Every commercial building needs to have some sort of a fire safety system, according to the law. It is there to protect the people inside as well as the property itself in case of a fire.
Regardless of the type of fire safety systems your building has, it still needs to be maintained from time to time to ensure that it works properly if it is ever needed.
Companies such as Red Truck Fire & Safety Co. provide the invaluable service of fire safety equipment maintenance and inspection. Here’s what they think is important to pay attention to when it comes to fire safety.
Know Your Fire Safety Equipment
What kind of fire suppression systems does your building rely on? Do you have sprinklers or hoses and hand held fire extinguishers?
If it’s the sprinklers system, does it use water, or is it the dry powder type. It is important to know these things in order to have them maintained properly and kept in an operational state.
Are your smoke detectors fully functional? Do they serve as carbon monoxide detectors as well? If they don’t do you need designated carbon monoxide detectors.
Know Your Fire Safety Plan
Just like you need to have the equipment, it is important to have a viable fire safety plan. In case of a fire, every person in the building needs to know what they are supposed to do and where they are supposed to go.
Make sure that the escape routes are clearly marked and that all of the emergency lights are in working order. If you don’t have a fire safety plan, you need one straight away. Consult a fire safety specialist to help you create one.
Depending on the line of work your commercial building is used for, there may be some special fire hazards which you will also need to take into considerations when coming up with the plan.
Don’t Mess with the Fire Safety System
When your fire safety equipment is installed, it is done by professionals who set it up in the most optimal way. Don’t change anything on it, because inexperienced modifications may compromise the functionality of the whole system.
Furthermore, when you are doing any kind of remodeling or redecorating, make sure that the equipment is not disturbed and that none of the sprinklers or smoke detectors are painted over. A coat of paint can effectively render the device inoperable which can prove to be catastrophic if you ever need it.
Visually Inspect the System
Every once in a while, check the system for any visible faults. It could be a leak in the fire sprinklers system, or dead batteries in the smoke detectors which need to be replaced, or even just the expiration date on your fire extinguishers.
If you do find something wrong with the system, don’t try to fix it by yourself; instead, contact the relevant authority or a professional company to do it for you.
Have Regular Maintenance Done
Just like with any other system you have installed, your fire safety system needs to be properly maintained by professionals.
Testing all of the equipment one piece at a time takes a lot of time and skill, which is why it is not recommended that you do it on your own.
If you have done everything else right, chances are that the inspection will be shorter and that it will tell you that everything is fine. However, don’t be overconfident and skip this step.
If you want to learn more about fire safety inspections, you can read this article http://redtruckfire.com/tag/fire-extinguisher-service-orange-county/, or consult an expert. Chances are that they will be willing to explain why it is important.
Wet Fire Sprinklers Require Specific Conditions
If your building is using wet fire sprinkler system, i.e. a water based system, you will need to ensure that the temperature of the system doesn’t fall under 40° F. In some parts of the country, this is easy to achieve, but other parts get really harsh winters which can cause some problems for this kind of fire safety equipment.
If the water in the pipes freezes, it can rupture the pipes, causing a flood when the water thaws, but it will also make your fire equipment ineffective.
Experts suggest heating the building at all times at least slightly above this critical temperature. Alternatively, you can install dry powder fire sprinklers in the parts of the building where the temperature is impossible to keep above 40° F, or it is impractical.
As you can see, fire safety can be quite a complex topic. That’s why it is important that you do not neglect it or, even worse, do a bad job at it. The other option is even worse because it creates a false sense of safety which may woefully come to a head in a time of great danger. The safety of your building is in your hands, do it properly.