Fire Safety Risk Assessment
Chubb has been appointed the exclusive UK distributor, installer and service provider of SmartCell, a complete wireless fire detection platform by EMS. The platform provides customers with smaller commercial sites and properties complete control of their fire safety systems’ performance and strategy. Chubb and EMS are part of Carrier, a global provider of innovative heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. Fire...
New government legislation due to come into force in the United Kingdom on July 1st will require electrical installations in privately rented properties to be tested and inspected at least once every 5 years. The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations (2020) will require landlords to enlist qualified electricians to complete inspections and provide certification to tenants – or face fines of up to £30,000. While the risk of fire can never be entire...
Cordico is proud to announce that they have entered into a strategic nationwide partnership with The Resiliency Project. The Resiliency Project is a non profit organization with a mission to end the silent suffering of the country’s first responders by providing peer support and funding for treatment, recovery and psychological services in an effort to treat posttraumatic stress, build resilience and end suicide. While The Resiliency Project supports the use of departmental peer support t...
Motorola Solutions announced the addition of three cloud-based offerings to its CommandCentral software suite: CommandCentral 9-1-1 Smart Transcription, CommandCentral 9-1-1 Citizen Input and PremierOne®️ Cloud CAD. These offerings provide emergency call handlers and the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) operators who dispatch 9-1-1 calls to police, fire and emergency medical services with the ability to streamline workflows and improve the monitoring and integrity of information in a secure go...
At the beginning of April, market in Fire and Carbon Monoxide protection Aico introduced their award-winning training scheme delivered as daily webinars. Aico revamped their Expert Installer training to make it easily accessible online as a free of charge webinar. The seminars were greatly received, with each daily session selling out. Delivered by Aico’s National Technical Manager Andy Speake and Product Development Manager Mike Wright, the CPD certified webinars cover a wide range of su...
Berlin Fire Department's "eLHF" project, an abbreviation of "electric firefighting and rescue vehicle" in German, is a scheme backed by the Berlin Program for Sustainable Development (BENE). The main aim of this program, which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, is to procure and pilot-test an innovative firefighting and rescue vehicle equipped with an electric drive to get it from A to B and run its extinguishing technology. Austrian specialist Rosenbauer, the world's man...
Angloco Limited, the UK’s oldest manufacturer of fire engines, has secured a major deal to replace and service most of the UK Ministry of Defense’s existing fire fleet. UK Defence Fire and Rescue Project The £30 million order comes as part of the Defense Fire and Rescue Project – a significant outsourcing contract recently awarded to Capita Plc. Under the contract, Angloco will not only supply more than 80 new state-of-the-art fire vehicles but will also support them both in the UK and around the world, for the next 12 years. Fire safety vehicles supplied The announcement comes after recent news of Angloco’s rapid growth and second factory opening The announcement comes after recent news of Angloco’s rapid growth and second factory opening – a nine-bay, 12,000 sq. ft unit down the road from its 30,000 sq. ft. HQ – capable of turning out 100 fire engines per annum. Commenting on the defense contract, Alistair Brown, Managing Director of Angloco Ltd. said, “This is great news for both the company and the local area – the project not only gives our order book a further boost, but secures more jobs for the longer term.” UK Ministry of Defense contract for fire fleet revamp Alistair adds, “The defense order – along with numerous other projects – means we are now engaged in another major recruitment exercise for more staff across all areas of the business.” Angloco hit the headlines over summer when the management team announced a drive to recruit a further 12 colleagues into the 90-strong business. “This is such an exciting time for the company,” continued Alistair, adding “We have fought off some very stiff international competition but are delighted that a British company will now be delivering the contract.” Caterpillar-tracked fire engines Angloco has a rich history of supporting the UK Ministry of Defense over many decades, previously winning a major project to fully refurbish 88 old fire engines through the 80s and 90s, as well as supplying three caterpillar-tracked fire engines for the Falkland Islands base in 1989. Offering some concluding insight into the specifics of the deal, Alistair added, “The new vehicles are being built to an innovative design which allows one common vehicle type to be used for multiple fire and rescue roles. This not only reduces the purchase costs but makes them far easier to support – wherever in the world they may be.”
Angloco Co. has announced partnering with Adaro Tecnologia to supply the Adalit range of professional safety torches. Adalit professional safety torches Designed for emergency services teams and other demanding professional applications where safety is critical, every Adalit torch features advanced optics, high quality engineering and has received ATEX approval. The Adalit range of professional safety torches include the L-10, the first re-chargeable flashlight to be specifically designed for firefighting helmets and the high-powered L-3000 which combines revolutionary optics with a large digital display. The versatile L5 and L5R Plus safety torches can be used both as a hand torch and on the helmet.
