What are Generations and do They Matter for Nest Products?

It is well known that computer-based technology advances very quickly, with products being outdated and replaced by a newer version, or ‘generation,’ almost every year. Nest Labs’ range of ‘smart home’ products is no exception to this as the oldest two have already undergone a few iterations of redesign and improvement.

Safelincs has a close relationship with Nest in the UK and gets its stock directly from them, so you can be assured that you’re buying the latest models. However, if you already own Nest products that may be older models you have nothing to worry about as there is no issue mixing new and old generations of Nest devices in your home.

Nest Protect
Nest Protect

The Nest Protect combines an industrial-grade smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector with voice alerts, status and testing via a smartphone app, and a range of extra features like a motion-sensing nightlight. With the second generation, you can even hush false alarms from the app.

The 2nd generation Nest Protect has been redesigned with a more curved and smooth profile, a clear difference from the 1st gen’s mostly square form. However, the new design isn’t just a prettier face; it has become an even more formidable guardian for your home as it is the first domestic smoke alarm to sport a ‘split-spectrum’ smoke sensor.

Utilising two frequencies of light, it can more accurately detect finer particles released by fast-flaming fires. The new Nest Protect also has a special wire mesh to decrease false alarms caused by dust or bugs. Furthermore, by changing the materials and components used in manufacturing, the 2nd gen Protect has a lifespan of 10 years compared to the 1st generation’s 7 years.

Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest Learning ThermostatWhile the new Nest Learning Thermostat is a little slimmer than gen 2, the most noticeable difference is the much larger screen – 8.25cm vs 7cm – and they haven’t forgotten to increase the resolution to take advantage of this upgrade. Nest has also replaced the proximity sensor in the latest model which enables the thermostat to detect you across the room and wake up the screen, showing you the current time or temperature.

Some more functional updates in the 3rd generation involved not only upgrading the integrated WiFi chip, to support 5GHz for futureproofing against newer routers and to reduce dropped connections, but Nest also added support for OpenTherm. If your boiler supports this technology, the Nest Learning Thermostat can now help you manage your hot water as well as central heating.

If you do not recognise your Nest thermostat here, please visit https://nest.com/support/article/How-can-I-tell-which-Nest-Learning-Thermostat-I-have. You may have an older generation thermostat which was not made for compatibility with European systems.

Nest Cam
Nest Cam
The Nest Cam comes in two versions, Indoor and Outdoor, though both are on their first iteration so no matter where you see them or how long you’ve had one, it’s still the latest model. The black Indoor model is almost shaped like an inverted raindrop and has a noticeably slimmer and sleeker profile compared to its weatherproof brother, which appears more like a white coffee cup with no handle.

Regardless of which model you purchase you’ll get a bunch of great features like snapshots of activity over the last 3-hours, optional subscriptions for 10- or 30-day full video history, the ability to view live video from anywhere over the Internet, and 2-way voice communications between the Nest app and your Nest Cam. The only functional differences between the two are their mounting options and that the Outdoor model’s components are weatherproof.

To summarise, while Nest’s offerings have gone through a varying number of upgrades you can rest assured that, as long as you don’t accidentally purchase a first generation Learning Thermostat, all of your Nest gadgets will work together seamlessly. If you really want to have the latest models, though, Safelincs has you covered.
For any questions or to place an order you can call us on 0800 978 8202 or email support@safelincs.co.uk.

Fire prevention and fire fighting on wind farms

Wind Turbine FireResearch undertaken by Imperial College London in conjunction with Edinburgh University and the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden in 2014 found that fire is the second largest cause of incidents in wind turbines after blade failure. Considering the vast costs for constructing wind turbines, this statistic offers enough justification to consider specific fire prevention, detection and fighting questions.

Fires in wind turbines can start when flammable materials such as hydraulic oil and other flammable materials are in proximity to hot machinery or electrical equipment. Oils can catch fire if the gearbox or generator overheat, and high winds can potentially fan the flames. Lightening strikes can also spark a fire. Once started, the fire is unlikely to be brought under control due to the height of the turbines and the location of wind farms, which are normally a significant distance from the nearest fire services.

Fire precautions

Measures can be put in place to protect against lightning strikes. Fire-resistant hydraulic fluids and lubricant oils reduce the likelihood of a fire and the latest wind turbine designs incorporate heat barriers to protect materials that can burn. It is also recommended that manufacturers use non-combustible insulating materials. Intumescent materials (materials that expand if exposed to fire and therefore choke the fire) can help to suppress fires at an early stage. Systems can be installed to continuously monitor the condition of machinery so that maintenance and engineering work can be undertaken in a timely manner and the system can be shut down before a fire develops.

