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Published by sphe, 2019-07-08 02:17:27

Fire Protection Journal - Issue two

Fire Protection Journal - Issue two

Keywords: Fire Protection Journal - Issue two

JUNE 2019

Robotic firefighters:

The future has arrived!

InFIReS Protecting
Seminar thatched
2019 roofs

• Fire safety in buildings • Architectural review in rational design
• Spotlight on cladding tests • Beware of smoke detector scams


2 TRAINING FPASA fire training courses for the remainder of Vol 45 No 2 • June 2019
2019 ISSN 0259 - 1766

4 VIEW The Editor’s view on industry topics and the contents COVER:With the advent of intelligent
of this issue equipment, robots and drones can
undertake a multitude of tasks in life-
6 TECHNOLOGY The continued rise of robots and drones as threatening environments
high-tech 21st-century firefighters
2019 InFIReS seminar
13 2019 INFIRES SEMINAR Rational design was at the heart of
the 2019 InFIReS seminar held in May Rational design was at the heart of the
seminar discussions.
18 RATIONAL DESIGN Discussing the critical role of See page 13
architectural review in rational design Advertising executive
Barbara Spence
21 COMMERCE I-CAT transformer suppression systems Avenue Advertising
verified by Austrian Institute P O Box 71308
Bryanston 2021 South Africa
23 COMMERCE Fidelity Fire Solutions SA is awarded BSI Tel: (011) 463-7940
accreditation [email protected]
24 LIBRARY Summaries of fire-related articles available from Fire Protection is a membership magazine
the FPASA Library published quarterly by the FPASA.

26 FIRE SAFETY IN BUILDINGS Fire safety in buildings must The views expressed in articles by outside contributors are
integrate sprinklers with smoke control not necessarily those of the FPASA.
Permission must be obtained from the FPASA before
32 THATCHED ROOFS The beauty, pain and insurance material in this journal is reprinted or broadcast and
concerns of thatched roofs acknowledgement must be given.

37 BUILDING CLADDING Many UK buildings are likely to fail Fire Protection • June 2019 1
new cladding tests, say experts

40 SMOKE ALARMS Smoke alarms being sold online found to
be ‘completely ineffective’

42 SYSTEM-LED APPROACH There is still no system-led
approach to fire protection in the UK

44 FIREFIGHTER MEMORIALS Memorial for New York’s 9/11
recovery workers is dedicated


Publisher Design and Production
Fire Protection Association of De Roche Repro
Southern Africa
Incorporated Association not for gain Law Print
Reg. No. 1973/000022/08
Publisher’s Address:
Editor PO Box 15467 Impala Park 1472
Mike Simpson Springbok Road Bartlett Boksburg
[email protected] Telephone: (011) 397-1618
Satellite Tel: (011) 552-6908/9
FPASA Consultants Telefax (011) 397-1160
Renay Sewpersad or (086) 647-1633
Lynley Carols [email protected]


Fire protection training
courses for 2019

The following are details of the Aviation Authority of South Africa or FPASA members and stakeholders
FPASA’s comprehensive range of CPFA Europe. Training takes place at the qualify for discounts of 5-30%.
Fire Protection courses on offer for FPASA facility near OR Tambo For more information, contact Renay on
the remainder of 2019. International Airport in Boksburg, or 011 397 1618. Or email her:
arrangements can be made for on-site [email protected]
All courses are accredited by an training at the client’s premises. Course dates and details as follows:
appropriate body – such as the Civil

08 06 05
1 Basic Fire-Fighting Module 17 04 28-31 05 09-12
2 Fire-Fighting & Evacuation 16 06 26 21-25 18-22
07-14 25-29 09-13
3 Workplace Fire-Fighting, &Evacuation 12-15 07-11 05-08
19-21 02-06
}Breathing Apparatus Optional add-on or
13 17-20
Grass Fire-Fighting standalone course

4 Fire Risk Assessment & Prevention 12-16

5 Advanced Fire Prevention 19-23 &

6 Fire Appliance Reconditioning 15-19 12-16 16-20

7 Plan Appraisal: A detailed analysis of 09-13
SANS 10400 - Parts A, T & W

8 CFPA Principles in Fire Safety

9 Fundamentals of Fire Investigation 02-06

10 Advanced Fire Investigation

11 Sprinkler Pumps: Inspection and 09-11

12 Bylaws

13 CFPA Europe Fire Safety Diploma -
Technical Cycle Exam (Diploma)

NOTE: 1. Courses can be arranged on-site on request - subject to a minimum number of delegates and suitable facilities. SA’s premier magazine
2. The Association reserves the right to postpone or cancel a course. for
3. These dates may be subject to change without notice. The amended course dates will be available on our website Fire Professionals

Bookings: Membership/Publication Editorial contributions
Enquiries: are welcome
[email protected]
011 397 1618/19 [email protected] Send submissions to the
editor Mike Simpson
Technical Enquiries: Finance:
E-mail: [email protected]
[email protected]; [email protected] [email protected]


[email protected]

2 Fire Protection • June 2019




When tradition and
old-fashioned values
must blend with
modern technology

Organised firefighting has an Efficiency is, of course, one benefit The fire protection industry is a
ancient and rich history. In the of robots. Fires spotted more speedily highly complex and demanding
third century BC a Greek inventor and engaged more effectively save lives environment, whether it is complying
living in Egypt, named Ctesibius, and reduce damage. A drone that with a wide range of intricate
developed a water pump that could efficiently engages a fire from the air legislation or pondering the ethics of
squirt a jet of water. In AD60, the costs less than an aircraft or helicopter failing to install adequate systems in
Roman emperor Nero formed the and does not put aircrew lives at risk. order to save money. As always, the
VigilesUrbani (‘Watchmen of the City’) Similarly, a robotic firefighter that gets seminar provided food for thought and
to fight both crime and fires. up close and personal with a raging we’re pleased that this issue of the
petro-chemical fire means that dozens magazine can bring you at least some
It remains a profession where of human firefighters are at lower risk. of those key discussion points.
tradition and old-fashioned values like
bravery and dedication to service are It’s a brave new firefighting world As usual, Fire Protection features a
highly prized. Sometimes, though, this out there, and those who fail to wide range of thought-provoking and
has come at the expense of the high- embrace it may live to regret their useful articles that will benefit everyone
technology advancements that are so decision. in the industry. Please enjoy your read,
common in many other industries. courtesy of the FPASA.
Indeed, as US-based Fire Rescue 2019 InFIReS Seminar
magazine noted in a 2017 article: Mike Simpson
“Change is often met with apathy in FPASA’s InFIReS Seminar has become
our service. As the slogan goes: an important part of the industry Editor
Hundreds of years of tradition remain calendar and this year was no different.
unimpeded by progress.”
Rational design was a major focus
Fortunately, the winds of change are of the event (see pg 18) and, as
blowing more strongly in firefighting keynote speaker Leon du Rand
than they have for many a year. Our emphasised, rational designs are, to a
cover story on the rise of robots – certain extent, swear words in various
including drones – as 21st-century circles. But they are nevertheless a
firefighters (see pg 6) explains that necessary requirement today.
they’re highly mobile, reliable, incredibly
resilient and reasonably easy to operate
– even in the most difficult of

4 Fire Protection • June 2019



The rise of robots as

With the advent of notes that since 2006, Chinese-based platform and consists of the robot
intelligent equipment, CITIC Heavy Industries has been platform, image and data-acquisition
robots can undertake many tasks in developing a special robot to address device, water cannon and remote-
life-threatening environments that are this issue. The explosion-proof control box.
difficult or impossible for humans. This firefighting and scouting robot is
is evident especially in the firefighting designed and certified for fire- 1.1 Robot platform
and rescue field. Intelligent robot extinguishing and reconnaissance in
platforms can help the fire crew to explosive environments. It is intended The tracked platform is the main
enhance safety and reduce the risk to operate in petrochemical refining, part of the robot and is the body onto
factors in dangerous situations. fuel depots and chemical warehouses. which all other components are
mounted. All the integrated electronic
Writing for Asia Pacific Fire magazine 1. The components of the elements and other devices that need
(12 March 2019), Edward Wang, the firefighting robot platform to be isolated are housed in an
Intelligent Solutions Manager for explosion-proof enclosure, which is
Australian-based project management The explosion-proof firefighting and designed with only two through holes
and engineering consultancy Engytech, scouting robot uses a caterpillar-tracked for the driveshaft on each side. All the

6 Fire Protection • June 2019

other mounting holes are blinded, with A Chinese-built CITIC firefighting robot during an exercise at the Forbidden City in Beijing
explosion-proof materials used for the
shafts. The enclosure uses A global television audience was able to watch the CITIC firefighting robot being put
compartmental design to separate through its paces during a simulated fire at Beijing’s famous Forbidden City
elements such as the motor and gear
reducer, which heat up during A state-of-the-art manufacturing data-acquisition device. This consists of
operation, from electrical control facility ensures quality control is an explosion-proof housing, motor, drag
elements to ensure their performance maintained. chains and the image and data-
won’t be affected. acquisition device itself.
1.3 Image and data-acquisition
There are four main moving types device a. explosion-proof housing
of robot: wheel type, legged type, b. motor
wheel-legged type and tracked type. When the robot accesses the fire scene c. drag chains
Due to the complex ground conditions to collect important gas data, especially d. image and data-acquisition device
found at fire scenes, as well as the for toxic gas, different height levels may
relatively large recoil during spraying, have different gas concentrations, so The explosion-proof housing can
the firefighting robot uses tracks to this particular firefighting robot is not only withstand the pressure and
ensure the best performance. The tracks designed with an extendable image and flames generated by an explosion of
are made of flame-retardant rubber, mixed gases, but can also prevent any
supported by steel cord and steel
skeleton, giving high strength and
toughness. In order to ensure the robot
can travel steadily, an advanced
independent suspension system is

The water cannon is the core
component of the robot, and different
types of cannon are available for use in
different situations.

