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Hazardous location Our product range Explosion proof and Industrial signaling

INDUSTRIAL

FIRE JOURNAL F O R P R O F E S S I O N A L S P R OT E C T I N G L I V E S , A S S E T S A N D I N F R A S T R U C T U R E W O R L D W I D E SECOND quarter 2018 issue no.112

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Our product range

High-ex in the pit

Ramping up the safety factor for an LNG plant

Toxic protocol

The key to an effective shelter policy

Signaling for your safety E2S is the world’s leading independent warning signals manufacturer with over 25 years of engineering expertise. Our worldwide approved products combine the latest technology with leading industrial design and build quality to deliver signals you can depend on.

e2s.com London UK: +44 208 743 8880 Houston: +1 281 377 4401

19-21 JUNE 2018


Dynax REACH ad final.pdf

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10/30/17

7:23 PM

All Green for REACH 2020 ...3 Years Early! C6

C6 AFFF

FluoroSurfactant C

M

Y

CM

PFOA Impurity

PFOA-Related Impurities

Dynax C6 Fluorosurfactants since January 2017

<12.5 ppb

<500 ppb

REACH EU Regulation effective July 2020

<25 ppb

<1000 ppb

CY

CMY

K

C6 AFFF Concentrates for EN / UL Performance

C6 Fluorosurfactants

MY

PFOA Impurity

PFOA-Related Impurities

6% C6 AFFF 3% C6 AFFF 1% C6 AFFF

~0.25 ppb ~0.50 ppb ~1.50 ppb

~9 ppb ~18 ppb ~54 ppb

REACH EU Regulation effective July 2020

<25 ppb

<1000 ppb

AFFF Foam Solutions from C6 AFFF Concentrates will have a PFOA impurity level of ~15 parts per trillion (ppt). 15 ppt = 0.015 ppb = 0.0000000015% — 15 ppt correlates to 15 seconds out of 32,000 years!

Why Wait? European Commission Regulation (EC) 2017/1000 (June 13, 2017): This new REACH regulation states that PFOA and PFOA-related substances (in products such as C6 Fluorosurfactants, C6 AFFF Foam Concentrates and C6 AFFF Foam Solutions) “shall not, from 4 July 2020, be used in the production of, or placed on the market in a concentration equal to or above 25 ppb of PFOA including its salts, or 1,000 ppb of one or a combination of PFOA-related substances.”

3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid.

Protection of critical assets. Once a fire takes hold, there is much at stake for businesses: people, assets, business continuity, reputation. It’s a lot to risk. Some fire protection solutions may add to the problem by damaging electronics, creating water damage, residue and mess. Novec 1230 fire protection fluid from 3M is trusted by mission critical facilities the world over to protect against fire. Should fire strike, Novec 1230 fluid extinguishes it quickly, cleanly and safely. Safeguarding assets and helping prevent downtime, so business can carry on as usual.

www.3M.co.uk/novec1230 Approved systems designed for Novec 1230 fluid available worldwide.

J401823. © 3M 2017. 3M Science. Applied to Life, 3M and Novec are trademarks of the 3M company. All rights reserved.

3M Science. Applied to Life.™


Published Quarterly by

TOPPER CONTENTS A division of Hemming Group Ltd, 32, Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 2SS, England Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7973 6694

4

10 Opinion – time to act

E-mail: m.spillane@hgluk.com Website: www.hemmingfire.com

12 Fire fighting & petrochem facility protection Shelter protocols and toxic refuges; protecting a large LNG facility in North America; modelling for explosions.

Editor

Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain j.sanchez@hgluk.com +44 (0)1935 37 4011

Deputy Editor

Ann-Marie Knegt am.knegt@hgluk.com +44 (0)1935 37 4001

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International Sales Manager

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32 Training & exercises How to prepare for CBRN incidents at airports; trials kick off in Europe for large-scale crisis management. 38 PPE Firefighters are doubly at risk of dying of cancer. 39 Warehouse & waste management protection

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lndustrial Fire Journal, ISSN 0964 - 9719 (USPS 021-884), is published quarterly March, May, September, December, by Hemming lnformation Services, a division of Hemming Group Ltd, 8 The Old Yarn Mills, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3RQ. UK. The US annual subscription price is $80. Airfreight and mailing in the USA by agent named Worldnet Shipping lnc., 156-15, 146th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11434, USA. Periodicals postage paid at Jamaica NY 11431. US Postmaster: Send address changes to lndustrial Fire Journal, Worldnet Shipping lnc., 156-15, 146th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11434, USA Subscription records are maintained at Hemming lnformation Services, a division of Hemming Group Ltd, 32 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 2SS, UK. Air Business Ltd is acting as our mailing agent.

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20 Foam A fixed system that uses pressurised foam to extinguish tank fires; technology to recycle AFFF; confusion reigns in New Zealand over foam. 29 Vehicles news Tracking Frankfurt Airport's emergency vehicles; powerful pump launched at FDIC; Teex introduces drone pilot training.

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News, events & comment

44 Innovation Technology that cleans toxic gases nears launch. 45 Detection Multi-sensor detectors reduce false alarms; broadcaster undergoes upgrade; a wallpaper that detects fire?

45

50 Evacuation IP integration for fire alarm and voice evacuation. 52 Fire roundtable report

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in INDUSTRIAL FIRE JOURNAL are not necessarily those of Hemming Information Services. IFJ is in no way responsible or legally liable for any statements, picture captions, reports or technical anomalies made by authors in their commissioned articles.

56 Suppression Water mist and high rises – conference report.

© 2018 All Rights Reserved Industrial Fire Journal (ISSN 0964-9719)

58 Passive fire protection Cable sealant chosen for intercontinental pipeline.

56

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Front cover: LNG plant in North America, with kind permission from Angus Fire.

SECOND QUARTER 2018 < INDUSTRIAL FIRE JOURNAL <

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NEWS

Comment Large-scale fixed systems for industrial fire fighting are very much on the forefront of this issue, whether it be for LNG plants or storage tank farms. These types of systems offer the benefit of preparing a measured and immediate response to an incident, as seen with Angus Fire’s Turbex high-expansion foam generators and Swiss Fire Protection’s new Pressurised Instant Foam system, both of which can quickly deal with an incident and thus avoid costly escalation. However, it is worth bearing in mind that these systems should not be regarded as a replacement for on-site mobile incident response capabilities. As Andras Peller of Swiss Fire points out, fixed systems prepare you for scenarios you have envisaged, but what about the ones you haven’t? Talking about the unexpected, who would have thought that the destruction of AFFF fire-fighting foam and contaminated materials could be achieved cost-effectively using technology developed in the 19th century? As reported in this issue, an Australian company that wishes to remain nameless has conducted trials showing that during the cement-making process, rotary kilns can take out all the fluorine in perfluorinated materials and turn it into its original mineral state, which can then be recycled in cement. Let’s hope that the technology can gain all relevant permits quickly, so that a valuable service can be offered on a global basis to organisations faced with the disposal of this type of contaminated waste in either liquid or solid form.

Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain, Editor

Pertamina sanctioned over Balikpapan oil spill Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry has imposed administrative sanctions on state oil and gas company Pertamina over an oil-spill incident that caused pollution and damage to the ecosystem in the seaport city of Balikpapan on the island of Borneo. The incident took place on 31 March and led Indonesian officials to declare a state of emergency on 2 April. Five fishermen were killed when the oil spill ignited and local people reported suffering from nausea and breathing difficulties as a result of the smoke. Witnesses described the blaze as up to 2km high. The equivalent of more than 14,000 barrels of oil are thought to have run into Balikpapan bay from a ruptured pipeline connecting the Lawe-Lawe terminal to the refinery unit of state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina. The oil spill covered an area of nearly 13,000 hectares and polluted 60km of coastal ecosystems, including mangrove wetlands and marine mammal habitats. Among the administrative sanctions outlined by the ministry are that Pertamina make improvements to its exploration safety management, including the submission of data on areas where its operations face similar oil spill risks. Pertamina must also take responsibility for areas affected by the oil spill and rehabilitate locations still contaminated with oil. In addition to administrative sanctions, Pertamina will have to pay compensation for losses caused by the oil spill. According to the ministry, the refinery lacked an early-warning system and an automated monitoring system. The captain of the MV Ever Judger Panama-registered ship has been arrested under suspicions of having caused the incident by dropping the anchor and dragging the underwater pipe in a prohibited area.

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ARFF options

Los Angeles International Airport. (Photo: Philip Pilosian/Shutterstock) The US Federal Aviation Authority is seeking to allow civilian airports to choose non-fluorinated fire-fighting foam for aircraft rescue and fire fighting. Currently all airports in the US are required to use only Milspec foams listed by the FAA on a qualified product list, and are unable to move to fluorine-free foams, however good their performance. The FAA Safety Certification Reform document was introduced by Pennsylvania Representative Bill Shuster in April and passed its second reading this month. Should the Act be passed into law, the FAA will no longer require that airports only use fluorinated chemicals that meet MIL-F-24385F. Airports will instead be required to follow the latest version of NFPA 403 Standard for aircraft rescue and fire-fighting services at airports. NFPA 403 lists the acceptable types of primary agents for ARFF involving hydrocarbon fuels as aqueous film-forming foams, fluoroprotein foam, protein foam and fluorine-free synthetic foam. The FAA does not have the statutory authority to regulate airports operated by US government agencies, including airports operated by the US Department of Defence. The FAA is required to implement the new regime within two years of the signing into law of the Act.

US state bans PFAS foam In March, the Washington State House of Representatives voted 72-26 to ban the sale of fire-fighting foam containing perand polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); the law was signed into law by state governor Jay Inslee in April. PFAS-based class B firefighting foams have been used since the 1970s for vapour suppression, fire fighting, and fire-fighting training at facilities handling large volumes of flammable liquid petroleum or natural gas. PFAS chemicals are used because of their ability to produce a fast spreading foam. According the US Environmental Protection Agency, PFAS chemicals are very persistent in the environment and in the human body. The latest measure seeks to reduce the release of the highly persistent substances into the environment from fire-fighting activities. The legislation bans the sale of the foams from 1 July 2020 unless its use is required by federal law or the foam will be used by an oil refinery, oil terminal or chemical plant for fire fighting. The legislation bans the use of the foam in fire training exercises as of 1 July this year. Manufacturers that produce, sell or distribute PFAS-containing fire-fighting foam for a non-exempted use after July 1, 2020 (when the ban comes into effect) are required to recall their product and reimburse retailers or other purchasers. In addition, suppliers of firefighting clothing-containing PFAS are required to notify their customers of the fact by 1 July 2018, or face civil penalties

✜ INDUSTRIAL FIRE JOURNAL ✜ second quarter 2018 Read our e-magazine at www.hemmingfire.com


NEWS

PACKAGING CORP of america explosion A combination of process hazard analysis, effective safeguards, safer design and a clearly defined responsible person could have prevented the non-condensable gas system explosion that killed three and injured seven workers, says the final investigation report by the US Chemical Safety Board. The explosion occurred on 8 February last year at Packaging Corporation of America’s paper mill in DeRidder, Louisiana, around 400km southeast of Dallas. The explosion occurred during the facility’s annual shutdown, when contract workers were performing hot work above a tank that contained flammable materials. The workers had been welding on water piping above, and disconnected from, the 38,000l storage tank. It contained around 3m of foul condensate liquid composed mostly of water. It also contained a floating layer of flammable hydrocarbons in the form of residual turpentine and other sulphur-containing compounds. Under normal operations the atmosphere inside the foul condensate tank would not have been explosive.

The US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board found, however, that on the day of the incident there was more flammable turpentine present on top of the water than expected, due to confusion as to who was responsible for its removal. The CSB investigation determined that hot work activities likely ignited the contents of the foul condensate tank, which exploded and separated from its base, launching up and over a six-storey structure before landing on process equipment approximately 114m away. The CSB found that the explosion could have been prevented if PCA had conducted a process hazard analysis for the non-condensable gas system; applied effective safeguards to prevent a non-condesable gas system explosion; evaluated safer design options that could have eliminated the possibility of additional air entering the foul condensate tank; and established who at the mill was responsible for operation of the foul condensate tank.

tank fire

An oil tank storage fire on Pulau Busing Island off the southwest coast of Singapore resulted in a six-hour multi-agency operation led by the Singapore Civil Defence Force. Pulau Busing Island is home to petroleum storage company Tankstore and houses an oil and chemical storage facilities, a fuel oil refinery and an offshore marine terminal. The SCDF was alerted to the fire at 5.50pm on 20 March and had to ferry personnel and equipment, including two large foam monitors, from Jurong Island to Pulau Busing via the mainland, where members of the company emergency response team (CERT) were conducting firefighting operations. SCDF emergency responders and CERT members carried out boundary cooling of adjacent tanks using five water monitors and set up two large foam monitors to tackle the fire. The fire was extinguished after six hours in an operation involving 31 firefighting/support vehicles and 128 SCDF personnel. There were no casualties.

Clarification

In reference to Painting for fires, published on page 58 of the Q1 edition of IFJ, 3M would like to clarify that this external microcapsule application is not a product or activity that is endorsed by 3M. 3M is not working directly with New Innovations Technologies Company and cannot verify nor recommend that 3M Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid will be effective in this application. 3M’s sole recommendation for Novec 1230 fluid is in approved fire suppression systems via its approved OEM partners.

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second quarter 2018 ✜ INDUSTRIAL FIRE JOURNAL ✜

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01_M1

NEWS

new Complex plans

Qatar Petroleum is seeking partners for the development of a world-scale petrochemicals complex that will include the Middle East's largest ethane cracker. The petrochemicals complex at Ras Laffan industrial city, 80km north of Doha, will include an ethane cracker with a capacity of more than 1.6 million tonnes per annum of ethylene as well as derivative plants. The feedstock for the petrochemical complex will be ethane produced primarily from the new North Field LNG expansion project that will produce an additional 23mtpa of LNG, as well as from existing gas projects producing ethane. The engineering design of the petrochemicals complex is expected to start shortly, with a planned start-up in 2025.

Check your cylinders Catastrophic failures of aluminium cylinders used for underwater breathing apparatus have prompted a safety alert. The alert has been issued by the Health & Safety Executive in the UK and covers aluminium cylinders used primarily to contain gases for underwater breathing apparatus and manufactured from aluminium alloys HE30/ AA6082 and AA6351. Cylinders manufactured from these alloys are known to be susceptible to sustained-load cracking. These cylinders were manufactured by several companies in several countries between 1963 and 1995. Any cylinders still in use are between 23 and 55 years old. The alert says that these cylinders should only be used if they have undergone thorough visual inspection and testing with an eddy-current device by a competent inspector. Serious harm was caused by failure of an HE30/AA6082 cylinder in England in 2017, which followed similarly harmful failures of AA6351 SCUBA cylinders in Indonesia and Australia in 2016. Luxfer Gas Cylinders manufactured HE30/AA6082 and AA6351 cylinders in England and AA6351 cylinders in the USA and Australia. Walter Kidde Company in the USA, CIG Gas Cylinders in Australia (acquired by Luxfer Gas Cylinders in 1997) and Reynolds Tube Company (later known as TI Hollow Extrusions) in England also manufactured cylinders from these alloys. See more at: www.luxfercylinders.com or www.hse.gov.uk/diving/.

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Dangerous substances at work

A Europe-wide campaign that has been launched to raise awareness on dangerous substances includes an e-tool, database, case studies, infographics and animated films. The campaign by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) marks the start of two years of events and activities promoting the best ways of tackling the risks that dangerous substances pose to workers. Set up by the European Union and based in Bilbao, Spain, EU-OSHA brings together representatives from the European Commission, member state governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations, as well as leading experts. Dr Christa Sedlatschek, EU-OSHA’s Director, commented: “Many workers are unaware that not only manufactured chemical products that are labelled with risk and safety information can cause harm. Other commonly used substances across all sectors – from working with flour in bakeries to silica dust on construction sites – can be hazardous if their use is not managed effectively.” An e-tool has been introduced to help companies find and reduce the safety and health hazards associated with dangerous substances and chemical products in workplaces within their company. To help companies carry out risk assessments, a database has also been created of around 700 practical tools and guidance documents from 11 EU member states. More information about the campaign can be found at https:// healthy-workplaces.eu/

Safe workplace for all

The world's first international occupational health and safety standard has been published. The aim of ISO 45001 - Health and safety management systems – requirements is to support organisations across the world in providing a safe and healthy workplace for workers and other people; prevent deaths, work-related injuries and ill-health; and continually improve health and safety standards through the reduction of risks. According to the International Labour Organisation, over 7,600 people die every day from work-related accidents or illnesses, equalling to over 2.78 million a year. The new standard is applicable to all organisations, regardless of size, industry or nature of business and follows other management system approaches such as ISO 14001 and ISO 9001, which deal with environmental and quality management. It has also taken into account similar standards such as OHSAS 18001, the International Labour Organization's ILO-OSH Guidelines, various existing national standards and the ILO's international labour standards and conventions. The existing British Standard OHSAS 18001 will be withdrawn on publication of ISO 45001 and organisations currently certified to OHSAS 18001 will have a three-year transition period to migrate across to ISO 45001. According to ISO, the new standard provides an opportunity for organisations to benchmark their OH&S management system and ensure that they are implementing accepted control systems. For more information visit https://www.iso.org/publication/ PUB100427.html

✜ INDUSTRIAL FIRE JOURNAL ✜ second quarter 2018 Read our e-magazine at www.hemmingfire.com


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EVENTS 2018

19-21 June, Firex International Exhibition, Excel, London

This three-day exhibition co-located with Ifsec International and the Safety and Health Expo sees more than 17,000 fire safety professionals from around the world come together to network, meet suppliers and partners, expand their knowledge base and share best practice. In 2018, the exhibition will feature a live demonstration area, a Passive Protection Zone and the LPCB Red Book Pavillion. The Fire Industry Association will also be hosting a networking bar offering technical knowledge and advice on fire safety, while a free seminar programme offers more than 30 hours of CPD-accredited content. Finally, the Engineers of Tomorrow competition pits young engineers and apprentices against each other in a live installation challenge. For more information visit www.firex.co.uk.

