Commercial versus Residential Fire Protection

Commercial versus Residential Fire Protection

Commercial buildings are typically larger and more complex than residential homes. As a result, commercial properties often require more complex fire protection measures than homes. In addition, commercial properties are used for various purposes including retail, entertainment, food service, and more, and their fire protection systems must be adapted accordingly.

Residential Fire Protection

Some common forms of fire protection that can be found in homes include:

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Smoke detectors
  • Fire sprinkler systems

Residential Sprinkler Systems

One big difference between commercial and residential fire protection is that in many homes, fire sprinkler systems are not required by law. Commercial properties are required to have fire sprinkler systems. Many homeowners choose to install fire sprinkler systems to help keep their property and people safe, and they may see a reduction in insurance premiums when sprinklers are present.

Residential sprinkler systems are typically less complex than commercial sprinklers. They are usually connected to the domestic water supply and may have smaller sprinkler heads that blend in with the home’s aesthetics. The standards and requirements for residential fire sprinkler systems can be found in NFPA 13D.

Commercial Fire Protection

Commercial applications typically require more complex fire protection measures than residential homes. Some common fire protection systems that are found in commercial buildings include:

  • Fire sprinkler systems
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Fire alarm and detection systems
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Alarm monitoring systems

The fire protection systems that are found in commercial buildings will vary depending on building size, type of occupancy, and local or state regulations.

Commercial Sprinkler Systems

NFPA 13, the Standard for Installation of Sprinkler Systems, requires fire sprinkler systems in these commercial buildings:

  • All new commercial structures with a fire area of more than 5,000 square feet must have automatic fire sprinkler systems installed.
  • Any remodeling or expansion that extends the fire area beyond 5,000 square feet, or any single tenant increase in occupancy requiring a new certificate of occupancy, will require sprinkler systems to be installed throughout the building.
  • Buildings more than 55 feet tall must have automatic sprinkler systems installed in all of the structures.
  • Sprinkler systems are required in townhomes with more than two residential occupancy units within a structure.

Commercial Fire Suppression

In some commercial settings, fire suppression systems that go beyond basic traditional sprinkler systems are required. For example, data centers, restaurants, and museums may need suppression systems that utilize agents other than water to protect against fire.

Commercial Alarm & Detection

When it comes to fire alarm and detection systems in commercial buildings, uniquely designed systems that include interlinked elements and a central control panel are required. Many commercial alarm systems are required to have 24/7 monitoring and are required to be inspected and tested on a regular basis by fire protection professionals.

WSFP Provides Residential & Commercial Fire Protection

Western States Fire Protection can provide commercial and residential fire protection systems. We can design and install fire sprinkler, fire suppression, and fire alarm systems to fit the unique requirements of your building. We can also provide inspections, testing, and service for your commercial fire protection systems to keep them functional and code compliant. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

Is Your Multifamily Home Protected From Fires?

Multifamily Home Fire Protection

Are you practicing fire safety in your home? What about the hundreds of other residents living in your multifamily complex? Living in an apartment, condominium, or any additional multifamily residency has a few different fire safety measures than an individual family home. According to a study done by NFPA, apartments made up 29 percent of reported residential fires. Multifamily residency homes may cause larger-scale damage due to more occupants and larger properties. With more people and assets present, multifamily home fire protection is important to keep up to date.

What Systems Should Be Present in a Multifamily Residence?

When more people live in the same building using heat, electricity, and other appliances more fire protection is needed. You should not have to worry about the unit next to, beneath, or above you. The following fire protection systems installed into multifamily residence homes are meant to protect the numerous amounts of people living in them.

  • Fire alarm systems
  • Fire sprinkler systems
  • Fire hydrants
  • Fire pumps
  • Kitchen hood fire suppression systems

What Systems Should Be Regularly Inspected for Proper Operation?

Does your apartment or condo have all the fire systems it should? When were they last inspected? All of your systems are essential in their own way, which is why it is essential to have them inspected.

