Fire Safety Risk Assessment
We are currently seeing fewer fires in the United States than in past decades. However, statistically, if a fire is reported in your home, you are more likely to die today than 40 years ago. Today’s homes with their synthetic furnishings and open floor plans burn faster than homes did in the past. Occupants might have fewer than three minutes to escape after a fire starts. Every 24 seconds, a U.S. fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the country. Nationwide, a civilian dies in...
Given that the majority of today’s workforce is comprised of Millennials and Gen-Z employees, the fire service needs to up its game to attract these younger candidates into employment opportunities in an environment dominated by Baby Boomers. And the demographic trends will continue: Millennials will make up 75% of the U.S. workforce by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To attract Millennials to the fire service, and to manage them once they are onboarded, it is nece...
Immediate evacuation is often the appropriate response in case of a fire emergency, but correctional facilities are built on the premise of keeping inmates inside. Such is the apparent conflict, when it comes to responding to a fire in a prison, jail or correctional facility. Fire safety challenges The unique characteristics of a correctional setting present challenges in case of fire. For example, how can locked doors be consistent with the need for easy egress in case of fire? Because doors...
With recent regulations mandating more fire safety precautions be put in place around building services, a polymer specialist has released a Class B fire-rated pre-insulated pipework solution for quick installation in high-rise buildings. Following previous developments such as the 2018 Hackitt Review and the Government’s July announcement of legislation appointing a new regulator for safety in buildings, there is even more emphasis on building compliance from developers and contractors....
With recent regulations mandating more fire safety precautions be put in place around building services, REHAU, a globally renowned polymer specialist, has released a Class B fire-rated pre-insulated pipework solution for quick installation in high-rise buildings. Following previous developments, such as the 2018 Hackitt Review and the Government’s July announcement of legislation appointing a new regulator for safety in buildings, there is even more emphasis on building compliance from d...
The National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) has announced the official launch of CRAIG 1300™, an innovative community risk assessment (CRA) dashboard powered by mySidewalk, a pioneering technology company. CRAIG 1300 helps fire departments and safety officials collect community data, enabling them to identify, assess and share local demographic, geographic and economic needs. “NFPA is excited to partner with mySidewalk to deliver CRAIG 1300 - a critical community too...
Ahead of World Drowning Prevention Day (July 25th), the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has launched a new water incident dashboard to help Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) gather information on incidents in their area. It uses live data from the Water Incident Database (WAID) which records vital information from agencies such as the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). Community safety managers The dashboard was developed through the NFCC Data Portal and Digital and Data Program in partnership with WAID. NFCC’s Water Safety Group worked with the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) to develop the brand new resource. The dashboard was developed through the NFCC Data Portal and Digital and Data Program Aimed at analysts, performance managers, prevention practitioners, community safety managers, water safety advocates and communication professionals, this new tool helps FRSs refine searches and use information tailored to their area. It also drills down and provides information such as area, risk and days of the week, with the aim that this valuable information can be used help reduce incidents and drownings. This means FRSs will have access to better data to gain more understanding of local risks – which can then be used to further develop development prevention, education and communication strategies. Drowning prevention strategy An estimated 235,600 people drown every year worldwide. It is among the ten major causes of death for children aged 5-14 years. More than 90% of drowning deaths occur in rivers, lakes, wells, domestic water storage vessels and swimming pools in low and middle-income countries, with children and adolescents in rural areas disproportionately affected. In the UK 2020 has seen an increase of accidental drownings with 254 people dying. Progress has already been made in drowning prevention through work with the National Water Safety Forum, Water Safety Scotland and Water Safety Wales. The UK has a drowning prevention strategy which aims to reduce accidental drowning fatalities as well as contributing to the reduction of water-based suicide. NFCC – along with its partners - is committed to reducing drownings in the UK. This dashboard provides valuable data and information to assist FRSs to understand risk better and develop their prevention and education strategies. Real-time insights This tool will allow FRSs to interrogate risks, peak times for incidents and plan accordingly" Dawn Whittaker, NFCC's Water Prevention Lead and Vice Chair of NFCC’s Prevention Committee commented: “I am delighted to see the launch of this database which will provide detailed, local and national data for FRSs across the UK, giving real-time insights into water safety incidents and drowning. Every year in the UK we see so many people lose their lives to drowning which could – and should – be prevented.” “This tool will allow FRSs to interrogate risks, peak times for incidents and plan accordingly. In 2019, 233 people accidentally drowned in the UK, with 44 per cent of these people having no intention to enter the water. We need to see these figures drastically reduce; work such as this could have a positive impact on how we plan our prevention activities.” Evidence driven data “I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this; from NFCC’s Water Safety Group and NFCC’s Data Portal Team, RoSPA and WAID for helping to deliver this vital piece of work.” And Steve Holton, Data Lead for NFCC Water Safety Executive Group, said: “This new dashboard is a culmination of a number of months of work with our partners. By having this easy-to-access and real-time data, it will undoubtedly be an invaluable tool for all.” NFCC helped to develop the UK’s Drowning Prevention Strategy and works as an active member of the NWSF “It will help shape education and prevention agendas through evidence driven data, leading to a positive impact on what we are trying to achieve; ensuring people are ‘water aware’ and working towards our aim of reducing incidents and ultimately preventable loss of life.” NFCC helped to develop the UK’s Drowning Prevention Strategy and works as an active member of the NWSF, as well as running its annual ‘Be Water Aware’ campaign. Flood risk management World Drowning Prevention Day - held annually on July 25th – was declared through the April 2021 UN General Assembly resolution A/75/L.76 ‘Global drowning prevention’ and coordinated through the World Health Organization. It as an opportunity to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities and offer life-saving solutions to prevent it. Everyone involved – from governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector, academia and individuals – are all invited to mark World Drowning Prevention Day by highlighting the need for urgent, coordinated and multi-sectoral action on proven measures such as: Installing barriers controlling access to water Providing safe places away from water such as crèches for pre-school children with capable childcare Teaching swimming, water safety, and safe rescue skills Training bystanders in safe rescue and resuscitation Setting and enforcing safe boating, shipping, and ferry regulations Improving flood risk management NFCC welcomes this UN resolution passed which creates global recognition and awareness of drowning as an avoidable epidemic, which also offers the chance to highlight the numbers - national and globally - lost to these preventable deaths.
