Wednesday, March 28, 2018

How Often Should Your Fire Sprinkler System be Inspected?

Bison Fire's Guide to How often your sprinkler system should be inspected

The fire sprinkler system in your home or place of business is an important part of a thorough fire safety system. These types of fire protection devices are made up of a variety of components, including fire sprinkler heads, a main water supply, and pipes that work to distribute the water to the sprinkler heads in the case of a fire-related emergency.

To ensure that your fire sprinkler system is able to keep your property protected when you need it most, regularly occurring inspections are necessary. Without this regular maintenance and repairs, there is a chance that the system could fail during an emergency situation.

However, there is an optimal schedule in which specific components of your fire sprinkler system should be inspected:

Thoroughly Inspect Your Fire Sprinkler System 4 Times a Year

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the fire sprinkler system in your home or business should be comprehensively inspected four times each year to avoid malfunctions and identify areas of the system that require repair. Because these inspections are completed to make sure that the sprinkler system operates correctly, a professional fire safety service should be involved in the inspection process at least once per year.

Perform Once-Over Inspections Regularly

In addition to performing a thorough inspection of your fire sprinkler system at least four times each year, regularly occurring “mini” inspections are invaluable in helping to identify problematic areas before they require extensive or costly repairs. The NFPA recommends the following schedule for fire sprinkler system inspections:

On a weekly or monthly basis: Take time to inspect the gauges weekly or monthly, depending on the type of fire sprinkler system you have. It’s recommended that dry gauges be checked about once each week, while wet systems can be checked once per month.

On a quarterly basis: Around four times each year, make sure that all major components of your fire sprinkler system are checked thoroughly. These comprehensive inspections allow you to make sure that your sprinkler system will be ready to work if needed.

Once a year, and once every five years, schedule a fire sprinkler system inspection appointment with your local fire protection service provider. They will be able to perform interior and exterior inspections of your system and recommend any upgrades that may be necessary. 

Additionally, inspecting your fire sprinkler system after any construction, renovation, or remodeling process will help you make sure that you meet local fire safety regulations and codes while ensuring that the sprinkler system wasn’t damaged during the process. Because a fire protection service professional will be well-versed on the fire codes that your residential or commercial space must meet, they can help provide top-notch fire sprinkler system inspections and repairs.

To keep your home or business safe in the case of a fire-related emergency, it’s vital that your fire sprinkler system be inspected on a regular basis. Scheduling your fire safety inspections ahead of time will help you stay on top of your fire safety and keep you prepared for an emergency situation.

At Bison Fire Protection, we’re proud to provide intensive fire safety inspections and equipment services in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, and Saskatoon. Call 866-411-3473 to schedule your next appointment, or contact us online today.

Posted by Rob Read at 9:56 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Bison Fire's How to Clean Fire Extinguisher Residue

Bison Fire's How to Clean Fire Extinguisher Residue

Although it’s not ideal, there are times that a fire-related emergency occurs. When this happens on a small scale, a small portable fire extinguisher is probably the only type of fire safety equipment needed to extinguish the fire fully.

However, after an extinguisher has been used to quench a fire, it’s time to deal with the clean up. Because different types of portable fire extinguishers are meant for varying types of fires, the materials contained require specific clean-up methods. Use the following tips and tricks to completely clean various types of fire extinguisher residue effectively:

Types of Fire Extinguishers

As mentioned above, there are various types of fire extinguishers that are each designed to quench different types of fires. The type of extinguisher needed for environments vary, as a grease fire in the kitchen will act differently than an electrical fire in your home. Some types of portable fire extinguishers commonly found in homes and businesses include:

  • Clean agent fire extinguishers: Clean agent fire extinguishers are meant to put out fires around sensitive electronic equipment like computers, as the material dissipates into the environment in a “clean” fashion, not leaving damaging residue behind.
  • Dry chemical fire extinguishers: These small, portable extinguishers are ideal for minor emergencies in commercial environments.
  • Class K fire extinguishers: Class K fire extinguishers are designed to be used on grease fires in commercial kitchens.
  • Wet chemical fire extinguishers: Wet chemical fire extinguishers contain a liquid agent and are ideal for industrial or kitchen settings.

Cleaning Residue from Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers

As the extinguishing agent in wet chemical fire extinguishers can be irritating to eyes and skin, it’s vital that personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn during all stages of residue clean up. The residue will be foamy, so it’s important to scrub the area with hot and soapy water. Do the same for all areas that have been covered by the extinguishing agent.

