Tall building fire safety
Sector authority, Chuck J. Lewis, has joined multi Smoke & Fire Curtains Ltd as their new CEO. Mr Lewis, who took up the position within the Fire Curtains Group in early November brings with him an abundance of more than three decades of direct experience from the smoke and fire curtain sector having previously worked with Coopers Fire and latterly the IFC Group at both Management and Director level. Mr Lewis was a co-author of both PAS 121:2007 and BS 8524:2013 series, and became the recip...
Fire & Safety, concurrently held with Secutech Taiwan April 2020, will have international and local manufacturers showcasing products and solutions for best practices in fire safety for various verticals as well as effective disaster prevention and mitigation technologies. Countries from the APAC region is expected to see an increase in fire safety demands as increase in infrastructure developments requires both in pass and active fire safety equipment. Government regulation also plays a ma...
In order to maintain support for Nittan’s older Sensortec Protocol Analog Addressable range, Nittan has developed the ST-H2-AS Heat Detector. This is intended to be a direct replacement for the current ST-H-AS detector, which they are no longer able to manufacture due to component obsolescence. Manufacturing The New Generation Device As a direct replacement there will be a seamless transition between the products. The new ST-H2-AS is available with immediate effect and once existing sto...
Nittan Europe will be exhibiting at FIREX International 2019 at London ExCeL. They will be showcasing their range of premium fire detection products, along with a number of new additions. Nittan’s bright and spacious stand, located at FX830, has been designed for interactivity. On the stand, you can get hands on with Nittan’s evolution1 fire alarm control panel, and experience just how quick and easy it is to set up with the Evolution detection devices. New Products being launched...
Nittan is delighted to announce the availability of the EV-PYS Photoelectric smoke detector, complete with integral sounder. This is an improved detector combined sounder product similar to and intended as a fully backward compatible drop-in replacement for the outgoing EV-PS. The previous EV-PS product proved to be a successful launch of Nittans detector with integrated sounder range, however its new replacement the EV-PYS comes to the market with some exciting technological advances centred o...
Global fire systems provider, Advanced, has appointed Joe Leiserach to the role of Operations Director to support the business following a period of significant growth. Employing around 200 staff, Advanced designs, manufactures and supplies fire alarm control panels to over 80 countries across the globe from its headquarters in Newcastle. Active fire protection In his new role, Joe will work alongside the senior leadership team at Advanced to deliver on the business’ objectives, uniting...
A North East-based fire system manufacturer appoints its first Head of Digital, as it looks to realize the full potential of connectivity. Global systems provider, Advanced, designs, manufactures and supplies fire alarm control panels to over 80 countries across the globe from its headquarters in Newcastle. Christina Brugger joins Advanced as Head of Digital from the manufacturer’s FTSE 100 parent company, Halma PLC, where she helped various teams with developing digital business models, customer validation, pitching and execution. Several Cloud-Based Projects As a company we are looking to realize the full potential of digital connectivity" In her new role, Christina will oversee the development of several cloud-based projects to accelerate Advanced’s digital growth strategy. In leading the ‘commercial investigation’ for these projects, Christina’s role will touch almost all areas of the business, working closely with the products, technical support and sales teams to ensure a thorough market and customer understanding. Managing Director at Advanced, Pete Browitt, said: “As a company we are looking to realize the full potential of digital connectivity, Christina’s experience of working with various cloud-based platforms and innovation processes will significantly increase the knowledge and understanding of a digital approach for Advanced.” Cloud-Connected Fire Panel The newly created role comes as Advanced prioritizes its digital offering, which includes its first cloud-connected fire panel, the Go1, and its complete solution for remote management and servicing of the fire system, that is also set to significantly simplify on-site interaction, DynamixLive. Both products are due for launch in 2020. I’m thrilled to be joining Advanced at such a pivotal time in the company’s history" Christina said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Advanced at such a pivotal time in the company’s history. Understanding our customers’ different personas, their pain points, and what drives them to make decisions is key to delivering the best possible solutions for the market. Few manufacturing companies are this customer focussed, and I am lucky to be working with a team with such significant knowledge and expertise in working with cloud technology.” False Alarm Management Systems Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, protects all manner of prestigious and high-profile sites across the globe, from London’s Shard and the Savoy Hotel to Abu Dhabi International Airport and Las Vegas’ Golden Nugget Casino. Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day. Advanced is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease of use of its products see 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, multiprotocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
Bandweaver is pleased to announce that Mark Horton has joined as Vice President and will be responsible for sales team leadership, driving revenue and supporting their extensive agent and partnership network. Mark joins from Ava Risk Group Ltd where he was the Global Sales & Marketing Director and led the sales team on the implementation of the company’s global growth strategy across the perimeter, pipeline, network and distribution markets which included in his portfolio a range of fiber optic detection and sensing solutions. Prior to this Mark was an executive for the global security company G4S where he had responsibility for developing a diverse portfolio of security & FM joint ventures with a total revenue of USD $1bn with a focus on developing the groups regional and global technology strategies. Prior experience Mark is a UK National with more than thirty years’ experience in security and technology sectors across a variety of markets including Africa, Europe, MENA and Asia Pacific. Having initially joined the industry in a technical role, Mark quickly progressed through operational, project management and consultancy roles to business development, strategy and sales. “We are delighted to have Mark join Bandweaver. Mark has a wealth of experience within the security sector and a deep understanding of how we can address customer issues using Bandweaver solutions. Bandweaver continues to make investments in developing cutting edge technology solutions and with Mark’s expertise, experience and influence within the industry we will continue to expand our international customer base,” commented Richard Kluth, Managing Director of Bandweaver.
