Industrial Fire Safety
KIMTEK has announced expanding its FIRELITE UTV Transport Skid Unit line with new models designed for fire departments needing the capability of an ultra-high pressure pump on a compact skid unit specifically suited for UTV side-by-side chassis. The FCAT-209 and FCAT-209-85 models feature premium CAT UHP pumps powered by electric start Honda 9HP motors. These triplex pumps deliver 6.7 GPM at 1200 psi. FIRELITE UTV Skid units KIMTEK'S new FIRELITE slip-on/skid units also include a CAT dual-stri...
When it comes to the public fire brigades’ services, the equipment used is generally governed by a set of national regulatory and operational requirements that vary slightly between countries. However, it’s also important that the private fire crews within airports, ports, oil and gas and petrochemical installations also conform to fire safety guidelines within their specific industries. Among these essential safety measures that must be adhered, is ensuring that the communication t...
Popular with fire-fighters around the world, XFlex is Bristol Uniforms’ flagship range in structural fire fighting (Personal Protective Equipment) PPE. Its name came from the ‘X’ shape formed by the curved seams on the garment’s elbow and its flexibility. It enables excellent range of movement which helps fire-fighters carry out their physical roles more effectively. The creation and introduction of XFlex into the market marks a new direction in fire fighting PPE design a...
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue is advising businesses to review fire risk assessments following the Prime Minister’s announcement to restrict movement and close businesses. "The fire safety measures within buildings are designed for their specific use and often do not include people sleeping. It may therefore not have the necessary fire safety measures installed to make this a safe practice," said Fire Safety Lead Matt White. Isolating electric items The advice comes af...
The Institute of Fire Safety Managers Incorporating Life Safety Managers (IFSM) has received a few queries asking if fire risk assessors and those linked with the fire industry are classed as ‘key workers.’ The Institute’s clear position is in supporting the Government and the main information and guidance for employees and employers is set out on the Governments website, including definitions of ‘key workers.’ Future of fire risk assessment The...
During the national emergency, many in the Fire Sector will be concerned regarding what work should or shouldn’t go ahead. The government advice is most importantly to all “Stay Home-Stay Safe-Protect the NHS”. This is for an initial three-week period as all play their part by limiting contact with others to reduce the virus’s opportunity to spread. There are exceptions which have raised multiple questions within the wider sector. Key worker status Th...
With more of the people spending extra time at home over the next few weeks, either through home working, self-isolating or social distancing and with the added distractions that can bring North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to give its users some safety advice and tips to help them stay home and stay safe. Smoke alarms are essential items! They can help give the user and their family a few minutes warning if a fire breaks out in their home. They should fit smoke alarms on every level of their home and test them regularly by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds. Local household recycling centers If they’re working from home take care of laptops and chargers. Don’t overload sockets, make sure to use laptops on hard surfaces so they don’t overheat and unplug mobile and tablet chargers when they’ve finished using them. With more people being at home the smoke could cause an issue for neighbors With everyone being at home there may be more distractions when one is trying to cook. Don’t leave pans or grills unattended and keep an eye on children if they are helping in the kitchen. One might be tempted to burn some garden rubbish especially with local household recycling centers being shut. Please think carefully before doing so, with more people being at home the smoke could cause an issue for neighbors, make sure fires are not close to trees, hedges, fences or sheds and don’t have them on windy days when the fire could spread more easily. Home fire safety advice One can find lots more safety advice on their website. North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will also be doing a live broadcast on their YouTube channel, where they’ll be giving home fire safety advice as well as advice to businesses. North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service also know that one might be looking for ways to keep children entertained over the next few weeks so they’re running a poster competition. The entry needs to be on A4 paper and needs to promote keeping safe at home covering one of the topics below: electrical safety bedtime routines escapes plans smoke alarms There’s lots of information on their website that can be used to help with the message. Poster entries should be emailed by 24th April 2020. Please include the first name and age of the artist on the front and address and the contact details of a grown up on the back so they can contact the winner, and runner ups.