1.2 Water cannon

The water cannon is the core
component of the robot, with different
types of canon available for use in
different situations. The parameters of
the current installed monitor are as

▲ Material: cannon body is made of
304 stainless steel; cannon head is
made of hard-anodized aluminium

▲ Working pressure: 10–12 bar

▲ Maximum flow: 80 litres per second;

▲ Range: 88m (@12 bar);

▲ Rotation and pitch angle: Horizontal
-30° to +30°, Vertical 0° to +85°;

▲ Rotational speed: Horizontal 24°/s,
Vertical 10°/s;

▲ Extinguishing type: Switch freely
between water mode and foam

Fire Protection • June 2019 7


A Magirus firefighting turbine in service with the New South Wales Fire and Rescue service in Australia

A TITAN 6wd firefighting robot internal sparks from igniting the
8 Fire Protection • June 2019 external gas, so ensuring the safety of
the fire scene. The main housing is
integrated with the robot shell cover to
form a plane flameproof surface.
Opening the shell cover reveals the
lifting mechanism, which comprises an
electric motor, transmission gear, screw,
lifting rod and limit switch. The limit
switch is installed at the upper and
lower position of the housing. The data-
acquisition device is equipped with
explosion-proof infrared cameras (front
and back), multi-gas data collector,
pickups and power indicator.

1.4 Remote-control box

The remote-control box is the
command centre and control core of
the firefighting robot, and it is
composed mainly of the data processor,
wireless terminal, display and operation

The data processor is the heart of


the control terminal and is responsible 2. Functions of the firefighting charging the battery while water is
for the processing of data and control robot being sprayed.
command. The operator sends
instructions to the robot through the Internet connection Sound collection
control panel, which can remotely The robot can relay sound from the site
control the robot’s movement, data The robot has a network in real time to aid rescue.
collection and operation of the water communication function, which can
cannon. connect to the internet, transfer data Image collection
and provide reliable data to the Real-time scene images are collected
According to the specific site command centre. via three cameras and then transmitted
conditions, the robot body can be to the control box. The images include
controlled to move and rotate to Remote diagnosis functions adjustable front, back and monitor-
approach the target, the rotation and tracking view.
pitch adjustment of the water cannon Remote diagnosis and malfunction
can be controlled when extinguishing analysis can be carried out through the Automatic obstacle avoidance
the fire, and the expansion of the water robot’s network connection. The obstacle avoidance system enables
cannon head can be adjusted to change the robot to recognise and negotiate
the spray pattern between columnar Environment acquisition (optional) unexpected obstacles automatically.
water and scattered water. The height
and pitch angle of the camera are Integrated gas detecting devices to Long-distance firefighting
adjusted by using the lifting rod to detect the gases distributed at different The robot has a remote-control range
observe the surroundings in real time. heights. (Radioactive substances of up to 1km due to its advanced
The robot’s remote-control box can detection is optional) communication technology and uses
display real-time HD video through dual-channel transmission for data and
line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight Heat eye detection (optional) video.
monitoring via wireless transmission. At
the same time, the robot itself can Tracking and monitoring of heat Rescue function
transmit all parameters and signals sources via infrared thermal imaging. The robot can tow a full-sized rescue
collected from the fire scene to the truck in and out of the site and can
control terminal to help operators make Automatic power generation and carry rescued people out of the
scientific and operational judgments. restrain recoil hazardous area.

To restrain recoil, the robot’s driving
motors are specially designed and can
automatically change from driving
mode to generating mode, thus

10 Fire Protection • June 2019

Drones provide another robot option

Drones are proving to be adept at tackling difficult firefighting tasks

Robot vehicles are not the only structures. See through smoke flood lights, drones can be
weapon in the high-tech with thermal imaging cameras configured to assist ground crews
firefighters’ arsenal. Drones are also and identify hotspots. in any situation. Why wouldn’t a
proving themselves highly adept at public safety agency want to use
tackling firefighting tasks that are ▲ Search and Rescue – search over this technology especially if it
extremely difficult and dangerous. large areas of hard-to-reach land could keep fire crew safe, making
and identify missing people with sure they get home at the end of
According to Dronefly, a US- thermal drone cameras. their shift?” says Robert Scott, Vice
based leader in commercial drone President of Business Development
solutions which has been working ▲ Wildland Firefighting – at Dronefly.
alongside officials to identify and understand current fire
develop solutions for firefighting conditions and reduce risk In the meantime, all fire
and rescue operations, the benefits through better ground crew officials interviewed for a recent
of using drones in these roles monitoring. media article in the US agreed that
include: a quickly deployable aerial the biggest concern about drones is
overview; a lower cost compared to ▲ Post-fire or Post-disaster not whether they’d be effective in
manned aircraft; payload drop Assessment – survey and map fighting fires. Rather, they worry
systems; and thermal camera the scene to assess damage or about private drones interfering
payload options. to search for missing people. with air attack operations and
colliding with specialist firefighting
The four key firefighting uses “The application of drones to drones.
are: work alongside public safety
agencies is the future, as they have
▲ Scene Monitoring – rapid aerial the ability to reach and see places
assessment of burning where humans cannot. With
cameras, payload drop systems and

Fire Protection • June 2019 11


Rational design at
the heart of 2019
InFIReS seminar

Renay Sewpersad, MD of the FPASA (standing), helps to adjudicate during the practical task on rational design

Rational design analysis was the key theme at the rational design phase and plan appraisal process in South
2019 InFIReS Seminar held at Gallagher Estate in African’.
Midrand on 15 May. The seminar is presented annually by
the FPASA and has become a regular and high-profile event As his focus, Du Rand chose Chimera’s recent design of
on the fire protection industry calendar. an elevated helipad located on the roof of a major hospital
in the Cape Town CBD and close to the harbour. The 16-
This year’s keynote speaker was Leon du Rand, a Director floor, 52m-high hospital deals with extreme medical/trauma
at Centurion-based Chimera Fire Protection Consultants. He cases, including patients who are evacuated by helicopter
spoke on the topic ‘Understanding fire safety engineering from ships at sea.
principles acceding to SANS 10400 Part T and BS7974 in the

Fire Protection • June 2019 13


It is also a fallback hospital and needs to be able to Rational designs are, to a certain extent, swear words in
provide services and keep operating during earthquakes. various circles, he noted. But they are nevertheless a
Cape Town is on a natural fault and potentially prone to necessary requirement today.
seismic events. The hospital has a three-hour fire-rated
structural stability. The entire structure does not have a Du Rand addressed the project’s rational design and the
single expansion joint. It is one big concrete block. need to prove compliance with the regulations – in this
instance the required approvals took four years to obtain
The helipad needs to withstand the landing weight of an because of the large number of regulatory authorities
8-tonne Oryx helicopter, including the extreme forces of up involved. He stressed the need to consider factors such as
to 16 tonnes which would come into play in the event of a structural stability, control of fire, smoke control, design of
crash landing. The latter is an ever-present danger because of sprinkler systems, pressurisation of heat systems and smoke
high winds (up to 210k/h) in the area. extraction, as well as evacuation procedures.

Delegates listen attentively to keynote speaker Leon du Rand of Chimera Fire Protection Consultants

Any such crash landing would likely result in the spillage “The crux is what factors need to be considered each
of aviation fuel and a potential fire. Fuel which fails to ignite time and what the process is,” he explained. “You must have
cannot be allowed to enter the municipal stormwater a consistent approach. It doesn’t matter whether it is a
drainage system and provision needs to be made to deal hospital or some other development like a shopping centre
with this eventuality. Evacuation procedures must be in or a high-rise building. If you follow due process and the
place for passengers and crew, as must firefighting systems same process each time, then you will not go wrong. It
in the event of a fire. provides a disciplined approach.”

Du Rand pointed out that the only known similar project His presentation concluded with a practical task based
(to this standard) is in Dubai. So there is no prior frame of on the rational design requirements of the elevated hospital
reference. He added that it is outside of the framework of helipad. Delegates broke into groups and, after discussion,
SANS 10400 Part T, thereby necessitating a rational design. presented their design strategies to the entire audience.

