Industrial Fire Safety
Portable gas detection equipment needs to work faultlessly and in conjunction with safety best practice. Lives depend on it. But, faced with many daily demands on a safety manager’s time, maintaining compliance across a fleet of equipment is a constant challenge. Matt DeLorenzo, Business Director for Safety io (an MSA Safety Company subsidiary), explains how the Grid Fleet Manager – software service for managing fleets of portable gas detectors – helps to ensure compliance thro...
m-u-t GmbH, globally renowned company in the field of photonics and part of the Nynomic Group, and Rosenbauer Brandschutz GmbH, a company of the Rosenbauer Group, have gotten off to a flying start with the market launch of IGNIS3D. This highly innovative infrared camera system for early fire detection is the first result of a strategic innovation partnership between the two security companies. It employs long-wave infrared video technology for contactless surface temperature measuring. IGNIS3D...
Rosenbauer has expanded its FANERGY series with a practical cordless device. The new high-performance FANERGY B16 fan is powered by an environmentally friendly and very efficient electric motor that causes no exhaust emissions, and the noise level at the point of use is also significantly minimized. Two lithium-ion batteries supply the 1.25 kW synchronous motor from 40 cells and provide a carrier capacity of 2 x 11.6 amp-hours. This allows operating times of at least 60 minutes at full speed be...
UNION, an ASSA ABLOY company, is cutting the hassle out of sourcing fire door hardware with its new Fire Door Kits, featuring a complete range of pre-selected products that work seamlessly together, look good and meet every relevant standard. UNION Fire Door Kits The role of a fire door in supporting fire safety and integrity within a building is critical. UNION Fire Door Kits is a single box solution that helps installers to ensure that they are fitting correct and fully compliant hardware....
Autronica, a United Technologies owned fire safety and security company, has announced the release of AutroSense Cascade, a scalable aspirating smoke detection solution that makes installation easier, maintenance quicker, and takes applications further than traditional air sampling detectors. AutroSense Cascade An AutroSense Cascade system consists of two basic module types: Display module – provides control and monitoring of detector modules Detector module – draws air f...
The latest enhancements to the Simplex ES Net IP-based fire and life safety network from Johnson Controls optimizes system design and installation flexibility while increasing network capacity, speed and performance. ES Net can now support up to 687 nodes, making it the most scalable, resilient and highest capacity system on the market today. Simplex ES Net IP-Based network ES Net supports multiple network topologies (ring, star, bus and bridged rings) for enhanced design and installation fle...
Responding to a terrible student accommodation fire in Bolton, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has called for a complete overhaul of UK fire safety and condemned cuts to fire and rescue services. Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: "My congratulations go to the crews on the ground who did amazing work in incredibly difficult circumstances. This terrible fire highlights the complete failure of the UK’s fire safety system. It’s deeply troubling to see fire spread rapidly up a building’s exterior again - a shocking indictment of the government’s shameful inaction after Grenfell. This is not how any building should react to a fire in the 21st century, let alone a building in which people live. We need to end the deregulation agenda and the disastrous cuts to our fire and rescue service. It's time for a complete overhaul of UK fire safety before it’s too late.” fire and rescue service Les Skarratts, FBU North West executive council member, said: "Firefighters on the ground have worked tirelessly to contain the fire and rescue residents. There will clearly be some hard lessons to learn as the circumstances become clearer in the coming days. Greater Manchester has lost more than 600 firefighters since 2010 alone and, alarmingly, Andy Burnham is trying to cut another six fire engines, including one in Bolton. We need to stop the senseless cuts to our fire and rescue service before we see another awful incident like this.”
ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland is advising fire safety professionals on the importance of properly certified hardware and training, following warnings from experts in fire safety law that they may now be deemed responsible for any breaches. Liability for fire safety breaches is being increasingly pushed down from building owners and occupiers to those that have been consulted, assessed and advised on the appropriate fire safety solutions for a site. Should these products fail to perform as expected, then those professionals will be held accountable, and could potentially even be prosecuted. Need for suitable fire risk assessments ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland believes that this issue will be a real game changer for the industry, with architectural ironmongers, merchants, and safety and security consultants all set to be deemed responsible. Only recently, a representative from the internationally renowned law firm, Russell Cooke LLP cited a growing trend for building owners to hold suppliers responsible for a lack of suitable fire risk assessments and the use of inappropriate materials and products. In 2014 – for the first time ever – a risk assessor went to prison for nine months for a breach of health and safety rules. It is clear that accountability surrounding fire safety will fall to the supply chain more and more in the future. Compliance to fire safety regulations At ASSA ABLOY, all our products are tested and certified to the appropriate fire safety standards" David Hindle, Head of Door Control Sales at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, explains “We believe this issue will increasingly affect the entire industry. From architectural ironmongers that might be selling product with little or questionable certification, to merchants providing hardware that might not be fit for purpose, and consultants that are potentially not carrying out the right risk assessments for clients, the liability for fire safety in buildings will fall to professionals in the industry. After all, they should be the experts on this matter.” He adds, “It is therefore vital that all of these groups have the right accreditation in place to meet these demands. Relevant schemes include Warrington Certification’s FIRAS Installer Certification, BM TRADA’s Q-Mark Fire Door Installation and the Guild of Architectural Ironmongery’s diploma.” Understanding fire safety legislation David further stated, “It is also vital that architectural ironmongers, merchants and consultants have a comprehensive understanding of the legislation covering fire safety matters in and around buildings, such as Approved Document B, BS EN 1634 and BS 476. Only by combining this specialist industry knowledge with recognized accreditation can professionals advise on and specify the best fire safety products. “At ASSA ABLOY, all our products are tested and certified to the appropriate fire safety standards, and we are taking increasing steps to ensure that those throughout the supply chain can feel confident that they have put forward a compliant solution.” Training and qualification on fire safety solutions David concludes, “We predict that we will be seeing many more instances where professionals will be held accountable for any breaches around fire safety. As a result, it is critical that those throughout the supply chain ensure products are certified, and they have the correct training and qualifications to be able to advise customers on the most appropriate fire safety solutions.”
Apprenticeship schemes make an invaluable contribution to the fire industry and will no doubt ensure that the next generation of fire safety engineers will excel in their field. Not only do apprenticeships allow people to pick up the skills that employers actually need, they help businesses recruit the very best people and are a great retention tool. Outside of the fire industry, the benefits that apprenticeships bring to UK businesses, in general, has been well documented during recent months. The government’s announcement in April, declaring that the coalition would provide funding for the “biggest apprenticeships program in this country’s history”, underlined the important role these schemes provide to many industry sectors. The government wants to create thousands more on-the-job training schemes, but in the fire industry we’re already one step ahead of the game. Gent System Integrators When Gent launched its ‘Get Fired Up’ apprenticeship program in 2007, it was the only one of its kind Gent System Integrators (SIs) are fully aware that successful employees in the fire industry need a combination of practical skills and technical knowledge, and the current apprenticeship schemes are designed to produce exactly that. The students will complete the course with recognized qualifications and the ability to maintain fire detection and alarm systems to the highest standards. When Gent launched its ‘Get Fired Up’ apprenticeship program in 2007, it was the only one of its kind that was specific to the fire industry. The scheme provides students, between the ages of 16 and 24, with a structured program designed to build a thorough knowledge base of fire alarm systems, rules and regulations, legislation and systems engineering. It gives apprentices the opportunity to learn each stage of the fire system life cycle from the design and installation, to the commissioning, maintenance and servicing. Gent ‘Get Fired Up’ apprenticeship program As well as gaining ‘on the job’ experience during the two to three year course, the trainees work towards the 1853 City and Guilds Certificate in the Knowledge of Electronic Security and Emergency Systems, (working specifically towards a Level 2 Fire Technical Certificate) along with a 2882 City & Guilds NVQ Level 2 Certificate in Providing Security, Emergency and Alarm Systems qualification. The ‘Get Fired Up’ course is run in conjunction with Skills for Security, so whilst Gent is fully involved in the marketing and recruitment processes, the independent education body manages the apprentices while they are at college. System Integrators apprenticeship When Gent first introduced the apprenticeship scheme to their extensive network of SIs four years ago, the response was very positive. The SIs appreciate that the main aim of the scheme is to provide them with a selection of ideal, competent, recruits. After all, the apprentices are employed directly by the SI and therefore, with the support and expertise from Gent, the SIs are then encouraged to lead the way in each step of the recruitment