Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Forest Fires in Manitoba: What You Need to Know

Bison's Forest Fire Tips

In Manitoba, we wait all winter long for the heat of summer. We make the most out of our limited days of extreme warmth by spending long days in the sun, hosting BBQ’s for friends and loved ones, and letting the evenings turn into night around a cozy fire. But what we don’t often remember is that the extreme heat, rolling thunder storms, strong gusts of wind, and unattended campfires are the perfect brew for forest fires in Manitoba.

So how do forest fires start, and what can you do to prevent a forest fire from starting?

How Forest Fires Start

According to data from the National Forestry Database, there are over 8000 wildfires that occur each year in Canada. On average, these wildfires can burn over 2.1 million hectares throughout the country. There are only two ways that a forest fire can start: by humans or by nature. Lightning is believed to cause around 50% of these fires, but make up an incredible 85% of the area of land burned each year.

This is because human started fires are usually detected earlier once they’ve started as compared to fires started by natural occurrences, meaning that they can be better contained. Natural fires, on the other hand, tend to burn for long periods before being detected by communities or fire-fighting professionals. Other causes of forest fires are:

  • Smoking
  • Recreational equipment
  • Unattended fires
  • Agricultural equipment

Most Fires Caused by Humans Completely Preventable

The total landscape in Manitoba is predominately wooded areas. With our total land area measuring in at 63.6 million hectares, 36. 3 million hectares are forested areas and other wooded areas. This means over 57% of our total land area is forested, that must be protected.

Every year, Manitoba implements a ban on open fires from April 1st through to November 15th. This doesn’t mean that all fires are banned, though. Manitobans can still enjoy the warmth of a fire in approved firepits that are enclosed, like campfire pits at provincial or national camping areas.

Fires that begin due to campfires can usually be tied to unattended fires in an open or unapproved firepit, and are completely preventable.

Practice Forest Fire Safety in Manitoba

If you want to be more conscious about preventing forest fires in Manitoba, ensure you’re practicing the following fire safety tips:

  • Only start fires in approved and enclosed firepits.
  • Avoid starting a fire in extremely hot, dry, or windy weather conditions.
  • Don’t ever throw cigarette butts onto the ground. If you must smoke while in a heavily wooded area, ensure you bring along a portable ashtray.
  • Keep fire safety equipment nearby at all times. If outdoors, items such as water, a shovel, and some sort of fire retardant are key items to have around.
  • Take care when using items such as matches, lanterns, or other high-heat or smoking materials.

Enjoy your outdoor time in Manitoba safely this summer. For more information on preventing forest fires in Manitoba, or what type of fire safety equipment best fits your needs, let Bison Fire Protection help. With fire safety services available in Winnipeg, Thompson, Brandon, Regina, Saskatoon, and Kenora, we’re here to help you and your loved ones stay safe. Contact us at 866-441-3473 to schedule an appointment with us today.

Posted by Rob Read at 8:53 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Foam Fire Safety for Aircraft Hangars

Bison Fire's Foam Safety for Aircraft Hangers

Aircraft, whether for military or commercial use, are sophisticated and expensive pieces of equipment which must be stored in hangars where they can be protected from damage caused by the elements or people.

However, if you think leaving an aircraft in a hangar guarantees that it will always be safe, think again. Aircrafts run on fuel, which is flammable, and often containers of additional fuel are stored close by on the premises.

Additionally, regular maintenance activities often involve ignition sources which may be close to the aircraft or its additional fuel, leading to dangerous emergencies if proper precautions are not taken.

Because of the size of the spaces, the obstructions caused by the large aircraft, the additional fuel, and the variety of ignition sources nearby, it’s critical to follow proper procedures when installing a fire suppression system.

Fire Protection Systems for Aircraft Hangar

Generally, hangars which are used to store and service fueled aircraft can choose from these fire suppression systems

  • Automatic sprinklers combined with an automatic foam system.
  • Foam-water deluge system with additional foam systems under aircraft wings.
  • Automatic foam-water, closed-head sprinklers.
  • Low-expansion or high-expansion foam systems.

Hangars which also engage with hazardous operations such as fuel transfers, welding, torch cutting, and spray painting, should check to ensure that they are meeting the proper fire protection requirements.

Additionally, other precautions must be taken which include (but are often not limited to):

  • Handheld foam and/or water hoses.
  • Fire pumps and water storage tanks.
  • Pumps and tanks for storing concentrated foam agents.
  • Protection for structural steel columns.
  • A trench draining system on the hangar floor.

