Friday, July 25, 2014

Fire Extinguishers Exposed To Flood Conditions

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In the fire protection industry there are very few areas to gain ongoing knowledge of our industry. Most fire colleges offer courses to train firefighters, the manufacturers train on their specific products, but there aren’t many places to gain best practise information, industry changes, or engage in fire code or insurance discussions. We are fortunate that NAFED (National Assn of Fire Equipment Distributors) does all of those things.

As the only fire protection company in Manitoba to see the value in being involved with NAFED we are also the only company that benefits from the education, information, and support that they do a fantastic job of offering.

I recently read an article written by J.R. Nerat for NAFED’s Firewatch magazine titled “Fire extinguishers exposed to Flood Conditions” I’ve had the good fortune to meet J.R. at both NAFED conventions, and as a distributor of Kidde Fire Systems we have also met at training seminars in their Ashland Massachusetts facility. J.R. was pleased to let me reprint his article, and it is also downloadable.

Fire extinguishers exposed to Flood Conditions

By J. R. Nerat

Occasionally spring weather and storm conditions can expose installed fire extinguishers to flood conditions. When fire extinguishers are known or suspected of having been exposed to submerged conditions there are several special service- related items to consider before attempting to place these units back into service.

The existing ANSI/UL fire extinguisher standards incorporate various forms of hardware exposure tests like ultraviolet light, salt spray,

vibration, impact, abrasion, and elevated temperatures to obtain product approvals, which are specifically designed to address most normally anticipated outdoor exposure conditions. While listed fire extinguishers are designed and tested to withstand a variety of such conditions, submerged water exposure over various periods of time can present problematic situations requiring some extra attention during equipment examinations.

Submerged water exposure over various periods of time can present problematic situations requiring some extra attention during equipment examinations.

Whenever a fire extinguisher is suspected of having been subjected to conditions which might impair its operational integrity such as being submerged in a flood, it should be removed from service and subjected to a thorough maintenance examination in accordance with NFPA 10 and the appropriate service manual recommendations. It is especially important to ensure that only properly trained and qualified personnel perform such examinations. This is necessary, as personnel must be specifically familiar with the functional limitations and acceptable tolerances of all applicable hardware components.

While there are various equipment hardware design characteristics that can dictate special examination considerations, the following list attempts to highlight some of the most applicable.

•           Thoroughly rinse and wash fire extinguisher exterior surfaces to remove any residual mud, dirt, salt, or foreign residues. Avoid the use of commercial degreasers, solvents, or strong detergents. Warm fresh water and mild soap are typically recommended. Compressed air can be used to help clear small accumulations of debris and help dry surfaces.

•           Perform a thorough visual external examination of the unit, paying special attention for any dents or impact damage which might have occurred.

Ensure handles, levers, rivets, and ring pins are not bent, deformed, or corroded.

•           Ensure there are no signs of foreign material or corrosion present behind potentially hidden cylinder areas  like hose bands, nameplates, and any protective bottom enclosures.

•           During the various disassembly steps identified within service manual procedures, pay special attention to any open valve or safety relief port areas to ensure no foreign material or corrosion is present.

•           Gasket and o-ring surfaces should be wiped clean and examined closely for any damage. Prior to re-assembly they should then be lightly lubricated with the recommended lubricant identified within the service manual to avoid compromising material compounds.

•           All hose assemblies and nozzles should be closely examined to ensure no residue or obstructions are present. Coupling areas should not exhibit any separation, cracks, damage, or corrosion. Interior and exterior hose assembly surfaces should also be properly dried prior to


•           If the extinguishing agent charge is suspected of being compromised or directly exposed to water, a proper internal examination and recharge should be performed in accordance with service manual recommendations.

•           Pressure gauge housing and faces should be closely examined for any potential damage and to ensure no water or debris has entered. If such conditions are observed, the pressure gauge should be replaced following the service manual’s recommendations.

•           Wheels should be properly examined and re-lubricated as necessary.

•           Regulators and connection hardware should all be visually examined closely for any damage and to ensure no

water or foreign material is present. Regulators should be tested for proper static dead set pressure and minimum flow characteristics per service

manual recommendations. Pressure regulators exhibiting any problems must be replaced, as no adjustments or disassembly is permitted.

Anytime unusual circumstances or conditions are observed, service personnel should always consult with the fire equipment manufacturer for guidance and specific recommendations. v

Copyright © 2014 by J.R. Nerat, all rights reserved.

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

Posted by Rob Read at 12:07 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

The Winnipeg Folk Festival Is Protected

The Winnipeg Folk Festival is about to begin its 2014 season, and the 40th year of entertainment! The festival will attract over 80,000 people this year and they’ll be entertained by 84 different acts from several countries. The Folk Festival has nearly 3000 dedicated volunteers who contribute well over 60,000 hours each year to create the magic that is the Winnipeg Folk Festival. They also are a major contributor to the Manitoba economy. The festival generates more than $29.4 million in economic activity and creates 281 jobs for the province of Manitoba. The impact on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Manitoba is estimated at $14.7 million. The GDP represents the estimated net economic activity generated from this signature Manitoba event.

They do a lot more than just the 5 days in July though their community programs offer a number of activities that include;

  • Folk Classes
  • Folk for Families
  • In the city Festival style work shops
  • Musical mentors
  • Galaxy young performers programs
  • Folk music camp

Earlier this year Winnipeg hosted the Juno’s and a number of events that led up to the Juno Awards night. I was fortunate enough to attend the event hosted by The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, who had Melanie Berry as the Keynote speaker. She had many great things to say about the Winnipeg musical community one that really struck home with me at the time and still resonates is that while “Winnipeg has 2.5% of Canada’s population we contribute 12% of Canada’s musicians”, something we should be very proud of!

