Tall building fire safety
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...
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 r...
North-east-based fire systems manufacturer, Advanced reaches a milestone in the construction and refit of its new £2M headquarters. As a pioneer in the design, development and manufacture of commercial fire detection systems, Advanced employs over 180 staff and services over sixty countries from bases in the UK, US, India and Dubai. The firm’s relocation from its existing four sites in Cramlington to one 48,000 sq. ft base in Balliol Business Park, Longbenton will allow the business...
KME Fire Apparatus, globally renowned manufacturer of fire apparatus, announces the delivery of eight KME custom pumpers to Central Pierce Fire & Rescue, WA. KME custom pumpers These eight engines have been specifically engineered to the department’s requirements. Paul Stueve, Assistant Chief of Logistics for Central Pierce states, “Cascade Fire and KME have provided an experience of responsiveness, a willingness to meet high expectations, and delivery with professionalism.&rdq...
Patol will be returning to the Firex International exhibition to demonstrate its extensive capabilities in industrial fire protection. The focus on stand FX650 will be one of the more recent additions to Patol’s product range - the Fire Thermal Infrared (FireTIR) detection system. The system features fixed infrared cameras connected to a user-friendly software interface through which the surface temperatures of the area being protected are monitored in real time. Camera Lens Cleaning Hi...
Isover, a manufacturer and supplier of innovative insulation solutions, will be showcasing its U Protect passive fire protection range for HVAC applications at this year’s FIREX International 2019 on stand FX110. A critical risk to address when designing a building is the potential spread of fire within HVAC systems from one compartment to another. As such, at this year’s FIREX International, Isover will be focusing on its U Protect system, which offers passive fire protection for c...
This year from the 16th – 17th of April, the Landmark Centre in Lagos, Nigeria hosted the ninth edition of Securex West Africa. Over two bustling days of business, more than 2,300 professionals from across the Security, Fire and Safety industry crossed the threshold to witness key technology advancements, market trends and do business. Among the dignitaries to open the exhibition and conference this year was ACP Gbolahan Odugbemi, Assistant Commissioner of Police for Lagos State representing the Commissioner of Police, Major General J.I Unuigbe, Representing the Chief of Army Staff for the Nigerian Army and John Bray, Consulate General for the US Government in Nigeria. Each esteemed keynote speaker addressed the vital importance of sharing information and cutting-edge technology within the Security, Fire and Safety industry to further progress opportunities in the region, especially in transformative times globally. They praised Securex West Africa 2019 as an excellent opportunity to achieve these goals and bring together the West African security industry. Solutions from various sectors on display With over 761sqm of technology, equipment and services on display from more than 100 leading brands, attendees at this year’s Securex West Africa were privy to cutting-edge solutions across varying subsectors within commercial, cyber, perimeter and homeland security in addition to fire and safety. A truly international exhibition, this year the show attracted industry professionals from 21 countries including Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. An overall increase in visitor numbers of 56% since 2016 demonstrates that Securex West Africa is growing from strength to strength. Attendees at this year’s Securex West Africa were privy to solutions across varying subsectors within commercial, cyber, perimeter and homeland security George Pearson, Regional Director at Afrocet Montgomery, the organizers behind Securex West Africa had this to say on this year’s edition: “In reality, we’re all living in relatively uncertain times from a security perspective, whether we’re discussing political turbulence, cyber-attacks or terror threats, our exhibition growth year on year, both in visitor figures and show size is indicative of why shows like Securex are so important to progress our understanding of how to protect against and prevent security and safety breaches.” One of the best events in West Africa 28% of visitors in 2019 were dedicated to Commercial Security, while 33% to Information SecurityThis year, visitors came in their thousands to the exhibition from varying sectors, the top five of which were Systems Installers, Information Telecommunications, Engineering, Safety & Security Consultancies and Oil and Gas. 28% of visitors in 2019 were dedicated to Commercial Security, while 33% to Information Security, which reflects the rapid growth taking place in the cyber market. A further 14% were dedicated to Fire & Safety, 11% to Homeland Security and 13% to Perimeter Security. Mr Adewale Muriziq Salisu, a Security and Safety Consultant from Fourthman Security Services gave the following testimonial about this year’s event: "Securex West Africa is one of the best security conferences and exhibitions in West Africa if not the best. It involves all aspects of security, safety, cyber and fire protection which all organizations and individuals can use. Securex brings the best in security and safety exhibition and conference and if you miss it, you miss a lot." Alongside the exhibition each year, organizers put together a compelling selection of daily Conference sessions for both exhibitors and visitors alike to attend. Hosted by esteemed industry experts, these carefully put together sessions are designed to inspire and inform industry members. This year, 70% of visitors attended at least one of these sessions. 