Whilst the situation regarding the Coronavirus outbreak in Europe and the UK is developing and changing quickly, Hochiki Europe would like to assure all their partners that the business has been continually reviewing and monitoring the UK Government’s advice. To date, the company has implemented the following actions to reduce the virus spread: Encouraging staff to work from home, where practicable Travel ban in place for overseas business travel Staff rotation in place to promote social distancing yet fully maintain our customer service levels Additional cleaning of doors, handles and frequently touched surfaces by the cleaning staff Placement of additional antibacterial hand sanitizer around our head office and R&D center as well as detailed instructions on effective handwashing in all staff restrooms Advice given to all staff on when and how to self-isolate and what to do if becoming unwell discourage unnecessary social contact To further discourage unnecessary social contact, the company has postponed their product training program, until further notice. Wherever possible conferencing technology is being used to ensure that meetings, both in the UK as well as across Europe, can take place. There is a business continuity plan in place and they do not plan any closures at this point. Hochiki Europe’s technical support team and customer services teams remain available to take the customer’s enquiry and their factory and warehouse continues to be fully operational. They have a global supply chain and will endeavor to ensure suitable stock levels remain in place. If a customer has any concerns, at any time, they have been requested to liaise with their customer services or sales contact who will be able to support them further. practice good hygiene Hochiki urges everyone to join their staff in practicing good hygiene while on site Hochiki asks that if anyone is planning to visit either Hochiki Head Office (Gillingham) or their R&D Centre (Rochester), that they confirm in advance that they have not travelled to any high-risk countries, nor been in contact with anyone with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Hochiki urges everyone to join their staff in practicing good hygiene while on site and during this period refrain from handshaking. Where they feel it might be more suitable, the company is always happy to meet them via conference or video call. They assure their customers that they will continue to keep everyone updated as and when they receive further information from the Government. Update from Customer Services Team: Due to the current COVID-19 Pandemic, and to encourage the Government’s guidelines on social distancing, please note that Hochiki Europe will not be accepting customer collect orders from the Gillingham site. Instead, the customer will be contacted and offered a next day pre 12pm delivery, at the company’s cost. Hochiki will also waiver the £50 minimum order value for customers who usually collect.
Hochiki Europe, a renowned manufacturer of life safety solutions, has partnered with the FIA (Fire Industry Association) to host a roundtable discussing best practice when it comes to life safety in Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs). Panelists were made up of professionals involved throughout the life safety procurement chain, including representatives from the manufacturing, facilities management, consultancy/specification and installation sectors, as well as the FIA itself. selecting emergency lighting Participants comprised: Ian Watts, Emergency Lighting Manager, Hochiki Europe; Richard Wharram, Regional Sales Manager, Hochiki Europe; Will Lloyd, Technical Manager, FIA David Thewlis, Director, Rosse Systems and Neil Wright, an independent electrical engineer. The event followed the release of Hochiki Europe’s most recent whitepaper outlining several grey areas regarding different systems being installed in HMOs. The general consensus around the table was that education and upskilling engineers is paramount" During the session, held at the FIA’s training center in Hampton, London, panelists debated having exclusive Part 1 or Part 6 systems within HMOs, or the benefits of having mixed systems in place. The discussion also focused on perceived confusion around the definition of an ‘HMO’, as well as specific challenges for duty holders and best practice when selecting emergency lighting in these types of buildings. many different requirements Paul Adams, Marketing Manager, Hochiki Europe, chaired the panel. He commented: “This was a necessary and worthwhile discussion which brought up some urgent issues for all parties that must be addressed if we are to protect people living in HMOs." "The general consensus around the table was that education and upskilling engineers is paramount. The life safety sector has so many different requirements for different buildings, depending on their intended purpose but it has become clear that there is a severe lack of clarity within the industry over best practice. The guidance and support is out there, we just need to show people where to get it and why it is so vitally important.”
BAFE is delighted to announce that Lewis Ramsay QFSM has joined the BAFE Board of Directors. Lewis Ramsay is a former Assistant Chief Fire Officer of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service specializing in both Response and Resilience and extensive work in Prevention and Protection. Stephen Adams, Chief Executive – BAFE, commented: “The BAFE Board brings together a very wide range of experience of the fire protection industry and related skills. Lewis’s experience and knowledge will be incredibly important and will help in our efforts to develop BAFE both nationally with the Fire & Rescue Services but also with a focus on Scotland. Scottish Government and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have always been quick to react to fire safety requirements to keep the public and working environment safe.” fire protection Industry Lewis Ramsay noted in a response to the Board and Council “I am delighted to have been appointed to the Board and will work hard to support BAFE during my tenure.” I consider BAFE to have a critical role in the development of competence and quality standards" Also, at the BAFE AGM 2020 (online), Douglas Barnett was also unanimously voted to continue as Chairman for the next two years. Douglas is Director, Mid‑Market and Customer Risk Management for AXA Insurance. The BAFE Board, Council and team welcome this decision especially at this time of great challenges for the fire protection industry. competence and quality standards Douglas responded: “It is a great honor to receive such strong support from the BAFE Board and Council. I consider BAFE to have a critical role in the development of competence and quality standards in the fire protection industry in the post-Grenfell era. I am delighted that Lewis Ramsay has joined the Board bringing a wide range of skills and experience to support us. I look forward to working with the team over the next two years.” BAFE are extremely grateful for the Board and Council’s contribution in developing and promoting quality in fire safety and for the support of our Certification Bodies, Trade Associations and most especially the commitment of our Registered Companies.
