Fire Safety Risk Assessment
When it comes to the public fire brigades’ services, the equipment used is generally governed by a set of national regulatory and operational requirements that vary slightly between countries. However, it’s also important that the private fire crews within airports, ports, oil and gas and petrochemical installations also conform to fire safety guidelines within their specific industries. Among these essential safety measures that must be adhered, is ensuring that the communication t...
Popular with fire-fighters around the world, XFlex is Bristol Uniforms’ flagship range in structural fire fighting (Personal Protective Equipment) PPE. Its name came from the ‘X’ shape formed by the curved seams on the garment’s elbow and its flexibility. It enables excellent range of movement which helps fire-fighters carry out their physical roles more effectively. The creation and introduction of XFlex into the market marks a new direction in fire fighting PPE design a...
Nittan Europe, globally renowned manufacturer of conventional and addressable fire detection products, has announced that it is a proud sponsor of South Eastern Regional College’s (SERC) ‘Outstanding Apprentice Fire Alarm Engineer of the Year’. Nittan has supplied a prize and trophy, plus free of charge fire alarm products for students to train on. SERC, based in Northern Ireland, provides a wide range of courses, apprenticeships, professional development training, online lear...
The Institute of Fire Safety Managers Incorporating Life Safety Managers (IFSM) has received a few queries asking if fire risk assessors and those linked with the fire industry are classed as ‘key workers.’ The Institute’s clear position is in supporting the Government and the main information and guidance for employees and employers is set out on the Governments website, including definitions of ‘key workers.’ Future of fire risk assessment The...
During the national emergency, many in the Fire Sector will be concerned regarding what work should or shouldn’t go ahead. The government advice is most importantly to all “Stay Home-Stay Safe-Protect the NHS”. This is for an initial three-week period as all play their part by limiting contact with others to reduce the virus’s opportunity to spread. There are exceptions which have raised multiple questions within the wider sector. Key worker status Th...
Whilst the situation regarding the Coronavirus outbreak in Europe and the UK is developing and changing quickly, Hochiki Europe would like to assure all their partners that the business has been continually reviewing and monitoring the UK Government’s advice. To date, the company has implemented the following actions to reduce the virus spread: Encouraging staff to work from home, where practicable Travel ban in place for overseas business travel Staff rotation in place to promote soc...
Hochiki Europe, a renowned manufacturer of life safety solutions, has partnered with the FIA (Fire Industry Association) to host a roundtable discussing best practice when it comes to life safety in Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs). Panelists were made up of professionals involved throughout the life safety procurement chain, including representatives from the manufacturing, facilities management, consultancy/specification and installation sectors, as well as the FIA itself. selecting emergency lighting Participants comprised: Ian Watts, Emergency Lighting Manager, Hochiki Europe; Richard Wharram, Regional Sales Manager, Hochiki Europe; Will Lloyd, Technical Manager, FIA David Thewlis, Director, Rosse Systems and Neil Wright, an independent electrical engineer. The event followed the release of Hochiki Europe’s most recent whitepaper outlining several grey areas regarding different systems being installed in HMOs. The general consensus around the table was that education and upskilling engineers is paramount" During the session, held at the FIA’s training center in Hampton, London, panelists debated having exclusive Part 1 or Part 6 systems within HMOs, or the benefits of having mixed systems in place. The discussion also focused on perceived confusion around the definition of an ‘HMO’, as well as specific challenges for duty holders and best practice when selecting emergency lighting in these types of buildings. many different requirements Paul Adams, Marketing Manager, Hochiki Europe, chaired the panel. He commented: “This was a necessary and worthwhile discussion which brought up some urgent issues for all parties that must be addressed if we are to protect people living in HMOs." "The general consensus around the table was that education and upskilling engineers is paramount. The life safety sector has so many different requirements for different buildings, depending on their intended purpose but it has become clear that there is a severe lack of clarity within the industry over best practice. The guidance and support is out there, we just need to show people where to get it and why it is so vitally important.”
Telguard, globally renowned company in the field of security and life safety communications, has announced that its cellular fire alarm communicators have been issued a Certificate of Approval, #6316. This means Fire & Life Safety dealers in New York City are now able to use Telguard’s premier cellular fire communicator, the TG-7FS LTE. Fire communicators New York City has strict regulations on fire communicators that can be used, and manufacturers must obtain a Certificate of Approval for fire systems dealers to be able to specify a brand like Telguard. The Certificate of Approval #6316 gives New York City fire integrators the ability to specify the TG-7FS LTE in their system designs. The TG-7FS is a universal cellular communicator, meaning it works with virtually every fire alarm control panel. Using LTE cellular networks, the TG-7FS transmits alarm signals from the fire panel to the designated monitoring station. The unit meets UL 864 requirements and is compliant with NFPA 72 for primary or backup communications for commercial fire alarm systems. By using the TG-7FS, accounts can go from two to one dedicated landline, which will save them money. Fire and life safety integrators Telguard collaborated with Carlos Santiago, owner of New York Protection Controls to obtain the Certificate of Approval. “Central stations need to know about this Certificate of Approval so they can work with fire and life safety integrators and specify cellular communicators like Telguard in their system designs,” said Carlos Santiago, adding. “Dealers and integrators can choose from either AT&T or Verizon models—whichever carrier works best for them in their locale.” “Telguard has been a go-to cellular communicator for authority having jurisdictions (AHJs) and fire marshals across the country for years,” said Telguard President, George Brody, further adding, “We’re thrilled to have New York City’s Certificate of Approval.”
Following the prime ministers recent address to the nation, Envirograf has taken the decision to temporarily close business from 5pm on the 25th March 2020. They have temporarily closed as the health of the customers and colleagues is the top priority and they are committed to playing a part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. current guidelines All enquiries and online orders that Envirograf will receive during this time will be processed as soon as they return to business. In the meantime, they have decided that they will top up employee salaries to ensure they get paid 100% of their wages up to 40 hours per week. Envirograf will continuously review this situation and keep up to date with the latest guidelines from the government.