21st century security solutions On the first day, the most popular session was a Panel Discussion centered around ‘21st Century Security Strategies and Solutions’ and included representatives from SBM Intelligence, Suncast Security, Airtel Networks, Beacon Consulting and Academy Halogen in addition to the Former Police Chief in Nigeria and Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on overseas affairs and investments. The most popular session was a Panel Discussion centred around ‘21st Century Security Strategies and Solutions’ Meanwhile, Day 2 of the Securex Conference shifted its focus onto Fire and Safety technical sessions. Delegates at these sessions had the opportunity to hear from expert representatives from key fire and safety brands including Bristol Fire Engineering, Mobiak S.A., Surveillant Fire, Afrisec, Afritech Solutions and Hancock Security Nigeria. Topics discussed included the importance in choice of firefighting equipment, product showcases, tall building fire and safety management, safe cities and OEM demonstrations. The second day of Securex West Africa also gave way to the co-located cyber-focused security conference: WACSS (West African Cyber Security Conference). An invitation-only event organized in conjunction with KPMG and sponsored by the Nigerian Communications Commission, this year WACSS welcomed 129 esteemed cybersecurity delegates. Now in its third edition, WACSS has grown to be recognized in the region as the leading high-level cyber-focused security conference and attracts a great deal of senior industry stakeholders. Achieving business objectives In a post-show survey for Securex West Africa, 98% of visitors achieved all or most of their business objectives in attending the eventFor the second year running, Securex West Africa hosted the OSPAs (Outstanding Security Performance Awards 2019). This year, the event took on a new format in the shape of a Gala evening of dinner, drinks, award-giving and valuable networking among the finest performing business and professionals in the Nigerian Security industry. In a post-show survey for Securex West Africa, 98% of visitors achieved all or most of their business objectives in attending Securex West Africa. Furthermore 84% of those visitors had purchasing power within their business, contributing to a collective visitor spending budget for security, fire and safety solutions totalling more than US$ 150 million. These results, coupled with overall exceptional feedback from exhibitors, further emphasises the quantity and quality of business opportunities available to both local and international businesses in West Africa. Exhibitors say on the event Speaking to a couple of exhibitors who took part this year, here’s what they had to say on Securex West Africa 2019: "It's been really good; with the sales we’ve made we can justify the business case to be here next year! Looking at everything, I've made personal connections with my competitors and the brand awareness has been great for us." Bukky Bademosi, Business Development Manager, Pilgrims Africa Ltd. "For my region, it is the most important show. We want to present our manufacturers with a platform where they can come and see that Nigeria is a place where we can make money. We've had many good leads and we'll be here next year!" Edward Van Trotsenburg, Managing Director, AFRISEC.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) is supporting the position of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) in urging the UK Government to change its stance on sprinklers. In particular it is asking for sprinklers: to become a requirement in all new high-rise residential structures to be retro-fitted in buildings more than 30 metres tall when they are refurbished should be retro-fitted in high-rise residential buildings over 30 metres with a single staircase, regardless of refurbishment plans should be provided in new residential care premises and specialized housing Minimizes the impact of fire on businesses Sprinklers save lives, reduce injuries, protect property and minimize the impact of fire on businesses"At TWFRS’ Sprinkler Seminar, during National Sprinkler Safety Week, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, John Baines said: “The research conducted by the NFCC confirms just how important sprinklers can be, within the range of fire safety solutions for new and existing buildings. “Sprinklers save lives, reduce injuries, protect property and minimize the impact of fire on businesses. They also help to protect firefighters and reduce the impact of fires on the environment. We believe that this compelling evidence deserves a positive government response.” Key experts across the field of sprinklers This week, TWFRS welcomed to its headquarters in Barmston, Washington, a number of key national experts across the field of sprinklers. This included Terry McDermott, CFO Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and the NFCC Lead for Automatic Water Suppression Systems, who gave the audience an overview of the recent research on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Sprinkler Systems in the United Kingdom; Ian Gough, from the sprinkler trade association BAFSA, who presented on sprinklers in schools and Nick McCormack from Merseyside FRS who described a challenging car park fire. The seminar also included, housing provider Gentoo and South Tyneside Housing who shared with the audience their own sprinkler journey and demonstrations on sprinkler effectiveness. Protecting lives, homes and businesses As a service we promote the installation of sprinklers and Automatic Suppression Systems in homes"John concluded: “As a service we actively promote the installation of sprinklers and Automatic Suppression Systems in homes and businesses. Sprinklers already play a major role in protecting lives, homes and businesses and we would very much welcome the UK Government following the lead from Scotland and Wales, and by doing so providing greater protection particularly to those in our vulnerable communities, who need it the most.” At the seminar, TWFRS also launched an updated version of their sprinklers booklet, with key information for residents and businesses.
