HOW TO PROPERLY PREPARE FOR A FIRE DISASTER

Fire safety is important in the workplace– just like it is anywhere else. A well-developed and thought-out course of action can keep you and your peers from recreating Dwight Schrute’s fire safety preparedness plan. Let’s discuss how to properly prepare for a fire disaster.  

Why do you need to prepare for potential office fires?

A fire in your commercial building isn’t something you expect to encounter on a Wednesday afternoon. If a fire breaks out, you don’t want to be caught unsure of what to do. Exhibit A– the entire fire episode “Stress Relief” from “The Office.”  

 

On a serious note, fire damage is considered one of the most destructive elements to your commercial building because it can cause: 

 

  • Disruption of business activities
  • Loss of business documents
  • Damage to property 
  • Liability claims
  • Injury 
  • And more

 

Not convinced? Here are a few statistics from 2017-2019 gathered by the U.S. Fire Administration on nonresidential building fires:

 

  • 108,5000 nonresidential building fires were reported to U.S. fire departments each year 
  • Nonresidential fires caused over $2.8 billion in property loss 
  • These fires occur mostly during the hours of 2 pm – 7 pm
  • The leading cause of nonresidential fires is cooking 

 

Now that you know why you should prepare for potential office fires, let’s discuss the fire preparation measures that can help. 

 

Fire Preparation Tips

In the wise words of Miguel De Cervantes, “To be prepared is half the victory.” 

 

Here are a few tips on how to prepare in the event of a fire. 

1. Take the proper precautions for your building.

Fire prevention programs and precautions are put in place to ensure your building remains safe in case something happens. No… we don’t mean lighting the door handles on fire or setting off smoke bombs throughout your office. 

via GIPHY

 

Here are some precautions you can take today.

 

  • Control smoking materials and open flames 
  • Store flammable and combustible liquids safely 
  • Use electrical equipment correctly 
  • Perform housekeeping tasks regularly 
  • Purchase fire-safe furnishings and decor 
  • Maintain commercial kitchen exhaust systems 
  • Control special hazards 

 

2. Fire Safety Education

Fire prevention relies on people knowing what to do when an emergency occurs. Fear and ambiguity are not a recipe for success, however, knowledge and preparedness are. While Dwight Schrute had good intentions for his fire safety education day, the way he went about employee education could use some work.

 

via GIPHY

Educate your staff on the proper procedure if a fire occurs.

 

Safety plans can be explained through training, sent via email, and be posted on walls. When building a fire safety education program, include: 

 

  • How to identify and correct fire hazards
  • A detailed office building evacuation plan
  • How to use fire extinguishers
  • Examples of recent fires to highlight the importance of fire safety
  • Details of how to put out various types of fires, and when they are likely to occur

 

3. Implement Fire Protection and Life Safety systems

Fire protection shouldn’t be improvised. Put systems in place that protect the building, people, and items from fire hazards. These systems include fire alarm systems, fire suppression systems, and other building measures. There are both active and passive fire protection systems.

 

Active Fire Protection Systems

prepare for a fire the right way

Active fire protection systems require some amount of action or motion to work efficiently. These systems can be manually operated, like a fire extinguisher, or automatic, like sprinkler systems. 

 

Some of these systems include: 

  • Fire/smoke alarm systems
  • Sprinkler Systems
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Sprinkler Systems
  • Firefighters are also considered active fire protection 

 

Passive Fire Protection Systems

Passive fire protection systems compartmentalize buildings to help prevent the spread of fire and smoke from one room to another. These systems help limit the amount of damage done to a building and give the occupants more time to evacuate.

 

Some of these systems include:

  • Fire/smoke dampers
  • Fire doors
  • Firewalls/floors

 

Both active and passive fire protection systems can help keep your building and your employees safe from harm.

A Final Word

Your building’s fire preparation plan should be well thought out and organized in advance. By doing so, you help further pro

tect your staff, business materials, and the commercial building from the dangers of fire hazards.  If we’re being honest, it’s much more fun to watch Dwight’s preparedness plan than to live it. 

