Consistency, learning from incidents and developing fit-for-purpose professional Standards is the core purpose of the Fire Standards Board which was formed earlier this year. The Board will be responsible for development of a high-quality, useable framework of professional Standards focused on achieving positive outcomes and driving continuous improvement. The Standards will be aligned to the work of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and its national improvement programs. Once developed, t...
Ultimately, it is the emotions, personal encounters and that feeling of common purpose that make INTERSCHUTZ so memorable. But it's also about the numbers, for INTERSCHUTZ is not just the industry's global networking hub; it is also the number one business platform for the world of protection and emergency services. It is the place where the latest innovations and product refinements are unveiled, where deals are done and where the groundwork is laid for new business. At the end of the day, a c...
Lindner Interiors Ltd has achieved the esteemed FIRAS certification for the design, supply and install of fire rated glazing and steel doors. A self-sought approval process, it is a testament to the company’s commitment to fire safety. FIRAS certification The FIRAS certification is a third party scheme for installers that has been instrumental in improving the installation and maintenance standards of both passive and active fire protection products and systems. Recognizing the importanc...
Edesix, the pioneer in provision of Body Worn Cameras (BWC), wins the contract to supply BWCs to Tyne and Wear Fire Services. Edesix will supply 84 video badges to 23 sites across the county, with training and deployment beginning this month. The use of Body Worn Cameras (BWCs) for protecting staff, enhancing training and identifying best practice is fast becoming fundamental within fire services throughout the UK. Edesix already supplies West Midlands Fire Services, and Staffordshire Fire and...
Bosch’s video-based fire detection solution AVIOTEC IP starlight 8000 can now also be used in tunnels to ensure reliable and early detection of smoke and flames. Therefore, it is a quick and cost-effective addition to the linear heat detectors commonly used, which react only to noticeable increases in temperature and are unable to detect smoke either. In addition, the viewing of incidents also enables immediate verification of alarms and is a valuable aid for the emergency services. The n...
ISE 2019 proved to be a great success for ASL as they welcomed clients, old and new and distribution partners on the ASL stand at Amsterdam RAI for the duration of the exhibition over four days. ASL VIPEDIA-PRO router The new ASL VIPEDIA-PRO router with Dante, along with the all-in-one PAVA solution ASL INTEGRA and ASL V2000 were on display with a full complement of ASL technical, sales and marketing staff on hand for the duration of the show to discuss new and existing project opportunities....
STANLEY Security is delighted to announce its UK Fire Product Manager, Michael Heasman, is the first person to pass the FIA live advanced designer examination and is now a fully qualified Fire Industry Association Awarding Organisation (FIA AO) Level 3 Fire Detection and Alarm Advanced Designer in the UK. Michael was the only person to successfully obtain this qualification on the first live FIA run course in Bolton. Commenting on this significant achievement, Michael Heasman, who has worked in the fire industry for over 15 years, said: “This qualification was very difficult to achieve. It was an application based exam rather than just knowledge based. The FIA have said they have perhaps set the bar too high. On a personal basis, it was very nice to know I could pass such an exam and I am very proud to have passed for myself and the company. For our customers it provides peace of mind that their fire alarm system requirements have been designed by a fully qualified engineer.” Installation, Maintenance and Commissioning Theory In response to industry demand, the FIA launched new qualifications in 2018 covering Fire Detection and Alarm Design, Installation, Maintenance and Commissioning Theory and Regulatory Requirements. Three parts are included – Foundation, Environment and Health & Safety These qualifications have been developed to Level 3 and registered on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), equivalent to a Level 4 on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). In addition to the core subject matter, a further three parts are included – Foundation, Environment and Health & Safety; all four parts, require a formal exam. Uniformity in fire detection and alarm design The new qualifications have been designed to ensure uniformity in fire detection and alarm design, installation, maintenance and commissioning and, over time, will help raise the standard of work carried out, ensuring BS EN 16763:2017, which details a minimum service level for fire safety systems and security systems, is adhered to. Michael believes these new qualifications will become increasingly important: “In a number of countries, including the Republic of Ireland, it is already mandatory for all fire alarm designers to be qualified. Whilst there are no immediate plans to follow suit in the UK, I believe customers in the future may insist on this qualification.”
As the condition of aging bridges, roadways, transportation resources, and grids across the U.S. has increasingly become the focus of discussion, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued Renovations Needs of the U.S. Fire Service, a new report on the fire service’s aging infrastructure. Two key findings within the report show that more than 21,000 firehouses across the country are beyond 40 years of age with total replacement costs estimated to be in the $70-$100 billion range. Data Found In Survey The report draws on data found in the Fourth Needs Assessment for the U.S. Fire Service, a survey that compares what fire departments actually have with what existing standards, government regulations, and other guidance documents state as being required in order to be safe and effective. Relevant case studies were also considered as part of the research project. The objective was to determine just how old firehouses are today, and what it would cost to rebuild current, compliant structures that keep first responders safe from harm at their workplace. The report identifies the number of stations that are over 40-years old; are not equipped with exhaust emission control; are without backup power; do not have separate facilities for female firefighters; and need mold remediation. Findings from the report 21, 230 of U.S. fire stations (43 percent) are more than 40 years old, representing an 11 percent increase in aging infrastructure over the past 15 years. The estimated cost to replace these stations is estimated at between $70 and $100 billion; costs depend on space needs, location, site condition, and department preferences. Sixty-one percent of fire stations that are more than 40 years old are serving communities with less than 9,999 people. A shortage of funding, tighter budgets, and a lack of grants are likely reasons for the large number of older stations. 29,120 fire stations (59 percent) in the U.S. are not equipped with exhaust emission control systems, which are critical for mitigating firefighter exposure to diesel fumes. These fumes can increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, cardiopulmonary disease, respiratory disease, and lung cancer. Assistance to Firefighter Grants have helped reduce the number of firehouses without exhaust emission control systems from 66 to 59 percent. Approximately 17,030 fire stations (35 percent) do not have access to backup power, which is critical for business continuity during an emergency event. When the power is out, firehouses without generators may run into issues with phones ringing, computers running, trucks being fueled, and garage bay doors opening. The cost to install backup generators runs between $850 million and $1.7 billion. When fire stations were built 40-plus years ago, departments were exclusively male. Today, the most recent Needs Assessment estimates that 10 percent of career firefighters are female. The number of males and females in a particular fire department typically varies based on whether the fire company is career, volunteer or combination, as well as the size of the community. Further research is needed today to determine the number of stations that do not provide separate facilities for female firefighters and the estimated cost to renovate these stations. The number of firehouses affected by mold is unknown, despite common perceptions that stations are susceptible given water damage, prolonged humidity, or dampness. All fire stations should allocate resources for mold prevention including dehumidifiers, proper ventilation, mold inhibitors, and mold-killing cleaning products to reduce the likelihood of seasonal allergy and pneumonia-like symptoms.
