FIRE Protection news June 2020
Thousands more consumers at risk from faulty washing machines
London Fire Brigade is warning that thousands more consumers have learned they are at risk in their own homes from faulty washing machines that have been added to Whirlpool’s expanding list of recalled models
The company has announced it has identified a further 21 Hotpoint and Indesit models which are defective, with up to 55,000 of these appliances in UK homes.
This is in addition to more than 500,000 machines it recalled late last year. Even though Whirlpool has already managed to replace or repair more than 177,000, this means that more than 300,000 people could still have these potentially lethal washing machines in their homes.
London Fire Brigade is concerned about how quickly and easily Whirlpool will be able to get the dangerous appliances out of people’s homes during the Coronavirus lockdown, although the company has committed to ensuring the safety of both customers and staff, with additional measures such as contactless delivery and ensuring staff have PPE and hand sanitiser.
The issue with the affected machines is that the door locks could catch fire due to overheating during the wash cycle.
The Brigade’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, Charlie Pugsley, said: “We’ve been highlighting the issue of door switches causing fires in different white goods to Whirlpool and the industry for some time.
“We’re pleased they are taking further steps to get these potentially deadly washing machines out of people’s homes and offering replacements, but it’s concerning that five months on, so many further models at risk have now been identified.
“Due to the current situation, people who have one of these models in their home could be even more worried about how long it might take to get it removed and replaced.
“These washing machines need to be removed from people’s homes urgently.”
To read Whirlpool’s statement and find out if your model is affected, visit:
Whirlpool advises that anyone who has an affected model should unplug their machine immediately and register with the company for a replacement.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Pugsley added: “We would like to reiterate Whirlpool’s advice that anyone with an affected machine should unplug it immediately and contact them.
“Our Total Recalls campaign is calling on the government and manufacturers to implement a number of changes to make white goods safer.”
Read more about London Fire Brigade’s Total Recalls campaign at: www.london-fire.gov.uk/about-us/our-campaigns/total-recalls-making-whitegoods-safer/
Innovation Forum established to support fire industry
The Fire Industry Association reports on setting up an Innovation Forum to encourage and support the fire industry
Following a number of recent conversations, it is clear that there is a need to set up an Innovation Forum to allow innovators and would-be innovators a place to discuss their ideas and seek advice on how to bring their product/solution to market.
Innovation is described as the successful creation and implementation of new ideas; and it is crucial to a business being able to improve its processes, bring new and improved products and services to market, increase its efficiency and therefore, most importantly, improve its profitability.
The FIA, through access to its 900 member companies, its skilled and dedicated secretariat and its relationships with a network of key stakeholders, has an enormous well of knowledge to call upon when supporting its members and the public at large in the world of fire safety.
Following a number of recent conversations, it is clear that there is a need to set up an Innovation Forum, to allow innovators and would-be innovators a place to discuss their ideas and seek advice on how to bring their product/solution to market or how to exploit an existing product/solution into a wider field than they currently operate in.
The FIA has been involved in this area before, the most recent being part of a triumvirate to set up a Research and Development Hub for the Fire and Rescue Services, so we know how to help. Should this Innovation Forum accelerate, then it could build into something bigger later in the year, so, for now, we are asking members to join in and contribute as best they can.
Ian Moore, CEO of the FIA, said: “There are endless barriers to bring a fire safety system to market and rightly so as it is a life safety solution. Knowledge of standards, codes and best practice (never mind getting the technology to work) is vital to understand what is expected. However, sometimes you need to be prepared to write new standards, new testing criteria and best practice guides as those in existence don’t cover your new technology.
“I remember being told during my time at Cerberus that the first smoke detector was found purely by accident. Swiss scientist Walter Jaeger was attempting to invent a device which could detect poison gas. The idea was that the gas would enter the alarm system, and alter an electrical current inside, thereby setting off the alarm. However, when Jaeger tested the device, the gas did not alter the currents or trigger anything. Frustrated, he lit a cigarette and noticed that the smoke did register in his device. This was the beginning of what would later become the smoke detectors that we see everywhere. I am sure this is one of a number of anecdotes on how things were invented…
“I was lucky enough to lead a number of talented teams over the years that had that exact problem. One of the systems we developed back in the ’90s was video smoke detection and although it clearly worked in areas where nothing else was suitable (eg large voluminous areas), proving repeatability was a huge issue which stopped it being a mass-market product.