19-21 June, International Tall Building Fire Safety Conference, Excel, London The latest International Tall Building Fire Safety Conference will once again be co-located with Firex. Day one will focus on fire engineering, design and fire testing in tall buildings with the keynote speech delivered by Justin Francis from the Queensland Fire Service in Australia, who authored the Churchill Fellowship study into evacuation from tall buildings. The first day will also see Jim Glocking from the Fire Protection Association discuss the latest research findings following the Grenfell Tower Fire. Day two will focus on fire safety management and insurance for tall buildings, including evacuation strategies, property protection principles, terrorism, and the potential for constructing fire compartmentation. Day three will focus on firefighting in tall buildings including tactics and challenges, and the latest thinking and initiatives. For more information visit www.tallbuildingfiresafety.com.

8-11 August, Fire-Rescue International, Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Centre, Dallas, Texas, US

19-20 September, International Water Mist Conference, Grange City Hotel, London The conference webpage for the IWMC is now online and attendees can register their details. The conference is organised by the International Water Mist Association, the first association of its kind dedicated exclusively to water-mist fire-fighting and related technologies. IWMA expects well over 100 delegates from more than 20 countries. Attendees will hear about the latest developments in the field of fire protection with water mist. The first day of the conference will be dedicated to presentations on water-mist applications, and can be booked separately. Delegates will have the opportunity to exchange ideas, network and meet all major researchers, manufacturers and distributors as well as visit the exhibition that runs alongside the conference. For more information visit www.iwma.net

19-20 September, Emergency Services Show, NEC, Birmingham, UK The two-day event will feature a host of unique opportunities to learn and collaborate, with many UK fire and rescue services on hand to discuss their strategic and operational developments and exchange best practice. Organisations such as the Fire Industry Association and the UK Rescue Organisation will be promoting professional fire and rescue safety. In the Lessons Learnt seminar theatre, emergency services and partner agencies will share their experiences of responding to real incidents. These include the Liverpool Echo Arena multi-storey carpark fire that destroyed over 1,000 cars on New Year’s Eve in northwest England. A case study on the Didcot Power Station collapse will look specifically at the value of remotely operated vehicles after the incident. West Midlands Fire Service will be hosting extrication, first aid and trauma challenges and there will be live demonstrations of vehicles and equipment in the indoor and outdoor exhibition areas. Entry to the exhibition and seminars, as well as parking, is free. The NEC is linked to Birmingham International Station and Birmingham Airport and is directly accessible from the UK motorway network. For more details visit www.emergencyuk.com

Fire-Rescue International, the annual conference and expo of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, has been providing seniorlevel leadership training to fire chiefs for over 140 years. As an organisation, the IAFC represents the world's leading experts in the first-responder community, and the association is committed to excellence in every aspect of its organisation, from the classroom to its annual exhibition. While FRI does focus on leadership education, the event is not just for fire chiefs. The conference and exhibition also attracts company officers and chief officers looking to excel in their current positions and prepare for future career advancement. The Officer Development Programme is the only programme of its kind and is designed to meet the job performance requirements of NFPA 1021. FRI offers numerous ways for attendees and vendors to engage, creating valuable relationships and essential information sharing. The FRI exhibit hall offers firefighters and officers and EMS colleagues from all over the world the opportunity to discover free education and the latest technology and equipment advancement. Exhibitors at the event cover everything from enhanced safety to increased efficiency. For more information visit www.iafc.org/events/fri.

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< INDUSTRIAL FIRE JOURNAL < second quarter 2018 Read our e-magazine at www.hemmingfire.com


18th International Water Mist Conference in

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19th and 20th September 2018 at the

The Grange City Hotel The Sponsors:

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OPINION

Time for change The Grenfell inquiry’s impact on fire regulations will be far reaching, writes Peter Lackey: now is the time to act.

G Peter Lackey is fire manager at Johnson Controls

Despite widespread concerns regarding meaningful change, many companies are unaware of their existing legal obligations. (Image: Jane Campbell/ Shutterstock)

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aining a basic understanding of the fire safety strengths and weaknesses in your facilities will go a long way in preparing for future requirements. Fire regulations are under close scrutiny in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster, however, despite the widespread concern to ensure that meaningful change is enacted, many companies are not even aware of their existing legal obligations. A large part of the problem facing the industry in the UK is that regulations have been introduced piecemeal, and applied piecemeal, meaning that virtually every company has its own practical levels of commitment to fire safety, whatever the theoretical goal. As Grenfell proved, regulation and agreed best practice aren’t enough on their own to guarantee the safety of building occupants. A top-to-bottom overhaul of the way companies understand and implement fire safety regulations is needed. The ongoing public inquiry will help to provide the impetus for this, but there is still plenty of work to be done. For example, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that the fire risk assessment must be ‘suitable and sufficient’. This is the start point for determining a bespoke fire safety strategy that must be designed to protect people, buildings and jobs. But how many of these assume a fire may happen and actually include business continuity planning as part of that process? The person conducting the assessment must possess the necessary skills, experience, training and qualifications to be competent in assessing the specific aspects of the risk under review. For instance, it’s not enough for a commercial retail property assessment to recommend a domestic hard-wired smoke detector signalling an alarm receiving centre via an intruder panel. Without manual call points and widespread alarm notification, this will be neither suitable nor sufficient. Part of the findings of the risk assessment will reference requirements for a fire detection and alarm system, including the category of system to be installed. The standard used as an engineering code of practice (BS5839-1:2017), provides the

guidance to design, install, commission and service the system. It’s pleasing to note that in the future, reviews of building regulations appertaining to fire safety will occur alongside reviews of the standard. This makes perfect sense and can result in a much improved joined-up approach to the practicalities of delivering a tangible active and passive level of fire protection. Due diligence requirements are being tightened up, and companies will find loopholes much more closely policed. As a result, preparation is key if companies are to get ahead of the curve and provide top-level fire safety at an achievable outlay. The Grenfell inquiry is going to have a major impact on practices – rightly so. Now it’s up to individual companies to change the way they approach fire safety and ensure that they can keep occupants as far from danger as possible. For an example of how regulatory changes should be implemented at company level, let’s consider sprinkler systems. Sprinkler regulations are under intense scrutiny and, in their current form, there is a requirement that buildings above a certain size and application must have sprinkler systems built in from the earliest stages of planning. There have been repeated calls from the London Fire Brigade for this to be extended to all residential tower blocks, and as the Grenfell inquiry progresses and brings its recommendations to parliament, there is a significant possibility that a far larger proportion of public buildings will be required to have sprinkler systems retrofitted in the coming years, and that new builds must incorporate them from the very beginning. As a result, those responsible for fire safety must make sure that they are aware of all areas of responsibility covered by the relevant regulations. It’s not just a matter of installing sprinkler systems: servicing, maintenance, system design, and operation must all be properly attended to. Safety teams must ensure that all sprinkler systems are kept in full working order, checking components on a regular basis and running simulations where possible. Regular hazard reviews and testing carried out by certificated companies is also essential, and systems must be checked by qualified engineers. That leads into the question of how to select a competent assessor when faced with a myriad of advertised services. Regular fire risk assessments of the entire building must also take into account everything from exits, gangways and ventilation to detection, alarms and evacuation procedures. From the furthest reach of the building to the place of ultimate safety, every potential hindrance and risk must be considered to give the best chance of protection for the occupants. There should be no black and white choice between a satisfactory balance sheet and the safety of employees and the local community. By working with an expert fire risk assessor, businesses can achieve regulatory compliance and desirable safety levels on a workable budget through a combination of intelligent consultancy and expertise. In the rush to avoid repeating past mistakes there is a risk

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that some fire safety teams may settle for less well-resourced assessors or those without the expertise required, just to make sure that something is done. To avoid this, companies should be looking for professional, product-agnostic organisations with a proven track record of successful assessments. Many organisations don’t realise that it’s a legal requirement under Article 17 of the FSO, and its equivalent in Scotland and Northern Ireland, to have all building systems maintained. Note that reference is made to systems and not fire alarm systems. Anything connected to, and which forms part of the overall fire safety strategy, such as CCTV for arson deterrent and access control door unlocking in the event of a fire, must be competently maintained. A valued and reputable register of competent fire risk assessors can be found within the ranks of the Institute of Fire Engineers. Good risk assessments do not rely on a tick-box approach but qualify the findings with explanatory text and digital photography. Consideration must be given to the building structure, fitted systems, occupation activity, people and contents. What are the potential sources of ignition? What is likely to burn? And how can we reduce the hazard and manage the remaining risk? When done properly, a thorough fire risk assessment of your premises will allow you to understand your business in more detail than ever before; which can help to manage budgets, efficiency and assist with future planning and change. Fire risk assessments are often viewed by the man in the street as a kind of inconvenience. A good fire risk assessment, however, can be very literally the difference between life and death. We all like to think that it couldn’t happen to us; that our office or home must be safe, couldn’t possibly fall foul of a stray spark or an overheating electrical component; but the statistics say otherwise. We’ve all experienced the directionless panic that can set in when people undergo an unplanned fire drill. People without clear leadership and a well-established precedent are at far greater risk of doing the wrong thing in a live fire situation. That’s particularly heightened in cases where false alarms are common, such as in a building which is evacuated too many times as a result of poor maintenance. Why is this relevant to fire risk assessments? The better your assessment, the more well-equipped you’ll be to plan your evacuation procedure, as well as to locate and maintain your detection and suppression systems. A regularly-updated fire risk assessment is the key to understanding the potential pitfalls of your building, whether that’s narrow staircases or a small number of exterior exit points. Above all, you’ll be better able to draft a well-informed evacuation plan to ensure that all occupants know what’s required of them in the event of a fire. These are often deceptively simple – exit the building via a certain staircase, for example – but in the split-second moment of decision, simplicity is what’s needed. That covers the most important basic concern: personal safety. But there are also business considerations involved in fire risk assessments, the most prominent among them being regulatory compliance and future commercial planning. The best way to help yourself prepare for compliance and ensure that you do a good job of implementing the changes is to have a comprehensive fire risk assessment on hand to help you understand how the rules will apply to your particular situation. The ability to plan effectively will help you to look after the bottom line without sacrificing due diligence. The worry has been voiced that sweeping changes in fire regulations will cost the earth because they will be too quick. However, by beginning now and making sure you have a comprehensive understanding of your facility’s strengths and weaknesses with regard to fire safety, you’ll be able to get at least a basic understanding of what’s going to need changing, allowing you to plan in any necessary expense and review multiple tenders to get the best price.

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11


Following protocol A shelter protocol and properly equipped toxic refuges should be included in the standard safety measures of petrochemical sites. Gaby van Melick and Philip Stohr explore what this means and provide guidance on creating and implementing an effective shelter policy.

W

Gaby van Melick and Philip Stohr are consultants in the field of emergency and crisis management at Kappetijn Safety Specialists

How prepared is your facility for a large-scale release of hazardous materials? (Image: Shutterstock)

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hen the unthinkable happens and an incident results in the release of large quantities of hazardous materials, do you know what to do? A Dutch industrial site occupying 800 hectares found itself confronted with just such a scenario during a fire in a plastics and chemicals depot in November 2015. Undoubtedly, so have many others. With thick rapidly dispersing clouds and 1,000+ employees on site, timely site evacuation was not feasible. Luckily the site was prepared. Following shelter protocols, those present were instructed to proceed to especially prepared, so-called ‘reasonably airtight rooms’, which shielded them from exposure to any hazardous substances. The key factor that enabled the successful execution of the shelter protocol was adequate preparation. Contrary to expectations, well-developed shelter procedures at industrial sites are not common practice in the Netherlands, or many other countries for that matter. Somewhat surprising perhaps, when sheltering is considered by the Dutch public emergency services as the standard protocol for the general public when hazardous substances are in the air. In the US, the concept of ‘shelter in place’ is widespread and applied in many different circumstances, such as active-shooter incidents. Why then is sheltering considered to be such a valuable safety measure? For two reasons. The first reason is very practical. Evacuating high population numbers such as found in large industrial sites that house multiple companies and many employees, is a massive operation and one that requires substantial manpower, quite possibly more than is available. And more importantly, it is one that at best requires quite some time to be completed, during which people are at risk of exposure to possibly contaminated air. This is time that might not even be available, especially if the hazardous

< INDUSTRIAL FIRE JOURNAL < second quarter 2018

substances are spreading rapidly. Here we’ve also touched upon the second, more fundamental reason. When evacuation cannot be timely completed and/or when buildings or escape routes are already surrounded by contaminated air, a perverse effect comes into play. Evacuating employees from buildings actually increases the threat. This is why petrochemical sites would be advised to include a shelter protocol in their standard safety measures, alongside the more common evacuation procedures. As if to prove a point, the UK paints a contrasting picture to the Netherlands. In the 1990s, the Occupied buildings on chemical manufacturing sites guidance document was published by the UK Chemical Industries Association. This has since become the standard of good practice against which occupied buildings on chemical sites are judged, especially those to which the Comah (Control of Major Accident Hazards) regulations apply, and is now titled Guidance for the location and design of occupied buildings on chemical manufacturing sites (2010, 3rd edition). The result of the guidance was that toxic gas refuges, shelter protocols and drills do seem to have become more prevalent throughout the UK’s chemical sites than in other countries. However, the guidance was published just as Comah regulations were being implemented, when regulators and operators were focussed on demonstrating compliance with Comah. This timing with Comah meant that, arguably, not enough attention was paid to ensuring that these measures would be truly effective during an incident eg that the rooms would provide good shelter for prolonged periods of time.

Back to basics Sheltering could be defined as a tactic that relies on shielding those present from exposure to a risk, ie hazardous substances, as opposed to distancing them from the risk (eg evacuation). In the case of hazardous substances, invoking a shelter protocol could entail enclosing everyone present in a designated building or, better yet, part of a building, and quickly closing off those areas from the potentially hazardous air. While this principle applies to every space that can be closed off from the exterior environment, the actual level of protection is dependent upon the extent to which air is exchanged between the internal and external environment: a room’s ventilation rate. The more airtight a room is, and thus the lower the ventilation rate, the better and longer those within are shielded from hazardous substances outside. Rooms that have a high permeation rate offer minimal – and brief – protection. It

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Industrial fire-fighting and protection

Recommended items for sheltering at home during a disaster: many of the items cross over for use in industrial shelters, such as non-perishables and communication devices. (Image: Shutterstock)

Sheltering is considered to be a valuable safety measure across the world, as seen in this sports centre in Kumamoto, Japan. (Image: Shutterstock)

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is therefore not coincidental that the narrative has shifted from entire buildings to rooms within a building, as interior rooms without windows and exterior walls generally have lower ventilation rates and thus offer a higher level of protection than entire buildings. Although in essence all buildings or rooms that can be sealed off from the exterior environment can be used to shield people from hazardous substances, not all are truly suitable. Whereas modern buildings, with their increased attention to insulation, are generally more airtight and thus can often shield people for an acceptable amount of time, the same cannot be said for the majority of the buildings commonly found at industrial sites built in the 20th century. Gaps and openings, as found within or between walls and doors and connecting the HVAC-system, all allow hazardous elements from outside to gradually permeate the shelter. If the aim is to implement sheltering as an effective safety measure, considerations must therefore be made regarding the buildings/rooms that are to be used as toxic refuges. Additional measures to further enhance a room’s suitability for its use as toxic refuge may have to be taken, to the extent of even pressurising a room, which is the only sure way of ensuring that there will be no permeation whatsoever. A building’s suitability as a toxic refuge for prolonged periods of time is first and foremost determined by its structural integrity and weatherproofing enhancements. The ventilation rate is also affected by the ability to rapidly and tightly seal a room – its doors, windows and air vents – as well as the room’s location in the building. A shelter room with exterior walls determines whether meteorological conditions can greatly influence its ventilation rate. In practice, therefore, the actual extent to which a toxic cloud permeates a room is very much dependent on several variable factors, including the characteristics of the substance. Only when taking all these factors into account can the actual permeation rate of the

shelter room, and an acceptable shelter-duration be estimated. The definition of an effective shelter goes beyond its ability to provide adequate protection: it must also be suitable for housing potentially large amounts of people for prolonged periods of time and be strategically located so as to be easily accessible. The rooms need to be big enough and offer facilities such as toilets and seats; they need to have a pantry stocked with sufficient water and non-perishables; they need to contain communication devices. Everyone, especially those outside, must be able to reach and access the room within minutes. Fundamental in the execution of an effective shelter procedure are two additional factors that are unrelated to a room’s suitability. One is embedding the use of shelters in clear procedures and the other is training people to use them. Only when people taking shelter know what to do, and execute the right actions in a timely matter, can sheltering be effective. A communication plan is crucial as well. One must ensure frequent information exchange between the shelter and the emergency response organisation, who will want to know about the number of people in the shelter and their welfare status, to decide whether evacuation is necessary now or in the future. For those sheltering, receiving information on the development of the incident and the conditions outside helps to their understanding of the importance of remaining in place, while reducing uncertainty and anxiety.

To shelter or evacuate? The key to successful action during incidents is making the right decision and then having that decision translated into action quickly. Rather than evacuating a building or even an area/site during an incident, evoking the shelter protocol might be the better option. The key is to decide under which circumstances one protocol should be used rather than the other, considering that it is not easy to make adequate decisions in times of distress. Adequate decisions require time, the very thing that you do not have during incidents: before you know it you are overtaken by events and will not get ahead for the entire duration of the incident! That is why an adequate safety policy that is built around the credible scenarios on site is necessary. One that, in advance, evaluates and determines the protocols and safety provisions present/intended to adequately deal with those scenarios. Central to this is the effectiveness of certain safety measures given (relatively) stable local factors on site, such as the airtightness of rooms to be used as shelter, with and without additional measures, versus how long full site evacuation would take, but also the type and quantities of hazardous substances stored. Having an idea of which rooms can be used effectively as a shelter, one can in the preplanning phase roughly decide under which circumstances sheltering might or might not be an effective option, in contrast to full-scale site evacuation. Subsequent guidance would address the action to take during an incident, given the mentioned variable factors. One could envision formulating a decision tree or matrix, as seen in the table opposite, which originates from the Dutch governmental protocol “sheltering or evacuation” aimed at residential areas. Although it would need to be tailored to industrial areas, it does provide some direction in setting up a policy for when to shelter or when to evacuate. Either way, when deciding to implement a shelter protocol or an evacuation protocol, one must consider three questions. Is sheltering necessary? Is sheltering effective and feasible? Is the choice to shelter still valid? Firstly, sheltering is necessary if – and only if – the incident

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might lead to severe and/or permanent health issues. Whether this is the case can be determined by determining the location and size of the effect range. To do so one must collect information about variables such as the location, the meteorology, the substanceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s characteristics, the size of the release and the (expected) effect of incident management actions. All this helps to determine the extent of health-related implications. Secondly, in order to be effective, sheltering must provide adequate protection against severe and/ or permanent health issues throughout the duration of the incident. An important factor to consider is the estimated exposure time, which closely follows the estimated duration of the incident; the size of the source; the effectiveness of incident management measures; and the progression of the exterior and interior concentration. These factors need consideration against the level of protection the intended shelter room provides, including any measures prepared to increase a roomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s integrity sufficiently, if the existing integrity is insufficient. If the safety offered is not sufficient, evacuation must be considered. Furthermore, one must consider whether it would be feasible to complete an evacuation before the hazardous cloud reaches the area at risk. Crucial questions are: how long would it approximately take to complete the evacuation? How long until the hazardous cloud reaches (specific parts of) the effect area? Approximately how many casualties can be expected when implementing the shelter protocol? And how many can be expected when executing an evacuation, considering factors such as meteorology, timing and protection offered by the shelters? The option with the fewer casualties and/or overall fewer severe health consequences, is the way forward. Lastly, whatever decision has been made should be

! !    industrial fire-fighting  !    '  !(#)#'%&*  

and protection

Sheltering during incidents with hazardous substances Whe n to

Whe n NOT to

1.

