A fire can be detrimental not only to your building but to the businesses that are in it. A business can be completely ruined with one fire. With over 111,000 reported non-residential fires in the U.S. in 2017, it is an event that ends up costing businesses a lot of money. Although fire protection services might not be high on the priority list for your business, there are still requirements you must meet in order to protect your commercial property from fire.
There are many ways to think about commercial property fire protection from the destruction of a fire and reduce the risk of loss due to fire. These five fire protection services are must-haves for any commercial building owner.
1. Alarm System
The alarm system is the first line of defense against when considering commercial property fire protection as it alerts anyone who is in the building of the fire. It is very important that the alarm system has been maintained and inspected annually. There should also be a protocol in place for when the alarm system does go off.
2. Fire Alarm Monitoring
The fire alarm will let occupants know to get out of the building before it becomes engulfed in flames. Fire alarms should be partnered with a ULC-listed fire alarm monitoring system so that it is being monitored 24/7.
3. Emergency Lighting System
By law, you have to have a working emergency exit and lighting system in a commercial building. The lighting system should be in compliance with NFPA 101 so it is checked monthly and then annually, and with OSHA’s standards so that it provides adequate illumination for all exits. Without a reliable, you risk liabilities and potential fines.
4. Fire Extinguishers
Every commercial property should have fire extinguishers on site. Fire extinguishers should be accessible in several locations in large commercial buildings. A person should not have to go more than 75 feet in order to get to an extinguisher. Depending on the type of building and usage, multiple extinguishers may need to be installed in optimal areas. Extinguishers should be inspected annually as part of your fire protection services maintenance plan.
5. Sprinkler System
A sprinkler system will protect occupants and the building structure should a fire occur. It can minimize the amount of damage done to the building by preventing the flames from traveling. Some sprinklers should be foam systems for areas that contain flammable materials, while others contain water.
A fire protection plan for a commercial property will help prevent a fire from becoming completely devasting and can even contain it so that damage is minimal. APFE can guide you through creating a strategy to protect your property from this potentially catastrophic event and provide you with the necessary products and services to keep your property safe.