Fire Safety Planning
TVU Networks, the market and technology pioneer in cloud and IP-based live video solutions, announces free services to emergency responders in Europe. In light of natural disasters wreaking havoc throughout the continent, TVU Networks is offering free use of its TVU Anywhere mobile app to transmit full-HD live video and 100 hours of TVU Producer, the cloud-based remote production and distribution platform. Social media channels These free services are being offered to all emergency and first...
Global manufacturer of specialist footwear, HAIX, will be returning to The Emergency Services Show 2021, September 7-8, NEC Birmingham, to showcase the latest innovations in footwear for all emergency service workers on stand L77. In the HAIX tent, visitors will find a range of footwear manufactured in Europe using pioneer techniques and high-grade materials, including the Rescue One, Combat GTX and Black Eagle Safety 50. For firefighters and the challenging conditions they encounter, the...
We are currently seeing fewer fires in the United States than in past decades. However, statistically, if a fire is reported in your home, you are more likely to die today than 40 years ago. Today’s homes with their synthetic furnishings and open floor plans burn faster than homes did in the past. Occupants might have fewer than three minutes to escape after a fire starts. Every 24 seconds, a U.S. fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the country. Nationwide, a civilian dies in...
Given that the majority of today’s workforce is comprised of Millennials and Gen-Z employees, the fire service needs to up its game to attract these younger candidates into employment opportunities in an environment dominated by Baby Boomers. And the demographic trends will continue: Millennials will make up 75% of the U.S. workforce by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To attract Millennials to the fire service, and to manage them once they are onboarded, it is nece...
Immediate evacuation is often the appropriate response in case of a fire emergency, but correctional facilities are built on the premise of keeping inmates inside. Such is the apparent conflict, when it comes to responding to a fire in a prison, jail or correctional facility. Fire safety challenges The unique characteristics of a correctional setting present challenges in case of fire. For example, how can locked doors be consistent with the need for easy egress in case of fire? Because doors...
Emergency One Group Ltd (E1) is looking forward to its return to the UK’s largest event for emergency services, The Emergency Services Show, at the NEC Hall 5 L12 & 0S10. To see the latest technology and innovation in the Fire Industry be sure to stop by. Steven Bell, Director stated “We are looking forward to returning to ESS and finally being able to showcase our latest projects! Despite the difficulties many companies faced last year, Emergency One was able to navigate throug...
Wildland fires are perceived as increasing risk in the UK, having been added to the National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies in 2012. High risk and difficult to manage, wildland fires create a set of very particular circumstances, meaning that firefighters need flexible kits that will help them do their job whilst tackling these incidents. Nathan Bricknell, general manager at FlamePro explains the advantages of a specialist wildland fire turnout kit and what other situations can it be used for. Different kits for wildland fires By their nature, wildland fires tend to occur in remote areas, meaning firefighters may have to walk a long way from appliances, often carrying hoses and other equipment. Not only this, while the heat from the fire isn’t as ferocious as being in a burning building, it can still be intense. And as wildland fires are often a risk during summer heatwaves, firefighters have to contend with not only heat generated by the fire, but also the ambient air temperature as well. Firefighters have to contend with not only heat generated by the fire, but also ambient air temperature as well Additionally, wildland fires can often see more than one fire raging during an incident, creating increased levels of radiant heat, as well as multiple locations in need of response. Of all the types of incidents, wildland fires are the ones that tend to go on the longest. With this combination of factors, it’s easy to understand why these types of incidents can increase the risk of on-scene firefighters suffering from heat stress. Type of PPE for wildland fires Wearing just a t-shirt on a firefighters’ top half leaves the arms exposed to heat and cancer-causing particulates. Meanwhile walking through wildland conditions in structural leggings will likely damage them, and the weight and heat protection a structural suit provides means firefighters wearing something unnecessarily heavy. Fire services should have a dedicated, lightweight turn-out kit for wildland fires to allow firefighters to cover the distances needed. This type of kit doesn’t necessarily need the heat protection that a standard turn-out kit requires, which provides scope to allow for a single-layer, more highly breathable garment. Wildland leggings need to have a closure at the bottom to stop sparks, smoke, and debris from going up the legs and exposing firefighters to carbon and particulates on the skin. Using stand out colors for PPE The kit ensures firefighters are swiftly identifiable, using colors such as red which will stand out against the landscape It’s also important that, when operating over large areas and sometimes from multiple brigades, the kit ensures firefighters are swiftly identifiable, using colors such as red which will stand out against the landscape. The most structural kit is now gold, which acts as a camouflage against the moorland landscape. Reflective elements are also helpful as efforts to fight wildland fires can often continue overnight. Finally, like all professional firefighting kits, garments designed for tackling wildland fires need to have a good range of pockets for storing radios and other essential equipment. Multi-functional PPE Garments designed for wildland fire response share many of the same qualities needed for rescue suits, meaning some wildland PPE ranges available on the market, including FlamePro, are intended to be multi-purpose. This multifunctional approach saves brigades from having to buy extra firefighting PPE.
With recent regulations mandating more fire safety precautions be put in place around building services, a polymer specialist has released a Class B fire-rated pre-insulated pipework solution for quick installation in high-rise buildings. Following previous developments such as the 2018 Hackitt Review and the Government’s July announcement of legislation appointing a new regulator for safety in buildings, there is even more emphasis on building compliance from developers and contractors. Alongside this, the challenge of delivering these projects to tight deadlines remains so products that save time on site are in high demand from contractors. Plumbing solutions With the focus now on buildings being specified and completed to high safety standards, Steve Richmond, Head of Marketing and Technical – Building Solutions at REHAU outlines how contractors and specifiers can use plumbing solutions to ensure projects are fully compliant. Steve says, “The recently updated legislation is obviously a great improvement for the safety of building occupants. However, with pressure on contractors and specifiers to complete buildings within shrinking timeframes, the industry has been calling for pipework solutions that fulfill all the requirements." "Yet alongside adhering to the Class B fire rating, and meeting BS EN13501-1 directive around fire classification of construction projects and building elements, any solution must also remain quick and easy to install.” RAUTITAN stabil pipework RAUTITAN stabil plumbing and heating pipework is pre-insulated with Class B rated fire insulation The new version of REHAU’s RAUTITAN stabil plumbing and heating pipework has been designed to meets these standards, as it is pre-insulated with Class B rated fire insulation, saving contractors the time-intensive process of manually adding insulation to pipework. RAUTITAN stabil uses the renowned Everloc compression sleeve fitting, which allows visual inspection due to it not needing O-rings, further saving time on installation. Providing Healthy wellbeing On top of increased fire safety and quick installation, the RAUTITAN range also provides contractors and specifiers with a hygienic drinking water solution. Lead-free fittings and cavity-free joints mean microbial contamination is avoided which means contractors and specifiers can promote the health and wellbeing of occupants. Steve concludes, “REHAU champions the concept of designing healthy buildings, and we look to support the industry with solving issues with compliance while future-proofing the UK building stock, as shown in our guide, ‘Designing Healthy Apartments’.” “With RAUTITAN, we aim to help reduce costs and installation time for contractors and specifiers, alongside meeting regulations to deliver to a healthy, safe and future-proof build to stringent deadlines.”
