Category: Fire Safety

Why Fire-Rated Door Maintenance Is Important for Fire Safety

Why Fire-Rated Door Maintenance Is Important for Fire Safety

When we see a door, we usually don’t think much of it. It’s one of those things that just seemingly exist in our world. And while certainly not the most exciting pieces of fire safety, they’re still an incredibly important part of the entire fire safety solution in your business. Doors, like any other movable inanimate object, can require maintenance and upkeep. Depending on the type of door, some may have more moving parts or locks than others. The NFPA 80, called the Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, has a very specific set of guidelines regarding door maintenance for fire safety.

It’s certainly more involved than the typical door maintenance requirements, and for good reason: It could potentially save lives!


Inspections and Performing Door Maintenance for Fire Safety

Doors have a more passive effect on fire safety than something like an automatic sprinkler system or alarm system. Doors that are rated for fire resilience can help to slow the rate in which a fire enters a room or how quickly smoke travels. And like with most things related to fire safety, failure to adhere to proper maintenance guidelines can lead to dangerous and deadly consequences. Now that NFPA 80 is becoming a standard in construction, it’s more important than ever to familiarize yourself and your staff on things to watch out for.


Training Staff

 In apartment buildings or other larger commercial facilities, inspection duty is usually handed down to the maintenance personnel since they usually cover the property several times a day. In the event that your facility doesn’t have qualified staff available, it’s possible to reach out to local fire departments or your door vendor.


Because it’s so important to make sure that fire doors are in excellent working order, any signs of wear and tear need to be addressed by highly trained professionals.

It’s recommended that you only hire verifiably experienced technicians to handle the installation, repair, or replacement of a fire door.



The NFPA 80 Inspection Process

There are 11 specific steps that need to be taken to ensure a proper inspection is completed.


  • Inspect the door for missing, damaged, or otherwise obscured fire door labels. If the label is damaged or missing, it could require the door to need recertification or replacement.


  • Verify that there aren’t any damaged or missing parts on the door or frame. This is especially important with self-closing doors as a broken door closer could prevent escape in the event of an emergency.


  • Ensure that the door or frame are free of damage like holes or surface fractures. This is to keep fire and smoke from penetrating through the small openings.


  • Make sure the door hasn’t been modified in a way that could prevent their intended function during a fire emergency.


  • Test and verify that the door closer fully closes the door while engaged from the fully open position.


  • Check that the door’s latches are able to be fully closed and maintain a secure hold on the door that cannot be pushed open.


  • Visually inspect all door hardware and edge seals for abnormalities or damage that would otherwise allow fire or smoke to pass through unimpeded.


  • Test the fit and finish of the door’s windows; there shouldn’t be any gaps or loose, sliding glass.


  • With double doors, ensure that the individual leafs close in the proper order to prevent a jam or entrapment.


  • Verify the height and width of door clearances are still at the required levels. The gap underneath a door should be no larger than .75” from the floor. Along the top, there should be no more than a 1/8th-inch gap. The hinges and latch also fall under the 1/8th-inch gap requirement as well.


  • Determine the door’s overall alignment by inspecting the door, frame and all hinges to ensure there’s no sagging or other damage that may cause the door to operate at less than 100%.


Passive Protection Requires Active Compliance

The importance of door and lock safety of fire-rated doors cannot be overstated. In the event of a fire, the last thing that you should be thinking about is if a door is going to open to allow building occupants to escape. Fortunately, WFX has been handling fire-rated doors since 1978. If your business needs help with fire door installation repair, or replacement, schedule a stress-free consultation to ensure your building is protected.

School Fire Safety & Prevention Checklist

Fire safety in a school is one of the most important ways that we as a society have to educate the masses about the importance of prevention and mitigation in a fire-related emergency. By having proper fire safety policies and procedures in place, we ensure that every child, teacher, and additional staff members are safe and protected and will continue to be protected in the future.

According to FEMA, around 4,000 school fires are reported to fire departments across the United States each year and cause $66.1 million in property loss and around 75 injuries. Luckily, fire-related fatalities in schools are very rare, likely due to the mitigation efforts and strict fire codes in every state.

Intentionally starting fires was the number one cause of school-related fires, making up 40% of the total fires in schools reported. The most frequent origination point for school fires was the bathroom at 25%. And probably the most surprising statistic in this report is that smoke alarms were only present in 66% of nonconfined school fires.

We’d say that most schools have pretty strong fire safety equipment and procedures in place, but there are certainly some outliers. Nevertheless, fire safety and prevention must always be top of mind. There are many things that can be done in a school, but these 5 should never be left off of your school fire safety and prevention checklist.


The Top 5 Most Important Items for School Fire Safety and Prevention Checklists


1. Under the Radar Fire Hazards

There are many things to look out for surveying the school grounds for potential fire hazards. To start, make sure that all of the property’s landscaping is kept cut and any loose debris like branches is taken care of in a timely manner. Trash cans and receptacles should always be kept away from the actual building itself. Highly-visible exterior lighting with motion sensors can help to thwart would-be arsonists from starting a fire in the first place. And lastly, it’s a good idea to ensure frequent checks on entry points like doors, windows, and roof access points to prevent unauthorized access

2. Fire Safety Education

There are still many kid-friendly educational resources available for educators to help spread fire safety awareness. Fire drills, both scheduled and unexpected, should be conducted on a monthly basis to ensure quick evacuation practice should the need ever arise. Assemblies should be held twice during a school year to go over proper safety procedures, remind students and staff members about all available exit points, and refresh everyone on where the designated meeting spot is on the school grounds.

