Wednesday, September 19, 2018

How to Reduce the Risk of Fire in Your Business

Bison Fire's How to reduce the Risk of Fire in Your Business

As we covered in a recent post, most businesses stand to lose tens of thousands of dollars if their business is affected by a fire. This can have long-lasting consequences on your business’ profitability, and can mean damage and even lead to the total destruction of investments like property, equipment, and stocked items.

The good news is that most fires are preventable, and with a little training and preparedness you can be confident that your business’ risk of damage due to a a fire is as low as possible.

Below are three key steps to preventing fires in your business:

1. Invest in Training and Education

Your employees play a pivotal role in reducing the risks of a fire in your business. This is especially true in the restaurant industry, where training kitchen staff on how to avoid a fire in an industrial kitchen can dramatically reduce the chances of a kitchen fire.

By taking the time to educate them on your emergency action plan, providing training on how to locate and operate your fire extinguishers, and by teaching them to spot a potential fire hazard, you can empower your employees to reduce the risks and avoid potential fire damage.

2. Invest in Regular Maintenance and Inspections

Does your business have a fire sprinkler system installed? If ‘yes’, do you know the last time it was installed, tested, and activated?

If you don’t know the answers to any of these questions, contact an expert from Bison Fire Protection for a thorough inspection of your business’ life safety system. Our highly trained technicians will make sure that your fire and safety systems meet both federal and provincial codes, and will make sure that your business is properly protected in the event of a fire.

3. Identify Fire Hazards

As we covered in our recent post, every business type is different when it comes to potential fire hazards, which means it’s critical to identify your business’ potential fire hazards and take the necessary steps to reduce those risks.

For most businesses a step as simple as identifying flammable liquids and making sure that they’re stored and handled properly can go a long way towards preventing a fire.

For businesses like restaurants, ensuring that your staff a properly trained to understand the fire risks associated with cooking equipment and regularly reviewing emergency fire procedures can have a lasting impact on the safety of your business.

4. Have the Proper Equipment Installed

If a fire does break out in your business, the only way to make sure that it doesn’t cause extensive and widespread damage is to have the proper equipment installed and tested before a fire occurs.

By working with qualified professionals to ensure that your fire safety equipment is ready to use and will work in the event of an emergency, you can give yourself the peace of mind you deserve when it comes to keeping your business fire-safe.

Whether it’s making sure your fire suppression system is up to code, installing additional fire alarms, or testing sprinkler systems, the experts at Bison Fire Protection are available to make sure that any on-site hazards are dealt with and and potential fire risks have been resolved.

If you operate a business in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Saskatoon, or Regina and are looking to know more about how to protect your investment from fire damage, contact the experts at Bison Fire Protection by calling 866-441-3473 today to schedule an appointment with a fire safety experts.

 

 

Posted by Rob Read at 8:53 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Bison Fire Makes the Growth 500 6 Years in a Row

                                                 Bison Fire Makes the Growth 500 6 Years in a Row

Bison Fire Protection Inc. Ranks No. 475 on the 2018 Growth 500

–Canadian Business unveils 30h annual list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies –

Winnipeg (September 13, 2018) Canadian Business and PROFIT today ranked Bison Fire Protection Inc. No. 475 on the 30th annual Growth 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Published in the October issue of Maclean’s magazine and at CanadianBusiness.com, the Growth 500 ranks Canadian businesses by their five-year revenue growth.

Bison Fire Protection Inc. made the 2018 Growth 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 106%.

“It is never easy to earn a spot on the Growth 500, but this year’s applicant pool was the most competitive yet,” says Deborah Aarts, Growth 500 program manager. “This year’s winners demonstrate the resilience, innovation and sheer management smarts it takes to build a thriving business today. Canada—and the world—needs more entrepreneurial success stories like these.”

“Bison Fire Protection Inc. is proud to be on the Growth 500 ranking for the sixth straight year,” says President Rob Read. “This achievement reflects the dedication and hard work of our incredible team and the quality of our products.”

Offering Fire Alarm, Sprinkler, and Fire Suppression products in three provinces at the industrial and commercial levels has many rewards. Knowing the products we install and service save businesses from severe loss is secondary to the lives we protect on a daily basis. We take pride in receiving Ansul’s Double Diamond Award for sales and service excellence, as well as becoming the 2nd largest Siemens Value Added Partner in Canada!

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About Bison Fire Protection

Bison Fire Protection is committed to providing superior services and products for our customers.

Since our establishment in 2001, Bison Fire Protection has grown rapidly to help meet the safety needs of our customers. We began as a fire extinguisher and automatic suppression provider, and have since grown into a full-service fire suppression business which now also includes fire alarm and automatic sprinkler system installations. Our team is committed not only to providing professional fire protection service and solutions, but also to helping educate our customers and train them on how to stay safe. As part of our commitment to you, our customer, we ensure that all Bison Fire Protection staff are trained and certified by each of our suppliers.

