Monday, April 30, 2012

The Sprinklers Are Flowing

Last fall we took advantage of an opportunity to expand the herd by purchasing Protec Sprinklers. Bill Heinz and his wife Sharon had decided to look at retirement. Sharon looked closer than Bill retiring right away while Bill chose to stay on with us for 3 more years to estimate projects & consult as they move along.

The move into contract fire sprinklers has proven to be a success for us. Bill’s past contacts, his knowledge, and expertise has given us the boost we needed to really get involved in this industry, and to learn from him. Over the last few months we have been fortunate enough to have picked up many good projects that include a major renovation at the University College of the North in The Pas, the sprinkler installations at the new Walmart Superstore on Regent Ave in Winnipeg, and the complete fire sprinkler installations for the new Walmart being built in Steinbach to name a few of the larger projects.

To say the Sprinklers are flowing at Bison is an understatement. This growth in business has also allowed us to add new staff members to support these new projects. It always feels good to be able to increase our staff, and know that we are providing good solid employment for Manitoban’s and their families. As always I appreciate the hard work our people do, and the support our customers give us.

There is protection within the herd!

Posted by Rob Read at 3:16 PM 0 Comments

Thursday, April 26, 2012

We Enjoyed The SHHA Conference

I just got home from another enjoyable trip to Saskatchewan.  There is so much happening in that province that you can’t help getting caught up in the excitement that every person in that province seems to be gushing with.

The first part of my trip was to attend the SHHA (Saskatchewan Hotel & Hospitality Assn.) conference. It was held in Saskatoon this year and rotates between that charming city and Regina. Both cities are enjoying incredible growth in business, and population, and as I said earlier the attitude is infectious. Meeting so many business owners and taking the time to discuss their fire protection needs, while listening to them describe the business opportunities they see coming was fantastic. As a business owner I always love to hear success stories and see positive growth in any industry. The show was well attended, and I look forward to next year’s already.

The second part of my trip was spent in Regina working with the staff at our new location at 1771 McAra St. Landon Johnson my branch manager has done a great job getting the new office organised so that he can continue to build on the success he has had over the last couple of years in Saskatchewan. Both Blaine Deeks, and Adam McLeod his suppression technicians were on hand for some in house training that included a virtual drop in from Ansul Canada to talk about using original manufacturers equipment on suppression systems and the perils of cutting costs by using aftermarket equipment.

Saskatchewan is a great place to be doing business, and I’m looking forward to my next trip out that way. With some luck fishing season will be open, and I’ll get a chance to fish some of the lakes my Dad enjoyed as he grew up there.

There is protection within the herd!

Landon Johnson Ready For Action!The SHHA Conference is a lot of fun!

Posted by Rob Read at 8:59 AM 0 Comments

Friday, April 20, 2012

They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To

This applies to so many things that it seems this is a statement most people make daily. While in most cases it’s referring to the new piece of equipment you bought last year to replace the 20 year old one, and the new replacement has already died. 

With fire equipment that usually isn’t the case. One of my technicians was doing the annual inspection of the fire extinguishers at a new customer of ours. He came across an older extinguisher (Pictured below) that had been made in 1973. This extinguisher should have been replaced by the previous servicing company years ago, but for various reasons they hadn’t. When the customer was asked about it they indicated it had never been brought to their attention, and immediately approved its replacement.

Older extinguishers are not better than their newer replacements for a variety of reasons.

  • The ratings do not meet current occupancy standards.
  • They may not have the capability to extinguish a fire due to changes in the workplace.
  • They may not have a discharge hose.
  • The cost of repeated service has exceeded the cost of replacement.
  • Does the extinguisher manufacturer still exist?
  • Was the extinguisher made before 1984?
  • Does the extinguisher have dents, gouges, or excessive rust?

NFPA-10 2007 edition the standard for portable fire extinguishers tells us that extinguishers manufactured prior to 1984 shall be removed from service at the next 6 year maintenance, or hydrostatic test interval. The fire rating on the extinguisher pictured doesn’t even meet current minimum occupancy ratings. It doesn’t have a discharge hose, so if you were to invert the extinguisher to fight a fire under an object the powder falls to the top exposing the syphon tube, and all you get is nitrogen, all the powder stays inside. If the manufacturer has gone out of business parts may not be available, and you don’t want to risk using parts that won’t work when needed. If the cylinder is dented, gouged, or excessively rusted the extinguisher should be condemned as it is a pressurized vessel, and there is the possibility that it could rupture. Extinguishers have a stored pressure of about 200 PSI.

This extinguisher had been serviced in 2010 by another company, and truly should have been replaced at that time instead of increasing the expense of that unit over its life time. This was just one of several indications why the customer was seeking a new service provider. Extinguishers should be replaced before their second hydrostatic test cycle (24 years) by that time the cost of parts and recharge service have exceeded the cost of a new unit with better ratings and firefighting capabilities.

