The newsletter of the Fire Information Group UK (FIG UK)
Edited by Sheila Pantry, OBE
Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd
This Newsletter contains:
- News from around the World
- Diary of Events
- Summary of the FIG UK Meeting held on 25 March 2015
- Dates of Next Meetings
FIG UK website www.figuk.org.uk ... please help to promote FIG UK whenever you can ... Make a link from your website!
News items from around the world
Overview of Problems and Solutions in Fire Protection Engineering of Wind Turbines
Solomon Uadiale, Évi Urbán, Ricky Carvel, David Lange and Guillermo Rein
The wind energy industry is one of today’s leading industries in the renewable energy sector, providing an affordable and sustainable energy solution. However, the wind industry faces a number of challenges, one of which is fire and that can cast a shadow on its green credentials. The three elements of the fire triangle, fuel (oil and polymers), oxygen (wind) and ignition (electric, mechanical and lighting) are represent and confined to the small and closed compartment of the turbine nacelle. Moreover, once ignition occurs in a turbine, the chances of externally fighting the fire are very slim due to the height of the nacelle and the often remote location of the wind farm. Instances of reports about fires in wind farms are increasing, yet the true extent of the impact of fires on the energy industry on a global scale is impossible to assess. Sources of information are incomplete, biased, or contain non-publically available data. The poor statistical records of wind turbine fires are a main cause of concern and hinder any research effort in this field. This paper aims to summarise the current state of knowledge in this area by presenting a review of the few sources which are available, in order to quantify and understand the fire problem in wind energy. We have found that fire is the second leading cause of catastrophic accidents in wind turbines (after blade failure) and accounts for 10 to 30% of the reported turbine accidents of any year since 1980’s. In 90% of the cases, the fire leads to a total loss of the wind turbine, or at least a downtime that results in the accumulation of economic losses.
The main causes of fire ignition in wind turbines are (in decreasing order of importance): lighting strike, electrical malfunction, mechanical malfunction, and maintenance. Due to the many flammable materials used in a wind turbine (e.g. fibreglass reinforced polymers, foam insulation, cables) and the large oil storage used for lubrication of mechanical components, the fuel load in a turbine nacelle is commonly very large.
The paper finishes with an overview of the passive and active protection options and the economics (costs, revenue and insurance) of wind turbines to put in context the value of a loss turbine compared to the cost and options of fire protection. We hope that this paper will encourage the scientific community to pursue a proper understanding of the problem and its scale, allowing the development of the most appropriate fire protection engineering solutions.
Product Recall System
It is clear that the product recall system in the UK is failing consumers, with faulty recalled appliances responsible for significant numbers of domestic fires and a number of tragic fatalities. The success rate of recalls is rarely more than 10% to 20%, despite the huge risks of electrical shock, fire or even death that faulty electrical items can present. This means that millions of dangerous items remain in homes across the country. Regardless of the size and reach of a recall, it is the customer who plays a key part in the process, and so it is essential that we fully understand their thinking and what contributes to their decision to take action.
This report outlines a number of simple and effective changes that manufacturers can implement to improve recall success levels, not only to protect the public but also safeguard their brand. We also explore several long-term goals and challenging issues that we would urge the industry to address collaboratively. At the time of writing this report, AMDEA – the trade association for domestic electrical appliance manufacturers in the UK – is preparing to launch an online route for consumers to register their products and so improve traceability, a vital aspect of a successful recall. Such a move is welcomed, and it is hoped that this will form a sound foundation on which to build.
With electrical faults and accidents causing more than half of all house fires each and every year, resulting in at least one death every week in the UK, we believe that a concerted effort to improve the recall system in the UK can play a major role in improving home safety. The recommendations from this report are clear. Full report: www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/mediafile/100205681/Product-Recall-Report-2014.pdf
The UK Association of Fire Investigators Product Recall service
There is a useful Product Recall service listing arranged in alphabetical order of the manufacturer on the UK Association of Fire Investigators website see www.iaai-uk.org/product-recall
HSE statement on the Government’s final progress report on health and safety reforms
This final progress report issued on 26 March 2015 from the Department for Work and Pensions marks a major milestone in the achievements UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has made in delivering reforms to health and safety legislation and guidance.
Through both the dedication of the HSE staff and close engagement with business and other stakeholders, we have simplified and modernised a large amount of regulation without compromising standards of protection for workers.