About the Growth 500

For 30 years, the Growth 500 has been Canada’s most respectable and influential ranking of entrepreneurial achievement. Ranking Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies by five-year

revenue growth, the Growth 500—formerly known as the PROFIT 500—profiles the country’s most successful growing businesses. The Growth 500 is produced by Canadian Business. Winners are profiled in a special Growth 500 print issue of Canadian Business (packaged with the October issue of Maclean’s magazine) and online at Growth500.ca and CanadianBusiness.com. For more information on the ranking, visit Growth500.ca.

About Canadian Business

Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-serving and most-trusted business publication in the country. 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. Learn more at CanadianBusiness.com

Media contact

Rob Read, Bison Fire Protection Inc., rread@bisonfire.com, 204 237 3473

Posted by Rob Read at 10:09 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Common Firestop Mistakes in Passive Fire Protection

Bison Fire's Common Fire Stop Mistakes

For many large-scale areas like hospitals, schools, college and university campuses, and nursing homes, passive fire protection plays an important role in keeping fires contained and compartmentalized in order to keep them from spreading

Passive fire protection systems use a series of “fire barriers” - fire-resistant walls and floors, often installed through multiple rooms - to keep a fire contained, but unfortunately if these barriers are not properly installed and sealed with the appropriate firestops, they can be compromised, rendering them useless in the event of a fire.

Where Are Firestops Installed?

Firestops are commonly used in passive fire protection systems, and can most commonly be found:

  • In areas where plumbing, electrical wiring, of parts of a building’s mechanical system must pass through a fire barrier.
  • Areas that may only pass through part of the fire barrier, such as sink drains, conduits from walls or ceilings, and outlet boxes.
  • Areas where building elements meet within fire-resistant floor or wall assemblies.
  • Firestops which have been reopened.

If a fire barrier has an area which hasn’t been properly sealed it may fail to contain gasses, smoke, and even flames. This allows the fire to spread more quickly, increasing damage to the property and reducing the time building occupants have to escape to safety.

Why Do Firestop Mistakes Compromise Fire Protection?

When a new building is under construction passive firestopping systems are included in the building plans, which are then evaluated and approved by building code officials. This means that if any renovations or upgrades take place once the building has been built, any new or altered penetrations to the fire barrier need to be firestopped in order to maintain the integrity of the passive suppression system.

Unfortunately, maintaining a passive fire suppression system and ensuring that any changes to the system are firestopped is one area where many business fail to follow up.

This oversight generally isn’t due to negligence, but a lack of understanding around the proper codes and requirements around maintaining a passive system.

That’s why it’s so important to work with qualified fire safety experts like the technicians at Bison Fire Protection. We work with your business on an ongoing basis to ensure that every component of your fire suppression system is always up-to-date and up to code.

Common Firestop Mistakes

Does your business or building have a passive fire system installed? Then take a look at this list of common reasons why firestop mistakes happen, and what you can do to prevent them:

Using the Wrong Materials

Firestopping systems can be purchased from a variety of manufacturers, but with more than 5,000 approved firestops available, it can feel daunting to choose the appropriate system needed for the type of penetration expected and the fire rating of the barrier.

Some important rules to follow when choosing the materials used in your forestops include:

  • Make sure that all materials are approved be a nationally recognized testing facility for the specific firestop to be installed on-site.
  • Never substitute approved items and materials with non-approved items like concrete, expandable combustible foam, or other materials that don’t meet fire rating standards.

Improper Installation

Neglecting to properly follow the UL or ASTM system requirements for installing firestops is the most common mistake businesses make when it comes to properly maintaining their passive fire systems.

It may be tempting to cut corners, but by following the instructions to the letter and being detail-oriented, you can make sure that your system is adhering to the appropriate codes and standards and working as expected in the event of an emergency.

Neglecting to Document Your Work

One of the other common issues businesses make when it comes to maintaining their firestops is neglecting to document the system and materials used when installing the firestop.

Not only is this information necessary during routine inspections, but these details play a critical role in ensuring that any repairs or replacements needed are done with the same materials. If your firestops haven’t been documented, you can consult your building construction plans to avoid having to expose your firestops for inspection.

Firestop inspections Are a “Must” for Businesses

All firestops must be inspected and approved at the time of construction, upgrade, and renovation. Annual inspections are also required in order to make sure that any damage, alterations, breaches, or penetrations are properly repaired and upgraded.

Maintaining your firestops is essential to reducing the damage that can potentially be caused by a fire, which means working with qualified experts to maintain and repair your passive fire systems.

For more information about how to maintain and repair your passive fire systems and ensure that your firestops are protecting your staff, business, and investments, contact the experts at Bison Fire Protection at 204-237-3473 or email at info@bisonfire.com to schedule an appointment with a fire safety expert.

Posted by Rob Read at 11:17 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

How Much Does A Fire Cost A Business?

