Inspection Report Shows Problems with Suppression System Prior to Fire

March 30, 2020

3/6/20

By Lucas Geisler
ABC17 News

SALINE COUNTY, Mo. — State fire investigators noted past problems with a fire suppression system at a gas station that burned down in November.

The report from the Missouri State Fire Marshal said the hood suppression system attached to grills in the Dairy Queen restaurant weren’t properly installed to Laboratory Underwriters standards. The work order from Keller Fire and Safety also noted the system filters were dirty and that the appliances were “not properly covered with correct nozzles.”

The report from inspector Chad Hildebrand obtained by ABC 17 News ruled the fire that destroyed the gas station and restaurant off Interstate 70 on Nov. 1 as accidental. Three teenage workers at the DQ said a hot grill began to catch fire around 7 p.m. that night. The trio said they could not find anything to put out the fire with, and their manager advised them to get out of the building.

The marshal’s inspection found heavy damage along the wall by the grills. Damage to the building made it difficult for the inspector to figure out if the suppression system, which was still intact, actually worked.

“The tank to the system felt extremely light as if it was empty, however there was not a gauge present on this system,” Hildebrand wrote. “The fusible link attached to the system was not located.”

The workers, whose names were withheld because they are juveniles, said they never saw the hood system activate, which could have tamped down the fire when it started.

Firefighters with the Blackwater Fire Protection District, which led the initial response, said the suppression system put out a fire in 2017 at the DQ. Chief Tim Doty said the system put out a grill fire, but he was unsure if the system was ever recharged.

Hildebrand said he got a hold of the latest inspection for the suppression system, done by Keller on July 22, 2019. The inspection noted several problems, including the improper installation. The system was also not connected to the fire alarms in the building. The technician left a report with suggested fixes, but Hildebrand’s inspection does not say if Fast and Friendly LLC, which owned the gas station, followed the advice.

The inspection also noted the system had not been discharged prior to inspection.

Business owner Abdul Quddus told Hildebrand he did not remember a time when the suppression system went off at Stuckey’s. He also “denied having a fire in the business in the past.”

One of the teenage workers said they were working the counter when the store became busy around 7 p.m. The worker told Hildebrand the grill appeared “blacker” than usual and cooked the hamburger patties quickly.

A second worker said they began working at 4:45 p.m. An outgoing cook told them that the grill was “cooking hotter than normal,” according to the report. The worker said the grill appeared “cherry red” at one point. They turned the grill heat down in response.

A bit later, the worker said they put ten patties on the grill. When they tried flipping them, the worker said flames began to shoot from the surface of the grill.

The teenagers tried throwing several boxes of fry salt on the grill to put it out, the second worker said. When that didn’t work, they notified their manager, who advised they all leave the store.

That manager, Cali Hart, told Hildebrand she saw a male customer try to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher. Hildebrand said fire crews did find an empty extinguisher by the back door.

The original story can be found here.


Pictures from the FSSA 38th Annual Forum

March 9, 2020

This year’s FSSA Annual Forum took place on February 20-24, 2020 at the Margaritaville Resort in Orlando, Florida. Here are some of the many photos taken at the event!


2 Dead, 16 Injured in Fire During Testing of New Clean Agent Fire Suppression System (India)

February 10, 2020

11/17/19

By Raina Assainar
The Hindu

Two of the 18 workers who were injured in a fire at a company in Mangaon succumbed to their injuries.

Aashish Yerunkar and Rakesh Halde had received more than 80% burns. “Both of them succumbed to their injuries while in the ambulance. They were brought dead,” Dr. Sunil Keswani from National Burns Centre, Airoli, said.

The company, Cryptzo Engineering Pvt. Ltd., manufactures clean agent fire extinguishing systems. The blaze occurred around 4.30 p.m. when a demonstration was being conducted in the server room of the factory. There were 34 workers in the premises at the time of the incident.

Five of the 18 injured had sustained over 60% burns and four of them were taken to the Intensive Burns Care Unit of the National Burns Centre. Meanwhile, 11 patients are recuperating in the general ward for the minor injuries while one was discharged.

