Fire Safety Risk Assessment
Hicks Gate Fire Station will be throwing its doors open to the public this Saturday (17/08), showcasing Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) and how firefighters keep local communities safe. From 10am to 4pm, the open day will focus on the national resilience capabilities that ensure community safety through location extraction and stabilization in structural collapse. Staff will also demonstrate risk reduction and how everyone can play a part in making safety a key part of their daily lives throug...
Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations to the U.K. Government after the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 were that the competence of the individuals working in the construction and life cycle of Higher Risk Residential Buildings (HRRBs) needs to improve and be clearer. Work had already started in many fire protection sectors to create fully recognized qualifications, and these help raise the benchmark. Improving fire safety training A force driving improvements in training is the Fire Industry...
Those responsible for the specification of products which go into new modern buildings have been asking for safe, approved cabling, which play a critical part in electrical supply systems. The number of fires in high-rise buildings in Europe and the Middle East have brought the issue of quality of products for fire performance circuits into sharp focus, not least the Grenfell disaster. Meanwhile, new buildings become increasingly complex, with the use of new materials and the designs of many r...
Firefighters have issued a summer heat safety plea following several incidents cornfields, grass and crop fires in Kent that have been linked to the hot and dry weather the county is currently experiencing. Countering wildfire incidents Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) deals frequently with rural fires, but during periods of hot and dry weather, incidents on grassland have the potential to become much bigger wildfires. Last year (2018), KFRS responded to almost 700 grassfires, and so far, t...
One lesson of Grenfell is how many fire system technicians operate without the appropriate qualifications. Since the Grenfell tragedy, Dame Judith Hackitt has called for all relevant trades to hold formal qualifications, and for industry to implement a system in which clients and end users can be assured that operatives are fully competent. Another lesson is that fire service audits of buildings are no longer fit for purpose. For instance, the current system does not require proof that a fire s...
The National Security Inspectorate (NSI), the UK’s independent certification body specializing in the security and fire safety sectors, shared in the success of this year’s IFSEC and FIREX exhibitions as the integrated events proved important forums for approved companies and applicants, as well as key industry stakeholders, to engage face-to-face with NSI experts. The three-day events provided a vital opportunity to raise awareness of the valuable role of independent certific...
Byker firefighters have been commended by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer Chris Lowther for their lifesaving actions on the River Tyne. Crews were dispatched to the quayside at around 5am on Sunday May 5 after receiving reports of a woman threatening to jump from the Tyne Bridge. During their journey to the River Tyne, they received an update confirming that she had jumped into the water. Locating woman using thermal imaging camera When the crews arrived at the pontoon, Crew Manager Steven Burns used a thermal imaging camera to locate the semi-conscious woman, who was clearly shocked and struggling to stay afloat. As the fire boat was not yet mobile and the casualty was being pulled downstream by the tide, Crew Manager Burns instructed Firefighter Rob Rodgerson to enter the water. It was a spilt second decision that only had one outcome, this is part of my job and I wouldn’t hesitate in doing it again"Attached to a floating safety line, Firefighter Rodgerson swam to the woman in the centre of the river. He was then able to keep her afloat, calming and reassuring her until crews were able to pull them back to shore. Firefighter Rodgerson explained: “It was a spilt second decision that only had one outcome, this is part of my job and I wouldn’t hesitate in doing it again. I’m just glad I was there to help.” Continuous assessment of the situation Chief Fire Officer Lowther commented: “This type of water rescue is extremely difficult. To reach the casualty, Firefighter Rodgerson swam around 90m from the pontoon and had to contend with line drag, river current, debris and the cold water. “He placed his trust in his fellow firefighters, whose calm and continuous assessment of the situation enabled them to get the woman out of the water quickly and safely. The whole crew showed great strength, bravery and skill under challenging conditions. They were well prepared thanks to their regular training.”
Euralarm welcomes the recent announcement from the European Commission of an “implementing decision” concerning harmonized standards for the Construction Products, which includes the long-awaited citation of two core Fire Detections standards, hence confirming them as harmonized standards under the Construction Product Regulations (CPR). This announcement closes off the first step in a strategic plan which has evolved out of cooperation between CPR stakeholders (represented by CEN/TC72 and Euralarm). Heat Point And Smoke Point Detectors This citation of EN 54-5:2017+A1:2018 for heat point detectors and EN 54-7:2018 for smoke point detectors in the newly reformulated Official Journal (OJ) for the CPR reflects the steady progress being made by the EC to reduce the backlog of uncited candidate harmonized European Norms (hEN’s). The fire alarm industry is pleased that the EC understands and acknowledges the issues that the fire industry has with strict pursuit of the CPR ideals to achieve a “common technical language” for expressing the performance of products while not limiting or restricting their performance, unless such limits are first formalized into EU law using a Delegated Act. Both the fire alarm industry and the notified bodies are grateful that the European Commission has followed the industry’s advice The EU OJ dated 21st March 2019 states that the 31st August 2022 is the deadline for products to comply with the new revisions. That means that all manufacturers can start with the update of their corresponding external certificates and internal declarations by applying the latest version of EN 54-5 and -7 to their products. In due course, all manufacturers of heat and smoke detectors will be required to apply to authorised Notified Bodies for a Certificate of Constancy of Performance to the new revisions so they can then update their DoP’s (Declaration of Performance). Fire Detection And Alarm Systems Certification Both the fire alarm industry and the notified bodies are grateful that the European Commission has followed the industry’s advice to extend the coexistence period of EN 54-5 and EN 54-7. It allows both parties to handle all required tasks for (re)certification and declaration of the wide variety of smoke and heat detectors that are key components in most Fire Detection and Alarm systems available on the EU market. While the EN 54-5 (Fire detection and fire alarm systems. Heat detectors) and EN 54-7 (Fire detection and fire alarm systems. Smoke detectors) are part of the recent citation, it is important to note that they do not follow the proposed “Open Description” (OD) approach being developed by CEN/TC 72. In fact, the standards are two out of three published revisions of existing harmonized standards which (along with the impending publication of EN 54-3:2019 for fire alarm devices) exceptionally follow the pass/fail approach for expressing the product characteristics. It is fully anticipated that they will in due course, along with other parts of the EN 54 series, be revised to follow the new OD approach. Open Descriptions is gaining traction as a viable solution to address the challenges associated with preparing standards suitable for citation under the CPR.
