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

December 29, 2019

11/25/19

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


Is Massive Recall of Fire Alarms Possible?

November 11, 2019

By Larry Anderson
SecurityInformed.com

Could millions of burglar and fire alarm control units be recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission?

That could be the upshot when the independent agency of the U.S. government rules on a ‘Complaint of Non-Conforming Products’ investigation requested on behalf of a consultant/forensic expert who says he has identified non-compliance dangers and vulnerabilities related to the devices.

Breaching security standards

Jeffrey Zwirn, an alarm and security forensic expert, says he has identified problems with the alarm devices and has posted online a series of videos confirming that they do not operate in conformance with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 985 and 103 and NFPA 72 (National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code) Standards. Specifically, the single data-bus circuits of the hardwired devices can be short-circuited and become either fully or partially non-functional.

The U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission is tasked with promoting the safety of consumer products by addressing “unreasonable risks” of injury, such as risk of fire, chemical exposure, electrical malfunction or mechanical failure. Typically, the CSPC evaluates such requests and determines what corrective action, if any, is appropriate, in this case possibly by the end of the year.

IDS Research & Development Inc. (Zwirn’s company) and Connaughton Group LLC, a product integrity consulting firm, sent a request to the CSPC on Sept. 20 asking for an investigation of products across the North American household fire and burglar alarm control units and commercial burglar and fire alarm control panel category.

Recalling alarm control units

The request estimates that “hundreds of millions” of the units were sold and installed across the United States. They include products sold under brand names such as Honeywell, DSC, NAPCO, ELK Products, and Interlogix. If the recall were to happen, it would be the largest recall in the history of the alarm industry.

The request states: “It is our expert opinion that these non-conforming control panels present a foreseeably dangerous and serious public safety hazard and risk to all of the unsuspecting consumers, their families and business owners who have these control panels installed in their homes and businesses.”

Zwirn has also submitted the products for investigation by UL and Intertek Testing Services Inc., which respectively provide the UL and ETL certification marks and are Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL). Outcomes of those investigations are forthcoming.

Jeffrey Zwirn also promotes and sells a product, The Interceptor, that would address the vulnerability. It is a microprocessor designed to protect the data-bus and auxiliary power output wiring installed throughout a protected premises.

Original story can be found here: https://www.securityinformed.com/insights/massive-recall-burglar-fire-alarms-sb.1571321616.html


3M Could Face “Existential Threat” from Lawsuits

October 6, 2019

Attorneys walk out of U.S. District Court in Charleston on Friday, July 26, 2019, following a meeting on more than 100 lawsuits that were filed against 3M and other companies. Andrew Brown/Staff

8/4/19

By Andrew Brown
The Post and Courier

The fortunes of an American industrial giant that developed Post-it Notes and Scotch Tape could turn in a Charleston courtroom, where 3M Co. is battling claims it contaminated the environment and polluted drinking water across the country.

The Minnesota-based company’s long-term profitability may hinge on how well it defends itself from a mountain of litigation over the production of chemicals known as per-and polyfluorinated substances – PFAS for short.

For decades, 3M was the primary manufacturer of that class of substances, which were used to make commonplace items like nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, stain-resistant carpet and grease-proof food wrappers.

The compounds were also a key ingredient in a firefighting foam that was sprayed at industrial sites, civilian airports and hundreds of military bases around the world.

It’s that product that landed 3M in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

At least 110 federal lawsuits involving the firefighting foam were consolidated here this year.

Last month, dozens of lawyers representing cities, states, individuals and water utilities in those cases packed into District Judge Richard Gergel’s courtroom to begin sorting out the high-stakes litigation.

They are all seeking damages for the chemicals that leached into the ground, seeped into drinking water and entered people’s bloodstreams.

3M maintains there is no evidence to prove the chemicals have ever harmed anyone, and it emphasized that it phased out production of PFAS chemicals in the early 2000s.

But medical scientists continue to scrutinize some of the compounds for possible links to immune problems, developmental issues, thyroid disorders and kidney and testicular cancers.

The cases involving the firefighting foam aren’t the only liabilities 3M could face as a result of its decades-long use of the chemicals. The company, which was founded in 1902, also faces allegations it contaminated the environment and drinking water near several of its manufacturing sites.

The scope of the alleged contamination is so large that it’s being compared to earlier battles over asbestos, which bankrupted companies and spawned the longest-running string of litigation in U.S. history.

That reality was not lost on Gergel, who has been assigned to manage the cases in Charleston.

He told the attorneys who crowded into his courtroom last month the litigation could pose an “existential threat” to 3M and the other defendants that manufactured, marketed and sold the firefighting foam.

“Right now, we have 110 cases,” Gergel said, “and if I’m reading the tea leaves right, there’s a lot more coming.”

“The liability could be extraordinary,” he added.

The attorneys for 3M have developed more than a few arguments to defend the Fortune 500 company, which is currently valued at more than $100 billion on Wall Street.

The chemical-laden foam 3M produced, the attorneys argue, may have been altered or misused.

The contamination, they assert, may have been caused by negligence on the part of military personnel and others who handled the foam during accidents and fire-training exercises.

The chemicals 3M utilized, the attorneys pointed out, were never regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Original article can be found here: https://www.postandcourier.com/business/m-others-may-face-existential-threat-from-charleston-court-verdict/article_fefa2990-afbb-11e9-b95d-0bbbc632b8fb.html


9th Triennial International Aircraft Fire and Cabin Safety Research Conference

September 9, 2019

The 9th Triennial International Aircraft Fire and Cabin Safety Research Conference will be held at the Resorts Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, October 28-31, 2019.