Comelit Group, as a founder Partner to The Security Event, is excited to return to exhibit with the launch of the latest integrated solutions, comprising an array of smart security and fire safety systems for residential and commercial premises. On stand 3a/B10, Comelit will be presenting its new Logifire addressable panel, which has been designed to offer a simple to install, fire safety solution that is compliant with the latest standards. It is complemented with a new range of detectors, offered with award-winning designs to ensure systems blend with their surroundings. Alarm management software Exclusively previewed at The Security Event is Comelit’s latest alarm management software, Horus, which presents an innovative platform that integrates intruder alarm, fire detection, video surveillance, and door entry into a single software capable of targeting alarm management. Comelit will be showcasing its latest updated home automation systems, including Maxi Manage Comelit will be showcasing its latest updated home automation systems, including Maxi Manager with Android, alongside smart integration with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Echo Show. Says Francesca Boeris, Managing Director Comelit Group UK: “Whilst we have been under enormous pressure as a result of the global pandemic, behind the scenes at Comelit, we have been working on some really exciting integration products and services that really go to the heart of fire safety and smart security design.” Wireless intruder alarm system “We are thrilled with the live opportunity at The Security Event to present our latest solutions. This is not only in their capability to seamlessly operate for the benefit of homeowners and business property owners, but also with due consideration to installers looking for simple ways to offer this smart technology. When combined with our mobile-first possibilities, we believe we have the perfect solution.” Visitors to the stand will have the opportunity to see live demonstrations of Comelit’s latest wireless intruder alarm system, Secur Hub, which is designed to seamlessly operate with its inclusive app technology. Natively connected to the Comelit Cloud, which includes both WiFi and LAN connectivity, Secur Hub operates a high-performance two-way radio link between the control panel and the sensors. Door entry systems Comelit representatives will be on hand to demonstrate how each system can operate Also on show will be Comelit’s renowned door entry systems, including its newest modular stylish panel, Ultra, alongside mini handsfree WIFI monitor, Icona, Switch, and 316 sense and touch entrance panels together with iconic interconnection systems VIP and Simplebus. Comelit representatives will be on hand to demonstrate how each system can operate through Comelit’s new ‘My Comelit’ APP, allowing installers easier control over their installations. Francesca concluded: “The Security Event is a perfect, long-awaited, platform for Comelit to not only present its all-encompassing product portfolio with integration capability, but also demonstrate to visitors the ease of installation and smart mobile-first upgrade opportunities.” “This is all completed to the highest of industry standards and without compromising on the style and aesthetics that is synonymous with the Comelit brand.” For more information on Comelit Group or its product range, please visit stand BA/310 at The Security Event, taking place between 7 – 9 September 2021 at The NEC Birmingham.
With recent regulations mandating more fire safety precautions be put in place around building services, REHAU, a globally renowned polymer specialist, has released a Class B fire-rated pre-insulated pipework solution for quick installation in high-rise buildings. Following previous developments, such as the 2018 Hackitt Review and the Government’s July announcement of legislation appointing a new regulator for safety in buildings, there is even more emphasis on building compliance from developers and contractors. Class B fire rated pre-insulated pipework solution Alongside this, the challenge of delivering these projects to tight deadlines remains, so products that save time on-site are in high demand from contractors. With focus now on buildings being specified and completed to high safety standards, Steve Richmond, Head of Marketing and Technical – Building Solutions at REHAU outlines how contractors and specifiers can use plumbing solutions to ensure projects are fully compliant. Steve Richmond said, “The recently updated legislation is obviously a great improvement for the safety of building occupants. However, with pressure on contractors and specifiers to complete buildings within shrinking timeframes, the industry has been calling for pipework solutions that fulfill all the requirements. Yet, alongside adhering to the Class B fire rating, and meeting BS EN13501-1 directive around fire classification of construction projects and building elements, any solution must also remain quick and easy to install.” RAUTITAN stabil plumbing and heating pipework The new version of REHAU’s RAUTITAN stabil plumbing and heating pipework has been designed to meets these standards The new version of REHAU’s RAUTITAN stabil plumbing and heating pipework has been designed to meets these standards, as it is pre-insulated with Class B rated fire insulation, saving contractors the time-intensive process of manually adding insulation to pipework. RAUTITAN stabil uses the renowned Everloc compression sleeve fitting, which allows visual inspection thanks to it not needing O-rings, further saving time on installation. On top of increased fire safety and quick installation, the RAUTITAN range also provides contractors and specifiers with a hygienic drinking water solution. Lead-free fittings and cavity-free joints mean microbial contamination is avoided which means contractors and specifiers can promote the health and well-being of occupants. Designing healthy buildings Steve Richmond said, “REHAU champions the concept of designing healthy buildings, and we look to support the industry with solving issues with compliance, while future proofing the UK building stock, as shown in our guide, ‘Designing Healthy Apartments’.” He concludes, “With RAUTITAN, we aim to help reduce costs and installation time for contractors and specifiers, alongside meeting regulations to deliver to a healthy, safe and future-proof build to stringent deadlines.”
