If you don’t, it’s high time to invest in fire prevention measures and bring your house up to OHSA standards.
To give you an idea of the need for better fire safety mechanisms in residential spaces here’s a brief summary of the current state of affairs and general home fire things to know:
So, what are some easy, hassle-free ways to fire-proof your home?
Let’s examine our top five recommendations.
Recommendation #1 Conduct a Home Fire-Proof Assessment
Do you know that there are on average 24,000 residential fires every year across Canada? On top of that, there are about 3,048 associated injuries and an estimated 377 corresponding fatalities.
These are worrying figures indeed. But what’s even more concerning are the people who are ignorant of the fire readiness (or lack) of their homes.
That’s why for us, step 1 in the fire prevention plan for your home should be to conduct an in-depth fire-proof assessment. You will only know for sure how safe your house is after a comprehensive evaluation from fire specialists.
Most fires can be prevented if residents are aware of the potentially hazardous issues and rectify them early on. With specialists such as All Protect Systems only one phone call away, don’t wait any longer to book a fire system inspection.
Recommendation #2 Mount Fire Extinguishers Around the House
Fire extinguishers aren’t created equal. They are designed with a specific fire in mind. As fire specialists, we advise all our clients to invest in several fire extinguishers for their home.
Water-based extinguishers because they are capable of putting out Class A fires that involve wood, plastic, paper, rubber and cloth.
If you use gas in the home we suggest getting carbon dioxide-based fire extinguishers/dry chemical fire extinguishers as they are capable of extinguishing Class B fires which generally have as an ignition source gas, oil, or paint.
If you work with power tools, make sure you have a liquid-based fire extinguisher/carbon dioxide fire extinguisher somewhere in the garage.
For your kitchen, you’ll want a wet chemical fire extinguisher as it can easily douse Class K fires that are caused by hot oil, grease or fat.
Has it ever occurred to you that a fire might break out in your home while you’re not there? It’s a scary thought indeed. But it’s not one you need to fear if you have a fire sprinkler system installed.
Fire sprinkler systems are great ideas for homes with invalids or elderly residents who may not be able to make a quick dash to the closest fire extinguisher.
The automatic nature of the fire sprinkler system will kick in as soon as a fire is detected. During your home assessment, the fire system expert will be able to make suitable recommendations of where the fire sprinkler system can be installed throughout your residence.
Recommendation #4 Invest in a Smoke Alarm
Do you currently have a smoke alarm installed in your home? Yes? No?
If yes, when was the last time it was serviced? Is it even functional? If you can’t answer any of these questions, it’s time to schedule your annual maintenance inspection
And if you don’t have a smoke alarm, it’s time to invest in one.
Research has shown us that in homes with smoke alarms, the number of fatalities during fire incidents is significantly much lower than in homes without such systems.
What you need to remember about smoke alarm installation is that this is a one-time installation that will only require one annual checkup. What might seem expensive at onset will prove to be an invaluable investment over the years. Look at smoke alarms as a type of home insurance if you’d like.
Recommendation #5 Clear Combustible Vegetation Around the House
What type of vegetation is around your property? Do you have flammable plants? Grasses? Piles of wood nearby? All these can be very dangerous.
You’ll want to ensure you create a line of defense around your property that acts as a fire break in case of any rogue fires.
You’ll also want to make sure that the material that makes up your driveway and encircles your house is of crushed stone.
It’s a good idea to keep your lawn neat and trimmed and no higher than 10cm. It should also be well-hydrated particularly during the hotter months of the year.
Bonus Recommendation: Fire Doors Can Be Game-Changing
According to SGI Canada, the rooms in which fire is most likely to start are the living room, the bedrooms, and the kitchen.
With that said, what can be done to contain fires in these areas should it break out? Well, for kitchens we suggest fire doors.
“…a type of door that has been built to withstand direct exposure to fire for an extended period without allowing the fire to move to the other side of the door.”
