Wednesday, July 18, 2018

5 Fire Safety Tips forSummer

Bison Fire's 5 Fire Safety Tips for Summer

Summer is finally here, which means it’s the season for BBQing, camping, and enjoying the great outdoors. However, it’s also a time to be on high alert when it comes to starting and managing fires.

For example, The Globe and Mail reported provincial findings which concluded that in 2017 almost half of the fires reported in B.C. along were caused by humans. With this in mind we thought this would be a great time to revisit some of our favourite tips to preventing a summertime fire:

1. Invest in HVAC Maintenance

Running multiple air conditioning units can overload your heating, which can lead to house or condominium fires.

This is especially true if you haven’t invested in proper HVAC maintenance and have ensured that all electrical components are in proper working order, have been tested by a professional, and are free of dust and debris which can ignite from even the smallest spark.

2. Clean Your Exhaust Fans

Cleaning dust, dander, and debris out your exhaust fans and vents not only improves the quality and cleanliness of the air you breathe, but eliminates any opportunities for buildup which can accelerate the spread of an indoor fire.

3. Take Care of Your Lawn Mower

Lawn mower maintenance is essential to keeping your yard in check and extending the lifetime of your mower, but making sure that you follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for your mowing equipment can also decrease the likelihood of a fire.

Remember to regularly remove any debris and grass clippings from cutting units, engines, and mufflers, and always wait until your lawn mower has cooled completely before refueling.

4. Store Gas Containers Responsibly

If your BBQ or grill relies on gas containers or cylinders in order to function, make sure to store them in a cool, ideally day place like a shed or in the garage away from your primary dwelling. Never store your gas canisters indoors. Always double-check that caps are on tight, and that the cylinders are stored in an upright position.

5. Practice Safe Grilling

Many of us love to use our BBQ to cook up some steaks and vegetables on a summer’s night, but it’s essential that you keep your grill as far away from both your home and any trees or branches nearby.

Make sure to regularly remove any grease and gat buildup from the grills, and take the time to clean out the trays underneath the grilling components, as well.

We recommend keeping a “safe zone” of at least 3 feet around the grill at all times, and remember: never leave your grill unattended.

Summertime is always a great opportunity to enjoy our prairie weather and relax, and by following these steps you can be worry-free when it comes to fire safety this summer.  Contact us today by calling 866-441-3473 today to provide qualified and professional fire safety services in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Saskatoon, and Regina.

Posted by Rob Read at 8:25 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Standard Response VS. Quick Response Fire Sprinkler Heads: What's the Difference?

Bison Fire's Rapid VS Regular response sprinkler heads

A critical component of any fire protection system are the fire sprinklers that automatically discharge water when they detect a fire, or when the temperature in the area exceeds a predetermined temperature.

But did you know that there are different kinds of sprinkler heads to choose from that are specific to your environment? It’s true! However, knowing which kind suits your needs can be confusing, so today we’re going to break down what you need to know about Standard Response vs. Quick Response fire sprinkler heads.

Let’s dive right in:

Getting Started: Fire Sprinkler Characteristics

An extinguisher’s ability to control or extinguish a fire is based on 6 core characteristics, which are:

  • Water distribution characteristics
  • Special service condition
  • Orifice size
  • Temperature rating
  • Thermal sensitivity
  • Installation orientation

The Two Main Types of Sprinkler Heads

Standard Response Fire Sprinkler Heads

The style wets and cools an area surrounding a fire, and suppresses the source of the fire and slows the spread of flames. This style of fire sprinkler head is activated individually, and will only become active if it is located directly above a fire.

Because this type is so precise, they’re typically best suited for commercial or industrial buildings like factories and warehouses.

Quick Response Fire Sprinkler Head

Quick response fire sprinkler heads discharge water from higher up on the ceiling which cools the area in order to prevent a fire from rising. This style of sprinkler head is especially useful for helping people evacuate from the area and survive fires, since they help prevent flash-over.

Generally this style are installed to suppress fires in high-density areas like offices, schools, healthcare facilities, and assisted care facilities. 