Fire alarms: Fire alarms need to be working in every unit and on every level to alert occupants of an emergency. Inspecting fire alarms means ensuring the sound and light alarms will work appropriately in time of need. The detection system needs to be checked regularly by a professional team.

Fire sprinklers/systems: Fire sprinklers must be inspected regularly for leaks, cracks, or damage that may interfere with the function of the system. Sprinkler inspections, testing, and maintenance should be completed professionally and follow the NFPA 25 standards.

Kitchen hood systems: Kitchen hood systems should be inspected regularly for blockage, or damage to the equipment, and repairs should be done by a technician team. Your inspections/services should be done by a trustworthy fire protection company for the best and safest results.

WSFP Multifamily Residence Inspections and Services

Western States Fire Protection has the experience and expertise in multifamily home fire protection and can fulfill all needs for your fire system’s inspections and services. Family residencies we can provide inspections and services for include apartments, condominiums, townhomes, assisted living facilities, long-term care facilities, hotels, and more. WSFP gives efficient and courteous services for your system’s issues and allows you to feel safe while continuing with your daily activities. At WSFP, we also have a 24/7 response team ready to assist you in case of a fire system emergency. Contact Western States Fire Protection today to schedule your multifamily residence fire systems inspections and services.

Commercial Kitchen Hood Suppression Systems

Commercial kitchens are at risk for fires from cooking operations. According to the NFPA, there was an estimated 7,410 structure fires in eating and drinking establishments from 2010 to 2014. 61% of these fires were caused by cooking equipment. Due to the many fire hazards present in commercial kitchens, it is especially important that these spaces have the proper fire suppression systems in place.

Why are Kitchen Hoods Needed?

Commercial kitchen hoods offer both fire protection and a more comfortable working environment. Kitchen hoods remove heat, steam, grease, and smoke from the air, creating a more pleasant environment as well as preventing kitchen fires. They are also typically equipped with an automatic wet chemical fire suppression system that are designed to suppress fires and contain them to the point of origin. Hood suppression systems are necessary because they protect the space from many fire hazards including ovens, broilers, fryers, cooking oils and more.

How Do Kitchen Hood Suppression Systems Work?

When the fire suppression system detects a fire in the kitchen, it will trigger the release of wet chemical extinguishing agents that are designed to smother the fire. However, as noted below, the failure to regularly clean the hood affect the ability of the fire suppression system to suppress the fire. The hood will also cut off the gas or energy supply to the appliance to help stop the fire. In a kitchen, water is not usually an effective way to put out a fire since grease fires typically spread when water is added. NFPA 96 requires commercial kitchens to have kitchen hood suppression systems that are equipped to handle grease fires.

Kitchen Hood Installation

Commercial kitchen hood suppression systems need to be installed by a qualified fire protection professional. The size and type of kitchen hood system installed is determined by the hazards present in your kitchen. Commercial kitchen hoods must be installed in accordance with manufacturer specifications and all relevant codes.

How Often Do Kitchen Hoods Need to be Inspected?

  • Monthly: On a monthly basis, the building owner or manager should perform a basic visual inspection of the kitchen hood. During this inspection, check for grease and clogs, damage to the nozzle caps and extinguishing lines, or anything that looks damaged.
  • Semi-annually: Every 6 months, a licensed fire protection professional must perform an inspection of your kitchen hood suppression system. During this inspection, your fire protection contractor will check the functionality of your fire suppression system and do a complete inspection of all the system’s components.

Kitchen Hood Cleaning

Commercial kitchen hood suppression systems should be cleaned regularly. If the system is not cleaned, grease will accumulate, and the suppression system may not work as it is designed. You should be cleaning your kitchen hood often, depending on the volume of your kitchen. Cleaning should be done weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly, or even daily if you have a high-volume kitchen.

