Passive Fire Protection (PFP)
Business France, the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy will be organizing the French pavilion at INTERSEC 2020, the world’s largest international trade fair for safety, security and firefighting that gives privileged access to MENA markets. The French industry has gained an international reputation in different fields such as fire prevention and firefighting, personal protective equipment (PPE), infrastructure protection and safety, those secto...
It is now widely recognized that regular cleaning of PPE is important and helps reduce firefighters’ long-term exposure to harmful contamination. However, it’s not always possible to use off-site cleaning services for self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Most firefighters share SCBA and often this vital equipment needs to be kept onsite in case of a major incident. This is where the Solo Rescue decontamination machine comes in. stainless-steel machines Bristol Uniforms is the...
London Fire Brigade’s first Commissioner in 75 years to have served as a commissioned officer in the British army signs a covenant with the UK armed forces. The agreement formalizes the Brigade’s commitment to supporting the Armed Forces community and recognizes the contribution to the country that serving military personal, veterans and their families have made and continue to make. Wider Military Family It is a great honor that one of my first official duties is to sign the Arme...
Registration is now open for the National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) 2020 Training Summit, which will take place June 26-27 in Orlando, FL. The conference is open to all volunteer firefighters, EMS providers, department leadership, and other fire department personnel from across the United States. Travel stipends are available to help more people attend. 2020 NVFC Training Summit This two-day classroom-based training event is an opportunity to learn from leading subject matter exper...
Nittan is a global pioneer of Analogue Addressable communication systems for use in Fire alarm systems. In fact Nittan was one of the first organizations to launch an Analogue Addressable system with our original Sensortec Protocol. More recently Nittan developed the Evolution communication protocol, based on Sine Wave Frequency Shift Keying (FSK) transmission and because it was such a technological leap forward, to this day it is one of the most reliable and powerful analogue addressable syste...
A free one-day seminar on the importance of sprinklers and suppression systems and their life-saving benefits is being held next month in St. Ives. The seminar, 'Providing a fire resilient environment for all', organized by The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA) in collaboration with, and hosted by, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service aims to inform industries on how to protect their buildings and occupants with sprinklers and suppression systems. Life-Saving Benefits Of S...
Nittan are delighted to announce that the Fire Alarm Store has become an Elite Distributor for Nittan products. Based in the Wirral, Alex and Alan first started trading with Nittan in September 2015 and have worked closely with Nittan over last 3 years. Their sales have grown significantly over that period, both in the UK and Internationally. Excellent Technical Support The Fire Alarm Store has been awarded Elite distributor status due to their achievements and their excellent technical Support. The picture shows Nittan MD, Mr Kadokura presenting the plaque to Alan Fowlie of the Fire Alarm Store, with Nittan RSM, Barry Simpson, on the Right hand side. Their trade counter is a great place to see the Nittan range with working Devices and Panels. Nittan looks forward to working even closer with them as an Elite Distributor and wish to congratulate them on their achievement.
Nittan are delighted that Taybell Fire and Security of Leeds have given pride of place to a Nittan demonstration board. Nittan’s Northern Regional Sales Manager, Steve McCarley handed over Nittan devices and assembled the board with David Thorley of Taybell. Addressable Fire Detection Devices The Nittan demonstration board features the Evolution 1 panel and our key Evolution analog addressable fire detection devices, complementing security and access control products already on display at Taybell. Director Michael Thorley said, “For the past four years Taybell have been installing Nittan Fire detection systems in a number of small and large commercial premises. We have complete trust in the product and happy to demonstrate their ease of use to our customers”.
A North East-based fire system manufacturer appoints its first Head of Digital, as it looks to realize the full potential of connectivity. Global systems provider, Advanced, designs, manufactures and supplies fire alarm control panels to over 80 countries across the globe from its headquarters in Newcastle. Christina Brugger joins Advanced as Head of Digital from the manufacturer’s FTSE 100 parent company, Halma PLC, where she helped various teams with developing digital business models, customer validation, pitching and execution. Several Cloud-Based Projects As a company we are looking to realize the full potential of digital connectivity" In her new role, Christina will oversee the development of several cloud-based projects to accelerate Advanced’s digital growth strategy. In leading the ‘commercial investigation’ for these projects, Christina’s role will touch almost all areas of the business, working closely with the products, technical support and sales teams to ensure a thorough market and customer understanding. Managing Director at Advanced, Pete Browitt, said: “As a company we are looking to realize the full potential of digital connectivity, Christina’s experience of working with various cloud-based platforms and innovation processes will significantly increase the knowledge and understanding of a digital approach for Advanced.” Cloud-Connected Fire Panel The newly created role comes as Advanced prioritizes its digital offering, which includes its first cloud-connected fire panel, the Go1, and its complete solution for remote management and servicing of the fire system, that is also set to significantly simplify on-site interaction, DynamixLive. Both products are due for launch in 2020. I’m thrilled to be joining Advanced at such a pivotal time in the company’s history" Christina said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Advanced at such a pivotal time in the company’s history. Understanding our customers’ different personas, their pain points, and what drives them to make decisions is key to delivering the best possible solutions for the market. Few manufacturing companies are this customer focussed, and I am lucky to be working with a team with such significant knowledge and expertise in working with cloud technology.” False Alarm Management Systems Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, protects all manner of prestigious and high-profile sites across the globe, from London’s Shard and the Savoy Hotel to Abu Dhabi International Airport and Las Vegas’ Golden Nugget Casino. 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 pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease of use of its products see 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, multiprotocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
IWCE the annual event for critical communications technology professionals, unveils its full program for its 44th annual conference to be held at the Las Vegas Conference Center, March 30th to April, 3rd 2020. Organizers expect more than 7,000 attendees for this year’s five-day day event which offers a two-day expo, educational workshops, short courses, power sessions, keynote addresses, town hall meetings, and networking events. The event will also host over 400 exhibitors from April 1-2 showcasing the latest products and services in hardware, networks, applications, interoperability and integration that drive communications systems. Push-To-Talk communications We expect the biggest buzz to be around 5G, FirstNet, and push-to-talk communications" IWCE Conference Director Stacey Orlick commented “We are delighted to officially announce the program for IWCE 2020. Since its inception IWCE has provided an opportunity for all those who work within the sector to stay ahead of all the latest developments. There are so many new technologies changing the critical communication industry right now we expect 2020 to be one of the most interesting events yet! We expect the biggest buzz to be around 5G, FirstNet, drones, Artificial Intelligence, augmented reality, wearables and push-to-talk communications.” “In addition, attendees can learn about the latest developments in safe cities, new infrastructure that affects utilities and transportation, in-building wireless systems, technology advancements and the latest regulatory insights that they should be aware of. It’s also always a great opportunity for professionals to network with their peers or gain a new certification in our partner ETA’s Educational Forum. We hope to see you in Las Vegas in March!” Advances in critical communications For the first time this year, attendees can experience Informa’s new outdoor Drone Demonstration where they can see the drones in-action! There will also be an expanded Safe Cities technology section on the main expo floor where there will be a theater showing content rich sessions that have a particular focus on advances in critical communications. All exhibit hall pass holders will be able to enjoy these new attractions. The innovations that are actually changing street performance for responders" The Keynote this year will be given on April 1st by Chief Jeffrey D. Johnson, CEO of The Western Fire Chiefs Association who will discuss “The innovations that are actually changing street performance for responders.” A second Keynote Address will be presented by Bryan Wiens, Senior Product Manager, Cloud Services, InterTalk Critical Information Systems. Wireless communications initiative Other speakers include: Michelle Geddes, Public Safety Communications Director, City and County of San Francisco, Department of Emergency Management Robert Zanger, Wireless Engineering and Operations Unit (WEOU), Department of Justice Bill Schrier, Senior Advisor, FirstNet Authority Shelley Westall, Broadband Program Manager, Washington State Public Works Board David Witkowski, Executive Director, Wireless Communications Initiative, Joint Venture Silicon Valley Vincent Sritapan, Portfolio Manager, Physical & Cyber Security, US Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate Interference management and cybersecurity The main tracks at this year’s conference will be NEW! 5G Track NEW! Safe Cities Track NEW! In-Building Wireless Track NEW! Smart X Track Connectivity Track Push-to-Talk & The Future of Voice Track Interoperability & Networking Track Disaster Comms Track Public Safety Broadband Track FirstNet Track 911 and Emergency Communications Track Network Infrastructure Track Planning & Preparation Track Critical Infrastructure Track Cybersecurity Track Transformative Tech Track ETA Technical Track In addition, co-located with IWCE 2020 is ETA International's Education Forum with 11 training classes providing certification in various technologies such as DAS, interference management and cybersecurity.
