Fire Safety Standards
For the last 200 years, firefighters have been using inefficient manual methods to track their crews’ movement. Incident commanders need to know the location and status of responders on site. Technology adds a new element to tracking crews’ movements. Firefighters on scene can now be electronically tracked to ensure they are rotated out of danger before their allotted time expires. The officer in charge – standing outside the scene with the rugged tablet in hand – can mo...
Euralarm has released its Annual Report 2018-2019. The period was a year of change for Euralarm. With a new President, Board, General Director and sections leaders in place and the final integration of the extinguishing section in the overall structure, the association is ready for moving forwards into the future. The annual report covers the period running between the General Assemblies of the association. The report follows the structure of Euralarm, with every section and technical com...
The Fire Safety Event 2019 and its co-located shows have enjoyed the most successful event to date welcoming over 11,733 visitors across three days at the NEC, Birmingham. The Fire Safety Event has firmly cemented itself as the fastest growing exhibition in the UK for the industry, providing a platform that ensures its visitors are equipped to maintain the highest fire safety standards. High-profile incidents in recent years have put a spotlight on the industry and The Fire Safety Event recogni...
New technology and strategies are urgently required if rescue services are to meet the enormous challenges they encounter in the modern world. Demographic change, the need for well-trained specialist personnel and responding to major incidents and disasters are just some of the keynote themes that demand answers. At INTERSCHUTZ 2020 manufacturers, suppliers, rescue services and training institutes will present their solutions and ideas for future-fit rescue services. At the same time, INTERSCHU...
Manufacturer and supplier of specialist passive fire protection products, Quelfire, will bring its expertise to stand FX239 at FIREX International 2019, taking place on 18-20 June at the ExCeL, London. Quelfire has built its name on a long-standing commitment to high-quality certified products, including fire containment systems for pipe, duct and electrical service penetrations, as well as linear joints and cavity barriers. With over 40 years’ experience in the industry, the company prov...
Water is key to any firefighting operation. Being able to secure an adequate water supply is critical a critical skill for all fire departments. One of the most challenging scenarios to secure a water supply in is when there is no municipal water supply, or it is lacking in volume and flow. When fires occur in these areas, the only alternative is to shuttle water from the nearest municipal supply or a static body of water. To get the highest flow possible, departments must train on shuttle set...
Bristol Uniforms, a designer and manufacturer of protective clothing for emergency services across the globe, has joined forces with its international distributor Rosenbauer Slovenia to secure a contract with Ljubljana Fire Brigade. Rosenbauer Slovenia and Bristol’s world-class design team worked closely to produce the winning design, which is based on Bristol’s ergonomic and lightweight XFlex design and customized to accommodate specific equipment. They used the latest fabric technology to create a quality, bespoke garment using a Hainsworth TITAN1220 outer layer, a GORE-TEX CROSSTECH FIREBLOCKER moisture barrier and a Hainsworth ECO-DRY ACTIVE lining. Customizing Garments Bristol’s experienced design team is well-versed in customizing garments and delivered to a high specification The XFlex design met Ljubljana’s core requirements - manufactured to European standards, fit for purpose, comfortable, ergonomic and durable - but was adapted to ensure it fully complied with their brief, including a special shaped collar, waist adjuster straps and additional padding on the shoulders. As well as having specific fabric and design requirements, the brigade also wanted the design to incorporate a number of different loops, hooks and pockets to accommodate a specific harness belt, radio and mic, torch, carabiner and Pax bag. Bristol’s experienced design team is well-versed in customizing garments and delivered to a high specification. Strong Competitors Aleš Vrščaj, Area Sales Manager at Rosenbauer Slovenia said: “We invested a lot of time into understanding the brief and requirements, and are very pleased with the finished design, as were Ljubljana. We were up against some strong competitors in the industry but in the end, our competitively priced tender, attention to detail and sound understanding of the brief gave us the edge.” Richard Cranham, International Sales Manager at Bristol Uniforms said: “We have a long history of supplying Ljubljana Fire Brigade, who procured PPE from us until the mid 2000s, and are pleased that they have once more opted for Bristol kit. The contract will see us supplying the Brigade with 220 sets of kit over three years, including warranty. They have already taken delivery of 114 sets and feedback so far is really positive.”
