Fire Safety Planning
With the launch of the new version of the fire protection system, Cerberus FIT, Siemens Smart Infrastructure expands its offering for the small to medium-sized buildings market. Various small to medium-sized buildings can now be covered with a simple and cost-efficient solution. auto-configured solution Cerberus FIT maximizes fire safety, due to greater functionality and enhanced productivity for those working on protecting the buildings. The intuitive interface as well as the auto-conf...
There are more than half a million homeless people in the United States, including many who deal with mental illness, drug addiction, and other problems. At homeless shelters where some of them are housed, attention to fire prevention may take a back seat to other concerns, such as adding capacity. More troubling are fire hazards at makeshift housing sites and homeless camps. Fire calls to homeless encampments run the gamut, including many of the same types of emergencies as other calls. Becaus...
There is a sense in some markets that the paper and pulp industry will decline owing to the digital technologies with which people interact every day. While this might be considered logical, the reality is completely different. In fact, the paper and pulp industry has experienced a steady growth and will continue to do so in 2021. Production of paper increased by more than 450% in the last decades and the demand of paperboard in the world is expected to grow significantly, driven by e-commerce...
Drone usage by public safety agencies is at its highest level to date, with nearly 4,000 agencies now having drones or drone programs. Leading the implementation of drones in law enforcement with 42%, followed by fire service at 37%, emergency management with 12%, and the remainder by other categories such as search-and-rescue and EMS. Some of the primary fire missions for drones are structural fires, wildfires, hazmat responses, fire forensic investigations, swift water rescues, floods, torna...
Over the decades, milestones in firefighter safety technology have included the open-circuit breathing apparatus, flame-resistant fabrics, thermal imaging cameras, and Bluetooth communications. Safety equipment manufacturer, MSA Safety Incorporated announced the availability of LUNAR, a new multi-purpose search, and rescue device that promises to join that list of breakthrough innovations. While production will begin in the coming weeks, LUNAR is available to order now. cloud technology Resu...
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy and sustainable building solutions and architect of OpenBlue connected solutions, has announced the launch of Chemguard NFF 3x3 UL201 Foam Concentrate. NFF technology This new, patent-pending Non-Fluorinated Foam (NFF) technology provides fast and effective fire suppression on most Class B hydrocarbon and polar solvent fuel fires. With a longer drain time than most AR-AFFFs, this foam blanket also delivers excellent post-exting...
Euralarm, the globally renowned fire and security solutions organization, has announced support for a resolution of the European Parliament that asks for quick solutions from the European Commission to improve the standardization of construction products, while also pushing for a transition to a sustainable and more circular economy. Resolution on standardization MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) have recently called in the resolution, adopted with 686 votes in favor (4 votes against and 5 abstentions), on the European Commission to find a quick and viable way, in order to improve and speed up the standardization process for construction products. Of the 444 existing harmonized standards for construction products, only 12 new ones have been issued, since the Construction Products Regulation was adopted in 2011, hindering the free movement of products in the European Union. Construction Products Regulation With 686 votes in favor of the resolution, the European Parliament has taken a clear position on the upcoming revision of the regulation by the European Commission. “The Construction Products Regulation must be made fit for the future with a view to digitalization and sustainability,” said rapporteur Christian Doleschal. Prior to the decision-making process for the European Parliament, the chair of the Euralarm Fire Section presented a paper on the ‘Impact of the Construction Products Regulation on Standardization’ in the active fire safety industry. The presentation was held during an Informal meeting of the Working Party Technical Harmonization (Construction Products) of the German EU Council Presidency - Construction Products Regulation.
PACCAR, a global company in zero emissions commercial vehicles, has announced a five-year supply agreement for battery power systems with Romeo Power, Inc. (Romeo Power), an internationally renowned battery technology solutions company, with headquarters located in Los Angeles, California. battery management software PACCAR will purchase Romeo Power’s battery packs and battery management software for heavy-duty battery electric Peterbilt 579EV vehicles and Peterbilt 520EV refuse trucks in North America. PACCAR has become a minority shareholder in Romeo Power as part of the strategic alliance. The partnership with Romeo will further enhance PACCAR’s zero emissions product offerings" “PACCAR is delighted to be working with Romeo Power. The partnership with Romeo will further enhance PACCAR’s zero emissions product offerings that improve customers’ operational efficiency and environmental impact,” said Darrin Siver, the Senior Vice President of PACCAR. High energy Romeo battery packs The Romeo battery packs provide high energy, fast charging performance and ample range for customers’ applications. “The Romeo battery system is designed for seamless integration into Peterbilt commercial vehicle chassis and other vehicle systems,” said Kyle Quinn, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at PACCAR. Production of Peterbilt zero emissions trucks featuring Romeo Power’s battery packs are expected to launch in the second half of 2021. PACCAR is a globally renowned technology company that specializes in the design, manufacture and customer support of high-quality light, medium and heavy-duty trucks, under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF brands. PACCAR also designs and manufactures advanced powertrains, provides financial services and information technology, and distributes truck parts related to its principal business.
Esri UK announces a new partnership with drone specialists heliguy™ to complete its end-to-end drone solution for the emergency services industry. The final piece in Esri UK’s strategy to offer all parts of the drone workflow, the partnership will provide customers with drone hardware, payloads, and pilot training from heliguy, combined with Esri’s drone flight planning, data capture, data processing, and GIS software. Desktop data processing Esri UK and heliguy will work on joint customer projects, aiming to introduce more efficient workflows and new capabilities, including the rapid creation of FMV (Full Motion Video), real-time drone surveillance programs, digital twins, and 3D models of buildings. New approaches will include both cloud and desktop data processing and storage, enabling faster sharing of drone data and integration with other systems such as GIS. Esri UK's current customers include Humberside Fire & Rescue and Avon & Somerset Constabulary, while heliguy counts London Fire Brigade and Greater Manchester Police as customers. Sophisticated fleet management The new partnership makes their procurement process more efficient" “From creating digital twins and real-time surveillance to emergency planning, asset inspections or fire risk assessment, the use of drones is increasing and becoming more complex,” said Adrian Friend, Head of Defense, National Security and Public Safety at Esri UK. “The end-to-end approach will give users sophisticated fleet management and remote flight planning workflows, combined with geospatial analysis, which is vital in delivering drone data to teams on the ground or in operations centers, so faster decisions can be made. By providing a single source of hardware and software, the new partnership makes their procurement process more efficient.” Streamlining current processes Designed to streamline current processes, from drone hardware selection and management, through to data capture, analysis, and sharing, the partnership will make it easier and more cost effective for customers to create a tightly integrated drone program, which can scale across an organization. “Defense and public safety organizations are now looking to maximize their drone investment as new workflows begin to emerge,” said Ben Sangster, GIS and Survey Lead at heliguy. “New payload sensors recently launched will now enable high-fidelity mapping to be achieved much faster than before, for example. Combining our hardware expertise with Esri’s software will reap new benefits for defense and public safety drone programs.”
