Video: Why our Fire Sprinkler Customer Retention is Through the Roof

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We interviewed Colleen Obos, Sales Executive, and Mike Jankovich, designer about their opinions on why our customer retention is so high at F.E. Moran Fire Protection.

In our interview, Colleen and Mike explain why customers continue working with F.E. Moran Fire Protection and what drew them to their jobs there.

Check out this inside look into our fire protection contracting and service business.

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Top Blogs of 2017 in Fire Protection

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2017 is over.

Last year was a wild ride with a new president, North Korea testing nukes, cryptocurrencies ruled, and so much more.  The Moran Group had quite the year too.  They had their 60th anniversary!

To celebrate the new year, we are sharing our top posts from 2017.

1.  The Station Nightclub Fire

Our most popular post of the year was the Station Nightclub Fire blog and video.  In 2003, the worst nightclub fire to occur in the U.S. made headlines.  The pyrotechnics from an indoor concert caught sound proofing material on fire.  The fire killed 100 people and injured 200 people.

nightclub fire

2.  A Look Back:  1994 Logan Valley Mall Fire

Next up, our profile of the Logan Valley mall fire caught our readers interest as the second most viewed post.  In 1994, a fire at the mall damaged 42 stores.  It financially devastated several businesses.  The NFPA determined that the main cause of the devastation was the lack of fire sprinklers.

3.  What Do Property Managers Need to Know:  5 Year Fire Sprinkler Inspection

Our blog post about the much-misunderstood 5-year fire sprinkler inspection caught the attention of property managers.  The post even includes a 3-step video on what happens when an obstruction is found and a FREE e-course to learn more.

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4.  Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Law Reverses in 24 Hours

In Madison, Wisconsin, a fire sprinkler law went into effect and then reversed within 24 hours.  The original post was written in February, and we wrote a follow up article on it last week.  Find out why the fire sprinkler rule will never be enforced.

5.  Sprinkler Douses Surgical Washer Fire at Hospital

A washer for surgical equipment caught fire, and was immediately put out when a fire sprinkler activated.  The heating element in the washer malfunctioned and overheated.  We wrote a follow up article showcasing the top causes for hospital fires.

That wraps up our top blog posts of 2017.  Tell us in the comments, what were your favorite posts from this year?  What fire sprinkler news sparked interest in you?

Wisconsin Can't Enforce Fire Sprinkler Rule for Small Apartments

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Before we get into our story today - a very happy New Years to you!  We hope that 2018 brings your joy, success, and satisfaction.

Wisconsin -- The Attorney General, Brad Schimel, said that the state cannot enforce a rule that was established in 2008 that required fire sprinklers be added to all new apartment buildings with three to twenty units.

The rule was established by the Department of Safety and Professional Services, and Schimel said that the rule goes beyond their authority.

"There is little question that the (opinion) will have a substantial impact on other rules and regulations involving the construction of new buildings and the state's building code, in general.  However, the analysis below is unavoidable," wrote Schimel.

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Related:  Owner of Everett Apartments Ordered to Install Fire Alarms

Madison, Wisconsin's Fire Chief and legislative liaison for the Wisconsin State Fire Chief's Association has called this ruling "extreme."  Amy Acton, Executive Director of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors says that dropping this rule is going to put lives at risk.

In 2008, the state sprinkler rule went into effect for 3-20 unit buildings built after January 1, 2011.  The Wisconsin Builders Association challenged the rule.  The state Court of Appeals determined the agency had the authority to set the rule because they had a broader authority at the time.

Related:  Fire Sprinkler Stops Fire at Apartment Complex

Brad Boycks, the Wisconsin Builders Association Executive Director said that he opposes the sprinkler rule because it drives up the cost of constructing apartment complexes.

What is your opinion?

What matters more?  The cost of construction increasing or the possible loss of lives?  Comment below.

 

 

Happy Holidays from F.E. Moran Fire Protection!

Happy holidays from F.E. Moran Fire Protection!

A World of Good Wishes. 

One of the real joys this holiday season is the opportunity to say thank you and wish you the very best for the new year

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Four Residents Found Dead Following Retirement Home Fire

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A Pennsylvania retirement home, Barclay Friends, had a 5-alarm fire on November 16.  The flames reached 50 feet high and 400 responders arrived, according to the Philly Inquirer.  

