Fire Safety Policies
Rental storage units represent a serious and unpredictable risk for firefighters. For example, hundreds of rented units at a three-story, self-storage warehouse in Manchester, United Kingdom, were recently destroyed by fire. Fire in rental storage units There were 125 firefighters and 25 fire engines called to the scene. There were no injuries, but hundreds of customers lost thousands of dollars in stored goods in the fire. Notably, the facility was not protected by a sprinkler system, which n...
No matter if the speaker is 8 Ohm, 25 Volt, or 70 Volt – any option works with the new PSA-IP analog to IP speaker adapter. “The PSA-IP adapter will be the go-to for customers looking for a cost-effective way to convert their existing analog paging speakers to SIP/multicast speakers,” said Greg Yocom, Engineering Manager, Viking Electronics Key features The PSA-IP features a high-efficiency 6 Watt class D amplifier. This allows a single PSA-IP to power up to six paging speak...
The fire sprinkler system in your building is a critical safety measure and, when needed, it can save lives. Still, even the best systems can malfunction, and sprinklers do occasionally fail. When they do, they can drench the interior of your building, damaging everything from furniture and personal belongings to drywall and building materials. As a property manager, dealing with fire sprinkler failure can feel overwhelming. What do you do next? Where do you start? And why did the sprinkler sy...
Gunning London, the Chartered Building Company that specializes in internal and external refurbishments, has launched a new division, Gunning Fire, to meet the increasing need for professionally installed fire door and fire stopping solutions. Gunning Fire division Having achieved independent UKAS accredited certification from Bluesky in April 2021, the division will offer fire door installation, fire door maintenance, fire stopping (compartmentalization), and cladding refurbishment, delivered...
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings and architect of OpenBlue connected solutions, has unveiled its new ANSUL LVS Non-Fluorinated Liquid Suppression Agent. The new agent is manufactured without the use of per-fluorinated chemicals and is performance tested to ensure maximum effectiveness. It is now available worldwide. LVS Non-Fluorinated Agent LVS Non-Fluorinated Agent works by rapidly knocking down flames, then blanketing the fuel and...
Usually, if the application requires acoustic and visual notification, the market offers two separate products. Nevertheless, sometimes for public buildings, hotels, and hospitals, but also for industry and other verticals, it may be necessary to have a combination of visual and acoustic alarms in one device. AVENAR all-in-one 4000 Bosch Security System’s AVENAR all-in-one 4000 is one product that can provide such a solution. This product is able to combine not only a sounder and a strob...
Rescu (Rescu Saves Lives), an emergency alert app that connects people directly to certified emergency dispatchers, has launched throughout the United States, in partnership with over 30,000 local emergency agencies. Rescu is the first and only Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) in a non-hardware platform. Rescu emergency alert app Unlike 9-1-1, the Rescu app does not require speaking to a dispatcher. With Rescu, users can communicate non-verbally to an emergency dispatcher. This means a user can silently send for help in Rescu’s mobile app interface if an intruder enters their home or a user can request an ambulance in the event of a medical emergency that hinders their ability to speak. Rescu is the most efficient way to get emergency help during an emergency. Rescu leverages the first emergency dispatch API and is the only emergency alert app that has its own private dispatch center. Pricing starts at US$ 5 per month. Medical emergency and 9-1-1 alerts Rescu offers the ability to select the nature of the emergency, including Fire, Police, or Ambulance services, with just one click When Founder Paolo Piscatelli’s father, Paul Piscatelli, had a medical emergency and called 9-1-1, pain made it near impossible for him to talk, delaying the arrival of an ambulance. Paul Piscatelli eventually got the medical attention he needed and after he recovered, he and his son were inspired to create a solution that offered a faster way to get help. They created the Rescu app that eliminates the time wasted communicating address and personal information to traditional 9-1-1 verbally on a phone call. Instead, location and other data can be pre-programmed into the app, and Rescu offers the ability to select the nature of the emergency, including Fire, Police, or Ambulance services, with just one click. The app also automatically sends a text message instantly notifying family members and emergency contacts. Providing faster response and greater safety Paolo Piscatelli, CEO of Rescu, shares “It took over 30 minutes for an ambulance to respond to my Dad. With heart attacks, strokes, and other emergencies, a single minute can be the difference between life and death. So, we created a faster and easier way to get help during an emergency.” Piscatelli continues, “We are grateful to the 30,000 local fire departments, police stations and ambulance networks that have partnered with us to dispatch emergency help in seconds - together, we are providing better response and safety to our communities.”
