UK-based Fire Alarm Panel manufacturer Advanced has secured the FM APPROVED diamond certification – one of the most prestigious in the world. It is issued by FM Approvals, a division of FM Global, and is rated on the highest property conservation standards in quality, technical integrity and performance.
The standard is recognised globally as a mark of quality and performance relevant for any engineer, specifier or building owner installing fire systems that meet the highest property conservation standards.
Blazequel has used Advanced for a number of years, and view it as the market leader in Fire Alarm Panel production. This certification has confirmed this concept, and set Advanced in a top position in the industry.
Blazequel also uses Advanced for another reason – the Open-Protocol design of panel. This functionality allows clients to move around the Fire Protection industry without being tied to a single system or provider, ensuring that their freedom is respected.
For more information on our services and solutions to the many industries we operate in, please don’t hesitate to contact us
Shortly after midnight on 6th January 2019 Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service attended an incident at Tamar House – an 17-story tower block in central Devonport. The fire had started accidentally in a kitchen on the 11th floor.
The fire activated the site-wide sprinkler system, which had only been installed 3 months previously. This successfully contained the fire, allowing all residents to evacuate in safety. By the time the fire service arrived, the fire had been completely extinguished by the sprinkler system alone. Firefighters quickly confirmed this and no fire hoses were deployed.
This successful activation and extinguishing of fires highlight the need of sprinkler systems in all residential housing, but especially tower blocks. After the catastrophic fire that swept through the Grenfell Tower Block, many local councils are encouraging high-rise buildings to invest in sprinkler systems to try and prevent a recurrence.
Thanks to the timely activation of the sprinkler system in Tamar House, there was only one reported casualty – a woman taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke. If there had been no suppression system in place, the casualty list could have been a lot longer, and may have included fatalities.
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Few waste management sites would be able to operate without mobile plant machinery. Being such an operations-critical asset, it’s important to ensure that suitable systems and procedures are in place for their protection.
Common Causes of Engine Bay Fires
Hydraulic lubricants have a spontaneous combustion temperature from as low as 250°C. In the event of a leak in the engine compartment, the oil can be coming in contact with surfaces in excess of 600°C, which causes it to immediately burst into flames. With a constant supply of flammable liquid, fires resulting from these can be extremely vicious.
Build-up of solid deposits (dust):
When working in the dusty environments typical to the waste management industry, a build-up of dirt and dust is common in engine compartments. Due again to the hot surfaces, the material can be heated to spontaneous combustion temperature and quickly spread to other parts of the compartment.
Wear on wiring looms is a common cause of electrical fires. Due to the constant vibration during operation, friction can cause the protective covering to be worn away and expose the cable, short-circuiting the electrical loop and starting a fire in the looms and surrounding equipment.
How to protect against vehicle fires
Regular Component Assessments
Regular checks of the engine bay components can help identify areas of wear. Worn hydraulic lines, electrical cables and associated parts can be a sure sign of imminent failure resulting in a fire. As the saying goes “Forewarned is forearmed” and any parts replacements identified by a quick check can be actioned to ensure a fire is less likely to happen.
Effective detection solutions
Effective detection solutions are important in identifying fires quickly when they occur. One of the best is linear heat detection cable. This small and insignificant red cable has two wires positioned parallel to each other separated by heat-sensitive polymers which soften at a certain temperature, allowing the wires to touch, creating a short circuit which triggers an alarm and discharges the suppression system.
Effective Suppression Systems
There are two main types of suppression agent: Powder and Foam.
Powder is one of the oldest engine bay suppression systems. It’s designed to displace the oxygen in the engine bay and cover the components in a layer of solid particles. However, it has no cooling effects so, if the components are still hot enough, there is a risk of re-ignition. In addition, the agent is abrasive, corrosive and very hard to properly clean away – which can have a detrimental effect on the very engine bay it is trying to protect.
Foam is the best suppression agent. It is so effective because it removes all of the three elements required to start a fire in the first place – Heat, Fuel and Oxygen. The liquid-based agent impregnates accumulations of solid material, cools the hot surfaces and displaces the oxygen by creating a thin film over the top of the material to suffocate the fire. This means that there is a significantly reduced chance of re-ignition.
In conclusion, regular checks and maintenance of plant are as important as suitable and effective detection and suppression systems. However, when it comes to suppression systems foam is very much the recommended option.
Waste Management Fire Safety is an extremely complex topic, especially where process lines are concerned. They are able to transport a fire risk throughout the facility in a matter of minutes. Without effective detection and suppression solutions in place, process lines could be the means for a fast-moving fire. In the waste industry application, this would be devastating.
