Flammable Material Control
As a globally recognized company in flame-resistant (FR) and arc flash protective technologies, DuPont Personal Protection (DuPont) is pleased to announce a new, globally consistent naming convention for Nomex solutions, in order to help safety managers identify the best solution for their specific needs, regardless of the region or industry. Nomex naming system “Harmonizing our Nomex naming system was in direct response to insights gathered from our end users. Safety managers wanted to...
We at AEI Cables have sent out a message to the supply chain highlighting the need to use only approved cabling in critical signal and control equipment following the announcement of a revized version of the Code of Practice covering these areas of performance. In an open letter to customers, industry bodies and organizations, we are highlighting how the systems powered by these cables –including smoke and heat extraction systems–are critical in assisting fire services in the case o...
As Grenfell remains a chilling reminder of the importance of fire safety in construction, new digital methods are now being adopted to guarantee the safety of end users. But how is digitization helping and how will this further advance fire safety during the wider construction process? There’s no doubt that the past five years have had a profound effect on the construction industry. Events such as the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire disaster have forced the industry to sit-up and rethink the pro...
Steve Kleber, owner of EXTAN Distributors, the local representative of Intelagard, Inc. has requested that the company bring its resources to the Hales Corners Fire Department, under the supervision of Fire Chief, Pete Jaskulski, to demonstrate how to cost-effectively decontaminate a fireman's ‘turn-out gear’, after being exposed to a fire induced carcinogenic contamination. “We have been doing this for years around the world with great success,” said Intelagard’s...
With all residents of the US state of California worried about ‘wildfires’, fire protection is primarily on everyone’s mind right now. No home is totally fireproof. However, with the right precautions, one can help safeguard their home, belongings and family, in the event of a wildfire. Making homes wildfire-resistant Listed below are just a few ways to quickly increase a property’s resistance to fire damage: Install tempered glass, multi-pane windows and screens If...
Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA), an industry body comprised of stakeholders from all facets of the security, safety and building automation space, has announced joining Euralarm, the association of European manufacturers, installers and service providers from the electronic fire safety and security industry. By joining the Security Section within Euralarm, OSSA will contribute valuable expertise in the domain of Internet of Things (IoT), while leveraging on Euralarm’s profound...
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) have been recognized nationally for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, SFRS was praised for its positive contributions to the local community and commitment to the welfare of its staff. In August 2020, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) was commissioned by the UK Home Secretary to examine how fire and rescue services are responding to the pandemic. Effective command and control frameworks We were impressed with how the service adapted and responded to the pandemic effectively" In her report, Zoë Billingham, HM Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services, said of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, “We were impressed with how the service adapted and responded to the pandemic effectively. The efficient use of its staff was notable, utilizing extra capacity and providing support and resource for remote and home working.” She adds, “It provided support to Suffolk County Council (SCC) and the LRF, including advice, resources and effective command and control frameworks to co-ordinate its response.” Zoë Billingham further stated, “The service communicated well with its staff throughout the pandemic, including issues relating to staff well-being. It also made sure all staff had the resources they needed to do their jobs effectively, including extra information and technology, and it put in place additional flexible working arrangements. Staff well-being was a clear priority for the service.” Continuous response in COVID-19 period Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) have continued to respond to emergency calls since the beginning of the global COVID-19 virus spread, with over 4,500 emergency calls received and attended since the first lockdown was announced in March 2020. In addition to this, staff across the SFRS has been redeployed to support other departments in Suffolk County Council, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic spread. These include: Providing additional resource to colleagues in the Coroner’s Office. Setting up and administering the first booking system and phone line for testing key workers. In April 2020, around 30 firefighters volunteered and trained to work alongside paramedics to drive frontline emergency NHS (National Health Service) ambulances, in turn freeing up paramedics to care for patients. Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service teams have also helped to deliver food, essential items and medicine, as part of the ‘Home But Not Alone’ scheme. Quick response to emergency incidents Fires, road traffic collisions, rescues and flooding have not stopped because there is a global pandemic" Dan Fearn, Temporary Chief Fire Officer at Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said “I am extremely proud of everyone who works for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and I would like to thank each and every colleague for their professionalism and commitment to keep the communities of Suffolk safe.” He adds, “Fires, road traffic collisions, rescues and flooding have not stopped because there is a global pandemic. All our teams have stepped up by continuing to respond to emergency incidents, while supporting our partners and colleagues across Suffolk. Like many organizations, we have had to adapt our ways of working so we can continue to operate safely.” Efficient and timely fire safety and rescue services Dan further stated, “We continued to safely recruit new members of our fire service team, train and develop our operational crews and, of course, ensure that we are there to help the most vulnerable in the county. Over Christmas and the New Year period, our operational crews and officers remained busy. On Christmas Eve and Day, a number of personnel assisted with a major flooding incident in Bungay, some of the worst flooding in the area in 50 years.” He concludes, “It has been, and continues to be, a very challenging time due to COVID-19. But our teams across Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service are ready to respond to emergency calls and support their communities to overcome the virus. In the coming weeks, personnel will continue to assist the ambulance service and be ready to support our health colleagues where needed.” Recognition from Her Majesty's Inspectorate (HMICFRS) It echoes the ‘good’ rating which the Inspectorate awarded the Service just over a year ago" Councilor Richard Rout, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection at Suffolk County Council, said “I’m delighted for every member of Suffolk’s Fire and Rescue Service. To be commended by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate is what they deserve for going above and beyond their responsibilities, during such professionally and personally testing times.” He adds, “It echoes the ‘good’ rating which the Inspectorate awarded the Service just over a year ago. That report did highlight some areas for us to work on, which I’m pleased to say colleagues have been focusing on ever since, to make our Service even stronger.” Supporting staff in serving local communities Richard Rout further said, “That is why the council’s Cabinet unanimously backed my proposal last year, to increase the service’s budget by £500,000 plus inflation. That increase totals close to £1 million and is helping to deliver the improvements identified in the report, alongside our existing plans for further investment, to keep Suffolk safe.” Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service remains committed to support its firefighters in serving local communities in the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic, while doing so in a safe and responsible way.