There is currently a semiconductor shortage that is affecting some industries, including the automotive sector. The semiconductor shortage has reduced PACCAR’s truck deliveries in the first quarter of 2021, by approximately 3,000 vehicles. Semiconductor shortage PACCAR’s first quarter 2021 truck deliveries are estimated to be approximately 42,000 vehicles, compared to 40,800 vehicles delivered in the fourth quarter of 2020. The company anticipates that the semiconductor shortage will continue in the second quarter of 2021 as well. However, North American and European truck industry orders continue to be very strong. PACCAR’s forecast for 2021 truck industry retail sales remains unchanged. Light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks provider PACCAR is a globally renowned technology company, which specializes in the design, manufacture, and customer support of high-quality light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks, sold under the Kenworth, Peterbilt, and DAF brand. The company also designs and manufactures advanced power trains, provides financial services and information technology, and distributes truck parts related to its principal business.
Viessmann introduced the next-generation of its most popular gas-condensing boiler, the Vitodens 100-W, with industry-leading capabilities for installers. The WiFi-integrated Vitodens 100-W’s new control platform makes commissioning and servicing the boiler easier. It is possible to monitor and make adjustments to customers’ boilers remotely. No third-party controls are required; meaning a Vitodens boiler with ViCare Thermostat provides homeowners with a load-compensating smartphone-controlled heating system. Vitodens 100-W Design The mechanical design of the Vitodens 100-W has reduced the number of spare parts typically needed for routine maintenance by about 50%, meaning Viessmann installers should be able to carry less stock. At the same time as the new-generation Vitodens 100-W series goes on sale, Viessmann will also launch the new Vitodens 111-W wall-mounted combi boiler. Intended for family homes where there is high hot water demand, the 111-W features a cylinder loading system and a 46-liter integrated stainless steel storage tank, allowing it to provide a flow rate of up to 181 liters in 10 minutes. The unrestricted flow rate makes it ideal for multi-point of use, e.g. shower and a bath or basin. All models are hydrogen-ready, certified for a 20% hydrogen blend. Vitodens 100-W Highlights Vitodens 100-W series is perfectly suited to a much broader range of homes and ideal for installers searching for boilers Compact, quiet, and affordable, with outputs ranging from 3.2 kW to 32 kW (and with an 11 kW version now added to the range), the Vitodens 100-W series is perfectly suited to a much broader range of homes and ideal for installers searching for boilers to match heat loss calculations. Viessmann has given its best-seller class-leading capabilities by adopting technologies and features from its most advanced gas-condensing boiler, the Vitodens 200-W. Outputs from 3.2 kW to 32 kW Available as a system boiler (11, 19, 25, and 32 kW), combi boiler (26, 30, and 32 kW), and 111-W storage combi (25 and 32 kW) ViStart app for easy installation and fully-guided commissioning process New Lambda Pro automatic combustion control for maximum efficiency at all times Vitoguide functionality gives engineers remote access; customer interface is via ViCare app Service Assistant servicing tool Fewer parts need to be carried for routine maintenance New MatriX-Plus burner extends service life and reduces CO2 and NOx emissions Long-lasting and efficient Inox-Radial heat exchangers Modulation range increases from 1:4 and 1:6 to 1:10 (3.2 kW) Ready for 20% hydrogen mix in the gas supply “The new Vitodens 100-W boiler, with its completely new control platform, is the most up-to-date specification on the market. With WiFi inside the boiler, it is a truly smart machine, enabling live interfaces and full control for both the installer and end-user. All this functionality is free and included in the boiler,” says Graham Russell, managing director at Viessmann UK. Vitoguide app Vitoguide shows engineers the status of their customers’ systems at a glance and gives access to current operating data The Vitodens 100-W’s control platform is visible inside the Vitoguide software, as previously seen on the premium Vitodens 200-W boiler. By making it possible for the engineer to monitor and adjust the system online, shortens service processes, reduces operating costs, professionalizes the engineer’s customer service, and strengthens customer loyalty. Simply put, it is the most important tool in the installer’s kit. Vitoguide shows engineers the status of their customers’ systems at a glance and gives access to current operating data. It’s possible to see fault messages instantly and to call up spare parts and availability. Automated notifications keep the installer notified even when the Vitoguide software is closed. This allows the installer to respond to any issues promptly, by making remote parameter adjustments, for example. Vitoguide prevents errors The Vitoguide app helps ensure that boiler commissioning can be completed perfectly every time. (The commissioning assistant function, previously called ViStart, will be familiar to installers of the Vitodens 200-W model). The app automatically establishes a connection with the boiler – without necessitating connection to the homeowner’s internet router – as soon as its integrated Wi-Fi access point has been activated. The app’s step-by-step guide covers time programs, heating circuits, heating curves, DHW, and the circulation pump. When commissioning is complete, it generates a final completion report. One particularly helpful feature of the Vitoguide app helps prevent common errors or oversights during filling and venting. After the boiler has been filled, the app gives a read-out of the system’s water pressure, and if this is acceptable, the app’s venting mode shifts the diverter valve backward and forwards, periodically turning the pump on and off, to remove air from the system. ViCare app The ViCare control system app, available for both iOS and Android devices, is a feature that end-users will really appreciate. In conjunction with the battery-powered, RF-connected ViCare Thermostat, this allows the heating system to be operated not only on the boiler’s large seven-inch color touch display but also via smartphone or tablet. Set up in this way, end-users will have access to a complete set of ViCare app convenience features, which include: Information on the current operating status Quick adjustments to the heating system Time programs for heating and hot water, by zone Compliance with Boiler Plus requirements MatriX-Plus burner For better efficiency and environmental-friendliness, the new-generation Vitodens 100-W employs a new MatriX-Plus burner and new Lambda Pro automatic combustion control. These technologies ensure low fuel consumption with low NOx and CO2 emissions. The MatriX-Plus burner’s stainless steel MatriX perforation ensures a long service life. With the 100-W’s modulation range increased to up to 1:10 (32 kW), and with optimal flame stability, the burner precisely meets heat output requirements with a minimal number of start-ups and cycles. Lambda Pro combustion control Lambda Pro ensures reliable and clean operation even when gas quality fluctuates by detecting and adjusting to the gas type. This eliminates the traditional need for adjustment during installation and ensures constant efficiency and thus reduced wear and tear on components. Lambda Pro also ensures the boiler will continue to operate reliably and efficiently if, as seems possible in the future, the UK gas grid supplies a blend comprised of 80% natural gas and 20% hydrogen. The controls also regulate mains voltage fluctuations. Two further versions of the Vitodens range will be introduced by September, in time for the 2021/2022 heating season: a heat-only 100-W, and the new Vitodens 050-W.
