Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Back-to-School Fire Safety Tips

With the summer season winding down, parents, children, and teachers alike must start thinking about the getting back into the classroom and the familiar routines that the school year holds.

Although schools are an extremely safe environment for students and teachers, fire safety within the premises should be taken seriously, as everyone should be prepared in the case that a real fire-related emergency should occur. Read on for a refresher on fire safety within the classroom setting.

Fire Safety for Parents and Students

Whether your child is heading to their first day of kindergarten or the first day of college, fire safety is an important conversation. Before the school year begins, take the opportunity to sit down with your child and discuss fire safety with your child or children. For young children, this is especially important, as the thought of a fire drill and actual emergency might be confusing for them. Be sure to explain exactly what a fire drill is, why they are important, and how your child should react.

First and foremost, educate and prepare your child for fire safety at home. Your child should know what to do in case of a fire, and have a general knowledge of exactly where fire safety equipment is within the home. Have monthly fire drills, and ensure that your child knows at least 2 safe ways to exit the home in case of a fire. By normalizing these fire drills within your home, your child will be better prepared for the real-world fire safety experiences that their school will regularly practice.

For college students packing up for dorms or new apartments nearby their school of choice, make sure that you and your family sit down to create a fire safety plan for your new residence, and make sure that the fire safety equipment is up to date and ready in case of an emergency.

Fire Safety for Educational Facilities

If you’re a teaching professional or staff member within a school, it is imperative that you are up-to-date with your school’s fire safety practices. By knowing exactly how to act in case of a fire-related emergency, you can educate parents and children on fire safety within your school, and be confident in your ability to help during fire drills and evacuations.

Some helpful tips for practicing fire safety within your school are:

  • Hold a fire drill at least once per month. Assess your school division's’ guidelines for how often your school should be practicing these drills.
  • Ensure that all staff members know the location of fire safety equipment such as extinguishers, alarms, and emergency exits. They should also know how to use these devices in case of an emergency.
  • Always have a roster of students handy in case of an emergency evacuation.
  • Discuss fire safety and fire drills regularly with students in the classroom, during assemblies, and after fire drills.

At Bison Fire Protection, we strive to create safe environments for schools and homes alike. With our superior fire safety equipment and knowledge, let us help you get ready for the back-to-school season by discussing your fire safety needs with us.

For more information or to schedule an appointment in Winnipeg, Kenora, Thompson, Regina, Saskatoon, or Brandon, contact us online or by calling 866-441-3473 today!

Posted by Rob Read at 3:38 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Summer Fire Safety Steps You Can Take Today

Bison's Summer Fire Safety Tips

Ah, the joys of summer. With endless days of sunshine, long bike rides on the weekend, and tonnes of outdoor cooking, us prairie people know how to make the most of the season that we wait for all year. But with the summer heat and busy days, many people forget the importance of practicing fire-safe habits in their everyday lives. Between 2010 and 2014 in the province of Manitoba, the yearly average of fires was 4,613.

Fire safety should be a year-round priority within the home and workplace, but during the summer, there are special precautions and tips that people can follow for a summer that is both fun and safe. Use the following fire-safety tips to enjoy your summer and lower your chance of encountering any fire-related emergencies.

Be Responsible With Campfires

No summer in Manitoba or Saskatchewan is complete without a long evening sitting around a campfire, toasting marshmallows, roasting hot dogs, or simply singing a couple of tunes with your loved ones. But with these fun activities comes a responsibility to maintain a safe fire that can be easily controlled. To have a safe campfire, put the following tips into practice: 

  • Only use firepits that are enclosed and that can be covered with a metal grate.
  • When camping, check with the Parks office to make sure that the weather is appropriate for campfires. If conditions are extremely dry, hot, or windy, avoid having a fire.
  • Never leave your campsite or backyard with a fire still burning. To make sure that the fire is out, use plenty of water, or smother the fire completely.
  • Watch out that small children or pets don’t get to close to a fire. Be sure to talk about fire safety with young children before they are around a fire.

Grill Safely

Whether you’re planning to grill for a family BBQ or just a nice evening at the lake, make sure that you are practicing grilling safely. This includes charcoal, propane, and electric grills. Your barbecue should be kept as far away as possible from your home and any overhanging plants or branches.

Check your barbecue on a regular basis to make sure it’s cleaned of excess grease or fat buildup. This means checking the grills and underlying trays. Just like a campfire, your grill should never be left unattended while on.

Practice Proper Equipment Maintenance

In the summer on the prairies, many homeowners are sure to have the air conditioning on full-blast and the lawn mower running regularly. However, heavy equipment such as these can be fire hazards if not properly taken care of. On HVAC equipment, dust can settle on parts of the electrical components, causing malfunctions that can start fires. Running these units regularly or for a long period can cause the machinery to overheat, which is another fire hazard.

On lawn mowers, you should be regularly removing debris such as dirt and grass clippings from the inside of your mower, it’s cutting units, and the engine. When you’re performing these duties, consult the user guide to do so safely.

Ensuring that you’re maintaining these pieces of equipment regularly will help you avoid fire-related emergencies. Store any gas you keep at home safety in an upright position, and never inside your home.

For more summer fire safety tips, or for information on what sort of fire safety equipment you’ll need to stay safe all summer long, contact the experts at Bison Fire Protection in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, and Saskatoon. Find us online, or by calling 866-441-3473 to schedule an appointment today.

Posted by Rob Read at 8:41 AM 0 Comments

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

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