Industrial Fire Safety
FireArrest has announced that it has official launched a new passive fire protection software application. This new innovative passive fire protection app, available to download on Android and iPhone devices, is set to take the fire safety industry by storm. FireArrest App Not only is this passive fire protection app intuitive, but it’s modern design and competitive price point make it the perfect solution for anyone looking to ensure that their premises are compliant with all fire safet...
Fire detection and alarm systems are increasingly complex and sophisticated, benefiting from cutting-edge digital technology. As a fire alarm engineer installing, servicing and/or commissioning such technology, it can be hard to keep on top of your electrical skills and the latest regulations / local installation standards, let alone the many different panels’ features. Any given day could see the typical fire engineer conducting a wide range of differing tasks – from diagnosing and...
With many businesses and facilities re-opening sites following the Coronavirus lockdown, fire safety may not seem high on the list to other worries and responsibilities. But here, Mandy Bowden, Fire Business Development Manager at Comelit Group UK, led by fire industry bodies, demonstrates why it must be a priority, ensuring installation of systems is guided by best practice in accordance with the development, and fire safety measures are maintained and regularly tested to ensure compliance. Fi...
Volunteer fire departments are ineligible to obtain funds from the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program because of their dependence on bingo games and raffles for fundraising. With the COVID-19 crisis destroying the ability of volunteer departments to raise funds, access to the EIDL program could provide needed assistance during a time of economic crisis. Under current rules, the assistance is unavailable. Economic Injury Disaster Loans program As the U.S. Small Business Administrati...
Nittan Europe’s Managing Director Yoshiaki Kadokura makes the following statement regarding the company’s functioning during these difficult times: “We are experiencing an unprecedented crisis with the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19, and there remain many uncertainties as to how the situation may develop in the near future." "Our thoughts and hearts go to everyone affected by this outbreak, and we greatly appreciate the healthcare workers and all who are on the front line, wor...
Any loss of fire protection through equipment failure can have financial, technical and reputational consequences. However, the problem is heightened in high-risk and complex sites, where any form of system downtime can severely compromise safety, contravene regulations and lead to major losses of money, time and confidence in the fire system. In these settings, a redundant fire system is the only real option to achieve an acceptable level of protection and business continuity. However, not all...
Developed in Switzerland and manufactured in Germany, they meet quality standards and set the benchmark for the entire industry. Customers from around the world rely on the cutting-edge technology offered by Securiton. The ASD aspirating smoke detectors respond instantly and with unique levels of precision to the presence of smoke in a wide variety of environments, including IT racks, warehouses, manufacturing facilities and cold stores. All the models are equipped with state-of-the-art High Dynamic smoke sensors with high sensitivity. To extend the service life of the smoke sensors, airflow sensors and fans in applications subject to dust or dirt, a DFU 911 dust filter can be installed in the sampling pipe tube network. This significantly results in enhanced resistance to false alarms. SecuriSmoke ASD 535 and ASD 533 aspirating smoke detectors The SecuriSmoke ASD 535 aspirating smoke detector is capable of monitoring areas up to 5,760 square meters in size. His sibling, the ASD 533 is a scaled-down version of the ASD 535 with restricted system limits. The compact and highly sensitive SecuriSmoke ASD 531 and ASD 532 aspirating smoke detectors offer superb, cost-effective fire protection for small and medium-sized environments. Due to the wide range of accessories, the devices can be used in almost every environment. In 2020, Securiton is launching the ASD 535 HD (Heavy Duty) model, which is specifically developed for applications in industrial and harsh environments. Networking and visualization FidesNet makes it possible to connect multiple SecuriSmoke aspirating smoke detectors in a network. It is typically used wherever remote visualization and operation are required. The NetSoft software tool visualizes live data from the aspirating smoke detectors directly on the computer. From one central point, one have a complete overview of the entire ASD network: all aspirating smoke detectors deployed in the system are visualized on a building plan, including their current states. The devices can also be configured directly from the graphical interface.
Firefighters have seen their roles change significantly in recent years, as they respond to the challenges of the modern world. Today, in addition to fire-related emergencies, fire crews attend a wide variety of other incidents including traffic accidents, medical emergencies, flooding, chemical spills, public unrest, and collapsed buildings. As a result, firefighter PPE has been steadily evolving to reflect this change, with manufacturers and designers striving to produce protective garments to suit a variety of environments and operations, and to help minimize health risks. Whether attending an incident at the roadside, at an intense fire or in extremely cold conditions, emergency responders need to maintain a comfortable body temperature and stay dry. Gore Varde fabrics RescueFlex consists of a rescue jacket and trouser based on Bristol Uniforms’ popular XFlex design They also need protection against harmful chemicals, carcinogens and pathogens, and need full range of movement to carry out the job in hand. RescueFlex is Bristol Uniforms’ range of cutting-edge technical rescue PPE, meeting the CEN standard, EN 16689:2017. Specifically developed for use in Technical Rescue and Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) operations, it is also ideal for many everyday situations faced by the modern firefighter, where lighter and more flexible clothing can be more appropriate than full structural PPE. RescueFlex consists of a rescue jacket and trouser based on Bristol Uniforms’ popular XFlex design. It incorporates two layers: a flame-retardant outer layer and a waterproof membrane, in a choice of specialist materials which offer a high level of protection against wind, water and flame. Fabric options include the new Gore Varde fabrics, which are particularly lightweight and breathable. additional physical protection Quilted padding at high risk points such as the knees and elbows provides additional physical protection, and importantly, the coat and trouser can be zipped together to maintain protection when maneuvering and crawling. RescueFlex is also tear and puncture resistant and provides protection against blood-borne pathogens – essential when attending to casualties. Crucially, RescueFlex offers a particularly high level of flexibility for excellent maneuverability in confined spaces and is lightweight to minimize heat stress. It is available in a range of colors including red, navy, orange, Hi-Viz orange and Hi-Viz yellow.
The Extinguishing Section of Euralarm has published a guidance document on the important aspects relating to the periodic inspection of cylinders used in fixed gaseous fire extinguishing systems and especially in respect to hydrostatic testing. The guidance note is intended to identify some critical areas that are often not fully understood and does not prescribe the full processes involved in the testing or the physical handling of the cylinders. Transportable cylinders under the TPED (Transportable Pressure Equipment Directive) and ADR (European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road) are required to go through periodic testing for re-certification. The new Euralarm document addresses the issues related to the importance of procedures for periodic testing and subsequent refilling the cylinders. seamless aluminum alloy The document guides the reader to avoid serious safety issues of hydrostatic testing. The guidance note is meant for the testing of gas cylinders of seamless steel, seamless aluminum alloy and welded carbon steel according to respectively EN 1968:2002, EN 1802:2002 and EN 1803:2002. Aspects that are covered in the guidance note are moisture control, the reuse of cylinder valves and the recertification of cylinders. A useful checklist is part of the document. The checklist covers important steps to ensure that the safety of cylinders is maintained during periodic inspection processes and during the filling afterwards.
