Fire Safety Planning
Dräger has launched a range of solutions for cleaning breathing apparatus, respiratory masks and PPE equipment that reduce the risk of carcinogen contamination within emergency teams as part of its Health for the Firefighter campaign. Dräger have worked in partnership with Harstra instruments, a Dutch manufacturer of cleaning and drying equipment. The launch follows a study undertaken by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) which demonstrated a self-contai...
Apollo Fire Detectors, has launched a new market insight program to help them continue to deliver innovative fire safety products and high standards of customer service. The Apollo Advisor Network encourages customers, installers and partners to share their experiences within the industry and the challenges they face. Registration is online and captures background on their company and individual responsibilities. Exclusive training access After signing up, Advisors have access to exclusive tr...
Designed with facilities managers and nominated Responsible Persons in mind, the guide has been created to be a trusted source of safety and compliance information. It is free for any business to download and use to review their own fire doors. In 2019, the Fire Door Inspection Scheme found that 76% of fire doors inspected were condemned as not fit for purpose, with excessive gaps, damaged smoke seals and poorly adjusted door closers the top reasons for failings. Fire door safety The research...
It makes perfect sense that a horrific wildfire season would come in the year 2020 on the heels of a pandemic. Dozens of major fires burned across North America in September, including 85 large uncontained fires and six contained fires across 12 states. Active fires have burned more than 3 million acres already, and 41,417 fires have burned almost 5 million acres year-to-date. The severity of the wildfire season is on track to surpass the 10-year average. Better understanding wildfires Globa...
Should firefighters and other first responders be exempt from requirements that they wear face masks to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)? The City Council of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, seems to think so. They are proposing an amendment to exempt first responders from complying with the city’s face mask ordinance. Amendment to Exempt first responders from face mask rule Specifically, the proposed amendment states, “Exempted from the requirements of the ordinance r...
The organizers of Milipol Qatar, the international event for homeland security and civil defense, have announced force majeure has prompted the postponement of the event for six months to March 2021. Over recent weeks and months, they have been in constant discussions with key industry authorities and partners to stay abreast of the challenges in the face of disruption due to COVID-19. In the light of the latest developments of the health situation worldwide and especially in Qatar, as announce...
Retention has long been a challenge for many volunteer and combination fire and EMS departments, yet little research has been done on the subject. volunteer fire service retention Thanks to support from a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has conducted a study to identify institutional drivers that cause volunteers to leave, the differing perceptions between leadership, current volunteers and former volunteers and what can be done to positively impact retention. The research was conducted in three phases over the course of several months in 2019 and 2020 The research was conducted in three phases over the course of several months in 2019 and 2020. The first phase included interviews with current and former volunteers as well as department leadership. SAFER work group feedback This was followed by a synthesis session and feedback from the NVFC’s SAFER work group, which consists of representative from several national fire and emergency service organizations. The final phase was a quantitative survey of over 1,000 current and former volunteers as well as current department leadership. “We know that many volunteer fire departments struggle with retaining volunteers, but much of our knowledge about why volunteers leave is based on anecdotal evidence,” said NVFC Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Lee, who oversees the organization’s SAFER grant. Improving volunteer retention rate Sarah adds, “With this research, we now have data to back up the hypotheses. We also have a better idea of what areas to focus on to help departments overcome the challenges and improve their retention rates.” Some of the key findings from the quantitative research include the following: There is a disconnect between why former volunteers say they left a fire department versus what current leadership thinks are the reasons why volunteers leave. Current volunteers who have considered leaving but did not said their main reason for staying was their desire to give back to the community and help people. When asked what could have a positive impact on volunteer retention, both current and former volunteers cited mentorship programs, giving out awards/honors to members when they reach service milestones, conducting stay interviews with volunteers who have lapsed attendance and conducting exit interviews, when a volunteer leaves the department, as among their top choices. The majority of department leadership (74%) said their department either had a general sense of retention but no specific way of measuring it or no clear definition of retention at all. NVFC’s ‘Make Me A Firefighter’ campaign The NVFC will use the data from this research to develop tools and resources designed to help departments better understand and meet the retention challenges they face. The research was conducted as part of the NVFC’s ‘Make Me A Firefighter’ campaign, a SAFER-funded program that helps volunteer and combination fire departments recruit and retain volunteers. The campaign includes a department portal filled with free tools and resources to help departments increase their staffing and a public site where prospective volunteers can find a local fire service opportunity.
DripDrop ORS (DripDrop Hydration), a globally renowned rehydration therapy company, announced partnering with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to provide the nation’s volunteer firefighters with dehydration relief. DripDrop Oral Rehydration Solution The company pledged to donate 100,000 sticks of DripDrop Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) this summer to assist volunteer firefighters during extreme heat, wildfire season, and the COVID-19 pandemic. When this donation was met within two days of the campaign’s launch, DripDrop increased the amount by an additional 100,000 sticks. “The speed with which the initial donation amount was reached proves how needed rehydration therapy is in volunteer fire departments across the U.S.,” said National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Chairman, Steve Hirsch. Rehydrating firefighters working in extreme conditions Firefighters work and train in extreme conditions, losing a significant amount of water" Steve adds, “Firefighters work and train in extreme conditions, losing a significant amount of water. The generous donation of 200,000 sticks of DripDrop ORS will help make sure these firefighters receive the relief they need so they don’t suffer the negative consequences of dehydration.” “No one is immune to dehydration and the effects it can have on our bodies, particularly those who work in extreme conditions like firefighters,” said Eduardo Dolhun, Managing Director and Founder of DripDrop ORS. Eduardo adds, “We are proud to partner with the NVFC and provide these brave heroes with DripDrop’s ORS to help them stay healthy and maintain proper hydration levels.” DripDrop – NVFC partnership The partnership between DripDrop and the NVFC coincided with the expansion of DripDrop’s popular ORS lineup to now include an 80-count, multi-flavor box of berry, lemon, watermelon, and orange flavors. This product is the latest in DripDrop’s arsenal aimed at combating dehydration, a condition affecting up to 75 percent of the U.S. population at any given time. DripDrop ORS improves on the World Health Organization standard for an ORS with medical-grade electrolytes, making it both the ideal rehydration therapy for the general population and a mission-critical tool for firefighters and other public safety and emergency workers.
