How Fire Alarm System Maintenance Helps Prevent False Alarms

If you live in the Bay Area, you know how prevalent wildfires are. And of course, wildfires are a common cause of devastating fires in homes and businesses, they aren’t the ONLY cause. It can be something as simple as a person being careless during cooking and leaving an open fire running.

That’s why fire alarm systems are important. They’re the ones that serve as fire protection for building occupants. 

But did you know that no matter how advanced a fire alarm system may be, they still need to be maintained? Otherwise, you will experience plenty of false alarms. And not only may you be fined plenty of times by officials in the occurrence, you may also not be alerted correctly in the case of real fires.

Want to know more? Then we invite you to keep on reading. This blog article will discuss what false fire alarms are, how they can affect you, how fire inspection in the Bay Area can prevent these false alarms, and why fire alarm systems should be maintained.

 

What is the main purpose of a fire alarm system?

Any fire alarm system has three main purposes:

Purpose 1: To detect fire

A fire alarm system is designed to detect fire via smoke, heat, or both. A good system design should also have manual alarm capability. In case a person sees the fire before smoke or heat reaches the sensor, that person can already trigger the alarm. 

 

Purpose 2: To alert the occupants of the building

When the fire alarm system is triggered by heat or smoke, it will alert occupants via visual and audio alarms. The visual alarms will be bright lights, and the audio alarms will be really loud so that they cannot be ignored. These alarms will signal the occupants that there’s an emergency, so they should follow the evacuation plan of the building.

 

Purpose 3: To notify the fire department and other authorities

Any good fire alarm system that passes the standards of any California fire inspection company should also be set up to notify authorities. That’s to make sure the fire department, as well as ambulances and even police officers are on the way to assist building occupants and to put out the fire before it becomes an even bigger threat.

 

Why are testing and maintenance of smoke detectors and fire alarms so important?

There are two reasons why smoke detectors and fire alarms should always be tested and maintained.

Reason 1: It’s the law.

A fire alarm system must be tested regularly as mandated by the California Fire Code and the current adopted edition of NFPA 72. If you don’t do regular inspections, you will get fined. And we’re sure you don’t want to be regularly losing money as a result of this fine, right?

 

Reason 2: To make sure it works

Remember, fire alarm systems are your first line of defense against fires. If they don’t work, not only might you face property damage but also loss of lives.

Even if the fire alarms never turn on because there’s never a fire, fire alarms should still be inspected to check the integrity of all the parts in the system. That includes checking smoke detectors and even the wiring. 

Of course, one more problem with a poorly maintained system is that it can cause false fire alarms, which can cause a variety of problems.

 

What is a false fire alarm?

Basically, a false fire alarm, also known as an unwanted fire signal, is defined as a the fire alarm going off, but there’s no actual fire that constitutes an emergency. It’s that simple. 

 

Why are false alarms bad?

You might be thinking that false fire alarms aren’t really that bad. Sure, the alarm sounded, but there’s no fire. Isn’t have no fire actually a good thing?

Well, not exactly. False fire alarms have very serious consequences such as:

  • Making the fire department and other essential services go to your location for nothing. What if the false alarm occurs at the same time as a real fire? Lives will be at risk because of the unnecessary delay.
  • Disruption of everyday activities and businesses. People who are working will have to rush out of the building as a response to the fire alarm. False alarms will cause waste of time and loss of income. And if the false alarm happens in a residential area, the lives of the residents will be inconvenienced.
  • Wasted resources and tax money. The fire department (paid for by your taxes) will use up gas and other resources to get to the location of the false alarm.  
  • Complacency. If people get used to false fire alarms, pretty soon, they will not respond to real fire alarms. This consequence is probably the worst that could happen.

 

What causes false fire alarms?

There are many possible triggers of a false fire alarm, such as:

  • Smoke caused by cooking fumes
  • Smoke caused by anything burning like toast
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Steam coming from cooking or ironing of clothes
  • The alarm is not in a recommended area or position of the building (i.e. near the smoking area)
  • Vandalism or damage 
  • The system is being tested but without the center knowing
  • Sudden humidity or temperature changes
  • Candles and incense being near the detector
  • Dust build up on a detector

 

How do you stop false fire alarms?

Well, one way you could stop a false fire alarm is to pretty much turn off the entire system. However, if you keep it off, you will not get alerted in the case of a real fire. That means keeping it off is not a good strategy in the long run.

The best way to stop your fire alarms from going off due to false fires is simply to inspect and to test them regularly to ensure that they work as they should. 

 

How do you get started with fire alarm system maintenance?

Fire alarm systems need to always be up and running at all times to make sure that it serves its purpose in alerting the authorities and occupants of the building in times of danger. Therefore, we don’t suggest doing fire alarm system maintenance by yourself. After all, you may not have the expertise nor the equipment to check the integrity of your fire alarm system.

Instead, what you should do is get the services of some Bay Area fire inspection experts, like us at Fire Alarm Testing Inc. Our expert fire alarm technicians use only the latest equipment to make sure fire alarm systems are running smoothly. 

With over 75 years of experience and presence in the Bay Area, the Fire Alarm Testing Inc. team is one among the most reliable team of fire experts that can ensure that your fire alarm system is at its best. 

Strengthen the reliability of your fire alarm system with us. Through our regular inspection, we ensure that your fire alarm system is maintained accordingly. For more information on our services, call us now at +1(831) 247-9642 or fill out our online form.

We look forward to hearing from you and working with you soon!

Fire Safety Tips for Apartment Buildings in Bay Area, CA

Whether you’re a tenant of an apartment or an owner of a whole apartment building in the Bay Area, you know that fires are devastating. Even if the fire starts in a different apartment, the fire can easily spread to nearby apartment buildings in a matter of minutes, destroying properties and ending lives.

That means more than ever, you should have adequate fire protection in the form of fire alarm systems to start. 

But of course, we shouldn’t just focus on fire protection. The best way to fight fires is to prevent one from starting in the first place. 

And that’s what this article will be about. Not only will we be talking about what you can do for fire protection and safety, but also how to go about preventing any fires from starting.