However, modern fire protection solutions are designed for this specialist application. Bespoke solutions can be delivered to the Waste Sector to deal with the unique risk types. Machinery and assets can then be kept safe with a minimum of business interruption.
Rule #1 – Detection First
As with any fire suppression system, fire detection in the Waste Industry MUST be priority. Regardless of waste type or operational environment, a fire must be detected before it can be extinguished. Due to the nature of Waste Management process lines, if the fire detection system is inadequate, the effect of the suppression system will be severely limited, if it activates at all!
In view of Waste Management fire safety, each risk area must be assessed individually by considering a number of factors:
Waste Material Type – Flammable or non-flammable?
Processes Taking Place – If you are running a shredder, there is a much greater risk of initiating a fire than if simply loading material into a feeder. This risk needs to be considered proportionately.
Process Speed – The greater the speed, the more sensitive the system will have to be in order to react on time.
Threat Types – Are we looking for sparks, hot particles, flames or a combination?
Nature of the process – Can the process be stopped if required?
Consequential implications of missing a threat – Will the material pass through manual inspection, or directly into a stockpile of flammable material?
Click Here for more information on the effective detection systems available in the waste industry application.
Process Line Fire Suppression Systems:
Fire Sprinkler Suppression Systems
Sprinkler systems are commonly used for Waste Industry fire safety. Many waste facility insurers recognise these as an effective and proven solution. They are activated by a heat-sensitive bulb at the nozzle which bursts at a certain temperature, releasing the valve and allowing the system to activate.
In the Waste Industry application there are three water-based suppression agents used. Plain water is commonly used in many waste applications. In applications involving stock piles, a small percentage of foam additive is sometimes used for increased material penetration.
Sprinkler systems are ideal for protecting under your conveyors, gantries and shielded areas. They are reliable and cost effective in low-level applications. However, their effectiveness is limited on process lines due to the material being in transit. This means that there is little or no chance of the system activating on time.
Deluge Suppression Systems
Deluge Systems are open-nozzle systems also commonly used for Waste Industry fire safety. A solenoid valve located just behind the nozzle is used to release the water. This is normally closed, but is opened by a third-party detection system when a threat is detected. This makes the system very quick to react – which is extremely important for process line protection.
As many forms of detection can be used, this system allows flexibility for each unique waste processing fire safety application. This is very important to ensure fire safety due to the complexity of the Waste Recycling Sector. Common detection systems for waste processing lines include:
Linear Heat Detection Cable
As with fire sprinkler systems, the main agent is water, sometimes with a small percentage of foam additive if required for the application and waste type. Full foam fire suppression is also an option if this is more suitable to ensure the fire safety of the waste facility in the application.
Water Mist Deluge Systems
Water Mist Deluge Systems are highly effective fire safety solutions for the Waste Industry application. Similar to deluge systems (see above), Water Mist Deluge systems are open-nozzle systems combined with an electronic solenoid valve. This is also activated by the third-party detection deemed suitable for the unique Waste Industry application.
However, as the water passes through the nozzle, it is atomised (broken up) and is discharged as a mist rather than a spray of large droplets. This improves it’s effectiveness in heat absorption – thus helping to remove one side of the Fire Triangle.
In addition, the process of atomisation reduces the volume of water required to have effect – thereby reducing consequential damage and run-off. This is a major factor in the Waste Sector due to the required water attenuation procedures.
In view of fire safety in the Waste Management Industry, Deluge Suppression systems are the most effective in many applications. As mentioned above, these are very reliable suppression solutions, as well as providing a very fast response. This is very important in the Waste Sector due to the volumes of flammable material being processed.
The effective use of water droplet size also reduces the volume of liquid required for fire suppression. This is especially applicable to the Water Mist Deluge (see above) due to the process of droplet atomisation. This limits the consequential damage of the water, thereby reducing operational downtime required to clean up.
However, as discussed at the start of this article, although suitable suppression is required for process line protection, detection is still paramount. Often an effective detection system will be linked to a ‘Process Stop’ to contain the threat and allow suppression from a fixed pipework or via an operator with a Fire Extinguisher or Fire Hose Reel. However, without the correct detection, nothing will happen – allowing the threat to pass from one process to another, working it’s way throughout the entire facility.
For more information on our specialist fire safety solutions for the Waste Management Industry, please Click Here
The greatest problem with process lines is that the material is movement. Without rapid and effective detection, a fire risk can pass under any detection & suppression system installed and be out the other side before the risk is identified – passing the threat from one part of your plant to another. This can result in a fire can quickly spreading throughout your entire site, causing widespread damage and serious expense.
