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Celebrating Fire Safety Week

Monday, October 10th, 2011

October is Fire Safety Month

October 9-15 is the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA’s) official “Fire Prevention Week,” which is an annual event that promotes fire safety for families and businesses.

Fire Prevention Week was created to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. During the 40th anniversary of that tragic event, the Fire Marshals Association of North America began the first National Fire Prevention Day. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first official National Fire Prevention Week and called up a massive change in fire prevention planning.

According to the NFPA, a home structure fire was reported every 87 seconds in 2009, and nearly seven people died each day in those blazes. The economic toll from residential and business fire is vast, with $7.6 billion in losses recorded in 2009. However, through educational efforts such as National Fire Prevention Week, the occurrence of fires has dropped drastically over the years, from more than 700,000 house fires in 1977 to 370,000 in 2010.

Every year the NFPA selects a theme for National Fire Prevention Week. The theme for 2011 is “Protect your family from fire,” and focuses on coordinated efforts for family members and teachers. Here are a few of the themes from past years:

  • The Nation’s Greatest Menace! Do Your Part to Stop This Waste!” (1929)
  • “Learn Not To Burn – Wherever You Are” (1982)
  •  “Use Candles with Care” (2005)

Fire Prevention Week activities at schools and other organizations focus on preparedness in several key areas:

  • Establishment and practicing sensible escape routes with designated alternates
  • Inspection and care of home smoke detectors
  • Information about home sprinkler systems and their ability to stop fires within minutes
  • Dangers associated with fires from heating appliances, fireplaces, and stoves
  • Special emphasis on smokers and the acute risk of fire from un-extinguished cigarettes
  • Candle care and safety

For businesses, fire safety should be a 52-week focus, not just one that is observed during Fire Prevention Week. Business and facility management can take many steps to reduce the risk of fire:

  • Create a sound fire plan that includes evacuation routes, designated fire wardens and procedures to account for every employee and visitor during a fire emergency.
  • Install and inspect to make sure the right classes of fire extinguishers are located in code-required locations.
  • Implement clear rules on the use of space heaters and other portable devices that can pose safety hazards.
  • Encourage employees to report dangerous situations. Give them the opportunity to reach your building manager confidentiality if they need to report a sensitive issue.

Fire Safety Week is an ideal chance for individuals and businesses to reflect on what they can do to keep people and property protected from fire. Practicing common sense and building a knowledge base about fire are the best ways for people to avoid tragedy.

Covering more than 300 million square feet of commercial property, the Allied Universal Fire Life Safety Training System ensures compliance with related fire codes. It is an interactive e-learning system that provides tenants, building owners, and facility managers with instant feedback. Convenient and affordable for businesses of any size, the Allied Universal Fire Life Safety Training System can reduce training workloads by 90 percent while saving more than 50 percent when compared to conventional training methods. Proper training and code compliance can greatly reduce your liability in the event of a disaster.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011 Marks Banner Year for U.S. Disasters

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

2011 Has Been a Banner Year for Natural Disasters in the U.S.

Allied Universal Shares 5 Tips for Dealing with Weather-Related Disasters

President Barack Obama recently named New Jersey a federal disaster area as a result of floods that came before Hurricane Irene. In so doing, he cemented 2011 as the United States’ most disaster-prone year ever.

As of the third week of September, Obama had issued 84 federal disaster declarations at the request of governors. That is more declarations than in any year since the score was first kept 60 years ago. And there are still three months left in 2011! Since many of the recent emergencies resulted from extreme weather, we want to use this week’s blog post to discuss the ways that you can prepare for weather-related disasters.

While weather has always been a contributing factor to damage to hearth, office and home, natural disaster-related damage affects more people than it used to because of urban sprawl. When tornados strike open, undeveloped areas, dollar amount damage is relatively low. Centered in a densely populated area, the same storm will wreak considerably more havoc.

So how should urban residents and professionals who work in major metropolitan locations prepare for natural disasters? Here are some tips, prepared for you by the fire life safety training professionals at Allied Universal, Inc:

  1. Take cover. This is important regardless of temperature. If you’re outside in the heat, make sure you have a hat, sunglasses and lip balm as well as sunscreen in case you get caught in any situation that leaves you stranded for an extended period of time.

Likewise, in snow, rain or hail, you should make sure you have plenty of protection against the elements. Invest in protective, waterproof outerwear and make sure your emergency supply kit includes plenty of blankets and waterproof matches.

Also, one of the best ways to protect from loss is to purchase insurance to cover repairs to infrastructure. We are not experts in insurance. But it is likely that a standard policy will not cover flood damage. The only way to protect against flood losses is to purchase flood insurance directly from the National Flood Insurance Program. Policies must be in place for 30 days before coverage takes effect. For information, contact your insurance professional.