 

For more information on the difference between fire prevention and fire protection, read our article, here

 

 
security measures to implement today

Do you know what’s going on in your building when you’re not there? 5 Security measures you should implement today.

Do you know what’s going on in your building when you’re not there? Probably not. Your old school security system just isn’t going to cut it anymore. It’s important to implement a few security measures to better understand what’s happening in your building at all times. Why do you need to know? There are multiple safety issues that can occur, and with proper security measures in place, you can prevent them! Here are 5 security measures you should implement today.

Access Control

Controlling the access into your building helps to mitigate many risks to your business assets, inventory, and employees. When your access control system is running properly it can help you manage your team, restrict access to certain rooms, and track movement throughout your facility.  At VFS, we readily design top of the line Access Control Systems that integrate into your intrusion alarm systems.

Intrusion Alarm Systems

This is not your simple ‘Beware of Dog’ sign! Intrusion alarm systems help to deter trespassers and alert both you and the authorities when someone unlawfully enters your building. Every building is unique, at VFS our alarm systems are designed for your specific building needs, we integrate Access Control with Video Surveillance to ensure your business’s safety.

Mass Notification

If something happens in your building wouldn’t you like to know? Mass notification systems can help guide and direct your team in an emergency situation. With our advanced technology and proper safety protocols in place, these notification systems can help protect against potential threats that could cause damage or loss of critical assets. Whether you are in a municipal, civil, and defense or manufacturing and industrial environment these systems cut through the noise to clearly communicate critical life-saving information as well as general notification announcements throughout your facility. With industry-leading intelligibility VFS can assist your business in delivering the right message, to the right people, at the right time to help save lives and protect your assets. 

Security Analytics

Along with multiple security system offerings, we track activities and reliability through our in-depth reporting system. With these analytics, we can better understand the needs of your business. Which systems are you using most? What areas of your business need more protection? We’ll find out what you need and implement it. 

Video Surveillance

Digital video monitoring can help protect your facility from theft (both internal and external), vandalism, and workplace violence. If an incident occurs, your team can be on top of it. We connect your system to your IP network so that recorded or live video can be viewed from a computer anywhere there is internet access. These systems can also integrate with your Access Control Systems. 

At VFS, we work to keep your business as safe as possible. Our systems are put in place to do just that. If something isn’t working for your business, we pivot and find something that will better serve your specific building. Contact us to learn more!

Get to Know CEO Randy Nelson

At VFS one of our core values is to remain transparent with our clients. In an effort to live by this value, we want to give you a look inside the early life of our CEO, Randy Nelson. We sat down with Randy to see what most people may not know about his upbringing. Get to know our CEO, Randy Nelson…

Q: What are a few things people don’t know about your upbringing?

A: A lot of people know my story, I don’t hide much. A few things that might surprise some people…

  • I grew up on a small farm in Minnesota. Two older sisters and 3 younger brothers, 6 kids total. My father worked the farm and was a full-time maintenance man at the local Municipal Airport (for 35 years). My mother was a stay at home mom until she took up real estate once all the kids were out of grade school. We were by definition, poor… but I didn’t know it at the time.
  • Farm life was great but hard work. Twelve-hour days were not uncommon. The whole family pitched in and we did our ‘chores’ without the thought of getting paid. This instilled a work ethic and an appreciation of the team concept that I have to this day.
  • We were primarily a cattle farm, we also grew corn and soybeans. One of my more vivid memories of the farm was helping with the ‘delivery’ of calves in the wintertime (the usual time for the cows to calve). Sometimes my father would still be at work and I had to do it myself. An unpleasant, messy, and sobering thing to do for a teenager at age 14, but necessary.
  • Courage has always been a ‘core value’ for me, both within myself and what I like to see in others.  Throughout my life, I have put myself in situations to help conquer fears. In grade school, I was petrified to speak in front of groups, so in the 7th grade, I joined the Competitive Speaking Team in High School. Three years later, as a freshman, I became the first person in my high school to go to the State Championships of Competitive Speaking. 
  • As graduating from high school approached, I was contemplating my future. I thought farm life was very respectable and a great way to raise a family… Plan A. I told my father that I wanted to be a farmer and that was one of the very few times I heard him use the ‘F’ word, he was not supportive of Plan A.  He said, ‘You are going to get an education and be able to provide for your family better than I did’.  Time for Plan B, I went to college and got a degree in Engineering.
“RUN LIKE HELL” IS NOT A FIRE SAFETY PROTOCOL