On the 8th June, 2020, the North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service will be opening recruitment process for wholetime firefighters. Between now and then, the fire and rescue service wants to raise awareness of the role of modern day firefighters and encourage applications from all parts of the communities. Raise awareness on fire safety When the recruitment application window opens, the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will be recruiting wholetime firefighters for the following fire stations: Day crewed fire stations (Ripon, Malton, Tadcaster, Selby and Whitby), Self-Roster fire stations (Northallerton and Richmond) and; Shift fire stations (Acomb, Huntington, York, Scarborough and Harrogate). Details about the different types of crewing for the stated fire stations can be found on the company website. Recruiting wholetime firefigthers We’ll soon be launching our recruitment window for wholetime firefighters again" North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Chief Fire Officer, Andrew Brodie said, “We’ll soon be launching our recruitment window for wholetime firefighters again, and it doesn’t get more exciting. Last year’s intake is embedded in their teams on our fire and rescue stations and helping communities to Be Safe and Feel Safe.” He adds, “The role of a modern-day firefighter is varied. It’s much more than just attending emergency incidents, so ignore any thoughts of simply having to fight fires and cut up cars. It’s more about educating communities, engaging with people, delivering activities and events, planning and forming partnerships, and being creative prevent, protect and creating community resilience.” Protecting and creating community resilience Andrew Brodie stated, “Response is a last resort. We need people who are caring, compassionate and inventive, who enjoy working as part of a team and who want to make a truly positive difference to people. Being a good firefighter isn’t about being good at fighting fires, that’s only a part of it. Being a good firefighter is about being good at everything that the role involves.” He further adds, “Such a varied role needs a varied firefighters’ workforce. We welcome applications from all parts of our communities. We need to improve our diversity to reflect our diverse communities, so we are particularly interested in people from groups that are currently under-represented in the Service.” Firefighting standards Andrew said, “But this isn’t about varying standards of entry into the service. Everyone goes through the same process and achieves the same minimum standards.” He adds, “Our message is simple; this is great opportunity to join a progressive and essential organization. So, if you’ve always dreamt of becoming a firefighter or you’ve never considered it before but think it could be the job for you now, we’d love to hear from you.” Firefighters’ eligibility and selection process Firefighters across North Yorkshire play a crucial role in keeping us safe and feeling safe" Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said, “Firefighters across North Yorkshire play a crucial role in keeping us safe and feeling safe, and I’m pleased that we are able to add to our wholetime team. I would encourage anyone interested in joining our brilliant team of men and women to consider applying for these important roles.” Anyone aged 18 or over can apply to become a firefighter; when the application window opens on the 8th of June, 2020. However, candidates will be required to meet all requirements of the role. There are various stages of the application process and the candidates must complete and be successful at each stage to progress to the next stage. The application process for recruitment to the fire service will be open to those who are aged 17 so long as they will have attained the age of 18, prior to commencing in their new role in April 2021.
Apollo Fire Detectors is delivering online training to members of the fire industry throughout the government lockdown thanks to a series of online events, including CPD webinars and virtual product training courses. Online fire focused CPD webinars Created in response to a significant volume of requests from consultants and specifiers for technical training, each week Apollo is delivering an online fire focused CPD, covering topics such as EN 54-23 Visual Alarm Devices (VADs) and An Introduction to BS 5839, Parts 1 and 6. In addition, the business has launched a weekly series of 30-minute product orientated webinars, hosted by Apollo Product Support Engineer, Warren Moyle. Providing useful advice and insights to installers, the webinars cover features and benefits, applications, demonstration videos and frequently asked questions for numerous Apollo ranges, as well as live Q&A sessions. XPander, the Apollo Test Set & Beam Detectors All webinars are being hosted using specialist webinar platform, Microsoft Teams events The first three sessions will cover XPander, the Apollo Test Set: Learning the Basics and Programming (part 1 of 4) and Beam Detectors, which will be delivered alongside Apollo’s sister company, FFE. More product related webinars will be announced soon. All webinars are being hosted using specialist webinar platform, Microsoft Teams events. The software is easy to access, with attendees able to watch live and interact with presenters via a moderated Q&A. Enhancing fire safety knowledge Warren Moyle stated, “Providing training and helping improve fire safety knowledge is fundamental to us at Apollo. In this unprecedented time, we feel we have a duty to the fire industry to offer the type of training and support that will enable people to grow their skillset from the safety of their own home.” He adds, “The sessions we have already announced have been very well received so far and we look forward to revealing the full webinar schedule in due course. All the sessions are free of charge, but attendance will be capped at 60, so it is important to register if you wish to take part.”
