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...
His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge visited The Fire Fighters Charity’s Harcombe House center in Chudleigh, Devon, to find out how it supports members of the UK’s fire services community. The Duke met individuals and families who have been supported by the Charity and undertook a tour of the newly renovated centre, observing an art therapy session and activities in the Charity’s gym area. Supporting the wellbeing of fire community Working within the fire and rescue serv...
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...
Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner and Suffolk County Councillor Richard Rout, formally opened the new shared Police/Fire station in Beccles (Friday 30 August 2019), along with Chief Constable Steve Jupp and Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dan Fearn. This is the eleventh shared community Fire and Police facility in Suffolk with stations already operating in Leiston, Newmarket, Saxmundham, Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Ixworth, Elmswell, Debenham, Framlingham and Clare. There are also plans for fur...
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service has entered into an agreement with the Rapid Relief Team to support firefighters when they are attending prolonged incidents by providing food and refreshments. The Rapid Relief Team (RRT) is a non-profit charitable organization. Its volunteers are members of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church and their mission is to provide voluntary support to the emergency services at large scale incidents. The volunteers make themselves available to support emergen...
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&rsq...
Showcasing at the Emergency Services Show (NEC Birmingham, Stand C71, 18-19 September) are rugged innovative 360 degree rescue solutions from the UK’s leader, Vimpex, dedicated to delivering new levels of performance to emergency services teams at any incident. There will be lots of new and versatile products to see, including the new Pacific R6 Helmet range - helmets for Ambulance, Fire & Rescue and Police; an interactive area where visitors can trial the multi-featured next generation First Look 360 camera - the live streaming 360 degree technical rescue search camera, and the most comprehensive heavy lifting rapid extrication solution from Paratech. Pacific R6 Helmet These helmets provide the perfect combination of safety, balance and wearer comfortThe new Pacific R6 Helmet range offers the most up-to-date form of head protection. The Pacific R6 rescue helmet range represents the most versatile and configurable helmet of its type available, offering the most up-to-date and modern form of head protection in a very comfortable, lightweight and wearable package. Pacific helmets are tested in the most extreme conditions required for conformity to relevant clauses of the stringent EN 443 standard, unlike some of its competitors. Manufactured using a Kevlar® reinforced composite shell; these helmets provide the perfect combination of safety, balance and wearer comfort. The use of fibre-reinforced materials means that Pacific rescue helmets have less mass than those manufactured from thermo plastics, and with a very low centre of gravity so that all users can concentrate on their job rather than neck ache. Technical Rescue Search Camera Next generation FirstLook360 is the world’s first live streaming 360 degree technical rescue search camera that uses state-of-the-art, custom-built software to create a seamless 360 degree view that can be manipulated or shared on a mobile device. It is easy to use, reliable, rugged, has an intuitive interface and no mechanics It is easy to use, reliable, rugged, has an intuitive interface and no mechanics. The FL360’s digital streams broadcast in HD quality and are designed to transmit both wired and/or wirelessly to any Android powered mobile device. Heavy Rescue Tools Paratech Heavy Rescue tools and equipment comprise the most comprehensive heavy lifting kit available, utilizing the strength of HydraFusion Struts, lifting height and power of the MULTIFORCE in the Rapid Extrication Kit as well as the environmentally friendly sturdiness of recycled plastic cribbing and much more. This Kit can lift and stabilize any vehicle on the road, and all packed in four convenient, mobile cases.
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
Bullard, a pioneer in the personal protective equipment market, announces the acquisition of Switzerland-based Darix™, an award-winning spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne focusing on improving the situational awareness of professionals in critical environments. Darix, founded in 2017, is comprised of a team of specialists in image processing and software, user experience and design, micro-electronics and rapid prototyping, and is a frontrunner on smart-glasses for industrial and commercial safety and emergency responder applications. Safety-Related Challenges We are delighted to welcome the Darix team into the Bullard family to deliver new, innovative solutions" “Bullard is committed to bringing to market life-saving equipment that allow our customers to go home safely at the end of the day,” said Wells Bullard, Chief Executive Officer of Bullard. “We are delighted to welcome the Darix team into the Bullard family to deliver new, innovative solutions to advance human safety around the world.” Martijn Bosch, Chief Executive Officer of Darix, added, “Four years ago, we started with a simple mission to help firefighters save lives by allowing them to see through smoke. Today this dream has come a big step closer as we are joining a fantastic and like-minded team.” Darix, currently in Lausanne, Switzerland, will continue to reside there and become the Bullard Technology Center, focused on developing technology to enhance worker safety. Peter Lugo, President and Chief Operating Officer of Bullard, said, “We are excited to join forces with the amazing talent at Darix to leverage augmented technology that will power our core and new product solutions to continue to solve our customers’ most critical safety-related challenges.”