DuPont announced close monitoring of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as it continues to spread across the world, and taking key steps to ensure the safety of their employees, customers and communities in which they operate to keep them informed as the health crisis unfolds. Effective COVID-19 response The company said that the health and safety of their employees is of the highest priority. They have corporate, regional and local crisis management teams in place that are actively monitoring, preparing and managing the COVID-19 response around the clock. They are also implementing effective safety plans and protocols based on World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and recommendations to help prevent the spread of the virus. The company said that the health and safety of their employees is of the highest priority As cases expand globally, DuPont updated travel restrictions, and are providing new guidance to ensure they continue to serve customers’ needs while practicing safe and healthy measures to contain and mitigate the spread of infection at the company’s sites and offices. In that regard, DuPont have taken several strong actions, including: Suspending international travel and restricting all other travel to business critical only. Mandatory self-quarantine measures for employees at risk of exposure. Limiting access to sites. Conducting enhanced and more frequent cleaning services at all facilities. Encouraging employees to practice social distancing, proper hand washing and hygiene practices. Cancelling participation at all large meetings, both internally and externally. Requiring employees to work from home where possible. DuPont Safety business operation DuPont Safety business is working tirelessly to help those directly impacted by the virus Additionally, the company stated that they are proud that the DuPont Safety business is working tirelessly to help those directly impacted by the virus, including first responders on the front line fighting the pandemic. Thousands of DuPont employees are working around the clock in all parts of the world to increase capacity of protective garments during this time of high demand. The Tyvek manufacturing operations run 24 hours a day and the nine global manufacturing facilities that produce garments are also working overtime to increase capacity. They have an experienced global manufacturing network that is fully activated and prioritizing the needs of frontline response personnel in the most impacted regions combatting the Coronavirus. DuPont Core Values in-practise The company’s focused and capable teams continue to address this global health crisis and are prepared to navigate through these challenging circumstances with the DuPont Core Values (Safety & Health, Respect for People, Protecting the Planet, Highest Ethical Behavior) at the forefront of everything they do.
AEI Cables highlights the need for the highest quality of cabling for use in sprinkler systems being fitted as part of new fire safety initiatives for high-rise buildings. New blocks of flats of six storeys or higher could require sprinkler systems under new Government plans being considered in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. Meeting relevant stands Graham Turner, of AEI Cables said, “While the approach to sprinkler systems is positive news, the need for reliable continuous power to sprinkler systems using the highest quality cabling meeting all relevant standards is a key component of this approach.” “Many buildings such as tower blocks, hospitals, schools, shopping malls, airports and those areas with large numbers of people moving about need cabling which will continue to operate in a fire and provide power for the highest fire protection of 120 minutes.” Sprinklers to become mandatory in all residential buildings, hotels, hospitals etc. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has outlined plans to improve safety regulations after the fire at Grenfell Tower high-rise block in June 2017, which resulted in the deaths of 72 people. Mandatory sprinkler installation Under current guidelines, sprinkler systems are required for buildings of 30 meters, approximately 10 floors, or higher, but ministers are proposing to decrease this to 18 meters, approximately six floors. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) have made a call for the installation of sprinklers to become mandatory in all residential buildings, hotels, hospitals, schools and care homes taller than 11 meters. The same organizations have also called for sprinklers to be retrofitted where possible. Latest national research carried out by the National Fire Chiefs’ Council and the National Fire Sprinkler Network reveals that the danger to life, injuries and damage to buildings is “significantly reduced” when sprinkler systems are fitted. Firetec Total Fire Solutions The Firetec Total Fire Solutions range offers enhanced fire performance cabling AEI Cables’ fire performance cabling is said to ensure critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes and often support systems which provide intelligence for the fire and rescue services. The Firetec Total Fire Solutions range offers enhanced fire performance cabling, accessories and technical support from one source, says the company. The cabling is independently approved and certified by LPCB to BS8519 (Annex B) Category 3 Control for firefighting systems including sprinkler pumps, fire suppression water mist systems, water spray systems, wet riser pumps, wet riser valve and equipment monitoring under the Code of Practice.
Recently, James Brokenshire, Minister of State for Security at the Home Office stated, “Security and fire safety personnel can play a vital role at this time of national challenge. People working in these sectors who are essential to national infrastructure are ‘key workers’ for the purposes of the Government’s guidance on COVID-19.” While the Fire Industry Association is continually seeking further clarification from the Government on the issue, Ian Moore, CEO, has commented, “We have received hundreds of calls requesting clarification on what is meant by the Home Office statements." "My first response is to be pragmatic about what you deem to be important under the title of ‘key worker’.” Need for clarity “Your health and the health of others is key and the Government’s advice to cease travel as far as possible is the priority, this is why it is being discussed. Just because you work in the fire safety industry does not mean you are designated a key worker. It is also important to state that the FIA are not making any statements here and it is for you to interpret what the Government statement means when applied to you.” “I do however, fully understand the need for clarity given the Prime Minister’s latest address on Monday 23rd at 20:30 and the restrictions it implies.” Fire risk assessment “I have sought further clarification and asked the question “Can we get the Home Office to confirm that fire risk assessment, fire alarm testing, maintenance and repair is classed as “essential” work and that the requirements of the Fire Safety Order still apply?” and expressed the importance so employers can make informed decisions on manpower allocation.” “Michael Gove MP has just stated that “construction in the open air” is to continue, as long as the two-meter rule is observed, which undoubtedly needs to have fire safety input at all stages. We will provide an update on this soon as we receive a response from the Home Office.”
