Protecting your commercial premises from fire hazards is one of your most crucial priorities as a business owner and you won’t need reminding that one momentary lapse of security and safety protocols can create a fire situation that could prove devastating to lives as well as the building.
That is why fire safety has to be a top priority and just meeting the minimum safety standards required is not going to give you the peace of mind that you want when you are trying to protect a valuable business asset.
It should be clear to anyone that protecting against a fire hazard involves a lot more than installing a few fire extinguishers and an automatic water sprinkler system.
Here is a look at ways to bring the fire safety level of your building to a new and heightened level.
- 1 Look at the building’s infrastructure
- 2 An alarm system is your first line of defense
- 3 Combat the loss of power
- 4 Encourage a culture of fire safety
- 5 Employ good fire prevention strategies
- 6 You have to counter the threat of arson
- 7 Keep combustible materials away from the building
- 8 Get your wiring checked
Look at the building’s infrastructure
One of the first things you want is the comfort and assurance of knowing that your commercial building has been constructed using fireproof building materials.
As well as ensuring that your building is constructed of endothermic materials or concrete you will also want to restrict the movement of fire if it breaks out by having firewalls, barriers, and partitions.
If you have a goods entrance in the building, an automated machine safety door from someone like Dynatect, should also help by providing a security option as well as an easy access option.
Barriers are designed to prevent the spread of fire and good infrastructure design will provide those layers of protection.
An alarm system is your first line of defense
A fire alarm is designed to alert everyone in the building of a problem and initiate an orderly exit from the building while the problem is investigated.
Although it is a standard piece of equipment that you would expect to find in a commercial building it should not be installed and forgotten about.
Test the system regularly and having periodic fire drills so that everyone knows what to do.
Combat the loss of power
In an emergency fire situation, it is possible that the building could suffer a loss of power, which creates a problem if people can’t see where they are going.
Make sure your building features a decent amount of emergency lighting that allows exit points to become visible at all times.
In addition, you might want to consider installing a backup generator to provide power in an emergency.
Encourage a culture of fire safety
You could install the latest safety features and technology to protect your building but it could count for little if people in the building don’t know what to do when there is a fire.
Take a proactive approach to fire safety a create some fire safety protocols.
Train all staff in basic safety procedures and look to appoint key people who will assume responsibility for other peoples safety as a fire marshall.
Employ good fire prevention strategies
It is better to plan ways to prevent a fire starting as well as having a set of protocols that come into action when the worst happens.
It would be a good idea to conduct a thorough and regular review of the way you store flammable items and control certain hazards.
Aim to store flammable and combustible liquids safely and control the use of smoking materials and open flames.
You have to counter the threat of arson
It may surprise you to learn that arson is one of the most common reasons for a fire developing in a commercial building.
You need to be mindful of this threat and take steps to minimize the risk.
This means ensuring that all external doors and windows have locks that are in good working order and you also need to survey the building to check for any gaps or routes into the building that an arsonist could exploit.
Good security around the perimeter of your building is essential and can help prevent your building from being targeted.
Keep combustible materials away from the building
Another fire threat to counter against comes from items that are left too close to the building that are combustible.
If you have pallets or industrial waste to contend with, make sure these are stored safely while awaiting collection and aim to split loads up to prevent the prospect of a larger fire developing.
If you have foliage around the building these also need to be trimmed regularly and kept in check. Unfortunately, there is always the prospect of someone setting dry leaves alight and starting a fire.
As well as storing any hazardous materials safely to prevent fire it is also essential that you don’t block any exit points from the building. Blocking a fire exit is a big safety fail and if it prevents someone from escaping the building in an emergency that could be disastrous.
Get your wiring checked
Last but not least, you should consider getting your electrical wiring tested on a regular basis.
The wiring needs to be tested to ensure that it is compliant with current fire and safety regulations and any fault identified should be rectified without delay.
Any commercial building will have its own unique set of fire hazards that you need to be aware of and take steps to counteract, and it is likely that your own building will present a series of logistical challenges and threats that you need to plan for.
It is never a bad idea to liaise with your local fire department and seek out their professional opinion on what steps you need to take to make your building as safe as possible. When you consider they will have been called out to numerous fires, it stands to reason that they will be able to spot any potential weak points in your fire safety measures and protocols.
Your commercial property is a valuable asset and that means you should want to take your fire safety features to a new level in order to protect it and all the people inside it.