Fire Safety Management
The fire sprinkler system in your building is a critical safety measure and, when needed, it can save lives. Still, even the best systems can malfunction, and sprinklers do occasionally fail. When they do, they can drench the interior of your building, damaging everything from furniture and personal belongings to drywall and building materials. As a property manager, dealing with fire sprinkler failure can feel overwhelming. What do you do next? Where do you start? And why did the sprinkler sy...
Johnson Controls, the global pioneer for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings and architect of OpenBlue connected solutions, is setting a new standard in fire suppression with the launch of WILLIAMS FIRE & HAZARD CONTROL® T-STORM® NFF 3x3 UL201 Foam Concentrate. This new, patent-pending, Non-Fluorinated Foam (NFF) technology provides fast, effective fire suppression on most Class B hydrocarbon and polar solvent fuel fires. With a longer drain time than most...
Gunning London, the Chartered Building Company that specializes in internal and external refurbishments, has launched a new division, Gunning Fire, to meet the increasing need for professionally installed fire door and fire stopping solutions. Gunning Fire division Having achieved independent UKAS accredited certification from Bluesky in April 2021, the division will offer fire door installation, fire door maintenance, fire stopping (compartmentalization), and cladding refurbishment, delivered...
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings and architect of OpenBlue connected solutions, has unveiled its new ANSUL LVS Non-Fluorinated Liquid Suppression Agent. The new agent is manufactured without the use of per-fluorinated chemicals and is performance tested to ensure maximum effectiveness. It is now available worldwide. LVS Non-Fluorinated Agent LVS Non-Fluorinated Agent works by rapidly knocking down flames, then blanketing the fuel and...
VIKING Life-Saving Equipment has acquired HydroPen, the company behind the unique HydroPenTM container firefighting solution supplied to hundreds of ships. HydroPen's rapid uptake has been due to its combination of innovation, efficiency and ease of use. Attached to a ship’s hose and raised on a telescopic arm by a single crew member, water pressure alone powers its ‘drill and spray’ nozzle to penetrate a container door before switching to spray m...
FIREX International Connect 2021 is a brand-new, month-long digital event running throughout June. The upcoming FIREX International in-person event will take place at ExCeL London from 12-14 July, providing the first opportunity in over two years for the fire safety industry to unite face-to-face. “Both events present unmissable opportunities for the industry to reconnect and explore the innovative approaches to fire safety that have been born out of a challenging year,” said Chris...
Argus Spectrum International is pleased to present its new and unique service for the fire detection world. Web Camera + IP connected kit of actual devices is a pioneering virtual classroom for the programming of the "Streletz-PRO" wireless fire detection system. This service allows fire alarm engineers from all around the world to use one of the remote equipment kits to introduce themselves to the "Streletz-PRO" wireless alarm system. The user can control and monitor the equipment kit in the "Streletz-Master" software, while simultaneously observing each device through a live camera feed. The online practical training is simple and easy to use. Streletz-Master software Before the programming session one will need to learn the theory of "Streletz-PRO". They provide one with all the reference materials one needs online: presentations, technical documentation, and videos. In the video tour of the remote equipment kit, they explain how one can use the "Streletz-Master" software to test the system, check the connection strength, read measurements from devices, and change their settings. After learning the theory one will need to pass a simple admission test to confirm ones basic understanding of the "Streletz-PRO" technology. When one passes it, one will be able to select the time and date of ones session. A confirmation letter will be sent to one e-mail address containing instructions on how to connect ones computer to the remote desktop server. Streletz-PRO system For ones convenience, they have provided an online chat to contact their technical support during the programming session, which will help one to work with the equipment. After practicing work with the "Streletz-PRO" system, one can pass a final test and receive a certificate of completion! The online practical training is the perfect way to learn "Streletz-PRO". onecan study from home or from any place in the world at any time.
A new guide that outlines the key updates relating to cable pathways has been launched by Legrand UK & Ireland, following updates to a number of key industry regulations. The guide – Creating Cable Pathways – follows recent updates to the IET wiring regulations, as well as the release of the Dame Judith Hackitt independent review of building regulations and fire safety final report. Current standards landscape It has been launched to provide electrical installers with assistance and recommendations on how to best specify cable containment systems, explaining how to create a cable pathway through a building while navigating the current standards landscape. The guide provides the relevant information key stakeholders such as architects, designers, consultant and electrical contractors need to know. Our paper provides installers with everything they need to know on the updates" Mark Williams, Lead Marketing Manager – Cable Management for Legrand UK & Ireland, said: “Legislative updates can often be a minefield for electrical professionals, but the consequences of not meeting guidelines can be significant. Our paper provides installers with everything they need to know on the updates, to ensure cable pathways are completed effectively and safely.” Minimizing fire spread The short guide provides an overview including fire safety in design, management and use and the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). It also explains the relevant changes to the BS 7671:2018 IET Wiring Regulations 18th Edition, which include: Protection against thermal Locations with risk of fire due to the nature of processed or stored materials. Selection and erection of wiring systems. Wiring systems to minimize the spread of fire. Cable management pathways Mark adds: “Safety excellence in wiring has been heightened in recent years and wiring systems must be adequately supported against their premature collapse in the event of a fire. As the built environment continues to evolve, installers must ensure they have absolute knowledge of the changes to fully equip themselves and their projects against hazards.” In addition to the guide, Legrand has also created a CPD – ‘Creating a Cable Pathway Through a Building’ – which brings relevant updates together to offer guidance on how to create effective cable management pathways. The CPD, which can be delivered online, has been designed for professionals – both experienced and new to the industry - looking to upgrade their skills and refresh their knowledge.
Following a decision of its Board, Euralarm has welcomed its new member Innohome. The company will join the fire section of Euralarm. Innohome will now benefit from Euralarm’s services in terms of representation towards European institutions and standardization organizations. This includes the monitoring of legislative and standardization issues relevant to the industry. Innohome will have access to the extended network of national associations and major companies in the electronic fire safety and security sectors, which form Euralarm’s members. The new membership will create opportunities for both sides, as it also strengthens the association. Fire safety products Innohome is a Finnish company making smart, preventive fire safety products such as Stove Guards and Smart Smoke Alarms. Unattended cooking/stove fires are in many countries the biggest single reason for home fires. In Norway, which is Innohome’s main market, the stove guards are already a commonplace and mandatory to all new and renovated homes. The Innohome Stove Guard was the first one to fulfill the requirements of the European standard In 2015, the Innohome Stove Guard was the first one to fulfill the requirements of the newly published European standard for stove guards (EN 50615). The simple idea behind the two products is to detect a fire hazard, alarm about it and to cut the electricity supply to the stove or other electrical device before a fire can start. Potential business partners Innohome’s latest products, the electric vehicle charging stations for homes, are also tackling a fire safety issue since too many people charge their vehicle directly from a standard electrical outlet, causing a risk of fire. Companies joining Euralarm get a unique insight into what is happening on other European markets and the opportunities that they might offer. They not only tap into the political expertise and understanding of the EU policy but can also make personal connections with technical and political experts and potential business partners. Being a member of Euralarm enables companies and associations to gain expertise on standardization. Members have their voice heard in Brussels and can support and direct standardization and legislative processes.
