Tag Archive for passive fire protection

Three Reasons Why You Should Love LSS Life Safety Services®

HeartsWith Valentine’s Day just a day away, it’s a good time to remind you why you should choose LSS Life Safety Services® for all of your passive fire protection needs:

  1. LSS is an industry leader in passive fire protection inspections. As specialists, we have inspected facilities in all fifty (50) states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and the United Kingdom. This includes performing inspections in all types of facilities, including healthcare, educational, commercial, marine, and industrial. This allows our technicians to be efficient because they are aware of complexities that exist in different industries.
  2. Our LSS technicians go through extensive formal and on-the-job training. They have a complete understanding of the NFPA codes and what is required to maintain compliance. With this extensive passive fire protection knowledge, they can determine issues and offer solutions to keep your facility within code.
  3. The LSS staff is passionate about fire safety and that is evident in our customer service. Staff members have flourished in meeting demands, and pride themselves on providing our customers added value.

Next time your facility needs a little passive fire protection love, contact LSS Life Safety Services to schedule an inspection!

 

Resident Safety

UntitledWe are constantly reiterating the importance of passive fire protection inspections in healthcare facilities and universities, but it’s critical to also stress its equal significance in nursing homes and extended living facilities. With recent fire tragedies involving senior citizen care facilities, it is crucial to make sure these facilities are able to protect those who can no longer protect themselves.  Making sure all aspects your passive fire protection system, including fire and smoke dampers, fire doors, and firestop installation, are in good working condition allows you to best protect your elderly residents in the event of a fire.

If these components of your passive fire protection system are working properly, it will help to compartmentalize the fire to its area of origin. By containing the fire to one area, facility personnel and first responders can safely evacuate those residents that can’t get out by themselves. While waiting for staff or first responders to reach them, residents are able to defend in place until they are assisted out of the building.  Also, compartmentalization creates a protected means of egress for people exiting the building.

According to FEMA, in 2011 alone there were 85,400 fires in nonresidential buildings, including nursing homes. As a result of these fires there were 80 deaths, 1,100 injuries, and around 2.5 million dollars worth of damage. If your passive fire protection system isn’t properly maintained, fire and smoke can quickly spread and consume neighboring rooms or hallways in your facility. To learn how to properly maintain your passive fire protection system and prevent this tragedy from occurring in your facility, visit www.lifesafetyservices.com.

Ring in a safer 2014!

New YearsWith 2013 coming to an end, it’s time to reevaluate actions and decisions that we’re made within the past year. For the maintenance staff, the overall fire safety of your facility should be one of those evaluations. Can you look back within the year and know that your passive fire protection system was properly maintained? If your AHJ visited your facility tomorrow, would your fire and smoke dampers, fire doors, and firestop installations fall within code standards? If not, you not only run the risk of receiving a hefty fine, but most importantly the occupants of your building are not safe.

Just as a 2014 refresher, here are passive fire protection system codes that you need to be aware of:

  • Fire doors- NFPA 80 requires annual inspections of fire doors.
  • Firestopping- Several Building codes (ICC, ICBO, SBCCI, BOCA) require firestop as well as NFPA 101 and 70.
  • One Year Damper Inspections- Both NFPA 80 and 105 require fire and smoke dampers to be tested one year after installation.
  • If it’s broken or not working, fix it!- NFPA requires repairs to begin without delay in all of these instances.

Moving forward into 2014, ensure that your passive fire protection systems are working properly for the safety of your building occupants.  For more information on how to maintain these systems, visit our www.lifesafetyservices.com.

Fire and Ice: The Battle Before The Blaze

SludgeThe first arctic blast has already hit most of the country, and with the official winter season starting on December 21st, there is surely more snow, sleet, and ice on the way. Winter storm conditions cause problems for people trying to go about their everyday lives, but have you ever thought about the troubles snow and ice create for firefighters responding to a fire call? Snowy and icy conditions only add to the difficulty of fighting a fire, so it’s crucial for commercial, healthcare, industrial, and educational buildings to have their passive fire protection systems properly working.

Road conditions are always a concern when a winter storm hits, and ice covered streets can make some roads impassable.  Driving conditions are a contributing factor when first responders are trying to make their way to the scene of the fire. Also, frozen fire hydrants and water lines can further prolong their firefighting efforts. Meanwhile, while firefighters work against the icy conditions, the fire could continue to spread throughout the building causing more structural damage and threat to occupant life.

