Category Archives: Fire Protection News

PG&E Says Company’s Equipment May Have Ignited Camp Fire | Corona, CA

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said Thursday the company believes it is “probable that its equipment will be determined to be an ignition point of the 2018 Camp Fire.”

The Camp Fire ignited on Nov. 8 in remote Butte County and moved through the region. The wildfire claimed 85 lives and destroyed more than 14,000 homes within weeks.

PG&E released information Thursday as part of its 2018 fourth quarter earnings report.

The embattled utility company said it’s taking a $10.5 billion charge for claims connected to the Camp Fire in its fourth quarter earnings.

In a December letter to the California Public Utilities Commission, PG&E officials said an employee “observed fire in the vicinity” of one of the company’s towers and workers called 911 the morning of Nov. 8 — the day the wildfire ignited.

Inspectors later found a broken C-hook and a “flash mark” at that same tower, suggesting a power line broke free and made contact with the tower.

Separately, a PG&E employee on Nov. 9 found a “pole and other equipment was on the ground with bullets and bullet holes” at a different location near Flea Mountain.

On Nov. 12, an employee found downed wires and damaged and downed poles at Concow and Rim roads, the letter says.

The official cause of the blaze has not been determined. Several fire victims have filed lawsuits that blame PG&E’s equipment in sparking the wildfire.

No other details have been released.

Stay with KCRA for updates.

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.

For more information about fire prevention, 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.

The ABCs of Household Burn Prevention | Corona, CA

Accidental firesWe are often talking about how to prevent and protect yourself from fires, but there are times when it cannot be prevented, and we become injured. A burn can come in many forms, especially within a household; whether it be from a kitchen accident or just being too hasty taking a bite of that deliciously hot slice of pizza. This is why it is so important to be aware of your surroundings when using even the most modest of hazardous household items. And because February hosts Burn Awareness Week, let’s take a quick look at how you can protect yourself and your family from running into any of these common home-based burn threats:

Keep an eye on appliances such as irons, curling irons or hair dryers that can heat up quickly or stay warm after use. Avoid contact with your skin while in use and unplug these items once finished.

Cleansers, weed killers, and pool chemicals can cause burns because of the strong chemicals used. Keep these locked away/out of reach.

Make a habit of placing matches, gasoline and lighters in a safe place, out of children’s reach. And if you have little ones, avoid novelty lighters or lighters that look like toys.

When making electrical repairs, always turn off circuit breakers beforehand; avoid using electrical appliances while showering or wet; use child safety plugs in all outlets; keep electrical cords out of children’s reach.

When it comes to heating the home, create a safety zone to keep children and pets away from heating devices such as woodstoves, fireplaces, portable heaters, and furnaces.

For more information about burn prevention, 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.

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.

 

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.

Fire Prevention vs. Fire Protection: What’s the Difference?

For any property owner, the prospect of fire is a constant concern. Protection from fire damage must be top-of-mind when it comes to safety concerns; not only is there the potential for your business to be irredeemably damaged, there is the chance that life and limb may be harmed too.

The bottom line is that not all fires can be prevented. However – there are some things you can do to prevent and protect your business from fire.

Let’s take a step back right away and look at those last two words: prevent and protect. What’s the difference between the two? What is fire protection, and what is fire prevention? Here, we’ll break down these two different methods – both integral to maintaining your property and your business.

What is Fire Prevention?

Fire prevention is absolutely essential for your business. This process happens before a potential fire can ignite – it’s all about stopping that fire from ever happening. One of the most effective tools for fire prevention is an inspection; regular property inspections can be used to identify vulnerable areas in your facility, and fix them once they have been identified. Those vulnerable areas can include overloaded electrical outlets, improperly maintained or broken systems, and improperly stored materials.

As soon as those problems are identified, it’s vital that the property owner takes the steps to remove these threats – and ensure they don’t ever get to that point again. Using regular inspections helps prevent fires in the business.

What is Fire Protection?

Fire protection is the second element to the process. Fire protection includes a combination of different fire safety equipment and procedures used to defend your property line from fire. The exact specifications of this method will differ from company to company, but there are general elements that should be found in about every commercial facility. These will include equipment like fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems. Combined, these fire protection services work together to ensure your property is constantly protected from fire; together, they work to provide the commercial space with the ultimate safety net against this potentially destructive force.

Again, inspection of your fire protection service or fire protection services is key. Fire sprinkler inspections should be performed regularly (a 5 year fire sprinkler inspection is vital) and if new elements are needed, fire sprinkler installations are a must.

Whether you are looking for a way to prevent fires or protect your property, CJ Suppression is here to help. For more information on protecting your investment, call CJ Suppression today!

The Difference Between Fire Prevention and Fire Protection with CJ Suppression

At CJ Suppression – at the top of the area’s most experienced fire protection companies and fire sprinkler installation companies – we offer an array of portable fire extinguishers, fire alarms, and sprinkler systems to keep commercial kitchens safe. CJ Suppression offers the highest quality alarm systems to keep your business safe from fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. We also offer fire suppression systems as well to help keep commercial fires controlled should they break out. Our trained technicians will work with you to determine which air sampling smoke detection system is best for your business. We will also help install and maintain the system for your commercial building.

Let us know how we can help you!

