Wednesday, May 29, 2019

What You Need To Know To Pass Your Restaurant Fire Inspection

Bison Fire's What you need to know to pass Your Restaurant Fire Inspection

With large, busy kitchens full of flammable material and slippery surfaces, it’s no wonder that restaurants post such a fire hazard - and why passing your restaurant fire inspection is critical not only to staying open and avoiding paying steep fines, but also to keep your staff and patrons safe.

Being prepared is key to developing a good working relationship with the fire or insurance inspector, so today we’re going to cover what you need to know to pass your restaurant fire inspection:

Stay Organized

Since most inspections happen unannounced, it’s prudent to make sure that your filing system allows you give the inspector whatever he needs to complete the inspection.

Make sure that you have reports from all previous inspections somewhere accessible, and that you’ve included documents that show how you’ve resolved any issues from previous inspections.

Even though the inspector will typically give you notes reflecting their findings, we recommend touring the restaurant with the inspector and take notes. This shows you’re engaged and paying attention, and can be a good opportunity to take any notes about the inspector’s thought process so you can ace future inspections.

Know the Inspection Areas


Ensuring that these doors work properly will be critical to the inspection, so make sure that all exit doors are accessible, well lit, easily identifiable, and are working properly.

Take fire inspections into consideration when choosing your security methods. Using unapproved locks, chaining doors shut, and covering doors so they can’t be easily identified by people inside the building may not comply with the inspector’s standards.


Combustible or flammable liquids must be stored in an organized, orderly fashion inside of approved containers and storage cabinets. These cabinets must also be at least 18 inches below the fire sprinklers, and stored far away from heat and flame-producing appliances.

Different liquids and products will have varying limits and storage requirements, so make sure to follow them to the letter and keep the space around the flammables clean and clear.


Inspectors will be looking issues such as making sure all outlets have cover plates, as well as for wiring that isn’t properly insulated or covered.

Stay prepared by making sure to properly label all electrical panels and ensure that a radius of at least 30 inches is maintained from all panels.

As you may know, extension cords must be heavy duty, in good working condition, and only used to temporarily power small appliances. All extension cords must be grounded and if multiple items need to be plugged in power bars with built-in circuit breakers must be used and plugged into a permanent electrical outlet.

Fire Protection/Suppression and Fire Alarm Systems

Make sure that fire extinguishers are distributed throughout your building and will work when tested, and give the inspector copies of all your system and equipment inspections, testing, and maintenance (ITM) reports.

Passing the Inspection

Passing your inspection proves your dedication to making your facility as safe as possible, but if you don’t take these steps:

  • Ask questions, so you fully understand all the issues
  • Discuss the best steps to resolving the issue with your inspector
  • Take notes and reference them so the issue doesn’t happen again

For more information about keeping your restaurant safe from fires, contact the expert at Bison Fire Protection. Call 866-441-3473 today to schedule an appointment with a fire safety experts.

Together we can make the world a safer place!

Posted by Rob Read at 9:11 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Could Your Pet Start a Fire?

Bison Fire's Could Your Pet Start a Fire

What do you think of when you think about the steps needed to keep your home safe from a fire? Some things that come to mind probably include testing your smoke alarms, not leaving candles unattended, and being careful when cooking with grease and oil… but what about your pet?

That’s right: our furry friends can accidentally start fires by knocking over candles, knocking into tables and lamps, or spreading hot ashes from an ashtray or fireplace. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association states that about 500 house fires a year are caused by pre-related accidents.

Worried your furry friend may put your home at risk? Follow these pet-friendly fire safety tips:

Be Careful Where You Use Candles

Candles are great for setting a romantic mood, adding ambience to a space, or for visibility during a power outage, but the flickering lights can look attractive to cats and can be knocked over accidentally.

Instead of worrying about your candles getting jostled by your pet, consider investing in electric, battery-powered candles. Not only are these “wickless” candles less messy than typical candles, but they won’t start a fire if they get knocked over by a curious or overly-excited pet.

