Tag Archive for: alarm and detection

Engineer checking Industrial fire control system,Fire Alarm controller, Fire notifier, Anti fire.System ready In the event of a fire.

An unscheduled fire safety inspection can feel like a pop quiz for property owners. However, just like in school, this pop quiz won’t be too bad… if you did your homework!

(Don’t worry, you won’t need to do any pre-calc to prepare for a scheduled or unscheduled fire safety inspection!) All you need to do is follow a few simple steps.

Below, we’ve prepared a fire safety checklist to help you prepare and pass your next inspection—whether it’s scheduled or a drop-in—with flying colors.

Let’s take a look!

Prep Your Paperwork

Collect and organize paperwork showing any steps your business takes to address fire protection and any previous inspection violations. This demonstrates that your business is committed to meeting requirements.

Collect Proof of Services and Inspections

Keep track of services and inspections that licensed professionals have performed on your systems, such as:

  • Serviced fire alarms
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Sprinkler systems, and
  • Fire pumps

Make Appointments for Outstanding Maintenance

It’s time to sit down and make some appointments—yay! Contact some trained professionals (like our team at VFS) to help with the maintenance of your fire protection systems. This will not only help you pass inspections but also will protect your people and property.

Not sure if your commercial property needs servicing? Read on to learn how often fire protection systems should be serviced.

Take Precautions Against Special Hazards

Special hazards are areas that require special hazard fire equipment and fire alarms.

Building owners should note that special hazards are not specific fire hazards that occur as a result of certain situations or triggers, such as a flammable liquid being too close to a heat source.

Instead, special hazards can be things like gasoline pumps, computer server rooms, or storage areas that may contain flammable or combustible chemicals.

Read on to learn more about solutions to special hazards.

Clear Clutter

To prepare for a fire safety inspection, building owners should make it a priority to avoid clutter. Why? Clutter can quickly become combustible waste and serve as fuel for fires.

Combustible waste can take many forms, including:

  • Trash (i.e. cardboard boxes, paper, cartons, etc.)
  • Debris
  • Plant matter
  • Yard trimmings
  • Fallen trees
  • Wood, and
  • Leaves

Fire laws prohibit the accumulation of these items anywhere except intended disposal locations.

Lastly, property owners should make an active effort to keep their hallways free from obstructions.

Properly Store Combustible Waste

It can be difficult to keep combustible materials off your property at all times. Instead, we suggest prioritizing safe storage for these materials to prepare for an inspection. 

For example, property owners can:

  • Use lids on containers 40 gallons or greater
  • Keep containers exceeding a capacity of 40.5 cubic feet outdoors and over five feet away from construction work
  • Keep storage containers away from the building, and
  • Ensure storage containers near facilities don’t contain oily rags or other unsafe materials without proper container identifications

This will help keep any staff working on the property safe as well as help prepare the space for inspection.

Ensure Efficient Entry for the Fire Department 

According to national codes, all buildings must offer firefighters safe and immediate access.

Complying with this code should be simple. Most businesses comply with this code by mounting fire department lock boxes on the outside of their building.

This way, in the event of an emergency, the fire department can open the lock boxes with a master key and enter the building.

Part of the reason for keeping clutter out is to allow firefighters to safely navigate the building. Trust us, you don’t want firefighters tripping over the cardboard boxes from Amazon during a fire!

Make Sure the Fire Department Has Access to Water

Building owners should clearly mark all fire hydrants and ensure they are available for use. Additionally, fire hydrants must have three feet of clear space on all sides to allow firefighters access. This means that the building occupants should not be parking within this space—sorry Brandon from HR, it’s time to learn to parallel park!

Further, to prepare for inspection, building owners can check the fire department connection (FDC) that allows firefighters to supply water to a sprinkler system. This system should also be marked and accessible.

Need Help Preparing For Inspection?

At VFS Fire & Security Services, we have a diverse team of experienced fire protection professionals who are capable of inspecting and servicing even the most complex fire protection systems.

We tell you what’s due, when it’s due, and why it’s due, and are constantly communicating with your team to keep you up-to-date on the latest information within your facilities.

Read on to learn more about our testing and inspection services.

 

How to Prepare For Fire Safety Inspections infographic

employees walking in a healthcare building with sound and communication systems

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities face a unique set of challenges in an emergency, such as mobility issues with patients, additional obstacles with emergency evacuation, and a large staff to inform of safety protocols.

This is why sound and communication systems in healthcare buildings are essential in protecting property and residents in the event of an emergency.

Sound and communication systems serve to protect property and residents as well as combat these challenges in the event of an emergency.

Let’s discuss a few sound and communication systems, how they work, and how they can be used for the safety of residents in healthcare facilities.

ERRCS and DAS

ERRCS stands for Emergency Responder Radio Communication Systems, also known as Bi-Directional Antenna Systems, or DAS.

ERRCS and DAS are similar; both systems are used within commercial and residential buildings to allow emergency responders to communicate with each other via two-way radio.

Why Are ERRCS and DAS Important?

During the September 11th attacks in New York City, emergency responders struggled to communicate with each other in rescue and recovery efforts. 

These difficulties, such as full radio communication failures, made the first responders inside buildings lose contact with dispatch and fire crews outside. Ultimately, these communication issues risked the lives of the first responders and hindered their rescue efforts.

The communication failures on 9/11 raised awareness of the need for tools that would allow responders to communicate during an emergency. Since 9/11, these systems have become a critical priority for commercial building owners.

How Do ERRCS and DAS Work?

ERRCS and DAS are made of distributed antennas that are installed within a building to amplify particular radio and/or cellular signals ensuring the highest functioning communication for first responders.

These antennas receive external public safety radio signals and retransmit them within the building to ensure penetration in all areas of the building including stairwells, elevators, basements, and other heavily shielded areas.

As an amplification system, ERRCS amplifies the radio signals between first responders’ radios during an emergency. 

Read on to learn more about ERRCS and DAS and how they are crucial in protecting lives and your building.

Area of Refuge

Like an intercom system, an area of refuge two-way communication system ensures that healthcare buildings have a way for individuals to call for help in the instance of an emergency.

These systems are also used in schools, commercial buildings, and other public venues.

How Do Areas of Refuge Work?

Areas of refuge provide a location for building occupants to assemble by an exit and await assistance. These residents may require assistance for a variety of reasons, such as difficulty using stairs or other disabilities.