  1. Drink Up. One of the risks of any type of disaster is dehydration. Consider miners who are stranded for hours underground or motorists whose cars get stuck on snowy roadways in blizzard conditions. Dehydration is not relegated to desert environments.  A good rule of thumb is to make sure you include plenty of water in each of your emergency preparedness kits. You should have one in your car, one at work and a third at home, all in easily-accessible locations.
  2. Tune In. Another suggestion for your disaster preparedness kit is to include a portable, hand-crank radio to make sure you can stay connected even in power outage. Storms of any kind can knock out phone lines, electricity, gas, water and even wireless cell phones. So don’t make the mistake of relying on high-tech forms of communication to stay abreast of news in emergencies. Tuning in will alert you to the threat level relative to the storm, be it Winter Storm Watch, Winter Storm Warning or Winter Weather Advisory.
  3. Stay Put. In many cases, you will be safer if you shelter in place than if you venture out in hazardous conditions. Of course, you must use common sense when deciding whether you should stay or go. For example, in the event of a tornado, seek shelter in a steel-framed or concrete building. However, in case of a flood, you might be putting yourself in danger by staying in an area that will likely be consumed by fast-flowing water. For detailed instructions about what to do in every possible weather scenario, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Weather Service website. All Allied Universal Safety Trainees have immediate access to NOAA information from inside our fully-integrated training system.
  4. Remain Calm. Whatever the disaster, you will make better choices if you avoid the temptation to panic. How can you remain cool, calm and collected when surrounded by turmoil? One surefire way is to prepare well in advance of emergency.

If you own or manage a building, or know someone who does, do them a favor. Let them know about the Allied Universal Training System. Choosing our service cuts property management training related workloads by 90% and saves users over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES! BE SAFE.

Announcing Version 2.5 of the Allied Universal Training System™

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
Screenshot of Allied Universal Training System Version 2.5

The Allied Universal Training System has been upgraded to Version 2.5

Allied Universal Inc. is proud to announce the release of Version 2.5 of our comprehensive e-based safety training program. The new system boasts features that property managers and building owners, employers and occupants have come to depend on for building specific safety training, such as the integration and automation that brings together facility managers, fire safety directors and local fire departments.

The system upgrade showcases our continued commitment to offer the most user-friendly and complete training system on the market. Here is a snapshot of some of the new functionality that Allied Universal trainees will enjoy with Version 2.5:

  • A New User Interface
  • New Special Assistance for Evacuation Interface
  • New NOAA Weather Interface
  • New Facebook Interface
  • New Twitter Interface
  • New pop-up notifications

What’s more, new and current Allied Universal trainees will continue to benefit from program features that have made us the e-based safety training program of choice among property managers and building owners from coast to coast: We are approved by every major fire department and are now training more than 350 million square feet across the United States

Version 2.5 of the Allied Universal Training System demonstrates our continued commitment to provide the most user-friendly, complete training system on the market.

Our system offers real-time reporting with just one click which—

  • Identifies tenants that need special assistance in the case of emergency
  • Provides instant access to a list of floor wardens that is shared with building management and the fire department
  • Enhanced Fire Department Access—
    • One home screen allows department access to all Allied Universal System companies in the city
    • Departments can monitor individual building testing and training of floor wardens and fire safety directors.
    • Building-specific emergency manuals, diagrams and maps provide pre-response building information.
    • Automated Features—
    • Automatic personalized certificates are sent to each user via email immediately upon completion
    • Employee compliance reports are prepared for each tenant. View, print or export to Excel.
    • Annual reminders are sent to each user on their training anniversary date.
    • State of the Art Confidentiality and System Control
    • Multiple tiers of system access help control the distribution of information
    • Confidential Information Access is granted for resources such as maps, emergency plans and reports.

The Allied Universal Training System, Version 2.5 gives building owners a complete picture of their emergency preparedness as well as user-friendly interfaces. We map out an exterior refuge map with a satellite picture of each building. We can also include a map of the lobby showing the best exit routes, fire control room location, hose connections, etc.  Elevator banks and stairwells can also be graphed, to show a comprehensive picture of accessibility and egress.

More info about the Allied Universal Training System Version 2.5:

  • 30-day implementation with a simple monthly flats-rate fixed fee
  • All updates, training, and other resources are provided for no additional fee
  • Property managers can easily print and export building training information via their Management section.
  • Training and procedures are available for any kind of disaster, be it manmade or natural

If you own or manage a building, or know someone who does, do them a favor. Let them know about the Allied Universal Training System. Choosing our service cuts property management training related workloads by 90% and saves users over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES! BE SAFE.