It was a sad situatation, but brought the community together.  West Chester University students set up a temporary Red Cross shelter at the Ehringer Gym  This effort was headed by student and Friar Society member Joshua Dandridge.

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The facility had 133 residents and 15 staff members evacuated.  

Related Article:  Littlefield Nursing Home Fire:  Fires in History

Approximately three weeks after the fire it came out that four residents died during this fire.  The victims were husband and wife, Delores Parker, 89, and Thomas Parker, 92.  Mildred Gadde, 93, and Theresa Mallory, 85 were the other two victims.  The cause of death for all four were smoke inhalation.

The retirement home did have fire sprinklers (Johnson Controls).  The company spokesperson said they are, "assisting authorities and currently gathering information to find out more details about the fire."

Related Article:  Des Plaines Nursing Home Case Study

This is an excerpt from Barclay Friends press release:

"As the day and weekend goes on, residents from Barclay Friends now dispersed over many different communities in and around Chester County will rest, begin to heal, and commence with the longer range planning to support more permanent transitions as they may be needed.”

The statement further read, “As we know more we will be sure to deliver updates. In the meantime, we are heartbroken by what’s befallen Barclay Friends and uplifted by the caring and generosity that surrounds them and us.”

How to Prevent a Christmas Tree Fire + a Christmas Tree Burn Test

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The NFSA recently completed a burn test, hosted by Assemblyman John Wisniewski.  He wanted to show the importance of handling Christmas trees effectively.  The U.S. averages 200 fires a year caused by Christmas trees.  

"This holiday season should be a time of joy, but each year preventable fires caused by Christmas trees and holiday decorations bring tragedy to families all across the country," said Wisniewski.  "However, there are simple steps everyone can take to prevent them."

According to the NFPA, this is what you should do when choosing a tree.

1.  Pick a fresh tree with green needles that do not fall off when touched.  You can also choose a fire resistant artificial tree. 

2.  Place the tree at least 3 feet away from a heat source such as a fireplace, stove, candle, radiator, or heating vent.  One in every four Christmas tree fires are from a heat source being too close to the tree, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

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3.  Add water to the tree stand daily.

4.  Make sure the tree does not block an exit.

5.  Use lights that have been independently tested in a laboratory and approved for what you are using them for - indoor or outdoor lights.

6.  Turn off Christmas lights when you leave the house or go to bed.

7.  Get rid of the tree right after Christmas.  Dried out trees are a major fire danger.

The American Christmas Tree Association says that live Christmas trees cause $13 million in damage annually from fires.  So, if you choose to go with a live tree, be safe and take the proper precautions.

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November's Fire Sprinkler Saves

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We are proud to be in the fire protection industry.  It is emphasized even more when we see fire sprinkler saves in the news.  What better reminder that fire sprinklers matter than to get a glimpse into the lives that have been spared thanks to fire sprinklers?

Here are our top five fire sprinkler saves from November.

1.  Fire Sprinkler Saves Apartment Building from Dryer Fire | November 27, 2017

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A dryer fire activated fire sprinklers at a Kenosha apartment building.  The fire started inside the fire and spread to the laundry room until the fire sprinklers went off.

"Once it did enter the room, it came into contact with a sprinkler head, which set off the apartment's sprinkler system due to the heat.  It suppressed the fire," said Battalion Chief Matthew Haerter.

There were no injuries.

 

2.  Fire Sprinklers Save Office Building from Fire during Renovation | November 24, 2017

Firefighters were called to an office building in East Northport when a fire ignited during renovations.  When firefighters arrived, they noted that the fire sprinklers activated and extinguished the fire.  

The fire is under investigation, but it appears that rags soaked in stain started the fire.

3.  Sprinkler Systems Saves Home in View Royal | November 24, 2017

Fire crews were called to the scene of a condo fire at 9:40am.  The fire started in a bedroom, caused by unattended candles and incense.  

"If this hadn't been a sprinklered building, this would have been a significantly different event.  Thankfully, the sprinklers kicked in and controlled the fire.  It's a good outcome today," said View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst. 

