Intrusion Detection

Securing the premises of your building is a good first step and includes a range of equipment and technology that work together to alert you at the first sign of an attempted intrusion.

· Door contacts are used for all windows that can open and all entry doors.

· Glass break detectors use sound or vibration sensing to trigger an alarm.

· Motion detectors sense movement near points of entry.

· Outdoor surveillance cameras act as a deterrent.

The professionals at Reliable Fire & Security provide expert design, installation, and servicing of intrusion detection systems. We also help maximize the benefits of your systems by providing integration services for your card access, IP video, fire alarm, and other building systems to work more efficiently and effectively. This gives you the most benefit for your investment.

Call THE EXPERTS at 708.597.4600 to set up your Intrusion Detection consultation today!

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What is Foam in Fire Suppression?

 The “foam” in foam fire suppression systems is an extinguishing agent that can extinguish flammable or combustible liquid by cooling and separating the ignition source from the surface. The foam suppresses and smothers fire and vapors alike. It can also prevent reignition. It is also known as “firefighting foam.”

This foaming agent is made up of small air-filled bubbles that have a lower density than water. Foam is made up of water, foam concentrate, and air. Different manufacturers have their own foam solutions and concentrate. The proportion of foam to water depends on the application.

How does foam suppression systems put out fires?

Foam suppression systems are used to “cool the fire and coat the fuel that the fire is consuming to prevent contact with oxygen and reduce combustion ability.”  The foam, when dispursed, smothers or blankets the surface of the fuel. The water content of the foam then cools the fuel and the area of foam covering the fuel to prevent reignition via flammable vapors.

Foam suppression systems are designed much like a wet sprinkler system in that stored water flows through a network of pipes where it is then discharged through nozzles. The main difference with foam systems and other traditional wet sprinkler systems is the addition of the foaming agent. This foaming agent is stored separately from the water and the two are mixed within the piping system prior to discharge.

At the end of the piping is a nozzle. The foaming agent is added or ejected into the water at the very last moment before discharge. When the water mixes with the foaming agent, expansion occurs and creates an immense coverage of foam to fill expansive areas.

Foam suppression systems are usually in large areas where there is a lot of flammable or combustible liquids such as Warehouses, Marine Applications, Flammable liquid storage, Jet engine testing facilities and aircraft hangars.

The foam system is most commonly used in these areas is because of the capabilities of foam to not only extinguish but also smother flames in a way that prevents reignition.

Special hazard fire suppression systems can provide highly effective and reliable protection when water-based systems are just not enough. Whether it be highly flammable materials, data centers, pharmaceutical, industrial, commercial, military, or protection of priceless commodities, a special hazard fire protection system may be the right solution to protect your assets. These systems require precision, specialized understanding, and careful engineering to meet industry standards and perform properly when needed most.

There are several types of foam to choose from.  Let a suppression system specialist at Reliable Fire & Security help choose the one that is right for your business.  Call us at 708.597.4600 an visit us on the web for a complete list of services at   #firesafety #firesuppression #fireextinguishers #firealarm #fireprevention #onecalldoesitall

Add Fire Protection To Your Spring Cleaning

Your Spring Cleaning list may include, washing your windows, cleaning up garbage that may have flown into your yard during the winter, cleaning the gutters, and cleaning your garage floor. But there are a few more items that you can add to keep your home safe from fires.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms – Replace smoke and CO alarms batteries and test them once a month by pushing the test button. Gently clean the alarms, but make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions first.

Kitchen – Keep countertops and stovetops free of grease and clutter. Excess grease on the drip pan or stovetop can easily catch fire. Clean oil and food spill immediately after they occur and wait until the stove is cool to wipe away the oil or grease spills. Keep flammable items such as oven mitts, towels, or wooden utensils, away from your stovetop.

Electrical Cords – Inspect the electrical cords in your home and replace worn or tattered ones. Use extension cords only temporarily and plug major appliances directly into wall sockets.

Clothes Dryers – Excess lint in the dryer is the number one cause of clothes dryer fires. Clean the lint that has been collected around the drum before or after each load of laundry. Always use a lint filter and clean it regularly. Have your dryer vents extensively cleaned by a professional. Move combustible items like boxes and clothing around your dryer to a safer area.

Grilling – Clean the grease or fat build-up after every use. This not only decreases the risk of fire, but also helps the food cook better. Make sure you check the propane tank, hose, and all connection points for cracks and leaks. If you smell gas when the grill is on, turn off the tank and burners immediately. If you have a charcoal grill, use only charcoal starter fluid. Make sure you grill a safe distance from your home and any flammable materials.

Evacuation Plan – You should have an escape plan in case of a fire. The plan should include a map of each home level with two escape routes in each room. Discuss and practice the plan with everyone in the household, including children, and add pets to the plan.

Call Reliable Fire & Security for all your Commercial Fire & Security needs at 708-597-4600.

Emergency Evacuation Plans

What Is An Emergency Evacuation Plan?

