The software can no longer be ignored when it comes to modern fire stations. Whether for plant protection, inspection work, maintenance, or in the event of an emergency. However, digital solutions can only simplify daily work and help keep everything at a glance through an integrated approach. First of all: Yes, in the future one will still fight fires with water, but will no longer use stirrup pumps to extinguish flames but instead drive CAN-Bus controlled vehicles. Digitalization is...
Often considered the unofficial kick-off to summer, Memorial Day weekend typically includes lots of celebrations and cookouts, often with outdoor grilling as a focal point. As the holiday and summer months near, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reminds everyone of basic safety tips and precautions to grill and celebrate safely. NFPA data shows that from 2014-2018, fire departments responded to an annual average of 10,600 home fires annually involving grills, hibachis, or barbec...
Argus Spectrum International, a foremost manufacturer of wireless fire detection technology, and Hochiki Europe, a renowned life safety manufacturer are pleased to announce their partnership and the launch of the ‘Ekho’ hybrid wireless fire detection and alarm system for COVID-hospitals. Ekho is a wireless-based family of products that can be seamlessly and fully integrated into Hochiki’s ESP protocol. Ekho is the next generation of hybrid wireless fire detection and outperfor...
Fire and EMS departments are eligible for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) of their costs, related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A streamlined project application process eases the burden of applying for the program, but support documentation is required. Tracking costs For COVID-19 recovery Many departments do not apply for the money because they perceive reporting requirements as too difficult, and record-keeping as too big a challenge. To help, the U.S. Fir...
Hundreds of sensors and devices operating across an entire city – all connected via the Internet of Things (IoT) – combine to provide useful and actionable information for a variety of functions – including public safety and fire protection. Even as IoT sensors and devices monitor buildings to provide vital information, computer systems transform sensor data into intelligence. Communication advances are ensuring that intelligence is shared when and how it is needed. The Nation...
Kentec Electronics, a foremost manufacturer of life-critical control systems, has promoted Sammy Steel to the role of Head of UK Sales to further strengthen the company’s UK growth and footprint. In her new role, Sammy will lead, manage, and support the UK BDM sales team to achieve Kentec’s strategic sales plan. She will be working directly with installers, distributors, and end-users while strengthening the current UK customer base. A key part of the strategy includes focusing on b...
With new fire safety legislations demanding a renewed focus on safety in all residential settings, Karen Trigg of Allegion UK explains why care home and sheltered housing associations must prioritize the maintenance of fire doors. The regulations and standards associated with fire safety and sheltered, assisted and social housing are, by necessity, robust. Yet, the responsibilities towards those standards, and subsequently, fire safety equipment such as fire doors, can often leave people vulnerable, as previous accounts have highlighted. Fire doors Fire doors in particular, are an essential defense against fire and smoke and in the event of a fire, give building occupants the time to get out safely - or have emergency services reach them. However, to work effectively, these doors must be installed by an expert and maintained properly from thereon after. There are no exceptions. This is especially important in care homes and sheltered living scenarios, where there are multiple - and often vulnerable – occupants, and in social housing developments, where many susceptible tenants can live. The standards those buildings must meet are reiterated in the recent updates to both the Fire Safety Bill and the Building Safety Bill, which suggest a renewed focus on the safety of occupants in all residential settings. Robust Legislations Inspectors have been known to reprimand responsible parties for blocking fire door exits Often, residential settings such as care homes and sheltered living locations require extra thinking behind the safety of occupants. With the ease of movement and general building safety high on the agenda, so too should the fire safety of a building. But, take care homes for example. Inspectors have been known to reprimand responsible parties for blocking fire door exits, wedging doors open, keeping fire doors locked, and in some cases, finding fire doors that are incorrectly fitted. That’s not to mention potential maintenance issues. In fact, it was last year that the Care Quality Commission issued a warning to care, home managers, that fire safety has to be followed, despite concerns over the spread of coronavirus, pointing out that propping open fire doors to avoid touching door handles compromises fire safety. Fire Safety Bill Care homes and sheltered housing providers are already responsible for the safety of their residents and legally obliged, under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO), to ensure buildings and their people are safe. The Fire Safety Bill seeks to amend the Fire Safety Order 2005 and clarifies that the responsible person or duty-holder for multi-occupied, residential buildings must manage and reduce the risk of fire. This includes the structure and external walls of the building, the entrance doors to individual flats, and the fire doors for domestic, multi-occupancy premises. Furthermore, the update will enable fire and rescue services to take enforcement action against non-compliant building owners. In addition, the Building Safety Bill, which will also make sure that the person responsible for safety carries out their duties properly, will be the catalyst for a new national regulator for building safety – ensuring occupants are safe and enforcing higher standards for all buildings. And so, with that in mind, where should those with fire safety responsibilities make a start? Necessary Checks It’s key for building managers to inspect their fire doors often, ensuring maintenance is carried out quickly The importance of a fully compliant fire door in a fire safety situation simply can’t be understated. Available in various ratings, from FD20 to FD120, fire doors will provide anything from 20 minutes to 120 minutes of protection against a fire, but to do so, they must have all the necessary components fitted and working correctly. As well as thorough risk assessments, it’s key for building managers to inspect their fire doors often, ensuring maintenance is carried out quickly and professionally should it be necessary. These simple checks – inspecting certification, gaps, seals, hinges, and closure – can provide a level of assurance that fire doors are functioning as intended. EN classification codes Fire doors are tested as a complete assembly to BS 476 part 22 or EN1634-1, so all the hardware and associated furniture, including door hinge, frame, intumescent seals, wall sealing, latch or lock, and door leaf, must achieve the stringent EN classification codes and Health & Safety requirements. At the installation stage, the door must be fitted correctly, avoiding any loose fitting and ensuring elements such as screws are secure and tight. Upon closing, its vital fire doors close completely, shut tight, and engage the latch by use of its own self-closing device. In the event fittings have become loose, responsible parties must ensure maintenance is swift and the doors are once again operating as they should be. CE stamp Finally, each fire door must have a minimum of three hinges and these must have a CE stamp and meet BS EN 1935 to achieve the necessary safety standards. Door closers must close from any angle, overcoming any obstacles such as seals, latches, and air pressure. In addition, mechanical door closers must meet BS EN 1154 and, if delayed action, should be certified for use on fire doors. Prioritize safety checks and scheduled maintenance periods and the risks associated with fire can be reduced Certification labels and ‘Fire Door, Keep Shut’ signs, are also key in providing vital information to building occupants and can be used by building managers for traceability purposes. Wear and tear should be routinely checked also, as well as locks and latches, which should be secure and without movement when the latch secures into place. Taking Responsibility Vulnerable populations are often found in care homes and both sheltered and social housing situations. Residents are dependent on safe living conditions, as is the case in all residential properties, and that responsibility simply can’t be avoided. Currently, it’s more critical than ever for specialized housing associations and their facility managers to realize that even the smallest of changes to hardware and furniture can have a major impact on the effectiveness of a fire door. Prioritize safety checks and scheduled maintenance periods and the risks associated with fire can be reduced – after all, it’s an obligation, both moral and legal. Allegion UK is a pioneer in fire doors and door hardware and can provide expert advice for specialized home settings. As industry experts, they can also offer guidance on how best to service and maintain door hardware so that components meet UK fire and safety legislation and regulations.