14 Fire Protection • June 2019

Natasha Goring, Managing Director of ASIB Rudolph Opperman of the National Regulator for
Compulsory Specifications

Role of the Building Control Officer fortunately, this code no longer applies in the local building
The critical role of the Building Control Officer in South
Africa was addressed by Rudolph Opperman, Technical Opperman’s presentation dealt with nine main points. In
Advisor for Architecture and the National Building essence, he was asked to deal with the role of the building
Regulations, at the National Regulator for Compulsory control officer and to talk about rational design, as set out in
Specifications. Regulation AZ4. He then touched on a new section that
deals with competent persons.
He discussed the role of the National Building
Regulations and noted its requirement under the Act to He also discussed the four main goals of the Building
provide for the promotion of uniformity in the law relating Act, namely:
to the erection of buildings in the area of jurisdiction of local ▲ Provide uniformity in the building environment, so that
authorities. It does so by prescribing building standards and
standards for other matters. all buildings in SA are constructed similarly and use the
same yardsticks in terms of health, safety and structural
Opperman unpacked this legalese for the delegates and stability.
noted that the oldest known building legislation was ▲ Govern all buildings and the processes employed to
introduced around the time of the building of the Tower of construct these buildings.
Babel in Babylon. Hammurabi's Code of laws (a collection of ▲ Enable enforcement of the Act by the Local Authorities
282 rules from King Hammurabi) established standards for (LA) within our country. The Act therefore makes special
commercial interactions and set fines and punishments to provision to appoint competent minimum-qualified
meet the requirements of justice. It decreed that if a house BMOs within the LA sphere of government.
was not properly built and it fell and killed its owner, then ▲ The requirement for a set of South African National
the builder would be put to death. Standards (SANS 10400) to advise on possible solutions
to the functional requirements set within the regulations.
To general laughter he emphasised that, perhaps
Fire Protection • June 2019 15


Automatic Sprinkler Inspection Bureau (ASIB)

The final presentation of the day was by Natasha Goring,
Managing Director of the Automatic Sprinkler Inspection
Bureau (ASIB).

She explained that the National Building Regulations do
not purport, and were never intended to be, a handbook on
good building practice. They set out, in the simplest and
shortest way possible, requirements to ensure that a building
will be designed and built in such a way that persons may
live and work in a healthy and safe environment.

Therefore, the fact that a building complies with the
National Building Regulations will not automatically indicate
that it is a desirable building.

“I feel that we should be looking at what is correct and
not necessarily what is just in line with the building
regulations,” Goring said. “Where sprinklers are required in
terms of the building regulations, it doesn’t necessarily mean
that’s the only place that we should have them.

“We are about to start a debate as to whether or not fire
protection, not just sprinklers, is ethically required. Should
we ethically protect all buildings, or are we looking simply at
cutting costs and taking money?”

Goring continued: “Anyone who is a consultant will know
that frequently you are competing against other consultants
not for minimum protection, but how much you’re willing to
sign off and get away with. It’s a fact. If you’re an insurer, it’s
a matter of who will take the lowest risk. Who is willing to
gamble on it?”

She referred to a recent fire in Orange Grove,
Johannesburg, which had resulted in an insurance claim of
R550-million. Prior to that, the broker had gleefully noted:
“We have saved R5-million by not putting in a sprinkler

“I bet he’s feeling rather stupid right now,” Goring said. “I
hope the R5-million is worth the R550-million claim!”

She discussed when a sprinkler system is required in
terms of building regulations. Then delved into what should
happen in terms of good minimum protection – which is
ultimately what everyone in the industry is looking for when
it comes to sprinkler systems.

The 2019 InFIReS Seminar concluded with a ‘thank you’
from FPASA Managing Director, Renay Sewpersad, to all
those who participated and helped to make it an important
event on the annual fire protection industry calendar.

All seminar presentations can be downloaded in full from
the FPASA website. Go to

16 Fire Protection • June 2019

Sponsorships make

the seminar possible

The 2019 InFIReS Seminar was made possible by the generous participation of two high-profile sponsors from the
industry: SafeQuip Quality Fire Solutions and BSI South Africa.

Safequip’s presentation was kicked off by Managing Director Pierre Malherbe, who outlined the company’s history and
its ethos of providing a comprehensive range of top-quality products and ensuring that stock is available at all times.

Rudi Vautier, Sales Manager for Europe and Africa, discussed a selection of Safequip’s innovative equipment and
products – specifically the UMC (Universal Manifold Check) valve and the RCW water control valve.

Renowned standards through BSI

Ronel Liebenberg, Product Certification Manager for BSI South Africa, introduced BSI and its background. She explained
that it is renowned as the UK government’s national standards body. It represents UK interests at the International
Organization for Standardization (ISO) and others.

Its role is to help improve the quality and safety of products, services and systems by enabling the creation of
standards and encouraging their use. BSI publishes over 2 700 standards annually. In South Africa, it partners with
organisations to ensure quality, safety and trust through independent third party certification that is robust, trusted and

FPASA thanks both SafeQuip Quality Fire Solutions and BSI for their generous assistance in making the 2019 InFIReS
Seminar possible.

Pierre Malherbe, Managing Director of SafeQuip Quality Ronel Liebenberg, Product Certification Manager for BSI
Fire Solutions South Africa

Fire Protection • June 2019 17


Understanding the role
of architectural review
in rational design

A rational design is the performance-based design of fire-safety measures in a building

The qualitative review under substitute rectangular volume used in digression from the prescriptive
rational design includes an smoke-fill formulae. requirements requires a rational design.
architectural review, fire-safety
objectives, fire hazards and risks, All buildings in South Africa must This has to be completed in
trial fire-safety designs, and worst-case comply with the requirements of the accordance with the fire engineering
fire scenarios for analysis. For example, National Building Regulations and methodology framework requirements
consultants often ignore the building Building Standards Act, 1977 (Act No. of BS 7974. The Application of Fire
roof’s geometry and the required 103 of 1977), Fire Protection, as set out Safety Engineering Principles to the
in SANS 10400 Part T: 2011. Any Design of Buildings, supported by the

18 Fire Protection • June 2019

published documents, form an integral designed accordingly, thereby actions to implement. The report
part of the BS 7974 framework. minimising any potentially devastating comprises a detailed and documented
impact. Engaging a fire engineer at the objective fire-risk assessment, as well as
A rational design is the earliest possible stage of the design can fire-engineering calculations and
performance-based design of fire safety avoid costly fire-protection systems by analysis where required, covering all
and prevention mechanisms and designing from the start with fire in aspects of fire risk and safety.
strategies in a building in order to mind.”
provide the same, or better, fire safety “This guides the client in protecting
levels of the National Building Following the qualitative review, the its business, employees and customers
Regulations, where the prescriptive next step is quantitative analysis in by providing prioritised
requirements cannot be applied. This accordance with BS 7974. Here the recommendations for action in order to
process is not elective, inasmuch as that main focus is on the development of rectify problem areas and strengthen
only certain parts of the framework fire within the enclosure of origin, the existing fire-safety procedures. This also
may be used, or that the results of the spread of smoke, structural response ensures that the client complies with
process are subjective or optional. and fire spread beyond the enclosure of fire-safety regulations for the

All buildings in South Africa must comply with the national building regulations and building standards

A rational design commences with a origin, detection of fire and activation protection of life, property and the
fire-risk consultant visiting the of fire-protection systems, fire-services environment,” Van Niekerk highlights.
premises, or reviewing a set of new intervention, and evacuation of
building plans, to undertake a occupants. These organisations will also work
comprehensive evaluation of all areas closely with insurance brokers and
of the property to inspect every aspect Assessment against criteria is the underwriters to address a client’s fire
of fire safety and risk in detail, ASP Fire final step, where the fire-safety designs risk based on the outcomes of the fire-
CEO Michael van Niekerk explains. developed during the engineering safety risk assessment report. This
analysis are assessed to ensure that the assists in preventing damage to
Building behaviour objectives established at the beginning property and products, loss of life,
during fire situations of the process are, in fact, met. financial loss, consequential loss of
profit, loss of productivity and insurance
“Rational design takes into account the Upon completion of the fire-risk repercussions.
behaviour of a building during a fire, assessment and drafting of the rational
meaning the structure must be design report, organisations such as ASP Fire Protection • June 2019 19
Fire will provide the client with practical



