Preparation is key when it comes to fire safety, and there are many steps you can take to protect your workplace and employees with effective fire safety procedures. Check out the tips below to ensure your workplace has a plan in place for fire prevention.
1. Create an Evacuation Plan
Possibly the most important step you can take to protect your employees and even customers in the case of a fire emergency is having a clear evacuation plan. Train employees to know the nearest emergency exits and the clearest path to get to them. Also, ensure fire exits are always unblocked and unlocked during business hours.
You should also have readily accessible fire extinguishers throughout the structure, and their locations should be known to all staff.
2. Assign a Fire Safety Officer
Appoint a fire safety officer whose responsibility is to know all aspects of the evacuation plan and fire safety system. This individual will be responsible for training all staff on evacuation procedures and fire extinguisher locations.
You’ll also want your fire safety officer to be in charge of running periodic fire drills and making sure the fire alarm system is receiving scheduled testing and maintenance.
3. Make Sure You Have Fire Insurance
An evacuation plan, a fire safety officer and other fire safety tips for businesses can help protect your employees and customers, but it won’t do much for your property if a fire rages out of control. It is very important to make sure you have the proper fire insurance coverage for your operation as well. Fire insurance can be expensive, but a lack of adequate coverage when you need it can be catastrophic.
You also will want to consider lost business income insurance. This is a type of coverage that may not be included in your regular policy, but it covers lost income in the event you temporarily need to shut down and make needed repairs. This is something you should consider if you run a business that’s at a higher risk of fire, like a restaurant or manufacturing company.
4. Get Fire Shutters
Many companies offer fire-resistant shutter doors that come down in response to the detection of a fire. These doors can seal off critical areas and protect vital inventory, and prevent the fire from spreading, for example, from the kitchen to the seating area of a restaurant.
5. Train Employees in Fire Prevention
There are many fire safety prevention steps you can take to reduce the chances of a fire starting in the first place. For one, make sure to keep track of your electrical wiring. Extension cords are not meant to use on a permanent basis, so if you have them, make plans to rewire so you can get rid of them.
In the meantime, if any cords are frayed or exposed, replace them immediately. Also, unplug all coffee makers and other electric equipment that doesn’t require constant power before you leave for the evening.
Another good fire prevention step is to avoid clutter whenever possible. Paper and other debris floating around will always increase your fire risk, so have a system in place for keeping clutter to a minimum. In addition, if you have any highly combustible materials in your workplace, make sure to store them safely at all times when not in use.
6. Invest in a Fire Alarm and Monitoring Service
Federal and state laws require you to have adequate fire alarm protection for your business. Fortunately, a quality fire alarm system with monitoring is a great way to protect your business from fire damage. The combination of a good fire safety plan and a fast response from emergency services can dramatically reduce the effects of a fire on your property. What’s more, fire alarm monitoring can protect your business against:
- Carbon Monoxide: This colorless, odorless, tasteless gas can be an invisible killer in that it can overwhelm people in a short amount of time. This gas is a by-product of the burning of gas, oil, coal or wood – specifically the heating of your office space. If a fuel-burning appliance such as a furnace or wood stove malfunctions or is not properly ventilated, this gas can collect and become a health hazard to your employees and your clients.
- Smoke: Smoke is also a danger that Wayne Fire Systems protects against. Not only will the alarm alert you when the smoke appears, but the fire department will also be dispatched to your business while you evacuate your employees and customers.
- Gas: If your business uses gas you may be at danger if a spark, malfunction, or leak occurs. A gas leak gone undetected can cause major property damage when exposed to sparks, or open flame. In addition, your employees and clients may experience nausea, dizziness or shortness of breath if they are exposed for a length of time.
- Heat: If your office utilizes a kitchen or your business is a commercial kitchen, you may experience false alarms from smoke caused by burning toast, popcorn, or any number of items. A heat sensor ideal solution for commercial kitchens where smoke produced from normal cooking procedures may cause traditional smoke detectors to activate.
7. Know the Legal Fire Prevention Requirements
An annual or quarterly inspection as required by law may not be enough. If you have a business to protect, a fire could be devastating, so it’s very important to make sure your fire system is working always. While there are some things a visual inspection can tell you — such as if a damaged sprinkler head or a disconnected smoke detector — you may have to take some more involved maintenance steps.
8. Regularly Check that Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors are Working Properly
There are also other regular maintenance steps you can take to help make sure your fire alarm system is working its best. It should not be difficult to test the batteries on individual smoke detectors. Create a schedule to test batteries once a month, as well as make sure the detector is clear of any dust, dirt or other debris. Naturally, replace batteries as soon as the unit indicates this is necessary.
Trust Wayne Alarm for Your Business Fire System Needs
If you are in need of a fire alarm system with monitoring for your Massachusetts business, Wayne Alarm can help. We offer smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors as well as heat and gas leak detectors.
We can dispatch the fire department to your location as soon as possible. For more information on business fire alarms and monitoring services or for a free quote on business fire alarm installation, contact Wayne Alarm Systems today.