Airbus SE is announcing the following changes to the Executive Committee, led by Chief Executive Officer, Guillaume Faury, following approval from the Board of Directors. These changes come at a new juncture for both commercial aviation and defense activities, with the decarbonization of the aviation sector becoming a central ambition for the industry, and strategic European defense programs entering their development phase. The following changes will be effective from 1st July 2021: After more than five years in his role as CEO for Airbus Defense and Space division, and as member of the Airbus Executive Committee, Dirk Hoke has decided to pursue opportunities outside the Company. Dirk Hoke will be succeeded by Michael Schoellhorn, who joined Airbus in February 2019, as Chief Operating Officer and member of the Airbus Executive Committee. Michael will be succeeded by Alberto Gutiérrez, currently Executive Vice President Military Aircraft and member of the Airbus’ Defense and Space Executive Committee, since January 2019. Alberto will be succeeded by Jean-Brice Dumont, currently Executive Vice President Engineering and member of the Airbus Executive Committee, since April 2019. Jean-Brice will be succeeded by Sabine Klauke, currently Executive Vice President Engineering at Airbus and member of the Airbus’ Defense and Space Executive Committee, a position she has held, since July 2018. Grazia Vittadini, currently Chief Technology Officer and member of the Airbus Executive Committee, since May 2018, has decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities after more than 19 years at Airbus. Sabine Klauke will take over this responsibility in addition to her new role as Executive Vice President Engineering. The succession of Sabine as Executive Vice President Engineering, Airbus, will be subject to further notice. Changes to the leadership team "As we emerge from COVID-19 and look forward to the next phases in the development of our civil and military activities, we are making important changes to the leadership team. I warmly thank Dirk for his leadership at the helm of Defense and Space, over the last five years and the achievements obtained under his watch. I also want to sincerely thank Grazia for her key contributions and personal engagement over the last years. I wish them both all the best in their future endeavors,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Guillaume Faury adds, “I'm now very pleased to welcome Alberto and Sabine to the Airbus Executive Committee, while Michael and Jean-Brice will take on key responsibilities in Airbus Defense and Space. These changes will allow us to further address our challenges and deliver on our ambitions, as well as increasing the ‘Team Airbus’ dynamic with deeper collaboration between our different businesses and functions across borders.”
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy and sustainable building solutions and architect of OpenBlue connected solutions, has announced the launch of Chemguard NFF 3x3 UL201 Foam Concentrate. NFF technology This new, patent-pending Non-Fluorinated Foam (NFF) technology provides fast and effective fire suppression on most Class B hydrocarbon and polar solvent fuel fires. With a longer drain time than most AR-AFFFs, this foam blanket also delivers excellent post-extinguishment burn-back resistance and vapor suppression. Chemguard NFF 3x3 UL201 Concentrate passes the UL 162 synthetic foam concentrate protocol. It has also passed, under independent third-party witness, the UL 162 AR-AFFF test protocol for Type III hydrocarbon fuel at a 3-to-1 expansion ratio. Chemguard NFF 3x3 UL201 Foam Concentrate Chemguard NFF 3x3 UL201 Concentrate provides flexibility and ease of use for first response teams This protocol’s more challenging foam application test rate of 0.04 gpm/ft2 (1.6 lpm/m2) is two-thirds that of the UL 162 synthetic, non-fluorinated foam protocol and for an AR-AFFF, this result would correspond to a minimum design application rate of 0.10 gpm/ft2 (4.1 lpm/m2). Chemguard NFF 3x3 UL201 Concentrate provides flexibility and ease of use for first response teams, as it allows for consistent three percent proportioning for both hydrocarbon and polar solvent fires. This means there is no need to adjust proportioning for different Class B hazards. Compatible with Standard response proportioning devices With a 3-to-1 expansion ratio and viscosity similar to a 3x3 AR-AFFF, this foam concentrate is compatible with most standard response proportioning and discharge devices, reducing the need for significant hardware changes. The low expansion ratio provides greater throw distance for the foam, giving firefighters additional separation from the flames. “We developed and tested the NFF Concentrate at the Johnson Controls Fire Technology Center, one of the most extensive fire research and testing facilities in the world,” said Craig Cook, Global Product Development Leader for foam products at Johnson Controls. Craig Cook adds, “When tested on a hydrocarbon fuel fire at three percent concentration, the foam quickly gained 90 percent control and exceeded the requirements for extinguishment and burn-back time for a UL 162 AR-AFFF Type III listing.” Non-fluorinated firefighting foam concentrate Chemguard NFF 3x3 UL201 concentrate is defined as a non-fluorinated firefighting foam concentrate, produced in an equipment free from the use of PFAS chemistry. Since this product is free from any intentionally added PFAS chemistry and precautions have been taken to avoid PFAS contamination, it inherently complies with Directives (EU) 2017/1000 on PFOA and 2019/1021 (EU POPs directive) as a non-fluorinated product. Along with other Johnson Controls’ fire protection products and solutions, this Chemguard NFF Concentrate helps protect people and property within industries, such as petroleum and chemical, where spills and limited scale hazards require a municipal and industrial response. It is also suitable for use in foam systems with Type II discharge devices.
