Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bison Supports Cancer Care Manitoba

We are pleased to support the 4th Annual Cancer Care Manitoba Challenge for Life 2011. Cancer has touched everyone at one point our lives.  This walk goes a long way to helping the people who really need the support.

Nadeen Bennett has been involved with this important cause from the beginning. Her dedication to her family and friends is truly amazing.

You can support Nadeen’s walk by going to her profile page and clicking the donate button.

Posted by Rob Read at 9:55 AM 0 Comments

Monday, May 30, 2011

Smoke’s Poutinerie Comes To Winnipeg!

I would like to congratulate Smoke’s Poutinerie on opening their first Winnipeg location! Sam Tamoto and his staff are pleased to offer items like Curry Chicken Poutine and Nacho Grande Poutine, there’s surely something for everyone. But don’t let that deter you from sticking to the classics because even with all the choice in Smoke’s arsenal, the traditional poutine still satisfies. They are located at 131 Albert St.

Smoke's PoutinerieSmokes Poutinerie

Range Guard Fire Suppression System

Posted by Rob Read at 4:06 PM 1 Comments

Friday, May 27, 2011

Which Fire Extinguisher Is Best For You?

There is no second opinion that most of the individuals are aware of fire extinguishers and their usefulness. The negative aspect is that many of these individuals will not think much when purchasing a fire extinguisher. The reason is they are simply not familiar with the fact that extinguishers are available in so many varieties and that each one of them performs best under particular conditions. You should take into consideration the fire class and several other things before buying if you seek to undertake the most excellent purchase.

As mentioned earlier, there is a host of fire extinguisher varieties available in the market to make your home safe. They can be arranged into several fire classes, namely A, B, C, or D. Class A fire calls for extinguishers that can douse ordinary fires from papers, cardboards, clothes, plastics, wood and so forth. Class B needs extinguishers that are specifically devised for combustible and flammable liquids such as petrol, kerosene and oil. Class C defines fires that are caused by electrical equipment like circuits, circuit breakers, outlets and appliances. Class D extinguishers are intended for fires occurred in a chemical laboratory, manufactering, and automotive service centres. They put out fires involving combustibles such as magnesium, aluminum, sodium, potassium, etc.

One more vital thing to know is that such fire protection systems make use of a variety of materials as well. It would be good to recognize precisely what fire class you require safety for so as to buy the most suitable one. The extinguishing materials that these products employ include water, foam, powder, CO2, and sand. Water-based extinguishers are widely used to put out Class A fires. Dry chemical extinguishers, filled with foam or powder, are particularly formulated to put out Class B and C fires, though they can be applied in Class A fires as well. A CO2 fire extinguisher is normally used for Class C fires involving electrical equipment.

An additional thing that you should be aware of in order to purchase the best extinguisher is there are certain hazards that will demand exceptional extinguishers. Under this class, you can put chemical substances that are usually more problematic to extinguish and far more hazardous. Obtaining the most apposite fire extinguishers is more and more imperative as they can make a big contribution in ensuring your safe and sound life! They play a pivotal role in locations where there is a great possibility of fire and you must certainly ascertain that you have the appropriate fire protection systems since catastrophes don't give people another opportunity.


Posted by Rob Read at 10:19 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Can You Trust Your Fire Protection Company?

Most business owners try their best to do a good job in their community because they serve their friends and neighbours. They take pride in preforming a service that many people need, and feel the satisfaction of a job well done. Unfortunately there is a small segment that is in business for the quick buck, and lack the type of integrity needed to be trusted by their customers. I’m sure we can all think of a few jokes about lawyers, insurance people, and used car sales people. I would like to think that the fire protection industry would hold itself to a higher standard considering that we protect people’s lives, and property. Unfortunately as the article in the Crime Voice shows there are people in my industry that are lacking in morals and scruples.

I have stated many times that people should do some homework to ensure they are dealing with a credible company. Some quick checks would be;

  • Are they certified by the manufacturer of the products they are servicing?
  • Do they have liability insurance, and is it enough?
  • Are they registered with Workers Compensation?
  • What schools or training seminars have they attended?

A small time investment up front could provide massive savings down the road.

Posted by Rob Read at 2:02 PM 1 Comments

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Congratulations To Theo Kowalchuk On Being Named Overall Excellence Winner At The 2011 Manitoba Woman Entrepreneur Of The Year!