Sutphen Corporation, the largest family-owned fire apparatus manufacturer in the nation, announces the launch of the Sutphen tractor drawn aerial. Adding to Sutphen’s expansive family of aerials, the 131-year-old, family-owned business offers its renown mid-mount design, its leading rear-mount design and, now, its new tractor drawn aerial design. “Sutphen is proud to introduce our new TDA into our product mix, allowing us to welcome more fire departments into the Sutphen family,” said fourth-generation family member and Sutphen vice president, Julie Sutphen Phelps. “It is designed to support the needs of today’s firefighters, featuring our extreme-duty chassis and the unmatched strength of our aerial device. We are confident it will be the most sought-after TDA on the market.” Sutphen TDA The first Sutphen tractor drawn aerial will be manufactured for DeKalb County Fire Rescue in DeKalb County, Georgia. The truck was sold through Sutphen’s official Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina dealer, Williams Fire Apparatus. “Since the 1980s, DeKalb County Fire Rescue has been a loyal Sutphen and Williams Fire Apparatus customer,” said president and owner of Williams Fire Apparatus, Matt Williams. “With their intimate knowledge of our aerials, processes and people of both Sutphen and Williams Fire, they were the perfect candidate to be the first department to receive the new Sutphen TDA.” new apparatus DeKalb County Fire Rescue will take delivery of the Sutphen TDA later this year. Until then, details and finishing touches are being placed on the apparatus. “Working with Sutphen on this project has been an incredible and exciting experience,” said DeKalb County Fire Rescue Captain Bryan Dobson. “Although we have worked with Sutphen and dealer Williams Fire Apparatus for over 32 years, this is the first time to help build not just a new apparatus, but an entirely new product alongside Sutphen’s team, we have been blown away. From the concept of design to the production line, we have worked together every step of the way to ensure a strong product!”
The new PP-250 can be used as a stand-alone paging amplifier or to add 250-Watts of power to existing paging systems. “The PP-250 amp is an economical paging solution both financially and for its small footprint. A lot of power is packed into that small chassis,” said Paul Speltz, Senior Engineer, Viking Electronics. Paging amplifier The PP-250 is a rack-mounted paging amplifier that provides 250 Watts of paging power. The unit is compatible with both 25V and 70V paging speakers. The high-efficiency amplifier technology reduces heat dissipation allowing for smaller chassis size, increased reliability, and lower cost. Multiple cascading systems A 600 Ohm input on the PP-250 connects to any analog line-level audio source. The 600 Ohm input can also be used to daisy chain the PP-250 from another amplifier like the Viking PA-250 or Viking PA-250-IP. The PP-250 also features a 600 Ohm output which is ideal for cascading multiple PP-250 units to scale paging systems for applications of any size. Multiple volume controls and protections allow users to adjust paging system audio levels at the PP-250 unit itself. While bass and treble equalization controls help dial in clear audio.
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy and sustainable building solutions, has launched the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program. As part of the program, Johnson Controls will give US$ 15 million, over the next five years, to support academic scholarships at non-profit community colleges. community college Program Starting in the 2021‒2022 academic year, Johnson Controls’ program will endow a total of US$ 1 million to ten community colleges across the U.S. In addition to the funding, Johnson Controls employees will support the community colleges through volunteering and mentorships. The grants support the expansion of associate degree and certificate programs in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), fire and security, and digital building automation systems, all areas where the U.S. Bureau of Labor is predicting an increased need for skilled trade expertise in the coming years. Providing in-demand knowledge and skills Johnson Controls is honored to share our expertise with the country's leading community colleges" A core objective of the program is to change the trajectory of the lives of students from underserved communities, by equipping them with in-demand knowledge and skills that will support employment and a pathway for life-long careers upon graduation. “Just as smart, healthy buildings are critical to our well-being, well-educated and trained technicians are crucial to keeping our environments operating safely and efficiently. As a leader in the building industry for over a century, Johnson Controls is honored to share our expertise with the country's leading community colleges,” said Grady Crosby, Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer at Johnson Controls. Providing funding for institutions Grady Crosby adds, “The Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program supports institutions through its funding and supports their students through volunteerism and mentorships. We believe this will empower people to build life-long careers that will transform their lives and their cities.” The initial ten community colleges receiving grants are located in cities, where Johnson Controls has a significant customer base and employee presence. Funding for each community college differs based on its needs. In general, colleges will use the support to purchase and develop classroom materials, learning technologies, and student scholarships. Mentorship for students Local Johnson Controls employees in each market will serve as volunteer educators, providing students with counseling and real-world experiences. This mentoring will be directly incorporated into various college programs and also provide a pathway for student internships, and entry-level employment opportunities at Johnson Controls. 2021-2022 Community College Partnership award recipients include: Kennedy-King College (Chicago, IL): Founded in 1911, Kennedy-King College is part of the City Colleges of Chicago, a system of two-year education institutions. The college will use its funding to establish an HVAC certification boot camp, develop a job shadowing and field experience course, as well as provide students with their own HVAC toolsets. Suffolk County Community College (Selden, NY): Founded in 1959, Suffolk County Community College is a public community college, sponsored by SUNY and Suffolk County, NY. The college will use its funding to invest in state-of-the-art training simulators and the growth of a guided mentoring program, featuring Johnson Controls employees supporting peer mentoring and career counseling. Montgomery College (Rockville, MD): Founded in 1946, Montgomery College is a public community college in Montgomery County, Maryland. The college will use its funding to expand program marketing to local, low-income communities, hire additional faculty to serve as retention and recruitment associates, and create a Building Automation Systems lab. Community College of Baltimore County (Baltimore, MD): Founded in 1957, Community College of Baltimore County is a public community college with campuses across Baltimore County, Maryland. The college will use its funding to hire additional faculty and grow a guided mentoring program, featuring Johnson Controls employees supporting peer mentoring and career counseling. Lone Star College (Conroe, TX): Founded in 1992, Lone Star College is a Texas community college in The Woodlands, north of Houston. The college will use its funding to provide financial assistance for students to obtain HVAC toolkits, PPE, and learning materials, as well as tuition support. Further, the college will use the funding to grow programs that encourage students to go beyond HVAC/R certification courses and complete a full Associates Degree. Henry Ford College (Dearborn, MI): Founded in 1938, Henry Ford College is a public two-year college in Dearborn, west of Detroit, Michigan. The college will use its funding to expand the Energy Technology-HVAC program into modular units that will also be developed into open-source, online educational resources that can be shared and further developed by other learning institutions. Further, the college will purchase HVAC simulators, featuring industry-standard components. Essex Country Community College (Newark, NJ): Founded in 1968, Essex County College is a public community college in Essex County, New Jersey. The college will use its funding to purchase learning materials and training technologies, as well as create a partnership with CompTIA to expand IT certification programs for careers in IT and help desk positions. Camden County College (Blackwood, NJ): Founded in 1965, Camden County College is a public community college serving western central New Jersey and the greater Camden area. The college will use its funding to expand its HVAC technician training and Programmable Logic Controller Certificate of Achievement programs. Further, the college will develop a Programmable Logic Controller certificate program specifically tied to using Johnson Controls technology. Georgia Piedmont Technical College (Clarkston, GA): Founded in 1961, Georgia Piedmont Technical College is part of the Technical College System of Georgia, serving students in the greater metro Atlanta area. The college will use its funding to purchase additional lab equipment for the Building Automaton Systems program and upgrade hands-on training simulators. Further, the college will refresh its commercial refrigeration and welding programs, and update related program marketing to underserved communities. Milwaukee Area Technical College (Milwaukee, WI): Founded in 1912, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a public, two-year vocational-technical college. The college will use its funding to expand local recruitment for HVAC career training, as well as upgrade lab and training equipment. Cutting carbon emissions in buildings construction According to a 2020 report from the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, part of the United Nations’ environment program, the buildings construction industry accounts for 40% of total global energy-related carbon emissions. And three-quarters of those emissions are attributable to building operations. Yet, the current renovation rate of buildings is less than one percent. It will take commitment and expertise across generations to reverse the damage already done to the environment and then continue with a new, sustainable way of life. Specialty knowledge is needed to develop more sustainable spaces and deploy and maintain operational and informational technologies that drive healthier buildings. Therefore, Johnson Controls is investing in the technicians of tomorrow, today.