Ahead of World Drowning Prevention Day (July 25th), the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has launched a new water incident dashboard to help Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) gather information on incidents in their area. It uses live data from the Water Incident Database (WAID) which records vital information from agencies such as the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). Community safety managers The dashboard was developed through the NFCC Data Portal and Digital and Data Program in partnership with WAID. NFCC’s Water Safety Group worked with the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) to develop the brand new resource. The dashboard was developed through the NFCC Data Portal and Digital and Data Program Aimed at analysts, performance managers, prevention practitioners, community safety managers, water safety advocates and communication professionals, this new tool helps FRSs refine searches and use information tailored to their area. It also drills down and provides information such as area, risk and days of the week, with the aim that this valuable information can be used help reduce incidents and drownings. This means FRSs will have access to better data to gain more understanding of local risks – which can then be used to further develop development prevention, education and communication strategies. Drowning prevention strategy An estimated 235,600 people drown every year worldwide. It is among the ten major causes of death for children aged 5-14 years. More than 90% of drowning deaths occur in rivers, lakes, wells, domestic water storage vessels and swimming pools in low and middle-income countries, with children and adolescents in rural areas disproportionately affected. In the UK 2020 has seen an increase of accidental drownings with 254 people dying. Progress has already been made in drowning prevention through work with the National Water Safety Forum, Water Safety Scotland and Water Safety Wales. The UK has a drowning prevention strategy which aims to reduce accidental drowning fatalities as well as contributing to the reduction of water-based suicide. NFCC – along with its partners - is committed to reducing drownings in the UK. This dashboard provides valuable data and information to assist FRSs to understand risk better and develop their prevention and education strategies. Real-time insights This tool will allow FRSs to interrogate risks, peak times for incidents and plan accordingly" Dawn Whittaker, NFCC's Water Prevention Lead and Vice Chair of NFCC’s Prevention Committee commented: “I am delighted to see the launch of this database which will provide detailed, local and national data for FRSs across the UK, giving real-time insights into water safety incidents and drowning. Every year in the UK we see so many people lose their lives to drowning which could – and should – be prevented.” “This tool will allow FRSs to interrogate risks, peak times for incidents and plan accordingly. In 2019, 233 people accidentally drowned in the UK, with 44 per cent of these people having no intention to enter the water. We need to see these figures drastically reduce; work such as this could have a positive impact on how we plan our prevention activities.” Evidence driven data “I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this; from NFCC’s Water Safety Group and NFCC’s Data Portal Team, RoSPA and WAID for helping to deliver this vital piece of work.” And Steve Holton, Data Lead for NFCC Water Safety Executive Group, said: “This new dashboard is a culmination of a number of months of work with our partners. By having this easy-to-access and real-time data, it will undoubtedly be an invaluable tool for all.” NFCC helped to develop the UK’s Drowning Prevention Strategy and works as an active member of the NWSF “It will help shape education and prevention agendas through evidence driven data, leading to a positive impact on what we are trying to achieve; ensuring people are ‘water aware’ and working towards our aim of reducing incidents and ultimately preventable loss of life.” NFCC helped to develop the UK’s Drowning Prevention Strategy and works as an active member of the NWSF, as well as running its annual ‘Be Water Aware’ campaign. Flood risk management World Drowning Prevention Day - held annually on July 25th – was declared through the April 2021 UN General Assembly resolution A/75/L.76 ‘Global drowning prevention’ and coordinated through the World Health Organization. It as an opportunity to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities and offer life-saving solutions to prevent it. Everyone involved – from governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector, academia and individuals – are all invited to mark World Drowning Prevention Day by highlighting the need for urgent, coordinated and multi-sectoral action on proven measures such as: Installing barriers controlling access to water Providing safe places away from water such as crèches for pre-school children with capable childcare Teaching swimming, water safety, and safe rescue skills Training bystanders in safe rescue and resuscitation Setting and enforcing safe boating, shipping, and ferry regulations Improving flood risk management NFCC welcomes this UN resolution passed which creates global recognition and awareness of drowning as an avoidable epidemic, which also offers the chance to highlight the numbers - national and globally - lost to these preventable deaths.
Sutphen Corporation, the largest family-owned fire apparatus manufacturer in the nation, announces the launch of the Sutphen tractor drawn aerial. Adding to Sutphen’s expansive family of aerials, the 131-year-old, family-owned business offers its renown mid-mount design, its leading rear-mount design and, now, its new tractor drawn aerial design. “Sutphen is proud to introduce our new TDA into our product mix, allowing us to welcome more fire departments into the Sutphen family,” said fourth-generation family member and Sutphen vice president, Julie Sutphen Phelps. “It is designed to support the needs of today’s firefighters, featuring our extreme-duty chassis and the unmatched strength of our aerial device. We are confident it will be the most sought-after TDA on the market.” Sutphen TDA The first Sutphen tractor drawn aerial will be manufactured for DeKalb County Fire Rescue in DeKalb County, Georgia. The truck was sold through Sutphen’s official Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina dealer, Williams Fire Apparatus. “Since the 1980s, DeKalb County Fire Rescue has been a loyal Sutphen and Williams Fire Apparatus customer,” said president and owner of Williams Fire Apparatus, Matt Williams. “With their intimate knowledge of our aerials, processes and people of both Sutphen and Williams Fire, they were the perfect candidate to be the first department to receive the new Sutphen TDA.” new apparatus DeKalb County Fire Rescue will take delivery of the Sutphen TDA later this year. Until then, details and finishing touches are being placed on the apparatus. “Working with Sutphen on this project has been an incredible and exciting experience,” said DeKalb County Fire Rescue Captain Bryan Dobson. “Although we have worked with Sutphen and dealer Williams Fire Apparatus for over 32 years, this is the first time to help build not just a new apparatus, but an entirely new product alongside Sutphen’s team, we have been blown away. From the concept of design to the production line, we have worked together every step of the way to ensure a strong product!”