As hospitals battle through the second major wave of the COVID-19 virus, concerns have been raised around the NHS’ on-going maintenance backlog and the impact on safety and infrastructure. In January 2021, figures suggested that the total backlog was the equivalent of the annual running cost of the entire NHS estate, which was around £9.7 billion in 2019/20. fire safety standards compliance Emergency hospital evacuations are inherently more complicated when compared to other public buildings Despite the added pressure of the COVID-19 global pandemic, hospitals and health care buildings must ensure that fire safety standards are not only compliant, but adapted to facilitate the added challenge of the ongoing pandemic. Emergency hospital evacuations are inherently more complicated when compared to other public buildings. Alike most aspects of modern life, the COVID-19 pandemic has made this process more difficult, with the requirements of social distancing and the prevention of infection a vital consideration. Mobility issues and the vulnerable nature of patients, combined with expensive and often life dependent equipment requires substantial assistance from staff in the event of a fire, slowing the procedure down and risking lives in the process. Royal Stoke University Hospital fire incident A fire evacuation in the accident and emergency unit at the Royal Stoke University Hospital in 2017 saw patients on higher levels waiting for lifts for up to an hour, while the fire alarm sounded. As many of the patients were unable to walk, staff attempted to transport them on beds and mattresses, causing a grid lock in the hospital corridors and the subsequent delays. Furthermore, as smoke from the fire spread throughout the building, patients had to be redirected to neighboring hospitals as the A&E unit and surrounding wards were closed and ventilated. The limited capacity in hospitals across the UK today would make an incident like this catastrophic, with patients left with nowhere to go. Increased use of ventilators a fire risk COVID-19 has seen a change to day-to-day behaviors that may directly intensify the risk of a fire in a hospital COVID-19 has seen a change to day-to-day behaviors that may directly intensify the risk of a fire in a hospital. The increased use of ventilators was raised as a heightened fire risk by the NHS England estates team in March last year, with higher oxygen levels within wards allowing a potential fire to spread at a faster rate. The need to reduce touch points and prevent contact with door handles has resulted in many high traffic fire doors being held open. Fire doors are essential to provide protection to a building and its occupants, preventing smoke and flames spreading from room to room in the event of a fire. Salamander fire door system Geofire, manufacturer of the Salamander fire door system, said in the release, “As an official supplier to one the largest hospital trusts in the UK, we want to stress to Fire Safety Officers across the country the importance of not letting fire safety standards slip. Our approved radio controlled, Salamander devices are battery operated and connect wirelessly to a mains-powered controller unit, which is easily wired into existing fire alarm systems, ensuring that fire doors will safely close in the event of a fault or fire." It adds, "The Salamander system has all the benefits of hard-wired electromagnetic door holders and closers, but as the devices are wire-free, they are quick and easy to install, saving time, installation costs and require no disruption to a building’s fabric or its occupants.” Holding open a fire door with a non-compliant device not only threatens prosecution, fines and closures following failed inspections, but puts patients, staff, equipment and the building at risk. Salamander offers the only wire-free system of radio controlled fire door holders and closers, which complies with Category A of BS 7273-4 standards.
The UK’s demand for sustainable heat and power sources is increasing rapidly. This is seeing a growing dependence on renewable energy sources for electricity, and, as we’re facing a landscape of constrained power generation, consistency of this power source is becoming a key concern. Fire is an evolving risk for power stations. It can cause prolonged outages, which are damaging to sites’ personnel, equipment, and fuels. However, these fires are very common. James Mountain, Sales, and Marketing Director, Fire Shield Systems, looks at the current system underlying fire safety for power stations, exploring why a new approach is needed. Traditional Fire Safety guidance Over the past ten years, The National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 850 Recommended practice for electric generating plants and high voltage direct current converter stations has been seen as the exemplar internationally for fire safety at power generation sites. These recommendations sit alongside a complex mix of regulations managing the fire protection across sites that create power from combustible feedstocks. Those feedstocks can either be derived from organic sources, including wood and agriculture or refuse sources, including household waste. The exploration of alternative systems is limited, but different fuels and processes need different suppression, detection, and monitoring systems to remain effective. However, chapter nine of the guidance dedicates only four of its 70 pages to the fire risks specifically pertaining to the handling and storage of alternative fuels, a rising concern for the power generation industry. Practical experience of advising on the fire safety for sites handling these fuels has revealed a conflicting array of approaches to risk mitigation, many of which are guided by the owner, led by the insurance industry. For the insurance industry, the main concern is protecting fuels, assets, and equipment. However, insurers often rely on more traditional methods to offer that protection, such as sprinkler systems, despite these not always being suitable in protecting certain types of feedstocks. The exploration of alternative systems is limited, but different fuels and processes need different suppression, detection, and monitoring systems to remain effective. To better address, the growing challenges faced, best practice legislation and guidance for power generation sites needs to reflect real work scenarios, including the myriad incidents which have occurred throughout the past decade. What are the risks When Dealing with alternative fuel? When it comes to dealing with alternative fuels, storage, movement, processing, and transportation all present significant fire risks. These risks become more complex with alternative fuels compared with others as, to protect the site effectively, there’s a need to understand their unique properties, consistencies, ingress of hazardous materials, and their reactions on contact with water and foams. When it comes to dealing with alternative fuels, storage, movement, processing, and transportation all present significant fire risks The myriad risks, from carbon monoxide (CO) emissions to large explosions, are guided by an equally complicated set of fire safety guidance. Research into the safe handling and storage of these fuels, and the most suitable mitigation measures to offset the risks, is ongoing. Detecting and monitoring heat within alternative fuels when stored is also challenging, as the material is also an insulator. This means fire and heat are often difficult to identify in their early stages, prior to a blaze taking hold. Some types of alternative fuels are also prone to self-combustion if not monitored carefully. The risk of fires burning slowly within these materials is the topic of a major study from Emerging Risks from Smouldering Fires (EMRIS) between 2015 and 2020. The need for new best practice guidance in fire safety As methods for generating renewable power mature, and new technologies and research emerge, fire safety guidance needs to be updated to reflect this. This is not only a UK-wide challenge, but it’s also recognized across global and European standards. Regulations need to take into account a range of factors to ensure protection systems are effective in practice. The development of renewable power sources requires revision of fire safety guidance. Now, a decade on from when the NFPA 850 was first published, it’s time to revisit its guidance and focus on building a more resilient, fire-safe future for all of the UK’s 78 biomass and 48 waste to energy sites. This involves greater clarity pertaining to the specific risks associated with alternative fuels, such as waste and biomass-derived fuels. The approach needs to be comprehensive, looking at every aspect of designing, installing, and maintaining systems.While the power generation industry remains reliant on outdated and complex guidance, with conflicting approaches to best practice protection, the potential for systems to fail is clear. That robust approach relies on multiple stakeholders working together – including the regulators, government, academics, technology partners, and fire safety professionals. Collaboration is key to build long-term confidence in the safety of sustainable fuels in powering our homes, transport, and industries in the future.
