3 Tips To Help Businesses Prepare For Fire-Related Emergencies

Posted on: 24 October 2018

As a business owner, one of the steps you take to protect your business and employees should include having a good strategy for fire prevention and suppression. Being prepared for a fire can reduce significant structural and inventory losses, in addition to preventing serious injuries.

Install Fire Extinguishers

Every business should have fire extinguishers readily available, especially in areas that are more prone to fires. Depending on the type of business you have, you likely want to have several fire extinguishers available in the kitchen or other meal-preparation areas, around electronic devices, and in locations where machinery is frequently used. Although fire extinguishers are important, they do little to help if your employees do not know how to use them.

When you hire new employees, you should inform them of any emergency protocols you have and how to use fire extinguishers. Although fire extinguishers have directions on them, panic can prevent people from using fire extinguishers correctly. You should have annual reminders about best practices to reduce the incidence of fire and what to do in an emergency. Reminders not only reduce the chance that negligence might cause a fire, but when employees are more calm during an emergency, there will be a lower risk of additional injuries caused by widespread panic and confusion.

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Invest In An Alarm System

A good-quality alarm system for businesses will service multiple functions. Your alarm system should automatically alert first responders of an incident at your business. In the event a fire occurs outside of normal business hours, prompt notification of the fire department will reduce the amount of destruction and can potentially avoid loss of life if someone is unexpectedly inside the building. The alarm system you choose should emit both audible and visual alarms. There is always the chance someone might have a visual or hearing impairment, so having both types of alarms means everyone can notice a problem.

An alarm system that is not reliant on electricity is also critical, even if your business has an emergency generator. When there is no power in your business, either because the power is cut off intentionally or there is a significant weather event, the chances of a fire occurring could increase. Having an alarm with flashing lights not only serves as warning to people with hearing difficulties, but the lights can also function as a way to guide people out of the building safely during a fire, even if there is a power outage.

Consider A Suppression System

If a fire were to occur at your business, one of the most effective ways of slowing a fire is to have a suppression system. The most common type of fire-suppression system is an overhead sprinkler, but there are many disadvantages to this type of system. A common problem with fire sprinklers is that they can be activated for benign reasons, causing considerable damage to your business. Modern fire-suppression systems use other methods of effectively slowing or stopping a fire, while reducing the amount of water damage that occurs. For example, some suppression systems use a fine mist of water instead of a sprinkler. This type of system is more effective at stopping a fire and can also reduce the amount of harmful gases created during a fire. In the event someone is trapped inside the building or evacuation of the entire building is slow, not only will a suppression mist minimize the chances of being burned by fire, but it also reduces the risk of smoke inhalation, which is more often the cause of serious injuries during fires.

The investment you make in protecting your business from fire-related damage cannot be overstated. Fortunately, there are many tools available for businesses to reduce the chance of injuries to employees and property damage.