Managing wildland fires is more important than ever because, over the last few decades, the wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed: longer fire seasons, bigger fires and more acres burned on average each year, more extreme fire behavior. The combination of heat and drought caused critical low solid moisture content and led to high fire danger. Fight Forest Fires With ECOPOL F Concentrate Due to its long experience in efficient and fluorine-free foam development, BIOEX launched ECOPOL F: new firefighting foam dedicated for class A wildland fires (forest, cereal fields, grass, brush, bush…) to increase firefighter effectiveness and reduce firefighting costs. Properties of ECOPOL F ECOPOL F is an ecological solution to suppress in-depth wildland fires due to its high wetting property ECOPOL F is an ecological solution to suppress in-depth wildland fires due to its high wetting property. 1) Wetting property: ECOPOL F wetting properties are among the best ones on the market. The use of ECOPOL F surfactants reduces water’s surface tension and allows penetrating and extinguishing embers at depth and therefore being more effective and quicker than water alone. Thus, it reduces efficiently the amount of water needed. 2) Expansion property: When mixed with air, ECOPOL F solution creates a high-quality foam blanket that insulates the fuel from air and cools the fuel. Its drain time provides longer surface wetting and prevents the fire from re-igniting. The adhesive nature of the foam makes it possible to adhere to vertical surfaces for an extended period. Exposure protection and mop-up/overhaul can be completed with ECOPOL F for additional and faster fire control and extinguishment. Use Of ECOPOL F Firefighting Foam ECOPOL F provides optimum effectiveness for wildland fire suppression ECOPOL F provides optimum effectiveness for wildland fire suppression with salt water, fresh water, and brackish water at all levels of hardness. The foam concentrate is usable from 0.1% to 1%. ECOPOL F is USDA Forest Service QPL listed qualified for all application methods: ground engines, water-scoopers, air tankers (SEATS), fixed-tank helicopters, and helicopter buckets. The foam concentrate is also compatible with long-term fire retardant. Fire departments and civil defense are confident in using it against wildland fires. An Environmentally Friendly Solution ECOPOL F is an ecological solution for forest fires (Class A) that does not contain fluorinated derivatives (PFAS chemicals including PFOS or PFOA) or PBTs (Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic substances). The foam concentrate is 100% biodegradable. ECOPOL F achieves GreenScreen certification: the first eco-label for firefighting foams conducted by a third party. It evaluates safer PFAS-alternatives and assesses the chemical safety of the product. GreenScreen certified products, including ECOPOL F, are PFAS-free and without other environmental and human health pollutants. This foam concentrate does not have an impact on animals and vegetation. The use of ECOPOL F helps to avoid environmental and aquatic toxicity. ECOPOL F is also non-corrosive.
For those looking for a new and intelligent approach to fire detection, AVIOTEC, the artificial intelligence-based fire detection camera from Bosch Security Systems, detects fires quickly and reliably in challenging settings, such as dusty, humid, and dark areas. It is vital to detect fire as early as possible. AVIOTEC is an IP camera with built-in video analytics. The trained algorithm detects flames and smoke directly at the source. The device can, therefore, detect fires faster than a common point-type detector on a ceiling. AVIOTEC IP starlight 8000 camera The fire detection camera offers a lot of advantages in challenging environments. Bosch Security Systems’ AVIOTEC IP starlight 8000 camera can be deployed in varied conditions, including: Ambient Conditions - Dust, dirt, and condensation obstruct the reliable operation of standard detectors. When installed in the housing, AVIOTEC works reliably and with low maintenance effort in these conditions, in order to ensure reliable fire monitoring. High Ceilings - Smoke dilutes before it reaches the ceiling detectors. Airflow and ventilation blow the smoke away. AVIOTEC detects fires where they start, enabling immediate alarm verification. This speeds up reaction times and improves rescue response. Light Conditions – Darkness/low light/changing light conditions. Separate additional infrared illumination allows for the monitoring of unlit applications and of premises during night time. The system switches automatically between night mode and day mode, depending on whether ambient light is below or above a pre-defined threshold. Changing Crowd Activity - AVIOTEC offers scheduled sensitivity adjustments for fire detection, enabling up to three individual surveillance modes, depending on the activity levels of the monitored areas and the time of the day. Half-Open Spaces - Detecting fires in half-open spaces is hard due to wind influences. AVIOTEC offers outdoor fire detection close to buildings, where almost no other detection technology is available. It enables the detection of smoke and flames also in windy circumstances. The Artificial Intelligence-based algorithm reduces unwanted false alarms and optimizes detection reliability. Video-based fire detection AVIOTEC IP starlight 8000 camera is machine learning and AI-enabled to offer enhanced smoke and flame detection Video-based fire detection is based on the capability of various analysis techniques that examine live images for fires. Compared to infrared and thermal imaging cameras, AVIOTEC uses optical analyses to detect flames and smoke. The fire detection technology has grown in its variety of applications and stability, over the last few years, thanks to the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The AVIOTEC IP starlight 8000 camera is machine learning and AI-enabled to offer enhanced smoke and flame detection. Deployed for varied applications Bosch Security Systems’ AVIOTEC IP starlight 8000 camera can be deployed for a wide range of applications, such as: Paper mills - Being independent of ceiling height and the video image, AVIOTEC can monitor the production process. Installed in housing, it is resistant to ambient influences and contributes to very early detection, thereby preventing the fires from spreading and becoming devastating. Airports - Due to high ceilings, it is difficult to monitor airport hangars with traditional detection methods, as they cause many false alarms and are not fast reactive. With the combination of flame and smoke recognition, AVIOTEC goes beyond video smoke detection and enables users to identify a fire very early at the ground, before it spreads. Industry/Warehouses - During the nighttime, burglars can spy on possible intrusion targets due to missing visible light or light sources. There is a need for a fire detection solution for the premise that also detects fire hazards when no visible illumination is used. AVIOTEC combines intelligent video analytics to track down intruders without visible light. Thanks to separate additional infrared illumination, unlit applications can be monitored with video-based fire detection, so as to deliver pin-sharp images. Tunnels - Through air circulation in tunnels, linear heat detectors can have the problem of not detecting fires at all. AVIOTEC can detect even if smoke and heat move sideways. It is not only an effective fire detection solution but also works as a security camera in parallel, using the automatic incident detection from the known Bosch cameras. Stopping cars, pedestrians in tunnels, cars moving in the wrong direction, lost objects, line crossing are some examples for analytics, which can run in parallel to fire detection. By offering different lens options, AVIOTEC ensures effective detection up to 100 meters distance from the camera installation point. This enables the combination of intelligent video analytics, fire and long-distance detection in one device. Additional benefits of the AVIOTEC IP starlight 8000 camera include: Redundant alarm transmission - AVIOTEC delivers the possibility of redundant alarm transmission. On top, during a network shutdown, the camera relay transmits the fire alarm to the fire detection system. Analytics inside - Choose AVIOTEC to ensure that data processing is under control. A local, camera-based image processing analyses video sequences for fires, without giving data out of the application/network. Highest quality - The coordination of camera, optics, algorithms, and accessories gives the best results, even in harsh environments. AVIOTEC facilitates trust in constant performance, even in changing environmental conditions and bad illumination. Certified - AVIOTEC is VdS certified. In Australia, AVIOTEC is certified according to the CSIRO standard. Free firmware update - Download the latest firmware version from the catalog – free of charge.
