In many countries the use of ethanol has increased significantly as a means to fulfil climate goals by replacing fossil fuels with renewable fuels. However, although ethanol is a well known product, it poses new fire-related challenges to the oil/fuel industry and first responders. Even if the industry and first responders are aware of these problems there is a lack of experience or regulatory guidance, in particular with regard to ethanol tank fires. This article describes what we know today and gives some suggestions concerning necessary research project to ensure safe implementation of ethanol on a broad basis. Such a research project is best suited to an international effort, both due to the magnitude of the work needed and to ensure that different national safety issues are dealt with appropriately and challenges solved. Henry Persson, from the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, writes.

Encapsulating volatile substances, hydrocarbons and dust to prevent a fire’s devastating effects on the ecosystem is the new frontier of scientific research into new applications on the fire safety field. A new low pressure watermist system has been launched that happens to do just that.

The following safety alert has been released by the UK’s Health and Safety Executive and is primarily for the attention of those companies operating oil/fuel storage facilities. However, it may also be relevant to other sites storing hazardous substances in large tanks where level gauges are used.

The UK’s Health and Safety Executive has issued a safety notice highlights the need to ensure suitable and sufficient assessment of the adequacy of venting arrangements for cargo oil tanks on FPSO and FSU installations.

The YouTube posting comes in a week that saw the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) issue guidance to UK architects on incorporating anti-terrorism measures into their designs, and comes in the wake of further recent terrorist atrocities in Moscow and amid continuing uncertainty worldwide.

Groupe Eurotunnel has taken a significant step towards the implementation of new firefighting stations in the Channel Tunnel designed to combat fires using detection and aspersion.

International Leadership Speaker Jim Bennett explores the area of Human Factors in Major Accident prevention and response. Many organisations are very good at understanding the technical causes of major accidents but struggle to gain a deeper understanding of why the people involved behaved as they did, he suggests that a deeper understanding of an organisation’s safety maturity is a core indicator of their effectiveness and gives a good insight on how it influences future behaviours.

John Frame has created and delivered LNG Fire Response training courses and also produced the original book LNG Fire Protection & Emergency Response, available from the IChemE. In this article, he focuses on LNG incident hazards and likely scenarios with a view to assisting emergency responders who may be called upon to react to incidents at LNG facilities.  

As a result of the NTSB investigation into the February 6, 2006, aviation accident (UPS Flt. 1307) at Philadelphia International Airport, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued Safety Recommendation A-07-110. The recommendation called for the industry to band together “to develop and disseminate accurate and complete airplane Emergency Response diagrams for ARFF personnel at airports with cargo operations.”

After 10 years of operating the COMAH regime (Control of Major Accident Hazard regulations) the COMAH Competent Authority* (CA) is about to introduce a series of changes during April. The changes follow a fundamental review that started in 2008, on the CA’s approach to regulating onshore major hazards in the UK. So what do the changes actually mean? Industrial Fire Journal places under the spotlight Gordon MacDonald, Director Hazardous Installations Directorate, Health and Safety Executive.

Nine new control centres for the entire English Fire Service are due to open in the next two years – Industrial Fire Journal experienced first hand the extensive fire protection systems in place.

Spain’s 28km-long Guadarrama Tunnel (the fourth longest rail tunnel in the world) and the 8.5km San Pedro Tunnel together form part of the recently-opened Madrid-Valladolid high speed rail link.

Chiltern International Fire’s Head of Fire Resistance Mark Cummings and Principal Test Engineer Ross Newman highlight some of the market trends affecting fire testing.

With an increasing demand for E5 petrol and B5 diesel it is important to be aware of the differences when it comes to an emergency. The Energy Institute’s Guidance for the storage and handling of fuel grade ethanol at petroleum distribution installations contains a highly useful firefighting section – IFJ reproduces some of the highlights here.

Head of L’Oreal Corporate Fire Security Eric Issartel and MD of Ai Group Pierre Christophorov talk to IFJ about the challenges of aerosol spray fires, and how high expansion foam offers an effective alternative to traditional extinguishing systems.

In recent years, the Angus Emergency Foam Service has mobilised its emergency foam services for incidents in the UK, Japan, Turkey and Spain, and most recently in Libya. Indeed, since its inception in the late 1970s, it has responded to customer requests for large quantities of firefighting foam and equipment by road or air within 24 hours. Depending on the scale and location of the emergency, Angus Fire says that up to 40,000 litres of foam concentrate can be deployed within two hours, with additional stocks following rapidly. 

Chemguard has recently introduced Ecoguard 3% and 6% fluorine-free synthetic firefighting foam concentrate – the first and only UL Listed fluorine-free foam for multiple applications, Ecoguard is an effective and eco-friendly training foam.