Getac has announced the launch of its next-generation K120 fully-rugged tablet, for mobile field professionals working in challenging industries including public safety, manufacturing, utilities, defense, transportation, natural resources, and oil & gas. Superior performance Building on a proven track record of success, the next-generation of Getac’s popular K120 tablet features a multitude of upgrades and enhancements over its predecessor, to further optimize productivity in remote and/or adverse environments. A powerful 11th Generation Intel quad-core i5/i7 processor with integrated Iris Xe graphics (codename: Tiger Lake) delivers extraordinary performance, rapid responsiveness, and rich visuals, meaning the K120 can be used to carry out multiple tasks simultaneously without slowing or overheating. Over-air interfaces Enhanced connectivity, due to inbuilt Wi-Fi 6, WWAN with Integrated GPS/GLONASS and Bluetooth 5.2, enables users to utilize a wide selection of over-air interfaces, while Thunderbolt 4 technology makes data collection in the field quick and easy. Additional key features include PCIe NVMe user-replaceable SSD storage and 16GB of memory as standard. Technology for all types of environment The K120 also includes a 12.5-inch, 1,200 nits LumiBond 2.0 display with Getac sunlight readable technology, for easy operation in even the brightest outdoor environments. An innovative dual hot-swappable battery design offers uninterrupted full-shift functionality Multiple touch modes (regular touch, glove, and pen modes, plus an optional digitizer mode) enhance performance in a range of situations, while an innovative dual hot-swappable battery design offers uninterrupted full-shift functionality. To keep sensitive data fully protected, the K120 features a powerful suite of security features and multifactor authentication management including Intel vPro Technology, TPM 2.0, HF RFID reader, smart card reader, fingerprint reader, and Windows Hello. Enhanced versatility The next-generation K120 has been designed with versatility at its core. This means it can be quickly and easily adapted to numerous real-world use cases via an extensive range of user modes and optional Getac accessories, including secure vehicle and office docks, hard handle, shoulder strap (2-point), dual bay battery charger, and full-size keyboard. IP66 and MIL-STD certifications Like all Getac devices, the next-generation K120 is built rugged from the ground up to offer exceptional reliability that easily outperforms other rugged devices currently available on the market. MIL-STD-810H, MIL-STD-461G, and IP66 certification, 6ft (1.8m) drop resistance, and an operating temperature range of -29°C to 63°C (-20°F to 145°F) mean users can get to work without fear of data loss, damage, or failure. tailored for industry needs The next-generation K120 is part of Getac Select, which combines pre-configured rugged devices, software, accessories, and professional services into a total solution optimized for both individual applications and user groups. Key software utilities available for use alongside the K120 are the Virtual Global Positioning System Utility (VGPS), Getac Driving Safety Utility, Getac Device Monitoring System (GDMS), and KeyWedge Barcode Reader Utility. A versatile, all-purpose solution Firefighters need digital devices that let them work effectively in a diverse range of day-to-day scenarios, from updating vital fire safety and critical awareness data to coordinating crews and controlling drones while on-scene at an emergency incident. K120 has a powerful processor, superb connectivity, and inbuilt security features and makes every task easy The K120’s versatility makes every task quick and easy. Its powerful processor, superb connectivity, and inbuilt security features mean it can be relied on in even the most adverse emergency scenarios, while five programmable buttons provide fast, one-touch access to first responder applications. An optional dedicated GPS unit makes it suitable for high-speed navigation during emergency response callouts, and Getac’s VGPS utility can be used to extend the life of important legacy applications. Virtual Global Positioning System (VGPS) Getac’s VGPS utility is a software solution that replicates GPS data to multiple virtual COM ports, allowing up to five different software applications to run simultaneously on a Getac device. Doing so helps extend the life of legacy applications that require COM port interfaces to run in parallels, such as AVL, CAD, or eCitation. VGPS can be seamlessly integrated with any GPS-equipped Getac device. A comprehensive solution “The original K120’s blend of portability, connectivity, and rugged reliability made it ideal for customers who needed a solution that could excel in every scenario, not just a few,” says Chris Bye, President, Getac UK Ltd. The next-generation K120 raises that bar even higher, combining industry-leading rugged design with the latest technology, applications, and services, to deliver a comprehensive solution that helps optimize productivity across a wide range of challenging industries. Availability The next-generation Getac K120 will be available in July 2021.