Euralarm, the globally renowned fire and security solutions organization, has announced support for a resolution of the European Parliament that asks for quick solutions from the European Commission to improve the standardization of construction products, while also pushing for a transition to a sustainable and more circular economy. Resolution on standardization MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) have recently called in the resolution, adopted with 686 votes in favor (4 votes against and 5 abstentions), on the European Commission to find a quick and viable way, in order to improve and speed up the standardization process for construction products. Of the 444 existing harmonized standards for construction products, only 12 new ones have been issued, since the Construction Products Regulation was adopted in 2011, hindering the free movement of products in the European Union. Construction Products Regulation With 686 votes in favor of the resolution, the European Parliament has taken a clear position on the upcoming revision of the regulation by the European Commission. “The Construction Products Regulation must be made fit for the future with a view to digitalization and sustainability,” said rapporteur Christian Doleschal. Prior to the decision-making process for the European Parliament, the chair of the Euralarm Fire Section presented a paper on the ‘Impact of the Construction Products Regulation on Standardization’ in the active fire safety industry. The presentation was held during an Informal meeting of the Working Party Technical Harmonization (Construction Products) of the German EU Council Presidency - Construction Products Regulation.
Fire Equipment Inc. (FEI), New England’s renowned full-service life safety company, has announced the launch of FEI Connect, which provides customers with reliable monitoring service for their fire protection systems 24/7. FEI Connect “FEI Connect is a critical component for any commercial business’ overall fire protection system,” said Brian Murphy, President at Fire Equipment Inc., adding “Our monitoring service can identify a fire or problem early, which can mean the difference between losing everything to keeping damage and loss to a minimum.” Benefits of FEI Connect include: First Responders will be notified immediately and respond quickly saving lives. Potentially saves thousands of dollars in property damage from a fire. Warns customers if something is faulty with the fire alarm system, sprinklers, and/or other life safety systems. Meets fire code requirements. UL Listed central monitoring station with 24/7 coverage and full back-up protection for central station. Features of FEI Connect, which sends alerts to business owner and FEI: Signal sent if fire alarm is activated (alerts sent to fire department, business owner and FEI) Fire Alarm Trouble Indicator: Alert for performance or maintenance issues. Fire Supervisory: Alert if system is disabled and/or needs resetting. Low Battery: Alert sent if the fire alarm panel battery is at less than optimum voltage. Power Failure: Critical alert for power failure usually means fire monitoring needs backup power to function. Sprinkler/tamper monitoring signals to alert owner if sprinkler system is violated or tampered with. Technical Support “Not only will FEI Connect alert FEI and the owner to any issue with their fire protection system, but we can also send our certified and licensed technicians out to inspect and remedy the issue almost immediately,” said Joe Golini, Director of Service Sales and Business Development at Fire Equipment Inc.
Globally renowned life-safety systems manufacturer, C-TEC, is heading up a live London Build Online panel discussion. Managing Home fire risks Featuring a host of top industry experts, innovators, and influencers, ‘Raising the grade: the evolution of fire protection in residential dwellings - how new fire detection and alarm system technology can better protect people and property’ webinar will take place on Thursday, 18th March 2021, at 1.30 pm and focus on the following key topics:- How new fire detection and alarm system technology can be utilized to make people safer post-Grenfell. How property can be better protected, reducing the societal loss of people’s homes and the need for re-housing and care following a fire. Why interfacing local ‘Grade C’ monitored fire alarm systems to a landlord system with cloud-based connectivity benefits building occupants, landlords, firefighters, and other stakeholders. Why it is vital to consider all of a dwelling’s occupants, current and future, to ensure systems are inclusive and meet the demands of the Equality Act. Real-life applications of fire protection technology The panel will also review real-life applications where new technology is being used in residential buildings to great effect and question why, despite its proven success, there appears to be reluctance by some to use it. Andrew (Andy) Scott, C-TEC’s Projects Director, said “We are delighted to be hosting a London Build Online panel discussion as it’s a fantastic opportunity to examine the issues raised by Grenfell and explore how new technology can be used to protect people and property in the future.” Andy Scott adds, “As the panel will be taking live questions from the audience throughout, I’m confident it will be a super-interactive, stimulating and engaging session, and certainly of interest to anyone involved in managing fire risk in residential buildings.”
