Fire Safety Testing
Kochek Company, LLC has posted on its website white papers detailing the latest independent flow test results of multiple brands of fire hose, strainers and elbows. Conducted by GBW Associates, LLC and Water Supply Innovations, LLC, test conditions were closely monitored for consistency and elimination of variables. Kochek lightweight suction hose was used as a constant in each testing category. Kochek's low level, ice, floating, box, and barrel strainers and 90° suction elbows performed at...
During FDIC 2019, TenCate Protective Fabrics will showcase TurnOut Gear that has seen multiple exposures. Concern over higher rates of occupation cancer among firefighters prompts additional efforts in decontamination and cleaning of turnout gear to reduce particulate accumulation. But will turnout gear stand up to more washing and drying along with the hard work firefighters do. TurnOut Gear TenCate Protective Fabrics wanted to find out and now firefighters at FDIC International 2019 will be...
Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations to the U.K. Government after the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 were that the competence of the individuals working in the construction and life cycle of Higher Risk Residential Buildings (HRRBs) needs to improve and be clearer. Work had already started in many fire protection sectors to create fully recognized qualifications, and these help raise the benchmark. Improving fire safety training A force driving improvements in training is the Fire Industry...
Those responsible for the specification of products which go into new modern buildings have been asking for safe, approved cabling, which play a critical part in electrical supply systems. The number of fires in high-rise buildings in Europe and the Middle East have brought the issue of quality of products for fire performance circuits into sharp focus, not least the Grenfell disaster. Meanwhile, new buildings become increasingly complex, with the use of new materials and the designs of many r...
Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) has welcomed the Ministerial Statement to the House, given by the then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, in which he updated members on building safety. In particular, he informed those present that following an independent investigation into timber fire doors, no issues had been found with the consistency of the fire-resistance performance of the doors tested. This is good news for the industry and adds fur...
The RF581I4 and TX-6010-03-1 are wireless smoke / heat detectors, designed for use in a residential intrusion system with a compatible receiver. The RF581I4 works in eco-systems using the legacy 433-63bit protocol, whereas TX-6010-03-1 ‘talks’ the 868AM Gen2 protocol. The device has a test button surrounded by a status LED and a built-in sounder for alarm indication. The status LED flashes red every 45 seconds to indicate normal status (no alarm). When smoke or heat is detected (as...
Following its launch, the wide range of benefits offered by Solo 365 have been enjoyed by users around the world. Now, through the launch of a new adaptor, Solo 365 has even more to offer. Alongside testing smoke detectors, Solo 365 now has the ability to functionally test ASD systems. This is made possible through a specialist adaptor which is fitted to Solo 365 in place of the standard clear cup. Testing smoke detectors and ASD systems With the adaptor fitted and the ‘Delayed Start’ mode selected – Solo 365 can be raised to the aspirating pipe, its slim-line and light design making it easy to align with a sampling hole. Smoke is then automatically generated and drawn through the pipe – activating the alarm and providing a functional test of the system. The availability of the adaptor puts the ability to test standard point type smoke detectors and ASD systems into one portable tester – for the first time. This not only leads to a more professional approach to maintenance, but also offers a simpler and cleaner solution which can enable faster testing at a reduced cost.
The National Security Inspectorate (NSI), the UK’s independent certification body specializing in the security and fire safety sectors, shared in the success of this year’s IFSEC and FIREX exhibitions as the integrated events proved important forums for approved companies and applicants, as well as key industry stakeholders, to engage face-to-face with NSI experts. The three-day events provided a vital opportunity to raise awareness of the valuable role of independent certification in enhancing the performance and operational effectiveness across the sectors. NSI’s continued support for the Show Me How feature was evident with a series of sessions on the NSI stand. The topics included updates on PD 6662 for the installation of alarm systems, the new Kitchen Fire Protection Systems scheme (SP206), NSI’s CCTV Code of Practice NCP104 and the latest modifications to the SIA Approved Contractor Scheme workbook. Fire risk assessments NSI Chief Executive Richard Jenkins presented the heat winners’ prizes at the end of the final day in the Keynote Arena NSI’s Head of Field Operations (Systems), John Davidson spoke at FIREX to a packed theatre on the importance of using competent, trained risk assessors to complete life safety fire risk assessments. Once again, NSI auditors judged the work of teams competing in the Engineers of Tomorrow Competition, a key attraction within IFSEC International. This year the competition not only showcased the skills and talent of apprentices but laid the foundations for becoming a part of the highly respected World Skills competition. NSI Chief Executive Richard Jenkins presented the heat winners’ prizes at the end of the final day in the Keynote Arena. The heat winners on day three were Matt Eminson and Ryan Harker from Chubb (Intruder Alarm competition) and Callum Tootle and Chris Lomax from EFT Systems (Fire competition). Enhancing public security Independent certification is recognized as an important framework for continual improvement" Richard Jenkins NSI Chief Executive commented: “Once again IFSEC and FIREX exemplified the benefits of industry coming together to enhance public security. Our stand welcomed a considerable number of enquiries from companies interested in engaging with NSI’s highly trained team of experts. “Independent certification is recognized as an important framework for continual improvement for businesses; one we are pleased to spearhead within the security and fire safety sectors. We employ the most highly trained professionals who help to drive up the performance of businesses of all sizes as part of the assessment for approval. “It was inspiring to see so many NSI approved companies attend this year’s event and we were proud to play our part in helping to shine a spotlight on new talent within the sector. It was also a pleasure to welcome so many invited guests to our VIP drinks reception celebrating our collective commitment to raising standards.”