“Run like hell” is not a fire safety protocol. For large corporations, organization is key. For both the safety of your employees and your building, you must prioritize implementing proper fire safety protocols. We’ve put together our top 5 tips for improving fire safety in your building. 

PERFORM A FIRE ASSESSMENT AND CRAFT THE PERFECT FIRE SAFETY PLAN. 

Fire risk assessments should be regularly scheduled to ensure your business has the necessary processes and procedures in place in case of emergency. This assessment will likely include identifying fire hazards, evaluating and reducing the risk, and crafting a plan.

You likely have an old plan, created by a far-off company and tucked away in a drawer, never to be seen again.  This is also not a great fire safety protocol.  For the plan to work, everyone needs to know what the plan is. Be sure to run drills periodically throughout the year. All employees should share problems that arise in those drills with management to avert problems in a real emergency. 

Your fire safety plan should include employee education, fire escape routes, fire drill, and a plan to ensure that all team members have an evacuation plan that fits their needs. The plan should be detailed and robust, to ensure you are prepared for anything that may come your way!

IMPLEMENT THE PROPER TECHNOLOGY. 

We don’t just mean fire extinguishers placed randomly around the office. This means fire detection and alarm systems that can overcome potential loss of power, emergency lighting to guide your team in the dark, industrial fire sprinkler systems to help prevent the spread of a fire, and monitoring to alert the authorities to your emergency. Having the proper technology in place will allow your team to stay safe and your building to come out with limited damage.

DISPLAY SIGNAGE TO HELP LEAD YOUR TEAM TO SAFETY.

Communicate proper health and safety information through illuminated signs, which can include fire safety warning signs, fire-fighting equipment signs, and marking dangerous substances. Be sure the signage is easy to ready and communicates the message clearly.

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE FLAMES… DON’T LET YOUR BUSINESS GO UP IN SMOKE.

Smoke can be just as deadly as flames if your building has a fire. Be sure to have the proper equipment in place, like smoke and fire curtains, to limit the spread of smoke damage as well as the damage caused by fire. 

MAKE SURE YOUR STAFF IS EDUCATED.

Imagining worst-case scenarios is not just for Sci-Fi TV writers… While it can be easy to forget to address the real dangers of fire when you haven’t experienced it, this can be a business’ greatest downfall. Ensure you give your employees annual fire safety training to teach them about the common causes of workplace fires. Address how to prevent a fire, and what to do if a fire takes place in the workspace.

“Run like hell” doesn’t have to be your fire safety protocol. Take these steps to improve your office’s fire safety. Want to know more? Contact us today!

4 REASONS TO INVEST IN FIRE PROTECTION SERVICES TODAY.

Many business owners choose not to invest in fire protection services to cut costs and improve their bottom line. However, these business owners may not realize that the scope of fire protection goes beyond the event of a fire itself. In fact, fire protection services benefit businesses long before and well after an incident occurs.

Read on to learn how investing in fire protection services can protect your business and employees, cut insurance costs, and help your company survive business interruption and make a successful recovery. 

Keep Your Business and Employees Safe 

The most important reason to invest in fire protection service is to keep both your business and your employees safe. 

Protect Your Business

Any fire can devastate your business. Small fires may damage your property enough to halt business operations for a few days. Large fires may result in the complete loss of your building, materials, merchandise, important documents or records and, in the worst cases, harm an employee or customer. 

Each of these outcomes also carries major financial risk. Investing in fire protection services can help to reduce this risk and protect the business you worked so hard to build. 

