Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Thanks to scenes in TV shows and movies where sprinkler systems are set off by very little smoke at all and completely drench the surrounding area, it’s not uncommon for our customers to tell us that they’re worried about their fire suppression sprinkler system going off unexpectedly.
When they talk to us they say that they feel like they’re choosing “one kind of damage over another” because they worry that their appliances, electronics, and all the paperwork which is important to their business will become drenched and be rendered unusable.
In fact, unlike in the movies fire suppression sprinklers don’t get triggered by the slightest bit of smoke, and they don’t all go off at once. If this were true you would be risking all of your businesses’ investments every time you used the oven in the company kitchen, or put a bagel in the toaster.
How Do Fire Sprinkler Systems Work?
Modern systems are set up so that each individual sprinkler head is triggered separately, and is only activated once the temperature reaches between 68.3 degrees C and 73.8 degrees C.
Once upon a time sprinkler systems worked similarly to how we just described: they went off on a hair trigger and would immediately soak the surrounding areas, but modern fire systems are much less sensitive. However, it’s important to remember that there are certain things which can “set off” your fire suppression sprinkler system, which can include:
Overheating by accident
Sprinklers where are installed near skylights, heaters, and other areas prone to high heat can cause the fire sprinklers to discharge accidentally. If you need to have sprinklers installed in these areas then we recommend using high temperature rated sprinklers to avoid this potential issue.
Corroded pipes or fixtures
Older sprinkler systems, or ones which have been installed in harsh environments, can become prone to corrosion which can wear away the varions parts and valves that keep the water contained within your suppression system. Luckily, this issue can be avoided by scheduling regular testing and inspections.
This can be an issue in the prairies during our cold winters. Since most sprinkler systems are wet pipe systems the pipes connected to the sprinklers are full of water, and if the water inside the pipes freezes and then thaws, the pressure it produces can break the fittings and burst through the valve caps.
Mechanical issues and damage
Poor installation can cause a sprinkler system to malfunction, or for parts to begin weakening or loosening months or even weeks later. To prevent this, it’s important to work with qualified professionals to ensure that your system is installed properly and to have your fire suppression sprinkler system regularly inspected for issues.
To learn more about fire suppression sprinkler systems and how our qualified technicians can help keep yours running error-free for years to come, contact Bison Fire Protection at 204-237-3473.
Wednesday, August 03, 2016
Two of the most common types of fire suppression systems available for commercial use are wet chemical suppression systems, and dry chemical suppression systems.
Both of these types of systems have specific advantages and situations where they are the most effective choice for your fire protection needs. If you’re not sure which of these two options is the right choice for you and your business, keep reading to better understand the differences between these two systems, and how to use them to keep yourself, your property, and your employees safe:
Dry Chemical Fire Suppression Systems
Fire suppression systems which use dry chemicals compounds in order to effectively suppress fires, and are a great way to protect your property and investments if a water source isn’t available to help extinguish fires.
Some of the benefits of dry chemical fire suppression systems are:
- Easy to install
- Perfect for industrial settings
- Available in ABC or BC
- Must be recharged after each use
- Many affordable options
Wet Chemical Fire Suppression Systems
Instead of using dry chemicals to suppress fires, wet chemical fire suppression systems, as the name implies, use wet chemicals to suppress fires.
This type of fire suppression system is used primarily in commercial kitchens because as the liquid hits a burning surface it reacts with the fats and oils on the surface it creates a thick foam which instantly cools the surface and prevents the fire from reigniting.
Some benefits of wet chemical fire suppression systems are:
- Systems are designed specifically for commercial kitchen hoods, ducts and appliances
- These systems never cause discharge overflow
- Don’t take long to recharge
- Dry pipe systems mean you don’t have to worry about freezing
- Provides complete protection to all fire hazards simultaneously
However, even though it’s important to install wet chemical suppression systems in your commercial kitchen, we recommend “doubling up” your fire protection by installing fire sprinklers, as well. This added layer of protection will ensure that your kitchen, employees, and investments are as protected as possible in the event of a fire.
Why Install a Fire Suppression System?
