TOG) for protection, but serious burn injury can occur right through the TOG. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) conducted a study that concluded stationwear contributes to overall thermal protection. However, depending upon the stationwear’s fiber content and material fabrication, it may also contribute to possible burn injuries. “Our goal at DuPont is to increase firefighters’ safety and we have dedicated years of study to ensuring what they are wearing under their turnout gear doesn’t contribute to more severe injury, as is the case with polyester and to a lesser degree, cotton,” said Jeff Fackler, North American Business Development Director for DuPont. Facing multiple thermal hazards As firefighters face multiple thermal hazards, they rely on the protective properties of their uniform to keep them safe. NFPA notes that the second leading cause of firefighter injuries in the United States is exposure to heat and smoke. Unfortunately, there has been a lack of reporting data that would help explain the severity, type and specific contributing factors, such as the clothing worn underneath the structural firefighting ensemble. Many authorities leave the choice up to the firefighters to determine what stationwear ensemble is to be worn underneath the structural turnout suit. According to the NFPA, the problem with this approach is the lack of knowledge about the risks of wearing non-certified garments, such as synthetics, and the lack of information focusing on factors that contribute to burn injuries. “We are working with DuPont to educate ourselves on how certified performance garments can help reduce risk of further injury during a fire or extrication,” said Spotsylvania, Virginia Fire Deputy Chief of Support Services, Jason Irby, adding “Stationwear is the last line of defense and the evidence is hard to ignore.” New Research in Preventing Injuries DuPont has worked to add to the level of research and discussion around how turnout gear and stationwear can help protect firefighters. DuPont scientists created Thermo-Man, a life-size manikin with 122 thermal sensors used to predict level, extent and location of potential burns of whole garments in simulated flame exposures. The goal is to test material selection and garment designs, and balance protection, mobility and heat stress. “What we found was that fire will exploit any gaps in turnout gear that may be created as the firefighter bends, climbs and crawls during the firefight,” said Jeff Fackler, adding “As a result, serious burn injury can occur right through the turnout gear, and the role of flame-resistant stationwear is to reduce the severity of that injury. In short, what you wear underneath your gear really does matter.” Stationwear made from Thermo-Man and Nomex Findings showed that garments made with Nomex will not melt, drip or support combustion, compared to 100% cotton DuPont tested stationwear garments using Thermo-Man to analyze and predict the levels of thermal protection that it provides. Stationwear made with Nomex brand fiber is compliant with NFPA 1975. Findings showed that garments made with Nomex will not melt, drip or support combustion, compared to 100% cotton, and Nomex helps reduce the predicted burn injury by 50%, when exposed to a three-second flame. Firefighters carry, pull, lug and climb with hundreds of pounds of hoses, ladders and other heavy gear. They have to crawl, squat, roll and duck in split-second decisions about their safety. More and more, they face challenges in extrication situations, where the chance of fire is high. Occupational Athletes Just like professional athletes, their gear has to be both comfortable and performance-based to allow freedom of movement, breathability and injury prevention. Associate Professor at the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences & Technology at UW-Milwaukee Dr. Kyle Ebersole has been studying the unique physical demands of firefighters for over a decade. “Firefighters and first responders are occupational athletes,” explains Kyle Ebersole, adding “Their job has some extraordinary physical and psychological demands.” Performance-enhancing sportswear Performance-enhancing sportswear like you see in the NFL or the Olympics is relatively new to the sports world. However, DuPont has been working on performance fibers for decades that help first responders perform at their best and help reduce the risk of injury. Stationwear made with Nomex fiber cools more effectively due to lower moisture pickup and evaporative resistance. The air permeability helps enable more heat and moisture vapor transmission and increases both cooling and breathability. Enhanced comfort and protection for firefighters This means more comfort and protection to firefighters in wildfire situations, structural rescue and vehicle rescue This means more comfort and protection to firefighters in wildfire situations, structural rescue and vehicle rescue situations. They can fight the fight longer with better performance and less risk of exhaustion. In the sports world, it’s well known that what you wear has a major influence on how your body and muscles move during various levels of activity. For athletes and firefighters alike, “The reality is if you become injured, you can’t work,” said Chief Jason Irby, adding “If I can help my team by providing stationwear that reduces thermal heat, allows them more time to fight a fire or work on getting someone out of a vehicle and it helps prevent burns closest to the skin, it makes total sense.” Technical advances and smart fabrics Technical advances and smart fabrics are making stationwear more comfortable and affordable, while allowing for better body heat regulation and adding protection against injury – helping give extra peace of mind to first responders. “They shouldn’t have to worry if their stationwear and gear is going to protect them,” said Jeff Fackler, adding “And with stationwear made with Nomex, they don’t have to.”
The product lifecycle of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) is approximately ten years, during which time technology inevitably advances considerably in terms of digitization and ergonomics. Increasingly pertinent in the last decade, and especially since the Pandemic, has also been how kit can be designed for ease of cleaning to ensure firefighters are protected from harmful carcinogens as well as bacterial and viral infections. When we surveyed UK firefighters as part of our ‘Health for the Firefighter campaign’ to understand their concerns about exposure to carcinogens and COVID-19, we learned the vast majority (84%) admitted they were concerned about the risk of cancer, while more than two thirds (68%) fear the impact COVID-19 might have on their long-term health. Unequivocal statistics that warranted action in our technology design. Proven support infrastructure The SCBA product lifecycle allows time for medical and safety technology manufacturers, such as Dräger, to take advantage of technological developments, and thoroughly test and future proof them. It also enables us to utilize our direct relationships with the UK fire services, not only to accommodate day-to-day feedback, but also to learn from our support of major incidents such as Grenfell and the Salisbury poisonings. The SCBA product lifecycle allows time for medical and safety technology manufacturers Following Grenfell, for example, we saw the critical importance of reducing the weight and size of kit to allow for greater ease of movement, as well as how critical it is to have the equipment underpinned by a resilient and proven support infrastructure. AirBoss, Dräger’s latest SCBA offering represents a digital progression, where telemetry and connectivity provide the information, and enable the integration and communication required to further firefighter health and wellbeing. This decade’s launch is no longer a product, but a connected solution. Providing vital information Digitalization is critical. Dräger offers the only operationally-proven telemetry solution, providing vital information which is automatically communicated between the wearer of the BA set and the Entry Control Point – without the need for either team to stop what they are doing to send communications. These signals include manual and automatic distress signals, team withdrawal signals, cylinder pressure, time to whistle and time of whistle. This system also provides comprehensive data regarding the firefighters’ condition in relation to their SCBA, proving invaluable to those responsible for monitoring and directing BA crews. A new feature, unique to Dräger’s AirBoss, are ‘Buddylights’ fitted to the backplate, which use digital data from the set to provide immediate and highly-visible signaling to firefighters of their team’s cylinder pressures and physical condition. AirBoss, Dräger’s latest SCBA offering represents a digital progression Providing comprehensive data The optional Dräger Web client enables workshop, management and command staff to utilize the data created on scene wherever they are, and at any time. Reporting can also be customized for multiple purposes from user or device history to synchronized overviews of complete incidents. The ability to create incident reports on evidential and tactical levels provides comprehensive and valuable post-incident analysis tools for debrief and training purposes, or in case of any investigation or inquiry. For future developments, Dräger is working with partners in the UK looking at solutions for location and tracking of firefighters and providing comprehensive data regarding the firefighter’s condition at an incident. The latter includes information such as body core temperature, heart rate and other vital statistics to allow external teams to monitor the early signs of heat stress and other physiological strains. Reducing physical stress Another critical focus is ergonomics. Improved wearer comfort has been achieved through working with medical experts in this field and shifting the center of gravity relationship between the human body and the set, creating a ventilated space by the SCBA backplate. AirBoss’ new Type 4 Nano cylinder provides a continued reduction in cylinder weight AirBoss’ new Type 4 Nano cylinder provides a continued reduction in cylinder weight, which can also reduce full life costs to the service, as the Nano has an unlimited life. These improvements reduce physical stress on the firefighter which in turn reduces the risk of strain-related injuries and fatigue when wearing the set operationally as well as extending the working duration due to reduced physical exertion. With AirBoss, the weight is carried by the legs and pelvis rather than the back. Improving personal comfort This not only improves personal comfort, but also enhances mobility within confined spaces and while descending ladders and stairwells. In an industry where a split second can be the difference between life and death, these advancements are crucial. On a practical level, the Dräger AirBoss has also been designed to be ‘snag-proof’, ensuring that all attachments are neatly connected or integrated to mitigate any risk of snagging or entanglement. Alterations have been made to maximize cleaning practices, including the introduction of smoother, non-absorbent, water-repellent surfaces to make equipment easier to wipe down and decontaminate. Numerous attachment points have also been included so kit can easily be dismantled for optimum cleaning – both mechanically and by hand. To this point, some fire services are moving towards mechanical washing systems, which provide complete consistency in washing temperatures, concentration of detergent, speed and temperature of drying. Vehicle charging systems The Dräger AirBoss solution is centered around four pillars: usability; safety; serviceability and connectivity Recognizing the financial pressures which the fire services are under, the AirBoss system is designed to enable fire services to maximize the significant investment already made into their SCBA and telemetry. With a modular design, AirBoss is backward compatible with existing Dräger PSS SCBA and Telemetry, enabling elements of the existing set to be upgraded over a period of years. This reduces the requirement to purchase a full suite of new equipment including telemetry, pneumatics, electronics, integrated communications, cylinders and vehicle charging systems. Overall, the Dräger AirBoss solution is centered around four pillars: usability; safety; serviceability and connectivity. These pillars, which support utilizing digitalization, improved ergonomics and ease of cleaning, are how we intend to protect our firefighters’ health and wellbeing, both today and as our future-proofed technology advances to meet the needs of tomorrow.