process. If the SI is looking to take on an apprentice they can approach Gent with their specific candidate requirements. Whether it is for a school leaver with a strong academic background in sciences, or a college student with a technical flair, the SI sets out their exact specifications and Gent then explores its database to pinpoint the best potential candidates. Gent database study The SI is in total control of the type of person they recruit with much of the leg work taken away by GentThe SI almost has the best of both worlds, being in total control of the type of person they recruit, but much of the leg work is taken away by Gent to guarantee the right caliber of entrants. It saves the SI both time and money, with Gent taking care of the administration and, if required, even hosting the interviews and induction days to ensure that candidates have the required attributes. Furthermore, there is no obligation on the part of the SI, so if the process doesn’t result in the perfect apprentice being found we can always go back to the drawing board. Gent’s SIs say that one of the main benefits of the apprenticeship scheme is that companies can take advantage of the new employee’s limited experience and willingness to learn and can mold and shape the apprentices to suit their specific business needs. Level 3 Fire Technical Certificate In today’s tough economic climate many SIs understandably have concerns involving the cost. However, the price of taking on an apprentice is a worthwhile investment for any business. Government funding is available for the full cost of tuition and college fees for 16 to 18 year olds, or for the older apprentices up to the age of 24 the fees are met in part. The System Integrators pay the apprentice’s salary but it is still a far more cost-effective option than hiring skilled staff. Gent currently has 40 students on the “Get Fired Up” scheme who are at various stages of the program, some are in their first year and some are progressing onto the more complex Level 3 Fire Technical Certificate. We also have a database of more than 30 keen applicants waiting to be placed in employment. Recruiting high caliber fire personal The scheme has a great success rate, attracting young people keen to play a part in keeping the UK’s fire industry at the forefront of fire protection. The country’s SIs need to take a leaf out of Alan Sugar’s book and search to find their perfect apprentice. And with Gent’s expertise, they can confidently say “You’re Hired”.
NOTIFIER by Honeywell has announced the release of the Local Silence Button, Advanced Alarm Management System. The new device works in conjunction with Pearl’s Type B dependency functionality to allow users to have a BS5839 Part 6 system working in conjunction with a full BS5839 Part 1 system. Local Silence Button This new Advanced Alarm Management System allows users to bridge the gap between residential and landlord's fire alarms systems. It offers the following features - Local Silence of an Alarm Local Disablement Local Test The NOTIFIER Advanced Alarm Management System enables the use of a full BS5839 Part 1 system in applications such as: Homes of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) High Rise Residential Buildings (HRRB) Retirement Homes Student Accommodation
Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) has taken part in a series of multi-agency training exercises to tests its chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear response. The three training sessions, which fell under CBRNe, were designed to test how emergency services from across the region responded to incidents such as chemical spills and contamination. Training exercises These scenarios involved staff from Avon and Somerset Police, South Western Ambulance Service, Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, National Resilience and other emergency services from across the South West. Each session has tested casualty management, chemical identification, mass decontamination, scene management and inter-service communication. The final scenario, held on 6th Nov, 2019, simulated a chlorine leak that had contaminated 20 people in a small area. Along with this, some casualties had not been affected by the chemical leak but needed treatment within the area. mass decontamination trial While the police managed the scene, AF&RS and DSFRS identified the chemicals involved and conducted the mass decontamination of all casualties, before they were handed to ambulance crews. Darren Kingston, Station Manager and CBRNe lead for AF&RS, said “These training scenarios are a fantastic way for each emergency service to learn and showcase exactly how they would respond to an incident that would be challenging in a variety of different ways”. Emergency response in case of CBRNe outbreak “While these incidents like this are rare, when they do occur it is crucial that we are able to respond in an effective and efficient way, helping to minimize the number of casualties and their injuries. As an ambitious service, we worked hard to make these as realistic as possible, utilizing volunteers as live casualties, multiple agencies from around the region and a realistic site thanks to Avon and Somerset Police.” This was fantastic regional training and while we conduct regular training, these scenarios are a great learning opportunity" “We have already taken away several learning points from these three scenarios and will continue to develop our response as we take part in more training. I would like to thank every agency that has taken part, especially the volunteers who helped to such an extent and were fully committed to their roles.” malicious use of chemical materials ‘CBRNe’ is the abbreviation commonly used to describe the malicious use of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear materials or weapons with the intention to cause significant harm or disruption. The hazards posed by these materials vary but will normally include some form of chemical substance, biological bacteria or virus, radioactive materials or nuclear detonation. Paul Lacey, CBRNe lead for Avon and Somerset Police, added, “This was fantastic regional training and while we conduct regular training, these scenarios are a great learning opportunity. CBRNe requires a close working relationship and a lot of communication between agencies and partners. It is always great to refine these skills and ensure we are able to respond effectively when needed. I would like to thank our police colleagues from across the region and everyone that attended over the three sessions.”
