Savox Launches New Wireless Team Communication System

Savox Communications announced the launch of the Savox Pack-COM. This revolutionary wireless team communication system is designed to enhance team efficiency, safety and security with unprecedented sound quality, ultralow latency, and full duplex capability.

Engineered to meet the rigorous demands of tactical environments, the Savox Pack-COM ensures seamless, secure, and reliable communication, empowering teams to perform at their best. It significantly improves team coordination, responsiveness, and situational awareness of whole the team.

The Savox Pack-COM system features a portable base station that creates a secure communication bubble, allowing teams to move freely and work securely. Utilizing AES-256 encryption, the Savox Pack-COM guarantees the confidentiality and security of all communications, protecting sensitive information in real-time. A robust, full-duplex connection within a 400-meter LOS (Line Of Sight) range of the portable base station ensures effective communication even in the most challenging environments.

Additionally, the Savox Pack-COM system also includes the Savox TRICS series tactical radio and intercom control system, offering the most advanced team communication solution to enhance your team’s operational capabilities in demanding conditions.

Providing crystal-clear communications, the Savox Pack-COM wireless team communication system reduces misunderstandings and enhances operational efficiency through its marketleading sound quality. It integrates effortlessly with existing radio infrastructure by connecting up to two external radios. This feature enhances versatility and interoperability, catering to your team’s specific requirements.

“We are thrilled to introduce the Savox Pack-COM, a revolutionary innovation in wireless team communication systems. This system represents a significant leap forward in ensuring our customers experiencing unmatched sound quality, security, and reliability in their communications. At Savox, we are dedicated to empowering our clients with cutting-edge solutions, and the Pack-COM is a testament to that commitment. We are excited to see the positive impact it will have on teams worldwide.” says Janne Pöllänen, SVP sales and business devlopment.

The Savox Pack-COM wireless team communication system ensures tactical teams have the tools needed to excel in every operation, offering an unparalleled combination of security, clarity, and reliability. At Savox, we empower the best to do their best.

Thales and CEA Partner on Trusted Generative AI for Defence and Security

To create trusted generative AI solutions, Thales’s cortAIx Lab and CEA have joined forces to focus on a range of generative AI use cases, in particular for intelligence and command applications.

Bertrand Tavernier, Chief Technical Officer for Thales’s Secure Communications and Information Systems business: This partnership with the CEA’s AI teams will combine the power of their research with our work at cortAIx, Thales’s AI accelerator, which brings together the Group’s technological expertise and deep knowledge of the defence and security sectors. Our customers — governments, armed forces, critical infrastructure operators — need trusted, sovereign generative AI solutions for their critical missions.

Alexandre Bounouh, Director of the CEA’s List Institute, specialising in smart digital systems: This partnership builds on the long-standing collaboration between the CEA and Thales and extends it to the sensitive issue of generative AI, combining the expertise and excellence of the CEA’s research teams in AI safety and security with cortAIx’s strengths in the strategic domain of defence and security. It will support the CEA’s mission in safety, security and artificial intelligence with our partners and all institutional and industry stakeholders in this field.

Use cases for the armed forces

Generative AI can be developed to accelerate OODA command loops (observe, orient, decide, act) and implemented across the entire critical decision chain: sensing and data gathering, data transmission and storage, data processing and decision support.

Generative AI will serve as a trusted smart assistant for users, enabling them to dialogue easily and efficiently with complex systems with the aim of facilitating and accelerating human decision-making and the tempo of operations. For intelligence gathering, for example, multimodal generative AI will make it possible to simultaneously extract, process, correlate and interpret different types of information from multiple sources — such as the web, social media and sensors in a theater of operations — to generate summaries and accelerate the production of reliable reports.

Thales’s cortAIx Lab and the CEA will also focus on interoperability within coalitions. To simplify communication between member states in the context of a joint operation, trusted generative AI will facilitate interaction between operators and complex systems by translating their intentions into a sequence of actions and translating technical terms into the languages of the various nations involved.

Worldwide Travel Advisory Issued by U.S. State Department

Just as the summer travel season begins in earnest, the U. S. State Department issue a worldwide travel alert for travelers, especially anyone identifying as LGBTQI+. The alert advises caution and alertness in tourist areas, due to potential threats of violence against them.

Here is the statement in its entirety:

Due to the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations, or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution.  The Department of State is aware of the increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence against LGBTQI+ persons and events and advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution. U.S. citizens should:

  • Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists, including Pride celebrations and venues frequented by LGBTQI+ persons.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive information and alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency overseas.

Beep Autonomous Shuttle Service Launches at Honolulu’s International Airport in First-of-its-Kind Deployment with Sustainability Partners and Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation

Beep, Inc. announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with Sustainability Partners and the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT) for the launch of an 18-month autonomous shuttle pilot at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) in Honolulu.

“Through our partnership with Sustainability Partners, we’re honored that HDOT and HNL have placed their trust in our experience, leadership and differentiated approach of safe and integrated autonomous mobility with the launch of the Miki shuttle pilot service,” said Beep CEO Joe Moye. “Our fleet of turnkey shared and electric autonomous shuttles prioritizes safety and sustainability while enhancing the airport travel experience for passengers. As Beep continues to pioneer innovative partnerships with airports nationwide, this inaugural test program showcases the emerging potential of advanced solutions that can augment existing transport options everywhere, unveiling a new era of seamless, efficient passenger mobility.”

The pilot program includes four autonomous and electric shuttles that can transport 11 passengers including a shuttle attendant, increasing mobility frequency and providing first- and last-mile transport options alongside the existing Wiki Wiki shuttle bus service. Shuttles will move between the airport’s C Gates with three stops for Miki’s short route, while a longer route will transport guests between C and G Gates with two stops. The service will be available seven days a week between 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. local time, including holidays and weekends.

“We are pleased to work with Beep to implement an innovative new approach to passenger mobility that brings autonomous transportation technology to the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport,” said Ed Sniffen, Hawai‘i Department of Transportation director. “Beep and the Miki shuttles embody the future of transportation across the state, supporting our larger sustainability goals while enhancing the traveler experience.”

The pilot program made possible by essential infrastructure leader, Sustainability Partners, which actively supports Hawai’i in procuring electric vehicles and charging infrastructure on a per-mile cost basis.

“The leadership displayed by the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation and Beep in launching the Miki shuttles for airport passengers strongly reflects their commitment to innovation and more environmentally sustainable transportation,” said Sustainability Partners CEO Thomas Cain. “We are delighted to help facilitate the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation’s plan and look forward to watching the positive effects this will have in assisting the existing transportation system and flow of passengers at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.”

Truck Driver Accused of Intentionally Running Over Utah Officer

A truck driver allegedly killed a police officer during a traffic stop on a Utah highway on May 5 by driving his truck into the officer, police said. Michael Aaron Jayne, 42, has been accused of driving his truck rig into Police Sgt. Bill Hooser. The police officer died at the scene. Another officer at the scene was helping a woman who said she had escaped from the sleeper section of Jayne’s semitrailer. Jayne, of Garrett, Indiana, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated murder targeting a law enforcement officer, kidnapping, burglary, vehicle theft and failure to respond to officers’ signal to stop, according to a police booking affidavit.

“Our entire department is hurt. And the family of the officer is hurt because of a senseless act by one individual,” Spanish Fork police Lt. Cory Slaymaker said during a news conference.

The stop occurred on I-15 in Santaquin, a town south of Salt Lake City.

DHS, CISA Announce Membership Changes to the Cyber Safety Review Board

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced changes to the Cyber Safety Review Board (CSRB) membership. Four current members of the CSRB will depart and four new members will join the board. 

Departing members include:

  • Katie Moussouris, Founder and CEO, Luta Security
  • Chris Novak, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Verizon Threat Research Advisory Center
  • Tony Sager, Senior Vice President and Chief Evangelist, Center for Internet Security, and
  • Wendi Whitmore, Senior Vice President, Unit 42, Palo Alto Networks

Joining the CSRB:

  • Jamil Jaffer, Venture Partner Paladin Capital Group and Founder and Executive Director, National Security Institute, George Mason University Scalia Law School
  • David Luber, Director, Cybersecurity Directorate, NSA
  • Katie Nickels, Senior Director of Intelligence Operations, Red Canary
  • Chris Krebs, Chief Intelligence and Public Policy Officer, Sentinel One

David Luber will serve as the Federal CSRB representative from the NSA, replacing Rob Joyce upon his retirement. Joyce has been asked to continue to serve on the board as a private sector member.

“I can’t thank Katie, Chris, Tony, and Wendi enough for the outstanding contributions they’ve made as CSRB members. I am truly grateful for their service on the Board,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly.  “I am also very pleased to welcome Jamil, Dave, Katie, and Chris to the Board. I know their cybersecurity expertise and experience will be instrumental in the continuing evolution of the CSRB as a catalyst for positive change in the cybersecurity ecosystem.”

Robert Silvers, DHS Under Secretary for Policy, and Heather Adkins, Vice President for Security Engineering at Google, have been re-appointed as the Chair and Deputy Chair respectively for a second term by Easterly. 

“I send my sincere thanks to the departing members and welcome those who are beginning their service,” said Under Secretary Silvers. “The Cyber Safety Review Board will continue in its charge to conduct fact finding and develop lessons learned from the most serious cyber incidents.”

“It has been an honor to serve on the CSRB and I am looking forward to seeing the Board continue to evolve its important role in the cybersecurity ecosystem as we increase the security of the nation,” said Deputy Chair Adkins.  

Other returning members include:

  • Dmitri Alperovitch, Co-Founder and Chairman, Silverado Policy Accelerator and Co-Founder and former CTO of CrowdStrike, Inc.
  • Harry Coker, Jr., National Cyber Director, Office of the National Cyber Director
  • Jerry Davis, Founder, Gryphon X
  • Chris DeRusha, Federal Chief Information Security Officer, Office of Management and Budget
  • Eric Goldstein, Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
  • Marshall Miller, Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice
  • John Sherman, Chief Information Officer, Department of Defense
  • Bryan Vorndran, Assistant Director, Cyber Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation

The CSRB conducts fact-finding and issues recommendations in the wake of major cyber incidents. The Board is made up of cybersecurity luminaries from the private sector and senior officials from DHS, CISA, the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the National Cyber Director, and the Office of Management and Budget.

As directed by President Biden through Executive Order 14028 Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, Secretary Mayorkas established the CSRB in February 2022. The Board is administered by CISA on behalf of the Secretary. The Board’s reviews are conducted independently, and its conclusions are independently reached. DHS and the CSRB are committed to transparency and will, whenever possible, release public versions of CSRB reports, consistent with applicable law and the need to protect sensitive information from disclosure.  

Zebras Escape Trailer, Former Rodeo Clown Helps Capture

Four zebras broke free from a trailer they were being transported in, near Bend, Washington on Sunday April 28. Kristine Keltgen purchased the zebras from a farm in Washington State and was transporting them on Interstate 90 to a petting zoo she runs in Anaconda, Mont. She became aware that the latch on the zebras’ trailer was loose. She stopped to fix the latch and the zebras “bolted out.” The escape occurred near a highway exit, and nearby residents, police officers and volunteers rallied to corral them back to safety. One person had specific expertise in wrangling loose animals. He is David Danton, of Mount Vernon, Wash., who worked for 15 years as a rodeo clown. Danton and his wife, Julie, were driving home from a cattle drive in eastern Washington when they stopped to assist in the recapture of the zebras in North Bend, Wash., 30 miles east of Seattle. “It was kind of divine intervention — we happened to be in the exact spot and had the knowledge,” Julie Danton said in a story in the New York Times. “Animal control showed up to help, police showed up and every neighbor showed up to help — or just look at the zebras — because it’s not every day you get zebras in your neighborhood,” said Megan Dammann, a North Bend resident. Dammann said she raced to the area after seeing a post about the zebras on a community Facebook page. Former rodeo clown Danton said he built makeshift gates out of rope, metal panels and a garden hose, and got two of the zebras to run into a pen on a horse farm. Then, he said, he helped build an “alleyway” out of metal panels to usher the zebras safely into a large trailer. While the Dantons helped corral two of the zebras on a horse farm, residents nearby helped shoo a third zebra into a fenced-in yard and then shut the gate. The fourth zebra had not been captured as of Monday the 29th of April.

2023 Figures Show Stalling Progress in Reducing Road Fatalities

2023 Figures Show Stalling Progress in Reducing Road Fatalities

The European Commission for Mobility and Transport published preliminary figures on road fatalities for 2023. Around 20,400 people were killed in road crashes in the EU last year, a small 1% decrease in 2022. Despite some progress since the baseline year of 2019, few Member States are on track to meet the target of halving the number of road deaths by 2030.

Collision Matrix Urban 2022
Collision Matrix Urban 2022

EU-wide, road deaths in 2023 fell by 1% on the previous year. While this represents around 2,360 fewer fatalities (-10%) compared with 2019, the downward trend has flatlined in several Member States.

Since 2019, the number of road deaths has scarcely fallen in Spain, France and Italy, while it has risen in Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Sweden. In contrast, over the last four years, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Hungary and Poland are on track to meet the 50% reduction target in road deaths and serious injuries by 2030 (it is important to note that this is based on preliminary and often partial data).

The overall ranking of countries’ fatality rates has not changed significantly, with the safest roads still found in Sweden (22 deaths per one million inhabitants) and Denmark (27/million). Bulgaria (82/million) and Romania (81/million) reported the highest fatality rates in 2023. The EU average was 46 road deaths per million inhabitants.

The available EU-wide data for 2022 (detailed 2023 data is not yet available) shows that 52% of road traffic fatalities occurred on rural roads, versus 38% in urban areas and 9% on motorways.

The trend in the number of cyclists killed on EU roads is a serious concern: more than 2,000 cyclists were killed in 2022. This is the only main road user group not to see a significant drop in fatalities over the last decade, notably due to a persistent lack of appropriate infrastructure and unsafe behavior of all road users such as speeding, distraction and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Men accounted for three out of four road deaths (77%). Older people, aged 65+, are at greater risk as they represented 29% of all road deaths while they account for 21% of the population. Similarly, young people aged 18-24 accounted for 12% of road deaths but 7% of the population.

Car occupants (drivers and passengers) represented 45% of all fatalities, while pedestrians accounted for 18%, users of powered two-wheelers (motorbikes and mopeds) 19%, and cyclists 10%. The patterns change significantly depending on age. Among those aged 65+, pedestrians represent 29% of fatalities and cyclists 17%.

Within urban areas, vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and users of powered two-wheelers) represent almost 70% of total fatalities. Urban road user fatalities occur overwhelmingly when a crash involves cars and lorries, underlining the need to improve protection of these vulnerable road users.

In 2018, the EU set itself a 50% reduction target for road deaths — and, for the first time, also serious injuries — by 2030. This was set out in the Commission’s Strategic Action Plan on Road Safety and EU road safety policy framework 2021-2030, which also laid out road safety plans aiming to reach zero road deaths by 2050 (‘Vision Zero’).

In March 2023, the Commission put forward a package of proposals tackling road safety, including updated requirements for driving licenses and better cross-border enforcement of road traffic rules.

Road safety has also been a core element of recent EU mobility policy initiatives, including the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, the new TEN-T regulation, and the Urban Mobility Framework. In its proposal for a European Declaration on Cycling, the Commission acknowledges that safety is a prerequisite to encourage people to cycle, and is working to prepare guidance for quality requirements regarding vulnerable road users, including cyclists.

CyberCube Report Warns of Need to Bolster Defenses Against Public Sector Attacks

CyberCube Report Warns of Need to Bolster Defenses Against Public Sector Attacks

The (re)insurance industry should brace itself for potential attacks on the public sector targeting government and election infrastructure, warns CyberCube, the market leader of cyber risk analytics for the insurance industry.

In a new report, CyberCube warns government agencies and officials must increase their cybersecurity measures, enhance election integrity safeguards, and collaborate with cybersecurity experts to mitigate these threats.

William Altman, CyberCube’s cyber threat intelligence principal, said: “With the U.S. presidential elections, the public sector becomes an increasingly attractive target for malicious actors seeking to sow chaos and undermine faith in democracy. Moreover, around 64 countries plus the European Union will hold national elections this year, involving nearly half of the world’s population. In some cases, the same cyber threat actors attempting to meddle in the U.S. presidential election will also be active in other countries. Given the potential for significant attacks, bolstering defenses in the public sector is paramount in 2024 and beyond.”

The research “Global Threat Outlook, H1 2024” also highlights eight sectors which are under-secured and attractive targets, leaving companies vulnerable to criminal ransomware and extortion tactics, as well as catastrophe events. These are telecoms, IT, education, retail, arts & entertainment, financials, services and healthcare. Healthcare is the most exposed industry tracked by CyberCube.

CyberCube notes sectors such as banking and aviation are still exposed and targeted but have better cybersecurity. Mining and agriculture remain opportunity sectors for cyber (re)insurers as these sectors are less exposed to cyber threats relative to other industries, yet they still maintain a high level of security.

The report also includes an analysis of state-nexus cyber threat actors, including those in Russia, Iran, and China. (Re)insurers can model realistic cyber disasters considering state-nexus cyber activities using CyberCube’s Portfolio Manager.

Richard DeKorte, CyberCube’s cyber security consultant, said: “CyberCube foresees an escalation in the attacks perpetrated by state-nexus threat actors targeting critical infrastructure. Specifically, Iranian state-sponsored threat actors are likely to target critical infrastructure opportunistically. Russian and Chinese state actors are expected to strategically position themselves to disrupt infrastructure in sectors crucial to the national economy and security of the U.S. and its allies.”

Standouts in Transportation Fire Detection and Alarm Systems By James Careless

Standouts in Transportation Fire Detection and Alarm Systems

Fire detection and alarm systems are ‘must-haves’ for the global transportation industry, both for fixed and moving assets. Here are some standout products being offered by a number of major vendors, as found by Transportation Security International magazine.

Amerex: Detecting Lithium-Ion Battery Fires Early in Electric Vehicles

Lithium-ion battery fires can be devastating to transportation aircraft, ships, and vehicles. As CNN reported when covering a five-alarm fire in New York City believed to have been caused by a lithium-ion battery within an electric scooter, “‘in all of these fires, these lithium-ion fires, it is not a slow burn; there’s not a small amount of fire, it literally explodes,’ FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh told reporters. ‘It’s a tremendous volume of fire as soon as it happens, and it’s very difficult to extinguish and so it’s particularly dangerous.’”

It is for these reasons that early detection of lithium-ion fires matters. This is where the Amerex SafetyNet EV gas detection system can make a difference. According to the company, the SafetyNet EV is ”the only technology that provides early detection of lithium-ion battery fires in commercial electric vehicle fleets.”

Dafo Vehicle fire suppression systems consist of four integrated elements; Detection, Alarm, Suppression and Control, which work together in a coordinated, fast and efficient way to suppress fires, the company says.
Dafo Vehicle fire suppression systems consist of four integrated elements; Detection, Alarm, Suppression and Control, which work together in a coordinated, fast and efficient way to suppress fires, the company says.

Here’s the problem: The lithium-ion batteries being used to propel today’s electric vehicles draw their electricity from multiple onboard power cells. A fire could occur if one or more of these power cells overheat due to charging issues or external/internal damage — potentially causing a thermal runaway event that results in a fire.

Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection says when designing fire systems for vehicles like busses it is important to understand the life cycle of the vehicle, starting with factory integration. They design their systems to support the bus OEM installation process and work to ensure that service availability for the end-user is supported. Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection image.
Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection says when designing fire systems for vehicles like busses it is important to understand the life cycle of the vehicle, starting with factory integration. They design their systems to support the bus OEM installation process and work to ensure that service availability for the end-user is supported. Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection image.

The solution: With the Amerex SafetyNet EV gas detection system, sensors are strategically placed in and around the vehicle’s battery compartments. These sensors detect off-gasses emitting from battery cells at trace levels, long before they approach the level of a thermal runaway event. When a danger level is detected, the system sounds an alert that gives the driver time to pull over, leave their vehicle, and dial 911 for help.

“As businesses and municipalities began to increase their investment in electric vehicle fleets, we saw the need to develop the technology to protect people and property,” explained Amerex chief executive officer Harrison Bishop. “Our team worked tirelessly to develop a solution to provide this additional measure of lifesaving detection.”