Quickly passing toxic cloud

1.

Prolonged and continuous release hazardous substances

2.

People in close proximity to the source

2.

If the behaviour and effects of a substances are unclear and unpredictable

3. If the release had a very short duration

3.

If the population might be at risk by incident management activities or the incident-development

4. If those exposed are prepared -well practised - to take shelter

4.

If the population is not properly trained in shelter protocols

5. If there is a (well-practised shelter-plan including a communication plan

5.

If the toxic cloud does not spread in a typical fashion 1

6.

If there is sufficient time and means to evacuate before the toxic clouds reaches the population

reconsidered around an hour later, or when new information At-a-glance guidance issued by the Dutch becomes available, given that an incident and the factors already mentioned are not stable. That is precisely the reason government to aid why adequate crisis management decisions always have to be decision-making as made in the field, where the factual conditions are clear. Only regards residential areas. then can one truly assess whether sheltering is necessary, effective and feasible, as well as whether the choice to shelter or not, is still valid. Concluding, while evacuation procedures are commonly acknowledged as effective safety procedures, shelter protocols have yet to receive the same attention in industrial environments with petrochemicals. A powerful incentive to invest in training and properly equipped toxic refuges is that when holding your breath is not an option, sheltering might still be. The technical requirements of shelter rooms will be explored in Q4 2018 of Industrial Fire Journal, alongside the lessons learned in the introduction and execution of an effective shelter protocol.

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second quarter 2018 < INDUSTRIALâ&#x20AC;&#x2C6;FIREâ&#x20AC;&#x2C6;JOURNAL <

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Boiling cold Active fire protection systems for LNG and LPG facilities must be capable of both vapour dispersion and fire control, writes Charlie King.

H Charlie King is sales manager at Angus Fire Engineering

An effective high-ex foam system must be able to deliver foam into the LNG spill pit quickly and at the correct rate, regardless of wind conditions.

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igh-expansion foam generator skids rigorously tested at the Texas A&M Institute have been successfully installed in a large LNG facility in North America. Liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas vapours form a highly flammable mixture with air, and an accidental spillage in the bunded area around a storage tank poses a severe cryogenic fire hazard. A leakage boils instantly, gaining heat from its surrounding environment; a plant and its surroundings will be seriously damaged by the radiant heat flux unless proper provisions are made to protect against spill hazards. The most widely accepted means of controlling such hazards is by using high-expansion foam and high-expansion foam equipment systems. There are two aspects to controlling an LNG or LPG spillage. Passive protection is one, where the design of the storage and its bunded area is a key aspect; active protection is the other. The active fire protection system is twofold and must be designed for both vapour dispersion and fire control. For vapour dispersion, a high-expansion foam system is normally chosen because it helps to reduce the risk of ignition of an LNG spillage. It assists in the upward dispersion of the vapours that are boiling off, which in turn reduces vapour concentration levels at ground level where the greatest risk of potential ignition is. To minimise the risk of the ignition of the vapour, the foam system must immediately cover the bunded areas around the LNG storage tanks with foam bubbles that have a uniform 500:1 expansion ratio. The ignition of LNG vapours creates a major problem in addition to that of the vapour cloud. In this situation, the foam blanket not only contains the fire by means of a controlled burn, but it also reduces the radiated heat flux to surrounding plant. Essentially, the rapid formation of the foam blanket reduces the rate of heat transfer from the fire to the liquid LNG pool, slowing

the initial boil-off rate down to a steady state situation. However, the design of such a high-expansion foam system is not straightforward. Firstly, the system needs to ensure that the foam can be applied to the LNG spill pit quickly and at the correct rate. Secondly, the system must be able to address any prevailing wind conditions that could adversely affect foam application by blowing foam away from the spill pit. The installation of wind-effect hoods to the foam generators should therefore be considered, in order to ensure that the foam is delivered in an efficient way. In 2017 Angus Fire’s engineering department was tasked to design and deliver a high-expansion foam system for a major LNG plant in North America that features some of the largest LNG spill pits seen in the industry. The brief was to design, manufacture, commission and carry out a site acceptance test (SAT). The scope included; verification of the hydraulic calculations; verification of the design basis to ensure correct system run-times; design of the foam skids and foam storage tanks; production of the foam shelter layouts; fabrication of the high-expansion foam generators; commissioning; and SAT. Angus Fire were also required to produce calculations to ensure that the pump would perform in the desired location relative to the foam storage tank and the piping runs. A few years earlier, Angus Fire had carried out a large-scale LNG fire test programme on some of its own equipment at the LNG testing and training facility developed by BP at the Texas A&M Institute. The tests aimed to confirm the robustness of Angus’ Turbex high-expansion foam generators while being exposed to the extreme heat of an LNG fire, and to establish the minimum foam application rate that would ensure efficient vapour suppression and heat radiation reduction. The test results showed that the Turbex LNG units had exceeded the demanding requirements of the NFPA 11A Fire Exposure Test; their performance was unaffected even after exposure to temperatures up to 1,000°C during the five-minute pre-burn period. Based on the historic success of the high-expansion foam generators at the LNG testing in Texas, Angus Fire decided to use the LNG skids for this project in North America. As part of the project, a bespoke-water driven foam-proportioning skid was has been designed for installation in small shelters; this connects to the existing water supply pipework and delivers foam solution at the correct proportioned rate into the foam system. Control of the water is established by use of deluge valves, and the foam is delivered using Pelton Wheel pumps. The system installation was completed in August last year, and has resulted in the successful protection of a highly volatile LNG facility.

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Industrial fire-fighting and protection

Explosive marriage Combining hazard/risk modelling software that is based on fundamental calculations with software that runs on 30 years’ worth of field data could create a powerful new tool for predicting the outcome of fires and explosions, as Jose Sanchez de Muniain finds out.

H

azard and risk-modelling software previously available only to those conducting work on Shell assets and projects is now available to the wider market and is to be offered with additional 3D modelling software. At the start of January came the announcement that the software modelling packages developed by Shell Global Solutions, Fred (Fire, Release, Explosion and Dispersion) and Shepherd were to be licensed exclusively by Gexcon. The two software tools are widely known in the industry and have been used for over 30 years by Shell and associated partners to predict the outcome of fire, release, explosion and dispersion scenarios. In a single tool, Fred software gathers together models that predict consequences of accidental and design releases of products from process, storage, transport and distribution operations. Amongst others, it is used for preparation and update of safety cases; justification for new design and operation; facility layout and pre-incident and emergency response planning studies. A quantitative risk analysis tool, Shepherd is tailored for risk analysis of onshore facilities and operations. It allows fast prediction of the risk related to incidents such as releases of flammable or toxic fluid, fires and explosions. It provides an overview of the risk picture for a facility, activity or project, and allows users to reflect actual site-specific operational practices among others. According to Mark Keating, regional sales manager, Europe for Gexcon, the latest move is the result of SGS’s decision to concentrate on its core business and find a third party to take responsibility for the wider deployment of the software. Consultants and partners working on Shell assets are still required to continue to use the software, but from now on the licensing will be managed by Gexcon, as will be the lion’s share of support and maintenance, whilst SGS continues research and development.

Right and top: Flacs software is used for 3D modelling for explosion studies and risk assessments amongst others.

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The two software tools will be joining an existing stable of fire and explosion modelling solutions that have been developed by Gexcon, an offshoot of Christian Michelsen Research, which itself sprung up from work on numerical modelling of safety and risk at the University of Bergen in Norway. Gexcon’s own consequence modelling software is Flacs (Flame Acceleration Software), which is used for 3D CFD explosion modelling for onshore/offshore explosion studies, risk assessments, toxic dispersion calculations, siting and accident investigations. Over the last 40 years, the software has been used in the investigation of many high-profile accidents such as Buncefield and Piper Alpha. “A key difference between Fred and Flacs is that Flacs is a 3D tool,” explains Keating. “With an offshore facility, for example, we take a highly detailed representation in order to accurately model the dispersion and explosion correctly.” The site can be modelled using Lidar-carrying drones or land-based vehicles or even 3D geometry drawings from CAD. Once the data has been set up and the so-called fluid domain established, thousands of scenarios can be run with different variables including ignition source. One of the reasons why there is a benefit in bringing the two types of software together under one roof lies in the difference between them. Gexcon’s 3D Flacs uses the fundamental laws of fluid dynamics for conservation of mass, momentum and energy. In contrast, Shell’s 2D Fred and Shepherd software extrapolate empirical data based on tests and field observations to create algorithms using statistical approaches, which are then used to predict an explosion or hazard. Importantly, these derivations are based on Shell’s extensive operator experience. Comparing the Shell and Gexcon tools, Keating comments, “In practice, Fred is more of a macro-level tool that enables the user to create and evaluate the consequences of many different scenarios such as pool fires and jet fires very quickly. One can then take that information from Fred or Shepherd and then hone in on a select group of those scenarios using Flacs for a full 3D analysis, such as worst cases or most-expensive-to-deploy cases. The result would be a more temporally and spatially accurate solution that you would otherwise not obtain with the 2D tools, which can tend to be more conservative in comparison.” A number of companies have taken delivery of the Shell Fred and Shepherd software since the new announcement in January, but there are changes afoot. For one, Gexcon is hoping to be able to deliver the Shell and Gexcon tools in a single package, so that operators can benefit from a direct coupling between the tools and thus a comprehensive solution. “But that will take more time and development,” concludes Keating.

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second quarter 2018 < INDUSTRIAL FIRE JOURNAL <

19


FOAM

Under pressure A new fixed foam system can extinguish a refinery fire, full surface tank fire or rim seal fire without the use of pumps or external energy, reports Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain.

P

Rendering of the Pressurised Instant Foam system in action.

20

ressurised Instant Foam is a medium/large-scale fixed extinguishing system for use in any facility that relies on foam to extinguish fires. Uniquely, it does not need any external energy source to produce and deliver the foam to the burning combustible liquid. The company behind the technology, Swiss Fire Protection Research & Development, was established in 2016 by its inventor, Istvan Szocs, who had previously developed the first and second-generation technology under the separate brand name Foam Fatale . In a nutshell, the system consists of a system of pipes that guides the fire-fighting foam around the facility being protected, such as a storage tank, and applies the foam onto the fire inside the tank through apertures at the end of the pipework. In contrast to traditional fixed technology, the PI Foam system does not require the use of pumps, foam chambers, foam generators, foam proportioning systems or foam pourers. Andras T Peller, director at Swiss Fire Protection Research & Development, explains that at the heart of the system is a pressurised vessel that contains a premixed foam concentrate/water solution. The vessel is pressurised by the introduction of a gas

< INDUSTRIAL FIRE JOURNAL < secOnd quArter 2018

mixture that is designed to dissolve inside the foam premix solution. The gas mixture varies according to the features of the stored product and environmental factors ie whether the vessel will be in a cold or hot climate, which affects the pressure requirements. “When it is depressurised, it is like a soda can. The bubbles are released as the gas comes back to atmospheric pressure. So you have instant foam produced from the foam solution, and you do not have to do anything. The pressurised gas does all the work,” he says. The fast activation is crucial to the successful deployment of the system; the system is designed to cover with foam the full surface of a storage tank in three minutes. These three minutes are crucial, explains Peller, for a number of reasons. “With traditional foam, the fire is constantly destroying the foam, so it becomes a case of introducing more foam than the fire can eat. We can put in three minutes the same amount of foam that traditional systems take an hour to introduce.” An obvious benefit of the fast application of foam without human intervention is that there is no scope for human error during the set-up of mobile emergency-response resources to produce the right amount of foam, at the right

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Swiss Fire Protection Research & Development AG

Swiss Fire Protection Research & Development AG, based in Sarnen, Switzerland, has produced the revolutionary Pressurized Instant Foam System, a Foam-Based Fire Extinguishing Technology that is on track to become the new norm of fire extinguishment in the Oil, Pharmaceutical, Chemical & Vegetable-Oil Industries. Our company is looking for either (1) a buyer/licensee or (2) a consulting firm to assist in the sale of our technology.

Our goal is to sell all patents and know-how on either a worldwide or regional basis.

Over the past 10 years, the earlier versions of the Pressurized Instant Foam SystemTM has been installed worldwide by companies including:


FOAM

concentration, under highly stressful circumstances. “We are creating the foam in a calm environment, not during a blaze, measuring and checking the gas pressures,” he says. The three-minute rule is also significant for another reason, explains Peller: at five minutes, the steel tank wall begins to reach the 500°C mark, the temperature at which steel begins to lose its structural strength. “So after the fire the tank has to be demolished or repaired. If you can put the fire out before it reaches that limit, you can save the tank and basically just clean and refit it afterwards,” says Peller.

Mobilising all the equipment necessary to tackle a largescale storage tank fire usually takes well over an hour, points out Peller, and anything below that would be breaking response records. When fire crews arrived at the site of the oil tank fire that occurred in Pulau Busing off the southwest coast of Singapore in March, he recounts, their first action was to begin cooling the neighbouring tanks. “If you can start pouring foam 20 to 30 minutes after the start of the fire, then you are the fastest fire team in the world. In Singapore when they arrived they found that the tank walls of neighbouring tanks were at a critically high temperature.” In addition, as the volume of foam in the PI Foam system is pre-calculated, there is no possibility of the foam overflowing the tank or, indeed, of foam being lost during application as would be the case with a large-scale monitor. “The ideal situation is for the firefighters to attend the incident without putting themselves at risk. Various studies have established that even in an optimal case, only around 50% of the foam generated by monitors ever reaches the surface of the fire, due to targeting loss and updraft. That is a lot of foam that could be contaminating the environment,” says Peller. The intention of the system, however, is not to take jobs away from industrial firefighters or doing away with emergency response equipment, highlights Peller. “Fixed systems can only put out the fires for scenarios that can be prepared for, but what about scenarios you haven’t thought of? Ideally a tank farm manager would protect his whole site with this, but would still retain a smaller mobile unit,” remarks Peller. SFPRD has tested the performance of a number of foams with its innovative system. The company can recommend commercial, off-the-shelf foams, but it has also developed a fluorine-free alternative that it is currently undergoing various approvals. “It is available and usable if the client accepts that the foam is tested under non-standard conditions, because of the different foaming principle. The difference is that commercial foams are designed to be aerated, but this application doesn’t use air, it uses soluble

The Pressurised Instant Foam system is designed to extinguish the fire in three minutes.

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< INDUSTRIAL FIRE JOURNAL < second quarter 2018 Read our e-magazine at www.hemmingfire.com


FOAM

gas, which is why we’ve had to test many foams on different fuels, including ethanol,” he explains. In practice, the vessels containing the premix solution are pressurised on site when the installation takes place. Depending on environmental factors – namely temperature and where the vessel is stored – the foam is replaced every five or ten years. Top-ups can be made as and when required, but Peller emphasises that one incident would be unlikely to deplete the whole foam reserve. The pressure of the system is monitored automatically and the valves self-test; regular maintenance is a matter of taking a sample of the foam mixture and having it checked in a laboratory. The system is scalable, which means that protecting an additional storage tank, for example, would be a case of installing extra pipework and perhaps installing a larger pressurised container. There is no need for purchasing additional machinery or replacing existing pumps with bigger units, as with a traditional system. “The NFPA requires around 4.2l/m2 per minute and we can easily scale up the system to 40 or even 80l/m2 per minute, just by up-scaling the system,” explains Peller. This year the company is hoping to complete an on-going retrofit installation on Chevron Kuwait’s facility in the neutral zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Construction of the system on the site was stopped in the middle of the process in 2015 due to a dispute between the two countries, but is hoped to restart shortly. Here, the PI Foam system will be protecting ten storage tanks measuring between 57m and 77m in diameter. For this project, the specification requires the capability of the PI Foam system to simultaneously extinguish three full-surface tank fires and seven rim-seal floating roof-tank fires. The system design consists of a pressurised vessel containing 800m3 of foam solution and a 2km-long underground network of piping. For a rim-seal fire, only enough foam is released to extinguish the fire. “We don’t want to flood the whole roof because that would risk it sinking and causing a bigger problem. We have a detection system that can differentiate between full surface and rim-seal and, in the case of a rim seal fire, Pi just fills the rim seal area,” says Peller. Swiss Fire Protection is not just focusing on the oil and gas industry. In Hungary, it is working with pharmaceutical giant Sanofi and the Hungarian Army, with the latter to protect a strategic kerosene storage facility. Discussions are under way with an airport for the protection of a filling station and a storage tank containing kerosene. In addition, a

small independent storage terminal wants to extend a firstgeneration version of the system and use the pressurised foam vessel to protect the whole storage facility, which includes multiple tanks, dike areas, pump stations, filling stations and other industrial areas. In order to try to gain wider market acceptance for Pi Foam, the company is engaging with relevant industry bodies. “One of the problems is that some standards refer to the performance of pumps but our system doesn’t use one, so we cannot comply directly. We have to prove that the performance of our system is the equivalent or better, and are currently in discussions with Lastfire about creating a test protocol,” says Peller. Whether this innovative system will become commonplace in the future remains to be seen. After all, the highly conservative fire industry is as fond of its existing technology as it is of its slowly evolving standards.

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Recycling bubbles

Disposal of fluorinated fire-fighting foam waste – the solid solution, by Roger A Klein, Cambridge UK.

