Fire Protection – Effective Preventative Fire Measures

Fire Protection

Any time electricity is in action, the risk of fire arises. The United States Fire Administration reports that there are an estimated 28,600 electrical fires each year in the United States. Although any type of disaster can cause loss, a fire has the ability to immediately destroy everything in its wake. This is why it is important to learn about the proven ways to prevent fires and make sure that your company’s preventative maintenance plan is in place. An effective preventative maintenance plan should include several different measures to prepare for the reality of a fire occurring.

By following through with fire alarm systems, Infrared Load Testing, and an evacuation plan or system, your company will be equipped to combat the threat of unexpected flames. Since fire destruction can happen rapidly and suddenly, it is important to remain intentional about these preventative measures:

Fire Alarm Systems: A major part of a company’s successful fire prevention efforts should include a fire alarm system that is active and monitored. Schaffhouser Electric installs, inspects and maintains fire detection systems. We thoroughly check every part of the system—including the power supplies and devices themselves. Test smoke can be used during our inspection process to ensure that the functionality of your fire alarm system is in perfect condition. In addition to notifying you of fire, heat or smoke, a fire alarm system can also help extinguish the fire or act as an effective evacuation system.

Infrared Load Testing: Most electrical component issues aren’t always visible to the human eye. Some issues are obvious and hard to miss while others are seemingly hidden—even during intentional inspections. By the time certain “hidden” issues are noticeable, they have already caused extreme damage to equipment. The type of damage done can include equipment failure, business interruptions, and potentially even fire. Infrared Load Testing prevents these hidden issues before they cause irreversible damage. We recommend your company to have Infrared Load Testing done annually to check for faulty fuses, loose connections, overloaded circuits and other potential dangers.

Schaffhouser Electric is available to conduct annual inspections to ensure that your company is prepared. If you are looking to implement preventative fire measures or need us to advise you on the best approach for your business, call us today to see how we can keep your team safe and your businesses running in the most efficient way possible. Call 615-325-8082 or schedule an appointment with us by requesting an estimate or make an inquiry.

Fire Alarm System Installation By Schaffhouser Electric

Fire Alarm System

Fall is upon us, and October is the official fire safety month. Are you prepared?

According to the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, Tennessee ranks as 6th in the nation for highest fire mortality. However, there are many preventative measures you can take towards fire prevention and when it comes to commercial settings, proper installation of a fire alarm system can be crucial.

First, it is important to understand that a fire alarm system is far more complex (and effective) than just having a smoke detector. While smoke detectors are a central component of fire alarm systems, they typically do not provide the security and safety needed in commercial environments.

A fire alarm system is responsible for regulating an entire system of fire alarm modules within a building, and can operate through mechanical or electronic activation. The benefits of a fire alarm system include reports and notifications of fire, smoke or excess heat within a facility, as well as a source for emergency evacuation and fire extinguishment. These systems will also alert the appropriate staff of water flow issues within a sprinkler system or pull system. Recent updates and development within modern fire alarm systems include the ability to identify the exact location of possible fire danger.

A fire alarm system functions in at least one of three modes: regular (normal), alarm, and trouble—and this mode is updated and accessible in real time via the system’s control panel. When a system goes into alarm or trouble, the building will be notified so that all occupants can take the proper precautions to make a safe exit.

When it comes to fire system installation, it is imperative that this procedure is done by highly qualified professionals to guarantee that the design is conducive with a building’s structure and that there are absolutely no wiring or operational setbacks. This is necessary in corporate and industrial settings, to ensure the safety of all employees.

To give you an idea of what a fire alarm system typically consists of, you can expect the following:

  • Smoke/ heat detectors
  • Fire Alarm System Boxes
  • Sirens/ strobe lights that provide immediate warning of danger
  • Positioning throughout building that determines the exact problem area
  • Mitigation and sprinkler systems to reduce injury and damage

If you already have a fire alarm system installed, and haven’t had it inspected recently, now is the time.

Schaffhouser Electric provides inspections that can verify proper use and function of your system, by methodically examining every portion of the system, including your power supplies and the functionality of the system itself.

Here are a few other safety tips to make sure your corporate environment is prepared in the event of a fire:

  • Schedule regular inspection and maintenance of all firefighting equipment
  • Ensure that all receive proper fire protection and prevention training
  • In areas of hazard, enforce a no-smoking policy
  • Create a fire emergency plan for all areas of your corporate environment, and make sure it is always visible

If you are interested in the system of a fire alarm system, or would like an inspection on your current system, contact Schaffhouser Electric today!

How To Protect Your Home From Electrical Fires

Home Electrical Fires

Fire departments across the country respond to almost 48,000 fires caused by electrical failure or malfunction every year. These fires are often caused by simple fixes overlooked by homeowners.

Not all electrical fires can be prevented, of course, but there are a few basic steps homeowners can take to make their homes a little safer.

Step One: No Frayed Wires

Frayed wires happen throughout the home. Small appliances, Christmas lights, and lamps are all prone to broken and frayed wires.