Insulation and fire protection expert Aran Services has secured £1.5 million in working capital from Independent Growth Finance (IGF). The funds, which were raised using invoice discounting, were used to support the recent MBO and to provide working capital to support the continued growth of the business. Founded in 2004, the Suffolk-based company specializes in domestic and commercial energy efficiency and fire safety, working with schools, social landlords, local authorities, utility providers and home owners, to ensure their systems are up to scratch. Upgrading older buildings to modern standards Aran Services proudly serve the most vulnerable in society, with their innovations lowering the cost of bills, reducing carbon emissions and improving the standards of up to 350,000 business and homes. However, in light of the current pandemic the company has had to adapt the sectors it focuses on. Work in domestic homes has dropped off steeply, due to the need for social distancing. At the same time, its work with the NHS has seen an upturn, as the business helps the service upgrade older buildings to modern standards to treat an influx of patients. It is also proving a good time to complete work on schools and other local authority properties, which are usually full of people. It’s not just coronavirus that has enforced change. New regulations on landlords to maintain standards throughout the course of a tenancy will drive more demand in this area as the market responds. Funding to be used for insulation and fire protection After their incumbent bank failed to deliver the funding required for the MBO, Aran Services was referred to IGF by corporate finance advisors Ensors. From the outset IGF took the time to understand the business and its funding requirements and, shortly after the initial meeting with the MBO team, approved the facilities as proposed. IGF’s funding was made available within the timescale set out by the management team, enabling them to complete the MBO and focus on delivering the next phase of growth for the business. Aran Services and IGF partnership On track for one of their better years, they have added over 40% on the previous year’s profit Mark Randall, Group Managing Director at Aran Services, reflected on the company’s experience working with IGF: “From the outset IGF has been a breath of fresh air – friendly, open and approachable. The team has worked with us to understand the mechanics of our business and our cash-centric business model." "We really appreciated such a customer-focused approach, and with IGF also being an SME, we felt very comfortable aligning with them. The feeling was mutual – we’re a low risk and easy deal – and so the partnership was formed. We’re very much looking forward to continuing working with them in future.” Current pandemic impacts shorter term plans Since receiving funding, Aran Services has already seen some promising results. On track for one of their better years, they have added over 40% on the previous year’s profit, and their last quarter was their biggest in the company’s history. Such data reflects the progressive ambitions of the new owners, who hope to use IGF’s funding to maintain their growth trajectory. While the current pandemic will impact these plans in the shorter term, the company is confident about the future. Jeff Greenfield, ABL Director at IGF, discusses Aran Services’ future: “We’re excited to be working with Aran Services. Their recent progression is impressive, and their business model is solid. We were pleased to be able to offer support when Aran Services’ previous lender fell through and we look forward to being a part of their future success.”
Kochek Company, LLC has introduced its new HiRise Kit, carefully designed to carry the basic tools and adapters needed to combat fire in hotel and high-rise buildings. Developed in response to requests from first responders for a convenient, grab-and-go bag, each Kochek HiRise Kit contains two spanner wrenches, one line-pressure gauge, one 09k valve, and one 2.5” elbow. Kochek HiRise Kit Kochek's HiRise Kit bag is constructed of heavy reinforced vinyl with a double heavy-duty waterproof reinforced bottom and measures 18"L x 12"D x 18"H. Extra wide nylon handle straps have a snap button closure which allows quick access even while wearing gloves. Its 288 cubic inch interior provides ample space for additional items such as wedges, adapters, door stops, door straps, rope, and tools. When fully packed with the included items, the Kochek HiRise Kit Bag weighs 16.25 lb. Efficient decontamination and cleaning Tool divider inserts attach with Velcro for easy removal to facilitate decontamination and cleaning. The bags are black and feature sewn-on reflectors for enhanced visibility. Reference new part number HIRISEKIT25-01-NH52.
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.