How to Choose the Right Fire Protection System for Your Aircraft Hangar

As you can see, there are many design choices to choose from, and it’s essential that whatever you choose the appropriate system for your hangar that complies with federal, provincial, and municipal legislation.

If you need help, the experts at Bison Fire Protection can help you inspect, design, install, repair, and even replace your aircraft hangars’ foam fire suppression system, including ANSUL Fire Suppression Systems.

These foam systems are designed for suppressing flames in areas with large quantities of stored flammable liquids, making them the ideal choice for fighting the types of fires which may break out in aircraft hangar.

Need help deciding how to protect your aircraft hangar? Contact Bison Fire Protection for service in Winnipeg, Thompson, Kenora, Brandon, Regina, or Saskatoon. Contact us for your fire protection solutions and services today.

Posted by Rob Read at 1:42 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Staying Fire-Safe This Festival Season

Bison Fire's Tips for Staying Safe This Festival Season

Summer is here and festival season is in full swing. Whether you’re camping for a night, a day, or for a week, spending some time away as a music festival is one of the best ways to take a break from day-to-day life and make new memories.

However, spending any amount of time sleeping, cooking, and sitting around a campfire comes with its own set of hazards which must be taken into consideration in order to make sure you and anyone else you’re camping with has a safe and enjoyable experience.

What can you do to stay fire safe this festival season? Follow these simple steps:

Test Equipment Before You Camp

Most camping accidents happen because people are using unfamiliar equipment in a new environment where they may be distracted or inebriated.

With this in mind, always test your camping equipment before you arrive at the festival; fit on gas canisters or practice using a new stove in your own backyard when you are sober and have ample access to water and emergency services.

Plan for Fires

Whenever possible, arrive during full daylight hours and look for a campsite which has a cooking area that is away from the tree line, has escape routes in the event of an emergency, a nearby water source, and a clear path to help if it’s needed.

Read any safety notices around the campsite and make an escape plan, and keep water in your tent and around the fire pit or camping stove in case of emergencies.

Never Throw Gas Canisters Into a Fire

Gas canisters can become projectiles which can explode and send shrapnel everywhere if they are thrown into the fire, or left too close to a heat source.

If you think there’s a gas canister in the fire or in a burning tent, sound the alarm and make sure that everyone stays at least 300 ft  away until help arrives.

Spread Your Tents Out

Many festivals don’t have ample camping space for tents, but try to keep tents at least 20 ft apart if at all possible. If you can’t spread your tents out, stay fire-safe by keeping lit cigarettes and flames away from your tent, and make sure to extinguish any flames or fires before going to bed.

Additionally, never bring candles, electric torches, or flammable liquids caping, and never leave them in or near your tent.

Follow the Festival Rules

While much of fire safety comes down to simple common sense, it’s important to make sure to read the festival and campground rules to make sure that you are complying with them in full before starting to enjoy the festivities.

For example, some festivals may have rules about campfires or heaters, keeping fires a below a specific height, etc. Your safest bet is always to check in advance.

For all of your fire safety needs in Winnipeg, Thompson, Kenora, Brandon, Regina and Saskatoon, you can depend on Bison Fire Protection. Contact us for your fire protection solutions and services today.

 

Posted by Rob Read at 1:43 PM 0 Comments

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Fire Safety Tips for Seniors Living in Their Homes

Bison's Fire Safety Tips for Seniors

Fire safety is one of the biggest threats that seniors as they age, especially if they choose to continue to live in their own home.

Older adults face several challenges which young, able-bodied people often don’t need to worry about, including:

  • Weaker physical strength.
  • Diminished hearing and vision
  • Slow reaction times in moments of crisis

These and other issues can not only make it harder for seniors to identify and respond to a fire within their homes, but can also increase the likelihood that a fire will start. As a result, loved ones who care for seniors who choose to live at home should be aware of the risks and challenges, and how to deal with them.

Do you know a senior who lives in their own home? Here’s what you can do to help keep them safe:

Don’t Neglect Home Improvements

Seniors who are on fixed incomes may worry that they can’t afford to repair their homes, but it’s critical that any repairs needed are completed in a timely fashion by a qualified professional when necessary.

Ensuring that safety aids are in place to keep seniors as mobile as possible in the event of an emergency are critical to their safety, and every effort should be made to replace any outdated electrical devices, outlets, or appliances which could lead to a fire.

Stay Low

Sleeping on the ground floor can save a life.

Many seniors struggle to go up and down stairs, and many simply don’t have the ease of mobility to quickly ascend or descend the stairs in the event of a fire. As a result, it’s recommended that seniors sleep on the main level of their home, close to an exit or window.

