Nittan Europe, globally renowned manufacturer of conventional and addressable fire detection products, has announced that it is a proud sponsor of South Eastern Regional College’s (SERC) ‘Outstanding Apprentice Fire Alarm Engineer of the Year’. Nittan has supplied a prize and trophy, plus free of charge fire alarm products for students to train on. SERC, based in Northern Ireland, provides a wide range of courses, apprenticeships, professional development training, online lear...
During the national emergency, many in the Fire Sector will be concerned regarding what work should or shouldn’t go ahead. The government advice is most importantly to all “Stay Home-Stay Safe-Protect the NHS”. This is for an initial three-week period as all play their part by limiting contact with others to reduce the virus’s opportunity to spread. There are exceptions which have raised multiple questions within the wider sector. Key worker status Th...
Given the unprecedented situation of COVID-19 and uncertainty faced by everyone around the world, FFE Ltd. Managing Director, Oliver Burstall said, “I would like to take this opportunity to reach out and update you on the steps we are taking to ensure operations continue in the safest way possible.” Availability of product He said, “Our primary concern as a business is the health and safety of our colleagues, customers, suppliers and their families. At FFE Ltd., we have been...
Some insurance carriers delay or deny a patient’s medically necessary care, despite recommendations by doctors or other health professionals, in order to reduce costs and increase profits. A delay or denial can happen to anyone with a health care plan. However, firefighters are particularly vulnerable because, as government employees, their plans are not protected by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) in the United States. Protections for firefighters Without th...
The T-band radio spectrum provides critical communications for firefighters and other first responders in large metropolitan areas. However, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently required by law to auction off the spectrum for other uses in February 2021. Congress will need to pass legislation in the next several months to stop the auction, which is a provision of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. In the last several years, various bills ha...
BAFE has announced releasing a fire safety advisory during the on-going coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic. The advisory stated, “During this extraordinary situation, it must be noted that fire safety cannot be put on hold. Fire does not discriminate, and it is important that your fire safety policy is well maintained appropriately”. Fire safety systems and provisions It further reads, ”BAFE have discussed this fact before, but fire safety systems and provisions are different to...
C-TEC is fully operational and is continuing to supply its customers in the UK and overseas. The health, safety and well-being of the workforce, as well as fulfilling customer demand, remains a top priority. Following advice provided by the UK government, regular updates on the necessary precautions to take are being communicated to all C-TEC's staff, and close monitoring of the coronavirus evolution is underway. Protocols have been stepped up throughout the company in terms of close personal contact and daily cleaning routines. Delaying COVID-19 outbreak In containing and delaying the coronavirus outbreak within the business, C-TEC has suspended factory tours and customer training sessions. They are also requesting that the customers and visitors: Comply with government guidelines surrounding isolation and self-isolation prior to attending site or coming into contact with any of the staff. Comply with the increased hand washing and hygiene precautions in place if visiting any of C-TEC's premises. Refrain from close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands whilst coming into contact with any of the staff. Contingency plan A robust contingency plan is in place at C-TEC to ensure that customer demands are being met, and provisions are in place to prepare for a change in the coronavirus situation. The majority of C-TEC's supply chain are based within the UK which significantly limits the impact of any importing issues that may arise. The suppliers that are used overseas provide bulk stock at standard consumption rates, and 8-12 weeks of stock is held on site. The stock control mechanisms in place have been implemented for over 24 months to manage the electronic component lead time issues that have been witnessed across the electronics industry. The production workforce are predominantly local residents and steps to manage labour capacity requirements are in place and are being continually reviewed.