Additionally, every classroom should have a map of the entire school that shows their current location per class along with directions on how to evacuate.

3. Regularly Inspected and Maintained Fire Safety Equipment

This includes timely inspection and certification of all fire extinguishers and fire safety systems in accordance with local and state laws. Sprinkler systems need to be checked for potential metal corrosion, leaks, and any other damage or wear that could potentially prevent them from working in an emergency. And in addition to the aforementioned fire drills, alarm systems need to be checked regularly to assess and repair any damage from tampering.

4. Clear and Easy Access Through All Trafficked Areas

Especially important in older schools, there should always be clear and easy access through hallways, from classrooms, and staffing offices. Make sure that exit signs are above all appropriate doorways are well lit and unobstructed. Additionally, never place locks or chains on any exit point that would prevent school occupants from exiting in the event of an emergency.

5. Kitchen and Cafeteria

This location in every school is one of the most active places with students and staff being in both throughout the day. Make sure that appropriate Class K fire extinguishers are present in the event of a grease or oil fire in the kitchen. Ventilation systems should be frequently cleaned, especially those that aid in heat reduction. Avoid leaving spills to linger for too long by performing quick cleanups as soon as they occur. And lastly, make sure that all kitchen staff is aware of any special procedures for disposing of waste including food or packaging so that trash accumulation is kept to a minimum and disposed of promptly.


Fire Safety Is a Team Effort

There are many factors that go into preventing fire-related emergencies within our schools. As such, it’s incredibly important to practice fire safety measures such as drills and prevention assemblies on a frequent basis, preferably monthly. While fatalities from school fires are low, it only takes one fire to change that. The responsibility of fire safety rests on everyone’s shoulders — always remind every student and staff member to do their part in preventing fire-related emergencies.



Because when everyone’s on board, fire doesn’t stand a chance. Contact WFX for a consultation if you need guidance on educational building safety.

Everything You Need to Know About Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers

When deciding which type of fire extinguisher is the best for your needs, it’s important to know about all of the different types and their intended purposes. The most common fire extinguisher we think of is the smaller red canister, known as an ABC extinguisher, that most people may have in their homes. These are usually dry chemical or foam fire extinguishers and are good at putting out a number of different types of burning materials.

The “A” classification is suitable for common solid combustibles like wood, paper, or cloth. A “B” classification means that the extinguisher is capable of putting out some flammable liquids like gas or oil. And lastly, the “C” classification means that it should be capable of putting out fires within energized electrical equipment such as a breaker box.

It’s important to note that red fire extinguishers have been a prominent color choice in both the US and the UK. This is simply to better determine a fire extinguisher’s location in the event of a blackout or low-light situation where visibility could affect locating an extinguisher in a fire emergency.

Class D extinguishers are usually yellow, Class K extinguishers are usually silver or chrome, and water mist extinguishers are most often white.

Due to the lack of regulated color standardization, it’s important to ensure you have the proper signage detailing what the fire extinguisher is used for posted. In a commercial kitchen, a wet chemical fire extinguisher should always be present.

There are many different types of fire extinguishers available, each with its own unique performance strengths. It’s important to know that also fire extinguishers are not suitable for all fires. The ABC extinguisher is popular due to its versatility. However, some environments require specialty fire extinguishers, particularly in restaurants and commercial kitchens. These are called wet chemical fire extinguishers and are the most specific type of fire extinguisher with an extremely specific purpose.


What Is a Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher?

a wet chemical fire extinguisherA wet chemical fire extinguisher is a fire extinguisher that’s specifically designed to put out oil fires in a commercial kitchen setting. These fire extinguishers carry an extinguisher classification of K. The “K” classification means that these extinguishers are suitable for commercial cooking oil appliances such as a deep fryer. And unlike most other fire extinguishers, K-class extinguishers may require special training since the materials inside are electrically conductive.

Wet chemical fire extinguishers should only be used on a cooking oil appliance once the electrical power has been turned off. This is a common feature of most commercial kitchen hood fire suppression systems.


What Ingredients Are In a Wet Chemical Extinguisher?

The ingredients of a web chemical fire extinguisher can consist of a few different chemical combinations: water and potassium acetate, potassium carbonate, and potassium citrate.

These ingredients help to combat the high temperatures of cooking oils by quickly reducing heat and sealing the oil within the soapy solution to prevent the oil or grease from reigniting.


When Should You Use a Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher?

Wet chemical fire extinguishers are used to put out a fire from vegetable and animal-based fats. Since these oils are highly flammable, the mixture of the oil plus extremely high heat can ignite quickly.

A wet chemical fire extinguisher contains ingredients that create a soapy substance when combined with cooking oils that extinguish the flame, cool on contact, and seal the oil to prevent reignition.

Remember, you should NEVER use water on a grease or oil fire. Since water isn’t absorbed by oil but rather acts as a transport mechanism, this usually results in increased fire spread.


How Does a Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher Differ From Other Extinguishers?

The biggest difference is their intent — wet chemical fire extinguishers are specifically designed to put out oil and grease fires in kitchens. Another big difference is that these extinguishers usually have a long hose to allow the user to stand back at a safe distance from the fire. Most fire extinguishers don’t have a hose, or if they do, they’re usually shorter.

It’s important to remember that wet chemical fire extinguishers contain electrical conductive ingredients and should not be used on kitchen appliances with an active electrical current. Doing so could result in serious injury or death.


