Thursday, November 26, 2015

Bison Fire Receives Ansul’s Diamond Award

It must be award season again. We were fortunate to have the good people from Ansul drop into our office last week bearing gifts. Both Stuart Crabbe and Chris Stievenart came calling and fortunately (For them) they beat the winter weather that has us running for our sweaters this week.

Chris was in to talk with us about clean gas suppression systems and the success we’ve been enjoying selling them. Chris works with us to design install and service the Ansul family of agents that include Sapphire, Energin, and CO2. He also consults with us and our customers when evaluating what product is the best fit for the area we are protecting. His years of experience are an asset to our team.

Stuart supports our pre-engineered suppression products. These are the Ansul R-102 kitchen suppression systems that protect so many restaurants in our city. The Monarch Industrial Suppression Systems that we use in auto body shop paint booth & mix rooms and mining lube rooms. The Ansul A-101 suppression systems that we install and service on all types of mobile mining and forestry equipment. Lastly he supports our portable extinguishers that include regular stored pressure, Red Line Cartridge Operated Extinguishers, and the High Flow stored pressure extinguishers.

With these industry professionals always ready willing and able to assist us when needed our ability to give the customers the products they need when they need them is excellent and it shows. This year Stuart presented us with another Diamond alliance award! This industry distinction gives credibility to the training and hard work our technicians, designers, and sales people do all year.

This dedication to their jobs is why I like to say…….

If you can make it burn, we can put it out!

Ansul Diamond Award 2015

Posted by Rob Read at 1:44 PM 0 Comments

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fire Pumps Have Unique Issues

In September our Fire Sprinkler division was called out to investigate why a fire pump was vibrating and sounded like the bearings were gone. I went there first to do a preliminary check to access the situation. On site I ran the fire pump on a dead head mode, meaning the discharge side valve was closed and no water was flowing, or another term would be, the fire pump was running at churn. I could hear rocks ticking inside. So I advised the customer that we should do a fire pump capacity test through the 6” test header, this way if the rocks were small they would flow out with the test. The results were below the fire pump performance curve, and when we did the 150% flow the fire pump would vibrate like it was way out of balance. We then informed the customer the next step was to take the pump apart to see if the impellers were damaged.

We contacted our fire pump supplier to see if parts were still available for this pump since it was over 40 years old. Parts were still available and were ordered.

When we took the pump apart we found a few rocks* wedged inside the pump. We proceeded to remove the rocks and inspected the impeller for damage. Fortunately there was none. While the pump was apart we took this opportunity to also replace the packings. Once the pump was reassembled we did another flow test. When we started the fire pump we heard more rocks being sucked in from the city main. We took it apart again and removed one more rock. On the last test the pump ran smoothly and the performance curve was met. The customer was relieved that he didn’t have to replace his pump and controller as this is very costly.

About 6 months prior some water main repairs had been done up the street and it would seem the main wasn’t flushed properly after the repairs. Without a thorough investigation we can only assume this is how the rocks ended up in the fire pump. Because this customer runs his fire pump weekly like he’s suppose too by fire code this issue was discovered and repaired. In a real fire situation this could have been devastating and deadly.

If you can make it burn we can put it out!

*No rocks were harmed during the repair of this fire pump

Bison Fire Services Fire PumpsBison Fire Inspects Fire Pumps

Posted by Rob Read at 9:46 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Fire Extinguisher Training Is Your Friend with Benefits

Bison Fire Protection just finished performing fire extinguisher training with one of our industrial customers.  There were approximately 60 people in attendance from supervisors, security, and management.  Most of the individuals in attendance had never used a fire extinguisher.  Industrial operations and their unique hazards make it necessary for the safety of their employees to be trained for such events. This type of training is critical for any type of business at any size.

The day started off with a power point presentation that lasts about 35 minutes.  We discuss with all of the participants in the class, sources of fire, classes of fire, identifying the types of extinguishers and hardware, and measuring the risks associated with fire.  Following the power point presentation, a 25 minute video is shown that goes more in-depth and becomes a visual tool that illustrates the power point presentation.  Lastly, we head out to a secured area and perform a “Live Burn” hands on extinguisher training with a real fire situation (Click here to see the video).  Participants are then given a real fire extinguisher to use to extinguish the fire that has been set.  After all training has been completed participants are given certificates of completion.  We suggest that fire extinguisher training should be completed on an annual basis in order to retain the knowledge for the future.

Most of our training is done with a digital training system, and we take pride in being the first company to adopt technology that is now an industry standard, however occasionally customers will request the “live burn”. The benefits of digital training are numerous when you consider training times and space, weather conditions, no required permits to name only a few.

Fire extinguisher training should only be performed by qualified individuals.  Within the City of Winnipeg, trainers are required to be certified & licensed as well as have taken the mandatory Fire and Life Safety Educator program that is offered by the Brandon Emergency Services College.  Secondly, once a trainer has received the necessary training they also must be registered with the City of Winnipeg Fire Prevention Branch providing their qualifications in order to receive a training license.  We as trainers are also required to apply for the necessary permits for “Open Fire” demonstrations.  In order to apply for the permit you must have the need documentation such as site location, letter of intent from the individuals requesting a live burn, and lastly the permit on site while such demonstration is being performed.

Whenever fire extinguisher training is to be performed in a “Live Burn” situation, it is absolutely necessary to find out what requirements are needed from the AHJ in the city or municipality in which it is being performed.

