All posts by CJ Suppression

The Paradise Fire Sets off Alarm Bells for Peninsula and Carmel Valley Residents | Corona, CA

By Pam Marino – Monterey Country Now

Shortly after the massive destruction and death toll of the Camp Fire in Paradise became known to the world in early November, the phones started ringing in Monterey County Supervisor Mary Adams’ office. Nerves were rattled among people living on the Monterey Peninsula and in Carmel Valley, and they wanted to know what was being done to prevent a similar disaster in their neighborhoods.

For some, the 1987 Morse Fire in Pebble Beach – which consumed about 160 acres and 31 structures, doing $18 million in damage – still resonates. An investigation later blamed lots of dry fuel in the forest during a drought year, winds coming off the ocean and from the east and wood-shingled rooftops covered in pine needles.

That day in May 1987, the weather conditions were just right, says Monterey Fire Chief Gaudenz Panholzer. The Peninsula’s fog and mild weather generally help minimize the risk of wildfires as deadly as the Camp Fire or 2017 Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa, Panholzer adds, “but once in awhile we have dry hot days. Those are the days we all sweat bullets as firefighters.”

Weather is one factor in the spread of wildfires. Another is the accumulation of dry brush, dead wood and nonnative plants, which the area has plenty of, Panholzer says. It’s what has residents worried, as one Carmel resident who lives along Pescadero Canyon told the Carmel City Council in January. With homes lining one side of the forested canyon across from Pebble Beach, he said, “We have the most to lose.”

“We need to manage the forest as a healthy forest,” Panholzer says. That means thinning, and sometimes leaving dead tree trunks behind to foster a healthy ecosystem among birds and bugs. He believes Peninsula cities in wooded areas like Carmel and Pacific Grove – which contract with Monterey FD for fire services – and Monterey are doing a good job of clearing their forested areas.

Carmel is looking at renting goats in the coming year to eat up dry grass and overgrown shrubs, as has been done in Pebble Beach, says City Administrator Chip Rerig. They cost between $1,500 and $2,000 an acre, for a minimum of five acres. Goats can reach steep areas humans can’t, plus they eat poison oak.

Fostering relationships among local emergency agencies has “stepped up,” Panholzer says, including with Cal Fire, Monterey Regional Fire Protection District and others. Representatives from a number of agencies met Jan. 24 to brainstorm evacuation plans. Adams hosts a meeting for the public to ask questions of fire officials from 6-8pm on Jan. 31 at Palo Corona Regional Park.

Ultimately, however, Panholzer says residents who live in wooded areas have to be prepared for the possibility, and have plans in place for evacuating with pets, photos and important documents.

 

Fire Sprinklers in the Home? Find Out Why | Corona, CA

When we think of fire sprinklers, we generally don’t assimilate it with our home. Thought of as something that is designed for businesses and factories, fire sprinklers aren’t a concern for many homeowners. But should they be? Let’s take a look at their advantages – you may reconsider your decision:

Can’t stop the blaze. As smart as smoke alarms are these days, they can’t extinguish fire. Sprinklers do and continue to do so as you and your family run for safety. Also, by stopping the fire as soon as it starts, sprinklers can prevent, or at least reduce, the amount of property damage.

Not activated by smoke. Your fire alarm going off because of burned toast and a snuffed candle certainly can be annoying. With sprinklers, you don’t have to worry about that because they are activated via heat, not smoke.

Instant help. Sprinklers will activate within a minute – a whole lot less time than it takes for your local firefighters to get to your home. Also, sprinklers can help slow down the fire and minimize the damage done until the firefighters arrive to completely douse the fire.

Cost-effective. Firefighters use an average of 2,935 gallons to extinguish your regular residential fire. That’s many times more than the 341 gallons of water used by sprinklers on average.

Insurance-friendly. Your insurance provider may lower your premiums thanks to your sprinkler system. Be sure to contact your home insurance provider to know if this applies to you.

The costs of having sprinklers installed far outweigh the costs of losing a huge part of your house. In some cases, families lose their entire homes because of residential fires. Don’t let that happen to your family by having sprinklers installed.

For more information about fire sprinklers, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

Local Cal Fire Firefighter Embarks on Cross Country Bike Ride to Honor Fallen Colleague | Corona, CA

By Maria Arcega-Dunn

San Diego – A local Cal Fire firefighter embarked on a cross country bike ride to honor his friend – Escondido resident and Cal Fire firefighter Cory Iverson who died battling the Thomas Fire in 2017.