Protect Your Employees

According to OSHA, “businesses operate more efficiently when they implement effective safety and health management systems.” 

Employees play an essential role in supporting your business. By making them feel safe and protected in their workplace, you are helping them to be more productive as well as treating them with the care they deserve. Your business is their livelihood and protecting it is not just about protecting your assets, it’s about protecting them too. 

Be Prepared to Survive Business Interruption

Over 70% of businesses that experience a major fire either never reopen or close within three years of the event. 

The high percentage of businesses that fail following a fire is largely due to the intensity of business interruption fires cause. If you are well-equipped to handle a major fire, you will be better prepared to survive business interruption. The 30% of businesses that survive fires likely recover because they had plans in place before the event occurred. 

Mitigate Risk For Insurance Purposes

Insurance companies assess your potential risk when determining the cost of your coverage. 

The cost of fire safety is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of recovering from a fire and subsequent increases in insurance premiums. Therefore, it is important to have all the precautions in place to reduce any potential risk. Additionally, fire safety services can help your business avoid potential workers’ compensation payments.

Reduce Liability Risk

Business owners can avoid potential liability by investing in proper fire safety insurance. If owners do not comply with regulations or keep their building up to code, they are vulnerable to potential liability. The best way to keep yourself and those in your building safe is to invest in high-quality fire protection.

How to Invest in Fire Protection Services

Business owners have a range of fire protection services to choose from to protect their businesses and employees. For example, fire safety services and solutions may include: 

  • Fire sprinkler systems
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Fire alarm and detection systems
  • Portable fire extinguishers
  • And more

At VFS,  we want to help protect your employees, your company, your assets, and your building from any potential fire risk. 

Contact us today to learn more about our services and see how we can help.

Read on to learn the difference between fire protection and fire prevention, here.

On June 14, 2017, one of the most devastating fires hit the Grenfell Towers high rise buildings in London.  There at least 80 people confirmed dead, over 70 additional injured and hospitalized.  The fire burned for over 60 hours and over 250 firemen were involved in putting out this blaze.  The apartment building was a 24 story high rise and the fire started in a fridge-freezer on the 4th floor.

Anger is rising amongst the British people in the aftermath of this fire and many people are calling for justice!  Reports from London state that safety concerns in the building had been ignored for quite some time.  There was no sprinkler system in the building and in fact some of the materials used to renovate the building were considered highly flammable and probably helped the fire to spread.  Joe Ruane, the former deputy chief fire officer for US Air Force bases in Britain, stated that he has never seen a blaze like this before and it appears that more than one fire protection safeguard failed. Labour MP David Lammy denounced the fire as “corporate manslaughter”. He said arrests should be made based on the negligence of the building owners.

This type of tragic fire raises the need for awareness in following the laws and codes set forth by Fire Protection Agencies. A fire sprinkler system could have prevented this catastrophe fire on the 4th floor before it could spread throughout the entire building. Neglecting to protect people, or not to inspect and maintain existing fire & life safety systems at the expanse of corporate savings, can result in tragedy such as the Grenfell Towers fire.

For more details on this tragic story, Click Here:  http://www.newser.com/story/244311/london-blaze-called-corporate-manslaughter.html

Retrofits

VFS Fire & Security Services and Edwards™ have joined forces to offer a free Lunch and Learn in Anaheim California, September 2017.

Whether you are an Architect, Engineer, AHJ, existing or potential client of VFS, we invite you to learn about our company and our new Edwards™ product line.

Join us and enjoy a delicious lunch from King Taco while you learn about the latest and greatest technology!

Details of our upcoming lunch and learn will follow. To be added to the free lunch & learn pre-register list, simply email your request and contact information to [email protected].

VFS held its annual Customer Service and Safety Day in March. The event is held each year and involves all 130+ VFS employees. The VFS team spends the day learning about customer service, safety and team building.

