Tools - Expert Commentary

Maintenance Matters With Fire Door Hardware
Maintenance Matters With Fire Door Hardware

Last year saw a 14 per cent increase in fires in England, according to UK Home Office statistics. And while around three million fire doors are installed in the UK every year, a lack of understanding during operation, maintenance and management of fire doors is still apparent. In this article, David Hindle, Head of Door Closer Sales at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, will address this issue. Importance of fire doors Fire doors are often the first line of defense in a fire, yet even after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, fire door hardware remains a significant area of concern. In May 2018, an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, led by dame Judith Hackitt, have been published. The review highlighted a range of issues, but the message stood clear, the UK’s current approach to fire safety in buildings is not functioning as intended and a new, holistic approach to fire safety is required. Review of fire inspections In all fire inspections, there is a responsibility from the building owner to include checks on the fire doors In all fire inspections, there is a responsibility from the building owner to include checks on the fire doors. However, there is no legal requirement for them to complete any recommended upgrades or repairs, or to prove that they have done so. This represents a major problem, as doors that do not perform to the required standard could compromise a building’s safety and put occupants at risk. Ultimately, this could lead to liability being assigned back to the building owner or facilities manager. Need to maintain fire safety standards Fire safety is only properly maintained if standards and checks are carried out throughout the lifecycle of the product and building. This is best addressed through regular inspection, maintenance and the replacement of products when required. A review by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme revealed the most common fire door faults, ranging from missing fire or smoke seals, to unsuitable hinges and damage to the door leaf itself. Any one of these issues can render a fire door useless and can seriously impede a door’s capability to protect people from harm. Door leaf and frame maintenance Fire door hardware is often not afforded the attention it requires and is left mismanaged throughout its service life. So what needs to be done to ensure fire door hardware is working as expected? Naturally, the door leaf should not be damaged, warped or twisted, and it is vital to ensure the fire door closes correctly around all parts of the frame, with no distortion between the stiles, top and frame. Gaps between the door and leaf must not be greater than those specified in the manufacturer’s installation instructions or fire certificate data sheet, typically around 3 to 4mm all the way round. Importance of door closers A door closer ensures a fire door returns to its fully closed position and the door seals correctly in the door frame A door closer ensures a fire door always returns to its fully closed position and makes sure that the door seals correctly in the door frame, when not in use. There are three steps to ensuring these components are working correctly. First, open the door fully and check that it closes without dragging across the floor. Next, open it to approximately 5-10 degrees and again check that it fully closes, engaging any latch or seal. Finally, check the door closing speed is approximately five seconds from a 90 degree angle, ensuring the door does not slam shut. Intumescent fire and smoke seals Fire and smoke seals should be in good condition, fit the full length of the door and be secure in the groove. If seals are badly fitted, damaged or painted, then they must be replaced with exactly the same size and intumescent material that was originally specified. If the smoke seals have to be replaced, then they should be fitted in one continuous length, if possible. To ensure hinges are in good condition, check for visible wear, dark marks or stains around the hinge knuckle that could indicate wear and impending failure. Hinges must be strong enough to carry the door mass, plus robust enough to work efficiently no matter the level of usage. The hinges should be firmly screwed into the door and frame, ensuring that the seals at the top and sides of the door are not damaged or missing at any time. Intumescent pads should also be used with hinges, as these are required for the door to get its appropriate fire rating. Locks and lever handles To measure a handle’s condition, one needs to ensure the lock lever fully returns to a horizontal position after use Wiping any metal dust deposits off the handles will help ensure that the latch-bolt is engaging smoothly and completely into the keep during use. To measure a handle’s condition, one needs to ensure the lock lever fully returns to a horizontal position after use. If it does not, the lever may, at best, need adjusting or lubricating. At worst, it may need replacing, as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Again, ensure the lock case is protected by intumescent material. Maintaining record of fire door inspection No matter the component, a record of inspection and maintenance should be kept for all door hardware. Furthermore, those responsible for ensuring the fire safety of a site should encourage others to report any issues with any of the door components. Faults should be fixed as soon as possible, using the correct and fire-rated components. To check the compatibility of components, always consult the fire certificate data sheet or contact the manufacturer.

