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Archive for the ‘Fire Alarms’ Category

3 Myths Your Clients Believe about Fire Sprinklers

Posted on: July 24th, 2014 by Rick Miller No Comments

Fire Sprinkler SystemNow that construction companies are getting more involved in fire sprinkler installation, it’s a great time to help your clients address their fears. According to new laws, many renovations of large spaces, especially over 5,000 feet, require a fire sprinkler installation. You’re in the perfect place to help renovation clients understand that a new fire sprinkler system isn’t the bear they think it is.

Myth #1: It will cost an arm and a leg. The truth is, if you’re opening up walls and ceilings anyway, a new system usually costs around 1 percent of the cost of the building. Not so bad at all.

Myth #2: It will set itself off for no reason and cause expensive water damage. Nope. Fire sprinklers are set to go off one at a time, only in cases of extreme heat, not smoke. They actually cause much less water damage than a fire hose.

Myth #3: It’s an unnecessary expense. In reality, fire sprinkler systems save lives and property every day. On the flip side of that equation, businesses without fire sprinklers lose people, buildings and property every day. It’s worth it for 99% casualty prevention and 89% property loss prevention.

If your clients are still uneasy about the new fire sprinkler system, have them give us a call. We can go over the details of renovation-related installation, and get them started with a free quote.

Home Alarm Medford OR Do Your Kids Know What to Do in an Emergency?

Posted on: July 24th, 2014 by Rick Miller 30 Comments

Safety for KidsUnfortunately, you can’t guarantee that you’ll be around every time something major happens to your children. They may be home alone, or away from the house the next time a bad guy shows up, or a tornado hits, or a fire starts. You can put your mind at ease and keep kids safe with a little preparation. Here are a few hints and tips for teaching your kids to protect themselves.

● Enroll in a family self-defense class. Kids who look and feel confident are less likely to get targeted by bullies and predators. A self-defense class can instill that confidence, plus give kids the know-how to stay alert and spot danger.

● Put important emergency numbers at the top of your kids’ phone contacts. Your number, a trusted relative’s number, the neighbors, and a close friend– anyone you trust to come to the rescue in an emergency.

● Do home earthquake drills and fire drills, and teach teen drivers and young pedestrians what to do if they encounter flash flooding. (Turn around; don’t drown.) You should also discuss how to react to a home invasion if they’re in the house by themselves.

● If your kids walk home from school, equip them with personal backpack alarms, so they can set off a lot of noise and light if they get into trouble.

There are a lot of handy tricks and gadgets to make your home smarter, help you stay in close contact with your kids when you’re away from home, and make it easy for kids to arm the home security system. Talk to us about your concerns, and together we can make your family safer than ever, even when you can’t be right there with them.

Trying To Put Out A Blazing Fire With A Squirt Gun!

Posted on: July 15th, 2014 by Rick Miller 44 Comments

Ready SquirtSo it is 2014 and the methods of construction have changed and with it the codes that govern how to protect your home from fire. With the evolution of information and technology we see lots of new alternatives to protect your home from fire that simply were not available 10 or 20 years ago or maybe more importantly, were not cost effective.

Now a days most homes are required to have fire sprinkler systems if they are built brand new, but what about all the existing homes. What is a good idea now should be even a better idea for those old homes that were built with materials that have been proven to be highly flammable and huge fire risks compared to our current construction materials.

The topic today is – Making sure you have adequate water supply to meet the needs of a fully sprinkled home. A Fire Sprinkler System for your home that does not have adequate water supply is like “Trying to put out a blazing fire with a squirt gun”. You’ll feel real good with the sprinkler head in every room but when it comes time to shoot water it will be a real let down! The point is it will create a lot of smoke but won’t suppress the fire. This is the reason NFPA-13D has created standards by which the sprinkler system should operate to contain and suppress a fire properly.

NFPA-13d states that the sprinkler demand in a residential system should be calculated by the water flow required to run 2 sprinkler heads (it does not use the word “heads” as that is an industry jargon) simultaneously for 10 minutes. The minimum rate of flow should be 7 gallons per minute and this would be achieved by selecting the proper “K” factor for the head used. Most commonly 15GPM rule of thumb is used and it is because it is worst case scenario. This would mean that a normal house with a normal system would require about 30GPM supply in order to meet the code.

Now here’s the problem; most residential water meters are not rated to produce this much flow, so you either find out if it can be upgraded (keeping in mind that you will most likely be charged much more for it up front and on a monthly basis) or you buy the new type of fire sprinkler water tanks with an integral fire pump. The advantages of the water tanks/fire pump are that they are relatively inexpensive to install and they are hassle free to maintain.