Taking place 16 - 17 of April 2019, this will be the ninth edition of Securex West Africa. Having firmly established itself as the region’s leading exhibition and conference for the commercial, perimeter, cyber and homeland security, fire and safety industry, this year’s show is expected to attract more than 2,500 visitors, 85 exhibiting brands along with key industry stakeholders from governmental organizations and prominent industry associations. Among the show floor features due to take place at this year’s exhibition is the Conference. Running daily sessions lead by senior industry experts, organisers have confirmed that Bulwark Intelligence are now signed up as Strategic Partners to the event. Delivering Defense And Intelligence Solutions This year’s conference theme will be ‘National Security in a Boundaryless World: 21st Century Solutions to Nigeria’s Insecurity'A privately-owned company, Bulwark Intelligence Solutions Limited, is focused on delivering extensive, accurate and dependable security, defense and intelligence solutions to around the globe. It was founded and is run by US Military veterans with combined experience of over fifty-two years in the defense, security and intelligence industry. The company has clientele cut across Defense and Security, Oil & Gas, Academia, Foreign investors, Banking & Finance, Non-Profits, Political and global leaders. Organisers have revealed a sneak preview of prominent topics as well as key speakers for this year’s Securex West Africa Conference. This year’s conference theme will be ‘National Security in a Boundaryless World: 21st Century Solutions to Nigeria’s Insecurity’. As Nigeria’s population continues to grow with an estimated population of 450 million by 2050, it is important that all stakeholders including security, military, political, civil society and more, come together to discuss solutions that will curb current and future threats while ensuring stability in the country. Providing Companies With Valuable Insights The exhibitions Regional Director, George Pearson said; “Every year we consult with leading members of the industry to put together a cohesive program of conference sessions that will not only inform Securex visitors, but also educate. In the current industry climate, with this transition into a new digital era, companies across the board are facing brand new threats and it is our goal to provide valuable insights into how to protect themselves.” Companies across the board are facing brand new threats and it is our goal to provide valuable insights into how to protect themselves" Just some of the key sessions announced include; ‘Implementing 21st Century Security Strategies and Solutions; the place of technology and social media’, ‘Security Sector Reforms and Policies in Nigeria, addressing a boundaryless operating environment’ and ‘Community Cohesion: security as an enabler of/for development; towards Solutions for Stability’. Key Industry Experts At The Event Among the key industry experts set to take the stage this year will be the Honorable Aliyu Gebi, Senior Special Advisor to the Minister of Interior, Mr Wale Olaoye, CEO Halogen Security, Dr Solomon Arase, Former Inspector General of Police and Capt. Aliyu Umar (Rtd), CEO Goldwater and Riversands Consults to name just a few. The full Conference program for Securex West Africa 2019 will be released very shortly and to ensure you receive it directly to your inbox, simply pre-register to attend for free. Pre-registration is now open for those looking to attend Securex West Africa. By pre-registering online in advance, you will have free access to both full days and you’ll also receive show updates direct to your inbox, exclusive competition announcements and much more. Once more, Securex West Africa will open from 16 - 17 April 2019 at the Landmark Centre in Lagos, Nigeria.
FoxFury Lighting Solutions introduces the new and improved Scout Clip Light. The extremely versatile Scout Clip Light serves as a utility light, task light, search light, and more. This durable light is waterproof and meets NFPA fire resistant requirements, so users can rely on it working in extreme environments. It's lightweight, compact, and the built in J-Clip ensures it stays with users no matter where they go. The Scout comes in either a black or orange exterior with two different LED options; all white or white and red. The Scout's secure J-Clip allows it to be worn in a variety of ways including on a backpack, pocket, belt, vest, and even MOLLE system. The teeth on the inside of the clip ensure it stays in place no matter how rugged the task a user needs it for, allowing the user to work uninterrupted and hands free. Low Light Conditions The Scout is available with two LED options; all white or white and red. White LED models are recommended for users that want to use the Scout primarily for search or inspections while the white & red LED models are recommended for users who want to see and be seen. The alternating flash mode on the white and red LED models can be used as a safety beacon as well The red LEDs help preserve night vision in low light conditions. This is useful for tactical night operations, reading a map or paperwork in the dark, or even checking in on the kids without waking them up at night. The alternating flash mode on the white and red LED models can be used as a safety beacon as well, alerting others to your position. This could be used during a roadside emergency, a search and rescue operation, or even while riding a bike along a busy road. Improved Scout Models The Scout is designed to be submersible, fire resistant, and impact resistant. Its small, compact design means it doesn’t take up much space, and the low profile sits well on a belt or vest. “We’re excited to offer these new and improved Scout models. We responded to customer feedback by introducing this secure J-Clip, and the light is now better than ever. We feel it will help save time and lives” said Antonio Cugini, Director of Marketing at FoxFury Lighting Solutions. The Scout is truly a rugged, go anywhere light. Police officers can use it to stay safe on the side of the road. Fire investigators can use it to inspect tight spaces. Fishermen can use it as a safety beacon on the water. Pet owners can use it to walk their dogs late at night. The limits are endless, which makes the Scout the perfect everyday light.