There have been a number of reviews of health and safety in recent years and they have all shown that the system we have in Great Britain remains fit for purpose. HSE has made significant progress in reducing regulatory burdens for business by further helping them understand what they need to do to keep their workers safe.
It has tackled over interpretation of legal requirements and reduced the overall stock of legislation by 50% and also undertaken an extensive guidance review.
HSE is 40 years old this year. Having demonstrated the ability to evolve, HSE will continue to adapt and embrace new ways of working, and through close engagement with business and other stakeholders, ensure regulations remain effective and fit for purpose.
HSE is justifiably proud of our regulatory system and what it has achieved in protecting the lives of workers in Great Britain.
Diary of Events
15 April 2015 – FIM Expo 2015
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, Wales
Contact: Fire Industry Association (FIA) | www.fim-expo.com
15-16 April 2015 – Meeting Flammability Requirements for Commercial Buildings & Construction
Tampa, Florida, USA
21-22 April 2015 – Forensics Expo
Olympia, London, UK
Contact: Forensics Expo Team | www.forensicseuropeexpo.com
30 April 2015 – FABIG Technical Meeting – Fire and Explosion Risk Management: An Australian Perspective
4-8 May 2015 – Guidelines for Laboratory Design: Health and Safety Considerations
Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA 02115, USA
Contact: Peter J. Bretton | Tel: +1 617 432-2041 | Email: email@example.com | https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/ecpe/programs/guidelines-for-laboratory-design
6-9 May 2015 – Work, Stress and Health 2015: Sustainable Work, Sustainable Health, Sustainable Organisations
Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA, USA
12-13 May 2015 – Fire Retardants in Plastics (AMI)
Denver, Colorado, USA
13 May 2015 – Noise at Work: 1 day training course covering the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
Mere Court Hotel, Knutsford, UK
Contact: Simon Bull, Castle Group Ltd, Salter Road, Scarborough Business Park, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 3UZ, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1723 584250 | www.castletrainingacademy.com/noise-in-a-day.php
13-15 May 2015 – Hazards 25: The 25th event in IChemE’s Hazards conference series
14 May 2015 – Air Sampling: 1 day training course covering Air Sampling requirements of Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)
Mere Court Hotel, Knutsford, UK
Contact: Simon Bull, Castle Group Ltd, Salter Road, Scarborough Business Park, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 3UZ, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1723 584250 | www.castletrainingacademy.com/air-sampling-in-a-day.php
18-22 May 2015 BCC Flame Retardancy Conference
Stamford, Connecticut, USA
June 2015 – PSCongres 2015 – One day process safety conference will cover a broad range of process safety topics relevant to major hazard facilities
Van der Valk Hotel, Dordrecht, Netherlands
16-18 June 2015 – 2nd European Symposium of Fire Safety Science
16-18 June 2015 – IFSEC International
ExCel, London, UK
16-18 June 2015 – FIREX International
ExCel, London, UK
22-25 June 2015 – 15th European Meeting on Fire Retardancy and Protection of Materials
23 June 2015 – FABIG Technical Event – Ignition: half day and also via webcast
24 June 2015 – FABIG Technical Event – Ignition: half day and also via webcast
29 June 2015 – UK-AFI Summer Training Conference
University of Central Lancashire, Preston
Contact: UK-AFI 2015 Summer Training Conference
2-4 September 2015 – IFSEC Southeast Asia
Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia
28-30 September 2015 – International Human Behaviour in Fire Symposium
Downing College in Cambridge, UK
Contact: Conference Organisers: Interscience Communications Ltd, West Yard House, Guildford Grove, London SE10 8JT, UK | Tel +44 (0)208 692 5050; +44 (0)208 692 5155 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary of the FIG UK Meeting minutes held on 25 March 2015
at Burgoynes Management Ltd, 11–12 Half Moon Court, Bartholomew Close, London EC1A 7HF
Sheila Pantry OBE
Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd
Burgoyne Management Ltd
Fire Investigations (UK) LLP
Hawkins and Associates
International Fire Consultants (IFC)
Fire Protection Association (FPA)
Dr Roger Berrett
Lane, Jefferies & Associates Ltd
Bureau Veritas UK Ltd
London Metropolitan University
Fire Investigations (UK) LLP
Building Research Establishment (BRE)
Fire Protection Association (FPA)
West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service
Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Building Services Research and Information Association – BSRIA
Sheila welcomed everyone and thanked Sally Walsh and Burgoyne Management Ltd for hosting the meeting.
Everyone then introduced themselves to Caroline Windle, Fire Protection Association (FPA). Caroline will be the FPA member now instead of Jane Thurgood.
John Galvin who was also deputising for Peter Mansi, busy with duties as the President of the International IAAI
4. Minutes of the last meeting held on 10 September 2014
at Bureau Veritas, London and also the Abbreviated Minutes with the Newsletter were accepted.
5. Matters arising not covered in the Agenda
6. Accounts and Membership Fee for 2015
Sally has sent invoices for 2015 membership renewals to the membership at 1 January 2015. At the time of the meeting had received 9 renewal payments.
ACTION: Sally will send reminders.
FIG UK Accounts at 23 March 2015 were circulated by Sally Walsh – FIG UK Treasurer and Membership officer at the meeting.
7. Membership – new recruits
ACTIONS: Agreed that all Members would endeavour to encourage others to join FIG UK. Details of aims and objectives are list on www.figuk.org.uk
Sheila would contact Queen’s University Belfast to find out who are the new Fire Managers (Previous two members have now left the University) and would contact them regarding membership.
Sheila would also contact IOSH Fire Specialist Group.
Sally would set up a FIG UK Facebook and also a FIG UK LinkedIn
This has now been done and all members notified by Sally on 31 March 2015 as follows:
I have created a page on Facebook (Called Fire Information Group – FIG UK) (Note a dash not brackets around FIG UK)
Anyone on Facebook can “Like” the group, and the news feed will then come through to them (provided users have not opted to exclude all groups or FIG UK from their newsfeed).
Posts, however, have to be “approved” by me. I thought this was a necessary precautions since there are a few crazies out there and you never know.
Please “Like” and publicise the Facebook group.
I have created a LinkedIn Group “Fire Information Group – FIG UK”. This is a closed group, so I have to approve members (and can presumably “disapprove” them too if there is any untoward behaviour). However, anyone can ask to join. I doubt that I will have cause to not approve anyone. Again I thought that this was a necessary precaution, since discussions can be had between members of this group, and I didn’t want all our discussions visible to the whole world.
I’ve invited those of you I’m already linked to, to join. Please join the LinkedIn Group and publicise it to others.
I will report back at the next meeting regarding any activity on these two Groups.
FIG UK Members agreed to keep Statistics on the agenda and asked that all Members should send in news to Sheila regarding notification by any Fire and Rescue Services charging for unwanted false alarm call out.
9. Future FIG UK sponsored Seminar
Agreed that a Seminar will be held at 3.30 pm on Thursday, 17 September 2015 at the Imperial Hotel, Senate Seminar Room, Russell Square, London. A charge of £25.00 per delegate will be made and must be paid for before the event. This price will include wine/juice drinks and nibbles.
It is hoped through publicity and contacting delegates who attended the previous seminars held in 2013 and 2014 that a reasonable number of delegates would be forthcoming. We also aim to have CPD certificates available for those attending.
The speaker is being contacted to speak on the subjects of “Fake chargers and goods, fire hazards and protection”. Once agreed the publicity will start.
ACTION: Please will all members put the date in their diaries and advertise on behalf of FIG UK once all details are known which should be this week beginning 6 April 2015.
Several delegates from last year’s seminar have already asked about some event for this year.
10. FIG UK Directory
All members are asked to check that their entry in the FIG UK Directory is up to date and send any alterations to Sheila please. See www.figuk.org.uk/directory.html
11. Round Table Discussion (Includes emailed comments / news)
Sheila reported on information received from the following:
Marian Bodian, BRE Global reports:
Fire Research Conference
The latest findings and lessons learnt on some of the fire industry’s most topical issues will be presented by leading experts at the Fire Research Conference, being hosted by BRE on 11 June 2015. Read more
Highlighting the importance of removing smoke detector dust covers
Following reports that a dust cover on a smoke alarm at the home of a pensioner, who died in a fire, may have delayed it alerting her to the danger (see here), BRE is highlighting the potential dangers and tragic consequences of not removing dust covers from smoke detectors. Read more
Do smoke detectors respond to a broad range of fires?
Test fires used to assess smoke detectors were developed in the 1980s, but since then materials used in buildings have changed. A report on research to evaluate the response of a range of approved smoke detectors to a variety of alternative flaming and smouldering materials is available.
New product standard for fire resistant doors
Doors claiming fire resistant and/or smoke control capabilities will soon be eligible for CE marking to the recently published product standard, EN 16034 – all external door sets must already be CE Marked to EN 14351-1. For more information email John Warburton at email@example.com
Clarification of misleading reports on LPS 1181
A fact sheet on the LPS 1181 series of standards for the fire performance of construction product systems has been re-issued because of recent incorrect and misleading reports on their purpose and application. Read more
New opportunities for manufacturers to CE mark their products
BRE Global is one of the first organisations in Europe to be able to provide construction product manufacturers with complete CE marking services for a variety of ETAGs under the CPR. Read more
Using watermist systems
With watermist systems now increasingly being installed as fire protection measures in UK domestic and residential buildings, a new publication by Corinne Williams of BRE Global explains how they work, the reasons for choosing them, the issues that should be considered and current UK standards. Read more
New agreements for mutual acceptance of test results
The European Fire and Security Group (EFSG) has published new agreements between AFNOR, BRE and VdS for fire detection and alarm system components. There are now twelve EFSG agreements, based on EN fire detection standards, describing criteria for the mutual acceptance of test results by members. Read more
New publication explains CFD use in fire engineering
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling is routinely used in fire engineering analysis and building design. A new report explains the capabilities and limitations of CFD and gives guidance on best practice, focussing on fire safety, ventilation, thermal comfort and wind movement around buildings. Read more
Celebrating 40 years of Fire Safety Engineering in 2014
The fortieth anniversary of the University of Edinburgh’s Fire Safety Engineering programme, which since 2004 has been carried out by the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering, was marked this year with a symposium attended by 150 of the Centre’s alumni.
The BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Edinburgh is one of six university Centres of Excellence established by the BRE Trust.
To mark this year’s milestone, the Centre held a 40th anniversary celebration on 15-16 May 2014 at Surgeon’s Hall, Edinburgh. This took the form of a two-day symposium, with technical talks on a variety of relevant issues and a celebratory dinner on the evening of Thursday 15 May 2014.
Complaints and Standards Coordinator, Quality and Compliance Team BRE Global, Bucknalls Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD25 9XX, (SATNAV: WD25 9NH) UK | T +44 (0) 1923 664 153 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.bre.co.uk
Customer Services 0333 321 88 11. Calling from abroad +44 (0)1923 64000
Caroline Windle, Fire Protection Association reports:
- Fire Safety in Warehouses DVD
- Fire Safety Management in Warehouses book
- Approved Document B incorporating insurers’ requirements
- Building Protection: Guide to glazing book
- Building Protection: Guide to fire doors book
- Fire Detection and Alarm Systems book (new edition)
- Introduction to DSEAR book
- Building Security and Protection Handbook
- Hot work DVD (new edition)
At FIREX 16-18 June 2015 FPA will have a stand, and will be contributing content to the show. We also have our next FPA member networking event on 16 June 2014, also at ExCeL on the first day of FIREX.
David Wales, Kent Fire & Rescue Service reports:
As mentioned at the last FRSUG meeting I am also working with Nottingham Trent University on a research guide for fire services and academic institutions. We are requesting case studies of previous or current partnerships/research between fire services and universities. If any colleagues at FIG UK are aware of, or have been involved in any, and would like them included in the guide (hard copy or online) please ask them to contact me.
Nick Fry, IFC reported that he is working part time. IFC is expanding in size and also the specialisms. IFC offers Fire Risk Assessor training.
Nick also noted the requirements of the Building Regulations 38 www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2010/2214/regulation/38/made
It is essential to spot things early enough in the process.
Paula McCrudden, Hawkins and Associates is now on the second round on her information audit on how and what information is held in the Hawkins Offices, including London and Reigate, to standardise how the information is held and used. She is using the library catalogue or the organisation’s intranet for everything relevant. She has learned a lot from this exercise which is headed up by her line manager.
John Galvin reported that United Kingdom Association of Arson Investigators (UKAFI) are holding a 2015 SUMMER TRAINING CONFERENCE on Monday, 29 June 2015 University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) in Preston.
The cost for the day’s training is £85, which includes lunch and refreshments. Book your place by contacting Claire Mansi at: email@example.com
Full details and the agenda will soon be published on the UK-AFI website: www.uk-afi.org
Sally Walsh, Burgoynes reported that Margaret Brian at the Burgoyne Management Ltd Ilkley office would be retiring in the Autumn 2015 and that recruitment has taken place and a new librarian has been appointed.
We wish Margaret all the very best for a long, healthy and happy retirement in the lovely Yorkshire countryside.
Sheila Pantry reported the following items:
International World Day on Safety and Health will be held on 28 April 2015 when around the world we remember all those that have been killed or made ill by workplace activities.
Many International organisations will be involved in promoting and commemorating the 28 April, these will include:
- European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA)
- International Labour Organization (ILO) see also this month’s Focus article
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH)
- International Workers’ Memorial Day
- International Social Security Association (ISSA)
The website History of Occupational Safety and Health www.historyofosh.org.uk which she and her company has developed with RoSPA’s National Occupational Safety and Health Committee (NOSHC) was launched last year. The website does included fire and fire related information sources and covers reviews/legislation/links to full texts/standard specifications/memorial sites and the developments from the 1802 Factory Act. It lists many full text books, reports, legislation – the earliest full text book listed is De Re Metallica – hazards of working with metals which was published in 1556! You can digitally turn over the pages! Making workplaces safer and healthier is NOT NEW!
OSH UPDATE + FIRE
Do you need information on new developments, innovations, ways of working, materials that various industry sectors are constantly developing worldwide?
Alongside the developments is the need to keep up-to-date with new health, safety and fire information. You will need to quickly gain access to legislation, guidance and advice that is constantly being up-to-date and relevant. Your first port of call is to an aggregation of 26 databases collected together in an electronic service entitled OSH UPDATE + FIRE that currently contains over 1,121,500 records with over 93,000 full text documents from worldwide!
It is constantly update and arguably – especially at the subscription price the best collective source of information in the world. There are over half a million fire and fire related records in OSH UPDATE + FIRE.
Lecturers and trainers have responsibilities too…
Those teaching and lecturing, especially in universities and colleges will also need to acquire the latest information. This is to ensure that their students are up-to-date and are taught how to develop methodologies to ensure that when searching for information they go to authoritative and validated sources.
OSH UPDATE + FIRE is easily searchable by keywords, titles, journal names, standard number, authors, organisations, and will keep you and your colleagues alerted to hot topics such as the health risks of nanotechnology, preparedness and business continuity, risk assessment, corporate killing and corporate social responsibility, bio-terrorism, management of road risks, all aspects of fire and related fire topics, workplace health and safety and much more. Arguably the largest electronic collection in the world in these very wide subject areas from worldwide sources. There is a special collection of OSH legislation, guidance and advice within OSH UPDATE and FIRE! The databases and contents are from worldwide class organisations such as the US NIOSH, the UK Health and Safety Executive, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and many more similar organisations.
This time of the year is a good time for all organisations worldwide to review their health and safety goals and decide on the training or re-training that is needed for all levels of staff and update their information resources.
Check out these successful efforts and introduce them into your workplace!
It is always good to keep researching and finding out if there are services and other ways of keeping up-to-date in this fast changing world of ours. Time is precious and many people are really stretched in their jobs and find it difficult to keep ahead in current knowledge that they should have for their jobs. So help is at hand for those working in health, safety and fire and fire related industries which are brought together in an easy to use web service entitled OSH UPDATE + FIRE www.oshupdate.com that is constantly updated.
Then try these long established Practical, Affordable Solutions for your health, safety, fire and environment information needs from Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd.
Sheila is a member of the Fire Research and Statistics User Group (FRSUG) and runs and hosts their website which contains many links to fire statistics and related sources plus minutes and other news items see website www.frsug.org
Has written an article for British Safety Council’s Safety Management journal, October 2014 pages 28-30 on Untangling the web: Finding health and safety information online
Ever wondered if your usual occupational safety and health (OSH) and fire sources are validated, authoritative, up-to-date and available whenever you need access? Since the advent of the internet around 20 years ago many people now firmly believe that online information is all out there and is free of charge. While it is useful that information can easily be made available direct from an author anywhere in the world through the internet, there are many other major checks that are needed before online OSH and fire data and information can actually be used to help successfully manage OSH risks in the workplace. Sometimes dutyholders fail to understand how the information is actually produced, who is writing and editing it, who is checking to see if it is up-to-date and if it contains accurate content that can be relied on.
Meeting closed at 4.30 pm.
Dates of next meetings
FIG UK meeting Wednesday, 2 September 2015 – venue to be announced.
FIG UK Seminar and networking 3.30 pm Thursday, 17 September 2015 to be held at the Imperial Hotel, Russell Square – full details to be announced very shortly.