5 Ways to Avoid Sprinkler Accidents in Cold Weather

Don’t let Winter Temps Be The Cause of Accidental Sprinkler Activation.

As the temperatures plummet, the risk of accidental fire sprinkler discharge increases.  Regular maintenance and testing is critical to ensure that the automatic fire sprinkler system is functioning properly.  However; the cool temperatures bring with it the additional risk of frozen pipes and damaged sprinkler heads.  Every year, the news is filled with stories about pipes bursting, sprinkler heads rupturing and the extensive, costly, water damage that results.

Don’t be the next news story!  This winter put a prevention plan in place to keep your building protected from accidental fire sprinkler activation.

5 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Sprinkler Accidents

1) Check for drafts which could let in cold air, and then seal them.  Open windows, cracks in foundation, missing insulation, and lack of weather stripping can make the room cooler and increase the risk of frozen fire sprinklers or pipes.

2) Close any cold weather valves.

3) Keep the room temperature above 40 degree Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius)

4) Keep secondary heating units away from the sprinkler heads to prevent accidental discharge from overheating.

5) In the case of accidental discharge, keep a Shutgun sprinkler shut off tool nearby for fast and easy shut off.

Most winter freeze ups tend to occur in the nooks and crannies that may miss a quick visual scan. Attics, basements, and wall and floor joists are often the more vulnerable areas. The key to avoiding the extensive damage from accidental fire sprinkler discharge is having a strategic prevention strategy.

Cold weather doesn’t have to be the arch nemesis for automatic fire sprinklers if the right steps are taken.

For more information visit: http://www.ecclesiastical.ca/2012/avoiding-freeze-ups-and-malfunctions-of-automatic-fire-sprinkler-systems/

Water and Fire: Is Your Building Protected During Construction?

Fire is a risk for any building structure; but that this risk increases when the building in the state of construction.  Builders and developers need to put all the proper fire safety measures in place to mitigate risk and protect their assets.

According to the Canadian Wood Council, the three leading causes of fire for building under construction are:

  • Incendiary or Suspicious (40%)
  • Open Flame or Torches (21%)
  • Heating Equipment (10%)

Construction sites, by their very nature, are more prone to large fires. The main reason is the lack of compartments in a finished structure. Walls, floors and doors all aid with slowing down a fire and help prevent it from spreading; but if a fire starts in the early stages of construction, these compartments will not be in place yet.

Developing an effective fire prevention strategy needs to incorporate both the right equipment and personnel. This can include:

  • fire extinguishers
  • controlled strategies for using heating equipment
  • staff trained on implementing and ensuring fire safety measures
  • automatic sprinkler systems
  • tool to mitigate accidental sprinkler discharge

According to Construction Canada, temporary sprinklers are often recommended during both the construction phase and post occupancy.

However, some builders hesitate installing automatic sprinklers; reasons being the time involved to properly install temporary systems and the fear of accidental discharge.  Heavy equipment, cold temperatures and heat mediation can all result in setting off the valve. And if anyone has been on a site where a sprinkler head has discharged, the damage can be extensive.

That being said, the risk of fire on a construction site is a very real one. Several sites have been destroyed by arson and or internal accidents. Automatic sprinkler systems are the best way to protect your assets in the case of fire.

“So how does a construction manager protect their employees and the building from fire, without running the risk of further damage from a sprinkler system? ”

We say you can have both –  Construction managers can still protect their assets by installing an automatic sprinkler and have a Shutgun tool on hand to prevent the damage in case of accidental sprinkler discharge.

Don’t let fear of accidental discharge stop you from protecting your site from fire! You’ll never regret having the Shutgun in your toolbox for back up.


The Holidays Are Coming: Time to Ramp up Hotel Fire Safety

The holiday season brings in new guests and added revenue. There is no better time to impress new guests with your hotel amenities. But with crammed schedules and sold out rooms, it’s easy to become preoccupied with perfecting the guest experience and less time spent preparing your staff for emergencies.