Standard vs. Quick Response Fire Sprinkler Heads: What’s the Difference?

The biggest difference between these two styles is the activation temperature. While a quick response (as the name implies) will activate more quickly due to its increased sensitivity, a standard response fire sprinkler head often requires a higher temperature in order to activate.

Additionally, the two styles look different: a standard response fire sprinkler head has a 5mm glass bulb, whereas a quick response fire sprinkler head has a 3mm one. It’s this difference in bulb size which acts as differentiator: the smaller bulbs increase thermal responsiveness, meaning the quick response triggers more quickly.

Which Fire Extinguisher Head is Right For You?

When choosing the right fire extinguisher heads, consider these key factors:

  • Area size to be protected
  • Ambient temperature throughout the year
  • Ceiling height

These elements will help you determine whether a quick response fire sprinkler head or a standard response fire sprinkler head is the right choice. For instance, quick response fire extinguisher heads are better suited for taller buildings, or smaller areas. 

If you still have questions, get in touch! Your Bison Fire Protection technician is happy to help you make the right choice for your business. Contact us today by calling 866-441-3473 today to provide qualified and professional fire safety services in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Saskatoon, and Regina.

Posted by Rob Read at 9:01 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

How to Know When to Update Your Fire Extinguisher

Bison Fire's How to know when to update your Fire Extinguisher

Whether at home, at work, or out and about in the community, we depend on fire extinguishers to keep us safe and protect us in the event of an unexpected fire. This makes fire extinguisher maintenance one of the most important things we can do to stay fire safe-day-to-day… but do you know when to replace your fire extinguisher?

A fire extinguisher that’s been well-maintained can last up to 20+ years, but that doesn’t mean that it will last that long. To make matters even more complicated, because it can be extremely difficult to know exactly how long a fire extinguisher may last, and as a result many fire extinguishers don’t come with an expiration date.

So how can you determine if it’s time to replace your fire extinguisher? Keep reading to find out:

Why Maintenance Matters

The easiest way to ensure that your fire extinguisher lasts as long as possible is to schedule regular inspections and tests from an experienced technician. Your technician is trained to identify any issues with your fire extinguisher, and maintenance can prevent your extinguisher from developing rust, becoming corroded, and becoming damaged.

Hydrostatic testing is one of the most important tests to be performed on your dry chemical fire extinguisher every 12 years. The cylinder is emptied, then filled with colored water and brought up to a high pressure in order to test the shell, hose, and nozzle. If these components can withstand the pressure for a short period of time, then your extinguisher is still safe to use.

Professional inspections should be scheduled on an annual basis, along with emptying and recharging all rechargeable extinguishers every six years.

Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Extinguisher

The first signal that it may be time to replace your fire extinguisher is asking yourself: “Do I know how long I’ve had my fire extinguisher?” If you don’t know, then it’s imperative that you call for an inspection as soon as possible to determine the quality of your extinguisher.

Additionally, if you notice any of the following warning signs, it’s a signal that your extinguisher needs to be serviced or replaced as soon as possible:

  • The extinguisher hose or nozzle is cracked or blocked with debris.
  • The handle is wobbly or broken.
  • The locking pin on the handle is missing/unsealed.
  • The extinguisher can’t be serviced in accordance with manufacturer’s maintenance manual.
  • The extinguisher was made by a company that is no longer in business.
  • There’s no inspection sticker with a record of checkups and maintenance on the extinguisher.

Bison Fire Protection is committed to keeping everyone in the prairie provinces safe. Contact us today by calling 866-441-3473 today to provide qualified and professional fire safety services in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Saskatoon, and Regina.

Posted by Rob Read at 8:59 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Forest Fires; a Refresher for a Dry Spring

Bison Fire's Forest Fire Refresher

We can probably all agree that this spring has been a dry one, to say the least. With the exception of some recent thunderstorms thunderstorms the prairies have been going through an unusually dry spring season, which means the risk of forest fires is higher than ever.

In fact, even though the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service has lifted some fire restrictions, several still remain until we get a few more good downpours.

