Most commercial buildings are equipped with specific safety features. These safety features are often requirements of the city or state that the commercial building resides in. The same building was probably designed and the constructed under similar city requirements. These requirements are to guarantee safety of any customer, client, or employee that frequents the business space. Fire protection is one of the most important safety features. It warns, extinguishes, and contacts fire protection contractors in the event of a fire emergency. However, simply having a fire alarm system is not enough. Further fire safety precautions should be taken for optimal safety conditions.
Proper fire alarm installation
If a fire alarm or fire sprinkler system is not installed properly, it will not serve its purpose. Most city inspectors will check on the installation of the fire alarm, as well as other safety features of the commercial building. These inspections will likely have to be completed before any occupancy occurs. There is good reason for the strictness of these inspections. Hotel and motel fires cause an estimated 15 deaths and 150 injuries every year. Many of these are the result of poorly working fire alarm systems.
Have regular inspections
Fire alarm systems can work properly when they are installed, and then fail to work when needed. This is often caused by the system sitting unused for many months, or years. It can be beneficial to have the system inspected regularly by a professional fire alarm inspection company. These fire protection contractors know what to look for, and how to test the devices. Regular inspections will ensure that the alarm system is ready to work, in the event of a fire.
Test the alarms
The fire alarms can also cease to work over time. The fire alarms are important not in preventing a fire, but in giving occupants of the building sufficient time to get out into safety. Fire alarm testing can be completed by a fire alarm contractor or by the owner of the building. Many property owners may schedule regular fire alarm testing. They notify their employees and customers of the test, to prevent any panic or alarm. The test is also helpful to notify occupants of the building how to properly exit the building, as well as where to exit the building. A fire protection contractor can assist the property owner with their first couple of fire alarm tests to ensure they are properly completed.
Install sprinklers in high fire risk areas
There are some areas that are more prone to starting a fire. Some of these areas include the kitchen, living areas, and any room with fireplaces in them. Installing sprinklers in these specific areas can reduce the likeliness of the fire from spreading. A fire protection contractor can help the property owner select the most efficient places for a fire sprinkler.
Fire sprinklers have shown to be extremely efficient in reducing the damage from a fire. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has no record of a fire killing more than two people in a completed sprinklered building where the system was working properly. It may be harder to run regular fire sprinkler tests, however this fire alarm design can be tested during the routine fire alarm testing.
Create a fire evacuation plan
In most situations, people panic when they hear the fire alarms. They want to get out of the building, as fast as possible. Creating a fire evacuation plan that notifies people exactly where they should exit can be useful in preventing the panic from harming people as they exit the building. These fire evacuation plans should be posted in every room, allowing everyone easy view of one, in the event that they should need it. In a survey of 119 businesses, only 35% had any kind of fire evacuation plan.
When a fire occurs in a commercial building, the damages are extremely troublesome. People are put at risk, the contents of the building are ruined, and the structure of the building is diminished. Commercial property owners carry the responsibility of preventing fire damage with regular inspections and thorough fire evacuation plans.