Western Business Events (WBE), host of The Fire Safety Event, is in the final week of preparations before it opens the doors at the NEC on 9th-11th April for its largest edition yet. Now in its third year, The Fire Safety Event has seen phenomenal growth since its inception in 2016. The event, which began with 16 exhibitors now boasts over 50 exhibitors for its 2019 edition. High-profile incidents in recent years have put a spotlight on the industry and The Fire Safety Event recognises it has a role to provide ongoing education on new standards and legislation, best practice advice and help support the industry by providing them access to companies and products that will better prepare them. Tall Building Fire Protection The Fire Safety Event also features a Tall Building Fire Protection Area hosted by the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) The Fire Safety Event will provide a platform, which ensures its visitors are equipped to maintain the highest fire safety standards and will welcome back many of its exhibitors from previous years, cementing its place as the must-visit exhibition in the fire safety calendar. As it grows in stature, The Fire Safety Event has been able to attract a higher profile speaker line up, with Dame Judith Hackitt and former NYC Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano as two of the keynote speakers this year. New for 2019, The Fire Safety Event also features a Tall Building Fire Protection Area hosted by the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP). Bringing together expert speakers from across the industry, the seminars will focus on the highly contemporary issue that has drawn media attention in recent years following high profile incidents such as the Grenfell Tower fire and a series of tall building fires in Dubai. Chemical Storage Cabinets Alongside its comprehensive seminar program and other event features, The Fire Safety Event 2019 will feature dynamic, specialist demonstrations from many of its exhibitors, aiming to challenge and educate audiences. Safety storage cabinet manufacturer asecos (stand FS220) will be helping demonstrate the robustness of their chemical storage cabinets – highlighting the importance of safe secure units, particularly around hazardous materials. FirePro UK, will be bringing along their mobile showroom facility (stand FS140) and Kingspan on stand FS180 will be hosting a live burn test on its insulated panel core, showcasing its performance in real world scenarios. The Fire Safety Event team believe that with a line-up of prominent, industry-leading companies and its dynamic, specialist content, the event is set to become the must-visit exhibition for the industry. Fire Safety Calendar We’ve added more elements which aim to challenge and educate audiences and hopefully ensure the event is so pivotal in the fire safety calendar" Event manager Rachel Godfrey comments: “We really value feedback and have taken on board what visitors say, as well as understanding exactly what our exhibitors have said worked for them in previous years. We’ve added more elements which aim to challenge and educate audiences and hopefully ensure the event is so pivotal in the fire safety calendar that visitors count down the days until our next show.” The exhibitor line-up includes – Advanced, AMBIENT SYSTEM, asecos Limited, Association For Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP), Asset Protection Group Ltd, BAFE, Bilco (UK) Limited, Checkmate Fire Solutions Ltd, C-TEC (Computionics) Ltd, Detector Testers, Draggon, The Electrical Contractors’ Association, EMS Radio Fire & Security Systems Limited, Envirograf, Eurotech Fire Systems Limited, EvacLite Ltd, FFE Limited, Fike Safety Technology Ltd. Business Protection Fire & Security Matters, Fire Protection Association, FireArrest, Fireclass, FIRECLOUD365, FirePro UK Ltd, Firetrace Ltd, Firetronics, Fire and Security Association, FSi Limited, Global Fire Equipment (UK), Global HSE Solutions, Honeywell - Advanced Detection, The Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association (IFEDA), Illumino Ignis Ltd, Jactone Products Ltd, Jelf, Kingspan Limited, Klaxon, Miller Knight, National Association of Healthcare Fire Officers (NAHFO), QDOS, Rack System S.r.l, Safety Technology International Ltd, Securiton, SSAIB, The Institute of Fire Safety Managers, The Institution of Fire Engineers, Topscan, Trail Services (uk) Ltd, Turner & Townsend, WAGNER UK Ltd and Xact Training. With such a comprehensive offering, The Fire Safety Event and its co-located events are a must attend for anyone who has an interest in improving life safety, business continuity and business protection within their organisation. The Fire Safety Event will take place on 9th-11th April at the NEC, Birmingham.
Euralarm welcomes the recent announcement from the European Commission of an “implementing decision” concerning harmonized standards for the Construction Products, which includes the long-awaited citation of two core Fire Detections standards, hence confirming them as harmonized standards under the Construction Product Regulations (CPR). This announcement closes off the first step in a strategic plan which has evolved out of cooperation between CPR stakeholders (represented by CEN/TC72 and Euralarm). Heat Point And Smoke Point Detectors This citation of EN 54-5:2017+A1:2018 for heat point detectors and EN 54-7:2018 for smoke point detectors in the newly reformulated Official Journal (OJ) for the CPR reflects the steady progress being made by the EC to reduce the backlog of uncited candidate harmonized European Norms (hEN’s). The fire alarm industry is pleased that the EC understands and acknowledges the issues that the fire industry has with strict pursuit of the CPR ideals to achieve a “common technical language” for expressing the performance of products while not limiting or restricting their performance, unless such limits are first formalized into EU law using a Delegated Act. Both the fire alarm industry and the notified bodies are grateful that the European Commission has followed the industry’s advice The EU OJ dated 21st March 2019 states that the 31st August 2022 is the deadline for products to comply with the new revisions. That means that all manufacturers can start with the update of their corresponding external certificates and internal declarations by applying the latest version of EN 54-5 and -7 to their products. In due course, all manufacturers of heat and smoke detectors will be required to apply to authorised Notified Bodies for a Certificate of Constancy of Performance to the new revisions so they can then update their DoP’s (Declaration of Performance). Fire Detection And Alarm Systems Certification Both the fire alarm industry and the notified bodies are grateful that the European Commission has followed the industry’s advice to extend the coexistence period of EN 54-5 and EN 54-7. It allows both parties to handle all required tasks for (re)certification and declaration of the wide variety of smoke and heat detectors that are key components in most Fire Detection and Alarm systems available on the EU market. While the EN 54-5 (Fire detection and fire alarm systems. Heat detectors) and EN 54-7 (Fire detection and fire alarm systems. Smoke detectors) are part of the recent citation, it is important to note that they do not follow the proposed “Open Description” (OD) approach being developed by CEN/TC 72. In fact, the standards are two out of three published revisions of existing harmonized standards which (along with the impending publication of EN 54-3:2019 for fire alarm devices) exceptionally follow the pass/fail approach for expressing the product characteristics. It is fully anticipated that they will in due course, along with other parts of the EN 54 series, be revised to follow the new OD approach. Open Descriptions is gaining traction as a viable solution to address the challenges associated with preparing standards suitable for citation under the CPR.