Electric bikes and scooters are a newly popular way to travel through urban environments. However, the nifty devices come with a fire risk that could be deadly. In London, firefighters have responded to more than 25 fires, involving e-bikes or e-scooters in recent months, some of them significant incidents with serious injuries. Lithium-ion batteries pose fire risks The fire hazards of e-bikes and e-scooters stem from their use of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can erupt into flames. Complicating the problem is use of unauthorized or third-party batteries that may not be safe. E-bike conversion kits are available to convert standard bikes into e-bikes, but they include only the motors and control gears. Batteries must be sourced separately, often over the internet and by cost-conscious buyers, who may not consider safety issues. Cheaper batteries may be faulty. Using trusted batteries and proper storage Firefighters urge residents to use only trusted batteries and to store them correctly Damaged batteries are also problematic. Spare batteries should not be knocked around, which can increase the likelihood of damage to the cells. Firefighters urge residents to use only trusted batteries and to store them correctly. In one recent incident, a first floor flat in Brixton in south London was badly damaged, after a fire was caused by a fault in the lithium-ion battery pack of a mountain bike that had been converted into an e-bike. In another incident, five people were taken to hospital, after a fire at a flat in Southwark in Central London, caused by the failure of a battery in an electric scooter on charge. In the United Kingdom, anyone over 14 years old can ride an ‘electrically assisted pedal cycle’ (EAPC) without a license and with no need to register, pay tax or ensure the bike. Parameters for e-bikes in the UK The bike must meet certain requirements, such as displaying the power output and motor manufacturer, showing either the battery voltage or the maximum speed of the bike, and having a maximum power output of 250 watts. The electric motor should not be able to propel the bike, when it’s traveling more than 15.5 mph. Assuming a bike (or vehicle with more than two wheels, such as a tricycle), meets the requirements, it is classified as a normal pedal bike and can be ridden on cycle paths, and anywhere else where pedal bikes are allowed. E-scooters for emission-free transport E-scooters are stand-up, electrically powered scooters that are becoming more popular in urban environments E-scooters are stand-up, electrically powered scooters that are becoming more popular in urban environments, providing individual and emission-free transport. In a city like London, e-bikes are a familiar sight. Riders may store and charge their e-bikes in communal areas or hallways, when they are home. This practice heightens the fire danger, because any fire that erupts is likely to block an escape route and trap occupants within the building. Avoiding unsafe mixing of batteries and chargers The London Fire Brigade’s Fire Investigation team has seen incidents involving multiple batteries and chargers for a number of bikes at one property, which has resulted in the unsafe mixing of batteries and chargers. Lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to failure, if charged incorrectly, which may be a contributing factor in some incidents. Batteries can get warm during use and should be allowed to cool down, before attempting to re-charge. They should also be charged on hard, flat surfaces, in order to allow heat to dissipate. Chargers and batteries should not be left unattended or while residents are asleep. Installation of smoke alarms is advisable in areas where e-bikes or e-scooters are being charged.