Usually, if the application requires acoustic and visual notification, the market offers two separate products. Nevertheless, sometimes for public buildings, hotels, and hospitals, but also for industry and other verticals, it may be necessary to have a combination of visual and acoustic alarms in one device. AVENAR all-in-one 4000 Bosch Security System’s AVENAR all-in-one 4000 is one product that can provide such a solution. This product is able to combine not only a sounder and a strobe, but also a fire detector from the AVENAR detector 4000 series. AVENAR all-in-one 4000, combines visual and acoustic alarms in one solution and also complies with EN54-3 + EN54-23 standards. The solution features more than 125 devices per loop, offering high project flexibility for different use cases. They have very low power consumption and do not require an additional external power supply. High connection reliability In stand-by mode, it is powered by the loop and in alarm mode, the in-built battery provides additional power. This concept supports also the smart energy concept – 100% effective alarming, in case of a complete power cut. In other words, this uninterruptible solution helps to increase the level of the building and public protection, even if a stub line is broken or the bus system is permanently damaged (e.g. by fire). AVENAR all-in-one 4000 offers high connection reliability and reduces project costs, thanks to optimized installation and maintenance time. Acoustic and visual alarm in one device In case of smoke or fire detection, the acoustic and visual alarm of the AVENAR all-in-one 4000 will be activated at the same time In case of smoke or fire detection, the acoustic and visual alarm of the AVENAR all-in-one 4000 will be activated at the same time. All devices are synchronized with each other. The sounder part of the device will trigger an alarm sound and for the visual notification, 12 LEDs lights, which are around the device, will start to blink. Additionally, the user can choose the intensity level for the sounder and flasher. AVENAR all-in-one 4000 is suitable for indoor use and can be placed on the wall or ceiling, offering the option of surface and flush cabling. Via the fire alarm panel software, the sounder and flasher can also be activated separately. In combination with the detector head of the AVENAR detector 4000 series, this solution will also offer superior fire detection. Without detection function, a cover is available. Furthermore, a locking clip offers protection against theft. Wide range of applications AVENAR all-in-one 4000 is a suitable solution that meets the requirements of various building structures like hotels, shopping malls, hospitals, and commercial buildings as it demands a customized approach. When applying the fire alarm system in a hotel, it is a challenge to have an individual alarm concept. In order to solve this problem, AVENAR all-in-one 4000 offers custom-made notification combined in one device for all persons who sojourn the building. Healthcare security In healthcare spheres, it is important to inform all the patients about the danger, especially for handicapped persons that need special attention. In this case, the dual notification provides information for both senses, acoustic and visual.
At approximately 0100, E811B was sent for an investigation in the 3600 blk of Marlbrough Way. The crew arrived on scene to find a single family home filled with smoke and heat. E811B’s crew filled the box assignment, E811 responded as the second due unit on the box alarm, and A811B responded as well. The engine crews from 11 extinguished fire, checked for extension, and searched for victims with assistance from TK812. Company 11 operated for approximately 90 minutes before returning to service.
An electric vehicle (EV) crash in Woodlands, Texas has prompted significant scrutiny and calls for emergency personnel to be trained on the fire risks associated with high voltage, lithium batteries within EVs (electric vehicles). In response to the tragic accident that killed two occupants last week, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are reminding first and second responders that resources are available to help safely address incidents involving EVs. Although the cause of the recent Tesla incident is still being determined, news reports indicate that, despite intense heat, the fire was extinguished within four minutes. Firefighters; however, remained on scene for four hours cooling the car’s battery with tens of thousands of gallons of water. electric vehicle The popularity of EVs is growing, according to online car shopping site Edmunds. "We're not only about to see a massive leap in the number of EVs available in the market; we're also going to see a more diverse lineup of electric vehicles that better reflect current consumer preferences. And given that the new presidential administration has pledged its support for electrification, the U.S. is likely to see incentive programs targeted at fostering the growth of this technology further," Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights said. The company went on to say that 30 EVs from 21 brands will become available for sale this year, compared to 17 vehicles from 12 brands in 2020. Notably, this will be the first year that there will be offerings in all three major vehicle categories: cars, SUVs, and trucks. While EVs are great for the environment, new technologies often present a learning curve for first responders. In the interest of public and responder safety, NTSB investigated four EV incidents and released a thorough report in November on hazards and gaps. In particular, the NTSB identified two concerning trends: Inadequate vehicle manufacturers’ emergency response guides Gaps in both safety standards and research related to lithium-ion batteries involved in high-speed, high-severity crashes fire suppression The NTSB also found, in part, that: Damage and fire because of a crash may prevent first responders from disabling the high voltage in electric vehicles Thermal runaway and battery reignitions after initial fire suppression can pose additional challenges Stranded energy can cause electric shock and potential fire hazards Safely storing an electric vehicle with a damaged high-voltage lithium-ion battery in a tow yard may not be feasible NFPA has been developing EV safety information for 12 years. The association has worked with every auto/truck/bus manufacturer who sells EVs and hybrids in this country and has received pre-market safety information so that responders have the most up-to-date training, tools, and resources. The NFPA EV Safety Training website, is the most accessed repository in the U.S. for EV responder safety information. This dedicated site offers videos on stranded energy, responder tactics, a fact sheet with on-scene safety information, and direct links to all NFPA EV Safety Training courses and vehicle resources, including U.S. EV Emergency Response Guides. NFPA Distributed Energy Resources Safety Training program To help communities deal with EV-related response and the infrastructure challenges that go together with market growth, NFPA has secured two Department of Energy (DOE) grants related to EVs. The first, entitled NFPA Spurs the Safe Adoption of EVs through Education and Outreach, will allow NFPA to develop free EV safety training for utilities, code officials, charging station installers, EV fleet owners, tow and salvage responders, crash reconstruction teams, manufacturers, dealerships, garage maintenance workers, insurance companies, and EV owners. As part of that effort, NFPA, in conjunction with Clean Cities Coalitions, will also set up community planning meetings in 30 cities around the country to help prepare these locations for a large influx of EVs. The second effort calls for enhancing and promoting an NFPA Distributed Energy Resources Safety Training program. NFPA will update its current EV Safety classroom training for the fire service and develop an online gamification version of the distributed energy resource including how to respond to electric vehicle fires.
