Category Archives: Residential Suppression

California Wildfires: Homes Burn in San Bernardino and Strong Winds Threaten to Stoke Other Blazes | Corona, CA

By Madeline Holcombe, Gianluca Mezzofiore and Jason Hanna, CNN

Updated 1:37 PM ET, Thu October 31, 2019

(CNN)Firefighters are trying to contain a wildfire that raced into part of San Bernardino in Southern California and engulfed a few homes overnight, and officials are urging more than 1,000 people to stay away while the battle goes on Thursday morning.

The Hillside Fire — which started sometime after midnight in the hills above San Bernardino — quickly consumed about 200 acres, officials said, and is one of at least 10 active wildfires in a state plagued by them in recent weeks.

Strong winds Thursday threaten to stoke the flames further. With gusts stronger than 50 mph expected in some areas, more than 17 million people in Southern California are under red flag warnings — meaning wind, humidity and other conditions are ripe for fires.

In northern San Bernardino, wind-driven flames moved from the hills and destroyed or damaged six homes and two other buildings by 7:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. ET), San Bernardino County Fire Chief Don Trapp said.

Authorities rushed to alert residents as the flames swept into some neighborhoods overnight, stunning residents who’d been sleeping. No injuries have been reported.

Julien Cooper, 53, and his father were sleeping in Cooper’s San Bernardino home when he heard his phone ringing. He woke up and smelled smoke.

“Ten seconds later, I hear the doorbell and I already know what it is since we had a fire a week ago,” he told CNN. “It was the neighbor saying that there was a fire in the field.”

Cooper grabbed his dad and his dog, crossed the street to help the neighbor’s elderly mother evacuate and met up with a relative at a McDonald’s. Minutes later he returned home and grabbed some valuables — and his neighbor’s home was on fire.

Cooper took video of the neighbor’s house engulfed in flames. His nephew Henri Moser, who lives in Maine, shared it on Twitter. Cooper said he heard firefighters say they’d try to save his house, which had barely survived a wildfire 39 years earlier.

490 homes in San Bernardino evacuated

By mid-morning Thursday, firefighters had stopped the flames in at least one neighborhood where a home burned to the foundation, video from CNN affiliate KTLA showed. But fire was burning elsewhere near the city.

“This fire moves so fast that it’s imperative that people ‘evacuate when we ask them to,” San Bernardino County Fire Deputy Chief Kathleen Opliger said.

“It’s not a safe place to be.”

Evacuations have been ordered for about 490 homes in northern San Bernardino, accounting for about 1,300 people, the county fire department said. Hundreds of firefighters were there, trying to contain the flames, San Bernardino County Fire Department spokesman Chris Prater said.

The fire was a few miles away from Cal State San Bernardino, which was closed Thursday because the regional utility intentionally cut power as a precaution, hoping to prevent fires in the red-flag conditions. The campus lost power at 3:20 a.m. Thursday.

Just to the southeast, firefighters also were battling a blaze that erupted Thursday morning in Riverside County’s Jurupa Valley, prompting evacuations. With county fire officials reporting three homes there destroyed, workers at a pet adoption center prepared evacuations as flames licked nearby brush, an employee told KTLA.

Fires in the Los Angeles area

Thursday’s winds will be of no help to Los Angeles-area firefighters, who are battling several blazes.

The Getty Fire in Los Angeles, which began Monday, is threatening more than 7,000 homes, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. Most evacuations have been lifted, and the blaze is 39% contained.

And about 40 miles northwest of the city, the Easy Fire broke out in Simi Valley Wednesday. Wind gusts of hurricane force — at least 74 mph — were reported at a weather station about seven miles north of Simi Valley.

The Easy Fire quickly consumed more than 1,600 acres in Ventura County and threatened 6,500 homes, officials said. The fire forced school closures and mandatory evacuations of about 30,000 people in Simi Valley, officials said. Three firefighters have been hurt.

