Passive Fire Protection (PFP)
Potter announces the acquisition of three mainstay product lines in the fire alarm industry: Harrington Fire Alarm, Evax Systems, and CPG Signals. The acquisition of these three product lines will not only strengthen Potter’s position in life safety products, but will also broaden the range of products and services available to customers in order to meet all their fire protection needs. By incorporating the technologies of these products, Potter will expand its fire system and voice produ...
To help support the Fire Door Safety Week 2021 campaign, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland has announced the launch of a new best practice guide - ‘Fire Doorsets’ guide, on how to specify, install, maintain and inspect fire-certified doorsets in residential and commercial buildings. ‘Fire Doorsets’ guide The ‘Fire Doorsets’ best practice guide has been compiled, based on the knowledge and expertise of ASSA ABLOY’s FDIS-trained inspectors, a...
Thermal imaging is an advantageous tool for firefighters on the frontline. As thermal cameras have become more compact and affordable, their availability has expanded, along with their usefulness. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: How does thermal imaging serve the needs of firefighters and how is it changing?
“Luckily, today fire safety is a topic not only experts and constructors, but also the end-consumer is interested in,” said Marc Husband, Purchasing Director at Leader Doors, one of the UK’s renowned door manufacturers and retailers. Over the last few years, there have been many changes in building regulations for flats, apartments and offices for fire safety. Any building with more than three floors needs to be equipped with FD30 rated 30-Minute-Fire-Doors, to ensure that in t...
Fires have devastating consequences, not just posing a threat to property, but also to human life. Fires can also have detrimental impacts on the environment, with one of the largest associated environmental issues being water runoff occurring from tackling the fire. What is Fire Water Runoff? - Water is widely used to extinguish fire, thanks to its accessibility and effectiveness. Typically, water isn’t hazardous and doesn’t pose any threats, however, it can easily become contamin...
‘Fire weather’ is the combination of weather and environmental factors that determine the potential spread of a wildfire. Typically, the main concerns are wind, temperature, and moisture. Lightning is also critical as it is a semi-forecastable parameter. Typically, bigger fires need low moisture, high temperatures, and high winds. Too much moisture and fuels (grass and trees) won’t burn. If the winds are too weak, the fire becomes easily contained and unable to create spot fi...
Fire safety doesn’t happen by accident, it requires universal attention. With that, Karen Trigg of Allegion UK explores why the importance of working fire doors is often overlooked and why now is an opportune time to bridge the gap between fire safety education and action. Improving fire safety within UK buildings is a challenge we are all continuously facing. Irrelevant of the sector, it’s of the highest importance for any building type - from schools and hospitals to high-rise residential and industrial facilities. Because when it comes to fire, there are no exemptions. Most of us are only made aware of the danger of fire from headline disasters and yet, in the year ending March 2021, fire response teams attended 151,086 fires in the UK, of which the average total response time to primary fires in England was 8 minutes and 35 seconds. Fire doors Fire doors play a fundamental role in these scenarios and are rigorously constructed and tested to British Standards BS 476: Part 22 or BS EN 1634-1 to ensure they remain fire-resistant for a minimum of 30 minutes (FD30) or 60 minutes (FD60) - holding out long enough to cover response times and evacuation. Fire doors are the first line of defense in protecting people and property in the event of a fire Fire door hardware is also meticulously designed to comply with UK Construction Products Regulations and is tested under BS EN 1154, BS EN 1155, and BS EN 1634 standards and CE marked. After all, without functioning hardware, a fire door is rendered useless. Fire door safety is an area that should never be neglected. Often, fire doors are the first line of defense in protecting people and property in the event of a fire - but only when installed and maintained appropriately. Yet, as incident reports repeatedly highlight, the significance of working fire doors remains habitually overlooked. The latest in reformed guidelines hope to address this, with the introduction of this year’s Fire Safety Act 2021 and the Building Safety Bill highlighting the diligent detail in which all responsible parties must approach the subject. Missing knowledge Fire doors fall under what’s described as a building’s passive fire protection system. At their most basic and when closed, they form a barrier and enable a building to compartmentalize the spread of fire and smoke. When open, they provide an essential means of escape. Yet there’s nothing rudimentary about fire door safety. However, danger commonly lies where fire door safety is misunderstood. Especially when you consider that last year alone, for local authorities, a staggering 65% of 26,318 planned fire door maintenance and replacement phases did not progress as scheduled - leaving doors neglected and buildings vulnerable. And while some may dispute that 2020 fell to extenuating circumstances, there’s no argument that fire door safety has become too easy to neglect. Closing The Gap Evidently, the gap in fire door safety expertise is resulting in poor design choices, faltering standards and a general lack of knowledge. While it’s clear that expertise is lacking across various touchpoints - think product selection, installation, and maintenance - there is momentum to incite real change and the resources to improve awareness and education. There are several methods to gain an understanding of fire door safety and all from trusted sources In response, and leading by example, is the Architects Registration Board (ARB) which recently published guidance to suggest fire safety is taught under the architecture curriculum at universities. And while this shows positive steps are being made, the onus can’t solely be passed to the next generation of architectural professionals. All professional areas must commit and, in an age where information is almost instantaneous, there are several methods to gain a greater understanding of fire door safety - and all from trusted sources. Fire Door Safety Week In light of Fire Door Safety Week, the British Woodworking Federation Group shares regular advice and useful toolkits on fire door safety; including a five-step checklist that’s designed to support building owners in assessing their own fire doors (via certification, apertures, gaps, and seals, closers and operation). Information pools like this provide modern building managers with the know-how they need to monitor and act - making the decision to repair or replace fire doors where necessary. For those actively involved in the maintenance stage, further guidance on topics such as certification and door closer adjustments is available online and by manufacturer request - showing fire door safety doesn’t need to be tackled alone. Product datasheets and installation guides When it comes to product selection and installation, there’s also a wealth of information and walkthroughs available in the form of detailed product datasheets and installation guides. These can often be found online and allow for a greater understanding of the hardware that’s available, leading to better design decisions and more reliable installation. Allegion UK has resources to help undertake product selection, installation, and maintenance checks on fire doors Aside from product manuals, installers and contractors are commonly offered specialist site visits, training portals, and even hardware classification guides in a bid to assist with projects post-installation. With this, professionals can ensure that their standards don’t slip after time passes, by understanding more about the rounded process that fire door safety is and being ready for maintenance periods when they approach. The current associations, professional bodies, and manufacturers are on hand more than ever to assist specifiers, installers, and end-users throughout the process that is fire door safety. The support is there, and the resources are readily available and so, there’s now a real opportunity to improve fire safety awareness and education for the better. How Allegion UK can Help Allegion UK has a wealth of resources to help professionals undertake product selection, installation, and maintenance checks on fire doors and hardware. This simple toolkit provides information and tips on detecting potential faulty doors and poor installation, a guide to the EN classification system, and a safety checklist. There’s also an option to order a free door gap tester or download Allegion’s general guide to service and maintenance for free. For information on product selection and installation, please speak to the experts or head to the download center for technical fitting instructions.
Kentec Electronics, a manufacturer of life-critical control systems, has welcomed Fortus Group Holdings (‘Fortus’) to its Kentec Authorized Distributor (KAD) scheme, providing the fire and security distributor with dedicated product training and support, enhancing its ability to provide comprehensive solutions to installers. The KAD scheme is a global network of specialists, experts and trained fire alarm distribution companies, that are recognized for their high levels of Kentec product knowledge and provide a full range of Kentec systems to suit all applications and building types. Ensuring fast delivery This exclusive network of distributors has been carefully selected to ensure installers and end-users receive expertly specified goods, and by holding stock locally ensure fast delivery and supply of products. Fortus recently doubled its size following the simultaneous acquisition of Enterprise Security Distributor, a UK based distributor, and RE:SURE Intelligence, a remote CCTV monitoring specialist, providing the business with an even wider range of expertise. Our goal is to make our distributors and installers’ lives easier through supporting their sales cycle" Sammy Steel, Head of UK Sales at Kentec, says with such a significant footprint across the UK and Ireland, Fortus is a business that is looking to grow: “Our goal is to make our distributors and installers’ lives easier through supporting their sales cycle, and the training and support delivered through the scheme achieves just that. We feel they are an important new addition to the scheme.” Security supply chain Mark Massie, Managing Director UK at Fortus, says becoming a KAD is further evidence of the business’ commitment to its customers: “Our KAD status shows our customers that we have the product knowledge and expertise to work with the most sophisticated Kentec systems, and that we value furthering professionalism in the industry through increased training.” Fortus is the largest privately owned B2B security supply chain company in the UK and Ireland, specializing in CCTV, intruder alarms and fire systems. Its expertise covers tailored solutions, project management and support for installation business of all sizes.
