Fire Safety Planning
Fire stations are unique environments with conditions that could be conducive to the spread of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19. Firefighters live in close quarters for 24-hour shifts, and then return home to their families. Reports about “hot” firehouses have helped to emphasize the need to follow best practices to avoid the spread of the disease. The Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) has compiled a list of guidelines that departments can put into practice to...
New government legislation due to come into force in the United Kingdom on July 1st will require electrical installations in privately rented properties to be tested and inspected at least once every 5 years. The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations (2020) will require landlords to enlist qualified electricians to complete inspections and provide certification to tenants – or face fines of up to £30,000. While the risk of fire can never be entire...
There have been challenges with completing fire safety maintenance and installation projects during the current Covid-19 crisis, most notably as a result of the difficulties for installers in safely accessing sites. Many construction projects halted for lockdown and this resulted in approximately 50% of the British installers we work with having to furlough staff. The challenges, however, are not just restricted to the UK. With Kentec panels sold in more than 90 countries across the world, we ha...
Motorola Solutions announced the addition of three cloud-based offerings to its CommandCentral software suite: CommandCentral 9-1-1 Smart Transcription, CommandCentral 9-1-1 Citizen Input and PremierOne®️ Cloud CAD. These offerings provide emergency call handlers and the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) operators who dispatch 9-1-1 calls to police, fire and emergency medical services with the ability to streamline workflows and improve the monitoring and integrity of information in a secure go...
Economical and effective - the 25AE-70V paging horn for 70-Volt and 25-Volt paging systems distributes sound evenly, accurately, and affordably. “The 25AE-70V efficiently produces high quality audio and is a great addition to Viking’s paging collection.” – Paul Speltz, Senior Engineer, Viking Electronics Viking’s new 25AE-70V paging horn is designed to broadcast paging audio from a 70-Volt or 25-Volt paging amplifier. Five selectable power taps enable each horn&rs...
TFT has introduced all new High Rise Kits that help eliminate cumbersome hose line setups and allow for easy visibility of the supply pressure at the standpipe. The kits includes a heavy duty duffel bag, 2.5” angled waterway with in-line pressure gauge (valved and no valve options can be specified), two spanner wrenches, 2.5” x 1.5” reducer for use with a 1.5” coupled hose off of the TFT high rise solution, and 1.5” x 2.5” increaser for break and extend hose o...
The Ontario government has taken additional steps to protect people and property during the wildland fire season, including an increase in base funding for emergency forest firefighting by $30.2 million, and ensuring safety measures are in place to protect Ontario's highly trained fire rangers from COVID-19. On May 16, 2020, Ontario is lifting the Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ) designation that was put in place last month across Ontario's fire region. The province will continue to assess forest fire hazard conditions and an RFZ designation may be reinstated in higher risk areas if conditions deteriorate. These restrictions are put in place in order to reduce the number of preventable human-caused fires and lower the risk of wildfires impacting the public. Chief Medical Officer of Health recommendations To help stop the spread of COVID-19 fire rangers will be required to follow the health and safety guidelines recommended by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, such as physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and daily self-assessments by staff. "This is an extraordinary period. As we put measures in place to protect our staff and the public from the pandemic, we have been taking additional steps to prepare for the wildland fire season," said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. "Nothing is more important than protecting the safety of people and communities across the province. Although we want people to enjoy themselves, lifting the Restricted Fire Zone designation does not mean we can let our guard down when it comes to preventing human-caused forest fires." aggressive approach to fighting wildland fires The province has also implemented a more aggressive approach to fighting wildland fires this season with a focus on detecting fires early, combating them with full force and keeping them as small as possible. "Despite the challenges of these unprecedented times, Ontario's emergency management personnel have been proactively working with partners to prepare for potential evacuations due to the wildland fire season," said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. "Public safety remains our top priority and our Provincial Emergency Operations Centre will continue to monitor forest fire situations with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and be ready to coordinate a response if called upon for evacuation assistance."
It is with deep regret that the organizers of the Australian AFAC declared that the 2020 edition of the conference and fair on protection and rescue has been postponed. This is due to the conditions and restrictions caused by the current COVID 19 pandemic. The AFAC powered by INTERSCHUTZ, scheduled for August, will now be held one year later - from August 17 to 20, 2021, in Sydney at the International Convention Center (ICC). AFAC had chosen Adelaide as a venue in southern Australia. The AFAC organizers have decided to organize the conference fair again in Adelaide in 2022. The focus is now on the 2021 program, and all information on topics, speakers and the exhibition will be published in due course. AFAC powered by INTERSCHUTZ is a joint project between the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and Deutsche Messe, in this case Hannover Fairs Pty Ltd. At the same time, AFAC strengthens the international network of the trade fair INTERSCHUTZ in Hannover.
At the beginning of April, market in Fire and Carbon Monoxide protection Aico introduced their award-winning training scheme delivered as daily webinars. Aico revamped their Expert Installer training to make it easily accessible online as a free of charge webinar. The seminars were greatly received, with each daily session selling out. Delivered by Aico’s National Technical Manager Andy Speake and Product Development Manager Mike Wright, the CPD certified webinars cover a wide range of subjects including the changes to Scottish legislation, updates to BS 5839-6, the latest in Aico innovation and alarm selection and installation. informative and relevant webinar With professionals from across the UK tuning in every day, these webinars are in high demand. In a survey of those who had attended an Aico webinar, over 99% of people asked said they found the webinars useful, with the majority commenting that they were informative and relevant. One user commented that the webinar provided “Excellent and informative material from a proactive company that underpins its installers’ knowledge and skills” while another said the webinar gave “Very clear explanation and example install, perfect delivery for an online audience.” As a result of this positive feedback, Aico have now announced they will continue delivering webinars throughout May. Sessions have now increased to three each day, all delivered by knowledgeable staff and will now include more topics; Standards and Regulations, RadioLINK and RadioLINK+. In addition to the webinars, Aico will be hosting live question and answer sessions with members of their technical team. consolidate knowledge with questions Commencing Monday 18th May, these 30-minute sessions will provide professionals with the opportunity to ask questions, expand on topics covered in the webinars and build on their knowledge. National Technical Manager for Aico, Andy Speake was delighted with the response to the webinars and said “To have such a positive response to the webinars is fantastic. We have had requests for question and answer sessions so moving forward we are incorporating these live sessions into the webinar schedule – it’s important to have the opportunity to ask questions and really consolidate the knowledge.”
