Tel: 630.960.5060
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  1. 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


  2. TFS at the Co-op and Condo Expo

    November 29, 2017 by Total Fire and Safety

    Robin Jones, business development (left) and Jason LeGrand (outside sales) at the latest Co-op and Condo Expo at Navy Pier in Chicago.

    Did you stop by and see us at the latest Co-op and Condo Expo at Navy Pier in Chicago?

    Our team was on hand to talk to condo owners, homeowner association board members, property managers and apartment building owners about their fire safety. We participate every year, not only to meet new prospective clients, but to see our many satisfied ones that come for the educational seminars and exhibit floors.

    Visitors to our booth walk away with one of our fire extinguisher-shaped stress balls (if you don’t have one, ask your Total Fire & Safety technician!) and a better understanding of their fire safety responsibilities as property owners or managers. What were the most frequently asked questions?

    • How do I know if I am in compliance? (We can help perform inspections to make sure buildings are up-to-date with NFPA requirements, which vary depending on your structure and occupancy.)
    • What is this wireless fire alarm technology and will it save me money? (Besides making sure your fire alarms are inspected, in compliance and operational, we can update your old equipment to reduce maintenance costs and improve performance.)
    • What do my tenants need to know about fire safety? (We offer solutions and fire safety training on a customized basis.)
    • Do you offer first aid kits? (We offer a variety of commercial first aid kits based on your environment’s needs. A first aid kit can make a big difference in the comfort and safety of your tenants or employees!)
    • Why Total Fire & Safety? (We are one of the most experienced commercial fire protection companies on the market and make use of some of the most technologically advanced reporting features available.)

    We hope to see you at the show next year! Until then, if we can be of assistance with your fire safety needs, don’t hesitate to contact us  at 630.960.5060.


  3. Total Fire & Safety Helping Downers Grove with Wireless Launch

    September 26, 2014 by Total Fire and Safety

    Total Fire & Safety has completed its installation of the wireless fire alarm monitoring system at the Village Operations Center (VOC) for the Village of Downers Grove.  By now, most Downers Grove businesses have received a letter like the one shown below, informing them of the new system and encouraging them to come on board with wireless fire alarm monitoring. The benefits of wireless fire alarm monitoring are many and far outweigh the increased cost of monitoring services. For businesses, the biggest cost saving is the elimination of land lines that can amount to a 70% cost reduction annually in monitoring related service fees.


    OTHER FIRE PROTECTION PROVIDERS…..

    AES 7744/7788F Transmitter

    As a business in Downers Grove, you can contract with any fire protection services provider, however their equipment must be in compliance with the VOC and programmed through Total Fire & Safety. Total Fire & Safety is maintaining the wireless network for the Village, and is therefore in charge of making sure all radios and wireless equipment are programmed correctly and seamlessly connected to the VOC.

    The chosen radio unit for the businesses in Downers Grove is the model shown here, the AES Corporation 7744/7788F transmitter. Again, all transmitters, whether purchased through Total Fire & Safety, directly from AES,  or through your fire protection provider, must be programmed through Total Fire & Safety.

    Total Fire has already held information sessions with other area fire protection services to introduce the new system and review operating regulations and compliance issues with the VOC.    If you have a fire protection service provider OTHER than Total Fire & Safety, they should make sure they are in compliance with the VOC specifications and contact Total Fire & Safety for their programming needs.

    This is all discussed in the letter below, that they should have received recently from the Downer Grove VOC:

     

     

     

     

     

    If you have any questions concerning installation or programming, please contact Jeff Buff, Total Fire & Safety at (630) 960-5060 ext. 121 or click here to contact us and use the promo code DWG for a special introductory monitoring rate for Downers Grove businesses.  For any questions concerning permitting or procedures, please contact the Downers Grove Fire Prevention Bureau at (630) 434-5983.


  4. Downers Grove Gets Ready to Cut the Cord, with Help From Total Fire & Safety

    September 19, 2014 by Total Fire and Safety

    We have been very busy lately installing a new wireless fire alarm monitoring system for the Village of Downers Grove, IL. Total Fire & Safety was proud to be selected to install the upgrade, which will allow local businesses to connect wirelessly to the village operations center for more efficient, cost-effective service from their local fire department.

    Businesses will be able to cut the cord and “go wireless” in Downers Grove beginning October 1st!

    Downers Grove joins other local Chicagoland communities that recognize the savings and efficiency involved in upgrading to wireless fire alarm monitoring. Wireless systems are more reliable than phone lines in receiving fire alarm transmissions to the dispatch center, thereby reducing the amount of false alarms they receive.

    For most business owners, changing to a wireless alarm system will be an initial modest investment with an increase in monitoring fees from the village. However, businesses can save up to 70% on their monthly fire monitoring systems by disconnecting the two land lines they will no longer need with the wireless technology. More than 1,000 businesses in the village are now able to upgrade to a wireless system and start saving!