Fire conditions and extrication events that firefighters arrive at today are very different from the conditions faced years ago. According to research at Underwriter Laboratories (UL), modern homes contain larger quantities of petroleum-based products and plastics that burn faster and hotter versus traditional and more natural materials. Rapid fire spread The result is more rapid and hotter fire growth with exponential increases in heat generation, smoke production and toxicity. Faster flashover and fire propagation, coupled with shorter times to collapse and shorter resident escape times, have changed what firefighters encounter in the average fire and its increased risk to their crews. On the other side, extrication calls are also on the rise, with multiple risks and an ever-present chance for fire, like with newer electric vehicles. New risks call for new and improved stationwear When the call comes in, firefighters rely on their turnout gear (TOG) for protection When the call comes in, firefighters rely on their turnout gear (TOG) for protection, but serious burn injury can occur right through the TOG. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) conducted a study that concluded stationwear contributes to overall thermal protection. However, depending upon the stationwear’s fiber content and material fabrication, it may also contribute to possible burn injuries. “Our goal at DuPont is to increase firefighters’ safety and we have dedicated years of study to ensuring what they are wearing under their turnout gear doesn’t contribute to more severe injury, as is the case with polyester and to a lesser degree, cotton,” said Jeff Fackler, North American Business Development Director for DuPont. Facing multiple thermal hazards As firefighters face multiple thermal hazards, they rely on the protective properties of their uniform to keep them safe. NFPA notes that the second leading cause of firefighter injuries in the United States is exposure to heat and smoke. Unfortunately, there has been a lack of reporting data that would help explain the severity, type and specific contributing factors, such as the clothing worn underneath the structural firefighting ensemble. Many authorities leave the choice up to the firefighters to determine what stationwear ensemble is to be worn underneath the structural turnout suit. According to the NFPA, the problem with this approach is the lack of knowledge about the risks of wearing non-certified garments, such as synthetics, and the lack of information focusing on factors that contribute to burn injuries. “We are working with DuPont to educate ourselves on how certified performance garments can help reduce risk of further injury during a fire or extrication,” said Spotsylvania, Virginia Fire Deputy Chief of Support Services, Jason Irby, adding “Stationwear is the last line of defense and the evidence is hard to ignore.” New Research in Preventing Injuries DuPont has worked to add to the level of research and discussion around how turnout gear and stationwear can help protect firefighters. DuPont scientists created Thermo-Man, a life-size manikin with 122 thermal sensors used to predict level, extent and location of potential burns of whole garments in simulated flame exposures. The goal is to test material selection and garment designs, and balance protection, mobility and heat stress. “What we found was that fire will exploit any gaps in turnout gear that may be created as the firefighter bends, climbs and crawls during the firefight,” said Jeff Fackler, adding “As a result, serious burn injury can occur right through the turnout gear, and the role of flame-resistant stationwear is to reduce the severity of that injury. In short, what you wear underneath your gear really does matter.” Stationwear made from Thermo-Man and Nomex Findings showed that garments made with Nomex will not melt, drip or support combustion, compared to 100% cotton DuPont tested stationwear garments using Thermo-Man to analyze and predict the levels of thermal protection that it provides. Stationwear made with Nomex brand fiber is compliant with NFPA 1975. Findings showed that garments made with Nomex will not melt, drip or support combustion, compared to 100% cotton, and Nomex helps reduce the predicted burn injury by 50%, when exposed to a three-second flame. Firefighters carry, pull, lug and climb with hundreds of pounds of hoses, ladders and other heavy gear. They have to crawl, squat, roll and duck in split-second decisions about their safety. More and more, they face challenges in extrication situations, where the chance of fire is high. Occupational Athletes Just like professional athletes, their gear has to be both comfortable and performance-based to allow freedom of movement, breathability and injury prevention. Associate Professor at the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences & Technology at UW-Milwaukee Dr. Kyle Ebersole has been studying the unique physical demands of firefighters for over a decade. “Firefighters and first responders are occupational athletes,” explains Kyle Ebersole, adding “Their job has some extraordinary physical and psychological demands.” Performance-enhancing sportswear Performance-enhancing sportswear like you see in the NFL or the Olympics is relatively new to the sports world. However, DuPont has been working on performance fibers for decades that help first responders perform at their best and help reduce the risk of injury. Stationwear made with Nomex fiber cools more effectively due to lower moisture pickup and evaporative resistance. The air permeability helps enable more heat and moisture vapor transmission and increases both cooling and breathability. Enhanced comfort and protection for firefighters This means more comfort and protection to firefighters in wildfire situations, structural rescue and vehicle rescue This means more comfort and protection to firefighters in wildfire situations, structural rescue and vehicle rescue situations. They can fight the fight longer with better performance and less risk of exhaustion. In the sports world, it’s well known that what you wear has a major influence on how your body and muscles move during various levels of activity. For athletes and firefighters alike, “The reality is if you become injured, you can’t work,” said Chief Jason Irby, adding “If I can help my team by providing stationwear that reduces thermal heat, allows them more time to fight a fire or work on getting someone out of a vehicle and it helps prevent burns closest to the skin, it makes total sense.” Technical advances and smart fabrics Technical advances and smart fabrics are making stationwear more comfortable and affordable, while allowing for better body heat regulation and adding protection against injury – helping give extra peace of mind to first responders. “They shouldn’t have to worry if their stationwear and gear is going to protect them,” said Jeff Fackler, adding “And with stationwear made with Nomex, they don’t have to.”
To manage fire risks, there needs to be a shift away from detecting and responding to emergencies and instead, a look towards connected technologies to provide a pre-emptive, proactive approach. Fires can be highly devastating, putting people at risk and threatening the lives of the public in surrounding areas – not to mention how destructive they can be in terms of damage to materials and property. A connected approach Fortunately, right now, our world is more connected than ever before. The internet has become such a vital component of the world’s infrastructure that it is unlikely many of us get through our day without linking up to the web at one point or another. This has created its own ecosystem called the Internet of Things (IoT), which spans nearly 100 billion physical objects and enables them to communicate with each other. As the IoT continues to expand, the world is only going to become more entwined. Adopting new technology We are seeing this steady increase specifically in connectivity for a multitude of reasons. But the main one is quite simple: the customer is happy. As a technology that is faster and able to store more data emerges, it becomes intuitively efficient and practical for the end-user – having a real impact on outcomes and preventing disasters. Customers are more likely to adopt the use of technology that is easy to learn and offers a solution to an existing problem. With so many relying on technology now for work, school, staying connected to friends and family, and entertainment, it makes sense to look towards incorporating it into daily safety needs within workplaces too. Using technology to improve fire safety Smart fire equipment with IoT software creates a safer community where workers are connected with their team Smart fire equipment integrated with an IoT software platform creates a safer community where workers are connected with their environment, safety managers, and their wider team. Take construction sites over the past year. Some were running with a skeleton crew – with contractors being isolated and distanced from emergency services – and others were closed entirely due to government-ordered lockdowns. However, cloud-based systems were able to be quickly implemented, providing a sophisticated and adaptable fire safety solution for all building sites, regardless of their operational status. This innovation has given property owners, project supervisors, and safety personnel the ability to receive alerts for a variety of events in real-time – helping to prevent disasters. The pandemic has really led to the wider adoption of technology, simply due to the number of individuals on sites. Technology has been able to fill some of the gaps in terms of monitoring safety systems and generating data remotely. Early detection technologies A fire can wreak havoc on the lives of people it affects and overcoming the huge losses can be a challenge. Early detection of the threat of a fire can make a massive difference to the outcome and this is happening right now with devices that monitor smoke or heat. However, very shortly, the emerging technology and the requirement from the industry is a lot less to do with detecting and responding to fires – it is more about monitoring sites, identifying risks, and preventing emergencies in the first place. Multiple industries are looking to technology to provide pre-emptive, proactive management of risks; responding to them once they have occurred is often already too late. Wireless fire alarm systems Wireless fire alarm systems have advanced greatly over the past few decades and contribute to solving these problems. Take our WES fire alarm system for example; it can connect to our REACT platform, which is a real game-changer for the industry as it has features that reduce risk and prevent incidents from occurring – avoiding potential loss of life entirely. Currently, innovative wireless technology is being used to alert all relevant personnel to emergencies as soon as they occur, enabling the situation to be stopped in its tracks before it becomes a full-blown disaster. However, looking ahead, cloud-based data and integrating systems such as REACT with wearable devices, smart PPE, and intelligent hard hats, for example, will take it one step further – raising the alarm to a potential risk so it does not even turn into a minor emergency. using customizable systems via IoT Machine-to-machine technology through IoT increases the safety of employees and prevents risk and hazards Any security system works best when its individual components work together cohesively. Machine-to-machine technology through the IoT now gives those components the ability to instantly and reliably stay connected and “speak” to one another and key personnel – greatly increasing the safety of employees and preventing risk and hazards. Furthermore, customizable systems that create bespoke solutions to suit a site’s needs offer accurate, specific, personalized notifications and alerts – making it possible to achieve the goal of comprehensive protection from both internal and external threats on sites of all sizes, no matter how unique the needs and no matter the operational status of the project. As we become more comfortable with the capabilities and security of the cloud and as unforeseen changes to our way of life become the new normal, the adoption of cloud-based technologies will continue to expand. Power of technology Firms that are embracing and adopting connected technologies are already reaping the rewards – being provided with peace of mind that they have an additional level of health and safety protection, putting workers’ minds at ease and their lives in safe hands. And as we look towards the future of fire safety, the real role and power of technology must be outcome-driven. Using technology to improve the way things are currently done while achieving the same outcomes is not enough – the results really need to change. Luckily, the technology needed to do this is already out there; it just needs adopting by those wanting to take a pre-emptive approach.