Telco Fire Pump Talco Fire (www.talkcofire.com) has one of the best packages available and it comes with the water tank (300-500 gallon choice), high/low water level float indicator, electronic controller, the fire pump with internal shut off valve that may be supervised. Keep in mind to meet the demand of our math above you would need a 300 gallon tank.

Now is that the end of the story? Have we gotten rid of our “Squirt Gun” and brought a “Master Blaster” to the party instead? Not exactly! There is another factor that still remains and that is, pressure. NFPA makes the stance that unless you have enough pressure for the sprinkler head to cover the area effectively you still cannot suppress the fire. However, pressure without flow won’t put out a fire either! This brings us full circle back to the two choices above: 1.) a larger water meter or 2.) a water tank/fire pump package.

So if you are thinking about retro fitting your home with a sprinkler system please bring in a professional contractor and make sure you bring up the question, “Do I have adequate water supply to extinguish a fire in my home?”

July Fire Sprinkler Newsletter

Posted on: July 11th, 2014 by Rick Miller No Comments

Dear Fire Sprinkler Clients,

Good news! The truth about fire sprinklers and their benefits is spreading. As more myths get busted, the public is starting to come out in favor of fire sprinklers in homes, where most fire deaths occur. We’ll take a look at that in this issue, as well as a creative sprinkler demonstration by the Austin Fire Department, and ways you can use renovations to save on a fire sprinkler system.

Stay safe out there this summer!

Don’t forget to reply to our Trivia Challenge for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks gift card!


MythbustingMythbusting Boosts Fire Sprinkler Approval Ratings

The public hasn’t always been strongly in favor of fire sprinkler mandates in the last few decades. Misconceptions about the costs, function, and usefulness of fire sprinkler systems left many homeowners either indifferent about installing a system, or outright opposed to it. That’s why the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, a nonprofit public education service, has been working tirelessly to get the truth out about how fire sprinklers save lives and property.

A new study conducted through Harris Polls shows that the HFSC’s efforts are paying off. The numbers show huge increases in homeowner approval of fire sprinklers.

● 74% said they prefer a home with fire sprinklers over one without.
● 0% said a house with fire sprinklers has higher value.
● Almost 80% said fire sprinklers are the best fire protection you can get.

The HFSC said that the key to convincing homeowners lies in correcting a few popular myths– namely the myth that fire sprinklers are smoke-activated, and the myth that all the sprinklers go off at once. As soon as those two lies are debunked, approval ratings skyrocket almost instantly. That’s good news for homeowners, and firefighters, too.


Austin,TX Fire DepartmentAustin Fire Department Gets Creative with Fire Sprinkler Education

Since fire sprinkler systems are still relatively rare in Texas, the Austin Fire Department came up with a novel way to show the public what they can do. As a local Habitat for Humanity chapter celebrated its 200th home built with fire sprinklers, AFD pulled up to the party with a strange trailer hitched to the back of a truck.

The firefighters removed one wall of the trailer to reveal a perfectly replicated dining room, complete with a table, chairs, pictures, toys, and wall panels. Then they set it on fire.

The crowd watched the blaze climb up the table legs, chairs, and ultimately engulfed the entire room in huge flames. As it burned, firefighters spoke about how fast a fire can happen, and how fast a fire sprinkler system can control the blaze. “It can keep the fire in check, enough to where it’s survivable conditions inside this room, until firefighters get to the scene,” he said.

Local news crews covered the demonstration, and also put out the word about the importance of working smoke detectors in the home.


RenovationsUse Renovations to Improve Fire Safety

Fire sprinklers are now a requirement for all new office buildings, apartments, and homes in California, and new legislation is being considered in Oregon as well. But it’s not just new buildings that need sprinkler systems.

If you plan any major updates to your existing business or home, you may need to include a fire sprinkler system while you’re at it. According to the code, if you have a smaller building, and your new addition puts you over 5,000 square feet, you’ll need to add a sprinkler system to the entire building. If you own a building that is already 5,000 square feet or larger, and you plan to add on more than 10% of the current square footage OR renovate more than 50% of the building, you need to add fire sprinklers to the whole building.

Even if you don’t have to worry about these regulations, renovations are an opportunity to save money on a life-saving, property-protecting asset. A fire sprinkler system reduces loss of life to less than 1%, and reduces property damage by 80% or more. If you already have walls and ceilings opening up, the cost of a new sprinkler system goes down dramatically. So why not take the plunge, regardless of whether it’s required? Give us a call for a quote before you start your next big project.