Safety Harbor Fire Chief Honored With Industry Award

Chief Josh Stefancic Honored With the American Fire Sprinkler Association’s “Fire Sprinklers Save Lives” Award

Safety Harbor Fire Chief Josh Stefancic has been honored with one of the fire prevention/suppression industry’s most prestigious awards.

Chief Stefancic was recently recognized a with the American Fire Sprinkler Association’s (AFSA) Fire Sprinklers Save Lives award. AFSA Florida Chapter Chairman Chris Johnson, CEO of Piper Fire Protection in Clearwater, Florida, and member of AFSA’s Public Education & Awareness Committee presented the award to Stefancic.

“I am so proud that one of our hometown heroes has been recognized for this award,” Johnson said. “Chief Stefancic is passionate about fire sprinklers and life safety. We are blessed to have him serving in our community and our state.”

Chief Stefancic has helped thousands of firefighters understand the importance – and effectiveness – of fire sprinkler technology and fire protection services through his involvement on the executive board of the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA). As part of his role with the IFSTA, Stefancic has helped to author and review several training manuals, including “Fire Detection and Suppression Systems,” a guide educating firefighters on the types, arrangements and operating principles of sprinkler systems. The guide serves as a valuable resource for emergency personnel responding to incidents in protected premises.

Additionally, as a committee member of NFPA 1700, “Guide to Structural Firefighting,” Stefancic has worked to educate his firefighting peers about the benefits of fire sprinkler inspections, fire protection service, and fire sprinkler installations.

Chief Stefancic came to Safety Harbor after a long career with Fire Rescue of Largo, Florida, most recently serving as division chief. He started with Largo in August 2010 as assistant chief of life safety, moving up to assistant chief of emergency management in 2011 and district chief in May of 2012; he was named fire chief of the Safety Harbor Fire Department in June of 2018.

He has a master’s degree in fire and emergency management administration and a bachelor’s degree in fire protection and safety technology from Oklahoma State University. Chief Stefancic is also a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer program from the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Chief Stefancic’s former post also offered their congratulations via their Facebook page.

“Chief Stefancic joins a distinguished list of fire marshals, building officials, and television personalities who have embraced this technology and have become advocates for fire safety,” Largo Fire Rescue wrote in a post. “He has helped thousands of firefighters understand the effectiveness of fire sprinkler technology, through his involvement on the executive board of the International Fire Service Training Association. There he has helped author and reviews several training manuals written to educate firefighters on the basics of fire sprinklers. We congratulate Chief Stefancic on this well-deserved award.”

For more information about fire sprinkler inspections, fire protection services, a 5 year fire sprinkler inspection or other services fire sprinkler installation and fire sprinkler inspection companies can provide, 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.

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.

 

2017 Class of AFSA Sprinkler Fitter National Honor Society

The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) Fire Sprinkler Fitter National Honor Societyn was established in 2012 to recognize trainees, and their sponsoring employers, who have completed all four levels of the AFSA Correspondence Course for Fire Sprinkler Fitters with a cumulative grade point average of 95% or above. Inductees into the 2017 class represent approximately the top nine percent of the 172 four-level graduates for the year.

AFSA Director of Education Services Leslie Clounts gave her congratulations to the class and the companies that employed them, stating: “Congratulations are due to these accomplished companies whose dedication to training excellence is proven in these elite apprentices. I applaud each individual who made the effort ensuring these National Honor Society students not only succeed but excel in their training endeavors.”

Recognition plaques were provided to the sponsoring employers so that they can present the plaque to their fire sprinkler fitter graduate.

The following companies are the employers of the 2017 Fire Sprinkler Fitter National Honor Society inductees:

  • Aero Automatic Sprinkler, Phoenix, AZ (three inductees)
  • AFPG, Inc., Jackson, TN
  • Allied Fire Protection, Pearland, TX
  • Colby Fire Protection, Rochdale, MA
  • Fire Tech Services, Inc., Chesapeake, VA
  • Front-Line Fire Protection, LLC, North Andover, NH
  • Johnson Controls, South Bend, IN
  • Johnson Controls, Williamsville, NY
  • L&L Fire Protection, Torrington, CT
  • Meridian Fire Protection, Salem, NH
  • Metropolitan Fire Protection, Broomall, PA
  • Phoenix Fire Protection, Idaho Falls, ID (two inductees)
  • Platinum Fire Protection & Services, Marlborough, MA (two inductees)
  • Tri-State Fire Protection, Smithfield, RI
  • Western Automatic Sprinkler, Salt Lake City, UTAFSA

Source: https://sprinklerage.com/honoring-academic-excellence/

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.

Corona’s Canyon Fires: The Aftermath | Corona, CA

By Rob McMillan / Friday, March 23, 2018

CORONA, Calif. (KABC) — As the bulk of a rain-heavy storm moved out of the Inland Empire, mandatory evacuation orders in parts of Corona were lifted Thursday.

The evacuation orders were issued Wednesday afternoon for neighborhoods that were affected by the Canyon Fire, which charred about 2,600 acres between Anaheim Hills and Corona.

The brush fire started in September and threatened mostly homes in the Corona area before fire officials finally gained control of it.

Many burn areas across Southern California were under threat of possible mudslides or debris flows and flooding as a strong storm moved into the region. The heaviest rainfall was expected Thursday morning into early afternoon and then it would clear in some areas.

Light and scattered showers were expected throughout the evening and into Friday morning, but a threat of storm damage would no longer be an issue.

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

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