Category Archives: Fire Suppression Systems

Preparing Your Suppression Systems for Wildfire Season | Corona, CA

automatic-fire-sprinkler-systems

Now that we are beginning to change from hot summer months to cooler autumn ones, it is important to prepare for the weather changes in order to keep all suppression systems going. After all, it is important for everyone to be prepared for any accident that may occur as a result of unnecessary neglect. This time of year is also notorious for wildfires, so keeping our employees and property safe is of the utmost importance.

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.

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.

Regular maintenance will identify minor problems before they turn into system failures, allowing you to correct them quickly and inexpensively, rather than allowing them to fail. With automatic scheduling of maintenance activities, you never need to worry about surprise fire department inspections – you’ll be up to date, properly maintained, properly inspected, and fully functional whenever the fire department decides to visit.

California’s Oak Fire destroys at least 42 structures as it burns more than 18,000 acres near Yosemite National Park | Corona, CA

By Elizabeth Wolfe and Steve Almasy, CNN | Updated 8:29 PM ET, Wed July 27, 2022

(CNN)California’s Oak Fire has burned through more than 18,000 acres and destroyed more than 40 structures since it ignited near Yosemite National Park Friday, as fire crews in the air battle visibility issues and personnel on the groundwork steep terrain.

The fire grew only slightly Tuesday — to 18,532 acres and containment remained at 26%, according to an update from state fire management agency Cal Fire.

“Although good progress continues on the fire, there is much work to be done,” the update said. Officials said several evacuation orders had been changed to fire advisements.

Some areas are not accessible to bulldozers so crews on foot cut in a fire line, and smoke from the fire hampered the response from the 24 helicopter units involved.

One firefighter stood Wednesday morning by a spot where they had been able to stop the flames from advancing.

“For the past two days what we’ve been doing is coming back with hoes and … hand tools. We dig out all the smokes and hot spots to make sure that nothing ends up on … the green side (where vegetation wasn’t burned),” firefighter Travis Gooch told CNN’s Adrienne Broaddus. “It’s kind of a relief that everything is kind of looking like it’s holding up the way it’s supposed to.”

Gooch, who is from Manteca, said he and his team work overnight and slept for about an hour on their firetrucks.

“The first night we were here, no one slept,” he said. “So, last night to get to sleep for an hour. It was nice. Everyone is looking forward to going back to camp and getting to sleep for today.”

There have been no firefighter injuries reported since the blaze began, the cause of which is under investigation.

A total of 42 single residence structures and 19 outbuildings have been destroyed in the fire, the update said. More than 1,100 structures remain threatened.

On Tuesday morning, Cal Fire officials said in the overnight incident report: “Fire crews continue providing structure defense, extinguishing hot spots, and building and improving direct lines. Persistent drought, critically dry fuels, and tree mortality continue to contribute to the fire’s spread.”

More than 3,000 personnel are tackling the fire, deploying air and land efforts including two dozen helicopters, 286 fire engines, 68 water tenders and 94 bulldozers, according to Cal Fire.

The challenging terrain and abundant dry vegetation fueling the fire has complicated efforts to tamp down its growth, Cal Fire spokesperson Cpt. Keith Wade told CNN Monday.

“The footprint out here, the acreage of available fuels to burn when the fire gets going, along with the available topography — the canyons, the drainages — the wind that flows through these areas, can make the fire behavior erratic and it can explode … the ferociousness of that fire at times can be intense,” Wade said.

The Oak Fire is the largest of California’s fire season so far, Cal Fire data shows. But it remains relatively small compared to other California wildfires in recent years: It’s dwarfed, for example, by blazes like last year’s Dixie Fire, which consumed more than 960,000 acres, or the August Complex Fire the year prior that scorched more than a million acres — the state’s largest ever.

There have been 23 wildfires in California so far this month, according to Cal Fire, but only three have exceeded 500 acres. None have come close to the mass destruction of the Oak Fire, due in part to the exceedingly dry conditions in the area, Wade said.

“I think the real difference that firefighters are experiencing on this one is how dry everything is, it’s definitely been (drier) as the years have been going on,” he said. “We’ve noticed that there seems to be less precipitation, less moisture and the available fuel load is definitely out there.”

The fire’s rapid growth has also made evacuation efforts more difficult, Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jon Heggie told CNN on Monday, noting officials and law enforcement are doing their best to notify residents when they need to leave.

“The reality is, it’s moving so quickly, it’s not giving people a lot of time and they are sometimes just going to have to evacuate with the shirts on their back,” Heggie said.

The incremental progress made by fire crews has allowed officials to reduce evacuation orders in some areas to fire advisements, Cal Fire said.

An evacuation shelter has been set up at Mariposa Elementary School for displaced residents.

Mariposa County has been under a state of emergency since Saturday, when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the proclamation.

Southern California fire officials have been expecting this summer to bring an especially challenging fire season due to the increased frequency of wildfires and the dry, hot conditions in much of the state.

Heggie attributed the Oak Fire’s “velocity and intensity” to the state’s prolonged drought and human-caused climate change.

“What I can tell you is this is a direct result of what is climate change,” he said. “You can’t have a 10-year drought in California and expect things to be the same. And we are now paying the price for that 10-year drought and that climate change.”

California is among the western states that have been suffering under a prolonged megadrought that has been heavily exacerbated by the climate crisis.

“That dead fuel that’s a result from that climate change and that drought is what’s driving these, what we are now calling, ‘mega fires,'” Heggie said.

It’s not just the Western US dealing with extreme fire conditions. Wildfires around the globe have intensified and become more commonplace, according to a report from the UN Environment Programme. The report’s analysis found the number of extreme wildfire events will increase by 30% by 2050.

The report suggested it’s time we “learn to live with fire,” urging authorities and policymakers to cooperate with local communities to use Indigenous knowledge and invest in planning and prevention efforts.

CNN’s Poppy Harlow, Taylor Romine, Stella Chan, Sara Smart and Rachel Ramirez contributed to this report.

For more information about the Oak fire, 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 Almost 900-acre Sheep Fire Is 85% Contained, Evacuations Lifted | Corona, CA

BY HAYLEY SMITH, GRACE TOOHEY | PUBLISHED JUNE 14, 2022 UPDATED JUNE 15, 2022 10:47 PM PT

Crews seem to have turned a corner on the almost 900-acre wildfire burning near Wrightwood in the Angeles National Forest, with the blaze 85% contained Wednesday night.

The Sheep fire, which ignited Saturday, exploded in size through Tuesday, engulfing 865 acres and prompting evacuation orders and warnings for residents in the area.

All evacuation measures, which had been in place since Sunday for communities in and around Wrightwood, were lifted Tuesday evening, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District.

“The threats to the communities are gone, for now,” said Joe Rosa, the public information officer for California Interagency Incident Management Team 14, which has taken command of the Sheep fire. But he said a shift in weather — though not predicted for the next 24 hours — could change that risk.

Firefighters continued to increase containment of the blaze, according to a statement by the Angeles National Forest late Wednesday night.

“Earlier today, hotshot crews alongside helicopter water drops were able to extinguish a few hotspots near the south end of the fire,” the statement read. “While infrared flights continue to show scattered heat and interior heat within the fire perimeter, some remaining interior heat islands are expected to burn out.”

Crews were to continue searching for hotspots and monitoring fire behavior overnight Wednesday, according to the statement.

Rosa said about 600 firefighters continue to battle the blaze. The reported size of the fire, 865 acres, is down from initial estimates of 990 acres. Rosa said better mapping Tuesday night provided a more accurate scope of the fire.

“The biggest challenge throughout this whole incident has been the winds, and some of the topography,” Rosa said.

He said that because of cliffs and unstable rocky spots, it hasn’t been safe to put crews on the ground in some areas of the fire, which correspond with many of the areas not yet contained.

No structures have been damaged or lost in the fire, Rosa said. Officials with the state Department of Transportation worked to replace some guardrails along Highway 2, and crews with Southern California Edison are expected to replace some damaged poles Thursday, Rosa said.

Earlier Wednesday, Caltrans reopened the closed portion of Highway 2 between Wright Mountain Road and Desert Front Road, according to the Angeles National Forest’s statement.

“Fire crews and cooperators will continue to work near the roadway, please use caution when driving through the area,” the statement read.

Since Saturday, officials described a challenging firefight with dense vegetation, steep terrain and high and erratic winds, made more difficult by soaring temperatures and a drought-dried landscape primed to burn.

By Tuesday, conditions became a bit more favorable, said San Bernardino County Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike McClintock. He said reporting crews were no longer seeing active fire growth.

But high temperatures and potential winds could remain a threat for the Sheep fire, said Miguel Miller, a forecaster with National Weather Service in San Diego, which covers the San Bernardino area.

