Wormald reaffirms its commitment to sustainable fire suppression

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In light of the recent announcement that the Queensland Government has restricted the use of firefighting foams containing PFOA, Wormald has re-affirmed its commitment to providing fire suppression solutions that limit impacts on the environment.

The use of firefighting foams remains an important element of effectively suppressing a fire quickly to help reduce substantial and lasting damage to the environment, people and property. However, Wormald recognises that the use of firefighting foams has impacts on the environment if not properly controlled and that there needs to be a balance between dealing with a fire event effectively using firefighting foams and what impacts to the environment the use of firefighting foams will create. Continue reading

Changes to vehicle fire protection standard AS5062-2006 announced

Wormald_VFS standard 2Owners and operators of mobile and transportable equipment are urged to familiarise themselves with the recently announced changes to Australian Standard AS 5062-2016 Fire protection for mobile and transportable equipment.

With new requirements for maintenance including routine service tolerance frequencies, baseline data reporting and risk assessment, the revised standard promotes improved fire safety for mobile plant used in transport, mining, forestry, civil works and port facilities. Continue reading

South Australia adopts fire protection maintenance standard AS 1851-2012

By John Lynch, General Manager, Wormald Business Support Services

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From 1 May 2015, AS1851-2012 Routine Service of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment came into effect as the required standard for fire protection maintenance for all new buildings in South Australia.

The South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure has amended the ‘Minister’s Specification SA 76-Maintenance and Testing of Safety Installations Schedule of Essential Safety Provisions’, dated January 2000, with the newly drafted ‘Minister’s Specification SA 76-Maintenance of Essential Safety Provisions – 2015 edition’.

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A guide to procuring fire safety systems for NZ schools

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By Dave Hipkins, national technical and product manager at Wormald New Zealand

Fire is a very real risk for New Zealand schools. According to the New Zealand Fire Service, there were 427 fires in education buildings between 2007 and 2011*.

Along with posing a risk to the safety of students and staff, a fire can have costly consequences. The economic cost of fires in education facilities totalled $33.7 million dollars between 2007 and 2011, with each fire incident costing an average of $78,936*.

Executive officers face a myriad of decisions when procuring fire protection systems, including considerations around funding, equipment, providers, maintenance contracts and costs.

It is important to approach these decisions with a big picture mentality, by considering the school’s unique fire protection requirements to ensure a suitable fire protection solution is installed. Continue reading

Have you got the right fire protection solutions in place?

fire extinguisher_blogBy John Lynch, General Manager, Wormald Business Support Services

A recent report from the NSW Building Professionals Board, developed in consultation with the fire protection industry, identified that the fire protection systems in many buildings are not installed in compliance with relevant standards. It also found that in some buildings, a deliberate decision was made to install a substandard system to reduce costs, creating potential fire traps.

Installing the correct fire protection solution can mean the difference between a small fire and a devastating blaze. Selecting a fire protection solution is a significant decision for a facility manager and cutting corners to save on costs is not recommended.

The first step in selecting a fire protection solution is to consult a fire protection specialist to conduct a fire safety audit of the property.  This will highlight potential fire risks around the premises and help to determine the best fire protection solution for the building. Hazards will vary depending on the nature of the business or property but may include electrical equipment, kitchen or heating appliances, stored combustible assets/materials and even combustible waste material.

A broad range of fire protection equipment is available, from basic fire extinguishers or hose reels, to passive fire solutions or advanced fire detection and suppression systems. When it comes to making a decision, facility managers should consider all relevant legislative requirements and standards, the size of the building, the materials being stored on premises and the purpose of the building. A downtown office building will have vastly different fire protection requirements to a high racking storage facility site, for example.

If it’s been a while since you’ve checked you’re fire protection solutions we suggest you call your fire protection service provider or call Wormald on 133 166 .  Wormald offers inspection and testing services to businesses of all types and sizes and we are constantly advancing the way technicians service client sites.

Protecting NZ’s marae cultural sites from fire

Marae image_lower resBy Dave Hipkins, National Technical and Product Manager, Wormald New Zealand

Maraes are sacred historical places that often contain carvings and artefacts that would be irreplaceable in the event of a fire.  As most maraes are constructed from timber and many are located in remote locations, they are particularly vulnerable to fire.

Protecting maraes from the risk of fire requires both careful planning and technical knowledge.  Consideration must also be given to a marae’s heritage buildings which in some cases can be over 100 years old.  Inadequate or improper fire protection can also expose the marae’s community to danger, lead to potential injury or, in a worst case scenario, loss of life. Continue reading

Consider the fire risks in your warehouse

warehouseBy John Lynch, General Manager, Wormald Business Support Services

Consider the fire risks in your warehouse

The losses that can be caused by a warehouse fire are significant.  As the shift to larger warehouse storage facilities and distribution centres continues, the fire protection solutions required are becoming more complex.