Many volunteer departments are forced to make do with an inadequate amount of turnout gear or with worn-out, non-compliant gear they can’t afford to replace. That’s why MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are working together again in 2019 to distribute new turnout gear to volunteer fire departments through MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway Program. This annual program began in 2012 to help departments in need properly outfit their crew. To date, the program has delivered 455 sets to 95 departments. Longstanding Partnership The NVFC is excited to partner with MSA and DuPont again this year on our annual giveaway" “The NVFC is excited to partner with MSA and DuPont again this year on our annual giveaway,” said NVFC Chair Kevin D. Quinn. “Proper turnouts are essential to ensure the safety of our boots on the ground, but many volunteer departments struggle to provide adequate protection to their firefighters. We are grateful to MSA and DuPont for their generosity in giving back to those who serve.” “MSA is pleased to continue this longstanding partnership with DuPont and the NVFC to provide advanced turnout gear to volunteer fire departments in need,” said chief operating officer of MSA’s Globe firefighter protective apparel Tom Vetras. “For more than 100 years we’ve been dedicated to protecting those who protect us, so when there are first responders in need – we’re proud to be able to help.” Gear Giveaway Program “With DuPont’s continued focus on protecting firefighters, we are proud and humbled to partner alongside MSA and the NVFC on this much needed gear giveaway program,” said John Richard, vice president and general manager, DuPont Kevlar and Nomex. “Ensuring that these brave men and women are protected as they selflessly serve their communities is paramount to DuPont, and we look forward to the kick-off of another successful Globe Gear Giveaway campaign.” The 2019 application period for MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway is now open The 2019 application period for MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway is now open. 13 departments will each receive four sets of new gear, for a total of 52 sets. The first 500 applicants will also receive a one-year NVFC membership, courtesy of MSA. MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway Criteria To be eligible to apply for MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway, departments must meet the following criteria: be all-volunteer or mostly-volunteer (over 50 percent) serve a population of 25,000 or less be located in the U.S. or Canada and legally organized under state/province law demonstrate a need for the gear department or person applying must be a member of the NVFC. To help departments meet the membership criteria, MSA will provide a complimentary NVFC Membership to the first 500 applicants.
The GS960 Series are acoustic glass break detectors which give an alarm when glass is smashed at intrusion attempts through windows, doors and glazed walls. They use an advanced micro-controller technology which is programmed to take a lot of relevant acoustic factors into account. Using ‘Digital Room Compensation’ these detectors can distinguish between a true glass break and other irrelevant sounds. Having a covering distance up to nine meters and a coverage angle of 165° allows one detector to protect several windows in the same room. laminated Glass Pane In parallel the design of the detectors makes them suitable for wall or ceiling mount as long as they have a free line-of-sight to the window being protected. These sensors will detect the breaking of different types of glass panes like single glazed (float and tempered), double glazed (float and tempered), double glazed where the inner pane is covered with security film, triple glazed (float and tempered) and laminated glass pane. When removing those materials the sensor will go back to its normal state The GS960AM is additionally equipped with an AM function, a separate relay, which gives an alarm at sabotage of the microphone. When sealing the microphone completely with elastic material such as chewing gum or isolation tape it will be detected. When removing those materials the sensor will go back to its normal state. Specially Developed Tool The sensor is constructed for continuous detection, is extra resistant to different acoustic disturbances and works well in most environments. In environments with very high rates of disturbances such as industrial workshops or gyms, the outcome of a four-week test period will help to decide whether to use the detector in a 24 hour loop. The GS960-TR tester is a specially developed tool for calibrating and adjusting the GS960 for optimal function in the acoustic space – the DRC Digital Room Compensation procedure. Using this tool to test the detector settings you do not need to open it again as the tester will communicate with the detector acoustically. There is also an additional accessory GS960-RB which is a plug-in EOL resistor board allowing to easily integrate GS960 into an existing Advisor Advanced system without the hassle of adding EOL resistors.