On April 29th, 2020, the second international VdS-conference on ‘Fire Protection Systems’ will take place in Bucharest (Romania). International experts from industry and fire protection organizations will present an overview on current technology and developments as well as numerous solutions based on practical experience. VdS-conference on fire protection The conference will be held in cooperation with ROFMA, the Romanian Facility Management Association. In addition there will be an exhibition at the conferences site. At the evening of April 28th, a get-together with possibilities to visit the exhibition will be held. This conference will offer an exciting information forum for planners, installers and operators of fire protection systems" “This conference will offer an exciting information forum for planners, installers and operators of fire protection systems, as well as for fire protection engineers, fire safety officers from all industries and loss prevention experts from the insurance industry, fire brigades and authorities as well as for companies from the facility management sector”, Andrej Turčan, Head of VdS offices Czechia and Director of the event said. Fire protection experts He adds, “And the conference exhibition with renowned specialist companies offers the optimal opportunity for the professional exchange of fire protection experts.” Among the topics of the VdS-conference are: Sprinkler systems: New developments in the guidelines VdS CEA 4001 for planning and installation - Including specific challenges for the protection of storage and the use of ESFR-sprinklers Case study: Major fire in and reconstruction of a medium-sized sawmill - Causes and consequences; the new fire protection concept including a sprinkler system Case study: Water Mist Protection of an underground mass transport system - Protection goal and overall concept; challenges posed by the architecture and users requirements; fire testing for validating a water mist system for this application (test method, fire tests and results); system realization Conference languages are Romanian and English with simultaneous translation. Registration for exhibition and conference is now open.
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.”
Gent by Honeywell has supplied its innovative fire alarm and detection system to Brains Brewery’s flagship production plant in Cardiff. The recent installation is part of the Welsh brewing giant’s original plant that will enable it to meet the beer market’s growing demand for more diverse styles of beer. The project was completed by the fire alarm division of mechanical and electrical engineers, JW Morris, who has worked closely with Gent for the past 12 years. The company is one of Gent 24’s network of elite system integrators and has extensive knowledge of Gent’s entire product range. Fire safety of Cardiff production plant Faults arose from a combination of the age of the FDA equipment and the nature of the brewery environment When Brains Brewery moved its production facilities from Cardiff city center back to the site of the original Cardiff building, the site needed significant renovation work as it was more than 100 years old. JW Morris, which was involved from the beginning of the project, looked at Brains’ system and first devised a short term solution to get it back up and running. The system had suffered from water ingress, which proved to be a real challenge. Faults arose from a combination of the age of the FDA equipment and the nature of the brewery environment. S-Quad range of multi sensors JW Morris designed the most efficient, cost effective solution using a fully addressable Gent system, including the S-Quad range. The S-Quad range of multi sensors has been leading the way in the fire detection industry thanks to the devices’ unique combination of sensing elements that provide quick, intelligent fire decisions. Each of the devices has up to four different functions in one product – sensor, sounder, strobe and speech – and uses patented dual angle optical scatter smoke detection to improve both the speed and integrity of fire detection. Fire alarm and detection system The company replaced around 500 devices that were in the building using the existing wiring which saved the expense of having to rewire the whole site. The building consists of an admin block with around 30-40 staff, plus engineering staff and brewing staff based in the old stone built brewery. Due to the nature of the brewing process in certain areas, there was a need to install environmentally protected detectors. Now if we have a fire alarm situation, we go straight to the device and can detect the problem and deal with it" Keith Gorf, Engineering Manager at Brains Brewery, said “We are delighted with the new system. Previously if we had a fault, we weren’t able to locate it and if we had a fire alarm situation we wouldn’t have been able to identify the problem. Now if we have a fire alarm situation, we go straight to the device and can detect the problem and deal with it. For example, if it’s a steam leak, we can reset the system knowing exactly what the issue is.” Combined sounder – strobe feature Geraint Thomas, divisional manager, JW Morris said “Our proposal was not to replace all of the existing detection and alarm devices but to utilize much of the existing cabling to reduce the cost and disruption. The combined sounder/strobe features of the equipment used allowed for the existing sounder circuits to be removed which helped to significantly reduce costs associated with fault finding and minimize disruption to the business.” Simon Adams, Business Manager South West & South Wales, Gent said “Brains Brewery’s flagship production plant in Cardiff will enable it to meet the beer market’s growing demand for diverse styles of beer. We are delighted that a Gent system will provide the ultimate FDA solution that protects this state of the art structure, and its employees.”