According to Protective Clothing Market Global Forecast to 2024 by MarketsandMarkets, the protective clothing market size is projected to reach USD 3.6 billion by 2024 from USD 2.6 billion in 2019, at a CAGR of 6.5%. The key market players profiled in the report include 3M (US), DuPont (US), Kimberly Clark (US), International Enviroguard (US), ULTITEC (Taiwan), and Lakeland (US). ULTITEC is proud to be mentioned as a major influencer as this proven ULTITEC moved beyond Asia into international standard. Introducing Appropriate Protective Clothing With over 10 years of experience in occupational safety, we do more than provide protective clothing" ULTITEC will be participating in INTERSEC 2020 again to introduce appropriate protective clothing to more potential users in the Middle East regions. Currently, ULTITEC has various renown users namely Shell Qatar, Qatargas, Dolphin Energy Limited, Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), Qatar Chemical Company (Q-Chem) and others. From the report, stringent regulations pertaining to the safety of personnel in developed economies are expected to drive the protective clothing market. “You know the job. We know the protection. Our first goal is your safety. We help you not only to comply with regulations, but your life is also what we care the most. In the ULTITEC world, all frontline operators come home safe. With over 10 years of experience in occupational safety, we do more than provide protective clothing. We build comprehensive safety training services to ensure frontline operators not only wear their protective gear, but also understand how to work safely.” said Jason Lin, General Manager of ULTITEC. Appropriate Selection Of Protective Clothing ULTITEC has witnessed winds of change blew through the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sector This year, ULTITEC is proud to announce few advanced services namely ULTITEC Selection App, Donning and Doffing Animated Video, Data Center and Online Product Training Videos. “ULTITEC encouraged appropriate selection of protective clothing, but there will be different varieties of uncertainty in Human Decision-Making. This App will minimize this uncertainty and assist you to select based on Occupational Risk, CE Certification, Additional Standard and ULTITEC Product Line. Our professional team will specially demonstrate the App during INTERSEC 2020.” said Jason. INTERSEC is the trade fair for security, safety & fire protection. Due to stricter legislative and safety requirements, ULTITEC has witnessed winds of change blew through the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sector. Technical Safety Training Services The trend is for protective clothing to be professional and yet be fully functional, which equipped with technical safety training services to make frontline operators not just feel safe but also as a valued team member in the workplace. Use the proper tool, then use the proper tool properly. Besides ISO 9001:2015 and CE Module D double certification, ULTITEC offers Type 3 to Type 6 protective clothing which abided to latest PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425. The best way to protect the workplace is to quickly familiarize with the dangers of the workplace before beginning work. Safety, is after all, in one’s hands. Remember, injuries are never planned; they happen when one least expects them so paying attention to the big picture of the work environment is essential.
The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) held a Passive Fire Protection Workshop at the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) AGM and Conference in Brighton on 17 July. The session examined how passive fire protection is currently delivered and aimed to determine what improvements could be made with reference to four key pillars within the building lifecycle. ASFP CEO Niall Rowan offered a brief introduction to the vital role of passive fire protection in saving lives and protecting firefighters and property. He also provided reviewed the current regulatory situation in the UK post Grenfell and the various Government consultations. Delegates at the interactive Workshop then considered potential improvements that could be made during design and specification; installation; inspection and certification; then through ongoing management/maintenance. In discussing the design of buildings there was much agreement that fire safety should be considered early in the design process. Mr Rowan highlighted that the ASFP has been working with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on creating a Fire Safety Overlay for the RIBA Plan of Works. Fire risk management It was highlighted that changes to Building Regulations do not apply to existing buildings This provides a detailed specification for fire protection at the design stage and a schedule for fire throughout the construction process. It includes sign offs as construction progresses, with all information reaching the end-user to support adequate fire risk management. There was support for this work, but a recommendation that the Plan of Works should include an enhanced role for fire engineers. Many in the audience raised concerns about enforcement, with inspections often not undertaken at crucial stages in the construction process and regulations not being strongly enforced. It was also highlighted that changes to Building Regulations do not generally apply to existing buildings. Recommendations for improving monitoring during the construction process included raising understanding of what should be inspected and when such inspections should occur; making third party certification of products and installers mandatory; and reintroducing the Clerk of Works role. Building Control Amendment Regulations (BCAR) BCAR introduces an enhanced inspection process and defines the role of professionals ASFP Ireland Operations Officer David O’Reilly highlighted how the design and construction process was handled in Ireland and after much discussion the Workshop delegates agreed that a similar process to the Building Control Amendment Regulations (BCAR) should be introduced in the UK, with designers having a responsibility to sign off the completed building. BCAR introduces an enhanced inspection process and defines the role of professionals throughout the process, requiring certificates to be signed at various stages by Assigned certifiers and Ancillary certifiers. There was also much discussion about how to improve the quality of installation. One recommendation was to develop a benchmark of good installation for each project and inspect to it. It was also felt important to ensure the competency of installers and maintenance staff. ASFP Head of Training Phil Brownhill highlighted that there was no mandatory requirement for any form of qualification to install fire protection but noted that the ASFP, in collaboration with the IFE, had developed a training course leading to Level 2 and Level 3 IFE qualifications The Workshop recommended that there should be mandatory qualifications for installers and inspectors of fire protection products.