Navistar International Corporation was recently recognized by industry solutions advisor Carlisle & Co. for having two of the highest performing parts distribution centers in the automotive and commercial vehicle sectors. The Edmonton, Alberta Parts Distribution Center (PDC) was awarded the Top Performing Warehouse in the Truck and Heavy Equipment category for the second consecutive year, while the Queretaro, Mexico PDC was named the second-place honoree. Navistar’s distribution centers “To have Navistar Edmonton and Queretaro Parts Distribution Centers be recognized as the industry’s top two by Carlisle & Co. is prestigious recognition for our company and reflects our dedication to customer service, uptime and Total Cost of Ownership,” said Josef Kory, senior vice president, Parts, Navistar. Carlisle & Co.’s metrics-driven Top Performing Warehouse Awards recognize warehouses that provide high quality parts Carlisle & Co.’s metrics-driven Top Performing Warehouse Awards recognize warehouses that perform in the top of their class to provide high quality parts availability to their customers in an efficient and productive manner. Inventory management system Friedrich Baumann, president, Aftersales, Navistar adds, “Our organization recently aligned aftersales functions and we’re making major investments in service solutions and speed of repair for our customers, like establishing a new PDC in Memphis, Tennessee and increasing the breadth of parts already on our dealer’s shelves through an enhanced dealer parts inventory management system. We look forward to continuing to find new ways to expedite parts deliveries to customers and adding more Navistar PDCs to the list of the industry’s very best.”
The Fire Safety Event 2019 and its co-located shows have enjoyed the most successful event to date welcoming over 11,733 visitors across three days at the NEC, Birmingham. The Fire Safety Event has firmly cemented itself as the fastest growing exhibition in the UK for the industry, providing a platform that ensures its visitors are equipped to maintain the highest fire safety standards. High-profile incidents in recent years have put a spotlight on the industry and The Fire Safety Event recognizes it has a role to provide ongoing education on new standards and legislation, best practice advice and help support the industry by providing them access to companies and products that will better prepare them. Events Exceptional Growth The Fire Safety Event has seen phenomenal growth since its inception in 2017 The Fire Safety Event has seen phenomenal growth since its inception in 2017. The event, which began with 16 exhibitors this year boasted over 50 and remains a firm favorite with many exhibitors who have been with the show from day one. Liam Hunt of Safety Technology International enthused, “It was refreshing to meet so many installers and end users who use, trust, and recommend our products – the Fire Safety Event provides a platform to target new faces within the fire and security industry. A trio of crowded days highlights a marked increase in footfall on previous years, STI look forward to making it four shows out of four in 2020.” Over 75% of 2019 exhibitors have already secured their space for 2020, promising that the events exceptional growth will continue into 2020 - and beyond. Fire Industry Exhibition The high caliber, industry-leading exhibitor line up for this year included Advanced, asecos, c-Tec, Checkmate Fire Solutions Ltd, FFE Limited, Fike Safety Technology Ltd, FireClass, FirePro UK Ltd, Kingspan, Klaxon, Turner & Townsend, WAGNER UK Ltd, and Xtralis UK Ltd. Ian Rose, Director of Global Fire Equipment (UK) commented, “The Fire Safety Event is fast becoming the key fire industry exhibition to attend for both visitors and exhibitors alike. With its being held central to the UK at NEC it is accessible to all. Global Fire Equipment will be returning for the 2020 show”. The event received high praise from both exhibitors and visitors, with feedback attesting that, “For all things connected to fire safety the fire safety event is the place to be.” Higher Profile Speakers The Fire Safety Event is an interesting and enjoyable experience for all those involved with an interest in fire" The Fire Safety Event’s intent is to break the mold for such exhibitions, aiming to challenge and educate audiences by offering creative, varied and dynamic features alongside its world-class exhibitor line up. Features which they hope visitors will continue to remember off-site. The exhibition achieved a fine balance of features, seminars and exhibitors, with another visitor noting: “The Fire Safety Event is an interesting and enjoyable experience for all those involved with an interest in fire. It covers all aspects; I will definitely be back next year.” As it grows in stature, it’s not only new exhibitors that are attracted to The Fire Safety Event, but higher profile speakers. Two impressive keynote speakers for this year being Neil O’Connor CBE, Director of the Building Safety Programme at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and former NYC Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano. Hosting Contemporary Seminars With 67% of visitors also pre-registering for seminars, The Fire Safety Event is shown to fulfill the desire within the industry for the latest product innovations, best practice, and advice on legislative changes. Particularly noteworthy for this year were the numerous specialist demonstrations on offer - such as the live burn tests from Kingspan and asecos’ DSEAR with a Bang Demo Area. This content helps translate the importance of fire safety into real world scenarios and has made a memorable