Chief Fire Officer Mick Crennell and a GAFSIP team have delivered three fire engines and other equipment and uniform to the Gambian Fire Service. As part of the Gambia and Avon Fire Services in Partnership (GAFSIP), the service has been helping to enhance the capabilities of the Gambian fire service for nearly 30 years by providing lifesaving equipment, capability and training. Fire engines and breathing apparatus Avon Fire & Rescue Service has donated three fire engines along with breathing apparatus equipment In the latest donation, Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) has donated three fire engines along with breathing apparatus equipment and other equipment to firefighters in the region. CFO Mick Crennell also visited various stations on his visit to the region and held meetings with Gambia’s Chief about how to continue to enhance the relationship. While on his visit, Mick expressed and confirmed the Service's commitment to continue to support and grow the relationship for the mutual benefit of both services. Gambia and Avon Fire Services Mick said, “As a Fire Authority and a Service, we are honored and privileged to be able to have this partnership with the Gambian Fire and Rescue Service and we will continue to support its development. We have seen the level of support grow, and what’s more, we have seen the level of the professionalism of the fire service in the Gambia grow throughout our partnership“. He adds, “We have seen what a difference our equipment and training makes and the lives it has helped save. We are looking forward to the future because this partnership will only continue to get stronger and those in the region will be safer as a result. As an ambitious Service, not only will we help those in our own communities, but also help others where we can. Anyone in the fire service is part of the international family and we will do what we can to help.” Fire equipment and safety training We have never thought that we will reach that place and save lives across the country" CFO Mick Crennell was joined on the visit by Watch Manager and GAFSIP Trustee Paul Kirk, Firefighter Ben Coghlan, Firefighter Rob Morgan, Firefighter Pete Ballard and Watch Manager Steve McGreavy. The Deputy Chief Fire Officer of The Gambia Fire Rescue Service, Lamin Sanyang expressed gratitude on behalf of the service for the assistance stating that the partnership is strong and continues to grow. Lamin said, “We receive training manuals, practical training, and equipment. It is because of this partnership that we were able to get fully equipped fire engines as we cannot buy it ourselves. We are very proud of them. With this donation, we will operate as far as Wuli in the Upper River Region. We have never thought that we will reach that place and save lives across the country.” Fully equipped fire engines delivered The presentation ceremony took place at the State House in Banjul in the presence of the President of Gambia, the UK High Commissioner to The Gambia, H.E. Sharon Wardle, and other senior government officials, including the Deputy Chief Fire Officer of The Gambian Fire Service, Lamin Sanyang.
