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Is your Christmas gift at risk of catching fire?

One of the biggest Christmas gifts this season could also be one of the most dangerous.  It’s the coveted Hoverboard.  While it’s cool to be cruising around town in style it’s not cool to have your Hoverboard catch fire while using it.  If you insist on getting a Hoverboard this holiday season there are a few things you should know:

  1. Please take the time to look at and research the product you buy. If it is compliant with federal standards, inspections, and certifications, it will have a mark on it or indicate such on its packaging, on the device itself, or on its charging equipment. Devices not bearing a mark indicating compliance likely have not been tested to meet minimum safety standards.
  2. After you have use your Hoverboard please give the device time to cool off prior to charging.
  3. When charging the battery please make sure you follow the manufacturers instructions.
  4. When riding your Hoverboard please wear safety gear.
  5. If the Hoverboard seems to be acting “funny” while you are riding it please turn it off right away.
  6. Overheating – if you notice the device is very hot, stop using it and check with your manufacturer or retailer. This could suggest a faulty battery that needs replacing.
  7. Make sure your Hoverboard is powered down at night and anytime you are not using it.

 

Here is a great video warning you of some of the dangers of Hoverbords from The More You Know: Channel 2 on You Tube.

 

We also always suggest that you check out the Consumer Product Safety Commission for any questions or safety concerns on products.

 

What is a fusible link and how do they work?

At American Fire & Security we are continually servicing and maintaining kitchen hood systems and fire doors.  One of the most important items for either one of these systems are the fusible links.  Per NFPA and the manufacturers standards most fusible link systems must be inspected and maintained every 6 months.

What are Fusible Links?

Fusible links are temperature sensitive fire protection devices designed to be part of a fire protection system. The system is activated when the ambient temperature increases to the point that causes the fusible link to “break-apart”. At the point of breakage, it releases the pre-loaded fire protection device, thus restricting the spread of fire. Fusible links are manufactured under the most rigid quality procedures to assure the highest possible degree of uniformity and “break-away” reliability.

The fusible link is one of the simplest forms of heat detection devices. When links are used in a restaurant system, their purpose is to cause the system to function and extinguish the fire. Fusible links used in this manner are actually releasing devices that are heat actuated. They cause the system to automatically operate at a predetermined “fixed” temperature.

How do they work?

Links are employed to restrain the operation of the system until a fire occurs. Each link is connected by a cable to the restaurant system releasing mechanism. When a high temperature is reached, the two halves of the link separate. When the cable tension is released by the separation of the link, the system operates and wet chemical flows out the discharge nozzles into the fire area.

Why is it important to replace our fusible links?

Fusible Links are one of the most critical components of a kitchen fire suppression system.  Many factors can inhibit the fusible link from working properly.  NFPA requires the fusible links to be replaced semi-annually, but other factors such as grease build up, could cause the need for them to be replaced sooner.

For more information on Fusible Links or to schedule your next Kitchen Hood System or Fire Door inspection feel free to contact us at (937) 262-7937 or visit our web site!

 

Fusible Link

Turkey Fryer Safety

Thinking of frying your Thanksgiving Turkey this year?  If so check out the Turkey Fryer Safety information from the National Fire Protection Agency before you fry yours!

Turkey Fryer Safety-

 

How to dispose of your old smoke alarm

The two types of residential smoke alarms that are most commonly used in the United States are ionization and photoelectric. Photoelectric-type smoke alarms contain a very tiny amount of radioactive material.  Combination smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors, also contain a very tiny amount of radioactive material.  Although some state regulations allow you to simply throw these smoke alarms in the trash, you will still need to remove the batteries from the alarm.

How to tell if your smoke detector contains radioactive material: 

If a smoke detector contains radioactive material, it is required by law to have a warning label on the body of the smoke detector.  The label is usually located at the “top” of the detector, facing the mounting base that attaches to the ceiling or wall.  Remove the smoke detector from its base, and look at the label.  A typical label might read:

This product is designed to detect products of combustion using ionization technology.  It contains 0.9 microcurie of Americium 241, a radioactive material

The label may have the international symbol for radiation on the label.

International Radiation Symbol

If a smoke detector does not include either the warning or the radiation symbol on the label, and if there is no evidence that the label has been removed or destroyed, it is safe to assume that the device does not contain any radioactive material.  If the label has been removed or destroyed, it is best to treat the device as if it is an ionization unit, and dispose of it as described below.

Here are the three ways to dispose of your smoke alarms:

  1. If allowed in your area, remove the batteries and wrap the unit in newspaper.  You then are able to throw the smoke alarm in the trash.*
  2. If accepted in your area, take to a local Recycling Center, or take to a Hazardous Material Waste Center.*
  3. Ionization smoke alarms and combination smoke alarms can be sent back to the manufacturer.  They have the proper equipment to safely dispose of the smoke alarms.
*Please check with state or local municipal or household hazardous waste authorities. 
Caution: Ionization smoke alarms should never be opened.  If you are unable to get the batteries out of the alarm without opening it, please use option 2 or 3.