Let’s get to it!

 

What are the top causes of fires in apartment units?

What usually is the reason for fires occurring in apartment units? According to The National Fire Incident Reporting System or the NFIRS, cooking is the top reason for apartment fires. That’s very understandable since people cook all the time. However, you can always make sure to do the following:

  • Never leave your stove unattended – keep an eye on it at all times. If you have to step out of the kitchen, either have someone guard it for you or turn off the stove.
  • Keep anything that can easily catch fire, like towels, oven mitts, and even food packaging, away from your cooking area.
  • Keep kids out of the kitchen, ESPECIALLY when you’re cooking. You never what antics of theirs may cause a fire.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and make sure you know how to use it. Always make sure it’s filled.
  • Keep cooking equipment as clean as possible. Crumbs, grease, and even dust in and around your appliances are all possible causes of fire.
  • While in your kitchen, make sure to wear clothes that won’t accidentally come into contact with an open fire. In short, wear short sleeves or roll your sleeves up.
  • Let hot oil cool down before disposing of it. It might come into contact with flammable objects.
  • Only use the kitchen or cook if you’re not inebriated.

Appliances are another leading cause of fires in apartments. And it’s not just the kitchen appliances we’re talking about.  It could be the ref, the washing machine, or even the dryer.

The reason for this is simply wear-and-tear from frequent use. So if you feel like your appliances have already served their purpose and need replacing, do it. You’ll be preventing sudden fires from breaking out this way.

And speaking of appliances, make sure also not to plug in too many things in one socket. That might overload that particular socket too much, causing, you guessed it, a fire.

 

Are there any other causes of fire you should be thinking of?

Remember, the Bay Area has what is called a “fire season.” Experts are predicting that this year is going to be the worst fire season ever. And since this is basically nature or an act of God, no fire inspection in the Bay Area can ever prevent it.

However, there are ways you can stay safe and survive, in case these natural fires ever occur in your area. 

  • Prepare for the need to evacuate. Make sure you know where all important documents are, as well as the basic needs of your family such as food, water, communication devices, and money. Also, you should tell your household members where to meet in case you all get separated during the evacuation.
  • Map out an evacuation path. And we don’t just mean the evacuation area of the apartment building. Plan possible walking or driving routes just in case the streets of your apartment get blocked because of the incoming fire.
  • Stay at home. If the fire doesn’t seem to call for you to leave your apartment, don’t. Hole up and stay there until firefighters control the blaze. And in the meantime, don’t go outdoors to preserve your health.
  • Sign up for fire alerts. There doesn’t have to be a fire for you to want to be informed. Your county should have its own alert system. Just sign up online so you can receive either emails or texts regarding your location in case of any emergency situations. 

 

How can you protect your apartment building from fires?

For this section, we’ll look at two categories. The first is if you’re a resident, and the second is if you’re the owner of the apartment building.

 

As a resident

You never know when a fire will occur inside your apartment or building. That means you should not rely on your building administration alone to protect you against fires. Be prepared always by having the following on hand:

  • A fire extinguisher to extinguish fires that occur either in your residence or in your path while evacuating
  • A fire blanket to either extinguish fires or protect yourself from getting burned

And if you can afford to, have a fire alarm system installed in your own home, even if it’s just a smoke detector or heat detector with a sprinkler system. That way, in case the fire does start in your apartment, it can be eliminated before it spreads.

It would also help to memorize the locations of fire extinguishers and any fire alarm triggers in the hallways. You never know, you might end up being the first one to inform everybody of the incident and to alert the authorities. 

 

As the owner of the apartment building

As the owner of the apartment building, you should be responsible. After all, there are plenty of lives on the line in case of a fire. That’s why you should make sure to install the best fire alarm system possible.

A good standard system includes the following:

  • Smoke detectors. These will help detect an unusual amount of smoke coming from anywhere in the building. Make sure to get top-of-the-line ones so that they’re not easily tripped by someone just merely cooking.
  • Fire alarms. Smoke detectors are usually hooked up to fire alarms. After all, even if there are smoke detectors, it’s useless if no one knows about any smoke. Alarms make really loud noises so that residents of the building will know about the smoke buildup.
  • Manual fire alarm boxes. Sometimes, alarms can fail. The smoke detectors won’t work, so the alarms also won’t. That’s why there are manual fire alarm boxes. In case a resident sees any signs of fire, even if the system cannot trigger the alarm, the resident can just activate the alarm using the boxes.

 

Get some Bay Area fire inspection experts to fully secure your apartment building.

We hope these tips help you keep safe against fire. Of course, the best way to really protect an apartment building is to get the expert recommendations of a California fire inspection company, like us at Fire Alarm Testing Inc.

Count on our years of experience and our top-notch fire protection services to help keep your apartment building safer from fires.

Contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you.

How to Prevent Property Loss in a Fire

It can be said that fire is one of the most severe losses your property could face. It is right alongside theft and severe weather occurrences due to climate change. 

With fires in a structure or home occurring every 64 and 89 seconds respectively, the potential for property loss or damage is enormous. It does not only cause billions of dollars in losses and damages but may result in deaths and injuries as well.

That’s why if ever a fire hits your home or a building, there is no time to waste. Fires can move quickly and grow in intensity in a short span of time.

Within 30 seconds, a small flame can become a major fire. It only takes a few minutes for your home or building to immediately be filled with thick black suffocating smoke. Add in a few more minutes and your property can be engulfed in flames. 

Imagine your years of hard work to buy your property going down the drain in just an instant!

That’s why we need to be on guard when it comes to fires. But how exactly can we prevent property loss in case a fire does break out?

Keep reading to find out.

 

Here’s the secret to preventing property loss in the incidence of fire.

There’s no magic bullet when it comes to fire protection and safety. If you want to ensure that you do not lose your property, you have to prevent a fire from occurring as much as possible. 

Of course, there’s no surefire (excuse the pun) way of preventing a fire. No matter how careful you are, a fire can and will happen. It may not be of your own doing, but you can’t be responsible for the actions of other people on your property who are not as careful as you. 

