Why Do We Continue to Put Our Vulnerable Populations at Risk?

Recently, the National Children’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland was mandated to install fire sprinklers into their new facility.

Originally, the design of the building excluded this necessary safety feature as the building was 10 cm below the required height for this life saving feature.

The fact that the hospital, despite it’s slightly smaller size, was required to install the sprinklers is a good thing. This facility is designed to protect the most vulnerable population, sick children, and so, fire sprinklers should be mandated.

However; the mere fact that it was even considered not to include these features baffles me. How can a development team create an infrastructure without including fire sprinklers as a mandatory element?

We need to change the way that we think about fire sprinklers. These systems should not be looked at as a nice to have piece of equipment. They are not a luxury item.

But instead, they should become a mandated item, particularly when building infrastructures to house vulnerable populations.

The fact that this was even a discussion point clearly demonstrates that there is still a massive lack of education about the tools/techniques needed to protect clients from fire.

Fire alarms do not protect. They warn people to get out of buildings.

In a building, where employees (in this case doctors and nurses) will have to manually relocate the individuals (like hospitals or retirement homes), you are putting several lives at stake.

In North America, we seem to be slightly more aware. Sprinklers are mandated in the majority of facilities that house children, including schools, community centres and hospitals.

However, we are still putting a price on lives.  The most recent example is the mandate to retrofit fire sprinklers in retirement homes in Ontario.

As of October 2014, due to a coroner inquest on a 2009 devastating blaze in a retirement home in Orillia, Ontario, sprinklers were mandated to be retrofitted in all retirement homes by 2019.

Currently 20% of retirement homes in Ontario do not have fire sprinkler systems in place.

It took five years to make this decision! And they have given another five years to put these life saving devices into place.

How many lives could potentially be lost in those 10 years?

Most recently, the liberal government pledged $20 million dollars to help these smaller homes, with under 49 beds, overhaul their sprinkler system prior to the January 2019 deadline.  But why did it take so long for the government to make this investment?

We need to stop nickelling and diming the safety of our vulnerable populations. There is no question that retrofitting fire sprinklers is expensive. But we need to start prioritizing our investments. Safety should not be something that is delayed.

Fire safety legislation is designed to protect the most vulnerable.  The question is, are we doing enough to protect the lives that are most of risk?

What Condominium Owners Should Know about Automatic Fire Sprinklers

With two high rise fires in London and Hawaii, there has been a lot of conversation about the importance of sprinkler systems in high rise buildings. 80 percent of the 2500 people killed in house fires annually in the United States would have survived had a sprinkler system been activated. These systems save lives, which is why it’s essential that the fire sprinkler systems are not only in place, but operating well.

As condominium owners, you are deeply invested in ensuring that your building is both safe and well maintained. This is your home.

When purchasing a new condo, most owners take the time to inspect the common areas such as the pool, party room and gym. However; have you asked for the maintenance records of their sprinkler systems?

Too many condo owners go into their buildings with little to no knowledge about their buildings and the systems that have been put into place to protect them. Sprinkler systems are probably the best example of this type of system. The majority of condo owners do not understand how the sprinkler system works nor how it is maintained.

Similar to an HVAC system, the sprinkler systems in your building need to be properly maintained to ensure that they are in good working order.  Water quality, environmental conditions, water bacteria, physical damage, extreme changes in temperature and piping system debris all have an impact on whether a system is working effectively. Regular inspection and maintenance of these systems is necessary to ensure that it is fully operational.

However, condo owners also play a major role in ensuring that their sprinkler system is working well. One of the biggest mistakes that owners make is painting their sprinkler heads. As a new owner, you may be tempted to give your condominium a coat of paint, including the sprinkler heads as well, so that they blend in with your ceiling. As tempting as this is, this is an extremely dangerous practice which will immediately compromise how your sprinkler system functions.

