Fire Safety Management
Maintaining adequate staffing is a key challenge facing many volunteer fire departments. While not a new issue, increasing population and call volumes along with the expanded services many volunteer departments now provide have made recruiting and retaining volunteers a top priority in the fire service. The federal government supports volunteer recruitment and retention through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, administered by the Federal Emergency Man...
Globe, DuPont Protection Solutions (DuPont), and the National Volunteer Fire Council teamed up once again in 2018 to distribute 52 sets of turnout gear to 13 volunteer or mostly-volunteer fire departments. This annual program began in 2012 to provide departments in need with new turnouts to better protect their personnel. Shinbone Valley Fire and Rescue (Delta, AL) and the Barnsdall (OK) Rural Fire Department are the final 2018 gear recipients. Shinbone Valley Fire and Rescue has 16 volunteer f...
In alignment with its position as a pioneer in enhanced safety technology engineering and manufacturing, Spartan Emergency Response ("Spartan" or "Spartan ER"), a business unit of Spartan Motors, Inc., served as a Chief Sponsor of the Detroit Public Safety Foundation's (DPSF) Sixth Annual Above and Beyond Awards Ceremony in Detroit. This is the 4th year Spartan Motors, Inc. has been a sponsor of the awards. The Detroit Public Safety Foundation hosts this signature event to recognize first respo...
Recruiting and training enough firefighters to meet community needs has been a continuing challenge for decades, especially in the case of volunteer firefighters, who make up 70% of the fire service in the United States. In some areas of the country, the problem has reached a critical stage. A recent report by a commission of lawmakers, city officials and emergency service personnel in Pennsylvania, for example, notes that the population of volunteer firefighters in the state has dwindled from...
As the countdown to Christmas gets well and truly underway with offices and places of work getting into the festive spirit, Siemens Building Technologies is warning UK businesses about the potential consequences of false fire alarms during the busiest period of the year. False alarms from remotely-monitored fire detection and fire alarm systems cost the UK economy an estimated £1 billion in business disruption with 95% of automatically-generated alarms being proved to be false placing Fire...
Frequentis has developed an application which allows location data and video from drones to feed directly into workstations in the control center, through its LifeX and ASGARD solutions. The integrated solution will be presented at the global trade fair for professional mobile communications and control centers, PMRExpo, in Cologne from November 27, 2018. UAVs/Drones Application In Emergency Situations Video and sensor data provided by drones could vastly support rescue forces in their mission...
Very high packing density, intelligent networking, complex processes: Automated warehouses present new challenges for fire protection concepts. Conventional solutions are usually not sufficient to meet the protection goals of logistics providers. These include maintenance processes and a delivery capability, preventing business interruptions and protecting goods and investments. The WAGNER Group will be presenting solutions specially adapted to these requirements, from 19 to 21 February 2019 at LogiMAT, the international trade fair for intralogistics solutions and process management, in Stuttgart. The focus is set on the active fire prevention system, which prevents fires already within their development phase. A combination of OxyReduct fire prevention and TITANUS early fire detection protects the so-called AutoStore small parts warehouseIntelligent, autonomous storage systems open up new possibilities for intralogistics. Time savings and energy efficiency are just two of the advantages that result from these developments. In order to consistently protect plant and high value stock within such highly specialized warehouses, a solution with the active oxygen reduction technology, OxyReduct is recommended. This also includes effective early fire detection using TITANUS. OxyReduct And TITANUS Protects Warehouse The Saxon company KOMSA, Kommunikation Sachsen AG - a service provider and distributor of information and communication technology products - benefits from such a solution. At their headquarters in Hartmannsdorf, a combination of OxyReduct fire prevention and TITANUS early fire detection protects the so-called AutoStore small parts warehouse. Due to the packing density, a fire protection solution had to be found that was not based on sprinkler technologyIn a self-supporting aluminum construction, 25,000 plastic containers, each with a capacity of 70 litres are stacked. Robots ensure an optimum flow of goods. However, due to the packing density, a fire protection solution had to be found that was not based on sprinkler technology. Absolutely essential requirement: no interruption of the delivery capability - even in case of an emergency. This is ensured by an intelligent fire protection solution with highly sensitive air sampling smoke detectors and an oxygen reduction system. Companies Using WAGNER Fire Protection Solutions Leading companies all over the world rely on fire protection solutions from the WAGNER Group. These include Imperial Automotive Logistics, AstraZeneca, NewCold, Preferred Freezer Services, Davert GmbH, KLM Logistik, British Library, BASF and many others. Further information on the systems available and WAGNER's portfolio of innovative fire protection solutions will be available to fair visitors at booth D11 in hall 7.
Earlier this year, Johnson Controls partnered with a third-party consulting firm and research group to successfully test a new technology that could potentially save countless lives with early fire identification and intervention for rapid fire protection to the external facade of a building. The standalone system was designed to quickly identify and accurately pinpoint the location of the fire and deliver water to that exact location within seconds. In addition, the system may use existing building fire protection infrastructure to minimise the need for additional water supplies, pipework and pumps. Thomas Bell-Wright International Consultants (TBWIC) in cooperation with the Research Institute of Sweden (RISE) conducted a full-scale fire test program to assess the performance of this new SPRAYSAFE Autonomous Fire Suppression (AFS) technology, licensed by Unifire AB. Small Target Fires Testing occurred from January to March of 2018 at the TBWIC facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The purpose of the test was to validate the ability of the new SPRAYSAFE AFS technology to autonomously detect and locate an early-stage fire, distribute water to its location and prevent it from spreading on the exterior surface of a building with combustible facade materials. The objective of the targeting tests was to verify that the system could automatically detect and accurately direct water spray at small target fires Two tests were conducted – a targeting test series and a large-scale fire performance test -- using combustible fire cladding. The objective of the targeting tests was to verify that the system could automatically detect and accurately direct water spray at small target fires within the limits of the coverage area at both minimum and maximum operating pressures. Prevent Fire Spread The large-scale fire performance test was conducted to verify the system could adequately prevent fire spread on a simulated full-scale facade. Three different attack types were assessed – vertical downward, diagonal downward and horizontal. A free-burn test was also performed to verify the combustibility and response of the facade material without suppression. The testing validated the new SPRAYSAFE AFS technology has the capability to rapidly and autonomously fight an early-stage fire anywhere within its coverage area. Additionally, the system also effectively contained flashover fires, prevented fires from spreading via the exterior of the facade surface and limited severe fire damage to the point of origin. “As buildings continue to reach new heights, the need for early fire detection and intervention of the facade is critically important,” said Fredrik Rosen, marketing manager, Thomas Bell-Wright International Consultants. “This revolutionary technology from Johnson Controls can quickly and effectively fight fires in high-rise buildings, which is a major challenge in today’s environment.”