Fire suppression systems provide early detection to help you quickly become aware of a fire and provide an added layer of protection when they start by suppressing as much of the fire as possible. This is why it’s critical to have systems which launch into action immediately and self-activate rather than being time delayed.
Questions About Fire suppression?
If you’d like to learn more about the differences between these two popular types of fire suppression systems, or to learn more about fire equipment and how our professional services can help keep you safe, contact a technician from Bison Fire Protection by filling out our contact form or giving us a call (204) 237-3473.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
One of the easiest ways to make sure your kids stay “fire safe” is to print a list of reminders and make sure that it is somewhere visible, such as the fridge or corkboard in a high-traffic area of your home.
Below are 10 fire safety tips to share with your kids:
1. Don’t play with fire
Don’t play with lighters and matches, and if you see them in an area where you can reach them (like on the coffee table or on the ground while camping or at the park) don’t pick them up. Find an adult and tell them immediately.
2. Know where smoke detectors are
Smoke detectors should be installed on every floor and in the bedrooms and sleeping areas of your home or cabin. Smoke detectors can save lives, so it’s important to know where they are.
3. Remind the adults to test the detectors
Smoke detectors should be tested once a month, so remind your parents or guardians to test the smoke detectors regularly so your family can stay safe.
4. Change your smoke alarm batteries at Daylight Savings Time
One of the easiest ways to remember to change smoke alarm batteries is to do it at the same time as when the clocks “spring forward” or “fall backwards” each year.
5. Remember to Fall and Crawl
It’s easier to breathe closer to the ground when a room is smoky, so crawl to a doorway instead of walking. If you come to a closed door touch it with the back of your hand to see if it’s hot. If it feels hot try to find another way out of the room.
6. Stop, Drop and Roll
If your clothes are on fire stop, drop and roll until the fire is out and call for help from an adult. Don’t run while your clothes are on fire as it will make the fire worse.
7. Don’t hide, go outside!
If you hear your smoke alarm, smell smoke, or see a fire, don’t hide under your bed or in a closet. Go outside as quickly as you can and look for your parents.
8. Know your family’s escape plan
Ask your parents to plan an escape route out of the house and practice it with your family. Make sure that there are two ways to get out of every room and ask an adult to draw you a map.
9. Know where your meeting place is
Your family should have a meeting spot, such as by a tree in the yard or at the end of the driveway, to meet in case of a fire in the house. Never go back inside for any reason.
10. Know who to call
Make sure that stickers with 9-1-1 are clearly visible near the phone and on the refrigerator and you know which family member is in charge of calling the firefighters during an emergency.
Helping kids understand the importance of fire safety is critical to their health and well-being, so make sure to take the time to explain it to them in detail and to keep this list of reminders somewhere where they can see it.
For more information about fire safety and how to keep your family and loved ones safe, contact us or give us a call at (204) 237-3473.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Summer has arrived and many people are eagerly booking campgrounds and organizing weekend-long camping trips out of the city with family and friends. While it’s a great way to enjoy the warmer months and get out of the city, it’s important to be mindful of camping fire safety while enjoying the wilderness.
With that in mind, here are 5 handy camping fire safety tips to remember before you pull out those hotdogs and marshmallows:
1. Be mindful of your surroundings
Staying safe while camping begins well before you light the campfire. When searching for an appropriate fire pit location (if there isn’t a fire pit provided where you’re camping) make sure to remove branches, twigs, leaves, and other flammable materials which may catch fire due to embers escaping from the fire.
Additionally, make sure to set up your tents, chairs, and food and beverage coolers a minimum of 8 to 10 feet away from the fire.
2. Make sure your fire pit is safe
Most campgrounds will have fire pits already set up in designated areas, but if it’s not already ready to go when you arrive, and it’s important to take extra precautions because you don’t know who was using the fire pit before you.
- If there’s no metal ring or encasement for your fire pit, circle the pit with rocks.
- Remove any flammable items away from the fire, including aerosol cans and pressurized containers.