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TEL: 086 112 4228


I-CAT transformer
suppression systems
are verified by
Austrian Institute

Fire Protection • June 2019 21


I-CATFire Solutions’ transformer ensure that the systems can effectively suppress different
suppression systems have been classes of fire against international standards and NFPA
certified and verified by the IBS design guidelines.
Institute for Fire Protection and Security (Institut fur
Brandschutztechnik und Sicherheitsforschung) against Two systems tested
international standards and NFPA design guidelines.
The company tested both deluge systems and stored
The company commissioned the IBS Institute, which is pressure rotor technology systems. The reason being that
based in the Austrian city of Linz, to certify the suitability of transformers are often removed from available water
its water mist fire-suppression system for large transformers. sources, thus making this a complex process and expensive
The tests were conducted in South Africa at the ETS facility to mitigate fire risk. The technology used in the I-CAT
in Redan, Vereeniging. systems is a patented technology supplied and
manufactured exclusively for the suppression of transformer
“The purpose was to prove that, as a key player in the applications worldwide by I-CAT. The system allows for
fire suppression industry, I-CAT’s innovative fire-suppression minimal damage to transformers without the use of large
technology conforms to all legislative standards and quantities of water or water pumps.
requirements, inter alia ONR CENT/TS 14972: Fixed water
mist fire-suppression systems,” I-CAT director, Anton van der The transformer provides a lifeline to large industry
Merwe comments. operations, as it is designed to convert alternating current
from one voltage to another. This, in turn, transfers energy to
Various tests scenarios were carried out through a large the various parts of the production plant. Infrastructures
transformer design mock-up (5m x 8m). These ranged from dealing with high voltages are prone to malfunctions which
the high-voltage and low-voltage conductors being at the result in fires. Thus, a system with early detection and a
top of the transformer (with a 5m² fuel pan, 15MW fire quick response is crucial.
load, and fuel overflow), to these being at the bottom, with
a 25m² fuel pan and 70MW fire load. The main requirement “Most procurement decisions are based on cost, which
was an extinguishing time of less than 15 minutes. often leads to the cheapest fire suppression system being
installed, not necessarily the most effective system for that
I-CAT Fire Solutions is a key role player in supplying fire- particular application,” Van der Merwe highlights. I-CAT’s fire
suppression systems to the commercial, industrial and suppression systems, such as the Localised-Suppression-
mining industries. Conducting these tests and appointing System, are customised for each case. The technology used
international institutions, such as the IBS institute, is done to in the system is one of the leading misting technologies in
the world, extinguishing different classes of fire by using
22 Fire Protection • June 2019 foam mist as an agent.

Companies that operate in the commercial, industrial,
and mining industries utilise equipment, such as
transformers, which require efficient fire-suppression
systems that will mitigate fire risks. I-CAT’s water-mist fire
suppression system has been certified by the IBS institute as
an efficient and most suitable type of fire suppression
system for large transformers.

I-CAT Fire Solutions strives to continuously bring about
innovation and efficiency with a wide range of products that
are suitable for any kind of application – such as machinery,
heavy vehicles, conveyor belts and electrical infrastructure.
All the fire-suppression systems and products are tailored for
each different case to mitigate the identified risk.

“We strive to make our innovative systems more
accessible to mitigate any fire risk on these types of
applications by reducing infrastructure cost and large water
consumption. The modular systems can be designed to
suppress any size of transformer successfully,” concludes Van
der Merwe.


Fidelity Fire Solutions
gets BSI accreditation

Fidelity Fire Solutions has announced that the ▲ Fire hose reels – SANS 543.
company is one of the first fire solutions providers in Fidelity Fire Solutions has also had its service centres
South Africa to be awarded the British Standards
Institution (BSI) certification for portable fire products. accredited by BSI, as per SANS 1475 requirements. The
company offers portable fire products and large-scale
Receiving BSI accreditation for the company’s fire integrated fire solutions including detection, suppression, gas
products is an international stamp of approval from one of and sprinkler systems. It also has servicing and maintenance
the highest standards authorities in the world. Certification agreements across the country.
by the BSI means that Fidelity Fire Solutions products are
assessed and tested to internationally recognised standards “We are honoured to qualify for full BSI certification,
for quality and safety, in line with the Pressure Equipment which is a testament to the quality and customer service we
and National Building Regulations. provide,” says Worthington. The BSI certification further
enhances the quality standards of Fidelity Fire Solutions’
“What makes BSI certification unique is that, to become products and is recognised nationally and internationally,
fully certified, not only
must the product meet surpassing the requirements of other national certifications
international standards, offered.
but the company’s
operations are also “Having fire safety products which have been certified
evaluated against by one of the highest certification and standards bodies in
international standards the world not only adds another notch to South African
and are required to meet quality and safety, but helps pave the way for other
the highest levels of industries and South African companies to reach for greater
quality and service,” says heights. It also enables Fidelity Fire Solutions to now
Andrew Worthington, become a global competitor,” concludes Worthington.
General Manager for
Fidelity Fire Solutions. Fire Protection • June 2019 23

BSI accreditation is
further endorsed by
around 20 international
accreditation bodies. These
include the American
National Standards
Institute (ANAB), The China National Accreditation Board
(CNAB), Japan Accreditation Board (JAB), Raad voor
Accreditatie (RvA) in the Netherlands, and the United
Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

Fidelity Fire Solutions is one of the first South African
companies to receive BSI certification for:

▲ Portable refillable fire extinguishers – SANS 1910

▲ Portable rechargeable fire extinguishers (CO2 Type
cylinders) – SANS 1567


Smoke in tunnels: ‘Logic, Critical investigations better. As a bonus, it just
may be keep you safe too!
Modelling smoke- Thinking and
Fire investigators from all over the
temperature Humanity’: world provided input and suggestions
to a question that was posted online
distribution in Fundamental skills and, here, readers can benefit from their
experience and expertise.
tunnel fires for fire investigators
The wind factor
Fire Australia Fire & Arson Investigator
Associate Professors Khalid Fire Risk Management
Moinuddin and Futoshi Robert Toth
Tanaka Michael Brettle
Jan 2018 Vol. 68, Issue 3
Issue 1, 2019 This article is about the things new fire December 2018/January 2019
investigators should ideally learn in Michael Brettle examines the
Understanding how smoke and their initial field training but might not; importance of wind speed and direction
temperature spread in a tunnel – and those things that may be just off the for hazardous smoke plumes and future
how they interact with different radar screen but are really helpful in the development. Wind is obviously the
ventilation systems – is important for real world. most important factor in the spread of
designing effective fire protection in toxic airborne plumes. It affects both
motor vehicle tunnels. Whether from someone who, as a the area of spread and the
new investigator, once thought, “Gee, I concentrations of material within the
A fire in a tunnel can quickly turn wish I had known that’. Or perhaps a plume. Knowledge of risk areas and,
into a major incident. For example, the seasoned investigator with several trips equally, of safe areas at the start of a
1999 fire in the Mont Blanc tunnel around the block and offering insight to major incident can make a significant
between France and Italy killed 39 others, here is some hopefully beneficial difference to final cost.
people, while the 2014 Yanhou tunnel information that might make your job
fire in China killed 31 people. easier and the overall quality of your
Ventilation systems to control and
exhaust smoke produced by tunnel fires
are therefore of paramount importance
for the safety of tunnel users.

24 Fire Protection • June 2019

Influencing design The halon hazard Passive Fire Protection Solutions

Fire Risk Management Fire Australia Creating fire compartments in a building is an
essential component to ensuring the safe passage
Robert Parkinson and Reece Paul Hodgson and Bonny from a building during a fire.
Walker Redman
Den Braven FireProtect® range offers a
December 2018/January 2019 Issue 1, 2019 comprehensive, fully tested and certified
passive fire product range.
Modern residential apartments within When halon was introduced into
cities across the UK are continuing to Australia as a firefighting agent in the Den Braven FireProtect® products contribute to
thrive. While space is at a premium, the early 1970s, people quickly realised it saving lives and to the integrity of a building after
owners and occupiers of these was perhaps too good to be true. Just a fire allowing for the inspection process to be
apartments want to live in an expansive 20 years later, in 1992, Australia banned undertaken.
and airy environment that removes the the importation of halon into the
feeling of being ‘boxed in’. Open plan country in line with its obligation under Contact Den Braven Sealants for more information
apartments deliver on these needs and the Montreal Protocol – an on our FireProtect® product range.
are the essence of modern residential international treaty that mandates the
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Fire Protection • June 2019 25


The main aim of smoke-control ventilation is to allow occupants to evacuate the enclosure of origin of a fire

Fire safety in
buildings must
integrate sprinklers
with smoke control

26 Fire Protection • June 2019

A utomatic sprinklers and smoke-control ventilation storage heights for various occupancies that are permitted
systems are not incongruous. However, they must without the installation of an automatic sprinkler system in
be designed explicitly with each other in mind when ‘Table 3, Section 4.4. Division Areas’. Sprinklers are necessary
approaching a fire-safety system design for a building. when a fire load within a building is so great that it renders
human intervention within an enclosure impossible.
The primary, and most important, fire-safety objective,
as stated in T1.1(a), A1 of SANS 10400-T, is that the Sprinklers are also necessary for life safety when the
protection of occupants or users, including persons with floor area, horizontal travel distances, or height of a building
disabilities, is ensured, and that provision is made for the require protection of the occupants during an evacuation.
safe evacuation of such occupants or users. “Life safety is One can, however, compartmentalise a large building, or
paramount. One is able to rebuild a building, or replace provide emergency routes, so that occupants can move from
goods and equipment destroyed in a fire. But one cannot or, if necessary, through the enclosure of origin of a fire to a
replace a life lost to fire,” ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk separate, safer area within the building and, ultimately, to
stresses. the street or safe area outside of the building.

