Fire Safety Planning
The biggest causes of false fire alarms are older technology and systems that are improperly designed and/or not maintained. Modern technology, proper design and regular maintenance can minimize false alarms. Systems over 15 to 20 years old do not have the technical means to handle deceptive phenomena. Proper planning, design, installation, commissioning and maintenance should be provided by firms certified for such work as defined in the European Standard EN 16763 Services for fire alarm and s...
Across the world, fire and rescue services vary greatly, and each will have their own unique circumstances and challenges to deal with. Firefighters in the USA and Australia are more likely to face wildland fires, whilst in the Middle East, firefighters deal more regularly with transport related fires involving hazardous materials. In many European countries, less than 10% of call-outs are fire related at all, with firefighters much more likely to attend traffic accidents, medical emergencies o...
A ground-breaking trial using 4G LTE cellular connectivity to enable beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) drones to deliver automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to the scene of a cardiac arrest has taken place in the County of Renfrew, Ontario, Canada. Working in partnership with technology providers, including InDro Robotics, Cradlepoint and Ericsson, the trial demonstrated the drones’ capabilities to arrive more than seven minutes before paramedic vehicles during each test flight. P...
Euralarm, the association representing the fire safety and security industry, has presented its Priorities and Challenges 2019-2024. ‘Working together for a safer and more secure future’ is the name of the document that describes areas of cooperation to achieve a safer and more secure society for Europe and build an industry that contributes to sustainable growth in Europe. One of the most basic requirements for each of us is defence against harm, no matter what form it takes. Fire...
The National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) Home Safety Week runs from 30th September to the 6th October 2019. The campaign is encouraging households to check smoke alarms are right for their homes needs and will provide them with an early warning in the event of a fire. Most homes have smoke alarms installed (95%) but in nearly 20% of accidental house fires in the UK alarm failed to activate. The most common reasons were the smoke failed to reach the detector was because batteries were eit...
UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) launched a nationwide contest aimed at spreading the Close Before You Doze fire safety message. This public safety campaign encourages everyone to close all the doors in their homes each night before bed as research conducted by UL FSRI shows that in a home fire, a closed door can be an effective barrier against deadly levels of carbon monoxide, smoke and flames. Now, UL FSRI is looking for the public's help to share this message via videos that e...
Hi-line Industries, a UK supplier to the compressed air sector, has welcomed three new employees to its ranks. Reflecting the company’s ongoing success and growth, Stephen Martin joins as Sales Director, Matt Johnson takes up the title of Project Engineer while Brad Beesley arrives as Internal Sales Co-ordinator. The news comes in the same week as Hi-line celebrates its latest safety award: the company has been granted the prestigious SafeContractor accreditation by Alcumus. The upward trajectory of Hi-line Industries Ltd has been noted across the sector. The company moved into a new, much larger production facility last year in order to meet growing demand for its range of highly efficient compressed air purification equipment. Hi-line is acknowledged as Britain’s largest stockist of a broad range of air treatment ancillaries, and the largest supplier of refrigeration air dryers. At a time when the company continues to grow year-on-year, recording a record turnover for its most recent financial year, the company decided to further extend its strength in sales by appointing Stephen Martin as Sales Director, a move that Hi-line hopes will capture even more market share for the business. Wide and varied client base Tasked with looking after Hi-line's interests throughout the UK, Stephen is keen to meet the wide client base" Stephen has a wealth of experience within the compressed air and dehydration market having worked in the industry for over 30 years. He stared his career in compressor distribution and filtration, running his own compressor agency, before selling to join SPXFLOW, where he spent 23 years supporting the company’s dehydration distributor and direct project business. “I’m looking forward to the opportunities that my new role will provide,” says Stephen.“I’ve been tasked with looking after Hi-line's interests throughout the UK and I’m keen to meet our wide and varied client base over the coming months.” Also joining the Hi-line team is Matthew Johnson, who becomes Project Manager. Matthew started his career in the Royal Navy before moving into construction and engineering. He commenced an adult apprenticeship, aged 21, in electrical maintenance engineering before going on to study a HNC and HND in mechanical engineering at Sheffield Hallam University. Following six years as a maintenance engineer Matthew decided to move into a more managerial role and spent the past two years as a project engineer at a maltsters in Burton upon Trent, where he handled and delivered multiple capex projects varying in cost and size. No margin for error The SafeContractor accreditation builds on the Hi-line ethos of safety first “I’m a firm believer in the work hard, play hard ethic, and I come to Hi-line Industries with the same drive and ambition as I did when I began my career,” says Matthew. “I know I have the passion and determination to make an impact.” Having worked in the ink industry for five years, Brad worked his way through the ranks from Warehouse Operative to Account Sales Manager, and joins Hi-line as Internal Sales Co-ordinator. “I am looking forward to building strong relationships with new and existing customers in my new role.” says Brad. “I understand the importance of meeting customers’ needs and will go the extra mile to ensure I do that”. Arriving at the same time as its new recruits, the SafeContractor accreditation builds on the Hi-line ethos of safety first. After all, when it comes to the manufacture, installation and maintenance of pressurised systems, there is no margin for error. Awarded in July 2019, SafeContractor is latest endorsement of Hi-line’s comprehensive safety standards.
Tamworth-based trade association, DHF (Door & Hardware Federation), has published a new downloadable document for the industrial door sector, named Changes to CE marking of Fire and Smoke Resisting Industrial Doors. The long-awaited publication reveals what is required, and is to be used, in conjunction with DHF TS012:2019 and is now accessible from the federation’s website. CE marking of powered doors, whether fire/smoke resisting or not, has been mandatory under the Machinery Directive since 1995; this remains a constant and will not change. Mandatory Compliance As of November 2019, there will be significant additional requirements for CE marking of both powered and manual fire and smoke resisting doors covered by EN 13241:2003+A2:2016. This is because compliance with the Construction Products Regulation (EU) 305/2011 (CPR) becomes mandatory for both manual and powered fire resisting industrial doors on this date. Many manufacturers have been CE marking their products under the new rules Whilst many manufacturers have been CE marking their products under the new rules on a voluntary basis during the co-existence period, the new rule will become compulsory from November 2019. In Conjunction With DHF TS 012 “DHF’s new publication is supplementary to, and should be used in conjunction with, DHF TS 012, and covers industrial doors and shop front shutters covering doorways that have fire/smoke resisting properties. It is important to note that it does not cover pedestrian doors, except for retail shutters (which clearly resemble a shutter in a warehouse more than they do a hinged or sliding pedestrian fire door). For CE marking purposes, only fire test evidence to EN 1634-1 can be used,” explains DHF’s General Manager and Secretary, Michael Skelding. “Existing fire shutters tested to BS 476-22 remain acceptable, but fire shutters placed on the market after 1 November this year will need the CE mark. As well as fire test evidence, the CE mark must be supported by evidence of the shutter’s ability to self-close and its safety in everyday use. We hope that our new guide will help to make this clear. It is worth noting that fire shutters, new or old, are not exempt from normal health and safety rules for doors in a workplace.”
