Flammable Material Control
Fire conditions and extrication events that firefighters arrive at today are very different from the conditions faced years ago. According to research at Underwriter Laboratories (UL), modern homes contain larger quantities of petroleum-based products and plastics that burn faster and hotter versus traditional and more natural materials. Rapid fire spread The result is more rapid and hotter fire growth with exponential increases in heat generation, smoke production and toxicity. Faster flashov...
For those looking for a new and intelligent approach to fire detection, AVIOTEC, the artificial intelligence-based fire detection camera from Bosch Security Systems, detects fires quickly and reliably in challenging settings, such as dusty, humid, and dark areas. It is vital to detect fire as early as possible. AVIOTEC is an IP camera with built-in video analytics. The trained algorithm detects flames and smoke directly at the source. The device can, therefore, detect fires faster than a common...
Smart Shooter Ltd. (SMARTSHOOTER), a globally renowned designer, developer, and manufacturer of innovative fire control systems that significantly increase the accuracy and lethality of small arms, will present its SMASH 2000 Plus Fire Control System and SMASH Hopper Light Remote-Controlled Weapon Station (LRCWS) at the DEFEA exhibition in Athens, Greece. Ideal for defense, HLS, maritime patrol, border control, strategic infrastructure protection, and counter-UAS missions, SMASH is a comb...
Mann McGowan is pleased to announce a partnership with Falcon Acoustics & Passive Fire Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which sees Falcon become distributors of Mann McGowan intumescent fire, acoustic and smoke seals to the construction and passive fire protection industries in India. This partnership brings together a wealth of technical and commercial experience and knowledge from both sides. Fire, smoke and acoustic seals manufacturer Mann McGowan design, manufacture and supply a comprehensive rang...
As the demand for UK housing continues to rise, developers and planning authorities are under increasing pressure to deliver the intended UK Government target of 300,000 new homes per year, by the mid-2020s. The need to build as quickly and as cost effectively as possible, unfortunately often leaves little time to invest in developing a thorough understanding of notoriously Byzantine fire safety standards, increasing the risk of serious, potentially fatal, mistakes. firm understanding of fire...
With summer officially here and COVID-19 restrictions loosening around the country, many people will look to grilling, cookouts, and other outdoor gatherings, including fireworks displays, to enjoy the warm weather. As the Fourth of July approaches, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is providing important reminders and guidelines for safely enjoying these activities. Reminders and Guidelines Make sure your gas grill is working properly Leaks or breaks are primarily a problem...
Dräger (Drägerwerk AG & Co. KGaA), a globally renowned company in the fields of medical and safety technology, has launched the Dräger PSS AirBoss, the next generation in Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) that provides firefighters and emergency service teams with the utmost in usability, safety, serviceability, and connectivity. It was officially launched at the global virtual DrägerUp 2021 event, where Dräger demonstrated how PSS AirBoss represents a digital progression with telemetry and connectivity, providing the information and enabling the integration and communication required, to further firefighter health and wellbeing. PSS AirBoss SCBA Dräger’s PSS AirBoss includes a carrying mechanism with pneumatics, monitoring systems, masks and communication technology, and numerous accessories, such as the ultra-lightweight Type 4 Nano compressed air breathing cylinders, lung demand valves and fire escape hoods. Three models will be available: PSS AirBoss Active providing the lowest weight, PSS AirBoss Agile with increased safety features, and PSS AirBoss Connect, providing maximum situational awareness for the firefighter. With the new Type 4 Nano cylinder providing a continued reduction in cylinder weight, all new SCBA sets are significantly lighter than existing SCBA models, and its unlimited life can also reduce full lifecycle costs. Featuring advanced ergonomics State-of-the-art ergonomics is a vital feature of the Dräger PSS AirBoss evolution State-of-the-art ergonomics is a vital feature of the Dräger PSS AirBoss evolution. Improved wearer comfort has been achieved by shifting the center of gravity relationship between the human body and the set, and creating a ventilated space by the SCBA backplate. It is also improved through a pivoting waist belt and three-step height adjustments. PSS AirBoss’ weight is carried by the legs and pelvis, rather than the back. This not only improves personal comfort, but also enhances mobility within confined spaces, while descending ladders and stairwells and in any situation which requires a high level of mobility. On a practical level, the Dräger PSS AirBoss has also been designed to be ‘snag-proof’, ensuring that all attachments are neatly connected or integrated, to mitigate any risk of snagging or entanglement. Easy cylinder exchange has been achieved through the Quick Connect function and all key components are fitted with RFID tags for ease of asset management. Digitalization Also critical to the Dräger PSS AirBoss system is digitalization. Dräger provides the only operationally-proven telemetry solution in the UK, delivering vital information which is automatically communicated between the wearer of the BA set and the Entry Control Point – without the need for either team to stop what they are doing to communicate. These signals include manual and automatic distress signals, team withdrawal and evacuation signals to and from the wearer, cylinder pressure, time to whistle and time of whistle. ‘Buddylights’ fitted to SCBA backplate This system also provides comprehensive data regarding the firefighters’ condition in relation to their SCBA, proving invaluable to those responsible for monitoring and directing BA crews. A new feature, unique to Dräger’s PSS AirBoss, are ‘Buddylights’ fitted to the backplate, which use digital data from the set to provide immediate and highly visible signaling to firefighters of their team’s cylinder pressures and physical condition. Efficient accountability system An Entry Control Officer requires live information from all SCBA wearers of all entry points Connectivity is an important aspect to Dräger’s new solution. An Entry Control Officer requires live information from all SCBA wearers of all entry points and to know they are accounted for in any scenario. Dräger’s accountability system accomplishes this. The optional Dräger Web client enables workshop, management and command staff to utilize the data created on scene, wherever they are. The only requirement is a connection to the Base station, which uses Wi-Fi or LTE connectivity to access data stored on Dräger’s Cloud. Authorized personnel can then remotely monitor the incident and access the full incident log at any time. Customized reporting An additional benefit, users can easily customize reporting for multiple purposes, from user or device history to synchronized overviews of complete incidents. The ability to create tactical and evidence-based incident reports provides comprehensive and valuable analysis post incident, essential for debriefing and training purposes – or as required for any investigation or inquiry. Cleaning has been made simpler by designing smoother, non-absorbent, water-repellent surfaces, in order to make the equipment easier to wipe down and decontaminate. Reduced webbing material allows for faster drying and numerous attachment points mean kit can easily be dismantled for optimum cleaning, both mechanically and by hand. Modular design for backward compatibility In recognition of the financial pressures that the fire services are under, PSS AirBoss enables fire services to maximize the significant investment already made into their SCBA and telemetry. With a modular design, PSS AirBoss is backward compatible with existing Dräger PSS SCBA and telemetry With a modular design, PSS AirBoss is backward compatible with existing Dräger PSS SCBA and telemetry, enabling elements of the existing set to be upgraded over time. This reduces the requirement to purchase a full suite of new equipment including telemetry, pneumatics, electronics, integrated communications, cylinders and vehicle charging systems. Medical, physiological and safety tested Liz Millward, Marketing Manager for Emergency and Rescue Services at Draeger Safety UK feels PSS AirBoss should not be considered a standalone product, but a connected solution. She said, “PSS AirBoss has been ten years in development, during which time we have utilized medical, physiological and safety expertise and thoroughly tested technology. We have used not only our direct relationships with the UK fire services and global expert third parties including universities, but also our support of emergency events such as Grenfell and the Salisbury poisonings to make sure PSS AirBoss has been designed with real life firefighting experience in mind.” Liz Millward adds, “PSS AirBoss’ improvements reduce firefighters’ physical stress, which in turn reduces the risk of strain-related injuries and fatigue when wearing the set operationally, as well as extending potential working duration due to reduced physical exertion. In an industry where a split second can be the difference between life and death, these advancements are crucial for the safety of our firefighters.”