3. Keep water or a fire extinguisher close by
You never know when a large, unexpected gust of wind may sweep through your campground and push the flames in an unexpected direction, or carry the embers farther than you anticipated.
This is why it’s important to keep water and a shovel nearby, because if something catches on fire you can quickly douse it with water and earth to prevent it from growing.
Keeping a fire extinguisher on hand is also a great idea. All newer campers have them. Ensure it's in working condition, and readily available.
4. Mind your fire
It’s easy to get distracted and take your eye off the fire, but whether you’re camping alone or with friends and family, it’s critical to make sure that the fire is always being tended to.
- If you’re camping alone, keep the fire in your line of sight at all times.
- Don’t leave the campsite if your fire is still going, or if you’re camping in a group and have to leave, make sure someone stays to watch it.
- If you’re camping with pets or small children, keep them away from the fire at all times.
5. Extinguish your fires before bed
It can be easy to forget to put out your fire, especially after a long day or night of food and fun, but the last thing you want is to wake up in the middle of the night to a forest fire! When extinguishing your fire make sure to douse it in water or dirt, and to stir it with a shovel to ensure that all of the embers have been adequately coated.
Camping just isn’t the same without a fire, and with a few steps and a watchful eye you can make every camping experience a safe and enjoyable one.
For more information about fire safety, contact a technician from Bison Fire Protection at (204) 237-3473.
If you can make it Burn, We can put it out!
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
With summer in full swing many of our customers, both at the lake and in their own backyards, are enjoying the warm glow of a fire pit. These inexpensive additions can help extend the use of your backyard throughout the cooler months, but it’s important to be vigilant about staying safe because not only could improper use cause a house fire, but it could also cause a grass fire and put anyone close by in danger.
Below are a few tips for staying safe while getting the most out of your fire pit:
Choosing the right position
Whether you’ve purchased a portable fire pit, of if you’re planning to install a permanent one, where you position your fire pit can make a world of difference in how safe it is.
Some things to keep in mind when positioning your fire pit are:
- Never place your fire pit on a wooden deck or directly on the grass.
- Keep your fire pit a minimum of 10ft away from any structure, fence, or neighboring yard.
- Don’t set up your fire pit under a covered porch of low-hanging tree .
- Always install your fire pit on a non-flammable surface, such as a concrete slab or patio stones.
Preparing to use your fire pit
Using your fire pit in a safe manner goes beyond just where you put it; it’s also important to take the appropriate safety steps when preparing to your it, as well.
Some key tips to preparing your fire pit are:
- Clear away any flammable materials from the vicinity of the pit, including sticks, leaves, or pieces of wood.
- Ensure that all vegetation (shrubs, your garden, etc) is at minimum five feet away from your pit.
- A permanent fire pit should be at least six inches deep at the center, and a minimum of two feet across to keep flames contained.
Safely Lighting Your Fire Pit
Now that you’ve chosen the best position for your fire pit and have cleaned up the surrounding area, it’s time to light the fire! Here’s how to do it in a safe manner:
- Check the wind direction (lick your finger and hold it up above your head if you aren’t sure) and remove anything flammable downwind of the fire.
- If it’s too windy, do not light your fire pit. You never know how far a gust of wind may carry the embers!
- Don’t use lighter fluid to light the fire pit; instead, use a commercial fire starter stick with kindling.
- If your fire goes out, don’t use flammable fluids like lighter fluid or gasoline to relight it.
Extinguishing Your Fire Pit
After the fun has ended it’s important to take the right steps to safety extinguish your fire pit. Here’s how:
- Always extinguish with water. Drown the flames and stir with a shovel to make sure it’s fully extinguished.
- Keep a Fire Extinguisher handy
- Safely dispose of the ashes in a metal can - keep them there for a minimum of 2 to 3 days, as ashes can take a while to cool down.
General Fire Pit Tips
- Never leave your fire pit unattended.
- Don’t leave children or pets unattended.
- Limit the amount of fuel or kindling that you put into the fire.
- Don’t burn garbage.
For more information about fire pit safety, and how the technicians at Bison Fire Protection can help keep your home or business safe from fires, give us a call at (204) 237-3473.