“Right now it’s kind of a good news, bad news,” Miller said Wednesday. “The bad news is it’s quite hot and quite dry over that fire right now. The good news is the winds are quite light.”

Miller said that heat, with highs expected around 90 degrees near the fire, is expected to last through Thursday, until an expected low-pressure system moves in Friday. He said that although that system could bring lower temperatures and more humidity — good for the firefighting — it could also bring much stronger winds, an added challenge.

Rosa said he is hopeful the weather will cool off and winds won’t get too bad, which will “help get crews into place to get this thing wrapped up here, hopefully before too long.”

Rosa’s team has estimated the Sheep fire will be contained by June 22, though he said that could quickly change depending on a number of factors.

“Crews are making really good progress,” Rosa said. “The crews that were initially on scene and worked this fire … did a phenomenal job keeping the fire where it’s at. They did really good work to keep the fire spread at a minimum.”

The South Coast Air Quality Management District had issued a smoke advisory warning of potentially unhealthful conditions in areas near the fire, but that expired Tuesday night.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, the Forest Service said.

Times staff writer Gregory Yee contributed to this report.

For more information about the Sheep fire, 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 Winter’s Dry Spell Means for California’s Fire Season | Corona, CA

This winter’s extreme rainfall and dryness might average out to near-normal levels of precipitation. But that’s no insurance policy against fire, scientists say.

By Livia Albeck-Ripka | March 1, 2022

When rain pummeled California in October, many breathed a sigh of relief: At least in some parts of the state, the worst of the fire season, experts said, was most likely over. The following month, however, precipitation was scarce. In December, it rained again, smashing records. Now, some parts of the state have barely seen another drop of water since early January.

“It has been both an unusually dry and an unusually wet winter,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Nature Conservancy.

But what do these ups and downs mean for California’s next fire season? The answer is complicated. Before October, a vast majority of California was considered to be in “exceptional” or “extreme” drought (the highest rankings, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor). So, when meteorological conditions known as “atmospheric rivers” drenched parts of the state in October and December, much of that water was sucked up by the parched landscape.

The hot and windy conditions that followed also led the rain to evaporate quickly, drying out the vegetation that fuels fires. California’s rising snowpack, which provides moisture to the ecosystem as it melts in the spring, has since plummeted.

Historically, California’s fire season lasted a few months during the hottest part of the year. But recently it has become more year-round. In January, typically one of California’s wettest months, a wildfire swept through Big Sur, a mountainous coastal region south of San Francisco, forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate. The scene was “pretty surreal” given California’s wet October and December, the National Weather Service said on Twitter at the time.

But though the extreme rainfall and dryness might average out to near-normal levels of precipitation, that’s no insurance policy against fire, scientists say. As global temperatures warm, even in wet years, hot weather can ultimately dry out vegetation to produce droughtlike conditions.

“We still get dry years and wet years, but we don’t really get cold years anymore,” Swain said. He added, “No matter what, everything still dries out.”

For now, the dry spell has a small silver lining. The lack of rain gives fire authorities more opportunity to conduct prescribed burns that help to reduce the worst impacts of fires during the summer. And fires that ignite spontaneously during these colder months are also likely to be less intense, and can help to avert worse fires in hot, dry conditions. But without rain in the coming days or weeks, the state could begin relapsing further into drought. Last year, historically low rainfall and ongoing drought helped cause a brutal fire season that lasted several months and burned 2.6 million acres.

“I don’t think March is going to somehow bail us out,” Swain said of the likelihood that generous rain in the coming weeks would help stave off intense fires this year.

“We’re seeing bad fire years almost every year,” he added.

For more information about CA fire season, 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.

Is Your Office Fire Safe? | Corona, CA

Since the pandemic, many of us office workers have found themselves working from home, while others have returned to the office and their day-to-day back to normal. Because we are returning to a workplace for the majority of our days, it is important that it is safe from fire hazards. Not only to protect yourselves, but all the property housed within your workplace. Here are some simple tips to keeping your workdays safe:

Eliminate fire hazards. While we are slowly converting to an electronic office, there is still loads of paper products around. Ensure trash is emptied frequently to prevent buildup. Electronics can also lead to accidental fires. Do not use equipment that delivers a mild electrical shock, gives off unusual heat or smells odd. Use tools and equipment correctly and keep everything well maintained in order to prevent accidental fires. Keep your outlets safe from overload and electrical cords hidden so as not to become a tripping hazard.

