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cfpa-lithium-ion-battery

An extinguishing Agent Specifically developed for Lithium-ion battery fires

In recent times Lithium-ion battery fires have become no stranger to news headlines with serious incidents now being reported on an almost daily basis. In particular the transition to electric-powered vehicles has created a growing problem for fire and rescue services worldwide as electric car fires pose an increased fire threat. This threat is not only the degree of difficulty in extinguishing the fire quickly and safely but also the potential for spontaneous re-ignition several hours after the initial fire has been extinguished.

In order to fully understand this, one must first understand the process of “Thermal Runaway” which leads to the propagation of a fire throughout the whole of a Lithium ion battery pack or, in this case, potentially the whole of the vehicle.

In large scale batteries there are many individual cells which are linked together and fires normally propagate from cell to cell via the passage of heat from the external walls of the cells and from the electrical connection points which form the individual battery cells into multi cell modules and packs. As the cells reach high temperatures they eventually go into a state known as thermal runaway and this is achieved as a result of a chemical and physical process which at a cell level is not reversible since the resulting chemical reaction is exothermic.

In short it is essential to tackle a multi cell battery fire by extinguishing the fire which has been generated by the individual exploding cell and also by cooling the adjacent cells which will have been heated during the initial fire. It is frequently the case that one cell will heat several others each of which will in turn heat a number of others and the fire spreads on an exponential basis. It is therefore imperative to cool as many cells as possible in order to prevent the propagation of thermal runaway.

Vermiculite Dispersion extinguishing agent

A new eco-friendly water based extinguishing agent made and developed from the natural mineral Vermiculite (Aqueous Vermiculite Dispersion) is now available in the fire protection market specifically developed for protection against Lithium-ion battery fires. When applied directly to the cells of a battery in a thermal event AVD quickly extinguishes the flames, the water cools the system, the high surface area mineral platelets interrupt the free radical chain reaction and a refractory film forms which impedes oxygen diffusion to the fuel source. The relatively high viscosity AVD coats the battery; as the water evaporates, the viscosity of the AVD rises quickly further reducing the flow away from the fire source. The AVD quickly forms in to a gel-like structure with water trapped in macroscopic pores. Initially it is the pore water that continues to cool the system and the AVD can be seen to ‘boil’. It is this ability of AVD to trap water close to the source of the fire that enhances its cooling effect.

Another advantage of AVD is that as it dries it forms a thermally insulating film which reduces the risk of thermal runaway propagation to adjacent cells. The non-combustible vermiculite film also coats the packaging of adjacent cells reducing the combustible loading of the system.

Environmentally friendly

Vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral that is exempt from REACH regulations. It is chemically and physically inert, only releasing steam when exposed to raised temperatures. It is also non-toxic to humans, plant life and animals so there is no concerns that with the clean-up process needing to be managed under regulated processes

Lithium Battery Fire Classification and chemistries

Lithium-ion battery fires have no fire classification of their own and they cross the boundaries of several existing categories from A to C. The Lith-Ex portable extinguisher range (containing AVD) has been tested and certified to EN3-7 Class A in order to meet European regulations. The extinguishing agent, AVD can also be applied via fixed systems for large scale industrial applications such as energy storage facilities. The agent is equally effective on varying different battery types and chemistries making it an extremely versatile agent considering the primacies of the natural mineral the cooling effects remain the same

For more information www.avdfire.com

cfpa-grenfell-tower

A case study that cost many lives

The Grenfell Insulation was sold at a discount for refurbishment, and the discount was worth almost £ 41,500. In April 2015 the manufacturer had discussed using Grenfell as a “case study”. However, the insulation material was not in the original architects’ specification for the refurbishment and the project manager for the refurbishment did not know that Celotex insulation was flammable.

The Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June 2017 caused 72 deaths and 70 others were injured.

