Tall building fire safety
When a fire starts, every second counts. Fire extinguishers can help save lives when used quickly and effectively. Yet an astonishing 70% of fire extinguisher owners say they would not be comfortable using an extinguisher in the event of a fire according to recent research. For this reason, First Alert and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have developed a new fire extinguisher training course for volunteer fire departments nationwide, supplemented by an extinguisher donation program fo...
The Phase 1 report of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, released Oct. 30, examines events of 14 June, 2017, when 71 people were killed in a high-rise building fire at Grenfell Tower, a residential tower block in North Kensington, London. The report finds London Fire Brigade’s planning and preparation for such a fire was “gravely inadequate.” The report reflects the first phase of the inquiry. Investigators will consider problems related to design, maintenance and renovation of Grenf...
Europe’s pioneer door provider, Hörmann UK, has launched its new FlexFire Protection Curtain, specifically designed to provide the construction and other industrial sectors with unrivalled smoke protection in the event of a fire. Equipped with an intelligent FSA-FLEXControl hold-open device as standard, the curtain closes reliably if smoke develops. When combined with optical smoke detectors that monitor the door area, the hold-open device is compliant with the requirements outlined...
The global debate on building cladding, which has soared up the international safety agenda in the wake of London’s Grenfell Tower disaster which claimed 74 lives and left another 70 injured, arrives in Doha this month. Building cladding is a key feature of the Safety Design in Buildings Conference (SDiB), which runs on 16 October at The Business Park of the Crowne Plaza, Doha. The conference will feature 11 regional and international experts as speakers. Insight On Improved Protection...
Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company, announced that it has introduced the new Pierce Ultra Highrise Pumper (UHRP) at China Fire 2019 (Booth E2-9), in Beijing on October 16. Pierce Ultra Highrise Pumper China’s continued urbanization and economic growth, including the development of buildings reaching extraordinary heights, have led to a critical need for advanced fire protection throughout many provinces. With its first high-rise test UL certified, Pierce’s ne...
Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) will be encouraging people to consider a new career when it opens applications for new Control Staff this month. Aspiring Firefighter Control will be able to start the application process from early October 21st as the service looks for the brightest and best to take part in a training school in February 2020. The successful candidates will provide a vital service to the community by dealing with 999 calls ranging from house fires to serious road traff...
The National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) Home Safety Week runs from 30th September to the 6th October 2019. The campaign is encouraging households to check smoke alarms are right for their homes needs and will provide them with an early warning in the event of a fire. Most homes have smoke alarms installed (95%) but in nearly 20% of accidental house fires in the UK alarm failed to activate. The most common reasons were the smoke failed to reach the detector was because batteries were either missing or defective. NFCC guidelines for superior fire safety at homes Replace alarms every ten years- even if they appear to work when tested Fit additional alarms in the rooms used most Install interlinked alarms, so when one activates they all do Purchased sealed unit alarms so batteries cannot be removed or tampered with NFCC want people to think beyond installing a smoke alarm on the landing and in the hallway" James Bywater, NFCC Lead for Home Detection commented, " NFCC want people to think beyond installing a smoke alarm on the landing and in the hallway and think about the risks in their own home to ensure they have the right detection in the right places. Home detection technology He adds, “This might mean installing more alarms in homes, particularly in the rooms used most. Home detection technology has advanced and products with sealed batteries or interlinked systems are available and as part of the home safety plan so as to give residents precious minutes to escape in case a fire starts." As part of the week, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS) are also asking people to register their white goods and take care with electrical items. Enhanced home safety tips Keep eyes peeled for signs of dangerous or loose wiring such as scorch marks, hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow or circuit breakers that trip. Appliances use different amounts of power so check the amps on the plug and make sure you don’t go over 13 amps in a wall socket. Keep portable heaters clear of curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes. Register larger electrical appliances for vital information on safety repairs or recalls.Clean ovens and grill pans so there isn’t a build-up of fat. Clear out the fluff/lint tray on the tumble dryer after every use. Check and clean filters on washing machines. Clean the rear of fridges and freezers while ensuring the drainage hole is clear. Never leave tumble dryers or washing machines on when stepping out of the house. Think about bedtime routine; turn off or unplug appliances that don’t need to be left on overnight, ensure to shut doors as this can stop fire from spreading and keep keys for doors and windows in an easily accessible place. Be careful with laptops, don’t leave them charging on beds or sofas. Plan an escape route in case a fire does break out in your home.
Allegion UK, a specialist in fire safety and security products and solutions, last week took an impressive 500,000 steps towards raising £500 in aid of Fire Door Safety Week (FDSW) and The Fire Fighters Charity. Using two treadmills, 35 employees from the Allegion UK team worked as one to take part in their corporate challenge to walk, run, jog or dance 500,000 steps in four days. During the challenge, the team joined forces with the West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS), who visited the Allegion offices in Aston, Birmingham, to help them achieve their ambitious goal. Pioneering Safety And Security James Marriott, station commander from WMFS, said: “We had a fantastic time supporting Allegion UK and thank the staff who took part in this challenge. I’m certain that the funds raised for the charity will make a significant difference to fire fighters and their families who are going through difficult times.” Each year our team makes a huge effort in raising awareness – this year was no different" “With our mission being to ‘make the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier’ and Allegion’s purpose of ‘create peace of mind by pioneering safety and security,’ I am in no doubt that we will continue to work together to promote fire safety.’’ Pete Hancox, commercial leader UK & Ireland, celebrated the combined efforts: “In current circumstances, it is more important than ever to make people aware of fire safety. Each year our team makes a huge effort in raising awareness – this year was no different.” Protecting Life And Property “It was also brilliant to welcome the fire service to help us reach our target. Each step taken truly did count towards us raising money for such a worthy cause.’’ FDSW (23-29 September 2019), run by British Woodworking Federation (BWF) and the BWF Fire Door Alliance, aims to increase public understanding of the fundamental role fire doors play in protecting life and property. This year’s campaign explores the crucial role fire doors have in protecting us when we are asleep, with a particular focus on specialized housing and HMOs (House in Multiple Occupation). Last year, the campaign reached a new high, gaining support from more than 350 individuals, organizations and businesses.
Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is asking businesses and residents to pledge to lose the wedge this Fire Door Safety week (23-29 Sept). Launching the campaign, the service is asking all businesses, care homes and residential properties to ditch door wedges that prop open fire doors. As part of the awareness week, now in its seventh year, staff from across AF&RS will be targeting businesses and homes within the service area to highlight the importance of fire doors and the difference they can make during a fire. Along with visiting businesses in Yate, the Technical Fire Safety Team will also be writing to all care homes in the area and offering support to any business that requested a risk inspection. The Service is also promoting its Home Fire Safety Visits, in which crews will visit vulnerable residents at home to ensure they are safe. Research conducted for this year’s Fire Door Safety Week by the British Woodworking Federation reveals concerns about fire safety as well as a lack of clarity about the crucial role that fire doors play in business, care home, and multi-occupancy buildings. Risk assessments Fire doors play a key role in keeping people safe and wedging doors open causes unnecessary risk.” According to 1,000 care home workers, 75 per cent think their place of work could do more to improve fire safety, 63 per cent think their place of work is at risk of fire and only 43 per cent understand the purpose of a fire door. Staggeringly, 82 per cent said they keep a fire door open at work on purpose. Di Clack, Technical Fire Safety Crew Manager, said: “This week, we are asking everyone to pledge to lose the wedge. Fire doors play a key role in keeping people safe and wedging doors open causes unnecessary risk.” “While we will always assist and offer fire safety inspections for business or home fire safety visits for residential properties, since 2006’s Fire Safety Order, it is the responsible person’s duty to carry out risk assessments on the property and they have a responsibility to ensure everyone is safe. We want to provide people with the tools they need to keep themselves safe and simple procedures like closing all fire doors helps to ensure this.” Fire safety practice Good practice is important in buildings with multiple residents who may be vulnerable Brand new for this year’s campaign, driven by the British Woodworking Federation, is an interactive mock criminal trial, aimed at providing manufacturers of fire safety products, consultants, contractors, designers, installers and other potential duty holders with an insight into where they may be liable in the event of a fire incident. Helen Hewitt, Chief Executive of the British Woodworking Federation, said: “We all need to feel protected, and especially so when we are asleep. Fire doors play a vital role as the first line of defence against fire and smoke, containing their spread while buildings are evacuated. But they must be properly installed and maintained, and good fire safety practice must be shared and followed. That’s why we continue to raise awareness every year through Fire Door Safety Week. Good practice is especially important in buildings with multiple occupants and residents who may be vulnerable. It is quite literally a matter of life and death.” A simple five-step safety check includes: Certification (Look for a label, plug or similar marking) Apertures (Altering the door for windows voids the certification) Gaps and seals (Check gaps around the door to ensure they are no more than 4mm) Closers (Ensure the closer shuts the door firmly) Operation (Ensure the door closes correctly around the whole frame)
To mark the start of Fire Door Safety Week 2019, Abloy UK has launched an infographic that uncovers recent statistics around fire door safety and highlights the risks around non-compliance. As well as explaining how fire can spread fast, Abloy also makes recommendations on how to make premises safe from fire, and discusses fire door regulations and responsibility – as well as the penalties for non-compliance. Pat Jefferies, Commercial Director of Abloy UK, comments: “Fire Door Safety Week is an excellent opportunity to shine a light on the issues around the risks of unregulated fire doors, and educate those responsible for ensuring safety in buildings. Although the initiative gives us a relevant platform to highlight these issues, fire door safety should be front of mind all year round – especially when the ultimate cost from non-compliance can be the loss of life.” “That’s why Abloy is committed to educating anyone responsible for the specification and installation of fire doors through our Academy – whether that’s an architect, specifier, systems integrator, landlord or facilities manager. We’ve been training delegates at the Abloy Academy on the points raised in this infographic and so much more for over a decade, and are proud to help ensure public safety through fire door safety education for many more decades to come.”, he adds
Tamworth-based trade association, DHF (Door & Hardware Federation), has published a new downloadable document for the industrial door sector, named Changes to CE marking of Fire and Smoke Resisting Industrial Doors. The long-awaited publication reveals what is required, and is to be used, in conjunction with DHF TS012:2019 and is now accessible from the federation’s website. CE marking of powered doors, whether fire/smoke resisting or not, has been mandatory under the Machinery Directive since 1995; this remains a constant and will not change. Mandatory Compliance As of November 2019, there will be significant additional requirements for CE marking of both powered and manual fire and smoke resisting doors covered by EN 13241:2003+A2:2016. This is because compliance with the Construction Products Regulation (EU) 305/2011 (CPR) becomes mandatory for both manual and powered fire resisting industrial doors on this date. Many manufacturers have been CE marking their products under the new rules Whilst many manufacturers have been CE marking their products under the new rules on a voluntary basis during the co-existence period, the new rule will become compulsory from November 2019. In Conjunction With DHF TS 012 “DHF’s new publication is supplementary to, and should be used in conjunction with, DHF TS 012, and covers industrial doors and shop front shutters covering doorways that have fire/smoke resisting properties. It is important to note that it does not cover pedestrian doors, except for retail shutters (which clearly resemble a shutter in a warehouse more than they do a hinged or sliding pedestrian fire door). For CE marking purposes, only fire test evidence to EN 1634-1 can be used,” explains DHF’s General Manager and Secretary, Michael Skelding. “Existing fire shutters tested to BS 476-22 remain acceptable, but fire shutters placed on the market after 1 November this year will need the CE mark. As well as fire test evidence, the CE mark must be supported by evidence of the shutter’s ability to self-close and its safety in everyday use. We hope that our new guide will help to make this clear. It is worth noting that fire shutters, new or old, are not exempt from normal health and safety rules for doors in a workplace.”
Firefighters in Chichester would like to thank residents for their quick thinking after a fire in a property on Thursday afternoon. Crews from Chichester, Bognor Regis and Selsey were mobilized to the incident on Lennox Road, Chichester, at 3.37pm following reports of a fire in a residential flat, with the first crew from Chichester arriving on scene within five minutes. Upon arrival they found smoke issuing from a window of the property. Rescuing an adult male from the property trapped by fire, they handed him over to SECAmb paramedics, before bringing the well-developed fire in the flat under control. Marc Lancaster, Chichester D Watch Crew Manager, said: “I would like to thank the residents living alongside the property involved in this incident. If it were not for their quick thinking the outcome could have been a lot worse." Smoke alarm “It was a particularly challenging incident, but they remained calm and assisted our crews in any way that they could. In particular I would like to extend my thanks to the person who raised the alarm after hearing the property’s smoke alarm going off.” “I cannot stress enough the importance of having a working smoke alarm fitted to your property. In this instance it alerted neighbors that something was wrong. I would urge all residents to make sure they check their smoke alarm is working at least once a week. If you are in any doubt, or know someone who would benefit from a Safe and Well visit from West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, please do get in touch.”
Those responsible for the specification of products which go into new modern buildings have been asking for safe, approved cabling, which play a critical part in electrical supply systems. The number of fires in high-rise buildings in Europe and the Middle East have brought the issue of quality of products for fire performance circuits into sharp focus, not least the Grenfell disaster. Meanwhile, new buildings become increasingly complex, with the use of new materials and the designs of many requiring complex electrical systems to support security and fire safety. New and refurbished buildings such as hospitals, schools, shopping malls or airports, may have complex addressable loop fire alarm systems which provide information on individual detectors. Conventional systems only provide information about specific circuits or zones. Indicating exact location of fire, fault For critical alarm circuits in buildings where large numbers of people move about there can be no greater priority than safetyThe addressable systems feature a fire control panel which receives information and status reports from each device, indicating its exact location and if there may be a fire, a fault, heat or contamination. For critical alarm circuits in buildings where large numbers of people move about – many of whom can be vulnerable – there can be no greater priority than safety. The cabling chosen for these systems is therefore critical. If the power to these alarm systems fails because the cabling does not meet the required performance, then the information available for fire and rescue services is directly affected and with it, the chance of finding people who may be in the building. To meet these design challenges, and with the inquiry into the Grenfell disaster still ongoing, it is the use of the very latest technology and science that is taking enhanced fire performance cabling onto a new level. Safe and compliant cable products Decision-makers in the supply chain want reassurance that the products they are specifying are safe and compliant, meeting all recognized specifications. Calls have been made by the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) for all cable being used in the UK to conform to relevant British, European or international standards amid increasing concerns about the volume of non-approved cables coming onto the market. Installers have welcomed the development of a new generation of fire performance cabling Installers have welcomed the development of a new generation of fire performance cabling which ensures critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes. The standard and enhanced cables in the Total Fire Solutions range are tubed, making them a welcome product for contractors with ease of installation. They are all UV stable and they all come with a hard insulant to resist any fault generation over time. These cables meet all relevant industry standards including ISO 9001 and is approved by the leading industry organizations nationally and worldwide including BASEC and LPCB. Carrying out fire risk assessment For the fire and rescue services, the continuity of power means they can continue to read fire alarm system information which can direct them to the seat of the fire and help to locate people who may be in the building. Responsibility for choosing the right system lies with the ‘responsible person’ under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in business or any other non-domestic premises. This will be the owner, employer, landlord, or may be the facilities manager or building manager. As the responsible person, he or she must carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly and put in place and maintain appropriate fire safety measures. Ultimately, the responsible person faces a fines or jail if they fail to follow these measures and there is a fire. For some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios Any items or products which go into these fire safety systems must be covered by standards set by national, European and international bodies such as British Standards. These will certify that when needed these products will perform their function and operate as expected in real life fire conditions. Ensuring cables meet fire safety standards In support of these standards, cable industry bodies provide testing regimes to ensure that different types of cable are fit for purpose and meet these standards when tested in fire conditions. For installers, or those procuring cables, there is a need to check the cable when it arrives to make sure it is exactly what was specified. Instances of unsafe non-approved cable continue to come to lightFor some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios. These include environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes where older people and children move about. Specifiers looking at new large public sector projects such as hospitals should refer to BS 8519 for the electrical supply, and the most relevant cabling system. Counterfeit Flexible Cords campaign Instances of unsafe non-approved cable continue to come to light. Unsafe flexible cord, intended for use in domestic and industrial applications, has been found on sale in the UK recently, prompting the ACI to issue a fresh alert to the electrical supply chain. The latest find of sub-standard flexible cords is marked ‘Made in Turkey’ and ‘Ermaks’. Samples came to light following the initiative’s recent ‘Counterfeit Flexible Cords’ campaign which alerted the electrical supply chain to dangerous industrial flexible cords. We in the supply chain should all be vigilant to watch out and report these instances of non-compliant cabling wherever we see or suspect they have been installed, while developing only the safest products and systems of our own. We shouldn’t forget that we all have a duty and a responsibility where lives and property are at stake. Importance of MV cables to infrastructure Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliantThe demand for power has never been greater, with the explosion of development in towns and cities across the UK and the growth of industrial development and technology reliant on consistent supplies. Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliant as the pressure mounts on the installation of quality products in modern building developments. MV cables are crucial to our infrastructure. Electricity leaves the generating site and is routed via a step-up transformer to take it up to the National Grid distribution voltages of 400Kv, 275Kv and 132Kv. Once in the local area, the supply goes through step-down transformers that reduce the voltage to 415V with domestic supplies tapped off at 230V. To provide power to the sub-stations – very often located on the premises of the establishment that they supply – Medium Voltage (MV) cables are used. MV cables were only developed as the level of voltages increased and the need arose for a greater classification range. design and specification of the cables The technical design and specification of the cables is of paramount importance within the power distribution networkThe size of the market has developed to the point where the global MV cables market was valued at 39.31billion US dollars in 2016 and projected to grow at a rate of more than six percent until 2022. The technical design and specification of the cables themselves is of paramount importance within the power distribution network. There are a number of technical considerations to be taken into account including the size of the installation, the position of the installation in relation to the network and the presence of primary and secondary sub-stations. Prior to installation, a detailed route survey should also be carried out to plan where cables will be jointed and to identify any possible obstructions which may require special civil engineering works such as directional drilling. Underlying the critical nature of supplies to these types of services, the incidence of non-approved cables for these applications also plagues the industry.