Tyne and Wear Firefighters Gene (Clinton) Browne and his son, Curtis, have both been awarded Chief Fire Officer’s Commendations for outstanding contribution above and beyond the call of duty to their community. Gene who has recently retired from the White Watch at Gosforth Community Fire Station after 11 years and his son Curtis, from Gosforth’s Blue Watch, received their commendation (presented by Assistant Chief Fire Officer, John Baines) following a letter from Gateshead Councilor, Julie Simpson and her brother John Simpson. Supporting neighbor in difficult times Gene endeavored to make Mr. Alan Simpson’s final weeks as comfortable and as worry-free as possibleGene and Curtis, as well as Gene’s wife Fiona, helped Julie and John’s father at the end of his life in December 2018. As a close neighbor, Gene discovered Julie and John’s father – Alan Simpson – in his garden looking very unwell and sought immediate medical treatment for him, but sadly he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Gene then endeavored to make Mr. Alan Simpson’s final weeks as comfortable and as worry-free as possible, by providing him with pyjamas and slippers, paying his utility bills and supporting him through some very difficult hours. What’s more, he helped fulfill his last wish – to be reunited with his daughter and son. While he’d had some minimal contact with Julie through a few letters, he hadn’t seen his son for 43 years. Curtis was able to search for Julie online, enabling the hospital to get in touch with the family. Both John and Julie managed to speak to their dad just hours before he died. Respectable and honorable officer His kindness, generosity and exceptional intentions make him a respectable and honorable officer"Councilor Julie Simpson commented: “It goes without saying that Gene is a credit to the fire service. His kindness, generosity and exceptional intentions make him a respectable and honorable officer. His willingness and honesty to help others at a time of need and selfless determination and attitude is and remains truly remarkable. “I and my brother are totally indebted to Gene and his family for providing us with opportunity to say our last few words to our dad before he died. If Gene hadn’t helped to make this happen, I know that we would have lived to regret not being able to say our final goodbyes to him.” Along with Gene, his son Curtis also supported Mr. Alan Simpson’s last wishes and read the eulogy at the thanksgiving for his life. His exceptional support for the family also received a much deserved commendation. Demonstrating leadership behaviors Gene and Curtis demonstrated exemplary leadership behaviors, those which are displayed through our firefighters"Assistant Chief Fire Officer, John Baines commented: “Our firefighters are trained to protect our communities. From preventing incidents through safety visits in homes and businesses through to responding to all levels of emergencies, using their professionalism and expertise to protect and save lives; every day, they do that. “But what Gene, Curtis and Fiona did in supporting the Simpson family at such a difficult time, is incredibly humbling for anyone of us to hear. Gene and Curtis demonstrated exemplary leadership behaviors, those which are displayed through our firefighters. I cannot commend them enough for the remarkable support they gave to the family. Our community should be very proud that we have firefighters and families like the Browne’s, whose care and compassion for others is a meaningful and positive example to us all.” As well as the Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation, Gene was also presented with his 30 year-long service certificate on the occasion of his retirement.
The first firefighters recruit course at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service in almost a decade draws to an end this week. After 15 weeks of intensive training, Recruit Course 49/18 will close this Friday. The 23 recruits had their Passing out Parade which took place on Wednesday 13 February. The Parade is a long standing fire service tradition allowing the successful recruits the opportunity to showcase a small selection of their new skills. This includes a number of fire ground scenarios and is followed by a presentation of certificates and course awards. Almost 5,000 aspiring firefighters applied in the first recruitment drive since 2010. Preventing emergencies and accidents They play an integral role in our community to help prevent emergencies and accidents occurring in the first place"TWFRS, Chief Fire Officer, Chris Lowther said: “Today, we have celebrated the transformation of 23 people into elite firefighters. Our firefighters don’t just fight fires and rescue people from road traffic collisions, they play an integral role in our community to help prevent emergencies and accidents occurring in the first place. They also help to educate children on the risks from fire, water and roads. “Throughout the past 14 weeks our recruits have been put through their paces and been trained at the highest level and their determination and hard work has paid off. It’s a proud day not only for the Service but the recruits, the trainers and of course their families who have supported them every step of the way. For the 23 who have had their passing out parade – this is not the end but the beginning.” Developing firefighting skills The cohort of 23 have all been given a job within TWFRS. Cllr Barry Curran, Chair of the Tyne and Wear Fire Authority added: “Huge congratulations to the recruits. It was fantastic to be able to see them put into practice what they have learnt over the past 14 weeks during their drill displays this afternoon. I wish them the very best as they continue to learn and develop their firefighting skills within Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.” In front of friends, family and dignitaries, the 23 recruits demonstrated their skills in three scenarios In front of friends, family and dignitaries, the 23 demonstrated their skills in three scenarios: a house fire showing a variety of firefighting and rescue techniques; an aircraft incident involving the handling of a crashed light aircraft rescue and a road traffic collision utilizing specialist rescue equipment used at road traffic collisions. Awards presented to the recruits Following the demonstrations the recruits were presented with awards. The Dan McCormack trophy was awarded to Annabel Crowther and is awarded to the student with the best theoretical results during the course. Lee Rukin received the George Maddox trophy which is awarded to the recruit receiving the highest theoretical and practical Breathing Apparatus (BA) marks. George Maddox, a former BA instructor and Station Officer, is remembered for his high standards and extensive knowledge in all BA related areas. The Silver Axe award is presented to the recruit with the best theoretical and practical results throughout the course across all disciplines and was also awarded to Lee Rukin. Daniel Claridge was awarded the Dusty Ashman Trophy which is presented to the recruit, who in the opinion of their fellow course members, has made the greatest overall contribution during the 15 weeks of training to become the ‘recruit’s recruit’. Next stage of training begins The final day of the course is Friday 15 February and following this, the 23 recruits will join their new watches and stations across the Service to start the next stage of their training and development. The stations they will be deployed to include: Newcastle Central, Byker, Tynemouth, South Shields, Sunderland Central, Farringdon and Gateshead. Recruits and station: 3 new firefighters at Newcastle Central 4 new firefighters at Byker 4 new firefighters at Tynemouth 2 new firefighters at South Shields 3 new firefighters at Sunderland Central 3 new firefighters at Farringdon 4 new firefighters at Gateshead
AFAC19 powered by INTERSCHUTZ is the biggest-ever edition of the event. This is due in part to the first-time inclusion of the national conference of the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) in the AFAC program, which also includes the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference. The high-caliber Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Research Forum will once again cover all the latest research findings on natural catastrophes and resilience, while a German group pavilion with 11 companies will also be making an appearance at AFAC19. A further highlight includes a talk by the President of the German Fire Service Association (DFV), Hartmut Ziebs – the first time a German speaker has been featured in the AFAC conference program – speaking on the topic ‘How does the German fire brigade system work?’ Better preparation for emergencies This year we are dealing with major issues that affect us all: growth, climate change and technological progress"This year's lead theme at AFAC19 is ‘A shift to the new norm: riding the wave of change’, involving the need for emergency services to adapt to a new age in which substantial transformation becomes the normal state of affairs. This includes better preparation for emergencies, greater resilience in society and increased capacity to recover more quickly from crises. "This year we are dealing with some major issues that affect us all: growth, climate change and technological progress," says Stuart Ellis, AFAC CEO. "But we are also facing the challenge of promoting greater diversity and integration to better reflect the communities we serve," he adds. AFAC19 brings together the fire and rescue services of Australia as well as companies and organizations from abroad to discuss the latest issues. A total of nearly 200 companies will be showcasing their newest products and services on 12,000 square meters of exhibition space. Companies exhibiting at German pavilion AFAC19 powered by INTERSCHUTZ is a joint project of the AFAC, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and Deutsche MesseThe following companies will be exhibiting at the German group pavilion: ALRO Engineering, askö, Crystop, Haix Group, Luitpold Schott Amaturenfabrik, s.tec Germany, Schmitz One Seven, Securemen, Skylotec, Stumpf & Kossendey Verlagsgesellschaft and the Wagner Group. The German pavilion is organized by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology as well as the INTERSCHUTZ partner, the German Fire Protection Association (vfdb). AFAC19 powered by INTERSCHUTZ is a joint project of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and Deutsche Messe, acting in the capacity of Hannover Fairs Pty Ltd. Deutsche Messe AG participates in AFAC by contributing its exhibition management expertise. At the same time, AFAC serves to reinforce the international standing of the Hannover-based INTERSCHUTZ event.