View Royal has a proactive fire sprinkler bylaw that required all new construction of duplexes or larger to have fire sprinklers.  This law saved the condo complex!

4.  Arson at Women's Health Clinic Extinguished by Fire Sprinklers | November 22, 2017

A women's clinic in Temecula was damaged by arson fire.  Firefighters were called to the scene around 1am on November 22.  When they arrived, the fire was extinguished from the fire sprinklers.

"We were notified about the fire by an alarm company, and by the time our crews reached the location, the fire sprinkler system had extinguished the flames.  The contents of one room were damaged," said Riverside County Fire Department spokeswoman April Newman.

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5.  Arson at Walmart - Fire Sprinklers Save the Store | November 22, 2017

A walmart in Cedar Park, TX was set on fire by an arsonist.  The fires were set inside the Walmart at 1:44am.  One in the apparel section, the other in jewelry.  Three sprinkler heads activated, and put out the flames.     

When the news is filled with unfortunate events, it's nice to hear about how fire sprinklers save lives. 

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Fires in History: Our Lady of the Angels (December 1, 1958)

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Only weeks before the holiday season, 95 families lost loved ones in a tragic fire at the Chicago Catholic school, Our Lady of the Angels.  Parents were held back from police lines surrounding the school.  Neighbors were taking in injured kids to shield them from the frigid temperatures.  Kids were jumping from three-story high windows to escape the flames.  The smaller kids were pushed back from the escape route from the bigger kids clamoring through the windows.

Can you believe that the school met fire and building codes? 

This tragedy brought to light the gross lack of codes to protect people and property from fire, especially in public assembly buildings.

After this tragedy, that all changed. 

The Scene

On Monday, December 1, 1958, a fire started that changed building code throughout the country for schools. 

Our Lady of the Angels was an elementary school run by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago with 1600 students enrolled.  The school was k-8 with severe overcrowding.  Many classrooms had 50-60 students packed tightly into the room.

The building was oddly configured because it had been renovated several times.  A south wing was built in 1939 and was connected to the north wing by an annex.  Together it formed a u-shape with a courtyard in the middle.  Generally, when a renovation takes place, the building needs to upgrade to new building codes; however, this school was grandfathered into previous standards.  In 1958, when the fire took place, Our Lady of the Angels not only met code, but was considered well-maintained.

The northwest stairwell landing had no fire barrier blocking door.  The western stairwell landing second floor had two substandard doors with glass panes that broke from the heat of the fire.

The fire ignited near a stairwell at the end of the day, right before dismissal.  Nearly all the victims were on the second floor of the building. 

 

The Fire

At 2pm in the north wing a fire ignited in a trash barrel filled with cardboard.  The fire smoldered for 20 minutes completely undetected.  Slowly it heated up the stairwell and blanketed the space with a light gray smoke.  That light gray smoke became black, thick, oily, and toxic soon enough.

The smoke began to go up the stairwell to the second floor, but remained unnoticed until three eight grade girls saw it while running errands at 2:25pm.  At this point, the fire had been smoldering and building for 25 minutes.  The girls, Janet Delaria, Francis Guzaldo, and Karen Hobik were returning to their classrooms on the second floor when they saw the fire.  The girls ran to the classroom to tell their teacher, Sister Mary Helaine O’Neill, about the fire.  Only Janet Delaria survived.

Sister Mary Helaine O’Neill made the decision that it was too dangerous to evacuate and shut the door to await rescue.  However, it was several more minutes before any alarms sounded.

While the fire alarm sounded, a window burst from the heat, causing a surge from the increase in oxygen.  This fire surge caught a 30-inch by 24-foot roll of tarred building paper on fire, making the smoke even more deadly.

The wooden staircase burst into flames and became a chimney for the smoke and fire to the second floor.

The fire could now be seen from the windows and had finally caught the attention of others.  The school janitor James Raymond saw the fire and instructed two boys that were emptying garbage to evacuate.  Instead, those boys went to their classroom to warn the teacher.

The teachers of the boys Raymond told to evacuate attempted to sound the alarm, but it never went off.  The teachers proceeded to evacuate the children and went back to attempt to sound the alarm again.  This time it sounded in the building; however, it was not connected to the fire department.

