Thursday, May 24, 2018

Grilling Safety Tips for National BBQ Week

Bison Fire's Grilling Tips for BBQ Week

The month of May is flying by fast! If you haven’t lit up your BBQ grill yet, there’s no better time to get started than National BBQ Week. From May 30th to June 6th, 2018, BBQ-lovers around the globe will be celebrating with those they love and food they can’t get enough of.

However, along with the ignition of your BBQ comes a responsibility to grill safely. According to information from the U.S. Fire Administration, grill-related fires causes $37 million of damage on average each year. To protect your property, yourself, and your loved ones, start implementing these grilling safety tips while you're celebrating National BBQ week and whenever you’re grilling this year.

Keep Your BBQ Grill a Safe Distance From Your Home

Just like you wouldn’t start a bonfire in a pit right outside your back door, you should aim to keep your grill a safe distance away from your home to lower your risk of damage during a fire-related emergency. Aim to keep your grill about 10 to 15 feet away from your home and any attached areas, including your garage, shed, or gazebo.

Make Sure You Have Fire Safety Equipment By Your Grill

It’s important to keep a portable fire extinguisher near where you’re cooking with heat, whether you’re inside or outside. Make sure that the fire extinguisher is within reach of your grill and that you’ve trained whoever will be around the grill how to properly activate and use the extinguisher. The PASS (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep) method is the easiest to teach, and most probably the easiest to remember.

However, if there is an occurrence that you cannot activate your fire extinguisher with ease or do not know how to use it effectively, immediately call 911 when a fire occurs.

Give Your Grill a Spring Cleaning

With regular use, debris like fat and grease tend to build up on grills. Make sure that you give your grill a thorough clean before your first use in the spring, and clean it regularly throughout its seasons of use.

What to Do If a Grill Fire Occurs

Because grease will be the most likely cause of a grill fire, it’s important that you have the right equipment and items to quickly extinguish the fire. Chat with your local fire safety equipment provider about the type of fire extinguisher best suited for your unique grill needs, and keep baking soda nearby to extinguish small grease fires on your grill.

Perform a Quick Check Before Starting Your Grill

Before lighting up your grill to cook your next meal, take a couple minutes to perform a quick inspection to make sure that your BBQ is in safe working order. Check connection points, including those between your propane tank and the grill itself, and tighten if they are loose.

You can also check for gas leaks on a regular basis with soap and water. Apply the mixture to your gas home and turn on the gas tank. When there is a leak, bubbles will begin to appear on the hose where the gas is leaking. Make sure that you immediately turn off the tank if you notice holes and have your grill professionally serviced and maintained.

Want some help to keep your grilling activities safe during National BBQ Week and beyond? Get in touch with Bison Fire Protection by calling 866-411-3473 today. We provide top-notch fire safety services in Winnipeg, Brandon, Kenora, Saskatoon, and Regina.

Posted by Rob Read at 2:16 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Fire Hazards Associated with Exterior Walls with Combustible Components

Bison Fire's Protection For Combustible Walls

In our modern era, the human race is constantly creating innovative materials, built environments, and structures that enhance the quality of life for many. However, there is still an alarming amount of fast-spreading fires whose danger is enhanced by the exterior wall cladding on high-rise buildings. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), some examples include high-rise fires in London, Shanghai, and Dubai.

Many materials used in the exterior wall construction of modern buildings contain combustible materials that are aimed to increase aesthetics, energy conservation, and the infiltration of water. Why are these materials still used, and how can exterior walls stop being associated with combustible components to increase safety for inhabitants?

The Dangers of Combustible Components in Exterior Walls

According to the NFPA, new exterior wall systems have been designed and tested to better the performance of a building in its entirety. Thankfully, they have also created resources that weigh the pros and cons of specific exterior wall materials for both existing buildings and new construction to help designers and facility owners make better decisions.

A study completed by White and Delichatsios found that 79% of exterior wall fires were in buildings that were 1-2 stories, even in those with a sprinkler system present. In addition, they also found that automatic extinguishing systems were installed in 39% of buildings that experienced an exterior wall fire.

However, the amount of information available on exterior wall fires is quite small. The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) states that “there was limited information on the types of exterior walls involved in fires, ignition details, and mechanisms of fire spread.” This lack of information makes it extremely difficult for architects and building managers to make the best decision in how they can protect their building and the people who use it.

Fire Safety Issues with Exterior Walls

According to the NFPA, there has been a link between increasing energy efficiency and refurbish buildings globally. As plastic materials with combustible components are much cheaper and easier to install as compared to better, more fire-safe materials, there is not currently as many accessible options that enhance the safety of exterior walls.