T The author would like to acknowledge advice received during the preparation of this article from Nigel Holmes, Department of Environment and Science, Queensland Government, Australia

The fluorochemicals are converted back to their natural inert mineral state, fluorite. Top: rotary cement kiln. (Photos: Shutterstock)

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rials are demonstrating that cement kiln technology could revolutionise the current methods for disposing of AFFF fire-fighting foam by enabling the cost-effective destruction of hundreds of tonnes of liquid and solid waste containing fluorochemicals. Recent concerns over the use of fluorochemical-containing AFFF firefighting foam have included the realisation that one of the most significant lifetime costs is proper containment and disposal of very problematic persistent, toxic and bio-accumulative waste, including unwanted or out-of-data foam concentrate, accidental spills or the very much larger volumes associated with firewater runoff during training or operational incidents. Disposal of unused concentrate may involve a few hundred or thousands of litres of fluorochemical-containing waste, on the other hand there may be potentially tens of millions of litres of waste, for example, after a large incident such as the Buncefield explosion in December 2005 which generated 55 million litres of firewater, of which only 12 million litres were captured. Even the quantities of foam released during regular fire training and testing should not be underestimated. At the Oakey Defence helicopter base in Queensland, for example, some 1.43 million litres of foam concentrate were discharged, as finished foam, to open ground over a period of some 25 years – equivalent to a complete IBC of 1,000l every week for a quarter of a century!

Similarly, waste produced during required maintenance procedures for apparently trivial-sized portable, hand-held and vehicle-mounted foam extinguishers should not be misjudged in its long-term potential to contaminate soils, disperse into groundwater and waterways, and move into the food chain. Fluorochemicals have been essential ingredients of all AFFF-type firefighting foams. They are responsible for aqueous film-formation, a characteristic of these foams that contributes to their extinguishing efficiency. The characteristic that makes fluorochemicals so useful and at the same time so problematic is the strength of the carbon-fluorine (C-F) bond – one of the strongest known – conferring remarkable chemical and thermal stability. It is this property that also gives rise to their extreme environmental persistence and thus to the difficulties posed for disposal of these materials. It is the foam end user that has the responsibility to determine the full extent of what classes of fluorochemical wastes they have before considering the best and most cost-effective method of disposal, which must be through a facility licensed by the local regulatory authority. While PFOS and PFOA feature prominently because of their regulatory position, their relevance is rapidly becoming out-dated as it is now known that there are also many closely related compounds of equal concern that need to be considered. Until recently it has been very difficult to completely determine the fluorochemical content of foams and wastes because the standard laboratory analyses can only detect about 28 of the 200 to 600 complex compounds (the so-called ‘dark matter’) that can be present. That was the case until the TOP Assay (total oxidisable precursor) method was introduced by Houtz and Sedlak in 2012, working in Berkeley California; it established the core analytical method for determining the total fluorochemical content of the waste stream (see IFJ First Quarter 2018, issue no.111) Application of TOP Assay to uncover ‘dark matter’ has shown that hidden perfluorinated components can represent the majority of PFCs present constituting a significant risk. The difference between standard analyses versus TOP Assay results can be dramatic, as illustrated in the example from a foam spill at a Queensland airport in April 2017. Quite

< INDUSTRIAL FIRE JOURNAL < second quarter 2018 Read our e-magazine at www.hemmingfire.com


FOAM

commonly there can be a 10 to 100-fold increase in the visibility of fluorinated organics after the TOP Assay. The disposal method of choice for fluorochemical and other POP wastes has long been high temperature incineration. PFC destruction requires specially constructed furnaces as sufficient temperatures are not achieved in normal commercial waste incinerators – plus the need for very efficient scrubbing of the flue gases to remove the highly corrosive hydrogen fluoride HF produced during combustion, making high temperature incineration an expensive process. Some out-of-date product information still persists in misleading end users that AFFF can be treated using wastewater treatment plants and composting. This leaves the end user at significant risk of regulatory action for improper disposal of a persistent organic pollutant plus the unknowing receiver of the waste facing potentially very expensive clean-up costs or ruined products such as contaminated bio-sludge or compost. Although solid waste can be incinerated, large volumes of contaminated liquid waste need pre-treatment to reduce the water content, involving further expense. High-temperature incineration of fluorinated liquid waste has to date been very expensive costing as much as US$10-20 per litre. Destruction of persistent organic pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls has used cement kiln technology for high temperature combustion as one of the methods of choice for some considerable time and is listed in the Basel Convention guidance on this issue(i). Moreover, high-temperature cement kiln destruction has been routinely used in the aluminium smelting industry for the destruction and disposal of spent pot linings, an environmentally

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hazardous waste, containing 10% or more soluble fluorine by weight which is transformed into insoluble calcium fluoride in the kiln. Cement kilns have the advantage of operating at much higher temperatures than standard incinerators, sufficient to destroy all organo-halogens including fluorochemicals. The feedstock for a cement kiln is a calcium-rich mineral meal derived from limestone or marble, perfect for capturing fluorine produced by destruction of the fluorochemicals. The end product is inert calcium fluoride, identical to the mined mineral from which the fluorine was originally obtained – fluorite/fluorspar. With the destruction of the PFCs and sequestering of the fluorine as inert calcium fluoride there is no waste that needs to be removed or disposed of separately. Moreover, fixation of the fluorine is so efficient that there is minimal HF produced, removing the need for expensive scrubbing of the flue gases. This whole process is environmentally neutral with the fluorochemicals converted back to the natural inert mineral from which the fluorine was sourced. In addition, both liquid and solid waste can be fed into the kiln burner directly with minimal pre-treatment, resulting in huge economic savings. European regulations for disposing of PFC-containing waste require >850°C for >2 seconds and if the halogen content is greater than 1% w/w then >1,100°C for >2 seconds. Danish Ministry of the Environment studies indicate that temperatures in excess of 1,100°C are effective in completely destroying PFCs but that there are no studies showing that complete destruction occurs at 850°C. Cement kiln incineration results in temperatures well in excess of 1,100°C for as long as 15 minutes.

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FOAM

Left to right: standard analyses versus TOP Assay results from a foam spill in Queensland (© Queensland Government); illustration of rotary cement kiln; temperature and residence time during cement production, according to the Secretariat of the Basel Convention, UNEP.

References (i) UNEP 2008, Guidelines on best available techniques and provisional guidance on best environmental practices relevant to Article 5 and Annex C of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Part II Cement kilns firing hazardous waste. (ii) UNEP 2005, Destruction and decontamination technologies for PCBs and other POPs wastes under the Basel convention. (iii) F Wang et al / Journal of Hazardous Materials 192 (2011) 1067-1071.

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It is surprising that, until very recently, cement kiln technology has not been considered for destruction of fluorochemical-contaminated waste from operational, training and maintenance applications for AFFF fire-fighting foams. At a Reebok Conference in 2009, one of the speakers outlined an extremely effective process developed by a leading feedstock manufacturer for removing and concentrating fluorochemicals from contaminated waste, involving flocculation and reverse osmosis with high temperature incineration of the concentrated fluorochemical waste yielding calcium fluoride, CaF2, which could then be re-used for fluorochemical manufacture. Although environmentally neutral in terms of generating CaF2, this RO/EC method is very costly; moreover, incineration produces hydrogen fluoride gas, HF, which has to be removed by scrubbing with lime or calcium hydroxide. Cement kiln technology does not suffer from this disadvantage as the hydrogen fluoride becomes fixed as insoluble calcium fluoride during clinker production in the main cement kiln and is incorporated harmlessly in cement. Initial trials of cement kiln destruction of PFCs in wash-waters containing low levels (<0.1%) were undertaken in 2016 and results presented at the foam management conference in Brisbane in February 2017. These demonstrated that fluorochemicals and hydrogen fluoride in flue gases were below detection levels (<0.004 micrograms/ Nm3 and <0.1 milligrams/Sm3). Subsequent trials in 2017 progressed to destruction of about 10 tonnes of PFOS and long-chain fluorotelomer-based foam concentrate via the main kiln burner. Test results for fluorochemicals in the clinker were below detection limits while HF in the flue gases were well below the limit of 50 mg/ Nm3. Overall the destruction and removal efficiency for compounds of particular regulatory concern including PFOS, PFOA and PFHxS were calculated to be >99.999%. Similar tests for destruction of chlorinated and fluorinated hydrocarbons in Sweden(ii) had shown destruction and removal efficiencies >99.99998%. Generally, the requirement for thermal destruction of PFCs is cited as 1,100°C with a residence time of 2 seconds, however recent research(iii) has found that the presence of calcium during heating can catalyse decomposition of fluorinated organic compounds at much lower temperatures, for example, as low as 350°C for PFOS. The cement kiln process with an abundant supply of calcium throughout raises the possibility of introducing PFC wastes into the calcining section of the process where temperatures are about 600°C to 900°C, with the advantage of lessening any risk of upsetting the main cement burner by the water content in wastes. Cement kilns have a significant overkill factor for destruction of PFCs with abundant calcium and temperatures and residence times far above baseline requirements, with overall residence times in the presence of calcium of ~25-30

< INDUSTRIAL FIRE JOURNAL < secOnd quArter 2018

minutes mostly in the main kiln at >1,100°C. Further trials are being planned to establish whether PFC wastes can be introduced into the pre-calciner with the advantages of longer residence times and less probability of disruption to the main burner of the cement kiln. In most jurisdictions persistent organic pollutants are regarded as controlled or regulated wastes with strict constraints put on their handling, transport, tracking, storage, treatment and treatment for disposal. The generator of the wastes is regarded as being responsible for ultimately ensuring proper waste handling and disposal even after they have been handed over to a third party. This makes establishing the credentials and competence of the waste contractor essential. Management of regulated wastes requires that disposal contractors be specifically licensed for the particular waste type. Previous practices that led to releases, such as disposing of fluorinated firefighting foams to sewer or its use in composting under the category of ‘surfactants’, are now recognised as serious breaches of environmental regulations in regard to organo-halogen disposal, with the end user potentially facing prosecution. Cement kilns generally operate under environmental licence conditions that set limits on various releases, mostly related to flue gas emissions relative to its main purpose of cement production. Licences also permit co-disposal of various waste materials that may be introduced to the kiln as part of alternative fuels such as waste oils or directly input with the cement process materials. This provides opportunities for disposal of not only PFC liquids but also solids and contaminated materials. For a new waste to be considered for destruction in the cement kiln process, licences are needed to enable trials to demonstrate the efficiency of destruction and compliance with environmental emission limits. Once destruction and removal efficiencies and emission levels have been demonstrated as adequate, the licence can be amended adding the new waste category along with any relevant new conditions on handling and emissions. Trials so far have allowed amendments to include destruction of foam concentrates via introduction to the main burner. Further trials to establish the effectiveness of introducing PFC wastes into the pre-calciner for destruction will include solids such as contaminated activated carbon filter media. Proof-of-concept for destruction of PFCs via the cement kiln process has built on established use of cement kilns for destroying various wastes confirming the fitness of the method for sustainable and final disposal of fluorinated organic compounds with no outstanding waste management problems, eg with waste landfilling and fixation technologies. The ability to handle large volumes of material at high or low concentrations should also bring economic and risk reduction benefits to end users with PFC wastes.

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FIREMIKS 2400-3-PP-F-ALU-FM

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FOAM

Confusion in New Zealand A growing PFAS contamination scandal in New Zealand highlights the confused and often contradictory response of authorities in relation to the testing, disclosure and remediation of contaminated sites, writes Lotte Debell.

I

An investigation was launched last year after numerous airports reported continued use PFOS/ PFOA foams. (Image: Shutterstock)

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n December 2017, residents near Ohakea and Woodbourne Air Bases in New Zealand were told that PFAS contamination from historic use of fire-fighting foams may have contaminated local water supplies, kicking off a nationwide investigation of defence sites, airports and the fire and emergency services. The use of PFOS and PFOA by New Zealand firefighters was banned in 2006 and the country banned the use of almost all PFOS in 2011. According to the Ministry for the Environment: ‘no import, manufacture or use of PFOS compounds is permitted in New Zealand, other than for specified, identified uses, such as laboratory analysis’. However, the discovery of banned foams at four airports in New Zealand has revealed a critical lack of regulatory awareness concerning the import and use of certain PFAS chemicals. Further concerns have been raised about the way testing is being carried out, both to determine the levels of PFAS chemicals at contaminated sites and to assess their presence in fire-fighting foams. Defence first began to test for PFAS at its sites in 2014, and the Ohakea contamination came to light the following year. A number of other sites have since been identified. The Environmental Protection Authority initiated an investigation of the country’s airports in 2017 after airports in Auckland and Wellington revealed the continued use of foams containing PFOS and PFOA for aircraft fires. Foams containing these chemicals have since been found at Nelson, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and Palmerston North airports. Local news reports claim that the country’s airports were unaware of the 12-year-old foam ban, and the Airports Association’s chief executive Kevin Ward told Radio NZ: "The airports here, to the best of our knowledge, were unaware of the regulatory underpinning affecting this family of [PFAS] chemicals." He added that it is likely other airports are using these foams. Doubts have also been raised about the foams used by Fire and Emergency NZ as well as the efficacy of testing undertaken in June 2017 to check for the presence of the banned chemicals. While the Ministry for the Environment states that FENZ uses

only fluorine-free Class A foams and its testing of the majority of its Class B stocks shows that these are also free from PFOS and PFOA, local reports suggest that the fire service is still using four fluorinated foams that contain chemicals known as precursors that break down into PFOA over time. Following an Official Information Act Request, FENZ told Radio NZ that it had "not been satisfied that there is a fluorine-free foam that will effectively combat the range of liquid fuel fires". It is now looking into fluorine-free alternatives. At issue is the test method currently in use by both Defence and FENZ to determine PFAS levels. While adequate for detecting the presence of PFOS and PFOA, the standard test based on the US EPA methodology is not capable of detecting hundreds of other PFAS chemicals (some 4,730 have so far been identified by the OECD). The same test was used by FENZ to test its foams supplies in 2017. However, scientists from Europe and Australia have suggested that a new more wide-ranging test method called TOP Assay should be used to provide a more accurate assessment of the chemicals present in samples. This test transforms all potential precursors into measurable fluorinated compounds, giving a fuller picture of the likely toxicity of PFAS chemicals in the samples. The Defence approach would appear to be in contradiction to the application of the ‘precautionary principle’ explicitly advocated in the 2018 Australian PFAS National Environmental Management Plan. This explains it as: "where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation." The NEMP goes on to recommend the use of the TOP Assay test in cases where the US EPA method "may not adequately measure all the PFAS likely to be present". This includes "where the PFAS product composition is unknown and/or where known PFAS composition extends beyond the US EPA suite. Other circumstances include transformation of PFAS or where the precursors are unknown, such as in wastewater treatment, soil, water and most environmental samples where the PFAS have been present in the environment for longer than an immediate spill." FENZ said that, while aware of the new test, it had not been used to analyse its foam stocks because there was no requirement for such testing. However, it added: "We are aware that our foams may contain other fluorinated compounds that are not detected by the standard analysis so may consider further testing in due course." In a seemingly contradictory statement to Radio NZ, a spokesperson for NZ’s All-of-Government PFAS Programme said: "TOP Assays are valuable and provide summary level information about PFAS compounds in soil or water. They are essential in planning for long-term site remediation or for assessment of longer term potential health effects." But it said that Defence was not using the test because it would not help it to identify at-risk households, which is the focus of its current investigation.

< INDUSTRIAL FIRE JOURNAL < second quarter 2018 Read our e-magazine at www.hemmingfire.com


vehicles

Vehicle news On track at Frankfurt A sophisticated tracking safety system for emergency vehicles at airports is currently being installed at Frankfurt Airport by Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide and Rosenbauer. Named MSEO (Mobile Services Operational Resource Tracking), the system provides the drivers of airport vehicles with a complete overview of other vehicles on the apron and tarmac, including their speed and direction, through a cabininstalled tablet. Based on the Rosenbauer Emerec Devs location and navigation system, the system tracks transponders on all aircraft and vehicles in real time, displaying their location on maps with a predicted travel path. The system quickly detects collision hazards and warns the vehicle crews through automatic collision prevention. As well as providing visual and acoustic collision warnings, the MSEO displays fire protection plans, water supply points and other points of interest. In the first phase of the project, vehicles of the fire department and the de-icing service are to be equipped with the terminals. By summer 2018, the 'follow-me' fleet will be connected, and by 2020 all emergency vehicles in the Frankfurt Airport taxiing area will be equipped with the tablets.

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MSEO is an enhancement of the of Emerc Devs, a Rosenbauer tracking and navigation system for safety-critical infrastructures such as airports and industrial parks. It uses GPS technology to locate vehicles and accesses air traffic control data to view the position of aircraft and other vehicles on the tarmac. The new system enables data that used to be primarily intended for air traffic controllers to be also available to emergency organisations.

Left to right: Karl-Christian Hahn of Bereich Gefahrenabwehr and Roy Posern of Bereich Airside Systeme with the new MSEO tablet.

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vehicles

Feel the power

training. "The use of SUAS has the potential to extend a public safety agency’s capabilities, help emergency managers make informed decisions, and improve the safety of everyone involved.” Participants will learn about the airspace and Part 107 rules and regulations as well as how to read navigation charts. They will also learn multiple different was to fly drones and gain flight training experience using a simulator and training quadcopter. Additional topics will include flying multirotor and fixed-wing SUAS, maintenance, FAA policies, registration process, commercial applications, featured systems and emerging technologies. Participants will leave the course with a training quadcopter and simulation software.

Able with Tropos

The new pump has achieved a flow rate of nearly 24,000 litres per minute.

A powerful new single volute fire truck-mounted pump has been launched by US Fire Pump. First presented at the recent FDIC in Indianapolis, the HVP6000 pump is available in mid-ship or rear-mounted applications; it has achieved 23,681lpm (6,256gpm) from draft at 8.62bar in test conditions validated by UL. The pump was mounted on a Ferrara Inundator Super Pumper. "We were the first apparatus fire pump manufacture to hold the Guinness World Record in 2015 and our newest pump exceeds our previous pump by 2,892lpm (764gpm) at 0.5bar higher," said US Fire Pump president and CEO, Chris Ferrara, adding: “Our fire pumps utilise a single volute and single impeller, where other manufacturers are utilising dual volutes and dual impellers, creating more wearable parts. Our pump has certified casting and can be made from stainless steel, cast iron or bronze.”