SANS 10400-T prescribes the maximum areas and Sprinklers are therefore not mandatory in all buildings
where adequate life-safety systems are installed. Smoke
ventilation is required in any enclosure greater than 500m²
in floor area. SANS 10400-T states in Section 4.42 that an

Fire Protection • June 2019 27


enclosure with a floor area greater than 500m² shall be of an Early Suppression Fast Response (ESFR) system,
provided with a smoke-control system designed in extinguish a fire instead of preventing smoke from being
accordance with EN 12101. generated. Hot smoke and toxic gases, however, are
responsible for more deaths in fires than direct exposure to
Furthermore, any single-storey building with a floor area flames. “There are numerous case studies that support this,”
of up to 2 500m² that is not fitted with a sprinkler he points out.
protection system shall be provided with either a
mechanical or natural smoke control system as set out in Steel and concrete structures are vulnerable to high
that section. temperatures that will build up without adequate smoke
ventilation during a fire. Unprotected steel loses 50% of its
“The main aim of smoke-control ventilation is to allow

SANS 10400-T prescribes the maximum areas and storage heights stiffness and strength at between 450°C to 550°C. This is
termed the critical temperature of steel and results in
occupants to evacuate the enclosure of origin of a fire before sagging of beams or trusses that apply horizontal loads to
untenable conditions are reached. This is achieved by weakened vertical steel structural members designed
allowing hot, toxic gas to vent out of the structure, instead primarily for vertical loads. “The end result is total building
of building up and completely filling an enclosure,” Van collapse,” Van Niekerk warns.
Niekerk explains.
Concrete is similarly affected by temperatures around
The purpose of a Control-Mode Density Area (CMDA)
sprinkler system is to control or contain a fire or, in the case

28 Fire Protection • June 2019


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The debate is whether sprinklers affect smoke ventilation, or vice versa “A literature review of
the South African, British,
700°C, resulting in spalling and the exposure of the internal and North American fire
steel reinforcing to high temperatures. Sprinklers will also standards reveals that
assist in cooling hot gases produced by a fire, aiding in sprinklers and smoke
preventing structural damage to a building. However, they ventilation systems are, in
do not scrub toxic gases such as hydrogen cyanide or fact, complementary when
hydrogen sulphide from the smoke. installed together,” he says.
“There is even a suggestion
that sprinklers have a
symbiotic relationship with
smoke ventilation systems,
resulting in a greater number
of sprinklers activating when
installed with smoke-control

SANS 10400-T states in
a note to Section 4.36.1 that
cognisance should be taken
with regard to the
interaction of different
systems, for example smoke
control and sprinkler
systems. SANS 10287 states
in Section that
account should be taken of
any possible interaction
between sprinkler
installations and other fire-
protection measures.

NFPA 13-16, C.6 states
that tests conducted on
smoke ventilation installed
with automatic sprinkler
systems resulted in 87.5% to
91% more sprinklers opening
than without smoke
ventilation. The ASIB 12th
Edition Rule book states in
Rule 3029 that, in life-safety
systems where the opening
of vents facilitates occupant
evacuation, a fast-opening
(smoke-ventilation) system
linked to a fire-detection
system should be considered.

The CIBSE Guide on Fire Engineering acknowledges in
Section 7.6.3 that there has, indeed, been much debate on
whether sprinklers affect smoke ventilation, or vice versa.
Experiments have demonstrated that there are no
engineering issues raised where both systems are used in the

30 Fire Protection • June 2019


Sprinklers are important for fire safety

same building. This implies that the two systems can be FireDos foam dosing proportioners and skids • Monitors and water cannons
engineered to be installed together. • Mobile dosing and monitor trailers • Bund, tank top and rim pourers

Interestingly, CMDA sprinklers installed in most sprinkler special risk fire protection
installations in buildings are not intended to extinguish a
fire, but rather control it to prevent it from spreading until
the fuel is exhausted or the fire brigade intervenes.

“Sprinklers and smoke-control ventilation systems each
have their place in the fire-safety design of a building. They
can be installed together or independently of each other,
depending on the fire-safety objectives and requirements of
the building in question,” Van Niekerk concludes.

For further information contact: Michael van Niekerk, ASP Fire CEO
Phone: +27 (0) 11 452 2169 Fax: +27 (0) 86 505 1030
Email: [email protected]

Hand line nozzles • Mueller gate valves, indicator posts and fire protection
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[email protected] •

Fire Protection • June 2019 31



The beauty, pain and
insurance concerns
of thatched roofs

There’s a good reason why Africa’s indigenous people But there are downsides too. Thatched roofs are
have long used thatch to roof their homes and other vulnerable to being stripped by birds, for example. In certain
buildings – as have traditional builders in countries such as circumstances the thatch will rot. And then there’s the
the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands. danger of fire, including fire as a result of lightning strikes.

It’s because thatch is possibly the best insulated roofing “Thatched roofs are a visually pleasing option for game
material available. While many other roofs will typically lodges and any other buildings looking to cultivate a rural or
require insulation after being installed, thatch’s natural ‘countryside’ look and feel, but they require significant
properties make it perfect for keeping a room cool in maintenance, including protective measures against the
summer and warm in winter. Another benefit is that it possibility of a fire outbreak,” says Hano Oelofse, Managing
requires little maintenance. Director at DEHN Africa. The company is a global electro-
technical business with more than 1 600 employees
32 Fire Protection • June 2019 worldwide.

“The direct lightning flash density measurements are “Because they are so potentially flammable compared
high in large areas of South Africa, and direct lightning strikes to other types of roof, the insurance requirements on
can cause fires in these highly flammable roofs. Alternatively, buildings with thatched roofs can be onerous,” observes
lightning can cause a power surge, damaging electrical Oelofse. A thatched roof is regarded as a non-standard
equipment and appliances in the same way as a power surge construction by many insurers, in contrast to roofs made of
from an electrical utility source,” notes Oelofse. tile, slate, concrete, asbestos, metal or zinc. Therefore,
amongst other criteria, an insurance company requires the
For this reason, DEHNinsure now offers surge and owner of a thatched roof building to take steps to reduce
lightning protection insurance for thatched roofed buildings fire risk.”
– with added aesthetic bonus. The new insurance offering is

based on DEHN’s modern high-voltage-resistant insulated According to the terms and conditions of insurance
(HVI) technology. It combines public and product liability underwriters as regards thatched roofs:
with professional indemnity and the underwriting of ▲ All insurance companies require that a lightning
electronic equipment insurance.
protection system (LPS) be installed, as per SANS Code of
As an added aesthetic bonus, the HVI technology makes Practice 10313.
use of lightning masts only three metres or less in length ▲ A certificate of compliance (COC) is required before the
that are installed directly onto the roof, rather than the insurance policy can be underwritten, as a method of
traditional 30-metre freestanding lightning masts that have assurance that the components will work and the
been the norm for decades when protecting thatched roofs workmanship is compliant.
from the direct effects of lightning strikes. ▲ Whenever a property is sold, the COC must be renewed.

Fire Protection • June 2019 33


Protecting against lightning strikes New protection brings new design
Traditionally, external lightning protective equipment for
thatched roofs has involved the use of a free-standing In contrast to the 30-metre free-standing mast, DEHN’s
lightning mast, which must be higher than the thatched HVI lightning protection system is compact and neat, and is
roof. installed onto the top of the roof itself. Thinner and shorter
than the old technology, with average lengths of between
Oelofse explains: “The idea is that the lightning flash will 2.5-3m, the HVI is far less visible to the naked eye than a
‘seek’ a pathway to the ground and thereby discharge itself 30-metre free-standing mast and therefore more visually
through the lightning mast; preventing your flammable roof pleasing.
from being struck by the lightning instead. However, the
masts are very visible, which from an environmental Oelofse notes that for the client – whether owner or
perspective somewhat defeats the objective of having the architect – this means optimal adjustment to the
thatched roof blend into the environment. The mast has to architecture of the building and opens up completely new
be installed at a height derived from the lightning risk design possibilities. “At the same time, however, the HVI
assessment, whereby the correct angle of protection is given system provides arguably even better protection from a
according to each lightning protection level. The lightning lightning strike than a 30-metre mast, and it has also been
mast must be high enough to cover the entire building.” proven to be very cost-effective both from an installation
and maintenance point of view.”
He continues: “A free-standing lightning mast must be
earthed and bonded sufficiently, and also needs to be Given the technical expertise offered by the HVI
serviced annually, otherwise insufficient bonding and technology, and the company’s confidence in its product,
earthing of the free-standing mast may lead to flashovers to Oelofse says that DEHN Africa is now prepared to offer
the thatch roof and hazardous step-and-touch potentials insurance guarantees linked to its HVI system through the
around the mast. A mast alone is not sufficient to prevent launch of DEHNinsure for thatched roofs.
damage to the equipment in your home, and so you still
need a separate surge protective device.” “We believe this is a first in South Africa, where vast
areas of our country are prone to the high possibility of a

Aftermath of a fire at a thatch-roofed home
34 Fire Protection • June 2019

▲ Appearance and design is becoming increasingly
important for modern buildings.