Additionally, make sure that smoke alarms are installed in every sleeping room, as well as outside of any sleeping areas.

Upgrade Your Alarm

Fatal fires most often occur when people are sleeping because the smoke caused by a fire can put you into a deeper sleep rather than wake you up.

This can pose a significant risk for seniors, who often use hearing aides or may struggle with diminished hearing as they age. For seniors who live alone, we recommend installing a smoke alarm which also uses a flashing light or a vibration as an alert system in the event of an emergency.

Practice

Practicing regular fire drills and having an established escape plan is essential for fire safety in any household, but if you or someone you live with can’t escape the home without assistance, then designate a member of your family to help.

Fire drills also provide an important opportunity to make sure that whoever lives in the house can always hear and respond to the smoke alarm when it sounds.

Stay Open

Check all of the windows and doors throughout the home to make sure that they can be easily opened in the event of an emergency. If there are security bars on the windows, ensure that they have emergency release devices so that they can be opened from the inside if needed.

With older homes, double-check both the inside and outside to see that they haven’t been nailed or painted shut, and take the necessary steps to re-open the window if needed.

For all of your fire safety needs in Winnipeg, Thompson, Kenora, Brandon, and Regina, you can depend on Bison Fire Protection. Contact us for your fire protection solutions and services today.

Posted by Rob Read at 8:06 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Own a Building? Here's The Fire Safety Equipment You Need to Have Installed

Bison's Own A Building Requirements List

Fire safety and prevention is the responsibility of landlords, whether you’re the owner of a commercial or residential building. Prevention, protection, and suppression are the main types of fire safety equipment that buildings must be equipped with.

No matter the daily ongoings within your building, a fire can start due to a number of situations. Electrical fires can start from overworked sockets, or kitchen fires can start from someone leaving food unattended on the stove. By ensuring that you’re building is prepared with a fire safety plan, posted routes of escape, and routine fire drills, you can help maintain the safe environment that your building provides its workforce or tenants.

Invest in high-quality, effective fire safety systems, and save your building from costly fire-related emergencies. Every commercial or residential building requires the following fire safety equipment to keep everyone inside safe and prepared:

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are a vital piece of fire safety equipment, allowing users to suppress small fires with the proper use of the extinguisher. Depending on your building, hazard level, and specific local fire codes, the type and amount of fire extinguishers you’ll need in your building vary. There are various types of fire extinguishers available on the market today, including:

  • Water and foam extinguishers
  • Carbon dioxide extinguishers
  • Wet chemical extinguishers
  • Portable dry chemical extinguishers
  • Stationary pumps
  • Wheeled fire extinguishers

For information on the number of extinguishers needed in your facility, contact your local fire department. The installation of fire extinguishers should be done by a professional protective fire equipment provider, and should be inspected regularly by the same provider. These companies will also help you decide where, and how, fire extinguishers should be placed throughout the building.

Alarms

The type of alarm system that your building requires depends on the use of your building, and whether it is commercial or residential.

Smoke alarms can quickly detect both heat and fires. There are a variety of smoke alarms available for buildings, including:

  • Photoelectric smoke alarms, which use a light source within to detect fires.
  • Ionization smoke alarms, which are recommended for most buildings as they are able to respond best to raging fires.
  • Combination smoke alarms, which can detect smoldering, slow-spreading fires and fast, raging fires both.

Sprinkler Systems

Once again, there are a wide variety of sprinkler systems available for both residential and commercial buildings. These fire suppression systems can be extremely complex, or relatively simple. Once these systems are activated, they work to spray water from pipes onto a fire. These are known as wet pipe systems, and work best in heated spaces where they cannot freeze.

For unheated areas of commercial or residential spaces, there are other types of sprinklers available, such as:

  • Deluge sprinkler systems, which are only activated within spaces that the sprinkler is activated. This keeps other areas unaffected by fire safe from unnecessary water damage.
  • Preaction sprinkler systems allow for controlled fire protection. Buildings with plenty of technology and electrical equipment choose these sprinklers, as they protect specific areas.
  • Dry pipe sprinklers consist of pipes filled with pressurized air or nitrogen and are ideal for attics, warehouses, or commercial-sized freezers.

As a building owner, it is your responsibility to maintain your building’s fire safety equipment. Bison Fire Protection offers a wide variety of fire protection equipment and services, helping you to ensure the safety of your building. For more information, contact us at 866-441-3473 to schedule your fire safety services in Winnipeg, Thompson, Brandon, Regina, Saskatoon, or Kenora today.

Posted by Rob Read at 8:33 AM 0 Comments