Western States Installs, Inspects and Services Kitchen Hoods

At Western States Fire Protection, we provide installations, inspection and service for your commercial kitchen hood suppression systems. We can service and inspect kitchen hood systems from any manufacturers. We install kitchen hood systems from many manufacturers including Buckeye, Kidde, Captive Aire, Pyro Chem and Ansul. Our kitchen hood services vary depending on location.

Locations offering commercial kitchen hood service, inspections, and installations:

Locations offering commercial kitchen hood service and inspections only:

If you are interested in learning more about our services for commercial kitchen hood suppression systems, contact us today!

Basic Components of Fire Alarm & Detection Systems

What Are the Basic Components of Fire Alarm & Detection Systems?

Fire alarm and detection systems are an essential part of the life safety system for any building. Whether you have a commercial, residential or industrial facility, it is important that all of the components of your fire alarm and detection system can work together to protect the lives of people within the facility. So, what are the components of a fire alarm system?

Basic Fire Alarm System Components

  • Fire alarm initiating devices
  • Fire notification devices
  • Fire alarm control panel
  • Primary power supply
  • Backup power supply

Fire Alarm Initiating Devices

The role of the alarm initiating devices in a fire alarm system is to activate the system when a fire occurs. There are two types of fire alarm initiating devices:

  • Manual initiating devices – These devices include pull stations, break glass stations or buttons that need to be manually activated by someone in the building when they identify a fire. Manual initiating devices need to be well marked and accessible to make it easy to identify and use.
  • Automatic initiating devices – automatic initiation devices trigger the fire alarm system automatically when a fire happens. These devices include heat, flame and smoke detection. When heat, flames or smoke is detected, the devices send a signal to a central control panel that activates the system.

Fire Notification Devices

The role of notification devices in an alarm system is to notify building occupants when a fire is detected. Some fire alarm notification devices include:

  • Bells
  • Strobes
  • Horns
  • Chimes

Fire Alarm Control Panel

The fire alarm control panel is the central hub of the fire alarm and detection system. The control panel acts as the brain of the alarm system by monitoring and managing the initiation devices. When an initiation device is triggered, a signal is sent to the control panel and the control panel activates the notification devices. The status of the system is displayed on the control panel and allows you to see when an issue is detected and allows you to control it manually.

Primary Power Supply

The primary power supply for your fire alarm system is supplied by your power company. The primary power supply is typically 120- or 240-volt AC power sources.

Backup Power Supply

In the event of a power failure, the fire alarm system still needs to work in order to alert people if a fire occurs. A backup power supply is an important part of any fire alarm and detection system. The backup power supply includes 6- or 12-volt batteries to keep the system running when a power failure happens.

Other Important Components

  • Sprinkler systems – No life safety system is complete without fire sprinklers. When a fire is detected, the fire sprinkler system is activated to suppress or extinguish a fire.
  • Exit lighting – When a fire occurs, people need to be able to get out safely. Having a lights to show people how to exit safely is very important.
  • Alarm monitoring – Having a monitored fire alarm system alerts the authorities when the fire alarm system is activated.
  • Voice communication systems – Voice communication systems give verbal commands to building occupants telling them what to do during an emergency situation. Voice communication is especially helpful in high rise buildings, arenas and hospitals.
  • Remote controls and display panels – In a larger building such as a high rise building with a lot of floors, having remote controls and display panels throughout the building can be helpful. These devices allow personnel to easily check, activate, and deactivate alarms from remote part of the building.

WSFP Installs and Services Fire Alarm Systems

Western States Fire Protection can install and service fire alarm and detection systems. We install fire alarms that fit the needs of your facility. Whether you have a small application or larger campus, we can design an alarm system for you. In addition, we inspect, service and repair all the components of your system. Contact us to learn more about our fire alarm and detection systems!

Types of Fire Sprinkler Systems

4 Types of Fire Sprinklers

There are many types of fire sprinkler systems that are available for your building. Whether you have a retail building, a high hazard industrial facility, or a warehouse, you can find a sprinkler system that works well for your application.

Traditional Fire Sprinklers

Traditional fire sprinklers are the most common form of fire sprinklers. It is a wet pipe system, meaning the system’s pipe are filled with pressurized water. When the system activates, the sprinkler head nearest the fire will activate, discharging water onto the flames. This is the simplest form of fire sprinkler. It is used in most applications because it is the most inexpensive option while also being very effective.

Dry Pipe Sprinkler Systems

In contrast to traditional sprinkler systems, dry pipe sprinklers do not have water in the sprinkler pipes. Instead, the pipes are filled with pressurized air or nitrogen. When the sprinkler system activates, water will fill the pipes and then be discharges onto the flames. These systems are used in cold, unheated areas where water could freeze.

Pre-action Sprinkler Systems

In areas where accidental discharge of the sprinkler system could cause irreparable damage, a pre-action sprinkler system is used. These systems are a form of dry pipe sprinklers that require a two-step process to activate. First, a fire is detected, and the pre-action valve opens, allowing water into the pipes. Then, each sprinkler head is individually activated to allow water to be released.

Deluge Fire Sprinklers

Deluge sprinkler systems are used in high hazard applications. In these systems, the pipes contain unpressurized air, making it a dry pipe system. The sprinkler heads are always open and when a fire is detected, a deluge valve opens and allows water to be released to all the open sprinkler heads. This creates at total flood which puts out a fire quickly and effectively.

WSFP Does Fire Sprinklers

At Western States Fire Protection, we design, install, inspect, test and service many types of fire sprinkler systems. We can install traditional fire sprinklers, dry pipe systems, pre-action sprinklers, and deluge sprinklers. Our team is experienced and qualified to design a sprinkler system that fits the needs of your facility while remaining in compliance with local and NFPA standards. We also provide ongoing, inspections and service for your systems. If you have an emergency with your fire protection system, we have technicians who will respond to your situation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Contact us today to learn more about our fire sprinkler systems!

Pre-Action Sprinkler Systems

What is a Pre-Action Sprinkler System?

A pre-action fire sprinkler system is a type of sprinkler that requires a two-step process in order to discharge. These systems work well in areas where accidental discharge needs to be prevented.

How a Pre-Action Sprinkler Works

Pre-action fire sprinklers are a dry sprinkler system, water is not contained in the pipes but is held back by a pre-action valve. Pre-action valves are electrically operated valve that is activated by heat, smoke or flame. The steps for activation of a pre-action sprinkler system are:

  1. A fire is detected, and the pre-action valve opens, allowing water to flow into the sprinkler pipes. At this point, the sprinkler system is now a wet pipe sprinkler system.
  2. Each fire sprinkler head is opened individually. The sprinkler head must be activated to release water onto the affected area.

Things to Consider About Pre-Action Systems

There are some things that should be considered when it comes to pre-action systems.

  • Pre-action sprinkler systems work well in areas with sensitive assets and equipment where accidental discharge needs to be prevented due to their 2-step activation process.
  • A pre-action system is often more costly to install than a traditional sprinkler system because it is more complex.
  • This system is also more difficult and costly to maintain because it has additional components and is more complex.
  • Pre-action sprinklers can be designed to have pressurized nitrogen or air within the pipes to keep the water in place if the valve is accidentally opened. This form of pre-action system is most commonly found in freezer warehouses.

Common Applications for Pre-Action Systems

Pre-action fire sprinkler systems have the benefit of reduced risk of accidental discharge because of this, they are a great option for water sensitive environments. Some common applications for pre-action sprinkler systems include:

  • Museums
  • Freezer warehouses
  • Data centers
  • Archives
  • Libraries
  • Computer rooms
  • Telecommunications centers
  • Process control rooms

Work with WSFP for Pre-Action Systems

Western States Fire Protection can design and install pre-action sprinkler systems for your water sensitive applications. We have technicians that are qualified to install a pre-action system that will protect your assets and meet NFPA standards. After installation, Western States can provide ongoing services such as inspections, testing and repairs for your pre-action sprinkler system. We are a full-service fire protection contractor that provides 24-hour emergency service.