We Can Help Keep Your Kitchen Safe

Having the right fire extinguisher can mean the difference between life and death. The safety precautions that you take today can help prevent a catastrophe tomorrow. Your business depends on it!



Our experts have over 40 years of fire safety expertise —  contact us today for a hassle-free fire safety evaluation!

Do Food Trucks Need Fire Suppression Systems?

As Food Trucks Gain Popularity, Safety Concerns Beg the Question “Do Food Trucks Need Fire Suppression Systems?

The East Coast is no stranger to lines of food trucks taking up residence along park streets and coastlines. Weekly gatherings hold reserved parking for specific trucks that allow customers to find them with ease without having to track them down every time. As these food truck owners go from fully mobile to setting up shop near each other for longer and longer, it’s important to understand the safety implications. A normal eatery must be wary of safety concerns within the kitchen at all times, but what happens when the only room IS the kitchen and 12 of them are lined up next to each other?


Safety Still Matters

bbq food truck serves its customersTaking your family out for a quick bite from the best local food truck is something we’ve enjoyed ourselves over the years as no matter the season, we can always find our go-to stop.

One concern we always have is the level of safety the owner of the truck has installed within the kitchen. Standing only a few feet away, both the cook and customers are at risk in the event of a fire or explosion. Food truck fire suppression is a personal requirement for us to feel comfortable approaching a truck full of hot grease and fire, a scary combination.


What Is Food Truck Fire Suppression?

The fire suppression systems you’ll find in food trucks will often mirror what a standard restaurant uses, simply engineered and tailored to fit comfortably within the box of a food truck. The task of keeping up with these mobile food stops has been an uphill race for local and state governments to get up to speed and establish guidelines for these businesses.

Aside from food handling and cleanliness regulations, nearly every local and state government has requirements surrounding safety features. If you’ve started a food truck, you know that one of the first safety measures installed is an exhaust system. These exhaust hoods help remove the smoke, vapors and airborne particles that appear during the workday. While necessary, they are not a replacement for a true food truck fire suppression system.

food truck hood fire suppression a possibility?Food truck fire suppression systems when installed in your food truck are used to extinguish and contain fires when and if they happen. Fire suppressant chemicals are sprayed throughout the interior of the truck while the system also shuts off any electrical power coming to the area to avoid further combustion and damage. These systems not only help to protect the food truck, but also you, your employees and your valued customers from experiencing any harm while participating in your business.

Choosing to equip your truck with a new fire suppression system is an investment in both safety and your brand as making employees and customers feel safe when visiting your weekly spot is important to repeat customers that look forward to seeing you regularly. On top of fire suppression, we recommend you maintain a Class K fire extinguisher within arm’s reach in the kitchen. A fast response with an extinguisher can handle a small fire before the entire suppression system goes off, saving you some time and cleanup while also increasing the service life of your system.


Always Check Local Laws

While food truck popularity has skyrocketed, local and state governments have steadily caught up and nearly all of them require food truck fire suppression systems be installed before opening up shop. Failure to do so can result in fines or loss of licensure. It’s vital to check your state and city’s laws before setting out on your food truck journey.

We’ve found that a majority of these laws can be found directly online, saving you time from visiting a local office or getting through to someone on the phone. The details you obtain will also outline the specific details of the required fire suppression system, letting you focus on getting one that works with your budget while also meeting all regulations.

The National Fire Protection Association also has model codes on fire safety within businesses, which added new requirements in 2017-18. Based around fire safety, these requirements include items such as wheel chocks to keep you stationary while cooking, ensuring fryer lids are available to cover vats while in transit and the regular testing and maintenance of portable fire extinguishers.


It’s All About Safety

We understand the stress surrounding starting your own business and maintaining a mobile work location. It’s important to remember that food truck fire suppression is not meant to be a burden, but a life-saving measure in more ways than one. Many modern suppression systems can also be equipped with gas sensors for food trucks that use liquid petroleum for heating, tackling two different requirements at once.

Don’t let the idea of figuring out how to equip your food truck hold you back from living you dream.



At WFX, we’re here to help make sure you’re checking everything off the list. Whether you’re in MD, PA, or surrounding areas – take a moment to reach out to us online today for a consultation.


How Do Fire Sprinkler Systems Work? Everything You Need to Know

To ensure that everyone feels safe in your workplace, you need to have a tried and tested fire safety plan to rely on. In addition to defining clear escape routes and planning regular fire drills, it’s crucial to verify that your fire sprinkler system is in working order. Fire sprinklers can help save lives when they are properly inspected. If you don’t have a functioning sprinkler system in your workplace, you’re putting yourself and your employees at risk.

Fire sprinkler systems contain various components that allow them to do their job effectively. To get the most out of your sprinkler system, it’s important to understand how it works. Here are all the answers to any questions you might have, including “How do fire sprinkler systems work?”


The Anatomy of a Fire Sprinkler

A standard fire sprinkler includes a set of key parts that enables it to work properly. These main components include:

  • Alarm check valve: The alarm check valve is connected to an electric bell or mechanical water motor gong. When water flows through the alarm valve, it activates the bell or gong and alerts bystanders that there is a fire.
  • Check valve: The purpose of the check valve is to prevent water in the sprinkler system from re-entering the public water supply. This valve also plays an essential role in keeping backflow at bay.
  • Butterfly valve: To keep your entire fire sprinkler system running smoothly, you need a properly functioning butterfly valve. This key component helps to regulate the flow of water throughout the sprinkler system.
  • Control valve: Without a control valve, water cannot flow out of your sprinkler system. It’s crucial to keep this valve open at all times, except for routine maintenance or repairs.
  • Fire sprinkler head: This is the main component of any fire sprinkler system. When activated, the fire sprinkler head opens automatically and releases a flow of water. The sprinkler head will only begin to discharge water once the activating link has reached a specified temperature.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with each of these vital components. When asking yourself, “How do fire sprinkler systems work?”, you can always refer to these parts as a guide on the inner workings of a sprinkler system.


