Granada City Fire Brigade opt for UK PPE

Bristol Uniforms, a leading designer and manufacturer of protective clothing for emergency services across the globe, and its International Distributor, Total Safety Clean, report on securing a large contract with Granada City Fire Brigade

Granada City Fire Brigade in southern Spain is responsible for protecting the citizens of Granada. They have ordered 200 sets of Bristol’s lightweight and ergonomic XFlex structural firefighting kit, with a TITAN1260 outer layer, a Gore® Crosstech® Fireblocker moisture barrier and an Eco-Dry Active thermal barrier.

TITAN1260 has recently been introduced to the Spanish market. It is manufactured by PBI Products Ltd and has been specially developed to minimise the risk of heat stress to firefighters.

Heat stress is a life-threatening condition, and is the number one cause of firefighter casualties. It increases muscular fatigue and interferes with cognitive function, causing a serious loss of balance and co-ordination, which can result in slips and falls. The healthy human body maintains its internal temperature at around 37°C, but a rise of just 1°C to 38°C is enough to cause significant harm and disorientation. Heat stress also increases cardiovascular strain, in some cases leading to cardiac arrest and death.

TITAN1260 has a smooth surface which allows excellent air circulation, enhancing breathability. It also uses specially selected yarns to optimise strength without sacrificing comfort.

In addition, Granada City Fire Brigade has added extra features to their new kit, including an integrated safety harness, which is incorporated into the trouser and is accessed through openings in the lower part of the coat.

Paco Griso of Total Safety comments: “Granada City approached us as they were having issues with the breathability of their current kit. Their firefighters were getting too hot, which can be extremely dangerous. The fabric combination we were able to offer, including the newly introduced TITAN1260, meant that these breathability issues were resolved. In addition, Bristol’s XFlex design, with its innovative sports styling, appealed because it allowed maximum manoeuvrability – very important for firefighters who continuously undertake varied and physical activities.”

Richard Cranham, International Sales manager at Bristol Uniforms, said: “TITAN1260 is new to the Spanish market. Used in combination with the right moisture barrier and lining, it can make a huge difference and help keep firefighters cool when on the job. We first started talking to Granada City last year following discussions with them at Sicur 2018. Not only will they have the latest cutting-edge kit which protects firefighters inside and out, they will also have additional features such as an integrated harness, which will add to the overall functionally of the kit.”

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Top health and safety award goes to care provider for protecting residents and colleagues

Care UK Residential Care Service has won the Best Practice Award judged and presented by the National Association of Safety and Health in Care Services

The award, which is only announced biennially, recognises the commitment, work and investment that has gone into further boosting fire safety in Care UK’s 120 homes across England and Scotland.

Care UK’s Head of Health and Safety Richard Price said: “We have almost 7,000 residents, many of whom would be unable to evacuate by themselves in an emergency.

“We also have a Chief Executive who is passionately committed to health and safety and who wanted to raise profile and understanding within the wider business. As a result, we had everything we needed to take us to the highest possible level of compliance.”

As well as appointing a new fire risk assessor to achieve high level reviews in all homes, Richard and his team spent a great deal of time devising and implementing training for colleagues in home fire drills. The team also met regularly with Essex County Fire and Rescue to share ideas on the innovations.

Richard said: “We do everything possible to ensure residents and colleagues are given exceptional protection, including creating an enhanced five-tier approach to risk rating that better enables our property services team to prioritise actions and manage risk.

“All the new homes that we build have sprinklers as standard and all homes’ addressable panels have been upgraded. A new approved contractor list for fire remedial work was created, to maintain a consistent quality of workmanship.

“We also devised an online action management tool, administered by home managers, allowing for easier management of fire risk assessment actions, and this can be viewed at any time by regional directors, who can alert the appropriate teams of overdue actions.

“I am very proud of the hard work the wider team within the organisation have put into improving fire safety compliance and I am also very proud that the senior team at Care UK understood and was prepared to take on the investment and enormous commitment, recognising the importance of leading from the front.”