Why You Should Not Paint your Sprinkler System

When a fire occurs, the heat from the fire will activate the sprinkler head(s) in the area by the fire. One of the most critical pieces to the sprinkler is the glass bulb in the sprinkler head. When the temperature rises, the bulb breaks, which in turn, allows the plug to fall away and release water through the head. However, if the head is painted, the paint will act as a protective layer on the bulb preventing it from breaking at the right temperature and delaying the water being released. In fact, the paint could prevent the plug from dropping all together.

But what if you have a cover plate on your head? Could you paint this feature? Absolutely not, in fact the cover plates react very similarly to the glass bulb, reacting to a specific temperature to activate the sprinkler head. Painting this cover plate, once again changes the temperature that will be needed to have the system work properly.

If you have painted over your sprinkler head in error, do not try to remove the paint yourself. The system will need to be shut down, drained, and then new sprinkler heads installed. However; if you have made this error, do not ignore it, as preventing the sprinkler head replacement will put you and your loved ones, or your tenants, and property at risk.

As a condominium resident, before moving into your home, take the time to inspect each sprinkler head for rust or paint damage, and if there is any damage, ensure that the head is replaced.

Remember, that automatic fire sprinkler systems are in place to protect both the residents of condominiums and their property. Unlike the movies, neither smoke nor a fire alarm, will set the system off, these systems are designed to activate when the temperature rises to 155 to 165 degrees.

However, moving heavy furniture or hanging items on the sprinkler head can cause damage, potentially resulting in accidental discharge. To prevent this damage, become familiar with the location of the sprinkler heads and avoid any contact.

Although rare, accidents do happen, and when accidental discharge occurs the damage can be devastating. When a sprinkler head is accidentally activated, water is released at pressures as high as 170 psi and up to 75 gallons per minute. Fast shut off is critical to prevent extensive damage to your home.  Having the right tools in place, like the Shutgun Tool shut off system, will ensure that both condominium owners and property managers are equipped to quickly shut off the system in the case of accidental discharge.

Are you still Experiencing Sprinkler Resistance?

The statistics are clear: automatic fire sprinkler systems save lives. In fact, 80 percent of the 2500 people killed in house fires annually in the United States would have survived had a sprinkler system been activated.  That is to say, 2000 lives may have been saved if a fire sprinkler system was in place.

So why is there still so much resistance?

One of the main reasons is there is a lot of confusing information out there. Home owners are skeptical about it’s maintenance, cost, and the hazards that could come with owning a sprinkler system. And there is also a bit of false comfort created with fire alarms.

The Hollywood Effect

We all love a good movie! And there is almost nothing more dramatic than a fire, fire fighters, and sprinklers. But Hollywood goes for glamour and action, and the truth about automatic fire sprinklers isn’t really eye catching.

What’s depicted in Hollywood is often that automatic fire sprinklers are extremely sensitive for disastrous results. Fire sprinklers are seen to be set off from a wee bit of smoke or even a pulled fire alarm. This leaves consumers with the perception that the smallest thing can set the sprinklers off and that they are as sensitive as a smoke alarm.

Automatic sprinkler systems are designed to help put out fires. Individual sprinkler heads are triggered only when air reaching the sprinkler head is at a fire specific temperature, generally between 155 to 165 degrees.

But that’s not all, Hollywood loves drama! If there was an oven fire, all the fire sprinklers go off. Yikes! No wonder consumers are hesitant about installing them.  Since fire sprinklers are triggered by heat, they will only go off if they are close to the fire. They don’t discharge simply because the other sprinklers in the home were discharged.

Hollywood’s erroneous depictions are not the only challenge that prevents consumers from installing sprinklers. Consumers are wary about the cost of installing sprinklers in their home and whether the cost is a necessary one if there are smoke alarms in place.

 Automatic Sprinklers are Not Just for the Wealthy

New construction is one of the best ways to ensure that automatic sprinklers are installed from the get-go. Sprinkler companies would benefit by fostering relationships with construction companies and helping them develop financially accessible ways to offer automatic sprinklers as a home upgrade.

