Hotel and motel fires cause an estimated 15 deaths and 150 injuries every year. When you add in other types of businesses, including restaurants, retail malls, warehouses, and gas stations, that number significantly increases. Although commercial fires do still exist, their existence has been decreased somewhat, mostly because of better fire protection services. When commercial businesses take the necessary precautionary steps, they are much less likely to have a fire. If a fire does occur, the damages and losses are also less. The following types of fire protection services should be implemented in every commercial building.
Installation of fire alarms
In many cases, fire alarms are required by the city and state. However, even when they are not required or when only a minimal amount is required, it can be more beneficial to install even more. You can never have too many fire alarm services. Ensure that there is an alarm in each and every room. You may want to install multiple fire alarms in fire prone areas, such as kitchens, warehouse rooms, and around gas stations fueling pumps. This ensures that you are notified earlier, in the event of a fire.
Install automatic sprinkler systems
Installing extra fire alarms is great. It may still not be enough. More fire alarms warn you of the fire quicker, but you still have to contact the fire department, and wait for them to arrive. Automatic sprinkler systems let out a flow of water from the ceilings, reducing the fire. It may not entire put out the fire, but it will sustain it, until fire authorities can arrive. The combination of automatic sprinklers and early warning systems in all buildings could reduce overall injuries, loss of life, and property damage by at least 50%.
Schedule regular fire alarm inspection services
Fire alarms do little to help when they do not work properly. Although fire alarm systems are generally very effective, they do sit for many years, often with minimal usage. In fact, it may be several years in between testing or usage of a fire alarm system. For this reason, many businesses and cities plan routine fire alarm inspection services. These fire alarm inspections might include a live test, turning the alarm system on. It might also include a trained fire marshal coming out and checking for needed fire alarm repairs.
Fire drill tests
Even when the fire alarm system works properly, customers and employees may not know what to do. Where are they supposed to go? Where are the nearest exits? Where is the fire coming from and how do they avoid it? These are all questions running through their minds and causing widespread panic and unawareness. Fire drill tests can be helpful in teaching employees how to handle a fire drill. They can then, in turn, guide the customers. The more prepared the employees are, the smoother the fire drill will go. Arrange a mock fire drill test during the fire alarm inspection service.
Include printed fire exit notifications
The specific fire plan will likely depend on how large the building is and where the nearest exits are located. One office might have an entirely different exit plan than another office that is located in a different area of the building. Including printed fire notifications, directing both employees and customers of their nearest exit can provide beneficial in reducing panic. It can be even more helpful to provide a map and a visual of the nearest exit. Some city regulations may actually require this.
Fire alarms, fire sprinkler systems, and better emergency planning have caused a decrease in fire damages and losses. Even fires in warehouse properties have declined substantially over the past 30 years, from 4,700 in 1980 to 1,200 in 2011. Business owners who plan for and are more cautious tend to see fewer fire damages. Proper fire prevention includes sufficient fire alarms, automated sprinkler systems, regular fire alarm inspection services, and clear exit planning visuals for all employees and customers.