Few business owners expect to be the victim of a commercial fire. Unfortunately, they happen all too often and unless you have the right commercial fire protection systems in place, you can lose everything. In fact, every year, about 15 people are killed in hotel and motel and another 150 people are hurt in the United States alone. These fires cause about $76 million in damage to property. When you look at fires that start in commercial kitchens, fire sprinkler systems and other non-chemical suppression system have been found to be high,y effective in 96% of all instances where there is a fire.
It is important to note, that the fire does not have to originate in your business to cause you problems. If your business is in a building with other tenants or shares a wall with them, you can be vulnerable to fires that start in their spaces, By having a good commercial fire protection plan and system in place, you can make sure your business is protected in the event that something happens in an adjoining business.
- Put in the right fire alarm systems and commercial fire sprinkler systems. You need both. The fire alarm system should be set up to alert the local fire department. The faster they can get to you when there is a fire, the more they can do to prevent damage to your property. Some business owners balk at putting in a sprinkler system. They have the idea that the water sprinkler system will end up doing more damage than the fire itself. That is the wrong way to think about fire. Your fire sprinkler system is going to release a lot less water into your building than will be released by the fire department. If you can get the fire under control before they arrive, say with your automatic fire suppression system, you will have a lot less damage to deal with.
- Make sure your employees know how to use your equipment. You should have portable fire extinguishers in your business. No commercial fire protection system is really complete without a backup plan but these do you no good if you do not marry them with training for you staff and a plan for their use. You should have everyone in your business trained on how to use the fire extinguishers but you should designate some people as the “go to” people who decide when they are used.
- Develop a plan. They say that a “failure to plan” is really a “plan to fail.” That is very true in the world of commercial fire protection. You need to have a way to get clients and customers out of your business if there is any kind of crisis and that includes a fire. You need to have a route out of your business but also a meet up space outside. You do not want that person who was back in the storeroom to be forgotten because you did not have a good plan in place for everyone to meet. The more prepared your staff is for a crisis, .such as a fire, the more calm they will remain. This is important for everyone’s safety. The last thing you need is for all of tour staff to panic during an emergency. Make sure do you regular training sessions for new and seasoned staff.
- Make sure you have a regular inspection schedule for all of your commercial fire protection equipment and systems checked. No fire protection system is going to do you any good if it is not working correctly. If you are not sure how often this needs to be done, talk to the commercial fire protection services company that put the system in to get a sense of how often the equipment you have will need to be checked. You do not want to learn about a malfunction when you have fire.
Fires are incredibly destructive. They can go from being small to taking over a space in only a few minutes. Whether you own or manage a restaurant, pet store or office supply, having the right commercial fire protection plan and equipment is the best way to keep your business safe from the dangers of fire.