Raymond then went to the housekeeper to call the fire department and began evacuating the children at 2:30pm.  However, the first call to the fire department didn’t come in until 2:42pm.  One minute after this call, Barbara Glowcacki, the owner of a candy store near the north wing called the fire department when a passing motorist, Elmer Barkaus, saw the fire and asked to use the phone.

By the time the fire alarm sounded, the children and nuns in the north wing, second floor were trapped.

The doors had transom for ventilation.  Once the transom broke from the heat, the fire and toxic smoke flooded the classrooms.  The fire swept down the hallway, and into the classrooms.  Children began jumping from the window, twenty-five feet above concrete and rock.

The fire department arrived four minutes after getting the call.  However, at this point, the fire had already been burning and spreading for forty minutes.

When firefighters arrived, they immediately elevated it to a 5-alarm fire.

Firefighters began rescuing kids from the second-floor window.  At this point, the fire and smoke was so bad kids were stumbling and crawling to the window.  Many had already jumped or were pushed from the window to escape.

At 2:55pm, a flashover occurred, catching the roof on fire.  The roof caved in over rooms 208, 209, and 210.  Many died instantly.

Priests raced to the scene, grabbing scared students, helping them escape.  Father Joseph Ognibene and Sam Tororice, the father of student Rose Tororice, rescued most of the students in room 209 by passing them through the courtyard window and placing them on the annex.

Raymond was cut badly, but kept helping kids escape.  He worked with Father Charles Hund to open locked emergency doors in 207.  Thanks to their efforts, all kids from 207 survived.

In the end, 160 kids were rescued, 92 kids died, and 3 nuns died.

The Aftermath

Injured students were taken to five different hospitals.  Some were taken in strangers’ cars to the hospitals.  The news of this tragedy spread across the country and had far-reaching effects. 

The NFPA president, Percy Bugbee said, “There are no new lessons to be learned from this fire; only old lessons that tragically went unheeded.”

Nationwide, school fire safety was enacted.  Within a year, 16,500 schools in the U.S. were brought up to current code.  NFPA estimated that 68% of U.S. communities inaugurated and completed fire safety improvements.  One of those improvements was an increase in law-mandated fire drills.

Fire alarm boxes became required to be installed in front of all schools and public assembly venues.

Interior fire alarms needed to be connected to street fire alarm boxes.

The most critical change was that fire sprinklers were supposed to be installed in critical schools.  However, when inspectors came through nine months later, only 400 in 1,040 Chicago schools that were required to install fire sprinklers did install them.

Our Lady of Angels was rebuilt with fire sprinklers and opened to students in September 1960. 

The school closed in 1999 and the building is now leased to a charter school.

Video footage from the fire is below.

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Cancer Kills More Firefighters Than Fire

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Firefighters have a lot to worry about.  Fires are a real threat every day.  Lung issues are a bi-product of their jobs.  However, cancer is the real threat.  It has now come to light that cancer is killing more firefighters than fires or other health issues.

WSAZ followed the story of Keith Pyles, a Huntington Fire Captain who died from cancer after 20 years on the fire crew.

 

Here's an excerpt:

The report goes on to say that the CDC/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health study tracked nearly 30,000 firefighters across the country in 2010 and found higher rates of cancer than the general population.

These statistics will hit home for departments across the nation, including in Huntington, West Virginia.

It was difficult for the entire crew when a firefighter of more than 20 years passed away from cancer.

"I had been on the fire department a little bit longer than Keith," said Jerry Beckett. "Actually, our first few years we worked opposite shifts."

Keith Pyles was a Huntington fire captain. Beckett, who know works for emergency services, got to know Pyles through work.

Eventually, both men were promoted to captain. They worked in the same station, but on opposite shifts. Then Beckett was promoted to Deputy Chief and was Pyles's shift commander.

The station at 14th Street West and Madison Avenue is where they worked side-by-side.

"Keith was a great firefighter," said Beckett. "He was attentative to detail. He wanted to make sure his people were well-trained. He was all about safety. Everybody needed to go home safe and sound, no injuries or anything."

