EV Fires in Office and Residential Buildings

June 5, 2023

As the number of electric vehicles and e-mobility devices on the road grows rapidly, so has the problem of EV fires. Owners and managers of office and residential buildings (as well as firefighters) are struggling to adapt to the unique challenges posed by burning electric cars, bicycles, and scooters. Buildings need to consider changes to…

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All-Hands Training

Office Life Safety Programs Must Change

April 10, 2023

The hybrid workplace is eroding the effectiveness of life safety programs in commercial office buildings.  With some form of hybrid here to stay for the foreseeable future, it’s time to change how we manage life safety in the office environment. The best path forward is shifting towards a more all-hands approach to training. To date,…

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EV Fires in Garages

November 28, 2021

As the shift toward more all-electric and hybrid vehicles accelerates, office buildings with parking garages face a growing and little-understood threat from electric vehicle car fires. EV fires pose far more serious threats and challenges than regular gas vehicle fires. They burn much hotter for far longer. Extinguishing them is vastly more difficult. And many…

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Understanding the Earthquake Magnitude Scale

October 3, 2021

Understanding the earthquake magnitude scale can be a challenge. Exponential scales are not something we encounter often in daily life. The difference between a magnitude 6.0 and a magnitude 7.0 earthquake may not seem like much, but it represents a 33-fold increase in destructive power; and an 8.0 earthquake releases nearly 1,100 times more energy…

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Avoid these Six Common Mistakes in your Preparedness Program

September 16, 2021

For National Preparedness Month, we want to share the common mistakes and pitfalls we see in preparedness and life safety programs. Having worked with thousands of properties, corporations, and government agencies over the past 40 years, we’ve seen our share of strengths and weaknesses. The Six Most Common Mistakes Assuming your staff is well trained.…

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National Preparedness Month Checklist

September 8, 2021

National Preparedness Month Week 1: Life Safety Checklist   Because most workplaces have been largely empty for the past 18 months and life safety programs were put on hold, this year’s National Preparedness Month is more important than ever. With buildings beginning to reoccupy this fall, now is an excellent time to review and jump…

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Next Big Disaster? Power Failure During a Heat Wave

August 11, 2021

The convergence of two recent trends – more intense heat waves and more frequent power failures – could make the next large-scale disaster in the United States a power failure during a heat wave, a disaster that could cause thousands of deaths. Extreme heat is already the deadliest form of extreme weather in the United…

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Desktop Stairwell

Life Safety Solutions for the Hybrid Workplace

April 14, 2021

As detailed in a previous post, the new hybrid workplace and a shift to more hoteling and drop-in space creates significant challenges for a facility’s emergency preparedness and life safety program.  The trend presents two main issues: Live training and drills are less effective when a large percentage of employees are not on site on…

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Earthquakes Happen Where You Least Expect

March 17, 2021

While the seismic risk in North America declines significantly as you move away from the West Coast, earthquakes have a way of striking where they’re not expected. Buildings in Miami recently shook from a 7.7 magnitude earthquake between Cuba and Jamaica. Virginia was not considered earthquake country until 2011, when it experienced a 5.8 earthquake…

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Life Safety Challenges in the Hybrid Workplace

February 1, 2021

The much-heralded shift to a hybrid workplace model, where employees will spend only part of their time in the office and the rest of the time working remotely, offers many advantages. However, it also creates significant challenges for maintaining effective office life safety programs.  Property Managers, Fire Safety Directors, and even local Fire Departments will…

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