The fire safety industry is widely welcoming the campaign by AEI Cables to highlight the importance of using only approved cabling in signal and control equipment. The company has been advising the industry of the requirements under the revised version of the Code of Practice for Category 3 fire performance cables. The systems powered by these cables, including smoke and heat extraction systems, assist fire services in firefighting and a safe evacuation in the case of life safety. AEI Cables’ message of safety Customers, the wider industry and professionals have welcomed the message of safety, including the professional fire safety membership body, the Institute of Fire Prevention Officers (IFPO). The Code references and clarifies the products and levels of performance required very clearly" Stuart Dover of AEI Cables said, “The Code references and clarifies the products and levels of performance required very clearly. We have received wide support for this information and the efforts we are making in the interests of safety for all concerned from the supply chain through to those responsible and the public using buildings in which these systems operate.” Martin Dunne of the IFPO said, “We are supporting this effort to raise awareness to the fire safety community to follow the detail of the new Code of Practice under BS8519. This can only help to improve fire safety in our buildings.” Code of Practice for Category 3 fire performance cables As the only supplier in the United Kingdom with independent approval from LPCB for BS8519 Category 3 Control fire performance cables with a fire survival time of up to 120 minutes, AEI Cables is warning of the dangers of using any other type of cable. The applications of Category 3 Control fire performance cables also applies to evacuation alarms for the disabled in care homes, emergency voice communications systems and voice alarm systems in relevant buildings including tall buildings, office spaces, hospitals, care homes, shopping malls and stadia. Firetec enhanced cabling AEI Cables’ Firetec enhanced cabling has been approved and certified by LPCB to BS8519 (Annex B) standard, Category 3 Control in addition to Category 2 Control. The BS Code of Practice under BS8519 contains six categories of cables, three for power cables and three for control cables each covering survival times of 30, 60 or 120 minutes.
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, has announced the expansion of its Tyco corridor sprinkler family, with the launch of the Series RFII-C Royal Flush II Quick Response Concealed Pendent sprinkler. Corridor sprinklers Along with the recently released EC-8C Light Hazard Quick Response sprinkler, the corridor sprinkler family offers the cost-saving benefits of needing fewer sprinklers at lower design pressure, compared to standard coverage sprinklers. These UL Listed sprinklers are specially designed for long, narrow spaces and offer a maximum coverage area of 28-feet by 10-feet (8.5 meters by 3.1 meters). Cost-effective and designed for quick, easy installation, these sprinklers are intended for use in NFPA-13 compliant automatic sprinkler systems. The corridor sprinkler family helps serve the Johnson Controls OpenBlue mission of supporting healthy people, healthy places and a healthy planet. Series RFII-C Royal Flush II sprinkler The Series RFII-C 5.6 K-factor Royal Flush II Quick Response Concealed Pendent sprinkler features a concealed design The Series RFII-C 5.6 K-factor Royal Flush II Quick Response Concealed Pendent sprinkler features a concealed design, allowing for uninterrupted aesthetics in hallways and corridors. To achieve this decorative look, the 3-mm bulb-type sprinkler features a flat cover plate which hides the unit. Aesthetics can be further enhanced with a variety of colors and finishes for the cover plates. Each sprinkler is compatible with a cover plate and retainer assembly and a sprinkler and support cup assembly to allow easier system testing and servicing. The RFII-C also allows for a ½-inch (12.7 mm) of vertical adjustment to provide flexibility in the length of fixed piping for the sprinkler drops. Series EC-8C sprinkler Ideal for areas with a finished ceiling, the EC-8C 8.0 K-factor Light Hazard, Quick Response Recessed Pendent sprinkler offers an orifice optimized for a 0.1 gal/min/sq.ft commercial light-hazard design density at pressures as low as 8.3 psi (0.6 bar). There are two options for the EC-8C: the two-piece Style 30 recessed escutcheon, which provides up to ½-inch (12.7 mm) of total adjustment from the flush pendent position, or the Style 40, which provides ¾-inch (19.05 mm) of vertical adjustment. This sprinkler also features corrosion-resistant coatings. “With the expansion of the corridor sprinkler family, Johnson Controls is giving customers the options they need to help keep their facilities safe while also creating a desirable appearance and meeting their cost expectations,” said Robert (Bob) Cordell, Global Product Manager, Johnson Controls.