Cal Fire firefighter and engineer Thomas Pittman left early this morning from Imperial Beach for his “Ride into The Light” fundraiser. He plans to ride all the way to Jacksonville, Florida in an effort to raise money for a foundation benefiting the mental health of first responders created in his friend’s name.

Just after 630 this morning in Imperial Beach, Escondido resident and Cal Fire firefighter Thomas Pitman prepared for a cross country bike ride. The 2500-mile journey from San Diego all the way to Jacksonville, Florida will raise funds for a foundation created in honor of his friend and colleague Cory Iverson, who died in while fighting the 2017 Thomas Fire in Ventura County.

“It’s pretty amazing, the stuff I’ve seen over the past year in terms of honoring him have been mind-blowing, and this one takes the cake I think,” said wife of fallen firefighter Ashley Iverson.

She says the ride will help to raise money for the Iverson Foundation for Active Awareness which provides programs to help reduce suicide, PTSD and other mental and emotional stressors unique to first responders.

“The things that they see and do on a daily basis these are things that you and i don’t even want to imagine,” said Iverson.

Pitman’s goal is $2,426, one dollar for every mile he rides.  Money Iverson’s wife says will keep her husband’s name alive and help so many others.

“Thomas, even though he doesn’t know it right now, he’s helping a lot of people in doing this and that’s what gets me through,” said Iverson. “I underestimated what it would be at the year mark. It’s been quite a challenge for the last couple of months. But things like this give me hope.”

The ride is self-supported meaning Pitman won’t have anyone helping him along the way. He is expected to complete the ride on January 31.

Donations can be made to the “Ride into The Light” on the foundation’s website https://iversonfaa.org/ride/

For more information about fire suppression systems, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

Protect Yourself from Fire | Corona, CA

Protecting your business from fire is imperative for everyone involved. Not only in order to protect your product, but any staff and/or neighbors should also feel safe there knowing you are covered in case of fire. But designing a fire protection system isn’t as simple as a quick kit you pick up at the local hardware store. It takes a lot of planning and expertise. It can turn overwhelming very easily if you don’t have the proper training. That’s where we come in…

We begin with a site survey of the facility then provide the client with appropriate alternatives based on an assessment of the fire protection and life safety needs. We will often consult with the client’s insurance company and the local fire department for their input during the decision-making process, in order to ensure that everything is up to code and covered by insurance, then develop the appropriate engineering design.

Our CAD design services include:

  • Fire sprinkler design drawings with as much detail as required and then some.
  • All designs are based on the latest NFPA codes. All schematic CAD drawings include underground fire supply, riser details with location within structure, main and branch line locations, sprinkler head type and location.
  • Bid drawings can also include back-up specifications, water analysis, and hydraulic calculations.
  • Fire sprinkler fabrication / installation / coordination drawings include all compliments listed above including computer generated shop drawings, hydraulic calculations and material submittals.
  • Fire Pump and/or Ground Storage Tank installation drawings with all associated piping and equipment.
  • Special hazard suppression system fabrication / installation drawings.

So, if you are in need of better fire protection for your facility, consider installing a fire protection system. It is the best chance you have to keep your business successful and in one piece.

For more information about fire suppression systems, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

What Is a Fire Suppression System? | Corona, CA

fire extinguisher serviceIt seems like everywhere we look another fire has started to tear through the state. Fire season is one of the scariest times of year if you live in California. If order for our businesses to stay safe, we try to protect ourselves from any fire damage that may occur. To do this, we purchase and install plenty of fire extinguishers and alarms. But if you are installing a fire suppression system, it is important to know what you are dealing with in order to ensure everything and everyone is protected and safe if a fire were to occur. The first components to consider are active components:

  • In order for a suppression system to be effective, detection is key. Professional suppression will use numerous sensors and alarms to detect heat, smoke, and other signs of fire.
  • Once the alarm is triggered, traditional fire extinguishers may be able to extinguish a fire before the full suppression system is activated.
  • Once a fire is detected, the fire may be combatted with sprinkler systems (wet or dry) or chemical-based systems (gaseous systems that displace oxygen, foam systems, or other extinguishing agents).
  • Placement of fire hydrants and plumbing of pipes for fire fighters can help protect a business in case of fire.