Plus, fires can also happen because of so many outside factors, like too high temperatures or the weather.

And again, while there’s no 100% sure way of preventing a fire, you do have the next best thing: fire protective measures. 

Here are some steps you can take to prevent or minimize property losses.

 

1. Have a fire safety plan in place

Being prepared for the possible occurrence of a fire is a good mindset to have. With this in mind, having a basic fire safety plan is a good first step. People at home or at work should know which exit to proceed to with lighted signs. 

The plan should be made with every possible building occupant in mind, most especially children and the elderly. They may need more assistance in case of a fire. Also, identify at least two exit points to give options in case the fire behaves erratically.

It is also a good idea to have regular fire drills at the office, or even at home. That way, occupants won’t be in the dark about what to do in case a fire does occur.

And since things may not go as how you planned them, it’s also good to have a backup plan in place for extreme fire incidents.

 

2. Have the necessary fire mitigation equipment.

Your home or place of business should have basic fire mitigation equipment as part of your  fire protection measures. These should include fire alarms, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, and fire blankets.

Having this equipment will help you become aware of the initial stages of a fire incident and put them out as soon as possible. That way, the fire won’t have to be one that causes severe damage or loss of lives.

 

3. Have a structural design that slows the spread of fire.

This action should be done before you commence construction of the property. You can actually incorporate fire protection measures in the property design. 

Examples of these are self-closing fire doors since they can withstand the heat of fires for up to three hours, depending on their grade. They’re especially important if you deal with hazardous, flammable chemicals on your property. The same goes for fire dampers that automatically help slow the spread of fire.

You should also be mindful of the duct system that transports heat, ventilation, and cool air from air conditioning. In a fire, this system can help smoke, heat, and flames to travel from one room to the next, making the fire spread faster.

And of course, make sure that the building design actually follows fire codes for your protection. It’s best to talk to your architect about these things before you approve a design.

 

4. Follow fire safety protocols.

Your home or building should have a fire safety protocol as part of its fire safety measures. This includes regularly cleaning up dust and debris which can easily ignite even from small embers. Good housekeeping is not just for aesthetic purposes, it is also a fire prevention measure that can easily be done.

You should also be mindful of where you store your flammable liquids and gases. There are suitable containers for these types of materials to withstand extreme heat and flames in a fire. 

 

5. Get a regular inspection of your fire safety equipment.

Have your fire alarms and sprinkler heads regularly inspected to make sure that they are working properly. Also, have your fire extinguishers regularly checked to ensure they have the right amount of chemicals inside to put out fires.

You do not want these fire safety equipment to conk out just when it is needed most. A busted fire alarm or sprinkler is of no use and value to homeowners.

 

Fire prevention is always better than damage or loss

If you are responsible and proactive, you can save yourself, your property occupants, and your properties from devastating fire losses. Yes, fire prevention takes a lot of work and careful planning. But once these fire prevention measures are in place, you can breathe easier, knowing that these measures provide you with a level of assurance against unwanted fire incidents.

It is always better to think ahead and work hard on preventing disasters from happening, instead of being reactive to fires.

 

Prevent loss with Fire Alarm Testing Inc.

Fires are unexpected occurrences, but there is a certain level of control over the damage or loss that they can cause. You do not have to be at their mercy at all. 

If you need to consult with experts about preventing fires and their resulting damages or losses, we at Fire Alarm Testing Inc. are here for you. We are a California fire inspection company that cares for your home’s safety and that of your place of business. We provide you with experience-based information that conforms to standards and regulations.

We are proud of our solid reputation as Bay Area fire inspection experts. Our pool of trained, friendly, and experienced technicians can provide you with the information and other services that you need. We offer the best services for fire inspection in the Bay Area and testing.

If you are looking to prevent property loss through proactive planning and preparation, contact us today! Let’s discuss how best we can help you protect your property from fire.

 

We look forward to hearing from you!

The Top 8 Fire Safety Hazards for Bay Area Banks & Financial Buildings

The United States has gone through plenty of the most devastating fire seasons in the past decade.  An average of 6.54 million acres were ravaged by fires from 2010 to 2019. This has resulted in billions of dollars in losses. 

California has definitely not been spared losses due to fires. 1.3M fires were reported in the state in 2020. Also in 2020, a total of 4.2 million acres of land from north to south including highly populated areas were affected. 

Non-residential structure fires accounted for 8% of fires reported, causing 100 civilian deaths and 1,100 injuries, and $3.4B in property losses. 

These figures, while staggering, actually represent a significant decrease in the number of fires reported,  deaths and injuries, and property damage or losses. This is due to the heightened fire-preparedness and standards. 

However, with California about to experience hotter years ahead, it is projected that the fire season will become full-year and more intense.

 

What is the impact of fires on banks and financial institutions?

Believe it or not, California banks and financial institutions are very much affected by violent wildfires.  They have to have very good fire protection measures to ensure they are prepared for an intense fire season scenario.

Regulators are now looking into a bank’s fire disaster plan. The area of inquiry is how banks and financial buildings can continue to operate during a disaster, fires included. They want to make sure that bank branches and financial buildings, as well as their customers, are safe. 

The impact of fires on bank assets – people and buildings and the resources in it – can be devastating. Imagine having to deal with burnt money, melted gold, and the loss of lives. That’s not really something anyone would want to deal with.

 

What are the top fire safety hazards for banks and financial buildings?

Part of a bank’s fire disaster plan is knowing its areas of vulnerability to fires. The eight items below are some of the most common fire safety hazards for any bank.

  • The fire alarm system of the institution is not present or is not regularly checked if it is working.
  • There is a fire alarm system, but it is inadequate. When we say inadequate, the fire alarm, fire extinguishers, and sprinklers are not located in strategic areas in the buildings.
  • There are no proper fireproofing insulation and clean agent suppression tools.
  • The building design can also be a factor since some can prevent fire responders from accessing critical areas in your bank.
  • Bank safety features that secure resources such as financial items may not provide as much protection against fires. For example, super secure safes may not allow for a quick response time in case of any fire accidents.
  • The fire protection system may be high-end or may be the best, but the system doesn’t work with the design of the building itself. For example, walls are too thick, preventing infrared systems from detecting heat sources.
  • There is a lack of fire safety plans and measures for the building in the event of a fire. That’s also due to having not-so-good fire inspections.
  • There is no fire safety checklist.

