Fire Safety Risk Assessment
Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AFRS) is changing how it responds to Automatic Fire Alarm signals to reduce its response to unnecessary false alarms. From the 1st April 2020, the new procedure will be introduced and will mean the automatic response to some alarms will be removed. This change follows the implementation of the Service Plan (2019-2022) to ensure that the AF&RS is better able to match resource to risk and ensure public safety. In 2018/19 alone, AF&RS attended over 5,700 cal...
An exciting new strategic partnership between LHD Group and Vimpex is announced, bringing together one of Europe's leading PPE personal protective apparel manufacturers and one of UK's leading specialist supplier of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) & Rescue Equipment to form a new powerful alliance that will deliver the highest levels of quality, service and protection to the UK's fire fighting services. Head-To-Toe protective apparel solutions Vimpex Managing Director James Jones says,...
The redevelopment of Avonmouth fire station on St Andrew’s Road will help improve response, operational efficiency and prevention work for both staff and our community. This development will provide a cost-effective, modern and fit for purpose facility that allows AF&RS to match resource to risk and make our Communities Safer and Service Stronger. The new station, which is being built by contractors Knights Brown, will feature five new appliance bays, office and accommodation faciliti...
Streamlight, Inc., a provider of high-performance lighting, launched the Waypoint 300, a rechargeable high lumen, pistol grip spotlight with enhanced down-range lighting capability. Featuring 270,000 candela, a 1,039-meter beam distance, and 1,000 lumens on high, the Waypoint 300’s powerful long-range targeting beam is portable and runs for 3.75 to 87 hours on high, medium, low, respectively. handheld mobile searchlight "The Waypoint 300 not only features extreme brightness, but also inc...
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?
IFEDA, the Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association, is delighted to announce the introduction of a new course, Understanding a Fire Risk Assessment. The Fire Safety Order 2005 requires that the Responsible Person in a business must have a fire risk assessment in place. British Standard 5306 parts 3 and 8 stipulate that a fire extinguisher servicing technician must confirm the presence of, and check the contents of, a company’s fire risk assessment. This course has been...
In a post-Grenfell world there is clearly, and rightly so, a focus on the fire safety of high-rise buildings – especially in the residential sector. Yet this focus has answered as many questions as it has made new ones, particularly for the construction and fire industries. As reported in December of 2019 by the Fire Industry Association (FIA), a new cross-industry valuation process called the External Wall Fire Review (EWFR) was implemented by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Building Societies Association and UK Finance. External Wall Fire Review (EWFR) EWFR process requires buildings to undergo a fire safety assessment by a 'qualified, competent professional’ In short, The EWFR process, which requires buildings to undergo a fire safety assessment by a ‘suitably qualified and competent professional’, is intended to provide ‘assurance for lenders, valuers, residents, buyers and sellers’ that their property is both safe and retains its market value. The process has been generally welcomed yet some question its usefulness, but with the absence of any viable alternatives, it seems the industry must do more to adapt. Grenfell Tower fire The Grenfell Tower disaster highlighted the need to further scrutinize the materials in a building cladding, in particular, cladding on high-rise residential buildings. The government estimates that more than 300 buildings have cladding with Aluminum Composite material, it has provided £200 million to replace dangerous cladding privately owned buildings. Furthermore, the government released ‘Advice Note 14’, this places responsibility on the owners of buildings taller than 18 meters to check for combustible materials in the external wall systems of their stock – they must also remove any if found. Residential buildings fire safety If no evidence is provided to suggest that the external walls are free from combustible materials, in some cases this has led to properties being valued at £0 and sales of the property being cancelled – this has already happened in Leeds. Every 5 years buildings must undergo an assessment when their EWFR certificate runs out, if buildings fail this assessment then they will potentially have to foot a large bill, they may even face litigation from residents if the individual’s property value is affected. Every 5 years buildings must undergo an assessment when their EWFR certificate runs out For developers, it might be preferential if they perform the EWFR at an earlier stage of the development process of the buildings as this can limit problems happening further down the line. It’s likely that the developers would have to endure the burden of this additional cost or alternatively it can seek to pass the cost on throughout the value chain. If the process is relatively quick to complete then it appears developers will have limited excuses for not conducting the assessment. Better yet, if this process becomes best practice within the industry it will make it even harder for developers to deny undertaking the assessment. Future of safety in high-rise residential buildings Another challenge facing the EWFR is that of professional indemnity policies. Little is known in this post-Grenfell world if insurers will provide professional indemnity to assessors who are carrying out the assessment as part of the EWFR. These challenges are new to the society and the future of safety within high-rise residential buildings appears to be dependent on a series of negotiations. A negotiation must take place between society's desire for safety over profit versus investors' confidence that they can recuperate the costs of ‘additional safety measures in assets appraisals.’ While these challenges may sound arduous and long-winded, it has been deemed necessary by a cross-industry panel to increase fire safety and reduce the risk of an avoidable national tragedy happening again.
Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) and Avon and Somerset Police (ASP) are aiming to make Thornbury a better place to live and work by taking part in Makaton training. The two Services spent Monday evening (27/01) learning Makaton, a basic form of sign language that uses facial expressions and symbols, in the hope of making Thornbury more welcoming. Everyone involved recognises that being able to communicate is one of the most important skills in life, and even more so when it comes to emergency response and community safety. Almost everything they do involves communication; everyday tasks such as learning at school, asking for food and drink, sorting out problems, making friends and having fun. Fire Safety Messaging This was a fantastic opportunity for us as a station to better connect with our local community" Along with this, it is recognized that all children and adults with learning or communication difficulty should be able to access the same services and facilities as everyone else. Across the town, there are already a variety of Makaton friendly businesses and it is hoped that more businesses and community leaders will come on board. John Riddiford, Thornbury Watch Manager for AF&RS, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for us as a station to better connect with our local community and help ensure all residents are safe. There are around 500 people in the local community who use Makaton so for us to undertake this training not only means we can better communicate and make everyone feel welcome, but we can also utilize it as part of our fire safety messaging and community safety.” Continuing To Develop Skills “It was great fun to get the whole station together along with the police for this and we are delighted to have taken part. Over the coming months, we look forward to continuing to develop our skills and use it within the community.” PC Paula Hanson-Manos, of the Thornbury Neighbourhood Beat Team, added: “It is important for our force to get key messages out to the public and with Makaton’s growing popularity this is another way we can do that.” It was a really enjoyable evening and we hope to build on our learning in the future" “It was not something our officers have been involved with before so we are really grateful for this week’s training. Efforts are being made to make Thornbury Makaton friendly and it is fantastic to be a part of that as it is bound to be something we need to use more and more. It was a really enjoyable evening and we hope to build on our learning in the future and make Makaton a useful tool for our team to use.” Making Communication Happen The Makaton Charity, which runs the scheme, is passionate about making communication happen and ensuring that all members of the community can access services. Michelle Galliott, from Thornbury Welcomes, said: “It was a great step forward for us to have the Fire Service and police take part in the training and join up to the scheme.” “Both services are so crucial for members of the local community and it is great to have them on-board. Ourselves, along with Better Communications, also made a Christmas video with the Fire Service wishing the local community a Happy Christmas in Makaton and we were overwhelmed by the number of people wanting to be involved. With both services and a wealth of local businesses taking part, we really can make Thornbury a welcoming town.”