The FIA Export Council and all of ‘FIA Exporters’ are aware that they work closely with the Department for International Trade [DIT] and its Defence and Security Organisation [DSO], in respect of promoting the fire sector’s export interests overseas. The FIA is writing to highlight the opportunities for industry sector specialists to work within DIT DSO on time-limited projects to support UK exports. As part of the new 2019 Security Export Strategy, DIT DSO are seeking support from industry sector specialists to provide expert advice and conduct a study of UK market capabilities focused on infrastructure protection. The current opportunity would particularly suit someone from the Active Fire Protection industry as they look to develop global opportunities for UK providers of FD&A and extinguishing products as well as wider integrated safety and security systems. Fire Protection Industry This represents a huge opportunity for someone from the fire protection industry to engage directly with DIT DSO to shape the way in which it supports UK exporters and to create a legacy by which it will work effectively with the fire protection industry into the future. While applicants will be providing direct support to UK prosperity and international trade objectives, in doing so they will gain valuable access to DIT DSO’s network; improve their understanding of Government-to-Government dynamics and priorities; strengthen the personal career development of the participating employee; gain unique skills at the interface between Government and industry; and understand UK policy making on trade and exports. Knowledge Of Active Fire Protection This is an unpaid position which is expected to run for a six month period during which the appointed person would work with DIT DSO for about 1 day a week on specific projects. This will be a mix of remote working and attendance at the DIT offices in central London (for which travel expenses will be paid). The person to be appointed to this position should have extensive knowledge of Active Fire Protection and be experienced in the mechanisms and challenges in exporting these products to overseas markets. This opportunity would therefore ideally be suitable for individuals possessing a level of prior relevant expertise and knowledge, say with 5-10 years of experience, although individuals possessing less experience or seniority will, of course, be considered.
As BAFE Registered Companies will be aware, there are certain time period requirements when service and maintenance work should be performed for fire safety provisions and systems. At present, if a client is not permitting access on-site due to coronavirus precautions, the company should make sure that they explain that it is their decision to not allow the completion of the work. It is the role of the premises management (i.e. Responsible Person/Duty Holder) to ensure they fulfil their fire safety obligations. Advise them of any risk and if they still do not grant access on-site, document this communication. This will provide evidence that they have acted responsibly with their clients. If they are allowed access on-site, please stay safe and follow appropriate coronavirus guidance to ensure that they are not unnecessarily increasing risk to anyone in the premises or themselves. Chris Auger, Head of Schemes - BAFE
In an effort to its customers with information on the potential impact of the Coronavirus for Kentec, please read the following statement: Kentec is following all guidance issued by the UK Government and international/overseas Governments and they will continue to operate as normal as possible given the current global situation and support its customers with supplies of products. Maintaining Close Communication Kentec has already implemented all the precautions advised and taken further measures to eliminate the potential risk, particularly in regards to: Employee welfare Visitors welfare Continuity of supply of products and services Transport and logistics Kentec’s priority is to ensure the well-being of their staff. Kentec is maintaining close communication with all employees, domestically and remotely and have taken precautionary measures to ensure their safety, including a reduction in travel to and within certain countries. Mitigating The Risk Of Disruption It is necessary for all visitors to carefully consider if the meeting can be held using web or conference call facilities and have request they complete a risk assessment before travel to Kentec’s offices. The communication with their suppliers to date indicates that Kentec currently has no supply issues, therefore they estimate that the direct business impact on Kentec will be low. Furthermore, both Kentec and its key suppliers arranged for additional stock to be held at Kentec and its premises to cater for any disruption in relation to Brexit which did not come to fruition. Kentec will continue to mitigate the risk of disruption to its customers and will provide further updates as necessary.
With just days left until the planned fire industry show, Clarion Events has cancelled FDIC International over concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus. Following All Guidelines Here is the statement on the decision: “In light of the recent activities around COVID-19, we are continuing to prioritize the safety and health of our attendees, exhibitors, customers and staff above all else. We are postponing FDIC International and are in conversations with the Indiana Convention Center and Convention & Visitors Bureau for new dates and we ask that you bear with us as we evaluate all opportunities. We are in communication with the local and state authorities to ensure we are following all guidelines for the event. We know that we are certainly not alone as many of you are also facing difficult situations in the communities you live in and serve. In the following days we will have more information to share with you and will reach out to you at that time. As always, we appreciate your support of FDIC. If you have any questions or concerns now, please do talk to a member of our team.”
