Thursday, January 22, 2015

ANSUL Continues To Provide Product Training

We’ve been very fortunate to Stuart Crabbe of Ansul Canada in our office for the last four days training our fire suppression technicians on a number of their products. The first and most important was the CHECKFIRE 110 & 210 controls. I had blogged last week about the discontinuance of the SC-N controls and how good these new controls really are. While we did have a couple of our technicians attend training when the CHECKFIRES where originally rolled out, the time had come to get the technicians from all 4 of our locations trained to install and service this great new technology. 

While CHECKFIRE did take the majority of the time for our training Stuart also took time to refresh and retrain the technicians on LVS (Liquid Vehicle Systems), Red Line Extinguishers, and Cartridge reconditioning and filling. Each of these areas require certification to ensure proper care and use, and it might surprise you to know that additional and separate liability insurances are required to do these types of installations, inspections and maintenance. Some fire protection companies offer the service without realizing that their normal liability won’t cover them, and as such you. I highly recommend that you ensure the company you hire is both certified in the products they service as well and carry the correct type, and value of liability insurance. The last thing you need to find out after a fire is that you are covered but not at a level that will pay for your loss. Statistics show that 25% of businesses do not reopen after a natural disaster and 43% do not re-open after catastrophic data loss. More staggering is that 75% of businesses fail within three years of a natural disaster that do not have business continuity plans.

We are fortunate to have suppliers/partners like Ansul who are as dedicated as we are to ensuring that the people we send to your business truly are experts in their chosen fields. Things will continue to change and evolve in the fire protection industry our job is to stay current so you can focus on what matters most to you…….your business.

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

Ansul CHECKFIRE Training at Bison Fire Protection

Posted by Rob Read at 11:11 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

ANSUL SC-N Phase-Out Nears

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Ansul released the much anticipated CHECKFIRE 110 and 210 in June of 2014, and it has been a fantastic addition to their product line. Updating fire protection technology in the mining, forestry, and industrial sectors of our business is not something we see regularly. When these new controls were introduced at the International Mining Show in 2012 we couldn’t wait to get our hands on them. Suppression is a unique area of fire protection with a variety of different agents, and applications. We are constantly looking for new challenges that the CHECKFIRE controls can be applied to, and experience has shown they are out there.

When new products enter the market and are well received the older equipment takes a back seat and eventually move towards phase out. This is the case with the SC-N while it has been a very good fire system control for the years it was in service the time has come to say goodbye being officially phased out in May of 2015. If you consider how many people still have rabbit ears on the TV’s, and ask how many would like to go back to them, you start to understand the next generation of fire protection, and why we have been so quick to adopt, and implement these great new control heads. The CHECKFIRE 110 and 210 offer many new options such as;

  • 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 isolation features

The CHECKFIRE controls have been readily adopted by many long term Ansul customers once they see the benefits of having them. Bison Fire will team-up with our partners at Ansul to give full demonstrations on the CHECKFIRE capabilities. Please contact Mike Webster our Suppression Supervisor to make arrangements. 

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

Ansul CHECKFIRE 210 at Bison Fire Protection

Posted by Rob Read at 10:17 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Training Continues….

With the holidays behind us, and our resolutions ahead of us it’s time to get back on track. We believe in keeping our people up to date on all of their skills and many of the schools we send them to provide some very good technical information, but that isn’t where training ends. There are many “tricks of the trade” that supervisors and senior technicians can share with newer people, and even with each other to ensure we really understand how fire systems of any type work.

Manufactures talk about, and teach the new technology that they release on a regular basis, but seldom to these same manufacturers discuss older products. In their mind that is the past, and they are moving forward. That’s business I get it. However the older products have been installed, are working as designed, and will remain in place for years to come. This is where the in house training is critical. The experience our senior people have is priceless, and if they don’t share it, it will become lost as new tech’s enter the industry.

I’ve said many times the difference between action and panic is training. The last thing any building owner needs is a technician who panics because he doesn’t know what he’s looking at, or equally as bad turns a blind eye to an issue to avoid looking bad at the office. I think we all understand the repercussions of not knowing or doing the job correctly with life safety equipment. The life you save could be your own.

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


Bison Fire doing "In house training"

Posted by Rob Read at 10:42 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Holiday Safety

Each year as the holiday season approaches we all bustle about with enthusiasm. People thinking of parties and presents, reconnecting with old friends and family even if it is just through a Christmas card those wonderful things that show up in your mail box instead of just bills, and flyers. It’s a great season, but also a very busy one as we seem to love to decorate our homes, relocate furniture and get everything just right. The problem can be though that in our haste to get the job done, we forget about fire safety and the consequences that can and do arise.

With that in mind I’ve gathered some tips from a variety of places that will ensure Holiday cheer, instead of Christmas living in someone else’s house as you fight with the insurance company.

