Tag Archives: Fire Safety

EUSAS and Euralarm organise conference on ‘Fire Safety and Security in the Aviation Sector’

In 2018, EUSAS and Euralarm will be running the second edition of the EUSAS-Euralarm Conference. Next year’s topic will be ‘Fire Safety and Security in the Aviation Sector’. The event is to be hosted by Airbus and will take place at the company’s facilities in Bremen, Germany on 10-11 July.

The conference will focus on fire safety and security in aircraft and at airports, as well as travellers’ safety, duly bringing together academics, innovators, executives and researchers from the European and US aviation industry, as well as from the fire and security industry.

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Other participants involved in the event are testing institutes, certification bodies and standard developers interested in engineering and fire safety and security technologies applied to the aviation sector.

EUSAS is the European Society for Automatic Alarm Systems, a European platform for promoting security and protection engineering. Euralarm is the European Trade Association for the electronic fire safety and security industry and main representative of the industrial sector towards EU institutions in Brussels.

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HRH The Duke of Kent visits Apollo’s hq to commemorate four decades of fire detection system manufacturing

His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent has visited the headquarters of Apollo Fire Detectors in Havant, Hampshire to commemorate 40 years of excellence in UK manufacturing by the company. During his visit, The Duke of Kent took a tour of the manufacturing facilities and met some of the engineers and assembly workers who are behind the award-winning and life-saving fire detection technology made by Apollo.

The royal visit and Apollo’s longstanding achievement in manufacturing excellence are documented by an official plaque, unveiled by The Duke of Kent during his visit.

“We’re very proud to be able to share this important milestone in our history with HRH The Duke of Kent,” said Charles Lombard, managing director EMEA at Apollo. “In addition to celebrating our company’s long history of manufacturing excellence, this event reaffirmed our commitment to Royal Warrant Holder status.”

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Left to Right: HRH The Duke of Kent, Charles Lombard (managing director at Apollo), Pete Browitt (operations director) and Ed Browning (Apollo’s sales and marketing director)

Apollo Fire Detectors is one of the largest regional employers with almost 500 staff in Havant. The business specialises in the design and manufacture of high quality fire detection products. Over the last four decades, the company has broadened its capability from a straightforward focus on conventional fire detectors to include the manufacture of sophisticated analogue addressable detectors and interfaces for monitoring and controlling equipment in fire protection systems.

The business boasts some of the most advanced manufacturing technologies in order to ensure consistently high quality products and fast response to customer requirements.

Through planned expansion, Apollo has attained a leading global position in the market for professional fire detection. With more than 3,000 international approvals for its products and regional offices located in the US, China, India and Germany and exports to over 100 countries, Apollo Fire Detectors has cemented its position as a world-class fire solutions provider.

Apollo is part of the HALMA Group. HALMA is a FTSE 250-listed plc with over 40 subsidiaries worldwide, all of them engaged in specialist engineering activities.

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ISM introduces Enterprise version of proven integrated security management system

Intergrated Security Manufacturing (ISM), a leader in the design, development and manufacture of ISMS technology, has just launched an Enterprise version of the company’s proven Genesys integrated security management system (ISMS).

Already deployed within the Critical National Infrastructure sector, the new ISMS offers end users “unparalleled scale, redundancy and ease of use”.

As an enhancement of the existing Genesys2, the Enterprise version has been developed with the largest organisations in mind. Genesys is fully-scalable to manage and control multiple sites from a single Control Room (or even a single workstation) across a country, or even across continents. It features the most advanced levels of encryption to ensure network security, and is accredited to the highest standards of Government national infrastructure security.

Stephen Smith, managing director of ISM, believes that the extension of the Genesys range gives customers greater choice. “There have been a number of articles in the security press talking about PSIM companies starting to develop systems that go beyond the current solutions and moving to a federated architecture. With Genesys, we’re already there. Genesys Enterprise resolves those issues associated with the increasing geographical scope of clients, corporations, Governments and institutions, while also adhering to a multi-tiered hierarchy or ‘federated’ system here total control is centralised, but allows individual sites to maintain local control.”

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Smith added: “This new addition is ideally suited to those large organisations with multiple sites across multiple regions who might also want to ‘flex’ to accommodate further sites and geographies as their needs evolve. As this comes from the Genesys stable, existing users only have to upgrade from their existing version to Enterprise without the expense of a complete technology refresh.”

Multiple systems, multiple manufacturers

Crucially, the new development allows the integration of multiple systems from multiple manufacturers – all from one holistic integrated security system. Every electronic security or fire safety device from CCTV and intruder alarms through to electronic locking and Public Address can be monitored and controlled from a single platform, regardless of who made them.