As the condition of aging bridges, roadways, transportation resources, and grids across the U.S. has increasingly become the focus of discussion, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued Renovations Needs of the U.S. Fire Service, a new report on the fire service’s aging infrastructure. Two key findings within the report show that more than 21,000 firehouses across the country are beyond 40 years of age with total replacement costs estimated to be in the $70-$100 billion range. Data Found In Survey The report draws on data found in the Fourth Needs Assessment for the U.S. Fire Service, a survey that compares what fire departments actually have with what existing standards, government regulations, and other guidance documents state as being required in order to be safe and effective. Relevant case studies were also considered as part of the research project. The objective was to determine just how old firehouses are today, and what it would cost to rebuild current, compliant structures that keep first responders safe from harm at their workplace. The report identifies the number of stations that are over 40-years old; are not equipped with exhaust emission control; are without backup power; do not have separate facilities for female firefighters; and need mold remediation. Findings from the report 21, 230 of U.S. fire stations (43 percent) are more than 40 years old, representing an 11 percent increase in aging infrastructure over the past 15 years. The estimated cost to replace these stations is estimated at between $70 and $100 billion; costs depend on space needs, location, site condition, and department preferences. Sixty-one percent of fire stations that are more than 40 years old are serving communities with less than 9,999 people. A shortage of funding, tighter budgets, and a lack of grants are likely reasons for the large number of older stations. 29,120 fire stations (59 percent) in the U.S. are not equipped with exhaust emission control systems, which are critical for mitigating firefighter exposure to diesel fumes. These fumes can increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, cardiopulmonary disease, respiratory disease, and lung cancer. Assistance to Firefighter Grants have helped reduce the number of firehouses without exhaust emission control systems from 66 to 59 percent. Approximately 17,030 fire stations (35 percent) do not have access to backup power, which is critical for business continuity during an emergency event. When the power is out, firehouses without generators may run into issues with phones ringing, computers running, trucks being fueled, and garage bay doors opening. The cost to install backup generators runs between $850 million and $1.7 billion. When fire stations were built 40-plus years ago, departments were exclusively male. Today, the most recent Needs Assessment estimates that 10 percent of career firefighters are female. The number of males and females in a particular fire department typically varies based on whether the fire company is career, volunteer or combination, as well as the size of the community. Further research is needed today to determine the number of stations that do not provide separate facilities for female firefighters and the estimated cost to renovate these stations. The number of firehouses affected by mold is unknown, despite common perceptions that stations are susceptible given water damage, prolonged humidity, or dampness. All fire stations should allocate resources for mold prevention including dehumidifiers, proper ventilation, mold inhibitors, and mold-killing cleaning products to reduce the likelihood of seasonal allergy and pneumonia-like symptoms.
Kentec, a manufacturer of life-critical control systems, has launched the XT+, a new multi-area releasing control unit designed to be easily interfaced with Kentec’s UL864 single and dual loop fire safety products. It features intelligent functionality to make it simple to install, configure and use, and manages the activation of gas suppression systems and all associated releasing monitoring and control circuits. The interface with the fire detection system is via a simple RS485 communication channel. Kevin Swann, Managing Director of Kentec, says ease of integration is critical to the future of fire safety: “We are now able to integrate multiple fire safety, security and building management systems with relative ease, and it is our duty as an industry to capitalise on these capabilities,” he says. The panel’s multi-area releasing control units contain one or two releasing modules interfaced with the master fire alarm panel. Each module can accommodate a separate hazard, defined by two specific zones. interface for end-users configuration XT+’s functionality has been designed to accommodate a wide range of fire-safety scenarios” This means that gas suppression need only be activated within the required area, therefore limiting the potential damage and disruption to the overall site. Kentec’s configuration software, Loop Explorer 2, provides a simple programming interface for end-users to configure the inputs and outputs for each releasing module. Other features include (for each area): first and second stage dual releasing outputs; first and second stage NAC outputs; and first and second stage volt-free changeover relays. Volt-free relays signal to other systems that gas has been released, and also fault volt-free relays alert other systems to any faults and their location. “The XT+’s interoperability and intelligent functionality have been meticulously designed to accommodate a wide range of fire-safety scenarios, providing user convenience and the very highest standards of safety,” adds Kevin. “It is also one of the first products of its kind to be listed to UL864 (10th edition).” The XT+ unit is equipped with a 5.25 A power supply (120 VAC or 240 VAC).
Bars, restaurants and businesses along Ipswich’s Waterfront have attended awareness training in the event of anyone falling into water. As part of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service prevention work, these waterside businesses have been supplied with a safety throw line to keep at their premises. This is a small bag containing a floating line which can be deployed very quickly and easily in the event of someone falling into the water around the marina. Helping To Reduce Risk Staff were given training on how to effectively operate the new equipment, supported by the local Coastguard from Felixstowe and Holbrook, which could be the first action in saving someone’s life. I’m really pleased to see local businesses taking an interest in helping to keep their customers and local visitors safe" Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service Station Commander, Phil Geeson, said: “I’m really pleased to see local businesses taking an interest in helping to keep their customers and local visitors safe. Should someone fall into the water, these safety lines could help a passer-by aid a casualty’s survival until the emergency services arrive. As a service, our firefighters are highly trained and available to respond to a whole range of emergency incidents, including water rescues. We also have a team of officers carrying out our Prevention work supported by operational crews helping to reduce risk in our community.” Accidental Drownings In 2018, 263 people lost their lives in accidental drownings in the UK, the majority being male fatalities (87%). Nearly two people every week lost their lives when walking or running by water. Dan Johnson from Pizza Express, who attended the session with some of his staff, said: “It’s been really helpful, it’s always good to be able to help anyone if they do get into trouble. I haven’t seen it happen very often but it’s nice to have the back up and it was good training.”
Showcasing at the Emergency Services Show (NEC Birmingham, Stand C71, 18-19 September) are rugged innovative 360 degree rescue solutions from the UK’s leader, Vimpex, dedicated to delivering new levels of performance to emergency services teams at any incident. There will be lots of new and versatile products to see, including the new Pacific R6 Helmet range - helmets for Ambulance, Fire & Rescue and Police; an interactive area where visitors can trial the multi-featured next generation First Look 360 camera - the live streaming 360 degree technical rescue search camera, and the most comprehensive heavy lifting rapid extrication solution from Paratech. Pacific R6 Helmet These helmets provide the perfect combination of safety, balance and wearer comfortThe new Pacific R6 Helmet range offers the most up-to-date form of head protection. The Pacific R6 rescue helmet range represents the most versatile and configurable helmet of its type available, offering the most up-to-date and modern form of head protection in a very comfortable, lightweight and wearable package. Pacific helmets are tested in the most extreme conditions required for conformity to relevant clauses of the stringent EN 443 standard, unlike some of its competitors. Manufactured using a Kevlar® reinforced composite shell; these helmets provide the perfect combination of safety, balance and wearer comfort. The use of fibre-reinforced materials means that Pacific rescue helmets have less mass than those manufactured from thermo plastics, and with a very low centre of gravity so that all users can concentrate on their job rather than neck ache. Technical Rescue Search Camera Next generation FirstLook360 is the world’s first live streaming 360 degree technical rescue search camera that uses state-of-the-art, custom-built software to create a seamless 360 degree view that can be manipulated or shared on a mobile device. It is easy to use, reliable, rugged, has an intuitive interface and no mechanics It is easy to use, reliable, rugged, has an intuitive interface and no mechanics. The FL360’s digital streams broadcast in HD quality and are designed to transmit both wired and/or wirelessly to any Android powered mobile device. Heavy Rescue Tools Paratech Heavy Rescue tools and equipment comprise the most comprehensive heavy lifting kit available, utilizing the strength of HydraFusion Struts, lifting height and power of the MULTIFORCE in the Rapid Extrication Kit as well as the environmentally friendly sturdiness of recycled plastic cribbing and much more. This Kit can lift and stabilize any vehicle on the road, and all packed in four convenient, mobile cases.