Motorola Solutions is celebrating 45 years of innovation in Malaysia, recognizing the country’s highly skilled engineering talent and capability to deliver advanced technologies for customers all over the world. Motorola Solutions first established supply chain operations in Penang, Malaysia in 1974. Today, it develops technologies across its mission-critical technology ecosystem at the facility. In 2014, the company opened its ‘Innoplex’ research and development (R&D) center in Penang, its largest R&D center outside of North America. Equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories and product design and development capabilities, the centre develops next generation Land Mobile Radio (LMR), broadband-LTE devices and system solutions for Motorola Solutions’ customers worldwide. APX 8000HXE HazLoc radio The Innoplex continues to deliver a variety of innovative services including 24/7 network monitoringLeading-edge solutions and services designed and developed in Penang have been deployed by public safety agencies across the world. This includes the trusted APX 8000HXE HazLoc radio used by fire and rescue teams working in the presence of chemicals and gases and the WAVE TLK100 Two-Way Radio that enables coverage on nationwide cellular networks with the ease of two-way radio communication and functionality. The Innoplex continues to deliver a variety of innovative services including 24/7 network monitoring, management and guaranteed reliability for Motorola Solutions’ mission-critical customers. Compliance testing to meet standards Motorola Solutions’ thriving operations in Malaysia have enabled it to expand its Penang workforce from 10 software engineers to a team of more than 1,700 today. These highly skilled roles include industrial design, software, electrical, electronics, and mechanical engineering. Penang’s expert teams conduct rigorous compliance testing to meet and exceed product standards all over the world while continuing the development of new solutions in partnership with customers. Motorola Solutions’ rapidly growing software engineering workforce in Asia Pacific is now approaching 2,000. This includes 160 video analytics and AI specialists in Vietnam added through the recent acquisition of VaaS and 60 mobile applications developers with Gridstone in Australia. Evolving mission-Critical ecosystem of technologies Motorola Solutions continues to evolve its mission-critical ecosystem of technologies across voice, video security"“Motorola Solutions continues to evolve its mission-critical ecosystem of technologies across voice, video security, software and managed services. Our highly skilled teams in Malaysia play a significant role in developing these technologies and accelerating their adoption all over the world,” said John Andersen, deputy managing director of the Motorola Solutions Penang Operations and Design Centre. “We are proud to have extended our journey to 45 years and look forward to continuing to take Malaysian innovation to the world,” he said. Through its charitable arm, the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the company has provided more than USD $700,000 to support Malaysian initiatives to advance education and research within STEM-related fields. This includes the Penang Science Cluster which educates more than 3,000 students and 300 teachers from 75 schools on design thinking process, coding and electronics.
Kochek Company, LLC, a premier manufacturer of quality fire equipment and water movement solutions headquartered in Putnam, CT, reports that its 10-foot and 20-foot PVC suction hose was rigorously tested and found to perform without leaks, depressurization, or decoupling, and demonstrated excellent coil memory even after 12 hours of pressure. Kochek's PVC suction hose is specifically designed for the firefighting market and meets the company's proprietary fire grade specifications. All Kochek PVC suction hose in sizes 2.5" and larger has been certified NFPA-compliant. Leak-Proof performance Kochek's 10-foot PVC suction hose performed without leaks and with no signs of decouplingWhen filled with over 14 gallons of water and hung vertically by the long handles of the female coupling for 12 hours, Kochek's 10-foot PVC suction hose maintained constant pressure at the hose end. It performed without leaks and with no signs of decoupling. Stretching six inches when full, the hose returned to original length once water was removed. After an additional 12-hour test repositioned for a 90-degree attachment that simulates truck connection, vacuum was maintained when the petcock valve was opened and equalized, and no leaks or decoupling occurred. Reliable operation in extreme temperatures Kochek's 20-foot PVC suction hose, filled with nearly 30 gallons of water, duplicated the positive test results conducted for the 10-foot hose. It stretched to 12 inches under pressure with recoil to its original length when empty. Kochek recommends that a 45 or 90-degree elbow be used to support the hose end of its 20-foot hose, when under full weight, while attached at 90 degrees to alleviate potential flow restriction. Meeting all the requirements of NFPA 1961, Kochek's PVC suction hose provides reliable, unassisted operation even in extreme temperatures, maintaining flexibility from 150° to -40° F. With UV protection built in, it retains quality wall thickness from 3" to 6" ID and features smooth bore for unrestricted flow. Kochek PVC suction hose is sold complete with end couplings and may be ordered in conventional and custom lengths. All Kochek products are covered by a five-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
Sealing plugs by Beele Engineering have been used for years to make pipe transits fire resistant, smoke proof and gas tight. The extended XL version means installation of the plug on one side is all that is required to achieve the desired fire resistance. Beele Engineering recently acquired the MED certificate for its SLIPSIL XL-120 plugs, which means they are CE certified in accordance with the Marine Equipment Directive 2014/90/EU. MED-Certified sealing plugs The Marine Equipment Directive (MED) is an EU directive designed to guarantee the quality of maritime equipment on board vessels sailing under a European flag. The MED 2014/90/EU stipulates that equipment that is to be placed on board existing or new ships must be approved and bear the MED mark of conformity: a ship’s wheel, also known as the Wheel Mark. The MED certificate was issued by notified body KIWA, which has been accredited by the Dutch government to assess whether products meet specified standards. The MED certificate relates to the SLIPSIL XL-120 transit sealing system for steel, stainless steel, CuNi and copper pipes through decks and bulkheads in the A-60 class as well as for blind penetrations with SLIPSIL XL-120 blind plugs. SLIPSIL XL-120 sealing plugs SLIPSIL XL-120 sealing plugs are very easy to install. The plugs consist of two (or more) parts that are lubricated and then fitted around the pipe (or pipes) in question. The plug sections are then slid into the open space around the pipe, effectively sealing the transit. Installation can be carried out using precisely-fitting transit pipes of steel, stainless steel or even a fire-resistant plastic that has been specially developed by Beele Engineering. Not only do the precisely fitting transit pipes guarantee an optimum seal, they also facilitate installation.
