en-Gauge Fire and Life Safety Blog

What is RTLS? Real-time Locating Systems Defined

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 7/31/13 2:45 PM

RTLS, or Real Time Location Systems, are combined hardware / software systems that are used to automatically identify the location of objects or people inside of buildings.  
RTLS-Software-ScreenshotTypically, RTLS systems are used within contained areas to keep track of where every asset of interest is at any given time.  The goal of using a system like this is to constantly know the location (and in some instances, the state) of the various assets you need to track.  

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Topics: Healthcare, Wireless Sensor, Medical Oxygen, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, O2 Monitor, RTLS, Smart Sensor, Real Time Location System, Electronic Monitoring, New Technology, Location Tracking, Medical Oxygen Monitoring, Electronic Medical Oxygen Monitoring

Fire Extinguisher Fraud News Roundup

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 7/30/13 2:32 PM

After a conversation with a fire official about the problem fire extinguisher fraud, we decided to take a look for ourselves.  We were shocked by the sheer number of fraud stories surrounding fire extinguishers and their inspections that immediately popped up.  Con artists have been taking advantage of businesses all over the country by simply posing as city officials or fire inspectors and taking cash payments for false services rendered.  Here’s a sampling of some of the fire extinguisher fraud stories that we found particularly interesting

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Topics: Fire Extinguisher Inspections, Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Uninspected Fire Extinguishers, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, Fire Extinguisher Monitoring, 30 Day Fire Extinguisher Inspection, NFPA 10 Code Compliance

Safety Equipment: The First Line of Defense and The Last Resort

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 11/15/12 2:28 PM

large_NYU_Evacuation_2Hurricane Sandy has shown us that there is a thin line between functioning systems and a breakdown in life safety protections.   One need only look at New York City's Bellevue Hospital and NYU Hospitals to see that cascading system failures put lives at risk.  The dramatic image of patients being carried down flights of stairs illustrates the risk.

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Topics: Healthcare, Medical Oxygen, 30 Day Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Medical Oxygen Monitoring

Even The White House struggles with blocked fire extinguishers

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 10/16/12 2:24 PM

White_House_0Following the fire code is a challenge for the best of us;  it is even a challenge for The White House.  Recently The White House released a video "Catching Up With The Curator, The White House Fire of 1814".  Terrific history video that shows the fire damage to the north portico that is still visible.  Right next to the visible fire damage is a blockd fire extinguisher, ironic.

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Topics: A Fire Extinguisher, Codes and Standards, Blocked Fire Extinguishers, Compliance, 30 Day Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Blocked Fire Extinguisher

Fire Extinguisher Success Stories: The First Line of Defense

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 7/10/12 2:17 PM

It seems to us that it has been too long since we wrote a fire extinguisher success story wrap-up. As usual, the stories aren’t hard to find.  Small fires kept from turning into large, devastating fires by quick thinking individuals using these critical life safety devices.  Here is a wrap up:

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Topics: Fire Suppression, Fire Extinguisher, Fire Extinguisher Success Stories, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, Campus Fire and Security, Apartment, Success Stories

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

Fire Extinguishers Extinguish an Estimated 5.32 Million Fires in US in 2010

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 10/17/11 11:52 AM

According to the most recent NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) data, in 2010 U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,331,500 fires. These fires resulted in 3,120 civilian fire fatalities, 17,720 civilian fire injuries and an estimated $15,478,000,000 in direct property loss.

Of these fires 98,000 were responded to in commercial or municipal buildings. Of the over $11.6 billion in property damage, more than $2.6 billion took place in these non-residential structures. This represents an average loss per reported incident in non-residential / commercial structures of over $34,000.

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Topics: Fire Suppression, Home Fire, A Fire Extinguisher, Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Fire Extinguisher Success Stories, Type D Fire Extinguisher, D Fire Extinguisher, B Fire Extinguisher, C Fire Extinguisher, Type A Fire Extinguisher, Type B Fire Extinguisher, Type C Fire Extinguisher, Type ABC Fire Extinguisher, ABC Fire Extinguisher, Success Stories

Toddler Dies in Fire, Fire Codes Violated, Electronic Fire Extinguisher Monitoring and Annual Inspections Could have helped

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 9/28/11 12:49 PM

A very sad story.  In Albuquerque, NM a 1 year old toddler was killed in a fire that was started when her 4 year old sister was playing with a lighter.  Unfortunately, it is possible that this tragedy did not need to happen.

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Topics: Fire Safety, Fire Suppression, Home Fire, Fire Extinguisher, Codes and Standards, Compliance, Uninspected Fire Extinguishers, Non-functional Fire Extinguisher, NFPA 10 Code Compliance, Apartment

Flight diverted due to tampered with fire extinguisher

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 9/21/11 12:43 PM

After a "suspicious" passenger left the lavatory of the plane, an alert flight attendant noticed a fire extinguisher was out of place and notified the pilots. The plane was diverted as a safety measure.

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Topics: Terrorism, Fire Extinguisher, Home Land Security, Vandalism, Airport