Across the world, fire and rescue services vary greatly, and each will have their own unique circumstances and challenges to deal with. Firefighters in the USA and Australia are more likely to face wildland fires, whilst in the Middle East, firefighters deal more regularly with transport related fires involving hazardous materials. In many European countries, less than 10% of call-outs are fire related at all, with firefighters much more likely to attend traffic accidents, medical emergencies or flooding. A range of different climates also provide firefighters with specific challenges. Providing Optimum Protection These fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight Firefighters in hot and tropical Indonesia for example, will have different requirements to those in hot and arid South Africa, whilst those in Scandinavia operate in more temperate and cooler conditions. It’s important, therefore, that PPE manufacturers can provide a wide variety of options to suit particular environments and operations. PPE must be highly effective, comfortable, and suitable for the job in hand, wherever in the world the firefighters are operating. Selecting the right fabric for your PPE is the first step in providing optimum protection for the environment you are operating in. International fibre and fabric manufacturers have developed a number of highly specialized materials offering a range of benefits. Used in combination, these fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight. Best Quality Firefighting Garments Highly specialized and lightweight fibers for the outer-shell of a garment, for example, can provide outstanding air permeability and breathability, allowing metabolic heat to escape, whilst of course providing vital protection against the intense external heat and flames of a fire. The best quality firefighting garments combine this type of outer shell with an inner moisture barrier and liner system which draws moisture away from the skin, helping to keep the body cool and dry. Strenuous work in a hot environment causes profuse sweating, and if this sweat is not able to evaporate, the body is not able to cool itself effectively. Once the most appropriate fabric is chosen, the design and style of a garment also plays a crucial role in contributing to a firefighters’ safety. Maintaining A Comfortable Body Temperature Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed Whether operating in bushland, floods, on the roadside or even in extremely cold conditions, firefighters need to maintain a comfortable body temperature and stay dry. They are also likely to need to crawl, run, and climb to carry out the job in hand. Any protective clothing must be ergonomic and has to be able to work with them rather than hinder them. As a result, over and above the full structural firefighting garments available to FRSs, manufacturers have also developed innovative designs for more specific applications. For example, Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed, with USAR or technical rescue teams entering enclosed and confined spaces where high temperatures and often toxic smoke are hazards. Particular Protection Against Radiant Heat USAR firefighting garments therefore should be tear and puncture resistant, provide protection against blood-borne pathogens, offer physical protection at high risk points such as the knees and elbows, provide a high level of flexibility to afford maneuvrability in confined spaces, and crucially be lightweight and breathable to minimize heat stress. Alternatively, for firefighters engaged specifically in combatting forest and wildland fires, garments need to provide particular protection against radiant heat, and ideally feature a double layer of fabric to protect against sharp thorns and undergrowth. Today, many FRSs across the world use a combination of structural and technical rescue garments which can be particularly useful when faced with a range of operations requiring different levels of protection. Rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident International Standards Of Performance For PPE Frequently, rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident, for example. So long as these garments are tested and approved as compatible before they are used in combination, this can serve to improve ergonomics and comfort, and crucially can contribute to the lowering of heat stress in firefighters. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage To ensure the best level of protection, most countries demand conformity with both national and international standards of performance for PPE. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) which covers the USA, Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) which covers Europe, and the International Standards Organisation (ISO) which sets standards worldwide. Lighting And Communications Equipment In addition, each country will have its own National Standards Body (NSB), setting standards for its own specific interests. Ultimately, it is down to the customer to decide which standards they would like their PPE to follow. The best manufacturers can create PPE to meet a number of these standards simultaneously. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats Different countries, and even individual FRSs, often have particular additional requirements for their PPE, which can simply be down to style or color preference, or to accommodate particular tools or equipment they use. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats. Operational safety features such as integrated safety harnesses and drag rescue devices can also be specified. In addition, firefighter accessories including tools, lighting and communications equipment all have to be carried safely requiring a selection of loops, straps, D-rings, glove hooks, and pockets and flaps. Developing Innovative Solutions Finally, most FRSs aim to present a professional and clearly recognizable identity to their communities, so particular colors and badging can be an important feature of PPE. This has led to the introduction of a wide range of fabric colors and the increased use of Velcro fixings for identification badges with logos, names and roles being individually catered for. Called upon to handle an ever-increasing variety of challenges, in contrasting climates and situations, firefighters across the world are certainly faced with complex environments in which to operate. By carefully studying these conditions and listening closely to customers, PPE designers and fabric manufacturers will continue to work together to develop innovative solutions to meet these specific needs and create optimum garments for maximum protection and comfort.
Did you know an estimated 30% of smoke alarms in the UK are inoperable due to missing, flat or disconnected batteries? For a property to comply with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it is vitally important that all fire safety equipment is kept in perfect working order at all times. This involves checking that the fire safety equipment is accessible, well maintained and hasn’t been tampered with. There are many ways you can take care of your fire safety equipment, to ensure your property is prepared, should there ever be a fire. Equipment Assessment Checks There are two types of equipment assessment checks that should be carried out, including monthly and annually If you’re the ‘responsible person’ for commercial property, you need to ensure your building meets fire safety standards. Here are 5 tips on how to properly maintain your fire safety equipment. Both passive and active fire safety equipment must be check regularly for any signs of wear or damage. There are two types of equipment assessment checks that should be carried out, including monthly and annually. There is a range of equipment checks you must carry out, including fire doors, fire alarm test, emergency lighting and fire extinguishers. Emergency lighting should be checked monthly, with all issues kept in a logbook. Fire doors should also be checked to ensure their seals and frames are in good condition. Fire Alarm Tests All fire protection has to be checked annually including alarms, detectors, lighting, sprinklers, extinguishers and fire doors. They should be carefully inspected. Fire alarms are a legal requirement for commercial premises. To check that your Fire alarms still function correctly, it is important to get them serviced. All fire alarms should be tested, maintained and inspected by a competent person who is able to carry out any remedial work. Fire alarms are a legal requirement for commercial premises Fire extinguishers must be ready to work straight away in the event of a fire, so it is vital they are regularly checked and serviced. You should ensure they are maintained and kept in a functional condition. Every month, the pressure gauge should be tested on all fire extinguishers. Fire Risk Assessments Every year, it is required that a qualified technician carries out a thorough check on all your extinguishers for them to be fully serviced and certified. In addition to regular maintenance checks on your fire safety equipment, it is vital your commercial property has a fire risk assessment carried out every 4 years, with a renewal every 2 years. Fully trained and qualified assessors should undertake this to make sure it is done professionally Fully trained and qualified assessors should undertake this to make sure it is done professionally. By having a fire risk assessment review, it determines whether any changes could impact the ability for your equipment to properly protect your building. Fire Safety Logbook During a risk assessment, all fire doors must be checked to ensure they are in good condition and close efficiently with secure hinges. The fire seals must be fixed in position, with signs on the door present and legible. To keep an overview of all findings and actions, there should be a fire safety logbook and maintenance record that remains at your premises at all times. The logbook is used to record and review any significant findings when carrying out the fire risk assessment. This helps to keep all fire safety equipment functioning effectively and available to respond to emergency fires.