Fire conditions and extrication events that firefighters arrive at today are very different from the conditions faced years ago. According to research at Underwriter Laboratories (UL), modern homes contain larger quantities of petroleum-based products and plastics that burn faster and hotter versus traditional and more natural materials. Rapid fire spread The result is more rapid and hotter fire growth with exponential increases in heat generation, smoke production and toxicity. Faster flashover and fire propagation, coupled with shorter times to collapse and shorter resident escape times, have changed what firefighters encounter in the average fire and its increased risk to their crews. On the other side, extrication calls are also on the rise, with multiple risks and an ever-present chance for fire, like with newer electric vehicles. New risks call for new and improved stationwear When the call comes in, firefighters rely on their turnout gear (TOG) for protection When the call comes in, firefighters rely on their turnout gear (TOG) for protection, but serious burn injury can occur right through the TOG. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) conducted a study that concluded stationwear contributes to overall thermal protection. However, depending upon the stationwear’s fiber content and material fabrication, it may also contribute to possible burn injuries. “Our goal at DuPont is to increase firefighters’ safety and we have dedicated years of study to ensuring what they are wearing under their turnout gear doesn’t contribute to more severe injury, as is the case with polyester and to a lesser degree, cotton,” said Jeff Fackler, North American Business Development Director for DuPont. Facing multiple thermal hazards As firefighters face multiple thermal hazards, they rely on the protective properties of their uniform to keep them safe. NFPA notes that the second leading cause of firefighter injuries in the United States is exposure to heat and smoke. Unfortunately, there has been a lack of reporting data that would help explain the severity, type and specific contributing factors, such as the clothing worn underneath the structural firefighting ensemble. Many authorities leave the choice up to the firefighters to determine what stationwear ensemble is to be worn underneath the structural turnout suit. According to the NFPA, the problem with this approach is the lack of knowledge about the risks of wearing non-certified garments, such as synthetics, and the lack of information focusing on factors that contribute to burn injuries. “We are working with DuPont to educate ourselves on how certified performance garments can help reduce risk of further injury during a fire or extrication,” said Spotsylvania, Virginia Fire Deputy Chief of Support Services, Jason Irby, adding “Stationwear is the last line of defense and the evidence is hard to ignore.” New Research in Preventing Injuries DuPont has worked to add to the level of research and discussion around how turnout gear and stationwear can help protect firefighters. DuPont scientists created Thermo-Man, a life-size manikin with 122 thermal sensors used to predict level, extent and location of potential burns of whole garments in simulated flame exposures. The goal is to test material selection and garment designs, and balance protection, mobility and heat stress. “What we found was that fire will exploit any gaps in turnout gear that may be created as the firefighter bends, climbs and crawls during the firefight,” said Jeff Fackler, adding “As a result, serious burn injury can occur right through the turnout gear, and the role of flame-resistant stationwear is to reduce the severity of that injury. In short, what you wear underneath your gear really does matter.” Stationwear made from Thermo-Man and Nomex Findings showed that garments made with Nomex will not melt, drip or support combustion, compared to 100% cotton DuPont tested stationwear garments using Thermo-Man to analyze and predict the levels of thermal protection that it provides. Stationwear made with Nomex brand fiber is compliant with NFPA 1975. Findings showed that garments made with Nomex will not melt, drip or support combustion, compared to 100% cotton, and Nomex helps reduce the predicted burn injury by 50%, when exposed to a three-second flame. Firefighters carry, pull, lug and climb with hundreds of pounds of hoses, ladders and other heavy gear. They have to crawl, squat, roll and duck in split-second decisions about their safety. More and more, they face challenges in extrication situations, where the chance of fire is high. Occupational Athletes Just like professional athletes, their gear has to be both comfortable and performance-based to allow freedom of movement, breathability and injury prevention. Associate Professor at the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences & Technology at UW-Milwaukee Dr. Kyle Ebersole has been studying the unique physical demands of firefighters for over a decade. “Firefighters and first responders are occupational athletes,” explains Kyle Ebersole, adding “Their job has some extraordinary physical and psychological demands.” Performance-enhancing sportswear Performance-enhancing sportswear like you see in the NFL or the Olympics is relatively new to the sports world. However, DuPont has been working on performance fibers for decades that help first responders perform at their best and help reduce the risk of injury. Stationwear made with Nomex fiber cools more effectively due to lower moisture pickup and evaporative resistance. The air permeability helps enable more heat and moisture vapor transmission and increases both cooling and breathability. Enhanced comfort and protection for firefighters This means more comfort and protection to firefighters in wildfire situations, structural rescue and vehicle rescue This means more comfort and protection to firefighters in wildfire situations, structural rescue and vehicle rescue situations. They can fight the fight longer with better performance and less risk of exhaustion. In the sports world, it’s well known that what you wear has a major influence on how your body and muscles move during various levels of activity. For athletes and firefighters alike, “The reality is if you become injured, you can’t work,” said Chief Jason Irby, adding “If I can help my team by providing stationwear that reduces thermal heat, allows them more time to fight a fire or work on getting someone out of a vehicle and it helps prevent burns closest to the skin, it makes total sense.” Technical advances and smart fabrics Technical advances and smart fabrics are making stationwear more comfortable and affordable, while allowing for better body heat regulation and adding protection against injury – helping give extra peace of mind to first responders. “They shouldn’t have to worry if their stationwear and gear is going to protect them,” said Jeff Fackler, adding “And with stationwear made with Nomex, they don’t have to.”
