Industrial Fire Safety
Specialist in advanced electronic fire and security solutions, Amthal has expanded its team with the appointment of Mick Byron to Business Development Manager. The newly established role within the company will help to support the sales and commercial teams, in their drive to maximize opportunities to promote and progress the business. Mick will strategically coordinate plans to move forward and develop channels and relationships, in line with an ever growing smart product installation portfoli...
Fire departments with brush trucks are benefitting from three new skid unit options just introduced by KIMTEK Corporation. These additions to KIMTEK's FIRELITE 300 series meet the latest demand for basic, firefighting-only skid units ideal for applications that do not require area for storage and patient transport. Hannay 4000 Series reel KIMTEK's FDHP 304, 305, and 306 model skid units is equipped with a manual Hannay 4000 Series reel KIMTEK's new FDHP 304, 305, and 306 model skid units come...
Euralarm, the association representing the fire safety and security industry, has presented its Priorities and Challenges 2019-2024. ‘Working together for a safer and more secure future’ is the name of the document that describes areas of cooperation to achieve a safer and more secure society for Europe and build an industry that contributes to sustainable growth in Europe. One of the most basic requirements for each of us is defence against harm, no matter what form it takes. Fire...
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), an organization representing the volunteer fire, emergency medical, and rescue services, has been awarded a federal Fire Prevention & Safety (FP&S) grant from FEMA to focus on responder behavioral health initiatives. The $278,900 grant will allow the NVFC to develop new tools and resources to help volunteers who are experiencing issues impacting their mental wellbeing. Need For Support Services And Resources Firefighters have a high rate of...
Fire and security specialist Amthal, has welcomed the third generation of the Allam family, to join the business under the company’s successful apprenticeship scheme. Luke Allam, son of founder and Operations Director John Allam, has started as an Apprentice Engineer, working closely with the team to progress seamlessly into the company strategy. Course In Fire Emergency, And Security Systems Says Luke: “Amthal has always been part of my life, and when the opportunity of work expe...
In response to requests from fire departments, KIMTEK has introduced the FIRELITE® FHR-205, a new version of its popular FIRELITE® series skid units for use with UTVs. Distinct from KIMTEK's patient transport units in the FIRELITE series, the FHR-205 skid unit positions the hose reel to wind off to the rear. Constructed of KIMTEK's signature rugged, high quality aluminum diamond plate and tubing, FHR-205 skid units are durable, attractive, and produced to KIMTEK's highest standards of ma...
Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) is demonstrating its continuing support for Fire Door Safety Week by holding a series of free fire door safety seminars. The national awareness safety campaign, which took place between 23-29 September 2019, was launched in 2013 in response to a legacy of fire door neglect and aims to increase the public’s understanding of the role that fire doors play in protecting life and property. Fundamental Issues Of Fire Safety DHF has been a vocal advocate for third-party certification of inspection of fire, smoke and security doors It is led by high-profile organizations such as the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), the BWF Fire Door Alliance (an evolution of the BWF CERTIFIRE Scheme) and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS). DHF’s fire door seminars will take place on the mornings of 14th January, 11th February and 17th March next year, and will be presented by the Chair of DHF’s Timber Doorset Group, Fiona Critchley. DHF has been a particularly vocal advocate for third-party certification of manufacture, installation, maintenance and inspection of fire, smoke and security doors, and earlier this year, joined forces with Secured by Design (SBD) and the Fire Industry Association (FIA) to publish a guidance document on flat entrance doorsets: A Guide for Selecting Flat Entrance Doorsets; A publication for housing associations, landlords, building owners and local authorities in England, which highlights the fundamental issues of fire safety for those selecting fire doorsets. Training Courses On Fire Door Safety The federation has, since 2014, also partnered with BRE Academy to offer fire door training courses, together, developing three all-inclusive one-day training courses on fire door safety to offer greater clarity on the regulations and standards applying to fire doors. Those attending the fire door seminars will receive a free copy of the guidance document Those attending the fire door seminars will receive a free copy of the guidance document. “We are delighted to continue to support Fire Door Safety Week and hope that our free seminars, which are open to all, will promote awareness and safety, in addition to educating delegates on the pivotal role that fire doors play in protecting lives and property,” says DHF’s Commercial Manager, Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens. “We continue to stress that the use of fire doors, correctly installed and with robust fire door maintenance procedures, are a key part of fire safety and urge those in positions of responsibility to seek the correct training with regards to installation and maintenance.”
Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is asking businesses and residents to pledge to lose the wedge this Fire Door Safety week (23-29 Sept). Launching the campaign, the service is asking all businesses, care homes and residential properties to ditch door wedges that prop open fire doors. As part of the awareness week, now in its seventh year, staff from across AF&RS will be targeting businesses and homes within the service area to highlight the importance of fire doors and the difference they can make during a fire. Along with visiting businesses in Yate, the Technical Fire Safety Team will also be writing to all care homes in the area and offering support to any business that requested a risk inspection. The Service is also promoting its Home Fire Safety Visits, in which crews will visit vulnerable residents at home to ensure they are safe. Research conducted for this year’s Fire Door Safety Week by the British Woodworking Federation reveals concerns about fire safety as well as a lack of clarity about the crucial role that fire doors play in business, care home, and multi-occupancy buildings. Risk assessments Fire doors play a key role in keeping people safe and wedging doors open causes unnecessary risk.” According to 1,000 care home workers, 75 per cent think their place of work could do more to improve fire safety, 63 per cent think their place of work is at risk of fire and only 43 per cent understand the purpose of a fire door. Staggeringly, 82 per cent said they keep a fire door open at work on purpose. Di Clack, Technical Fire Safety Crew Manager, said: “This week, we are asking everyone to pledge to lose the wedge. Fire doors play a key role in keeping people safe and wedging doors open causes unnecessary risk.” “While we will always assist and offer fire safety inspections for business or home fire safety visits for residential properties, since 2006’s Fire Safety Order, it is the responsible person’s duty to carry out risk assessments on the property and they have a responsibility to ensure everyone is safe. We want to provide people with the tools they need to keep themselves safe and simple procedures like closing all fire doors helps to ensure this.” Fire safety practice Good practice is important in buildings with multiple residents who may be vulnerable Brand new for this year’s campaign, driven by the British Woodworking Federation, is an interactive mock criminal trial, aimed at providing manufacturers of fire safety products, consultants, contractors, designers, installers and other potential duty holders with an insight into where they may be liable in the event of a fire incident. Helen Hewitt, Chief Executive of the British Woodworking Federation, said: “We all need to feel protected, and especially so when we are asleep. Fire doors play a vital role as the first line of defence against fire and smoke, containing their spread while buildings are evacuated. But they must be properly installed and maintained, and good fire safety practice must be shared and followed. That’s why we continue to raise awareness every year through Fire Door Safety Week. Good practice is especially important in buildings with multiple occupants and residents who may be vulnerable. It is quite literally a matter of life and death.” A simple five-step safety check includes: Certification (Look for a label, plug or similar marking) Apertures (Altering the door for windows voids the certification) Gaps and seals (Check gaps around the door to ensure they are no more than 4mm) Closers (Ensure the closer shuts the door firmly) Operation (Ensure the door closes correctly around the whole frame)
CertAlarm’s partner Kiwa recently announced the opening of their new state-of-the-art fire lab in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. To celebrate this, they are hosting a festive opening event ‘How to deal with complexity and integrality of future trends?’ on the 13th of November 2019. Opening of Apeldoorn fire lab “Collaboration is key in our sector. That is precisely why at CertAlarm we are happy to see the opening of the new fire lab, as a consequence, it will improve the cooperation between us and Kiwa”, says Anja Kinsky, General Manager at CertAlarm. The event is about much more than just fire safety. Nowadays the world is hyper-connected as millions of devices, from cars and alarm equipment to refrigerators and door bells, are connected through the Internet of Things (IoT). Hyper-connected world This trend brings accompanying risks and challenges, but also new opportunities For companies and organizations, this trend brings accompanying risks and challenges, but also new opportunities. Therefore, we need to look at this connected world integrally. Mathijs van Ballegooijen, Division Director at Kiwa, said “The event is all about the need for a different mindset, sharing knowledge and collaboration throughout the entire chain. It is the perfect opportunity to network with like-minded people from The Netherlands and beyond”. Plenary sessions on security, IoT No organization can or should have to deal with the ever changing circumstances alone. That is why CertAlarm partner Kiwa organizes plenary sessions with all kinds of related topics during the event, to stimulate cooperation throughout the entire chain. Trend-watcher, Tony Bosma will for instance guide participants of the event through the ever-changing world of the technology of the future and its accompanying risks. Next to that, international guests will be present and share their vision and elaborate on the possibilities for the future on topics like security, professional audio and IoT.
Firefighters, non-operational staff and volunteers from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service have been recognized for their bravery and commitment at the Service’s annual awards, held at Ipswich East Fire Station. A special award was also presented to 15-year old, Harry Hall. He came to the aid of a friend who had lost control of their bike and fallen over the sea wall in Lowestoft. Despite the immediate dangers, Harry jumped down to his friend and kept their head above the rising sea water until the emergency services arrived. Harry was presented with a Certificate of Merit for his actions. Firefighter recruit ‘Approved to Ride’ course Michael Edmondson-Bloom, firefighter at Newmarket Fire Station was presented with the prestigious Silver Axe Michael Edmondson-Bloom, firefighter at Newmarket Fire Station was presented with the prestigious Silver Axe. This award is presented to the individual judged to have had the best performance of all those who completed the new firefighter recruit ‘Approved to Ride’ course in the last year. Ken Ashby, the service’s on-call firefighter liaison officer, received the Paul Proctor Award for his outstanding professional contribution. Ken started as a firefighter and has completed over 42 years’ service, raising over £250,000 for the Firefighter’s Charity, thanks largely to the car draw which he founded in 1987 at Newmarket fire station. Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service personnel recognized Over 40 awards were given to the Service’s firefighters and staff, including those for good conduct and long service, charity fundraising, teamwork, and actions at 999 emergencies. The evening was hosted by Councillor Richard Rout and Chief Fire Officer, Mark Hardingham. Awards were presented by the High Sheriff for Suffolk, Roz Eminson, Lord-Lieutenant for Suffolk: Clare, Countess of Euston and Chairman of Suffolk County Council, Councillor James Finch. Firefighters awards The emergency services who were first on scene were extremely concerned for his friend’s safety"Councillor Rout, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Environment and Public Protection, said “Events such as this are a humbling experience, reminding us all of the selflessness and professionalism of Suffolk’s firefighters and staff. This commitment extends to the way they engage with their local communities, such as attending events, fundraising and delivering prevention messages.” Mark Hardingham, Chief Fire Officer of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said “The awards not only recognize our Service’s firefighters and fire stations for their commitment, but also our volunteers and non-operational staff. This is a fire service I’m incredibly proud of, it is truly one team with everyone playing an important role. I’m especially delighted to see Harry receive his award for helping his friend in very difficult circumstances. He adds, "The emergency services who were first on scene were extremely concerned for his friend’s safety. The firefighters who attended from our Lowestoft stations were very impressed with Harry’s quick thinking and bravery.”