Four C-130 aircraft from the California and Nevada Air National Guard, worked alongside the U.S. Forest Service, during annual refresher and certification training with the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS), from May 4 – May 7, 2021. During the training, these aircraft, equipped with MAFFS units, practiced dispersing water in rugged, mountainous terrain, as they are guided by lead planes flown by members of the U.S. Forest Service. Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System MAFFS is a self-contained unit that is loaded into the belly of the C-130 Hercules aircraft The Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) is a self-contained unit that is loaded into the belly of the C-130 Hercules aircraft, allowing for 3,000 gallons of fire retardant to be strategically placed ahead of fire lines to stop wildfires from progressing. The 146th Airlift Wing, based out of Port Hueneme, California, and the 152nd Airlift Wing, based out of Reno, Nevada, worked to hone their skills in this specialized flying mission. Command Chief Master Sgt. Mikael ‘Mack’ Sundin, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Command Region, 1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern) visited Southern California, to observe this training firsthand. According to Sundin, the importance of sustaining a robust aerial firefighting force is not lost among the top brass in Washington, D.C. Tackling wildfires Mikael ‘Mack’ Sundin said, “The C-130 fleet is an invaluable asset to the protection of life and property that we should all be proud of. From an AFNORTH perspective, Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) is a top priority,” He adds, “While it’s hard to predict such things as pandemics, wildfires remain a constant. A year-round discussion on activating MAFFS when called upon sits high on the list, as we never want another fire season like we had last year.” MAFFS operations MAFFS operations involve constant, ever-changing logistics and communications between Air National Guard and Reserve members, and supporting agencies because of the unpredictable nature of fires and the weather conditions caused by the fires themselves. According to Sundin, the National Defense Strategy, as dictated by the President of the United States, stresses its number one priority, Homeland Defense. This comes with many different layers, and DSCA is certainly one of those layers. Enhancing aerial fire-fighting capability The prevention of loss of life and damage to property is one of the Guard’s main focuses" “The prevention of loss of life and damage to property is one of the Guard’s main focuses. Without this aerial fire-fighting capability and our partnerships with all the fire-fighting agencies like the U.S. Forest Service, we wouldn’t be properly defending the homeland,” said Chief Mikael Sundin. He adds, “Swiftly helping our fellow citizens when disaster strikes, is key for a more resilient nation. I assure you that MAFFS will remain relevant for the foreseeable future. We remain committed to our military members and our neighbors.” Annual refresher and certification training Impressed with the professionalism and strict adherence to safety measures between the Airmen and U.S. Forest Service members training during the week-long certification, Chief Mikael Sundin reiterated his admiration for the aerial fire-fighting agencies that the Air National Guard and Reserve units work to support, and for the dedication of the Airmen themselves. “This is the perfect mission for the Air National Guard and all of the fire-fighting agencies involved with this mission. They define the way it should be done. MAFFS doesn’t come with just one specific wing or agency. We all work together well as one team.” Air Expeditionary Group MAFFS program The 153rd Airlift Wing from Cheyenne, Wyoming and the 302nd Airlift Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, are also part of the Air Expeditionary Group MAFFS program and will be participating in certification training next week in Colorado.
Waste fires – in other words, fires that occur in waste or recycling plants - is a very serious global issue. Countries all over the world are suffering from more than one fire per day in the waste and recycling industry. This causes a risk of injury to employees, damage to sites and machinery, and damage to reputation. And that’s even before one considers the potential environmental impact. There’s more irony here too – one of the biggest risks for fire in a waste facility is damaged lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are rechargeable and thus designed to be more sustainable! What causes waste fires? As the human race creates more and more waste, recycling has become crucial in the fight for sustainability. Numerous recycling plants are built to deal with all kinds of materials, turning them into something useable again. Many of these materials are combustible – paper and cardboard, for example. The materials are also compressed together in order to save space. A dry, hot spell of weather can also add a rise in heat within this pile. All these conditions combine to make a potentially combustible situation – all that is needed is a spark. This is an example of what’s known in the industry as ‘scalding’. Heat can build up unchecked in places that cannot be seen or monitored in traditional ways. In the middle of a waste pile, for example. There’s also no smoke to be seen here since it’s shielded by outer layers of the waste. Rechargeable batteries Danger can come from various places – but increasingly the culprit is rechargeable batteries Danger can come from various places – but increasingly the culprit is rechargeable batteries. In fact, according to a recent WEEE report, the most severe fires caused by batteries in the last four years caused damage costing an average of €1.3 million. The lithium-ion technology in these batteries works by using different chemicals in separate cells. The ‘walls’ of these cells are quite thin, to make the battery lightweight. When damaged, these can be punctured, or short-circuited combining the separated elements and causing either a build-up of heat, leading to a fire, or even an explosion. Tackling waste fires Traditional methods of tackling the problem are based on reacting quickly to a waste fire once it breaks out. Fire alarms and sprinkler systems are used, and a ‘hotline’ to the local fire services could be prudent. Sites also use sirens and lights to warn people of the danger. However, these measures all come into effect once a fire has started. Technology can now be used to tackle the issue before it happens. In other words, to detect the build-up of heat, before the spark has ignited the fire. It succeeds in managing the risks of harm to employees or visitors to the site. It’s also good for the budget – reducing the costs and work to repair any fire damage. Enter Hikvision’s cameras Thermal cameras are used to monitor temperatures both inside and outside of a plant. These cameras can be configured to raise an alarm when a predefined temperature is monitored, and then again when a higher one is reached. The first temperature limit is for a pre-alarm, which will have the camera send a signal once the temperature is higher than normal. The second limit should be configured at a critical temperature so that it’s clear that immediate action is necessary once it’s heard. HikCentral VMS Using HikCentral video management software, images can also be sent to managers remotely Both alarms can be verified by employees monitoring the situation, both on and off-site, using a bi-spectrum camera. This provides live images alongside the thermal ones, giving more context to the issue. Then, armed with verified situational information, appropriate persons can take action to prevent, or put out, any waste fires. This could be site employees, or via a remote monitoring service. Using HikCentral video management software, images can also be sent to managers remotely. They are able to see what’s happening via tablet or mobile, wherever they are. Fire repressing systems The solution uses smart algorithms to ensure that hot spots caused by sunlight, or cars moving through the site, do not cause false alarms. It can also be seamlessly connected to other fire repressing systems, like sprinklers or automated fire doors. The world of sustainability moves on. In a world where a battery designed to be sustainable can actually cause problems when recycled, looking at the complete picture seems crucial. As is the ability to tackle problems before they happen. Using technology, recycling plants can identify potential fires before they happen. So even if the materials going through a waste site are potential fire risks, these can be effectively managed. It’s a classic example of prevention being better than cure – more relevant than ever to waste fires.