Johnson Controls, a global company for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, announced that its chairman and CEO George Oliver has been invited by U.S. President Joe Biden to participate in the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate. Addressing Climate Crisis The summit will bring together leaders of the world’s major economies and other vital partners for an urgent and open dialogue on ways to strengthen collective efforts to address the climate crisis. President Biden has made tackling climate change a top national priority since taking office and is urging other world leaders to attend the summit to discuss how their governments will help drive the goal of limiting global temperature rise. Roadmap To A Low-Carbon Economy Transitioning to a lower-carbon economy is an opportunity to build back better, as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic “I am honored to accept President Biden's invitation to join him and other world leaders calling for urgent climate action. It is especially important to establish a roadmap to limiting the rise of global temperatures as we get closer to the COP26 climate conference scheduled for November in Glasgow,” said George Oliver, chairman, and CEO, Johnson Controls. “Transitioning to a lower-carbon economy is an opportunity to build back better, as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing clean, sustainable, and energy-efficient solutions creates jobs while building strong, resilient, global economies.” Clean Energy Economy According to the White House, a major theme of the summit will be the broad economic benefits of climate action, with a strong focus on job creation. This will explore both the economic benefits of green recovery and long-term decarbonization and the importance of ensuring that all communities and workers benefit from the transition to a clean energy economy. Representing Business Roundtable and Johnson Controls, Oliver will address these topics in a session on April 23 as well as the role buildings can play to slash both emissions and costs. Promoting Eco-Friendly Future Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of America’s leading companies. Oliver was named chair of the Business Roundtable Energy & Environment Committee in January 2021. The Committee is dedicated to advancing policies that encourage innovation and support an environmentally and economically sustainable future. Reducing Carbon Emissions The vast majority of Business Roundtable’s 223 member CEOs have made public commitments to reduce their companies’ greenhouse gas emissions/carbon footprints, are making serious progress, and reporting on it publicly. Nearly half of those commitments are for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, if not sooner. Business Roundtable members are playing a significant role in driving ambitious climate action and the policy needed to spur low-carbon economic growth. Last September, the organization endorsed the goals of the Paris Agreement and proposed aggressive policies to achieve those goals. Commitment To Cut Emissions Johnson Controls believes its OpenBlue platform for optimizing building sustainability will be central to fulfilling its goals Johnson Controls' own ambitious emissions reduction targets were recently approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative – an independent organization that assesses corporate sustainability claims. As part of its environmental sustainability commitments, Johnson Controls aims to cut operational emissions by 55 percent and reduce customers’ emissions by 16 percent before 2030. Johnson Controls believes its OpenBlue platform for optimizing building sustainability will be central to fulfilling these goals and ultimately creating an environment for healthy people, healthy places, and a healthy planet. The Climate Pledge The company also recently joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign and is a signatory to The Climate Pledge, an initiative of business leaders co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism. Signatories to the pledge commit to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 – ten years ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement goal.
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-configuration tool allows the technician to install, commission, and maintain the system in a fast, easy and reliable way. With the delayed alarm function staff will be informed first to identify what an alarm is about in order to assess the situation. This ensures business continuity and reduces disturbances to occupants of smaller buildings such as small-to-medium-sized hotels, kindergartens, or nursing homes. Safety in every situation The Cerberus line offers a broad portfolio of detection and alarming devices including pre-configured Cerberus FIT devices to choose from: from fast and reliable fire detectors to configurable alarming devices (including EN 54 compliant sounder and voice sounder beacons) which enables smart evacuation. Updated Cerberus FIT system Cerberus FIT fire protection system allows for a second loop, supporting a maximum number of 252 devices The newest portfolio member, the updated Cerberus FIT fire protection system allows for a second loop, supporting a maximum number of 252 addressable peripherals and devices, such as detectors as well as alarm devices. Compared to one loop panels with only 126 addressable peripherals, the second loop offers more possibilities to wire devices to the panel. All detectors and peripheral devices have an integrated line separator. In case of an interruption, the loop turns into two stub lines while making sure the system is running. This significantly increases the safety of building occupants and ensures business continuity. Because every device is also powered by the loop, less wiring is needed, enabling the customer to achieve cost-efficiency. Intuitive and easy operation The new version of the Cerberus FIT control panel comes with an intuitive interface, including LED indicators with self-explanatory icons and an easy-to-read display. This avoids extensive training and allows facility staff to perform simple operational tasks on their own, without the help of experts. Due to its auto-configuration feature, the Cerberus FIT control panel detects and automatically reads in all connected devices, providing immediate and simple operation. The integrated 'Panel Configurator' enables the configuration to be changed quickly and easily on a PC or laptop, without additional software.
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-extinguishment burn-back resistance and vapor suppression. Chemguard NFF 3x3 UL201 Concentrate passes the UL 162 synthetic foam concentrate protocol. It has also passed, under independent third-party witness, the UL 162 AR-AFFF test protocol for Type III hydrocarbon fuel at a 3-to-1 expansion ratio. Chemguard NFF 3x3 UL201 Foam Concentrate Chemguard NFF 3x3 UL201 Concentrate provides flexibility and ease of use for first response teams This protocol’s more challenging foam application test rate of 0.04 gpm/ft2 (1.6 lpm/m2) is two-thirds that of the UL 162 synthetic, non-fluorinated foam protocol and for an AR-AFFF, this result would correspond to a minimum design application rate of 0.10 gpm/ft2 (4.1 lpm/m2). Chemguard NFF 3x3 UL201 Concentrate provides flexibility and ease of use for first response teams, as it allows for consistent three percent proportioning for both hydrocarbon and polar solvent fires. This means there is no need to adjust proportioning for different Class B hazards. Compatible with Standard response proportioning devices With a 3-to-1 expansion ratio and viscosity similar to a 3x3 AR-AFFF, this foam concentrate is compatible with most standard response proportioning and discharge devices, reducing the need for significant hardware changes. The low expansion ratio provides greater throw distance for the foam, giving firefighters additional separation from the flames. “We developed and tested the NFF Concentrate at the Johnson Controls Fire Technology Center, one of the most extensive fire research and testing facilities in the world,” said Craig Cook, Global Product Development Leader for foam products at Johnson Controls. Craig Cook adds, “When tested on a hydrocarbon fuel fire at three percent concentration, the foam quickly gained 90 percent control and exceeded the requirements for extinguishment and burn-back time for a UL 162 AR-AFFF Type III listing.” Non-fluorinated firefighting foam concentrate Chemguard NFF 3x3 UL201 concentrate is defined as a non-fluorinated firefighting foam concentrate, produced in an equipment free from the use of PFAS chemistry. Since this product is free from any intentionally added PFAS chemistry and precautions have been taken to avoid PFAS contamination, it inherently complies with Directives (EU) 2017/1000 on PFOA and 2019/1021 (EU POPs directive) as a non-fluorinated product. Along with other Johnson Controls’ fire protection products and solutions, this Chemguard NFF Concentrate helps protect people and property within industries, such as petroleum and chemical, where spills and limited scale hazards require a municipal and industrial response. It is also suitable for use in foam systems with Type II discharge devices.