Drone training at TEEX A new training course in drone piloting aimed at public safety personnel has been introduced by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service. Introduction to SUAS – public safety is aimed at pilots operating drones as part of emergency response operations and disaster reconnaissance and recovery. Over three days, the hands-on course will provide remote flight training to prepare SUAS pilots for the FAA Part 107 exam. It is designed specifically for police officers, firefighters, search and rescue and emergency management personnel starting an SUAS programme. “We’ve already seen the importance of using drones for 3D mapping of crime scenes and traffic crash reconstruction, as well as search and rescue and aerial reconnaissance in disaster recovery, such as Hurricane Harvey,’ said training manager Kyle McNew (seen below) from TEEX law enforcement and security

The new course is specifically aimed at pilots who use drones during emergency response.

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Tropos Technologies has rebranded itself Tropos Motors while it transitions from distributor to manufacturer of low-cost electric vehicles and trucks. The first new vehicles developed by Tropos include the Able FRV for the fire service and the emergency medical Able EMSO compact electric utility vehicles. The fire response vehicle bed package can transport up to 473 litres (125 gallons) of water to emergency locations and can also connect to stand pipes. Its compact size means it can travel on stadium walkways and on the field, in campsites, on pavements and on campuses where standard trucks may not be able go. The vehicle has an electric rewind Hannay 4,000 series reel and Scotty Around the Pump Class A foam system with a 19-litre (5-gallon) foam cell, equivalent to 3,785 litres (1,000 gallons) of water. The Able EMSO is designed to carry one patient on a full-size ambulance stretcher, one EMS attendant, a fire extinguisher, plus storage. The completely enclosed cab includes a large rear window and the EMS attendant seat can be locked into various positions on the seat guide rails. "The demand we see from the first responder market is for smaller and more manoeuvrable vehicles to meet their operational requirements, as well as vehicles that are of automotive quality but can be used indoors," said Tropos CEO, John Bautista. "The Able product line meets these needs as a dependable compact utility workhorse, that’s still street-legal."

Decon-friendly cab

A set of vehicle options to help mitigate contaminants brought inside the vehicle cab and to promote a better environment for firefighters has been introduced by the Rev Group for E-one, KME and Ferrara fire trucks. Emergency responders will be able to select from a variety of features for their trucks that can help crews remove contaminants from gear and keep equipment out of the cab. The features include seating surfaces that promote a cleaner environment inside the cab, such as vinyl or fabric that has an anti-microbial and anti-pathogenic protective barrier. Clients will also be able to opt for non-SCBA seats, to help prevent contamination from air packs entering the cab; and use external transverse compartment across the back of the cab to store SCBAs on pull-out boards for easy access. Compartments over the front wheels on custom cabs will offer exterior access only for storing bunker gear. Also on offer is an HEPA air filtration unit for inside a custom cab, which will circulate the air and remove particulates; a dedicated hose outlet on the pump panel that will provide temperature-controlled water supply for gross decontamination of firefighters; and an integrated system for automated dispensing of disinfectant inside the cab.

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Zico container bracket A new bracket designed to securely hold rectangular quart/half-gallon containers has been developed by Zico. Model QM-PMH-RQHG enables cans from popular brands such as Stihl to be stored safely in compartments next to other emergency responserelated equipment. Made with heavy-duty steel and aluminium, the brackets are powder-coated yellow for maximum durability and can protection. The bracket lowers the risk of tipping, denting, leaking, and puncturing inside the compartment and keep supplies easy to locate.

Ranging far and wide

It is not just about the height:

UNMATCHED ACCESS UNMATCHED REACH

Polaris Government and Defence has launched new equipment enhancements for its Ranger side-by-side vehicles designed specifically to meet the needs of fire and rescue services and law enforcement agencies. The Ranger side-by-side vehicles are designed to enable access to both urban and off-road locations that other vehicles cannot reach. The Ranger fire-fighting units incorporate a professional system developed with years of firefighter input by RKO Enterprises. It includes a pump, hose and reel, a combination tank for water and a compressed air foam suppression system plus the ability draw to from a water source. Mounting options can accommodate preferences for different departments and uses. The equipment is installed as a turn-key package with full warranty by Polaris. The rescue vehicles incorporate a rear-attendant seat and a stokes rescue basket with the option of full-length or break-apart basket for shorter overall length when not in use. Polaris is also offering a combination fire and rescue package, which includes the fire tank and equipment as well as the rescue basket. The rear equipment skids can be removed for use by other departments.

Remote health monitoring Smart technology that can continuously and remotely monitor the health or condition of fire vehicles has been developed by the Rev Group. The new Axis Smart Truck Technology has been engineered for use on all E-one, Ferrara and KME branded vehicles, and is expected to improve in-service use through real-time awareness and a reduction in unscheduled repairs. According to the Rev Group, the technology is a significant step beyond conventional fleet management systems because it monitors the status of not only the chassis, but also the critical multiplexing systems and relevant water-flow components on the apparatus. Additionally, it enables electronics troubleshooting and support through real-time notifications, run-log recording, remote diagnostics and secure over-the-air device up-dates. The system enables access from any computer, laptop or mobile device to vehicle information through a web-based dashboard. Important truck information is available at a glance, with the option to obtain specific truck data and diagnostics. The system can also be set up to deliver real-time vehicle notification via text and email to mobile devices.

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TRAINING & EXERCISES

CBRN ready? Information sharing, interoperability, responder safety and initial action can all lead to the satisfactory resolution of a CBRN incident at an airport if properly managed and trained for, writes Simon Churchill.

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A former senior fire service officer, Simon Churchill now works with the Resilience Advisors Network, an organisation that provides fire, police, health, defence and security expertise

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he events in Salisbury, southwest England have brought into sharp focus the potential effects of a CBRN incident, and that the threat of such incidents is still high. The risk to first responders is extreme – witness the contamination of police sergeant Nick Bailey at the Salisbury incident. The damage to the economy of an airport closed because of contamination is possibly irreversible. As probably the first agency on the scene, the airport fire brigade can play a crucial role in mitigating the effects of a CBRN incident, but to do so it is necessary that responders are appropriately trained and informed of the circumstances of an event so they can respond accordingly. Up-to-date information on the current terrorism picture is imperative for airport fire services to develop appropriate strategies for a CBRN event, which is why it is important to foster links with national counter-terrorism and police agencies. Airport fire services vary in size and management globally, but the same principles apply to all. Suitable personnel must be nominated and trained to receive this information, disseminate it, and conduct the appropriate planning. Building relationships with these agencies helps to build trust, which in turn builds confidence in each other’s capabilities. To create these links and to understand each other’s capabilities, pre-planning and exercising for CBRN events is critical. When carried through to the end, this approach ensures that the correct level of response capability is available, with the initial responder training and awareness of the threat. The terrorism threat level, however, should be reviewed periodically. The capability and training should also be reassessed accordingly so that any gaps identified in training can then be resolved. The airport fire service and those agencies directly responding from the airport should consider a range of command principles for the initial response to a CBRN event. The colocation of responding agencies at the incident is fundamental for effective incident management. The airport fire service, as one of the first to arrive, may be required to identify a suitable rendezvous point and location to facilitate management of the incident. Pre-planning may have already identified some that are different to the usual RVPs in order to prevent possible secondary attacks on responders. Co-locating at the scene allows an effective decision-making process to develop through an established interagency

< INDUSTRIAL FIRE JOURNAL < second quarter 2018

command structure. It is generally acknowledged that no single agency can satisfactorily resolve a CBRN event on its own. Methods of communication should be developed that include flow between agencies, between responders at the incident, and between the incident and the various mobilising controls. All should adopt common and robust communications systems and protocols. The development of coordination between the layers of command and between separate agencies is critical to ensuring the provision of a cohesive and structured response to the incident. To facilitate a successful response, it is vital to form a clear intelligence picture that identifies the risks and provides a clear and unified awareness of the situation. This starts from the moment of the first call to the mobilising centre. The information gathering structure and the language should be universal and embedded within multi-agency command. These are fundamental principles of interoperability for any event which, for CBRN, could include specific areas. While airport fire services responding to an incident can assist in supporting these principles, specialist skills are required to identify a suitable rendezvous points for a CBRN event. Also necessary are training and awareness of the hazards created by CBRN materials; the requirements of specialist responding agencies; and the security and management of the site, including cordoning and secondary threats. As shown by the events in Salisbury, an incident attracts many response organisations and other specialist agencies, all of which need to be accommodated. Call handlers should be tasked with ensuring that appropriate information is obtained about the event. Information gathering is central to their role, but it is important to make sure they are suitably well versed in extracting the kind of information that can identify a CBRN incident prior to mobilisation. This can include details of what can be seen by callers, including symptoms shown by casualties; casualty numbers; changes to the environment, such as vapours clouds, liquids or dust; activities prior to the incident such as individuals behaving strangely; and the specific actions of individuals. All this information influences how responders are dispatched and how they approach the incident, considering topography, weather and wind conditions in particular. The UK’s principles of Steps 1, 2, 3 provide a foundation for early information-gathering to support responder safety.

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TRAINING & EXERCISES

Ebola virus emergency exercise in Milan-Malpensa Airport, Italy. (Image: Davide Calabresi, Shutterstock)

• Step 1 – one casualty: no obvious reason. Proceed normally.

• Step 2 – two casualties; no obvious reason. Approach with caution.

• Step 3 – three or more casualties in close proximity, with no obvious reason. Use caution.

Additional training is necessary to supplement this process, starting with the identification of visual indicators. This should include awareness of the symptomology displayed by those suffering the effects of CBRN material, such as unexplained signs of skin, eye, or airway irritation; nausea; vomiting; twitching; sweating; pinpoint pupils; and disorientation. Are there physical signs of contaminants such as pools of liquid or vapour clouds? Does the local vegetation show signs of unusual decay? Is there evidence of dispersal, including the ESS18adsHPmay.qxp_Layout 1 09/05/2018 19:08 Page 1 remnants of explosive devices or sprayers? Clearly, it is not

enough to leave it there. Action must and will be taken by responders, but support can only be provided by first responders with the right personal protective equipment and resources at their disposal. The initial information gathering is therefore critical in deciding how to approach an incident and manage it safely. Initial responders can reassure casualties with continual updates on the situation and the help provided. In many cases, first responders can provide life-saving interventions such as evacuating contaminated areas, arranging the removal of outer clothing, or providing early basic decontamination. Training to achieve this is imperative to ensure responders can provide the best support to casualties as well as prevent the responders from becoming victims themselves. How best to provide casualty-support at the incident? Start by immediately moving casualties from the area of gross contamination – upwind and uphill where possible. Also, ensure that a medical response is quickly mobilised. Blot exposed skin with any available absorbent and dry material including paper tissue, towels, medical dressings or clean rags. First responders equipped with clinical wipes or sponges can distribute these casualties to begin removing further contamination from exposed areas. Another step is the provision of disrobing suits, so that an additional layer of clothing and contamination can be removed. Responders must also consider the effects of cross contamination to prevent spreading the incident to a wider footprint. Actions taken in the early stages of an incident can contain the effects of a CBRN incident; an on-site fire service can play an important role in mitigating and resolving an incident, which in turn can reduce the suffering of casualties and the economic impact on the airport.

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TRAINING & EXERCISES

An exercise in resilience Last month the first of a series of trials took place with the aim of increasing resilience and driving innovation in crisis management across Europe, write João Dias, Rob Munro and Marion Bonlieu.

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João Dias, Rob Munro and Marion Bonlieu are responsible for media relations and dissemination for the Driver+ consortium. João Dias works for Public Safety Communications Europe; Rob Munro and Marion Bonlieu work at Arttic

s societies become more interconnected, the chances of serious accidents requiring immediate response grow. This happened in Hungary in October 2010 at the Ajka Alumina Plant when part of a chemical waste reservoir collapsed and one million cubic metres of red sludge flooded nearby localities, causing 15 fatalities. Accidents such as Ajka Plant’s are unexpected and, if not handled immediately with a proper allocation of resources, they can become catastrophic and threaten the livelihoods of thousands of people in several countries. There are over 12,000 industrial sites in the EU where dangerous substances are stored, each site with its own risks and circumstances that require different courses of action from first respondents in the case of an accident. The Driver+ project was set up with this in mind, as well as addressing the real threat of natural disasters and their immense costs in terms of human lives and economic losses. One of its primary goals is to help European crisis management operators address their capability gaps when handling major disasters, gaps which include limitations in modelling real time threats, limitations in cross-vulnerabilities assessment, and insufficiencies in resource management. Driver+ (Driving Innovation in Crisis Management for European Resilience) is a demonstration project funded under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme, which seeks to improve how capability development and innovation management are addressed. It will achieve this by assessing and delivering innovative solutions that can be used and combined to address different types of major crises, bringing together industry and civil protection practitioners. While the project is not about developing solutions per se, it has created the environment for practitioners to assess their most pressing gaps and evaluate potential solutions, which will help them address serious threats posed by natural and man-made disasters. Driver+ comprises four trials, the first of which was held in Warsaw, Poland, 21-25

Rehearsing for Trial 1, which took place at the end of May. Top: aftermath of the Ajka Alumina Plant incident of 2010.

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May, as this magazine was going to press. The trials will set up simulated crisis conditions, in which the solutions will be evaluated by the practitioners to assess their usefulness and applicability. Trial 1 simulates an industrial accident consisting of a largescale spill over of toxic sludge, requiring the evacuation of several areas and the quick assessment of the rise in toxic waste levels. It will be held at the Warsaw headquarters of SGSP, the Main School of Fire Service, with one day dedicated to a field exercise at SGSP's Field Training and Rescue Innovation Base in nearby Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki. During the five days of Trial 1, three solutions will be presented and tested, both in a virtual environment (part of a table top exercise) and in the field. The solutions will be integrated into the Driver+ test-bed, providing an arena of virtually connected facilities and crisis labs across Europe. This test-bed will also deliver pragmatic step-by-step guidance to practitioner organisations wishing to conduct trials, including the technical infrastructure to support them. The solutions will address the setting up of a common operational picture at a European level for emergency services; creating a real-time flood dynamics 3D simulation; and testing the benefits of rapid 3D mapping of an area using drone footage. Practitioners will be able to simulate the application of these solutions in virtual and real-life conditions. The trial will allow them to evaluate if the solutions address their gaps, with the results being uploaded to an online-based portfolio of solutions, which is a database-driven website and will be available to every participant in the trial. This portfolio will also be subsequently opened up for any external organisation to share data and experiences of their own solutions. A second trial will be held in October this year at the French firefighter college of Valabre, with two others planned for 2019 in the Netherlands and Austria. The call for applications for potential solutions for Trial 2 has now closed, but the call for Trial 3 will be published shortly. After Trial 4, there will be a final demonstration in November 2019, followed by a final conference in February 2020. Each trial is expected to feed into the next one, with lessons learned from each event enriching the upcoming trial, thus contributing to a dynamic process where the technological knowhow of industry addresses the needs of the civil protection and crisis management sectors. For more information visit www.driverproject.eu. The opinions expressed in this article reflect the authors’ views and not the opinions of the European Commission.

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Double risk A Canadian university study has found that firefighters have double the risk of dying of cancer than the rest of the population.

Firefighters working to extinguish a house fire in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. (Image: Shutterstock)

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he study by the University of the Fraser Valley concluded that cancer, traumatic injury and mental health should be priority issues for researchers, employers and policymakers working to improve firefighter health and safety. Conducted with the British Columbia Injury Research and Prevention Unit, the report Determinants of injury and death in Canadian firefighters: A case for a national firefighter wellness surveillance system, reviewed ten years of firefighter health and

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injury data. The research revealed firefighters are two to three times more likely to die of cancer than the rest of the population – even when taking into account the general healthier lifestyles required by firefighters. The study found that cancer caused more than 86% of firefighter fatalities – overtaking cardiovascular disease as the top killer of Canadian firefighters – while traumatic injuries and mental health issues also take a significant toll. Firefighters are regularly exposed to concentrated carcinogens in the air, soot and tar at a fire ground, as well as extreme temperatures, strenuous physical labour, falling objects, diseases, toxic substances, and violence or other traumatic events. The report highlighted a cumulative effect demonstrated by the fact that the highest number of time-loss claims for cancer were at ages 55 to 59, and most cancer deaths occurred over the age of 65. Other key findings included that cardiovascular disease accounted for 5% of fatality claims; and respiratory disease accounted for just under 2% of all fatality claims. The study has implications for all emergency responders, including the 100,000-plus volunteer and career firefighters across Canada and the 1.2 million in the US. “We see this study as part of the ongoing effort to make firefighting a safer profession,” commented Mike Hurley, vice-president of the International Association of Firefighters’ 6th District, representing BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. “We welcome any effort that helps us to better understand the risks to firefighters, and to identify what can be done to reduce them.” Report co-author Len Garris, adjunct professor for UFV’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and local fire chief for Surrey Fire Service in British Columbia, highlighted the importance of implementing a firefighter health surveillance model to monitor health trends and patterns, so that timely and responsive interventions could be taken. Surrey Fire Service has increased its focus on firefighter wellness in recent years, and is developing its own health-monitoring program. The study can be downloaded at https:// cjr.ufv.ca/

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warehouses and recycling in focus

Safe in port The new aspirating smoke detection system for three warehouses in a busy port required day-to-day coordination of site logistics and installation requirements.