With these difficulties in mind, these systems were designed to provide hands-free, two-way communication with intelligible audio and visible signals to indicate communication has occurred. These features will allow patients and staff to more easily communicate and receive the assistance they need in the event of an emergency.

Voice Paging and Intercom

Voice paging and intercom systems allow for one-way communication with a larger audience. These systems allow users to announce information to others. This allows the called party to receive information without having to pick up a handset or radio.

How Do Video Paging and Intercom Systems Work?

The paging employee speaks into the telephone and the message is broadcast through a network of speakers to relay. Messages can also be prerecorded and broadcast at different times, depending on the needs of the facility.

Patient Wandering

These systems are essential to preventing patients from getting lost, injured, or exposing themselves to potentially life-threatening situations.

How Do Wander Management Systems Work?

Wander management systems consist of RFID-enabled technology that keeps track of patients within the set parameters of the system to guarantee their protection within the hospital, nursing home, or senior living home. 

Infant Protection Systems

Infants are some of the most vulnerable patients in a hospital. Ensuring infant security is critical not only to the reputation of your hospital but also to nursing staff and new moms.

How Do Infant Protection Systems Work?

These systems can vary depending on the wants and requirements of the hospital. Typically, hospital staff will put some form of location system on the infants, which will monitor their location throughout the building.

With these tracking systems, staff can monitor the location of the infants during an emergency as well as be notified if the infant is taken out of the secured area of the hospital. These systems allow the staff to better protect infants in the healthcare building.

The Bottom Line

These systems allow various teams to communicate with each other to optimize safety protocols and protect staff, patients, and other residents. Further, sound and communication systems can bring peace of mind to building owners as well as the staff and patients in the healthcare facility.

Read on to learn more about our other sound and communication system options.

infographic describing sound and communication systems

security system on a building

As a business owner, building security is crucial to protecting your property and staff.  According to statistics provided by the FBI, 60% of burglaries occur outside of working hours. Why? Outside of working hours, your staff is typically less equipped to respond quickly and efficiently to the incident. In some cases, the staff may not even notice the incident is occurring.

Additionally, following the COVID-19 pandemic, more business owners are managing their business remotely. Not being at their building in person can cause business owners to feel concerned about the security of their business, but they don’t have to!

With the right protocols and systems in place, business owners can feel confident that their building is secure and safe, whether they are clocking in upstairs or from their living room. 

Let’s dive into how to make this possible.

First, How Can Improved Security Benefit Your Business?

We understand–business owners have a lot on their plate and security may not always be the first priority. However, the right security can provide a host of benefits for your business. For example:

  • Improved customer confidence in shopping on the premises
  • Prevention of issues like  break-ins, vandalism, or robbery
  • Heightened employee safety both during and outside of business hours 

Let’s Talk about Integrated Security Systems

Integrated security systems provide a solution to many security challenges faced by business owners. Let’s discuss what integrated security systems are and how they can protect your building and business (even after business hours or from home!).

Intrusion and Detection Alarm Systems

Intrusion systems are designed to use your existing IT infrastructure to increase efficiency. These solutions are scalable, reliable systems used for a wide variety of applications. They can be utilized in spaces such as mixed-use commercial office complexes to high-risk facilities.  

How do Intrusion and Detection Alarms Work?

State-of-the-art technologies in intrusion systems implement event notifications sent to mobile phones and remote system management. These technologies can keep you up-to-date with the status of your facility, even when you are not there. 

Closed-Circut Television (CCTV)

Closed-circuit television, or CCTV,  is a television system in which signals are monitored for surveillance and security purposes. These signals are not publicly distributed. 

How Does CCTV Work?

CCTV relies on the strategic placement of cameras as well as the consistent monitoring of the footage. CCTV cameras communicate with monitors and/or video recorders through private coaxial cable runs or wireless communication links. This allows the communication to be private and allows only the intended audience to be able to view the footage.

Access Control Systems

As the name implies, access control systems manage access. These systems control who enters the building or site and prevents unauthorized visitors from entering the facility. Access control systems are designed to maintain control over who comes into the building without impeding the work of those who are authorized.

How Do Access Control Systems Work?

While the details can vary depending on the types of access control and system the business owner selects, the main elements of an access control system are typically the same. These elements include: 

  • The tag
  • Tag reader
  • Access control panel
  • Lock(s)

These elements cooperate to create an easy and simple experience for the user. 

Further, these systems can be scaled from small businesses to multi-location companies with thousands of employees.

Video Monitoring Systems

Video monitoring systems provide an array of benefits for a business, such as improving employee safety and productivity.  Hybrid digital and analog camera systems deter theft by preventing unfounded lawsuits and reducing incidents of work-site harassment. 

How Do Video Monitoring Systems Work?

Video Monitoring systems can be analog, digital or hybrid. Business owners can select which of these options works best for their business and their budget.

A digital video surveillance system is “a surveillance system capable of capturing images and videos that can be compressed, stored or sent over communication networks. Digital video surveillance systems can be used for nearly any environment.” Depending on the system, internet protocol (IP) cameras may be used. These cameras require only a local network.

Analog systems use traditional cameras you see in camera systems. These cameras record images to a video recorder and send them through a coaxial cable to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). Analog systems tend to be simpler than digital surveillance systems. 

Need Help With Building Security For Your Business?

We got you covered.

From high-end access control systems to basic intrusion detection components, our highly skilled VFS Teams design systems that optimize your existing infrastructure and augment them with the latest in proven technologies.

Learn more about our security systems here and start a conversation with us today.

infographic about business owner building safety

a fire hydrant being checked to protect a building during the fall season

Fires can happen anytime but occur more frequently during fall and winter.

Why? Heating equipment, ranging from commercial heating systems to portable space heaters, increases the risk of fire. Additionally, candles, decorations, and cooking contribute to this increased risk.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to put out your favorite pumpkin spice-scented candle or take down those new decorations! We’re here to discuss some fire safety tips to help protect your building during the fall.

Let’s dive in.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Fires?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the five most common causes of fires in commercial buildings are:

  • Cooking Equipment
  • Heating Equipment
  • Electrical and Lighting Equipment
  • Smoking Materials
  • Arson

How to Reduce These Fire Risks

Commercial property owners can use a few strategies to prevent building fires.