Mathew Baxter is the Founder and CEO of the echelon group with responsibility for the management of echelon Consultancy, Pretium Frameworks and echelon Improvement Partnerships. Mathew has spent most of his working life in the construction sector. The devastating Grenfell Tower fire has prompted what the government has referred to as ‘the biggest change in building safety for a generation’. So what do the Building Safety and the Fire Safety Bills mean in terms of emergent legislation and is the housing industry prepared for substantive change on this scale? Fire Safety Bill Let’s start with the new Fire Safety Bill, which has been designed to give clear definitive guidance principally around areas of responsibility for fire safety. One way of looking at the new Fire Safety Bill is as a piece of legislation designed to beef up the existing legislation, focused specifically around the envelope of the building. The Fire Safety Bill makes it clear that the person designated as responsible has undertaken a fire safety survey around exterior walls (including cladding, balconies and windows) and individual flat walls entrance doors, where they open onto common parts to make sure they are compliant and if not, then to take any necessary remedial action and precautions to make that building safe. We suspect that demand for fire experts may rapidly outstrip supply. Building Safety Bill The Building Safety Bill proposes a significant amount of consultation is going to be required with residents The Building Safety Bill proposes a significant amount of consultation is going to be required with residents. Every ‘higher risk’ property has to have a strategy around the program of change that it will need. Resident consultation exercises will result in organic documents that will live as long as that building is occupied. Ideally all stakeholders (for example repairs contractors) coming in and out of properties should be encouraged and trained to take a holistic view of that property, and to be prepared to raise an alert, if they see something that is not right, for example, a fire door that has been propped open. Checking and replacing old appliances Many fires are caused by residents’ own appliances. Some local authorities are checking tenants’ appliances and if they seem unsafe, either removing or disconnecting them and in some cases, they are also providing free replacements. Housing associations and landlords will need to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of their property and stock. For example, if you have a cladded building, you need to know exactly what the specification of that cladding is. Not all cladding is equal and risk profiles vary. Intrusive surveys may be required to ascertain the exact construction and product used. There is still a clear issue that many building owners/managers are unsure of what their building is clad in and how the cladding is fixed for the building. Effectively, this is something landlords need to get a comprehensive understanding of immediately, for fear of very rapid enforcement action from the Local Authority. Adherence to fire safety regulation compliance Local Authorities are entirely within their rights to approach housing associations and ask for copies of the fire safety regulation compliance of these buildings and if it has not been done then they can take action and that can include decanting the whole building and ordering remedial works As previously mentioned, two new roles are also specified within the Building Safety Bill, that of the Accountable Person within an organization for fire safety and the Building Safety Manager. It is anticipated that the role of the Accountable Person role will need to be fulfilled by a senior member of staff within the client organization and the Building Safety Manager will have a high level of responsibility and accountability for maintaining the safety of the building. Competency frameworks and resident engagement strategies The Building Safety Bill may have a grace period, before it comes into force on existing buildings The Building Safety Bill may have a grace period, before it comes into force on existing buildings and elements that are likely to be included are already being discussed, for example competency frameworks, resident engagement strategies and two separate roles, namely Building Safety Managers and Accountable Person. One of the most significant changes that the Building Safety Bill will create is a new definition of buildings as ‘higher risk’ buildings. This category will obviously include high rise, but also student accommodation and supported living accommodation. High risk buildings Any building over 18 meters, or more than six floors high is immediately defined as high risk. The Bill also makes it clear that the new Building Safety Regulator (created under the Bill) can also add other buildings to the category at their discretion. The Bill places a lot more responsibility on landlords and owners of those buildings. In fact, the Accountable Person has legal responsibility for those buildings, as long as they are occupied. Assessment of fire safety risks Responsibilities include the assessment of fire safety risks, co-operation with any remedial action in terms of fire safety, the registration of high-rise buildings, building safety information and the appointment of the building safety manager. The Accountable Person has a duty to report the name and details of the Building Safety Manager to the Building Safety Regulator. This individual’s contact details have to be available to everyone in the building, a safety case report has to be undertaken and managed along with a risk assessment and an ongoing strategy for the safety of the building and information provided to the new regulator. If the Building Safety Manager is found to be non-compliant then she/he risks a prison sentence. Many of the clients are appointing Building Safety Managers directly with a salary between £60,000 – £70,000. The guidance is that they should not look after more than five buildings each, as the responsibility carries too much weight for more and as such, this represents a significant resource for many landlords with a large portfolio of ‘higher risk’ buildings. Undefined transition period for Act rollout The new Building Safety Regulator will become the Building Control Authority for higher risk building There is expected to be an as yet undefined transition period before the Act applies to existing buildings. As well as the changes that will be necessary to existing buildings, it is essential that consideration is given to the design and thought process behind new developments and new builds. There is a whole new regime for the design and construction phase. The new Building Safety Regulator will become the Building Control Authority for higher risk buildings. Developers are no longer able to choose their building control authority at will. This imposes strict competency requirements on all duty holders working on higher risk buildings, including the client, the principal designer and principal contractor. Impact of the two safety bills The impact on these two Bills will have an enormous impact on leaseholders and indeed everyone involved in construction and building maintenance. The administrative burden and personal responsibility on those accountable will be equally enormous but, in our view, in the light of Grenfell, absolutely necessary. Our advice to all our clients is to start planning ahead and to develop a strategy of how they will deliver all the aspects of the Building Safety Bill once it becomes legislation.