The fire extinguishing systems manufactured by the firm use gas. An officer was conducting a demonstration on a fire fighting system when it caught fire.

Since the activity was taking place in a closed room, the fire spread rapidly and injured many.

“We are investigating and verifying who is responsible for the mishap. A case will be registered based on the result of these investigations,” police inspector Ramdas Ingawale from Mangaon police station said.

Read the original story here: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/two-injured-in-mangaon-fire-succumb-to-injuries/article29995615.ece


Protegis Fire & Safety Acquires Florida Fire Service, Inc., Expanding Their FL Coverage

December 29, 2019

11/25/19

Protegis Fire & Safety

 

Louisville, KY / Cleveland, OH — Protegis Fire & Safety, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Tampa-based Florida Fire Services, Inc. Like Protegis, Florida Fire Service provides fire safety service and repair, inspection and installation services for commercial customers in a variety of end markets. On a combined basis, Protegis now does business in 45 states and employs more than 400 fire protection professionals across the country.

A long-standing family-owned and operated business in the Tampa area, Florida Fire Service offers complete fire protection services for various types of commercial and municipal facilities throughout the west coast of Florida and surrounding markets. “We’ve known the Florida Fire Service team for several years and are excited to welcome them to our growing company,” said Protegis President/COO Steve DeJohn. “Given their reputation for service quality and technical expertise, they are a natural extension of our brand and allow us to bring Protegis into the Florida market.”

“The partnership with Protegis is an exciting new chapter for Florida Fire Service employees and customers. We have great pride in the service we have provided to our customers over the decades, and we evaluated many options for our next phase of growth; Protegis stood out to us as a leader in the industry and a partner who will help support continued best-in-class service to our customers,” said Florida Fire Service Owner Doug Higgs.

Protegis is actively seeking fire and life safety companies across the United States who are interested in exploring their next phase of growth. “We don’t have a one-size fits all approach in our acquisition process. We work to create alignment between owners’ needs and company needs to create a successful transaction for all” said Steve Smith, VP of Mergers & Acquisitions for Protegis.

“Over the years we have had owners stay on board with Protegis after a transaction, we have had owners exit and cash out, and everything in between. Our overriding theme continues to be providing great opportunities for everyone in the companies we acquire and a transition strategy for the current owner. Companies of all sizes could be a potential fit as Protegis continues to expand our footprint and service capabilities.”

About Protegis

Protegis provides inspection, maintenance, installation, and repair services and sells new, repaired, and remanufactured parts for fire and security systems and equipment. The Company’s team of professional engineers/designers and NICET-certified technicians design, install, and program a wide variety of fire and security alarm brands. The Company’s national footprint and one-stop solution attract customers seeking to simplify their fire safety services spend and increase service quality through vendor consolidation. For more information, visit www.protegis.com.

Please contact VP of Business Development Steve Smith at ssmith@protegis.com to discuss further.


Honeywell’s New Clean Agent? ½ FK, ½ 227

December 29, 2019


Is Massive Recall of Fire Alarms Possible?

November 11, 2019

By Larry Anderson
SecurityInformed.com

Could millions of burglar and fire alarm control units be recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission?

That could be the upshot when the independent agency of the U.S. government rules on a ‘Complaint of Non-Conforming Products’ investigation requested on behalf of a consultant/forensic expert who says he has identified non-compliance dangers and vulnerabilities related to the devices.

Breaching security standards

Jeffrey Zwirn, an alarm and security forensic expert, says he has identified problems with the alarm devices and has posted online a series of videos confirming that they do not operate in conformance with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 985 and 103 and NFPA 72 (National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code) Standards. Specifically, the single data-bus circuits of the hardwired devices can be short-circuited and become either fully or partially non-functional.

The U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission is tasked with promoting the safety of consumer products by addressing “unreasonable risks” of injury, such as risk of fire, chemical exposure, electrical malfunction or mechanical failure. Typically, the CSPC evaluates such requests and determines what corrective action, if any, is appropriate, in this case possibly by the end of the year.

IDS Research & Development Inc. (Zwirn’s company) and Connaughton Group LLC, a product integrity consulting firm, sent a request to the CSPC on Sept. 20 asking for an investigation of products across the North American household fire and burglar alarm control units and commercial burglar and fire alarm control panel category.

Recalling alarm control units

The request estimates that “hundreds of millions” of the units were sold and installed across the United States. They include products sold under brand names such as Honeywell, DSC, NAPCO, ELK Products, and Interlogix. If the recall were to happen, it would be the largest recall in the history of the alarm industry.

The request states: “It is our expert opinion that these non-conforming control panels present a foreseeably dangerous and serious public safety hazard and risk to all of the unsuspecting consumers, their families and business owners who have these control panels installed in their homes and businesses.”

Zwirn has also submitted the products for investigation by UL and Intertek Testing Services Inc., which respectively provide the UL and ETL certification marks and are Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL). Outcomes of those investigations are forthcoming.

Jeffrey Zwirn also promotes and sells a product, The Interceptor, that would address the vulnerability. It is a microprocessor designed to protect the data-bus and auxiliary power output wiring installed throughout a protected premises.

Original story can be found here: https://www.securityinformed.com/insights/massive-recall-burglar-fire-alarms-sb.1571321616.html


3M Could Face “Existential Threat” from Lawsuits

October 6, 2019

Attorneys walk out of U.S. District Court in Charleston on Friday, July 26, 2019, following a meeting on more than 100 lawsuits that were filed against 3M and other companies. Andrew Brown/Staff

8/4/19

By Andrew Brown
The Post and Courier

The fortunes of an American industrial giant that developed Post-it Notes and Scotch Tape could turn in a Charleston courtroom, where 3M Co. is battling claims it contaminated the environment and polluted drinking water across the country.

The Minnesota-based company’s long-term profitability may hinge on how well it defends itself from a mountain of litigation over the production of chemicals known as per-and polyfluorinated substances – PFAS for short.

For decades, 3M was the primary manufacturer of that class of substances, which were used to make commonplace items like nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, stain-resistant carpet and grease-proof food wrappers.

The compounds were also a key ingredient in a firefighting foam that was sprayed at industrial sites, civilian airports and hundreds of military bases around the world.

It’s that product that landed 3M in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

At least 110 federal lawsuits involving the firefighting foam were consolidated here this year.

Last month, dozens of lawyers representing cities, states, individuals and water utilities in those cases packed into District Judge Richard Gergel’s courtroom to begin sorting out the high-stakes litigation.

They are all seeking damages for the chemicals that leached into the ground, seeped into drinking water and entered people’s bloodstreams.

3M maintains there is no evidence to prove the chemicals have ever harmed anyone, and it emphasized that it phased out production of PFAS chemicals in the early 2000s.

But medical scientists continue to scrutinize some of the compounds for possible links to immune problems, developmental issues, thyroid disorders and kidney and testicular cancers.

The cases involving the firefighting foam aren’t the only liabilities 3M could face as a result of its decades-long use of the chemicals. The company, which was founded in 1902, also faces allegations it contaminated the environment and drinking water near several of its manufacturing sites.

The scope of the alleged contamination is so large that it’s being compared to earlier battles over asbestos, which bankrupted companies and spawned the longest-running string of litigation in U.S. history.

That reality was not lost on Gergel, who has been assigned to manage the cases in Charleston.

He told the attorneys who crowded into his courtroom last month the litigation could pose an “existential threat” to 3M and the other defendants that manufactured, marketed and sold the firefighting foam.

“Right now, we have 110 cases,” Gergel said, “and if I’m reading the tea leaves right, there’s a lot more coming.”

“The liability could be extraordinary,” he added.

The attorneys for 3M have developed more than a few arguments to defend the Fortune 500 company, which is currently valued at more than $100 billion on Wall Street.

The chemical-laden foam 3M produced, the attorneys argue, may have been altered or misused.

The contamination, they assert, may have been caused by negligence on the part of military personnel and others who handled the foam during accidents and fire-training exercises.

The chemicals 3M utilized, the attorneys pointed out, were never regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Original article can be found here: https://www.postandcourier.com/business/m-others-may-face-existential-threat-from-charleston-court-verdict/article_fefa2990-afbb-11e9-b95d-0bbbc632b8fb.html