Products for electrical systems that are installed into modern, complex buildings have to be fit-for-purpose for today’s challenging demands. With the background of numerous incidents still being felt by the fire performance industry, how is it to set the benchmarks for the future to make sure there is never another Lakanal House or another Grenfell? The long-term answer is for clearer guidance and legislation, if necessary, to enable the whole supply chain to make decisions which are compliant when choosing products. In the meantime, with the Grenfell inquiry projected to go on during 2019, what is the benchmark?The development of LSZH materials was accelerated following the King’s Cross Underground disaster in which 31 people died Cables With LSZH Materials We have standards through British Standards (BS) and testing regimes which cables should meet to validate that they meet these standards with approvals from various industry bodies including BASEC and LPCB. At AEI Cables, we have developed our Total Fire Solutions range of cables and accessories for all fire safety applications, incorporating Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) features. Traditional PVC cables which produce vast amounts of dense black smoke, toxic fumes and acid gas when exposed to fire, bring an added danger to people who may be caught in the fire. Cables which incorporate LSZH materials emit very little of these substances. In a real fire situation, the cables will enable the fire and rescue services to find and evacuate people and help to protect property Smoke And Noxious Gases Cause More Casualties The development of LSZH materials was accelerated following the King’s Cross Underground disaster in which 31 people died, many of them from toxic fumes. London Underground has banned the use of PVC cables as a result. The adoption of LSZH for cables and other materials is also endorsed by the Building Regulations themselves. According to Part B, referencing fire safety, it says clearly: “The primary danger associated with fire in its early stages is not flame but the smoke and noxious gases produced by the fire. They cause most of the casualties and may also obscure the way to escape routes and exits. Measures designed to provide safe means of escape must therefore provide appropriate arrangements to limit the rapid spread of smoke and fumes.” Helping Fire And Rescue Services The very latest in technology and science, including LSZH materials, offers enhanced fire performance cablingThe very latest in technology and science, including LSZH materials, offers enhanced fire performance cabling, accessories and technical support ensuring critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a real fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes. In a real fire situation, these cables will enable the fire and rescue services to find and evacuate people and help to protect property. At the same time, there is still evidence of non-approved cabling still coming onto the market, and we simply cannot compromise quality of these products being used in these applications. Applications include residential and commercial buildings, shopping malls, airports and protected buildings with a track-record ensuring that fire alarms, sprinkler systems, building monitoring and security systems can continue to operate in a fire.
The continuity of power in the event of a real fire has never been more important as modern buildings become more complex and the need for the highest quality of products comes under the spotlight. With power for lighting and fire alarms, the fire and rescue services can use the intelligence gathered to evacuate people quickly, confident that they have found all the people in the building. Without power, they are literally scrambling in the dark without good information upon which to make their rescue. The continuity of power will also ensure that sprinkler or water mist systems can continue to operate where they exist. In commercial buildings, there may also be smoke evacuation fans which help to enable safe evacuation. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services Appropriate Cabling At the start of a project, the most appropriate cabling should be specified as part of the electrical system rather than at the end of a project. Fire alarms may be digital, with loop systems which will provide information for fire and rescue services across individual areas and floors. At the same time, there are new designs, materials and products continually coming on to the market for major projects, and with it an increasing need for the various parties involved to work closely together to make sure they get it right. There has been an increasing incidence of non-approved cables on the market and unfortunately it is not until cables have been installed, tested or used that issues become clear. For installers, or those procuring cables, there is a need to check the cable when it arrives to make sure it is exactly what was specified. Should there be a problem, have it checked and seek good advice. Keep records of purchase, including reel flanges with batch markings and a sample of the cable markings. Send lengths for testing and then decide on the most appropriate course of action. Choice of cabling is crucial at the start of major projects as issues may occur later Meeting Rigorous Third-Party Tests For some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios. These include environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes where older people and children move about. Specifiers looking at new large public sector projects such as hospitals should refer to BS 8519 for the electrical supply, and the most relevant cabling system. It is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests This Code of Practice specifies that the type of system selected during the design phase ‘should be derived from a detailed process of consultation with the relevant authorities’ and that ‘the design should be agreed at an early stage.’ The decision-making process for cable selection relevant for life safety and firefighting systems is clearly defined here. This covers three categories ranging from 30 minutes to 120 minutes fire survival time. Categories 1 and 2 cover means of escape for 30 minutes and then 60 minutes respectively, and these cables are tested in accordance with the relevant codes. Category 3 for firefighting to 120 minutes refers to power and control cables meeting the 120-minute test according to the relevant standards. It should be emphasised that only Mineral Insulated Cable (MIC) or a cable meeting the requirements of BS7846 F120 will meet this criteria. For clarity, BS 8519 does not take precedence over BS 5839 for alarm systems and BS 5266 for emergency lighting. In essence, choosing the most relevant cabling and electrical accessories which will continue to operate under fire conditions has become critical. Application Of Medium Voltage Cables As the incidence of non-approved cables continues then so the application of Medium Voltage (MV) cables into high-risk environments including hospitals, schools, care homes, industrial sites and sub-stations serving infrastructure sites also becomes critical. In the context off fire engineering, it is important to select the relevant MV Cables in these areas. Adhering to the latest regulations is no longer enough - there needs to be a risk assessment. In order to do this effectively, it is important to ask – are the fire safety procedures up to date? All AEI MV cables are third party tested and approved by BASEC. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards The whole supply chain needs to take consideration of these areas where vulnerable people often move about such as children or elderly people in hospitals or care homes. The fire and rescue services may need a little more time than a conventional building including reading complex fire alarm information to ensure a safe rescue in the event of a real fire. Educational establishments including schools, colleges and laboratories are some of the most prone structures to fire hazards. This is due to ageing structures, high volume of combustible materials, and changing use in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths programmes where more combustible and flammable liquids are being used. Concerns have been raised by architects and and designers about fire protection regimes Sufficient Fire Risk Assessment Recent research by the Fire Brigades Union, for example, showed that a key focus for all educational institutions must be ensuring that there is an effective fire risk management process in place, delivered by suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment carried out by an expert in the field. The best practice under Business Information Modelling (BIM) and all best practice of fire safety engineering methods should be observed in conjunction with project partners. There have been concerns over a number of years around the fire protection regime for new buildings expressed by the architects and designers themselves. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) points to the delays to Approved Document B with regard to the relationship of Building Regulations to changing design and construction. AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service RIBA says the virtual disappearance of the role of the clerk of works or site architect and the loss of independent oversight of construction and workmanship on behalf of the client is a further issue for concern. In essence, RIBA believes that future proposals for the fire safety regulatory regime should be informed by the specialist fire safety expertise of relevant professional organisations and groups, and also take full account of this wider set of construction industry AEI Cables provides a full range of cabling products through its Total Fire Solutions service with the support of its parent company Ducab based in Dubai, with the design, manufacture and supply of MIC, Firetec Enhanced or Firetec Power depending on specific needs. The choice of cabling and accessories should not be underestimated at the earliest opportunity to ensure the fire and rescue services are given every chance of success in rescuing people and saving property.
Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations to the U.K. Government after the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 were that the competence of the individuals working in the construction and life cycle of Higher Risk Residential Buildings (HRRBs) needs to improve and be clearer. Work had already started in many fire protection sectors to create fully recognized qualifications, and these help raise the benchmark. Improving fire safety training A force driving improvements in training is the Fire Industry Association (FIA). As a trade association, FIA is looking at ways to help its members and the broader industry sectors. One way to do that is to improve the training that FIA has provided to fire detection and fire alarm technicians for over 20 years. Having looked at various ways of doing this, FIA’s members agreed that creating nationally recognized qualifications would help add more professionalism to this sector. To offer nationally recognized qualifications, the FIA chose to become an awarding body registered with OFQUAL [Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation]. Initially, training is focused on the FD&A [Fire Detection and Alarm] sector, with future plans to offer training in other fire sectors. The process of becoming an awarding body was rigorous and difficult. It took FIA more than three years of applying and submitting policy documents before the organization finally achieved awarding body status in 2014. Fire system installation roles Training is provided in the four job roles as described in the fire system installation standard BS 5389/1: 2017 Training is provided in the four job roles as described in the fire system installation standard BS 5389/1: 2017; they are Design, Installation, Commissioning and Maintenance. These roles are also recognized within company third party certifications schemes (LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203). The designer designs the FD&A system, and the Installer installs it. The Commissioning technician checks and signs off the installation, and the Maintenance technician will complete the routine maintenance during the life of the system. Training modules Training in FIA’s four qualifications, at National Vocational Qualification Level 3, is broken down into modules. The Foundation is the information that each job role needs and is common to all four job roles, as is the Environment module and the Health and Safety module. These are the core modules. The final job-specific module picks up on the differences among the roles; e.g., what does a maintenance technician need to know that is different to an install technician? “Providing a qualification requires a process of asking the sector what it wants,” says Martin Duggan, General Manager, Fire Industry Association (FIA). “We went through a comprehensive route with ‘voice of the customer’ days and surveys plus syllabus reviews to check and double-check that the qualification reflects what the industry wants.” The base is the BS 5389 standard, although more was added such as Health and Safety and Environmental aspects. National Vocational Qualification Level 3 Level 3 is for supervisors or unsupervised workers and in a lot of cases, the individual will work unsupervised once they are qualified and have gained experience. The work done to create the services standard EN 16763: 2017 Services for Fire Safety Systems and Security Systems identified Level 3 as the appropriate level. The trailblazer aimed at apprentices in this sector also reached a conclusion that level 3 was the right one, as did FIA’s own research. Many electricians and security companies install fire alarm systems as their skills are very similar; however, the Fire Safety Order (England and Wales) states that a responsible person should only use competent persons to install and maintain fire protection systems. But how do you prove competence? Training in FIA’s four qualifications, at National Vocational Qualification Level 3, is broken down into modules Fire Safety Order “One of the worst things we see from all types of installers into buildings is leaving big holes in compartment walls,” says Duggan. (A compartment wall is designed to contain the spread of fire for a designated period of time.) “These should all be correctly sealed up.” The work being done by Working Group 2 (Installers) as part of the industry response group to Government on Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations includes: Company third party certification (so that the purchasing of services is done through a recognized company). The individuals the companies employ have a relevant recognized qualification. This is backed up on site with a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card or equivalent. Continuous Professional Development (CPD) or refresher training is introduced A basic knowledge of fire safe building and compartmentation is understood. “It’s this final piece that will help drive cultural change quickly, if we can implement it correctly,” says Duggan. “Can we get all installers to understand why we build compartments and why it’s so important not to damage these and allow smoke, heat and fire to move freely about a building?” LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 The benchmark for the FD&A industry has been third party certification with the two schemes LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 The benchmark for the FD&A industry has been company third party certification with the two schemes LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 being well established for the last 20 years; however, there are many companies that still are not registered, says Duggan. The excuse is based on cost, that customers are not asking for it, and that it’s not mandatory. “The way the current legislation works and is policed, it’s only likely that poor installations etc. will be found after a serious fire when it’s too late,” says Duggan. “Unfortunately, customers do not fully understand their duties to only employ competent people, and the courts will ask: What is the industry best practice and what more could have been done to prove your competence?” Third party schemes “We have company third party schemes for most fire protection disciplines and there are qualifications coming online for most sectors as well,” says Duggan. “These are what the FIA would point to as best practice.”