This year’s catastrophic wildfire season reminds us of the need for early detection of wildland fires before they escalate out of control. Historically, tools such as satellite imagery and localized video cameras have helped to identify fires at their origin and to alert authorities. However, delayed detection and low reliability have been a problem. Cloudy weather can also be an impediment, and the severity and frequency of wildfires worldwide suggest that new approaches are needed. A new high-tech approach involves ground-based sensors, drones and the Internet of Things (IoT). Wildfire detection solution Numerical analysis of the new technique suggests it can offer a faster and more reliable wildfire detection solution than current satellite imaging techniques. However, the system can only cover smaller areas when compared to satellite imaging. The system can only cover smaller areas when compared to satellite imaging Researchers in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Canada have proposed an early wildfire detection system based on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that pass over to collect data wirelessly, using the IoT, from low-cost sensors positioned throughout a wildland area. The sensors monitor the forest for any signs of smoke or heat. In a report published by the IEEE Internet of Things Journal, the researchers sought (1) to study the performance and reliability of UAV-IoT networks for wildfire detection and (2) to propose a guideline to optimize the network to improve fire detection probability within limited system cost budgets. monitoring larger area The research suggests a need for a delicate balance to optimize the density of sensor devices and the number of UAVs covering a forest area. The goal is to maximize the lower bound of wildfire detection probability within a limited time and low system cost. Research suggests that more sensors equate to better detection up to a point. The researchers demonstrated that the IoT/UAV network could detect fires in a shorter time Beyond that threshold, however, efficiency is lost because extra time is needed for the UAV to gather data in each location, which delays the ability to monitor the larger area. The researchers demonstrated that the IoT/UAV network could detect fires in a shorter time when compared to satellite imagery. This finding expands the capability to fight a fire before it spreads out of control. IoT sensor devices After a fire ignition, the IoT sensor devices within a limited distance from the fire can detect it and then report their measurements to nearby UAVs. The researchers used Discrete-Time Markov Chain (DTMC) analysis to compute the fire detection and false alarm probabilities. Markov Chains use statistical models for real-world processes. Inexpensive sensors, like the ones proposed for this application, do not have sufficient range to communicate with a distant fire control center. Therefore, the drones are used to fly over the area, capture the data wirelessly and then return to a base to report a fire. Lower-Cost drones The outlook for accelerating numbers of wildfires this year and in the future looks grim The researchers are Osama M. Bushnaq of the Autonomous Robotics Research Center of the Technology Innovation Institute (TII), Abu Dhabi, UAE; Anas Chaaban of the School of Engineering, the University of British Columbia, Canada; and Tareq T. Al-Naffouri of the Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering (CEMSE) Division of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwai, Saudi Arabia. More than 95% of the Western United States is in drought, and there has been more than a month of above-normal temperatures. The outlook for accelerating numbers of wildfires this year and in the future looks grim. New technologies provide a tool to address the problem, even as global warming makes it worse. Connectivity of the Internet of Things provides new opportunities to leverage the power of sensors, software and other technologies to address the challenges, and lower-cost drones are providing an additional tool to collect data that will power decision-making during wildfire seasons of the future.