Panels from global fire systems provider, Advanced, have been selected to protect the US$ 18.8 billion Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge, regarded to be the longest open-sea fixed link on earth. A network of 31 ExGo gas extinguishant control panels has been installed as part of the active fire protection for one of South East Asia’s most ambitious infrastructure projects to date. The Advanced network protects the artificial island gateway in Hong Kong that serves as an entry and exit point to the new 34-mile bridge-tunnel system, used by over a 10 million passengers in its first eight months. ExGo gas extinguishant control panels ExGo panels were selected to protect critical server rooms in more than 10 different buildings on the purpose-built island The ExGo panels were selected to protect critical server rooms in more than 10 different buildings on the purpose-built island, including police and fire stations as well as customs and different administrative buildings. Each gas extinguishant control panel is connected to at least one remote status indicator unit located at the protected area entryway. Each extinguishing system was designed, configured and commissioned by Peak Trade International Limited. Alan Wong, Sales Director at Peak Trade International Limited, said, “To protect such critical infrastructure, we knew we required a gas and suppression control system that was both cutting-edge in its capabilities and also highly reliable and adaptable for the future. ExGo panels have a proven track record in complex installations of this type and we had no hesitation in recommending them.” Advanced panels protecting transport and infrastructure Constructed using around 420,000 tons of steel - enough to build 60 Eiffel Towers - the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge has been designed to last for the next 120 years, and is set to deliver significant economic advantages to the region. Thanh Tin, Regional Sales and Business Development Manager for Advanced, said “Advanced panels are trusted to protect transport and infrastructure projects around the globe. As the world’s longest sea crossing, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge is a fantastic example of this.” Specially designed for sensitive and strategic assets He adds, “Equipment that offers the highest levels of protection and reliability is essential for providing complete peace of mind to the client, combined with the flexibility to easily expand and upgrade the system in future.” ExGo has been developed specifically for sensitive and strategic assets such as server rooms and data centers, control rooms, as well as historic and cultural attractions. It is suitable for almost all single-flooding area applications and includes a range of control options and devices. Integration with Axis EN fire system ExGo can be integrated into Advanced’s Axis EN fire system or any third-party alarm system It is approved to EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 as well as EN12094-1 and is among the first systems to combine these with EN12094 in a single solution. (EN12094-3 relates to the integrated manual release on the front of the panel). ExGo can be integrated into Advanced’s Axis EN fire system or any third-party alarm system. Intelligent fire systems and technology major Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 PLC Halma, has an impressive history of protecting critical transport and infrastructure sites across the globe, including the London Underground and the Istanbul Metro. Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day. Advanced is a globally renowned firm in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease of use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over the world, from single-panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
The Walsall-based electrical contractor didn’t hesitate to recommend Gent by Honeywell’s innovative Nano fire detection system. The Mint is a typically British restaurant set in an attractive century old building in Sutton Coldfield. It has an elegant boutique like interior and the right kind of alarm system had to fit in. Owner Daniel Ralley said: “We’ve spent a great deal of time working on the ambience of the restaurant so an obvious alarm box hanging off the wall was not an option. Although The Mint is on two floors, it is intimate, so we needed a system that could figure out the difference between steam and smoke from the kitchen and that of a real fire.” fire alarm panel The Nano fire alarm panel was chosen by Lyrico – part of Gent’s network of approved System Integrators (SIs) – because it is specifically designed for small building applications, capable of powering a loop of up to 127 devices. It has simple cause and effect which can be configured by a basic PC commissioning tool. Steve Roberts, general manager of Lyrico Systems, said: “Nano worked especially well because it not only looks good but because of the size of the building, it provided a more high-tech solution than the conventional system which would otherwise have been used. "We were able to include 30 multi-functional S-Quad devices, incorporating sensor, sounder, voice alarm and strobe capabilities." Daniel Ralley added: “The Nano is great, it is really easy to use, it looks attractive and not at all like a traditional fire panel.”
Marioff will be delivering its HI-FOG® high pressure water mist fire suppression system to Wasaline’s new Kvarken Link ferry, scheduled to start operating on the route between Vaasa, Finland and Umeå, Sweden in the spring of 2021. Fire Suppression System “We are extremely proud to start a partnership with Wasaline by working on this particular project, which sets a new standard for sustainability. HI-FOG will be the only fire suppression system on board, protecting all spaces including ro-ro decks and machinery areas according to the Safe Return to Port regulation. Our two powerful Electric Pump Units and over one thousand HI-FOG sprinklers and spray heads ensure passengers, crew and property are reliably protected at all times,” said Robert Hilden, Sales Manager, Marine & Offshore. The ferry will accommodate 800 passengers and will have a freight capacity of 1,500 lane meters for lorries. According to Wasaline, Kvarken Link will be the most environmentally friendly RoPax vessel in the world. Choosing HI-FOG also contributes to Kvarken Link’s strong environmental commitment, as the system uses small amounts of pure water, making it safe for people and the environment.
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.