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.
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 and big retailers increasing their presence in the online sales universe. This sustained growth in production capacity and paper consumption presents several fire risks to companies and exposes communities that develop around paper mills, to the impact of disasters caused by these fire risks. Fire risks in the paper and pulp industry Paper and cardboard are combustible, but this is not the only fire risk found in these types of industries. Raw materials and finished goods storage are sensitive to fire. In addition, the paper making process includes several stages where fires can occur, due to hot surfaces or poor ventilation. The most relevant fire risks on a paper plant are: Storage Areas: As mentioned before, paper and cardboard are combustible. Solid paper blocks and reels have hard surfaces that don’t ignite easily, but usually these reels can suffer minor damages or have loose sheets that significantly increase the fire risk. When paper reels are stacked in columns, gaps in the center can act as chimneys and when fires start in the bottom of the stack, this chimney effect will accelerate smoke and hot air spread, increasing vertical and horizontal flame spread. Wood and Bale storage fire risks Bale storage also presents a high fire risk, as loose materials are always present Raw materials for the paper making process can have two main sources, forestry products (mainly wood) or recycled cardboard and paper. Wood storage presents several challenges, especially due to wood chips that are highly combustible and, in some cases, even explosive. Bale storage also presents a high fire risk, as loose materials are always present. Fire in baled paper is difficult to extinguish and generates heavy smoke. In many recycling facilities, these paper bales are stored outdoors, where paper or rags soaked in flammable liquids, embedded between the paper sheets, can ignite resulting in a fast spreading fire. Chemicals, flammable liquids and gases In addition, it is possible to find different types of chemicals, flammable liquids and gases that are used in the paper making process. These materials have their own fire-related risks that need to be taken in consideration. Production Areas: In pulp factories, there are several long-distance conveyors that transport wood and wood chips. These conveyors constitute a fire risk and the most probable causes of fire are bearing damage, overheating of the conveyor and igniting chips in the environment. IR dryers, a common source of fire After the wood has been transported, chipped and digested, the paper making process becomes extremely humid, due to the large amounts of hot water and steam needed. But, as soon as the pulp fiber sheet starts to dry, the hot surfaces in contact with the paper sheets can be a source of ignition. IR dryers used in the process are also a common source of fire in the paper industry. When the sheet of paper is formed, close contact with reels and bearings moving fast can create static electricity that could ignite loose paper or airborne particles. Problems like these are likely to be more extensive in tissue mills. Paper dust is generated in certain parts of the process, especially where paper shits are slit or cut. Poorly insulated steam pipes lead to fire Poorly insulated steam pipes can ignite paper dust or even their own insulation materials. In addition, paper dust gathers in the ventilation grills of machinery, causing overheating and igniting as well. Heated oil is used in several parts of the process as well and if a malfunction occurs on the Hot Oil Roll systems, leaks might occur, exposing hot surfaces to this oil and causing ignitions. A paper mill has hydraulically operated machinery, where leaks or sprays might ignite as well. Service Areas: As in many other manufacturing facilities, several service areas can be found. Electrical and network equipment rooms have an inherent fire risk due to damaged wires or equipment, overheating or short circuits in high voltage circuits. Transformer and generator areas entail fire risks as well. High fire risk for boiler rooms Flammable gas distribution systems can be ignition sources, in case of leaks or damaged pipes or valves Hot water and steam are key components for the paper making process. For this reason, paper plants use high capacity boilers that can be powered by flammable liquids or gases. A high fire risk can be considered for boiler rooms. Flammable gas distribution systems can be ignition sources, in case of leaks or damaged pipes or valves. In addition to the fire risks mentioned in these areas, many maintenance operations can also pose fire risk, especially when hot works are being performed. Sparks caused by welding or the use of certain tools can ignite paper sheets or dust in the air. Poor housekeeping and buildup of paper dust, for example, increases the risk associated with maintenance and construction works. Prevention, the first line of defense According to the Health and Safety Executive from the United Kingdom, 60% of fires on paper mills are caused by machine faults and poor housekeeping. The first line of defense to avoid fire risks in paper plants is prevention. As mentioned before, a high number of fires in these types of facilities occur because of poor housekeeping and machine malfunction. The key is to identify the risks and possible ignition sources, and apply measures to minimize them. As in many industries, fire protection has two main components: Passive and Active protection. Passive fire protection measures Passive measures include fire rated walls, ceilings, and floors in the most critical areas. Chemical storage areas should be physically separated from other dangerous areas, if this is not possible then the walls separating areas should be fire rated and materials must be stored in a way that minimizes the risk of fire spread by radiation or conduction. Proper compartmentalization and intumescent protection of structural elements should be part of the package as well. Passive measures include proper ventilation and smoke control. As mentioned before, paper dust is a major fire risk, which is why ventilation and cleaning of hoods over the paper machine is important to minimize the possibility of ignition. Fire resisting construction should be designed with the following goals in mind: Protection of escape routes Form compartments to contain fires that might occur Separate areas of higher fire risk Protect load bearing and structural members to minimize risk of collapse Sprinkler systems, gas extinguishing systems and hose reels Active fire protection includes sprinkler systems, gas extinguishing systems and hose reels to support fire brigades Active fire protection includes sprinkler systems, gas extinguishing systems and hose reels to support fire brigades. Finished goods stored indoors should be protected with sprinkler systems and the same should be considered for chemical storage areas and certain raw materials. Paper bales, ideally should be protected by sprinklers that are suitably designed to cope with the height and located, in all cases, 3 meters above the level of bales stacked vertically (which should not exceed 5 meters height). Spark detectors in hoods, pipes and ventilation systems Dangerous sparks could be generated in several parts of the paper making process, which is why spark detectors must be installed in hoods, pipes, and ventilation systems. Water spray and CO2 systems can be used to protect machinery against these risks. Means to fight fires, like extinguishers and hose reels, should be provided to support fire brigades. All the elements should be properly identified and all personnel should be trained and made aware of the location of such devices. Importance of fire alarms Fire alarms are required in all paper mills and fire alarm call points should be provided in all locations, according to international guidelines, such as NFPA 72 or EN54. The spread of flames and smoke in paper, wood and chemical storage might become extremely fast. For this reason, early detection is critical. Many technologies might be applied in the different areas of a paper plant. Nevertheless, there are dusty or humid areas where regular heat or smoke detectors might fail under certain circumstances. For these areas, especially located outdoors, innovative state-of-the-art detection solutions might be applied, like Video Fire Detection (VFD). NFPA 72 standard for flame and smoke detection NFPA 72 provides guidelines to implement this technology for flame and smoke detection NFPA 72 provides guidelines to implement this technology for flame and smoke detection, opening interesting alternatives for designers and fire protection engineers. Many EHS managers and fire protection professionals selected VFD, because it is the only fire detection solution that effectively covered their needs. Many engineers, specialized in fire protection for paper plants, explained that they tested linear heat detection, aspiration smoke detection, IR/UV detectors and even beams, but none of these technologies performed as they needed on the dirtiest or more humid areas. Video Fire Detection (VFD) solutions Outdoor storage areas are often unprotected, because deploying flame or heat detection in large open areas can be costly and mostly ineffective. VFD solutions can detect smoke and flames in outdoor conditions, allowing the monitoring and protection of wood and paper bales in large areas. Fire detection and alarm systems should be designed with the following goals: Minimize risk of fires, including the use of fire detection technology in areas where regular detection technologies cannot be implemented or are not practical. Minimize risk of flame and smoke spread, with state-of-the-art detection algorithms that guarantee fast and effective detection. Also, reliable algorithms minimize the possibility of nuance or unwanted alarms. In case of a fire, fast detection gives occupants life-saving time to reach to a place of safety, before the flames and smoke have spread to dangerous levels. Global production of paper and pulp reached 490 million tons in 2020, with many industries and markets depended on the paper and pulp supply chain. That is why innovative ways to protect this supply chain, are key to sustain the paper market growth in the future.
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.
Fire and EMS departments are eligible for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) of their costs, related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A streamlined project application process eases the burden of applying for the program, but support documentation is required. Tracking costs For COVID-19 recovery Many departments do not apply for the money because they perceive reporting requirements as too difficult, and record-keeping as too big a challenge. To help, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) provides simple Excel worksheets for tracking costs related to COVID-19 response and recovery. Customizable worksheets capture common reimbursable costs as they are spent. Departments seeking reimbursement should submit a project application online at the FEMA Public Assistance Grants Portal (no paper submissions are accepted). FEMA’s Public Assistance Program The mission of FEMA’s Public Assistance Program is to provide assistance to State, Local, Territorial, and Tribal governments The mission of FEMA’s Public Assistance Program is to provide assistance to State, Local, Territorial, and Tribal (SLTT) governments, and certain types of private nonprofit (PNP) organizations so that communities can respond quickly to and recover from major disasters or emergencies declared by the President. A submission request for public assistance must provide complete and accurate documentation of expenses and usage, including standardized Incident Command System (ICS) forms, Public Assistance Grant forms, verifiable receipts, personnel costs sheets and apparatus sheets. Applications submitted via jurisdiction serviced Applications are submitted through the jurisdiction serviced. Additional documents include supporting plans, assignments, activities and shift records (payroll), pay policy receipts for purchases and rental equipment, and a copy of the service agreement/contract with the jurisdiction. Some activities may be eligible for funding through both FEMA and other federal agency funding sources for COVID-19, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Public assistance cannot duplicate funding from another federal source. Public Assistance program Some activities may be completed through direct federal assistance. If an applicant does not have the capacity to directly complete the activity or oversee activity completion through contract or mutual aid, the Applicant may request that FEMA or another federal agency directly conduct the activity. The assistance FEMA provides through its Public Assistance program is subject to a cost share, with the federal share not less than 75% of eligible costs.