The national Fire Kills Campaign’s Boat Fire Safety Week is from 27th May to 2nd June. During the week North Yorkshire firefighters will be taking the message to boaters – It’s time for all boats to have suitable smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Fire crews will be visiting boat owners and handing out leaflets and advice to help crew members know the risks and how to protect themselves. Timed for the start of the boating season, the heart of the message is that all boat crew members should understand the risks and follow the published advice from the Boat Safety Scheme in its leaflets and on its website. Suitable working smoke Despite all efforts, should fire break out or a carbon monoxide escape occur, the critical survival factor will be the presence of suitable working smoke and CO alarms. The Scheme publishes lists of suitable alarms on its website and has advice from the manufacturers on the best places to fix the devices. Alarms should be tested using the test button routinely and the batteries replaced as necessary and never removed. Starting with Boat Safety Week fire crews will be out delivering safety advice to boat owners" Boat Safety Scheme manager, Graham Watts said: “In the past 20 years, 30 boaters were killed in boat fires and another 30 lost their lives to the highly toxic CO gas. It’s time everyone in the boating community said ‘no more avoidable tragedies’. Being protected by suitable smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be viewed as a normal part of boat ownership.” Delivering safety advice As part of the week fire crews will be out and about delivering safety advice to boat owners. Starting with Boat Safety Week fire crews will be out delivering safety advice to boat owners at locations throughout North Yorkshire and City of York for the rest of this year. Scarborough Blue Watch will be speaking to boat owners at Scarborough marina between 10:30 am and 12:00noon on Saturday 1st June. Watch Manager Nick Allenby from Scarborough said: “On the 1st June we will be offering advice and tips about how to prevent fires on boats and how to react should one break out. This will include offering to check smoke alarms are working and fitted in the right place.” “We will also be covering cooking, carbon monoxide, smoking, electrics, candle safety and fuel storage. We will be handing out leaflets and demonstrating the equipment on our fire engines that we would use to extinguish fires and carry out water rescues.” Boroughbridge firefighters will be attending the Boroughbridge Marina between 10 am and 12noon on Sunday the 26th May to give out safety advice.
Did you know an estimated 30% of smoke alarms in the UK are inoperable due to missing, flat or disconnected batteries? For a property to comply with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it is vitally important that all fire safety equipment is kept in perfect working order at all times. This involves checking that the fire safety equipment is accessible, well maintained and hasn’t been tampered with. There are many ways you can take care of your fire safety equipment, to ensure your property is prepared, should there ever be a fire. Equipment Assessment Checks There are two types of equipment assessment checks that should be carried out, including monthly and annually If you’re the ‘responsible person’ for commercial property, you need to ensure your building meets fire safety standards. Here are 5 tips on how to properly maintain your fire safety equipment. Both passive and active fire safety equipment must be check regularly for any signs of wear or damage. There are two types of equipment assessment checks that should be carried out, including monthly and annually. There is a range of equipment checks you must carry out, including fire doors, fire alarm test, emergency lighting and fire extinguishers. Emergency lighting should be checked monthly, with all issues kept in a logbook. Fire doors should also be checked to ensure their seals and frames are in good condition. Fire Alarm Tests All fire protection has to be checked annually including alarms, detectors, lighting, sprinklers, extinguishers and fire doors. They should be carefully inspected. Fire alarms are a legal requirement for commercial premises. To check that your Fire alarms still function correctly, it is important to get them serviced. All fire alarms should be tested, maintained and inspected by a competent person who is able to carry out any remedial work. Fire alarms are a legal requirement for commercial premises Fire extinguishers must be ready to work straight away in the event of a fire, so it is vital they are regularly checked and serviced. You should ensure they are maintained and kept in a functional condition. Every month, the pressure gauge should be tested on all fire extinguishers. Fire Risk Assessments Every year, it is required that a qualified technician carries out a thorough check on all your extinguishers for them to be fully serviced and certified. In addition to regular maintenance checks on your fire safety equipment, it is vital your commercial property has a fire risk assessment carried out every 4 years, with a renewal every 2 years. Fully trained and qualified assessors should undertake this to make sure it is done professionally Fully trained and qualified assessors should undertake this to make sure it is done professionally. By having a fire risk assessment review, it determines whether any changes could impact the ability for your equipment to properly protect your building. Fire Safety Logbook During a risk assessment, all fire doors must be checked to ensure they are in good condition and close efficiently with secure hinges. The fire seals must be fixed in position, with signs on the door present and legible. To keep an overview of all findings and actions, there should be a fire safety logbook and maintenance record that remains at your premises at all times. The logbook is used to record and review any significant findings when carrying out the fire risk assessment. This helps to keep all fire safety equipment functioning effectively and available to respond to emergency fires.