Emergency preparation. It is important to know who to call if something happens within the office, like a building manager or security office. Make sure to have the numbers posted in various areas, so anyone can find them. If a fire or emergency arises, report it as soon as it happens to receive proper attention.

Evacuation procedure. Every building should have a fire exit in place. Make sure all employees know where to go in case evacuation is necessary.

General workplace fire safety. If you don’t work in an office environment, it’s still important to maintain your workspace. Make sure all walkways are kept clear, sweep up scraps of paper, debris and dust as soon as possible. Do not use electrical equipment when flammable gases, vapors, liquids, dust, or fibers are present. 

For more information about fire safety in the workplace, 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 Are You Protecting Your Home from Fire? | Corona, CA

fire extinguisher training

Believe it or not, but there is an average of 358,000 house fires every year, and these fires lead to more than 3,000 deaths. Those are rather frightening statistics. Because while a house fire seems pretty common, there are a few ways to prevent them from occurring.

Unfortunately, most of these fires could be prevented by just paying attention to what you’re doing, because most of these fires occur in the kitchen while cooking. Having some basic fire suppression tools around can help if and when a fire breaks out in your home. One is a fire extinguisher. Because many of these fires begin in the kitchen, having an extinguisher handy is a great way to put out a quick flareup.

Another great tool to have in your home is the trusty smoke detector. Because fires can arise from things like space heaters or irons left on, it is important to have these placed in various rooms in your home. While they don’t do anything to extinguish the fire, they will make everyone in the house aware that a fire has started and to get to safety as quickly as safely as possible.

Lastly, the fire sprinkler. Many homeowners believe that a smoke detector is the only real necessity in protecting their home from fire, but a sprinkler system will not only extinguish a fire quicker than a fire extinguisher but can detect it sooner because it is triggered by a rise in the air’s temperature. One it is set off, the sprinkler sprays the entire area down, thereby preventing any large losses or damages that just having a smoke detector will create.

It may seem excessive, but isn’t your home and family’s safety worth it?

For more information about fire suppression tools, 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.

Mr. T’s Restaurant Building in Downtown Riverside a ‘Total Loss’ After Latest Fire | Corona, CA

By BRIAN ROKOS | brokos@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise

The latest fire at the iconic but shuttered Mr. T’s restaurant in downtown Riverside might be its last.

More than 30 firefighters battled the blaze at 4307 Main St. after it was reported at 6:29 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25. Firefighters quickly searched the building and didn’t find anyone. By 10:30 a.m., Riverside city code enforcement officials and the owner were making plans to knock the chimney into the structure so it wouldn’t fall on anybody.

“The structure is severely compromised. This building is a total loss,” Battalion Chief Bruce Vanderhorst said.

It was the fourth or fifth fire at the A-framed restaurant, he said, adding that it closed around 2019 after a kitchen fire. The city in 2020 issued a permit to the owner, listed as J & P Canaan, to fix the damage. But that permit expired without any repairs being performed, city spokesman Phil Pitchford said.

The building was later boarded up, but that didn’t prevent break-ins. Tuesday, Vanderhorst said he asked for police to respond quickly when a transient tried to re-enter the building to retrieve his belongings.

An arson investigator determined the fire was not intentionally set, but the exact cause was listed as undetermined, Vanderhorst said. No one was reported injured. Main Street was closed for hours after the fire between 12th and 14th streets.

The 1,958-square-foot, $35,000 building opened as an International House of Pancakes, according to the building permit issued in 1963. It was unclear Tuesday when the name was changed to Mr. T’s.

Vanderhorst said firefighters from the downtown station sometimes drove their rigs to the restaurant and ate Sunday breakfast there. It was a popular gathering spot for attorneys because it was a short walk from the courthouses, said former Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco.

Pacheco, who now is a practicing attorney, described the fire as “sad news.”

“It was close, a good, solid breakfast, and the price was always right,” Pacheco said. “There were other places to eat and for some reason, we gravitated toward it.”

It was at Mr. T’s — over breakfast with a Press-Enterprise reporter in 1995 —  Pacheco said he kicked off his successful campaign for state assembly. Pacheco learned that a candidate had dropped out, and Pacheco decided to run. He won, serving three two-year terms representing the 64th District that encompassed Riverside, Jurupa Valley, Norco and downtown Corona.