Recognition from your peers for doing an outstanding job is one of the very few perks a business owner ever see’s. Being Named Overall Excellence Winner at the 2011 Manitoba Woman Entrepreneur of the Year demonstrates the high quality of professionalism, and dedication that Theo, and her staff at 1 Life Workplace Safety & Health subscribe to everyday. The award was given by the Women Business Owners of Manitoba (WBOM)  They are a non-profit, independent organization that addresses the unique needs of the woman entrepreneur. They exist to provide support and inspire excellence, learning and growth in business. And to provide opportunities for personal and professional growth for their members.

As one of our preferred partners 1 Life has again demonstrated why we feel they are the people to assist our customers.

I have also included 1 Life Spring Newsletter for your reading pleasure.

Posted by Rob Read at 11:15 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bison Presents Wet Chemical Suppression To The Prairie Loss Prevention League

The Prairie Loss Prevention League (PLPL) had their Annual General Meeting, and Spring Conference in Winnipeg last week. Bison Fire Protection was among the group of professionals asked to give presentations. Rob Read gave an in depth presentation on Wet Chemical Suppression Systems for Commercial Kitchens. It was well received by the PLPL with many questions regarding this type of suppression system. The insurance industry is a vital part of keeping you current, and protected at work. This is why we have an insurance information page on this web site that allows them to offer the best service possible. 

The Prairie Loss Prevention League had its initial beginnings in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s with a group of insurers and the Fire Commissioner’s office meeting to discuss the increasing losses resulting from the use of solid-fuel-fired appliances.

Those beginnings have evolved with the League being incorporated into a non-profit organization in 1992, and expanding both its membership and focus to include all aspects of loss prevention. This growth of the League has seen a move from a small group of concerned people to a large and diverse group of dedicated, knowledgeable persons in both the Insurance and non-insurance fields who are concerned with safety.

Our value statement of reducing or eliminating potential hazards is the primary focus of our professional and personal lives.

The Prairie Loss Prevention League (PLPL) has grown from its early roots to now encompass the three Prairie Provinces with a host of loss prevention/control and safety personnel.  These individuals, through their company involvement and support of the league, have amassed a wealth of experience and knowledge in life and property safety.

Posted by Rob Read at 11:13 AM 0 Comments

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Victoria Day!

I am taking this opportunity welcome all the new followers to the herd! Feel free to interact with us on any of the our posts. If you are setting off any fireworks today remember a couple of safety tips.

  1. Watch the wind direction you don'y want burning debrise falling on your crowd.
  2. Make sure all fireworks are secured to the ground. You do not want them falling over and sending their projectiles into you , or your group.
  3. Minimize the number of people setting off the fireworks. It gets confusing wondering who has lit what. 
  4. Do not deploy fireworks under the influence of alcohol. 

The Phosphorous in fireworks will burn until they are expended. They will continue to burn underwater, and without oxygen. I have attched a couple videos' to show what can go wrong.

Enjoy a safe day away from work!








Posted by Rob Read at 8:50 AM 0 Comments

Friday, May 20, 2011

Keeping Buildings Up To Fire Code Is An Issue

While many property owners, and managers take fire code, and compliance very seriously there are those that do not. With government cut backs at all levels enforcement is not the priority it once was. Unfortunately the people living in a poorly managed aren’t aware of deficiencies until there is a fire. This is an occurrence that is happening across Canada, and in the USA as you can see in the article. With politicians promising lower taxes, or no tax increases, but the cost of doing business is always increasing so many areas of public service are being slowly reduced.

As a tenant you have the right to know if your building is safe. If you have concerns talk to the building manager. If that doesn’t satisfy your concerns contact the PPMA, or your city fire prevention

Posted by Bison Fire at 9:51 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Extinguisher Training For Children Is Vital

Extinguisher training as well as safety training is vital for children these days. There a many possibilities where children can be involved in an emergency situations. As an example the boy from Twin Falls that was recently honoured for his bravery. The difference between action and panic is training. I was pleased to see that there is training at Camp 911 for children in grades 4-6 being offered in the USA. I think that we should be considering similar types of training across Canada.