Combining fire alarm and voice evacuation on a single, IP-based platform accelerates emergency response and unlocks a wide range of efficiency gains. This evolution continues with a new generation of fire alarm panels. One of the main tasks for every building and safety manager consists of preparing optimally for emergency scenarios. This includes having the right protocols in place for fires to make sure that a building can be evacuated as quickly as possible when every second counts. For an optimal response, operators need as much live situational intelligence as possible; as fast as possible. Critical information includes the exact location of the fire source and current temperature levels in the immediate vicinity. Also an overview of the most critical rooms and floors that need to be prioritized for evacuation. In an ideal world, this information is available in a central location, such as a control room, from which all emergency responses are directed and coordinated. And even more ideally, the building’s fire alarm and voice evacuation systems should not only be connected and integrated – they should also deliver alerts and status reports on the same platform in a coordinated manner.For an optimal response, operators need as much live situational intelligence as possible; as fast as possible In reality, most buildings lack this level of integration and synchronization in their disparate fire alarm and voice evacuation systems. Some buildings run on patchwork solution in which both systems may be controlled in a single location, but entirely without integration whatsoever. This not only creates challenges in terms of installation and maintenance of these systems. In the worst case, the lack of integration can cost valuable seconds in response time. But system integration between fire and voice alarm solutions has not only come a long way in recent years. As the latest evolution, a new generation of fire panels helps to connect and control both systems on a single interface, thereby opening the door to immediate efficiency improvements and future innovations. Connecting IP-Based Fire Alarm and Voice Evacuation Systems For the past few years, Bosch has been offering connections between IP-based fire alarm and voice evacuation systems as a standard, out-of-the-box feature. The “Smart Safety Link” is an interface that creates a connection between fire and voice alarm systems. As a direct, plug-and-play connection, it replaces workaround solutions or relay-based connections limited to single evacuation zones in the building. As the direct takeaways from a systems architecture perspective, the Smart Safety Link requires far less cables and significantly reduces installation costs and timelines. Bosch has been offering connections between IP-based fire alarm and voice evacuation systems as a standard, out-of-the-box featureAnd by creating the connection on an IP-based architecture, the system constantly monitors the health and status of all connected devices. For operators, this significantly increases the system’s overall reliability while lowering the risk for false alarms. It also allows for replacing or repairing components as needed, right when failures happen or become imminent. The resulting systems architecture is not only more stable and reliable, but also far less complex in terms of set-up. Depending on the size of the building, one or more voice alarm systems can also be connected to the fire alarm control panels. The direct connection via Smart Safety Link eliminates the need for including additional interface modules to accommodate a voice evacuation connection, thereby keeping investment costs low. Targeted Evacuation by Building Zones Beyond the ease and efficiency of setting up a building’s alarm systems, the connection between fire alarm and voice evacuation on a single platform significantly improves emergency responses: Firstly, in case of a fire alarm the Smart Safety Link allows for voice-guided evacuation of a building by separate zones. This allows for addressing rooms and building floors closest to the fire source first, starting with the evacuation of the most endangered building occupants. This not only supports an orderly evacuation response but also helps to avoid panic and additional complications.Studies state that using voice evacuation with clear instructions creates significant time gains Secondly, the integration makes evacuations much faster overall in situations when time is of the essence. Studies such as David Canter’s “Fire and Human Behavior” clearly state that using voice evacuation with clear instructions creates significant time gains of up to 30 percent for emergency response teams compared to a non-voice alarm signal. And thirdly, the Smart Safety Link also allows for a wide range of automated emergency responses, for instance pre-recorded voice evacuation messages directing occupants of different zones to their respective nearest exits. Supported by strobes, guide lights and clear signage, this automatic combination of fire alarm and voice instructions allows operators to focus on the big picture and monitor the situation in real-time. Evolving the Link Between Fire and Voice Alarm While the integration between fire alarm and voice evacuation via Smart Safety Link has been a widely adopted feature for several years now, with constant gains in efficiency and ease of use, the evolution continues. Bosch recently released a new generation of panels that provide the foundation for immediate new functionality as well as a platform for future technologies guided by Smart Building and Internet of Things (IoT) principles.Bosch recently released a new generation of panels that provide the foundation for immediate new functionality Continuing the proven, modular concept of its predecessors, the new “Avenar” panels provide an intuitive user interface, simplified planning and streamlined purchasing process for operators and system integrators. The panels work with existing fire alarm system components, but offer enhanced scalability, computing power and functionality for future applications. Most of all, the Avenar series creates a single point of access and control for personnel and operators while putting both the voice alarm and fire alarm system components at their fingertips. A Combined Graphic User Interface for Both Systems Previously, many systems still required two separate user interface environments to control fire alarm and voice evacuation components. Here’s where Avenar bridges the gap: Users can now fully control safety equipment such as fire alarm, voice alarm, door controls, and more, directly on the Avenar panel display via the “eMatrix” feature. With its 7-inch touch screen, eMatrix puts full control of all system components on a single interface. The results include faster response times from eliminating the need to switch between platforms, as well as a one-stop overview of the latest situation.With its 7-inch touch screen, eMatrix puts full control of all system components on a single interface eMatrix displays the status of all connected fire safety equipment and evacuation zones in a color-coded format, indicating states by red, yellow, and green labels. Operators also directly see the status of automated emergency responses currently in progress, with the option to intervene manually as needed. These manual commands are available in the form of icons on screen that control sirens, strobe lights and voice announcements. Constant feedback on the progress of evacuation measures allows for an unprecedented level of control in emergency situations. Networked Solutions for Tomorrow’s Smart Buildings In a world where connectivity and cloud computing are key drivers of innovation, both panels support fast ethernet system architecture with 100Mbit data transfer rates. What’s more, fire panels and voice alarm components connect to a network, allowing for the integration of building management systems such as HVAC. In a world challenged by pandemic restrictions, remote maintenance and control are day one features of the platform. Looking into the future, the next generation not only immediately puts faster response times and better situational oversight into system operator’s hands. When it comes to smart building technologies that support emergency responses with AI-based automation for even faster turnaround, the Avenar panels also provide the hardware and connectivity to pave the way.
