Tyco Initiates COVID Prevention

May 18, 2020


By John Liesveld
EagleHerald Publishing

MARINETTE — As a critical manufacturer of fire protection products and fire prevention infrastructure for companies and organizations across the globe, Tyco Fire Products LP represents one of those essential industries exempt from Gov. Tony Evers’s emergency order “Safer at Home,” which he issued March 24.

The order spelled out various and enforceable regulations and restrictions community-wide. It resulted in the closure of all non-essential businesses like movie theaters, swimming pools, social clubs, fitness centers salons and spas. The effort was a move to help prevent and/or reduce the risk of further community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Accordingly, and like many essential services and industries exempt from the order and still in operation, today Tyco fortified its efforts to assist in curbing potential exposure risks to help “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19’s impact across the community.

“We are a critical manufacturer,” said Tyco Sr. Manager, Marketing Communications Jim Cox. “As such our employees are working and we are committed to keeping them, as well as our customers, healthy.”

Beginning today, all employees at the three local Tyco facilities located on Stanton Street and Industrial Parkway in Marinette and at its warehouse in Menominee will be required to submit to body temperature screening before entering the facility. Those policy changes come after various other policies and procedures affected by Tyco to reduce potential exposures and spread of the virus among its employees.

A non-contact forehead temperature measurement will be administered to all employees upon arrival. While the employee remains in his/her vehicle, screeners will take his/her temperature. If an individual’s body temperature extends above or below the range of 97 to 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit he/she will be directed to a secondary checkpoint. After a 5- to 10-minute wait, the screener will administer another test. If the temperature still resides outside the range the employee will be instructed to return home. According to Cox, those workers turned away will receive the pay they normally receive for a sick day.

Tyco Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) official will follow up with any employee sent home to ensure they take necessary measures to maintain their health. EHS officials will also discuss when that employee might return to work.

Employees who fall within 97 and 99.9 degrees will be permitted to enter the facility and report to work.

The new policy represents one more step to help flatten the curve.

Flattening the curve refers to all efforts made in a community to help reduce the peak number of hospitalizations and potential deaths, which, if left unchecked, could tax healthcare resources should a sudden surge of patients occurs. Such a situation is currently underway in New York City where the number of hospitalization continues to stretch thin the city’s healthcare resources and medical staff, which can further complicate a health emergency.

However, according to Marinette County Emergency Management Administrator Eric Burmeister, who continues to meet weekly with the medical examiner’s office, Marinette County Public Health and officials from both Aurora Medical Center — Bay Area and Bellin Health, the resources and staffing at local facilities remains sufficient.

“The reports that we are getting at this point, staffing doesn’t seem to be a problem for us, locally,” Burmeister said during a weekly media briefing on Wednesday. “Even the medical surge capabilities (in Marinette County) are not impacted yet.”

Marinette contains a large number of industry employees who work essential jobs. Many similar businesses and industries are required to maintain community health and safety measures as they continue to operate under an exemption from the Stay and Home order. However, the order mandates those companies to apply rigorous and meticulous methods to ensure the health and safety of employees as well as the community in which they operate. The Marinette County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) maintains lines of communication with those facilities to advise on preventive measures.

“We’ve had questions from employers and some of the larger foundries that have occupational nurses … with questions about things that they can be doing,” said the Marinette County Public Health Officer Molly Bonjean. “And we are happy to work with them and guide them and provide any resources that we can.”

According to Cox, Tyco’s EHS department determines the suitable and necessary measures to safeguard against COVID-19 and temperature monitoring represents only the latest effort. Those measures are based on various factors associated with each facility. Some include increased cleaning activities to ensure that areas frequently subjected to human contact receive sanitation at least three or four times daily. The company also implemented strict social distancing policies by staggering break times to avoid over-congregation of people in and breakrooms. Tyco officials also modified lunchrooms to accommodate no more than 10 people at one time.

And when the 6-foot social distancing policy is unattainable due to necessary tasks or other operations, Cox explained that Tyco officials utilized physical barriers.

Moreover, Cox pointed out that in the event external supply lines for cleaning and sanitizing products run dry, Tyco has the ability to manufacture its own sanitizing solution.

“We have a process on-site to make our own sanitizing spray so that we can disinfect the facility,” Cox said. “So we have that as a safeguard in case we run out.”

Boeing and Airbus Brace for Prolonged Downturn

April 30, 2020


Already hurt by the yearlong grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft, Boeing reported its second consecutive quarterly loss. PHOTO: ANDY RAIN/EPA/SHUTTERSTOCK


By Doug Cameron and Andrew Tangel
The Wall Street Journal

Aerospace companies outline survival plans as airline customers reel from near-collapse of air travel

The world’s biggest aerospace companies outlined survival plans that include thousands of job cuts and raising fresh funds as their airline customers reeled from the coronavirus pandemic and the near-collapse of global passenger air travel.