The Middle East’s US$1.9 billion fire safety systems and equipment market will see solid growth over the next six years, with new government regulations around life safety and fire protection along with large-scale infrastructure investment among the key market drivers. A November 2018 report by analysts 6Wresearch estimates the Middle East market for firefighting systems, fire detection & alarm systems, and emergency exit & lighting, will be worth US$3 billion by 2024, growing at a compound annual growth rate of nearly eight percent. The report stated the regional market witnessed a slight decline during 2014-2016, however from 2017 demand has picked up, aided by recovering oil prices and government economic diversification initiatives aimed at reviving the construction sector. Passive fire-rated products Fire & Rescue is the second largest of seven show sections at the annual three-day event Additionally, revised fire and life safety codes, such as those rolled out by the UAE Civil Defence in 2016, has helped growth in passive fire-rated products in new buildings and infrastructure, while adding further impetus to the retrofitting segment, where newer systems in line with current regulations are replacing older systems. 6Wresearch’s report was published ahead of the Intersec exhibition, the world’s leading trade fair for security, safety, and fire protection, taking place from 20-22 January 2019 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. Fire & Rescue exhibitors Fire & Rescue is the second largest of seven show sections at the annual three-day event, where more than 1,300 exhibitors from 59 countries are set to take part in the show’s 21st edition early next year. More than 350 of those will be in the Fire & Rescue section, including the biggest names in the global fire and life safety business such as UAE-based powerhouses NAFFCO and Concorde Corodex Group, Honeywell from the USA, Japanese-headquartered Hochiki, Drager from Germany, and Turkish fire truck manufacturer, Volkan. Future fire safety trends All those involved in the construction process are placing greater importance of meeting, and exceeding, the standards set out" Eaton Corporation is another headline exhibitor in the Fire & Rescue section and is one of many companies at Intersec 2019 positive about the current and future fire safety trends in the regional market. Frank Ackland, Eaton’s Middle East Managing Director said the regulations set out by the UAE Civil Defence for example, offer a much higher standard of regulation than has ever been seen before: “Eaton provides emergency lighting and fire detection systems for buildings and we’ve noted an increase in the levels of regulation that are being adhered to – not only to the set standard but also above in many cases." "All those involved in the construction process are placing greater importance of meeting, and exceeding, the standards set out. That doesn’t mean there isn’t more work to be done, and this is where we see a significant investment in retrofitting also taking place in the UAE, in order to make older buildings safer and in line with current regulations.” Fire and emergency lighting Eaton will showcase a wide range of products from its fire and emergency lighting divisions at Intersec 2019, including its adaptive evacuation exit luminaires which provide commercial buildings with the potential to redirect occupants to safety by adjusting the directions displayed according to the threat. Our uninterrupted power systems (UPS), provide vital peace of mind to buildings such as hospitals and military bases" Ackland said all Eaton’s solutions are designed with safety at the core, adding, “This is not limited to our life safety division products, and we’ve have noticed there’s a much greater emphasis placed on how power solutions can keep a building safe and mitigate risks caused by power fault or failure." "Our uninterrupted power systems (UPS), for example, provide vital peace of mind to buildings, specifically those where critical power is a necessity such as in hospitals and military bases. They also to ensure the continual safety of data and information that can be lost to public cyberspace within a split second of a power failure.” Emergency mobile solutions Concorde Corodex Group is another regular Intersec exhibitor and will showcase in 2019 its UAE-made emergency mobile solutions, such as fire trucks, ambulances, special vehicles, and hydraulic platforms, along with its static fire equipment, including pumps, cabinet extinguishers and fixed suppression equipment. Starting out as a two-man show with big ideas and a lot of hard work in 1974, the company now has two factories in the UAE with 1,500 people and is widely regarded as one of the world’s most trusted exporters of life safety and fire protection solutions. Intersec Future Security Summit will be raising key issues on artificial intelligence, security integration, emergency preparedness and response, data protection, IoT and much more Life safety and fire protection Mohanned Awad, Concorde Corodex’s Regional Director for Business Development, said much of this is thanks to its UAE roots, “In the UAE, the natural status of our customers and partners is to be early adopters,” said Awad. “Our partners always request to think ahead of the curve; they don’t want to just solve the problem but to be able to prevent the problem and be two or three steps ahead of the problem." "We’re very fortunate to have such demanding requirements locally, because we’ve been able to take that know-how and expand it through other markets that we serve, such as Asia, MENA and the CIS. It’s forced us to think out of the box and put considerable investment in research and development capabilities and to bring on board many key people who have experience.” Concorde Corodex Group, and its brand Bristol, plan to showcase at Intersec 2019 something that’s never been seen before in the UAE Awad said Concorde Corodex Group, and its brand Bristol, plan to showcase at Intersec 2019 something that’s never been seen before in the UAE – if it arrives on time: “It’s a new technology that may have been seen in other places but not in the UAE, and will take up a big footprint outside the fairgrounds,” he said. “It will definitely be an eyebrow raiser.” Commercial and hospitality sectors Intersec 2019 is organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East and returns with key government supporters such as Dubai Police, Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Police Academy, Dubai Municipality, and the Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA). Andreas Rex, Intersec’s show director, said the commercial and hospitality sectors are other key verticals driving demand for fire safety systems and equipment, adding, “The big growth, particularly in the UAE will come over the next two years as delivery of the Dubai Expo 2020 looms, while throughout the Gulf region, large scale infrastructure investment will steer the market toward solid growth." Intersec, situated at the heart of it all in Dubai, presents the ideal opportunity to access these markets" "Intersec, situated at the heart of it all in Dubai, presents the ideal opportunity to access these markets and beyond, where thousands of engineers, system integrators, contractors, industry professionals and decision makers will seek solutions for their various projects.” Fire Safety and Protection Conference Intersec’s other show sections comprise Commercial Security, Safety & Health, Homeland Security & Policing, Physical & Perimeter Security, Information Security, and Smart Home & Building Automation. The annual showpiece returns next year with a revamped conference line-up, including a three-day Intersec Future Security Summit raising key issues on artificial intelligence, security integration, emergency preparedness and response, data protection, IoT and much more. Fire Safety and Protection Conference will involve authorities, fire chiefs, engineers, fire fighters and emergency response professionals Returning is the SIRA (Security Industry Regulatory Agency) Forum, with the latest updates in security law and industry regulations in Dubai, while a one-day Fire Safety and Protection Conference will involve authorities, fire chiefs, engineers, fire fighters and emergency response professionals. Popular event features Returning popular features in 2019 include the Drone Zone, an Outdoor Demo Area, a Smart Home Pavilion and the Safety Design in Buildings Pavilion. More than 150 exhibitors will be participating for the first time, while Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, UK, and the USA comprise the 15 country pavilions. Intersec 2019 is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and supported by the Dubai Police, Dubai Police Academy, Dubai Civil Defence, SIRA, and the Dubai Municipality.
