Workplace Fire Prevention

Fire emergencies can strike anyone, at any given time.  Any fire, regardless of magnitude, can have a sizable impact on your business. The key to eliminating fires from igniting is to have a solid fire prevention plan in place.  Although it is impossible to completely alleviate fire hazards, utilizing safety measures can minimize the damage caused by fires.

Emergency exits should be well lit with regulation signs.  Emergency exit diagrams of the building should be posted around the office as well.  Every workplace must have enough exits suitably located to enable everyone to depart from the facility quickly.

In addition, all walkways and corridors should be kept clean to ensure uninhibited emergency egress. Always use the stairs instead of the elevator, and assist coworkers when help is needed. Make sure you know who to call in an emergency, and have your workplace participate in at minimum annual fire drills. Sprinkler systems and fire alarms should be tested annually, and employees should maintain an updated list of emergency contact phone numbers in case of a fire.  Early warnings play a vital role in a facility’s ability to safely evacuate its occupants during a fire emergency.

Designated smoking areas need to be assigned if your office or building is not a smoke-free establishment.  Smoking materials need to be extinguished safely and properly. Never smoke in chemical storage areas or places where paper products are warehoused.   It is also essential to practice tidiness.  Clean around your workspace daily. Clutter provides fuel to fires and can block fire exits and emergency equipment. Simple housekeeping practices can make a huge difference when it comes to fire prevention.

Turn off electrical appliances at the end of each day.  Keep heaters away from anything combustible.  Machines such as computers, copiers, microwaves and coffee pots all produce a great deal of heat, so flammable items must be kept away from them. To prevent the ignition of a fire in potentially explosive atmospheres such as those containing flammable liquid vapors or particles, all safety precautions regarding the flammables must be followed.

If fire is detected, pull the fire alarm station immediately to sound the alarm and alert authorities. It is imperative to maintain the proper type and amount of fire extinguishers required for your establishment.  Electrical control panels need to have free access so the panels can be shut off easily, and all electrical hazards should be reported.  Numerous fires start from faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment.

Should any equipment give off unusual heat or smell abnormal, do not use it. When in doubt, have equipment checked, repaired, or replaced.

 

As a building owner, it is essential to have designated persons with knowledge of the fire alarm system.  Visual inspections of alarm systems need to be performed frequently by a trained professional in order to ensure that the system is maintained in an operative condition, but extensive testing must be done semiannually or annually by a qualified state licensed inspector.  Pineland’s Southeast Fire and Burglar Alarm Company offers state certified fire inspections as a service to any business, even if we did not install the alarm system.  Through this service, SEFB gives a thorough examination to every device attached to an alarm system ensuring that the system is and its components are free of physical damage. These certifications ensure that your system is up to code and, most importantly, lives are protected.

Fires in the workplace can become hazardous, quickly.  It is imperative that companies make sure employees are as prepared as possible in case a fire occurs.  Regular checks on safety equipment, safety drills, as well as daily housekeeping can help insure you are prepared in a fire emergency.


Spring-Time Fire Safety

Spring time, the perfect season for watching beautiful sunsets on your porch, sitting outside with friends around a bonfire, lighting up the grill, and of course, spring cleaning.  As you enjoy the fresh air and outdoor activities, there are a few tips to keep in mind to protect your home from fires.

When you set your clocks forward, it means “Spring Time” is upon us.  It also means that it is time to change your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You should ensure smoke alarms are installed inside every bedroom and on every level of your home, including the basement. It is also a good time to check the date on your fire extinguisher and make sure it’s in the proper placement for the type of fire extinguisher that you have.  You should develop and practice a home fire escape plan to ensure everyone knows what to do if the smoke alarm sounds.

Lighting up the barbeque grill is great for when the weather is warm.  These grills must only be used outdoors. Using grills indoors or in enclosed spaces is not only a fire hazard, but it exposes occupants to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation.  You should always use long handled grilling utensils and heat resistant oven mitts to avoid exposure burns from heat and flames.  It is important to keep your grill clean by periodically removing grease build-up in catch trays to prevent it from igniting.  Keep a garden hose nearby in case of fire, and never leave a lit grill unattended.

A campfire is warm and welcome on a nice, cool evening.  But all it takes is a spark for things to go wrong.  When building a campfire, watch the wind direction to ensure sparks aren’t getting near any flammable materials.  Make sure campfires are well away from tents, trailers, dry grass and leaves, porches, or anything combustible. Stack extra wood away from the campfire so that the sparks from the fire cannot ignite your wood pile. Fire pits are the best place to build fires, but if one is not available, bare rock or sand is the next best option.  Camp fires should be kept small and manageable.  You should never pour lighter fluid on an open flame.

Spring cleaning, it is not always fun, but makes you feel accomplished when completed.  When tidying up around your home, check for frayed or damaged appliance cords, wiring, fuses, or breakers.  They will need to be replaced.   Check also for water leaks, especially near electrical appliances.  You should make sure household chemicals are properly stored and that cleaning agents are never mixed.  Check all of your windows to ensure they open and close properly.  You never know when you will need to use a window as an exit in an emergency.  Get rid of old newspapers, magazines, and junk mail.  These items will contribute to the spread of fire.  Filters should be checked above the stove, as well as your dryer lint filter.  Make sure the area around your dryer is clear of things that can burn, like boxes and cleaning supplies.  Clear out areas of clutter around your stairs and exit routes.  Keep anything that can catch fire, oven mitts, wooden utensils, towels, and even curtains away from your stovetop.

It is also important to maintain tidiness around the outside of your home as well.   Vegetation should be cut to a minimum and at least 20 feet from your home.   Remove leaves and trash from carports and garages.  Check fuel containers for leaks and make sure they are properly stored.  They should be kept in a cool, dry place and away from children’s reach.  Paints and yard chemicals should be kept in a secure area as well.

When it comes to house fires, prevention is a key component.  Seasonal safety checks are always a good practice to prevent fires.  It ensures you and your family’s well-being, as well as the security of your home. As most fires are preventable, it is important to create a safe environment for the ones you love. By following fire safety measures, you will ensure a safe and happy spring for everyone.


State Certified Fire Testing

A fire alarm system is comprised of many different components, each with different testing procedures.  It is a necessary and essential practice to have your alarm system tested to ensure it operates properly.  It is also needed to meet the requirements of your local building inspector, and even your insurance provider.  If you do not have evidence of complete annual inspections, your insurance carrier may potentially reject a claim should you have an incident occur.

Early warnings play a vital role in a facility’s ability to safely evacuate its occupants during a fire emergency. A Fire inspection helps to limit your liability for any potential injuries suffered by tenants, employees, or guests at your business.  Also, if you are a commercial business that has a fire alarm and you are open to the public, it is a requirement by the National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72) to have your alarm tested.  The National Fire and Signaling Code defines a higher grade of fire protection and safety standards.  This code specifies the application, testing, inspection, and maintenance of fire alarm systems.  Municipalities across the United States have adopted the NFPA 72 as a standard in the enforcement of fire code regulations.

As a building owner, it is essential to have designated persons with knowledge of your fire alarm system.  Visual inspections of alarm systems need to be performed frequently by a trained professional in order to ensure that the system is maintained in an operative condition, but extensive testing must be done on a semi-annual or annual basis by a qualified state licensed inspector.  In order to meet both federal certification requirements and state licensure requirements, fire alarm systems are required to be inspected, tested and maintained in accordance to federal and state codes.

To be a qualified state licensed inspector, a company must obtain a factory trained certification from the alarm manufacturer.  In addition, a state license which is governed by the Georgia State Licensing Board or a NICET (National Institute Certification for Engineering Technologies) license must be held. The statewide license is required for the design, installation, and maintenance of alarm systems, general systems, or telecommunication systems.  Per the National Fire Protection Act Code, Southeast Fire and Burglar Alarm Company holds a high voltage electrical license and low voltage alarm license from the State of Georgia, National Institute Certification for Engineering Technicians, as well as factory trained certification.

Pineland’s Southeast Fire and Burglar Alarm Company offers state certified fire testing as a service to any business, even if we did not install the alarm system.  Through this service, we give a thorough visual examination to every device attached to a fire alarm ensuring that the system and its components are free of physical damage.  We will confirm that every device is functioning properly through the testing of each mechanism. We offer semi-annual and annual certifications, depending on the business’s needs. These certifications ensure that your system is up-to-code and, most importantly, lives are protected.  It is essential for a qualified state licensed inspector be contacted for an alarm system assessment.


New Year Fire Safety

The New Year is often a time for reflection and resolutions.  Did you make New Year’s Resolutions that will benefit you and your family?  Often times, our resolutions call for diet and exercise, but sometimes, we forget about the well-being and safety of our homes and establishments.  Here are some things to consider when assessing the risk of fire in your home or business.