VdS (VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH) has announced the release of Compact Guidelines VdS 2100 for dependable pipe connection elements and fittings renewed, comprehensively supplemented with findings for reliable production, with regard to leak tightness and stress crack resistance, as well as other aspects. Automatic sprinkler systems The decisive instant protection in case of fire (more often than every 5 minutes in a company in Germany) is automatic sprinkler systems. An important part of these sprinkler systems are of course the pipes that bring the extinguishing water exactly into target. To ensure a stable water supply, VdS supports manufacturers all over the world with precise specifications, for e.g. reliable connections. Guidelines VdS 2100-06 We have summarized all the important new findings in compact 19 pages, including informative graphics and tables" The Guidelines ‘VdS 2100-06, Pipe Connections, Requirements and Test Methods’ have now been renewed by Europe's largest institute for fire protection with technical innovations, as well as additional risk minimization. “Design specifics, details on documentation, torsion and flame resistance, etc. – We have summarized all the important new findings in compact 19 pages, including informative graphics and tables,” emphasizes Frank Bzdega, the Head of the VdS laboratories for water extinguishing systems at VdS. Highest level of reliability Frank Bzdega adds, “All with the aim of making it easier for developers to produce safe quality and to offer installers, operators, insurers and authorities the highest level of reliability in use.” VdS offers the revised Guidelines free of charge. Interested parties can find ‘VdS 2100-06, Pipe Connections, Requirements and Test Methods’ on the official website of VdS. Also updated and available on the website are the Guidelines VdS 2100-30 for pipe fittings.
The global drive towards sustainability is causing businesses to continually search for alternative fuel sources, seeing an increase in rubber and plastic recycling across the UK. However, recycling these materials tends to relies on high volume storage for lengthy periods of time, as well as intense processing. This creates unique fire risks, as evidenced in the troubling fire record for recycling plants in the UK. James Mountain, sales and marketing director, Fire Shield Systems, explains the key fire risks associated with rubber and plastics, and how these risks can best be mitigated. Over the past century, the plastic industry has rapidly evolved, creating a diverse family of materials comprising various types of plastics. The same can be said for the rubber industry, which uses a range of raw materials, with modern tyres being made up of over 200 different materials, and the average car tyre comprising around 30 types of synthetic rubber and eight types of natural rubber. Many of the diverse ingredients in modern rubber and plastic are combustible, creating unique fire risks and making it crucial for business owners to understand the appropriate mitigation measures. The rubber risk Many of the diverse ingredients in modern rubber and plastic are combustible, creating unique fire risks.When ignited, the spread of fire and smoke from rubber can be rapid. It also burns at extreme temperatures. At 200°C, rubber flows as molten rubber, and at 230°C, it emits flammable vapours, which can become trapped in the hot mass. If not promptly controlled, those vapours can set alight with an explosive force. As rubber naturally repels water, many extinguishing measures are often shed and drained away. This makes suppression extremely challenging, with many common measures, such as ceiling height sprinkler systems, unable to successfully control rubber fires. Tyre fires Prior to recycling, rubber tyres can be stored for extended periods of time. This creates unique fire risks, due to the air spaces between each tyre and their potential for high heat output. When alight, tyres release a range of toxic chemicals and a large amount of oil, with one million tyres releasing up to 55,000 gallons (208,198 litres) of oil. This means water is generally an ineffective extinguishing material. The average car tyre comprises of around 30 types of synthetic rubber and eight types of natural rubber In addition, tyre fires often burn for shocking amounts of time. For example, the Heyope Tyre Fire in Wales begin in 1989 and wasn’t fully extinguished for an incredible 15 years, as the tyres were so densely packed together. During the recycling process, tyres are sometimes shredded into smaller chips, known as tyre shred or rubber crumb. In this state, rubber is extremely vulnerable to self-combustion. However, these fires often take a long period of time to ignite, meaning prevention is possible in many situations. The plastic risk The naturally occurring and synthetic polymers found in plastics react similarly to fire, typically creating highly toxic chemicals when ignited. Additionally, plastic flames can spread rapidly, as high as two feet per second or 10 times that of wood on the surface. Recycled plastics can be used for the production of renewable fuels, such as solid recovered fuel (SRF) and refused derived fuel (RDF). Subcoal technology is now being used to upgrade these fuels into pellets, which can be used as a substitute for coal or lignite to fuel industrial furnaces. However, this pellet material often has a high calorific value, which means it is extremely susceptible to fire risk when stored in stockpiles. Responsibilities and regulations The Environment Agency (EA) outlines that every waste and recycling site must have a fire prevention plan (FPP), which details the mitigation measures and policies in place to reduce a site’s fire risk. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (2005) also stipulates business owners’ responsibility to take appropriate measures to reduce fire risk. Specific voluntary guidance for the storage of rubber exists (ISO 2230:200), as well as guidance for the suitable use of suppression systems and how to mitigate specific types of fires (NFPA 11, EN 13565). Mitigating the risk Methods for safeguarding sites and mitigating fire risk for rubber and plastics can be broken down into three key areas: initial storage, the recycling process and storage of the newly formed materials. Initial bulk storage of raw materials When reducing fire risk in bulk raw material storage, you should: Monitor the sub-surface temperature regularly Control moisture levels Ensure adequate ventilation Reduce the size of piles Create separation (either physically or using fire walls) between all waste piles Minimise storage times. When it comes to suppression measures, water-based solutions will generally have a limited impact on rubber and plastic fires. Instead, you could use a compressed air foam system, which allows the agent to stick to the materials to remove the oxygen supply and effectively suppress the fire. Processing rubber and plastics When processing rubber and plastic for SRF or RDF, the risk of fire is extremely high and mitigation will often need a holistic approach. Key things to consider include: Cleaning machinery frequently to remove any small, highly combustible particles released during shredding. Regular maintenance of machinery to minimise the risk of mechanical failure or friction. Implementing the right fire prevention systems. Different machinery will require localised application protection. For example, detection systems such as linear heat detection, infra-red flame detection or video flame detection, are important for identifying flames, sparks or embers, which can be created from the metallic presence within the material. Storing processed materials Mitigating fire risk in the storage of processed materials may include: Turning piles frequently where the risk of self-combustion or spontaneous heating is higher Monitoring sub-surface temperatures Controlling moisture levels Managing material risk factors. Processed rubber and plastic, such as SRF or RDF, has a high calorific value, so water alone will often not effectively suppress a fire. Instead, a Class A penetrating foam systems, using deluge systems, cannons/monitors or hose reel systems, is likely to be more effective. To create an effective fire protection strategy, a full risk assessment is crucial, as it helps to generate a unique solution, tailored to the individual site and its risks.