Most importantly, this solution includes the existing Migrating 3+ technology, a patented automatic fail-over technology that adds higher levels of automatic configurable redundancy and power. Control is effectively distributed across multiple workstations.

“We take power to your PC and multiple it by the number of PCs on your network,” added Smith. “What this means is that, if one PC fails, control is migrated to another PC on a seamless basis with no interruption or downtime. Our system isn’t restricted in its performance by the size or capability of a server, and nor does it require the expense of moving to server farms or using clustering software. It means we deliver the most extreme redundancy characteristics for the threats you’ve thought of, not to mention those that you haven’t.”

Continuing this theme, Smith observed: “The Enterprise development within the existing Genesys isn’t a development waiting for a trial site, but rather it has already been installed within a high-security Critical National Infrastructure project. It is tested and proven at the highest level and under the most demanding of conditions and has been very successful.”

‘True’ ISMS

Genesys is a ‘true’ ISMS built around intuitive software that combines a range of industry-leading features and benefits including an enhanced graphical user experience, 3D modelling and a comprehensive event management database. Events and alarms are presented to the operator clearly as and when they happen.

“Operators can be quickly trained to gain maximum advantage,” highlighted Smith. “The system also enables end users to make better use of their staff and resources since they don’t have to have all of their Control Rooms working on a 24-hour basis. Genesys is a truly unique solution offering advanced system architecture, unparalleled ease of use for the operators and the very low lifecycle costs.”

The ISMS software operates as a standalone platform over LAN or WAN networks for remote and local sites with workstations that can be transferred to any operating Security Control Room on the network. This offers the end user flexibility when closing down sites or buildings for off-peak or out of normal working hours or in the unlikely event of any system failures.

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Axis Academy partners with Great Ormond Street Hospital to provide First Aid training

The Axis Academy is working with Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) to deliver First Aid training courses for the latter’s its Young People’s Forum (YPF). 

The YPF was established for patients, ex-patients and siblings of patients who have been looked after at GOSH and a number of other hospitals around the UK, including Birmingham Children’s Hospital. It’s designed for 11 to 25 year olds who want to have fun, meet new people and learn new skills, with one of the skills on offer this year being offered via a First Aid/CPR course delivered by The Axis Academy. The first training course took place on Saturday 14 October.

The First Aid session was developed by the dedicated training team at The Axis Academy. The company also delivers a number of accredited First Aid courses through one of the UK’s leading Awarding Organisations, namely Qualsafe Awards, ensuring both the quality and formal recognition of learning. The First Aid courses are just some of the many regulated courses that are now being offered to Axis Group’s clients and any businesses looking to support staff learning and development.

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Duaine Taylor, head of learning and development at The Axis Academy, is extremely pleased to be supporting GOSH and its YPF. “The YPF aims to further the enjoyment and skills of young people connected to GOSH and many other childrens’ hospitals throughout the UK,” asserted Taylor. “We’re very pleased to have been chosen to help with this worthwhile cause. The day was a great success with approximately 80 children from all over the UK in attendance. It was a jam-packed day of presentations and talks. Attendees were split into smaller groups and divided between the sessions. All participants walked away with a certificate in recognition of their new skills.”

The Axis Academy is already helping to develop the careers of Axis Security, Acuity and Axis Cleaning and Support Services employees by delivering an extensive range of courses. In partnering with GOSH, the business is furthering its goal of offering services to clients, third party providers and private individuals.

In addition to First Aid, other courses provided by The Axis Academy are categorised under the fundamentals of Customer Service, Fire Safety, Health and Safety, Security and Supervisor and Management courses. More sector-specific courses are tailored within each of these categories, for example Control and Restraint and Food Hygiene.

The most recent course added to The Axis Academy’s repertoire is a Citizens Aid First Aid course. The half-day course is new to the industry and provides training for scenarios where there are mass casualties and knife injuries. This course has recently been accredited by Qualsafe Awards.

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Euralarm announces detail of 2018 Symposium in Bucharest

Euralarm has announced the date of its next Symposium, which will take place in Bucharest, Romania on 4 June 2018. This will be the second time that Romania has hosted this event, showing the country’s commitment to European electronic fire safety and security.

Euralarm member ARTS, the Romanian Association for Security Technique presided over by Liviu Mateescu, will host the event. “Romania is a market that’s expanding,” explained Mateescu. “For next year’s Symposium, we’re aiming to achieve the largest audience for this event to date.”

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The Euralarm Symposium has become a ‘must attend’ event for professionals in the fire safety and security sectors. Every year, it brings together all stakeholders in the fire and security markets, including installers, system integrators, manufacturers, end users, facility managers and certification bodies.