A major fire can quickly bring a business to a standstill with loss of goods and equipment, building damage, smoke damage and subsequent downtime just some of the outcomes when fires are not quickly contained. With the right solutions in place, the risk of minor mishaps or serious incidents can be averted or reduced. Designing a fire protection system requires expertise in fire behaviour and fire protection – both of which Wormald has developed through decades of experience.

In a warehouse environment, it is often the simple things that are overlooked.  Forklifts and containers blocking fire exits, missing or neglected fire extinguishers, a lack of exit lights, the accumulation of flammable debris, and overloaded electrical outlets are all common hazards that can be easily rectified.  Continue reading

Six tips for educating children about fire safety

By Garry Kwok, National Manager, Technical Services Group

Winter fire safetyWinter has well and truly arrived and as your family looks for ways to stay warm and cosy, it’s important to be vigilant about keeping your home fire safe. This includes discussing fire prevention with children.

Every child should be educated about fire safety, starting at home. If children see their parents taking fire safety seriously, they are more likely to do the same.

It is vital that families conduct a fire safety audit of the home. This includes ensuring that smoke alarms are installed in the correct location, batteries have been replaced with new ones (if it’s an existing alarm) and checking that fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers or fire blankets are accessible and in good working order. Smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and fire blankets are all essential tools for defending a home against a fire.

Families are also encouraged to develop a fire escape plan and practice it regularly with the entire family. This can be a great way to involve children in the fire safety discussion.

A fire escape plan should start with a floor plan of the home that maps out the quickest escape route from each room and indicates where fire safety equipment is kept.

Wormald has the following fire safety advice for parents to help them reduce the risk of fire in the home:

  1. Ensure children know what the smoke alarm sounds like and they what to do if they hear it.
  2. Keep matches and lighters well out of reach of children.
  3. Ensure children are kept at a safe distance from heaters, candles, and oil burners.
  4. Supervise children in the kitchen and keep them away from the stovetop and oven.
  5. Ensure heaters are always kept on a flat stable surface on the floor and away from curtains or other flammable items such as clothes and toys.
  6. Be aware that some children may have a natural curiosity about fire and be tempted to be involved in ‘fire play’. Closely monitor any suspicious behaviour.

For complete fire safety protection this winter, fire safety kits are available from Wormald. Each kit includes a 1kg ABE fire extinguisher, photoelectric smoke alarm and fire blanket.

If you or someone you know has been affected by fire, you may want to consider contacting the Fire Foundation. Wormald supports the work of the Fire Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation which helps fire and burns victims throughout Australia to rebuild their lives.

The dark winter days can also increase the risk of a break-in at home. The latest blog post from ADT Security offers seven tips for home security during winter.

Wormald boosts customer service with new online portal

By John Lynch, General Manager Business services, Wormald

WormaldConnect_LaptopWormald has announced the launch of ‘Wormald Connect’, a web-based portal designed to help customers keep on top of vital fire protection servicing and maintenance.

Wormald Connect gives customers 24 hour access to fire service calls and inspections data. It allows customers to review servicing schedules and data online at any time. Data can be stored on the portal for analysis or easily exported via an internet connection to enable further analysis or record keeping. If required, inspection summaries can be filtered to suit a customer’s individual needs.

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Minimising fire risk at large scale events

By Peter Fermor, Managing Director, Tyco Fire & Security New Zealand

event 03 of the 2013 Australian V8 Supercar Championship SeriesThose involved in organising events, whether a concert, sporting event, local festival or even a school sports day, will know the importance of public and participant safety. To reduce the risk of safety incidents, event organisers and suppliers should come together to devise safety plans and ensure suitable safety equipment and procedures are in place.

Fire protection is an important part of any event safety plan. When it comes to fire protection planning for large scale events, considerations include the size and type of event, whether the venue is indoor or outdoor, fixed or temporary, the size and density of the expected crowd, and the type of equipment or machinery being used.

From 24-27 April 2014, championship drivers will compete at the ITM500 Auckland V8 Supercars championship.  This is New Zealand’s largest annual sporting event and will take place at the Pukekohe Park Raceway circuit, near Auckland.

The V8 championship is a high powered event and organisers know that being prepared for an emergency is absolutely essential.  Wormald has been involved with the V8 event since 2007 and each year the team works closely with the event organisers to assess the fire risks on site and identify the most appropriate fire protection solution. Continue reading