In many cases “they don’t make them like they used to” refers to quality and craftsmanship from days gone by. Yet when you stop to think about it how many people drive vehicles over 24 years old, or have stereos and TV’s past that age? You certainly don’t have a PC made in 1988 so why trust your life, the life of your family, or the security of your business to something that is well past its prime?

There is protection within the herd!

 Obsolete ExtinguisherPoor Extinguisher Fire Fighting RatingExtinguisher Should have been replaced instead of tested


Posted by Rob Read at 10:00 AM 1 Comments

Friday, April 13, 2012

It’s Chip Truck Season

Chip trucks are one summer treats that everyone enjoys. There’s nothing like being able to grab a nice fresh hotdog, hamburger, or ice cream, and continuing on with your day. Judging by the lines at most I know I’m not alone.

Every year we do a number of installations on chip trucks that end up all over Manitoba, and even across Canada. These trucks are built specifically for the customers, and meet all health & safety mechanical, and fire codes. Steve Moynes and his crew at Pizza Trucks of Canada build some of the nicest trucks you will ever see. We use Ansul suppression systems on these high quality trucks and trailers because Ansul gives us the look and flexibility that these trucks need.

From the clean stainless steel covers to the flexible cable lines (You can see the red line coming out of the bottom right.) This compact easy to clean system is exactly what is needed in close working conditions.

Steve’s trucks are the best because he uses the best equipment, installers, and fire protection providers. If you see one of his chip trucks this summer stop by and get yourself a treat.

There is protection within the herd!

A Professionally Built Chip TruckIan Northwood Senior Technician Installing an Ansul R-102

Ansul R-102 Suppression System with Flexible Cable

Posted by Rob Read at 12:22 PM 0 Comments

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Brush And Grass Fires

Spring has come early this year and with that we get a little jump on the yard work. I know I have gotten a jump on my grass raking and trimming. With the mild low snow winter we just endured (Horrible winter for us snowmobilers.) the ground is very dry, especially when you remember how dry the past summer was in the Eastern part of Manitoba. The Western side flooded due tears flowing into Manitoba from distraught fans enduring a poor Saskatchewan Roughriders season.

Brush and grass fires can be deadly, they cost the taxpayers a lot of money, and they can put businesses at risk. What all this means is that if you are burning last year’s grass, leaves, and junk to take steps to make sure you don’t start a Brush, or grass fire in your area. Some of these steps can be the following;

  • Check with your local fire department, or council office to ensure there are no burns bans currently in place.
  • Check your weather stations for current, and forecast conditions to ensure strong winds aren’t forecast for the time you’re burning.
  • Have a garden hose and fire extinguishers nearby to control the fire should it start to grow beyond a safe size.
  • Have tools such, as rakes, brooms, or shovels nearby.
  • Don’t leave the fire unattended.
  • Keep children away from the burn area.
  • Make sure you have completely extinguished the fire before leaving it.

If you aren’t comfortable with having a burn you can always dedicate an area in your yard for composting the old grass and leaves, but that’s a whole different conversation.

There is protection within the herd!

Posted by Rob Read at 10:38 AM 0 Comments

Monday, April 09, 2012

The Herd Gets Larger

I am very pleased to announce the promotion of Pat Chute to the position of Accounts Payable Coordinator with Bison Fire Protection Inc. Pat comes to Bison Fire with over 20 years experience in the accounting/finance area and will be a contributing factor in our growth.  Along with her greatly significant skills, knowledge, tireless effort, she brings a tremendously positive attitude.

Please join me in congratulating Pat as she takes on this very significant and challenging role within our Company.

Charlene Enns

Controller CMA

Posted by Rob Read at 3:13 PM 0 Comments

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

1 Life Issues An Information Blast

1 Life Workplace Safety and Health has been one of our preferred partners for the last number of years. Theo Kowalchuk and her staff constantly work to improve their business, and the quality of life of their clients.

They have issued their latest workplace safety information blast that includes a number of issues that every person working in Manitoba should be aware of. It also has their spring newsletter attached along with a list of upcoming webinars.

Take the time to look it over it could be a lifesaving choice.

There is protection within the herd!

Posted by Rob Read at 3:06 PM 0 Comments

Monday, April 02, 2012

Ansul Introduces New Fusible Links

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Ansul has introduced a new series of fusible links. These new color coded links allow for correct installation by technicians, and for easier identification by Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ’s).

Fusible links are the primary heat detector used in both kitchen, and industrial suppression systems. They have a set actuation temperature that is normally stamped into the link when it is manufactured. As you can imagine different appliances operate at different temperatures so a variety of links is needed to ensure the fire isn’t too hot before the suppression system discharges. As an example most Char Broilers require 450 degree links while a vehicle paint spray booth would have 212 degree links. I have seen the results of them being incorrectly installed, and it usually isn’t pretty, and ends unhappily.

While this is a small product change in our industry the benefits can be huge if you consider the time spent cleaning, lost sales revenues, or insurance claims.

There is protection within the herd!

Posted by Rob Read at 2:00 PM 0 Comments