Water is key to any firefighting operation. Being able to secure an adequate water supply is critical a critical skill for all fire departments. One of the most challenging scenarios to secure a water supply in is when there is no municipal water supply, or it is lacking in volume and flow. When fires occur in these areas, the only alternative is to shuttle water from the nearest municipal supply or a static body of water. To get the highest flow possible, departments must train on shuttle setup and equipment to analyze where improvements can be made.Water supplies should be evaluated based on the largest fire hazard in the area using the source A smoothly operating high-flow water shuttle takes pre-planning and training. A goal of training is to find the bottlenecks (constraints) in the system limiting flow. The theory of constraints is an approach to process optimization use to identify bottlenecks, then eliminate the bottleneck or adjust the process to meet the speed of the bottleneck. The only way to improve the process output, in this case fireground flow rate, is by improving bottlenecks. Improving non-bottlenecks does not improve the process output. Training provides the opportunity to identify and correct bottlenecks. The following examines some common constraints of a water shuttle. Identifying A Water Source The time to identify a water source for a fill site is not when the alarm bell goes off. Water supplies identified for fill sites must be able to provide the target fill rate of 1000 gpm. Natural bodies of water must be evaluated during different times of the year This is based on the restrictions placed on ploy tanks of 100psig inlet pressure and 1000gpm inlet flow. It is possible to fill none poly tanks at faster rate if designed for it, but there are less chance for mistakes if the fill rate is standardized at 1000gpm. Along with flow, adequate volume must be available at the fill site. Water supplies should be evaluated based on the largest fire hazard in the area using the source. Another way to evaluate the minimum volume is the ISO standard. A shuttle must be able to maintain a flow of 250gpm for two hours. This requires a water source to have a minimum volume of 30,000 gallons. Natural bodies of water must be evaluated during different times of the year to make sure the minimum volume remains adequate. Data capture form to appear here! Know Your Flow Rates Normally, using a municipal hydrant system is a good choice for a fill site as it has significant water supply to support a fill site operation. A large or extended fire has the potential to deplete smaller water systems. Some hydrants easily flow over 1000gpm yet other hydrants in the same system may flows less than 1000gpm It is important to know the system capacity when using a municipal supply for tanker operations. Flow from the hydrant can be another constraint at the fill site. Some hydrants easily flow over 1000gpm yet other hydrants in the same system may flows less than 1000gpm. Knowing the flow rate of hydrants used for a fill site is a critical component of fill site pre-planning. Dry hydrants are the most efficient way to access static water supplies Static Sources And Dry Hydrants Static sources can provide a good water supply for filling tankers if the volume is adequate and there is access. Access to a static water supply can be done in several ways, pre-planning will allow the most effective and efficient means to be used when water is needed. The most efficient way to access static water supplies is by installing a dry hydrant from the water source to an area an engine can easily access.Dry hydrants minimize the equipment, time, and personnel needed to start drafting operations at the fill site Dry hydrants minimize the equipment, time, and personnel needed to start drafting operations at the fill site. If a dry hydrant is not installed, a strainer must be connected an adequate amount of suction hose to reach the water. Most engines carry two 10-foot sections of suction hose, this limits the distance between the engine and water source without collecting additional suction hose from other apparatus. The amount of suction carried on engines was tied to the limitation of motorized primers. These primers had the potential for the motor to burn out if operated for the extended period to prime more than 20 feet of 6” suction line. With the advent of air driven primers, it is possible to prime significantly more than 20 feet of 6” suction without equipment failure. If the volume is adequate, static sources can provide a good water supply for filling tankers Dump Tank And Pumps The fill rate must be reduced to allow the portable pumps to keep level of the dump tank during tanker filling Portable pumps can access water supplies that are out of reach of standard engines. Setting up a water supply with portable pumps requires a significant amount of equipment and personnel. To get the desired 1000gpm fill rate, an open relay to supply an engine is normally constructed. The dump tank(s) used for the open relay and the engine’s tank must have sufficient capacity to fill the largest tanker in the shuttle at 1000gpm. If this is not the case, the fill rate must be reduced to allow the portable pumps to keep level of the dump tank during tanker filling or add more pumps to increase the supply to the open relay. Moving The Fill Area If tanker traffic flow is smoother in an adjacent area, the fill area should be moved The physical layout of the fill site can become a bottleneck. It must be large enough to allow two tanker to be positioned for filling. Traffic cones are used to mark the spot where each tanker must stop for the fill lines to reach. If the area is overly congested with the engine and tankers, the area for filling the tankers must be moved. This is facilitated by using LDH to make the fill site remote from the fill engine. Even if the site is large enough to allow the tankers to be filled near the engine, the flow of traffic may be less than optimal. If tanker traffic flow is smoother in an adjacent area, the fill area should be moved. When designating the tanker filling areas traffic flow is a major consideration. The site should be such that no maneuvering is needed, but if it is required the tankers do so when empty. The physical layout of the fill site must be large enough to allow two tankers to be positioned for filling Tankers At The Fill Site Ideally tankers are filled with two 2 ½” or 3” lines. Some new tankers are equipped with LDH fill connection. If the plumbing downstream of the connection is large enough to support the fill rate neither of these connections will restrict fill rates.The plumbing between the hose connection and the tank is a potential for bottleneck of the goal of 1000gpm The plumbing between the hose connection and the tank is a potential for bottleneck of the goal of 1000gpm. Tankers with a single non-LDH fill connection will struggle to meet the target fill rate. This bottleneck may be difficult to overcome without major redesign of the tanker. Two Ways Lines There are two ways lines at the fill site are normally laid out: running 2 ½” or 3” lines from the individual discharges of the engine or running the 2 ½” or 3” lines from a water thief manifold fed by LDH from the engine. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Using individual discharges will require more hose to reach both fill stations. The location of the discharge may require the operator to be standing next to pressurized line. The opening and closing of the discharges will place added wear on the engine’s valves. Using two 2 ½” discharges will allow the desired fill rate of 1000gpm without overloading the capacity of each discharge. Two 2 ½” discharges will allow the desired fill rate of 1000gpm where individual discharges would require more hoses If the LDH is supplied from a 2 ½” discharge with an adapter, it is highly likely the goal of 1000gpm may not be met A water thief fed with LDH provides the option to place the fill lane and the water supply a distance apart. The water thief lets an LDH line be added to fill tankers equipped with LDH fills. The biggest disadvantage is the ability to achieve 1000gpm depending on how the LDH is fed. Engines with true LDH discharges will not have an issue supplying the LDH at 1000gpm. On the other hand, if the LDH is supplied from a 2 ½” discharge with an adapter, it is highly likely the goal of 1000gpm may not be met. This situation can be improved by using a siemese or trimese to feed the LDH for multiple 2 ½” discharges on the engine. Many factors go into selecting the best fill site configuration for a department, it is critical to train and test in order to determine what is most effective and efficient for your department. Manifold systems being set up and operated Choose The Right Place For A Dump Site The dump site is the equivalent to a fire hydrant, except it takes a larger footprint and can be placed where it will provide the best benefit to the fire ground. This might mean setting the dump site a distance from the fire ground and supplying the attack engine using LDH.Tankers must be able to maintain a steady flow through dump site without unneeded maneuvering It is more important placing the dump site where the best flow of tankers can be obtained. Tankers must be able to maintain a steady flow through dump site without unneeded maneuvering. Setting up a dump site in an intersection provides additional room to keep things moving at the dump site. Dump tanks impact the overall flow of the shuttle in several ways including footprint and capacity. Real estate is a precious commodity at a dumpsite. It may be necessary to place the dump site a distance from the fireground to have enough room to set up tanks and provide a smooth flow of traffic. The larger the tank capacity, the larger the footprint. Sometimes the tank can be wider than the road, for example a 3000-gallon tank is 14’x14’. This presents a problem when trying to setup on a narrow country road or a congested city street. A solution to this is using the single lane style tank that is 8’x14’ for 2100-gallons and fits nicely in front of or behind the supply engine. Larger tanks also leave more water in the bottom once the limits of the low-level strainer is reached. Tankers maintaining a steady flow through the dump site without unneeded maneuvering Single Or Multiple Dump Tanks? Using multiple dump tanks increases the flow at the fireground, but requires transferring the water from the secondary to the primary tank There must be enough space at the dump site to add dump tanks should additional capacity be needed. If there