Author Archives: the FSS Team

Fire Sprinkler Signs with logo for NFPA

Fire Sprinklers Signs

Does your business have all the required NFPA® 13 Sprinkler Systems Signs?

NFPA® 13 (Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems), provides the minimum requirements for the design and installation of automatic fire sprinkler systems and exposure protection sprinkler systems. In its recently released 2022 version, important changes were made. In order to remain compliant with your Sprinkler Systems Signage, it is important you speak with an experienced person.

The purpose of NFPA 13 is to provide a reasonable degree of protection for life and property from fire through standardization of design, installation, and testing requirements for sprinkler systems (including private fire service mains) based on sound engineering principles, test data, and field experience.

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Do I need sprinklers in my building?

NFPA 13 is an installation standard and does not specify which buildings or structures require a sprinkler system. NFPA 13 specifies how to properly design and install a sprinkler system using the proper components and materials after it has been determined that a sprinkler system is required. The administrative authority for requiring sprinklers within buildings rests with any of the following: the local building code; NFPA 5000®, Building Construction and Safety Code®; NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®; International Building Code; or insurance regulations that typically specify which buildings and structures require sprinkler systems. Where the building code does not require a sprinkler system but one is installed voluntarily, the requirements of NFPA 13 still apply to the portion of the building being protected.

If there are no hose racks inside a building that is sprinklered in accordance with NFPA 13, does a hose stream allowance still need to be added to the hydraulic calculations?

Yes. An outside hose stream demand would be required in accordance with Table 11.2.3.1.2 in NFPA 13 (2016 edition). The table specifies an option for 0, 50, or 100 gpm for inside hose demand. Regardless of the inside hose demand, the total combined inside and outside hose demand must meet the flow specified in the table.

Are sprinklers required to be installed above a dropped ceiling?

This is a common question and the answer can be very simple or very complex depending on the nature of the building construction above the ceiling. The simple answer is no, sprinklers are not required if the construction above the ceiling is noncombustible. For buildings where the construction is combustible, sprinklers are required both above and below the ceiling. There are many exceptions to these simple rules that require careful scrutiny and are too lengthy to discuss here. A thorough review of Section 8.15 of NFPA 13 (2016 edition) is necessary to determine if sprinklers are required in specific cases.

How should the distance be measured from a heating source to a sprinkler?

When evaluating the distance from a heating source (such as a diffuser) to a sprinkler, the distance should be measured from the edge of the diffuser to the sprinkler. The proximity of the sprinkler to the heating source will also determine the temperature rating of the sprinkler. See Table 8.3.2.5(a) in NFPA 13 (2016 edition) for specific temperature ratings of sprinklers based on distance from heat sources.

For more information, call us at 800-498-FIRE (3473).
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Person using a fire extinguishers during a Fire Simulator Training

Fire Simulator Training

In case of a fire, would you or your staff know how to properly use a fire extinguisher or what actions to take to prevent the fire from spreading farther?

As we all know, there is nothing better than being prepared for emergency situations like an unexpected fire. Practice makes perfect but, for most businesses, little has been done to prepare their staff on what to do and what not to do in case of a fire in the office or building.

Organizing a fire safety plan and training does not have to be complicated. For most, we recommend dedicating an employee to prepare the plan, share it with the entire staff, be a point of contact should anyone have questions, and hire the professional services of a fire simulator team like ours. We have extensive experience in preparing teams of all sizes and types in fire situation and we would love to help you.

Our fire simulator class puts your employees in a life like fire situation. Each member will learn how to hold and use a real fire extinguisher. This alone can be lifesaving at work and in their personal lives! We go through the steps of putting out a simple fire and explain the actions that should be taken and those that should not be taken. The safety of the employees is of the utmost importance as well as the steps to prevent a fire from spreading to the entire building (when that is a safe option) or slowing down the spread of fire until the fire trucks arrive. You will be surprised how many people think they will extinguish that fire on the first try and how many actually don’t. Again that experience can only come with a proper fire simulation training.