Established by the German Design Council, the 2018 Iconic Awards: Innovative Architecture, honors visionary architecture, innovative products and sustainable design. The respected design award recognizes the importance ASSA ABLOY, the manufacturer of door opening solutions, places on the design of its products. An influential factor when buying a new door closer, the appearance of ASSA ABLOY’s door closer portfolio now features a distinctive and contemporary design, with unobtrusive lines, chamfered edges and lightly contrasting colors. The design is finished with the classic ASSA ABLOY horizontal groove. Cam-Motion technology The award-winning door controls provide innovative solutions for all door opening applications. Featuring Cam-Motion technology to help ensure doors open smoothly and securely, the range delivers a quiet and safe door opening experience. Flexible height adjustment and non-handed features enable quick and easy installation For installers, the redesigned products remain as versatile as ever, with well-designed installation features and fitting options. Flexible height adjustment and non-handed features enable quick and easy installation, while reducing stock requirements. The new designs have minimal impact on the overall footprint and there are no changes to the fixing positions. Certifire approved Products from the ASSA ABLOY door closer range meet the requirements of the recently updated BS 8300 standard for low opening forces, CE Marked and comply with relevant fire regulations. Popular models used in trade and commercial environments are also Certifire approved, for further reassurance of performance. David Hindle, Head of Door Closer Sales at ASSA ABLOY, said, “Winning this award is recognition of our industrial design vision. We wanted to create a door closer range that is not only functional, but also sleek, stylish and modern. The range will complement or enhance almost any environment, while maintaining the outstanding performance capabilities that ASSA ABLOY products are known for.”
Door Group, a unit of ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, has secured a series of high-profile contracts with Transport for London and Crossrail Limited. These contracts have included supplying and installing security doors for major London Underground redevelopments including London Bridge, Bond Street and King’s Cross, as well as station upgrades such as Victoria. newly-built accessible stations The new Transport for London-run Elizabeth line will open from December 2018 Door Group has then gone on to secure multiple contracts within the Crossrail construction programme. The new Transport for London-run Elizabeth line, built by Crossrail Limited, will open from December 2018 serving 10 newly-built accessible stations. Full doorset solutions have been delivered and installed to the new Elizabeth line stations at Canary Wharf, Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Woolwich and Custom House. They have also been installed at other sites along the route including Pudding Mill, Eleanor Street and Mile End, as well as at the Elizabeth line depot at Old Oak Common. Meeting specialist needs Each project presented its own demands and challenges in relation to product performance requirements. Doorsets had to be fully compliant to achieve the latest standards and meet the specialist needs of each environment. Factors to consider included fire, acoustics, air-tightness, high-security and pressure resistance. Many of the doorsets required installation in challenging conditions with tight access Decorative finishes such as vitreous enamel, stainless-steel and bronze cladding helped complement the aesthetics of the surroundings on doors that required a finishing touch, and many of the doorsets required installation in challenging conditions, being underground, with tight access and with restricted working hours. Providing tailored solutions Brian Sofley, Managing Director for Door Group, said, “Our experience working with London Underground provided us with the ideal foundation for supporting our working partners on the Crossrail project for new Elizabeth line stations.” “Each contract brought its own individual challenges, but from the very beginning we worked closely with the architects and contractors involved to understand their requirements. This meant we could provide specialist and tailored solutions that met their exact needs. Solutions were carefully chosen from both our Powershield and Prima steel door ranges including cross corridor doors for high traffic fire escape routes, and pivoted fire rated platform doors to conceal station equipment rooms.” “We take great pride in our wide portfolio of well-respected transport contracts. It says a great deal that customers choose to work with us time and time again, and we put this down to our full-service offering, financial stability, and expert advice at every stage of the project, from specification to installation and inspection.”
The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) held a Passive Fire Protection Workshop at the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) AGM and Conference in Brighton on 17 July. The session examined how passive fire protection is currently delivered and aimed to determine what improvements could be made with reference to four key pillars within the building lifecycle. ASFP CEO Niall Rowan offered a brief introduction to the vital role of passive fire protection in saving lives and protecting firefighters and property. He also provided reviewed the current regulatory situation in the UK post Grenfell and the various Government consultations. Delegates at the interactive Workshop then considered potential improvements that could be made during design and specification; installation; inspection and certification; then through ongoing management/maintenance. In discussing the design of buildings there was much agreement that fire safety should be considered early in the design process. Mr Rowan highlighted that the ASFP has been working with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on creating a Fire Safety Overlay for the RIBA Plan of Works. Fire risk management It was highlighted that changes to Building Regulations do not apply to existing buildings This provides a detailed specification for fire protection at the design stage and a schedule for fire throughout the construction process. It includes sign offs as construction progresses, with all information reaching the end-user to support adequate fire risk management. There was support for this work, but a recommendation that the Plan of Works should include an enhanced role for fire engineers. Many in the audience raised concerns about enforcement, with inspections often not undertaken at crucial stages in the construction process and regulations not being strongly enforced. It was also highlighted that changes to Building Regulations do not generally apply to existing buildings. Recommendations for improving monitoring during the construction process included raising understanding of what should be inspected and when such inspections should occur; making third party certification of products and installers mandatory; and reintroducing the Clerk of Works role. Building Control Amendment Regulations (BCAR) BCAR introduces an enhanced inspection process and defines the role of professionals ASFP Ireland Operations Officer David O’Reilly highlighted how the design and construction process was handled in Ireland and after much discussion the Workshop delegates agreed that a similar process to the Building Control Amendment Regulations (BCAR) should be introduced in the UK, with designers having a responsibility to sign off the completed building. BCAR introduces an enhanced inspection process and defines the role of professionals throughout the process, requiring certificates to be signed at various stages by Assigned certifiers and Ancillary certifiers. There was also much discussion about how to improve the quality of installation. One recommendation was to develop a benchmark of good installation for each project and inspect to it. It was also felt important to ensure the competency of installers and maintenance staff. ASFP Head of Training Phil Brownhill highlighted that there was no mandatory requirement for any form of qualification to install fire protection but noted that the ASFP, in collaboration with the IFE, had developed a training course leading to Level 2 and Level 3 IFE qualifications The Workshop recommended that there should be mandatory qualifications for installers and inspectors of fire protection products.
The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) welcomes the release of the report following the first phase of the Public Inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, and will comment further once the findings have been examined in greater depth. It is well documented and understood that the major failing of the building was due to the cladding material, and the ASFP looks forward to phase 2 of the Public Inquiry when the circumstances that led to its inclusion in the building will be determined. The report’s finding that ‘effective compartmentation was lost at an early stage’ as a result of the fire on the outside quickly entering many flats via the windows due to the failure of the glass is not unexpected, nor is the failure of some key fire protection measures inside the tower. The ASFP has long highlighted the potential for failures in compartmentation in such blocks due to lack of maintenance and poor workmanship. Passive fire protection Public safety is being impinged by incorrect passive fire protection measures" In fact, such failures were first highlighted in 2003 in a Government sponsored ASFP report on passive fire protection in buildings, which stated somewhat prophetically, “Public safety is being impinged by incorrect passive fire protection measures and we feel that a disaster caused by accelerated or unexpected fire spread could follow if no action is taken to improve initial standards and to define the responsibility of building occupiers.” The ASFP believes the failings of the building, and others like it, are the result of decades of a prevalent culture in which fire safety has not been considered as seriously as is required. The race to the bottom culture in the construction industry, which extends from design through to final construction, was clearly identified in the Hackitt Report on Building Regulations. The ASFP has long campaigned for passive fire protection products to be third party certificated and for installers also to be members of third party certified installation schemes. This is a condition of membership of the association While the report suggests that the fire service bears some blame for loss of life at Grenfell, the ASFP believes that this is a somewhat harsh conclusion. The fire service personnel who fought the fire worked tirelessly in the very challenging environment which this very severe and almost unprecedented fire presented. Lack of serious consideration of fire safety And, while it is legitimate to question why the stay put guidance was not rescinded earlier, such guidance has served firefighting operations well over the years. In fact, last year there were over 5,000 fires in purpose built blocks of flats where stay put policies were successfully implemented and compartmentation was effective. We should not lose sight of that. ASFP has been concerned at the lack of serious consideration of fire safety since the 1980's" ASFP CEO Niall Rowan states that “ASFP, along with many other stakeholders, has been concerned at the lack of serious consideration of fire safety since the 1980's. As fire deaths fell, mainly due to the fitting of smoke alarms, improved upholstered furniture and the decline in smoking, there was a culture in Government that fire safety was ‘solved’ and we must not do anything to make building more expensive.” Audits of compartmentation “Changes in building materials and construction processes have transformed the way in which our building stock behaves in fire and poor workmanship and light touch enforcement of building regulations has frequently resulted in buildings that offer poor levels of fire protection.” “London Fire Brigade and other fire services must be confident of their procedures to realistically evaluate the effectiveness of stay put and must be equipped with an adequate knowledge of the structure of buildings to enable them to do this. This will require owners and responsible persons to regularly undertake audits of compartmentation to ensure passive fire protection systems that combine to create this vital life safety system are correctly specified, installed and maintained.” “We hope that Grenfell will be the catalyst for change to ensure such a tragedy can never occur again, and we will continue to work with Government and the construction industry to achieve the extensive and lasting culture change necessary to ensure the safety of our existing and future built environment.”
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.
Technologies to protect against fire are among the innovations being shown at CES 2020, the technology event, Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas. The fire market is one of many served by the range of consumer and smart home technologies on display at CES 2020, from artificial intelligence (AI) to 5G, vehicle technology to AR/VR (augmented and virtual reality), robotics to home automation. For example, Longan Vision will display augmented reality systems for firefighters, helping them make good decisions during high-risk events while reducing the cognitive load of incident command personnel. Longan's "Fusion Vision System" provides firefighters with enhanced vision, communication and situational awareness. fire-related products Smart home could be about delivering home analytics through cloudless architectures and new door lock approaches" The smart home market is a major focus at CES. In the case of fire-related products, a smart home can also be a safer home. “For the smart home market at CES this year, we expect to see numerous announcements regarding home awareness,” says Blake Kozak, Senior Principal Analyst at IHS Markit. “This will include brands offering up additional analytics for consumer security cameras with a focus on edge-based solutions.” The show features more than 170,000 attendees, 4,500 exhibitors and 1,100 industry thought-leaders featured on the CES stage. “The impact of this [event] for the smart home could be about delivering home analytics and enhancing privacy through cloudless architectures and new electronic door lock approaches,” Kozak adds. integrated smart home experience An example of home analytics is the Resideo Home app, introduced in December, which will make whole-home monitoring possible for four critical networks of the home – water, air, energy and security. Resideo promises a “simplified and integrated smart home experience." Smart fire monitoring solution provider Rozetatech at CES 2020 offers an Internet of Things (IoT) fire detection solution that uses advanced digital sensors and their wireless capabilities and sends real-time information through mobile phones to 911 rescue centers and fire officers. First Alert has helped protect homes and families for 60 years. Their Onelink portfolio, on display at CES, expands to provide whole home safety and WiFi coverage solutions. Gentex Corp. provides commercial smoke detection and signaling devices for the fire protection industry (in addition to a portfolio of electro-optical products for the global automotive industry). smart home and IoT applications Their newly developed UART-interface alarms can be integrated with any client's wireless module for various smart home EVERDay Technology provides smoke/heat/CO/gas detectors for both commercial and residential applications. Their newly developed UART-interface alarms, such as smoke/heat combo alarms, smoke/CO combo alarms and gas alarms, can be integrated with any client's wireless module for various smart home and IoT applications. Siterwell Electronics includes sensor alarms such as smoke, carbon monoxide, gas, heat, and water level alarms among its range of security and protection products for residential and commercial applications. Siterwell exports to around 66 countries. Other products include a UL-listed commercial fire alarm system, IoT intelligent security and smart home networking products. smart water leak detectors AerNos nano gas sensors detect multiple gases simultaneously to parts-per-billion levels for indoor and outdoor air quality monitoring, hazardous gas detection and other "e-nose" applications. The tiny, accurate, affordable and low-power modules deliver results for plug-and-play integration with commercial product lines. Safera Oy is an international innovator in intelligent stove guard technology and preventive fire safety. The new Safera Sense product provides smart cooking notifications to help users reduce cooking fire risks, assist with cooking temperatures and times, and improve air quality while cooking. smart home devices WaryMe designs and develops a personal safety mobile application to improve a user’s security in public places, schools, transports and companies by addressing major risks such as terrorism attacks, intrusion, fire and even industrial accidents. An all-in-one mobile application integrates alerting, crisis management and mass notification features. “Market players are looking to expand beyond established smart home devices like smart thermostats and networked cameras to products like smart water leak detectors, smart pet feeders, and smart air purifiers,” says Elizabeth Parks, President, Parks Associates. “Familiarity with smart home devices lags behind familiarity with smart entertainment products; it even lags that of smart speakers, which are quite new in the market,” adds Parks. In 2020, we will see players working to advance the visibility and marketing around device integration and specifically focus on use case scenarios around safety, security, and convenience, which have always been the primary drivers of adoption of these types of products.”