impact on this year’s visitors. Brand new for 2019 and another great success was the Tall Building Fire Protection Area hosted by the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP). This feature brought together expert speakers from across the industry, hosting highly contemporary seminars. Business Protection The event was really helpful in getting what I needed all under one roof at the same time - Fire, Security & Health and Safety" Throughout the full 3-day duration, this Protection Area was a hive of activity across all the ASFP’s varied sessions. Visitors recognize the value of the concurrent seminar programme, commenting: “I would highly recommend this event to anyone within the field of Health and Safety, Fire Safety or Compliance.” The Fire Safety Event truly recognizes the importance of providing guidance and insight through such event features and they will continue to be developed in the 2020 edition. WBE (Part of Nineteen Group), owner of The Fire Safety Event saw impressive growth across the entire series, covering the three co-located exhibitions - The Security Event, The Facilities Event and The Health & Safety Event. One visitor commented, “The event was really helpful in getting what I needed all under one roof at the same time - Fire, Security & Health and Safety.” With such a comprehensive offering, The Fire Safety Event and its co-located events are a must attend for anyone who has an interest in improving life safety, business continuity and business protection within their organization.
Oshkosh Corporation, global designer and manufacturer of specialty vehicles, vehicle bodies and access equipment, has announced it has been named as a recipient of the 2019 IDG CIO 100 award. This annual awards program highlights organizations around the world that drive information technology excellence both operationally and strategically. Annual CIO 100 Awards The annual CIO 100 Awards celebrate 100 organizations and the teams within them that are using IT in innovative ways to deliver business value, whether by creating competitive advantage, optimizing business processes, enabling growth or improving relationships with customers. Recipients are selected through a three-step process. CIO editors review the judges' recommendations and select the final 100 First, companies fill out an online application form detailing innovative IT and business initiatives. Next, a team of external judges (many of them former CIOs) reviews the applications in depth, looking for leading-edge IT practices and measurable results. Finally, CIO editors review the judges' recommendations and select the final 100. “On behalf of our global information technology organization, we are honored to receive this award which showcases our drive to continually improve and challenge the way we approach information technology operations and strategy to add value for the business,” said Anupam Khare, Oshkosh Corporation Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. “This achievement is a result of the innovative spirit of our team who continue to look for new ways to challenge the status quo and transform the business each day.” Innovative approach to Information Technology “Across the business landscape, companies everywhere recognize the vital role that an innovative, value-driven approach to information technology plays in their success,” said Maryfran Johnson, IDG’s Executive Director of CIO Programs. “This year’s CIO 100 winning companies are inspiring examples of how IT leadership, business collaboration and digital transformation will drive future growth.” Executives from the winning companies will be recognized at The CIO 100 Symposium & Awards Ceremony, to be held Wednesday evening, August 21, at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Orange Fire Protection, which provides fire sprinklers, extinguishers and alarms for commercial and residential properties, relocates to new, 6,500 sq ft offices at Queens Court in Wakefield. The business, which launched in 2016 with eight staff, has more than tripled in size over three years and now has a workforce of 26. A heightened awareness of fire safety in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017 has led to a number of new contracts for the business. High-End Residential Development Orange Fire Protection director Lewis Klimo said: “The fire protection industry is in much higher demand at present and we are receiving large numbers of enquiries about the services we offer, including high-tech sprinkler systems and water mist fire suppression systems, for various building types.” Only last month we were awarded contracts to install our systems in three further projects" “Only last month we were awarded contracts to install our systems in three further projects, including designing and installing a wet and dry riser system to protect a new 18-storey high-end residential development in London.” Making Buildings Safer Property agent Eddisons acted on behalf of Harrogate-based landlord Westcourt Group to secure the new Queens Court offices for Orange Fire protection. Eddisons head of agency Steven Jones said: “Orange Fire Protection works in the crucially important area of making our buildings safer and it was rewarding to be able to help them relocate to great new premises that will accommodate their growing team.” He added: “A shortage of quality office space is pushing up rents in Wakefield and there are certainly signs that demand for premium space is growing in the town.” Eddisons is a multi-disciplinary firm of chartered surveyors. Established in 1844, it operates across the UK and has a head office in Leeds. Harvey Burns & Co acted as joint agent on the deal.