Methods of detection
There are two main types of process line detection systems. These are flame detection and ember detection. As they are installed very close to the area they are protecting, process line detection systems are very focused in their area of coverage, allowing the increased detection speeds so critical to the waste industry.
Flame detectors are commonly used directly at the zone of processes. Common install applications are high-risk areas such as over-shredder hoppers, high-risk conveyors and bunkers. However, they will not detect a threat unless it is actually burning. This is where ember detectors are essential.
Ember detectors are much more sensitive than flame detectors. Scanning your converyor belts for hot particles such as tramp metal, faulty batteries and smouldering material, they are uniquely designed to detect fire risks in transit (moving at up to 6m per second). This makes them extremely effective on high-speed conveyor belts. The extremely rapid detection allows them to contain the risk area and reduce the threat to your facility.
In conclusion, process line detection is essential in the waste management industry in view of preventing the spread of hot/burning particles. In addition, both of the above solutions can activate automatic suppression systems to extinguish the threat effectively before significant damage is incurred.
For more information on our solutions, please contact us on 01234 357357 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the main problems facing fire detection systems in the UK is exposed/external environments is the unpredictable British weather. Almost every detection system (Smoke, Heat and even some Flame Detectors) can suffer from reduced effectiveness in varying weather conditions. Common issues can include smoke stratification, temperature fluctuations and false alarms through direct sunlight on a detector lens.
One exception to this rule is Thermal Fire Detection. This system stays effective almost regardless of the weather conditions. This makes it especially useful for waste management sites with significant operations/storage space in open buildings, or uncovered areas.
How does it work?
All particles produce a certain amount of infra-red radiation, but as the heat rises, so the concentration of radiation increases. The camera identifies this increase in radiation, reading it as a rise in heat levels. The system can then be set to activate the alarm when radiation reaches a certain threshold.
Detects hot-spots via infra-red radiation as opposed to optical sight and so is not effected by low-visibility conditions. In addition, it doesn’t require 24-7 lighting like Video Smoke Detection, meaning there is less long-term running costs.
A sudden rate-of-rise in temperature (as well as a fixed alarm temperature being met) can be identified, giving the operator a chance to act before a small risk can develop into a large fire. To facilitate rapid response times, footage is streamed back to central monitor where operators can assess the situation and act accordingly
Whereas all other forms of detection method have to be mounted in a static positon, the thermal heat detection camers con be mounted on a pan and tilt mechanism, allowing the camera to rotate and cover a huge 360° field of view. this significantly reduces the number of cameras required to cover large areas.
Surface-risk Detection Method
Deep-seated fires can build up heat energy without being detected. Also, large stock piles and/or bunker walls can obstruct the camera view reducing it’s effectiveness if mounted at a diagonal angle.
Type of Analytics
Un-intelligent software, thereby site processes (eg. vehicle exhausts, hot waste piles) may trigger false alarms. Heat maps streamed beck to the central monitor can sometimes be hard for operators to read, possibly creating confusion and maybe resulting in incorrect action.
Despite the drawbacks listed above, Blazequel regards thermal fire detection to be the most effective fire protection system for external environments, as it is reliable, effective most weather conditions, and gives you the opportunity to achieve a pre-emptive alarm before a fire can even break out. Careful system design can largely overcome the ‘blind spot’ issue, with wide-lens cameras or a scanning camera system.
Stratification is a largely unknown issue, but affects any high level building. This happens when the thermal ‘lift’ of the smoke is not sufficient to break through a warm layer of air gathered in the roof void. Instead, stratification causes the smoke to form in a ‘cloud’ below the roof level – too low for the ceiling-mounted detection to sense it as seen in the picture above.
Roof-mounted fire detection units can be rendered almost useless in the face of this phenomenon. Smoke can form and fires can grow without activating ceiling-mounted detection systems, until a point when it is too late for any action to be effective.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Blazequel are now offering an exciting new solution to the problem – Video Smoke Detection. The Araani SmokeCatcher VSD:
Covers large areas of floor space with a single camera
Is unrivalled in its effectiveness of smoke detection
Detects unique smoke patterns using detailed analytical software
Streams live colour footage back to controllers PC allowing visual verification of incident
Can be used alongside and possibly incorporated into the existing CCTV security system
Has proven ability to detect smoke in 10-60 seconds of it being visible from ground level
‘Learns’ the behaviour of mobile plant and people so doesn’t cause false alarms due to vehicle fumes or dust clouds
Is very robust in order to cope with extremely harsh environments (e.g. waste management sites)
For more information on our solutions to your unique and complex requirements, give us a call on +44 (0)1234 357357, email email@example.com or visit our website on www.blazequel.com .