Increasingly, end users in the construction, industrial and wastewater markets are realizing the need for higher heads or to pump liquids greater distances, over challenging topography. Professional Engineers and municipal designers have previously had little choice but to overextend pump performance limits of conventional self-priming centrifugal trash pumps, potentially shortening the life of the pump and risking safety issues in the process. Thousands of hours of research and development and years of experience have resulted in the introduction of Gorman-Rupp’s new Ultra V Series®: self-priming centrifugal trash pump. New pump technology The pump offers increased pressure/flow range, up to 170 feet of head in the allowable operating region, designed to meet the new challenges presented by end users. For pressures that go beyond the improved capability of this new pump technology, an innovative straight centrifugal, the UltraMate®, has been developed to become an integral part of the Ultra V pumping system. The combination of the Ultra V and the UltraMate produces up to 325 feet of head This patent pending staged design allows the UltraMate to be mounted directly on top of the Ultra V pump. This is accomplished by using a unique transition chamber which reduces pressure loss, increases efficiencies, and minimizes the required footprint. The combination of the Ultra V and the UltraMate produces up to 325 feet of head, again within the allowable operating region. The new Ultra V and the UltraMate from Gorman-Rupp are designed from the ground up with increased performance and serviceability in mind. Improved impeller design By featuring revolutionary new volute geometry, higher efficiency is achieved. An increased suction port size reduces friction losses, decreasing net positive suction head (NPSH) requirements. The pump also features improved impeller design geometry and nominally increased shaft speed. All of these design features contribute to the pump’s increased performance. At the same time, the pump has reduced the noise level over previous pumps while maintaining municipal solids handling requirements. The results of thousands of test have shown unparalleled performance, achieving up to 60 percent increased pressure while offering up to 40 percent increased flow over any self-priming centrifugal solids handling pumps of the same size. Peak unit efficiency is also an improvement over current self-priming, centrifugal, solids handling pumps. Improved efficiency means lower horsepower that equates to reduced operating costs. Replaceable wear plate The large back cover plate offers easy access for inspection and maintenance Available in 3”, 4” and 6” models, the pump housing is made of cast iron. The impeller is ductile iron. The pumps can be fitted with Gorman-Rupp Hard Iron or stainless steel. The pump is designed for solids handling – dirty water, trash laden – applications. By incorporating a self-cleaning feature, total operating costs are reduced since the pump is kept at peak performance. The combination of specifically developed notches on the replaceable wear plate and matching grooves in the back cover plate ensures debris is cleared away and does not hang up on the impeller vanes, causing a clog. The large back cover plate offers easy access for inspection and maintenance. The cover plate has external shimless adjustments, which also helps maintain the clearance between the impeller and wearplate, keeping the pump at peak efficiency. Self-Priming centrifugal pumps To meet demands for ease of operation, an easily removable rotating assembly is also part of the pump’s innovative design. This feature makes replacement easy - without disturbing the pump casing or piping, resulting in less downtime. Pusher bolt holes are provided to assist with removal. The rotating assemblies are interchangeable between the upper and lower pump assemblies Additionally, the rotating assemblies are interchangeable between the upper and lower pump assemblies. A positive sealing suction check valve is standard on the pump to reduce constant re-priming associated with some self-priming centrifugal pumps. An externally removable stainless steel cap can easily be removed and the check valve replaced without taking the pump out of service, or disconnecting any piping. A blowout center is provided to protect the pump should an internal pressure spike occur. Atmospheric isolation barrier The suction check valve on Ultra V Series pumps is externally removable eliminating the need to disconnect from piping for inspection or replacement. Each rotating assembly is supplied with Gorman-Rupp’s patented cartridge seal, making installation easy. There is also extra large seal oil capacity that provides superior seal face longevity. Within the seal chamber, anti-vortexing ribs to reduce internal wear are also featured. Additionally, the pump has a patented atmospheric isolation barrier to protect the bearings from contamination should pumpage move past the primary containment. Dual sight gauges allow for easy observation of oil condition and levels for both the seal and bearing chambers. The Ultra V, with up to 168 feet of usable head, will satisfy approximately 80 percent of the application requirements that currently exist. Space-Saving footprint The rotating and coverplate assemblies are interchangeable with the first stage When extreme head requirements are encountered, the UltraMate may be added to the configuration to reach up to 325 feet of usable head. There are just two components the Ultra V and UltraMate do not share, which means parts inventories are kept to a minimum. The rotating and coverplate assemblies are interchangeable with the first stage. The UltraMate is staged directly on top of the Ultra V, offering end users a space-saving footprint, which can be a significant point of savings. Further, optimizing floor space allows for several innovative motor arrangements powering the pump. It is, in essence, two pumps in one. Minimizing friction loss The transition chamber between the Ultra V and UltraMate pump is direct, minimizing friction loss and maximizing the unit efficiency. The second stage also has the patented SmartScroll® discharge feature that allows it to be rotated in 90-degree increments to a variety of orientations, offering installation flexibility while easing plumbing restrictions. New pump technology is designed to meet – and exceed – the new challenges in the construction, industrial and wastewater markets. Professional engineers and municipal designers now have more choices in pump applications.
Fire-Dex announces the acquisition of Marken PPE Restoration, a UL verified Independent Service Provider (ISP) of clean and repair services based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. This business is the third ISP Fire-Dex has acquired, following the purchase of Gear Wash in 2019 and Done Right Fire Gear in 2020. This acquisition will allow the company to expand its efforts to provide clean and repair services to departments in untouched regions throughout the West. Making solid connections The broad service offerings will include advanced cleanings, inspections, repairs, alterations, PPE rental gear, and record keeping. Marken PPE Restoration will act as a fifth Gear Wash location for Fire-Dex, including Milwaukee, WI, Hudson, FL, Pelham, GA, Memphis, TN, and now Las Vegas, NV. This untouched market will allow us the opportunity to make solid connections with new departments" “At Gear Wash, we couldn’t be more excited about this new expansion into Las Vegas and the surrounding areas,” states Taylor Burke-Gilman, President at Gear Wash, “This untouched market will allow us the opportunity to make solid connections with new departments while bringing our innovative clean and repair services to them. We are confident that the Marken PPE team will be a perfect addition to our organization.” High-Quality services With over 11 years of PPE cleaning and repair experience, Marken PPE Restoration operates in a 7,000 square foot facility with a dedicated team of nine associates. “The facility and staff at Marken PPE Restoration are incredible,” states Steve Allison, Chief Executive Officer at Fire-Dex, “The reliable team at Gear Wash are extremely committed to providing high-quality services to departments as we expand in the West.” Fire-Dex continues to experience exponential growth by obtaining numerous businesses including Chieftain Safety Manufacturing, TECGEN PPE, Darwood Manufacturing, Gear Wash, and Done Right Fire Gear. The company continues to expand its workforce by aggressively hiring at all locations.
Attenti, a pioneer in the electronic monitoring industry, will be presenting their domestic violence deterrence solution at The Emergency Services Show. Taking place at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre on the 7th and 8th of September, The Emergency Services Show is the UK's largest event for the emergency services. Law enforcement officials Comments Roni Weinberg, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Attenti, "Domestic abuse is the world's hidden pandemic. We're excited to be presenting our solution to law enforcement officials at the Emergency Services Show and demonstrate our domestic violence deterrence solution's effectiveness as a vital tool in tackling the scourge of family and domestic abuse in the United Kingdom." The COVID-19 pandemic further caused a dramatic increase in domestic violence The alarming statistics of domestic abuse and their negative effects on the individuals and families involved are a global phenomenon. The COVID-19 pandemic further caused a dramatic increase in domestic violence – not just in the UK, but around the world, becoming what the UN described, a ‘shadow pandemic.’ Avoiding potential encounters The crime survey for England and Wales showed that 1.6 million women and 757,000 men had experienced domestic abuse between March 2019 and March 2020, with a 7% growth in police recorded domestic abuse crimes. Because domestic abuse is a vastly under-reported crime, the true picture is likely to be far worse than the official statistics show. It is very common for released domestic abuse offenders to return and attack their victims. Protection orders alone are often not enough to prevent an offender from re-attacking a victim. Attenti's electronic monitoring deterrence solution is an effective solution to enforce restraining orders. It can be harnessed to increase the sense of security of victims at home and on the move, while providing improved supervision over both the victim and the aggressor, in order to avoid potential encounters and ensure compliance with court orders. Preventing repeated violence This provides law enforcement officials with an opportunity to rapidly respond to dangerous situations" The majority of the domestic violence victims who have used Attenti's device reported feeling much safer, and most of the aggressors believe the solution helped them meet legal obligations imposed by the restraining order. "Our solution provides a greater level of oversight, meaning that domestic violence victims have far greater protections in place than they ever have. This provides law enforcement officials with an opportunity to rapidly respond to dangerous situations and in-so-doing, prevent repeated violence and potentially save the life and health of a victim." Attenti's successful cooperation with local criminal justice agencies and other government stakeholders has led to the development of domestic violence deterrence programs in Europe and South America. Further, it has the most installations worldwide of domestic violence deterrence solutions, with thousands of individuals monitored and protected daily.