Modules, also known as interfaces, are powerful devices designed to connect fire detection systems with other fire safety devices and/ or third-party equipment. For example, if there is a fire in a factory, user may wish to release magnetic locks on fire doors, send signals to access controls and automatically shut down plant machinery, all of which can be done through the capabilities of a module. The problem is, with so many modules available, how to know which one is ideal for a particular set up? Each manufacturer offers slightly different interfaces/modules, however, below is a list of Hochiki modules for a wide range of applications. The list offers a basic guide to help understand when and where a user can use each of the modules, however, full technical information and accessories can be found on the official Hochiki website. Powered Output Module Typically, a CHQ-POM module can also be used to interface equipment such as Hochiki’s IFD-E flame detector Hochiki’s CHQ-POM module is designed to supply 24 VDC at various, user-selectable current levels, from 2 to 32 mA (in increments of 2mA). This means that, by using a CHQ-POM, users can not only interface with conventional equipment, but can also power it. Typically, a CHQ-POM module can also be used to interface equipment such as Hochiki’s IFD-E flame detector or even the LDM-519-LP linear heat controller. Single Input Module Hochiki’s CHQ-SIM module has been designed to allow a single monitored input to be connected to the ESP loop. For example, the module offers a cost-effective way of interfacing and monitoring a conventional fire alarm panel. Single Output Module Hochiki’s CHQ-SOM module allows a single relay output to be connected to the ESP loop. The unit incorporates a volt-free relay contact that can be configured as normally open or normally closed, therefore, allowing users to program outputs such as, breaking the DC supply to Maglocks or sending a signal to a lift controller. Dual Input Module The CHQ-DIM2 (SCI) module is similar to the single input module, but with 2 independent inputs for connecting volt free contacts. The CHQ-DIM2 module is, therefore, a cost-effective solution if the user wants to receive inputs from two pieces of third-party equipment, for example, receiving input from a sprinkler flow switch and a door contact in the same area. Dual Relay Module The CHQ-DRC2 (SCI) module is similar to the single output module, but with two general purpose outputs that can be controlled separately. As the product name suggests, it also has an integrated short circuit isolator. The CHQ-DRC2 (SCI) module is, therefore, ideal for interfacing the fire system with two pieces of third-party equipment, for example, breaking the DC supply to both a door magnet and an access control system. 4 Inputs and 4 Outputs The CHQ-PCM (SCI) module is that little bit more flexible, allowing users to sub address up to 4 inputs and 4 outputs The CHQ-PCM (SCI) module is that little bit more flexible, allowing users to sub address up to 4 inputs and 4 outputs. The 4 inputs are provided for local fire and fault monitoring, and these are fully monitored for open and short circuit, which if required, can be enabled or disabled in pairs, using a two-way DIL switch. Again, the outputs can be used to interface with any third-party equipment, including dampers, air-conditioning units, roller shutters or plant equipment, etc. Single Zone Monitor Hochiki’s CHQ-SZM2 (SCI) module is a single zone monitor, allowing users to interface up to 6 conventional devices with an addressable system. As the name suggests, it treats the 6 conventional devices as a single zone. This is ideal for shopping centers that require an addressable system throughout the main center, but also need to interface with conventional devices in each store. Each store would be seen as a separate zone, allowing the main center to identify which store had the fire or fault. Dual Zone Monitor The CHQ-DZM (SCI) module is a more powerful version of the CHQ-SZM2 (SCI) module. It has two zones and each can accommodate up to 30 devices (60 in total). As users may expect, a unit as powerful as this does will require an external PSU unit, however, it is really useful if they have an existing conventional system, and require more intelligent monitoring. This module is especially useful for users who don’t quite have the budget to upgrade to a full addressable system. Mains Relay Controller The CHQ-MRC2 (SCI) controller module has a single relay contact rated at 250Vdc at 5A or 48 Vdc at 2A The CHQ-MRC2 (SCI) controller module has a single relay contact rated at 250Vdc at 5A or 48 Vdc at 2A (resistive load only in both instances), which gives users the flexibility to interface directly with mains powered equipment, for example, to shut down plant equipment or to break the supply to a gas solenoid. Dual Sounder Controller Hochiki’s CHQ-DSC2 (SCI) controller module is designed specifically to provide two conventional sounder outputs rated at 1A. Furthermore, each can be controlled separately and has full fault monitoring. However, it is important to note that the CHQ-DSC2 (SCI) module does require a 24v power supply. Intrinsically Safe Compatible Sounder Module When installing intrinsically safe sounders in a hazardous location or difficult area, the CHQ-ISM module must sit between the CHQ-DSC2 (SCI) module and the barrier. The modules are designed to interface with the addressable ESP system, while the barrier is designed to reduce the current. It is important to remember for users that both the barrier and the modules must sit in the safe area, not the hazardous area.
Standards for products and services are at the heart of success of the fire safety industry. Euralarm’s members need a fast and flexible standards-setting system because it is not only the best way to serve the interests of customers, the industry and society but also is a basic requirement for a safe and secure society. The company’s standardization system helps them to continue to deliver the highest levels of safety and security to citizens. However, for the competitiveness of the electronic fire safety industry, the impact of the CPR on standardization has according to their members, unfortunately, not met their expectations. This industry as well as many others depend on standardized product performance requirements and standardized behavior, which is at odds with the interpretation of the CPR following the European Court of Justice judgement on the James Elliot case. fire alarm system Euralarm’s expectation in the CPR is to ensure the European wide acceptance of test laboratory results For example, alarm buttons to activate a fire alarm system are across Europe - and the world - always red. Under the CPR, this is not seen as essential criteria and could change now with national solutions, which would lead to building occupants being confused. In one country the button is red and in another could be any other color. Euralarm’s expectation in the CPR is to ensure the European wide acceptance of test laboratory results, which in turn supports the movement of construction products across Europe. But now it has taken a different turn since the CJEU judgement. Further, trying to cover a very wide assortment of products from aggregate to electronic systems is proving to have a negative effect on the standardization of fire detection and alarm products. Harmonized standards The free movement of goods is one of the success stories of the European project. It has helped to build the internal market from which European citizens and businesses are benefiting and which is at the heart of EU policies. It was that same free movement of goods that was behind the introduction of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) in 2011. With this regulation the EU wanted to establish a common “playing field” for products for the construction industry. To assess or declare the conformity of the products use is made of the so-called harmonized standards. Harmonized standards are European standards that are developed by a recognized European Standards Organization, such as CEN CENELEC or ETSI. declaration of performance These standards define the common technical language to be used by manufacturers to express the technical performance of their products, by regulators to express their requirements and by designers, contractors, and other construction stakeholders to efficiently exchange information. The standards provide a solid technical basis for testing the performance of products The standards provide a solid technical basis for testing the performance of products, allowing manufacturers to prepare a declaration of performance (DoP) for their products as defined in the CPR and to affix the CE mark. The CE marking signifies that a product complies with relevant safety, health, or environmental regulations across the European Economic Area (EEA). guaranteed technical relevance Working with European harmonized standards offers many benefits. First, the technical relevance is guaranteed since the standards are the result of open and transparent discussions by interested stakeholders in the European Standardization Organizations (ESO). Following these discussions, the standard is adopted by one of the ESOs (CEN, CENELEC, ETSI) which makes the European standard relevant to the market as well. And since the European standard is requested by the EU and cited in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU) the harmonized standards are also relevant for the