The Christmas tree

  • Get a freshly cut tree. It will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard. Try to pick a tree with a strong green colour and noticeable fragrance. A tree with high moisture content is safer. Very few needles should fall when the butt of the tree is tapped on the ground; needles should bend, not break; and the stump should be sticky with resin.
  • Place the tree in a stand that will hold 2 to 3 litres of water and top it up daily. Make sure it is always immersed in water: If water drops below the trunk, the stem may reseal itself, requiring a fresh cut.
  • Do not set your tree up near a heat source such as a radiator, television, fireplace, heating duct or sunny window. It should not block doors or windows.
  • Never use lighted candles on the tree, or even near it.


  • Choose decorations that are flame-retardant, non-combustible and non-conductive.
  • If there are young children or pets in your home, avoid very small decorations.
  • Avoid using angel hair (glass wool) together with spray-on snowflakes. This combination is highly combustible.


  • Use the proper lights for the environment. Indoor light strings/sets should not be used outdoors because they lack weatherproof connections. Some outdoor light strings/sets burn too hot indoors.
  • Inspect light strings/set before use. Check for cracked bulbs and for frayed, broken or exposed wires, and discard if faulty.
  • Do not use electric light strings/sets on metallic trees. A faulty system could energize the tree and shock or electrocute anyone coming into contact. Illuminate metallic trees with colored floodlights placed at a safe distance from the tree and out of reach.
  • Turn off all tree and display lights before retiring for the night or before leaving the house.


  • Place candles away from absolutely anything that could catch fire.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended.
  • Put candles in sturdy holders on a stable surface, well away from drafts, curtains, children and pets.
  • Snuff them out before leaving the room or going to sleep.

The Fireplace

  • Never burn gift wrappings, boxes, cartons, or other types of packing in the fireplace. They burn too rapidly and generate far too much heat.
  • Don't hang Christmas stockings from the mantel when the fireplace is in use.
  • Always use a screen in front of the fireplace to protect against flying sparks.
  • Never use gasoline or any other flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Never leave the fire unattended or let it smoulder.

Electrical Outlets

  • There is often a tendency to overload wall outlets during the holiday season. This is an unsafe practice and should be avoided even for short durations.
  • Inspect all cords before using. Look for loose connections or frayed or exposed wire. Discard any defective cords. Read the labels and manufacturer's instructions to ensure proper use.
  • Insert plugs fully into outlets. Poor contact may cause overheating or shock.
  • To avoid possible overheating, do not coil or bunch an extension cord which is in use and do not run it under carpets or rugs.

The Kitchen

Grease and fat fires are a leading cause of home fires in Canada, so be extra careful when doing this kind of cooking. Here's what to do if grease in a pot or pan catches fire:

  • Keep a Fire Extinguisher in the kitchen, and make sure everyone know where it is and how to use it.
  • Smother the flames by covering the pan with a lid.
  • Turn off the heat immediately.
  • With all the festive cheer this time of year, keep a close eye on anyone attempting to cook or smoke while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol is all too often a common factor in many fatal fires.
  • Never turn on the overhead fan, as this could spread the fire.
  • Never throw water on a grease fire.

Gift Suggestions

  • Home smoke alarm
  • Carbon monoxide detector
  • Multi-purpose (ABC) fire extinguisher

Last but not least ... make sure your fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and CO detectors work!  

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

Posted by Rob Read at 9:46 AM 0 Comments

Friday, November 28, 2014

Bison Fire Protection Roams To Kenora Ontario

Bison Fire Protection Inc. has purchased Kenora District Fire and Safety. When Bonnie Swanson the owner of Kenora Fire called me saying it was time for her to retire it was an opportunity that required a second look. Kenora Fire has been in business serving the City of Kenora and surrounding area for over 20 years, and has developed solid and productive relationships with all of their customers. I know this because we have worked with Kenora Fire for many of those years supporting them with products, services, and technical expertise when required.

Kenora District Fire has been a company that focused only on fire extinguishers and fire suppression doing an excellent job of both. Bison Fire will bring our expertise in that area, however we will also be expanding to include both fire alarm, and automatic sprinkler installations and service. Having these services available locally will be beneficial to the community in reduced wait times for service reduced expense in travel costs. We look forward working closely with the Kenora business community to build on what has been a strong relationship created by Kenora Fire, and increasing the local service levels in areas that traditionally have had to rely on outside support.

We would like to congratulate Bonnie on her retirement, and thank her for her years of dedicated service to the community. I know she’s looking forward to spending days beside the lake catching up on her reading, as well visiting her family in BC through winters darkest days.

While this is a good opportunity for everyone here at Bison Fire it is a great opportunity for both Kenora and the surrounding area by having professional fire protection on their doorstep. 

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

Bison Fire Protection's Newest Location in Kenora OntarioBison Fire Protection's Kenora Service Truck

Posted by Rob Read at 8:42 AM 0 Comments