There is a sense in some markets that the paper and pulp industry will decline owing to the digital technologies with which people interact every day. While this might be considered logical, the reality is completely different. In fact, the paper and pulp industry has experienced a steady growth and will continue to do so in 2021. Production of paper increased by more than 450% in the last decades and the demand of paperboard in the world is expected to grow significantly, driven by e-commerce and big retailers increasing their presence in the online sales universe. This sustained growth in production capacity and paper consumption presents several fire risks to companies and exposes communities that develop around paper mills, to the impact of disasters caused by these fire risks. Fire risks in the paper and pulp industry Paper and cardboard are combustible, but this is not the only fire risk found in these types of industries. Raw materials and finished goods storage are sensitive to fire. In addition, the paper making process includes several stages where fires can occur, due to hot surfaces or poor ventilation. The most relevant fire risks on a paper plant are: Storage Areas: As mentioned before, paper and cardboard are combustible. Solid paper blocks and reels have hard surfaces that don’t ignite easily, but usually these reels can suffer minor damages or have loose sheets that significantly increase the fire risk. When paper reels are stacked in columns, gaps in the center can act as chimneys and when fires start in the bottom of the stack, this chimney effect will accelerate smoke and hot air spread, increasing vertical and horizontal flame spread. Wood and Bale storage fire risks Bale storage also presents a high fire risk, as loose materials are always present Raw materials for the paper making process can have two main sources, forestry products (mainly wood) or recycled cardboard and paper. Wood storage presents several challenges, especially due to wood chips that are highly combustible and, in some cases, even explosive. Bale storage also presents a high fire risk, as loose materials are always present. Fire in baled paper is difficult to extinguish and generates heavy smoke. In many recycling facilities, these paper bales are stored outdoors, where paper or rags soaked in flammable liquids, embedded between the paper sheets, can ignite resulting in a fast spreading fire. Chemicals, flammable liquids and gases In addition, it is possible to find different types of chemicals, flammable liquids and gases that are used in the paper making process. These materials have their own fire-related risks that need to be taken in consideration. Production Areas: In pulp factories, there are several long-distance conveyors that transport wood and wood chips. These conveyors constitute a fire risk and the most probable causes of fire are bearing damage, overheating of the conveyor and igniting chips in the environment. IR dryers, a common source of fire After the wood has been transported, chipped and digested, the paper making process becomes extremely humid, due to the large amounts of hot water and steam needed. But, as soon as the pulp fiber sheet starts to dry, the hot surfaces in contact with the paper sheets can be a source of ignition. IR dryers used in the process are also a common source of fire in the paper industry. When the sheet of paper is formed, close contact with reels and bearings moving fast can create static electricity that could ignite loose paper or airborne particles. Problems like these are likely to be more extensive in tissue mills. Paper dust is generated in certain parts of the process, especially where paper shits are slit or cut. Poorly insulated steam pipes lead to fire Poorly insulated steam pipes can ignite paper dust or even their own insulation materials. In addition, paper dust gathers in the ventilation grills of machinery, causing overheating and igniting as well. Heated oil is used in several parts of the process as well and if a malfunction occurs on the Hot Oil Roll systems, leaks might occur, exposing hot surfaces to this oil and causing ignitions. A paper mill has hydraulically operated machinery, where leaks or sprays might ignite as well. Service Areas: As in many other manufacturing facilities, several service areas can be found. Electrical and network equipment rooms have an inherent fire risk due to damaged wires or equipment, overheating or short circuits in high voltage circuits. Transformer and generator areas entail fire risks as well. High fire risk for boiler rooms Flammable gas distribution systems can be ignition sources, in case of leaks or damaged pipes or valves Hot water and steam are key components for the paper making process. For this reason, paper plants use high capacity boilers that can be powered by flammable liquids or gases. A high fire risk can be considered for boiler rooms. Flammable gas distribution systems can be ignition sources, in case of leaks or damaged pipes or valves. In addition to the fire risks mentioned in these areas, many maintenance operations can also pose fire risk, especially when hot works are being performed. Sparks caused by welding or the use of certain tools can ignite paper sheets or dust in the air. Poor housekeeping and buildup of paper dust, for example, increases the risk associated with maintenance and construction works. Prevention, the first line of defense According to the Health and Safety Executive from the United Kingdom, 60% of fires on paper mills are caused by machine faults and poor housekeeping. The first line of defense to avoid fire risks in paper plants is prevention. As mentioned before, a high number of fires in these types of facilities occur because of poor housekeeping and machine malfunction. The key is to identify the risks and possible ignition sources, and apply measures to minimize them. As in many industries, fire protection has two main components: Passive and Active protection. Passive fire protection measures Passive measures include fire rated walls, ceilings, and floors in the most critical areas. Chemical storage areas should be physically separated from other dangerous areas, if this is not possible then the walls separating areas should be fire rated and materials must be stored in a way that minimizes the risk of fire spread by radiation or conduction. Proper compartmentalization and intumescent protection of structural elements should be part of the package as well. Passive measures include proper ventilation and smoke control. As mentioned before, paper dust is a major fire risk, which is why ventilation and cleaning of hoods over the paper machine is important to minimize the possibility of ignition. Fire resisting construction should be designed with the following goals in mind: Protection of escape routes Form compartments to contain fires that might occur Separate areas of higher fire risk Protect load bearing and structural members to minimize risk of collapse Sprinkler systems, gas extinguishing systems and hose reels Active fire protection includes sprinkler systems, gas extinguishing systems and hose reels to support fire brigades Active fire protection includes sprinkler systems, gas extinguishing systems and hose reels to support fire brigades. Finished goods stored indoors should be protected with sprinkler systems and the same should be considered for chemical storage areas and certain raw materials. Paper bales, ideally should be protected by sprinklers that are suitably designed to cope with the height and located, in all cases, 3 meters above the level of bales stacked vertically (which should not exceed 5 meters height). Spark detectors in hoods, pipes and ventilation systems Dangerous sparks could be generated in several parts of the paper making process, which is why spark detectors must be installed in hoods, pipes, and ventilation systems. Water spray and CO2 systems can be used to protect machinery against these risks. Means to fight fires, like extinguishers and hose reels, should be provided to support fire brigades. All the elements should be properly identified and all personnel should be trained and made aware of the location of such devices. Importance of fire alarms Fire alarms are required in all paper mills and fire alarm call points should be provided in all locations, according to international guidelines, such as NFPA 72 or EN54. The spread of flames and smoke in paper, wood and chemical storage might become extremely fast. For this reason, early detection is critical. Many technologies might be applied in the different areas of a paper plant. Nevertheless, there are dusty or humid areas where regular heat or smoke detectors might fail under certain circumstances. For these areas, especially located outdoors, innovative state-of-the-art detection solutions might be applied, like Video Fire Detection (VFD). NFPA 72 standard for flame and smoke detection NFPA 72 provides guidelines to implement this technology for flame and smoke detection NFPA 72 provides guidelines to implement this technology for flame and smoke detection, opening interesting alternatives for designers and fire protection engineers. Many EHS managers and fire protection professionals selected VFD, because it is the only fire detection solution that effectively covered their needs. Many engineers, specialized in fire protection for paper plants, explained that they tested linear heat detection, aspiration smoke detection, IR/UV detectors and even beams, but none of these technologies performed as they needed on the dirtiest or more humid areas. Video Fire Detection (VFD) solutions Outdoor storage areas are often unprotected, because deploying flame or heat detection in large open areas can be costly and mostly ineffective. VFD solutions can detect smoke and flames in outdoor conditions, allowing the monitoring and protection of wood and paper bales in large areas. Fire detection and alarm systems should be designed with the following goals: Minimize risk of fires, including the use of fire detection technology in areas where regular detection technologies cannot be implemented or are not practical. Minimize risk of flame and smoke spread, with state-of-the-art detection algorithms that guarantee fast and effective detection. Also, reliable algorithms minimize the possibility of nuance or unwanted alarms. In case of a fire, fast detection gives occupants life-saving time to reach to a place of safety, before the flames and smoke have spread to dangerous levels. Global production of paper and pulp reached 490 million tons in 2020, with many industries and markets depended on the paper and pulp supply chain. That is why innovative ways to protect this supply chain, are key to sustain the paper market growth in the future.