How Are Fire Sprinkler Systems Activated?

how fire sprinkler systems activateTo learn about how fire sprinklers are activated, it’s helpful to understand the way these systems are set up in homes or office buildings.

When asking yourself, “How do fire sprinkler systems work?”, remember that modern fire sprinkler systems consist of a vast network of piping. This piping is filled with pressurized water that is released once the sprinklers are activated. Because water is always stored inside the piping, your fire sprinkler system is always prepared to respond to a fire.

To activate, a fire sprinkler system must reach a specified temperature. The air below the sprinklers will begin to heat up rapidly once a fire breaks out. When the air temperature rises to a certain degree, the sprinkler system will respond by triggering the control valve and releasing water from the fire sprinkler heads.

Fire sprinkler systems are designed to react quickly to a fire. If you rely solely on a smoke detector, the local fire department may not arrive in time to extinguish the flames. Not only does a quick response time help save lives, but it also protects against widespread property damage in your home or business.


How To Keep Your Fire Sprinklers in Optimal Condition

Now that you have the answer to the question: “How do fire sprinkler systems work?”, it’s important to confirm that all of your sprinklers are in proper working condition. Your sprinkler system must be thoroughly inspected by a trained professional to ensure optimal safety for your entire workforce.

The main components of the system, such as the control valves and alarm devices, should be inspected quarterly. The system gauges need to be tested weekly or monthly, and the piping and fittings require annual inspections to work at their best.

In addition to scheduling routine maintenance with a skilled expert, it’s a good idea to have your facility owners or staff members look at the fire sprinkler system on a regular basis. This can help alert you to any potential concerns and allow you to take care of them as soon as possible. Even minor issues may become more serious as time goes on, so it’s crucial to pay close attention to anything that might seem out of place.

When checking your sprinkler system, make sure that it’s located in an easily accessible area. If your sprinklers malfunction or become damaged in some way, you’ll want to have easy access to the control valve to shut off the system immediately. This will help prevent further water damage and keep your working environment safe and secure.


Keep Your Workplace Safe With the Right Fire Sprinkler System

A fire sprinkler system is an essential component of your building’s fire safety protocol. Knowing the answer to “how do fire sprinkler systems work?” helps you understand how sprinklers can significantly boost the safety of your workplace.

Be sure to have each part of your sprinkler system professionally inspected and tested on a regular basis. Whether you have a dry pipe sprinkler system, a wet pipe system or a deluge sprinkler system, our experts can provide professional inspections, repairs and maintenance to give you greater peace of mind.



WFX focuses heavily on Fire Sprinkler Systems. Schedule a consultation or call us today at 855-WFX-1978.


A Guide to Restaurant Fire Suppression Systems

A Starter Guide to Restaurant Fire Suppression Systems

Establishing safety measures for fires is a critical priority for all businesses and residents. Still, it is especially vital for operations that regularly use fire and flammable materials. Restaurant operations engage in a host of activities that carry a high risk for fires. The regular use of heat, deep fryers, open flames, and hot ovens combined with the use of fat, grease, oils, and smoke. These various elements make for a volatile environment for fire safety and create a demand for a restaurant fire suppression system.


The risk of a kitchen fire getting out of control is a constant threat for restaurants. Kitchens present ample opportunity for a tiny spark or random flame to grow into a full blaze quickly. These conditions threaten to ruin expensive equipment and valuable resources while also risking the building and its staff. There are few business operations that necessitate a capable and dynamic fire suppression system more than a restaurant.


This article offers an essential guide to restaurant fire suppression systems, including recommendations on how to choose a system and what types of designs are available.



What to Know about Restaurant Fire Suppression Systems

Let’s first spend a little more time understanding the unique nature of risk to restaurant fire safety. The use of grease, oils, and fats is a specifically high threat since they function as abundant fuel for a fire. To make matters more complex, traditional fire suppression systems such as water sprinklers are ineffective at dispensing fire that results from these elements. In fact, applying water to hot oils, grease, and fat often makes the threat worse. Water commonly displaces the elements of fuel, spreading them around and causing a fire to grow.


For these reasons, restaurant fire suppression systems have been uniquely developed to quell the rapid spread of fire fueled by the elements of oil, grease, and fat. Fire suppression systems for restaurants use a unique set of formulas and designs to be effective against fire in these environments.



How Restaurant Fire Suppression Systems Function

Many fire suppression systems are built directly into an exhaust hood. These integrated builds require specific configurations to remain compliant with safety protocols. For instance, large flat surfaces require nozzles to be installed directly overhead. In contrast, enclosed or partially enclosed equipment requires nozzles are pointed directly inside the equipment.