Water is key to any firefighting operation. Being able to secure an adequate water supply is critical a critical skill for all fire departments. One of the most challenging scenarios to secure a water supply in is when there is no municipal water supply, or it is lacking in volume and flow. When fires occur in these areas, the only alternative is to shuttle water from the nearest municipal supply or a static body of water. To get the highest flow possible, departments must train on shuttle setup and equipment to analyze where improvements can be made.Water supplies should be evaluated based on the largest fire hazard in the area using the source A smoothly operating high-flow water shuttle takes pre-planning and training. A goal of training is to find the bottlenecks (constraints) in the system limiting flow. The theory of constraints is an approach to process optimization use to identify bottlenecks, then eliminate the bottleneck or adjust the process to meet the speed of the bottleneck. The only way to improve the process output, in this case fireground flow rate, is by improving bottlenecks. Improving non-bottlenecks does not improve the process output. Training provides the opportunity to identify and correct bottlenecks. The following examines some common constraints of a water shuttle. Identifying A Water Source The time to identify a water source for a fill site is not when the alarm bell goes off. Water supplies identified for fill sites must be able to provide the target fill rate of 1000 gpm. Natural bodies of water must be evaluated during different times of the year This is based on the restrictions placed on ploy tanks of 100psig inlet pressure and 1000gpm inlet flow. It is possible to fill none poly tanks at faster rate if designed for it, but there are less chance for mistakes if the fill rate is standardized at 1000gpm. Along with flow, adequate volume must be available at the fill site. Water supplies should be evaluated based on the largest fire hazard in the area using the source. Another way to evaluate the minimum volume is the ISO standard. A shuttle must be able to maintain a flow of 250gpm for two hours. This requires a water source to have a minimum volume of 30,000 gallons. Natural bodies of water must be evaluated during different times of the year to make sure the minimum volume remains adequate. Data capture form to appear here! Know Your Flow Rates Normally, using a municipal hydrant system is a good choice for a fill site as it has significant water supply to support a fill site operation. A large or extended fire has the potential to deplete smaller water systems. Some hydrants easily flow over 1000gpm yet other hydrants in the same system may flows less than 1000gpm It is important to know the system capacity when using a municipal supply for tanker operations. Flow from the hydrant can be another constraint at the fill site. Some hydrants easily flow over 1000gpm yet other hydrants in the same system may flows less than 1000gpm. Knowing the flow rate of hydrants used for a fill site is a critical component of fill site pre-planning. Dry hydrants are the most efficient way to access static water supplies Static Sources And Dry Hydrants Static sources can provide a good water supply for filling tankers if the volume is adequate and there is access. Access to a static water supply can be done in several ways, pre-planning will allow the most effective and efficient means to be used when water is needed. The most efficient way to access static water supplies is by installing a dry hydrant from the water source to an area an engine can easily access.Dry hydrants minimize the equipment, time, and personnel needed to start drafting operations at the fill site Dry hydrants minimize the equipment, time, and personnel needed to start drafting operations at the fill site. If a dry hydrant is not installed, a strainer must be connected an adequate amount of suction hose to reach the water. Most engines carry two 10-foot sections of suction hose, this limits the distance between the engine and water source without collecting additional suction hose from other apparatus. The amount of suction carried on engines was tied to the limitation of motorized primers. These primers had the potential for the motor to burn out if operated for the extended period to prime more than 20 feet of 6” suction line. With the advent of air driven primers, it is possible to prime significantly more than 20 feet of 6” suction without equipment failure. If the volume is adequate, static sources can provide a good water supply for filling tankers Dump Tank And Pumps The fill rate must be reduced to allow the portable pumps to keep level of the dump tank during tanker filling Portable pumps can access water supplies that are out of reach of standard engines. Setting up a water supply with portable pumps requires a significant amount of equipment and personnel. To get the desired 1000gpm fill rate, an open relay to supply an engine is normally constructed. The dump tank(s) used for the open relay and the engine’s tank must have sufficient capacity to fill the largest tanker in the shuttle at 1000gpm. If this is not the case, the fill rate must be reduced to allow the portable pumps to keep level of the dump tank during tanker filling or add more pumps to increase the supply to the open relay. Moving The Fill Area If tanker traffic flow is smoother in an adjacent area, the fill area should be moved The physical layout of the fill site can become a bottleneck. It must be large enough to allow two tanker to be positioned for filling. Traffic cones are used to mark the spot where each tanker must stop for the fill lines to reach. If the area is overly congested with the engine and tankers, the area for filling the tankers must be moved. This is facilitated by using LDH to make the fill site remote from the fill engine. Even if the site is large enough to allow the tankers to be filled near the engine, the flow of traffic may be less than optimal. If tanker traffic flow is smoother in an adjacent area, the fill area should be moved. When designating the tanker filling areas traffic flow is a major consideration. The site should be such that no maneuvering is needed, but if it is required the tankers do so when empty. The physical layout of the fill site must be large enough to allow two tankers to be positioned for filling Tankers At The Fill Site Ideally tankers are filled with two 2 ½” or 3” lines. Some new tankers are equipped with LDH fill connection. If the plumbing downstream of the connection is large enough to support the fill rate neither of these connections will restrict fill rates.The plumbing between the hose connection and the tank is a potential for bottleneck of the goal of 1000gpm The plumbing between the hose connection and the tank is a potential for bottleneck of the goal of 1000gpm. Tankers with a single non-LDH fill connection will struggle to meet the target fill rate. This bottleneck may be difficult to overcome without major redesign of the tanker. Two Ways Lines There are two ways lines at the fill site are normally laid out: running 2 ½” or 3” lines from the individual discharges of the engine or running the 2 ½” or 3” lines from a water thief manifold fed by LDH from the engine. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Using individual discharges will require more hose to reach both fill stations. The location of the discharge may require the operator to be standing next to pressurized line. The opening and closing of the discharges will place added wear on the engine’s valves. Using two 2 ½” discharges will allow the desired fill rate of 1000gpm without overloading the capacity of each discharge. Two 2 ½” discharges will allow the desired fill rate of 1000gpm where individual discharges would require more hoses If the LDH is supplied from a 2 ½” discharge with an adapter, it is highly likely the goal of 1000gpm may not be met A water thief fed with LDH provides the option to place the fill lane and the water supply a distance apart. The water thief lets an LDH line be added to fill tankers equipped with LDH fills. The biggest disadvantage is the ability to achieve 1000gpm depending on how the LDH is fed. Engines with true LDH discharges will not have an issue supplying the LDH at 1000gpm. On the other hand, if the LDH is supplied from a 2 ½” discharge with an adapter, it is highly likely the goal of 1000gpm may not be met. This situation can be improved by using a siemese or trimese to feed the LDH for multiple 2 ½” discharges on the engine. Many factors go into selecting the best fill site configuration for a department, it is critical to train and test in order to determine what is most effective and efficient for your department. Manifold systems being set up and operated Choose The Right Place For A Dump Site The dump site is the equivalent