After years of Brexit negotiations and an ongoing climate of prevailing uncertainty, businesses across the UK are still adjusting to the realities of life outside the European Union. Following the end of the UK’s transition period with the European Union, at the end of last year, the United Kingdom is no longer subject to European laws. However, for many companies, the last-minute nature of the Brexit negotiations mean that they remain unclear on what has actually changed in practical terms, particularly with regard to the day-to-day rules and regulations that govern how they do business. Post-Brexit workplace safety rules Workplace safety rules are likely to be a major source of questions in many cases Workplace safety rules are likely to be a major source of questions in many cases. Have any rules changed as a result of Brexit? Do any of the fire safety standards that were previously in place need to be amended now that EU standards no longer apply in the UK? And is it likely that the UK’s fire safety laws might change in the near future, to reflect the country’s newfound legislative independence? Here, we will explore the answers to these questions, in order to provide you and your business with an insight into what aspects of fire safety might change due to Brexit - and what elements are almost certain to remain the same. What has already changed? In truth, the reality is that so far, very little has changed in terms of how workplace safety regulations are implemented and enforced in the United Kingdom. Although many of the current rules around occupational safety and fire prevention were previously derived from EU directives, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 has since transposed all of those regulations into UK law, in order to provide as much legal continuity for businesses and communities as possible. Amendments to the supply of new work equipment By enshrining these former EU rules as UK law, the British government is now able to enforce them directly, as well as gaining the ability to adapt or remove them unilaterally in the future. Thus far, the most notable change affecting fire safety standards are the amendments to the manufacture and supply of new work equipment, which have altered the processes that are involved in certifying the safety and quality of equipment, which are used in the workplace. UK-specific UKCA standard Post-Brexit, newly-manufactured equipment will be tested and marked as per new UK-specific UKCA standard Previously, any gear purchased for workplace use needed to bear European CE marking to affirm its conformity to international standards. However, post-Brexit, newly-manufactured equipment will be tested and marked according to the new UK-specific UKCA standard instead. In practice, the impact of this change will not be significant for the time being. Products that conform to relevant European product supply legislation and correctly bear the CE marking will be treated as satisfying the requirements of the relevant UK legislation, until December 31st 2021, and will therefore not require UK marking. This is only likely to change after this date, if future regulatory evolution causes the UKCA and CE standards to diverge. What might change in future? At present, the vast majority of UK legislation on fire prevention and general workplace health and safety, remains in close alignment with EU standards, partly in order to maintain an international consensus on best practice, and to facilitate economic cooperation. However, the stated purpose of Brexit was to provide the UK government with scope to amend and create its own standards and regulations, and as time goes by, it becomes more likely that we will see increasingly significant changes to how fire safety is regulated. For example, in recent months the government has pledged to make a number of updates to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, following a series of inquiries and consultations prompted by the Grenfell Tower fire of 2017. The proposed move could usher in the following changes for all regulated buildings in England, both residential and commercial: When carrying out a fire risk assessment, there will be a new requirement for any person engaged by the responsible person (RP) to undertake any part of the assessment to demonstrate competence. RPs will be required to record their completed fire risk assessments, and the identification of RPs will also be recorded. Penalties for failure to comply with fire safety regulations will increase. Steps will be taken to improve the effectiveness of consultation between building control bodies and fire and rescue authorities on planning for building work, as well as for arranging the handover of fire safety information. As such, businesses should be keeping a close eye on any moves by the government to update its approach to fire safety regulations, and make sure they are ready to make these changes as and when they are needed. What will remain the same? The UK has always been committed to maintaining high standards when it comes to fire safety Although a certain amount of regulatory change is to be expected in a post-Brexit UK, it is also important for businesses to be realistic about what is always likely to stay the same. The UK has always been committed to maintaining high standards when it comes to fire safety, and there is no reason for any organization to allow these standards to slip in the wake of Brexit. No matter what happens in future, you will always be expected to fulfill the following responsibilities: Carry out regular fire safety risk assessments to identify potential fire hazards within your workplace, and then create a plan to eliminate, minimize or manage these risks. Make sure your workplace is properly equipped with fire detection systems and equipment, and maintain them regularly to keep them in proper working order. Keep your fire exits and escape routes clearly marked, well-lit and unobstructed at all times. Invest in fire extinguishers, fire blankets and other equipment to ensure you are able to contain any fires that break out. Provide appropriate training for all of your staff on procedures they should follow in case of fire, including fire drills, as well as getting their buy-in to create a company culture where fire risks are managed and dealt with proactively. Political circumstances may change, but the core principles of workplace fire safety will always remain the same. As such, the best way to ensure your business is properly equipped for the future is to hold fast to these timeless principles, using them as a foundation for future changes and advances as the reality of post-Brexit trading slowly takes shape.
