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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

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

Purchase by Year-end and Deduct up to $500,000

Purchase your security equipment by  Year-end and Deduct up to $500,000

we mean business

Under Section 179 of the IRS tax code, you can deduct the full amount of equipment purchased / leased up to $500,000 from your company’s gross revenue if done by Dec. 31, 2013. Without congressional action, this benefit will decrease to $25,000 in 2014.*

To better help you take advantage of this, American Fire & Security has partnered with the industry’s leading security equipment financing companies to provide leasing options as more companies recognize the benefits of reducing capital expenditures and shifting security to an operating expense. Take this opportunity to:

  • Add or upgrade your camera system
  • Add or upgrade to biometric readers
  • Integrate video management into your alarm or access control system

To learn more reply to this email or contact us at (877) 237-8918 today!

*Every entity’s tax situation is different. We recommend consulting with an accountant or legal counsel before taking any action.

179 qualified

 

Resolve to be safe in 2013

2013

Your friends at American Fire & Security / The Security Girl would like to wish you SAFE, happy, healthy and successful 2013!  This is also a great time to make a commitment to keep your business & home as as safe as possible by planning ahead.

We would like to offer some safety tips for your business & home so you can start off your 2013 as safe as possible!

TIPS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
1. Create a library of safety tips (seasonal/holiday activities, driving, proper cell phone usage, etc.). Make information available to employees. Post topics on bulletin boards,create flyers, or include as paycheck suffers.
2.If your business has a safe be sure to anchor your safe into ground/walls, etc., and always change the safe combination when a safe combination holding employee leaves.
3. Post police and emergency telephone numbers in a conspicuous location so they will be readily available during an emergency.

TIPS FOR YOUR HOME
1.  Create a family escape plan in case of a fire or other emergency.  Be sure to practice it regularly.
2. Don’t leave extra keys under doormats, potted plants or any other obvious outdoor location. Place the keys in an outdoor KeySafe, or give a set to a neighbor you can trust.
3.  Make sure at least one person in your household is properly trained in First Aid & CPR so they have the knowledge and confidence to to respond in a potentially life threatening situation.

For more information on how to Resolve to be safe in 2013 contact American Fire & Security today at (937) 262-7937 or toll free at (877) 237-8918.

Stay Safe!

The Security Girl

Do I need a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

With winter upon us it is important to remember the dangers of Carbon Monoxide. Per the Journal of the American Medical Association, 1,500 people die and 10,000 people become ill each year because of carbon monoxide poisoning.

For those of you who don’t know Carbon Monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is given off during the burning of fossil fuels. In other words, when we burn coal, charcoal, gasoline, natural gas, other fossil fuels, and even wood, we are introducing fossil fuels into the air. Poorly vented fireplaces, stoves, chimneys and vents can all leak CO into the air, as can vehicles left running in an attached garage.

Having a Carbon Monoxide detector in your home is the only way to assure that you and your family are properly protected 24/7 from the colorless and odorless gas that is given off during the burning of fossil fuels.  The detector will be able to alert you and your family that the harmful Carbon Monoxide is present in your home.

If you have had your Carbon Monoxide detector for a while and want to be sure that it is still working properly you can use the test button on your CO Detector which will verify that the circuitry is operating correctly, not the accuracy of the sensor.  You will also want to be sure to follow the manufacturer guidelines as to when to replace your Carbon Monoxide detector.

If  your Carbon Monoxide detector sounds you should do the following:

  1. Immediately move outside to fresh air.
  2. Call your emergency services, fire department, or 911.
  3. After calling 911, do a head count to check that all persons are accounted for. DO NOT reenter the premises until the emergency services responders have given you permission. You could lose consciousness and die if you go in the home.
  4. If the source of the CO is determined to be a malfunctioning appliance, DO NOT operate that appliance until it has been properly serviced by trained personnel.

If your not sure where the Carbon Monoxide detectors should be placed in your home check with your local building codes or fire departments.  Starting January 1, 2013 the state of Ohio will have a new residential building code regarding the placement of Carbon Monoxide.

You can also add Carbon Monoxide detectors to your alarm system so that in the event that the detector goes off the authorities will be notified immediately.

For more information on Carbon Monoxide detectors contact American Fire & Security today at (937) 262-7937 or toll free at (877) 237-8918.

Stay Safe!

The Security Girl

AFS Revoluton – An Award Winning Alarm System

The AFS Revolution, manufactured by 2GIG Technologies, was chosen as the best alarm equipment and the overall winner at The Electronic Security Expo 2012!!

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Get a new look for your alarm system with a TouchScreen Keypad!

For years we have all had the same “basic” keypad in our business.  Now DSC as well as several other manufacturers have come out with a Touchscreen Keypad for your businesses alarm system.

The slim modern looking design and the ease of use of the touchscreen are just a few of the nice features that DSC has added to their new touchscreen keypads.  However, my favorite feature of this keypad is that you can use it as a photo album, meaning you can actually use it to display your new products or other photos you would want your customers to see while they were waiting in your office or lobby.

