Monthly Archives: January 2021

A robotic arm can save facades


Facade fires are a challenge that has been debated greatly in recent years. But now there is a new solution that uses existing technology to combat these dangerous fires in a new way.

A fire breaks out in an apartment in a high-rise building. It spreads and quickly breaks through a window. The flames spread through the broken window pane and threaten to ignite the facade, with the risk of further fire spreading. This is a well-known issue that has received a lot of attention in recent years – not least after the fire in Grenfell Tower in London.

But shortly after the window has been broken, an arm horizontally shoots out of the building. There is a nozzle on the arm, which directs itself towards the fire in the window, and sprays water onto the facade. That’s the idea behind Spraysafe, a solution developed by Johnson Controls.

– It combines detection on the facade with a nozzle that automatically ejects from the facade. There are several infrared detectors on the facade, and using triangulation, the solution calculates where the fire is and where the nozzle must direct its spray. The smart thing about the solution is that it uses well-known technology to deal with a current issue, says Lars V. Roed, Fire Safety Engineer at DBI – the Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology.

Undergoes full scale testing
Spraysafe can help to tackle a challenge faced by high-rise buildings. Because height makes it difficult for emergency services to fight a facade fire. At the same time, the solution can react faster than the emergency services and begin fire-fighting immediately after fire has been detected on the facade.

The testing institute, Thomas Wright-Bell International Consultants, has tested the solution according to SP method 5483, which investigates its range and ability to aim the water jet at the fire. Furthermore, it has been fully tested in a set-up that is identical to the Swedish SP Fire 105 standard, to investigate the effect of the solution in the event of a fire. The results were presented at a Society of Fire Protection Engineers conference in Malaga last year.

Alternative to replacing the facade
The tests show that the solution can prevent a fire from spreading along a facade. However, this does not mean that the solution is ready for use in construction. This depends on the regulations of this field in each individual country.

– But it looks interesting. Especially if the solution can be retrofitted to facades. In such a case, it may serve as an alternative to replacing a facade that is identified as a fire hazard. This is something that has been discovered about many facades in the UK, among others, after the fire in Grenfell Tower, says Lars V. Roed.


Fire protection in the course of the BIM (Building Information Modeling) application: start of the standardization in Germany

A working committee (VDI 2552 Sheet 11.6) at the Association of German Engineers (VDI) is starting works on the standardization of BIM application for fire protection. In particular, the information exchange requirements of those involved in fire protection for structures, such as the local building permit authority and fire brigade, planners manufacturers and installers of fire protection products and system, and insurers, are being systematically prepared. In this connection, the fire protection concept and individual fire protection measures are considering. Typical characteristics of the information exchange requirements include

  • tasks and role of a responsible person or party for a specific sub-process, e. g., planner,
  • process input, and output, including content, level of detail of the information and
  • time and addressees of the information delivery.

These specifications are intended to enable comprehensive coordination in the digital common data environment for BIM projects (CDE) and map the building information required for fire protection in the digital twin of buildings and their whole life cycle. The working committee will also examine whether the available open data format ICF (Industry Foundation Classes) according to ISO 16739, can fully cover the concerns of fire protection. If necessary additional specifications are to be defined in collaboration with ICF experts.


Landlord got prosecuted for ‘serious’ fire safety breaches

In Reading, England, a landlord got prosecuted because he did not meet the required standard of accommodation, and the council fines the landlord £ 66,000. The occupants were left “vulnerable to becoming trapped in the event of a fire”.

The court ruling is a warning to all landlords who are not ensure they comply with rules, or take action to protect their tenants.

Read more:

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Condolences for a member of the CFPA Europe family

CFPA Europe’s former chair Alain Georges from Belgium, died on 26 December as a result of cancer.
He was only 74 years old. It was in the 90th Mr Georges was chair for CFPA Europe, in total six years.
We are deeply sorry about the loss of Alain Georges, and our hearts go out to his family.

75 Anniversary Year

CFPA Europe’s member in UK, the Fire Protection Association, has a campaign, called “Know your building” as a part of their anniversary.
This campaign aiming to achieve:
- Fire sprinkler systems to be a regulatory requirement for commercial buildings such as care homes, schools, hospitals and healthcare premises
- For all businesses to have a fire strategy as part of a robust business continuity plan
- For third party certification to be regulatory requirement for all fire safety services and products.
Read more about the campaign on