The risk of fire is thankfully not an immediate threat in most people’s everyday lives. But this has led to a nonchalant attitude where many fail to appreciate the true dangers posed by a fire situation. The pandemic has served to make matters even more complex, and has pushed fire safety on the back burner as facility managers (FMs) turn their attention to COVID-proofing the workplace. Safety at work is now more of a focus than it has ever been, but the race to ensure we can return to work safely has seen other important matters, like improving indoor air quality, take precedence. Fire detection systems As new rules and regulations regarding the pandemic are introduced, many FMs have been unable to focus on anything except the immediate issues at hand. But fire safety is always immediate. Fire detection systems and servicing and maintenance contracts have always been considered grudge purchases, but this doesn’t mean they should fall off the radar. As buildings have been left vacant, fire alarms have gone untested, have missed upgrades or have even failed to sound. Every business has faced unique challenges in their response to the pandemic But upholding fire safety measures in the workplace is both a moral and legal requirement to help ensure the protection of people and assets, and businesses must treat it with the attention it deserves. Every business has faced unique challenges in their response to the pandemic. We’ve seen some continue operating as usual, some pivot production to make face masks and hand sanitizer, while others have shut their doors for the foreseeable future. Fire risk assessments Those that remained open will likely have experienced considerable changes to workplace layouts, which may in turn have had adverse effects on fire safety – for example, fire doors being wedged open for ventilation, or because people don’t want to touch door handles; and new one-way systems that affect shared escape routes. What’s more, fluctuating staff occupancy levels mean there may not be enough fire wardens present should an alarm sound. All of these changes have an impact. In the event of a fire, your staff and assets might not be as safe as you think. But there is a simple solution: fire risk assessments. The vast majority of companies have undergone a change of occupancy during the pandemic and, as a result, must review their current fire safety measures through a risk assessment. Qualified third-Parties We often find that businesses lack staff with the appropriate training and skillsets in-house This involves looking at a building’s people, processes, procedures, contents and technologies, from fire alarms to sprinkler systems, with the aim of addressing any faults. With occupancy levels and more changed for the meantime – and possible for the long-term too – it’s vital to update your risk assessments. Failing to do so could have severe reputational and financial repercussions, particularly if livelihoods are affected. Should the worst happen, it could also lead to insurers refusing any pay-outs from failing to secure the premises, leading to even more difficulties down the line. We often find that businesses lack staff with the appropriate training and skillsets in-house to conduct a sufficient fire risk assessment. But even with the current restrictions, there’s no reason risk assessments can’t be easily carried out by qualified third-parties. Social distancing guidelines Many buildings lie vacant, meaning assessors simply need to show up in their PPE and conduct the assessment under social distancing guidelines. Technology can also play an important role, by ensuring a building’s safety systems are in order through remote diagnostic tools. Some assessors can even carry out a vast majority of the assessment virtually, examining floorplans, exit routes, and tech stacks from the comfort of their own homes. That said, many businesses won’t have the latest IoT sensors needed to notify FMs on the condition of a building’s physical aspects, such as occupancy levels, open fire doors or signage. Need for office space The impact of COVID-19 on the way we work will be felt for years to come The purpose of a fire risk assessment is to provide FMs with the knowledge they need to ensure their business and assets remain safe and secure, should the worst happen. COVID has not put a stop to this – distraction has. The onus is on FMs to put fire safety back on the priority list. The impact of COVID-19 on the way we work will be felt for years to come. For example, the success of the move to widespread remote work could see businesses revaluating the need for office space, and this will likely have knock-on effects to fire safety as regulations are taken into the home. Associated regulatory changes Elsewhere, the decline of the high street and closure of physical stores may see shops converted for other purposes - and these developments will be accompanied by the associated regulatory changes. It’s becoming clear that as the pandemic has changed the way we use buildings, it will also change the way we approach fire safety. People don’t like to think they may be impacted by fire, but we cannot let fire safety fall off the radar when livelihoods and lives are at risk. As FMs have worked hard to ensure our workplaces are COVID-proof once doors reopen, they must also approach the risk of fire with the same attentiveness. Awareness of the issue is now more important than ever – fire safety needs to be a top priority.
The Thermite RS3, manufactured by Howe & Howe Technologies, is a wide-chassis, industrial firefighting robot that is remotely operated using a belly-pack controller to provide high-definition video feedback for easy maneuverability, even in difficult conditions. The Los Angeles City Fire Department was the first to buy the bright yellow firefighting vehicle, as announced last fall. Thermite RS3 robot Decon7 Systems has teamed with Howe & Howe Technologies to pioneer the delivery of D7 disinfecting formula The robot is also being used in a new way during the COVID-19 pandemic. Decon7 Systems has teamed with Howe & Howe Technologies to pioneer the delivery of D7 disinfecting formula, using the RS3 to spray the disinfectant as foam, in order to ensure large areas are free of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The configuration is another way that a variety of items are being repurposed for new uses in the time of the pandemic, ranging from scarves used as face masks to kitchen tables that double as desks in a virtual schoolroom. In this case, a robot, which costs upwards of US$ 300,000, is providing a new way to carry out large-scale disinfecting operations of public places. Combination of D7 disinfectant and Thermite RS3 As COVID-19 pandemic restrictions ease and more public events are contemplated, the combination of D7 and the Thermite RS3 to disinfect and clean large areas will be relevant to communities and facilities across the country. “The combination of Thermite RS3 technology and D7 foam opens the door to new methods of quickly and safely deactivating the COVID-19 virus in public spaces,” said Decon7 Systems’ Senior Vice President, William Joe Hill. Thermite and D7 provided a demonstration of the new capabilities. “We hope to show the significance of this capability to facility maintenance operators and first responders, including firefighters, law enforcement and emergency services teams, all across the country,” adds William Joe Hill. Positive pressure ventilation (PPV) ventilator The RS3’s modular design and wider stance allow additional equipment to be incorporated, including positive pressure ventilation (PPV) ventilator. In the disinfectant use case, two nozzles spray the disinfectant from the robot. One is controllable and can spray a sidewalk as the robot travels down the road, for example. The second nozzle feeds into the airstream of a PPV ventilator fan system, where it is jetted at 20 gallons per minute to get the right foaming action of the solution. A tow-behind trailer includes a pump to provide pressure without connecting to an outside water source. Large-scale disinfection operations When used in firefighting, the Thermite RS3 avoids having to deploy firefighters into extreme conditions When used in firefighting, the Thermite RS3 avoids having to deploy firefighters into extreme conditions. The RS3 enables firefighters to respond at a safer distance from danger, while using the robot as an extension of their own senses. The same advantages also drive new usage arenas such as COVID-19 disinfection, toxic chemical remediation, and biohazard disinfection. Large-scale disinfecting operations can be achieved without putting personnel in harm’s way. The RS3’s hose attachment enables users to spray large areas with disinfectant efficiently. D7 broad-spectrum antimicrobial disinfectant D7 is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial disinfectant that is versatile for a host of applications. It capitalizes on the power of hydrogen peroxide, penetrating and disarming toxins at the molecular level. The D7 formulation is made up of mild ingredients, which gives it low toxicity and corrosion properties. Fabricated using industrial-grade steel and reinforced rubber tracks, RS3 can navigate rugged terrain and withstand exposure to the extreme elements. Its 36.8 hp diesel engine can run 20 hours without refueling. The control device, strapped around the waist of the operator, has a range of a quarter mile away.