Euralarm celebrates the day when, exactly 50 years ago, Ernst Meili founded the company. Starting with 24 companies from 12 countries and two national associations for fire safety, Euralarm developed into a European association that represents today over 5,000 companies, employing 700,000 people, within the fire safety, security, extinguishing and related services industry with an estimated revenue of € 67 billion. Safety And Security For almost 50 years Euralarm has been proactively contributing to standardization processes, providing guidance in the digitalization of the industry, raising the standards for training and qualifications to address society’s needs for safety and security and partnering with research institutes. On this occasion, Euralarm thanks all their partners for sharing their passion and for joining them in their journey towards a safer and more secure Europe.
Across the country, law enforcement officers are finding it increasingly difficult to respond to the near overwhelming number of calls coming from security alarms. Police departments commonly define a false alarm as a call, which upon investigation, shows no evidence of criminal activity, such as broken windows, forced doors, items missing, or people injured. While false alarms bog down police, they can also negatively impact customers and integrators. End users can expect hefty fines for false alarm responses, and when these customers receive large bills from the city, many turn to installers, dealers, and even manufacturers expecting them to accept the responsibility and pay the check. What First Brought The Issue Of Alarm Verification To Your Attention? It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight I’ve been aware of the problem of false alarms for about 5 years. I believed audio capture, through microphone deployment, could be an active part of the solution when used as a second source for indicating ‘out of the norm’ activity and as an equal component with the video surveillance technology. In 2015, I found similarly minded security professionals when introduced to the Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response. After reading PPVAR’s paper on ‘Audio Verified Alarms Best Practices; [April 2015],’ I knew that the Partnership was on to something important. In our lives, two of the five senses we count on day-in and day-out are sight and sound. It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight. What Is The False Alarm Rate? In 2016, the International Association of Chiefs of Police reported that over 98 percent of all alarm calls in the United States were false. This number is obviously staggering, and something we need to work towards correcting. Why Did This Issue Resonate So Strongly With You? When I first investigated this issue, I was sure that the security industry would have already recognized this and was acting to ensure improved alarm verification, preferably through a combination of audio and video technologies. However, I quickly saw that this was not the case, or even close to the norm. I have questioned the rationale behind the lack of adoption and found the deployment of audio is often hindered by the concern of privacy. I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio As CEO of Louroe Electronics, I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio. I’ve had to reassure many security personnel and customers how the law supports the use of audio in public places as long as there is no expectation of privacy. By dispelling fears with facts around deploying and implementing audio sensors, customers can confidently include audio in their surveillance systems and gain a more effective security solution. Who Is Affected By This? Truth be told, everyone from the end user to the manufacturer is affected by this issue. Not to mention the strain this puts on law enforcement who are tired of ‘wasting time’ and effort out in the field on these nuisance alerts. When an end user receives a check for their false alarm, many of them will immediately blame the integrator and or the monitoring center for a faulty set up and management and expect the integrator to remedy the situation, including carry the burden of paying the fines. The integrator, on the other hand, will turn to the manufacturer, assuming faulty equipment and installation instructions; therefore, looking for reimbursement for the cost. What Is The Average False Alarm Fee? It depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for responseIt depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for response. According to the Urban Institute, fees generally range from $25-$100 for the first offense, rising as high as a few thousand dollars per false alarm if a location has a large number in a single year. What’s worse, in extreme cases, alarm systems may even be blacklisted by the police dispatch center if they have raised too many false alarms in the past. Why Do You Believe Audio Is The Ideal Technology For Secondary Source Verification? Video surveillance has been the main option for security monitoring and alarm validation for decades, however industry professionals are realising that video alone is not enough. Video only tells half of the story, by adding audio capture, the responsible party gains a turnkey solution with the ability to gather additional evidence to verify alerts and expand overall awareness. In reality, audio’s range is greater than the field of view for a camera. Sound pickup is 360 degrees, capturing voices, gunshots, breaking glass, sirens, or other important details that a fixed camera many not see. How Would A Secondary Source Verification System Work With Audio? Using a video monitoring solution equipped with audio, the microphone will pick up the sounds at the time a visual alert or alarm is triggered. If embedded with classification analytics, the microphone will send alerts for specific detected sounds. The captured audio, and any notifications are immediately sent to the monitoring station, where trained personnel can listen to the sound clip, along with live audio and video from their station. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response From here, an informed decision can then be made about the validity of the alarm, along with what the current threat is at the location. If the alarm is in fact valid, the information is then passed along to the law enforcement within minutes. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response. It also provides more information in a forensic evaluation. Are There Any Additional Resources You Would Suggest Looking Into? Yes, we would suggest looking into the following to see a few different perspectives on the matter: NSA Support For 2018 Model Ordinance For Alarm Management and False Alarm Reduction Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response Support for the Term “Verified Alarm” and Prioritising Verified Alarm Responses Urban Institute Opportunities for Police Cost Savings without Sacrificing Service Quality: Reducing False Alarms