is no place for tankers to dump, tankers will back up waiting for room in the tank. The easiest way to maintain flow is adding an additional dump tank. Not only must the area have room to add additional tanks once available, the tanks must be spaced out to allow two tankers to dump at the same time. This will increase the flow of the shuttle by keeping tankers moving and putting more water at the dump site. The space also provides a safe area for fire fighter working at the dump site. Using multiple dump tanks is needed to increase the flow at the fireground, but it requires some method of transferring the water from the secondary tanks to the primary tank. This has the potential to create several bottlenecks. For efficiency, water should always be transferred from the secondary tank to the primary tank. Ladders can be used as a bridge over the middle tank to run the transfer hose over to the primary tank When there is another tank between the secondary and primary tank there is the temptation to flow water into the middle tank before going to the primary tank. This is extremely inefficient. A ladder can be used as a bridge over the middle tank to run the transfer hose over. This allow the secondary tanks to have roughly the same available capacity when tankers dump which is important when dumping more than one tanker at a time.A ladder can be used as a bridge over the middle tank to run the transfer hose over. Appropriate Use Of Jet Siphons Jet siphons are commonly used to transfer water into the primary tank from secondary tanks. Along with transferring water between tanks, it is possible to us multiple intakes form the pump going to secondary tanks. Multiple dump tanks require multiple jet-siphons to transfer water to the primary tanks. Each jet siphon requires water from the engine to drive it. Jet siphons can take up to 300gpm each to transfer water at rates over 750gpm. Jet siphons require water from the engine to drive it and can take up to 300gpm each to transfer water Dump sites are tight, while we may want to bring in a second engine to transfer water it just will not fit most of the time The water used to drive the jet-siphons takes away from the pump capacity available to supply the fire ground. With a 1250gpm engine at the dumpsite, using a single jet siphon has the potential to reduce the available capacity of the pump to 950gpm. One way to address this problem is by testing jet siphons to determine the most efficient ones in inventory. The other way is by using a secondary pump to transfer water. Dump sites are tight, while we may want to bring in a second engine to transfer water it just will not fit most of the time. This is when small grass trucks and portable pumps come into play. Both options take up much less room than a full-size engine. Most small pumps have the capacity to drive jet-siphon. It is important to train with this setup to insure the pump can adequately drive the jet-siphons. Use The Strainer Correctly One thing many people fail to recognize as a bottleneck is the low-level strainer. The strainer that has been on the truck for decades is viewed as being fine, it has always worked. In reality, old low-level strainers were designed and optimized at a time when 750 and 1000gpm pumps were the norm, not the 1250gpm and up pumps in use today. An old strainer with a front intake can restrict the pump capacity to less than 50% Couple an old strainer with a front intake as we had at a recent drill, and the pump was restricted to less than 50% capacity Couple an old strainer with a front intake as we had at a recent drill, and the pump was restricted to less than 50% capacity. Fortunately, there a new design strainer was available which allowed the pump to reach 80% capacity. While flow is important when evaluating a low-level strainer, how low the water can be pulled before taking in air is also a primary consideration. A strainer that flows over 1500gpm but leaves 12” of water in the bottom of the tank will eventually cause a bottleneck in the shuttle. There needs to be a balance between maximum flow and maximum extraction capability when evaluating strainers. Old low-level strainers were designed and optimized at a time when 750 and 1000gpm pumps were the norm Supply Engine At The Dump Site The engine with the largest pump must be the supply engine at the dump site Depending on the design, the engine can be the bottleneck to the flow available to fireground. The engine with the largest pump must be the supply engine at the dump site. Even though the largest pump is used, the available flow can be reduced depending on which intake is used. For mid-mount pumps, the side intake provides the highest flow as the water goes directly into the pump. It is common for engines with mid-mount pumps to have front and/or rear intakes. Using these inlets at the dump site allows the engine to be in line with the dump tanks to create a lower profile but this come at a cost. It is common for engines with mid-mount pumps to have front intakes Another solution is using a 90-degree elbow from the side intake to go to the front or rear of the engineThese inlets will provide less than the rated capacity of the pump due to additional losses in the plumbing. Front intakes can restrict the capacity around 50% while the rear intakes can cause a restriction of 25% or more. A solution to this is bending the suction hose from the side to the front or rear, but this will use an entire section of hose just for the bend. Another solution is using a 90-degree elbow from the side intake to go to the front or rear of the engine. Elbows with a large radius provide minimal impact to the capacity of the pump and does not waste a section of suction for the bend. Rear intakes can cause a restriction of 25% or more and a solution to this is bending the suction hose from the side Stationary Tankers Can Be A Problem A line of tankers waiting to dump points to the dumpsite as the bottleneckA stationary tanker is an indication of a bottleneck in the system. Where the tankers are standing still points to the location of the bottleneck. If they are waiting to get filled, the bottleneck is the fill site. A line of tankers waiting to dump points to the dumpsite as the bottleneck. This might mean establishing a second fill site or adding a tank at the dumpsite. Running out of water at the dump site means there is a bottleneck somewhere, if tankers are moving there are not enough for the length of the shuttle route. High-flow shuttles requires continuous evaluation to key water flowing smoothly and make adjustments when needed. As your tanker shuttle is examined in detail other bottlenecks may present themselves. The ones presented here are the more common ones departments have experienced. In order to identify and fix bottleneck, shuttle training on a regular basis is a must. Once a year is the minimum. The more you can train with all the departments that would be involved in your water shuttle the better. Tools to help plan and determine the flow rate of your water shuttle can be found at Ohio Fire Chiefs Water Supply Technical Advisory Committee.
Did you know an estimated 30% of smoke alarms in the UK are inoperable due to missing, flat or disconnected batteries? For a property to comply with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it is vitally important that all fire safety equipment is kept in perfect working order at all times. This involves checking that the fire safety equipment is accessible, well maintained and hasn’t been tampered with. There are many ways you can take care of your fire safety equipment, to ensure your property is prepared, should there ever be a fire. Equipment Assessment Checks There are two types of equipment assessment checks that should be carried out, including monthly and annually If you’re the ‘responsible person’ for commercial property, you need to ensure your building meets fire safety standards. Here are 5 tips on how to properly maintain your fire safety equipment. Both passive and active fire safety equipment must be check regularly for any signs of wear or damage. There are two types of equipment assessment checks that should be carried out, including monthly and annually. There is a range of equipment checks you must carry out, including fire doors, fire alarm test, emergency lighting and fire extinguishers. Emergency lighting should be checked monthly, with all issues kept in a logbook. Fire doors should also be checked to ensure their seals and frames are in good condition. Fire Alarm Tests All fire protection has to be checked annually including alarms, detectors, lighting, sprinklers, extinguishers and fire doors. They should be carefully inspected. Fire alarms are a legal requirement for commercial premises. To check that your Fire alarms still function correctly, it is important to get them serviced. All fire alarms should be tested, maintained and inspected by a competent person who is able to carry out any remedial work. Fire alarms are a legal requirement for commercial premises Fire extinguishers must be ready to work straight away in the event of a fire, so it is vital they are regularly checked and serviced. You should ensure they are maintained and kept in a functional condition. Every month, the pressure gauge should be tested on all fire extinguishers. Fire Risk Assessments Every year, it is required that a qualified technician carries out a thorough check on all your extinguishers for them to be fully serviced and certified. In addition to regular maintenance checks on your fire safety equipment, it is vital your commercial property has a fire risk assessment carried out every 4 years, with a renewal every 2 years. Fully trained and qualified assessors should undertake this to make sure it is done professionally Fully trained and qualified assessors should undertake this to make sure it is done professionally. By having a fire risk assessment review, it determines whether any changes could impact the ability for your equipment to properly protect your building. Fire Safety Logbook During a risk assessment, all fire doors must be checked to ensure they are in good condition and close efficiently with secure hinges. The fire seals must be fixed in position, with signs on the door present and legible. To keep an overview of all findings and actions, there should be a fire safety logbook and maintenance record that remains at your premises at all times. The logbook is used to record and review any significant findings when carrying out the fire risk assessment. This helps to keep all fire safety equipment functioning effectively and available to respond to emergency fires.