Firefighting kit has a number of functions. It protects crew members in a wide range of situations and makes them instantly recognizable in an emergency. Replacing the firefighting kit at the right time keeps fire firefighters and rescue personnel safe and comfortable, no matter what the emergency. Call outs for firefighters According to the UK Home Office, in the last year, 28 per cent of call-outs for firefighters and rescue staff involved responding to fires, 42 per cent of call outs were fire safety personnel responding to false alarms and 31 per cent call outs were for non-fire related incidents. Non-fire incidents have increased from 23 per cent of call outs, nearly ten years ago. This demonstrates the breadth of tasks a firefighter might be expected to complete when wearing their kit The five largest categories of non-fire incidents in the last year were road traffic collisions, effecting entry/exit, assisting other agencies, medical incidents, and flooding incidents. This demonstrates the breadth of tasks a firefighter might be expected to complete when wearing their kit. In a nutshell, they need to be ready for any scenario. longevity of firefighting kits Let’s not get ahead of ourselves by focusing only on replacement, there are other ways of making a firefighting kit last. Inspecting it after every shout and regular cleaning and maintenance will ensure that the kit last as long as possible. There are many blogs on how to inspect a firefighting kit and how to maintain the kit to help fire and rescue services to get the most out of their most important PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) investment. When does turnout kit expire? Technically, there’s not a blanket expiry date for firefighting/turn out kit, though manufacturers might specify the lifespan of individual garments. The new British Standard for the inspection, testing, cleaning, decontamination, drying, repairs, replacement and retirement/disposal of firefighting personal protective equipment (PPE) is BS8617 standard. Published in 2019, it recommends that firefighting kit should be replaced at least every 10 years. So the answer to the question: How often should one replace their firefighting kit? It is at least every 10 years, according to the British Standard, but there are reasons for not waiting that long. Can firefighting kit be replaced sooner? State operated fire and rescue services in England responded to 557,299 incidents in the last year itself While private fire and rescue services might not face too many call outs, State operated fire and rescue services in England responded to 557,299 incidents in the last year itself. Of these, 153,957 cases were that of live fires. With so much opportunity for wear and tear of the firefighting/turn out kit, it may be inevitable that the kit will reach the point of expiry and will be required to be replaced soon. In some instances, it might simply make economic sense. For example, If a new jacket costs upwards of £200 and has already had an investment of £150 in repairs, it might be more cost effective to replace the jacket the next time it is damaged, instead of paying for another repair. Care and maintenance of turn out gear Professional care and maintenance companies will inspect kit every time it goes for cleaning and should provide advice about when kit should be condemned as ‘unsafe to wear’, or when it makes more economic sense to replace it rather than repairing it. Fit is essential. When the London Fire Brigade replaced its firefighting kit in 2018, Deputy Commissioner Tom George acknowledged that they needed a kit that could support and protect crews in a range of incidents, be it whether fighting fires, freeing people trapped in crashed cars or complex rescues from collapsed buildings. Firefighting kit must also be retired if it has been contaminated by chemical, biological, radioactive or nuclear agents.
It’s a New Year, and everyone is ready to start 2021 right. As a facility manager, director of operations and/or engineer, the overall fire safety of the building should be high on the to-do list. Two systems that should not be overlooks are the facilities barriers and HVAC. LSS Life Safety Services® and Hughes Environmental are both part of LSS Holdings, and are working together to create healthy, and safe work environments for employees. Therefore, for the month of January, with the purchase of a fire barrier service from LSS, one will receive a free HVAC inspection of a single system from Hughes. Passive fire protection system Firestopping is a passive fire protection system used to seal openings in fire resistance-rated walls Firestopping is a passive fire protection system used to seal openings in fire resistance-rated walls and/or floor assemblies. Penetrating items, such as plastic pipes or wires will melt or change shape during a fire, which is why some firestop materials will expand in the presence of heat. This swelling action seals and stops the spread of fire and smoke to other rooms and even floors within a building. According to The International Fire Code, “Walls, floors and ceilings must be repaired when damaged, altered, breached or penetrated. Any penetrations found should be repaired with approved methods capable of resisting the passage of fire and smoke.” Firestop surveys and installation LSS’ experience combined with firestop training from industry pioneers such as Specified Technologies Inc. (STI), Hilti and 3M, allows them to provide the right mix of industry background and training to remain an industry pioneer in firestop surveys and installation. A detailed fire barrier survey; Statement of Conditions (SOC), including type of barrier, description of penetration/opening needing firestop installation and recommended UL-classified firestop Digital pictures of the penetration/opening in need of repair UL Firestop Systems Install UL-classified firestop systems based on SOC Preparation of submittal documents for AHJ submission Label each installed UL Firestop System at site of installation Master report with Digital Documentation listing UL Firestop Systems installed via LSS Site Surveyor® LSS is a FM-4991 Approved Firestop Contractor The HVAC Duct Inspection is a great way to see if visible contaminants, such as mold, may be present in the ductwork. By cleaning a duct from the point where the air enters the system to the point where it exits, which includes the grilles and registers, will help to keep particles out of the ambient air. Hughes is a certified member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) HVAC duct cleaning also improves airflow, allowing the facility’s HVAC system to run more efficiently, and help reduce the risk of fire in HVAC Systems — especially in manufacturing facilities where combustible dust is present. According to the EPA, a buildup of just 0.42″ of dirt on a heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease of efficiency of 21%. Hughes is a certified member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) and specializes in the cleaning of large commercial HVAC Systems. HVAC Duct Cleaning Services HVAC Duct Cleaning Services Include: Supply & Return Ductwork Dedicated Exhaust Ductwork and Fans Air Handler Units Internally Lined Ductwork: Cleaning and Encapsulating (Sealing) Mold Remediation from all types of Ductwork VAV’s Reheat Coils, Mixing Boxes Filter Replacements High Surface Cleaning Services Rafter and ceiling cleaning removes dust, dirt, grease, and other materials commonly found on high surfaces of manufacturing facilities. High Surface Cleaning Services Include: High Surface Cleaning Services Include: Ceiling Ceiling Truss Rafters Conduit Lighting Exterior of ductwork Exhaust hood ventilation Beams Storage racks/shelving Fire suppression systems Ceiling Deck Piping And other elevated structural components Avoiding regulatory fines Keeping the facility clean and free of combustible dust hazards can help one keep their workplace safe, and help avoid regulatory fines. Dust that is Combustible include: Dust that is Combustible include: Wood and Sawdust Plastics and Rubbers Coal and other Fossil Fuels Sugars, Grains and Food Paper Textiles Metals Chemicals
Packexe were awarded a Royal Warrant in 2016 for supplying Packexe protection film to the royal household and last year, the company added a Queens Award for Enterprise to their name. Recognized in the category of innovation for their time critical glass management tool, Packexe SMASH, Packexe have been supplying emergency teams across the globe with their innovative extrication tool for the last decade. Packexe SMASH Packexe SMASH is designed to hold glass securely in place, reducing the risk of injury from glass fragments and dust, protecting rescue teams and casualties during road accident rescues. Packexe SMASH makes vehicle extrication safer in 3 ways; Proven to strength glass - The strength of glass in increased by approximately 42%* with Packexe SMASH, greatly reducing the use of breakage under stress. Glass can stay in situ during extrication - With Packexe SMASH applied, glass is safe. Hydraulic cutting and spreading tools can be used to free casualties without the delay caused by prior glass removal. Safe glass removal - With Packexe SMASH applied, a window can be broken or removed without danger to the casualty. In many rescue situations access to the casualty can be achieved most quickly by the removal of a single window or windscreen. Originally developed as a road accident extrication aid, Packexe SMASH is increasingly used by emergency services worldwide for glass management in a variety of situations, especially forced entry to buildings. Packexe Sharpswrap Packexe Sharpswrap, extra-strong self-adhesive protection, is a high-visibility yellow and effectively covers hazardous projections, points and edges in rescue situations, so as to reduce the risk of injury to both casualties and rescuers. Packexe Sharpswrap covers both metal and glass and is quick and easy to apply. Identifying the limitations and dangers experienced during vehicle extrication following a road traffic accident, Packexe Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Orchard developed SMASH to provide teams with an effective solution. Time saving and reducing risk of injury Managing vehicle glass without a designed tool increased risk to an already challenging task" "Managing vehicle glass without a designed tool increased risk to an already challenging task,” explains Andrew Orchard, adding “with the addition of Packexe SMASH, time is saved and the risk of injury to all involved is reduced.” The product is comprised of a perforated film designed with a specially formulated adhesive that strengthens glass and a lightweight patented dispenser. Applying Packexe SMASH makes glass less likely to break and prevents shattered fragments that can cause further injury if the glass does break. Effective safety tool for rescue and fire teams The dispenser makes the tool easily operable by one team member and the efficiency at which the film can be applied saves valuable minutes in life saving scenarios, making Packexe SMASH an essential part of kit for fire teams in over 50 countries. When asked how it feels to be a 2020 recipient of the award Packexe CEO Andrew Orchard said, “To receive a Queens Award for innovation is an incredible honor, it feels great to be recognized as an innovative company and means we can share this good news throughout the company and the fire and rescue industry during these uncertain times, it’s given us a reason to celebrate!” Packexe has over 30 years’ experience creating protection films and as a result, continues to grow as a recognizable brand throughout a variety of industries, including the emergency services, healthcare and construction. The company is highly regarded as one of the most forward-thinking market renowned players with innovation at their core.
