All posts by CJ Suppression

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.

 

How to Protect a Datacenter from Fire | Corona, CA

Do you know what a datacenter is? Datacenters are built specifically to house millions of dollars of expensive electronics and contain custom-built solutions for everything from cooling to power continuity and generation. Due to the 24/7 nature of datacenters, most systems are designed for redundancy and fail-safe operation with cabinets of battery-powered, uninterruptible power supplies reside to complement generators.

But what if there’s a fire? Computers present a unique fire suppression challenge – they’re easily damaged by water, are typically contained in a metal box that will shelter a fire from overhead sprays, and they require significant amounts of electricity that presents an electrocution risk for standard suppression systems. Because of this, typical datacenter suppression systems come with two complementary systems – one wet, and one dry.

Modern alternatives tend to be either inert gas systems (where an inert gas is pumped into the datacenter to smother the fire by depriving it of oxygen) or clean agent systems, where halocarbon molecules are pumped in and absorb heat, extinguishing the fire.

While dry systems are often the first line of defense, due to their ability to extinguish fire without damaging equipment, a second water-based system is typically available. Best practices often dictate that the pipes above the datacenter itself be dry – that is, pipes are not filled with water until a fire is indicated, at which point the pipes are filled. Typical configuration allows the clean agent or inert gas system to attempt to put out the fire long before the heat allows a sprinkler to discharge.

For more information about datacenter fire protection, 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 Anything: Evacuation Edition | Corona, CA

It seems everywhere we look, there is a wildfire threatening some part of California. Not only is it sweeping through forests and other wildlife, but residential areas are becoming affected, leaving many family’s without shelter due to evacuation. Being prepared for evacuation is not only going to make you feel better but will also help keep your family calm during these stressful times. Here is a checklist of things you should keep in mind during these summer dangers:

Inside the House

  • Shut all windows and doors, leaving them unlocked.
  • Remove flammable window shades, curtains and close metal shutters.
  • Remove lightweight curtains.
  • Move flammable furniture to the center of the room, away from windows and doors.
  • Shut off gas at the meter; turn off pilot lights.
  • Leave your lights on so firefighters can see your house under smoky conditions.
  • Shut off the air conditioning.

Outside

  • Gather up flammable items from the exterior of the house and bring them inside (patio furniture, children’s toys, door mats, trash cans, etc.) or place them in your pool.
  • Turn off propane tanks and move BBQ away from structures.
  • Connect garden hoses to outside water valves or spigots for use by firefighters. Fill water buckets and place them around the house.
  • Leave exterior lights on so your home is visible to firefighters in the smoke or darkness of night.
  • Put your emergency supply kit in your vehicle.
  • Have a ladder available for firefighters to quickly access your roof.
  • Seal attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood or commercial seals.

Animals

  • Locate your pets and keep them nearby.
  • Prepare farm animals for transport and think about moving them to a safe location early.

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

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

The West Is on Fire… Again | Corona, CA

By Umair Irfan 

Updated Jul 27, 2018, 11:36am EDT

Wildfires have almost become a year-round threat in some parts of the western United States. From Colorado to California, it feels like the blazes from last year never went out.

Flames ignited forests and chaparral virtually nonstop in 2017, and the year ended with record infernos in Southern California that burned well into 2018.

Officials don’t refer to “fire seasons anymore but rather to fire years,” Jennifer Jones, a spokesperson for the National Interagency Fire Center, told me in an email.

The NIFC reports that this year, wildfires have burned more than 3.9 million acres, about 11 percent above the average since 2008. At the moment, 13 states are reporting large fires, from Alaska to New Mexico.

On Thursday, the Carr Fire erupted in Redding, California, sending a 100-foot-high “wall of flame” through the town. The fire has already engulfed more than 44,000 acres, skipped over the Sacramento River, and is just 3 percent contained as of Friday morning. The blaze has killed two firefighters and prompted mandatory evacuations for many of the city’s 92,000 residents.

The Ferguson Fire near Yosemite National Park has meanwhile burned more than 45,000 acres, an area more than 51 times the size of Central Park in Manhattan, since igniting on July 13. More than 3,400 firefighters from as far away as Virginia are fighting the blaze. As of Friday, the fire was only 29 percent contained and had led to the death of one firefighter, Braden Varney.

Further south, in San Bernardino National Forest near Los Angeles, the Cranston Fire ignited Wednesday morning forcing more than 3,000 people to evacuate. Authorities believe an arsonist is behind the 11,500-acre blaze.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared states of emergency for Shasta County, where the Carr Fire is burning, and Riverside County, where the Cranston Fire continues to rage.

Meanwhile, the Substation Fire near Portland, Oregon, has torched 79,000 acres and forced 75 households to evacuate. It’s just one of 160 wildfires across Oregon, though most fires are currently in the southern part of the state. As of Thursday morning, the Substation Fire is 92 percent contained. And in Colorado, wildfires have already ripped through more than 175,000 acres, and the ensuing rains have brought mudslides along the freshly denuded landscape.

And it’s likely to get worse. Many parts of the US are facing a higher than normal fire risk this year.

It’s an alarming echo of last year’s devastating fire season, which charred more than 10 million acres, making it one of the worst years in more than three decades. California suffered its largest wildfire ever, the Thomas Fire, which engulfed an area 1.6 times the size of New York City.