Berlin Fire Department's "eLHF" project, an abbreviation of "electric firefighting and rescue vehicle" in German, is a scheme backed by the Berlin Program for Sustainable Development (BENE). The main aim of this program, which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, is to procure and pilot-test an innovative firefighting and rescue vehicle equipped with an electric drive to get it from A to B and run its extinguishing technology. Austrian specialist Rosenbauer, the world's manufacturer of systems for firefighting and disaster protection, is playing a vital role in the "eLHF" project. The Concept Fire Truck (CFT) study devised and produced by Rosenbauer already features technical solutions that may well resolve the issues firefighters will face in the future. Ergonomically and ecologically optimized vehicle According to Rosenbauer, the electric CFT is an ergonomically and ecologically optimized vehicle that adapts to a wide range of requirements and is intuitive to operate. Connectivity, globalization and knowledge cultures - key trends incorporated into the CFT technology - are said to reflect the importance of communication and digitalization in the society. The growing significance of networking between humans and machines is also expected to be crucial in ensuring firefighting missions are successful. "Our innovation partnership with Berlin Fire Department represents an important milestone as we work toward the series production of our Concept Fire Truck," says Dr. Dieter Siegel, CEO of Rosenbauer International.
Angloco Limited, the UK’s oldest manufacturer of fire engines, has secured a major deal to replace and service most of the UK Ministry of Defense’s existing fire fleet. UK Defence Fire and Rescue Project The £30 million order comes as part of the Defense Fire and Rescue Project – a significant outsourcing contract recently awarded to Capita Plc. Under the contract, Angloco will not only supply more than 80 new state-of-the-art fire vehicles but will also support them both in the UK and around the world, for the next 12 years. Fire safety vehicles supplied The announcement comes after recent news of Angloco’s rapid growth and second factory opening The announcement comes after recent news of Angloco’s rapid growth and second factory opening – a nine-bay, 12,000 sq. ft unit down the road from its 30,000 sq. ft. HQ – capable of turning out 100 fire engines per annum. Commenting on the defense contract, Alistair Brown, Managing Director of Angloco Ltd. said, “This is great news for both the company and the local area – the project not only gives our order book a further boost, but secures more jobs for the longer term.” UK Ministry of Defense contract for fire fleet revamp Alistair adds, “The defense order – along with numerous other projects – means we are now engaged in another major recruitment exercise for more staff across all areas of the business.” Angloco hit the headlines over summer when the management team announced a drive to recruit a further 12 colleagues into the 90-strong business. “This is such an exciting time for the company,” continued Alistair, adding “We have fought off some very stiff international competition but are delighted that a British company will now be delivering the contract.” Caterpillar-tracked fire engines Angloco has a rich history of supporting the UK Ministry of Defense over many decades, previously winning a major project to fully refurbish 88 old fire engines through the 80s and 90s, as well as supplying three caterpillar-tracked fire engines for the Falkland Islands base in 1989. Offering some concluding insight into the specifics of the deal, Alistair added, “The new vehicles are being built to an innovative design which allows one common vehicle type to be used for multiple fire and rescue roles. This not only reduces the purchase costs but makes them far easier to support – wherever in the world they may be.”
Angloco Co. has announced partnering with Adaro Tecnologia to supply the Adalit range of professional safety torches. Adalit professional safety torches Designed for emergency services teams and other demanding professional applications where safety is critical, every Adalit torch features advanced optics, high quality engineering and has received ATEX approval. The Adalit range of professional safety torches include the L-10, the first re-chargeable flashlight to be specifically designed for firefighting helmets and the high-powered L-3000 which combines revolutionary optics with a large digital display. The versatile L5 and L5R Plus safety torches can be used both as a hand torch and on the helmet.
Through this pandemic, many technologies have leapt into our day-to-day lives of lockdown and working from home, becoming an absolute necessity, as opposed to an alternative reserved for the young and tech-savvy. Whether it’s conference call platforms, social media, multimedia mediums or internet shopping, we are now relying on these technologies for everything. They are keeping businesses moving, they’re putting food on our tables and they are helping us keep in touch with our loved ones. Technology has become our friend and, in some cases, our saviour. The Door Handle Contamination Dilemma Whether it’s conference call platforms, social media, multimedia mediums or internet shopping, we are now relying on these technologies for everything There is a lot we don’t yet know about COVID-19. What we do know is that like common respiratory viruses, including flu, COVID-19 is spread in tiny droplets released from the nose and mouth of an infected person when they cough or sneeze. The greatest risk comes from contamination from touched surfaces where the infection can be passed from one to another. A shared surface such as a door handle quickly becomes a hazard and government advice has included regular disinfection of regularly touched objects and surfaces to reduce the risk of passing on the infection. Fire Door Technology Is Combatting COVID-19 Fireco, a technology company based in Brighton, England, has been working for over twenty years to help with the issue of fire doors being wedged open. Fire doors should be kept shut to control the spread of smoke and fire in buildings, and a common, serious problem is people wedging these doors open to allow for fresh air and easy access.Fire doors should be kept shut to control the spread of smoke and fire in buildings, and a common, serious problem is people wedging these doors open to allow for fresh air and easy access Fireco’s door retainers and door closers hold fire doors open compliantly. When the fire alarm sounds, the products will release the door to close through either acoustic or radio activation. They are wire-free and can be easily installed. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Fireco’s customer base reached out and told us that we are helping to resolve more issues than just illegally wedged open doors. Fireco products are fitted to doors across multiple industries including NHS premises, COVID-19 test labs, critical infrastructure, schools, commercial offices and factories. These buildings' occupants are so pleased, because people are able to walk freely around them without having to touch door handles, which has helped reduce the spread of germs, providing protection to all occupants, many of whom are key workers on the front line in the fight against COVID-19. We are happy that, in this way, Fireco is helping to stop the spread of COVID-19. What Will The New Normal Look Like? Will we revert back to how things were, or will things be very different? It is natural to focus on the immediate when the crisis is all consuming and impacting our lives so dramatically, but we should not forget that in the not too distant future, the restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 will be eased, and we move from survival mode into recovery mode, we need to consider what the new normal will look like. One major challenge we will face is economic recovery. Businesses will be looking for employees to return to work and play their role in the recovery process as soon as it is practical. But this raises questions around what needs to be done to make employees comfortable in coming back to work. What will they expect? What will an employer's duty of care look like in the new world? Working From Home Managers have had a chance to witness their staff work from home, self-manage, and deliver. By working at home, everyone arrives to work on time. Car use and fuel costs are reduced and parking is no longer a problem. Meetings work online. You don’t always have to be face-to-face; deals can be negotiated over the phone. Trust and relationships can be built remotely, as opposed to physically shaking someone’s hand. Managers have had a chance to witness their staff work from home, self-manage, and deliver. By working at home, everyone arrives to work on time Business and their workforces have had to adapt, but after adaption, have we now entered into acceptance? Is there an opportunity to embrace these forced changes as the new modus operandi because, quite simply, they are efficient, effective and reliable? Surely, this is just evolution with the added bonus of continuing to give the environment a break. Health And Safety A Primary Pandemic Concern Even with some businesses choosing to shift towards working remotely and using technology in place of face-to-face interactions, business premises will still be as important as they are today. However, what is important in the workplace is likely to change. We will be more interested in the quality of the hand sanitizer than the coffee. What is important in the workplace is