The effective provision and management of on-site fire safety, prevention, response and protection is a core responsibility of operators of hazardous high-risk critical infrastructure and industrial manufacturing facilities around the world. Such services are typically found at airports, refineries and petrochemical plants, power stations and nuclear facilities, mines, manufacturing sites and port facilities. Driven by legislative requirements and international fire safety standards, many organizations are required to maintain and operate an on-site Rescue and Fire Fighting Service (RFFS) or for airports, an Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Service in order to meet their compliance requirements. Legislative Compliance Failure to fully comply can expose these organizations to the risk of serious financial liability in the event of an incident, Failure to fully comply can expose these organizations to the risk of serious financial liabilityas insurers demand that risk is minimised and mitigated before they will provide cover for the site and its operations. Notwithstanding the availability of local or municipal resources to respond in the event of an emergency or serious incident, the RFFS and ARFF provision available to commercial organizations generally falls into two main options; an employed service or an outsourced service. The Decision To outsource While many organizations choose to invest in their own Fire and Rescue Service, which includes the provision of a Fire Station(s), personnel, vehicles and equipment, others have turned to outsourced service providers to enable them to meet their operational and compliance needs. So what are the factors that influence a decision to outsource and how do organizations choose between the two options? Managing risk and improving resilience The requirement and resources for an on-site fire and rescue service will be determined chiefly by the type of activity that the organization is involved in at each site or facility, the assessment of the risks associated with the processes or activities that occur on-site and the impact that any emergency incident may have on the business, its employees and on the surrounding communities. Ultimately, the motivation for investment in an on-site fire and rescue resource is rooted in the avoidance of loss, which can be both organizational, reputational and/or personal in nature and in a need to ensure the on-going stability, security and resilience of the facility and processes in question. But rather like when an insurance policy is purchased, one sincerely hopes that the Fire and Rescue Service will never need to be called upon to be utilized in a real-life emergency. A decision to outsource may be driven by purely financial motives as organizations seek to reduce costs and enhance shareholder value or by strategic and tactical factors as the business seeks to re-engineer or re-focus itself. Outsourcing enables companies to focus on their core business processes while delegating essential but non-core processes to external specialist providers Recruiting, training, resourcing, and supporting an employed on-site fire and rescue service is an expensive indirect operational cost for the business, consuming cash resources that could possibly be better invested elsewhere. The day to day management of an employed Fire, Rescue and Safety service can also sap the organization of time and energy that, while imperative to the safe, legal and ultimately the profitable operation of the facility, is not actually a core function of the business itself. Outsourcing enables companies to focus on their core business processes while delegating essential but non-core processes to external specialist providers. This releases internal resources that can be put to more effective use for other purposes, leading to greater efficiency and competitiveness. Outsourcing enables companies to focus on their core business processes while delegating essential but non-core processes to external specialist providers The question to be asked is, could an outsourced service provider deliver the required functions, tasks and compliance, maintain and improve site safety, respond effectively to any emergency incidents and add value to the organization at a more cost-effective rate than directly employing the on-site team? When properly executed, outsourcing the on-site Fire and Rescue Service can have a defining impact on the company’s revenue recognition and can deliver significant savings through lower operational and labour costs. Specialist knowledge, skills and expertise Organizations cannot realistically be experts in every business function, process and discipline, it is simply far too expensive. By utilizing outsourced service providers, companies can leverage a global knowledge base and resource centre, accessing world class capabilities, skills and expertise that they may have been precluded from previously. Managed FRS service providers often have access to a wider, more highly skilled and diverse talent pool than the client themselves and will already have in place the requisite interview and selection processes designed to select only the strongest, most appropriately qualified and experienced staff. Shared experiences coupled with specialist skills, learning and best working practices also enable the outsourced service provider to add value and resilience to and further reduce risk within the client’s operation. Shared responsibilities and liabilities Although all organizations must maintain a duty of care to operate in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, delegating fire and rescue service responsibilities to external providers can release companies of the day to day functions that are difficult to manage and control, while still realizing their benefits and upholding compliance. Outsourced FRS service providers generally are much better at deciding how to avoid risk in their areas of expertise As specialists in their field, outsourced FRS service providers generally are much better at deciding how to avoid risk in their areas of expertise than perhaps a fully employed on-site team might be. This is because the incentive to deliver a high level of service and to maintain their professional reputation while remaining profitable is potentially stronger for the outsourced provider. A further consideration if, unfortunately something does go wrong, may be that the responsibility and possible consequential contractual liability might well rest in whole or in part with the service provider, rather than the contracting client themselves. what are the potential negatives? Violations of confidentiality and intellectual property are of increasing concern to companies. This is particularly true for clients that outsource to providers from countries that may not have the same type or standards of confidentiality laws that prevail in their home jurisdiction. One way to mitigate this issue is to have strong confidentiality clauses contained within all commercial contractual documentation and employee contracts, and to make security of data and information a key performance indicator within any outsource contract. Outsourcing may in some cases result in job eliminations or employees leaving for other personal reasons, which in turn can have a negative effect on morale, loyalty and productivity among the personnel who remain. Human Resources In FRS In most cases for Fire and Rescue Service outsourcing, human resource levels are already stipulated based on the site or facility risk profile and therefore it is more likely that existing employees will simply be transferred to a new contract of employment with the new service provider, albeit perhaps on slightly different terms. There are also often hidden costs that, if not managed correctly, can quickly negate many of the anticipated savings Although most companies see an immediate benefit to the bottom line when outsourcing, there are also often hidden costs that, if not managed correctly, can quickly negate many of the anticipated savings. It should not be underestimated that, as in any period of change, increased ancillary costs such as travel and related expenses can accrue as employees travel back and forth for training and other meetings, particularly during the mobilization phase of the new contract. Making your mind up The decision to outsource the Fire and Rescue Service for a high-risk site or facility should never be made lightly. A thorough and detailed examination of the associated costs and benefits must be investigated before a go/no go decision is reached. However, if a decision to outsource is positive, then careful selection of your partner organization, taking account of both the hard and soft delivery factors for each facility, is of critical importance.
