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Problem magnified

The devastating fire that destroyed one the most important production plants in southern Spain is thought to have been caused by the relatively rare magnifying glass effect, reports George Potter.

400,000 sq ft up in smoke

CASE STUDY: George Potter reports on the worst fire in 20 years in the European food processing industry.

Upgrading fire detection at GDF Suez Power Station

When a 15-year old control panel that activated a series of electric and diesel pumps failed in GDF SUEZ Saltend Cogeneration Plant, with a defect that was proving near-impossible to resolve, it became obvious to Site Services Engineer Simon Gott that it was time to take action. Jose Sanchez de Muniain reports.

Video image detection technology in action

CASE STUDY: Fike protects waste incinerator in Czech Republic’s capital from fire.

Waste recycling fires – measuring the impact

The issue of fires breaking out at waste recycling sites remains one that continues to challenge the Emergency Services and the Environmental Agencies, both in prevention and in tackling them, writes Bill Atkinson, Bureau Veritas, UK.

On-target response

The largest mobile fire fighting system in the southern hemisphere is now installed at Caltex Oil Refinery, Lytton, Brisbane (Australia). Jose Sanchez de Muniain speaks with Ian Mortleman, Emergency Response Specialist.

Pontoon compartment explosion on floating roof tanks

The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) issues safety alert following an explosion.

Gas-powered buses – hazards and evacuation

New fuels are emerging to replace fossil fuels. The overall benefits are great, but with new technical developments new risks emerge. As a consequence of an accident that involved natural gas buses in Helsingborg, Sweden, SP Fire Technology, an international testing institute based in Sweden, performed evacuation tests where the driver was found to be the key factor, write Glenn Appel, Johan Lindström and Fredrik Rosén (SP).

Report on Carbide Industries explosion

Company ignored years of smaller, similar incidents in electric arc furnace, says CSB.

CSB hopes Chevron pipe rupture report serves as corrosion warning to refiners.

CSB technical report on Chevron 2012 pipe rupture and fire compiled in cooperation with California division of OSHA.

Beneath the Glory Hole

In September, at the end of his first day at La Boisselle WW1 tunnel site, where he’d been training archaeologists and a BBC film crew in the use of breathing apparatus, Kevin James stood under the shower and shook with emotion for five minutes.

Enbridge Inc hazardous liquid pipeline rupture

Critical conclusions and recommendations published by the National Transportation Safety Board

Human behaviour modelling in evacuation scenarios – Project Getaway

Did you know that only 38% of people register the presence of an emergency exit sign during an emergency evacuation? IFJ talks to Professor Ed Galea, evacuation modelling specialist at the University of Greenwich, about Project Getaway and the latest developments in evacuation.

Coalition for Responsible Fire Protection aims to increase environmental awareness in the fire industry

The US-based Coalition for Responsible Fire Protection continues to make inroads since its inception around a year ago: a European chapter is planned and some tangible projects promise to define what being ‘green’ will mean in practice for the fire industry.

CSB hold public meetings on three accidents at the Hoeganaes Plant

CSB held a public meeting November 16, 2011, in Gallatin, Tennessee, to release findings and draft recommendations into three combustible iron dust related accidents that occurred at the Hoeganaes Plant in 2011.

CSB releases video on laboratory safety at academic institutions

"Experimenting with danger" focusses on CSB case study on Texas Tech University accident; laboratory deaths at UCLA and Dartmouth 

Hochiki Europe is the perfect match for Birmingham City FC

Thousands of people attend the various football matches that take place each week across the length and breadth of the UK. As its popularity has increased, attendances have risen and today’s football stadiums are modern, comfortable spaces where people of all ages gather to support their teams.

Maltese care home provider installs fire detection from Hochiki

The CareMalta Group is Malta's largest private care provider and operates six facilities across the island. The company employs a team of over 500 highly qualified personnel who are focused on providing quality care services and facilities management.

Gateway to Ghana

Investing in safety and security at Kotoka International Airport is paying off in many ways, writes Charles Hanson Adu. Kotoka International Airport (KIA) is principally managed by the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), a progeny of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority of Ghana which now assumes regulatory function at KIA. The KIA is fast establishing itself as one of the busiest airports in West Africa.  It has one South-West/North-East runway (21/03) measuring 3,410 meters.

