False alarms – the cost
A study has been released that aims to establish the cost of false fire alarms in different European countries. Carried out by Euralarm, the European association representing the fire safety and security industry, the study focuses on false alarm data collection and analysis from fire detection and fire alarm systems in Germany, UK, Switzerland, Sweden and Austria. The 62-page study describes how budget cuts and the perceived high rate of false alarms have led to changes in the standard responses of different fire services. In some countries, for example, in order to avoid unjustified costs there is a verification requirement before a response is deployed. The study seeks to establish the true cost of false alarms from country to country, taking into account not only the impact on fire services alone, but also the increased risk to human life. False Alarm Study: False Alarm Data Collection and Analysis from Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems in Selected European Countries describes the processes to initiate fire service intervention, formulas to calculate false alarm ratios, as well as a methodology of the overall analysis. Containing recommendations and strategies to reduce false alarms, the publication discusses why false alarms should be integrated into fire protection and fire alarm strategies, and why handling false alarms must become an active part of the management of a site. The study has been published by Eric Schmidt Verlag and is available on Amazon.
minimum exposure New minimum risk levels for PFAS are expected to have a major impact on contaminated facilities across the US. The US Federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has published a draft toxicological profile for a range of PFAS chemicals. The draft report defines the level at which no harm would be expected to people from exposure at 7 parts per trillion for PFOS and 11ppt for PFOA. The limits are significantly lower than the health advisory levels of the US Environmental Protection Agency, which were set at a combined 70ppt in May 2016. The ATSDR is also proposing minimum risk levels for PFHxS and PFNA, for which there are currently no federal standards. In the absence of enforceable rules on acceptable PFAS levels in drinking water, lakes and rivers, regulators have used the EPA level as a standard. The DoD has increasingly been under the spotlight due to its AFFF firefighting foam
containing PFOA; lower safety levels could have significant impact on response and clean-up efforts at contaminated sites around the US. Currently the DoD only supplies long-term water to homes near DoD-owned PFAS-contaminated sites if levels are above 70ppt. The new toxicological profiles were subject to public comment until 23 July.
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third quarter 2018 ✜ INDUSTRIAL FIRE JOURNAL ✜