Following increased reports of unwanted alarms caused by e-cigarette vaping and the lack of clear information in the market place, The Fire Industry Association has now published Fact File 85, covering their use and possible effects on Fire Alarm Systems. This is free to download from the FIA website. ‘dual optical’ detectors In the recent case of The Frog & Frigate, in Southampton, where vaping is allowed, smoke detectors false alarms, caused by vaping were becoming a considerable problem in the running of the pub. Despite the false alarm issues at the venue, the owner, Derek Gardener was reluctant to ban vaping in the pub and was recommended a solution by installers Fire and Safety Testing in the form of ‘dual optical’ (Dual Wavelength) detectors manufactured by Nittan. Since the installation of Nittan’s EV-DP detectors at The Frog & Frigate one year ago, Derek is happy to report that there hasn’t been a single false alarm in the venue, meaning that his customers are kept happy, entertained and safe.
ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland continues to lead the market by ensuring its range of door closers do not compromise fire safety regulations. At the end of 2017, several UKAS Accredited authorities withdrew certification for almost all door closers used on uninsulated metal fire doors. With around eight out of 10 metal fire doors specified and sold in the UK being non-insulated, this left many security fire doorsets deemed non-compliant. Uninsulated metal fire doors A number of certifications have now been reinstated, but with a caveat meaning they can only be installed on the fire risk side of a door. In many properties and locations it can be difficult to determine which side of the door is most at risk of fire so this caveat challenges the use of many door closers being routinely specified for installation on uninsulated metal fire doors. In response to the ongoing challenges and needs in the industry, ASSA ABLOY has continued with substantial testing and standardizing of its door closers. ASSA ABLOY door closer series This ASSA ABLOY door closer series can provide fully compliant control of fire doors As a result, its door closers have demonstrated that use on metal fire doors is not restricted by the side of the door to which it is required and remains fully compliant with EN1634 on any uninsulated metal fire door. With no caveats attached, this ASSA ABLOY door closer series can provide fully compliant control of fire doors regardless of the desired material specification. Specification of the correct door and hardware combination is therefore essential to ensure that not only the right architectural appeal and functionality is achieved, but most importantly that safety regulations are not compromized. ASSA ABLOY’s Openings Studio software To support the complex specification process ASSA ABLOY’s Openings Studio software offers a collaborative BIM tool for all project stakeholders. Using a real-time data sharing process, Openings Studio permits greater communication between all involved in a building’s lifecycle – from design and construction to refurbishment and maintenance. Openings Studio, along with the technical expertise available from ASSA ABLOY, supports the design and specification process to ensure access to fully compliant solutions, seamless integration with the building model and critical asset management throughout the construction and design life of the building – delivering all the benefits expected from BIM in construction. Openings Studio construction Through Openings Studio construction has access to the widest range of door opening solutions. Doors, hardware, ironmongery and access control solutions can be easily integrated into a building at the touch of a button with complete peace of mind. ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions is one of very few manufacturers to offer a complete solution of timber and metal doors, hardware and ironmongery through a ‘cradle to grave’ approach of technical specification, manufacture, installation, fire door inspections and service and maintenance packages in support of architects, contractors, facilities managers and end users.
Professional security installers are the essential lifeblood of IFSEC and FIREX International, so they are delighted to announce their long-standing partners SSAIB as the official Installer Partner for the 2020 shows, taking place once again at London’s ExCeL from May 19-21. As the certification body for security and fire alarm installation professionals, manned guarding services and monitoring, SSAIB-approved companies are exclusively invited to IFSEC International and FIREX International 2020 to meet with trained SSAIB personnel and engage with over 500 leading manufacturers and suppliers of security and fire safety technologies and services. IFSEC and FIREX are the perfect learning environments for SSAIB companies where they can spend three days totally immersed in state-of-the-art technologies, solutions and discussions all focused around the driving issues in security and fire. Life safety risk assessment SSAIB’s presence at FIREX will contribute to the show’s stated aims of promoting expertise and guidance in life safety It’s where the entire security and fire communities always come together to collaborate, ask the big questions and find the practical answers to their current challenges. SSAIB will also use its time at IFSEC and FIREX to host the regional South East meeting at the show, which makes it convenient for approved companies to make full use of their time at IFSEC; mixing SSAIB business with their own fact-finding and discovery. The 2020 events also mark the return of SSAIB to FIREX International, where they’ll be on hand to discuss various BAFE-approved certification opportunities in fire system design and installation, life safety risk assessment and the correct use and maintenance of portable extinguisher equipment. With the national agenda now firmly fixed on promoting certified life safety schemes and awareness, SSAIB’s presence at FIREX International will rigorously contribute to the show’s stated aims of promoting expertise and guidance in life safety. Fire and security industries In line with the new decade, SSAIB will once again host the official Installer Bar in IFSEC that will have a dedicated ‘Roaring 20s’ theme to herald 2020. Look out for the Prohibition ‘speakeasy’ themes although, rest assured, none of the refreshments will be bootlegged! SSAIB chief executive Alex Carmichael commented: “We are delighted to be named as the official installer partner for IFSEC and FIREX International 2020 – as they are the premier events for both the fire and security industries and we would very much encourage our registered firms to visit us there next May." “We’ve also incorporated our South East regional meeting into IFSEC 2020, because it gives the many firms that attend our events the opportunity to immerse themselves in all the latest developments and technologies on show at IFSEC and FIREX.” Ever-strengthening partnership “Not only can they do this and hear all the latest updates we’ll be sharing, but they’ll also be invited to join us at our Installer Bar for an informal catch-up and refreshments too. SSAIB has enjoyed a lot of success lending our name to an IFSEC bar over the last two years, so we’ve decided to try and build on that further by making a welcome return to FIREX as well." I am excited to announce SSAIB as the official Installer Partner of IFSEC and FIREX International in 2020" "Due to the sheer size of the two shows, it’s not always possible to take in everything in one visit and – this way – you’ll get two chances of asking any questions you might have about the many schemes that SSAIB provide certification for.” IFSEC and FIREX warmly welcome our ever-strengthening partnership with SSAIB and look forward to welcoming their approved companies to next year’s shows. Security and fire challenges With such comprehensive coverage across the whole of the UK, IFSEC International and FIREX International look forward to meeting SSAIB’s professional installers at IFSEC and FIREX and helping them overcome the everyday security and fire challenges they encounter. Rachel Eaton, Event Manager, IFSEC International & FIREX International commented: “I am very excited to announce the SSAIB as the official Installer Partner of IFSEC International and FIREX International in 2020." "The SSAIB has been a champion of IFSEC for over two decades, so I’m delighted to see the SSAIB return to support FIREX as well. Due to the strong relationship we have with the SSAIB, we have managed to bring Scottish installers back to both events, hugely improving the diversity of visitors and exhibitors we have on site.” Cyber and converged security IFSEC International and FIREX International take place 19th-21st May at ExCeL, London. Co-located with Counter Terror Expo, Intelligent Building Show, Facilities Show, Safety & Health Expo and Workplace Wellbeing Show, the three-day free-to-attend exhibitions and conferences bring together the latest physical, cyber and converged security and fire safety technology, solutions and insights from hundreds of suppliers.
Home improvement projects that resist flames and embers. Teaching neighbors about wildfire risks and how to reduce them. Removing flammable debris that could fuel a wildfire. These and other related activities are being actively supported by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and State Farm via the National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day campaign. The seventh annual Wildfire Community Preparedness Day will take place on Saturday, May 2, 2020. Since 2014, community groups and individuals have taken part in the campaign, completing hundreds of wildfire safety projects across the United States. Preparedness Day gives people of all ages a chance to plan and participate in a risk reduction or wildfire preparedness activity that makes their community a safer place to live. wildfire risk reduction project In 2018, nearly all of the $13 billion in property damage and losses from large fire incidents was due to just six wildfires Financial support from State Farm will once again enable NFPA to provide 150 applicants from across the country with $500 awards to complete a wildfire risk reduction project on Saturday, May 2. Project applications can be submitted through February 28, 2020. Currently, an estimated 43 million homes are in areas prone to wildfire, and wildfire risk is present in every state. In 2018, nearly all of the $13 billion in property damage and losses from large fire incidents was due to just six wildfires. That same year, 88 people were killed in wildfires, most in the devastating Camp Fire that obliterated the town of Paradise, California. effective wildfire mitigation programs "According to the recent, staggering statistics, preparing our communities for wildfire is more critical today than ever before,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy. "NFPA and State Farm work closely together on this yearly campaign in a continued effort to raise awareness and educate homeowners that they have the power to save their homes and communities before a wildfire ignites, and we have the resources and information to help.” “State Farm finds it important to inform and encourage homeowners and communities to adopt effective wildfire mitigation programs that produce stronger, safer homes where lives are saved and a family’s largest investment is better protected,” said Vickie Hodges, State Farm Underwriting Analyst.
The effective provision and management of on-site fire safety, prevention, response and protection is a core responsibility of operators of hazardous high-risk critical infrastructure and industrial manufacturing facilities around the world. Such services are typically found at airports, refineries and petrochemical plants, power stations and nuclear facilities, mines, manufacturing sites and port facilities. Driven by legislative requirements and international fire safety standards, many organizations are required to maintain and operate an on-site Rescue and Fire Fighting Service (RFFS) or for airports, an Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Service in order to meet their compliance requirements. Legislative Compliance Failure to fully comply can expose these organizations to the risk of serious financial liability in the event of an incident, Failure to fully comply can expose these organizations to the risk of serious financial liabilityas insurers demand that risk is minimised and mitigated before they will provide cover for the site and its operations. Notwithstanding the availability of local or municipal resources to respond in the event of an emergency or serious incident, the RFFS and ARFF provision available to commercial organizations generally falls into two main options; an employed service or an outsourced service. The Decision To outsource While many organizations choose to invest in their own Fire and Rescue Service, which includes the provision of a Fire Station(s), personnel, vehicles and equipment, others have turned to outsourced service providers to enable them to meet their operational and compliance needs. So what are the factors that influence a decision to outsource and how do organizations choose between the two options? Managing risk and improving resilience The requirement and resources for an on-site fire and rescue service will be determined chiefly by the type of activity that the organization is involved in at each site or facility, the assessment of the risks associated with the processes or activities that occur on-site and the impact that any emergency incident may have on the business, its employees and on the surrounding communities. Ultimately, the motivation for investment in an on-site fire and rescue resource is rooted in the avoidance of loss, which can be both organizational, reputational and/or personal in nature and in a need to ensure the on-going stability, security and resilience of the facility and processes in question. But rather like when an insurance policy is purchased, one sincerely hopes that the Fire and Rescue Service will never need to be called upon to be utilized in a real-life emergency. A decision to outsource may be driven by purely financial motives as organizations seek to reduce costs and enhance shareholder value or by strategic and tactical factors as the business seeks to re-engineer or re-focus itself. Outsourcing enables companies to focus on their core business processes while delegating essential but non-core processes to external specialist providers Recruiting, training, resourcing, and supporting an employed on-site fire and rescue service is an expensive indirect operational cost for the business, consuming cash resources that could possibly be better invested elsewhere. The day to day management of an employed Fire, Rescue and Safety service can also sap the organization of time and energy that, while imperative to the safe, legal and ultimately the profitable operation of the facility, is not actually a core function of the business itself. Outsourcing enables companies to focus on their core business processes while delegating essential but non-core processes to external specialist providers. This releases internal resources that can be put to more effective use for other purposes, leading to greater efficiency and competitiveness. Outsourcing enables companies to focus on their core business processes while delegating essential but non-core processes to external specialist providers The question to be asked is, could an outsourced service provider deliver the required functions, tasks and compliance, maintain and improve site safety, respond effectively to any emergency incidents and add value to the organization at a more cost-effective rate than directly employing the on-site team? When properly executed, outsourcing the on-site Fire and Rescue Service can have a defining impact on the company’s revenue recognition and can deliver significant savings through lower operational and labour costs. Specialist knowledge, skills and expertise Organizations cannot realistically be experts in every business function, process and discipline, it is simply far too expensive. By utilizing outsourced service providers, companies can leverage a global knowledge base and resource centre, accessing world class capabilities, skills and expertise that they may have been precluded from previously. Managed FRS service providers often have access to a wider, more highly skilled and diverse talent pool than the client themselves and will already have in place the requisite interview and selection processes designed to select only the strongest, most appropriately qualified and experienced staff. Shared experiences coupled with specialist skills, learning and best working practices also enable the outsourced service provider to add value and resilience to and further reduce risk within the client’s operation. Shared responsibilities and liabilities Although all organizations must maintain a duty of care to operate in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, delegating fire and rescue service responsibilities to external providers can release companies of the day to day functions that are difficult to manage and control, while still realizing their benefits and upholding compliance. Outsourced FRS service providers generally are much better at deciding how to avoid risk in their areas of expertise As specialists in their field, outsourced FRS service providers generally are much better at deciding how to avoid risk in their areas of expertise than perhaps a fully employed on-site team might be. This is because the incentive to deliver a high level of service and to maintain their professional reputation while remaining profitable is potentially stronger for the outsourced provider. A further consideration if, unfortunately something does go wrong, may be that the responsibility and possible consequential contractual liability might well rest in whole or in part with the service provider, rather than the contracting client themselves. what are the potential negatives? Violations of confidentiality and intellectual property are of increasing concern to companies. This is particularly true for clients that outsource to providers from countries that may not have the same type or standards of confidentiality laws that prevail in their home jurisdiction. One way to mitigate this issue is to have strong confidentiality clauses contained within all commercial contractual documentation and employee contracts, and to make security of data and information a key performance indicator within any outsource contract. Outsourcing may in some cases result in job eliminations or employees leaving for other personal reasons, which in turn can have a negative effect on morale, loyalty and productivity among the personnel who remain. Human Resources In FRS In most cases for Fire and Rescue Service outsourcing, human resource levels are already stipulated based on the site or facility risk profile and therefore it is more likely that existing employees will simply be transferred to a new contract of employment with the new service provider, albeit perhaps on slightly different terms. There are also often hidden costs that, if not managed correctly, can quickly negate many of the anticipated savings Although most companies see an immediate benefit to the bottom line when outsourcing, there are also often hidden costs that, if not managed correctly, can quickly negate many of the anticipated savings. It should not be underestimated that, as in any period of change, increased ancillary costs such as travel and related expenses can accrue as employees travel back and forth for training and other meetings, particularly during the mobilization phase of the new contract. Making your mind up The decision to outsource the Fire and Rescue Service for a high-risk site or facility should never be made lightly. A thorough and detailed examination of the associated costs and benefits must be investigated before a go/no go decision is reached. However, if a decision to outsource is positive, then careful selection of your partner organization, taking account of both the hard and soft delivery factors for each facility, is of critical importance.
Across the world, fire and rescue services vary greatly, and each will have their own unique circumstances and challenges to deal with. Firefighters in the USA and Australia are more likely to face wildland fires, whilst in the Middle East, firefighters deal more regularly with transport related fires involving hazardous materials. In many European countries, less than 10% of call-outs are fire related at all, with firefighters much more likely to attend traffic accidents, medical emergencies or flooding. A range of different climates also provide firefighters with specific challenges. Providing Optimum Protection These fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight Firefighters in hot and tropical Indonesia for example, will have different requirements to those in hot and arid South Africa, whilst those in Scandinavia operate in more temperate and cooler conditions. It’s important, therefore, that PPE manufacturers can provide a wide variety of options to suit particular environments and operations. PPE must be highly effective, comfortable, and suitable for the job in hand, wherever in the world the firefighters are operating. Selecting the right fabric for your PPE is the first step in providing optimum protection for the environment you are operating in. International fibre and fabric manufacturers have developed a number of highly specialized materials offering a range of benefits. Used in combination, these fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight. Best Quality Firefighting Garments Highly specialized and lightweight fibers for the outer-shell of a garment, for example, can provide outstanding air permeability and breathability, allowing metabolic heat to escape, whilst of course providing vital protection against the intense external heat and flames of a fire. The best quality firefighting garments combine this type of outer shell with an inner moisture barrier and liner system which draws moisture away from the skin, helping to keep the body cool and dry. Strenuous work in a hot environment causes profuse sweating, and if this sweat is not able to evaporate, the body is not able to cool itself effectively. Once the most appropriate fabric is chosen, the design and style of a garment also plays a crucial role in contributing to a firefighters’ safety. Maintaining A Comfortable Body Temperature Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed Whether operating in bushland, floods, on the roadside or even in extremely cold conditions, firefighters need to maintain a comfortable body temperature and stay dry. They are also likely to need to crawl, run, and climb to carry out the job in hand. Any protective clothing must be ergonomic and has to be able to work with them rather than hinder them. As a result, over and above the full structural firefighting garments available to FRSs, manufacturers have also developed innovative designs for more specific applications. For example, Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed, with USAR or technical rescue teams entering enclosed and confined spaces where high temperatures and often toxic smoke are hazards. Particular Protection Against Radiant Heat USAR firefighting garments therefore should be tear and puncture resistant, provide protection against blood-borne pathogens, offer physical protection at high risk points such as the knees and elbows, provide a high level of flexibility to afford maneuvrability in confined spaces, and crucially be lightweight and breathable to minimize heat stress. Alternatively, for firefighters engaged specifically in combatting forest and wildland fires, garments need to provide particular protection against radiant heat, and ideally feature a double layer of fabric to protect against sharp thorns and undergrowth. Today, many FRSs across the world use a combination of structural and technical rescue garments which can be particularly useful when faced with a range of operations requiring different levels of protection. Rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident International Standards Of Performance For PPE Frequently, rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident, for example. So long as these garments are tested and approved as compatible before they are used in combination, this can serve to improve ergonomics and comfort, and crucially can contribute to the lowering of heat stress in firefighters. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage To ensure the best level of protection, most countries demand conformity with both national and international standards of performance for PPE. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) which covers the USA, Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) which covers Europe, and the International Standards Organisation (ISO) which sets standards worldwide. Lighting And Communications Equipment In addition, each country will have its own National Standards Body (NSB), setting standards for its own specific interests. Ultimately, it is down to the customer to decide which standards they would like their PPE to follow. The best manufacturers can create PPE to meet a number of these standards simultaneously. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats Different countries, and even individual FRSs, often have particular additional requirements for their PPE, which can simply be down to style or color preference, or to accommodate particular tools or equipment they use. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats. Operational safety features such as integrated safety harnesses and drag rescue devices can also be specified. In addition, firefighter accessories including tools, lighting and communications equipment all have to be carried safely requiring a selection of loops, straps, D-rings, glove hooks, and pockets and flaps. Developing Innovative Solutions Finally, most FRSs aim to present a professional and clearly recognizable identity to their communities, so particular colors and badging can be an important feature of PPE. This has led to the introduction of a wide range of fabric colors and the increased use of Velcro fixings for identification badges with logos, names and roles being individually catered for. Called upon to handle an ever-increasing variety of challenges, in contrasting climates and situations, firefighters across the world are certainly faced with complex environments in which to operate. By carefully studying these conditions and listening closely to customers, PPE designers and fabric manufacturers will continue to work together to develop innovative solutions to meet these specific needs and create optimum garments for maximum protection and comfort.
Those responsible for the specification of products which go into new modern buildings have been asking for safe, approved cabling, which play a critical part in electrical supply systems. The number of fires in high-rise buildings in Europe and the Middle East have brought the issue of quality of products for fire performance circuits into sharp focus, not least the Grenfell disaster. Meanwhile, new buildings become increasingly complex, with the use of new materials and the designs of many requiring complex electrical systems to support security and fire safety. New and refurbished buildings such as hospitals, schools, shopping malls or airports, may have complex addressable loop fire alarm systems which provide information on individual detectors. Conventional systems only provide information about specific circuits or zones. Indicating exact location of fire, fault For critical alarm circuits in buildings where large numbers of people move about there can be no greater priority than safetyThe addressable systems feature a fire control panel which receives information and status reports from each device, indicating its exact location and if there may be a fire, a fault, heat or contamination. For critical alarm circuits in buildings where large numbers of people move about – many of whom can be vulnerable – there can be no greater priority than safety. The cabling chosen for these systems is therefore critical. If the power to these alarm systems fails because the cabling does not meet the required performance, then the information available for fire and rescue services is directly affected and with it, the chance of finding people who may be in the building. To meet these design challenges, and with the inquiry into the Grenfell disaster still ongoing, it is the use of the very latest technology and science that is taking enhanced fire performance cabling onto a new level. Safe and compliant cable products Decision-makers in the supply chain want reassurance that the products they are specifying are safe and compliant, meeting all recognized specifications. Calls have been made by the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) for all cable being used in the UK to conform to relevant British, European or international standards amid increasing concerns about the volume of non-approved cables coming onto the market. Installers have welcomed the development of a new generation of fire performance cabling Installers have welcomed the development of a new generation of fire performance cabling which ensures critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes. The standard and enhanced cables in the Total Fire Solutions range are tubed, making them a welcome product for contractors with ease of installation. They are all UV stable and they all come with a hard insulant to resist any fault generation over time. These cables meet all relevant industry standards including ISO 9001 and is approved by the leading industry organizations nationally and worldwide including BASEC and LPCB. Carrying out fire risk assessment For the fire and rescue services, the continuity of power means they can continue to read fire alarm system information which can direct them to the seat of the fire and help to locate people who may be in the building. Responsibility for choosing the right system lies with the ‘responsible person’ under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in business or any other non-domestic premises. This will be the owner, employer, landlord, or may be the facilities manager or building manager. As the responsible person, he or she must carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly and put in place and maintain appropriate fire safety measures. Ultimately, the responsible person faces a fines or jail if they fail to follow these measures and there is a fire. For some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios Any items or products which go into these fire safety systems must be covered by standards set by national, European and international bodies such as British Standards. These will certify that when needed these products will perform their function and operate as expected in real life fire conditions. Ensuring cables meet fire safety standards In support of these standards, cable industry bodies provide testing regimes to ensure that different types of cable are fit for purpose and meet these standards when tested in fire conditions. For installers, or those procuring cables, there is a need to check the cable when it arrives to make sure it is exactly what was specified. Instances of unsafe non-approved cable continue to come to lightFor some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios. These include environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes where older people and children move about. Specifiers looking at new large public sector projects such as hospitals should refer to BS 8519 for the electrical supply, and the most relevant cabling system. Counterfeit Flexible Cords campaign Instances of unsafe non-approved cable continue to come to light. Unsafe flexible cord, intended for use in domestic and industrial applications, has been found on sale in the UK recently, prompting the ACI to issue a fresh alert to the electrical supply chain. The latest find of sub-standard flexible cords is marked ‘Made in Turkey’ and ‘Ermaks’. Samples came to light following the initiative’s recent ‘Counterfeit Flexible Cords’ campaign which alerted the electrical supply chain to dangerous industrial flexible cords. We in the supply chain should all be vigilant to watch out and report these instances of non-compliant cabling wherever we see or suspect they have been installed, while developing only the safest products and systems of our own. We shouldn’t forget that we all have a duty and a responsibility where lives and property are at stake. Importance of MV cables to infrastructure Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliantThe demand for power has never been greater, with the explosion of development in towns and cities across the UK and the growth of industrial development and technology reliant on consistent supplies. Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliant as the pressure mounts on the installation of quality products in modern building developments. MV cables are crucial to our infrastructure. Electricity leaves the generating site and is routed via a step-up transformer to take it up to the National Grid distribution voltages of 400Kv, 275Kv and 132Kv. Once in the local area, the supply goes through step-down transformers that reduce the voltage to 415V with domestic supplies tapped off at 230V. To provide power to the sub-stations – very often located on the premises of the establishment that they supply – Medium Voltage (MV) cables are used. MV cables were only developed as the level of voltages increased and the need arose for a greater classification range. design and specification of the cables The technical design and specification of the cables is of paramount importance within the power distribution networkThe size of the market has developed to the point where the global MV cables market was valued at 39.31billion US dollars in 2016 and projected to grow at a rate of more than six percent until 2022. The technical design and specification of the cables themselves is of paramount importance within the power distribution network. There are a number of technical considerations to be taken into account including the size of the installation, the position of the installation in relation to the network and the presence of primary and secondary sub-stations. Prior to installation, a detailed route survey should also be carried out to plan where cables will be jointed and to identify any possible obstructions which may require special civil engineering works such as directional drilling. Underlying the critical nature of supplies to these types of services, the incidence of non-approved cables for these applications also plagues the industry.
A “Complaint of Non-Conforming Products” has been submitted to the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission on behalf of a forensic expert who says he has identified non-compliance dangers and vulnerabilities related to fire and burglar alarm control units. Millions of alarms conceivably could be recalled following an investigation in response to the complaint. The U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission is tasked with promoting the safety of consumer products by addressing “unreasonable risks” of injury, such as risk of fire, chemical exposure, electrical malfunction or mechanical failure. Typically, the CSPC evaluates such complaints and determines what corrective action, if any, is appropriate, in this case possibly by the end of the year. Report from Jeffrey Zwirn Jeffrey Zwirn, an alarm and security forensic expert, says he has identified problems with the alarm devices and has posted online a series of videos confirming that they do not operate in conformance with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 985 and 103 and NFPA 72 (National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code) Standards. The single data-bus circuits of the hardwired devices can be short-circuitedSpecifically, the single data-bus circuits of the hardwired devices can be short-circuited and become either fully or partially non-functional. IDS Research & Development Inc. (Zwirn’s company) and Connaughton Group LLC, a product integrity consulting firm, sent a request to the CSPC on Sept. 20 asking for an investigation of products across the North American household fire and burglar alarm control units and commercial burglar and fire alarm control panel category. Includes products from big brands The request estimates that “hundreds of millions” of the units were sold and installed across the United States. The request estimates that 'hundreds of millions' of the units were installed across the USAThey include products sold under brand names such as Honeywell, DSC, NAPCO, ELK Products, and Interlogix. If the recall were to happen, it would be the largest recall in the history of the alarm industry. The request states: “It is our expert opinion that these non-conforming control panels present a foreseeably dangerous and serious public safety hazard and risk to all of the unsuspecting consumers, their families and business owners who have these control panels installed in their homes and businesses.” Interceptor addresses the vulnerability Zwirn has also submitted the products for investigation by UL and Intertek Testing Services Inc., which respectively provide the UL and ETL certification marks and are Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL). Outcomes of those investigations are forthcoming. Jeffrey Zwirn also promotes and sells a product, The Interceptor, that would address the vulnerability. It is a microprocessor designed to protect the data-bus and auxiliary power output wiring installed throughout a protected premises.
Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations to the U.K. Government after the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 were that the competence of the individuals working in the construction and life cycle of Higher Risk Residential Buildings (HRRBs) needs to improve and be clearer. Work had already started in many fire protection sectors to create fully recognized qualifications, and these help raise the benchmark. Improving fire safety training A force driving improvements in training is the Fire Industry Association (FIA). As a trade association, FIA is looking at ways to help its members and the broader industry sectors. One way to do that is to improve the training that FIA has provided to fire detection and fire alarm technicians for over 20 years. Having looked at various ways of doing this, FIA’s members agreed that creating nationally recognized qualifications would help add more professionalism to this sector. To offer nationally recognized qualifications, the FIA chose to become an awarding body registered with OFQUAL [Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation]. Initially, training is focused on the FD&A [Fire Detection and Alarm] sector, with future plans to offer training in other fire sectors. The process of becoming an awarding body was rigorous and difficult. It took FIA more than three years of applying and submitting policy documents before the organization finally achieved awarding body status in 2014. Fire system installation roles Training is provided in the four job roles as described in the fire system installation standard BS 5389/1: 2017 Training is provided in the four job roles as described in the fire system installation standard BS 5389/1: 2017; they are Design, Installation, Commissioning and Maintenance. These roles are also recognized within company third party certifications schemes (LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203). The designer designs the FD&A system, and the Installer installs it. The Commissioning technician checks and signs off the installation, and the Maintenance technician will complete the routine maintenance during the life of the system. Training modules Training in FIA’s four qualifications, at National Vocational Qualification Level 3, is broken down into modules. The Foundation is the information that each job role needs and is common to all four job roles, as is the Environment module and the Health and Safety module. These are the core modules. The final job-specific module picks up on the differences among the roles; e.g., what does a maintenance technician need to know that is different to an install technician? “Providing a qualification requires a process of asking the sector what it wants,” says Martin Duggan, General Manager, Fire Industry Association (FIA). “We went through a comprehensive route with ‘voice of the customer’ days and surveys plus syllabus reviews to check and double-check that the qualification reflects what the industry wants.” The base is the BS 5389 standard, although more was added such as Health and Safety and Environmental aspects. National Vocational Qualification Level 3 Level 3 is for supervisors or unsupervised workers and in a lot of cases, the individual will work unsupervised once they are qualified and have gained experience. The work done to create the services standard EN 16763: 2017 Services for Fire Safety Systems and Security Systems identified Level 3 as the appropriate level. The trailblazer aimed at apprentices in this sector also reached a conclusion that level 3 was the right one, as did FIA’s own research. Many electricians and security companies install fire alarm systems as their skills are very similar; however, the Fire Safety Order (England and Wales) states that a responsible person should only use competent persons to install and maintain fire protection systems. But how do you prove competence? Training in FIA’s four qualifications, at National Vocational Qualification Level 3, is broken down into modules Fire Safety Order “One of the worst things we see from all types of installers into buildings is leaving big holes in compartment walls,” says Duggan. (A compartment wall is designed to contain the spread of fire for a designated period of time.) “These should all be correctly sealed up.” The work being done by Working Group 2 (Installers) as part of the industry response group to Government on Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations includes: Company third party certification (so that the purchasing of services is done through a recognized company). The individuals the companies employ have a relevant recognized qualification. This is backed up on site with a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card or equivalent. Continuous Professional Development (CPD) or refresher training is introduced A basic knowledge of fire safe building and compartmentation is understood. “It’s this final piece that will help drive cultural change quickly, if we can implement it correctly,” says Duggan. “Can we get all installers to understand why we build compartments and why it’s so important not to damage these and allow smoke, heat and fire to move freely about a building?” LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 The benchmark for the FD&A industry has been third party certification with the two schemes LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 The benchmark for the FD&A industry has been company third party certification with the two schemes LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 being well established for the last 20 years; however, there are many companies that still are not registered, says Duggan. The excuse is based on cost, that customers are not asking for it, and that it’s not mandatory. “The way the current legislation works and is policed, it’s only likely that poor installations etc. will be found after a serious fire when it’s too late,” says Duggan. “Unfortunately, customers do not fully understand their duties to only employ competent people, and the courts will ask: What is the industry best practice and what more could have been done to prove your competence?” Third party schemes “We have company third party schemes for most fire protection disciplines and there are qualifications coming online for most sectors as well,” says Duggan. “These are what the FIA would point to as best practice.”
One lesson of Grenfell is how many fire system technicians operate without the appropriate qualifications. Since the Grenfell tragedy, Dame Judith Hackitt has called for all relevant trades to hold formal qualifications, and for industry to implement a system in which clients and end users can be assured that operatives are fully competent. Another lesson is that fire service audits of buildings are no longer fit for purpose. For instance, the current system does not require proof that a fire system was installed by a “competent person.” Fire safety in commercial buildings “The general public would be horrified to learn that someone can fit a fire safety system in a commercial building without any proper qualifications or licence,” says Tom Brookes, Managing Director of Lindum Fire Services Ltd., former Chairman of the British Fire Consortium (BFC), and current Chairman of the Fire and Security Association. When it comes to competency, the whole industry needs to up its game" “When it comes to competency, the whole industry needs to up its game,” says Brookes. “Some larger companies are upskilling their staff and moving towards formal qualifications. If small- and medium-sized enterprises do not follow suit, they will fall behind and may be excluded from the marketplace altogether.” Working Group 2 on installer competence Working Group 2 on installer competence was established after the publication of Dame Judith Hackitt’s final report last year, under the joint leadership of Build UK and the Fire Sector Federation. The group has discussed extensively the need for systems engineers to be suitably qualified and able to demonstrate their competence. “In my opinion, there is too much focus on rival competency schemes rather than overall industry outcomes, which somewhat muddies the waters,” says Brookes. “However, one thing that has become crystal clear is that all fire and emergency systems engineers will likely need to hold a Level 3 qualification in the future.” Training provided BFC, FIA and IFEDA Although quality training is provided through the British Fire Consortium (BFC), Fire Industry Association (FIA), Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association (IFEDA) and others, historically there have been no Ofqual-approved qualifications for the fire sector. (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation [Ofqual] is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests.) Changes are afoot, however. In England, the Fire, Emergency Systems and Security trailblazer apprenticeship attracted around 300 new starts last year. The FIA have replaced their 20-year-old training programmes with a new system that will enable technicians who complete the series to achieve their Level 3 qualifications. Since the Grenfell tragedy, Dame Judith Hackitt has called for all relevant trades to hold formal qualifications BS5839-1:2017 Ofqual-approved qualification The awarding organization EAL are launching a BS5839-1:2017 Ofqual-approved qualification in August 2019. This will allow previously trained engineers to sit an exam and gain a Level 3 award demonstrating up-to-date knowledge. Practical skills testing for more experienced technicians, outside of an apprenticeship, is something FSA are currently working hard on with partners including ECA, NET and ECS. “Our aim is for a few options to become available for operatives to gain some sort of practical competence certification,” says Brookes. “More technological solutions are now being considered for competency evaluation, such as uploading video assessments of candidates to a portal for assessors. This is already used for some NVQ type assessments and widely used in the USA. It may be just what our sector needs at this moment in time.” 'Accountable Person' role Latest Government report following Grenfell states they are looking to create a role in commercial buildings The latest Government report following Grenfell states they are looking to create a role in commercial buildings called the “Accountable Person.” This person will have a legal responsibility to ensure people working on systems are competent. While only for high rise and high-risk buildings, like all developments, it will likely spread throughout the sector. “For as long as I have been in the fire industry trade bodies have called upon the fire authorities and Government to legislate to stop unskilled workers installing and maintaining fire safety equipment,” says Brookes. He notes that both independent third-party certification of businesses and CSCS partner card schemes like ECS for individuals are voluntary arrangements. To date, neither Government nor fire services insist either scheme is used by a fire protection company. “If, heaven forbid, we witnessed another tragedy like Grenfell tomorrow, sadly I suspect the outcome would be very much the same,” says Brookes. “However, looking further ahead, I am confident buildings will be safer once new legislation comes into force and effectively eliminates the threat of incompetent and unqualified fire and emergency system engineers.”