Medical Care In Vehicle Extrication Rescue
Medical Care In Vehicle Extrication Rescue

Extricating collision victims requires advanced medical care After a vehicle collision of significant force - as in the case of high-speed impact - it is likely that the occupants of the car, particularly the driver and front seat passenger, will be entrapped. Brendon Morris, Holmatro Rescue Equipment's Consultation & Training Manager, and a rescue paramedic in South Africa for many years, discusses the need for an advanced level of care for entrapped patients in vehicle extrication rescue. Entrapment in a vehicle accident can be physical, mechanical or both. In other words, the victim can be trapped by his or her physical injuries or by the fact that the vehicle has crumpled in such a way that it is not possible to get out of the wreckage (mechanical). Regardless of whether there is a physical or mechanical entrapment, victims are very likely to suffer significant internal injuries after a high-speed impact. It is these internal injuries that can be worsened due to inappropriate handling and lack of good medical care during the extrication rescue process. Combining technical extrication skills & advanced medical care The specialized discipline of extrication rescue is performed with varying degrees of efficiency across the globe. To reduce the negative effects of moving an entrapped victim (whose condition may worsen due to their already fragile state), specialized extrication tools and techniques are needed. With rescuers in more and more countries becoming aware of this, the overall demand for these tools and techniques has increased over the years. What makes the overall discipline of extrication rescue so successful is that it combines technical extrication skills with advanced medical care of the patient. From the second a crash occurs the medical condition of a trapped victim will continue to worsen From the second a crash occurs the medical condition of a trapped patient will begin to worsen. Approximately 50% of road traffic deaths occur at the crash scene. As we all know, the need for patients to get to a hospital as soon as possible is essential in increasing the chance of survival. To this end, we tend to invest much time and money developing well-run ambulance services that can carry the patient to a hospital safely and efficiently. What is often forgotten, however, is the importance of ensuring that we do not harm the patient any further when freeing him from his position in the vehicle. Extrication rescue should not only be used when it is physically impossible to remove a patient. It should also be routinely used to make sure that the patient is not moved or handled in a way that could further compromise his or her already delicate medical condition. Techniques such as a side and roof removal help to ensure that the patient can be removed from the vehicle in an in-line movement to protect him against the aggravation of potentially dangerous spinal injuries. This technique is just one example of how simple procedures can significantly increase the possibility of full recovery from a motor vehicle collision. Challenges with extrication rescue efforts Research in the field of extrication rescue, as with pre-hospital care, is extremely limited due to ethical and practical issues. Extrication rescue efforts are even more problematic to prove. What has been shown is that, of the high percentage of deaths occurring in the pre-hospital stage, many can be avoided. Moreover, many complications resulting in disability in the pre-hospital phase could also be avoided. Rescuers must use tools designed to cope with New Car Technology Unfortunately, we can see a large difference between the likelihood of surviving the pre-hospital stage in more developed countries as opposed to low and middle income countries. Perhaps this can be attributed not only to the lack of emergency medical services in these countries, but also to the lack of expertise and equipment for the extrication of victims from their damaged vehicles. Another important consideration is the advent of new stronger vehicle constructions on the roads today. To deal with these, rescue tool manufacturers constantly have to develop stronger tools (especially cutters). New Car Technology often introduces the paradox of safety vs. accessibility. In other words, the very construction that makes it possible for a driver of a car to survive the impact may well be the reason why it is impossible for a rescuer to free the victim when working with old, out of date rescue tools. Basic first-aid training is not enough In low and middle-income countries, patient transport by ambulance from the crash scene is rare, with most patients being transported by commercial vehicles having been "rescued" by the general public. Some programs are being developed to provide basic first-aid training to those most likely to come across vehicle collisions. Hopefully this will decrease mortality rates. It may also be worth further investigating whether providing more extrication skills to those responsible for the rescue of patients from their damaged vehicles may also decrease mortality rates. Providing only first aid skills may even prove to be harmful where there is no formal system in place to control the extrication process. Teamwork is critical to extrication rescue success Extrication rescue not only equips rescuers to aid victims, but also to maintain their own safety on scene The scene of a motor vehicle collision is not the controlled environment of an operating or consultation room. The rescue scene has many dangers and risks associated with it and these have to be controlled. Extrication rescue does not only provide knowledge to rescuers on how to safely extricate patients, it also equips them with the skills to ensure that they do not become injured themselves during the rescue. Extrication rescue techniques also include the various activities that must be done to ensure that all personnel involved in the rescue scene are working in a safe environment. A perfect example of this is the importance of ensuring that the vehicle's battery is disconnected in order to remove the chance of an electrical short circuit starting a fire. In terms of safety, the other matter to consider is the fact that many different services have to work together on a rescue scene. The only way to ensure safety for all involved is for the services to work together as one team: each knowing exactly what their responsibilities are. Brendon Morris - Consultation & Training Manager, Holmatro Rescue Equipment