Through a device called a fusible link, the suppression system is designed to identify a specific temperature. It will then trigger the deployment of wet chemical to extinguish a fire and prevent it from spreading.  This allows for automatic operation of the system.   In addition, the system can be manually activated by a manual pull station – similar to how a building fire alarm is activated.  Upon activation, the fire suppression system will discharge wet-chemical to all protected appliances and into the exhaust hood area above the filters and into the exhaust duct.  It also cut off the fuel flow to any equipment upon activation– whether it be gas or electric.  This helps prevents re-ignition after the fire system discharge is complete.


The wet-chemical is delivered to each individual hazard thru a specific nozzle that is designed for that appliance, exhaust hood or exhaust duct.  A properly installed and maintained fire suppression system ensures proper extinguishment in the event of an appliance fire – and also provides protection in the exhaust hood and duct to prevent the fire from spreading into additional areas of the building, roof, etc.



Suggestions on Choosing a System


Our WFX team can assist in helping you identify the correct choices for your restaurant fire suppression system. Often, experts with diverse experience and training should handle selecting the proper plan for your business needs. These are critical decisions that take into consideration the security of your business and employees, and there are many safety and compliance protocols to consider.


In general, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind when making your decision. For one, consider the size of the area that needs to be covered in your restaurant. Secondly, clarify what kinds of cooking equipment is in use by your restaurant, including gas or electric stoves, open flames, fryers, wood-burning and electric ovens, or other types of cooking mechanisms. And, finally, you will want to identify any custom additions that you may need for your specific kitchen.



Before You Go…

At WFX Fire, Lock, & Security, we are committed to ensuring you have the most reliable and trustworthy resources for your restaurant fire suppression system.


Our team can guarantee that your installation is conducted with the utmost professionalism. We can also provide maintenance to ensure your systems keep you safe in the long run.


You can schedule a consultation or call us today at 855-WFX-1978.

A Guide to Fixing a Beeping/Broken Smoke Detector

We have all been there. A night of good sleep is disrupted by a constant chirping from somewhere in the house. Or your favorite TV show gets interrupted by a high-pitched beeping noise off in the distance. You think you have an idea where it’s located, but you’re not quite sure.


You probably assume it’s the battery. The ladder gets pulled from the garage, and you ascend the steps to replace the thing—hoping it’s the correct fix. But what if it’s not the battery? How do you eliminate the chirping if replacing the battery isn’t the correct fix?


We explore a few common causes and offer guidance on how to stop smoke detector from beeping.



How Do You Stop Smoke Detector from Beeping?

Attending to your smoke detector is of critical importance. The US Fire Administration reports that the risk of death can be cut in half when a home has a working smoke alarm. Each alarm is equipped to alert you when there is an issue with the proper functioning of the unit.


These pesky chirping alerts are intended for critical and life-saving purposes. In many cases, the beeping you hear from a smoke detector can be as simple as replacing the battery. But this is not the case in all alarms or situations.



Common issues and how to stop the chirping

Suppose you have already replaced the battery, and it didn’t stop the smoke detector from beeping. In that case, there may be numerous other issues. It’s essential to consider the following when diagnosing your alarm’s beeping, but you may also want to contact a professional. Keep in mind that these alarms are vital safety devices, and professional help may be well worth it.


Battery pull-tab left inside the alarm

The battery pull-tab is essential for preserving the life and quality of your battery. Still, it can cause issues when installing it in your alarm. Check that you have removed this pull-tab to ensure that the battery makes a viable connection and can stop smoke detector from beeping.


Open battery drawer

battery bay open on smoke alarm to replaceVarious components make up a smoke detector, and the battery drawer is part of that architecture. It’s easy for this small mechanism to get dislodged or not shut entirely. Ensuring that the drawer is fully closed and latched will prevent the battery from disconnecting and causing the alarm to beep.


Obstruction to the terminal

In general, you want to make sure the battery makes a proper connection to the terminals inside the alarm. If you have removed the pull-tab and checked the battery drawer, you can investigate the connection with the terminals to ensure there are no further obstructions. This should stop smoke detector from beeping.


Electrical breaker line for hardwired smoke alarms

Not all smoke detectors are powered by batteries. Some are hardwired into the home or building and can be impacted by the electrical panel. If your hardwired alarm is beeping, you will want to attempt a reset on it.


You can do this by looking for a breaker on the electrical panel labeled for your alarm. Next, switch the breaker to the off position, wait a couple of minutes, and turn it back on. Confirming the alarm is now working can be done by pushing and holding the test button of the smoke detector. The alarm is appropriately functioning if it makes a few quick sounds and then goes silent.


Disruptions to the light beam

Some smoke detectors or smoke detectors come equipped with a light sensor. The sensitivity of these sensors can be set off by various elements like pollen, dust, dirt, or ash. If the beam of light is interrupted by one of these particles, it can cause the alarm to beep. You can clean the sensor using a soft cloth, compressed air, duster, or a vacuum. Be careful to follow the instructions from your manufacturer’s manual.


Errors on a smart alarm

Smart technology has made its way to smoke detectors, and the devices are capable of adapting to their environment. But like other smart technology, these smoke detector can store a history of data. If that data shows errors, it can add up to the device registering a mistake that causes the unit to chirp. Resetting the system will clear the errors and restore the device to a functional state, which will stop smoke detector from beeping.


Changing temperatures

repairman replaces battery on smoke detectorSmoke detectors can be sensitive to the fluctuation of temperatures in a home or other building. Unusually high or low temperatures can cause an alarm to issue a beeping alert. Reasons for fluctuating temperatures can involve cooking in the kitchen, summer heat, a hot shower, or changing the thermostat. You can resolve these issues by moving alarms that are close to the kitchen or bathrooms or use other methods that reduce hot air from reaching the vents on your smoke detector.