The continuity of power in the event of a real fire has never been more important as modern buildings become more complex and the need for the highest quality of products comes under the spotlight. With power for lighting and fire alarms, the fire and rescue services can use the intelligence gathered to evacuate people quickly, confident that they have found all the people in the building. Without power, they are literally scrambling in the dark without good information upon which to make their rescue. The continuity of power will also ensure that sprinkler or water mist systems can continue to operate where they exist. In commercial buildings, there may also be smoke evacuation fans which help to enable safe evacuation. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services Appropriate Cabling At the start of a project, the most appropriate cabling should be specified as part of the electrical system rather than at the end of a project. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services across individual areas and floors. At the same time, there are new designs, materials and products continually coming on to the market for major projects, and with it an increasing need for the various parties involved to work closely together to make sure they get it right. There has been an increasing incidence of non-approved cables on the market and unfortunately it is not until cables have been installed, tested or used that issues become clear. For installers, or those procuring cables, there is a need to check the cable when it arrives to make sure it is exactly what was specified. Should there be a problem, have it checked and seek good advice. Keep records of purchase, including reel flanges with batch markings and a sample of the cable markings. Send lengths for testing and then decide on the most appropriate course of action. Choice of cabling is crucial at the start of major projects as issues may occur later Meeting Rigorous Third-Party Tests For some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios. These include environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes where older people and children move about. Specifiers looking at new large public sector projects such as hospitals should refer to BS 8519 for the electrical supply, and the most relevant cabling system. It is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests This Code of Practice specifies that the type of system selected during the design phase ‘should be derived from a detailed process of consultation with the relevant authorities’ and that ‘the design should be agreed at an early stage.’ The decision-making process for cable selection relevant for life safety and firefighting systems is clearly defined here. This covers three categories ranging from 30 minutes to 120 minutes fire survival time. Categories 1 and 2 cover means of escape for 30 minutes and then 60 minutes respectively, and these cables are tested in accordance with the relevant codes. Category 3 for firefighting to 120 minutes refers to power and control cables meeting the 120-minute test according to the relevant standards. It should be emphasised that only Mineral Insulated Cable (MIC) or a cable meeting the requirements of BS7846 F120 will meet this criteria. For clarity, BS 8519 does not take precedence over BS 5839 for alarm systems and BS 5266 for emergency lighting. In essence, choosing the most relevant cabling and electrical accessories which will continue to operate under fire conditions has become critical. Application Of Medium Voltage Cables As the incidence of non-approved cables continues then so the application of Medium Voltage (MV) cables into high-risk environments including hospitals, schools, care homes, industrial sites and sub-stations serving infrastructure sites also becomes critical. In the context off fire engineering, it is important to select the relevant MV Cables in these areas. Adhering to the latest regulations is no longer enough - there needs to be a risk assessment. In order to do this effectively, it is important to ask – are the fire safety procedures up to date? All AEI MV cables are third party tested and approved by BASEC. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards The whole supply chain needs to take consideration of these areas where vulnerable people often move about such as children or elderly people in hospitals or care homes. The fire and rescue services may need a little more time than a conventional building including reading complex fire alarm information to ensure a safe rescue in the event of a real fire. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards. This is due to ageing structures, high volume of combustible materials, and changing use in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths programmes where more combustible and flammable liquids are being used. Concerns have been raised by architects and and designers about fire protection regimes Sufficient Fire Risk Assessment Recent research by the Fire Brigades Union, for example, showed that a key focus for all educational institutions must be ensuring that there is an effective fire risk management process in place, delivered by suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment carried out by an expert in the field. The best practice under Business Information Modelling (BIM) and all best practice of fire safety engineering methods should be observed in conjunction with project partners. There have been concerns over a number of years around the fire protection regime for new buildings expressed by the architects and designers themselves. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) points to the delays to Approved Document B with regard to the relationship of Building Regulations to changing design and construction. AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service RIBA says the virtual disappearance of the role of the clerk of works or site architect and the loss of independent oversight of construction and workmanship on behalf of the client is a further issue for concern. In essence, RIBA believes that future proposals for the fire safety regulatory regime should be informed by the specialist fire safety expertise of relevant professional organisations and groups, and also take full account of this wider set of construction industry AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service with the support of its parent company Ducab based in Dubai, with the design, manufacture and supply of MIC, Firetec Enhanced or Firetec Power depending on specific needs. The choice of cabling and accessories should not be underestimated at the earliest opportunity to ensure the fire and rescue services are given every chance of success in rescuing people and saving property.
Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations to the U.K. Government after the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 were that the competence of the individuals working in the construction and life cycle of Higher Risk Residential Buildings (HRRBs) needs to improve and be clearer. Work had already started in many fire protection sectors to create fully recognized qualifications, and these help raise the benchmark. Improving fire safety training A force driving improvements in training is the Fire Industry Association (FIA). As a trade association, FIA is looking at ways to help its members and the broader industry sectors. One way to do that is to improve the training that FIA has provided to fire detection and fire alarm technicians for over 20 years. Having looked at various ways of doing this, FIA’s members agreed that creating nationally recognized qualifications would help add more professionalism to this sector. To offer nationally recognized qualifications, the FIA chose to become an awarding body registered with OFQUAL [Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation]. Initially, training is focused on the FD&A [Fire Detection and Alarm] sector, with future plans to offer training in other fire sectors. The process of becoming an awarding body was rigorous and difficult. It took FIA more than three years of applying and submitting policy documents before the organization finally achieved awarding body status in 2014. Fire system installation roles Training is provided in the four job roles as described in the fire system installation standard BS 5389/1: 2017 Training is provided in the four job roles as described in the fire system installation standard BS 5389/1: 2017; they are Design, Installation, Commissioning and Maintenance. These roles are also recognized within company third party certifications schemes (LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203). The designer designs the FD&A system, and the Installer installs it. The Commissioning technician checks and signs off the installation, and the Maintenance technician will complete the routine maintenance during the life of the system. Training modules Training in FIA’s four qualifications, at National Vocational Qualification Level 3, is broken down into modules. The Foundation is the information that each job role needs and is common to all four job roles, as is the Environment module and the Health and Safety module. These are the core modules. The final job-specific module picks up on the differences among the roles; e.g., what does a maintenance technician need to know that is different to an install technician? “Providing a qualification requires a process of asking the sector what it wants,” says Martin Duggan, General Manager, Fire Industry Association (FIA). “We went through a comprehensive route with ‘voice of the customer’ days and surveys plus syllabus reviews to check and double-check that the qualification reflects what the industry wants.” The base is the BS 5389 standard, although more was added such as Health and Safety and Environmental aspects. National Vocational Qualification Level 3 Level 3 is for supervisors or unsupervised workers and in a lot of cases, the individual will work unsupervised once they are qualified and have gained experience. The work done to create the services standard EN 16763: 2017 Services for Fire Safety Systems and Security Systems identified Level 3 as the appropriate level. The trailblazer aimed at apprentices in this sector also reached a conclusion that level 3 was the right one, as did FIA’s own research. Many electricians and security companies install fire alarm systems as their skills are very similar; however, the Fire Safety Order (England and Wales) states that a responsible person should only use competent persons to install and maintain fire protection systems. But how do you prove competence? Training in FIA’s four qualifications, at National Vocational Qualification Level 3, is broken down into modules Fire Safety Order “One of the worst things we see from all types of installers into buildings is leaving big holes in compartment walls,” says Duggan. (A compartment wall is designed to contain the spread of fire for a designated period of time.) “These should all be correctly sealed up.” The work being done by Working Group 2 (Installers) as part of the industry response group to Government on Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations includes: Company third party certification (so that the purchasing of services is done through a recognized company). The individuals the companies employ have a relevant recognized qualification. This is backed up on site with a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card or equivalent. Continuous Professional Development (CPD) or refresher training is introduced A basic knowledge of fire safe building and compartmentation is understood. “It’s this final piece that will help drive cultural change quickly, if we can implement it correctly,” says Duggan. “Can we get all installers to understand why we build compartments and why it’s so important not to damage these and allow smoke, heat and fire to move freely about a building?” LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 The benchmark for the FD&A industry has been third party certification with the two schemes LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 The benchmark for the FD&A industry has been company third party certification with the two schemes LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 being well established for the last 20 years; however, there are many companies that still are not registered, says Duggan. The excuse is based on cost, that customers are not asking for it, and that it’s not mandatory. “The way the current legislation works and is policed, it’s only likely that poor installations etc. will be found after a serious fire when it’s too late,” says Duggan. “Unfortunately, customers do not fully understand their duties to only employ competent people, and the courts will ask: What is the industry best practice and what more could have been done to prove your competence?” Third party schemes “We have company third party schemes for most fire protection disciplines and there are qualifications coming online for most sectors as well,” says Duggan. “These are what the FIA would point to as best practice.”