Those evacuations included the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where the former President and his wife, Nancy, are buried. The facility appeared safe by Wednesday evening after firefighters responded.

The state has secured grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help fight several fires, including the Easy Fire and the blazes in San Bernadino and Riverside County, the governor’s office said. The grants allow affected local and state and agencies to apply for a 75% reimbursement of eligible fire suppression costs.

Power companies may be responsible for fires

The Simi Valley wildfire started near a Southern California Edison sub-transmission line, the power company said, adding that it has filed a report with the state Public Utilities Commission.

“SCE is conducting a review into the circumstances surrounding the fire, and will cooperate with all investigations into the origin and cause of the fire,” the company said in a statement.

The company said Tuesday that its equipment likely also contributed to the Woolsey Fire last November. The fire became one of the most destructive in the state, according to the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, killing three people and destroying more than 1,600 structures.

In Northern California, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) filed three reports with the California Public Utility Commission Wednesday indicating that its equipment may be involved in the start of three fires, according to officials.

Bill Johnson, CEO and President of PG&E Corp., told media the company has contacted the state about reports of videos possibly showing sparking powerlines at the Bethel Island and Oakley fires.

A third report was then filed linking its equipment to a fire in Milpitas, California.

“Troublemen observed wire down. They observed two houses, two cars, and a shed damaged by the fire. An on-site Milpitas Fire Department Investigator informed the troubleman that he was looking at the downed wire as a potential ignition source and collected a portion of the conductor into evidence,” PG&E said in a statement to CNN.

PG&E has been under scrutiny in recent years for the role its equipment played in several devastating fires across the state, including last year’s deadly Camp Fire, which killed 85 people. Over the last weeks, the utility has been enacting preventative shutoffs all over northern and central California.

California’s biggest fire is far from contained

North of the San Francisco Bay, the week-old Kincade Fire — the state’s largest active wildfire — has destroyed nearly 77,000 acres across Sonoma County and more than 260 structures, including more than 130 single-family homes, officials said.

It was about 60% contained as of Thursday morning. At the Sonoma County Airport, several airlines have canceled all flights for Thursday.

The Kincade Fire started October 23, but the cause is still under investigation.

The good news: Forecasters say winds in Northern California will weaken through Thursday, and more residents can go home.

CNN’s Cheri Mossburg, Joe Sutton, Holly Yan, Ray Sanchez and Dave Hennen contributed to this report.

For more information about fire 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.

When Tenant Improvements Are Necessary | Corona, CA

Having safe and protected buildings are a top priority for any landlord. Not only does it keep your tenants safe, but it also keeps your investment protected. And as time goes on, wear and tear take place and buildings need to have some improvements done. The same goes for fire safety – we need to invest some time and money in order to protect everyone and everything from a fire. Fire sprinklers are a fantastic investment in order to keep up your fire safety, but even this needs to be improved from time to time. It is time to call in a professional.

But where do you start? It can be a daunting task trying to figure out just what you need to be fire safe. You can rely on word of mouth, but can you be sure? When making tenant improvements, it is essential to confide in a reliable company that will get the job done in a timely manner. After all, improving anything will surely disrupt your daily business, so having things done quickly and correctly is necessary to keep things moving smoothly. The professionals of CJ Suppression have years of expertise with tenant improvements and specialize in all of the following:

  • Installation
  • Relocation
  • Rework within improvements
  • Remodels
  • Modifying fire sprinkler systems

Thorough tenant improvements ensure that your business runs smoothly and efficiently. For this reason, it is vital to rely on our company to avoid any complications. Call CJ Suppression in Corona, CA today and ask about how our experience with tenant improvements can help you.

