Fire poses a significant threat to your business and the safety of your employees. Fire departments in the U.S. respond to more than 1.3 million fires each year, which together cause more than $15.9 billion in property damage.
The very first step to reduce fire damage is to focus on prevention. If you’re not thinking about fire safety now, you will be less prepared to protect people and property in an emergency. The following fire safety tips can help you minimize the risk to your business:
1. Have an Evacuation Plan and Educate Employees
An evacuation route is a central element of any fire safety plan. First, you’ll have to plan primary evacuation routes from any area, with muster points for employees to gather. Establishing secondary paths in case a fire blocks your way is also essential. Ensure you have proper emergency exit signage to facilitate a quick evacuation.
Developing your plan is just the first step—you also need to ensure that your employees know it (and know it well). Posting fire evacuation maps in each room can help employees and visitors safely exit your facilities during an emergency.
Your employees should receive routine training on safe evacuation. Some businesses choose to run fire drills, although the specific nature of your industry might make this inadvisable. In any case, having employees physically go through the evacuation route will help them remember the steps to take in an emergency.
2. Install an Appropriate Fire Protection System
Fire protection systems can avert disaster when a fire occurs on your premises. However, it’s important to note that you need the right design for your facility’s unique layout. Professional fire sprinkler system installation ensures you get the right solution for your business.
One of the best (and simplest) fire safety tips is to leave your fire sprinkler installation to the professionals. These systems are carefully designed to provide the right level of suppression and incorporate appropriate sensors to suit your facility.
There are other essential fire safety elements to incorporate within your facility worth tackling. For example, you may need specific types of fire suppression depending on your industry, especially if you’re working with flammable materials or chemicals.
3. Provide Team Training for Specific Hazards
Some workplaces have different fire hazards from the standard office environment. Whether your team uses potentially hazardous equipment or handles flammable compounds, you want to ensure they have the training to do so carefully.
Laying out standard operating procedures for safe handling and personal protective equipment will help prevent fires and other potential risks. Your team should also know how to respond appropriately in case of a fire. When handling specific equipment or compounds, the initial response to a fire can make a big difference.
Additionally, make sure you choose the proper fire extinguishers for the potential hazards you might face. While general-purpose extinguishers are acceptable for many workplaces, some fires require different extinguishers to guarantee effective suppression.
4. Keep Up with Maintenance and Inspections
Fire safety is far from a one-and-done project. Instead, it’s an ongoing commitment to preparing your facility for fire-related emergencies. Inspection and maintenance are crucial for ensuring that your planning effectively reduces risk at your facility.
While local fire codes can vary in their specific requirements, your business likely requires annual fire sprinkler system inspection and certification. There may also be other maintenance requirements, such as a thorough five-year inspection.
Fire extinguishers also require routine service. They can lose pressure over time and must be recharged. Most modern fire extinguishers feature an easy-to-understand pressure indicator.
Remember that fire extinguishers must be recharged to restore pressure and suppressant after every use.
Get the Best in Fire Safety Tips for Your Business
You can protect your business, employees, and visitors by implementing these fire safety tips, but you’ll need professional support for fire sprinkler system installation and inspection. A&A Fire Protection can provide a complete fire safety solution for your business needs. Contact us to get started and learn how we can help keep you safe.