After the World Trade Center attack, First Responders had difficulty communicating quickly and comprehensively. Other crises and emergency events such as the Sandy Hook School shootings, Hurricane Katrina, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Parkland School shootings and many more have continued to validate the desperate need for interoperable communication among First Responders. First Responders, first line of defense In emergency situations, First Responders are the first line of defense for safety and rescue missions. They depend on digital and connected technologies to facilitate life-saving assistance, manage crisis situations, and to bring order to chaos. There is a lack of infrastructure for communications media (radio, video, mobile communications, sensory information, telephony, data files and chat) throughout disconnected silos in both vertical and horizontal environments. Universally, national interoperable communications solutions for emergency response have remained elusive, despite significant investments and determined efforts by many. The company supplies secured communications technologies that deliver speed, flexibility Providing a solution for interoperable communications is Agile, Bethesda, Md., formerly known as Agile Interoperable Solutions. The company supplies secured communications technologies that deliver speed, flexibility and a range of 4G, 5G and LTE coverage. Agile’s line of incident command products support both land and marine applications and do not require hardware changes or full replacement with each new generation. CORE system integration platform Each Agile technology is an extension of its flagship product, CORE (Common Operating Radio Engine). CORE integrates Landline, Cellular, Radio, Wi-Fi and Satellite communications in a portable, ruggedized enclosure supporting incident response and command and control functions. CORE provides interoperability and unified incident command for secure communications among multiple and disparate parties, agencies, vehicles and IoT-enabled devices under harsh conditions. In conjunction with CORE’s interoperable capabilities, Agile’s remote management and virtual SIM technologies provide flexibility and economies of both SIM utilization and hardware maintenance. The management server allows in-field units to be supported, updated, and reconfigured remotely. Virtualization allows SIMS to be loaded onto Agile’s cellular gateways from a central SIM library as needed to change or add cell carriers or a number of active LTE connections. Agile’s technologies provide voice, SMS, MMS, IMS and data over 4G, 5G and LTE up to gigabit coverage. Public and infrastructure safety First Responders should be first in line to this technology because their job is to save lives" “First Responders should be first in line to this technology because their job is to save lives,” says Vernon Guillermo, Agile’s Co-Chief Executive Officer/COO. “Emergencies are unpredictable, and the nature of risk dictates that one does not know who one needs to coordinate with, where that person is or what form of communications and information will be required to mitigate or manage the issues that arise.” First Responder workforces face the most demanding and often dangerous work environments, performing jobs that are critical to public safety and protecting infrastructure, delivering patients to hospitals, fighting fires, operating mass transit vehicles and maintaining the power grid. “These mission-critical workers cannot afford to be disconnected from dispatchers and operations – even for a few minutes. Agile’s technology, CORE, provides the solution for First Responders to achieve secured interoperable communications”, says Shehryar Wahid, Agile Co-Chief Executive Officer/CTO. Bridging communication gaps “During times when immediate and coordinated communication is tantamount, Agile can provide the bridge to close communications gaps and help keep First Responders connected and assist them in their efforts to save lives”, says Wahid. Agile’s technologies are being deployed by a major Southern Florida municipality’s First Responders and firefighters and are on the verge of being deployed by other governmental and non-governmental entities. The 9-11 Commission discovered that a lack of interoperable communications between fire and police was a serious problem that hampered evacuations and contributed to the deaths of personnel after the attacks on the World Trade Center buildings. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) defines “interoperability” as follows, “The ability of emergency responders to communicate among jurisdictions, disciplines, and levels of government, using a variety of frequency bands, as needed and as authorized.” CORE integrates landline, cellular, radio, WiFi and satellite communications Secured interoperable communications tools Wahid says Agile’s technologies help address this challenge by offering secure interoperable communications tools. Additionally, emergency environments are not static events; new primary, secondary and tertiary effects can emerge rapidly. Therefore, communications are needed with those both in immediate proximity and considerably more remote. “The individuals who are tasked with running these communication systems can themselves be bandwidth-challenged, given the increasing complexity of technology they are required to master while facing increasingly tighter budgets,” Wahid adds. Funding and implementation of technology in general can be challenging. In addition to direct purchasing of Agile products, Agile offers leasing options to ensure affordability to those with challenging budgets. All Agile’s products are solid-state and ruggedized to withstand severe and extreme weather conditions. Agile is the crucial tool and solution First Responders need to help them save lives. “Agile just provides First Responders the desperately needed secured interoperable communications tools,” Wahid says. “There is a misconception that interoperable communications have already been achieved,” says Guillermo. “Unfortunately, with unpredictable emergencies that arise all over the world, First Responders are reminded with each event about the critical need for integrative communications under the most rigorous of circumstances. Agile’s mission is to bring the complete solution to First Responders globally.”
One lesson of Grenfell is how many fire system technicians operate without the appropriate qualifications. Since the Grenfell tragedy, Dame Judith Hackitt has called for all relevant trades to hold formal qualifications, and for industry to implement a system in which clients and end users can be assured that operatives are fully competent. Another lesson is that fire service audits of buildings are no longer fit for purpose. For instance, the current system does not require proof that a fire system was installed by a “competent person.” Fire safety in commercial buildings “The general public would be horrified to learn that someone can fit a fire safety system in a commercial building without any proper qualifications or licence,” says Tom Brookes, Managing Director of Lindum Fire Services Ltd., former Chairman of the British Fire Consortium (BFC), and current Chairman of the Fire and Security Association. When it comes to competency, the whole industry needs to up its game" “When it comes to competency, the whole industry needs to up its game,” says Brookes. “Some larger companies are upskilling their staff and moving towards formal qualifications. If small- and medium-sized enterprises do not follow suit, they will fall behind and may be excluded from the marketplace altogether.” Working Group 2 on installer competence Working Group 2 on installer competence was established after the publication of Dame Judith Hackitt’s final report last year, under the joint leadership of Build UK and the Fire Sector Federation. The group has discussed extensively the need for systems engineers to be suitably qualified and able to demonstrate their competence. “In my opinion, there is too much focus on rival competency schemes rather than overall industry outcomes, which somewhat muddies the waters,” says Brookes. “However, one thing that has become crystal clear is that all fire and emergency systems engineers will likely need to hold a Level 3 qualification in the future.” Training provided BFC, FIA and IFEDA Although quality training is provided through the British Fire Consortium (BFC), Fire Industry Association (FIA), Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association (IFEDA) and others, historically there have been no Ofqual-approved qualifications for the fire sector. (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation [Ofqual] is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests.) Changes are afoot, however. In England, the Fire, Emergency Systems and Security trailblazer apprenticeship attracted around 300 new starts last year. The FIA have replaced their 20-year-old training programmes with a new system that will enable technicians who complete the series to achieve their Level 3 qualifications. Since the Grenfell tragedy, Dame Judith Hackitt has called for all relevant trades to hold formal qualifications BS5839-1:2017 Ofqual-approved qualification The awarding organization EAL are launching a BS5839-1:2017 Ofqual-approved qualification in August 2019. This will allow previously trained engineers to sit an exam and gain a Level 3 award demonstrating up-to-date knowledge. Practical skills testing for more experienced technicians, outside of an apprenticeship, is something FSA are currently working hard on with partners including ECA, NET and ECS. “Our aim is for a few options to become available for operatives to gain some sort of practical competence certification,” says Brookes. “More technological solutions are now being considered for competency evaluation, such as uploading video assessments of candidates to a portal for assessors. This is already used for some NVQ type assessments and widely used in the USA. It may be just what our sector needs at this moment in time.” 'Accountable Person' role Latest Government report following Grenfell states they are looking to create a role in commercial buildings The latest Government report following Grenfell states they are looking to create a role in commercial buildings called the “Accountable Person.” This person will have a legal responsibility to ensure people working on systems are competent. While only for high rise and high-risk buildings, like all developments, it will likely spread throughout the sector. “For as long as I have been in the fire industry trade bodies have called upon the fire authorities and Government to legislate to stop unskilled workers installing and maintaining fire safety equipment,” says Brookes. He notes that both independent third-party certification of businesses and CSCS partner card schemes like ECS for individuals are voluntary arrangements. To date, neither Government nor fire services insist either scheme is used by a fire protection company. “If, heaven forbid, we witnessed another tragedy like Grenfell tomorrow, sadly I suspect the outcome would be very much the same,” says Brookes. “However, looking further ahead, I am confident buildings will be safer once new legislation comes into force and effectively eliminates the threat of incompetent and unqualified fire and emergency system engineers.”