Many at the department considered Pyles to be strict -- a character of tough love. Beckett even said Pyle was sometimes difficult to work for early in his career, but softened over the years.

"He held a very high standard for himself and expected everybody else to have that same standard," said Beckett. "So he did push his people and he could get hard to deal with sometimes to be honest with you, but he did it all because he wanted to do a good job and he wanted his people to do a good job."

Read the whole story here.

Why are more firefighters dying of cancer than in the past? 

Researchers say the reason more firefighters are dying of cancer is because of the materials in the properties that they are protecting.  Synthetic materials are toxic and cover the firefighters in formaldehyde, ammonia, and other chemicals.  Firefighters use self-contain breathing apparatuses, but some of these chemicals can be absorbed through the skin.

Perhaps it's time develop some smart technology?

 

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That Time Our Fire Sprinkler Saved Someone's Life.

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On October 24, F.E. Moran Fire Protection got to see their fire protection in action, and it saved someone's life.

Brian Gale, a Superintendent for the Morton office had recently changed the dry pendants at an assisted living facility in Peoria, IL.  The facility had ten year testing and inspections done and failed.  To get the system working, they needed to change out the dry pendants.

Electrical work was being done at the facility after the replacement.  New electrical panels were being installed.  Once installed, they turned on the panel and it blew up and started a fire.

The electrician who turned on the panel was trapped.

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He was caught in a small electrical room with no way out.  He began to pray.

When he looked up, he saw a fire sprinkler head.  He told himself, "If this doesn't go off, I will be dead."  Less than a minute later, it activated.

The sprinkler head went off and the fire was extinguished.  The electrician got out of the room unharmed.

The F.E. Moran Fire Protection fitter showed up a short time later and the electrician thanked him.

Brian Gale said, "It is rare for us to actually hear about the systems that we physically have worked on putting out fires and saving a life.  We hear it on the news occasionally, but I thought this was great."

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VIDEO: Indiana Plant's Deluge Fire Sprinkler Test

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F.E. Moran Fire Protection Northern Illinois completed a deluge fire sprinkler system and the mechanical, alarm, and detection design on a Hammond, IN plant.

Hey, Property Managers - join this NFSA Seminar on Fire Sprinkler Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance

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NFSA's Illinois Chapter and Illinois Fire Inspectors Association is inviting AHJ's Code Officials, NFSA Contractors, and Property Managers to a FREE seminar.

Inspection, Testing, & Maintenance for Building Owners & Managers

Speaker:  Ron Ritchey, NFSA

The seminar will take place on Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 8am to noon at Medinah Banquets.

Did you know?

  • The building owner is the single most important individual in the inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire protection systems.
  • NFPA 25, Standard of Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of water-based fire protection systems contains numerous detailed requirements that are the responsibility of the building owner, yet many building owners are not familiar with these requirements or with the fire sprinkler system in their building.
  • This half-day seminar will provide an overview to fire sprinkler systems and the owner's requirements and limits when it comes to inspection, testing, and maintenance.
  • The seminar will help building owners/managers better understand your local inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) requirements for their fire sprinkler systems.

Interested?  Register by emailing Tinucci@nfsa.org 

Read more about Fire Sprinkler Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance

Three Moran Companies Join Forces on Tenant Buildout

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F.E. Moran (HVAC), F.E. Moran Fire Protection, and F.E. Moran Plumbing have been hired as a team to support the build out of Constellation Brands on Dearborn in Chicago, IL.  

The building is 150,000 square feet.  F.E. Moran will be building out the HVAC, F.E. Moran Fire Protection will be building out the fire sprinklers, and the plumbing department will build out the plumbing on five floors.

How did our HVAC, fire protection, and plumbing divisions get the opportunity to work together again?

Communication is a priority, even before they get the project.

When a project gets on the radar of the Moran Group, they begin communicating immediately.  They begin to discuss if a GC or owner would benefit from a partnership.  

Is this a project that makes sense to partner on? 

How can our partnership positively impact the GC or owner?

Will our partnership make job site coordination easier?

Why did the GC decide to hire the HVAC, fire protection, and plumbing divisions of The Moran Group?