Every year, thousands of farmers and commercial grain handlers risk their lives by entering grain bins to remove clumped or rotted grain. As rural communities have come to know all too well, an accident in a grain bin can quickly turn deadly. In just seconds, adults can sink to their waist in flowing grain, rendering them completely trapped without the proper rescue devices. These accidents result in dozens of lost lives each year, and deaths have spiked in 2019 and early 2020 due to the wet harvest. To lead the fight against these all-too-common accidents, the country's renowned insurer of farms and ranches, Nationwide, in partnership with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), is awarding 41 fire departments across the country with life-saving grain rescue tubes and hands-on training to prepare them to respond when grain accidents occur. rural fire departments Nationwide and its partners are proud to award grain rescue tubes and training to the following 41 fire departments In 2014, Nationwide initiated its Grain Bin Safety advocacy campaign to educate those entering grain bins about the hazards involved and the importance of implementing safe entry procedures. A central piece of the campaign, the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest, aims to address the lack of specialized resources available to rural fire departments who are responding to bin entrapments. With 2020's donations included, Nationwide has awarded grain rescue tubes and training to 152 fire departments in 30 states. After receiving 1,006 nominations in this year's contest, Nationwide and its partners are proud to award grain rescue tubes and training to the following 41 fire departments: Adams Rural Fire, Adams, NE Addieville Community Fire Protection District, Addieville, IL Avoca Fire Department, Avoca, PA Berlin Township Fire Department, Berlin Heights, OH Bleckley County Fire, Cochran, GA Brainard Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department, Brainard, NE Burlingame/Osage County Fire District No. 6, Burlingame, KS Camden Township Fire Department, Kipton, OH Campbellsport Volunteer Fire Department, Campbellsport, WI Carlisle Fire Company, Milford, DE Carter Fire District, Dale, IN Chilton Fire Department, Chilton, WI Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department, Crothersville, IN DeRuyter Fire, DeRuyter, NY Drayton Fire Department, Drayton, ND Earling Fire and Rescue Department, Earling, IA Ellis County Fire Department, Hays, KS Gilt Edge Volunteer Fire Department, Burlison, TN Goodwill Fire Company, Centreville, MD Johnston-Grimes Metropolitan Fire, Grimes, IA Hartwick Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., Hartwick, IA Hazelton Township Fire Department, New Lothrop, MI Hospers Fire, Hospers, IA Hoyleton Fire Protection District, Hoyleton, IL Iron Ridge Fire, Iron Ridge, WI Jordan Fire Department, Jordan, MN Laura Fire Department, Laura, OH Lu Verne Fire Department, Lu Verne, IA Miesville Fire Department, Hastings, MN Nerstrand Fire Rescue, Nerstrand, MN Nevada Fire, Nevada, MO New Haven Volunteer Fire Department, New Haven, VT New Salem Volunteer Fire Department, Marshville, NC The Odessa Fire Company, Odessa, DE Peach Orchard Volunteer Fire Department, Peach Orchard, AR Poole Community Fire Department, Sebree, KY Rockingham County Fire and Rescue, Harrisonburg, VA Shelburn Fire Department, Sullivan, IN St. Olaf Fire Department, St. Olaf, IA Tri Cities Fire Protection District, Jasper, MO Womelsdorf Volunteer Fire Company, Womelsdorf, PA training to action NECAS will deliver the tubes and training to the winning fire departments throughout 2020 "We began our Grain Bin Safety campaign in 2014 to support the agriculture community and put an end to avoidable deaths from individuals entering grain bins without recognizing the dangers and taking precautions," said Brad Liggett, President of Nationwide Agribusiness. "Thanks to the generous and increasing support of our partners, I'm extremely proud to say that we're providing more rescue tubes and training to first responders this year than we have ever before." NECAS, based out of Peosta, IA, will deliver the tubes and training to the winning fire departments throughout 2020. Since 2014, four fire departments have put their rescue tubes and training to action by rescuing workers trapped in grain bins. According to United Press International reports, grain bin deaths spiked last year and in early 2020 due to last season's wet harvest. critical rescue resources In February 2020, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue brought a national spotlight to Nationwide's efforts by proclaiming Feb. 16-22 as National Grain Bin Safety Week. "It's as important as ever to be following proper safety precautions when entering a bin," said Liggett. "Our goal is to continue these efforts until we can ensure every rural fire department has access to these critical rescue resources." The program is supported by Nationwide and the following generous partners: CHS, Corteva AgriScience, KC Supply, Lutz Agency, Inc., NECAS, ProValue Insurance, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, AGI SureTrack, Delaware Farm Bureau, GROWMARK, Kathy Barry Agency, Maryland Farm Bureau, New York Farm Bureau, Ohio Farm Bureau, Specialty Risk Insurance, Springer Insurance and Financial Services, ABIS Agri-Business Insurance Services, Carter Fire District, First Gabrielson Agency, Frazer Insurance Agency, Gallagher, German American Insurance, Graves-Fearon Agency, Miami County Ohio Farm Bureau, Scoular, West Side Salvage, GIT Insurance, Grimes Financial & Insurance Group, Stuber Insurance Agency, Sump Saver, Nohr Wortmann Engineering.
Thirty-three Fire and Rescue Services (FRS), comprising over 33,500 firefighters, are now benefiting from the Local Authority Collaborative PPE Framework. Launched three years ago in June 2017, the Framework gives UK FRSs access to high quality PPE ensembles and volume discounts through a streamlined procurement process. The Framework was set up in response to calls from government and the industry for FRSs to work together to share best practice and deliver efficiencies. It is run by Kent FRS, with PPE supplied by Bristol Uniforms, who was selected as the preferred supplier following a rigorous two-year tender process. Signing up via a purchase only or fully managed service contract, FRSs continue to reap the benefits of the Framework, which guarantees quality PPE that has been independently evaluated and tested, and can save considerable time and costs. utilize latest technology So far this year through the Framework, Bristol has delivered new PPE to seven FRSs, including Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service who opted for a Fully Managed Services Contract. Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, they were measured and received their kit on 1 June. The safety of our firefighters is of the utmost importance to us here in Oxfordshire" Chief Fire Officer Rob MacDougall said: “Bristol Uniforms uses the latest technology in firefighter clothing, and they design PPE to provide fire crews with the very best protection. The safety of our firefighters is of the utmost importance to us here in Oxfordshire. The kit is lighter in weight, breathable and offers more support for the wearer and we are proud to know we are now one of many fire and rescue services in the country to utilize this latest technology in protective clothing for our staff. Thank you to Bristol Uniforms for providing us with a first-class service.” fire and rescue service Chris Colgan, Director of Operations at Kent Fire and Rescue Service, and Chair of the NFCC PPE/Clothing Committee, said: “The National Collaborative PPE Framework is the first of its kind for the fire and rescue service, enabling borderless provision of standardized critical kit." "So far, working with the team at Bristol Uniforms, we have made significant progress in demonstrating that the sector can work as one customer. However, more can be done. The pandemic has shown us that it is not an impossible target to expect all FRS to sign up to national arrangements delivered through the National Fire Commercial Transformation Programme and we are committed to continuing to build on the success of this arrangement." benefits of joint working The selected styles combine innovative and ergonomic designs with the use of high-performance fabrics and fibers "Bristol Uniforms has done a sterling job ensuring service continuity for all FRS throughout the disruptions caused by COVID-19, working closely with the contract management team at Kent FRS on behalf of the Sector. This has been one of the greatest tests of strategic relationship and service management and I am incredibly pleased that the result has been a real proof of concept.” Roger Startin, Joint Managing Director at Bristol Uniforms said: “The demand for our cutting-edge PPE through the Collaborative Framework has been unprecedented as FRSs learn about the benefits of joint working. The Framework has significantly improved and simplified the procurement process and despite very challenging circumstances, we continue to size firefighters for their new kit, manufacture and deliver it on time and to budget.” high-performance fabrics PPE supplied by Bristol Uniforms within the Framework includes Full Structural Ensemble, a Layered Jacket, Rescue Jacket and USAR Ensemble. The selected styles combine innovative and ergonomic designs with the use of high-performance fabrics and fibers, offering maximum comfort, manoeuvrability and protection.
Johnson Controls announces the launch of two new TYCO® pressure control valves for fire protection systems: the TYCO® Model RV-1A Pressure Relief Valve and the TYCO® Model PRV-1A Pressure Reducing Valve. The new valves offer simple, low-maintenance solutions for controlling and maintaining optimal water pressure within commercial fire protection systems. Maintains a relatively constant system pressure The TYCO® RV-1A Pressure Relief Valve automatically relieves excess pressure in fire protection systems to maintain a relatively constant system pressure as flow demands change. Its simple design eliminates the need for users to bleed trapped air from the diaphragm chamber. The valve offers users a nominal relief “set pressure” range of 30 to 250 psi (2.1 to 17.2 bar). "With a simple trim configuration and just one moving part, just like the DV-5A, these new valves provide optimal pressure control with minimal maintenance and dependable, consistent operation over time." – Gijsbert van Rooijen, global product manager, Johnson Controls The TYCO® PRV-1A Pressure Reducing Valve reduces a higher inlet pressure to a lower outlet delivery pressure in water-filled pipes. It automatically maintains the outlet "set pressure" (static and residual) within a close range, regardless of fluctuations in the higher-pressure inlet line or varying flow rates. Valves are factory assembled and fully trimmed “We developed both valves using the same diaphragm design as the TYCO® DV-5A deluge valve”, said Gijsbert van Rooijen, global product manager, Johnson Controls. “With a simple trim configuration and just one moving part, just like the DV-5A, these new valves provide optimal pressure control with minimal maintenance and dependable, consistent operation over time.” The RV-1A and PRV-1A valves are UL and ULc Listed and FM Approved. Both valves are factory assembled and fully trimmed. They are available in sizes ranging from two inches to eight inches, with flange-by-flange and grooved-by-grooved end connection options.
New government legislation due to come into force in the United Kingdom on July 1st will require electrical installations in privately rented properties to be tested and inspected at least once every 5 years. The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations (2020) will require landlords to enlist qualified electricians to complete inspections and provide certification to tenants – or face fines of up to £30,000. While the risk of fire can never be entirely eliminated, the new legislation will introduce higher levels of safety and ensure that one of the primary causes of fire – electrical malfunctions – is regularly tested for. There are a number of procedures and regulations in place for when a fire has already started, but this new law will help to reduce the chances of it getting to that point. After all, prevention is the best form of protection. No safety procedure or response plan will ever fully prepare someone for the reality of a fire. However, a comprehensive prevention strategy and use of the latest technologies to quickly detect and respond to a fire can at least reduce the potential risk to both life and property. Defensive detection A fire can spring from many sources. Current standards do a good job of ensuring properties are well equipped to defend against fires created by overcurrent caused by overloads and short circuits. A comprehensive prevention strategy and use of the latest technologies to quickly detect and respond to a fire can at least reduce potential risk However, electrical fires can also result from mistakes made during the installation process, namely loose cabling or aging circuits that will not be detected by overcurrent protection. Indeed, a defective or worn insulation is the cause of 14% of all electrical fires in buildings. The danger of landlords only performing the bare minimum to protect their buildings is that, should a fire start from a source they haven’t accounted for, the loss and disruption to property could be devastating. For maximum protection, individuals need reliable, innovative products that excel beyond the minimum standards to prevent a fire from starting in the first place. The pending legislation will add to this safety from the start. It will require landlords to use qualified electricians when installing, repairing and maintaining systems, benefitting both landlords and tenants by mitigating electrical issues and instilling greater confidence. Protection against insulation faults The risk of cable insulation faults grows over time and the consequences can be severe. Low-intensity arc faults are more likely to occur in humid, dusty environments, causing injury and deadly fires if precautions aren’t taken. Protection against insulation faults within cables can be assured by residual current devices (RCD), which are triggered by earth leakage currents exceeding 300mA. For maximum protection, individuals need reliable, innovative products that excel beyond the minimum standards to prevent a fire from starting Additionally, final circuits in critical locations (as recommended in IEC 60364), should be protected by an arc fault detection device (AFDD). This is a circuit breaker that automatically cuts off the electricity supply when it detects an arc fault in the circuit. By immediately stopping the supply, AFDDs stop arc faults from reaching temperatures where fires can break out. As well as ensuring that private tenants feel more safe and secure, the new legislation represents an opportunity for electricians to secure more work and develop their skills. Going forward, as the demand for electricians in the private rented sector rises, we expect to see greater opportunity for electrical engineers to win long running contracts with landlords and property managers. Fire may be a risk, but it is not unavoidable. This new legislation promises greater peace of mind for private tenants by ensuring that electrical standards are met and hazards reduced. With expert knowledge and the correct approach to electrical fire prevention, a fire can be extinguished before any damage is done.