EU politics. When using a harmonized standard, it is assumed that the product complies with the basic requirements of the directive. This ‘presumption of conformity’ fulfils the circle that is needed for the free circulation of a product on the EU Single Market. fire protection systems Overlooking the construction industry, there is a very wide range of building products that fall under the scope of the CPR, ranging from low tech products like asphalt for road construction to high tech products like fire detection devices for buildings. Most of these products fall into categories that allow manufacturers to self-declare compliance with standards. Fire protection systems must be third party assessed and certificated before being “placed on the market" In case they cannot declare it themselves, there are several third-party testing institutes that can help them. However, fire protection systems and equipment (and to an extent also security products) must be third party assessed and certificated before being “placed on the market”. So far, it looks as if working with harmonized standards for assessing or declaring product conformity worked well. additional assessment processes That changed with the so-called James Elliot case. James Elliot Constructions started a case at the European Court of Justice against Irish Asphalt. The building company claimed that the aggregate that was provided by the asphalt manufacturer was not compliant with the specifications of the relevant harmonized standard for aggregates. The European Court of Justice regarded privately produced technical harmonized standards, as a provision of EU law. In its ruling the Court not only addressed this specific context, but also raised the need to address some specific aspects of the functioning of the European standardization system. The James Elliot case triggered the European Commission to set up additional assessment processes by which harmonized standards, once elaborated, can be reviewed in retrospect. fire safety equipment This development has brought the review and publication of standards in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU) to a stillstand. In 2019, not one single standard was cited in the OJEU and there is no hope of a change. The additional assessment processes for harmonized standards may not be of great importance for low tech products that remain the same for decades, but it is for high tech products, such as fire safety equipment. Most of the fire protection systems and equipment also employ electronics and software The rapid technological developments of these, and other high-tech products require up-to-date versions of harmonized standards. What is more, product innovation utilizing new technology is an important capability for the fire safety and security industry to improve performance and usability. Most of the fire protection systems and equipment also employ electronics and software that needs to be updated on a regular basis. market for construction products These aspects demand that related standards and regulations are sufficiently flexible and responsive to encompass such changes. The current CPR practice clearly does not accommodate these needs. Quite recent, the European Commission evaluated the CPR with the purpose to assess to what extent the CPR has met its objectives and helped reduce obstacles to the internal market for construction products. Among the main shortcomings identified by this evaluation are the insufficient performance and output quality of the standardization system under the CPR, and the low uptake of simplification provisions. These factors have reportedly resulted in a lack of legal clarity according to the EC. Euralarm shares with the EC the conclusion that a revision and a simplification of the CPR is needed. fire safety products However, it is not with the production of technical standards that leads to the insufficient performance and output quality, but the requirements set up by the Commission for the harmonization of standards under the CPR. From a technical standpoint, all European standards impacting the fire safety sector have been updated but only two revised standards in EN 54 series have been accepted by the European Commission and hence cited. The focus should be on the availability of up-to-date versions of harmonized standards Notwithstanding the disproportionate standards development cost for the industry, the changes in the CPR have created serious obstacles to export fire safety products outside of Europe and more generally the competitiveness of the European Industry. Fire safety industry While Euralarm’s international competitors have been able to update their standards to the latest technological development, the European fire safety industry is unable to compete because the publication of new standards is blocked. Instead of blocking the publication of new or revised standards, the focus should be on the availability of up-to-date versions of harmonized standards with shorter times between reviewing, updating and publishing standards. This will give the fire safety industry as well as many other industries that depend on (advanced) technical products more flexibility when developing standards to ensure safety of the European citizens and preserve its competitiveness in the international market.
Toyota Financial Services (TFS) announced it is offering payment relief options to its customers affected by Hurricanes Laura and Isaias, as well as those impacted by the wildfires in California and the derecho which struck the Midwest earlier in August 2020. This broad outreach includes any Toyota Financial Services (TFS) or Lexus Financial Services (LFS) customer in the designated disaster areas. Toyota Financial Services cares about the safety and well-being of its customers, and wants to help those impacted by these natural disasters. Impacted lease and finance customers residing in the affected areas may be eligible to take advantage of several payment relief options, some of which include: Extensions and lease deferred payments Redirecting billing statements Arranging phone or online payments Customers who would like to discuss their account options are encouraged to contact TFS or LFS.
BAFE and the FIA announced the acquisition of the FIA AO by BAFE FireQual Ltd. BAFE strongly believe this will be a significant opportunity for the fire industry to develop an exciting range of accredited qualifications to meet the demand for quality assurance of individual skill and expertise required by the industry. This necessity was heightened by the Grenfell tragedy and its subsequent reports outlined by Dame Judith Hackitt and the Competency Steering Group. Dame Judith Hackitt stated: “The lack of a coherent approach to competence levels and experience required – or professional qualifications where these may be necessary – and how these qualifications and experience should be evidenced so that they are clearly understood by all those operating within the system.” - 5.2 Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: Final Report. Board of Directors FireQual will operate as a separate wholly-owned subsidiary of BAFE, with its own Board of Directors, and will be led by a newly appointed Qualifications Manager who has a wide experience at a senior level in the qualifications sector. The FireQual Board currently is made up of Chairman Lewis Ramsay - former Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Scottish Fire & Rescue, Pauline Traetto - previous Executive Director of BRE Academy, Douglas Barnett - Chairman of BAFE and Stephen Adams - BAFE Chief Executive. For full clarity FireQual will only offer exams and qualifications – neither BAFE nor FireQual will be delivering any training. FireQual will be working with licensed training organizations (including the FIA) who will offer the approved syllabuses to their learners. BAFE consider this separation from training and exams/invigilation, as currently operated at BAFE with the BS 5306 fire extinguisher exam, is important to deliver independent quality assurance of this process. Certification Bodies Stephen Adams, Chief Executive – BAFE, commented, “There are natural synergies that will occur along with the BAFE ethos of Third Party Certification for companies delivered through licensed [UKAS Accredited] Certification Bodies. We believe that the introduction of accredited qualifications will only enhance the BAFE company schemes. These are not to be thought of as one or the other however, BAFE will continue to monitor company assurance of specific service competency which holds important value. FireQual will develop qualifications for individual expertise for specific services, whether the candidate works for a BAFE Registered Company or not.” Following the acquisition, the FIA AO will continue to deliver their exams until FireQual has established the necessary systems and delivery processes. FireQual aim to make this transition as quickly as possible with all the requirements for OFQUAL and the equivalent standards in Scotland and Wales under way. Fire safety industry qualifications FireQual will take the opportunity to contact a wide range of organizations that currently deliver training across all aspects of fire safety to consider the application of the new range of qualifications that we will be reviewing. FireQual welcomes any approaches to consider how this should develop and looks forward to collaborating with the industry to progress the future of individual qualifications for the fire safety industry.