Latest Apollo Fire Detectors Ltd news

Apollo Fire Detectors Announces Market Insight Program For Customers, Installers And Partners
Apollo Fire Detectors Announces Market Insight Program For Customers, Installers And Partners

Apollo Fire Detectors, has launched a new market insight program to help them continue to deliver innovative fire safety products and high standards of customer service. The Apollo Advisor Network encourages customers, installers and partners to share their experiences within the industry and the challenges they face. Registration is online and captures background on their company and individual responsibilities. Exclusive training access After signing up, Advisors have access to exclusive training and prize draws, direct input to the products and services that they need and early news of product launches. Jenni Broad, Insights Manager at Apollo says “Our success is built on expert installers and partners who help to keep people safe using our best-in-class products. Our Apollo Advisor Network is designed to bring us even closer to our customers and partners, enabling us to deliver the products and tools they need to make life simpler and safer. If you share our vision for a safer tomorrow and have a passion for providing solutions to our industry, we would love to hear from you.”

Apollo Xpander Range Of Hybrid Wireless Fire Detectors Secures Schools And Hospitals
Apollo Xpander Range Of Hybrid Wireless Fire Detectors Secures Schools And Hospitals

XPander is Apollo’s hybrid wireless range. It offers a comprehensive solution to many problems that present themselves when installing a fire detection system. It is quick to install and requires minimal cabling. In comparison to a wired system is often 75% quicker to install. XPander has many applications, its versatility key to deciding on which type of system fits best for a building. Ideal applications: Time-sensitive Projects Minimizing Disruption to Building Operations Temporary Structures (i.e. marquees) Annexes To Minimize Disturbance of Asbestos Materials To Preserve Building Fabric (e.g. in Heritage / List Buildings) A great example of a time-sensitive ­project where XPander excels is in schools. A school is generally occupied most of the time and therefore being able to install an entire fire system without jeopardizing safety is a tricky line to walk. So, a quick and compliant solution is needed. XPander can be used during a remodeling project, for an off-campus outbuilding, or even to protect a temporary structure like a graduation marquee. The physical interface is wired onto the loop as standard, but the detectors can be placed inside of these areas wirelessly during the event and then can be removed when the marquees are taken down. This is much faster than hard wiring each time. One can take comfort in the knowledge that students are kept safe in every scenario. Wireless solution Another challenge is making upgrades to a school system during summer holidays. One might only have a small window of opportunity to make the upgrades before the students return. Having to wire in a complete system just so that building work can be completed, only to remove all of that wiring hard work, is both costly and time-consuming. XPander allowed for an easier install where the project area was an Emergency Care Department" A wireless solution is ideal, it removes the need to delay construction, and shaves off time at the end of the project as there are no wires to remove. Just simply detach the detectors. Similar issues occur in the healthcare sector. A hospital, for instance, is almost never vacant and therefore extensive wiring work would cause uncomfortable disruption. XPander would eliminate these concerns and installing a compliant fire system would cause minimal disturbance. Ease of installation “XPander allowed for an easier install where the project area was an Emergency Care Department (inc A&E) where minimal intrusion on a live site was key. Wireless was the logical solution to bring these areas up to L1 standards with a new system.” - Apollo Customer Testimonial Temporary structures offer a unique challenge when trying to keep people safe