Fire Safety Risk Assessment
FireArrest has announced that it has official launched a new passive fire protection software application. This new innovative passive fire protection app, available to download on Android and iPhone devices, is set to take the fire safety industry by storm. FireArrest App Not only is this passive fire protection app intuitive, but it’s modern design and competitive price point make it the perfect solution for anyone looking to ensure that their premises are compliant with all fire safet...
Further to Advanced's previous coronavirus communication, they wanted to update on the current position. Throughout this time, the company remains focused on two key aspects: the health and welfare of the company’s staff and the ability to continue to support the customers and maintain supply. normal levels of customer service Staff who are able to work from home are doing so wherever possible. Customers can continue to reach the usual Advanced contacts by phone and email. Advanced&rsquo...
The long-awaited announcement by the government to ensure sprinkler systems are mandatory in all new high-rise blocks over 11 meters tall has been welcomed by all. However, what happens next - and how quickly - is crucial for all concerned. The UK government recently announced an amendment to the statutory guidance to building safety regulations, known as Approved Document B, reducing the requirement for sprinkler systems from the current 30 meters to 11 meters in high-rise buildings. New laws...
With many businesses and facilities re-opening sites following the Coronavirus lockdown, fire safety may not seem high on the list to other worries and responsibilities. But here, Mandy Bowden, Fire Business Development Manager at Comelit Group UK, led by fire industry bodies, demonstrates why it must be a priority, ensuring installation of systems is guided by best practice in accordance with the development, and fire safety measures are maintained and regularly tested to ensure compliance. Fi...
Volunteer fire departments are ineligible to obtain funds from the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program because of their dependence on bingo games and raffles for fundraising. With the COVID-19 crisis destroying the ability of volunteer departments to raise funds, access to the EIDL program could provide needed assistance during a time of economic crisis. Under current rules, the assistance is unavailable. Economic Injury Disaster Loans program As the U.S. Small Business Administrati...
The premiere of CEFE powered by INTERSCHUTZ attracted numerous visitors in Shanghai in 2019. Now the international trade fair was scheduled to kick off with its second edition from 9 to 11 December 2020. The situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic is such that the platform for fire brigades, rescue services, civil protection and safety/security will not be back for exhibitors and visitors until a year later. The exact date for the event at the Shanghai New International Expo Center (S...
Any loss of fire protection through equipment failure can have financial, technical and reputational consequences. However, the problem is heightened in high-risk and complex sites, where any form of system downtime can severely compromise safety, contravene regulations and lead to major losses of money, time and confidence in the fire system. In these settings, a redundant fire system is the only real option to achieve an acceptable level of protection and business continuity. However, not all redundant systems are created equal, so it’s important to understand the levels of risk at stake and to choose and plan the customer’s redundant system accordingly. redundant fire alarm panel What level of redundancy does the system offer? Some systems provide redundancy via a redundant microprocessor on the motherboard. If a panel or processor stops working, this twin, identically programmed device is ready to take over. However, this approach can be relatively costly and does not offer 100% redundancy. Other manufacturers take a different approach by using a full dual redundant model. In these systems, a redundant fire alarm panel operates in ‘hot standby’ mode. Whenever a system fault is detected, all field wiring circuits automatically change over to the redundant panel Whenever a system fault is detected, all field wiring circuits automatically change over to the redundant panel. A true redundant specification would also consist of a redundant/backup mains supply. An AC feeder selector card should be available to safely change from automatic changeover, to live mains – or back up live mains – in order to maintain the integrity of the system while work is undertaken. manual control options This highly reliable and adaptable method, such as the one used by Advanced, ensures no loss of coverage or performance. It is ideally suited to premises where any aspect of fire system downtime is simply not an option. Does the system allow the users to control where and how to apply redundant control? It is worth ensuring that the system one chooses can be programmed and adapted to meet the varying needs of the areas where redundant operation is specified. It should ideally offer a range of automatic and manual control options too, so that one can fine-tune their redundant system design. Advanced’s redundant control systems are programmed using DynamixTools software, making configuration easy. redundant fire system In this way, the users can choose to protect only the most vulnerable areas of their system, saving installation and material costs. How easy is retrofit installation? Where a need for redundant control arises in established sites, it’s important to choose a system that is easy to retrofit. Advanced’s redundant controllers can be built into specially designed fire panels or supplied standalone as boxed units giving its users the flexibility to design systems. Choosing the right redundant fire system for a site can be a complex business A unique user-friendly key switch allows simple control of automatic, main and redundant operation, along with a secure main AC selector switch that provides 100% redundancy, fine-tuned to suit the user’s needs. Choosing the right redundant fire system for a site can be a complex business. Selecting a tried and tested supplier with a proven track record helps ensure that one invests in a system that affords complete long-term protection and that all-important peace of mind. high rack enclosures M Station in Dubai is the United Arab Emirates’ largest power and desalination plant and plays a critical role in the infrastructure of the region. It can produce over 2 mega watts of electricity and 140 million imperial gallons of desalinated water per day - around 20 per cent of Dubai’s current requirements. Advanced’s Axis AX fire system technology provides fire detection, alarm and control for M Station. The 89-node fire panel network includes 46 dual redundant panels in 2m high rack enclosures which means in the unlikely event one panel fails, the other takes over operation automatically and with no user intervention.