Consistency, learning from incidents and developing fit-for-purpose professional Standards is the core purpose of the Fire Standards Board which was formed earlier this year. The Board will be responsible for development of a high-quality, useable framework of professional Standards focused on achieving positive outcomes and driving continuous improvement. The Standards will be aligned to the work of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and its national improvement programs. Once developed, the Board will be responsible for the regular review of those standards. The independent Chair of the Board is Suzanne McCarthy. She is a qualified lawyer and experienced non-executive director whose roles currently include working with the Valuation Tribunal Service and the London Mayor’s Office on Policing and Crime. Alison Sansome is the independent Vice Chair. Alison brings non-executive experience from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Office of the Public Guardian, as well as an extensive career spanning the civil service, technology industry and health sector. Professional Standards Developed Through Board Standards development process and the component parts of a Standard have been agreed in principle Other Board members include representatives from the Home Office, NFCC, the Local Government Association, and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners. The Board will be supported by the NFCC’s Central Program Office. The Chairs will both be attending the Emergency Services Show on Thursday 19 September 2019 and will be presenting an introduction to the Board at the Lessons Learnt Theatre at 10.35am. Fire and rescue services in the Devolved Administrations operate against their own standards and inspection frameworks. However, they will be encouraged to engage in the standards development process, with the option of adopting all - or part of the professional standards - developed through the Board. Representative bodies and a range of other stakeholders will be included in the development of standards through various means but formerly through the NFCC Strategic Engagement Forum. The Board has now met three times. Terms of Reference are agreed; a standards development process and the component parts of a Standard have also been agreed in principle. These will be tested via a pilot process which is now underway and will lead to the first Standard being proposed for approval in early 2020. The Board is now conducting a wider scoping and prioritization exercise to map out the complete framework of Standards and to plan a Standards development program. Updates on their work will be available in the News section of the website.
Edesix, the pioneer in provision of Body Worn Cameras (BWC), wins the contract to supply BWCs to Tyne and Wear Fire Services. Edesix will supply 84 video badges to 23 sites across the county, with training and deployment beginning this month. The use of Body Worn Cameras (BWCs) for protecting staff, enhancing training and identifying best practice is fast becoming fundamental within fire services throughout the UK. Edesix already supplies West Midlands Fire Services, and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue, as well as other emergency services departments throughout the UK, including paramedics, hospital security and Police. User Friendly Software System Edinburgh-based Edesix is now generally regarded as the number one BWC provider for emergency services in the UK. Ken Corbett, Head of Resilience, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, comments: "Following a robust procurement process, Tyne and Wear FRS chose the Edesix Body Worn Camera Solution due to the Edesix high quality hardware, and user friendly software system it has developed. Edesix has a proven record in configuring Body Worn Video Cameras, that enable blue light users to get an effective system for use by emergency services. Our VideoBadge range of BWCs are worn by fire and rescue personnel to audit and improve response performance" Richie McBride, Managing Director of Edesix, explains: "Wearable cameras are becoming a key piece of equipment for fire responders across the Emergency Services due to their functionality in highlighting and improving processes, evaluating protocol, improving best practice and also for handling matters of incidents, insurance claims and complaints.” Range Of Security Features "Our VideoBadge range of BWCs are worn by fire and rescue personnel to audit and improve response performance. VideoBadges are equipped with a range of security features to preserve the confidentiality of any sensitive footage, even if the device is lost, stolen or damaged. VideoBadges are unobtrusive, lightweight and can be fixed to uniforms and helmets, using a variety of mounting options." McBride adds: "In particular, Tyne and Wear will use our BWCs to capture joint decisions with other blue light services, leading to better decision making and greater transparency. At the Emergency Services Show 2019 Edesix will have a specific focus on the use of wearable cameras within the Fire Services industry.”
Those responsible for the specification of products which go into new modern buildings have been asking for safe, approved cabling, which play a critical part in electrical supply systems. The number of fires in high-rise buildings in Europe and the Middle East have brought the issue of quality of products for fire performance circuits into sharp focus, not least the Grenfell disaster. Meanwhile, new buildings become increasingly complex, with the use of new materials and the designs of many requiring complex electrical systems to support security and fire safety. New and refurbished buildings such as hospitals, schools, shopping malls or airports, may have complex addressable loop fire alarm systems which provide information on individual detectors. Conventional systems only provide information about specific circuits or zones. Indicating exact location of fire, fault For critical alarm circuits in buildings where large numbers of people move about there can be no greater priority than safetyThe addressable systems feature a fire control panel which receives information and status reports from each device, indicating its exact location and if there may be a fire, a fault, heat or contamination. For critical alarm circuits in buildings where large numbers of people move about – many of whom can be vulnerable – there can be no greater priority than safety. The cabling chosen for these systems is therefore critical. If the power to these alarm systems fails because the cabling does not meet the required performance, then the information available for fire and rescue services is directly affected and with it, the chance of finding people who may be in the building. To meet these design challenges, and with the inquiry into the Grenfell disaster still ongoing, it is the use of the very latest technology and science that is taking enhanced fire performance cabling onto a new level. Safe and compliant cable products Decision-makers in the supply chain want reassurance that the products they are specifying are safe and compliant, meeting all recognized specifications. Calls have been made by the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) for all cable being used in the UK to conform to relevant British, European or international standards amid increasing concerns about the volume of non-approved cables coming onto the market. Installers have welcomed the development of a new generation of fire performance cabling Installers have welcomed the development of a new generation of fire performance cabling which ensures critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes. The standard and enhanced cables in the Total Fire Solutions range are tubed, making them a welcome product for contractors with ease of installation. They are all UV stable and they all come with a hard insulant to resist any fault generation over time. These cables meet all relevant industry standards including ISO 9001 and is approved by the leading industry organizations nationally and worldwide including BASEC and LPCB. Carrying out fire risk assessment For the fire and rescue services, the continuity of power means they can continue to read fire alarm system information which can direct them to the seat of the fire and help to locate people who may be in the building. Responsibility for choosing the right system lies with the ‘responsible person’ under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in business or any other non-domestic premises. This will be the owner, employer, landlord, or may be the facilities manager or building manager. As the responsible person, he or she must carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly and put in place and maintain appropriate fire safety measures. Ultimately, the responsible person faces a fines or jail if they fail to follow these measures and there is a fire. For some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios Any items or products which go into these fire safety systems must be covered by standards set by national, European and international bodies such as British Standards. These will certify that when needed these products will perform their function and operate as expected in real life fire conditions. Ensuring cables meet fire safety standards In support of these standards, cable industry bodies provide testing regimes to ensure that different types of cable are fit for purpose and meet these standards when tested in fire conditions. For installers, or those procuring cables, there is a need to check the cable when it arrives to make sure it is exactly what was specified. Instances of unsafe non-approved cable continue to come to lightFor some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios. These include environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes where older people and children move about. Specifiers looking at new large public sector projects such as hospitals should refer to BS 8519 for the electrical supply, and the most relevant cabling system. Counterfeit Flexible Cords campaign Instances of unsafe non-approved cable continue to come to light. Unsafe flexible cord, intended for use in domestic and industrial applications, has been found on sale in the UK recently, prompting the ACI to issue a fresh alert to the electrical supply chain. The latest find of sub-standard flexible cords is marked ‘Made in Turkey’ and ‘Ermaks’. Samples came to light following the initiative’s recent ‘Counterfeit Flexible Cords’ campaign which alerted the electrical supply chain to dangerous industrial flexible cords. We in the supply chain should all be vigilant to watch out and report these instances of non-compliant cabling wherever we see or suspect they have been installed, while developing only the safest products and systems of our own. We shouldn’t forget that we all have a duty and a responsibility where lives and property are at stake. Importance of MV cables to infrastructure Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliantThe demand for power has never been greater, with the explosion of development in towns and cities across the UK and the growth of industrial development and technology reliant on consistent supplies. Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliant as the pressure mounts on the installation of quality products in modern building developments. MV cables are crucial to our infrastructure. Electricity leaves the generating site and is routed via a step-up transformer to take it up to the National Grid distribution voltages of 400Kv, 275Kv and 132Kv. Once in the local area, the supply goes through step-down transformers that reduce the voltage to 415V with domestic supplies tapped off at 230V. To provide power to the sub-stations – very often located on the premises of the establishment that they supply – Medium Voltage (MV) cables are used. MV cables were only developed as the level of voltages increased and the need arose for a greater classification range. design and specification of the cables The technical design and specification of the cables is of paramount importance within the power distribution networkThe size of the market has developed to the point where the global MV cables market was valued at 39.31billion US dollars in 2016 and projected to grow at a rate of more than six percent until 2022. The technical design and specification of the cables themselves is of paramount importance within the power distribution network. There are a number of technical considerations to be taken into account including the size of the installation, the position of the installation in relation to the network and the presence of primary and secondary sub-stations. Prior to installation, a detailed route survey should also be carried out to plan where cables will be jointed and to identify any possible obstructions which may require special civil engineering works such as directional drilling. Underlying the critical nature of supplies to these types of services, the incidence of non-approved cables for these applications also plagues the industry.
The original fire suppression agent has always been, of course, water. In the age of sail, it was ideal. Not so with the advent of the combustion engine, however. When applied to burning petroleum, the fire spreads. It also simply destroys electronics. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and Halon derivatives were the first widely used commercial fire suppression solutions, gaining popularity in the 1950s and '60s. Unlike water, they were highly effective, electrically non-conductive and didn't leave any residue. As compressed gases, storage wasn't a major issue. Unfortunately, Halon was found to be a high ozone depleting chemical; as a result, production was banned in 1990. Evolution Of Fire Suppression Systems Ideal for marine applications, HFC227 is fast, effective and clean With the sunsetting of Halon and the search for alternatives, CO2 gained prominence. However, it has three significant drawbacks: it's a greenhouse gas, requires a large number of cylinders and is potentially fatal if breathed at design concentrations. In the 1990s, HFCs rose to dominance as a fire suppression solution. Ideal for marine applications, HFC227 is fast, effective and clean. Like Halon and CO2, however, it's a greenhouse gas and contributes to global warming. Discharging an average-sized cylinder of HFC227 has the same CO2 equivalent as driving a car 268,760 kilometers. This is why it is being eliminated as part of a phased-down mandate from the EU, and restricted or taxed by various countries such as Australia and Norway. It is expected that similar legislation will begin to affect Canada and US-flagged vessels. Environmental Profile Of HFCs In 2002, 3M introduced Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid. It offers a number of important advantages over other clean agents in marine fire suppression applications. It has low acute toxicity and high extinguishing efficiency. This gives it a wide margin of safety compared to other chemical clean agents such as HFC227. A fluid, it vaporizes rapidly during discharge, is non-corrosive, non-conductive and leaves no residue. It is, importantly, a long-term, sustainable solution with virtually zero global warming potential, e.g., it has an atmospheric life of about a week versus HFC227's 34 years. So confident is 3M of its product, it offers its BlueSkySM Warranty; if it is ever banned or restricted from use due to its environmental properties, the company will refund the cost of the fluid. Unlike CO2, a gas, Novec 1230 fluid can be flown to the vessel or platform allowing less downtime waiting for supplies to arrive by ground For the marine and offshore oil and gas industries, Novec 1230 fluid offers distinct advantages. Because it's a fluid, recharging is simple. Unlike CO2, a gas, it can be flown to the vessel or platform. This means less downtime waiting for supplies to arrive by ground. It also takes up significantly less space. Recently, Sea-Fire Europe ceased distribution of HFC227. The move was strategic and ethical, given the environmental profile of HFCs. Novec 1230 Fluid For Recreational Marine Market With the phase-down of HFCs, supplies are running out. This means in the immediate future there will be a serious inability to service systems. Also, with shortages beginning, costs are rising, making the switch to Novec 1230 fluid a smart move financially. While 3M will obviously benefit from this, the real winner here is our planet and the people we share it with" Sea-Fire recognizes that it may lose business in the short term as boat and shipbuilders continue to choose HFC-based fire systems strictly based on cost alone. But, ultimately, eliminating the use of hydrofluorocarbons is the right thing to do for the marine industry as a whole. As the first manufacturer to introduce Novec 1230 fluid into the recreational marine market in 2012, Sea-Fire is fully prepared for the phase-out of HFCs. Benefitting The Marine Industry "As a corporation, 3M is committed to improving every life," said David Olds, 3M account executive for fire suppression applications. "Sea-Fire Europe made a difficult decision when announcing it would cease distribution of HFC227. While 3M will obviously benefit from this, the real winner here is our planet and the people we share it with." Sea-Fire Marine has long held the belief that it is in the business of protecting people and property at sea. With its recent declaration that its master European distributor Sea-Fire Europe is ending distribution of HFC-based fire suppression fluids, it can add the environment to its list.
While whole room protection – sprinklers or gas systems – is a common choice, there is an argument for thinking smaller; taking fire detection and suppression down to the equipment, enclosures and even the components where a fire is most likely to start. Traditional Fire Suppression Methods A traditional water-based sprinkler system is the most common form of fire protection found in commercial and industrial buildings. They offer reasonable cost, large area protection for entire facilities, safeguarding the structure and personnel by limiting the spread and impact of a fire. Every square foot of the protected area is covered equally regardless of the contents of the space, whether it’s an empty floor or an object with an increased risk of fire. Sprinklers aren’t always the most appropriate choice. Not all fires are extinguished by water of course, and in some cases, water damage can be just as harmful or even more so than the fire. They are an impractical choice for instance for facilities housing anything electrical, such as data centres and server rooms. There is also the risk of accidental activation, with an estimated cost of up to $1,000 for every minute they are left running. Water damage can be just as harmful or even more so than any fire, so sprinklers may not be appropriate Targeted Supplementary Fire Suppression An alternative method to protect whole server rooms and data centres is gas fire suppression, which either suppresses the fire by displacing oxygen (inert) or by using a form of cooling mechanism (chemical/synthetic). These aren’t without risk; in the case of inert gas, oxygen is reduced to less than 15% to suffocate the fire, but must be kept above 12% to avoid endangering the lives of personnel. Similarly, clean agent gas can be toxic in high doses. There are smaller, focused systems that give the option of highly targeted supplementary fire suppression within fire risk areas. Installing a system directly into the areas most at risk, means that fires can be put out before they take hold and cause serious damage. Both sprinkler and gas systems can contain a fire, but micro-environment or closed space systems are completely automatic, detecting and suppressing the fire so rapidly that activating a sprinkler or gas total flooding system often isn’t necessary. The most popular enclosure fire suppression systems achieve this though the use of a flexible and durable polymer tubing that is routed easily through the tightest spaces. The tubing is extremely sensitive to heat and, because it can be placed so close to potential failure points, detects it and releases the fire suppression agent up to ten times faster than traditional systems. An airline was forced to cancel over 2,000 flights after a “small fire” in one of its data centers Cost-Effective Fire Protection Highly customizable, small enclosure fire suppression is specifically designed to protect business critical spaces and equipment. It is typically used inside machinery like CNC machines, mobile equipment like forklifts and inside server rooms and electrical cabinetry but is suitable for any hazard that’s considered to have an elevated fire risk. Some may question the need or cost-effectiveness of protecting micro-environments. However, examples abound of where fires that have started at component level have gone on to cause damage of the highest magnitude, and the cost of downtime can be crippling to many time-sensitive facilities and processes. An airline was forced to cancel over 2,000 flights in August 2016 when what was described as a “small fire” in one of its data centers ultimately led to a computer outage. The cost of that small fire, and the domino effect that quickly escalated from it, has since been announced as $150m. Admittedly that number is unusually high - the average cost of a data centre outage today is estimated at a more conservative $730,000 – but this is still an expense businesses can ill afford. Preventing Major Losses Staying with the transport industry, newer metros systems have redundant systems in place to prevent interruptions. However, older metro lines, such as the one in New York City, have experienced electrical fires that started small, but grew to such a magnitude that service was affected for months.Older metro lines, such as New York City's, have experience electrical fires that start small but grew exponentially A wind energy customer experienced a fire in a turbine converter cabinet. The loss of the cabinet was valued at over $200,000 and disabled the turbine for six weeks. Following investment in fire suppression systems inside the electrical cabinet, a subsequent fire was detected and suppressed before major damage could be caused. The cost on this occasion was therefore limited to a $25,000 component and downtime was less than two days.Equally - happily - there are also many instances where the installation of small enclosure fire suppression has prevented disaster. In the manufacturing world, CNC machines are valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars and need to be constantly operational to justify the investment. Oil coolant used in the machines can create a flash fire in an instant due to failed components or programming errors. The fact that many of these facilities are run ‘lights out’ with no personnel present further exacerbates the risk. If a fire is not dealt with immediately, the machine will be destroyed; sprinklers don’t react quickly enough for this scenario and would be ineffective. Ensuring Business Continuity One such flash fire occurred inside a protected CNC machine at a machine shop in Iowa. The polymer tubing ruptured within a fraction of a second, releasing the suppression agent and extinguishing the flames. The machine was undamaged and was operational again with a few hours. Contrast this to a previous fire at the same facility in an unprotected machine; it was out of operation for 4 days, costing the business thousands of dollars in downtime In short, fire protection is an essential element of our industrial and commercial environments to ensure both safety and business continuity. However, the nature of that protection is changing, as capacity increases to cost-effectively protect specific areas where fires are most likely to start. Risk mitigation analysis needs to look beyond what has been accepted in the past and find ways to further limit the impact of a small fire using this next level of protection. The benefits can really have a positive effect on the bottom line in the event of fire.
Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations to the U.K. Government after the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 were that the competence of the individuals working in the construction and life cycle of Higher Risk Residential Buildings (HRRBs) needs to improve and be clearer. Work had already started in many fire protection sectors to create fully recognized qualifications, and these help raise the benchmark. Improving fire safety training A force driving improvements in training is the Fire Industry Association (FIA). As a trade association, FIA is looking at ways to help its members and the broader industry sectors. One way to do that is to improve the training that FIA has provided to fire detection and fire alarm technicians for over 20 years. Having looked at various ways of doing this, FIA’s members agreed that creating nationally recognized qualifications would help add more professionalism to this sector. To offer nationally recognized qualifications, the FIA chose to become an awarding body registered with OFQUAL [Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation]. Initially, training is focused on the FD&A [Fire Detection and Alarm] sector, with future plans to offer training in other fire sectors. The process of becoming an awarding body was rigorous and difficult. It took FIA more than three years of applying and submitting policy documents before the organization finally achieved awarding body status in 2014. Fire system installation roles Training is provided in the four job roles as described in the fire system installation standard BS 5389/1: 2017 Training is provided in the four job roles as described in the fire system installation standard BS 5389/1: 2017; they are Design, Installation, Commissioning and Maintenance. These roles are also recognized within company third party certifications schemes (LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203). The designer designs the FD&A system, and the Installer installs it. The Commissioning technician checks and signs off the installation, and the Maintenance technician will complete the routine maintenance during the life of the system. Training modules Training in FIA’s four qualifications, at National Vocational Qualification Level 3, is broken down into modules. The Foundation is the information that each job role needs and is common to all four job roles, as is the Environment module and the Health and Safety module. These are the core modules. The final job-specific module picks up on the differences among the roles; e.g., what does a maintenance technician need to know that is different to an install technician? “Providing a qualification requires a process of asking the sector what it wants,” says Martin Duggan, General Manager, Fire Industry Association (FIA). “We went through a comprehensive route with ‘voice of the customer’ days and surveys plus syllabus reviews to check and double-check that the qualification reflects what the industry wants.” The base is the BS 5389 standard, although more was added such as Health and Safety and Environmental aspects. National Vocational Qualification Level 3 Level 3 is for supervisors or unsupervised workers and in a lot of cases, the individual will work unsupervised once they are qualified and have gained experience. The work done to create the services standard EN 16763: 2017 Services for Fire Safety Systems and Security Systems identified Level 3 as the appropriate level. The trailblazer aimed at apprentices in this sector also reached a conclusion that level 3 was the right one, as did FIA’s own research. Many electricians and security companies install fire alarm systems as their skills are very similar; however, the Fire Safety Order (England and Wales) states that a responsible person should only use competent persons to install and maintain fire protection systems. But how do you prove competence? Training in FIA’s four qualifications, at National Vocational Qualification Level 3, is broken down into modules Fire Safety Order “One of the worst things we see from all types of installers into buildings is leaving big holes in compartment walls,” says Duggan. (A compartment wall is designed to contain the spread of fire for a designated period of time.) “These should all be correctly sealed up.” The work being done by Working Group 2 (Installers) as part of the industry response group to Government on Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations includes: Company third party certification (so that the purchasing of services is done through a recognized company). The individuals the companies employ have a relevant recognized qualification. This is backed up on site with a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card or equivalent. Continuous Professional Development (CPD) or refresher training is introduced A basic knowledge of fire safe building and compartmentation is understood. “It’s this final piece that will help drive cultural change quickly, if we can implement it correctly,” says Duggan. “Can we get all installers to understand why we build compartments and why it’s so important not to damage these and allow smoke, heat and fire to move freely about a building?” LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 The benchmark for the FD&A industry has been third party certification with the two schemes LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 The benchmark for the FD&A industry has been company third party certification with the two schemes LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 being well established for the last 20 years; however, there are many companies that still are not registered, says Duggan. The excuse is based on cost, that customers are not asking for it, and that it’s not mandatory. “The way the current legislation works and is policed, it’s only likely that poor installations etc. will be found after a serious fire when it’s too late,” says Duggan. “Unfortunately, customers do not fully understand their duties to only employ competent people, and the courts will ask: What is the industry best practice and what more could have been done to prove your competence?” Third party schemes “We have company third party schemes for most fire protection disciplines and there are qualifications coming online for most sectors as well,” says Duggan. “These are what the FIA would point to as best practice.”
Each year, the centrally located exhibition grounds of Hamburg Messe and Congress host more than 40 trade shows and other events that draw a total of more than 700,000 visitors from all over the world. The light-flooded halls and outdoor areas have a total space of nearly 100,000 square meters, enough to accommodate a wide variety of activities ranging from key international trade fairs to smaller exhibitions. Energy and Building Solutions A public address and evacuation solution installed by Energy and Building Solutions Behind the scenes, a public address and evacuation solution installed by Energy and Building Solutions, part of Bosch Building Technologies, helps to ensure the safety. If a dangerous situation ever arises, every second will count for clearing large crowds of people from the enormous buildings and grounds. The new evacuation system with fully compliant voice alarm system is designed to meet the most demanding requirements. “This state-of-the-art solution is necessarily very complex, due to the architecture and acoustics of the high-ceiled exhibition halls, among other factors,” explain construction supervisor Nico Zimmermann and systems specialist Joey Pickardt of Bosch. Bosch networked solution To meet the technical requirements for the new system, the existing cable network had to be completely replaced. “Announcements in individual halls and the foyer can now be directly controlled from any of the three linked locations,” adds Zimmermann. To make sure that they can be heard loudly and clearly, Bosch’s technicians installed more than 1,200 speakers and around 70 amplifiers. The system’s sound quality is so good, that Hamburg Messe and Congress also uses it to play background music and provide information to visitors. It is one of the largest solutions of this kind ever installed by Bosch in Germany.
The Secaucus Fire Department, located in Hudson County, New Jersey, placed a 28-foot Lake Assault Boats firefighting and rescue craft into service earlier this summer. The department’s firefighting and emergency response area includes a large portion of the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers (and their 28 bridges) that empty into Newark Bay and the Hudson River. Firefighting and recue craft “We’re located in a somewhat landlocked part of the river system, so our new fireboat has to be versatile and self-sustaining in case of a major incident,” said Fire Chief Carl Leppin, a 22-year veteran of the department and chief since 2014. “With help from Lake Assault Boats, we were able to customize the design to meet our needs. And their response to requests, and overall excellent customer service, are very important to us.” The Secaucus Fire Department is a member of the New York and New Jersey Regional Fireboat Taskforce The Secaucus Fire Department is a member of the New York and New Jersey Regional Fireboat Taskforce, comprised of 12 fire departments, including FDNY and the U.S. Coast Guard. This is the first fireboat taskforce of its kind in the country, and its combined team protects over 50 miles of New Jersey shoreline containing transportation hubs, transfer facilities, manufacturing plants, and other critical infrastructure. Critical emergency response “We’re thrilled to have one of our craft serving with the Secaucus Fire Department on such a critically important waterway,” said Chad DuMars, Lake Assault Boats vice president of operations. “This custom engineered vessel features fast response combined with capabilities to address a wide range of emergency scenarios.” The boat’s landing craft style hull sports a 63-inch hydraulically operated bow door (with an integrated ladder for diver re-entry) and flat tread areas for ATV deployment. The boat also features a clear opening dive door, swimmer’s grab rails, a davit crane, and a floating stokes basket for faster patient retrieval from the water. It is powered by twin 350 hp outboards that enable the boat to reach 50 miles per hour in open water conditions. infrared FLIR video camera The full-width, fully enclosed pilothouse is located mid-ship with deck space both on the fore and shaft. The vessel is equipped with Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRNE) positive pressure defense capabilities. The helm station carries controls for both fire pump and monitor controls, as well as two 12-inch touchscreens with GPS, Sonar with SideVu and DownVu, chart plotting, and a roof-mounted forward looking infrared (FLIR) video camera. The new craft has greatly improved our response capabilities in our protection area" The boat’s draft is just 28 inches when the motor is trimmed up and 32 inches when trimmed down, an important consideration for the department. “The department’s previous boat needed a full five feet of draft to safely maneuver, so our new boat can reach much closer to shore in low tide situations – and that’s a huge benefit. Our team loves the new craft,” Chief Leppin added. warning lights and fire pump For its firefighting operations, the boat is outfitted with a 1500 gpm fire pump powered by a dedicated 350 hp marinized V-8 engine. The craft features deck and bow mounted monitors, a foam system, and a five-inch large diameter hose discharge to support ground based firefighting operations. Other notable features include a full complement of LED floodlights, warning lights, scene lights, and remote-controlled spotlights. “We applied for a Federal FEMA Port Security Grant three years in a row, and this year we were approved,” added Chief Leppin. “We received help from the Mayor Gonnelli, the Town Council, Congressman Pascrel, and the U.S. Coast Guard throughout the grant process, and are grateful for their support. The new craft has greatly improved our response capabilities in our protection area.”
KME Fire Apparatus, globally renowned manufacturer of fire apparatus, announces the delivery of six KME custom pumpers to the City of Atlanta, Georgia. These six pumpers will join the existing fleet of 45 KME pumpers already deployed within the city limits. Severe Service cab These six new pumpers are built on KME’s Severe Service cab and will serve the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department’s 35 fire stations, including five stations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. With a staff of more than 1,000 employees, the City of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department serves an area of 132 square miles within the city limits. Features of the six custom pumpers include: KME 96” Severe Service XMFD cab Cummins ISL 450 HP engine Allison 3000 EVS transmission Hale Q2 1500 GPM pump Elkhart 240-125P foam eductor 500-gallon water tank with 30 gallon foam tank KME – FireLine partnership FireLine’s longstanding relationship with Atlanta is built on trust and loyalty" “KME appreciates the opportunity to serve the City of Atlanta with these pumpers and we value the trust they have placed in our apparatus and our dealer, FireLine,” said Stephen Carleton, Director of Sales for KME. “FireLine’s longstanding relationship with Atlanta is built on trust and loyalty. We are pleased to continue working with the City of Atlanta to provide equipment, parts, and service,” said Bob McDonel, President, FireLine, Inc. Fire safety equipment major FireLine, Inc. is a globally renowned manufacturer of fire safety equipment and apparatus, including firefighting helmets, in-take valves, vehicle mount systems, cutting tools and kit, pumpers, tankers, aerial quint and other fire apparatus. KME is an international source manufacturer of high quality, custom fire apparatus serving communities across the USA. They offer a wide range of apparatus that includes ARFF, aerial, industrial, pumper, rescue, tanker, and wildland products built on custom or commercial chassis.
At insulation manufacturer Glava, they manage high risk and high production volumes. Hence, they are dependent on an efficient fire detection system. Here, they tell us why they chose Autronica. 60 tons of melted glass, and temperatures up to 1300 degrees Celsius: At the Glava manufacturing plant in the Norwegian town of Stjørdal, the production runs non-stop. The temperature is high when shattered glass is molten and spun into insulation, and the consequences of an incident in the smelting plant are enormous. In the afternoon, evening and night, staffing is limited to a minimum. Only four people keep the 3500 square meters of factory under surveillance. Thanks to solid fire detection, they all know they are safe regardless. However, not long ago they experienced a completely different situation altogether. Catastrophic fire at Glava manufacturing plant "In the 90s, the Glava manufacturing plant and headquarters in Askim suffered a major cable fire, where a grand total of 600 kilometers of cable was destroyed by fire. Production was halted for weeks, and 60-70 electricians were hired to fix the problem. If we had had early warning in case of overheating, we could have saved several millions Norwegian Kroner," said Helge Bakken, an electrical engineer working in the Glava manufacturing plant since 1996. He talks about vast amounts of inflammable materials on the premises. "Glava is a large manufacturing plant with lots of machinery, and we are bordering on the limit of what we can keep our eyes on." Efficient fire detection system With Autronica’s solution we have a complete overview form the screens in the control room" Helge added, "When we rebuilt the Stjørdal factory in 2014, we wanted to install a proper fire detection system. We asked for tenders from a wide range of suppliers, and I feared that Autronica would be too expensive. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out they weren’t the most expensive supplier by far. Additionally, the quality and service were far superior to any of the others. And of course, it was a bonus that they are a Norwegian company, and that most of the equipment is manufactured at their headquarters in Trondheim." Fire alarms and emergency lighting "With Autronica’s solution we have a complete overview form the screens in the control room. Graphical sectionalizations show where the alarm is triggered, and we get an early indication of heat generation. With the help of statistics, we quickly see what the normal temperature is. If there is a real emergency, the emergency light system will multiply the chance of evacuating the employees. There are few fault messages, and everyone here takes any alarm seriously," says fire safety manager, Håvard Sesseng.