Trivia Challenge

 
 
 
 
 
Starbucks CardAnswer our trivia question and get a chance to win coffee & pastry on us! Simply fill out the trivia answer by July 31st, 2014 in the comment section below, be sure to include your name in the Name field and your email in the Mail field. We’ll put all responses in the proverbial fishbowl and pick 5 names to win a $10 Starbucks Gift Card!

Question: What was the name of the worst wildfire in Oregon’s history?

Fire Sprinklers Provide Peace of Mind in Wildfire Zones

Posted on: July 2nd, 2014 by Rick Miller No Comments

WildfireThe West Coast tends to burst into flames all by itself every few years. You can prepare your home with the right building materials: concrete, tile, or metal roofing, stucco or metal siding, metal window screens, and flame-resistant vents.

However, the best and last line of defense in a wildfire zone is something many homeowners never consider: a fire sprinkler system. The biggest danger most homes face during wild fire season is falling embers. If an ember does manage to get past your fire-resistant exterior and reach the deck or the inside of your home, a fire sprinkler system can keep damage to a minimum.

Fire sprinklers activate when the heat in the room reaches a set temperature, usually well over 180 degrees Fahrenheit. The system operates one sprinkler head at a time, to contain the blaze to one area without causing water damage to the rest of the house.

Talk to us about retrofitting a system for your home before wildfire season starts. We can get you a customized quote, and show you how a fire sprinkler system can keep your house and family safe.

Questions to Ask When Retrofitting a Sprinkler System

Posted on: June 27th, 2014 by Rick Miller No Comments

Fire SprinklerIf you’re remodeling this summer, it could be the perfect time to install a retrofitted fire sprinkler system in your home or office. And the good news is that you may be able to do it without much disruption to your remodeling plans, or your walls. These are a few questions you can ask the installer when you get a quote.

Can we keep pipes hidden without opening walls? Often you can use closets and crawl space to lay some of the pipes for your new sprinkler system, which minimizes the need to cut through too much drywall where it counts.

Can you work around our remodeling schedule? A good installer will coordinate with you and the other contractors in the house, so that they can either work around each other, or work together when it would be more efficient (i.e., installing pipes in the kitchen at the same time you open up the ceiling for the new oven hood wiring).

What kinds of structural changes do we need to report before/during installation? If you’re planning to make changes to the layout of your rooms that could block your new sprinkler heads from covering the area properly, you need to advise the installers as soon as possible.

With any luck, you can use this window of opportunity to make your house safer and more beautiful at the same time!

Hawaii Townhome Fire Could Have Been Stopped

Posted on: June 26th, 2014 by Rick Miller No Comments

Hawaii TownhomeOfficials are now saying that a fire that left eight families homeless could have been contained to a single room, if the building had been properly equipped with fire sprinklers. One pet dog died, and another was killed, but no human lives were lost in the townhome fire that started on the night of June 5th, 2014.

Four of the units were a total loss, and nineteen people were displaced. Residents tried to fight the fire with an extinguisher, but were quickly overwhelmed and had to flee. Hawaii Fire Department Captain Terry Seelig said, “Without a doubt, this fire today in Ewa Beach would not have gotten much beyond the room of origin in that unit, and certainly not beyond the unit to the next, if a fire sprinkler system had been installed, as the department recommended.”

Hawaii is not on the list of states that have chosen to mandate fire sprinklers in apartment buildings. Fire fighters continue to work with local officials and businesses to encourage installation.

New Structures More at Risk of Fire than Old Structures

Posted on: June 23rd, 2014 by Rick Miller No Comments

Fire SprinklerA new home is the answer to so many of the fears involved in purchasing a house. It has brand new plumbing, perfectly up-to-date wiring, energy efficiency, no chance of wood rot, termites, roof leaks, and other headaches for years to come…

But many new homeowners are unaware that their newly built house puts them at higher risk of fire damage than if they lived in an older home. That makes a fire sprinkler system so much more important than ever.

Old homes do have more electrical problems, which puts them at higher risk of catching fire in the first place. However, new homes burn faster and bigger than most old homes ever would. First of all, the lighter, synthetic materials used in new homes are much more flammable than the materials used in the past. Also, the structure of new homes, with open floor plans, high ceilings, and lofts, gives a fire plenty of air, and easy access to the entirety of the house.

A new home without a sprinkler system faces much higher risk of being completely engulfed in the first few minutes. In contrast, older homes tend to take ten to fifteen minutes to get an all-encompassing blaze started. That gives firefighters the time to arrive and start to put out the flames.

The good news is that, thanks to legislation passed over the last few decades, new homes are almost always built with comprehensive sprinkler systems, ready to go. That means every small blaze is met with a concentrated dose of water, before it has the chance to spread anywhere else. That alone makes you safer in that new, flammable home, than you would ever be in a house without a fire sprinkler system.