Fires occur when you least expect them. Any member of your staff who doesn’t know what to do in the case of a fire is a liability. They not only put themselves at risk, but they also become a hazard for guests and other staff.

During the holiday season, these risks increase with added distractions, increased guests and additional personnel.

Hotel Managers would be prudent to review drills and emergency procedures ahead of the Christmas rush with both new and seasoned employees. Make sure all personnel are comfortable with fire safety protocols.

Proper training is much more than knowing the location of exits; it includes understanding how to keep guests safe and knowing how to handle fire protection equipment.

Are your Staff Fire Safety Savvy?

Do they know:

1)   The location of all fire extinguishers and how to operate them?

2)   Where and how to direct guests out of the hotel – While keeping them calm?

3)   The location and operation of a fire sprinkler shut off device in the case of accidental fire sprinkler activation?

4)   How to handle guests that have mobility concerns and/or are distressed in an emergency?

5)   Techniques to assist and communicate with non-English speaking guests

6)   How to keep your guests fire safe when they are unable to leave the building?

Fire prevention and safety needs to be a collaborative effort. Ensuring that your staff is familiar with these and other safety procedures can help minimize the risks.

Shutgun Debuts New Product at Build Show 2015

Accidental fire sprinkler activations can be one of the most costly, project prohibitive challenges facing Project and Building managers today. The results of accidental activating can vary from thousands of dollars in damages, project delays and lost wages. That is why Shutgun Tool has decided to showcase their newly released fire sprinkler shut off products at this year’s BUILD EXPO USA taking place September 16 & 17 at the NRG Centre in Houston.

“There is no limit to the amount of accidents that can occur on a construction site or in an enclosed work space, especially when heavy equipment and machinery is being operated,” said Greg Patterson, president, Technicraft Product Design and co-inventor of Shutgun.

When a sprinkler head is activated, quick shut off is critical. Water from a sprinkler head is released at pressures as high as 170 psi and up to 60 gallons per minute, which can easily result in tens of thousands of dollars in damage.  The durable cast aluminum Shutgun allows the user to shut off the sprinkler system with a one-handed, squeeze.

“Traditionally, wedges were used to contain flow from sprinkler heads, but they are rudimentary and often do not completely shut off the water flow,” said Patterson.

For situations where the sprinkler head may have been broken or sheared off, Shutgun has created the Shutgun Sheared Head Attachment to ensure that shut off remains seamless.

Barry McGrory is Labour manager with Commodore Builders and has purchased Shutguns for each of his superintendents and foremen. “Accidents don’t just happen during demos, even drywallers can set them off occasionally,” he said. “If you’re working in an occupied building, the real damage is to the floors below, so stopping that flow of water is even more critical.”

As an added safety feature, Shutgun’s unique fusible link allows it to be left in place with the sprinkler system charged until the pipes can be drained and the head replaced – thus giving you full building fire protection despite the activation.

Shutgun has three versions including original Shutgun for standard sprinkler head models, Sheared Head Shutgun and Concealed Head Shutgun for recessed sprinkler heads. They have also just launched their new durable, safety case which stores three types of Shutgun in one easy-to-see case for quick emergency response. The Shutgun is an indispensable tool that belongs with every fire extinguisher and in every contractor’s toolbox. “The Shutgun is insurance for a construction company and it has proven its value in real life situations,” said Patterson.

Free Passes to #Greenbuild Expo for Shutgun friends

We have an opportunity and would like to share it with you! As part of exhibiting at the upcoming Greenbuild International Expo and Conference in New Orleans, LA Oct.22-23 – Shutgun is giving away 150 free EXPO passes to our friends, distributors and customers.

Simply use this link below with the already pre-entered code, and you can register and attend for $0.

Go to:  https://www.compusystems.com/servlet/ar?evt_uid=229&company_code=TECH1PG635 and complete the registration process.

You’re welcome! And don’t forget to stop by our booth #3049! 

The Shutgun Team