The flammable liquid challenges that have existed in the high hazard industries for over a century are still there today. Moreover, they are not going away in the short term, no matter how quickly we can achieve a carbon-neutral world. Foam, in its various forms, remains the medium of choice in tackling these complex emergencies. How can we best achieve the balance between fire performance & the environmental impact of an evolving emergency? What is behind the acronym ‘F3’? How can manufacturers’ claims be independently certified to deal with this combined challenge? Fire performance is not negotiable, but we also need to acknowledge the importance of responsible environmental stewardship: marrying the two together should be the ultimate aim of all of us in the fire industry. Angus Fire continues to address the changing needs of Firefighters & Fire Engineers alike, whether it’s fire hose, portable pumps, foam equipment or high performing Fluorine Free Foam (F3) concentrates. F3 foam The general term for fluorine-free foam: ‘F3’ to many people means good environmental stewardship because the breakdown products from a foam discharge, and resultant fire water run-off, are not persistent in the environment. However, this may not always be the case since the term ‘F3’ has not been defined by any standard other than GreenScreen. Users need to ensure that the ‘F3’ they select is bio-degradable, one way to do this is to look for the GreenScreen Certified approval. As with any foam discharge, uncontrolled spills are not always preventable, the aim should always be to contain & treat before discharge into the wider environment. Fluorine Free foam, otherwise known as F3 foam. F3 can be split into two types: those suitable purely for hydrocarbons & those suitable for both hydrocarbons & polar solvents (examples include water-miscible products such as IPA, Acetone, Propylene Oxide, etc.). Fire performance & firefighter safety The cornerstone of the fire protection industry are the listed and approved products, foams, and devices. Repeatable validated testing to industry standards such as EN, ICAO, IMO, UL and LASTfire are important depending on the final use of the product. Excellent results in these test standards provide verifiable data to enable users to benchmark foam concentrates during an evaluation. Let us take Angus Fire’s Respondol ATF products as an example. EN1568 scores it 1A for freshwater & 1A for seawater on all fuels. LASTfire grades it GOOD-GOOD-GOOD in all 6 tests where it even achieves the best “GOOD” rating at a low expansion of just over 3:1. Put simply, that’s the best. However, we should note that design standards for individual users are dependent on that key phrase, “the authority having jurisdiction.” That could be the organisation’s internal fire standard, the local fire authority if they have local influence or, more likely perhaps, the insurance company. Broadly speaking that means NFPA11, EN13565-2 or UL162 will apply. It is beyond the scope of this article to go into the specifics for each hazard but application rates for finished foam are comparable for F3 and AFFF and will vary between 4.1 Lpm/m2 & 6.5 Lpm/m2 for fixed systems & 12 Lpm/m2 for rim-seal devices. The cornerstone of the fire protection industry are the listed and approved products, foams, and devices. Hardware compatibility is also a critical component in the overall system and is a mandate for any UL162 or NFPA 11 designed system. Utilising the existing proportioning equipment, whether mobile or fixed, is a decision that must be taken at the very start of any conversion. Not only must the user decide their position on decontamination, i.e. “How clean is clean?” but also investigate viscosity and the device/foam listings and approvals. Another key performance indicator is drainage time. It may not be as dramatic as fast extinguishment, but it is a measure of foam stability. This can also impact on firefighter safety, especially in the aerospace sector where casualty rescue & retrieval depend on preventing re-ignition. Industrial firefighters also want the comfort of high levels of post-fire security when accessing plant areas for post-fire analysis. Environmental credentials Futureproofing against ever-tightening environmental standards can be as equally challenging as selecting a foam on fire performance. The best practice answer lies with the GreenScreen certification process. This independent, non-profit organisation certifies the end product as a complete mixture, including impurities. This means that any manufacturer displaying the GreenScreen Certified logo has transparency on what, if any, potential environmental hazards are present. The value of GreenScreen is that in addition to a comprehensive & detailed evaluation of a chemical’s intrinsic human health & environmental hazards, it also provides a standardised & easy-to-understand accreditation to facilitate communication throughout the supply chains & within organisations. Most importantly, this provides a bridge between you as fire practitioner & your purchasing department, because it allows for an objective evaluation of foams in conjunction with the UL162, EN & LASTFIRE fire performance ratings. Only foam with acceptable environmental credentials will pass GreenScreen. GreenScreen and Respondol certifications for environmental standards. Certification includes: Ingredients & impurities from the raw materials. Human health and environmental endpoints. Online register of certified products: greenscreenchemicals.org/certified/products The transition to F3 foams can be a daunting one, as you have seen it is not a matter of ‘old foam out, new foam in’. If you are considering who to move to for your F3 foams, Angus Fire takes an innovative multi-faceted approach, starting with a system review to ensure a successful transition with the most suitable foam for your application. Fire ratings, firefighter safety, hardware compatibility, future-proofing & not least environmental credentials are all part of the process, so ensure they are in harmony when assessing your move to F3.
While wildfires can be beneficial and necessary for some species and ecosystems, there are various negative impacts on our air, water, and land, as well as, subsequent impacts for human health. Given the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mission to protect human health and the environment, the EPA’s Wildland Fire Research focuses on the impacts these fires have on human health and ecosystems. Examining ambient air quality EPA researchers are examining the worsening of ambient air quality from smoke and the contamination of surface and drinking waters, as well as ecological effects to habitats impacted by fire. EPA’s Wildland Fire Research aims to address knowledge gaps across wildland fire topics, including: Development and evaluation of applicable ambient measurement technologies, Fate and transport of wildland fire smoke emissions, Elucidation of primary and secondary ambient air quality impacts, Effective interventions to reduce smoke exposure, Communicating health risk and public education strategies Impacts of fire and smoke on watersheds, and drinking water, Remobilization of chemicals at contaminated sites, Air, water, and soil impacts of fires that reach the wildland-urban interface (WUI), Public health impacts resulting from smoke, and Integration of social science approaches into public health research. Key contributions to emissions characterization EPA has made and continues to make significant contributions to the body of knowledge on emissions characterization (emission factors). These include measuring and modeling smoke’s impact on air quality, especially concentrations of fine particles and ozone. They are also working to characterize the chemical components of smoke and their respective toxicities. Other contributions include physiological responses to smoke exposure; epidemiological studies for understanding population exposure to smoke and health outcomes; and impacts of fire on water quality and quantity. The EPA seeks social science methods to develop communication and community capacity tools to help communities reduce exposure during smoke episodes. Air quality impacts of alternative fire management practices Improving understanding of these impacts can help support forest management decisions to prevent severe fires EPA is collaborating with the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of the Interior to evaluate air quality impacts of alternative fire management practices, including prescribed fires that can reduce the severity of wildfires. Improving understanding of these impacts can help support forest management decisions that can prevent severe fires. EPA research has not focused on occupational health regarding wildland fires. While occupational exposure studies are very important, this works falls under missions of the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Assessment on impact of prescribed fire and wildfire EPA is leading the development of an assessment, comparing the impacts of prescribed fire and wildfire, in coordination with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Department of the Interior (DOI), with contributions from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This report will provide a better understanding of the health and environmental impacts of wildland fire, specifically smoke. The interagency approach is critical as USFS and DOI are experts in understanding various aspects of fire, NIST is an expert in the damages from fires, and EPA provides expertise in understanding the public health and environmental impacts of fire. EPA’s Wildland Fire Research As EPA’s Wildland Fire Research grows and adds to the body of knowledge over time, much of the findings will impact protecting human health and the environment by characterizing and developing strategies to mitigate the impacts of wildfire smoke on human health and ecosystems. EPA research on this topic will also inform the way we prepare, respond, and recover from wildland fires. EPA’s researchers are top scientists, representing a broad range of disciplines, including atmospheric science, health sciences, ecology, and social sciences. They are faced with the growing challenges associated with climate change and ensuring equitable protection for all citizens including disadvantaged communities who bear a disproportionate impact from air pollution and climate change. EPA’s multi-disciplinary researchers, together with partners from throughout federal, state, and local government agencies around the country, are working together to address these challenges. EPA will conduct the research needed to reduce the growing risk of wildfires and continue to protect human health and the environment.