The new Detention Center in Crawford County, Arkansas has raised the bar when it comes to Life Safety measures. The new Crawford County Justice Center was built due to alarming overcrowding issues that endangered the safety of the inmates and staff. The new 307 bed facility is now a beacon of safety, especially when it comes to Life Safety & Fire Protection. Installing Life Safety system In February of 2018, The Association of Builders and Contractors of Arkansas awarded American Fire Protection Group of Little Rock the Excellence in Construction Eagle Award for the implementation of an innovative and premier Life Safety system. The Eagle Award recognizes outstanding work on construction projects. A winning project is evaluated on the material submitted, the attractiveness of design, complexity, workmanship, innovation, unusual challenges and the problems that were overcome. Fire hydrants, wet and dry sprinkler systems installed Total of 673 sprinklers were installed to protect the entire facility, including institutional sprinkler heads in inmate areas The Life Safety work on the 64,000 square foot facility took 18 months to complete and totaled US$ 320,000. The project included the installation of 1,140 linear feet of underground piping, 3 fire hydrants, an enclosed backflow preventer, 2 wet sprinkler systems, 1 dry sprinkler system, and 2 remote fire department connections. A total of 673 sprinklers were installed to protect the entire facility, including institutional sprinkler heads in inmate areas. The duration of the project and scope of work presented several challenges. These challenges were answered with detailed scheduling, trade coordination, and effective internal and external communication between all parties. These efforts aided in ensuring that there were minimal scheduling issues. Project collaboration with Smith-Doyle Contractors In addition to the aesthetic and safety, the other goal of the project was to work with companies that could come in under budget and finish ahead of schedule. American Fire Protection Group came through big on both, coming in 2 months ahead of schedule and US$ 3 million under the project’s budget. American Fire Protection Group worked with Smith-Doyle Contractors who are located in Cordova, Tennessee. Don Abernathy, Vice President of Smith-Doyle Contractors said, “It was a pleasure working with American Fire Protection Group on their multi-prime project. Working together to deliver the project to Crawford County 60 days early and over US$ 3 million under budget took a team of dedicated professionals.” Don adds, “We applaud their efforts in staying dedicated to the project and to the team. We look forward to working with American Fire Protection Group on many additional projects in the future.” Institutional ceilings installed Another issue that was overcome came from the special ceiling requirements Another issue that was overcome came from the special ceiling requirements. Being a detention center, institutional ceilings were required in all areas where detainees could have access to the ceiling. Once installed, the institutional ceilings are locked in place. So early scheduling and collaborating with the ceiling contractors was completed to plan out the flow of trim out. The epoxy floors were another area where limitations were placed on installation and trim-out. All parties worked to establish a schedule that helped to alleviate confusion and to ensure safety and protection. Setting the standard for Southeast detention centers Additionally, the Crawford County Justice Center was featured in the January/February issue of Correctional News Magazine. The article was titled ‘Success in the Southeast’ and praised the new facility as setting the new standard for detention centers in the Southeast United States. American Fire Projection Group, along with all Eagle winners will be recognized at the EIC Banquet on April 7, 2018 in Hot Springs, Arizona. The ceremony will feature a multi-media presentation highlighting the Eagle award winners, printed programs, publications and releases through the regional construction-related news media.
First responder radio signal and communications can be significantly impacted by building construction, building size, and other factors. Because of that, it is important that emergency personnel have the ability to communicate in the event of an emergency. The good news is that there is a solution! Bi-Directional Amplification (BDA) Bi-Directional Amplification (BDA) is an Emergency Radio Communication System that provides reliable communication radio transmissions between first responders inside a building, and emergency personnel outside the building. What does Bi-Directional Amplification service include? Site Surveys Design Installation Inspections Maintenance & Service Project Management Post-Installation Analysis Testing and Certification Code References If a building does not meet the required minimal signal strength of -95db for both incoming and outgoing signals, the only effective solution is the installation of a signal booster (Bi-Directional Amplification). Standard codes for building to have radio coverage American Fire Protection Group is an elite partner of Honeywell, for their Gamewell-FCI and NOTIFIER product lines Modern day codes, like the IBC 2015 Section 916, IFC 2015 & 2018 Section 510, NC Fire Code 2018 Section 510, NFPA 72 2010 & 2013 Editions, NFPA 1221 and UL2524, require all buildings to have approved radio coverage for emergency responders within the building based on the existing coverage levels of the public safety communication systems of the jurisdiction at the exterior of the building. American Fire Protection Group (AFPG) is an elite partner of Honeywell, for their Gamewell-FCI and NOTIFIER product lines. AFPG partners with Honeywell on BDA equipment because Honeywell currently offers the only UL2524 listed BDA equipment in the industry. Honeywell lists the following features and benefits for addressable Class B BDAs: Single portfolio to meet any application across US supporting all public safety frequency bands. UL2524 In-building 2-Way Emergency Radio Communication Enhancement Systems listing. CSFM listing. NFPA 72 2010 Edition, NFPA 1221 2016 Edition and IFC 2018 compliant. Built-In NOTIFIER Addressable Monitor Module. Various models available for UHF, VHF, 700MHz, 800 MHz and multi-band. Integrated dual power supply and battery charger with intelligent battery monitoring. NEMA 4 Type (UL Type-4) Approved Equipment Enclosure. NEMA 3R Type (UL Type-3R) Approved Battery Enclosure. Supports higher system gains for efficient link budgeting.