Research is a Congressionally mandated mission of the U.S. Fire Administration, although their activities are limited by funding and staffing challenges. “A lot of what we do is work with other agencies and organizations that are conducting research,” says G. Keith Bryant, U.S. Fire Administrator. “We have the data to help them with their research.” Research partners include Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and various institutions of higher learning. The U.S. Fire Administration also collects data from a variety of sources to provide information and analyses on the status and scope of the fire problem in the United States. The fire service can use this data to increase awareness, set priorities and/or motivate corrective action. The data can also help to target public education programs and create a baseline for evaluating programs. Collecting the data “We do a fair amount of reports that go out nationally, on firefighter fatalities, for example, or fires at educational institutions,” says Bryant. One recent report covered health and wellness issues specific to female firefighters. Streamlined systems are needed at the local level to maximize data input Local fire departments provide data to the National Internet Fire Reporting System (NIFRS), and streamlined systems are needed at the local level to maximize data input and ensure accuracy. “The system could use modernization, but that takes funding,” says Bryant. “The software might not be as detailed and accurate as it could be.” A big challenge facing the fire service is collection and analysis of accurate data. The need for data extends to issues such as occupational-related cancer among firefighters: Is there accurate data about how bad the problem is and where resources should be focused? Another issue is mental health: Data is needed to confront the issues in a positive way. The challenges of data collection Working with the fire service leadership at the local level can help to meet the challenges of data collection. “We get into those discussions – honest, frank discussions – about what they can do in their agencies to provide more oversight,” says Bryant. “Everybody understands there is a huge need for it.” Local participation ensures maximum value of data collected nationally, and compliance among departments is a “mixed bag,” says Bryant. Data collection is also a tool to help local departments to get the funding they need. Accurate data is needed about the amount of property, dollars and lives that are lost Related to firefighting, accurate data is needed about the amount of property, dollars and lives that are lost. Specific to the growing problem of wildfires, data is needed about which areas are at risk and the nature of the challenges. More information is also needed on occupational-related cancer, for example, which is a serious concern among firefighters. “We need to do a better job of collecting and recording data, and using it in a better way,” says Bryant. “And we need to do it on a more consistent basis nationally.” User conscientiousness User conscientiousness is also an issue: “In some cases, firefighters just want to get through that incident report ASAP, so they may not be as detailed, or fill in all the fields,” says Bryant. During the 45 years of the U.S. Fire Administration’s existence, there has been a significant reduction in reported fires, reflecting a gradual positive trend. The 1973-74 “America Burning” report, which led to establishment of the U.S. Fire Administration, noted that there were more than 3 million fires annually then, compared to the current yearly average of around 1.3 million. Fire fatalities were counted in the tens of thousands several years ago, but there are only about 3,000 a year now. Firefighter fatalities have been cut in half, and there are fewer firefighters injured, too. “These are huge successes, but it doesn’t mean we’re there yet,” says Bryant. “We still have work to do. We don’t take direct credit, but the improvements are based on us working together with the fire service industry.” Location of communities adjacent to areas prone to wildfires, the so-called wildfire urban interface (WUI), has impacted how wildfires are controlled and managed. At one time, the approach was to control a wildfire rather than to extinguish it, but not anymore. “People have moved into those areas,” says Bryant. “Now you have to take a different approach.” Recent tragedies in Paradise and Santa Rosa, Calif., reflect the problem. In the last eight years, there have been resulting increases in property losses and fire fatalities. In the last eight years, there have been resulting increases in property losses and fire fatalities Fires, injuries, deaths, and property loss Specifically, statistics show there were 1.3 million fires in 2017, down 6.2% from 2008, and injuries were down 15.8% to 14,670. However, there were 3,400 deaths in 2017, up 9.6% from 2008; and property loss amounted to $23.0 billion, up 12%. Also contributing to the problem is a trend toward lightweight construction and reliance on different materials, such as chemicals, plastics and particle board as examples. These materials burn much hotter and faster, thus reducing the possible time to escape. And in spite of campaigns to increase use of smoke alarms, there are still some properties that are not protected. “There is still a lot of work to be done,” says Bryant.