1. Keep Away the Clutter

Clutter can quickly become combustible waste and serve as fuel for fires. Combustible waste can take many forms, such as:

  • Trash, including cardboard boxes, paper, or cartons
  • Debris
  • Plant matter
  • Yard trimmings
  • Fallen trees
  • Wood
  • Leaves

Fire laws prohibit the accumulation of these items anywhere except intended disposal locations. Without proper treatment, such combustible waste can become a significant fire hazard for your building.

Additionally, clutter can block exits and evacuation routes as well as make it more difficult for firefighters to do their job in the event of a fire.

Owners should make an effort to keep the building free from obstructions and keep hallways clear.

Learn How to Store Combustible Waste

We get it—you can’t keep combustible waste off of your property at all times. Instead, you can store this waste safely to improve fire safety.

Property owners should:

  • Keep storage containers away from the building
  • Storage containers near facilities shouldn’t contain oily rags or other unsafe materials without proper container identifications
  • You must use lids on containers 40 gallons or greater
  • Keep containers exceeding a capacity of 40.5 cubic feet outdoors and over five feet away from construction work

Additionally, OSHA provides guidelines you can follow for storing combustible waste, such as:

  • “All solvent waste, oily rags, and flammable liquids shall be kept in fire-resistant covered containers until removed from the work site.
  • All scrap lumber, waste material, and rubbish shall be removed from the immediate work area as the work progresses.
  • Whenever materials are dropped more than 20 feet to any point lying outside the exterior walls of the building, an enclosed chute of wood, or equivalent material, shall be used.

2. Be Aware of Ignition Sources

Other items can also contribute to fire hazards. Ignition sources include heaters, lamps, and other items that can get hot or cause a flame (i.e. exposed cords or electrical outlets).

Other possible sources of open flames include the following:

  • Matches
  • Cigars and cigarettes
  • Signal markers
  • Flaming food and drink preparations in restaurants
  • Decorative devices
  • Candles and lanterns
  • Gas heaters
  • Barbecue pits

3. Post an Evacuation Plan

In the event of a fire, a well-executed evacuation plan can provide many benefits, such as saving lives and allowing emergency services to do their jobs easier.

Property owners can post evacuation plans in public areas to familiarize residents and employees with safety precautions.

4. Avoid Overloading Circuits and Extension Cords

Many commercial buildings, such as office spaces, have an abundance of cords. Outlets become crowded due to monitors, computers, printers, and other devices. 

With the addition of items such as portable heaters in the fall, the number of cords in a commercial space may increase and lead to overheating.

Property owners should encourage residents to check the fit of the plug in the outlet and avoid loose electrical connections. A poor connection may cause overheating or a fire.

5. Ensure You Have Correct Safety Equipment

Property owners should ensure they have the correct safety equipment for their building. Additionally, to reduce the increased risk of fire during fall, owners should take the time to locate fire extinguishers and replace batteries in smoke alarms.

6. Keep Up with Inspection and Testing

Inspection and testing of fire suppression systems are crucial. To comply with NFPA 72 regulations, inspection, testing, and maintenance of your fire alarm system are required on a semi-annual basis. A well-maintained fire alarm system keeps residents and property safe.

What is a Fire System Inspection?

A fire inspection is a process in which the fire department inspects a building or property to identify and access potential fire safety hazards.

How Often Should Fire Systems Be Inspected?

According to the NFPA code, inspections of your fire and life safety systems are required to occur on a quarterly and annual basis.

Read on to learn about understanding inspections and maintenance for your building.

7. Consider a Monitored Fire Alarm System

A monitored fire alarm system can help prevent costly damage to your property while protecting its residents.

What is a Monitored Fire Alarm System?

A monitored fire alarm system is an alarm system that has been programmed to transmit signals to a central station or fire control center.

In simple terms, when the alarm goes off, the system will immediately alert an operator who will dispatch the appropriate fire protection team to your building.

What is the Difference Between a Fire Alarm System and Fire Alarm Monitoring?

Unlike a monitored fire alarm system, a fire alarm system sets off an alarm—usually a series of local, audible devices—to alert people in the building that a fire has been detected and to evacuate immediately. A fire alarm system does not notify the fire department of the detected fire. The fire department will not be dispatched unless someone calls 911.

As we approach the fall and winter months, the risk of a fire occurring in your building rises. However, monitored fire alarm systems can help to protect your building and its residents, even when it is unoccupied.

Read on to learn more about monitored fire alarm systems.

Is It Time for Your Building to Be Inspected?

Ensure your building is safe and up to fire protection code compliance by partnering with a company that specializes in fire protection. Start a conversation with us today and let’s figure out how to best protect your building.

Infographic about fire safety tips

leader showing How to Implement Fire Safety Training in Your Workplace

We’ll be honest… “Stop, drop, and roll” paired with a colorful poster in your company’s break room isn’t going to cut it. Proper fire safety training saves lives, time, and money and is essential in any workforce or industry.

Nearly 4,000 people die in fires each year in the United States; that is eleven fire-related deaths per day. Additionally, the U.S. Fire Administration estimates that fires in commercial buildings cost owners over $2.4 billion per year.

Let’s not contribute to these statistics! Instead, employers can help prevent injuries, losses, and damages by implementing proper fire safety training in the workplace.

We’ll break down the basics of fire safety training, starting with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements.

What Are OSHA’s Requirements for Fire Safety Training in the Workplace?

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a “safe and healthful workplace.” Therefore, fire safety training is required in most American workplaces. 

Basic Requirements

The minimum requirements outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ensure employees know how to protect themselves in the event of a fire. To summarize:

  • Employees know how to recognize the signs of a fire
  • Employees understand how to safely evacuate the building

Requirements Per Industry

OSHA requirements are different in each industry. OSHA categorizes its standards into five sections:

  • General Industry
  • Maritime
  • Construction
  • Agriculture
  • Federal Employment Programs

Each of these categories contains specific information that employers may find useful in planning fire safety training for employees in their industry. For more information, check out the booklet OSHA provided for training requirements.

Now, let’s look at how to implement fire safety training outside of the minimum requirements.

How to Implement Fire Safety Training in Your Workplace

Outline Your Goals

First, fire safety training should begin with an analysis of your goals and objectives for the training. Employers may ask themselves the following questions:

  • What do I want my team to gain from this training?
  • What points do I need to cover for their safety?
  • What do I want today’s training to accomplish?
  • What do I want this training to improve in the future?
  • How many training sessions will allow me to present this information to my team?
  • What resources does my team already have?
  • What resources do my employees need to reach these safety goals?

Develop a Fire Safety Plan

If your organization hasn’t already, it is crucial to develop a fire safety plan. To build an efficient plan, employers and employees should be familiar with:

  • The type of fire suppression or alarm system in the building
  • All exits in the building
  • A list of all major fire hazards
  • Potential fuel sources for fires
  • The types and locations of fire protection equipment in the building

Once the employer has collected this information, they can form a plan and present it to their team. 

Presenting a Fire Safety Plan

Employers should take time to ensure their team understands their workplace’s fire safety plan.

For instance, employees should have a complete understanding of:

  • Where fire protection equipment is located and how to use it
  • Expectations for if they are the first to see a fire in the workplace
  • How they will communicate with their team in the event of a fire
  • The route they will use to evacuate the building
  • Options to exit the building
  • How to activate the fire alarm
  • When to call 911
  • A location to regroup outside of the building

Every workplace may have slightly different safety plans, procedures, and requirements.

Don’t want to rely on an employee to notify emergency services of the fire? Consider a monitored fire alarm system.

Why? Suppose the building is equipped with a non-monitored fire alarm system. In that case, the fire department will only be dispatched when someone manages to call 911.

Additionally, leaders should consider the following topics when crafting their workplace fire safety training.

Workplace Fire Safety Training Topics

Fire safety training in the workplace can vary depending on the company and industry. However, all workplace training should include a general overview of basic topics to ensure employee safety and help protect property against damages.

Fire Prevention

An employer’s primary goal in fire safety training should be to stop the fire from happening in the first place.

Fire prevention training may have the goals of:

  • How to recognize fire hazards
  • How to reduce the risk of hazardous situations
  • Steps to fix or reduce a fire risk

Hazard Recognition

If employees know the most common causes of fires, they will be more successful in preventing similar situations in the future. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the most common causes of fires in commercial buildings are:

  • Cooking equipmentHow to Implement Fire Safety Training in Your Workplace infographic
  • Heating equipment
  • Electrical and lighting equipment
  • Smoking materials
  • Intentional fire setting

Types of Fires and How to Contain Them

In the event of a fire, knowing the five classes of fire can help employees use the most effective fire extinguishing agents and techniques to safely suppress flames.

Fire classes—which include Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class K—are a means of categorizing fires by factors such as:

  • The type of material and fuel for combustion
  • The best methods to extinguish or suppress them

Read on for more detail on the five classes of fires and how to contain them.

 

How to Implement Fire Safety Trainings

Employers should be mindful of OSHA’s guidelines and local codes, then pass this information to their team.

Additionally, consistent refreshers of fire safety training topics can help keep your property and team members safe. Leaders can mix training options that range from short presentations to demonstrations and full courses.

Looking For Other Ways to Protect Your Team or Commercial Building?

At VFS Fire & Security Services, our mission is to grow our business by serving our community and protecting what matters most to our clients; life and valued assets.

For more information, check out our fire protection solutions.

Fire Suppression System Pipes without Blockages

Fire sprinkler obstructions can hinder the effectiveness of any fire protection system, resulting in costly damages. Luckily, building owners can take steps to prevent these obstructions to ensure their fire system is protecting their commercial property at the highest level of efficiency.

Let’s dive into how to avoid the most common fire sprinkler obstructions; but first, let’s review what fire sprinkler obstructions are and why they happen.

What is a Fire Sprinkler Obstruction?

A fire sprinkler obstruction is any material that causes partial or full blockage of a pipe and prevents water from flowing through.

As you can guess, these blockages stop fire sprinkler systems from doing their job in the event of a fire. Think: If the correct amount of water can’t flow through the pipe properly, the fire system is not able to release the amount of water necessary to reduce heat, flames, and smoke quickly.

Therefore, fire sprinkler obstructions can lead to increased damage to property and even put lives at risk.

Read on for more information about fire protection systems.

What Causes Fire Sprinkler Obstructions? 

Pipes in fire sprinkler systems can be as small as 1” in diameter. This considered, it doesn’t take much to cause a blockage! Obstructions can be caused by many objects and materials, but some occur more frequently than others. The most common fire sprinkler obstructions are:

  • Ice
  • Corrosion
  • Foreign materials

Let’s review each of these in detail and take a look at some strategies on how to prevent these blockages.

Ice Blockages

When temperatures dip below 32°F, water in pipes may freeze and create blockages in your fire sprinkler system. Water can freeze into solid ice plugs, which can damage your system and prevent water from flowing through the pipes.

Many building owners assume that ice plugs only occur during the winter months; however, ice can form in pipes at any time of year because ice plugs occur most often based on their surroundings in a building, not by the weather. For example, ice plugs most commonly occur in sprinkler systems surrounded by storage or freezer systems.

How to Avoid Ice Plugs in Fire Sprinkler Systems

Building owners can prevent ice plugs by dehumidifying air supplied into the sprinkler system. Most ice plugs are caused by the air supply being cooled as it travels from a heated area into an extremely cold environment, such as near a freezer system.

Moisture collects in the air and freezes once the condensation reaches the cold environment. 

By dehumidifying the air going into the system, owners can prevent condensation from freezing and turning into an ice plug. Additionally, building owners can take measures to ensure their system is air-tight. 

Read on to learn more about how to prevent your fire system from freezing.

Corrosion

The combination of metal, water, and oxygen in some systems makes it extremely difficult to avoid corrosion entirely. Although corrosion is common in fire sprinkler systems, it usually doesn’t pose a significant risk. 

However, when corrosion becomes extreme, obstruction can occur. A few types of corrosion that commonly obstruct fire sprinkler systems include:

  • Iron oxide corrosion (i.e. Rust)
  • Microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC), and
  • Galvanic corrosion

Read on to learn more about MIC prevention.

How to Avoid Corrosion in Fire Sprinkler Systems

Building owners can install a system that maintains an extremely high level of pure nitrogen to combat corrosion. While these systems can’t reverse existing corrosion, they can help to prevent corrosion from becoming extreme and causing obstructions.

Foreign Materials

Raw or poorly filtered water sources may lead to foreign materials entering and obstructing pipes in a fire sprinkler system. For example, water from rivers or ponds may carry sands or stones. Even if these materials are extremely fine, they can still build up and cause a blockage.

How to Avoid Foreign Materials in Fire Sprinkler Systems

Building owners can prevent foreign materials from blocking pipes in their sprinkler systems by correctly filtering their water source and understanding specific risks a source may pose.