Why do gas engineers need to become Gas Safe Registered? Why do heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers need to have an advanced driving license? We all know the answers to these questions: To determine competency and reduce risk. Because they are mandatory, it is simply expected. Premises managers expect the same competency from their fire safety providers; however, there are no mandatory measures in place to ensure a particular level of competency is met. But there should be, says Stephen Adams, Chief Executive of BAFE, an independent registration body for third party certified protection companies across the United Kingdom. Advocating certification of fire safety competency Third party certification (or any system to monitor competency) is not mandatory in the fire safety industry at present, which presents unnecessary risk, says Adams. Third Party Certification (or any system to monitor competency) is not mandatory in the fire safety industry at present, which presents unnecessary risk There is a benefit to the customer of using a provider that is independently and regularly assessed by a UKAS Accredited Certification Body to ensure they are competent to deliver the specific required service. Sourcing a provider who holds the appropriate third-party certification will also provide strong evidence of acting with due diligence in following fire safety legislation. “Certainly for high-risk premises, not just those above a certain height but those where the occupants or function demands strong fire protection, there needs to be mandated third party certification of the competence of all those involved,” says Adams. “This is not just at the initial construction stage, but throughout the building life cycle as use, occupancy and technology change. The end user and those responsible for building safety have the key responsibility, together with input from the Fire and Rescue Services, providers and public authorities to ensure ongoing compliance and recording of actions.” Determining competency for fire safety services BAFE was first established in 1984 within FETA (Fire Extinguishing Trades Association) and the British Fire Protection Systems Association (BFPSA). Since 2009, however, BAFE has been independent and has evolved into developing and monitoring schemes to determine competency for multiple fire safety services. BAFE develops schemes based on defined quality standards and industry best practice for fire safety service providers to achieve and become Third Party Certificated. These assessments are performed by UKAS Accredited Certification Bodies (licensed by BAFE). Only when a company holds appropriate and valid Third Party Certification are they permitted to become BAFE Registered and appear on the national register available free to view at on their website. BAFE’s competency schemes BAFE offer competency schemes for the following areas: Fire extinguisher servicing/maintenance (BAFE SP101) Fire risk assessment (BAFE SP205) Kitchen fire protection systems (BAFE SP206) Dry and wet riser/falling installations servicing/maintenance (BAFE SP105) The SP203 suite of schemes is modular and offers competency criteria for the design, installation, commissioning and/or maintenance of: Fire detection and alarms systems (BAFE SP203-1) Fixed gaseous fire extinguishing systems (BAFE SP203-3) Emergency lighting systems (BAFE SP203-4) BAFE has dedicated monitoring groups for each scheme that meet regularly to ensure they continue to represent the highest levels of competency within the industry. Supporting UK fire safety BAFE has been active in efforts to influence and support fire safety for the UK. This includes work with the appropriate Competence Steering Group (CSG) working groups established since the publication of the Hackitt review (“Building a Safer Future”). Chris Auger, Head of Schemes – BAFE, is currently Secretary to WG2 (Installers) and WG4 is continuing to develop competence standards for Fire Risk Assessors to meet the requirements of high-risk residential buildings (HRRBs). BAFE also has close working relationships with organisations including UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service), FSF (Fire Sector Federation), FIA (Fire Industry Association), FPA (Fire Protection Association), IFEDA (Independent Fire Engineering and Distributors Association), Construction Industry Council (CIC) and multiple Certification Bodies. Raising the bar BAFE exists to help raise the bar of competency within the fire safety industry across the United Kingdom, says Adams. Their ethos is in a strong belief in Third Party Certification. BAFE exists to help raise the bar of competency within the fire safety industry across the United Kingdom “Whilst we strongly believe the BAFE schemes offer a quality, independent method of determining competency for a specific service though a range of Certification Bodies, we purely want Third Party Certification to be the baseline absolute requirement for any fire safety work (where it is available),” says Adams. BAFE stands with FPA Managing Director Jonathan O'Neill’s request to Government to mandate Third Party Certification. The more providers that hold Third Party Certification, and the more end users that request it, the stronger the argument to Government to mandate this requirement for a better regulated industry. Addressing the misconceptions A misconception about fire safety Third Party Certification from end users (e.g. premises management) is that it covers all fire safety services offered. BAFE this year have launched a new campaign, “Don’t Just Specify, Verify!,” to highlight this issue. “Before awarding any contract, we are trying to educate people to verify their chosen contractor’s Third Party Certification to ensure it is appropriate for the work they require,” says Adams. Whilst most customers understand that they should have fire protection systems, they do not adequately understand the need for a full and competent Fire Risk Assessment. There are still “assessors” who will offer one for ridiculously low prices, often without even entering the building. The need for fire risk assessments The Fire Risk Assessment is a mandatory requirement and forms the basis for all other activity – and must be kept up to date. By not using a competent provider, the responsible person is leaving themselves open to prosecution and serious loss of life and property. The horrific Grenfell fire that unfolded on 14th June 2017 raised interest and awareness of fire safety measures, their relationship to the whole construction and what should be in place to keep any premises safe. The horrific Grenfell fire that unfolded on 14th June 2017 raised interest and awareness of fire safety measures Adams says BAFE saw an increase in companies gaining Third Party Certification, especially to the Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment (SP205) scheme. “This is a skill that needs greater emphasis and some mandatory measures introduced to ensure competent persons are completing this vital action,” says Adams. “We welcome any stronger measures following the Hackitt Review to introduce robust methods of logging activity across the whole building life cycle (the ‘Golden Thread’ of information) in the interest of acting will due diligence creating safer buildings from fire.” The Fire Risk Assessment is a mandatory requirement and forms the basis for all other activity – and must be kept up to date “A year from now, we anticipate that the Hackitt requirements will be built into legislation and the Building Regulations across all parts of the UK,” says Adams. “By 2023 BAFE and the industry would like to see mandatory measures in place to monitor and determine competency of providers offering specific services. Most notable are services such as fire risk assessment, both commercial and domestic fire detection and alarm systems plus multiple other areas including many passive fire protection design and installation services. Certificated services should extend across all aspects of fire safety, passive and active, and include greater monitoring of individual as well as company competence.” Trade associations such as FIA and IFEDA demand third party certification as a core membership requirement, and other important professional bodies such as the FPA are calling out to Government to mandate third party certification, says Adams. “It would shake up the industry dramatically, leaving only the evidentially competent able to provide these works,” he says.
