Training & Education
London Fire Brigade’s first Commissioner in 75 years to have served as a commissioned officer in the British army signs a covenant with the UK armed forces. The agreement formalizes the Brigade’s commitment to supporting the Armed Forces community and recognizes the contribution to the country that serving military personal, veterans and their families have made and continue to make. Wider Military Family It is a great honor that one of my first official duties is to sign the Arme...
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service announce major savings, improved vehicle handling and a significant reduction in carbon emissions since installing the latest Josam wheel-alignment equipment from UK distributor, Automotive Equipment Solutions (AES). The fire service opted for the latest Josam Cam-Aligner so that 120 vehicles in their service and rescue fleet could be regularly checked for correct wheel-alignment and steering geometry. Fleet Manager, Nigel Leppard explains: “Our fro...
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...
Waterfall Pumps Manufacturing will once again participate in one of the most prestigious trade fair for security, safety, and fire protection, Intersec. Taking place in World Trade Center Dubai, United Arab Emirates starting January 2020.
An official passing out parade to welcome ten new wholetime firefighters to Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) took place at Rochester Fire Station. Attended by family and friends of the trainees, the occasion was held to welcome the firefighters and showcase their newly honed skills. Chosen from over 5,000 applicants, the trainees have just completed 15 weeks of intense training designed to equip them with the necessary skills and techniques required to become a firefighter. In order to reach...
BAFE launches a new scheme to assess the competency of dry riser/wet riser service and maintenance providers. With over 12 months in development including a public consultation, BAFE have worked with industry experts to establish robust criteria to assess and determine evidence of a provider’s competency to deliver maintenance of dry and wet risers/falling installations. Dry And Wet Riser Installations The BAFE Competency of Organizations for the Service & Maintenance of Dry and Wet...
A Cambridgeshire firefighter becomes the first female at March Fire Station to be the officer in charge of emergency incidents and qualified to drive a fire engine. Firefighter Vicky Vata was successful at the crew’s drill night on late November 2019 where she was assessed by officers from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service’s training center. The qualification, known as ‘safe to ride’ means Vicky will ride a fire engine as the officer in charge of an incident, taking details from emergency call handlers and ensuring the crew tackle the emergency safely. Vicky can also drive a fire engine if another qualified officer is available. Responding To Emergencies Around The Clock Vicky said: “I’ve been at the station now for a few years and have enjoyed serving my local community, which my employer, the Oliver Cromwell Hotel, has supported me with. I’m very proud of the role we have in the town and I want to make sure we are able to respond to emergencies around the clock, which is why I wanted to gain more skills and offer as much as I can.” The crew here have been very supportive and have helped me immensely through the process" “The crew here have been very supportive and have helped me immensely through the process. Being able to practice leading incidents during drill nights and also learn from the experienced people at the station has proved so valuable. I wasn’t really aware that I was going to be the first to pass the qualification, I just wanted to make sure I was giving the most I possibly can to the community.” Encouraging Women To Join As Operational Firefighters Watch Commander Andy Powell said: “Vicky is not only a great firefighter but is also a very positive influence at the station. She is keen to help others and is often first in the queue to help with community visits to the station. This marks the culmination of a lot of hard work, not only from Vicky, but the rest of the crew that have helped with hours on the drill yard getting ready for the assessment.” Station Commander Ian Smith added: “We are all extremely proud of Vicky, this is a great achievement for her and the station. One of the Service’s key priorities is to encourage more women to join as operational firefighters, which Vicky has been very helpful with. Vicky has shown how development opportunities are available for firefighters once they join the Service, which will hopefully help encourage more people to join.” Vicky was joined at the drill night by Mayor of March, Councillor Rob Skoulding, to celebrate passing the assessment.