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he six-month installation project in three warehouses in the UK’s largest port had to overcome high levels of dust, a challenging smoke detection design plus a busy Christmas season. The six-month installation project was completed by BBC Fire Protection for PD Portcentric Logistics in the Port of Felixstowe, in the east coast of England. The final installation consists of nine smoke aspirating units in warehouses 1 and 2, and six in warehouse 3. A total of 8,000m of pipe were installed, with varying pipe runs for each of the 24 aspirating units within a given zone. The Securirasbranded units were supplied by Patol and manufactured by Securiton. The project also involved the removal of an existing fire alarm system that included ionisation smoke detection, which required removal from site by a specialist, and the installation of a new addressable fire alarm system with detectors, beacons and sounders. The working environment consists of a mixture of open-floor and traditional racking systems, explains Stewart Haile, project engineer at BBC Fire. “While some areas were used for picking and packing, others were used to store 4t rolls of paper.” The warehouses contain a wide range of goods, ranging from fast moving consumer goods and general merchandise to retail products and ambient foodstuffs. BBC Fire had to co-ordinate with the client on a daily basis to ensure stock was moved to allow installation to progress, whilst the warehouse continued with its business. Some of the aspects of the initial system design by BBC Fire were altered with the system supplier following a detailed on-site survey by the site manager, which led to the re-siting of some of the units. “I know it is stating the obvious, but when putting in a BS 5839-compliant system, the system is only as good as the calculations; where the holes in the pipes are, the distances between them and the flow rate and travel time of air,” says Haile. "Some of the pipe runs were close to the maximum that the aspirating units could handle. It was very important during the install that we stayed close to the designs and didn’t have pipe runs that were too long,” he adds. A factor that had a large impact on the project was the seasonal aspect of the logistics business. “We calculated that we lost around a month in terms of efficiency. We had expected to be out of the site in November, but in the end it was Christmas. Due to the seasonal rush and the stocking levels sometimes there just wasn’t anywhere to move stock to,” says Haile. During the busy times, meetings between the respective site managers of BBC Fire and Portcentric were taking place several times a day for the coordination of the installers’ scissor lift – which enabled the fitting of pipes 15m high in the building – and the warehouses’ forklift trucks. Another challenge that had to be considered was the dusty nature of the warehouses. “In combination with moisture the

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dust would turn into a black grime,” recalls Haile. To avoid the environment affecting the airflow inside the pipes of the aspirating system, BBC Fire trained the warehouse staff to clear out the filters that ran in line with the pipe runs, adjacent to the aspirating panels, mounted at low level. Haile comments that for high-level facilities such as these, aspirating smoke detectors are the correct choice. “It is also worth considering that usually there is a way of interfacing legacy systems to modern units, so you don’t have to replace an entire system. In this case we did, because the previous system was very old, but in most cases it’s not necessary to go that way.” I ask Haile what the most important factor for good fire protection in a warehouse is, and he does not hesitate. “The fire risk assessment is really key and many organisations don’t understand what it is, what it’s for and who should carry it out. The FRA remains key even towards the end of an installation, when the fire alarm system is programmed for its cause and effect. For example, should it be a case of one [warehouse] out, all out?” It is not unusual, explains Haile, for a fire risk assessment to outline that fire alarms be investigated by a security guard. “But when you talk to the security guards, they may not be happy to take this responsibility. Either way the system has to reflect the business requirements should a fire condition be experienced. In the instance of Portcentric, it was agreed that the system would be programmed for one out, all out, and that the fire alarm would be connected to an alarm-receiving centre.”

The ASD detectors are strategically located throughout the warehouses to ensure ease of access. Top: the warehouses operated by PD Portcentric Logistics in the Port of Felixstowe.

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waRehouses and Recycling in focus

Heavy metal The installation of a smoke detection system in a metal recycling plant presented a number of challenges for Bryland Fire, not least of which was access.

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It was not possible to use traditional access equipment due to the presence of plant machinery.

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hen traditional high-access equipment could not overcome the sheer size and bulk of plant machinery in a metal recycling centre it was time to consider a more hands-on approach. One of the world’s leading metal recyclers, EMR, recently enlisted the help of fire protection specialist Bryland Fire to further safeguard them against the risk of fire at their Oldbury depot. EMR specialises in the recycling of scrap metal from sources including end-of-life vehicles, consumer products and industry, construction and demolition. The project involved the installation of an aspirating smoke detection system, which was commissioned in February 2018. The site is an open-plan building around 110m long, 40m wide and 18m high at the apex, made from steel construction and cladding. In the event of a fire alarm, the building is evacuated and an alert is sent to the in-house fire team, which is equipped with a fire engine. The previous ASD system had been installed by another

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company when the building was still an empty shell, but for this project the facility was full of heavy plant machinery and conveyor belts. Other types of detection had been discarded by Bryland Fire Protection for a number of reasons. The ceiling was too high for the reliable use of point detection; linear heat cable could have been used, but it would not have provided the early warning offered by smoke aspiration. The chosen installation design consists of three air-sampling detectors from Honeywell Gent’s Fire Alarm Aspirating Sensing Technology XM range and 550m of pipework. A large draw for this technology is that it has a separate purge unit linked to the system. At intervals throughout the day, the purge unit automatically blows air in the opposite direction to clear any contamination. “You can set it at different intervals, blowing air at 3 bar in three-second blasts every four hours, for example. The purge unit at the time was so new that we had to wait a month for it to come out after the order had come in,” says Andrew Smith, Bryland Fire Protection’s project manager. The auto-purging unit means that it is unnecessary to clean the piping twice a year during service, as would be required with a standard ASD system under British Standard 5839. In addition, the selected ASD unit has a patented ‘wing filter’ that enables large airborne particulate to be expelled before reaching the detection chamber. When the time had come to assess the project in detail, it was soon realised that standard high-level access equipment such as scissor lifts, spider lifts and cherry pickers was not appropriate: their reach was not sufficient to go over the top of the heavy metal-recycling machinery. “We even looked at truck-mounted boom lifts, which had an even bigger footprint, but they still wouldn’t reach,” says Smith. Then Smith hit upon the idea of contacting rope access specialists to discuss whether they could help. “I recalled that when I was an electrician putting power to aerials for a mobile phone company, rope access specialists were used to clip cables at unusual locations.” By chance, such a company was found in nearby Birmingham and, even better, the rope access specialists had carried out a similar installation at a major automotive manufacturer. “Rope Task came to the rescue. Their specialists carried out their own risk assessments and method statements, and for our part we gave them some pointers so that the installation was carried out in our way. It went very well.” Bryland Fire estimates it took around 290 man-hours to complete the installation.

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warehouses and recycling in focus

Early warning A waste-to-power plant in Sweden is using thermal imaging cameras to detect fires at an early stage and to prevent shutdowns.

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The plant in Torsvik is protected by two Flir A615 cameras mounted on pan-tilt systems at each end of the bunker. The resulting thermal video footage is analysed in real time.

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wo thermal imaging cameras are being used to not only spot fire but also to automatically direct a water monitor to extinguish it. The combined heat and power plant of Torsvik, around 5km northeast of Stockholm, is Jönköping Energi’s main production unit for providing heat for the district. It turns up to 160,000 tonnes of waste per year, or 20 tonnes an hour, into heat and electricity – enough to cover the yearly need of 25,000 households. The plant has two boilers: one is fueled with municipal and industrial waste; the other with biomass. The waste-fired plant, which was completed in 2006, operates around the clock all year-round except for a few weeks of maintenance. The Torsvik plant provides for about 90% of the district heating demand and 20% of the electricity used in the surrounding network area. For Magnus Olsson, plant manager at Jönköping Energi Torsvik, preventing and controlling fires in the waste bunker is not only a matter of safety, but also of economics. “We have trucks coming in, bringing in waste from the surrounding area, but also from different places in Europe. This waste is then dumped into a waste bunker and is mixed by means of automatic cranes, waiting to be transported into the boiler. “These waste piles can be a dangerous mix,” Magnus Olsson continues. “Spontaneous combustion from biological products or other heat sources is a continuous threat and something that we need to keep an eye on 24/7. Apart from the environmental consequences and the obvious safety risks for people at the plant, a fire outbreak in a waste bunker can be a very costly affair. If a fire should break out, we need to

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shut down the plant immediately. These shutdowns cost us quite a lot of money, up to half a million Swedish krona a day. That’s why it is important to have a reliable early warning system that detects fires as soon as they are originating.” In order to guarantee fire safety in the plant and prevent severe environmental damage for the region, Jönköping Energi published a tender for the implementation of an early warning fire detection system. The tender was eventually awarded to the Linköping-based company Termisk Systemteknik, a distributor of Flir thermal imaging cameras and provider of fire detection systems with Flir cameras since 2010. Claes Nelsson, product manager at Termisk Systemteknik AB, explains: “The Torsvik plant was already working with an aspiration-based smoke detection system. Such a system pulls in air from the environment, which is then analysed for the presence of smoke. The problem with this system was that it was not fast enough. In fact, for this system to generate an alarm, smoke actually has to make physical contact with the smoke sensor, which is usually installed high up in the ceiling of the waste bunker. By then, a fire will already have developed into something uncontrollable. “We therefore offered Jönköping Energi an early-warning system based on thermal imaging cameras from Flir. For fire detection, thermal imaging is superior, because you sense the temperature of the material and you are not depending on smoke spreading in the room or temperature spreading in the room. You’re measuring the temperature of the material, the waste in this case,” says Nelsson. The fire detection system at Torsvik consists of two Flir A615 cameras in protective housings mounted on pan-tilt systems, one at each end of the bunker. They are controlled via the dedicated TST Fire software from Termisk. When a hot spot is detected by one of the two cameras, the other camera is directed at the hot spot as well. The TST Fire software then calculates the accurate coordinates of the hot spot, based on the combined thermal images, and an alarm is generated. Upon activation in the waste bunker control room, the water monitor is directed at the detected hot spot and the fire is extinguished. Speed is crucial in fire detection, as Robert Berger from the fire protection company Incendium knows all too well. Incendium is supplying the fire extinguishing system for the Torsvik waste bunker, including the water monitor which receives spatial coordinates from the thermal camera system. “A critical factor for putting out a fire is to have an early response. And that we can achieve with the Flir cameras. We can even put out a fire before it starts," comments Berger.

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new technology

Automatic detox Newly developed technology that can convert toxic gases such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphide into breathable air is undergoing tests at UL facilities in Chicago, writes Jose Sanchez de Muniain.

N Looking further to the future, Salamandra Zone intends to submit a public proposal to the NFPA as well as research whether the technology could be applied to treating volatile organic compounds such as butane

ew technology has been designed that automatically cleans gas emissions in industrial facilities that store toxic gases as well as provides breathable air in elevators during a fire. The B-Air and C-Air have have been developed by Salamandra Zone, a start-up company that has the support of the Israel Innovation Authority and which counts amongst its staff engineers, chemists, ex-defence personnel as well as the former head of the National Fire and Rescue Commission. Two prototypes will undergo five tests at UL’s laboratories in Chicago over the coming weeks. These will include tests with CO, cyanide and H2S as well as live burns in different configurations. The aim is to prove that the system can fulfil the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s criteria for permissible exposure limit to a chemical substance, as well as the immediately dangerous to life or health air concentration values (IDLH values) developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The innovative aspect of the technology consists of the fact that it cleans the air through chemical reaction rather than filtration. In-built sensors and a computer monitor the environment and, depending on the types and the concentration of the gases detected, create the specific mixture of chemicals that is necessary to react with the gases. “Today we have tried ten different gases with success,” comments company CEO Marat Maayan. “One of the big challenges over the last two years has been not only reducing

Top to bottom; toxic gases are often stored in facilities close to residential areas; the new technology treats gas emissions before they reach the outside; Salamandra Zone CEO Marat Maayan with two prototype units measuring 1x1x2m.

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the concentration of toxic gases, but also taking out the oxygen out of the CO2 to create oxygen in the process.” Companies with gas storage facilities have been quick to spot the potential benefits of the technology and have already registered their interest with Salamandra Zone. “This industry came to us around a year ago and tried to steer us towards issues related with storage. They said they had many sensors but no kind of automatic, autonomous system [to deal with a release] such as sprinklers,” says Maayan. Gas releases are a sensitive issue in Israel. A five-year-long saga between Haifa Chemicals and Israeli courts over the risks posed to local residents by a 12,000-tonne ammonia tank in Haifa Bay was only determined at the time of writing and resulted in the closure of the plant. Compared to industrial gas scrubbing, which requires a large investment and occupies a significant footprint of around 20m2, the C-Air solution only requires 4m2 at around half the price, and the system can additionally be used during emergencies. Another benefit is that C-Air produces less waste, and the waste that is produced is neutral and stable, even when highly toxic gases have been treated. “The end product is a stable mineral that is half the normal size of waste,” says Maayan. As a result, the company has carried out large-scale tests successfully with two common gases used by industry. “The Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection is pushing the technology and has already chosen industrial sites to prove the effectiveness of the technology,” adds Maayan. The intention is for the gas-cleaning units to be installed in storage areas or in containers that are being transported. The current prototypes are 1x1x2m in size, with a capability of treating around 1,000 litres of gas per minute, with a contamination of 100,000ppm, which equates to around 10% of toxins. The units are powered by mains electricity but have backup power and are able to operate for around six hours. It is envisaged that each protected site should have multiple units, with some in operation whilst others are undergoing regeneration. “That way it doesn’t affect industrial processes and there is no need to shut down production,” says Maayan. The units can be connected via servers to other sensing systems so that in the event of a fire alarm they go into alert mode and begin transmitting data about the condition of the surrounding environment. Following the tests taking place this month in Chicago, Salamandra Zone will begin engaging with elevator manufacturers to create a test rig with an elevator shaft. “We need to prove the overpressure builds up inside the elevator. The idea is for the final design to enable the units to be retrofitted easily without making changes to the building structure or the elevator,” says Maayan. These systems will be designed to provide breathable air for a period of at least three hours inside the elevator to aid evacuation. As these units will be mounted on the roof of the elevator, they will be smaller than their industrial counterparts. As an emergency system, the units will confirm their status via the cloud every 15 minutes whilst on standby.

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detection

Handling rejection Conclusive research tests show a reduction in false alarms when sophisticated multi-sensor detectors are used, write Bernard Laluvein and Robert Yates.

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study conducted by the UK’s Building Research Establishment in partnership with the Fire Industry Association and a number of detection manufacturers has concluded that multisensor detectors are better at rejecting false alarms. The research was a continuation of prior research from three previous projects, which looked at the occurrence of false alarms in the UK. Over the past 10 years, the FIA and BRE have partnered with King’s College, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes Fire Brigade, and Scotland Fire Brigade to investigate and find solutions to the false alarm problem that perpetuates across the UK. Those previous projects had provided anecdotal indications that employing multi-sensor fire detectors would help reduce the occurrence of false alarms. However, hard evidence was missing to establish how effective multi-sensors could be in reducing false alarms. Twelve manufacturers from the UK and Europe were involved in the research. These represented most of the detectors sold in the UK. From those 12 manufacturers, 35 different detectors were tested against two standard optical smoke detectors, one commercial, and one domestic. There are many different sorts of multi-sensors. The research focused on multi-sensor detectors which consisted of an optical smoke chamber together with a heat sensor. However, even within this detector type, performance varies greatly dependent upon the design and the settings used. As a result, the research graded them into standard, intermediate and advanced performance. Standard multi-sensor detectors were those smoke/heat detectors which used the heat element to modify the response of the smoke sensor, meaning that the detector would respond more rapidly when heat was present. With no heat present the detector may then also delay its response. The ‘intermediate’ category were the detectors that used a smoke chamber design that incorporated features of the ‘standard’ detectors, but with added design benefits, for example a more specifically designed chamber to eliminate potential for false alarms, such as an insect going into the chamber, or the effect of dust which may cause a false alarm. The ‘advanced’ category, which the research predicted was the most likely to be the most effective at reducing false alarms, were those which had the features of the ‘standard’ and ‘intermediate’ categories, but also employed sophisticated targeted algorithms which would eliminate a false alarm. Following categorisation, the next stage of the research was to test the sensitivity of the different multi-sensor detectors compared to standard optical smoke detectors. Ten different fire tests were conducted, looking specifically at the performance of the detector and their ability to detect fires. The fire tests included the standard fire tests – TF2, 3, 4, and 5 – which are in EN54-7, the European standard for smoke detectors. TF1 and TF8 were then added, which are additional fire tests that have been included in EN 54-29, a new European standard for fire detectors combining smoke and heat sensors. TF1 is specifically a hot wood-burning fire that produces heat, yet not much smoke; and TF8 is a fuel-burning fire that produces very little heat, but very heavy smoke. In this way, the testing represented the extreme ends of the spectrum for fires that may occur in real life. A good fire detector needs to be used in almost every circumstance and must be able to detect a whole range of fire types that may be encountered depending on the fire risk. To the six test fires listed above, four new fires were specifically designed for the research (these were not listed in EN54), to extend the range of test fire-types. These were based on fire-retardant material or MDF material, creating slow burning fires, again replicating real-life situations.

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detection

Bernard Laluvein (top) is director of ADT Fire & Security and chair of the FIA’s Fire Detection and Alarm Council. Robert Yates is FIA technical manager and secretary of the FIA’s Fire Detection and Alarm Council

All the detectors – both multi-sensors and optical smoke detectors – were tested against all of the different test fires. While there were some expectations that the multi-sensor detectors would perform better in terms of sensitivity and ability to detect fires, the research results were not so clear, however. It was difficult to differentiate very easily between the performance of the multi-sensors as a group, and the performance of the standard optical smoke detectors. Essentially, detector performance depended very much on their sensitivity – the high sensitivity detectors detecting quicker and faster than the low sensitivity detectors. This held true for both multi-sensor detectors and standard optical smoke detectors. There was no real way of differentiating performance between the ‘old-style’ optical smoke detectors and the ‘new’ multi-sensor detectors. In knowing that there was not much difference in ability to detect fires, the second test was then to test all the detectors in their ability to reject typical false alarm situations. Would the multi-sensor detectors perform better? The false alarm testing was developed in conjunction with the University of Duisburg in Germany; the team there had some expertise in developing false alarm testing. In addition, bringing in a university meant that there was a further element of impartiality and independence from the industry. Five different false alarm tests were carried out in total: burning toast, cooking, steam, dust, and aerosol spray. Other tests such as cigarette smoke and long-term dust were also considered, but these were abandoned because repeatable results were not possible due to the amounts of variability in these two tests. There were two outcomes from the tests – the first being the results of the tests themselves, and the second outcome was that the initial grading of the multi-sensor detectors into ‘standard’, ‘intermediate’, and ‘advanced’ categories was correct.

During the false alarm tests, all the multi-sensor detectors responded later than the optical smoke detectors – either the domestic or the commercial smoke alarms. For example, on the toast burning test, some of the multi-sensor detectors (those in the ‘advanced’ category) responded a good minute after the optical smoke detectors. By responding later, this demonstrates that multi-sensor detectors are not as prone to alarm as optical smoke detectors to events such as burning toast or steam, providing better overall resistance to false alarms. Additionally, the fire tests reflected the way the researchers had categorised the different types of detectors. The standard category responded first (meaning they were not as good at rejecting false alarms); then the intermediate category alarmed; followed afterwards by the advanced category of detectors (with the benefit of sophisticated algorithms to filter out false alarms), which responded latest. The conclusion? The more sophisticated the multi-sensor detector, the less likely it is to false alarm. And additionally, multisensor detectors are better at rejecting false alarms than optical smoke detectors of any category. With the conclusion that multi-sensor detectors are more effective at false alarm rejection, and that effectiveness increasing depending on the categorisation of the specific detector, there is scope in the future for the FIA to be involved with developing a means of grading detectors within the British and European Standards. In addition, the FIA, in conjunction with other stakeholders, is also considering the introduction of new false alarm tests that were developed for the research, within the European or British Standards. This means that detectors will come with a label identifying the level of resilience to specific types of false alarm. To find out more about the FIA, visit www.fia.uk.com.