Those responsible for the specification of products which go into new modern buildings have been asking for safe, approved cabling, which play a critical part in electrical supply systems. The number of fires in high-rise buildings in Europe and the Middle East have brought the issue of quality of products for fire performance circuits into sharp focus, not least the Grenfell disaster. Meanwhile, new buildings become increasingly complex, with the use of new materials and the designs of many requiring complex electrical systems to support security and fire safety. New and refurbished buildings such as hospitals, schools, shopping malls or airports, may have complex addressable loop fire alarm systems which provide information on individual detectors. Conventional systems only provide information about specific circuits or zones. Indicating exact location of fire, fault For critical alarm circuits in buildings where large numbers of people move about there can be no greater priority than safetyThe addressable systems feature a fire control panel which receives information and status reports from each device, indicating its exact location and if there may be a fire, a fault, heat or contamination. For critical alarm circuits in buildings where large numbers of people move about – many of whom can be vulnerable – there can be no greater priority than safety. The cabling chosen for these systems is therefore critical. If the power to these alarm systems fails because the cabling does not meet the required performance, then the information available for fire and rescue services is directly affected and with it, the chance of finding people who may be in the building. To meet these design challenges, and with the inquiry into the Grenfell disaster still ongoing, it is the use of the very latest technology and science that is taking enhanced fire performance cabling onto a new level. Safe and compliant cable products Decision-makers in the supply chain want reassurance that the products they are specifying are safe and compliant, meeting all recognized specifications. Calls have been made by the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) for all cable being used in the UK to conform to relevant British, European or international standards amid increasing concerns about the volume of non-approved cables coming onto the market. Installers have welcomed the development of a new generation of fire performance cabling Installers have welcomed the development of a new generation of fire performance cabling which ensures critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes. The standard and enhanced cables in the Total Fire Solutions range are tubed, making them a welcome product for contractors with ease of installation. They are all UV stable and they all come with a hard insulant to resist any fault generation over time. These cables meet all relevant industry standards including ISO 9001 and is approved by the leading industry organizations nationally and worldwide including BASEC and LPCB. Carrying out fire risk assessment For the fire and rescue services, the continuity of power means they can continue to read fire alarm system information which can direct them to the seat of the fire and help to locate people who may be in the building. Responsibility for choosing the right system lies with the ‘responsible person’ under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in business or any other non-domestic premises. This will be the owner, employer, landlord, or may be the facilities manager or building manager. As the responsible person, he or she must carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly and put in place and maintain appropriate fire safety measures. Ultimately, the responsible person faces a fines or jail if they fail to follow these measures and there is a fire. For some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios Any items or products which go into these fire safety systems must be covered by standards set by national, European and international bodies such as British Standards. These will certify that when needed these products will perform their function and operate as expected in real life fire conditions. Ensuring cables meet fire safety standards In support of these standards, cable industry bodies provide testing regimes to ensure that different types of cable are fit for purpose and meet these standards when tested in fire conditions. For installers, or those procuring cables, there is a need to check the cable when it arrives to make sure it is exactly what was specified. Instances of unsafe non-approved cable continue to come to lightFor some buildings, it is crucial to select the highest quality products to meet the most rigorous third-party tests and real-life fire scenarios. These include environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes where older people and children move about. Specifiers looking at new large public sector projects such as hospitals should refer to BS 8519 for the electrical supply, and the most relevant cabling system. Counterfeit Flexible Cords campaign Instances of unsafe non-approved cable continue to come to light. Unsafe flexible cord, intended for use in domestic and industrial applications, has been found on sale in the UK recently, prompting the ACI to issue a fresh alert to the electrical supply chain. The latest find of sub-standard flexible cords is marked ‘Made in Turkey’ and ‘Ermaks’. Samples came to light following the initiative’s recent ‘Counterfeit Flexible Cords’ campaign which alerted the electrical supply chain to dangerous industrial flexible cords. We in the supply chain should all be vigilant to watch out and report these instances of non-compliant cabling wherever we see or suspect they have been installed, while developing only the safest products and systems of our own. We shouldn’t forget that we all have a duty and a responsibility where lives and property are at stake. Importance of MV cables to infrastructure Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliantThe demand for power has never been greater, with the explosion of development in towns and cities across the UK and the growth of industrial development and technology reliant on consistent supplies. Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market should be independently approved and certified as compliant as the pressure mounts on the installation of quality products in modern building developments. MV cables are crucial to our infrastructure. Electricity leaves the generating site and is routed via a step-up transformer to take it up to the National Grid distribution voltages of 400Kv, 275Kv and 132Kv. Once in the local area, the supply goes through step-down transformers that reduce the voltage to 415V with domestic supplies tapped off at 230V. To provide power to the sub-stations – very often located on the premises of the establishment that they supply – Medium Voltage (MV) cables are used. MV cables were only developed as the level of voltages increased and the need arose for a greater classification range. design and specification of the cables The technical design and specification of the cables is of paramount importance within the power distribution networkThe size of the market has developed to the point where the global MV cables market was valued at 39.31billion US dollars in 2016 and projected to grow at a rate of more than six percent until 2022. The technical design and specification of the cables themselves is of paramount importance within the power distribution network. There are a number of technical considerations to be taken into account including the size of the installation, the position of the installation in relation to the network and the presence of primary and secondary sub-stations. Prior to installation, a detailed route survey should also be carried out to plan where cables will be jointed and to identify any possible obstructions which may require special civil engineering works such as directional drilling. Underlying the critical nature of supplies to these types of services, the incidence of non-approved cables for these applications also plagues the industry.