Businesses and building owners can now check on the fire safety status of their properties remotely with the Bosch remote fire safety app, running on the new ‘remote interact’ feature of the Bosch remote services portfolio for Bosch fire alarm systems. The application provides peace of mind to end-users and system integrators alike who can easily monitor the condition of their fire alarm systems from a distance. The app also sends push notifications in the case of emergency events – all available from any iOS or Android personal device. The application is the latest addition to the Bosch remote services portfolio making it even more powerful. Better safety management Bosch remote services simplify service and trouble-shooting tasks for system integrators. The solution can reduce the physical on-site time for maintenance and service jobs improving efficiency and profitability. Additionally, even if the user is not on-site remote services provide better safety management for both systems integrators and their customers; alerting them immediately of potential issues as they occur and allowing system integrators for remote configuration and troubleshooting. Bosch remote services simplify service and trouble-shooting tasks for system integrators Given that usually two out of three service calls can be resolved remotely, remote services support system integrators in providing faster and more transparent service anywhere and at any time. ‘Remote interact’ with its app remote fire safety complements the other three existing services of the Bosch remote services portfolio: ‘remote connect’, which allows a remote connection to Bosch fire systems in the first instance; ‘remote maintenance’, which provides live fire systems data; and ‘remote alert’, which helps customers stay informed about events as they happen by email or SMS. Fire alarm system Together, the products help to improve services, simplify troubleshooting, and make overall maintenance for Bosch fire alarm systems more efficient. Available on iOS and Android, the new remote fire safety app displays clear information about the status of a property’s fire alarm system at the touch of a button and provides easy access to users who can log in quickly via the application rather than signing into the wider remote services portal. Having a direct access to the fire alarm system via the app also improves the dialogue between system integrators and their end-customers, helping to build trust. The application is offered free of charge to existing remote services license holders and is available on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.
Fire safety doesn’t happen by accident; it requires universal attention. With that, Karen Trigg of Allegion UK explores why the importance of working fire doors is often overlooked and why now is an opportune time to bridge the gap between fire safety education and action. Improving fire safety within UK buildings is a challenge we are all continuously facing. Irrelevant of the sector, it’s of the highest importance for any building type - from schools and hospitals to high-rise residential and industrial facilities. Because when it comes to fire, there are no exemptions. Most of us are only made aware of the danger of fire from headline disasters and yet, in the year ending March 2021, fire response teams attended 151,086 fires in the UK, of which the average total response time to primary fires in England was 8 minutes and 35 seconds. Role of Fire doors Fire door hardware is tested under BS EN 1154, BS EN 1155, and BS EN 1634 standards and CE marked Fire doors play a fundamental role in these scenarios and are rigorously constructed and tested to British Standards BS 476: Part 22 or BS EN 1634-1 to ensure they remain fire-resistant for a minimum of 30 minutes (FD30) or 60 minutes (FD60) - holding out long enough to cover response times and evacuation. Fire door hardware is also meticulously designed to comply with UK Construction Products Regulations and is tested under BS EN 1154, BS EN 1155, and BS EN 1634 standards and CE marked. After all, without functioning hardware, a fire door is rendered useless. Fire door safety Fire door safety is an area that should never be neglected. Often, fire doors are the first line of defense in protecting people and property in the event of a fire - but only when installed and maintained appropriately. Yet, as incident reports repeatedly highlight, the significance of working fire doors remains habitually overlooked. The latest in reformed guidelines hope to address this, with the introduction of this year’s Fire Safety Act 2021 and the Building Safety Bill highlighting the diligent detail in which all responsible parties must approach the subject. Missing knowledge Fire doors fall under what’s described as a building’s passive fire protection system. At their most basic and when closed, they form a barrier and enable a building to compartmentalize the spread of fire and smoke. When open, they provide an essential means of escape. Yet there’s nothing rudimentary about fire door safety. However, danger commonly lies where fire door safety is misunderstood. Especially when you consider that last year alone, for local authorities, a staggering 65% of 26,318 planned fire door maintenance and replacement phases did not progress as scheduled - leaving doors neglected and buildings vulnerable. And while some may dispute that 2020 fell to extenuating circumstances, there’s no argument that fire door safety has become too easy to neglect. Closing The Gap The gap in fire door safety expertise is resulting in poor design choices, faltering standards Evidently, the gap in fire door safety expertise is resulting in poor design choices, faltering standards, and a general lack of knowledge. While it’s clear that expertise is lacking across various touchpoints - think product selection, installation, and maintenance - there is momentum to incite real change and the resources to improve awareness and education. In response, and leading by example, is the Architects Registration Board (ARB) which recently published guidance to suggest fire safety is taught under the architecture curriculum at universities. And while this shows positive steps are being made, the onus can’t solely be passed to the next generation of architectural professionals. All professional areas must commit and, in an age where information is almost instantaneous, there are several methods to gain a greater understanding of fire door safety - and all from trusted sources. Fire Door Safety Week In light of Fire Door Safety Week, the British Woodworking Federation Group shares regular advice and useful toolkits on fire door safety; including a five-step checklist that’s designed to support building owners in assessing their own fire doors (via certification, apertures, gaps, and seals, closers and operation). Information pools like this provide modern building managers with the know-how they need to monitor and act - deciding to repair or replace fire doors where necessary. For those actively involved in the maintenance stage, further guidance on topics such as certification and door closer adjustments is available online and by manufacturer request - showing fire door safety doesn’t need to be tackled alone. Fire safety awareness Professionals can ensure that their standards don’t slip after time passes, by understanding more about fire door safety When it comes to product selection and installation, there’s also a wealth of information and walkthroughs available in the form of detailed product datasheets and installation guides. These can often be found online and allow for a greater understanding of the hardware that’s available, leading to better design decisions and more reliable installation. Aside from product manuals, installers and contractors are commonly offered specialist site visits, training portals, and even hardware classification guides in a bid to assist with projects post-installation. With this, professionals can ensure that their standards don’t slip after time passes, by understanding more about the rounded process that fire door safety is and being ready for maintenance periods when they approach. Today’s associations, professional bodies, and manufacturers are on hand more than ever to assist specifiers, installers, and end-users throughout the process that is fire door safety. The support is there, and the resources are readily available and so, there’s now a real opportunity to improve fire safety awareness and education for the better. How Allegion UK can Help Allegion UK has a wealth of resources to help professionals undertake product selection, installation, and maintenance checks on fire doors and hardware. This simple toolkit provides information and tips on detecting potential faulty doors and poor installation, a guide to the EN classification system, and a safety checklist. There’s also an option to order a free door gap tester or download Allegion’s general guide to service and maintenance for free. For information on product selection and installation, please speak to the experts or head to the download center for technical fitting instructions.