How to Know if Your Fire Sprinkler System is Obstructed 

Fire sprinkler systems often don’t show signs of obstruction, which means building owners may not know there is an issue until it’s too late (AKA your system doesn’t work properly when there’s a fire…)

Because of this, the best way to know if your building’s fire sprinkler system is functioning properly is to have the system assessed and inspected. Fire protection system assessments can help property owners determine what repairs are needed to ensure their system will protect their building in the event of a fire.

Not sure if you need servicing? Read on to learn more about how often fire protection systems should be serviced.

Worried Your Fire Sprinkler System Might Have An Obstruction?

Let VFS Fire & Security Services help—fortify your building with reliable fire protection systems inspected and maintained by the experts at VFS!

When systems or devices need maintenance, we most often can send a repair technician to you within 24 hours (and sooner in emergencies!) Our goal at VFS is to be proactive, staying ahead of the curve.

Read on for more information about our testing and inspection services.

National Accounts Business fire and security building

At VFS, our national accounts business helps us accomplish our mission of growing our business by serving our community and protecting that which matters most to our clients; life and valued assets. 

As the provider of choice within our markets, we provide complete fire protection and integrated life safety solutions, focused exclusively on exceeding our customer’s expectations every time.

Watch the video below as Michael Wick, Director of National Operations, provides an insightful look inside our national accounts. 

Or, read on to learn about our national accounts.  

 

What is the VFS National Accounts Business?

VFS has built a sophisticated network of affiliate partnerships across all 50 states and the 10 Canadian provinces. 

How Did the VFS National Accounts Business start?

According to Michael, “the national account business has been going for over ten years now. At the very beginning, VFS was using vetted subcontractors. Over the years, they’ve become true partners. These [subcontractors are maintaining] long-term relationships with us and our customers.”

How Does VFS Choose Partnerships?

VFS invests time into vetting affiliates before they are brought into a partnership. This vetting process includes reviewing their technician qualifications, assessing their reporting structure and ensuring their service aligns with our core values. 

How Do the VFS National Partnerships Work?

With these carefully selected and pre-vetted partners, we are confident in our ability to perform superior service and efficient account management – no matter where you are located. Our team works within carefully integrated frameworks and advanced platforms to facilitate the management of multi-facility national accounts.

 

Michael expands on the partnerships, stating “as a result of our long-term relationships and bonds with our partners, we speak to them directly as if they were our own technicians. We receive real-time data and feedback firsthand from multiple locations.” 

 

This communication with our technicians provides us with the information we need to successfully manage the accounts of our customers. 

infographic about national accounts

How Does VFS Support Its Partners?

 

VFS works directly with our partners and maintains open communication. We will never put the affiliate in a situation where they’re unsupported. 

 

 

If VFS is bringing partners onto challenging locations –such as those with special hazards or highly technical systems– VFS will integrate one of our own managers or foreman to work with the partners. This experienced team member will help to guide the partners through the first inspection, ensure all sites have been assessed properly as well as provide any other support they may need. 

 

Additionally, VFS introduces partners to customers to make sure customers feel confident in the services the partners are providing for them. 

How is VFS Expanding Its Footprint Through National Accounts?

Through the national accounts business, VFS has the opportunity to increase its footprint across the country. VFS has opened in Texas and Florida. These locations, in combination with the network of affiliate partners, allow VFS to build a presence and provide services to customers throughout the United States. 

How Do the VFS National Accounts Share Information with Customers?

Using our customer portal CNCT we are steadfast in our approach to sustaining the integrity of your businesses as we manage, track, view, and communicate your critical fire and life safety information.

Customers will have access to:

  • All documentation
  • Account information
  • Reporting and deficiency tracking
  • Project management
  • Resources and product specifications

What are the Goals of the VFS National Network? 

Our goal is transparency and compliance. We accomplish this by ‘CNCTing’ you to your facilities’ valuable and critical information across North America.

 

Check out our blog for more information on fire and security services, such as Monitored Fire Alarm Systems, and how often your systems should be inspected. 

Read on to learn more about VFS and who we serve

Fire Extinguisher on Wall

In the event of a fire, knowing the five classes can help you to use the most effective fire extinguishing agents and techniques to safely suppress the flames. 

In this article, we’ll cover each fire class, how each type of fire can happen, the varying materials that can serve as fuel, and how you can safely extinguish the flames. (Hint: don’t always use water to put out fires– it can make it worse!) 

Please note these fire classifications follow the U.S. standard system for classifying fires. 

What is a Fire Class?

Fire classes are a system of categorizing fires by factors such as the type of material and fuel for combustion as well as the best methods to extinguish or suppress them. The fire classes are Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class K.

Class A Fires: Ordinary Combustibles

Class A fires are the most common of the classes of fires. Class A fires occur when common combustibles–such as wood, paper, trash cloth, and some plastics– serve as fuel for the fire.  Some of these materials may include:

  • Cloth and fabric: clothing, home furnishings, curtains
  • Wood: furniture, building, crafting or construction supplies, logs in fireplaces
  • Paper: books, office supplies, magazines, newspapers, trash 
  • Plastics: plastic containers, toys, disposable bags
  • Rubber: such as the rubber in shoes

How Do Class A Fires Start?

Class A fires are the most common because ordinary combustibles are often found in everyday life. An ordinary combustibles fire can start through scenarios such as a candle falling over or a hot match being tossed into the trash.

How to Extinguish Class A Fires

According to the Fire Equipment Manufacturer’s Association, the best methods to extinguish Class A fires is either with a foam fire extinguisher or with water.   

Class B Fires: Flammable Liquids and Gases

Class B fires involve flammable liquids and gases, especially petroleum or petroleum-based products. Some examples include:

  • Gasoline
  • Paint
  • Kerosine
  • Propane
  • Butane

However, Class B does not typically include fires involving cooking oils or grease. These materials are in their own class, Class K.

How Do Class B Fires Start?

Class B fires occur when flammable liquids ignite. For example, lighter fluid may catch fire on a charcoal grill or gasoline, grease or paint may ignite while a mechanic is working on a car. 

How to Extinguish Class B Fires

The best method of extinguishing Class B fires is by smothering them or cutting the oxygen supply using foam, powder, or carbon dioxide fire suppression equipment, such as extinguishers. 

It is important not to use a water extinguisher on a Class B fire as water may spread the flammable material and cause the fire.