A number of shocking incidents involving fire have highlighted the need to better manage risks in buildings. David Adkins, managing director at Risk Warden, explains why some organisations need to give compliance with statutory regulations more focus and how the use of state-of-the-art online risk assessment tools can help to ensure that a building is as safe as possible. The Grenfell Tower disaster in London, in which 72 people lost their lives, brought the subject of fire safety into sharp focus. A government review into building regulations in the wake of this tragedy, led by Dame Judith Hackitt, made it clear that competence – defined as a combination of knowledge, skills and experience – underpins safety for all. It also found that that the current regulatory system is not fit for purpose and, with little or no quality monitoring, has created a situation where poor language confuses guidance with regulation and means that there is an overlapping regulatory enforcement framework. Why you need a fire safety action plan Sadly, Grenfell was not an isolated incident and similar events have occurred throughout the world. In 2017 a fire at a 17-storey commercial building in Iran led to multiple deaths, including those of 18 firefighters, while in 2015 16 people died in a fire in a residential building in Azerbaijan. Perhaps what is most concerning is that these types of events have been regularly occurring for many years – in 2010 a fire in a 28-storey tower block in China killed 53 people and injured at least 90, while in 2004 a fire at a care home in Scotland led directly to the deaths of 14 residents. The inquiry concluded that this tragedy could have been prevented by a suitable fire safety action plan. These examples highlight why it is vital to take the issue of safety seriously by undertaking a formal risk assessment. Put simply, if risks aren’t identified, a building’s occupants are in danger. There are a number of important pieces of legislation relating to this area in the UK including The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which contain a consistent set of requirements. Employers also have a general duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work. The Grenfell Tower disaster in London, in which 72 people lost their lives, brought the subject of fire safety into focus Responsibility for fire risk assessment When it comes to the dangers associated specifically with fire, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) places the onus on a designated responsible person within an organisation to carry out regular assessments to identify, manage and reduce the potential danger posed by fire. Article 9 of the RRFSO states that "The responsible person must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons are exposed for the purpose of identifying the general fire precautions he/she needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on him/her by or under this order". Any failure that leads to loss of life, personal injury or damage to property will expose a responsible person and could lead to prosecution. Outside fire risk assessors If the responsible person does not have the knowledge to carry out a fire risk assessment on his or her own, it will be necessary to call on a competent outside fire risk assessor. However, as Article 18 of the RRFSO points out, "Preference is to be given to a suitable competent person in the responsible person’s employment over a person not in their employment". Just as importantly, it states that, "A person is to be regarded as competent where they have sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable them properly to assist in undertaking the preventive and protective measures". If an outside fire risk assessor is employed then the responsible person must undertake due diligence to ensure that the individual concerned is competent and has successful track record in this line of work. Failure to do so can have enormous repercussions like, for example, in 2017 when a former firefighter and professional fire risk assessor was given a sentence of four months in prison suspended for 12 months for providing a ‘woefully inadequate’ fire risk assessment in his capacity as a private consultant. Failure to undertake due diligence when employing a fire risk assessor can have legal consequences Monitoring and reviewing fire risk It is up to the responsible person to put processes and procedures in place to enable compliance to be fully evidenced. This includes keeping up to date records of testing and maintenance regimes that can be scrutinised by relevant enforcement authorities, as well as enabling the responsible person to monitor, control and periodically review the fire risk assessment, especially during and after significant changes to the use or layout of a building. At the moment there are no hard and fast rules as to how fire risk assessments should be carried out. However, the most important requirement is to identify the fire hazards and how people could be at risk. In addition, emergency routes and exits, fire detection and warning systems, fire fighting equipment, the removal or safe storage of dangerous substances, and the needs of vulnerable people such as the elderly or those with disabilities must be factored in. The aim should always be to remove or reduce the risks as much as is 'reasonably practicable'. A failure to provide satisfactory evidence that a comprehensive risk assessment has taken place could result in invalid insurance, large fines and even the prosecution of any individuals responsible. To that end Article 11 of the RRFSO states that "The responsible person must make and give effect to such arrangements as are appropriate, having regard to the size of his/her undertaking and the nature of its activities, for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures". Today’s state-of-the-art solutions are structured around an intuitive internet-based interface Risk assessment and compliance tools Sometimes, particularly with large buildings or campus environments, the complexity of the risk assessment process requires a more methodical approach that takes subjectivity out of the process. When it comes to satisfying the requirements of Article 11 of the RRFSO where "the responsible person must record the arrangements", the latest generation of intuitive risk assessment and compliance tools can help. Today’s state-of-the-art solutions are structured around an intuitive internet-based interface, which allows a responsible person to be guided through the entire risk assessment process in a clear and thorough manner. This is a significant improvement on the old fashioned ‘pen and paper’ approach, as digital images can be captured and placed directly into a report at the relevant section, while templates for specific building types ensure consistency throughout. This simplifies the identification, management and prevention of any risks related to not only fire, but security, and health and safety too, thereby reducing the potential for danger within a wide variety of environments. It should always be remembered that the risk assessment is only the first stage of the process and where traditional methods often fall down is in taking – or not taking, as the case may be – any necessary remedial action. Online tools provide a more cohesive approach, as once the risk assessment has been completed all work undertaken is clearly outlined, logged and accounted for to comply with audits. This provides evidence of compliance and ensures organisations meet their legal obligations, validate their insurance, take a consistent approach to risk management and provide peace of mind for a responsible person. Making buildings safer There is a clear need for a digital record of risk assessment compliance for the whole life of a building – from design and construction through to occupation. As assessing risk can be a lengthy and complicated process, anything that makes this easier and enhances an organisation’s ability to negate the likelihood of injury or even death should be embraced. It stands to reason that risk management must be more strictly applied in order to prevent incidents that could be avoided – therefore, the use of online risk assessment and compliance tools should be at the forefront when it comes to making buildings safer.