There is a long tradition of canines in the fire service, from Dalmatians riding shotgun in the fire truck to mixed breeds rescued from fires that later become the fire company mascot. The tradition has taken a hit recently in Chicago, where dogs are no longer allowed at firehouses after one station dog killed a smaller breed canine near a firehouse in the Englewood neighborhood. The incident The firehouse dog in Chicago, named Bones, was a mixed breed stray rescued off the street that was living at Engine 116 at 60th Street and Ashland Avenue. A neighbor was walking her smaller breed dog past the firehouse and watched in horror as Bones attacked and killed her small dog. After the incident, Chicago’s Acting Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt issued a department memo: “Any and all prior permissions for dogs in the fire stations or on fire apparatuses are hereby revoked … effective immediately.” Chicago Firehouse dogs Most of Chicago’s firehouse dogs are strays that were picked up and brought to firefighters by the public. Fire crews and paramedics care for the dogs, train them, feed them and get them inoculated and spayed or neutered, then ask formal permission to keep the dogs on site. Historically, permission has been granted, in effect saving the dogs from being euthanized. Breed of choice The tradition of dogs and the fire service goes back centuries, to the 1700s, when carriage dogs first trotted alongside horse-drawn fire carriages. Dalmatians were the breed of choice, given their good temperament, calming effect on the horses Dalmatians were the breed of choice, given their good temperament, calming effect on the horses, and grace under pressure. The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) began utilizing Dalmatians as early as the 1870s. Dalmatians as firehouse ambassadors When motorized vehicles came on the scene, Dalmatians were already associated with firefighters, who continued to keep them on-site as firehouse residents and mascots. Increasingly, Dalmatians and other dogs became public ambassadors for firehouses and were involved in public education about fire safety and emergency preparedness for school and community groups. For example, Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog, a Dalmatian from Clarksville, Ark., was a character in her own set of children’s books about fire safety and traveled around the country teaching children about fire tips. reduce stress, provide comfort Currently, firehouse dogs are other breeds, too, many rescued from house fires or other tragedies. Firehouses often adopt dogs, who become symbols of resiliency, bravery, fortitude – and provide comfort and companionship for firefighters who face high levels of stress on the job. After the 9/11 attacks, two firefighters from Rochester, N.Y., gifted the FDNY Ladder 20 company a Dalmatian puppy, appropriately named Twenty. The dog served as a source of comfort to the firefighters, who lost seven members of the company in 9/11. Dogs recognize signals Taken in as a stray in 1929, a dog named Nip served 10 years with New York’s Engine Company No. 203. During his service, the dog was injured by broken glass, falling debris, scalding burns, and bruises from falling off the fire engine. Nip could recognize all bells and signals. On fire scenes, Nip could alert firefighters if he knew something was wrong and sometimes run into burning buildings to look for victims. Unfortunately, Nip was killed by a hit-and-run driver in front of the firehouse in 1939 (and was stuffed by a taxidermist and displayed at the firehouse until 1974). Dogs promote fire safety Dogs promote fire safety outside the firehouse Dogs also promote fire safety outside the firehouse. For example, accelerant-sniffing dogs are trained to detect minute traces of accelerants that may be used to start a fire, according to the State Farm Arson Dog Program. The special bond between firefighters and dogs is the stuff of legend, despite the recent unfortunate events in Chicago – an ignoble scar on a long, colorful history of dogs in the fire service. Hopes remain that the decision can somehow be reversed, based on social media postings. “This is the first tragedy I have heard of in … 25 years,” said the administrator of the Firehouse Pups group.