Businesses operating within the waste industry are susceptible to a wide range of fire risks. Storage of combustible materials, the ongoing use of industrial vehicles and waste’s natural ability to rise in temperature all add to these risks. The sector’s safety has improved over recent years, with the Environment Agency (EA) making Fire Prevention Plans (FPPs) mandatory for every waste and recycling site. However, there’s still a way to go to ensure maximum safety - and insurers have a crucial role to play. James Mountain, Sales and Marketing Director, Fire Shield Systems Ltd, speaks to an anonymous insurance advisor, operating within the waste and recycling and waste to energy sectors, to explore the next steps the waste industry needs to take to create a safer environment for all. effective fire prevention What are the common fire safety issues you see in the waste industry? While the EA has made FPPs mandatory for all sites, these tend to state the need to install ‘a suppression solution’ For waste and recycling and waste to energy sites in particular, we tend to see a general lack of effective fire prevention and suppression systems. While the EA has made FPPs mandatory for all sites, these tend to state the need to install ‘a suppression solution’. It often won’t stipulate any required standards, particular specifications for compliance, and it also doesn’t always consider the conditions in which the system will be used and should operate effectively. The difficulty is decisions are primarily driven by costs. This can lead to sites unknowingly cutting corners by selecting substandard systems that don’t address their individual risks. For example, a business may select a sprinkler system as a cheaper alternative to an automatic suppression system, however, should a fire break out, that system may be designed to protect the warehouse shell, rather than the teams and valuable equipment inside it. fire safety systems How do insurers usually recommend fire safety systems? In many cases, insured systems will arise from a manufacturer’s deal. For example, a forklift may be pre-fitted with a vehicle fire suppression system, which was installed as part of a bulk deal with the manufacturer. However, that template system may not be fit for purpose in every operating environment, such as those which require the vehicle to operate continuously, with little downtime, to fulfil busy work schedules. If a site demonstrates that it has fire protection measures implemented, some insurers will accept the policy, without verifying how effective those measures are in practice. This can lead businesses to trust a system that isn’t the most suitable for their individual risks. Also, insurance underwriting templates will often only stipulate the need for ‘an approved system’, giving little incentive for businesses to go beyond the minimum approval requirements. That’s where insurers can play a crucial part in driving up standards. individual risk assessment What more could be done? Some certification standards can be used to guide insurer decisions and safeguard sites more effectively Although not compulsory, some certification standards can be used to guide insurer decisions and safeguard sites more effectively. Two key examples of these standards being the FM Approval and SPCR (P-Mark). If a system carries the FM approval mark, subject to an individual risk assessment, businesses and insurers can trust its ability to effectively safeguard a site. Whereas the SPCR (P-Mark) standard acts as an industry benchmark for the fire suppression systems for heavy vehicles and machinery. Both of these standards evaluate the effectiveness of a system, applying a range of tests to ensure they are fit for purpose in practice. The onus for driving safety standards forward is with the insurer. It’s about recommending the right systems for the right sites and environments - education is a crucial part of that. Insurers need to confidently carry out checks to ensure measures and systems are robust enough to adequately protect the site. It’s a win-win scenario. factors influencing risk The standards promote greater transparency on the suitability of systems, preventing businesses from unknowingly selecting a substandard solution and delivering confidence in the safety of the site for teams and assets. For insurers, a safer site means decreased fire risk, meaning pay out costs are also likely to decrease. How has the safety of the industry changed over recent years? Typically, waste and recycling and waste to energy have always been ‘rogue’ operating areas, but safety standards have moved on in recent years, and the EA continues to become more stringent in its fire safety guidance. There are a number of different factors influencing risk across the sectors, making addressing the issue all the more urgent. fire suppression systems By adopting safety standards, the insurance industry can move to reduce inadequate fire prevention systems These include Brexit and the resulting implications of the Basel Convention regulations and China’s ban on solid waste imports, both of which are causing new export restrictions to be placed upon areas which were previously highly relied upon for waste disposal. This is causing a number of waste transportation delays and higher storage levels for waste sites, leading sites to operate closer to storage capacity. In turn, this increases dependence on fire prevention and suppression systems to ensure safe sites. unique operating environments What are the next steps throughout 2021 and beyond? The whole insurance market needs to work together. It’s a collective approach. The EA will continue to push for greater mitigation measures on site. However, by adopting effective safety standards, such as FM approval and SPCR (P Mark), the insurance industry can move to reduce the presence of inadequate fire prevention and suppression systems. Fire safety is all about selecting and insuring the right systems. Insurers need to account for the unique operating environments of sites within the waste and recycling and waste to energy sectors - that is the crucial next step.
From August to November, areas of Western North America brace for fire seasons that grow increasingly more destructive. 2020, in particular, has brought the United States some of the most destructive wildfires seen throughout US history. In California alone, over 4 million acres have been burned in over 9 thousand incidents, claiming 31 lives and over 10 thousand structures. When looking at the totality of fire damage in all of Western North America, this number nearly doubles, with over 8 million acres devastated by fires. This staggering number is 2 million more than the previous 10-year average, which points to the continual increase in fires affecting homes, businesses, and lives in the areas in which they run rampant. With the winter bringing even more potential for fires to emerge in Southern California as warming and drying conditions create the perfect opportunity for fires to spread, the need for fire-resistant homes has never been greater. A Recipe for Disaster Since the 1800s, air temperatures have steadily continued to rise. While globally, these temperatures have risen by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, California has experienced a rise in temperatures by nearly 3 degrees. Since the 1800s, air temperatures have steadily continued to riseThis drastic increase in temperature results in the hot air being able to hold more water vapor, draining moisture from plants and soil. Drier soils and vegetation create the perfect environment for fires to rapidly spread through the easily burned fuel. Since the 1970s, Cal Fire has extended the fire season by 84 days but has also publicly stated that there is no longer what they consider to be a “fire season” since fires affect the state throughout the year. Homes facing the greatest threat from the fires are those built on the “wildland-urban interface,” or the areas where homes are located close to open space overgrown with brush and foliage. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has identified nearly 5 million homes and 200 communities located within this vulnerable zone, making the need for fire-resistant building essential. Building Fire-Resistant Homes With 10,488 structures destroyed in the 2020 California wildfires, building fire-resistant homes are important for the safety and longevity of the occupants and the structure. Wood building materials have been ranked third as the first-combusted material in home fires by the National Fire Protection Association. Materials like steel provide increased protection against firesThis makes the material extremely dangerous, especially in areas that often face the threat of destructive wildfires. Homebuilders need to consider this important fact when designing the homes to be built, especially in the Western US. Materials like steel provide increased protection against fires, as steel is non-combustible and does not provide a source of fuel for fires. Instead of wood, which easily combusts when temperatures reach over 500 degrees, steel studs do not ignite when exposed to the same temperatures. Without the ability to add fuel to a spreading fire, steel studs protect the integrity of a home’s structure. Even if other non-combustible materials are used during construction, the failure to build a non-combustible steel frame will spell disaster for a home facing a wildfire. With steel as a primary building material, homeowners can benefit from lower costs of home insurance, in addition to the increased protection from fires. Some contractors are using prefabricated steel frame wrappings that are covered in non-combustible insulation. Many are also implementing metal roofs in newer constructions. Emerging building methods and materials However, besides steel, there are many emerging building methods and materials that offer fire protection. As people rebuild their homes from the fires of this year, a trend that has emerged includes incorporating solid wall construction. This construction method provides no materials for a fire to burn, as it is concrete on the inside, followed by a layer of foam insulation, and covered with more concrete or stucco.Other construction methods include steel grids with foam inside Other construction methods include steel grids with foam inside, that are then covered with concrete blown onto the frame. This method can provide the home with fire resistance for up to 4 hours, giving the home enough time for the fire to pass. New home designs are also passing up on attics and soffit vents, which can allow embers to blow inside and ignite the home. In addition to the construction of a home itself, landscaping methods can further protect the home from wildfires. If the area surrounding a home is filled with dry, combustible vegetation, the fire will be able to quickly engulf the home, spelling disaster if the house is not built with fire-resistant materials. The Future of Construction As the danger and devastation of wildfires continue to increase, construction needs to adapt to protect homes and the lives that live inside them. There has never been a greater need for home builders to adopt fire-resistant home building methods, since each year, the incidence of fire grows at an increasing rate. Fire-resistant homes are the future, especially in areas such as California, where drought and dry conditions create the perfect recipe for the fast-spreading wildfires. Non-combustible materials such as steel are playing an integral role in this space, as it does not add additional fuel to a fire that is already burning out of control. When combined with other fire-resistant building methods, homes are better protected from destruction. Hopefully, as these methods see an increase in their adoption, fires will destroy fewer homes and claim fewer lives.