Beyond active components, a properly designed system will incorporate passive components – such as firewalls, fire-stops, grease-ducts, and fire-rated materials to help slow the spread of fire, and limit exposure, and protect high risk materials from heat and flame sources. While these components will not necessarily stop a fire, they can help prevent or slow a fire to make containment easy.

For more information about fire suppression systems, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

How to Help California Fire Victims | Corona, CA

By Julia Jacobs | Nov. 11, 2018

Three wildfires in California have displaced hundreds of thousands of people and destroyed thousands of homes. So far, dozens of people have been confirmed dead and hundreds more are missing.

Vast expanses of land have been scorched in Northern California by the Camp Fire — the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state’s history — and in Southern California by the Woolsey and Hill Fires.

Here’s how you can help.

Remember to do your research on a charity’s reputation for using donations effectively. Charity Navigator is a good source to consult. Also, remember that sending money is almost always the most efficient way to help in a disaster, according to the Center for International Disaster Information, part of the United States Agency for International Development. If volunteers on the ground end up with a mountain of donated goods, they’ll have to spend time sorting through them rather than buying exactly what’s needed.

For nonprofits that are seeking donations, click here.

There are also multiple crowdfunding efforts for victims of the California fires. GoFundMe has organized a page that catalogs the relief efforts in Northern and Southern California. It includes links to donate to families who have lost their homes.

Google is collecting donations to help those affected by the wildfires in Southern California. It will funnel the donations to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, which will distribute the money to local nonprofits.

Additionally, Airbnb has launched a program that asks people to open their homes to those affected by the fires. Until Nov. 29, the company is allowing residents to mark their homes as a place for evacuees and aid workers to stay for free.

For more information about how to help, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

Fire Extinguisher Training Is Important | Corona, CA

fire extinguisher serviceEveryone knows that if a fire is started, the first thing to do is grab a fire extinguisher. But do you know if everyone knows how to use it? Without the proper knowledge on how to use a fire extinguisher, your business is at risk of severe fire damage. Without proper training in the use of fire extinguishers, you can risk damage due to lack of control and ability to diminish a fire. It is important to seek fire training for your staff to ensure proper protocol in case of a fire-related accident. As a quick reference, when reaching for a fire extinguisher, attack the fire using the PASS Method:

Pull the pin. By pulling the pin, the operating lever should unlock and allow you to discharge the extinguisher.

Aim low. Pointing the extinguisher hose/nozzle at the base of the fire will make it dissipate quicker.

Squeeze the lever. This should discharge the extinguishing agent. Some extinguishers may have a button or other means of activation. Become familiar with your equipment prior to an emergency.

Sweep from side to side. While you are aiming at the base of the fire, you should sweep back and forth until the fire is extinguished. If it starts up again, start over and do it again.

Avoid putting your business or company in danger because the skilled experts of CJ Suppression will work diligently and thoroughly with you on how to operate a fire extinguisher. With fire extinguisher training your business will be prepared for any fire event.

For more information about fire extinguisher training, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

Crispy Nights Call for Toasty Fires | Corona, CA

As the autumn months progress and the temperatures are slowly beginning to drop, we all begin to prepare for the chilly weather by warming up our homes. And if you have a fireplace, wood or pellet stove, this means it’s time to prepare your fireplace and chimney to ensure a safe season. Let’s take a look at some of these steps…

First thing’s first, everything needs a good cleaning. If you have a chimney, hire a licensed chimney specialist to not only give a good your chimney a good cleaning, but can also check for any issues that may have come up during the warmer months. Clean your stoves and fireplaces as well and make sure you don’t have any combustible items near a flame.

When you light your fires, make sure the flue is open to vent properly and keep mesh guards to ensure no embers escape. Conversely, if you have glass doors in front of your fireplace, keep those doors open to ensure the fire completes combustion and reduce creosote build-up in your chimney.

Never leave a fire unattended – make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed. After your fire, you will have plenty of ashes. They need to cool, at times it can take up to several days, before disposal. Keep the ashes in a metal can at least 10 feet away from your home.

Autumn is a beautiful time of year, one that is welcomed by toasty fires and hot apple cider. Don’t let accidents ruin this snuggly time.

For more information about fireplace maintenance, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

Prepare for a Malfunction | Corona, CA

fire sprinklersWe all assume that if we have fire protection, it will work when the time comes to use it. Whether it be something simple like a fire extinguisher or as elaborate as a customized fire suppression system, these tools are things we need to rely on when a fire breaks out. If it doesn’t, the result can be a disaster.