If you are interested in working with Western States to install a pre-action fire sprinkler system, contact us today.

Fire Alarm & Building Monitoring

Security & Fire Alarm Monitoring

Fire alarm and security monitoring can give you the peace of mind that your building is protected around the clock. With a monitoring system, you will have live operators 24 hours a day that are ready to respond to an emergency in your facility. WSFP provides fire alarm and building monitoring so that your facility can get attention quickly if there is a fire, burglary, medical or other emergency.

UL Listed Monitoring Facilities

WSFP’s UL Listed Monitoring facilities have the latest in modern technology to make sure that we’re ready for the emergency signals your systems will send. Not only do we have the latest in computer automation equipment, but these systems have system redundancy, meaning they are backed up by a fully operational computer system in the event our main system should malfunction.

Western States owns and operates its own AES radio network in the Phoenix area. This allows for faster communication and a more secure network. Response time will be quicker, and issues will be noted quicker with the ability to make the repairs much faster.

Monitoring Features

  • 24hr Central Station
  • Live Professional Operators
  • Two-Way Voice
  • com Interactive Monitoring
  • Smoke, Heat, Carbon Monoxide
  • Video Verification
  • Managed Access Control

Security Monitoring Applications

  • Burglary
  • Fire
  • Residential
  • Panic/Hold-Up
  • Silent Duress
  • Medical
  • Supervised Openings/Closing
  • Critical process alarms
  • Hold-up alarms
  • Openings and closings
  • Temperature alarms

We provide radio, cellular, and telephone-based monitoring systems for residential, industrial and commercial facilities are available.

Complete Life Safety Systems from WSFP

Partner with Western States for a complete life safety system for your facility. In addition to fire and building monitoring, we can also protect your building occupants through the installation of a fire protection system. We install fire sprinkler, suppression and alarm systems. The experienced technicians at WSFP can also provide inspections and testing for all your life safety systems. If you are interested in a monitoring system from Western States, contact us today for more information!

Fire Protection for Los Angeles Homes and Apartments

Residential Fire Protection Systems in Los Angeles

Western States Fire Protection has many locations across the Western half of the U.S. We have a branch location in Lakewood, CA that serves the Los Angeles Area. Originally this location concentrated on residential projects only, but it has now expanded to commercial and industrial projects.

Fire Protection for Single-Family Homes

WSFP can provide fire protection in single family residences. Home fire sprinklers can help to save lives, reduce damage to your family’s home, and possibly lower homeowner’s insurance premiums. Installing fire sprinklers in your home can reduce your chance of dying in a home fire by 85%, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Our Los Angeles branch can design and install fire sprinklers that are aesthetically pleasing while providing protection for your home. Our team can install sprinklers in newly constructed homes or retrofit a system into your existing home.

Fire Protection for Multi-Family Residential Properties

All multi-family residential properties should have the following forms of fire protection:

  • Fire Sprinkler Systems
  • Fire Alarm & Detection Systems
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Western States Fire Protection can install fire protection systems in apartment buildings in the Los Angeles Area. We will design and install fire sprinkler systems as well as alarm and detection systems.

In addition to installing a fire protection system, multi-family residences should have regular inspections and testing of their systems. Our team in Los Angeles can provide inspections, testing, service and repair to all your fire protection systems.

Choose WSFP for Your Residential Fire Protection Needs

When it comes to residential fire protection, Western States has you covered. Our Los Angeles Branch is ready to serve your single family, multi-family or mixed-use property. Some of the services we provide to the LA area include:

  • New and Retrofit Sprinkler and Alarm Systems
  • Complete Service, Inspection and Repairs
  • Complete Design-Build Services
  • 24-Hour Emergency Repairs

At Western States, we have NICET certified technicians who can design, install, and service fire protection systems in your property. Our LA branch serves all counties in Southern California from Ventura to the Mexican border. If you are interested in learn more about Western States’ branch in LA, contact us today!