Across the world, fire and rescue services vary greatly, and each will have their own unique circumstances and challenges to deal with. Firefighters in the USA and Australia are more likely to face wildland fires, whilst in the Middle East, firefighters deal more regularly with transport related fires involving hazardous materials. In many European countries, less than 10% of call-outs are fire related at all, with firefighters much more likely to attend traffic accidents, medical emergencies or flooding. A range of different climates also provide firefighters with specific challenges. Providing Optimum Protection These fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight Firefighters in hot and tropical Indonesia for example, will have different requirements to those in hot and arid South Africa, whilst those in Scandinavia operate in more temperate and cooler conditions. It’s important, therefore, that PPE manufacturers can provide a wide variety of options to suit particular environments and operations. PPE must be highly effective, comfortable, and suitable for the job in hand, wherever in the world the firefighters are operating. Selecting the right fabric for your PPE is the first step in providing optimum protection for the environment you are operating in. International fibre and fabric manufacturers have developed a number of highly specialized materials offering a range of benefits. Used in combination, these fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight. Best Quality Firefighting Garments Highly specialized and lightweight fibers for the outer-shell of a garment, for example, can provide outstanding air permeability and breathability, allowing metabolic heat to escape, whilst of course providing vital protection against the intense external heat and flames of a fire. The best quality firefighting garments combine this type of outer shell with an inner moisture barrier and liner system which draws moisture away from the skin, helping to keep the body cool and dry. Strenuous work in a hot environment causes profuse sweating, and if this sweat is not able to evaporate, the body is not able to cool itself effectively. Once the most appropriate fabric is chosen, the design and style of a garment also plays a crucial role in contributing to a firefighters’ safety. Maintaining A Comfortable Body Temperature Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed Whether operating in bushland, floods, on the roadside or even in extremely cold conditions, firefighters need to maintain a comfortable body temperature and stay dry. They are also likely to need to crawl, run, and climb to carry out the job in hand. Any protective clothing must be ergonomic and has to be able to work with them rather than hinder them. As a result, over and above the full structural firefighting garments available to FRSs, manufacturers have also developed innovative designs for more specific applications. For example, Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed, with USAR or technical rescue teams entering enclosed and confined spaces where high temperatures and often toxic smoke are hazards. Particular Protection Against Radiant Heat USAR firefighting garments therefore should be tear and puncture resistant, provide protection against blood-borne pathogens, offer physical protection at high risk points such as the knees and elbows, provide a high level of flexibility to afford maneuvrability in confined spaces, and crucially be lightweight and breathable to minimize heat stress. Alternatively, for firefighters engaged specifically in combatting forest and wildland fires, garments need to provide particular protection against radiant heat, and ideally feature a double layer of fabric to protect against sharp thorns and undergrowth. Today, many FRSs across the world use a combination of structural and technical rescue garments which can be particularly useful when faced with a range of operations requiring different levels of protection. Rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident International Standards Of Performance For PPE Frequently, rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident, for example. So long as these garments are tested and approved as compatible before they are used in combination, this can serve to improve ergonomics and comfort, and crucially can contribute to the lowering of heat stress in firefighters. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage To ensure the best level of protection, most countries demand conformity with both national and international standards of performance for PPE. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) which covers the USA, Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) which covers Europe, and the International Standards Organisation (ISO) which sets standards worldwide. Lighting And Communications Equipment In addition, each country will have its own National Standards Body (NSB), setting standards for its own specific interests. Ultimately, it is down to the customer to decide which standards they would like their PPE to follow. The best manufacturers can create PPE to meet a number of these standards simultaneously. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats Different countries, and even individual FRSs, often have particular additional requirements for their PPE, which can simply be down to style or color preference, or to accommodate particular tools or equipment they use. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats. Operational safety features such as integrated safety harnesses and drag rescue devices can also be specified. In addition, firefighter accessories including tools, lighting and communications equipment all have to be carried safely requiring a selection of loops, straps, D-rings, glove hooks, and pockets and flaps. Developing Innovative Solutions Finally, most FRSs aim to present a professional and clearly recognizable identity to their communities, so particular colors and badging can be an important feature of PPE. This has led to the introduction of a wide range of fabric colors and the increased use of Velcro fixings for identification badges with logos, names and roles being individually catered for. Called upon to handle an ever-increasing variety of challenges, in contrasting climates and situations, firefighters across the world are certainly faced with complex environments in which to operate. By carefully studying these conditions and listening closely to customers, PPE designers and fabric manufacturers will continue to work together to develop innovative solutions to meet these specific needs and create optimum garments for maximum protection and comfort.
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 requiring complex electrical systems to support security and fire safety. New and refurbished buildings such as hospitals, schools, shopping malls or airports, may have complex addressable loop fire alarm systems which provide information on individual detectors. Conventional systems only provide information about specific circuits or zones. Indicating exact location of fire, fault For critical alarm circuits in buildings where large numbers of people move about there can be no greater priority than safetyThe addressable systems feature a fire control panel which receives information and status reports from each device, indicating its exact location and if there may be a fire, a fault, heat or contamination. For critical alarm circuits in buildings where large numbers of people move about – many of whom can be vulnerable – there can be no greater priority than safety. The cabling chosen for these systems is therefore critical. If the power to these alarm systems fails because the cabling does not meet the required performance, then the information available for fire and rescue services is directly affected and with it, the chance of finding people who may be in the building. To meet these design challenges, and with the inquiry into the Grenfell disaster still ongoing, it is the use of the very latest technology and science that is taking enhanced fire performance cabling onto a new level. Safe and compliant cable products Decision-makers in the supply chain want reassurance that the products they are specifying are safe and compliant, meeting all recognized specifications. Calls have been made by the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) for all cable being used in the UK to conform to relevant British, European or international standards amid increasing concerns about the volume of non-approved cables coming onto the market. Installers have welcomed the development of a new generation of fire performance cabling Installers have welcomed the development of a new generation of fire performance cabling which ensures critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes. The standard and enhanced cables in the Total Fire Solutions range are tubed, making them a welcome product for contractors with ease of installation. They are all UV stable and they all come with a hard insulant to resist any fault generation over time. These cables meet all relevant industry standards including ISO 9001 and is approved by the leading industry organizations nationally and worldwide including BASEC and LPCB. Carrying out fire risk assessment For the fire and rescue services, the continuity of power means they can continue to read fire alarm system information which can direct them to the seat of the fire and help to locate people who may be in the building. Responsibility for choosing the right system lies with the ‘responsible person’ under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in business or any other non-domestic premises. This will be the owner, employer, landlord, or may be the facilities manager or building manager. As the responsible person, he or she must carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly and put in place and maintain appropriate fire safety measures. Ultimately, the responsible person faces a fines or jail if they fail to follow these measures and there is a fire. For some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios Any items or products which go into these fire safety systems must be covered by standards set by national, European and international bodies such as British Standards. These will certify that when needed these products will perform their function and operate as expected in real life fire conditions. Ensuring cables meet fire safety standards In support of these standards, cable industry bodies provide testing regimes to ensure that different types of cable are fit for purpose and meet these standards when tested in fire conditions. For installers, or those procuring cables, there is a need to check the cable when it arrives to make sure it is exactly what was specified. Instances of unsafe non-approved cable continue to come to lightFor some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios. These include environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes where older people and children move about. Specifiers looking at new large public sector projects such as hospitals should refer to BS 8519 for the electrical supply, and the most relevant cabling system. Counterfeit Flexible Cords campaign Instances of unsafe non-approved cable continue to come to light. Unsafe flexible cord, intended for use in domestic and industrial applications, has been found on sale in the UK recently, prompting the ACI to issue a fresh alert to the electrical supply chain. The latest find of sub-standard flexible cords is marked ‘Made in Turkey’ and ‘Ermaks’. Samples came to light following the initiative’s recent ‘Counterfeit Flexible Cords’ campaign which alerted the electrical supply chain to dangerous industrial flexible cords. We in the supply chain should all be vigilant to watch out and report these instances of non-compliant cabling wherever we see or suspect they have been installed, while developing only the safest products and systems of our own. We shouldn’t forget that we all have a duty and a responsibility where lives and property are at stake. Importance of MV cables to infrastructure Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliantThe demand for power has never been greater, with the explosion of development in towns and cities across the UK and the growth of industrial development and technology reliant on consistent supplies. Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliant as the pressure mounts on the installation of quality products in modern building developments. MV cables are crucial to our infrastructure. Electricity leaves the generating site and is routed via a step-up transformer to take it up to the National Grid distribution voltages of 400Kv, 275Kv and 132Kv. Once in the local area, the supply goes through step-down transformers that reduce the voltage to 415V with domestic supplies tapped off at 230V. To provide power to the sub-stations – very often located on the premises of the establishment that they supply – Medium Voltage (MV) cables are used. MV cables were only developed as the level of voltages increased and the need arose for a greater classification range. design and specification of the cables The technical design and specification of the cables is of paramount importance within the power distribution networkThe size of the market has developed to the point where the global MV cables market was valued at 39.31billion US dollars in 2016 and projected to grow at a rate of more than six percent until 2022. The technical design and specification of the cables themselves is of paramount importance within the power distribution network. There are a number of technical considerations to be taken into account including the size of the installation, the position of the installation in relation to the network and the presence of primary and secondary sub-stations. Prior to installation, a detailed route survey should also be carried out to plan where cables will be jointed and to identify any possible obstructions which may require special civil engineering works such as directional drilling. Underlying the critical nature of supplies to these types of services, the incidence of non-approved cables for these applications also plagues the industry.