High-rise tactics

A safe outcome in High-rise response relies heavily on the fire resisting performance of interior compartments in tall buildings, writes Paul Grimwood, Principal Fire Safety Advisor for Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

Smoke jumpers!

Firefighters who parachute into wildland fires may sound like something out of an action movie, but they exist. Special report from British Columbia by emergency planning consultant Paul Dixon.

Case study released by CSB – fatal 2008 accident at Goodyear Tire and Rubber plant in Houston, Texas

The report by the US Chemical Safety Board cites a need for emergency drills and the following of pressure vessel codes.

Safe passage in Panama

The planned expansion of the Panama Canal is one of the largest and most prestigious hydraulic engineering projects in decades. With over $3.48 billion at stake, remote locations, and a frenetic 24/7 work schedule, the challenges for vehicle suppression specialists are considerable. We joined Ardent on the front line.

A new philosophy in firefighting – fast suppression units

A smart solution that enables crews to respond to incidents with fewer people while saving time and money is now sweeping across Europe, reports Ann-Marie Knegt.

Gas cooling to control the fire environment in compartments

In today’s built environment, a compartment fire develops quickly. Synthetic materials used in furnishings and interior finish have a much higher heat of combustion and heat release rate than the natural materials found in the built environment of the 1950s and 1960s. When a compartment fire develops, buoyant, hot smoke and entrained air form a layer at the ceiling and begin to fill the compartment. As the depth of the layer increases, the hot smoke and air begins to flow out through the opening into adjacent compartments, writes Chief Edward E Hartin, (MS, EFO, MIFireE, CFO) of Central Whidbey Island Fire & Rescue in the State of Washington, US, and owner of CFBT-US, LLC, an international fire behaviour training and related consulting service.

Canada prepares for the wildland fire season

In British Columbia, Canada’s Olympic province, the 2009 fire season surpassed 2003 as the worst fire season in recorded history, with more than 3,000 fires devouring 257,000 hectares, 40% of the Canadian total for the year. Other jurisdictions across the country experienced relatively few significant wildfires in 2009, allowing personnel, equipment and aircraft to be redeployed to BC. Paul Dixon, Emergency Planning Consultant, writes on lessons learned in 2009.

Chicago Fire Department– thinking outside the box

A single cubic foot of soil can weigh as much as 145 pounds and a typical cave-in can involve about 1.5 cubic yards of soil weighing approximately 4,000 pounds. After experiencing an increase in trench rescue operations, Chicago Fire Department came up with a world-class innovation that has considerably shortened rescue time: Ann Marie Knegt reports.

HOW TO...How to carry out a trench rescue operation

“Enough is enough” is most likely the reason why in the US it is forbidden to enter an unsecured trench or ditch, and there are strict regulations as a result of the deaths of many firefighters who perished while trying to save others. Although there are no current regulations in Europe, the same issues should be considered: Peter Schellekens from ResQtec takes a look at some of the basics.

Orcas protected by Wasps

Orcas Island – famous for whale spotting – needed a quick attack solution fleet of pumpers, but one that would comply with State Rating Bureau regulations. For two years Orcas Fire Departmentworked with Darley to find a solution and the unusual result is WASP, a new category of vehicle – the wildland attack structural protection vehicle.

Department of the Interior delivers oil and gas safety report to President Obama

At the end of April, just ten days after explosion and fire erupted on Deepwater Horizon, President Obama directed the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a thorough review of the event and to report, within 30 days, on what additional precautions and technologies, if any, might be required to improve the safety of oil and gas exploration and production operations on the outer continental shelf. This report has now been published and is likely to have significant repercussions for the long-term future of deepsea oil exploration.  

Getting a lift to safety - ISO report reveals use of elevators may save lives in emergencies

Common wisdom dictates that we do not take lifts (elevators) when evacuating buildings. However, a new ISO technical report reveals that lifts may be viable escape options, and provides a decision chart to help identify risks. 

Pipe cleaning practices that led to Kleen Energy explosion are common across gas energy industry, survey data show

The practice of using flammable natural gas to clean power plant piping, which led to the fatal explosion at Connecticut-based Kleen Energy on February 7, has been commonly used across the gas-fired power generating industry, US Chemical Safety Board investigators have said.

FM Global - HFSC Joint Resarch Project at FM Global's research campus
Fire sprinklers can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from building fires by 98%, research finds

Study from FM Global and Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition finds other environmental benefits too.