The Moran Group companies begin communicating and coordinating before they even involve the GC.  It takes work off of the GCs plate.  When else can a GC get contractors who are going to pre-communicate and help each other out?  Moran Group companies want each other to succeed, so they work together to make that happen.

Why do Moran Group companies enjoy working together?

Gavin Hansen, Vice President of F.E. Moran Fire Protection Northern Illinois said, "We know each other.  We're a team.  Our focus onsite is to work together to ensure the job flows more efficiently for the GC.  Our goal is to make all divisions succeed."

 

Learn more about Chicago construction projects...

Fire Sprinklers are the Key to Safety in Apartments & Condos

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When it comes to apartment and condo living, there are a lot of things to consider. The pros and cons can be long lists, depending on what a person likes and what might bother them. But one of the biggest issues that some people overlook when deciding whether to live in a condo or an apartment is safety. A large part of that safety is the potential risk of fire, because getting out of a large complex is far different than fleeing a burning home. That's why sprinkler systems are such valuable keys to safety for anyone who lives in a condo or an apartment building.

What Do Fire Sprinklers Offer?

A fire sprinkler system can offer people who live in apartments or condos, whether they rent or buy, two very important things: Increased safety in the case of a fire, and peace of mind.

But not all complexes have fire protection at this level. When there are small apartment buildings that only have a few units, fire suppression through a sprinkler system may not technically be required. Older buildings may also be “grandfathered in,” and not required to have these systems installed. Current code in most locations calls for fire sprinkler systems on larger, newer apartments and condos, though—and it's a good standard to have when looking for places to live, regardless of a place's age.

It depends on the size of the building, its age, and the state, city, or county codes where that building is being constructed. While not always required, though, fire sprinkler systems can definitely make a big difference when it comes to how well a building and its occupants survive a fire. These systems can also go a long way toward protecting people's belongings and lowering insurance rates for the buildings' owners as well.

How Do These Systems Work?

Fire sprinkler systems are installed in the ceilings of buildings, and the sprinkler heads protrude through the ceiling a few inches. They are out of the way and unobtrusive, but they are also strategically placed where they will do the most good and provide the most coverage during a fire. This is to help save lives, but also in an effort to save the building if a fire should break out. Most of these systems are set up to detect heat, so the sprinklers automatically go off if they are triggered.

This can be a problem if the sprinkler heads or other sensitive equipment is not placed correctly, because too much heat from a stove or other appliance could potentially trigger a fire alarm. That's something that engineers and installers work to avoid when they put a fire sprinkler system into a building. It helps reduce the chances that there will be false alarms that can cause a lot of water damage even when there was no fire to put out.

What to Look for Before Signing the Lease or Buying a Unit

When moving into an apartment or condo, potential renters or owners should look to see if there are fire sprinkler systems in place. Asking about these systems is also important, because some are more obvious than others. Additionally, some buildings may have fire suppression in place in common areas but not in individual units, and some may have a mix of older and newer buildings in the complex. It's important to ask about this issue, because there is a difference between having adequate fire sprinklers and only having the bare minimum needed, or none at all in the case of a smaller or older building.

Not Real. ⇩ ⇩ ⇩

Among the best things that buyers and renters alike can do is to work with a good real estate agent when they are looking for a new place to live. This can help them find the apartment or condo they really want and need, and can also keep them more mindful about any issues that are going to be important to their safety, such as fire sprinkler systems (or a lack thereof) in each place they view.

Gary Ashton is the CEO and owner of The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage. His real estate team is #1 in Tennessee, Nashville and now #4 in the world.

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The Story Behind Fire Prevention Week | October 8-14, 2017

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NFPA has been sponsoring Fire Prevention Week since 1922, when it began.  Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health observance.

The first National Fire Prevention Week was October 4-10, 1925, proclaimed by President Calvin Coolidge.  This proclamation began a tradition of the president of the United States signing this proclamation each year to recognize the occasion.

It is recognized each year in memory of the Great Chicago Fire, which began October 8, 1871.  This fire killed 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, and destroyed 17,400 structures.

Let's take a look at the cow that started it all.

Fire investigators determined that the fire did start near Mrs. Catherine O'Leary's barn at 137 Dekoven Street on the southwest side of Chicago.  However, Chicago historian Robert Crombie has helped debunk the rumor that the cow started it.