Humberside takes delivery of the UK’s first fire appliance

Scania report on Humberside Fire and Rescue Service becoming the first UK fire and rescue service to introduce a new generation Scania L-series fire appliance into service

Equipped with Scania’s all-new low entry cab, the vehicle carries an aerial ladder platform (ALP), which at 45-metres is the joint highest in the country.

To achieve Humberside’s overall on-road height requirement of 3.55-metres and provide maximum manoeuvrability and a high level of visibility for the driver, the vehicle has been specified with a low height Scania L 360 B6x2*4 rear-steer chassis. Plated at 26-tonnes gross vehicle weight, the truck has Scania’s 360 horsepower, nine-litre engine and is fitted with Scania’s CL20L all-steel safety cab, which in addition to two seats provides a generous storage area behind the seats.

The ALP is a Bronto Skylift FL45XR model supplied and fitted by Yorkshire-based Angloco Limited. This is the first of its type to be mounted on a Scania L-series chassis and only the second 45-metre ALP in the UK, the other being with Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service. Compact and lightweight in construction, the ALP stows to less than 12-metres overall length for transportation. Its cage can raise 500 kilogrammes vertically with the load monitored automatically, and there is an integrated, space-saving 3,800-litre per minute capacity water nozzle. Lightweight co-polymer bodywork, aluminium roller shutter doors and locker space for auxiliary equipment completes the bodywork specification.

“We operate a 65-strong all-Scania fleet of heavy fire appliances, and are proud to be the first UK fire and rescue service to adopt the new L-series,” comments Andy Day, Fleet and Operational Equipment Manager for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service. “We continue to specify Scania for their build quality and longevity – our experience is that we see up to five extra years of service from Scania chassis compared to others we have operated in the past. We are planning to keep this latest addition to our fleet for 20 years, during which it will be initially based at our Calvert Lane Fire Station in Hull – where its height means it will be capable of reaching the top of every residential building in the city.”

For Scania, Specialist Sales Manager – Fire and Airside, David Carter said: “Humberside is a long-established Scania operator and we are delighted to see this new breed of low-height ALP enter service with them. The vehicle represents a joint-development project between Humberside, Angloco and Scania, and we now look forward to seeing it deliver many years of successful front line service.”

For Angloco, Managing Director Alistair Brown added: “Angloco has a decades’ long tradition of working with Humberside Fire and Rescue Service and the customer’s input has not just been accommodated but a valuable driver of design and innovation. This appliance demonstrates what can be achieved when the very best tech all comes together in a neat package. Thanks to its telescopic tip boom the new 45-metre Bronto allows for up-over-down capabilities for unparalleled reach and rescue. Although stepping up from a traditional 32-metre appliance to the new 45-metre is a huge improvement, perhaps even more significant is its broad operating envelope and that the Bronto keeps great outreach even at height.”

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Young Exporter Award

The winner of the GTR-BExA Young Exporter Award is Clare Hunter from Coltraco Ultrasonics. The company reports on its latest exporting success

Clare Hunter leads Coltraco’s marketing and communications strategy and coordinates its global network. She has been working for Coltraco for eight years and has participated in helping it achieve a double in turnover in six years.

Presenting Hunter with her award at the BExA annual lunch, BExA Co-Chair Geoff de Mowbray noted that the judges had been impressed with the hard work that she has undertaken to drive forward Coltraco’s export strategy. “With her vast knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment to developing Coltraco’s export business, it’s evident that her role goes far beyond her marketing and communications title. She is a terrific all-rounder with a true passion for export,” he said.

This accolade follows Coltraco Ultrasonics’ Queen’s Awards for International Trade 2019. Overcoming barriers to enable their customers to buy wherever they are in the world, Coltraco Ultrasonics are proud to export to 120 countries as of 2019. Clare is part of the team dedicated to supporting their international customer base through a global network of strategic partners and ODA service stations as well as a digital presence, to ensure that their customers benefit from lifetime customer care commitment.

Coltraco Ultrasonics are committed to innovation and proud to design and manufacture in Britain. They are honoured to be partners with the GREAT campaign and supporting government departments such as BEIS, DIT, DfT and more.

