As a security company serving the sophisticated needs of high-security industries such as Government, Education, and Healthcare, we understand the fire risks they face. While other safety issues such as robbery are much more frequent, the possibility of fire, preventing it and having a plan for a response should remain a top priority.
This month is National Fire Prevention Month and we’d like to take a few moments to provide a few important tips to help you protect your business from fire.
Our goal is to encourage businesses to:
- Raise fire safety awareness
- Develop fire prevention strategies
- Implement the right technologies
- Take corrective measures
A Brief History of National Fire Prevention Month
Sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the national observance began in response to several fires that broke out within days of each other, including The Great Chicago Fire of October 8, 1871, which killed more than 250 people and left 100,000 people homeless. On that same day, several fires started along Lake Michigan’s coast in which an estimated 2,400 people had lost their lives.
While we’ve made great strides in fire prevention and detection technologies and practices, fire and its serious effects remain a huge concern. According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration, while the number of overall fires and injuries is down, the number of deaths and loss is up.
Top Tips to Improve Fire Safety in the Commercial Setting:
Have a Professional Facility Assessment
Have a professional thoroughly assess every aspect of your facility from structure and usage to processes. No business is alike, even ones in the same industry so the particulars you uncover will help determine your specific fire and security needs.
Make Sure Your System is Up to Date
Commercial buildings must comply with many local and national fire safety codes such as having proper fire systems in place. Having those systems is not enough. It is important to have a security system professional look at your facility and make recommendations. There may be new offerings better suited to your needs.
Provide Fire System Training
Ensure that your employees are trained to use fire and life safety systems and how to respond in an emergency.
Develop an Evacuation Plan
In addition to using posted building maps and lighted exit signs, prepare and regularly practice an emergency evacuation plan with your building/business occupants. The more a plan is practiced, the more quickly and safely it can be executed in an emergency.
Practice Kitchen Safety
The vast majority of fires start in the kitchen, whether in the breakroom or commercial kitchen setting. Ensure that safety measures in kitchens are strictly enforced.
Practice good workplace housekeeping. Clutter contributes to fires by providing fuel and by preventing access to exits and emergency equipment.
Use Designated Smoking Areas
Provide designated areas outside, away from flammable materials or equipment.
Have Fire Extinguishers
Maintaining the appropriate type and number of fire extinguishers and learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher. Frequently, fires start small and locally and can be extinguished at its earliest stages when a fire extinguisher is available.
Remove Electrical Hazards
Many fires start in faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment. Perform regular maintenance of all equipment and wiring to ensure its safe usage.
Practice Chemical Safety
Use and store chemicals safely. Read the label and the Material Safety Data Sheet to determine flammability and other fire hazards. Provide adequate ventilation when using and storing these substances.
Fire emergencies and disasters can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere. However, the vast majority of fires can be prevented with the proper technologies and protocols. Call ProNet today to find out how we can help. 1-888-577-6832