The U.K. government is looking to apply the lessons of the Grenfell Tower fire by strengthening the regulatory system for building safety, including regulations for high-rise buildings. By changing the industry culture to increase accountability and responsibility, proposed measures seek to ensure residents are safe in their homes. The new measures – Building Safety and Fire Safety Bills – expand on a pledge to “[bring forward] new measures to … improve building safety,” which was included in the Queen’s Speech to both houses of Parliament on Dec. 19, 2019. Bringing In New Fire Safety Measures When Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed his plans for government with his new majority, he included mention of housing issues. To ensure residents are safe in their homes, the government will bring forward measures to implement the most urgent recommendations from the first phase of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry. They will also publish a draft Building Safety Bill to implement the recommendations of Dame Judith Hackitt’s review of building regulations. The new measures will draw from all 53 of the recommendations of the independent review of building safety, and in some cases, go beyond those recommendations. For example, the government seeks to give residents a stronger voice and strengthen enforcement and sanctions to deter non-compliance. To ensure residents are safe in their homes, the government will bring forward measures to implement the most urgent recommendationsDame Judith Hackitt’s review found that the current regulatory system is not fit for purpose in relation to high-rise and complex buildings. A new system to oversee the whole built environment will involve local enforcement agencies and national regulators working together to ensure better safety of all buildings. New Regulations, Guidance And Improvements An enhanced regime for high-rise residential buildings will apply to more than 11,000 high-rise buildings, increasing to almost 15,000 buildings within 10 years. Some £600 million of funding has been made available to replace the unsafe cladding in the social and private sectorsPreviously, the government has implemented a range of improvements that did not require legislation, including identification of more than 400 high-rise buildings that use unsafe Aluminium Compositie Material (ACM) cladding, like that used on the Grenfell Tower. They have worked with local authorities and fire and rescue authorities to ensure appropriate interim safety measures are in place. Some £600 million of funding has been made available to replace the unsafe cladding in the social and private sectors. New regulations and guidance ban the use of combustible materials on the external walls of new buildings over 18 meters containing flats, as well as new hospitals, resident care premises, dormitories and student accommodations. Learning From Mistakes The Fire Safety Bill has been brought forward to “deliver meaningful change to ensure an appalling tragedy like Grenfell can never happen again.” In addition to addressing the elements of Dame Judith Hackitt’s review, the Fire Safety Bill seeks to clarify the scope of the Fire Safety Order to include external walls of buildings, including cladding, and fire doors for domestic premises of multiple occupancy. It would also strengthen the relevant enforcement powers to hold building owners and managers to account. A transitional period will allow building owners and managers and Fire and Rescue Services to put in place the infrastructure for these changes.