Test your Fire Alarms.  It’s the start of a new year and also a good time to ensure your fire alarms and smoke detectors are working properly.  We recommend that you check your system regularly to ensure that everything is fully operational.  And while you can take steps to reduce fire hazards, there is little that can be done to predict and prevent a wiring malfunction that could lead to a structure fire.  It is recommended that you install a smoke alarm on every floor of your home or office.  It is also important that you install a smoke alarm outside every sleeping area.  A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove. Be sure to test your smoke alarms at least twice annually, or even monthly if you choose to do so.  Smoke alarms are intended to be replaced every ten years. You should change your batteries every six months to ensure proper functioning.

Winter is the perfect time for fires in your fireplaces, indoors or outdoors. Fireplaces should not be used as furnaces. Use a fireplace for a short-duration fire — no longer than five hours. Keep a nonflammable rug in front of the fireplace so that sparks won’t melt or otherwise damage your flooring. Use fireplace tools to handle burning logs to prevent burns.   Your outdoor fire pits should be placed away from anything flammable, including wood piles and vehicles. Keep fires located at least 10 to 20 feet away from surrounding plants, as well as from nearby buildings, including your home.  If your fire pit has a screen, use it whenever you’re burning. It’s also a good idea to have a bucket of sand or garden hose handy to deal with wayward sparks from wood fires. When you’re done enjoying your fire, extinguish it properly. Most manufactured fire pits offer specific instructions for smothering a fire. Review the instructions before it’s time to put out your fire, as water can crack ceramic fire pits and some metal ones.  Never leave your fire place, indoor or outdoor, unattended.  Make sure your kids and pets are at a safe distance away from the fire.

Update your fire risk assessment.  One of the most vital responsibilities of an employer and homeowner is to ensure that the property has had a full fire risk analysis carried out.  It is also a good idea to hire a professional to check over your premises thoroughly to guarantee full fire safety compliance.  Parents must take extra precautions to reduce fire risk in the home, including installing fire safety equipment and preparing comprehensive safety evacuation plans to ensure children escape safely.  It is a sad fact that among the thousands of children killed or injured in home fires each year, more than 40 percent are under five years of age.

Fire safety provisioning goes hand in hand with knowing the hazards pertaining to fire that are bound to impact your home or businesses.  As you start thinking about your goals and resolutions for the New Year, the protection of your property should certainly be considered.  Peace of mind is a choice, and with proper preparation, you can rest easily knowing you have done your part to keep your home or business safe.


Halloween Safety Tips

Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to safety. The occurrence of fire, and burns and falls among children increases around Halloween due to costumes and the placement of Halloween decorations.  Halloween is fun and exciting, but it is also an essential time to be cautious to help reduce the risk of burn or injury.

When purchasing a Halloween costume, be certain it is flame resistant.  Make sure costumes allow for clear sight and proper hearing.  It is also important to make sure costumes fit properly, it is easy to trip on costumes that are too long or shoes that are too big.  Wear light or brightly colored clothing.  Put glow-in-the-dark or reflective patches or strips on costumes so trick-or-treaters can be seen better and have at least one flashlight per group. Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision.  If kids are mature enough to trick-or-treat without adult supervision, be sure they are trick-or-treating in groups.

Decorations are often the first thing to ignite in reported home fires each year.  Hay bales, corn stalks, and cotton can easily go up in flames.  Keep all decorations away from open fires and heat sources such as lightbulbs and space heaters. Indoors or out, check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.  Discard damaged sets, and don’t overload extension cords. Check the batteries in your smoke detectors, make sure your fire extinguishers are up to date and fully charged, and practice your escape drills with your family.  If your children are going to a Halloween party at others’ homes, have them look for escape routes at the party, and plan how they would get out in an emergency.

Use a battery operated candle or glow-stick in jack-o-lanterns. If you do use candles, never leave them unattended, and outdoor jack-o-lanterns should be kept out of the path of anything that can burn and far enough away from trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, and walkways.  Remember to keep exists clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.

Halloween is one of the most thrilling nights of the year for children (and many adults), and also one of the most dangerous. Costumes and other components can create hazards if you are not careful.  But by planning ahead, and taking simple safety precautions, you can help make this Halloween fun and safe!


Keep an Eye on Your Valuables Even When You are not Near

Surveillance cameras have redefined security and protection of homes and businesses. The range and options of surveillance cameras available in the marketplace has encouraged their deployment in more locations, areas, and facilities. Anyone looking to protect their home, property, and family should consider purchasing a camera system. One of the primary benefits of a video security system is to prevent a criminal act from ever happening. Well positioned cameras will deter potential criminals, or send them looking for locations less equipped.