As the demand for UK housing continues to rise, developers and planning authorities are under increasing pressure to deliver the intended UK Government target of 300,000 new homes per year, by the mid-2020s. The need to build as quickly and as cost effectively as possible, unfortunately often leaves little time to invest in developing a thorough understanding of notoriously Byzantine fire safety standards, increasing the risk of serious, potentially fatal, mistakes. firm understanding of fire regulations Fire safety has pride of place on the construction agenda, having been taken more seriously, following the Grenfell Tower fire. However, a collective acknowledgment of the issue alone is not sufficient. It has to be backed with clear knowledge, and a firm understanding of fire regulations should be non-negotiable for all industry professionals. Approved Document B is commonly used by many industry professionals as guidance Broadly speaking, the industry’s understanding of British Standards is good. However, Euroclass standards are fast becoming more widely used. You only have to look to the most recent versions of Approved Document B, Volumes 1 and 2, where Euroclass standards are referred to throughout the main text, while the British standards can only be found in the Appendix. Approved Document B is commonly used by many industry professionals as guidance. I should stress, it’s not a fire testing document, rather it’s meant as an advisory document. As such, additional research and reading around the products specified for each project is essential. Deciphering the differences To help shed some light on the complex world of fire safety standards, our team of fire safety experts has compiled the table below, which concisely defines the Euroclass and UK standards, and explains how they differ. It’s worth noting, before we get started that UK classifications don’t equate with European reaction-to-fire classifications, and vice versa. The two sets of tests are conducted differently, each using its own methodologies and measurements. Moreover, it is important not to assume a product has met a certain standard unless it can be proven that it has been specifically tested to that standard and carries the associated certification. UK classifications don’t equate with European reaction-to-fire classifications, and vice versa The two sets of tests are conducted differently, each using its own methodologies We hope this outline of the key considerations around fire safety standards has started to put your mind at ease, giving you more headspace to navigate the winding path to a robust, fire-safe project. Read part two of this series here.
Local governments in the U.S. are embracing electric and hybrid vehicles in a big way, and many states have implemented incentives to promote adoption of the futuristic technologies. However, fire department vehicles and apparatus are yet to embrace the transition, largely because vehicles were not available that both meet the needs of firefighters and provide environmental advantages. However, fire vehicle technology is farther along the electric and hybrid path than some people realize. Electric and hybrid vehicles for the fire service are making their way into the market and may be deployed soon in a neighborhood near you. Zero-Emissions pumper Oshkosh Corp., which includes Pierce Manufacturing, has introduced the Volterra platform of electric vehicles for the fire and emergency market. The first Pierce Volterra zero-emissions pumper has been placed in service with the Madison, Wis., Fire Department, making it the first electric fire truck in service in North America. The Volterra pumper is serving front-line duty at Station 8, the City of Madison’s busiest fire station. The department is made up of 14 fire stations serving 100 square miles and a population of more than 250,000. The Volterra electric vehicle configuration weighs 42,000 lbs., seats six, has a 1500 GPM single-stage pump, 500-gallon water tank, 150 cu ft of compartmentation plus ladder storage, and a hose capacity of 1000 feet of 5-in hose. Pierce Manufacturing and Oshkosh Airport Products have introduced the Volterra™ platform of electric vehicles for the fire and emergency market Infinitely variable transmission An Oshkosh parallel-electric drivetrain with an electro-mechanical infinitely variable transmission allows zero-emissions operation when powered by onboard batteries. An internal combustion engine provides uninterrupted power to the pumping system or drive system. The first Striker ARFF will be delivered to the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport Fire Department Oshkosh also provides a Volterra platform for a hybrid Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicle, which is debuting at airports across the United States. The hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) meets the growing emergency response needs among airports of all sizes in an environmentally conscious way. Firefighters will be able to experience the technology first-hand. The first Striker ARFF will be delivered to the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) Fire Department in late summer 2021. Advanced safety systems Available on a 4x4 and 6x6 chassis platforms, the Striker Volterra performance hybrid delivers superior chassis performance, advanced safety systems, innovative fire suppression technology, reliability and durability. In April, Rosenbauer America’s Revolutionary Technology (RT) concept truck made its national debut in Washington, D.C., displayed for members of the Senate and firefighters based on the district. The viewing was held as Congress considers an infrastructure and jobs plan. “The Rosenbauer RT is the fire truck of the future,” says John Slawson, CEO and President of Rosenbauer America. “Build from the ground up using advanced materials and technologies, the RT is the safest fire truck on the roads today – for firefighters, for communities and for the environment.” The fully electric apparatus features a high level of safety, excellent driving dynamics and maneuverability and is fully networked. Rosenbauer's Revolutionary Technology (RT) fully electric fire truck visits Engine 3 in Washington, D.C. Auxiliary equipment chargers The RT’s electric drive is powerful and noise emission-free. The electric drive train ensures that almost no fuel is combusted while driving. Lighting and auxiliary equipment chargers are also powered by the batteries. A local power grid can be created with up to 14 kW operated simultaneously via the power outlet. A built-in range extender (REX) comprises a small diesel engine powering a large generator Conceived as a multi-purpose vehicle, the RT is a pumper first and foremost, a connected mobile command unit, and a vehicle for assistance in wildland fires. A built-in range extender (REX) comprises a small diesel engine powering a large generator. Volvo Penta developed the electric driveline for Rosenbauer’s RT fire truck, which is also being tested in fire departments in Berlin, Amsterdam and Dubai. Pioneering electric drivelines “After many years of successful collaboration with Rosenbauer, we are proud to be pioneering electric drivelines and partnering with them on this revolutionary project,” says Paul Jansson, Chief Product Manager at Volvo Penta. “This is our first industrial OEM partnership in the area of electromobility, and it’s a big step toward creating a new product platform of the future.” The new fire truck aims to respond to global megatrends such as climate change, shifting demographics and urbanization – and their impact on the work of fire departments. Firefighters responding to a call need a vehicle capable of high speed, rapid acceleration hard braking and maneuverability.