A “Complaint of Non-Conforming Products” has been submitted to the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission on behalf of a forensic expert who says he has identified non-compliance dangers and vulnerabilities related to fire and burglar alarm control units. Millions of alarms conceivably could be recalled following an investigation in response to the complaint. The U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission is tasked with promoting the safety of consumer products by addressing “unreasonable risks” of injury, such as risk of fire, chemical exposure, electrical malfunction or mechanical failure. Typically, the CSPC evaluates such complaints and determines what corrective action, if any, is appropriate, in this case possibly by the end of the year. Report from Jeffrey Zwirn Jeffrey Zwirn, an alarm and security forensic expert, says he has identified problems with the alarm devices and has posted online a series of videos confirming that they do not operate in conformance with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 985 and 103 and NFPA 72 (National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code) Standards. The single data-bus circuits of the hardwired devices can be short-circuitedSpecifically, the single data-bus circuits of the hardwired devices can be short-circuited and become either fully or partially non-functional. IDS Research & Development Inc. (Zwirn’s company) and Connaughton Group LLC, a product integrity consulting firm, sent a request to the CSPC on Sept. 20 asking for an investigation of products across the North American household fire and burglar alarm control units and commercial burglar and fire alarm control panel category. Includes products from big brands The request estimates that “hundreds of millions” of the units were sold and installed across the United States. The request estimates that 'hundreds of millions' of the units were installed across the USAThey include products sold under brand names such as Honeywell, DSC, NAPCO, ELK Products, and Interlogix. If the recall were to happen, it would be the largest recall in the history of the alarm industry. The request states: “It is our expert opinion that these non-conforming control panels present a foreseeably dangerous and serious public safety hazard and risk to all of the unsuspecting consumers, their families and business owners who have these control panels installed in their homes and businesses.” Interceptor addresses the vulnerability Zwirn has also submitted the products for investigation by UL and Intertek Testing Services Inc., which respectively provide the UL and ETL certification marks and are Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL). Outcomes of those investigations are forthcoming. Jeffrey Zwirn also promotes and sells a product, The Interceptor, that would address the vulnerability. It is a microprocessor designed to protect the data-bus and auxiliary power output wiring installed throughout a protected premises.
The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) is the first fire service in North America to purchase a pre-series vehicle based on the Concept Fire Truck (CFT). The electric fire truck from Rosenbauer will be delivered in the first quarter 2021 and put into practice as part of a comprehensive test operation. CFT Technology In addition to its driving characteristics and safety features, the truck made an impression with its ergonomics and high functionality during the initial demonstrations last December. A sworn workforce of around 3,500 makes the LAFD one of the largest fire services in the US. It operates a fleet of 1,300 vehicles and responded to approximately 500,000 emergency calls last year, including 4,100 structure fires. Pre-series vehicle based on the CFT will have two batteries with a charge capacity of 100 kilowatt hours The LAFD and the City of Los Angeles are setting a clear example for sustainability and climate protection with the decision to use CFT technology. The purchase was made through Velocity Fire Equipment & Sales, which acts as a prime contractor and represents Rosenbauer Group in Southern California, Nevada and Arizona. Fully Electric Operation The pre-series vehicle based on the CFT will have two batteries with a charge capacity of 100 kilowatt hours. This enables fully electric operation for roughly two hours and covers around 90% of all applications. A 200-kilowatt range extender is integrated for longer application times. The fire truck will be adjusted to meet the needs of the LAFD in terms of usage and loading, without limiting the flexible vehicle architecture in the process, and is designed to meet all standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). “I am excited that we are the first Department in North America to order this cutting-edge fire engine,” says LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas. “The electric fire engine is an innovative tool that will help reduce noise, harmful diesel emissions, and provide a flexible tool for firefighting and rescue operations from a technologically advanced platform. We are looking forward to evaluating in a real-world environment once it hits the streets of Hollywood next year.” Meets All The Safety Standards “The future fire truck is fundamentally different from the vehicles which are in service at the fire stations today. It is multi-functional, fully connected and its flexible interior can be used as a fully featured command center. Its floor can be lowered facilitating minimum boarding and working levels. Electric engines reduce noise and pollution. We will develop a production-ready fire truck that meets all the safety standards" “I am particularly delighted to receive the order from the Los Angeles Fire Department, which really is a fantastic vote of confidence,” says Dieter Siegel, CEO of Rosenbauer International. “Together, we will develop a production-ready fire truck that meets all the safety standards of the NFPA and can seamlessly be brought into real operation further down the line.” Municipal Firefighting Vehicles Rosenbauer’s Concept Fire Truck was first presented to the public in 2016. As a fire truck of the future, it anticipates major mega-trends such as climate change, demographic change and urbanization, as well as the challenges that these entail for fire departments. The use of electric drives enables a completely new kind of vehicle architecture that is 100% tailored to these future scenarios and sets new benchmarks in terms of functionality and ergonomics. The main application area for innovative CFT technology at the moment is municipal firefighting vehicles, but it will also be applied to other types of vehicles further down the line. Rosenbauer estimates that the number of vehicles with technology similar to CFT will rise to around 3,200 by 2030; up to 400 such vehicles could already be in service in Northern America by 2025.