Colossus, a fire-fighting robot, was deployed in the nave of the Notre Dame cathedral during the destructive fire on April 15 in Paris. Pumping water high into the air and onto the flames, the robot was instrumental in turning the tide for firefighters, extinguishing the fire and lowering temperatures inside the nave. Colossus was developed by the French Company Shark Robotics and deployed with the Paris Fire Brigade. The caterpillar-tracked robot stands just two and a half feet tall, weighs 1,000 pounds and can carry another 1,100 pounds of equipment. At Notre Dame it helped firefighters extinguish the blaze and mostly save 850 years of history. It helped firefighters extinguish the blaze and mostly save 850 years of history Robots in firefighting The historic use of Colossus illustrates the growing role of robotics in firefighting, including mobile systems with advanced features to assist an operator in navigation and to perform a wider range of tasks. According to Brian Lattimer, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Virginia Tech, a robotic system is a mechanical device that performs a task using sensors to perceive its environment, computer programs to control the robot based on its environment, and a human operator to assist with robot operation. A variety of robotic systems support a range of fire events, whether involving structures, vehicles, aircrafts, shops or wildlands, he says. In addition, the functionality of robot systems varies to support firefighters in tasks such as sizing up the fire, identifying trapped people, locating the fire, monitoring conditions, controlling fire spread and suppression, says Lattimer. Sizing up the fire, identifying trapped people, locating the fire, monitoring conditions, controlling fire spread and suppression automated robotics Also, aerial robotics such as drones provide added situational awareness, and indoor robots can eliminate fires at close range. There are also fixed systems, such as automated fire monitors, that can be used to extinguish significant fire hazards rapidly. Several robots have found utility in the fire service in recent years. Fire-fighting robots were essential for suppressing the blaze at Notre Dame Other life-saving robots The Tactical Hazardous Operations Robot (THOR), developed for the U.S. Navy’s Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFIR) program, is a human-like robot that can travel across unstable floors on ships, utilize hoses, and open doors. Because Navy ships have hazardous materials on board, extinguishing fires is critical. The robot uses stereoscopic thermal imaging and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors to navigate. It walks and works semi-autonomously with the help of a remote operator. The Thermite Robot is a small tank created by Howe and Howe Technologies for the U.S. Army. The Thermite RS1-T4 is remotely operated with a belly-pack controller that provides high-definition and infrared video in real-time. It has the power to push vehicles from its path, the agility to climb stars and can output 1,250 gpm of water at 200 psi. Thermite is designed as an advanced tool to help operators combat fires safely and efficiently. It has the power to push vehicles from its path, the agility to climb stars and can output 1,250 gpm of water at 200 psi Turbine Aided Firefighting Machine (TAF 20) is a robot created by Emicontrols, a subsidiary of the TechnoAlpin Group. Designed for small spaces such as tunnels, it uses a turbine to clear smoke, move obstacles with a bulldozer blade and focus its water spray from a mist to a jet. an emerging technology component The Fire Ox, a robotic firefighting vehicle that carries its own water tank, is designed as a first response unit. It suppresses fires, assists in search and rescue, and can handle dangerous materials. It is semi-autonomous and can be controlled from up to 200 miles away. Research at Purdue University has yielded firefighting robots with an automatic T-valve system, a “discharge valve,” that can remove water from the fire hose whenever a robot moves to a new location. The technology takes less energy and enables a firefighting robot to maneuver more quickly and efficiently around a burning structure. Robots can withstand hazardous environments and help to avoid injury to firefighters. They are an emerging technology component that will impact the art and science of firefighting for years to come.