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.
After the World Trade Center attack, First Responders had difficulty communicating quickly and comprehensively. Other crises and emergency events such as the Sandy Hook School shootings, Hurricane Katrina, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Parkland School shootings and many more have continued to validate the desperate need for interoperable communication among First Responders. First Responders, first line of defense In emergency situations, First Responders are the first line of defense for safety and rescue missions. They depend on digital and connected technologies to facilitate life-saving assistance, manage crisis situations, and to bring order to chaos. There is a lack of infrastructure for communications media (radio, video, mobile communications, sensory information, telephony, data files and chat) throughout disconnected silos in both vertical and horizontal environments. Universally, national interoperable communications solutions for emergency response have remained elusive, despite significant investments and determined efforts by many. The company supplies secured communications technologies that deliver speed, flexibility Providing a solution for interoperable communications is Agile, Bethesda, Md., formerly known as Agile Interoperable Solutions. The company supplies secured communications technologies that deliver speed, flexibility and a range of 4G, 5G and LTE coverage. Agile’s line of incident command products support both land and marine applications and do not require hardware changes or full replacement with each new generation. CORE system integration platform Each Agile technology is an extension of its flagship product, CORE (Common Operating Radio Engine). CORE integrates Landline, Cellular, Radio, Wi-Fi and Satellite communications in a portable, ruggedized enclosure supporting incident response and command and control functions. CORE provides interoperability and unified incident command for secure communications among multiple and disparate parties, agencies, vehicles and IoT-enabled devices under harsh conditions. In conjunction with CORE’s interoperable capabilities, Agile’s remote management and virtual SIM technologies provide flexibility and economies of both SIM utilization and hardware maintenance. The management server allows in-field units to be supported, updated, and reconfigured remotely. Virtualization allows SIMS to be loaded onto Agile’s cellular gateways from a central SIM library as needed to change or add cell carriers or a number of active LTE connections. Agile’s technologies provide voice, SMS, MMS, IMS and data over 4G, 5G and LTE up to gigabit coverage. Public and infrastructure safety First Responders should be first in line to this technology because their job is to save lives" “First Responders should be first in line to this technology because their job is to save lives,” says Vernon Guillermo, Agile’s Co-Chief Executive Officer/COO. “Emergencies are unpredictable, and the nature of risk dictates that one does not know who one needs to coordinate with, where that person is or what form of communications and information will be required to mitigate or manage the issues that arise.” First Responder workforces face the most demanding and often dangerous work environments, performing jobs that are critical to public safety and protecting infrastructure, delivering patients to hospitals, fighting fires, operating mass transit vehicles and maintaining the power grid. “These mission-critical workers cannot afford to be disconnected from dispatchers and operations – even for a few minutes. Agile’s technology, CORE, provides the solution for First Responders to achieve secured interoperable communications”, says Shehryar Wahid, Agile Co-Chief Executive Officer/CTO. Bridging communication gaps “During times when immediate and coordinated communication is tantamount, Agile can provide the bridge to close communications gaps and help keep First Responders connected and assist them in their efforts to save lives”, says Wahid. Agile’s technologies are being deployed by a major Southern Florida municipality’s First Responders and firefighters and are on the verge of being deployed by other governmental and non-governmental entities. The 9-11 Commission discovered that a lack of interoperable communications between fire and police was a serious problem that hampered evacuations and contributed to the deaths of personnel after the attacks on the World Trade Center buildings. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) defines “interoperability” as follows, “The ability of emergency responders to communicate among jurisdictions, disciplines, and levels of government, using a variety of frequency bands, as needed and as authorized.” CORE integrates landline, cellular, radio, WiFi and satellite communications Secured interoperable communications tools Wahid says Agile’s technologies help address this challenge by offering secure interoperable communications tools. Additionally, emergency environments are not static events; new primary, secondary and tertiary effects can emerge rapidly. Therefore, communications are needed with those both in immediate proximity and considerably more remote. “The individuals who are tasked with running these communication systems can themselves be bandwidth-challenged, given the increasing complexity of technology they are required to master while facing increasingly tighter budgets,” Wahid adds. Funding and implementation of technology in general can be challenging. In addition to direct purchasing of Agile products, Agile offers leasing options to ensure affordability to those with challenging budgets. All Agile’s products are solid-state and ruggedized to withstand severe and extreme weather conditions. Agile is the crucial tool and solution First Responders need to help them save lives. “Agile just provides First Responders the desperately needed secured interoperable communications tools,” Wahid says. “There is a misconception that interoperable communications have already been achieved,” says Guillermo. “Unfortunately, with unpredictable emergencies that arise all over the world, First Responders are reminded with each event about the critical need for integrative communications under the most rigorous of circumstances. Agile’s mission is to bring the complete solution to First Responders globally.”