to a fire hydrant, except it takes a larger footprint and can be placed where it will provide the best benefit to the fire ground. This might mean setting the dump site a distance from the fire ground and supplying the attack engine using LDH.Tankers must be able to maintain a steady flow through dump site without unneeded maneuvering It is more important placing the dump site where the best flow of tankers can be obtained. Tankers must be able to maintain a steady flow through dump site without unneeded maneuvering. Setting up a dump site in an intersection provides additional room to keep things moving at the dump site. Dump tanks impact the overall flow of the shuttle in several ways including footprint and capacity. Real estate is a precious commodity at a dumpsite. It may be necessary to place the dump site a distance from the fireground to have enough room to set up tanks and provide a smooth flow of traffic. The larger the tank capacity, the larger the footprint. Sometimes the tank can be wider than the road, for example a 3000-gallon tank is 14’x14’. This presents a problem when trying to setup on a narrow country road or a congested city street. A solution to this is using the single lane style tank that is 8’x14’ for 2100-gallons and fits nicely in front of or behind the supply engine. Larger tanks also leave more water in the bottom once the limits of the low-level strainer is reached. Tankers maintaining a steady flow through the dump site without unneeded maneuvering Single Or Multiple Dump Tanks? Using multiple dump tanks increases the flow at the fireground, but requires transferring the water from the secondary to the primary tank There must be enough space at the dump site to add dump tanks should additional capacity be needed. If there is no place for tankers to dump, tankers will back up waiting for room in the tank. The easiest way to maintain flow is adding an additional dump tank. Not only must the area have room to add additional tanks once available, the tanks must be spaced out to allow two tankers to dump at the same time. This will increase the flow of the shuttle by keeping tankers moving and putting more water at the dump site. The space also provides a safe area for fire fighter working at the dump site. Using multiple dump tanks is needed to increase the flow at the fireground, but it requires some method of transferring the water from the secondary tanks to the primary tank. This has the potential to create several bottlenecks. For efficiency, water should always be transferred from the secondary tank to the primary tank. Ladders can be used as a bridge over the middle tank to run the transfer hose over to the primary tank When there is another tank between the secondary and primary tank there is the temptation to flow water into the middle tank before going to the primary tank. This is extremely inefficient. A ladder can be used as a bridge over the middle tank to run the transfer hose over. This allow the secondary tanks to have roughly the same available capacity when tankers dump which is important when dumping more than one tanker at a time.A ladder can be used as a bridge over the middle tank to run the transfer hose over. Appropriate Use Of Jet Siphons Jet siphons are commonly used to transfer water into the primary tank from secondary tanks. Along with transferring water between tanks, it is possible to us multiple intakes form the pump going to secondary tanks. Multiple dump tanks require multiple jet-siphons to transfer water to the primary tanks. Each jet siphon requires water from the engine to drive it. Jet siphons can take up to 300gpm each to transfer water at rates over 750gpm. Jet siphons require water from the engine to drive it and can take up to 300gpm each to transfer water Dump sites are tight, while we may want to bring in a second engine to transfer water it just will not fit most of the time The water used to drive the jet-siphons takes away from the pump capacity available to supply the fire ground. With a 1250gpm engine at the dumpsite, using a single jet siphon has the potential to reduce the available capacity of the pump to 950gpm. One way to address this problem is by testing jet siphons to determine the most efficient ones in inventory. The other way is by using a secondary pump to transfer water. Dump sites are tight, while we may want to bring in a second engine to transfer water it just will not fit most of the time. This is when small grass trucks and portable pumps come into play. Both options take up much less room than a full-size engine. Most small pumps have the capacity to drive jet-siphon. It is important to train with this setup to insure the pump can adequately drive the jet-siphons. Use The Strainer Correctly One thing many people fail to recognize as a bottleneck is the low-level strainer. The strainer that has been on the truck for decades is viewed as being fine, it has always worked. In reality, old low-level strainers were designed and optimized at a time when 750 and 1000gpm pumps were the norm, not the 1250gpm and up pumps in use today. An old strainer with a front intake can restrict the pump capacity to less than 50% Couple an old strainer with a front intake as we had at a recent drill, and the pump was restricted to less than 50% capacity Couple an old strainer with a front intake as we had at a recent drill, and the pump was restricted to less than 50% capacity. Fortunately, there a new design strainer was available which allowed the pump to reach 80% capacity. While flow is important when evaluating a low-level strainer, how low the water can be pulled before taking in air is also a primary consideration. A strainer that flows over 1500gpm but leaves 12” of water in the bottom of the tank will eventually cause a bottleneck in the shuttle. There needs to be a balance between maximum flow and maximum extraction capability when evaluating strainers. Old low-level strainers were designed and optimized at a time when 750 and 1000gpm pumps were the norm Supply Engine At The Dump Site The engine with the largest pump must be the supply engine at the dump site Depending on the design, the engine can be the bottleneck to the flow available to fireground. The engine with the largest pump must be the supply engine at the dump site. Even though the largest pump is used, the available flow can be reduced depending on which intake is used. For mid-mount pumps, the side intake provides the highest flow as the water goes directly into the pump. It is common for engines with mid-mount pumps to have front and/or rear intakes. Using these inlets at the dump site allows the engine to be in line with the dump tanks to create a lower profile but this come at a cost. It is common for engines with mid-mount pumps to have front intakes Another solution is using a 90-degree elbow from the side intake to go to the front or rear of the engineThese inlets will provide less than the rated capacity of the pump due to additional losses in the plumbing. Front intakes can restrict the capacity around 50% while the rear intakes can cause a restriction of 25% or more. A solution to this is bending the suction hose from the side to the front or rear, but this will use an entire section of hose just for the bend. Another solution is using a 90-degree elbow from the side intake to go to the front or rear of the engine. Elbows with a large radius provide minimal impact to the capacity of the pump and does not waste a section of suction for the bend. Rear intakes can cause a restriction of 25% or more and a solution to this is bending the suction hose from the side Stationary Tankers Can Be A Problem A line of tankers waiting to dump points to the dumpsite as the bottleneckA stationary tanker is an indication of a bottleneck in the system. Where the tankers are standing still points to the location of the bottleneck. If they are waiting to get filled, the bottleneck is the fill site. A line of tankers waiting to dump points to the dumpsite as the bottleneck. This might mean establishing a second fill site or adding a tank at the dumpsite. Running out of water at the dump site means there is a bottleneck somewhere, if tankers are moving there are not enough for the length of the shuttle route. High-flow shuttles requires continuous evaluation to key water flowing smoothly and make adjustments when needed. As your tanker shuttle is examined in detail other bottlenecks may present themselves. The ones presented here are the more common ones departments have experienced. In order to identify and fix bottleneck, shuttle training on a regular basis is a must. Once a year is the minimum. The more you can train with all the departments that would be involved in your water shuttle the better. Tools to help plan and determine the flow rate of your water shuttle can be found at Ohio Fire Chiefs Water Supply Technical Advisory Committee.