Expired smoke detectors

It’s also possible that your smoke detector has reached the end of its lifespan. Eight to ten years is generally the expected range of life for most devices. You can check the manufacture date on the backside of the alarm, which should be a reliable timeframe for determining if the beeping is the result of an outdated alarm. Replacing the alarm as soon as possible is highly recommended.



Before you go, more smoke detector system safety information…


At WFX Fire, Lock, & Security, we are committed to ensuring you have the most reliable and trustworthy resources for your smoke detector systems. Our expert service can ensure that your home or building is always up to date and functioning correctly for your safety.


Our team can guarantee that your installation is conducted with the utmost professionalism. We can also provide maintenance to ensure your systems keep you safe in the long run.


You can schedule a consultation or call us today at 855-WFX-1978.

What are the different types of clean agent fire suppression systems?

What is a Clean Agent Fire Suppression System?

Traditional fire suppression systems use water sprinklers attached to ceilings or a carbon dioxide-based fire suppression system meant soley for unoccupied buildings. With many facilities now equipped with digital or electronic equipment, the risk of water damage is too high to rely on sprinkler systems. For buildings housing sensitive data storage servers and other computerized devices, the best alternative to water sprinkler or CO2 systems is a clean agent fire suppression system.

clean agent fire suppression line



FAQs About Different Types of Clean Agent Fire Suppression Systems


How Does a Clean Agent Fire Suppression System Work?

Composed of smoke detectors, notification devices and a control panel, a clean agent fire suppression system releases inert gases when smoke detectors signal the control panel that it has “sensed” a rise in air temperature. In addition to extinguishing fires quickly and efficiently, clean agent fire suppression systems do not use water so they cannot damage digital equipment, valuable artwork, data servers and another items vulnerable to destruction by water. Residents or employees of buildings protected by clean agent fire suppression systems are often given notification devices that alert them before clean agents are released.


What is the FM 200 Clean Agent Fire Suppression System?

The clean agent compound FM-200 contains hydrogen, fluorine and carbon. With the ability to reach an extinguishing level in a few seconds, FM-200 is considered to be the fastest clean agent system available. Benefits of the FM 200 fire suppression system include:

  • Eliminates the need to pay for expensive water clean-up after a fire
  • Provides fire protection for electronic equipment and industrial machinery that requires flammable liquids to operate
  • Is safe to use around humans as long as guidelines established by the U.S. EPA are followed
  • Extinguishes fires by rapidly absorbing fire-produced heat


What is the Novec 1230 Clean Agent Fire Suppression System?

Similar to FM 200 clean agent fire suppression systems, Novec 1230 also extinguishes fires quickly and efficiently and is safe to use in data processing centers, industrial facilities and occupied buildings. The primary difference between the Novec 1230 and the FM 200 is that the Novec 1230 clean agent is a viable alternative to extinguishing agents like hydrofluorocarbon that can’t be included in an HFC phaseout.

Benefits of the Novec 1230 clean agent fire suppression system include:

  • Halon systems may be adapted to use Novec 1230 clean agent fluid instead of halon
  • Zero ozone depleting potential
  • Is eliminated from the atmosphere within five days of dispersal
  • Has minimal storage space requirements
  • Submission for inclusion in CEN and ISO design standards is currently underway


What is an Inert Gas Clean Agent Fire Suppression System?

gas-based fire extinguishing systemInstead of removing heat, inert gas systems decrease oxygen levels in areas where fires have started. Inert nitrogen and argon gas molecules dissolve oxygen molecules to prevent fires from being stoked by oxygen. Additionally, individual inert gas clean agent fire suppression systems are developed specifically to reduce oxygen to a predetermined level for maximum fire stoppage.

Benefits of inert gas systems include:

  • Noncorrosive–safe to use around brass, steel, copper, stainless steel and plastic materials
  • Argon and nitrogen will never be designated as hazardous waste. Both gases are found in abundant levels in the Earth’s atmosphere
  • Equipped with an efficient, valve assembly mechanism that rapidly releases inert gases at a safe flow rate
  • Requires less expensive, low pressure piping that extends from nozzle to container
  • Requires smaller venting areas than other clean agent fire suppression systems


What Other Different Types of Clean Agent Fire Suppression Systems are Available?

While carbon dioxide fire suppression systems remain popular, they cannot be used in buildings where people live and work. Carbon dioxide suffocates fires by removing large amounts of oxygen from the room. For this reason, carbon dioxide fire suppression systems should only be implemented in unoccupied or minimally occupied buildings with plenty of easy-to-access exits.

Commercial kitchens cannot use FM200, Novec 1230 or inert gas clean agent fire suppression systems due to potential contamination of food. Instead, most food business kitchens rely on chemical foam suppression systems to put out fires. Chemical foam for this purpose contains potassium carbonate and other agents that can safely extinguish fires around food without fear of contaminating edible items.


What is Involved with Installing Different Types of Clean Agent Fire Suppression System?

During your free consultation with us, we will discuss things like:

  • Ensuring spaces protected by a clean agent fire suppression system are properly sealed to prevent gases from escaping
  • Possible need for doors not usually closed to be outfitted with special release/closure devices operated automatically by the control panel
  • Possible need to install low-voltage-controlled dampers to shut off exhaust or supply air flow when clean agents are discharged
  • Establishing appropriate locations for control panels that can be surface mounted or flush mounted
  • Establishing appropriate locations for clean agent containers



Which Clean Agent Fire Suppression System Should Protect My Business?