Translation in an emergency setting is a challenge that first responders face on a daily basis. For example, London Luton Airport’s Fire Service would previously have to find a member of staff or a passenger that could help them translate, which is not always possible. As a last resort, the service would carry around a large flipbook containing numerous medical questions in a multitude of languages, but this did not solve the problem of understanding any responses. AI-Powered Language Translation Device Now they have a more instant device to provide a faster and easier way to communicate. It’s called Pocketalk, an AI-powered language translation device designed for instant and accurate two-way conversations at the touch of the button, even in noisy environments. Pocketalk supports 82 languages, addressing 90% of the world’s population. It has been used as an emergency communications tool to break down barriers between first responders like fire service staff and healthcare practitioners and their service users/patients. Quick, Easy, Calm Firefighters can use Pocketalk to communicate quickly, easily, and calmly with people at the scene of an emergency. It helps them to overcome language barriers and achieve a range of goals – from assessing injuries of people who don’t speak English as a first language to asking them for more information about an emergency situation. Organizations face a growing challenge to meet changing communication needs. For example, among the United Kingdom’s increasingly diverse population, around one in ten people do not speak English as their first language. In areas like London, this figure is around one in five people. Emergency Services Donations Healthcare providers including five UK ambulance services received donations and are using Pocketalk Following an announcement earlier in 2020 that 500 Pocketalk W devices were being donated to emergency services providers in Europe to help them deal with COVID-19, London Luton Airport’s Fire Service was one of the organizations to apply for units. Healthcare providers including five UK ambulance services - North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Avon Valley Community Responders, St Johns Ambulance (Norwich), St Johns Ambulance (Greater Manchester), and Special Ambulance Transfers – also received donations and are using Pocketalk. The parent company, Sourcenext, has an interest in language learning, which is where Pocketalk came from. The product vision was simple –to make it easy for people who speak different languages to understand each other. Pocketalk is now helping to break down language barriers all over the world. Awareness & Usefulness The best way to increase awareness of Pocketalk and its usefulness in an emergency situation is to get the devices in the hands of service users, the company says. “During the start of the COVID pandemic, we wanted to help people by donating devices to emergency services teams,” says Tomoaki Kojim, Senior Managing Director of Sourcenext Corp. “This, in turn, has helped these teams to understand exactly how it can be of benefit in an emergency —namely, by providing quick and accurate language translations, without the need for an interpreter (in person or on the phone).” Two-Way Communication Pocketalk helped to open up two-way communication quickly and save time for medical emergencies For the London Luton Airport Fire Service, Pocketalk devices have helped to open up that two-way communication quickly. In medical emergencies, time can be crucial – Pocketalk not only helps them to save time but also to get a detailed account from the patient or any witnesses to an incident. It has also helped with general communication from the passengers, some of whom are distressed when trying to find the correct gate or which bus to catch as they leave the airport. No Language Barrier London Luton Airport Fire Service has not had to change any of its procedures after implementing Pocketalk, but they have been very happy to retire their translation book. It also reassures them that language is not the barrier it used to be when dealing with people during their working day. For them, implementing Pocketalk devices has been easy, and all operational members of staff at the fire station have had a short training session on how to operate the Pocketalk devices. The fire service has also loaned its spare device to passenger services assistants at the airport to help them with any potential communication issues. One challenge to implementing the device could be getting staff to learn how to use it and practice with it in training situations, so they can really rely on it in an emergency. That said, “Pocketalk is easy to use and does not take long to master,” says Kojim.
Adapting workspaces to operate safely during a pandemic presents complications, not least of which is making sure that the measures taken to protect employees from infection do not undermine fire safety. In the course of altering a building to prevent infection spread, there are risks of introducing new life safety hazards and compromising emergency preparedness. As buildings adapt to new occupancy standards and requirements, it is critical that any protective measures do not interfere with operation of life safety systems. Might temporary partitions or barriers block escape routes during a fire emergency? Social distancing measures might entail blocking emergency exists and disrupting the flow of occupants looking to vacate a building. It is also important to avoid blocking firefighter access and facilities. Fire Safety Partitions Temporary partitions could block smoke exhausts, sprinkler systems or other elements of a life safety system Temporary partitions could block smoke exhausts, sprinkler systems or other elements of a life safety system. Call points and detectors should remain unobstructed. Partitions should not be installed too close to any smoke detector. If installed less than 12 inches from the ceiling, partitions serve as walls that can obstruct the flow of smoke and heat, thus causing sprinklers to malfunction, for example. Another consideration is the need to ensure fire safety systems are operating as intended when buildings reopen after being unoccupied for an extended period. Appropriate inspection, testing and maintenance procedures should be followed, including sprinklers, alarm systems and portable fire extinguishers. During the various lockdowns, routine system maintenance might have been postponed or cancelled. Adapting emergency and evacuation procedures Building occupants should be educated on how they need to adapt their emergency and evacuation procedures in light of any COVID-19 related changes. Building owners and managers should also consider any new fire dangers, for example, might storage of large quantities of combustible items such as hand sanitizer constitute a fire hazard? Maintaining social distancing can undermine the ability to vacate a building rapidly during a fire emergency. Obviously, if there is a real fire, the imminent threat of injury or death takes precedence over the goal of preventing infection by a (less likely) disease. In general, because rules have changed, the uncertainty might slow down evacuation. What is the impact of lower occupancy on a building’s emergency procedures? Despite fewer occupants, there should be efforts to ensure enough trained people are on site to carry out evacuation. Fewer employees and staggered work schedules could require additional fire wardens or fire marshals. More training may be needed. frequent fire drills Larger outside assembly areas may be needed to avoid crowding and/or close proximity during a fire drill What about fire drills? How do you weigh the benefits of being prepared to evacuate versus the risk of infection if social distancing requirements are ignored? Do distancing requirements apply as people move through a fire escape? How much more complicated do these questions become in a high-rise building? What about the use of elevators? Larger outside assembly areas may be needed to avoid crowding and/or close proximity during a fire drill. In the event that social distancing rules are breached during a fire drill, should additional quarantine or contact tracing procedures be implemented? fire safety arrangements At the end of the day, most of these hurdles can be overcome. However, they should not be ignored. Careful consideration of the broad impacts of COVID-19 safety measures on life safety ensures that building occupants remain safe from either calamity. As businesses reopen, adequate fire safety arrangements must be a part of the new normal.
