5 Ways to Protect Your Business From Fire
A fire at your business can be a devastating blow to your company. A serious fire could result in the loss of your building, merchandise, raw materials, and important business records and computer files. In the worst case, a fire could cause the injury or death of an employee or customer. Even small fires can result in enough damage to hinder your business operations or take a major toll on your finances. To protect your business from fire, it’s important to carefully consider the importance of fire safety, prevention, and suppression. Here are five important ways you can protect your business from fire and make sure your employees, customers, and materials are safe.
1. Install and Maintain Fire Control and Suppression Systems
- Install a sprinkler, foam system, or other fire control and suppression system: Contact your local fire safety office or equipment dealer for help choosing, planning, and installing a system. Safety and suppression systems should be installed to provide coverage throughout your building. They should be designed to trigger automatically and should be regularly inspected, maintained, and repaired. Install portable fire extinguishers in accordance with local or state laws and regulations.
- Install fire alarms and smoke detectors: Make sure there are enough fire alarms throughout the building to allow quick detection and notification in case of a fire. Provide automatic alarms that can sense and react to fires and manual alarms that personnel can activate if they discover a fire. For added protection, install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your facility.
- Establish and promote a fire safety plan and an evacuation plan: Devise a sensible fire safety plan to protect your business from fire. Map out an evacuation route, with as many alternates as possible, that employees should follow in case of fire. Make sure employees are thoroughly familiar with these plans and that they receive regular follow-up training in fire safety and evacuation.
2. Be Cautious with Electrical Equipment
- Recognize and reduce hazards associated with electrical equipment: Make sure proper outlets, switches, wiring, connectors, circuit breakers, junction boxes, plug adapters, and other electrical equipment is used in your building.
- Use properly grounded and insulated power strips, extension cords, and other wiring: Make sure power strips are UL certified and capable of handling the loads you put on them. Do not “daisy chain” or connect multiple power strips or extension cords in sequence.
- Make sure there is enough working space in front of electrical equipment: A common space allotment is 30 inches wide, 36 inches deep, and 78 inches high.
3. Carefully Store Combustible and Flammable Materials
- Do not store combustible materials in boiler rooms, mechanical rooms, or exit areas: Keep paper, cardboard, plastic, paint, fuels, and other combustible and flammable material out of equipment rooms and away from exits.
- Do not store gasoline, propane, alcohol, or other fuels indoors: Do not put storage tanks or cans inside your facility and do not store fuel-burning equipment indoors.
4. Perform Regular Building Maintenance
- Make sure all fire lanes are clear: Do not block fire lanes or access to fire hydrants. Always leave enough room for emergency personnel to respond to a fire at your facility.
- Ensure the building’s address is clearly visible from the street: Use 4-inch letters with a contrasting background to mount your address on the side of your building.
5. Maintain Accessible Exits
- Make sure exit routes are clear, accessible, and easily seen: Keep all exit pathways and doors clear of obstructions or blockages. Ensure exit doors are unlocked when the building is occupied. Provide illuminated exit signs with battery back-ups that work even if the main building power goes out.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial, and Residential settings. For more information on how to protect your business from fire, or to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!