In simple terms, an emergency evacuation plan is a clear, well-rehearsed plan of what you and your employees will do in the case of an emergency. It usually details the best escape routes, meeting places to head to, and anything else of importance that could help you escape a dangerous situation safely. Emergency evacuation plans should be practiced regularly, and new staff should be briefed on them. They should be visibly present in every room in your building, within reason.

Why Do I Need A Clear Evacuation Plan?

A clear, well-defined emergency evacuation plan will allow you and your employees to safely escape from your building in the case of an emergency like a fire. Some of the reasons you should always have an emergency evacuation plan include:

  • You are required by law under OSHA legislation.
  • It will reduce confusion in the event of an emergency, reducing the risk of the emergency escalating and spiraling out of control – and avoid any legal issues following avoidable accidents.

What Should My Emergency Evacuation Plan Include?

At a minimum, the plan must include but is not limited to the following elements:

Although they are not specifically required by OSHA, you may find it helpful to include the following in your plan:

  • A description of the alarm system to be used to notify employees (including disabled employees) to evacuate and/or take other actions. The alarms used for different actions should be distinctive and might include horn blasts, sirens, or even public address systems.
  • The site of an alternative communications center to be used in the event of a fire or explosion.
  • A secure on- or offsite location to store originals or duplicate copies of accounting records, legal documents, your employees’ emergency contact lists, and other essential records.

Call Reliable Fire & Security for all your fire protection needs at 708.597.4600

Common Fire Hazards

Many people don’t realize how quickly a fire can spread. But a small fire can become a large one in an extremely short amount of time. Here are eight common fire hazards you may have overlooked so please keep them in mind.

Walking away from something cooking in the kitchen:

 Unattended gas/electric burners, toasters & hotplates, dishes that are not microwave proof, cookbooks near gas flames are common causes of fires.

Worn out electrical cords:

Frayed or chewed electrical cords start many house fires. Exposed electrical wires will light your floor or rug on fire in a fraction of a second.

Overloaded power strips:

Power strips, when overloaded, can cause a spark. If they’re anywhere near anything flammable, a fire is very likely.

Malfunctioning electrical appliances:

Most of us own more than a few electrical gadgets, all of which can malfunction at any time. Sparks from faulty toasters, coffee makers, televisions, computer monitors, clothing driers are among many electrical and gas appliances that can cause serious fires.

Unattended candles:

Candles cause hundreds of fires every year. Even with a safe holder, candles should never be left unattended. It only takes a minute for a pet or child to knock a candle over – or just a little too close to flammable material.

Fireplace or woodstove used incorrectly:

Fireplaces and wood stoves can be fire hazards when not properly used. Make sure your chimney is clear and clean before burning anything. Never throw away ashes that aren’t 100% cool- even the tiniest smoldering coal could easily start a fire in your trash bin.

Burning cigarettes unattended: 

 Smoking in bed, leaving a pipe or cigarette unattended and emptying ashtray contents before they are cold cause hundreds of fires each year.

Call Reliable Fire & Security at 708.597.4600 for all your Fire Protection & Security needs.  Visit us on the web at for a complete list of our services.

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Gas Detection Systems and Carbon Monoxide Facts

Every day, managers are faced with issues related to keeping their employees safe. Aside from the standard PPE, what about protecting your employees from the very air they are breathing? Certain manufacturing and/or production processes can create harmful gases, as can different lab experiments among many other scenarios that employees find themselves in during their work. Basic gas monitors can provide precise, low-cost, low-level monitoring of a variety of gases such as hydrocarbons, solvents, alcohols, and toxic gases.

Is your company prepared for a carbon monoxide leak? If undetected, carbon monoxide can build up inside your building until it reaches deadly levels for living beings. Carbon Monoxide has no smell. If there is a carbon monoxide leak in your building, you won’t know unless there is a carbon monoxide detector that sounds an alarm. That is why it’s important to contact Reliable Fire & Security for carbon monoxide detector installation and maintenance.

Carbon monoxide can be deadly. It is caused by breathing in carbon monoxide, which blocks the body’s absorption of oxygen. If you or someone you know has carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911 and seek emergency medical treatment.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain

Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur during variable lengths of time.

Depending on the severity of the leak, carbon monoxide poisoning  can happen over a short or long period. This is why you need to make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are always in working order. A small leak may go undetected for a while, creating health risks for you and your employees. If you suspect you or a coworker may have carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911 immediately.

Call Reliable Fire & Security at 708.597.4600 to install or make sure your Carbon Monoxide detectors are working properly. 

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Fire Extinguisher Requirements For Healthcare

Providing a safety standard for healthcare facilities can be challenging because healthcare facilities contain operating rooms that need to maintain a sterile environment and imaging rooms with sensitive equipment. Telecommunications rooms also require fire safety measures that will not destroy computers and other devices.

The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) released 99 standards that were updated in 2018 to specify the required type of fire extinguisher to be used in different areas of healthcare facilities. Certain fire extinguishers can disrupt or destroy the functionality of some devices in healthcare facilities.

NFPA 99 standards clarify any that rooms that contain MRI scanners or other magnetic imaging devices must have non-conductive fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers for rooms with these devices must be non-ferrous, which means they are not affected by magnetic fields. MRI scanners run on extremely high voltages and generate very strong magnetic fields, making conductive fire extinguishers a potential risk.