Due to the nature of their design and uses, tunnels have particularly unique fire risks, and any fire can spread quickly, risking damage to assets or injuries to teams. Mining, cable and communication tunnels are subject to significantly high risks, as they utilize heavy-duty machinery, flammable materials and cables, which are all subject to the production of excess heat. Here we discuss the prevalent fire risks in tunnels and explain how businesses operating within them can assess and mitigate these risks. What causes the heightened fire safety risks in tunnels? Lack of natural ventilation: The enclosed design of tunnels results in a lack of natural ventilation, making it incredibly difficult to regulate temperatures. As heavy-duty machinery operates for long period of time within tunnels, this causes a significant fire risk. Smoke spread across curved ceilings: Tunnels are generally built with a curved ceiling structure. This enhances the spread of smoke along the ceiling, resulting in the entire surface area of the ceiling being covered. When the temperature of smoke decreases – once fire has been extinguished – it can sink to human eye-level, increasing the risk of smoke inhalation. Limited access: Tunnels are often well-sealed and confined, with limited access. This means that if a fire breaks out in a particular area of the tunnel, access points can be restricted, proving evacuation to be challenging. As a result, evacuation may be limited to a singular route – the same route for people and smoke. Heightened risk of structural damage: The sealed and confined nature of tunnels means that temperatures, caused by uncontrolled fires, can reach up to 140°C. These severe temperatures can cause structural damage to tunnels if left unresolved. What are the fire risks in tunnels? Ignition sources: Ignition sources are commonplace in tunnel environments. Vehicles (powered by lithium-ion batteries), heaters and electrical sources, which power equipment and machinery, such as conveyor belts, all present significant fire risks if not correctly monitored. Overheating: Nearly half of all fires in industrial environments are caused by the overheating of electrical equipment. This can be as a result of overuse or even poor maintenance. In manufacturing tunnels, machinery, such as conveyor belts, is continuously used to support operations. If unmonitored, the friction in belts can begin to heat, potentially igniting the materials they carry. Additionally, if industrial machinery reaches high temperatures, it can speed up the propagation process of a fire, especially when in contact with flammable materials, such as coal, wood or dust. Maintenance of equipment: Tunnels of all kinds use machinery to support operations, such as mining, transportation of goods or maintenance work. Due to the lack of ventilation, dust is commonplace, and its build-up can cause clogging in this machinery, amplifying the risk of overheating. Depending on its material, dust can be highly flammable. Combustible materials: Combustible materials are frequently present in tunnels, particularly in mining tunnels. These materials create a prominent fire risk, due to their extremely flammable natural, making it crucial to ensure they are transported and stored safely. Electrical faults: Some tunnels, such as cable tunnels, store lengthy networks of cables, which have the potential to cause fires. A lack of maintenance or heat can increase this risk significantly. So, how can you reduce fire risks in tunnels? Regular risk assessments By conducting regular risk assessments, you can identify any potential fire risks and put the appropriate measures in place to control these. Once a risk assessment has been conducted, it is important to share the results with team members, so they are aware and can act safely to further reduce risk. Temperature checks As overheating is a considerable risk in tunnels, it’s crucial to ensure temperature is continually monitored. This allows you to act to reduce temperatures if they reach or exceed a certain limit, before a fire breaks out. Regular equipment maintenance Regular maintenance of all electrical equipment within a tunnel is key Equipment should be subject to regular maintenance and testing to HSE standards. This will ensure you identify any issues early, allowing you to rectify problems to reduce fire risk. Equipment should also be regularly cleaned to decrease the risk of dust build-up. Any electrical equipment used to support operations should be subject to regular PAT testing (portable appliance testing) and checked for any loose cables or damage. Temperature regulation within the tunnel can also limit the effects of exterior heating on cabling. In cable tunnels, where there is a lot of electrical equipment present, these regular checks are paramount to ensuring safety. Storage and transportation of materials When combustible materials are transported, they should be subject to appropriate controls and measures to ensure they do not present fire risks. For example, combustible materials should be safely stored during transport and subject to regular temperature monitoring to quickly identify the occurrence of any hot spots. Electrical faults Regular maintenance of all electrical equipment within a tunnel is key for mitigating fire risk, as if a fire is to begin within a ‘hidden area’, such as in cable ducts, it can be difficult to access or control the flames. To reduce the risk of cables overheating, the temperature should be consistently monitored to highlight any high temperatures which may result in a fire. Using fire detection and suppression equipment to enhance safety Putting appropriate measures in place can actively reduce fire risks within tunnels. However, unnoticed hotspots, overheating between regular maintenance or combustion of flammable materials are all still prevalent fire risks. As such, supporting your fire prevention measures with a rigorous fire detection and suppression system is key. Overheating is a considerable risk in tunnels If a fire were to break out, detection it early is crucial for allowing the safe evacuation of teams and decreasing the risk of structural and equipment damage. As every tunnel is unique, the fire detection and suppression system must be bespoke and tailored to the site’s individual uses and risks. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the fire service will continue at least through 2021 and possibly for years to come. Specifically, several aspects of the pandemic have impacted the fire service long-term and have possibly changed it forever. More awareness of Health Issues For one thing, the pandemic has heightened awareness about issues of health and wellness of firefighters. In this regard, COVID-19 has been just the latest in the series of health and wellness issues surrounding the fire service. However, a global pandemic is difficult to ignore or neglect, unlike some other perpetual health concerns, such as physical exhaustion, cancer risks and mental and emotional burnout. Ideally, the urgency of addressing the health concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus will translate into better management of longer-term concerns about the more enduring and ultimately, less retractable health concerns. In the end, concerns about health should be broad-based and intrinsic. Heightened awareness of the broad spectrum of health issues should be ingrained in the fire serve to engender more action, which is much needed and a long overdue. Greater focus on Personal Protective Equipment Another positive of the COVID-19 pandemic is a greater focus on personal protective equipment (PPE) Another positive of the COVID-19 pandemic is a greater focus on personal protective equipment (PPE). Might emphasis on the use of masks during the pandemic translate into broader and long term awareness of the important role of PPE and more consistent usage to protect fire personnel? Concerns about PPE supply during the pandemic also point to a need to manage usage levels of the equipment to ensure changes in the market do not leave a department’s personnel unprotected. Financial and budget challenges for fire departments The COVID-19 pandemic has also emphasized the fragile nature of fire department budgeting at all levels. Departments across the board were negatively impacted as tax revenues and fundraising funds decreased. And it’s not over yet. Financial struggles will continue through the final phases of the pandemic. Addressing the budgetary impact will extend into future budget cycles and fire departments will continue to feel the impact. More than ever, departments will need to look for additional funding sources, such as government and foundation grants. Imminent manpower crisis and concerns The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rates of retirement among firefighters, not to mention the likelihood of lower head counts because of budgetary cutbacks. The stresses of dealing with COVID-19 could discourage possible recruits from joining the fire service. The bottom line is an imminent manpower crisis for the fire service; or, I should say, a hastening of a manpower crisis that already exists. Furthermore, volunteer departments are finding it harder than ever to attract personnel and recruiting paid firemen has its own set of challenges. A legacy of the pandemic might be even more difficulty recruiting manpower for fire service. Training fire service personnel As the public health and safety environment has evolved, so too has the role of the fire service The COVID-19 pandemic stretched the resources of many fire departments as they sought to help out in myriad ways during public health emergencies. For example, more departments were called on to fill in the gaps in emergency management, community safety, etc. As the public health and safety environment has evolved, so too has the role of the fire service. To the extent that those changes persist into a ‘new normal’, fire departments will be struggling to fulfill their expanded roles. Departments will need to invest their scarce resources in training fire service personnel to respond to community needs in new and different ways. Fire services need to do more with less Taken together, these factors point to a need for fire departments to do more with less and fire departments need to up their game when it comes to addressing health concerns, managing PPE supplies, recruiting new personnel, and expanding services to meet the changing needs in the community. However, less funding and fewer other resources reflect an operational environment that may be changed forever. In general, the fire service rose to the occasion during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The aftermath will also require fire service volunteers and professionals to work even harder than they already have to deliver on a challenging and expanding mission.