Redefining sprinkler installation

Victaulic reports on launching the latest innovation for the European fire protection market, the Victaulic FireLock™ IGS™ Style V9 Sprinkler Coupling and line of FireLock IGS grooved sprinklers

Victaulic is pleased to announce the fire industry’s first installation-ready sprinkler in Europe that is UL Listed and FM-approved with the launch of its FireLock IGS Style V9 Sprinkler Coupling and line of FireLock IGS grooved sprinklers.

Created to replace threads on both sprinkler outlets and sprinklers, this mechanical connection redefines sprinkler system design and installation in exposed applications, particularly the storage and warehouse market. The innovative coupling has one-bolt, is captured onto sprinklers with a connection size of DN15, DN20 or DN25, and transitions to DN25 allowing for the standardisation of DN25 IGS outlets.

“The storage, warehouse and distribution centre market has undergone significant growth and transformation, creating a need for fire suppressions that are both easily installed and reconfigured,” said Daniel Wake, Victaulic Product Manager. “Victaulic already has a unique portfolio of products and services that offer value and versatility from the street to the sprinkler head, and the installation-ready sprinkler technology just compounds the advantages of using Victaulic. Working in the industry from the ground up for almost 20 years, this is the most exciting product development process I’ve been fortunate to take part in.”

The FireLock IGS Style V9 Sprinkler Coupling and FireLock IGS grooved sprinklers were recently chosen as finalists in the 2019 CSE Product of the Year awards.

The sprinkler and coupling arrive on site pre-assembled, with no loose parts and require no preparation before installation, also known as installation-ready technology that Victaulic introduced to the industry in 2005. The biggest time-saver and labour management advantage seen with introducing installation-ready technology to sprinkler installation is the elimination of sprinkler prep work and the associated consumables (tape and dope). By eliminating taping and doping on the ground, all fitters can be utilised in the air hanging and installing system components.

Another advantage of the Victaulic Installation-Ready sprinkler coupling is that it does not require complicated training or tools, engineering confidence into every build. Utilising visual confirmation of one bolt-pad for proper installation instead of using a torque wrench makes installation simple and gives users peace-of-mind.

Currently, fitters must install a sprinkler using a sprinkler wrench that is physically demanding to the fitter due to strenuous repetitive motion and potentially damaging to the sprinkler frame due to applied torque. Now, utilising a mechanical connection with one bolt allows the fitter to use a power tool to save both wear and tear on their body, and avoid applying torque directly to the sprinkler frame. Reducing torque applied to sprinkler frame and replacing the frictional connection with a mechanical one, in turn reduces the likelihood of leaks when the system is pressurised. Rework due to leaks can add an average of one day per system, a costly necessity until now.

For additional details on the FireLock IGS Style V9 Sprinkler Coupling and FireLock IGS grooved sprinklers, visit:

Changes made to Essex County Fire and Rescue Service firefighter PPE

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has gone live with its new PPE

Essex firefighters have started wearing their new and improved kit to help them carry out their roles while better protected and more comfortable.

The key changes to Essex firefighter PPE are:

  • A new separate rescue jacket to be used at incidents such as road traffic collisions and field/grass fires.
  • A lighter, re-designed and repositioned helmet, making it more comfortable.
  • More ergonomic trousers which are less prone to rips and tears.
  • Additional waterproof lining within the boots, which also include handles to make it easier to pull them up.
  • Two sets of gloves – structural and rescue.

The main change that the public will see is a ‘Rescue Jacket’, a new addition to the service’s PPE that firefighters will wear when attending road traffic collisions and field/grass fires. These new jackets are Class 3 High Visibility which means they meet the requirements for high visibility for working on roadways and are of a lightweight and ergonomic design.

The new PPE has been purchased through a National Collaborative PPE framework. Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has been represented on this project from its inception at the end of 2014, being involved in the writing of the specifications and the evaluations over a six month period at the Fire Service College. The Framework is available to all fire and rescue services across the country and the PPE is supplied by Bristol Uniforms.

Watch Manager Jayne Moore, Lead Officer for PPE in the Technical Services team, headed up the project, said: “It has been a great pleasure working with colleagues nationally to achieve a new improved set of firefighting PPE for our firefighters.