The International Fire & Security Exhibition and Conference (IFSEC) India Expo, South Asia's largest security, civil protection and fire safety show by UBM India, is gearing up for its 12th edition which is slated for December 5th - 7th, 2018 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Supported by the Asian Professional Security Association (APSA), American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), Electronic Security Association of India (ESAI), Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) among others, the show will see participation from over 20 countries such as UK, USA, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Korea, Russia and will bring together over 300 domestic and globally renowned brands, key government officials, consultants and business experts. Prioritizing Security And Surveillance The Government of India recognizes this vulnerability and has introduced strict regulations and guidelines" The visitor profile of the expo will include professionals such as CSOs, Admin Heads, CIOs, CTOs, Facility Heads, Purchase Managers, System Integrators and Dealers & Distributors of organizations. Speaking on the announcement of the 12th edition of the IFSEC India Show, Mr. Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, UBM India said, "The South Asia region, which the IFSEC India Expo brings within its radar, is a vulnerable as well as a progressive zone with ongoing threats to homeland security, rising urbanization, proliferating crimes, and low people-to-police ratio being some of the most significant factors. The Government of India recognizes this vulnerability and has introduced strict regulations and guidelines that promote the use of security and surveillance in the country -- the security of children within school premises, and the growing need for women's safety being noteworthy instances.” Electronic Security Market “Besides, in a bid to make the country truly modern and secure, it has till date invested around ₹ 48,000 crores for its Smart City initiative that aims to create at least 100 smart cities in India. Owing to these factors, it comes as no surprise that the electronic security market in India is expected to witness a tremendous growth with a projected CAGR of nearly 13 per cent over the next decade." "IFSEC India 2018 aims to act as a catalyst for the progress and vision of this proliferating industry, as it provides a platform for industry players to collectively ideate, innovate, spot trends and enable the shift in India's security paradigm from a defensive approach to a monitoring and responsive one," he further added. Ever-Evolving Industry The IFSEC India Expo provides high-impact, informative demos and a wealth of opportunities for the visitors IFSEC India will include in its already formidable repertoire, products and technologies pertaining to CCTV & Surveillance, Biometrics & RFID, Integrated Systems, Access Control, GPS Systems, Video Management, Parking Automation, Transport, Perimeter Protection, IoT, Smart Homes, Security & Safe Cities in addition to surveillance for the knowledge of end users and providers. Key global brands & distributors include Premier Plus Partners: Aditya Infotech, Advik, Dahua, eSSL, Globus, Hikvision, Mark, Nuctech, Realtime, TVT and Zkteco; Premier Partners such as Axestrack, Biomax, Honeywell, Mantra, Panasonic, Road Point, Seagate, Timewatch, Unique Electrovision, Vantage, and Western Digital, among others. Significantly, in an industry where upgradation of technology is the very key to surviving the competition, IFSEC India Expo provides high-impact, informative demos and a wealth of opportunities for the visitors to network and learn about new technologies, industry best practices and trends, challenges, market insights and discover the best solutions to keep their business and clients secured. High Octane Business One of the novel ways by which the expo this year is encouraging this vital interaction between key exhibitors with cutting-edge innovations to offer and big ticket buyers is through the creation of the Regalia Lounge, an exclusive, private 5 star lounge, meant solely for one-on-one interactions and high octane business on a 'By Invitation Only' basis. IFSEC India 2018 has decided to proactively decipher relevant insights gained in the global security market as well as latest technology With security in India continuing to be an onerous task, IFSEC India 2018 has decided to proactively decipher relevant insights gained in the global security market as well as latest technology such as aerial vehicles and drones by conducting a two-day conference with the theme 'Unraveling the Evolution in Security Tech' alongside the exhibition. Security Veterans The conference will witness the presence and participation of eminent industry personalities including Shri D.R. Karthikeyan, Chairman, Assocham Homeland Security Council; Capt. Raghu Raman, President - Risk, Security and New Ventures, Reliance Industries Ltd.; Shri M.S. Upadhye, IPS, Chief Security Commissioner, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation; Lt. and Gen. Sudhir Sharma, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, VSM, Former Quartermaster General, Indian Army, among others. Some of the trending topics scheduled to be discussed at the conference are - 'Corporate Risk Management: Integrating Standards and BeSomst Practices into Operations' , 'The Evolving Role of a CSO in Crisis Management and in Ensuring Business Continuity', 'Regulatory Compliance Requirements Related to Corporate Security', 'Industry Best Practices in the Manufacture of Security Products by Bureau of Indian Standards', 'Technology-Enabled Disruptions', 'Emerging Paradigms in Security Architecture', 'How AI & IoT Add Value to Video Surveillance Systems', 'The Threat of Cyber Attacks on Security & Surveillance Systems', and 'How Drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Can be Effectively Used to Enforce Homeland Security'. Impressive Industry Growth The awards will recognize the excellence and innovations of CSOs & Security officers who continuously work behind the scenes This year, IFSEC India is all set to host the 3rd edition of the IFSEC India Awards. With the impressive growth of the Electronic Security Industry in India, the awards have been crafted to specially get the minds behind electronic security in various industry verticals like BFSI, Retail, Manufacturing, Energy, Healthcare, PSUs, IT & ITES and Infrastructure in the limelight. The awards will recognize the excellence and innovations of CSOs & Security officers who continuously work behind the scenes to ensure robust security. The process advisors for the IFSEC India Awards will be Ernst and Young. IFSEC India owes its rich legacy to the 40-year-old IFSEC Global and success to the way the Indian edition has modified itself to suit the specific needs of this region. Recommended by industry experts as the pre-eminent authority on the global security and fire industry, the expo has nudged the industry on the path to a completely secure, smart and digitally enhanced world.