telent, a specialist in the effective operation of the UK’s critical national infrastructure, and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority (MFRA) are marking a milestone moment this year as their collaborative partnership enters its 19th year, with the contract now secured until 2024. Integrated Risk Management Plan Serving five metropolitan boroughs – Sefton, St Helens, Knowsley, Wirral and Liverpool – community safety and life-saving operations are top priorities for MFRA. Information Communication Technology (ICT) services are crucial to the day-to-day running of operations and must be developed, aligned and continually reviewed to ensure they can support the delivery of the Authority’s Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) which prepares for various incidents and is a statutory requirement of all fire services. Since 2001, telent has delivered a range of vital ICT services and introduced multiple innovations, including an Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)-based service catalogue to ensure that Merseyside can easily alter the services it receives according to changing needs. ITIL-based service catalogue Our relationship with telent means we have a partner that we can rely on in the most demanding of circumstances" At the heart of the contract, telent runs a service desk for MFRA, handling more than 650 IT incidents per month, with 75% of issues fixed by telent remotely, bringing significant cost-savings to Merseyside. “Our relationship with telent means we have a partner that we can rely on in the most demanding of circumstances,” said Phil Garrigan, Chief Fire Officer at MFRA. “As well as having a deep understanding of the blue light sector, telent brings a flexible approach to its service delivery which has proved invaluable to us as we work to keep up with the fast-paced technological changes across the business sphere. Ultimately we know we have a highly-trusted partner in telent and look forward to working with the team for years to come.” ICT life-cycle management services More recently, telent has made additions to the ICT Service Catalogue which include providing ICT life-cycle management services for National Resilience Fire Control (NRFC) and the introduction of MFRA ICT cloud-based services to deliver in-house apps on frontline appliances. The National Resilience is responsible for deploying and co-ordinating National Resilience equipment and supporting individual fire and rescue services to minimise the impact of major emergencies. “What comes with an ICT Service Catalogue is the ability to have a Service Level Agreement with clearly defined Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and I am pleased as telent continues to meet those KPIs,” said Ed Franklin, Head of Technology at MFRA. “The Service Catalogue also provides the flexibility to easily adopt new services as our requirements evolve or new technology solutions become available.” According to the Home Office, MFRA attends more primary fires per thousand population than any other fire and rescue service in the UK. It is committed to attending all life risk incidents within 10 minutes on 90% of occasions.
Global FM service provider Atalian Servest has won a contract with the University of Edinburgh to maintain its fire alarm and associated life safety systems. The three-year contract is worth a base cost of £250,000 per annum. Atalian Servest will service over 250 buildings within the historic City of Edinburgh, some of which are Grade-A listed. Premises include prestigious lecture theatres, libraries, seminar buildings and student and family accommodation. The contract will include maintenance of disabled person refuge communication systems and remote monitoring telephone line systems, supporting the safety of staff, students and visitors at the university. Enhancing student experience The University of Edinburgh offers undergraduate degree programmes, and postgraduate taught and research programmes to more than 14,000 students; it is globally recognised for its research, development and high-quality teaching. Daniel Dickson, CEO of Atalian Servest UK & Ireland, said, “Our fire and security team are excited to support such a prestigious university and a global leader in education, and look forward to strengthening our partnership throughout the contract and beyond.” Heather Fleming, Building Services Engineer at the University of Edinburgh, said, “Atalian Servest has been a key partner, delivering other contracts and projects for several years. We welcome the fire and security team to enhance the experience of our stakeholders, students and visitors alike. The company provides the highest level of customer service, innovation and quality.”