If you have an open floor plan and would like us to evaluate and give recommendation on your specific threats and protection needs, please call us at: 1-800-800-ALARM or email us at: CustomerService@HueandCry.com.

Please comment and share your fire sprinkler thoughts and ideas.

June 2014 Fire Sprinkler Newsletter

Posted on: June 18th, 2014 by Rick Miller 1 Comment

Dear Fire Sprinkler Clients,

Fire sprinklers continue to get smarter and less conspicuous each year. This month we’ll take a look at a few of the reasons fire sprinklers are the best line of defense. We’ll also talk about the role of fire sprinkler designers in the building process, and catch up on West Coast fire sprinkler news.

Thanks for trusting us with your business.

Fire SprinklersWhat Makes Fire Sprinklers the Best Defense?

1. They save many more lives than other fire prevention/detection devices, like fire alarms and extinguishers. A good set of interconnected fire detectors can reduce loss of life by 50%, but a fire sprinkler system can reduce it by nearly 100%. When you’re talking about people’s lives, that’s a big difference.

2. They can save you money on your property insurance. Insurers know a safe bet when they see one. They stand to lose less money on a building fire that has fire sprinklers, because the damage will be contained to a very small area.

3. The cost of a sprinkler system installation is about the same as a security system, and much less than extras like a pool or a fully-outfitted media room.

4. They compensate for the extra fire risks new homes pose. The most recent materials used in furniture and building materials are much more flammable than the materials used in older homes. But with a good sprinkler system, the chances of losing property or life to a house fire is extremely low.

Sprinkler DesignerWhat Does a Fire Sprinkler Designer Do?

A fire sprinkler designer is an expert who has been trained in fire sprinkler regulations and installation procedures. If you are having your new sprinkler system installed during the building process, the fire sprinkler designer can work with the builders to plan ahead for the placement of pipes and sprinkler heads.

You can discuss options with the designer, such as:
● Covered, recessed ceiling heads that are barely noticeable
● Covered sprinkler heads in the walls, which can help to avoid pipe installation in the attic
● Special sprinkler head installations in the basement ceiling, designed to allow for finishing in the future

The fire sprinkler designer can help you find the most efficient, least risky way to structure your system, and can even help you find ways to set up third-party monitoring with your security company. If you plan to retrofit a system in an existing structure, the designer can look over the building plans with you, and find ways to do the installation with a minimum of renovation.

Carlton Winery FireCarlton, OR, Winery Loses Big to Fire

A large winery in the town of Carlton, Oregon caught fire on May 11th, starting in the fermentation room. Firefighters were so overwhelmed by the blaze, they had to call in reinforcements from five other fire departments.

Even with all the extra hands on deck, one firefighter was injured, and the business sustained between $300,000 and $400,000 in loss and damages. Fire officials noted that the building lacked a fire sprinkler system, which could have prevented the vast majority of the owners’ losses, and prevented the injury of one of their own.

Trivia Challenge

 
 
 
 
 
Starbucks CardAnswer our trivia question and get a chance to win coffee & pastry on us! Simply fill out the trivia answer in the comment section below, be sure to include your name in the Name field and your email in the Mail field. We’ll put all responses in the proverbial fishbowl and pick 5 names to win a $10 Starbucks Gift Card!

Question: How many structure fires occurred in the US in 2012?

3 Terrible Reasons to Forgo a Fire Sprinkler Crescent City, CA

Posted on: June 16th, 2014 by Rick Miller 47 Comments

House on fire1. Smoke detectors are all we need to protect us.Smoke detectors can reduce loss of life by 50%. Fire sprinklers can reduce it by 97-100%. And that doesn’t even touch the subject of property loss. A fire detector has no power to stop a fire in its tracks, while a sprinkler system does exactly that.

2. It costs too much.
A new system in a brand new home, installed during construction, costs around 1% of the home’s value, in most markets. A retrofitted system usually runs between 1.5% and 3%. Usually it amounts to much less than a refinished kitchen, or a hot tub, or a new back deck. And it has the potential to save your home and your family, which is worth much, much more than the cost of a new fire sprinkler system.

3. It could cause water damage to my house.
Fire sprinklers cause much less water damage than a firefighter’s high-pressure hose. Contrary to popular belief, the system only activates one sprinkler at a time, in the place it’s needed most. The sensors are set to go off only at high temperatures, much higher than a home can get without the presence of a fire. Smoke will not set off a sprinkler system. The only water damage a fire sprinkler system will cause to your home is in the small vicinity of the fire, where it starts. That’s the best you can do when it comes to preventing fire-related water damage.

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