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.

Accommodating Beauty: Why Hotel Owners Love Shutgun

No, we’re not saying that our product is pretty – it’s yellow, effective and necessary! When it comes to fire safety, luxury hotel designers are steering away from imposing safety features like the traditional red exit signs and exposed fire sprinkler heads are opting for safety products that support their luxury experience, carefully selecting products like edge-lit signs and recessed sprinkler head models which blend more seamlessly with the design of the hotel.

Shutgun has had to respond to this need by adapting our sprinkler shut off tool models.

Many high-end hotel chains are converting their semi-recessed sprinkler head systems to the concealed models as these heads provide the needed function to extinguish potential fires while seamlessly melding into the décor.

The Shutgun is a one-handed tool that immediately stops the flow of water from an activated fire sprinkler head. We have created a tool specifically for concealed sprinkler heads, ensuring not only the protection of the hotel from water damage, but that hoteliers will not have to sacrifice safety for beauty.

Concealed sprinkler heads offer hoteliers protection for both their guests and the property and blend seamlessly into the décor. But while the aesthetics of recessed sprinkler head models are safe – the concealed nature of them makes it harder to shut off in cases of accidental activation.

The concealed head Shutgun is equipped with a longer probe that can reach the opening of the water source recessed inside the sprinkler head. The end result: hoteliers can still provide the optimal luxury experience while keeping safety top of mind.

Safety features have come a long way from the obtrusive products in the past.  Shutgun is happy to be on the leading edge!

Shutgun and Greg Patterson will be exhibiting at the HX: Hotel Experience  trade show from November 8 to 10 at booth #2524a!

Shutgun to the rescue at early morning sprinkler hotel mishap

There was no rest for Shutgun early in the new year, as it was on the scene of a sprinkler head-related accident on the morning of January 9th at a hotel and country club in Collingwood, Ontario.

Firefighters on scene used Shutgun to plug the activated sprinkler head (which unconfirmed sources believe was the result of a frozen pipe, which upon thawing, activated the sprinkler head.)

The firefighter who snapped this photo said

Shutgun saved significant water damage to the site.

“In many municipalities, the building manager is not allowed to shut off the building’s main water supply until the fire department has arrived, but the fire dept can shut off the activated sprinkler head,” said Greg Patterson, President of Shutgun, who engineered the product along with retired Toronto District Fire Chief, Eli Scardaoni. “Those minutes are crucial in terms of damage inflicted.”

Patterson adds that the residual cost of damage from an accidental activation of a fire sprinkler head is estimated at up to $1,000 for every minute water is left flowing and suggests one shutgunfor every fire box, on every floor.