Johnson Controls has released the Zettler T1306 and calls it “the first addressable alarm panel developed for use in small-scale marine vessels.” Using addressable technology allows mariners to clearly pinpoint fire locations speeding up response times. Johnson Controls image.
Johnson Controls has released the Zettler T1306 and calls it “the first addressable alarm panel developed for use in small-scale marine vessels.” Using addressable technology allows mariners to clearly pinpoint fire locations speeding up response times. Johnson Controls image.

Bosch: Protecting Airports and Transit Stations

Bosch produces a range of intelligent fire detection solutions for sectors such as airports and transit stations, hospitals, hotels, and industrial/manufacturing facilities. The company’s Avenar line of automatic fire detectors includes smoke detectors for air ducts and open spaces. They also sell flame detectors that can register fires invisible to the naked eye. These include smokeless liquid and gas fires, and materials and substances that emit carbon in their smoke.

“International airports cover hectares of land and comprise not only facilities for air travel, but also connect with train and bus stations, vehicle hire services, hotels and multiple parking lots,” said the company’s website. “A fire at any one of these major activity points could impact all others with a need for evacuation and inspections. Thus, a highly reliable network of fire and smoke detection and alarm systems with PA facilities is needed for efficient response times in case of emergency.”

To prove its point, Bosch cited a fire detection system installation it executed at Cambodia’s Phnom Penh International Airport. “To keep everyone and the building safe from harm and to prevent any service bottlenecks, effective fire protection planning was essential,” said the Bosch website. “Bosch fitted all constructions on the site with a fire alarm system, and special optical and linear-beam smoke detectors, as well as static and moving surveillance cameras. The Public Address and Voice Alarm Systems alert personnel whenever real signs of fire or smoke are detected.”

Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection: Making Bus Passengers and Drivers Safer

Whether they are conventional diesel models or alternative fueled vehicles, buses are vulnerable to fires in their engine compartments. Unfortunately, the speed with which unchecked fires can spread can quickly destroy entire vehicles, while putting the lives of passengers and drivers at risk.

Reducing this risk by extinguishing bus engine compartment fires is the goal of Dafo Vehicle’s fire suppression system. According to Dafo Vehicle’s website, this system consists of four integrated elements; namely Detection, Alarm, Suppression, and Control. All four work together in a coordinated, efficient manner to suppress fires fast. The system’s control unit has a Real-time Clock and Event Log that records and allows access to historical data, so that any previous incidents can be analyzed and addressed.

“The detection system consists of a linear heat detector wire,” said the Dafo website. “It has a fixed temperature sensor with an alarm signal triggered when the activation temperature of 180 C is reached. This signal punctures the burst disc of the propellant gas cartridge, which releases nitrogen into the agent container. The (non-corrosive and environmentally friendly) Forrex liquid is distributed to the nozzles through the pipe system. At the same time, the alarm system is activated, and an alarm horn in the vehicle and a light signal in the panel will warn the driver. The liquid agent will push away the oxygen, cool down the overheated engine parts, impregnate the burning material, stick to surfaces and effectively prevent re-ignition.”

According to Jonas Bergström, the company’s business manager of bus and coach, ”passenger safety is a top priority for Dafo Vehicle. Creating a fire suppression system that combines superior reliability with a valuable low TCO is a challenge that our engineers have solved in an impressive way.”

Fike: Fighting Thermal Runaway Fires with Fike Blue

We have already seen that thermal runaway fires are a real problem in electrical vehicles, or indeed any system that relies on lithium-ion batteries as a power source. This is why a new fire suppression product from Fike Corporation is such welcome news. Fike Blue “is the first solution tested and proven to put out a lithium battery fire by eliminating the cascading thermal runaway event and the possibility of reignition,” said the company website.

Here’s how Fike Blue — a special fluid within a pressurized canister — works. When a fire/heat anomaly is sensed by a third-party detector or a Fike DTS (Distributed Temperature Sensing) cable, the Fike Blue control panel releases the solution into a piping system in the protected area, with the system only opening a nozzle nearest to the heat source. The Fike Blue solution soaks the affected batteries, smothering the fire while extracting its heat.

