Wednesday, August 31, 2016

How To Keep Your Pet From Starting A Fire

Pets and Fire

When we think about keeping our homes or cabins “fire safe” we often think to do the obvious things, like make sure that the smoke alarms have fully charged batteries, that candles aren’t left burning unattended, and that we keep the temperature low when cooking with grease and oil.

However, counter-surfing cats and overly-curious dogs can also cause their fair share of issues, as well. A cat may knock over even the most stable candle holders, an excited puppy may run into a lamp and knock it over, or spread hot ashes and embers from ashtrays and fireplaces.

In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association approximately 500 house fires recorded between 2006 and 2010 were attributed to animal and pet-related causes. While we can’t control what rats or mice which may live in our walls may get up to (fires can start from chewed, frayed wires) but by being mindful of our pet’s behavior we can ensure that our homes are as fire-safe as possible.

Below are a few easy ways you can keep Fluffy from starting a fire:

Be Careful with Candles

If you’re planning to have a romantic evening with candles strewn around (or even want a few on your desk or windowsill) then consider using electronic, flameless candles instead of a wick. Not only are these electronic candles less messy, but they also ensure that if your pet knocks them or the table they’re sitting on over, that there won’t be a fire.

If you prefer real candles then be vigilant about not leaving your pet alone with the lit candles.

Remove Stove Knobs

If you have a large dog who loves to “counter surf” by standing on his or her hind legs at the counter, then remove the stove knobs when you leave the house. According to the National Fire Protection Agency stove and cooktop fires are the kinds of fires most commonly started by pets.

Use the Right Dishes Outdoors

Do you leave out bowls for food and water on your wooden deck? If so, then make sure to use ceramic or stainless steel dishes instead of glass ones to lower your risk of a fire. Wooden deck fires can happen because as the light from the sun is filtered through the glass and water it begins to heat up, and can ignite the deck.

Keep an Eye Out

The easiest and most effective way to keep your home safe from fires is to be mindful of potential hazards which may exist, and to take care of them as soon as possible. For example, make sure to have an electrician in to fix any frayed wires (which are perfect playthings for cats), remove stove knobs if your pets love to explore your countertops, and make sure that problem areas like piles of paper, recycling, or garbage are removed from the home.

The fire safety experts at Bison Fire Protection are happy to help you prevent fires in your home or business. Give us a call at 204-237-3473 and find out more.

Posted by Rob Read at 9:16 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Conducting Fire Drills At Work

Conducting Fire Drills

Fire drills are a crucial element to keeping your employees and coworkers safe in the event of a fire, but fire drills are about more than just being prepared in the event of a fire. 

Ensuring that the people who work in your building know the appropriate evacuation routes can also help them leave safely in the event of a gas or chemical leak, a power outage, or any other kind of emergency situation which may happen at work.

With this in mind, it’s easy to see why practicing fire drills is important: it ensures that your employees know how and where to leave the building, and can do so in a calm and organized fashion. Practiced evacuation procedures also mean that they know the designated meeting areas a safe distance from the building, which can be instrumental in helping first responders rescue anyone who may be unaccounted for in the event of an emergency.

Keep reading to learn how you can conduct a fire drill at work:

Create a Safety Committee

Safety committees play important roles in keeping their coworkers safe, and ideally should include at least one member from each department. Having one committee member per department ensures that there is a knowledgeable team member in charge of safely evacuating their team to the designated meeting area outside the building.

Provide Employees with Evacuation Information

Stress that employees need to know the appropriate evacuation path from their desk or work area, as well as alternative routes in the event that the path is blocked or unsafe. Post evacuation routes in public spaces, such as lunch rooms, board rooms, and bathrooms, and post evacuation signs throughout the building in hallways as reminders.

Employees should also know how to report a fire if they spot one, who to contact in the event of an emergency, and how to use a fire extinguisher.

Use Varied Scenarios

Practicing your evacuation procedures is critical to success, but emergencies come in all shapes and sizes, which means you need to be prepared by providing varied emergency scenarios to your employees.  Create signs like “Exit blocked - use the alternate route” and post them on doors and stairwells to test your employees and make sure that they know the best alternate path to take.

Practice Often 

It’s important to conduct regular fire drills, but not to test too often because your employees may become complacent and not react quickly in the event of a real emergency. We suggest conducting training every two weeks initially, and then tapering off to conducting them every 2 - 3 months or so.

For more information about fire safety preparedness and the tools to keep your business safe during an emergency, contact Bison Fire Protection at 204-237-3473.

Posted by Rob Read at 9:48 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What Can Set Off Your Fire Sprinkler System?