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.
The era of “smart buildings” is here, bringing new opportunities for significant gains in efficiency, safety and environmental protection. In an interview, Rodger Reiswig, director of industry relations at Johnson Controls Global Fire Protection Products, offers his insights into the impact of smart buildings on fire detection and what it means for organisations planning new facilities. Q: How do you define smart buildings? The term “smart buildings” means different things to different people. For some, it’s all about the Green Initiative. Is the building able to sustain itself or reduce its carbon footprint? Can they reuse some of their water or generate electricity from onsite solar cells or wind turbines? Another definition of “smart buildings” is based on sensors. Is the building smart enough to know that, if I’m the first person there in the morning and I swipe my card, it should switch the HVAC system into occupied mode? Can it start to turn the lights on? Can it adjust the window shades to allow the sun to come in? Can it call the elevator down for me because it knows that I’m in the lobby and I’m going to the tenth floor? It’s all about how the systems integrate with one another, not just providing information to each other, but also interacting with one another, causing things to happen from one system to another. Q: How close are we to the vision of an integrated intelligent building where all the systems work together? We’ve already been doing some integration for a few years now with things like HVAC and lighting. Now we’re seeing tighter integration where, for example, we can use the position of the sun to get the best impact of sunlight to start to heat the building in the winter. One of the biggest challenges that we see in the smart building environment is protocols or topologies for how one system talks to another. The fire alarm system uses a certain protocol or language. The HVAC system uses another protocol or language, and so on. Creating an environment where systems can talk to one another and not just send, but also receive information – that’s the difficult part. Everybody can send information out. It’s easy for me to tell you what is happening in a system. But for you to tell me what’s happening in your system and then expect me to do something with that information, that’s when it gets a little bit harder. Q: What makes system-to-system communication challenging? Because of the critical role they play in protecting lives and property, life safety systems require a level of reliability and resilience far beyond that of other building systems or networks. Therefore, we have to be extremely careful about how we allow information from other systems to come into the life safety system, in case that information should affect the performance of the system. In addition, the design and specification of life safety systems is guided via three different means: building codes, standards and listings. Each of those means is controlled by different organisations. Any proposed changes to life safety networks have to pass muster with those entities, and that takes time, effort and consensus-building. When we’re talking specifically about system-to-system communication, the listing entities, organisations like UL and FM Global, regulate how much information can come into any life safety system. The listing documents require that there be some type of a barrier or gateway to prevent unauthorised or corrupted information from coming into a fire alarm system, causing harm or causing it to lock up. Life safety systems require a level of reliability and resilience far beyond that of other building systems or networks We will see all building technologies become more integrated over time as we work through the different entities and people begin to realise the benefits of improved safety, lower environmental impact, and reduced costs. Q: How will fire detection systems benefit from other sensor information available in a building? One of the things being explored is occupancy sensors that tell where people are located in a building. Some type of telemetry could be used to understand where people are concentrated in a facility and, based on that, make the fire alarm system more or less sensitive to smoke. If a lot of people are congregating in one area, there might be more activity and more dust being stirred up. You could use that information to set different alarm parameters compared to, for example, an empty building with no significant air movement. We see that type of operation happening. Knowing how many people are in a building and where they are located is also a critically valuable piece of information for first responders. Here’s another example: let’s say we have a big parking garage next to a mall. Cars come in, and perhaps some people leave their cars running, or the cars aren’t operating as efficiently as they should be. You could have carbon monoxide detectors and occupancy sensors in the garage, and when the garage becomes crowded and carbon monoxide levels start to rise a bit, you could tell the fire alarm system not to go into alarm, but instead to turn fans on to get some fresh air moving throughout the building. It’s performing a life safety function, but at a non-emergency level. Q: Are you involved in any cross-industry standard-setting organisations to enable better communication among building systems? On an industry level, Johnson Controls is very active in the development of codes and standards. We have people who sit on committees for things like healthcare occupancy standards. We have engineers that contribute to product listing documents. We have people who participate in committees that determine how products should be installed and maintained.Fire alarm systems could be used to detect and solve non-emergencies before they become threats We’re even involved with groups, like the National Disabilities Rights Network, that advocate for laws that promote equal access and notification of life safety events. The list goes on. It’s a common protocol that allows all types of systems