Based at Advanced’s headquarters on Balliol Business Park, Ben will be responsible for developing the company’s global financial and IT strategies as it continues to expand in the UK and overseas. Ben began his career training as an accountant in high-profile investment banks including Schroders and Salomon Smith Barney. He subsequently moved into the manufacturing sector, where he has spent the last 20 years in commercial finance roles for several multinational manufacturers including Herman Miller and De La Rue. Strategic commercial and operational decision-making In his new role, Ben will leverage the business’ enterprise resource planning system to bring to the foreground financial insights that will be used to support strategic commercial and operational decisions. He said: “In the short time I’ve been at Advanced, I’ve already witnessed the fantastic reputation the company has in the fire industry. I’m excited to be able to play my part in turning our ambitious growth plans into reality.” “My ethos for working in finance is to be commercially focused and to take a collaborative approach. This way, I believe we are best placed to gather the information we need to help qualify our business decisions and ultimately deliver greater value - as a department, and as a business.” In 2019, Advanced’s turnover increased by 20 percent to £25million on the back of particularly strong growth in the UK, Europe, Asia Pacific and Australia. Diversify product portfolio Advanced’s Managing Director, Pete Browitt, said: “Ben’s appointment comes at a pivotal time for Advanced as we continue to invest in new technology and techniques to help drive business insight. Leveraging financial information through system automation, data gathering and analysis will play an important part in determining how we diversify our product portfolio and accelerate our growth.” “Ben’s manufacturing sector experience and his ability to lead change are attributes we need to drive our business forward and we are delighted to welcome him to the Board.”
Developed in Switzerland and manufactured in Germany, they meet quality standards and set the benchmark for the entire industry. Customers from around the world rely on the cutting-edge technology offered by Securiton. The ASD aspirating smoke detectors respond instantly and with unique levels of precision to the presence of smoke in a wide variety of environments, including IT racks, warehouses, manufacturing facilities and cold stores. All the models are equipped with state-of-the-art High Dynamic smoke sensors with high sensitivity. To extend the service life of the smoke sensors, airflow sensors and fans in applications subject to dust or dirt, a DFU 911 dust filter can be installed in the sampling pipe tube network. This significantly results in enhanced resistance to false alarms. SecuriSmoke ASD 535 and ASD 533 aspirating smoke detectors The SecuriSmoke ASD 535 aspirating smoke detector is capable of monitoring areas up to 5,760 square meters in size. His sibling, the ASD 533 is a scaled-down version of the ASD 535 with restricted system limits. The compact and highly sensitive SecuriSmoke ASD 531 and ASD 532 aspirating smoke detectors offer superb, cost-effective fire protection for small and medium-sized environments. Due to the wide range of accessories, the devices can be used in almost every environment. In 2020, Securiton is launching the ASD 535 HD (Heavy Duty) model, which is specifically developed for applications in industrial and harsh environments. Networking and visualization FidesNet makes it possible to connect multiple SecuriSmoke aspirating smoke detectors in a network. It is typically used wherever remote visualization and operation are required. The NetSoft software tool visualizes live data from the aspirating smoke detectors directly on the computer. From one central point, one have a complete overview of the entire ASD network: all aspirating smoke detectors deployed in the system are visualized on a building plan, including their current states. The devices can also be configured directly from the graphical interface.
Firefighters Support Alliance has launched an initiative to help voters understand the local economic impact fire departments have on their communities, and how crucial federal grant programs like AFG and SAFER are to emergency preparedness. One of the most exciting tools to be launched as part of this initiative is an interactive map that tracks and breaks down data related to the economic impact of firefighters. Firefighters Support Alliance is the direct grassroots public policy & political engagement arm of Firefighters and EMS Fund. The project was specifically formed to directly engage the public and voters about significant issues and solutions that impact America's heroes. Although often overlooked, the economics surrounding firefighting- including what funding and resources are available to fire departments- is a significant aspect of making sure firefighters are able to effectively and safely do their jobs and protect their communities. Firefighter’s importance in the economy "It's important for citizens to understand the immense role public sector employees play in the economy, as well as understand the huge impact federal grant dollars have on emergency preparedness," Nile Porter, Executive Director of Firefighters and EMS Fund, said. The interactive map includes data on the number of fire departments, firefighters, and grant dollars in relation to each metric. Website visitors can manipulate the map to show specific data by region or state, and the map itself is color-coded to provide easy understanding of the density of each state. "The data speaks for itself; the fire protection industry is a huge part of the American economy and disturbances to such a wide reaching and essential industry will be felt by all. Rich or poor, we all rely on fire and EMS capabilities in one capacity or another," Executive Director Nile Porter continued.
Baystone Government Finance announced its completion of $3.35 million financing for the City of New York. Assistant Vice President Christina Ummel said the funds will be used to pay for 19 ambulances pressed into service at the height of the City's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. "The FDNY had an urgent need for additional vehicles that could be used to transport patients from their homes to medical facilities or between facilities throughout the city," said Ummel. "The 19 vehicles purchased with the financing include nine Ford E-350s, three Ford E-450s, five Ford F-450s and one Ford S-350," she added. Delivery of the ambulances Working closely with Baystone, Angie Deming, president of Rochester, Indiana-based Republic First National Corporation submitted a bid for the financing in late March and received approval in early April. The transaction funded on June 4, when the FDNY took delivery of the ambulances. "We were able to finance FDNY, a large municipal fire department in the United States, with Baystone as a valued funding partner. Great partnerships allow for great things to happen. Baystone's expertise helps us help our customers." "State and local governments are facing widescale reductions in tax revenue from the economic and social effects of COVID-19 while also bearing the brunt of pandemic-related costs," said Bradley Buhrow, assistant vice president at Baystone. "These entities are also encountering increased funding challenges as some bank sources pull back from government financing. Given these new realities, tax-exempt government leasing is becoming critical to states and municipalities to acquire the essential equipment they need to keep our communities running." Lower financing rates Tax-exempt municipal leases, also known as lease-purchase agreements, do not require upfront cash outlays. These leases also offer lower financing rates than traditional commercial leases and loans-in some cases, a difference of multiple percentage points. Baystone Government Finance specializes in tax-exempt equipment finance, working directly with governments and equipment finance organizations to help communities acquire the equipment they need. A division of KS StateBank, a full-service community bank located in Manhattan, KS, Baystone has originated and successfully funded billions of dollars in municipal obligations throughout the United States since 1987.
