Security Systems News

February 2011

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20 FIRE SYSTEMS INSTALLATION FEBRUARY 2011 SECURITY SYSTEMS NEWS FIRE SYSTEMS INSTALLATION Air-sampling goes nuclear By Tess Nacelewicz NORWELL, Mass.—About half of the nation’s 104 nuclear power plants plan to update their fire protection pro- grams based on NFPA 805, a new set of risk- based fire protection standards for nuclear reactors, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced in January. The switch is expect- ed to generate increased revenue for companies like Xtralis that make and/or supply fire products to the highly-regulated nuclear industry. That’s because to meet the new standards, which reactors can choose whether or not to adopt, many of them are expected to Steven Joseph install air-sampling smoke detec- tion systems, which give early warning of the potential for fire by detecting tiny amounts of airborne smoke Xtralis, whose prod- ucts include VESDA, a brand of very early warning aspirating smoke detection solu- tions, sees the move by the nuclear reactors to comply with NFPA 805 as a good market opportunity, according to Steven Joseph, director of market devel- opment-Americas for Xtralis. “It’s right up our alley. Part of what we do is mission critical types of facilities,” Joseph told Security Systems News. He works out of Portland, Ore., but the U.S. headquarters for Xtralis, a global company with about 400 employees, is based here. He said Xtralis’ products are suited to both commercial and industrial applications, and already are in use in 19 nuclear power plants in North America. Also, Joseph added, “we pretty much own the market.” The global market for aspira- tions products is about $100 mil- lion. Joseph said Xtralis has about 80 percent of the U.S. market. And now it appears that many of the nation’s nuclear reactors will be in the market for such technol- ogy to reduce their fire-risk rating under the new standards. Joseph said using the technol- ogy “allows the plant to have a NUCLEAR see page 21 New fire rules in Maine city By Tess Nacelewicz PORTLAND, Maine—New training and inspection require- ments for companies that install and service fire alarm systems here in Maine’s largest city aren’t perfect, but are a positive step for public safety and the indus- try, according to some in the industry who worked with the city as it drafted the rules. “I think it’s an excellent thing ... It should put everybody on a level playing field,” Mark Fuller, general manager for Protection Professionals, a Falmouth, Maine-based fire and security system integrator to northern New England, told Security Systems News. “It definite- ly serves the public interest and serves the con- tractors who work within Portland.” Portland is the first city in Maine with such rules but other large municipalities in the state are Brad Norris expected to adopt similar rules. The rules were first promul- gated in 2010, but underwent some recent revisions and com- panies have until this year or later to meet some of the require- Mark Fuller ments. The regulations include a requirement that all companies installing or servicing fire alarm systems in the city must have a “certificate of fitness” that is issued when their techni- cians have completed approved training programs. Also, all fire alarm systems need to have valid inspection stickers that companies doing inspec- tions must get from the city. RULES see page 22 Calif. sprinkler rules lacking By Tess Nacelewicz PACHECO, Calif.—On Jan. 1, California joined Pennsylvania in becoming the first states in the nation to require the installation of automatic fire sprinkler systems in new homes. The National Fire Sprinkler Association praised the develop- ment as a life-saving measure. However, the new require- ment in California is unlikely to generate additional business for fire alarm companies because it lacks an amendment mandating monitoring of home sprinkler systems, according to Shane Clary, VP, codes and standards compli- ance, of Bay Alarm Co., which is based here. Bay Alarm provides fire, security and monitoring services to more than 100,000 residential and commercial cus- tomers throughout California, and monitors commercial sprinkler systems and a small number of residential sprinkler accounts. “Let me emphasize,” Clary told Security Systems News, “there is no requirement that these systems be supervised by a central sta- tion, there is no requirement that there even be a flow switch on the system ... If alarm companies are thinking they can go out and start selling monitoring services to all these new systems, unfortunately they won’t.” In Pennsylvania, Select Security, an alarm company in Lancaster, Pa., saw the new requirement there as an opportunity to buy a sprinkler company last fall. But Clary, a former board chair- man of the Automatic Fire Alarm Association, said he was not aware of any California companies doing that. SSN Toronto may raise alarm fees By Tess Nacelewicz TORONTO—A proposal to increase the fees the city charges for false fire alarms may inflame a controversy already underway about Toronto’s zero-tolerance false fire-alarm regulation. Hiking fees for false alarms isn’t helpful, said Stan Martin, executive director of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition. “I believe Toronto will realize, like other cities that have tried to squeeze unreasonable fees and fines from citizens, that the effort will not yield the desirable results (of increased revenue),” Martin said in an email interview with Security Systems News. He said that “citizens will either stop using devices that generate those signals or they will resist, delay, complain or just not pay ... leaving the city with large uncol- lected balances on the books and unhappy citizens—a loss-loss.” Some residents of that Canadian city already have reportedly been disconnecting their fire alarms to For a more robust version of stories in this section, see: WWW.SECURITYSYSTEMSNEWS.COM n avoid the high fines required by the city’s zero-tolerance regulation, passed in early 2010. The cost for a false alarm currently is $350 per truck, and three trucks routinely respond to each alarm, bringing the total fine to $1,050. But now those fines could climb even higher, because a newly proposed budget item calls for boosting the rate from $350 to $410 per hour per vehicle dis- patched. That would bring the total fine for the dispatch of three trucks to $1,230. A city budget briefing says the increased fees would result in more than $1.9 million in additional revenues for the city in 2011 if it has the same volume of calls as it did in 2010. The fee hike is being proposed at the same time a city councillor is leading an effort to relax the city’s regulation to allow residents one free false alarm per year. The proposals are pending. SSN BRIEFS Silent Knight software creates bill of materials NORTHFORD, Conn.—Silent Knight by Honeywell recently introduced the Silent Knight Selection Tool, a user-friendly, free software application designed for fire alarm dealers to easily configure a bill of materials for any IntelliKnight addressable or conventional fire alarm system Silent Knight currently offers. Using the SKST software, dealers can create professional proposals containing part numbers and product information, which can be printed or exported into MS Excel or Access for easy customization with pricing, logos and more. To download the SKST program free- of-charge, visit Fire marshal’s wife’s contracts raise alarms HAMDEN, Conn.—Town officials are investigating a complaint about the town fire marshal’s conduct and work contracts won by his wife’s fire alarm company, according to a local newspaper. A Dec. 28 Post-Chronicle story said Jennifer Badamo was the low-bidder for a contract of nearly $170,000 for her com- pany, Pull Stations, to install a fire alarm system in the town library here in 2008. Town officials say they didn’t know then that Badamo was the wife of town Fire Marshal Brian Badamo, the story said. The connection has come to light now as town officials investigate a complaint about the fire marshal, the story said. A condominium association claims that work Pull Stations did at the condo com- plex was not needed and was “a sham” that Brian Badamo came up with to help his wife’s company, the paper said. The association contends Badamo threatened to shut the building down if it didn’t get a new fire alarm system and recommended his wife’s business for the job, the story said. However, the state Department of Public Safety has said Badamo acted properly when he found the building vio- lated code by not having a fire alarm sys- tem on its first floor, the paper reported. Free seminars offered NORTHFORD, Conn.—Notifier by Honeywell will host free educational seminars in 13 major cities throughout the U.S. in February and March. Experts from Notifier and guest speakers will cover the latest codes, trends and solu- tions in fire protection and mass notifi- cation systems. Visit to register for the seminars, offered in these cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, New York, Oakland, Orlando, Minneapolis, Phoenix and San Antonio.

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