According to the Home Fire Sprinkler Cost Assessment Report (2013), the average cost of installing home fire sprinklers is 1.35 cents a square foot. This cost is similar to upgraded flooring or a whirlpool tub.

Additionally, home owners with automated sprinklers installed often benefit from a reduction in home insurance premiums. They will also reduce their own property loss in the event of a fire. Educating builders on the added value of automatic sprinklers will help increase the number of homes with this additional protection. It really is a win/win.

A discussion about the fears of fire sprinklers wouldn’t be complete without mentioning accidental discharge. Don’t let this concern stop your customers from protecting their home. Instead, offer them the additional insurance of a Shutgun shut off tool, shutting off fire sprinklers fast in the case of accidental discharge.

Although rare, when accidental discharge does happen, the damage can be devastating. When a sprinkler head is accidently activated, water is released at pressures as high as 170 psi and up to 75 gallons per minute. This capacity is great for containing or extinguishing fires, but without the right tool, can cause a great amount of water damage. Fast shut off is critical to prevent extensive damage to homes and businesses.  “The Shutgun is insurance for homeowners and building managers and it has proven its value in real life situations,” says Technicraft Product Design President, Greg Patterson.

On September 24th to 27th, Technicraft Product Design will be exhibiting their line of products at the American Fire Sprinkler Association. Increase your sprinkler sales, by including a Shutgun Tool Shut off system in every package. Empower your customer and alleviate the fear of accidental discharge, by showing that all it takes to stop the water flow is a one-handed squeeze.

Are You Setting Your Moving and Storage Business up For Success?

Labour needs to be looked at as an investment in your operation. Hiring the right individuals and providing them with the right tools will ensure that your company runs both smoothly and efficiently. In 2015, Laborers, freight staff and material movers had one of the highest number of work place injury cases, with 4.5 cases for every 100 workers.

When it comes to investing in a business, most operations tend to focus on management and supervisors. However, did you know that focusing on the hiring, training and equipment for your general laborers can not only increase employee satisfaction but decrease work place injuries? The cost to operate a moving and storage company is at an all-time high with wage increases and incremental rises in the cost of fuel. Do not increase your costs by failing to invest in your employees and their safety.

Hire Right the First Time

The talent pool for general laborers is startlingly low, which can increase the risk of hiring quickly. Nobody wants to lose a potentially good employee, especially when they are limited, but hiring rashly can put your company at risk.

No matter how good a resume appears, take the time for an in-person interview.

When interviewing, include questions about how they work in a team, handle conflict and problem solve. How well do their responses fit with your company’s values?  Don’t forget to include real life scenarios to gauge if the potential candidate can think on their feet. Remember, moving items safely and securely requires planning, team work, and strong customer service skills. These individuals are the face of your company: take the time to ensure that they are the right individuals for the job.

Place a Value on Work Place Safety

The moving industry, by its very nature, puts your employee at increased risk for injury. Include work place safety in every conversation, so that your employee understands why it needs to be an essential part of their job. This includes having access to the tools, equipment and training, to keep themselves safe on the job. For example: Lifting belts, gloves and steel-toe work boots can help protect the employee with heavy lifting. Knowing the weight of the furniture in advance can help ensure that workers have the right equipment, like carts and dollies, so that the item is removed safely.

Protect your Investment

Most moving companies today recognize the value of including carpets, blankets and other protective tools on their trucks to ensure that both the materials and buildings are not damaged. When a sprinkler head is activated by either bumping, breaking or temperature fluctuation, water releases at pressures up to 165 psi or 65 gallons per minute. Quick shut off is critical to prevent damage of everything from furniture, equipment and valuables. Despite this there is still very little discussion of what to do in the case of accidental fire sprinkler discharge. In the majority of cases, accidental sprinkler discharge could have been prevented. Train your staff to watch out for doorways and sprinkler heads when moving tall equipment, and in the case of accidental discharge, ensure there is a sprinkler shut off tool on each truck.