Fire extinguishers are red for a reason, aren’t they? Traditionally, red is associated with danger and fire and red is certainly easy to see, even in darker environments. Aesthetic fire extinguishers But a company in Japan is offering a line of fire extinguishers that abandons the signature color for an approach that is more aesthetically pleasing and that fits more easily into modern decor. Disaster prevention brand, Modular Aerial Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS) has unveiled fire extinguishers that are black or white, thus defying convention and better harmonizing with a variety of living spaces. The Japanese company, Morita Miyata Corp. has been making fire extinguishers for more than 100 years The Japanese company, Morita Miyata Corp. has been making fire extinguishers for more than 100 years. Their new sleek, minimalist fire extinguishers have won a Good Design Good Focus Award in the category of disaster prevention and recovery design. The award celebrates outstanding works designed for the prevention of and recovery from natural disasters. Disaster preparedness The concept is to ‘Take Bosai into the lifestyle’ (Bosai is disaster preparedness in Japanese). Beyond aesthetics, there is a practical reason to make the lowly fire extinguisher blend more seamlessly with a room’s decor. The reason is that prettier fire extinguishers encourage consumers to place the extinguisher proudly out in the open, where it is within easier reach to use quickly if needed. The minimal and attractive design allows the fire extinguisher to be placed in a more visible, high profile place in homes, without the ‘harsh’ red interfering with the interior decor. Consumers are prompted to enter the date of purchase and expiration date on the fire extinguisher’s body. Higher effectiveness of fire extinguishers in visible spots In short, fire extinguishers can be more effective if they are not hidden away in a closet or cupboard where valuable seconds are lost locating them in case of a fire. The idea is to unify style and function. Obviously, style is an undervalued element in the entire fire industry, given the affinity for less subtle use of red evident in everything from fire apparatus to web site names. Breaking traditional conventions Abandoning tradition may be creative, but don’t years of convention complicate the concept of changing the color of emergency equipment? For example, in the case of fire extinguishers, although primarily red, they also use color-coded labels to designate their type, such as blue for dry powder, yellow for wet chemical, etc. Also, fire pull stations, for example, are red, but pull stations for police emergencies may be blue instead. The colors have meaning that is understood to building occupants. Therefore, using new colors in public buildings could cause confusion, even if they contribute positively to the aesthetics of an expensive office suite, for example. Extending the concept of ‘Kanso’ to fire extinguishers Extending the concept of 'Kanso' to fire extinguishers has promise, as long as design does not interfere with safety The Japanese interior design concept of ‘Kanso’ is all about simplicity and focuses on the flow and movement of energy in a space. The concept seeks to eliminate clutter from a home and to show restraint and simplicity in every aspect of design. Extending the concept of 'Kanso' to fire extinguishers has promise, as long as design simplicity does not interfere with safety. The Good Design award jury states, “The simple modification of changing the color of the fire extinguisher to black and white is a big step forward in creating harmony with the living space.” Changes in style of fire apparatus and firefighting equipment The jury adds, “There has been a preconceived notion that fire extinguishers must be red in order to grab visual attention. We have just accepted fire extinguishers to be red because that is the way they are. Maybe an innovation like this can happen in other areas. The fact that the development of this product could lead to changing many other preconceptions we have was another important factor for the award.” Should everyone be looking for ‘Kanso’ to make its way soon to fire stations? Might a more positive flow of energy contribute to more relaxed and effective firefighters? Should fire apparatus colors be coordinated with station decor? Could it be that stylish fire extinguishers are only the beginning? These are some of the important questions in the development of new fire extinguishers and other firefighting equipment.
Award-winning Taktis fire panels, manufactured by Kentec Electronics Ltd., a globally renowned manufacturer of life-critical control systems, are protecting students and property at the University of Nicosia’s (UNIC) new state-of-the-art student residences, located in Cyprus. Integrated fire system The integrated fire system was installed by Kentec Installation Partner (KIP) Glosec Dragon Ltd. (GLOSEC), a Cyprus-based business that specializes in the design, installation and maintenance of security, surveillance, hazard prevention and hospitality systems. The UNIC student residences have been designed to set a new standard in modern student living The UNIC student residences have been designed to set a new standard in modern student living. They consist of two separate complexes, SIX and TRIANGLE, which provide a multitude of dining, relaxing and entertainment options including a cafe, mini-market, gym, TV rooms and games areas. Taktis addressable fire panels Split between six, 12-storey distinctive towers, SIX comprises 307 luxury student residences, and is protected by two, highly-sophisticated Taktis eight-loop addressable fire panels. TRIANGLE complements SIX with an additional 147 modern and spacious rooms, with one six-loop Taktis fire panel installed. Across both SIX and TRIANGLE residential complexes, the fire protection systems include 578 Apollo heat detectors, 530 sounder bases, 94 call points and 339 optical detectors. Additionally, three Taktis Vision Repeaters provide information on the status of the fire alarm system in key positions, across the residences via large and full-color, touch-screen graphical displays. Full-color resistive touch screen display Taktis provides an expandable solution, which includes a full suite of graphics, communications (copper and fiber), analytics and remote management tools. Multiple protocols can be supported on each panel to give installers and end users maximum choice in their systems’ design. Also, the scalable nature of the product provides the highest level of future proofing and networking capabilities. A 7 inches full-color resistive touch screen display and a clear, uncluttered intuitive interface make it easy to use, even for those with minimal or no training, which is essential in the event of an emergency. Fire system integration with CCTV and access control Stathis Ierodiaconou, Managing Director of Glosec Dragon feels the business has worked with Kentec for more than two decades and developed a trusting relationship. Taktis is easy to install, integrates with other systems well and customer feedback has been good" Stathis said, “Our experience with Kentec meant we knew Taktis was the right system for the project’s scope and needs. The project required that remote monitoring was possible from one control room to cover both SIX and TRIANGLE residences. It also needed to be an expandable system, which can grow as the development grows.” With Glosec Dragon also installing and maintaining a suite of other CCTV, wireless access control, intercom, parking and energy-saving systems, Stathis stated that integration was essential. He explains, “Taktis is easy to install, integrates with other systems well and customer feedback has been good.” Flexible fire safety system Anastasia Christodoulou, Manager, at UNIC Residences, believes that student safety is paramount. She said, “We required complete assurance that our fire protection system is providing the utmost protection. We were assured that Taktis does just that, and that its advanced integrative capabilities mean a future-proofed and user-friendly system.” Costas Constantinides, Head of International Development at Kentec, believes the Taktis panel with EN54-13 certification was the ideal choice for this development. He said, “The highly powerful and sophisticated Taktis panel was chosen to ensure the fire safety system had the required reliability, scale and flexibility to protect large numbers of students at such a prestigious development.”