As firefighters take on new blazes and homeowners rebuild in the ashes, here are some things worth knowing and what we can expect for the remainder of the fire season.

Some states are already seeing worse fires than last year, and the risks remain high

A key thing to remember is that wildfires are ordinarily a natural phenomenon. Many parts of the US are primed to burn, and fires are vital to the ecosystem, restoring nutrients to the soil and clearing out decaying brush. Trees like the Jack pine only release their seeds after a fire. Plants like buckthorn need fires to germinate.

But the destruction from the gargantuan blazes we’ve seen in recent years is hardly natural; human activity is clearly making it worse.

For one thing, humans start the vast majority of these fires, upward of 84 percent of them. California officials have blamed a dozen of last year’s fires on Pacific Gas and Electric’s power lines. Utilities were also blamed for fires in Nevada. Arson was suspected for fires in Northern California.

Another factor is how humans use the land. People are increasingly building closer to the wilderness, blurring the line between suburbs and shrubland. That means that when fires do burn, they threaten more lives and property. Meanwhile, active fire suppression in some areas has allowed dry vegetation to accumulate, so when embers ignite, it causes a massive conflagration.

And of course, the climate is changing, mostly due to human activity. Rising average temperatures have led to western forests drying out, increasing the risk of fires. There are 129 million dead trees in California alone. Across the state, the total number of fires is trending downward, but the size of fires is going up.

But in Southern California’s fires, like last year’s Thomas Fire, scientists don’t see a climate signal just yet. The region is hot and dry year-round. Drought can actually kill off the grasses and shrubs that would ordinarily burn. As a result, the fire risks haven’t demonstrated an association with rising temperatures so far. However, modeling shows that by 2050, climate change will increase the size of burned areas in Southern California.

Despite the significant swaths of the country that went up in flames last year, there is still plenty of fuel around, even in areas that ignited last year. “Although [2017] was the second highest number of acres burned since 1960, it is a fraction of the more than 1 billion acres of vegetated landscapes in the U.S., so there is a lot of land left to burn,” said NIFC’s Jones.

In fact, new vegetation has already sprung up. That’s because the winter brought much-needed moisture to the drought-stricken West, despite an unusually warm winter.

Scott McLean, a spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), explained that the precipitation spurred fast-growing grasses and shrubs. The searing, record-setting heat that followed this year dried out plants, leaving many parts of the West coated in tinder.

In California, fires have already burned more land and Cal Fire has initiated 200 more fire responses now than it did at the same point last year.

The NIFC reports that Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and California all face “above normal” fire risks throughout much of their territories, as this map shows:

There are still drought conditions in Colorado, Utah, and Arizona that will likely persist even after seasonal rains, and lightning from the storms threatens to ignite new wildfires. Fire risks are lower in northern Montana and Washington state due to a wet spring.

As with last year, the fire potential will increase in the early fall along coastal Oregon and California as fast-moving seasonal winds pick up.

Even as we get better at fighting wildfires, they’re becoming more costly and dangerous

Firefighters are trying to apply some of the lessons learned from last year’s blazes. Cal Fire says it has managed to contain the vast majority of fires in its jurisdiction to less than 10 acres. But with more development in fire-prone regions, it’s getting harder to balance the demands to protect property against the need for the land to burn.

Fire officials are working with communities to explain why controlled burns are a necessary step to prevent more dangerous fires, but it makes homeowners antsy. “When you put fire on the ground, people get a little concerned,” said Cal Fire’s McLean. “It’s still an education process.”

It would also help to have policies that discourage building in the highest-risk areas. That’s difficult when the population is growing in many parts of the West and some of the cheapest land for new housing is in those regions poised to burn.

So far, this year, it seems that many of the same mistakes that have put people at risk are being repeated. In California, some residents are rebuilding in the same fire zones where homes burned last year, spurred in part by insurance payouts.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said referred to the Substation Fire as being in Southern Oregon. The fire is in the northern part of the state.

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

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

Stay Safe this Summer with Fire Prevention | Corona, CA

Contrary to popular belief, we are not at high risk for fires in hotels or other public places. But, in fact, our biggest threats are at home, where we typically feel our safest. And since much of our summertime fun involves BBQs and fun with friends and family, it is important to be ready for any type of fire danger, from accidental fires at home to wildfires that pop up without warning. One way to do this is with fire sprinklers. You may not automatically think about fire sprinklers in our homes, but home fires can cause property damage, or far worse – take the lives of our loved ones.

Nearly, 2,500 people lose their lives each year in home fires in the United States. It can be nerve wracking to think about these statistics, however, this should be a reason to consider installing fire sprinklers in your home.

Because Hollywood makes an exaggerated image of everything, including fires, many people seem to think that when a fire occurs, the entire system goes off & soaks the place down. This is false. When one fire sprinkler is triggered, the rest do not activate. Nearly 85 percent of the time only one fire sprinkler activates during a fire, which as mentioned earlier, results in significantly less property damage when compared to a fire hose. And now that homes are burning more quickly than before due to having larger spaces and lightweight construction materials, having a fire suppression system is extremely important.

Summertime is a fun time for getting outside and enjoying the weather. Make sure you have one less worry by having fire sprinklers installed in your home.

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

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.