Historically, adding a camera system to your security system simply wasn’t affordable.  Now, however, advances in technology, including video cameras, video recorders, and networking capabilities, have made video surveillance systems affordable and beneficial for home and business use.  Security/surveillance cameras allow you to view the inside and/or the outside of your property anytime you desire. Integrating video into your security system enables you to view any area of your property, as long as you have Internet or data access via a computer or mobile device.

An outdoor security camera will help discourage criminal activity. Typically, these potential thieves will case your property before they burglarize. If the criminals notice a camera, they are less compelled to invade your home or business. A security camera can prevent your family or business from becoming victim to a crime.  If a theft should occur, your security cameras can provide police with the information they need to convict the thief and possibly help retrieve your stolen valuables. Be sure you have a good quality camera that can capture faces accurately.

When children or elderly relatives are home alone, it can be comforting to know that they are safe. Cameras can be used to keep an eye on younger children and their teenage babysitters.   Camera systems are also great for monitoring your pets.  If you consider your pets to be members of your family, then you often worry about their wellbeing, especially with older pets that require special attention.   Adding remote video will allow you to log in and monitor the interaction between your loved ones and their caregivers, and even your four-legged friends while you are away.

Most major insurers will offer lower premiums if you protect your property against theft, fire, and vandalism with a professionally-installed and monitored security system. A more advanced system that includes home security cameras could net you a 10% or even 20% discount on your rates.  Check with your insurer to determine what discounts could be available to you.

Ultimately, business managers and homeowners are looking for peace of mind – protecting their assets and providing a safe and secure environment for employees, friends, and family. The latest advances in security cameras and surveillance systems have elevated levels of security monitoring, management, and enforcement and help hinder the activities of even the most sophisticated and experienced thieves and criminals.


Enjoy Your Vacation With Our Security Check List

Relax, Don’t Stress, and Enjoy your Vacation with this Security Checklist

Vacation. It should be a peaceful time, filled with relaxation and fun with friends and family, not worry about what may or may not be happening at your home or business while you are away. Vacation, you see, is the perfect time for a thief to be procuring his or her next big find – your stuff. So that you can enjoy your time off and not worry about the next criminal to hit the streets of your hometown, we have developed a short precaution list to protect your home or business while you are away.

  1. Ask police to check your home and patrol your neighborhood more closely while you away.
  2. Stop mail and newspaper deliveries, or have a trusted neighbor collect them while you are away so they do not accumulate.
  3. Secure all doors, windows, pet entrances, and garage doors.
  4. Transfer valuables to a safety deposit box.
  5. Place timers on indoor lamps to illuminate your home at night, and set timers to turn on radios and televisions randomly during the day and early evening. This can also be done with smart home technology devices.
  6. Place timers or set up smart home technology to turn on outdoor lights at dusk and turn off at dawn.
  7. Arrange to have your landscaping continue, an overgrown yard is an immediate indicator to burglars that no one is home.
  8. Keep some shades and blinds up and curtains open to maintain a normal appearance.
  9. Have a trusted friend or family member check your home, inside and out, each day.
  10. Park a car half-way down your drive to create the illusion that someone is home as well as inhibit a burglar to use your driveway as a way to better access your property

Southeast Fire & Burglar Alarm Company joined the Pineland family of companies in 2009. SEFB offers commercial and residential state-of-the-art security and alarm systems as well as smart home and office technology. Southeast Fire & Burglar Alarm Company offers customers and interested patrons three offices from which to obtain information, drop off payments, or pick up small service items. They can visit the Pineland offices at 30 S Rountree Street in Metter, 708 Northside Drive East, Suite 106 in Statesboro, or in Swainsboro at 425 S Main Street. The company can be reached via phone at (912) 685-2059 or (888) 963-FIRE and on the web at www.southeastFBalarm.com. The team of Southeast Fire & Burglar Alarm has provided complete security solutions since 1999.


Change Is In The Air

Change is in the air, and we aren’t just referring to the latest cold snap, although snow would be nice in South Georgia.

Since last summer when Southeast Fire & Burglar Alarm Company acquired Southeastern Alarm and Technologies much has been happening behind the scenes at The Pineland Family of Companies. Soon these changes will be noticed by our current clients, inquiring customers, visitors, and community members.

Beginning April 1st, residential Southeast Fire & Burglar Alarm Company customers and those inquiring of services will be able to visit our locations in Metter, Swainsboro, and Statesboro to discuss basic plan options and schedule a home visit for a more thorough review of the products and services to make their home safer. Commercial clients will have dedicated Sales Managers and Customer Experience Associates to assist them with any questions or additions to their service. A model home will be set up in our Metter location for clients to get the “hands-on” experience of features such as motion sensors, security cameras, and smart home technology. Payments can already be accepted at any Pineland locations.