Bars, restaurants and businesses along Ipswich’s Waterfront have attended awareness training in the event of anyone falling into water. As part of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service prevention work, these waterside businesses have been supplied with a safety throw line to keep at their premises. This is a small bag containing a floating line which can be deployed very quickly and easily in the event of someone falling into the water around the marina. Helping To Reduce Risk Staff were given training on how to effectively operate the new equipment, supported by the local Coastguard from Felixstowe and Holbrook, which could be the first action in saving someone’s life. I’m really pleased to see local businesses taking an interest in helping to keep their customers and local visitors safe" Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service Station Commander, Phil Geeson, said: “I’m really pleased to see local businesses taking an interest in helping to keep their customers and local visitors safe. Should someone fall into the water, these safety lines could help a passer-by aid a casualty’s survival until the emergency services arrive. As a service, our firefighters are highly trained and available to respond to a whole range of emergency incidents, including water rescues. We also have a team of officers carrying out our Prevention work supported by operational crews helping to reduce risk in our community.” Accidental Drownings In 2018, 263 people lost their lives in accidental drownings in the UK, the majority being male fatalities (87%). Nearly two people every week lost their lives when walking or running by water. Dan Johnson from Pizza Express, who attended the session with some of his staff, said: “It’s been really helpful, it’s always good to be able to help anyone if they do get into trouble. I haven’t seen it happen very often but it’s nice to have the back up and it was good training.”
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is pleased to announce that the next NVFC Training Summit will take place June 26-27, 2020, in Orlando, FL. Pre-register here to save your spot and get updates as event information becomes available. NVFC Training Summit 2020 Launched in 2014, the Training Summit provides an opportunity for first responders from across the country to participate in valuable classroom training as well as exchange ideas and best practices with their peers. The NVFC’s signature annual conference is open to all volunteer firefighters, EMS providers, department leadership, and other fire department personnel. General and breakout sessions will address critical issues in first responder health and safety, recruitment and retention, and fire prevention. More details, including a call for presentations, stipend program, travel information, and registration, will be available in the coming weeks.
MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have awarded new turnout gear to two additional departments through MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway. A total of 13 fire departments will each receive four new sets of state of the art turnouts in 2019 to help them increase the safety of their firefighters and safety personals. To be eligible to apply for MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway awards, fire departments had to fulfill the criteria of being all volunteer or mostly volunteer, serving a population of 25,000 or less, be legally organized in the U.S. or Canada, demonstrate a need for the gear, and be a member of the National Volunteer Fire Council. To help fire departments meet this last requirement, MSA sponsored NVFC memberships for the first 500 applicants. The latest recipients to receive the turnout gear are Salcha (AK) Fire & Rescue and Kenduskeag (ME) Fire Rescue. Salcha (AK) Fire & Rescue While all 35 of the fire department’s first responders have gear, it has been donated from other departments Salcha Fire & Rescue is located about 40 miles south of Fairbanks, AK, next to the Salcha and Tanana Rivers. The fire department prides itself in being ‘professionally staffed by volunteers since 1982’. Volunteers are trained at both Firefighter I and Emergency Medical Technician II, protecting approximately 2,400 people over 350 square miles. A tight budget, along with care and maintenance costs of hand me down equipment and gear, leaves no room to purchase new turnouts for its firefighter crew. While all 35 of the fire department’s first responders have gear, it has been donated from other departments, most of which are over 15 years old. Gear that is over 10 years old is considered non-compliant with recommended safety standards. The Salcha Fire & Rescue department uses this turnout gear for primary response. “Our goal is to provide safe gear for our volunteer responders so that their safety is guaranteed during fire incidents,” said Chief Ernest Misewicz. This donation will help them to achieve that goal. Kenduskeag (ME) Fire Rescue Kenduskeag Fire Rescue protects a population of 1,338 over nearly 17 miles in Penobscot County, ME. Its 11 active volunteers are trained at First Aid/CPR and Basic Firefighter and respond to an estimated 160 calls each year. The department has been striving to improve its operations, ensuring its fleet is equipped properly and operating safely, which leaves no funding to outfit their firefighters with compliant and efficient gear. Only three sets of their gear are less than 10 years old and meet national safety standards. The department strives to ensure the safety of its responders, particularly mitigating cancer risks The department strives to ensure the safety of its responders, particularly mitigating cancer risks by properly cleaning gear after each call. However, this often leaves the department out of service after a fire until the gear is again ready for response. Additionally, the department has had to turn potential recruits away because of the lack of gear and the inability to purchase new gear that will keep them safe on a call. 2019 Globe Gear Giveaway “These four sets of gear will go a long way to cement morale and make the best use of all who apply to our department, ergo creating a more safe and efficient public service,” said Deputy Chief Matthew Nadeau. Additional awards in MSA’s 2019 Globe Gear Giveaway will be made monthly through December. Stay tuned to the NVFC web site, Dispatch newsletter, and Facebook page, as well as the Globe Facebook page, for announcements. The program began in
FIREX 2019 was a great success for ASL as the company welcomed clients, distribution partners and media at ExCeL London, renowned international convention center in London, UK for the duration of the exhibition. FIREX 2019 Head of Business Development at ASL, Neil Voce comments, “ We got the opportunity to discuss a number of new projects with existing clients and new prospects over the course of the exhibition, with visitors from the UK and overseas, so for ASL it was a great exhibition ”. Gemma Eastwood, Sales Support for ASL comments, “One of the biggest benefits, of attending and exhibiting at FIREX, is getting to meet customers face to face. I have a lot of correspondence with UK and non UK customers and FIREX was a great chance to develop these customer relationships further.” Fire safety exhibition Neil Voce concludes, “We really appreciate everyone taking the time to come and visit us at FIREX and look forward with catching up with everyone after the show too”. For those who couldn’t make it to FIREX 2019, there’s always next year. The 2020 edition of FIREX is scheduled to take place a little earlier in the year, from 19-21 May 2020 at the same venue, ExCel London.