likely to change. We will be more interested in the quality of the hand sanitizer than the coffee We will all want to be assured that businesses are taking their duty of care seriously, and that our place of work is a safe place to be. The return to work should be a positive experience, not a cause for concern. Worries over health and safety risks are likely to distract from the job in hand in helping to recover the business and make the whole process of returning to work a lot less enjoyable for all. Day-to-day life has and will continue to be impacted by social distancing. The very thought of returning to work and mixing with large crowds raises questions around trust. Will other people keep up with best practices around hygiene? This cannot be taken for granted, and I for one will be very cautious in the coming months. Getting Back To Work It is highly likely that businesses will need to make both physical and operational changes if they want ‘getting back to work’ to be a success, and technology has a key role to play in this. Recognising the importance of easing everyone back into their workplace gently and carefully is important. Never has so much attention been paid to what you touch. From the minute you walk into a building, you start touching things. By the time you get to your workspace you are likely to have opened several doors and touched several door handles. By removing the need to touch these door handles by fitting a Fireco door retainer, you are proactively managing the risk level, and it is clear for all to see. By the time you get to your workspace you are likely to have opened several doors and touched several door handles Removing the need to touch door handles is not enough on its own. When used with other measures such as enhanced hygiene practices, the provision of hand sanitizers, and the introduction of new and more flexible approaches to working life, you can clearly demonstrate that you are taking the health and safety of your employees seriously. There are unanswered questions as we travel through this journey together, but what is clear is that our behaviours and focus have shifted, and as with most changes it is the approach that determines the outcome. We were not given the opportunity to plan our approach to this crisis. However, we have just about got time to plan our approach to our recovery and how we manage ‘getting back to work’. The search for normality and stability Humanity has been tested, and you don't have to look far to see that we have responded positively with acts of kindness, respect and a common purpose. Humanity has been tested, and you don't have to look far to see that we have responded positively with acts of kindness, respect and a common purpose Even countries previously at war with one another have come together. British manufacturers have re-modelled overnight to provide our health organisations with vital medical equipment for free, to help all our loved ones survive and recover. Most importantly, through this entire crisis, we have looked after one another emotionally, developing relationships that will last forever. This crisis is not something we will ever forget, nor wish to shut the door on. It is an indelible part of our common experience and something we should continue to learn from as we move forward in the search for normality and stability.
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 or flooding. A range of different climates also provide firefighters with specific challenges. Providing Optimum Protection These fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight Firefighters in hot and tropical Indonesia for example, will have different requirements to those in hot and arid South Africa, whilst those in Scandinavia operate in more temperate and cooler conditions. It’s important, therefore, that PPE manufacturers can provide a wide variety of options to suit particular environments and operations. PPE must be highly effective, comfortable, and suitable for the job in hand, wherever in the world the firefighters are operating. Selecting the right fabric for your PPE is the first step in providing optimum protection for the environment you are operating in. International fibre and fabric manufacturers have developed a number of highly specialized materials offering a range of benefits. Used in combination, these fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight. Best Quality Firefighting Garments Highly specialized and lightweight fibers for the outer-shell of a garment, for example, can provide outstanding air permeability and breathability, allowing metabolic heat to escape, whilst of course providing vital protection against the intense external heat and flames of a fire. The best quality firefighting garments combine this type of outer shell with an inner moisture barrier and liner system which draws moisture away from the skin, helping to keep the body cool and dry. Strenuous work in a hot environment causes profuse sweating, and if this sweat is not able to evaporate, the body is not able to cool itself effectively. Once the most appropriate fabric is chosen, the design and style of a garment also plays a crucial role in contributing to a firefighters’ safety. Maintaining A Comfortable Body Temperature Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed Whether operating in bushland, floods, on the roadside or even in extremely cold conditions, firefighters need to maintain a comfortable body temperature and stay dry. They are also likely to need to crawl, run, and climb to carry out the job in hand. Any protective clothing must be ergonomic and has to be able to work with them rather than hinder them. As a result, over and above the full structural firefighting garments available to FRSs, manufacturers have also developed innovative designs for more specific applications. For example, Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed, with USAR or technical rescue teams entering enclosed and confined spaces where high temperatures and often toxic smoke are hazards. Particular Protection Against Radiant Heat USAR firefighting garments therefore should be tear and puncture resistant, provide protection against blood-borne pathogens, offer physical protection at high risk points such as the knees and elbows, provide a high level of flexibility to afford maneuvrability in confined spaces, and crucially be lightweight and breathable to minimize heat stress. Alternatively, for firefighters engaged specifically in combatting forest and wildland fires, garments need to provide particular protection against radiant heat, and ideally feature a double layer of fabric to protect against sharp thorns and undergrowth. Today, many FRSs across the world use a combination of structural and technical rescue garments which can be particularly useful when faced with a range of operations requiring different levels of protection. Rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident International Standards Of Performance For PPE Frequently, rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident, for example. So long as these garments are tested and approved as compatible before they are used in combination, this can serve to improve ergonomics and comfort, and crucially can contribute to the lowering of heat stress in firefighters. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage To ensure the best level of protection, most countries demand conformity with both national and international standards of performance for PPE. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) which covers the USA, Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) which covers Europe, and the International Standards Organisation (ISO) which sets standards worldwide. Lighting And Communications Equipment In addition, each country will have its own National Standards Body (NSB), setting standards for its own specific interests. Ultimately, it is down to the customer to decide which standards they would like their PPE to follow. The best manufacturers can create PPE to meet a number of these standards simultaneously. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats Different countries, and even individual FRSs, often have particular additional requirements for their PPE, which can simply be down to style or color preference, or to accommodate particular tools or equipment they use. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats. Operational safety features such as integrated safety harnesses and drag rescue devices can also be specified. In addition, firefighter accessories including tools, lighting and communications equipment all have to be carried safely requiring a selection of loops, straps, D-rings, glove hooks, and pockets and flaps. Developing Innovative Solutions Finally, most FRSs aim to present a professional and clearly recognizable identity to their communities, so particular colors and badging can be an important feature of PPE. This has led to the introduction of a wide range of fabric colors and the increased use of Velcro fixings for identification badges with logos, names and roles being individually catered for. Called upon to handle an ever-increasing variety of challenges, in contrasting climates and situations, firefighters across the world are certainly faced with complex environments in which to operate. By carefully studying these conditions and listening closely to customers, PPE designers and fabric manufacturers will continue to work together to develop innovative solutions to meet these specific needs and create optimum garments for maximum protection and comfort.
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.