The Arson Awareness Week highlights that almost half (47%) of all fires attended to by the fire services are started deliberately, sometimes with a tragic cost of lives, and with a bill for insurance claims of £1.2 billion. Last year 76,000 fires were as a result of arson - that's over 200 a day across the UK - and vacant properties in particular are often targets. Rigorous Inspection Procedure VPS Security Services specialize in protecting properties that are temporarily vacant or unoccupied, and their inspectors advise property owners and facilities managers how to reduce the risks of arson. Here are their top 5 priorities: Ensure combustible materials are removed before they become a potential target for arson. Protect your property. Seek an assessment and advice on security, good lighting and CCTV; use a letterbox seal if the property is to be vacant for a while - measures that will act as deterrents to an arsonist. There are specialist fire alert systems designed for temporarily empty sites which are easy to install, wireless and do not require building remodelling but still meet fire safety Adopt a rigorous inspection procedure when leaving a property vacant, ensuring: External doors are locked Internal doors are closed No unauthorized persons are left on the premises No accumulation of waste or rubbish Alarms are switched on Take advice and responsibility and think of ways in which someone could start a fire inside or outside of your property. Act on any issues you find. Security Through Occupation VPS Security Services are part of the VPS Group that specialize in protecting people, property and assets, by securing, maintaining and managing properties across a wide range of customer and industry sectors. Core building services cover the vacant, unoccupied and void property lifecycle from an initial risk assessment, to security, including guarding, monitoring, clearing, maintenance and also ‘security through occupation', via their VPS property guardians service.
In an unprecedented collaboration within the fire and security industry, three not-for-profit organizations with expertise in fire and security doorsets have combined their knowledge to offer guidance on a newly-published document on flat entrance doorsets. The joint publication: ‘A Guide for Selecting Flat Entrance Doorsets; A publication for housing associations, landlords, building owners and local authorities in England’, relates to new doorsets and is the product of DHF (Door & Hardware Federation), Secured by Design (SBD) and the Fire Industry Association (FIA). The publication brings together the best collaborative advice available from the industry in one straightforward document to highlight the fundamental issues of fire safety and security for those selecting fire doorsets. The publication makes the point that there is no conflict between fire and security with Building Regulations ADB and ADQ carrying equal weight Equal Weightage For ADB And ADQ Importantly, the publication makes the point that there is no conflict between fire and security with Building Regulations ADB (fire) and ADQ (security) carrying equal weight with neither taking precedence over the other. It explains why only factory produced doorsets can meet both ADB and ADQ. Specifiers can have confidence in using the publication as an authoritative source of information as they are guided through the complexities of an extremely important area of Building Regulations to help them make informed choices. The publication, which can be downloaded from any of the co-operating organizations’ websites, comes in the wake of the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy and in response to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Governments’ (MHCLG) Implementation Plan – ‘Building a Safer Future’, released at the end of December 2018. Enabling Safer, Easier Escape This new guidance document recommends that all fire doorsets are factory-prepared, and audited by a third-partyThis new guidance document, which launched in March of this year, recommends that all fire doorsets are factory-prepared (as opposed to prepared on-site), and furthermore, audited by a third-party. It is suggested these recommendations will offer greater assurance on door performance and protect occupants, control the spread of fire and enable safer, easier escape in the event of an incident. “We are delighted to have collaborated with SBD and FIA, in sharing our joint expertise on doorsets and fire safety,” explains DHF’s CEO, Bob Perry. “It seemed a natural partnership to come together and offer guidance on what to look for in a flat entrance doorset, how this relates to the latest advice supplied by Government (MHCLG) and why third-party certification of fire and security doorset manufacture, installation and maintenance is a critical part of the protection against fire ingress and unlawful entry. “Third party certification of manufacture, installation, maintenance and inspection of fire, smoke and security doors is something DHF has lobbied for tirelessly, as well as issues surrounding poorly or ill-fitting door closers,” he continues. “These form a vital part of fire safety.” Importance Of Third-Party Certification It is worth noting that although this document is specific to England and Wales, it is also useful information for Northern Ireland and Scotland"FIA’s CEO, Ian Moore, says: “We are very pleased to work with DHF and Secured by Design in producing a guidance document to assist housing associations, landlords, building owners and local authorities on what to look for in a new flat entrance doorset and why third-party certification of fire doorset manufacture, installation and maintenance is a critical part of fire protection. “This underlines the Fire Industry Association’s objective to improve and perfect fire protection work and builds on MHCLG guidance within the Government’s building safety program. It is worth noting that although this document is specific to England and Wales, it is also useful information for Northern Ireland and Scotland.” Establishing Effective Security Standards Chief Operating Officer of Secured by Design, Jon Cole, emphasized how important it is for the three organizations to work together to provide a holistic overview. Third party certification, by suitably qualified bodies, has certainly delivered consistency and quality within the security sector"He says: “For many years, we have worked closely with national and local government, manufacturers, trade associations and standards authorities at home and abroad to establish effective security standards in the building and construction industry. We insist on United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited independent, third-party certification to provide product control and to ensure that specification and quality is maintained over time.” “Third party certification, by suitably qualified bodies, has certainly delivered consistency and quality within the security sector. This is why, we have campaigned for flat entrance doorsets to have dual certification, meeting all the relevant requirements for security and fire resistance in a single combined design specification. We believe that certification remains the best and only way to assure that effective quality products are delivered to market, providing additional assurance of performance.”