Class C Fires: Electrical Fires

Class C fires involve an electricity source and/or electric equipment. They may begin from:

  • A short circuit
  • Faulty wiring
  • Electrical/power cord damage 
  • Faulty Breaker boxes
  • Damaged appliances
  • Overloaded electrical outlets

How Do Class C Fires Start?

Class C fires can occur in many situations. An example would be an overloaded outlet causing the plug and/or cord of the device to spark and set on fire.

How to Extinguish Class C Fires

Since suppressing Class C fires can be complicated, we’ve broken down the process into a few short steps:

  1. If it is safe, disconnect the item from its power source. 
  2. Extinguish the fire using a carbon dioxide or dry powder fire extinguisher. These are non-conductive extinguishing agents that will help protect you from electrical shock and cut off the fire’s oxygen supply.
  3. Do not use water or a foam extinguisher, as you would with Class A fires. Water and foam conduct electricity and could make the situation more dangerous.

Class D Fires: Combustible Metal Fires

Class D fires involve metals catching on fire. Flammable metals include, but are not limited to:

  • Titanium
  • Aluminum
  • Calcium
  • Sodium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium

How Do Class D Fires Start?

Metallic fires require extreme heat to ignite and start most often when the materials are in the form of fines, such as metal dust. This may occur, for example, at manufacturing plants, laboratories or warehouses that cut, drill or mill metal materials.

How to Extinguish Class D Fires

Class D fires should not be put out with water because water can make the fire more dangerous. Instead, use a dry powder fire extinguisher or other dry powder agents to smother the fire. 

Class K Fires: Cooking Fires

Class K fires, similar to Class B fires, occur as a result of the combustion of flammable liquids. Class K fires are categorized separately because of their unique setting and are instead associated with cooking liquids in the food service and restaurant industry. These liquid cooking materials include:

  • Grease
  • Oils
  • Animal fats
  • Vegetable fats 

How Do Class K Fires Start?

Cooking fires can happen by leaving cooking food unattended–remember when your mom told you not to do that? This is why!– or forgetting to turn off the stove. 

Commercial kitchens have a high risk of a Class K fire occurring and can contain an array of safety risks and hazards. Learn more about kitchen fire safety management, here. 

How to Extinguish Class K Fires

It may be your instinct in the kitchen to toss a glass of water on the fire, but that could make it worse. Cooking fires can spread quickly and are often worsened by water.  Instead, smother the fire-like putting a large metal lid over a small fire in a pan- to cut off the oxygen supply or use a wet agent fire extinguisher.  

Still have some questions on how to best protect your property from the five classes of fire? Contact us at VFS Fire and Security Services and we’ll find a solution that fits your needs, property, and budget.

Fire Alarm in Building

The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that fires in commercial buildings cost owners over $2.4 billion per year. Wowza! This considered, monitored fire alarm systems are essential in the prevention of fires in commercial buildings.

Moreover, fire alarm systems can help to:

  • Reduce damage to property
  • Protect valuable assets
  • And, save lives

But today, we have to ask: Is a regular fire alarm system enough?

OK, OK… Before you roll your eyes, hear us out. Fire alarm systems are an excellent and crucial first step in protecting your property. However, as a property owner, you may be able to do more!

A monitored fire alarm system can help to further prevent or reduce costly damage to your property while also better protecting its residents.

Read on to learn what a monitored fire alarm system is and how it can better protect your property.

What is a Monitored Fire Alarm System?

A monitored fire alarm system is an alarm system that has been programmed to transmit signals to a central station or fire control center. In simple terms, when the alarm goes off, the system will immediately alert an operator who will dispatch the appropriate fire protection team to your building.

A monitored fire alarm system ensures that the fire department is alerted to the fire as quickly as possible, without someone having to make the call. The seconds or minutes that a monitored fire alarm system might save you could make the difference between life and death (as dramatic as it sounds, it’s true!)

Monitored fire alarm systems are most commonly used in commercial facilities—and for good reason.

What is the Difference Between a Fire Alarm System and Fire Alarm Monitoring?

A fire alarm system sets off an alarm—usually a series of local, audible devices—to alert people in the building that a fire has been detected and to evacuate immediately. A fire alarm system does not notify the fire department of the detected fire. The fire department will not be dispatched unless someone calls 911.

On the other hand, a monitored fire alarm system will transmit a signal to a central station or fire control center where an operator will dispatch the appropriate fire department to your building—without anyone in the building calling 911.

How Does a Monitored Fire Alarm System Work?

A monitored fire alarm system has an installed control panel that will detect a fire and immediately transmit a signal to a monitoring station. The operator at the station will notify the fire department when they receive the signal. 

 

Signals can be transmitted via:

  • Cell phones
  • Phone lines
  • Radios
  • The internet

Why Does My Building Need a Monitored Fire Alarm System?

The answer to this is simple: Monitored fire alarms buy you, at the very least, a few extra minutes. In the case of a fire, a few extra minutes can be the difference in both saving buildings and saving lives.

In as little as thirty seconds, a fire can double in size, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Additionally, a fire will spread even quicker if its surroundings are flammable, such as products that may be found in a warehouse or particular furniture.

If your building is equipped with a fire alarm system that isn’t monitored, the fire department will only be dispatched when someone manages to call 911 after sounding alarms, a fire suppression system or sprinklers, and a quick evacuation of all residents.

Considering these stressful protocols, how quickly do you trust your residents to call 911?

When Will the Monitored Fire Alarm System Protect My Building?

Monitored fire alarm systems provide 24-hour protection, seven days a week. 

For instance, even if a fire occurs at nighttime or while your building is unoccupied, a monitored alarm system will ensure there is no delay in notifying the fire department.

How Do I Know If My Fire Alarm is Monitored?

A common error amongst commercial building owners is incorrectly assuming their fire alarm systems are monitored. Consequently, when a fire occurs, the call to 911 is severely delayed. This error leads to the destruction of the buildings that might have been saved if the proper precautions had taken place.

At VFS Fire & Security Services, we urge you not to wait until a catastrophic loss to have your system inspected.

The default option for many fire alarm systems is the installation of a single-station fire alarm, which doesn’t include the feature of sending a signal to the fire department.

If you’re not sure if your fire alarm system is monitored, you can have a fire and security service quickly inspect your system to let you know. At VFS, our system upgrades team can review your existing plans and make scalable proposals to meet your building, code, safety needs, and budget. 

Not sure if your building is due for an inspection? Read our complete guide to fire and safety inspections for your facilities.

