Fire Safety Standards
Rental storage units represent a serious and unpredictable risk for firefighters. For example, hundreds of rented units at a three-story, self-storage warehouse in Manchester, United Kingdom, were recently destroyed by fire. Fire in rental storage units There were 125 firefighters and 25 fire engines called to the scene. There were no injuries, but hundreds of customers lost thousands of dollars in stored goods in the fire. Notably, the facility was not protected by a sprinkler system, which n...
Teledyne Technologies Incorporated announces the successful completion of the acquisition of FLIR Systems, Inc. At each of the respective company’s special meeting of stockholders held on May 13, 2021, the stockholders approved and adopted merger proposals related to the Agreement and Plan of Merger dated January 4, 2021. FLIR will now be included in Teledyne’s Digital Imaging segment and operate under the name Teledyne FLIR. Under the terms of the agreement, FLIR stockholders recei...
My Honeywell Buildings University is now live! The single location for all training support. One can browse a global catalog of training modules once in the portal, access on-demand training, and self-help videos, register for instructor-led sessions, and review training history.My Honeywell Buildings University currently supports 20 Honeywell brands and offers more than 700 hours of on-demand content, includes more than 200 instructor-led courses, and is accessible for the partners...
No matter if the speaker is 8 Ohm, 25 Volt, or 70 Volt – any option works with the new PSA-IP analog to IP speaker adapter. “The PSA-IP adapter will be the go-to for customers looking for a cost-effective way to convert their existing analog paging speakers to SIP/multicast speakers,” said Greg Yocom, Engineering Manager, Viking Electronics Key features The PSA-IP features a high-efficiency 6 Watt class D amplifier. This allows a single PSA-IP to power up to six paging speak...
Super Vac, the manufacturer in fire ventilation equipment, is expanding its popular DeWalt and Milwaukee battery fan lineups with the addition of three different 20” variable-speed battery-powered fans. Equipped with DeWalt FLEXVOLT batteries or Milwaukee M18 or M28 REDLITHIUM batteries, these fans deliver some of the battery fan outputs. Moreover, with the introduction of these fans, Super Vac continues to offer the most interchangeable PPV interface on the market, pairing with many depa...
The Metropolitan “Metro” Fire Chiefs Association, a Section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) held its 2021 annual meeting virtually on May 10, 2021. More than 85 Metro chiefs attended the meeting and elected the Association’s 2021-2022 officers and board members. The officers are: Chief Don Lombardi, President; West Metro Fire Protection District, Lakewood, Colo. Chief Robert Rocha, Vice Pres...
The Josh Cellars brand is partnering with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to recognize volunteer firefighters by producing a limited-edition, NVFC-branded bottle of Reserve Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon. For every bottle sold, Josh Cellars will donate one dollar to the NVFC (up to $150,000) for initiatives that support volunteer firefighters. “We are so appreciative of the tremendous support Josh Cellars gives to our volunteer fire service,” said NVFC chair Steve Hirsch. “This year’s limited-edition bottle is a great tribute to our nation’s volunteer responders and will help provide essential tools and resources to support their critical work.” Assistance to volunteer fire departments For Joseph Carr, founder of Josh Cellars, the volunteer fire service is a cause close to his heart. Josh Cellars wine was created by Carr as a tribute to his father, a volunteer firefighter and U.S. Army veteran. “Growing up, my dad Josh, our family, neighbors, and friends were all volunteer firefighters,” explains Carr. “It is civic duties shared and understood by all where I come from that you always take care of your community. That’s why Josh Cellars partners with the NVFC to provide assistance to volunteer fire departments and the dedicated responders across the country.” The Josh Cellars Reserve Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon will be available for purchase nationwide from May 1 through August 31 in local retail stores across the U.S.
Academy Sports + Outdoors and Brooks have teamed up to support people who keep the world running with the launch of a special, limited-edition Brooks x Academy First Responder shoe collection. For every purchase, a donation of $10 is made to the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and American Nurses Foundation, up to $25,000 each, to support the frontline responders who serve the communities. First Responder Collection Brooks’s purpose is to inspire everyone to run their path to a better self by creating the best running gear, tools, and experience. As one of the nation’s sporting goods and outdoor retailers, Academy Sports + Outdoors believes in bringing their communities the gear they need to have more fun out there. Together, they created the First Responder Collection inspired by the enduring resilience and strength of firefighters and frontline medical workers. Recognizing first responder community “We are grateful to Academy Sports + Outdoors and Brooks for launching this special First Responder Collection to recognize and give back to the first responder community,” said NVFC chair Steve Hirsch. “Our nation’s volunteer firefighters and EMS providers do so much for their neighbors every day, and shining this spotlight on their work both honors these courageous men and women and raises awareness of all they do.” “From Academy and Brooks, we are grateful for all that our first responders do each and every day,” said Anna Morrison, running footwear buyer for Academy Sports + Outdoors. “Thank you for your diligence, your sacrifice, your compassion, and most importantly, thank you for showing up and risking your lives when we need you most. This collection is our thank you for all that you have sacrificed.” Available in 4 designs The collection includes four unique designs using bold and empowering graphics that capture the true essence of frontline heroes. The two firefighter designs embody the daring and courageous character, kinship, and strength of the men and women who serve their communities in this incredible way. The Brooks x Academy First Responder Collection is on sale till June 30.