Many restaurants around the world are suffering from loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation has made fire prevention a lower priority. Fire authorities should work with restaurant owners and associations to address this issue and offer guidelines and training to increase awareness in the community. Restaurant fires account for about 6% of all non-residential building fires reported to fire departments each year, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). These fires resulted in an average of less than one fatality per 1,000 fires, 11 injuries per 1,000 fires, and US$ 23,000 in loss per fire. Cooking, major cause of restaurant fires As one might expect, cooking is by far the leading cause of restaurant fires, accounting for 64% of restaurant fires, according to NFIRS. Heating and electrical malfunction each accounted for an additional 7% of incidents. All other causes, including unintentional, careless actions (4%), appliances (4%), other heat (3%) and several other categories at less than 3%, each accounted for the remaining 23% of restaurant fires, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), the top five causes of fires in restaurants are cooking equipment, with 61%, followed by electrical fires, heating equipment, smoking materials and intentional. Kitchen exhaust systems under high fire risk equipment At the top of the list of fire risks, related to cooking equipment, is a kitchen’s exhaust systems At the top of the list of fire risks, related to cooking equipment, is a kitchen’s exhaust systems, which are a common cause of fire, when they are not properly maintained. They build up grease, until a point where the hot smoke and steam that goes through the ventilation ignites that grease and causes fires. Also, grease traps should be properly emptied and cleaned or they will catch fire. Also, related to cooking, other common causes of restaurant fires are gas leaks or malfunctions due to poor maintenance. Not as common, but also a culprit of fire losses are fires caused by inadequate use of deep fryers or large cooking pans, and faulty cooking equipment such as pressure cookers. Detectors and automatic suppression systems Ivan Paredes, Latin American Head of Product Marketing for Fire Detection at Bosch Security and Safety Systems, lists the following technologies used to prevent and/or minimize restaurant fires: Automatic suppression systems built into stoves and oven hoods. Foam that reacts with the grease and CO2 extinguishing are the most common. Heat and smoke detectors located near the cooking area. UL 268 7th edition-approved smoke detectors can be installed inside kitchens and should not give unwanted alarms. Flammable gas leak detectors and automatic fail-safe valves to avoid gas leaks. Importance of regular maintenance of systems “The main challenge in fire prevention in restaurants is awareness and local regulation compliance,” said Ivan Paredes, adding “Restaurant owners should schedule regular maintenance of systems, proper cleaning of areas where grease and oil build up or are stored, and guarantee proper ventilation of the kitchen at all times.” He adds, “Restaurant staff also should be properly trained in fire prevention as well as the use of fire extinguishers and the systems installed (automatic suppression, gas leak detection, etc.) and regular housekeeping helps avoid flammable materials igniting near fire sources such as stoves and ovens.”
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 no doubt contributed to the scale of the loss. The Manchester fire is far from the first to start in a self-storage warehouse. In 2017, a fire destroyed most of a self-storage building, as well as several other businesses in Tottenham, in North London. There were 20 fire engines and 140 firefighters involved, who spent hours extinguishing the blaze. One person was injured. Self-storage warehouse fires In 2018, a self-storage warehouse in Croydon, in south London that housed 1,198 rental units In 2018, a self-storage warehouse in Croydon, in south London that housed 1,198 rental units was destroyed in a large fire. At the height of the fire on New Year's Eve, the whole of the four-story structure was ablaze, and there were 120 firefighters on the scene. There were no injuries. When the new four-story replacement facility was opened, the owners decided to include sprinklers in the rebuild, although they are not required by building regulations. Lesson learned. In 2019, a storage warehouse in Bedfordshire was destroyed by a blaze that spread from a plastics factory next door. Lack of barriers between units Fires in self-storage buildings provide unique challenges. There may be little separation between the various units, so a fire can spread quickly. Lack of barriers between units makes it less likely a fire will be easily contained. Furthermore, the contents of each unit are unknown, and some units may contain large quantities of furniture, tightly packed together and including flammable materials. In fact, the contents of any given storage building could literally be anything, which leaves firefighters perpetually uninformed about what they are dealing with. The resulting large fires burn for a long time, create a lot of smoke, and can challenge the resources of the fire service, as past incidents in the United Kingdom illustrate. Proactive use of sprinklers in rental storage units Sprinkler systems help to control fires, by allowing fire crews more time to access and extinguish a fire Sprinklers are a useful tool to slow the spread of fires in self-storage warehouses, and one that is not always deployed. Sprinkler systems help to control fires, by allowing fire crews more time to access and extinguish a fire. Proactive use of sprinkler systems can minimize damage and avert the worst outcomes in the case of self-storage fires. In fact, a viewing of overall United Kingdom fire statistics reveals that 95% of fires can be controlled or even extinguished by the operation of fire sprinklers. Importance of fire sprinkler systems Fire sprinkler systems make buildings more resilient to the impact of fire, by automatically controlling or even extinguishing it, before the fire service arrives. Sprinkler systems have an operational reliability of 94%, evidence suggests. The Business Sprinkler Alliance (BSA) seeks to highlight the true cost of fire and to increase the number of business premises that have automatic fire sprinklers. The BSA is driving a culture change to ensure that sprinklers are understood and accepted, as the norm in UK business buildings. Whether it’s in a self-storage building, a car park or an office, uncontrolled fire knows no limits. Proactive use of sprinkler systems can provide a level of control by delaying spread of a fire until firefighters can begin to play their important role.