It is the legal duty of the responsible person in any building to make the evacuation of disabled people equal to that for able-bodied people, as Anthony Smith, Managing Director of Vox Ignis, explains. When the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was first introduced in 1995, it gave disabled people long overdue access to goods and services, education, employment, transport and accommodation. This was, subsequently, incorporated into the Equality Act in 2010. Evacuation of mobility impaired people Sadly, despite its many benefits in access to goods and services, one area the act failed to address was the evacuation of mobility impaired people, in the event of an incident, leading to the Government and Disability Rights Commission to publish a guide of supplementary information for the fire risk assessment for Disabled People in 2007. The guide highlighted that the Fire and Rescue Service’s role in fire evacuation is that of ensuring that the means of escape, in case of fire and associated fire safety measures provided for all people, who may be in a building, are both adequate and reasonable, taking into account the circumstances of each particular case. Fire risk assessment of buildings It is the responsibility of the person(s) having the responsibility for the building, to provide a fire safety risk assessment Under current fire safety legislation, it is the responsibility of the person(s) having the responsibility for the building, to provide a fire safety risk assessment that includes an emergency evacuation plan for all people likely to be in the premises, including disabled people and how that plan will be implemented. As a member of BSI FSH/12/5, which covers Voice Alarm and Emergency Voice Communication Systems, and as Managing Director of Vox Ignis, a manufacturer of disabled refuge and fire telephone systems, Anthony Smith has long lobbied for the amending of BS9991 and Building regulations approved document B1, to make it compulsory for dwellings above one floor to have disabled refuge areas, with an Emergency Voice Communications System (EVCS), as commercial buildings, ensuring residents can communicate with building management, in the event of an incident, such as fire. As a member of BSI FSH/12/5, Anthony Smith has long lobbied for the amending of BS9991 Clear and secure communications vital in emergencies In such emergencies, it is vital that communication is clear, secure, monitored and maintained. These systems can be the difference between life and death. In the wake of the Grenfell disaster, many in the industry, including Anthony Smith, believed it would only be a matter of time until such critical amends were made. However, four years on, it looks as though the industry, fire services and general public may finally be seeing their persistent rallying result in action, transforming this outdated mandate. Importance of refuge areas in buildings Lifts, escalators and platform lifts may have transformed the way that people with mobility issues access buildings While responsible building owners and there are some out there, are already establishing refuge areas in dwelling houses, the revision of BS9991 in the next year, could finally spell the end of such crucial health and safety measures being optional, and make it a requirement for residential buildings, but it will take a change to the Building Regulations Approved Document B1 to change the law. Lifts, escalators and platform lifts may have transformed the way that people with mobility issues access buildings. However, more often than not, they are completely redundant in an emergency, which is why refuge areas hold the key to ensuring the safe and orderly evacuation of people from buildings, in the event of a crisis. Key role in promoting disabled refuge areas Here at Vox Ignis, we’ve witnessed this first hand. Working with property developers across the globe, we’ve helped establish disabled refuge areas, in a wide range of developments, from skyscrapers to hotels and high-rise residential towers, and are starting to be involved in projects in this country with residential towers, notably in Croydon. Although, in both of those instances, the client wasn’t bound by law to include EVCS for the disabled refuge areas in their developments, it goes to show that many forward-thinking and responsible developers are already embracing the latest in evacuation and fire safety technology, however, as an industry and as a nation, we can ill afford to rest on our laurels. Of the 72 people who died in the tragic Grenfell fire disaster, more than half of the casualties were adults with limited mobility or children, according to evidence shared in the latest phase of the inquiry, and we can only hope that, if the proposed revisions to BS9991 are approved, and Approved Document B1 is amended, we can finally put the relevant measures in place, in order to make high-rise residential buildings safer for all, once and for all.
The product lifecycle of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) is approximately ten years, during which time technology inevitably advances considerably in terms of digitization and ergonomics. Increasingly pertinent in the last decade, and especially since the Pandemic, has also been how kit can be designed for ease of cleaning to ensure firefighters are protected from harmful carcinogens as well as bacterial and viral infections. When we surveyed UK firefighters as part of our ‘Health for the Firefighter campaign’ to understand their concerns about exposure to carcinogens and COVID-19, we learned the vast majority (84%) admitted they were concerned about the risk of cancer, while more than two thirds (68%) fear the impact COVID-19 might have on their long-term health. Unequivocal statistics that warranted action in our technology design. Proven support infrastructure The SCBA product lifecycle allows time for medical and safety technology manufacturers, such as Dräger, to take advantage of technological developments, and thoroughly test and future proof them. It also enables us to utilize our direct relationships with the UK fire services, not only to accommodate day-to-day feedback, but also to learn from our support of major incidents such as Grenfell and the Salisbury poisonings. The SCBA product lifecycle allows time for medical and safety technology manufacturers Following Grenfell, for example, we saw the critical importance of reducing the weight and size of kit to allow for greater ease of movement, as well as how critical it is to have the equipment underpinned by a resilient and proven support infrastructure. AirBoss, Dräger’s latest SCBA offering represents a digital progression, where telemetry and connectivity provide the information, and enable the integration and communication required to further firefighter health and wellbeing. This decade’s launch is no longer a product, but a connected solution. Providing vital information Digitalization is critical. Dräger offers the only operationally-proven telemetry solution, providing vital information which is automatically communicated between the wearer of the BA set and the Entry Control Point – without the need for either team to stop what they are doing to send communications. These signals include manual and automatic distress signals, team withdrawal signals, cylinder pressure, time to whistle and time of whistle. This system also provides comprehensive data regarding the firefighters’ condition in relation to their SCBA, proving invaluable to those responsible for monitoring and directing BA crews. A new feature, unique to Dräger’s AirBoss, are ‘Buddylights’ fitted to the backplate, which use digital data from the set to provide immediate and highly-visible signaling to firefighters of their team’s cylinder pressures and physical condition. AirBoss, Dräger’s latest SCBA offering represents a digital progression Providing comprehensive data The optional Dräger Web client enables workshop, management and command staff to utilize the data created on scene wherever they are, and at any time. Reporting can also be customized for multiple purposes from user or device history to synchronized overviews of complete incidents. The ability to create incident reports on evidential and tactical levels provides comprehensive and valuable post-incident analysis tools for debrief and training purposes, or in case of any investigation or inquiry. For future developments, Dräger is working with partners in the UK looking at solutions for location and tracking of firefighters and providing comprehensive data regarding the firefighter’s condition at an incident. The latter includes information such as body core temperature, heart rate and other vital statistics to allow external teams to monitor the early signs of heat stress and other physiological strains. Reducing physical stress Another critical focus is ergonomics. Improved wearer comfort has been achieved through working with medical experts in this field and shifting the center of gravity relationship between the human body and the set, creating a ventilated space by the SCBA backplate. AirBoss’ new Type 4 Nano cylinder provides a continued reduction in cylinder weight AirBoss’ new Type 4 Nano cylinder provides a continued reduction in cylinder weight, which can also reduce full life costs to the service, as the Nano has an unlimited life. These improvements reduce physical stress on the firefighter which in turn reduces the risk of strain-related injuries and fatigue when wearing the set operationally as well as extending the working duration due to reduced physical exertion. With AirBoss, the weight is carried by the legs and pelvis rather than the back. Improving personal comfort This not only improves personal comfort, but also enhances mobility within confined spaces and while descending ladders and stairwells. In an industry where a split second can be the difference between life and death, these advancements are crucial. On a practical level, the Dräger AirBoss has also been designed to be ‘snag-proof’, ensuring that all attachments are neatly connected or integrated to mitigate any risk of snagging or entanglement. Alterations have been made to maximize cleaning practices, including the introduction of smoother, non-absorbent, water-repellent surfaces to make equipment easier to wipe down and decontaminate. Numerous attachment points have also been included so kit can easily be dismantled for optimum cleaning – both mechanically and by hand. To this point, some fire services are moving towards mechanical washing systems, which provide complete consistency in washing temperatures, concentration of detergent, speed and temperature of drying. Vehicle charging systems The Dräger AirBoss solution is centered around four pillars: usability; safety; serviceability and connectivity Recognizing the financial pressures which the fire services are under, the AirBoss system is designed to enable fire services to maximize the significant investment already made into their SCBA and telemetry. With a modular design, AirBoss is backward compatible with existing Dräger PSS SCBA and Telemetry, enabling elements of the existing set to be upgraded over a period of years. This reduces the requirement to purchase a full suite of new equipment including telemetry, pneumatics, electronics, integrated communications, cylinders and vehicle charging systems. Overall, the Dräger AirBoss solution is centered around four pillars: usability; safety; serviceability and connectivity. These pillars, which support utilizing digitalization, improved ergonomics and ease of cleaning, are how we intend to protect our firefighters’ health and wellbeing, both today and as our future-proofed technology advances to meet the needs of tomorrow.
