en-Gauge Fire and Life Safety Blog

How Fire Safety Code Violations and Obstructed Life Safety Equipment Impacts the Handicapped

Posted by John McSheffrey on 10/16/13 12:14 PM

Last month I was at the California Hospital Association for Disaster Preparedness Conference (actually, a great event), and had the opportunity to speak with a gentleman in a wheelchair about enGauge and introduce our products.  I didn’t put any particular emphasis on the discussion until he came back to our booth at the end of the show and said, “Thank you for your products.  I can’t tell you how important they are to me”. 

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Topics: Codes and Standards, Blocked Fire Extinguishers, Compliance, Electronic Monitoring of Fire Extinguishers, Inaccessible Fire Extinguisher, Blocked Fire Extinguisher, Smart Sensor

Top Fire Code Violations in Hospitals and How to Stay in Compliance.

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 8/1/13 2:51 PM

In facilities as large and complex as hospitals, there are many potential fire safety issues as well as numerous hidden code violations.  Fire-code-complianceRecently, we read a report by the State Fire Marshal of Washington State that outlined the most common violations that have been found in hospitals.  Many of these infractions could possibly start a fire or prevent people from safely escaping in an emergency situation.  We wrote up a brief rundown highlighting some of the more serious instances that occur regularly in healthcare establishments in the US.  Amongst other violations, there were minor problems ranging from burned out light bulbs in exit signs to missing ceiling tiles.  One of the biggest challenges that hospital administrators are faced with is staying up to date with code regulations; we at enGauge take those headaches away.  We’ve taken the time to boil down some of the most cited issues that peaked our interest.  

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Topics: Healthcare, Fire Extinguisher Inspections, Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Blocked Fire Extinguishers, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, Fire Extinguisher Monitoring, Inaccessible Fire Extinguisher, NFPA 10 Code Compliance, Missing Fire Extinguisher, Empty Fire Extinguisher, Fire Marshals, Medical Oxygen Monitoring

False Alarms and Missing Fire Extinguishers - A Bad Combination

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 5/12/12 2:12 PM

blog_post_Missing-Fire-Extinguisher-Empty-CabinetThis is the type of story that we run across all too often at en-Gauge.  Some pranksters at Western Washington University have taken to pulling fire alarms in the middle of the night.  And to make things worse, there have been several instances where fire extinguishers have gone missing or have been discharged during the same time period.  These types of actions when found in combination can increase the likelihood of a tragedy occuring in the event of an actual emergency.

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Topics: Fire Extinguisher Vandalism, Compliance, Vandalism, Campus Fire and Security, Fire Extinguisher Monitoring, Inaccessible Fire Extinguisher, Inaccessible Fire Extinguishers

Schools and Universities Key Target of Fire Extinguisher Vandalism

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 11/16/11 12:15 PM

Virtually every day, stories about vandalism in schools appear in the press, all with one consistent theme.  The vandals and criminals discharge fire extinguishers in the facilities causing substantial damage, evacuations, school closings and costly cleanup charges.  Here are some stories about schools that have been subjected to fire extinguisher vandalism in just the past few weeks.

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Topics: Fire Extinguisher Vandalism, Fire Extinguisher, Missing Fire Extinguishers, Vandalism, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, Fire Extinguisher Monitoring, Inaccessible Fire Extinguisher, Inaccessible Fire Extinguishers, Missing Fire Extinguisher, Electronic Monitoring

RTLS Systems and Life Safety Monitoring

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 7/15/11 11:49 AM

RTLS and Life Safety Monitoring:  Reducing Risk, Lowering Costs, Improving Patient Care

 

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Topics: Wireless Sensor, Medical Oxygen, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, Fire Extinguisher Monitoring, Inaccessible Fire Extinguisher, RTLS, Smart Sensor, Electronic Monitoring, Medical Oxygen Monitoring, Electronic Medical Oxygen Monitoring

Texas Companies Learn That Fire Extinguisher Violations Are Serious Business

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 12/20/10 9:10 AM

Two Texas companies learned the hard way this week that failure to provide a safe workplace - and in particular accessible and functioning fire extinguishers - is very bad for business.  OSHA, the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, cited the companies on multiple willful and serious violations and 
osha-Logolevied fines that equal almost $400,000.


According to Reliable Plant Magazine:



The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued Texas Linen Company Ltd. five serious and 15 repeat citations following a safety and health inspection at the company's facility in Austin, Texas. Proposed penalties total $126,400.

...Repeat citations were issued alleging a failure to keep flooring dry; cover floor holes; provide machine guards for rotating parts, points of operation, and sprockets and chains; provide illuminated exit signs and clear exit access; provide properly identified locks for machine servicing; and provide working and easily accessible portable fire extinguishers.


 


In a separate incident, OSHA has cited U.S. Minerals Inc. with three alleged willful and 35 alleged serious violations for exposing workers to multiple safety and health hazards at the company's facility in Galveston. Proposed penalties total $273,000.   According to the Houston Examiner:



Serious violations include failing to provide covers on chute floors, failing to remove damaged portable metal ladders from service, failing to ensure compressed gas cylinders were properly secured, failing to provide fire extinguishers where combustible and flammable materials were stored and failing to develop and document machine specific lockout/tag out procedures for equipment. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.


...Speaking on this issue, Mark Briggs, OSHA's area director for the Houston South Area Office said, “Employers' disregard for worker safety will not be tolerated. This company jeopardized the safety of its employees


 



blog_post_Missing-Fire-Extinguisher-Empty-CabinetAs a company that has a history of over 40 years in fire protection and life safety, we understand how vital the work is that OSHA does in ensuring workplace safety.  Unfortunately, there are large spans of time in between inspections.  That is why it the en-Gauge fire extinguisher monitoring solution is so important to workplace safety.  The en-Gauge system monitors fire extinguishers 24 X 7 X 365 and ensures that these critical life safety devices are available, accessible and ready for use when needed.  Protect your company, lower your risk and make sure your employees are safe.



 


en-Gauge.  We Make The Places People Go, Safer.

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Topics: Fire Extinguisher Inspections, OSHA 1910, Codes and Standards, Annual Inspection, Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Compliance, Uninspected Fire Extinguishers, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, Fire Extinguisher Monitoring, 30 Day Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Inaccessible Fire Extinguisher, Inaccessible Fire Extinguishers, NFPA 10, Missing Fire Extinguisher, Electronic Monitoring

Blocked Fire Extinguishers - Reason #2 30-day Fire Extinguisher Inspections Are Not Sufficient

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 12/9/10 5:41 PM

Blocked Fire Extinguishers are another serious code violation that are easy to find when you are out running errands or going to meetings.  When access to a fire extinguisher is impeded by an object, it can mean the difference between life and death.  This is another concern the 30-day fire extinguisher inspection is meant to address, but since such a small percentage of these inspections are actually performed, an extinguisher can remained blocked for months - or even years - at a time. 


Here are some pictures of blocked fire extinguishers I have found in just that past few months.


Blocked Fire Extinguishers

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This is a picture of a blocked fire extinguisher location with the extinguisher missing as well.

blog_post_Missing-Fire-Extinguisher-FileRoom_1_(3)

Blocked fire extinguishers are commonplace.  Unfortunately, they are also a serious life safety risk for the occupants of any buildings in which they reside.  The 30-day manual inspection as mandated by NFPA 10, is not sufficient to ensure fire extinguishers are accessible and available every day.  The en-Gauge electronic fire extinguisher monitoring system ensures that your extinguishers are where they are supposed to be, free of obstruction and ready to fight fires 24 X 7 X 365.

en-Gauge.  We make the places people go safer.

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Topics: Fire Suppression, Fire Extinguisher Inspections, Fire Extinguisher, Codes and Standards, Annual Inspection, Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Missing Fire Extinguishers, Blocked Fire Extinguishers, Compliance, Uninspected Fire Extinguishers, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, Fire Extinguisher Monitoring, Inaccessible Fire Extinguisher, Blocked Fire Extinguisher, Inaccessible Fire Extinguishers, NFPA 10 Code Compliance, NFPA 10, Missing Fire Extinguisher