The majority of fires within the UK take place within the home; with that in mind, it is highly advisable to regularly update and practice exit strategies in the event of an emergency. In order to raise awareness of fire safety in our communities, it’s important to be clear on what the most common causes of household fires are. Electrical appliances Electrical items are a major culprit of home fires. This can easily be avoided by ensuring a PAT test is carried out each year. It’s crucial to replace damaged or frayed wiring around outlets and to dispose old or faulty appliances. Never overcrowd electrical outlets and only use extension cords when necessary. Overwhelming units by ‘daisy chaining’ extensions to fit more appliances leads to higher chances of an electrical fire. All electrical appliances should additionally be repaired or installed According to the London Fire Brigade, around 60 percent of fires in the home begin in the kitchenby a certified professional. It’s also worth keeping an eye on sockets and fuses that blow for no reason. Flickering lights and scorch marks on sockets or plugs are easy signs which can alert you to unsafe environments. A common habit is to leave electrical items unattended overnight on ‘standby’ mode, this should always be switched off when not in continual use to avoid overheating. Whilst personal home assistant devices are meant to be in constant operation, be sure to look out for hot plugs and turn off outlets when you will be out of the house for extended periods of time such as holidays or weekends away. Smoking materials, lighters and matches The festive season sees a 12% surge in call-outs compared to the monthly average and over the last three years, fire crews dealt with 2,300 fires on Christmas Day alone. When celebrating the festivities try safer alternatives such as battery-operated or LED candles. Faux candles are a great substitute, particularly if you are living with young children. Always let hot matches cool in a metal or ceramic dish or run them under water for extra precaution. Keeping matches nearby lit candles or leaving lit candles unattended overnight are palpable dangers within the home. When celebrating festivities, try safer alternatives such as battery-operated or LED candles Space heaters Portable heaters are the cause of many UK home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Half of those fires occur because objects are kept within three feet of the heater getting far too hot and catching alight. Keeping flammable items at the recommended distance is essential warding off potential fires. Refrain from covering heaters or air vents with dry or damp washing, even if you have installed a fireguard. While some space heaters utilize a self-timer or sleep feature, be sure to manually switch off the heater when it’s not in use. By assuming the heater will automatically turn itself off, you leave yourself at risk as the heater may malfunction. Additionally, as self-timers only control the product itself and not the outlet, the plug still may be at risk of overheating. Cooking According to the London Fire Brigade, around 60 percent of fires in the home begin in the kitchen. It is crucial to be aware of your safety whilst cooking, with some points to always consider: Try not to leave cooking unattended on the hob or grill – if you leave the kitchen turn off the heat Do not cook whilst under the influence of alcohol or medication that can cause drowsiness Be aware of loose clothing that can easily catch fire, take care not to lean over a hob and always keep tea towels and clothes away from the cooker In the event of loose clothing or a cloth catching fire; practice the stop, drop and roll rule – don’t run, lie down on the ground and roll in heavy fabric or a fire blanket to smother the flames Keep the oven, hob, extractor fan and grill as clean as possible – built up fat and grease can ignite and cause fires Use spark devices to light gas cookers, they are far safer than matches or lighters as they don’t have a naked flame. Ensure toasters are kept clean and not placed under kitchen cabinets Never place anything made of metal in a microwave When cooking on the stove-top, use the fan or open a window to disperse any smoke and avoid accidentally triggering any fire alarm If water or food spillages occur whilst the hobs are on and in use, turn off the heat, remove any pans, and let it cool before using any cleaning equipment Preventing spreading To prevent fires from spreading, it’s important to check hidden electrical outlets, particularly those behind large pieces of furniture such as television stands or couches – be sure to keep enough distance between the object and the outlet to prevent crowding. Check these out of sight outlets once a month to ensure there are no obvious signs of scorch marks. It is also a good idea to ensure you add an outlet inspection to any checklist before leaving on holiday. Good fire safety precautions can be practiced as part of your daily routine. Ensure you keep a torch and phone by your bed in case of a fire during the night. Install a dual alarm that uses long-life lithium batteries on every level of your home (including the basement). Test smoke alarms monthly to make sure they’re working properly and ensure you take the time to replace batteries every year for complete peace of mind. Test smoke alarms monthly to make sure they’re working properly and ensure you take the time to replace batteries An exit strategy If you find yourself trapped with no feasible exit to safety, get everyone into one room, ideally with a window and a phone and place bedding around the bottom of To prevent fires from spreading, it’s important to check hidden electrical outlets, particularly those behind large pieces of furniture the door to stifle smoke. Call 999 when possible and open the window to let your presence be known. If you’re on the ground or first floor, you may be able to escape through a window. Use bedding to cushion your fall and lower yourself down carefully – don’t jump. If you can’t open the window break the glass in the bottom corner and make jagged edges safer by cushioning glass with a towel or thick blanket. Don’t make the mistake of investigating what’s happened in the event of a fire or rescuing valuables. If there’s smoke, keep low where the air is clearer. In the event of having to open a door, check if it’s warm. If it is, don’t open it – it is likely the fire is on the other side.
Last year saw a 14 per cent increase in fires in England, according to UK Home Office statistics. And while around three million fire doors are installed in the UK every year, a lack of understanding during operation, maintenance and management of fire doors is still apparent. In this article, David Hindle, Head of Door Closer Sales at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, will address this issue. Importance of fire doors Fire doors are often the first line of defense in a fire, yet even after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, fire door hardware remains a significant area of concern. In May 2018, an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, led by dame Judith Hackitt, have been published. The review highlighted a range of issues, but the message stood clear, the UK’s current approach to fire safety in buildings is not functioning as intended and a new, holistic approach to fire safety is required. Review of fire inspections In all fire inspections, there is a responsibility from the building owner to include checks on the fire doors In all fire inspections, there is a responsibility from the building owner to include checks on the fire doors. However, there is no legal requirement for them to complete any recommended upgrades or repairs, or to prove that they have done so. This represents a major problem, as doors that do not perform to the required standard could compromise a building’s safety and put occupants at risk. Ultimately, this could lead to liability being assigned back to the building owner or facilities manager. Need to maintain fire safety standards Fire safety is only properly maintained if standards and checks are carried out throughout the lifecycle of the product and building. This is best addressed through regular inspection, maintenance and the replacement of products when required. A review by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme revealed the most common fire door faults, ranging from missing fire or smoke seals, to unsuitable hinges and damage to the door leaf itself. Any one of these issues can render a fire door useless and can seriously impede a door’s capability to protect people from harm. Door leaf and frame maintenance Fire door hardware is often not afforded the attention it requires and is left mismanaged throughout its service life. So what needs to be done to ensure fire door hardware is working as expected? Naturally, the door leaf should not be damaged, warped or twisted, and it is vital to ensure the fire door closes correctly around all parts of the frame, with no distortion between the stiles, top and frame. Gaps between the door and leaf must not be greater than those specified in the manufacturer’s installation instructions or fire certificate data sheet, typically around 3 to 4mm all the way round. Importance of door closers A door closer ensures a fire door returns to its fully closed position and the door seals correctly in the door frame A door closer ensures a fire door always returns to its fully closed position and makes sure that the door seals correctly in the door frame, when not in use. There are three steps to ensuring these components are working correctly. First, open the door fully and check that it closes without dragging across the floor. Next, open it to approximately 5-10 degrees and again check that it fully closes, engaging any latch or seal. Finally, check the door closing speed is approximately five seconds from a 90 degree angle, ensuring the door does not slam shut. Intumescent fire and smoke seals Fire and smoke seals should be in good condition, fit the full length of the door and be secure in the groove. If seals are badly fitted, damaged or painted, then they must be replaced with exactly the same size and intumescent material that was originally specified. If the smoke seals have to be replaced, then they should be fitted in one continuous length, if possible. To ensure hinges are in good condition, check for visible wear, dark marks or stains around the hinge knuckle that could indicate wear and impending failure. Hinges must be strong enough to carry the door mass, plus robust enough to work efficiently no matter the level of usage. The hinges should be firmly screwed into the door and frame, ensuring that the seals at the top and sides of the door are not damaged or missing at any time. Intumescent pads should also be used with hinges, as these are required for the door to get its appropriate fire rating. Locks and lever handles To measure a handle’s condition, one needs to ensure the lock lever fully returns to a horizontal position after use Wiping any metal dust deposits off the handles will help ensure that the latch-bolt is engaging smoothly and completely into the keep during use. To measure a handle’s condition, one needs to ensure the lock lever fully returns to a horizontal position after use. If it does not, the lever may, at best, need adjusting or lubricating. At worst, it may need replacing, as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Again, ensure the lock case is protected by intumescent material. Maintaining record of fire door inspection No matter the component, a record of inspection and maintenance should be kept for all door hardware. Furthermore, those responsible for ensuring the fire safety of a site should encourage others to report any issues with any of the door components. Faults should be fixed as soon as possible, using the correct and fire-rated components. To check the compatibility of components, always consult the fire certificate data sheet or contact the manufacturer.