For more information on the proper disposal of smoke alarms please refer to one of the sites below or check with your state or local authorities.

U.S. Fire Administration

EPA

smoke alarm detector

 

Exit Sign & Emergency Light Service – Why your business needs it

Functioning Exit Signs and Emergency Lights are vital parts of any building’s safety program. These life-saving pieces of equipment ensure that occupants are able to safely locate points of egress in case of power failure.

Similar to extinguishers, there are fire and life safety codes governing the inspection and maintenance of exit signs and emergency lights.

Many jurisdictions require that emergency lighting systems:
• Are functionally tested monthly for not less than 30 seconds
• Are functionally tested annually for not less than 90 minutes
• Are fully operational for the duration of tests
• Have written records of visual inspections and tests

We offer:
• Monthly tests and inspections
• Annual tests and inspections
• Written records of inspection

Our technicians are trained to inspect, test, and maintain all of the exit sign and emergency lights in your facility.  They can also provide you with the written records you need.

We also carry:
• Replacement Bulbs
• Replacement Batteries
• Other Replacement Parts
• New Exit Signs and Emergency Lights

Ask us for an Exit Sign and Emergency Light Consultation Today!

 

Exit Light Combo

 

 

Replacement of Restaurant Dry Chemical Systems: January 1, 2014

NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations, was recently updated.

The newly released 2014 edition has a requirement that impacts old dry chemical systems. Effective January 1, 2014, all automatic fire extinguishing systems for the protection of commercial cooking equipment are required to meet ANSI/UL 300, Standard for Fire Testing of Fire  Extinguishing Systems for the Protection of Commercial Cooking Equipment (2005, revised 2010), or an equivalent standard. This means that existing pre-engineered dry chemical systems protecting this hazard will need to be removed and replaced.

Pre-engineered wet chemical fire suppression systems that are listed to UL 300 are the most common means for protecting commercial cooking equipment, because they are effective, reliable, and economical. They are also the only pre-engineered systems that meet the stringent listing criteria of this Underwriters Laboratories fire test standard. For these reasons, any restaurant looking to replace an existing dry chemical system will most likely request the installation of a UL 300 wet chemical system.

The reference for this deadline is NFPA 96, 2014 edition, paragraph 10.2.3.2. NFPA issued the updated standard on August 1, 2013, with an effective date of August 21, 2013.

For more information call (937) 262-7937 or visit our web site today!

Kitchen Hood System

How can your business prepare for a weather emergency?

With this being national lightening safety week I thought you might want a few tips on how to prepare your business for a weather emergency.

Here are some tips we recommend:

Make sure you have an updated disaster plan:
Much like having an emergency plan for the home to protect your family, your business should also have an updated plan of action in case of an emergency. This includes having a designated employee evacuation plan as well as good two-way communication during and after a disaster. A good tip is to set up a telephone calling tree or call-in voice recording so you can stay in touch with employees during and after the disaster.

Make sure you have proper data storage solutions:
Where is your sensitive business data stored? Does it live on a hard drive or server and is potentially susceptible to wind, water or fire damage during a storm? A solution for keeping your data safe is by storing it in the cloud. Cloud computing has come a long way, and will insure your data is safe from any malicious weather Mother Nature doles out. Another good idea is to have multiple back-ups. If there’s an off chance one data location is damaged, you’ll have another copy elsewhere that can be restored. At the very least, keep all sensitive data and important records in a fire/water-proof storage container.

Make sure you have an proper emergency kit:
Many businesses realize that they should have a readily available emergency kit,  but often overlook the survival basics: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth. As a business owner, you should not only prepare an emergency kit for the office, but also encourage each employee to create their own kit customized to meet their individual needs. For example, an employee may be diabetic, so he or she should have an emergency kit with the proper medication. Here are a few items that should be in every emergency kit:

  • Weather Radio – preferably one that operates via hand crank
  • Extra Batteries
  • Water – if possible, one gallon per person per day
  • Food – minimum of a three-day supply
  • First Aid Kit
  • Whistle – great for signaling for help
  • Blankets

If you are not sure that your business is properly prepared for a weather emergency talk to your safety coordinator or call American Fire & Security at 877-237-8918.

Stay Safe!

The Security Girl

Do you have the right type of fire extinguisher for your computer and electronic equipment?

Do you have the right type of fire extinguisher for your computer and electronic equipment?

  • Halotron Fire Extinguishers are designed for use in computer rooms, telecommunications facilities, clean rooms, data storage areas, offices, boats and vehicles.
  • The stored pressure in the Halotron Fire Extinguisher is discharged as a rapidly evaporating liquid which leaves no residue and won’t damage your equipment.
  • Halotron Fire Extinguishers are EPA approved Clean Agent HCFC for Class A, B, and C hazards, that has a low GWP (Global Warming Potential), low ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential), and a low atmospheric lifetime.

If you are not sure if you have the proper fire extinguisher call American Fire and Security at 877-237-8918.

Stay Safe!

The Security Girl

 

Halotron Fire Extinguisher, Chrome

Halotrton Fire Extinguisher, Chrome

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