The conference aims to inform the international aviation community about recent, ongoing, and planned research in transport category airplane fire and cabin safety. The conference is jointly sponsored by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the National Civil Aviation Agency – Brazil (ANAC), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB).

The Cabin Safety Evacuation and Operational Issues sessions of the conference will comprise studies related to in-flight safety, and crash/post-crash survivability. Traditionally, research topics have included exit and escape slide performance, aircraft interior arrangements, water survival equipment standards, cabin crew procedures, passenger education, and evacuation computer modelling, presented by researchers from around the world.

The crash dynamics sessions will include studies focusing on aircraft-level crash impact performance, as well as studies that address new and emerging occupant injury criteria. These sessions will also include studies regarding the use of analytical modeling in various aspects of occupant protection, particularly where gathering statistically meaningful empirical data is difficult. Previous conference sessions have addressed ditching behavior, energy absorption characteristics of nonmetallic materials, and human tolerance to high levels of lateral loading, among many others.

The fire safety sessions will include presentations on research in lithium battery fire hazards and mitigation, engine/powerplant fire protection, cabin/cockpit fires, heat flux influence in flammability tests, cargo fire protection, and advanced fire research. Previous conference sessions have addressed battery fires, development of new test methods for Appendix F, fire research projects in Europe, full-scale lithium battery testing, fire research materials and characterization.

2019 conference proceedings are available at https://www.fire.tc.faa.gov/2016Conference/conference.asp.

Conference registration is free and is open to anyone with an interest in aircraft fire and cabin safety research. Past attendees have included aviation safety professionals in the areas of engineering, design, operations, maintenance, and research. Attendance at this year’s conference is expected to reach 600-700. Conference registration and hotel reservation details are available at https://www.fire.tc.faa.gov/Meetings/meetings.asp. Conference presenter bios and presentation abstracts will be available on this website soon. Please contact April Horner, CMP, Conference Manager, with any questions at april.ctr.horner@faa.gov.


NAFED Honors Craig Voelkert, Fire Protection Legend

July 29, 2019

July 2019

The National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors (NAFED) recently honored longtime Amerex team member and industry icon, Craig Voelkert, with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Craig exemplified this significant honor through his dedication to progressing the fire suppression industry. His commitment to innovation and industry engagement led to product advancements that are critical elements of life safety.

In the early 1990s, Amerex founder Ned Paine discovered Craig at a Nevada fire school, where he was leading fire-training courses. Ned promptly offered him a position at Amerex. Craig’s responsibilities would include advancing key product innovations, engaging with technical committees and leading interactions with local and federal governments. Since accepting Ned’s offer, he successfully fulfilled these duties and accomplished much more before he retired at the end of 2018.

Craig utilized his expertise and inventive personality to shepherd Amerex into new markets, such as pre-engineered fire systems for commercial restaurants and vehicles. In addition to his involvement with NAFED, Craig served as the Fire Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (FEMA) president and had various roles on National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) technical committees. Craig and his peers continuously pioneered new code and code improvements, which led to inventions like the K-Class Extinguishers for cooking operations.

With his leadership and vision, Craig leaves a lasting legacy on Amerex and the fire suppression industry. Thank you, Craig, for your meaningful impact. Amerex and our entire industry appreciate your many contributions over the years.

# # #

Media contact:
Jonathan Carter
Marketing Manager
Amerex Fire
205.661.4146
jonathan.carter@amerex-fire.com


Lawsuit Filed Against Multiple Fire Suppression Companies for Poor System Installation

July 15, 2019

Bonfire Restaurant fire May 2016 (Source: Downtown Grill Facebook page)

5/29/19

By Kristin Nelson
WMBF News

CONWAY, SC — A poorly installed fire suppression system is to blame for a massive fire that caused nearly $1 million dollars’ worth in damage to the Bonfire Smokin’ Taqueria restaurant, according to a newly-filed lawsuit.

The insurance company for the restaurant, Selective Way Insurance filed a lawsuit against Ashley Inc., A&A Hood Systems and several unidentified fire suppression installation companies and individuals. The suit states that they were hired to design and install a commercial kitchen fire suppression system for a 48″ Swig and Swine solid fuel smoker.

The lawsuit states that after the suppression system was installed, Ashley Inc. and A&A Hood were responsible for inspecting, cleaning and maintaining the suppression system. The companies were also responsible for inspecting and cleaning the exhaust and duct work for the smoker, according to court documents.

The lawsuit says that on May 9, 2016, Ashley Inc. and A&A Hood certified that it cleaned the exhaust system for the smoker. But it goes on to say that on May 28, 2016, a fire that originated from the smoker spread into the duct work and to other areas of the restaurant.

According to fire crews, about 35% of the fire damage took place in the kitchen area. No one was hurt in the fire.

“The fire spread from the smoker because of an accumulation of grease and combustible materials inside the duct work,” the lawsuit says. “The suppression system did not operate because it was deficient, unsafe and not compliant.”

Court documents say that the failure of the suppression system and the accumulation of grease and combustible materials caused the fire to spread and led to $835,000 in damage.

The lawsuit claims that Ashley Inc. and A&A Hood breached their duties to the restaurant and demands that the defendants pay $835,000 with interest, costs and other relief that the judge deems proper under the circumstances.

The insurance company is asking for a jury trial in the case.

The original story can be found here: https://www.wmbfnews.com/2019/05/30/lawsuit-faulty-fire-suppression-system-led-massive-blaze-bonfire-smokin-taqueria/