A “Complaint of Non-Conforming Products” has been submitted to the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission on behalf of a forensic expert who says he has identified non-compliance dangers and vulnerabilities related to fire and burglar alarm control units. Millions of alarms conceivably could be recalled following an investigation in response to the complaint. The U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission is tasked with promoting the safety of consumer products by addressing “unreasonable risks” of injury, such as risk of fire, chemical exposure, electrical malfunction or mechanical failure. Typically, the CSPC evaluates such complaints and determines what corrective action, if any, is appropriate, in this case possibly by the end of the year. Report from Jeffrey Zwirn Jeffrey Zwirn, an alarm and security forensic expert, says he has identified problems with the alarm devices and has posted online a series of videos confirming that they do not operate in conformance with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 985 and 103 and NFPA 72 (National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code) Standards. The single data-bus circuits of the hardwired devices can be short-circuitedSpecifically, the single data-bus circuits of the hardwired devices can be short-circuited and become either fully or partially non-functional. IDS Research & Development Inc. (Zwirn’s company) and Connaughton Group LLC, a product integrity consulting firm, sent a request to the CSPC on Sept. 20 asking for an investigation of products across the North American household fire and burglar alarm control units and commercial burglar and fire alarm control panel category. Includes products from big brands The request estimates that “hundreds of millions” of the units were sold and installed across the United States. The request estimates that 'hundreds of millions' of the units were installed across the USAThey include products sold under brand names such as Honeywell, DSC, NAPCO, ELK Products, and Interlogix. If the recall were to happen, it would be the largest recall in the history of the alarm industry. The request states: “It is our expert opinion that these non-conforming control panels present a foreseeably dangerous and serious public safety hazard and risk to all of the unsuspecting consumers, their families and business owners who have these control panels installed in their homes and businesses.” Interceptor addresses the vulnerability Zwirn has also submitted the products for investigation by UL and Intertek Testing Services Inc., which respectively provide the UL and ETL certification marks and are Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL). Outcomes of those investigations are forthcoming. Jeffrey Zwirn also promotes and sells a product, The Interceptor, that would address the vulnerability. It is a microprocessor designed to protect the data-bus and auxiliary power output wiring installed throughout a protected premises.
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 Association (FIA). As a trade association, FIA is looking at ways to help its members and the broader industry sectors. One way to do that is to improve the training that FIA has provided to fire detection and fire alarm technicians for over 20 years. Having looked at various ways of doing this, FIA’s members agreed that creating nationally recognized qualifications would help add more professionalism to this sector. To offer nationally recognized qualifications, the FIA chose to become an awarding body registered with OFQUAL [Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation]. Initially, training is focused on the FD&A [Fire Detection and Alarm] sector, with future plans to offer training in other fire sectors. The process of becoming an awarding body was rigorous and difficult. It took FIA more than three years of applying and submitting policy documents before the organization finally achieved awarding body status in 2014. Fire system installation roles Training is provided in the four job roles as described in the fire system installation standard BS 5389/1: 2017 Training is provided in the four job roles as described in the fire system installation standard BS 5389/1: 2017; they are Design, Installation, Commissioning and Maintenance. These roles are also recognized within company third party certifications schemes (LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203). The designer designs the FD&A system, and the Installer installs it. The Commissioning technician checks and signs off the installation, and the Maintenance technician will complete the routine maintenance during the life of the system. Training modules Training in FIA’s four qualifications, at National Vocational Qualification Level 3, is broken down into modules. The Foundation is the information that each job role needs and is common to all four job roles, as is the Environment module and the Health and Safety module. These are the core modules. The final job-specific module picks up on the differences among the roles; e.g., what does a maintenance technician need to know that is different to an install technician? “Providing a qualification requires a process of asking the sector what it wants,” says Martin Duggan, General Manager, Fire Industry Association (FIA). “We went through a comprehensive route with ‘voice of the customer’ days and surveys plus syllabus reviews to check and double-check that the qualification reflects what the industry wants.” The base is the BS 5389 standard, although more was added such as Health and Safety and Environmental aspects. National Vocational Qualification Level 3 Level 3 is for supervisors or unsupervised workers and in a lot of cases, the individual will work unsupervised once they are qualified and have gained experience. The work done to create the services standard EN 16763: 2017 Services for Fire Safety Systems and Security Systems identified Level 3 as the appropriate level. The trailblazer aimed at apprentices in this sector also reached a conclusion that level 3 was the right one, as did FIA’s own research. Many electricians and security companies install fire alarm systems as their skills are very similar; however, the Fire Safety Order (England and Wales) states that a responsible person should only use competent persons to install and maintain fire protection systems. But how do you prove competence? Training in FIA’s four qualifications, at National Vocational Qualification Level 3, is broken down into modules Fire Safety Order “One of the worst things we see from all types of installers into buildings is leaving big holes in compartment walls,” says Duggan. (A compartment wall is designed to contain the spread of fire for a designated period of time.) “These should all be correctly sealed up.” The work being done by Working Group 2 (Installers) as part of the industry response group to Government on Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations includes: Company third party certification (so that the purchasing of services is done through a recognized company). The individuals the companies employ have a relevant recognized qualification. This is backed up on site with a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card or equivalent. Continuous Professional Development (CPD) or refresher training is introduced A basic knowledge of fire safe building and compartmentation is understood. “It’s this final piece that will help drive cultural change quickly, if we can implement it correctly,” says Duggan. “Can we get all installers to understand why we build compartments and why it’s so important not to damage these and allow smoke, heat and fire to move freely about a building?” LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 The benchmark for the FD&A industry has been third party certification with the two schemes LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 The benchmark for the FD&A industry has been company third party certification with the two schemes LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 being well established for the last 20 years; however, there are many companies that still are not registered, says Duggan. The excuse is based on cost, that customers are not asking for it, and that it’s not mandatory. “The way the current legislation works and is policed, it’s only likely that poor installations etc. will be found after a serious fire when it’s too late,” says Duggan. “Unfortunately, customers do not fully understand their duties to only employ competent people, and the courts will ask: What is the industry best practice and what more could have been done to prove your competence?” Third party schemes “We have company third party schemes for most fire protection disciplines and there are qualifications coming online for most sectors as well,” says Duggan. “These are what the FIA would point to as best practice.”