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.”
Following the enforced lockdown restrictions introduced to help combat the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, SSAIB took the decision to continue to offer certification by embracing new technology and migrating over to remote auditing. With the remote audit process now having been in place for two months, SSAIB spoke with Heather Martin – operations manager of SSAIB-registered firm Southern Fire Alarms Ltd - to discuss their own remote audit conducted during the height of lockdown last month. Annual BAFE SP203-1 audit conducted The West Sussex-based company – who have been SSAIB-registered to install fire alarms since April 2008 – were due to have their annual BAFE SP203-1 on April 22, but saw this changed to a remote audit when it was clear that it was no longer possible for auditor Stephen Jenkins to conduct a visit in person on that date. Despite some initial apprehension about this new development - after initially wanting to postpone the audit following lockdown - Heather revealed that she is now pleased they were able to go ahead with it when they did. First-Ever Remote audit Heather commented: “I was very apprehensive beforehand and thought it would be easier to just extend it for six months - as an audit was the last thing we wanted to be doing with the other business changes we were needing to implement. However – in hindsight – I’m so glad we have done it.” “By doing it now, it means that we can carry on for another 12 months and we’re not trying to scramble with everyone else to get in for an audit in six months’ time – as I’m sure there’d be much more of a backlog had SSAIB not switched to remote audits.” The actual remote audit was less time-consuming than normal, to be honest" With regard to the audit process itself, Heather commented: “The system that SSAIB have put in place was easy to navigate and the guidance document was clear in relation to the evidence that required uploading.” Faster remote audit than normal “On the day of the audit, our auditor Stephen called promptly to explain how he would work through the documents. He then called again the following day to summarize his findings.” “The actual remote audit was less time-consuming than normal, to be honest. I had already uploaded everything that we needed to beforehand, so Stephen called promptly at the start of the day to explain how he would work through the documents." “Therefore, in that sense, I actually gained quite a lot of the time that would have otherwise been spent on a normal audit.” COVID-19 impact on work Being ushered into a remote audit isn’t the only change that SFA – who recently celebrated their 20th anniversary – have had to make due to the continuing battle to contain the coronavirus. However, Heather believes that the company’s “loyal core of key personnel” is their secret weapon to help them negotiate the difficult time we all find ourselves in at present. Heather added: “We’ve had to make quite significant changes to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, we have had to furlough some of our engineers and maintain a skeleton staff in the office. With social distancing, everything has had to be kept at a minimum so we’ve got people working from home as well.” A balance between safety for all of our staff and ensuring the survival of the company" “In some respects, we’re very lucky that we have a low turnover of staff – as it means we have a loyal core of key personnel that have been able to carry on and ensure everything runs as smoothly as it can during this time.” Servicing, emergency breakdowns on "Without that commitment of those key staff members, we simply would not have got through this. It’s not been easy, but we’re working together – as it’s a balance between safety for all of our staff and ensuring the survival of the company.” “We are still carrying out servicing, emergency breakdowns and critical works. We’re just having to adapt, day-to-day and customer-to-customer, to decide whether we can go in and carry out work.” Despite the impact that COVID-19 has had on the Bognor Regis-based installation company – who also added Security Systems to their SSAIB scope of certification in October 2017 – Heather insisted that SFA’s certification with SSAIB was still of the utmost importance and that it was necessary for themselves and the wider industry to remain as a third-party certified organization. Industry-Accreditation Heather said: “I think it’s really important to ensure that we continue our certification with SSAIB during this time – as there is going to be an end to this at some stage and that’ll bring a lot of work, some of which will be tendered. If we don’t have the certification when that end date arrives then we’ll miss out, it’s as simple as that.” “I also think it’s important for the industry as a whole that we have accreditation and that standards are maintained– especially in the current climate.” Reaping benefits of the audit “Of course, other companies might not be in the fortunate situation we are with being able to continue with their certification at this time. However, I’d say those companies who are able to carry on like ourselves will reap the rewards of doing so when everything starts picking up again.” The whole world is still waiting to see how long this pandemic will last, the overall effect it will have on us all, the everyday lives and the various economies around the globe, but Heather – who has worked within the industry for over two decades - revealed that her own post-lockdown plans are a lot more down-to-earth and personal.
To support the COVID-19 site, and despite the warehouse being closed for a stock take, Apollo Fire Detectors personally delivered the essential fire safety equipment the day after the order was placed. Headley Court, in Surrey, will re-open and serve as a temporary community hospital for patients needing rehabilitation or convalescence, those receiving end-of-life care, as well as those who are recovering from COVID-19 and do not require critical or acute hospital care. COVID-19 patients rehabilitation or convalescence The Headley Court facility closed in 2018 and the existing fire systems were no longer viable. Detect Fire & Security Ltd were appointed by Corrigenda Facilities Services to install a new fire system into nine buildings in just four weeks and chose the XP95 from Apollo Fire Detectors. It took four weeks to complete the installation in nine buildings Joe Presswell, Technical Manager from Detect Fire & Security Ltd, explained: “The site was already configured with ward space and other clinical areas, so it was ideal to be converted for use as a community hospital. Upon initial site survey, it was a relatively straight-forward installation, simply swapping the equipment and reprogramming the system onto the new Advanced Electronics addressable fire panels. But the timescales were understandably hugely demanding. We were originally asked to work on three buildings, but this soon changed to nine buildings, with the order in which they were expected to be completed changing throughout the installation. Apollo were fantastic partners to work with, ensuring good stock levels at all times and accommodating all our requirements.” Mr. Presswell continued: “It took four weeks to complete the installation in nine buildings. In normal circumstances it would take around three weeks per building. This was a brilliant team effort.” life-saving devices Nicolas Duke, Operations Director at Apollo Fire Detectors said: “The Apollo team has always prided itself on its level of customer service and flexibility. Working with Detect Fire & Security on the Headley Court project was a prime example of this. Thanks to the fantastic support and dedication of our operations staff - continuing to work on our life-saving devices through all of the coronavirus crisis - we were able to maintain our stock levels of key products." "The first order arrived on a day when manufacturing was closed due to stock take, therefore it was actually packed and made ready for next day pick-up by the Apollo Leadership Team. We are all proud of the contribution that Apollo and our customers have made to the national response to the virus.” Mike Sutton, Sales Manager at Apollo Fire Detectors said: “Communication and teamwork were the keys to the success of this project. We really pulled out all the stops to help make this project come together so quickly. I personally delivered the first batch of products to site and our board of directors’ members were packing boxes in the warehouse to ensure the project could start on time. We’re delighted that the new facility is now fully protected, and patients can be cared for in a safe environment.”
Nittan Europe, UK manufacturer of conventional and addressable fire detection products and systems, has had its Evolution analog addressable fire detection system installed into a new student accommodation development in Beeston, Nottingham. The system was installed by Nottinghamshire based integrated safety and security solutions provider, TIS. Dagfa House is a unique development of townhouses, clusters and studios adjacent to The University of Nottingham campus. It provides accommodation to 229 students and a range of leisure and study amenities. At the heart of the development is a Grade two listed building that dates back to the 18th-century and was converted into a school in 1948. Addressable fire alarm system This latest development has been undertaken by the Cassidy Group, which has over 30 years of experience in construction and property. One of the key fire safety challenges posed by the Dagfa House development was the mix of accommodation blocks, with some being relatively small. A cost-effective fire detection system was required that could potentially evacuate each site in the event of a fire and that would also be future proof, with spares readily available. A Nittan Evolution analog addressable fire alarm system, comprising two individually networked systems, each utilizing eight Evolution1 panels and Nittan devices was chosen as the solution. Chris Mills, Head of Fire Division at TIS explains: “TIS carried out market research of a number of fire alarm manufacturers before finally settling on the Nittan Evolution panel with Nittan devices which provided a single source approach while providing a cost effective and reliable solution.” Sophisticated detection algorithms Evolution uses ASIC technology in the sensors and sophisticated detection algorithms Evolution is Nittan’s advanced, premium fire system. Evolution uses ASIC technology in the sensors and sophisticated detection algorithms, combining extremely reliable fire detection together with a very high degree of protection against unwanted false alarms. Its advanced, highly flexible protocol allows for substantial amounts of information to be transmitted at high speed and is not affected by the number of devices on the loop. At Dagfa House, the Nittan Evolution1 Panel was selected because of its built-in network connectivity, making it extremely cost effective, plus its ease of installation and cause & effect configuration. For the primary detection in the majority of locations, Nittan’s EV-PYS Optical Detector with built-in sounder was selected for convenience, due to the reduced cost and time required compared to installing separate detectors and sounders, as well as the combined detector/sounder providing a more aesthetically pleasing solution. Compliant visual alarm In the open areas, such as the cinema room, games room, common room and the communal garden terrace, Nittan EV-HIOP-SB High Output Sounder Beacon VADs were installed. These devices provide high volume sound, EN 54-23 compliant visual alarm and are waterproofed to IP65, making them suitable for the outdoor areas. One of the most important devices in any fire alarm system is Manual Call Points, which are strategically located in the Dagfa House development at points of evacuation. Nittan EV-MCP2-SCI Call Point with built in short circuit isolators were chosen to ensure the loops were adequately protected, so the system remains compliant even under short circuit fault conditions. Each Call Point was also fitted with a hinged front cover for compliance with BS-5839-1: 2017, the code of practice for designing, installing, commissioning, and maintaining fire detection and alarm systems. Nittan fire detection systems are a popular choice for student accommodation, with many applications around the UK.
Teamwork, flexibility and a commitment to customer service have resulted in Apollo Fire Detectors being installed, commissioned and in operation in just four weeks at a former defense medical rehabilitation center that is being transformed into a community-style hospital for use during the coronavirus pandemic. Headley Court To support the COVID-19 site, and despite the warehouse being closed for a stock take, Apollo Fire Detectors ensured the essential fire safety equipment was personally delivered the day after the order was placed. Headley Court, in Surrey, will re-open and serve as a temporary community hospital for patients Headley Court, in Surrey, will re-open and serve as a temporary community hospital for patients needing rehabilitation or convalescence, along with those receiving end of life care, as well as patients who are recovering from COVID-19 and do not require critical or acute hospital care service. XP95 addressable fire detectors installed The Headley Court facility closed in 2018 and the existing fire systems at the site were no longer viable. Detect Fire & Security Ltd was appointed by Corrigenda Facilities Services to install a new fire safety system in nine buildings in just four weeks. They chose the XP95 addressable fire detectors from Apollo Fire Detectors. Joe Presswell, Technical Manager from Detect Fire & Security Ltd explained, “The site was already configured with ward space and other clinical areas, so it was ideal to be converted for use as a community hospital. Upon initial site survey, it was a relatively straight-forward installation, simply swapping the equipment and reprogramming the system onto the new Advanced Electronics addressable fire panels.” Essential fire safety equipment He adds, “But the timescales were understandably hugely demanding. We were originally asked to work on three buildings, but this soon changed to nine buildings, with the order in which they were expected to be completed changing throughout the installation.” Joe further said, “Apollo were fantastic partners to work with, ensuring good stock levels at all times and accommodating all our requirements. It took four weeks to complete the installation in nine buildings. In normal circumstances, it would take around three weeks per building. This was a brilliant team effort.” Enhancing staff and patients safety The Apollo team has always prided itself on its level of customer service and flexibility" Nicolas Duke, Operations Director at Apollo Fire Detectors said, “The Apollo team has always prided itself on its level of customer service and flexibility. Working with Detect Fire & Security Ltd. on the Headley Court project was a prime example of this.” He adds, “Thanks to the fantastic support and dedication of our operations staff, continuing to work on our life saving devices through the entire coronavirus crisis, we were able to maintain our stock levels of key products”. Nicolas concluded, “The first order arrived on a day when manufacturing was closed due to stock take, therefore it was actually packed and made ready for next day pick-up by the Apollo Leadership Team. We are all proud of the contribution that Apollo and our customers have made to the national response to the virus.” Communication and teamwork Mike Sutton, Sales Manager at Apollo Fire Detectors said, “Communication and teamwork were the keys to the success of the Headley Court project. We really pulled out all the stops to help make this project come together so quickly.” Mike adds, “I personally delivered the first batch of products to site and our Managing Director was packing boxes in the warehouse to ensure the project could start on time. We’re delighted that the new facility is now fully protected, and patients can be cared for in a safe environment.”