To manage fire risks, there needs to be a shift away from detecting and responding to emergencies and instead, a look towards connected technologies to provide a pre-emptive, proactive approach. Fires can be highly devastating, putting people at risk and threatening the lives of the public in surrounding areas – not to mention how destructive they can be in terms of damage to materials and property. A connected approach Fortunately, right now, our world is more connected than ever before. The internet has become such a vital component of the world’s infrastructure that it is unlikely many of us get through our day without linking up to the web at one point or another. This has created its own ecosystem called the Internet of Things (IoT), which spans nearly 100 billion physical objects and enables them to communicate with each other. As the IoT continues to expand, the world is only going to become more entwined. Adopting new technology We are seeing this steady increase specifically in connectivity for a multitude of reasons. But the main one is quite simple: the customer is happy. As a technology that is faster and able to store more data emerges, it becomes intuitively efficient and practical for the end-user – having a real impact on outcomes and preventing disasters. Customers are more likely to adopt the use of technology that is easy to learn and offers a solution to an existing problem. With so many relying on technology now for work, school, staying connected to friends and family, and entertainment, it makes sense to look towards incorporating it into daily safety needs within workplaces too. Using technology to improve fire safety Smart fire equipment with IoT software creates a safer community where workers are connected with their team Smart fire equipment integrated with an IoT software platform creates a safer community where workers are connected with their environment, safety managers, and their wider team. Take construction sites over the past year. Some were running with a skeleton crew – with contractors being isolated and distanced from emergency services – and others were closed entirely due to government-ordered lockdowns. However, cloud-based systems were able to be quickly implemented, providing a sophisticated and adaptable fire safety solution for all building sites, regardless of their operational status. This innovation has given property owners, project supervisors, and safety personnel the ability to receive alerts for a variety of events in real-time – helping to prevent disasters. The pandemic has really led to the wider adoption of technology, simply due to the number of individuals on sites. Technology has been able to fill some of the gaps in terms of monitoring safety systems and generating data remotely. Early detection technologies A fire can wreak havoc on the lives of people it affects and overcoming the huge losses can be a challenge. Early detection of the threat of a fire can make a massive difference to the outcome and this is happening right now with devices that monitor smoke or heat. However, very shortly, the emerging technology and the requirement from the industry is a lot less to do with detecting and responding to fires – it is more about monitoring sites, identifying risks, and preventing emergencies in the first place. Multiple industries are looking to technology to provide pre-emptive, proactive management of risks; responding to them once they have occurred is often already too late. Wireless fire alarm systems Wireless fire alarm systems have advanced greatly over the past few decades and contribute to solving these problems. Take our WES fire alarm system for example; it can connect to our REACT platform, which is a real game-changer for the industry as it has features that reduce risk and prevent incidents from occurring – avoiding potential loss of life entirely. Currently, innovative wireless technology is being used to alert all relevant personnel to emergencies as soon as they occur, enabling the situation to be stopped in its tracks before it becomes a full-blown disaster. However, looking ahead, cloud-based data and integrating systems such as REACT with wearable devices, smart PPE, and intelligent hard hats, for example, will take it one step further – raising the alarm to a potential risk so it does not even turn into a minor emergency. using customizable systems via IoT Machine-to-machine technology through IoT increases the safety of employees and prevents risk and hazards Any security system works best when its individual components work together cohesively. Machine-to-machine technology through the IoT now gives those components the ability to instantly and reliably stay connected and “speak” to one another and key personnel – greatly increasing the safety of employees and preventing risk and hazards. Furthermore, customizable systems that create bespoke solutions to suit a site’s needs offer accurate, specific, personalized notifications and alerts – making it possible to achieve the goal of comprehensive protection from both internal and external threats on sites of all sizes, no matter how unique the needs and no matter the operational status of the project. As we become more comfortable with the capabilities and security of the cloud and as unforeseen changes to our way of life become the new normal, the adoption of cloud-based technologies will continue to expand. Power of technology Firms that are embracing and adopting connected technologies are already reaping the rewards – being provided with peace of mind that they have an additional level of health and safety protection, putting workers’ minds at ease and their lives in safe hands. And as we look towards the future of fire safety, the real role and power of technology must be outcome-driven. Using technology to improve the way things are currently done while achieving the same outcomes is not enough – the results really need to change. Luckily, the technology needed to do this is already out there; it just needs adopting by those wanting to take a pre-emptive approach.
As the demand for UK housing continues to rise, developers and planning authorities are under increasing pressure to deliver the intended UK Government target of 300,000 new homes per year, by the mid-2020s. The need to build as quickly and as cost effectively as possible, unfortunately often leaves little time to invest in developing a thorough understanding of notoriously Byzantine fire safety standards, increasing the risk of serious, potentially fatal, mistakes. firm understanding of fire regulations Fire safety has pride of place on the construction agenda, having been taken more seriously, following the Grenfell Tower fire. However, a collective acknowledgment of the issue alone is not sufficient. It has to be backed with clear knowledge, and a firm understanding of fire regulations should be non-negotiable for all industry professionals. Approved Document B is commonly used by many industry professionals as guidance Broadly speaking, the industry’s understanding of British Standards is good. However, Euroclass standards are fast becoming more widely used. You only have to look to the most recent versions of Approved Document B, Volumes 1 and 2, where Euroclass standards are referred to throughout the main text, while the British standards can only be found in the Appendix. Approved Document B is commonly used by many industry professionals as guidance. I should stress, it’s not a fire testing document, rather it’s meant as an advisory document. As such, additional research and reading around the products specified for each project is essential. Deciphering the differences To help shed some light on the complex world of fire safety standards, our team of fire safety experts has compiled the table below, which concisely defines the Euroclass and UK standards, and explains how they differ. It’s worth noting, before we get started that UK classifications don’t equate with European reaction-to-fire classifications, and vice versa. The two sets of tests are conducted differently, each using its own methodologies and measurements. Moreover, it is important not to assume a product has met a certain standard unless it can be proven that it has been specifically tested to that standard and carries the associated certification. UK classifications don’t equate with European reaction-to-fire classifications, and vice versa The two sets of tests are conducted differently, each using its own methodologies We hope this outline of the key considerations around fire safety standards has started to put your mind at ease, giving you more headspace to navigate the winding path to a robust, fire-safe project. Read part two of this series here.
The use of 3D concrete printing, also known as Building Additive Manufacturing (BAM), is on the verge of revolutionizing the construction industry. Advantages include more design freedom, better customization, and greater productivity, but the new technology also comes with risks and challenges. One concern: Questions about fire performance and whether embracing 3D construction creates greater fire hazards in the building environment. Estimating fire performance Building Additive Manufacturing involves creating 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material using 3D modeling software. Additive manufacturing equipment reads data from a computer file and adds successive layers of concrete (in the case of a building) to fabricate an object, such as a wall. The process produces up to 60% less waste than the use of conventional form-poured concrete. For 3D printed buildings, multiple wall configurations and densities can be created as building design dictates, and each design has a related fire performance profile. Researching the fire performance of various configurations of 3D-printed walls (whether solid, cavity, or composite) can help to guide fire prevention and response needs in the future as these buildings become more common. Determining the performance of materials How a construction material performs in a fire is an important criterion when designing a building Because the technology is relatively new, there has been little investigation into the fire performance of the various types of structures. How a construction material performs in a fire is an important criterion when designing a building, given that thousands of lives are lost every year from structural fires, especially in high-rise buildings. Materials used Researchers the University of Sri Jayewardenepura (Sri Lanka) and Northumbria University (England) have used finite element modeling (FEM) to quantify the fire performance of various 3D printed concrete (3DPC) wall configurations, in effect assigning numerical scores to the fire performance of materials with various densities and thicknesses. The modeling evaluated likely performance in realistic fire conditions and then validated the model with experimental results. The material used in the boundary walls of a building plays an essential role in controlling or accelerating heat transfer in case of fire. Additional variables affecting fire performance include the density of the material, thickness of the wall, wall configurations, and the type of insulation. Wall performance Solid concrete wall configurations scored better fire performance than non-load-bearing cavity wall configurations in the research. Walls with hollow cavity construction offer mechanical strength, use less material, and have a lighter weight. However, the research suggests that inferior performance in case of fire is a downside of the cavity wall configuration. Numerical analysis showed non-load-bearing cavity walls were detrimental to the insulation failure fire rating, while sold walls resulted in superior fire rating. Rockwool insulation 3DPC wall configuration incorporating Rockwool insulation showed better fire performance A composite 3DPC wall configuration incorporating Rockwool insulation to fill the cavities showed better fire performance and also achieved weight reduction. Rockwool insulation is stone wool insulation made from volcanic rock (basalt). Fire retardancy was shown to improve significantly, with the ability to last for up to five hours at high temperatures and retain up to 45% of their mass. Applications and challenges 3D printed concrete walls can be used for building houses and for large-scale construction applications. While providing environmental and economic advantages, the use of 3DPC potentially provides future challenges for firefighters that are just now being understood. Fire retardancy is an important aspect when evaluating building materials. The fire impact of these materials should be better understood now before they become more commonly used and it is too late.
While wildfires can be beneficial and necessary for some species and ecosystems, there are various negative impacts on our air, water, and land, as well as, subsequent impacts for human health. Given the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mission to protect human health and the environment, the EPA’s Wildland Fire Research focuses on the impacts these fires have on human health and ecosystems. Examining ambient air quality EPA researchers are examining the worsening of ambient air quality from smoke and the contamination of surface and drinking waters, as well as ecological effects to habitats impacted by fire. EPA’s Wildland Fire Research aims to address knowledge gaps across wildland fire topics, including: Development and evaluation of applicable ambient measurement technologies, Fate and transport of wildland fire smoke emissions, Elucidation of primary and secondary ambient air quality impacts, Effective interventions to reduce smoke exposure, Communicating health risk and public education strategies Impacts of fire and smoke on watersheds, and drinking water, Remobilization of chemicals at contaminated sites, Air, water, and soil impacts of fires that reach the wildland-urban interface (WUI), Public health impacts resulting from smoke, and Integration of social science approaches into public health research. Key contributions to emissions characterization EPA has made and continues to make significant contributions to the body of knowledge on emissions characterization (emission factors). These include measuring and modeling smoke’s impact on air quality, especially concentrations of fine particles and ozone. They are also working to characterize the chemical components of smoke and their respective toxicities. Other contributions include physiological responses to smoke exposure; epidemiological studies for understanding population exposure to smoke and health outcomes; and impacts of fire on water quality and quantity. The EPA seeks social science methods to develop communication and community capacity tools to help communities reduce exposure during smoke episodes. Air quality impacts of alternative fire management practices Improving understanding of these impacts can help support forest management decisions to prevent severe fires EPA is collaborating with the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of the Interior to evaluate air quality impacts of alternative fire management practices, including prescribed fires that can reduce the severity of wildfires. Improving understanding of these impacts can help support forest management decisions that can prevent severe fires. EPA research has not focused on occupational health regarding wildland fires. While occupational exposure studies are very important, this works falls under missions of the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Assessment on impact of prescribed fire and wildfire EPA is leading the development of an assessment, comparing the impacts of prescribed fire and wildfire, in coordination with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Department of the Interior (DOI), with contributions from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This report will provide a better understanding of the health and environmental impacts of wildland fire, specifically smoke. The interagency approach is critical as USFS and DOI are experts in understanding various aspects of fire, NIST is an expert in the damages from fires, and EPA provides expertise in understanding the public health and environmental impacts of fire. EPA’s Wildland Fire Research As EPA’s Wildland Fire Research grows and adds to the body of knowledge over time, much of the findings will impact protecting human health and the environment by characterizing and developing strategies to mitigate the impacts of wildfire smoke on human health and ecosystems. EPA research on this topic will also inform the way we prepare, respond, and recover from wildland fires. EPA’s researchers are top scientists, representing a broad range of disciplines, including atmospheric science, health sciences, ecology, and social sciences. They are faced with the growing challenges associated with climate change and ensuring equitable protection for all citizens including disadvantaged communities who bear a disproportionate impact from air pollution and climate change. EPA’s multi-disciplinary researchers, together with partners from throughout federal, state, and local government agencies around the country, are working together to address these challenges. EPA will conduct the research needed to reduce the growing risk of wildfires and continue to protect human health and the environment.
Many restaurants around the world are suffering from loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation has made fire prevention a lower priority. Fire authorities should work with restaurant owners and associations to address this issue and offer guidelines and training to increase awareness in the community. Restaurant fires account for about 6% of all non-residential building fires reported to fire departments each year, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). These fires resulted in an average of less than one fatality per 1,000 fires, 11 injuries per 1,000 fires, and US$ 23,000 in loss per fire. Cooking, major cause of restaurant fires As one might expect, cooking is by far the leading cause of restaurant fires, accounting for 64% of restaurant fires, according to NFIRS. Heating and electrical malfunction each accounted for an additional 7% of incidents. All other causes, including unintentional, careless actions (4%), appliances (4%), other heat (3%) and several other categories at less than 3%, each accounted for the remaining 23% of restaurant fires, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), the top five causes of fires in restaurants are cooking equipment, with 61%, followed by electrical fires, heating equipment, smoking materials and intentional. Kitchen exhaust systems under high fire risk equipment At the top of the list of fire risks, related to cooking equipment, is a kitchen’s exhaust systems At the top of the list of fire risks, related to cooking equipment, is a kitchen’s exhaust systems, which are a common cause of fire, when they are not properly maintained. They build up grease, until a point where the hot smoke and steam that goes through the ventilation ignites that grease and causes fires. Also, grease traps should be properly emptied and cleaned or they will catch fire. Also, related to cooking, other common causes of restaurant fires are gas leaks or malfunctions due to poor maintenance. Not as common, but also a culprit of fire losses are fires caused by inadequate use of deep fryers or large cooking pans, and faulty cooking equipment such as pressure cookers. Detectors and automatic suppression systems Ivan Paredes, Latin American Head of Product Marketing for Fire Detection at Bosch Security and Safety Systems, lists the following technologies used to prevent and/or minimize restaurant fires: Automatic suppression systems built into stoves and oven hoods. Foam that reacts with the grease and CO2 extinguishing are the most common. Heat and smoke detectors located near the cooking area. UL 268 7th edition-approved smoke detectors can be installed inside kitchens and should not give unwanted alarms. Flammable gas leak detectors and automatic fail-safe valves to avoid gas leaks. Importance of regular maintenance of systems “The main challenge in fire prevention in restaurants is awareness and local regulation compliance,” said Ivan Paredes, adding “Restaurant owners should schedule regular maintenance of systems, proper cleaning of areas where grease and oil build up or are stored, and guarantee proper ventilation of the kitchen at all times.” He adds, “Restaurant staff also should be properly trained in fire prevention as well as the use of fire extinguishers and the systems installed (automatic suppression, gas leak detection, etc.) and regular housekeeping helps avoid flammable materials igniting near fire sources such as stoves and ovens.”