▲ HVI conductors can be installed behind the façade, while
HVI conductors with grey sheathing can be painted the
same colour as the building.

▲ For the client this means optimal adjustment to the
architecture of the building and completely new design

▲ Installation takes place directly next to conductive
structural parts or electric lines or pipes.

▲ Additionally, these LPS components for use specifically on
thatched roofs are easy to mount. With the modular
components and the use of special tools, such as the
HVI-Strip, mounting is safe, quick and easy.

▲ The LPS components are also flexible when retrofitting,
and subsequent installation on the roof is possible
without adapting the lightning protection system.

“The simplicity and improved aesthetics of HVI lightning
protection for thatched roofs, as well as the impressive cost
and maintenance requirements of the new technology when
compared to the old free-standing masts, show that this is
indeed the way of the future. Whether your thatched roof is
in a residential area, a commercial site or a game lodge, the
combination of DEHN’s HVI technology and this new
insurance offering from DEHN Africa will have something to
interest all thatched roof lovers and owners,” concludes

lightning strike at different times of the year,” says Oelofse. Now in use at
“DEHN Africa is therefore proud to introduce DEHNinsure Pilanesberg
for thatched roofs. This three-in-one offering means that
insurance companies will have the surety and peace of mind DEHN’s HVI technology has been available locally for
of knowing that the damages that they used to pay for, or some five years or so, and internationally for more
equipment that they used to replace due to lightning strikes, than 15 years. However, its suitability for game parks
will now be covered or repaid by DEHN Africa, according to is only recently being realised in South Africa.
the applicable terms and conditions. This is all due to the Bakubung Villas is a new development that is part of
combination of today’s technology improvements in the world-renowned four-star Bakubung Lodge, one of
lightning protection and DEHN Africa’s faith in our products, the game lodges within the Pilanesberg National Park.
systems, employees and solutions.”
The new units of Bakubung Villas are situated a
Technical notes short distance away from the existing Lodge and are
available for private ownership within the beautiful
DEHN's LPS components for use specifically on thatched location of one of South Africa’s most famous game
roofs are recommended for the following reasons: parks. DEHN’s HVI technology was installed on all the
new units of the villas.
▲ The lightning current-carrying core of these conductors is
coated with insulating material in such a way that the Fire Protection • June 2019 35
required separation distance to other conductive
structural features, or electric lines and pipes, is easily
maintained. There are no further measures required.

▲ Flexibility and safety at the highest level are offered.

Safe, Secure, Flexible.

Using innovative technology, the iFLOW Fire Suppression System is designed to provide a high performance
delivery method that results in a regulated and effective prolonged discharge of inert gas clean agent.
The iFLOW system can be actuated by detection and control equipment for automatic system operation
along with providing local and remote manual operation as needed.

An advanced fire protection system.
For more information please visit

© 2019 Johnson Controls. All rights reserved.


Many UK buildings
are likely to fail new
cladding tests

Potentially dangerous cladding being removed from a building in the UK city of Manchester

UKfire safety experts have The government said it would to support the theory that the highly
warned that many of the monitor the test results this UK combustible material in the cladding
1 700 buildings identified as being ‘at summer to decide if any immediate was the primary cause of the fire's
risk’ in England are likely to fail new action needs to be taken. It comes spread. It took minutes for the fire to
tests into cladding and building almost two years after 72 people died race up the exterior of the building and
materials. Hospitals, schools, nursing in the Grenfell Tower fire in London. spread to all four sides.
homes and tower blocks are among
buildings which could be under threat, A public inquiry into the fire, which The government has set up a fund
the BBC reported. happened in June 2017, heard evidence to remove cladding from buildings

Fire Protection • June 2019 37


identified with aluminium composite Cladding on laminate (HPL) panels are made from
material (ACM) – the same type used Grenfell Tower compressed wood or paper fibre. They
on Grenfell Tower. The new tests, which prior to the are used to produce colourful skins for
began in April, are testing other types of deadly fire new buildings, some of which are
cladding and building materials. classed as combustible.

One type of cladding, known as Another study, released in the
High Pressure Laminate (HPL) is Journal of Hazardous Materials, found
believed to be of particular concern. The that HPL cladding materials released
research group Building Research
Establishment said that none of heat 25 times faster and released
the cladding systems that had 115 times more heat than
passed a standard BS 8414 non-combustible products.
safety test included HPL.

38 Fire Protection • June 2019

Cladding similar to that used at Grenfell is removed by workers in the US

According to data released by Tower-type cladding on about 150 “It has taken its toll. We've been
French authorities in 2017, the cladding private high-rise blocks in England is to living in an unsafe building and we've
used at Grenfell Tower would have be met by the government. had these huge costs placed upon our
released 43.2 MJ/kg of heat. This is 14 heads. The stress is insurmountable,” he
times more heat than an official EU Housing Secretary James said. “If this was a car with an airbag
test allows. The European A2 standard Brokenshire had previously said the bill issue, it would be recalled.”
for ‘limited combustibility’ is just should be footed by the owners, not
3 MJ/kg. the taxpayer. But he said owners had Rachel Loudain, from the UK
been trying to offload the costs on to Cladding Action Group, said
Energy emitted from the cladding leaseholders and that the long wait for leaseholders had exhausted all other
and insulation would have been remedial work had caused anxiety for options before the government stepped
equivalent to burning 51 tonnes of residents. in to pay for the work. “No developer
pinewood, University of Leeds research was taking responsibility; no freeholder.
suggested at the time of the Grenfell Groups representing building We didn't have any option legally or
fire. The cladding's plastic core would tenants said the news would be a any option with insurance,” she told the
have burned "as quickly as petrol", the ‘relief’, but that more was needed. BBC.
researchers said.
The BBC quoted Alex Di Giuseppe, a
Government funding leaseholder in a block of flats with
is being promised unsafe cladding in Manchester, as
saying that he had been dealing with
Meanwhile, it was announced in early the developer, freeholder and
May that the £200-million (approx. management agent but had got
R3,7-billion) bill to replace Grenfell nowhere.

Fire Protection • June 2019 39


Smoke alarms being
sold online found to be
‘completely ineffective’

Effective smoke alarms from reputable manufacturers are an important fire protection measure in the home. But ineffective devices being
sold online pose a danger

Fire officials and consumer bodies in the UK have reacted chamber using fires made up of wood, cotton, plastics and
with dismay to a series of tests that showed four solvents. Some, or all, of these elements would be likely be
Chinese-made smoke alarms being sold online were present in a house fire and the tests were designed to record
completely ineffective and posed “a danger to anyone who how quickly the alarms sounded and the density of the
owns them”. smoke caused.

Which, a well-known consumer watchdog organisation The researchers found that, in every instance, the alarms
and publication, conducted a series of eight tests in a fire failed to activate even when the test chamber was full of

40 Fire Protection • June 2019

eBay is one of the e-commerce portals that has removed faulty smoke alarms from its site

smoke. Each alarm was subjected to a total of eight tests in community to help us ensure that our products are up to
order to validate the results. the standard that customers expect. We are grateful to
Which for alerting us to this issue and looking out for the
Which reported that the four alarms were widely needs of the consumer. We are working to remove these
available online and noted specific sales being made through products from the platform and are following up with the
popular online e-commerce portals such as eBay and merchants in question to ensure they are adhering to local All four alarms were made in China and sold to laws and regulations.”
Which through Chinese resellers.
Roy Wilsher, Chairperson of the National Fire Chiefs
The products have subsequently received Which’s ‘Don’t Council (NFCC) stated: “People trust online companies to
Buy’ designation and the organisation has put pressure on ensure the products they buy from them are safe. The lives
the portals to remove all sales listing for these products. So of those people – and the lives of their families – who have
far around 200 have been removed. Which said both unknowingly purchased unsafe smoke alarms online are in
websites “need to take their responsibilities seriously and do danger and efforts should be made to contact them to
more to stop unsafe products from being listed in the first inform them of the latest findings immediately.”
He continued: “It is deeply concerning that three of the
eBay response four faulty smoke alarms carried the CE safety standards
mark (a certification mark that indicates conformity with
In response, eBay noted: “The listings flagged by Which have health, safety, and environmental protection standards for
been removed and the sellers informed. The safety of products sold within the European Economic Area). I urge
customers is our number one priority and we work closely people to buy fire safety devices for their homes from
with bodies such as Trading Standards (the UK government’s reputable companies and to buy products that carry product
consumer watchdog) to ensure listings sold on our safety symbols such as the British Standards Kitemark. It is
marketplace comply with the law”. not worth risking the lives of your loved ones by buying
cheaper products online.”
A Wish spokesperson commented: “We look to our
Fire Protection • June 2019 41


Still no system-led
approach to fire
protection in UK

Only 23% of UK architects say on a regular basis among architects and capabilities this is currently impossible.
they have worked on a specifiers. These professionals were
construction project with a asked about construction projects they Yet 60% of architects said a
systematic approach to fire protection have worked on in recent years, and the systematic approach to fire protection
in the last 12 months, according to a fire-protection aspects associated with should be adopted across the industry,
study by Zeroignition, a leading British these projects. and nearly one in two (42%) feel this
fire-retardant technology firm. method is appropriate to all types of
While almost one in two architects buildings.
In addition, 42% of specifiers say a (44%) said a system-led approach to
system-led approach to fire protection fire protection is better than reviewing However, when asked about the
is impossible. But 60% of architects materials, products and designs projects they’ve been involved in over
think a system-led approach to fire individually, almost 13% of architects the past year, only a quarter (23%) said
protection should be adopted. and nearly half of specifiers (42%) said the projects they have been involved
with today’s regulations and testing with have taken a systematic approach
The Zeroignition study is conducted to fire protection.