Metalline’s fire rated non-combustible Ultima Spandrel panels have been specified to replace the existing window panels on five tower blocks on the Chalcots Estate in Camden. Ultima Spandrel panels The decision by Camden Council to replace all combustible material from their tower blocks is part of a major upgrade to ensure the safety and security of their residents. A key influence on the decision to specify Metalline’s Ultima Spandrel Panel was the fabricators willingness to put their product through an independent fire performance test to prove its integrity. Efectis, fire safety testing firm The fire performance test was carried out independently by Efectis, global provider of fire science and fire safety testing. As a result, Metalline’s Ultima Spandrel Panel is the UK’s first Spandrel panel to achieve a fire rating of 60-minutes integrity and 60-minutes insulation. Constructed from A1 non-combustible materials, the Ultima Spandrel Panel can be specified in a range of finishes including anodized natural silver, bronzes from light to dark, black, regency gold 1 & 2 and a specialist Anolok finish in blue grey and stone grey colors.
The University of Edinburgh, one of the UK’s most prestigious educational establishments with a history stretching back to 1582, is now protected by industry-leading intelligent fire panels from Advanced. Edinburgh is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world, with the Old College building being opened in the early 19th century as a school for anatomy and surgery. The original campus was expanded in the 1880s with the addition of the New College, and the university now occupies six sites throughout Edinburgh. Flexible, Reliable And Compatible The new fire system installed at the main campus by long-term Advanced partner FMS Fire and Security Limited, covers the entire university campus. It compromises of multi-loop Advanced MxPro 4 and MxPro 5 panels, connected using fault-tolerant network cards. The new panels installed at the University of Edinburgh are the latest in a long line of installations" Dominic Rea, Director for FMS Fire and Security, said: “The new panels installed at the University of Edinburgh are the latest in a long line of installations we have undertaken throughout the university Campus, all using MxPro components. The Advanced panels installed are not only flexible and reliable but are also compatible with the existing systems already installed.” Two Panel Ranges MxPro is s multiprotocol panel and offers customers a choice of two panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network that enjoys free training and support. Ronald Kerr, spokesperson for the University of Edinburgh, commented: “The safety of our staff and students is paramount and they are now protected by the best fire panels on the market. The university has been shaping history since it welcomed its first students in 1583 and has played a large part in the scientific and literary development of Scotland. Our buildings are a big part of that history and, thanks to Advanced, they will be protected for many years to come.” Alarm Control Across Advanced’s ease of installation and configuration make MxPro customisable to almost any application MxPro 5 offers high performance fire detection and alarm control across multi-panel networks and multiple sites. MxPro 5 panels are EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 approved. They can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, 200-panel networks covering huge areas. Advanced’s ease of installation and configuration make MxPro customisable to almost any application and the panel is fully compatible with MxPro 4. Neil Parkin, Advanced Sales Manager for the North, said: “The University of Edinburgh is the latest in a long line of educational establishments protected by Advanced panels, including Sheffield University, Herriot Watt University and a number of leading independent schools. Our MxPro range offers the performance and reliability required by a site such as the University campus and the system is flexible enough to be expanded and upgraded as technology evolves.” Advanced is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The performance, quality and ease-of-use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over 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.
A new addition to the Red Funnel Ferries fleet of passenger catamarans that criss-cross the Solent between Southampton and the Isle of Wight entered service in summer 2018. With a speed of 38 knots, Red Jet 7 is 41 meters long and holds 277 passengers and four crew. As a new-build vessel, the advanced design for the fire protection had to undergo a stringent approval process to comply with the Marine Equipment Directive (MED) prior to installation by SEC Marine from Southampton. Fire Detection System More than 30 multisensor detectors from the Apollo Discovery Marine range were supplied for Red Jet 7 The modern catamaran received a state-of-the-art fire detection system from Apollo, designed and commissioned by Fireboy-Xintex UK Operations Ltd. The ideal solution for medium and large nautical installations, Discovery Marine has the flexibility to manage different operating environments via interchangeable devices and modes. More than 30 multisensor detectors from the Apollo Discovery Marine range were supplied for Red Jet 7, supported by a Kentec panel. Similar to an optical detector, the Discovery multisensor detector accommodates an optical smoke sensor and a thermistor temperature sensor whose outputs are combined to give the final analog value. Robert Aldous, Managing Director of Fireboy said: “Apollo has worked with us on the specific challenges of nautical fire protection for many years. In our opinion, Discovery Marine is the ONLY choice for new-build fire protection systems. The different devices, all manufactured to the highest standard, give our clients peace of mind on reliability and performance.”
STANLEY Security, one of the UK’s leading security providers, has installed a wireless fire alarm system at Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories, meeting their insurance requirements while saving considerable expense. Based in Leicester, Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories Ltd. operates from a large three storey building which it owns. Harvey’s itself works out of the bottom floor and the remaining building is subdivided into units which are rented out, with the two floors upstairs being dance studios that are mostly used in the evenings and weekends. Requirement Of A L2 Fire System L2 requires Manual Call Points throughout and optical AFD in escape routes and all rooms, corridors and compartmentsAs part of its insurance policy, Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories conducted a Fire Risk Assessment, undertaken by a third party. The assessor stated that an L2 category Fire System was required throughout the building. BS 5839-1:2017, the British Standard for fire detection and fire alarm systems in non-domestic premises, categorizes systems based on their objectives. Category L is a system designed to protect life and ranges from minimal protection 5 to top protection 1. L2 requires Manual Call Points throughout and optical automatic fire detection (AFD) in escape routes and all rooms, corridors and compartments that open onto escape routes, plus further AFD in areas identified as high fire risk. L2 systems therefore often come with a high price tag, especially in a large building such as that owned by Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories. After receiving several quotes that were out of the company’s reach, STANLEY Security provided the company with an affordable, effective alternative. EMS Wireless System For Cost Reduction “One of the key costs in the previous quotes was cabling,” states Ashley Hickling, Fire Sales Manager for STANLEY Security. “Other installers were looking to cable the entire system, or use a hybrid of hard wired and wireless equipment. With a large building, the amount of cabling pushed the price high. Furthermore, there were no cable routes, so a lot of containment would have been required for a hard-wired solution, which is also expensive and not aesthetically pleasing – an issue for the dance studios.” STANLEY Security recommended a full EMS wireless system which negates the need for cabling and reduces the costs The cost of labor to fit the cabling also added to the budget. STANLEY Security instead recommended a full EMS wireless system which negates the need for cabling and therefore reduces the costs significantly. Furthermore, the entire system is financed under STANLEY Assure, a finance solution for customers wishing to benefit from up to date security and fire technology without the risks of ownership and with evenly spread, manageable payment terms with no hidden extra costs. Day/Night Protection Of Building’s Inhabitants In the case of Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories, the cost of the system – including maintenance, replacement parts, call outs and labor on a wear and tear basis – is spread over five years with a monthly payment of just £393.80. Harvey’s Windows & Conservatories now benefits from a modern analog addressable L2 fire alarm system that meets its insurance obligations and protects the building’s inhabitants day and night. If a detector on the system should activate, it can be instantly pinpointed from the Fire Panel, confirming exactly which one it is and where, for appropriate, instant action to be taken.