Every year, thousands of farmers and commercial grain handlers risk their lives by entering grain bins to remove clumped or rotted grain. As rural communities have come to know all too well, an accident in a grain bin can quickly turn deadly. In just seconds, adults can sink to their waist in flowing grain, rendering them completely trapped without the proper rescue devices. These accidents result in dozens of lost lives each year, and deaths have spiked in 2019 and early 2020 due to the wet harvest. To lead the fight against these all-too-common accidents, the country's renowned insurer of farms and ranches, Nationwide, in partnership with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), is awarding 41 fire departments across the country with life-saving grain rescue tubes and hands-on training to prepare them to respond when grain accidents occur. rural fire departments Nationwide and its partners are proud to award grain rescue tubes and training to the following 41 fire departments In 2014, Nationwide initiated its Grain Bin Safety advocacy campaign to educate those entering grain bins about the hazards involved and the importance of implementing safe entry procedures. A central piece of the campaign, the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest, aims to address the lack of specialized resources available to rural fire departments who are responding to bin entrapments. With 2020's donations included, Nationwide has awarded grain rescue tubes and training to 152 fire departments in 30 states. After receiving 1,006 nominations in this year's contest, Nationwide and its partners are proud to award grain rescue tubes and training to the following 41 fire departments: Adams Rural Fire, Adams, NE Addieville Community Fire Protection District, Addieville, IL Avoca Fire Department, Avoca, PA Berlin Township Fire Department, Berlin Heights, OH Bleckley County Fire, Cochran, GA Brainard Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department, Brainard, NE Burlingame/Osage County Fire District No. 6, Burlingame, KS Camden Township Fire Department, Kipton, OH Campbellsport Volunteer Fire Department, Campbellsport, WI Carlisle Fire Company, Milford, DE Carter Fire District, Dale, IN Chilton Fire Department, Chilton, WI Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department, Crothersville, IN DeRuyter Fire, DeRuyter, NY Drayton Fire Department, Drayton, ND Earling Fire and Rescue Department, Earling, IA Ellis County Fire Department, Hays, KS Gilt Edge Volunteer Fire Department, Burlison, TN Goodwill Fire Company, Centreville, MD Johnston-Grimes Metropolitan Fire, Grimes, IA Hartwick Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., Hartwick, IA Hazelton Township Fire Department, New Lothrop, MI Hospers Fire, Hospers, IA Hoyleton Fire Protection District, Hoyleton, IL Iron Ridge Fire, Iron Ridge, WI Jordan Fire Department, Jordan, MN Laura Fire Department, Laura, OH Lu Verne Fire Department, Lu Verne, IA Miesville Fire Department, Hastings, MN Nerstrand Fire Rescue, Nerstrand, MN Nevada Fire, Nevada, MO New Haven Volunteer Fire Department, New Haven, VT New Salem Volunteer Fire Department, Marshville, NC The Odessa Fire Company, Odessa, DE Peach Orchard Volunteer Fire Department, Peach Orchard, AR Poole Community Fire Department, Sebree, KY Rockingham County Fire and Rescue, Harrisonburg, VA Shelburn Fire Department, Sullivan, IN St. Olaf Fire Department, St. Olaf, IA Tri Cities Fire Protection District, Jasper, MO Womelsdorf Volunteer Fire Company, Womelsdorf, PA training to action NECAS will deliver the tubes and training to the winning fire departments throughout 2020 "We began our Grain Bin Safety campaign in 2014 to support the agriculture community and put an end to avoidable deaths from individuals entering grain bins without recognizing the dangers and taking precautions," said Brad Liggett, President of Nationwide Agribusiness. "Thanks to the generous and increasing support of our partners, I'm extremely proud to say that we're providing more rescue tubes and training to first responders this year than we have ever before." NECAS, based out of Peosta, IA, will deliver the tubes and training to the winning fire departments throughout 2020. Since 2014, four fire departments have put their rescue tubes and training to action by rescuing workers trapped in grain bins. According to United Press International reports, grain bin deaths spiked last year and in early 2020 due to last season's wet harvest. critical rescue resources In February 2020, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue brought a national spotlight to Nationwide's efforts by proclaiming Feb. 16-22 as National Grain Bin Safety Week. "It's as important as ever to be following proper safety precautions when entering a bin," said Liggett. "Our goal is to continue these efforts until we can ensure every rural fire department has access to these critical rescue resources." The program is supported by Nationwide and the following generous partners: CHS, Corteva AgriScience, KC Supply, Lutz Agency, Inc., NECAS, ProValue Insurance, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, AGI SureTrack, Delaware Farm Bureau, GROWMARK, Kathy Barry Agency, Maryland Farm Bureau, New York Farm Bureau, Ohio Farm Bureau, Specialty Risk Insurance, Springer Insurance and Financial Services, ABIS Agri-Business Insurance Services, Carter Fire District, First Gabrielson Agency, Frazer Insurance Agency, Gallagher, German American Insurance, Graves-Fearon Agency, Miami County Ohio Farm Bureau, Scoular, West Side Salvage, GIT Insurance, Grimes Financial & Insurance Group, Stuber Insurance Agency, Sump Saver, Nohr Wortmann Engineering.