The University of Edinburgh, one of the UK’s most prestigious educational establishments with a history stretching back to 1582, is now protected by industry-leading intelligent fire panels from Advanced. Edinburgh is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world, with the Old College building being opened in the early 19th century as a school for anatomy and surgery. The original campus was expanded in the 1880s with the addition of the New College, and the university now occupies six sites throughout Edinburgh. Flexible, Reliable And Compatible The new fire system installed at the main campus by long-term Advanced partner FMS Fire and Security Limited, covers the entire university campus. It compromises of multi-loop Advanced MxPro 4 and MxPro 5 panels, connected using fault-tolerant network cards. The new panels installed at the University of Edinburgh are the latest in a long line of installations" Dominic Rea, Director for FMS Fire and Security, said: “The new panels installed at the University of Edinburgh are the latest in a long line of installations we have undertaken throughout the university Campus, all using MxPro components. The Advanced panels installed are not only flexible and reliable but are also compatible with the existing systems already installed.” Two Panel Ranges MxPro is s multiprotocol panel and offers customers a choice of two panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network that enjoys free training and support. Ronald Kerr, spokesperson for the University of Edinburgh, commented: “The safety of our staff and students is paramount and they are now protected by the best fire panels on the market. The university has been shaping history since it welcomed its first students in 1583 and has played a large part in the scientific and literary development of Scotland. Our buildings are a big part of that history and, thanks to Advanced, they will be protected for many years to come.” Alarm Control Across Advanced’s ease of installation and configuration make MxPro customisable to almost any application MxPro 5 offers high performance fire detection and alarm control across multi-panel networks and multiple sites. MxPro 5 panels are EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 approved. They can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, 200-panel networks covering huge areas. Advanced’s ease of installation and configuration make MxPro customisable to almost any application and the panel is fully compatible with MxPro 4. Neil Parkin, Advanced Sales Manager for the North, said: “The University of Edinburgh is the latest in a long line of educational establishments protected by Advanced panels, including Sheffield University, Herriot Watt University and a number of leading independent schools. Our MxPro range offers the performance and reliability required by a site such as the University campus and the system is flexible enough to be expanded and upgraded as technology evolves.” Advanced is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The performance, quality and ease-of-use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
The UK’s largest fitness operator, PureGym has chosen Britannia’s P50 fire extinguisher to protect its 200-plus gyms and more than a million members. P50 fire extinguisher Fast-expanding PureGym is installing our multi-use composite P50, the only extinguisher that needs no external servicing contract and can be maintained in-house by trained staff, in its new gyms, with a program to replace metal extinguishers in all its premises. PureGym is installing our multi-use composite P50, the only extinguisher that needs no external servicing contract Eliminating the process of ‘organizing and chasing’ external servicing was the driving force behind the decision to swap metal extinguishers for the P50 as well as the major savings the investment would bring. PureGym’s head of risk Malcolm Shevlin discovered the P50 and its special features at a presentation by a fire and rescue service. The fact that fewer P50 units were needed to replace metal extinguishers was also a big appeal. Effective Fire safety “On average we are installing half the number of P50 extinguishers compared to the old metal ones in our new sites or existing sites going through renewals of extinguishers,” Mr Shevlin said. The installation of hundreds of units across England and Scotland is running alongside the program to fit P50s across Heathrow Airport’s terminals. Heathrow chose the fire extinguisher because it fitted with its sustainability strategy to reduce its carbon footprint. PureGym’s investment comes at a time when sales of P50 are growing at 45% already this year, with three shifts running at our Norfolk factory and further growth predicted. Emergency rescue vehicles P50s are also in emergency vehicles, including ambulances" Britannia Fire’s Sales Director Andy Spence said, “The P50’s innovation and technology is in line with what the modern world demands. It is a made in the UK product. PureGym highlighted the in-house maintenance as the most important factor. For Heathrow, it was sustainability to help its strategy to lower its carbon footprint.” “P50s are also in emergency vehicles, including ambulances. The P50s were chosen for emergency vehicles to keep vehicles on the road. Servicing means emergency vehicles have to be taken out of action. For our marine and offshore market, it is the P50’s lack of corrosion that is a real sales trigger, as well as the cutting the servicing offshore.” High-quality equipment PureGym was launched in 2009 and pioneered the model for affordable, flexible and high-quality fitness clubs in the UK. Most of its sites are open 24 hours a day and offer a full range of high-quality equipment without the need to commit to a 12-month contract.
Correctional facilities in California, Iowa, and Pennsylvania are implementing aspirating smoke-detection technology for fire protection. This advanced technology not only provides faster, more sophisticated smoke detection, but eliminates several costly and troublesome operational issues associated with traditional induct smoke detectors. In-duct smoke detectors are prone to accumulate dirt and dust, particularly in inmate housing areas. Because these particles can be mistakenly interpreted as smoke, it can trigger recurring false alarms. To resolve this, costly ongoing maintenance is required to access and clean each detector, a process that must be repeated when the build-up occurs again. Fire Alarm System A large number of false alarms can be triggered when accumulated dust and dirt cover the sensors" In some facilities, the dust and dirt may be so severe that nuisance alarms are ignored, even disconnected. In others, maintenance can become backlogged. “Among traditional in-duct smoke-detection systems, a large number of false alarms can be triggered when accumulated dust and dirt cover the sensors,” says Queen Gonzalez, whose Southern California-based fire and life safety solutions company won the bid to install an aspirating smoke-detection system in the Kern Valley State Prison. Gonzalez said the project at the facility in Delano, California, involved replacing cell exhaust, duct-mounted smoke detectors with an advanced aspirating smoke-detection system in an inmate housing unit. This involved approximately 16 pods, with 64 cells per pod— nearly 1,024 cells. The aspirating smoke detection equipment chosen for the project was the VESDA-E VEA fire alarm system manufactured by Xtralis. Smoke-Detection Systems Aspirating smoke-detection systems draw in air through small flexible tubing secured in air ducts. The air is analyzed continuously for the presence of minute smoke particles, using sophisticated laser-based technology at a central unit located within 300 feet. A single system supports up to 40 sample points, and can be extended to 120 if needed. As a multi-channel, addressable system, the central unit can pinpoint the exact location of the alarm. This enhances safety by speeding detection, investigation, fire suppression, security management, and evacuation— if necessary. Furthermore, the system offers earlier detection than photoelectric technology detectors, and has the ability to detect minor particles in the air much faster, even before a fire begins to flame and burn. For the project, 32 of the central units were used in a secure mechanical space behind the cells. In-Duct Smoke Detectors Inmates can even block ducts so in-duct smoke detectors will not work" According to Gonzalez, the installation is relatively simple. After each existing smoke detector is removed, tubing connected to air sampling points takes its place. This involves running tubing in the return air chase above the cells. The tubing, suspended on hooks, drops off into each individual duct. Another benefit of the system is that it can effectively deter inmate tampering. “If there is a way for inmates to tamper with smoke detectors, they will,” Gonzalez says. “Inmates can even block ducts so in-duct smoke detectors will not work. Any system installed must be as tamperproof as possible.” To deter vandalism, the system will send a fault signal indicating the air flow is blocked in the event an inmate is able to cover a duct or sampling point. “Even if (inmates) could see the air sampling point, they would have no clue what it is because it is so small and looks nothing like a standard smoke detector,” Gonzalez said. Reducing Nuisance Alarms Correction industry leaders also appreciate the very low maintenance required for aspirating smoke detection systems. The aspirating tubes are self-cleaning and detect any blockages or breaks in the tubing. Even if dirt, dust, or lint enters the tubing system, the filters for all sampling points are at the central unit in a restricted area. The aspirating tubes are self-cleaning and detect any blockages or breaks in the tubing Cleaning the filters takes only about a minute, so there is no need for maintenance personnel to crawl into ducts to clean the detectors. The system not only stops false alarms due to dust or dirt contamination of sensors, but can distinguish between smoke, fire, and other airborne contaminants, which further reduces nuisance alarms. Minimizing False Alarms Annual inspections by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are also simplified. Unlike traditional smoke alarms, these systems do not require testing of each sample point annually at its location in the duct. Instead, the tests can be conducted at the central unit. Whether correctional facilities aim to minimize false alarms and maintenance or to improve safety and security, aspirating smoke-detection systems are gaining favor over traditional systems. “There is increasing interest in this technology, and it will only grow as more correctional facilities, engineers, and architects become aware of its benefits,” Gonzalez says.