We are just a phone call away at 800-498-FIRE (3473). Do not wait until a fire happens, contact us today!
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Fire Extinguisher Parts Top of Extinguisher Nozzle

Fire Extinguisher Parts

Sometimes you may need to replace your fire extinguishers, some other times it may need to be refilled. There are times when you just need to replace one part of the fire extinguisher. As you can imagine, this is a cheaper alternative than ordering a new extinguisher.

A fire extinguisher is made of several parts. First and foremost, there is the tank containing the extinguishing agent which is what actually extinguishes the fire and the propellant which is a gas that helps the extinguishing agent come out of the tank with force. There are also other parts that you can replace: The valve assembly (including dry and wet valves), the nozzle, and the hose.

The valve assembly is made of a handle which you use to engage the fire extinguisher, a locking pin to prevent accidental discharge, the dip tube, and a release lever.

The hose is the flexible tube you hold to aim the extinguishing agent towards the fire.

The nozzle is the discharge piece attached to the end of the hose. It helps you control where the extinguishing agent is directed.

Sometimes these smaller pieces get broken or misplaced. In such case, it is often more affordable to just replace the part. It can be difficult to assess what exact part you need if you are not able to see the part number. If that is the case, simply call us at 800-498-3473. Our team is well trained on the various types of fire extinguishers and can match you with the part you need to order.

Fire Safety Supply offers thousands of quality and well-priced Fire Extinguishers Parts from the most reputable manufacturers in the world.

Fire Extinguisher Parts Top of Extinguisher Nozzle
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Collage of different types of Fire Extinguishers Brackets

Mounting Brackets

Do fire extinguishers come with mounting brackets? Not all fire extinguishers come with their own mounting bracket so, if you plan to mount your fire extinguisher on a wall for easy access, make sure it comes with one or search for its accessories. The type of mounting bracket you will need depends on the type of surface it will be mounted on. Would it be secured on a drywall, wood, plastic, or metal surface? If you are not sure, please contact us and we can help you select the correct brackets.

Check out our brackets here »

Keep in mind that if the fire extinguisher you want to mount on a wall is not pressurized, it will need to be stored upright at all time. In such case, a mounting bracket is very important as it will prevent the extinguisher from falling and possibly becoming deactivated.

Having a fire extinguisher mounted on the wall is great for several reasons. It prevents the extinguisher from being moved around, damaged, or lost. Imagine having to search for it in case of a fire. It also makes it easy therefore faster to reach and, as you know, time is of the essence when you need a fire extinguisher.

Some of the larger size extinguishers cannot be mounted and require wheels to move them to the location of the fire. Those heavier extinguishers often come equipped with their own mount but, if you are not sure, contact us first.

As always, if you have any questions about this subject matter, call our team at 800-498-FIRE (3473).
Collage of different types of Fire Extinguishers Brackets
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Cubes representing fire safety and prevention

The California Fire Code

Though we serve customers across the USA and overseas, a lot of our clients are located in California. Each state has its own fire code which sets specific regulations and best practices to prevent property damage and injuries due to fire or explosion. It also highlights rules to manage the storage of materials that could be a fire hazard and establish individuals’ responsibility in fire prevention.

The California Fire Code, also referred to as CFC, is in addition to all federal regulations related to fire prevention and suppression. For instance, there is the International Fire Code which tells what the minimum safety guidelines should be for all buildings. All of these codes are frequently updated via amendments.

What does it mean for you?

It is the building and /or business owner’s responsibility to understand and follow the California Fire Code and all other fire safety regulations. If you operate a business or own a building, it is of the utmost importance that you have everything in place to comply with, not only the CFC, but all other fire codes that apply to your location.

It is difficult to navigate through the various codes but we are here to help you. We cannot tell you about building construction code but we can help you with basic fire safety requirements such as fire extinguishers locations and types, fire suppression systems, proper fire related signage, and more.

We are writing this short article to assure you that our trained team is here to assist you. We are just a phone call away at 800-498-FIRE (3473). Do not wait until a fire happens, contact us today!
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Water Fire Extinguishers

Water fire extinguishers are designed to suppress fires in Class A combustibles like wood, cloth, trash and other materials that leave an ash. These types of hazards are often found in office environments and some industrial locations, as well as warehouse and oxidizing chemical storage areas (includes pool chemicals as specified in NFPA 10 Section 5.5.7).

Let’s review the popular #430847 Ansul Sentry Water Extinguisher

With an ample 2.5 gal (9.5 L) capacity, these extinguishers are made to the same high standards as the rest of the SENTRY fire extinguisher line. Clean, durable, butt-welded stainless steel shell construction leads to long service life, while stainless steel, brass and aluminum alloy components help eliminate corrosion. Additional features include simple squeeze-grip operation and easy recharge and maintenance in the field using standard air valve for pressurization. The extinguisher operating temperature range is 40 °F to 120 °F (42 °C to 49 °C).

The SENTRY Stainless Steel Water Fire Extinguisher can be utilized in many Class A hazards such as office environments and industrial locations, as well as warehouse and oxidizing chemical storage areas. The unit features a stainless steel shell and stainless steel valve. The trilingual nameplate features easy to read step-by-step instructions for operating the extinguisher in English, French, and Spanish. The Schrader valve allows for easy recharge in the field. Use of fresh, clean water is recommended.

Sentry Water Hand Portable Fire Extinguishers

Features

  • Meets or exceeds UL and ULC requirements
  • Simple operation and maintenance
  • Trilingual glare-resistant, one-piece mylar nameplates
  • Squeeze grip, positive on-off operation
  • Stainless steel valve
  • Waterproof stainless steel gauge
  • Stainless steel shell
  • Schrader valve for pressurization
  • Easy service construction

Learn more about the 430847 Ansul Sentry 2.5 gal Water Extinguisher (W02-1) (UL/ULC Rating: 2-A) »

Fire Protection When and Where It’s Needed From office environments to industrial locations, SENTRY Stored-Pressure Water Fire Extinguishers can be utilized for a variety of Class A hazards. These extinguishers give you the ability to respond quickly in the first critical minutes of a fire.

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safety fire system on ceiling with logos for FSS and OSHA

Fire Safety by OSHA

OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Their agency is under the supervision of the Secretary of Labor.

OSHA released a 128 page-publication whose main purpose is to increase the safety of buildings’ occupants. Publication 3256 explains how firefighters work and deal with building features and fire protection systems when fighting a fire. Their manual includes chapters and narratives on building and site design, sprinkler systems, standpipe systems, fire department connections, fire alarm and communications systems, as well as various firefighting systems.

For you convenience, you may download, save, or print their informational document from our website here.

Below are a couple sections from their recommendation. We, at FSS, believe strongly that correct and timely preventive maintenance is crucial. Indeed, all fire safety systems regardless of the size or type of building you manage or own should be on a maintenance program.

Preventive System Maintenance

Effective and ongoing maintenance will verify that systems remain in service and are capable of functioning properly. Deficiencies can be found and repaired before an emergency occurs. Budget constraints may target maintenance first; therefore, code officials and emergency responders should remain vigilant

Maintenance of Built-in Features

A process with effective checks and balances can help ensure that work performed in a building will not negatively impact important building features. A propped-open fire door will render a fire barrier ineffective. Utility work can result in unsealed penetrations of fire barriers. Even the simple act of removing one or more tiles from a suspended ceiling can reduce the effectiveness of a fire-rated floor/ceiling assembly.

Call us at 800-498-FIRE (3473) if you have questions about how to best maintain your fire protection and fire fighting systems.

fire safety pull with caption this is not a drill
Fire Safety by OSHA
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fire safety pull with caption this is not a drill

Fire Safety and COVID-19

Now that 2020 is behind us, many building managers and owners have come to realize that they failed to maintain the fire safety system in the commercial or residential buildings they are responsible for. This can have devastating consequences. Outdated fire equipment can fail during a fire causing damages, injuries, and possibly the loss of lives. The legal consequences are just as disastrous so are the possible fines from government safety inspections.

Today is a new day and our team can help you bring your entire safety system up to date efficiently and quickly.