Electric bikes and scooters are a newly popular way to travel through urban environments. However, the nifty devices come with a fire risk that could be deadly. In London, firefighters have responded to more than 25 fires, involving e-bikes or e-scooters in recent months, some of them significant incidents with serious injuries. Lithium-ion batteries pose fire risks The fire hazards of e-bikes and e-scooters stem from their use of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can erupt into flames. Complicating the problem is use of unauthorized or third-party batteries that may not be safe. E-bike conversion kits are available to convert standard bikes into e-bikes, but they include only the motors and control gears. Batteries must be sourced separately, often over the internet and by cost-conscious buyers, who may not consider safety issues. Cheaper batteries may be faulty. Using trusted batteries and proper storage Firefighters urge residents to use only trusted batteries and to store them correctly Damaged batteries are also problematic. Spare batteries should not be knocked around, which can increase the likelihood of damage to the cells. Firefighters urge residents to use only trusted batteries and to store them correctly. In one recent incident, a first floor flat in Brixton in south London was badly damaged, after a fire was caused by a fault in the lithium-ion battery pack of a mountain bike that had been converted into an e-bike. In another incident, five people were taken to hospital, after a fire at a flat in Southwark in Central London, caused by the failure of a battery in an electric scooter on charge. In the United Kingdom, anyone over 14 years old can ride an ‘electrically assisted pedal cycle’ (EAPC) without a license and with no need to register, pay tax or ensure the bike. Parameters for e-bikes in the UK The bike must meet certain requirements, such as displaying the power output and motor manufacturer, showing either the battery voltage or the maximum speed of the bike, and having a maximum power output of 250 watts. The electric motor should not be able to propel the bike, when it’s traveling more than 15.5 mph. Assuming a bike (or vehicle with more than two wheels, such as a tricycle), meets the requirements, it is classified as a normal pedal bike and can be ridden on cycle paths, and anywhere else where pedal bikes are allowed. E-scooters for emission-free transport E-scooters are stand-up, electrically powered scooters that are becoming more popular in urban environments E-scooters are stand-up, electrically powered scooters that are becoming more popular in urban environments, providing individual and emission-free transport. In a city like London, e-bikes are a familiar sight. Riders may store and charge their e-bikes in communal areas or hallways, when they are home. This practice heightens the fire danger, because any fire that erupts is likely to block an escape route and trap occupants within the building. Avoiding unsafe mixing of batteries and chargers The London Fire Brigade’s Fire Investigation team has seen incidents involving multiple batteries and chargers for a number of bikes at one property, which has resulted in the unsafe mixing of batteries and chargers. Lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to failure, if charged incorrectly, which may be a contributing factor in some incidents. Batteries can get warm during use and should be allowed to cool down, before attempting to re-charge. They should also be charged on hard, flat surfaces, in order to allow heat to dissipate. Chargers and batteries should not be left unattended or while residents are asleep. Installation of smoke alarms is advisable in areas where e-bikes or e-scooters are being charged.
This year’s catastrophic wildfire season reminds us of the need for early detection of wildland fires before they escalate out of control. Historically, tools such as satellite imagery and localized video cameras have helped to identify fires at their origin and to alert authorities. However, delayed detection and low reliability have been a problem. Cloudy weather can also be an impediment, and the severity and frequency of wildfires worldwide suggest that new approaches are needed. A new high-tech approach involves ground-based sensors, drones and the Internet of Things (IoT). Wildfire detection solution Numerical analysis of the new technique suggests it can offer a faster and more reliable wildfire detection solution than current satellite imaging techniques. However, the system can only cover smaller areas when compared to satellite imaging. The system can only cover smaller areas when compared to satellite imaging Researchers in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Canada have proposed an early wildfire detection system based on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that pass over to collect data wirelessly, using the IoT, from low-cost sensors positioned throughout a wildland area. The sensors monitor the forest for any signs of smoke or heat. In a report published by the IEEE Internet of Things Journal, the researchers sought (1) to study the performance and reliability of UAV-IoT networks for wildfire detection and (2) to propose a guideline to optimize the network to improve fire detection probability within limited system cost budgets. monitoring larger area The research suggests a need for a delicate balance to optimize the density of sensor devices and the number of UAVs covering a forest area. The goal is to maximize the lower bound of wildfire detection probability within a limited time and low system cost. Research suggests that more sensors equate to better detection up to a point. The researchers demonstrated that the IoT/UAV network could detect fires in a shorter time Beyond that threshold, however, efficiency is lost because extra time is needed for the UAV to gather data in each location, which delays the ability to monitor the larger area. The researchers demonstrated that the IoT/UAV network could detect fires in a shorter time when compared to satellite imagery. This finding expands the capability to fight a fire before it spreads out of control. IoT sensor devices After a fire ignition, the IoT sensor devices within a limited distance from the fire can detect it and then report their measurements to nearby UAVs. The researchers used Discrete-Time Markov Chain (DTMC) analysis to compute the fire detection and false alarm probabilities. Markov Chains use statistical models for real-world processes. Inexpensive sensors, like the ones proposed for this application, do not have sufficient range to communicate with a distant fire control center. Therefore, the drones are used to fly over the area, capture the data wirelessly and then return to a base to report a fire. Lower-Cost drones The outlook for accelerating numbers of wildfires this year and in the future looks grim The researchers are Osama M. Bushnaq of the Autonomous Robotics Research Center of the Technology Innovation Institute (TII), Abu Dhabi, UAE; Anas Chaaban of the School of Engineering, the University of British Columbia, Canada; and Tareq T. Al-Naffouri of the Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering (CEMSE) Division of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwai, Saudi Arabia. More than 95% of the Western United States is in drought, and there has been more than a month of above-normal temperatures. The outlook for accelerating numbers of wildfires this year and in the future looks grim. New technologies provide a tool to address the problem, even as global warming makes it worse. Connectivity of the Internet of Things provides new opportunities to leverage the power of sensors, software and other technologies to address the challenges, and lower-cost drones are providing an additional tool to collect data that will power decision-making during wildfire seasons of the future.
Back in Indianapolis for the first time since 2019, FDIC International 2021 offered a full slate of conference sessions, hands-on training and equipment exhibitions. Attendance was down, but everyone appeared happy to be back at the show, after cancellations and delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Masking compliance was low, despite continuing concerns about COVID-19 and the Delta variant. There was little social distancing. In many respects, the show seemed back to normal. A highlight of the event was the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s (NFFF) 9/11 Stair Climb. It’s a way for attendees to honor and remember those in the fire service community, who gave their lives in the 9/11 tragedy. Hundreds of FDIC participants paid tribute by climbing or walking the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center. MSA’s LUNAR hand-held device on display As always, safety was a huge theme at the FDIC exhibition, including development in hand-held tools As always, safety was a huge theme at the FDIC exhibition, including development in hand-held tools. MSA Safety displayed the new LUNAR hand-held device that helps keep firefighting teams connected, combining direction and distance information with thermal imaging to help find separated teammates and decrease response time. LUNAR uses cloud technology to increase fire-scene management capabilities for incident commanders. LUNAR can be used as a stand-alone device or as part of an MSA SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) system. Thermal imaging with edge detection identifies hot spots and ventilation points, so as to simplify navigation through low-visibility environments. Tethered drone and Reveal FirePRO X thermal camera FotoKite (Perspective Robotics AG), which has a joint development agreement with MSA Safety, featured a tethered drone that hovers over the site of an emergency, in order to provide networking capabilities through the tether for better connectivity. Seek Thermal offers the ‘smallest and lightest’ thermal imaging camera, available for US$ 799 and seeks to bring the benefits of thermal technology to every position on the fire team. The Reveal FirePRO X can now be charged using a four-station charging dock priced at US$ 399. The compact size makes the FirePRO X easy to carry and manage, while its high resolution and fast frame rate ensure superior images. Teledyne gas detection systems exhibited Teledyne displayed a range of gas detection systems, starting with the simple Protégé ZM carbon monoxide meter that can clip onto pockets, helmets, and EMS bags. A new product is the Gas Laser, a hand-held device that can quickly scan common venting points from a safe distance, in order to identify the presence of dangerous explosive gas. Teledyne recently acquired FLIR and the combined companies will provide a spectrum of imaging technologies and products spanning X-ray through infrared and from components to complete imaging systems. FDIC International’s Innovation Hub focused on new technologies coming to the fire service Innovation Hub FDIC International’s Innovation Hub focused on new technologies coming to the fire service, featured in a presentation theater on the show floor. Leading the initiative was SafeTech, a College Station, Texas-based non-profit organization, whose mission is to bring new technologies to first responders and armed forces. One featured company was Tracks North America, which provides unmanned vehicles with fork-lift capabilities. Another was Infysort, which makes superabsorbent pellets – ‘hyper-blown polypropylene sorbent nanomaterial’ that can absorb 50 to 60 times its weight in oil. Hale Products SAM control system HURST Jaws of Life demonstrated eDRAULIC 3.0, a new underwater power extrication tool The SAM control system, by Hale Products, is gaining in popularity, offering computerized/integrated water flow controls that manage a fire truck’s pump, tank, intakes and discharges using touch-screen display for simplified interface. The new SAM Smart Nozzle allows firemen to control flow from the end of the fire hose. HURST Jaws of Life demonstrated eDRAULIC 3.0, a new underwater power extrication tool that can withstand salt water. The Lifeline Firehose provides a source of continuous breathable air coming from the nozzle of a fire hose. The patented coupler design enables the continuous air supply, which can also be used to power air tools. Seeking to help small and medium fire departments replace paper documentation, incident management systems offer low-cost digitization. Environmental awareness From Rosenbauer A topic among fire apparatus companies is idle reduction systems designed to shut off the main engine in a fire apparatus when not needed, eliminating loud diesel engine noise and exhaust, while maintaining power for lighting and air conditioning, for example. It is a reflection of growing environmental concerns among fire manufacturers. For example, Rosenbauer’s Green Star system makes idle reduction easy, using electronic controls to shut down the chassis engine on-scene (if the fire pump is not engaged or no aerial operations under way), and starting a diesel-driven Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). Pierce Volterra zero-emissions pumpers The first Pierce Volterra zero-emissions pumper has been placed in service in Madison Pierce launched their Volterra platform of electric vehicles. The first Pierce Volterra zero-emissions pumper has been placed in service in Madison, Wisconsin. At FDIC International 2021, the Pierce booth included an electric vehicle technology kiosk and took attendees through the electric fire truck’s attributes. CMC Rescue Rope and Harness Systems CMC Rescue Inc. demonstrated rope and harness systems for rescue operations, including special duffle bags and access packs for easy transport of harnesses. The CMC Clutch is now available in 13 mm and 11 mm models, for hauling, lowering, ascending, descending, belaying and deploying twin-tension rope systems. The CMC Triskelion 10-foot tripod features rapid deployment, for example, over a hole where a rescue is taking place and is certified to NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards.