    If you are a business in Downers Grove interested in going wireless, hire the company that the Fire Department hired! Enjoy a special introductory monitoring price of $30/month by contacting Jeff Buff at Total Fire & Safety at 630.960.5060 ex. 121 or by submitting the contact form with the promo code DWG. You must also download the application for wireless connection from the Downers Grove website at www.downers.us/bus.

    We look forward to helping business owners in the Village of Downers Grove take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade to a safer, faster system! If you would like a free evaluation of your current fire monitoring services, also contact us at 630.960.5060.

     

     

     

     


  5. Announcing….Our New Wireless Fire Alarm Monitoring Page!

    May 21, 2014 by Total Fire and Safety

     
    Total Fire & Safety is welcoming some new additions to our website, including the “Wireless Fire Alarm Monitoring” page!

    More and more municipalities, particularly in Chicagoland, are looking to reduce costs and increase efficiency by mandating wireless  fire alarm systems for the businesses in their service area. Wireless fire alarm monitoring is faster, safer, and more reliable than phone-  based systems that can fail from environmental factors. Also, with wireless fire alarm systems, businesses can disconnect their unneeded landlines and realize a substantial monthly savings.

    Our new page includes information about Vigilant™ fire alarm monitoring equipment, which is our preferred manufacturer of fire safety equipment. Vigilant is an industry leader known for its affordable, yet high-quality products that easily retrofit in single-unit facilities or multi-story office buildings.

    We’ve  also added new icons on our home page to signify three growing and very important parts of our business—life safety training, first aid supplies and emergency lighting.

    A new icon on our home page indicates our established  life safety code training service which prepares employees for fire scenarios and teaches them the correct use of fire safety equipment. For businesses where fire prevention is a priority, these classes prepare employees with the information they need to keep themselves, their co-workers, and the facility safe.  Classes are held at your location in a classroom setting with a hands-on, live burn session so employees get firsthand experience in extinguishing a fire. Other classes we offer include: hood suppression systems, paint booth suppression systems, proper evacuation procedures, fire sprinkler systems proper apparatus usage and more.

    Everyone knows the red cross means safety, and the recently added icon represents our  first aid supplies.  Our service protects your employees with  stocked cabinets of quality first aid supplies that we routinely replenish. When a minor injury occurs, your business is prepared, with the the right supplies on hand. We make the program affordable by only charging for the products your employees use. Our service helps businesses meet OSHA Regulation CFR 1910.151 (b).

    Our third new home page icon is the exit sign, which represents our  emergency lighting and LED emergency lighting, including signs and combination exit sign and lighting units. We keep your emergency lighting in working order with regular inspections to ensure that all units are in compliance, mounted correctly and free of damage, with batteries charged and bulbs in proper working order. We are also specialists in helping companies convert their emergency signage from conventional light bulbs to LEDs, which has helped many of our clients reduce their service and supply cost.

    We regularly provide free evaluations of your existing systems and can make recommendations on how to reduce costs for your company. For more information on our quality products and services, or to schedule an evaluation of your site, visit us at totalfireandsafety.com or call us at 630-960-5060.


  6. Total Offers Savings on Fire Alarm Monitoring Systems to Bloomingdale Businesses

    February 21, 2014 by Total Fire and Safety

    Recently, the Bloomingdale Fire Protection District No. 1 made legal changes to the District’s Fire Alarm Monitoring Ordinances. The new ordinance requires businesses to maintain monitoring with a licensed fire alarm company for the transmission of wireless alarm signals to the District’s dispatch center. Although the district has assigned its monitoring agreements to a certain vendor, Bloomingdale businesses now have a choice of fire alarm monitoring service vendors.

    Total Fire & Safety responded with a personal invitation to the businesses asking them to choose Total. We offered an introductory package that included installation, connection and maintenance of a high-quality, 4G wireless monitoring system that is fully compatible with the new ordinance.  The offer is available now through February 28, 2014.

    More and more fire districts are beginning to require wireless fire alarm monitoring over central monitoring systems, which receive signals from fire alarm panels via a phone line. The reasons are many:

    –Wireless monitoring creates a reliable, direct connection with the dispatch center, without the opportunity for problems such as grounding failures from copper lines

    –Wireless monitoring is less expensive than phone lines

    –Wireless monitoring is faster, while delays can occur with signals reaching the central monitoring system.

    The consistent, more affordable and reliable system is available now at a discount rate from Total Fire.  If you are a business in Bloomingdale, IL needing a vendor to fulfill the new ordinance, we have the equipment and superior customer service you need. If you know of a business in need of a new wireless alarm monitoring service, please have them contact us at info@totalfireandsafety.com.