Airport operations are extraordinarily complex and every aspect of operations, safety and security needs to be seamlessly integrated.  Assets have to be accurately logged and monitored, legislative compliance must be assured, and responsibilities need to be clear-cut.  Colin Simpson, Chairman of the International Aviation Fire Protection Association, outlines a new initiative that the IAFPA is pioneering with the airside team at one of the largest airports in the world.

In recent years, the Angus Emergency Foam Service has mobilised its emergency foam services for incidents in the UK, Japan, Turkey and Spain, and most recently in Libya. Indeed, since its inception in the late 1970s, it has responded to customer requests for large quantities of firefighting foam and equipment by road or air within 24 hours. Depending on the scale and location of the emergency, Angus Fire says that up to 40,000 litres of foam concentrate can be deployed within two hours, with additional stocks following rapidly.

Is your site up to the latest standards? Jonathan Gilbert of Tyco Safety Products explains the jargon and offers some solutions for dust protection

By implementing an integrated fire and gas strategy based on the latest automation technology, plants can meet their plant safety and critical infrastructure protection requirements while ensuring operational and business readiness at project start-up, writes
Kees Kemps, Senior Safety Consultant at Honeywell.

Cranes, access platforms, forklift trucks and numerous other types of mobile equipment are used every day in refinery and petrochemical operations.
Malcolm Davis from safety company Pyroban explains that explosion prevention is possible and financially viable – even for short term use.

Justin Clift of Hazard Control Technologies and John Astad, Head of the Combustible Dust Policy Institute in Texas, on why complacency is not an option with dust.

David Owen, Business Development Manager for fire protection specialist Firemain Engineering, outlines a specific scenario and a best-practice approach for dealing with special hazard risk assessments.

Hollywood certainly hasn’t helped promote the use of sprinklers among many building owners and developers. Images of the “hero” escaping some villainous pursuer by setting off the sprinkler system throughout a building after applying a cigarette lighter to a sprinkler head are not only misleading, but help perpetuate the myths that these systems are unreliable and damaging to business. Pat Cox gets tough on some prevailing misconceptions.

For First Hydro Company (a joint venture between International Power plc & Mitsui & Co), operators of Dinorwig Power Station in North Wales, there was an additional factor to take into account when they needed to upgrade the existing conventional fire detection system to meet current safety requirements. Known to thousands of visitors as Electric Mountain, Dinorwig Power Station is situated deep underground, inside Elidir Mountain close to Snowdonia National Park.

The term “passive fire protection” is used to describe a number of materials and systems of construction intended to delay the passage of fire from one part of a building to another. It is also true to say that it tends to be a “fit and forget” issue – largely because the occupiers and users of the building don’t fully appreciate its importance to the overall fire protection of the structure, its contents and its occupants.

Brian Jones, UK manager for Norwegian fire detection company Autronica has noticed that the trend within the offshore industry has moved from infrared point gas detectors towards open path detectors.

High-pressure water mist systems are now widely accepted as an excellent alternative to the controversial CO2 or other gas-based systems for fire fighting in engine rooms, including total flooding and local application systems.

According to David Owen of Firemain Engineering, a fire engineering company based in St Helens UK, the Hi Ex Foam system is used for special applications such as aircraft hangars and warehouses. The company recently designed, supplied and commissioned the low expansion foam systems for Virgin Atlantic’s Airbus A380 hangar at Heathrow. Its High Expansion systems were also installed by Argus Fire at RAF Fairford.

Expectations from safety design engineers and operators for technology to increase not only the safety of a facility but also design and installation has lead to several new developments from manufacturers such as Tyco Safety Products.

While water mist continues to find new industrial applications it still faces a safety culture reluctant to change.
Dan Worth reports.

Specifying fire resistant glazing systems can be an opaque process, Ann-Marie Knegt learned. A long list of requirements have to be fulfilled before achieving safety and fire

It is a pleasure to visit an industrial facility and find an emergency response team that is utterly convinced that its level of readiness for the unexpected is world class – and after visiting SembCorp Utilities’ 2000-acre facilities in Teesside, northeast UK, it is possible to see where this confidence comes from.

In one of Europe’s most prestigious airport glazing contracts, leading vertical access equipment manufacturer, Hek Manufacturing BV and a glass specialist, Lindner-Schmidlin Facade Ltd, have provided specialist fire - and in some sensitive areas ‘blast-resistant’ - glazing for London Heathrow Airport’s major Terminal 5 structure.

Fire is just one of the possible service interruptions which can affect a data or communications network. However, the consequences - such as material damage or, more importantly, human loss of life - can be extremely dire.