Established in 1975, Melvin Weaver & Sons has provided crop protection products for the agriculture industry for over 40 years. The company’s steady growth throughout these years generated the need for additional space at their Lancaster, Pennsylvania based facility. In summer 2014, Melvin Weaver began planning the construction of a 16,800-square-foot addition to its warehouse. Having a long-time relationship with Kint Fire Protection, Melvin Weaver turned to Kint to explore fire suppression system options for its new warehouse. Kint initially recommended a dry chemical system solution similar to the one being utilized in Melvin Weaver’s existing warehouse. However, after learning the existing system had previously malfunctioned, causing a discharge with tremendous clean-up costs and significant down-time, Kint began brainstorming. Reliable, Customizable Fire Suppression Agent We wanted to provide our customer with a state-of-the-art system and installation" Kint in-house engineer, Frank Hetherington, suggested the Fike PROINERT2 system. Once design and engineering was completed, Todd Van Wagner, Senior Solutions Analyst at Kint Fire Protection presented the solution to Linford Weaver, partner & son of Melvin Weaver. “We immediately began pre-fabricating the suppression nozzle pods so we could send them, along with all exposed pipe and fittings for painting,” stated Todd Van Wagner of Kint Fire Protection. “From the beginning, we wanted to provide our customer with a state-of-the-art system and installation that would serve as a showcase of Kint’s design and installation capabilities, as well as demonstrate the customers’ commitment to fire safety at their facility.” PROINERT2 Project Protects Multiple Spaces This substantial PROINERT2 project included 185 cylinders. And with Melvin Weaver’s business continuing to grow, the system can easily be modified for future expansion. In fact, another impressive feature of the PROINERT2 system is while it is designed to protect the overall space, it’s quite simple to individually protect any number of smaller spaces within it by using selector valves allow the system to direct suppression to only the spaces where it’s needed. “We take pride in providing our customers with the latest in technology and design,” continued Todd Van Wagner. “Melvin Weaver stores their product up to 20 feet high, so we had to come up with a design that would not interfere with the storing or moving of their product, but still cover the entire space.” Kint Fire Protection did this by designing and pre-fabricating custom nozzle pods to accommodate the different nozzle designs required for the space below 16 feet and the space above 16 feet. Once all nozzle pods were built, painted and placed, Kint filled in with the remaining pipe, detection, audio visuals and manual pull stations. Completed in April 2015, this project took approximately 160 hours of engineering time and 5 weeks of installation. Meeting Local AHJ Requirements An advantage of the PROINERT2 system is it utilizes argon and nitrogen (free to replace)“We received a state-of-the-art system that meets local AHJ requirements,” explained Linford Weaver, “And in the unlikely event of a discharge, our business will not be impeded with significant down-time or clean-up costs.” He continued, “Despite PROINERT2 being more expensive to install, FPGCS-002 over a 12-year period it’s actually quite a savings.” Another advantage of the PROINERT2 system is it utilizes argon and nitrogen (free to replace), so the only costs are labor and shipping of any replacement cylinders. Steve Tierney, Fike Corporation regional manager stated, “PROINERT2 was a logical solution to Melvin Weaver’s problem as it prevents any down-time or costs to clean up any future potential discharges, saving Kint’s client money in the long run.” Success Factors Of The System Half the maintenance cost of dry chemical systems. No cleanup costs, no down time, no loss of product in event of discharge. Flexible system design and installation with ease of modification. Suppression gas storage cylinders are all stored together at one location on ground-level, avoiding the storage space and weight capacity issues common with systems that require the cylinders be located very close to the area being protected. Simple semi-annual inspections. Environmentally friendly. Recharge free for gas, only cost is labor. Safety delay to protect workers.
In April, 2009, a financial institution located in downtown Chicago was protected from the possibility of a large fire. Earlier that evening, an electrical component in the self-contained air conditioning unit had overheated and caught fire. The AC unit was located in close proximity to highly sensitive equipment in a computer room. Fortunately, the computer room was protected with a Fike clean agent suppression system, using the gaseous chemical suppressant, DuPont™ FM-200® — designed to extinguish the fire without the use of water. Fike’s fast-reacting clean agent suppression system quickly extinguished the fire, limiting damage This is vital to the protection of computer rooms and data centers where the effects of water on critical electronic equipment can be as devastating as the actual fire. Fike’s fast-reacting clean agent suppression system quickly extinguished the fire, limiting damage to the air conditioning unit and preventing computer room downtime. Assesment Of The Fire Suppression System Fike distributor, Reliable Fire Equipment, who originally recommended and installed the FM-200 system, was called to assess the situation and service the fire suppression system. “We sent technicians out that same night to download the history of the fire and reset power to the equipment,” said Robert Pikula, Vice President of Reliable Fire Equipment. “Approximately four surrounding detectors had detected the smoke and discharged the FM-200. The Fike clean agent system worked exactly as it should and there was no damage to the computer room.” Effectiveness Of The Fike FM-200 The customer was pleased with the effectiveness of the Fike FM-200 system" “Fike’s clean agent cylinders are designed to be refilled, recharged and reused in order to reduce costs to the customer,” continued Pikula. “With the Easter holiday weekend approaching, we knew we had to retrieve and replace the discharged cylinders quickly, so that the fire suppression system was up and running as quickly as possible.” “Even with the short week for the holiday, the cylinders were removed from downtown Chicago, filled, and installed back in our customers’ facility within a very quick turn-around period,” said Pikula. “The customer was pleased with the effectiveness of the Fike FM-200 system, and with the service we were able to provide them. It was a great team effort between Reliable Fire Equipment and Fike.” Project Success Factors Fike’s clean agent suppression system using DuPont™ FM-200® discharged properly, minimizing damage to the air conditioning unit and protecting the data center from receiving any damage. The ability to recharge, refill and reuse the Fike clean agent cylinders reduced costs to the end customer. Rapid service response times by employees at Reliable Fire Equipment and Fike, allowed the fire suppression system to quickly be restored to full operation, protecting the bank’s computer room.