IFEDA, the Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association is celebrating 30 years of raising standards within the fire protection industry. The association was formed on a desire to bring fire extinguisher technician training to the independent fire trade beyond the confines of the manufacturing companies. Credit for the association should go to Mr Dave Hulse and his company National Fire Training. Through his good offices and at the direction of the founding committee members, IFEDA quickly added what was to become one enduring principle, which is the stated aim of raising quality standards within the fire protection industry through third-party accreditation, initially being BS5750 and lately ISO 9001. Fire Protection Service IFEDA members are fire protection service companies, and membership works on the democratic principle of one member, one vote To this day IFEDA requires that its members should achieve third-party accreditation as a means of continued membership. This ensures that the quality standards and workings of member companies and their technicians are independently assessed via UKAS approved schemes such as BAFE SP101 and BAFE SP203 etc. IFEDA itself, whilst being the first fire industry trade association to require members to achieve third-party accreditation, was also the first association within the fire trade to achieve ISO 9001 for its services to members and training courses. IFEDA members are fire protection service companies, and membership works on the democratic principle of one member, one vote. From humble beginnings, IFEDA board members now sit on various industry committees including British Standards workings groups for fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire safety signage. Cost-Prohibitive In addition they also sit on various BAFE scheme committees including fire extinguisher technicians, fire alarms, kitchen suppression and the dry/wet riser scheme. This ensures that IFEDA members’ voices and points of view are represented across the industry. Graham Ferris, General Manager at IFEDA commented: “There are simply too many people who have made massive and telling contributions to this association over the past 30 years to try and name and pay tribute to their efforts and input, to do so would risk offending an omission who was equally deserving. However, special mention should be made with regards to my immediate predecessor Mr Ray Griffin and our long-time Chairman and now Executive President Mr Colin Payne. Both, in the early 2000’s, were at the inception of major changes in IFEDA not least in making the, then cost-prohibitive, attainment of ISO 9001 available to all the membership, irrespective of their company size.” Authentic Trade Association 2019 marks an important milestone in this fast paced and ever-changing industry" Mike Tobin, Chairman of IFEDA remarked: “2019 marks an important milestone in this fast paced and ever-changing industry. I am honoured to be part of the IFEDA journey which has been built from the heart. With sustainable foundations that are built with human spirit, and a drive to continually improve the relevant industry standards. We believe IFEDA is possibly the most authentic trade association within the fire safety sector. Our aim going forward is to direct our operations to assisting members in a fast-moving market, backed with applications to assist in the day to day engineering of systems and services.” IFEDA continues to raise standards within the fire protection industry, and achieves this by running training courses across a number of disciplines, including: fire alarms, fire extinguishers, dry risers, hose reels, train the trainer, and fire safety signage. All of IFEDA’s training courses have Continuing Professional Development status from the Construction CPD Certification Scheme.