New safety issues due to imposed business restrictions

In addition to having missed routine safety checks of fire equipment, new situations caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has created new fire safety issues. One of them is the use of outdoor heaters for restaurants, gyms, and other types of businesses that had been forced to conduct their business outdoor. Propane and electrical patio heaters have their own set of safety challenges.

Many restaurants were forced to serve clients and use outdoor heaters as temperatures decreased. It is of the utmost importance to read all safety requirements provided by the manufacturer because each product is different. You should always have the proper clearance and ventilation around the heater. Knowing how to properly turn off and store the heater after it is not needed is also very important. Propane patio heaters have cylinders that typically should not be stored inside a building and should be placed away from all doorways. Electrical heaters have their own requirements related to their wiring, clearances, and maintenance procedures.

The outdoor heaters are just one example of new fire safety concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic has created. As always, we are happy to help you.

Call us at 800-498-FIRE (3473) so that we can help you bring your fire system up to date.

fire safety pull with caption this is not a drill
Fire Safety and COVID-19
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downtown san francisco california

Large Businesses & Fire

Every business relies on valuable assets that are at risk of damage from a fire when only protected by water alone.  Fire Safety for your large businesses is crucial to the future of you company. Most facilities are protected only by a pre-action sprinkler system as required by code. Sprinkler systems are great at containing a fire and ensuring life safety and structural integrity in case of a fire, but in order for these systems to release water there must be enough heat to activate the sprinkler thus the fire continues to grow causing more and more damage to your valuable assets. Once the sprinkler system releases water it rains down on other assets in close proximity causing additional damage beyond what the fire originally had done. We have innovated Fire Suppression Solutions for true added protection when you need to ensure the safety of your assets and overall business continuity.

Find out what our Fire Suppression Systems provide

Fire Suppression solutions advance safety and security by finding smarter ways to save lives, improve businesses and protect people where they live and work. Fire Safety Supply installs integrated Fire Suppression solutions that do more than fight fires; they ensure customers are protected from loss of life, potentially crippling financial damages as well as loss of critical data. Our installs, maintains and upgrades a wide variety of electronic, industry-specific Fire Suppression solutions for commercial, industrial, retail, institutional and governmental customers all over Northern California. Fire Suppression solutions can be found on large marine vessels, critical data centers at financial institutions, primary schools and universities, emergency hospitals, high-hazard oil platforms, transportation networks, public works projects and world-renowned museums, among others. We know that safety and risk management are business priorities for our customers. We are passionately committed to helping them achieve their goals (including compliance with local and international fire code standards) with our Fire Suppression solutions.

Call us at 800-498-FIRE (3473) to discuss your specific needs.

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North Bay Fires

At FSS, we live and work in the North Bay. Many of us were born and raised here. Our children go to school here… we enjoy the Farmer’s Markets… we are part of this beautiful community. Just like you, the North Bay Fires have affected our lives.

We are now into the second week of firefighting in Sonoma County with over 350,000 acres burnt. We all heard people say “Here we go again!” as a dreadful reminder of the 2017 October Fires which affected everyone. Our fabulous firefighters have been hard at work containing multiple fires and cutting through brush and trees to create natural fire barriers.

Fires are unforgiving. They leave nothing in their path. For those who lost a house in a fire, you know this is not just a building, it is home.

As an individual, what can you do to protect yourself?

First and foremost, always listen to the officials. Sign up for NIXLE notifications [text your ZIP Code to 888777 top opt-in]. If they say “Evacuate”, please evacuate so that our firefighters can better work on the fires instead of rescuing people.

Inside your home and vehicle, have fire extinguishers ready for use, regardless if this is the “fire season” or not. In truth, fires can happen on any day. Make sure to inspect them every 3 months and place them in strategic locations. For instance, consider having one in your master bedroom, kitchen, entrance, and garage. Have one in each car. If you unsure what the best fire extinguishers are for your home, simply call us at 800-498-FIRE (3473).

Outside your home, keep dry brush and trees cleared and away from any structure. If tree branches are hanging over electric wires, contact PG&E right away. Have a plan and discuss it with your spouse, children, roommates, and/or significant others.

Your life matters!

Being prepared in Fire Prevention and Protection can save your life, your family, and your home.

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