Should a fire break out there are fire detection systems that can be employed in conjunction with fire suppression systems and an automated shut-off. If a fire were to break out whilst an engineer was working within the nacelle (the outer casing at the top of a turbine) a fire detector would also give an early warning.

Fire suppression systems that are triggered by rises in temperature or by fire detectors are fitted in some turbines. Gas suppression systems work best in airtight environments. However if the ignition source has not been eliminated the fire may reignite once the gas has dispersed. Systems that are able to extinguish flames with water, foam or powder have the disadvantage that they might damage equipment. Automated suppression systems might also have to be disabled while engineer work in the nacelle to prevent suffocation, inhalation or, in the case of powder, obfuscation (a powder discharge in a small room can blind the operator).

Precautions for maintenance workers

For the periods of maintenance work a portable fire extinguisher should be provided. However, in the document Workshop Report: Escape from the nacelle in the event of a fire, produced by the G9 Offshore Wind Health & Safety Association it states that ‘a fire extinguisher should be considered as an aid to escape rather than a primary means of fire control/suppression.’

Safelincs spoke with representatives of one of its customers, energy company Vattenfall, regarding the siting of fire extinguishers. The company has turbines from a number of manufacturers. In some cases the portable extinguishers are situated as a permanent fixture within the nacelle. In other cases the engineer will carry an extinguisher with him as part of his tool kit.

Recommendation from Safelincs

1) For permanently installed portable extinguishers:

The downside of standard fire extinguishers is that they require an annual service carried out by a qualified extinguisher engineer and a refill needs to be undertaken for most extinguishers after five years with the unit replaced after ten years. Since a visit to turbines by an external extinguisher engineer is usually hard to achieve, a service-free fire extinguisher is a better solution.

Safelincs can offer a range of service-free foam extinguishers in 2 ltr and 6 ltr sizes. These fire extinguishers are manufactured in the UK from non-corrosive materials and feature duplicate pressure gauges. They only require an annual visual check by any member of staff, e.g. the turbine maintenance engineer. They also do not require a refill after five years. Instead, after ten years they can be refilled and used for a further ten years.

The resistance to a corrosive maritime environment makes these extinguishers particularly well suited to the wind farm industry.

2) For extinguishers carried by the maintenance engineer:

The extinguisher in this case must be light, broad spectrum, safe for use on electricity, non-damaging to equipment and harmless in the case of inhalation. There must also be no risk of asphyxiation.

Safelincs can offer a range of portable water mist extinguishers, which can be used on grease, oils, electric equipment (up to 1000 Volt), fabric and plastics. The extinguishers create a very fine mist of de-ionised water that cannot conduct electricity. The inhalation of the water mist is not harmful and the mist does not leave a deposit.

For further information, please email support@safelincs.co.uk or ring us on 0800 612 6537

Safelincs introduces the Nest Protect Smart Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm

nest-protectTechnology moves fast and has finally reached the often ignored area of fire and gas detection. Smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms used to be standalone units, until the advent of interconnection. Once manufacturers had perfected hard-wired interconnection, allowing the alarms to communicate, the next step was wireless interconnection which made the whole process so much easier. But what is the latest step in smoke and CO alarm technology?

Safelincs is happy to introduce the all-new Nest Protect smart smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. Available in 230V mains and 9V battery powered versions, the Nest Protect combines an industrial-grade optical smoke sensor with a long-lasting carbon monoxide detector, making the 230V version the only mains powered combined smoke and CO alarm on the market. The Nest Protect is packed with features, including the ability to distinguish between smoke and steam to avoid false alarms and remote alerts via the Nest App. ‘Nightly Promise’ checks the power level of the alarm to ensure that there are no midnight chirps and the Nest Protect offers a handy Pathlight that lights your way during the night.

The Nest Protect can communicate with other Nest and Nest-compatible products, such as the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Cam HD, giving you more control over your home and ensuring that you are safe and protected by the best technology!

If you have an questions or wish to place an order please ring 0800 612 6537 or visit https://www.safelincs.co.uk/nest/.

Briton Supports Safelincs with Fire Door Safety Week 2015

Briton-2003Fire Door Safety Week is a national campaign to raise awareness of the lifesaving role of fire doors and the importance of installing and maintaining them to a high standard. Poorly fitted and damaged fire doors can affect their integrity; effectively stopping them from performing correctly.