Knowing what a great international event the folk festival has become we have been very happy to support them were we can. This year we have again donated over 40 fire extinguishers to the event to ensure the safety of everyone involved. While many people both performers, and the audience love to be taken away by the music sometimes they are uplifted by other things as well. We want everyone coming home from the festival safe and sound so we can continue to be a force in Canada’s music scene! 

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

Music on FireBison Fire Extinguishers

Posted by Rob Read at 10:59 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bison Fire Protection Receives ContractorCheck Accreditation

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Having successfully completed our COR Safety accreditation we felt that we should pursue another level of professional workplace compliance. ContractorCheck is an agency the preforms audits to ensure the companies they certify meet the high standards of today’s construction industry. When a contractor achieves ContractorCheck Accreditation, it means that their health and safety policies have been reviewed, training practices have been documented and that the contractors have been found to maintain an acceptable level of commitment to health and safety.

We were pleased to be accredited in the following areas;

  • Fire Alarm Installation & Maintenance
  • Fire Sprinkler Systems Installation & Maintenance
  • Fire Protection Equipment Supply, Maintenance, and Testing
  • Emergency Lighting Supply, Maintenance, and Testing
  • Fire Safety Consultants

I have posted many times in the past about the products, training, and support we give our staff, and our customers. Having received this accreditation supports these claims in a positive way!

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

Posted by Rob Read at 11:06 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ansul Releases The New Checkfire

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Ansul has released the new Checkfire 110 and 210 detection and actuation systems. These new systems are designed to integrate with the A-101, LVS, and Twin Agent suppression systems. Ansul did another thing that was in my opinion very smart they only made these new systems available to the companies that attended the 4 day training seminars that were recently held. Fortunately we sent technicians from both Manitoba and Saskatchewan allowing us to provide our customers in both provinces access to cutting edge technology in the industrial fire protection markets such as mining, forestry, or oil & gas. These very important industries require protection above and beyond the normal levels that would be seen in commercial operations.

While both the 110 and 210 Checkfire have an incredible laundry list of features I want to focus on the Checkfire 210 system. It’s been engineered to withstand the most challenging of environments, with 24 hour protection! There is a very informative video just click on Checkfire 210 and enjoy.

Detection is the critical first step in successfully dealing with the threat of fire. The CHECKFIRE 210 offers two highly-reliable forms of detection used individually or in combination. Linear Detection Wire consists of spring-steel conductors separated by a heat sensitive insulator. At the temperature rating of the wire, 356°F (180°C), the insulator melts and the two conductors make contact, sending a signal to the detection module, which signals the control module to actuate the fire suppression system. With Spot Thermal Detection, the thermal detector contacts close and signal the control module to initiate fire suppression when the temperature reaches either 250°F or 350°F (121°C or 177°C) depending on the model selected.

Two forms of detection for those first critical seconds, upon receiving a fire detection signal, the display module activates the release circuit, which is capable of actuating up to 10 agent tanks via electronic actuators mounted

directly onto expellant gas cartridges. The system can also be actuated manually by either the manual activation button on the display module itself or electric manual actuators used remotely from various locations on protected equipment.

Programmable detection for versatile protection includes;

  • Multiple detection and actuation options
  • Supervised, plug-and-play circuits
  • Built for extreme environments
  • Dust and water tight (IP67 rated)
  • Automatic or manual actuation
  • Internal reserve power source
  • Downloadable 4,000+ event history log with real-time stamp
  • System isolate feature
  • FM approved and CE marked

If you want to learn more about these incredible new systems please contact us.

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


Checkfire 210

Posted by Rob Read at 4:04 PM 0 Comments

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bison Fire Protection Ranks No. 394 on the 2014 PROFIT 500

Winnipeg (June 12, 2014) Canadian Business and PROFIT today ranked Bison Fire Protection Ranks No. 394 on the 26th annual PROFIT 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies for the second consecutive year. Published in the July issue of Canadian Business and online at, the PROFIT 500 ranks Canadian businesses by their revenue growth over five years.

Bison Fire Protection made the 2014 PROFIT 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 104%.

“The members of the PROFIT 500 are the elite of the country’s entrepreneurial community,” says James Cowan, Editor-in-Chief of Canadian Business and PROFIT. “Their stories are lessons in business strategy, innovation, management excellence and sheer tenacity.”

“Bison Fire Protection is extremely pleased to have ranked by revenue growth in Canada’s top 500 companies for the second year in a row,” says President of Marketing Rob Read. “Having achieved this recognition twice indicates that the people and processes we have put in place over the past few years are working above expectations!”

Visit us at Bison Fire B    Like us    Bison Fire on Facebook   Follow us  Twitter @bison_fire   Subscribe bisonfire1    Link in     Bison Fire on Linked in

About PROFIT and
PROFIT: Your Guide to Business Success is Canada’s preeminent media brand dedicated to the management issues and opportunities facing small and mid-sized businesses. For 32 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 online 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 readership of more than 800,000, 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.

About Bison Fire Protection

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.

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 as well as our newest addition in Regina, 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.

Media contact

Rob Read, Bison Fire Protection,, 204 237 3473

Bison Fire Logo        Profit 500 Logo

Posted by Rob Read at 9:29 AM 0 Comments