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Are Fire Extinguisher Covers Are Required?

It is not very well known, but fire extinguishers that have the potential to be exposed to damage from environmental conditions are required to be installed with protective covers. Not only is it common sense, there is a provision in NFPA 10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers that mandates them.

Per NFPA 6.1.3.7 Fire extinguishers installed under conditions where they are subject to physical damage (e.g., from impact, vibration, the environment) shall be protected against damage.
(NFPA 10, 2013 Edition)

Almost every extinguisher that is outdoors needs an extinguisher cover to protect it from the elements. This includes extinguishers hung on the outsides of buildings, extinguishers at fueling racks, and extinguishers mounted on the outside of vehicles, such as fuel and trash trucks. Other applications include wheeled extinguishers that are outside at industrial facilities. American Fire & Security  not only offers extinguisher covers for wheeled units, but we also have extinguisher covers for most hand extinguishers, including cartridge operated extinguishers that are frequently employed for vehicles and installed in industrial plants.

Our technicians will take a close look at extinguisher covers during annual maintenance of extinguishers. When you remove the extinguisher cover, examine the condition of the material, the hook and loop closure or elastic-back, and the window, where provided. Some extinguisher covers also have pull bottom tabs and straps that must be examined for wear. If any of these items are appear significantly worn or damaged, it is time for a new extinguisher cover.

If  you have any questions about if your facility should have fire extinguisher covers please feel free to reach out to me at (937) 262-7937 or info@AFS911.com

Fire Extinguisher Cover

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.

 

Tips For Choosing The Right Hidden Camera

Once you have decided to install a hidden camera at your home, business or warehouse, it’s important to choose one with the right features and capabilities for your specific application.

 

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Here are a few things to consider:

  • Be sure to choose a hidden camera that blends well into your environment
    • Consider where you are going to be having the camera installed.  Be sure to choose a concealment that won’t attract suspicion.
  • Be sure to capture the level of detail you are looking for
    • In order to produce detailed video that provides facial identification, you need a hidden camera that produces high-resolution images.
    • Are you going to place the hidden camera outside?  If so be sure that your camera has outdoor day/night capabilities.
  • Be sure to select the right video recording solution
    • If you want to record video with your hidden camera, there are several options:
      • Connect your hidden camera to a compatible security system DVR for recording video
      • You can have  a separate DVR or micro DVR that is compatible with the hidden camera
      • You can have a hidden camera with a built-in DVR

Some of our most popular hidden cameras are:

  • Clocks
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Books
  • Binders
  • Pencil Sharpeners
  • Motion Detectors
  • Ceiling Speakers
  • Alarm Clocks
  • Thermostats

 

For more information on Hidden/Covert Security Cameras check out our website or contact our office at (937) 262-7937 today!

 

Book with Hidden Camera

smoke detector hidden camera

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

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

Your Christmas Tree is a beautiful addition to your home during the holiday season.  It brings you joy, cheer and reminds you of memories of Christmas past but are you and your family aware of Christmas Tree safety?

Per the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments respond to an average of 210 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. Bu following a few simple safety tips you can avoid tragedy during the holiday season.

When picking a tree:

  • If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
  • If you are getting a live tree, choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

When Placing the tree:

  • If the tree is live:
    • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 1″ – 2″ from the base of the trunk.
    • Be sure to add water daily to prevent it from drying out.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Try to place the tree in a position that will not require stretching of cords across rooms and walkways.

Lighting & Decorating the tree:

  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory like UL or ETL/ITSNA. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
  • Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands to connect.
  • Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

After the holidays are over:

  • Get rid of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
  • Check with your local community to find a recycling program.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

The U. S. Fire Administration website has a stunning video from the National Institute of Standards and Training (NIST) illustrating how a dry Christmas tree can act like a blowtorch in your living room.

The National Fire Protection Association has side-by-side video

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

 

The AFS Revolution: Full Access Awareness with a Doorbell Sensor

You can now increase awareness around your home or businesses major access points with an AFS Revolution doorbell sensor.  The AFS Revolution doorbell sensor can integrate with other security devices for a smarter integrated solution.

With the AFS Revolution Doorbell Sensor you can:

  • Receive notification when the doorbell sensor rings
  • Automate lights when the doorbell sensor rings
  • Capture video clips when the doorbell sensor rings

For more information or to order a doorbell sensor call (937) 262-7937 or visit our web site today!

AFS Revolution Doorbell Sensor

 

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

 

 

Is your alarm company still in business?

It has recently come to our attention via several postings on security boards and blogs that a few alarm companies are trying to “trick” homeowners into thinking that their current alarm company is out of business.

Here’s an example of what’s happening:

You will receive a phone call or possibly an unannounced home visit stating that XYZ alarm company has  acquired your current alarm company and will need to reprogram your alarm system.

What you should do if this happens?:

1) If they call, take down the company name and number.  Let them know you will call back when you have time to talk.  If they stop in for an unannounced visit ask for some information on the company and tell them you will get back with them when you have the time to talk.

2) Contact your current alarm company to find out if this information is true.  Normally, you would be notified of a change like this by mail or telephone, not by an unannounced visit or phone call  by a representative from another company.

What if I fell for their scam?:

According to Ken Kirschenbaum, Esq:

1) A subscriber fraudulently induced to sign an alarm contract can have it nullified and can get out any time prior to ratification after the fraud is discovered.

2) If you have an existing contract with your alarm company, it can still be enforced.

For more information on this topic give us a call today at (937) 262-7937 or visit our web site

Wireless Alarm System

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