Wildfires represent extreme instances of the deadly destructiveness of fire. There seem to be more wildfires every year, and there are certainly larger and more deadly wildfires all over the world than ever before. Wildfires dominate the public perception of the most extreme consequences of fire. This look back at 2020 will highlight some of the articles about wildfires published by TheBigRedGuide.com, with links to the full-length original articles. The wildfire season in 11 Western U.S. states started out slower than last year. In the first half of the season, wildfires in the Arctic reached new levels, especially in Alaska and Siberia. Larger fires burning Wildfires in the West killed 160 people and caused $40 billion in damage in the past two years, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. The trend is toward larger fires burning more acres – especially in years that are warm. Early in 2020, Australia was the epicenter of a wildfire disaster. Persistent heat and drought exacerbated the wildfires, and there have been fires in every Australian state, although New South Wales has been hardest hit. Strong winds have spread smoke and fire rapidly and led to fatalities. Big cities like Melbourne and Sydney have been affected; large fires have damaged homes in the outer suburbs and smoke has destroyed air quality in urban areas. Whole towns have been engulfed in flames. Active wildfire season Another cause of recent wildfires was lightning with more than 10,000 lightning strikes sparking 376 fires In the context of wildfires, even seemingly minor events can have a very large impact. For example, an explosion of blue-colored smoke on Sept. 5, 2020, in Yucalpa, California, was the beginning of a large wildfire in El Dorado Ranch Park. The pyrotechnic device was essentially a smoke bomb designed to send plumes of pink or blue smoke rising into the air, designating the gender of an expected baby. Another cause of recent wildfires was lightning with more than 10,000 lightning strikes sparking 376 fires on Aug 16 and 17, 2020. The global pandemic presented complications for firefighters during what will the active wildfire season. Firefighting manpower could be diminished by the pandemic; training sessions have been canceled, postponed, or conducted remotely. And travel risks undermine the traditional approach of calling on firefighters from throughout the country or around the world to help fight the wildfires. Addressing forest management Social distancing is at odds with the teamwork and camaraderie that characterize firefighting units. Communal basecamps where everyone eats and sleeps together are unworkable during the pandemic. Instead, smaller camps are the rule, and packaged meals are delivered to each camp. Smaller teams reduce the need for widespread quarantine if someone tests positive for the novel coronavirus. Drones are a tool to address forest management and wildfire prevention. Drones are finding multiple uses when it comes to fighting and preventing wildfires. One application is to drop self-igniting ‘dragon eggs’ that spark smaller fires to trim back overgrown forests and help prevent more destructive megafires. The dragon egg system is made up of self-igniting plastic spheres – about the size of a ping-pong ball. Dragon eggs have been an industry standard for years, usually dropped from planes or helicopters. Burnable plant material Researchers are looking to apply new approaches in address the risk of wildfires The spheres are filled with potassium permanganate powder and injected with glycol as an igniter just as they are being dropped. The reaction sets the balls ablaze after about 30 seconds, which is enough time for them to bounce to the ground through a forest canopy. Researchers are looking to apply new approaches in address the risk of wildfires. They include tools such as deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to better understand wildfires and to control their intensity. The model could be used to reveal areas of greatest risk for wildfires. A new deep learning model uses remote sensing and satellite data to trace fuel moisture levels across 12 Western states, in effect tracking the amount of easily burnable plant material and how dry it is. Damaging impacts of wildfires Science shows clearly that the way to reduce the damaging impacts of wildfires and threats to life and property is to proactively manage ecosystems that evolved with fire. This means reintroducing fire in the right ways and places combined with mimicking the effects of fire on forest structure through mechanical treatments. “Rocky Mountain Research Station's Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program (RMRS) focuses on the science of risk management from ways that they can treat fuels and mitigate risks to helping communities assess and mitigate risk and be more resilient,” says Thomas C. Dzomba, Deputy Program Manager and Director of the Fire Modeling Institute. Understanding the underlying causes of wildfires enables us to control them better over the long haul. Enhancing fire science With a primary goal of enhancing fire science, the lab also impacts operational fire response One element is climate change, which has created conditions prone to wildfires by increasing heat, changing rain and snow patterns, and shifting plant communities. But there are also other contributing factors in the growing scale and intensity of wildfires. One is the condition of the forests in Australia, California, and other areas where the incidence of wildfires has increased. In California, for example, it is well known that the forests are unhealthy and in need of more prescribed burns and other thinning efforts. On the front line of turning data into useful information to advance fire science is the WIFIRE Lab at the University of California San Diego. The WIFIRE lab grew out of a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). With a primary goal of enhancing fire science, the lab also impacts operational fire response, increasingly in real time. Wildfire risk monitoring The tragic Camp Fire in November 2018, which burned for 17 days in Butte County, near the city of Paradise, Calif., has prompted research to improve risk management and monitoring of wildfires in the future. The vision of the research is ‘a computational platform for multi-level wildfire risk assessment.’ The researchers seek to redefine wildfire risk monitoring and management to provide a platform that can be used by wildfire managers, emergency responders and utility companies to plan for, respond to, and mitigate the risk of wildfires. In Australia, new resources are addressing the growth of wildfires. Preventing and controlling wildfires Andrew and Nicola Forrest have committed 50 million Australian dollars (US$35 million) to the Fire and Flood Resilience initiative through Minderoo Foundation, with a goal of raising an additional 450 million (US$320 million) in direct or in-kind support over the life of the program. The goal of the ambitious investment is to make Australia the pioneer in fire and flood resistance by the year 2025 The goal of the ambitious investment is to make Australia the pioneer in fire and flood resistance by the year 2025. It is an audacious vision that requires an innovative approach, and the organization takes inspiration from the U.S. Apollo mission of the 1960s. In effect, it will be a ‘moonshot’ to advance the cause of preventing and controlling wildfires. Specifically, the first mission, Fire Shield, seeks to ensure no dangerous bushfire in Australia will burn longer than an hour by 2025. Local fire departments The biggest risk of property damage and injury from wildfires comes at the wildland-urban interface (WUI), which is defined as areas where structures and the built environment begin to intermingle with wildland vegetation. More and more such areas are being created as humans move near wildland areas to take advantage of their natural beauty and privacy. The ‘Ready, Set, Go! (RSG!)’ Program works to increase engagement by local fire departments with residents that live in areas at risk of wildland fires. A program of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ offers the tools and resources for fire departments to provide more understanding of the risk of wildland fires and the actions residents should take to reduce the risk.