to get on the same communication platform and be able to send and possibly receive information, depending on the product and the type of system it is.Just to give you an example, there’s a standard called BACnet, Building Automation Control Network, which was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. BACnet is based on entities, so within their system, they need to define what each entity is. What is a thermostat? What is a variable air box? What is a lighting controller? What is a fire alarm smoke detector? We work closely with this organisation to create entities that can reside on their infrastructure so that, for example, the lightning system recognises what a smoke detector is when they send that entity out to the network. It’s one of the most important methods we are using to communicate among dissimilar systems. Integrated systems mean elevators could be used to evacuate people in an emergency We’re working on two fronts: internally and industry-wide. We’re developing third-party interfaces that enable an outside entity to sign a non-disclosure form and get the keys to the kingdom, if you will, on our protocols for how our systems operate – the data stream that we can send out and receive back – allowing that third-party developer to create some of these interfaces themselves. That has been one of our challenges, because we have always said that this is a fire alarm system, and if you want that type of an interface, we need to write it and get it listed. We had to step back and say, what if we developed a barrier gateway and allowed somebody else to develop the protocol and, done properly, became able to receive and send information to the fire alarm system? It’s like what Apple does with apps. We are going down that road with this third-party interface gateway. Q: Have these developments changed how you’re planning for the future development of fire detection systems? Yes, they have. We are looking at how we can use these systems strategically to make life safety systems better. And life safety is becoming more nuanced, proactive and comprehensive. Can I communicate and use this information to unlock the door so people have a clear egress? Can I start to use the elevators to evacuate people during an emergency? We’ve been told traditionally to use the stairwell and not the elevator in the event of a fire. But it takes a person about a minute a floor to get out. That’s a problem if you’re in an 80-story building. You have elevators sitting there. Is there something we could do to allow these elevators to be used to evacuate people? The American Society of Mechanical Engineers has been working hard on developing the language and requirements to do that. It’s just one example of how having systems integrated and talking to each other allows us to create smarter solutions that can help make facilities safer. Q: What advice would you give to building owners, architects, designers or contractors to help them start planning today for the future of smart buildings? The most important thing is to build awareness. The average building owner doesn’t know that a lot of this technology even exists. We need to inform them that there are options they can ask about. One of my recommendations would be to ask your design engineer. As you discuss the kind of windows you want, the kind of flooring and lighting and so on, ask how these systems could integrate together and what the benefits of integration would be. The bigger your facility, the greater the benefits of integrating these systems. Another resource that people don’t use often enough is the AHJs, the authorities having jurisdiction. That’s the local fire marshal, the fire chief, the local first responders. Don’t be afraid to sit down with a fire marshal, tell them what kind of building you’re putting in, and ask them what would help them respond in the event of an emergency in that building. They’ll be glad you asked, because these people see a lot of different buildings and respond to emergencies every day.
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.
Motorola Solutions announced its implementation of APX Project 25 (P25) two-way radios into the Maryland FiRST Radio System for Allegany County. Used by law enforcement, fire departments and emergency medical services (EMS), the radios provide seamless communication across agencies and state borders. For 20 years, Allegany County has used Motorola Solutions for mission critical communications. APX Project 25 two-way radios “Communications is vital in everything we do from a simple control check to a major incident,” said Captain Chuck Ternent, Cumberland Police, Allegany County, MD. “It’s great to now be able to pick up your microphone and get a clear message through.” The entire Maryland FiRST System is using Motorola Solutions’ routing systems & customer premise equipment The entire Maryland FiRST System is using Motorola Solutions’ routing systems, customer premise equipment and now APX two-way radios to serve the county’s population of more than 70,000. Cross-agency communications “Cross-agency communications is very important,” said Steve Shipley, Chief of Emergency Management, Allegany County, Maryland. “With Motorola Solutions’ multi-band P25 radios, our officers use one radio to communicate with any law enforcement agencies. This makes a response to a large scale incident that much more seamless; officers don’t have to carry multiple radios to communicate with different agencies.” “By joining the Maryland FiRST mission-critical radio system, Allegany County experienced immediate benefits including enhanced coverage and interoperability with first responders across the state,” said Mike Leonard, Mid-Atlantic Territory Vice-President at Motorola Solutions. “Motorola Solutions is honored to work with the county to provide solutions first responders need to help keep people safe.” Public Safety Responders On May 17th, Motorola Solutions Inc. hosted a celebratory event for the county’s public safety responders, agency officials and local representatives. Motorola Solutions is a global renowned provider of mission-critical communications.