Door closers play a vital role in fire door safety, enabling the door to close fully whilst not in use or when the fire alarm sounds. When shut, the fire door compartmentalises the room and acts as a barrier against the spread of fire. Without a door closer fitted, the door remains open and no longer protects the room and the surrounding area.

Briton provides a wide range of door closers including overhead, guide rail and free-swing options to suit various applications, all of which are third party accredited by leading certification scheme Certifire. The independent certification body provides assurance that Briton door closers perform to a high standard and are compliant with the necessary regulations when correctly installed.

To promote Fire Door Safety Week, Safelincs have partnered with Briton to provide our customers with exclusive discounts on their overhead door closers, extending the offer period for one month until the 20th October 2015. So don’t miss out on our limited time special offers!

Safelincs are proud to support a trusted and reliable brand and are pleased to hear Briton will be donating to the Children’s Burns Trust charity at the end of Fire Door Safety Week.

Not sure which Briton door closer is right for you? Check out the Briton door closer selector, or call our customer service helpline on 0800 612 6537.

Evacuation of Disabled Staff

Evac-Chair Evacuation ChairsDo you fully understand your responsibilities when it comes to the provision of evacuation devices? If the answer is no, Safelincs can offer you guidance, explaining the legislation linked to evacuation devices, and highlighting the products available to help you meet your legal responsibilities.

To quote from the official government document- Fire safety risk assessment – Supplementary guide: Means of Escape for Disabled People:

“Where an employer or a service provider does not make provision for the safe evacuation of disabled people from its premises, this may be viewed as discrimination. It may also constitute a failure to comply with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.”

Are you confident you have covered every eventuality when it comes to your evacuation plan? Evacuation planning must account for all possible scenarios. Failure to identify and eliminate any weaknesses in your plan is likely to be judged as a criminal offence if a fire were to trap a person that would have escaped if appropriate devices had been provided.

To learn more about your responsibilities as a business owner or manager, make sure you read our comprehensive guide which distils everything you need to know into a single article.

Safelincs are committed to raising awareness of potential evacuation issues, and are on hand if you have any further questions regarding evacuation devices. We are also currently offering a substantial discount on our bestselling evacuation device to support this campaign.

If you would like to take advantage of our special offers on leading products, or require further information about any of our products, feel free to contact us via support@safelincs.co.uk, or on 0800 612 6537.

Introduction to the Dräger Parat C hood

draeger-parat-cThe Dräger Parat C is a fire escape hood that fully covers the head, providing 15 minutes of respiratory and eye protection from the toxic gases and fumes produced by fire. The Parat C can be purchased in four different versions; a standard single pack, a soft pack for easy storage, a traveller pack and a twin pack supplied in a wall mounted box.

The hoods are quick to deploy and easy to use, are supplied in one universal size suitable for all ages (including small children), and can be worn by persons with long hair, glasses or beards.

These fire hoods are used for the escape from buildings with long escape routes, are ideal for fire marshals and staff assisting other people to escape from buildings filling with smoke (e.g. teachers in schools). They can be used where smoke from a fire is affecting escape routes. Please note that the hoods will of course not protect you from fire or high temperatures, as the rest of the body is unprotected. If smoke is intense the user needs to move close to the floor where oxygen and cooler air are present.

The Dräger Parat C is fitted with a CO-P2 filter which will protect from the toxic gases shown below:

Chemical Name Description
CO Carbon Monoxide Produced by all fires as a component of smoke, caused by the improper burning of carbon fuels. CO is colourless, odourless and tasteless but highly toxic.Human senses cannot detect CO – symptoms include dizziness, headaches, nausea, stomach pains, breathing difficulties and eventually loss of consciousness.
HCN Hydrogen Cyanide Produced as a by-product of burning combustible everyday materials such as soft furnishings, insulation, clothing, etc. 20 times more toxic that CO. Targets the heart and brain and can incapacitate its victims within a short period of time.
H2S Hydrogen Sulfide Found predominantly in the oil and gas production industry, produced by decaying organic matter and characterised by its strong ‘rotten eggs’ odour. At high concentrations H2S can cause respiratory paralysis, asphyxial seizures and death.
N/A Particles Smoke is a collection of airborne solid and liquid particles, some of which can be highly toxic and cause poisoning when inhaled. When combined with the other by-products of a fire they can cause severe breathing difficulties, long-term illness, loss of consciousness and even death.