Chemical companions

Where do responders turn to when they need immediate hazmat advice?

A generous smile

Jan Meertens, MD of the Netherlands-based International Centre for Emergency Techniques, highlights how the Sri Lankan Government has set up a genuinely integrated response system that can help save citizen’s lives in case of major international disasters.

Best practice code for rope access

The world’s leading authority on industrial rope access has published a freely downloadable code of practice for rope access.

BAA breaks new ground in ARFF training

BAA, the largest civil aviation firefighting service in the UK, is breaking new ground by becoming an accredited NVQ training provider for its management-level firefighters – and that’s just for starters. Industrial Fire Journal speaks with Chief Gary Moorshead about the challenges facing aviation emergency responders.   

Changi Airport mini profile

Dennis Lim, Senior Airport Emergency Officer, writes on Changi Airport Group’s ARFF training approach.   

Firefighters with guns: training for the front line

Industrial Fire Journal visits the UK’s Royal Air Force Fire Service at the Defence Fire Training and Development Centre (DFTDC) Manston in Kent, to find out first hand what it takes to be a firefighter in some of the most challenging environments in the world – including battlefields.   

Move forward with AFFF

Aircraft rescue and firefighting requires the best foam available: AFFF.  Tom Cortina, Executive Director, Fire Fighting Foam Coalition, explains why. 

Special report: Effective Firefighting Operations in Road Tunnels

The main purpose of this study is to develop operational procedures for fire brigades in road tunnels. Although much progress has been achieved in various fields of fire safety in tunnels, very little attention has been paid specifically to firefighting in tunnels. 

Exclusive report – Aerial Firefighting Conference Vancouver

The fourth northern hemisphere Tangent Link Aerial Firefighting Conference, held at the Sheraton Airport Hotel in the Winter Olympic city of Vancouver proved an attractive venue for North American Firefighters. Delegates attended also from Japan, Russia, Australia and four European countries, however the preponderance of 'in country' delegates reinforces the community demand for an annual conference on each side of the Atlantic. The Sheraton readily accommodated the close on 200 delegates and a record attendance of exhibitors who commented that these events are the only place where they can guarantee to meet everyone they wish to and that they prove beneficial in business terms. Dennis Brown, the Director of the Canadian Inter-Agency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) welcomed everyone to the Conference.

Solution to the problem of de-activated fire alarms in major renovation project

The major renovation and upgrade of the vast Sportpaleis Ahoy exhibition centre in Rotterdam provides an excellent example of how to overcome the problem of de-activated fire alarms whilst building work is underway - Tag Guard’s new Fire Alert provided the ideal solution.

Fire and ice: dealing with LNG spills

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.

Different perspectives: foam usage

The impact of the use of AFFF and AR-AFFF foam as an extinguishing agent worldwide cannot be underemphasised – but how do different countries approach its usage, and do viewpoints vary from country to country? Is the global community of firefighters singing from the same hymn sheet?

Improved vehicle protection will boost tunnel safety

With all the attention focused on tunnel fire prevention and firefighting, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that if fewer vehicles caught fire, the problem would be greatly diminished. Nick Grant, EMEA Vice President and General Manager of Firetrace International, explains. 

Fire safety engineering – strategy before study!

Fire safety engineering is a bit of a misfit subject, fitting uneasily within the realms of engineering and technology. It cannot be pigeon holed as a pure engineering discipline as it incorporates a range of subjects including mathematics, physics, chemistry and even psychology. It also utilizes principles from civil, mechanical and electrical engineering, writes the author of the British Standard Specification PAS 911, Paul Bryant.

Health and Safety Executive publishes report on Shallow Water model "SPLOT"

The Health and Safety Executive has published a report that outlines the causes and consequences of catastrophic tank failure and examines the efficacy of bund overtopping prediction models such as SPLOT (SPreading Liquid Over Terrain), OVERTOP and LSMS.

Drilling deeply

John Campbell of Stena Drillmax writes about the unprecedented ongoing assessment of the emergency response capabilities in all semi-submersible drilling units and drill ships of Stena Drilling Ltd.

Linked beneath the sea

Eurotunnel, the operator of the world’s longest undersea tunnel and one of its busiest rail routes, has chosen Sepura’s new STP8000 hand-held TETRA radio for its communications in emergency operations.