“With a boiling point of more than 400 C, the liquid absorbs the intense exothermic heat produced from thermal runaway without breaking down,” said FikeBlue.com. “The temperatures for all cells dramatically decrease over the course of several minutes until the event and chance for re-ignition is over.”

At present, Fike Blue has been configured to protect fixed lithium-ion battery banks in renewable energy storage systems, rather than electrical vehicles. However, given its usefulness in stopping thermal runaway events, one can imagine some version of this system being developed for the EV market as well. In the interim, airports and other transportation facilities that use lithium-ion power storage would be wise to give Fike Blue some consideration. It is apparently a real solution to a problem that dogs the lithium-ion sector.

FireFlex Systems: Detecting and Dousing Class B Fires

Class B fires are the ones that involve flammable gasses and/or liquids linked to propane, natural gas, gasoline, kerosine, petroleum greases, tars, oils, oil-based paints, solvents, lacquers, or alcohols. These are extremely dangerous fires that can’t be doused by water, which simply spreads the flames around. This is why Class B fires in garages and hangars are often extinguished using pre-installed Compressed Air Foam (CAF) systems. Sprayed throughout the affected area, CAF is created by combining air, water and foam concentrate to generate and dispense a homogeneous foam solution that is physically similar to shaving cream.

FireFlex Systems makes Class B fire detection and dousing systems that are well-suited to the transportation industry. In the latter category, FireFlex’s “ICAF compressed air foam system is FM Approved as a local application extinguishing system for class B pool fires, spill fires and cascading fires,” according to the company’s website. According to this company, “ICAF uses four times less water and up to six times less foam concentrate compared to foam-water systems.” This makes it economical to use as well as effective.

When fires do occur, it is vital for firefighting crews and evacuating personnel to be able to see what’s happening on the fire scene. According to FlexFlex, CAF’s “unique physical properties significantly reduce steam production” when compared to conventional water-based extinguishing systems, ensuring better visibility during and after a fire. The reason? The CAF blankets the fuel surface, thus not causing “the visual impairment often associated with high-expansion, total flooding foam systems.”

Honeywell: Providing Self-Testing Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are an essential element of any fire detection system. However, these devices can only do their jobs if they are fully functional. Ensuring that they are requires ongoing testing by building operators, which can be a very demanding task if the spaces being protected are large and equipped with numerous smoke detectors.

Fortunately for airport and transit station operators, Honeywell has addressed this problem with a fire alarm system that comes with UL-approved self-testing smoke detectors that can be tested automatically. The NOTIFIER INSPIRE fire alarm system with self-test detectors is an all-in-one fire system designed to deliver reliable protection, efficient monitoring, and easy expansion, in addition to flexible and timely reporting. These detectors report to Honeywell’s Connected Life Safety Services (CLSS) cloud-based platform, to make system monitoring and troubleshooting possible from remote locations.

“Honeywell is integrating intelligence across all aspects of fire and life safety systems,” said Jurgen Van Goethem, Honeywell’s president of Fire Life Safety Systems. “By digitizing the most essential system in the building, we’re creating efficiencies during commissioning and maintenance, we’re further improving system reliability and we’re improving the end-user experience. We’re also working to change building owners’ mindsets to think about fire and life safety systems not just as a necessary system to be able to occupy the building, but as a system with a wealth of data that going forward, we can tap into to ultimately better protect lives. This will help move the industry toward the creation of safer and more compliant buildings.”

Worth noting: NOTIFIER INSPIRE’s modular design makes it easy to add new fire detectors as buildings are expanded. Meanwhile, these units’ self-testing features are so sophisticated, that they introduce small amounts of heat and smoke into their own detection chambers to check their photo and thermal sensors, along with verifying that their smoke entry points are unobstructed.

Johnson Controls: Addressable Fire Detection for Small Watercraft

Fire detection is as important on small boats as it is on large ships. This is why Johnson Controls has released the Zettler T1306, which the company bills as “the first addressable alarm panel … specifically developed for use within small-scale marine vessels.” According to this company, using addressable technology allows mariners to quickly and clearly pinpoint fire locations in their vessel, speeding up response times while allowing muster protocols to be tightened up.