Working to organize events around the world in the music industry, Chris Sheldrick struggled with the challenge of bands and equipment constantly getting lost on the way to venues and festival locations. It became clear that street addresses were not good enough, and there needed to be a better way to communicate locations. GPS coordinates are hard for people to input into devices and nearly impossible to give correctly over the phone. Sheldrick sat down with a friend and devised a solution as accurate as coordinates, yet concise and memorable. what3words That solution – what3words – is an easy way to identify precise locations using a unique combination of three words. The benefits of what3words for fire and emergency services agencies are already being realized. what3words addresses are shorter, easier to understand over the phone, and built-in error prevention technology allows emergency services to immediately verify the location and correct mistakes. what3words is an easy way to identify precise locations using a unique combination of three words Founded in 2013, what3words has divided the world into a grid of 3m squares and given each square a unique combination of three words: a what3words address. For example, TheBigRedGuide.com’s London office has an address of ///soaks.buddy.decent. It means that anywhere in the world – from a specific building entrance to a remote point in a field – can be communicated using just three words. Around 80% of emergency services in the United Kingdom accept what3words addresses from 999 callers. Receiving a precise location means they can dispatch crews to the scene faster, saving precious time, resources and lives. Fire and rescue services in the UK that accept what3words addresses include Avon, Derbyshire, Essex, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, North Wales, South Yorkshire and Suffolk – among dozens more. An Advanced Mobile Location Solution Around 80% of emergency services in the United Kingdom accept what3words addresses from 999 callers For services that use Advanced Mobile Location (AML), what3words is helpful in situations where there’s a lack of confidence in the information being presented, or in cases where the caller is not on their “home” network (i.e. an emergency roamer). AML gives the location at the time the call was started and cannot be used to locate an emergency in a different place than the caller. In these instances, what3words is an extra tool that can work alongside AML. Many emergency services in the UK do not have access to AML and, for them, what3words provides a useful solution to getting a caller’s location. “Throughout all services, regardless of access to AML, we’ve seen that what3words has an additional benefit in multi-agency response to a single location, as what3words can be written down, passed and shared easily among different systems and teams,” said Sheldrick, who is Co-Founder and CEO of what3words. Assisting Emergency Services In an emergency, a caller can find the what3words address for their current location by opening the free what3words app (which works offline) or visiting the link: map.what3words.com. Successful rescue stories include a rural road accident, walkers lost in a forest and people stuck in cars on flooded roads They then tap the “current location” icon on the screen and read the three words displayed to the 999 call handler. “From speaking to emergency services around the United Kingdom, we know that in incidents where they are struggling to locate callers, they can often be dealing with a search radius of multiple kilometres,” says Sheldrick. “what3words is a tool they use to narrow this down.” Some agencies in the United Kingdom have their control room systems enabled to allow the call handler to send the caller a text message with a link to map.what3words.com in case they do not already have the app installed. The caller is then prompted to open this link and follow the steps above. Successful Rescue Stories Herts Fire Service was one of the first emergency services to use what3words to help members of the public describe the location of fires. Recently, a fire crew from Knaresborough assisted Yorkshire Ambulance Service in a rescue of a male casualty with a leg injury in woodland near Nidd Gorge. His exact location was provided using what3words to help the fire crew reach him, and the story was shared by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service via Twitter. Other successful rescue stories include a rural road accident, walkers lost in a forest and people stuck in cars on flooded roads. Raising Awareness For Widespread Implementation The #Help999FindYou hashtag has become synonymous with services around the country sharing stories and videos on social media and with local press about successful response operations what3words is easy to build into existing processes both in the control room and operationally. It can be integrated into any Computer Aided Dispatch system, or the online map can be used immediately without any development work required. The #Help999FindYou hashtag has become synonymous with services around the country sharing stories and videos on social media and with local press about successful response operations To get a what3words address from a caller, an operator can send an SMS with a link, which displays the what3words address for the location on the caller’s phone, so they can read it out to the operator. Response teams can use the free app, or the location can be sent directly as a map pin to the Mobile Data Terminal for navigation. With many UK fire services already using what3words, training is ongoing in more control rooms around the country. The focus of training has been with 999 call handlers, who are the people who receive and use a what3words address. Internal awareness of the benefits of what3words is a crucial focus for widespread implementation. The company’s emergency services training toolkit is regularly updated with the latest internal and external communications templates, posters, leaflets, training webinars and how-to videos. #Help999FindYou Services are seeing the benefit for themselves, and many are running effective public communication to encourage people in their region to download the free what3words app. The #Help999FindYou hashtag has become synonymous with services around the country sharing stories and videos on social media and with local press about successful response operations involving what3words. Many also build what3words awareness and education into their community engagement activities such as school visits, rural crime workshops and events. There is also a what3words supporter community, The Squares, who are spreading the word to their organisations and communities. Many also build what3words awareness and education into their community engagement activities such as school visits, rural crime workshops and events “Being in need of urgent help and not being able to describe where you are can be very distressing for the person involved and a really difficult situation for emergency services,” said Sheldrick. “Today, people nearly always have their phone on them. We need to use the tools at our disposal to improve public services and potentially save lives. Just as you may have your emergency contacts set up on your phone, we encourage everyone to download the app to make sure they are ready to share accurate location information quickly, should the worst happen. It’s free, it’s simple to use, and one day it might make sure help finds you quickly.” Emergency Services Embracing Technology what3words continues to work with emergency services across the United Kingdom to get what3words enabled in their control rooms and to encourage the public to understand how to find and share their what3words address so that they can be found quickly when they need it most. “It’s been incredible to see UK emergency services embrace our technology to respond effectively and quickly to people in need,” said Sheldrick.
A new report highlights FirstNet’s progress in its goal of enhancing public safety communications using a nationwide interoperable broadband network for first responders. The report provides an update after three years of a public-private partnership between AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority, which oversees the development of FirstNet. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for FirstNet is more critical than ever. The report comes from the First Responder Voice project, a source of information, news and analysis that seeks to ensure that FirstNet serves first responders effectively. First Responder Voice is a project to the Communications Workers of America (CWA), a labor union. AT&T is the country’s only unionized wireless carrier. First responder network deployment and subscriber progress FirstNet’s subscribers are on the increase: The number of public service agencies and organizations subscribed to FirstNet has increased tenfold in less than two years. As of February 2020, 11,000 organizations have subscribed and connected 1.2 million devices to the network Between January and July of 2019, the monthly levels of device connections to FirstNet outperformed expectations at approximately 196% of projected targets. In May 2019, a majority of agencies and nearly 50% of FirstNet’s total connections were new subscribers (not AT&T migrations), suggesting that first responders are seeing FirstNet as a credible value-add proposition. As of March 2020, FirstNet network deployment is 80% complete. The achievement was accomplished in just two years and a year earlier than expected. The First Responder Network Authority gave AT&T the go-ahead in March 2018 to deploy the network’s Band 14 spectrum across dedicated radio access networks in all states and territories. AT&T was given exclusive access to Band 14, which is 20 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz frequency band. So far, Band 14 spectrum has been deployed on existing cell sites in more than 675 markets nationwide. AT&T added more than 170,000 square miles to its LTE network coverage in 2018 and 2019 “The current pandemic is magnifying the need for our country’s first responders to have access to an interoperable broadband network, and FirstNet provides that solution,” says Bianca Garcia, CWS’s FirstNet Project Coordinator. Professional and volunteer fire departments are among the long list of FirstNet subscriber agencies and jurisdictions. Career fire departments in Las Vegas, Miami-Dade, and Seattle are subscribers, as are volunteer departments in Snyder County, Pa.; Allegany County, Md.; and Delaware. The Georgia and Rhode Island emergency management agencies are subscribers, as are law enforcement agencies in Anchorage, Baltimore, Chicago, Kansas and New Mexico. Federal agencies who are subscribers include the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Coast Guard, and the Department of the Navy. Impending innovations for FirstNet subscribers High-powered user equipment (HPUE) will be available in coming months and will almost double the coverage range for FirstNet subscribers. The equipment is currently being certified, and early deployment will likely be in devices such as in-vehicle routers. AT&T is working with Assured Wireless to develop the devices. The technology increases the range of a cell sector by about 80%, especially useful in rural areas. Mission critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) service is available on FirstNet during the first quarter of 2020 According to the First Responder Voice report, FirstNet’s innovations include unthrottled connectivity; a separate, purpose-built network core with end-to-end encryption; priority and preemption capabilities; local control of users and applications; and more than 75 deployable solutions such as land-based Satellite Cell on Light Trucks and Flying Cells on Wheels. Operational benefits of public-private partnership The future roadmap of the First Responder Network Authority will be shaped by nurturing a deep and shared understand of public safety’s operational needs and by collaborating with public safety to realize the operational benefits of the FirstNet experience. The public-private partnership model that drives FirstNet will ensure that financial resources are invested based on agreed-upon priorities. The First Responder Voice report also finds that AT&T could provide greater transparency about its progress on state-specific buildout commitments and should detail the states that are seeing lower-than-target-level FirstNet subscribership.
Why do gas engineers need to become Gas Safe Registered? Why do heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers need to have an advanced driving license? We all know the answers to these questions: To determine competency and reduce risk. Because they are mandatory, it is simply expected. Premises managers expect the same competency from their fire safety providers; however, there are no mandatory measures in place to ensure a particular level of competency is met. But there should be, says Stephen Adams, Chief Executive of BAFE, an independent registration body for third party certified protection companies across the United Kingdom. Advocating certification of fire safety competency Third party certification (or any system to monitor competency) is not mandatory in the fire safety industry at present, which presents unnecessary risk, says Adams. Third Party Certification (or any system to monitor competency) is not mandatory in the fire safety industry at present, which presents unnecessary risk There is a benefit to the customer of using a provider that is independently and regularly assessed by a UKAS Accredited Certification Body to ensure they are competent to deliver the specific required service. Sourcing a provider who holds the appropriate third-party certification will also provide strong evidence of acting with due diligence in following fire safety legislation. “Certainly for high-risk premises, not just those above a certain height but those where the occupants or function demands strong fire protection, there needs to be mandated third party certification of the competence of all those involved,” says Adams. “This is not just at the initial construction stage, but throughout the building life cycle as use, occupancy and technology change. The end user and those responsible for building safety have the key responsibility, together with input from the Fire and Rescue Services, providers and public authorities to ensure ongoing compliance and recording of actions.” Determining competency for fire safety services BAFE was first established in 1984 within FETA (Fire Extinguishing Trades Association) and the British Fire Protection Systems Association (BFPSA). Since 2009, however, BAFE has been independent and has evolved into developing and monitoring schemes to determine competency for multiple fire safety services. BAFE develops schemes based on defined quality standards and industry best practice for fire safety service providers to achieve and become Third Party Certificated. These assessments are performed by UKAS Accredited Certification Bodies (licensed by BAFE). Only when a company holds appropriate and valid Third Party Certification are they permitted to become BAFE Registered and appear on the national register available free to view at on their website. BAFE’s competency schemes BAFE offer competency schemes for the following areas: Fire extinguisher servicing/maintenance (BAFE SP101) Fire risk assessment (BAFE SP205) Kitchen fire protection systems (BAFE SP206) Dry and wet riser/falling installations servicing/maintenance (BAFE SP105) The SP203 suite of schemes is modular and offers competency criteria for the design, installation, commissioning and/or maintenance of: Fire detection and alarms systems (BAFE SP203-1) Fixed gaseous fire extinguishing systems (BAFE SP203-3) Emergency lighting systems (BAFE SP203-4) BAFE has dedicated monitoring groups for each scheme that meet regularly to ensure they continue to represent the highest levels of competency within the industry. Supporting UK fire safety BAFE has been active in efforts to influence and support fire safety for the UK. This includes work with the appropriate Competence Steering Group (CSG) working groups established since the publication of the Hackitt review (“Building a Safer Future”). Chris Auger, Head of Schemes – BAFE, is currently Secretary to WG2 (Installers) and WG4 is continuing to develop competence standards for Fire Risk Assessors to meet the requirements of high-risk residential buildings (HRRBs). BAFE also has close working relationships with organisations including UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service), FSF (Fire Sector Federation), FIA (Fire Industry Association), FPA (Fire Protection Association), IFEDA (Independent Fire Engineering and Distributors Association), Construction Industry Council (CIC) and multiple Certification Bodies. Raising the bar BAFE exists to help raise the bar of competency within the fire safety industry across the United Kingdom, says Adams. Their ethos is in a strong belief in Third Party Certification. BAFE exists to help raise the bar of competency within the fire safety industry across the United Kingdom “Whilst we strongly believe the BAFE schemes offer a quality, independent method of determining competency for a specific service though a range of Certification Bodies, we purely want Third Party Certification to be the baseline absolute requirement for any fire safety work (where it is available),” says Adams. BAFE stands with FPA Managing Director Jonathan O'Neill’s request to Government to mandate Third Party Certification. The more providers that hold Third Party Certification, and the more end users that request it, the stronger the argument to Government to mandate this requirement for a better regulated industry. Addressing the misconceptions A misconception about fire safety Third Party Certification from end users (e.g. premises management) is that it covers all fire safety services offered. BAFE this year have launched a new campaign, “Don’t Just Specify, Verify!,” to highlight this issue. “Before awarding any contract, we are trying to educate people to verify their chosen contractor’s Third Party Certification to ensure it is appropriate for the work they require,” says Adams. Whilst most customers understand that they should have fire protection systems, they do not adequately understand the need for a full and competent Fire Risk Assessment. There are still “assessors” who will offer one for ridiculously low prices, often without even entering the building. The need for fire risk assessments The Fire Risk Assessment is a mandatory requirement and forms the basis for all other activity – and must be kept up to date. By not using a competent provider, the responsible person is leaving themselves open to prosecution and serious loss of life and property. The horrific Grenfell fire that unfolded on 14th June 2017 raised interest and awareness of fire safety measures, their relationship to the whole construction and what should be in place to keep any premises safe. The horrific Grenfell fire that unfolded on 14th June 2017 raised interest and awareness of fire safety measures Adams says BAFE saw an increase in companies gaining Third Party Certification, especially to the Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment (SP205) scheme. “This is a skill that needs greater emphasis and some mandatory measures introduced to ensure competent persons are completing this vital action,” says Adams. “We welcome any stronger measures following the Hackitt Review to introduce robust methods of logging activity across the whole building life cycle (the ‘Golden Thread’ of information) in the interest of acting will due diligence creating safer buildings from fire.” The Fire Risk Assessment is a mandatory requirement and forms the basis for all other activity – and must be kept up to date “A year from now, we anticipate that the Hackitt requirements will be built into legislation and the Building Regulations across all parts of the UK,” says Adams. “By 2023 BAFE and the industry would like to see mandatory measures in place to monitor and determine competency of providers offering specific services. Most notable are services such as fire risk assessment, both commercial and domestic fire detection and alarm systems plus multiple other areas including many passive fire protection design and installation services. Certificated services should extend across all aspects of fire safety, passive and active, and include greater monitoring of individual as well as company competence.” Trade associations such as FIA and IFEDA demand third party certification as a core membership requirement, and other important professional bodies such as the FPA are calling out to Government to mandate third party certification, says Adams. “It would shake up the industry dramatically, leaving only the evidentially competent able to provide these works,” he says.