“Innovation inevitably occurs during the course of each contract enabling us to improve the PPE we provide. By purchasing a National Framework, we have been able to do this and add additional items of PPE while making an annual cost saving of approximately 25 per cent.”

Incident Command Unit goes on the run in Wales

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has teamed up with Excelerate and Emergency One to deliver a brand-new Incident Command Unit to its fleet. The vehicle has been built by Emergency One whilst Excelerate has installed their market leading critical communications technology on-board the ICU

The new Incident Command Unit will be deployed at major incidents enabling the sharing of critical information – data, video and voice – to support incident management and will serve to strengthen the resilience and operational response of the service and its partnering agencies.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Davies said: “We are delighted to work with Excelerate and Emergency One to deliver this state-of-the-art Incident Command Unit to the communities of mid and west Wales.

“Despite the continuing financial pressures that are placed upon public services, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is determined to realise its vision; to be a world leader in emergency response and community safety. To achieve this, we always accept that there is scope for continuous improvement, but this brand-new Incident Command Unit will certainly allow us to move closer towards achieving our vision.

“Through the purchase of this new ICU, complete with new technological solutions, we are setting out to better our operational response at major incidents; this will enable improved sharing of information with partner agencies and our Joint Fire Control, whilst also improving our communications capability on the incident ground.

“This vehicle will also enhance our ability to manage major incidents and, therefore, improve the safety of our fire fighters, improve decision making at incidents and improve our operational learning.

“The work carried out with Excelerate and Emergency One will enable us to successfully achieve these objectives and future proof our incident command capability. These benefits will become visible throughout our Service area in the years to come.”

The vehicle, based on a Mercedes Sprinter chassis, will feature 3G/4G and satellite communications ensuring uninterrupted connectivity wherever and whenever required which is critical where public networks might not exist, are unreliable or need extra resilience.

Operating from their HQ in Cardiff, Excelerate continues to be the communications technology supplier of choice to the emergency services in Wales, providing resilient solutions to Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, South Wales Fire and Rescue, Central Beacons Mountain Rescue, South Wales Police, Welsh Ambulance Service HART and more.

New ‘mini’ detection device launches to help protect tenants and property from electrical fires

With over 13,000 electrical fires in the UK each year, Wylex reports on launching a new, smaller arc fault detection device that disconnects the power supply when it detects a dangerous arc fault in a circuit

With recent research finding that a third of electricians do not install arc fault detection devices (AFDDs) because of they take up too much space, Wylex has developed a ‘mini-AFDD’ that is much smaller than other models on the market, taking up only one way in a consumer unit.

Loose connections, damaged insulation, crushed cables, poorly made connections, frayed conductors, and deterioration of insulation materials that age over time can all lead to arc faults in electrical circuits. These are not detectable by MCBs or RCDs and are often not visible. If they remain undetected, they can cause overheating which can ignite nearby flammable materials.

The new mini AFDD, which has been built and tested to recognised quality and safety product standards, incorporates three products in a single module, a mini circuit breaker (MCB), a residual-current circuit breaker (RCD) and an AFDD, providing overload, short circuit, earth leakage and arc fault detection. The product is also retrofit compatible, making it a quick and simple upgrade for existing installations.

According to government statistics, nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of all primary fires (those that result in harm to people or damage to property) were caused by electrical distribution or appliances. Regulators have recently acknowledged the importance of AFDDs in helping to prevent such fires, by recommending their use in the 18th edition of the wiring regulation. In doing so, regulators are clearly stating that the device will provide significant safety improvements and ignoring the recommendations could mean that responsible individuals run the risk of being culpable if it is found that fire could have been prevented by an AFDD.

Paul Fisher, Managing Director of Wylex, said: “Safety must be a prime consideration for anyone with responsibility for properties and tenants. Whether you are designing or installing electrical installations, a device that can help prevent fire should be a priority.

“When it comes to electrical fires there is no room for complacency, even with newly installed appliances or after thorough investigations. There are numerous causes of arc faults, from DIY mishaps to the corrosion of cables over time.

“Our new mini AFDDs provide additional protection and give peace of mind. Their smaller size makes installation practical and easy, their combined functionality makes them extra effective and their quality features make them incredibly reliable.”