There have been challenges with completing fire safety maintenance and installation projects during the current Covid-19 crisis, most notably as a result of the difficulties for installers in safely accessing sites. Many construction projects halted for lockdown and this resulted in approximately 50% of the British installers we work with having to furlough staff. The challenges, however, are not just restricted to the UK. With Kentec panels sold in more than 90 countries across the world, we have seen varying challenges on a global scale. Throughout this crisis, fire safety continues to be paramount and as such key players, such as Kentec, are rightly considered essential businesses. We have continued manufacturing life safety systems throughout the current difficulties and it has been our mission to ensure that where new installations can take place, our panels are readily available to installers, as well as the expertise and technical support that goes with it for ongoing maintenance. Orders for spare parts have also, in fact, been consistently high during this period, as installers have been able to complete minor upgrades safely and end users have taken advantage of the period to do so. Adapting manufacturing processes to align with government guidelines so that customers have not experienced any supply issues with any life safety systems or parts has been a major success. Critical Infrastructure We’ve personally seen an increase in sales for our industry-leading Sigma XT extinguishant panels during this crisis as it is widely used within critical infrastructure, in sectors such as telecommunications, data centres and healthcare. Adapting manufacturing processes to align with government guidelines has been a major success During lockdown, with a vast proportion of the population working from home and relying on the internet to conduct their business and virtual meetings, it has been more important than ever that there is no loss in service in broadband and telephone services. This means that highly reliable and robust fire extinguishing systems are essential to protect essential workers and vital equipment – not only from the risk of fire, but also from the catastrophic damage that false alarms and the release of extinguishant could have, for example, on server room equipment. Understandably, this has resulted in considerable investment in fire systems in these sectors. Glasgow’s Louisa Jordan NHS Facility The recent fire safety installation at the Louisa Jordan NHS Facility Glasgow – located at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) which provides more than 500 COVID-19 beds – is just one example of essential fire safety work being completed during lockdown. Vipond Fire Protection Ltd installed a total of seven Sigma XT gas suppression panels, and 32 detectors located within the electrical room that serves the 10,000m2 facility. The project was completed in what was an extremely tight seven-day turnaround, delivering proven reliability within a crucial healthcare facility. Kentec's Experience Operating Through Covid-19 We have learned that operating through this crisis and supporting installations that are going ahead is best achieved through detailed planning, communication and collaboration. For example, we’re supporting our distributors by shipping directly to their customers, when it is not safe or feasible to open their warehouses. Operating through this crisis is best achieved through detailed planning, communication and collaboration Our own workforce is also adapting to changing work patterns and demands. In the factory, at a practical level, this has meant implementing new shifts schedules starting from six o’clock in the morning to ten o’clock at night to ensure there are never too many people on site at one time. We have staggered arrival, leaving and break times to mitigate any risks involved at entrances, and we were lucky that space allowed us to make the canteen area bigger and increase the number of toilets from three to ten. We have moved work benches to ensure a safe distance between each employee, and where workflows make two-metre distancing impossible we have installed six- and eight-foot screens. Face masks have been provided to all staff and we are also trialling face shields for further comfort and protection. Our office staff have worked from home, and where going to the office has been necessary, they have similarly adhered to staggered arrival times. Internal communication has been essential and I’m immensely proud and extremely thankful for the positivity, proactivity and support that employees have shown through this process. We have also adapted our Kentec Installation Partner (KIP) scheme to be fully remote to ensure training and support is there when it is needed for our installers. We are hosting webinars as another forum to solve installer queries remotely, and our new range of Taktis panels have highly advanced networking capabilities and a vast suite of communication tools that support remote monitoring. It is therefore critical that our installers fully understand how to help end users realise the benefits such panels can deliver and to ensure their installations are completed successfully. Looking Ahead To The New Normal Remote monitoring will become increasingly important beyond this crisis We feel that remote monitoring will become increasingly important beyond this crisis and the advanced communication capabilities of panels will be essential for both installers and end users alike. For installers it reduces the amount of time required on site, because they can access the system remotely to find out what equipment or parts they need to take with them. Similarly, for end users they can access systems remotely to check any alerts or queries off site if necessary. It remains to be seen how the rest of 2020 will pan out, but where projects have been necessarily put on hold, because of the essential nature of our industry we are confident that installers will be able to quickly and easily return to these projects when it is safe and feasible to do so. Communication, collaboration and support will continue to be essential in mitigating the challenges in our future ‘new normal.’
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 COVID-19 pandemic presents new economic challenges to county and municipal governments. Fire departments are likely to be impacted as local governments respond to the economic downturn with spending freezes, hiring freezes and spending cuts. Some local governments are hoping for help from the state and/or federal level. Although some governments have “rainy day funds” to address economic downturns, not all of them do. Furthermore, the extent of the current economic crisis may exceed our worst fears. Proposed budget cuts for some fire and EMS departments are in the 10% to 25% range. As the new fiscal year begins in July, many local governments will need to approve a spending plan for next year by June 30. public safety agencies Although public safety agencies have historically been protected by local governments during economic downturns, the severity of the current downturn may change the approach. Lower sales tax collection is expected to be a major impact, although actual information on revenue levels can lag for three months because state governments collect the taxes and then return a share to cities and counties. The Southern California city is like many others around the United States that rely on sales tax and hotel taxes For many, the numbers for April will be available in July. For example, Hemet, California, estimates it has lost 34% of its sales tax revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic because consumer spending is down, and many businesses are closed to the public. Loss of hotel taxes is another hardship. The Southern California city is like many others around the United States that rely on sales tax and hotel taxes. replacing ageing fire engines The League of California Cities says COVID-19 will rob the state’s 482 cities and towns of about $6.7 billion in revenue over the next two fiscal years. Michael Pagano, Director of the Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says that municipalities that depend on sales tax revenue are being hit hard and quickly. In contrast, those that rely on property taxes will not feel an immediate impact, he says. The fire service in Hemet is being affected. Last year, the city paid $1 million in overtime. Belt-tightening will eliminate such expenditures this year. The city will also likely delay filling some open positions and will replace only one aging fire engine rather than two. They will be buying less safety and radio gear. Victoria, Texas, is another city among the many feeling the impact of lost sales tax revenue. fire fighter unions “It’s not an option for people to not get their trash picked up,” Victoria City Manager Jesus Garza told the Victoria Advocate. “It’s not an option for our police and firefighters to not work." With no definite end in sight, there are no easy solutions. Some scenarios, such as a salary freeze, would impact members of fire fighter unions. The president of the Baltimore’s International Association of Fire Fighters Local 734 says such discussions are premature. We know that the city has to balance their budget by July and that everyone is being hit hard by this global pandemic" “We know that the city has to balance their budget by July and that everyone is being hit hard by this global pandemic,” Richard Altieri II, president of the local fire fighters union, told the Baltimore Sun. “But to suggest this sacrifice of our members, who are on the front lines every day, is unacceptable and disheartening.” Baltimore has considered about $11 million in total reductions that may affect first responders. Coronavirus Relief Package California Gov. Gavin Newsom has warned that layoffs for police and firefighters could happen unless Washington provides financial help to state governments. The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that included $875 billion in state and federal aid. However, the Democratic-authored bill is going nowhere in the U.S. Senate. “[There will be] fewer firefighters and police officers to answer emergency calls, reduced garbage pickup frequency, and limited staff for required inspections, processing business license, and permitting,” Nicolas Romo, a League of California Cities representative, told the Sacramento Bee.