A fault-tolerant network of Axis EN fire panels from Advanced has been installed at one of Crete’s newest and most exclusive beachfront hotels. Based in the coastal town of Ierapetra in Crete, the Robinson Club is designed around neighborhoods of hotel rooms across a 150 acre-site. This unique layout meant that the fire system specified needed to deliver seamless detection and notification of a potential fire to the hotel’s staff and guests, who could be located anywhere across the 340 rooms and suites, multiple restaurants, spa facilities, and conference rooms. Design, Supply, And Installation Responsible for the design, supply, and installation of the fire detection, extinguishing system, and firefighting equipment at the 5-star Robinson Club Ierapetra were Advanced partners, Zarifopoulos. In total, Zarifopoulos installed 14 of Advanced’s Axis EN fire alarm control panels on a high-speed, fault-tolerant network alongside over 900 notification and detection devices including detectors, call points, and sounders. Spilios Alexopoulos, Commercial Director at Zarifopoulos, referring to the state-of-the-art system as well as the special attention that has been paid to the fire protection of the luxurious Robinson Club Ierapetra, commented: “Its widespread nature required a high-speed network of fire alarm control panels to ensure instant notification of a fire event. As a long-term partner of Advanced, we knew the company’s solutions offered the high levels of performance and reliability required, combined with ease of use and installation.” Axis EN Fire Panels Axis EN is EN54 parts 2, 4, and 13 approved and its panels can be used in single-loop, single-panel format or easily configured into high speed, multi-loop panels in 200 node networks covering huge areas. Advanced products’ ease of installation and configuration as well as the range of peripherals available make it customizable to almost any application. Panels Performance Vladimir Zrnic, Regional Sales Manager for Southern Europe, said: “In large-scale sites, such as the Robinson Club, Ierapetra, it’s vital to ensure that the panels, when networked, will sustain adequate performance levels. As the number of panels and peripherals on a network increase, some systems can slow down dramatically, compromising safety and reliability.” “Advanced’s fire panel networks are widely regarded as some of the most robust and resilient in fire situations. Axis EN panels can be configured into networks of up to 200 panels in standard or fault-tolerant configurations, while sophisticated cause and effect and intuitive, easy programming of rules make implementation effortless.”
In Kazakhstan, in the city of Shymkent, the municipal authorities launched a pilot project to install carbon monoxide detectors in private houses. The goal of the project is to help the socially disadvantaged as they are the ones most often affected by CO incidents. Ajax wireless fire detectors were chosen for the project. This month they saved the lives of three people, and, as a result, Ajax security system is planned to be mass-installed in thousands of homes. FireProtect Plus detector At the beginning of the year, the city digitalization department of Shymkent in a pilot project, together with the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the company ‘ProLife’, installed Ajax security systems in ten private houses for free. Each kit included an intelligent Hub central unit and a FireProtect Plus fire detector. The alarm system worked as follows: as soon as a dangerous concentration of CO accumulated in the air, the Ajax system immediately alerted the residents and sent an alarm to the security company. In the course of the project, several lives have already been saved. In early March, late in the evening, the ‘ProLife’ security company received an alarm from a FireProtect Plus detector installed in one of the homes. Detecting dangerous concentrations Only specialized detectors can detect dangerous concentrations of CO in the air As a result, they found that the carbon monoxide content in the house was 0.3% higher than normal; the cause was a gas leak in the tap of a stone oven. There were a mother and two children in the house, and this concentration of gas could have been fatal for them. Carbon monoxide is deadly for humans. At the same time, it is completely invisible; carbon monoxide has no color or smell, so it can’t be sensed. Only specialized detectors can detect dangerous concentrations of CO in the air and they would cost a fortune to install. First of all, the cable laying costs are prohibitive. Reliable wired solutions The Ajax security system is just as reliable as wired solutions, but its installation requires much fewer resources. Considering that not all residents of the houses could agree to the installation of cables, installing Ajax was the ideal solution for the municipality. At this point, the project involves the installation of another 1,000 hubs and 1,000 detectors that register smoke, temperature spikes, and dangerous CO levels. First, the detectors will be installed in low-income households. In the future, according to the Department of Emergency Situations, a similar alert system is planned to be installed in 30,000 residential buildings in Shymkent.