Given the large global consumption of hydrocarbon fuels across all sectors, the associated risks are constantly expanding. The Allianz Global Corporate Specialty study cites fire and explosion as the largest causes for loss claims filed globally from 2013 - 2018. Fire and explosion Furthermore, fire and explosion are among the top 10 global business risks in 2021. More than 100 major fuel explosions have been reported, since 2019 around the world, most of which were avoidable. The risks are driving an expanding market for fuel explosion prevention systems, although the warning and mitigation solutions previously available in the market offer limited respite. An innovation is the ATOM Explosion Prevention System, by ATOM Alloys, headquartered in Dubai, UAE. ATOM Explosion Prevention System The technology is compliant to NFPA 69 standards and is tested and certified by international agencies The system works with a passive protection module inside fuel containers that does not allow any deflagration to escalate into an explosion. By containing the fire, the system actively prevents loss, reduces disaster risk and gives mitigation systems more time to work better. The technology is compliant to NFPA 69 standards and is tested and certified by international agencies. A range of products has been developed to suit contemporary industry requirements, helping to upgrade to higher standards of explosion safety and to enable efficient transfer and storage of fuels. “At the heart of most fuel explosions sits an unprotected fuel container,” said Ajit Tharoor, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ATOM Alloys, adding “The first fuel tank explosion triggers additional explosions in fuel tanks within the vicinity, thereby multiplying the effect. Our disruptive technological innovation addresses the safety of that unprotected fuel container.” Passive protection module for fuel containers By equipping every fuel container with a passive protection module that is explosion resistant, the technology makes liquid fuel storage and transport tanks explosion resistant. By resisting explosion, ATOM shifts the safety steps from mitigation to hazard prevention. It has multiple product applications, from a jerry can to fuel tankers to bulk storage, which create an ecosystem of safety. Technological innovation to protect workplace and residences “The technological innovation can protect every workplace and residence that uses fuel, from hospitals and malls to schools and industrial complexes, and convert them into zones safe from fuel tank explosion,” said Ajit Tharoor. He adds, “Any explosion wreaks damage and destruction on the business, the community and the environment, but fuel tank explosions can be prevented. For us, it is our purpose, to bring top level explosion safety to everyone who uses fuel.” For firefighters, an explosion prevention system complements their mission and adds another layer of safety, by providing specific advantages, such as: Explosions have a ‘domino effect’ and such incidents generate immense pressure on the firefighting force, in terms of response time, resources and manpower. Resisting explosions without any human intervention can reduce such pressures on the forces and contain the level of damage. At a practical level, in the event of a fire, a protected fuel tank can be accessed easily by firefighters for extinguishing the fire and even decanting fuel from the tank. The explosion prevention system enables industries and communities to equip and take more responsibility themselves, in the prevention of disaster incidents, thus helping firefighting forces to optimize their efforts and work better. Once an explosion is prevented, the safety risks faced by a firefighter are far less, when compared to when they have to handle an explosion, and there is more time to handle fire mitigation interventions. An explosion-resistant retrofit can protect fuel tanks of vehicles that move in explosion hazard spaces. This could be particularly useful for fire vehicles. Innovation in materials science and fire dynamics The technology draws on innovation in materials science, design engineering and fire dynamics. A passive protection module works on the three principles of thermal conductance, flame quenching and structured packing. Made from the intervolving of a reticulated alloy mesh, the patented module works by its passive physical presence in the Deflagration to Detonation Transition (DDT) stage. The ATOM Explosion Prevention System works towards preventing an explosion from happening Fire protection and mitigation systems Unlike the mitigation systems that work after an incident, the ATOM Explosion Prevention System works towards preventing an explosion from happening. It is also different from warning systems, as it works without the requirement of any triggering sensors, chemical reaction or human intervention. While fire protection and mitigation systems have been developed in recent years that address explosions mostly in controlled environments, the tested, proven and certified solution provides a range system of explosion prevention solutions for liquid fuel storage, at industrial scale with cost effectiveness. Additional features of durability, slosh resistance and industrial customization have been incorporated. Specialized sector-based solutions ATOM can be applied at a ready-made product level or as customized process-based integration to existing systems Specialized sector-based solutions have been developed. Essential service providers – data centers, schools, hospitals, hotels, civil defense organizations, etc. are today required to maintain a high level of energy resilience (fuel storage) to avoid service disruption and business interruptions. Such fuel storages are high risk with great volumes of fuel. ATOM can be applied at a ready-made product level or as customized process-based integration to existing systems. Some examples are fuel tankers for the oil and gas industry, mobile fullers for the fuel delivery business, marine fuel tanks for the maritime industry and storage tanks for industrial and civil uses. The defense industry is one of the highest consumers of fuel, and it is required to maintain energy resilience banks as well as store and deliver fuel to militarized/border territories. This places huge demands on supplementary storage and transportation of flammable fuels. Explosion risks faced by defense sector The explosion risks faced by the defense sector are also the highest due to their operations in conflict zones, the presence of highly explosive ammunition in their spaces, and the threats of war, sabotage, and vandalism. Dedicated products for the defense sector include jerry cans, skids, mobile containers, barrels, smart fuel stations, marine fuel tanks and underground built tanks, among others. The explosion prevention system has been granted the Explosion Resistant verification mark by the Underwriters Laboratory. Following successful trials for military application, ATOM has been awarded four patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is registered in PCT countries (most major industrial countries). Explosion prevention system The system has been tested by the Southwest Research Institute, USA and certified by the VCA Dangerous Goods Office, UK The system has been tested by the Southwest Research Institute, USA and certified by the VCA Dangerous Goods Office, UK, Underwriters Laboratories, USA, Bureau Veritas, France, and Emirates Industrial Lab, UAE. It is compliant with NFPA 69, Chapter 14, 2014; ASTM F3429/ F3429 M20; United Nations Rec. on Transfer of Dangerous Goods, Ch. 6.1; IMDG Code and ICAO Technical Instructions. The system has also been registered with WIPO and is in the PCT Registration, Foreign National phase, and the company is a member of the National Propane Gas Association. Asset protection “Every explosion generates damaging effects on the environment in addition to business interruption and losses. The adoption of an explosion prevention system helps organizations and governments fulfill their commitments towards environmental protection, climate change and safety,” said Ajit Tharoor. He adds, “The presence of the system reduces fuel evaporation loss, thereby reducing emission/air pollution. Further, ATOM helps businesses protect their assets, workplace, staff from risks and losses and reduces disaster risk for communities and the environment.”