Across the country, law enforcement officers are finding it increasingly difficult to respond to the near overwhelming number of calls coming from security alarms. Police departments commonly define a false alarm as a call, which upon investigation, shows no evidence of criminal activity, such as broken windows, forced doors, items missing, or people injured. While false alarms bog down police, they can also negatively impact customers and integrators. End users can expect hefty fines for false alarm responses, and when these customers receive large bills from the city, many turn to installers, dealers, and even manufacturers expecting them to accept the responsibility and pay the check. What First Brought The Issue Of Alarm Verification To Your Attention? It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight I’ve been aware of the problem of false alarms for about 5 years. I believed audio capture, through microphone deployment, could be an active part of the solution when used as a second source for indicating ‘out of the norm’ activity and as an equal component with the video surveillance technology. In 2015, I found similarly minded security professionals when introduced to the Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response. After reading PPVAR’s paper on ‘Audio Verified Alarms Best Practices; [April 2015],’ I knew that the Partnership was on to something important. In our lives, two of the five senses we count on day-in and day-out are sight and sound. It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight. What Is The False Alarm Rate? In 2016, the International Association of Chiefs of Police reported that over 98 percent of all alarm calls in the United States were false. This number is obviously staggering, and something we need to work towards correcting. Why Did This Issue Resonate So Strongly With You? When I first investigated this issue, I was sure that the security industry would have already recognized this and was acting to ensure improved alarm verification, preferably through a combination of audio and video technologies. However, I quickly saw that this was not the case, or even close to the norm. I have questioned the rationale behind the lack of adoption and found the deployment of audio is often hindered by the concern of privacy. I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio As CEO of Louroe Electronics, I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio. I’ve had to reassure many security personnel and customers how the law supports the use of audio in public places as long as there is no expectation of privacy. By dispelling fears with facts around deploying and implementing audio sensors, customers can confidently include audio in their surveillance systems and gain a more effective security solution. Who Is Affected By This? Truth be told, everyone from the end user to the manufacturer is affected by this issue. Not to mention the strain this puts on law enforcement who are tired of ‘wasting time’ and effort out in the field on these nuisance alerts. When an end user receives a check for their false alarm, many of them will immediately blame the integrator and or the monitoring center for a faulty set up and management and expect the integrator to remedy the situation, including carry the burden of paying the fines. The integrator, on the other hand, will turn to the manufacturer, assuming faulty equipment and installation instructions; therefore, looking for reimbursement for the cost. What Is The Average False Alarm Fee? It depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for responseIt depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for response. According to the Urban Institute, fees generally range from $25-$100 for the first offense, rising as high as a few thousand dollars per false alarm if a location has a large number in a single year. What’s worse, in extreme cases, alarm systems may even be blacklisted by the police dispatch center if they have raised too many false alarms in the past. Why Do You Believe Audio Is The Ideal Technology For Secondary Source Verification? Video surveillance has been the main option for security monitoring and alarm validation for decades, however industry professionals are realising that video alone is not enough. Video only tells half of the story, by adding audio capture, the responsible party gains a turnkey solution with the ability to gather additional evidence to verify alerts and expand overall awareness. In reality, audio’s range is greater than the field of view for a camera. Sound pickup is 360 degrees, capturing voices, gunshots, breaking glass, sirens, or other important details that a fixed camera many not see. How Would A Secondary Source Verification System Work With Audio? Using a video monitoring solution equipped with audio, the microphone will pick up the sounds at the time a visual alert or alarm is triggered. If embedded with classification analytics, the microphone will send alerts for specific detected sounds. The captured audio, and any notifications are immediately sent to the monitoring station, where trained personnel can listen to the sound clip, along with live audio and video from their station. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response From here, an informed decision can then be made about the validity of the alarm, along with what the current threat is at the location. If the alarm is in fact valid, the information is then passed along to the law enforcement within minutes. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response. It also provides more information in a forensic evaluation. Are There Any Additional Resources You Would Suggest Looking Into? Yes, we would suggest looking into the following to see a few different perspectives on the matter: NSA Support For 2018 Model Ordinance For Alarm Management and False Alarm Reduction Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response Support for the Term “Verified Alarm” and Prioritising Verified Alarm Responses Urban Institute Opportunities for Police Cost Savings without Sacrificing Service Quality: Reducing False Alarms
Did you know an estimated 30% of smoke alarms in the UK are inoperable due to missing, flat or disconnected batteries? For a property to comply with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it is vitally important that all fire safety equipment is kept in perfect working order at all times. This involves checking that the fire safety equipment is accessible, well maintained and hasn’t been tampered with. There are many ways you can take care of your fire safety equipment, to ensure your property is prepared, should there ever be a fire. Equipment Assessment Checks There are two types of equipment assessment checks that should be carried out, including monthly and annually If you’re the ‘responsible person’ for commercial property, you need to ensure your building meets fire safety standards. Here are 5 tips on how to properly maintain your fire safety equipment. Both passive and active fire safety equipment must be check regularly for any signs of wear or damage. There are two types of equipment assessment checks that should be carried out, including monthly and annually. There is a range of equipment checks you must carry out, including