How Important is Your Business? Understanding the Importance of Fire Protection

Fires can cause devastating damages to homes, businesses, and even natural landscapes. Fire problems are a huge inconvenience no matter when they happen. At ABCO Fire, we understand how important response time is when you have a fire or safety emergency. Regular service of fire protection systems is the most cost-effective way to maintain the integrity of the system while also meeting requirements, mandated by national, state, and local fire agencies and most insurance providers. This is why it is crucial that you have your fire protection system inspected regularly; no one plans on experiencing a dangerous fire, but accidents do happen. Keep reading if you’re interested in understanding the importance of fire protection and facility service work in an office building, manufacturing building, hospital, extended care, data center, colocation facility, school, shopping mall, government complex, military facility or a multi-building residence - all require regularly inspected and maintained fire protection!

Protecting Your Business

You have worked hard to build your business, and keeping it running is not an easy task. The last thing you need is a fire damaging or destroying your workplace or your materials and equipment. A reliable fire protection system will ensure that your place of business stands tall and limit the damage done. It’s important that your fire protection system includes a variety of protective elements like fire extinguishers, sprinklers, and smoke detectors, to name a few.

Keeping Customers Safe

As a business owner it is your responsibility to create a safe environment for your customers; without a fire protection system, however, it is impossible to guarantee your customers’ safety and violates many local building codes. Fires are just as capable of injuring people as they are of damaging the workplace itself. In addition to harming your reputation as a business, a fire can seriously harm the customers who make your business successful. A quick and professional response, on the other hand, can show your customers that you care about their well-being and are prepared to take action.

Focusing on Your Job

In many cases, working isn’t easy. You might face all kinds of distractions, but the threat of a fire should not be one of them. Fire protection affords you the peace of mind in knowing that you have a practical plan in place in case of an emergency. This allows you to rest assured and continue to focus on your duties.

If you would like to learn more about the importance of fire protection serving Ohio and the Midwest region, feel free to call ABCO Fire Protection at (800) 875-7200. Our specialties include all fire and life safety systems, mission critical suppression systems, kitchen suppression systems, grease management, and workplace safety. You can learn much more about our services by visiting our website or stopping in to meet with us.

Campus Fire Safety Revolves Around Off-Campus Housing

Colleges and universities are typically held to stringent fire safety standards. Fire protection devices must be in place in classrooms and dorms, and safety drills may even be required to ensure everyone is prepared if something goes wrong. In fact, there hasn’t been a single fire fatality in on-campus university housing since 2005. However, the US Department of Education states approximately 2/3 of college and university students don’t live on campus. So who is watching out for their safety?

The short answer is the students are responsible for their own safety, and the numbers reflect this. According to the US Fire Administration, a whopping 94% of fatal campus fires between 2000 and 2015 occurred in off-campus housing. Students may be unaware of lacking fire safety features, may use high-risk appliances like halogen lamps and space heaters, and may bring high-risk activities like drinking and smoking into their living space. According to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), "Providing students with Fire Safety education upon their arrival to the university may help increase awareness and prevent fires."

The National Institute of Fire and Safety Training (NIFAST) is giving parents and universities the ability to follow FEMA’s advice and hopefully help improve these statistics. NIFAST offers the FLASHPOINT Program, an easy-to-use online fire safety training program geared toward college and university students. The FLASHPOINT online course is followed by an interactive test that offers targeted remediation if a student answers a question incorrectly. “The FLASHPOINT Program is designed to help students prevent fires, and survive a fire if one should occur,” says Steve Smith, executive director of NIFAST.

In addition, this year Campus Firewatch has launched the “See It Before You Sign It” campaign to encourage parents to investigate the fire safety features of their college student’s housing. Before signing a lease for off-campus housing, the organization encourages parents to view the housing themselves to look for working smoke alarms, two means of egress, and safe kitchen appliances.

For more information on campus fire safety, visit NIFAST at http://nifast.org/colleges.php, or call them at 1-877-347-3702.

Data Center Fires Make Headlines

Last week, Delta Airlines was the focus of scrutiny as computer problems delayed or grounded hundreds of flights over several days. Turns out those problems may have been caused by a “small fire” in their data center, but Delta has refused to offer more details on the topic. This recent event is one of several publicized data center fires that have occurred this summer, including one at a Canadian Government facility, and another in the server room of an Oklahoma TV station. As a result of the recent highlight on these events, many data center operators are asking themselves if their facilities are adequately protected.

Jeff Keller is a Mission Critical Fire Suppression Specialist at ABCO Fire, with extensive experience in protecting data centers. When it comes to Delta, Jeff says it’s hard to know what went wrong.

“We don’t really know enough about their situation to judge what could have been done differently, but there are ways to detect issues before a fire even breaks out in a data center.”

According to Jeff, Air Sampling Smoke Detection, or ASSD, is the most effective way to detect fire conditions before flames break out.

“Unlike passive smoke detectors which sit and wait for smoke to pass through them, ASSD is an active detection method,” says Jeff. “A box about the size of a laptop computer constantly samples air that is brought into the sampling chamber from ASSD piping network that extends throughout the room. Smoke detection is much, much faster giving the facility personnel that added time to investigate before an issue occurs.”

How much faster? An active ASSD system is several hundred times more sensitive than conventional passive smoke detectors, and can alert personnel to the presence of invisible smoke particles over an hour before a fire occurs. This sensitivity can be used to draw attention to issues without activating the fire suppression system, making unnecessary discharges less likely while enhancing the ability to respond to fire conditions early.

Contact ABCO Fire for more information on ASSD systems, or for an assessment fire protection in your mission-critical data center.

Essential Information for Preventing Kitchen Fires

Preventing a fire from starting is much easier than putting out a raging blaze, so an important aspect of fire protection is knowledge. Watch this video for some essential information for preventing kitchen fires.

Cooking with the family can be a great way to spend time together, but think about your attire. Avoid loose, baggy clothing that might accidentally contact an open flame. Don’t use extension cords for your appliances; instead, plug them in directly. Keep flammable products like dishtowels and oven mitts away from sources of heat so that they do not accidentally catch fire.

ABCO Fire Protection is proud to offer fire protection serving Ohio and the Midwest Region of the United States. We are a team of skilled and experienced fire protection providers who are capable of handling special hazard systems and helping you ensure workplace safety. Feel free to visit our website or call us at (800) 875-7200 to see how we can help.

FRAUD ALERT: How to Handle Imposters Posing as Fire Officials

With incidents last week in Columbus, IN and Sacramento, CA, it seems no restaurant is safe from troublemaking criminals posing as fire officials. Every few months similar stories surface, where pranksters call restaurants and tell employees to activate the fire suppression system by pulling the pull station. This thoughtless act can cost the restaurant thousands in unnecessary lost business, lost food product, and recharge fees.

What You Can Do

If you own or operate a restaurant, ensure your employees are properly trained on when and how to operate the fire suppression system. The only time the pull station should be pulled is in the event of a fire, or during testing of the system by a licensed fire protection technician. Even a fire official will typically not operate a restaurant fire system pull station unless a fire protection technician is present. Employees should also be made aware of the importance of pulling the pull station FIRST before using portable extinguishers. This will ensure electricity and gas are cut to all appliances beneath the hood, preventing fuel from continuing to feed the fire.

Remember, there is NO circumstance under which a real fire official or fire protection technician who is not physically present on site will call and tell someone to activate a fire protection device. By ensuring your team is aware of this fact and properly trained on the use of fire equipment, you can prevent these pranksters from any future success.‚Äč

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