Hush ActiV, C-TEC’s innovative new BS 5839-6 domestic fire alarm system, is providing first-class fire protection at a luxury apartment block in Bolton, United Kingdom. Set in stunning landscaped gardens in Horwich, a small town on the edge of the West Pennine Moors, Swallowfields is a collection of 28 contemporary new-build apartments featuring spacious living spaces and high-specification fittings. Hush ActiV smoke detectors Each dwelling has been equipped with Hush ActiV smoke detectors, heat detectors, and sounders, all connected to a Hush ActiV controller to reduce false alarms and ensure the highest levels of fire protection. Adam Baxendale of Lansafe Ltd, whose specialist fire division completed the project, said “Recent fires, Grenfell in particular, demonstrate how absolutely vital enhanced fire protection is in residential developments.” Hush ActiV offers another layer of safety, protection, and reassurance for residents in addition to the C-TEC ZFP touchscreen-controlled addressable fire system, which was earlier installed to provide LD1 coverage throughout the building. Fully-monitored BS 5839-6 Grade C system As a fully-monitored BS 5839-6 Grade C system, Hush ActiV constantly interrogates the status of the system As a fully-monitored BS 5839-6 Grade C system, Hush ActiV constantly interrogates the status of the system, including wiring circuits, battery, and power supply, and reports any faults to the main controller in the apartment so the resident can take appropriate action and contact the responsible person. Adam further stated, “Hush ActiV gives building management and residents, particularly those living in houses of multiple occupations, peace of mind. Our client was delighted with the solution we provided.” Easy-to-use detection, alarm system Hush ActiV’s accessibility was also a key factor in its specification at Swallowfields. Residents are provided with easy-to-use detection, alarm, silencing and test facilities at light-switch level, so they can test their own devices, and be alerted to system faults and hush any false alarms. The fact that the controller’s HUSH and TEST buttons can be operated whilst standing or sitting in a wheelchair at floor level means that the elderly and disabled can also test the system easily, therefore, facilitating full compliance with the Equality Act. Adam Baxendale adds, “Resident safety has to be everyone’s top priority and Hush ActiV is a superb way of ensuring people are protected and feel safe. It’s easy-to-install, user-friendly and as a BS 5839-6 Grade C system, provides outstanding levels of fire protection.”
The new center for Middle Eastern Studies at St Antony’s College was designed by the award-winning Iraqi-British Architect Dame Zaha Hadid. As one of her last projects before she passed away in March 2016, this project has been recognized by many for its architectural merit and nominated for numerous awards. It recently won the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) South Award 2016. Oxford University asked Chris Lewis Fire and Security to provide the best possible intruder alarm, CCTV and access control systems for the center. The team designed and installed an integrated security set-up that would keep the building safe, whilst also enabling students and staff freedom to come and go with ease. Ongoing expansion program St Antony’s College is internationally recognized as one of the foremost places for post-graduate studies. Founded in 1950, the college buildings are a mixture of architectural styles, with some dating from the early Victorian era (when they were originally used as a convent); and other buildings completed during the 1960s and 70s. St Antony’s commissioned Dame Zaha Hadid to create its new Middle East Centre in 2013 As part of its ongoing expansion program, St Antony’s commissioned Dame Zaha Hadid to create its new Middle East Centre in 2013 and turned to Chris Lewis Fire and Security to fit a modern and discreet security system. Their sister company Chris Lewis Smart Home worked with them on the design and installation of lighting, audio and video conferencing systems for the center’s lecture theatre. Educational privacy practices The college were looking for a security expert they could rely on to: Provide the best equipment available Devise and install a system sympathetic to both new and traditional elements of the building Would understand and comply to the needs of the college – safeguarding the building and correctly following educational privacy practices Personnel proximity cards Galaxy Intruder Alarm System Axis CCTV System Salto Access Control System The Axis mini-dome CCTV cameras are small discreet and incredibly powerful By liaising closely with the engineers and designers, the teams at Chris Lewis Fire & Security and were able to deliver a security system that works in harmony with the building. Listening to the needs of the college and providing a secure and sympathetic solution for a very modern building. The Galaxy Dimension integrated intrusion and access system delivers flexible round-the-clock protection with graphical touch-screen control and remote servicing. This easy-to-use installation gave maximum security and free movement within the college with personnel proximity cards. The Axis mini-dome CCTV cameras are small discreet and incredibly powerful. Compact dome cameras Outdoor ready, HD and 360 degree panoramic view – these compact dome cameras produce megapixel video quality without interfering with the architectural aspects of the college. World class dual purpose lecture theatre Excellent relationship with Chris Lewis Fire and Security Project completed with minimum disruption to staff, students and visitors Work delivered on time and on budget “Your company has provided an invaluable service to us so keep up the good work and I will look forward to doing more business with you in the future.” Oto Velicka, Maintenance Manager, St Antony’s College.
A.P.E Fire & Security completed refurbishment and new installation of Panic attack, Access Control, CCTV, Barrier Entry, Intercom, Electronic Turnstiles Entry & Disabled Refuge Systems of the iconic Grade II listed City Hall in Bristol. A full strip out of all existing finishes preceded a combined CAT A and CAT B fit out of 125,000 sq. ft. as the Council provided new and modern ways of working for 1,100 staff. On the ground floor, the original cash hall was stripped of a mezzanine floor. Refurbishing additional space This opened up the whole area which was redesigned to create meeting space, a large breakout area with a Grab & Go café, and presentation space with an auditorium seating area. Public facing areas on the ground floor ensured that the Council is well placed to improve interaction with its clients – the general public. This project followed a successful £4.5m refurbishment of new office space for the Council at 100 Temple Street. A third project was then awarded to refurbish additional space at 100 Temple Street. The project was complex and they faced many challenges along the way with a team of six engineers over a 6 month period. They completed the project on time and within program. When the client moved back into the building they worked closely with them to make sure the systems they installed matched their operational requirements moving forward.