There are often vehicles in a fire department’s fleet that are highly specialized and unique. Firefighters have fond memories of these vehicles and cherish the missions on which the devices provided critical assistance. The volunteer fire department in Windischgarsten, Upper Austria, has one such unique small firefighting vehicle in service. It is built on a very special chassis – a Pinzgauer – from Austria. New Or Old Vehicle Since a replacement for the Pinzgauer was scheduled, the fire department members thought about the tasks that needed to be fulfilled by this vehicle. Ultimately, they decided that repairs and modernization would be sensible in order to extend the life of their Pinzgauer. Rosenbauer enjoyed contributing the experience and skills to the realization of a one-of-a-kind firefighting vehicle Two and a half years ago, Rosenbauer was contacted by the Windischgarsten volunteer fire department through Rosenbauer-Service and invited to an inspection meeting, which they were of course very glad to attend. The fire department wanted to completely refurbish their Pinzgauer. Any corrosion had to be removed from the body and chassis, and lighting equipment had to be renovated or enhanced in order to improve the safety of the emergency services and to facilitate the tasks at the scene of an emergency. The signal system needed to be brought up to date and the necessary equipment renewed and installed so that the intended operational tasks could still be managed by the fire truck. The Perfect Partner After discussions and brainstorming with the fire department, the offer was finalized. In spring 2021, the time had come: after the chassis had been overhauled by a specialist company, the vehicle arrived at Rosenbauer and got down to work. New shutters, roof boxes, equipment compartment devices, LED lighting both in and around the vehicle, new cabling, and supply facilities; all of this was implemented according to the wishes of the customer and fully utilizing our vast experience. Eventually, Rosenbauer was able to hand over an appreciable vehicle to the Windischgarsten fire department, which will once again meet the operational requirements for years to come. Rosenbauer thoroughly enjoyed contributing the experience and skills to the realization of a one-of-a-kind firefighting vehicle.
Previously, the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department dried their hoses using an inclined hose drying system, in which the fire hoses are suspended between the ceiling and the floor at an angle of 30°. Not only was this laborious, the drying result was also not ideal with the hoses sagged in the middle or hung together at the edges and therefore, still remaining wet. Wintersteiger Drytech drying locker The Wintersteiger Drytech drying locker for fire hoses is a special solution that was implemented especially for the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department. Chief Fire Inspector and Fire Chief Markus Auer at the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department said, “The most important advantage is obviously the cost. A drying tower would have been a significant investment. We were looking for another solution when we stumbled upon the Wintersteiger drying lockers for clothing online. Wintersteiger were very helpful and converted the locker to suit our needs.” Fast drying time Another advantage of the drying locker is the fast drying time, as the hoses are dry in just a few hours Another advantage of the drying locker is the fast drying time, as the hoses are dry in just a few hours. Until now, the hoses had to be hung up for a week, until they were dry. A timer clock is used to set the drying time. In the summer time, when severe weather conditions mean that the hoses need to be used more often, the shorter drying time is a big bonus. “The hoses are rolled up tightly and placed in the drying locker. Once they are dry, the hoses just need to be tensioned and put away,” explains the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department’s Fire Chief, Markus Auer. Energy efficient condensation drying The energy consumption is very low as the drying locker uses condensation drying. With this method, the moisture is extracted from the material, cooled on copper tubes, and discharged from the locker into a separate container as condensation. Ventilation systems are therefore not necessary. The drying locker uses approximately 60 % less energy than conventional drying solutions.