At insulation manufacturer Glava, they manage high risk and high production volumes. Hence, they are dependent on an efficient fire detection system. Here, they tell us why they chose Autronica. 60 tons of melted glass, and temperatures up to 1300 degrees Celsius: At the Glava manufacturing plant in the Norwegian town of Stjørdal, the production runs non-stop. The temperature is high when shattered glass is molten and spun into insulation, and the consequences of an incident in the smelting plant are enormous. In the afternoon, evening and night, staffing is limited to a minimum. Only four people keep the 3500 square meters of factory under surveillance. Thanks to solid fire detection, they all know they are safe regardless. However, not long ago they experienced a completely different situation altogether. Catastrophic fire at Glava manufacturing plant "In the 90s, the Glava manufacturing plant and headquarters in Askim suffered a major cable fire, where a grand total of 600 kilometers of cable was destroyed by fire. Production was halted for weeks, and 60-70 electricians were hired to fix the problem. If we had had early warning in case of overheating, we could have saved several millions Norwegian Kroner," said Helge Bakken, an electrical engineer working in the Glava manufacturing plant since 1996. He talks about vast amounts of inflammable materials on the premises. "Glava is a large manufacturing plant with lots of machinery, and we are bordering on the limit of what we can keep our eyes on." Efficient fire detection system With Autronica’s solution we have a complete overview form the screens in the control room" Helge added, "When we rebuilt the Stjørdal factory in 2014, we wanted to install a proper fire detection system. We asked for tenders from a wide range of suppliers, and I feared that Autronica would be too expensive. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out they weren’t the most expensive supplier by far. Additionally, the quality and service were far superior to any of the others. And of course, it was a bonus that they are a Norwegian company, and that most of the equipment is manufactured at their headquarters in Trondheim." Fire alarms and emergency lighting "With Autronica’s solution we have a complete overview form the screens in the control room. Graphical sectionalizations show where the alarm is triggered, and we get an early indication of heat generation. With the help of statistics, we quickly see what the normal temperature is. If there is a real emergency, the emergency light system will multiply the chance of evacuating the employees. There are few fault messages, and everyone here takes any alarm seriously," says fire safety manager, Håvard Sesseng.
Tamworth-based trade association, DHF (Door & Hardware Federation) is emphasizing the importance of making fire safety an ‘absolute priority’ in new-build homes, following an investigation into potentially dangerous fire safety issues in houses developed by Persimmon Homes and Bellway Homes. Fire Safety In New-Build Homes The BBC’s Watchdog discovered serious breaches that had gone undetected during the construction process" The findings, by BBC Watchdog Live, highlighted that a number of new builds constructed by the firms were sold with missing or incorrectly installed fire barriers, which are used to form a complete seal between different areas of a home, and prevent the spread of fire. Without them, experts say, fire and smoke can spread five-to-ten times faster. “The BBC’s Watchdog discovered serious breaches that had gone undetected during the construction process, leaving homes and lives potentially at risk in the event of a fire,” explains DHF’s Commercial Manager, Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens. “In many new builds, particularly timber-framed buildings, fire barriers are a vital part of fire protection and we would urge house builders to ‘get it right’ at the construction stage and to have a workforce that is trained in, and understands, the importance of installing the fire barriers required to prevent potential problems down the line. Ultimately, responsibility for ensuring that buildings are compliant with Building Regulations lies with the house builder.” Importance Of Fire Safety Following the investigation, Bellway Homes stated that it was ‘committed to improvement’ with regards to potentially flawed fire safety issues in developments in Kent and West Lothian, and that mandatory training on, amongst other subjects, fire stopping, has been introduced for all relevant construction staff.Following the Grenfell disaster in June 2017, DHF’s voice has been one of the loudest and most passionate in its call for third-party certification by a UKAS-accredited body of manufacture, installation, maintenance and inspection of fire, smoke and security doors, in order to offer complete assurance on their performance. With a history and heritage dating back to 1897, the federation is undoubtedly one of the most revered organizations, widely respected as the industry’s independent authoritative voice. Fire Door Training Courses DHF works assiduously with BRE Academy to offer fire door training courses Fierce advocates for appropriate levels of training across all the sectors that it serves, DHF continues to place the importance of training firmly ‘up-front-and-center’. The organization works assiduously with BRE Academy to offer fire door training courses; this has been central to its on-going fire safety campaign. Additionally, in March 2019, DHF announced a high-profile collaboration with Secured by Design (SBD) and Fire Industry Association (FIA) to publish a guidance document on fire safety. Named A Guide for Selecting Flat Entrance Doorsets; A publication for housing associations, landlords, building owners and local authorities in England, the publication accentuates the key issues of fire safety for those selecting fire doorsets, recommending all fire doorsets are factory-prepared (as opposed to prepared on-site), that all work be completed under factory production control, and in addition, audited by a third-party. Fire Doors “Since Grenfell, the wider issue of fire safety has been thrust into the spotlight and we are delighted that progress is being made in this regard,” said Patricia. “We continue to stress that the use of fire doors, correctly installed and with robust fire door maintenance procedures, are an essential part of fire safety and urge those in positions of responsibility (such as house builders) to ensure that they are not only fulfilling regulations, as well as legal and moral obligations, but insisting upon appropriate levels of training with regards to installation and maintenance.”
Established in 1975, Melvin Weaver & Sons has provided crop protection products for the agriculture industry for over 40 years. The company’s steady growth throughout these years generated the need for additional space at their Lancaster, Pennsylvania based facility. In summer 2014, Melvin Weaver began planning the construction of a 16,800-square-foot addition to its warehouse. Having a long-time relationship with Kint Fire Protection, Melvin Weaver turned to Kint to explore fire suppression system options for its new warehouse. Kint initially recommended a dry chemical system solution similar to the one being utilized in Melvin Weaver’s existing warehouse. However, after learning the existing system had previously malfunctioned, causing a discharge with tremendous clean-up costs and significant down-time, Kint began brainstorming. Reliable, Customizable Fire Suppression Agent We wanted to provide our customer with a state-of-the-art system and installation" Kint in-house engineer, Frank Hetherington, suggested the Fike PROINERT2 system. Once design and engineering was completed, Todd Van Wagner, Senior Solutions Analyst at Kint Fire Protection presented the solution to Linford Weaver, partner & son of Melvin Weaver. “We immediately began pre-fabricating the suppression nozzle pods so we could send them, along with all exposed pipe and fittings for painting,” stated Todd Van Wagner of Kint Fire Protection. “From the beginning, we wanted to provide our customer with a state-of-the-art system and installation that would serve as a showcase of Kint’s design and installation capabilities, as well as demonstrate the customers’ commitment to fire safety at their facility.” PROINERT2 Project Protects Multiple Spaces This substantial PROINERT2 project included 185 cylinders. And with Melvin Weaver’s business continuing to grow, the system can easily be modified for future expansion. In fact, another impressive feature of the PROINERT2 system is while it is designed to protect the overall space, it’s quite simple to individually protect any number of smaller spaces within it by using selector valves allow the system to direct suppression to only the spaces where it’s needed. “We take pride in providing our customers with the latest in technology and design,” continued Todd Van Wagner. “Melvin Weaver stores their product up to 20 feet high, so we had to come up with a design that would not interfere with the storing or moving of their product, but still cover the entire space.” Kint Fire Protection did this by designing and pre-fabricating custom nozzle pods to accommodate the different nozzle designs required for the space below 16 feet and the space above 16 feet. Once all nozzle pods were built, painted and placed, Kint filled in with the remaining pipe, detection, audio visuals and manual pull stations. Completed in April 2015, this project took approximately 160 hours of engineering time and 5 weeks of installation. Meeting Local AHJ Requirements An advantage of the PROINERT2 system is it utilizes argon and nitrogen (free to replace)“We received a state-of-the-art system that meets local AHJ requirements,” explained Linford Weaver, “And in the unlikely event of a discharge, our business will not be impeded with significant down-time or clean-up costs.” He continued, “Despite PROINERT2 being more expensive to install, FPGCS-002 over a 12-year period it’s actually quite a savings.” Another advantage of the PROINERT2 system is it utilizes argon and nitrogen (free to replace), so the only costs are labor and shipping of any replacement cylinders. Steve Tierney, Fike Corporation regional manager stated, “PROINERT2 was a logical solution to Melvin Weaver’s problem as it prevents any down-time or costs to clean up any future potential discharges, saving Kint’s client money in the long run.” Success Factors Of The System Half the maintenance cost of dry chemical systems. No cleanup costs, no down time, no loss of product in event of discharge. Flexible system design and installation with ease of modification. Suppression gas storage cylinders are all stored together at one location on ground-level, avoiding the storage space and weight capacity issues common with systems that require the cylinders be located very close to the area being protected. Simple semi-annual inspections. Environmentally friendly. Recharge free for gas, only cost is labor. Safety delay to protect workers.