A fire system with integrated fire telephone and voice evacuation system from Advanced has been installed at an exclusive 30-storey residential high-rise in Dubai. Boasting state-of-the-art amenities, luxury interiors, a fully equipped gym and rooftop swimming pool, the Siraj Tower has become one of the most sought-after residential projects in the ambitious $64billion entertainment complex, Dubailand. As Advanced’s exclusive distributor in Dubai, Cignetix were responsible for integrating this crucial part of the building’s active fire protection. Four Advanced Axis EN panels, which were recently certified by FM Approvals to the EN54 standard, and 2000 devices have been installed alongside its high-performance fire telephone solution. Designed for clear, easy-to-use control, the system benefits from LED status indications showing its operational stateSunil Gopalkrishnan, Managing Director at Cignetix, said: “Thanks to their reputation for performance, quality and ease-of-use, Advanced are our preferred choice of fire alarm, fire telephone and voice evacuation systems – capable of handling large networks of up to 200 panels and complex cause and effect programming.” Fire Telephone Solution Advanced’s fire telephone solution is ideal for high and low-rise apartment buildings, hotels, universities, government and military sites where local fire departments and emergency personnel need access to fire/emergency communications. Designed for clear, easy-to-use control, the conventional system benefits from LED status indications showing its operational state – whether the system has a call-in, is connected or is in fault condition. The fire telephone system is compliant with EN54 parts 2 and 4 and can be configured as either a standalone, independent system or completely integrated into the Axis EN fire system. Steve Carroll, Advanced’s General Manager for the Middle East, said: “The Siraj Tower is another fantastic example of the successful partnership between Cignetix and Advanced. In order to take full advantage of what our products offer, it takes companies like Cignetix, who have the skills and experience required, to apply Advanced to sites such as this prestigious high-rise.” Axis EN Fire Panel Range Axis EN, which is part of Advanced’s Axis range of systems, holds global approvals, including EN54, UL864 and AS1670Available for European, Middle East and South East Asian markets, Axis EN is Advanced’s highest performance analogue panel range, combining 1-8 loop, fire panels configurable up to 200 panel networks with a complete range of wired and wireless loop devices and powerful peripherals. Axis EN, which is part of Advanced’s Axis range of systems, holds global approvals, including EN54, UL864 and AS1670. It is designed to go anywhere where high quality, reliable and easy to use fire detection and control is required. Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, have a long history of protecting some of the most prestigious high-rise residential developments in the world, including the Gold Coast’s Soul Building and Miami’s Sands Pointe. Advanced is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease of use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large, multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
In a fire, a safe, reliable source of power is of paramount importance. Tasked with supplying emergency firefighting power for Victorian mill conversions, Newburn Power Rental’s expertise and commitment to health and safety made them the perfect partner for power safety - instilling confidence should the worst happen. The client, who are converting mills into luxury apartments – initially in and around Leeds, Halifax and Manchester, the centres of Victorian industry – gave Newburn a two-fold job. Providing emergency power to the lifts in the event of a mains failure was one element, with a critical requirement to ensure power for lifts and smoke extraction fans for the emergency services in the event of a fire. Emergency Communication Systems The vital importance of firefighter access and safety is recognised and legislated through numerous Standards and Regulations, and inadequacy or non-adherence can have devastating effects. As LEIA (the trade association and advisory body for the lift and escalator industry) note, the development of British and European Standards has been central to lowering accident rates – both to people using lifts, escalators and lifting platforms, and to those working on them. For firefighting lifts, the requirements are covered by Standard EN 81-72:2105 For firefighting lifts, the requirements are covered by Standard EN 81-72:2105, which replaced the 2003 version and includes changes to the physical structures of firefighter lift systems as well as amendments to requirements for emergency communication systems. The critical element of a firefighting lift is that, unlike a normal lift, it should be designed to operate for a long as is practicable in the event of a fire. Firefighting Equipment In the UK, it is a requirement that buildings with a floor more than 18 metres above or more than 10 metres below fire service vehicle access have a firefighting lift, helping firefighters to move more quickly and more easily through the building and