from fire. COVID-19 Pods and temporary accommodation for medical staff / resources need to be protected without unwanted complications. XPander can be quickly added to the existing hospital fire system. An interface is placed on the loop, this device ‘manages’ all of the wireless devices fitted in the temporary structure. The devices even show up on the panel, as if it was wired into the loop. This secures the integrity of the existing system and makes sure that any necessary expansion is protected from fire. Cost-effective solution COVID-19 has caused unexpected slowdowns within the construction and fire industry communities. But as the restrictions lift there will be an influx of work. And having a quick and easy solution at the ready could mitigate any further frustrations. Additional businesses and venues will be opening from 4th July. That includes hotels, which opens up a lot of ‘away from home’ opportunities. Being prepared for this wave of new work with multiple solutions at the ready is essential. A wireless solution should be quick to hand, its fast installation invaluable when managing a high workload. Quick, easy and cost-effective.

Apollo Fire Detectors’ Shares Knowledge With The Industry With Free Online Training Courses During COVID-19 Lockdown
Apollo Fire Detectors’ Shares Knowledge With The Industry With Free Online Training Courses During COVID-19 Lockdown

Hundreds of fire industry professionals from over 30 countries have benefitted from Apollo Fire Detectors’ free online training courses available throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period. The weekly virtual CPD seminars and product focused webinars have proved so popular that the company has extended the initial six- week program of events into July and August, and potentially beyond. the next phase of courses Warren Moyle, Senior Technical Support Engineer at Apollo Fire Detectors, who has been leading most of the online training said: “We wanted to support the industry during this difficult time by sharing our expertise and technical knowledge.” “We’re grateful that people from all over the world including Greece, Singapore and Egypt have been willing to invest in their professional development and learn more about our products. We’ve had some great feedback and we’re looking forward to delivering the next phase of courses that we’ll be running over the summer.” CPD accredited training courses Apollo is delivering online industry focused CPD accredited seminars covering topics Aimed at consultants and specifiers, Apollo is delivering online industry focused CPD accredited seminars covering topics such as an introduction to BS 7273-4, EN54 Part 23 and an introduction to BS 5839 Pts 1 & 6. Apollo has also condensed its existing full-day face to face CPD accredited training courses into one-hour CPD accredited courses to ensure that customers wanting to attend these sessions don’t miss out due to the lockdown. Throughout July and August, there will also be a series of 30-minute product orientated webinars, providing useful advice and insights to installers, covering features and benefits, applications, demonstration videos and frequently asked questions for numerous Apollo ranges including XPander, AlarmSense and the Apollo Test Set. Techno-Filled experience Customer feedback so far includes: “The webinar was simply wonderful. Techno-filled experience of the trainers was really good. The Q&A session helped me to learn new things. Keep it up and boost our knowledge on Apollo products.”  Plus: “Thank you Apollo, these are great sessions without spending time traveling. Your experience in the field gives us many things to learn about the fire industry.” As well as: “Very informative presentation, with good definitions of terminology. Not an area I knew anything about previously.” All webinars are being hosted on Microsoft Teams events, which allows attendees to watch live and interact with presenters via a moderated Q&A. All registrants receive a recording of the webinar after the event, so those who don’t make the live event still get the opportunity to watch it on demand.

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