2020 introduced a variety of unique challenges for many industries around the world. Not surprisingly, the fire detection industry was not immune to all of those challenges. However, as much of the global community defined our manufacturing and installing peers as “essential” or “critical” it required us, as an industry, to adapt so we could continue to service our customers with our products and services. Many regions around the world are experiencing significant demand for temporary detection systems. This demand is almost universally driven by an increase in education, awareness, and enforcement. While this is a global shift, our company has experienced a large demand in our own backyard. Within the United States, this is being driven by the adoption and enforcement of NFPA 241. NFPA is the Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations. NFPA 241 has been a “concept” since 1930 and the official text was finally adopted by the NFPA in 1933. As with all standards, it has progressed over the years to accommodate changes in technology as well as safety awareness. Fire safety awareness While general safety awareness on construction sites has always been consistently high, fire safety awareness has significantly increased within the last 5 years. Nuisance alarms negatively consume first responder bandwidth Typically, new, or increased regulation within our industry occurs after a single devastating event or several significant events. In this particular case, it was a combination of both. On a national level, fires on construction sites were reaching dangerous and unacceptable levels and becoming so widespread that enforcement of this standard became a priority in several states. Need for accurate and timely fire detection According to a report released by Richard Campbell of the NFPA in February of 2020 titled Fire In Structures under Construction or Renovation, “the estimated number of fires in structures under construction has increased since 2014 after declining between 2008 and 2010” further creating awareness. For the last few years, the focus of many local AHJ’s (authority having jurisdiction) was on new and active worksites or renovation projects. With the changes imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic today, many non-essential industries have either shut down or had their operations significantly reduced. This means the need for a functioning detection system is more critical now than ever as many facilities remain idle or continue to operate with reduced personnel. Detecting fires quickly and accurately gives our first responders the best chance of saving a person or facility. Conversely, having any “detection system” is often not good enough. Nuisance alarms negatively consume first responder bandwidth, possibly removing an engine or fire company from a genuine event. Temporary fire detection In an article by The Boston Globe, Easthampton Fire Chief David Mottor, president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts said “Ninety percent of these buildings go up every day and nothing happens. It’s during construction before the sprinkler system is activated when they are most dangerous.” Globally, we have seen four approaches to temporary detection for both construction and renovation sites. We will quickly discuss the advantages and disadvantages below: Using 24/7 fire watch Utilizing local first responders or other authorized/trained personnel to offer 24/7 fire watch requires a person or team of people to be onsite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to be physically looking for fires. Advantage: Someone is always on site, actively viewing and patrolling the facility. Disadvantage: Maintaining a 24/7 fire watch can be expensive, further the person or team can only see/find fires in proximity to them as they continue to move about a facility. Using digital linear heat detection Digital linear heat detection is a fixed temperature detector that is constructed using a twisted pair of metal conductors that are separated by a heat sensitive polymer. When the ambient temperature meets or exceeds the detector’s fixed temperature the polymers melt, and the detector shorts out resulting in an alarm. Advantages: Detector can be easily installed at a new construction site or a facility being renovated. The technology is a low profile, non-intrusive and cost-effective form of detection. This automatic initiating device is immune to environmental conditions. Protectowire FireSystems offers Confirmed Temperature Initiation technology (mechanical damage does not cause a false alarm). Disadvantages: Detector can be mechanically damaged during normal worksite operation. If you are unsure, be sure to check with the local AHJ or call your insurance provider Using wireless spot detectors There are a few companies on the market that offer wireless spot detectors that can be networked together. Advantage: Typically, this technology uses a mesh network of detectors. The detectors and their bases are battery operated and can be moved or placed per worksite requirements. Disadvantage: This technology can be expensive. Physical barriers on the construction site may hinder mesh network operation requiring the purchase of additional wireless units. Many wireless technology providers focus on smoke detection. Smoke detectors are often not ideal for the harsh environments associated with construction (dust, temperature changes, etc.). Using a hybrid approach This involves using wireless nodes to supervise linear heat detection. Most manufacturers of the wireless systems offer a wireless node that can accept a third-party initiating device. Advantage: Wireless nodes can be placed anywhere, and linear heat detection technology can withstand the harsh construction environment. Disadvantage: Wireless node battery life can be reduced when using a third-party device. Less cost-effective approach. Solution for Facilities While each of the approaches listed above has its own advantages and disadvantages, you must always consider what is best for your facility. If you are unsure, be sure to check with the local AHJ or call your insurance provider. Established in 1938, Protectowire FireSystems is the global manufacturer of Linear Heat Detection Systems. The Company has been manufacturing in the United States for the past 80 years and counting. Protectowire is dedicated to delivering products designed, engineered, manufactured, and tested with a high degree of performance, reliability, and quality. As one of the manufacturers in the fire protection industry, Protectowire has the experience and knowledge needed to meet the ever-increasing detection challenges of the special hazard and commercial industries.
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 entirely eliminated, the new legislation will introduce higher levels of safety and ensure that one of the primary causes of fire – electrical malfunctions – is regularly tested for. There are a number of procedures and regulations in place for when a fire has already started, but this new law will help to reduce the chances of it getting to that point. After all, prevention is the best form of protection. No safety procedure or response plan will ever fully prepare someone for the reality of a fire. However, a comprehensive prevention strategy and use of the latest technologies to quickly detect and respond to a fire can at least reduce the potential risk to both life and property. Defensive detection A fire can spring from many sources. Current standards do a good job of ensuring properties are well equipped to defend against fires created by overcurrent caused by overloads and short circuits. A comprehensive prevention strategy and use of the latest technologies to quickly detect and respond to a fire can at least reduce potential risk However, electrical fires can also result from mistakes made during the installation process, namely loose cabling or aging circuits that will not be detected by overcurrent protection. Indeed, a defective or worn insulation is the cause of 14% of all electrical fires in buildings. The danger of landlords only performing the bare minimum to protect their buildings is that, should a fire start from a source they haven’t accounted for, the loss and disruption to property could be devastating. For maximum protection, individuals need reliable, innovative products that excel beyond the minimum standards to prevent a fire from starting in the first place. The pending legislation will add to this safety from the start. It will require landlords to use qualified electricians when installing, repairing and maintaining systems, benefitting both landlords and tenants by mitigating electrical issues and instilling greater confidence. Protection against insulation faults The risk of cable insulation faults grows over time and the consequences can be severe. Low-intensity arc faults are more likely to occur in humid, dusty environments, causing injury and deadly fires if precautions aren’t taken. Protection against insulation faults within cables can be assured by residual current devices (RCD), which are triggered by earth leakage currents exceeding 300mA. For maximum protection, individuals need reliable, innovative products that excel beyond the minimum standards to prevent a fire from starting Additionally, final circuits in critical locations (as recommended in IEC 60364), should be protected by an arc fault detection device (AFDD). This is a circuit breaker that automatically cuts off the electricity supply when it detects an arc fault in the circuit. By immediately stopping the supply, AFDDs stop arc faults from reaching temperatures where fires can break out. As well as ensuring that private tenants feel more safe and secure, the new legislation represents an opportunity for electricians to secure more work and develop their skills. Going forward, as the demand for electricians in the private rented sector rises, we expect to see greater opportunity for electrical engineers to win long running contracts with landlords and property managers. Fire may be a risk, but it is not unavoidable. This new legislation promises greater peace of mind for private tenants by ensuring that electrical standards are met and hazards reduced. With expert knowledge and the correct approach to electrical fire prevention, a fire can be extinguished before any damage is done.