Johnson Controls, the global pioneer for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings and architect of OpenBlue connected solutions, is setting a new standard in fire suppression with the launch of WILLIAMS FIRE & HAZARD CONTROL® T-STORM® NFF 3x3 UL201 Foam Concentrate. This new, patent-pending, Non-Fluorinated Foam (NFF) technology provides fast, effective fire suppression on most Class B hydrocarbon and polar solvent fuel fires. With a longer drain time than most AR-AFFFs, this foam blanket also delivers excellent post-extinguishment burnback resistance and vapor suppression. Cleared testing protocols T-STORM® NFF 3x3 UL201 Foam Concentrate passes the UL 162 synthetic foam concentrate protocol. It has also passed, under independent third-party witness, the UL 162 AR-AFFF test protocol for Type III hydrocarbon fuel at a 3-to-1 expansion ratio. This protocol’s more challenging foam application test rate of 0.04 gpm/ft2 (1.6 lpm/m2) is two-thirds that of the UL 162 synthetic, non-fluorinated foam protocol, and for an AR-AFFF this result would correspond to a minimum design application rate of 0.10 gpm/ft2 (4.1 lpm/m2). Ease of use T-STORM® NFF 3x3 UL201 Foam Concentrate provides flexibility and ease of use for first response teams, as it allows for consistent three percent proportioning for both hydrocarbon and polar solvent fires. This means there is no need to adjust proportioning for different Class B hazards. Greater throw distance The foam concentrate is compatible with a most standard response proportioning and discharge devices With a 3-to-1 expansion ratio and a viscosity similar to a 3x3 AR-AFFF, the foam concentrate is compatible with most standard response proportioning and discharge devices, reducing the need for significant hardware changes. The low expansion ratio provides greater throw distance for the foam, giving firefighters additional separation from the flames. Quickfire control “We developed and tested the NFF Concentrate at the Johnson Controls Fire Technology Center, one of the most extensive fire research and testing facilities in the world,” said Craig Cook, global product development leader, Foam Products at Johnson Controls. “When tested on a hydrocarbon fuel fire at three percent concentration, the foam quickly gained 90 percent control and exceeded the requirements for extinguishment and burnback time for a UL 162 AR-AFFF Type III listing.” Non-fluorinated concentrate T-STORM® NFF 3x3 UL201 Foam Concentrate is defined as a non-fluorinated firefighting foam concentrate, produced in equipment free from the use of PFAS chemistry. Since this product is free from any intentionally added PFAS chemistry and precautions have been taken to avoid PFAS contamination, it inherently complies with Directives (EU) 2017/1000 on PFOA and 2019/1021 (EU POPs directive) as a non-fluorinated product. Along with other Johnson Controls fire protection products and solutions, this T-STORM® NFF Concentrate helps protect people and property within industries like petroleum and chemical where spills and limited scale hazards require a municipal and industrial response. It is also suitable for use in foam systems with Type II discharge devices.
Comelit’s fire alarm and detection systems, including beam detectors, have been installed by Ozzas Security Systems at Art Hub Studios CIC, a non-profit, artist run community interest company. The inclusive, affordable artists’ studios, based in South East London supports over 235 creatives. It offers 24/7 access, free use of facilities, and a community gallery as an affordable platform for exhibiting studio members alongside local artists and students. Welcoming a high volume of members, clients, and visitors to the studios, including those attending dedicated art courses, fire safety, and security is an integral component of building maintenance. Risk assessment Ozzas Security was called to the site following a risk assessment on the fire alarm and detection system. With recommendations made for a new system, Comelit’s Atena Easy single loop system was fitted with point detection and beam detectors to offer simple and quick installation, without impacting on site aesthetics. Says a representative of Art Hub Studios: “We’ve been running art hub studios in East London for over 20 years, with an aim to raise the profile of such talented artists across our region. We welcome clients and visitors to view our members’ works alongside local artists, students and community groups.” “With so many people present at any one time, we need to ensure their safety and security, and we have regular checks and assessments planned. When issues were raised with our fire alarm and detection systems, we instantly contacted Ozzas as our local fire specialist, who fitted the Atena system quickly and efficiently and it is end-user friendly, which is a welcome bonus.” Easy single loop solution Comelit Atena Easy is simple and quick to install, with beam detectors aiding alignment for the large open areas Comelit’s Atena Easy single loop solution is a compact, entry-level fully addressable system. The system can accommodate up to 500 devices over 2 loops, making it ideal for small to medium applications, with a fully functional networked opportunity to expand with a facility or building requirement. Ozzas Security also installed eight beam detectors at the studios, equipped with an integral laser and set of passive reflectors to allow for simple auto-alignment made the install much simpler. Authority comments Rytis Ozolas of Ozzas Security added: “Any artist studio is a specialist consideration when it comes to fire safety, especially with the use of different materials and substances in every day works by the artists on site. The Art Hub Studios demonstrates good practice in having regular fire alarm system risk assessments and maintenance checks, calling on specialists to update equipment if issues raised. Comelit Atena Easy is simple and quick to install, with beam detectors aiding alignment for the large open areas.” Mandy Bowden, Comelit Fire BDM, concluded: “What is demonstrated with fire safety at Art Hub Studios is the significance of regular fire safety checks and the ability with approved installers and Comelit Atena systems to react quickly when required. The beam detectors are definitely an added advantage, and as demonstrated by Art Hub Studios, are suitable in buildings where point detection is not suitable for use due to the height of the building. It all amounts to a seamless customer experience from risk identification to project completion.”
Strategically located in Randburg, a prosperous district in the Gauteng province, Northlands Corner is a 40,000 square meter site divided into units leased to a wide range of businesses to utilize as retail, office, showroom, and storage space. The development is owned by Northlands Business Park Pty, a construction, property management, and maintenance company. Established in 1999, Northlands quickly recognized the growing requirement in the area for secure enclosed industrial parks designed to the client’s exact specification. CAST's Intuitive Devices Central to the life-safety systems is a network of C-TEC’s powerful CAST 2 loop 32-zone XFP addressable fire alarm panels integrated into over 350 CAST smoke detectors, heat detectors, sounder beacons, and call points. In an installation that took just under four weeks, the entire building including showroom, office, storage, kitchen, and bathroom areas, was equipped with CAST’s super-intuitive devices. Providing reassurance Donald Barnard, Detection and Special Risk Manager of Brigit Security Johannesburg, the specialist fire protection company that specified CAST. said, “All-embracing fire protection in multi-use areas is vital due to the fire risk associated with such facilities. As CAST is an integrated EN54-13-certified fire system designed to cover every aspect of the building, it provides reassurance to the property’s owners and tenants. The feedback we’ve received from the engineers who completed the project regarding ease of installation and commissioning has also been excellent.” UK Designed CAST is C-TEC’s own UK-designed and manufactured ‘distributed intelligence’ addressable fire detection and alarm system. Certified to all relevant EN54 product standards, including EN54-13, CAST is also fully compatible with ENVISION, C-TEC’s powerful new remote access, data management, and system testing software.