During these challenging times, it is more important than ever to protect the supply chain of food, including supermarkets and convenience stores in cities around the world. On average 3,740 fires occur in food and groceries stores in the US annually, including supermarkets and convenience stores, according to a report published by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association). Structure fires in mercantile properties were responsible for the loss of 12 lives and more than $600 million indirect property damages, and this doesn’t account for the cost of business interruption and the effect on the reputation of the store. Many stores haven’t been able to recover after a fire. The report estimates that a single fire may cost $46,000 on average, which in hindsight is considerably higher than investing in a fire detection system. The most common causes of fire in supermarkets It’s important to look at the data from two different perspectives. The first is the number of fires by cause, and the other is to quantify the property loss by cause. The report estimates that a single fire may cost $46,000 on average Fires caused by cooking equipment , including stores with kitchens and warming and portable equipment, account for 21% of incidences, but only for just 7% of total property damage and four civilian deaths (firefighter and first responder deaths are registered on a different report). On the other hand, electrical distribution and lighting equipment malfunctions and defective wiring account for 15% of the total of fires in a given year, but caused $165 million in property loss, or 27% of the total recorded on the report. It is also important to mention that intentional fires are the third cause reported, accounting for 11% of the total fire incidences and 20% of the property loss highlighted in the report. Occupation, materials and risks The kind of store poses a significant variety of risks associated to the type of occupation, the number of occupants and the materials stored and available in the shopping areas. It’s possible to find combustible materials of diverse nature and propagation speed. Cardboard and paper wrapping can be found in all store areas, including book and magazine stands. Cleaning products, oils and fatty products might have a high propagation speed. All of this, surrounded by different kind of plastics, immensely increase the level of risk. Overall, combustible liquids caused 41% of the civilian deaths recorded during the report In my firefighting years I’ve responded to several fires in food supermarkets and distribution centers, and saw tuna cans (canned with oil) exploding and spreading flames to the surrounding areas. Regarding occupation, it is known that supermarkets and groceries stores are places with high levels of occupation, especially during working hours. But one interesting fact that the report found is that fires occurring between 9pm and 5am can cause, on average, $73,800 in property damage. The NFPA estimates that 21% of human life losses happened between 12am and 3am. This highlights the importance of installing and maintaining an automatic fire detection system. Installing fire detection And Protecting Your Store With the variety of materials and the risk level that can be found in this kind of environment, it’s necessary to take a holistic approach. Fire protection should be designed while considering several angles, from passive protection in all interior and exterior structures and cladding to active protection with sprinkler and clean agent systems, proper ventilation and smoke control and automatic fire detection and evacuation systems. On average 3,740 fires occur in food and groceries stores in the US annually Several detection technologies need to work in parallel, depending on the type of products stored, the environment and the expected level of occupation on the protected area. Store height and ventilation need to be taken into consideration and also the kind of lighting in some cases. Depending on the ceiling height, the shopping floor could be protected with beam smoke detectors. If the ceiling is below six meters, or the store shelves obstruct the beam, it’s possible to use spot type smoke detectors. The same approach can be taken for warehousing and storage areas, but here I would recommend multi-criteria detectors, with heat and smoke detection combined. localized protection As I’ve mentioned before, cooking areas have an increased level of risk, which calls for localized protection. Here, I would recommend multi-criteria (smoke/heat) detectors for areas where food is heated and served, and smoke/heat/Carbon monoxide detectors on cooking areas to avoid nuisance alarms caused by cooking smoke and steam. It’s important to mention that until this year it was possible to install heat detection in cooking areas, but the UL 268 7th edition that comes into effect in 2021 will require cooking areas to be protected with smoke detection, and smoke detectors have to be able to reject nuisance alarms caused by cooking smoke and steam. Smaller supermarkets and convenience stores usually have vertical freezers or horizontal open freezers. Here, electrical and mechanical failures can ignite fires, which is why it is important to protect the rear side of the freezers. I would recommend point-type smoke detectors, as photoelectric smoke detectors tend to perform better on smoldering fires. The report mentions that air conditioning equipment and electrical equipment can be sources of ignition as well. To protect A/C rooms and electrical rooms I would recommend combined smoke/heat detectors, or maybe even smoke/heat/CO to assure better detection and avoid unwanted alarms in these business critical areas. There is a type of photoelectric smoke detector that uses two different LED sources inside the smoke chamber. This technology, called Dual-Ray, allows the smoke detector to identify the particles inside the chamber by size. The detector knows if it is sensing dust or steam, and can even differentiate between cooking or cigarette smoke from actual smoke from a smoldering fire. Bosch Building Technologies first introduced dual Ray technology in 2015. protecting the food supply chain During these challenging times, it’s more important than ever to protect the food supply chain and avoid the social and economic impact of fires in food stores, especially in impoverished areas. Supermarkets and convenience stores present a variety of challenges regarding fire protection, which calls for a holistic approach where passive and active protection are equally important. To achieve this target, one key element is automatic fire detection. Smoke and heat sensing technologies must be combined, and one size-fits-all approach is not enough. Detection and effective evacuation are critical to protect lives and minimize property loss.
The biggest risk of property damage and injury from wildfires comes at the wildland-urban interface (WUI), which is defined as areas where structures and the built environment begin to intermingle with wildland vegetation. More and more such areas are being created as humans move near wildland areas to take advantage of their natural beauty and privacy. As a result, fire departments are fighting more fires along the interface, and there is a greater need for citizens living in these areas to be aware of the dangers of wildfires and to be prepared. ‘Ready, Set, Go! (RSG!)’ Program The ‘Ready, Set, Go! (RSG!)’ Program works to increase engagement by local fire departments with residents The ‘Ready, Set, Go! (RSG!)’ Program works to increase engagement by local fire departments with residents that live in areas at risk of wildland fires. A program of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ offers the tools and resources for fire departments to provide more understanding of the risk of wildland fires and the actions residents should take to reduce the risk. The program seeks to help residents to be ‘Ready’ with preparedness understanding, ‘Set’ with situational awareness when fire threatens and to ‘Go’, that is, to leave early when a fire starts. Enhancing situational awareness via notification systems The ‘Ready’ tenet focuses on establishing understanding of the wildland fire threat and how it can be mitigated. The ‘Set’ tenet focuses on heightening situational awareness through notification systems and warnings (such as Red Flag Warnings). The ‘Go’ tenet calls on residents to leave early and emphasizes that waiting until the last moment can increase danger and impede response. However, the RSG! program does not supersede state and local practices regarding how and when people evacuate an area. In the end, evacuation is a local issue. Wildland fire education efforts The RSG! program is complementary to and collaborates with Firewise USA and other existing wildland fire education efforts, including Living with Fire, Take Responsibility, FireSmart, Fire Safe Councils, Project Wildfire, and others. RSG! materials include ‘Your Personal Wildland Fire Action Guide’, a national video, PowerPoint presentation template, press releases, media article templates and local meeting handouts. The RSG! program materials can be adapted to local needs. Many states and localities have customized the materials by adding local department and agency logos, landscape pictures, and text about past fires. Wildland-urban interface (WUI) The wildland-urban interface (WUI) is not so much a place as a set of conditions that are conducive to spread of wildfire The wildland-urban interface (WUI) is not so much a place as a set of conditions that are conducive to spread of wildfire. Conditions include the type and distribution of vegetation, proximity of vegetation to other structures, climate and weather patterns, fire history, topography and access. Embers from wildfires can be carried by the wind more than a mile away. They are the leading cause of home fires resulting from nearby wildfires. Embers fall or are wind-driven into receptive fuels and structures, often going undetected. As the fire front passes, embers may ignite fires that spread from home to home in a neighborhood. Wildland fire programs Through the International Association of Fire Chiefs' wildland fire programs, the organization raises awareness of wildland fire risks by educating members, residents, landowners and managers, local officials and planners. The IAFC provides resources and information that support local departments’ outreach efforts and serve as a voice for local government on a national level.