FIREX International, 18-20 June, 2019, at ExCel London will feature 25-plus hours of seminars and panel discussions along with an exhibition of 130-plus manufacturers showcasing products for fire safety. A Sprinkler and Suppression Presentation Area will highlight the important category. Also, for the fourth year, the International Tall Building Fire Safety Conference will take place alongside FIREX International. There will be 18,000 fire prevention and protection professionals from over 70 countries in attendance at FIREX International. Seminars and panel debates, held in the dedicated Expertise and Guidance Theatre, will include sessions covering tall building safety, passive fire protection, case studies, and more. One session will consider how the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union will impact fire safety laws and the fire industry. Implications of fire safety regulations A presentation will cover the development of new tests to assess video smoke and flame detectorsThe aftermath of the Grenfell fire will be the backdrop of several sessions. One will address the competency of fire, emergency and security systems technicians in the post-Grenfell era, presented by Fire and Security Association Chairman Tom Brookes. Also, a panel discussion will consider the process control and record-keeping requirements of Dame Judith Hackitt's proposed ‘golden thread of information’ that spans regulatory, design, compliance, construction and operational management functions. Another session will speak to post-Grenfell implications of fire safety and future regulations, and there will be a summary of the government response to the Hackitt/ADB review and its impact on passive fire protection. Other topics include training, testing, and fire risk assessment. A case study will highlight the importance of smoke alarms in rented properties. A session on defining Fire Industry Association (FIA) Qualifications will address the impact of best practice, legislation and standards. A presentation will cover the development of new tests to assess video smoke and flame detectors. And there will be an update on industry efforts to create an overarching competence body for the fire safety sector. Thousands of products on display The Passive Protection Zone offers an opportunity for delegates to develop their knowledge of passive fire protectionFIREX International caters to everyone within the fire safety buying chain from manufacturers, distributors, installers, integrators, consultants to end users. With tens of thousands of products on display, attendees can test and try them out hands-on. The largest presence at the show will be the Fire Solutions stand, organized by Halma, which will feature six leading suppliers of fire safety technology from the same commercial family hosted at a single stand. The featured exhibitors will be Advanced, Apollo Fire Detectors, Argus Security, FFE UK, Klaxon and LAN Control Systems. The Passive Protection Zone offers an opportunity for delegates to develop their knowledge of passive fire protection via a variety of seminars and workshops. Plus, Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) member companies will be located around the zone, displaying related products. Tall Building Fire Safety Conference The 6th International Tall Building Fire Safety Conference will focus on innovation, drones, fire science and more. Topics on Day 1 will be fire engineering, fire testing and fire science in tall buildings. Day 2 will address fire risk management, insurance and construction in tall buildings. Day 3 will focus on firefighting in tall buildings. FIREX International is co-located with IFSEC International, Facilities Show, Safety & Health Expo and Field Service Management Expo, catering to those working across many platforms, including building management, and protection and safety of people and information.
From students to policymakers, safety professionals at all levels will gather at the NFPA Conference & Expo, June 17-20, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. The multi-faceted event will include a technical session addressing standards development, a product and services exhibition, and education sessions about a range of topics, some of them relating to the fire service. The NFPA Technical Meeting, also known as ‘Tech Session,’ is an important element in the standards development process, ensuring that consensus is achieved on proposed changes to NFPA Standards prior to Standards Council review. Education sessions There will be 120-plus education sessions at the Conference & Expo During this meeting, supporters and opponents of certified motions voice their opinions, and qualified NFPA members vote on proposed changes. The three-day Expo, June 17-19, highlights products and services from 350-plus suppliers that are needed to meet and maintain compliance with prevailing codes and standards in the design, construction and operation of buildings and facilities. There will be 120-plus education sessions at the Conference & Expo. Here is a sampling of some of the education sessions related to the fire service. Engaging Local Officials for Wildfire Risk Reduction - Case studies from organizations around the world illustrate the impact of engaging local officials early and effectively to reduce wildfire Integrating Wildfire into Public Education Messaging - The National Fire Protection Association's Wildfire Division will host an interactive conversation about professional development, engaging residents in wildfire risk reduction, and the resources available to help integrate wildfire into public education outreach efforts. Improving Fireground Visibility Using the Internet of Things - A system incorporates cost-effective, lightweight Internet of Things (IoT) devices, an advanced real-time analytics system, and visualization capabilities to enable incident commanders and firefighters to leverage data from the scene in real-time. Enhanced Smoke Alarms and New UL Testing Standard - Research has enhanced technology that can recognize different fire and smoke characteristics created by changes in home design, building techniques, and modern furnishings -- resulting in fewer nuisance alarms. Cancer and Firefighting PPE - The reality is that firefighters are regularly exposed to carcinogen contamination. Considering dermal exposure, inhalation exposure, and off-gassing, how much protection can firefighters expect from their PPE? Wildfire Tactical Support - The UK’s Response to the Record-Breaking 2018 Wildfires. The United Kingdom’s ‘Wildfire Tactical Advisors’ (WTA) model provides valuable lessons on fire department engagement, including experienced fire officers who support the fire incident commanders at wildfire incidents. ROI on Smoke Alarm Installation Programs - Panel members from NFPA and the Red Cross will explore approaches to smoke alarm program evaluation using the Reach, Efficacy, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework to guide discussion. Foam Firefighting Technologies of the Future - Pressurized Instant Foam (Pi Foam) stores the premixed foam solution initially in a calm environment, and then in a pressurized vessel with soluble gas. At the time of the incident, ready-made foam covers the fire without any foam generator. Connected Technologies for Water-Based Fire Protection Systems - Smart Connected Things (SCoT) used in water-based fire protection systems will enable both owners and service providers to determine system status and perform some inspection and testing functions remotely.
Chief Fire Officer Mick Crennell and a GAFSIP team have delivered three fire engines and other equipment and uniform to the Gambian Fire Service. As part of the Gambia and Avon Fire Services in Partnership (GAFSIP), the service has been helping to enhance the capabilities of the Gambian fire service for nearly 30 years by providing lifesaving equipment, capability and training. Fire engines and breathing apparatus Avon Fire & Rescue Service has donated three fire engines along with breathing apparatus equipment In the latest donation, Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) has donated three fire engines along with breathing apparatus equipment and other equipment to firefighters in the region. CFO Mick Crennell also visited various stations on his visit to the region and held meetings with Gambia’s Chief about how to continue to enhance the relationship. While on his visit, Mick expressed and confirmed the Service's commitment to continue to support and grow the relationship for the mutual benefit of both services. Gambia and Avon Fire Services Mick said, “As a Fire Authority and a Service, we are honored and privileged to be able to have this partnership with the Gambian Fire and Rescue Service and we will continue to support its development. We have seen the level of support grow, and what’s more, we have seen the level of the professionalism of the fire service in the Gambia grow throughout our partnership“. He adds, “We have seen what a difference our equipment and training makes and the lives it has helped save. We are looking forward to the future because this partnership will only continue to get stronger and those in the region will be safer as a result. As an ambitious Service, not only will we help those in our own communities, but also help others where we can. Anyone in the fire service is part of the international family and we will do what we can to help.” Fire equipment and safety training We have never thought that we will reach that place and save lives across the country" CFO Mick Crennell was joined on the visit by Watch Manager and GAFSIP Trustee Paul Kirk, Firefighter Ben Coghlan, Firefighter Rob Morgan, Firefighter Pete Ballard and Watch Manager Steve McGreavy. The Deputy Chief Fire Officer of The Gambia Fire Rescue Service, Lamin Sanyang expressed gratitude on behalf of the service for the assistance stating that the partnership is strong and continues to grow. Lamin said, “We receive training manuals, practical training, and equipment. It is because of this partnership that we were able to get fully equipped fire engines as we cannot buy it ourselves. We are very proud of them. With this donation, we will operate as far as Wuli in the Upper River Region. We have never thought that we will reach that place and save lives across the country.” Fully equipped fire engines delivered The presentation ceremony took place at the State House in Banjul in the presence of the President of Gambia, the UK High Commissioner to The Gambia, H.E. Sharon Wardle, and other senior government officials, including the Deputy Chief Fire Officer of The Gambian Fire Service, Lamin Sanyang.
Kentec’s Vizulinx alarm management unit is providing a sophisticated, flexible and cost-efficient solution for a private residential property in Henley-on-Thames. The unit, installed by DPJ Fire and Security, was chosen because the property owners required a monitoring service that would alert the housekeeper and security team of any faults or alarms rather than a traditional monitoring service provided by an alarm receiving centre. Addressable Fire And Intruder Alarm System DPJ Fire and Security had designed, commissioned, supplied and installed a new addressable fire and intruder alarm system when the property was extensively refurbished, and turned to Kentec’s Vizulinx alarm management solution to solve the monitoring challenge. Steve Bidmead, Director of Projects at DPJ Fire and Security explains that with no ongoing service charges, Vizulinx was the ideal choice for the homeowner: “The Vizulinx unit has the ability to monitor up to 16 inputs that can be configured independently to one another to send alarm, alert, fault, disabled, test, technical alarm and security messages to mobile phones, pagers and email addresses via SMS or internet connection.” Convenience And Flexibility Steve also describes how it provides the utmost in convenience and flexibility: “The unit was installed in under a day using a built-in web server page. It is very versatile and can be configured to monitor any system that can provide a fault-free contact. Future plans include having the unit monitor the water and heating systems.” Brett Boyd, UK Business Development Manager, London and the South East at Kentec, says the Vizulinx is extremely user friendly and the speed of communication is especially useful: “Since all events are sent immediately, users can reduce the number of false alarms by investigating the cause of the alarm before it is escalated, preventing any unnecessary disruption.”
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.”
Each year, the centrally located exhibition grounds of Hamburg Messe and Congress host more than 40 trade shows and other events that draw a total of more than 700,000 visitors from all over the world. The light-flooded halls and outdoor areas have a total space of nearly 100,000 square meters, enough to accommodate a wide variety of activities ranging from key international trade fairs to smaller exhibitions. Energy and Building Solutions A public address and evacuation solution installed by Energy and Building Solutions Behind the scenes, a public address and evacuation solution installed by Energy and Building Solutions, part of Bosch Building Technologies, helps to ensure the safety. If a dangerous situation ever arises, every second will count for clearing large crowds of people from the enormous buildings and grounds. The new evacuation system with fully compliant voice alarm system is designed to meet the most demanding requirements. “This state-of-the-art solution is necessarily very complex, due to the architecture and acoustics of the high-ceiled exhibition halls, among other factors,” explain construction supervisor Nico Zimmermann and systems specialist Joey Pickardt of Bosch. Bosch networked solution To meet the technical requirements for the new system, the existing cable network had to be completely replaced. “Announcements in individual halls and the foyer can now be directly controlled from any of the three linked locations,” adds Zimmermann. To make sure that they can be heard loudly and clearly, Bosch’s technicians installed more than 1,200 speakers and around 70 amplifiers. The system’s sound quality is so good, that Hamburg Messe and Congress also uses it to play background music and provide information to visitors. It is one of the largest solutions of this kind ever installed by Bosch in Germany.
Oakland County is enhancing the safety of residents, guests and businesses by improving the ability of first responders to communicate with each other during emergencies, including seamless interoperability with neighboring counties as well as state and federal agencies, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has announced. ASTRO 25 LMR network The county has entered into a contract with Motorola Solutions to replace its aging public safety radio system with the ASTRO 25 land-mobile radio (LMR) network which will interface with the statewide Michigan Public Safety Communication System (MPSCS). Oakland County will be the first user in Michigan to utilize Motorola Solutions 'Phase 2' technology that will more than double the number of users on one system. “Oakland County always pursues innovation to provide outstanding services to our residents and businesses,” Patterson said. “That’s why we collaborated with our cities, villages, and townships to identify and implement leading-edge communications technology that will improve public safety for years to come.” Enhancing public safety communications We’re ecstatic to work with Oakland County to provide them with mission-critical communication solutions" Motorola Solutions Regional Vice President Chris Lonnett said his company will be working with Oakland County to take the county’s public safety communications to the next level. “We’re ecstatic to work with Oakland County to provide them with mission-critical communication solutions for their first responders,” Lonnett said. “Oakland County has long been a role model for agencies working together to improve public safety. This will be a great step forward to improve regional communications interoperability.” Fire fighters paging In addition to interoperability, the ASTRO 25 land-mobile radio (LMR) network will provide Oakland County’s public safety departments countywide paging of fire fighters with new 700/800 MHz pagers. “This new partnership with Motorola Solutions will launch Oakland County into a whole new level of emergency communications,” said Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard. “Technology is constantly changing and this investment will give our first responders the tools they need to serve our residents. Once again, Oakland County will set a standard for other counties to follow and emulate.” Two-way radio system Oakland County’s contract with Motorola Solutions requires one percent grade of service which means 99 out of 100 times the two-way radio system will be fully available to a first responder. Also, the contract requires the new radio system to cover 97 percent of the county outdoors and 95 percent of the county while in buildings. 31-site simulcast system A 31-site simulcast system will ensure Motorola Solutions provides reliable and dependable communications A 31-site simulcast system will help ensure Motorola Solutions provides reliable and dependable communications that will provide full-system capacity to every first responder in Oakland County. "The idea that this new radio system will actually become a reality is extremely exciting,” said Farmington Hills Fire Chief Jon Unruh. “The communication system will give us capabilities we haven’t had before and enhance the service we provide to Oakland County residents while providing reliable and dependable communication for our first responders." APX mobile West Bloomfield Township Police Chief Michael Patton agrees. “After a comprehensive evaluation process, the selection of a Motorola Solutions will provide enhanced mission-critical, push-to-talk radio communications to the next generation of Oakland County public safety members as well as greater interoperability with our state and federal public safety partners,” Patton said. Both Patton and Unruh were members of the selection committee for Oakland County’s new communications system. Portable two-way radios The US$ 46.9 million project will replace more than 3,500 portable radios and about 2,000 radios in emergency vehicles with Motorola Solutions APX mobile and portable two-way radios for best-in-class communications for public safety officers. The radios are equipped with Wi-Fi and support wireless programming. Plus, the project will replace 76 radio consoles at the 20 Oakland County 911 public safety answering points or dispatch centers with new Motorola Solutions MCC 7500E dispatch consoles. These consoles will be tightly integrated with the existing Motorola Solutions CallWorks 911 platform which will maximize the capabilities for emergency call taking. The project will replace 76 radio consoles at the 20 Oakland County 911 public safety answering points Large-scale emergency recues The system will be built with multiple layers of redundancy to withstand large-scale emergencies such as tornadoes or floods. The design includes 31 sites, 12 channels on the 700/800MHz, and will be built to Project 25 'Phase 1' and 'Phase 2' compliance standards. Oakland County’s Courts and Law Enforcement Management Information System (CLEMIS), which uses innovative computer technology for criminal justice and public safety applications, will utilize APX Radio Management to maintain and update the fleet of radios through a central database. APX Radio Management Implementing the complete ASTRO 25 land-mobile radio (LMR) network will take up to three years. Over the next six months, Oakland County and Motorola Solutions will work together to design the 31-site system to submit to MPSCS for review.
KME Fire Apparatus, globally renowned manufacturer of fire apparatus, announces the delivery of six KME custom pumpers to the City of Atlanta, Georgia. These six pumpers will join the existing fleet of 45 KME pumpers already deployed within the city limits. Severe Service cab These six new pumpers are built on KME’s Severe Service cab and will serve the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department’s 35 fire stations, including five stations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. With a staff of more than 1,000 employees, the City of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department serves an area of 132 square miles within the city limits. Features of the six custom pumpers include: KME 96” Severe Service XMFD cab Cummins ISL 450 HP engine Allison 3000 EVS transmission Hale Q2 1500 GPM pump Elkhart 240-125P foam eductor 500-gallon water tank with 30 gallon foam tank KME – FireLine partnership FireLine’s longstanding relationship with Atlanta is built on trust and loyalty" “KME appreciates the opportunity to serve the City of Atlanta with these pumpers and we value the trust they have placed in our apparatus and our dealer, FireLine,” said Stephen Carleton, Director of Sales for KME. “FireLine’s longstanding relationship with Atlanta is built on trust and loyalty. We are pleased to continue working with the City of Atlanta to provide equipment, parts, and service,” said Bob McDonel, President, FireLine, Inc. Fire safety equipment major FireLine, Inc. is a globally renowned manufacturer of fire safety equipment and apparatus, including firefighting helmets, in-take valves, vehicle mount systems, cutting tools and kit, pumpers, tankers, aerial quint and other fire apparatus. KME is an international source manufacturer of high quality, custom fire apparatus serving communities across the USA. They offer a wide range of apparatus that includes ARFF, aerial, industrial, pumper, rescue, tanker, and wildland products built on custom or commercial chassis.