In this section of our blog, we’ll discuss modern commercial fireproofing for avoiding fires – from checking electrical boxes, to creating a fire response plan, and implementing yearly inspections to reduce your risk of a fire. We’ll also discuss fireproofing techniques and materials that can help you safeguard your business and your employees from any accidents involving flammable materials.
13 Steps to Protect Your Business in Case of a Fire
So you have a small business, things are running smoothly, payroll needs are being met. What’s the one thing missing from the equation? Yes, you’ve got it, or maybe not. You need to have a fire safety place in plan to protect your business. Here are 13 steps to protect your business in case of a fire.
1. Have an evacuation plan and do fire drills.
If a fire happens, make sure that people know how to get out safely. A fire can be a situation that can very quickly get out of hand, make sure that you and your employees know exactly what to do when/if you do have a fire.
2. Make sure people can see where they’re going.
Even the most safe and secure evacuation plan can leave out accidentally the small detail of a path where people are going. They need to actually have a clear line of sight to get away from the fire quickly and safely.
3. Have plenty of fire extinguishers.
Fire extinguishers do just that, they extinguish fires. Make sure that you not only have enough fire extinguishers in place. Make sure that you’ve had the fire extinguishers in place recently inspected as well.
4. Have a fire alarm system and smoke detectors.
Smoke detectors. Smoke detectors make sure that just in case there’s smoke, we know there’s fire somewhere. Smoke detectors are cheap. For such a cheap measure, like buying a smoke detector as an alarm system, you would’ve made a great protective measure for your business.
5. Make sure your building has a sprinkler system.
There’s nothing like throwing as much water on a fire, well unless it’s a grease fire, of course. There are fire retardants for fabric, or just a regular fire retardant spray but they are only retardant to some degree. So as another fire protection measure for your business, it’s a smart decision to have a sprinkler system in place. By the way, if you are looking for a non-toxic fire retardant spray, check out, we have a great product at National Fireproof Supply.
6. Make sure that you AND your landlord comply with all local, state, and national fire safety codes.
Remember the Great Chicago Fire? That fire started at someone’s business. Fire codes at places of business are in place for a reason. No one wants a cow to tip over a lantern and burn down the block.
7. Inspect fire suppression devices regularly.
Did you know that fire suppression systems periodically need to be inspected after they’re installed periodically? Well they do. Make sure that even after you’ve had a fire suppression system installed, no matter how high quality the system is inspected regularly.
8. Keep office clutter down.
Let’s face it, paper accumulates, new desks and chairs are purchased. Maybe some of the old stuff doesn’t get thrown out or donated away. When things break down and don’t get thrown out, it’s easy to block entry or exit paths for escape routes for fire escape plans you have in place for your business.
9. Keep commercial cooking spaces organized.
If you own a restaurant, you have fire hazards all around you, all of the time. You literally have fire as a requirement to run your business, in most cases. Make sure that just in case of fire, a great measure to put in place for your business, if not just a good reason altogether, is to make sure that your commercial cooking spaces are organized, clean and always in good working order.
10. Train your employees in fire safety.
It doesn’t make sense to have fire extinguishers, fire retardant sprays in place or to even have regular fire drills if your employees don’t know basic fire safety guidelines.
11. Limit roof combustibility.
You may own your building, be in a lease agreement that requires you to maintain your building. If that’s the case, make sure that there are things that can easily catch fire are off of your building.
12. Know your insurance.
If a fire happens, there may be an inopportune chance that your business could be closed for a period of time. There are types of insurance that actually can cover time when your business is closed down while needed repairs are being completed. Fires are destructive enough. Don’t let a fire destroy your business.
13. Prevent a fire before it happens.
The smart thing is this. Don’t take the steps to start a fire. Don’t put fire around things that you know should stay away fire. If you do that much, you’ll actually prevent a fire from happening in your business, and that is a great way to protect yourself and your business.
A fire in your building could mean aggregate ruination – get the realities on fireproofing to limit the spread of flame in your commercial building. Commercial Passive Fireproofing , in spite of its name, is dependably at work. In view of compartmentation of flame and forestalling a collapse through basic impervious to fire, when legitimately introduced and kept up, your commercial building’s fireproofing can spare lives and resources, and the building itself. Using a fire retardant spray can be a way to reduce the dangers involved.
Installing commercial firestopping products can help hinder fire, smoke or toxic gases from passing through walled surfaces. There are several different types of firestopping products including sealants, collars, fireproof caulking, foam blocks, firestop pillows, and fire retardant spray products available. There are two basic installation applications for these types of products:
- Around construction involving cables, HVAC systems or pipes
- The meeting of two assemblies such as at the top of a wall, edge of a slab or floor-to-floor joints
Who usually installs firestopping products?
Commercial installations are primarily handled by contractors, then maintenance staff is responsible for upkeep. In most instances, professional firestop contractors are hired for installations. This is partly due to the fact that a professional contractor is knowledgeable of fire and building codes and can properly install and document their work. A reputable professional can also make certain firestop installations are done right the first time. They also know which applications need protection and which ones do not. A professional installer can usually provide an initial survey as to what needs to be upgraded.
How do you know which firestop installer to hire?
If your business is looking for a professional installer, it’s important to know their level of expertise, experience, and training. Ask them for any accreditation that is standard for the industry. Many manufacturers now sponsor accreditation’s to help promote correct installations of firestop products like firestop putty and firestop pillows.
Who should be responsible for maintenance, inspection or documentation of commercial firestopping installations?
The owner of a commercial building is responsible to ensure it complies with any regulations or applicable laws relating to the property. They should know what the fire code is for the region and ensure the building is in full compliance. Fire codes govern many aspects of a building from the construction, occupancy regulations, and protection. These are all influencers on fire safety for the building. The US has many different fire codes most of which are similar. One requirement in all the fire codes and safety features which are incorporated into the construction of a building must be maintained for the life of the building. This makes the owner responsible for ensuring any fire resistance rated construction be maintained.
What types of services will a commercial firestopping professional provide?
You will need to speak directly with a professional to see what types of firestopping services they provide. Here is a list of some of the services you should expect a commercial firestopping professional to perform:
- Assessments and inspections of all rated barrier firestops and all joint seals
- Develop a corrective action plan
- Up-grade for code compliance
- Implement safety improvements
- Remove deficient firestopping materials and replace them with UL compliant materials
- Digital documentation
- Proficient in manufacturer applications
- Sealing openings that are large or unconventional
- Firestopping trade penetrations and joints
- Inspection and walk-down services