Following the enforced lockdown restrictions introduced to help combat the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, SSAIB took the decision to continue to offer certification by embracing new technology and migrating over to remote auditing. With the remote audit process now having been in place for two months, SSAIB spoke with Heather Martin – operations manager of SSAIB-registered firm Southern Fire Alarms Ltd - to discuss their own remote audit conducted during the height of lockdown last month. Annual BAFE SP203-1 audit conducted The West Sussex-based company – who have been SSAIB-registered to install fire alarms since April 2008 – were due to have their annual BAFE SP203-1 on April 22, but saw this changed to a remote audit when it was clear that it was no longer possible for auditor Stephen Jenkins to conduct a visit in person on that date. Despite some initial apprehension about this new development - after initially wanting to postpone the audit following lockdown - Heather revealed that she is now pleased they were able to go ahead with it when they did. First-Ever Remote audit Heather commented: “I was very apprehensive beforehand and thought it would be easier to just extend it for six months - as an audit was the last thing we wanted to be doing with the other business changes we were needing to implement. However – in hindsight – I’m so glad we have done it.” “By doing it now, it means that we can carry on for another 12 months and we’re not trying to scramble with everyone else to get in for an audit in six months’ time – as I’m sure there’d be much more of a backlog had SSAIB not switched to remote audits.” The actual remote audit was less time-consuming than normal, to be honest" With regard to the audit process itself, Heather commented: “The system that SSAIB have put in place was easy to navigate and the guidance document was clear in relation to the evidence that required uploading.” Faster remote audit than normal “On the day of the audit, our auditor Stephen called promptly to explain how he would work through the documents. He then called again the following day to summarize his findings.” “The actual remote audit was less time-consuming than normal, to be honest. I had already uploaded everything that we needed to beforehand, so Stephen called promptly at the start of the day to explain how he would work through the documents." “Therefore, in that sense, I actually gained quite a lot of the time that would have otherwise been spent on a normal audit.” COVID-19 impact on work Being ushered into a remote audit isn’t the only change that SFA – who recently celebrated their 20th anniversary – have had to make due to the continuing battle to contain the coronavirus. However, Heather believes that the company’s “loyal core of key personnel” is their secret weapon to help them negotiate the difficult time we all find ourselves in at present. Heather added: “We’ve had to make quite significant changes to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, we have had to furlough some of our engineers and maintain a skeleton staff in the office. With social distancing, everything has had to be kept at a minimum so we’ve got people working from home as well.” A balance between safety for all of our staff and ensuring the survival of the company" “In some respects, we’re very lucky that we have a low turnover of staff – as it means we have a loyal core of key personnel that have been able to carry on and ensure everything runs as smoothly as it can during this time.” Servicing, emergency breakdowns on "Without that commitment of those key staff members, we simply would not have got through this. It’s not been easy, but we’re working together – as it’s a balance between safety for all of our staff and ensuring the survival of the company.” “We are still carrying out servicing, emergency breakdowns and critical works. We’re just having to adapt, day-to-day and customer-to-customer, to decide whether we can go in and carry out work.” Despite the impact that COVID-19 has had on the Bognor Regis-based installation company – who also added Security Systems to their SSAIB scope of certification in October 2017 – Heather insisted that SFA’s certification with SSAIB was still of the utmost importance and that it was necessary for themselves and the wider industry to remain as a third-party certified organization. Industry-Accreditation Heather said: “I think it’s really important to ensure that we continue our certification with SSAIB during this time – as there is going to be an end to this at some stage and that’ll bring a lot of work, some of which will be tendered. If we don’t have the certification when that end date arrives then we’ll miss out, it’s as simple as that.” “I also think it’s important for the industry as a whole that we have accreditation and that standards are maintained– especially in the current climate.” Reaping benefits of the audit “Of course, other companies might not be in the fortunate situation we are with being able to continue with their certification at this time. However, I’d say those companies who are able to carry on like ourselves will reap the rewards of doing so when everything starts picking up again.” The whole world is still waiting to see how long this pandemic will last, the overall effect it will have on us all, the everyday lives and the various economies around the globe, but Heather – who has worked within the industry for over two decades - revealed that her own post-lockdown plans are a lot more down-to-earth and personal.
