Non-residential building fires cost an estimated $458.5 million in insurance claims in 2020. Many of these take place in office buildings, retail stores, and other establishments.
Enterprises’ reliance on technology means increasing dependency on electrical equipment. This means the risk of fire is also increasing. To cope with these risks, a fire protection system such as installation of fire suppression is essential.
Fire protection helps guarantee the safety of employees inside the building. It also ensures the protection of a business’ equipment and information stored inside.
A fire protection specialist can tell you about the importance of fire protection. In this guide, we’ll go over the benefits of having a fire protection system.
What Should You Incorporate In Your Fire Protection Plan
You and your employees should be cautious of your office or facility’s fire risks. They should also know what to do in case a fire breaks out. These are the things you should include in your fire protection plan.
1. Fire Prevention Plan
You must have a document outlining your building’s fire hazards. This may include flammable liquids, heat-producing equipment, and combustible items.
The document must also state the necessary procedures to prevent a fire emergency. You and your employees must know the fire prevention plan, then observe its guidelines.
2. Proper Housekeeping Routines
This refers to keeping an office tidy. Doing this minimises hazards that may start a fire and reduce the spread of flames if a fire does break out.
Some examples of good housekeeping practices include immediate cleaning up of flammable materials. Another is throwing trash in metal bins with tight-fitting lids. Be sure that you also keep emergency exits and corridors clear of obstacles.
3. Emergency Evacuation Plan
Each building should have various requirements for each unique evacuation. Create a plan explaining how and when to respond to a fire in your building.
The plan can state that for a small fire, employees should attempt to douse it using a fire extinguisher. If a fire becomes uncontrollable, employees must evacuate while closing doors behind them. This is to slow the spread of the flames.
In case employees have special needs, the plan should also address them.
4. Fire Emergency Response Team
Gather volunteers from your employees. They need to be trained about the building’s evacuation procedures and emergency plans.
The response team handles enforcing prevention methods and fire safety in your office. If a fire does occur, your emergency response team should help others evacuate.
You should also have fire extinguisher training for all your employees at least once a year. The training must include hands-on use of a fire extinguisher as well as updates on new policies.
5. Fire Protection Installation
Installing the proper equipment is the best insurance for safety and slowing down the fire. Proper equipment includes fire sprinklers, fire alarms, and portable fire extinguishers. There must also be emergency lighting and automatic fire suppression systems.
A building that has these systems has a higher chance of fighting off fires. It also helps in the safe evacuation of occupants.
There should also be regular fire equipment testing and maintenance. It’s best to get repairs in case there are damages or normal wear.
This means you should also have a certified and licensed fire protection specialist. They can perform needed fire protection services on a regular basis.
Benefits of Fire Protection Installation
Having a fire protection system like sprinkler systems is necessary. Here are some of the benefits of installing them for your building.
1. Increases Safety and Reduces Risk of Death
Fire protection systems like sprinklers help protect both the building and the occupants. They reduce the likelihood of occupants getting trapped in a fire. Even without a proper fire exit, sprinklers help create a path for people to escape.
Combining sprinklers, alarms, and extinguishers are important safeguards. They increase the odds of people surviving in the event of a fire. Buildings with a suppression system and fire alarms reduce the risks of fire-related fatalities by 82%.
Fire protection equipment is a cost-effective means to secure both the property and people. Compare this to the cost of the damage a fire can do.
Many sprinkler systems cost a small fraction of the property value’s final cost. If you don’t own a fire protection system yet, consider it over aesthetic renovations.
3. Reduces the Risk of Property Damage
In case a fire takes over a building, the fire brigade would have to spray it with water. This can cause significant damage to both the appearance and structure of your property.
Sprinkler systems use only a small and adequate amount of water. Properties that have sprinklers suffer less damage in cases of fire. This is in contrast to getting sprayed with a torrent of water from a fire hose.
4. Saves You Money on Insurance
Some business owners may consider installing commercial fire protection an expensive investment. It’s important to note that this will actually save you money in the long run.
Installing a sprinkler system on your property typically lowers your insurance company rates. They’ll keep rates low as long as you keep your fire protection system maintained and up to date. This is because a fire protection system means less risk for your insurance company.
There’s an upfront cost to having a system installed. Yet, it could also increase your property’s value in case you sell it. Buildings with a fire protection system would be more attractive for buyers.
Ask a Fire Protection Specialist
A property will always have potential fire hazards. This makes a fire protection system an important feature for any building. As a business owner, your property must have a fire prevention plan and equipment.
A building that’s fire-protected is safer for employees and for the business. It’s an investment that pays off and can even save you money. Consult with a fire protection specialist to keep your employees and property safe.