Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It Pays To Pay For Service

Last June we lost a customer based upon a quote that showed pricing that appeared lower than ours. When talking with new customers I always try to emphasize the importance of doing some research to ensure you are getting what you pay for, as I truly believe there is a lot more to the job than just a cheap number on a quote. The customer at the time disagreed with me and went with the lower price.

Seven short months later the same customer called us back very disappointed with the service that they were receiving, and was hoping we would consider renewing our relationship. I didn’t have it in my heart to say no, as they truly needed us. They have fire extinguishers in areas, and situations that are truly punishing. These extinguishers need to be inspected thoroughly every month if not they will fail to perform when needed.

After only seven months of poor service it took us three days to get the extinguishers back into serviceable shape, with several being condemned, a couple missing, some with damaged mounting brackets, and a few that would have been impossible to remove and use in the event of a fire. This to us is unacceptable, the customer agreed. He also agreed that price affects the quality of service you will receive.

I’m very happy to have helped out in this situation because they truly needed their fire equipment to work. Fire extinguishers are more than a nice wall dressing. They can and will save your business, or your life when called upon, and remember if you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys.

There is protection within the herd!

Posted by Rob Read at 3:47 PM 1 Comments

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Training Training And More Training

My regular followers will know that we have made a commitment to providing the best trained technicians available to our customers. This isn’t new for us we have always operated this way knowing that investing in our staff not only gives them the education needed to perform their jobs well, but also gives them a source of pride in their accomplishments, as well as the security of knowing that we have the faith in them to invest in their futures.

This has been a busy month for training. We sent 7 people to the Ansul A-101, and LVS training school held in Saskatoon last week. We had the highest number of attendee’s for any company at the school with two people getting the highest scores on their tests. This school was held to support the launch of the Ansul LVS Power of One systems that were introduced in December 2011. This brings the total number of technicians we have trained for the Ansul A-101 mining systems to 13 since August of 2011.

We also had Ron Beshk spend two weeks at the Siemens XLS Fire Alarms Education Centre in Chicago. This is another opportunity to round out the service that our fire alarm division offers. Siemens will be offering a couple more schools in the upcoming months, and I will be sending at least two more alarm technicians to those schools.

Finally we sent two people for continued health & safety training at 1 Life Workplace Safety & Health as this is an area that is always a concern. I want the entire herd going home safely to their families each night.

As I said earlier these investments in our people pay us back through improved knowledge, experience, attitudes, and safety. This translates into a group of technicians that are second to none in our industry offering you the best service available.

There is protection within the herd!

Posted by Rob Read at 3:47 PM 0 Comments

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day for many is a day of romance, and a chance to show that someone special how much they mean to you. For others it’s just another hallmark holiday. This post is for the romantics.

Many people go a little further than just a card(s) (like my kids sending a valentine to each class member at school.) They send the flowers, maybe a nice dinner out, or a romantic home cooked meal with candles, rose pedals, and wine. These home made very intimate evenings are the concern. I have provided a list of things to think of, and follow to ensure that after the meal is enjoyed, the wine consumed, and passion takes over, the heat in the house isn’t from a fire.


• Don’t leave children or pets alone in the kitchen when cooking

• Never leave cooking unattended. If you have to leave the kitchen, take the pans off the heat and switch off the appliance

• Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker

• Take extra care when cooking with hot oil

• Double check the cooker is off when you’ve finished cooking

• Alcohol and cooking don’t mix.


• Use proper candle holders and keep them away from materials which may catch fire

• Always put candles on a heat-resistant surface and never place them on a plastic surface, i.e. on a bath or on top of the TV

• Fully extinguish candles before moving them or leaving the room and don’t let anything fall into the hot wax, such as matchsticks

• Keep candles out of reach of children and pets

• Don’t place candles under shelves. Make sure they are at least three feet (one metre) between a candle and any surface above itBe ready to put this out.

There is protection within the herd!

Posted by Rob Read at 9:30 AM 0 Comments

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cappuccino Is Clean

On my last trip to Regina I had the privilege of meeting with Richard Swallow of Cappuccino Auto Spa & Mobile Wash. Richard is an industry professional that specializes in commercial cleaning, and his dedication to his job makes him Saskatchewan’s  best hood, duct, and exhaust fan cleaner.