The lead theme of AFAC18, ‘Changing lives in a changing world’, proved to be well chosen, with nearly 3,000 visitors from 25 countries attending AFAC18 powered by INTERSCHUTZ in early September. A keen audience of professionals seized the opportunity to discuss the current challenges facing emergency management and public safety, as well as to discover the latest products in this area. Deutsche Messe, working in partnership with the AFAC, has brought its extensive expertise in tradeshow management to the event. The AFAC thus also serves as an international offshoot of the global trade fair, INTERSCHUTZ staged in Hannover, Germany. AFAC18 Powered by INTERSCHUTZ A total of 170 companies used the opportunity to showcase their products and services to interested professionals Australia's renowned exhibition and conference for emergency management and public safety returned to Western Australia's capital city, Perth, for the first time in six years. A total of 170 companies used the opportunity to showcase their products and services to interested professionals. Several of the 44 exhibiting companies from outside the host nation were from Germany or Austria. For the first time ever, there was a German Pavilion at the AFAC, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and organised by the German Fire Prevention Association (vfdb). The companies that took part in the pavilion commented favorably on the joint display and reported numerous promising business talks. Participating companies were Alro Engineering, askö, the GFPA (German Fire Protection Association), Haix, Jakob Eschbach, protectismundi, Luitpold Schott, VTI Ventil Technik, the Wagner Group and Zapp Zimmermann. The German companies present with their own stands were Rosenbauer, Bauer Kompressoren, Dräger Safety, ESKA, the LHD Group and Mercedes Benz. Explosion-Proof Robots And Robot Technology AFAC18 powered by INTERSCHUTZ was positively received by the professional visitors The Perth event also featured a high-caliber conference program organized by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Research Forum. For the first time the AFAC Conference was staged together with the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference. In the parallel exhibition, participating companies not only showcased their latest solutions in emergency management, but also offered live demonstrations. Highlights included simulated accidents and emergency incidents as well as the use of robot technology – for example, explosion-proof robots for firefighting applications. AFAC18 powered by INTERSCHUTZ was positively received by the professional visitors. At the close of the event as many as 84 percent said they would recommend it to others. In fact, this response was even higher among conference participants, as 97 percent stated that they would recommend it to their colleagues. The exhibitors were also satisfied: 88 percent rated the whole event as ‘very good’. One factor that may have influenced the positive response of the exhibitors was the high proportion of decision-makers (70 percent among the visiting public). The next AFAC – AFAC19 powered by INTERSCHUTZ – will take place from 27 to 30 August 2019 in Melbourne.
Euralarm has welcomed its newest Member Eaton Electrical Products Ltd. The company will join the Fire Section of Euralarm, which activities cover detection, notification and evacuation in case of fire. Eaton Electrical Products will now benefit from Euralarm’s services in terms of representation towards European Institutions and standardization organisations, the monitoring of relevant legislative and standardization issues, and will have access to its extended network of national associations and major companies in the fire safety and security sector. Eaton Electrical Products As a global power management company, Eaton enables customers to manage the power needed for buildings, aircraft, trucks, cars, machinery and businesses. Eaton’s innovative technologies help customers manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more reliably, efficiently, safely and sustainably. The products of Eaton Electrical Products help detect, notify, evacuate and protect against a range of threats in complex and challenging environments The products of Eaton Electrical Products help detect, notify, evacuate and protect against a range of threats in today’s most complex and challenging environments. Among the many products that the company provides are fire alarm devices, fire detection systems, public address and voice alarm systems as well as security systems and intruder alarms. Insight In European Markets One of Euralarm’s objectives is to provide an open, transparent and equal platform for Members of all sizes, including by monitoring trends in European and global markets, informing Members and promoting action where appropriate. Additionally, Euralarm uses professional advocacy, when appropriate, to achieve its goals, including building close relations and constructive dialogue with related industries, associations, standardization, testing and certification bodies, and political authorities (including relevant directorates-general of the European Commission). Companies that join Euralarm gain expertise into ‘political’ issues impacting the Industry and its markets and have an opportunity to influence the Industry by having a say directly into Brussels.