REV Group, a manufacturer of specialty vehicles, including fire apparatus brands such as E-ONE®, KME®, Ferrara®, Spartan Emergency Response®, Smeal®, and Ladder Tower®, is pleased to announce the Apparatus and Technology Conference, a three-day virtual event from May 18 to May 20, filled with the latest in fire apparatus and innovative technologies. REV Group is partnering with Clarion, which owns the FDIC and publications, to produce the virtual Apparatus and Technology Conference. Hosted and moderated by Bobby Halton, Editor in Chief of Fire Engineering magazine and Education Director of FDIC, the conference will allow customers to connect with representatives from each of the various companies and learn about the latest trends. Event Schedule From custom rescue pumpers and aerial ladders to the innovative systems that support them, attendees will discover useful information via product walk-around presentations and live Q&A sessions for specifying trucks for both today and tomorrow. The scheduled agenda is as follows: May 18 – Technology Day New Spartan FC-94™ Chassis Identifying Clean Cab Solutions That Are Right for Your Department New Smart Reach™ Multi-Stance Aerial Controls and Advanced Rung Lighting Latest in Fire Apparatus Chassis Suspensions for the Fire Service May 19 – Aerial Demonstrations KME Tractor-Drawn Aerial™ for North Penn Volunteer Fire Co., PA E-ONE HR 100 Single Rear Axle Ferrara HD-107™ Rear Mount Ladder May 20 – Pumper Demonstrations KME X-Series™ Custom Pumper E-ONE eMAX® Custom Pumper Ferrara Cinder® Top Mount Custom Pumper for Bayou Blue, LA Smeal Top Mount Enclosed Custom Pumper for Calgary, Alberta Fire Industry Advancement As a bonus, conference attendees will get a behind-the-scenes tour of a world-class fire truck chassis manufacturing operation and explore how to design and manufacture a true purpose-built fire truck chassis. “We’re excited to once again bring an event of this magnitude to the fire industry,” said Kent Tyler, President, REV Fire Group. “We are building upon the success of last year’s virtual expo, and we think it’s important to offer the fire service easy access to the latest information regarding industry-leading apparatus and technology. Each of our fire truck brands are committed to the advancement of the fire industry through product innovation and valuable education.” Sponsors for the conference include United Safety & Survivability Corporation (USSC), IDEX Corporation, W.S. Darley, Whelen, and Hendrickson International.
The fire sprinkler system in your building is a critical safety measure and, when needed, it can save lives. Still, even the best systems can malfunction, and sprinklers do occasionally fail. When they do, they can drench the interior of your building, damaging everything from furniture and personal belongings to drywall and building materials. As a property manager, dealing with fire sprinkler failure can feel overwhelming. What do you do next? Where do you start? And why did the sprinkler system fail in the first place? In this post, we’ll discuss the common causes of accidental discharge, and what to do if it happens to you. Reasons for Fire Sprinkler Systems Failure Today, all building fire sprinkler systems must meet NFPA 13 standards. These National Fire Protection Association benchmarks define safety requirements for components and installation, and help ensure that sprinkler systems are well maintained and ready to perform. Still, fire sprinkler systems can fail. Here are a few of the most common culprits: Aging parts Building renovations (collisions with construction equipment, displacement or disturbance, etc.) Incorrectly placed heating systems that activate sprinklers Vulnerable pipes that freeze and cause sprinkler heads to burst Corrosion Fire sprinkler malfunctions can be incredibly problematic, causing extensive damage to your building Regardless of what causes the sprinklers to discharge accidentally, fire sprinkler malfunctions can be incredibly problematic, causing extensive damage to your building and requiring costly repairs from a water damage repair contractor. 5 Things to do if Your Sprinklers Fail There are no flames in your building, but your sprinklers are soaking everything in sight. You have to move quickly to avoid even more damage. Stay calm and follow these five steps: Get everyone out Even if there’s not an active fire in the building, water poses its own set of dangers. To avoid problematic slip and fall conditions, get everyone out of the area immediately. Move them to a safe location outside the building, preferably one you’ve agreed on in a previously established evacuation plan. Shut off electrical equipment Water and electricity are a deadly combination. To avoid electrical shocks, shut off all nearby electrical equipment and appliances, and then, turn off the building’s main power supply, as you exit the building. Turn off the water main Instead of wasting time shutting off broken sprinkler heads individually, go to the building’s main water supply immediately and shut it off at the valve. This will stop all water flow and prevent additional water damage. Take photos of the scene Once it’s safe to re-enter the building, document the scene. Use your smartphone to take photos of broken sprinkler heads or anything else you believe may have caused the accidental discharge. Additionally, take photos of the damage the sprinklers caused to floors, walls, personal belongings, and more. These photos can help response specialists understand the cause of the malfunction and may streamline your insurance claims process. Contact a restoration specialist Even if your water damage looks minimal, you’ll need to contact a skilled water damage restoration expert, like the Chicago-based maintenance and service company, ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba. Accidental sprinkler discharges soak drywall, destroy carpets and textiles, and lead to dangerous mold and mildew growth, which can happen just 24-48 hours after water exposure. Prevent worsening damage and the dangerous conditions by contacting a sprinkler repair specialist right away. Cleanup and water damage restoration services Using your documentation, your insurance company will work to determine the cause of the sprinkler failure Using your documentation, your insurance company will work to determine the cause of the sprinkler failure. This can be a lengthy process that takes weeks or even months. As that happens, your cleanup team will focus on providing water damage restoration services. Typically, fire sprinkler water damage involves ‘blackwater’- a dangerous mixture of sediments and other contaminants that leave behind an unpleasant smell and a film that can destroy belongings. To reclaim your space, the water damage restoration service will focus on extracting the remaining water, drying the space to prevent mold and mildew formation, and decontaminating all surfaces. This is a critical step that you can’t afford to rush. Work with the best water damage cleanup company you can find to ensure positive results. Protecting Your Sprinkler Systems in the Future While it’s impossible to completely avoid every accidental discharge, there are certain steps you can take to safeguard your sprinkler system. Proper maintenance, for example, allows you to avoid preventable issues that could lead to malfunction. You should also take care to keep all remodeling and construction work away from sprinkler heads and systems to avoid accidental damage. These are simple tips, but they can help keep your building and tenants safe and dry - both now and in the future.