Boeing Co., rival Airbus SE and their engine supplier General Electric Co. detailed their initial responses to the crisis that has engulfed the industry after travel restrictions and fear of flying grounded more than half the global jet fleet.

The once-booming aerospace industry has suffered one of the fastest and sharpest changes in fortunes, forcing the manufacturers on both sides of the Atlantic to prepare for a sustained period of reduced demand for their planes that, optimistically, could take three years or more to reverse.

“We will be a smaller company for a while,” Boeing Chief Executive Officer David Calhoun told investors Wednesday. Already wounded financially by the yearlong grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft, the company reported its second consecutive quarterly loss alongside plans to cut jetliner production and shed 10% of its workforce.

Mr. Calhoun outlined a modest near-term plan: catering to airliner retirements instead of fleet growth, and holding off on designing new aircraft. The airlines and leasing companies that helped Boeing and Airbus build up a trillion-dollar order backlog of more than 13,000 jets are already starting to cancel deals and defer new aircraft until a hoped-for recovery in airline travel.

Delta Air Lines Inc. and Deutsche Lufthansa AG , which have already idled most of their jet fleets, are among the carriers that have said they expect to emerge—with government aid—far smaller than before the pandemic crippled the industry.

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said Wednesday the European plane maker plans to “right-size” its business, embarking on a wide-ranging cost-reduction effort and cutting jetliner production initially by a third, having struggled in recent years to keep up with demand for its planes.

Suppliers such as GE and Safran SA, which together make engines for both plane makers and supply spare parts and interiors such as aircraft seats, are cutting costs and laying off staff.

The International Air Transport Association, a trade group, expects passenger air traffic to halve this year compared with 2019, ending a decadelong growth surge driven by low-cost airlines and the demand in emerging markets.

Aerospace suppliers have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic because grounded planes don’t require as much maintenance or spare parts. Larry Culp, GE’s CEO, told investors that visits to its repair shops will likely be down 60% in the current quarter from a year ago.

“This is an unprecedented decline in the aviation market and is likely to be challenging for a while,” Mr. Culp said in an interview Wednesday. “We are well aware that it may take a while” for air travel to recover.

Boeing’s services unit, which the company once envisaged would triple in size to have $50 billion in annual sales, is also suffering.

Airbus, which had been gaining market share because of Boeing’s MAX woes, was in better financial condition than its U.S. rival, and said it can reshape itself without government support.

Boeing plans to raise cash and support a supply chain of about 17,000 companies. It burned through $4.7 billion in cash during the latest quarter and said it is considering applying for federal stimulus help, as well as borrowing more from private lenders. The company didn’t detail what type—and how much taxpayer aid—it might seek in coming weeks.

Both plane makers said they were optimistic that airline traffic would resume their long-term growth paths. They just don’t know when.

“We believe this industry will recover,” Mr. Calhoun said, with federal backing for the U.S. airline industry and overseas government efforts providing crucial support for the broader industry.

The planned production cuts outlined by Boeing and Airbus provided suppliers with more certainty about short-term demand, and the sector rallied on the plane makers’ outlooks. Boeing, whose shares have fallen 60% so far this year, closed up almost 6%; Airbus rose more than 10%.

For airlines, the pace of recovery hinges on securing emergency cash and addressing the patchwork of national travel restrictions imposed as the pandemic ripped across the world.

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said the European plane maker plans to ‘right-size’ its business.

IATA, the trade group, is coordinating a series of meetings with governments this week to standardize policies such as the health screening of passengers and staff at airports and onboard aircraft. Some carriers, , such as Lufthansa, are already requiring that passengers and crew wear masks.

Airlines now expect barely 10% of pre-pandemic flying in the current quarter. The busy summer travel season in which many carriers usually make the bulk of their profits isn’t expected to herald much improvement, but carriers are starting to make tentative plans for a resumption of flying later this year.

Domestic markets are expected to be the first to reopen, partly because national flying policies can be coordinated and passengers may be wary of traveling overseas. International routes that typically use larger planes could take several years to reach pre-pandemic levels, said Alexandre de Juniac, CEO of the IATA.

The production cuts reflect those expectations. Boeing said Wednesday that by 2022 it will halve production of its 787 jetliner to seven a month and trim output of the larger 777, which is typically used on longer routes.

Boeing plans to resume 737 MAX output this quarter at a low initial rate, rising to 31 a month next year. It had planned to produce about twice as many MAX jets before regulators grounded the aircraft in March 2019 following two fatal crashes.