Bison Fire's How much does a fire cost a business

As a business owner, you care about your investments and ensuring that any damage due to a fire is minimized and any costs for repairs are kept to a minimum. But do you actually know how much damage a fire in a business can cause, and what the most common causes of business fires are?

At Bison Fire Protection, we’re committed to your safety and protecting your business, so we did some research and have identified some of the causes and costs of business fires in North America.

Different Businesses Have Different Fire Risks

There are many different types of businesses and business properties, which the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) breaks down into eight different categories:

  • Merchant & Retail Stores
  • Office Properties
  • Restaurants & Bars
  • Religious Properties
  • Schools
  • Health Care Facilities
  • Industrial or Manufacturing Properties
  • Warehouses

Check out this chart from the NFPA to see how each business type breaks down:

While some of these businesses may be quite different from each other, a lot of them are similar in the sense that cooking equipment and kitchen-related accidents were the primary cause of fires. In particular restaurants and bars, religious properties, offices, and health care facilities were at risk of kitchen fires because many of them have stovetops, ovens, or deep fryers which were mishandled by employees or staff.

Another factor that stands out is that schools and warehouses both need to worry about intentionally set fires, which account for a whopping 36% of all fires in schools, alone! On the other side of the spectrum, industrial and manufacturing businesses need to be aware of the risks surrounding their shop tools and heating and industrial equipment, as these items account for 14% of all fires.

How Much Damage Does a Fire Cause?

Unsurprisingly, businesses who incur the highest property damage tend to be businesses that store products, like retail locations and warehouses. In fact, even though warehouse fires tend to occur less often, they incur the highest amount of damage with the average being $129,000 per fire.

Take a look at how each industry breaks down, according to the NFPA:

We should also note that the primary reason that religious properties experience such high levels of damage from a fire is that they are lightly populated during the week, which means fewer people are on-site to prevent a fire from starting.

However, it’s important to note that when fire suppression sprinklers were installed in these spaces, the average cost of property damage went down by 73%.

How Much Will a Fire Cost YOUR Business?

Taking proactive steps to keep your business safe in the event of a fire is one of the smartest things you can do as a business owner.

If you operate a business in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Saskatoon, or Regina and are looking to know more about how to protect your investment from fire damage, contact the experts at Bison Fire Protection by calling 866-441-3473 today and we’ll visit your business to provide a thorough assessment.

Posted by Rob Read at 2:30 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Why Commercial Fire Sprinkler Inspections Are Important

Bison Fire's Guide to why commercial Fire Sprinkler Inspections Are Important

When it comes to protecting against the potentially devastating impact that a commercial fire can have on both people and property, there’s no replacement for a properly installed and maintained fire sprinkler system. In fact, these types of systems have been protecting commercial businesses from disaster since the late 19th century!

As a result of over a century of use and continued improvement, commercial fire sprinkler systems, which are designed to respond to heat instead of smoke and activate early to suppress a fire until the fire department can arrive with an additional blast of water, have become extremely efficient methods of fire suppression.

However, many businesses have allowed the regularly scheduled inspections and routine maintenance on these lifesaving systems to lapse, sometimes dangerously behind. After all, if your business isn’t regularly experiencing fire safety issues then it can be easy for fire sprinkler maintenance to be “out of sight, out of mind.”

At Bison Fire Protection we’re committed to delivering exceptional service and solutions that keep our customers, their staff, and their businesses safe. Our goal is to inform our customers and keep our friends and neighbours safe, which is why we’re sharing these important statistics about commercial fire safety inspections. Take a look:

Fire Sprinkler Stats You Need to See

A report from the National Fire Prevention Foundation (NFRP) found that even the most reliable sprinkler systems can be prone to failure. They shared shocking statistics that explain the major reasons for fire sprinkler system failure; take a look:

  • 17% failed due to lack of maintenance. If your commercial fire sprinkler system isn’t well-maintained, then the chances are likely that it may not operate properly in the event of an emergency.

 

  • 6% failed due to manual intervention with the system. In these cases an individual at the business turned off, or potentially damaged, the monitoring system which could have prevented a fire.
  • 64% of failures were due to a system shut off before the fire began. Regular inspections and maintenance are critical to ensuring that your system is always fully operational in the event of an emergency.
  • 7% of failures occurred due to component damage. Here, again, we see the need for regularly scheduled inspections and maintenance.
  • 6% of failures were due to an inappropriate system type for the type of fire. A competent fire protection technician (like our experts here at Bison Fire Protection) can help you determine the appropriate type of commercial fire sprinkler for your needs, so you can avoid this kind of emergency.

Your Winnipeg Fire Protection Experts

A well-maintained commercial fire sprinkler system is one that is always ready to deploy in the event of a fire. When was the last time you had yours inspected? Contact the team at Bison Fire Protection by calling 866-441-3473 today. We provide top-notch fire safety services in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, and Saskatoon.

Posted by Rob Read at 8:30 AM 0 Comments