The legend of Mrs. O'Leary's cow started for a reason.  The Chicago Tribune reporter Michael Ahern published a report that the fire started when a cow kicked a lantern over while being milked.  Ahern didn't name Mrs. O'Leary, but soon it was determined that she was the person in the story.

In 1893, Ahern admitted to making the whole story up, but the story lives on.

Read more about the story behind fire prevention week here.

Check out F.E. Moran Fire Protection's Fire Facts Video

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4-Alarm Warehouse Fire in Baltimore

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Baltimore, Maryland -- On Monday, Baltimore fire crews fought a 4-alarm fire at a warehouse.  

The fire started Monday morning, and covered Baltimore in a plume of smoke.  Firefighters were on the scene overnight.

The call on the fire came in at 6:45am, and 118 firefighters went to the scene with 36 pieces of apparatus.  The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Baltimore Fire Department.  No injuries were reported.

 

The warehouse is 94,000 square feet and owned by a secondhand textile company called Whitehouse and Schapiro LLC.  The warehouse contained toys, clothing, and packing supplies.

The company president, William Schapiro said, "The damage looks extensive and we won't know full extent of it until tomorrow.  Our concerns right now are for our employees...suppliers and customers worldwide.  Finding alternate ways to process our merchandise during the rebuilding of our plant."

Parts of the warehouse roof and wall collapsed.

"This is a very labor intensive situation we have right now," said Roman Clark, spokesman for Baltimore Fire Department.

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5 Blogs to Keep Property Managers at the Top of Their Game

5 Blogs to Keep Property Managers at the Top of Their Game

Property managers are tasked with taking care of an enormous range of responsibilities.  You need to be people-oriented, taking care of your residents.  You need to stay on top of regulations.  You need to be superbly organized, ensuring that units are in move-in condition and maintenance personnel are readily available in case a unit needs fixed.  In short, property managers have a lot of pressure to be on top of a wide range of subjects.  I have compiled a list of the best property manager blogs around.

1.     Appfolio Blog 

Appfolio posts blogs a few times a week on topics such as, leasing processes, renovations, networking events for property managers, growing your team, and much much more.  The topics are timely and relevant.  I, personally, have managed my own properties before, and I found this blog bingeable. 

 

2.     Multifamily Insiders

This blog is in the form of a community forum.  Owners, property managers, and investors share their experiences, advice, and tips for renting a multi-unit property.  They share underserved markets, marketing, and controversies in the market.
 

3.     All Property Management

This blog, updated weekly, has some interesting articles that will get you thinking.  Recent blog posts were on the topics of what to do if you suspect a tenant is dealing drugs, what to do if your tenant goes to jail, and screening factors that SHOULD outweigh the credit score.
 

4.     Property Management Insider 
 

PMI gives great advice on branding your property community, renting to the aging community, technology in property management, and more.  The topics are extremely useful with original topics (such as how an apartment added $2500 a week in revenue by adding a vending machine).
 

5.     Let’s Talk Property Management 

Let’s Talk is geared toward both landlords and property managers.  This site has hundreds of articles on a variety of hot topics in property management – whether it be how to prep for a fall rental, how to attract long-term renters, or educating renters.

Property management can be a tough job.  You are dealing with regulations, the human-touch with landlords and tenants, and property maintenance.  However, these blogs can help you along in the ever-changing landscape of property management.

F.E. Moran provides HVAC for multi-unit and high-rise construction, F.E. Moran Mechanical Services provides HVAC maintenance for multi-unit and high-rise properties, and F.E. Moran Fire Protection Northern Illinois provides fire protection installation, inspection, testing, and maintenance for multi-unit and high-rise properties.

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Hospital Fires: What are the hazards?

hospital fires

In 1929, a Cleveland clinic fire killed 120 people when they ignored NFPA recommendations for storing their x-ray film (made of nitrocellulose).  Several tons were stored in the basement, a few feet away from a heat source.  When nitrocellulose reaches 300 degrees, it turns into an explosive gas.  The heat source caught the film on fire and toxic, explosive gas spread through the floorboards, causing explosions throughout the hospital.