We can help you determine which fire suppression system is best suited to protect your business by performing a professional evaluation of your company’s building, materials contained in the building and areas of high fire risks. For over 40 years, WFX has earned a stellar reputation for providing superior, state-of-the-art protection against theft, security threats, property threats and fires. Please call WFX +1 (855) 939-1978 to schedule a free consultation appointment or use our convenient email submission form to tell us about your fire protection needs and concerns.


A Guide to Understanding the Differences Between Various Types of Fire Suppression Systems

As the common phrase goes: We plan for the worst and hope for the best. Deciding on how to respond to a potential fire threat is critical for businesses of all types. We hope that the need for a response to a fire will never arise, but it’s crucial to plan appropriately.


Many of us are familiar with the extended, historical use of water and sprinklers to protect against fires. But the world of fire suppression systems has evolved dramatically over the past century. Resources are now available to us that were not even thought of a half-century ago. Scientific developments have provided considerably more dynamic and suitable means of responding to the ancient threat that fire poses.


In this article, we cover the differences between fire protection and fire suppression. And we explore the different primary types of fire suppression systems available.



What are the different types of fire suppression systems?

Industrial fire suppression systemIn many cases, a distinction exists between fire suppression systems and fire protection systems. The two terms—suppression and protection—overlap in many regards. Some fire safety providers, however, may not distinguish between the terms at all. For the sake of our exploration, fire suppression systems differ from fire protection systems by their use of an alternative to the water used in more traditional fire sprinkler systems.


For instance, fire sprinkler systems would be identified under the category of protection. These systems are used across the globe in commercial and residential locations. They rely on various types of water distribution to contain and eliminate the threat and spread of fires.


In contrast, a fire suppression system uses varying alternatives to water. These substitutes for water may include resources such as gas, chemicals, or foam. Suppression systems seek to assert action before a fire gains the chance to spread. And they can often provide benefits that can’t be found with more traditional sprinkler systems.


The primary types of fire suppression systems:

  • Inert gases
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
  • Clean Agent
  • Water mist


Exploring the various types of fire suppression systems

At its most basic, a fire suppression system is a means of identifying, controlling, and extinguishing a fire. These systems of suppression rely on agents other than water to respond to the threat of fire. Using these alternatives has proven to offer various benefits, such as protecting against damage to sensitive equipment and more effective fire prevention. Suppression systems aim to act before a fire can develop or spread through a building or space—often activating more quickly than traditional fire sprinklers.

Inert gas suppression systems

Inert gas suppression systems’ primary function is to remove enough oxygen in a space to eliminate the potential combustion of a fire. Most gas systems are preferred for uses in buildings where humans might be present. Unlike using CO2, inert gases remove enough oxygen to prevent fires but not so much to pose possible suffocation to occupants.

Beyond their general safety for humans, inert gases also offer the benefit of being safe for sensitive equipment such as computers, televisions, and phones. They are also classified as “clean agents” because they do not cause damage to the ozone layer or contribute to global warming. Examples of inert gases might include inergen, argonite, or nitrogen.


Carbon Dioxide (CO2) suppression systems

Suppression systems that utilize CO2 also rely on their ability to remove oxygen rather than extinguish heat. Unlike inert gases, however, CO2 extracts too much oxygen for occupants to avoid suffocation. As a result, this type of suppression system is not used for buildings or spaces where humans are present. Instead, they are commonly used for very confined applications or areas not accessible to personnel.

Generally, using CO2 suppression systems is also not recommended for use in areas with electrical equipment. Carbon dioxide is stored at frigid temperatures and can pose the risk of thermal shock to hardware or electronic components.


Clean agent suppression systems

There are numerous reasons for how these suppression systems came to be understood as using “clean agents.” For one, they are safe for humans. But they also do not pose a significant risk to the environment. They also have a meager impact on the atmosphere or global warming. Finally, clean agents evaporate and do not leave a residue after being discharged to suppress a fire.

Clean agents can be stored as a liquid or gas. Discharging a clean agent releases the storage chemical(s) as gas to suppress a fire. The gaseous discharge can serve the purpose of disrupting up to three different elements that can sustain a fire: a fuel source, oxygen, or heat. The clean agent also commonly acts very quickly—distributing highly concentrated levels in around 10 seconds. This quick and effective execution makes clean agents efficient at suppressing fire before it can cause significant damage.

Due to their safe and productive application, clean agents are primarily preferred for protecting both occupants and sensitive materials. They are often used to protect the fragile resources found in museums, archives, or libraries. And clean agents are commonly preferred for ensuring the safety of computer or server rooms.


Water mist suppression systems

kitchen fire suppression

This type of suppression system is the only exception to the rule mentioned earlier that distinguishes fire suppression systems from protection systems by the use of water. However, water mist suppression involves a distinctly different tactic than sprinkler systems. These misting systems use remarkably less water than fire sprinklers and do not cause collateral damage to equipment. Rather than cooling a fire’s heat, water mist suppression systems evaporate and produce starvation of oxygen.

Water mist suppression systems present the advantages of immediate activation, environmental and human safety, and minimal to no water damage. Because the fine mist evaporates quickly, these systems are primarily considered safe for sensitive equipment and supplies.



Before you go

At WFX Fire, Lock, & Security, we are committed to ensuring you have the most reliable and trustworthy resources for fire suppression systems. Our team can ensure that your installation is conducted with the utmost professionalism—while also providing maintenance to ensure your systems keep you safe in the long run.