The era of “smart buildings” is here, bringing new opportunities for significant gains in efficiency, safety and environmental protection. In an interview, Rodger Reiswig, director of industry relations at Johnson Controls Global Fire Protection Products, offers his insights into the impact of smart buildings on fire detection and what it means for organisations planning new facilities. Q: How do you define smart buildings? The term “smart buildings” means different things to different people. For some, it’s all about the Green Initiative. Is the building able to sustain itself or reduce its carbon footprint? Can they reuse some of their water or generate electricity from onsite solar cells or wind turbines? Another definition of “smart buildings” is based on sensors. Is the building smart enough to know that, if I’m the first person there in the morning and I swipe my card, it should switch the HVAC system into occupied mode? Can it start to turn the lights on? Can it adjust the window shades to allow the sun to come in? Can it call the elevator down for me because it knows that I’m in the lobby and I’m going to the tenth floor? It’s all about how the systems integrate with one another, not just providing information to each other, but also interacting with one another, causing things to happen from one system to another. Q: How close are we to the vision of an integrated intelligent building where all the systems work together? We’ve already been doing some integration for a few years now with things like HVAC and lighting. Now we’re seeing tighter integration where, for example, we can use the position of the sun to get the best impact of sunlight to start to heat the building in the winter. One of the biggest challenges that we see in the smart building environment is protocols or topologies for how one system talks to another. The fire alarm system uses a certain protocol or language. The HVAC system uses another protocol or language, and so on. Creating an environment where systems can talk to one another and not just send, but also receive information – that’s the difficult part. Everybody can send information out. It’s easy for me to tell you what is happening in a system. But for you to tell me what’s happening in your system and then expect me to do something with that information, that’s when it gets a little bit harder. Q: What makes system-to-system communication challenging? Because of the critical role they play in protecting lives and property, life safety systems require a level of reliability and resilience far beyond that of other building systems or networks. Therefore, we have to be extremely careful about how we allow information from other systems to come into the life safety system, in case that information should affect the performance of the system. In addition, the design and specification of life safety systems is guided via three different means: building codes, standards and listings. Each of those means is controlled by different organisations. Any proposed changes to life safety networks have to pass muster with those entities, and that takes time, effort and consensus-building. When we’re talking specifically about system-to-system communication, the listing entities, organisations like UL and FM Global, regulate how much information can come into any life safety system. The listing documents require that there be some type of a barrier or gateway to prevent unauthorised or corrupted information from coming into a fire alarm system, causing harm or causing it to lock up. Life safety systems require a level of reliability and resilience far beyond that of other building systems or networks We will see all building technologies become more integrated over time as we work through the different entities and people begin to realise the benefits of improved safety, lower environmental impact, and reduced costs. Q: How will fire detection systems benefit from other sensor information available in a building? One of the things being explored is occupancy sensors that tell where people are located in a building. Some type of telemetry could be used to understand where people are concentrated in a facility and, based on that, make the fire alarm system more or less sensitive to smoke. If a lot of people are congregating in one area, there might be more activity and more dust being stirred up. You could use that information to set different alarm parameters compared to, for example, an empty building with no significant air movement. We see that type of operation happening. Knowing how many people are in a building and where they are located is also a critically valuable piece of information for first responders. Here’s another example: let’s say we have a big parking garage next to a mall. Cars come in, and perhaps some people leave their cars running, or the cars aren’t operating as efficiently as they should be. You could have carbon monoxide detectors and occupancy sensors in the garage, and when the garage becomes crowded and carbon monoxide levels start to rise a bit, you could tell the fire alarm system not to go into alarm, but instead to turn fans on to get some fresh air moving throughout the building. It’s performing a life safety function, but at a non-emergency level. Q: Are you involved in any cross-industry standard-setting organisations to enable better communication among building systems? On an industry level, Johnson Controls is very active in the development of codes and standards. We have people who sit on committees for things like healthcare occupancy standards. We have engineers that contribute to product listing documents. We have people who participate in committees that determine how products should be installed and maintained.Fire alarm systems could be used to detect and solve non-emergencies before they become threats We’re even involved with groups, like the National Disabilities Rights Network, that advocate for laws that promote equal access and notification of life safety events. The list goes on. It’s a common protocol that allows all types of systems to get on the same communication platform and be able to send and possibly receive information, depending on the product and the type of system it is.Just to give you an example, there’s a standard called BACnet, Building Automation Control Network, which was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. BACnet is based on entities, so within their system, they need to define what each entity is. What is a thermostat? What is a variable air box? What is a lighting controller? What is a fire alarm smoke detector? We work closely with this organisation to create entities that can reside on their infrastructure so that, for example, the lightning system recognises what a smoke detector is when they send that entity out to the network. It’s one of the most important methods we are using to communicate among dissimilar systems. Integrated systems mean elevators could be used to evacuate people in an emergency We’re working on two fronts: internally and industry-wide. We’re developing third-party interfaces that enable an outside entity to sign a non-disclosure form and get the keys to the kingdom, if you will, on our protocols for how our systems operate – the data stream that we can send out and receive back – allowing that third-party developer to create some of these interfaces themselves. That has been one of our challenges, because we have always said that this is a fire alarm system, and if you want that type of an interface, we need to write it and get it listed. We had to step back and say, what if we developed a barrier gateway and allowed somebody else to develop the protocol and, done properly, became able to receive and send information to the fire alarm system? It’s like what Apple does with apps. We are going down that road with this third-party interface gateway. Q: Have these developments changed how you’re planning for the future development of fire detection systems? Yes, they have. We are looking at how we can use these systems strategically to make life safety systems better. And life safety is becoming more nuanced, proactive and comprehensive. Can I communicate and use this information to unlock the door so people have a clear egress? Can I start to use the elevators to evacuate people during an emergency? We’ve been told traditionally to use the stairwell and not the elevator in the event of a fire. But it takes a person about a minute a floor to get out. That’s a problem if you’re in an 80-story building. You have elevators sitting there. Is there something we could do to allow these elevators to be used to evacuate people? The American Society of Mechanical Engineers has been working hard on developing the language and requirements to do that. It’s just one example of how having systems integrated and talking to each other allows us to create smarter solutions that can help make facilities safer. Q: What advice would you give to building owners, architects, designers or contractors to help them start planning today for the future of smart buildings? The most important thing is to build awareness. The average building owner doesn’t know that a lot of this technology even exists. We need to inform them that there are options they can ask about. One of my recommendations would be to ask your design engineer. As you discuss the kind of windows you want, the kind of flooring and lighting and so on, ask how these systems could integrate together and what the benefits of integration would be. The bigger your facility, the greater the benefits of integrating these systems. Another resource that people don’t use often enough is the AHJs, the authorities having jurisdiction. That’s the local fire marshal, the fire chief, the local first responders. Don’t be afraid to sit down with a fire marshal, tell them what kind of building you’re putting in, and ask them what would help them respond in the event of an emergency in that building. They’ll be glad you asked, because these people see a lot of different buildings and respond to emergencies every day.