It is planning for regulators to clear the restart of deliveries from the third quarter. The Federal Aviation Administration has said it has no timeline for approving the MAX and would clear it to carry passengers once the agency deems the aircraft safe.

Boeing, which employed 161,000 staff as of Jan. 1, said it plans to reduce head count by 10% this year, including what Mr. Calhoun said would likely involve involuntary cuts. The company, which is also a major defense contractor, said most of the cuts would come from its commercial-airplane and services arms.

Reduced plane deliveries and sales of spare parts combined with the impact of temporary factory closures and the continuing impact of the 737 MAX crisis led to a quarterly loss of $641 million. Sales fell to $16.9 billion from $22.9 billion.

GE is cutting 10% of the 52,000 employees at its aviation unit and plans to furlough thousands more. Mr. Culp said it would look to make some of the immediate cuts permanent, while GE’s aircraft leasing business is preparing to repossess some of the 1,000 jets in its fleet from customers who have fallen behind on payments.

Airbus plans to furlough staff in France, Germany and the U.K. after eclipsing Boeing last year as the world’s biggest plane maker by deliveries. Airbus said its focus now is cash preservation, as airline customers defer and cancel orders.

Airbus said it burned through €4.4 billion ($4.78 billion) in free cash in the first quarter with the impact set to worsen in the second. It reported a net loss of €481 million during the period, compared with net income of €40 million a year earlier. Revenue fell 15% to €10.6 billion.

“We think our capacity to compete and be strong on the long term is intact, if not improved, as the impact of Covid-19 on our main competitor, on top of the previous difficult situations they had to manage, is probably making us stronger,” Mr. Faury said.

First among Airbus’s potential advantages is its A320 family of jets—a single-aisle rival to the Boeing 737 MAX—including a new long-range variant still in development. The two models once competed fiercely for orders from airlines, which prized their fuel efficiency and flexible range.

Boeing said the pandemic has complicated its own plans to develop new aircraft. Mr. Calhoun said the company will have to wait for a market recovery before designing all-new aircraft tailored to airlines’ needs: “It’s going to take us a while to sort that out.”

— Benjamin Katz and Thomas Gryta contributed to this article.

Write to Doug Cameron at doug.cameron@wsj.com and Andrew Tangel at Andrew.Tangel@wsj.com.

The original story can be found here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/boeing-and-airbus-brace-for-prolonged-downturn-triggered-by-coronavirus-11588199021

Inspection Report Shows Problems with Suppression System Prior to Fire

March 30, 2020


By Lucas Geisler
ABC17 News

SALINE COUNTY, Mo. — State fire investigators noted past problems with a fire suppression system at a gas station that burned down in November.

The report from the Missouri State Fire Marshal said the hood suppression system attached to grills in the Dairy Queen restaurant weren’t properly installed to Laboratory Underwriters standards. The work order from Keller Fire and Safety also noted the system filters were dirty and that the appliances were “not properly covered with correct nozzles.”

The report from inspector Chad Hildebrand obtained by ABC 17 News ruled the fire that destroyed the gas station and restaurant off Interstate 70 on Nov. 1 as accidental. Three teenage workers at the DQ said a hot grill began to catch fire around 7 p.m. that night. The trio said they could not find anything to put out the fire with, and their manager advised them to get out of the building.

The marshal’s inspection found heavy damage along the wall by the grills. Damage to the building made it difficult for the inspector to figure out if the suppression system, which was still intact, actually worked.

“The tank to the system felt extremely light as if it was empty, however there was not a gauge present on this system,” Hildebrand wrote. “The fusible link attached to the system was not located.”

The workers, whose names were withheld because they are juveniles, said they never saw the hood system activate, which could have tamped down the fire when it started.

Firefighters with the Blackwater Fire Protection District, which led the initial response, said the suppression system put out a fire in 2017 at the DQ. Chief Tim Doty said the system put out a grill fire, but he was unsure if the system was ever recharged.

Hildebrand said he got a hold of the latest inspection for the suppression system, done by Keller on July 22, 2019. The inspection noted several problems, including the improper installation. The system was also not connected to the fire alarms in the building. The technician left a report with suggested fixes, but Hildebrand’s inspection does not say if Fast and Friendly LLC, which owned the gas station, followed the advice.

The inspection also noted the system had not been discharged prior to inspection.

Business owner Abdul Quddus told Hildebrand he did not remember a time when the suppression system went off at Stuckey’s. He also “denied having a fire in the business in the past.”

One of the teenage workers said they were working the counter when the store became busy around 7 p.m. The worker told Hildebrand the grill appeared “blacker” than usual and cooked the hamburger patties quickly.