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is looking for new whole-time firefighters as it opens its doors to all members of the community from early December 2019. The opportunity to become a whole-time firefighter only comes around every few years and candidates are encouraged to submit their applications sooner rather than later. The six-week window may close early if the Service receives a high volume of applications. Responding To Emergency Calls We want men and women from many backgrounds and with all sorts of experiences" Around one in three of Suffolk’s firefighters are whole-time, with other firefighters being ‘on-call’ which means they often have another job and respond to emergency calls as required. Mark Hardingham, Chief Fire Officer, explains who the Service is hoping will apply: “We want men and women from many backgrounds and with all sorts of experiences, and we want people with great and positive attitudes. If you think this is you then I’d encourage you to grasp this opportunity. The fire service provides you with a great career and Suffolk is a wonderful place to work so I would really welcome your application.” Other Emergency Incidents “Dealing with fires and many other emergency incidents is an important part of the firefighter’s role, but it’s so much more than that as well. As a firefighter you will work with young and older people to help them live safer lives and will visit local businesses and other organizations to ensure their buildings are safe in the event they catch fire.” I want our fire service to be representative of the many different communities we serve" “I want our fire service to be representative of the many different communities we serve. In recent years we have recruited many more female firefighters. I want this to continue and welcome even more applications from women and people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in and around Suffolk.” Learning About Fitness Requirements “We are continuing to ensure our fire service is an enjoyable and inclusive place to work for all our staff, ensuring everyone can realize their personal and professional potential. We work with many networks including Suffolk Women in Fire Together (SWIFT) and Asian Fire Service Association (AFSA) who continue to do excellent work to support our ambitions in being a diverse team.” The Service recently ran several very popular recruitment taster days. Hundreds of members of the public met with firefighters and staff to find out about the role of a firefighter and the work of all staff across the Service. Those who attended were able to try on firefighting clothing and equipment, learn about the fitness requirements and see what happens on a working fire station.
Bristol Uniforms, a pioneer in the design, manufacture and supply of protective clothing for the emergency services, launches its first ever selection of stock styles for structural firefighting. Immediately available, the stock styles offer a more cost-effective solution than bespoke alternatives. Although ready-made, the PPE can be personalized by adding a heat-sealed patch to the back of each coat, a name to the front, and a name to each trouser. Pleated Back Panel For Improved Ergonomics The Ergotech Action stock design includes an anti-wicking barrier on the cuffs and hems A choice of two styles are currently available, both conforming to the European CEN standard EN469 Level 2, and featuring the most popular elements of the company’s existing top-quality ranges. The Ergotech Action stock design includes an anti-wicking barrier on the cuffs and hems, underarm gussets and pleated back panel for improved ergonomics, knee reinforcement, and numerous pockets, loops, and rings for equipment. The kit is made up of a navy TITAN1220 outer, Gore Crosstech Fireblocker moisture barrier and a quilted aramid felt and viscose inner lining. The XFlex stock design features elbow reinforcement, ergonomic 3D knee pads with reinforcement to make kneeling more comfortable, plus an adjustable waist band, a removable braces system and a knife pouch in the trouser. Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting The new style will be on display for the first time at the Intersec trade exhibition in Dubai in January It is made up of a gold PBI Max outer, Gore Crosstech Airlock moisture barrier and an aramid viscose inner lining. Bristol will soon be unveiling an additional Ergotech Action stock style which conforms to the NFPA standard 1971:2018 for Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting. The new style will be on display for the first time at the Intersec trade exhibition in Dubai in January. Similar to the CEN certified version, it features a Gore Crosstech moisture barrier and Hainsworth TITAN outer layer, but this time in Desert Tan. Buying Top Quality Styles Off-The-Peg There are also distinguishable lined box bellow pockets on both the coat and trouser, and thumb holes on the cuff to prevent exposure around the wrists. Bristol Uniforms’ Joint Managing Director, Roger Startin comments: “We always listen to feedback from our customers, and although many have specific requirements and value our bespoke manufacturing service, there are others, particularly those with smaller crews, that would prefer to be able to buy top quality styles off-the-peg. These new styles provide our customers with the option to purchase kit that is cost-effective and immediately available without compromising on quality.”
FireDos, a German manufacturer of foam proportioners and fire monitors opens a branch in Houston, USA, to service their customers in the North American market. Opening the USA branch, FireDos is firmly committed to serving its distributors and clients in the region. Located in Houston, TX., the heart of the oil & gas industry, the new branch ensures FireDos serves its growing U.S. based customers from a key location. Fire Protection Systems This is an exciting time for FireDos as it establishes a new branch in the U.S. market" “Many companies are looking at changing their fire protection systems as new eco-friendly foams are introduced to the market. Being specifically designed with high viscous foams in mind the FireDos range of proportioners offer many advantages, such as the unique ability to periodically test without generating foam or premix and avoiding the associated considerable costs.” “Our new GEN III range of proportioners has been released which offers even more improvements for the end user. This is an exciting time for FireDos as it establishes a new branch in the U.S. market. The opening of FireDos US Inc., enables us to provide service and sales support to our rapidly expanding customer base.,” says Managing Director, Frank Preiss. Besides the oil & gas industry, FireDos supply stationary and mobile proportioners, fire monitors and service support for companies in the chemical/petrochemical, aviation, logistics, automotive industries and municipal fire departments. Several regional sales partners already support the service-focused company in the U.S. market.
