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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

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

 

Safe Management 101: Safe Tips for Every Business Owner

Security Safes are a great way to protect the valuable assets of your business.

Many business owners consider their safe to be a necessity, however once the safe is delivered they are not sure how to properly secure or maintain their safe and its belongings.

Below are a few tips for your business safe:

Anchor it:

Always bolt your safe down. While you may think there’s no way anyone will manage to wrangle the safe out of your busienss when it takes specialized machines and muscle to perform the installation, never underestimate the resourcefulness of highly determined burglars.

  • Concrete provides the most secure anchor, so it is the preferred surface for mounting your safe.
  • Always mount using 1/2” concrete bolts or larger, and use more than one bolt. Four mounting bolts are ideal.
  • When anchoring to a wood floor, whenever possible, anchor one or more bolts into a foundation support beam rather than just the plywood floor.

Watch for wall gaps:

When possible, avoid anchoring the safe near a foundation wall in a way that creates an 8” to 18” gap between the wall and safe. Gaps smaller than 8” are ok but with slightly larger gaps it is possible to leverage the safe away from the wall using a car jack, ripping the safe’s base anchor bolts out from the flooring.

Don’t keep your safe on day lock:

Day lock is a condition where the operator turns the dial only a few numbers back from the last digit in the combination.  This allows the operator to access the safe more quickly as they only have to dial in the last digit of the safe combination, however it makes it very easy for anyone to open the safe simply by moving the dial a coupe digits to the left or right.  Thieves are very aware that many safes are on day lock and can be opened in a few seconds.  Make it your policy always to spin the dial a full turn whenever you lock your safe.

Change the combination:

  • Make sure that your safe & vault installer changes the combination from the factory default setting.
  • Make sure that you change your safe combination every time a combination holder leaves your business.
  • Make sure that you change your safe combination every quarter to make sure nobody has accidentally discovered your safe combination.
  • Make sure you keep track of all the “combo holders” to your safe combination.
  • Make sure you have pictures and documentation of what is in your safe or vault in case an burglary should occur.

If you would like to talk more about evaluating your business safe 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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