One lesson of Grenfell is how many fire system technicians operate without the appropriate qualifications. Since the Grenfell tragedy, Dame Judith Hackitt has called for all relevant trades to hold formal qualifications, and for industry to implement a system in which clients and end users can be assured that operatives are fully competent. Another lesson is that fire service audits of buildings are no longer fit for purpose. For instance, the current system does not require proof that a fire system was installed by a “competent person.” Fire safety in commercial buildings “The general public would be horrified to learn that someone can fit a fire safety system in a commercial building without any proper qualifications or licence,” says Tom Brookes, Managing Director of Lindum Fire Services Ltd., former Chairman of the British Fire Consortium (BFC), and current Chairman of the Fire and Security Association. When it comes to competency, the whole industry needs to up its game" “When it comes to competency, the whole industry needs to up its game,” says Brookes. “Some larger companies are upskilling their staff and moving towards formal qualifications. If small- and medium-sized enterprises do not follow suit, they will fall behind and may be excluded from the marketplace altogether.” Working Group 2 on installer competence Working Group 2 on installer competence was established after the publication of Dame Judith Hackitt’s final report last year, under the joint leadership of Build UK and the Fire Sector Federation. The group has discussed extensively the need for systems engineers to be suitably qualified and able to demonstrate their competence. “In my opinion, there is too much focus on rival competency schemes rather than overall industry outcomes, which somewhat muddies the waters,” says Brookes. “However, one thing that has become crystal clear is that all fire and emergency systems engineers will likely need to hold a Level 3 qualification in the future.” Training provided BFC, FIA and IFEDA Although quality training is provided through the British Fire Consortium (BFC), Fire Industry Association (FIA), Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association (IFEDA) and others, historically there have been no Ofqual-approved qualifications for the fire sector. (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation [Ofqual] is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests.) Changes are afoot, however. In England, the Fire, Emergency Systems and Security trailblazer apprenticeship attracted around 300 new starts last year. The FIA have replaced their 20-year-old training programmes with a new system that will enable technicians who complete the series to achieve their Level 3 qualifications. Since the Grenfell tragedy, Dame Judith Hackitt has called for all relevant trades to hold formal qualifications BS5839-1:2017 Ofqual-approved qualification The awarding organization EAL are launching a BS5839-1:2017 Ofqual-approved qualification in August 2019. This will allow previously trained engineers to sit an exam and gain a Level 3 award demonstrating up-to-date knowledge. Practical skills testing for more experienced technicians, outside of an apprenticeship, is something FSA are currently working hard on with partners including ECA, NET and ECS. “Our aim is for a few options to become available for operatives to gain some sort of practical competence certification,” says Brookes. “More technological solutions are now being considered for competency evaluation, such as uploading video assessments of candidates to a portal for assessors. This is already used for some NVQ type assessments and widely used in the USA. It may be just what our sector needs at this moment in time.” 'Accountable Person' role Latest Government report following Grenfell states they are looking to create a role in commercial buildings The latest Government report following Grenfell states they are looking to create a role in commercial buildings called the “Accountable Person.” This person will have a legal responsibility to ensure people working on systems are competent. While only for high rise and high-risk buildings, like all developments, it will likely spread throughout the sector. “For as long as I have been in the fire industry trade bodies have called upon the fire authorities and Government to legislate to stop unskilled workers installing and maintaining fire safety equipment,” says Brookes. He notes that both independent third-party certification of businesses and CSCS partner card schemes like ECS for individuals are voluntary arrangements. To date, neither Government nor fire services insist either scheme is used by a fire protection company. “If, heaven forbid, we witnessed another tragedy like Grenfell tomorrow, sadly I suspect the outcome would be very much the same,” says Brookes. “However, looking further ahead, I am confident buildings will be safer once new legislation comes into force and effectively eliminates the threat of incompetent and unqualified fire and emergency system engineers.”