The National Fire Chiefs’ Council has called for all residential buildings with four floors or more to be installed with sprinkler systems after a huge fire tore through student flats in Bolton, United Kingdom last month. Fire sprinklers in Tall buildings But a Freedom of Information request from The Argus revealed 44 council-owned housing blocks in Brighton and Hove which are four storeys or taller do not have sprinklers installed. This is a worrying discovery as two of the 44 buildings had sprinklers systems approved last September. However, despite funding of £300,000 from Brighton and Hove City Council and East Sussex Fire and Rescue service, the installation of fire sprinklers has been delayed due to ‘feedback from residents’. Sprinkler installation program “For a sprinkler installation program to be successful, the residents must be consulted. Although, not all residents are in favor of installing a sprinkler system; despite sprinklers being paramount in preventing another tragic disaster similar to the Grenfell Tower fire,” says an East Sussex Fire Brigade Union Spokesman. Whilst firefighters on the frontline understand the importance of sprinkler systems in assisting to prevent the rapid growth of fires, sprinkler systems should not be viewed as a ‘golden bullet’. There is no replacement to a properly funded and resourced fire and rescue service.
Gent by Honeywell installs its new S-Quad Visual Alarm Devices (VADs) in Leamington Spa’s renowned entertainment venue, the Royal Spa Centre. The popular purpose built theatre and cinema, owned by Warwick District Council, recently upgraded its entire fire detection and alarm (FD&A) system to a fully integrated Gent Vigilon Compact solution, that incorporates more than 50 S-Quad VADs throughout the multi-use building. Visual Alarm Technology Warwick Council had expressed interest in the use of Gent’s new technology during the initial meetings with Gent approved System Integrator, Fire Safe Services Ltd. Steven Dowell, Fire Safe Services Ltd said: “The existing FD&A system had a three minute delay utilizing beacon only devices. As the Royal Spa Centre is a public building that is in continuous use, Warwick Council felt it was important to use the latest visual alarm technology to protect the hundreds of visitors, its employees and the historic building.” Triggering Key Individual “The innovative solution we installed incorporated Gent’s brand new S-Quad VADs with voice sounders and we programmed the system to keep the three minute delay. During the first alert, the specific solution was set to trigger key individual beacons throughout the building to act as a staff alert.” The new S-Quad VADs meet all of the requirements of the latest EN54-23 standards “After the three minute delay, or in the event of a second device being activated, the system was then programmed to give a full evacuation signal, so all of the VADs will activate and the sounders would be used to advise occupants to leave the building.” The new S-Quad VADs meet all of the requirements of the latest EN54-23 standards and have been designed to help alert occupants in noisy environments and the hard of hearing. Reducing Valuable Installation Time The devices combine Gent’s renowned sensor, sounder and speech technology with high efficiency EN54-23 certified visual alarms. As these functions are incorporated into one single device, S-Quad continues to provide the most cost-effective option and helps to reduce valuable installation time. Neil Towers, Business Manager, Gent by Honeywell said: “We are delighted that there has been another successful installation of our unique S-Quad visual alarms. We’re confident that the outstanding performance of the new S-Quad range will match the quality of performance taking center stage at the Royal Spa Centre. Our solution will ensure that every visitor can be safe and protected and enjoy the diverse range of entertainment the venue has to offer.”
Peterborough firefighters were buzzing to help a local project to enhance the environment for bees. Last week on Monday the firefighters from Green Watch at Dogsthorpe Fire Station attended an environmental initiative called Jimmy’s Bee’s at the newly built Connect Park in Millfield, Peterborough. Building Relationships With Local Residents The crew joined volunteers from the community to dig the grass up, sew and plant wildflower seeds in order to create a fantastic haven for bees. The project was commissioned by Channel 4 due to the third of Britain’s bee species declining since 1980. Planting the wildflower seeds allows bees and other insects to pollinate. Station Commander Matt Murdoch, the officer in charge of Dogsthorpe Fire Station, said: “A key part of being a firefighter is to be an active part of the local community. This allows us to ensure we are reaching the most vulnerable people to help keep them safe. Projects like this are a great way for our crews to pitch in and help the community, as well as make useful links and build relationships with local residents.”
Round table discussion
Welcome to our Expert Panel Roundtable, a new feature of TheBigRedGuide.com. We will be asking timely questions about the fire market and seeking out experts in the field to provide responses. Our goal is to promote a useful exchange of information on a variety of topics and to create a forum for discussion of important issues facing the fire service and market. For our first question, we look to the year ahead and ask our panelists: What trends are likely to change the fire market in 2020?