Staffrooms are a high-risk environment due to the volume of electrical consumers and common office furniture. The following video reconstruction is a forceful reminder of this issue, proving to how quickly a fire can spread in the presence of combustible materials in the vicinity. Click on the following link to view.
At Blazequel, we’re excited to officially announce our new partership with Araani Video Smoke Detection, across the UK and Ireland. Below is the official Press Release.
Contact us today to discuss your Video Fire Detection requirements in more detail!
Kortrijk, Belgium, December 14, 2017 – Araani, a leading provider of video analytics for people, property and process protection, is proud to announce a new distribution partnership with fire safety specialist Blazequel, Bedford, UK. As a Silver Certified Araani partner, Blazequel is now fully authorized to distribute, install and support Araani’s SmokeCatcher Early Warning System in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Blazequel specializes in providing innovative fire safety solutions to protect its clients and their most valuable assets. The company has experience in a wide range of industry sectors, including recycling and waste management, manufacturing and engineering, and logistics and warehousing.
“For years, Blazequel has been looking for a reliable, video-based smoke detection system,” says Keith Picton, Marketing Manager at Blazequel. “But it wasn’t until we met with Araani that we were fully confident, both about the product and about the company’s business model. The fact that Araani has partnered up with trusted names, such as Axis and Milestone Systems, only adds to the credibility of our new video smoke detection solution provider.”
Blazequel has added Araani’s SmokeCatcher early warning system to its wide portfolio of fire alarm and smoke detection solutions. By doing so, the company will be able to answer the needs of customers for whom there was no suitable smoke detection solution available before. Blazequel sees many opportunities in the UK and Ireland for integrating SmokeCatcher into harsh industrial environments, such as waste and recycling plants. Refrigerated warehouses and storage rooms are another example of environments where conventional smoke detection solutions will fail, but where SmokeCatcher can provide an answer.
“The most obvious advantage of SmokeCatcher video smoke detection is the possibility to visually verify the detected incident. No other technology can do that,” says Keith Picton. “But also its distributed architecture is unique. Many competitive solutions use a centralized server to process the incoming video images. However, when this server fails, it immediately affects the entire camera network. With SmokeCatcher, the image processing happens on the camera, not on a centralized server. This is much more reliable, because the point of failure is limited to the surface of one camera.”
Blazequel, based in Bedford, UK, and Londonderry, Northern Ireland, is one of the industry’s leading fire safety specialists. Founded in 2003, the company specializes in providing fire safety products and solutions to protect its clients and their most valuable assets. Blazequel has a wide range of specialist solutions for fire safety in the waste and recycling industry, including solutions for plant machinery fire protection and process equipment fire protection. For more information, please visit www.blazequel.com.
About Araani nv
Founded in 2014, Araani is a Belgian video analytics company and the developer of SmokeCatcher. Araani’s mission is to guarantee business continuity and fire safety for companies that operate in critical and demanding environments. Araani has its roots in companies that have pioneered the video analytics industry. The expertise and years of experience of Araani’s founders have resulted in a rock-solid video analytics solution for high-risk and high-impact environments. For more information, visit www.araani.com.
Your tree will rapidly dry out in a warm environment. Make sure it is well watered as a tinder dry tree is a fire waiting to happen.
Make sure your tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights
In the excitement of unwrapping your presents, be careful not to allow the discarded paper get too close to any heaters or candles
Never EVER use lit candles to decorate the tree
Make sure your lights are suitable for the application – some lights are only suitable for outdoor or indoor use.
Make sure your tree lights are turned off at night.
Be careful not to overload the plug sockets with additional lights.
Decorations burn easily so it’s never a good idea to string them between your lights.
Be aware if using mains powered fairy lights, that if one light on the chain should fail then the other lights will burn hotter to compensate this.
REMEMBER – Just two to three breaths of toxic smoke from a fire can render a person unconscious and you have less time to escape than you think. Make sure your tree or decorations are not blocking the emergency exit should something go wrong and you need to get out in a hurry.
Dinnertime Fire Safety Tips:
REMEMBER – overeating isn’t the only dinnertime hazard this time of year…
Candles on the table might look nice, but they are a huge fire risk – particularly if there are excited children present. Never underestimate how quickly things can do wrong…
Every year the fire brigade are called out to assist with Christmas pudding mishaps. Take care if you do wish to enjoy a flaming pudding, and never pour the brandy straight from the bottle.
Also be careful not to overheat your pudding in the microwave – with good things like sugar, alcohol and fruit your pudding will not require too much heat to warm it. A Christmas pudding fire can also begin in the microwave…….