To help combat these issues caused by winter conditions, it is important to make sure all aspects of your passive fire protection system are in proper working order so it can help firefighters contain and extinguish the fire. Dampers will help to prevent the spread of smoke and fire through the duct work, and fire doors and rated walls will help contain the fire in the room of its origin. Working together, all elements of your passive fire protection systems can slow the passage of fire, allowing first responders the chance to save lives and properties even when working against wintery conditions.

To ensure your passive fire protection system is ready for the winter months, call 888-675-4519 or visit http://www.lifesafetyservices.com/

Fry your turkey, not your house.

With the preparation of meals and the hanging of holiday lights and decorations, this time of year is notorious for accidental fires.  Although we at LSS Life Safety Services® deal with passive fire protection systems in healthcare, commercial, and industrial buildings, we are always advocates for fire safety in any kind of structure, including homes.  With Thanksgiving later this week, here are some important safety tips if you plan on using a turkey fryer.

  • Make sure the cooking pot isn’t overfilled with oil to avoid spill out
  • Ensure your turkey is completely thawed out before placing it into the fryer
  • The turkey fryer should be placed outside and away from any flammable materials
  • Be careful not to touch the lid or handles without protection
  • Make sure the fryer is on a flat service; fryers can easily tip over

For more information about turkey fryer safety, head to the UL Website.

What’s really scary? A faulty passive fire protection system.

PumpkinsWith Halloween only a couple of days away, there are plenty of scares waiting for us around every corner. However, something that’s truly scary is the possible faulty fire or smoke dampers, an improperly installed firestop UL system, or maybe even a broken or missing component of a fire door. These dangers could be hidden in our healthcare facilities, universities, and commercial buildings. All of these things can contribute to the failure of a facilities passive fire protection system in the event of a fire, leaving building occupants to fend for themselves.

Fire and smoke dampers, fire Doors, and firestop systems work together in the event of a fire to compartmentalize and stop the spread to the rest of the building. If one piece doesn’t properly work, it decreases the efficiency of the overall system.  This means the fire could possibly not be contained to a certain area, increasing the amount of structural damage as well as risk to building occupants. That being said, it’s crucial that all parts of the overall passive fire protection system are properly working in order to best combat a fire.

If you are scared that some parts of your passive fire protection system aren’t working properly, contact LSS Life Safety Services® for a fire and smoke damper inspection, fire door inspection, and firestop installation.

 

What exactly are fire dampers?

Combo Fire/Smoke Damper

Yes. This Dr. Pepper was really holding this damper open.

Located in ductwork, mechanical rooms, wall chases and above drop ceilings, fire and smoke dampers are perhaps the most overlooked element of building’s passive fire protection system.  These dampers, often forgot about because they aren’t easily in our line of vision, sit waiting to operate and to stop the fire and smoke from spreading through the building’s HVAC system.  Unfortunately, with the exception of hospitals that have The Joint Commission mandating the inspection of dampers, many facilities do not inspect their dampers every four years as required by NFPA 80 and NFPA 105.  If not properly maintained, the probability of a damper working properly in the event of a fire drops significantly.  Inspection data collected across the U.S. show that on average 22% of all dampers fail during inspection*. The top reasons for failures typically revolve around the actuators or other mechanical problems such as debris blocking the blades from closing – all items that could be easily corrected if properly maintained.   Top damper manufacturers Ruskin, Greenheck and Nailor recommend testing and inspection of dampers every six months. According to these manufacturers, increased testing should extend the life of the damper and lessen the need to replace the dampers thus saving money and making buildings safer at the same time.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire departments responded to approximately 6,260 structural fires annually from 2005-2009 in educational properties across the United States.  These fires, often times intentionally set, resulted in roughly $112 million dollars in property damage. These are quite alarming figures considering that student safety is always at the forefront of school administrators and the parents minds. However, through years of gathering statistics about K-12 and college fires, the NFPA has found that millions of dollars in damage have occurred and that the educational arena in general is quite vulnerable to experiencing such loss.  With these statistics in mind, it is imperative to take a step back and think about the fire protection systems in your facility.  What are they and how well do you know them?

No matter what type of facility you are managing, safety is always a priority and at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts.  The goal is to keep in mind that many, many systems make your facility safe and  were designed together to serve as an armor against impending danger.  The next time you create the maintenance schedule for your facility, don’t forget about the passive fire protection system.  The dampers, doors and fire rated barriers can always use some tuning up and promise to do their part if fire strikes in your facility.