Prevent stackable scene lights from tilting, shifting, and falling during transport with the all-new Stackable Scene Light Bracket from Zico. A single bracket can safely secure multiple lights. Model QM-SLB-2 features a flexible, rubber draw strap that gently but firmly holds the light(s) against the baseplate and a durable steel guard to minimize bouncing on rough terrain, curbs, and railroad tracks. Efficient And Effective Storage Solution The sleek, compact design requires minimal additional compartment space, making it an efficient and effective storage solution. “It’s a great way to protect your investment,” said Ryan Glover, Ziamatic Marketing Manager. “Scene lights can be expensive. You don’t want them tipping over and falling out when you open the roll-up door. You want your lights to last. You want to take care of them. Our new Stackable Scene Light Bracket can help you do that.”
Telguard, globally renowned company in the field of security and life safety communications, has announced that its cellular fire alarm communicators have been issued a Certificate of Approval, #6316. This means Fire & Life Safety dealers in New York City are now able to use Telguard’s premier cellular fire communicator, the TG-7FS LTE. Fire communicators New York City has strict regulations on fire communicators that can be used, and manufacturers must obtain a Certificate of Approval for fire systems dealers to be able to specify a brand like Telguard. The Certificate of Approval #6316 gives New York City fire integrators the ability to specify the TG-7FS LTE in their system designs. The TG-7FS is a universal cellular communicator, meaning it works with virtually every fire alarm control panel. Using LTE cellular networks, the TG-7FS transmits alarm signals from the fire panel to the designated monitoring station. The unit meets UL 864 requirements and is compliant with NFPA 72 for primary or backup communications for commercial fire alarm systems. By using the TG-7FS, accounts can go from two to one dedicated landline, which will save them money. Fire and life safety integrators Telguard collaborated with Carlos Santiago, owner of New York Protection Controls to obtain the Certificate of Approval. “Central stations need to know about this Certificate of Approval so they can work with fire and life safety integrators and specify cellular communicators like Telguard in their system designs,” said Carlos Santiago, adding. “Dealers and integrators can choose from either AT&T or Verizon models—whichever carrier works best for them in their locale.” “Telguard has been a go-to cellular communicator for authority having jurisdictions (AHJs) and fire marshals across the country for years,” said Telguard President, George Brody, further adding, “We’re thrilled to have New York City’s Certificate of Approval.”
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.”
Infographics has announced that Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is the latest fire service to move to the company’s FireWatch Cloud, a fully-managed service based on the Microsoft Azure platform. FireWatch Cloud solution The new FireWatch Cloud solution will provide a resilient architecture, flexible access to the FireWatch integrated fire service management platform from remote locations, and includes software upgrade services and other benefits. Richard Jacques, ICT Data & Applications Manager at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, said “We are delighted to be working with Infographics on our move to the FireWatch cloud platform. Although this decision is not as a direct result of the current COVID-19 situation, it clearly reinforces the validity of our strategy and benefits of having resilient systems available from anywhere, at any time, with the ability to quickly adapt and scale as needed without reliance on corporate networks and systems.” FireWatch integrated fire service management Richard adds, “That, along with the breadth of features, integrated user experience, teams and workflows available with the FireWatch Cloud platform, will ensure we are in an even stronger position to support the operations of our Fire Services during these challenging times and thereafter.” Russell Wood, Commercial Manager at Infographics, said “We are delighted to announce Humberside Fire & Rescue as another new client of our FireWatch Cloud offering. This follows multiple other recent new FRS contracts, with more to follow in the coming weeks and months. The benefits of the specialist, connected FireWatch Fire Service Management platform in the Cloud are clear and compelling – providing our clients with the ‘big picture’ of their operations and helping them keep working as an integrated service – whatever their location or circumstances.”