“Anyway, it is now fitted all around the world in a number of applications, we won the coveted Queen’s Award for Innovation, but it took years of hard slog to get it accepted as a viable option in the arsenal to effectively detect fire. So, you have my whole-hearted support in your efforts to bring new solutions to market to make the world safer from fire.”
Highly respected fire protection figure passes away
The Fire Protection Association is deeply saddened to announce the sudden death of David Poxon
It is with great sadness that the Fire Protection Association announces the sudden death of our colleague, David Poxon. David died suddenly on April 22, 2020 after a short battle with cancer.
David worked at the Fire Protection Association in both technical and management capacities on several occasions. His most recent return was in 2016 when he agreed to become Practice Principal Consultant responsible for assisting FPA clients with complex and varied fire safety projects, as part of the newly formed Professional Practice. In addition to this role he also assumed the roles of FPA’s Quality Manager, RISCAuthority Manager and RISCAuthority Passive Working Group Convenor.
Highly respected, David sat on several BSI committees, he was member of the IFE, a member the IFSM and was listed on their Nationally Accredited Fire Risk Assessor Register.
David started his career in the Fire and Rescue Service serving in Zimbabwe and South Africa progressing to the rank of Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Amanzimtoti Fire Brigade. After a brief stint in the power generation and petrochemical industries, David Joined the Fire Protection Association of Southern Africa where he served in training, technical and managerial roles before being appointed as General Manager.
Jonathan O’Neill, the Fire Protection Association’s Managing Director, said: “David’s sudden death is a huge loss to both his family and to the FPA; he was one of our most experienced technical assets and a great manager, mentor and friend to staff and associates. Our thoughts and prayers go to his family and to his many friends.”
Dr Jim Glockling, Director of RISC Authority, said: “What David achieved at the South African FPA was incredible. With very little funding behind him he assembled a dedicated workforce – and the demonstration lab was a thing to behold – absolutely first rate. Most of the equipment donated was I’m sure ‘because it was David asking’ and people liked him – as he was an incredibly decent human being. We will miss him terribly.”
A condolence book has been published on the FPA website and we invite everyone who knew and respected David to share their memories of him at www.tolbc.com/DavidPoxon
The FPA will organise a suitable memorial as and when the change in the current Covid-19 situation allows.
European association calls for postponing testing and certification
Euralarm reports on postponing the end date of the co-existence period for LVD standards
The Covid-19 crisis causes a burden for companies that have to finish their testing and certification programmes because of standards that will be superseded. Examples are the EN 60950-1:2006 and EN 60065 that are used for conformity testing of fire and security products for the Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU. Euralarm therefore urges to postpone the end date of the co-existence period of the EN 60950-1:2006 and EN 60065 for nine months.
Like others, the fire safety and security industry has to deal with the exceptional circumstances that are caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic not only affects the members of Euralarm but also the external resources that work for them such as test houses and notified bodies. As a result of the crisis the available (internal and external) resources are reduced significantly, causing delay and increasing project timescales.
By the end of this year the EN 62368-1 for the safety of electrical and electronic equipment within the field of audio, video, information and communication technology, will come into force. To make sure the existing products will comply with EN 62368-1, many manufacturers have to convert and/or adapt the products.
Because of the Covid-19 crisis manufacturers have already postponed these conversion/adaption projects or are experiencing disruption of the internal testing programmes. Others have been informed that outsourced testing would not be performed according to the planned schedule.
It is therefore quite impossible for manufacturers of fire safety and security products to have all their product portfolio compliant to the EN 62368-1:2014 before the deadline of December 20, 2020. This date was fixed by the European Commission long before the pandemic started.
In order to allow these companies to finish their testing and certification programs and therefore guarantee that the products will fulfill the essential requirements of the Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU (Commission Communication 2018/C 326/02 of 14.09.2018) Euralarm has urged the European Commission to consider postponing the end date of the co-existence period from December 20, 2020 to September 20, 2021.
