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Archive for the ‘Fire Alarms’ Category

Become a Fire Sprinkler Advocate for Your Community

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

Fire Sprinkler AdvocateSo you’ve installed a brand new fire suppression system in your building. You’ve reduced your risk of property damage by over 70% and your risk of bodily harm by over 98%. What could be better than that? A safer neighborhood.

Even though firefighters, nonprofits, and government agencies have been working for decades to get the word out about the benefits of fire sprinkler systems, only 2% of homes have a system of their own. Much of the problem has to do with the myths people see and hear in movies– like the smoke-activated myth, and the every-sprinkler-going-off-at-once myth.

These agencies need community members like you, who know the truth about the life-saving power of a fire sprinkler system. You can talk with neighbors, business owners, and community members about how inexpensive, easy, and important it is to bring more fire sprinkler systems to the neighborhood. The Fire Sprinkler Initiative makes it simple for anyone to become an advocate. Download helpful materials and tips at their website.

One Fire Sprinkler Head Stops Nursing Home Fire

Posted on: September 16th, 2014 by Rick Miller No Comments

Fire Sprinkler HeadAt 2:00 a.m. on August 25th, 2014, a light fixture caught fire in one of the bathrooms at a nursing home in St. Paul, MN.

If it had happened only one and a half years earlier, the results could have been deadly, because one and a half years ago, Cerenity Senior Care did not own a fire suppression system.

Because the center did install a system, not only were residents unharmed, they slept peacefully through the night without ever becoming aware there was a problem. Firefighters say it took only one activated sprinkler head to suppress the fire before it spread. It saved thousands of dollars in property, and undoubtedly saved lives, as well.

The firefighters told reporters that this is a great example of how movies and TV shows misrepresent sprinkler systems, showing entire buildings soaked from ceiling to floor because of one small flame. In reality, that’s not the case. One sprinkler head is usually all it takes to keep a fire from getting out of control.

September Commercial Newsletter

Posted on: September 1st, 2014 by Rick Miller No Comments

Dear Business Owner,

We hope this fall finds you and your employees working happily! In this issue we’ll take a look at how to keep viruses out of your office network. We’ll also discuss a few ways to plan a fall staff retreat without going crazy, and how to keep security strong while working with temporary employees. Don’t forget to schedule your fall fire sprinkler check-up before the cold weather starts!

Enjoy the cooler weather (soon, we hope)!

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

Safe ComputerKeep Your Network Virus-Free
A computer virus on one office workstation can infect your entire network if you’re not careful. Here are a few ways to reduce the risk of a major cyber security breach.

1. Instruct employees not to touch emails from people they don’t know. If they work in a position that frequently handles incoming mail from new contacts, make sure they’ve got the latest anti-virus software, and that they do not download attachments blindly.

2. Use virtual machines to segment risky work from safer tasks. A virtual machine is like a computer within a computer, and can be used to isolate a potential virus from the rest of the system.

3. Update your encryption and firewalls as often as necessary. Using old encryption and weak firewalls creates easy inroads for malware and malicious hackers.

We can help you set up hard core cyber security protocols on your network, no matter how large or small it is. Give us a call if you’ve got questions.

Employee RetreatsFall Staff Retreats Without Stress
Your business is safer from internal theft when morale is high. Many companies use employee retreats to build teamwork, camaraderie, and loyalty among their staff members. It seems like a simple idea from the outside, but once you start planning an event like this, it can quickly spiral into an administrative nightmare. We gathered a few tips to help you keep it easy and fun.

• Don’t stray too far from home. Once airfare and carpooling gets involved, it’s tough to keep things simple. Find a bed and breakfast, resort, or conference center in your city, or one town away.

• Don’t rough it. A camping trip together would be amazing for building trust and teamwork, but only if your people are avid campers already. If you’re dealing with a group of homebodies, opt for cabins with a linen service and real bathrooms, to minimize the headaches of super long supply lists, and difficult meal planning.

• Spring for catering. It might cost a little more than planning and making meals yourself. And yes, cooking together can make for fun team bonding, but you’ll be so happy you didn’t have to make that three-hour Costco run. Plus, you get to relax and focus on getting to know your people, instead of managing the kitchens.

We can help you keep your security plan simple on the road, too. Give us a call as you start planning your retreat, and we’ll help you make sure cyber security and physical security aren’t anything to worry about.

Temp HelpManaging Security with Temporary Employees
Temporary employees, contractors, and freelancers can be a great way to boost your productivity, without blowing the budget. The trouble is that temporary employees have far less motivation to stay honest than a permanent employee. They also tend to have access to sensitive information and items that can put your company at risk. How do you keep things secure when you’ve got temporary staff to manage?

First of all, it’s a good idea to hire temps through a temp service you trust. Find one that gets their people thoroughly, both with a background and reference check, and with a thorough interviewing and testing process. Some services will take on just about anybody, in an effort to make money off of volume rather than quality. So do your research, and ask others in your field which temp services they recommend. If you have a lot of temporary employees in the office, you may need to establish storage areas with restricted access. Call us if you need help.

Second, when dealing with contractors and freelancers who have access to your files and your network, create a system of sharing protocols. Decide and explain to your other employees what is off limits to the newcomers. If you must share sensitive information with a contractor, you may need to create a signed contract to prevent disclosure. Talk to an HR expert or a lawyer about the best way to protect your proprietary information.

Fire Sprinkler Check upYour Fire Sprinkler System Needs a Regular Check-up To Run Efficiently
Automatic fire sprinkler systems are one of the most significant components of a building fire protection strategy. When properly designed, installed and maintained, an automatic fire sprinkler system can control a fire and significantly reduce deaths, injuries and property damage. However, fire sprinkler systems have their limitations, and their performance can certainly be affected by factors not linked to the initial design or installation of the sprinkler system.

The top five reasons that fire sprinkler systems fail to operate or perform ineffectively during a fire are:

• Lack of maintenance/upkeep
• System shut off
• Inappropriate system for the type of fire
• Water discharged did not reach fire
• Problem with water supply or not enough water discharged

Fall is a great time of year to have a Fire Sprinkler System Check Up. Our technicians will conduct a maintenance audit and check heads, valves, water pressure, shut offs, plus make sure your fire system is up-to-date and is the right system for your specific needs.

We can set up a time for your fall Fire Sprinkler System Check Up as soon as you’re ready. Give us a call at 1-800-800-ALARM or email us at: Sign up soon because demand will pick up over the next few months.

Trivia Challenge

Starbucks CardAnswer our trivia question and get a chance to win coffee & pastry on us! Simply fill out the trivia answer by September 30th 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: How many times do you hear the word “dude” in The Big Lebowski?

Watch: Fire Sprinkler Activates in Slow Motion

Posted on: August 19th, 2014 by Rick Miller No Comments

Fire Sprinkler SlomoHave you ever wondered how fire sprinklers activate when temperatures heat up? Youtuber Taofledermaus conducted a little slow motion demonstration.

He received a common sprinkler head, discarded because it was dropped once during installation. Then he heated the glass ampule with a lighter, and filmed the magic.

This model activates at 155 degrees, which is a common temp for a household system activation level. Watch the pip flying out at the end!

If you need help installing or servicing your fire sprinkler system, give us a call! We’ve got licensed technicians ready to give you a quote, or check on your existing system.

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?”

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