Drones give Incident Commanders an aerial view, increasing their situational awareness of fires and helping them to develop tactics to tackle them. Station Officer Lee Newman details how the technology was implemented by London Fire Brigade and the continued benefits. Identify external risks The Grenfell Tower fire has resulted in revisions to several operational procedures and the introduction of new equipment within the Brigade. A few months after the fire, the Brigade was tasked with setting up a trial to test the feasibility of having a drone capability to identify external risks and assess building stability at incidents, providing essential safety information that could facilitate ongoing internal firefighting operations. Implement the use of drones The Brigade implemented the use of drones and acquired a Matrice 210 V1 and a Phantom 4 Working with partners who had an existing drone capability, as well as drone experts, the Brigade began work to implement the use of drones and acquired a Matrice 210 V1 and a Phantom 4 as a trainer and reserve drone. In the summer of 2018, an Emergency Services bespoke course was run by Essex Police to train the Brigade’s team of drone pilots, who were all PfCO qualified within one week. From start to finish, it took just nine months to get London Fire Brigade’s drone team operational. Working of the drones On its first day of being available for incidents, the team received an order to attend a 15-pump fire at a leisure center, which was under renovation. They were asked to confirm if there were cylinders on the roof of the building and immediately put the drone to use. The team flew and relayed the camera footage onto a large screen that was fitted into a van provided for the trial. The drone footage was able to identify, to the Incident Commander’s satisfaction, that the cylinders were actually rolls of asphalt due to be laid on the roof as part of the renovation. If the drone concept could have proven its use in one job, this was it. The information from the drone allowed the Incident Commander to decide not to make it ‘cylinders confirmed’ and saved a lot of unnecessary extra appliance movements. Applications of drone Since that first callout, the team has been to around 300 incidents of six pumps or more, including persons in the water, fires, and various missing people’s incidents both in London and into other counties, assisting police forces. From start to finish, it took just nine months to get London Fire Brigade’s drone team operational Drone inventory The Brigade’s drone capability inventory includes a Matrice 300 with an H20T dual thermal and optical camera; a DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual with multi attachments; a Mavic Air 2 and a Yuneec 520. The Brigade also has a Teradek live streaming device and multiple tablets for receiving the streamed footage. The Brigade operates with two Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs – plug-in hybrid SUVs – and has split the drone equipment into two, with one vehicle carrying the drone and batteries, and the other carrying all the support kit and ancillaries. Working in dark conditions The drones are permitted to fly up to 400 ft above ground level or higher in an emergency and can fly as fast as 50 mph. They also can act as a loudspeaker to give instructions or reassurance and shine a bright spotlight in dark or low light conditions. 24/7 service The Brigade has eight pilots trained and operates a 24/7 service The Brigade has eight pilots trained and operates a 24/7 service. The team is working closely with its blue light partners, including the: Metropolitan Police Service, several search and rescue teams, and a host of fire services surrounding the capital, as well as giving advice to other upcoming drone teams around the UK. Use of drone in future The Brigade’s drone capability has been molded to how it sees the future and what it holds in the way of drone use. For example, the Brigade has developed a capability to drop water rescue aides to people at water incidents, which helps to keep them afloat long enough to be rescued. The drone can also be used alongside the swift water rescue teams to provide situational awareness of hazards and the resulting risks during the rescue phase. Delivering fire escape tools The Brigade also invested in fire escape hoods in late 2018 and has already demonstrated how one might be delivered via a drone to a balcony above the height of an aerial appliance while using the Mavic Enterprise 2 to relay instructions via the loudspeakers. These possible new uses are pushing the boundaries of the Brigade’s original concept and demonstrate how London Fire Brigade works to stay ahead of the curve.
Waste management sites are particularly vulnerable to fires, with hundreds reported every year, just in the UK. The materials stored in a waste heap make them particularly risky environments. ‘Hot spot’ fires, as they’re called, can be caused by chemical waste, flammable items, or the heat caused by the natural breakdown of organic materials. A blaze can start quickly and without warning, building into a major issue that can threaten lives and livelihoods. And not only that - but in many cases, insurers now require sites to be putting additional updated fire prevention measures in place, in order to validate their existing policies. All this makes it more important than ever to have effective prevention and detection measures on-site, with the ability to extinguish fires swiftly should they develop. Preventing poor prevention Early detection is vital for preventing the dire consequences of a fire. The traditional approaches - manual inspection, gas detection, or basic thermal monitoring - all come with major limitations. Thermal camera prevention software can instantly detect when temperatures are outside of the normal range They all take time and, to be honest, they’re all pretty unreliable. Waste piles can often be many meters deep. When you smell the smoke or see the flames, it’s too late. The damage has already been done and by that stage, you’re long past prevention. Real prevention needs to start earlier, and deeper below the surface. It is said that necessity is the mother of all invention - and out of this need to keep sites safe comes high-resolution fire prevention thermal imaging. Thermal Cameras Thermal cameras from manufacturers such as FLIR, can constantly monitor temperatures across a site. They are highly sensitive to temperature, being accurate to within half a degree centigrade, and programmed to detect heat signatures deep below the surface. This type of prevention software can instantly detect when temperatures are outside of the normal range. A flame will develop at 122 degrees centigrade. If you can catch an elevated temperature and lower it before it reaches that stage, you can stop the fire before it even begins. Oscillating Water Cannons Should the temperature in any area rise enough to become a fire risk – typically 60 degrees centigrade or above – thermal imaging cameras can trigger an alert, informing the operator. It can be combined with location monitoring software for fast identification of possible ‘hot spots’, and even connected to automated, oscillating water cannons which can locate and extinguish hot spots in seconds. The system will then activate a pair of automated, oscillating water cannons, spraying the affected area to reduce the temperature or extinguish the fire. Distinguish before you extinguish False alarms are a risk with thermal systems. The last thing you want is a sprinkler system going off because a camera detected the heat from a vehicle exhaust. The latest systems can be programmed to distinguish between acceptable heat signatures, such as vehicles, and genuine potential fire risks. On-site fire prevention can now be safer, more reliable, and more efficient, with fewer false alarms Solutions like this have been developed recently by UK machine vision integrator Bytronic, fire prevention imaging supplier Thermascan, and Swedish firm Termisk Systemteknik, using FLIR technology to create a reliable and automated solution to keep sites safe, with rapid detection at a temperature level. In one site, the water cannons were programmed to adjust water pressure and reach based on the location of the hot spot, before automatically deactivating once the temperature has cooled sufficiently. Meanwhile, the thermal cameras – which can detect fires even through thick smoke – monitor the progress of a fire beyond what’s visible with the naked eye. The future of fire prevention? For sites used to manual inspection and sprinkler systems, this technology could be a step-change. The old ways may have been partially effective, but were more likely to be overly sensitive and not targeted to the affected areas, taking more time and potentially causing water damage and pollution elsewhere. With newer automated, thermal imaging solutions, on-site fire prevention can now be safer, more reliable, and more efficient, with fewer false alarms. When hot spots occur, they can be swiftly extinguished with pinpoint accuracy, limiting water waste, property damage, and environmental pollution. It can mean the difference between a successful insurance payment or a significant financial hit, should the worst happen. But with the proper prevention, that worst situation may never occur.