Multi-award-winning Fire Curtains Group completes the purchase of fellow East Midlands based company Intumescent Chemicals. Intumescent Chemicals based on the Nottinghamshire / Derbyshire border specialises in indicative fire-resistant testing and research and the development of intumescent liquid flame retardants (LFRs). Life Safety Products Their 25 years’ worth of experience was one of the things that really shone through and caught my eye" Arthur Calow, Chairman of the Fire Curtains Group, commented on the purchase saying, “We’ve been a customer of Prometheus Developments - now named Intumescent Chemicals - for several years now and I have always been very impressed by their knowledge and expertise. There really is no substitute for experience when you’re running fire tests as we need to do for each of our life safety products.” “Their 25 years’ worth of experience was one of the things that really shone through and caught my eye. They are also able to supervise and advise on Fire Test Certification Programmes and have a range of furnaces and indicative test equipment to simulate most fire tests currently in use in the UK, Europe and the USA.” Preventing The Spread Of Smoke And Fire This equipment is all standardized to predict performance under full scale fire testing and has been of supreme help to Smoke & Fire Curtains in the past as well as to a host of other repeat customers. “Coupled with that is the fact that Intumescent Chemicals is a market leader employing R&D chemists and maintaining a full and sophisticated laboratory with a full inventory which is substantially and constantly updated in order to be able to quickly respond to customers who want to investigate new areas of the market.” Intumescent Chemicals offer the passive fire industry a large range of fire-resistance adhesives Intumescent Chemicals offer the passive fire industry a large range of fire-resistance adhesives, composites, polyurethane, mastics, sealants, foam injection as well as compounds for sealing and preventing the spread of smoke and fire and their products are used across a large array of sectors including aerospace, marine, automotive, building construction, and oil and gas. Driving business forward Intumescent Chemicals are also able to formulate completely bespoke products to suit specific applications sectors and undertake all research and development in-house. Dean James, Operations Director of the Fire Curtains Group added, “Everyone within the Group is fully on board with the purchase and the team at Intumescent Chemicals have been welcomed into the family group.” “Together we have big plans in turns of driving this business forward and I’m very much looking forward to working with the team over the months and years ahead. I am delighted to have welcomed our first customers to the business who have already placed their first orders with us.” Passive Fire Protection They have now successfully developed and tested what is going to be the world’s first solution into passive fire protection" “Dean, with a chemistry background in Materials Engineering, Structures and Fire Protection, has been involved with the Grenfell Enquiry for over two years and has taken the lead in the running of the Operations of Intumescent Chemicals Ltd.” “With Deans’ extensive knowledge and experience of being in the industry for more than 25 years, together with the team’s knowledge and expertise at Intumescent Chemicals, they have now successfully developed and tested what is going to be the world’s first solution into passive fire protection to stop any further Grenfell type disasters,” added Arthur. Fire And Smoke Barrier Systems Fire Curtains Group group owns Smoke & Fire Curtains Ltd who specializes in the design, manufacture, installation and servicing of bespoke, fire and smoke barrier systems, available for domestic, commercial and industrial use. Founded by Arthur Calow in 2005 the company began with only eight employees distributing mainly within the UK but with plans to expand its export markets. Over the past five years Smoke & Fire Curtains have expanded into a network of companies Over the past five years Smoke & Fire Curtains have expanded into a network of companies employing a group total of over 65 employees, with manufacturing facilities in both UK and India supplying and installing fire curtains globally. Smoke & Fire Curtains pride themselves on being one of the top global companies for manufacturing operable fire and smoke curtain barriers with their clients ranging from international organisations from multiple-sectors to industry and domestic UK customers. Development Work and Fire Testing Certification All their products are made to the highest quality at their UK manufacturing plant which is based in Leicestershire and they are continuously testing to meet with British and European Regulations and standards. Over the past number of years Smoke & Fire Curtains have invested heavily in new production techniques and innovative developments. In 2019 Smoke & Fire Curtains ltd were recognised for their Innovation Although the development work and fire testing certification can be a very long and very expensive process, they continue to develop new fire curtain systems in order to improve and develop further their own systems in design. In 2019 Smoke & Fire Curtains ltd were recognized for their Innovation and became Winners of the Leicester Mercury Business Awards collecting the Freeth’s Award for Excellence in Science and Technology. Fire And Rescue Services Simona Pillay, Managing Director of the Fire Curtains Group, was also honored this year with the Forward Ladies Mentor of the Year award for the Midlands Region. The Group work with all those responsible for the protection of life against the effects of smoke and fire in both public and private sectors; from main contractors, Building Control bodies, Fire & Rescue Services through to architects and individuals purchasing for their domestic properties. They are active members of the International Fire Consultants and the Association for Specialist Fire Protection and also sit on the various task groups.
ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland is advising fire safety professionals on the importance of properly certified hardware and training, following warnings from experts in fire safety law that they may now be deemed responsible for any breaches. Liability for fire safety breaches is being increasingly pushed down from building owners and occupiers to those that have been consulted, assessed and advised on the appropriate fire safety solutions for a site. Should these products fail to perform as expected, then those professionals will be held accountable, and could potentially even be prosecuted. Need for suitable fire risk assessments ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland believes that this issue will be a real game changer for the industry, with architectural ironmongers, merchants, and safety and security consultants all set to be deemed responsible. Only recently, a representative from the internationally renowned law firm, Russell Cooke LLP cited a growing trend for building owners to hold suppliers responsible for a lack of suitable fire risk assessments and the use of inappropriate materials and products. In 2014 – for the first time ever – a risk assessor went to prison for nine months for a breach of health and safety rules. It is clear that accountability surrounding fire safety will fall to the supply chain more and more in the future. Compliance to fire safety regulations At ASSA ABLOY, all our products are tested and certified to the appropriate fire safety standards" David Hindle, Head of Door Control Sales at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, explains “We believe this issue will increasingly affect the entire industry. From architectural ironmongers that might be selling product with little or questionable certification, to merchants providing hardware that might not be fit for purpose, and consultants that are potentially not carrying out the right risk assessments for clients, the liability for fire safety in buildings will fall to professionals in the industry. After all, they should be the experts on this matter.” He adds, “It is therefore vital that all of these groups have the right accreditation in place to meet these demands. Relevant schemes include Warrington Certification’s FIRAS Installer Certification, BM TRADA’s Q-Mark Fire Door Installation and the Guild of Architectural Ironmongery’s diploma.” Understanding fire safety legislation David further stated, “It is also vital that architectural ironmongers, merchants and consultants have a comprehensive understanding of the legislation covering fire safety matters in and around buildings, such as Approved Document B, BS EN 1634 and BS 476. Only by combining this specialist industry knowledge with recognized accreditation can professionals advise on and specify the best fire safety products. “At ASSA ABLOY, all our products are tested and certified to the appropriate fire safety standards, and we are taking increasing steps to ensure that those throughout the supply chain can feel confident that they have put forward a compliant solution.” Training and qualification on fire safety solutions David concludes, “We predict that we will be seeing many more instances where professionals will be held accountable for any breaches around fire safety. As a result, it is critical that those throughout the supply chain ensure products are certified, and they have the correct training and qualifications to be able to advise customers on the most appropriate fire safety solutions.”