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 Grenfell Tower in the second phase, as well as whether building and fire regulations were adequate and adhered to. Report Suggests Lack Of Training The report found that otherwise experienced incident commanders and senior officers attending the fire had received no training in the particular dangers associated with the building’s combustible cladding, even though some senior officers were aware of similar fires that had occurred in other countries. Otherwise experienced incident commanders and senior officers attending the fire had received no training in the particular dangers Although the London Fire Brigade purports to maintain an operational risk database (ORD) for buildings in London and has a risk assessment policy accessible by all operational firefighters at an incident, the database entry for Grenfell Tower contained almost no information of any use to an incident commander called to a fire. The database information was many years out of date and did not reflect the changes made by a building refurbishment. “None of the firefighters or incident commanders on the ground seem to have been able to conceive of the possibility of a general failure of compartmentation or of a need for mass evacuation; they neither truly seized control of the situation nor were able to change strategy,” according to the report. Evacuation Plans The report continues: “National guidance requires fire and rescue services to draw up contingency evacuation plans for dealing with fires in high-rise buildings that spread beyond the compartment of origin causing a ‘stay put’ strategy to become untenable. They should understand, for any given high-rise building in their area, when a partial or full evacuation might become necessary and provide appropriate training to incident commanders.” Friends and families still await justice for their loved ones following the report The public inquiry by Rt Hon Sir Martin Moore-Bick is being conducted in parallel to investigations by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and Her Majesty’s Coroner for Inner London (West), Professor Fiona The decision to evacuate the building was delayed by almost an hourWilcox. Once the Grenfell fire was out of control, the decision to evacuate the building was delayed by almost an hour, which resulted in additional fatalities. A decision should have been made to evacuate the tower between 1:30 and 1:50 a.m., according to the report. The “stay put” strategy was not questioned, even in response to early indications the building has suffered a “total failure of compartmentation.” The "Stay Put" Recommendation The ‘stay put’ recommendation was based on general wisdom that most fires are likely to be contained in small areas of a building and that anyone trying to escape is likely to run into dangerous flames, smoke-filled corridors, or to interfere with fire-fighting efforts. Obviously, it was bad advice in this case since the fast-moving fire rapidly spread and engulfed the entire building. Combustible panels on the exterior of the building accelerated the fire. The aluminium composite material (ACM) rainscreen panels with polyethylene cores acted as a source of fuel. The ACM rainscreen panels with polyethylene cores acted as a source of fuel There were serious deficiencies in command and control. Although additional resources arrived swiftly, some senior officers failed to give sufficient practical support or inform themselves quickly enough of conditions and operations within the building, according to the report. Communication Strategies Channels of communication between the control room and the incident ground were improvised, uncertain and prone to error. Control room operators did not therefore know enough about conditions in the tower or the progress of responses to individual fire survival guidance calls, so they lacked a sound basis for telling callers whether help was on its way. In a statement in response to the Phase 1 report, the London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said: “We are disappointed at some of the criticism of individual staff members who were placed in completely unprecedented circumstances and faced the most unimaginable conditions while trying to save the lives of others.” Furthermore, Matt Wrack, head of the Fire Brigades Union commented: “Nobody [has] explained how you would alert residents when there’s no common fire alarm system.” He also said the building was already a “death trap” when firefighters arrived.
Founded in France in June 2006, QIM specializes in the design, supply, installation and maintenance of quality automatic sprinkler systems. Created on the simple principle of providing quality products and service, QIM strives to ensure it offers the very best, most effective sprinkler protection systems for warehouses. Staying true to these principles, the company continues to see steady growth, with annual revenue reaching nearly £4 million in 2016. Tighter sprinkler regulations Focusing exclusively on warehouse projects, QIM works with some of the most respected construction companies in France. With French law requiring all warehouses larger than 6,000 m² in size requiring sprinkler protection, it is fair to say that QIM is used to large-scale projects. There is now a lot of choice, with many companies and products in the sprinkler world" Despite many changes in the industry, including tighter sprinkler regulations for warehouses, the company has continued to grow. When assessing what has changed in the industry in the last five years, Thomas Delahaye, engineer, at QIM, is clear while stating, “There is now a lot of choice, with many companies and products in the sprinkler world. Prices have also been steadily decreasing.” Tyco Factory Mutual (FM) pumps Despite continuing to grow, the company has never lost sight of its founding principle of providing quality products and service. Reflecting this, QIM’s CEO recently announced the company was seeking to maintain its current annual revenue rather than increase it. Whilst this may seem an odd aim for a company that has experienced such growth, Mr. Delahaye is in complete agreement with the policy, stating “This will allow us to choose our future projects and ensure we completely satisfy each customer.” Like most companies operating in the increasingly demanding construction industry, staying ahead of competition and keeping to tight schedules is vital - not just for their reputation but also their clients. Understanding this, QIM has, and continues to seek out, products and technologies that enable it to meet deadlines and stay ahead of the competition. This is why, Mr. Delahaye explains, the company continues to use Tyco products, “We have used Tyco products almost exclusively since our foundation. They continue to be our choice because of their prices and range of stock.” ESFR-25 sprinkler heads One recent project that the company is particularly proud of is a large warehouse recently completed in Amiens, northern France for an internationally-recognized global commerce company. Measuring 107,000 m2 in size, it is the company’s largest warehouse in the country. The scale and importance of the project meant installation was a huge undertaking; involving a staggering 10,000 Tyco model ESFR-25 sprinkler heads as well as 36 Tyco check valves and multiple Tyco Factory Mutual (FM) pumps. ESFR-25: Early Suppression Fast Response (ESFR) provides effective heavy sprinkler discharge at heights of up to 48ft (14.6m). Their benefits include Competitive prices Unique product range eliminates compromise The technical skills and know-how to ensure success Early Suppression Fast Response Benefits For this project, as with their others, there was no hesitation when it came to choosing which fire protection products to install, with Mr. Delahaye stating, “Tyco have the technical services and skills to answer our questions and solve problems, while their multiple locations mean getting Tyco products is quick and simple.”, stated Thomas Delahaye, Engineer, at QIM. In addition to the excellent reputation and uniqueness of Tyco products, Mr. Delahaye also highlighted another important aspect to the Tyco product range that is always a key consideration for businesses such as theirs own, which is the cost factor, “Tyco products are also very competitively priced compared to others,” added Mr. Delahaye.