Staff Writer Fielding Buck contributed to this story.

For more information about CalFire map updates, 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.

Keeping Your Pets Safe in a Fire | Corona, CA

Every member of the family should know your home’s escape plan, pets included. You’ve likely talked to your spouse and other family members about what to do in the event of an emergency, but have you also factored your pets into the equation as well? The United States Fire Administration estimates that 500,000 pets are affected annually by fires. Before your smoke detector system alerts you of a fire, here’s what you should know about including your pet into your fire safety plan:

Fire escape plans. Every home needs to have a fire escape plan. If you have pets, especially mobile ones, it is important that you include them in your plans. Assign an adult to be on pet patrol – ensuring that leashes are easily-accessible so attaching to collars and escaping safely is a breeze. It’s important that you know returning into a burning building or house to rescue your pet is not safe.

In fact, the more you and your family practice a fire-escape plan, the smoother things will go in the event of a fire. To practice, sound your smoke alarm and try to have the entire family meet outside at your designated meeting spot in as little time as possible.

Pet-Alert window cling. Did you know that there is a way to alert firefighters about any pets in your home? If you have pets, buy a pet-alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house.

Fire prevention. Believe it or not, pets are capable of accidentally starting house fires. Pets have a general curiosity, causing them to explore candles, appliances and even fireplaces. Don’t leave your pet unattended around fire hazards and try to keep them away from these fire hazards at all times.

For more information about keeping your pets safe in a fire, 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.

Keeping Your Cords Sorted | Corona, CA

Do you have more electric appliances than you have sockets? Are you solving this issue by overloading your extension cords? With the holidays coming up, it is time to trim the tree and deck the halls but keeping your loved ones safe is a top priority. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you celebrate the holidays the most festive ways possible:

  • When buying cords, look for those tested and approved.
  • Don’t overload extension cords with too many appliances – check the maximum capacity guidelines.
  • Plug major appliances directly into a wall outlet.
  • Fully insert all plugs into the outlet.
  • Unplug cords when you’re not using them.
  • Don’t use extension cords as permanent wiring.
  • Avoid running cords through water or snow to avoid the high risk of electric shock.
  • Don’t run cords through ceilings, walls, doorways, or under carpets.
  • Keep cords out of the way to prevent tripping.
  • If you use too many extension cords, consider installing more outlets.
  • Avoid chaining multiple extension cords.
  • Never use indoor extension cords outdoors. Only use the cords marked for outdoor use.
  • If a cord heats up or is damaged in any way, discard it.
  • Always use cords with polarized and/or three-prong plugs or force a fit.
  • When using cord-bundling devices, such as spiral wire wrap, avoid cramming cords together to prevent damaging the cord’s insulation.
  • Never use staples or nails to attach cords to a surface to avoid damaging the insulation.

It is important that you design a fire escape plan in case any accidental fires arise. Having smoke detectors and fire extinguishers will also be beneficial. Having these simple things in place will not only prevent property damage but will also keep you calm if there ever was an emergency.

For more information about extension cord safety, 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.

Autumn Fire Safety Tips for Your Home | Corona, CA

As the summer days dwindle away and the cooler nights start to make their way into our lives, it is a time that we prepare ourselves, and our homes, for the colder months that lie ahead. We are switching off the air conditioner in exchange for a heater or fireplace if we aren’t properly prepared, it can lead to trouble down the road. So, for you and your family to be well-prepared for the upcoming weather, here are a few tips to keep in mind during these chillier months:

Smoke detectors/alarms. Being in a wildfire zone is a tough place to be during these later months, so it is imperative that our home stays on alert. Test your smoke detectors and alarms to make sure they are in working order.

Heating devices. As we get chillier, we make our homes warmer. Give your HVAC a quick inspection and change any filters necessary, leave at least three feet around your space heaters, clean your chimney and make sure to have a screen around your fireplace to ensure ultimate safety.

Garden maintenance. Now that we’ve considered the inside of your home, let’s take a look at how to protect yourself from the outside. Rain gutters and roofs should be kept free of autumn’s gorgeous falling leaves because they are dry and can easily catch fire. In fact, your entire yard should be maintained in order to keep the drier debris away from your home.

Fire escape routes. This may seem like a given, but many homes do not have a fire escape plan. Making sure that your family knows what to do in fire will be key to not only their safety but to prevent panic from happening. Knowledge is key to calmness in chaos.

For more information about home hardening tips, 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.