Overall, architects believe they are lacking in fully comprehensive fire-protection training
42 Fire Protection • June 2019

Unforeseen results Too often there’s a culture of cost-engineering which could impact fire safety, architectural
experts say
Ian King, Chief Operating Officer at
Zeroignition, says: “Construction snowball and affect the fire concept of active fire protection, when
projects are incredibly complex and performance, potentially costing lives.” asked about fire protection options
involve a myriad of decisions. Each they’d considered in projects, smoke
choice has a knock-on effect and there Knowledge lacking alarms were named by 38% and
can be unforeseen results when a sprinklers by 33%.
systematic approach to fire protection Meanwhile, an earlier study found that
isn’t adopted.” 92% of UK architects were unable to Just over half (52%) of all architects
define key building fire protection couldn’t give an accurate definition of
King continues: “While architects terms. One-third said their current passive fire protection, where fire
know that a methodical way is best, employer didn’t spend enough on fire- protection is ‘built in’. However, 54%
there’s clearly some scepticism as to protection training and, overall, did cite fire doors as a consideration,
how achievable this is. There is still architects believed they were lacking in which is part of the passive approach.
more to be done by manufacturers and fully comprehensive fire-protection Passive technologies such as flame-
architectural bodies to ensure that best training. retardant treated materials (e.g.
practice is fully bedded in.” firewalls) were considered by over a
Architects were asked about their quarter (29%), plasterboard by 21%
Glyn Coates, a Director at understanding of four common terms and plywood/OSB by 8%.
Zeroignition with over 40 years’ relating to buildings and fire. Only 8%
construction industry experience behind were able to correctly define these four A total of 58% of architects were
him, notes: “Fire protection is too often basic fire protection terms. unable to explain what ‘reaction to fire’
an afterthought. Fire safety is still a way is, and almost three quarters (71%)
off being considered as essential as a The terms were active fire were unable to define fire resistance.
building’s foundations or its envelope. protection (systems which protect None of the architects interviewed said
“This needs to change and a safety-first structures and people including they’d had comprehensive fire-
approach adopted, with fire protection sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers and protection training. Most had ‘some’
built into initial designs and also within smoke alarms), passive fire protection training and 8% said they’ve had none.
products. As this is putting people’s lives (whereby the spread of fire is slowed or
at stake it’s hard to understand why it’s contained through the use of fire- Commented Ian King, Chief
not taken more seriously.” resistant walls, floors and doors, Operating Officer at Zeroignition:
amongst others), fire resistance (a set “Architects are responsible for designing
Design Two, an architecture and of products that prevent fire spreading safe buildings. There’s clearly a lack of
design practice based in the north of to other parts of the structure), and understanding as to the fire basics,
England, has analysed its construction reaction to fire (methods designed to which is worrying to say the least.
methodology. Commenting on these help people escape from fire). Architects, their employers and the
procedures, the firm’s Principle, Colin professional bodies need to invest in
Wardle, says: “At the moment, taking a While one in three architects (35%) ensuring this knowledge is bedded in.”
system-led approach can be quite were unable to correctly define the
complex. Too often it can be
challenging to work out how
components will perform in
conjunction with others. Manufacturers
don’t make this information clear
enough. We manage this by considering
fire safety from the very start of a
construction project.”

He continues: “Too often in our
industry there’s a culture of cost-
engineering which could impact fire
safety. While we may specify a
component, this may be substituted for
something with slightly different
performance properties. This can

Fire Protection • June 2019 43


The 9/11 Memorial Glade honours
firefighters and other recovery workers
who were sickened or died after
responding to the twin tower attacks

Memorial for NY
recovery workers
is dedicated

Family members of recovery workers – including suffering health after-effects as a result of their involvement.
firefighters – who died after digging through
smouldering ruins, recently joined New York City officials at The 9/11 Memorial Glade honours rescue and recovery
a dedication ceremony for a new section of the 9/11 workers who were sickened or died after responding to the
memorial at the World Trade Centre in lower Manhattan. attacks. The grassy clearing on the southwest corner of the
Also in attendance were recovery workers who are still three-hectare plaza includes a path flanked with six sloping
stone structures made of granite slabs inlaid with steel. The
44 Fire Protection • June 2019

Thousands of rescue and recovery
workers were exposed to the thick dust
released when the towers collapsed



Researchers continue to study whether
there is a link between various illnesses
and toxins present during the clean-up

Fire Protection • June 2019 45


Cost effective water storage structures were recovered from the fallen Trade Centre
Premium Zincalume® steel towers.

Fire sprinkler and hydrant tanks "Today we are dedicating this memorial glade to all who
became sick or died because of causes related to the attacks,
accredited and to all the men and women who took part in the rescue
and recovery effort that ended on this date 17 years ago,"
Proud BBBEE former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Chairman of the
Level 4 National September 11 Memorial and Museum, told the
Supplier large crowd gathered on the plaza for the ceremony. "We have a duty to care for those who need it and to
honour the memory of those who died. The memorial glade
[email protected] helps us to fulfil that duty," he said.
+27 (0)83 226 8572
46 Fire Protection • June 2019 The Associated Press (AP) reported that Caryn Pfeifer,
whose husband, firefighter Ray Pfeifer, was an advocate for
responders before he died of cancer in 2017, called the
memorial glade "a beautiful place for our heroes".

Pfeifer said that after the 2001 terrorist attacks, her
husband "spent the next nine months searching and digging
at ground zero without being asked, without being told, and
without thinking about the consequences. But there were
consequences. There was illness and pain and death – and
for Ray that meant his guys and their families were in

Freyda Markow, who volunteered at the Trade Centre site
with the Salvation Army and the Red Cross, wore photos
around her neck of the firefighters who died years after
responding to the attacks. "For them 9/11 was never over,"
Markow said. "It'll never be over."

Thousands of rescue and recovery workers and many city
residents were exposed to the clouds of thick dust released
when the twin towers collapsed.

Many spent weeks working without proper respiratory
protection as fires continued to burn and later developed
respiratory and digestive-system ailments potentially linked
to inhaled and swallowed dust. Over the years, more have
been diagnosed with other illnesses including cancer, the AP
report said.

Researchers continue to study whether there is a link
between those illnesses and toxins present during the clean-
up. One study found that overall mortality rates among
rescue and recovery workers have not been elevated. But
researchers have raised concerns about an unusual number
of suicides among first responders and more deaths than
expected from brain cancers and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.


Membership listing Fire Detection Installers Association
5th Floor East, Helvetia House, Greenvale Road, Wilbart, Germiston. South Africa
FDIA - (RED for Detection only) Postnet Suite #86 Private Bag X10020 Edenvale, 1610 Gauteng South Africa
FDIA & GED - (BLUE for Detection AND Gas) Phone: 087 808-7527/011 452-1797 Fax: 086 518 4376
GED - (GREEN for Gas only) Web Site: E-mail: [email protected]
FDIA - Service Division
Honory - (Black)

Member Member Company Contact Address Telephone E-mail
No Type
FDIA HONORY COMPANIES Lance Govender PO Box 13028 087 722 7777 [email protected]
FD1804 HONORARY Actsys (Pty) Ltd Lakefield 082 555 1555
Benoni 1525
FD1218 HONORARY Cabcon Technologies (Pty) Ltd 011 845 3325 [email protected]
Stephen Bowles PO Box 13002 084 589 9579
FD1703 HONORARY Destro Consulting Services (Pty) Ltd Northmead
Benoni 1511 072 266 9587 [email protected]
FD1901 HONORARY Diversified Security Engineering
Charl Lebonte 1010 Saxby Lane
FDHON HONORARY FSIB Fire Systems (Inspections) Eldoraigne
FDHON01 HONORARY FSIB Fire Systems t/a Fire Systems Training Centurion
FD134 HONORARY Johnson Control, Fire Suppression Products
FD1902 HONORARY Johnson Controls, Fire Detection Products Nigel Versfeld 30 Harries Street 082 460 7723 [email protected]
Cape Town 7800

