Tel: 630.960.5060
Your "Total" Source For Fire Safety & Security

  1. The Dangers and Prevention of Restaurant Fires

    February 26, 2020 by Total Fire and Safety

     

    Restaurant fires destroy more than property.  Restaurants hold priceless memories of celebrations and firsts, meetings with important people, backgrounds for special announcements or the reliable spot to pick up favorite weekday takeout meals. With a fire, they all go up in smoke—literally. Restaurant fires can be devastating, not only to the owners and patrons, but to the employees as well.

    Nearly 8,000 restaurant fires occur each year resulting in $165 million in property damage. According to the NFPA, cooking equipment was the leading cause of restaurant fires (61%), electrical equipment (9%), heating equipment (9%), and smoking materials (7%). What’s the best way to protect your restaurant from a fire? Understand the dangers and prevention measures you can take to skirt disaster in your dining or takeout establishment.

    DANGER:

    Exhaust Systems and Ductwork

    The vents and fans behind ovens and stoves accumulate a buildup of grease.  Since the vents and fans extract flammable vapors, a spark can light grease buildup. Oven hoods above stoves, can also harbor flammable vapors from contaminated cooking air. This can feed through the exhaust system and cause a fire hazard.  Also included in these systems are grease traps. Most commercial kitchens are required to maintain a grease trap preventing oils and fats from clogging sewers.

    PREVENTION

    • Clean all areas daily
    • Twice a year, have a thorough hood cleaning by professionals
    • Clean grease traps monthly, quarterly, or yearly as mandated by the NFPA

     

    DANGER:

    Gas Leaks

    Gas leaks are the most catastrophic cause of restaurant fires because they cause an explosion. Gas leaks occur when faulty equipment is unable to support the flow of gas and leaks flammable gas in the air. A simple electrical device can ignite the gas and lead to an explosion.

    PREVENTION

    • Be alert and detect the signs of a gas leak (gas smell, orange/yellow flames, extinguished pilot lights)
    • Perform equipment inspections daily and replacement of worn out equipment

     

    DANGER:

    Electrical Problems

    Heat from unsafe or poor wiring in switches, sockets, or plugs can spark flammable or combustible materials. Overloading outlets, outdated wiring, and overpowering kitchen equipment can lead to a fire or even explosion.

    PREVENTION

    • Use only commercial equipment that is up-to-code
    • Update wiring that can handle a busy kitchen

     

    In the unfortunate event a restaurant fire occurs, a fire suppression system is your best protection.  A restaurant fire suppression system is designed to provide fire protection for restaurant cooking appliances, exhaust hoods, and ducts. A fire suppression system detects fires through heat sensors, often before the kitchen staff does. When automatically discharged, the fire can be suppressed at its earliest stages.  The result is minimal damage to the kitchen and minimal equipment down time.

    Keep your restaurant kitchen safe from fires by properly installing and maintaining a working fire suppression system and empowering employees with fire safety and response training. It can mean the difference between a localized fire and a major blaze.

    If you’re ready to safeguard your kitchen from a restaurant fire, Total Fire and Safety can test, service, and install fire suppression systems. TFS also provides first aid and fire extinguisher training on-site. Give us a call today and let our professionals provide “total” assurance your restaurant is protected from fire. Call us at 630.960.5060.


  2. A New Fire Code for Animal Shelters in Illinois!

    January 27, 2020 by Total Fire and Safety

     

    How important is the fire code for animal shelters?  Deadly fires at kennels and animal shelters are not uncommon across the U.S.  In the past year, over 100 dogs have died in kennel fires, including here near Chicago.

    On the night of January 14, 2019, a West Chicago animal kennel went up in flames. Thirty-one dogs perished in the fire.  The exact cause of the fire is unknown, but investigators determined no staff was present at the time and no working fire sprinklers were on property.  The kennel did have fire detectors, but no one was around to hear them.

    The tragedy prompted lawmakers to come up with legislation to ensure such an event never happens again.  The new law, signed in August, went into effect January 1.  The legislation requires kennels to be staffed 24/7 or have sprinkler systems or alarms that alert local fire departments.

    When it comes to arming animal shelters with lifesaving equipment, Total Fire and Safety can help with the installation of …..

    Wireless Fire Alarms

    • Preferred by fire departments, they are more reliable than land-based systems for their quick and accurate response.
    • They can save phone line costs.
    • They reduce false alarms to fire departments
    • Minimal and guaranteed wireless radio alarm monitoring fees

    Fire Sprinkler Systems

    • A working fire sprinkler is 96% effective in containing a fire.
    • Monthly, quarterly, and annual inspections are necessary to ensure safety and keep your building fire code compliant.
    • TFS uses the most up-to-date technology and thorough process to prevent sprinkler failure.

    Working fire extinguishers can keep a small fire from getting out of control when someone is in the facility. Every business needs working fire extinguishers at the ready, and be trained to use them.

    • A fire extinguisher is your first line of defense, 24/7.
    • 30% of fire extinguishers are not in working order. We complete a 12-point inspection to make sure they are fire ready.
    • On-site training is provided to guarantee proper employee usage.

    All it takes is basic fire protection to save animal and human lives.

    Illinois’ new fire code will help protect our furry friends from another senseless tragedy and prevent irreparable damage to lives, structures, and pocketbooks.  Total Fire and Safety can equip your facility with the latest fire protection and help maintain the equipment installed.  Give us a call today at (630) 960-5060.

     


  3. Happy Holidays from Total Fire & Safety

    December 23, 2019 by Total Fire and Safety

    We wish you the warmth and cheer of the season!
    Thank you for your continued support throughout the year.

    From all of us at Total Fire & Safety

     


    Twelve Days of Fire Safety

    On the first day of safety, Total Fire gave to me…
    A safe and code compliant facility!

    On the second day of safety, Total Fire gave to me…
    Two emergency plans
      and a safe and code compliant facility! 

    On the third day of safety, Total Fire gave to me…
    Three eyewash stations
      Two emergency plans
      and a safe and code compliant facility! 

    On the fourth day of safety, Total Fire gave to me..
    Four first aid kits
      Three eyewash stations
      Two emergency plans
      and a safe and code compliant facility!

    On the fifth day of safety, Total Fire gave to me…
    FIVE WIRELESS ALARMS
      Four first aid kits
      Three eyewash stations
      Two emergency plans
      and a safe and code compliant facility! 

    On the sixth day of safety, Total Fire gave to me…
    Six extinguishers inspected
      FIVE WIRELESS ALARMS
      Four first aid kits
      Three eyewash stations
      Two emergency plans
      and a safe and code compliant facility!

    On the seventh day of safety, Total Fire gave to me…
    Seven exit signs  Six extinguishers inspected
      FIVE WIRELESS ALARMS
      Four first aid kits
      Three eyewash stations
      Two emergency plans
      and a safe and code compliant facility!

    On the eight day of safety, Total Fire gave to me…
    Eight backflow inspections
      Seven exit signs
      Six extinguishers inspected
      FIVE WIRELESS ALARMS
      Four first aid kits
      Three eyewash stations
      Two emergency plans
      and a safe and code compliant facility!

    On the ninth day of safety, Total Fire gave to me…
    Nine sprinkler systems
      Eight backflow inspections
      Seven exit signs
      Six extinguishers inspected
      FIVE WIRELESS ALARMS
      Four first aid kits
      Three eyewash stations
      Two emergency plans
      and a safe and code compliant facility!

    On the tenth day of safety, Total Fire gave to me…
    Ten safety trainings
      Nine sprinkler systems
      Eight backflow inspections
      Seven exit signs
      Six extinguishers inspected
      FIVE WIRELESS ALARMS
      Four first aid kits
      Three eyewash stations
      Two emergency plans
      and a safe and code compliant facility!

    On the eleventh day of safety, Total Fire gave to me…
    Eleven fire pumps serviced
      Ten safety trainings
      Nine sprinkler systems
      Eight backflow inspections
      Seven exit signs
      Six extinguishers inspected
      FIVE WIRELESS ALARMS
      Four first aid kits
      Three eyewash stations
      Two emergency plans
      and a safe and code compliant facility!

    On the twelfth day of safety, Total Fire gave to me…
    Twelve new extinguishers
      Eleven fire pumps serviced
      Ten safety trainings
      Nine sprinkler systems
      Eight backflow inspections
      Seven exit signs
      Six extinguishers inspected
      FIVE WIRELESS ALARMS
      Four first aid kits
      Three eyewash stations
      Two emergency plans
      and a safe and code compliant facility!


  4. 2019 Fire Prevention Week is for Businesses Too!

    October 2, 2019 by Total Fire and Safety

    Fire prevention week has been designated as October 6-12, 2019 by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Fire prevention week has a long history, dating back to 1925, when President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed fire prevention week as a national observance. Now, it has become the longest running health observance in the country.

    At Total Fire & Safety, we use this time to reiterate to our clients how important it is to stay compliant with NFPA codes and keep everyone within their buildings, warehouses and commercial spaces supplied with fire extinguishers, sprinklers, and suppression systems that are ready to go when fire strikes.

    The theme of this year’s campaign is “Plan and Practice Your Escape.” So how can a business observe National Fire Prevention Week? Here’s a few ideas.

    • Share safety information from the NFPA with your employees. Not only will it help them at work, but at home too!
    • If you do not do so regularly, heed the theme of the program and “plan and practice your escape.” Every employee should be mindful of their best options in the event of an emergency.
    • Call your fire protection service for an inspection of your equipment and make sure all your extinguishers, alarms, sprinkler systems, etc. are in working order.
    • Consider a training class for fire extinguisher operation, first aid, or CPR.

    Around the Total Fire & Safety service area, the observance is being commemorated with lots of events at community fire stations. For more information, see the website for each individual fire department. 

    Friday, Oct. 4

    Saturday, Oct. 5

    • Tinley Park Fire Department: 17355 68th Court, Tinley Park, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Open House
    • Schaumburg Fire Department: 950 W. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg, 11 a.m. – 2p.m. Public Safety Open House
    • Clarendon Hills Fire Department: 316 Park Ave., Clarendon Hills, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Open House
    • Minooka Fire Department: 7901 E. Minooka Road, Minooka, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Open House
    • Hazel Crest Fire Department: 2903 W. 175th St., Hazel Crest, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Open House
    • Frankfort Fire District: 20101 La Grange Road (Event address), Frankfort, IL 60423, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Gas Safety Event
    • Palatine Fire Department: 39 E Colfax Street, Palatine, IL 60067, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Open House
    • Darien-Woodridge Fire District: 7550 Lyman Ave., Darien, IL 60561, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Open House
    • Oswego Fire Protection District: 3511 Woolley Road, Oswego, IL 60543, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Open House
    • Calumet City Fire Department: 24 State Street, Calumet City, IL 60409, noon

    Sunday, Oct. 6

    • Belvidere Fire Department: 123 S. State Street, Belvidere, IL 61008, 1 – 4 p.m. Open House
    • Mokena Fire Protection District: 19853 S. Wolf Road, Mokena, IL 60448, 7:30 a.m. – noon Open House
    • Lake Zurich Fire Department: 321 South Buesching Road, Lake Zurich, IL 60047, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Open House
    • Batavia Fire Department: 1400 Main St, Batavia, IL 60150, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    • McHenry Township Fire Protection District: 3610 W. Elm Street, District Administration Office, McHenry, IL 60050, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    • Naplate Fire Department: 2000 W Ottawa Ave, Naplate, IL 61350, 12 – 3 p.m.
    • Manteno Community Fire Protection District, 13 S WALNUT ST, MANTENO, IL 60950, 12 – 3 p.m.

    Monday, Oct. 7

    • Western Springs Fire Dept: 4353 Wolf Road, Western Springs, IL 60558, 6 – 8:30 p.m. Open House

    Wednesday, Oct. 9

    • Lombard Fire Department: 50 E St Charles Road, Lombard, IL 60148, 6 – 8 p.m. Open House
    • Downers Grove Fire Department: 6701 Main Street, Downers Grove, IL 60516, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Open House

    Thursday, Oct. 10

    Friday, Oct. 11

    • South Chicago Heights Fire Department: 185 W Sauk Trail, South Chicago Heights, IL 60411, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Open House

    Saturday, Oct. 12

    • Northbrook Fire Department: 1840 Shermer Road, Northbrook, IL 60062, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Open House
    • Crystal Lake Fire Rescue: 100 W Woodstock St, Crystal Lake, IL 60014, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Open House
    • Prospect Heights: 10 E. Camp McDonald Rd, Prospect Heights, IL 60031, 9 a.m. Open House
    • La Grange Park Fire Department: 447 N. Catherine Ave., La Grange Park, IL 60526, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Open House
    • Elgin Fire Department: 650 Big Timber Road, Elgin, IL 60123, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Open House
    • City of Rockford: 204 S. First St., Rockford, IL 61104, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    • Homewood Fire Department: 17950 Dixie Highway, HOMEWOOD, IL 60430, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Plainfield Fire Protection District: 23748 W. 135th Street, Plainfield, IL 60544, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Open House
    • Westmont Fire Department: 6015 S. Cass Ave., Westmont, IL 60559, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Open House
    • Alsip Fire Department: 11946 S. Laramie, Alsip, IL 60803, 1 – 3:30 p.m. Open House
    • Calumet City Fire Department, Station 2: 1270 Pulaski Rd, Calumet City, 12 – 3 p.m. Open House

    Sunday, Oct. 13

    • North Palos Fire Protection District: 10629 S Roberts Rd, Palos Hills, IL 60465, 7 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    • Byron Fire Department: 123 S. Franklin St., Byron, IL 61010, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Open House
    • Elmhurst Fire Department: 601 S York, Elmhurst, IL 60126, 12 – 4 p.m. Open House

    Wednesday, Oct. 23

    • Chicago Ridge Fire Department: 10063 Virginia, Chicago Ridge, IL 60415, 6 – 9 p.m.

    Fire protection and preparation is not just a week-long observance but a 365 day a year, 24/7 job. At Total Fire & Safety, we have everything you need to keep your employees and tenants protected. If we can ever assist your business with NFPA compliance for your commercial fire protection, contact us at  630-960-5060.


  5. Preserving Fire Safety in Historic Buildings

    September 25, 2019 by Total Fire and Safety

    If you have ever visited a historic building, what do you notice?  Old documents, precious artwork, impeccable craftmanship, and… fire protection equipment?  Hopefully your answer to the latter is no. Ideally, historic properties should still maintain the look and feel of an era gone by, but how do you do it and still install and maintain fire equipment that’s up to code?

    Everyday commercial buildings are damaged by fires, causing a huge loss for any business.  However, these damages can be repaired, sometimes improving the building from its previous structure.  This is not the case for historic properties.  The true extent of the loss is more significant than the cost of simply restoring the building.  Any artifacts, documents, etc. that are lost represent a priceless piece of our heritage.

    For the fire safety expert, the challenge of fire protection in a historic building presents three distinctive challenges:

    Preserving the Historic Character

    In order to protect historic buildings, sometimes structural engineers, preservation specialists and the building managers must get involved in addition to the fire protection experts (TFS).  Together they design a solution that meets the needs of NFPA compliance without ruining the historic character of a building.  For example, a historic door cannot be replaced with a fire-proof door, however installing sprinklers on either side of the door may be the answer.

    Fire safety is prioritized even with our most beloved historic institutions. For example, currently there is a major renovation going on at Mount Vernon, the home of our first president, George Washington.  Part of this extensive construction is major improvements to the fire suppression system.  When all is said and done, fire safety for Mount Vernon and its visitors will be vastly improved for generations to come.

    Total Fire & Safety’s client roster includes many historic buildings, especially in the   Village of Downers Grove. We are proud to be able to keep visitors safe while maintaining the distinctive character of each building.

    Staying Out of Sight

    Ideally, fire protection systems must sufficiently protect a building but remain aesthetically pleasing.  One common cause of concern is the  fire sprinkler system. Not only do fire sprinklers damage a building’s contents, but they can deface the historic structure. The answer lies in coming up with creative solutions for fire sprinklers:

    1. Use copper tubing vs. black or steel pipe to blend in with the building’s architecture.

    2. Faux materials can be used that resemble the buildings time period to conceal fire sprinkler pipes.

    3. Install painted fire sprinkler heads to match the area.

    Another form of hidden fire protection commonly used in historic buildings is wireless fire alarms.  Wireless alarms are an ideal, minimally invasive solution when needing to preserve the look and feel of a building.  Other advantages to wireless fire alarms include:

    • Wireless alarm monitoring provides faster response
    • No cables are required for installation
    • They eliminate false alarms, which can be costly for non-profit buildings

    Updating Outdated Utilities

           Many historic facilities have poor water pressure.  This renders a fire sprinkler upgrade useless unless an underground line, additional line, or fire pump is installed. Total Fire & Safety can be helpful in making the right decision for any historic property.

    Regardless of the fire protection systems installed, working to minimize the ignition of a fire should be a priority.  Scheduling fire safety inspections annually is important to maintain a safe environment for the building and its occupants.  Total Fire and Safety works not only to uphold the integrity of an historic building, but also provides the best fire protection equipment around.  Give us a call today! 630-960-5060


  6. Find Your Career in Illinois Commercial Fire Safety

    July 23, 2019 by Total Fire and Safety

     

    When people think of careers in fire safety in Illinois, they usually think of firefighters. But what about the folks who prevent the fires in the first place? These dedicated professionals work in the area of commercial fire safety. They help commercial buildings and residential dwellings stay up to code with the fire safety equipment, and thus, can save lives indirectly by keeping people safe and prepared for fire emergencies.

    Providing fire safety to any business, at any level, starts with teamwork. If one aspect of fire safety fails (sprinkler, extinguisher, or alarm), it can make the difference between life and death. All the fire safety components work within a life safety ecosystem, which includes government code compliance, a skilled workforce, and an investment in safety equipment, installation, and training. As part of a commercial fire safety team such as Total Fire and Safety, you are part of a life-saving mission. We provide customers their first offense in putting out a fire on their premises.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and their Occupational Outlook Handbook, the projected employment change for security and fire alarm system installers is expected to grow 14 percent, which is faster than the average career. They are expecting growth of 10,400 new jobs between 2016-2020. Currently, Illinois, the home state of Total Fire & Safety, is among the states in the nation that employs the most installers in this field. (see chart below).

    Chart reprinted from Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2018, 49-2098 Security and Fire Alarm Systems Installers

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Many of the careers in fire safety require a high school diploma or equivalent but mainly, on-the-job training. At Total Fire & Safety, we have a vigorous employee training program that prepares our people for many of the jobs that are so needed in the industry, such as customer service, sales representatives, dispatchers, fire alarm service technicians, fire extinguisher technicians, fire sprinkler service technicians, etc. We even have an on-site training facility (pictured below) where we regularly host classes and training modules for TFS employees.

    You’ve heard the phrase teamwork makes the dream work, right? At Total Fire and Safety we are always looking for dedicated professionals to join our commercial fire safety team, which has that has provided fire safety for over 30 years. If you are looking for employment or are ready for a career change, join Total Fire and Safety and see how working as a team can save lives.

    To learn more about the opportunities available and experience needed at Total Fire and Safety, visit our employment page  or search us on Indeed.

     


  7. Fire Safety for Senior Citizens

    May 20, 2019 by Total Fire and Safety

    (Photo credit: Dreamstime ID 95654936 © Wavebreakmedia Ltd | Dreamstime.com)

    With the rise in popularity and construction of senior living centers, fire safety continues to be a concern to keep our grandparents, parents, and aging loved ones protected. According to the United States Fire Administration, in 2015, older adults represented 15 percent of the U.S. population and suffered 40 percent of all fire related deaths.  They are also 2.7 times greater risk of dying in a fire than the total population.  Those 85 and older were 3.8 times more likely to die in a fire than the total population.

    The elderly in multi-level dwellings are at higher risk of dying in a fire for several reasons.  They may be on medication that impairs them from taking stairs down to safety, or their mobility issues may prevent them from moving quickly enough. They may live alone or have no one to call for assistance. Educating property managers, caretakers, and the elderly on fire safety for senior citizens is one step we can take in protecting this aging generation.  Below are some considerations for property managers and their tenants.

     1. Test Smoke Alarms

    Smoke is a silent killer.  Senior citizens with hearing problems who sleep without a hearing aid could be killed in their sleep.  Having a working smoke alarm in every room and hallway helps, but they should be effective for the user. Strobe alarms are best, and seniors can install alarms that shake their bed to rouse them in the event of a fire. Most importantly of all, make sure to test smoke alarms every month so they are always in compliance.

    2.  Sit Your Butt Down…in the proper place!

    Smoking is the number one cause of fire deaths in the country. Remind senior citizens never to smoke in bed and especially not near flammable oxygen tanks. Seniors can use deeper or heavier ashtrays to avoid ashes flipping or falling onto the rug and starting a fire. The best way to put butts out is with sand and water.

    3. Create a Fire Escape Plan

    Seniors may have less than three minutes to escape danger in the event of a fire. They should have a fire escape plan and practice it, knowing all the accessible exits. For seniors suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s who have escape proof doors, it is important they have a prearranged escort in the event of a fire.

    4. Stay in the Kitchen

    Seniors should always stay in the kitchen when cooking.  Most kitchen fires begin because food is left unattended, so if they must leave the kitchen while cooking they should turn the burner off. Even a short absence from the kitchen can unexpectedly turn into an extended amount of time away.  If seniors must leave the kitchen, they should take a cooking utensil or potholder with them to serve a helpful reminder. Also, remind seniors to never cook with loose or dangling sleeves that can easily ignite and burn a senior, or potentially start a major fire.

    5. Daily Necessities

    Seniors should think about what they use to get around every day, like glasses, a wheelchair, a cane, etc. These items should be placed next to the bed for easy access in case of fire. A phone and a whistle should also be at bedside. The whistle lets people know where you are and enables you to warn others of the fire. Escape is always the priority; call the fire department later. If trapped, use the phone to call for help. Seniors with wheelchairs or walkers should check exit routes ahead of time to be sure they are accessible or plan an alternate route.  Inform building managers or neighbors of the plan.  If your impairment makes it impossible to escape in the event of a fire, discuss your concern with landlord, or check with the fire department.

    6. Don’t Overload Outlets or Extension Cords

    Inspect your extension cords regularly for fraying, exposed wire, or loose plugs.  Unplug extension cords when not in use.  If you need to plug in multiple appliances, use an extension cord approved by the Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL), a nationally recognized testing laboratory.

    As their population begins to grow, fire safety for senior citizens cannot be stressed enough. Property managers, caretakers, the elderly, and their families should all be aware of the increased risk to the age group and try to protect them. The professionals at Total Fire and Safety are ready to help ensure your building has fire equipment that is  working properly.  We provide the life safety features that keep fire safety for your residents, including senior citizens, a main priority.   Give us a call today! 630-960-5060

     


  8. Will your fire sprinkler system work when the heat is on?

    March 22, 2019 by Total Fire and Safety

    In a commercial building, a fire sprinkler system is one of the most effective ways to control and extinguish fires.  A well maintained fire sprinkler system can mean the difference between minor damage and total destruction.

    A fire sprinkler system is a group of pipes and sprinkler heads located on ceilings or overhead.  They slow the spread of fire or extinguish fire by releasing a spray of water.  They are designed to cover as much area as possible to provide widespread coverage.

    Most fire sprinklers are heat activated.  When heat is detected, water is released and the fire alarm will likely be activated. Obviously, we need fire sprinklers to be as reliable as possible. So when and why do they fail?

     The NFPA reports that there are an average of 660 reported sprinkler failures a year.  However, with a proper working fire sprinkler 96% of the time they are effective in controlling most fires.  The most common causes of sprinkler failures are:

    • System shut-off
    • Manual intervention
    • Damaged components of fire sprinklers
    • Lack of maintenance
    • Inappropriate design of the fire sprinkler systems

    Fortunately, most of these problems can be alleviated with proper, regular inspection of your fire sprinkler system  by a trained professional.  The NFPA suggests different intervals per year in order to ensure effectiveness.

    Monthly inspection should ensure that

    • Valves are accessible, labeled properly and are not leaking
    • Wet gauges should be in good condition with proper water pressure detected
    • Dry gauges should have normal water pressure with the quick opening device showing the same pressure as the dry pipe valve

    Quarterly inspection should:

    • Check for physical damage to the supervisory alarm and water flow alarm
    • Dry test the system to check for valve issues
    • Check that all fire department connections are accessible
    • Check for leaks around the fire department connections
    • Inspect pressure reducing valves (free of leaks, open position, maintaining downstream pressure)

    Annual inspection should include all of the above, plus professional inspection by a certified professional for code compliance and tagging.

    Well-maintained fire sprinkler systems are paramount to your building safety and occupants.  The professional at Total Fire and Safety is dedicated to keeping you safe and in code compliance.  Give us a call today to schedule an inspection at 630-960-5060.

     


  9. What’s a Fire and Life Safety Ecosystem?

    February 27, 2019 by Total Fire and Safety

    Image: NFPA Website

    The fire and life safety ecosystem led the discussion at the 2018 NFPA Conference and Expo.  What is the fire and life safety ecosystem?  Like any ecosystem, it is comprised of elements that work together to achieve a functioning system—in this case, eight separate elements that have to do with fire and safety. Several of them are the responsibility of the government, while many call upon the public to enforce and deliver. Regardless of who is charged with the responsibility, the goal throughout the ecosystem is to prevent major disasters from fire, electrical, and other hazards.  When tragedies occur, it is likely there was a breakdown in one or more parts of the fire and life safety ecosystem.  Here are the eight components relating to the fire and life safety code:

    • Government Responsibility: Policy makers must maintain effective policy and regulatory environment and not prioritize politics over the public’s safety. When life safety codes are stripped for any reason, people’s lives are endangered for the sake of political gain.
    • Development and Use of Current Codes: Government and building designers must implement the latest codes and standards or risk losing the latest technology and research in fire, electrical, life safety.
    • Referenced Standards: All standards within the fire, life, building, safety, and electrical codes must be addressed or the right products and practices will not be used, possibly leading to disastrous results.
    • Investment in Safety: Property managers and need to make an investment in safety to comply with the latest standards and codes. Hiring a company like Total Fire and Safety means an investment in safety.  All the latest fire safety technologies are always available from TFS and we can design a program to fit any company’s needs and budget.
    • Skilled Workforce: Promote the development of skilled professionals to apply the codes and standards.  For over 20 years, TFS has employed highly skilled, highly trained,  and  highly dedicated workers in order to put customers’ safety above all else.
    • Code Compliance: Effective code enforcement is necessary. Fire Marshalls and other officers must conduct regular inspections to ensure safety and code compliance.
    • Preparedness and Emergency Response: Provide effective preparedness and emergency response capabilities to deal with fire, electrical, and related hazards.  Train employees on emergency equipment, fire safety drills, designated leader in emergencies, etc..  TFS provides training classes for employees, as well as, informative literature on how to react in an emergency and much more.
    • Informed Public: Educating the public is important, as is  educating businesses about the specific fire hazards in their facilities.

    No one cog in the fire and life safety ecosystem can keep us all safe from harm. Even all the pieces together, working in tandem, may not prevent every disaster, but they can certainly prevent many. By practicing and implementing the various areas outlined in the fire and life safety ecosystem, we can all create a safer community.  At Total Fire and Safety, we are committed to helping you play your role in the fire and life safety ecosystem.  Contact us today to discuss your fire safety needs or call 630-960-5060.


  10. Avoiding the Hidden Costs of Commercial First Aid Kits

    January 23, 2019 by Total Fire and Safety

     

    Commercial first aid kits don’t have to be costly. Yet, when you start to compare commercial first aid providers, you will see some radical differences in pricing. Many first aid service companies find creative ways to drive up costs for their customers. At Total Fire & Safety, our customers never have to worry about “hidden costs” because there are none!  Knowing what your company needs and being sure you are not paying for more can help your overall first aid budget and ensure you have the right first aid provider on your side. Here are some tips on hidden fees so you can avoid any surprise charges from your first aid service company.

    • Make sure you know what is going in the box.

    It is possible that you don’t need many of the supplies the service stocks in your cabinet.  Depending on your workplace, employees can experience minor cuts etc. However, overstuffing a kit with odd size bandages and unnecessary items like hand lotion, lip ointment, dental cream, etc. helps a company justify a higher invoice.  At Total Fire and Safety we stock what is required by OSHA and what is directed by the client.  No redundant or unnecessary items.

    • Make sure you are not getting charged extra for “normal” items.

    Some companies charge extra for special items, like disinfectant wipes. Check your invoices! There are no surprises with TFS.

    • Make sure you are not getting charged for additional representatives.

    Some first aid companies have separate reps for stations, for example, first aid kits and eyewash stations. At TFS, your single representative is knowledgeable about all your first aid needs to streamline costs and deliver consistent quality service.

    • Make sure the first aid service meets ANSI requirements.

    ANSI (American National Standards Institute) puts together the requirements for first aid supplies in the workplace.  They provide a specific list for first aid kits.  A service company might overlook this list in order to stock a kit with many unnecessary various types of items. At Total Fire and Safety, we provide supplies required by ANSI as well as OSHA.

    • Make sure you understand the fees on the invoice.

    Do you see service or delivery charges, overstocking or restocking fees? First aid service companies pile these costs into an unreadable invoice.  TFS does not charge service fees, fuel, or delivery charges.  We only charge for items that employees have used.  Have a question about the bill?  TFS is there to answer any concerns.

    There are many services companies in business to make a buck at the expense and well-being of your company.  You should not have to choose between a safe work environment and a cheaper bill.  TFS recognizes the importance of a healthy workplace combined with the affordability of superior service.  TFS never overcharges, overstuffs, or places hidden fees with in a first aid kit.  We provide the right supplies to keep employees safe at work while always keeping costs down.  For more than 30 years, Total Fire and Safety has been providing OSHA approved first aid kits and replenishment to businesses. If we can help with your first aid needs, contact us today at 630-960-5060.