Previously, the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department dried their hoses using an inclined hose drying system, in which the fire hoses are suspended between the ceiling and the floor at an angle of 30°. Not only was this laborious, the drying result was also not ideal with the hoses sagged in the middle or hung together at the edges and therefore, still remaining wet. Wintersteiger Drytech drying locker The Wintersteiger Drytech drying locker for fire hoses is a special solution that was implemented especially for the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department. Chief Fire Inspector and Fire Chief Markus Auer at the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department said, “The most important advantage is obviously the cost. A drying tower would have been a significant investment. We were looking for another solution when we stumbled upon the Wintersteiger drying lockers for clothing online. Wintersteiger were very helpful and converted the locker to suit our needs.” Fast drying time Another advantage of the drying locker is the fast drying time, as the hoses are dry in just a few hours Another advantage of the drying locker is the fast drying time, as the hoses are dry in just a few hours. Until now, the hoses had to be hung up for a week, until they were dry. A timer clock is used to set the drying time. In the summer time, when severe weather conditions mean that the hoses need to be used more often, the shorter drying time is a big bonus. “The hoses are rolled up tightly and placed in the drying locker. Once they are dry, the hoses just need to be tensioned and put away,” explains the St. Georgen Volunteer Fire Department’s Fire Chief, Markus Auer. Energy efficient condensation drying The energy consumption is very low as the drying locker uses condensation drying. With this method, the moisture is extracted from the material, cooled on copper tubes, and discharged from the locker into a separate container as condensation. Ventilation systems are therefore not necessary. The drying locker uses approximately 60 % less energy than conventional drying solutions.
Sensor solution provider HENSOLDT has been commissioned by the German procurement authority BAAINBw to investigate the modernization and performance enhancement of the Eurofighter self-protection system in a multi-year study. The BAAINBw's study mandate aims to ensure the Eurofighter's assertiveness and survivability even against the most modern threats, such as long-range integrated air defense systems and highly agile radars. At the same time, new cybersecurity requirements, the use of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components, and the new Eurofighter design and development standards will be taken into account. The results of the investigations will be worked out in close cooperation with the German Air Force and regularly presented to the customer using hardware and software demonstrations. Redesigned Self-protection system While the existing Eurofighter self-protection system is being continuously improved with various individual measures, preparations for a comprehensive weapon system update have begun with the Eurofighter Long Term Evolution (LTE) programme to ensure operational capability well into the 21st century and for future adaptations. EuroDASS consortium has developed a redesign of the self-protection system under the name Praetorian eVolution To this end, the EuroDASS consortium (Leonardo UK, Elettronica, Indra, HENSOLDT) has developed a redesign of the self-protection system under the name Praetorian eVolution (eVo for short). "We are pleased to be able to support and accelerate the four-nation LTE programme and the maturity of the targeted new Praetorian eVo self-protection system with this investigative contract," said Celia Pelaz, HENSOLDT's chief strategy officer and head of the Spectrum Dominance/Airborne Solutions division. Situational awareness The existing Praetorian self-protection system protects the Eurofighter from radar- and infrared-guided missiles. The integrated sensor and jamming equipment also provides a precise situation picture and enables state-of-the-art electronic deception techniques. HENSOLDT has been a member of the EuroDASS consortium for decades and is involved in the development of Praetorian eVo. As a specialist in EloKa applications, HENSOLDT has supplied self-protection suites for helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to customers all over the world, among others. With 'Kalaetron', HENSOLDT has a fully digitalized product family of sensors and jammers for electromagnetic signals.
Fire Crest Fire Protection, a Kentec Installation Partner (KIP), has installed a sophisticated Taktis fire panel at its headquarters in Cornwall to train and support its engineers using the technology on future projects. Installing the panel enables engineers to test configurations in the office, before configuring a panel on the client premises, reducing the time needed on site and increasing the likelihood of a right-first-time installation. Training and upskilling people The move is part of Fire Crest’s commitment to upskilling its own people and further improving professionalism within the industry by working with Kentec Electronics, a manufacturer of life-critical control systems, as one of its select partners. It also reflects the need for its engineers to keep pace with the greater networking and configuration potential that panels such as Taktis can deliver. As a registered KIP, Fire Crest has access to a full suite of Taktis training modules and resources. Only KIPs can install Taktis panels. Helps mitigate false alarms Training, experience, and planning are essential to ensure fire panels are used to their full potential Anthony Kent, Fire and Security Manager at Fire Crest, says training, experience, and planning are essential to ensure fire panels are used to their full potential. “The sites we install are typically large and complex, such as schools, hospitals, and manufacturing depots and so it vital that systems are configured expertly.” “Configuring the Taktis panels before installation enables us to test out cause and effect scenarios and mitigate the potential risk of false alarms on site. The installation adds to our training capabilities and is a considerable benefit to our installer and customers.” KIP program training Kevin McCarthy, Business Development Manager of Kentec Electronics, says Fire Crest’s approach is commendable. “It is vital that our industry is committed to furthering professionalism and raising standards. We recognize that it is our responsibility to provide detailed and thorough training through our KIP program – and it is excellent that Fire Crest has gone another step further with this in-office installation.” Networking possibility Taktis is available in up to 16 loops, providing up to 144 zone indications, and supporting more than 2,000 detection devices. It can network up to 127 panels, making it ideal for the largest sites such as schools, hospitals, multi-site retail/supermarkets, critical infrastructure, and major commercial and industrial facilities. Multiple protocols can be supported on each panel to give installers and end-users maximum choice in their systems’ design and the scalable nature of the product provides the highest level of future-proofing and networking possibilities.