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding the variety of technical capabilities deployed in the interest of public safety, and smart cities are leveraging IoT data to provide insights and improve operations. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is promoting technology development through its Science and Technology Directorate’s SCITI (pronounced “city”) solutions lab. SCITI stands for Smart City and Internet of Things Innovation. SCITI innovations promote public safety in urban environments to expand capabilities of first responders, including law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services, and the associated commercial sector. The initiative focuses on integrating new and existing technologies to serve public safety needs, with emphasis on validation and go-to-market support through industry partners. A streamlined process is aimed at getting new capabilities commercialized and available to users. Supporting first responders The program seeks to provide new capabilities to support first responders and the associated commercial sector in three areas. They are: Autonomous navigation for indoor Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to support search and rescue missions in difficult environments. Intelligent building sensors to be mounted on fixed indoor building features, such as smoke detectors or exit signs. Sensors provide a mechanism to rapidly prioritize areas for search and rescue. A body-worn interoperable platform (“SmartHub”) that integrates personal network communications with third-party sensors to improve situational awareness. Collaborations for development The program has been instrumental in developing and commercializing a number of products DHS Science and Technology is leveraging a “commercial first” approach by working with technology innovation companies, government public safety officials, infrastructure owners and private sector investment partners to promote the design, development and operational testing and evaluation of suitability for commercial adoption. The program has been instrumental in developing and commercializing a number of products. Improving communication is one area of development. For example, Zello, Austin, Texas, provides a push-to-talk smartphone app that is a low-cost, reliable and secure alternative to traditional radios. Wireless System Solutions, Morrisville, North Carolina, has developed end-to-end multi-standard/band wireless network solutions that provide connectivity from the macro cellular network to the end-point gateway and/or sensor. Emergency situational awareness To provide situational awareness in an emergency, Known Quantity Sensors Inc., Atlanta, offers an IoT edge sensor platform To provide situational awareness in an emergency, Known Quantity Sensors Inc., Atlanta, offers an IoT edge sensor platform that uses AI-backed, image-based processing to quantify and locate human occupancy. CommandWear Systems, Vancouver, British Columbia, provides a simple, secure, mobile situational awareness platform that runs on existing smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, laptops and desktop PC. The system enables users to prepare for events and incidents in advance, know where personnel and assets are, communicate with them securely, and then review and analyze a mission after the fact. Other solutions promote teamwork and collaboration. Mutualink, Wallingford, Connecticut, connect voice, video and information sources so any agency can talk to and share information with partners on-demand, providing instant emergency collaboration, situational awareness and coordination. Coolfire Solutions, St. Louis, Missouri, provides collaboration software that synchronizes data, content and communications to enable people to work together more effectively. Artificial intelligence Providing automation to operate in an emergency, Airgility, College Park, Maryland, provides multi-mission unmanned aerial vehicles that can conduct search and rescue operations or protect the nation’s borders, including onboard artificial intelligence. Thirteen companies in all were selected in the first phase of the program, and additional companies were added in Phase II. The SCITI solutions lab was created in collaboration with Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, TechNexus in Chicago, and Smart City Works venture labs in Washington, D.C.
Crowd management can be critical in a fire emergency – or in almost any other emergency situation. The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) has undertaken a project to develop a computerized tool to provide data and situational awareness about crowds based on computer vision analysis of video. Crowds have become an unusual occurrence during the COVID-19 pandemic, but sooner or later, life will be returning to normal. When it does, the safety consequences of poor crowd management will again become top-of-mind for many in the emergency response fields. Preventing trampling incidents With AI Crowds can change rapidly during an emergency, and emergency responders must act quickly to respond to changes in crowd density, movement and other behaviors. Crowd dynamics can have tragic consequences in cases such as trampling or crushing incidentsThe FPRF project has developed a proof-of-concept framework for “data-informed crowd management and support.” The low-cost, open-source framework highlights collection, analysis, visualization and reporting of crowd movement to inform and direct crowd and evacuation strategies in near-real-time. Crowd dynamics can have tragic consequences in cases such as trampling or crushing incidents, violence, or if there are insufficient exits. In the worst cases, injuries and deaths can occur. A real-time crowd management tool can help to neutralize these potentially dangerous situations. Deep-learning computer vision and video image recognition (using artificial intelligence [AI]) are the technologies that enable the project. The tools can be applied to live video, to manage an event in real-time; or to recorded video to evaluate crowd activity as part of the event-planning process. The deep-learning capability is called congested scene recognition, or CSR, which both counts the number of individuals in a crowd and identifies their spatial distribution. Algorithms evaluate crowd movement Modern technologies and algorithms evaluate crowd movement over time in high-risk spaces. Users may upload a still image, and the tool will evaluate the crowd count in a given area. For a video feed, the system can capture individual frames at a user-defined interval (1 to 30 seconds) or manually. Crowd counts are then graphed and displayed to identify crowd density trendsThe model then evaluates the frame, predicts the count and provides a crowd density heat map within about 5 seconds. Crowd counts are then graphed and displayed to identify crowd density trends. Early trials have been promising, according to the researchers. The research project is led by the FPRF and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) with funding through a U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Fire Grant. So far, the proof-of-concept tool has been created, and testing this fall will evaluate how well it works on an array of venues, how well it estimates crowd counts, and the feasibility of full-scale implementation. A final report will include the programming code associated with the tool and guidance on how it can be implemented. Use of open-source platforms and general-purpose programming languages ensures the source code for the crowd management tool is freely available, and thus inexpensive. Anticipating behavior is crucial Researchers on the project note that crowds are not the problem, but rather the problem is incomplete understanding of the anticipated behavior of crowds and the inability to respond quickly. There are many variables, including the venue itselfThere are many variables, including the venue itself, and internal and external factors such as the purpose, organization and emotional nature of the crowd. The NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, includes regulatory requirement for managing large crowds. According to the code, crowd managers are responsible for understanding crowd dynamics, management techniques, and the venue’s emergency response plan, among other factors, according to NFPA. To prepare for large events, crowd managers must evaluate specific actions necessary for various situations, anticipated occupancy levels, the adequacy of ingress and egress, and expected human behavior.