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 system was installed by a “competent person.” Fire safety in commercial buildings “The general public would be horrified to learn that someone can fit a fire safety system in a commercial building without any proper qualifications or licence,” says Tom Brookes, Managing Director of Lindum Fire Services Ltd., former Chairman of the British Fire Consortium (BFC), and current Chairman of the Fire and Security Association. When it comes to competency, the whole industry needs to up its game" “When it comes to competency, the whole industry needs to up its game,” says Brookes. “Some larger companies are upskilling their staff and moving towards formal qualifications. If small- and medium-sized enterprises do not follow suit, they will fall behind and may be excluded from the marketplace altogether.” Working Group 2 on installer competence Working Group 2 on installer competence was established after the publication of Dame Judith Hackitt’s final report last year, under the joint leadership of Build UK and the Fire Sector Federation. The group has discussed extensively the need for systems engineers to be suitably qualified and able to demonstrate their competence. “In my opinion, there is too much focus on rival competency schemes rather than overall industry outcomes, which somewhat muddies the waters,” says Brookes. “However, one thing that has become crystal clear is that all fire and emergency systems engineers will likely need to hold a Level 3 qualification in the future.” Training provided BFC, FIA and IFEDA Although quality training is provided through the British Fire Consortium (BFC), Fire Industry Association (FIA), Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association (IFEDA) and others, historically there have been no Ofqual-approved qualifications for the fire sector. (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation [Ofqual] is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests.) Changes are afoot, however. In England, the Fire, Emergency Systems and Security trailblazer apprenticeship attracted around 300 new starts last year. The FIA have replaced their 20-year-old training programmes with a new system that will enable technicians who complete the series to achieve their Level 3 qualifications. Since the Grenfell tragedy, Dame Judith Hackitt has called for all relevant trades to hold formal qualifications BS5839-1:2017 Ofqual-approved qualification The awarding organization EAL are launching a BS5839-1:2017 Ofqual-approved qualification in August 2019. This will allow previously trained engineers to sit an exam and gain a Level 3 award demonstrating up-to-date knowledge. Practical skills testing for more experienced technicians, outside of an apprenticeship, is something FSA are currently working hard on with partners including ECA, NET and ECS. “Our aim is for a few options to become available for operatives to gain some sort of practical competence certification,” says Brookes. “More technological solutions are now being considered for competency evaluation, such as uploading video assessments of candidates to a portal for assessors. This is already used for some NVQ type assessments and widely used in the USA. It may be just what our sector needs at this moment in time.” 'Accountable Person' role Latest Government report following Grenfell states they are looking to create a role in commercial buildings The latest Government report following Grenfell states they are looking to create a role in commercial buildings called the “Accountable Person.” This person will have a legal responsibility to ensure people working on systems are competent. While only for high rise and high-risk buildings, like all developments, it will likely spread throughout the sector. “For as long as I have been in the fire industry trade bodies have called upon the fire authorities and Government to legislate to stop unskilled workers installing and maintaining fire safety equipment,” says Brookes. He notes that both independent third-party certification of businesses and CSCS partner card schemes like ECS for individuals are voluntary arrangements. To date, neither Government nor fire services insist either scheme is used by a fire protection company. “If, heaven forbid, we witnessed another tragedy like Grenfell tomorrow, sadly I suspect the outcome would be very much the same,” says Brookes. “However, looking further ahead, I am confident buildings will be safer once new legislation comes into force and effectively eliminates the threat of incompetent and unqualified fire and emergency system engineers.”
Comelit’s specialist fire detection systems have been specified by Avalon Technology Group at newly introduced smaller gym facilities of a leading low-cost leisure group. Standing as the pioneer of low-cost, no contract 24 / 7 gyms, the new leisure facilities in Newark, Beverly and Lowestoft, mark the introduction of ‘slimmed down’ gym concepts, to make them more accessible opportunities in smaller towns. For each facility, the electrical contractor appointed Avalon Technology Group to ensure the fire safety of the building, staff and guests, specifying Comelit’s Atena Easy single loop system. in-built IP connections Guy Stephens, Director Avalon Technology Group added: “In any gym facility, large or small, it is essential to ensure measures and systems are in place that will provide customers, employees and the premises itself, with sufficient prevention against fire at all times. Comelit’s Atena Easy solution proved to be user-friendly and comes with excellent training “To keep up with demand, we needed to select a system that was simple to install and operational as quickly as possible for the benefit of members and staff. Comelit’s Atena Easy solution proved to be user-friendly and comes with excellent training and support capability, alongside in-built IP connections to make it a straightforward system for us to maintain, even on a remote basis.” addressable control panel system Comelit’s Atena Easy single loop solution is a compact, entry level fully addressable control panel system. Finished in line with Comelit’s focus on aesthetics, it’s stylish design can accommodate up to 500 devices making it ideal for small applications, with a fully functional networked opportunity to expand with a facility or building requirement. Mandy Bowden, Comelit Fire Business Development Manager concluded: “The ambition to bring affordable access to leisure facilities to everyone is a growing trend across the UK. And the new smaller concepts provide an opportunity to go into towns that wouldn’t previously have been able to accommodate a full-scale gym. We are delighted to have been chosen to have been chosen by Avalon to supply fire detection systems to each new location as a simple to install, cost effective solution.”
In the coming months, the Leipzig Fire Department will replace its entire HLF fleet (emergency fire-fighting group vehicles) as the current fleet has reached an average age of almost 20 years. The new fleet will feature 22 vehicles that are the Rosenbauer HLF 20 "Light Class", all identical in construction and equipped with the high-end extinguishing system N35 + DIGIMATIC42. They enter service in equal parts both with the professional and the volunteer fire brigades, who also drew up the specifications together with the Technical and Special Procurement Department of the Leipzig Fire Department. Leipzig Fire Department Fire chief, Andreas Rößler said, "This procurement is primarily intended to achieve the goal of creating a uniform initial unit for the professional fire brigade and the volunteer fire brigade. In addition, not only are 22 identical vehicles in use, but this is also advantageous for maintenance and repair. For this reason, the requirements for the HLF and its loading process were determined in detail by a working group with the various user groups, whereby very different needs had to be harmonized in some cases". HLF 20 "Light Class" fleet A special feature of the HLF 20 "Light Class" vehicle is its narrow width of 2.42 m, based on MAN's C cab A special feature of the HLF 20 "Light Class" vehicle is its narrow width of 2.42 m, based on MAN's C cab. Andreas Rößler adds, "We deliberately chose a narrow chassis in order to get through the traffic better. Leipzig is a rapidly growing city in which the volume of traffic is becoming increasingly dense, bringing the infrastructure increasingly to its limits”. He adds, “In addition, we had to take into account the different structural conditions in the alert zone as well as in our fire stations and equipment buildings when we had to procure such a comprehensive system. For this reason, for example, the vehicle height is limited to 3.15 m." COMFORT mounting system One of the challenges with the vehicle configuration was to accommodate the extensive standard load of the HLF 20 in a body with a reduced width. The COMFORT mounting system with its space-saving pull-outs (e.g. for hydraulic rescue equipment), rotary attachments (for power generators) and hose magazines performed outstandingly well. Bulky equipment (in its own box) and sliding ladders are transported on the roof with two one-man reels that can be mounted at the rear. There was also room for a light mast in the superstructure, and the Leipzig HLF also transports 400 l more water and 60 l more foam compound than the standard requirement (1600/120 l). N35 + DIGIMATIC42 extinguishing equipment The extinguishing equipment used also exceeds the standard requirements. The N35 pump has an output of up to 3,000 l/min at 10 bar. The DIGIMATIC42 pressure proportioning system has a spread of 0.1 to 42 l/min and is suitable for outputting both mains water and extinguishing foam. The central water axis automatically distributes all water in the vehicle to where it is needed (tank, pump or both at the same time). The machine operator can concentrate fully on the foam addition or the pressure side, which essentially consists of four low pressure outlets and another to the quick attack reel. The water/foam concentrate mixture from the DIGIMATIC42 is injected directly at the outlet, so that the water pump remains free of foam concentrate. Cabin with Action Tower The vehicle is mounted on a 15-t chassis, a 290 hp strong engine in combination with a TipMatic The vehicle is mounted on a 15-t chassis (MAN TGM 15.290 LL 4x2), a 290 hp (215 kW) strong engine in combination with a TipMatic, which provides plenty of pull when on deployment. The crew compartment is integrated into the body and is equipped with six seats (vehicle crew: 2+2+4) and four PA brackets. An "Action Tower" installed between the front seats offer storage space for rescue service backpacks, breathing masks, a battery charger for hydraulic rescue and electrical equipment (sabre saw, cordless screwdriver), thermal imaging camera, gas detector and walkie-talkies. Fully glazed doors allow the crew to get an optimal view to the outside. Prototypes tested for operational efficiency Two prototypes were used by the Leipzig Fire Department for testing purposes between November 2018 and March 2019. They were stationed at different stations (e.g. main fire stations, Westwache, Engelsdorf, Grünau, etc.) by professional and volunteer fire brigades, so that the teams could develop a feeling for driving and operating the pump as well as for the fast access to the devices and/or generally for technical procedures. After all, they had not yet had any experience with Rosenbauer vehicles; the 22 HLF 20s are the very first to be put into service in Leipzig. According to Brandrat Rößler, the feedback concerning the trial operation was very positive. He said, "The bright ambient lighting was one of the highlights, in the truest sense of the word. The Rosenbauer revolving staircase was also very well received, fully meeting our requirements for fast entry and exit into and out of the crew compartment and providing our emergency services with added safety. In any case, we are looking forward to being able to accept the first eleven vehicles into regular service in June after the predominantly positive experiences from the prototype tests and the subsequent optimizations." The Leipzig Fire Brigade The Leipzig Fire Brigade is one of the ten largest emergency rescue operations organizations in Germany The Leipzig Fire Brigade is one of the ten largest emergency rescue operations organizations in Germany. In addition to the 700 full-time employees in six fire stations of the professional fire brigade, there are over a thousand volunteers in 22 local fire brigades. In addition, 360 children and young people are involved in the youth fire brigade. The Leipzig Fire Department is not only responsible for fire protection and special rescue operations (high, deep, water rescue), it is also responsible for the general rescue service in the city and, among other things, transporting the sick. In addition, it acts as the garrison for the Federal Analytical Task Force. Robust, powerful fire-fighting vehicles In the previous year, the Leipzig Fire Brigade was alerted with more than 10,000 missions, almost half of which (4,634) - an unusually large number compared with other cities - were fire missions. Not least for this reason, the Fire Department opted for particularly powerful and robust fire-fighting vehicles for the latest procurement, which can be operated quickly and reliably and with which they can easily get through traffic.
In December 2019, the 20,000th Rosenbauer FOX portable pump was ceremoniously handed over to the Elsdorf-Westermühlen fire department in Rendsburg-Eckernförde district by Rosenbauer sales partner in Schleswig-Holstein, Kraft Feuerschutz GmbH, based in Rendsburg. Classic Portable Pumps At the start of the 21st century, many experts agreed that portable pumps would play no role in the future, and that classic portable pumps would be replaced by other systems, such as in-built vehicle pumps or special submersible pumps. The success story of the Rosenbauer portable pump family began with the FOX 1Due to climate change and the associated shift in operational requirements, portable pumps are required more than ever before: There has never been a time in which Rosenbauer has delivered portable pumps in greater quantities in Germany than in 2019. Whether as a pump at the water extraction point, as a pump on a TSF or TSF-W, as a booster pump for pumping water over long distances, or as a pump for pumping out flooded cellars: the portable pump is an extremely flexible all-rounder. Fully Automatic Pumping Pressure Control The FOX 4 supplied by Rosenbauer sales partner Kraft to the Elsdorf-Westermühlen fire department is a PFPN 10/1500 in terms of performance. The pump is equipped with a fully automatic pumping pressure control, fitted with an automatic cavitation warning device and overheat protection. These functions make the operator’s job much easier. The success story of the Rosenbauer portable pump family began with the FOX 1, which was introduced in 1987. In 1997, the FOX 2 was launched, becoming the first Rosenbauer portable pump to be fitted with an injection system and a tank below. Equipped According To Customer Specifications The FOX 3 followed in 2005, which impressed customers with its capacity of 1,600 liters at 10 bar and a weight of just 167 kg when full. The FOX S was launched at the end of 2015, with the intention of taking on the former role of the TS 8/8 class, with a capacity of 1,050 liters at 10 bar, and with an operating weight of just 150 kg. Rosenbauer sales partners sell more than half of the approximately 900 FOX portable pumps Soon thereafter the FOX 4 was launched, a portable pump with outstanding performance values. With 1,750 liters at 10 bar and an operating weight of 166 kg, it is thus the strongest and lightest FOX. The high-end model can be fitted with a wide variety of optional extras, and equipped according to customer specifications. Inlet Pressure Monitoring, Overheat Protection Among other things, these include LED illumination of the support frame and the pump itself, a fully automatic pumping pressure control with inlet pressure monitoring, overheat protection, an operating unit specially developed for operation in the TSF-W, with rotatable pressure outlets and a fixed foam proportioning system. And last but not least, the option to equip a USB port to directly charge cell phones, radios or even a tablet was added in 2019. Demand shows that many experts were wrong with their assessment in the early 2000s. Rosenbauer sales partners sell more than half of the approximately 900 FOX portable pumps produced annually upon the German market. In retrospect, the use of portable pumps is more widespread than ever.
The National Fire Chiefs’ Council has called for all residential buildings with four floors or more to be installed with sprinkler systems after a huge fire tore through student flats in Bolton, United Kingdom last month. Fire sprinklers in Tall buildings But a Freedom of Information request from The Argus revealed 44 council-owned housing blocks in Brighton and Hove which are four storeys or taller do not have sprinklers installed. This is a worrying discovery as two of the 44 buildings had sprinklers systems approved last September. However, despite funding of £300,000 from Brighton and Hove City Council and East Sussex Fire and Rescue service, the installation of fire sprinklers has been delayed due to ‘feedback from residents’. Sprinkler installation program “For a sprinkler installation program to be successful, the residents must be consulted. Although, not all residents are in favor of installing a sprinkler system; despite sprinklers being paramount in preventing another tragic disaster similar to the Grenfell Tower fire,” says an East Sussex Fire Brigade Union Spokesman. Whilst firefighters on the frontline understand the importance of sprinkler systems in assisting to prevent the rapid growth of fires, sprinkler systems should not be viewed as a ‘golden bullet’. There is no replacement to a properly funded and resourced fire and rescue service.
Metalline’s fire rated non-combustible Ultima Spandrel panels have been specified to replace the existing window panels on five tower blocks on the Chalcots Estate in Camden. Ultima Spandrel panels The decision by Camden Council to replace all combustible material from their tower blocks is part of a major upgrade to ensure the safety and security of their residents. A key influence on the decision to specify Metalline’s Ultima Spandrel Panel was the fabricators willingness to put their product through an independent fire performance test to prove its integrity. Efectis, fire safety testing firm The fire performance test was carried out independently by Efectis, global provider of fire science and fire safety testing. As a result, Metalline’s Ultima Spandrel Panel is the UK’s first Spandrel panel to achieve a fire rating of 60-minutes integrity and 60-minutes insulation. Constructed from A1 non-combustible materials, the Ultima Spandrel Panel can be specified in a range of finishes including anodized natural silver, bronzes from light to dark, black, regency gold 1 & 2 and a specialist Anolok finish in blue grey and stone grey colors.
C-TEC’s innovative ZFP addressable fire alarm system is protecting Big Padlock Wrexham, a high-tech self-storage facility in Wales. With a solid reputation for providing top-notch self-storage solutions to domestic and commercial clients, Big Padlock operates from eight locations throughout the North West. The company’s state-of-the-art Wrexham site combines a mixture of business centres, office space, warehouses and workshops and also offers bespoke facilities for architects, solicitors, tradesmen and eBay and Amazon sellers. Fire Protection And Security As storage areas are typically classed as high fire risk, careful consideration was given to fire protection and security on the site. The system features a powerful ZFP touchscreen-controlled 2-loop fire panel in the reception area, connected to a series of Apollo detectors and C-TEC’s high-performance EN54-certified sounder VADs throughout the buildings. Programmed for simultaneous evacuation, i.e., ‘one out, all out’, in the event of a fire, the system also interfaces to a sprinkler system to ensure that, if a sprinkler is set off, it will also activate the fire alarm system. A digital CCTV system, door entry system and 24/7 security/intruder system are also in operation at the multi-purpose facility. Fire Alarm System Said Phil Lomas, the owner of Liverpool-based G3 Security Systems, the specialist fire company responsible for the project: “Big Padlock’s standards are extremely high hence the specification of a top-quality fire alarm system to provide the site and its staff and clients with maximum safety and protection. We’ve used C-TEC’s products for many years due to their quality, reliability and ease-of-install. The fact that they are a UK manufacturer and offer excellent technical support is a huge bonus.”
Round table discussion
When a fire or other emergency occurs in a building or facility, first responders depend on every available resource to ensure a safe and orderly evacuation and response. One element in any response plan is the facility’s physical security systems, including access control, video surveillance and intrusion detection. How can these systems contribute to an orderly response to a chaotic situation? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the role of security systems in the event of a fire or other emergency evacuation?
Welcome to our Expert Panel Roundtable, a new feature of TheBigRedGuide.com. We will be asking timely questions about the fire market and seeking out experts in the field to provide responses. Our goal is to promote a useful exchange of information on a variety of topics and to create a forum for discussion of important issues facing the fire service and market. For our first question, we look to the year ahead and ask our panelists: What trends are likely to change the fire market in 2020?