It didn’t take long to realize the Richard shares the same business philosophy that I do. Service is number one. The work that he has done with Blaine Deeks one of our service technicians also spoke to the quality of his cleaning. There truly is nothing worse than walking into a restaurant that has yellowed from kitchen grease, or has a lingering odour from burnt grease that should have been removed through the exhaust system. When a truly professional cleaning company has been through the workplace is not only cleaner it is also safer for the staff from a slip and fall prospective. It is also much safer from a fire prospective as they have removed unneeded fuel sources. A Clean exhaust system will also lower the chances of an accident fire system discharge. It does this by allowing the exhaust system to work as designed by preventing the buildup of hot air in the hood that could trigger a heat detector, then a system discharge, and we all know they never come at a good time.

Having a clean kitchen is one of those intangible services similar to fire protection. A clean workplace makes employees happier, and customers do notice cleaner air, walls and ceilings. Professionally serviced fire protection equipment ensures there’s a business for staff and customers to return to.

There is protection within the herd!

Posted by Rob Read at 9:20 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, February 09, 2012

New Design Concentrations For Clean Agent Fire Suppression Systems

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Fire code is ever changing due in many cases to new products being developed and used in the market place. Because of this fires become more difficult to extinguish. Increases in technology, and changes in testing parameters, and standards also have a bearing on fire code changes.

Since the introduction of the 2012 edition of NFPA 2001, (The Standard for Clean Agent Extinguishing Systems) higher concentrations are called for in computer rooms etc. The cost difference is not significant on smaller systems but would obviously escalate for larger rooms. These agents would include Novec 1230, FM200, and Argonite. We have used clean gas in a variety of different applications beyond computer rooms such as gensets and these changes would apply to them as well.

The AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) should be consulted regarding which edition of this standard must be employed for a particular installation. Anyone wanting to learn a little more about clean gas systems can view a video entitled Are You Protected on my web site.

There is protection within the herd!

Posted by Rob Read at 10:45 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Bison Regina Is Growing

I’m back in Regina to help Landon Johnson, my Regina branch manager open our new office! Our new location at 1771 McAra St. is very central in Regina and will allow our technicians the opportunity to quickly respond to our customer’s needs. I have posted in the past about the growth and excitement in Regina, this city and province are truly enjoying very prosperous times.

The hard work that Landon and his staff have been doing is now paying off, allowing them to grow into a larger property, and increase stock levels to ensure the products you need are available right here in Saskatchewan. The larger property will also allow us to increase the number of services we offer.

I would also like to welcome Adam McLeod to the Regina herd! Adam’s extensive background in fire protection, and especially in Ansul A-101 mining equipment will really round out the service we provide our customers.

There is protection within the herd!

Posted by Rob Read at 7:40 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Ansul Presents Bison With Two Awards

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Anyone who has been following my blog over the last year has seen really good growth in our company from many different areas. A large part of our ability to grow and continue to offer industry leading products and services is because of the support we get from our suppliers.

Ansul is one of our best lines of distribution, based not only on their ongoing efforts to bring new products to market such as the LVS vehicle suppression systems they announced in January of this year, but also in their support and ongoing commitment to training. We will have 6 technicians attending their vehicle school being held in Saskatoon next week.

All that being said I was surprised when a package arrived from Ansul. It contained a letter informing us that we had now reached Diamond Distributor status. This is an accomplishment that less than 20% of Ansul distributors ever reach. The package also included the Pacesetter award our 3rd in the last 5 years. Only a handful of Canadian companies received this award this year so we are in a very prestigious group of distributors.

I truly appreciate the support we have received from Ansul, our customers, and our staff. Without any one of these groups we wouldn’t be the industry leader that we are today.

There is protection within the herd!

Posted by Rob Read at 2:09 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Fire Extinguishers In Rickshaws

I have to say it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when I hear about people using fire extinguishers in situations that aren’t fire code required, but that it still makes sense to have them. I read the Rickshaw Owners Keep Fire Extinguishers for Safety article with interest especially since we have very few Rickshaws in Winnipeg. It must be tough to run along pulling those things in snow boots. I do however applaud anyone who recognizes a hazard and takes the time to protect themselves, and their passengers.

As I read through the article it became obvious that a Rickshaw in India is a taxi. And nothing burns like a vehicle, it’s very seldom you see one that’s only half burnt. Vehicles usually burn right to the ground. They have class A, B, and C combustibles from one end to the other, without even considering the gas tank, and because of this once they start they usually keep burning.

I’ve often asked jokingly what do most people do when they notice their vehicle is burning. The answer is they pull into a gas station for help. Not the wisest decision to make. If your vehicle is burning pull over, get away from the vehicle, and call 911 immediately. If you have a fire extinguisher try to put the fire out, the longer it burns the more difficult it will be to extinguish. If you’re not comfortable with that stay away from the vehicle, and let the fire fighters do their job.

There is protection within the herd!

Posted by Rob Read at 10:25 AM 0 Comments