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, tornadoes, search for lost persons, and hurricane damage assessment. Using Thermal imaging A thermal image camera is a key payload for drones in the fire service as it supplies heat signatures that provide valuable information as to fire spread, structural integrity, and location of firefighters while operating around the fire. Thermal images see through smoke to direct elevated streams effectively onto the fire and identify hotspots Thermal images see through smoke to direct elevated streams effectively onto the fire and identify hotspots from a lightning strike, hotspots during overhaul, hotspots from wildfires, and liquid levels in hazmat tanks. Applications of drones Drones in hazmat can be deployed to do remote monitoring, substance identification, pre-entry evaluation, overwatch during the hazmat operation, and drop needed tools nearby. They can also identify spills and direction of flow, pollutants on or in waterways, and more. For wildfires, drones can quickly identify the direction of fire spread, the distance between the fire and firefighters, hotspots remaining, and can drop incendiary devices to start backfire operations. Drones are also used before and after the fire to determine the fuel load present. Pre-fire analysis of the fuel load can be used to mitigate and/or minimize hazardous situations before the fire. fire-service training The fire service is also using drones for training. Roof operations and other training can be observed and captured to review later. Also, drones can capture facility pre-fire plans as well as complex building projects. Every fire department will deploy a drone to enhance safety, operational effectiveness, and real-time awareness “As fire service (and public safety) leadership fully understand the potential of what drones offer, every department will be deploying a drone (or two) for significant incidents as a part of the initial response to enhance safety, increase operational effectiveness, and real-time situational awareness,” says Chief Charles L. Werner (Emeritus-RET), Director, DroneResponders Public Safety Alliance. Non-profit Program The DroneResponders Alliance is the largest and an award-winning non-profit program to advance the use of drones in public safety (for all disciplines). While focused on the United States, DroneResponders has more than 3,800 members and representation from 47 countries. On its website, DroneResponders hosts the largest Online Resource Center (more than 600 documents – standard operating procedures, policy manuals, Certificate of Authorization/Waiver Guidance, etc.) and has a discussion forum with many topic threads. Increasing drone programs Drone programs (free flight and/or tethered) will continue to increase exponentially for the fire service. There were over 17 public safety use cases identified on the DroneResponders Spring 2020 Research Study, and even these case studies can be broken down even more. “One thing that we have found is that if a single agency has a drone program, they usually fly other missions as well as their primary mission set,” says Werner. “So if a fire department is the only agency flying, they will usually cover fire missions, police missions, and emergency management missions. The same is true if it were a single police agency flying.” Having real-time awareness “Real-time 360 situational awareness is a game-changer with visual optics, thermal imaging, and streaming video on structure fires, wildfires, hazmat incidents, lost person searches, floods/swift-water rescues, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and more,” says Werner. “I ask agency leaders if they would ever make command decisions with their eyes closed because, without that aerial view, many hazards or critical information are not known,” adds Werner. “I do believe as the numbers of drones increase, prices will fall and there will be a more competitive marketplace.” Limitations of drones One of the main obstacles of the drone is the current length of flight is limited by battery life The main obstacles that remain are regulatory limits on Beyond Visual Line of Sight (which are changing) and one remote pilot operating multiple drones. Other obstacles include a need for competitively priced drones with comparable payloads, and the current length of flights is limited by battery life. In France during the Notre Dame Cathedral fire, a drone was used to identify the best position to attack the fire to prevent further spread to the remainder of the cathedral. Initiatives taken by DroneResponders Other DroneResponders initiatives include: Monthly Public Safety UAS Webinars in partnership with the FAA; Monthly Podcasts that highlight Public Safety UAS programs, successes, emerging technologies; A Major Cities Working Group (cities over 500K) headed up by Capt. Michael Leo (Fire Department of New York); A Drone as a First Responder Working Group headed up by Capt. Don Redmond (Chula Vista [Calif.] Police Department); Legal/Policy Working Group led by Dawn Zoldi, Founder and CEO of P3 Tech Consulting; Public Safety/Media Working Group led by Mickey Osterreicher (National Press Photographers Association); Training Curriculum Standard Working Group facilitated by Katie Thielmeyer (Woodlawn [Ohio} Fire Department); National Public Safety UAS Database Project headed up by Charles Werner in partnership with NASA Ames Research Center; and National Public Safety UAS Database Mapping Project headed up by Brandon Karr (Pearland Police Department) in partnership with Esri [mapping and software provider].