Mathew Baxter is the Founder and CEO of the echelon group with responsibility for the management of echelon Consultancy, Pretium Frameworks and echelon Improvement Partnerships. Mathew has spent most of his working life in the construction sector. The devastating Grenfell Tower fire has prompted what the government has referred to as ‘the biggest change in building safety for a generation’. So what do the Building Safety and the Fire Safety Bills mean in terms of emergent legislation and is the housing industry prepared for substantive change on this scale? Fire Safety Bill Let’s start with the new Fire Safety Bill, which has been designed to give clear definitive guidance principally around areas of responsibility for fire safety. One way of looking at the new Fire Safety Bill is as a piece of legislation designed to beef up the existing legislation, focused specifically around the envelope of the building. The Fire Safety Bill makes it clear that the person designated as responsible has undertaken a fire safety survey around exterior walls (including cladding, balconies and windows) and individual flat walls entrance doors, where they open onto common parts to make sure they are compliant and if not, then to take any necessary remedial action and precautions to make that building safe. We suspect that demand for fire experts may rapidly outstrip supply. Building Safety Bill The Building Safety Bill proposes a significant amount of consultation is going to be required with residents The Building Safety Bill proposes a significant amount of consultation is going to be required with residents. Every ‘higher risk’ property has to have a strategy around the program of change that it will need. Resident consultation exercises will result in organic documents that will live as long as that building is occupied. Ideally all stakeholders (for example repairs contractors) coming in and out of properties should be encouraged and trained to take a holistic view of that property, and to be prepared to raise an alert, if they see something that is not right, for example, a fire door that has been propped open. Checking and replacing old appliances Many fires are caused by residents’ own appliances. Some local authorities are checking tenants’ appliances and if they seem unsafe, either removing or disconnecting them and in some cases, they are also providing free replacements. Housing associations and landlords will need to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of their property and stock. For example, if you have a cladded building, you need to know exactly what the specification of that cladding is. Not all cladding is equal and risk profiles vary. Intrusive surveys may be required to ascertain the exact construction and product used. There is still a clear issue that many building owners/managers are unsure of what their building is clad in and how the cladding is fixed for the building. Effectively, this is something landlords need to get a comprehensive understanding of immediately, for fear of very rapid enforcement action from the Local Authority. Adherence to fire safety regulation compliance Local Authorities are entirely within their rights to approach housing associations and ask for copies of the fire safety regulation compliance of these buildings and if it has not been done then they can take action and that can include decanting the whole building and ordering remedial works As previously mentioned, two new roles are also specified within the Building Safety Bill, that of the Accountable Person within an organization for fire safety and the Building Safety Manager. It is anticipated that the role of the Accountable Person role will need to be fulfilled by a senior member of staff within the client organization and the Building Safety Manager will have a high level of responsibility and accountability for maintaining the safety of the building. Competency frameworks and resident engagement strategies The Building Safety Bill may have a grace period, before it comes into force on existing buildings The Building Safety Bill may have a grace period, before it comes into force on existing buildings and elements that are likely to be included are already being discussed, for example competency frameworks, resident engagement strategies and two separate roles, namely Building Safety Managers and Accountable Person. One of the most significant changes that the Building Safety Bill will create is a new definition of buildings as ‘higher risk’ buildings. This category will obviously include high rise, but also student accommodation and supported living accommodation. High risk buildings Any building over 18 meters, or more than six floors high is immediately defined as high risk. The Bill also makes it clear that the new Building Safety Regulator (created under the Bill) can also add other buildings to the category at their discretion. The Bill places a lot more responsibility on landlords and owners of those buildings. In fact, the Accountable Person has legal responsibility for those buildings, as long as they are occupied. Assessment of fire safety risks Responsibilities include the assessment of fire safety risks, co-operation with any remedial action in terms of fire safety, the registration of high-rise buildings, building safety information and the appointment of the building safety manager. The Accountable Person has a duty to report the name and details of the Building Safety Manager to the Building Safety Regulator. This individual’s contact details have to be available to everyone in the building, a safety case report has to be undertaken and managed along with a risk assessment and an ongoing strategy for the safety of the building and information provided to the new regulator. If the Building Safety Manager is found to be non-compliant then she/he risks a prison sentence. Many of the clients are appointing Building Safety Managers directly with a salary between £60,000 – £70,000. The guidance is that they should not look after more than five buildings each, as the responsibility carries too much weight for more and as such, this represents a significant resource for many landlords with a large portfolio of ‘higher risk’ buildings. Undefined transition period for Act rollout The new Building Safety Regulator will become the Building Control Authority for higher risk building There is expected to be an as yet undefined transition period before the Act applies to existing buildings. As well as the changes that will be necessary to existing buildings, it is essential that consideration is given to the design and thought process behind new developments and new builds. There is a whole new regime for the design and construction phase. The new Building Safety Regulator will become the Building Control Authority for higher risk buildings. Developers are no longer able to choose their building control authority at will. This imposes strict competency requirements on all duty holders working on higher risk buildings, including the client, the principal designer and principal contractor. Impact of the two safety bills The impact on these two Bills will have an enormous impact on leaseholders and indeed everyone involved in construction and building maintenance. The administrative burden and personal responsibility on those accountable will be equally enormous but, in our view, in the light of Grenfell, absolutely necessary. Our advice to all our clients is to start planning ahead and to develop a strategy of how they will deliver all the aspects of the Building Safety Bill once it becomes legislation.