We do training at many businesses and we take pride in evaluations like the one Fred Allard, one of our certified trainers recently received. His score of 3.95 out of 5 with 11 questions ranging from course content, knowledge, and materials provided shows that he is getting the message across.

We no longer recommend live burns preferring to use our Bullex training system. The reasons for this includes the fact that we can train indoors so weather is no longer an issue, there is no environmental impact with disposing the burnt sludge, and no risk of injury dealing with live fires among some of the reasons. We certainly don’t want our training to become a hazard as it did for these trainers.

Posted by Rob Read at 11:26 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Siemens Introduces Sinorix 1230 In Canada

Siemens has officially launched the Sinorix 1230 clean gas suppression system in the Canadian market! Sinorix 1230 balances safe effective protection of business continuity with the growing concern for greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the environment.

The Advantages of the Sinorix 1230 are listed below;


  • Fits “Green Corporate Culture” with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 1, the lowest GWP for any clean agent.
  • 3M is a well-known, trusted US Company.
  • Unblemished safety and suppression history.
  • Highest Margin of Safety of all Chemical Clean Agents.
  • Blue Sky Warranty; this is a 20 year protection guarantee against regulatory bans, or restrictions on its use.

It’s difficult to list all of the applications for this new clean agent, however to name a few the list would include:

Computer Server/ Telecommunication Rooms

Museums and Art Galleries

Sensitive Electronics & Switch Gear


Posted by Rob Read at 2:16 PM 0 Comments

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NFPA 72 Makes Major Changes To The 2010 Fire Alarm Code

Landmark changes in the 2010 NFPA 72® lead the way to a new era in signaling systems.

In the most extensive Code revision since 1993, the 2010 NFPA 72's scope and organization have expanded beyond the core focus on fire alarm systems to also include requirements for mass notification systems used for weather emergencies; terrorist events; biological, chemical, and nuclear emergencies; and other threats. This wider coverage is reflected in a new Code title: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.

A new chapter on Emergency Communications Systems responds to today's concerns.

In addition to updated rules for in-building fire emergency voice/alarm communications systems, this new chapter includes first-time provisions for:

•Risk analysis requirements for the design of mass notification systems (MNS)

•In-building MNS

•Wide-area MNS for locations such as college campuses and military bases

•Distributed recipient MNS to communicate with targeted individuals or groups

•In-building radio enhancement systems

•Area of refuge for two-way emergency communications systems

Other major revisions and additions that increase protection affect:

•Circuits and pathways -- A new chapter combines existing and new requirements and consolidates basic wiring rules and circuit performance into one location.

•Voice intelligibility -- Revised installation and testing provisions plus an extensive new Annex with detailed guidance for testing

•Signaling for the deaf and hard of hearing -- Improved safety in sleeping areas includes new rules that mandate low-frequency signaling for those with mild to severe hearing loss, and tactile as well as visible signaling for those with profound hearing loss.

•Smoke detector placement -- Updated spacing and placement requirements for level beamed ceilings and new spacing requirements for sloped beamed ceilings

The complete NFPA 72 Fire Alarm Code can be ordered on line directly from NFPA.

Posted by Rob Read at 10:19 AM 0 Comments

Monday, May 16, 2011

Kitchen Fire Closes Restaurant

Having read the article about the fire in this diner I noticed a couple of things seemed amiss.

The first item that jumped right out at me was that they still had a dry chemical suppression system. I can tell this by the type of nozzles in the picture. Dry chemical has not been allowed to be installed in restaurants since 1994. Most insurance brokers will no longer insure a restaurant that still has this type of suppression system. The problem is that with new cooking appliances, and using vegetable oils instead of animal fats we now have much hotter fires. Spontaneous combustion is around 750 degrees F. Dry Chemical suppression systems do not provide any type of cooling that is required to stop the fire. What happens is the initial fire is knocked down, but because the heat is so intense the agent breaks down, and the fire re-flashes, with the suppression system now empty there is nothing to put the fire out until the fire department arrives. Another issue with dry chemical is that even without a fire should the dry chemical suppression system accidently discharge you will have the very fine powder settling for days, which becomes a cleaning nightmare.

The second issue I noticed was they fire began in the kitchen exhaust fan and traveled down into the building. Regular hood cleaning might have prevented the fire from spreading into the kitchen as it wouldn’t have a grease path to follow.