Protests and riots spread throughout the United States in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman. Firefighters are on the front lines as rioters set fires and even attack firefighters seeking to do their jobs. In Richmond, Virginia, rioters blocked a fire truck from responding to a burning home. Protesters had intentionally set the fire at the home, and there was a child inside. In Philadelphia during a 24-hour period, the fire department responded to dozens of fires, including a two-alarm fire in North Philly after a weekend of looting. crowd control In Sacramento, California, crews battled a fire that spread through the back of a business; while fighting the 5-alarm fire, 200 personnel worked to keep the flames away from small propane tanks and dozens of cars. When Grand Rapids, Michigan, firefighters arrived to put out a dumpster fire, someone threw a large firecracker or other explosive toward a firefighter as he jumped out of a truck. The explosive knocked him to the ground, and he clutched at his ears. In Minneapolis, firefighters raced from one blaze to the next, often with police along for crowd control. One night during the protests, the Minneapolis Fire Department responded to 30 fire events including at least 16 structure fires. Department vehicles were damaged from thrown rocks and other projectiles. The level of the unrest prompted the International Association of Fire Fighters to issue a statement. interrupted by violence Throwing rocks, fireworks and directing violence toward fire fighters, paramedics and EMTs is never acceptable" “Peaceful protests by our neighbors exercising their First Amendment rights across America are being interrupted by violence and unrest,” said Harold A. Schaitberger, IAFF General President. “In the middle of the challenges and turmoil, I am proud of our IAFF fire fighters, paramedics and EMTs who are once again proving their dedication to keeping their communities safe when they are needed most.” “Throwing rocks, fireworks and directing violence toward firefighters, paramedics and EMTs is never acceptable,” he added. “As always, the safety of our members Is our top priority. So, it was with disappointment and outrage that I witness our members – who are integral to keeping everyone, including protesters, safe – attacked over the weekend.” keeping People safe Schaitberger citied incidents in Atlanta, Austin, Cleveland, Minneapolis and St. Paul in which members were subjected to having bricks and large fireworks hurled their way, simply for doing their jobs. “This is inexcusable,” said Schaitberger. “Firefighters will continue to respond when needed; it is their job and their calling,” said Schaitberger, who offered a plea on behalf of the 320,000 IAFF members: “Please allow your fire fighters on the frontlines to do that job, keeping everyone safe, without violence or incident.” He added: “To our members, stay safe and know that this IAFF has your back.”
Why do gas engineers need to become Gas Safe Registered? Why do heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers need to have an advanced driving license? We all know the answers to these questions: To determine competency and reduce risk. Because they are mandatory, it is simply expected. Premises managers expect the same competency from their fire safety providers; however, there are no mandatory measures in place to ensure a particular level of competency is met. But there should be, says Stephen Adams, Chief Executive of BAFE, an independent registration body for third party certified protection companies across the United Kingdom. Advocating certification of fire safety competency Third party certification (or any system to monitor competency) is not mandatory in the fire safety industry at present, which presents unnecessary risk, says Adams. Third Party Certification (or any system to monitor competency) is not mandatory in the fire safety industry at present, which presents unnecessary risk There is a benefit to the customer of using a provider that is independently and regularly assessed by a UKAS Accredited Certification Body to ensure they are competent to deliver the specific required service. Sourcing a provider who holds the appropriate third-party certification will also provide strong evidence of acting with due diligence in following fire safety legislation. “Certainly for high-risk premises, not just those above a certain height but those where the occupants or function demands strong fire protection, there needs to be mandated third party certification of the competence of all those involved,” says Adams. “This is not just at the initial construction stage, but throughout the building life cycle as use, occupancy and technology change. The end user and those responsible for building safety have the key responsibility, together with input from the Fire and Rescue Services, providers and public authorities to ensure ongoing compliance and recording of actions.” Determining competency for fire safety services BAFE was first established in 1984 within FETA (Fire Extinguishing Trades Association) and the British Fire Protection Systems Association (BFPSA). Since 2009, however, BAFE has been independent and has evolved into developing and monitoring schemes to determine competency for multiple fire safety services. BAFE develops schemes based on defined quality standards and industry best practice for fire safety service providers to achieve and become Third Party Certificated. These assessments are performed by UKAS Accredited Certification Bodies (licensed by BAFE). Only when a company holds appropriate and valid Third Party Certification are they permitted to become BAFE Registered and appear on the national register available free to view at on their website. BAFE’s competency schemes BAFE offer competency schemes for the following areas: Fire extinguisher servicing/maintenance (BAFE SP101) Fire risk assessment (BAFE SP205) Kitchen fire protection systems (BAFE SP206) Dry and wet riser/falling installations servicing/maintenance (BAFE SP105) The SP203 suite of schemes is modular and offers competency criteria for the design, installation, commissioning and/or maintenance of: Fire detection and alarms systems (BAFE SP203-1) Fixed gaseous fire extinguishing systems (BAFE SP203-3) Emergency lighting systems (BAFE SP203-4) BAFE has dedicated monitoring groups for each scheme that meet regularly to ensure they continue to represent the highest levels of competency within the industry. Supporting UK fire safety BAFE has been active in efforts to influence and support fire safety for the UK. This includes work with the appropriate Competence Steering Group (CSG) working groups established since the publication of the Hackitt review (“Building a Safer Future”). Chris Auger, Head of Schemes – BAFE, is currently Secretary to WG2 (Installers) and WG4 is continuing to develop competence standards for Fire Risk Assessors to meet the requirements of high-risk residential buildings (HRRBs). BAFE also has close working relationships with organisations including UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service), FSF (Fire Sector Federation), FIA (Fire Industry Association), FPA (Fire Protection Association), IFEDA (Independent Fire Engineering and Distributors Association), Construction Industry Council (CIC) and multiple Certification Bodies. Raising the bar BAFE exists to help raise the bar of competency within the fire safety industry across the United Kingdom, says Adams. Their ethos is in a strong belief in Third Party Certification. BAFE exists to help raise the bar of competency within the fire safety industry across the United Kingdom “Whilst we strongly believe the BAFE schemes offer a quality, independent method of determining competency for a specific service though a range of Certification Bodies, we purely want Third Party Certification to be the baseline absolute requirement for any fire safety work (where it is available),” says Adams. BAFE stands with FPA Managing Director Jonathan O'Neill’s request to Government to mandate Third Party Certification. The more providers that hold Third Party Certification, and the more end users that request it, the stronger the argument to Government to mandate this requirement for a better regulated industry. Addressing the misconceptions A misconception about fire safety Third Party Certification from end users (e.g. premises management) is that it covers all fire safety services offered. BAFE this year have launched a new campaign, “Don’t Just Specify, Verify!,” to highlight this issue. “Before awarding any contract, we are trying to educate people to verify their chosen contractor’s Third Party Certification to ensure it is appropriate for the work they require,” says Adams. Whilst most customers understand that they should have fire protection systems, they do not adequately understand the need for a full and competent Fire Risk Assessment. There are