A new study reveals that intelligent fire detection systems have the potential to unlock more than 30 percent cost-savings on routine maintenance checks through real-time, data-driven remote monitoring. Kevin Mears, Product Manager for Kentec Electronics, describes how remote monitoring and predictive maintenance can meet the competitive challenges of the digital age. Leading economists have identified the convergence and synergies delivered by The Internet of Things – the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data – as a powerful force to create entirely new business models for system developers and integrators, by releasing the potential of remote interrogation. Remote diagnostics: A cost-efficient approach For the fire systems sector the definition of remote diagnostics is instructive: “Improving the reliability of life-critical installations and reducing maintenance costs by monitoring the condition of the system remotely to obviate unplanned maintenance.” The practical economic value of this data-driven approach to maintenance monitoring is highlighted by the findings by one of the largest global companies specialising in infrastructure solutions. The company found their costs for avoidable maintenance work were just as high, annually, as their actual profit from production: alerting them to seek a fresh rationale to release this massive saving potential. Intelligent system interoperability So, the message is clear: real value can be created by optimising predictive maintenance by means of smarter remote troubleshooting, enabled by liberating the interoperability between intelligent systems so their full potential can be realised – and it’s a message that fully applies to an AFD (automatic fire detection and fire alarm system) to the significant benefit of service providers and to end users. Specifically, programmed remote diagnostics that discriminatively interrogate an AFD can cut out the need for excessively scheduled maintenance intervals, a measured approach to risk management that harnesses the interconnected intelligence of versatile addressable field devices to deliver an immense reduction of on-site maintenance costs. Reducing false alarm downtime It’s worth remembering that of the more than 600,000 call out incidents were attended by Fire and Rescue Services, nearly 50 percent of these were due to false fire alarms. The cost of this wasted time for both business and the fire service is estimated to be well in excess of £1 billion per year, and that includes downtime from needless evacuations. Clearly, such preventable emergency alerts can be sensibly reduced by the use of intelligent predictive technology, reducing the need for fire risk professionals to travel to monitored sites by allowing potential problems to be resolved before they arise. To tackle this menace of false activations, one of the leading innovators in the fire safety market has now devised an entirely new future-proof management platform that fully exploits internet-enabled technology to establish a new concept in Life Safety System performance, designed to add value to system designer, integrator, service provider and the end user. Customisable fire detection control Entering the market as a new concept in fire detection control equipment, this life safety technology brings a new approach to system annunciation made possible by onscreen virtualisation of any life safety system via fire alarm system repeater panels, augmented by configurable, application-specific annunciator panels (such as nurses stations, sprinkler indicators, lift alarms, etc.), supported by an easy-to-configure modularity of software that makes any project customisable. The technology is designed to yield the key benefits bestowed by the virtualisation of remote monitoring Foremost, the system combines the efficiency of high-integrity fire data communications – whose performance to minimise false activations is defined by the highest reliability in resistance to outside interference – with a touchscreen-accessible configurable network whose high performance is measured by compliance with BS EN standards for control and indicating equipment, power supply equipment, and system components compatibility. At its core, this capability incorporates the latest hardware and software to deliver a system that fulfills the precautionary measures most frequently demanded by integrators and contractors. These include the management of fire and security servicing inspection routines, false fire alarm interrogation and diagnosis, or the scheduling of system maintenance call-outs. At the same time, this capability benefits users with the support of a full audit trail for traceability and regulatory compliance. Sophisticated network analysis tools, in addition, provide the ability to identify connection problems instantly. Fire management: A new dimension This internet-enabled resource permits information to flow according to the needs of each interface, and to match specific supervisory structures; for example, from the restricted entry-level user, through facilities management, to the maintenance engineer. Individual logins grant individual levels of access. This means that the intuitive touchscreen repeater screens are an easy-to-operate entry-point for those with specific safety duties in a fire zone. These screens can be programmed to ensure restricted users receive on-screen information relating only to their preordained tasks, which communicates clearly so they comprehend quickly and respond without panic. For more complex system demands, at the unrestricted level of engineer or building manager, for instance, these utilities permit layer upon layer of operating data to be retrieved for reliable incident reports. By drilling down, through the menu-driven interactions, management can review system event logs, conduct tests, change emergency notification, check trouble signals, disable the system, manage inspections and callouts, and improve servicing and maintenance regimes. Cloud notifications are accessed 24/7 for online monitoring via users’ smartphones, tablets, and other digital devices, ensuring full system event activity reporting, including multiple sites, false alarm diagnostics and functional testing of system devices. In addition, traceability for site compliance is delivered to benefit users with a full audit trail for regulatory conformance – including operational and performance records to register maintenance routines and all mandatory periodical tests are completed, with full confidentiality of all data. Virtuality: The new reality of predictive analytics The technology described here is designed to yield the key benefits bestowed by the virtualisation of remote monitoring: 1. To permit businesses to monitor status of devices in the field for maintenance or upgrade 2. To reduce downtime and improves network efficiencies when coupled with predictive analytics 3. To reduce servicing costs by enhancing maintenance regimes 4. To enable system integrators to harvest operational data and apply these insights to customise user services that build and retain customer loyalty 5. To deliver an operational and performance record for compliance and traceability. Kevin Mears Product Manager Kentec Electronics Ltd. Article published courtesy SourceSecurity.com®, a division of Notting Hill Media Limited. View the original article here