To learn more about fire & smoke damper inspections and their role in your facility, click here.

LSS National Accounts: Many benefits, no downside

LSS Life Safety Services understands the importance of finding a contractor that you can trust.  We also realize the difficulties in finding a contractor that is available to your facilities Nationwide, without compromising the quality of service performed.  By specializing solely on passive fire protection inspections, LSS Life Safety Services’ project managers and technicians are highly experienced in the processes and nuances involved in working in a variety of facilities, including hospitals, office buildings, research laboratories, and manufacturing plants.  Experience, knowledge, and professionalism are mandatory when dealing with the critical importance of NFPA’s Life Safety Code.  Take advantage of the superior quality LSS Life Safety Services can offer by joining our National Account Program.

There are multiple benefits to joining LSS Life Safety Services’ National Account program, the first being dedicated time management.  By joining the National Account Program, you will be assigned a dedicated account manager to address your facility oheader_companyinfor groups individual needs, concerns, or special requests.  Also, through our National Account Program you will receive standardized pricing and volume discounts for all of your passive fire protection needs.  LSS also offers Nation Account members customized invoicing by working with your team to determine the best record keeping and invoice practices in order to simplify your accounting procedures.

Other benefits of joining LSS Life Safety Services National Account Program include site-specific work requirements, meaning our team will work with yours to schedule an inspection time that works best.  Also, the National Account Program offers our customers uniformity.  You can enjoy peace of mind knowing that all standards are being met and your expectations are being exceeded.  The program also offers secure documentation and reporting through our custom software, LSS Site Surveyor.  Accessing reports from any facility are available electronically by using your own personalized company portal.  Finally, LSS will be become familiar with the policies and procedures necessary for working in your facilities, which will ultimately prove to be more cost effective and efficient for you.

With services performed in over 4,000 facilities nationwide, LSS Life Safety Services is the clear choice to keep your facility safe and in compliance.  For more information about our National Account Program, visit www.LifeSafetyServices.com, or contact the representative for your area 888.675.4519.

ASHE Annual Conference & Exhibit

LSS Life Safety Services will be exhibiting at the ASHE show in Seattle next week.  This conference is always a great experience for us. We enjoy networking with Healthcare Facility Managers and discussing how we can help them stay in compliance with NFPA’s Life Safety Code through our list of services such as fire damper inspections, firestopping, fire door inspections and commissioning.  For those of you attending the ASHE show this year, there are a few things that I want to remind you about when visiting exhibitors. This year you will notice more vendors offering fire and smoke damper inspections. As the industry leader in these inspections we don’t really see these companies as competitors – we know that our services, our technicians, our staff, and our reporting is second to none in the industry.  We pride ourselves in standing out among the other companies that claim they perform passive fire protection inspections which I’m sure you will be able to see when you visit our booth and stop by to meet us.

When you run across booths this year claiming to perform fire and smoke damper inspections, firestopping or fire door inspections, be sure to ask the right questions. Here’s a list to help you separate the good from the bad:

  • Have these companies received manufacturer training from Industry Leaders such as Ruskin, Belimo, STI, Hilti, DHI and IFIDIA?
  • Are they willing to provide references?
  • Do they offer final inspection reports including digital documentation?

Just do us a favor. If you run across companies other than LSS Life Safety Services that offer passive fire protection inspections, stop by booth 421 and talk to us. Make some comparisons and learn about our company – I’m sure you will see the differences between our company and the others are tremendous.

Active vs. Passive Fire Protection

Do you know the difference between Active and Passive Fire Protection? There tends to be some confusion about which is which, so here is a quick reminder:

Active Fire Protection – Systems which require a certain amount of motion/or action in order to work properly.  Some of these actions could be slowing the progress of the fire, putting out the fire, or notifying of the fire and smoke conditions. A few examples are:  sprinkler systems and fire alarm systems.

Passive Fire ProtectionDoes not require motion/and or action in order to work. It is used to contain and slow the spread of the fire.  Some examples are:  Fire walls/barriers, Fire dampers, smoke dampers, fire doors

So, if your facility has a strong active fire protection system in place,  why does passive fire protection matter?

  • Sprinklers don’t always work as designed
  • Lack of maintenance
  • Tampering
  • System malfunctions
  • Problems with water supply (frozen pipes, Earthquakes, shut off by maintenance staff)
  • Inadequate water pressure

Fact is, passive fire protection systems are meant to work in concert with active fire protection systems – not in lieu of them. For more information, visit www.LifeSafetyServices.com.