fire doors, fire alarm test, emergency lighting and fire extinguishers. Emergency lighting should be checked monthly, with all issues kept in a logbook. Fire doors should also be checked to ensure their seals and frames are in good condition. Fire Alarm Tests All fire protection has to be checked annually including alarms, detectors, lighting, sprinklers, extinguishers and fire doors. They should be carefully inspected. Fire alarms are a legal requirement for commercial premises. To check that your Fire alarms still function correctly, it is important to get them serviced. All fire alarms should be tested, maintained and inspected by a competent person who is able to carry out any remedial work. Fire alarms are a legal requirement for commercial premises Fire extinguishers must be ready to work straight away in the event of a fire, so it is vital they are regularly checked and serviced. You should ensure they are maintained and kept in a functional condition. Every month, the pressure gauge should be tested on all fire extinguishers. Fire Risk Assessments Every year, it is required that a qualified technician carries out a thorough check on all your extinguishers for them to be fully serviced and certified. In addition to regular maintenance checks on your fire safety equipment, it is vital your commercial property has a fire risk assessment carried out every 4 years, with a renewal every 2 years. Fully trained and qualified assessors should undertake this to make sure it is done professionally Fully trained and qualified assessors should undertake this to make sure it is done professionally. By having a fire risk assessment review, it determines whether any changes could impact the ability for your equipment to properly protect your building. Fire Safety Logbook During a risk assessment, all fire doors must be checked to ensure they are in good condition and close efficiently with secure hinges. The fire seals must be fixed in position, with signs on the door present and legible. To keep an overview of all findings and actions, there should be a fire safety logbook and maintenance record that remains at your premises at all times. The logbook is used to record and review any significant findings when carrying out the fire risk assessment. This helps to keep all fire safety equipment functioning effectively and available to respond to emergency fires.
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.
Among the tools of the fire service, some of the most powerful are hand-held devices. These technologies provide information to firefighters than can direct their approaches to emergency situations and safe lives. Today, more powerful devices are available in smaller, hand-held form, sometimes taking the place of much larger and more expensive devices. For example, previously the Los Angeles Fire Department carried just one large thermal imaging camera (TIC) that cost upwards of $10,000 on each fire engine. Structure Damage Evaluation Los Angeles is one of the municipal fire departments in the country to equip every on-duty firefighter with a hand-held TIC A new, smartphone-sized TIC from Seek Thermal, Santa Barbara, Calif., costs just $750 and now offers each firefighter the ability to perform faster search and rescues, execute a self-rescue if needed and locate smoldering hot spots. Los Angeles is one of the largest municipal fire departments in the country to equip every on-duty firefighter with a hand-held TIC. The purchase of a thousand TICs for the LAFD was made possible by the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation through the support of individual donors and organizations such as the Wasserman Foundation and California Community Foundation. Hand-held TICs are becoming more and more popular. FLIR has unveiled the K1 handheld TIC that is more affordable for first responder officers and fire investigators. At $599, the K1 detects heat and provides visibility through smoke and in total darkness to enhance situational awareness for use in wildland fire control, search and rescue missions, structure damage evaluation and investigative work. FLIR has unveiled the K1 handheld TIC that is affordable for first responder officers and fire investigators Gas Leak Detector The K1 is powered by the FLIR Lepton thermal microcamera and uses MSX technology, which extracts high-contrast details from the images taken by an onboard visible light camera and superimposes them onto the thermal images. It simultaneously captures thermal and visible images of a scene and stores up to 10,000 image sets to create post-scene reports, analysis and evidence. A pistol grip design allows firefighters to view a scene from their line-of-sight for improved safety and situational awareness. A spot thermometer easily identifies unseen hot and cold spots for instant troubleshooting. New handheld devices in the fire service also include a gas leak detector and a combination device that is cloud-ready. The Ultra-Trac LZ-30 compact methane-specific leak detector from Sensit Technologies provides fast and accurate readings up to 100 feet away. The device uses TDLAS (tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy) to provide instantaneous alerts to the presence of methane. Potentially Dangerous Situations Firefighters can conduct leak detection investigations themselves without the need for PPM detectors Operating at a distance, the LZ-30 eliminates the need for firefighters to access the gas plume directly and keeps them safe from potentially dangerous situations. They don’t have to climb to elevated areas or access fenced-in property or climb to elevated areas. Firefighters can conduct leak detection investigations themselves without the need for specialized PPM detectors – no need to wait for gas engineers. A simple interface provides user-friendly operation of the ergonomically designed instrument. Another wireless, handheld device includes thermal imaging, firefighter ranging, motion alarm and cloud technology with GPS. MSA Fire’s LUNAR is a small, wireless, cloud-ready device designed to provide higher levels of protection for firefighters through enhanced vision, improved situational awareness, and team connectivity. It is part of a suite of SMA products that, when used together provides a new platform for firefighter safety. MSA Fire’s LUNAR is a small, wireless, cloud-ready device designed to provide higher levels of protection for firefighters Better Situational Awareness It can be used as a stand-alone device or as part of an MSA self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) system. Thermal imaging increases visibility and improves situational awareness. Firefighter ranging combines direction and distance information to find separated teammates and decrease response time. A motion alarm sounds an alert if it does not detect a firefighter’s motion. Production of the device will begin in summer 2020. The ability to provide better situational awareness to firefighters in the palm of their hands can go a long way toward keeping firefighters safer. For example, LAFD says the thousand new TICs are a significant technology purchase and a critical component to their ‘Everyone Goes Home’ initiative. We often marvel at the powers of modern technology, and clearly those powers include saving lives.