While wildfires can be beneficial and necessary for some species and ecosystems, there are various negative impacts on our air, water, and land, as well as, subsequent impacts for human health. Given the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mission to protect human health and the environment, the EPA’s Wildland Fire Research focuses on the impacts these fires have on human health and ecosystems. Examining ambient air quality EPA researchers are examining the worsening of ambient air quality from smoke and the contamination of surface and drinking waters, as well as ecological effects to habitats impacted by fire. EPA’s Wildland Fire Research aims to address knowledge gaps across wildland fire topics, including: Development and evaluation of applicable ambient measurement technologies, Fate and transport of wildland fire smoke emissions, Elucidation of primary and secondary ambient air quality impacts, Effective interventions to reduce smoke exposure, Communicating health risk and public education strategies Impacts of fire and smoke on watersheds, and drinking water, Remobilization of chemicals at contaminated sites, Air, water, and soil impacts of fires that reach the wildland-urban interface (WUI), Public health impacts resulting from smoke, and Integration of social science approaches into public health research. Key contributions to emissions characterization EPA has made and continues to make significant contributions to the body of knowledge on emissions characterization (emission factors). These include measuring and modeling smoke’s impact on air quality, especially concentrations of fine particles and ozone. They are also working to characterize the chemical components of smoke and their respective toxicities. Other contributions include physiological responses to smoke exposure; epidemiological studies for understanding population exposure to smoke and health outcomes; and impacts of fire on water quality and quantity. The EPA seeks social science methods to develop communication and community capacity tools to help communities reduce exposure during smoke episodes. Air quality impacts of alternative fire management practices Improving understanding of these impacts can help support forest management decisions to prevent severe fires EPA is collaborating with the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of the Interior to evaluate air quality impacts of alternative fire management practices, including prescribed fires that can reduce the severity of wildfires. Improving understanding of these impacts can help support forest management decisions that can prevent severe fires. EPA research has not focused on occupational health regarding wildland fires. While occupational exposure studies are very important, this works falls under missions of the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Assessment on impact of prescribed fire and wildfire EPA is leading the development of an assessment, comparing the impacts of prescribed fire and wildfire, in coordination with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Department of the Interior (DOI), with contributions from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This report will provide a better understanding of the health and environmental impacts of wildland fire, specifically smoke. The interagency approach is critical as USFS and DOI are experts in understanding various aspects of fire, NIST is an expert in the damages from fires, and EPA provides expertise in understanding the public health and environmental impacts of fire. EPA’s Wildland Fire Research As EPA’s Wildland Fire Research grows and adds to the body of knowledge over time, much of the findings will impact protecting human health and the environment by characterizing and developing strategies to mitigate the impacts of wildfire smoke on human health and ecosystems. EPA research on this topic will also inform the way we prepare, respond, and recover from wildland fires. EPA’s researchers are top scientists, representing a broad range of disciplines, including atmospheric science, health sciences, ecology, and social sciences. They are faced with the growing challenges associated with climate change and ensuring equitable protection for all citizens including disadvantaged communities who bear a disproportionate impact from air pollution and climate change. EPA’s multi-disciplinary researchers, together with partners from throughout federal, state, and local government agencies around the country, are working together to address these challenges. EPA will conduct the research needed to reduce the growing risk of wildfires and continue to protect human health and the environment.
Many restaurants around the world are suffering from loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation has made fire prevention a lower priority. Fire authorities should work with restaurant owners and associations to address this issue and offer guidelines and training to increase awareness in the community. Restaurant fires account for about 6% of all non-residential building fires reported to fire departments each year, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). These fires resulted in an average of less than one fatality per 1,000 fires, 11 injuries per 1,000 fires, and US$ 23,000 in loss per fire. Cooking, major cause of restaurant fires As one might expect, cooking is by far the leading cause of restaurant fires, accounting for 64% of restaurant fires, according to NFIRS. Heating and electrical malfunction each accounted for an additional 7% of incidents. All other causes, including unintentional, careless actions (4%), appliances (4%), other heat (3%) and several other categories at less than 3%, each accounted for the remaining 23% of restaurant fires, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), the top five causes of fires in restaurants are cooking equipment, with 61%, followed by electrical fires, heating equipment, smoking materials and intentional. Kitchen exhaust systems under high fire risk equipment At the top of the list of fire risks, related to cooking equipment, is a kitchen’s exhaust systems At the top of the list of fire risks, related to cooking equipment, is a kitchen’s exhaust systems, which are a common cause of fire, when they are not properly maintained. They build up grease, until a point where the hot smoke and steam that goes through the ventilation ignites that grease and causes fires. Also, grease traps should be properly emptied and cleaned or they will catch fire. Also, related to cooking, other common causes of restaurant fires are gas leaks or malfunctions due to poor maintenance. Not as common, but also a culprit of fire losses are fires caused by inadequate use of deep fryers or large cooking pans, and faulty cooking equipment such as pressure cookers. Detectors and automatic suppression systems Ivan Paredes, Latin American Head of Product Marketing for Fire Detection at Bosch Security and Safety Systems, lists the following technologies used to prevent and/or minimize restaurant fires: Automatic suppression systems built into stoves and oven hoods. Foam that reacts with the grease and CO2 extinguishing are the most common. Heat and smoke detectors located near the cooking area. UL 268 7th edition-approved smoke detectors can be installed inside kitchens and should not give unwanted alarms. Flammable gas leak detectors and automatic fail-safe valves to avoid gas leaks. Importance of regular maintenance of systems “The main challenge in fire prevention in restaurants is awareness and local regulation compliance,” said Ivan Paredes, adding “Restaurant owners should schedule regular maintenance of systems, proper cleaning of areas where grease and oil build up or are stored, and guarantee proper ventilation of the kitchen at all times.” He adds, “Restaurant staff also should be properly trained in fire prevention as well as the use of fire extinguishers and the systems installed (automatic suppression, gas leak detection, etc.) and regular housekeeping helps avoid flammable materials igniting near fire sources such as stoves and ovens.”