A number of shocking incidents involving fire have highlighted the need to better manage risks in buildings. David Adkins, managing director at Risk Warden, explains why some organisations need to give compliance with statutory regulations more focus and how the use of state-of-the-art online risk assessment tools can help to ensure that a building is as safe as possible. The Grenfell Tower disaster in London, in which 72 people lost their lives, brought the subject of fire safety into sharp focus. A government review into building regulations in the wake of this tragedy, led by Dame Judith Hackitt, made it clear that competence – defined as a combination of knowledge, skills and experience – underpins safety for all. It also found that that the current regulatory system is not fit for purpose and, with little or no quality monitoring, has created a situation where poor language confuses guidance with regulation and means that there is an overlapping regulatory enforcement framework. Why you need a fire safety action plan Sadly, Grenfell was not an isolated incident and similar events have occurred throughout the world. In 2017 a fire at a 17-storey commercial building in Iran led to multiple deaths, including those of 18 firefighters, while in 2015 16 people died in a fire in a residential building in Azerbaijan. Perhaps what is most concerning is that these types of events have been regularly occurring for many years – in 2010 a fire in a 28-storey tower block in China killed 53 people and injured at least 90, while in 2004 a fire at a care home in Scotland led directly to the deaths of 14 residents. The inquiry concluded that this tragedy could have been prevented by a suitable fire safety action plan. These examples highlight why it is vital to take the issue of safety seriously by undertaking a formal risk assessment. Put simply, if risks aren’t identified, a building’s occupants are in danger. There are a number of important pieces of legislation relating to this area in the UK including The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which contain a consistent set of requirements. Employers also have a general duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work. The Grenfell Tower disaster in London, in which 72 people lost their lives, brought the subject of fire safety into focus Responsibility for fire risk assessment When it comes to the dangers associated specifically with fire, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) places the onus on a designated responsible person within an organisation to carry out regular assessments to identify, manage and reduce the potential danger posed by fire. Article 9 of the RRFSO states that "The responsible person must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons are exposed for the purpose of identifying the general fire precautions he/she needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on him/her by or under this order". Any failure that leads to loss of life, personal injury or damage to property will expose a responsible person and could lead to prosecution. Outside fire risk assessors If the responsible person does not have the knowledge to carry out a fire risk assessment on his or her own, it will be necessary to call on a competent outside fire risk assessor. However, as Article 18 of the RRFSO points out, "Preference is to be given to a suitable competent person in the responsible person’s employment over a person not in their employment". Just as importantly, it states that, "A person is to be regarded as competent where they have sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable them properly to assist in undertaking the preventive and protective measures". If an outside fire risk assessor is employed then the responsible person must undertake due diligence to ensure that the individual concerned is competent and has successful track record in this line of work. Failure to do so can have enormous repercussions like, for example, in 2017 when a former firefighter and professional fire risk assessor was given a sentence of four months in prison suspended for 12 months for providing a ‘woefully inadequate’ fire risk assessment in his capacity as a private consultant. Failure to undertake due diligence when employing a fire risk assessor can have legal consequences Monitoring and reviewing fire risk It is up to the responsible person to put processes and procedures in place to enable compliance to be fully evidenced. This includes keeping up to date records of testing and maintenance regimes that can be scrutinised by relevant enforcement authorities, as well as enabling the responsible person to monitor, control and periodically review the fire risk assessment, especially during and after significant changes to the use or layout of a building. At the moment there are no hard and fast rules as to how fire risk assessments should be carried out. However, the most important requirement is to identify the fire hazards and how people could be at risk. In addition, emergency routes and exits, fire detection and warning systems, fire fighting equipment, the removal or safe storage of dangerous substances, and the needs of vulnerable people such as the elderly or those with disabilities must be factored in. The aim should always be to remove or reduce the risks as much as is 'reasonably practicable'. A failure to provide satisfactory evidence that a comprehensive risk assessment has taken place could result in invalid insurance, large fines and even the prosecution of any individuals responsible. To that end Article 11 of the RRFSO states that "The responsible person must make and give effect to such arrangements as are appropriate, having regard to the size of his/her undertaking and the nature of its activities, for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures". Today’s state-of-the-art solutions are structured around an intuitive internet-based interface Risk assessment and compliance tools Sometimes, particularly with large buildings or campus environments, the complexity of the risk assessment process requires a more methodical approach that takes subjectivity out of the process. When it comes to satisfying the requirements of Article 11 of the RRFSO where "the responsible person must record the arrangements", the latest generation of intuitive risk assessment and compliance tools can help. Today’s state-of-the-art solutions are structured around an intuitive internet-based interface, which allows a responsible person to be guided through the entire risk assessment process in a clear and thorough manner. This is a significant improvement on the old fashioned ‘pen and paper’ approach, as digital images can be captured and placed directly into a report at the relevant section, while templates for specific building types ensure consistency throughout. This simplifies the identification, management and prevention of any risks related to not only fire, but security, and health and safety