In such a hostile and challenging climate as the marine environment, it is imperative that the most appropriate fire detection system is chosen and that it is fit for purpose. 

President of Durasystems Barriers Inc, Craig Pickering, definitely feels his company has the answer with DuraSteel.

Insulfrax Blanket products manufactured by the Unifrax Corporation have been designed to provide passive fire protection, reports IFJ.

Protective coatings are designed to provide a degree of tolerance of tolerance to the steelwork of industrial structures whilst a fire is brought under control.

There are many reasons why fire departments maintain pre-plans for commercial buildings.  Firefighter safety, building familiarisation, code compliance, and regulatory requirements are some of the most common reasons pre-plans are completed.  While each of these reasons is important on their own merit, one question begs to be asked.  If a pre-plan can address all these issues, why isn’t every fire department completing them?

London Fire Brigade is investing £1.7 million in additional training resources for its operational staff over the next two years. Sir Ken Knight, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, believes that the traditional role of firefighters has changed and has become even more challenging. Because of this the LFB is making the major investment to counteract the increasing pressures on personnel.

Lithuania, October 12th, 2006: Like blasts from giant cannons a series of huge explosions shattered the peace of Lithuania’s coastal city, Mazeikiu.

The first section of the A86 West tunnel, the missing link in the Paris ‘super-ringroad’ is to be opened in October 2007. Built, financed and operated by Cofiroute, this 10km tunnel linking Rueil-Malmaison and Versailles will revolutionise traffic flow in the West Paris region.

Tyco Fire and Integrated Solutions is promoting three major products as environmentally-friendly alternatives for Halon, as Industrial Fire Journal noted when its team visited ExpoProtection in Paris. At the show, Yann Boutin, Communication and IT Infrastructure Director for the company in France, took the time to explain more about these special products.

Relative to other sectors, for example, commercial office developments, the basis for industrial design with respect to fire safety tends to be  far more exacting. Here, severe fires occur in surroundings where continuous operations, and possibly a high level of cleanliness, is absolutely essential.

Safety Managers in high-risk locations have wide-ranging responsibilities,” points out Steve Taylor. “In relation to fire protection, they need to understand not only the principles and technologies associated with fire detection, explosion protection and fire extinguishing, but also the vital role that portable fire extinguishers continue to play in preventing a ‘small’ fire from becoming a major conflagration.

President of Durasystems Barriers Inc, Craig Pickering, definitely feels his company has the answer to fire  blast resistance problems with a material called DuraSteel. He spoke to Aidan Turnbull while exhibiting this key product at the NFPA Show in Orlando, Florida in June:

Brian Cummins is the MD of Proline, a company which has developed its UK manufactured range of FM-approved and UL listed linear detection cables, accessories -including optional interface units - which can be simply integrated with all central fire alarm control panels and building management systems.

  • Operation Florian

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Company Profiles

Big Water Flow for Industrial and Municipal Firefighting Applications

Protecting the lives of the public and firefighters while limiting the structural damage caused in large scale fires is our primary mission

We are committed to improving lives and doing business in the right way

We have a unique mix of capability and culture that we refer to as 3M Science and we strive to develop products that improve people’s daily lives in a multitude of ways.

HazSim - Bringing situational HazMat training to life

HazSim, LLC provides innovative simulation training to ensure your team works safely and effectively. HazSim Pro simulation equipment is in use by hundreds of fire departments, training schools, industrial fire teams, and private trainers across the US, Canada and further afield as well as the US Army.

The ultimate in innovation, quality and service

For 60 years Lehavot has been delivering the world’s most advanced fire detection and suppression automatic systems

Advancing rescue technology

The specialist supplier of quality PPE and Rescue Equipment to Emergency Services.

Revolutionizing fire fighting foam technology

The one-stop resource for fire fighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware.

Trust the best, let us be your foam solution

AUXQUIMIA is a Spanish company whose main activity is the design, manufacture and commercialization of firefighting foam concentrates.

Williams Fire & Hazard Control offers a full line of specialized fire response equipment for oil and gas platforms

From storage tanks and pipeline emergencies to offshore platforms and vessels at sea, Williams' response personnel and specialized equipment quickly address adverse fire emergencies.

Foam fights fire

Europe’s foremost fire fighting foam manufacturer has been developing and producing foams since the 1920s.

The leader in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms

Our mission is to provide the best and the safest solution to professionals that work at height.

If you want quality, you want Zico

Since its inception Ziamatic Corp has provided the men and women of the fire service with products designed to make their jobs safer and easier.

The independent alternative

Dafo Fomtec AB is a privately owned company with head office in Stockholm Sweden and manufacturing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden.