The newsletter of the Fire Information Group UK (FIG UK)
Edited by Sheila Pantry, OBE
Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd
Wishing All FIG UK Members, families and colleagues a wonderful, successful, happy, healthy Covid-19 free 2021. Look after yourselves and remain safe and well.
Many FIG UK members have been working from home for some time and it seems that some are now going into their workplaces perhaps for one or two days per week.
The next scheduled meeting will be March 2021 which I hope will be possible to hold – even online!
A suggestion is that we could ask a speaker to come and give a talk on some latest fire related research as well as the usual meeting agenda items. Any interest or suggestions?
Of course, any government restrictions at the time would have to be adhered to.
Following are some news items for you. If members have any news they would like to share with colleagues please send to email@example.com and I will include in the next edition.
FIG UK Member Dr Claire Benson, London South Bank University (LSBU)
Claire is going to be leaving LSBU fairly soon and is moving to New Zealand in February 2021.
Very Many Thanks to Claire for all her support for FIG UK over the years. We send her all our good wishes, every success and good health for her new adventure and hope we can keep in touch.
Dr Claire Benson, Senior Lecturer, Explosion & Fire Research Group, London South Bank University Department of Chemical & Energy Engineering, 103 Borough Road, London, SE1 0AA. Tel: +44 (0)20 7815 7921, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Diary of Events
16 March 2021 – FIM Expo
Titanic Centre, Belfast
26-27 May 2021 – Hazmat 2021 Annual Conference
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, UK
Contact: NCEC | Tel: +44 (0)1235 753654 | www.hazmatevent.co.uk
12-14 July 2021 – The reschedule date for the FIREX International live exhibition
Further details https://www.firex.co.uk
7-9 September 2021- The Fire Event
NEC Birmingham, UK
Exhibition and meetings. Sign up for the newsletter: https://www.firesafetyevent.com/newsletter
News from around the World
New Book: Reliability Data on Fire Sprinkler Systems – Collection, Analysis, Presentation, and Validation
by Arnstein Fedøy and Ajit Kumar Verma, CRC Press, 31 March 2021, 142 pages, ISBN 9780367776695
This book covers fire and extinguishing theory and reliability theory and how to validate any survey within the field of engineering. It is based on a year’s study of historical literature, using critical review and document analysis. It covers how data is collected, analysed, and presented. It discusses reliability theory, calculation, and uncertainty analysis, and after validating proposes a new methodology and approach using general scientific value and examples.
Report on wildfire large-scale evacuations – behavioural responses
This 100-page University of Greenwich, Fire Safety Engineering Group published on 30 April 2020 provides an overview of the GEO-SAFE project’s Human Behaviour Study. Survey data were collected from residents in the South of France, Australia, and Central Italy, with the aim of identifying, quantifying, and calibrating behaviours occurring during wildfire evacuations.
The evidence base generated by this study provides an understanding of various behaviours including evacuation decisions, response actions, and associated times. This data can be used to assist the development of an agent-based evacuation model, urbanEXODUS. In turn, this tool can be used by professionals involved in wildfire management to aid learning, decision-making, and planning.
GEO-SAFE H2020 project 691161, final D2.5 report
HSE-hosted UK Transition chemicals podcast
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is hosting a series of free podcasts to help businesses that make, use or supply chemicals understand what actions they need to take to ensure they are prepared for the end of the UK Transition period, when independent GB chemical regimes will be in place from 1 January 2021.
The ‘After UK Transition: Working with Chemicals’ podcast is now available from all major podcast platforms. To find it, just search ‘The HSE Podcast’ on your chosen platform (for example YouTube). Audiences can also register to receive notifications for each episode released.
Each episode focuses on a different chemicals regime, including Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR), Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) and Prior Informed Consent (PIC) regimes, Plant Protection Products (PPP) and Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals (REACH).
The series will be centred around business readiness for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs), ensuring audiences are well informed of the duties and obligations needed to comply with to access the GB market after the transition period ends.
Throughout the series, they will be joined by industry voices and experts from both HSE and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to address the key changes to legislation and providing information on the actions required before or from 1 January 2021.
News from the Health and Safety Executive
Upcoming health and safety training courses – four courses to look forward to in January 2021.
These popular courses are now available live online from anywhere in the world:
- 13 January 2021 – COMAH Compliance for Lower Tier Establishments
- 18 January 2021 – Behaviour Change: Achieving Health and Safety Culture Excellence
- 20 January 2021 – Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) Assessment
- 27 January 2021 – Layers of Protection Analysis: Practical Application and Pitfalls (LOPA)
More information: https://www.hsl.gov.uk/health-and-safety-training-courses
New HSE MSD Online Assessment Tool
The Manual Handling Assessment Charts (MAC) is a tool to help users identify high-risk workplace manual handling activities to manage the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
HSE has produced an online version of the MAC tool, the MSD Online Assessment Tool, to simplify the process of completing each assessment.
The HSE MSD Online Assessment Tool’s step by step approach and automated reporting removes the need to populate and interpret the results manually – saving your assessors time and effort.
Find out more about the HSE MSD Online Assessment Tool: https://books.hse.gov.uk/MSD-Assessment-Tool
Safe Net Zero
HSE’s Safe Net Zero solutions integrate health and safety into the development and deployment of the new and novel technologies underpinning the UK’s decarbonisation activities.
On the road to RECOVAS – HSE’s expertise in battery safety is being put to good use in a project to create a new circular end-of-life supply chain for the electric vehicle industry.
Gearing up for FutureGrid – The HyNTS FutureGrid Programme seeks to build a hydrogen test facility from decommissioned assets to demonstrate that the National Transmission System (NTS), Britain’s gas transmission network, can transport hydrogen to heat homes and deliver green energy to industry.
More information: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKHSE/bulletins/2b15621
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance on Ventilation and air conditioning during the pandemic
The law requiring employers to ensure an adequate supply of fresh air in the workplace has not changed during the pandemic. Good ventilation, together with social distancing, keeping your workplace clean and frequent handwashing, can help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.
HSE’s Ventilation and air conditioning guidance will help you identify poorly ventilated areas of your workplace and provides steps to take to improve ventilation. It will apply in most workplaces and includes guidance on:
- balancing ventilation with keeping people warm
- identifying poorly ventilated areas
- how to improve ventilation
- ventilation in vehicles
Outdoor heater fires double as Londoners gear up for alfresco winter: London-wide Safety warnings from London Fire Brigade
New figures released by London Fire Brigade reveal fires involving outdoor heaters have doubled, as retailers see outdoor heaters, fire pits and chimineas fly off the shelf. As the colder weather closes in, we’re urging people to use these items carefully this winter.
Fires involving outdoor heaters have increased by 55 per cent in London, in comparison to the same period last year. Concern for the potential for these types of fires to increase further are fuelled by reports that retailers, like John Lewis, have seen sales of outdoor heaters spike by 82 per cent, whilst fire pits have sold out.
Restrictions brought about by the pandemic drove people to spend more time outdoors with friends and family. With many looking to continue socialising outdoors throughout the colder months, it’s vital that if you use outdoor heaters, you ensure they are set up carefully with plenty of space around them.
In July 2020, the Brigade’s Control Officers took 22 calls to a fire in Harrow which started when a fire pit in a garden was placed too close to garden sheds. The fire ignited a nearby shed and spread out of control, fuelled further by a propane cylinder, which exploded, destroying five sheds and around 50 square metres of garden shrubbery.
Full details of advice and guidance: https://www.london-fire.gov.uk/news/2020-news/october/outdoor-heater-fires-double-as-londoners-gear-up-for-alfresco-winter
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Anyone wanting up-to-date and a budget friendly priced, constantly updated collection are welcome to a free 30-day trial. Visit www.sheilapantry.com/interest or contact Sheila Pantry, email email@example.com or phone 01909 771024
Fire Safety in Residential Property: A Practical Approach for Environmental Health
by Richard Lord, Routledge Publishing, May 2021, 120 pages, ISBN 9780367617844
This book aims to take the reader through all aspects of fire safety and management in residential settings, from origin and ignition, risk assessment, protection and prevention, as well as comparing effective enforcement options from across all parts of the UK. It outlines the basis of law, standards and guidance relating to fire safety and building performance, and critically evaluates the legal provisions and approaches to risk reduction with the focus on rented properties. Provides wider access to fire safety knowledge previously generally used by regulators and specialists.
Examines fire risk assessments in domestic premises and the competency of assessors.
Explains the approaches to fire safety enforcement the impact of property licensing.
Includes fire risk precautions for housing and general checklists to help landlords and tenants understand their responsibilities. Explores the effect of existing legislation with references to key Property Tribunal decisions relating to fire risk management and future legal developments.
This book will assist Environmental Health Officers and Environmental Health Practitioners – as well as graduating academics of the field – in their work to encourage the appropriate and effective use of legislation. Landlords, Estate managers, student accommodation managers, surveyors and tenant groups may also find this book of interest.
Post-Earthquake Fire Analysis in Urban Structures: Risk Management Strategies
by Behrouz Behnam, CRC Press, 30 March 2021, 356 pages, ISBN 9780367782719
Post-earthquake fire is one of the most complicated problems resulting from earthquakes and presents a serious risk to urban structures. Most standards and codes ignore the possibility of post-earthquake fire; thus it is not factored in when determining the ability of buildings to withstand load.
This book describes the effects of post-earthquake fire on partially damaged buildings located in seismic urban regions. The book quantifies the level of associated post-earthquake fire effects, and discusses methods for mitigating the risk at both the macro scale and micro scale. The macro scale strategies address urban regions while the micro scale strategies address building structures, covering both existing buildings and those that are yet to be designed.
Surviving an OSHA Audit: A Management Guide
by Frank R. Spelman, CRC Press, 17 December 2020, 2nd Edition, 260 pages, ISBN 9780367650742
Hailed on its first publication as a masterly account detailing a roadmap for compliance with workplace standards, regulations, and rules, Surviving an OSHA Audit: A Management Guide, Second Edition, is specifically designed for managers and other professionals who seek to provide a safe work environment. It also serves as a helpful reference for those who want to keep OSHA from repeatedly knocking on the door and issuing citations that can be both embarrassing and expensive. Completely revised and updated with eight important chapters added, emphasis is placed on compliance through vigilance and proper work practices. With compliance in mind, it is important to recognize that OSHA regulations, standards, or rulings are not static; they continue to be revised over time. This new edition highlights those areas of regulation that have changed as well as those that are still current and relevant. Fully updated to reflect the most up-to-date changes in regulation.
Presents numerous practical examples throughout and examines the importance of and best practices for recordkeeping protocols. This book is an excellent resource and guide relevant to a broad audience, including academia, legal professionals, workplace managers, safety professionals, students, and administrators at all levels.
Safe(r) by design implementation in the nanotechnology industry
by Jiméneza, Araceli Sánchez and others, NanoImpact, October 2020, Volume 20, 100267
The implementation of Safe(r) by Design (SbD) in industrial innovations requires an integrated approach where the human, environmental and economic impact of the SbD measures is evaluated across and throughout the nanomaterial (NM) life cycle. SbD was implemented in six industrial companies where SbD measures were applied to NMs, nano-enabled products (NEPs) and NM/NEP manufacturing processes.
The approach considers human and environmental risks, functionality of the NM/NEP and costs as early as possible in the innovation process, continuing throughout the innovation progresses. Based on the results of the evaluation, a decision has to be made on whether to continue, stop or re-design the NM/NEP/process or to carry out further tests/obtain further data in cases where the uncertainty of the human and environmental risks is too large. However, SbD can also be implemented at later stages when there is already a prototype product or process available, as demonstrated in some of the cases.
The SbD measures implemented in some of the case studies did not result in a viable solution. For example the coating of silicon nanoparticles with amorphous carbon increased the conductivity, the stability and reduced the dustiness of the particles and therefore the risk of explosion and the exposure to workers. However the socioeconomic assessment for their use in lithium-ion batteries for cars, when compared to the use of graphite, showed that the increase in performance did not overcome the higher production costs.
This work illustrates the complexities of selecting the most appropriate SbD measures and highlights that SbD cannot be solely based on a hazard and exposure assessment but must include other impacts that any SbD measures may have on sustainability including energy consumption and waste generation as well as all associated monetary costs.
Safer and stronger together? Effects of the agglomeration on nanopowders explosion
by Audrey Santandrea, Stéphanie Pacault, Sébastien Bau, Yohan Oudart, Alexis Vignes, Laurent Perrin, Olivier Dufaud, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 19 November 2020, 104348
Among the factors influencing dust explosion, the particle size distribution (PSD) is both one of the most important and complex to consider. For instance, it is commonly accepted that the explosion sensitivity increases when the particle size decreases. Such an assertion may be questionable for nano-objects which easily agglomerate. However, agglomerates can be broken during the dispersion process. Correlating the explosion parameters to the actual PSD of a dust cloud at the moment of the ignition becomes then essential.
The effects of the moisture content and sieving were investigated on a nanocellulose powder and the impact of a mechanical agglomeration was evaluated using a silicon coated by carbon powder. Each sample was characterized before and after dispersion using in situ laser particle size measurement and a fast mobility particle sizer, and explosion and minimum ignition energy tests were conducted respectively in a 20 L sphere and in a modified Hartmann tube. It was observed that drying and/or sieving the nanocellulose mainly led to variations in terms of ignition sensitivity but only slightly modified the explosion severity.
In contrast, the mechanical agglomeration of the silicon coated by carbon led to a great decrease in terms of ignition sensitivity, with a minimum ignition energy varying from 5 mJ for the raw powder to more than 1 J for the agglomerated samples. The maximum rate of pressure rise also decreased due to modifications in the reaction kinetics, inducing a transition from St2 class to St1 class when agglomerating the dust.
KEEP SAFE, STAY WELL – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus