Category Archives: Fire

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

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Participation CFPA Europe in SICUR

The International Exhibition of Safety, Security and Fire (SICUR) took place from February 24 to 27, in Madrid. CFPA Europe has joined Cepreven (our Spanish member, visit www.cepreven.com) at its booth. Both institutions were very active during the Exhibition.

fOTO SICUR

Many visitors have been attracted to the stand and there has been much exchange of information and knowledge.

SICUR is the most important fair in the fire prevention and safety and security sectors in Spain, with 43,723 attendees, 1,344 participating companies, 651 exhibitors and 81 countries

Grenfell Tower fire update

grenfell

Flammable facade cladding, incorrect fire ventilation, no sprinkler system, dubious evacuation strategy and fire doors which only held for 11 minutes. There were problems all round when Grenfell Tower caught fire in summer 2017 and 297 people were trapped inside. The latest information about the fire has been revealed at a recent conference hosted by DBI – The Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology.

Two and a half years after the catastrophic fire at Grenfell Tower in London, which claimed 72 lives, work on the final report is still ongoing. In the meantime, new information is constantly coming to light and contributing to an overall picture of how things could go so wrong. The latest information has been presented at a conference at DBI.

At the conference, it was once again established that the fire started in a fridge-freezer in a 4th floor flat. The fire services arrived after 6 minutes, quickly extinguished the fire and were on their way back when they noticed flames on the exterior of the building. Shortly afterwards, a resident on the 21st floor of the block reported signs of fire. A few minutes later, a resident on the 14th floor reported smoke inside their flat, and immediately afterwards the fire reached the roof of the 23 storey high residential block. It can thus be concluded that the fire leapt 19 storeys in just 30 minutes.

Flammable materials
What had happened was that the fire had reached the facade via the kitchen window at the point where the fire originated and had travelled to the other side of the building and into a bedroom there. That the fire could spread so quickly was due to the fact that the kitchen window reveals were made of uPVC, which became soft and bent from the heat from the fire. This created an opening into the external wall and allowed flames and hot gases to enter the cavity between the building’s insulation and the facade panels, which were a sandwich construction with aluminium on the outside and a polyethylene core.

A chimney effect in the cavity caused the temperature to rise very rapidly. Fire stops mounted in the facade did not work, so the fire was able to move upwards. As the window sashes and frames were of flammable plastic materials, they melted and caught light, after which the fire was able to penetrate into more flats.

– No-one had imagined that a fire would enter the building from the outside. It was thought it would be the other way round, said John Briggs of Britain’s National Fire Protection Association (FPA), who has participated in the work on one of the Grenfell reports.

A string of problems
But this was not the end of the chain of unfortunate events. The ventilation system in the stairwell also failed to work as it should. Moreover, it was only designed for extracting smoke from one floor at a time, as the assumption was that a fire would only come from one flat. Subsequent testing of the fire doors in the building shows that they could only withstand a fire for 11 minutes.

– The evacuation strategy also had a role in the number of fatalities. In accordance with the so-called ‘stay-put’ policy, residents were instructed to stay in their own flats as long as they were not on fire. The flats were designed to prevent fire spread, and it was wished to avoid hundreds of residents heading down a narrow stairway while firefighters were on their way up, Briggs explained.

Only at 2:35 a.m. – one and a half hours after the fire services were called out – did the fire control centre change tactics and began to ask residents to leave the building when they rang the emergency services. At 8:00 a.m. the last surviving resident was evacuated.

Investigations have shown that at least the smoke alarm system worked as it should.

Would a sprinkler system have helped?
One of the subsequent questions has also been whether sprinkler systems would have made a difference. Here the experts behind the reports are somewhat in doubt.

– If a sprinkler system had been able to put out the fire before it reached the facade, this may possibly have been sufficient to control the fire. But, if all four sprinkler heads were triggered, there would only have been water for three minutes. In addition, to activate a sprinkler system, there would have to have been more flames and much higher temperatures than was the case, Briggs noted, observing that:

– As the fire services had already arrived after six minutes, sprinkling would have made no difference.

After the accident, sprinkler systems were installed in all high-rise buildings in England. This took nine months and cost 9 million pounds.

Government denies responsibility
The official report indicates that there is strong evidence that the building’s external wall construction did not meet the requirement for adequately preventing fire spread in relation to the height, use and location of the building. The British Government has thus commissioned a second report to define the regulatory changes needed to prevent similar accidents. However, the government denies any responsibility and refers to incompetence among those involved as the cause of the disaster. According to John Briggs and the FPA, however, the problem is that building legislation is out of date.