The Bottom Line

Fires happen often—every 63 seconds, in fact. This considered, commercial property owners should be adequately prepared to avoid the costly damages to their valuable assets and protect their residents.

Monitored fire alarm systems are a strong method of improving the protection of your property and its residents by ensuring the fire department is dispatched as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Start a conversation with us today and let’s figure out how to best protect your building.

fire protection systems service and maintenance

… Yeah That’s Something You Have To Do

Just because your building has the proper safety equipment doesn’t mean your work is done. Believe it or not, you have to actively maintain each of the devices throughout the year. After all, you have to change the oil in your car – your building’sfire protection system service and maintenance fire protection systems are no different.

How often you service or inspect your fire protection services depends on the device. Some require weekly, monthly, semi-annual, or annual inspections. Hot tip- all fire and life safety systems require at least an annual inspection. Let’s discuss how often different fire protection systems need servicing.

Fire Protection Maintenance and Inspection Schedules

Fire protection maintenance schedules are set in place to make sure your fire protection is up to par in the event of a fire. A fully functioning system reduces the risk of damage or injury.

Typically, a fire marshall or other authority holding jurisdiction (AHJ) will review your fire protection system to review if the system is up to code. Local regulations determine how the frequency of service for your different systems. There are, however,  overarching trends as to when each needs a look.

Fire Sprinkler Systems

The best practice for a fire sprinkler system is to perform quarterly and annual sprinkler inspections. Particularly in colder areas, regular maintenance and inspections are essential.

For example, a wet pipe sprinkler system needs to be kept at above freezing temperature during the colder months in order to prevent costly damage to the system.

Fire Suppression Systems

Fire suppression systems include extinguishing fires through gaseous chemical or foam agents instead of water. Examples of fire suppression systems include:

  • Clean agent
  • CO2 Systems
  • Wet chemicals

They must be inspected on a semi-annual basis according to NFPA guidelines.

Fire Alarm & Detection

Fire alarms or smoke alarms should be inspected by a professional on an annual basis- at a minimum.

Inspect these systems for leaks, cracks, warning lights or obstructions weekly. Local rules and regulations determine the service timeline.

For example, school buildings typically require periodic testing of fire alarm systems and regular fire drills.

Fire Extinguishers

A fire extinguisher, also known as the first line of defense is a piece of fire safety equipment you want operable at any given moment. Inspections must take place once a month.

Devices prone to rust, impact, or tampering require the most frequent inspections.

Their external maintenance examination occurs annually during the hydrostatic test, or when specified. Internal fire extinguisher tests occur every 1 – 6 years depending on the extinguisher.

A Final Word

Keeping a well-maintained fire protection system can be the difference between minor and major structural damage. It can also save lives. Proactively maintain your system to have the peace of mind that if the time comes, your building is fully prepared.

Most building owners find that waiting on the fire inspection report is often the most painstaking part of the process. Why do these reports take so long? Take a look at one of our recent articles explaining why the fire inspection report takes so long.

What to do in case of an Oil Fire

It’s fire season. 

There are standard fire precautions that are taught since middle school. Unfortunately, “Stop, drop, and roll” isn’t enough to do if there’s an oil fire

What is an oil fire?

There are different classifications of fires. UCLA Health lists an oil fire as “Class B.” This includes, “Flammable liquids such as alcohol, ether, oil, gasoline, and grease, which are best extinguished by smothering.” 

An oil fire often starts in commercial kitchens, areas where spontaneous combustion can occur, or areas where hot work is done. 

VFS specializes in Kitchen Hood Suppression Systems. Kitchen systems are essential to the safety of a commercial kitchen and the people that work within it. These systems release wet chemical extinguishing agents designed to put out the unique components of cooking fires.

As soon as the system is activated the gas line to the appliance will immediately be cut off depriving the fire of fuel and the chemical agents will be released covering the flames and depriving them of oxygen. It is much less expensive to invest in a commercial kitchen suppression system than it is to repair structural damage after a fire occurs. 

What to Do

DON’T USE WATER. I REPEAT, DO NOT AT ANY COST USE WATER. 

This can cause the flames to grow even faster. The goal is fire suppression —  so try and smother the flames with a towel or fire blanket if it is safe to do so. Another option that will work is fire extinguishers. Having these tools (especially fire extinguishers) accessible throughout your commercial building is key to fire safety and fire protection.

If the fire is not smothered successfully, RUN! 

Seriously, this could grow fast and is a danger to all your employees. There are ways to prepare for this so that the worst outcome doesn’t happen.

Preventatives

If your commercial building doesn’t have a hot work permit, you’re at a greater risk. A hot work permit guarantees that safety measures have been addressed and implemented throughout your commercial building. This means that your building and employees are prepared in case of an emergency. 

As mentioned above, having fire extinguishers or fire towels around commercial kitchens and hot work zones is important. 

Learn how to Suppress Fires, not Feelings here! —

What is a Public Safety DAS? NFPA, ERRCS and AHJ (Plot Twist, these letters actually mean something...)

You’re not alone if you see all the abbreviations in fire safety and think, “How the h*ll am I supposed to know what that all means?” 

DAS Explained

The amount of NFPA codes is a large number (like large as in over 300…), so we understand it’s hard to keep track of them all! Actually, are you trying to test your knowledge? Take our NFPA Fire Codes quiz and see how you do! 

Anyways, DAS stands for, “Distributed antenna system.” And no, we don’t mean the antenna for your cable TV.

The NFPA requires that “Buildings and structures that cannot support the required level of radio coverage shall be equipped with a radiating cable system or a distributed antenna system (DAS) with FCC-certified signal boosters, or both, or with a system that is otherwise approved, in order to achieve the required adequate radio coverage.” 

There are additional factors of the distributed antenna system that any commercial property owner should consider (based on NFPA standards). This might include:

  • Signal Strength
  • Isolation
  • System Radio Frequencies
  • Frequency Changes
  • Critical Areas
  • Radio Coverage

Another main component of NFPA 72 Section 24.5.2 is non-interference. 

In other words, “no amplification system capable of operating on frequencies or causing interference on frequencies assigned to the jurisdiction by the FCC shall be installed without prior coordination and approval of the authority having jurisdiction,” according to the NFPA. “The building manager/owner shall suspend and correct other equipment installations that degrade the performance of the public safety radio system or public safety radio enhancement system.” 