 

How can banks secure their assets against fires?

Here are some ways banks can protect themselves, their employees, their assets, and their customers against fires.

 

Banks should conform to California building codes.

Check if the bank was constructed before the updated building code was put in place. If it is, you may have to check if your bank or financial building, especially its vulnerable areas and spaces, conforms to the latest building code. Otherwise, you might be facing a lot of problems in case a fire occurs.

Changes have been made to increase safety standards for new buildings. This includes ensuring that a building’s roofing, attic ventilation, exterior walls, decking floors, and other areas are up to standard. As a result of heightened structural fire safety, deaths and property damage or loss have declined over the years.

If it means the building has to be renovated to meet the codes, it should be done. Paying for renovations, repairs, and code violations is the least of your worries if a fire breaks out.

 

Find out the fire hazard severity zone of your immediate area.

There have been studies undertaken to analyze an area’s risk for fires. If your bank or financial building is located in an area of business with a very high fire hazard severity, then your vulnerability to fires is above normal. 

Measures should be in place to mitigate the damage that may be caused by a fire. Make sure that your place of business is as fire-proof as possible. Consult with your local fire marshalls or get the services of a fire protection company.

 

Bank officials or officers must have a working knowledge of the Bay Area Fire Plan.

Before installing fire prevention measures in your bank or financial building, you must be familiar with the Bay Area Fire Plan and its local hazard mitigation plan. These plans take into consideration the following elements in a particular area:

  • Ignition history
  • Historic fires
  • Asset attributes
  • Hazard layer

 

Develop a good working relationship with key stakeholders such as the fire safety councils and fire departments in your area. These networks are good sources of reliable information for updates on fire prevention and mitigation measures.

 

Find out the building’s vulnerability to fire.

One of the questions you need to ask is your bank’s vulnerability to fire. Some construction materials used in the making of your building are more resistant to fires. However, some design methods in your building may actually result in more fire hazards.

Therefore, it is important that you are familiar with your building’s attributes. For example, buildings with wood roofs and exposed eaves are more vulnerable to fires.

 

Be safe and secure with Fire Alarm Testing Inc.

Being prepared for fires is one of the most important initiatives your bank and financial building can undertake. That’s especially given the possibility of year-long and more intense fire seasons in California.

As a responsible professional, you know the value of seeking professional assistance for fire inspection in the Bay Area. You would want to ensure that the level of safety and protection for your banks’ structural assets against the threat of fires is very good. 

If you need a fire protection company, look no further than us at Fire Alarm Testing Inc. We are a California fire inspection company that can provide your bank with a high degree of fire safety and protection. Our company specializes in providing top-notch and reliable fire alarm system with our expert testing and monitoring services. 

Our team is made up of highly skilled and trained Bay Area fire inspection experts with one goal in mind – to keep your bank and financial building safe and secure. We have worked hard in establishing a solid track record in ensuring the reliability and worthiness of the fire alarm systems that we test and monitor.    

Make your bank, building, and business secure and protected against fires. Talk to us, and let us work together to fully secure your bank.

Fire Safety & Prevention Tips for Bay Area Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities

When it comes to preventing fire incidents, there is no room for mistakes, wherever the location may be. This includes public spaces where extra safety measures are taken to ensure the safety of the general public, such as hospitals and healthcare facilities, being just one of the most frequented places by people. It requires extra precaution since most of the occupants of the buildings have special medical needs, where some are even bed-ridden, making the whole evacuation process risky and even life-threatening. 

It is only rightful that stricter rules are imposed, and if you are a healthcare facility owner or manager, you may find this post helpful in ensuring the safety of your facility and its occupants. We have listed some of the most important fire prevention tips that can effectively exercise safety in your facility.

 

Have a fire evacuation plan

It is a must for commercial buildings to have a well-mapped fire evacuation plan in case an emergency breaks out. Apart from considering all logistical aspects, you should also take note of delegating and training fire wardens who can assist in case a fire emergency does break out in the facility. Training should be regular, as well as holding a fire drill so everyone can practice on what to do should an actual fire breakout.

 

Keep a smoke-free healthcare facility as much as possible

Smoking can just be one of the many sources of a fire incident. When not disposed of properly, it can either ignite fire or cause an explosion just by reacting with something combustible. If smoking cannot be avoided, it is best to have a designated smoking area outside the building premises and make sure that there are proper disposal areas for cigarette butts to prevent triggering of fire incidents. Likewise, the area should be open so that the smoke will not be trapped.

 

Be extra mindful and cautious when handling flammable chemicals

Flammable chemicals are present in healthcare facilities, such as oxygen supplies, which are abundant. When not handled properly, these flammable chemicals could start a fire. For instance, patients on or anyone who is nearby oxygen tanks who smoke must be avoided. It’s vital that they are informed and educated on the impending dangers it can cause for everyone. 

This also includes proper disposal of any hazardous waste. Make sure to have a segregation system to ensure that flammable items are disposed somewhere else safer. 

 

Monitor kitchen use and electrical outlet

Let’s face it – the kitchen and electrical wiring are just some of the most common sources of a potential fire accident, especially when not used in proper condition. Check for any faulty parts and lines and if spotted, make sure to have them repaired or replaced at the soonest time possible. 

 

Make sure your fire alarm system is functional and up to date

It is vital for fire alarm systems to be up to date in order to ensure accuracy and functionality. Your system will be the one to alert authorities in a timely manner in case of a fire emergency. So make sure that they are properly installed and are functioning accordingly. You can seek help from professional fire technicians to ensure proper installation.

This includes fire extinguishers. You can consider training your staff during a fire prevention training or seminar with regards to proper usage of the said device to make sure that it is used effectively. 

