12 Jun 2024

Polystyrene panels in cold storage facilities a fire risk

In examining fire-safety issues related to polystyrene panels in cold storage, it is crucial to consider international standards and the inherent risks associated with this material, according to ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk. “American codes, particularly those from FM Global, explicitly advise against using polystyrene in construction due to its combustibility,” notes van Niekerk.

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14 May 2024

Thatch-roofed structures face increasing insurance challenges due to fire risk

Insurance companies are increasingly leery to insure thatch-roofed structures, says ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk. The danger posed by thatch in terms of fire risk was starkly illustrated recently when the Radisson Hotel in Hoedspruit was struck by lightning. “The only factor preventing a disastrous fire was the presence of an intumescent coating on the thatch, but there was still significant water damage in putting the fire out,” highlights van Niekerk.

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30 Apr 2024

A rational design for fire-safety purposes is not just a tick box exercise

As building regulations evolve and safety standards are updated, the importance of consulting an expert for a proper rational design in fire protection is increasingly vital. ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk highlights the fifth edition of SANS 10400 Part T, released in February this year, stressing the need for sound engineering principles in fire safety measures.

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15 Apr 2024

Beware of the fire risk posed by lithium-ion batteries

As renewable energy systems, including solar panels and battery energy storage systems (BESS), gain increasing popularity, experts caution about the potential fire risks posed by lithium-ion batteries. Commonly used in energy storage systems, lithium-ion batteries pose unique fire hazards due to their flammable electrolytes, highlights ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk.

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06 Feb 2024

Spate of Joburg building fires calls for proactive fire-safety planning

The most recent incident of a fire breaking out in the Johannesburg Central Business District (CBD) in the early hours of Saturday morning on 3 February highlights the importance of the rational design of performance-based fire-safety systems for residential buildings in particular, according to ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk.

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07 Sep 2023

The importance of fire engineering consulting, planning, and design

ASP Fire provides holistic, proactive, and preventative fire solutions based on integrated fire risk assessment, training, and consulting, along with the installation and maintenance of fire detection and suppression systems that meet SABS, NFPA, FPASA and SAQCC standards,” explains CEO Michael van Niekerk.

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16 Aug 2023

How to prevent solar inverter short-circuits and fires

With many South Africans installing inverters as part of solar power systems to mitigate the impact of loadshedding in homes and at businesses, users need to be aware of the potential fire risk. This includes overheating or short-circuits in the battery or other electrical parts that could result in an explosion, warns ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk.

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27 Jul 2023

How to prevent valuable data in a server room from going up in smoke

The installation of proper fire detection and suppression systems is critical in hi-tech areas such as server rooms to protect both costly equipment and valuable data in the event of any fire, comments ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk. “More often than not it is the data and equipment you want to preserve.”

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14 Jul 2023

Vodacom Century City fire highlights fire safety for PV systems

The fire at the Vodacom building at Century City in Cape Town on Sunday 9 July is suspected of having been caused by an issue with the rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) installation. Such systems for homes and businesses are increasingly popular to mitigate the impact of ongoing loadshedding.

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11 May 2023

SAFM Sunrise Interview with ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk

Interview with Michael van Niekerk, CEO of ASP fire risk chatting about how loadshedding places increased pressure on transformers at substations.

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