Fire missions, rescue missions, work missions: the new L32A-XS 3.0 turntable ladder from the Dresden fire brigade is not only equipped for one, but for a wide variety of purposes. Compact dimensions, very good maneuverability and at the same time high performance - these are the characteristics of the XS turntable ladders Rosenbauer since their market launch a few years ago. The concept of the turntable ladders with tilting jib was continuously developed by Rosenbauer. In the current 3.0 version, the vehicle impresses with its sophisticated technology, many possible uses, simple operation and extremely high safety standards. Aluminum safety platform The L32A-XS 3.0 for the Dresden fire brigade is built on a Scania chassis with a Euro VI engine and 280 hp. On top of this is an aluminum safety platform with integrated lighting, six equipment rooms and two additional storage compartments. The maximum working height is 32 meters; the cage floor height when fully extended is 30.3 meters The heart of every turntable ladder is of course the ladder set: In this case it consists of five parts including a tiltable cage arm, is controlled by a CAN bus system and is equipped with a 3D load measurement system so that all loads and forces acting on the ladder can be permanently monitored view has. The maximum working height is 32 meters; the cage floor height when fully extended is 30.3 meters. Power supply system The HR-500-MF rescue cage is the ideal tool for rescue operations of all kinds thanks to the removable multifunctional column, four entrances and stretcher mounts. For firefighting from the cage, it is also equipped with a RM8 water cannon with a capacity of up to 2,000 l / min. In addition, a wide variety of electrical devices can be used in the rescue cage thanks to the power supply system (230 V / 400 V). A lifting eye with a lifting capacity of up to four tons is attached to the lower ladder for work or rescue operations, and a load of 600 kg can still be lifted and moved at the top of the ladder. The tilting jib of the L32A-XS 3.0 means that the range of applications for the turntable ladder is enormously expanded. Main control station The M500 main control station is covered and equipped with an inclinable backrest For example, the rescue cage can also be perfectly placed on the side of the roof ridge facing away from the street, if necessary. And underground operations, in which the rescue cage is brought below the level of the vehicle, are also possible. In keeping with the Rosenbauer tradition, when designing and equipping the L32A-XS 3.0, care was taken to ensure that operation was simple, intuitive and safe. The M500 main control station is covered and equipped with an inclinable backrest in order to offer the operator a good view and appropriate comfort during longer-term operations. In addition, one can fall back on various assistance systems that make operation significantly easier: the automatic return of the ladder set to the ladder rack, the automatic return function (ARF), the target memory system TMS, which enables the same rescue cage position to be controlled automatically and repeatedly or the vertical rescue system VRS, with which vertical movements of the ladder set are made much easier. Raising rescue cage For example, when one raises the rescue cage on a facade and bring it into position. The entire lighting of the L32A-XS 3.0 is made with LED technology and ensures a very good view and thus more safety when deployed in the dark. There are also two powerful LED floodlights on the rescue cage, with which the area of use can be perfectly illuminated. In a nutshell: The L32A-XS 3.0 is an extremely well-equipped and versatile vehicle which, thanks to the multitude of possible uses, is an indispensable part of the Dresden fire brigade's fleet.
Saab has signed a contract with the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), and has received an order to deliver and integrate new naval radars and fire control directors for and in the German Navy’s Frigates of the Brandenburg-Class (F123). The contract includes a new combat management system in order to completely overhaul the system currently in use on the F123, allowing a low risk integration of the new naval radars and fire control capabilities. Combat system provider The order value is approximately 4.6 billion SEK. Deliveries and other services will take place between 2021 and 2030. Saab will be the prime contractor and will contract the German shipyard Abeking & Rasmussen Saab will be the prime contractor and will contract the German shipyard Abeking & Rasmussen for the shipbuilding work while the German company ESG will carry out logistical support. "We are proud that Germany has selected Saab as the combat system provider and integrator for the frigates to be overhauled.” Fire control director “We look forward to contributing to strengthening Germany’s domestic combat systems integration capability, creating a high proportion of value and service provision in Germany. This contract will further strengthen our relationship with Germany for many years to come," says Micael Johansson, Saab’s President and CEO. The contract includes delivery and integration of Saab's 9LV Combat Management System, Sea Giraffe 4A and Sea Giraffe 1X radars, Ceros 200 fire control director as well as third party systems, including IFF capability. It also includes a comprehensive, performance-based logistics package supporting the frigates’ operational capabilities. Saab will carry out the work in Germany, Sweden and Australia.
In Paris, visitors will find not only the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, but also the largest fire brigade in Europe. With its 8,500 firefighters, the Paris Fire Brigade is, in fact, the third-largest urban fire brigade in the world, only topped by Tokyo and New York City. Paris Fire Brigade The Paris Fire Brigade is a part of the French army, and each firefighter joins the fire brigade for a period of 5 years. The safety of the firefighters is high on the agenda. It is of utmost importance that the fire brigade is equipped with the best possible fire gear, combining the utmost comfort with the highest degree of safety for the firefighter. A prismatic reflective tape, ORALITE FTP 2100, was selected for offering the highest degree of visibility It is, therefore, no surprise that when the Paris Fire brigade, back in 2017, were looking to upgrade their fire garments, they selected ORAFOL (Orafol Europe GmbH) as their supplier of the reflective trim. A prismatic reflective tape, ORALITE FTP 2100, was selected for offering the highest degree of visibility. Sioen is the manufacturer of fire safety garments. ORALITE FTP 2100 reflective tape Jean-Philippe Roy, Business Development Manager for ORAFOL, explains “Paris Fire Brigade was very determined to offer their firefighters the most visible tape available in the market place today. They carry out dangerous tasks in difficult working conditions, and they must be able to fully trust that they are as visible as possible in all conditions. ORALITE FTP 2100 met their high standards.” He adds, “Being a metalized prismatic tape, it provides the longest distance visibility available. In addition, the fact that the tape is also fluorescent means that it is also exceedingly visible in daytime or smoky conditions.” High-quality safety garment for firefighters Paris Fire Brigade sets forth a very good example for other fire brigades globally in that they have made the deliberate choice of a high-quality solution for their firefighters. No compromises have been made. Jean-Philippe Roy further said, “The thing is that many reflective tapes do meet the law regulated requirements. But meeting the regulation is simply not enough, it is not a guarantee of 24/7 visibility of the firefighters. And when a fire brigade specifies a tape, the risk is that they will just specify regulation compliance, and choose the tape offered at the lowest cost,” Roy explains. EN ISO 20471 standard specification The specification for reflective components on PPE, EN ISO 20471, sets forth the minimum reflectivity for the tapes The specification for reflective components on PPE, EN ISO 20471, sets forth the minimum reflectivity for the tapes. Yet, at the same time, the same specification allows for a drop in reflective performance of 70% in wet conditions. This is exactly why being specification compliant is not enough. It is necessary to carefully evaluate the working conditions that the users will be subjected to and select the best possible reflective tape based on this. Prismatic reflective tapes Jean-Philippe Roy concludes, “Prismatic reflective tapes remain highly reflective also in wet conditions, whereas glass bead tapes see a significant drop. This is simply due to the technologies working in different ways. Fire fighters work in wet conditions a great deal of time, so here a prismatic tape is really the only kind that truly makes sense.” The prismatic tapes from ORAFOL are the preferred choice for many major fire brigades around the world, including also the New York City Fire Brigade.
Inmarsat partner and emergency telecommunications NGO, Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) has deployed to western Germany, following torrential rain that has caused the country’s worst flooding in half a century. Rescue operations With thousands of people forced to leave their homes, roads completely destroyed and entire towns devastated, rescue operations began immediately, but were hindered by phone and internet connections going down in some affected areas. To ensure that communities could be contacted and rescue needs ascertained, and coordinated, TSF sent a specially designed vehicle to the most affected areas, offering telecom support to people on the ground, including relief organizations. The areas most in need were identified as the Ahrweiler’s district and the town of Euskirchen. Inmarsat satellite lines and IsatPhone 2 phones Deploying Inmarsat satellite lines and six IsatPhone 2 hand-held satellite phones in Ahrweiler meant that local firefighters and emergency responders involved in the rescue missions, including the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), were able to regain communications.
Round table discussion
New tools and technologies are emerging that augment the efforts of the fire market to prevent and fight fires. Modern firefighting is benefiting from an ongoing sea change in technological capabilities, spanning equipment, electronic components, greater connectivity and firefighter monitoring, to name just a few. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What technologies will have the greatest impact on the fire industry in 2021?