 

Conduct a regular routine for fire maintenance check-ups with Fire Alarm Testing Inc.

Fire Alarm Testing Inc. has been around the Bay Area for over 20 years in the Bay Area, and has since been equipped with some of the most skilled teams of fire experts and professionals. We are also equipped with the latest technology that will help combat fire problems. Part of our offered services includes routine fire inspections, fire alarm monitoring, and fire alarm maintenance. 

As an organization that promotes fire prevention, we make sure to live by our oath to keep the Bay Area community as well as its surrounding areas safe and sound. Together, we believe that we can work hand in hand in making this happen. We are happy to hear from you and are ready to assist you in any way we can.

For bookings and inquiries about our services, feel free to visit our website or call us at +1 (831) 247-9642.

How to Avoid the Most Common Fire Safety Violations in Bay Area, CA

Every structure, whether residential or business, is at risk for the possibility of a fire breaking out. With this risk comes the potential of property damages, injuries, and loss of lives. Property loss from fires in 2020 alone stood at US$32.43 billion. And around 48 people deaths and 32 injuries are reported daily due to home fires.

For fire protection purposes, inspections are regularly conducted to detect fire hazards and risks in the facility so that these can be addressed by homeowners or employers. Fire inspection also ensures that local, state, and federal regulations or fire codes are adhered to.

What do Fire Inspectors look for during inspections?

During an inspection, fire inspectors usually look for the safety systems that are in place. These consist of checking if there are fire alarm systems, if the fire alarm works, and if there are fire extinguishers in strategic places within the facility.

Fire inspectors will also check for passive fire protection systems such as lighted exit signs, working exit doors, clar evacuation plans, and if there are measures that prevent a fire from spreading in a structure.

In addition to safety systems, fire inspectors also look for fire hazards in the facility, including the possible starting points for fires. They will also check if responders will have access to the facility in case of a fire. 

 

And if you fail to satisfy fire inspectors or pass the safety standards, you’ll be fined, or worse, jailed for a misdemeanor. Not exactly appealing to you, right?

What are the most common fire safety violations? 

Some of the most common fire safety violations reported by inspectors are (but not limited to) the following:

 

  • Broken or empty fire extinguishers
  • Non-functioning fire alarms and detectors
  • Blocked passageways and exit doors
  • Non-visible emergency exits
  • Extension cords that are too full
  • Wrong storage of flammable materials
  • Bad ventilation
  • Non-functional sprinkler valves

How do you avoid the most common fire safety violations?

If you’re a landlord or a business owner, you do not need to wait for fire inspectors to point out common fire safety violations. Be proactive! Do the following so that you won’t get fined or penalized. 

Regular check-ups and testing of fire protective equipment

To ensure that fire extinguishers, fire alarms and smoke detectors work especially when a fire breaks out, a regular check-up or testing should be conducted. We do not want to find ourselves in the middle of a fire only to learn that the fire extinguisher is broken, or that the fire alarms failed to go off and warn people that there is a fire.

Free up movement of people during evacuation

Your exit doors are there for a purpose: to allow people to move freely out of an establishment during emergencies, including fires. Imagine a rush of people quickly heading out during an evacuation and trying to see what hinders them from doing so. Go around your facility and make sure that these emergency exit doors are not blocked by office furniture, deliveries, supplies, or worse, locked. Make sure also that those doors are easy to open. 

Ensure the visibility of exit signs at all times 

When a throng of people needs to get out of a building immediately, they only have seconds to look for cues or signs that will point them in the direction of where the exit doors are. Make sure that the exit signs are visible, that they will light up during a fire, and that exits are clearly marked to facilitate quick decision-making.

Reduce any electrical hazards

Make sure that the use of extension cords is temporary in nature. They are not meant to permanently be the solution to electrical plugging issues. Also, make sure that your appliances, gadgets, and anything that requires electricity is properly plugged into the main outlets. 

Identify the different sources of heat 

Any activity within a structure that requires heat or fire such as cooking or heating must be identified. Regularly check areas where cooking or heating takes place and make sure that the area is clean and is not cluttered. 

And when cooking is ongoing, always attend to the chore at hand. It is not uncommon for people to go get something while cooking, only to forget that they’re cooking in the first place. This is a fire risk that must be avoided.

Put flammable materials in an area that is safe

It is important that flammable materials in a structure are identified, especially the highly flammable ones. If these materials are necessary for work operations, keep storage at the minimum volume to keep the business in operations. 

But if they need to be stockpiled, make sure that the materials are not located near any exit doors to ensure the safety of people immediately evacuating from a building. Also ensure that they are not stored near open fires or areas where heat comes from. 

Keep an emergency safety officer in your establishment at all times

Having emergency officers in your workplace is a good safety measure to take. These emergency officers can be trained to operate a fire extinguisher, sound the fire alarm, lead the way when people are evacuating, and call emergency numbers when needed. They can also act as internal inspectors to make sure that fire codes and standards are adhered to.

Adhere to fire safety measures with Fire Alarm Testing Inc.

Homeowners or business owners in the Bay Area can stay several steps ahead in making their residence or place of business safe from fires. They can do this by having a certain level of awareness of fire codes, standards, or regulations to ensure that their homes or workplaces meet the requirements for fire safety and readiness. This is also to prepare for the required inspections.

Fire safety inspection are an important way to ensure safety at home and in places of business. It creates a safer place for residents, employees, or customers. It also ensures job security in businesses as 4 out of 5 businesses fail to get back into operations after a fire.

The services that Bay Area fire inspection experts provide in fire-proofing your home or business is a valuable proposition for anyone who is serious about minimizing fire risks and hazards. Our highly trained and expert technicians at Fire Alarm Testing Inc. conduct fire inspections in the Bay Area including fire alarm monitoring. We will make sure that you are ready in the event of a fire. Foremost for us is to help minimize the risk of fires breaking out for you, your home, and your workplace.