Adapting workspaces to operate safely during a pandemic presents complications, not least of which is making sure that the measures taken to protect employees from infection do not undermine fire safety. In the course of altering a building to prevent infection spread, there are risks of introducing new life safety hazards and compromising emergency preparedness. As buildings adapt to new occupancy standards and requirements, it is critical that any protective measures do not interfere with operation of life safety systems. Might temporary partitions or barriers block escape routes during a fire emergency? Social distancing measures might entail blocking emergency exists and disrupting the flow of occupants looking to vacate a building. It is also important to avoid blocking firefighter access and facilities. Fire Safety Partitions Temporary partitions could block smoke exhausts, sprinkler systems or other elements of a life safety system Temporary partitions could block smoke exhausts, sprinkler systems or other elements of a life safety system. Call points and detectors should remain unobstructed. Partitions should not be installed too close to any smoke detector. If installed less than 12 inches from the ceiling, partitions serve as walls that can obstruct the flow of smoke and heat, thus causing sprinklers to malfunction, for example. Another consideration is the need to ensure fire safety systems are operating as intended when buildings reopen after being unoccupied for an extended period. Appropriate inspection, testing and maintenance procedures should be followed, including sprinklers, alarm systems and portable fire extinguishers. During the various lockdowns, routine system maintenance might have been postponed or cancelled. Adapting emergency and evacuation procedures Building occupants should be educated on how they need to adapt their emergency and evacuation procedures in light of any COVID-19 related changes. Building owners and managers should also consider any new fire dangers, for example, might storage of large quantities of combustible items such as hand sanitizer constitute a fire hazard? Maintaining social distancing can undermine the ability to vacate a building rapidly during a fire emergency. Obviously, if there is a real fire, the imminent threat of injury or death takes precedence over the goal of preventing infection by a (less likely) disease. In general, because rules have changed, the uncertainty might slow down evacuation. What is the impact of lower occupancy on a building’s emergency procedures? Despite fewer occupants, there should be efforts to ensure enough trained people are on site to carry out evacuation. Fewer employees and staggered work schedules could require additional fire wardens or fire marshals. More training may be needed. frequent fire drills Larger outside assembly areas may be needed to avoid crowding and/or close proximity during a fire drill What about fire drills? How do you weigh the benefits of being prepared to evacuate versus the risk of infection if social distancing requirements are ignored? Do distancing requirements apply as people move through a fire escape? How much more complicated do these questions become in a high-rise building? What about the use of elevators? Larger outside assembly areas may be needed to avoid crowding and/or close proximity during a fire drill. In the event that social distancing rules are breached during a fire drill, should additional quarantine or contact tracing procedures be implemented? fire safety arrangements At the end of the day, most of these hurdles can be overcome. However, they should not be ignored. Careful consideration of the broad impacts of COVID-19 safety measures on life safety ensures that building occupants remain safe from either calamity. As businesses reopen, adequate fire safety arrangements must be a part of the new normal.
Following the successful delivery of more than 5,000 sets of high-quality structural firefighting PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) from globally renowned specialist PPE manufacturer, MSA Bristol (MSA Safety Incorporated) and its Australian distributor, Pac Fire Australia (Pac Fire), Australia’s Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) fire service has continued with their roll out and expect to have an additional 5,000 sets of structural PPE delivered by June 2021. The expectation is that Fire & Rescue New South Wales will be able to complete the rollout of structural PPE to all of its 6,500 firefighters by December 2021. Fire & Rescue New South Wales Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) is one of the world’s renowned urban fire and rescue services Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) is one of the world’s renowned urban fire and rescue services and the busiest fire service in Australia, with more than 6,500 firefighters spread across 335 fire stations and attending close to 120,000 call outs per year. An extensive evaluation and wearer trial carried out in 2019 led to FRNSW selecting MSA Bristol’s popular XFlex ensemble for its PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) upgrade. MSA Bristol is a renowned designer and manufacturer of protective clothing and equipment for emergency services across the globe, formed by the recent acquisition of Bristol Uniforms by MSA Safety Incorporated. XFlex range of structural PPE Its XFlex range of structural PPE has been ergonomically designed with sports styling and lightweight fabrics, providing advanced comfort and protection. The unique fabric combination consists of Safety Components Nomex 360, combined with a GORE PARALLON liner system, which provides unparalleled levels of breathability while preventing drops in thermal protection. On taking delivery of the new kit, Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) Commissioner, Paul Baxter said, “These new uniforms are heavy-duty but lightweight, allowing for enhanced maneuverability and coverage, and will be supplied in a wider range of male and female sizes, so all firefighters will have better fitting garments. They also feature a customized moisture barrier, which helps prevent steam burns and keeps firefighters dry while on the job.” Service information on UHF-RFID chip fitted to PPE Service information, such as garment specifics, is assigned to a unique UHF-RFID chip fitted within the item Pac Fire Australia (Pac Fire) is one of Australasia’s renowned suppliers of personal protective equipment to the fire and emergency industry. Its specialized roll-out of the XFlex range of PPE ensembles to the Fire & Rescue New South Wales has included the allocation of each item to a specific firefighter. Service information, such as garment specifics, date of issue and firefighter information, is assigned to a unique UHF-RFID chip fitted within the item. This process allows garments to interact with inventory management and laundry systems, tracking physical location and the condition of the item, throughout its service life. Advanced fabric technology offers optimum protection Paul Clark, Business Development Manager (BDM) for Pac Fire Australia said, “The XFlex design with its distinctive sports styling has proved particularly popular with the firefighters, offering greater flexibility and reduced resistance when carrying out physical tasks, as well as providing optimum protection thanks to the advanced fabric technology.” Roger Startin, Joint Managing Director at MSA Bristol (MSA Safety Incorporated) said, “The roll-out of the first order went very smoothly, despite the challenges of the global pandemic, and all garments were delivered to schedule. It’s great to see the New South Wales firefighters in action in their new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and we’re delighted to be following this up by providing a further 4,500 sets of structural PPE this year.”
The fire incident at Action Footwear store on Jan 25, 2021, that resulted in injuries to four Chula Vista Fire Department firefighters has been determined to be accidental. The National Response Team from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), along with the Chula Vista Fire Department, completed the investigation into the origin and cause of the fire that occurred on Monday, Jan 25, 2021, at 5:40 pm, at Action Footwear, 655 H Street, Chula Vista, California. Action Footwear fire incident Investigators determined the fire started on the second floor of the business establishment. The building was occupied when the fire started and all occupants were evacuated from the building safely. While conducting fire suppression operations, four firefighters sustained injuries that were not life-threatening. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives activated its National Response Team The Chula Vista Fire Department requested ATF to provide additional resources to assist in determining the cause and origin of the fire. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives activated its National Response Team, which started processing the scene of the fire incident on Thursday, Jan 28, 2021, with an additional 20 investigators. National Response Team The National Response Team is composed of special agents who include certified fire investigators, fire protection engineers, chemists, forensic mappers, accelerant detection canine teams, and other highly specialized and experienced fire investigators. After examining all the evidence gathered at the scene, the results confirmed by the National Response team determined the cause of the fire to be accidental. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ National Response Team departed, after making its determination of the cause of the fire at Action Footwear.