There are 200 video cameras keeping watch throughout five Western United States to provide early warning of wildfires. In the near future, the number of cameras will be growing dramatically. Soon there will be more than 1,000 of the cameras in California alone, keeping watch on thousands of acres at risk of destructive events like last year’s deadly Camp and Woolsey wildfires. The ALERTWildfire cameras are installed through a consortium of universities – the University of Nevada, Reno; the University of California, San Diego; and the University of Oregon. Dozens of partners also participate in ALERTWildfire, including the National Forest Service, other government agencies, utilities and other private companies, state and local fire departments, and NGOs (non-governmental organizations). “It takes a lot of people, pushing in the same direction, to deploy cameras rapidly,” says Graham Kent, University of Nevada, Reno. “We are connected into the community, which is a positive thing.” Monitoring Fire Behavior The cameras monitor fire behavior until it is contained, enhance situational awareness during evacuationsThe cameras can provide early warning when a fire starts and help firefighters and first responders scale the resources needed to respond. The cameras also monitor fire behavior until it is contained, enhance situational awareness during evacuations, and ensure fires are monitored appropriately through their demise. ALERTWildfire currently uses Axis Q6055-E outdoor-ready pan-tilt-zoom network cameras that provide 1080p HDTV signals, 32x zoom and low-bandwidth compression. (Earlier versions of similar Axis camera models were also installed previously.) The camera’s robust aluminum casing can withstand temperatures up to 140 degrees F, although the cameras are positioned on the top of towers where temperatures from wildfires are not a factor. In addition to cameras, each installation site includes a range of equipment including hard power or solar power (on about a third of installations), both with battery backups. Resilient, hardened microwave/fiber networks carry video signals from the cameras to servers at University of Nevada, Reno, which makes them available on the Internet. Geolinks, an ALERTWildfire partner, provides resilient Internet connectivity to mountaintops throughout the West. Watching Fires On Mobile Devices Dispatchers around the West have access to video from the cameras, and fire management can move the camera views through their iPhones. Firefighters can even watch fires on their mobile devices while they are en-route to a fire. Cameras are located currently in California, Nevada, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. There have been 85 cameras in place for five years or so, and the number of cameras has more than doubled since the beginning of 2019. Firefighters can even watch fires on their mobile devices while they are en-route to a fire The accelerated installation schedule is courtesy of a new policy of using existing infrastructure for cameras rather than creating it from scratch. The large number of cameras on the horizon for California is being funded by utility companies such as Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric. AI-Enabled Monitoring For Early Warning The public can view the camera feeds and often call 911 to report early warnings of fires, thus providing a kind of crowdsourcing, a fire-warning version of ‘Neighborhood Watch’. In the future, artificial intelligence (AI) could be used to monitor the video feeds to provide early warning. For now, the system is largely used by 911 dispatchers to confirm reports of fires. “Cell phones are so ubiquitous, people call in fires before the AI could react,” says Kent. “We could never beat 911. A model for early detection of wildfires is in operation in San Diego, where San Diego Gas and Electric manages an emergency center that uses sophisticated real-time modeling to predict fire events based on weather conditions, vegetation, etc., tracked on a threat map. The system enables firefighting resources to be deployed quickly at the first hint of fire and thus to avoid a larger, sweeping wildfire event. The system enables firefighting resources to be deployed quickly at the first hint of fire and avoid a larger, sweeping wildfire event “If you can get on top of it quickly enough, it makes all the difference,” says Kent. “In the case of extreme conditions, 10, 20 or 30 minutes can make a big difference.” Other locations are looking to replicate the San Diego model to discover and confirm fires quickly and then reposition assets to respond. Phos-Chek long-term fire retardant, applied by air from a fixed or rotor-wing aircraft, is used to slow or stop the spread of wildland fires. Early Warning Of Other Emergencies Installing more cameras to provide early warning of wildfires is “a grave need in the Western states,” and the system is likely eventually to be deployed in other areas, too. Wildfires can be a challenge in non-Western states such as Florida and Oklahoma, and a similar approach could also be used to provide early warning of other emergencies, such as tornados. “Once we do the West, we will be looking to do the rest of the United States,” says Kent. Currently, the biggest challenge is keeping up with demand. “Our successes have led to a demand to get more cameras out right now,” says Kent. “Funding isn’t the largest issue. The money is there to do it, but we have to be able to scale up quickly, working with partners. It’s a wild ride.” Key words for success of the ALERTWildfire system are “location, location, location” combined with “coverage, coverage, coverage,” says Kent. “We can solve 90 percent of the problem with coverage.”
The Secaucus Fire Department, located in Hudson County, New Jersey, placed a 28-foot Lake Assault Boats firefighting and rescue craft into service earlier this summer. The department’s firefighting and emergency response area includes a large portion of the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers (and their 28 bridges) that empty into Newark Bay and the Hudson River. Firefighting and recue craft “We’re located in a somewhat landlocked part of the river system, so our new fireboat has to be versatile and self-sustaining in case of a major incident,” said Fire Chief Carl Leppin, a 22-year veteran of the department and chief since 2014. “With help from Lake Assault Boats, we were able to customize the design to meet our needs. And their response to requests, and overall excellent customer service, are very important to us.” The Secaucus Fire Department is a member of the New York and New Jersey Regional Fireboat Taskforce The Secaucus Fire Department is a member of the New York and New Jersey Regional Fireboat Taskforce, comprised of 12 fire departments, including FDNY and the U.S. Coast Guard. This is the first fireboat taskforce of its kind in the country, and its combined team protects over 50 miles of New Jersey shoreline containing transportation hubs, transfer facilities, manufacturing plants, and other critical infrastructure. Critical emergency response “We’re thrilled to have one of our craft serving with the Secaucus Fire Department on such a critically important waterway,” said Chad DuMars, Lake Assault Boats vice president of operations. “This custom engineered vessel features fast response combined with capabilities to address a wide range of emergency scenarios.” The boat’s landing craft style hull sports a 63-inch hydraulically operated bow door (with an integrated ladder for diver re-entry) and flat tread areas for ATV deployment. The boat also features a clear opening dive door, swimmer’s grab rails, a davit crane, and a floating stokes basket for faster patient retrieval from the water. It is powered by twin 350 hp outboards that enable the boat to reach 50 miles per hour in open water conditions. infrared FLIR video camera The full-width, fully enclosed pilothouse is located mid-ship with deck space both on the fore and shaft. The vessel is equipped with Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRNE) positive pressure defense capabilities. The helm station carries controls for both fire pump and monitor controls, as well as two 12-inch touchscreens with GPS, Sonar with SideVu and DownVu, chart plotting, and a roof-mounted forward looking infrared (FLIR) video camera. The new craft has greatly improved our response capabilities in our protection area" The boat’s draft is just 28 inches when the motor is trimmed up and 32 inches when trimmed down, an important consideration for the department. “The department’s previous boat needed a full five feet of draft to safely maneuver, so our new boat can reach much closer to shore in low tide situations – and that’s a huge benefit. Our team loves the new craft,” Chief Leppin added. warning lights and fire pump For its firefighting operations, the boat is outfitted with a 1500 gpm fire pump powered by a dedicated 350 hp marinized V-8 engine. The craft features deck and bow mounted monitors, a foam system, and a five-inch large diameter hose discharge to support ground based firefighting operations. Other notable features include a full complement of LED floodlights, warning lights, scene lights, and remote-controlled spotlights. “We applied for a Federal FEMA Port Security Grant three years in a row, and this year we were approved,” added Chief Leppin. “We received help from the Mayor Gonnelli, the Town Council, Congressman Pascrel, and the U.S. Coast Guard throughout the grant process, and are grateful for their support. The new craft has greatly improved our response capabilities in our protection area.”