Fire Alarm Testing Inc. is a California based fire inspection company that takes great pride in the reputation that we have built in testing and monitoring fire alarm systems. We take our work and the services that we provide very seriously, as lives and properties are at stake. Our main goal at Fire Alarm Testing Inc. is to always ensure the well-being of our community and your safety.

Talk to us, and see how we can best serve and protect you. We look forward to working with you and keeping you safe and sound from fires.

The Top 8 Fire Protection Tips for Your Bay Area Restaurant

Now that pandemic lockdowns are pretty much over, customer influx in restaurants is definitely heating up in the Bay Area. San Francisco, one of the top food cities in the world, has over 4,000 restaurants. That’s about 1 Bay Area restaurant for every 100 individuals!

Of course, that also means 4,000 possible fire hazards. Since there is cooking being done, there are always fires. And the majority of restaurant fires happen in the kitchen! Open flames, induction cookers with hot surfaces and deep fryers combined with the presence of flammable materials, full grease traps, and the frenzy of activity and clutter inside the kitchen are ingredients for a fire accident waiting to happen.

Any single fire accident can result in millions of dollars worth of property damage, along with serious injuries and the loss of lives. 

If you’re a restaurant owner, what fire protection measures should you take to ensure the safety of your employees and your clients in case a fire does break out? Read on for our eight tips (in no particular order) to protect your restaurant and its occupants!

1. Have clearly marked fire exits.

In the event of an immediate evacuation due to a fire, one of the most important measures is to have exits clearly marked and accessible to customers, service crew, and kitchen staff. As much as possible, there must be more than one exit for customers in the dining area and for kitchen crew in the kitchen area. 

Make sure that exit signs are visible, even in the event of thick smoke filling the area. Make sure as well that the exits will not be blocked by tables, chairs, kitchen equipment, and stored ingredients to allow people to quickly get out of the establishment. And of course, make sure that the doors are easy to open in case of any emergency.

2. Have a good fire alarm system.

Having fire alarm systems in restaurants is a good fire protection measure in a restaurant. It allows both customers and kitchen crews to know that there is a fire, and respond by vacating the premises while the fire is still small.

Fire alarm systems may be a combination of any of the following: 

  • Smoke detectors
  • Sprinklers
  • A loud fire alarm
  • Heat detectors
  • Strobe lights for the hard of hearing or deaf people

These devices help detect fires, sound the alarm, and send out an emergency call to the fire department. 

Of course, make sure that your restaurant has a sufficient power supply to power not only your appliances and equipment but also your fire alarm system!

3. Make a fire safety checklist.

 Make fire prevention and protection part of your restaurant’s daily routine operations. That means making sure of the following:

  • Your equipment is running well, which lessens the probability of fire accidents
  • There are no fire hazards lying around in the kitchen
  • Fire exit lights are well lit, and fire exit doors are easy to open
  • Anything else you can think of that could be the cause of accidental fires

4. Ensure that your kitchen has proper ventilation.

Since most fires start in the kitchen, it is imperative that the risks and hazards of kitchen fires are addressed. Ensuring proper ventilation, especially for grease-laden vapors is necessary to minimize the risk of a fire breaking out. Remember, with proper ventilation, heat is less likely to be trapped for long in the kitchen. That means sudden fires will be less probable. In short, don’t scrimp on this!

5. Conduct regular inspections of your fire extinguishers.

The proper maintenance and monthly inspection of fire extinguishers is required by the OSHA and NFPA. This is to ensure that the equipment is in order. Make sure the gauge is full, the hose is in place and still structurally good, and the pin is secure. 

Most importantly, remember that kitchen extinguishers must be K-class. These are extinguishers that are especially designed for grease fires, and are different from the regular extinguishers found in other areas of the restaurant. You cannot replace K-class kitchen extinguishers with regular extinguishers.

6. Have your kitchen hood cleaned regularly.

While regulations only require kitchen hoods to be cleaned twice a year, a more frequent cleaning cycle is desirable. Frequent cleaning prevents the build-up of grease and debris in the kitchen hood. This in turn will minimize the likelihood of fire originating from the kitchen hood.

7. Hold fire safety training for your employees.

Employee training on fire prevention and safety is an important measure. When a fire breaks out in your restaurant, employees should already know what to do to avoid panic among restaurant patrons. Assigning specific roles to restaurant personnel is a good way of covering all the bases in case of a fire. They must be aware of the evacuation plan and where to lead customers so that they are all safe. A staff member can also be assigned to call 911 once a fire starts while another one can be assigned to turn off the gas valve or kill all electric power.

Employees must also be trained to use fire extinguishers to at least help stave off the fire while waiting for the fire department to arrive.

8. Have your alarm system inspected regularly.

Your fire alarm system will not be of any use to you if it is not working properly. Make sure to have it inspected regularly by fire alarm experts, whether it is just a fire alarm that’s loud, or if it include sprinklers, smoke detectors, heat detectors, and so on.

And of course, always secure the services of a licensed technician for repair or maintenance work to be safe! You don’t want to be inspected by just anyone – that will put your business and lives at risk, right?

Keep your restaurant protected with Fire Alarm Testing Inc.

Your restaurant business should be about great food, comfortable ambiance, and the safety and protection of your customers from unexpected events such as a fire. Minimize the risk of accidental fires by following our tips and of course by complying with local, state, and federal codes, standards or regulations. 

If you need professional assistance for fire inspection in the Bay Area, we at Fire Alarm Testing Inc. may just be what you are looking for. Our team of highly skilled and trained Bay Area fire inspection experts are armed with the latest equipment to help protect your business through fire alarm testing and monitoring. We are proud of our reliable track record in ensuring the reliability and worthiness of the fire alarm systems that we test and monitor.    

As a California fire inspection company, we take your restaurant’s safety and that of your customers to heart. We know how important your business is to you. Allow us to take care of your business by ensuring its fire safety and protection through a working and reliable fire alarm system with our expert testing and monitoring services.

 We are here for you. Give us a call and let us work together to keep your restaurant business safe and protected from fire. 

We look forward to working with you soon!

