Category Archives: Fire

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

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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)

VdS_Qatar

Qatar expands VdS-acceptance

The Ministry of the Interior of Qatar has renewed and significantly expanded its demands for VdS-approved products. In addition, VdS also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Fire & Security Association. You´ll find details in the attached press release.

Cologne/Germany, November 5th, 2019. VdS-Guidelines set safety standards in numerous countries. The “Fire Prevention Department – Safety Systems Division” of the Qatar Ministry of the Interior has now not only renewed its acceptance of VdS-approved products and systems, but has also significantly expanded it. The current “Recognised Product Certification Bodies” official letter comprises for VdS two pages with accepted fire alarm, extinguishing and smoke extraction technologies.

“The demands of the authorities in Doha underline the high level of trust in the performance of our laboratory engineers as well as in the expertise of our clients, who design and construct the reliable life-saving techniques,” emphasises Gunnar Bellingen, Head of the VdS Fire Protection Laboratories. “We are very pleased that our Seal of Quality is also regarded as a particularly reliable brand for safety in Qatar, as it is in many other countries around the world”.

VdS also supports its partners in the Emirates at “Intersec Dubai”, the largest sector trade fair in the region (January 19th – 21st). Furthermore, a Memorandum of Understanding has just been signed with the Fire & Security Association of India (FSAI), also in Dubai, which specifies future intensive technical exchange.

Caption Qatar: The authorities of Qatar are expanding their acceptance of VdS-approved fire protection systems – which have proven in comprehensive tests that they reliably save lives (pictured a sprinkler head release).

About VdS:

VdS is one of the world’s most renowned institutions for corporate safety and security. 500 experts offer a unique range of services for fire protection, security, cyber-security and natural hazard prevention.
Services include risk assessments, testing and certification, inspections, information systems for natural hazards and an extensive training program. In addition, the independent institute sets international safety and security standards with the publication of a comprehensive set of Guidelines.
The optimal protection of our partners is based on a worldwide unique safeguarding concept whose reliability builds on more than 110 years of VdS-experience, combining all core aspects of loss prevention. Decision-makers around the world rely on VdS-approved reliability and certainty.

More information at vds-global.com

 

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Participation of CFPA Europe in health and safety conference “Ambiente Lavoro” in Bologna

“CFPA Europe was invited to the health and safety conference “Ambiente Laboro” in Bologna and a special seminar with approx. 150 people was arranged on 15th October. Besides several speakers from Italy we had three CFPA E speakers who was guesting Italy. Our Director Tommy Arvidsson gave an introduction to the work that we are doing and Hardy Rusch talked about our Guidelines and John Briggs about our harmonized training courses.

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CFPA E’s member organisation in Italy has just got a new Director Francesco Santi and he and Mr Guido Zaccarelli who is active in some of our Commissions gave also presentations at the seminar. Some other speakers came from different companies in Italy and several underlined the CFPA E’s Guidelines big value.”

Development_hot_work_safety

Development of hot work safety training

One of the aims of the Finnish National Rescue Association is to develop training concepts and promote safe working methods. In Finland, hot work safety training has been provided since 1988. So far, hot work training has been completed more than 1.74 million times.

The content of hot work training has naturally evolved over time, and has emphasised slightly different things in different decades. The dangers posed by gases have been highlighted, for example, while the second year introduced a greater focus on the functionality of fire extinguishers. The main theme of training at the moment is risk assessment.

Better awareness of the risks means people are better able to prepare for them. It is worth remembering that although many aspects may feel extremely familiar, it is important to update and maintain professional skills. Hot work training is not just about gaining a licence, it is also a question of professional expertise. In an emergency, people’s minds tend to go blank so what to do needs to become automatic.

Cooperation between a number of actors and bodies

Developing hot work training is the result of longterm effort. According to statistics produced by Finance Finland (FFI), the number of major fires caused by hot work has fallen over the period in which training has been required, from just under 40% to less than 5% of all major fires.

The reduction in the number of fires caused by hot work shows that hot work training has passed on important knowledge and skills over the years. However, achieving these results has taken cooperation between many different actors.

Over the years, SPEK has worked with the Confederation of Finnish Insurance Companies (now Finance Finland), AGA, the Finnish Roofing Association, the Finnish Association of Fire Chiefs and the Finnish Construction Trade Union.

This collaboration needed expertise from the Finnish insurance industry, experience of industrial firefighting, the input of experts in rescue organisations and Nordic co-operation.

The training gained its current status under the guidance of the insurance sector, while fire safety experts in companies and institutions backed the establishment of safe hot work processes by making training compulsory for their own staff and their contractors. The teaching sector was actively involved and incorporated hot work safety training in vocational education. Organisations in the rescue sector took responsibility for training trainers, for national course management and ensuring the quality of the training.

In practice, however, the greatest thanks are due to the course leaders who have been training people new to hot work, those who grant licences and hot work guards, year after year.

We want to continue developing our training and ensure that we are able to guarantee its quality into the future. Personally, when it comes to developing the training, I think the most important aspect is listening to the needs of the workplace.

Also taking into account the different backgrounds of the trainees enables us to develop learning pathways that best serve them. In the future, we will definitely be seeing more of trends such as e-learning as part of hot work training. However, training as a whole cannot be fully carried out online as practical exercises on the ground are an important part of the learning process.

As the training changes, monitoring has to change with it.Our audits and the high standards we set for trainers are ways in which we strive to maintain high-quality training provision.

International collaboration creates opportunities

As the training changes, monitoring has to change with it. Our audits and the high standards we set for trainers are ways in which we strive to maintain high-quality training provision.
At company level, the number of fires caused by hot work has declined and health and safety associated with hot work has improved.
And most importantly, training has increased the ability of citizens to identify and combat fire risks, to act correctly in the event of an accident and to carry out fire extinguishing measures.

“We will continue to improve hot work safety – together!”

31.1.2019
Heli Hätönen
Head of Development
The Finnish National Rescue Association, SPEK

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