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 institutions are large and sometimes sprawling sites that present considerable fire and security challenges. From Kindergartens to Colleges Each education site brings distinct challenges, with differing facilities and specialties, as well as the need to maintain the capacity of students, teachers and lecturers to study, learn and teach at the high level expected.Each education site brings distinct challenges, with differing facilities and specialties While some schools and universities are based in urban areas with a mix of heritage and high rise buildings, others are sprawled across green open spaces. Some of these sites have specialised sporting facilities, while others may be focused on engineering or scientific study, with costly technical equipment. Kindergartens and primary schools have their own unique requirements. Parents expect the highest safety standards, while schools require safety in addition to efficient facilities management. The demographic of these institutions is predominantly young children, who are often unaware of or only just learning about fire safety and personal safety. This creates a huge vulnerability and an added onus on teachers to keep their students safe. Facial recognition at West Academy of Beijing In response to this need, Chubb China upgraded the closed-circuit television (CCTV) system for Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) focusing on elevating video content analytic features, including maximised CCTV monitoring, automatic police calling, and a smart search solution. Complementing this, a facial recognition system capable of finding the exact location of a student on campus within 30 seconds was added, aided by real-time remote gate operation. This integrated and advanced system resulted won the "High Quality Educational Technology Suppliers for School" award for the WAB project at the 2019 BEED Asia Future Oriented Construction of Universities and Schools Seminar. This award recognizes outstanding solution design and project execution. Parents expect the highest safety standards, while schools require safety in addition to efficient facilities management Awareness remains important at university As students graduate from kindergarten, primary school, junior and senior school, they become more aware of fire safety, relevant dangers and how to protect themselves. Unfortunately, external dangers remain. There are particularly high stakes for university campus facilities managers The safety of students in a university environment is also critical. It is often the first time young people live away from their family home and have the independence of adulthood. For this reason, there are particularly high stakes for university campus facilities managers. In the eventuality of a fire, students could be at great risk and, beyond the immediacy of physical harm, this can have serious ramifications for the reputation of an educational institution. Integrated solutions Integrated solutions must be nimble and adapted to a range of site types including campus residences, recreational areas, open spaces and lecture theatres. Chubb Sicli recently identified and overcame these challenges through the installation of a full suite of fire safety and security equipment and services at Webster University Geneva. Established in Switzerland in 1978, Webster University Geneva is an accredited American university campus that offers programs in English to students interested in undergraduate or graduate-level education. Located in the Commune of Bellevue, just a few kilometres from Geneva's central station, the campus of Webster University Geneva includes five buildings in a park-style atmosphere. Full fire and security audit Chubb Sicli provided Webster’s fire extinguisher maintenance for over 25 years. This business relationship led to a full fire and security audit that identified the need for updates to the university’s security installation. The initial audit showed several improvements to the university’s security profile were needed.The challenge was to create and provide an effective and interconnected fire and security solution The challenge was to create and provide an effective and interconnected fire and security solution, enhancing the security of the student population and its ever-evolving needs. This included complete fire detection and intruder alarms for all five buildings, upgrades to existing CCTV systems, new video surveillance equipment and an automated fire extinguishing system in the kitchen areas. In addition to this integrated system solution, Webster University required access control for all main entrances, with the requirement that all documentation to be made available in English, because Webster is an American company. Customized solution Chubb Sicli’s quality, capability, and security expertise provided a customized solution for the unique educational establishment. Not only was the solution both tailored and integrated, the approach and planning were based on audit, fire extinguisher and emergency light maintenance, fire detection, intrusion detection, access control, video surveillance and Fire Detection. Through dedicated and integrated fire safety support, Chubb provides students and families peace of mind and security. From the moment a young child enters the education system, Chubb’s diligent and effective surveillance and fire safety systems work to prevent and protect, offering a new kind of ‘end-to-end’ service for education systems around the world.
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.
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.
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.”
Sunrise Software, a supplier of IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions, announces that North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has upgraded its ITSM platform and refreshed and extended its services to support its nearly 1,000 staff as they safeguard lives and property across an area of 2,400 square miles. Operating from 44 fire stations, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service helps to protect an estimated population of 678,461 people as well as hundreds of thousands of tourists and visitors. Annually it attends around 3,200 fires, 500 road traffic collisions and 500 other emergency incidents. Providing Access To Specific Folders As part of its journey it was keen to maximise its use of the platform to increase efficiency Technology is mission-critical to the service’s role, from the alerters (pagers) used to call retained firefighters to incidents, through control room systems to the mobile data terminals on appliances. The six strong IT support team handles thousands of technical calls per year. A long-term user of the Sunrise service management platform, North Wales Fire and Rescue first introduced self-service in 2018. As part of its journey it was keen to maximise its use of the platform to increase efficiency, better support users and extend Sunrise’s capabilities and functionality into other departments. This has led to a full upgrade to Sunrise ITSM 4, going live in early 2020. This provides for a user-friendly interface for self-service, management dashboards and a new automated approach to requests around new starters/leavers and providing access to specific folders. Protecting The Lives And Property Previously this was all paper-based, adding considerably to the time taken to authorise requests as forms had to signed, authorised and manually sent back to IT. “We rely on a lot of bespoke systems and configurations, which means service management has to be efficient and effective to ensure we are delivering on the frontline,” says Steve Morris, ICT Technical Manager, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service. Thanks to the flexibility of Sunrise and the introduction of ITSM 4 we can now make big improvements" “Thanks to the flexibility of Sunrise and the introduction of ITSM 4 we can now make big improvements in the way we deliver ICT service to users and ensure our teams continue to be best equipped to protect the lives and property of the people of North Wales.” The new Sunrise implementation also provides a platform for other departments to reach employees through the self-service portal. Corporate Communications Team As well as IT-specific content, this includes training videos from the corporate communications team to make it easier to share knowledge, and to reduce the need for trainers to travel large distances to deliver courses. Future plans could see further expansion. As well as potentially adding HR forms, the data protection team is evaluating switching to Sunrise to record and monitor incoming Freedom of Information requests. This would enable previously manual steps to be automated, with in-built SLAs ensuring response times are met, as well as providing a full audit trail. Geoff Rees, Director of Operations and Sales of Sunrise, comments: “The emergency services rely on technology, making its effective support a vital part of their operations. As North Wales Fire and Rescue’s experience shows, introducing automation and self-service can increase efficiency and deliver real value in a fast-paced, resource-constrained environment.”
