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  1. Thankful Fire Safety Facts for 2016

    November 16, 2016 by Total Fire and Safety

    Your fire risk is very different on Thanksgiving Day than it is on any other day of the year. Residential fires are a lot more common, because everyone is cooking! Here are some fire safety facts about Thanksgiving Day that you should be aware of, and some safety tips to remember so you don’t become a part of these statistics.


    • From 2011 to 2013, there was an estimated 2,100 cases of residential fires per year and approximately 10 deaths, 50 injuries, and $28 million in property loss, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

    Be thankful for the chance to be mindful of fire safety at Thanksgiving!

    • Most residential fires happen in single family homes, 65 percent, or multifamily homes, 28 percent. A fire could happen in your own neighborhood, or even your own home.

    Be thankful for all the working fire extinguishers  and smoke detectors in kitchens across the country!

    • The peak time for frequency of fires was from noon to 3 p.m., the time when many people are working on preparations for the big meal. This differs from normal days, when residential building fires are most likely to occur during the dinner hours of 5 p.m. –  8 p.m.

    Be thankful for properly attended stoves as we prepare the Thanksgiving meal!  


    • Of all Thanksgiving Day fires surveyed, 73.5 percent were limited to the object of origin; 11.6 percent limited to the room of origin; and 10 percent limited to the building of origin.

    Be thankful for knowing how to operate a fire extinguisher to stop a fire before it causes too much damage!

    • The majority of fires on Thanksgiving Day are caused by cooking, at 72 percent. Practice safe cooking by checking temperatures frequently, being extra careful with open flames and ovens, and not overcrowding the kitchen.

    Be thankful for cautious holiday cooks who observe fire safety measures!


    There is one last reminder that turkey lovers should keep in mind this year. Deep frying turkeys is a tradition for some Americans, but it is also a dangerous fire hazard. Watch this video to see a fiery demonstration of what can go wrong if you deep fry a turkey unsafely.

    Be thankful for deep frying with caution and care!


    Total Fire & Safety wishes you a happy holiday! If you are interested in a kitchen suppression system, safety inspection, or fire extinguisher training in preparation for Turkey Day, contact us at 630-960-5060.

  2. Have You Got the Power? Of a Suppression System?

    October 12, 2016 by Total Fire and Safety












    Recently, a viral youtube video was released by the Daily Military Defense & Archive.  It shows an activated fire suppression system that can fill an aircraft hangar with foam in two minutes, covering at least 90 percent of the aircrafts with a simple, water-based foam. For the average Joe, it’s a visual spectacle to see that amount of space quickly fill with thick white foam and then get to witness the cleanup process (involving huge big squeegees) afterwards. Luckily, these systems usually trigger by accident or for a test run, and there aren’t a lot of cases where the system is triggered because danger is imminent. The government is successfully using this fire protection system to protect aircraft inside military hangars around the world.

    This video is a great example of how suppression systems work quickly and effectively. They can be deployed with amazing speed, and for a government building of this size and caliber, this system could save countless employee lives and millions in property damage.

    The suppression systems offered and maintained by Total Fire & Safety are not quite as messy as the ones in the video, but they are similar in many ways. The kitchen suppression systems we install for you are designed for specific type of fires that often occur around cooking equipment, whereas the suppression systems in an aircraft hangar are designed to fight fires caused by equipment failure or aircraft fuel. Rest assured that the suppression system in your commercial kitchen won’t fill the room with foam, but it will still get the job done in an emergency!

    Do you have a suppression system in place at your business? Total Fire and Safety has suppression systems that can protect your people and your assets. For more information about suppression systems, contact Total Fire & Safety at 630-960-5060.


  3. Fire News: An Exploding Fire (Extinguisher?) Ball?

    June 9, 2016 by Total Fire and Safety

    Elide Fire has a zany idea that might change the way that we fight fires in the future. These ball-shape extinguishers are like hand-held bombs that disperse the same chemicals that are found in normal fire extinguishers. To activate, you simply toss one toward the fire, and these little firefighters take care of everything. They are designed to activate within three seconds of being in contact with fire. They also work as alarms, emitting a loud sound when activated.