This year’s events focused on five areas:

  • Road Safety
  • Orange Police Department Active Shooter Training
  • General Safety Training
  • Customer Service Training
  • Team Building exercises

The VFS safety program has a superior record of success in every way it can be measured. We recognize that the work we do can be extremely dangerous and our goal is to make the safety of our employees and clients a top priority. Along with our annual safety event, VFS conducts weekly and monthly safety meetings along with weekly surprise on-site safety inspections.  In addition, EVERY company employee from field to office is required to participate in monthly Safety Toolbox Topics.

When it comes to safety, VFS has one of the lowest Experience Modification Rates in the fire & life safety industry. The reason for that is because we take safety very seriously.  The Experience Modification Rate (EMR) has a strong impact on businesses. It is a number used by insurance companies to gauge both past cost of injuries and future chances of risk. An EMR of 1.0 is considered the industry average.

VFS Experience Modification Rate:

2016:                                   0.63

2015:                                   0.76

2014:                                   0.92

2013:                                   0.98

VFS is proud of our safety record and will continue to make safety a priority for our team and our clients. 

One of the requirements of NFPA is the regular testing of emergency generators.  This testing helps to ensure that generator powered backup lighting will operate as expected and that proper signage will be in place to illuminate egress paths if backup lighting should fail.  There are two types of tests that must be performed:

  • It is required that a monthly test be performed on Level 1 and Level 2 generators. A Level 1 generator is one whose failure could result in death or serious injury. A level 2 generator is one whose failure would not result in life-threatening injury. During testing, a generator should operate under available load for a minimum of thirty minutes.
  • If a generator fails the monthly test, it should be operated under a load supplied by a load bank (i.e. load bank testing) for two continuous hours each year.

Monthly and annual generator tests are important measures for preparing generators for power outages, but they should not be the only measures. It is also important for building owners to make sure that their generators receive scheduled maintenance, annual infrared scanning, and modernization and retrofitting, as necessary. Testing is designed to test a generator’s efficiency, but maintaining or improving that efficiency requires a diverse approach that includes the measures above.

VFS is pleased to announce that we can provide this service for our building owner clients.  We offer both the monthly testing and the annual testing as required by NFPA.  If you are a building owner, contact VFS today to learn more about out services and how we can help you to stay in compliance.

STEEL PRICE INCREASES IN 2016

According to gensteel.com, the website for General Steel Buildings, steel has seen its value decrease over the past few years. This has been because supply has been higher than demand. This has been a good thing for consumers as the cost of steel buildings as been lower than in the past. The steel industry has been in decline, but many experts are predicting that 2015 was the low point of pricing and that 2016 will see a rebound in pricing. Both worldsteel.org and knoema.com predict steel demand rising 1.4% in 2016 with forecasts showing strong upward pricing pressures through 2019 in global steel commodity prices.

Steel prices are rising in 2016. US Mill capacity is tightening, while iron ore, scrap, and other raw material costs are also increasing. Suppliers are talking about increases continuing through the second quarter and perhaps even into the third quarter of 2016. This will cause manufacturers, including sprinkler pipe manufacturers to increase pricing.

So what does this mean to you? If you are a property manager, building owner or end-use that has outgrown your storage capacity and now in the process of budgeting to expand your existing building, VFS can help you maximize your current square footage by storing higher rather than going wider. VFS design experts will upgrade your existing fire sprinkler system to increase your storage height and store higher commodities, without costly construction buildouts.

The main thing to know is that partnering with VFS for your fire and life safety needs will help mitigate the effects of these price increases on your business. At VFS, our expert design team will design the right system to minimize pipe size while maximizing your fire sprinkler system for your unique needs. With a highly efficient fire protection system with minimized pipe size, your costs will stay low – even with steel prices increasing.

The bottom line is that VFS has the expertise to help you keep your costs low – even when steel pricing is on the rise. Contact VFS today to find out more about how we can help!