An Advanced MxPro, multiprotocol fire system and Apollo detection has been installed to protect people and premises at the Magistrate's Court in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Representing a total upgrade of the previous fire protection to meet L1 requirements, the new intelligent fire system was installed by Network Security & Fire, based in Basingstoke. The original, single loop addressable fire system had been renewed at various points previously, but was no longer fit for purpose. The Estates team specified a new analogue addressable system with high sensitivity smoke detection in the custody suite, together with an automated Voice Alarm (VA) system. Out-of-hours installation The roof void in each court has a central dome that rises two storeys at its highest point" There was no possibility of closing the building while the upgrade was made, so installation of the new fire equipment had to take place out of hours. This was not the only challenge on the project, as John Angell, Contract Manager, Network Fire & Security, explains, "In addition to limited access, we had to take into consideration the need to rewire the vast majority of the system. This was compounded by the design of the building, which features plasterboard ceilings, rather than suspended ceilings, and made access to voids for cable-laying quite difficult." "Within the courtrooms themselves, we also had to take into account the high ceiling heights. The roof void in each court has a central dome that rises two storeys at its highest point. This was not only an issue during installation but could have restricted access for essential maintenance. We were able to overcome this aspect by positioning the fire detectors around the coffer that surrounds the central roof dome." Advanced MxPro control panels Network Security & Fire recommended a fire system, configured around three networked Advanced MxPro control panels carries 260 Apollo Discovery devices, including optical smoke and heat detectors, loop-powered beacons, manual call points and interfaces. It is pre-programmed with a series of automated messages that are activated in the event of an alert A modular voice alarm system is included, which comprises three master and five slave units. It is pre-programmed with a series of automated messages that are activated in the event of an alert, but there is also an option for manual intervention to broadcast bespoke messages using a microphone. Incident detection If an alarm is raised by devices within the courtroom areas, evacuation procedures are initiated in these zones and an alert is transmitted to the custody suite. Equally, should an incident be detected in the custody suite this area will be evacuated immediately and the court areas are put on stand-by. John Angell concludes, "Considering all the challenges regarding the 'live' site and other installation restrictions, this project went incredibly smoothly. We have been able to equip the Magistrate's Court with a modern fire detection system that is reliable, easy to use and flexible enough to meet current and future requirements."
Founded in 2012, UK Sprinklers Ltd (UKSL) provides design, fabrication, installation and maintenance expertise in the active fire suppression market for both new and existing buildings. Based in Manchester, UKSL operates throughout the UK, working with end-user clients, developers, architects and consultants in the residential and domestic sectors. The growth of UKSL has perhaps been as spectacular as some of the high-rise buildings it fits out. From revenues of £100,000 in its first year, the company saw sales grow to £2.6m by year three. “We’ve continued to grow and grow,” said Steve Griffiths, Managing Director, UK Sprinklers, “Once we delivered our first successful project, more work followed. Plus, we have been lucky with the timing: we’ve certainly benefitted from a change in building regulations and an upturn in the construction business.” handful of competitors We have to offer customers something others cannot match, whether that’s in terms of service, technology or quality" The change in regulation is the one stating all residential buildings over 30m in height must now have sprinklers fitted in every apartment. The regulation dates back to 2005, yet because of a slow-down in new builds through 2008-09, many new projects didn’t materialize until 2012 – the year UKSL opened its doors. “At the time, most work was in London,” said Griffiths. “We’re now seeing projects across the UK.” With more work comes increasing competition. Griffiths says that while there may have been a handful of competitors for tenders in 2012, today there are hundreds: “Competition is healthy. It means we have to offer customers something others cannot match, whether that’s in terms of service, technology or quality.” Residential Fire Sprinkler System UKSL has been a Tyco Rapid Response Partner in the UK since day one. This means it provides technical information and support to UKSL for all Rapid Response Products, as well as arranging fire protection product training. Tyco’s Rapid Response Residential Fire Sprinkler System is a state-of-the-art fire protection technology designed specifically for the home. It is the most complete fire protection system on the market, offering a diverse selection of sprinkler designs and finishes, Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC pipe) and fittings and a full line of system components. “Fire protection products have to meet industry standards,” said Griffiths. “There is not always a lot to choose from between different brands. But unlike some other manufacturers, Tyco has never had an incident in which a large number of sprinklers have operated inadvertently. Tyco has an excellent reputation for reliability.” warranty against defective parts One recent UKSL project was at Nine Elms in London; a large-scale development project that includes seven residential blocks; the highest of which measures 37-storeys. Tyco solutions were an integral part of the installation for this comprehensive project, and included: The installation of Tyco BlazeMaster pipework and fittings The Installation of approximately 5,500 Tyco LFII concealed sprinkler heads in a total of 645 apartments “Tyco wasn’t specified,” said Griffiths. “We told them they needed to use Tyco. The conversations with Tyco started before we even opened for business,” said Griffiths. “Being a Tyco Rapid Response Partner gave us instant credibility. Tyco is a recognized, global brand. It certainly helped open doors that might not have been so easy. As a start-up, we were able to offer a ten-year Tyco-backed warranty against defective parts and installation. This reassures customers that, even if we’re not around, the manufacturer will pick up the tab.” support provided by Tyco On an operational level, Griffiths says the size, scale and support provided by Tyco ensures jobs run smoothly: “Tyco stock levels are good, which means we can order products to be on site when they’re needed. We’re working on some very large projects, where site space is at a premium. As a supplier, you can’t afford to have stock piling up on site. Stock needs to arrive when it’s needed.” Steve Griffiths, MD, UK Sprinkler Ltd. He added that the company’s relationship with Tyco also extends to product development: “We discuss feature upgrades. I know for certain some of the feedback is being tested in Tyco R&D. We feel valued.”
AAR MRO Services supports airline operators with everything from maintenance inspections and equipment upgrades to airframe painting and heavy maintenance for all major aircraft in service. The largest MRO operator of its type in the Americas, AAR recently opened the company’s largest facility, located at the Chicago Rockford International Airport. Here, each of two 10-story hangar bays can accommodate hundreds of ‘small’ aircraft, two Boeing 787s or even an Airbus A380, the largest commercial aircraft in production today. Also in each of the two bays are 10 Det-Tronics optical flame detectors that function as the critical sensors for the AAR hangar’s fire protection system. Heavy Maintenance Inspections Aircraft spend anywhere from three days to two months in AAR’s hangars Russel Daubert, AAR Rockford’s Facility Manager, and Chris Wolf, Director of Maintenance, have overseen the 24-hour operations at the MRO hangar since it opened in late 2016. AAR serves multiple airline customers, and like any MRO facility, Wolf says their goal is to “get lines that are current, which means an airline operator will continually bring in one plane after another to keep their fleet operating safely.” Daubert adds, “The biggest portion of our work is airframe overhauls and heavy maintenance inspections, and depending on the aircraft, we can have up to 225 aircraft in each hangar at one time plus 50 to 60 crew.” Aircraft spend anywhere from three days to two months in AAR’s hangars. Fire protection in MRO hangars must be able to handle the challenges associated with servicing aircraft. Conventionally Constructed Fire Hangars According to Wolf, aircraft bring inherent fire hazards to MRO facilities. “These aircraft come in with 70,000 to 80,000 pounds of fuel,” Wolf says. “Add the oxygen tanks on board for passenger and crew safety, plus the possible sparks from electrical equipment or other sources, and you have all the ingredients needed for fire.” Maintenance also involves painting aircraft in the hangars, which can result in the circulation of highly flammable paint plumes under and around wings and fuselage. Hangars in these groups usually require both sprinklers and foam for fire protection Fire protection standards specific to aircraft hangars are spelled out in the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA® 409 Standard on Aircraft Hangars. This document classifies hangars by size and construction type; conventionally constructed fire hangars with fire areas of 40,000 sq. ft. or less are classified in Groups I, II and III. Hangars in these groups usually require both sprinklers and foam for fire protection. High Expansion Foam Suppression System AAR’s Rockford facility is unique both for its immense size and for its construction method, a fabric tension membrane over steel trusses. The 2-inch thick insulated material meets NFPA 701 and ASTM E-84 standards for flame retardancy, fire safety advantages that led the NFPA to decide hangars covered in this fabric would fall in a Group IV classification. Group IV hangars can have an unlimited fire area and need only a low- or high expansion foam suppression system. One of the goals of MRO service providers is to provide fast turns of the planes entrusted to them by airline operators. To support this objective, a hangar fire detection system must have two very important capabilities: quickly detect the presence of flames, and reject false alarms (generated by welding, engine start-ups, etc.) that could unnecessarily initiate suppression systems, interrupt operations and potentially lead to significant aircraft damage. Fire Protection System The project manager for the Chicago Rockford hangar expansion looked to local fire protection contractor The solution for hundreds of hangars in the past 10 years – from military bases to commercial hangars and MRO facilities – has been to deploy optical flame detectors from Det-Tronics. When it was time to specify the fire protection system for the mammoth hangar bays, the project manager for the Chicago Rockford hangar expansion looked to local fire protection contractor, Absolute Fire Protection, Inc., to handle the fire protection system. In turn, John Danis of Absolute called in 3S Incorporated, a Harrison, Ohio firm that specializes in industrial and special hazard systems, to design the detection and foam suppression part of the fire protection system. Because of the size and scope of the Rockford hangar, 3S and Absolute, along with other design and building partners, worked for nearly three years to take the project from initial planning to construction. Multispectrum Infrared Flame Detectors During that time, a construction engineer had calculated it would take no less than 84 detectors per hangar bay to monitor the facilities for fire. Aaron Hinkle, sales engineer at 3S, disagreed. “I realized that was far more than necessary, if we just picked the right product for the job,” he says. All the alarms contractor had to do was install four detectors on each side wall" Hinkle had worked with the Det-Tronics X3301 Multispectrum Infrared (IR) flame detectors on previous hangar projects, and he knew the units possessed the optical power, field-of-view capacity and speed to do what was required. In consultation with Det-Tronics applications engineers, Hinkle came to the conclusion that, “Because of the X3301’s performance attributes, each 119,000-square-foot hangar could be covered with just 10 detectors from Det-Tronics. Using just ten detectors per bay greatly simplified the work,” Hinkle explains. “All the alarms contractor had to do was install four detectors on each side wall and two on the back wall. The front wall is the giant door that opens up to allow the craft to enter and exit.” False Alarm Rejection There were considerable cost savings in equipment and related hardware, as well as labor savings due both to the small number of units to be installed and the fact that the X3301 detectors could be placed at a much easier-to-reach height of just 8 to 10 feet off the floor rather than near the top of the 10-story hangar bays. To maximize false alarm rejection, X3301 flame detectors are programmed to run in Det-Tronics® Hangar Mode™, an option that incorporates a delay mechanism. The mechanism extends the processing time to react to fires, letting the detector distinguish between an actual fire and an event like a short duration auxiliary power unit startup. The operation mode has no effect on detection ranges or field of view, but can prevent an innocent action (such as a crew firing up gas heaters to stay warm) from resulting in an unwanted foam dump. Foam Suppression System AAR’s foam suppression system has gone off only once, and that was intentional An impressive demonstration to date, AAR’s foam suppression system has gone off only once, and that was intentional. To certify that the new system was working properly, Absolute, 3S and other suppliers commissioned the overall protection system by simulating an actual fire suppression event. They recorded it on video, and it’s a stunning sight. Daubert, facility manager for the AAR hangars, was delighted when he saw the video. “Within seconds of being triggered, foam erupts from dispensers in the ceiling. In no time, it has put a layer on every inch of the hangar’s floor. Within 3-and-a-half minutes, the foam has stacked up to a 10-foot depth, smothering any possible fire.” “I had never seen a system of that magnitude before,” Daubert continues. “Seeing just how fast we could stop a fire from spreading and put it out was pretty impressive. Thanks to the Det-Tronics detectors and the system’s other components, it’s obvious our hangar is well protected from the dangers of fire.”