The wildfire season in 11 Western U.S. states has started out slower than last year, although deadly fires could still develop in the second half of the season, as they did last year. Meanwhile, wildfires in the Arctic have reached new levels, especially in Alaska and Siberia. Wildfires in the West killed 160 people and caused $40 billion in damage in the past two years, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. The trend is toward larger fires burning more acres – especially in years that are warm. This year has presented some relief. Through mid-July, California’s wildfire numbers were down: from 34,957 large fires on 3,554,03 acres in 2018 to 23,378 fires covering 2,371,397 acres in 2019, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. 87 wildfire incidents reported so far In Alaska, a dry spell this year has exacerbated 58 large fires throughout the state, including the Hess Creek Fire The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported 310 significant incidents (consuming at least 10 acres) in 2018, compared to only 87 significant incidents so far this year. The largest has been the Lonoak fire in Monterey. There were 38 wildfires that burned at least 2,000 acres in California in 2018; there have been only four such blazes in California through mid-July 2019. However, five of California’s largest fires last year happened in the second half of the year. In Alaska, a dry spell this year has exacerbated 58 large fires throughout the state, including the Hess Creek Fire, the largest so far in 2019. Effects of wildfires on Artic ice On the international level, the scale of wildfires in Siberia has been unusually high and dangerously close to population centers, and some environmentalists are concerned the soot from the fires can deposit on Arctic ice, speed up its melt rate, disrupt the local ecosystem, and even increase the sea level rise. Some fires are also in remote areas that are difficult to reach. Fires throughout the Arctic – in Greenland, Siberia and Alaska – are producing plumes of smoke visible from space. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has called the Arctic blazes ‘unprecedented’. Fires throughout the Arctic – in Greenland, Siberia and Alaska – are producing plumes of smoke visible from space Arctic fires are not only the result of dry vegetation; in some cases, the underlying peat has caught fire. “The amount of [carbon dioxide] emitted from Arctic circle fires in June 2019 is larger than all the combined CO2 released from Arctic circle fires in the same month from 2010 through 2018,” the WMO says. Forests are more vulnerable during droughts Throughout the Western U.S., higher temperatures correlate well with larger wildfires: The warmest weather years have equated to the most fires. Forests are more vulnerable during droughts, but even a wet winter may not relieve fire risks, according to Climate Central. The moisture can spur growth of grasses and shrubs, which dry out on warmer days and provide additional fuel The moisture can spur growth of grasses and shrubs, which dry out on warmer days and provide additional fuel. Climate Central’s analysis is based on data reported by the U.S. Forest Service covering Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Data shows that many states are struggling to use prescribed burns to reduce fuel for out-of-control blazes, but there is much less federal funding for prescribed burns than for fire suppression, according to Climate Central. Compressed wildfire season expected Looking forward, an active but compressed wildfire season is expected across the West as the southwestern monsoon becomes more active in August. While this will effectively end the season across the Southwest, lightning-induced fire activity is expected to increase elsewhere, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. By October and November, California will reenter the fire season amid concerns of higher-than-average fire potential due to the presence of an abundant crop of fine fuels in the lower to middle elevations.
Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations to the U.K. Government after the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 were that the competence of the individuals working in the construction and life cycle of Higher Risk Residential Buildings (HRRBs) needs to improve and be clearer. Work had already started in many fire protection sectors to create fully recognized qualifications, and these help raise the benchmark. Improving fire safety training A force driving improvements in training is the Fire Industry Association (FIA). As a trade association, FIA is looking at ways to help its members and the broader industry sectors. One way to do that is to improve the training that FIA has provided to fire detection and fire alarm technicians for over 20 years. Having looked at various ways of doing this, FIA’s members agreed that creating nationally recognized qualifications would help add more professionalism to this sector. To offer nationally recognized qualifications, the FIA chose to become an awarding body registered with OFQUAL [Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation]. Initially, training is focused on the FD&A [Fire Detection and Alarm] sector, with future plans to offer training in other fire sectors. The process of becoming an awarding body was rigorous and difficult. It took FIA more than three years of applying and submitting policy documents before the organization finally achieved awarding body status in 2014. Fire system installation roles Training is provided in the four job roles as described in the fire system installation standard BS 5389/1: 2017 Training is provided in the four job roles as described in the fire system installation standard BS 5389/1: 2017; they are Design, Installation, Commissioning and Maintenance. These roles are also recognized within company third party certifications schemes (LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203). The designer designs the FD&A system, and the Installer installs it. The Commissioning technician checks and signs off the installation, and the Maintenance technician will complete the routine maintenance during the life of the system. Training modules Training in FIA’s four qualifications, at National Vocational Qualification Level 3, is broken down into modules. The Foundation is the information that each job role needs and is common to all four job roles, as is the Environment module and the Health and Safety module. These are the core modules. The final job-specific module picks up on the differences among the roles; e.g., what does a maintenance technician need to know that is different to an install technician? “Providing a qualification requires a process of asking the sector what it wants,” says Martin Duggan, General Manager, Fire Industry Association (FIA). “We went through a comprehensive route with ‘voice of the customer’ days and surveys plus syllabus reviews to check and double-check that the qualification reflects what the industry wants.” The base is the BS 5389 standard, although more was added such as Health and Safety and Environmental aspects. National Vocational Qualification Level 3 Level 3 is for supervisors or unsupervised workers and in a lot of cases, the individual will work unsupervised once they are qualified and have gained experience. The work done to create the services standard EN 16763: 2017 Services for Fire Safety Systems and Security Systems identified Level 3 as the appropriate level. The trailblazer aimed at apprentices in this sector also reached a conclusion that level 3 was the right one, as did FIA’s own research. Many electricians and security companies install fire alarm systems as their skills are very similar; however, the Fire Safety Order (England and Wales) states that a responsible person should only use competent persons to install and maintain fire protection systems. But how do you prove competence? Training in FIA’s four qualifications, at National Vocational Qualification Level 3, is broken down into modules Fire Safety Order “One of the worst things we see from all types of installers into buildings is leaving big holes in compartment walls,” says Duggan. (A compartment wall is designed to contain the spread of fire for a designated period of time.) “These should all be correctly sealed up.” The work being done by Working Group 2 (Installers) as part of the industry response group to Government on Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations includes: Company third party certification (so that the purchasing of services is done through a recognized company). The individuals the companies employ have a relevant recognized qualification. This is backed up on site with a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card or equivalent. Continuous Professional Development (CPD) or refresher training is introduced A basic knowledge of fire safe building and compartmentation is understood. “It’s this final piece that will help drive cultural change quickly, if we can implement it correctly,” says Duggan. “Can we get all installers to understand why we build compartments and why it’s so important not to damage these and allow smoke, heat and fire to move freely about a building?” LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 The benchmark for the FD&A industry has been third party certification with the two schemes LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 The benchmark for the FD&A industry has been company third party certification with the two schemes LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 being well established for the last 20 years; however, there are many companies that still are not registered, says Duggan. The excuse is based on cost, that customers are not asking for it, and that it’s not mandatory. “The way the current legislation works and is policed, it’s only likely that poor installations etc. will be found after a serious fire when it’s too late,” says Duggan. “Unfortunately, customers do not fully understand their duties to only employ competent people, and the courts will ask: What is the industry best practice and what more could have been done to prove your competence?” Third party schemes “We have company third party schemes for most fire protection disciplines and there are qualifications coming online for most sectors as well,” says Duggan. “These are what the FIA would point to as best practice.”
The University of Edinburgh, one of the UK’s most prestigious educational establishments with a history stretching back to 1582, is now protected by industry-leading intelligent fire panels from Advanced. Edinburgh is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world, with the Old College building being opened in the early 19th century as a school for anatomy and surgery. The original campus was expanded in the 1880s with the addition of the New College, and the university now occupies six sites throughout Edinburgh. Flexible, Reliable And Compatible The new fire system installed at the main campus by long-term Advanced partner FMS Fire and Security Limited, covers the entire university campus. It compromises of multi-loop Advanced MxPro 4 and MxPro 5 panels, connected using fault-tolerant network cards. The new panels installed at the University of Edinburgh are the latest in a long line of installations" Dominic Rea, Director for FMS Fire and Security, said: “The new panels installed at the University of Edinburgh are the latest in a long line of installations we have undertaken throughout the university Campus, all using MxPro components. The Advanced panels installed are not only flexible and reliable but are also compatible with the existing systems already installed.” Two Panel Ranges MxPro is s multiprotocol panel and offers customers a choice of two panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network that enjoys free training and support. Ronald Kerr, spokesperson for the University of Edinburgh, commented: “The safety of our staff and students is paramount and they are now protected by the best fire panels on the market. The university has been shaping history since it welcomed its first students in 1583 and has played a large part in the scientific and literary development of Scotland. Our buildings are a big part of that history and, thanks to Advanced, they will be protected for many years to come.” Alarm Control Across Advanced’s ease of installation and configuration make MxPro customisable to almost any application MxPro 5 offers high performance fire detection and alarm control across multi-panel networks and multiple sites. MxPro 5 panels are EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 approved. They can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, 200-panel networks covering huge areas. Advanced’s ease of installation and configuration make MxPro customisable to almost any application and the panel is fully compatible with MxPro 4. Neil Parkin, Advanced Sales Manager for the North, said: “The University of Edinburgh is the latest in a long line of educational establishments protected by Advanced panels, including Sheffield University, Herriot Watt University and a number of leading independent schools. Our MxPro range offers the performance and reliability required by a site such as the University campus and the system is flexible enough to be expanded and upgraded as technology evolves.” Advanced is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The performance, quality and ease-of-use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
A new addition to the Red Funnel Ferries fleet of passenger catamarans that criss-cross the Solent between Southampton and the Isle of Wight entered service in summer 2018. With a speed of 38 knots, Red Jet 7 is 41 meters long and holds 277 passengers and four crew. As a new-build vessel, the advanced design for the fire protection had to undergo a stringent approval process to comply with the Marine Equipment Directive (MED) prior to installation by SEC Marine from Southampton. Fire Detection System More than 30 multisensor detectors from the Apollo Discovery Marine range were supplied for Red Jet 7 The modern catamaran received a state-of-the-art fire detection system from Apollo, designed and commissioned by Fireboy-Xintex UK Operations Ltd. The ideal solution for medium and large nautical installations, Discovery Marine has the flexibility to manage different operating environments via interchangeable devices and modes. More than 30 multisensor detectors from the Apollo Discovery Marine range were supplied for Red Jet 7, supported by a Kentec panel. Similar to an optical detector, the Discovery multisensor detector accommodates an optical smoke sensor and a thermistor temperature sensor whose outputs are combined to give the final analog value. Robert Aldous, Managing Director of Fireboy said: “Apollo has worked with us on the specific challenges of nautical fire protection for many years. In our opinion, Discovery Marine is the ONLY choice for new-build fire protection systems. The different devices, all manufactured to the highest standard, give our clients peace of mind on reliability and performance.”
