Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Own a Building? Here's The Fire Safety Equipment You Need to Have Installed

Bison's Own A Building Requirements List

Fire safety and prevention is the responsibility of landlords, whether you’re the owner of a commercial or residential building. Prevention, protection, and suppression are the main types of fire safety equipment that buildings must be equipped with.

No matter the daily ongoings within your building, a fire can start due to a number of situations. Electrical fires can start from overworked sockets, or kitchen fires can start from someone leaving food unattended on the stove. By ensuring that you’re building is prepared with a fire safety plan, posted routes of escape, and routine fire drills, you can help maintain the safe environment that your building provides its workforce or tenants.

Invest in high-quality, effective fire safety systems, and save your building from costly fire-related emergencies. Every commercial or residential building requires the following fire safety equipment to keep everyone inside safe and prepared:

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are a vital piece of fire safety equipment, allowing users to suppress small fires with the proper use of the extinguisher. Depending on your building, hazard level, and specific local fire codes, the type and amount of fire extinguishers you’ll need in your building vary. There are various types of fire extinguishers available on the market today, including:

  • Water and foam extinguishers
  • Carbon dioxide extinguishers
  • Wet chemical extinguishers
  • Portable dry chemical extinguishers
  • Stationary pumps
  • Wheeled fire extinguishers

For information on the number of extinguishers needed in your facility, contact your local fire department. The installation of fire extinguishers should be done by a professional protective fire equipment provider, and should be inspected regularly by the same provider. These companies will also help you decide where, and how, fire extinguishers should be placed throughout the building.

Alarms

The type of alarm system that your building requires depends on the use of your building, and whether it is commercial or residential.

Smoke alarms can quickly detect both heat and fires. There are a variety of smoke alarms available for buildings, including:

  • Photoelectric smoke alarms, which use a light source within to detect fires.
  • Ionization smoke alarms, which are recommended for most buildings as they are able to respond best to raging fires.
  • Combination smoke alarms, which can detect smoldering, slow-spreading fires and fast, raging fires both.

Sprinkler Systems

Once again, there are a wide variety of sprinkler systems available for both residential and commercial buildings. These fire suppression systems can be extremely complex, or relatively simple. Once these systems are activated, they work to spray water from pipes onto a fire. These are known as wet pipe systems, and work best in heated spaces where they cannot freeze.

For unheated areas of commercial or residential spaces, there are other types of sprinklers available, such as:

  • Deluge sprinkler systems, which are only activated within spaces that the sprinkler is activated. This keeps other areas unaffected by fire safe from unnecessary water damage.
  • Preaction sprinkler systems allow for controlled fire protection. Buildings with plenty of technology and electrical equipment choose these sprinklers, as they protect specific areas.
  • Dry pipe sprinklers consist of pipes filled with pressurized air or nitrogen and are ideal for attics, warehouses, or commercial-sized freezers.

As a building owner, it is your responsibility to maintain your building’s fire safety equipment. Bison Fire Protection offers a wide variety of fire protection equipment and services, helping you to ensure the safety of your building. For more information, contact us at 866-441-3473 to schedule your fire safety services in Winnipeg, Thompson, Brandon, Regina, Saskatoon, or Kenora today.

Posted by Rob Read at 8:33 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fire Safety for Multi-Unit Residences

Bison's Fire Safety for Multi use residences

Most people think of their home as their safe haven. In our urban, and rural, communities, multi-unit residences act as the home for countless individuals. Whether you’re living in an apartment building, a university or college campus, or an independent living facility, the responsibility for fire safety lands on both the landlord and the tenant.

Preparedness is your best bet at staying safe during a fire-related emergency. Practice these essential fire safety tips to make sure that your multi-unit living experience is a safe and enjoyable one.

Know Your Fire Safety Plan

Depending on your local fire codes, your multi-unit building should be equipped with a fire safety plan, outlining evacuation routes, the location of fire safety equipment, and emergency fire department phone numbers.

If you live in an apartment, campus residence, or independent living building, you’re surrounded by a large population of other people, many of whom will have different needs than your own.

Landlords are responsible for the installation and maintenance of fire safety equipment, like fire extinguishers and fire alarms. As a responsible tenant, take note of the location of these safety devices, and review the fire safety plan regularly.

Fire Safety Tips

As a tenant in a multi-unit residence, practice these fire safety tips to ensure your wellbeing, and that of others who live in your building:

  • Know at least 2 routes of escape from each room in your residence.
  • Count the number of doorways it takes you to get out of your building, from your residence, through hallways, to the exit door. You may have to feel your way out through the dark if the power goes out, so knowing this number will be of extreme importance during a fire.
  • Keep electrical outlets unobstructed and clear of debris.
  • Maintain a clean kitchen and living space. This ensures that there are less items crowded around stoves, ovens, and heaters, where they could potentially catch on fire.
  • Don’t overload your sockets. Doing so can result in an electrical fire.
  • Store flammable liquids in safe areas, like closed cabinets and containers.