On Wednesday 3rd March the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered the Spring 2021 budget to the House of Commons. In this, Sunak outlined how the Government would be rebuilding the economy and continuing to financially support its citizens as the country gradually returned to a sense of normal after COVID-19 restrictions. Highly anticipated announcements Despite several leaks to the press, the Chancellor’s announcement was highly anticipated by many industries, businesses, and individuals around the UK. Many were poised to find out what the spending plans would look like as we continue to tackle the Coronavirus, but also what long-term aid would be given to those who have been and will continue to be impacted by it in years to come. Not least on the list of eager listeners were the emergency services. The fire and rescue services in England have been slashed by £139.7m since 2016/17 Austerity measures and efforts to tighten the country’s purse strings in recent years left the emergency services in an especially vulnerable position when the pandemic hit the UK at the beginning of 2020. According to recent reports uncovered by England’s Fire Brigade Union (FBU), the fire and rescue services in England have been slashed by £139.7m since 2016/17. Fire safety engineering This analysis, which was released by the FBU at the beginning of this month, reveals a 13.8% reduction in government spending in the sector, despite an increase in demand for emergency fire and rescue-related services due to increased wildfires, flooding, and heightened emergency calls during national lockdowns. Basil Jackson, Managing Director of Vemco Consulting Ltd, a management consultancy specializing in the delivery of specialist fire safety engineering services, comments on the importance of the government knowing its limits when it comes to making these kinds of cuts. “The need to manage public spending has been the focus of successive Governments in recent times, and for good reason,” Jackson begins. Preliminary spending envelope For each public service there comes a point where there is no more fat to cut" “But, while cuts across the board may be necessary to some extent, for each public service there comes a point where there is no more fat to cut and core services start to be adversely affected. In the case of the Fire Services, this impacts the ability to save lives in an emergency,” he goes on to say. “Once lack of funding starts to have an adverse effect on the delivery of core services, the Government will have very little choice but to make more money available.” In his announcement at the beginning of this month, Sunak outlined a preliminary spending envelope. According to these plans, the Government has promised to increase day-to-day spending across public services by 2.1% in real terms each year, between 2021/22 and 2025/26. According to the Budget proposal, this does not include emergency spending related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Delivering core services The Chancellor failed to outline any specific plans in terms of actual cash value However, while this does come as positive news for the public sector as a whole, the Chancellor failed to outline any specific plans in terms of actual cash value. He also did not mention how this spending would be allocated to each sector; while the NHS and schools have since been named, the Spring budget has yet to address what the impact will be for emergency services like the Fire Service. In response to this announcement, Jackson suggests that this uncertainty needs to be addressed sooner rather than later if the UK’s Fire Service is to continue to deliver core services and prevent emergencies and risks to public health as we move into the Summer. “Extra spending arising from COVID 19 and costs associated with Brexit will, no doubt, put further pressure on the public purse going forward, so I expect more cuts [to emergency services] are to come,” he states. Funding for community projects While many elements were missing or not fully addressed in the Spring Budget, many have praised the Government for at least emphasizing the importance of giving autonomy to local councils and authorities going forward. According to Sunak’s statement and the White Paper that followed this, financial provisions will be granted and powers will be devolved to local councils to allow them to rebuild communities as national COVID-related restrictions ease. The Government is introducing several financial schemes and funds To do this, the Government is introducing several financial schemes and funds, including the Levelling Up Fund and the Community Renewal Fund, which are both competitive schemes which will allow councils to apply for and gain funding for community projects and development up until at least 2026. Releasing specific details While key bodies like the Local Government Association (LGA) welcome this, emphasizing that ‘councils know their local areas best and have delivered for their communities’ and that it is therefore ‘good that councils have been placed at the heart of the delivery of new funds,’ organizations like the LGA are concerned by several of the proposals outlined in the Spring Budget. “We are concerned by the prospect of competitive bidding as we want all our resources and energy to be used to support regeneration in our communities,” it states in its official response. The LGA goes on to put forward an official Budget submission which calls on the Government and Treasury to release more specific details on how much money will be available and how much each sector will have allocated to it. These calls have been echoed by those throughout the emergency services, from the NHS, to police forces, and are also reflected by those positioned within the Fire Service sector. Impacting public safety There comes a point when this impacts public safety; which isn’t acceptable" In response to the announcement, Jackson states: “I am under no illusion that all public services need to be scrutinized, and any inefficiencies drove out. Quite rightly, the taxpayer should expect to receive efficient services for the money it pays. However, when it comes to the emergency services, there comes a point when this impacts public safety; which isn’t acceptable.” “The key question for the Fire Service and the Government is: at what point has true efficiency been reached? I can't remember where I first heard the term, but this is what I like to refer to as a ‘wicked problem’. By that I mean there is probably no perfect or correct answer. Whatever the answer, it will involve innovative thinking from the Fire Service to find more efficient ways of delivering the same outcomes, and it will require a Government who is able to listen and be honest about the issues." Luna Williams is a content writer and commentator for Vemco Consulting, a UK-based consultancy firm that specializes in the delivery of specialist engineering services, including fire safety engineering.
Last month, a fire raged across land in Swansea, in southern Wales, spreading 6 hectares (about 15 acres) and injuring a firefighter. Weeks earlier, flames raged across 20 hectares (almost 50 acres) in nearby Fairwood Common, Gower, in a fire that may have been deliberately set, and another 30 hectares (74 acres) of grassland and forest burned in Maesteg, Bridgend. Almost 4,000 miles away in northwest Minnesota, crews battled a grass fire that briefly closed a highway in the area. Low humidity levels and strong winds created dangerous fire conditions across the state. Effective prevention strategies The vast majority of brush, grass and forest fires are caused by human activities, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Leading causes include intentional fire setting, open burning of waste, smoking materials, and electrical power or utility lines. Grass fires take a toll on fire department resources, can spread to homes, vehicles and other property, and cause injuries, according to NFPA. Grass fires can start and spread quickly and are extremely dangerous Fire departments can use Information about the causes and circumstances of these fires to develop more effective prevention strategies and campaigns. When the conditions are right, grass fires can start and spread quickly and are extremely dangerous. They can travel up to 25 km (15 miles) per hour and pulse even faster over short distances. Grass provides a fuel that burns faster than bush or forests. Creating fuel breaks Grass fires may be less intense and produce fewer embers than bushfires, but they still can produce enormous amounts of heat. The taller the grass, the more intense the resulting fire; shorter grass height yields fires that are easier to control. Grass dries more quickly, so fires can start earlier in the day. Living in an area with dried brown or golden-colored grass more than 10 cm (4 inches) tall is a fire risk. To manage the risk, homeowners should reduce the height and proximity of grass to their homes and other buildings by slashing, mowing, grazing, or spraying herbicide. Creating fuel breaks at least 3 meters (10 feet) wide can stop a fire and create a ‘defendable space’ around assets to be protected. Narrower fuel breaks may slow down fire spread but are unlikely to stop it. Internal combustion engines Use of machinery with internal combustion engines can increase the risk of grass fires Use of machinery with internal combustion engines can increase the risk of grass fires. Tractors and other machinery should be free from faults or mechanical defects and equipped with an approved spark arrestor. Small actions can help to avoid grass fires, such as disposing of cigarettes in a responsible manner, not leaving campfires and barbecues unattended, and clearing away bottles, glasses, and broken glass that can magnify the sun and start a fire. Providing eye protection Grass fires create a lot of radiant heat and can kill anyone caught in the open. The safest place to be during a grassfire is far away from the threat. In case of a grass fire, protective clothing should be available to cover up exposed skin, including a long-sleeved shirt and pants made from natural fiber. A face mask or towel can be used to cover the mouth and nose. Smoke goggles provide eye protection. Other useful items are sturdy boots with woolen socks, tough leather gloves, and a wide-brimmed hat. A solid structure such as a building can provide shielding from radiant heat.
