Wednesday, May 30, 2018

5 Things to Do on Home Fire Sprinkler Day

Bison Fire's 5 Things to do on Home Sprinkler Day

2018 is the first annual Home Fire Sprinkler Day which will take place on Saturday, May 19th, 2018. Home fire sprinklers may not be your first thought when considering fire safety measures in your home, as they are generally thought to be expensive and cause water damage.

However, as fire safety professionals and advocates know, these home systems can be an effective part of your home’s fire safety plan to protect you and your loved ones. If you’re not sure how to participate in Home Fire Sprinkler Day on May 19th, the following information and tips will help you create a safe home and make the day a success.

How Do Home Fire Sprinkler Systems Work?

It’s important that you’re familiar with home fire sprinkler systems and the benefits that they can provide during a fire-related emergency. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), home fire sprinkler systems can “reduce the risk of dying from home fires by 80 percent and can reduce the risk of property loss by 70 percent.”

These systems have been designed to be extremely efficient and safe through the years. In most cases, a home’s fire sprinkler system will only activate in very specific situations. For example, many people assume that a home fire extinguisher is similar to those of commercial and public spaces, complete with a pull-lever or extra-sensitive detectors. As the fire protection needs differ between homes and commercial buildings, so do the types of fire sprinkler systems.

In nearly all residential buildings, sprinkler heads will only activate when a certain amount of heat is present. Additionally, a home’s sprinkler system will activate one sprinkler head at a time so that only areas under threat of fire-related damage will be sprayed.

Oftentimes, a home’s fire sprinkler system will be a type of last-resort fire protection mechanism, as homeowners can usually extinguish the types of small fires that commonly occur in homes (in the kitchen or garage, for example)  with a portable fire extinguisher. In the cases where your home’s fire sprinkler system does activate and cause extensive water damage, your home’s insurance policy should cover both fire damage and water damage when related to the same emergency event.

5 Things You Can Do for Home Fire Sprinkler Day

As 2018 is the first Home Fire Sprinkler Day for fire safety professionals and homeowners in North America, you may be wondering what activities and practices you can do on May 19th to take part in the action. Consider trying the following events and activities for Home Fire Sprinkler Day from the NFPA:

  • Spark a campaign on social media platforms outlining the importance of home fire sprinkler systems.
  • Invite media professionals for a tour of a home equipped with a fire sprinkler system, discussing how they can create a better fire protection and safety system for homes all over your area.
  • Consider hosting a home fire sprinkler demonstration. To do this, get in touch with your local fire department.
  • Discuss home fire sprinkler systems with local fire department professionals so that they are better informed on their implications.
  • Do your research and write to your local government to outline gaps in your area’s home fire sprinkler system laws.

Our team at Bison Fire Protection wants to help you establish Home Fire Sprinkler Day as an annual day of awareness for your community. For more information or to learn more about home fire sprinkler systems, call 866-411-3473 or contact us online today. We’re available for service in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, and Saskatoon.

Posted by Rob Read at 9:02 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Grilling Safety Tips for National BBQ Week

The month of May is flying by fast! If you haven’t lit up your BBQ grill yet, there’s no better time to get started than National BBQ Week. From May 30th to June 6th, 2018, BBQ-lovers around the globe will be celebrating with those they love and food they can’t get enough of.

However, along with the ignition of your BBQ comes a responsibility to grill safely. According to information from the U.S. Fire Administration, grill-related fires causes $37 million of damage on average each year. To protect your property, yourself, and your loved ones, start implementing these grilling safety tips while you're celebrating National BBQ week and whenever you’re grilling this year.

Keep Your BBQ Grill a Safe Distance From Your Home

Just like you wouldn’t start a bonfire in a pit right outside your back door, you should aim to keep your grill a safe distance away from your home to lower your risk of damage during a fire-related emergency. Aim to keep your grill about 10 to 15 feet away from your home and any attached areas, including your garage, shed, or gazebo.

Make Sure You Have Fire Safety Equipment By Your Grill

It’s important to keep a portable fire extinguisher near where you’re cooking with heat, whether you’re inside or outside. Make sure that the fire extinguisher is within reach of your grill and that you’ve trained whoever will be around the grill how to properly activate and use the extinguisher. The PASS (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep) method is the easiest to teach, and most probably the easiest to remember.