Nittan Europe, UK manufacturer of conventional and addressable fire detection products and systems, has had its Evolution analog addressable fire detection system installed into St. Nicholas Church in Bristol. The system was supplied and commissioned by Coomber Fire and Security Systems who are a Nittan Elite Partner and BAFE SP203-1 & SP101 accredited. Grade II listed, St Nicholas Church was built in 1769, although the crypt dates back to medieval times. St. Nicholas has always played an important role in Bristol, whether it be for worship, providing shelter during WWII or, more recently, home to Bristol City Council tourist office and archive. The church was reopened in 2018 as a center for worship, mission and social engagement continuing this legacy of being a church ‘in the city, for the city’. Fire Detection System To protect this much-loved building, a Nittan Evolution analog addressable fire detection system has been installed throughout, featuring 51 devices including detectors and beam detectors, call points and high output sounder beacons. Coomber Fire and Security Systems is the independent fire and security installer in Somerset Coomber Fire and Security Systems is the largest independent fire and security installer in Somerset. It has extensive experience in fire detection systems for churches and chose Nittan for this project based on the reliability and quality of its Evolution range combined with the increased loop voltage which allows for longer cable runs; ‘ideal in an old church of this size’ states Adam Pitman, Senior Fire Systems Engineer, Coomber Fire and Security Systems. Adam also has praise for Nittan’s service: “Exceptional service as always!” Unwanted False Alarms Evolution is Nittan’s advanced, premium fire system. Evolution uses ASIC technology in the sensors and sophisticated detection algorithms, combining extremely reliable fire detection together with a very high degree of protection against unwanted false alarms. Its advanced, highly flexible protocol allows for substantial amounts of information to be transmitted at high speed and is not affected by the number of devices on the loop. Coomber Security is an expert in fire protection for commercial and industrial applications. They supply, install, commission and maintain, analog and conventional fire alarm systems as well as extinguishers and emergency lighting. Coomber Security has a dedicated team of BAFE accredited engineers to install our whole range of fire prevention systems.
Intelligent fire panels from global fire systems pioneer, Advanced, have been installed in a prestigious, £134million Central London office building. Situated in the prime London business address of St Paul’s Churchyard, the nine-story commercial premises, Condor House, stands adjacent to St Paul’s Cathedral and just meters from Fleet Street. Comprising 110,000 sq. ft. of high-quality office space, Condor House is home to a number of professional services firms including financial services provider Barclays Capital and investment bank Moelis & Company. Hailed by the installers as the ‘Engineer’s choice’, a network of Advanced’s flagship 4-loop MxPro 5 multiprotocol fire panels have been installed to protect the site. Integration of MxPro 5 panels and XP95 detectors WFP integrated the MxPro 5 open protocol control panels alongside Apollo’s XP95 range of detectorsResponsible for the complete replacement of all elements of the integrated fire detection, voice alarm and fire telephone system installed at Condor House, including design, installation, programming, testing and commissioning, were Essex-based firm and Advanced partners, WFP Fire and Security. The ‘closed’ nature of the system meant that the cost for alterations and maintenance was higher than the market price of an ‘open’ system. WFP integrated the MxPro 5 open protocol control panels, which recently received FM Approval to the EN54 standard, alongside Apollo’s XP95 range of detectors and interfaces. Advanced’s PC-based graphical interface package, detailing the building layout to make it straightforward for the security team to have visibility and control over the fire system, was also provided. Designing and building custom panels During the project, WFP enlisted the support of Advanced’s AdSpecials department to design and build several custom panels including 200 zonal indicator panels, sprinkler indication panels and bespoke plant with key switch isolation controls to be installed in mobile racking units alongside the six 4-loop fire alarm panels. For customers requiring custom fire panels, Advanced’s AdSpecials team will work with them to design and manufacture unique panels and control interfaces for its fire systems, whatever the installation challenge. The end result is a fully up-to-date fire detection and voice alarm system ready for 10-15 years of service" WFP Fire and Security’s Contracts Manager, Scott Wright, said: “From a technical standpoint, the design and implementation of the fire system at Condor House required intricate planning and execution. We consider Advanced as the engineer’s choice of product when it comes to fire alarm control panels as it’s one of the most versatile ‘open’ systems on the market. The end result is a fully up-to-date fire detection and voice alarm system ready for 10-15 years of service.” Easy to install and configure fire panels Approved to EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13, MxPro 5 panels can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, 200 panel networks covering huge areas and tens of thousands of field devices. Advanced’s legendary ease of installation and configuration and wide peripheral range means that MxPro is customizable to almost any application, and it can be found in challenging and prestigious sites around the world. Ken Bullock, Regional Sales Manager, said: “This project involved a major upgrade from the old closed protocol system. Advanced MxPro 5 panels are compatible with detectors from four of the biggest manufacturers: Apollo, Argus, Nittan and Hochiki. Our panels and compatible field devices are available from a wide range of distributors putting the customer in charge of their budget." Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control “The MxPro 5 range of alarm control equipment was specified because of the openness, flexibility and performance and we were thrilled to work with WFP to provide the solutions they needed to make this extensive retrofit a success.” Protecting commercial properties Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, has a long history of protecting high-profile commercial property from HSBC’s Canary Wharf headquarters in London to Sydney’s famous Westfield Shopping Centre. Advanced is a global pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease-of-use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