NFPA 99 also requires that healthcare facilities must provide Type K portable fire extinguishers in areas where other fire extinguishers could negatively react to ingredients in cooking areas. Type K fire extinguishers don’t react to combustible cooking oils and fats. This measure has been included in kitchen fire protection safety standards for some time.  It has only recently extended to healthcare facilities. In addition, automatic fire suppression systems are also required to protect cooking appliances.

NFPA 99 also requires healthcare facilities to provide clean agent portable fire extinguishers for telecommunications equipment rooms. Clean agent fire extinguishers are non-conductive and gaseous fire extinguishers that do not leave a residue upon evaporation. The revised NFPA 99 standards require clean agent fire extinguishers because water fire extinguishers can destroy sensitive electronic equipment that stores information about patients and the hospital.

The revised standards also require operating rooms to use water-mist or clean agent portable fire extinguishers to maintain the required sterile environment of the room. 

If you would like more information on Suppression Systems for Health Care facilities, please call Reliable Fire & Security at 708.597.4600.   

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Keep Your Commercial Kitchen Safe

Deep Fryers

Deep fryers can quickly become a vat of fire fuel if proper precautions are not taken. The fire from your stovetop or range should be at least 16 inches from your friers. The fryers should be equipped with an automatic shut-off valve in case the unit catches on fire. This valve will stop the flow of combustible fuel from feeding the flames.

The Oven

Commercial ovens should be cleaned regularly for not only health safety but for fire protection as well due to a build-up of combustible substances. Make sure your oven is placed away from other equipment to avoid heat transfer from one to the other. 

Hood and Ventilation Systems

According to NFPA code 96, every commercial kitchen must have a hood and ventilation system to prevent fire. The hood and ventilation system should be cleaned and maintained often to prevent buildup from accumulating on the outside and inside of your system. Every vent should have a grease filter that should drain into a non-flammable container. The hood should cover your entire cooking station including the ovens and fryers. It should also be structurally sound and made of noncombustible material. These systems should be cleaned and maintained regularly to keep them free of greasy buildup. 

Trash Cans

Trash cans should be emptied regularly to prevent the accumulation of fire fodder and be kept at a safe distance from open flames. Every trash can should also be equipped with a sturdy lid to keep its contents from becoming fuel in the event of a fire.

Call Reliable Fire & Security at 708-597-4600 to help you keep your commercial kitchen safe from fires.

Fire Alarm Pull Stations

Manual pull stations generally fall into two main types, single-action, and dual-action. With a single-action alarm box, a person can activate the alarm by simply pulling the handle down. Dual-action alarm boxes require the user to perform two actions to activate the alarm. They may first need to lift the handle before pulling it down.  They may need to break a glass panel to access it. On all types, pulling down the handle completes the circuit and locks the handle in the activated position, which sends a notification to the fire alarm control panel to trigger the alarms.

Once a manual pull has been activated, it must be restored to its ready position. This requires a special tool, which is used to open the alarm station. Opening the alarm station allows the handle to revert to its ready position. Once this happens, the station is closed, which will allow the alarm to be reset from the fire alarm control panel.

The placement of fire alarm pull stations is critical to ensuring they provide the protection intended. The requirements for their placement are intended to ensure that occupants leaving any area of the building can quickly and easily find and pull the alarm to warn others of the emergency on their way out and must be accessible for those who may have disabilities.

Manual fire alarm boxes must be tested annually per the manufacturer’s instructions. Annual testing is required by NFPA 72 also. This testing is typically done as part of a more comprehensive testing of the fire alarm system, which is also required annually.

If you would like to have your Fire Alarm Pull Station tested, or installed, call Reliable Fire & Security at 708.597.4600.  

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Common Industrial Fire Hazards

Industrial and Manufacturing Properties

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports electrical and lighting malfunctions as the top causes of structural fires in industrial properties. Heating equipment leads the list as the cause of structure fires in manufacturing facilities. These facilities are also at an increased risk of fire due to the storage of combustible materials and the use of flammable liquids and gasses. It’s vital to store flammable and combustible materials away from potential ignition sources.

Hotels and Motel Fires

Commercial Kitchen equipment is the #1 cause of fires in Hotels and Motels.  Kitchen fires caused approximately 50% of all motel and hotel fires, making them the primary cause.

Healthcare Fire

Fires at hospitals and healthcare facilities can be caused by several different sources. Faulty electrical wiring, improper storage of combustibles and flammables, and heat-producing equipment are all major causes. Like many other industries, cooking is the primary cause of fires in medical facilities, accounting for approximately 60% percent of all fires. Electrical and equipment malfunctions are major contributors.

Gas and Oil Industry  

Improper hot-work practices, the ignition of flammable liquids from a generator, and malfunctioning electrical motors are the leading causes of fire in the oil and gas industry. From welding operations to a vehicle’s catalytic converters, there are so many sources for ignition in this industry. Sparks from machinery can cause explosions from igniting flammable gases and vapors.

Call Reliable Fire & Security at 708.597.4600 to make sure your business is properly protected against fires.

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