too, thereby reducing the potential for danger within a wide variety of environments. It should always be remembered that the risk assessment is only the first stage of the process and where traditional methods often fall down is in taking – or not taking, as the case may be – any necessary remedial action. Online tools provide a more cohesive approach, as once the risk assessment has been completed all work undertaken is clearly outlined, logged and accounted for to comply with audits. This provides evidence of compliance and ensures organisations meet their legal obligations, validate their insurance, take a consistent approach to risk management and provide peace of mind for a responsible person. Making buildings safer There is a clear need for a digital record of risk assessment compliance for the whole life of a building – from design and construction through to occupation. As assessing risk can be a lengthy and complicated process, anything that makes this easier and enhances an organisation’s ability to negate the likelihood of injury or even death should be embraced. It stands to reason that risk management must be more strictly applied in order to prevent incidents that could be avoided – therefore, the use of online risk assessment and compliance tools should be at the forefront when it comes to making buildings safer.
Fire safety in road or rail tunnels is critical in avoiding potentially disastrous incidents Roger Wilton, Assistant Technical Manager of the Fire Industry Association (FIA), explains the challenges of preventing underground fires. Fires in tunnels tend to make headline news, largely because of the potential loss of life that such an incident presents. At the turn of the new millennium three catastrophic fires in as many years ensured that tunnel protection became a real focus on the fire safety agenda. In 1999 the Mont Blanc tunnel fire, probably the most well known of the three, resulted in 39 deaths when a Belgian transport truck caught fire, resulting in temperatures of 1,000°C and taking some five days to cool sufficiently for crews to enter the tunnel to begin three years of repairs and significant enhancements of the safety equipment and procedures. This was followed in November 2000 by the Austrian Kaprun funicular tunnel fire which killed some 155 people as they headed for the pistes in a popular ski area some 350 kilometres to the west of Vienna. Then, in October 2001, the St Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland, the third longest road tunnel in the world, saw two lorries collide to create a fire that killed eleven people. Tunnel fires have, of course, occurred before and since but three such major incidents in such a short timeframe highlighted very clearly the dangers of tunnel fires and the need to recognise the specific challenges that tunnels present in terms of fire safety engineering. When construction work is undertaken in an underground location, the project plan for safety and in particular fire safety needs to address the extra risks associated with work in an area that, by definition, will have limited means of escape. The area will inevitably be one in which ventilation will be restricted. Lighting will also be a prime consideration. Risk Assessment A comprehensive and dynamic fire risk assessment document is essential for creating a successful fire safety strategy Managing an emergency successfully is a matter of planning, having the correct equipment in place and employing an effective maintenance programme to ensure that the equipment works when required. The first essential is a risk assessment undertaken by a competent person. Particularly during the construction phase of a project, the risk assessment needs to be a dynamic working document that changes as the work progresses. The ownership and authorship of said document needs to be one of the project manager’s prime tasks. It should link to a project fire and safety strategy document that indicates how the risks identified are being managed and how the process for emergencies are to be handled. For example, if a risk from mechanical plant operating in the underground location is identified, the strategy may require that a mechanical plant containing volatile fuel or gas be fitted with an automatic fire suppression system and that during operation a specified number and type of portable fire extinguishers be available. The strategy document may also require that persons operating the equipment undertake specific training on the use of fire extinguishers. Fire risk and fire strategy are the tools of the trade for driving down financial loss and reducing project delay. A fire risk assessment follows a logical pattern Identify fire hazards Identify people particularly at risk Evaluate, remove, reduce and protect from risks Record, plan, instruct, inform and train Review the plan Specific fire risks in construction work underground are determined on each site. However, all such work will need to consider the following when producing a proposed fire strategy: Difficulties in providing means of escape. Enclosed environment ventilation issues. Access for emergency services. Whilst tunnels are constructed, fire hazards must be identified and correct fire safety measures taken During a construction project the first requirement of the risk assessment is to identify the fire hazards. This may be one of the most challenging problems as identifying what will burn and is potential ignition risk is linked to use and the experience of the user. The hazards will change as the construction progresses. The risk will increase as initial construction gives way to first and second fix. The materials used in construction are often delivered in flammable packing to prevent transit damage. A management process for safe storage and for efficient removal of packaging materials is required. The need for fire extinguishers suitable for Class A fires (those involving solid materials, such as paper wood or textiles) is apparent. The construction programme can be part of the risk control programme. For example, the completion of enclosed stair routes before other work proceeds can help address safe escape routes. Early provision of a ventilation system will assist in control of the environment to allow escape. Control of the area by a ‘permit to work’ system and a temporary fire alarm system can assist in the risk reduction process. All of the above underlines my assertion that the risk assessment needs to be a dynamic working document that changes as the work progresses. The fire protection of an area can be enhanced by using heat or smoke detection. The services that a tunnel normally carries can form part of the detection. For example, fibre optic cables can form the sensor for a linear heat detection system that can provide precise location information. As with many fire situations, providing warning at the earliest possible point is the goal and identifying the source of a fire is a significant factor