Swansea University installs a network of Advanced fire alarm control panels to protect its 65-acre, £450million Bay campus from the threat of fire. The University installs 25 one, two and four-loop MxPro 5 fire alarm control panels throughout its 11 academic Bay campus buildings, specified thanks to their superior networking abilities. Installed alongside over 5000 Hochiki and Apollo protocol devices, each fire panel has been programmed as a standalone, with all information reporting back to the main security command center repeater panel. Protecting Large-Scale Sites Advanced panels are very easy to install and configure and provide powerful, resilient networking" Over the years to come and as the campus continues to grow, further panels can be added to the site-wide network wise ease, creating time and cost efficiencies, while minimizing disruption to the university’s staff and students. Advanced partner Securus Group was responsible for networking the Bay campus fire system & commissioning a number of buildings including Swansea University’s IMPACT building, Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) and Active building. James Watts, commissioning engineer at Securus Group, said: “Advanced is the ideal solution when protecting large-scale sites with multiple buildings that each have individual cause and effect programming. Advanced panels are very easy to install and configure and provide powerful, resilient networking.” Multiprotocol Fire System Solution MxPro 5 is the fire industry’s multiprotocol fire system solution and was recently certified by FM Approvals to the EN 54 standard. It offers customers a choice of two panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network, backed up by free training and support. MxPro panels can be used in single-loop, single-panel format or easily configured into high-speed networks of up to 200 panels covering huge areas. Our MxPro 5 product range is ideal for any large-scale site, including hospitals, prisons and university campuses" MxPro’s ease of installation and configuration as well as its wide peripheral range make it customizable to almost any application. Phil Calvey, Regional Sales Manager for the South West, said: “Our MxPro 5 product range is ideal for any large-scale site, including hospitals, prisons, airport terminals and university campuses, where networking is specified or desirable. Thanks to the work of Securus Group I’m confident that, as new buildings emerge on campus and further control panels are installed, the fire system will stand the test of time.” Life-Saving Technology Companies Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, has an enviable history of protecting some of the educational institutions, including the Australian National University, Cambridge University and Sofia University. 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.
A Gent by Honeywell Vigilon fire alarm and detection (FDA) system, incorporating the Response Plus paging system, has been selected to protect the pupils and staff at the renowned secondary school, William Edwards, in Grays, Essex, United Kingdom. The William Edwards School in Grays, which recently marked the 50th anniversary of its opening this year, required a full design, supply, installation and commission of a new Fire and Detection Alarm (FDA) system throughout the premises, as part of an ongoing refurbishment project. The proposed solution had to maintain a flexible design to incorporate any late changes while other building projects were also taking place. Gent fire detection and alarm system The system selected had to be fully flexible to allow us to build in capacity for the school’s growth" PFS Group Ltd. (formerly Premier Fire Systems Limited), part of the Gent 24 network of renowned independent fire specialists has been an Elite Systems Integrator for more than five years and was involved in the project from its initial stages. The highly experienced FDA specialists had to work within a very tight time period and complete the whole installation out of term time. Simon Ford, contracts manager, Premier Fire Systems Limited, says, “The main challenge was to meet the rigid program of requirements and guarantee that the work would be started and completed within the school summer holiday period, to keep any disruption to a minimum. The system we selected had to be fully flexible to allow us to build in capacity for the school’s growth, and the robust technology offered by Gent was the ideal solution.” Gent Vigilon Analogue Addressable FDA system The Gent Vigilon Analogue Addressable FDA system installed at the school incorporated the company’s Vigilon fire alarm panels and Vigilon repeater fire alarm panels, with a total of 281 devices. The system uses Gent’s S-Quad range of detection to ensure the management of the fire alarm system meets the highest technical sensing methods and standards. The Vigilon system was then integrated with Gent’s new wireless Response Plus paging solution. In the event of a fire alarm being triggered, the paging system will allow each school caretaker and fire marshal to receive instant notifications and precise location details on their wrist pagers. This will enable them to instigate the school’s fire safety procedures without delay, speeding up the response time and assisting in the evacuation process. Wireless