allowing for the transportation of firefighting equipment across multiple floors. The lift installation includes the lift car itself, the lift well and machinery area, along with the control and communications systems. While the Standard EN 81-72:2015 covers all aspects of firefighting lift design, e.g. minimum load; minimum lift car dimensions; speed of travel and specific design, there are also a range of factors that Newburn needed to consider when specifying the power generators for emergency use: robust and reliable back-up (secondary) power supply and the potential for water ingress. Electrical Installations In terms of building structure and power safety, the issue of water ingress needs to be addressed at the design stage In terms of building structure and power safety, the issue of water ingress needs to be addressed at the design stage, including measures such as drainage channels at each landing entrance; ramping up of the floor at the lift’s entrance; as well as methods of prevention of water build-up such as drains or draining pumps permanently installed and fitted outside the lift shaft. There have been instances where water from hose lines has entered a lift well, causing malfunction to electrical installations such as door locks, lift car controls and communications systems, hence it is vital to both reduce the potential for water ingress in the first instance as well as to minimise the effects of water on lift operations to avoid hampering firefighting and evacuation procedures. Fire-Protected Areas Newburn Power Rental’s power supplies, following the Standard, were specified and installed to the appropriate IP rating, to protect the electrical equipment against water ingress. Their generators, which varied from 20kVA up to 60kVA (dependent upon the lift motor sizes) are all installed in fire-protected areas, with fire-protected power cabling. Reliability of power supply – both the mains and the secondary sources – is clearly critical to the safe use of firefighting lifts and this, too, is referenced in the Standard. Mark Henstock, managing director at Newburn Power Rental, comments on this project, “We were approached to undertake this contract based on Newburn’s reputation for reliability and for the weight we place on health and safety at all times.” Reliable Power Supply The importance of secure and reliable power supply in an emergency can’t be over-emphasised" “The importance of secure and reliable power supply in an emergency can’t be over-emphasised. We’ve worked on projects in the past where water ingress is an issue, so have a great deal of experience with managing pumping solutions and circuitry, as well as emergency backup supplies for a whole range of sectors.” “We have a committed workforce – in sales and specification for generators and ancilliaries, as well as in the service and maintenance team. Clearly, both aspects are vital to ensuring that the correct equipment is installed in the first instance, and to making sure that it works efficiently and reliably, should it ever be needed. Since the first installation for this client, we have gone on to work with them on buildings in cities and towns across the North and we look forward to continuing this relationship.”
In large factory halls used for metalworking operations, conventional fire alarm systems are often not enough to protect buildings, employees and equipment. In many cases, high ceilings, greater fire hazards and interference from reflected light characterize these halls. The company of MKM Mansfelder Kupfer und Messing GmbH (MKM) faced exactly this challenge. MKM is a manufacturer of copper and copper-alloy precursor and semi finished products. Achieve Better Protection The company wanted to achieve better protection from fire hazards in two of the halls at its Hettstedt site in Saxony-Anhalt, a state in the eastern part of Germany. Conditions in the halls are particularly challenging because the pace of production constantly varies While searching for the optimal solution, the plant fire brigade tested a number of candidates, including quite a few conventional fire alarm systems. Conditions in the halls are particularly challenging because the pace of production constantly varies. “Due to the large size of both halls, in the end we decided that only one solution was up to the job: the AVIOTEC visual early fire detection system from Bosch,” explains Christoph Dammann, administrator fire and alarm systems at MKM. Fire Detection System AVIOTEC is the first video-based fire detection system to be certified by VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH (VdS). Intelligent algorithms integrated in the camera ensure reliable early detection of smoke and flame. This innovative technology also excels in terms of costs and efficiency. Bosch experts planned and configured the solution for MKM and then took care of integrating it into the existing fire detection system and connecting it to the monitoring center of the plant fire brigade. If a fire is detected in either of the two halls, it sends signals to the central fire detection system as well as directly to the fire brigade. Then the firefighters can check the video monitor and take targeted appropriate action to extinguish the fire before it can spread.