Within traditional commercial and industrial firefighting systems, engineers have primarily focused on permanent installation designs rather than entertaining alternative or supplemental mobile firefighting systems. Permanent installation design is typically better understood, supported, and supplied throughout the fire protection engineering and manufacturing community. However, mobile firefighting systems provide unique solutions and advantages compared to their permanent installation cousins such as flexible deployment, simpler servicing, improved economy, and much higher performance availability. The combination of both systems is frequently the most strategic solution for the facility operator. Limitations of fixed installation systems Permanent installation (fixed) systems include everything from sprinklers, foam systems, primary watermain pumps, and the plethora of piping in between. A large refinery complex will need to address various hazard mitigation and control problems that span both hardware and personnel needs. In the event standard hazard mitigation safety procedures and equipment have failed, the facility immediately initiates a hazard control operation. Passive fixed systems automatically engage the hazard through an array of sensors, mechanical triggers, and control algorithms. A properly designed system with adequate hazard coverage, preplanning, preventative maintenance, and testing will successfully terminate the hazard, while firefighting personnel respond and ensure no further hazards develop. This conceptual approach relies on hardware and personnel all operating as planned…. Combining permanent and mobile apparatus “According to plan” would never have any failures or fires, but history has a different script. In the worst-case petrochemical scenario, fixed systems fail to extinguish a hazard putting the entire response on human and mobile hardware resources. This would include but is not limited to firetrucks, mobile high-flow pumping systems, large mobile monitors, foam proportioning units, and large diameter layflat hose. This type of response escalates into a larger scale operation, sometimes involving agencies beyond the facility operator itself. Although a low probability event, the risk to life and property is significantly substantial. Fixed systems may be rendered inoperable due to the loss of electrical power or actual physical damage Reducing fire-related expenditureMore typical than the worst-case scenario, facilities experience both maintenance-related system downtimes and natural phenomena damage such as extreme weather and seismic events. In this case, fixed systems may be rendered inoperable due to the loss of electrical power or actual physical damage. In any of these situations, mobile fire apparatus may fill the gap requirements of the facility as their flexible storage and deployment would protect them from everything but the worst natural disasters. Their further benefit is that a smaller set of mobile apparatus resources may be used to protect a larger amount of infrastructure, especially while in use in a mutual-aid program between facilities and communities. According to the NFPA’s report “Total Cost of Fire in the United States”, fire-related damages and expenditures from 1980 to 2014 have risen from roughly $200B (adjusted for inflation to 2014) to nearly $330B. The greatest expenditure is in fire safety costs in building construction, amounting to $57.4B. Although the overall losses per year as a ratio to protection expenditures has dropped by roughly 70% over the past 30 years, petrochemical facility losses have continued to rise over the same time. In the worst-case petrochemical scenario, fixed systems fail to extinguish a hazard Petrochemical facility challenges According to the NFPA, refineries or natural gas plants had reported an average of 228 fires or explosions per year through the 1990s. Furthering this data with Marsh’s “100 Largest Losses, 25th edition”, refinery losses have continually expanded throughout the last two decades with 11 of the top 20 largest losses of the past 40 years happening during or after the year 2000. Two primary drivers of this trend are the advanced age of petrochemical facilities and their staggering complexity. As oil margins fall, upstream operational businesses are detrimentally affected by reduced investment in everything to new equipment, maintenance and passive safety systems. There is an observable correlation between a major oil price drop followed by upstream facility fire losses. Even with reduced investment and oil throughput growth rates, US refinery utilisation at the end 2017 was at 96.7%, the highest since 2005 (Marsh, The Impact of the Price of Oil). The short story is that systems and personnel are being asked to do more with less with each passing year. Cost-effective mobile apparatus systems Mobile fire apparatus is generally more cost-effective to procure when using standardised designs and application methodology. They can access open water sources by either drafting (when in close proximity to the water) or using floating source pumps (for variable level or difficult access water sources). Mobile fire apparatus is generally more cost-effective to procure when using standardized designs and application methodology With this open water access, they can provide significantly more water (upwards of 10,000 GPM or more per system if necessary) than any typical fixed fire pumping solution. Moreover, as their primary benefit, they are easy to move and deploy. This benefit allows them to be utilised at the point of hazard as needed while being easily accessible for service. While fixed systems are installed at “every known” hazard and must be continually maintained to operate effectively, mobile systems may be used sitewide or across facilities. This flexibility reduces overall capital expenditure requirements and establishes a valuable primary and secondary firefighting system depending on the hazard and facility resources. Combining fixed and mobile systems Permanent installation fire suppression systems are a mainstay of modern day firefighting. They provide immediate passive response with little human intervention. However, as facility utilisation is pushed to maximum capacity while fixed systems continually age out without adequate replacement or maintenance, mobile systems will need to both fill the response gap and provide a final wall to total loss incidents. The reality is that both fixed and mobile systems need to work together to provide the safest possible operation. Service and training requirements need to also be maintained to manage an adequate, or even better, exemplary response to hazard control incidents. Managing major facility uptime requires continuous oversight and to drive hazard mitigation standards throughout the organisation, including executive management. A safe, reliable and fully-functional plant is also a profitable and cost-effective plant much like a healthy worker is a better worker. Protect your people and property and you will protecting your company’s future.
Ethics should be considered in almost any decision in the fire industry. Here is an example: A customer asks a technician to forge a certificate saying the customer had previously passed a fire audit in order to validate his previous year’s insurance. What do you do? If a company has laid a strong ethical foundation, it’s much easier for the technician to refuse the customer’s request and cite the corporate Code of Ethics as a solid basis for the refusal. Chubb Fire and Security is among the companies providing an example of how an emphasis on ethics can benefit a company, their employees, their customers and the world. Corporate Code of Ethics At Chubb, we have a code of ethics, our ‘bible,’ that is issued to employees when they start" In the fire market, the result of unethical actions could make the difference in life and death. For example, if an employee acts unethically when servicing a fire extinguisher, the result could be to burn down the building. “At Chubb, we have a code of ethics, our ‘bible,’ that is issued to employees when they start,” says Harv Dulay, Director of Ethics and Compliance at Chubb Fire and Security. “Within the bible are core fundamental rules about what’s acceptable and not acceptable. We lay it out for employees very specifically. They understand and embrace the code of ethics, which is based on trust, integrity, respect, innovation and excellence. If you get them right, the business moves in the right direction”. She adds, “A key piece of our ethics policy is based on trust. We relate to others with openness, transparency, and empathy. It makes Chubb a better place to work and enables us to provide better service to customers.” Importance of conforming to fire safety regulations For Chubb, ethics is not just theoretical, but ethical concepts play out every day in practical ways. An example might be an engineer who goes to a customer’s site and is asked to do a task that is outside his or her duties and/or not allowed under the ethics policy. The pressure might be even greater if the employee is struggling to meet a sales figure. The code of ethics addresses specific situations and outlines the behavior that is expected. “Ethics is embedded in our values and has been since the beginning,” says Dulay. “Ethics is making sure people do the right things. Ethics is integrated into the Chubb business model, and everyone knows what is expected of