– We have not had a proper review of UK building regulations for more than 15 years. Modern building methods mean you can build pretty much what you want, because the building legislation does not compel you to do so in a specified safe way. No-one checks that the components for preventing fire spread are made properly, and the legislation does not touch on how to produce them, Briggs said, stressing that construction players will not change until they are forced to do so.

The final report with recommendations for changes is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

ANPI is proud to announce the publication of its Technical Report about the possible developments and uses of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in fire and intrusion protection systems

What place for fire and intrusion protection systems against artificial intelligence?
A seminar and a technical report to take stock…

by Information & Media Centre, ANPI – National Fire and Intrusion Protection Association, Belgium

A technical repor

In the coming decades, we may face technological risks of various origins, and the development of artificial intelligence (AI) could be part of it, as an ally or as an adversary. In response, the security sector must examine these potential risks in the context of analytical efforts, forecasting programs, risk assessments and uncertainty management. This can involve significant policy and coordination challenges, but given the high stakes, security actors must take reasonable steps to take full advantage of the potential benefits of these technologies while minimizing the risks.
ANPI has published a technical report to take stock of the importance of AI for fire and intrusion protection systems. This report aims to give a first image of what AI is and what its challenges and possibilities are. Definitions are given, notably through standardization activities and regulations, at international and European levels. Possible applications, or those already under development, are outlined in various areas of security. Due to the uncertainty and opacity of AI systems, the focus is put on risk management, in designing a technology that should combine robustness, trustworthiness and ethics.
This technical report is published in French and Dutch and will be available through ANPI’s e-shop on,www.anpi.be, in paper and electronic PDF format – 20 pages.
References:
– ANPI Technisch Dossier DTD 168: Welke plaats voor beveiligingssystemen tegenover artificiële intelligentie?
– ANPI Dossier Technique DTD 168 : Quelle place pour les systèmes de protection face à l’intelligence artificielle ?

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A seminar…

On the occasion of the publication of its new Technical Report, ANPI organized a study day on December 6, 2019 intended to raise professional awareness of the challenges among company security managers, decision-makers, technical and building managers, security and intervention services, etc.
This seminar aimed to give a more distinct picture of what AI is, and what the challenges and opportunities are for the sector. It provided a better view of the foreseeable impact of AI in the area of security (fire and intrusion) and helped to explore possible avenues.
Speakers (from left to right):
– Florian Vandecasteele, firefighter and engineer at Architects for business & ICT, shed new light on current AI research in the usage of information techniques, in particular BIM tools, video information and thermal image footages to support fire forecasting and fire behaviour analysis;
– Jelle Hoedemaekers, ICT Standardisation Expert at Agoria, the Belgian technology sector federation, presented the international AI standardisation landscape, the ISO working groups and activities, focusing on the Risk Management developments;
– Yannick Gillet, Specialist in AI and robotics, provided an initial insight on the AI functioning and capabilities;
– Benoît Stockbroeckx, Head of Division of ANPI Laboratory, insisted on the upcoming AI developments in fire and theft protection;
– Hervé Jacquemin (absent on the picture), Professor of law at the Namur University, gave a focus on certain legal questions raised by the use of AI (liability, contract, etc.) in industrial and technical settings.

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Who is ANPI?

ANPI, the Belgian National Fire and Intrusion Protection Association, is a permanent information tool for safety and security professionals: prevention consultants, manufacturers, installers, users, fire departments and authorities. The purpose of ANPI is to promote its activities through its 5 Divisions: Information, Regulation and Standardization, Laboratories, Certification and Inspection.
Website: https://www.anpi.be/en
Contact: Delphine Rasseneur, communication manager – ANPI, Information & Media Centre dra@anpi.be
ANPI asbl/vzw
Granbonpré 1
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
Belgium
T: +32 (0)10 47 52 11
F: +32 (0)10 47 52 70
info@anpi.be

Fire and explosion in battery compartment in Norwegian hybrid ferry

Brand-på-hybridfærge

In October, the Norwegian hybrid ferry “Ytterøyningen” was hit first by a fire and then an explosion. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but the incident has resulted in increased focus on other hybrid ferries which are in operation.

In the early evening on 10 October 2019, fire broke out in the battery compartment on the Norwegian hybrid ferry “Ytterøyningen”, which runs the route Sydnes-Halsnøy south of Bergen. The fire department and the police were alerted, and the fire was declared under control a couple of hours later. 15 people were on board, of which two needed to be checked by a doctor due to suspicion of smoke inhalation.

However, at 7:00 the next morning, the ferry was shaken by an explosion in the battery compartment which was so powerful that the car deck was pushed up. Now, a couple months later, there is still no official accident report from the Norwegian authorities of the incident, so the cause of both the fire and the explosion are still unknown. Still, several experts have come forward with some general assessments.