Within traditional commercial and industrial firefighting systems, engineers have primarily focused on permanent installation designs rather than entertaining alternative or supplemental mobile firefighting systems. Permanent installation design is typically better understood, supported, and supplied throughout the fire protection engineering and manufacturing community. However, mobile firefighting systems provide unique solutions and advantages compared to their permanent installation cousins such as flexible deployment, simpler servicing, improved economy, and much higher performance availability. The combination of both systems is frequently the most strategic solution for the facility operator. Limitations of fixed installation systems Permanent installation (fixed) systems include everything from sprinklers, foam systems, primary watermain pumps, and the plethora of piping in between. A large refinery complex will need to address various hazard mitigation and control problems that span both hardware and personnel needs. In the event standard hazard mitigation safety procedures and equipment have failed, the facility immediately initiates a hazard control operation. Passive fixed systems automatically engage the hazard through an array of sensors, mechanical triggers, and control algorithms. A properly designed system with adequate hazard coverage, preplanning, preventative maintenance, and testing will successfully terminate the hazard, while firefighting personnel respond and ensure no further hazards develop. This conceptual approach relies on hardware and personnel all operating as planned…. Combining permanent and mobile apparatus “According to plan” would never have any failures or fires, but history has a different script. In the worst-case petrochemical scenario, fixed systems fail to extinguish a hazard putting the entire response on human and mobile hardware resources. This would include but is not limited to firetrucks, mobile high-flow pumping systems, large mobile monitors, foam proportioning units, and large diameter layflat hose. This type of response escalates into a larger scale operation, sometimes involving agencies beyond the facility operator itself. Although a low probability event, the risk to life and property is significantly substantial. Fixed systems may be rendered inoperable due to the loss of electrical power or actual physical damage Reducing fire-related expenditureMore typical than the worst-case scenario, facilities experience both maintenance-related system downtimes and natural phenomena damage such as extreme weather and seismic events. In this case, fixed systems may be rendered inoperable due to the loss of electrical power or actual physical damage. In any of these situations, mobile fire apparatus may fill the gap requirements of the facility as their flexible storage and deployment would protect them from everything but the worst natural disasters. Their further benefit is that a smaller set of mobile apparatus resources may be used to protect a larger amount of infrastructure, especially while in use in a mutual-aid program between facilities and communities. According to the NFPA’s report “Total Cost of Fire in the United States”, fire-related damages and expenditures from 1980 to 2014 have risen from roughly $200B (adjusted for inflation to 2014) to nearly $330B. The greatest expenditure is in fire safety costs in building construction, amounting to $57.4B. Although the overall losses per year as a ratio to protection expenditures has dropped by roughly 70% over the past 30 years, petrochemical facility losses have continued to rise over the same time. In the worst-case petrochemical scenario, fixed systems fail to extinguish a hazard Petrochemical facility challenges According to the NFPA, refineries or natural gas plants had reported an average of 228 fires or explosions per year through the 1990s. Furthering this data with Marsh’s “100 Largest Losses, 25th edition”, refinery losses have continually expanded throughout the last two decades with 11 of the top 20 largest losses of the past 40 years happening during or after the year 2000. Two primary drivers of this trend are the advanced age of petrochemical facilities and their staggering complexity. As oil margins fall, upstream operational businesses are detrimentally affected by reduced investment in everything to new equipment, maintenance and passive safety systems. There is an observable correlation between a major oil price drop followed by upstream facility fire losses. Even with reduced investment and oil throughput growth rates, US refinery utilisation at the end 2017 was at 96.7%, the highest since 2005 (Marsh, The Impact of the Price of Oil). The short story is that systems and personnel are being asked to do more with less with each passing year. Cost-effective mobile apparatus systems Mobile fire apparatus is generally more cost-effective to procure when using standardised designs and application methodology. They can access open water sources by either drafting (when in close proximity to the water) or using floating source pumps (for variable level or difficult access water sources). Mobile fire apparatus is generally more cost-effective to procure when using standardized designs and application methodology With this open water access, they can provide significantly more water (upwards of 10,000 GPM or more per system if necessary) than any typical fixed fire pumping solution. Moreover, as their primary benefit, they are easy to move and deploy. This benefit allows them to be utilised at the point of hazard as needed while being easily accessible for service. While fixed systems are installed at “every known” hazard and must be continually maintained to operate effectively, mobile systems may be used sitewide or across facilities. This flexibility reduces overall capital expenditure requirements and establishes a valuable primary and secondary firefighting system depending on the hazard and facility resources. Combining fixed and mobile systems Permanent installation fire suppression systems are a mainstay of modern day firefighting. They provide immediate passive response with little human intervention. However, as facility utilisation is pushed to maximum capacity while fixed systems continually age out without adequate replacement or maintenance, mobile systems will need to both fill the response gap and provide a final wall to total loss incidents. The reality is that both fixed and mobile systems need to work together to provide the safest possible operation. Service and training requirements need to also be maintained to manage an adequate, or even better, exemplary response to hazard control incidents. Managing major facility uptime requires continuous oversight and to drive hazard mitigation standards throughout the organisation, including executive management. A safe, reliable and fully-functional plant is also a profitable and cost-effective plant much like a healthy worker is a better worker. Protect your people and property and you will protecting your company’s future.