To learn more about Shutgun tools at www.shutguntool.com

Are Canadian High Rises at Risk of Fire?

If you’re looking to live in Toronto, it is most likely that you will be moving into a high-rise building. High housing costs have brought condo living into the mainstream, with an anticipated 29 new building planned for 2017 alone. Currently there are approximately 260 high rise buildings in Toronto, and the new projects, just keep getting higher. In fact, there is currently 8 tower proposals pending that are more than 300 metres in height.

The recent tragedy in London with the Grenfell tower has caused several communities to take a deeper look at whether, they too, are at risk.  In the case of the Grenfell tragedy, it is believed that the external cladding, which is added to older buildings to increase insulation and improve the external appearance, increased the flammability of the building. Cladding is used in buildings to provide a more aesthetically pleasing appearance, provide insulation, and prevent water penetration.

Regulations in Canada specify that cladding can be used on buildings at least four storeys in height provided that they have a fire rating of at least one to two hours. However in a recent article by the Canadian Press, forensic engineer, Doug Pervoic, emphasized that challenges arise when builders try to cut costs by resorting to cheaper materials.

On a positive note, the high rise residential buildings in Canada are built with non-combustible construction,including materials like brick, cement, metal, glass or stone, and are built so that the fire can be contained within one or a few units.

In 2010, the Ontario Building code was amended to require that any building more than three storeys high include sprinkler systems. Prior to this change, Ontario was the only jurisdiction in North America where sprinklers were not mandatory. In fact, between 1995 and 2008, 89 people died in high rise fires in Toronto. More than 40 % of homeowners aged 65 and over live in high rises.

However the lack of sprinkler systems in the older buildings still place residents at risk.  The question is, why aren’t more building residents advocating for them?

There is no doubt that there is a substantial cost involved with installation. This is not a retrofit that can happen overnight, but it should be one that building managers urgently consider.

Can Safety Features Support an Ultra Luxury Experience?

The luxury hotel experience is about exceeding customer’s expectations. Every factor needs to be considered from the sheets on the bed to the foyer decor. This experience is exclusive, sophisticated and indulgent.

Traditional safety features, from the flashing neon exit sign to the obtrusive sprinkler head, detract from this experience.  Hotel guests don’t want to be reminded of the possibility of fire. But is it possible to have an aesthetically pleasing luxury experience that seamlessly integrates safety?

Absolutely! And for today’s guest experience it is not just possible but essential.

1)  Luxury Linens

Flame retardant materials no longer means uncomfortable linens and tacky patterns.  Be diligent and ensure that all décor from the curtains in the room to the furniture in the foyer mirrors the unique attributes of each hotel.   A good night’s sleep is one of the top priority for guests.  Well designed blackout curtains and comfortable linens will help take that guest’s experience to the next level.

2)  Less is More

When furnishing a room, think minimalistic.  A few strategically placed, well chosen pieces, makes the room seem larger and in turn more luxurious. As an added benefit, this open space creates a wider pathway in the case of an emergency evacuation.

3)  Seamless integration

Exit signs, emergency lighting, fire alarms and extinguishers are all necessary parts of a fire safety plan. Guests don’t want to be reminded of the possibility of fire. To impart that luxurious experience, look for ways that the safety equipment can be incorporated into the current hotel design.

When it comes to exit signs, they’ve come a long way from the garish ones in the past. Today’s hoteliers can opt for signs that will support that luxury experience from edge lit to recessed die cast signs.  And, instead of the clear glass case, place your fire extinguishers in easy to access cabinets that flow with the hallway design.

4)  Conceal your sprinkler heads

Semi recessed sprinkler systems are not only tacky they are easier to accidently activate. Concealed sprinkler heads offer hoteliers an aesthetically pleasing design while protecting both their guests and the property. These heads provide the needed function to extinguish potential fires while seamlessly integrating into the décor.