Prisoners have played a role in firefighting since 1915 when the first “Conservation Camps” trained incarcerated firefighters with the backing of the Department of Forestry. Especially in the realm of fighting wildfires, incarcerated individuals have in recent years provided low-cost labor amid the dangerous environment of a spreading wildfire. The numbers of incarcerated persons in the United States expanded threefold during the “War on Crime,” which increased the pool of available prisoners and their role in firefighting. Incarcerated firefighters work at least 3 million hours per year to protect homes and cities. So-called “inmate crews” are trained and available to respond to wildfires and other emergencies, such as floods and search-and-rescue. In the case of wildfires, prisoners clear brush, cut out roots, conduct controlled burns and perform any other duties of wildland firefighters. Concerns of incarcerated firefighters The use of incarcerated firefighters has been disrupted recently by several factors. In the wake of COVID-19, many prisoners were released to slow the spread of the virus, thus providing a smaller pool from which to recruit firefighters. Early release of prisoners decreased – by about a third – the laborers the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL-FIRE) could use to tackle the wildfire season.The use of incarcerated firefighters has been disrupted recently by several factors Concerns have also been expressed about the fairness, from a human rights perspective, of prisoners putting their lives on the line for low pay, which ranges from $2.90 to $5.12 per day. Finally, former prisoners who have firefighting experience are finding it difficult to re-enter the outside workforce because their previous criminal conviction makes them less likely to get a callback from a potential employer. It is hard for former prisoners to get a job, even in a time of labor shortages that threaten the supply of adequate personnel to respond to the current wildfire season in California. Fire and Forestry Recruitment Program FFRP builds bridges between formerly incarcerated wildland firefighters and California’s forestry fire labor forceThe Fire and Forestry Recruitment Program (FFRP) was founded by Brandon Smith and Royal Ramey, both formerly incarcerated firefighters, to help train firefighters and find them employment. The organization works with trained firefighters inside and outside the criminal justice system who have the skills and experience to help address California’s wildfires. FFRP builds bridges between formerly incarcerated wildland firefighters and California’s forestry fire labor force, supporting individuals’ transition into professional fire and fuel reduction work. Finally, FFRP works with the State of California and local community partners to provide support and additional services to individuals currently and formerly experiencing incarceration and participating in Fire Camps. Laws to help incarcerated firefighters Participation in firefighting has given more than one incarcerated person a renewed sense of purpose. Firefighting has provided a “pivot” to recenter lives, offering a new outlook for people who were previously discounted and disregarded.Additional help for formerly incarcerated firefighters is available from California legislative initiative AB-2147 Additional help for formerly incarcerated firefighters is available from California legislative initiative AB-2147, which enables the expunging of prison records and a pathway to a new life. The law creates a new Penal Code section 1203.4b, designed to make it easier for inmates trained in firefighting in the Conservation Camp Program or on a county hand crew to gain employment as professional firefighters after release. In partnership with CAL-FIRE, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation operates 44 minimum security Conservation Camps, where inmates who volunteer for the program receive the same entry-level training as CAL-FIRE’s seasonal firefighters and ongoing training during their time in the program. Inmate firefighters in the Conservation Camp program have assisted in fighting the Pocket, Tubbs, Atlas, Camp, and Kincade fires. Penal Code section 1203.4b, which took effect January 1, 2021, allows certain persons with criminal convictions who have been released from custody to file a petition for relief in court. If the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or the appropriate county authority certifies the defendant has successfully completed the firefighting program, the court may, at its discretion and in the interests of justice, issue an order expunging the conviction, with certain restrictions.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is seeking to address fire dangers from electric vehicles that use high-voltage lithium-ion batteries. At risk are first responders who may be injured by electric shock or uncontrolled increases in temperature and pressure that can reignite the batteries. The risk of shock and fire arises from the ‘stranded’ energy that remains in a damaged battery, says the NTSB. A safety report from the U.S. federal agency documents their investigation into four electric vehicle fires that involved high-voltage, lithium-ion batteries. Emergency response guides Three of the batteries were damaged in high-speed car crashes, and then reignited after firefighters extinguished the vehicle fires. The fourth occurred during normal vehicle operation and did not reignite. NTSB noted inadequate emergency response guides from vehicle manufacturers, and gaps in safety standards and research related to high-voltage lithium-ion batteries involved in high-severity car crashes. Crash damage and resulting fires may prevent first responders from accessing the high-voltage disconnect Crash damage and resulting fires may prevent first responders from accessing the high-voltage disconnects in electric vehicles. The instructions in most manufacturers’ emergency response guides for fighting high-voltage lithium-ion battery fires lack necessary, vehicle-specific details on suppressing the fires, says the agency. Mitigation measures are needed for thermal runaway and the risk of battery reignition, and for the risks of stranded energy during emergency response and before a damaged electric vehicle is removed from the accident scene. Damaging battery modules Guidance is also needed on how to safely store an electric vehicle with a damaged battery. The investigated crashes caused damage that extended into the protected area of the cars’ high-voltage battery cases, rupturing the cases and damaging battery modules and individual cells. The non-crash fire was caused by an internal battery failure. In each case, emergency responders faced safety risks related to electric shock, thermal runaway, battery ignition and reignition, and stranded energy. On the basis of its findings, the NTSB makes safety recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), to the manufacturers of electric vehicles equipped with high-voltage lithium-ion batteries, and to six professional organizations that represent or operate training programs for first and second responders. Applying extinguishing agents In late 2011, NHTSA began working with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to assist first and second responders in handling lithium-ion batteries after a crash and was working with vehicle manufacturers to develop post-crash protocols for dealing with vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries. The guidance also highlights the difficulty of applying extinguishing agents directly onto burning cells The NFPA emergency field guide states that large, sustained volumes of water are required to extinguish a high-voltage battery fire: “It could require over 2,600 gallons, depending on the size and location of the battery.” The guidance also highlights the difficulty of applying extinguishing agents directly onto burning cells because of the batteries’ protective cases. High energy density It further states that applying a large volume of water might cool the battery enough to prevent the fire from propagating to adjacent cells. A high-voltage lithium-ion battery is designed to resist water, but water is critical for cooling overheated cells to stop thermal runaway and further combustion. As the NTSB concluded its investigations, international incidents concerning other vehicle manufacturers came to light, including three high-voltage lithium-ion battery fires in Europe. Lithium-ion batteries have been chosen for battery electric vehicles (BEV) because they have high energy density (allowing them to store large amounts of energy for a given volume), a low self-discharge rate (allowing them to retain a charge), and excellent electrochemical potential (allowing high-power discharge).