5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT EMERGENCY EYEWASH STATIONS

In January 2009, new revisions to ANSI standard Z358.1-2009 for emergency eyewash took effect. The most important thing is to make sure that emergency eyewash stations are installed and maintained correctly.   There are some basic requirements of ANSI which include:

  • A means of flushing injured eyes must be available at the site of any hazardous materials.
  • Eyewash must be within a 10-second walk of the hazard
  • An injured person must be able to flush their eyes for a full 15 minutes.
  • ANSI also calls out the rate of flow, fluid angle, temperature, user’s position, and station location, installation and maintenance.

With that said, there are five steps that your business can take to ensure that you are in compliance with the ANSI emergency eyewash standards.

  1.  Assess your facility to determine if your site requires emergency eyewash.

Most businesses are required to have eyewash stations if any of the following hazards are at the site: paint, solvents, battery charging stations, hazardous chemical storage, tool parts washers, or chemical pumping/mixing areas. Also,If employees use chemical-resistant gloves, cartridge or air-supplied respirators, chemical-resistant goggles or flammable storage containers, emergency eyewash is also required.

  1. Choose the right eyewash system for your facility

There are several questions that you can ask to determine your needs:

  • What are the most common hazards?
  • Does the workspace layout change as new jobs commence?
  • Is plumbing readily available at the site of every eye hazard?

There are two types of primary emergency eyewash delivery stations to consider: plumbed and portable. Plumbed eyewash units deliver plumbed tap water to the eyes in plentiful amounts. The downside of plumbed stations is that they are expensive to install, impractical to move and require weekly maintenance. Another problem with the plumbed systems is that they use tap water. Because its temperature is not easily regulated, plumbed tap water is often too hot or too cold to flush with for the required 15 minutes. Also, since It does not match the eye’s natural pH, so flushing with it can cause irritation.

The alternative is portable stations, which come in many varieties to meet a wide variety of needs.   These systems contain water, saline solution or 100 percent sterile saline, each of which is maintained at room temperature inside the unit. Stations that deliver sterile flushing fluid offer the best possible safety and because they are devoid of harmful impurities, sterile saline reduces employers’ risk of liability if further injury results.

  1. Emergency Eyewash must be Readily Accessible

It is important to remember that an injured worker may have limited or no vision if an emergency occurs, so it is important to select a location for the unit that is quickly and easily accessible during an emergency. ANSI specifies that stations be located within a 10-second walk from the hazard and on a travel path from the hazard that is free of obstructions. It must also be on the same level as the hazard (no stairs) and in an area that is well lit and clearly marked with a sign.

  1. It is critical to train employees on proper emergency response

It is the your responsibility to ensure that every employee is trained in using emergency eyewash units. Employees must know how to get to the eyewash station and must know how to activate the system in order to properly rinse contaminants from their eyes. The proper flushing technique calls for the worker to hold both eyes open with their forefingers and thumbs and let the fluid rinse across the eyes from the inside corner out for 15 minutes.

  1. Develop a safety plan that encompasses eyewash safety

The best way to ensure eyewash compliance in the workplace is by building it into the company’s safety plan. Employ a safety manager, assign safety stewards or use a third-party vendor to be responsible for employee training and station maintenance. The appointed safety leader should train staff regularly as a group and new associates as they join.

It is also important for your company to maintain eyewash units as required according to ANSI and/or the manufacturer.   Plumbed stations require the most maintenance – they must be activated weekly to get rid of particle buildup in the pipes. According to OSHA, a weekly activation “long enough to verify operation and ensure that flushing fluid is available,” is required. Portable units require less frequent maintenance but still need to be cleaned and disinfected every 3-6 months.

VFS Fire & Security Services has extensive experience in working with eyewash systems. Our team of experts can help with system design, plumbing, compliance and system maintenance. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

NITROGEN GAS MITIGATION TO INHIBIT CORROSION

Dry and pre-action systems are the world’s second most common type of fire suppression system. With increasingly widespread use of these systems, the issue of corrosion has become very common.   Internal corrosion of dry and pre-action fire suppression systems is a growing concern for the fire sprinkler industry. Corrosion in these systems causes failures resulting in property damage, production downtime, and increased maintenance costs. Additionally, corrosion impacts system hydraulics and reduces the efficiency of fire sprinkler system designs. Historically, dry and pre-action fire suppression systems have used compressed system air as the primary supervisory source. Compressed air, however, contains both oxygen and moisture promoting a corrosive system environment.