Remove Knobs on the Stove

Many of us are familiar with large, friendly dogs who love to “counter surf” by standing on their hind legs in order to see the action happening on the counter or out the kitchen window.

The NFPA reports that stove and cooktop fires are the fires most commonly started by pets, so if you live with one of these curious canines, consider removing the stove knobs located on the front of your stove, as they could get turned on by accident.

Prevent Deck Fires With the Right Outdoor Dishes

Wooden deck fires can start when light from the sun filters through glass or bowls that may have been left on the desk as food and water dishes for outdoor or neighbourhood pets.

If you leave food or water outside on the deck, make sure to use ceramic or stainless steel dishes that won’t amplify the sun’s rays and possibly ignite the deck.

If you live in in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, or Saskatoon contact the experts at Bison Fire Protection by calling 866-441-3473 today to schedule an appointment with a fire safety experts.

Together We Can Make The World A Safer Place

Posted by Rob Read at 2:40 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

5 Ways Employees Can Prevent Fires At Work

Bison Fire's 5 ways employee's can prevent fires at work

Keeping a business safe from fires is a group effort. It takes collaboration and coordination between management and their staff to create workplaces that are fire-safe, and where team members know not just what to do in the event of a fire, but how to prevent one from happening in the first place.

Below are five easy things your staff can do to keep your workplace safe from fires:

1. Keep Emergency Numbers Visible

It’s easy to panic and freeze when a fire starts, so by posting emergency contact information in places that are easy to find and a safe distance away from flammable items (don’t put them right next to the stove, for example).

Emergency information you should list includes:

  • The local police department
  • The closest hospital with an emergency room
  • The local fire department
  • Poison control

2. Make Sure Electricals Panels Are Clear

Being able to access your building’s electrical panels allows you to turn off the electricity, which can dramatically reduce the damage caused by an accidental fire.

The easiest way to make sure that you can always access the electrical panels is to keep workspaces clean and tidy and to eliminate as much paper waste as possible. Encourage employees to archive old materials, use a shared storage space for old boxes and files, and organize your equipment and desks so panels are always easily accessible.

3. Safely Store Chemicals

If your business uses flammable chemicals then it’s essential that you follow the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and record the flammability of the chemicals you’re working with.

Most flammable substances have specific needs surrounding how and where they’re stored, as well as ventilation requirements, so make sure that any employees handling these materials are educated with how to use, store, and access chemicals safely.

4. Smoke Safely

Designate an area for employees who smoke or vape that’s a safe distance away from the building and any chemical storage areas. It’s essential to have clear signage in these areas and be firm with team members who ignore the rules.

5. Know Your Role

We all have a role to play when it comes to keeping our workplaces safe from fires, so make sure to review the emergency preparedness plan regularly. Understanding where emergency exits are, where fire extinguishers are stored, and where electrical panels are located can help eliminate the confusion and panic of an unexpected fire.

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 8:25 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Protecting Your Cabin From Fires This Spring

Bison Fires Protection Your cottage from Fire This Spring

Spring is just around the corner (we promise!) which means it’s time to start planning your gardens, getting your lawn ready, and making the drive to the cabin to open it up and get it ready for the season.

To help you get ready for a safe, enjoyable season out at the cabin we’ve revamped this post from our 2016 archives. It’s filled with timely, actionable tips to protect your family and investment, and make sure your cabin is protected from fires:

Start by Testing All Your Alarms

The first thing to do when you reopen the cabin for the season is to check your smoke alarms and replace the batteries if they don’t react during testing.

If your cottage has a wood-burning stove or another wood-burning appliance then you’ll also need to test your carbon monoxide detectors according to the manufacturer's instructions.

If you’re installing carbon monoxide detectors for the first time then make sure to install them strategically outside of bedrooms and sleeping areas, and close to any indoor fuel-burning appliances.

Inspect Your Wiring and Hydro Lines

Perform an inspection around the property to make sure that there’s no damage from ice, trees, or from winter storms that may have compromised your hydro lines, and report any damage you find.