Special Hazards Fire System Requirements

Fire Suppression Systems for Special Hazards – Are They Right for You?

Fire suppression systems are often installed for special hazards that your facility may possess. Suppression systems typically use methods other than water to suppress or extinguish a fire. Are you wondering if your business requires a special hazards fire suppression system? If so, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the critical nature of my operation, and how much time and effort would it take to replace and restore the necessary equipment and functions?
  • Can I afford the down time required to repair and restore my operations and in the wake of fire damage?
  • Can I still operate without these systems and equipment?
  • What are the code requirements for fire protection in my application?
  • Would water damage from fire sprinklers cause irreparable damage to my assets and facility?
  • Is my facility considered to be highly hazardous?
  • Would water be effective in putting out a fire in my building or is another agent required?

Think about these questions and consider if a fire suppression system would be a good fit for your application.

Partner with WSFP for a Suppression System

If you think a special hazards fire suppression system is the right fit for you, let Western States provide you with the system you need to run a safe and efficient operation. Through our extensive expertise in fire suppression agents, fire protection systems and devices, utilization of hydraulics to monitor the flow of various agents, systems installation, and ongoing service, we can deliver the fire protection systems that you need to optimize the efficiency of your operation and the protection of your equipment.

From commercial to industrial applications, WSFP has the life safety systems you need.

We offer a variety of special hazards suppression systems solutions for:

  • Commercial Kitchen Hoods & Appliances
  • Computer Rooms
  • Control Rooms
  • Logging Equipment
  • Manufacturing Processes
  • Spray Booths

Contact us for more information on the fire suppression systems we provide today!

Deluge Fire System Defined

What is a Deluge Fire System?

A deluge fire protection system has unpressurized dry piping and open sprinkler heads. The system is directly connected to a water supply and when the system is activated, a deluge valve will release the water to all the open sprinkler heads. The valve is opened when activated by a heat or smoke detection system.

Common Applications

Deluge systems are used in high hazard areas such as power plants, aircraft hangars, and chemical plants. These systems are very effective in hazardous areas because they release water or another fire suppressant to all the open sprinkler heads simultaneously. This total flood method douses a fire before it has the chance to grow uncontrollably.

Advantages of a Deluge System

A deluge system offers several advantages over a traditional fire sprinkler system. In a traditional sprinkler system, the pipes are filled with water and the sprinkler heads are closed. A deluge system is a dry system which means it is not at risk for having frozen pipes. The pipes of traditional sprinklers can freeze when exposed to cold temperatures because they are filled with water. In addition, a deluge system offers a quicker response to a fire by releasing water through all its open heads at once. A regular sprinkler system with closed heads must activate each sprinkler head individually. Therefore, the deluge system is more effective in high hazard situations.

Installation & Service

If you think that a deluge fire protection system is right for your facility, you should enlist the help of a fire protection professional to install one in your facility. You will want to make sure that the system complies with your building code and NFPA standards. After installation of a deluge system, you will need to keep it running smoothly by getting it serviced regularly. Have inspections performed to make sure that the deluge valves are working properly and check to make sure there is not corrosion within your system’s pipes. You will want your system to be in the proper condition, especially in high hazard areas where fires can become really dangerous.

WSFP Installs Deluge Systems

Western States Fire Protection is your full-service fire protection contractor providing installation, inspections, testing, and repairs for deluge fire protection systems. Our team at WSFP will install a deluge system in your building in accordance with NFPA standards. We can also provide you with fire protection service bundles to help you save money. When you bundle services, you can have the convenience of having all your fire protection needs be met by one company. From the initial installation to regularly scheduled inspections to emergency repairs, Western States has you covered. Contact us to have a deluge system installed in your facility.