Response Plus paging system The paging system will also cover a separate house owned by the school on the far edge of the grounds, which is currently being used to offer exchange teachers a place of stay during their time at William Edwards. As the building is remote and regularly unoccupied for lengthy periods throughout the working day, the onsite paging system will overcome these challenges by reporting any fire present within the house, to enable the staff to react accordingly. The school class change and intruder alerts were also added to the system" Simon Ford continues, “The client is very satisfied with the performance of the products installed, particularly with how easily they integrated into the entire school system. The school class change and intruder alerts were also added to the system and it has performed seamlessly since it was installed.” System installation and service The installation has resulted in repeat work for Premier Fire Systems Limited, and recommendations to other academy schools have been achieved for its business. Donald McFarlane, UK & Ireland Business Manager, Gent by Honeywell said, “We’re delighted to hear the very positive feedback from William Edwards School and we’re glad that the performance of our FDA solution meets the high standards of this outstanding institution.”
Edinburgh Napier University is one of the largest higher education institutions in the country, with almost 18,000 students based across twelve campuses in the Scottish capital. The University has recently embarked on an ambitious £100m investment program to provide some of the UK’s best teaching and learning facilities. One of the campuses currently being developed is the Merchiston campus which houses the majority of the University’s Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Built Environment facilities. Located in the lively Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh, Merchiston Campus is also home to several art studios, engineering & design workshops, as well as an award-winning 500-seater computing center. Gent FDA system installed As part of the Merchiston renovation, the University is extending the campus to introduce a new reception and student gallery. A brand new single story building is also being erected with several sound-proofed state-of-the-art music studios and teaching rooms. The FDA system had to provide the ultimate reliability and integrate seamlessly with the existing system Every element of the extension and new buildings have been planned and designed to the highest standards. The fire detection and alarm equipment (FDA) had to provide the ultimate reliability and integrate seamlessly with the existing system already installed in the campus. Gent Vigilon System A solution by fire industry experts Gent by Honeywell was chosen to cover the buildings in the new development and integrate with the existing system. Stanley Security Solutions worked on the project and supplied, tested and commissioned the Gent FDA solution, with M&E contractor FES Limited carrying out the installation. Andrew Lees, Stanley Security Solutions, said “The main challenge on this project was integrating the new part of the FDA system with the existing solution and also selecting a system that would provide the best protection in the new music studio, without affecting the building’s acoustics.” S-Quad sensors The Gent solution used for this part of the campus was the Gent fully addressable Vigilon system, complete with S-Quad detection. The project required an additional Gent Vigilon 4 loop fire alarm panel, one fully functional repeater panel and more than 400 devices with a combination of smoke and heat detectors, sounders, interfaces and call points as well as the new Vigilon panel being added to the existing Gent Vigilon network. Gent aspirating system The Gent aspirating system was selected as it is the ideal complement to the Vigilon range" Lees continued, “The ideal solution for the music school was a system that could be fitted above the ceiling at a higher level. The Gent aspirating system was selected as it is the ideal complement to the Vigilon range and allows smoke detection to be installed where it isn’t possible to put normal point detection.” The Gent aspirating system that is fitted in the ceiling void of the music school, actively takes air samples from the monitored area and analyses them for the presence of smoke particles, it can identify a possible fire in its very earliest stages and removes the need to have several point type smoke detectors. Smoke and heat detectors Andrew Lees further stated, “The Gent FDA solution was selected as it was the most cost effective option for the University. As one of Gent 24’s network of Systems Integrators, we are very familiar with the company’s products. We push Gent as much as we can the unique functionality you get from the devices and the robust technology means that customers can have complete peace of mind when choosing the Gent brand.” As part of the renovation, the library in the main part of the campus also had its fire alarm and detection system upgraded with the installation of 70 new devices to protect the building and its occupants. Work on the University’s renovation, including the construction of the new music school began in March 2012, with an expected completion date of June this year.
