Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Why Proper Emergency Lighting Systems Save Lives

Bison Fire Explains why Emergency lighting saves lives

When you think of fire safety equipment, practical solutions like smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and sprinklers probably come to mind. However, proper emergency lighting systems are an integral part of an effective fire safety plan in both residential and commercial buildings.

Whether you’re the owner of an apartment complex or a warehouse, your top priority is the safety of the people in your building. In emergency settings, some people tend to struggle with remembering rehearsed safety practices like the safest exit route, or may not be familiar with the posted fire emergency plan.

Adequate emergency lighting can make the difference between a smooth and safe evacuation and one that carries complications.

How Do Emergency Lighting Systems Work?

Emergency lighting systems operate using LED or incandescent bulbs that are powered by backup batteries that are activated when power is lost. These ligh

Emergency lights are placed in strategic locations in the hallways of large structures like condos, apartments, and commercial buildings. When activated, the lights demonstrate a safe path for evacuees, leading to stairwells and emergency exits. Often, lighting systems will also include lights at designated emergency points or fire pull stations to ensure that individuals can easily carry out emergency procedures.

What Types of Emergency Lighting Systems Are Available?

For fire safety implications, there are a variety of emergency lighting systems on the market.

Most commonly, there are maintained, non-maintained, and sustained options:

Maintained emergency lighting systems: These emergency lights are always activated, but are able to use battery power during power outages.

Non-maintained emergency lighting systems: This type of emergency lighting system is only turned on when there is a power failure.

Sustained: Sustained systems use two lamps. One lamp is used during normal power use situations in a building, while the other is only turned on and powered by a battery during emergency situations.

Why Choose to Install Emergency Lighting Systems?

Emergency lighting is critical for a proper emergency safety system of any large building. As the power is likely to go out or be turned off during a variety of emergency situations, adequate lighting provides a clear path to safety while people are prone to be panicked.

Not only are these lighting systems vital for helping keep employees or residents calm during an emergency, but they help first responders, too. In the case of fire-related emergencies, there is too often clouds of smoke that prohibit visibility. Emergency lighting systems provide first responders with a light source that allows them to move through an unfamiliar space to find the source of a fire and ensure that all occupants have evacuated safely.

Proper emergency lighting systems enhance the safety of every person in a building. Whether you have existing fire safety equipment in place, get in touch with your local fire equipment specialist to install or inspect your emergency lighting system.

At Bison Fire Protection, we have a variety of lighting units and exit signs available for your large residential or commercial space. Our trusted technicians are always ready to help protect your property from fire-related emergencies. For more information or to schedule your next appointment with us in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, or Saskatoon, call 866-441-3473 or find us online.

Posted by Rob Read at 9:08 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Difference Between Quick and Standard Response Fire Sprinkler Heads

Bison Fire Difference between Quick and regular response sprinkler heads

When it comes to fire suppression systems, sprinkler systems are quite common. However, many businesses and buildings who choose to invest in a sprinkler system are unaware that there are different types of sprinkler heads. Although it may seem like a minor detail, varying sprinkler heads serve specific purposes, meaning that different buildings require different sprinkler heads.

Choosing the right type of fire sprinkler heads can make a big difference in your fire protection plan, as their purposes are distinct in what type of fire-related hazard they extinguish. These sprinkler heads are available in two basic types: standard response fire sprinkler heads, and quick response fire sprinkler heads.

What is a Standard Response Fire Sprinkler Head?

A standard response fire sprinkler head works to moisten and cool the area surrounding a fire-related emergency. As the sprinkler heat wets and cools the area, the fire is prevented from spreading. Although this type of sprinkler head only suppresses the source of the fire to slow how quickly flames spread, the fire’s fuel is eventually eliminated, extinguishing the fire.

Standard response fire sprinkler heads are designed for precision, with only the sprinkler heads that are directly above a fire activated during an emergency. This individual activation means that standard response sprinkler heads best service industrial or commercial buildings, as they will not damage items that are far away from the source of the fire.

What is a Quick Response Fire Sprinkler Head?

A quick response fire sprinkler head cools the ceiling, preventing fire from rising high and spreading faster. This works because water from the sprinkler heads are discharged from higher up so that individuals stuck inside have an increased chance of survival with flashover fires being deterred.

Quick responsefire sprinkler heads are commonly found in buildings where there are lots of people at any given time, including large office buildings, schools, and health care facilities.

The Differences Between Sprinkler Heads and Why They’re Important

The most prevalent difference between standard response and quick response fire sprinkler heads is the temperature at which they’re activated. As they are more sensitive, quick response heads have a faster activation time than standard response fire sprinkler heads.

Physically, the two types of sprinkler heads look quite similar. However, quick response heads have a slightly smaller bulb than standard response sprinklers. The smaller bulb means that the quick response head is more responsive to temperature, providing it with it’s quick activation time.

Although faster response times may make more sense in certain environments (like high-density environments), they may not always be suited for a building. Factors like ceiling high, the size of the area, and ambient year-round temperature may make a building better suited for a standard response fire sprinkler head.

For all of your fire safety needs, the fire suppression professionals at Bison Fire Protection work hard to keep your commercial building safe. For more information on how we can help you protect your commercial or residential property in Winnipeg, Brandon, Kenora, Regina, Thompson, and Saskatoon,  contact us online or call 866-441-3473 today.

Posted by Rob Read at 1:24 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

How to Train Kitchen Staff to Be Fire Safe

Bison Fire's Guide to Training Kitchen Staff

When working in a commercial kitchen, it’s crucial that all staff who venture in and out of the kitchen regularly have a firm understanding of kitchen fire safety. With a variety of potential hazards like high-heat cooking practices, large pieces of machinery, and many other variables, over 50% of the 8,160 structure fires at drinking and eating establishments each year are caused by cooking equipment.

Fire-related emergencies cannot always be foreseen. However, the right fire safety practices within kitchens and restaurants can help reduce the risk of hazardous events. It’s up to kitchen management to train staff members on the importance of fire safety and the preventative measures that need to be taken daily to avoid potential disasters and safety hazards.

Take the time to implement the following tips into your kitchen training and practices to enjoy a safer workplace environment:

Perform Fire Drills On a Regular Basis

Fire drills are not practical just for educational facilities or young families, but for the restaurant industry, too. Staff members should be aware of what to do in cause of a fire-related emergency, including proper exit routes and routines.

Kitchen managers and supervisors should have evacuation routes posted around heavily-used areas of the kitchen and establishment. These maps may seem like a nuisance, but can be the difference between life and death in emergency situations.

Scheduling and performing regular fire drills with kitchen employees demonstrates the safest way out of the building for staff members, as well as how to evacuate customers from the establishment.

Remove Obstacles and Debris from Evacuation Routes

Key evacuation routes shouldn’t simply be cleared and maintained before a fire drill, but 24/7. This includes taking out trash as soon as a bag is full, putting boxes and equipment bound for storage away where they belong, and making sure that staff items are put in the appropriate storage areas. Not only are blocked evacuation routes dangerous during emergency situations, but they violate health and safety codes.

Clean Grease Build-Up Routinely

Grease is a part of kitchen life and can quickly accumulate in convection ovens, exhaust hoods, grills, air ducts, broilers, fryers, ranges, and filters. These kitchen fixtures should be cleaned of grease on a routine basis to increase air flow and decrease the risk of a grease fire.

If a grease fire does occur in kitchen, staff should be trained to keep water away from it.

Invest Time in Fire Extinguisher Checks and Training

All kitchen and front-end staff members at an establishment should be well-versed on the locations of fire extinguishers, how to use them, and the appropriate time to use them. Upon hiring and training new employees, ensure that a full fire extinguisher training is completed. This should be a requirement for all staff members, and can be repeated on a yearly basis.

The expiry dates of fire extinguishers are often not as long as people may assume, so designate a few staff members to regularly check the dates and conditions of fire extinguishers. If an extinguisher is damaged or expired, contact your local fire protection equipment services immediately for a replacement.

The most effective method of fire prevention is training individuals to practice fire safety daily. By integrating fire prevention skills in the kitchen with regular routines and practices, fire safety can be enhanced while the risk of a fire-related emergency decreases.

The fire safety experts at Bison Fire Protection have the expertise, equipment, and knowledge needed to help you and your kitchen staff be fire safe. For more information on our products and services in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, and Saskatoon, call 866-441-3473 or find us online to schedule an appointment today.

Posted by Rob Read at 10:42 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Fake Fire Inspections: What to Watch Out For

Bison Fires list of Fake Fire Inspections

In recent years, the number of fake fire inspections have been on the rise.  All over Canada and North America, police and law enforcement professionals have been warning both residents and commercial businesses of the dangers of door-to-door fire inspection scam artists.

What Is a Fire Inspection Scam?

Fire inspection scams have been widely reported throughout the continent, scamming business and homeowners out of money while falsely providing fire safety assistance. These scam artists have been reported to travel between cities to provide fake fire inspections to their victims.

Scam artists have been known to deliver letters and visit private residences offering fire safety services. With the frequent occurrence of fire inspection scams, a large number of individuals and business owners have had their money taken and provided with a false sense of security. In previous cases of fire inspection scams, some residents received letters which stated that there were new regulations surrounding smoke detectors and carbon monoxide inspections. According to the scam artists, if an individual did not schedule an inspection, they would be fined under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.

Sadly, fake fire inspections and scams continue to be prevalent, as they pray on business owners and homeowners who fear financial or criminal consequences and only want to keep themselves and their customers safe.

Often, these fake fire inspectors arrive with fake badges and uniforms, acting as a figure of authority. They have also found success in catching individuals off-guard, making easy targets out of employees and managers who may not know the proper fire safety inspection practices.

How Are Fake Fire Inspections Completed?

These scam artists complete fake fire inspections by prompting action over the phone, through a letter, or in person. Frequently, they will arrive in an unmarked vehicle, but have fake badges and uniforms, stating that they are from a local fire protection company or fire authority.

Upon arrival, the fake fire inspectors have been known to perform “inspections” which may include:

  • Placing stickers on fire safety equipment
  • Signing paperwork stating that fire safety equipment has been tested and approved
  • Evaluate the condition of sprinklers, fire exits, carbon monoxide alarms, and other fire safety necessities

Upon completing the “inspection,” scam artists usually present a handwritten receipt and ask for cash before they leave. In other cases, they may send an “invoice” which threatens collection agencies if the bill is not paid immediately. Sometimes, they may even try to sell, replace, and install fire safety equipment.

Signs of a Fake Fire Inspection to Watch Out For

To lower your risk of being a victim of a fake fire inspection, familiarize yourself with your local fire safety and inspection companies, and post the information of the fire service provider you work for near the fire safety equipment in your home or business.

If you have employees, state that drop-in fire inspections do not occur. To ensure safety, schedule your fire safety inspections in advance and communicate when it will occur to all team members. Any unannounced visit by a stranger or unfamiliar representative of a company should put employees on high-alert, especially if the individual is using intimidation or pressuring sales tactics.

Fire inspections are only legally carried out by your landlord (if leasing) or the local fire department. If a “private company” arrives to perform a fire inspection, do not let them into your place of business or home if you are not familiar with the company, or you are not expecting them. Professional fire safety companies do not show up unannounced, and are not ever sent by local fire departments to perform fire safety inspections.

If an individual shows up stating that they are from the local fire department for a fire safety inspection, always ask to see their photo ID and call your local fire or police department. These departments can confirm that they are authorized to carry out a fire safety inspection, and can alert the proper authorities and ensure your safety if they are not.

In both instances, an unmarked vehicle is a clear sign of a fire inspection scam artists, as both reputable private companies and local fire authorities will often have marked vehicles with the proper identification. If you suspect that you’ve been a victim of a fake fire inspection, immediately call your local law enforcement authorities

For professional, reputable fire safety equipment services, you can count on the experts at Bison Fire Protection. For service in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, and Saskatoon, call 866-441-3473 to schedule an appointment today or find us online.

Posted by Rob Read at 2:07 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

6 Resources for Fire Safety Pros in the Prairies

Bison Fire's 6 Resourses For Fire Safety

As a fire safety professional on the prairies, there are specific informational resources that can help you stay up to date with the latest fire safety protocols and updates. Whether you’re involved in the fire safety and protection of businesses, facility management providers, municipal buildings, or private homes, this content can assist you in amplifying your comprehensive fire safety knowledge for people across the prairies.

1.  Manitoba Office of the Fire Commissioner

The Manitoba Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC) has created a dedicated Codes and Standards Section, sharing the effective code and standards administration from the Manitoba Building, Plumbing, Energy, and Fire Codes to citizens around the province.

Working in collaboration with local Fire Service Officials and Municipal Government, the OFC shares an abundance of content for those interested in fire safety for Manitobans.

OFC Resources

S.A.F.E. Family Program Installation Program

The Fires Prevention and Emergency Response Act

Manitoba Fire Statistics

2. The National Fire Protection Association

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a nationwide provider of information and knowledge relating to fire, electrical, and other similar hazards.

NFPA Resources

List of NFPA Codes & Standards

Safety Tips Sheets

News and Research

Public Educational Content

            Includes information on:

  • Smoke alarms
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Fire and life safety equipment
  • Top causes of fire

3. The Electrical Safety Foundation International

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is a nonprofit dedicated towards promoting electrical safety in both the workplace and at home. Their website includes a comprehensive resource library which includes blog posts and articles related to fire safety.

ESFI Resources

Fire Prevention Strategies

Electrical Safety in the Workplace

4. The National Fire Sprinkler Association

The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) defines themselves as “The Voice of the Fire Sprinkler Industry”, and for good reason. They’ve been helping share industry information for 110 years, and are showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

NFSA Resources

Sprinkler Resource Toolbox

5. City of Winnipeg Fire Prevention - Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Services

The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Services (WFPS) has compiled a vast range of information pages accessible to all members of the public. Although this is a Winnipeg-based organization, their fire safety and prevention information applies to fire safety pros all across the prairies.

WFPS Resources

Fire Prevention Inspections

Smoke Alarm Information

Fire Safety Product Recalls

Permit Information

6. Bison Fire Protection

Last, but certainly not least, Bison Fire Protection has been leading the fire safety and fire prevention industry in Manitoba since 2001. As a full service company, we strive to address the fire safety needs of both commercial and residential buildings.

Bison Fire Protection Resources

Useful Links: Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), suppliers, and affiliations

Latest News from Bison Fire Protection: We share information-packed blogs often, ensuring that both fire safety professionals and the public have access to up-to-date fire safety news and tips.

For more information on fire safety, prevention, and equipment across the prairies, contact your local experts at Bison Fire Protection. With services available in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Saskatoon, and Regina, you can find us online or contact us by calling 866-441-3473.

Posted by Rob Read at 9:13 AM 0 Comments