With this in mind, we felt this would be a good time to revisit what you need to know about forest fires, and how to prevent them:

How Do Forest Fires Start?

According to the National Forestry Database, over 8000 wildfires occur in Canada each year, burning an average of over  2.1 million hectares throughout the country.

Forest fires can only start one of two ways:

  • Through nature. This may occur due to a lightning strike, or occasionally by spontaneous combustion of dry fuel such as sawdust and leaves. These fires make up an incredible 85% of the area of land burned each year.
  • Through human action. Whether from a lack of care and attention or through neglecting to follow fire safety rules, many forest fires are the result of human influence.

Other causes of forest fires are:

  • Smoking
  • Recreational equipment
  • Unattended fires
  • Agricultural equipment

Fact: Most Fires Caused by Humans Are Preventable

Manitoba is a heavily wooded province, with 36.3 million hectares of forested and wooded area covering the 63.6 million hectares of land that make up the province.

This means over 57% of our total land area is forested, and we have a responsibility to protect it.

This means taking the appropriate steps to ensure that we’re complying with both the annual ban on open fires which runs from April 1st to November 15th, and to take steps to make sure that we never leave our fires unattended, or start fires in an unapproved fire pit.

Practicing  Forest Fire Safety

We all have a responsibility to protect our province and it’s natural resources, so here are some steps you can take to keep forest fires at a minimum this season:

  • 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 like matches, lanterns, or other high-heat or smoking materials.

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, 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 2:11 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

3 Easy Ways to Reduce False Fire Alarms on College and University Campuses

Bison Fire's 3 Easy Ways to Reduce False Alarms

Many of us don’t realize it, but university and college campuses are often at a high risk for a fire due to the high volume of people coming and going, preparing food, and living in-residence. Just like any business or public area, students and faculty alike rely on each other to practice proper fare safety measures in order to protect themselves and the campuses they love.

Some of the most common challenges that campuses face when it comes to staying fire-safe according to Campus Safety Magazine, include:

Some of the most common causes of false fire alarms on college and university campuses, according to Campus Safety Magazine, include:

  • Poor fire protection system design.
  • Shower steam.
  • Burned popcorn.
  • Lack of proper fire protection system maintenance.
  • Practical jokes.


False fire alarms are not only disruptive to everyone on campus, but they are also a waste of valuable public safety resources and may result in a loss of life in the event of a real fire.

Check out these 4 ways that universities and colleges can stay fire-safe and reduce the number of false fire alarms on campus:

1. Discipline Pranksters

Many people don’t take fire safety seriously and will resort to tactics like pulling the fire alarm in the middle of class as an excuse to be disruptive to others. However, not only do false fire alarms impact both faculty and student productivity and focus, but they reduce the likelihood that people will take a fire alarm seriously the next time it happens.

By addressing this issue and properly disciplining pranksters you can discourage the prevalence of false fire alarms on campus. Make sure that there are fair and clear disciplinary policies available for students to access, and enforce a “zero tolerance” approach to the penalty for mischief, and will be dealt with by the judicial affairs committee on campus.

2. Encourage Students to Lead by Example

The easiest and most effective method of reducing false fire alarms on campus is to encourage students to keep one another accountable, and to self-police goings-on on campus. Encourage students to report suspicious activity, and to to practice habits like never leaving a microwave unattended, flicking cigarette butts into trash cans instead of putting them out, and other actions which may result in a false fire alarm.

3. Add Video Surveillance

If people on campus know that video surveillance is being used to keep both students and staff safe and protected, then it reduces the likelihood of negative behaviour.

Not only does video surveillance discourage mischief on campus, but in the event that a prankster does decide to put the campus at risk by faking a fire, then the authorities will be able to see who pulled the fire alarm, and when, and take appropriate action.

If you have any questions about fire alarms, fire equipment, or more steps to protect your college or university campus from fake fire alarms, contact Bison Fire Protection by calling 866-441-3473 today. We provide top-notch fire safety services in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Saskatoon, and Regina.

Posted by Rob Read at 9:59 AM 0 Comments