Let’s Talk ERRCS

So surprise, ERRCS is one in the same as DAS. An Emergency Responder Radio Communication (ERRCS) is crucial to have in commercial buildings. An ERRCS can also be identified as a Public Safety or First Responder DAS. 

It turns out all of the fire protection abbreviations can be interchangeable!

How About AHJ?

AHJ, the last acronym to understand for today’s lesson! AHJ stands for, “Authority Having Jurisdiction.” It can be a common misconception that the local fire marshall is responsible for any updates in fire safety. But this is not the case. Oftentimes there are multiple people or authorities who have jurisdiction and are responsible for a facility’s fire safety standards and practices.

The NFPA has regulations set under Code 70E

“In a commercial or industrial facility, subsequent installation of electrical equipment or modification of the distribution system is often not done under a government permit nor is this inspected by the government AHJ.” 

A good question to keep in mind listed from the NFPA is, “Does your management invite a government AHJ to inspect and approve the installation of a new subpanel, the move of a production line, the retrofit for a breakroom, the extension of a circuit, or the addition of a backup generator in your facility?”

Have more questions about these confusing acronyms? Reach out to VFS Fire & Security Services today! 

What is a Public Safety DAS? NFPA, ERRCS and AHJ (Plot Twist, these letters actually mean something...)

What is a Public Safety DAS? NFPA, ERRCS and AHJ (Plot Twist, these letters actually mean something…)

Emergency Lights and Exit Signs Deserve Love and Attention, too!

Although they are sometimes overlooked, emergency lights and exit signs actually should fall into regular fire safety maintenance rhythms. It’s actually a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) fire safety requirement to keep up-to-date emergency lights and exit signs. So, stay up-to-date and understand NFPA 101.

The code states that “emergency illumination shall be provided for a minimum of 90 minutes in the event of failure of normal lighting. The illumination must not be less than an average of one foot along the path of egress at floor level.”

Here’s what giving some love and attention to your overlooked exit signs and emergency lights might look like.

Emergency Lights and Exit Signs Deserve Love and Attention, too!

Testing

Since there are clear NFPA codes in place, there are guidelines to follow for annual inspections and emergency protection. Professionals are trained to know what to look for when it comes to emergency illumination.

There are a few steps you can take in your commercial building to ensure that your inspection goes as smoothly as possible. For one, make sure all emergency exit signs are easily accessible for the fire safety professional. 

This means making sure that the area surrounding the emergency illumination is free of obstructions for full access. For monthly inspections, some emergency exit signs have test buttons that can easily be pressed with the help of a ladder. Again, each commercial and educational building will have a different setup and might require specific inspections and maintenance. 

Red flags to look for while testing includes dull lighting, light bulbs that have blown out, and flickering. Overall, there is an emergency light combo that will work for your commercial building.

What Could Go Wrong?

If you fail to have your emergency lights and exit signs checked monthly (or at least annually), lives could be at risk. These systems are essential to guiding occupants out of a building in an emergency situation.  If the equipment in your commercial building malfunctions during an actual emergency, there is a huge liability risk. Fire prevention is our specialty, so connect with us to learn more about annual inspections.

We tell you what’s due when it’s due, and why it’s due. At VFS, we constantly communicate with your team to keep you up-to-date on the latest information within your facilities.

Learn more on our updated website today! 

 

meshwrx_post p2

LANDLINES ARE SO 1987… HOW MESHWRX CAN PROTECT YOUR BUILDING AND BRING YOU INTO THE 21ST CENTURY

Implementing Mesh technology into your building is like getting your first cell phone for your birthday. Gone are the days of landlines, and dial-up internet. Mesh technology is designed to ensure your alarm systems run efficiently and effectively. 

HOW CAN MESHWRX HELP YOUR BUSINESS RUN SMOOTHLY?

As a building owner, property manager, or facility manager, one of your main goals is to ensure your property runs smoothly and effectively. To simplify your life, MeshWrx is the most reliable, cost-efficient, and hassle-free alarm monitoring solution. 

ONE OF OUR CLIENTS, WITH 101 SYSTEMS IN PLACE HAS SAVED $218,160 IN JUST THE FIRST YEAR!

Mesh network technology was designed as a means for the demanding military communication pathways. Today these mesh networks are still trusted by military, fire, and police departments, and can be extremely effective at managing your building’s fire safety.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MESH TECHNOLOGY?

YOUR CURRENT SYSTEM IS COSTING YOU A SMALL FORTUNE, UNLESS IT’S MESHWRX, THAT IS!

Monthly costs for telephone lines are increasing as quality and reliability are decreasing. The increase of service calls and time spent tracking down potential issues create additional costs when using these outdated systems. Cellular and IP may require long-term contracts and regular upgrades in equipment costs, as technology changes. 

When landlines, cellular, and IP fail, MeshWrx is there to help. In Houston TX, Hurricane Harvey hit knocking out landlines, cellular, and IP. Mesh technology was the only avenue of communication that survived through the devastation.

With MeshWrx, the cost of expensive phone lines, and upgrades are mitigated, This technology has also been proven more reliable. 

100% UPTIME

When users are added to traditional systems, like cellular and IP systems, the response time slows and can sometimes even drop. The MeshWrx system performance is quite the opposite. The radio-mesh network technology creates multiple paths for emergency signals to reach first responders. The self-configuration and smart routing results in 100% uptime!

NO UPGRADES NEEDED!

The technology bandwidth increases with cellular and IP, their equipment becomes obsolete over time. With MeshWrx, once installed- fawgehtaboutit. No, but really, forget about it! Mesh technology doesn’t require upgrades.

RELIABILITY AND FAST SIGNAL TRANSMISSION SPEED

Tower-based and single-route systems are not nearly as reliable as mesh technology. With environmental disturbances and equipment problems, your alarm systems need multiple signal paths to function effectively. MeshWrx is resistant to these disturbances, as it continually optimizes multiple signal paths. 

Mesh networks were originally designed for military communication pathways due to their reliable connection. Today, these networks are still trusted by military, fire, and police departments. 

The reliability of these systems is due to their fast alarm signal transmission speed. Mesh communicates alarms in less than 3 seconds. Whereas, telephone lines, cellular, or IP can take up to 45-60 seconds. Because of this, the mesh technology is the fastest alarm signal and safest choice for your properties. 

Mesh technology systems are systems put in place to ensure the safety of your building and the people inside. Ensuring you have the best and most effective systems in your building is essential. Contact us today to learn more! 

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.