While it’s easy to think a little electrical tape will keep you safe, it’s not a long term solution. You should discard and replace any frayed wires you find as quickly as possible in order to prevent potential electrical fires.

Appliance wire can be found at any hardware store, and replacing a few wires on a small appliance is an easy fix for most people. If you’re not big on DIY, though, replace the appliance rather than risk using frayed wires.

Step Two: Don’t Overload the Circuits

The easiest thing you can do to protect your home is to avoid overloading the circuits.

The circuits in your home are only designed to deliver so much energy. Using too much energy in a given outlet can cause wires to spark or break down.

Avoid power strips whenever possible, limiting plug use to the available two outlets. If you have an older home, consider rewiring your whole home to update your energy supply.

Step Three: Make Sure All Electrical Products Are Safe

This is also an easy fix. All electrical products–batteries, night lights, extension cords, and surge protectors–should have a label from Underwriters Laboratories.

Underwriters Laboratories is the global electrical safety standards organization. If they haven’t approved a product, it may not be safe for use.

Step Four: Replace Any Old Wiring

Finally, you can also protect your family from fires by replacing any old wires in your home.

Electrical wiring is only meant to last 30-40 years. Homes older than that were also not made to handle the amount of electricity we use in the 21st century. Too much stress on the system deteriorates the wires and puts you at risk.

If your home is older than 30 years, you almost certainly need new wiring.

Contact us at Schaffhouser Electric, and we’ll be happy to assess all of your wiring needs.

Electrical Fire Safety

Far too many homeowners are under the impression electrical work is the perfect DIY project. While there may be some tasks that you can do on your own, in most cases it is better to call in a licensed electrician. Here are some facts, figures, and tips regarding electrical fire safety.

Overloaded surge protector is a fire hazard

Electrical Fire Safety Facts and Figures

  • Typically, over $1 billion in damages is realized in property loss every year due to electrical fires.
  • Over 26,000 deaths occur every year in fires caused by electrical problems.
  • The holiday season (December and January) show the highest concentration of electrical fires.
  • Wiring that has been “fixed” is one of the largest culprits of home fires. This is especially disturbing because few of these fixes are actually done by an actual electrician.
  • Problems with light bulbs and light fixtures are among the leading causes of fires.
  • Improper maintenance, overloading of circuits, and the misuse of electrical cords are a significant cause of “avoidable” electrical fires.
  • More residential fires are started in the bedroom, but the most deaths occur in fires that are started in living areas of the home (such as the dining room or living room).
  • While system failure is the cause of some home fires, in most cases, it is due to improper wiring and the overloading of circuits (a common mistake for DIY homeowners).

Electrical Fire Safety Tips

  • Extension cords should not be used on a permanent basis. They are meant for temporary power only. If you are using one for something specific that is in use all the time, you should have extra outlets  installed in that location.
  • Never use an extension cord for a major appliance, always plug them directly into an outlet.
  • All power strips and surge protectors should feature overload test label.
  • Check wiring on all appliances several times a year. Schedule it during daylight savings time to make it easy to remember. Any damaged or frayed wiring should be replaced immediately.
  • Any electrical tool causing sparks, electrical shorts, shocks, or that overheats should be replaced.
  • Always use the recommended wattage light bulb for your fixtures.
  • Never force a three-prong plug into a two-pronged outlet. Use an adapter or use the proper outlet.
  • All electrical work should be performed by a licensed electrician.

Keep Your Home Safe By Using Only Licensed Electricians

Anyone can go online, find a how-to guide for installing a light switch or performing rewiring, and get to work. Unfortunately, injury to the individual or the home often results. Cutting corners with this work jeopardizes the safety of the home and those who live within it. Electrical installation and repairs should only be undertaken by a licensed electrician or electrical contractor.

Licensed Electrician - Nashville TN

Faulty wiring turns the home into a fire hazard. Novices do not realize the interdependent network that electrical wiring represents. A poorly designed circuit can provide the wrong amperage to appliances and electronics, causing irreparable damage. Lights placed on an overloaded circuit may flicker when appliances are in use or trip the breaker, completely shutting down the circuit.

It is not difficult to find a qualified electrician and a state license is the first indicator. A master electrician also has two or more years of experience and has passed a standardized occupational test. This individual is well-versed in the National Electrical Code and any state modifications. Electrical system planning, design, installation, and maintenance are tasks that a master electrician may perform.

A journeyman electrician also has a state license but has not yet qualified for the master’s license. This individual can install equipment and wiring but may not design systems. Some states require a journeyman electrician to work with a master. In addition to these degrees of expertise, some electricians specialize, focusing on commercial or residential work, new construction, repair, or remodeling.

Consumers can find recommendations for electricians from a local electrical supply house or home builder association. To get an electrician who is the best fit, they should describe the type of work required. Interviewing the electrician, checking references, and asking for proof of insurance and a copy of the state license helps identify the best professional for the job.