Sepura partner in Australia, Radlink Communications, secured a contract with Aurizon, Australia's largest rail freight operator to deliver one of the largest radio networks in Australia. Aurizon moves coal, iron ore, agricultural freight and more across Australia daily and needed to improve the communications across their vast rail network. Their new radio network is due to be operational this year and will use TETRA technology, encompassing 79 sites and covering 2,670 kilometers of rail network, linking 50 coal mines and four major ports throughout central Queensland. Aurizon have purchased 1,200 Sepura SC20 hand portable radios and 1,800 SRG3900 mobile terminals to be used across the network. The SRGs will be installed across the train fleet to keep communications along the rail network. TETRA network, remote diagnostics Aurizon’s current analog radio system was more than 20 years old. Keeping this in mind, an overhaul of the radio system was long overdue and needed to ensure reliable and secure communications, in order to meet their operational requirements into the future. The new TETRA radio system will consolidate four analog systems across train control, shunting, maintenance and wayside operations into a singular cohesive TETRA network, providing the highest level of reliability and availability with no single point of failure. The new network will also deliver improved monitoring, remote diagnostics, overlapping radio coverage, GPS tracking and distress signal capabilities. Aurizon selected Sepura’s new SC20 handheld radio due to their robustness and improved radio performance Radlink Communications are a globally renowned systems integrator with vast knowledge and practical experience in the wide range deployment of Sepura mobile terminals. Aurizon selected Sepura’s new SC20 handheld radio due to their robustness, improved radio performance and enhanced coverage with 3W radio frequency and improved receiver sensitivity. The addition of Sepura’s Short Data Application (SDA) capability is also enabling the use of applications developed by Radlink for Aurizon which include; Geofenced auto channel change, weather alerts, heat maps of radios showing identity and location, speed alerts, signal strength tracking, and a mobile phone client providing two-way radio access and functionality on smartphones. SC2 series TETRA radios Aurizon staff have visited Sepura’s offices in Cambridge, UK and were very impressed with the design process and level of testing that Sepura applies to all products, including the latest SC2 series TETRA radios. Radlink Communication’s project director, Scott Manson, says “The system we are implementing for Aurizon is truly ground-breaking in terms of its sheer scale, functionality and capability. The new TETRA network will be fully integrated to operate over the Aurizon Central Queensland MPLS network and will provide greater radio coverage, increased reliability and advanced monitoring for what will be a critical communications network”. TETRA base stations Radlink successfully designed and installed 79 Tetra base stations in 14 months across a remote Central Queensland landscape The project is progressing well with construction currently ahead of schedule and initial tests providing outstanding results. Radlink successfully designed and installed 79 Tetra base stations (including 2 control rooms, disaster recovery trailers & 15 new tower structures) in 14 months across a remote Central Queensland landscape close to the size of Germany. Sepura have now delivered all 3,000 terminals to the project with the next phase of programming and vehicle installation now well underway. Doug Bowden, Business Development Manager for Sepura in Australia said “The success of Sepura terminals in supporting this project further proves Sepura’s reputation as a trusted solution provider for the transportation, mining, oil and gas industries in Australia. Through the experience and expertise of our partners such as Radlink, we continue to provide secure, reliable critical voice and data communication solutions for some of the harshest environments”.
During the Expo Seguridad 2019 (Safety Expo 2019), Motorola Solutions announced that its mission-critical device, LEX L11, has been certified by Altán Redes, the developer of the Red Compartida, to operate on the 4.5G-LTE broadband network that already covers more than 40 million people in 14 cities. LEX L11 mission-critical device The LEX L11 is a rugged and durable mission-critical LTE-device created for public safety users who need efficient, instant and secure communications. It enables officers to communicate clearly and easily thanks to its dedicated push-to-talk button, advanced audio features, such as noise cancellation and feedback suppression. Multiple levels of security protect the mission critical device, data, and communications Multiple levels of security protect the mission critical device, data, and communications. These include: a secure boot, integrity monitoring, malware blocking (malicious software), and policy based controls. The LEX L11 also provides support for secure device management based on industry standards, with over-the-air monitoring and control capability including: remote configuration, remote firmware and software upgrades, application whitelisting and over-the-air wipe and lock capability. WAVE PTX for Public Safety In addition, before the end of 2019, WAVE PTX for Public Safety will be a first for the Mexican market, and will allow interoperability with P25 and all Motorola Solutions' systems, as well as with the external systems that public safety agencies already have. WAVE PTX, which will be offered as a service, is the ideal application for public safety users who use the LEX platform, as both solutions have been designed with specific features, such as easy access and dedicated emergency and push-to-talk buttons, to meet the needs of public safety users, namely, to respond effectively and immediately to emergencies. Altán Redes, the operator of this innovative 4.5G LTE shared broadband network in Mexico, provides Motorola Solutions with the opportunity to deliver comprehensive and innovative security solutions in order to bring about a positive change in public safety, in line with the company’s interest in contributing to building safer cities. Enhanced public safety The LEX L11, and its value proposition with WAVE PTX, will enable public safety officers to experience broadband" “This certification is a major step in our firm commitment to Mexico and our interest in establishing ourselves as a strategic partner of the public safety forces, bringing our latest innovations to the country. The LEX L11, and its value proposition with WAVE PTX, will enable public safety officers to experience the benefits of broadband for instant, reliable and interoperable communication. This is just the beginning, we will continue bringing innovation to make Mexico a more connected, safer and smarter place,” said Janet Fernandez, vice president for North of Latin America at Motorola Solutions. With the WAVE PTX instant communication service for Public Safety and the LEX L11 device, as well as its international standards systems and portfolio of mission-critical, specialized solutions, Motorola Solutions seeks to continue increasing its cooperation, keeping everyone connected with optimized interoperability between agencies, systems and databases, enhancing situational awareness and transforming voice, video and data into real-time intelligence for a more effective response in emergency situations.