Firefighting is hot, hazardous, and let's face it, grueling work. But believe it or not, the job today has become even more challenging as firefighters must deal with increased heat loads, toxic substances and other physical challenges that make structural firefighting one of the most demanding professions on the planet. So, needless to say, being well-trained, physically fit, and safely equipped can make all the difference in the world. Evolving Technology The fact is, as heat loads and toxicity exposure risks increase due to modern synthetic construction, the ways in which fires are fought are changing as well. These shifts, combined with the revolution that’s taking place in firefighter protection technology, have led to new and exciting designs in firefighter personal protective equipment (PPE) offerings. Technology is providing firefighters with respiratory protection “systems” is which respiratory protection itself is just one of many benefits Take the tried and true SCBA for instance. Since the invention of the first breathing apparatus in the late 1910s, their primary function has been air delivery. But today, technology is providing firefighters with respiratory protection “systems” is which respiratory protection itself is just one of many benefits. Revolution Of Life-Changing Technology Consider this: the effects of technology today impact virtually every aspect of modern life. And the same is true for the fire service, as software, thermal imaging, and wireless communications capabilities become more mainstream on the fireground. In response to these new capabilities, the consensus organizations responsible for PPE performance standards (i.e. NFPA and EN) have increased standards by mandating certain electronic components for each firefighter. But performance of these components can be limited by the fact that only so many “parts” can be attached to an SCBA, or because some capabilities are simply out of reach from a budget perspective. Over time, these limitations create long-term implications when it comes to SCBA choice, because the breathing apparatus purchased today may have to be in use for the next 15 years or more. So, what are firefighters to do? Firefighters should view their SCBA as the “foundation” of a safety system that equips firefighters with the many new safety capabilities that technology offers—now and in the future It’s More Than Air Delivery Missed opportunities for more timely safety improvements – which keep up with the pace of technology – are rooted in a false assumption that all SCBA are comprised of separate, mechanical components – and that the SCBA function is only about respiratory protection. But air-delivery is not the issue because every SCBA meets the standards, and every SCBA delivers air well. Further, looking at the SCBA merely as a separate component for air diminishes its potential to serve as a revolutionary safety technology “platform.” Safety As A System Firefighters need more than the minimum performance from breathing apparatus To keep pace with the rapid improvements in firefighter safety, firefighters need more than the minimum performance from breathing apparatus. Instead, they should view their SCBA as the “foundation” of a safety system that equips firefighters with the many new safety capabilities that technology offers—now and in the future. I’m talking specifically about platform-type products that can be easily updated with the latest technology, as soon as it becomes available, to help protect them when their lives are on the line. Key Questions To Consider When Looking For An SCBA Include: Does the SCBA have features that allow you to see, hear, and react quickly to changing situations? Can the SCBA sizing be customized to best fit each firefighter? How many total batteries are needed for the SCBA, and how does that affect long-term costs? How well does it integrate with other systems, such as communication devices, portable instruments, etc.? Does the SCBA provide you, your team, and incident command with critical information to make effective, life-saving decisions? Can the SCBA be programmed to meet your standard operating procedures, such as audible and visual alarms at 50% remaining pressure? Is the facepiece reducing or adding to overall SCBA cost and complexity? How easily can the SCBA be updated to meet changing standards? How easily can integrated accessories or features, such as thermal imaging, be added as they are developed in the future? At MSA, we develop technologically-advanced safety equipment designed to help meet today's changing fireground dynamics. We’re committed to setting the pace for safety with continuous improvements and innovations in PPE. For today. For tomorrow. For the future.
Products for electrical systems that are installed into modern, complex buildings have to be fit-for-purpose for today’s challenging demands. With the background of numerous incidents still being felt by the fire performance industry, how is it to set the benchmarks for the future to make sure there is never another Lakanal House or another Grenfell? The long-term answer is for clearer guidance and legislation, if necessary, to enable the whole supply chain to make decisions which are compliant when choosing products. In the meantime, with the Grenfell inquiry projected to go on during 2019, what is the benchmark?The development of LSZH materials was accelerated following the King’s Cross Underground disaster in which 31 people died Cables With LSZH Materials We have standards through British Standards (BS) and testing regimes which cables should meet to validate that they meet these standards with approvals from various industry bodies including BASEC and LPCB. At AEI Cables, we have developed our Total Fire Solutions range of cables and accessories for all fire safety applications, incorporating Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) features. Traditional PVC cables which produce vast amounts of dense black smoke, toxic fumes and acid gas when exposed to fire, bring an added danger to people who may be caught in the fire. Cables which incorporate LSZH materials emit very little of these substances. In a real fire situation, the cables will enable the fire and rescue services to find and evacuate people and help to protect property Smoke And Noxious Gases Cause More Casualties The development of LSZH materials was accelerated following the King’s Cross Underground disaster in which 31 people died, many of them from toxic fumes. London Underground has banned the use of PVC cables as a result. The adoption of LSZH for cables and other materials is also endorsed by the Building Regulations themselves. According to Part B, referencing fire safety, it says clearly: “The primary danger associated with fire in its early stages is not flame but the smoke and noxious gases produced by the fire. They cause most of the casualties and may also obscure the way to escape routes and exits. Measures designed to provide safe means of escape must therefore provide appropriate arrangements to limit the rapid spread of smoke and fumes.” Helping Fire And Rescue Services The very latest in technology and science, including LSZH materials, offers enhanced fire performance cablingThe very latest in technology and science, including LSZH materials, offers enhanced fire performance cabling, accessories and technical support ensuring critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a real fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes. In a real fire situation, these cables will enable the fire and rescue services to find and evacuate people and help to protect property. At the same time, there is still evidence of non-approved cabling still coming onto the market, and we simply cannot compromise quality of these products being used in these applications. Applications include residential and commercial buildings, shopping malls, airports and protected buildings with a track-record ensuring that fire alarms, sprinkler systems, building monitoring and security systems can continue to operate in a fire.