These purpose-built doors act as both heat shields and inhibitors against the spread of fire. OSHA standards stipulate that each emergency exit in your home or place of residence should be protected by a fire door.
The Bottom Line
There can be no doubt about the fact that prevention is better than cure. We encourage homeowners and landlords to be proactive in their efforts to fire-proof their homes.
Making sure you’re one step ahead gives you peace of mind and potentially provides you with higher chances of survival in the event of a fire incident.
If you’re in Ontario and would like to discuss your fire prevention plan or the OSHA standards our technicians at All Protect Systems are always happy to help.
We pride ourselves on being fire specialists able to service, install, and maintain fire alarm systems, fire warning systems, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, exit lighting, and sprinkler systems.
Every tradesman knows that even the best tools are worthless without the proper training and experience, and fire extinguishers are one of the most effective front-line tools for fighting fires. In fact, Ontario Regulation 297/13 requires that any workplace subject to the Occupational Health and Safety Act must provide health and safety awareness training to employees and supervisors. Fire extinguisher training should be one of the cornerstones of any workplace safety program.
Once you understand the requirements, you may choose to hire a professional for your fire extinguisher training program. However, you may still wish to familiarize yourself with the basics before hiring a professional.
Discovering the Fire
Even the best fire alarm systems may not be as quick to notice a fire as an astute employee on the job. Before grabbing the nearest extinguisher, train your employees to first activate the fire alarm. Hopefully, there’s a manual pull station close to any flammable material or a nearby exit. If a fire alarm initiation device is not available, the employee should try to call the fire department and summon them immediately.
Confronting the Fire
Once the fire alarm has been activated, or the fire department has been called, the employee must decide if he can deal with a fire with a nearby extinguisher. The fire must be small enough for his extinguisher to handle, and he must have a clear and safe path to the nearest exit.
Train your employees to identify a safe evacuation path before approaching a fire. Once they begin to spray the fire with the extinguisher, they need to make sure not to let any fire, heat, or smoke get in between them and a safe exit.
P.A.S.S. Method of Fire Fighting
Once a member of your staff is ready to fight a fire with an extinguisher, they should employ the PASS method. PASS is a helpful acronym to help you remember how to operate a fire extinguisher during a stressful episode.
P is for pull the pin. Every extinguisher has a pin in the handle to prevent an accidental discharge. The operator must first pull the pin before squeezing the handle to dispense the extinguishing agent.
A is for aim at the base of the fire. It’s a natural tendency to want to spray the flames themselves since that’s what does the damage. However, that’s not the way to put out a fire. Aim the extinguishing agent at the bottom of the fire, and you target the fuel that’s generating the flames and put the fire out much quicker.
S is for squeeze the handle. Squeezing the handle pushes a button that allows the extinguishing agent to flow through the nozzle and towards your target.
S is for sweep. Don’t focus the spray on one portion of the base of the fire. Instead, sweep your aim back and forth to catch all of the potential fuel causing the fire to ignite. Even during an effective sweeping action, the fire could always reignite. If that happens, repeat aim, squeeze, and sweep.
Fire extinguisher training should be a regular and vital part of all employee training. Not only does it make them more capable of fighting a fire, but it also makes them feel like a more important part of the organization and team.
If you’re unsure how to set up your fire extinguisher training, the fire experts at All Protect Systems Inc can help you. They’ve been helping Ontario area companies with their fire protection needs since 1996. Call them today to find out what they can do for you!
You don’t want to find out during a fire that your current sprinkler system isn’t functional.
Fire sprinkler systems are a major part of a building’s fire protection framework. Despite their pride of place as one of the basic fire prevention mechanisms, people rarely ever think about them.
In fact, it’s probable that building owners only ever give sprinklers a second thought when there is a leakage, it’s time to schedule a fire inspection or sporadic training drill for employees.