You can schedule a consultation or call us today at 855-WFX-1978

What is a “K” type fire extinguisher

According to the US Fire Administration (USFA), there were 1,291,500 fire incidences in the country in 2019. These fires led to 3,704 deaths, 16,600 injuries, and losses amounting to 14.8 billion US dollars. Fires are typically classified according to the type of fuel that feeds them. One of the most dangerous and stubborn fires to combat is the Class K fire, common in commercial kitchens. These fires can only be fought effectively with a unique extinguishing agent found in a Class K type of fire extinguisher.


What is a Class K Fire Extinguisher?

Fire extinguishers are classified depending on the type of fire that they will extinguish. A class K fire extinguisher is used to control fires involving cooking media such as oils, fats, and grease commonly found in cooking places such as commercial restaurants.These fire extinguishers work through saponification to extinguish flames completely.


What is Saponification?

Saponification is a chemical reaction that occurs when alkaline mixtures come into contact with fat or cooking oil. Ideally, the alkaline mixtures combine with the fatty acid to create a soapy foam on the surface, which effectively separates and absorbs the fire’s heat elements (the fuel, heat, and oxygen). The fire extinguisher intended for fighting a Class K fire is labeled with the letter K so users can quickly identify it during emergencies.



What Types of Extinguishers are Rated as Class K Fire Extinguishers?


Only a Class K fire extinguisher will be effective for Class K fire and must be kept within reach in a commercial kitchen setting. The right type of Class K extinguisher should effectively separate the fuel from the oxygen and adequately absorb the heat elements and smother raging kitchen fire effectively.


Currently, the only effective extinguishers rated as Class K are the Wet Chemical Fire extinguishers that meet regulatory and industry standards. The extinguishers leverage wet mist with alkaline mixtures in the form of potassium citrate, potassium acetate, or potassium carbonate. The alkaline mixture interact with cooking media to effectively quench the fire and reduce the risk of re-ignition



How to Improve Workplace Safety with Class K Fire Extinguishers?

OSHA requires commercial properties and employers to choose and distribute fire extinguishers depending on the classes of expected workplace fires. The size and degree of the hazard should also be considered when selecting a fire extinguisher.


The following are some ways to improve workplace safety with a Class K fire extinguisher:


Unlike the other classes of fire extinguishers, there is no distance requirement for Class K extinguishers. According to the OSHA requirements, the extinguisher to be located at the point of anticipated cooking for ignition. However, some local requirements may be stricter, and employers should check and be familiar with their local marshal and insurance agent. In general, extinguishers in a commercial kitchen should be located as follows:

  • Extinguishers should be conspicuously located and immediately available in case of fire.
  • Ideal locations to place them include on hanger, cabinets, or wall recesses.
  • Height requirements will depend on the weight. If it weighs less than 40 pounds, its height should not be more than 5 feet above the ground. If its weight is more than 40 pounds, it should be placed no more than 3.5 feet above the ground.



For the Class K fire extinguisher to be effective during emergencies, employers should provide a suitable educational program to equip employees on the fire extinguisher’s principles and use. Ideally, OSHA recommends that the training be done during the initial hiring and once a year after that. Most types of extinguishers operate using the PASS technique:

  • P- break the tamper seal by pulling the pin on the extinguisher
  • A-Aim it low with the nozzle pointed at the bottom base of the fire
  • S-squeeze the handle firmly to release the extinguishing agent
  • S- sweep the nozzle from side to side while firmly pointing at the base of the fire until it is completely extinguished

Repeat the last three steps if the fire reignites.



Portable fire extinguishers should be visually inspected each month. The inspection seeks to determine the following.

  • If the extinguisher is appropriately located in its assigned place
  • If the fire extinguishers are conspicuous and not blocked or hidden
  • If the fire extinguishers are mounted following NFPA Standard No. 10 (Portable Fire Extinguishers.
  • Whether the nozzles are free of any blockage and pin and seals are in place if the fire extinguisher reveal signs of abuse or damage
  • Whether the pressure gauges show ideal pressure levels.

Maintenance and testing

It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the extinguisher is maintained, inspected, and tested by a licensed expert. Maintenance should be done at least once a year or more, depending on the level e of risks. The employer should record the maintenance date and keep the records.

Why You Still Need a Fire Suppression System
Along with having a Class K fire extinguisher readily accessible, employers should have robust fire suppression systems installed within the kitchen premise. A fire suppression system is designed to detect fires at the beginning stages through heat or smoke. They are attached to an alarm system that goes off immediately the fire is detected. Most fire suppression systems automatically release extinguishing agents after detecting alerts.


different types of fire extinguishersCan I Use a Class K Fire Extinguisher to Fight a class A Fire?

If the class K fire spreads to Class A fire materials in the kitchen, control the flames using the Class K extinguisher. However, you should not use a class A or Class B and other classes of fire extinguishers to fight a kitchen fire started by cooking media such as oil, grease, or fat.



Do You Have a Suitable Fire Extinguisher?

Fires are more likely to occur in restaurants than other types of businesses. The suitable fire extinguisher should protect your kitchen and workplace. WFX provides exceptional fire security solutions for both commercial and residential properties. Our experts will do both initial installation and routine maintenance to ensure your fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems provide adequate protection.



··· Give us a call today (855) WFX-1978 to learn what extinguishers and protection will be best for you »