The continuity of power in the event of a real fire has never been more important as modern buildings become more complex and the need for the highest quality of products comes under the spotlight. With power for lighting and fire alarms, the fire and rescue services can use the intelligence gathered to evacuate people quickly, confident that they have found all the people in the building. Without power, they are literally scrambling in the dark without good information upon which to make their rescue. The continuity of power will also ensure that sprinkler or water mist systems can continue to operate where they exist. In commercial buildings, there may also be smoke evacuation fans which help to enable safe evacuation. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services Appropriate Cabling At the start of a project, the most appropriate cabling should be specified as part of the electrical system rather than at the end of a project. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services across individual areas and floors. At the same time, there are new designs, materials and products continually coming on to the market for major projects, and with it an increasing need for the various parties involved to work closely together to make sure they get it right. There has been an increasing incidence of non-approved cables on the market and unfortunately it is not until cables have been installed, tested or used that issues become clear. 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. Should there be a problem, have it checked and seek good advice. Keep records of purchase, including reel flanges with batch markings and a sample of the cable markings. Send lengths for testing and then decide on the most appropriate course of action. Choice of cabling is crucial at the start of major projects as issues may occur later Meeting Rigorous Third-Party Tests 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. 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. It is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests This Code of Practice specifies that the type of system selected during the design phase ‘should be derived from a detailed process of consultation with the relevant authorities’ and that ‘the design should be agreed at an early stage.’ The decision-making process for cable selection relevant for life safety and firefighting systems is clearly defined here. This covers three categories ranging from 30 minutes to 120 minutes fire survival time. Categories 1 and 2 cover means of escape for 30 minutes and then 60 minutes respectively, and these cables are tested in accordance with the relevant codes. Category 3 for firefighting to 120 minutes refers to power and control cables meeting the 120-minute test according to the relevant standards. It should be emphasised that only Mineral Insulated Cable (MIC) or a cable meeting the requirements of BS7846 F120 will meet this criteria. For clarity, BS 8519 does not take precedence over BS 5839 for alarm systems and BS 5266 for emergency lighting. In essence, choosing the most relevant cabling and electrical accessories which will continue to operate under fire conditions has become critical. Application Of Medium Voltage Cables As the incidence of non-approved cables continues then so the application of Medium Voltage (MV) cables into high-risk environments including hospitals, schools, care homes, industrial sites and sub-stations serving infrastructure sites also becomes critical. In the context off fire engineering, it is important to select the relevant MV Cables in these areas. Adhering to the latest regulations is no longer enough - there needs to be a risk assessment. In order to do this effectively, it is important to ask – are the fire safety procedures up to date? All AEI MV cables are third party tested and approved by BASEC. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards The whole supply chain needs to take consideration of these areas where vulnerable people often move about such as children or elderly people in hospitals or care homes. The fire and rescue services may need a little more time than a conventional building including reading complex fire alarm information to ensure a safe rescue in the event of a real fire. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards. This is due to ageing structures, high volume of combustible materials, and changing use in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths programmes where more combustible and flammable liquids are being used. Concerns have been raised by architects and and designers about fire protection regimes Sufficient Fire Risk Assessment Recent research by the Fire Brigades Union, for example, showed that a key focus for all educational institutions must be ensuring that there is an effective fire risk management process in place, delivered by suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment carried out by an expert in the field. The best practice under Business Information Modelling (BIM) and all best practice of fire safety engineering methods should be observed in conjunction with project partners. There have been concerns over a number of years around the fire protection regime for new buildings expressed by the architects and designers themselves. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) points to the delays to Approved Document B with regard to the relationship of Building Regulations to changing design and construction. AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service RIBA says the virtual disappearance of the role of the clerk of works or site architect and the loss of independent oversight of construction and workmanship on behalf of the client is a further issue for concern. In essence, RIBA believes that future proposals for the fire safety regulatory regime should be informed by the specialist fire safety expertise of relevant professional organisations and groups, and also take full account of this wider set of construction industry AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service with the support of its parent company Ducab based in Dubai, with the design, manufacture and supply of MIC, Firetec Enhanced or Firetec Power depending on specific needs. The choice of cabling and accessories should not be underestimated at the earliest opportunity to ensure the fire and rescue services are given every chance of success in rescuing people and saving property.