The UK’s largest fitness operator, PureGym has chosen Britannia’s P50 fire extinguisher to protect its 200-plus gyms and more than a million members. P50 fire extinguisher Fast-expanding PureGym is installing our multi-use composite P50, the only extinguisher that needs no external servicing contract and can be maintained in-house by trained staff, in its new gyms, with a program to replace metal extinguishers in all its premises. PureGym is installing our multi-use composite P50, the only extinguisher that needs no external servicing contract Eliminating the process of ‘organizing and chasing’ external servicing was the driving force behind the decision to swap metal extinguishers for the P50 as well as the major savings the investment would bring. PureGym’s head of risk Malcolm Shevlin discovered the P50 and its special features at a presentation by a fire and rescue service. The fact that fewer P50 units were needed to replace metal extinguishers was also a big appeal. Effective Fire safety “On average we are installing half the number of P50 extinguishers compared to the old metal ones in our new sites or existing sites going through renewals of extinguishers,” Mr Shevlin said. The installation of hundreds of units across England and Scotland is running alongside the program to fit P50s across Heathrow Airport’s terminals. Heathrow chose the fire extinguisher because it fitted with its sustainability strategy to reduce its carbon footprint. PureGym’s investment comes at a time when sales of P50 are growing at 45% already this year, with three shifts running at our Norfolk factory and further growth predicted. Emergency rescue vehicles P50s are also in emergency vehicles, including ambulances" Britannia Fire’s Sales Director Andy Spence said, “The P50’s innovation and technology is in line with what the modern world demands. It is a made in the UK product. PureGym highlighted the in-house maintenance as the most important factor. For Heathrow, it was sustainability to help its strategy to lower its carbon footprint.” “P50s are also in emergency vehicles, including ambulances. The P50s were chosen for emergency vehicles to keep vehicles on the road. Servicing means emergency vehicles have to be taken out of action. For our marine and offshore market, it is the P50’s lack of corrosion that is a real sales trigger, as well as the cutting the servicing offshore.” High-quality equipment PureGym was launched in 2009 and pioneered the model for affordable, flexible and high-quality fitness clubs in the UK. Most of its sites are open 24 hours a day and offer a full range of high-quality equipment without the need to commit to a 12-month contract.
Correctional facilities in California, Iowa, and Pennsylvania are implementing aspirating smoke-detection technology for fire protection. This advanced technology not only provides faster, more sophisticated smoke detection, but eliminates several costly and troublesome operational issues associated with traditional induct smoke detectors. In-duct smoke detectors are prone to accumulate dirt and dust, particularly in inmate housing areas. Because these particles can be mistakenly interpreted as smoke, it can trigger recurring false alarms. To resolve this, costly ongoing maintenance is required to access and clean each detector, a process that must be repeated when the build-up occurs again. Fire Alarm System A large number of false alarms can be triggered when accumulated dust and dirt cover the sensors" In some facilities, the dust and dirt may be so severe that nuisance alarms are ignored, even disconnected. In others, maintenance can become backlogged. “Among traditional in-duct smoke-detection systems, a large number of false alarms can be triggered when accumulated dust and dirt cover the sensors,” says Queen Gonzalez, whose Southern California-based fire and life safety solutions company won the bid to install an aspirating smoke-detection system in the Kern Valley State Prison. Gonzalez said the project at the facility in Delano, California, involved replacing cell exhaust, duct-mounted smoke detectors with an advanced aspirating smoke-detection system in an inmate housing unit. This involved approximately 16 pods, with 64 cells per pod— nearly 1,024 cells. The aspirating smoke detection equipment chosen for the project was the VESDA-E VEA fire alarm system manufactured by Xtralis. Smoke-Detection Systems Aspirating smoke-detection systems draw in air through small flexible tubing secured in air ducts. The air is analyzed continuously for the presence of minute smoke particles, using sophisticated laser-based technology at a central unit located within 300 feet. A single system supports up to 40 sample points, and can be extended to 120 if needed. As a multi-channel, addressable system, the central unit can pinpoint the exact location of the alarm. This enhances safety by speeding detection, investigation, fire suppression, security management, and evacuation— if necessary. Furthermore, the system offers earlier detection than photoelectric technology detectors, and has the ability to detect minor particles in the air much faster, even before a fire begins to flame and burn. For the project, 32 of the central units were used in a secure mechanical space behind the cells. In-Duct Smoke Detectors Inmates can even block ducts so in-duct smoke detectors will not work" According to Gonzalez, the installation is relatively simple. After each existing smoke detector is removed, tubing connected to air sampling points takes its place. This involves running tubing in the return air chase above the cells. The tubing, suspended on hooks, drops off into each individual duct. Another benefit of the system is that it can effectively deter inmate tampering. “If there is a way for inmates to tamper with smoke detectors, they will,” Gonzalez says. “Inmates can even block ducts so in-duct smoke detectors will not work. Any system installed must be as tamperproof as possible.” To deter vandalism, the system will send a fault signal indicating the air flow is blocked in the event an inmate is able to cover a duct or sampling point. “Even if (inmates) could see the air sampling point, they would have no clue what it is because it is so small and looks nothing like a standard smoke detector,” Gonzalez said. Reducing Nuisance Alarms Correction industry leaders also appreciate the very low maintenance required for aspirating smoke detection systems. The aspirating tubes are self-cleaning and detect any blockages or breaks in the tubing. Even if dirt, dust, or lint enters the tubing system, the filters for all sampling points are at the central unit in a restricted area. The aspirating tubes are self-cleaning and detect any blockages or breaks in the tubing Cleaning the filters takes only about a minute, so there is no need for maintenance personnel to crawl into ducts to clean the detectors. The system not only stops false alarms due to dust or dirt contamination of sensors, but can distinguish between smoke, fire, and other airborne contaminants, which further reduces nuisance alarms. Minimizing False Alarms Annual inspections by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are also simplified. Unlike traditional smoke alarms, these systems do not require testing of each sample point annually at its location in the duct. Instead, the tests can be conducted at the central unit. Whether correctional facilities aim to minimize false alarms and maintenance or to improve safety and security, aspirating smoke-detection systems are gaining favor over traditional systems. “There is increasing interest in this technology, and it will only grow as more correctional facilities, engineers, and architects become aware of its benefits,” Gonzalez says.