In Case of a Fire

Sometimes, fire-related emergencies do occur. If this is the case, evacuations can be more difficult in buildings that have a large population, all of whom will be attempting to escape at the same time.

  • If you discover a fire or hear your buildings alert system going off, stay calm.
  • Upon discovering a fire, immediately sound the alarm and call the fire department.
  • Leave your residence immediately, ensuring to close all doors behind you to slow the potential spread of fire.
  • Unless you are put in immediate danger doing so, follow your building’s evacuation plan. Use your alternate escape route if your first exit method is blocked.
  • Always feel the door for heat before entering through, and if you encounter an area heavy with smoke, crawl through if safe.
  • Do not use an elevator during a fire, no matter where you are in the building.
  • Once you are outside, remain there until authorities alert you that it is once again safe to enter, or until other instructions are provided.

Our team of fire protection experts at Bison Fire Protection want you to stay safe from fires, no matter your living situation. Contact us today at 866-441-3473 for more information about how our services and equipment can help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Posted by Rob Read at 1:53 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fire Safety For People With Disabilities

Bison's Fire Safety for People with Disabilities

If you or a loved one lives with a mental, visual, or physical disability, you know all too well the challenges that must be overcome day to day. Often, fire safety plans and systems are designed to meet the building code, without taking accessibility for disabled individuals into account. In most cases, disabled persons require extra preparedness when it comes to fire safety.

Thankfully, the risk of injury or death resulting from failed emergency escapes is preventable when the right precautions are put in place. Ensure that you and your loved ones are safe at home by following these essential steps for fire safety for disabled individuals.

Fire Safety for Visually Impaired Individuals

When a person sees a fire, their first instinct is to find the safest way out of the situation. However, finding a safe way out may not be accessible when sight is impaired. Even the smallest of fires can be disastrous for visually impaired individuals, as the fire cannot be located with ease. Fires can spread in a matter of moments, and when smoke begins to overtake an area, the other senses are quickly overwhelmed.

Precautions to take:

  • Develop two or more safe routes of exit from your home, and practice these with routine fire drills.
  • Practice kitchen safety. Wear tight clothes when cooking, and never leave hot ovens or stovetops unattended.
  • Unplug unused appliances such as radiators or portable heaters when going to sleep. These appliances can quickly overheat or overload a socket, starting a fire.

Fire Safety for Mentally Impaired Individuals

Sometimes, mentally impaired people have a decreased ability to react safely in emergency situations. Thankfully, there are emergency safety measures that can be implemented throughout a household to assist mentally impaired individuals with getting out of dangerous situations safely.

Precautions to take:

  • Routinely plan and practice a route of escape. Ques are helpful in this process, such as a whistle or loud beeping to initiate the fire drill.
  • If you or your loved one is wheelchair-bound, ensure that your exit strategy is wheelchair accessible and free of obstructions at all times.
  • Practice opening deadbolts, windows, and doors on a regular basis.
  • Ensure that the individual sleeps near an exit on the ground floor of a home for a quick exit, when possible.

Fire Safety for Physically Impaired Individuals

Whether the physical impairment requires the use of a wheelchair or cane, of if the individual is bed-ridden, preparedness for emergency situations is critical.

  • Try and make sure that your home is free of obstructions that may block the route of escape for physically impaired people.
  • Again, there should be at least 2 escape plans that allow exit through the largest hallways within the home. These escape routes should be routinely practiced.
  • Make sure that smoke detectors are installed in all rooms of a home
  • Put a phone in an accessible location for physically impaired individuals, preferably next to the bed, or in each room.

Preparedness is your ally in fire safety for disabled individuals. Our team at Bison Fire Protection want to ensure that you and your family feel safe, no matter the situation. Whether you’re in Winnipeg, Thompson, Kenora, Brandon, or Regina, contact us today for your fire protection services.

Posted by Rob Read at 8:23 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

10 Tips Employees Can Follow to Prevent Fires at Work

Bison's 10 Tips to help Employee's Fight Fires

Fire safety is an incredibly important topic, especially within the workplace. An emergency fire situation that is not handled correctly can lead to the loss of inventory, workspace, and even jobs. Maintaining a constant discussion on fire prevention helps to ensure the safety of your employees and their place of work. Here are ten tips to share with your employees, to keep them safe from fires all year round.

Keep emergency numbers close.

No matter the industry you work in, ensure that you have emergency numbers posted in your workstation. These emergency numbers are not only related to fires but are important when faced with any emergency situation:

  • Your local police department.
  • The closest hospital or emergency medical provider.
  • The local fire department.
  • Poison Control.
  • Your personal physician.

2. Ensure that electrical panels are accessible.

Keep your workspace clean and organized. In the case of an emergency situation, you should be able to easily access all electrical panels so that power can easily be shut off during a fire. By having an organized working area, you can rest assured that you’ll be prepared for a fire-related emergency, were one to arise.

3. Store chemicals safely.

If you work in a space where chemicals are stored or used often, make sure that they are properly cared for. Carefully review the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to take note of a chemicals flammability and other fire hazards. Most of these substances will require adequate ventilation, so make sure that they are stored in an area with good air circulation.