The Hyde Group is utilizing Aico’s revolutionary Ei1000G SmartLINK Gateway to provide a solution-focused approach to asset management that assures the safety of their tenants. With over 50,000 homes across London, the south and south east of England, the Hyde Group is taking a proactive approach to the management of its housing stock. Hyde ensures that as many of its homes as possible are occupied, redeveloping those that are not, and improving the efficiency of operations through strategic asset management. Keeping all residents safe from fire is paramount, and asset management is a route to achieving this. In order to mitigate risk and monitor the alarm systems within their properties, Hyde collaborated with Regional Specification Manager of Aico, David Cunningham to provide a solution that was cost-effective, met the requirements for Hyde and ensured minimal disruption for their tenants. Ei3024 Multi-Sensor fire alarm Each of the properties have now been fitted with an Ei3024 Multi-Sensor fire alarm and Ei1000G Gateway The installation of the new Aico SmartLINK Gateway was recommended to provide real-time data insight into the fire alarm system, reporting events such as alarm head removals and fire alerts. Each of the properties have now been fitted with an Ei3024 Multi-Sensor fire alarm and Ei1000G Gateway, giving Hyde a proactive approach to fault-finding, defining any trends in alarm activations and maintenance requirements, while drastically minimizing the issue of property access. The Ei1000G SmartLINK Gateway utilizes Aico’s next generation of wireless technology to interface the SmartLINK Gateway with Aico alarms, assuring easy installation and reliable connection. This allows full visibility of connected RF systems via an online, cloud-based SmartLINK portal system. By having this information in real time, it enables an effective, reactive approach, meaning safer homes. SmartLINK Gateway Compliance Contract Manager for Hyde, Jack Bernard, commented, “The Aico Ei1000G Gateway system enables us to proactively monitor smoke alarms in our homes. The location we initially installed the system in requires an enhanced monitoring function because it suffers from false alarms and tampering. The Gateway enables us to monitor the system in real time, providing specific and useable information to offer a truly safer home.” David Cunningham, Regional Specification Manager for Aico said of the collaboration “In the Hyde Group’s case, they were experiencing large numbers of false-alarming and tampering with the smoke alarms in their properties, resulting in an increase in callouts, maintenance, repairs and disruption to tenants.” With the Aico SmartLINK Gateway, Hyde can ensure the best quality, fit-for-purpose homes “The SmartLINK Gateway is the perfect solution because real-time notifications alert you to any alarm activations or when an alarm is taken off the ceiling. This data insight can enable Hyde to look for trends, identify any issues quickly and rectify these with minimal disruption to the tenants.” Fit-for-purpose homes With the Aico SmartLINK Gateway, Hyde can ensure the best quality, fit-for-purpose homes that are easier and more efficient to maintain and are fully compliant with safety requirements. Aico, an Ei Company, are the UK suppliers of home life safety by pioneering new technologies and offering high-quality alarms, developed and manufactured in Ireland. All Aico alarms meet UK standards and offer a variety of sensor types to guarantee protection for every home, the cornerstone of which is delivering quality, service and innovation. Established in 1967, the Hyde Group provides social housing in London, the south and south east of England with approximately 50,000 homes in their stock. Their mission is to provide affordable, quality housing in response to the housing crisis.