Last month, a fire raged across land in Swansea, in southern Wales, spreading 6 hectares (about 15 acres) and injuring a firefighter. Weeks earlier, flames raged across 20 hectares (almost 50 acres) in nearby Fairwood Common, Gower, in a fire that may have been deliberately set, and another 30 hectares (74 acres) of grassland and forest burned in Maesteg, Bridgend. Almost 4,000 miles away in northwest Minnesota, crews battled a grass fire that briefly closed a highway in the area. Low humidity levels and strong winds created dangerous fire conditions across the state. Effective prevention strategies The vast majority of brush, grass and forest fires are caused by human activities, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Leading causes include intentional fire setting, open burning of waste, smoking materials, and electrical power or utility lines. Grass fires take a toll on fire department resources, can spread to homes, vehicles and other property, and cause injuries, according to NFPA. Grass fires can start and spread quickly and are extremely dangerous Fire departments can use Information about the causes and circumstances of these fires to develop more effective prevention strategies and campaigns. When the conditions are right, grass fires can start and spread quickly and are extremely dangerous. They can travel up to 25 km (15 miles) per hour and pulse even faster over short distances. Grass provides a fuel that burns faster than bush or forests. Creating fuel breaks Grass fires may be less intense and produce fewer embers than bushfires, but they still can produce enormous amounts of heat. The taller the grass, the more intense the resulting fire; shorter grass height yields fires that are easier to control. Grass dries more quickly, so fires can start earlier in the day. Living in an area with dried brown or golden-colored grass more than 10 cm (4 inches) tall is a fire risk. To manage the risk, homeowners should reduce the height and proximity of grass to their homes and other buildings by slashing, mowing, grazing, or spraying herbicide. Creating fuel breaks at least 3 meters (10 feet) wide can stop a fire and create a ‘defendable space’ around assets to be protected. Narrower fuel breaks may slow down fire spread but are unlikely to stop it. Internal combustion engines Use of machinery with internal combustion engines can increase the risk of grass fires Use of machinery with internal combustion engines can increase the risk of grass fires. Tractors and other machinery should be free from faults or mechanical defects and equipped with an approved spark arrestor. Small actions can help to avoid grass fires, such as disposing of cigarettes in a responsible manner, not leaving campfires and barbecues unattended, and clearing away bottles, glasses, and broken glass that can magnify the sun and start a fire. Providing eye protection Grass fires create a lot of radiant heat and can kill anyone caught in the open. The safest place to be during a grassfire is far away from the threat. In case of a grass fire, protective clothing should be available to cover up exposed skin, including a long-sleeved shirt and pants made from natural fiber. A face mask or towel can be used to cover the mouth and nose. Smoke goggles provide eye protection. Other useful items are sturdy boots with woolen socks, tough leather gloves, and a wide-brimmed hat. A solid structure such as a building can provide shielding from radiant heat.
Fire and EMS departments are eligible for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) of their costs, related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A streamlined project application process eases the burden of applying for the program, but support documentation is required. Tracking costs For COVID-19 recovery Many departments do not apply for the money because they perceive reporting requirements as too difficult, and record-keeping as too big a challenge. To help, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) provides simple Excel worksheets for tracking costs related to COVID-19 response and recovery. Customizable worksheets capture common reimbursable costs as they are spent. Departments seeking reimbursement should submit a project application online at the FEMA Public Assistance Grants Portal (no paper submissions are accepted). FEMA’s Public Assistance Program The mission of FEMA’s Public Assistance Program is to provide assistance to State, Local, Territorial, and Tribal governments The mission of FEMA’s Public Assistance Program is to provide assistance to State, Local, Territorial, and Tribal (SLTT) governments, and certain types of private nonprofit (PNP) organizations so that communities can respond quickly to and recover from major disasters or emergencies declared by the President. A submission request for public assistance must provide complete and accurate documentation of expenses and usage, including standardized Incident Command System (ICS) forms, Public Assistance Grant forms, verifiable receipts, personnel costs sheets and apparatus sheets. Applications submitted via jurisdiction serviced Applications are submitted through the jurisdiction serviced. Additional documents include supporting plans, assignments, activities and shift records (payroll), pay policy receipts for purchases and rental equipment, and a copy of the service agreement/contract with the jurisdiction. Some activities may be eligible for funding through both FEMA and other federal agency funding sources for COVID-19, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Public assistance cannot duplicate funding from another federal source. Public Assistance program Some activities may be completed through direct federal assistance. If an applicant does not have the capacity to directly complete the activity or oversee activity completion through contract or mutual aid, the Applicant may request that FEMA or another federal agency directly conduct the activity. The assistance FEMA provides through its Public Assistance program is subject to a cost share, with the federal share not less than 75% of eligible costs.