Take all necessary precautions when storing and handling flammable chemicals. Chemicals that contain flammable liquid vapours or fine particles only need a spark to ignite, so make sure that you’re using non-sparking tools. Keep a close eye on the amount of static electricity within your workplace, as well.

4. Smoke only where it’s safe.

If you do decide to smoke at work, ensure that you’re doing so in a designated area. Smoking near chemicals or other flammable materials is extremely dangerous and puts you and your fellow employees at risk.

A workplace should have clear signage showing what is and what is not a safe smoking area. If you do not notice any, speak with a superior and voice your concerns.

5. Know how to use a fire extinguisher.

There is no way to be certain that someone else will be able to effectively access and use a fire extinguisher when needed, so learn how to use one. The PASS (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep) method is easy to remember in case of an emergency situation.

6. Keep your workspace clean.

Declutter regularly, and try to make sure that your workspace is constantly clean and organized. Clutter and floating papers are fuel for a fire, and might prevent access to necessary exits and emergency equipment.

In addition, never block any areas that are crucial to emergency preparedness. Keep your emergency preparedness plan easily accessible. Never block fire extinguishers, sprinklers, or emergency exits.

7. Perform regular maintenance.

Whether you’re employed in an industrial space or a simple office, you should be conducting regular maintenance on your machinery. Electronic appliances are known to overheat, so ensuring that they’re in good working order can help you prevent a fire.

8. Keep your building safe.

By creating a safe building, you’re helping to prevent arson fires. When you leave your workplace, lock up properly. Report any unusual people or circumstances immediately, and make sure that your space is clean when you leave.

9. Know your role in fire prevention.

Many organizations are required to have an emergency preparedness plan. Review this plan regularly, so that you know exactly how to handle a fire-related emergency safely, should one occur at work.

Familiarize yourself with the different types of fires that could happen within your workplace, and actively participate in fire drills. By reviewing the fire prevention information available to you, you’ll have the know-how when a fire related emergency does occur.

10. Report any electrical or gas related issues.

If you suspect a problem with your electrical or gas systems, immediately report them to the appropriate individuals. These problems can turn dangerous quickly, and early detection can prevent an unforeseen electrical fire or flammable gas leak.

A fire in the workplace is scary and can have critical outcomes regarding your safety and job. Consistently educate yourself, and take care throughout your day to complete your job safely with fire prevention in mind.

For all of your fire safety needs in Winnipeg, Thompson, Kenora, Brandon, and Regina, you can depend on Bison Fire Protection. Contact us for your fire protection solutions and services today.

Posted by Rob Read at 8:57 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

How Is Your Companies Fire Protection?

Bison Fire Protection Systems

No matter the type of business that you run, a fire can be a catastrophic event in any building. Whether the fire is contained in a small area, or the fire that destroys thousands, or millions, of dollars worth of inventory, these occurrences are devastating for business owners and employees.

Within your facility or place of business, protect your belongings, and more importantly, your employees, from the risk of a fire related emergency. The following four questions will help you to assess your existing emergency preparedness plans and equipment, and motivate you to take the appropriate steps to ensure that your business is protected all year long.

1. Have your fire hazards and risks been professionally assessed?

Although you may not think that your business is at risk of a large fire, that does not mean a fire-related emergency will not occur. No matter your businesses industry or size, having your fire hazards and risks professionally assessed should be completed to best protect your facility and your employees.

Clearly understanding the specific fire risks of your business is critical. A professional assessment will let you know exactly what your fire hazards are, and provide information regarding the safe storage and use of these items.

2. Does your business have the right fire protection equipment installed?

Most businesses with employees in a commercial or residential building require the installation of some sort of fire protection equipment. Whether that means a fire extinguisher, or a full-fledged fire suppression system, your business must be compliant with local codes. Contact a professional fire and safety protection provider to find out the codes in your area.

If you’re business regularly deals with large machinery or flammable substances, you may require the installation of a fire suppression system specifically tailored to the fire emergency needs of your business.

3. Are regularly scheduled equipment inspections performed?

Many pieces of fire protection equipment have expiration dates or require regular maintenance to keep the entire fire system in working order. Sprinkler systems, suppression systems, and fire extinguishers should be inspected annually, or more, depending on the size and age of the existing system. A trained staff member can perform some of these inspections and tests, but for larger systems or businesses, a professional should be called in for annual in-depth inspections.

4. Does your business have an emergency plan in place?

Do you and your employees know what to do in case of a workplace emergency? If not, it’s time to develop and implement an emergency plan. Emergency planning requires the cooperation of all staff members. Assemble a team of reliable members, each of whom will have a specific role to play in case of an emergency. Have a clear exit plan, a list of emergency numbers, and specifically listed steps of what to do if a fire or other emergency is found.

Bison Fire Protection offers professional fire equipment inspections, installations, and fire protection needs for any sized business. Call us today at 866-441-3743 to learn how our services can help keep your business and employees safe when an emergency occurs.

Posted by Rob Read at 11:51 AM 0 Comments