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.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents new economic challenges to county and municipal governments. Fire departments are likely to be impacted as local governments respond to the economic downturn with spending freezes, hiring freezes and spending cuts. Some local governments are hoping for help from the state and/or federal level. Although some governments have “rainy day funds” to address economic downturns, not all of them do. Furthermore, the extent of the current economic crisis may exceed our worst fears. Proposed budget cuts for some fire and EMS departments are in the 10% to 25% range. As the new fiscal year begins in July, many local governments will need to approve a spending plan for next year by June 30. public safety agencies Although public safety agencies have historically been protected by local governments during economic downturns, the severity of the current downturn may change the approach. Lower sales tax collection is expected to be a major impact, although actual information on revenue levels can lag for three months because state governments collect the taxes and then return a share to cities and counties. The Southern California city is like many others around the United States that rely on sales tax and hotel taxes For many, the numbers for April will be available in July. For example, Hemet, California, estimates it has lost 34% of its sales tax revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic because consumer spending is down, and many businesses are closed to the public. Loss of hotel taxes is another hardship. The Southern California city is like many others around the United States that rely on sales tax and hotel taxes. replacing ageing fire engines The League of California Cities says COVID-19 will rob the state’s 482 cities and towns of about $6.7 billion in revenue over the next two fiscal years. Michael Pagano, Director of the Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says that municipalities that depend on sales tax revenue are being hit hard and quickly. In contrast, those that rely on property taxes will not feel an immediate impact, he says. The fire service in Hemet is being affected. Last year, the city paid $1 million in overtime. Belt-tightening will eliminate such expenditures this year. The city will also likely delay filling some open positions and will replace only one aging fire engine rather than two. They will be buying less safety and radio gear. Victoria, Texas, is another city among the many feeling the impact of lost sales tax revenue. fire fighter unions “It’s not an option for people to not get their trash picked up,” Victoria City Manager Jesus Garza told the Victoria Advocate. “It’s not an option for our police and firefighters to not work." With no definite end in sight, there are no easy solutions. Some scenarios, such as a salary freeze, would impact members of fire fighter unions. The president of the Baltimore’s International Association of Fire Fighters Local 734 says such discussions are premature. We know that the city has to balance their budget by July and that everyone is being hit hard by this global pandemic" “We know that the city has to balance their budget by July and that everyone is being hit hard by this global pandemic,” Richard Altieri II, president of the local fire fighters union, told the Baltimore Sun. “But to suggest this sacrifice of our members, who are on the front lines every day, is unacceptable and disheartening.” Baltimore has considered about $11 million in total reductions that may affect first responders. Coronavirus Relief Package California Gov. Gavin Newsom has warned that layoffs for police and firefighters could happen unless Washington provides financial help to state governments. The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that included $875 billion in state and federal aid. However, the Democratic-authored bill is going nowhere in the U.S. Senate. “[There will be] fewer firefighters and police officers to answer emergency calls, reduced garbage pickup frequency, and limited staff for required inspections, processing business license, and permitting,” Nicolas Romo, a League of California Cities representative, told the Sacramento Bee.
Protests and riots spread throughout the United States in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman. Firefighters are on the front lines as rioters set fires and even attack firefighters seeking to do their jobs. In Richmond, Virginia, rioters blocked a fire truck from responding to a burning home. Protesters had intentionally set the fire at the home, and there was a child inside. In Philadelphia during a 24-hour period, the fire department responded to dozens of fires, including a two-alarm fire in North Philly after a weekend of looting. crowd control In Sacramento, California, crews battled a fire that spread through the back of a business; while fighting the 5-alarm fire, 200 personnel worked to keep the flames away from small propane tanks and dozens of cars. When Grand Rapids, Michigan, firefighters arrived to put out a dumpster fire, someone threw a large firecracker or other explosive toward a firefighter as he jumped out of a truck. The explosive knocked him to the ground, and he clutched at his ears. In Minneapolis, firefighters raced from one blaze to the next, often with police along for crowd control. One night during the protests, the Minneapolis Fire Department responded to 30 fire events including at least 16 structure fires. Department vehicles were damaged from thrown rocks and other projectiles. The level of the unrest prompted the International Association of Fire Fighters to issue a statement. interrupted by violence Throwing rocks, fireworks and directing violence toward fire fighters, paramedics and EMTs is never acceptable" “Peaceful protests by our neighbors exercising their First Amendment rights across America are being interrupted by violence and unrest,” said Harold A. Schaitberger, IAFF General President. “In the middle of the challenges and turmoil, I am proud of our IAFF fire fighters, paramedics and EMTs who are once again proving their dedication to keeping their communities safe when they are needed most.” “Throwing rocks, fireworks and directing violence toward firefighters, paramedics and EMTs is never acceptable,” he added. “As always, the safety of our members Is our top priority. So, it was with disappointment and outrage that I witness our members – who are integral to keeping everyone, including protesters, safe – attacked over the weekend.” keeping People safe Schaitberger citied incidents in Atlanta, Austin, Cleveland, Minneapolis and St. Paul in which members were subjected to having bricks and large fireworks hurled their way, simply for doing their jobs. “This is inexcusable,” said Schaitberger. “Firefighters will continue to respond when needed; it is their job and their calling,” said Schaitberger, who offered a plea on behalf of the 320,000 IAFF members: “Please allow your fire fighters on the frontlines to do that job, keeping everyone safe, without violence or incident.” He added: “To our members, stay safe and know that this IAFF has your back.”