It’s also important to check for issues caused by animals and rodents like mice and rats and to call an electrician if you see signs of damage.

Install and Inspect Your Fire Extinguisher

Your fire extinguisher should be in a place that’s close to an exit, easy to find and access in an emergency.

Take time to train all your family members on how to use it, and double check to make sure that the needle is in the “green” area on the extinguisher. Remember: a partially-charged fire extinguisher is as useful as an empty one, so make sure it’s fully charged at the start of each season.

Tidy Up Indoors and Outdoors

Do a little maintenance and clean up any leaves, dried brush, and other buildup around your cabin, making sure your sidewalks, driveways, and paths are all clear of debris.

Check the flues, vents, and chimney if you have one, and book an annual inspection to have an expert look for creosote buildup, cracks, crumbling bricks and obstructions.

Exercise Caution

Make sure to keep firewood away from the cabin and keep items like fiberglass boats, canoes, and other flammable liquids such as gasoline and propane in approved containers a safe distance away from the building as well.

If you have a chimney, use a fireplace screen to keep sparks from escaping as the wood is burning and make sure to burn dry, well-seasoned wood to reduce creosote buildup and get rid of the ashes in a covered container at least 3 feet (one meter) away from flammable materials flammable.

Display Emergency Information

Keep information about your cabin in a place that’s easy to find and access during an emergency, such as:

  • The exact location of your cabin
  • How to get to it from the closest major highway
  • Regional emergency contact information
  • Your contact information

If you live in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Saskatoon, or Regina and are looking to know more about how to protect your building from fire damage, contact the experts at Bison Fire Protection by calling 866-441-3473 today to schedule an appointment with a fire safety experts.

Posted by Rob Read at 1:33 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Your Sprinkler FAQ's Answered!

Bison Fire's Sprinkler FAQs Answered

You have questions; we have answers! We polled our fire safety technicians to find out which questions they hear the most while on the job, talking to new customers, or performing inspections.

Do you have a fire safety question for us? Tweet at us, and we’ll answer it on the blog!

Are there drainage requirements for automatic air vents?

No. Generally speaking, most automatic air vents don’t come with drainage requirements since their primary purpose is to exhaust air from the system.

However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t options available on the market. Since the vents will discharge water after trapped air has been released, a connection to a drain may be necessary in some cases. If a collection pan isn’t provided, or isn’t meeting your needs, speak to your Bison Fire Protection expert about a solution.

Are two pressure regulating valves required for systems that serve multiple downstream hose connections?

Yes. By installing two Pressure Regulating Valves (PRVs) in a system, you’re guaranteeing that at least one of the two systems will work even if one part of the system is unable to reduce the pressure. Installing two provides an additional level of security, assuming that if the valve does fail, it will do so in the “open” setting according to industry standards.

Keep in mind that each valve will typically have a minimum fixed loss of 10 psi, but should be verified by a qualified technician.

Do sprinklers need to cover the entire area at the top of a stair shaft even if the stairwell is noncombustible?

Yes. Sprinklers must be installed at the top of the shaft, and under the first accessible landing above the bottom of the shaft.

After all, the point is to provide adequate sprinkler coverage for every area of a building or warehouse, which includes ensuring all stair shafts - even ones built with noncombustible material - are properly protected.

Can I install a reducer (increaser) on my fire pump?

Yes, an “eccentric” reducer is permitted on the discharge side of the pump, so that you can use either an eccentric reducer or a concentric reducer. However, it’s critical to only use your reducer on the discharge side of the pump; otherwise you risk allowing air pockets to enter the fire pump, which could cause a small explosion.

If you have questions about your fire pump, contact a Bison Fire Protection expert today.

If you’re a building manager in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Saskatoon, or Regina and are looking to know more about how to protect your building from fire damage, contact the experts at Bison Fire Protection by calling 866-441-3473 today to schedule an appointment with a fire safety experts.

Posted by Rob Read at 8:30 AM 0 Comments