A number of shocking incidents involving fire have highlighted the need to better manage risks in buildings. David Adkins, managing director at Risk Warden, explains why some organisations need to give compliance with statutory regulations more focus and how the use of state-of-the-art online risk assessment tools can help to ensure that a building is as safe as possible. The Grenfell Tower disaster in London, in which 72 people lost their lives, brought the subject of fire safety into sharp focus. A government review into building regulations in the wake of this tragedy, led by Dame Judith Hackitt, made it clear that competence – defined as a combination of knowledge, skills and experience – underpins safety for all. It also found that that the current regulatory system is not fit for purpose and, with little or no quality monitoring, has created a situation where poor language confuses guidance with regulation and means that there is an overlapping regulatory enforcement framework. Why you need a fire safety action plan Sadly, Grenfell was not an isolated incident and similar events have occurred throughout the world. In 2017 a fire at a 17-storey commercial building in Iran led to multiple deaths, including those of 18 firefighters, while in 2015 16 people died in a fire in a residential building in Azerbaijan. Perhaps what is most concerning is that these types of events have been regularly occurring for many years – in 2010 a fire in a 28-storey tower block in China killed 53 people and injured at least 90, while in 2004 a fire at a care home in Scotland led directly to the deaths of 14 residents. The inquiry concluded that this tragedy could have been prevented by a suitable fire safety action plan. These examples highlight why it is vital to take the issue of safety seriously by undertaking a formal risk assessment. Put simply, if risks aren’t identified, a building’s occupants are in danger. There are a number of important pieces of legislation relating to this area in the UK including The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which contain a consistent set of requirements. Employers also have a general duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work. The Grenfell Tower disaster in London, in which 72 people lost their lives, brought the subject of fire safety into focus Responsibility for fire risk assessment When it comes to the dangers associated specifically with fire, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) places the onus on a designated responsible person within an organisation to carry out regular assessments to identify, manage and reduce the potential danger posed by fire. Article 9 of the RRFSO states that "The responsible person must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons are exposed for the purpose of identifying the general fire precautions he/she needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on him/her by or under this order". Any failure that leads to loss of life, personal injury or damage to property will expose a responsible person and could lead to prosecution. Outside fire risk assessors If the responsible person does not have the knowledge to carry out a fire risk assessment on his or her own, it will be necessary to call on a competent outside fire risk assessor. However, as Article 18 of the RRFSO points out, "Preference is to be given to a suitable competent person in the responsible person’s employment over a person not in their employment". Just as importantly, it states that, "A person is to be regarded as competent where they have sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable them properly to assist in undertaking the preventive and protective measures". If an outside fire risk assessor is employed then the responsible person must undertake due diligence to ensure that the individual concerned is competent and has successful track record in this line of work. Failure to do so can have enormous repercussions like, for example, in 2017 when a former firefighter and professional fire risk assessor was given a sentence of four months in prison suspended for 12 months for providing a ‘woefully inadequate’ fire risk assessment in his capacity as a private consultant. Failure to undertake due diligence when employing a fire risk assessor can have legal consequences Monitoring and reviewing fire risk It is up to the responsible person to put processes and procedures in place to enable compliance to be fully evidenced. This includes keeping up to date records of testing and maintenance regimes that can be scrutinised by relevant enforcement authorities, as well as enabling the responsible person to monitor, control and periodically review the fire risk assessment, especially during and after significant changes to the use or layout of a building. At the moment there are no hard and fast rules as to how fire risk assessments should be carried out. However, the most important requirement is to identify the fire hazards and how people could be at risk. In addition, emergency routes and exits, fire detection and warning systems, fire fighting equipment, the removal or safe storage of dangerous substances, and the needs of vulnerable people such as the elderly or those with disabilities must be factored in. The aim should always be to remove or reduce the risks as much as is 'reasonably practicable'. A failure to provide satisfactory evidence that a comprehensive risk assessment has taken place could result in invalid insurance, large fines and even the prosecution of any individuals responsible. To that end Article 11 of the RRFSO states that "The responsible person must make and give effect to such arrangements as are appropriate, having regard to the size of his/her undertaking and the nature of its activities, for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures". Today’s state-of-the-art solutions are structured around an intuitive internet-based interface Risk assessment and compliance tools Sometimes, particularly with large buildings or campus environments, the complexity of the risk assessment process requires a more methodical approach that takes subjectivity out of the process. When it comes to satisfying the requirements of Article 11 of the RRFSO where "the responsible person must record the arrangements", the latest generation of intuitive risk assessment and compliance tools can help. Today’s state-of-the-art solutions are structured around an intuitive internet-based interface, which allows a responsible person to be guided through the entire risk assessment process in a clear and thorough manner. This is a significant improvement on the old fashioned ‘pen and paper’ approach, as digital images can be captured and placed directly into a report at the relevant section, while templates for specific building types ensure consistency throughout. This simplifies the identification, management and prevention of any risks related to not only fire, but security, and health and safety too, thereby reducing the potential for danger within a wide variety of environments. It should always be remembered that the risk assessment is only the first stage of the process and where traditional methods often fall down is in taking – or not taking, as the case may be – any necessary remedial action. Online tools provide a more cohesive approach, as once the risk assessment has been completed all work undertaken is clearly outlined, logged and accounted for to comply with audits. This provides evidence of compliance and ensures organisations meet their legal obligations, validate their insurance, take a consistent approach to risk management and provide peace of mind for a responsible person. Making buildings safer There is a clear need for a digital record of risk assessment compliance for the whole life of a building – from design and construction through to occupation. As assessing risk can be a lengthy and complicated process, anything that makes this easier and enhances an organisation’s ability to negate the likelihood of injury or even death should be embraced. It stands to reason that risk management must be more strictly applied in order to prevent incidents that could be avoided – therefore, the use of online risk assessment and compliance tools should be at the forefront when it comes to making buildings safer.