in this process. CCTV systems can also provide a smoke detection output as well as supplying video information. From construction to use Once the construction phase is complete the elements of the operation of a tunnel need to be built into the equation. The risk and the fire load - that is the amount of combustible material in the area or passing through - need to be recognised and the fire protection measures employed accordingly. The requirement for fire fighting systems and the location of portable fire extinguishers will depend on the use to which the structure will be put. If personnel are normally located within a given area of the tunnel, the system to alert them to potential danger needs careful consideration. The variety and versatility of voice and message sounders is an important factor here, with voice-based messaging increasingly being used to provide a precise instruction for an evacuation that is not available from a purely tone-based sounder. Rising to the challenge Both Europe and the USA are conducting ongoing research into methods of more effectively reducing the threat of underground tunnel fires Tunnels provide their own unique fire safety challenges, whether during the construction phase or when the tunnel is actually in use. This article has only scratched the surface of what needs to be considered. Extensive research is ongoing, both in Europe and in the USA, to find methods of further reducing the threat of fire. This is not only in terms of fire prevention, testing the relative strengths and, importantly, the weaknesses of different fire detection technologies, but also in providing the means for safe evacuation to prevent the tragic loss of life which the three incidents highlighted at the outset demonstrate only too well. Roger Wilton - Assistant Technical Manager - Fire Industry Association (FIA)
STANLEY Security, one of the UK’s leading security providers, has installed a wireless fire alarm system at Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories, meeting their insurance requirements while saving considerable expense. Based in Leicester, Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories Ltd. operates from a large three storey building which it owns. Harvey’s itself works out of the bottom floor and the remaining building is subdivided into units which are rented out, with the two floors upstairs being dance studios that are mostly used in the evenings and weekends. Requirement Of A L2 Fire System L2 requires Manual Call Points throughout and optical AFD in escape routes and all rooms, corridors and compartmentsAs part of its insurance policy, Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories conducted a Fire Risk Assessment, undertaken by a third party. The assessor stated that an L2 category Fire System was required throughout the building. BS 5839-1:2017, the British Standard for fire detection and fire alarm systems in non-domestic premises, categorizes systems based on their objectives. Category L is a system designed to protect life and ranges from minimal protection 5 to top protection 1. L2 requires Manual Call Points throughout and optical automatic fire detection (AFD) in escape routes and all rooms, corridors and compartments that open onto escape routes, plus further AFD in areas identified as high fire risk. L2 systems therefore often come with a high price tag, especially in a large building such as that owned by Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories. After receiving several quotes that were out of the company’s reach, STANLEY Security provided the company with an affordable, effective alternative. EMS Wireless System For Cost Reduction “One of the key costs in the previous quotes was cabling,” states Ashley Hickling, Fire Sales Manager for STANLEY Security. “Other installers were looking to cable the entire system, or use a hybrid of hard wired and wireless equipment. With a large building, the amount of cabling pushed the price high. Furthermore, there were no cable routes, so a lot of containment would have been required for a hard-wired solution, which is also expensive and not aesthetically pleasing – an issue for the dance studios.” STANLEY Security recommended a full EMS wireless system which negates the need for cabling and reduces the costs The cost of labor to fit the cabling also added to the budget. STANLEY Security instead recommended a full EMS wireless system which negates the need for cabling and therefore reduces the costs significantly. Furthermore, the entire system is financed under STANLEY Assure, a finance solution for customers wishing to benefit from up to date security and fire technology without the risks of ownership and with evenly spread, manageable payment terms with no hidden extra costs. Day/Night Protection Of Building’s Inhabitants In the case of Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories, the cost of the system – including maintenance, replacement parts, call outs and labor on a wear and tear basis – is spread over five years with a monthly payment of just £393.80. Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories now benefits from a modern analog addressable L2 fire alarm system that meets its insurance obligations and protects the building’s inhabitants day and night. If a detector on the system should activate, it can be instantly pinpointed from the Fire Panel, confirming exactly which one it is and where, for appropriate, instant action to be taken.
The Fire Risk Assessment infographic details the responsibilities of employers and building owners towards fire safety The Fire Risk Assessment Network have released a new infographic detailing the responsibilities of employers, building owners or occupiers with regards to fire safety at the workplace. The visually compelling, easy-to-understand infographic also includes information about general safety hazards, fire risk assessments and the law. It is of the utmost importance that those responsible for workplaces and other buildings, which are open to public access, can avoid fires by taking responsibility for and adopting the right behaviours and procedures, including carrying out a fire risk assessment and keep it up to date. Mitigating risks The purpose of a fire risk assessment is to identify the fire hazards, identify people at risk, evaluate, remove or reduce the risks, record your findings, prepare an emergency plan, provide training and review and update regularly. The infographic provided by the Fire Risk Assessment Network details the three things that fires need to start, and what procedures that employers must follow to combat these three things. The complete infographic explores what the ways are to carry out a fire risk safety assessment, and different studies, guidance and information for business owners to be safe. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 helps promote fire safety in England and Wales, and this infographic hopes to help others know more about fire safety.