I also like that you can also customize your home screens so that the most used functions of your alarm system are easily accessible.

Below you will find a list if features that DSC highlights on their web page:

  • 7″ full color display
  • Slim modern design (800×480 resolution)
  • Intuitive LED indication of security system status
  • Picture frame feature
  • Clock feature
  • Output control
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Customizable home screen and wallpaper
  • Menu user programming
  • Installer programming
  • Virtual keypad
  • SD card
  • Digital picture frame mode

If your business is looking to upgrade the look and feel of their alarm system this keypad is compatible with the following DSC models: PC1864, PC1832, PC1616 and is available in English, French, and Spanish.

For more information on how to upgrade your DSC Security Alarm System keypad contact American Fire & Security today at (937) 262-7937 or toll free at (877) 237-8918.

Stay Safe!

The Security Girl

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DSC Touchscreen Keypad

Avoiding False Alarms

One of the biggest complaints we hear from business owners is false alarms.  Most cities will fine your business if they have too many false alarms, which is an unnecessary cost for your business.

Here are some tips to help reduce the number of false alarms your business has:

1) Train all employees on how to use your alarm system correctly.

2) Hold regularly scheduled trainings for your employees to ensure that your employees are aware of any changes to your alarm system.  For example: A change in your alarm pass code.

3)  Move hanging objects away from motion detectors and sensors.

4)  Make sure all doors and windows are locked/secure before arming your system.

5) Be aware of holiday related false alarms due to untrained seasonal or temporary help.

6)  Carelessness due to long hours or office parties.

7)  Inform your alarm company of any change in pass codes and of new or unauthorized users.

8)  Service and maintain your alarm system regularly before a false alarm occurs.  I recommend that your have your alarm company test your system annually to help prevent false alarms.

If there is a question as to weather or not your security system is working properly contact your alarm monitoring company immediately and have them check the status of your alarm system and devices.  Also, be sure to upgrade your alarm panel every seven to ten years to make sure your business has the best  alarm system possible.

If you have a question about any of the above listed tips please contact your alarm monitoring company or American Fire and Security at 877-237-8918.

Stay Safe!!

The Security Girl

Annual Alarm System Test

Annual Alarm System Test

Alarm Codes & Security Passwords

We have received a question from Amber P. of Lebanon, OH:

Question:

How often should my company change their alarm code?

Answer:

Normally if a business is asking that question it is because they are not sure how long it has been since the alarm codes and security passwords have been changed.  Businesses often overlook this major component with their security.

However, the answer is simple.  Every time an alarm code or security password holder is no longer employed with your business you should do the following four things:

1.  Call your alarm company and your local police department and have their name taken off of any contact list.

2.  Have your alarm company take that persons code out of your alarm system.  Even if you trust your former employee, you never know who else they gave their code to.

3.  Never reassign an alarm code number or security password to another employee.  Always start fresh.

4.  Have your alarm company password changed immediately as well.  That away if the said employee or one of their friends breaks into your business your alarm company will know immediately that they do not belong there and dispatch the police right away.

If you have not had a change in staff I still recommend that you have your alarm codes and security passwords be changed every six months or so for security reasons.  This ensures that the alarm codes and security passwords have not wound up in the wrong hands.  Plus if your service companies have your alarm codes and security passwords for off hour deliveries and they have gone through employee changes this will help control the number of people that have the current passwords and codes for your business.

If your not sure how long it has been since your alarm code or security password has been changed contact your alarm company or you can contact American Fire and Security at 877-237-8918.

Hope this helps and Stay Safe Amber!!

The Security Girl

Alarm Keypad

Alarm Keypad

GSM/Cellular Monitoring

When I talk with customers about GSM Monitoring one question always comes up:  Is your GSM/Cellular monitoring 2, 3, or 4 G’s?

The first time I was asked that question I thought it was somewhat odd, but then I got to thinking about cellular technology and how much it has changed.  The big deal is what generation your network is on right?

Well, with GSM/Cellular monitoring the whole generation thing doesn’t matter.  The GSM refers to the type of system the alarm can communicate with, not the data speed.  The unit actually transmits your alarm signal on the SMS (text messaging) backbone of the cellular network.  So, if your Fire/Burglar Alarm system trips an alarm your panel actually sends a text message to the monitoring station letting them know that their is an alarm at your business.  Pretty cool right? The same type of technology we use to tell someone we are running a few minutes late is the same technology that could catch a burglar in your business.

One other important note to mention.  If you have a cellular alarm dialer that is more than three years old you need to make sure it is a digital dialer.  Many older dialers worked on the analog cell phone system.  That system was phased out by the FCC and these dialers will no longer work.   If your not sure about your cellular alarm dialer contact your alarm company or you can contact American Fire and Security at 877-237-8918.

GSM / Cellular Dialer

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