them. It’s a message heard from the top down, from everyone in the company.” Fire safety and security risks “The fire and security industry is different than others because lives and people’s safety are on the line,” Dulay says. “Our purpose is to protect clients from fire safety and security risks. This is a business where no one should take short cuts. It is important to do the right thing all the time, every time, and it’s about protecting lives and property.” Ethics discussions begin for employees at Chubb when they join the company; clear instructions about ethics are included as part of employee induction. There are nine modules of ethics training during employee orientation, and a discussion with an Ethics and Compliance Officer is part of the onboarding process. Online ethics training modules A series of supervisor-led trainings encourage managers to deliver face-to-face ethics training to their team The training program includes information about ethics, company expectations around ethics, where to go for questions about ethical issues, and details of the anonymous ombudsman program. Additionally, field staff is trained by their supervisors via regular face-to-face ethics toolbox talks. Office staff completes a series of on-line ethics training modules regularly. A series of supervisor-led trainings encourage managers to deliver face-to-face ethics training to their team, citing real-life examples. Healthy discussions are encouraged to deal with any ‘gray areas’. Dulay estimates that ethics and compliance officers spend about half their time answering questions and clarifying for employees what’s expected in the code of ethics. Data security Some 14,000 employees globally have multiple options when it comes to reporting an issue, and there are full-time Ethics and Compliances Officers in every country where Chubb does business. A reflection of Chubb’s global approach to compliance is their worldwide implementation of data security requirements of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); the company saw the benefits of the program for any jurisdiction. Training and education are part of Chubb’s investment in ethics. For example, a recent module on ‘respect in the workplace’ covered the need to create a company culture in which everyone feels respected. Training and education are part of Chubb’s investment in ethics Training and communication “Training and continuous communication are embedded in the organization. We invest in the process,” says Dulay. She adds, “We have had employees who left the company and then come back. They realized the importance of ethics and rejoined us.” “We start with the foundation that we would rather lose business than give up our ethical standards,” says Dulay. “We won’t abandon our policies even if there is money at stake. Some business is not worth getting if you don’t adhere to your values.” Effective conflict resolution “We manage potential conflicts proactively by creating and instituting methods in which employees have access to tools they can use to be successful and adaptable in times of change,” says Dulay. “Also, we will not tolerate retaliation against any employee who reports wrongdoing – regardless of the outcome of the investigation.” We measure it by people’s conduct, the number of cases we have, and awareness" And while there is no specific monetary value assigned to good ethical practices, success can be measured. “We measure it by people’s conduct, the number of cases we have, and awareness,” says Dulay. Good ethics behavior “It’s good for employee morale, and it’s good for customers and our business. It’s not measurable, but it is fundamental for business and customers. The work we do as a company can impact people’s lives so it is important that everyone has an understanding of the importance of their role,” says Dulay. A common misconception about ethics is that if no one is watching, it must be ok. However, Dulay says it is the things employees do when no one is watching or checking in on them that form good ethics behavior. During training, Chubb emphasizes that ethics is about doing the right thing, all the time even if no one is watching.
How can a building’s fire systems be integrated with access control and other security systems to ensure effective function of both? It can be a challenging and delicate endeavor. Integration of fire and security systems provides multiple benefits and some challenges to be addressed. It is useful to consider fire and security systems as part of the same overall mission to keep a building and its occupants safe, while also being attentive to the differing roles of the systems and how they can complement each other. integrating security and fire systems Integrating security and fire systems is becoming paramount to create improved efficiency “There’s a conflict between life safety and security systems,” says Karen Trigg, Business Development Manager, South East, for lock company Allegion (UK) Ltd. “We must secure buildings without impeding the flow of movement and hindering immediate escape should a fire incident occur. To do this, we must have a greater understanding of building requirements.” In today’s world, integrating security and fire systems is becoming paramount to create improved efficiency and effectiveness of a building’s safety technology — and this integration can provide monumental benefits, says Eric Widlitz, Vice President of Sales for North America for access control company Vanderbilt Industries. video management systems For example, in the event of a fire, an alarm from a fire system can trigger an access control system to release locks on fire escape doors, as well as generate muster reports to provide information on who is inside the building, says Widlitz. “Additionally, video management systems have the ability to provide access to real-time, remote video footage of the fire’s actual location, helping firefighters and other emergency personnel to assess the situation and respond with greater accuracy.” Many challenges and opportunities that facilities face when integrating systems relate to whether a building’s infrastructure is designed well enough to connect security and fire systems, says Julie Brown, Institutional Market Leader for Johnson Controls. By conducting a site assessment first, owners and managers can better determine where physical building updates may be needed. Integration Of Video Surveillance And Fire Alarms Adjusting design in this case can eventually help make the integration of video surveillance and fire alarms easier" For example, if video surveillance is obstructed in certain areas, owners need to identify if the cameras can be moved to a better location or if physical alterations to the building are needed. “Adjusting design in this case can eventually help make the integration of video surveillance and fire alarms easier,” says Brown. “In the event that a fire alarm sounds, owners can have peace of mind that their cameras have an unobstructed view and that they can be automatically alerted to provide visibility into the area affected and potential cause of the alarm. It is critical to occupant safety that building owners address any design hurdles. Budget is often an issue,” says Trigg. “Although a challenge, understanding budgets – not only for the system in place but also ongoing maintenance and upgrades – helps uncover the correct solution, showing that the ‘cheaper option’ may cost more in the long run for some.” thermal imaging cameras Joe Byron, Vice President for the Americas for MOBOTIX Corp, says integrating fire and security opens the door to a world of possibilities. “When specifically looking at industrial applications, these systems require an added layer of reliability in order to guarantee workplace safety and operational efficiency,” he says. This technology is tied into the fire-suppression system and can monitor the temperature of specified machines" Byron points to a specific deployment as an example: MOBOTIX’s work with KUHN RIKON, a world-renowned cookware manufacturer. In 2015, during mechanical pot polishing, an abrasive component spontaneously combusted causing a large-scale fire, leading to a dust explosion, says Byron. “While an unfortunate tragedy, this led to an opportunity to outfit the plant with thermal imaging cameras,” he adds. “This technology is tied into the fire-suppression system and can monitor the temperature of specified machines. With built-in logic, the cameras can alert technicians to heat warnings and, if not acted upon, can automatically shut-down the machinery and queue fire systems if required.” Fire And Security Systems A well-designed and integrated control room can help to organize, automate and streamline critical sensors by implementing workstations that transmit only the most critical information at any given time. “Additionally, operators are better equipped to make more educated and timely decision by leveraging audible alarms, visual LED indicators and video displays with built-in intelligence to change content based on triggers from third-party systems such as fire, building automation and access control,” says Dan Gundry, Director of National Control Room Sales for Vistacom. At the end of the day, fire and security systems are two elements of the same mission: To keep buildings and their occupants safe. However, the two systems often operate independently and may not be integrated. More integration offers benefits, but there are pitfalls to be avoided.