Hundreds of sensors and devices operating across an entire city – all connected via the Internet of Things (IoT) – combine to provide useful and actionable information for a variety of functions – including public safety and fire protection. Even as IoT sensors and devices monitor buildings to provide vital information, computer systems transform sensor data into intelligence. Communication advances are ensuring that intelligence is shared when and how it is needed. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) divides smart firefighting technology into three categories – environmental (smart buildings or robotics), operational (communications), and personnel (PPE sensors or biometrics). Fire departments in smart cities can fuse and apply data captured from various smart sensors, computing technologies, building control systems, municipal grids, firefighting equipment, mapping information, and apparatus systems to inform budgeting, planning, operations, tactics, and outreach, says NFPA. Here are some ways that smart cities can provide information and insights to enhance fire safety and protection for residents. Perpetual monitoring of building conditions, including temperature sensors, to alert to possible fire dangers Intelligent building platforms can use artificial intelligence algorithms to analyze building systemsIntelligent building platforms can use artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to analyze building systems, track fire inspections, gather pre-incident data, etc. Smart building intelligence (SBI) platforms can also share and analyze municipal data records for new construction project permits, fire hydrant malfunction, street closures, and event planning, among other information. Faster notification of fire events, which contributes to faster response IoT devices that monitor buildings in smart cities can detect fires more quickly, compared to traditional smoke detectors. Heat-proof sensors communicate where and when a fire starts, its intensity, nature, and patterns of spread. Providing more information to enable firefighters to be more effective Improved information flow enhances the capabilities of incident command centers, expands computer-aided dispatch, and provides better situational awareness for firefighters working on the scene. Knowledge of what’s happening on the ground enables streamlined approaches to firefighting and evacuation, enabling “Know Before You Go” smart firefighting. Routing traffic to clear the way for fire and emergency personnel Correlating response plan information with intelligent traffic management systems and collision avoidance technology can help prevent accidents involving emergency and civilian vehicles. For example, all civilian vehicles in a given area may be rerouted to avoid traffic mishaps. Protection and monitoring of fire personnel, including in dangerous environments Integration with personal safety devices and fire suit technology enables tracking of firefighters to provide incident commanders better visibility into where individual firefighters are working to battle a blaze. Radio-frequency identification tracks firefighters’ locations in real-time. Acoustic transmitters provide locations of firefighters who have not moved for a predetermined period of time. Sensors may soon provide additional information, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide pressure, volume flow rate, heart rate, gas pressure, body temperature, etc. Smarter fire prevention equipment, such as smart sprinklers, that can facilitate fire response Sensors interface with a sprinkler device and wirelessly transmit status information to a database used by facility managers and inspectors to identify problems. Sensors even enable sprinklers to spray high-pressure mist into flames at the hottest point in a room. Measuring the volume of water that has been flowing through a sprinkler system reflects real-time progress in fighting a fire and informs when and how to send in fire personnel. Automating fire response, including use of drones A drone could be launched as soon as an incident response is dispatched, and then fly to an incident site to provide real-time situational awareness via video streaming from the sky. Communicating vital intelligence to firefighters, when & how they need it Fire safety and protection is just one aspect of the many uses that can benefit from the connectivity and intelligence of smart citiesInnovations in technology such as Next Generation 911 and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) public safety network ensure effective communication among firefighters. Low-power Wide Area Networks (WANs) and wireless networks transmit a wide range of data to firefighters as needed, using mobile data terminals, tablets, smartphones, or computers. Systems provide more data-rich information in real-time, such as closed-caption video streams or data from IoT devices. Public safety answering points (PSAPs) provide access to cloud-based computer-aided design (CAD) platforms, advanced location information, and data from devices such as phones, wearables, connected cars and homes, and transportation apps. Fire safety and protection is just one aspect of the many uses that can benefit from the connectivity and intelligence of smart cities, although its impact on saving lives is among the most profound.
Home to 250 children and 66 childcare specialists, Rublik Kindergarten is located in the borough of Tõrvandi in Tartu County. Since 1969, children in the Kambja municipality have delighted in discovering the magic of learning and playtime with friends in the spacious building. In 2020, the decision was taken to completely revamp the Kindergarten and equip it with brand new technical systems including a state-of-the-art fire alarm system. BK Eesti, C-TEC’s official distributor in Estonia and a member of BK Group, the biggest wholesaler of security solutions in the Baltics, partnered with Pristis AS to recommend CAST XFP to the project’s general building contractor. Project checked and verified Janek Mesipuu, Sales Manager at Pristis AS said, "We specified CAST XFP as it is a powerful yet simple and reliable solution for small and medium-sized buildings that require high levels of security and fire protection." “As CAST is soft-addressing, our engineers were able to program over 230 detectors, call points, sounders, and other devices at the panel so eliminating the need to walk around site and physically program each device. This was, therefore, a very smooth and timely installation. The entire project was fully checked and verified before being handed over to local fire department inspector and building owner/manager.” Reliable and configurable fire alarm system CAST gives management and staff at Rublik Kindergarten complete peace of mind Said Alari Nahkur, BK Eesti Estonia’s Area Manager, "More and more Estonian installers are finding that CAST is the best option to offer building owners a safe, reliable and easily configurable fire alarm system. CAST’s instantaneous reception and transmission of changes detected in devices is ingenious as it allows fast recognition of alarms and faults so prompt action can be taken." “Fire safety and security must never be comprised especially in a building housing children, our greatest national treasure. CAST gives management and staff at Rublik Kindergarten complete peace of mind." UK Designed CAST is C-TEC’s own UK-designed and manufactured ‘distributed intelligence’ addressable fire detection and alarm system. Certified to all relevant EN54 product standards, including EN54-13, CAST is also fully compatible with ENVISION, C-TEC’s powerful new remote access, data management, and system testing software.
