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Archive for the ‘Fire Alarms’ Category

Fire Sprinkler Saves the Day in Rancho Santa Fe

Posted on: August 12th, 2014 by Rick Miller No Comments

Fire Sprinkler Saves DayFirefighters say that a single fire sprinkler averted disaster in a July 24th garage fire, on a ranch in Rancho Santa Fe. They reported that the blaze was started by unknown causes near the water heater.

Before the fire could spread to the rest of the garage and the house, one fire sprinkler head activated, and suppressed the flames. The only resident who was home at the time was able to easily leave the home and wait for help to arrive.

Firefighters made sure the fire was completely out and reactivated the sprinkler system. Battalion Chief Fred Cox said, “No doubt this would have been a fully-involved garage fire if the sprinkler system was not present.”

Fire sprinkler systems are now required on all new homes in California, Maryland, and Washington DC, along with many cities and counties in other states. If your home lacks a system, contact us for a free quote. Fire sprinklers save lives and property every day.

Fresno’s Fire Sprinkler PSA Makes a Fair Point

Posted on: August 8th, 2014 by Rick Miller No Comments

Fresno PSAYes, having a firefighter in your house could be handy. You’d never have to worry about a small kitchen fire taking down the entire house. Then again, you’d have to feed him, entertain him, and find him a comfortable place to sleep. That could get expensive. And crowded.

On the other hand, a home fire sprinkler system could reduce your chances of losing your home to a fire by 97%, with one low, up-front cost. It really is a lot like having a firefighter right there in the house. No food, extra bed, or video game time required.

Check out the video below, and let us know when you’re ready to get started on a home fire sprinkler system of your own. We can retrofit one to the house you own now, or help you install one during construction on a brand new house.

Fire Prevention Sacramento CA Avoiding Leaks in Your Fire Sprinkler Pipes

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

Pitting In PipeFortunately fire sprinkler system leaks are very rare, but they can happen. Usually system leaks are caused by pitting in the pipe, due to oxygen trapped inside. Fresh oxygen gets introduced into the pipe system sometimes, during testing and refilling. When oxygen sits under the pipe surface for a long time, it reacts with the metal of the pipe and causes tiny leaks to form.

If local codes allow it, plastic is a great, non-reactive material for fire sprinkler pipes. You can also use non-reactive metals to construct or update your system. If neither of those is an option for you, and you are concerned about the integrity of your fire sprinkler pipe system, you might be a good candidate for nitrogen inerting.

Nitrogen inerting is a process you can use on a dry or wet fire sprinkler system. The basic idea is that it removes all of the corrosive oxygen from your pipes, and replaces it with nitrogen. This solves the corrosion problem completely. Give us a call to get more information on how to protect your fire sprinkler system.

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 35 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 47 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 ( 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.

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