Approval agencies, design engineering firms, and component manufacturers have teamed up to investigate the main cause of corrosion in fire sprinkler systems. Recent testing shows the removal of Oxygen in both wet and dry pipe fire sprinkler systems can extend the life cycle of the systems by as much as 3-6 times.

Based on the test results, venting wet fire sprinkler systems and using Nitrogen in dry and pre-action systems will give you the maximum life cycle for your system components. The recent NFPA 13 code change for 2016 requires the venting of wet pipe fire sprinkler systems. This can be accomplished by manually or automatically venting of oxygen. The approval agency FM is now aware of the benefits of reduced oxygen in both wet and dry fire sprinkler systems to the point of restricting the use of air compressors and requiring wet systems to be vented.

Because of the strong need for corrosion protection sprinkler systems, Potter Electric Signal Company conducted a test comparing the effects of using 98% pure nitrogen gas compared to compressed air systems. The systems were half filled with water and then allowed to sit for 12 months. After 12 months the systems were tested and it was found that:

  1. The use of 98% nitrogen in lieu of compressed air as a supervisory gas reduces corrosion in both galvanized and black steel systems regardless of whether or not trapped water is present. The corrosion reduction potential ranges from 48% to 91% when compared to compressed air.
  2. Using 98% nitrogen gas in lieu of compressed air increases the life expectancy of a dry or pre-action system on an average of 5.3 times.
  3. The use of galvanized steel instead of black steel results in higher metal loss rates when compared in equivalent environments.
  4. The use of 98% nitrogen gas in a relatively dry, black steel environment has the lowest corrosion rate overall.

Based on these results, using nitrogen gas for fire protection systems will help increase the life of the system by causing less corrosion.

For more information on nitrogen gas use for fire protection systems, please contact VFS today!

Nitorgen
reg inspections

As building owners and managers, one of your most important responsibilities is to make sure your building is safe for all its occupants. According to NFPA code, quarterly and yearly inspections of your fire and life safety systems are mandatory. In addition, some components of a system like a fire pump, require weekly and monthly inspections. It is best to consult your VFS Account Executive for details. Having your building inspected by trained and certified inspectors will help keep your safety systems in good working order.

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CITY OF LOS ANGELES REGULATION NO 4 TESTING
City of Los Angeles Regulation No 4 Testing

VFS is pleased to announce the expansion of our services for Regulation No. 4 testing and repairs requirement in the City of Los Angeles. The full breath of services VFS now offers to clients in order for them to meet the requirements of LA City Reg. 4 testing and repairs include:

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CODE LIMITS THE USE OF ESFR K14 SPRINKLERS
Code Limits the Use of ESFR K14 Sprinklers

In accordance with NFPA 13, 2013 Edition, the option to use K-14 ESFR sprinklers for ceiling only protection without in-rack sprinklers was eliminated in buildings with a ceiling height of 35’-0” and greater. Effective January 1, 2014 the new limitations in NFPA 13, 2013 Edition, limit the use of K14 ESFR sprinklers to a maximum ceiling height/ridge height of 35’-0”. 

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VFS ANNOUNCES NEW OFFERING DATA CABLING AND COMMUNICATION

VFS Fire & Security Services is excited to announce the launch of our new offering in Data Cabling and Communications – featuring the Leviton Certified Cabling System products. Leviton is the first company to offer a lifetime extended warranty against defects in material and workmanship for all certified cabling system products, as long as the product is installed by a certified Leviton distributor.   Leviton produces the highest quality products in the industry and backs this with one of the strongest warranties industry-wide. The new cutting-edge voice & data product line allows VFS to offer our clients a complete total low voltage offering, adding to our breadth of services currently provided to clients.   This new offering is a natural extension of our low voltage offerings which already include nurse call and departure alert systems.