To support the COVID-19 site, and despite the warehouse being closed for a stock take, Apollo Fire Detectors personally delivered the essential fire safety equipment the day after the order was placed. Headley Court, in Surrey, will re-open and serve as a temporary community hospital for patients needing rehabilitation or convalescence, those receiving end-of-life care, as well as those who are recovering from COVID-19 and do not require critical or acute hospital care. COVID-19 patients rehabilitation or convalescence The Headley Court facility closed in 2018 and the existing fire systems were no longer viable. Detect Fire & Security Ltd were appointed by Corrigenda Facilities Services to install a new fire system into nine buildings in just four weeks and chose the XP95 from Apollo Fire Detectors. It took four weeks to complete the installation in nine buildings Joe Presswell, Technical Manager from Detect Fire & Security Ltd, explained: “The site was already configured with ward space and other clinical areas, so it was ideal to be converted for use as a community hospital. Upon initial site survey, it was a relatively straight-forward installation, simply swapping the equipment and reprogramming the system onto the new Advanced Electronics addressable fire panels. But the timescales were understandably hugely demanding. We were originally asked to work on three buildings, but this soon changed to nine buildings, with the order in which they were expected to be completed changing throughout the installation. Apollo were fantastic partners to work with, ensuring good stock levels at all times and accommodating all our requirements.” Mr. Presswell continued: “It took four weeks to complete the installation in nine buildings. In normal circumstances it would take around three weeks per building. This was a brilliant team effort.” life-saving devices Nicolas Duke, Operations Director at Apollo Fire Detectors said: “The Apollo team has always prided itself on its level of customer service and flexibility. Working with Detect Fire & Security on the Headley Court project was a prime example of this. Thanks to the fantastic support and dedication of our operations staff - continuing to work on our life-saving devices through all of the coronavirus crisis - we were able to maintain our stock levels of key products." "The first order arrived on a day when manufacturing was closed due to stock take, therefore it was actually packed and made ready for next day pick-up by the Apollo Leadership Team. We are all proud of the contribution that Apollo and our customers have made to the national response to the virus.” Mike Sutton, Sales Manager at Apollo Fire Detectors said: “Communication and teamwork were the keys to the success of this project. We really pulled out all the stops to help make this project come together so quickly. I personally delivered the first batch of products to site and our board of directors’ members were packing boxes in the warehouse to ensure the project could start on time. We’re delighted that the new facility is now fully protected, and patients can be cared for in a safe environment.”
Teamwork, flexibility and a commitment to customer service have resulted in Apollo Fire Detectors being installed, commissioned and in operation in just four weeks at a former defense medical rehabilitation center that is being transformed into a community-style hospital for use during the coronavirus pandemic. Headley Court To support the COVID-19 site, and despite the warehouse being closed for a stock take, Apollo Fire Detectors ensured the essential fire safety equipment was personally delivered the day after the order was placed. Headley Court, in Surrey, will re-open and serve as a temporary community hospital for patients Headley Court, in Surrey, will re-open and serve as a temporary community hospital for patients needing rehabilitation or convalescence, along with those receiving end of life care, as well as patients who are recovering from COVID-19 and do not require critical or acute hospital care service. XP95 addressable fire detectors installed The Headley Court facility closed in 2018 and the existing fire systems at the site were no longer viable. Detect Fire & Security Ltd was appointed by Corrigenda Facilities Services to install a new fire safety system in nine buildings in just four weeks. They chose the XP95 addressable fire detectors from Apollo Fire Detectors. Joe Presswell, Technical Manager from Detect Fire & Security Ltd explained, “The site was already configured with ward space and other clinical areas, so it was ideal to be converted for use as a community hospital. Upon initial site survey, it was a relatively straight-forward installation, simply swapping the equipment and reprogramming the system onto the new Advanced Electronics addressable fire panels.” Essential fire safety equipment He adds, “But the timescales were understandably hugely demanding. We were originally asked to work on three buildings, but this soon changed to nine buildings, with the order in which they were expected to be completed changing throughout the installation.” Joe further said, “Apollo were fantastic partners to work with, ensuring good stock levels at all times and accommodating all our requirements. It took four weeks to complete the installation in nine buildings. In normal circumstances, it would take around three weeks per building. This was a brilliant team effort.” Enhancing staff and patients safety The Apollo team has always prided itself on its level of customer service and flexibility" Nicolas Duke, Operations Director at Apollo Fire Detectors said, “The Apollo team has always prided itself on its level of customer service and flexibility. Working with Detect Fire & Security Ltd. on the Headley Court project was a prime example of this.” He adds, “Thanks to the fantastic support and dedication of our operations staff, continuing to work on our life saving devices through the entire coronavirus crisis, we were able to maintain our stock levels of key products”. Nicolas concluded, “The first order arrived on a day when manufacturing was closed due to stock take, therefore it was actually packed and made ready for next day pick-up by the Apollo Leadership Team. We are all proud of the contribution that Apollo and our customers have made to the national response to the virus.” Communication and teamwork Mike Sutton, Sales Manager at Apollo Fire Detectors said, “Communication and teamwork were the keys to the success of the Headley Court project. We really pulled out all the stops to help make this project come together so quickly.” Mike adds, “I personally delivered the first batch of products to site and our Managing Director was packing boxes in the warehouse to ensure the project could start on time. We’re delighted that the new facility is now fully protected, and patients can be cared for in a safe environment.”
Comelit Group’s fire detection solution has been installed at Gleavewood Care Home by KJ Fire Safety, for the ongoing safety and security of staff, residents and visitors. Cheshire-based, Gleavewood Care Home, part of the Minster Care Group, is a two storey care home, with 30 single rooms and a variety of communal areas, alongside an enclosed garden area and multiple facilities and visitor activities on site for residents to benefit. Risk assessment on fire detection systems KJ Fire Safety was called to the site following a risk assessment on fire detection systems KJ Fire Safety was called to the site following a risk assessment on fire detection systems. With recommendations made for a new install, Comelit’s Atena Easy two loop solution was fitted in just three weeks, working around the residents and staff. Ruth Field, Estates Director of Minster Care Group said “Mitigating the risk from fire is a fundamental duty of care in any care home, and an absolute priority across our property portfolio.” Ruth adds, “To ensure the safety of our continued staff and residents at Gleavewood, KJ Fire Safety worked by our side to install Comelit’s system as quickly as possible, whilst being sensitive to our residents and their daily routines. We are really impressed, not only with the fast paced installation, but also the finished Atena Easy control panel, which staff have been trained on, and its proven very user friendly.” Atena Easy system Comelit’s Atena Easy system has been installed as an addressable fire alarm, stylish panel with 2 loops, connected to 130 devices on a completely new cable scheme. The information for the system status is visualized on a graphic display and LED indication for zones and troubleshooting. Nigel Thomas, Managing Director at KJ Fire Safety Ltd added, “Care home owners need to review their fire risk assessments, with a proper understanding of how fire can travel and develop”. Fire detection system Nigel adds, “Good practice, as Minster Care Group demonstrates, is that this is done on a regular basis. When Gleavewood’s risk assessment highlighted critical action, we quickly and efficiently replaced the system with Comelit Atena Easy due to its ease of install and operation without re-using any element of the original system.” Mandy Bowden, Comelit Fire Business Development Manager (BDM) said, “Comelit’s Atena Easy system is simple to install, cost effective and user friendly 1 to 2 loop panel, designed with ease of use in mind”. Mandy adds, “For added assurance, it comes with the full training and support capability of a globally renowned fire systems manufacturer. This makes it perfect for care homes such as Gleavewood, where fire safety is of such critical importance, to ensure peace of mind for all who work, live and visit this site.”
