The damage from a commercial fire is nothing shy of devastating, especially in terms of cost. With a fire, there aren't just enormous amounts of physical damage; this catastrophe also has the ability to bring your earnings to a complete halt. You can find some reprieve in the fact that many commercial fires can be avoided, or at the very least minimized, with the right protective steps. Make certain you're working in the right direction by following these fire protection tips.
Regular Alarm Inspections
It's one thing to have a fire alarm system installed on the property, but if it isn't working, it's basically useless. In the event of an actual fire, it would be a tragedy to discover that your alarm system has malfunctioned. In a nutshell, inspections include a thorough examination and an alarm test to ensure there aren't any underlying issues that might cause failure.
A number of alarm manufacturers suggest that the unit be inspected annually, but you can look through your documentation to see the frequency required for your unit. Whatever the suggested scheduled, ensure you are adhering to it.
Safe Storage Practices
There are a number of fires caused by poor storage practices that are often overlooked. Make sure your team members know where to and where not to store certain items. For example, storing a flammable material near a heat source, such as a heater, is basically an accident waiting to happen.
There is somewhat of a common belief that flammable materials are only a threat when placed near an open flame, but any source of heat can be problematic. It might be helpful to place signs around these dangerous areas designating the space as non-storage area.
Avoiding An Electrical Overload
All properties have a limit when it comes to the electrical load they can carry. Exceed this capacity and you increase the risk of a short, which can quickly lead to a fire. First, ensure that all equipment falls below this limit. Stay on top of this by having your system inspected periodically to determine if you need to upgrade your electrical capacity.
Second, set limits on the number of personal electronics you allow your employees to plug up at their workstations. It might seem like a minor issue, but if all your staff has cell phones, tablets and laptops plugged up at their stations, this can quickly push you closer to an overload.
Fire protection is a serious task that requires the expertise of a professional. In addition to your own efforts, don't hesitate to seek the assistance of a fire protection professional.