Award-winning Taktis fire panels, manufactured by Kentec Electronics Ltd., a globally renowned manufacturer of life-critical control systems, are protecting students and property at the University of Nicosia’s (UNIC) new state-of-the-art student residences, located in Cyprus. Integrated fire system The integrated fire system was installed by Kentec Installation Partner (KIP) Glosec Dragon Ltd. (GLOSEC), a Cyprus-based business that specializes in the design, installation and maintenance of security, surveillance, hazard prevention and hospitality systems. The UNIC student residences have been designed to set a new standard in modern student living The UNIC student residences have been designed to set a new standard in modern student living. They consist of two separate complexes, SIX and TRIANGLE, which provide a multitude of dining, relaxing and entertainment options including a cafe, mini-market, gym, TV rooms and games areas. Taktis addressable fire panels Split between six, 12-storey distinctive towers, SIX comprises 307 luxury student residences, and is protected by two, highly-sophisticated Taktis eight-loop addressable fire panels. TRIANGLE complements SIX with an additional 147 modern and spacious rooms, with one six-loop Taktis fire panel installed. Across both SIX and TRIANGLE residential complexes, the fire protection systems include 578 Apollo heat detectors, 530 sounder bases, 94 call points and 339 optical detectors. Additionally, three Taktis Vision Repeaters provide information on the status of the fire alarm system in key positions, across the residences via large and full-color, touch-screen graphical displays. Full-color resistive touch screen display Taktis provides an expandable solution, which includes a full suite of graphics, communications (copper and fiber), analytics and remote management tools. Multiple protocols can be supported on each panel to give installers and end users maximum choice in their systems’ design. Also, the scalable nature of the product provides the highest level of future proofing and networking capabilities. A 7 inches full-color resistive touch screen display and a clear, uncluttered intuitive interface make it easy to use, even for those with minimal or no training, which is essential in the event of an emergency. Fire system integration with CCTV and access control Stathis Ierodiaconou, Managing Director of Glosec Dragon feels the business has worked with Kentec for more than two decades and developed a trusting relationship. Taktis is easy to install, integrates with other systems well and customer feedback has been good" Stathis said, “Our experience with Kentec meant we knew Taktis was the right system for the project’s scope and needs. The project required that remote monitoring was possible from one control room to cover both SIX and TRIANGLE residences. It also needed to be an expandable system, which can grow as the development grows.” With Glosec Dragon also installing and maintaining a suite of other CCTV, wireless access control, intercom, parking and energy-saving systems, Stathis stated that integration was essential. He explains, “Taktis is easy to install, integrates with other systems well and customer feedback has been good.” Flexible fire safety system Anastasia Christodoulou, Manager, at UNIC Residences, believes that student safety is paramount. She said, “We required complete assurance that our fire protection system is providing the utmost protection. We were assured that Taktis does just that, and that its advanced integrative capabilities mean a future-proofed and user-friendly system.” Costas Constantinides, Head of International Development at Kentec, believes the Taktis panel with EN54-13 certification was the ideal choice for this development. He said, “The highly powerful and sophisticated Taktis panel was chosen to ensure the fire safety system had the required reliability, scale and flexibility to protect large numbers of students at such a prestigious development.”
C-TEC’s new CAST ZFP fire alarm system is protecting an exciting new hospitality venture in Cheshire, United Kingdom. Situated in the beautiful village of Tattenhall, The Bear and Ragged Staff has been radically transformed from a derelict shell into a high-end pub, restaurant and hotel, by a team of talented professionals, including Brian Mellor, an award-winning chef, and Martin Hilton, an industry-renowned beer sommelier. Featuring a fabulous bar/restaurant, eight en-suite bedrooms, and a first-floor function room, the magnificent venue is prominently positioned on the High Street and set not only to become a focal point in the village but also attract clientele from far and wide for celebratory and corporate events. CAST ZFP fire panel and detectors installed At the heart of the building’s life-safety systems is a C-TEC CAST ZFP fire panel connected to over 100 CAST detectors At the heart of the building’s life-safety systems is a C-TEC CAST ZFP fire panel connected to over 100 CAST detectors, sounders, VADs, and ancillary devices, spanning over four floors. The master 2-loop ZFP panel is located in a storeroom but relays key system information to a state-of-the-art Compact Controller, which is prominently displayed in the elegant reception area. With its bright easy-to-use touchscreen-control interface, the controller is stylish, highly visible and can be easily accessed by the fire and rescue service, and authorized personnel if required. L2 BS 5839-1 fire safety system John Westerman, Director of Wrexham-based Allied Fire Alarms Ltd, the company that specified, installed, and commissioned the system, said “We chose CAST ZFP as the cornerstone of The Bear’s L2 BS 5839-1 system, as it is powerful, intuitive, and has the capacity to connect to multiple intelligent devices. Our client also had some specific requirements for fire detection in certain areas which were facilitated using CAST’s innovative software and extensive programming capabilities.” John Westerman adds, “We were delighted to be involved with this project. As an NICEIC-approved specialist fire company, we pride ourselves on delivering top-quality life-safety systems to our client’s satisfaction and the CAST system we designed and installed has certainly exceeded everyone’s expectations.” CAST intelligent fire alarm system CAST is C-TEC’s own UK-designed and manufactured ‘distributed intelligence’ addressable fire detection and alarm system. Certified to all relevant EN54 product standards, including EN54-13, CAST is also fully compatible with ENVISION, C-TEC’s powerful new remote access, data management, and system testing software.
The Vizcaya Provincial Council 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 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.”
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.
Round table discussion
The COVID-19 pandemic has had ramifications for almost every industry, some more than others. With the pandemic stretching well into a second year, the non-medical consequences continue, and many are wondering about which of the required changes might become permanent. As regards the fire sector, we asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What impact has COVID-19 had on the fire industry?
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?
Ensuring the health and wellness of firefighters is a burden shared among equipment manufacturers as well as the fire departments and individual firefighters. Thoughtful design of equipment and other products used in the fire service can be a positive factor as firefighters and other first responders face dangerous situations every day. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What steps can we take to better ensure firefighter health and wellness?