still “assessors” who will offer one for ridiculously low prices, often without even entering the building. The need for fire risk assessments The Fire Risk Assessment is a mandatory requirement and forms the basis for all other activity – and must be kept up to date. By not using a competent provider, the responsible person is leaving themselves open to prosecution and serious loss of life and property. The horrific Grenfell fire that unfolded on 14th June 2017 raised interest and awareness of fire safety measures, their relationship to the whole construction and what should be in place to keep any premises safe. The horrific Grenfell fire that unfolded on 14th June 2017 raised interest and awareness of fire safety measures Adams says BAFE saw an increase in companies gaining Third Party Certification, especially to the Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment (SP205) scheme. “This is a skill that needs greater emphasis and some mandatory measures introduced to ensure competent persons are completing this vital action,” says Adams. “We welcome any stronger measures following the Hackitt Review to introduce robust methods of logging activity across the whole building life cycle (the ‘Golden Thread’ of information) in the interest of acting will due diligence creating safer buildings from fire.” The Fire Risk Assessment is a mandatory requirement and forms the basis for all other activity – and must be kept up to date “A year from now, we anticipate that the Hackitt requirements will be built into legislation and the Building Regulations across all parts of the UK,” says Adams. “By 2023 BAFE and the industry would like to see mandatory measures in place to monitor and determine competency of providers offering specific services. Most notable are services such as fire risk assessment, both commercial and domestic fire detection and alarm systems plus multiple other areas including many passive fire protection design and installation services. Certificated services should extend across all aspects of fire safety, passive and active, and include greater monitoring of individual as well as company competence.” Trade associations such as FIA and IFEDA demand third party certification as a core membership requirement, and other important professional bodies such as the FPA are calling out to Government to mandate third party certification, says Adams. “It would shake up the industry dramatically, leaving only the evidentially competent able to provide these works,” he says.
A bespoke fire and security solution specified and installed by Evolution, a renowned integrated fire and security systems business, is helping to protect new tenants and staff at One Embassy Gardens, a new riverside development project on the South Bank of London. Looking across the River Thames to Chelsea and Kensington, the gardens combine green spaces, shops, restaurants and office space for residents and guests. The area is also the new home for both the Dutch and US embassies. One Embassy Gardens was constructed and is owned by international property development company, Ballymore. Ballymore appointed Briggs & Forrester, one of the UK’s leading building services and engineering companies, to tender for the fire and security system, and Ballymore in turn appointed Evolution to manage the bespoke system’s design and installation. complete fire detection Evolution’s solution comprises a complete fire detection and alarm system including networked fire panels (that allow the system to be expanded as required), and air aspirating systems are utilized to detect the first signs of a potential fire for early intervention. The ‘Open Protocol’ system also includes bespoke voice sounders that have been developed for both the ‘evacuation’ process, which utilizes a phased evacuation process, and the ‘invacuation’ process, which involves moving occupants to a safe location within the building. installation and commissioning We have delivered a compliant fire and security solution tailored to meet the specific needs of the client" The security system is similarly bespoke comprising access control, CCTV and an innovative International Communications (InterComms) system, which includes live communications during an ‘invacuation’, allowing direct interactions between security staff and the occupants of the building. Nigel Hyson, Fire Sales Manager at Evolution, says One Embassy Gardens is a prime example of Evolution’s capabilities to deliver integrated systems, no matter what the size or complexities involved: “One Embassy Gardens is in a prestigious location and we had to be mindful of a wide range of potential risks associated with the surrounding buildings. From the initial design phase, right through to the installation and commissioning of the new systems, we are very proud to have been involved in this project." compliant fire and security solution "We have delivered a complete and fully compliant fire and security solution tailored to meet the specific needs of the client and this complex development.” The 12-storey, 215,000 sq. ft building is currently being sublet by two global publishing houses, with two floors still empty and available, and is being managed by CBRE.
First built in 1942, Royal Air Force Bentwaters served the RAF during the Second World War and the United States Airforce throughout the Cold War, up until 1993. Following its recent renovation, the Suffolk RAF base is now known as Bentwater Parks, a business park and filming location for high profile television programs and films, including Fast and Furious 6 and Top Gear. Installing safety doors at aircraft Shelter As an exclusive supplier of Hörmann UK’s range of high quality industrial and domestic offering for more than 30 years, Cooks Blinds & Shutters specified a selection of its bespoke Decotherm DD Rolling Shutter Doors and SPU F42 Steel Double Sectional Doors for installation throughout various areas of the hardened aircraft shelter. The Rolling Shutter Doors provide superior thermal insulation due to a double-skinned curtain and foam core construction The seven Decotherm DD Rolling Shutter Doors installed are constructed from an ultra-durable galvanized steel, supplied with power operation and manual back up control to offer high standards of operational efficiency and durability. Spanning 5,000 sq. ft., the aircraft shelter also houses an impressive exhaust tunnel, which features a bespoke Hörmann UK Decotherm DD Rolling Shutter Door that spans over an impressive 20 feet high. Doors provide thermal insulation The Rolling Shutter Doors also provide superior thermal insulation due to a double-skinned curtain and foam core construction, while its unique hinges protect against wet conditions and excess dust that may arise due to fabricated weather conditions during filming. As the facility is frequently used for high impact stunt scenes, Cooks Blinds & Shutters relied on the unparalleled safety features of Hörmann UK’s Decotherm DD Rolling Shutter Doors, including its torque control in accordance with BS EN 12604. Martin Blythe, regional manager at Cooks Blinds & Shutters, commented: “This was a really exciting project for our team. We have been a supplier of Hörmann UK’s industrial offering for more than 30 years, so had complete confidence they could provide our customer with high standards in bespoke products and service.” The high performance doors provide a U-value as low as 1.0 W/m2K, for superior thermal performance “When working on unique developments such as Bentwater Parks film studio, it requires an individual approach that considers a wide range of elements and considerations to ensure each individual requirement is successfully met. We worked closely with Hörmann UK throughout each stage of the project to ensure this was achieved.” Industrial door safety 20 of Hörmann UK’s SPU F42 Steel Double Sectional Doors were also installed across other areas of the airbase, providing unrivaled levels of durability, flexibility and efficiency. A popular choice for industrial applications, the high performance doors provide a U-value as low as 1.0 W/m2K, for superior thermal performance. The versatility of the SPU F42 Steel Double Sectional Doors was a leading factor in its specification for this project, with the opportunity to create free space in front of and behind the door. This is due to the door’s innovative design, which enables it to be stored and lifted beneath the ceiling, allowing all available space to be used in a more versatile way. Phil Thorpe, Industrial Division Manager at Hörmann UK, said: “The RAF Bentwater development was a really interesting and unique project to work on with our longstanding partner, Cooks Blinds & Shutters. It was refreshing to see how the team were prepared to look at a diverse range of options to ensure each varying opening was met. The end result really showcases the high standards and bespoke approaches that both of our businesses are capable of.”
