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 SUPPORTS SANTA COP PROGRAM

The employees of VFS Fire & Security Services have made a big commitment to a local program that provides toys to low-income families during the holidays to help them celebrate the holiday season.  This program was developed 19 years ago by the South Gate Police Department — in partnership with the Police Officers’ Association and Police Explorers.  “Our officers donate their time and money every year to this program as it is a special one to our hearts,” stated Officer Christian Perez.  The program started out by helping four families and today helps more than 100 families.

The Santa Cop program is funded entirely through local donations and it is organized and implemented by South Gate Police Officers and their families and community volunteers. Every year the program receives donations from city and police employees as well as the local community.

The South Gate Police Department does a great job of identifying those families that have the greatest need in the community.  Each family must submit an application in order to be accepted by this program.  VFS selected this program because of this application process and because they wanted to help as many families as possible.

The City of South Gate Police Department sent this note to VFS: “We want to send a very special thank you to Mr. Rudy Garcia and VFS Fire & Security Services who generously donated toys for our South Gate Police Department Santa Cop program.  It’s because of businesses like VFS that we are able to reach as many families as we can during this time of year.  Partnerships truly work”

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

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 is excited to announce the opening of a new office in San Diego, California. The office was officially started in December of 2012 with the hiring of Allen Hafer. Allen will serve as the General Manager for San Diego, bringing over 30 year of experience in the fire sprinkler industry. Allen brings his knowledge of sales, project management, and design to VFS.

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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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VFS Fire & Security Services

The Quell™ Fire Protection System is the total cold storage/outdoor warehouse fire protection solution that delivers unprecedented advantages to Facility Managers including higher-level storage and added hazard configurations.  With these leading edge advantages, The Quell™ system helps improve the bottom line for your cold storage/unheated storage facility.  Now you’re able to stock more commodity classifications, achieve higher roof and storage heights, gain more flexible stocking configurations, reduce installation cost and eliminate costly in-rack sprinklers service repairs and maintenance.

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STEEL PRICE INCREASES IN 2016

Just for fun, we thought we would test your knowledge about some of the Fire Sprinkler Codes. See how well you do!

  1. What is the minimum requirement for the routine Inspections of the fire sprinkler system – Alarm Devices?

A. Quarterly            B. Semiannually             C. Annually

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FIRE SAFETY INSPECTIONS FOR YOUR FACILITIES: YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE

There have been a number of refinery fires in the past several months in several locations around the world. In one case outside of the United States, the fire resulted in 42 deaths. The fires that we have seen in our country have typically had no major injuries, but local residents get treated for respiratory problems. In all cases, the property damage from these fires is significant.

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WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR FIRE SAFETY TRAINING: A COMPLETE GUIDE

VFS is unique in the breadth of services that they provide to their clients. These services include fire sprinklers, fire alarms, access control, CCTV and special hazards to name a few. One of the key objectives at VFS is to educate and inform clients, architects, engineers, and other industry organizations, including fire authorities, about the latest fire and life safety news. The Lunch & Learn Seminars provided by VFS are one way that education is offered. VFS provides the latest information regarding code changes and fire protection products during these seminars to help better protect what matters… people, property and business.

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reg inspections

VFS Fire & Security Services is a company that challenges the status quo in the industry. According to Randy Nelson, CEO, “VFS has grown into a cutting edge company that focuses on innovation in an industry where the way things are done, quite frankly, has not changed much in the past 100 years. This industry has typically been slow to adopt new technology, but VFS is leading the way!”

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TOP 5 CAUSES OF COMMERCIAL FIRES

Save Time & Money with VFS

Are any of the following items important to you?

  • Receiving your inspection reports on the same day as the inspection?
  • Viewing your inspection reports from any computer, tablet or smart phone?
  • Reviewing & approving repair quotes electronically within 24 hours of the inspection?
  • View your Entire Portfolio inspection results (Pass or Fail) on one screen?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the LiNC Inspection System from VFS is for you!

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VFS SUPPORTS SANTA COP PROGRAM

UL Certified Installer of Fire Alarm Systems

More and more cities are now requiring fire alarm systems to be installed by a UL certified installer. The certification of a fire alarm system verifies that the alarm was installed in compliance with building and safety code requirements.
certified

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WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR FIRE SAFETY TRAINING: A COMPLETE GUIDE

There is a growing trend around the country for fraudulent fire inspectors to show up at a facility to conduct an inspection. There have been many cases where someone will show up at a building and tell a receptionist that they are on-site to perform a fire system inspection. The individual will walk around the building, but not actually perform an inspection. At the end of their time on site, a bill will be submitted and in many cases was paid by the tenant or the building owner without the knowledge that the inspection was fraudulent.

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