Previously, the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department dried their hoses using an inclined hose drying system, in which the fire hoses are suspended between the ceiling and the floor at an angle of 30°. Not only was this laborious, the drying result was also not ideal with the hoses sagged in the middle or hung together at the edges and therefore, still remaining wet. Wintersteiger Drytech drying locker The Wintersteiger Drytech drying locker for fire hoses is a special solution that was implemented especially for the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department. Chief Fire Inspector and Fire Chief Markus Auer at the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department said, “The most important advantage is obviously the cost. A drying tower would have been a significant investment. We were looking for another solution when we stumbled upon the Wintersteiger drying lockers for clothing online. Wintersteiger were very helpful and converted the locker to suit our needs.” Fast drying time Another advantage of the drying locker is the fast drying time, as the hoses are dry in just a few hours Another advantage of the drying locker is the fast drying time, as the hoses are dry in just a few hours. Until now, the hoses had to be hung up for a week, until they were dry. A timer clock is used to set the drying time. In the summer time, when severe weather conditions mean that the hoses need to be used more often, the shorter drying time is a big bonus. “The hoses are rolled up tightly and placed in the drying locker. Once they are dry, the hoses just need to be tensioned and put away,” explains the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department’s Fire Chief, Markus Auer. Energy efficient condensation drying The energy consumption is very low as the drying locker uses condensation drying. With this method, the moisture is extracted from the material, cooled on copper tubes, and discharged from the locker into a separate container as condensation. Ventilation systems are therefore not necessary. The drying locker uses approximately 60 % less energy than conventional drying solutions.
Sensor solution provider HENSOLDT has been commissioned by the German procurement authority BAAINBw to investigate the modernization and performance enhancement of the Eurofighter self-protection system in a multi-year study. The BAAINBw's study mandate aims to ensure the Eurofighter's assertiveness and survivability even against the most modern threats, such as long-range integrated air defense systems and highly agile radars. At the same time, new cybersecurity requirements, the use of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components, and the new Eurofighter design and development standards will be taken into account. The results of the investigations will be worked out in close cooperation with the German Air Force and regularly presented to the customer using hardware and software demonstrations. Redesigned Self-protection system While the existing Eurofighter self-protection system is being continuously improved with various individual measures, preparations for a comprehensive weapon system update have begun with the Eurofighter Long Term Evolution (LTE) programme to ensure operational capability well into the 21st century and for future adaptations. EuroDASS consortium has developed a redesign of the self-protection system under the name Praetorian eVolution To this end, the EuroDASS consortium (Leonardo UK, Elettronica, Indra, HENSOLDT) has developed a redesign of the self-protection system under the name Praetorian eVolution (eVo for short). "We are pleased to be able to support and accelerate the four-nation LTE programme and the maturity of the targeted new Praetorian eVo self-protection system with this investigative contract," said Celia Pelaz, HENSOLDT's chief strategy officer and head of the Spectrum Dominance/Airborne Solutions division. Situational awareness The existing Praetorian self-protection system protects the Eurofighter from radar- and infrared-guided missiles. The integrated sensor and jamming equipment also provides a precise situation picture and enables state-of-the-art electronic deception techniques. HENSOLDT has been a member of the EuroDASS consortium for decades and is involved in the development of Praetorian eVo. As a specialist in EloKa applications, HENSOLDT has supplied self-protection suites for helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to customers all over the world, among others. With 'Kalaetron', HENSOLDT has a fully digitalized product family of sensors and jammers for electromagnetic signals.
Saab has signed a contract with the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), and has received an order to deliver and integrate new naval radars and fire control directors for and in the German Navy’s Frigates of the Brandenburg-Class (F123). The contract includes a new combat management system in order to completely overhaul the system currently in use on the F123, allowing a low risk integration of the new naval radars and fire control capabilities. Combat system provider The order value is approximately 4.6 billion SEK. Deliveries and other services will take place between 2021 and 2030. Saab will be the prime contractor and will contract the German shipyard Abeking & Rasmussen Saab will be the prime contractor and will contract the German shipyard Abeking & Rasmussen for the shipbuilding work while the German company ESG will carry out logistical support. "We are proud that Germany has selected Saab as the combat system provider and integrator for the frigates to be overhauled.” Fire control director “We look forward to contributing to strengthening Germany’s domestic combat systems integration capability, creating a high proportion of value and service provision in Germany. This contract will further strengthen our relationship with Germany for many years to come," says Micael Johansson, Saab’s President and CEO. The contract includes delivery and integration of Saab's 9LV Combat Management System, Sea Giraffe 4A and Sea Giraffe 1X radars, Ceros 200 fire control director as well as third party systems, including IFF capability. It also includes a comprehensive, performance-based logistics package supporting the frigates’ operational capabilities. Saab will carry out the work in Germany, Sweden and Australia.