The Vizcaya Provincial Council in the Galicia province, in Spain, has invested seven million euros in its fire prevention, firefighting and rescue services. Almost 25 percent of the existing fleet will be replaced by new trucks, which will enhance efficiency and improve rapid response. The 15 new vehicles include six heavy-duty urban fire trucks, three heavy-duty large-tank pumpers, three first-response trucks and three automatic turntable ladders, all fitted with Allison fully automatic transmissions. Heavy-duty urban fire trucks Galician company, VEICAR built the bodywork for nine of these vehicles, including the six heavy-duty urban fire trucks, which have already been delivered. The bodywork is mounted on a SCANIA P 410 B chassis with 4x4 traction and Allison 4000 Series transmissions with retarders. These trucks have water and foam tank capacities of 4,200 and 200 liters respectively. They are equipped with roof boxes that can be accessed from the ground, eliminating the need to enter the truck to access tools. An LED lighting mast provides supplementary lighting and a further feature is a monitor that provides a joystick-controlled flow rate of 4,000 liters per minute from the pump cabinet. Large-tank pumpers The Vizcaya Provincial Council’s order of three large-tank pumpers is also based on the SCANIA P 410 B chassis The Vizcaya Provincial Council’s order of three large-tank pumpers is also based on the SCANIA P 410 B chassis. The vehicles share the same features as the six heavy-duty urban fire trucks, including Allison 4000 Series transmissions with retarders. They have larger water and foam tank capacities of 9,000 and 300 liters respectively. Like many other vehicle bodybuilders, VEICAR has full confidence in the benefits of Allison fully automatic transmissions. The company has worked in close cooperation with Allison since 2009. Allison fully automatic transmission Rather than using the automated manual transmissions that come as standard in this SCANIA model, VEICAR opted for a fully automatic transmission with torque converter, in this case, an Allison 4000 Series model with retarder (GA866R in SCANIA nomenclature). “The vast majority of our fire trucks are equipped with Allison automatic transmissions. We consider them an indispensable firefighting tool as they maximize vehicle performance, and greatly improve acceleration, reliability and safety,” said Carlos Prieto-Puga González, CEO at VEICAR. Faster acceleration and increased torque Carlos Prieto-Puga González adds, “In addition, their superior acceleration and maneuverability are beyond question, which is vital when there is not a second to be wasted. Most urban firefighters prefer them because they provide greater safety. And if that weren't enough, the vehicles reach the final years of their service life in better condition.” Allison transmissions are designed to offer increased torque and up to 35 percent faster acceleration. When fire trucks respond to emergencies, they are heavily loaded, so the optional retarder has been incorporated to provide high braking capacity, enabling the vehicles to slow down quickly at intersections. Optimum maneuverability on varied terrains Allison transmissions have demonstrated exceptional reliability and durability in the most demanding conditions" “Allison transmissions have demonstrated exceptional reliability and durability in the most demanding conditions and are the transmission of choice for firefighting fleets around the world. As regular users of these transmissions, we have no doubts whatsoever. As bodybuilders, we are always much happier when vehicles are equipped with Allison,” said Prieto-Puga González. Allison automatic transmissions provide optimum maneuverability on soft ground and in tight spaces, greater control on steep grades, smoother driving, better starting capacity, and faster acceleration. This makes it possible to reach higher average speeds and save fuel. Prieto-Puga Gonzalez adds, “A two- or three-minute head start can be crucial. Not losing power during gear shifts means smoother, more continuous and consequently more effective acceleration. It also improves maneuverability and saves time, which, along with the reliability of the transmission, means greater safety for firefighters. These great benefits are even more extraordinary when we consider that Allison transmissions reduce fleet maintenance costs.” Featuring Chelsea 870 power take-off “The easy maneuverability of the vehicles simplifies the drivers' work. They don't have to shift gears and can concentrate fully on the job and the road when traveling at high speed. And with Allison, vehicles can include up to two power take-offs (PTOs) to keep hydraulic equipment working correctly, even while the vehicle is in motion,” said Trond Johansen, European Key Fleets and Market Development Manager at Allison Transmission. “The Chelsea 870 power take-off incorporated into the transmissions has allowed us to fine-tune the entire unit to achieve the best possible onsite fire pump performance,” concludes Prieto-Puga González.
FlamePro, a renowned British manufacturing specialist of life safety garments and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for firefighters, has been awarded a £4 million contract by Capita, to provide its firefighting PPE for the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD), across the next decade. Firefighting PPE tender The competitive tender, part of Capita’s contract with the MOD, saw four different PPE providers bid for the contract, with FlamePro being appointed to provide its full ensemble of Personal Protective Equipment, alongside a total garment care package. FlamePro was awarded the Ministry Of Defence’s PPE contract, due to its high-quality products FlamePro was awarded the Ministry Of Defence’s PPE contract, due to its high-quality products and the company’s dedication to providing support and expertise on Personal Protective Equipment care, use and maintenance. The contract includes a multi-million pounds initial roll out, with a total value of £4 million over 10 years duration. New fabric technologies and designs Nathan Bricknell, the General Manager at FlamePro, said “We’re absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this contract with Capita. It marks a key milestone for the company. Over recent months, we’ve worked with our partners to develop brand new fabric technologies and designs, including a 3D woven structure and new moisture barrier membrane, to ensure our PPE is the most advanced on the market.” Nathan Bricknell adds, “Our brand new structural fire suit has set a new benchmark across the whole industry. This, teamed with our shorter-than-average lead times, stands us in great stead to deliver top-quality products and service on this contract.”
Based in the heart of Leicester, Beauchamp City Sixth Form has recently opened its doors for its first term to welcome 350 A-Level students, following a dramatic renovation of a city center office block, formerly home to BT. The new four-story college, opened by The Lionheart Academies Trust, presents classrooms, labs, and IT suites, as well as study spaces and a library which will give students “access to the latest academic research in their chosen areas of study”. To ensure fire safety as part of the transformation process, main contractors worked with Avalon Technology Group, which specified Comelit’s innovative Atena fire panels to operate across the site. Ensuring fire safety Principal of the sixth form, James McKenna, said of Leicester’s newest post-16 provision, “Beauchamp City Sixth Form is an incredible new asset for both Leicestershire and the wider region. There is a long history of scientific and technological achievement born in the Midlands and this sixth form will help a diversity of learners take their ambitions as far as possible.” “Of course, we needed to ensure we did this providing a safe environment for pupils to learn and staff to teach. Fire detection was essential right from the onset to accommodate the renovation work and ensure all facilities were safe. The teams worked together seamlessly to achieve our ambitions and we now have complete peace of mind across our fantastic building.” User-friendly solution Comelit’s Atena solution is a user-friendly touch screen addressable system Comelit’s Atena solution is a user-friendly touch screen addressable system, with the capacity to extend to 4 loops, supporting up to 1000 devices, due to its dual-processor technology. In total, four panels have been networked at the college to manage the overall system requirements. Finished in line with Comelit’s focus on aesthetics, its stylish design has the flexibility to expand with a facility or building requirement. Fire-safety and security Guy Stephens, Director Avalon Technology Group added, “This was a complex renovation to facilitate the integration of security and fire safety, whilst working with the main and electrical contractors to convert the empty office block into such an extensive education facility.” “For fire safety, we required simply to install systems that wouldn’t compromise on the technology component and could also accommodate the sheer size of the scheme, which required a total of 13 loops. Comelit not only achieved this objective but also with a focus on design, suited the modern college environment.” Fire Safe environment Mandy Bowden, Comelit Fire BDM added, “Beauchamp City Sixth Form really does break down the boundaries of delivering a new and unique approach to sixth form education in Leicester City. Even the design of the facility, transforming an office block into a modern-day college environment is dynamic and commands the highest attention to specification detail, especially when it comes to fire safety.” “Comelit Atena fire panels are specifically designed to enable an expansion of loop requirements to accommodate large facilities. With just four panels fitted across the building, we have been able to present compliant fire detection systems across all four floors, so staff and pupils can teach and learn in a safe environment. And there is still room for expansion to enable more to benefit from this ambitious new sixth form.”