Intelligent fire panels from global fire systems pioneer, Advanced, have been installed in a prestigious, £134million Central London office building. Situated in the prime London business address of St Paul’s Churchyard, the nine-story commercial premises, Condor House, stands adjacent to St Paul’s Cathedral and just meters from Fleet Street. Comprising 110,000 sq. ft. of high-quality office space, Condor House is home to a number of professional services firms including financial services provider Barclays Capital and investment bank Moelis & Company. Hailed by the installers as the ‘Engineer’s choice’, a network of Advanced’s flagship 4-loop MxPro 5 multiprotocol fire panels have been installed to protect the site. Integration of MxPro 5 panels and XP95 detectors WFP integrated the MxPro 5 open protocol control panels alongside Apollo’s XP95 range of detectorsResponsible for the complete replacement of all elements of the integrated fire detection, voice alarm and fire telephone system installed at Condor House, including design, installation, programming, testing and commissioning, were Essex-based firm and Advanced partners, WFP Fire and Security. The ‘closed’ nature of the system meant that the cost for alterations and maintenance was higher than the market price of an ‘open’ system. WFP integrated the MxPro 5 open protocol control panels, which recently received FM Approval to the EN54 standard, alongside Apollo’s XP95 range of detectors and interfaces. Advanced’s PC-based graphical interface package, detailing the building layout to make it straightforward for the security team to have visibility and control over the fire system, was also provided. Designing and building custom panels During the project, WFP enlisted the support of Advanced’s AdSpecials department to design and build several custom panels including 200 zonal indicator panels, sprinkler indication panels and bespoke plant with key switch isolation controls to be installed in mobile racking units alongside the six 4-loop fire alarm panels. For customers requiring custom fire panels, Advanced’s AdSpecials team will work with them to design and manufacture unique panels and control interfaces for its fire systems, whatever the installation challenge. The end result is a fully up-to-date fire detection and voice alarm system ready for 10-15 years of service" WFP Fire and Security’s Contracts Manager, Scott Wright, said: “From a technical standpoint, the design and implementation of the fire system at Condor House required intricate planning and execution. We consider Advanced as the engineer’s choice of product when it comes to fire alarm control panels as it’s one of the most versatile ‘open’ systems on the market. The end result is a fully up-to-date fire detection and voice alarm system ready for 10-15 years of service.” Easy to install and configure fire panels Approved to EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13, MxPro 5 panels can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, 200 panel networks covering huge areas and tens of thousands of field devices. Advanced’s legendary ease of installation and configuration and wide peripheral range means that MxPro is customizable to almost any application, and it can be found in challenging and prestigious sites around the world. Ken Bullock, Regional Sales Manager, said: “This project involved a major upgrade from the old closed protocol system. Advanced MxPro 5 panels are compatible with detectors from four of the biggest manufacturers: Apollo, Argus, Nittan and Hochiki. Our panels and compatible field devices are available from a wide range of distributors putting the customer in charge of their budget." Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control “The MxPro 5 range of alarm control equipment was specified because of the openness, flexibility and performance and we were thrilled to work with WFP to provide the solutions they needed to make this extensive retrofit a success.” Protecting commercial properties Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, has a long history of protecting high-profile commercial property from HSBC’s Canary Wharf headquarters in London to Sydney’s famous Westfield Shopping Centre. Advanced is a global pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease-of-use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
A major chemical company in the UK had been running a large spray drying process for many years. They thought the explosion risk had been mitigated by installing suppression systems on the main dryer and cyclone and flameless venting on the filter. These had activated over 30 times, for real explosions, and the system had so far done its job. However, the frequency of activations increased and eventually an explosion in the main filter led to damage in the plant, despite the protection system. A selection of suppliers, including Fike, were asked for a solution to this suppression problem and each performed a trial with retrofitted detection devices. Experience in product characterization testing This information was critical to designing the most effective suppression systemWhen a subsequent incident occurred, it was only detected by Fike, and they showed that usual detection techniques were unreliable for these potential incipient explosions. Fike’s detailed review identified that the explosion data used (Kst 430, Pmax = 8.9) may be misleading. Fike’s lengthy experience in product characterization testing, in both the 20l sphere and 1m3 test vessels, led us to believe that the 20l sphere test would probably give erroneous results and instead suggested that a full set of tests be repeated along with a new test in the Fike 1m3 test vessel. So, Fike tested the product in one of the four 20l spheres they run and the tests results were very close to those previously conducted by the original test house. However, tests in the 1m3 sphere resulted in a much lower Kst. This information was critical to designing the most effective suppression system. The existing supplier’s suppression system and flameless venting devices were de-commissioned and Fike installed explosion suppression on the main dryer, cyclones, main filter and duct work. Initiated a turnkey CDM project The project had in excess of 50 suppressors and 20 detection points and all the work was completed on timeOne vital element of the previous safety system was the implementation of flameless venting to the filter. Fike advised that flameless venting shouldn’t be applied to the filter due to its size (>250m3), as this exceeded by magnitudes the limits of any known testing. It was also found that the existing flameless vents would not have opened since the product had been allowed to open the vent valve (a simple spring loaded valve), enabling product to block the radial mild steel element which was also very badly corroded. Fike initiated a full turnkey Construction, Design and Management (CDM) project. This involved full project management of all disciplines from structural steel work and process vessel fabrication, to electrical and instrument engineering. The project had in excess of 50 suppressors and 20 detection points and all the work was completed on time. Testing of the Fike Suppression system Following the successful installation and commissioning of the Fike suppression system, it was tested almost immediately. During recommission of the process, the end user accidentally allowed natural gas into the dryer and cyclones and, as expected, it ignited. Fike was called as the atomizer of the dryer had lifted (this had not been chained down as specified by Fike). After some detailed calculations were made, it was determined that the pressure required to lift the 1.5t atomizer was in the order of 40mbarg. Fike provided a full report to the client detailing the exact history (pressure time graph) of the explosion Fike provided a full report to the client detailing the exact history (pressure time graph) of the explosion by extracting the saved data from the control system. This clearly demonstrated that there was an explosion and although the system was not designed for the hazard (gas) that had occurred, it was successfully suppressed to 197mbarg, well below the design strength of the dryer. Protects life as well as reduces downtime This Fike suppression system has been protecting the process at this chemical company for a number of years and demonstrates that with an experienced and knowledgeable design team, difficult processes can operate safely with protection systems. These not only guard from loss of life and damage to valuable assets but also reduce additional operation problems such as down time.