While Southeast Fire & Burglar Alarm Company is your premier security solution provider in the area, we don’t want to leave out such important features such as our fire and smoke monitoring systems that are available for residential and commercial locations. At this time of year, those services become especially important as people try to keep themselves and their pets warm, and pipes safe from damage. Contact us today to learn more about the options available to you.

Southeast Fire & Burglar Alarm Company joined the Pineland family of companies in 2009. SEFB offers commercial and residential state-of-the-art security and alarm systems as well as smart home and office technology. Southeast Fire & Burglar Alarm Company offers customers and interested patrons three offices from which to obtain information, drop off payments, or pick up small service items. They can visit the Pineland offices at 30 S Rountree Street in Metter, 708 Northside Drive East, Suite 106 in Statesboro, or the newly opened office in Swainsboro at 425 S Main Street. The company can be reached via phone at (912) 685-2059 or (888) 963-FIRE and on the web at www.southeastFBalarm.com.

The team of Southeast Fire & Burglar Alarm has provided complete security solutions since 1999.

Written By DeWayne Grice, Statesboro Herald 


We Are Who We Say… And Can Prove It!

Uniform shirts, company issued ID badges, and company branded vehicles may not seem to be a big deal, but when the safety of your family and property are in question, they can go a long way. At Southeast Fire & Burglar Alarm Company, a member of the Pineland family of companies, we take pride in our brand and the services we provide to keep your family, home, and business safe.

Recently in the news, you may have heard stories of “utility” workers gaining access to homes by showing up unannounced and asking to check something like water quality or circuit breakers. By all appearances, these individuals look legitimate. However, it is a sly ruse in which criminals use in order to gain access to your home and valuables. One such instance cost a homeowner in New York over $70,000 before the criminal activity was realized and the perpetrator apprehended.

With any Southeast Fire & Burglar service, you can expect an appointment to be scheduled and employees to be in uniform, with a company issued employee badge. We will only show up for an appointment in a company vehicle. Your safety and security is our number one concern. With SEFB, know that your Peace of Mind is a Matter of Choice.

Southeast Fire & Burglar Alarm Company joined the Pineland family of companies in 2009. SEFB offers commercial and residential state-of-the-art security and alarm systems as well as smart home and office technology. Southeast Fire & Burglar Alarm Company offers customers and interested patrons three offices from which to obtain information, drop off payments, or pick up small service items. They can visit the Pineland offices at 30 S Rountree Street in Metter, 708 Northside Drive East, Suite 106 in Statesboro, or the newly opened office in Swainsboro at 425 S Main Street. The company can be reached via phone at (912) 685-2059 or (888) 963-FIRE and on the web at www.southeastFBalarm.com. The team of Southeast Fire & Burglar Alarm has provided complete security solutions since 1999.


Hear the BEEP Where you SLEEP

Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm

Fire Prevention Week is October 4-10, 2015

One-hundred and forty-four years ago America experienced two terrible fire events, both taking place on the same day. On October 8, 1871 what is now known as the Great Chicago Fire, a blaze that erupted in a barn or shed (origin unconfirmed) led to the deaths of more than 250 people, left more than 100,000 homeless, and burned more than three square miles over a two-day period. Also on October 8th, but in Northeast Wisconsin, the Peshtigo Fire became what would become the most devastating forest fire in all of American history. It burned through numerous towns, reportedly killed 1,500 people, but possibly as many as 2,500, and scorched over one-million acres before it ended.

The survivors of these incidents retained the terrible memories, and the blazes changed the way public officials thought about fire safety. Forty years following the fires, the (now) International Fire Marshals Association led the charge to commemorate the events not with festivities but with learning opportunities to better ensure these events never repeat. In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Nation Fire Prevention Day and since 1922 a full week has been recognized.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week Slogan is “Hear the BEEP, Where You SLEEP; Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm”. The importance of this year’s message is due to half of all home fire deaths occurring between the hours of 11:00pm and 7:00am; a quarter of all home fires beginning in the bedroom; and three of five home fire deaths occurring in a home without a working smoke/fire detector. A best practice for safe sleeping is to install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside sleeping areas, and on every level of your home. It’s all about the location when it comes to smoke alarms, and the more the better.

Additional information on National Fire Prevention Week can be found by visiting firepreventionweek.org.