Since 1929, fire and building code has changed a lot in hospitals.  In 1980-1984, data shows that an average of 7,100 hospital fire happened annually with 5 deaths per year.  In the study for 2006-2010, fires in hospitals went down to 1,400 with an average of 1 death per year.

The main reason fires reduced in hospitals so much during this time was smoking being banned from hospitals.  When that ban took effect, fires caused by smoking materials in hospitals went from 35% to 7%. 

Currently, the top causes of fires in hospitals are

·      Electrical Equipment

Hospitals have a lot of electrical equipment, and often have overworked sockets and cables.  They sometimes use extension cords and daisy chain them together, which is a violation.

·      Kitchen Facilities

Fires in kitchen facilities are common because of cooking fats, electrical ovens, toasters and open flames.

·      Cigarette Smoke

While cigarettes are banned in healthcare facilities now, people still sneak them or, while smoking outdoors, don’t properly dispose of them. 

·      Specialized Medical Equipment

Lasers and electrosurgical tools are an ignition hazard, especially near oxygen tanks, surgical clothing, and flammable sterilizing liquids.

A study done on fire code violations in hospitals showed that the top fire safety violations were

·      Extension Cord Daisy Chains

Because of the need to have equipment plugged in, hospitals will use extension cords and daisy chain them together, which is a violation and can cause them to become overheated, sparking a fire.

·      Fire Door Compliance

The Fire Marshal who collected data of the most violations in hospitals said that many fire doors were not closing or latching correctly.  They also had holes in them, which would cause them to no longer be fire proof.

·      Fire Exit Obstructions

Carts, wheel chairs, and medical equipment were found blocking fire exit doors.

 

·      Hand Sanitizers

Alcohol based hand rubs are all over hospitals.  However, they are flammable and need to have a 6-foot breadth between the sanitation station and any ignition sources.

 

·      Gas Cylinders and Medical Oxygen Compliance

Gas cylinders and medical oxygen need to be properly stored and secured.

 

·      Portable Fire Extinguishers

Portable fire extinguishers were missing, obstructed, improperly mounted, previously discharged, past due inspection, improperly signed, or not enough were in the hospital.

From 2009-2013, only 4% of fires went beyond the point of origin thanks to the increase in fire sprinklers.  Today, 79% of hospitals are protected by fire sprinklers and it has greatly reduced the spread of fires and fire-related death in hospitals.

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Trench Safety - Is trench safety being ignored in construction?

Is trench safety being ignored in construction-.jpg

Kansas City -- Last year, D.J. Meyer died in a trench accident while working for a plumbing company.  That company received $700,000 in fines from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA claims that the company seriously and willfully neglected the trench safety rules.  

Jordan Barab, the former deputy assistant secretary of labor for OSHA said this is, "sad and infuriating.  He continued, "Being put in a position to choose between your jobs and your life is not a position anyone should be in."

 

The White House has not appointed a permanent leader for OSHA and this has caused some issues for the department.  OSHA's rule making agenda has been cut in half by the current administration.  On top of these issues, the administration also cut the budget for OSHA.  OSHA is at a point where they are considering rolling back regulations because they don't have the budget to implement them.

What can companies do to keep their workers safe in trenches?

OSHA requires that all trenches have a means to prevent cave-ins by 

  • Sloping or benching - forming an incline on the sides of an excavation.
  • Shoring - Using site built structures made with timbers, planks, or plywood to support the sides of an excavation.
  • Shielding - Using trench boxes or trench shields to prevent the walls from collapsing.

Read more of the trench safety regulations here.

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Infographic: The Ultimate Fire Safety Guide for Young Families

family fire safety

Every twenty-five seconds, a fire department responds to a fire.  That is especially scary when you have children that live in your property.  In fact, 60,000 children die in fire and fire-related events each year.

To keep children safe in your property, make sure all smoke alarms in the complex are working.  In addition, having a clear fire plan is important.  Have the plan posted at all exits.

Residents in apartment buildings can help keep their building safe from fire by always being present when the oven/stove is in use, burning candles safety, professionally repairing appliances with electrical issues, and not smoking in the residence.

See more safety fits in this infographic by Contractor Quotes.

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