The Natta Building Company was formed in 1972 and specializes in a wide spectrum of civil engineering projects. They also undertake design and build projects and their excellent reputation and client relationships mean that 80% of their work comes from repeat business. Eco Fire Safety contacted Natta to explain more about the benefits of the P50 fire extinguisher and set up a meeting with their Senior Buyer, James Hibberd. “Jason contacted us to introduce the P50 and the product sounded interesting so we agreed to meet. At the meeting Jason showed us the Britannia P50 which is a multi-use fire extinguisher that we could service ourselves for the first 10 years. The servicing of fire extinguishers had, for us, become a logistical nightmare. We are consistently moving extinguishers from one building site to another, sometimes at short notice, and the fact that we could service the P50’s ourselves was a huge benefit to us”, explained James. standard fire extinguisher We believe this will save Natta somewhere in the region of £12,000 over the next 10 years" Eco Fire Safety provided a free site survey and evaluation of Natta’s current fire extinguishers and proved that the company could save money with a superior solution. “The P50 does cost slightly more than a standard extinguisher but this is far outweighed by the saving made by not having to have an external company charging us for servicing. We believe this will save Natta somewhere in the region of £12,000 over the next 10 years!”, confirmed James. installation and training The company was also able to almost halve the number of extinguishers because the P50 is multipurpose. This also makes them simpler to use because they don’t have to decide which extinguisher to use, negating decision paralysis. “Like many companies these days, we are trying to be more environmentally friendly and the fact that the P50 is 100% recyclable is another massive plus. The assistance we received from Eco Fire Safety in dealing with our requirements the order process, installation and training has surpassed our expectations. I would recommend Jason, Eco Fire Safety and the P50 to anyone who uses old metal extinguishers!”, enthused James.
Facing a unique combination of challenges, an OEM came to GS Global Resources while creating a 3300-horsepower rock crusher, one of the largest open pit cone crusher in the world. Aside from its size, the cone crusher would also be located in Zambia, facing multiple environmental issues including extremely high ambient temperatures and caustic water supply. Due to the hot climate, the large air coolers traditionally used in this application would not be able to effectively remove heat from the machine oil. Looking to water coolers, this OEM would normally use a shell and tube heat exchanger. Flat plate heat exchanger However, to be fully effective, this application would have needed 12 10” shell and tube heat exchangers, which would have been an incredibly massive set up. GSGR was tasked with developing a different, more efficient cooling method that could be proven to handle this unique set of environmental concerns. The GSGR engineering team proposed utilizing a flat plate heat exchanger, a technology that had yet to be used in the mining industry. Since this type of solution offers much more flexibility than shell and tube systems in terms of the amount of heat that can be extracted, it could be adjusted to work in the extremely hot climate. Titanium plates One issue that came up with this solution, however, was the acidity of the local water supply One issue that came up with this solution, however, was the acidity of the local water supply. As the water used in this application was so caustic that it would eat away at the stainless steel plates typically used in this type of heat exchanger, GS engineers substituted them for titanium plates, which were durable enough for the water supply. To test this new solution, GSGR engineers created a very complex procedure to recreate the environmental constraints and operational issues they created. They simulated the heat load of the rock crusher and ran the lube unit using the flat plate heat exchanger with water that had been heated to temperatures up to 93° F, which was 8° higher than the hottest estimated temperatures in the machine’s environment. Monitoring water and oil temperature This elaborate testing set up allowed for monitoring water and oil temperature changes across the cooler and guarantee that this next cooling technology would perform well for this OEM. The OEM was able to launch this solution in the field with confidence that it could efficiently perform its intended function in temperatures even higher than what was required. Opened up the possibility to utilize a newer, more durable and size efficient technology, and has done so in 4 more machines.
A globally-renowned International Dairy Industry Group consulted IEP Technologies SAS located in France when an expansion project for one of their production sites in Western France led to the requirement for the upgraded process plant to be protected against the potentially dangerous and costly effects of industrial explosions. risk of explosion protection The company had decided to invest in the plant to increase its production capacity of dairy-based ingredients which are used in the food industry, however as part of the design review the company’s Global Insurance Underwriter judged that the new fluid bed drying and powder cooling plant as well as the upgraded dust collection equipment all needed to have “state of the art” explosion protection to meet or exceed their own internal engineering safety standards and rules. In addition to the dairy and food Industries, many manufacturing processes are at risk of dust explosions which may occur when fine particulates, dispersed in air, are exposed to an ignition source within a contained environment. Dust collectors These types of contained environments are commonly present throughout industry, for example piping and ducting, process vessels, dust collectors, and numerous types of special process machinery. Ignition sources should always be minimized or eliminated through a combination of engineering and safety controls The ignition source may originate from several conditions, including hot materials or surfaces, flames, self-heating clusters, friction or uncontrolled electrostatic discharges. Such ignition sources should always be minimized or eliminated through a combination of engineering and safety controls, effective management and operator training and awareness. Spray Drying process However, even with these safety measures in place, the explosion risk cannot be ignored in abnormal or fault conditions and therefore techniques to mitigate the potentially catastrophic effects of such an event must be employed. In this specific case, the upgrading of the Spray Drying process formed part of a much larger plant expansion which included a new external fluid bed dryer for final drying and effective powder cooling. In addition to this, the Cyclones currently in use were replaced with a totally new process bag filter. First protection concept and budgetary proposal IEP Technologies was first contacted by the project integrator in March 2018, and after an initial meeting where material explosion data and process specifications were collected, IEP Technologies responded with the first protection concept and budgetary proposal within a tight four-day turnaround. The existing drying chamber (10 meters in diameter) was already equipped with explosion venting panels and these were judged to be sufficient enough to provide explosion relief for this part of the process. Explosion suppression for the external fluid bed However, it was also necessary to isolate the chamber to reduce the risk of explosion propagating to the associated new equipment, at the same time as providing explosion suppression for the external fluid bed and the process bag filter. Deep discussions followed with the end user, integrator and insurance company to ensure that IEP’s proposal fully complied with the Insurer’s in-house standards and requirements as well as the pre-requisite local safety regulations and the European ATEX Directive. SmartDS dynamic explosion detection solution The key elements of the protection system selected consisted of SmartDS dynamic explosion detection solution During this phase, an extremely effective ongoing working partnership was formed between IEP France and the local integration manager and it is considered that this open and honest relationship facilitated a smooth execution of the overall project. The key elements of the protection system selected consisted of SmartDS dynamic explosion detection solution to provide early detection of developing explosions and to initiate the High Rate Discharge (HRD) Explosion Suppressors installed on the external fluid bed and process bag filter. High Rate Discharge Explosion Suppressors High Rate Discharge Explosion Suppressors actuate within 1.5 milliseconds of receiving an activation signal from the control unit, discharging the optimal quantity of powdered extinguishant through a special design nozzle system. The SmartDS is a SIL 2 certified rate of pressure rise detector which uses multiple algorithms that constantly interrogate pressure data to allow robust explosion detection while providing excellent false alarm immunity, thereby avoiding costly plant downtime. IR-13 Optical Detectors Additionally, in view of the relatively short distances involved, IR-13 Optical Detectors were installed on the process ducts to enable a suppressant isolation barrier to be rapidly activated before the flame front propagates through to associated equipment and creates a secondary explosion. The overall system is monitored and controlled by an EX-8000 multi-zone unit with the capability to selectively control discreet functions to initiate the appropriate protection devices only where and when they are needed. Explosion Protection System IEP’s local service team in France will be responsible for ongoing planned periodic maintenance IEP France was finally awarded the contract in July 2018 and all the elements of the Explosion Protection System were delivered in October 2018 with the project commissioned in December 2018, which was considered to be well within the project timeline. IEP’s local service team in France will be responsible for ongoing planned periodic maintenance, and the company has also purchased an inventory of running spares to minimize any downtime in the event of any system activations. Trusted Industrial Explosion Protection Partner The tight time scales involved in the execution of this entire project, right from initial contact, through protection concept design, proposal, proposal acceptance, system delivery, installation and commissioning, as well as the need to comply with the insurance company’s internal standards truly illustrates IEP’s capability as a Trusted Industrial Explosion Protection Partner, which comprises engineering review and design, system supply and ongoing maintenance, training and support.