Thanks to scenes in TV shows and movies where sprinkler systems are set off by very little smoke at all and completely drench the surrounding area, it’s not uncommon for our customers to tell us that they’re worried about their fire suppression sprinkler system going off unexpectedly.

When they talk to us they say that they feel like they’re choosing “one kind of damage over another” because they worry that their appliances, electronics, and all the paperwork which is important to their business will become drenched and be rendered unusable.

In fact, unlike in the movies fire suppression sprinklers don’t get triggered by the slightest bit of smoke, and they don’t all go off at once. If this were true you would be risking all of your businesses’ investments every time you used the oven in the company kitchen, or put a bagel in the toaster.

How Do Fire Sprinkler Systems Work?

Modern systems are set up so that each individual sprinkler head is triggered separately, and is only activated once the temperature reaches between 68.3 degrees C and 73.8 degrees C.

Once upon a time sprinkler systems worked similarly to how we just described: they went off on a hair trigger and would immediately soak the surrounding areas, but modern fire systems are much less sensitive. However, it’s important to remember that there are certain things which can “set off” your fire suppression sprinkler system, which can include:

Overheating by accident

Sprinklers where are installed near skylights, heaters, and other areas prone to high heat can cause the fire sprinklers to discharge accidentally. If you need to have sprinklers installed in these areas then we recommend using high temperature rated sprinklers to avoid this potential issue.

Corroded pipes or fixtures

Older sprinkler systems, or ones which have been installed in harsh environments, can become prone to corrosion which can wear away the varions parts and valves that keep the water contained within your suppression system. Luckily, this issue can be avoided by scheduling regular testing and inspections.

Frozen pipes

This can be an issue in the prairies during our cold winters. Since most sprinkler systems are wet pipe systems the pipes connected to the sprinklers are full of water, and if the water inside the pipes freezes and then thaws, the pressure it produces can break the fittings and burst through the valve caps.

Mechanical issues and damage

Poor installation can cause a sprinkler system to malfunction, or for parts to begin weakening or loosening months or even weeks later. To prevent this, it’s important to work with qualified professionals to ensure that your system is installed properly and to have your fire suppression sprinkler system regularly inspected for issues.

To learn more about fire suppression sprinkler systems and how our qualified technicians can help keep yours running error-free for years to come, contact Bison Fire Protection at 204-237-3473.

Posted by Rob Read at 9:35 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

The Benefits of Wet VS Dry Chemical Systems

Two of the most common types of fire suppression systems available for commercial use are wet chemical suppression systems, and dry chemical suppression systems.

Both of these types of systems have specific advantages and situations where they are the most effective choice for your fire protection needs. If you’re not sure which of these two options is the right choice for you and your business, keep reading to better understand the differences between these two systems, and how to use them to keep yourself, your property, and your employees safe:

Dry Chemical Fire Suppression Systems

Fire suppression systems which use dry chemicals compounds in order to effectively suppress fires, and are a great way to protect your property and investments if a water source isn’t available to help extinguish fires.

Some of the benefits of dry chemical fire suppression systems are:

  •  Easy to install
  • Perfect for industrial settings
  • Available in ABC or BC
  • Must be recharged after each use
  • Many affordable options

Wet Chemical Fire Suppression Systems

Instead of using dry chemicals to suppress fires, wet chemical fire suppression systems, as the name implies, use wet chemicals to suppress fires.

This type of fire suppression system is used primarily in commercial kitchens because as the liquid hits a burning surface it reacts with the fats and oils on the surface it creates a thick foam which instantly cools the surface and prevents the fire from reigniting.

Some benefits of wet chemical fire suppression systems are:

  • Systems are designed specifically for commercial kitchen hoods, ducts and appliances
  • These systems never cause discharge overflow
  • Don’t take long to recharge
  • Dry pipe systems mean you don’t have to worry about freezing
  • Provides complete protection to all fire hazards simultaneously

However, even though it’s important to install wet chemical suppression systems in your commercial kitchen, we recommend “doubling up” your fire protection by installing fire sprinklers, as well. This added layer of protection will ensure that your kitchen, employees, and investments are as protected as possible in the event of a fire.

Why Install a Fire Suppression System?

Fire suppression systems provide early detection to help you quickly become aware of a fire and provide an added layer of protection when they start by suppressing as much of the fire as possible. This is why it’s critical to have systems which launch into action immediately and self-activate rather than being time delayed.

Questions About Fire suppression?

If you’d like to learn more about the differences between these two popular types of fire suppression systems, or to learn more about fire equipment and how our professional services can help keep you safe, contact a technician from Bison Fire Protection by filling out our contact form or giving us a call (204) 237-3473.

Posted by Rob Read at 12:46 PM 0 Comments