The Colruyt supermarket chain has become a successful company by offering the best available and most reasonable ‘discount’ on goods to consumers. To preserve the ‘lowest prices’ and to remain at the forefront with competitive products, Colruyt made substantial investments into computer technology and integrated a high-technology information system which runs non-stop 365 days a year. Needless to say, a highly relied upon asset of this type is essential to the continuous success of Colruyt. System downtime is not acceptable. Prevent Business Interruption Colruyt made the decision to install Halon 1301 fire extinguishing system to protect this operation Halon is damaging the ozone layer and adding to the global warming problem. Therefore the European Community has issued a regulation 2037 / 2000 which makes the removal of Halon mandatory by the end of 2003. Colruyt made the decision to install Halon 1301 fire extinguishing system to protect this operation. This investment would prevent business interruption from fire. Fike, together with our business partner Sicli, Belgium, has successfully retrofitted the high technology information system (IT) room of the Colruyt supermarket chain with ECARO-25®, which utilizes DuPont’s FE-25™ fire extinguishant. Fire Extinguishing System The key success factors of the program were: Minimum downtime of the Colruyt IT room Cost savings compared to other products Fike’s ECARO-25 makes it possible to leave the existing piping in place and exchange the cylinders and the discharge nozzles only. These major advantages of ECARO-25 make the Halon retrofit as easy as possible even for equipment which is running 24 hours a day / 365 days a year. Now, in the easiest and most cost-effective manner, the Colruyt supermarket chain is in full compliance with EC 2037/2000 by using the people and environmentally safe ECARO-25 fire extinguishing system from Fike Corporation.
San Carlos, CA, located midway between San Francisco and San Jose, has been a magnet for families, due in large part to the small size and high educational value the San Carlos School District offers. In an effort to maintain this standard, the district has undertaken a large facility modernization project, affecting multiple schools. In order to continue the project throughout the school year, the district set up temporary housing for displaced classrooms, creating a unique and immediate need for stand-alone fire alarm systems. The electrical engineer consulted with Fike distributor, Sound and Signal. CyberCat intelligent fire alarm system The engineer appreciated us being able to get these projects done on such short notice"“This project had a challenging completion schedule,” said Ron Morgan, President of Sound and Signal. “I recommended using the Fike fire alarm products. The engineer did not have previous experience with Fike, but because of the long standing relationship between my company and his, the engineer agreed to try the Fike product.” Fike shipped four CyberCat intelligent fire alarm systems in one day, and after Sound and Signal completed the installation of all sites in 2 days, the inspectors granted occupancy to the building. “The engineer appreciated us being able to get these projects done on such short notice and was very impressed with the Fike product,” explained Ron. “This particular engineer specializes in schools and others within the education market, and is now very interested in getting more Fike information so they can specify it on their future projects.” Bi-Directional communication system Fike responded with the digital, peer-to-peer, bi-directional communication system, CyberCat"Most recently, another temporary housing project came up across the Bay in the San Ramon California Area, with even tighter time constraints. “At first I told them we couldn’t do it,” said Ron. “It was the end of summer, we had a lot of projects in the works, and quite frankly I didn’t think we could get product in time to complete the project before they wanted to use the facility. The engineer pleaded with me to take the project on. So I called Fike.” Fike responded with the digital, peer-to-peer, bi-directional communication system, CyberCat, and the installation of 7 classrooms, a multipurpose room and a restroom building was completed and on line in only one day! The panel tested perfectly and was inspected for occupancy the following week. “With every instance of using the CyberCat product, our resulting installations are flawless and the equipment works great. Sound and Signal is starting a push to change existing specifications to the Fike CyberCat system,” exclaimed Ron. Critical Success Factors Product was received quickly to accommodate tight school year deadlines. Installation was completed easily, the panel tested perfectly and the school district received occupancy in time for the first day of school! A CyberCat fire alarm control panel cuts alarm response time between manual pull station and strobe activation to as little as one quarter second! When it comes to protecting the lives of children, split seconds count.
The Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE) in Lafayette, LA is a state-of-the-art 3D immersive visualization resource center featuring one of the world’s first six-sided, digital virtual reality cubes, as well as the world’s largest digital 3-D theater. This leading-edge visualization environment is powered by one of the largest shared memory resources in the world, a 4.1TB of RAM high performance computing system. The LITE facility, a State entity governed by a Board of Commissioners, is designed to stimulate collaboration between technology intensive companies, state and national universities and government agencies for basic research, testing and validation, product development, commercial production and high-performance computer modeling. ECARO-25 clean agent fire protection system Fike distributor, C & S Systems, was selected to protect LITE’s multi-million dollar data centerProtection of this advanced facility became a natural priority. Due to their long standing relationship with the contractor, Fike distributor, C & S Systems (a pioneer in fire protection solutions in the Louisiana area), was selected to protect LITE’s multi-million dollar data center. C&S installed the Fike ECARO-25 clean agent fire protection system (utilizing DuPont FE-25 clean agent fire extinguishant), not only because it is a very cost-effective waterless fire protection system, but it offers tremendous flexibility and ease in installation. The success of the ECARO-25 installation led the engineers to include the new Fike CyberCat fire alarm system in the specs for the entire LITE facility. Newly appointed Fike distributor, Electronic Protection Systems, was excited to utilize this revolutionary product. Cybercat intelligent alarm system EPS installed the CyberCat 1016 fire alarm system for its ability to manage up to 1,016 devices“We were a new Fike distributor when this job came up,” explained EPS Director of Operations, Bryan Joubert. “In learning about the Cybercat intelligent alarm system, we knew it was fast, capable of generating accurate and highly detailed information (such as the specific location of a fire) and that individual modules could be programmed to perform process management tasks. That represents a great step forward in fire alarms, but we were anxious to see how an actual field installation would go. This was an excellent test of this system’s true potential.” Due to the size and complexity of the job, EPS installed the CyberCat 1016 fire alarm system for its ability to manage up to 1,016 devices (including any combination of sensors and modules) and its enhanced ability to perform tasks, such as shutdowns, HVAC, voice evacuation systems, elevators and Security / CCTV / Building management awareness. The system was interfaced to include access control and incorporated fire shutters to close off sections in case of a fire scenario. In addition, a FikeGuard voice evacuation system was incorporated to specifically monitor and control the safety of patrons to the theater located within LITE. Flexibility to interface with other systems The installation went very well, and we have had no concerns, questions or false alarms since"“The installation went very well, and we have had no concerns, questions or false alarms since,” explained Bryan. “Even though the system offers a tremendous amount of features, programming capability and flexibility to interface with other systems, my techs were excited about how easy it was to work with the CyberCat during installation. We are currently working on several hotels with the reconstruction efforts going on in southern Louisiana, and we plan on using the CyberCat in these jobs.” The LITE world-class visualization and supercomputing center in Lafayette, LA is positioning the Acadiana region as the state leader in attracting high-tech businesses and ultimately as a real player on the national landscape for technology industries. As another leader in state-of-the-art technology, Fike fire protection products are doing their part to see that LITE reaches that goal.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) has fitted public access defibrillators (PADs) outside of every fire station across Kent and Medway regions in the UK, along with making them freely available for use by local communities. The rollout of this equipment to 56 KFRS facilities countywide, is intended to give members of the public a better chance of helping to save someone who is in cardiac arrest. When someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest, prompt action by anyone nearby offers their only chance of survival. A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest Automated External Defibrillator A defibrillator (also referred to as an automated external defibrillator or AED) is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest. This high energy shock is called defibrillation. Most people who survive will have needed a shock from a defibrillator to correct a chaotic heart rhythm. KFRS Assistant Director, Ian Thomson said, “When someone goes into cardiac arrest, often close relatives, friends or colleagues feel helpless, but with some basic life-saving skills and access to a defibrillator, they have the potential to make a real difference to the outcome for that person.” Defibrillation and CPR Studies have shown that a shock given within 3 minutes of cardiac arrest provides the best chance of survival and that even one minute of further delay reduces that chance substantially. Further studies have shown that immediate delivery of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) combined with early use of an automated external defibrillator by members of the public gives a person in cardiac arrest the best chance of surviving. If you find someone in cardiac arrest, first make sure you are safe and then immediately call 999 for an ambulance. You should then start basic life support and CPR, and this should be continued until help arrives, to provide the best chance of survival of the casualty. If you have someone with you, ask them to find the nearest defibrillator and bring it to you. Public Access Defibrillators Defibrillators are lightweight, very easy to use and guide the operator through the process with prompts and command Defibrillators are lightweight, very easy to use and guide the operator through the process with prompts and commands. The machines give clear spoken instructions, so no specific training is needed to use them. The equipment analyses precisely the victim’s heart rhythm and will only deliver a shock if it is required. Ian Thomson added, “KFRS already works with South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) to deliver basic life-saving skills, including CPR, to school children and community groups each year as part of an national ‘Restart-a-Heart’ initiative and the provision of PADs at our fire stations is part of our commitment to ensure that as many lives can be saved as possible.” Emergency rescue and aid SECAmb Blue Light Collaboration Manager Matt England said, “We are really pleased that KFRS is increasing the availability of defibrillators in the community, as they can make a real difference to a patient in cardiac arrest. When you dial 999 in a cardiac arrest situation we will provide you with guidance on basic life support and let you know where the nearest PAD is located, as well as sending ambulance resources.” KFRS’s defibrillators are stored outside of each fire station in a clearly marked cabinet. The cabinet is unlocked to save valuable time in an emergency, however an alarm will be triggered to tell us that the defibrillator has been accessed. Firefighter safety Kent Fire and Rescue Service will be donating further PADs to community groups and organizations in order to increase the availability of defibrillators across Kent and Medway and will also be arranging localized defibrillator awareness events to members of the public throughout 2018.