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[Home] [2009 News]

TECH-NEWS & VIEWS

October, 2009

COFFEE TIME! - Do you actually leave the building...

... you're testing?  We attended a small strip mall in Aldergrove the other day to deliver a newly serviced fire extinguisher to a customer.  As we walked into the mall entrance we happened to notice the fire alarm panel door was open with the dead-front propped against an adjacent wall.  The bell cards had been pulled (and were stacked neatly in the bottom of the can).  The only thing really "missing" was the servicing technician(s).  He/she was nowhere around.  We delivered our extinguisher and happened to "bump into" a mall security officer on our way out the main entrance.  When we asked where the fire alarm technicians had gone, he responded with: "Oh, they're on a coffee break."

So with the fire alarm disabled I suppose the testing technicians figured the mall security guy could just run down the hallway yelling "fire" if something went awry while they were stuffing their faces at the nearby McDonalds.  Or perhaps they figured that if they saw the smoke, they'd be able to get over to the mall, quickly plug in the bell cards, and initiate the alarm... I wonder what the Aldergrove Fire Department would have thought of *that* plan.

 

QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS!!

People ask me questions every day, but one that really caught my attention was phrased in an email.  What are your technical qualifications?, it asked.  Oh, around about 28 years and enough certificates and training courses to cover two walls of my office.  When we moved recently I decided to "rethink" my office decor a bit.  These days, I've got the "Charge of the Light Brigade" on one wall, and two very nice vintage airplane pictures on the other.  The other walls are shelves filled with manuals, computer books, mementos and "odds and ends".   Oh, and there's a window the cat likes to sit in "buried" somewhere behind all that too.

So what other kind of questions do people ask? The "800" line isn't exactly ringing off the desk yet, but I do get a few calls now and then. Engineers, technicians, and electricians all over North America have managed to "stumble" into us while searching for answers to their fire protection questions on the Internet. Sometimes they're simply looking for "technical support" numbers from the various manufacturers and listing agencies. We've made that pretty easy to source from our BULLETINS page. We also check our website statistics regularly. Boy, talk about being a part of a "global community". We're getting hits from all around the world. Israel, Latvia, Brazil, South Africa, Germany, Romania,... The list goes on! It's good to see our RSS Feed has taken off as well. So far just over 1000 subscribers! Not bad for being up for just over 40 days and that's one small part of what we're really all about. We want to be more than your one-stop resource for information specific to the fire protection industry. We want YOU to join with us in demonstrating a committment to that higher standard of professional practice.

 

MIRCOM OPENS NEW EASTERN OFFICE!

 

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Points of Interest:
Stir up the Gray Matter with
Nick Markowitz &
Al Colombo

Smoke Detector Cross Listing Information:
ULC Smoke Detector Compatibility Index
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We're talkin' "far" Eastern... As in Bangalore, India. You can read more about this here! It's when world news is full of words like "global recession" "down-sizing", and "lay-offs", that the true visionaries step up to the plate. Way to go guys! Here's wishing you every success!

 

CHANGES TO NFPA 3 IN THE WORKS - WHAT'S IT MEAN?

For our compatriots in the U.S., NFPA 3 governs the commissioning of fire alarm, sprinkler, water mist, and clean agent systems. Changes to the code will require a test be performed every five years to ensure all components of the various systems are "working together" properly. What's more, the off-site monitoring connection (fire alarm communicator) would also be included in the test. This means that the fire protection technician will be required to have competency in a number of different disciplines in order to perform the testing and commissioning (under the new code). The proposed changes to the NFPA 3 are slated to be published this month. We'll keep you apprised of developments.

 

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