Keith Norgate PO Box 16744 011 608 1249 [email protected]
Dowerglen 1612 082 444 1776 [email protected]
[email protected]
Jolene v/d Westhuizen PO Box 16744 011 450 4706 [email protected]
Dowerglen 1612 082 444 1776

Andy O' Hare P.O. Box 28085 011 026 9476
Malvern 4055 060 546 8888

Shane Payne P.O.Box 28085 011 011 4070
Malvern 4055 082 079 9536

HON1603 HONORARY PKP Industry Trading cc Teddy Pillay PO Box 14958 083 289 3333 [email protected]
HON1404 HONORARY Steehold Company Limited Haneef S. Keelson Benoni 1510 079 878 6737
Richard McLaughlin
FD011 HONORARY Sysman Public Safety Systems (Pty) Ltd Lauren Sher PO Box TD 1103 +233 (0) 317090111/2 [email protected]
FE001 HONORARY TOA Electronics Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd Nick Palm Takoradi 050 129 7542
Thomas Potgieter Western Region, Ghana
FD1603 HONORARY Velocity Cable Company (Pty) Ltd 011 300 3300 [email protected]
PO Box 539 083 602 5722 [email protected]
FD1009 HONORARY West Coast Automation Systems cc Lanseria 1748
011 608 1477
FDIA MEMBER COMPANIES Postnet Suite 106 082 446 7602
FD1139 INSTALLER ACF Technologies (Pty Ltd Private Bag X1
Edenglen 1613 011 849 6835 [email protected]
FD088 INSTALLER Airfire Solutions 082 552 0247
FD1803 INSTALLER Aspigon 245cc t/a Aspigon Fire cc Postnet Suite 215
Private Bag X1 +264 63 233378 [email protected]
FD019 INSTALLER Bhubesi Fire Projects (Pty) Ltd Benoni 1510

FD1134 INSTALLER Compcrete cc PO Box 1388
FD904 INSTALLER Data Connectivity Solutions (Pty) Ltd Oranjemund
FD1807 INSTALLER Firetech (Pty) Ltd Namibia
FD047 INSTALLER FS Systems (Pty)Ltd
FD098 INSTALLER Gentech Services Charles Thiongo Postnet Suite 129 011 452 2911 [email protected]
Private Bag X10016 082 456 9814
Derek John Fortuin Edenvale1610 [email protected]
Stephen Craig Behr 043 731 2133 [email protected]
PO Box 5059 082 770 2835
Gareth Long Greenfields 5208 082 576 5874

Peter Labuschagne 1 Hermes Ave, 011 462 2742 [email protected]
Willie le Roux Parsons Vlei 083 272 8104
Jose Pereira Port Elizabeth 6001 [email protected]
Jason Adams 011 958 1988 [email protected]
Pieter Coetzee Postnet Suite 673 082 892 0745 [email protected]
Private Bag X 033 011 646 0955 [email protected]
Rivonia 2128 082 888 8808 [email protected]
012 819 1380
PO Box 2013 083 238 3868
Wilropark 1731 021 685 1111
083 406 4274
PO Box 95092 011 740 9032
Grant Park 2051

PO Box 31304
Totiusdal 134

PO Box 142
Observatory 7925

PO Box 2251
Brakpan 1540

Fire Protection • June 2019 47


Member Member Company Contact Address Telephone E-mail
No Type

FD905 INSTALLER Gijima Electronic Security Systems (Pty) Ltd Ivan Cory PO Box 10629 012 675 5000 [email protected]
Centurion 082 460 4788 [email protected]
[email protected]
FD1807 INSTALLER Hawk Fire Systems cc Joey Louw PO Box 752600 011 028 3442 [email protected]
Garden View 2047 072 035 4743 [email protected]
[email protected]
FD076 INSTALLER IBR Fire Systems (Pty) Ltd Darren Stroberg PO Box 5119 011 740 2424 [email protected]
Brenthurst 1542 [email protected]
011 422 4475 [email protected]
FD007 INSTALLER Integrated Fire Security (Pty) Ltd Clayton Loe PO Box 2242 [email protected]
Benoni 1500 011 316 1808
061 528 2937 [email protected]
FD1806 INSTALLER Itireleng Project Management (Pty) Ltd Morne Goosen PO Box 592 [email protected]
Olifantsfontein 1666 011 794 4332 [email protected]
083 608 1181 [email protected]
FD1701 INSTALLER MFS Electronic Projects (Pty) Ltd Bruno Albino PO Box 3268 [email protected]
Dainfern 2055 012 379 1753 [email protected]
083 458 8970 [email protected]
FD024 INSTALLER Multi-Net Systems (Pty)Ltd Johan Smith PO Box 48561 [email protected]
Hercules 0030 031 203 5200 [email protected]
082 777 7097 [email protected]
FD1702 INSTALLER Mzansi Fire and Security (Pty) Ltd Andrew Percy PO Box 18084
Dalbridge 4014 011 425 0681
072 151 2652
FD1222 INSTALLER Origan Electronic Solutions cc Yolandi Nieuwoudt PO Box 2793
Benoni 1500 011 608 0753
083 631 8179
FD1801 INSTALLER RF Monitoring Systems (Pty) Ltd Filip dos Santos Postnet Suite 580
Private Bag X033 011 452 1339
Rivonia 2128 082 446 1475

FD009 INSTALLER Sensor Special Risk Technologies Clive Foord PO Box 2005 011 247 7800
Primrose 1416 083 266 5802

FG016 INSTALLER SFP Security & Fire (Pty) Ltd Owen Smit PO Box 82245 031 702 2130
Southdale 2135 083 652 3455

FG016A INSTALLER SFP Security & Fire (Pty) Ltd - Durban Ted Townsend PO Box 1741 021 526 9300
Pinetown 3600 083 603 0399

FG016B INSTALLER SFP Security & Fire (Pty) Ltd - Cape Town Fernando Antunes PO Box 313 011 868 3131
Table View 7439 082 566 1362

FD1206 INSTALLER Sizanane 7 (Ez Trade 16 cc t/a) Vanessa van Zijl PO Box 11480 011 450 1939
Randhart 1457 079 524 9471

FD800 INSTALLER Smart Line Integration (Pty) Ltd Charles Harris PO Box 4337 086 177 3767
Edenvale 1610 082 882 8253

FD902 INSTALLER Spero Sensors and Instruments Paul Stemmet Private Bag X120 011 917 3208
Centurion 0046 082 908 7251

FD1503 INSTALLER Tempest Fire cc Neil Tyler PO Box 25460 011 822 2230
East Rand 1462 082 370 5442

FD1805 INSTALLER Transfire (Pty) Ltd Rowan Ellis PO Box 25784 011 432 1215
East Rand 1462 083 255 2298

FD1604 INSTALLER Wideband Electronic Services cc Tony Labe PO Box 101
Bassonia 2061


FD1802 SUPPLIER Akhanani Distributors Vaughan Cameron-Gunn PO Box 217 011 613 7299 [email protected]
Rosettenville 2130 082 412 2004 [email protected]

FD041 SUPPLIER Fire and Security Techniques Hanlie Truter PO Box 277 012 621 9400
Raslouw 0109

FD125 SUPPLIER Technoswitch (Pty) Ltd Brett Birch PO Box 1752 011 794 9144 [email protected]
Randpark Ridge 2156 083 514 6043 [email protected]
[email protected]
FD125A SUPPLIER Technoswitch (Pty) Ltd - Cape Town Johan Paulsen PO Box 1752 021 948 4575
Randpark Ridge 2156 076 108 9868

FD125B SUPPLIER Technoswitch (Pty) Ltd - Durban Patrick Denyssen PO Box 1752 031 266 8843
Randpark Ridge 2156 084 887 7719


FDSERV01 SERVICE Sensor Special Risk Technologies Clive Foord PO Box 2005 011 452 1339 / [email protected]
Primrose 1416 082 446 1475 [email protected]
[email protected]
FDSERV02 SERVICE MeyCom (Meyer Communications Juan-Louis PO Box 44778 021 683 6258 [email protected]
(Africa) (Pty) Ltd t/a) Claremont 7735 083 436 2044 [email protected]

FDSERV03 SERVICE SFP Security & Fire (Pty) Ltd Owen Smit PO Box 82245 011 247 7800
Southdale 2135 083 266 5802

FDSERV06 SERVICE Compcrete cc Peter Labuschagne PO Box 2013 011 958 1988
Wilropark 1731 082 892 0745

FDSERV07 SERVICE Gentech Services Pieter Coetzee PO Box 2251 011 740 9032
Brakpan 1540

FDSERV08 SERVICE Data Connectivity Solutions (Pty) Ltd Willie le Roux PO Box 95092 011 646 0955 [email protected]
Grant Park 2051 082 888 8808 [email protected]

FDSERV09 SERVICE Smart Line Integration (Pty) Ltd Johan du Plessis PO Box 4337 011 450 1939
Edenvale 1610 079 524 9471

48 Fire Protection • June 2019

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