Training & Education
Protecting against fire and security risks is an essential aspect of life for people and across all sectors. However, there is an increasing expectation and demand on fire and security providers, in areas such as education. The securitisation of our world paired with the rapid speed of communication and news updates means that young people especially have the potential to be more aware of potential dangers and threats to their own safety and the safety of those around them. Education institutio...
Apprenticeship schemes make an invaluable contribution to the fire industry and will no doubt ensure that the next generation of fire safety engineers will excel in their field. Not only do apprenticeships allow people to pick up the skills that employers actually need, they help businesses recruit the very best people and are a great retention tool. Outside of the fire industry, the benefits that apprenticeships bring to UK businesses, in general, has been well documented during recent months....
Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) has taken part in a series of multi-agency training exercises to tests its chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear response. The three training sessions, which fell under CBRNe, were designed to test how emergency services from across the region responded to incidents such as chemical spills and contamination. Training exercises These scenarios involved staff from Avon and Somerset Police, South Western Ambulance Service, Devon & Somerset Fire...
On April 29th, 2020, the second international VdS-conference on ‘Fire Protection Systems’ will take place in Bucharest (Romania). International experts from industry and fire protection organizations will present an overview on current technology and developments as well as numerous solutions based on practical experience. VdS-conference on fire protection The conference will be held in cooperation with ROFMA, the Romanian Facility Management Association. In addition there w...
The risk of further residential fire tragedies, following the fatal Grenfell Tower fire, has been raised by leading engineering services trade association ECA, in its response to the ‘Raising the Bar’ consultation. In the aftermath of the blaze at the Grenfell Tower high-rise block in West London, several inquiries have concluded that installer competency is fundamental to public safety. This is particularly the case in buildings such as residential tower blocks, care homes and hospi...
When a fire starts, every second counts. Fire extinguishers can help save lives when used quickly and effectively. Yet an astonishing 70% of fire extinguisher owners say they would not be comfortable using an extinguisher in the event of a fire according to recent research. For this reason, First Alert and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have developed a new fire extinguisher training course for volunteer fire departments nationwide, supplemented by an extinguisher donation program fo...
LION Protects, globally renowned manufacturer of first responder personal protectiveres equipment (PPE) in the United States will host a grand opening of their newest TotalCare facility located at 735 Park North Boulevard, Suite 114, Clarkston, GA 30021 on November 8, 2019 (from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm). TotalCare fire gear maintenance TotalCare represents LION’s high-quality fire gear maintenance services, including PPE repair & retrofitting, advanced cleaning, decontamination, biohazard disinfection, and advanced PPE inspection. The event will include a presentation by official guest speaker Ron Siarnicki, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) Executive Director sharing the mission and importance of taking precautions to avoid exposure to dangerous particulates, tours explaining and showcasing the gear cleaning & maintenance equipment and processes, as well as complimentary lunch. First responders can also check out additional safety equipment, such as NFPA-certified turnout gear Mobile Fire Experience LION’s Mobile Fire Experience will also be on-hand, providing a unique opportunity for firefighters to experience the latest training technology with hands-on live fire and digital fire demonstrations. First responders can also check out additional safety equipment, such as NFPA-certified turnout gear, while at the event and visit distributor partner NAFECO’s Store Open House at 715 Park North Blvd, Suite 120, Clarkston, GA 30021. “We are very proud of our work to address the issue of cancer in the fire service by increasing the protection of first responders against carcinogens and harmful particulates, as well as increasing awareness and advocating for their safety,” said Mark Smith, president of LION Americas. “This mission is at the core of everything we do.” Firefighters’ health and safety LION Vice President for TotalCare, Jim Baker “Our newest facility, providing the highest level of proper, verified ISP [Independent Service Provider] gear cleaning & repair demonstrates not only a commitment to the safety and health of firefighters, but also to the dedicated employees performing the work. Jim adds,“ As a leader in this industry it is our duty to take the necessary steps to protect all individuals who come in contact with ‘dirty gear’ and this facility, with state-of-the-art, chemical-free, highly specialized ozone generators, as well as forward-thinking containment processing procedures delivers on LION’s commitment to mitigate risks throughout the process.” Turnout gear cleaning and maintenance The new 13,000 square foot facility expands LION’s gear cleaning and maintenance services to cover Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
More than £13,000 has been raised by Cambridgeshire firefighters in 2019 from car wash events as part of The Fire Fighters Charity National Car Wash League. Firefighters from stations around the county dug out their sponges and buckets and welcomed people with all manner of vehicles, from cars and vans to children’s bikes and mobility scooters to raise money for the charity. The community came out in force to show their support for the crews. Raising Donation Amount More than £5,000 was raised during the spring as the weather started warming up, with a £400 donation going to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. September and October have seen more events taking place with £8589.49 being raised. During September, car washes took place in the places listed below raising the following amounts: Saturday, September 7: Manea Fire Station £250 Saturday, September 14: Stanground Fire Station £2,700, St Neots Fire Station £700 Saturday, September 21: Cambridge Fire Station £1,172 Saturday, September 28: Ely Fire Station £548.89 (with an addition of a bouncy castle) October 5: March Fire Station £460 October 20: Whittlesey Fire Station £427.40 October 12: Gamlingay Fire Station £695 October 26: Cottenham Fire Station £730 October 27: Burwell Fire Station £906.20 Fire Service Community Services all pitched in with donations to keep the firefighters and volunteers going Some of the stations also included cake sales to help raise money. Crews were also supported by local businesses during their events. Branches of Tesco, ARM, A2B Eurocars, Papa Johns, Papa Luigi, Peterborough Engraving and City Signs and Bookers in Peterborough sponsored the fire stations. Services all pitched in with donations to keep the firefighters and volunteers going. In total, £13589.49 was raised for The Fire Fighters Charity to help them continue providing support to the fire service community. For more than 75 years the charity has given support and rehabilitation help to serving and retired members of fire and rescue staff and their families. Generosity Of The Public And Local Businesses Station Commander Kevin Turner, the Service's Charity Coordinator, said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone that has supported our events throughout the year. This is a fantastic total to raise and we continue to be amazed by the generosity of the public and local businesses when we host these events. It really is very much appreciated.” “The support from these events makes a massive difference to the charity, which does some great work supporting fire service staff and their families, from our own service and others across the country. The charity relies solely on donations so the support given at the car washes by everyone is very welcome.” There are lots of ways to support The Fire Fighters Charity, from taking your vehicles to the car washes, to donating clothing to the charity textile recycling banks, to taking on personal challenges.
The highly acclaimed Dubai Health, Safety & Environment Forum returns to Dubai from 24-25 November, with a stellar line-up of confirmed speakers from Ministry of Health & Prevention, UAE, Dubai Municipality, ADNOC, DEWA, Emirates Global Aluminum as well as senior executives from leading international and regional companies. On the agenda for this year’s forum are topical health, safety and environment issues. With a raft of infrastructure and construction developments underway in the UAE in the run up to Expo 2020, safety and sustainability issues will be highlighted by speakers and delegates. Taking place from 24-25 November 2019 at Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection Dubai, the Dubai Health, Safety & Environment Forum brings together industry experts from across the region; including health and safety professionals, government regulators, policy makers and solution vendors. Monitoring hazardous environments with IoT The forum presents an opportunity for attendees to gain deep insights on policy, strategies and technical expertise Advisory panellists include Raed Marzooqi, head of HSE, Dubai Municipality; Dr Rehab Al Ameri, director of National Accreditation System Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology; Salman Dawood Abdulla, executive vice-president of HSSEQ, Emirates Global Aluminum; Professor Janvier Gasana, chair of department of Occupational Health, Kuwait University; Nasser Al-Buhairi, head of Emergency Unit, Kuwait Oil Company; Dr. Ola Ahmed Mira, Accredited Physician, International Coach Federation. Topics that will be discussed at The Dubai HSE Forum 2019 include wellness and prevention management, challenges to occupational health and safety, changing the construction industry safety mindset in the industry 4.0 era, human factors vs. process safety, the impact of digital transformation on workplace health and safety, mitigating work-related risks using artificial intelligence (AI) and monitoring hazardous environments with IoT (Internet of Things). These topics are crucial for major sectors such as oil and gas, construction, utilities, logistics and transportation, manufacturing, and food and beverage. Strategies and technical expertise The forum presents an opportunity for the attendees to gain deep insights on policy, strategies and technical expertise. Held in association with Vin Technology, Lloyds Register, Clyde &Co, Ideagen, Board of Certified Safety Professionals, JLG, Universal Site Monitoring, and Arasca, the Dubai HSE Forum builds on the success of the highly acclaimed inaugural event that was first held in September 2015. “The forum gives a chance to step out of the daily routine and to think and reflect about the subjects that have been spoken about – to relate experiences to what is going on. It gives the visitors a platform to connect and network,” said Andrew Barker, general manager – Group Health and Safety, Rezayat Group. AI and IoT Soumen Chakraborthy, event producer, Dubai HSE Forum 2019 commented: “While the UAE’s vision and ambition is showcased in events such as Expo2020, there is a need to significantly strengthen the workforce by providing appropriate training in issues related to occupational health, safety and environment. The Dubai Health, Safety and Environment Forum is the perfect platform for safety professionals to explore how new technology such as AI and IoT is transforming their profession. We look forward to delivering an informative, enriching and vibrant fifth edition of the Dubai HSE Forum."
Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) joined with charity Catch22 to inspire young males by providing them with positive role models and a Fire Safety Course. As part of the partnership, seven teenagers aged from 14 - 16 spent six weeks with firefighters from Temple fire station developing their skills and experience. Throughout their weekly two hour courses at the station, they covered everything from breathing apparatus, hose use, road traffic collision management and first aid, providing them with a new perspective on uniformed jobs and positive role models to aspire to. Role Model Development The Service hopes that the course will inspire the teenagers to lead change in themselves Following the course, all of the students from Catch22's Bedminster site passed out – graduated – today (23/10) and received certificates that they can take away to future employers. Working with Catch22, which aims to help people find a good place to live, a purpose and good people around them, the Service hopes that the course will inspire the teenagers to lead change in themselves and their peer group. This wellbeing, skills and role model development is something that AF&RS is keen to embrace as part of its values of transparency, inclusivity, ambition, honesty, respect and courage. The Service works with community groups from across the region and is always looking for people to be role models within their own community, whether as a firefighter or advocate for fire safety and other campaigns. Making A Positive Difference All those we have worked with have such great potential and this is just about giving them the confidence" James Grady, a firefighter at Temple fire station who led on the project, said: “Providing positive role models to those in the community who need it is a positive step and something we have always aspired to do.” “Working with Catch22, we have been able to help those who need it and help to point them in a direction that will make a real positive difference to their lives, helping to give them a purpose and put good people around them. All those we have worked with have such great potential and this is just about giving them the confidence, drive and support to achieve their goals.” “Throughout the six weeks, we have seen real change in those on the course and hope they have all taken something positive away from the course. We hope to continue to build on these relationships with the students and Catch 22 over the coming years.” Building Stronger Communities Some of our students are now actively thinking of a career with the Fire Service" Catch22’s vision is a strong society where everyone has good people around them, a purpose, and a good place to live. Having been a charity for 200 years, they now work across children’s social care, deliver alternative education, get people into work through apprenticeships and employability programmes, build stronger communities through social action. Last year alone, they supported over 60,000 people across the country with 70 per cent having an increase in confidence and self-esteem. Jamie England, LP of Vocational Studies at Catch22, said: “The work experience provided by the team at Avon Fire and Rescue Service has been outstanding, our students have been taught a variety of skills across this academic term.” “We have noticed a difference in the motivation and aspiration of our students from attending this work experience. Some of our students are now actively thinking of a career with the Fire Service. We believe this ongoing partnership will continue to give our learners from disadvantaged backgrounds new aspirations and opportunities that will, in turn, create a brighter future for them.”
INTERSCHUTZ and the USA: This winning combination is being very well received by suppliers of equipment, services and solutions for the fire and rescue services, civil protection, safety and security, with heavyweights like Spartan, MSA, Plymovent, OnSpot and HAIX already on board – all the more impressive since the show isn't taking place until the middle of October, 2020. Safety And Efficiency For Fire Departments I believe the support we have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, for INTERSCHUTZ USA is two-fold" "I believe the support we have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, for INTERSCHUTZ USA is two-fold. First, the respect for the reputation and the brand INTERSCHUTZ throughout the world, and certainly in the U.S., is very powerful. Second, the U.S. fire-service is ready for an event that brings people and technology together in the interest of greater security, safety and efficiency for fire departments and rescue services," said Larry Turner, CEO of Hannover Fairs USA. So what kinds of technologies will tomorrow's fire services need? What strategies are the most likely to succeed in the 21st century? And what about new safety standards? Answers to these questions and more will be provided by exhibitors, keynote speakers, presenters and trainers at INTERSCHUTZ USA. Firefighting And Rescue Equipment For five days next year, Philadelphia will be the center of attention for everyone in the U.S. with an interest in firefighting and rescue equipment, solutions and services. INTERSCHUTZ USA gets underway on 13 and 14 October with training sessions and a networking event. Then, from 15 to 17 October, INTERSCHUTZ USA will continue with its exhibition program, conferences, product demos and additional networking opportunities. There's a reason we decided to stage the show in Philadelphia, on the east coast of the USA" "There's a reason we decided to stage the show in Philadelphia, on the east coast of the USA," explains Martin Folkerts, Deutsche Messe's Global Director INTERSCHUTZ. "It is a city steeped in history, including fire service history, and it's a location that around 44 percent of the country's 27,000 fire departments can get to by car in less than four hours.” Companies who are quick to act can take advantage of a special early-bird rate valid until 1 January 2020. Relevant International Markets INTERSCHUTZ USA is Deutsche Messe's very first full-fledged INTERSCHUTZ event held outside Germany and ranks alongside the company's suite of co-produced INTERSCHUTZ-branded (‘powered by INTERSCHUTZ’) events such as the AFAC show in Australia and the REAS show in Italy. That is not to say that INTERSCHUTZ USA is competing with the parent INTERSHUTZ event in Hannover, Germany, which runs this coming June. Quite the contrary, in fact: While the show in Hannover targets all the relevant international markets, the event in Philadelphia targets only the North American market. "The point is, ‘remarks Turner,’ not everyone can make it to Hannover to attend INTERSCHUTZ in Germany. Which is why potential exhibitors and attendees alike are so excited about our move to bring the global INTERSCHUTZ experience to the U.S. fire service right here in the USA. The enthusiasm we have in the planning of INTERSCHUTZ USA and in the concept of bringing the global INTERSCHUTZ experience to the U.S. fire service has been contagious among potential exhibitors and attendees alike."
LION, a manufacturer of CBRN Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits, has achieved National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1994 Standard’s Class 1 certification for its MT94 (Multi-Threat) ensemble, offering first responders advanced protection against some of the world's worst chemical and biological threats. The LION MT94 suit series is now certified to NFPA 1994 Class 1 and Class 2 and NFPA 1992 Standards. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is the advocate for fire prevention and an authoritative source on public safety. Emergency First Responder Personnel NFPA 1994, Standard on Protective Ensembles for First Responders to Hazardous Materials Emergencies and CBRN Terrorism Incidents establishes the minimum requirements for the design, performance, testing, documentation, and certification of protective ensembles and ensemble elements for protection of emergency first responder personnel from chemicals, biological agents, and radiological particulate (CBRN) terrorism agents. LION’s Director of CBRN PPE & StationWear Diane Redden notes “Meeting the specific performance and testing requirements established by the NFPA means LION is doing all it can to safeguard first responders with proper gear, which is our #1 priority. We strive to provide fire and emergency service personnel with vital PPE for CBRN incidents- this certification lets the industry know our gear has met the consensus standard of the ‘most protective’.”
Across the world, fire and rescue services vary greatly, and each will have their own unique circumstances and challenges to deal with. Firefighters in the USA and Australia are more likely to face wildland fires, whilst in the Middle East, firefighters deal more regularly with transport related fires involving hazardous materials. In many European countries, less than 10% of call-outs are fire related at all, with firefighters much more likely to attend traffic accidents, medical emergencies or flooding. A range of different climates also provide firefighters with specific challenges. Providing Optimum Protection These fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight Firefighters in hot and tropical Indonesia for example, will have different requirements to those in hot and arid South Africa, whilst those in Scandinavia operate in more temperate and cooler conditions. It’s important, therefore, that PPE manufacturers can provide a wide variety of options to suit particular environments and operations. PPE must be highly effective, comfortable, and suitable for the job in hand, wherever in the world the firefighters are operating. Selecting the right fabric for your PPE is the first step in providing optimum protection for the environment you are operating in. International fibre and fabric manufacturers have developed a number of highly specialized materials offering a range of benefits. Used in combination, these fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight. Best Quality Firefighting Garments Highly specialized and lightweight fibers for the outer-shell of a garment, for example, can provide outstanding air permeability and breathability, allowing metabolic heat to escape, whilst of course providing vital protection against the intense external heat and flames of a fire. The best quality firefighting garments combine this type of outer shell with an inner moisture barrier and liner system which draws moisture away from the skin, helping to keep the body cool and dry. Strenuous work in a hot environment causes profuse sweating, and if this sweat is not able to evaporate, the body is not able to cool itself effectively. Once the most appropriate fabric is chosen, the design and style of a garment also plays a crucial role in contributing to a firefighters’ safety. Maintaining A Comfortable Body Temperature Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed Whether operating in bushland, floods, on the roadside or even in extremely cold conditions, firefighters need to maintain a comfortable body temperature and stay dry. They are also likely to need to crawl, run, and climb to carry out the job in hand. Any protective clothing must be ergonomic and has to be able to work with them rather than hinder them. As a result, over and above the full structural firefighting garments available to FRSs, manufacturers have also developed innovative designs for more specific applications. For example, Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed, with USAR or technical rescue teams entering enclosed and confined spaces where high temperatures and often toxic smoke are hazards. Particular Protection Against Radiant Heat USAR firefighting garments therefore should be tear and puncture resistant, provide protection against blood-borne pathogens, offer physical protection at high risk points such as the knees and elbows, provide a high level of flexibility to afford maneuvrability in confined spaces, and crucially be lightweight and breathable to minimize heat stress. Alternatively, for firefighters engaged specifically in combatting forest and wildland fires, garments need to provide particular protection against radiant heat, and ideally feature a double layer of fabric to protect against sharp thorns and undergrowth. Today, many FRSs across the world use a combination of structural and technical rescue garments which can be particularly useful when faced with a range of operations requiring different levels of protection. Rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident International Standards Of Performance For PPE Frequently, rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident, for example. So long as these garments are tested and approved as compatible before they are used in combination, this can serve to improve ergonomics and comfort, and crucially can contribute to the lowering of heat stress in firefighters. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage To ensure the best level of protection, most countries demand conformity with both national and international standards of performance for PPE. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) which covers the USA, Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) which covers Europe, and the International Standards Organisation (ISO) which sets standards worldwide. Lighting And Communications Equipment In addition, each country will have its own National Standards Body (NSB), setting standards for its own specific interests. Ultimately, it is down to the customer to decide which standards they would like their PPE to follow. The best manufacturers can create PPE to meet a number of these standards simultaneously. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats Different countries, and even individual FRSs, often have particular additional requirements for their PPE, which can simply be down to style or color preference, or to accommodate particular tools or equipment they use. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats. Operational safety features such as integrated safety harnesses and drag rescue devices can also be specified. In addition, firefighter accessories including tools, lighting and communications equipment all have to be carried safely requiring a selection of loops, straps, D-rings, glove hooks, and pockets and flaps. Developing Innovative Solutions Finally, most FRSs aim to present a professional and clearly recognizable identity to their communities, so particular colors and badging can be an important feature of PPE. This has led to the introduction of a wide range of fabric colors and the increased use of Velcro fixings for identification badges with logos, names and roles being individually catered for. Called upon to handle an ever-increasing variety of challenges, in contrasting climates and situations, firefighters across the world are certainly faced with complex environments in which to operate. By carefully studying these conditions and listening closely to customers, PPE designers and fabric manufacturers will continue to work together to develop innovative solutions to meet these specific needs and create optimum garments for maximum protection and comfort.
I gave a lot of thought to identifying the biggest challenge facing the American fire service in 2019. Many things came to mind: funding; fire prevention - if every building was sprinklered and all had working smoke alarms, it would solve a lot of other problems; political influences; initial, regular and ongoing training, and a bunch more. But the one constant that kept popping up is the people issue. Staffing. This obviously isn’t the first time you’ve heard that. Normally, when we talk about staffing, we talk about the number of firefighters on the apparatus. That is not exactly what I'm talking about. What I mean is, in 2019, we better figure out where our next group of recruits is coming from. Measurable Drop In Applicants If one fire department is paying more than another, members jump ship On the career side, numerous areas are reporting a measurable drop in applicants—in other words, they need people who want to be firefighters and medics. In some areas, it’s a bidding war. If one fire department is paying more than another, members jump ship. And who can blame them? They have families to take care of. But when the dust clears, there are still far fewer people interested in this job than we need. Some theories are that the new generation: Doesn’t like helping people Are self-focused Aren’t into doing physical things Are lazy Can make the same money without shift work Can make the same money without risk None of these theories gets us far in addressing the problem. The goal of any fire department is to deliver staffed, trained interior firefighters just a few minutes after someone dials 9-1-1 Big Picture Focus On the volunteer side, all you have to do is listen to a fire radio nearly anywhere in the U.S. (and Canada) and you will hear volunteer fire departments toning out... toning out... and toning out—with little response when members are responding from home or work. It, too, is a measurable problem. There are volunteer departments with little funding and others with plenty of funding. Regardless, there seems to be little “big picture” focus on solving the problem based upon what’s best for the people having the fire. Some say to simply hire career firefighters. Is it that simple? What are the pros? And are there any cons? There certainly are. Trained Interior Firefighters Some departments solve the problem by having their volunteers on duty, in quarters, ready to roll The old model of volunteers responding from home or work doesn’t work very well when you consider the proven fire spread in 2019 vs. fire spread even just 20 years ago. Some departments solve the problem by having their volunteers on duty, in quarters, ready to roll. That may be the least expensive option depending upon the local model. Some hire part-time firefighters. Some unfairly and regularly rely on mutual aid. Some have a fair and balanced mutual aid system. Some have their heads in the sand. The goal of any fire department is to deliver staffed, trained interior firefighters just a few minutes after someone dials 9-1-1. If we don’t have people knocking on the fire station doors to become career firefighters or to volunteer, that goal is in jeopardy. I simply can’t see a bigger, more immediate challenge for 2019 than the “people” issue.
In order to recruit and retain, you must change your mindset to that of a business. While we continue to scratch our heads on how to recruit and retain members among the ranks of our departments, we might want to take a look at ourselves. Sometimes looking in the mirror is a hard thing to do, as it may give us a clear view of who and what we are as an organization. For years, the volunteer fire service has had to overcome many obstacles such as funding, a not-so-friendly environment or poor leadership, to name a few. They may even have had to re-create themselves. Business Mindset And Reputation Whether you are in a rural, suburban or urban area, what drives us? Is it pride? Is it fulfilling a need to belong? Ultimately, it is the end user, the customer – the resident, the taxpayer. In order to target new membership, we must be able to sell ourselves as a good, a service and a product. Business models have been around for years and, if followed, yield positive results We need to begin to think about running our volunteer organization like a business in order to be successful. Businesses that are successful have a great reputation. People want to work for them and they easily retain and recruit top talent. Business models have been around for years and, if followed, yield positive results. Building Community Of Employees Let’s take Google for an example, a company with more than 64,000 employees with growth to the tune of billions of dollars each year. When looking at Google’s performance, it raises the question: what is Google’s success secret? How can a company amass $9.7 billion in revenues mostly from advertising? How can they keep great help and recruit? The answer is its leadership being innovative, actively advertising, creating a unique and rewarding work environment as well as creating and executing their business model daily. A business that goes above and beyond by treating their employees great will in return get motivated and loyal employees. Google allows their employees flexibility to work on passion projects and tap into their creativity. Google also encourages its employees to become teachers and coach one another to help build a more creative, satisfied and intimate community of employees. One needs to make fire departments attractive to potential recruits, there are small moments of observation that are then used to make bigger decisions are called “thin slices” Positive First Impressions In this day and age, we need to be ahead of the curve. People want to be informed and they want it now. They want a quality product and will shop around until they find it. They also want to be part of something big. They want to be recognized. Remember the statement, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”? Well, it was the tagline for a Head & Shoulders shampoo ad campaign in the 1980s. Are we continuing to make our fire department attractive to potential recruits? How do we expect to garner new membership if we don’t make that “first impression” a positive one? These small moments of observation that are then used to make bigger decisions are called “thin slices.” Potential candidates for membership are constantly assessing us, slice by slice, as “recruiters". Business Model For Your Demographic We need to create a business model and execute it at all times Is the fire station in good shape? Is it clean and orderly? Is the organization structured? Is the leadership strong and decisive? Or are there cliques and groups that work against the common goal or the command? These are easily seen and quickly discovered by potential candidates. They are looking to see what we are offering them: why should I risk my life, my health, my safety – what’s in it for me? How do we take all of these “thin slices,” package them together and make them attractive for potential recruits? We need to create a business model and execute it at all times. In order to sell, we need to advertise. In order to advertise, we need the leaders of our departments, the innovators and recruiters, to all come together and develop a business plan that works. It should work for your demographic. It should pour information to the masses. It should build on a reputation that you are a place that you’d want to work for! We need to begin to think about running our volunteer organization like a business in order to be successful Utilizing Current Volunteer Membership We need to begin to think about running our volunteer organization like a business in order to be successful. So, what does this mean for “my fire department”? Simply put, it means that you need to rely on the staff you have in place; lean on them and their expertise. Your current membership may hold the keys to your success. Develop a mission statement that is creative and energetic Canvass your current membership for professionals who could be utilized. You may have trained CPAs, human resource professionals, CEOs of corporations, advertising and marketing experts or veterans already inside your organization. They may remain quiet as they are unsure that they are needed to assist. Ask for the help and utilize them! Learning From Shortcomings Do not hesitate to implement them into your business plans. Help them look at how to target demographics in your area. Remember that great leadership will work to identify an individual’s strongest points and work to utilize them for maximum effectiveness. When you create a plan, be sure that you set obtainable goals. Develop a mission statement that is creative and energetic. Don’t eat the elephant in one bite: set a timeline in your plan. Meet often with your team, as you will learn more from your shortcomings than from your successes.
Ethics should be considered in almost any decision in the fire industry. Here is an example: A customer asks a technician to forge a certificate saying the customer had previously passed a fire audit in order to validate his previous year’s insurance. What do you do? If a company has laid a strong ethical foundation, it’s much easier for the technician to refuse the customer’s request and cite the corporate Code of Ethics as a solid basis for the refusal. Chubb Fire and Security is among the companies providing an example of how an emphasis on ethics can benefit a company, their employees, their customers and the world. Corporate Code of Ethics At Chubb, we have a code of ethics, our ‘bible,’ that is issued to employees when they start" In the fire market, the result of unethical actions could make the difference in life and death. For example, if an employee acts unethically when servicing a fire extinguisher, the result could be to burn down the building. “At Chubb, we have a code of ethics, our ‘bible,’ that is issued to employees when they start,” says Harv Dulay, Director of Ethics and Compliance at Chubb Fire and Security. “Within the bible are core fundamental rules about what’s acceptable and not acceptable. We lay it out for employees very specifically. They understand and embrace the code of ethics, which is based on trust, integrity, respect, innovation and excellence. If you get them right, the business moves in the right direction”. She adds, “A key piece of our ethics policy is based on trust. We relate to others with openness, transparency, and empathy. It makes Chubb a better place to work and enables us to provide better service to customers.” Importance of conforming to fire safety regulations For Chubb, ethics is not just theoretical, but ethical concepts play out every day in practical ways. An example might be an engineer who goes to a customer’s site and is asked to do a task that is outside his or her duties and/or not allowed under the ethics policy. The pressure might be even greater if the employee is struggling to meet a sales figure. The code of ethics addresses specific situations and outlines the behavior that is expected. “Ethics is embedded in our values and has been since the beginning,” says Dulay. “Ethics is making sure people do the right things. Ethics is integrated into the Chubb business model, and everyone knows what is expected of them. It’s a message heard from the top down, from everyone in the company.” Fire safety and security risks “The fire and security industry is different than others because lives and people’s safety are on the line,” Dulay says. “Our purpose is to protect clients from fire safety and security risks. This is a business where no one should take short cuts. It is important to do the right thing all the time, every time, and it’s about protecting lives and property.” Ethics discussions begin for employees at Chubb when they join the company; clear instructions about ethics are included as part of employee induction. There are nine modules of ethics training during employee orientation, and a discussion with an Ethics and Compliance Officer is part of the onboarding process. Online ethics training modules A series of supervisor-led trainings encourage managers to deliver face-to-face ethics training to their team The training program includes information about ethics, company expectations around ethics, where to go for questions about ethical issues, and details of the anonymous ombudsman program. Additionally, field staff is trained by their supervisors via regular face-to-face ethics toolbox talks. Office staff completes a series of on-line ethics training modules regularly. A series of supervisor-led trainings encourage managers to deliver face-to-face ethics training to their team, citing real-life examples. Healthy discussions are encouraged to deal with any ‘gray areas’. Dulay estimates that ethics and compliance officers spend about half their time answering questions and clarifying for employees what’s expected in the code of ethics. Data security Some 14,000 employees globally have multiple options when it comes to reporting an issue, and there are full-time Ethics and Compliances Officers in every country where Chubb does business. A reflection of Chubb’s global approach to compliance is their worldwide implementation of data security requirements of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); the company saw the benefits of the program for any jurisdiction. Training and education are part of Chubb’s investment in ethics. For example, a recent module on ‘respect in the workplace’ covered the need to create a company culture in which everyone feels respected. Training and education are part of Chubb’s investment in ethics Training and communication “Training and continuous communication are embedded in the organization. We invest in the process,” says Dulay. She adds, “We have had employees who left the company and then come back. They realized the importance of ethics and rejoined us.” “We start with the foundation that we would rather lose business than give up our ethical standards,” says Dulay. “We won’t abandon our policies even if there is money at stake. Some business is not worth getting if you don’t adhere to your values.” Effective conflict resolution “We manage potential conflicts proactively by creating and instituting methods in which employees have access to tools they can use to be successful and adaptable in times of change,” says Dulay. “Also, we will not tolerate retaliation against any employee who reports wrongdoing – regardless of the outcome of the investigation.” We measure it by people’s conduct, the number of cases we have, and awareness" And while there is no specific monetary value assigned to good ethical practices, success can be measured. “We measure it by people’s conduct, the number of cases we have, and awareness,” says Dulay. Good ethics behavior “It’s good for employee morale, and it’s good for customers and our business. It’s not measurable, but it is fundamental for business and customers. The work we do as a company can impact people’s lives so it is important that everyone has an understanding of the importance of their role,” says Dulay. A common misconception about ethics is that if no one is watching, it must be ok. However, Dulay says it is the things employees do when no one is watching or checking in on them that form good ethics behavior. During training, Chubb emphasizes that ethics is about doing the right thing, all the time even if no one is watching.
The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) is setting the standard for the use of drones in firefighting applications. As one of the first major metropolitan fire departments to have a significant drone program, LAFD has flown more than 175 missions in less than two years, including the Skirball fire that burned the Bel Air neighborhood in December 2017. Since Skyfire Consulting, a drone services and training company, helped LAFD secure a Certificate of Authorization (COA) for the drone program, the agency has established a training regimen, secured new products and equipment and grown their program to 17 licensed pilots and a fleet of nine drones. When privacy worries created a backlash in the community, the LAFD met the concerns head-on and ensured their standard operating procedures (SOPs) addressed any privacy issues. Incorporate Drone Technology LAFD started a Pilots Training and Ground School Course earlier in 2019 A report to the Board of Fire Commissioners in March from LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas outlined the program’s progress. LAFD started a Pilots Training and Ground School Course earlier in 2019 to teach flight skills concepts and legal aspects. LAFD Battalion Chief Richard Fields told the commission the LAFD’s drone program has become a national standard. “We are mentioned in literature, we are mentioned in conferences, we are mentioned across the city family as well as outside agencies,” Fields commented, as reported by NBC4 in Los Angeles. In April, drone technology company DJI announced a Solution Development Partnership with the LAFD to create, test and deploy DJI drones as an emergency response and preparedness tool. The agreement will provide the LAFD with access to new technologies, training and support to incorporate drone technology in its operations. Thermal Imaging Cameras LAFD flies DJI Matrice 600 Series and DJI Phantom 4 Pro drones equipped with visual and thermal imaging cameras that provide real-time video and data transmission to incident commanders. LAFD will continue to use DJI drone technology across a variety of situations including hot-spot identification and aerial mapping to help manage wildfire response, as well as incident response for swiftwater rescues, hazmat operations, and urban search and rescue missions. LAFD will continue to use DJI drone technology across a variety of situations “The LAFD has been working through a pragmatic approach to adopting drone technology for several years, including developing policies and procedures that define clear use case scenarios and building awareness among the general public about the positive life- and property-saving benefits drone technology can provide,” says Fields. “[The partnership with DJI] gives the Department access to developments such as drones equipped with thermal cameras that will give incident commanders a real-time bird’s-eye perspective,” he adds. Complex Urban Environments When considering the benefits of drones, departments of any size can be inspired by LAFD’s example “Combining advanced drone technology with new software tools will help bridge the gap between [the capabilities of] helicopters and [those of] firefighters on the ground, allowing us to address life-threatening situations faster and more effectively than ever before.” The LAFD’s drone program is one of 910 public safety organizations in the U.S. deploying drones for life saving activities, according to the Bard Center for the Study of the Drone (May 2018). “While the LAFD program shows how drones can succeed when operated within expansive, urban areas by a large department, drone technology is valuable to municipalities of any size,” says Romeo Durscher, Director of Public Safety Integration at DJI. “Through our two-way collaboration [with LAFD], we will receive valuable insight into the complexities of deploying drones for emergency situations in one of the most complex urban environments in the nation,” says Bill Chen, Enterprise Partnerships Manager at DJI. When considering the benefits of drones, departments of any size can be inspired by LAFD’s example.
From students to policymakers, safety professionals at all levels will gather at the NFPA Conference & Expo, June 17-20, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. The multi-faceted event will include a technical session addressing standards development, a product and services exhibition, and education sessions about a range of topics, some of them relating to the fire service. The NFPA Technical Meeting, also known as ‘Tech Session,’ is an important element in the standards development process, ensuring that consensus is achieved on proposed changes to NFPA Standards prior to Standards Council review. Education sessions There will be 120-plus education sessions at the Conference & Expo During this meeting, supporters and opponents of certified motions voice their opinions, and qualified NFPA members vote on proposed changes. The three-day Expo, June 17-19, highlights products and services from 350-plus suppliers that are needed to meet and maintain compliance with prevailing codes and standards in the design, construction and operation of buildings and facilities. There will be 120-plus education sessions at the Conference & Expo. Here is a sampling of some of the education sessions related to the fire service. Engaging Local Officials for Wildfire Risk Reduction - Case studies from organizations around the world illustrate the impact of engaging local officials early and effectively to reduce wildfire Integrating Wildfire into Public Education Messaging - The National Fire Protection Association's Wildfire Division will host an interactive conversation about professional development, engaging residents in wildfire risk reduction, and the resources available to help integrate wildfire into public education outreach efforts. Improving Fireground Visibility Using the Internet of Things - A system incorporates cost-effective, lightweight Internet of Things (IoT) devices, an advanced real-time analytics system, and visualization capabilities to enable incident commanders and firefighters to leverage data from the scene in real-time. Enhanced Smoke Alarms and New UL Testing Standard - Research has enhanced technology that can recognize different fire and smoke characteristics created by changes in home design, building techniques, and modern furnishings -- resulting in fewer nuisance alarms. Cancer and Firefighting PPE - The reality is that firefighters are regularly exposed to carcinogen contamination. Considering dermal exposure, inhalation exposure, and off-gassing, how much protection can firefighters expect from their PPE? Wildfire Tactical Support - The UK’s Response to the Record-Breaking 2018 Wildfires. The United Kingdom’s ‘Wildfire Tactical Advisors’ (WTA) model provides valuable lessons on fire department engagement, including experienced fire officers who support the fire incident commanders at wildfire incidents. ROI on Smoke Alarm Installation Programs - Panel members from NFPA and the Red Cross will explore approaches to smoke alarm program evaluation using the Reach, Efficacy, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework to guide discussion. Foam Firefighting Technologies of the Future - Pressurized Instant Foam (Pi Foam) stores the premixed foam solution initially in a calm environment, and then in a pressurized vessel with soluble gas. At the time of the incident, ready-made foam covers the fire without any foam generator. Connected Technologies for Water-Based Fire Protection Systems - Smart Connected Things (SCoT) used in water-based fire protection systems will enable both owners and service providers to determine system status and perform some inspection and testing functions remotely.
Chief Fire Officer Mick Crennell and a GAFSIP team have delivered three fire engines and other equipment and uniform to the Gambian Fire Service. As part of the Gambia and Avon Fire Services in Partnership (GAFSIP), the service has been helping to enhance the capabilities of the Gambian fire service for nearly 30 years by providing lifesaving equipment, capability and training. Fire engines and breathing apparatus Avon Fire & Rescue Service has donated three fire engines along with breathing apparatus equipment In the latest donation, Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) has donated three fire engines along with breathing apparatus equipment and other equipment to firefighters in the region. CFO Mick Crennell also visited various stations on his visit to the region and held meetings with Gambia’s Chief about how to continue to enhance the relationship. While on his visit, Mick expressed and confirmed the Service's commitment to continue to support and grow the relationship for the mutual benefit of both services. Gambia and Avon Fire Services Mick said, “As a Fire Authority and a Service, we are honored and privileged to be able to have this partnership with the Gambian Fire and Rescue Service and we will continue to support its development. We have seen the level of support grow, and what’s more, we have seen the level of the professionalism of the fire service in the Gambia grow throughout our partnership“. He adds, “We have seen what a difference our equipment and training makes and the lives it has helped save. We are looking forward to the future because this partnership will only continue to get stronger and those in the region will be safer as a result. As an ambitious Service, not only will we help those in our own communities, but also help others where we can. Anyone in the fire service is part of the international family and we will do what we can to help.” Fire equipment and safety training We have never thought that we will reach that place and save lives across the country" CFO Mick Crennell was joined on the visit by Watch Manager and GAFSIP Trustee Paul Kirk, Firefighter Ben Coghlan, Firefighter Rob Morgan, Firefighter Pete Ballard and Watch Manager Steve McGreavy. The Deputy Chief Fire Officer of The Gambia Fire Rescue Service, Lamin Sanyang expressed gratitude on behalf of the service for the assistance stating that the partnership is strong and continues to grow. Lamin said, “We receive training manuals, practical training, and equipment. It is because of this partnership that we were able to get fully equipped fire engines as we cannot buy it ourselves. We are very proud of them. With this donation, we will operate as far as Wuli in the Upper River Region. We have never thought that we will reach that place and save lives across the country.” Fully equipped fire engines delivered The presentation ceremony took place at the State House in Banjul in the presence of the President of Gambia, the UK High Commissioner to The Gambia, H.E. Sharon Wardle, and other senior government officials, including the Deputy Chief Fire Officer of The Gambian Fire Service, Lamin Sanyang.
Marioff will deliver and commission a HI-FOG® high pressure water mist suppression system for the new Päijät-Häme Central Hospital. The delivery to the Päijät-Häme Central hospital is scheduled in the first half of 2020. The HI-FOG system will protect the entire building, which spans 33,600 square meters, and is supplied with a HI-FOG Electric Pump Unit (EPU) and 2,300 sprinklers. The new building is under construction, and parts of the current hospital structure built in 1976 will be replaced. Security And Building Automation Technologies Marioff, a developer of water mist fire protection technology, is a part of Carrier, a global provider of innovative HVAC, refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. “The HI-FOG system protects the entire building from fire. We are ensuring that if all current fire safety related links fail, the sprinkler will suppress the fire. Because of its benefits, we chose the high-pressure water mist system for both during the construction phase and later during the maintenance phase,” said Timo Nurmi, HVAC expert, Päijät-Häme Central Hospital. “The piping is moderately sized and stainless. The water source is moderately sized, and in case of fire extinguishing and emergency triggering, the extinguishing water is cleaner, and the amount used is a fraction of the traditional fire extinguishing system.” Comprehensive Life Cycle Services The Päijät-Häme Central Hospital in Lahti is the second largest central hospital in Finland and the seventh largest provider of specialized medical care. “The HI-FOG system protects the entire building, including public areas, patient rooms and operating theatres,” said Timo Suuronen, business manager, Marioff Finland. “Other sensitive areas, like X-ray, ICU and clinical labs, will also receive HI-FOG high pressure water mist fire protection. Marioff will deliver the system as a turnkey project. In addition to our technology, the customer has access to the comprehensive life cycle services we offer.” Construction of the new Päijät-Häme Central Hospital is scheduled for completion in 2022.
Marioff will be delivering its HI-FOG® high pressure water mist fire suppression system to Wasaline’s new Kvarken Link ferry, scheduled to start operating on the route between Vaasa, Finland and Umeå, Sweden in the spring of 2021. Fire Suppression System “We are extremely proud to start a partnership with Wasaline by working on this particular project, which sets a new standard for sustainability. HI-FOG will be the only fire suppression system on board, protecting all spaces including ro-ro decks and machinery areas according to the Safe Return to Port regulation. Our two powerful Electric Pump Units and over one thousand HI-FOG sprinklers and spray heads ensure passengers, crew and property are reliably protected at all times,” said Robert Hilden, Sales Manager, Marine & Offshore. The ferry will accommodate 800 passengers and will have a freight capacity of 1,500 lane meters for lorries. According to Wasaline, Kvarken Link will be the most environmentally friendly RoPax vessel in the world. Choosing HI-FOG also contributes to Kvarken Link’s strong environmental commitment, as the system uses small amounts of pure water, making it safe for people and the environment.
Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company, announces that it has secured an order for 11 custom apparatus for the Indianapolis Fire Department in Indiana. Placed through Indianapolis-based Pierce dealer, Global Emergency Products, the order is made up of six Pierce® Saber® Pumpers, two Enforcer™ Ascendant® 110’ Heavy-Duty Aerial Platforms, one Enforcer™ 105’ Heavy-Duty Aerial Ladder, one Velocity® Heavy-Duty Walk-In Rescue, and one Ford® F-550 Tactical Support Unit. Quality Of The Equipment The Indianapolis Fire Department has 43 fire stations serving 278 square miles “I am excited to be able to purchase our apparatus through Global Emergency Products and Pierce. They have always gone above and beyond to assist us in any way,” said Ernest V. Malone, Chief of Fire for the Indianapolis Fire Department. “While the quality of the equipment that the department receives continues to meet our high level of expectations, it is the relationship and trust we have built with Global and Pierce that makes the Indianapolis Fire Department want to continue to work with them as our apparatus manufacturer.” The Indianapolis Fire Department has 43 fire stations serving 278 square miles in the most populated area in Indiana. Fire Apparatus And Equipment Specifications The apparatus order is part of a 10-year apparatus acquisition plan that will replace aging frontline equipment, while allowing the department to improve the quality of its reserve fleet. It’s been a true honor to work alongside Chief Malone and his team" “The City of Indianapolis allows its fire department representatives the opportunity to select fire apparatus and equipment specifications that will best meet their needs. Together, we designed vehicles that have proven to meet their particular needs,” said Mike Mikoola, President of Global Emergency Products. “It’s been a true honor to work alongside Chief Malone and his team. We remain committed to providing the Indianapolis Fire Department superior quality and customization options, as well as convenient access to service support and parts replacement.” Rescue and Ford unit The delivery of the Indianapolis Fire Department’s six pumpers is scheduled for November 2019, and the aerials will follow in January 2020. The rescue and Ford unit are expected to arrive in Indianapolis in April 2020. Chief Malone continued, “What we ask our firefighters to do is very dangerous. The needs of our communities are multidimensional and continue to grow in complexity, hazard, and risk. Our firefighters must be up to this challenge every day, every shift, every time. Through fire suppression, emergency medical, special operations, and many other calls for service, the new apparatus will help us continue to meet that mission, protect our firefighters, and keep our promise to our community.”
The UK’s largest fitness operator, PureGym has chosen Britannia’s P50 fire extinguisher to protect its 200-plus gyms and more than a million members. P50 fire extinguisher Fast-expanding PureGym is installing our multi-use composite P50, the only extinguisher that needs no external servicing contract and can be maintained in-house by trained staff, in its new gyms, with a program to replace metal extinguishers in all its premises. PureGym is installing our multi-use composite P50, the only extinguisher that needs no external servicing contract Eliminating the process of ‘organizing and chasing’ external servicing was the driving force behind the decision to swap metal extinguishers for the P50 as well as the major savings the investment would bring. PureGym’s head of risk Malcolm Shevlin discovered the P50 and its special features at a presentation by a fire and rescue service. The fact that fewer P50 units were needed to replace metal extinguishers was also a big appeal. Effective Fire safety “On average we are installing half the number of P50 extinguishers compared to the old metal ones in our new sites or existing sites going through renewals of extinguishers,” Mr Shevlin said. The installation of hundreds of units across England and Scotland is running alongside the program to fit P50s across Heathrow Airport’s terminals. Heathrow chose the fire extinguisher because it fitted with its sustainability strategy to reduce its carbon footprint. PureGym’s investment comes at a time when sales of P50 are growing at 45% already this year, with three shifts running at our Norfolk factory and further growth predicted. Emergency rescue vehicles P50s are also in emergency vehicles, including ambulances" Britannia Fire’s Sales Director Andy Spence said, “The P50’s innovation and technology is in line with what the modern world demands. It is a made in the UK product. PureGym highlighted the in-house maintenance as the most important factor. For Heathrow, it was sustainability to help its strategy to lower its carbon footprint.” “P50s are also in emergency vehicles, including ambulances. The P50s were chosen for emergency vehicles to keep vehicles on the road. Servicing means emergency vehicles have to be taken out of action. For our marine and offshore market, it is the P50’s lack of corrosion that is a real sales trigger, as well as the cutting the servicing offshore.” High-quality equipment PureGym was launched in 2009 and pioneered the model for affordable, flexible and high-quality fitness clubs in the UK. Most of its sites are open 24 hours a day and offer a full range of high-quality equipment without the need to commit to a 12-month contract.
Correctional facilities in California, Iowa, and Pennsylvania are implementing aspirating smoke-detection technology for fire protection. This advanced technology not only provides faster, more sophisticated smoke detection, but eliminates several costly and troublesome operational issues associated with traditional induct smoke detectors. In-duct smoke detectors are prone to accumulate dirt and dust, particularly in inmate housing areas. Because these particles can be mistakenly interpreted as smoke, it can trigger recurring false alarms. To resolve this, costly ongoing maintenance is required to access and clean each detector, a process that must be repeated when the build-up occurs again. Fire Alarm System A large number of false alarms can be triggered when accumulated dust and dirt cover the sensors" In some facilities, the dust and dirt may be so severe that nuisance alarms are ignored, even disconnected. In others, maintenance can become backlogged. “Among traditional in-duct smoke-detection systems, a large number of false alarms can be triggered when accumulated dust and dirt cover the sensors,” says Queen Gonzalez, whose Southern California-based fire and life safety solutions company won the bid to install an aspirating smoke-detection system in the Kern Valley State Prison. Gonzalez said the project at the facility in Delano, California, involved replacing cell exhaust, duct-mounted smoke detectors with an advanced aspirating smoke-detection system in an inmate housing unit. This involved approximately 16 pods, with 64 cells per pod— nearly 1,024 cells. The aspirating smoke detection equipment chosen for the project was the VESDA-E VEA fire alarm system manufactured by Xtralis. Smoke-Detection Systems Aspirating smoke-detection systems draw in air through small flexible tubing secured in air ducts. The air is analyzed continuously for the presence of minute smoke particles, using sophisticated laser-based technology at a central unit located within 300 feet. A single system supports up to 40 sample points, and can be extended to 120 if needed. As a multi-channel, addressable system, the central unit can pinpoint the exact location of the alarm. This enhances safety by speeding detection, investigation, fire suppression, security management, and evacuation— if necessary. Furthermore, the system offers earlier detection than photoelectric technology detectors, and has the ability to detect minor particles in the air much faster, even before a fire begins to flame and burn. For the project, 32 of the central units were used in a secure mechanical space behind the cells. In-Duct Smoke Detectors Inmates can even block ducts so in-duct smoke detectors will not work" According to Gonzalez, the installation is relatively simple. After each existing smoke detector is removed, tubing connected to air sampling points takes its place. This involves running tubing in the return air chase above the cells. The tubing, suspended on hooks, drops off into each individual duct. Another benefit of the system is that it can effectively deter inmate tampering. “If there is a way for inmates to tamper with smoke detectors, they will,” Gonzalez says. “Inmates can even block ducts so in-duct smoke detectors will not work. Any system installed must be as tamperproof as possible.” To deter vandalism, the system will send a fault signal indicating the air flow is blocked in the event an inmate is able to cover a duct or sampling point. “Even if (inmates) could see the air sampling point, they would have no clue what it is because it is so small and looks nothing like a standard smoke detector,” Gonzalez said. Reducing Nuisance Alarms Correction industry leaders also appreciate the very low maintenance required for aspirating smoke detection systems. The aspirating tubes are self-cleaning and detect any blockages or breaks in the tubing. Even if dirt, dust, or lint enters the tubing system, the filters for all sampling points are at the central unit in a restricted area. The aspirating tubes are self-cleaning and detect any blockages or breaks in the tubing Cleaning the filters takes only about a minute, so there is no need for maintenance personnel to crawl into ducts to clean the detectors. The system not only stops false alarms due to dust or dirt contamination of sensors, but can distinguish between smoke, fire, and other airborne contaminants, which further reduces nuisance alarms. Minimizing False Alarms Annual inspections by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are also simplified. Unlike traditional smoke alarms, these systems do not require testing of each sample point annually at its location in the duct. Instead, the tests can be conducted at the central unit. Whether correctional facilities aim to minimize false alarms and maintenance or to improve safety and security, aspirating smoke-detection systems are gaining favor over traditional systems. “There is increasing interest in this technology, and it will only grow as more correctional facilities, engineers, and architects become aware of its benefits,” Gonzalez says.