Fire Safety: Must-Haves for Your First-Aid Kit This 2022

Fire is one of the most common risks that homes or business establishments may encounter. Not convinced? Well, consider this: a fire breaks out in a home every 89 seconds. That’s about 16 home fires a day! And these result in nearly 48 deaths and 32 injuries due to home fires per day.

 

Also, nearly 9% of fires in offices, stores, restaurants, and health care facilities are caused by electrical problems. And if your place of business has equipment related to cooking and heating, that figure jumps to about 40%. The presence of heating or smoking materials also leaves your home or establishment vulnerable to fires.

 

Fire safety is therefore a must in all homes and areas of business. Businesses usually install fire alarm systems to protect the establishment. And it also wouldn’t hurt if you have a fire alarm system installed in your home.

 

But aside from fire-proofing your home or business establishment, what are the other ways that you can prepare in case of a fire?

 

Well, it’s best to plan for the worst scenarios, and that includes someone getting hurt during a fire. And that means you should have a first aid kit that is specifically for fire-related wounds or injuries and for fire protection.

What is a first aid kit for fire safety?

A fire safety first aid kit is a collection of supplies put together either in a portable bag or box that you may need for your home or place of business in case a fire breaks out. Unlike a regular first aid kit, as mentioned above, a fire safety first aid kit’s contents are used to treat fire-related injuries. Examples of these are cuts, scrapes, or bruises that you may get while trying to escape a fire. 

Of course, your kit should also be able to treat worse fire-related conditions such as burns and smoke inhalation. And speaking of smoke inhalation, your kit should also contain supplies that will protect you from breathing smoke in as you clear the premises. A fire safety first aid kit should also contain materials that will protect you and prevent severe injuries or loss of life when a fire has spread throughout your home or establishment.

Why do I need a first aid kit as part of fire safety?

Even if generally the first instinct of people is to get out of the building during a fire, it is not uncommon for people to sustain injuries. Given this, there should be a first aid kit accessible in the area where people are safe from fires.

 

Aside from it being portable, it should also be identifiable and easily accessible, whether while a person escapes the fire or immediately after for treatment. 

What items should be in a fire safety first aid kit?

Items to protect you against fire

Here are some items that are a must-have in your fire safety first aid kit, as these can help protect you against fires or escape from them:

 

  • Fireproof blanket. A fireproof blanket is a flame-resistant material that can be used to either extinguish a small fire by putting the blanket over the flame or as protection by wrapping the blanket around you as you evacuate during a fire. There are commercially available high-grade fireproof blankets that are packaged small enough not to take up too much space in your fire safety first aid kit.
  • Flashlight. Fires tend to trigger loss of electricity. You may not be able to see where you need to go. Rescuers may also not be able to see you if there are no lights. A flashlight that’s powerful is your best bet to seeing and being seen.
  • Fire-resistant or fire-retardant cloth. Smoke inhalation can be deadly, so make sure you protect yourself by putting this cloth over your mouth and nose as you escape.
  • Whistle. The whistle is for rescue purposes, in case you find yourself trapped during a fire and need to call the attention of firefighters to help them locate you.

Items for treating minor injuries

 Items that are used for taking care of minor injuries are the following:

 

  • Antibiotic ointment. This ointment helps prevent infections of wounds that you might get as you escape the fire. You can also use this to prevent infection of burn wounds and keep the burnt area or areas moist. Of course, make sure to clean the wounded area with soap and water before applying the ointment.
  • Aloe vera gels. Aloe vera is a medicinal plant used to treat burns. Its soothing, moisturizing, and cooling properties is beneficial for healing burn wounds. There are aloe vera gels that are commercially available in drugstores or retail stores. 
  • Gauze pads and scissors. Burns from a fire are painful and leave your skin prone to infection. And while cleaning your wound with soap and water and applying antibiotic ointment may be the first line of treatment for your injury, covering it with a non-adhesive gauze pad will help protect it from further infection. Make sure it’s non-adhesive so the pad doesn’t stick to the wounded skin, which is very painful. The gauze also helps absorb the fluid from your burn to keep the wound area as dry as possible. Don’t forget to include scissors so that you can cut up the gauze pad to the size that is exact for the wound since the gauze pad is hard to rip apart with your hands.

A reminder about treatment

Once the injury has been treated, expect to feel pain, especially in the wound area. Have a pain reliever in your first aid kit to temper the discomfort, pain, or inflammation from your wound. While waiting for the medical team to arrive to further treat any injuries due to the fire, you can deal with the pain by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, which you should also include in the fire safety first aid kit.

 

Also, remember that this is just the initial treatment. It is best that a licensed medical professional make an assessment of your condition. They can administer better treatment, especially if you have severe injuries.

Prepare your business with Fire Alarm Testing Inc. in San Francisco.

With nearly 3,000 fires happening on a daily basis, it is important that your home or place of business is kept safe from fires, or is prepared for one. A fire has the potential to damage properties and can also cause injuries or result in the loss of lives.

 

With so much on the line, it is best to look for Bay Area fire inspection experts to help keep your place of business prepared for and safe in case a fire breaks out. Go for a California fire inspection company that you know you can rely on for fire inspection in the Bay Area: Fire Alarm Testing Inc.

 

We have the most reliable fire inspection and testing personnel and fire alarm monitoring systems and equipment to keep you, your family, your community, and your business safe and worry-free. 

 

Contact us today and let’s get started in keeping your homes and places of business safe from fires. We look forward to hearing from you!

Fire Safety: How To Place and Maintain Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are known to be one of the most essential tools when it comes to preventing fire. When installed properly, it will send the sound of the alarm when it detects the hint of smoke that usually comes in the form of small particles in the air. This is why it’s very important that they are functional and maintained properly in order to maximize their usage, especially since they are greatly needed in times of emergency. After all, smoke alarms can save lives and can reduce injuries and casualties. 

 

As we are an organization that advocates for fire prevention, here are some helpful tips to remember when it comes to installing and maintaining smoke alarms. Take note that these apply to both residential and commercial properties.

