Unprotected Business Suffers HUGE loss

A beauty supply store in a strip mall in Petersburg, Virginia was damaged by a fire that started when faulty electrical wiring sparked and ignited
walls and stored items. The business was not open on the day the fire occurred and had no sprinklers or fire alarms in the building.

After receiving a 911 call reporting the fire, firefighters entered the store and tried to extinguish the blaze, until the commander pulled them back outside.

Along the rear wall separating the display and storage areas, the investigators discovered several electrical junction boxes that did not have proper coverings. The investigators believe that the electrical failure caused an arc that provided the initial source of heat and that the resulting fire spread from the rear wall to the ceiling of the store’s display area.

The fire burned undetected, since the store was closed for the weekend and had no suppression system. Three firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion, and one cut his hand during suppression operations.

The mall, which was valued at $2 million, sustained $1 million in damage. Damage to its contents came to an estimated $100,000.

Don’t let this happen to your business! Please call Boynton Fire to ensure that your business is properly protected.

Story adapted from Richmond-Times Dispatch and NFPA.org


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What do you really do when you test my Fire Alarm?

Many of our customers have fire alarms and are required to have them inspected annually.  But very few of our customers realize what goes into that inspection and why it seems to be so complicated.  Maybe you have wondered – “why can’t you just light a match near a smoke detector, hear the alarm sound, and be done?”

So… let’s talk about what really is involved in a fire alarm inspection.

After all, when it comes to protecting life and property, a properly functioning fire alarm is one of the most important things you can have.

First step: A visual review. 

The technician will look for some fairly obvious issues.  This could include things like a missing smoke detector, or something hanging from a sprinkler head.  Sometimes we will find a pull station is blocked because a bookcase has been placed in front of it, or maybe it’s not visible because of papers hanging from a bulletin board.

Often the fire alarm panel itself has been hidden away behind a filing cabinet or stacks of boxes.  On most days that panel seems unimportant, but in the event that the alarm sounds, having quick access to the panel may help identify where a fire is located and save lives and property.

The visual review will also reveal the age and condition of the back-up batteries and whether or not they are due to be replaced.

The visual review may seem basic, but it really is essential.

Second Step: Testing

Now it’s time to test all of the actual components and make sure they are functioning properly and will respond in the event of a fire.

The first thing we want to do is make sure that the building’s occupants realize that the alarm system is going to be tested so as to avoid creating any undue anxiety and confusion.

Next, if the alarm is monitored, we will notify the monitoring company that we will be testing the system.  This way the fire department doesn’t show up ready for action.  They tend to not enjoy false alarms.

Now it’s time to test all of the initiating devices.

This includes testing the smoke, heat, and duct detectors.  We can test these without starting a real fire.  We carry UL-approved synthetic aerosol smoke products that serve the same function.  It’s a lot less risky and messy this way.

Next, we will pull each of the pull stations to ensure that they are functioning properly.

Finally, we sound the alarm.  During this, we want to make sure that every horn is sounding, and that each strobe is properly flashing.  We strive to make this aspect of the testing as brief as possible, but it’s a vital step to ensure that the building is properly protected.

When test is complete, we will place a new tag on the alarm panel so that any inspector can easily verify that the alarm has been inspected by a licensed technician and the date that occurred.

Final Step: Documentation

Fire alarm tests often turn up problems – usually this isn’t the business owner’s fault, it just happens. Problems of any kind should be considered serious and corrected as quickly as possible.

Our technician will document the problem, propose a solution, and quickly submit it to the business.

Fire alarm maintenance is one of the most important things you can do to protect life and property in your building. If you own a building in Michigan and are due to have your fire alarm inspected, please call Boynton Fire today!

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Fire Prevention Game Plan

It’s no secret that fire sprinklers will make your building much safer, but one of the misconceptions we commonly see is people believe that if they have a fire sprinkler system in their building they are automatically perfectly safe. While they are definitely safer, fires can still do considerable damage if they get out of hand. So what is the best way to protect life and property in your building? Make sure in addition to your fire sprinkler system, all of your employees or tenants are up to speed on how to prevent fires from starting in the first place!

At Boynton Fire Safety Service, we firmly believe that fire sprinkler systems are vital to protecting your building from fires – they are absolutely crucial if you want to keep your building’s occupants safe. However, it’s important to remember that fire sprinklers only activate when the liquid inside reaches a certain temperature. In many cases, this is more than enough time for smoke to build to life threatening levels!

It’s definitely important to have a working, well-maintained fire protection system in your building. But it’s more important to supplement that fire protection system with a proper game plan! A fire protection game plan should involve all of the following items:

  • A well laid out plan to help people understand how to prevent fires
  • A solid fire alarm system to provide early response to fires
  • A properly installed and well-maintained fire sprinkler system to extinguish or contain the fire

Like all fire protection systems, a working, well-maintained fire sprinkler will significantly reduce the chances of death, injury or property damage from fires. But the key word in there is REDUCE – they will NOT ELIMINATE the risks. This is where a fire prevention game plan comes in – it’s designed to fill in the gaps and teach people how to be proactive in preventing fires from ever occurring, and this is why it is the best way to fully protect life and property.

If you need help designing a fire prevention game plan, call Boynton Fire Safety Service today. We can inspect and test all of your fire protection systems and help you develop a way to keep your employees, tenants and other building occupants safe from fires by stopping them before they start!

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Another example of a Sprinkler System saving businesses!

The quick response of a sprinkler system saved a whole shopping center from potential disaster.

Read more about this increasingly common trend here.


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Boynton Sprinkler System Saves Lives

A sprinkler system serviced and maintained by Boynton Fire Safety Service kicked in and saved the lives of the students recently.

Read more about multiple fires that broke out at the Theta Chi fraternity at Michigan State University here.

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Fike to be on Fox Business Channel

From www.fike.com/corporate/events.asp#244:

Fike featured on Manufacturing Mavels, January 6 – 6, 2012

Fike will be featured on the Fox Business News Manufacturing Marvels show on Friday, January 6th at 7:35pm, CST. Check your local cable listings to find the Fox Business News channel in your area. Tune in to see how Fike has become a global leader in providing products and services that protect people and critical assets from dangers such as fire, explosion and over-pressurization.

We’ll be sure to tune in, and if we can get video of it after the fact on YouTube, we’ll post it here.

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Check Those Detectors

We were reading an article in a Mass. paper called “The Patriot Ledger” which contained a point that can’t be stressed enough.

The article, in pondering whether or not mandating sprinkler systems in one and two family homes is necessary, notes this:

To date, more than 30 states have either declined to adopt or passed legislation against making sprinklers mandatory in one- and two-family homes. One might reasonably ask why. The NFPA’s own data tell the tale. Working smoke alarms give home occupants a 99.45 percent chance of surviving a house fire and sprinklers are not going to increase that significantly.

No matter if you’re a homeowner or business decision maker reading this, and regardless of how you lean on mandating sprinklers or any other sort of fire protection equipment, hopefully one word from the quote struck you:  working.  No matter if it’s one detector in a hallway in your home or a business with hundreds of detectors wired into a fire alarm panel, don’t delay in making sure your devices work!  That might mean a simple push of the button to test a battery at home, or, it may mean a call to your trusted local fire safety company.  In any event, this can be a matter of life and death so don’t put it off until tomorrow.

As always, contact us here if you have any questions.

–Your friends at Boynton Fire

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