A fire in a local business can be extremely devastating to the community. According to FEMA, there are 17,000 office and store fires in the United States every year. These fires cause up to $800 million in property damage. Reducing the risk of potential fire at your business is one of the best things you can do to protect your customers, employees, and property. As a business owner, focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention, and staff education can help reduce your chance of fire damage. Here are some tips on how to make sure your business is properly protected against fire.
Look for Potential Hazards
According to American Red Cross, there are several common hazards in your business that could potentially start a fire. Take a look around your space and check for these potential problems:
- Keep any combustible objects away from heat sources.
- Properly store flammables away in cabinets and away from ignition sources.
- Check appliance cords and replace any broken connectors or cracked insulation.
- Use only one extension cord for each power outlet.
Have a Fire Safety Plan
Every workplace needs an evacuation plan in place. These plans should include information on which exits to use, how to get to them, and where occupants should meet outside. It’s also important to ensure each staff member is aware of every step of the plan. Keep copies of your evacuation procedures posted in break rooms and perform drills to ensure everyone knows what to do.
Keep Stairwells Clear
There should not be any boxes, equipment, or obstacles blocking the stairwells. It may be tempting to use the stairwells as extra storage, but this can be a safety and fire hazard.
Make Sure You Have the Proper Equipment
Every business should have multiple functioning fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers need to be kept in places where they are accessible and visible. They also need to be fully charged and annually inspected by qualified professionals. Businesses are also legally required to have a fire alarm and sprinkler system. A good fire alarm will alert your staff to any immediate issues, and sprinklers can stop a fire from spreading beyond a smolder. Be sure to check both systems and replace or update as necessary routinely.
Follow All Fire Safety Codes
It is essential to follow all fire safety codes in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code. The code contains specific guidelines on exits, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and other life-saving devices. Your building should have at least two exits, all of which are clearly marked and unobstructed at all times.
Commercial and Residential Fire Prevention from Judd Fire Protection
If you want to ensure your home and business are safe throughout the year, trust Judd Fire Protection, LLC. We have over two decades of experience in designing, installing, inspecting, and repairing residential and commercial fire protection systems. We serve clients throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia. If you are interested in finding out more about our services and protecting your home and business, give us a call at 410-871-3480 or contact us online. For more fire safety tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.