Tamworth-based trade association, DHF (Door & Hardware Federation) is emphasizing the importance of making fire safety an ‘absolute priority’ in new-build homes, following an investigation into potentially dangerous fire safety issues in houses developed by Persimmon Homes and Bellway Homes. Fire Safety In New-Build Homes The BBC’s Watchdog discovered serious breaches that had gone undetected during the construction process" The findings, by BBC Watchdog Live, highlighted that a number of new builds constructed by the firms were sold with missing or incorrectly installed fire barriers, which are used to form a complete seal between different areas of a home, and prevent the spread of fire. Without them, experts say, fire and smoke can spread five-to-ten times faster. “The BBC’s Watchdog discovered serious breaches that had gone undetected during the construction process, leaving homes and lives potentially at risk in the event of a fire,” explains DHF’s Commercial Manager, Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens. “In many new builds, particularly timber-framed buildings, fire barriers are a vital part of fire protection and we would urge house builders to ‘get it right’ at the construction stage and to have a workforce that is trained in, and understands, the importance of installing the fire barriers required to prevent potential problems down the line. Ultimately, responsibility for ensuring that buildings are compliant with Building Regulations lies with the house builder.” Importance Of Fire Safety Following the investigation, Bellway Homes stated that it was ‘committed to improvement’ with regards to potentially flawed fire safety issues in developments in Kent and West Lothian, and that mandatory training on, amongst other subjects, fire stopping, has been introduced for all relevant construction staff.Following the Grenfell disaster in June 2017, DHF’s voice has been one of the loudest and most passionate in its call for third-party certification by a UKAS-accredited body of manufacture, installation, maintenance and inspection of fire, smoke and security doors, in order to offer complete assurance on their performance. With a history and heritage dating back to 1897, the federation is undoubtedly one of the most revered organizations, widely respected as the industry’s independent authoritative voice. Fire Door Training Courses DHF works assiduously with BRE Academy to offer fire door training courses Fierce advocates for appropriate levels of training across all the sectors that it serves, DHF continues to place the importance of training firmly ‘up-front-and-center’. The organization works assiduously with BRE Academy to offer fire door training courses; this has been central to its on-going fire safety campaign. Additionally, in March 2019, DHF announced a high-profile collaboration with Secured by Design (SBD) and Fire Industry Association (FIA) to publish a guidance document on fire safety. Named A Guide for Selecting Flat Entrance Doorsets; A publication for housing associations, landlords, building owners and local authorities in England, the publication accentuates the key issues of fire safety for those selecting fire doorsets, recommending all fire doorsets are factory-prepared (as opposed to prepared on-site), that all work be completed under factory production control, and in addition, audited by a third-party. Fire Doors “Since Grenfell, the wider issue of fire safety has been thrust into the spotlight and we are delighted that progress is being made in this regard,” said Patricia. “We continue to stress that the use of fire doors, correctly installed and with robust fire door maintenance procedures, are an essential part of fire safety and urge those in positions of responsibility (such as house builders) to ensure that they are not only fulfilling regulations, as well as legal and moral obligations, but insisting upon appropriate levels of training with regards to installation and maintenance.”
For many students, the prospect of moving away from home and living alone for the first time can be daunting. Thanks to leading manufacturer of life safety solutions, Hochiki Europe, and NSC Sicherheitstechnik, students living at two sophisticated accommodation developments in Germany have one less thing to worry about when it comes to fire safety. The new developments are eight storeys high and capable of accommodating 239 residents at each location. Both named The Flag, they provide a flexible, smart city living space for students in Frankfurt and Munich, and feature premium fire detection and alarm equipment supplied by Hochiki Europe. Complying With European Standards One challenge that arose when specifying the life safety solutions for The Flag was the complexity of the sites. The nature of the buildings called for compliance with European EN standards including EN 54 Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems. It was also imperative that products selected offered optimum reliability to safeguard the wellbeing of occupants and limit the risk of false alarms. As well as being reliable, the products had to help keep running costs down across the sites, without compromising quality. Using products that offer enhanced energy efficiency credentials was therefore essential. Hochiki Fire Detection Solution To address these challenges, Hochiki Europe’s German-based systems partner, NSC Sicherheitstechnik, worked with building owners to identify and provide a range of life safety solutions for the two sites. This included a Solution F1 18 loop fire alarm system with 800 multi sensor detectors, which incorporate both smoke and thermal elements, and 925 base sounders. Multi sensors offer a number of benefits when it comes to reducing the risk of false alarms in residential environments, thanks to in-built intelligence. The sensors can be programmed in a way that ensures alarm conditions are reached only when smoke and heat are present at specific levels to minimise false alarms, and prevent unnecessary evacuations of residents. Additional Life Safety Solution Features The base sounders selected for use likewise feature in-built intelligence, and have an auto shutdown feature to reduce the risk of noise pollution, a common issue in large housing developments such as The Flag. In addition, the base sounders offer a low current consumption to help increase energy efficiency. Both the multi sensors and base sounders are also compatible with Hochiki Europe’s Enhanced Systems Protocol (ESP), a range which offers high performance with enhanced reliability. This ensured compliance with strict fire safety standards as required by the developers. Frank Schade, Sales Manager at NSC Sicherheitstechnik, added: “By using these intelligent life safety solutions from Hochiki Europe, we have been given peace of mind that our premises are fully protected and compliant with international legislation.” Both of The Flag developments were completed in 2017.