In the coming months, the Leipzig Fire Department will replace its entire HLF fleet (emergency fire-fighting group vehicles) as the current fleet has reached an average age of almost 20 years. The new fleet will feature 22 vehicles that are the Rosenbauer HLF 20 "Light Class", all identical in construction and equipped with the high-end extinguishing system N35 + DIGIMATIC42. They enter service in equal parts both with the professional and the volunteer fire brigades, who also drew up the specifications together with the Technical and Special Procurement Department of the Leipzig Fire Department. Leipzig Fire Department Fire chief, Andreas Rößler said, "This procurement is primarily intended to achieve the goal of creating a uniform initial unit for the professional fire brigade and the volunteer fire brigade. In addition, not only are 22 identical vehicles in use, but this is also advantageous for maintenance and repair. For this reason, the requirements for the HLF and its loading process were determined in detail by a working group with the various user groups, whereby very different needs had to be harmonized in some cases". HLF 20 "Light Class" fleet A special feature of the HLF 20 "Light Class" vehicle is its narrow width of 2.42 m, based on MAN's C cab A special feature of the HLF 20 "Light Class" vehicle is its narrow width of 2.42 m, based on MAN's C cab. Andreas Rößler adds, "We deliberately chose a narrow chassis in order to get through the traffic better. Leipzig is a rapidly growing city in which the volume of traffic is becoming increasingly dense, bringing the infrastructure increasingly to its limits”. He adds, “In addition, we had to take into account the different structural conditions in the alert zone as well as in our fire stations and equipment buildings when we had to procure such a comprehensive system. For this reason, for example, the vehicle height is limited to 3.15 m." COMFORT mounting system One of the challenges with the vehicle configuration was to accommodate the extensive standard load of the HLF 20 in a body with a reduced width. The COMFORT mounting system with its space-saving pull-outs (e.g. for hydraulic rescue equipment), rotary attachments (for power generators) and hose magazines performed outstandingly well. Bulky equipment (in its own box) and sliding ladders are transported on the roof with two one-man reels that can be mounted at the rear. There was also room for a light mast in the superstructure, and the Leipzig HLF also transports 400 l more water and 60 l more foam compound than the standard requirement (1600/120 l). N35 + DIGIMATIC42 extinguishing equipment The extinguishing equipment used also exceeds the standard requirements. The N35 pump has an output of up to 3,000 l/min at 10 bar. The DIGIMATIC42 pressure proportioning system has a spread of 0.1 to 42 l/min and is suitable for outputting both mains water and extinguishing foam. The central water axis automatically distributes all water in the vehicle to where it is needed (tank, pump or both at the same time). The machine operator can concentrate fully on the foam addition or the pressure side, which essentially consists of four low pressure outlets and another to the quick attack reel. The water/foam concentrate mixture from the DIGIMATIC42 is injected directly at the outlet, so that the water pump remains free of foam concentrate. Cabin with Action Tower The vehicle is mounted on a 15-t chassis, a 290 hp strong engine in combination with a TipMatic The vehicle is mounted on a 15-t chassis (MAN TGM 15.290 LL 4x2), a 290 hp (215 kW) strong engine in combination with a TipMatic, which provides plenty of pull when on deployment. The crew compartment is integrated into the body and is equipped with six seats (vehicle crew: 2+2+4) and four PA brackets. An "Action Tower" installed between the front seats offer storage space for rescue service backpacks, breathing masks, a battery charger for hydraulic rescue and electrical equipment (sabre saw, cordless screwdriver), thermal imaging camera, gas detector and walkie-talkies. Fully glazed doors allow the crew to get an optimal view to the outside. Prototypes tested for operational efficiency Two prototypes were used by the Leipzig Fire Department for testing purposes between November 2018 and March 2019. They were stationed at different stations (e.g. main fire stations, Westwache, Engelsdorf, Grünau, etc.) by professional and volunteer fire brigades, so that the teams could develop a feeling for driving and operating the pump as well as for the fast access to the devices and/or generally for technical procedures. After all, they had not yet had any experience with Rosenbauer vehicles; the 22 HLF 20s are the very first to be put into service in Leipzig. According to Brandrat Rößler, the feedback concerning the trial operation was very positive. He said, "The bright ambient lighting was one of the highlights, in the truest sense of the word. The Rosenbauer revolving staircase was also very well received, fully meeting our requirements for fast entry and exit into and out of the crew compartment and providing our emergency services with added safety. In any case, we are looking forward to being able to accept the first eleven vehicles into regular service in June after the predominantly positive experiences from the prototype tests and the subsequent optimizations." The Leipzig Fire Brigade The Leipzig Fire Brigade is one of the ten largest emergency rescue operations organizations in Germany The Leipzig Fire Brigade is one of the ten largest emergency rescue operations organizations in Germany. In addition to the 700 full-time employees in six fire stations of the professional fire brigade, there are over a thousand volunteers in 22 local fire brigades. In addition, 360 children and young people are involved in the youth fire brigade. The Leipzig Fire Department is not only responsible for fire protection and special rescue operations (high, deep, water rescue), it is also responsible for the general rescue service in the city and, among other things, transporting the sick. In addition, it acts as the garrison for the Federal Analytical Task Force. Robust, powerful fire-fighting vehicles In the previous year, the Leipzig Fire Brigade was alerted with more than 10,000 missions, almost half of which (4,634) - an unusually large number compared with other cities - were fire missions. Not least for this reason, the Fire Department opted for particularly powerful and robust fire-fighting vehicles for the latest procurement, which can be operated quickly and reliably and with which they can easily get through traffic.