A fault-tolerant network of fire alarm control panels from Advanced has been selected to protect the 3Ts Redevelopment program at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. 36 4-loop MxPro 5 fire panels, 46 repeater panels, and two custom-built AdSpecials panels from UK-manufacturer, Advanced, are to be installed at Brighton’s 3Ts hospital redevelopment as part of phase one of the program. Custom-built panels Phase one involves the construction of a 13-story building with two basement levels, located on the main Royal Sussex County Hospital site. Incorporating all the functions of a modern hospital, the building will include a three-story atrium reception, outpatient departments, operating theatres, wards, a teaching facility, and administration facilities. The three-phase building works will deliver improved accommodation for more than 40 wards and departments, supporting the Trust’s role as a regional center for teaching, trauma, and tertiary care at Royal Sussex County Hospital. The new facilities will meet the highest clinical standards and offers patients a modern, spacious care environment. Ease of installation and scalability MxPro 5’s ease of installation and scalability will help to make the challenge of implementing protection effortlessly" Taking a lead role in the cabling, first and second fix for the fire system throughout phase one of the project are EA-RS Fire Engineering Ltd. The Essex-based firm will install Advanced’s MxPro 5 fire panels alongside bespoke sprinkler indication and ventilation override panels, all linked to approximately 5,000 Hochiki devices. Chris Goddard, Project Manager at EA-RS Fire Engineering Ltd, said, “The 3Ts redevelopment project represents a massive healthcare investment for Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and, once completed, will offer an improved experience for thousands of hospital patients each year.” “Configuring protection across a site of this size can often appear daunting; however the MxPro 5’s ease of installation and scalability will help to make the challenge of implementing protection effortlessly. As long-term users of Advanced, we’re confident that its solutions will be capable of delivering high-performing protection across the hospital’s large number of zones, many with their own complex cause and effect requirements.” Cutting-edge fire system Amanda Hope, UK Business Development Manager at Advanced, said, “We’re proud to be supplying our partners, EA-RS Fire Engineering Ltd, with the equipment required to ensure that the valued healthcare staff, patients, and these state-of-the-art facilities will be protected by a cutting-edge fire system for years to come.” “The fire system will include BMS integration and a custom graphics package to provide a visual representation of the fire system to end-users. The custom-built sprinkler indication and ventilation override panels will be a showcase for the fantastic design and manufacturing work done by our in-house AdSpecials department." "As work progresses on the redevelopment of Royal Sussex County Hospital, Advanced’s high-speed, fault-tolerant networks, which are renowned for their resilience, will come into their own, with the expansion of the fire detection system across phases two and three of the project.” Multiprotocol fire system MxPro 5 is a multiprotocol fire system solution and was recently certified by FM Approvals to the EN 54 standard Phase two of the development is a seven-story building extending the functions of the first building, with stage three being a smaller delivery and service area to improve site management. Once complete, the two new clinical buildings of phases one and two will cover the front half of the hospital site. MxPro 5 is a multiprotocol fire system solution and was recently certified by FM Approvals to the EN 54 standard. It offers customers a choice of four detector protocols and a completely open installer network, backed up by free training and support. MxPro 5 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. Ease of installation and configuration, as well as its wide peripheral range, make MxPro 5 customizable to almost any application.
Vimpex's Hydrosense Water Leak Detection System has been installed in Dublin Airport’s new Visual Control Tower (VCT) to protect the new state of the art facility from water ingress, which could seriously damage electrical, communication and computer networks. Visual Control Tower (VCT) The 87-meters high tower is Ireland’s tallest occupied structure and a commanding new addition to the city’s skyline. It comprises three separate but integrated building elements, the control cab and associated elements, the cab supporting shaft and a base building. The base building will accommodate staff facilities, electronic systems and mechanical plant space to provide control of the building environment. Hydrosense Water Leak Detection systems Vimpex’s Hydrosense Water Leak Detection systems are delivering the new standard in water leak detection Vimpex’s Hydrosense Water Leak Detection systems are delivering the new standard in water leak detection, applying the integrity, control and reliability of life safety and building infrastructure systems to protect against water ingress that could seriously damage critical IT and communication infrastructure. It continuously monitors for water leaks around the clock, year in year out and has the facility for 72-hour battery standby in the event of power failure. Should a leak be detected the control panel sounds an alarm which can be extended to a remote location. When an alarm is raised, Vimpex Hydro-Cryer voice sounders can be used to broadcast an unambiguous message, avoiding confusion with other sounders on site. Integrated with life safety technology Utilizing life safety technology in the design of Hydrosense provides the reliability and integrity of EN approved fire detection systems, meaning there is virtually no risk of failure, downtime and significantly fewer false alarms. Established in 1994, Vimpex is the UK's renowned independent manufacturer and distributor of fire and building infrastructure, alarm and evacuation products and accessories. The company produces and distributes a range of high quality evacuation, signaling and fire system products, both Vimpex manufactured and supplied by the company's manufacturing partners.
The flames and billowing smoke rose high enough to veil as an acre of bone-dry grasslands was ignited by a slow, fiery ooze belching from something called a drip torch. The initial wave of heat could have easily seared the clothing of the sturdy crew of firefighters who purposely set this section of land aflame, but they knew which way the wind was blowing and lit accordingly. That is what a prescribed burn looks like. USDA Forest Service employees repeat similar scenarios on national forests and grasslands across the U.S. Why start wildfires? The Forest Service conducts prescribed burns, assisting Mother Nature to create safer wildfire conditions The simple response is that all fire is not bad, nor is there only one kind of fire. In fact, many of the wildlands in the U.S. rely on fire to remain healthy. When conditions are safe, with calm winds and low temperatures, the Forest Service conducts prescribed burns, assisting Mother Nature to create safer wildfire conditions. By burning under planned weather conditions, they can better manage the thick smoke that can come with out-of-control wildfires, and make the communities safer by removing some of the dry, dead debris that builds upon the forest floor. Forest Service researchers study prescribed fire in the lab and on forests. Using experimental prescribed burns, they collect valuable information about fire behavior, fuels and emissions to then help managers better implement prescribed fire. Scientists from across the agency work with universities, industry, and other agencies to study fire and develop tools to help land managers. USDA scientists teamed with experts at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Tall Timbers Research Station to develop the computer-based QUIC-Fire tool that rapidly predicts complex fire behavior. The tool shows how weather and fuel conditions affect ignition patterns, fire effects, and smoke impacts. The scientists continue to study how prescribed fires can best mimic “good” wildfire so that native plant and wildlife species can thrive, carbon pools are maintained, and forests are better able to survive drought. Wildfire Management Prescribed fire is a part of a larger approach to wildfire management Prescribed fire is just one part of a larger approach to wildfire management. When weather conditions heat up and dry out, the Forest Service works to prevent and contain fires that could threaten communities. They also use mechanical equipment to clear out dead and dying undergrowth and thin dense areas to improve tree mortality. This keeps the forests and grasslands healthy and resilient to severe wildfire and drought. None of this would be possible without the scientists, who continue to create better models and tools to help understand how to best engage with fire – proactively and in real-time.
Round table discussion
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?