The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) is a conservation charity that saves wetlands, which are essential for life itself. WWT Slimbridge is one of nine wetland centers across the United Kingdom, founded by Sir Peter Scott in 1946 and is now a world-renowned reserve for water birds. WWT Slimbridge’s new £6.2 million visitor center houses a wildlife art gallery, The Hanson Discovery Centre, the Waterside Restaurant, a cinema and the Sloane Observation Tower. Wild swans from Russia come every winter and all six types of flamingos delight the crowds in summer. Fire alarm system upgrade CIA Fire & Security were required to upgrade the old system, which was rapidly becoming outdated Slimbridge Wildfowl Trust required an update to its fire alarm system to provide them with state-of-the-art fire protection. CIA Fire & Security were required to upgrade the old system, which was rapidly becoming outdated. CIA introduced Slimbridge Wildfowl Trust to EMS Group (EMS), the UK's renowned developer and manufacturer of wireless and hybrid fire detection systems. EMS were chosen as the preferred supplier for the site as it provides the best solution for a robust fire alarm system that can be easily adapted without too much disruption. Wireless fire detection and alarm system installed The installation provided several challenges for CIA Fire & Security's engineer due to the wildlife present and the challenging layout of the site. CIA was aware of The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust's on-going conservation projects, including the Spoon-billed Sandpiper project and the Great Crane project, and had to ensure its engineers were sensitive to their surroundings so they didn't disrupt the conservation projects. The fire detection and alarm system installed by CIA Fire & Security is a wireless system that can be easily adapted. Due to the nature of conservation areas changes to the site may need to take place, the new fire system can be altered to reflect any on-going changes made to Slimbridge Wildfowl Trust. A Slimbridge Wildfowl Trust spokesperson said, “CIA Fire & Security has done a fantastic job on our fire alarm system. They were extremely helpful throughout the entire process and have provided extensive training on how to test the alarm. We look forward to working with them in the future.”
Choice Fire & Security Solutions is using its combined fire and security expertise in assuming unified responsibility for upgrading, extending and maintaining security and fire alarm systems at the multi-site campus of the Sussex Coast College in Hastings (SCCH). fire alarm systems Maintenance The further education college’s two main buildings, opened in 2010, are the town center located Station Plaza (22,000 sq. meters) and Ore Valley (7,000 sq. meters), which is less than a mile away. In addition to learning spaces and workshops, the sites incorporate social, leisure and catering facilities. The five-floor Station Plaza has a full-height central atrium. The sites’ systems include digital CCTV surveillance, Plan IP-based access control including Assa Abloy’s wireless Aperio locks, Honeywell’s Galaxy-controlled intruder alarms and Gent fire alarms. Countering rise in system downtimes Choice Fire & Security Solutions has restored efficiency to various aspects of the multiple systems at SCCH Prior to Choice’s involvement, a number of suppliers were supporting these legacy systems, which Phil Barnes, Head of Facilities at the Sussex Coast College in Hastings (SCCH), identified as bringing an increasing lack of coordination leading to increased system downtimes and cost inefficiencies in ongoing support. Choice Fire & Security Solutions has restored efficiency to various aspects of the multiple systems at SCCH. This has included eliminating 147 faults within the fire system some caused by the effect of Hastings’ sea air corroding semi-external detector heads. Emizon control technology Additionally, remote systems communications have been unified by Choice using Emizon control technology for remote security and fire alarm monitoring and to allow Choice remote system access to monitor performance, fault-find and carry out reconfigurations without having to visit the sites.
AW Technology’s business is a truly global operation. With customers across every continent, AW Technology has a commitment to not only deliver its world class test tunnels and equipment, but to also provide a detailed program of aftercare and support. This commitment to customers sits at the heart of AW Technology’s core business philosophy and has undoubtedly played a huge part in the company’s continued growth and development. 3800 optical heat and smoke detector calibration test tunnel Recent example of AW Technology’s close work with customers is the visit to Argus Spectrum’s new facility in Savonlinna, Finland A recent example of AW Technology’s close work with its customers is the visit to Argus Spectrum’s new facility in Savonlinna, Finland, to provide advice, support and guidance for their newly commissioned 3800 optical heat and smoke detector calibration test tunnel. Argus Spectrum is one of the world’s renowned manufacturers who specialize in the development and production of innovative wireless and wired fire detection and security systems. In 2019 Argus Spectrum established a new manufacturing facility in Savonlinna, Finland to produce and deliver its market renowned wireless technology throughout Europe and International markets. Building strong relationships with global customer base Chris Atkiss, Business Development Manager, AW Technology, made the trip and described the specifics of the visit and the overall importance of ongoing support towards customers. He said, “It’s been well documented that at AW Technology we place a huge importance on building strong relationships with our worldwide customer base.” Chris adds, “This helps us maintain an open communication stream with our customers and ensure we’re able to provide the optimum level of support for their test tunnels. Our detailed approach to customer service means that we prefer to meet every customer face to face before we embark on a project.” Ensuring enhanced fire systems performance He further stated, “This specific visit to Finland was an opportunity for us to meet with Argus Spectrum at their new facility, understand their requirements and ultimately make sure that their tunnel was performing to its maximum potential. The feedback we’ve received so far from the customer has been extremely positive and we look forward to continuing our work with Argus Spectrum and supporting them with future projects.”
Swedish Sea Rescue Society (SSRS) in Sweden have enhanced their existing Sepura critical communications solution by upgrading to include Over the Air Programming, saving the team time and reducing costs while improving their programming capability. Sepura SC Series radio terminals Supported by Sepura’s Swedish partner, Northcomm Technologies (Northcomm), the rescue organization has been able to implement powerful changes to its programming capability by programming radios wirelessly, with no requirement to bring all radios into a programming station. The upgrade means that the organization’s fleet of Sepura SC Series terminals can be reprogrammed or updated whenever they are connected to a secure Wi-Fi connection, and without needing each individual radio to be physically connected to a programming device. With radios based in multiple locations and different shifts having an effect on when they can be made available for upgrades, this significantly eases the process of performing fleet wide updates. The functionality is significant as it makes the reprogramming and radio update much simpler, more efficient and more flexible around operational needs. Radio Manager programming tool Using Sepura’s established Radio Manager tool, administrators can upgrade all SC Series radios across a fleet Using Sepura’s established Radio Manager programming tool, administrators can upgrade all SC Series radios across a fleet, whether they are used in vehicles, based in control rooms or hand-held models. Over the Air Programming enables administrators to change many aspects of a radio’s setup. Options include amends to a radio’s configuration, phonebook or talkgroup updates, enabling feature licenses, installation of AppSPACE applications or the upload of crucial data. Over the Air Programming A Sea Rescue Society spokesperson said, “We often need to react quickly and decisively to an emergency. Over the Air Programming means that as our ships are being prepared for rescue, the radios can immediately be prepared to support this mission. It is easy now to make dynamic changes to radio configurations, to support our operations.” The spokesperson adds, “Similarly, the radio fleet can be updated around shift times, but without the radios needing to be brought into the programming suite. This has removed a large administrative burden on our control team and allowed us to focus more time on our missions.” Wireless programming reduces radio downtime risk Wireless programming vastly reduces the risk of radio downtime and rather than requiring every fleet radio to be in one central location for the process, the fleet administrator can program multiple radios, at a set time. Upgrading to Over the Air Programming is a simple process as the programming environment already exists Downloading data to the radio does not interrupt any communication and does not require user intervention. Users can continue with their duties while downloads run as a background task. Once downloaded, the user is still in control and triggers the installation process at the next radio switch off. Connection to secure Wi-Fi devices Upgrading to Over the Air Programming is a simple process as the programming environment already exists. Users simply connect radios to the site’s secure Wi-Fi connection and can move to the more dynamic wireless option. Sepura’s Business Development Manager for the Nordics, Sergei Yarushin said “OTAP is a great step forward for Sepura’s users who can make use of the advanced connectivity available through SC Series radios to connect to secure Wi-Fi devices, making the programming of radios easier, quicker and less of a resource burden to fleet administrators.” Sergei Yarushin adds, “As the world struggles to come to terms with the impact of Covid-19, it also reduces the requirement for radios to be handled by multiple personnel, reducing the risk of transmission of the virus.”