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.
The U.S. Army in Germany recently added eight Scania structural pumper P410 B4x4HZ trucks with Rosenbauer-body and Allison 4000 Series™ fully automatic transmissions to its fire fleet. The vehicles, featuring the new CP 31 Crew Cab, are powered by a 302 kW (410 hp) diesel engine combined with an Allison 4000 Series™ fully automatic transmission. They will be stationed at different locations across Germany. The U.S. Army has procured this vehicle configuration for the last 10 years, partly because of the advantages of a standardized fleet for staff training and vehicle maintenance, but also due to its positive experience with Allison transmissions over the past three decades. Operate water pump via the Power Take-Off “So far, the transmissions have fulfilled all requirements of the U.S. Army with regards to performance, operation and maintenance,” said Sigurd Mack, Fire Protection Specialist at the U.S. Army Installation Management Command’s European Headquarters in Sembach near Kaiserslautern. “This also applies to the integrated hydraulic retarder and the Power Take-Off with the pump and roll function. It enables us to maneuver the vehicle safely and, at the same time, operate the water pump via the Power Take-Off - which is indispensable for efficient firefighting. For our operations and emergency responses good acceleration, easy handling and robustness are essential.” According to the American NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 1901 (Standard for Fire Apparatus) directive for firefighting vehicles, fully automatic transmissions are mandatory for heavy firefighting vehicles. In its solicitation, the U.S. Army does not only specify fully automatic transmissions, it also identifies bespoke emergency vehicle transmission software. “A fully automatic transmission will only properly benefit the driver during operation if the shift pattern is tuned to the vehicle and the transmission works together effectively with the driver. It has to meet the specific mission for emergency response,” said Mack. Improved acceleration and higher average speed Allison fully automatic transmissions differ from other technologies. Among other factors, they have specially developed shift calibration programs for the fire and rescue application. When combined with continuous powershifting, this results in improved acceleration, higher average speed and faster response times. The transmissions shift smoothly at precisely the right moment, allowing the driver to concentrate fully" The fully automatic Allison transmission with its patented torque converter and Continuous Power Technology™ multiplies engine torque during vehicle start-up and acceleration. Gear changes are made without interruption, resulting in the smooth transfer of power to the drive wheels and maximum efficiency between engine and transmission. “The transmissions shift smoothly at precisely the right moment, allowing the driver to concentrate fully on the road, which contributes significantly to accident prevention,” said Mack. “In addition, to have competent and highly skilled service technicians, as well as spare parts service locally available greatly limits down time and contributes to our readiness,” said Mack. “The transmission manufacturer infrastructure has also supported our goals so far in this regard.” Reliability and durability in extremely difficult conditions The oldest Allison transmissions in the fire brigade of the U.S. Army in Germany have clocked up over 30 years of service Allison fully automatic transmissions have demonstrated their outstanding reliability and durability under extremely difficult conditions and are consequently used by numerous fire brigade fleets worldwide. There are currently about 70 Allison fully automated vehicles in the fire truck fleet of the U.S. Army in Germany. The oldest Allison transmissions in the fire brigade of the U.S. Army in Germany have clocked up over 30 years of service. In 2007, the drivetrain components from 12 older Amertek 2500L trucks were removed and installed into 12 overhauled firefighting trucks, so called “glider kits.” The Detroit diesel engines and Allison HT 750 DRD transmissions of the Amertek 2500L trucks, which at that time were already around 25 years old, were fitted to a new HME 1871 SFO chassis with a body made by Hensel. Glider kits used for multi-purpose vehicles for firefighting “In the USA, general vehicle overhaul is a recognized procedure for vehicle maintenance and service life extension. The engines and transmissions, especially in fire trucks, are still in relatively good working condition and have proven to be very reliable, even after a long period of time. This contributed to the decision for a service life extension,” said Mack. Compared to a new purchase, the “glider kits” helped to save approx. 80,000 - 100,000 USD per vehicle without compromising the functionality. The “glider kits” are used as multi-purpose vehicles for firefighting and for providing technical assistance.
An Axis AX fire system from Advanced has been installed as part of large-scale renovations at one of Sri Lanka’s most prestigious healthcare facilities. The 2-loop and 4-loop, UL-listed Axis AX fire panels, and more than 500 devices, were supplied, installed and commissioned at the Korea Sri Lanka Friendship Hospital by local Advanced partner, Firetech (Pvt.) Limited. Hospital fire safety system Located south of Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, The District of Matara was gravely affected by the 2004 Tsunami. The Korea Sri Lanka Friendship Hospital was built at a cost of 1.27 billion rupees with the financial assistance from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to provide the residents of Matara District with increased access to crucial health care services. The 750 million rupee re-modelling, fully funded by KOICA and implemented by UNOPS in partnership with the Ministry of Health, saw the construction of a new Maternal and New-Born Heath Care ward complex and upgraded hospital facilities. This has provided a more modern and efficient service to the people of the District and in the Southern Province who rely on the hospital’s wards, operating theatres, intensive care unit (ICU), blood bank, pharmacy and neonatal ICU. 2-loop and 4-loop Axis AX fire panels UL 864-compliant Advanced system was selected to protect the hospital due to its robust design and ease of installation" Michael David, Business Development Manager at Firetech (Pvt) Limited, said “The UL 864-compliant Advanced system was selected to protect the hospital due to its robust design, ease of installation and configuration.” Michael adds, “As experts in fire safety, Advanced has always offered us a fast turnaround for spare parts, technical guidance and well-designed user interfaces ensuring on-site compatibility and ease of use for our engineers and end users.” Dependable fire safety solution Steve Carroll, General Manager at Advanced, said “Delivering a complete and dependable solution for effective notification and evacuation in a hospital setting is crucial to protecting patients who may be at greater risk in fire situations.” Steve adds, “Given its reliability, versatility and UL-listing, the Axis AX system was the obvious choice to recommend to Firetech and met all of the Sri Lanka Fire Department’s requirements.” UL 864-compliant Axis AX system Advanced’s Axis AX system offers enhanced power and performance in a user-friendly format, offering a vast range of configuration, control and interface option all with simple set-up and operation as well as Advanced’s legendary service and quality. The Axis AX system includes easily networked panels, audio panels and command centers, redundant controllers and a huge range of peripherals, devices and interfaces that make it ideal for almost any installation. Fire safety systems major Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 Company, Halma PLC, has an enviable history of protecting some of Asia’s most notable and prestigious buildings, including the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge and the University of Macau. Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day.
