Owning commercial property comes with a lot of responsibility. Not only are you responsible for the safety of your staff and patrons when they are in the building, it’s also vital to protect the assets of your business. A fire in your building could be disastrous to your property and extremely dangerous to anyone inside. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), in 2019, an estimated 110,900 fires occurred in non-residential buildings from a variety of causes including cooking, equipment failure, and employer negligence.
Below, we’ve listed five crucial tips that you as a commercial property owner can take to ensure that your building is as safe as can be in the event of a fire emergency.
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How To Be Prepared & Prevent Fires
1. Extinguishers & Sprinklers
Take a walk around your building. If you can’t spot wall-mounted fire extinguishers that are near every exit and approximately 75 feet apart from each other, then your building is probably not up to fire code and definitely not safe in a fire emergency. Fire extinguishers should be easily spotted and accessible near an exit to prevent anyone from unnecessarily traveling into a burning building to locate one.
Fire sprinklers and standby pipes are not necessary for every type of commercial building but having them can greatly reduce the destruction a fire can cause. They work by suppressing the flames with water. They require testing and maintenance by licensed inspectors. Though it’s an added cost, fire sprinklers and standby pipes can be extremely effective at fireproofing your building.
2. Exit Signs & Emergency Lights
During a fire, a mass evacuation can become a dangerous and confusing situation if exit signs are not properly illuminated. We all know that smoke rises; and even if your exit sign is above a doorway, it can become obscured. Exit signs must be illuminated for people to efficiently locate the nearest exit. Even if the power goes out, overhead emergency lights will work and can be especially helpful in guiding people to an exit.
3. Break Room Safety
Most break rooms come equipped with a microwave and toaster. Some even have ovens. Ensure that your employees know basic cooking etiquette such as not putting metal in the microwave or not forgetting food that is cooking. Never plug multiple appliances into the same outlet or power strip as it can overload and short out, leading to an electrical fire.
4. Routine Fire Drills
Most businesses have mandatory annual fire drills or fire safety conferences. If your company doesn’t, consider making routine fire drills a priority. These drills keep employees refreshed on designated meeting spots and fire education. Running a fire drill is also a good way to test if your fire alarms are in working order.
5. Install a Fire Alarm System
Fire alarms are your first line of defense in a fire emergency. They detect and alert to the presence of smoke even if the building is unoccupied. At Prestige Alarm, we offer Gamewell-FCI brand fire alarms which are extremely effective. We can also design and install the E3 Series® Expandable Emergency Evacuation System which releases multiple messages via telephone, cell phone, text messages, outdoor speakers, large message displays, and more to notify everyone of a fire emergency.
Prestige Alarm Can Help
Fires aren’t always preventable, but having fire safety knowledge and the best alert systems the market has to offer are the keys to saving lives and your property. Schedule a consultation with Prestige Alarm to upgrade your commercial property’s emergency response systems.
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