Lighting Industry Association endorses Emergency Luminaire Endorsed Product Scheme
The Lighting Industry Association reports on endorsing the scheme that offers an opportunity for emergency lighting manufacturers to have their products individually endorsed by the Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting and the LIA
Due to increased scrutiny of emergency lighting and fire safety products, for the first time ever, the Lighting Industry Association (LIA) has created a new scheme to offer an opportunity for emergency lighting manufacturers to have their products individually endorsed by Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting (ICEL) and the LIA. We are excited to announce that the first company to achieve such certification is Emergency Lighting Products Limited.
The ICEL Product Endorsement scheme recognises products that have been developed and manufactured in accordance with the relevant safety directive and standards. This provides specifiers and end users with the confidence that the emergency lighting products they install have been scrutinised and have controlled manufacturing processes, with an independent verifiable assessment that the products have genuinely been subject to these checks.
Administrated by the LIA Compliance Team, all approved products will be listed on the ICEL Product Endorsement Scheme register. These products will also be entitled to use a special mark to indicate the endorsement and a strict process of annual audits will ensure products maintain their status.
Emergency Lighting Products Limited submitted their Emergency Escape/Exit Luminaire range for approval and after a meticulous evaluation process and documentation review, their product range has successfully passed the ICEL Product Endorsement Scheme criteria and now feature on the register
When asked why Emergency Lighting Products Limited got involved in the scheme, David Wright, Managing Director of Emergency Lighting Products Limited, commented: “Emergency Lighting Products Limited are very proud to receive official ICEL Endorsement of our first range of 12 emergency lighting luminaires. The new ICEL scheme provides an opportunity to have products, the manufacturing facility and all of the supporting documentation independently assessed, giving our customers even more confidence when making a purchasing decision. ELP will certainly be submitting more luminaires and conversion equipment for assessment under the ICEL Product Endorsement Scheme.”
If you are an ICEL member or carry emergency lighting in your range and are interested in getting your products endorsement, contact:
email@example.com; tel: 01952 290905; or visit: http://lialabcert.org.uk/our-services/certification-schemes/icelendorsed-info/
Who Are ICEL?
The LIA’s Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting (ICEL) specialises in providing support to LIA members and the emergency lighting market. ICEL members represent 80 per cent of the emergency lighting market in the UK.
Industry body supports campaign for sprinkler system quality
Specialist supplier AEI Cables report on winning support from a major industry body for its campaign highlighting the need for the highest quality of cabling for use in sprinkler systems
The Institution of Fire Prevention Officers (IFPO) is supporting the call for the need to ensure reliable continuous power for sprinkler systems. New blocks of flats of six storeys or higher could require sprinkler systems under new government plans being considered in the wake of various fire disasters.
Martin Dunne of the IFPO said: “We support the move towards increased use of sprinklers especially in tower blocks and the use of quality products including cables which ensure they will continue to operate in the event of a real fire.
“The recent advances in fire alarm technology will continue to give an early warning of a fire in its initial stages giving everyone the opportunity to use valuable time to evacuate the building.
“However, we must always remember that even the best super designed fire alarm system will not extinguish a fire.
“A sprinkler system always goes one step further as well as detecting a fire and raising the alarm it will also extinguish the fire to protect the structure by suppressing the fire developing further to protect the escape routes from the building even when unoccupied.”
Under current guidelines, sprinkler systems are required for buildings of 30 metres – approximately ten floors – or higher, but ministers are proposing to decrease this to 18 metres, approximately six floors and an announcement is expected soon.
The IFPO is a professional fire safety membership body promoting the advancement of fire safety education that encourages the appraisal, evaluation, research and study in the field of fire safety. It represents the interests of members on bodies and committees dealing with statutory controls, regulations, standards and codes of practice and maintains an approved Competency Council Register of Fire Risk Assessors.
AEI Cables’ Firetec Enhanced cabling is the only cable to be independently approved and certified by LPCB to BS8519 (Annex B) Category 3 Control for firefighting systems including sprinkler pumps, fire suppression water mist systems, water spray systems, wet riser pumps, wet riser valve and equipment monitoring under the Code of Practice.
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