Hochiki Europe, leading manufacturer of life safety solutions, has recently worked with Scottish Security and Fire Systems to ensure the safety and security of a renovated Baptist church in Fife. The building which now houses Glenrothes Baptist Church was first constructed in the early 1960s and used as local authority offices. Following its recent conversion into a place of religious worship and, as such, a place of medium assembly under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the Order), the clergy house updated its fire safety and emergency lighting equipment. Appointed to carry out the works was specifier Scottish Security and Fire Systems, a provider of professional installation and maintenance services across Scotland. Meeting Aesthetic Requirements And Safety Standards The Fife project required an ultra-reliable and easy-to-maintain system that would not detract from the aesthetics of the building itself, nor distract its occupants with large, imposing features. Furthermore, the three-storey structure needed a networked system that performed in-line with recent changes in fire safety legislation. For example, the newly revised BS5266 Part 1: 2016 stipulates that emergency safety lighting should be bright enough to allow building occupants to see their surroundings in the event of a mains supply failure and the loss of normal lighting. On the back of a successful working relationship which began in 1995, Hochiki Europe’s intelligent emergency lighting and fire detection solutions were specified by their customer Scottish Security and Fire Systems. Hochiki Europe’s ESP range of intelligent devices utilise the world-proven Enhanced Systems Protocol (ESP). The range offers high compliance to globally recognised safety standards, and the open protocol gives installers the flexibility to incorporate devices from multiple manufacturers. Intelligent LED Emergency Lighting Scottish Security and Fire Systems also chose to specify Hochiki Europe’s innovative FIREscape system – the UK’s first low-voltage, addressable, intelligent, LED emergency lighting system. When compared to conventional mains-driven, fluorescent emergency lighting luminaires, FIREscape products can save more than 95 per cent of energy costs*1. Richard Wharram, Regional Sales Manager at Hochiki Europe, explained: “In places of assembly, such as churches, many people can be affected by an emergency situation in a very short space of time, which means fire safety must be regarded with upmost importance. FIREscape technology is a fantastic investment for this project. The system is not only reliable, intelligent and compliant, but its energy saving capabilities make it a long-term, cost-effective investment, saving the church both time and money.” Safety For Church Buildings “By using our easy-to-install technology, the specifiers were also able to significantly reduce the expected turnaround time of the project. Using both our ESP intelligent and FIREscape products, Scottish Security and Fire Systems ensured that Glenrothes Baptist Church is completely compliant with the latest building regulations, and churchgoers will be alerted quickly and efficiently in the case of an emergency." Matthew Marshall, Assistant Pastor of Missions, said: “The new life safety system at Glenrothes Baptist Church is easy to operate, and its self-test ability is a great additional feature. The new system will undoubtedly save us time and money through energy savings over the coming years. The safety of our congregation is, of course, of paramount importance, and Hochiki Europe’s products have given us that peace of mind.” *1 Based on 100 luminaires (VTT Technical Research, Finland)
The University Hospital of Wales had been in use for some 20 years and several aspects of its design did not meet current hospital and fire safety standards. Project: The University Hospital of Wales is one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe. The main ward block houses 800 beds and is a high-rise building. In addition, there is a three-story medical block and a three-story dental block. The three buildings are interconnected by subways and tunnels. The hospital had been in use for some 20 years and several aspects of its design did not meet current hospital and fire safety standards. The hospital had also experienced severe disruption due to smoke spread from some relatively small fires. A radical re-evaluation of all aspects of the fire safety provision was required. This included assessing: Compartmentalisation and separation aspects. Automatic fire detection requirements. Automatic fire suppression strategies. Requirements for storage and removal of waste/rubbish. Procedures for evacuation in a fire emergency. Contribution: BRE Global's Fire and Risk Sciences Division (FRS) was commissioned by WHCSA to assess the total fire safety provision. The hospital of Wales will get an enhanced security and safety cover after the FRS report FRS liaised with the local fire service, the hospital board, the hospital fire officer and NHS Estates in order to carry out a comprehensive evaluation of the problem. FRS then produced a fire safety report detailing cost-effective recommendations, which were based on fire safety engineering principles rather than just opting for compliance with prescriptive codes and requirements. The fire safety assessment report was then used to form the basis of a subsequent £multi-million refurbishment and upgrading scheme. Benefits: FRS is the UK's leading centre for research-based consultancy and testing covering all aspects of fire safety and security. The division can draw upon extensive research into experimental emergency evacuations and occupant behaviour during fires, all of which was important to the successful conclusion of this project. Established in 1947, FRS's clients extend beyond the construction industry, and include those concerned with design, development and manufacture of materials, products, systems, industrial processes, transport and offshore. BRE is retained as an advisor to the NHS Fire Code Committee and the NAPG.
Nuclear facilities require special security measures, as they are prone to hazards and fatal accidents ASL Safety & Security have supplied a high-integrity building evacuation system (BES) to Sellafield Ltd at the company's nuclear processing facility in Cumbria. Sellafield currently performs multiple tasks geared towards decommissioning the UK's nuclear legacy as well as fuel recycling, manufacture and waste management. As a key safety system at this nuclear-licensed site, the equipment is required to be entirely dual redundant, with emphasis placed on a design that meets key objectives for a robust architecture, unaffected by environmental and electromagnetic factors as defined in BSEN 61000-6-4 and BS EN 61000-6-2. The system also meets the stringent BS5839:8 standard for voice alarm systems. Nuclear facilities have unusual requirements and safety is so critical at this location that a 'confidence tone' is broadcast at 15-second intervals around the clock. The presence of these regular pips reassures personnel that the evacuation system is functioning correctly. If an event is activated manually by criticality incident detectors or activity-in-air monitors specific to a building, a distinct warning tone is broadcast within 300 milliseconds and the location in question is evacuated. At the same time, "Keep Out!" warning beacons are triggered throughout the evacuation zone. Local residents are automatically contacted by telephone and can also ring a number to hear a description of various emergency sirens. Failure of any of the components will not affect the operation of the system as a whole. The amplifiers employed are ASL's M400 rack-mounted main frame units which use the company's unique class-D adaptive technology to minimise power consumption, meaning a reduced sizing requirement for battery back-up. The system features dual power supplies, routers and standby amplifiers modules with speaker line monitoring and automatic switching carried out via DC surveillance.