For more information about tenant improvements, 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 Sprinklers in the Home | Corona, CA

Did you know that small fire can start with just a little flame and fully submerge a room in less than three minutes? That’s an extremely short amount of time. But if fire sprinklers are available, they can reduce the risk of death by about 80%, so why would you not install them in the home? It may seem unnecessary, but here are six reasons you may change your mind:

  • The sprinkler heads activate individually. Fire sprinkler heads activate only over the area where the fire is. Only the sprinkler heads closest to the fire will activate to spray water on the fire.
  • Fire sprinklers are activated by heat, not smoke. For instance, if smoke from a recently blown out candle or burnt food from an over or toaster will not trigger the fire sprinkler like a smoke detector.
  • Many fire sprinklers activate within 30-60 seconds, growing and spreading while the firefighters are in route. The longer it takes to put out a fire, the higher the risks for residents and property damage.
  • Residential fire sprinklers are smaller than commercial sprinklers and can be incorporated into the ceilings of many homes. Residential sprinkler fixtures are available in many types of finishes to make them more inconspicuous.
  • Fire sprinklers cause less water damage than a fire hose. Fire hoses discharge 80-125 gallons per minute, while fire sprinklers only discharge around 8-25 per minute.
  • Smoke alarms only alert residents but won’t extinguish a fire. Fire sprinkles can put out a fire while the residents flee from their home, increasing people’s safety and reduces the amount of property damage.

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.

Fire investigators Inspect Properties as Wildfire Season Nears | Corona, CA

By Dale Yurong Updated 2 hours ago

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Cal Fire crews and California National Guard troops continue work on a fuel reduction project in the Prather area. It’s designed to create fuel breaks and help keep foothill and mountain residents safe. But homeowners like Wayne Wilhelm are also doing their part. The 71-year-old knows how dangerous wildfires can be.

“I did not want my house to be one of those that get burnt like Paradise and things like that,” he said. “I feel like my house in a fire would probably survive the situation.”

Cal Fire inspectors have been out educating people on the need to clear 100 feet of defensible space around their home. Weeds, grass, even rubbish can pose a potential fire threat and allow flames to spread quickly.

“A lot of times with wildfires there’s high winds and there’s embers blown around by the fire,” said Seth Brown. “We want people to make their home hardened so an ember doesn’t get into a tight space or into a hole, an eave, into the attic.”

Tulare County Fire crews begin their inspections May 1, but Cal Fire inspectors have been visiting homeowners for a few months now.

Wilhelm’s fire season preparation is seen as ideal though he knows many people in the foothills have some catching up to do.

“I have a neighbor next door to me who has a lot of brush, a lot of stuff on his property,” he said. “I’ve commented to him he needs to clean it up even though he physically can’t do it himself, he can hire people to do it.”

Firefighters recommend you do outdoor property maintenance before 10 a.m. before it warms up and not do the work when it’s windy.

As we’ve seen in past years, rocks hitting metal blades can cause sparks which lead to a fire.

For more information about fire season preparations, 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.

Extinguish Your House Fire with Sprinklers | Corona, CA

The most dangerous thing about fire is not its heat or the flames, but the toxic fumes and smoke that the fire produces. It makes it hard to see and difficult to breathe, while the toxic fumes deliver a knock-out that could literally kill you before the fire has any chance of getting close to you. Given how fire spreads so quickly and how being caught in one already makes for an extremely stressful situation, thinking about killing the fire with a fire extinguisher isn’t exactly easy. Even if you do manage to get to the fire extinguisher, what happens if the flame is already too big, or that the smoke is already too thick for you to see where you’re going? Enter fire sprinklers

When fire sprinklers are installed properly and routinely checked to make sure that they’re working, fire sprinklers can, in worse case scenarios, give you and your family as much as 10 minutes of cool, clean air to safely escape from your home.

With fire sprinkler systems, you have a means of controlling the flame. They may not be able to extinguish large fires, they are often able to contain the fire enough to keep the damage to your home at a minimum while firefighters arrive.

The added cost of having fire sprinklers installed and maintained isn’t exactly cheap but does add value to your home and insurance premiums should be cheaper. But there are also plenty of other advantages that any homeowner can enjoy if they choose to have a residential fire sprinkler system is installed – the fact that you, your family, as well as your investment, is well protected.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.