What Would Happen if Your Building Caught Fire?
Making sure that your building is adequately protected from fire isn’t just a small deal. Having the right fire protection services in place can protect your building and save you thousands of dollars in property damage. In fact, having fire alarm systems in place might save you money immediately, through property insurance discounts. And most importantly, it can save human lives. There is no price tag that outweighs human lives. Here are a few tips for making sure your building is adequately protected from fire:
- Stay on top of your fire alarm inspections.
There are no records of more than one life lost in a fire with a properly functioning fire alarm system. You’ll notice the operative word there, “fully functioning.” If your fire alarm isn’t functioning as it should, it is good as useless. In the event of a fire, having a mechanism in place to immediately notify the correct building managers, as well as the fire department, so that steps are taken to immediately put the fire out and minimize damage is crucial. Minutes matter when your building is in flames. The difference between instantly being alarmed and finding out when there is smoke billowing from the building could cost you thousands in property damage — or human lives. You don’t want to find out the hard way that fire alarm isn’t functioning.
Having regularly scheduled fire alarm inspections in place ensures that your fire alarms are functioning as they should. Most fire system experts recommend undergoing fire alarm inspections at a minimum of twice a year. If the nature of your building or the purpose you use it for puts you at a heightened risk of fire, your insurance provider might require you to get fire alarm inspections even more often than that. This is a small cost for a potentially huge savings.
- Follow fire codes to the letter of the law.
The fire codes that are put in place in your area aren’t just there for decoration. Fire experts carefully consider the particular risks that your area are subject to, and create regulations to prevent them.
If you don’t follow your zoning’s fire codes precisely, you could be liable for hefty fines. Your business could even lose its licensing. These are both a big bummer, but neither are are much of a bummer as losing your building to fire because you let a fire hazard go unchecked. In fact, if your property insurance provider finds that your building’s fire was a result of your negligence to follow the fire code, the entire claim could be rejected. Do yourself a favor, and understand exactly what is required of your building to get it up to code. Make sure you follow those codes to an exact science.
- Invest in a good sprinkler system.
Your building’s sprinkler system is the first line of defense against a fire. Even if your fire department is literally next door and can spring into action in 90 seconds, your sprinkler system will be able to attack the fire faster. And those 90 seconds that it takes your fire department to get there (most likely far longer than 90 seconds, since you probably don’t have a fire department next door) can be the 90 seconds that your building is engulfed in flames.
Maybe you’re worried about the cost of a sprinkler system. If your building didn’t come equipped with a sprinkler system, it might be pricey to retrofit it with one. Once again though, your property insurance company really likes their clients to have sprinkler systems in their buildings. It saves them thousands of dollars if your building catches fire. As such, they’re willing to give you hefty discounts if you have a sprinkler system in your building. When you are calculating the cost vs. benefit of a sprinkler system, make sure to consider this savings.
We’ll throw this in for free: Your sprinkler system won’t do you any good if the sprinklers aren’t able to reach the entire space with water to put a fire out. Make sure that you pay attention to where your sprinklers are, and don’t block them with furniture. Pay attention to this when you set your building up.
Do you have any questions? Please share below!