The two cantons of Obwalden and Nidwalden are located in the heart of Switzerland, nestled in beautiful mountain landscapes of the Swiss Alps with high peaks, surrounded by lush green valleys, and picturesque serene lakes. However, this beautiful natural geography also brings with it many natural hazards to which the fire departments must adapt and respond to effectively, among other things with the help of the EMEREC operational management system. Since 2017, the fire departments of the Swiss cantons of Obwalden and Nidwalden have joined forces to form a fire department inspectorate. Over 80,000 inhabitants live in the operational area, which is largely rural. In addition to the specific geographical conditions, there are other challenges for the fire department: busy motorways with tunnels, three airfields, and a number of larger companies. There are also well-known tourist destinations with large hotels, ski resorts, and hiking areas, as well as many cable cars. Swiss fire departments rely on EMEREC The fire departments in the region must be prepared for and, above all, equipped for many dangers “The scenic backdrop is impressive, but the beautiful nature also holds dangers - streams, avalanches, lakes, storms, droughts leading to forest fires or flash floods have posed great challenges in recent years," says Stefan Enz from the Obwalden/Nidwalden Fire Department Inspectorate in Switzerland. In addition to this, there is heavy traffic and sometimes accidents on the busy transit routes. The fire departments in the region must therefore be prepared for and, above all, equipped for many dangers - from standard fires, through technical operations, to major catastrophes and natural disasters. EMEREC operations management system In order to maintain an overview of these challenging tasks, the Obwalden/Nidwalden fire departments inspectorate has adopted the EMEREC operations management system from Rosenbauer. "We have all operational plans, building information, and much more data pre-entered into the system. Thus, we always have the latest operational plans and essential data. Likewise, we can always query information on natural disasters when we are at the site of the operation," explains Stefan Enz. The benefits of the system are obvious to him, he says "It is easy to use, clear, requires little training, and is also available offline." A special partnership brings with it additional benefits: Rosenbauer's local distribution partner, Ecosafe, not only supplies its customers with the hardware and software for EMEREC, but also with its content. Ecosafe also creates a large number of contingency plans for emergency response organizations throughout Switzerland and is well acquainted with the dangers present in the region. Fire safety operations management EMEREC is already a valuable and helpful aid when managing missions Thanks to EMEREC, it is possible to maintain an overview and to provide an up-to-date, uniform picture of the situation for all participating emergency services, especially in the case of large-scale operations such as natural disasters with multiple operational sites. Communication and the exchange of information are essential success factors in the coordination and successful undertaking of such scenarios. However, the operations management system not only provides practical support in large-scale operations, but also in the everyday activities of the inspectorate's 19 fire departments. For Stefan Enz, it is clear that the modern EMEREC operations management system will continue to grow in importance over the coming years. Additional functions are already planned for implementation in the foreseeable future within the Obwalden/Nidwalden fire department inspectorate. EMEREC is already a valuable and helpful aid when managing missions. The use of this intelligent technology will certainly be expanded in the future in all likelihood.