EU-projects-Slovenian-FPA

Slovenian Fire Protection Association and EU Projects

European projects of Slovenian FPA Slovenian Fire Protection Association (SZPV) is working on European projects in scope of Interreg and ERASMUS+ programmes since 2017. SZPV gained first experience in project FIRESKILLS (project no. 2017-1-TR01-KA202-045607) with partners from Turkey, Denmark and Italy, working on education of firefighters on preventive precautions and emergency procedures on fires in historic buildings.

In 2018, work on project FIREEXPERT started, in scope of programme Interreg Slovenia-Austria, and is stil going on. Due to COVID-19 pandemic situation the project is prolonged and will end in January 2021. The focus of the FIREEXPERT project is to create an industrial research expert and innovation center (livinglab) for the construction and building material industry – supporting research and development in the field of fire engineering.

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Photo: Testing of Ultra-High Fibre Reinforced Concrete (UHPFRC), Fire Laboratory ZAG, Ljubljana, June 2019.

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Cooperation in project Fireskills lead to an invitation to another ERASMUS+ project. The Danish firebrigade from Frideriksborg envited SZPV to work in project INCLUSIVE EMERGENCY. Four fire brigades from Denmark, Spain, Finland and Slovenia (from Frederiksborg, Alcalá de Guadaíra, Turku and Kranj) and four other organisations from these countries (Spanish Fundatión Marcelino Champagnat, Danish national association for autism Landsforeningen Autisme, Turku University of Applied Sciences and non-governmental organization Slovenian Fire Protection Association) are developing the first open and multilingual e-learning platform for firefighters on emergency planning and response when involving individuals with disabilities.

Photo: Visit of historic underground flour watermill, Alcalá de Guadaíra, Spain, December 2019.

Photo: Visit of historic underground flour watermill, Alcalá de Guadaíra, Spain, December 2019.

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The latest news from Slovenian agency of ERASMUS+ projects is that new project in which SZPV will work together with other five partners from Slovenia, Croatia and Czech Republic, was granted. The project title is SKILLED TO BE A FIRE EXPERT. Three universities (from Ljubljana, Zagreb and Ostrava), one specialized Croatian company, providing fire protecting engineering services and two non-governmental organizations – Majaczech from Bile Policany and SZPV from Ljubljana, both members of CFPA-E, will prepare an online learning platform for fire expert trainers. More information will be available after kick-off meeting of the project in October 2020.

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Link to CFPA-E guidelines from Slovenian authorities.

Slovenian government, Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief (URSZR) published a link to our Fire Protection Guidelines. Our member SZPV from Slovenia is actively participating in each year national project about the fire safety prevention activities month in Slovenia together with URSZR and Slovenian Association of Firefighters (GZS). This year topic of Fire safety month is dedicated to fire safety during vacations and holidays. There are number of CFPA-E guidelines to follow to prevent fire and stay well during that time of the year. It is gratifying that governments are paying attention to the source of knowledge that can be found on our website, www.cfpa-e.eu.

cfpa-statistics-england

Fire Statistics in England

The Home Office in England has released the latest fire and rescue incident statistics, for the year April 2019 to March 2020. FRS’s (FRS = Fire Rescue Services) attended 557,299 incidents in this year, a 3% fall compared with the year before. 153,957 of these incidents were fires, a 16% decrease, and it is interesting to see that it has been a fall in all types of fires. The statistics also show that there were 243 fire related deaths in 2019/20, and the year before it was 253. The number of fire related death is the lowest number of fire-related deaths in the annual series. 28% of the incidents that the FRS came to prove to be false alarms.

FEU-CFPA

FEU and CFPA Europe have this summer signed a new MoU

FEU, the Federation of the European Union Fire Officer Association, and CFPA Europe have this summer signed a new Memorandum of Understanding, MoU. It extends five years ahead and replaces an earlier agreement.
Since new year, CFPA Europe has a corresponding MoU with CTIF, the International Association of Fire and Rescue Services.
The major gathering VdS-FireSafety Cologne has been cancelled this year due to the Corona pandemic.