Amthal has worked closely with the management team and residents at Kenilworth Court to ensure fire and security upgrades on site occur without compromising on aesthetics of the Edwardian mansion blocks. Situated in Putney, Kenilworth Court consists of eight purpose-built Edwardian style blocks of flats, completed in 1904 – 1905. Featuring 150 portered flats, with a garden in the middle, it is now run by the controlling company, Kenilworth Court Co-ownership Housing Association Ltd. Security Gates and fire maintenance service The opportunity to upgrade door entry from audio to video capability saw the initial introduction of Amthal to the development. Amthal now additionally maintains security gates and all fire requirements on site at Kenilworth Court So successful in understanding the importance of keeping with original design features, working closely with the management team and residents, from initial specification through installation and project completion, Amthal now additionally maintains security gates and all fire requirements on site at Kenilworth Court. Video security system at Kenilworth Court Steve Logie, General Manager at Kenilworth Court Co-Ownership Housing Association Ltd, said “With the historic significance of our development, and the pride of notable residents who have lived here, any upgrades, however small, must be carefully considered with regards to how it will impact on the aesthetics of the overall premises.” Steve adds, “Amthal understood this and worked closely with us and our residents, carefully taking in feedback to create bespoke video door entry solutions that blend with the grand entrances. Installation was sympathetic, always ensuring wiring was discreet and ‘boxed in’ where necessary.” He further said, “So impressed with their customer service and technical ability, we now consider them our preferred supplier for all fire and security maintenance.” CAME BPT brass entrance panel installed Based on resident feedback, Amthal created and installed a bespoke CAME BPT brass entrance panel for Kenilworth Court, allowing all homeowners to benefit from stylish video door entry technology. Residents and staff also benefit from an upgraded Paxton Net2 access control system, with dedicated fobs distributed to ensure safe and secure block entry. Phil Bryant, Amthal Strategic Accounts Team Manager added, “The key to our success with Kenilworth Court was taking the time initially to create an installation works program with video door entry systems that could blend in visually without disrupting the architectural aesthetic of the development.” Enhanced fire safety The management team has peace of mind that fire and security requirements will be maintained to exceed standards" Phil adds, “We spoke with the management team and residents throughout the design process, bringing door entry styles and samples to ensure everyone was confident in the installed final solution.” He further said, “From this, our engineering team and customer service has built up a trusting relationship where residents understand our needs to operate internally, sometimes within apartments themselves and also through communal areas. And the management team has peace of mind that fire and security requirements will be maintained to exceed standards across the development.” Fire safety solutions expert Independently owned, Amthal Fire & Security is dedicated to satisfying end user needs for security safety and convenience offering design, installation, service and remote monitoring of advanced electronic fire & security solutions, including intruder, fire, access and CCTV systems. Amthal Fire & Security is accredited by the Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB) United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS) and British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE).
A flagship school in Port Talbot, Ysgol Bae Baglan, is being protected by fire panels from Advanced. Built by Bouygues UK, the new super-school is the first vertically integrated school in Wales, merging four older educational establishments into one. With 1,500 pupils ranging from reception class to GCSE level (3-16), it represents a large investment in school infrastructure in Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council. At the heart of the school’s active fire protection system, which covers all areas of the main and lower schools, including science laboratories, specialist technology rooms, garage area and a wide range of sports facilities, is a network of five Advanced MxPro 5 intelligent multiprotocol panels. The network, which incorporates 1,200 devices, was designed, configured and commissioned by Protectorcomms Ltd, a long-time partner of Advanced. Multi-Protocol fire solution Lloyd Harding, Technical Director for Protector Comms Ltd, said: “Advanced panels are well known for outstanding performance and ease of use. This system protects over 1,500 staff and children in a brand-new building, so we needed a system that could offer outstanding quality, reliability and flexibility, with the capability to be expanded or upgraded in the future.” MxPro panels are already installed in many education facilities, including Sheffield University MxPro is the multiprotocol fire solution, offering customers a choice of two panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network that enjoys free training and support. MxPro panels can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into multi-loop, high speed, 200 panel networks covering huge areas and controlling up to 254 individual devices per loop. Mike Tate Head Teacher at Ysgol Bae Baglan, commented: “The safety of our pupils and staff is the paramount consideration when specifying a fire system, so we wanted to ensure that our new school was protected by the high-quality panels on the market. The Advanced panels installed will give us peace of mind, as well the capability to expand the system further should it be required in future.” Analog panel MxPro 5 is fully compliant with EN54 Parts 2, 4 and 13 and is Advanced’s highest performance analog panel. It is EN54 2, 4 & 13 approved and is backward compatible with MxPro 4, offering long-term security for MxPro customers. Phil Calvey, sales manager for Advanced, said: “We’re delighted that Advanced panels have been specified for one of the largest schools in Wales. MxPro panels are already installed in many education facilities, including Sheffield University, Edinburgh University and London’s capital city academy, which was also built Bouygues. MxPro panels are the ideal choice for this type of installation, combining proven reliability with innovation and ease-of-use.” About Halma and Advanced Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, protects a wide range of high-profile sites across the globe – from London’s Shard and the Berkeley Hotel to Abu Dhabi International Airport and Las Vegas’ Golden Nugget Casino. Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day. Advanced is a world provider in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. Advanced’s reputation for performance, quality and ease of use see its products specified in locations around the world, from single-panel installations to large, multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