Award-winning Taktis fire panels, manufactured by Kentec Electronics Ltd., a globally renowned manufacturer of life-critical control systems, are protecting students and property at the University of Nicosia’s (UNIC) new state-of-the-art student residences, located in Cyprus. Integrated fire system The integrated fire system was installed by Kentec Installation Partner (KIP) Glosec Dragon Ltd. (GLOSEC), a Cyprus-based business that specializes in the design, installation and maintenance of security, surveillance, hazard prevention and hospitality systems. The UNIC student residences have been designed to set a new standard in modern student living The UNIC student residences have been designed to set a new standard in modern student living. They consist of two separate complexes, SIX and TRIANGLE, which provide a multitude of dining, relaxing and entertainment options including a cafe, mini-market, gym, TV rooms and games areas. Taktis addressable fire panels Split between six, 12-storey distinctive towers, SIX comprises 307 luxury student residences, and is protected by two, highly-sophisticated Taktis eight-loop addressable fire panels. TRIANGLE complements SIX with an additional 147 modern and spacious rooms, with one six-loop Taktis fire panel installed. Across both SIX and TRIANGLE residential complexes, the fire protection systems include 578 Apollo heat detectors, 530 sounder bases, 94 call points and 339 optical detectors. Additionally, three Taktis Vision Repeaters provide information on the status of the fire alarm system in key positions, across the residences via large and full-color, touch-screen graphical displays. Full-color resistive touch screen display Taktis provides an expandable solution, which includes a full suite of graphics, communications (copper and fiber), analytics and remote management tools. Multiple protocols can be supported on each panel to give installers and end users maximum choice in their systems’ design. Also, the scalable nature of the product provides the highest level of future proofing and networking capabilities. A 7 inches full-color resistive touch screen display and a clear, uncluttered intuitive interface make it easy to use, even for those with minimal or no training, which is essential in the event of an emergency. Fire system integration with CCTV and access control Stathis Ierodiaconou, Managing Director of Glosec Dragon feels the business has worked with Kentec for more than two decades and developed a trusting relationship. Taktis is easy to install, integrates with other systems well and customer feedback has been good" Stathis said, “Our experience with Kentec meant we knew Taktis was the right system for the project’s scope and needs. The project required that remote monitoring was possible from one control room to cover both SIX and TRIANGLE residences. It also needed to be an expandable system, which can grow as the development grows.” With Glosec Dragon also installing and maintaining a suite of other CCTV, wireless access control, intercom, parking and energy-saving systems, Stathis stated that integration was essential. He explains, “Taktis is easy to install, integrates with other systems well and customer feedback has been good.” Flexible fire safety system Anastasia Christodoulou, Manager, at UNIC Residences, believes that student safety is paramount. She said, “We required complete assurance that our fire protection system is providing the utmost protection. We were assured that Taktis does just that, and that its advanced integrative capabilities mean a future-proofed and user-friendly system.” Costas Constantinides, Head of International Development at Kentec, believes the Taktis panel with EN54-13 certification was the ideal choice for this development. He said, “The highly powerful and sophisticated Taktis panel was chosen to ensure the fire safety system had the required reliability, scale and flexibility to protect large numbers of students at such a prestigious development.”
Hush ActiV, C-TEC’s innovative new BS 5839-6 domestic fire alarm system, is providing first-class fire protection at a luxury apartment block in Bolton. Ensures fire protection Set in stunning landscaped gardens in Horwich, a small town on the edge of the West Pennine Moors, Swallowfields is a collection of 28 contemporary new-build apartments featuring spacious living spaces and high-specification fittings. Each dwelling has been equipped with Hush ActiV smoke detectors, heat detectors, and sounders, all connected to a Hush ActiV controller to reduce false alarms and ensure the highest levels of fire protection. Extra layer of safety Said Adam Baxendale of Lansafe Ltd, whose specialist fire division completed the project, “Recent fires, Grenfell in particular, demonstrate how absolutely vital enhanced fire protection is in residential developments. Hush ActiV offers another layer of safety, protection, and reassurance for residents in addition to the C-TEC ZFP touchscreen-controlled addressable fire system we installed to provide LD1 coverage throughout the building.” BS 5839-6 Grade C system Hush ActiV constantly interrogates the status of the system’s power supply and reports any faults to the main Controller As a fully-monitored BS 5839-6 Grade C system, Hush ActiV constantly interrogates the status of the system’s wiring circuits, battery, and power supply and reports any faults to the main Controller in the apartment so the resident can take appropriate action and contact the responsible person. Said Adam, “Hush ActiV gives building management and residents, particularly those living in houses of multiple occupations, peace of mind. Our client was delighted with the solution we provided.” User-friendly Hush ActiV’s accessibility was also a key factor in its specification at Swallowfields. Residents are provided with easy-to-use detection, alarm, silencing, and test facilities at a light-switch level so they can test their own devices, be alerted to system faults, and hush any false alarms. The fact that the Controller’s HUSH and TEST buttons can be operated whilst standing or sitting in a wheelchair at floor level means that the elderly and disabled can also test the system easily, therefore, facilitating full compliance with the Equality Act. Said Adam, “Resident safety has to be everyone’s top priority and Hush ActiV is a superb way of ensuring people are protected and feel safe. It’s easy-to-install, user-friendly and, as a BS 5839-6 Grade C system, provides outstanding levels of fire protection.”
C-TEC’s new CAST ZFP fire alarm system is protecting an exciting new hospitality venture in Cheshire, United Kingdom. Situated in the beautiful village of Tattenhall, The Bear and Ragged Staff has been radically transformed from a derelict shell into a high-end pub, restaurant and hotel, by a team of talented professionals, including Brian Mellor, an award-winning chef, and Martin Hilton, an industry-renowned beer sommelier. Featuring a fabulous bar/restaurant, eight en-suite bedrooms, and a first-floor function room, the magnificent venue is prominently positioned on the High Street and set not only to become a focal point in the village but also attract clientele from far and wide for celebratory and corporate events. CAST ZFP fire panel and detectors installed At the heart of the building’s life-safety systems is a C-TEC CAST ZFP fire panel connected to over 100 CAST detectors At the heart of the building’s life-safety systems is a C-TEC CAST ZFP fire panel connected to over 100 CAST detectors, sounders, VADs, and ancillary devices, spanning over four floors. The master 2-loop ZFP panel is located in a storeroom but relays key system information to a state-of-the-art Compact Controller, which is prominently displayed in the elegant reception area. With its bright easy-to-use touchscreen-control interface, the controller is stylish, highly visible and can be easily accessed by the fire and rescue service, and authorized personnel if required. L2 BS 5839-1 fire safety system John Westerman, Director of Wrexham-based Allied Fire Alarms Ltd, the company that specified, installed, and commissioned the system, said “We chose CAST ZFP as the cornerstone of The Bear’s L2 BS 5839-1 system, as it is powerful, intuitive, and has the capacity to connect to multiple intelligent devices. Our client also had some specific requirements for fire detection in certain areas which were facilitated using CAST’s innovative software and extensive programming capabilities.” John Westerman adds, “We were delighted to be involved with this project. As an NICEIC-approved specialist fire company, we pride ourselves on delivering top-quality life-safety systems to our client’s satisfaction and the CAST system we designed and installed has certainly exceeded everyone’s expectations.” CAST intelligent fire alarm system CAST is C-TEC’s own UK-designed and manufactured ‘distributed intelligence’ addressable fire detection and alarm system. Certified to all relevant EN54 product standards, including EN54-13, CAST is also fully compatible with ENVISION, C-TEC’s powerful new remote access, data management, and system testing software.