I wish them the best with remodelling, but I will guarantee they will be closed for more than a few weeks.

Posted by Rob Read at 11:23 AM 0 Comments

Friday, May 13, 2011

MOPIA'S Monthly Newsletter

MOPIA has issued their May E_Bulletin for your reading pleasure. There is significant recent news on the international front. There are two proposals to phase-out and/or phase-down HFC’s and include the new HFO refrigerants. As these just happened, they did not include them in their May E-Bulletin being released today. See these actual details at the following links:

 http://ozone.unep.org/highlights.shtml and http://www.unep.ch/ozone/highlights.shtml

The Ozone Secretariat received a proposal from the Federated States of Micronesia on 7 May 2011 and a joint proposal by Canada, Mexico and the United States of America on 9 May 2011.

 You may also want to visit the following link: www.beyondhfcs.org for supplemental information.

In the May E-Bulletin you will find the following:


-       Plan to attend a free MOPIA Program 1 hour Outreach Session

-         MOPIA’s Chair to speak at the MGEA AGM (May 30)

-       Next Certification Training Class is May 25

-       New refrigerant HFO 1234yf is coming

-       Recent UV Levels

-       Leak Reports must be submitted on leaks over 22 lbs



Posted by Rob Read at 1:11 PM 0 Comments

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Residential Sprinklers Work When Needed

There has been a lot of discussion in both Canada and the United states regarding residential sprinkler systems. Some jurisdictions have now made them mandatory in new home construction some have opposed this move. While there is additional expense at the construction stage the savings both financially, and personally in the event of a fire are difficult estimate. I have several friends with residential sprinklers in their home who like the peace of mind that immediate protection provides, and bought the hot tub the next year. The story from The Vancouver Sun demonstrates their effectiveness.

Posted by Rob Read at 11:38 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

CANAID Works With Bison

CANAID First Aid and Safety Supply is working with Bison. Al Stiles the owner of CANAID approached us recently to work together to ensure the highest levels of products and services to our customers. First Aid is an area that we get many requests for, but isn’t a service we provide. Al will be happy to take care of your First Aid, or Safety requirements in a professional manner.

Posted by Rob Read at 4:03 PM 0 Comments

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bison Supports Bird Construction In The Fight Against Cancer

We were recently contacted by Marc Ouimet of Bird Construction asking if we would support him in the Cancer Care Challenge for life. Of course we were pleased to help him, and Bird Construction achieve their goal of raising a minimum of$1,000 per team member. We have all been touched by Cancer in one way or another. We wish Marc, and all the members of the Bird team the best of luck in this endeavour.


Dear Emile,

Thank you so much for your contribution. I'm new to this kind of thing, and continue to be overwhelmed by our industry's generosity. The walk's getting a little shorter every day.

Thank you so much for supporting my Challenge for Life!

Your gift to the Cancer Care Manitoba Foundation will help ensure that Cancer Care Manitoba's comprehensive team of researchers and health professionals can continue providing outstanding care for all Manitobans and their families living with cancer.

Click here to visit my Web page to check my progress and to leave a message of encouragement.

Thank you again for your support.

Marc Ouimet


2011 Challenge for Life 20K Walk - June 11th, 2011



Posted by Rob Read at 3:34 PM 0 Comments

Monday, May 09, 2011

Bison Saves The Day!

Saturday around 9:30 AM we received a call from the Dairy Queen in Portage la Prairie Manitoba. As it turns out the cook had emptied the deep fryer, while it was turned on, and the exhaust fan was off. The heat built up, and the kitchen suppression system discharged turning off the gas to the appliance. Our technician Mike Webster was on site very quickly. He flushed the lines, recharged the system, and had them back in business in a few hours.

This being the Mother’s Day weekend it was important to react quickly to get them back in business as this is one of the busiest times of the year for restaurants as reported by the National Restaurant Association in the USA.