Among the tools of the fire service, some of the most powerful are hand-held devices. These technologies provide information to firefighters than can direct their approaches to emergency situations and safe lives. Today, more powerful devices are available in smaller, hand-held form, sometimes taking the place of much larger and more expensive devices. For example, previously the Los Angeles Fire Department carried just one large thermal imaging camera (TIC) that cost upwards of $10,000 on each fire engine. Structure Damage Evaluation Los Angeles is one of the municipal fire departments in the country to equip every on-duty firefighter with a hand-held TIC A new, smartphone-sized TIC from Seek Thermal, Santa Barbara, Calif., costs just $750 and now offers each firefighter the ability to perform faster search and rescues, execute a self-rescue if needed and locate smoldering hot spots. Los Angeles is one of the largest municipal fire departments in the country to equip every on-duty firefighter with a hand-held TIC. The purchase of a thousand TICs for the LAFD was made possible by the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation through the support of individual donors and organizations such as the Wasserman Foundation and California Community Foundation. Hand-held TICs are becoming more and more popular. FLIR has unveiled the K1 handheld TIC that is more affordable for first responder officers and fire investigators. At $599, the K1 detects heat and provides visibility through smoke and in total darkness to enhance situational awareness for use in wildland fire control, search and rescue missions, structure damage evaluation and investigative work. FLIR has unveiled the K1 handheld TIC that is affordable for first responder officers and fire investigators Gas Leak Detector The K1 is powered by the FLIR Lepton thermal microcamera and uses MSX technology, which extracts high-contrast details from the images taken by an onboard visible light camera and superimposes them onto the thermal images. It simultaneously captures thermal and visible images of a scene and stores up to 10,000 image sets to create post-scene reports, analysis and evidence. A pistol grip design allows firefighters to view a scene from their line-of-sight for improved safety and situational awareness. A spot thermometer easily identifies unseen hot and cold spots for instant troubleshooting. New handheld devices in the fire service also include a gas leak detector and a combination device that is cloud-ready. The Ultra-Trac LZ-30 compact methane-specific leak detector from Sensit Technologies provides fast and accurate readings up to 100 feet away. The device uses TDLAS (tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy) to provide instantaneous alerts to the presence of methane. Potentially Dangerous Situations Firefighters can conduct leak detection investigations themselves without the need for PPM detectors Operating at a distance, the LZ-30 eliminates the need for firefighters to access the gas plume directly and keeps them safe from potentially dangerous situations. They don’t have to climb to elevated areas or access fenced-in property or climb to elevated areas. Firefighters can conduct leak detection investigations themselves without the need for specialized PPM detectors – no need to wait for gas engineers. A simple interface provides user-friendly operation of the ergonomically designed instrument. Another wireless, handheld device includes thermal imaging, firefighter ranging, motion alarm and cloud technology with GPS. MSA Fire’s LUNAR is a small, wireless, cloud-ready device designed to provide higher levels of protection for firefighters through enhanced vision, improved situational awareness, and team connectivity. It is part of a suite of SMA products that, when used together provides a new platform for firefighter safety. MSA Fire’s LUNAR is a small, wireless, cloud-ready device designed to provide higher levels of protection for firefighters Better Situational Awareness It can be used as a stand-alone device or as part of an MSA self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) system. Thermal imaging increases visibility and improves situational awareness. Firefighter ranging combines direction and distance information to find separated teammates and decrease response time. A motion alarm sounds an alert if it does not detect a firefighter’s motion. Production of the device will begin in summer 2020. The ability to provide better situational awareness to firefighters in the palm of their hands can go a long way toward keeping firefighters safer. For example, LAFD says the thousand new TICs are a significant technology purchase and a critical component to their ‘Everyone Goes Home’ initiative. We often marvel at the powers of modern technology, and clearly those powers include saving lives.
Nittan Europe, UK manufacturer of conventional and addressable fire detection products, has had its Evolution analog addressable fire detection system installed into TOR School in Glastonbury, Somerset. The system was installed by Coomber Fire and Security Systems who are a Nittan Elite Partner and BAFE SP203-1 & SP101 accredited. The TOR School is an alternative to mainstream school for children and young people who may be struggling to cope in their existing educational environment in the Mendip area of Somerset. As a part of a recent expansion project, a new building has been added which required a comprehensive fire detection system. Addressable Fire Detection System They have been designed to reduce false alarms caused by non-combustion products The Nittan Evolution analog addressable fire detection system, installed by Coomber Fire & Security Systems, has provided the school with a system which is not only reliable, resilient to false alarm, and simple to use, but also saved the school time and money. At the heart of the system is Nittan’s evolution1 control panel, with Nittan EV-PS Photoelectric Smoke Detectors with in-built sounder and EV-DP Dual Wavelength Photoelectric Smoke Detectors. Nittan’s Evolution EV-DP smoke detectors have been installed by Coomber Fire & Security Systems in the science labs and DT workshops to prevent false alarms. They are ideally suited to this demanding environment as they have been designed to reduce false alarms caused by non-combustion products such as steam, dust and aerosols. Optical Smoke Sensor As steam and dust are much larger particles than smoke, the detector won’t false alarmUnlike other industry standard (single optical sensor) smoke detectors on the market that claim to distinguish between smoke and non-combustion products, the EV-DP effectively measures the actual particle size in the chamber via its combined IR and blue LED technology. As steam and dust are much larger particles than smoke, the detector won’t false alarm. Also highly reliable, the Evolution EV-PS Optical Smoke Sensor installed across other areas of the school building has the added benefit of the sounder fully integrated within the sensor itself. This makes for a cost effective, quick installation and is more aesthetically pleasing. The Nittan evolution 1 panel provides complete control and monitoring capabilities for all system devices and has especially been designed with the needs of both the installer and end user in mind. Most Addressable Systems Ease of use was paramount and the panel’s LCD touch screen display and intuitive, easy to use menu structure met this, making the handover from Coomber to the customer very straightforward. Staff at Mendip Partnership School are confident in how to operate the system. Evolution 1 panels have very comprehensive, but simple to use ‘Cause and Effect’ capabilities Evolution 1 panels have very comprehensive, but simple to use ‘Cause and Effect’ capabilities and, like most addressable systems, allow comprehensive programming of the sounder outputs. Furthermore, the Cause and Effect matrix can be set up via the onboard touch screen and menu structure or using the PC tools and downloaded to the panel. The panel also has two configurable rs485 ports for connection and supports up to eight separate password protected users, so that all nominated members from the school can easily access it. Ensuring Total Fire Security For Its Customers Lee James, General Manager – Product Marketing at Nittan said, “Nittan takes care to not only ensure total fire security for its customers, but also puts special attention in fostering relationships with its partners. Coomber Fire & Security Systems, the largest independent fire and security installer in Somerset, is one of our Elite Partners.” “This program was developed by us to acknowledge and reward a select group of installation partners that have shown commitment to promoting the Nittan brand and have undertaken product training to a high level in order to ensure the uppermost standards of customer service. Their work on this project is testament to that.”
Nittan Fire Alarm system protects the ‘Better Life Hospital’, Bangladesh. Nittan partner, Unique Multi Engineering Limited have installed a comprehensive UL approved Nittan SPERA Fire Alarm system to protect the Better Life Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The system consisting of Nittan’s UL approved NFU-7000 Fire Alarm control panel, 325 detection devices and 36 Pull Stations with 36 Bells. Japanese Designed Fire Alarm Devices The Far Group who own and operate the 18 floor hospital building, containing 226 patient beds and 6 operating theatres, chose Unique Multi Engineering to lead this project due to their strong technical team and commitment to customer service. Nittan’s state of the art SPERA system, was specified due to the proven reliability of their Japanese designed Fire Alarm devices, plus the assurance that all parts carry UL approval.
A Nittan evolution1 panel and devices supplied by G2 Fire was recently installed by G-One Fire to assist Cape Parts Distributors in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, protect their building, staff and stock. Cape Parts Distributors specializes in brake and clutch hydraulic components. Keeping the wide range of stock and specialist manufacturing equipment in good working order is essential to the business operations. The evolution1 panel, Single Loop Addressable system provided a cost effective detection system throughout the building while minimizing disruption to the running of the business. Enabling Quick Installation Hennie Strydom of G-One Fire selected the Nittan system specially to enable a quick installation, which was made possible by the easy configuration of the evolution1 panel and also the reduced wiring and installation time benefit of using the Nittan smoke detector with built-in sounder. Hennie is always keen to try new technology and as he put it ‘was happy to test the waters’ with the Nittan panel never having worked on it before. He was very impressed with its intuitive menus, straight forward setup and simple operation. His client is delighted with the small size of the panel, user friendly touch screen and all the perks of having addressable device information without a high price tag. G2 Fire is an authorized Nittan distributor in South Africa and not only hold stocks of Nittan equipment, but also offer local Technical Support and Training.
AAR MRO Services supports airline operators with everything from maintenance inspections and equipment upgrades to airframe painting and heavy maintenance for all major aircraft in service. The largest MRO operator of its type in the Americas, AAR recently opened the company’s largest facility, located at the Chicago Rockford International Airport. Here, each of two 10-story hangar bays can accommodate hundreds of ‘small’ aircraft, two Boeing 787s or even an Airbus A380, the largest commercial aircraft in production today. Also in each of the two bays are 10 Det-Tronics optical flame detectors that function as the critical sensors for the AAR hangar’s fire protection system. Heavy Maintenance Inspections Aircraft spend anywhere from three days to two months in AAR’s hangars Russel Daubert, AAR Rockford’s Facility Manager, and Chris Wolf, Director of Maintenance, have overseen the 24-hour operations at the MRO hangar since it opened in late 2016. AAR serves multiple airline customers, and like any MRO facility, Wolf says their goal is to “get lines that are current, which means an airline operator will continually bring in one plane after another to keep their fleet operating safely.” Daubert adds, “The biggest portion of our work is airframe overhauls and heavy maintenance inspections, and depending on the aircraft, we can have up to 225 aircraft in each hangar at one time plus 50 to 60 crew.” Aircraft spend anywhere from three days to two months in AAR’s hangars. Fire protection in MRO hangars must be able to handle the challenges associated with servicing aircraft. Conventionally Constructed Fire Hangars According to Wolf, aircraft bring inherent fire hazards to MRO facilities. “These aircraft come in with 70,000 to 80,000 pounds of fuel,” Wolf says. “Add the oxygen tanks on board for passenger and crew safety, plus the possible sparks from electrical equipment or other sources, and you have all the ingredients needed for fire.” Maintenance also involves painting aircraft in the hangars, which can result in the circulation of highly flammable paint plumes under and around wings and fuselage. Hangars in these groups usually require both sprinklers and foam for fire protection Fire protection standards specific to aircraft hangars are spelled out in the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA® 409 Standard on Aircraft Hangars. This document classifies hangars by size and construction type; conventionally constructed fire hangars with fire areas of 40,000 sq. ft. or less are classified in Groups I, II and III. Hangars in these groups usually require both sprinklers and foam for fire protection. High Expansion Foam Suppression System AAR’s Rockford facility is unique both for its immense size and for its construction method, a fabric tension membrane over steel trusses. The 2-inch thick insulated material meets NFPA 701 and ASTM E-84 standards for flame retardancy, fire safety advantages that led the NFPA to decide hangars covered in this fabric would fall in a Group IV classification. Group IV hangars can have an unlimited fire area and need only a low- or high expansion foam suppression system. One of the goals of MRO service providers is to provide fast turns of the planes entrusted to them by airline operators. To support this objective, a hangar fire detection system must have two very important capabilities: quickly detect the presence of flames, and reject false alarms (generated by welding, engine start-ups, etc.) that could unnecessarily initiate suppression systems, interrupt operations and potentially lead to significant aircraft damage. Fire Protection System The project manager for the Chicago Rockford hangar expansion looked to local fire protection contractor The solution for hundreds of hangars in the past 10 years – from military bases to commercial hangars and MRO facilities – has been to deploy optical flame detectors from Det-Tronics. When it was time to specify the fire protection system for the mammoth hangar bays, the project manager for the Chicago Rockford hangar expansion looked to local fire protection contractor, Absolute Fire Protection, Inc., to handle the fire protection system. In turn, John Danis of Absolute called in 3S Incorporated, a Harrison, Ohio firm that specializes in industrial and special hazard systems, to design the detection and foam suppression part of the fire protection system. Because of the size and scope of the Rockford hangar, 3S and Absolute, along with other design and building partners, worked for nearly three years to take the project from initial planning to construction. Multispectrum Infrared Flame Detectors During that time, a construction engineer had calculated it would take no less than 84 detectors per hangar bay to monitor the facilities for fire. Aaron Hinkle, sales engineer at 3S, disagreed. “I realized that was far more than necessary, if we just picked the right product for the job,” he says. All the alarms contractor had to do was install four detectors on each side wall" Hinkle had worked with the Det-Tronics X3301 Multispectrum Infrared (IR) flame detectors on previous hangar projects, and he knew the units possessed the optical power, field-of-view capacity and speed to do what was required. In consultation with Det-Tronics applications engineers, Hinkle came to the conclusion that, “Because of the X3301’s performance attributes, each 119,000-square-foot hangar could be covered with just 10 detectors from Det-Tronics. Using just ten detectors per bay greatly simplified the work,” Hinkle explains. “All the alarms contractor had to do was install four detectors on each side wall and two on the back wall. The front wall is the giant door that opens up to allow the craft to enter and exit.” False Alarm Rejection There were considerable cost savings in equipment and related hardware, as well as labor savings due both to the small number of units to be installed and the fact that the X3301 detectors could be placed at a much easier-to-reach height of just 8 to 10 feet off the floor rather than near the top of the 10-story hangar bays. To maximize false alarm rejection, X3301 flame detectors are programmed to run in Det-Tronics® Hangar Mode™, an option that incorporates a delay mechanism. The mechanism extends the processing time to react to fires, letting the detector distinguish between an actual fire and an event like a short duration auxiliary power unit startup. The operation mode has no effect on detection ranges or field of view, but can prevent an innocent action (such as a crew firing up gas heaters to stay warm) from resulting in an unwanted foam dump. Foam Suppression System AAR’s foam suppression system has gone off only once, and that was intentional An impressive demonstration to date, AAR’s foam suppression system has gone off only once, and that was intentional. To certify that the new system was working properly, Absolute, 3S and other suppliers commissioned the overall protection system by simulating an actual fire suppression event. They recorded it on video, and it’s a stunning sight. Daubert, facility manager for the AAR hangars, was delighted when he saw the video. “Within seconds of being triggered, foam erupts from dispensers in the ceiling. In no time, it has put a layer on every inch of the hangar’s floor. Within 3-and-a-half minutes, the foam has stacked up to a 10-foot depth, smothering any possible fire.” “I had never seen a system of that magnitude before,” Daubert continues. “Seeing just how fast we could stop a fire from spreading and put it out was pretty impressive. Thanks to the Det-Tronics detectors and the system’s other components, it’s obvious our hangar is well protected from the dangers of fire.”
Just one MxPro addressable fire panel and Advanced’s false alarm management solution, AlarmCalm, has been used to protect every unit in a UK business park from false alarms and improve fire protection. Rawmec Industrial Park is home to nearly 100 businesses, with light industrial spaces from 2,480 to 7,000 sq ft. The new system was installed following a recent fire in one of the manufacturing units, after which it was decreed that a new site-wide fire alarm system was required. Installers CRE8 Electrical Solutions approached IGPA Services Limited who designed, supplied and commissioned a system that included a single Advanced MxPro 5 panel in the main reception, with an AlarmCalm Button intelligent loop device in each unit, allowing occupants to delay a full alert when an erroneous incident occurs. AlarmCalm There are several units where false alarms are likely, including a vehicle repairers and other manufacturing facilities" AlarmCalm is available as standard on Advanced’s MxPro 5 multiprotocol panels, and delivers unprecedented control of verification times and investigation delays by dividing site up into virtual false alarm building areas that can be points, rooms, floors or whole buildings. The optional AlarmCalm Button allows trained occupants to verify if they believe a local fire signal is a false alarm, helping to radically reduce false alarm incidents. Lambros Nicolaou, Design Manager/G.M for IGPA Services Limited , explained, “There are several units where false alarms are likely, including a vehicle repairers and other manufacturing facilities. Following the recent fire, the insurers and Fire Services told the park owners that a single, integrated system was required. As a long-time Advanced partner, MxPro panels were the obvious choice for us as they offer the quality and reliability needed for a light industrial environment, but the budget wouldn’t stretch to a networked panel in each unit, so we needed to provide a solution suitable for the building layout and business practices.” Single-loop MxPro 5 system “After further consideration we concluded that using a single-loop MxPro 5 system, with an AlarmCalm Button in each unit will provide a cost-effective solution that offers peace of mind to all tenants and their employees, while also fulfilling the stipulated requirements.” If the alert is genuine, the occupants can simply evacuate and allow the full alert to go ahead The fire system is programmed using a set of Cause and Effects so that activation of a single detector within a unit will only trigger the sounders in that specific area (alarm zone). If the alert is genuine, the occupants can simply evacuate and allow the full alert to go ahead, the added bonus of activating a local manual call point would also initiate a full evacuation, but if it is false or unwanted, i.e. caused by steam or car exhaust fumes, each unit has 60 seconds in which to press the AlarmCalm Button and avoid a site wide evacuation alert. If the cause of a confirmed false alarm is taking time to clear, a further two minute window can be activated by utilizing the AlarmCalm feature, but if more than one detector is triggered at any point the system automatically goes to full alert. AlarmCalm Button Amanda Hope, UK Business Development Manager for Advanced, commented, “While AlarmCalm can work on any MxPro 5-based system, the AlarmCalm Button was originally developed with residential buildings, such as hospitals or hotels, in mind. This system meets the requirements of Rawmec Industrial Park by using the AlarmCalm Button in an innovative new way.” “Using the single-panel MxPro 5 system, each factory unit is programmed as an individual building area with its own false alarm management strategy. The detectors and panels can do much of the work on their own, using cause and effect programming, while the optional AlarmCalm Button provides further peace of mind to the occupants of each unit and across the site.” MxPro 5 panels can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, 200-panel networks MxPro 5 is the fire industry’s leading multiprotocol panel, offering high-performance fire detection and alarm control across multi-panel networks and multiple sites. Approved to EN54 2, 4 and 13, MxPro 5 panels can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, 200-panel networks covering huge areas. Advanced’s legendary ease of installation and configuration make MxPro customizable to almost any application. Intelligent fire systems Harriet Sullivan, spokesperson for Kechto Holdings Ltd, owners of Rawmec Industrial Park, commented, “We’ve been very impressed with the solution devised by IGPA Services Limited who also supplied and commissioned the system, manufactured by Advanced. The MxPro panel is both reliable and intuitive to operate, while the use of the AlarmCalm Button in the units was a highly innovative solution to the requirement for a cost-effective system to cover the whole site.” Advanced is a developer and manufacturer of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease-of-use of its products sees them used in prestigious and challenging locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control and fire paging systems.
Sunrise Software, a supplier of IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions, announces that North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has upgraded its ITSM platform and refreshed and extended its services to support its nearly 1,000 staff as they safeguard lives and property across an area of 2,400 square miles. Operating from 44 fire stations, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service helps to protect an estimated population of 678,461 people as well as hundreds of thousands of tourists and visitors. Annually it attends around 3,200 fires, 500 road traffic collisions and 500 other emergency incidents. Providing Access To Specific Folders As part of its journey it was keen to maximise its use of the platform to increase efficiency Technology is mission-critical to the service’s role, from the alerters (pagers) used to call retained firefighters to incidents, through control room systems to the mobile data terminals on appliances. The six strong IT support team handles thousands of technical calls per year. A long-term user of the Sunrise service management platform, North Wales Fire and Rescue first introduced self-service in 2018. As part of its journey it was keen to maximise its use of the platform to increase efficiency, better support users and extend Sunrise’s capabilities and functionality into other departments. This has led to a full upgrade to Sunrise ITSM 4, going live in early 2020. This provides for a user-friendly interface for self-service, management dashboards and a new automated approach to requests around new starters/leavers and providing access to specific folders. Protecting The Lives And Property Previously this was all paper-based, adding considerably to the time taken to authorise requests as forms had to signed, authorised and manually sent back to IT. “We rely on a lot of bespoke systems and configurations, which means service management has to be efficient and effective to ensure we are delivering on the frontline,” says Steve Morris, ICT Technical Manager, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service. Thanks to the flexibility of Sunrise and the introduction of ITSM 4 we can now make big improvements" “Thanks to the flexibility of Sunrise and the introduction of ITSM 4 we can now make big improvements in the way we deliver ICT service to users and ensure our teams continue to be best equipped to protect the lives and property of the people of North Wales.” The new Sunrise implementation also provides a platform for other departments to reach employees through the self-service portal. Corporate Communications Team As well as IT-specific content, this includes training videos from the corporate communications team to make it easier to share knowledge, and to reduce the need for trainers to travel large distances to deliver courses. Future plans could see further expansion. As well as potentially adding HR forms, the data protection team is evaluating switching to Sunrise to record and monitor incoming Freedom of Information requests. This would enable previously manual steps to be automated, with in-built SLAs ensuring response times are met, as well as providing a full audit trail. Geoff Rees, Director of Operations and Sales of Sunrise, comments: “The emergency services rely on technology, making its effective support a vital part of their operations. As North Wales Fire and Rescue’s experience shows, introducing automation and self-service can increase efficiency and deliver real value in a fast-paced, resource-constrained environment.”