LIVE ON AIR

Slovenia’s public broadcast institution is undergoing a major upgrade to its fire detection system that is expected to reduce the number of false alarms. the replacement and upgrade of around 2,000 detectors for radio and tV broadcasting organisation RtV slovenia is on track and expected to near the halfway mark by the end of the year. Based in the capital city ljubljana, RtV slovenia (pictured right) is the only non-profit public broadcaster in slovenia to operate both radio and television stations. the fire detection upgrade is being carried out by Zarja elektronika, who is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the fire detection system across all of RtV's buildings, from studios to transmitter centres. the company had first installed fire protection devices supplied by manufacturer apollo Fire detectors as far back as 1994. the detector manufacturer has had a presence in the country for many years, and its products are found in high-profile buildings including the national gallery of slovenia. in 1994, RtV started with 87 manual call points, 847 optical detectors, 20 heat detectors and 10 interfaces operating the apollo XP95 protocol. increased sophistication has led to RtV’s building today containing over 3,800 addressable elements that are controlled by 19 fire control panels. the current project is part of a continuous programme of renewal and improvement on the part of the national broadcaster, for whom it was important that any upgrades should include the latest technological advances in fire detection. “as with many multi-faceted buildings, false alarms are a major problem, causing unnecessary interference with day-to-day activities and requiring the movement of large numbers of people,” said Boris grivić, ceo of Zarja elektronika. “we reassured RtV that the innovative soteria range would not only significantly reduce false alarm incidents but also satisfy

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their requirements for absolute reliability and an aesthetically pleasing appearance.” in the latest upgrade, around 350 apollo soteria optical and heat detectors have so far been installed, with 350 more due to be fitted during this year, making a total replacement of around 2,000 devices over five years. Zarja elektronika has also installed two addressable Zarja nJP-400a panels, each with four loops. soteria optical detectors address two of the main causes of false alarms, dust and insects, through a brand new sensing technology, called Purelight, and an improved smoke entry process. the innovative cone is a new sensing chamber design and an alternative to the traditional chevron chamber widely used in optical smoke detectors. as RtV broadcasts around the clock, a continuing challenge for the project is ensuring that the buildings remain open and accessible at all times. Zarja elektronika’s years of experience with the site and its requirements, coupled with its familiarity with the fire devices, have meant that the installation team is managing the installation and access issues efficiently.

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Soteria


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26/04/2018 17:06:53


Detection NEWS

detection

Fire detection wallpaper

Going large

Fire-resistant wallpaper that can detect a fire and trigger an alarm has been developed by researchers in Beijing and Shanghai. The technology has been set out in the paper Fire alarm wallpaper based on fire-resistant hydroxyapatite nanowire inorganic paper and graphene oxide thermosensitive sensor. The fire-resistance of the wallpaper is provided by the use of ultra-long hydroxyapatite nanowires instead of cellulose fibres or synthetic polymers. The wallpaper also contains thermosensitive sensors made from graphene oxide; at room temperature the sensors are electrically insulated, but they become electrically conductive when exposed to high temperatures.

A fire panel that can handle 16 detection loops and provide up to 144 zone indications is being launched during Firex, which takes place 19-21 June in London. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see the next generation of Kentec’s Taktis analogue addressable fire panel, which offers enhanced integration and networking capabilities to meet the needs of larger buildings and installations. The Taktis 16L has four programmable sounder outputs, five programmable relays and three programmable inputs. The panel supports up to 45Ah batteries and a 10.25A power supply, and has a front-loading printer option. It is EN-54-2/ EN-54-4 certified and is available in a number of languages. The Taktis 16L supports multiple protocols to give installers and end users a wide choice in their systems, and has been designed to be both scalable and future-proof as regards networking possibilities. A seven-inch (18cm) colour touch-screen displays a clear, uncluttered intuitive user interface for ease of use by those with minimal or no training. The sensors are placed by a simple drop-casting process using a graphene-oxide ink on the inner surface of the wallpaper, where they are protected by the fire-resistant paper. The alarm is triggered by a device connected to the termonsensitive sensor, alerting occupants immediately. During the research, it was found that modifying the graphene oxide sensor with polydopamine resulted in a low responsive temperature of 126.9 °C and fast response of two seconds, with a sustained working time in the flame of at least five minutes. According to the authors, the smart fire alarm wallpaper is suited for the interior decoration of buildings because it can be processed into various shapes, dyed with different colours, and printed with a commercial printer.

Infrared in the cloud

Detection for airports Fire detection and security in the aviation sector is the focus of a conference organised by Euralarm and EUSAS taking place 10-11 July in Bremen, Germany. The joint conference is aimed at airports and aviation, fire and security industries as well as test institutes, standard developers, practitioners and scientists interested in engineering and technologies of fire safety and security. The sessions will concentrate on fire detection and fire extinguishing on aircraft; integrated safety and security solutions; extinguishing in airports; early and effective fire detection technologies for special applications; and evacuation and related human behaviour in crowded public areas. For more information visit www.euralarm.org

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A cloud-based smart infrared camera designed to provide early fire detection with real-time data transmission has been introduced in North America. The Fotric 123 can be sited indoors or outdoors to detect abnormal changes in heat conditions and send early fire alert warnings via an internet connection before a fire or other problem begins. A motion detection capability means it can also be used as a surveillance IP camera. According to the camera’s North American distributor Saelig, the infrared imager provides accurate temperature measurement with high sensitivity. It can continuously detect hot or cold spots or even substance leakage conditions regardless of ambient lighting or weather conditions. Fire

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detection

alarm messages can be triggered by a temperature variation of 0.1°C Multiple users can simultaneously view the thermal video remotely in real-time on any smartphone running the Fotric app. When an unusual temperature condition occurs, a short thermal video is uploaded to the cloud server and the fire hazard alert is instantly transferred to pre-programmed smartphones for user monitoring. Cloud storage space equating to seven day’s worth of alert records is provided free with the camera. Manufactured by Fotric Precision Instruments, the camera is powered by an external AC adaptor and is housed in an IP66 weather-proof case.

their combination; the optimal number of detectors; their location; their voting configuration; functional safety considerations; and maintenance routines. However, it says that estimating the performance and efficiency of such detection systems is difficult, as is identifying appropriate measures to optimise their performance in the most cost-effective manner. The report says that the answer could reside in computational fluid dynamics combined with mathematical optimisation techniques. Provided these can be validated, they have the potential to improve the assessment of the effectiveness of existing detector networks used offshore, and to explore how a network could be optimised.

CFD to assess gas systems Assessing the effectiveness of gas detection systems could be improved upon by developing tools coupling computational fluid dynamics models and mathematical optimisation techniques, according to a new report. Fixed flammable gas detector systems on offshore installations: optimisation and assessment of effectiveness, has been published by the UK Health and Safety Executive to assist offshore inspectors. It notes that there is scope for improving flammable gas detection systems and that records from the Offshore Hydrocarbons Release database show that a significant proportion of both major and significant gas releases are undetected. The report outlines how fixed gas detector systems are assessed in terms of the suitability of individual detectors;

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evacuation & alarms

Going IP Integrating fire alarm and voice evacuation systems into networks on an IP-level emerges as a future-proof strategy that brings significant benefits, writes Bernd Harbers.

I Bernd Harbers is product manager for fire detection systems at Bosch Security Systems

Right: reduction of evacuation time using voice alarm. Above: phased evacuation in three phases: 3 = attention, 2 = warning, 1 =evacuation.

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P-level integration of fire alarm and voice evacuation systems opens the way for further integration with critical infrastructure systems including building automation and video surveillance. The combination of fire alarm and voice evacuation systems has emerged as the status quo over the past few years across a wide range of sites, from hotels to shopping centres and airports, all the way to warehouses, factories, and petrochemical sites. Legislation such as 2013’s full enactment of the Construction Products Regulation has been a major driver of this trend, placing high demands on both systems with the EN54 product standard. This is an encouraging development, as significant safety benefits arise from combining fire alarm with clear voice alarm capabilities. Studies including David Canter's Fire and human behaviour have demonstrated that voice alarm with clear instructions significantly improves fire evacuation time compared to mere noise alarms(1). It also presents a significant time gain of up to 30% for emergency response teams, which helps to keep injuries and property damage at a minimum. Looking ahead, the level of technology and automation in buildings and industrial facilities is only going to rise. Electrical hazards, combustible chemicals and complex as well as extensive cabling have further increased the fire loads. Smouldering cable fires develop slowly and over extended periods of overheating, placing high demands on an addressable system of panels for fire detection at an early stage. These IP-based solutions are ideally combined with voice evacuation to direct people out of dangerous areas as quickly and precisely as possible. The combination of fire alarm and voice evacuation, however, does not equal integration of these systems on a network level. In many installations, fire detection and emergency public-address technologies currently co-exist as separate systems. And due to the large number of various

connection standards on the market, connecting fire detection and voice evacuation networks often requires contact cabling, which requires large amounts of time, cables, and hardware. What’s more, creating an interface between the two systems – for instance integration into building integration management systems – can only be achieved with customised, off-market solutions in most cases. This proves problematic from two perspectives. First is scalability. The need for redundant cabling for each individual zone in a building and customized interfaces between fire alarm and public address systems severely limits the overall scalability of fire protection systems. Building expansions or modernisation efforts can prove arduous, time-consuming projects; not to mention costly. Second is future-proof infrastructure. Current legislature such as the 2015 edition of the International Fire Code requires addressable systems in which connected devices can signal their device type, location, and alert status. It therefore makes sense to interface fire panels and voice evacuation in the same network infrastructure on an IP-level. The world market for fire protection systems is headed for significant growth, driven by new construction projects and modernisation of existing systems to meet higher safety standards. Experts at Grand View Research expect the market to increase from US$52.19 billion in 2016 to US$93.46 billion by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate of 9.7% between 2017 and 2022(2). When making investments into fire protection systems, buyers should weigh the benefits of interfacing the two systems. In an ideal scenario, modular fire panels and digital modular public address and voice evacuation systems should present compatible network solutions that have proven themselves in many projects, from office buildings to airports. Drawing on successful installations in both fields, Bosch covers fire detection and evacuation with a suite of compatible solutions. The company’s modular Fire Panel 5,000 series includes panels and peripherals designed for accurate, early detection and high immunity to false alarms. A typical network can encompass 20 panels with up to 32,000 detection points. At Munich Airport, the company has installed 19 panels and 18,000 automatic fire detectors. On the other side, Bosch’s proven Plena, Praesideo and Paviro voice evacuation systems deliver clear voice messages, including pre-recorded warnings for emergency situations. In terms of scalability, the Plena voice alarm system supports small applications with up to six zones and 254 fire detectors; Paviro supports medium-sized venues with up to 492 zones and 2,000 detectors; and Praesideo secures larger

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evacuation & alarms

buildings and complex configurations. Interfacing these two technologies is simple and does not require additional hardware or cables. Bosch’s Smart Safety Link creates a standalone interface between voice evacuation and fire alarm systems in buildings of all sizes. As opposed to other solutions, it requires no installation of additional GPIOs (General Purpose In- and Outputs) between voice evacuation controllers to distribute the alarm trigger, and brings down installation time from hours to mere seconds. Aside from ease of installation, the Smart Safety Link achieves new levels of building safety by creating a single IP-based interface, or multiple interfaces, between the company’s fire alarm and voice evacuation systems. Fully customisable to client specifications, the scalable system supports a new generation of dynamic evacuation protocols for a fast and targeted emergency response. These protocols include phased evacuation or multi-staged dynamic evacuation targeted to specific zones in a building, for instance to give priority to evacuating people in closer vicinity to a fire. The system provides targeted acoustic and visual signals to guide people to safety and can be configured into six to 500 zones, depending on building size and complexity. This also allows for evacuating large buildings such as shopping centres, train stations, or industrial facilities in several phases in order to ensure orderly vacation of the building and to prevent panic or delays. The system is also highly scalable. With only one fully expanded panel, complex medium-sized systems with up to 4,000 detection points can be created. The networking of several panels lends itself to wide area coverage at large sites and between facilities across property lines. The combination

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SPEED, SOUND AND VOLUME CONTROL A series of sirens and strobes with multiple selectable sounds and flash patterns will be making their debut at Firex International. The new sirens and strobes being introduced by STI complement the existing product range including the reset call points, push buttons and the protective covers range, amongst others. Features of the series include 32 selectable sounds with volume controls and the choice of eight flash patterns with a selection of speeds. The round models are supplied with a battery backup, and both are supplied with a 12-24 VDC power supply. The new range of sirens and strobes will be on display at stand A640 during Firex International, London, 19-21 June. of Ethernet and controller area networking (CAN) allows the greatest level of flexibility for all kinds of applications, as well as the connection of even more panels in one network structure. Speaking of more connections, the system can exchange data with infrastructure solutions such as the building integration system via open IT standards including OPC. This unlocks a range of possibilities for integration with other critical infrastructure systems, for instance video surveillance infused with intelligence and building automation. As we speak, advances in smart building concepts, powered by devices and sensors with internet connectivity, also have planners and operators demanding IP-networked and easy-to-integrate platforms for fire protection. Ultimately, investing in the integration of fire alarm and voice evacuation systems provides buildings of all types and sizes with end-to-end fire protection, from early-stage detection to an orderly evacuation. And it gives system operators the peace of mind of knowing that their systems are future-proof in light of fire safety legislation as well as technological progress.

References 1. Canter, DV, Fire and human behaviour. Fire Safety Journal, 3, pp41-46, 1980. 2. Grand View Research, Fire Protection Systems Market by Product (Fire Detection (Sensors & Detectors (Flame, Smoke Detectors), RFID), Fire Suppression (Fire Sprinklers, Fire Extinguishers), Fire Analysis, Fire Response), Service, Vertical - Global Forecast to 2022. 2017.

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roundtable report

Protection minefield The impact of fire and the need for fire protection were addressed by experts from the fire world during IFJ's filmed roundtable discussion in London in April. Lotte Debell reports.

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Left to right: Alan Elder, Graham Turner, Bart Goeman, Paul Hutton, Jose Sanchez de Muniain, Peter Eisenberger, Chris George.

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nderstand the objective of the system; take a holistic approach to protection; and work with a consultant who can help guide you to the supplier and the solution that best meets your needs – these were some of the key messages aimed at end users looking for the right fire protection system. Too many business owners still view the purchase of fire protection systems like car insurance and buy the cheapest possible because they hope never to use it. This attitude only exposes businesses to further risk and the very real chance that if there is a fire, the system either will not work or it could even lead to as much damage as the fire itself. The costs in either event could be crippling. To help industrial customers navigate through the fire protection minefield, Industrial Fire Journal gathered a panel of experts to take part in a roundtable discussion on fire protection systems, sponsored by 3M.. Joining event facilitator Paul Hutton and IFJ editor Jose Sanchez de Muniain were Bart Goeman, business development manager, EMEA, at 3M, Alan Elder, Tyco Fellow, Engineered Systems and Johnson Controls, Graham Turner, MD of Bryland, Peter Eisenberger, head of product support, gaseous systems, Minimax GmbH/Viking EMEA, and Chris George, MD of Falck Fire Consulting.

The impact of fire 3M’s Bart Goeman was quick to point out the dangers of the mindset often described as, ‘it will never happen to me’, quoting insurance statistics showing that around 70% of businesses with no fire protection will never reopen after a fire. “They may have lost all their data, or it might take too long to get online again, or maybe their customers went to another supplier… This is why we always make the case for ensuring you have proper protection.” And for facilities tempted to rely on back-up or redundant systems that are designed to kick in should a fire occur, Alan Elder from Johnson Controls had a sobering message: there is a real risk that these systems will not work if a fire occurs. This is something that Johnson Controls has observed from analysing events, and Elder said it is very important that people are aware that back-up systems may not work as intended. The potential impact of fire is made worse by the fact that many companies are consolidating their facilities in one location, and the potential cost of a fire can run into the tens of millions as a result. Which is why, said Elder, it is vital that businesses consider not only the impact of a fire but also the impact of a fire suppression system and choose the most appropriate solution.

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roundtable report

As Peter Eisenberger put it: “Water can extinguish almost any fire, but if the water causes the same amount of damage as the fire, it is time to think of an alternative.” There is no one-size-fits-all solution, agreed Falck’s Chris George. A variety of different solutions might be required within the same facility, especially now these facilities are becoming so big. “What we often see is an emphasis on protecting critical rooms and critical data, whereas the fire protection philosophy holds that the whole facility should be protected.” Sprinklers, water mist, gaseous systems – all these have a place in the protection of a facility, said Elder. “Sprinklers save lives; that is an undisputed fact. But whether a sprinkler system is the ideal solution for the hot areas of the data centre is a different discussion. A holistic solution for a data centre will often have a mix of sprinklers and clean agent systems.” One such clean agent is Novec 1230 from 3M. Stored in liquid form, it becomes gas when the system is activated and works by rapidly cooling the fire. Like other clean agent systems, it is ideal for facilities such as data centres because it leaves no residue. “After the event there will be no trace of it, and no clean up,” said Goeman. “This is the fundamental point with clean extinguishing agents – they protect your business and your safety.” “Do companies understand that the greater the risk to their business, the greater their need for this enhanced protection?” asked Hutton. ‘Not really’ was the general consensus. And as Bryland MD Graham Turner pointed out, for data centres processing huge amounts of data in a small space of time, speed is key. “If you have a suppression agent that isn’t going to deal with the fire quickly, and that causes downtime, the consequential loss for that client can be phenomenal. It is vital that the fire is detected and dealt with quickly. Novec 1230 offers that capability.”

Regulation and its impact on fire protection One of the main impacts of regulation has been on the agents themselves. As Goeman neatly summarised, halon was the initial fire suppression agent and it was very effective, but it was phased out because it had a significant impact on ozone depletion and global warming. Then came the secondgeneration products, mainly HFCs, which did not cause ozone depletion but were still guilty of global warming. HFCs are now in phase-down mode – it might take a few years, but they are on their way out. Now we are on the third generation, including synthetic agents like Novec 1230 and inert gases.