 

Watch this short introduction video showing how easy these hoods can be used.

Helpful new video about emergency lighting terms

emergency-light-exitEmergency lighting is essential in most businesses, providing an immediate secondary source of light in the event of a power failure. When selecting emergency lighting you will, however, come across confusing terms such as maintained, non-maintained and switchable emergency lights. Our short video explains the differences in an easily understood way.

Safelincs also offers other guides about emergency lighting:

Our friendly staff are always happy to help you with your emergency lighting planning.
Please email support@safelincs.co.uk

 

P50 service free extinguishers – end user video

To emphasise the advantages of the P50 service free extinguishers to end users, Safelincs created a short promotional video demonstrating the benefits and cost savings of the extinguisher.

The P50 extinguishers:

  • Do not require external service engineers. A simple annual visual inspection by the end user is sufficient
  • Do not require a refill after five years, as the firefighting chemicals are guaranteed for ten years
  • Can even be refurbished after ten years to give another ten year life

These extinguisher also help to reduce your carbon footprint, save time and even space, as the superior ratings mean that less P50 units are required to cover a building when compared to traditional extinguishers.

 

Kidde releases the UK’s first combined optical smoke and carbon monoxide detector – The Kidde 10DS.

kidde-10sco-smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-detectorKidde Safety, one of the leading manufacturers of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, has recently released the UK’s first combined optical smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. The new alarm, which is powered by a single 9V battery instead of the usual 3 x AA cells, carries a 10 year warranty and features an ‘end-of-life’ warning to alert the user that the alarm has reached the end of its operating life.
Kidde have included several simple but clever features with the 10DS, such as a front mounted battery compartment which allows the battery to be replaced without removing the alarm and dual voice warnings of either ‘FIRE! FIRE!’ or ‘WARNING! CARBON MONOXIDE’ depending on the danger detected.
The Kidde 10DS is also the first combined unit to be kitemarked for both the optical sensor and carbon monoxide sensor separately. Add in the test/reset/hush feature and the peak level memory function and you end up with a great all round alarm suitable for use in homes, holiday chalets, caravans and even boats, saving space and potentially lives.

Fire Extinguisher Categories

Fire extinguishers come in different types, not all types are suitable for all categories of fires, and in fact most have only one or two applications.  Many people find that when trying to specify types of extinguisher they run into problems.  We often find that without some advice money is wasted on inappropriate fire extinguishers. To help overcome this we have created a short guidance that should help

Firstly let’s have a look at the types of fire.

Class A: Wood, Paper and Textiles

These are substances that will burn to a carbonaceous ash.  The class A risk is usually the first to be considered when installing extinguishers, as this type of risk is the most common.  These fuels might include waste paper, furnishings, and the fabric of a building, for instance doors, floorboards etc.

Class B: Flammable Fluids

Normally hydrocarbons, these include petrol, oil and many types of paints, thinners and solvents.

Class C: Gas

Fires caused by leaking gas, these should never be extinguished by anyone other than a trained fire-fighter.

Class D: Metals

Various metals will burn; these include magnesium, titanium, lithium and aluminium.  If you have these risks you should take advice from your local fire service.

Class E

There is actually no class E, when this is used it normally refers to fires with an electrical complication.  However electricity itself does not burn.

Class F: Cooking Fats and Oils

Essentially commercial deep fat fryers.

Range of Fire Extinguishers

Now we know what we are dealing with, we have a range of extinguishers that can deal with various types of fire.

Water

Water fie extinguishers are only type rated for class A fires and presents risks when used in the vicinity of electrical equipment or on burning oils.

AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam)

AFFF foam fire extinguisher sare suitable for Class A fires and Class B fires.  It should however be noted that specialist foams are required to deal with alcohols such as ethanol.

CO2

CO2 fire extinguishers are suitable for use on Class B fires and fires with an electrical complication.  Its most typical application is for use on office machinery and IT equipment.  In most cases they are not appropriate as the principle extinguisher type in a building as they are unable to achieve an A class rating.

Powder

Powder fire extinguisher are suitable for use on Classes A B C and electrical fires.  It is a highly effective extinguishant but does present other problems.  It drastically reduces visibility, it can cause choking and respiratory distress in confined spaces.  It causes a great deal of mess and on exposure to atmospheric moisture can become corrosive.

Wet Chemical

This is a type of extinguisher designed specifically for use on deep fat fryers. They are also usually rated for class A and B fires.  An essential piece of equipment where deep fat fryers are used.