Fire and EMS departments are eligible for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) of their costs, related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A streamlined project application process eases the burden of applying for the program, but support documentation is required. Tracking costs For COVID-19 recovery Many departments do not apply for the money because they perceive reporting requirements as too difficult, and record-keeping as too big a challenge. To help, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) provides simple Excel worksheets for tracking costs related to COVID-19 response and recovery. Customizable worksheets capture common reimbursable costs as they are spent. Departments seeking reimbursement should submit a project application online at the FEMA Public Assistance Grants Portal (no paper submissions are accepted). FEMA’s Public Assistance Program The mission of FEMA’s Public Assistance Program is to provide assistance to State, Local, Territorial, and Tribal governments The mission of FEMA’s Public Assistance Program is to provide assistance to State, Local, Territorial, and Tribal (SLTT) governments, and certain types of private nonprofit (PNP) organizations so that communities can respond quickly to and recover from major disasters or emergencies declared by the President. A submission request for public assistance must provide complete and accurate documentation of expenses and usage, including standardized Incident Command System (ICS) forms, Public Assistance Grant forms, verifiable receipts, personnel costs sheets and apparatus sheets. Applications submitted via jurisdiction serviced Applications are submitted through the jurisdiction serviced. Additional documents include supporting plans, assignments, activities and shift records (payroll), pay policy receipts for purchases and rental equipment, and a copy of the service agreement/contract with the jurisdiction. Some activities may be eligible for funding through both FEMA and other federal agency funding sources for COVID-19, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Public assistance cannot duplicate funding from another federal source. Public Assistance program Some activities may be completed through direct federal assistance. If an applicant does not have the capacity to directly complete the activity or oversee activity completion through contract or mutual aid, the Applicant may request that FEMA or another federal agency directly conduct the activity. The assistance FEMA provides through its Public Assistance program is subject to a cost share, with the federal share not less than 75% of eligible costs.
Drone usage by public safety agencies is at its highest level to date, with nearly 4,000 agencies now having drones or drone programs. Leading the implementation of drones in law enforcement with 42%, followed by fire service at 37%, emergency management with 12%, and the remainder by other categories such as search-and-rescue and EMS. Some of the primary fire missions for drones are structural fires, wildfires, hazmat responses, fire forensic investigations, swift water rescues, floods, tornadoes, search for lost persons, and hurricane damage assessment. Using Thermal imaging A thermal image camera is a key payload for drones in the fire service as it supplies heat signatures that provide valuable information as to fire spread, structural integrity, and location of firefighters while operating around the fire. Thermal images see through smoke to direct elevated streams effectively onto the fire and identify hotspots Thermal images see through smoke to direct elevated streams effectively onto the fire and identify hotspots from a lightning strike, hotspots during overhaul, hotspots from wildfires, and liquid levels in hazmat tanks. Applications of drones Drones in hazmat can be deployed to do remote monitoring, substance identification, pre-entry evaluation, overwatch during the hazmat operation, and drop needed tools nearby. They can also identify spills and direction of flow, pollutants on or in waterways, and more. For wildfires, drones can quickly identify the direction of fire spread, the distance between the fire and firefighters, hotspots remaining, and can drop incendiary devices to start backfire operations. Drones are also used before and after the fire to determine the fuel load present. Pre-fire analysis of the fuel load can be used to mitigate and/or minimize hazardous situations before the fire. fire-service training The fire service is also using drones for training. Roof operations and other training can be observed and captured to review later. Also, drones can capture facility pre-fire plans as well as complex building projects. Every fire department will deploy a drone to enhance safety, operational effectiveness, and real-time awareness “As fire service (and public safety) leadership fully understand the potential of what drones offer, every department will be deploying a drone (or two) for significant incidents as a part of the initial response to enhance safety, increase operational effectiveness, and real-time situational awareness,” says Chief Charles L. Werner (Emeritus-RET), Director, DroneResponders Public Safety Alliance. Non-profit Program The DroneResponders Alliance is the largest and an award-winning non-profit program to advance the use of drones in public safety (for all disciplines). While focused on the United States, DroneResponders has more than 3,800 members and representation from 47 countries. On its website, DroneResponders hosts the largest Online Resource Center (more than 600 documents – standard operating procedures, policy manuals, Certificate of Authorization/Waiver Guidance, etc.) and has a discussion forum with many topic threads. Increasing drone programs Drone programs (free flight and/or tethered) will continue to increase exponentially for the fire service. There were over 17 public safety use cases identified on the DroneResponders Spring 2020 Research Study, and even these case studies can be broken down even more. “One thing that we have found is that if a single agency has a drone program, they usually fly other missions as well as their primary mission set,” says Werner. “So if a fire department is the only agency flying, they will usually cover fire missions, police missions, and emergency management missions. The same is true if it were a single police agency flying.” Having real-time awareness “Real-time 360 situational awareness is a game-changer with visual optics, thermal imaging, and streaming video on structure fires, wildfires, hazmat incidents, lost person searches, floods/swift-water rescues, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and more,” says Werner. “I ask agency leaders if they would ever make command decisions with their eyes closed because, without that aerial view, many hazards or critical information are not known,” adds Werner. “I do believe as the numbers of drones increase, prices will fall and there will be a more competitive marketplace.” Limitations of drones One of the main obstacles of the drone is the current length of flight is limited by battery life The main obstacles that remain are regulatory limits on Beyond Visual Line of Sight (which are changing) and one remote pilot operating multiple drones. Other obstacles include a need for competitively priced drones with comparable payloads, and the current length of flights is limited by battery life. In France during the Notre Dame Cathedral fire, a drone was used to identify the best position to attack the fire to prevent further spread to the remainder of the cathedral. Initiatives taken by DroneResponders Other DroneResponders initiatives include: Monthly Public Safety UAS Webinars in partnership with the FAA; Monthly Podcasts that highlight Public Safety UAS programs, successes, emerging technologies; A Major Cities Working Group (cities over 500K) headed up by Capt. Michael Leo (Fire Department of New York); A Drone as a First Responder Working Group headed up by Capt. Don Redmond (Chula Vista [Calif.] Police Department); Legal/Policy Working Group led by Dawn Zoldi, Founder and CEO of P3 Tech Consulting; Public Safety/Media Working Group led by Mickey Osterreicher (National Press Photographers Association); Training Curriculum Standard Working Group facilitated by Katie Thielmeyer (Woodlawn [Ohio} Fire Department); National Public Safety UAS Database Project headed up by Charles Werner in partnership with NASA Ames Research Center; and National Public Safety UAS Database Mapping Project headed up by Brandon Karr (Pearland Police Department) in partnership with Esri [mapping and software provider].
Award-winning Taktis fire panels, manufactured by Kentec Electronics Ltd., a globally renowned manufacturer of life-critical control systems, are protecting students and property at the University of Nicosia’s (UNIC) new state-of-the-art student residences, located in Cyprus. Integrated fire system The integrated fire system was installed by Kentec Installation Partner (KIP) Glosec Dragon Ltd. (GLOSEC), a Cyprus-based business that specializes in the design, installation and maintenance of security, surveillance, hazard prevention and hospitality systems. The UNIC student residences have been designed to set a new standard in modern student living The UNIC student residences have been designed to set a new standard in modern student living. They consist of two separate complexes, SIX and TRIANGLE, which provide a multitude of dining, relaxing and entertainment options including a cafe, mini-market, gym, TV rooms and games areas. Taktis addressable fire panels Split between six, 12-storey distinctive towers, SIX comprises 307 luxury student residences, and is protected by two, highly-sophisticated Taktis eight-loop addressable fire panels. TRIANGLE complements SIX with an additional 147 modern and spacious rooms, with one six-loop Taktis fire panel installed. Across both SIX and TRIANGLE residential complexes, the fire protection systems include 578 Apollo heat detectors, 530 sounder bases, 94 call points and 339 optical detectors. Additionally, three Taktis Vision Repeaters provide information on the status of the fire alarm system in key positions, across the residences via large and full-color, touch-screen graphical displays. Full-color resistive touch screen display Taktis provides an expandable solution, which includes a full suite of graphics, communications (copper and fiber), analytics and remote management tools. Multiple protocols can be supported on each panel to give installers and end users maximum choice in their systems’ design. Also, the scalable nature of the product provides the highest level of future proofing and networking capabilities. A 7 inches full-color resistive touch screen display and a clear, uncluttered intuitive interface make it easy to use, even for those with minimal or no training, which is essential in the event of an emergency. Fire system integration with CCTV and access control Stathis Ierodiaconou, Managing Director of Glosec Dragon feels the business has worked with Kentec for more than two decades and developed a trusting relationship. Taktis is easy to install, integrates with other systems well and customer feedback has been good" Stathis said, “Our experience with Kentec meant we knew Taktis was the right system for the project’s scope and needs. The project required that remote monitoring was possible from one control room to cover both SIX and TRIANGLE residences. It also needed to be an expandable system, which can grow as the development grows.” With Glosec Dragon also installing and maintaining a suite of other CCTV, wireless access control, intercom, parking and energy-saving systems, Stathis stated that integration was essential. He explains, “Taktis is easy to install, integrates with other systems well and customer feedback has been good.” Flexible fire safety system Anastasia Christodoulou, Manager, at UNIC Residences, believes that student safety is paramount. She said, “We required complete assurance that our fire protection system is providing the utmost protection. We were assured that Taktis does just that, and that its advanced integrative capabilities mean a future-proofed and user-friendly system.” Costas Constantinides, Head of International Development at Kentec, believes the Taktis panel with EN54-13 certification was the ideal choice for this development. He said, “The highly powerful and sophisticated Taktis panel was chosen to ensure the fire safety system had the required reliability, scale and flexibility to protect large numbers of students at such a prestigious development.”
C-TEC’s new CAST ZFP fire alarm system is protecting an exciting new hospitality venture in Cheshire, United Kingdom. Situated in the beautiful village of Tattenhall, The Bear and Ragged Staff has been radically transformed from a derelict shell into a high-end pub, restaurant and hotel, by a team of talented professionals, including Brian Mellor, an award-winning chef, and Martin Hilton, an industry-renowned beer sommelier. Featuring a fabulous bar/restaurant, eight en-suite bedrooms, and a first-floor function room, the magnificent venue is prominently positioned on the High Street and set not only to become a focal point in the village but also attract clientele from far and wide for celebratory and corporate events. CAST ZFP fire panel and detectors installed At the heart of the building’s life-safety systems is a C-TEC CAST ZFP fire panel connected to over 100 CAST detectors At the heart of the building’s life-safety systems is a C-TEC CAST ZFP fire panel connected to over 100 CAST detectors, sounders, VADs, and ancillary devices, spanning over four floors. The master 2-loop ZFP panel is located in a storeroom but relays key system information to a state-of-the-art Compact Controller, which is prominently displayed in the elegant reception area. With its bright easy-to-use touchscreen-control interface, the controller is stylish, highly visible and can be easily accessed by the fire and rescue service, and authorized personnel if required. L2 BS 5839-1 fire safety system John Westerman, Director of Wrexham-based Allied Fire Alarms Ltd, the company that specified, installed, and commissioned the system, said “We chose CAST ZFP as the cornerstone of The Bear’s L2 BS 5839-1 system, as it is powerful, intuitive, and has the capacity to connect to multiple intelligent devices. Our client also had some specific requirements for fire detection in certain areas which were facilitated using CAST’s innovative software and extensive programming capabilities.” John Westerman adds, “We were delighted to be involved with this project. As an NICEIC-approved specialist fire company, we pride ourselves on delivering top-quality life-safety systems to our client’s satisfaction and the CAST system we designed and installed has certainly exceeded everyone’s expectations.” CAST intelligent fire alarm system CAST is C-TEC’s own UK-designed and manufactured ‘distributed intelligence’ addressable fire detection and alarm system. Certified to all relevant EN54 product standards, including EN54-13, CAST is also fully compatible with ENVISION, C-TEC’s powerful new remote access, data management, and system testing software.
The Vizcaya Provincial Council in Spain, has invested seven million euros in its fire prevention, firefighting and rescue services. Almost 25 percent of the existing fleet will be replaced by new trucks, which will enhance efficiency and improve rapid response. The 15 new vehicles include six heavy-duty urban fire trucks, three heavy-duty large-tank pumpers, three first-response trucks and three automatic turntable ladders, all fitted with Allison fully automatic transmissions. Heavy-duty urban fire trucks VEICAR built the bodywork for nine of these vehicles, including the six heavy-duty urban fire trucks, which have already been delivered. The bodywork is mounted on a SCANIA P 410 B chassis with 4x4 traction and Allison 4000 Series transmissions with retarders. These trucks have water and foam tank capacities of 4,200 and 200 liters respectively. They are equipped with roof boxes that can be accessed from the ground, eliminating the need to enter the truck to access tools. An LED lighting mast provides supplementary lighting and a further feature is a monitor that provides a joystick-controlled flow rate of 4,000 liters per minute from the pump cabinet. Large-tank pumpers The Vizcaya Provincial Council’s order of three large-tank pumpers is also based on the SCANIA P 410 B chassis The Vizcaya Provincial Council’s order of three large-tank pumpers is also based on the SCANIA P 410 B chassis. The vehicles share the same features as the six heavy-duty urban fire trucks, including Allison 4000 Series transmissions with retarders. They have larger water and foam tank capacities of 9,000 and 300 liters respectively. Like many other vehicle bodybuilders, VEICAR has full confidence in the benefits of Allison fully automatic transmissions. The company has worked in close cooperation with Allison since 2009. Allison fully automatic transmission Rather than using the automated manual transmissions that come as standard in this SCANIA model, VEICAR opted for a fully automatic transmission with torque converter, in this case, an Allison 4000 Series model with retarder (GA866R in SCANIA nomenclature). “The vast majority of our fire trucks are equipped with Allison automatic transmissions. We consider them an indispensable firefighting tool as they maximize vehicle performance, and greatly improve acceleration, reliability and safety,” said Carlos Prieto-Puga González, CEO at VEICAR. Faster acceleration and increased torque Carlos Prieto-Puga González adds, “In addition, their superior acceleration and maneuverability are beyond question, which is vital when there is not a second to be wasted. Most urban firefighters prefer them because they provide greater safety. And if that weren't enough, the vehicles reach the final years of their service life in better condition.” Allison transmissions are designed to offer increased torque and up to 35 percent faster acceleration. When fire trucks respond to emergencies, they are heavily loaded, so the optional retarder has been incorporated to provide high braking capacity, enabling the vehicles to slow down quickly at intersections. Optimum maneuverability on varied terrains Allison transmissions have demonstrated exceptional reliability and durability in the most demanding conditions" “Allison transmissions have demonstrated exceptional reliability and durability in the most demanding conditions and are the transmission of choice for firefighting fleets around the world. As regular users of these transmissions, we have no doubts whatsoever. As bodybuilders, we are always much happier when vehicles are equipped with Allison,” said Prieto-Puga González. Allison automatic transmissions provide optimum maneuverability on soft ground and in tight spaces, greater control on steep grades, smoother driving, better starting capacity, and faster acceleration. This makes it possible to reach higher average speeds and save fuel. Prieto-Puga Gonzalez adds, “A two- or three-minute head start can be crucial. Not losing power during gear shifts means smoother, more continuous and consequently more effective acceleration. It also improves maneuverability and saves time, which, along with the reliability of the transmission, means greater safety for firefighters. These great benefits are even more extraordinary when we consider that Allison transmissions reduce fleet maintenance costs.” Featuring Chelsea 870 power take-off “The easy maneuverability of the vehicles simplifies the drivers' work. They don't have to shift gears and can concentrate fully on the job and the road when traveling at high speed. And with Allison, vehicles can include up to two power take-offs (PTOs) to keep hydraulic equipment working correctly, even while the vehicle is in motion,” said Trond Johansen, European Key Fleets and Market Development Manager at Allison Transmission. “The Chelsea 870 power take-off incorporated into the transmissions has allowed us to fine-tune the entire unit to achieve the best possible onsite fire pump performance,” concludes Prieto-Puga González.
FlamePro, a renowned British manufacturing specialist of life safety garments and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for firefighters, has been awarded a £4 million contract by Capita, to provide its firefighting PPE for the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD), across the next decade. Firefighting PPE tender The competitive tender, part of Capita’s contract with the MOD, saw four different PPE providers bid for the contract, with FlamePro being appointed to provide its full ensemble of Personal Protective Equipment, alongside a total garment care package. FlamePro was awarded the Ministry Of Defence’s PPE contract, due to its high-quality products FlamePro was awarded the Ministry Of Defence’s PPE contract, due to its high-quality products and the company’s dedication to providing support and expertise on Personal Protective Equipment care, use and maintenance. The contract includes a multi-million pounds initial roll out, with a total value of £4 million over 10 years duration. New fabric technologies and designs Nathan Bricknell, the General Manager at FlamePro, said “We’re absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this contract with Capita. It marks a key milestone for the company. Over recent months, we’ve worked with our partners to develop brand new fabric technologies and designs, including a 3D woven structure and new moisture barrier membrane, to ensure our PPE is the most advanced on the market.” Nathan Bricknell adds, “Our brand new structural fire suit has set a new benchmark across the whole industry. This, teamed with our shorter-than-average lead times, stands us in great stead to deliver top-quality products and service on this contract.”
In Kazakhstan, in the city of Shymkent, the municipal authorities launched a pilot project to install carbon monoxide detectors in private houses. The goal of the project is to help the socially disadvantaged as they are the ones most often affected by CO incidents. Ajax wireless fire detectors were chosen for the project. This month they saved the lives of three people, and, as a result, Ajax security system is planned to be mass-installed in thousands of homes. FireProtect Plus detector At the beginning of the year, the city digitalization department of Shymkent in a pilot project, together with the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the company ‘ProLife’, installed Ajax security systems in ten private houses for free. Each kit included an intelligent Hub central unit and a FireProtect Plus fire detector. The alarm system worked as follows: as soon as a dangerous concentration of CO accumulated in the air, the Ajax system immediately alerted the residents and sent an alarm to the security company. In the course of the project, several lives have already been saved. In early March, late in the evening, the ‘ProLife’ security company received an alarm from a FireProtect Plus detector installed in one of the homes. Detecting dangerous concentrations Only specialized detectors can detect dangerous concentrations of CO in the air As a result, they found that the carbon monoxide content in the house was 0.3% higher than normal; the cause was a gas leak in the tap of a stone oven. There were a mother and two children in the house, and this concentration of gas could have been fatal for them. Carbon monoxide is deadly for humans. At the same time, it is completely invisible; carbon monoxide has no color or smell, so it can’t be sensed. Only specialized detectors can detect dangerous concentrations of CO in the air and they would cost a fortune to install. First of all, the cable laying costs are prohibitive. Reliable wired solutions The Ajax security system is just as reliable as wired solutions, but its installation requires much fewer resources. Considering that not all residents of the houses could agree to the installation of cables, installing Ajax was the ideal solution for the municipality. At this point, the project involves the installation of another 1,000 hubs and 1,000 detectors that register smoke, temperature spikes, and dangerous CO levels. First, the detectors will be installed in low-income households. In the future, according to the Department of Emergency Situations, a similar alert system is planned to be installed in 30,000 residential buildings in Shymkent.
Heathfield is a dynamic and vibrant boarding school for girls aged 11-18, surrounded by stunning grounds in Ascot, Berkshire, with outstanding facilities. The school has an unrivaled emphasis on nurturing each girl so that she achieves the best possible results while living life to the full by participating in sport, drama, music, art, and an extended variety of extra-curricular activities. Work has just been completed on the new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) facility. This opened at the start of the 2015-2016 academic year. Maintaining full protection AFS was initially engaged to install a new fire alarm system to protect the new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) facility. Once this project was completed they were asked by the school to put together a proposal to protect the entire school, whilst having regard for the decor of this historic site. The system which has now been completed is a hybrid analog addressable wired and wireless system, with wireless devices being used in the areas which could not be cabled without significant disruption to the decor. The project was completed over two years during summer and Easter holiday periods while maintaining full protection as the new system was phased in to replace the previous fire alarm.
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?