However, if there is an occurrence that you cannot activate your fire extinguisher with ease or do not know how to use it effectively, immediately call 911 when a fire occurs.

Give Your Grill a Spring Cleaning

With regular use, debris like fat and grease tend to build up on grills. Make sure that you give your grill a thorough clean before your first use in the spring, and clean it regularly throughout its seasons of use.

What to Do If a Grill Fire Occurs

Because grease will be the most likely cause of a grill fire, it’s important that you have the right equipment and items to quickly extinguish the fire. Chat with your local fire safety equipment provider about the type of fire extinguisher best suited for your unique grill needs, and keep baking soda nearby to extinguish small grease fires on your grill.

Perform a Quick Check Before Starting Your Grill

Before lighting up your grill to cook your next meal, take a couple minutes to perform a quick inspection to make sure that your BBQ is in safe working order. Check connection points, including those between your propane tank and the grill itself, and tighten if they are loose.

You can also check for gas leaks on a regular basis with soap and water. Apply the mixture to your gas home and turn on the gas tank. When there is a leak, bubbles will begin to appear on the hose where the gas is leaking. Make sure that you immediately turn off the tank if you notice holes and have your grill professionally serviced and maintained.

Want some help to keep your grilling activities safe during National BBQ Week and beyond? Get in touch with Bison Fire Protection by calling 866-411-3473 today. We provide top-notch fire safety services in Winnipeg, Brandon, Kenora, Saskatoon, and Regina.

Posted by Rob Read at 2:16 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Fire Hazards Associated with Exterior Walls with Combustible Components

Bison Fire's Protection For Combustible Walls

In our modern era, the human race is constantly creating innovative materials, built environments, and structures that enhance the quality of life for many. However, there is still an alarming amount of fast-spreading fires whose danger is enhanced by the exterior wall cladding on high-rise buildings. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), some examples include high-rise fires in London, Shanghai, and Dubai.

Many materials used in the exterior wall construction of modern buildings contain combustible materials that are aimed to increase aesthetics, energy conservation, and the infiltration of water. Why are these materials still used, and how can exterior walls stop being associated with combustible components to increase safety for inhabitants?

The Dangers of Combustible Components in Exterior Walls

According to the NFPA, new exterior wall systems have been designed and tested to better the performance of a building in its entirety. Thankfully, they have also created resources that weigh the pros and cons of specific exterior wall materials for both existing buildings and new construction to help designers and facility owners make better decisions.

A study completed by White and Delichatsios found that 79% of exterior wall fires were in buildings that were 1-2 stories, even in those with a sprinkler system present. In addition, they also found that automatic extinguishing systems were installed in 39% of buildings that experienced an exterior wall fire.

However, the amount of information available on exterior wall fires is quite small. The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) states that “there was limited information on the types of exterior walls involved in fires, ignition details, and mechanisms of fire spread.” This lack of information makes it extremely difficult for architects and building managers to make the best decision in how they can protect their building and the people who use it.

Fire Safety Issues with Exterior Walls

According to the NFPA, there has been a link between increasing energy efficiency and refurbish buildings globally. As plastic materials with combustible components are much cheaper and easier to install as compared to better, more fire-safe materials, there is not currently as many accessible options that enhance the safety of exterior walls.

When fire is able to spread due to combustible materials on the external walls, one of the main hazards is that internal fire protection and suppression systems cannot keep a fire-related emergency at bay once it has begun. Sadly, without the right material innovations and emphasis on the safety of the building over the convenience and cost of building it, the construction and existence of buildings with combustible components in their exterior walls may not dissipate.

At Bison Fire Protection, we believe in creating a fire-safe environment in residential areas and commercial buildings alike. By continuing the conversation on how we can stop tragedies like the Grenfell Tower fire in London, we can hopefully inspire the creation of innovative, fire-safe materials for external walls.

If you’re in need of an inspection of the external or internal components of your building, get in touch with Bison Fire Protection today. We’re available for service in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, or Saskatoon. Call 866-441-3473 today for more information, or find us online.


Posted by Rob Read at 1:39 PM 0 Comments