When fire is able to spread due to combustible materials on the external walls, one of the main hazards is that internal fire protection and suppression systems cannot keep a fire-related emergency at bay once it has begun. Sadly, without the right material innovations and emphasis on the safety of the building over the convenience and cost of building it, the construction and existence of buildings with combustible components in their exterior walls may not dissipate.

At Bison Fire Protection, we believe in creating a fire-safe environment in residential areas and commercial buildings alike. By continuing the conversation on how we can stop tragedies like the Grenfell Tower fire in London, we can hopefully inspire the creation of innovative, fire-safe materials for external walls.

If you’re in need of an inspection of the external or internal components of your building, get in touch with Bison Fire Protection today. We’re available for service in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, or Saskatoon. Call 866-441-3473 today for more information, or find us online.

 

Posted by Rob Read at 1:39 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Fire Protection for Different School Types

Bison Fire's School Fire Protection

Fire safety in schools has become a norm. Fire and evacuation skills are practiced regularly, and even young students are well aware of the dangers a fire-related emergency possess. But just as the needs of students range vastly between age groups, so does the information and accessibility of fire protection and suppression equipment.

Whether you’re a principal of an elementary school or superintendant of an entire division, your knowledge of the necessary fire protection systems can help you stay prepared for the event of a fire-related emergency.

1.  Have the Right Fire Protection Equipment Installed in Your School

Like in many commercial and public spaces, an adequate fire protection and suppression system is critical for the safety of the space. Complete with suppressive sprinklers, emergency lighting, and emergency pull stations, the fire protection equipment in your school is what helps alert students and staff of a potential fire-related emergency, as well as defends the integrity of the building during a true emergency situation.

Along with up to date fire protection systems that are regularly inspected and services by a local fire safety equipment service provider, accessible fire extinguishers should be in place around the school as defined by your local fire code. These can help extinguish small fires in areas of the school that are likely to experience a fire, such as the cafeteria or staff kitchen.

2. Fire Risks and Protection for Different Schools

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has found that almost 30% of all fire-related emergencies in educational facilities start in either the locker room or bathroom, with 20% of fires starting in a cooking area of the school. Of course, the needs and uses of individual schools vary greatly, meaning that the fire protection needs will be different between facilities.

It’s vital that each school identify its most likely risks and install the appropriate fire protection and suppression systems accordingly.

  • Elementary schools: Practice regular fire drills and evacuation drills with the children, and keep fire safety as a central discussion point throughout the year.
  • High schools: Practice regular fire and evacuation drills, making sure that all information is posted in accessible areas. These students should be taught how to effectively use a fire extinguisher, along with where the manual pull stations are located throughout the school.
  • Higher education facilities: At higher education facilities, make a point of showing students where fire safety-related information is throughout the school, as well as the location of manual fire extinguishers.

In educational facilities, the NFPA found that the leading cause of fires in educational facilities were those that were intentionally set, with almost two out of five fires at school centres being set on purpose.

3. Keep Students and Staff Well-Informed of Fire Safety Procedures

Part of limiting the occurrence of fires that are set intentionally or unintentionally is keeping both staff and students educated on fire safety and risks. Make sure all staff are trained on how to use a fire extinguisher most effectively, and keep them in accessible, obstruction-free areas.

In addition, regular fire drills and fire safety discussions amongst students and staff can help students identify fire pull stations, evacuation routes, and how to leave a building safely during fire-related emergencies.

Bison Fire Protection is available for regular maintenance and inspection of your school’s fire safety equipment in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, and Saskatoon. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call 866-441-3473 or find us online today.

Posted by Rob Read at 9:17 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Importance of Fire Protection System Upgrades & Retrofit

Bison Fire Shares the importance of Upgrades and retrofits

When it comes to protecting your business, a professionally installed fire protection system is your first line of defense during a fire-related emergency. Fires can start and spread quickly, so it’s vital that your fire protection system is well-maintained and up to date.

Ideally, your businesses fire protection system will include a variety of protective means, such as sprinklers, emergency lighting, a fire alarm and suppression systems, and portable fire extinguishers specific to the potential fire hazards your building contains.