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However, with this history of phased-out agents, how can business owners have confidence that the system they install won’t be regulated away at some point in the future? IFJ’s Jose Sanchez said that, in his experience, installers and fire engineers are steering well clear of HFCs, even if they will remain legal for some years. “The message is very strong – don’t risk it. There are plenty of alternatives out there.” HFCs are no longer commercially viable anyway, said Turner, as prices are rising rapidly. And a lot of HFC systems are coming up for their ten-year recertification, which poses an issue for business owners. “It is not a practical proposition to replace those HFCs with inert gases to run on the same pipework. However, if you have the correct drawings for the installation, it is feasible to use Novec 1230 as a drop-in replacement using 70-bar technology, provided you change the nozzles and ensure all the pressure calculations are correct. This is a fantastic tool for data centres.” But will Novec 1230 be around for the long haul, or will it too fall foul of future environmental concerns? The fact that Novec is a chemical agent does prompt questions about its longevity, said Goeman, but 3M is confident there is no cause for concern – so confident, in fact, that Novec 1230 has a 20-year warranty. “Novec 1230 breaks down in five to seven days on contact with UV light rather than remaining stable in the atmosphere for years,” Goeman explained. “There is no risk of ozone depletion and no impact on global warming. We issued the warranty to reassure the market. If it is later discovered to be damaging to the environment, end users will be compensated. But we are 100% certain that will never happen.” “So can Novec 1230 solve the problem of existing systems that have become obsolete through regulation change?” asked Hutton. “It can do,” said Turner. “Right now we are seeing data centre owners in many industrial applications having to completely re-engineer and replace ten-year-old HFC systems. That can be very expensive. Using the Novec 1230 product could be more economically viable.” But there was a note of caution from Chris George who wanted to know how such a situation will be policed. “There are unscrupulous contractors out there, and when clients put these jobs out to tender they are not necessarily selective about who the contract ends up with. So how do you know

Clean agent systems such as Johnson Control's new 70-bar Sapphire Plus enable the use of fewer cylinders. Top: the cost of a gaseous system in a data centre is usually less than 1% of the equipment it protects (image: Shutterstock).

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roundtable report

these re-engineered systems and retrofitted nozzles will be properly installed?” “Third-party certification for installers is absolutely key,” replied Turner. “I can’t stress enough the importance to system owners that they should deal only with reputable fire companies that have the necessary knowledge, expertise and skills to install the systems and maintain them correctly. Thirdparty certification is a policing tool that enables us to ensure that the system, when it is required in anger, will be correctly deployed.” “But don’t rely on paperwork,” said Sanchez. Certifications are all very well, but they are no use if the system doesn’t work when needed, and anecdotal evidence from the insurance industry suggests that many do fail. “Make sure you test the system for yourself or with your insurance company, because you never know," he said. “The standards we have in place now in Europe – EN15004 and EN12094 – are as robust as they have ever been,” added Elder. “But it is the marrying of those standards together with the processes used to apply them, audited and checked by a reputable third party and the notified bodies, that ensure you have a robust system.”

Standards and approvals

Around 70% of businesses with no protection never reopen after a fire. (Image: Shutterstock)

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The appropriate BS and EN standards must be referenced whenever a system is specified, said Elder. EN15004 leads the way for system design, and EN12094 is a component-bycomponent set of standards designed to comply with the construction production regulations. These do not constitute a fire protection system in themselves. “The components that make up the system should be tested and certified according to EN12094, then the system, including design, installation, maintenance and the testing, should be done in accordance with EN15004.” However, as Hutton pointed out, business owners are not experts. They are not the ones specifying the system. How can they trust the specifier and who should be checking the specifier? The insurance company? A third-party? Your first step in the UK, Elder explained, is to check that the company is a member of the FIA and to ensure they are applying EN15004. Then look for the installation certification, whether that is BAFE or LPS 1204. “That way you have full traceability of all aspects of the planning, design, installation or maintenance.” Yet it is still a minefield, which is why working with a consultant is essential, argued Eisenberger. “I have seen many companies that think they have a working system, or they tell you it is CE approved. There is no such thing as a CE-approved system; there are only CE-approved components. And these could be from several companies, all

put together in a sprinkler system, and nobody ever checks that all these components actually perform together in a test scenario. The only insurance is to work with someone who guides you through the process and helps you to select the right company.” It also comes down to how much companies are prepared to spend, said Goeman. “A fire protection system is like an insurance policy, and when you buy a car, you want the cheapest insurance you can find. It’s the same with fire protection systems, but then you end up with commodity agents, commodity components, and no system approval. It ticks the boxes, but whether it works or not is a different question. Customer education is key. We need to be more proactive about going out into the market and explaining to customers what they need to be properly protected.” Lack of awareness is arguably linked to the dearth of publicity around successful incidents of fire suppression, of which there are many. Perhaps unsurprisingly, owners of data centres and other facilities do not want to publicise the fact that they have suffered a fire, with the result that many end users simply have no concept of just how often these fires occur. Some may also believe they can rely on the fire service if anything did happen, but the primary concern of fire services is saving lives, not data. “And we all know that water and electrical components do not make a successful mix,” said Turner. “Whereas a clean agent system, correctly engineered, can avert disaster.” “But how does the buyer balance cost and risk?” asked Hutton. “Customers may understandably be of the view that they need to keep the system as economical as possible because they hope never to use it.” Eisenberger argued that the cost of a gaseous system in a data centre is usually less than 1% of the value of the equipment it protects, but he added that there are additional costs to installing or maintaining a system that people often forget. “For example, if you have a room with no outside doors, it can be costly to install a duct to the outside. With the Novec 1230 system, you can utilise the existing air conditioning system.” Total cost of ownership also encompasses unit costs, cylinder storage, real estate costs, maintenance and recharge over the lifetime of the system. In terms of cylinder storage, Novec 1230 offers an advantage over other systems as it lends itself to a modular system, Turner explained. “This means you can make use of space that might otherwise not be used. If you need a dedicated cylinder store that impinges on lettable space, the financial cost can be quite significant.”

What are the options? There is no single solution in fire protection. In addition to sprinklers, water mist is an emerging technology that is very effective in the right circumstances, and where water is not appropriate, gaseous systems including inerts and clean agents can be used. There are even hybrid technologies such as nitrogen and water mixes. The right solution in each case depends on the key criteria for that end user and the principle objective of the system. “Is it to extinguish the fire, to suppress the fire, or to control it?” asked Elder. “When you identify this objective, it begins to guide you to the solution. Water-based systems are very good at controlling and suppressing fire, and clean-agent systems like Novec 1230 are extremely efficient at extinguishment. That’s the principle purpose of installing such a system.” Gaseous systems such as Novec 1230 are so effective at extinguishment because they function in three dimensions. “That means you let them go, and they go everywhere,” said

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roundtable report

Goeman. “A water particle, no matter how small, still has mass and that means it will go down – it functions in two dimensions. As a result you will have reduced penetration of small openings, and this has an impact on effectiveness.” An added consideration for a data centre, in particular, is the fact that water and electronics are not a happy combination. “Even if you use deep ionised water or distilled water, it is still water,” said Goeman. “And by the time it reaches and sits on electronics it will no longer be deep ionised water.”

Looking to the future Regulations have changed, some substances have been outlawed, new technology has been developed. So, what’s next for fire protection? The fire industry is a conservative one, agreed panellists. Unlike some other industries, it has a long innovation cycle, but it is possible to discern future trends. For example, Eisenberger pointed to a strong focus on making systems smaller, more flexible and more effective. Improved connectivity and remote servicing and diagnostics is another key future trend, said Elder. “Currently we have mechanical systems that need a lot of mechanical intervention if there is an issue, and as we go forward I think we will see more systems that interface electronically with the service provider, which can be notified instantly if something goes wrong. We will go from two interventions when there is an issue to just one.” “The fire industry is struggling a bit with the smart world,” agreed Sanchez, who said that some big companies are taking the initiative and developing their own cloud-based connected fire protection systems rather than waiting on the industry to come up with a solution. “Projects like this are leading the way and organisations like the NFPA are now listening and developing standards in this area. However, it will probably take another 10 to 15 years to get there.” Sanchez added that he believes environmental scrutiny will also continue to tighten. “If we look at fire extinguishing agents in general, foam is going through a tough time and some types have even been outlawed in certain places. Then there are the REACH Regulations and closer scrutiny of the ingredients in fire extinguishing and suppression agents. As science catches up, I think this will increase.” There may even be advances in detection, one of the most important aspects of fire protection. Part of the clean-agent approach is about ensuring that the system detects and deals with a developing issue before it becomes a fire and starts to cause damage. This means no downtime and no clean up. “Historically clean agent system were deployed in spaces where still air existed,” Elder explained. “The detection system would sense an incident and shut down the air handling system in the room. However, modern data centres can’t exist without high airflow, and we need to take that into account when designing systems. Right now, people are protecting these facilities in a very traditional way, by putting discharge nozzles in each of the separate volumes. I feel it is worth further research to understand whether these airflows can actually be used to aid the distribution of gas.” A challenge for the industry is to bring all the methods of detection together into an accepted standard, said Eisenberger. “This is something we have to push more, and it is why representatives of the industry are sitting on various committees to convince authorities, insurance companies and consultants to be more open and holistic in their approach.” A more holistic approach is exactly what’s needed, agreed Turner. “There does need to be some coordination between all the stakeholders and the fire suppression industry.

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Unfortunately, that is just not happening at the moment.” It might not be happening at that level, but Elder believes there is an increasing degree of interaction between the fire system providers and the users of those systems. “Certainly, the data centre community is very much involved in the development of the data-centre fire protection standard. And we have EN50600, a data centre standard that includes sections on fire protection and helps guide the user to the right system.” Ultimately, said Goeman, it is important that every company carries out a proper hazard and risk analysis and determines exactly what it is that they want to achieve. “Work with a consultant, approach multiple suppliers, and find a solution that suits the end risk. Novec 1230 will not be the solution for every risk, but we are trying to commercialise it only through companies that are fully compliant with standards and design, so that we know that wherever it is ultimate installed, it will do exactly what it is supposed to do.”

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High mists Over 50 delegates battled snow in March to attend the International Water Mist Association’s third UK seminar – the subject was protecting high-rise buildings with water mist, writes Bettina McDowell.

D Bettina McDowell is general manager of the International Water Mist Association

elegates attending BRE’s facilities in Watford heard how lack of space and modern building design were creating a higher demand for water mist technology in high-rise buildings; and that take-up of the technology could be encouraged by further research, clear legislation and solid standards. A key problem of high-rise buildings lies in the fact that the average fire ladder extends to 30m while high-rises are, by definition, 45m or higher. Not only are more high-rise buildings being erected but also, as Gary Howe, senior fire protection engineer with Zurich Risk Engineering pointed out: “Fire risks may be increasing with the use of combustible modern construction material and methods.” The complexity of the challenge is not helped by the fact that while high-rises can be simple single-purpose buildings such as public housing or office blocks, “a high-rise building is typically a multi-purpose building with several hazard categories,” noted Ryan Conaghan, sales director for Marioff UK.

The local situation

The 195m-high Q22 neomodern office skyscraper in Warsaw is protected by water mist. (Image: Shutterstock)

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In the UK, only 3% of council buildings are protected by conventional sprinklers or water mist systems. “Only buildings constructed since 2007 which are taller than 30m are required to have sprinklers fitted,” pointed out Yusuf Muhammad, chief design officer of Plumis and co-inventor of Automist; buildings such as Grenfell Tower, built in 1974, do not have to comply. “In the UK, legislation has focused on new builds where the costs can be diluted,” he added. The number of exceptions is growing, however. The 59m-high Vantage Point in London, a 1960s office-toresidential retrofit, has been fitted with a water mist system. All its 17 floors are protected with a 20m3 storage tank, areas that include apartments, plant rooms, generator set and communal areas. Other water mist projects in the UK capital include Creekside Wharf, a 70m-high new-build of modular construction featuring two blocks, one 22 floors high and the other 11 floors high. All the 249 apartments are protected with Marioff’s Hi-Fog high-pressure water mist system and a 36m3 water storage tank, as well as plant rooms, generator set, communal areas, car park, and waste storage area, an example of how water mist can be used for complete building

protection. Higher buildings have been protected with the same system, including Zoofenster in Berlin (119m), Q22 in Warsaw (159m) and the Donau City Tower in Vienna (220m). Low-pressure systems can also be used in high-rises. The Plumis-made Automist is a low-pressure mid-wall mounted stand-alone system that was installed for the partial protection of Surrey Towers in Addlestone, 30km southwest of London. The system was chosen by Runnymede Council following a consultation with Surrey Fire and Rescue Service after reviewing its fire risk assessment in the light of the Coroner’s ruling following the Shirley Towers blaze in April 2010. It was concluded that Automist would be easier to retrofit than other active fire suppression systems.

Water mist benefits In 1874, Henry S Parmalee created the first automatic fire sprinkler. Frederick Grinnell manufactured it and in 1882 designed the more effective Grinnell sprinkler. Since then, sprinkler technology has remained essentially unchanged. In 1885, Carl Benz developed an automobile powered by a single cylinder four-stroke engine. While nobody drives this kind of car now, not enough people seem to appreciate the further development of water-based fire protection systems or identify the limits of conventional sprinkler systems. Water mist systems are, basically, advanced sprinkler systems, something that should do away with any discussion about equivalency – a discussion which in fact often lists the shortcomings of sprinkler systems. Marioff’s Ryan Conaghan compared a water-mist system versus a traditional sprinkler system using as an example a 300m-tall building: a 25m3 tank versus a 110m3 water tank; one pump station area of 40m2 versus a pump station area of 65m2; and 2 x 60mm risers versus 4 x 200mm risers. Driving the point home further, Magnus Arvidson of Rise summarised a research project that had compared low-pressure water-mist and traditional sprinkler systems, both of which share the same class of components such as pumps, tanks, pipework, strainers and valves. The research concluded that the former protected better than, or just as well as, as the latter. As far as advantages of water mist are concerned, top of the list is the amount of water that needs to be stored and pumped up to even the highest floor. David Sherrington of

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suppression

Ultra Fog emphasised that these systems consume 80-90% less water than conventional sprinkler systems, translating to lower demands on water supply, smaller diameter pipework and reduced water damage. In addition, the smaller droplets with their larger surface area result in rapid cooling, reduced transmission of radiant heat and greater interaction with smoke particles. These are strong characteristics against incidents where fire is spread due to inadequate compartmentation and where there is a ‘stay put’ policy in place. “This is what happened in the Lakanal House fire in 2009 and in the Shepherd’s Court fire in 2016. Facades contribute to the fire spread which can be avoided by internal fire suppression,” said Sherrington. In case of the Lakanal House blaze the compartmentation failed, the fire spread rapidly – both vertically and horizontally – killing six people who had been told to await rescue. “Extensive smoke logging of the communal areas prevented the rescue,” said Sherrington, who said water mist could play a significant role in this area. “When installation of sprinklers within individual flats of a high-rise block is not practicable, the use of water mist within the building’s escape routes should be considered.” He proposed the installation of water mist nozzles immediately outside the entrance of every flat; water mist dry risers within the communal stairwells and corridors; and a water mist pump unit at ground level. The advantages, he explained, were lower costs and lower impact to the fabric of the building compared to complete sprinkler protection inside each flat. Low visibility could be countered with low-level emergency lighting; floors could be coated with non-slip coatings; drainage channels added and handrails placed, suggested Sherrington. In the context of modern building structures, Rüdiger

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Kopp of Fogtec, suggested that their large, open and oft-transparent designs in steel and glass, with open connections between buildings, could be accommodated via water mist. One such project was LKT Baden near Vienna, a state clinic with a gross floor area of just under 62,000m2 (see report in IFJ, issue 106, 2016). The challenge here was to compensate for missing compartmentation between entrance hall and pavilions through the use of an automatic fire-fighting system, thus preventing fire propagation. The system also had to control and suppress fires in the entrance hall, which houses a cafeteria and meeting areas, as well as protect exposed glass facades and steel to avoid structural fire protection measures. “Water mist standards allow for an engineered system design approach, for example for areas with greater height. The system design must be part of the overall fire safety concept of the building and must be evaluated by authorities having jurisdiction,” said Kopp. Concluding, Dean Reeve of VID Fire-Kill stressed that water mist was acceptable for high-rise buildings. “There are published British Standards and the scope of these standards gives guidance and recommendation on the design, installation, water supplies, commissioning and maintenance of water mist standards.” He sounded a note of warning, however. “If a project is going to use any suppression technology, it is not acceptable for it to be designed and installed by a company that does not have the proven training and skills in that exact technology.” The 18th International Water Mist Conference will take place in London 19-20 September 2018.

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PASSIVE FIRE PROTECTION

Sealed for life Cable penetrations in the control stations along the Tanap intercontinental pipeline currently under construction in Turkey are being protected with specialist cable sealant technology.

T

Specialist cable sealing technology will be used in the regulator/ compressor stations along the 1,850km pipeline.

he Nofirno cable sealant had to prove its capabilities against sudden pressure changes due to explosion or floods via a number of dynamic and static tests. The aim of the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project is to bring natural gas produced from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz-2 gas field to Turkey and on to Europe. The new network connects with the South Caucasus Pipeline at the Turkish border with Georgia and ends at the Greek border in the İpsala district of Edirne. Construction began in March 2015 and an initial gas stream, which is the first of four project stages, is expected to take place this year. In 2016 Tekfen Inşaat Ve Tesisat was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction of compressor and metering stations along the Turkish stretch of the pipeline, with a construction schedule of only 39 months. To seal the cable penetrations in the various regulator and compressor stations, Tekfen opted for Beele Engineering’s Nofirno technology. The stations, which contain control equipment such as pumps and compressors, are crucial to

maintaining the pressure in the pipe system at the required design pressure of 95.5 barg. The Nofirno system provides a fire-resistant and gas-proof, smoke-proof and waterproof seal for cable and other penetrations. Prior to its selection, the sealing technology was subjected to a number of dynamic and static pressure tests. Sudden pressure resulting from an explosion or flood places extraordinary demands on the quality of the rubber that is used for the cable and conduit transits. This needs to be elastic; it must not deteriorate; and it has to be designed in such a way that compression cannot cause stress relaxation or permanent deformation. The Nofirno system combines these properties in a single solution, retaining its mechanical stability even under harsh conditions. The layer of Nofirno sealant on each side of the penetration absorbs any movements and displacements. A number of static tests were also carried out, including static pressure tests at 2.5 bar and an endurance test lasting 125 hours at 4 bar. In addition, service life tests demonstrated that the Nofirno system has a 50-year service life.

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