A practical, economical and versatile solution was demanded when IEP Technologies was approached to design an Explosion Protection System for a new spray drying process in a major Food Ingredients Manufacturing Plant based in the US Mid-West. The manufacturer may produce any one of 14 different cooking ingredients for the food industry on any given day, depending upon their customer requirements. Given the wide range of materials used and their respective particle/dust properties, individual explosibility characteristics had to be considered carefully in addition to the process plant design criteria to propose an explosion protection solution capable of providing appropriate protection as well as offering cost-effective long-term operation. High risk of dust explosions Many industrial manufacturing processes are inherently exposed to the risk of an explosion, whenever fine particulates dispersed in air are subjected to an ignition source within a contained environment. While the initial step in good plant design is always to control any potential ignition sources (typical examples include hot surfaces, open flames, mechanical friction or uncontrolled electrostatic discharges), often the risk cannot be totally ruled out therefore, measures to control or mitigate the disastrous effects of an explosion event (deflagration) must be put in place. Regulating potential ignition sources In this particular case, the process begins with wet slurry being introduced into the spray dryer, which is then dispersed into the heated environment and dried into fine particles. The particles are then discharged and pneumatically conveyed to four “Quad” Cyclones where lighter material is separated out while the heavier material is conveyed to a fifth cyclone for further separation. Finally, the material meeting the required specification for the process is transferred to the next stage elsewhere in the plant while the lighter material is returned to the start of the drying process for re-mixing with the incoming material. Spray Drying The five cyclones downstream continuously hold combustible dusts in suspension Spray drying processes always pose an explosion risk as they not only agitate the suspended dust particles in the air but also by their very nature introduce high temperatures which may create the initial ignition source under optimum conditions. In addition to this, the five cyclones downstream continuously hold combustible dusts in suspension, making them susceptible to any ignition source transferred from the dryer via a deflagration or in hot/burning material originating from the spray dryer itself. Explosion protection solution As an added dimension to the application, the spray dryer presented a further explosion protection challenge in view of its large volume – over 400 m3, as well as its low vessel strength. Taken together, these factors provided a uniquely demanding set of conditions for IEP to consider before proposing a practical and economical solution. The first step for IEP was to conduct testing of the materials to determine the explosibility properties. A third party had previously tested one of the products, but the other 13 were tested at the Combustion Research Center (CRC) in Marlborough, MA, an independent test laboratory specializing in the combustion hazards testing of dusts, liquids, and gases. Installing pressurized cylinders IEP’s design team was able to avoid using an excessive number of suppression cylinders Once collated, this data was used to exhaustively model different explosion scenarios for the vessels in the ingredients manufacturer’s spray drying process. The method of explosion protection selected involved installing pressurized cylinders to rapidly discharge explosion suppressant into the protected area in milliseconds upon activation. However, the unusual combination of large spray dryer vessel size (> 400 m3), along with its low vessel strength rating meant that a high number of cylinders would normally be needed to mitigate or isolate an explosion. Explosion suppression for spray drying Furthermore, after analyzing and modeling the spray dryer operation, IEP’s design team was able to avoid using an excessive number of suppression cylinders by using a recognized methodology where a reduced explosive volume can be used be used as the basis of the explosion suppression for spray drying processes of a specific design. The principle observation is that, as the top sections of some spray dryers do not contain dry combustible dust, explosion suppression of the entire volume is excessive and unwarranted. This technique allows for a reduced amount of suppressant to be delivered to the upper “wet zone” to maintain its inert state, while explosion protection is concentrated in the lower zone containing dry combustible powder, resulting in a reduction in the number of suppressors needed for overall protection. In North America, NFPA codes allow for this technique based upon performance-based approvals. Piston Fire II high-rate suppression and isolation cylinders Piston Fire II high-rate suppression and isolation cylinders were specified as part of the explosion protection system Several “Piston Fire II” high-rate suppression and isolation cylinders were specified as part of the explosion protection system, offering the additional benefit of having Class II Division 1 hazardous location approval. These suppressors as well as the SMARTDS dynamic explosion detection system are electrically connected to an EX8000 Control Panel with the capability to selectively activate specific suppressors in the zone where the deflagration is occurring. Targeted mitigation of explosion events The overall solution met the stated needs of the customer by providing highly targeted mitigation of explosion events at the same time as reducing the cost of equipment, installation and ongoing maintenance. By ingeniously combining experience and research done around the globe, IEP Technologies has demonstrated that their specialist know-how, capabilities and versatile range of explosion protection products and solution facilitate to create a practical and effective custom engineered fire safety solution.
Round table discussion
Welcome to our Expert Panel Roundtable, a new feature of TheBigRedGuide.com. We will be asking timely questions about the fire market and seeking out experts in the field to provide responses. Our goal is to promote a useful exchange of information on a variety of topics and to create a forum for discussion of important issues facing the fire service and market. For our first question, we look to the year ahead and ask our panelists: What trends are likely to change the fire market in 2020?