Apollo Fire Detectors’ SOTERIA® range of detectors has been chosen to protect Ulster Bank’s headquarters in Belfast. Owned by RBS, Ulster Bank Group is a bank in Ireland with a branch network across both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The group moved its headquarters to development in Donegall Square East in Belfast in 2000. The building required a life cycle replacement of its existing fire alarm system, which had been in service for 18 years, along with additional detection as necessary to validate L1 coverage. The Project The development was created around the façade of an old Methodist church designed by Dublin architect, Isaac Farrell, and consists of a reinforced concrete frame with flat slab floor construction including a double storey basement. In order to cause the least amount of disruption to staff, the work was all carried out after-hours and at weekends over a 12-week period, while also making sure the system was fully functional and all work areas clean and tidy for staff coming in the next day. Installation of Fire Alarm Systems Integrated services supplier Aramark Ireland was selected by Ulster Bank to perform the role of main contractor for the works. Following a tender process, fire alarm specialist Ashdale Engineering Ltd was appointed to replace the existing closed protocol fire alarm system and PAVA system. Met the customers’ expectations of enhanced detection to minimize the risk of false alarms Aramark project manager Michael Hyland said: “We were pleased to be able to appoint Ashdale for the key role of fire alarm replacement. Having delivered a similar project with them in 2015 for the same client we had total confidence in their ability. Ashdale performed flawlessly and the project was delivered on time and within budget.” In the role as principal contractor Aramark were also responsible for all the health and safety management relating to the project. Some of the work involved detection replacement in the 25-meter-high atrium, working at height over areas of plant, lift shafts and HV switch rooms. H&S manager for Aramark Gary Henderson said: “The project certainly had its challenges but with planning, consultation and coordination with Ashdale and other contractors we were able to deliver the project safely and without incident.” Optical smoke detector and heat detectors Apollo’s SOTERIA® range of devices were chosen for this project. This included the optical smoke detector, heat detectors, multisensors, manual call points and interfaces. Covering a range of areas from open plan offices, carpark, plant rooms, kitchens and canteen, SOTERIA® met the customers’ expectations of enhanced detection to minimize the risk of false alarms and provide a future proof system using next generation technology. A total of 645 optical detectors, 89 heat detectors, 24 multisensors, 83 manual call points and 78 interfaces combine to provide the ideal solution for Ulster Bank. All controlled by a fire panel from Advanced. Open protocol and backward compatibly David Moore, team leader at Ashdale, said: “The decision to select the Apollo SOTERIA® range of device for this project was an easy one. Having used SOTERIA® on a number of other projects we knew the devices were easy to install and commission. They also provide a modern aesthetically pleasing look in a modern office environment.” Colin Simms, operations director at Ashdale, added: “It was great to be able to continue our long relationship with Apollo on this project. Ashdale have represented Apollo Fire Detectors for over 30 years in Northern Ireland. With over 27 years’ experience with the product myself, it’s great to see how fire detection technology has developed from the days of Series 90 to the highly advanced SOTERIA® devices we have today. The open protocol and backward compatibly yet future proof design, continue to be key factors for us when we make our recommendations to our clients for fire detection.”
A bespoke fire and security solution specified and installed by Evolution, a renowned integrated fire and security systems business, is helping to protect new tenants and staff at One Embassy Gardens, a new riverside development project on the South Bank of London. Looking across the River Thames to Chelsea and Kensington, the gardens combine green spaces, shops, restaurants and office space for residents and guests. The area is also the new home for both the Dutch and US embassies. One Embassy Gardens was constructed and is owned by international property development company, Ballymore. Ballymore appointed Briggs & Forrester, one of the UK’s leading building services and engineering companies, to tender for the fire and security system, and Ballymore in turn appointed Evolution to manage the bespoke system’s design and installation. complete fire detection Evolution’s solution comprises a complete fire detection and alarm system including networked fire panels (that allow the system to be expanded as required), and air aspirating systems are utilized to detect the first signs of a potential fire for early intervention. The ‘Open Protocol’ system also includes bespoke voice sounders that have been developed for both the ‘evacuation’ process, which utilizes a phased evacuation process, and the ‘invacuation’ process, which involves moving occupants to a safe location within the building. installation and commissioning We have delivered a compliant fire and security solution tailored to meet the specific needs of the client" The security system is similarly bespoke comprising access control, CCTV and an innovative International Communications (InterComms) system, which includes live communications during an ‘invacuation’, allowing direct interactions between security staff and the occupants of the building. Nigel Hyson, Fire Sales Manager at Evolution, says One Embassy Gardens is a prime example of Evolution’s capabilities to deliver integrated systems, no matter what the size or complexities involved: “One Embassy Gardens is in a prestigious location and we had to be mindful of a wide range of potential risks associated with the surrounding buildings. From the initial design phase, right through to the installation and commissioning of the new systems, we are very proud to have been involved in this project." compliant fire and security solution "We have delivered a complete and fully compliant fire and security solution tailored to meet the specific needs of the client and this complex development.” The 12-storey, 215,000 sq. ft building is currently being sublet by two global publishing houses, with two floors still empty and available, and is being managed by CBRE.
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?