St. Mary’s is a brand new student village at Bangor University, comprising nearly 900 rooms alongside a range of cutting edge facilities. HESIS Fire & Security used technology from Gent by Honeywell across the site to ensure that it has the very best fire detection solution in place. Situated next to the Menai Straits at the foot of the Snowdonia National Park in north Wales, Bangor University has a long tradition of academic excellence. With over 12,000 students and 2,000 members of staff, Bangor University is made up of five colleges housing 22 academic schools, as well as over 50 specialist research centers. As part of its ongoing development program, it aims to provide students with the very best places to live and work and the St. Mary’s student village is the latest addition to its accommodation portfolio. Gent fire detection system Liverpool based HESIS Fire & Security was selected to carry out the fire detection system based work With 10 individual buildings including en-suite studio apartments and townhouses with nearly 900 rooms, St. Mary’s also has a café bar, shop, laundrette, common rooms, and sports and fitness facilities on-site. With a strict deadline for completion, the mechanical and electrical contractor on the St. Mary’s project needed to work with a life safety specialist that could deliver a quality installation on time using state-of-the-art technology. Liverpool based HESIS Fire & Security was selected to carry out the fire detection system based work and the company’s Account Manager, Rob Beck, said “We were delighted to be awarded this prestigious project and knew that we could exceed Bangor University’s stated requirements. We have worked closely with Gent for the last five years and we were recently awarded Gent Technology Centre status, demonstrating our resource and capability to design, supply, and commission and service the company’s fire detection and alarm systems to the very highest standards.” Networked Vigilon control panels The solution specified by HESIS Fire & Security is based around Gent’s industry leading Vigilon system. Vigilon combines powerful software in the control panel and intelligent loop powered devices to deliver a flexible, easy to use system. Its modular concept makes systems simple to design for any building and algorithms are used to match the pattern of activity in the sensor with data from test results stored in the panel memory. St. Mary’s utilizes nine networked Vigilon control panels with 10 repeater panels across the site. In addition, over 1,800 devices, including sounders and beacons (VADs) are installed, which signal back to the main security office at Bangor University. Uniquely, the detector heads have been programmed so that instructions are given in Welsh first and then English. Gent S-Quad S4-711 Dual Optical Heat Detector HESIS Fire & Security decided that the Gent S-Quad S4-711 Dual Optical Heat Detector would offer the best level of reliability and prevention of unwanted alarms. Martyn Keenan, Business Manager (North West) at Gent, explains, “S-Quad was the first intelligent loop powered multifunctional device to include a sensor, sounder, speech and visual alarm, and its extensively patented technology has an unrivalled ability to prevent unwanted alarms.” Incorporating four separate sensing elements – heat, carbon monoxide, and dual angle optical forward and backward scatter, the fully EN 54-23 and EN 54-3 compliant S-Quad combines local processing in the sensor and the panel to achieve an immediate response to genuine fires. Visual alarm devices To provide an additional level of safety, visual alarm devices (VADs) were also installed Asked why these were considered the most suitable option for the accommodation areas, Rob Beck replies, “Students are renowned for having very sociable and busy lifestyles, and it’s not uncommon for fire alarms to be activated by mistake as a result of bread being left too long in a toaster, or pans burning on the cooker hob or even steam from the integrated shower rooms. Therefore, in the event of something like this happening the S-Quad dual angle optical multi-sensors allow identification of the particle source, filtering potential unwanted alarms due to steam and dust etc.” The Equality Act makes it the responsibility of all organizations to ensure that access to buildings and services is available to everyone, regardless of any physical disabilities. Therefore, in order to meet this obligation and to provide an additional level of safety, visual alarm devices (VADs) were also installed to offer an appropriate signal by emitting a bright red or white light. Due to a number of delays caused elsewhere during the project, HESIS Fire & Security had to complete the installation and commissioning program in a considerably reduced time scale. Beck comments, “It was tough and there was a lot of pressure on us to meet the handover.” Flexible and versatile fire safety equipment He adds, “However, as well as a lot of long days, our mission was successful thanks to the ease of use, flexibility and versatility of the Gent equipment. This ensured that the commissioning process in particular was very smooth.” For Ken Griffith, Head of Residences and Head Warden at Bangor University, the installation of the new fire detection system has been a resounding success. Ken concludes, “St. Mary’s represents the very best in student accommodation and will enhance the reputation for excellence that we have developed over the years. Student safety is a vital part of our day to day activities and I’m convinced that we now have the very best technology in place to prevent the potentially devastating consequences of fire and smoke.”