Sigma XT gas suppression panels, manufactured by Kentec Electronics, a globally renowned manufacturer of life-critical control systems, are protecting NHS staff and patients at the Louisa Jordan NHS Facility Glasgow, located at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC), which provides more than 500 COVID-19 beds. Vipond Fire UK Ltd. installed the fire safety systems within a seven-day turnaround. The system includes a total of seven Sigma XT gas suppression panels, and 32 detectors located within the electrical room that serves the 10,000m2 facility. Sigma XT gas suppression panels Kentec’s Sigma XT gas suppression panels provide three initiation circuits as standard, which means the release of the extinguishant can be configured to activate from any combination of detection zone inputs to allow specific and controlled activations. It also features a large LED display, simplifying configuration and displaying the time remaining until release for added user safety. Gary White, Fire Alarm & Gas Suppression Manager at Vipond Fire UK Ltd, says that Kentec was an obvious choice for this installation. Easy configuration and installation Kentec is known for reliability and customers find its panels are easy to use and configure" Gary said, “Kentec is known for reliability and customers find its panels are easy to use and configure. And with time being a major factor in this installation, speed was critical.” He adds, “As Kentec is a UK manufacturer, we knew panels would not have to be imported and as a long-standing customer, we also knew they would do everything needed to ensure panels were delivered on time. Despite working around the Easter weekend, we were able to install on schedule.” Healthcare facility security Kevin Swann, Managing Director of Kentec, says he is immensely proud that Kentec panels are protecting such a critical facility. Kevin said, “The Sigma XT range is well suited to major healthcare facilities for its capacity, robust reliability and our brand’s signature intuitive user interface.” He adds, “It is testament to the skill, expertise and planning that Vipond were able to install in such a short time period and we are extremely pleased to have been able to support them in their mission. Working in line with Covid-19 regulations Kevin further stated, “The installation acts as an excellent example of how manufacturers and installers within the fire industry are working together, in line with COVID-19 regulations, to ensure that essential installation and maintenance of fire systems can go ahead.” Kentec Electronics is based in Kent, from conception at its global R&D facility in Rochester to its factory and offices based in Dartford, employing approximately 250 people.
A globally-renowned International Dairy Industry Group consulted IEP Technologies SAS located in France when an expansion project for one of their production sites in Western France led to the requirement for the upgraded process plant to be protected against the potentially dangerous and costly effects of industrial explosions. risk of explosion protection The company had decided to invest in the plant to increase its production capacity of dairy-based ingredients which are used in the food industry, however as part of the design review the company’s Global Insurance Underwriter judged that the new fluid bed drying and powder cooling plant as well as the upgraded dust collection equipment all needed to have “state of the art” explosion protection to meet or exceed their own internal engineering safety standards and rules. In addition to the dairy and food Industries, many manufacturing processes are at risk of dust explosions which may occur when fine particulates, dispersed in air, are exposed to an ignition source within a contained environment. Dust collectors These types of contained environments are commonly present throughout industry, for example piping and ducting, process vessels, dust collectors, and numerous types of special process machinery. Ignition sources should always be minimized or eliminated through a combination of engineering and safety controls The ignition source may originate from several conditions, including hot materials or surfaces, flames, self-heating clusters, friction or uncontrolled electrostatic discharges. Such ignition sources should always be minimized or eliminated through a combination of engineering and safety controls, effective management and operator training and awareness. Spray Drying process However, even with these safety measures in place, the explosion risk cannot be ignored in abnormal or fault conditions and therefore techniques to mitigate the potentially catastrophic effects of such an event must be employed. In this specific case, the upgrading of the Spray Drying process formed part of a much larger plant expansion which included a new external fluid bed dryer for final drying and effective powder cooling. In addition to this, the Cyclones currently in use were replaced with a totally new process bag filter. First protection concept and budgetary proposal IEP Technologies was first contacted by the project integrator in March 2018, and after an initial meeting where material explosion data and process specifications were collected, IEP Technologies responded with the first protection concept and budgetary proposal within a tight four-day turnaround. The existing drying chamber (10 meters in diameter) was already equipped with explosion venting panels and these were judged to be sufficient enough to provide explosion relief for this part of the process. Explosion suppression for the external fluid bed However, it was also necessary to isolate the chamber to reduce the risk of explosion propagating to the associated new equipment, at the same time as providing explosion suppression for the external fluid bed and the process bag filter. Deep discussions followed with the end user, integrator and insurance company to ensure that IEP’s proposal fully complied with the Insurer’s in-house standards and requirements as well as the pre-requisite local safety regulations and the European ATEX Directive. SmartDS dynamic explosion detection solution The key elements of the protection system selected consisted of SmartDS dynamic explosion detection solution During this phase, an extremely effective ongoing working partnership was formed between IEP France and the local integration manager and it is considered that this open and honest relationship facilitated a smooth execution of the overall project. The key elements of the protection system selected consisted of SmartDS dynamic explosion detection solution to provide early detection of developing explosions and to initiate the High Rate Discharge (HRD) Explosion Suppressors installed on the external fluid bed and process bag filter. High Rate Discharge Explosion Suppressors High Rate Discharge Explosion Suppressors actuate within 1.5 milliseconds of receiving an activation signal from the control unit, discharging the optimal quantity of powdered extinguishant through a special design nozzle system. The SmartDS is a SIL 2 certified rate of pressure rise detector which uses multiple algorithms that constantly interrogate pressure data to allow robust explosion detection while providing excellent false alarm immunity, thereby avoiding costly plant downtime. IR-13 Optical Detectors Additionally, in view of the relatively short distances involved, IR-13 Optical Detectors were installed on the process ducts to enable a suppressant isolation barrier to be rapidly activated before the flame front propagates through to associated equipment and creates a secondary explosion. The overall system is monitored and controlled by an EX-8000 multi-zone unit with the capability to selectively control discreet functions to initiate the appropriate protection devices only where and when they are needed. Explosion Protection System IEP’s local service team in France will be responsible for ongoing planned periodic maintenance IEP France was finally awarded the contract in July 2018 and all the elements of the Explosion Protection System were delivered in October 2018 with the project commissioned in December 2018, which was considered to be well within the project timeline. IEP’s local service team in France will be responsible for ongoing planned periodic maintenance, and the company has also purchased an inventory of running spares to minimize any downtime in the event of any system activations. Trusted Industrial Explosion Protection Partner The tight time scales involved in the execution of this entire project, right from initial contact, through protection concept design, proposal, proposal acceptance, system delivery, installation and commissioning, as well as the need to comply with the insurance company’s internal standards truly illustrates IEP’s capability as a Trusted Industrial Explosion Protection Partner, which comprises engineering review and design, system supply and ongoing maintenance, training and support.