Bison Fire Protection also can provide alternative methods to fire extinguisher training through electronic simulation.  For further inquiries please contact Ryan Fraser.

The difference between action and panic is training!

Bison Fire Extinguisher Training ClassroomBison Fire Extinguisher Trained Student Success!Ryan Fraser Instructing Safe Fire Extinguisher Usage

If you can make it burn, we can put it out!

Posted by Rob Read at 12:45 PM 0 Comments

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Smoke Detector Sensitivity Testing Info For Property Owners

Download Attachment...

Smoke Detector testing is not new to the fire protection industry. However having a way to correctly perform the tests had been an issue for some time as approved equipment had not been available. Late last year the SOLO test equipment had been approved. Many industry professionals understood the value of preforming these tests and adopted the practice January of 2015. 

As with any changes in industry practise or fire code there is an adjustment period as all parties learn what is now expected. The Manitoba chapter of the CFAA (CDN Fire Alarm Assn.) has always maintained a very good working relationship with the AHJ’s (Authorities Having Jurisdiction) in this case the City of Winnipeg Fire Prevention Dept. In consulting with them they quickly understood the issues that arose from these tests and have issued a letter of clarification. The letter can be downloaded at the top of this post. 

Life safety is always the goal when any changes in practice or fire code are considered. This change is very positive in that it will ensure that the smoke detectors installed in the building you live or work in will do the job they are designed to do. We all know electronics get old, dirty, and fail. I can’t think of a single person I know that still has a tube TV from the 60’s, or uses rabbit ears to catch a signal.

If you can make it burn, we can put it out!


Smoke Detector Sensitivity Testing 1Smoke Detector Sensitivity Testing 2

Posted by Rob Read at 10:22 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bison Fire Protection Ranks No.337 on the 2015 PROFIT 500

Bison Logo                                     Profit500 2015


PROFIT magazine unveils 27th annual list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies

Winnipeg (September 17, 2015) Canadian Business and PROFIT today ranked Bison Fire Protection No. 337on the 27th annual PROFIT 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Published in the October issue of Canadian Business and at, the PROFIT 500 ranks Canadian businesses by their five-year revenue growth. This is the third straight year they have achieved this ranking.

Bison Fire Protection made the 2015 PROFIT 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 151%.

“The PROFIT 500 represents the highest tier of entrepreneurialism in Canada,” says James Cowan, Editor-in-chief of PROFIT and Canadian Business. “They should be lauded for the positive economic contributions they’ve made to their communities—and the entire country.  They are examples of what can be accomplished with innovation, discipline and determination."

“Bison Fire Protection is proud to have ranked on the Profit 500 3 years in a row.,” says CEO Rob Read. “This achievement reflects the strength of our product and the dedication of our team. This current recognition of the hard work our team does every day goes well with the awards and accolades we have received over the last several years from the fire protection industry and the business community as a whole.”

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About PROFIT and
PROFIT is Canada’s preeminent media brand dedicated to the management issues and opportunities facing small and mid-sized businesses. For 33 years, Canadian entrepreneurs across a vast array of economic sectors have remained loyal to PROFIT because it’s a timely and reliable source of actionable information that helps them achieve business success and get the recognition they deserve for generating positive economic and social change. Visit PROFIT at

About Canadian Business

Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-serving, best-selling and most-trusted business publication in the country. With a total print readership of more than 600,000, it is the country's premier media brand for executives and senior business leaders. It fuels the success of Canada's business elite with a focus on the things that matter most: leadership, innovation, business strategy and management tactics. We provide concrete examples of business achievement, thought-provoking analysis and compelling storytelling, all in an elegant package with bold graphics and great photography. Canadian Business—what leadership looks like.

Bison Fire Protection has built a solid reputation on our commitment to superior products and services. We believe in providing education and training, as well as professional service, to ensure our customers are served as well as possible by the fire protection solutions we provide.

Established in 2001, Bison Fire Protection Inc. began as a fire extinguisher, and automatic suppression provider to grow into a full service company including fire alarm, and automatic sprinklers. In 2006 we added Thompson Extinguisher Service to our family, combining their more than 20 years of experience, with our entire catalogue of products and services. In 2010 we expanded to Regina Saskatchewan offering the same high quality products, and services our customers have come to expect. 2011 saw the acquisition of Protec Sprinklers, this addition has allowed us to move into automatic sprinkler design, contracting, and installation.

Most recently, we've expanded our service region and entered northwest Ontario with our newest location in Kenora, open as of 2015. Visit our Location Page to see all of our locations, in each of the 4 cities.

All Bison Fire Protection staff are factory trained and certified by each of our suppliers, as required by the fire code.  Our Automatic Sprinkler Division provides Red Seal inspections, testing, and renovations to all types of sprinkler systems.

Bison Fire Protection Inc. is quickly becoming the recognized leader in fire alarm and emergency light products. Offering authorized Siemens Fire Alarm sales, service, inspections, verifications and product warranty. No matter the size of your project we can service your fire alarm needs.

Our full service shops, in Winnipeg, Thompson, Regina as well as our newest addition in Kenora, are inspected by Transport Canada, and are certified by Warnock Hersey to service all manufacturers and types of extinguishers as well as both pre-engineered and engineered suppression systems.


Posted by Rob Read at 3:09 PM 0 Comments