Advanced has been specified in the Head Office of a European manufacturer. With more than 200 employees, Slovenia-based manufacturer, Pirnar, export their luxury, high-specification doors across the globe for installation in residential and commercial premises. The manufacturer is synonymous with quality in the window and door industry and its high-end entrance-ways have won awards for their significant design and technological innovations. Situated in Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, Pirnar’s 47,000 sq ft, state-of-the-art facility houses storage, service and training rooms in the basement, production and sales on the ground floor and offices on the upper floor. At the centre of the building’s active fire protection is an Advanced Axis EN fire system linked to 230 devices. Axis EN system It’s for these reasons that Advanced was specified to protect their head office" The Axis EN system, which was recently certified by FM Approvals to the EN54 standard, communicates with the site’s BMS, third party CO detection system, Access Control system and third-party Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system for the purposes of smoke control, enabling the fire services to operate smoke vents, fans and dampers in cases of emergency. Responsible for the design, installation and commissioning of the fire system was Advanced partner Bildos d.o.o., Mr. Damjan Birk, managing partner at Bildos Ltd, said, “With Pirnar’s reputation for quality and perfection we knew that only the best would be good enough. It’s for these reasons that Advanced was specified to protect their head office. The robust Axis EN system is easy to service and is backed up by award-winning technical support, making Advanced the right product for Pirnar’s Headquarters.” “Advanced Electronics fire protection system has given us an increased feeling of safety and control, it adds confidence in how we’re running our business. We can keep growing and moving forward knowing our infrastructure protection is state of the art and constantly up to date”, Pirnar assistant director Ado Rupnik said. Easy-to-use system Axis EN is EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 approved, and its panels can be used in single loop, single panel format “It was a pleasure to work with Bildos Ltd to supply them with a hig- performance, easy-to-use system that would effectively protect Pirnar’s site against fire, where production and commercial activity run side-by-side”, Advanced’s regional sales manager for southern Europe, Vladimir Zrnic, added. Axis EN is EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 approved, and its panels can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, multi-loop panels in 200 node networks covering huge areas. Advanced’s legendary ease of installation and configuration and wide peripheral range make it customizable to almost any application. Owned by FTSE 100 Company Halma PLC, Advanced have a long history of protecting high-profile manufacturing sites around the World including Rolls Royce’s aerospace facility and global manufacturer of pressure relief products Elfab’s manufacturing facility.
Just one MxPro addressable fire panel and Advanced’s false alarm management solution, AlarmCalm, has been used to protect every unit in a UK business park from false alarms and improve fire protection. Rawmec Industrial Park is home to nearly 100 businesses, with light industrial spaces from 2,480 to 7,000 sq ft. The new system was installed following a recent fire in one of the manufacturing units, after which it was decreed that a new site-wide fire alarm system was required. Installers CRE8 Electrical Solutions approached IGPA Services Limited who designed, supplied and commissioned a system that included a single Advanced MxPro 5 panel in the main reception, with an AlarmCalm Button intelligent loop device in each unit, allowing occupants to delay a full alert when an erroneous incident occurs. AlarmCalm There are several units where false alarms are likely, including a vehicle repairers and other manufacturing facilities" AlarmCalm is available as standard on Advanced’s MxPro 5 multiprotocol panels, and delivers unprecedented control of verification times and investigation delays by dividing site up into virtual false alarm building areas that can be points, rooms, floors or whole buildings. The optional AlarmCalm Button allows trained occupants to verify if they believe a local fire signal is a false alarm, helping to radically reduce false alarm incidents. Lambros Nicolaou, Design Manager/G.M for IGPA Services Limited , explained, “There are several units where false alarms are likely, including a vehicle repairers and other manufacturing facilities. Following the recent fire, the insurers and Fire Services told the park owners that a single, integrated system was required. As a long-time Advanced partner, MxPro panels were the obvious choice for us as they offer the quality and reliability needed for a light industrial environment, but the budget wouldn’t stretch to a networked panel in each unit, so we needed to provide a solution suitable for the building layout and business practices.” Single-loop MxPro 5 system “After further consideration we concluded that using a single-loop MxPro 5 system, with an AlarmCalm Button in each unit will provide a cost-effective solution that offers peace of mind to all tenants and their employees, while also fulfilling the stipulated requirements.” If the alert is genuine, the occupants can simply evacuate and allow the full alert to go ahead The fire system is programmed using a set of Cause and Effects so that activation of a single detector within a unit will only trigger the sounders in that specific area (alarm zone). If the alert is genuine, the occupants can simply evacuate and allow the full alert to go ahead, the added bonus of activating a local manual call point would also initiate a full evacuation, but if it is false or unwanted, i.e. caused by steam or car exhaust fumes, each unit has 60 seconds in which to press the AlarmCalm Button and avoid a site wide evacuation alert. If the cause of a confirmed false alarm is taking time to clear, a further two minute window can be activated by utilizing the AlarmCalm feature, but if more than one detector is triggered at any point the system automatically goes to full alert. AlarmCalm Button Amanda Hope, UK Business Development Manager for Advanced, commented, “While AlarmCalm can work on any MxPro 5-based system, the AlarmCalm Button was originally developed with residential buildings, such as hospitals or hotels, in mind. This system meets the requirements of Rawmec Industrial Park by using the AlarmCalm Button in an innovative new way.” “Using the single-panel MxPro 5 system, each factory unit is programmed as an individual building area with its own false alarm management strategy. The detectors and panels can do much of the work on their own, using cause and effect programming, while the optional AlarmCalm Button provides further peace of mind to the occupants of each unit and across the site.” MxPro 5 panels can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, 200-panel networks MxPro 5 is the fire industry’s leading multiprotocol panel, offering high-performance fire detection and alarm control across multi-panel networks and multiple sites. Approved to EN54 2, 4 and 13, MxPro 5 panels can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, 200-panel networks covering huge areas. Advanced’s legendary ease of installation and configuration make MxPro customizable to almost any application. Intelligent fire systems Harriet Sullivan, spokesperson for Kechto Holdings Ltd, owners of Rawmec Industrial Park, commented, “We’ve been very impressed with the solution devised by IGPA Services Limited who also supplied and commissioned the system, manufactured by Advanced. The MxPro panel is both reliable and intuitive to operate, while the use of the AlarmCalm Button in the units was a highly innovative solution to the requirement for a cost-effective system to cover the whole site.” Advanced is a developer and manufacturer of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease-of-use of its products sees them used in prestigious and challenging locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control and fire paging systems.