The Importance of Up to Date Fire Protection Systems

Not only does your fire protection system protect the assets of your business, but more importantly, it protects the people you employ. The most obvious and important reason to keep your fire protection and suppression systems are for the safety of yourself and your employees. However, there are other reasons to make sure that your fire protection system is in good working order, including:

  • Meeting local fire codes and standards. Within all cities, towns, and municipalities, there are local fire codes that businesses must adhere to. By ensuring that your fire protection and suppression systems meet these codes, you can avoid steep fines or legal situations.
  • Notifying people of immediate danger. As mentioned above, the most important function of a fire protection and suppression system is its safety capabilities. Some available fire protection systems are complete with a variety of alarms to notify people of all abilities of a fire-related emergency, while others can show emergency personnel exactly where a fire is located in a building.
  • Keeping fires at bay. In the chance that a fire breaks out, an up to date fire detection, protection, and suppression system can detect any fire or smoke and suppress the fire itself. With accessible pull stations and automatic dispensing systems for suppressive materials, your building can stay as protected as possible from both smoke and fire.

Does Your Fire Protection System Need an Upgrade or Retrofit?

Over time, fire protection systems are prone to the same wear and tear as other mechanical systems in a business. To stay on top of your fire protection system maintenance, make sure that you schedule a regular inspection appointment with your local fire protection service provider.

There are some signs to keep an eye out for that may point to a need for maintenance or upgrade of your fire protection equipment, such as:

  • An older fire protection system. According to State Systems Inc., the average life of a fire protection system is between 12 and 15 years. If your fire protection service is reaching this age, or has already surpassed it, it may be time to consider replacing the system, as replacement parts will become harder to find.
  • Individual part breakdown. Due to age or malfunction, critical components of your fire protection system may fail. When this is the case, it’s vital that the part is upgraded or retrofitted to maintain the integrity of your system.
  • Changing fire safety codes. Although it’s becoming increasingly rare for a fire safety code to go through a major change, even minor changes can impact your fire code compliance. When a fire safety code does change, make sure you get in touch with a local fire protection service to make sure that your fire protection service meets compliance.

With an up to date fire protection system, you can keep both your business and its personnel safe. Bison Fire Protection offers comprehensive inspections and fire protection system upgrade services in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, and Saskatoon. For more information or to schedule your next appointment, call 866-441-3473 or find us online.

Posted by Rob Read at 8:22 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

5 Reasons You Should Never Skip Maintenance & Inspection of Your Fire Protection Equipment

Bison Fire's 5 Reasons to never skip maintenance

Although it may not come into mind everyday, regular fire protection equipment inspections and maintenance are vital in ensuring that your residential or commercial space will be protected during a fire-related emergency. To maximize the fire safety in your building, make sure that you schedule inspection and maintenance appointments for your fire protection equipment ahead of time to avoid costly repairs and time crunches to update your equipment to meet fire safety codes.

Don’t let the temptation of skipping your fire protection equipment inspection get the best of you. We’ve compiled five reasons you should never skip maintenance and inspection of your fire protection equipment below:

1.  Maintenance and Inspection Helps Identify Problematic Areas

With regularly scheduled maintenance and inspections of your fire protection equipment, you can ensure that the integrity of your systems are always top-notch. Ideally, you should schedule these appointments ahead of time to make sure that your local fire protection service company is available when you need them most. A pre-scheduled appointment also helps you keep yourself accountable to maintain best-in-class fire safety measures.

2. Fire Safety Systems Need to be Ready to Perform

Because fire protection systems are used only rarely, it’s difficult to tell if they’ll be ready to perform when you need them most. From your fire alarm system to the condition of your fire extinguishers, regular testing, maintenance, and inspection will make sure that your systems are able to perform during a fire-related emergency.

3. You Need to Keep Up with Local Fire Safety Codes

With advancements in building, technology, and knowledge, national and local fire safety codes are constantly changing. Although it may be difficult for you to keep up with every change, it’s the responsibility of fire protection service professionals to be aware of each update. When they arrive for your fire protection equipment inspection service, they will be able to communicate these changes to you and update your equipment to meet new standards.

4. You’ll Know Your Property is Protected

Without regular inspection and maintenance, you may be faced with costly and stressful emergency calls to repair or replace faulty fire protection equipment. As regular inspection appointments allow fire protection service experts to identify problematic areas ahead of time, you can potentially avoid a hefty service bill that comes along with many emergency service calls.

5. Regular Inspections Can Save You Money

Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner, it takes a lot of money to keep your property functioning and protected. Unexpected repairs and maintenance for your fire protection equipment are mostly preventable situations, as regular appointments and inspections keep you up-to-date with fire safety codes and necessary repairs.

Keeping your home or business protected with regular inspection and maintenance of your fire protection equipment can provide you with peace of mind, while keeping your budget balanced.

At Bison Fire Protection, we provide customers with the opportunity to schedule their inspection and maintenance appointments ahead of time to avoid costly repairs and stressful situations. For service in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, and Saskatoon, call 866-441-3473 to schedule an appointment today or find us online.

Posted by Rob Read at 9:41 AM 0 Comments