It’s important to note that simply installing a suppression system is only one step in staying safe. Fire suppression systems are often complex pieces of engineering, and they require care, testing, and maintenance in order to remain functional.

The type of system installed, and the nature of the building it is protecting, will determine how often it must be inspected, how often it should be tested, and what type of labor will be required on the system over time. A skilled system designer, such as CJ Suppression, will not only design the system, but can also assist you in establishing and meeting the maintenance and inspection requirements in order to keep your system functioning properly so that if a fire were to occur, lives and property can be saved.

The exact maintenance regime needed depends on the suppression system and use case. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) has guidelines not only for the types of systems that should be used in various settings, but also for the ongoing maintenance of those systems for proper compliance and safety purposes.

To ensure their reliability, fire systems must be inspected, tested and maintained. CJ Suppression Services’ qualified and experienced staff stands ready to provide fire protection service and maintenance that will keep your fire protection systems reliable and code compliant.

For more information about fire suppression maintenance, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

Dozens of Massachusetts Homes Exploded. A Gas Expert Weighs In. | Corona, CA

by RACHEL GUTMAN

SEP 14, 2018

WCVB / AP

Investigators still don’t know what happened, but there’s one likely explanation.

Late Thursday, dozens of explosions erupted in three towns in northern Massachusetts. As many as 70 fires, explosions, and suspected gas leaks were reported to state police, with at least 39 homes affected in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover. One person was killed when a chimney collapsed on his car, and at least 25 more people were reportedly treated for injuries.

In a statement, Columbia Gas said a total of 8,600 customers will be without service until safety teams can ensure that their homes and businesses are leak-free.

A widespread series of explosions like the one in Massachusetts is “really rare,” says Robert Jackson, a professor of energy and environmental science at Stanford University. Jackson’s studies focus on the environmental impacts of natural gas, and he has mapped thousands of gas leaks in cities around the country, including Boston. He told me that such an event is “unprecedented in recent years,” since explosions are usually isolated to a single building.

Jackson is not involved in investigating the Massachusetts explosions, but he was able to offer some insight into what could have caused such a strange, dramatic incident. The most likely explanation, he says, is the one most reports have speculated: Pipelines in the towns became suddenly over-pressurized. In the same way that high-voltage power lines traverse hundreds of miles before breaking off into lower-voltage tributaries in neighborhoods, natural-gas delivery systems consist of both long-distance, high-pressure pipelines and local ones that are only nominally pressurized and deliver gas into homes. Neighborhood pipelines are usually designed to withstand two to three times their normal operating pressure, but any increase makes gas more likely to escape.

“I can’t imagine another explanation for this event than a flush of pressurized gas,” Jackson says.

If local lines indeed were suddenly inundated with high-pressure gas, Jackson says, that could result in an explosion in one of two ways. First, the pipes themselves could explode. Second—and more likely, according to Jackson—excess pressure could have caused gas to leak out of pipes and valves and into homes, where it could be ignited by a pilot light and send whole buildings up in flames.

In most cases, according to Jackson, such rapid pressurization would be caused by a failure at a valve that separates high- and low-pressure pipelines. As for what would lead to such a failure, Jackson says, it could be that “somebody made a mistake. To flip the wrong valve, leave a junction open. Human error is the most common source of natural-gas explosions.”

Columbia Gas’s website announced an improvement campaign just a few hours before the explosions began, though no evidence has yet linked the explosions to pipeline updates or botched repairs. (A spokesperson for Columbia Gas did not respond to a request for comment.)

A flush of gas could also occur if older valves leak or break. In 2015, Jackson and his colleagues found that cities like Cincinnati that replaced their aging pipelines had 90 percent fewer gas leaks a mile than older cities like Boston that relied on older, cast-iron pipes. Across the country, Jackson says, many local pipelines are more than a century old—including in Boston, the closest major city his team studied to Thursday’s explosions.

Even though natural-gas leaks are fairly common, serious consequences aren’t. From 1998 to 2017, 15 people a year, on average, died in incidents related to gas distribution in the U.S. “Significant incidents”—those that do things such as cause an injury or death, result in at least $50,000 of damage, or lead to a fire or explosion—happen about 286 times a year.

That might sound like a lot. But then again, the streets of Boston carry an average of four gas leaks a mile.