Ramtech Electronics, supplier of the UK’s wireless fire alarm systems, is flying high at the £1bn Manchester Airport Transformation Project following deployment of its WES3 and WES REACT platforms. As one of the largest construction programmes in the North of England, the transformation will more than double the capacity of the airport when it is completed in 2020. The complex project comprises the expansion of the Terminal 2 building, to become the airport’s primary terminal along with The Link, a new bridging space as well as new stands and piers, offering better departure gate facilities. Minimizing False Alarms WES3 is a completely wireless, EN54-compliant fire alarm system designed specifically for complex construction projects Laing O’Rourke, the main contractor of the project has specified a combination of WES3 and WES REACT to protect the 1,500 construction personnel that will be on site at its peak. These two innovative systems combine to provide construction teams with a simple and secure means of communicating fire, medical and similar site emergencies. WES3 is a completely wireless, EN54-compliant fire alarm system designed specifically for complex construction projects such as this. Features include a medical alert, allowing an alarm to be raised in the event of a medical emergency from any call point without having to cause a complete site evacuation. Also, an Inspection Delay feature, which enables site personnel to verify that the alarm is genuine before deciding whether to evacuate site, therefore minimizing false alarms. Wireless Mesh Networks When used in conjunction with the WES REACT cloud-based mobile app, WES3 becomes a total fire alarm solution. All WES3 manual call points in their respective zones are interlinked, creating four individual wireless mesh networks, that can be activated simply by activating any call point on site. Once internal fitout begins, WES3 heat and smoke detectors will be added to the system, to provide automatic protection on site 24 hours a day. WES3 utilizes the best quality Category 1, Euro-harmonised radio in compliance with European standards covering the use of radio technology in emergency equipment (ETSI 300-220-1), meaning it won’t interfere with other radio-based systems used on or near the airport. All Point Network The challenges at Manchester Airport Transformation Project were centered on the need for a wireless fire alarm system that was scalable to a project of this size, whilst being fast and easy to reposition the call points. To put this into context, it is the fastest growing construction project in the UK with £1m of new infrastructure added each day. The system also overcame the challenge of scale by incorporating link units into the call point network to boost the wireless signal over larger distances Being a wireless system means that WES3 call points can easily be added and removed as the build progresses, and there’s no wiring, so no need for specialist installation. The system also overcame the challenge of scale by incorporating link units into the call point network to boost the wireless signal over larger distances. The WES3 system was split into four zones covering four concurrent developments within the overall project. Cloud-Based Monitoring All units in their respective zones are interlinked, creating a completely secure wireless mesh network. Andrew Swindells, Laing O’Rourke Programme Health & Safety Lead, explained: “Manchester Airport Transformation Project is a large and complex development and at its peak there will be over a thousand workers on site. We specified WES3 because it is a wireless system, making it very easy to set up and reposition as well as being fully compliant with EN54. WES REACT also provides us with a highly effective cloud-based monitoring platform.” WES3 has a three-year battery life under normal usage, reducing maintenance costs and waste on site. Once the development at Manchester Airport is completed Laing O’Rourke can simply transfer the units to another project as and when required.
Logan County Emergency Operations Center implements MicroAutomation's NG9-1-1 The Logan County Emergency Operations Center, located in Logan County WV, seamlessly migrated to MicroAutomation’s Next Generation 9-1-1 Solution, Omni911. Logan County signed a contract with MicroAutomation in May 2018 and had an urgent need to replace a legacy system that was not meeting the County’s needs. Omni911 software-based NG9-1-1 solution "MicroAutomation implemented their Omni911 solution in record time,” stated Ted Sparks, Director, Logan County Emergency Operations Center. “We had an urgent need to replace our legacy solution and wanted to ensure that we plan for a seamless migration to our NG9-1-1 solution. The MicroAutomation project team put my mind at ease from the beginning, and I was confident that this would be a project that we can all be proud of. Omni911 is highly configurable, and it allowed us to create a familiar user environment that allowed our users to transition seamlessly to the new solution. We look forward to having a lasting relationship with MicroAutomation." MicroAutomation, renowned public safety marketplace, developed and implemented Omni911, a software-based NG9-1-1 solution. Omni911 is NENA i3 compliant, ICE validated and will work seamlessly within any legacy or future PSAP environment. Purpose-built, MicroAutomation’s software-based solutions provide a complete suite of call-taking and emergency response functions that comply with the evolving NENA i3 standards. Reinforced by MicroAutomation’s 24x7x365 support, these systems are built to scale and evolve with the increasing demands facing emergency operations centers of all types and sizes. MicroAutomation’s software-based solutions “We are pleased to establish a partnership with Logan County,” says Faysal Tay, MicroAutomation’s Vice President of Emergency Operations Solutions. “Logan County needed a solution urgently to replace their legacy E9-1-1 system. Our focus was to deliver a solution expeditiously that is configured the optimum way to create easy-to-remember workflows, so the Logan County team can focus on what they do best, delivering critical 9-1-1 services. Together we were able to cut live to our Omni911 solution in only six weeks.”
The Fire Risk Assessment infographic details the responsibilities of employers and building owners towards fire safety The Fire Risk Assessment Network have released a new infographic detailing the responsibilities of employers, building owners or occupiers with regards to fire safety at the workplace. The visually compelling, easy-to-understand infographic also includes information about general safety hazards, fire risk assessments and the law. It is of the utmost importance that those responsible for workplaces and other buildings, which are open to public access, can avoid fires by taking responsibility for and adopting the right behaviours and procedures, including carrying out a fire risk assessment and keep it up to date. Mitigating risks The purpose of a fire risk assessment is to identify the fire hazards, identify people at risk, evaluate, remove or reduce the risks, record your findings, prepare an emergency plan, provide training and review and update regularly. The infographic provided by the Fire Risk Assessment Network details the three things that fires need to start, and what procedures that employers must follow to combat these three things. The complete infographic explores what the ways are to carry out a fire risk safety assessment, and different studies, guidance and information for business owners to be safe. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 helps promote fire safety in England and Wales, and this infographic hopes to help others know more about fire safety.