Let’s talk about fire protection and basic fire prevention for your business.
What can you do to make your business fire-proof? Having your company premises fireproofed is certainly a worthwhile investment.
Fire is a risk and one that you need to be sufficiently prepared for. That’s why we’ve taken the time to put together a series of preventative steps you can take to help secure your business.
Let’s get into it and begin with probably one of the most important fire protection tips….
Preventative Measure #1 Create a Defensible Space
Demarcating defensible space can be difficult if your building sits within a built-up space and is adjacent to other buildings.
However, if your business premises are a detached building one of the best preventative strategies you can adopt is creating defensible space.
Now just what is defensible space you’re asking?
Defensible space refers to the landscape surrounding your property that can stop the advancement of rogue fires.
Defensible space also has a double benefit as it provides easy and safe access to your property to firefighters.
How do you create a defensible space?
Firstly, it’s good to know that there are three types of defensible space: the immediate zone (Zone 1), intermediate zone (Zone 2), and the extended zone (Zone 3).
Immediate Zone aka Zone 1
In this zone, you want to reduce all possible sources of ignition around the business and within. So you’ll be looking at using fire-resistant building materials as well as fire-safe construction methods.
Eliminating all vegetation and mulch along the walls of the building and replacing instead with crushed stone or rock.
Intermediate Zone aka Zone 2
The goal of the intermediate zone is to minimize and space flammable vegetation surrounding the building. If there are any fires you want them to remain at ground level.
Ground-level fires are easier to fight and can be prevented from reaching your business. Select fire-resistant vegetation to plant around your building. Lawns are great and should be hydrated and maintained at heights of less than four inches (10cm).
Gravel paths and driveways act as good fire barriers and remove fuel sources slowing down the spread of fires.
Extended Zone aka Zone 3
This is the premier line of defence for any business. When conducting your fire inspection, it is imperative to study what lies within this zone as this can be the best buffer that slows down fires within the building and fires from neighbouring buildings.
Preventative Measure # 2 Carry Out Routine Fire Inspections
Fire safety inspectors such as our experienced team at ProFire Safety Services can help you to evaluate your business premises by carrying out a routine fire inspection every quarter in order to ascertain the following:
· The various ways fires can start inside the building
· Potential ignition sources
· The integrity of your safety systems e.g. smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers
· Evaluate your safety plans and evacuation protocol
· Assess your exit doors and lighted exit signs
You will receive a detailed analysis of the findings and areas that need to be improved in order to stay compliant with the National Fire Code.
Preventative Measure # 3 Update Your Fire Alarms
When was the last time that you updated your fire alarms? And how often should you change your fire alarms?
Industry best practice recommends changing smoke alarms at least once every 10 years. This is of course unless your building suffered a fire incident and there is a serious question as to the integrity of the existing systems.
In this case, after a thorough fire inspection, you may be advised that it’s best to install a new system altogether.
How important are fire alarm systems?
According to research published by scientists from Murdoch University and the University of the Fraser Valley in Fire and At-Risk Populations in Canada: Analysis of the Canadian National Fire Information Database, there were lower death rates in buildings in which fire alarm systems existed (and were functional) compared to those buildings with no fire alarms.
Preventative Measure # 4 Check Your Fire Sprinkler Systems
Following hot on the heels of fire alarm systems are fire sprinkler systems. Checking your fire sprinkler systems is a great way to make sure your business is fire prevention-proof.
Fire sprinkler systems within your business should be replaced if they are old and outdated and if the building has been modified. Additionally, if the sprinkler system is always in need of maintenance it might be time for a complete overhaul.
Preventative Measure # 5 Install a Suitable Number of Fire Extinguishers
Do you know how many fire extinguishers are supposed to be within your premises? If you own a multi-story building, ideally there should be at least two fire extinguishers per floor.
The total number of extinguishers required can be reduced if you have a functional automatic fire suppression system in the building.
While we’re on the topic of extinguishers, it’s worth noting that fire extinguishers aren’t all the same. They are differentiated based on the type of fire they are supposed to put out and the contents of the extinguisher.
In a nutshell, you need to select the correct fire extinguisher for your business. Fire specialists can assist you in determining the correct extinguisher to mount inside the building.
And now for a bonus tip…
Bonus Preventative Measure: Make Sure Your Business Address is Clearly Visible
How easy is it for firefighters to locate your business premises? Is your business address clearly marked somewhere visible on a signpost perhaps?
Don’t overlook this seemingly minor detail.
In the event of a fire, time is a precious commodity. The faster firefighters can locate your business, the sooner they can get to work putting out the fire and rescuing any trapped employees.
Invest in High-Quality Fire Prevention Systems Today
Armed with these preventative tips, you can help slow down and even stop the spread of a fire within your property or from external sources.
If you would like to talk to a fire specialist to discuss fire prevention equipment, one of our friendly members of staff would be happy to consult with you.
For all your fire alarm systems, fire warning solutions, emergency backup generators, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, exit lighting, fire safety plans and sprinkler systems think ProFire Safety Services.
Request a free quote today.