    You may be thinking, could these really work to replace fire extinguishers as we know them? Although having red balls filled with chemicals sitting in your kitchen or near electrical plugs may clash with your color scheme, they would be able to activate even when you’re not at home. This feature could potentially save lives as well as property damage (as long as they never accidentally activate without fire, though. That would be a mess!).

    The best part about this invention, however, is that it would be extremely easy to operate compared to a normal extinguisher. Using these extinguisher balls would be as simple as, well, tossing a ball. Even a child could do it (in a desperate situation, of course). Who knows, perhaps the fire training industry will soon have to create a simplified program that will more closely resemble pitching practice than fire safety training.

    The Extinguisher Ball has a lifespan of five years, and is meant to be mounted or displayed in fire-prone places. Total Fire and Safety is keeping an eye on this new product for further developments, but in the meantime, those basic red fire extinguishers hanging on your wall are your best bet in the event of an actual fire.  For more information on fire extinguishers and wireless fire alarms currently available, contact Total Fire & Safety at 630-960-5060.

  4. Answer These Five Questions and Prevent Water-Based Sprinkler System Freeze!

    February 9, 2016 by Total Fire and Safety

    It’s the time of year when temperatures drop and things get icy, but don’t be fooled. Fires still pose a very serious threat even in winter! Even though it’s been a milder winter than normal here in the Chicago area, it’s still important to make sure your water-based commercial sprinkler system is bullet-proof from the elements and always ready. In the Midwest, where subzero temperatures can hit at any time, it makes sense to be prepared.

    A commercial fire protection company can provide winter fire protection, but building owners need to do their part too!  So how do you know you’re prepared? If you can answer these five questions affirmatively.

    Are your water-based sprinkler system pipes insulated? Even indoors, if the weather gets cold enough, your sprinkler system can be compromised and a small freeze within a fire protection system will compromise the system’s efficiency. If your building has a water-based fire system, the key is to block all cold air flow to the pipes. All pipes should be properly insulated, especially those in the ceilings and exterior walls of the building. Pipes that are close to the ceiling should have insulation above them, since cold air can enter between small caps in exterior sheathing and insulation.

    Have you installed a dry system in your most vulnerable areas? In places that are perpetually vulnerable to cold, such as attics and garages, it is best to replace your water-based sprinkler with a dry one. Special dry systems or dry sprinkler heads can be installed so that the sprinklers will continue to work in cold conditions, and you will never again have to worry about a freeze in a water-based system.

    Has your sprinkler system been inspected lately? When it comes to your commercial sprinkler system, an ounce of prevention is key. Make sure your sprinkler system is functional before the dangerous weather hits and there is a possibility of a pipe breaking.

    Do you know where your water shut-off valve is?  If you have a water-based sprinkler system, there is always a chance of a pipe freezing and bursting. Know how to stop the leak and react fast in an unexpected situation.

    Do you know who to call for help? Have the number of your commercial fire protection technician handy. They can prevent problems with timely inspections, repair a faulty system or update your water-based system to a dry one.

    If you’ve answered yes to all questions, your water-based sprinkler system is in good hands at your facility. If you answered no, we at Total Fire & Safety are at your service to help you install or maintain the best possible system for your building. Contact one of our qualified sprinkler professionals today at Total Fire & Safety.


  5. Total Fire & Safety at Navy Pier!

    November 18, 2015 by Total Fire and Safety

    The Total Fire & Safety team is on the scene today at the 2015 Chicagoland Cooperator’s Condo, HOA, Co-Op and Apt. Expo at Navy Pier in Chicago. Pictured here at the TFS booth are (from left to right) Jeff Buff, (Customer Service Representative), Randy Donka (Outside Sales Representative), and Marc Spinder, (Outside Sales Representative).
    The show brings together thousands of board and association members, property managers, homeowners and apartment building owners to meet, attend educational seminars and get their questions answered.

    For Total Fire & Safety, this is a chance to showcase our various fire safety and first aid solutions. If you’re in the downtown area, join us today at Navy Pier! Free admission and lots of other freebies inside!

    If we don’t see you there, contact us any time with your questions regarding fire safety. We’re here to help.

  6. Leading Causes of Fires in Commercial Properties

    August 27, 2015 by Total Fire and Safety

    The NFPA has done a myriad of studies on the causes of fires in different types of businesses and public. For example, fires in office spaces are much more likely on weekdays when people are in the building, and also less likely (about 31 percent less likely) between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. However, the fires that do happen between those hours tend to do more damage. In industrial and manufacturing facilities, about two thirds of all fires occurred specifically in manufacturing facilities as opposed to industrial, utility, defense, agriculture, or mining properties. It is always important that fire safety equipment such as commercial sprinklers and commercial fire extinguishers are up to date and properly installed so that fire risks are minimized. Here are some lists of the top five causes of fires in certain types of businesses, with number one being the most prevalent.




    1. Cooking Equipment

    2. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment

    3. Heating equipment

    4. Intentional

    5. Smoking materials


    1.Flammable or combustible liquids or gases, piping, or filter

    2.Dust, fiber, link, including sawdust or excelsior

    3.Electrical wire or cable insulation

    4.Unclassified item first ignited

    5.Structural member of framing


    1.Cooking equipment

    2.Electrical distribution and lighting equipment

    3.Heating equipment


    5.Smoking materials


    1.Cooking equipment

    2.Heating equipment


    4.Electrical distribution or lighting equipment

    5.Candles or lightning

    Knowing what kind of fire risks your business is most likely to face is an important step in preventing them. Make sure to contact a fire safety professional at Total Fire & Safety to stay in compliance and protect your business from possible fires.


  7. Cloud Ceiling Panels: Where do the Sprinklers go?

    July 31, 2015 by Total Fire and Safety

    Cloud ceiling panels are a new interior design trend in which a building with a high unfinished ceiling has panels at a lower level with lights attached to them. This creates a kind of ‘faux ceiling’ which draws attention away from the high ceiling. The effect can be modern, artistic, and add texture to a room, but… where do the  indoor sprinkler system heads go?

    For a long time, commercial sprinkler systems had to be installed on both the cloud ceilings and the actual ceiling, but the NFPA has revisited these rules since the cloud ceilings have become more popular. The original thought was that the cloud panels will block water from reaching the floor of the building where the fire would be. Therefore, cloud panels would have fire sprinklers installed on them too so that the sprinklers would be closer to potential fire sources.

    After running certain tests, officials have determined that there are some cloud panel situations that do not require so many sprinklers. By following certain guidelines regarding the size and distance between each cloud panel, sprinklers may only be installed in either the cloud ceiling or the true ceiling. The distance between the true ceiling and the cloud ceiling is also a factor in this rule. In order to be effective, sprinklers must cover a certain range of area in the building, vertically and horizontally. If there is enough space between each cloud panel and they aren’t too far from the ceiling itself, it is safe for sprinklers to only be installed on the ceiling. Likewise, if cloud panels are very close to the actual ceiling, sprinklers would serve better if installed on the panels themselves.

    If your building has cloud ceiling panels and you have questions about where sprinklers should go, make sure to contact a professional at Total Fire and Safety, since the NFPA regulations have been updated. You can reach us at 630-324-0092.


  8. Fighting Fire….with Sound?

    April 1, 2015 by Total Fire and Safety

    Imagine a fire extinguisher that sprays nothing….but sound. Could it really fight fires?

    Two engineering students, Viet Tran and Seth Robertson from George Mason University, were recently in the news for creating a blaze battler that uses sound to extinguish fires.

    Besides fighting a stovetop kitchen fire without creating a mess, an even better application that they envision would be tackling forest fires with the help of swarm robotics, or drones.  The two inventors hold a preliminary patent application for their invention. Maybe one day we’ll be offering “sound extinguishers” at Total Fire & Safety!


    Check out their Youtube video here…