NevadaNano, a pioneer in gas detection sensor technology, announced that Gastronics, Inc, a U.S.-based gas detection manufacturer known for being a pioneer in wireless gas detection, has incorporated NevadaNano’s Molecular Property Spectrometer™ (MPS™) technology into its wired and wireless product offering. Wired & Wireless Solutions “Gastronics, a company that is known for its vision in problem-solving solutions, recognized the unique capabilities and value our MPS flammable gas sensors bring to their customers,” said Ralph Whitten, President of NevadaNano. “Known for leveraging state-of-the-art technology, the company is setting the standard with its next-generation wired & wireless solutions using NevadaNano technology.” MPS Sensor technology The Gastronics range of products utilizing the MPS sensor greatly improves leak detection and worker safety The Gastronics range of products utilizing the MPS sensor greatly improves leak detection and worker safety in industries including oil and gas, chemical, tank storage facilities, pipeline, and many others. NevadaNano's MPS sensor technology, with built-in environmental compensation for temperature, pressure, and humidity, detects and quantifies 14 of the most common hydrocarbon gases with the one factory calibration, a feature referred to as TrueLEL. MPS Gas Transmitter The MPS Gas Transmitter with the MPS sensor provides a classification of the gas type, which includes hydrogen, H2 mix, methane, light gas, medium gas, and heavy gas. It delivers accurate gas concentration readings across the full environmental range, including rapid environmental transients with best-in-class accuracy while minimizing false positives. Accurate leak detection Bud Dungan, President of Gastronics, states, “By integrating the MPS sensor into our product range, we can now offer our customers the most accurate combustible gas leak detection for multiple gases using just one sensor.” “The no field calibration requirements for the life of the MPS sensor is a very significant shift from industry practices and will be of great value for all our customers. We are proud to be the first to offer this technology in both a fixed wired and wireless product.”
In Paris, visitors will find not only the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, but also the largest fire brigade in Europe. With its 8,500 firefighters, the Paris Fire Brigade is, in fact, the third-largest urban fire brigade in the world, only topped by Tokyo and New York City. Paris Fire Brigade The Paris Fire Brigade is a part of the French army, and each firefighter joins the fire brigade for a period of 5 years. The safety of the firefighters is high on the agenda. It is of utmost importance that the fire brigade is equipped with the best possible fire gear, combining the utmost comfort with the highest degree of safety for the firefighter. A prismatic reflective tape, ORALITE FTP 2100, was selected for offering the highest degree of visibility It is, therefore, no surprise that when the Paris Fire brigade, back in 2017, were looking to upgrade their fire garments, they selected ORAFOL (Orafol Europe GmbH) as their supplier of the reflective trim. A prismatic reflective tape, ORALITE FTP 2100, was selected for offering the highest degree of visibility. Sioen is the manufacturer of fire safety garments. ORALITE FTP 2100 reflective tape Jean-Philippe Roy, Business Development Manager for ORAFOL, explains “Paris Fire Brigade was very determined to offer their firefighters the most visible tape available in the market place today. They carry out dangerous tasks in difficult working conditions, and they must be able to fully trust that they are as visible as possible in all conditions. ORALITE FTP 2100 met their high standards.” He adds, “Being a metalized prismatic tape, it provides the longest distance visibility available. In addition, the fact that the tape is also fluorescent means that it is also exceedingly visible in daytime or smoky conditions.” High-quality safety garment for firefighters Paris Fire Brigade sets forth a very good example for other fire brigades globally in that they have made the deliberate choice of a high-quality solution for their firefighters. No compromises have been made. Jean-Philippe Roy further said, “The thing is that many reflective tapes do meet the law regulated requirements. But meeting the regulation is simply not enough, it is not a guarantee of 24/7 visibility of the firefighters. And when a fire brigade specifies a tape, the risk is that they will just specify regulation compliance, and choose the tape offered at the lowest cost,” Roy explains. EN ISO 20471 standard specification The specification for reflective components on PPE, EN ISO 20471, sets forth the minimum reflectivity for the tapes The specification for reflective components on PPE, EN ISO 20471, sets forth the minimum reflectivity for the tapes. Yet, at the same time, the same specification allows for a drop in reflective performance of 70% in wet conditions. This is exactly why being specification compliant is not enough. It is necessary to carefully evaluate the working conditions that the users will be subjected to and select the best possible reflective tape based on this. Prismatic reflective tapes Jean-Philippe Roy concludes, “Prismatic reflective tapes remain highly reflective also in wet conditions, whereas glass bead tapes see a significant drop. This is simply due to the technologies working in different ways. Fire fighters work in wet conditions a great deal of time, so here a prismatic tape is really the only kind that truly makes sense.” The prismatic tapes from ORAFOL are the preferred choice for many major fire brigades around the world, including also the New York City Fire Brigade.
AEI Cables has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract to supply low voltage power and fire performance cables to the prestigious Sky City project at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). The supply of the cables for power, control and fire performance for the commercial and retail sector of the site starts in September and will continue, until early next year. AEI Cables will work in partnership with its long-term Hong Kong distributor, Fordex Electric Company Limited for the project located at Chek Lap Kok No.3. Supply the cables Sky City forms a core part of the strategy to expand and transform HKIA into a major aviation hub Stuart Dover, General Manager of AEI Cables, said “The need for cables which offer the highest levels of fire performance for an international airport of this kind cannot be underestimated with large numbers of people moving about. We are proud to be chosen to supply the cables for such an iconic world-class project.” A major integrated commercial development, Sky City forms a core part of the strategy to expand and transform HKIA into a major aviation hub. The complex will feature retail units, entertainment facilities, dining space, hotels, and office towers across approximately 25 hectares of land at the north of the airport island. Firetec Total Fire Solutions Using the very latest in technology and science, AEI Cables’ Firetec Total Fire Solutions range offers enhanced fire performance cabling, accessories, and technical support from its distribution facility at Washington, Tyne, and Wear. Applications for Firetec include residential and commercial buildings, shopping malls, airports, and protected buildings ensuring that fire alarms, sprinkler systems, building monitoring, and security systems can continue to operate in a fire. All AEI Cables’ products are supplied with approvals from independent bodies including BASEC and LPCB covering design, manufacture, and supply. It also holds approvals from organizations including Lloyds, the MoD, Network Rail, and LUL and works to international standards around the world.
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.”
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.
Round table discussion
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?