Covid-19: No VdS-FireSafety Cologne 2020 – but expert conferences will take place!

VdS-FireSafety Cologne has been cancelled for the first time, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The eight expert conferences on topics of fire protection and safety, otherwise staged as accompanying events, will be held nevertheless.

Cologne, June 2020. For the first time in nine years, the popular VdS-FireSafety Cologne – the annual end-of-year gathering, which had been scheduled for 2nd and 3rd December this year – has been cancelled. The reason for this decision was the great uncertainty about the further course of the Covid-19 pandemic and the accompanying measures, which affects the VdS Training Centre as the organizer just as much as the visitors and exhibitors.

Interested visitors do not have miss out on the entire programme, however, because the expert conferences that are normally staged on the occasion of VdS-FireSafety Cologne will be held nevertheless.

The major gathering VdS-FireSafety Cologne has been cancelled this year due to the Corona pandemic.

The major gathering VdS-FireSafety Cologne has been cancelled this year due to the Corona pandemic.

“The decision to cancel VdS-FireSafety Cologne was by no means easy for us,” emphasised Lars Braun, Deputy Divisional Director of the VdS Training Centre. “But protecting the health of our visitors and exhibitors has top priority for us. Added to this were fears that this major event and its accompanying program could not be carried out in the accustomed high quality if – as was to be expected – visitor restrictions, extensive safety measures and social distancing rules were to be observed. We have therefore decided to give our exhibitors and visitors a clear perspective with the greatest possible planning security as early as possible. We are now looking forward all the more to welcoming them again next year to the lively and varied VdS-FireSafety Cologne, which we all know and greatly value.”

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The expert conferences will take place

The eight VdS expert conferences that had been planned as a part of VdS-FireSafety Cologne 2020 will be staged as live events this year too, with a high-quality up-to-date programme. The VdS Training Centre is attaching great importance to the safety of participants and speakers, and will of course observe all official regulations.

Note: In view of the possible travel restrictions, the VdS expert conference “Fire Extinguishing Systems” – normally staged every two years as a two-day international event – will be held by way of exception on only one day this year, without simultaneous translation.

The expert conferences in overview:

  • Fire Extinguishing Systems
  • Fire Detection and Alarm Systems
  • Voice Alarm Systems
  • Smoke and Heat Exhaust Ventilation Systems
  • 48th Professional Development Seminar for Fire Protection Managers
  • Structural Fire Protection
  • Construction and Fire Protection In NRW
  • Security and Alarm Management

Up-to-date information about the expert conferences can be found at vds.de/fire-safety

Digital offer

The VdS Training Centre is currently devising digital offers that will enable exhibitors to present themselves together with their solutions and innovations. You will soon find further information at vds.de/fire-safety

covid-news

CFPA Europe faces the COVID-19

CFPA Europe would like to express its solidarity with all those affected by COVID-19. Being safe is the essence of our mission and determines all the decisions we make. The members of CFPA Europe are well prepared in looking after the interests of its employees, customers, and communities.

Whilst we continue to take steps to ensure the health and well-being of our own people, we also continue to keep in mind the needs of all our customers across Europe.

As an organisation we are working hard to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, following various national arrangements where members have asked their employees to work remotely, cut down on travel, restrict face-to-face meetings and to minimize participation in events or non-essential gatherings.

Our members across Europe have cancelled or postponed training courses, seminars, etc. Even our yearly General Assembly and meetings of the working commissions have been postponed from late spring to the autumn.

However, even in this Covid-19 crisis, we continue to inform and contribute knowledge for a safer world. We do this through our websites, Newsletters, Magazines, webinars, and so on.

We know that the situation will continue to change and we will continue to adapt our processes and change as we need to, to help to make the world a safer place. All the contact information, our publications, members lists across Europe and general information is available on the website www.cfpa-e.eu