The Ponchartrain Hotel in Detroit, Michigan, named for the original title given to the area by French settlers, was erected in 1965. After going through many ownership changes, name changes, and eventually closing in 2009, the 25 story tall, 367 room luxury hotel was resurrected in 2012 by Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts. The Crowne Plaza Ponchartrain Detroit was officially opened for business on July 17, 2013. Just as the once distinguished Ponchartrain Hotel had succumb to years of neglect, so had its fire system. The dated, conventional, non-addressable system proved to be a hindrance to the building as it looked towards success as the new Crowne Plaza Ponchartrain Detroit. Audio voice evacuation Fire Pros, the contractor for the project, needed an addressable system that would allow for easy implementation in such a large space. There was THHN wiring installed throughout the entire building. This made it a simple choice for the contractors to use an addressable panel that could communicate using the existing wiring rather than having to rewire the entire building with all new twisted, shielded cable. Potter’s P400 Fire Panel was championed for this job due to its retrofitting capabilities Potter’s P400 Fire Panel was championed for this job due to its retrofitting capabilities, allowing it to easily function using the pre-existing THHN wiring. The original system had a zone configuration with selective signaling (floor above/floor below) and was configured with audio voice evacuation capabilities. There were typically three zones per floor; one for water flow, one for common area or general alarm, and one for the guest room smoke detectors. Distributing intelligent power This zoned configuration made it extremely difficult to determine the exact location of an alarm or trouble on the system. This also made performing the NFPA 72 required smoke detector sensitivity test a substantial disruption to business, as well as time consuming and expensive. The Potter P400’s ability to distribute intelligent power and system expanders throughout the facility on a simple 4-wire bus, made it very easy to configure the entire 1290 point system that included analog addressable smoke detectors and sounder bases. With the detectors and bases connected to the Potter P400, the required sensitivity testing can now be easily accomplished by utilizing software from the main control panel, saving the Crowne Plaza Ponchartrain time and money. Fire alarm systems Fire Pros technicians were able to easily install nine PSN-1000(E) power supply units Fire Pros, led by Bob Proos, was overwhelmingly pleased with the P-Link flexibility offered by Potter’s fire alarm systems, “It is a benefit to have the Potter P400 able to support all NAC’s and SLC cards on P-Link as opposed to peer to peer like many other networks.” Fire Pros technicians were able to easily install nine PSN-1000(E) power supply units, twelve remote SLC cards, two Remote Annunciators, and Voice Evacuation throughout the building due to the flexibility of the P-Link circuit on the Potter P400 panel. It was also very easy for them to incorporate firefighter telephones and elevator recall to ensure the safety of patrons as well as firefighters. The usability of Potter’s panel programming software was found to be especially helpful by Proos and his crew as they programmed their Potter fire alarm system with ease and efficiency. Programming entire system “The software for the P400 Panel is excellent. Our technicians had no trouble programming the entire system.” At one point, after Fire Pros technicians had programmed the system completely, they were notified that due to a requirement allotted by the more stringent Crowne Plaza safety standards, a re-working of the entire system was required. The download speed is excellent! It took 15 seconds instead of 15 minutes like other panels" This re-work was not an issue as Fire Pros technicians were able to easily re-program the system without having to remove any hardware. Using Potter’s easy drag-and-drop software, they were able to interface with the system quickly, “The download speed is excellent! It took 15 seconds instead of 15 minutes like other panels,” Proos said. Throughout the entire installation process Proos was able to communicate with the panel in Detroit, via e-mail reporting, while he was at Fire Pros headquarters in Grand Rapids. Minimizing travel time This made it very convenient to assess any issues pertaining to the installation process while minimizing travel time. Management could easily send information to technicians in the field through the panel, and they were able to instantaneously fix any issue. As the Crowne Plaza Detroit looks forward to serving the city as a premier hotel destination, it is important that they provide a safe environment for both guests and employees. The Potter P400 fire alarm system helps guarantee that every inch of the premises is monitored at all times, producing speedy and detailed notifications. Exact alarm locations The panel makes it simple to identify every problem with specificity concerning time and location “I like to be able to get information that tells me exactly where the trouble is located, so we can address it and notify the fire department as well as our entire staff. The Potter P400 Panel gives a detailed description when addressing trouble notifications which is helpful when giving incident reports to our security department,” said LaTina Johnson, Construction Manager for the property. The panel makes it simple to identify every problem with specificity concerning time and location, which is extremely helpful in such a large building. With easily accessible information on hand at all times, the hotel staff can properly manage any potential dilemma. Problems such as guest disputes over smoking in non-smoking rooms, and pinpointing exact alarm locations in a building of such magnitude, can be easily solved with e-mail reporting. Properly managing situation Johnson says, “It is nice to have a technical reference for what has transpired. It really helps us properly manage every situation on site, which is important because our staff wants to stay ahead of any situation; being proactive as opposed to reactive.” With the Crowne Plaza Ponchartrain Detroit carrying on its historical legacy as one of Detroit’s finest hotels, it is important that the standards for Crowne Plaza as well as ‘The Ponch’ are kept in mind. These standards are implemented to serve the customer in the best way possible, and that includes keeping them safe in case of an emergency. The installation of a Potter Alarm Fire System ensures that the safety standards will always be met.
Premier Inn is the biggest chain of hotels in the UK, featuring in many towns and cities making up a network of over 800 hotels nationwide. With the continued popularity in air travel, Premier Inn decided to construct a hotel at Heathrow Airport Terminal 4. The construction of the hotel was an eight-storey, 613-bedroom hotel offering various size bedroom suites along with customer lounge and restaurant. Protec were employed to design, supply, install and commission both fire alarm and emergency voice communication systems (EVC). The fire alarm system would comply with BS5839 Part 1 recommendations along with holding a full BAFE SP203 approval as per the client’s requirement. Fire alarm system The system, when designed, would have to take into account the use of each room. As some rooms were accessible bedrooms, this would mean the Equality Act 2010 would also apply to the design of the system. An EVC system was required in the hotel, to assist with the safe evacuation of the building in an emergency scenario. The disabled refuge system also had to meet the current BS5839 Part 9 recommendations The disabled refuge system also had to meet the current BS5839 Part 9 recommendations. The system installed was a fully addressable Protec 6000PLUS series fire alarm system, offering a total of 22 detection loops across the hotel. The detection loops monitored a total of 1148 peripheral fire alarm devices such as multi-sensor detectors, manual call points, fire alarm interfaces and wall mounted sounders. Optical heat detectors The design of the system took into account the environmental conditions of the rooms. Factors such as shower steam and aerosol sprays are types of issues which can create false alarms in a hotel, so minimizing these conditions was paramount. Within the bedrooms, Protec utilized the 6000PLUS optical heat detectors to cut down false alarms. The multi-sensor technology is a tried and proven method for bringing down false alarms caused by that of shower steam or aerosol sprays. The multi-sensor technology works by using infra-red and thermal sensor, along with the Protec’s algorithm technology (Algo-Tec™) to differentiate between a fire and a non-fire scenario. It means environmental conditions such as shower steam or aerosol spray do not create a false alarm unlike a standard optical type of detector would. Emergency services teams The disabled refuge intercom points offer a safe temporary waiting area for the less abled person The hotel offered multiple accessible bedrooms which had to be equipped with Protec’s range of visual alarm devices (VADS). The high output LED devices are mounted to the wall or incorporated into the detector head. The bright LED head flashes to notify a person with hearing difficulties when there is a fire scenario. The EVC system is used in an evacuation scenario, assisting the emergency services teams with the safe evacuation of the building. The disabled refuge intercom points offer a safe temporary waiting area for the less abled person to wait and communicate to the emergency services in a building evacuation. The system across the hotel offered two-way voice communication between the outstations at the dedicated refuge points and the main disabled refuge control panel. Disabled refuge outstations Protec continues to work with Premier Inn as their approved supplier of fire alarm systems The fire services use the disabled refuge main control panels to communicate with the person waiting at the refuge area in an emergency scenario. Protec offered a fully compliant BS5839-9 system within the building and consisted of a 24-way main control panel and 21 disabled refuge outstations. Since completion of the Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 Premier Inn project, Protec continues to work with Premier Inn (Whitbread) as their approved supplier of fire alarm systems. Fitting out new projects and maintaining the network of existing hotels throughout the UK, Northern and Southern Ireland. Working closely with Whitbread the Primer Inn portfolio benefits from Protec’s fully comprehensive service and maintenance package offering a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year reactive call out service. With reporting, PPM and Reactive works allocation provided via Whitbread’s web-based Ostara Systems.