“VFS is always challenging the status quo and we continue to look for innovative solutions to better service our clients”, says Mario Lopez, VFS Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “Adding Voice and Data to our exiting low voltage business (that already includes Fire Alarm, Mass-Notification and Security) offers peace of mind to our clients.  Our clients know that one team is designing and coordinating in-house all the components and infrastructure of their entire low voltage system.”

VFS is also pleased to announce that Chris Ward has joined our team to head the low voltage division. Chris has over 20 years of experience and brings a wealth of knowledge to the business. As president of WardCom Systems Inc. which he co-founded in 1999, Chris used his strong operational and project management skills to build a company known for customer service and quality. Prior to that he held management positions with low voltage firms and has in-depth experience with voice and data cabling, fiber optics, telecommunications and wireless solutions for computer networks as well as Fire Alarm, Security and PA systems.

VFS puts our client’s needs at the forefront of every project. VFS offers and provides support services and can assist organizations with pre-planning, value engineering and budgets for projects in the pre-planning stages. VFS has the experience, expertise and people to provide organizations with the best solutions for their unique needs.

For more information on all of the services provided by VFS, please visit: http://vfsfire.com

Fire Protection

Building owners, property managers or developers could use an advocate to help assess their current and future fire protection needs. Whether retrofitting or developing an office building, retail complex, distribution warehouse, manufacturing facility, server room or any other type of occupancy, understanding the facility fire protection needs is critical. Understanding project scope and budgets prior to making a commitment on fire and life safety systems is also important. With that in mind, VFS has developed Support Services for our clients to help with these needs.

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VFS Fire & Security Services Sprinkler

The fire and life safety industry defines Special Hazards projects as those that require a fire protection system other than the traditional wet or dry system. This can include flammable or combustible solids or liquids such as:

  • Aerosols
  • Solvents
  • Corrosives
  • Pyroxylin Plastics
  • Gases
  • Cryogenic Fluids

From a fire protection standpoint, Special Hazards environments provide a unique set of challenges. These types of fires can spread rapidly in multiple directions even when there is a fire protection system in place. If you don’t have the appropriate fire protection system design and installation, a Special Hazards fire may not be controlled.

Special Hazards

At VFS, our experience in Special Hazards projects dates back to the beginning of our company over 20 years ago. We understand that these projects are unique in the fire protection industry and VFS is one of the few resources in the country qualified to handle these projects nationwide.

VFS takes the time to understand the type of hazards at your facility, and designs and installs the appropriate fire protection system for that type of hazard. It is critical to design and install the proper system for each application and with our in-house Design-Build services, we are able to apply our expertise to all of the systems that can be used in high hazard environments including:

  • Foam Systems
  • Suppression Systems (such as FM200, Inergen, CO2, Novec)
  • Detection Systems (Flame Detection, Spark Detection, Gas Detection)

A key element of the Special Hazard fire protection system is the integration of the fire sprinkler system, fire alarms and mass evacuation systems. VFS has divisions that specialize in all of these elements and we are the best in the business when it comes to this integration.

Whether your application is for a Refinery, Chemical Warehousing Facility, Tank Farm, Airplane Hangar, Data Center or any other Special Hazard environment, we have the experience, expertise and people to provide you with the best solution for your unique needs. VFS gets involved in your project starting with design, all the way through installation, maintenance, and monitoring of the system.

Contact us today to find out more about our expertise in Special Hazards!

Industrial Fire Safety

VFS Fire & Security Services is proud to announce their 20th anniversary this year. The company started in 1993 servicing the Southern California market with just two people and has grown to over 70 employees doing work in 46 states. In addition to the 70+ employees in Southern California, VFS has over 75 affiliate companies around the country to supplement their workforce.

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VFS Fire & Security Services Communication and Sound

John Deutsch who sits on the NFPA 13 committee with Randy Nelson, CEO of VFS Fire & Security Services, has joined the VFS team. John draws on over 28 years of experience in fire sprinkler design for industrial, commercial, mixed-used occupancies, public works and special hazards industries.

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