5)  Manage the Risk of Accidental Discharge

There is perhaps nothing more detracting from a customer’s luxury experience than having both themselves and their items soaked by a sprinkler. Especially, if the sprinkler was discharged accidentally. To manage the risk of accidental discharge, equip your hotel with the Concealed Head Shutgun tool. This tool is equipped with a longer probe to reach the opening of the water source recessed inside the sprinkler head.  Hotel maintenance staff can shut off the water flow with a one-handed squeeze, dramatically reducing the amount of water damage that occurs from an accidental discharge.

Offering an authentic luxury hotel experience to guests is about fluidly connecting design with high service levels. To guarantee that full luxury experience, hotels need to commit to offering both the design and service level that will exceed guests’ expectations.

Damage Prevention 101: Protect your Sensitive Documents in All Circumstances

Record management is a vital part of almost every industry and ensuring sensitive files or documents are safe and secure should be of top priority. When records are lost or damaged, it can put your company at significant risk, including operational, financial, and perhaps most detrimental, risk to your company’s reputation.

When companies are choosing a storage facility to protect their valued documents, they should be certain that in addition to security, it also has the proper equipment and personnel to ensure their assets are fully protected.

The challenge for these facilities is ensuring that the integrity of the documents is fully protected throughout the storage period.

Do you have the tools in place to protect your documents?

  • All documents and files are clearly labeled and stored, for easy retrieval and archival
  • Climate controlled facility to protect from damage, humidity and condensation
  • Fully secure to reduce the risk of stolen documentation
  • Clear fire prevention plan including automatic fire sprinklers
  • Responsive Risk Prevention Plan including what to do in the case of accidental fire sprinkler discharge

Automatic Fire Sprinklers are the best Protection

When it comes to protecting valued documents, the first thing individuals consider is protection from fire so choosing a place to store your documents where automatic fire sprinklers are installed should be on the “must have” list. The damage from fire can be extensive, costing thousands of dollars in both lost documents and devastating damage to the facility. To ensure your valued documents are protected, facilities should include a clear fire prevention plan including fire alarms and automatic fire sprinklers.

Automatic Sprinklers protect your documents by:

  • Targeted protection; only those sprinklers in the heat of the fire will discharge water
  • Decreasing the amount of damage by controlling the fire until emergency personnel arrive
  • Wet records may still be recoverable; burned records are not.

However; take the time to ask some additional questions of your facility, including what is their response plan for accidental fire sprinkler discharge?

 Accidental sprinkler discharge does occur.

Although not as destructive as fire, the impact of water damage from a fully flowing sprinkler head on equipment and documents can be extensive.

  • In October 2016, Houston Police Department found this out the hard way. Thousands of sensitive evidence files were significantly damaged when the sprinkler system was accidently discharged in the evidence room. This potentially impacted up to 4200 active cases.
  • In March of this year, sprinklers were accidentally discharged at the Wichita Falls public library damaging more than 3,000 books.
  • In September 2016, the atrium and basement of Vancouver’s downtown public library flooded damaging a section of the library’s automated sorting system, including approximately 1,000 books and DVDs from the library’s collection.

Whether you’re protecting paper, technology, or sensitive evidence, you need a storage facility that has a fully responsive system. This system should include a fire prevention plan, including automatic sprinklers, and a response plan for accidental sprinkler discharge.  Responding to accidental sprinkler discharge should not be an afterthought!

This is why Technicraft Product Design engineered the Shutgun line of products. These easy-to-use tools empower individuals to shut off sprinkler valves with a one-handed squeeze. It is a fast, easy, and responsive solution to accidental sprinkler discharge. When looking for a security facility, look for companies that include quick and effective shut off tools like the Shutgun. Having this fully comprehensive plan will provide you with the peace of mind that your documents are both secure and fully protected.