Well, we’re here to remind you of the pivotal role your fire sprinkler systems play and that you should be taking proper care of them.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in and discuss the top tell-tale signs that indicate it might be time for your business to get a new fire sprinkler system.
5 Tell-Tale Signs It’s Time To Invest in a New Fire Sprinkler System
Sign #1 You Don’t Remember When The Last Inspection Was
Make no mistake: If you can’t remember when the last fire inspection took place – there is a problem.
So, how often should your building be getting routine fire sprinkler checks?
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) as often as once every quarter. This means in a year, there should be on average one inspection every three months at the very least.
NFPA codes also stress that maintenance checks should be carried out on a weekly basis. For example, checking control valve positioning and making sure valves are in an ‘open’ position.
If you have no idea when the last inspection was, now is probably a very good time to have a certified fire professional come in and take a look.
Sign #2 The Existing Sprinkler System is Old and Outdated
Do you know how old your fire sprinkler system is? Are you aware of what type of fire sprinkler system you even have? Most business owners don’t know the answers to these questions off the top of their heads.
You see, the reason it’s important to know how old your system is and what type you have, is so that it can be replaced within the recommended timeline.
The life expectancy of an average dry system is 10 to 15 years, while that of a wet system is typically 15 to 25 years. Systems that carry nitrogen may outlast both dry and wet systems.
If your system is already more than 10 years old, it’s time to really consider an update because in this last decade, the fire protection industry has incorporated a wide range of innovative technologies into the newer fire sprinkler models.
If you want access to the latest features, efficiency, and peace of mind, it’s worth the effort of reaching out to a licensed professional to discuss your building fire protection needs.
Sign #3 Your Business Size Has Changed Over The Years
Perhaps you have more employees working in your building than when you first installed the existing fire sprinkler system? More often than not, fire prevention systems are tailored to fit in with the need – i.e. the number of people on the premises who have to be protected.
The more people you have, there is a corresponding need for a fire sprinkler system with a wider reach. So whatever system you currently have must be modified to accommodate the increasing number of people on site.
This doesn’t apply merely to your sprinklers but to the number of fire extinguishers and smoke alarms you have within the building.
Sign #4 Your Current Fire Sprinkler Requires Too Much Maintenance
Are you constantly on the phone scheduling another service call? Are you finding yourself spending a whole lot of money on touch-ups and maintenance?
We’ll be the first to tell you that if you find yourself needing to call in fire inspection teams for service calls – this is as clear a sign as any that it’s time to ditch the problematic fire sprinkler system. It’s costly for you to keep up with such service calls and the recurring maintenance fees.
Whether it’s because of leaks or there is a defect somewhere in the system, this should be a cause for concern on your part. Instead of having to worry about when the next breakdown is going to occur, give yourself the peace of mind you deserve by simply getting the old system replaced.
Sign #5 Your Building Has Been Modified or Upgraded
Has your building been modified or changed in some way, shape or form since the previous inspection? If so then the fire sprinkler systems also need to be changed in order to match the new building’s specs.
This is particularly true if you have knocked down or added new walls; remodeled the space; changed the use of the building and or the number of people now occupying the building has increased.
The fire sprinklers must be inspected to ensure they cover the new building adequately and that the modified design in no way affects the building’s basic fire prevention model and is capable of offering sufficient fire protection.
When else should your fire sprinkler system be fully retested? When a change has been wrought to:
· The backflow
· The water meter
· The public water supply system
Invest in a New Fire Sprinkler System
Fire risk is real and its ramifications can be disastrous and even deadly.
By taking the initiative to install new fire sprinkler systems, you are protecting both your business and your employees – not to mention being compliant with both the National Building Code and National Fire Code.
Get one of our All Protect Systems experts to come in and carry out a comprehensive fire inspection to assess your risk level.
For all your fire alarm systems, fire warning solutions, emergency backup generators, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, exit lighting, fire safety plans and sprinkler systems think All Protect Systems.