“With the global maritime industry quickly evolving and experiencing a phase-out of conventional fire alarm control units, our customers need an approved fire panel that offers the latest addressable technology with the quality and reliability they expect from Zettler products,” said Paul Grainger, product manager with Johnson Controls Fire Detection Products. “This new panel not only provides addressability and reliability at a competitive price, it also simplifies installation and maintenance and contributes to a low lifecycle cost.”

Capable of supporting audible and visual alarms, the T1306 is equipped with two full-powered loops. These can be split into six shared power loops, which are capable of connecting up to 500 sensing devices in total. The alarm panel can be located within the bridge, or remotely coupled to this command center using an in-bridge repeater to save space. It features an easy-to-understand LCD display, plus robust controls that can withstand harsh marine environments.

The T1306 comes with a 24-hour battery capacity, has built-in fail-safe capabilities and comes with advanced control panel technologies that reduce false alarms. It also offers a top and bottom entry gland plate, communication via Modbus to gateway (SMS/MIS), and a four-panel capacity when installed in a master/client configuration. The T1306 fire alarm panel has an IP32 rating and has attained various global industry approvals such as EN54, MED, ABS, BV, DNV GL, KRS, LRS (IACS) and CCS.

Top: Kidde Technologies, a part of Collins Aerospace, makes a number of fire suppression products aimed at keeping aircraft safe., including this spherical unit.  Kidde Technologies image.
Top: Kidde Technologies, a part of Collins Aerospace, makes a number of fire suppression products aimed at keeping aircraft safe., including this spherical unit. Kidde Technologies image.

Kidde Technologies: Keeping Aircraft Safe

Fire in an aircraft is a terrifying possibility that offers deadly consequences. Passengers and pilots can’t evacuate at 30,000 feet. This is why Kidde Technologies makes a number of fire suppression products aimed at keeping aircraft safe. It starts with a range of fire suppression hardware that employ single and multi-outlet spherical, cylindrical or radial tubular containers to hold liquid extinguishing agents, which are made from durable stainless steel or titanium. This product range also includes solid propellant-based suppression devices and dedicated electronic modules for system monitoring and control. These modules can be configured to be manually controlled by the crew, or activated automatically when fire conditions are detected.

Middle: This lavatory photo-electric smoke detector offers innovative detection technology and reduces the threat of false alarms. The company says it requires no change to aircraft cabin/lavatory structure or wiring. The Model 3000 is designed as a drop-in replacement for JAMCO PU90-400 series ionization smoke detectors. Kidde image.
Middle: This lavatory photo-electric smoke detector offers innovative detection technology and reduces the threat of false alarms. The company says it requires no change to aircraft cabin/lavatory structure or wiring. The Model 3000 is designed as a drop-in replacement for JAMCO PU90-400 series ionization smoke detectors. Kidde image.

Fires in aircraft lavatory washrooms, caused by people smoking and then throwing still-lit cigarettes into waste bins, are a serious threat to aircraft in flight. This is why Kidde makes a Lavatory Waste Bin Extinguisher to address this danger. Available for Boeing and Bombardier aircraft, these units use proven, existing hardware to fight waste bin fires as soon as they exceed a temperature of 170 F (77 C). When this threshold is crossed, the Lavatory Waste Bin Extinguisher releases inert nitrogen under pressure through its discharge nozzles, over a period of three and five seconds.

Bottom: Kidde offers a non-Halon fire extinguisher for waste bins in aircraft lavatories. Their G800100 and G825100 series are drop-in replacements for the Halon A800100 and A825100 units in many legacy aircraft fleets. Kidde image.
Bottom: Kidde offers a non-Halon fire extinguisher for waste bins in aircraft lavatories. Their G800100 and G825100 series are drop-in replacements for the Halon A800100 and A825100 units in many legacy aircraft fleets. Kidde image.

Kidde also makes advanced photo-electric smoke detectors for aircraft cabins and lavatories, which can be installed without any changes to aircraft cabin/lavatory structures or existing wiring. According to the company, these smoke detectors are compliant with environmental legislation, use dual-wavelength technology to minimize false alarms due to “nuisance aerosols” and provide improved fire detection capabilities even at high altitudes.