Managing Risk: The Problem with Management Tunnel Vision

Whether you’re employed in the hospitality sector, corporate world, construction or government, risk prevention is most likely a part of your daily routine. If it isn’t, it should be. In any of these industries the one thing that each share is risk. At face value, managing risk can appear very simple. Effective risk prevention strategies are about expecting the unexpected.  It is about looking at the action or decision made, asking ‘what are the potential risks’, and then putting the strategies in place to prevent them. It seems like a no-brainer.

But are you managing risks with a manager’s tunnel vision?

Evaluate your Risks

Far too often, companies begin a risk prevention plan at the management level.  To understand what the risks are, managers may rely on plans done for other locations, missing the unique factors in their own business.

When managers make the commitment to develop an individualized risk assessment plan, it will ensure that the recommended strategies will be both used and useful.  This plan needs to begin with connecting with the individuals who have first-hand knowledge of that environment.

In fact, the most effective practices are created when there is a dialogue between management and the front-line workers.

Create a Culture of Risk Prevention

Risk prevention needs to be a part of every job description beginning with understanding the potential risks in an environment. These safe management practices need to make sense not only for the management team but for the front-line workers. This engagement of front line staff is key, as they are the ones that will be putting these strategies into place. These individuals need to both understand the potential risks and what to do if the risk does occur.

When front line staff becomes involved in the conversation, they start to think of their role in risk prevention. These individuals will become aware of the potential risks in their environment and will communicate if a prevention strategy may be ineffective. This is when safety begins to evolve from a conversation into a behaviour.

Effective risk management cannot be a top down approach. It cannot be leaders and managers dictating terms and procedures. Instead, it needs to be a collaborative discussion where front line workers become actively engaged in both informing and mitigating the risks at their work site.

Having the Right Tools in Place

A risk prevention plan needs to be more than a written document. Safe management practices should include strategies, safety equipment, training and specialized tools. Tools like the Shutgun sprinkler shut off tool, which is specifically designed to mitigate the risk of accidental fire sprinkler discharge. A successful risk reduction plan should be a combination of having access to the right tools and an effective strategy. A strategy that makes incorporating safe practices a part of the routine.

For example: When looking at Fire Prevention, one of your solutions may be adding in an automatic fire sprinkler system.

This is an extremely effective solution to reduce the damage of fire, especially if connected to a local fire department. However; with sprinkler heads comes the potential risk of accidental discharge. A complete risk prevention plan should include strategies both on preventing accidental discharge and what to do if discharge does occur.

But, remember, even if all the right tools are in place, the plan will only work if everyone involved both understands and values it. This is why it’s important to not just create a risk prevention plan but instead, constantly cultivate a culture of risk prevention.

Five Excuses That Don’t Hold Water When it Comes to Early Fire Sprinkler Installation

There are five common excuses for why construction sites don’t install sprinklers. It could be that they cost too much money, or the construction company has never had need of them before; they could be seen as a waste of time, there’s already a clear fire prevention plan in place, or they don’t want to run the risk of accidental discharge.

While these excuses may have some merit, there is always greater reason to ensure added protection during your build by considering sprinkler installation early on in the construction process.

Excuse #1: Sprinklers cost too much

Perhaps sprinklers are expensive, but fires are often much more costly. According to the Arson Prevention Bureau, many buildings never fully recover from the devastation of fire resulting in losing orders, contracts, equipment, and key employees. Even a small fire can delay the completion of a building, potentially activating the penalty clauses of a contract, increasing customer dissatisfaction, and provoking negative reviews.

Excuse #2: We’ve been in the Construction biz for years and have never had a fire

Good for you! However, there are on average between 4500-4800 construction fires in the USA per year, which is more than a dozen construction fires per day! They can be the result of worker accidents involving equipment, extreme hot weather, or arson, while many causes remain unknown. It is not enough to bank on a fire-free record when it comes to future build projects.