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.
Lake Assault Boats, part of Fraser Shipyards and global manufacturer of fire, patrol, and rescue craft, has placed a 28-foot vessel into service with the Town of Gibraltar Fire Department located in northern Door County, Wisconsin. The new vessel provides emergency response and fire protection services for a large section of shoreline and islands located on Lake Michigan’s Green Bay. The purchase of the boat by the Gibraltar Fire Department was funded entirely through the Gibraltar Fire Rescue Association, a local non-profit 501(c)(3) organization; no taxpayer money was involved. Safe, secure rescue crafts “We knew that Lake Assault Boats had a history of building craft capable of securely operating on big water, and we received many positive recommendations from other departments in the region,” said Captain Jayson Merkel of the Gibraltar Fire Department and head of the local non-profit organization. “Our new boat performs confidently in five foot waves – which can come up in a hurry in our area – and it can reach 52 mph under calm conditions.” Lake Assault Boat’s rescue crafts are designed to respond to a wide range of on-the-water emergencies and rescue scenarios Placed into service earlier this summer, Lake Assault Boat’s rescue crafts are designed to respond to a wide range of on-the-water emergencies and rescue scenarios. It features a full width pilothouse (with 76-inches of interior height), large front and rear doors (for more efficient patient handling), and two side dive doors. FLIR and GPS monitoring The helm station includes twin 12-inch video touchscreens that control advanced components, including: forward looking infrared (FLIR), sonar with SideVu and DownVu, chart plotter, and GPS. Such features serve the Gibraltar Fire Department in its emergency response activities; “When we’re called out on an emergency, it’s usually when weather conditions are too dangerous to send a helicopter, so visibility is often very poor,” Merkel explained. “The new electronics enable us to plot a search pattern in auto pilot and tell the boat where to go.” The craft is powered by twin 300 hp Suzuki outboard engines equipped with one-touch joystick steering. A portable fire pump helps keep deck space open for patient transfers. The reinforced, double plated forward hull section offers added protection against rocks when pulling onto shore. Durable and dependable rescue crafts There’s no hull paint, and not a lot of bells and whistles on the boat; that’s why our team calls it the workhorse" For the Gibraltar Fire Department selecting a useful, durable, and dependable craft was paramount. “There’s no hull paint, and not a lot of bells and whistles on the boat; that’s why our team calls it the workhorse,” said Merkel, who added, “Throughout the entire design and construction process Lake Assault Boats was accommodating to our needs, and gave us helpful recommendations.” The Gibraltar Fire Department’s protection area includes the borders between Egg Harbor and Ephraim, as well as Peninsula State Park, the west side of Chambers Island and numerous smaller islands. In addition, the department participates in a MABAS mutual aid system. When called upon, a custom trailer is used to transport the craft to support a neighboring department or other agency. Easy water access The Gibraltar region features several marinas and a large number of homes where water access is often the best option. The area is a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts of all types, with silent sports kayakers and canoeists drawn to Door County. Lake Assault Boats fireboats are born in a shipyard, designed for a mission, tested on Lake Superior, and custom engineered using technology and resources unmatched in the industry. Lake Assault offers a wide range of custom hull designs and configurations suitable for use on inland lakes and rivers, and inter-coastal and offshore waters, to meet the needs of first responders.
Infographics announced that County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue is the latest Service to move to the FireWatch Cloud – a fully managed service based on the Microsoft Azure platform. The new FireWatch Cloud solution will provide a resilient architecture, flexible access from remote locations, and includes software upgrade services and other benefits. reduces infrastructure costs Graeme Lockhart, Information Services Manager at County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are delighted to be working with Infographics on our move to the FireWatch cloud platform, which reinforces the Service’s ambition to move products to the cloud where clear benefits can be delivered. “We anticipate the project will help reduce infrastructure costs associated with running a complex on premise ERP system, as well as releasing capacity from our ICT team – who will no longer need to manage upgrades and support. Infographics are also in a better position to provide excellent customer support, as they can more easily monitor, access and manage the whole environment.” Fire service management capabilities The FireWatch Cloud solution will provide a range of benefits accessible from Azure, including the connected fire service management capabilities for: Real-time integrated HR, Training & Development, Vehicle and Resource Availability Employee self-service from a single platform Vehicle-level availability status based on resource needs and priority – calculated to-the-minute Graphical County-wide Availability Map status and change notifications of the same data Mobile-optimized client, with booking on/off duty facility and real-time status views SMS-based workflows and booking on/off duty processes with crewing exception notifications for managers Clear and compelling benefits Russell Wood, Commercial Manager at Infographics, said: “We are delighted to announce County Durham and Darlington as another new client of our FireWatch Cloud offering. This follows multiple other recent new FRS contracts, with more to follow. "The benefits of the specialist, connected FireWatch Fire Service Management platform in the Cloud are clear and compelling – providing our clients with the ‘big picture’ of their operations.”