Comelit Group’s fire detection solution has been installed at Gleavewood Care Home by KJ Fire Safety, for the ongoing safety and security of staff, residents and visitors. Cheshire-based, Gleavewood Care Home, part of the Minster Care Group, is a two storey care home, with 30 single rooms and a variety of communal areas, alongside an enclosed garden area and multiple facilities and visitor activities on site for residents to benefit. Risk assessment on fire detection systems KJ Fire Safety was called to the site following a risk assessment on fire detection systems KJ Fire Safety was called to the site following a risk assessment on fire detection systems. With recommendations made for a new install, Comelit’s Atena Easy two loop solution was fitted in just three weeks, working around the residents and staff. Ruth Field, Estates Director of Minster Care Group said “Mitigating the risk from fire is a fundamental duty of care in any care home, and an absolute priority across our property portfolio.” Ruth adds, “To ensure the safety of our continued staff and residents at Gleavewood, KJ Fire Safety worked by our side to install Comelit’s system as quickly as possible, whilst being sensitive to our residents and their daily routines. We are really impressed, not only with the fast paced installation, but also the finished Atena Easy control panel, which staff have been trained on, and its proven very user friendly.” Atena Easy system Comelit’s Atena Easy system has been installed as an addressable fire alarm, stylish panel with 2 loops, connected to 130 devices on a completely new cable scheme. The information for the system status is visualized on a graphic display and LED indication for zones and troubleshooting. Nigel Thomas, Managing Director at KJ Fire Safety Ltd added, “Care home owners need to review their fire risk assessments, with a proper understanding of how fire can travel and develop”. Fire detection system Nigel adds, “Good practice, as Minster Care Group demonstrates, is that this is done on a regular basis. When Gleavewood’s risk assessment highlighted critical action, we quickly and efficiently replaced the system with Comelit Atena Easy due to its ease of install and operation without re-using any element of the original system.” Mandy Bowden, Comelit Fire Business Development Manager (BDM) said, “Comelit’s Atena Easy system is simple to install, cost effective and user friendly 1 to 2 loop panel, designed with ease of use in mind”. Mandy adds, “For added assurance, it comes with the full training and support capability of a globally renowned fire systems manufacturer. This makes it perfect for care homes such as Gleavewood, where fire safety is of such critical importance, to ensure peace of mind for all who work, live and visit this site.”
As G&B (North West) Ltd. continues to extend its roofing operations, Comelit fire detection systems have been installed by Bell Lancaster to protect new operations on its exclusive farm site. Based on Giants Hall Farm in Wigan, G&B (North West) Ltd. has championed the research and development of glass reinforced polyester (GRP) roofing systems and currently supplies over one million square meters to the trade every year. To accommodate growing demand for its bespoke GRP components and ancillaries, the company continues to extend its building capacity, requiring latest fire detection technology to ensure the safety of its building, products and all who operate on site. fire detection system Says Simon Altree, Senior Electrical Engineer at G&B (North West) Ltd: “Our range of roofing systems are recognized throughout the industry as premium quality GRP solutions. Together with our ability to offer on-site R&D, technical support, training, manufacturing, storage and distribution facilities means we have to constantly grow to meet demand. And with this comes our responsibility to ensure the security and safety of our site, keeping our staff and assets alongside the building protected at all times." It’s stylish design can accommodate up to 1,000 devices with network ability for up to 64 panels" "In the requirements for a fire detection system, we needed a user friendly, compact system that we could rely on, but also could accommodate the different buildings we operate in. It was also essential to be able to expand as we did across the farm site.” fire detection system For G&B (North West) Ltd, Comelit’s Atena addressable panel was installed, featuring a touch screen and capability to expand from one to four loops. Finished in line with Comelit’s focus on aesthetics, it’s stylish design can accommodate up to 1,000 devices with network ability for up to 64 panels, enabling a fully functional networked opportunity to expand with a facility or building requirement. Paul McDonough, Operations Director Bell Lancaster added: “The fast pace nature of the manufacturing process at G&B (North West) Ltd meant that any fire detection system to extended buildings had to be installed quickly and efficiently to eliminate the threat of any downtime or business disruption. Comelit’s Atena solution achieved this objective, not only with the product, but also the dedicated sales and technical team on hand to ensure a smooth and simple finish.” fire detection solutions Mandy Bowden, Comelit Fire BDM concluded: “What our work with Bell Lancaster shows is our preferred approach to working with clients. Our aim is to grow with them and become the first port of call to propose fire systems for companies such as G&B (North West) Ltd, providing complete fire detection solutions and expert technical backup as required.”
Round table discussion
Ensuring the health and wellness of firefighters is a burden shared among equipment manufacturers as well as the fire departments and individual firefighters. Thoughtful design of equipment and other products used in the fire service can be a positive factor as firefighters and other first responders face dangerous situations every day. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What steps can we take to better ensure firefighter health and wellness?
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?