Excuse #3: It takes up unnecessary time

When it comes to your site, stop thinking temporarily and install your permanent sprinkler system as you go. Many builders follow NFPA 241 which is the industry standard for safeguarding construction, alteration and demolition operations. Therefore, it would make the most sense to install the main piping system as soon as possible and attach the heads to where the drops are going to be positioned. The only additional time this takes would be installing and then removing these heads when it is time to drywall the ceiling.

Excuse #4: We follow NFPA 241 to give us a clear fire prevention plan that protects our sites sufficiently

Even when NFPA 241 is followed, construction sites by their very nature are at a high risk for fire. On top of that, according to a 2008 study by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), today’s lightweight construction materials collapse faster than traditional wood at a rate of 6 minutes vs 18-and-a-half minutes for the “legacy materials”. To reduce the amount of damage, a clear fire prevention plan must include a suppression strategy that responds before a fire can get out of control. That’s where proactive measures of early sprinkler installation are so valuable. Sprinklers are proven to do the best job of containing and extinguishing a fire if and when it happens.

Excuse #5: There’s the risk of accidental discharge with sprinkler heads

Fear of water damage from accidental sprinkler discharge is the number one reason sprinklers are not installed. While sprinklers help contain and extinguish a fire, in the case of accidental discharge, the key is shutting off the sprinkler head fast, rather than avoiding the installation of the entire sprinkler system. To respond to accidental discharge, have a Shutgun tool on every floor or in an easily-accessible location to shut off fire sprinklers fast without causing further damage to the site or equipment.

Protecting your site from fire begins with a plan. By not prioritizing fire sprinklers, your site is at a much higher risk of being damaged by fire, which can easily result in more time, labour, and money spent!

Vandalism and Arson puts Inmates at Increased Risk of Fires

In 2002, a fire at Mitchell County Jail, was unable to be contained. The older jail did not have fire sprinklers and a limited exit strategy, due to flight risks. As a direct result eight inmates lost their lives.

This past October, inmates at the Neuse Correctional Institution in Goldsboro, North Carolina, set two separate fires, resulting in two injuries. The prisoners were safely evacuated and the fire was contained within four hours.

Fires at prisons are not a rarity. In fact, National Fire Protection Agency estimates that approximately 600 fires occur in prison facilities each year.  One out of four of these fires is intentionally set. In these buildings, which by their very nature are designed to keep people contained, a clear fire reduction strategy is key.  Automatic fire sprinklers and clear evacuation strategies help ensure that tragedies do not occur.

However, with fire sprinklers comes the additional risk of vandalism. In fact, vandalism to sprinkler heads remains one of the primary reasons that prisons may delay the installation of fire sprinklers. The cost from the resulting water damage, even if just left running for a few minutes can be substantial.

The installation of institutional grade sprinkler heads makes it more challenging for inmates to break the sprinkler heads.  However, for the persistent prisoner, damage can still occur.  In fact, in 2015, newly built prison, Orleans Parish Prison which was equipped with institutional sprinkler heads,suffered extensive water damage when an inmate vandalized their in-cell sprinkler head. The water only ran for a few minutes, but to respond to the damage, the prison needed to shut off their fire suppression system.

Vandalism in prisons is a reality, whether it’s arson or damaging sprinkler heads. The institutional sprinkler head on its own does not ensure that a facility is safe from the extensive cost of water damage. To respond to this valid concern, Technicraft Product Design Inc. knew that they needed to have a shut off system that would work for the institutional sprinkler head.

The Institutional Shutgun was launched this past summer providing an essential, cost saving tool for correctional facilities, mental hospitals and homes.

Easy to use, with a one-handed squeeze, the Shutgun tool can quickly shut off water at the source. As an added security, this tool – equipped with a fusible link which will release in the event of a fire – will allow correctional facilities to still run their fire suppression system ensuring that inmates remain protected in case a fire does occur.

Ensure that your facility is fully protected from both vandalism and fire, with automatic sprinkler heads and the institutional Shutgun Tool close at hand. Shutgun will help stop water damage in its tracks.