According to Henry Shuler, Owner and Consulting Engineer for Shuler Consulting Company, one of the biggest issues with the old station was its location, which was in a tiny city lot crammed into a corner between the road and a commercial business. In addition, the lift station was at limited capacity, as it only had four pumps. “When you have that much sewage going into a very small wet well, corrosion becomes an issue. Odor was also a problem,” said Shuler. “So beyond just the normal engineering side of it, you had some customer issues – so moving [the station] away from its current location was something very advantageous for the city.” Master lift station The new property the company ended up building on for the city of Natchitoches is several acres, and the new station is in the middle of it. On a piece of land four times larger than the old one, the new station gives the city the ability to operate a crane truck inside the building for pulling a pump, motor or other equipment. At one point, the city looked at a variety of pump configurations for the old station The lift station is also close enough to the previous property that the gravity lines were able to be easily rerouted without going a great distance. At one point, the city looked at a variety of pump configurations for the old station. But, there was really no easy way to maintain it, according to Shuler. The original master lift station had four 12” pumps. They were replaced with eight 10” pumps. Adjusting speed accordingly When it came to programming these pumps, the process was user-friendly. Equipment operators can monitor each pump based on flow into the wet well and adjust the speed accordingly. The pumps operate at minimum speeds that can be easily increased. The city also took advantage Gorman-Rupp’s Integrinex® advanced control technology. The manufacturer supplied a cellular modem for the SCADA system so the system can be monitored and adjusted as needed. The motor control center, according to the lift station operators, is unprecedented. The controls are all touch-screen and very easy to use. Operators can monitor run times, engine status and pump status. The new lift station’s average flow is about 2 million gallons a day (MGD) and 6 MGD during peak flow. Building new station The new lift station has two separate wet wells with the capability to isolate one in the future According to Matt Anderson, the Utility Director for the city of Natchitoches, the master station that was replaced was approximately 25 to 27 years old. Due to its age, the decision was made to replace rather than repair the station. “We made the decision that if we’re going to build this, let’s build it for the next 30 years’ worth of growth,” said Anderson. “So [there’s] quite a difference in our old master station and our new master lift station.” Instead of spending the necessary dollars in rehabbing and bypassing the station for months (which would mean taking the wet well out of service), investing the money in building a new station made more sense. The new lift station has two separate wet wells with the capability to isolate one in the future. Municipal sewer sales Each wet well contains four pumps – two in each well utilizing Gorman-Rupp’s AutoStart engine-driven emergency back-up technology. Anderson has worked with Gorman-Rupp for over 23 years and considers the company a valuable partner. Gorman-Rupp is probably our top company that we represent as far as sales" “We have many, many stations with Gorman-Rupp products, and we’ve always been satisfied with their parts availability,” he said. “Gorman-Rupp is probably our top company that we represent as far as sales,” said Trent McCoy, Municipal Sales Representative for Delta Process Equipment, the equipment distributor for this project. “Certainly my top manufacturer as far as municipal sewer sales. They make it really easy to sell. I think Gorman-Rupp kind of speaks for itself as far as quality and reliability.” Handling such events Tornadoes and hurricanes (as well as a recent winter storm) are typical in this region of Louisiana. The new lift station was specifically designed to handle such events. During Hurricane Laura, for instance, the station was completely out of power for almost 40 hours but remained in operation. “For 40 hours, during a heavy rain event, we had to rely on those backup engines to run those pumps, and they did a great job,” added Anderson. In terms of Gorman-Rupp’s service elements, they are always available to help. When a problem arose, Gorman-Rupp and Delta Process were able to provide quick service to mitigate any issues.
The Media City in Salford Quays is the UK’s first purpose-built media hub built on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal. Construction started in 2007 with the site owner, Peel Group as the developer and Bovis Lend Lease as the main contractor for the 200-acre site which was opened by the Queen in March 2012. The principal tenant, the BBC moved five London-based departments to the NW development – with as many as 1,600 jobs re-located from London, as well as several major BBC departments including BBC Children’s, Sport, New Media, Five Live and Breakfast to MCUK by the end of 2011. Fire alarm system Peel Group selected Protec Fire & Security Group to install a fully networked fire alarm system, IP CCTV and SALTO Access control systems to look after its valued clients including: The BBC. ITV Granada. Holiday Inn. SIS – Satellite Information Services. Salford University Media Division. Various tenants – Bars & Restaurants. Commission fire detection Buildings and facilities protected by Protec Fire Detection plc: Quay House is the BBC’s 135,000-square-foot main building from where BBC Breakfast, Match of the Day, BBC Radio 5 Live, North West Tonight and BBC Radio Manchester are all broadcast from. Bridge House is where Blue Peter, Mastermind, Dragons Den & BBC Bitesize are all produced. Dock House contains the BBC’s Research, Religion and Ethics departments. Protec assisted with the design and installed a sophisticated fire alarm and detection system incorporating color graphics display, voice alarm, disabled refuge and loop induction systems for all the BBC buildings. The three BBC buildings are all networked and display on the graphics display in the control room to assist in determining the origin of the source of the alarm. The Orange Tower Building houses departments from the University of Salford on three floors and ITV Granada occupies a further seven floors. Protec assisted in the design, installation and commissioning of the fire, voice alarms and security systems including CCTV, access and intruder alarms and disabled refuge and loop induction systems. The Blue Tower Building has amongst its tenants SIS ‘Satellite Information Services’. SIS is the UK & Ireland’s most prominent television programming and data sports services supplier, who re-located from their London headquarters to occupy three floors of the Blue Tower at Media City in July 2012. Protec helped design, install and commission fire detection, sprinklers, CCTV, access, intruder, disabled refuge and loop induction systems. The Studios operated by Peel located on Broadway, contain seven high-definition studios, claimed by Peel Media to be the largest such facility in Europe. The larger of two audio studios, sitting on hydraulic jacks to insulate it from noise generated in the surrounding studios, is dedicated to the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Protec helped to design, install and commission the fire alarm and detection, voice alarm, CCTV, access, intruder, disabled refuge and loop induction systems. The Studio block contains offices and the glass-fronted, 16-story Holiday Inn hotel. Protec supplied and commissioned the fire systems and designed and installed the security systems. TheHeart and NumberOne are the two residential apartment complexes providing 378 apartments in two tower blocks. TheHeart is a 22-story apartment building on the quayside and NumberOne; another 22-story building is next to the studio facilities in which Protec supplied and commissioned the fire alarm and detection systems. MSCP – A multi-story car park for staff, tenants and visitors to MCUK is at the north of the development which also houses significant energy plant. Protec designed, installed and commissioned the fire alarm and detection, gas extinguishing systems and the CCTV and access control security systems. Networked fire alarm Peel’s FM provider CBRE & Interserve FM has also selected Protec, to service and maintain the Media City site’s significant networked fire alarm and detection systems and much of the security systems. Due to the size of the site Protec work alongside CBRE & Interserve FM by having a dedicated account manager which attends meetings with the FM provider regularly. Media City also benefits traditional service and maintenance contract offering 24-hour day, 365 days a year reactive call out service.
James Hall founded in 1863 in Southport, Lancashire is a wholesaler, manufacturer and distributor of goods to around 640 SPAR shops in the north of England. With over 150 years of experience in the food retail and wholesale industry, James Hall has acquired a range of businesses to help support their SPAR brand. James Hall owns multiple warehouses and distribution centers within the north of England. One being their primary purpose-built distribution center first constructed in 2010. The distribution center is home to food processing, frozen storage and warehousing facilities. Fire detection solution Protec was employed by Bowker Limited, the chosen M&E contractor for James Hall to provide a full fire detection solution to the new food production and distribution center. The system would have to be compliant with current British standards and have the ability to link to various third-party systems. The panels combined provided a total of 24 detection loops over 100 fire alarm zones The systems proposed would have to take into account the environmental constraints a building like this would possess. Issues like low temperatures of the cold and freezer stores, the high ceilings of the warehouse and the washdown areas within the food process areas were to name but just a few. The system offered by Protec was substantial in size, made up of five main control panels, a fire alarm loop node and a full repeat panel. The panels combined provided a total of 24 detection loops over 100 fire alarm zones. Fire alarm devices The system controlled and monitored a range of fire alarm devices such as point detection, manual call points and loop powered LED beacons all using the Protec 6000 series protocol. The size of the site and its loud ambient noise in both the distribution and food processing areas make the alarm elements of a fire detection system that bit more complicated. British standards state that a fire alarm has to be that of over 5dBA above ambient noise. It would mean in some scenarios on the project called for substantial sounders to project sound at what was to be over 100dBA. In this case, Protec supplied some heavy-duty talking sounders which were capable of projecting voice messages at over the 100dBA required to meet the BS5839 regulations. Protec supplied a pager system; the pagers are handed out to workers, so they are notified anywhere on-site if a fire condition occurs. Aspirating detection systems Protec installed 40 separate aspirating detection systems around the site Protec installed 40 separate aspirating detection systems around the site. The aspirating smoke detection systems on this project addressed different environmental constraints found in various areas across the site. Warehouses are sometimes an issue when it comes to fire alarm service and maintenance. It is due to the high ceilings and maneuvering around what could be high bay racking full of stock. When designing fire alarm systems, future maintenance always needs taking into account, so applying the right type of detection is paramount. As the warehouse was a dry storage warehouse, this gave three options as to what kind of detection to use, point detection, beam detection and lastly aspirating detection. Point detection was not suitable in this instance due to the warehouse exceeding 10 meters and not being compliant with BS5839. Early warning detection Beam detection was not ideal due to the risk of obstructions by stock placed on the high bay racking. Aspirating detection was the only suitable option due to its ease of install, not affected by obstacles and the most significant benefit of all the low cost required to maintain these systems. IT Suites are a crucial part of companies building housing the most critical data IT Suites are a crucial part of companies building housing the most critical data. Should a fire break out in the IT Suite, it would be devastating to a business. So in these scenarios, a sensitive but reliable system is paramount. Protec fitted out the IT suites with aspirating detection systems. The aspirating detection systems offered exceptional early warning detection, as they can detect the risk of fire at the most initial stage possible. Food production lines Cold stores and freezer areas took up a large part of the complex due to James Hall housing multiple food production lines. It meant that several areas across the building would require a controlled temperature for the storage of the meats, vegetables and many other ingredients. In these areas, low temperatures can cause issues for point type detection due to condensation formed in these areas. The cold and freezer stores were fitted out with several aspirating detection systems. Aspirating detection systems benefit from the operating temperatures, which can operate at minus 25 Celsius, making them the ideal solution to these environments. James Hall’s new distribution complex also offer food production areas as well as the large-scale storage. Moisture-Rich environment Just like the cold stores and freezer areas, water ingress can cause issues to electronic devices The food production areas are subject to lots of moisture as well as condensation due to them all having washdown areas. Just like the cold stores and freezer areas, water ingress can cause issues to electronic devices, so it was advisable not to use point detection unless it was IP rated. By offering aspirating detection systems in these areas, water doesn’t create the same problems for this type of system due to the aspirating smoke detector being installed outside a moisture-rich environment. Since completion of the distribution center, James Hall has taken out a fully comprehensive service package. The package offers a 24 hour a day 365 days a year reactive call out service to ensure the systems installed stay well maintained and fault free for years to come.
The London Aquatics Centre is located in Stratford, on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park complex and is designed by renowned architect, Zaha Hadrid. Constructed by Balfour Beatty in 2008 and completed in July 2011, well in time ready to feature in the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics events. London Aquatics Centre The London Aquatics Centre is home to a 50-meter competition swimming pool, a 25-meter competition diving pool and a 50-meter warm-up pool, with all of them featuring a movable floor. The movable floor makes the depth of pools adjustable, along with the movable boom system that changes the size of the pools, as and when required. After the Olympic Games ended, the London Legacy Development (LLD) closed the London Aquatics Centre, to carry out re-development work. The building was handed over to the community and used by the surrounding members of the public. The building had an initial capacity of 17,500 spectators, when the Olympics took place. However, in 2014, when the building re-opened post re-development, the seating had been reduced to 2,800 spectators, which can be expanded by a further 1000 spectators, when large events occur. Total fire protection solution London Aquatics Centre required a complete package, featuring fire detection, VEPA and toilet alarm systems London Aquatics Centre required a complete package, featuring fire detection, voice evacuation/public address (VEPA) and accessible toilet alarm systems. The systems had to meet BS5839 recommendations, while taking into account various environmental constraints. Humid conditions and high ceilings were just a couple of issues highlighted. The future re-development would also need to be taken into account, at the design stage, for the partial removal of the system, when the project was downsized, as part of the London Legacy Project, after the Olympic Games ended. Protec 6000 series fire alarm system Protec offered a complete fire detection system with wide coverage to the Aquatics Centre. The installation features a Protec 6000 series fire alarm system. The system consists of a fire alarm control panel linked to multiple loop expansion units, which are located strategically around the building, via a secure fire alarm network. The fire alarm system offered ten fire alarm loops, which monitored and controlled the Protec 6000 series fire alarm devices, around the site. The fire alarm devices consisted of a mixture of smoke detectors, heat detectors, manual call points and wall-mounted beacons, across the site. Voice Evacuation/ Public Address System Alongside the fire alarm and air sampling systems, a Voice Evacuation/ Public Address System (VEPA) system was also installed, within the building. As the building hosted a maximum of 17,500 spectators, in a confined space, the evacuation procedures put in place needed to be carried out quickly and effectively, with as little distress to the spectators as possible. This type of scenario lends itself well to a VEPA system, as the evacuation messages of a voice evacuation system is proven to cause less alarm and distress, in comparison to that of a tone-type fire alarm sound, making the evacuation of a building lot quicker and safer. VEPA rack suites VEPA system consisted of a series of 13 VEPA rack suites to broadcast the music, public address and evacuation messages The VEPA system consisted of a series of 13 VEPA rack suites to broadcast the music, public address and evacuation messages, to the 582 speakers that are located around the complex. The VEPA rack suites were fully engineered, in line with the strict Q/A procedures, at Protec’s central production facility in Nelson, Lancashire and comprised of amplification, digital programmable matrix (DSP), five-disc CD player, fault monitoring and battery backup. The VEPA system offered several underwater speakers, once installed in the swimming pools, and this broadcasted music to the synchronized swimmers, during the Olympic events. Disabled WC Alarm System In addition to the other fire safety systems, Protec provided a disabled WC alarm system. Due to the enormous size of the building, it called for a large-scale disabled WC system. The majority of disabled WC alarms on the market rely on radial-type wiring configurations. It becomes an issue on large scale installations, as they call for a vast amount of materials and installation time. Protec decided that this project would benefit from a more bespoke system. So, to that end, they re-purposed a fire alarm panel and used it as a disabled toilet alarm system. The system benefits from one complete loop and monitor multiple Protec 6000 series fire alarm interfaces, which link to the relay inputs of the 49 standalone disabled WC alarms, located around the complex. The Aftercare Since completion of the initial construction of the London Aquatics Centre, LLD appointed Protec to carry out the works that were required for the re-development of the project. The contract reduced the size of the aquatics center, from the initial 17,500 seats capacity, down to 2,800 seats and handed back the center to the community, for sporting and community events. Protec continues to offer a fully comprehensive service and maintenance contract for the London Aquatics Centre, providing 24-hours a day, 365 days a year responsive call-out service.