Set on the iconic shores of Italy’s Lake Garda, Campeggio del Garda is a popular campsite that attracts tourists from around the globe to its picturesque location. Hochiki Italia’s Totem solution was specified to protect the idyllic campsite and provide occupants with an ideal level of outdoor protection. Campeggio del Garda is located on the water’s edge of Lake Garda, one of Italy’s most picturesque lakes and holiday hotspots. The scenic location offers a range of bungalows and mobile homes, as well as camping and mobile home pitching areas, for visitors. Looking at the spot, it’s clear why this campsite has become a must-visit attraction for tourists. With on-site facilities such as a swimming pool, restaurant and sports courts, the 3,000 guests the site can accommodate are able to enjoy complete luxury during their stay. Updated emergency evacuation system Italian-based designers, Studio Albertini, were brought on board to specify a suitable range of life safety devices In need of an updated emergency evacuation system, Italian-based designers, Studio Albertini, were brought on board to specify a suitable range of life safety devices to protect the site’s guests and employees. Owner and lead contact for the project, Paolo Albertini said, “It was essential for Campeggio del Garda that the solution would be complex enough to deal with the scale of their facilities, but also waterproof to accommodate for outdoor protection. Understanding the high-level of expertise that would be required for such a project, we worked alongside life safety manufacturer, Hochiki Italia, to supply the best and safest solution possible. In this case, their unique Totem system was specified.” Studio Albertini and Hochiki Italia collaboration Studio Albertini and Hochiki Italia collaborated closely on the project to specify a life safety system that could be installed across the expansive accommodation facility. Mirko Corsini, Project Manager at Hochiki Italia, said “Due to the sheer size of the camping area, we decided to manage the system through two networked panels by using the master/slave function of the device.” Mirko Corsini adds, “Combining this intelligent system with the 31 Totem call points that were installed throughout the campsite, we were able to provide a fully integrated and accessible network that covered the entirety of the park. Each Totem is fully waterproof to allow for operation all year around and contains a CHQ -WSB2 sounder beacon, warning signs, multilingual fire safety instructions as well as a UNI ISO 7010 signal call point, as requested by the Ministerial Decree.” Hochiki’s Totem system installed Hochiki Italia’s Totem system is ideal for large scale projects, as was the case and requirement at Campeggio del Garda. Being able to work from multiple networked panels, the system can be divided into zones, in order to make the connection and detection more secure and reliable. This basically means that the system can be operated and monitored from a singular control panel that includes a digital display screen for complete visibility of the status of the various call points. From this panel, duty holders can test, activate and identify any incidents for around the clock safety while reducing operational costs for large premises. The Totem’s call points are placed evenly across the facility to make sure they are accessible for all guests and are within a reachable distance at all times. The call points can be activated by guests or members of staff and can act as a beacon to communicate with guests. Fully compliant solution Totem is fully compliant with Italy’s Ministerial Decree 28.02 2014 and Circ. Prot.n. 0011002 - 12/9/2014 Totem is fully compliant with Italy’s Ministerial Decree 28.02 2014 and Circ. Prot.n. 0011002 - 12/9/2014, in relation to the safety of guests in open air, tourist accommodation. The decree states that all existing accommodation facilities must adopt the appropriate method of fire detection and fighting in spaces of more than 400 people. A clear part of the guidance is that call points should be distributed within 80 meters of each other and well-lit, with multi-lingual fire instructions. At the same time, the alarm signal coming from any of the detectors or call points must determine the optical and acoustic fire alarm signal at a manned place during the hours of activity. Signal and call point functionalities The signal and call point functionalities of Hochiki Italia’s Totem system work perfectly in line these requirements, making them suitable for a range of outdoor environments. Commenting on the end result, Paolo Albertini said “We are elated with the installation and the level of life safety that we can now offer to the campsite’s guests. It was a seamless process and we were able to adapt the system to our exact needs and ensure that fire detection was not only present, but accessible to staff across the whole site. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Hochiki Italia products to customers.”
C-TEC’s revolutionary CAST and Hush Pro fire alarm systems are safeguarding a charming cluster of commercial and residential properties in Llangollen, Wales. As a ‘mixed-use’ building housing both business units and domestic dwellings, a combination of commercial and residential fire systems was required. Allied Fire Alarms & Escapes Co. Ltd., a renowned Wrexham-based fire specialist company, installed one of C-TEC’s powerful CAST XFP addressable fire systems to protect the ground floor retail units and interfaced it to three of C-TEC’s new Hush Pro domestic fire systems to safeguard the residential dwellings on the first floor. Hush Pro domestic fire systems John Westerman, Director at Allied Fire Alarms & Escapes Co. Ltd. said, “Linking C-TEC’s CAST system to Hush Pro proved the ideal solution for this mixed-use building. Each domestic dwelling is fitted with a Hush Pro controller connected to a series of Hush Pro smoke detectors, base sounders and heat detectors, all interfaced via Hush Pro’s CAST Landlord Interfaces - to the CAST XFP communal/landlord system.” Specifically designed for flats, apartments and high-rise residential buildings, Hush Pro provides residents with easy-to-use detection, alarm, silencing and test facilities so they can test their own devices, be alerted to system faults and hush any false alarms at the Hush Button which is positioned at light-switch level for easy access. Fully-monitored BS 5839-6 Grade C system As a fully-monitored BS 5839-6 Grade C system, Hush Pro reports open and short circuit faults and operation faults" John stated, “We specified Hush Pro as it offers higher levels of fire protection over the Grade D unmonitored battery alarm systems typically used in domestic installations.” He adds, “As a fully-monitored BS 5839-6 Grade C system, Hush Pro reports open and short circuit faults and operation faults back to the CAST fire panel and even allows management and maintenance companies to remotely monitor the system. In the event of an emergency, Hush Pro relays information to the CAST panel to effectively notify building management.” Integration with CAST fire system John further said, “As an intelligent domestic detection system, Hush Pro certainly ticks all the boxes. We were very impressed by its operation and ease of integration with the CAST fire system, which was also simple and straightforward to set up. With regards to customer support, C-TEC is always very responsive and happy to help with any enquiries we have.” He adds, “We look forward to installing C-TEC’s products into our future contracts as they provide high-quality, intuitive and easy-to-install fire detection solutions that can be adapted to meet the specific requirements of any building.”