“I am just emailing you Mike to thank you for the excellent service you provided us on Saturday. When our fire suppression system went off accidently on Saturday it occurred at the worst possible time, Mother's Day weekend. However you arrived very quickly and had us operational in no time at all. Your professional and friendly demeanor was very much appreciated, making a difficult situation much easier to deal with. Thank you again. Ron -DQ owner/operator”

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Chez Cora’s to the herd. A week ago Saturday they had their kitchen fire system discharge when they were cleaning the area. The reason it discharged was that the manual pull station had been installed incorrectly. It was just a matter of time before the discharge occurred. Fortunately for us Chez Cora’s previous fire protection company didn’t respond to repeated 24 hour service calls even though they apparently offer this service. Upon closer inspection Fred Allard found other deficiencies in the fire suppression system that have now been repaired providing a safer workplace for their employee’s.

Posted by Rob Read at 2:26 PM 0 Comments

Friday, May 06, 2011

Martha Stewart Knows Her Extinguishers

We all know who Martha Stewart is, but I was surprised to see her publish an article about the history of extinguishers, and include a series of video presentations. While I know it’s difficult to pretty up a red canister, but I’m sure Martha has something in the works to make her extinguishers a little bit nicer and that’s “A Good Thing”.

Remember keeping a fire extinguisher in the kitchen isn’t a sign of personal incompetence. It’s more an indication of how well you know your spouse!

Posted by Rob Read at 11:36 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Protecting Exhaust Ducts

I get a lot of calls regarding exhaust duct protection. Should they use sprinklers, or suppression systems for the fire protection? In commercial kitchens the only listed system is the wet chemical suppression system as required by ULC, and NPFA standards. For industrial suppression both dry chemical suppression and sprinkler systems are acceptable for both the hazard area, and the exhaust duct.  Sprinklers are required in other types of ducts that convey materials such as fumes, mists, and vapours, unless they are non-flammable and non-combustible under all conditions and concentrations. The NFPA has written a good article titled Protecting Ducts that helps describe the hazards, and required protection.

Posted by Rob Read at 1:47 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Disaster Averted

We received a call from our 24 hour answering service very early this morning. The customer was upset because their fire suppression system had discharged during the night “For No Reason”. When our technician arrived, and began to investigate why this had happened he discovered the evening shift had left the deep fryers turned on and the exhaust fan turned off. The build-up of heat was high enough (360 degrees F) to actuate the fire suppression system which automatically turned off the deep fryers as required by fire code. Had the system not worked as designed this could have been a very different outcome. The heat would have continued to build until the fryers spontaneously combusted. We have found this deficiency on suppression systems, and always direct the customer to make the repairs. When our customer realized what had actually transpired they were very thankful for the thorough inspections we provide, as well as the fast response at 2:00 AM.

Posted by Rob Read at 3:44 PM 0 Comments

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Be Careful With Antique Fire Extinguishers

Someone recently asked me about an old fire extinguisher they had in their garage. When I had a look my eyes bugged out when I realized it was an old Carbon tetrachloride extinguisher. These fire extinguishers are now obsolete. They saw a reduction in production in the 1940’s with a complete ban in 1970. The reason for their removal from use is that “Carbon Tet” becomes very toxic when heated. The fact that high temperatures cause it to react to produce phosgene (This colorless gas gained infamy as a chemical weapon during World War I) made it especially hazardous when used against fires. This reaction also causes a rapid depletion of oxygen. Carbon tetrachloride is one of the most potent hepatotoxins (toxic to the liver).

I have also seen these extinguishers in older buildings in the city and removed them on site. Nick Markowitz wrote a very good article about Carbon tetrachloride fire extinguishers. They are now few and far between but if you see one bring it in for proper disposal.


Carbon tetachloride ExtinguisherCarbon tetrachloride extinguisherCarbon tetrachloride extinguisher 


Posted by Rob Read at 1:15 PM 0 Comments

Monday, May 02, 2011

Are Your Fire Extinguishers Ready To Enjoy The Summer?

Spring is in the air, and with it comes the things we work so hard for such as our cottages, campers, and boats. The weekend you open up the cottage, and go through all of the water, and electrical systems is also a good time to check your fire extinguishers. The same applies to your camper these checks only take a minute, and if there is any question about their integrity have them inspected by a professional fire protection company. You boat is another issue. We now need to have the Pleasure Craft Operators Card and along with that all of the required safety equipment including a working fire extinguisher. I have included a link to the Transport Canada website that details what you need to ensure compliance.

Enjoy the season, and try not to have your boat end up in flames like these people did.

Posted by Rob Read at 2:58 PM 0 Comments