The Vizcaya Provincial Council in Spain, has invested seven million euros in its fire prevention, firefighting and rescue services. Almost 25 percent of the existing fleet will be replaced by new trucks, which will enhance efficiency and improve rapid response. The 15 new vehicles include six heavy-duty urban fire trucks, three heavy-duty large-tank pumpers, three first-response trucks and three automatic turntable ladders, all fitted with Allison fully automatic transmissions. Heavy-duty urban fire trucks VEICAR built the bodywork for nine of these vehicles, including the six heavy-duty urban fire trucks, which have already been delivered. The bodywork is mounted on a SCANIA P 410 B chassis with 4x4 traction and Allison 4000 Series transmissions with retarders. These trucks have water and foam tank capacities of 4,200 and 200 liters respectively. They are equipped with roof boxes that can be accessed from the ground, eliminating the need to enter the truck to access tools. An LED lighting mast provides supplementary lighting and a further feature is a monitor that provides a joystick-controlled flow rate of 4,000 liters per minute from the pump cabinet. Large-tank pumpers The Vizcaya Provincial Council’s order of three large-tank pumpers is also based on the SCANIA P 410 B chassis The Vizcaya Provincial Council’s order of three large-tank pumpers is also based on the SCANIA P 410 B chassis. The vehicles share the same features as the six heavy-duty urban fire trucks, including Allison 4000 Series transmissions with retarders. They have larger water and foam tank capacities of 9,000 and 300 liters respectively. Like many other vehicle bodybuilders, VEICAR has full confidence in the benefits of Allison fully automatic transmissions. The company has worked in close cooperation with Allison since 2009. Allison fully automatic transmission Rather than using the automated manual transmissions that come as standard in this SCANIA model, VEICAR opted for a fully automatic transmission with torque converter, in this case, an Allison 4000 Series model with retarder (GA866R in SCANIA nomenclature). “The vast majority of our fire trucks are equipped with Allison automatic transmissions. We consider them an indispensable firefighting tool as they maximize vehicle performance, and greatly improve acceleration, reliability and safety,” said Carlos Prieto-Puga González, CEO at VEICAR. Faster acceleration and increased torque Carlos Prieto-Puga González adds, “In addition, their superior acceleration and maneuverability are beyond question, which is vital when there is not a second to be wasted. Most urban firefighters prefer them because they provide greater safety. And if that weren't enough, the vehicles reach the final years of their service life in better condition.” Allison transmissions are designed to offer increased torque and up to 35 percent faster acceleration. When fire trucks respond to emergencies, they are heavily loaded, so the optional retarder has been incorporated to provide high braking capacity, enabling the vehicles to slow down quickly at intersections. Optimum maneuverability on varied terrains Allison transmissions have demonstrated exceptional reliability and durability in the most demanding conditions" “Allison transmissions have demonstrated exceptional reliability and durability in the most demanding conditions and are the transmission of choice for firefighting fleets around the world. As regular users of these transmissions, we have no doubts whatsoever. As bodybuilders, we are always much happier when vehicles are equipped with Allison,” said Prieto-Puga González. Allison automatic transmissions provide optimum maneuverability on soft ground and in tight spaces, greater control on steep grades, smoother driving, better starting capacity, and faster acceleration. This makes it possible to reach higher average speeds and save fuel. Prieto-Puga Gonzalez adds, “A two- or three-minute head start can be crucial. Not losing power during gear shifts means smoother, more continuous and consequently more effective acceleration. It also improves maneuverability and saves time, which, along with the reliability of the transmission, means greater safety for firefighters. These great benefits are even more extraordinary when we consider that Allison transmissions reduce fleet maintenance costs.” Featuring Chelsea 870 power take-off “The easy maneuverability of the vehicles simplifies the drivers' work. They don't have to shift gears and can concentrate fully on the job and the road when traveling at high speed. And with Allison, vehicles can include up to two power take-offs (PTOs) to keep hydraulic equipment working correctly, even while the vehicle is in motion,” said Trond Johansen, European Key Fleets and Market Development Manager at Allison Transmission. “The Chelsea 870 power take-off incorporated into the transmissions has allowed us to fine-tune the entire unit to achieve the best possible onsite fire pump performance,” concludes Prieto-Puga González.
FlamePro, a renowned British manufacturing specialist of life safety garments and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for firefighters, has been awarded a £4 million contract by Capita, to provide its firefighting PPE for the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD), across the next decade. Firefighting PPE tender The competitive tender, part of Capita’s contract with the MOD, saw four different PPE providers bid for the contract, with FlamePro being appointed to provide its full ensemble of Personal Protective Equipment, alongside a total garment care package. FlamePro was awarded the Ministry Of Defence’s PPE contract, due to its high-quality products FlamePro was awarded the Ministry Of Defence’s PPE contract, due to its high-quality products and the company’s dedication to providing support and expertise on Personal Protective Equipment care, use and maintenance. The contract includes a multi-million pounds initial roll out, with a total value of £4 million over 10 years duration. New fabric technologies and designs Nathan Bricknell, the General Manager at FlamePro, said “We’re absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this contract with Capita. It marks a key milestone for the company. Over recent months, we’ve worked with our partners to develop brand new fabric technologies and designs, including a 3D woven structure and new moisture barrier membrane, to ensure our PPE is the most advanced on the market.” Nathan Bricknell adds, “Our brand new structural fire suit has set a new benchmark across the whole industry. This, teamed with our shorter-than-average lead times, stands us in great stead to deliver top-quality products and service on this contract.”
Round table discussion
The COVID-19 pandemic has had ramifications for almost every industry, some more than others. With the pandemic stretching well into a second year, the non-medical consequences continue, and many are wondering about which of the required changes might become permanent. As regards the fire sector, we asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What impact has COVID-19 had on the fire industry?
New tools and technologies are emerging that augment the efforts of the fire market to prevent and fight fires. Modern firefighting is benefiting from an ongoing sea change in technological capabilities, spanning equipment, electronic components, greater connectivity and firefighter monitoring, to name just a few. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What technologies will have the greatest impact on the fire industry in 2021?
Ensuring the health and wellness of firefighters is a burden shared among equipment manufacturers as well as the fire departments and individual firefighters. Thoughtful design of equipment and other products used in the fire service can be a positive factor as firefighters and other first responders face dangerous situations every day. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What steps can we take to better ensure firefighter health and wellness?