www.ushalonbank.com 1.800.433.1751                                   September 2021 - Vol 4, Issue 4
How The US Can Avoid Europe’s Problematic HFC Phasedown
TRAINING AND SUPPORT: Rheem is providing training and support to its contractors and distributors regarding the benefits of the new low GWP refrigerants. (Courtesy of Rheem)

By Joanna R. Turpin
The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration NEWS

The U.S. can learn from mistakes made overseas to ensure a smooth transition

Under the federal American Innovation in Manufacturing (AIM) Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been given the authority to phase down the consumption and production of high-GWP HFC refrigerants in the U.S., such as R-410A and R-404A, by 85% over the next 15 years. If not handled correctly, there is concern that the U.S. phasedown could resemble that of the European Union (EU), which has experienced a number of problems since it started phasing down HFCs (or F-Gases, as they’re called there) in 2015.

Per the 2014 EU F-Gas Regulation guidelines, production of virgin HFCs in the EU (compared to the baseline) was cut about 7% percent in 2016, but in 2018, that rose to 37%, and in 2021, 55%. Knowing that these steep drop-offs would occur, experts had hoped end users would proactively reduce their use of HFCs. But that did not happen, and prices of some HFCs skyrocketed, contractors scrambled to find refrigerant at any price, and a thriving black market for illegally imported refrigerants continues to plague the region.
Opinion: The AIM Act – Myth vs. Reality (Competitive Enterprise Institute)

By Ben Lieberman
Competitive Enterprise Institute

After the surprise election of President Trump, the proponents of HFC restrictions changed their message, downplaying the climate change rationale and instead emphasizing that these measures will boost domestic manufacturing jobs and give American companies a global advantage. They have even claimed that it will save consumers money. However, few if any of these assertions stand up to scrutiny. In fact, many are the precise opposite of what will really happen under this bill.

Myth: The AIM Act will create many new American jobs producing the refrigerants and equipment favored by the bill.

Fact: The AIM Act will most likely cost American jobs.
Everything You’ve Learned From Movies About Fire Sprinklers Is Wrong (Except "Die Hard")
Bruce Willis in "Die Hard." (Photo: 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images)

By Don Steinberg
The Wall Street Journal

Other people may have been watching Alexandra Daddario in her performance as an unhappy honeymooner on HBO’s series “The White Lotus.” Patrick Smith was paying closer attention to a scene Ms. Daddario has in the new indie movie “Die in a Gunfight,” where she smooches with co-star Diego Boneta in a diner booth.

In the distance behind them, a kitchen fire breaks out, and the sprinkler system above the couple sprays water all over them, romantically, like they’re kissing in the rain.

Dr. Smith, a 33-year-old industrial safety consultant, collects clips like this, from movies and television, that he says incorrectly depict the way fire-sprinkler systems operate. Directors and screenwriters get it wrong a lot, he says. He isn’t a film buff, but he has found movies to be such a fertile source of instructive material, he decided to make them part of his personal sprinkler-awareness campaign.
Update: Aged Release Valve is to Blame for Fire Suppression System Discharge at Cable Car Barn


On September 9, 2021, at approximately 1:30 p.m., the fire suppression system in the electrical room at the Cable Car Barn at Mason and Washington streets discharged. This caused the electrical room to fill with fire retardant material resembling smoke, which prompted a response from SFFD as a safety precaution. Upon the discharge of the fire suppression system, other automated safety systems were activated resulting in a loss of electrical power to the entire facility, including the propulsion system for the cable cars.

This discharge of the suppression system was due to the failure of an aged release valve which has been in service since the last cable car renovation in the 1980's. Regular inspections by outside fire safety experts of the fire suppression system have not shown any signs of defect, but the system is almost four decades old and is not considered current best practice.
Meggitt Shareholders Agree to Parker Hannifin $8.7 Billion Takeover

By Siddharth Vikram Philip

Meggitt Plc’s owners voted in favor of a 6.3 billion-pound ($8.7 billion) buyout by U.S. aerospace firm Parker-Hannifin Corp., leaving the U.K. government to decide whether to intervene in the latest foreign takeover of a defense supplier.

Almost all shareholders who cast a ballot backed the takeover at the general meeting, Meggitt said. The company will now convene a court a court hearing to approve the 800-pence-a-share deal.
PFAS from Navy Lab Flowing into Chesapeake Bay
Engineering technician Stanley Karwoski extinguishes a fire during a test at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory near Chesapeake Beach, MD. The test in 2020 was part of an effort to compare the firefighting performance of foams that don’t contain PFAS and those that do. (U.S. Navy/Jonathan Sunderman)

By Timothy Wheeler
Bay Journal Media

David Harris grew up on a farm next door to the Naval Research Laboratory – Chesapeake Bay Detachment. He recalls camping with his scout troop on the 168-acre base overlooking the Bay and drinking water from the small stream that flows from the Navy property onto his family’s farm.

Until recently, much of what went on at the facility just south of Chesapeake Beach, MD, was a mystery to Harris. But at times in his youth, he said, “big plumes of black smoke” rose over the facility. His mother told him their crops sometimes got a dusting of sooty ash.

Now 50 years old and still living next door, Harris worries about the health risks he and his family may have been exposed to from their military neighbor.
Fire Suppression System Mishap Causes Ferry Evacuation

The Malta Independent

A Gozo Fast Ferry vessel was evacuated after a technical fault led to the automatic activation of the vessel’s fire suppression system, the company said.

Contrary to initial reports, there was no fire aboard the vessel.

The plume of white smoke was released just as the vessel — Your Faith — was leaving Mġarr Harbour on the 7:45am trip.

The smoke that ensued was part of the activation of the fire suppression system onboard and no fire was detected, the company said.
Alaska Airline 737 Evacuated after Cell Phone Catches Fire

By Chris Loh
Simple Flying

On August 23rd, an Alaska Airlines flight from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) to Seattle Tacoma International (SEA) experienced a cell phone fire onboard leading to the deployment of the aircraft’s evacuation slides. The 737-900ER operating flight AS751 had touched down in Seattle when the incident occurred.

After completing the flight, the Boeing 737-900ER touched down at Seattle Tacoma International at 20:38 local time. It was at this point, just after landing, when the cell phone fire took place. Alaska Airlines tells Simple Flying that the fire took place while the 737 was waiting for a gate.
The aircraft involved in the incident was a six-year-old Boeing 737-900ER. The aircraft was registered as N479AS. (Photo: Vincenzo Pace/Simple Flying)
Rogue Screwdriver Tip Caused Airbus A320 Fire
The fire in a Jetstar engine was caused by a screwdriver tip. Photo: Airbus

By Emily Derrick
Simple Flying

An investigation into a fire onboard an Airbus A320 has concluded that the tip of a screwdriver was to blame. In October, the Jetstar Airways aircraft aborted a takeoff attempt from Brisbane airport after flames erupted from the right engine.

The Jetstar Airbus A320 was operating a domestic flight from Brisbane International Airport to Cairns when it burst into flames during takeoff.
In Mega Deal Pye Barker Acquires Keystone Fire (KPI Holdings)

By PR Newswire
Markets Insider

ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- Pye-Barker Fire & Safety is proud to announce that it has acquired KPI Holdings, Inc., a fully integrated fire and life safety company headquartered in North Wales, Pennsylvania. With this acquisition, Pye-Barker Fire continues its strategic plan of growing its national footprint. For over 60 years, Keystone Fire Protection Co. has been a trusted provider of fire protection equipment and life safety services in commercial and industrial settings.
CertaSite Acquires Craynon Fire Protection (Dayton, Ohio)

By Holly Mueller Consultant, Global Marketing and Communications

The Riverside Company, a global private investor focused on the smaller end of the middle market, has invested in Craynon Fire Protection. Based in Dayton, Ohio, Craynon provides fire and life safety system inspections, repairs and maintenance, and installations for retrofits and new construction. The investment is an add-on to Riverside’s CertaSite platform, a fire and life safety platform committed to the highest levels of customer service, responsiveness, building safety and code compliance.
CertaSite Acquires Premier Electronics

By Mary Roberts, Writer/Reporter
Inside Indiana Business

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis-based CertaSite, a commercial fire protection and life safety company, has acquired Premier Electronics, a fire alarm and critical protection systems business in Michigan. While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the company says the acquisition is its sixth in Michigan.

Premier founder Helen Gharibian will remain with the company through the transition, and Premier’s five employees will keep their jobs in the acquisition.
Waterland Acquires Majority Stake in Writech (Ireland)

By Colin Gleeson
The Irish Times

Private-equity firm to help with growth, and hopes to double capacity at Westmeath plant

Westmeath-based fire-protection company Writech has secured “significant new investment” from private-equity firm Waterland to accelerate its UK and European growth strategy and double capacity at its design and innovation center in Mullingar.
Waterland investment director Donal Mac Nioclai, Writech chief executive Ted Wright and Alan Wright, joint managing director of the company
Checkmate Fire Acquires Rosse Systems (UK)
John Lewthwaite

By Stephen Farrell, Senior Digital Staff Writer
Insider Media Limited

Checkmate Fire has joined forces with Shipley-based Rosse Systems, which has almost four decades of experience in the active fire and life safety sector.

John Lewthwaite, chief executive at Checkmate Fire, said: "With a reputation built on the strength and understanding of their customers' requirements and a consultative approach to working with them, Rosse Systems is a great cultural fit with our business. They have fantastic knowledge and expertise in the active fire sector, coupled with a shared vision of delivering quality, accredited solutions to clients, and both businesses have incredibly successful track records in the fire safety industry.
Halma Acquires Ramtech (UK)

IFSEC Global

Halma has acquired Ramtech, the UK wireless safety and security solutions business. Ramtech will join several companies in the safety and fire detection markets that are part of the Halma plc portfolio.

Nottingham-headquartered Ramtech turns over £10 million annually, employs 65 people and is said to be rapidly expanding in terms of the products and services it offers.

Ramtech will become part of Halma’s safety division but will operate independently, retaining its name and brand.
Andy Hicks, Ramtech Managing Director
United Safety Acquires Ausfire Systems (Australia)


EXTON, PA -- United Safety announced the acquisition of Ausfire Systems PTY. LTD effective July 31st, 2021. Ausfire Systems, led by Michael Harvey, a 24-year veteran in the fire protection space, has been providing quality services such as fire protection, maintenance, and installations across the region for fixed facilities and special hazards.

United Safety President and CEO Joseph Mirabile stated, “We are extremely excited to grow our presence in Australia with the acquisition of Ausfire Systems. With a strong company history of quality service, the Ausfire acquisition will increase our capabilities and allow us to draw on knowledge that can be transferred globally.”
VSC Acquires AAA Fire Safety (Arkansas)

By Jeff Della Rosa
Talk Business & Politics

Ashland, Va.-based VSC Fire & Security Inc. recently acquired Siloam Springs-based AAA Fire Safety, a fire protection equipment supplier. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The acquisition of AAA Fire Safety is an important move in achieving our growth goals,” said Michael Meehan, president and CEO at VSC. “As we continue to seek out new opportunities, we are committed to investing in quality partners who mutually value delivering integrated, cutting-edge fire protection and safety services to our customers.”
The Hiller Companies Announces the Purchase of Carolina Fire Control, Inc.

The Hiller Companies

Concord, North Carolina -- The Hiller Companies is pleased to announce the purchase of Carolina Fire Control, Inc. (CFC) on September 1, 2021. CFC is headquartered in Concord, North Carolina.

“Hiller is fortunate to be experiencing a growth period, and we are very pleased to expand our offerings through the knowledge and expertise provided by the great folks at Carolina Fire Control,” Hiller President Jeff Birch said. “This acquisition brings us an excellent opportunity to expand Hiller’s broader portfolio of fire protection services in the growing Charlotte market.”
A Simple Solution for Preventing Battery Cabinet Explosions
Exterior view of an ESS cabinet with doors closed - Snohomish Public Utility District microgrid in Arlington, Washington

By Matthew Paiss
T&D World

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed IntelliVent; a device that responds to existing smoke detectors to reduce explosion risk in outdoor energy storage system cabinets.

Stationary energy storage system (ESS) deployment has outpaced the development of codes and standards for safe and effective methods of preventing fires and explosions in the event of catastrophic damage. Although fewer than 50 significant ESS-related fires have occurred worldwide, there have already been two fatalities and four significant injuries of firefighters responding to these incidents — and the risk of explosions is seen by many in the industry as the primary gap in system design and published codes.
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