Two seven-story residential apartment buildings in the cultural and social hot-spot of Cardiff Bay are now protected by evacuation alert systems from UK manufacturer, Advanced. The EvacGo panels have been installed to meet the criteria set out in the BS 8629 Code of Practice for the design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance of evacuation alert systems for use by fire and rescue services in England and Wales. Audible warning in emergencies Situated in Cardiff Bay’s Tiger Quay development, Roath House and Queen Alexandra House are a mix of 73 social and market-rented one and two-bedroom apartments managed by Trivallis, one of Wales’ largest housing associations. Trivallis appointed Cardiff-based, Tremorfa Ltd, to complete the installation, requesting that Advanced’s EvacGo solutions be installed to ensure both residential buildings met the BS 8629 recommendations. With all Advanced evacuation alert systems custom-manufactured to reflect each building’s evacuation zones, Advanced supplied two EvacGo systems to Tremorfa complete with a 1-loop card, expandable from four to eight evacuation zones. The two systems were installed alongside a combined total of 63 sounders to provide an audible warning to building occupants in the event of an emergency. BS 8629 requirements Graham Smart, Fire & Security Installation Manager, at Tremorfa Ltd, said, “Having installed Advanced solutions for several years, we knew we could depend on its evacuation alert system to meet the requirements of the BS 8629 code of practice.” “The systems in both apartment buildings are now performing as required and we will be completing the installation of further EvacGo systems at Trivallis’ properties.” EACIE for fire and rescue EACIE must operate independently of fire detection systems and be designed to support any evacuation strategy Evacuation alert control and indicating equipment (EACIE) is now strongly recommended in England and Wales for all new tall residential buildings – and is mandatory in Scotland. The EACIE must operate completely independently of fire detection systems and be designed to support any evacuation strategy chosen by the fire and rescue service. Evacuation alert systems Ken Bullock, Business Development Manager – Evacuation Alert Systems, said, “We are seeing a rapid growth in interest in evacuation alert systems from local housing authorities and private landlords eager to ensure that the safety measures installed in their tall residential buildings meet the latest regulations.” “EvacGo has been built using our industry-leading MxPro 5 fire panel technology and, in developing our solution to meet the BS 8629 Code of Practice, we have consulted with fire industry experts involved in developing the standard.” “Both Trivallis and the residents of Tiger Quay can now rest easy knowing that they have the latest and most sophisticated fire evacuation equipment installed in their homes.” New Code of Practice BS 8629:2019 is the new Code of Practice for use by fire and rescue services in England BS 8629:2019 is the new Code of Practice for the design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance of evacuation alert systems for use by fire and rescue services in England. In place since November 2019, this code of practice recommends the installation of a dedicated evacuation alert system intended for the sole use of the fire and rescue services and separate from the building’s fire alarm system. New high-rise residential developments are among the buildings being prioritized for evacuation alert systems installed. Although not yet a legal requirement in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, EACIE installation is already mandatory in new buildings containing flats over 18 meters in Scotland and is considered best practice by several fire and rescue services.
In Paris, visitors will find not only the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, but also the largest fire brigade in Europe. With its 8,500 firefighters, the Paris Fire Brigade is, in fact, the third-largest urban fire brigade in the world, only topped by Tokyo and New York City. Paris Fire Brigade The Paris Fire Brigade is a part of the French army, and each firefighter joins the fire brigade for a period of 5 years. The safety of the firefighters is high on the agenda. It is of utmost importance that the fire brigade is equipped with the best possible fire gear, combining the utmost comfort with the highest degree of safety for the firefighter. A prismatic reflective tape, ORALITE FTP 2100, was selected for offering the highest degree of visibility It is, therefore, no surprise that when the Paris Fire brigade, back in 2017, were looking to upgrade their fire garments, they selected ORAFOL (Orafol Europe GmbH) as their supplier of the reflective trim. A prismatic reflective tape, ORALITE FTP 2100, was selected for offering the highest degree of visibility. Sioen is the manufacturer of fire safety garments. ORALITE FTP 2100 reflective tape Jean-Philippe Roy, Business Development Manager for ORAFOL, explains “Paris Fire Brigade was very determined to offer their firefighters the most visible tape available in the market place today. They carry out dangerous tasks in difficult working conditions, and they must be able to fully trust that they are as visible as possible in all conditions. ORALITE FTP 2100 met their high standards.” He adds, “Being a metalized prismatic tape, it provides the longest distance visibility available. In addition, the fact that the tape is also fluorescent means that it is also exceedingly visible in daytime or smoky conditions.” High-quality safety garment for firefighters Paris Fire Brigade sets forth a very good example for other fire brigades globally in that they have made the deliberate choice of a high-quality solution for their firefighters. No compromises have been made. Jean-Philippe Roy further said, “The thing is that many reflective tapes do meet the law regulated requirements. But meeting the regulation is simply not enough, it is not a guarantee of 24/7 visibility of the firefighters. And when a fire brigade specifies a tape, the risk is that they will just specify regulation compliance, and choose the tape offered at the lowest cost,” Roy explains. EN ISO 20471 standard specification The specification for reflective components on PPE, EN ISO 20471, sets forth the minimum reflectivity for the tapes The specification for reflective components on PPE, EN ISO 20471, sets forth the minimum reflectivity for the tapes. Yet, at the same time, the same specification allows for a drop in reflective performance of 70% in wet conditions. This is exactly why being specification compliant is not enough. It is necessary to carefully evaluate the working conditions that the users will be subjected to and select the best possible reflective tape based on this. Prismatic reflective tapes Jean-Philippe Roy concludes, “Prismatic reflective tapes remain highly reflective also in wet conditions, whereas glass bead tapes see a significant drop. This is simply due to the technologies working in different ways. Fire fighters work in wet conditions a great deal of time, so here a prismatic tape is really the only kind that truly makes sense.” The prismatic tapes from ORAFOL are the preferred choice for many major fire brigades around the world, including also the New York City Fire Brigade.
Inmarsat partner and emergency telecommunications NGO, Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) has deployed to western Germany, following torrential rain that has caused the country’s worst flooding in half a century. Rescue operations With thousands of people forced to leave their homes, roads completely destroyed and entire towns devastated, rescue operations began immediately, but were hindered by phone and internet connections going down in some affected areas. To ensure that communities could be contacted and rescue needs ascertained, and coordinated, TSF sent a specially designed vehicle to the most affected areas, offering telecom support to people on the ground, including relief organizations. The areas most in need were identified as the Ahrweiler’s district and the town of Euskirchen. Inmarsat satellite lines and IsatPhone 2 phones Deploying Inmarsat satellite lines and six IsatPhone 2 hand-held satellite phones in Ahrweiler meant that local firefighters and emergency responders involved in the rescue missions, including the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), were able to regain communications.
Round table discussion
Wildfire season presents special challenges to firefighters, and environmental trends point to even more frequent wildfires in the future, due to factors such as global warming. Technology, in all its variety, provides new tools to aid departments tasked with fighting wildfires. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the emerging technologies in wildfire prevention and protection?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had ramifications for almost every industry, some more than others. With the pandemic stretching well into a second year, the non-medical consequences continue, and many are wondering about which of the required changes might become permanent. As regards the fire sector, we asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What impact has COVID-19 had on the fire industry?
New tools and technologies are emerging that augment the efforts of the fire market to prevent and fight fires. Modern firefighting is benefiting from an ongoing sea change in technological capabilities, spanning equipment, electronic components, greater connectivity and firefighter monitoring, to name just a few. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What technologies will have the greatest impact on the fire industry in 2021?