The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) is the first fire service in North America to purchase a pre-series vehicle based on the Concept Fire Truck (CFT). The electric fire truck from Rosenbauer will be delivered in the first quarter 2021 and put into practice as part of a comprehensive test operation. CFT Technology In addition to its driving characteristics and safety features, the truck made an impression with its ergonomics and high functionality during the initial demonstrations last December. A sworn workforce of around 3,500 makes the LAFD one of the largest fire services in the US. It operates a fleet of 1,300 vehicles and responded to approximately 500,000 emergency calls last year, including 4,100 structure fires. Pre-series vehicle based on the CFT will have two batteries with a charge capacity of 100 kilowatt hours The LAFD and the City of Los Angeles are setting a clear example for sustainability and climate protection with the decision to use CFT technology. The purchase was made through Velocity Fire Equipment & Sales, which acts as a prime contractor and represents Rosenbauer Group in Southern California, Nevada and Arizona. Fully Electric Operation The pre-series vehicle based on the CFT will have two batteries with a charge capacity of 100 kilowatt hours. This enables fully electric operation for roughly two hours and covers around 90% of all applications. A 200-kilowatt range extender is integrated for longer application times. The fire truck will be adjusted to meet the needs of the LAFD in terms of usage and loading, without limiting the flexible vehicle architecture in the process, and is designed to meet all standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). “I am excited that we are the first Department in North America to order this cutting-edge fire engine,” says LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas. “The electric fire engine is an innovative tool that will help reduce noise, harmful diesel emissions, and provide a flexible tool for firefighting and rescue operations from a technologically advanced platform. We are looking forward to evaluating in a real-world environment once it hits the streets of Hollywood next year.” Meets All The Safety Standards “The future fire truck is fundamentally different from the vehicles which are in service at the fire stations today. It is multi-functional, fully connected and its flexible interior can be used as a fully featured command center. Its floor can be lowered facilitating minimum boarding and working levels. Electric engines reduce noise and pollution. We will develop a production-ready fire truck that meets all the safety standards" “I am particularly delighted to receive the order from the Los Angeles Fire Department, which really is a fantastic vote of confidence,” says Dieter Siegel, CEO of Rosenbauer International. “Together, we will develop a production-ready fire truck that meets all the safety standards of the NFPA and can seamlessly be brought into real operation further down the line.” Municipal Firefighting Vehicles Rosenbauer’s Concept Fire Truck was first presented to the public in 2016. As a fire truck of the future, it anticipates major mega-trends such as climate change, demographic change and urbanization, as well as the challenges that these entail for fire departments. The use of electric drives enables a completely new kind of vehicle architecture that is 100% tailored to these future scenarios and sets new benchmarks in terms of functionality and ergonomics. The main application area for innovative CFT technology at the moment is municipal firefighting vehicles, but it will also be applied to other types of vehicles further down the line. Rosenbauer estimates that the number of vehicles with technology similar to CFT will rise to around 3,200 by 2030; up to 400 such vehicles could already be in service in Northern America by 2025.
Large fires, ammunition finds, rescue operations, and searching for people: The scope of duties for the List Fire Department on the German island of Sylt is extremely broad. They are well prepared for these challenges with the new rescue firefighting group vehicle (HLF) 20 from Rosenbauer. Fire-Fighting Vehicles Almost 1,500 inhabitants live in List on Sylt, the northernmost municipality in Germany. Sand dunes, salt marshes, and the Wadden Sea characterize the unique environment on this island in the North Sea, which is especially famous for its wellness tourism. Its particular geographical location also poses special challenges for fire-fighting vehicles. The climate and the salt-laden air put more strain on the materials than in other regions. This makes it all the more important for Rosenbauer vehicles to use high-quality materials that are also manufactured with utmost precision. Numerous Rescue Operations In the optimally sorted equipment compartments there is space for additional hosesNot only is the climate itself a challenge for man and material, but also the various operations that the Fire Department of List on Sylt has to cope with. Last year they responded to 49 calls, including two major fires. The fire department was also called in when ammunition was found, as well as coping with numerous rescue operations, people searches, and smaller fire operations. The extensive equipment of the new HLF 20 mounted on a MAN chassis plays a decisive role in ensuring that it is optimally equipped for these different operations. The 2,000 liter water tank can be used to extinguish fires, and the vehicle is also equipped with a 180 liter foam compound tank. In the optimally sorted equipment compartments there is space for additional hoses, but also for the equipment required for rescue operations. The extendable LED light mast provides optimum illumination for night-time operations. Safety And Ease Of Use Before deciding to purchase the vehicle, they were able to put the HLF 20 through its paces. "It won us over right from the start. And not just us, but also the municipality representatives, who decide on the purchase," says Matthias Stahl from the List Fire Department on Sylt. The safety and ease of use of the new HLF 20 are of course also at an extremely high level Not just the equipment, but above all the outstanding manufacturing quality was a decisive argument. "The entire vehicle concept is very well thought out," says Matthias Stahl enthusiastically. The safety and ease of use of the new HLF 20 are of course also at an extremely high level. "You simply feel safe and comfortable on the way to operations or exercises", explains the Fire Chief of the List Fire Department. Tank Firefighting Vehicle The excellent cooperation between Rosenbauer and the List Fire Department during the procurement process and the very positive experience since the commissioning of the new HLF 20 have prompted the List Fire Department to choose Rosenbauer for the purchase of another new vehicle. The new tank firefighting vehicle (TLF) 4000 is due to arrive on the island of Sylt as early as spring. And it will increase the operational power and impact of the List Fire Department many times over.
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?