 

Make sure your smoke alarm units have passed a recognized laboratory testing

 

This is to ensure that your smoke alarm unit is authentic and functional. A fake or low-quality unit has a higher chance of becoming dysfunctional, which may lead to being ineffective in managing your smoke alarm systems in your place. It may end up giving you the wrong signal or may not even work at all. So when buying your smoke alarm unit, make sure that they have passed a recognized laboratory testing and come from a high-quality production. 

 

Take note of your smoke alarm’s installation date and make sure it is up to date

A smoke alarm system is known to last for as long as 10 years upon its installation date. There are at least two types of known smoke alarms: photoelectric and ionization. Each has a different way of detecting smoke. Photoelectric, for instance, can easily detect smoke that is coming from smoldering fires, while ionization can easily catch fires in the form of flames.

 

Make sure to be familiar with the functionality of your smoke alarm system and test it regularly. This will be helpful for maintenance purposes and you will be able to detect if there is anything that may need to be repaired or replaced at the soonest time possible.

 

Install your alarm at a spot where it can easily detect smoke

 

Having a centralized area where you can place your smoke alarm system will make it effective and safe for your residence or place of business. Ideally, it is best to place at least one smoke alarm per level. At your homes, for example, it is recommended to install your smoke alarm at a place that can be heard from outside your bedroom. Think of it as an added fire protection safety measure, since you become extra vulnerable in case a fire emergency breaks out in the middle of the night while you’re asleep. 

 

Make sure that your smoke alarms are interconnected

 

Your entire smoke alarm system is meant to be interconnected to effectively notify you of an emergency. When one alarm goes off, the rest should follow. You can just imagine how loud that must be and it is designed to be that way in order to promptly get your attention to start evacuation. If you notice that something seems amiss in the flow of your alarm system, make sure to have it checked or repaired right away.

 

Increase your fire protection measures with Fire Alarm Testing Inc in the Bay Area

 

With years of expertise in fire protection and safety, you can count on Fire Alarm Testing Inc. to do the job for you! We have built a solid reputation as the Bay Area Fire Inspection Experts. When it comes to a reliable team of fire experts, we are your people.  Together, we want to work with the community in keeping your neighborhood a safe place to be in by ensuring that your fire alarm system is in order and functioning properly. Our services include the like of Fire Inspections and Fire Alarm Monitoring, as well as being equipped with the latest technology equipment and highly skilled and trained technicians. You can count on our team’s ability to get the job done. We believe that transparency is key in any partnership, and as your fire fighter partners, we believe that it is in our duty to let you know what may still be working and what will need to be replaced at a reasonable price.

 

Should you find your curiosity piqued for what we have to offer, you may visit out website or call us at +1 (831) 247-9642.

How Can Your Business Be Prepared For Fire?

Just like residential spaces, your place of business matters just as much when it comes to establishing fire safety. As we all know by now, fire is destructive and can put yourself, your neighbors, and your belongings at high risk. The importance of fireproofing your place is, without a doubt, one thing to keep in mind at all times. 

 

As an advocate of fire protection, we have listed down some of the main key steps when it comes to preparing your business for fire protection.

 

Have a fire evacuation escape plan

 

Areas that make a good emergency exit are already being identified by architects and engineers at the beginning of the construction of the site. It takes crafting a good strategy to be able to execute a feasible fire escape plan. Offices and buildings have a fire evacuation plan installed in their vicinity in case of an emergency. In fact, this is actually a requirement by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for every business operating in the area. This requires careful and thorough planning by knowing the ins and outs of your building and must adhere to the OSHA guidelines and best practices. 

 

Maintain and upgrade your fire equipment if needed

 

Part of having a fire emergency evacuation plan is having fire equipment installed in the vicinity. These come in the form of fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and detectors to name a few. Make sure that they are all up to date and functional. Anything that is faulty or non-functional should be replaced immediately. A regular and timely fire inspection also comes in a high recommendation as this is when you will be able to instantly check if all your equipment is in the right order and functioning accordingly.

 

Proper training is required when it comes to handling fire equipment, so make sure that your team members know how to operate one in case an emergency breaks out.

 

Conduct regular fire drills and train building occupants

 

As part of the OSHA guidelines and your established fire evacuation escape plan, you should include conducting regular fire drills and training among occupants and team members. The thing about fire incidents is that they happen unexpectedly. Conducting a fire drill will help the occupants become familiar with what to do should there be an actual fire. Over time, this will help occupants move faster and determine where evacuation sites are. Likewise, this will help fire wardens determine what may need improvement on the current evacuation plan. It is highly encouraged for these drills to be taken seriously and with much urgency. An unexpected fire drill is recommended to be done once in a while, as it is believed to catch your staff off-guard, and from there you will be able to gauge their readiness and what may need improvement.

 

Practice proper disposal of hazardous and flammable materials

 

Depending on the nature of business, some offices tend to have hazardous and flammable materials around, and if not disposed of or handled properly, this may just be the spark of a big fire. It is important that such materials are disposed of properly. This means having a designated trash bin for such materials. Make sure that any flammable and hazardous materials are stored properly, away from direct sunlight and high temperature. 

 

Protect your establishment from fire with Fire Alarm Testing Inc. in San Francisco

 

Unless you’re talking about love or romance, you really wouldn’t want to keep the flame alive in any way. When it comes to fire management, it’s best to leave it to the hands of the expert, just like us here at Fire Alarm Testing Inc. Located in the Bay Area, we are well-known for our reputation in conducting fire inspections and being well-equipped with the latest technology that will enable us to prevent any fire incident from spiraling out of control. We also have skilled and well-trained technicians that will assist and guide you during fire inspections in your building.

 

As firefighters who wish nothing else but to keep the community safe for everyone, we take pride in our high-quality services such as our Fire Inspections and Fire Alarm Monitoring. Together, we will help make sure your fire alarm systems are up to date and functioning. We understand the importance of this not only in residential spaces but also in commercialized areas, particularly businesses. This will protect both you, your employees, and your entire business in general.

 

Should you be interested to know more about our offerings and services, feel free to connect with us at +1 (831) 247-9642.