Topics for the Euralarm Symposium 2018 will be announced later on this year. In 2017, the event focused on the future of fire and security services across Europe and turning the digital service market into business opportunities.

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Euralarm members in favour of revising EU’s Construction Products Regulation

Euralarm, the Trade Association representing the European electronic fire safety and security industry, has provided comments on the Inception Impact Assessment on a potential revision of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). While supporting the main objective of the CPR, Euralarm feels that, in line with the actions of DG GROWTH, a review of the document is necessary.

According to Euralarm members, the CPR hasn’t had the required effect on the competitiveness of the electronic fire safety industry. The industry depends on standardised product performance requirements and standardised behaviour, which is at odds with the CPR.

For example, alarm buttons to activate a fire alarm system are always red right across Europe and the world. Under the CPR, this isn’t seen as ‘performance criteria’ and therefore the colour could change depending on national solutions, which could well lead to building occupants being confused in fire episodes and the lives of European citizens being put in danger.

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Although the CPR’s stated objective is to help standardise test methods and ensure the European-wide acceptance of test results, thus supporting the movement of construction products across Europe, it’s also trying to cover a very wide range of products with very different characteristics and where performance criteria are less important. This has a negative effect on the standardisation of fire detection and alarm products.

Euralarm is prepared to explain the objective differences and the impact on the functionality and reliability of electronic fire safety products.

Based on initial consultations, Euralarm members favour revising the CPR (Option II of the Inception Impact Assessment), bearing in mind the successful role that standards have played in the market in terms of establishing clarity, flexibility and harmony. This is good for the European economy and its ability to participate in a global market which, after all, is all the main objective of the CPR.

Euralarm will continue to work hand-in-hand with the European Commission and, specifically, with DG GROWTH to define and implement the best possible solution.

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Euralarm outlines content of upcoming new study on false fire alarms in Europe

Fire and Rescue Services collect facts and figures during responses to alarms from fire detection and alarm systems. Now, Euralarm has reviewed the different approaches for data collection and analysis in England, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Austria.

A key observation is the differences noted between the examined countries. These differences hamper comparisons, although a view of the European norms would suggest the opposite. Euralarm is therefore calling for more co-operation between the stakeholders involved which would enable new insights into fire alarms in general.

Buildings are safer today because of the fire detection and alarm systems installed within. Indeed, without these systems, fires would go undetected and spread. Exit routes would be impassable due to smoke and fire, resulting in injuries and even fatalities, aside from damage caused to the building(s).

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As is the case with any system, though, there are conditions that can lead to false alarms binding public and private resources as well as hurting the reputation of fire alarm and detection systems. False alarms can be reduced, for example, through the use of modern multi-sensor fire detectors as well as the regular application of correct maintenance requirements, making the systems reliable and dependable for building occupants.

In spite of such existing solutions, the market is lacking sufficient data that would outline the potential to reduce false alarms even more. An initial study by Euralarm in 2012 showed that data sources were missing and existing sources not comparable. Reliable details (eg data pools) on the range of false alarm difficulties and their causes are needed. At the moment, lack of such detail is hindering the development of a suitable basis upon which to define and deploy effective countermeasures.

The new study focuses on investigating data collection and analysis processes in order to achieve a better understanding of what needs to be done and, hopefully, will provide momentum for changes to be made.

Key observations

The review of the data collection process of transmitted alarms from fire detection and Alarm systems has been carried out by the Euralarm Task Group for False Alarms.

The project’s objective has been to analyse the specific methodologies by taking an empirical approach, with the aim of deriving a common understanding of the facts and figures collected during Fire and Rescue Services’ responses to fire alarms.

From the existing data pools, members of the Task Group then attempted to calculate the false alarm ratios based on four different models. In doing so, they then took the step of attempting a comparison between the investigated countries.

One of the observations of the review is that comparison of fire alarm figures in the respective countries is hampered by “missing alignment” in terms of common terminology and processes. A view towards the European norms would suggest the opposite, but the fact is that the application guidelines are national and these are the basis for any data collection. The analysed material recorded and collected by experts during responses to fire alarms is handled quite differently from country to country.

Lack of proper information leads to narrow or wrong measures being implemented, which is clearly detrimental to society and must be changed.

A fundamental understanding of fire alarms – and specifically false alarms – is a requirement for any attempts towards betterment. Since a common approach would (in principle) be possible, Euralarm proposes that the fire safety industry, Fire and Rescue Services and building owners work far more closely together on this matter.

*The full report will be published in Q4 2017

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