Two seven-story residential apartment buildings in the cultural and social hot-spot of Cardiff Bay are now protected by evacuation alert systems from UK manufacturer, Advanced. The EvacGo panels have been installed to meet the criteria set out in the BS 8629 Code of Practice for the design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance of evacuation alert systems for use by fire and rescue services in England and Wales. Audible warning in emergencies Situated in Cardiff Bay’s Tiger Quay development, Roath House and Queen Alexandra House are a mix of 73 social and market-rented one and two-bedroom apartments managed by Trivallis, one of Wales’ largest housing associations. Trivallis appointed Cardiff-based, Tremorfa Ltd, to complete the installation, requesting that Advanced’s EvacGo solutions be installed to ensure both residential buildings met the BS 8629 recommendations. With all Advanced evacuation alert systems custom-manufactured to reflect each building’s evacuation zones, Advanced supplied two EvacGo systems to Tremorfa complete with a 1-loop card, expandable from four to eight evacuation zones. The two systems were installed alongside a combined total of 63 sounders to provide an audible warning to building occupants in the event of an emergency. BS 8629 requirements Graham Smart, Fire & Security Installation Manager, at Tremorfa Ltd, said, “Having installed Advanced solutions for several years, we knew we could depend on its evacuation alert system to meet the requirements of the BS 8629 code of practice.” “The systems in both apartment buildings are now performing as required and we will be completing the installation of further EvacGo systems at Trivallis’ properties.” EACIE for fire and rescue EACIE must operate independently of fire detection systems and be designed to support any evacuation strategy Evacuation alert control and indicating equipment (EACIE) is now strongly recommended in England and Wales for all new tall residential buildings – and is mandatory in Scotland. The EACIE must operate completely independently of fire detection systems and be designed to support any evacuation strategy chosen by the fire and rescue service. Evacuation alert systems Ken Bullock, Business Development Manager – Evacuation Alert Systems, said, “We are seeing a rapid growth in interest in evacuation alert systems from local housing authorities and private landlords eager to ensure that the safety measures installed in their tall residential buildings meet the latest regulations.” “EvacGo has been built using our industry-leading MxPro 5 fire panel technology and, in developing our solution to meet the BS 8629 Code of Practice, we have consulted with fire industry experts involved in developing the standard.” “Both Trivallis and the residents of Tiger Quay can now rest easy knowing that they have the latest and most sophisticated fire evacuation equipment installed in their homes.” New Code of Practice BS 8629:2019 is the new Code of Practice for use by fire and rescue services in England BS 8629:2019 is the new Code of Practice for the design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance of evacuation alert systems for use by fire and rescue services in England. In place since November 2019, this code of practice recommends the installation of a dedicated evacuation alert system intended for the sole use of the fire and rescue services and separate from the building’s fire alarm system. New high-rise residential developments are among the buildings being prioritized for evacuation alert systems installed. Although not yet a legal requirement in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, EACIE installation is already mandatory in new buildings containing flats over 18 meters in Scotland and is considered best practice by several fire and rescue services.
In Paris, visitors will find not only the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, but also the largest fire brigade in Europe. With its 8,500 firefighters, the Paris Fire Brigade is, in fact, the third-largest urban fire brigade in the world, only topped by Tokyo and New York City. Paris Fire Brigade The Paris Fire Brigade is a part of the French army, and each firefighter joins the fire brigade for a period of 5 years. The safety of the firefighters is high on the agenda. It is of utmost importance that the fire brigade is equipped with the best possible fire gear, combining the utmost comfort with the highest degree of safety for the firefighter. A prismatic reflective tape, ORALITE FTP 2100, was selected for offering the highest degree of visibility It is, therefore, no surprise that when the Paris Fire brigade, back in 2017, were looking to upgrade their fire garments, they selected ORAFOL (Orafol Europe GmbH) as their supplier of the reflective trim. A prismatic reflective tape, ORALITE FTP 2100, was selected for offering the highest degree of visibility. Sioen is the manufacturer of fire safety garments. ORALITE FTP 2100 reflective tape Jean-Philippe Roy, Business Development Manager for ORAFOL, explains “Paris Fire Brigade was very determined to offer their firefighters the most visible tape available in the market place today. They carry out dangerous tasks in difficult working conditions, and they must be able to fully trust that they are as visible as possible in all conditions. ORALITE FTP 2100 met their high standards.” He adds, “Being a metalized prismatic tape, it provides the longest distance visibility available. In addition, the fact that the tape is also fluorescent means that it is also exceedingly visible in daytime or smoky conditions.” High-quality safety garment for firefighters Paris Fire Brigade sets forth a very good example for other fire brigades globally in that they have made the deliberate choice of a high-quality solution for their firefighters. No compromises have been made. Jean-Philippe Roy further said, “The thing is that many reflective tapes do meet the law regulated requirements. But meeting the regulation is simply not enough, it is not a guarantee of 24/7 visibility of the firefighters. And when a fire brigade specifies a tape, the risk is that they will just specify regulation compliance, and choose the tape offered at the lowest cost,” Roy explains. EN ISO 20471 standard specification The specification for reflective components on PPE, EN ISO 20471, sets forth the minimum reflectivity for the tapes The specification for reflective components on PPE, EN ISO 20471, sets forth the minimum reflectivity for the tapes. Yet, at the same time, the same specification allows for a drop in reflective performance of 70% in wet conditions. This is exactly why being specification compliant is not enough. It is necessary to carefully evaluate the working conditions that the users will be subjected to and select the best possible reflective tape based on this. Prismatic reflective tapes Jean-Philippe Roy concludes, “Prismatic reflective tapes remain highly reflective also in wet conditions, whereas glass bead tapes see a significant drop. This is simply due to the technologies working in different ways. Fire fighters work in wet conditions a great deal of time, so here a prismatic tape is really the only kind that truly makes sense.” The prismatic tapes from ORAFOL are the preferred choice for many major fire brigades around the world, including also the New York City Fire Brigade.
Inmarsat partner and emergency telecommunications NGO, Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) has deployed to western Germany, following torrential rain that has caused the country’s worst flooding in half a century. Rescue operations With thousands of people forced to leave their homes, roads completely destroyed and entire towns devastated, rescue operations began immediately, but were hindered by phone and internet connections going down in some affected areas. To ensure that communities could be contacted and rescue needs ascertained, and coordinated, TSF sent a specially designed vehicle to the most affected areas, offering telecom support to people on the ground, including relief organizations. The areas most in need were identified as the Ahrweiler’s district and the town of Euskirchen. Inmarsat satellite lines and IsatPhone 2 phones Deploying Inmarsat satellite lines and six IsatPhone 2 hand-held satellite phones in Ahrweiler meant that local firefighters and emergency responders involved in the rescue missions, including the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), were able to regain communications.
Round table discussion
Wildfire season presents special challenges to firefighters, and environmental trends point to even more frequent wildfires in the future, due to factors such as global warming. Technology, in all its variety, provides new tools to aid departments tasked with fighting wildfires. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the emerging technologies in wildfire prevention and protection?
New tools and technologies are emerging that augment the efforts of the fire market to prevent and fight fires. Modern firefighting is benefiting from an ongoing sea change in technological capabilities, spanning equipment, electronic components, greater connectivity and firefighter monitoring, to name just a few. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What technologies will have the greatest impact on the fire industry in 2021?