– The battery pack on Ytterøyningen was just under 2,000 kWh, which according to DBI’s experts in lithium-ion battery-fires suggests that the fire was not in the battery itself. This is because fires in much smaller batteries can take several days to extinguish. Therefore, the fire probably started somewhere else and then spread to parts of the battery compartment, says Carsten Møller, who is a business developer at DBI, the Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology.

Disconnected BMS
In addition, yet another unanswered question is whether thorough ventilation of the battery compartment was initiated after the fire was extinguished, since a damaged battery can leak explosive gases. Even minor physical damage on the battery can develop, posing problems over time, since chemical reactions in some of the materials can occur.

– However, this is usually not a problem, since the battery management system (BMS) normally alerts in good time, e.g. of gas formation and increases in temperature, says Carsten Møller.

Still, after the fire, it has now emerged that Ytterøyningen’s battery pack was not in use or connected to the management system during the two weeks prior to the incident.

– Large batteries are to be handled in accordance with the so-called SoC rule (State of Charge) if they are not connected to a battery management system, which in practice means that the battery must be discharged to a certain level. Therefore, the question is also how much the battery was discharged during the period when it was not connected to the battery management system, says Carsten Møller.

New recommendations
While a clarification of the cause of fire is being prepared, the Norwegian Maritime Authority recommends that battery packs on ships must always be connected to a battery management system, also even if they are not used for a period of time.

Whether the incident has consequences for some of the other hybrid ferries in operation is difficult to predict as long as the cause of the fire is still unclear. Work is currently being done in Norway on a conversion of the country’s many small ferries to battery power. Thus, 60 ferries are expected to run on battery power by the end of 2021.

First-aid-extinguishing-is-also-an-Environmental-Achievement

First-aid extinguishing is also an Environmental Achievement

First-aid extinguishing saves lives and property. Last year fire brigades were dispatched to 5414 building fires, 20 per cent of which were put out with first-aid extinguishing. Eleven per cent of building fires were curbed by first-aid extinguishing. First-aid extinguishing can also be seen as an environmental achievement because it prevented 1,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions being released into the atmosphere.

Last year 18 people would have sustained more severe burn injuries if the fires would have spread freely, without first-aid extinguishing. Individual initiative helped save EUR 85 million worth of property. These figures are based on the estimates of Emergency Services College.

Fires also constitute a threat to the environment. However, thanks to first-aid extinguishing 1,400 fewer tonnes of carbon dioxide and 60 fewer tonnes of small particles were emitted into the atmosphere compared to fully developed fires. These estimates were compiled by comparing the average emissions of fires vis-à-vis the fires which were put out by first-aid extinguishing.

– Even if the numbers are not exact, they clearly demonstrate an impact. First-aid extinguishing makes a great difference, both in environmental and human terms, says Johannes Ketola, Data Systems Designer at the Emergency Services College.

Still, there is room for improvement. Last year there were 200 building fires in Finland where nobody even attempted first-aid extinguishing, even though there were people and fire extinguishers at the site.

First-aid extinguishing is a civic skill that everyone can learn. AS1 permit first-aid extinguishing courses are organised around the country; the Finnish National Rescue Association (SPEK) is responsible for their development and quality.

– Decisive action, without endangering oneself, is indispensable when fire strikes. The most important thing is to save those in danger, says Heli Hätönen, Head of Development at SPEK.

– Learning the skills needed for first-aid extinguishing is a good, practical way to ensure the safety of people and property. Even though a fire is a frightening experience, it is much easier to spring into appropriate action to extinguish it after having received training.

Benefits-first-aid-extinguishing-2018

21.2.2019
Johannes Ketola
First-aid extinguishing statistics
Data Systems Designer
Emergency Services College

Heli Hätönen
First-aid extinguishing training
Head of Development
The Finnish National Rescue Association, SPEK

Link to original

Take human behaviour into account, and improve your fire safety

ship

New knowledge about human behaviour can be applied to the design of ships and their fire safety plans. This leads to more safety and minimises the risk of lives and assets being lost.

It is not enough to look to preventive measures and technical solutions if you want to ensure fire safety on ships. If you solely focus on this, you are not taking into account the most frequent cause of fires – human behaviour. Experts from the US Coast Guard believe that this is the cause of almost all fires on ships. If you take behaviour into account, however, you can make more realistic risk assessment and make better plans for the fire strategy – and safety.