A second worker said they began working at 4:45 p.m. An outgoing cook told them that the grill was “cooking hotter than normal,” according to the report. The worker said the grill appeared “cherry red” at one point. They turned the grill heat down in response.

A bit later, the worker said they put ten patties on the grill. When they tried flipping them, the worker said flames began to shoot from the surface of the grill.

The teenagers tried throwing several boxes of fry salt on the grill to put it out, the second worker said. When that didn’t work, they notified their manager, who advised they all leave the store.

That manager, Cali Hart, told Hildebrand she saw a male customer try to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher. Hildebrand said fire crews did find an empty extinguisher by the back door.

The original story can be found here.

Pictures from the FSSA 38th Annual Forum

March 9, 2020

This year’s FSSA Annual Forum took place on February 20-24, 2020 at the Margaritaville Resort in Orlando, Florida. Here are some of the many photos taken at the event!

2 Dead, 16 Injured in Fire During Testing of New Clean Agent Fire Suppression System (India)

February 10, 2020


By Raina Assainar
The Hindu

Two of the 18 workers who were injured in a fire at a company in Mangaon succumbed to their injuries.

Aashish Yerunkar and Rakesh Halde had received more than 80% burns. “Both of them succumbed to their injuries while in the ambulance. They were brought dead,” Dr. Sunil Keswani from National Burns Centre, Airoli, said.

The company, Cryptzo Engineering Pvt. Ltd., manufactures clean agent fire extinguishing systems. The blaze occurred around 4.30 p.m. when a demonstration was being conducted in the server room of the factory. There were 34 workers in the premises at the time of the incident.

Five of the 18 injured had sustained over 60% burns and four of them were taken to the Intensive Burns Care Unit of the National Burns Centre. Meanwhile, 11 patients are recuperating in the general ward for the minor injuries while one was discharged.

The fire extinguishing systems manufactured by the firm use gas. An officer was conducting a demonstration on a fire fighting system when it caught fire.

Since the activity was taking place in a closed room, the fire spread rapidly and injured many.

“We are investigating and verifying who is responsible for the mishap. A case will be registered based on the result of these investigations,” police inspector Ramdas Ingawale from Mangaon police station said.

Read the original story here: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/two-injured-in-mangaon-fire-succumb-to-injuries/article29995615.ece

Protegis Fire & Safety Acquires Florida Fire Service, Inc., Expanding Their FL Coverage

December 29, 2019


Protegis Fire & Safety


Louisville, KY / Cleveland, OH — Protegis Fire & Safety, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Tampa-based Florida Fire Services, Inc. Like Protegis, Florida Fire Service provides fire safety service and repair, inspection and installation services for commercial customers in a variety of end markets. On a combined basis, Protegis now does business in 45 states and employs more than 400 fire protection professionals across the country.

A long-standing family-owned and operated business in the Tampa area, Florida Fire Service offers complete fire protection services for various types of commercial and municipal facilities throughout the west coast of Florida and surrounding markets. “We’ve known the Florida Fire Service team for several years and are excited to welcome them to our growing company,” said Protegis President/COO Steve DeJohn. “Given their reputation for service quality and technical expertise, they are a natural extension of our brand and allow us to bring Protegis into the Florida market.”

“The partnership with Protegis is an exciting new chapter for Florida Fire Service employees and customers. We have great pride in the service we have provided to our customers over the decades, and we evaluated many options for our next phase of growth; Protegis stood out to us as a leader in the industry and a partner who will help support continued best-in-class service to our customers,” said Florida Fire Service Owner Doug Higgs.

Protegis is actively seeking fire and life safety companies across the United States who are interested in exploring their next phase of growth. “We don’t have a one-size fits all approach in our acquisition process. We work to create alignment between owners’ needs and company needs to create a successful transaction for all” said Steve Smith, VP of Mergers & Acquisitions for Protegis.

“Over the years we have had owners stay on board with Protegis after a transaction, we have had owners exit and cash out, and everything in between. Our overriding theme continues to be providing great opportunities for everyone in the companies we acquire and a transition strategy for the current owner. Companies of all sizes could be a potential fit as Protegis continues to expand our footprint and service capabilities.”

About Protegis

Protegis provides inspection, maintenance, installation, and repair services and sells new, repaired, and remanufactured parts for fire and security systems and equipment. The Company’s team of professional engineers/designers and NICET-certified technicians design, install, and program a wide variety of fire and security alarm brands. The Company’s national footprint and one-stop solution attract customers seeking to simplify their fire safety services spend and increase service quality through vendor consolidation. For more information, visit www.protegis.com.

Please contact VP of Business Development Steve Smith at ssmith@protegis.com to discuss further.

Honeywell’s New Clean Agent? ½ FK, ½ 227

December 29, 2019