Apollo Fire Detectors’ innovative SOTERIA range of detectors has been chosen to protect the prestigious Darrick Wood School in Orpington, Kent. The school is rated by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’ and achieved the ‘World Class Schools Quality Mark in’ 2015. The fire detection system was upgraded as part of a wider program of works which saw the school invest in a new dining hall, a Movement & Performing Arts Building with specialist Drama and Music rooms and new PE changing rooms. Many of these new buildings encompass large open areas with high ceilings and interconnected spaces, which presented a challenge for the project’s fire detection system designer, Triple Star Fire & Security Ltd. Students and staff security Built in 1975, Darrick Wood School has been extended over the years and the existing fire detection system was in need of an upgrade. The installation of a brand new system to protect the pupils, staff and visitors using the most recently added school buildings provided an opportunity to upgrade some parts of the existing system. The existing and new fire systems will be fully integrated to ensure compatibility across the school. The existing and new fire systems will be fully integrated to ensure compatibility across the school To avoid any disruption to pupils and staff during term time, all installation and upgrade work on the systems took place during the school holidays. Advanced fire detection system The main building contractor, Ammcass Group, appointed local experts Triple Star Fire & Security Ltd to design and install the state-of-the-art fire detection system, which is based on Apollo’s award-winning SOTERIA range of detectors. Explaining the choices made at Darrick Wood School, Daren Pool, Managing Director of Triple Star, said “SOTERIA was the ideal product for this large school. With this advanced technology available, we were able to offer superior reliability of detection and reduction of false alarms – exactly the features required in this environment.” Apollo SOTERIA fire detectors Up to 100 Apollo SOTERIA devices, including manual call points and interfaces, were fitted at Darrick Wood, along with bells and strobes designed for the school environment. The system is managed by two Advanced MX5 control panels – one located in the main reception area and the other in the sports center reception. The system is programmed to operate a ‘one out, all out’ procedure in the event of a fire being detected. Graham Field, Premises Manager at Darrick Wood School, commented “The installation of the new fire protection system went smoothly during the holidays, so that we could proudly open the new buildings and provide the pupils with enhanced facilities. It was reassuring to have the latest SOTERIA technology installed. We’re very happy with the modern aesthetics of the devices and are confident that the school’s fire protection is future-proofed for the years ahead.”
Set to stand at 62-storeys high, 22 Bishopsgate in the City of London will, on completion, become the second-tallest building in Western Europe. The 278m office building will offer 1.275 million sq. ft of high specification office space, as well as eight community spaces, covering over 100,000 sq ft, including an innovation hub, curated gallery space, fresh food market, gym and wellbeing retreat. Once completed, Advanced will protect both of Western Europe’s tallest buildings, with 22 Bishopsgate being the latest in a long line of London’s most prestigious and iconic skyscrapers specifying Advanced, including the Shard, the Leadenhall Building, the Heron Tower and the HSBC Tower. Networked MxPro 5 panels At the centre of the active fire protection for 22 Bishopsgate are over 80 networked MxPro 5 panels with graphic display and BMS integration, alongside three special build panels for the building’s Fire Command Centre, that will form part of the intelligent fire detection network. Advanced’s panels are used alongside Apollo’s Soteria detectors and its networking is widely regarded as the most resilient and scalable solution on the market. It can be expanded up to 200 node networks covering huge areas with complicated cause-and-effect. Great emphasis and consideration has been placed on the fire protection for 22 Bishopsgate" As a UK-first, 22 Bishopsgate will utilize a specially developed lift-evacuation strategy in case of fire. The building is separated into four vertical areas by fire-hardened slabs with a two-hour fire rating separating a floor from the one above at levels 26, 42 and 58. Depending on which of the four vertical areas of the building a fire is detected, workers on that floor and the floors above egress via fire escape stairs to the area below and from there can evacuate via the lifts, safe in the knowledge that these are protected by the slabs above. Fire detection systems Responsible for every aspect of installation of the fire system from design to completion, PHF Fire, a division of PHF Electrical, used Advanced for its market-leading networking capabilities, best suited to managing a network of this size and complexity. Paul Falkner, Director at PHF Fire, said: “Great emphasis and consideration has been placed on the fire protection for 22 Bishopsgate – a building truly at the at the forefront of fire technology. From working with Advanced previously we knew its products could be relied upon to deliver powerful, flexible and dependable fire protection for the complex nature of a building of this size.” Fire protection Advanced is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems Amanda Hope, UK Business Development Manager at Advanced, said: “Advanced is a leader in the market in terms of performance, quality and ease-of-use and being specified in arguably the UK’s most high-profile commercial development, since the Shard, reinforces this. We are thrilled to now not only protect Western Europe’s tallest building, but soon also the second tallest. It was a pleasure to work with the team at PHF Fire where we were able to meet their needs with a system capable of delivering the complicated cause and effect programming and flexible networking required.” With EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 approval, the MxPro is the fire industry’s leading multiprotocol fire solution, offering customers a choice of two panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network that enjoys free training and support. Intelligent fire systems expert Advanced is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The performance, quality and ease of use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large, multi-site networks in some of the world’s most prestigious sites. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, extinguishing control panels, fire paging and false alarm management systems.