Social Security Judges and Sprinkler Inspections

The Wall Street Journal reports that a judge working for the Social Security administration awarded benefits in every case he presided over in the first six months of fiscal 2011. After the article ran, the judge was placed on leave while the Inspector General investigated.
Using statistical analysis, the Journal found an anomaly that raised concerns.
Fire sprinkler systems also have statistical failure rates that owners can use as a benchmark to evaluate against their own sprinkler systems.

For example: a Hotel in Ohio was regularly inspected by the same sprinkler Contractor since opening. Each year, the Contractor would inspect and certify the system. There were no deficiencies or equipment failures ever identified by the Contractor.
Using Cherokee Fire Protection Co's own internal statistics, 1 out of 5 hotels in the state of Ohio contained recalled fire sprinklers in 2006. So, there was a 20% chance that this hotel contained recalled fire sprinklers.
When Cherokee Fire inspected the Hotel, which was passing previous Inspections for the past several years, we found that 100% of the fire sprinklers were recalled. Unfortunately, the Hotel owner missed the filing deadline for a free replacement program through the sprinkler manufacturer and had to pay out-of-pocket to replace all of the fire sprinklers.

Here's another example: The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that sprinkler systems are inspected on weekly, monthly and quarterly intervals. These guidelines are based on statistical data from sprinkler failures and losses from fire which has been carefully analyzed. Properly conducted, and inspection program consistent with NFPA standards would minimize the risk of fire sprinkler failure and associated loss from fire.
A Fireworks store in Kentucky recently burned to the ground. The store was equipped with an automatic fire sprinkler system. The Fire Marshal determined that the valves controlling water to the fire sprinkler system were Shut OFF. So, the sprinklers had to water to operate and control the fire. Since the NFPA recommends weekly inspection of Control Valves to verify they are properly open, this owner may have additional costs if the Building Insurer determines that weekly inspections were not conducted and denies coverage based on the Insurance Policy requirement to follow NFPA standards. (Statistics indicate the most common reason for fire loss in a building equipped with fire sprinkler systems are closed Control Valves).

So, owners should expect failure rates from their sprinkler inspections that are consistent with industry statistics. Higher than average failure rates may be due to faulty installations, improper maintenance or other reasons and a root cause analysis should be considered to determine the reason. Lower than average, or in the case of the Hotel, no failure rates during inspections over a period of time should raise owner concern.

The last thing that the Social Security Administration wants is a rubber-stamping judge; owners should be wary of rubber-stamping fire sprinkler contractors/ inspectors.


Cherokee Commences Work on Plato's Closet












Cherokee Fire Protection was recently awarded the fire sprinkler scope of work at the future Plato's Closet in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
We will be working closely with the Wilson Architectural Group and General Contractor Rorick's to ensure that this client's needs are met every step of the way!

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Happy Buffet Opens in Beavercreek!

Hungry for great Chinese food in Beavercreek, OH?
Check out the Happy Buffet, across from the Fairfield Mall.
Cherokee Fire worked with this Small Business Restaurant to modify the existing fire sprinkler system in their tenant space to meet their needs.
We installed Tyco fire sprinklers, which carry a 10 year warranty throughout the restaurant and inside the stores walk-in freezers and coolers. That way, the restaurant can focus on cooking and serving great food.
The installation was inspected and approved by the Greene County Building Department and Beavercreek Fire Department.
I really enjoyed meeting with the owner, because I love Chinese food...especially before and after running a marathon!
"Thank you for helping us meet our project deadlines and open so we can serve our customers!" - David Li, owner

Cherokee Fire recognized for 5 years as NFSA member



Cherokee Fire Protection was recently recognized for 5 years of membership in the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA).

The NFSA is the oldest and largest fire sprinkler trade association. Founded in 1905, the mission of the NFSA is to reduce the loss of life through the widespread acceptance of the fire sprinkler concept.

Forest Wilson, President of Cherokee Fire, regularly works with local NFSA officials on state and local matters affecting the fire sprinkler industry. Cherokee is also a member of the Fire Sprinkler Industries Best Practices Initiative, a program of the NFSA designed to promote the use of industry best practices.

For additional information about the NFSA, visit www.nfsa.org.

Read Report: Click here: Cherokee Fire Featured in Case Study

Cherokee Fire Protection was recently featured in a case study performed by a valued vendor, Egnyte. To view the Report, click link above. Founded in 2005, Cherokee is an industry leader in Quality Management and Control. In order to comply with our internal Document Retention Policy and Disaster Recovery Plan, Cherokee moved to a "paperless" format more than a year ago. Clients are provided the opportunity to view, print or email their inspection reports and other documents through a secure cloud server. Egnyte, an industry leader in cloud storage, was slected as the vendor we would work with to meet our cloud storage needs.

Proper Care of Post Indicating Valves


A local home improvement store recently called Cherokee Fire because someone had ran over their outside Post Indicating Valve (PIV) with a vehicle.

Our Service Technicians quickly replaced the damged Post Indicator and the store was back to business.

What is a PIV? Well, it's a valve which indicates if its Open or Shut. These valves usually control water to fire sprinkler systems and its important to visually verify, on a weekly basis, that the valve is Open.

The valve should be equipped with a special wrench to operate the valve and it should be exercised (fully Shut then Opened) every 3 months. Proper exercise of the valve will help ensure a trouble free operation and reduce expensive service calls to rebuild valves frozen in the Open position, or difficult to operate during annual sprinkler inspections.