When you’ve completed the initial clean-up, rinse all scrubbed areas with clean hot water.

Cleaning Residue from Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers

The clean-up process for dry chemical fire extinguishers differs from those with wet agents. The first step is to vacuum or sweep the chemical residue from the impacted area. Next, it’s important to break down the silicone that is present in the dry chemical agent. A combination of 50% warm water and 50% isopropyl alcohol should be sprayed on the area and allowed to soak in for a few minutes.

It’s important to neutralize the potassium and sodium bicarbonates as well, which can be done with a solution of 98% hot water and 2% vinegar. Monoammonium phosphate will also need to be neutralized, so clean the area with baking soda and hot water. After each neutralization process, make sure the area is rinsed thoroughly with hot water.

Cleaning Residue from Clean Agent and Class K Fire Extinguishers

The clean-up process for these type of extinguishers is relatively simple as compared to the others. With these fire extinguishers, there are no special steps or precautions to be taken, so clean the area affected by the fire in the most effective way.

Having to use a fire extinguisher is not an ideal situation in any setting. However, when used correctly and effectively, the clean up process can be straightforward.

At Bison Fire Protection, we’re proud to offer our expertise and knowledge to help you find the right fire protection equipment for your property. To schedule an appointment with one of our fire safety experts in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, and Saskatoon, call 866-441-3473 or find us online today.

Posted by Rob Read at 11:28 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

5 Construction Site Fire Safety Tips You Need to Know

Bison Fire's 5 construction site safety tips

Construction site fires are a common occurrence around the globe. Most prairie inhabitants are used to the increased amount of construction during spring, summer, and fall. These construction sites range from restoring old historical buildings or creating brand-new skyscrapers to help a city grow.

However, many are unaware of the safety risks involved around construction sites, including just how much fire safety precautions and equipment are necessary to keep these areas safe for all around it. If a fire occurs on a construction site, there are a variety of negative effects, including endangering workers and civilians in the area and the irreplaceable damage to the site and surrounding structures.

Luckily, there are a variety of fire safety precautions that site supervisors must follow, including the creation of a fire safety plan and emergency procedures during the construction planning process. These plans often include requirements such as:

  • The amount of safe exit routes.
  • How these exit routes will be kept accessible.
  • The use of emergency light where necessary
  • The location and proper marking of exit routes.
  • The location of suitable fire safety and detection equipment.

If you work on or around a construction site, keep these 5 fire safety tips in mind:

1.  Ensure Emergency Exit Plans Are Up to Date

The main principle of construction is to change facets of a building or area. Because of this, it’s only natural that the construction site itself will change during the building or renovation process. To ensure the safety of workers and occupants, it’s vital that emergency exits are always well marked and clear of obstructions, especially if these exits change during construction.

2. Install Adequate Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

On a construction site, there are a variety of flammable and gaseous materials throughout the entire process. Whether a project is large or small, it’s vital that the necessary smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and alarms are installed. Because construction materials may be extremely flammable, making sure that any sign of a fire or harmful gas is detected right away can help keep countless workers and civilians safe.

3. Make Sure The Right Fire Extinguishers Are In Place

Fire extinguishers are available in different classes, as they’re each meant to extinguish different types of fires. Because there are so many materials on construction sites, they may require a variety of fire extinguishers. The main types of fire extinguishers found on construction sites are:

  • Class A: These extinguishers are meant to target wood and paper-based fires.
  • Class B: These extinguishers carry a foam or dry powder that targets flammable liquid fires.
  • Class C: These extinguishers are for electrical fires and contain either dry water mist or dielectrically tested foams.

Although all construction sites will require fire extinguishers, it’s important to note that large sites may need sprinkler systems in place.

4. Include Emergency Lighting On Constricted or Large Sites

Emergency lighting systems help both first responders and construction site workers enter or exit during a fire-related emergency. As power is frequently turned off during emergency situations, battery-powered lighting systems will help keep dark spaces illuminated when there is no available light sources, or when smoke is affecting visibility.

5. Train Employees on Fire Safety Procedures

Any person who is on a construction site should be well-versed in emergency procedures, including what to do during a fire on the site. Hold fire safety equipment training on a regular basis and complete evacuation drills for each new site.

If you’re construction company is gearing up for a busy season, prepare your fire safety plans and equipment now. At Bison Fire Protection, we’re available to help crews in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, or Saskatoon keep their employees and sites safe. Call 866-441-3473 today for more information, or find us online.

Posted by Rob Read at 2:25 PM 0 Comments