– It leads to better fire safety, and we expect this will lead to less casualties in the event of fires and less assets being lost. But it requires a great deal of knowledge within the area, and we haven’t had that before now, says Thomas Hulin, Project Manager at DBI – The Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology.

Small factors with great consequences
That knowledge has been gained through anthropological studies of human behaviour during incidents at sea. It has provided DBI with insights into a number of factors that are not covered by any guidelines, but which have significant consequences in the event of a fire. For example, a ship’s fire safety strategy is based on every crew member knowing precisely what to do if a fire breaks out. But the training for that might have taken place after the members of the crew had just flown halfway across the world to sign on – in other words, at a time when they were not really ready to be instructed.

Another example is that different cultures and languages found among a multinational crew makes communication difficult during a fire. Or perhaps spaces are being used in a different way that the fire strategy requires – for example, flammable materials might be stored near a potential source of ignition. Each of those examples may have far-reaching consequences for whether a fire will occur and spread.

A holistic approach leads to better safety
The new knowledge makes it possible to add the human factor to the fire strategy and to take it into account when designing ships.

– It makes it possible to have a holistic approach where you don’t just focus on technical solutions and regulations, but also focus on how people act and react. It leads to far more realistic scenarios and can, among other things, be used with the FMEA methodology (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis). The robust experience on the area can be translated into specific designs, and even the early design will allow one to see where the critical points will be, says Thomas Hulin.

Meeting with Heikki Vannanen 2019-11-19

This week our Director Tommy Arvidsson met Policy Officer Heikki Vaananen from European Commission in Brussels

Mr Vaananen is working in Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs” and FIEP (Fire Information Exchange Platform) is nowadays under his responsibility. He has been working 15 years in EC and earlier in DG Joint Research Centre and also DG GROW. To the left is Ministerial Advisor Kirsi Rajaniemi from the Finnish Ministry of the Interior.

DITUR Belgrade 2019 1

DITUR, member of CFPA E, has organized the “DITUR Conference 2019″ in Belgrade on 30-31 October 2019

The Conference has had a great success of participation with 140 attendees. Tommy Arvidsson, the Director of CFPA Europe, has made a presentation on the work carried out by CFPA Europe and the involvement of the 23 members of the confederation.

DITUR Belgrade 2019 5

Likewise, different representatives of CFPA Europe member associations participated in the conference as Milan Hajdukovic, who is the chair of Slovenian Fire Protection Association, Leon Pajek from Promat and a Vds representative. Host for this conference is Professor Barbara Vidakovic from DITUR.

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Last week in Italy three firefighters have died due to an intentional explosion of gas bombs. Funds are being raised for families.

E’ con profondo dolore che il Corpo nazionale sta vivendo queste giornate di lutto per la scomparsa di Matteo GASTALDO, Marco TRICHES e Antonio CANDIDO, i tre colleghi vigili del fuoco deceduti durante l’intervento di Quargnento.
La squadra composta da cinque vigili del fuoco del comando provinciale di Alessandria era intervenuta intorno alla mezzanotte per la segnalazione di un incendio di abitazione. Giunta sul posto verificava la presenza di un cascinale composto da due edifici, quello più piccolo interessato da un’esplosione d’intensità non particolarmente importante.

Notato all’interno dello stesso un principio d’incendio e segni evidenti di effrazione a una delle finestre, la squadra penetrava rinvenendo nel locale due bombole di GPL con collegato un piccolo apparecchio, che faceva pensare a un timer. Spente le fiamme e messe in sicurezza le bombole, la squadra procedeva alla verifica del secondo corpo di fabbrica, più grande. Dopo le ore 01.00, riscontrati anche su questo dei segni di effrazione a una delle finestre, in accordo anche con i colleghi dei carabinieri, i vigili del fuoco entravano all’interno, quando venivano investiti dalla seconda e devastante esplosione, che produceva il crollo totale della struttura. La natura di questa esplosione è in corso di accertamento da parte dell’Autorità giudiziaria, con rilievi tecnici svolti dai carabinieri e dai tecnici del NIA dei vigili del fuoco.

Nell’esplosione restavano feriti gli altri due componenti della squadra, il caposquadra Giuliano DODERO e il vigile Graziano LUCA TROMBETTA, oltre al carabiniere, ricoverati il primo nell’ospedale di Alessandria e in quello di Asti gli altri due.

Sul posto si sono recati nel primo pomeriggio il ministro dell’Interno Luciana Lamorgese, insieme al Capo Dipartimento dei Vigili del fuoco Salvatore Mulas e al Capo del Corpo nazionale dei Vigili del fuoco Fabio Dattilo, che hanno poi verificato in ospedale condizioni dei tre feriti.Donazione (1)