Selected for their performance, quality and ease of use, 96 intelligent addressable MxPro 5 fire alarm control panels and 34 custom AdSpecials panels will be installed at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, as part of a comprehensive upgrade. As a center of clinical excellence, Wythenshawe Hospital, part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, has over 5,500 staff providing district general hospital and specialist tertiary services to the local community and the wider population of the North West of England, so fire system reliability was a critical part of the specification. Manchester-based Grainger Fire & Security, responsible for the 18-month project, chose Advanced’s fire protection for its robustness, versatility and ease of installation in complex and critical sites. BMS integration The system changeover to Advanced will involve the installation of new network cable across a live hospital environment as well as BMS integration, and the introduction of a graphics package to provide visual representation of the fire system to end users. The 34 custom-engineered, 6-loop panels with 600 zonal LEDs included in the installation will be designed and manufactured by Advanced’s AdSpecials department. The network of Advanced panels will work with over 20,000 devices using Apollo and Hochiki protocol. In addition, a full design review of the hospital’s existing false alarm management strategy will take place to ensure that the new system is programmed to effectively reduce unwanted alarms. Fully interactive internet portal The upgrade to the system will also see the introduction of ipGateway, Advanced’s fully interactive internet portal Will Taylor, Service & Small Works Manager at Grainger Fire & Security, said: “As Wythenshawe is one of the largest teaching hospitals in the UK, we needed a solution that offered superior programming and networking capabilities, ensuring the highest levels of protection across the site.” “As our preferred panel choice, we have recommended Advanced for a number of years. Its MxPro 5 panels are both easy to use and install and offer the features required to competently protect the hospital and its multiple buildings that each have individual cause and effect programming.” The upgrade to the system will also see the introduction of ipGateway, Advanced’s fully interactive internet portal that presents the user with a detailed description of the current status of the fire system. Reducing unnecessary service visits The ability to remotely interrogate the fire system is a valuable benefit for both the end user and Grainger Fire and Security, who will be able to pre-empt problems. Not only will this provide additional peace of mind for hospital users, it will also save time, money and inconvenience by reducing unnecessary service visits to site. Neil Parkin, Advanced’s Regional Sales Manager for the North, said: “The cause and effect programming capabilities of our panels provide tangible benefits to customers when protecting large-scale sites such as hospitals, university campuses or airport terminals.” “Once the system at Wythenshawe Hospital is up and running, features such as AlarmCalm, our built-in false alarm management and reduction software, will work to radically reduce the number of unwanted alarms and the impact they have on patients and staff. It’s a pleasure to be able to support Grainger Fire & Security on this project, and I have complete confidence that our products will provide the dependable solution required.” Multiprotocol fire system solution MxPro panels can be used in single-loop, single-panel format or easily configured into high-speed networks MxPro 5 is the fire industry’s multiprotocol fire system solution and was recently certified by FM Approvals to the EN 54 standard. It offers customers a choice of two-panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network, backed up by free training and support. MxPro panels can be used in single-loop, single-panel format or easily configured into high-speed networks of up to 200 panels covering huge areas. MxPro’s ease of installation and configuration, as well as its wide peripheral range, make it customizable to almost any application. Life-saving technology Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 Company Halma PLC, protects all manner of prestigious and high profile sites across the globe, from London’s Shard and the Berkeley Hotel to Abu Dhabi International Airport and the Hagia Sophia historic site in Turkey. Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day. Advanced is a provider in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. Advanced’s reputation for performance, quality and ease of use see its products specified in locations around the world, from single-panel installations to large, multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multiprotocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
A huge new Amazon fulfillment center on the outskirts of Bristol has installed Vimpex Smart+Guard tough polycarbonate hinged protective covers to protect the building’s alarm call points from accidental or malicious activation, which could trigger costly building evacuations resulting in lost production and missed logistical connections. Life and fire protection system Amazon’s new 500,000 sq. feet fulfillment center at Severn Beach is designed to ensure that more people in the Bristol region receive next-day deliveries. When it is fully operational in September the center will employ around 1,000 people and will be equipped with advanced robotics technology to help lift and move products around the plant. Fire detection specialists AFS (AFS Holdings), engaged to engineer and install a whole life protection system at the fulfillment center site, fitted Vimpex Smart+Guard covers to all the relevant manual call points across the site to protect the system from malicious activation. Smart+Guard protective cover Smart+Guard, manufactured in the UK by Vimpex, is a tough hinged protective cover Smart+Guard, manufactured in the UK by Vimpex, is a tough hinged protective cover that can be easily installed over a range of emergency switches and other devices to provide protection from vandalism, accidental damage or misuse that can cause unwanted alarms. Misuse of manual call points or pull stations resulting in false or nuisance alarms is a costly and troublesome interruption to business continuity. BS 5839 – The British Standard for Fire Alarm Installations recommends the use of manual call point covers in vulnerable areas to mitigate against false alarms. Vimpex Limited’s Managing Director, James Jones, commented, “When we acquired the SmartGuard range of products and merged production of the range into our operations, we knew there was massive scope for developing the business. This is evidenced by the growing list of high-profile end users now specifying the product for use in their facilities.” Fire alarm and detection systems specialist James adds, “The recent news that Amazon has installed the product into their newest fulfillment center in Bristol is testament to our great levels of customer service and our willingness to go that extra mile for our customers.” Vimpex is Europe’s renowned independent manufacturer and distributor of high quality fire evacuation and alarm system products for installers, distributors and OEM manufacturers. The company is also a specialist in the supply of technical rescue and PPE equipment for UK fire, rescue, police, military and emergency services teams.
SMART SHOOTER, a world-class designer, developer, and manufacturer of innovative fire control systems that significantly increase the accuracy and lethality of small arms, is honored to announce that the company has been considered as a potential solution-provider and its technology has been selected for a NATO Defense Against Terrorism Program of Work (DAT PoW) exercise in the domain of the fight against small UAVs. Smart Shooter's SMASH Fire Control Solution will be tested and evaluated on the engagement part of the UAV kill chain. Integrated onto assault rifles SMASH is a combat-proven Fire Control solution for small arms that ensures each round finds its target. With a unique "One Shot – One Hit" capability, SMASH allows the operator to quickly and effectively neutralize any ground or airborne target, manned or unmanned. It is a cost-effective solution that can be integrated onto any type of assault rifle, as well as combined with other C-UAS systems, to provide an effective multi-layer defense solution suitable for the modern battlefield. SMASH's proprietary target acquisition and tracking algorithms are integrated with sophisticated image-processing software into a rugged hardware solution that enables automatic detection, tracking, and effective engagement of UAVs. Micro-tactical network Bringing precision-missile targeting algorithms and advanced electro-optical processing capabilities into standard infantry, SMASH enables the creation of a micro-tactical network between deployed SMASH units, allowing the entire platoon to be smart, precise, and connected. Michal Mor, SMART SHOOTER CEO, noted, "SMART SHOOTER's SMASH solution is a proven and reliable hard-kill solution against UAVs, and we are honored that the NATO Defense Against Terrorism PoW has selected it for consideration in the domain of the fight against small UAVs. SMASH fire control system put a precision anti-UAV capability at the fingertips of its users, maximizing operational effectiveness while keeping the force safe and minimizing collateral damage."
Situated in the heart of Cleckheaton, Victoria Court has recently undergone a £2.5M transformation and is now home to two floors of offices and an array of retail and commercial outlets including Dominos Pizza and the Halifax Bank. With its cutting-edge control panels, detection and alarm devices, C-TEC’s new CAST XFP system provides the highest levels of fire protection at the multi-purpose site. Featuring all the top-notch qualities of C-TEC’s existing panels plus distributed intelligence, autonomous decision making, high speed data transmission and a powerful group activation command for the rapid deployment of alarm signals, CAST is designed for fast and easy install. In addition, its capacity for displaying detailed data on all system activity was also a key factor in its specification for this particular site. Fire alarm panel CAST XFP is easy-to-install, well manufactured and very reliable on all the current installation sites" Said Nathan Douglas-Smith of Centurion Fire and Security Ltd, the specialist fire company that completed the installation of the life-safety systems in just under five weeks: “Fire alarm panel feedback is crucial so engineers and end users can ascertain all site activity. CAST XFP provides the responsible person with vital information on system activity in complete contrast to the old fire alarm system it replaced. As a result, engineers and end users can see exactly what is happening on site.” “CAST XFP is a great product - it’s easy-to-install, well manufactured and very reliable on all the current installation sites. From a customer support point of view, C-TEC are very responsive to enquires, requests and the occasional technical support call. For example, at a late stage in the installation, the client decided they wanted the smoke detectors in a specific area to be black. We simply called C-TEC and they manufactured them to order.” feature-rich and intuitive Said David Armstrong, Centurion’s MD: “CAST is powerful, feature-rich and intuitive. We’ve installed ten systems to date and have many more projects in the pipeline. Going forwards, we can’t wait for it to be rolled out to C-TEC’s larger panels particularly the ZFP over the coming months.”