Many business owners think having a fire plan is a waste of time. Either they assume their businesses are too small, they don’t have enough employees to rush out to safety, or there is far too much going on to worry about fire safety.
However, business owner beware. If you don’t plan adequately for the breakout of fire, a dozen things could go wrong at once. You could lose your business and people could be hurt.
Here are ten pieces of advice for every business owner in Denver, and all surrounding areas, who has ever asked, “Why is it important to have a fire plan?”
Fire Plan Lessons for Business Owners
1.Create a Fire Safety Evacuation Plan
No matter how big or small your business happens to be, you should always have a detailed plan in case of a fire breakout. The plan should include the protection of all customers and staff who may be inside or immediately outside of your building, and the protection of any equipment and other materials that you hold dear. Of course, people’s safety is the first priority, and then you can worry about the other must-haves.
The evacuation plan should be drilled regularly. You can sound a fake alarm, whereby everyone should have stations they need to report to before proceeding into single file lines to the exterior of the building. Most buildings have fire lanes, which is where fire personnel will park when putting out fires. Your evacuation plan should place customers, staff, and anyone else the fire plan is intended to save near the fire exits. This allows fire personnel to also attend to anyone who may have been harmed by smoke or fire on the way out of the building. The fire plan is intended to get everyone outside safely before the fire has a chance to do a bit of harm.
Saving valuable equipment may not be possible, but there are ways you can protect equipment without putting people in harm’s way. These other fire safety components should also become part of your plan.
2. Install a Sprinkler System
Many people think that a single instance of smoke will activate all the sprinkler heads at once, basically ruining any equipment that may be placed underneath. However, sprinklers only activate when smoke is detected in its immediate area. By strategically placing sprinkler heads, you can ensure that fire is extinguished where it starts without collateral damage.
A professional fire safety equipment service can help you pick out the type of sprinklers and their positioning for maximum protection and minimal asset losses in case a fire does break out. The sprinklers can emit water and chemical solutions, depending on the type of environment they are installed in. Sprinkler installations in industrial plants, for example, may opt for chemical fire sprinklers due to the heavy presence of flammable liquids that can quickly turn disaster when water is added to the mix. Your fire sprinkler installation team can help you choose the extinguishing agent that is perfect for your situation.
3.Strategically Place Fire Extinguishers
Your fire plan should include the placement of fire extinguishers throughout your building. Staff should also be trained in the use of extinguishers so that they can act quickly in the face of smoke and fire. Fire extinguisher bases should be free of clutter or debris and always easy to access. The mechanisms holding fire extinguishers to the walls, columns, or inside cabinets should be easy for anyone to release the extinguisher so that it can be used at a moment’s notice. The extinguishers themselves should be filled with an extinguishing agent that is ideal for the environment and should be regularly inspected to ensure fire safety compliance.
Fire extinguishers can save your company big in some cases. All it takes is one fast-acting employee to grab an extinguisher for you to save in fire remediation and renovation costs. Even if insurance covers the fire damage, you still face an expensive shut-down and much frustration from staff and customers. This all fails to mention the potential for injury and death, which makes fire extinguishers a necessary component to any fire safety plan.
4.Get an Ansul System for Maximum Fire Safety
If you are going to go all out for your business, we recommend that you go with the best fire suppression system in the business. Ansul is a maker of fire safety equipment like fire extinguishers and other fire suppression systems that use dry, chemical, gaseous, and foam extinguishing agents.
You never want to take a chance when it comes to the safety of your business, whether you sell clothes, serve food, or take care of children. The outbreak of fire requires fast action and complete attention on the source of the fire. When fire breaks out around an Ansul component, we have first-hand experience with how fast the system kicks into action. The system knows where to expel the extinguishing agent to put out smoke and fire at the absolute source, putting out any flames before they can get out of hand.
We have particularly found success with restaurants using the Ansul system. Commercial kitchens can become literal hotbeds for smoke and fire. With all the grease and fat and high temperatures and flames, it’s only a matter of time before a flame gets too high or catches material nearby. The Ansul system extinguishes these instances of grease fire efficiently. The restaurant can remain in operation and all is well while the fire is put out for good using the industry’s best – Ansul fire protection. We stand behind this brand and recommend it often for all commercial fire plans.
5.Get the Proper Fire Alarm Installation
In many cases, a loud blaring alarm, flashing light, or both will be your initial indication that a fire has broken out. Fire alarms are effective at eliminating everyone inside the building, as well as anyone immediately outside, that a potential danger has presented itself. Even if there is only smoke, the fire alarm can alert the necessary people to extinguish the source of the danger quickly, before any damage can be done.
In some cases, your fire alarm can be connected to the local fire department, allowing for quick deployment of emergency personnel whenever necessary.
Most fire alarms, such as the ones we use at home, detect fire by sensing smoke and heat. Commercial establishments have the benefit of installing fire detection equipment and manual fire alarms. If someone sees smoke or fire that has not yet been detected by the system, they can pull the lever on the wall, alerting everyone inside that the danger of fire is present.
Your fire plan should include a fire alarm system that is appropriate for the size of building you have and the number of personnel and customers you house each day. You want a system that is sensitive enough to detect smoke and fire at their earliest warning signs, and yet not so sensitive that it goes off unnecessary for any reason. Your fire equipment installation team will calibrate your fire alarm so that it offers the proper detection levels while ensuring you are alerted anytime smoke or fire are sensed on premises.
6.Use a Fire Alarm Panel
Your business may be so small that you don’t require a fire alarm panel. You may have a smoke alarm, a few fire extinguishers, and sprinkler heads strategically placed around your place; and you feel that’s good. On the other hand, if you operate your business in a large building, you should have a fire alarm panel that acts as the central hub for your fire safety system.
Depending on the model you have, fire alarm panels give you control over your fire plan. You can determine where in your building fire has been detected, with major areas of your building marked off as zones. You can sometimes communicate with fire personnel via the panel, and you can assess the health of your system, such as if maintenance is required or if repairs are needed.
Your fire alarm panel lets you enact systems and monitor them so that you can keep everyone and your business safe. Keep a copy of your fire safety evacuation plan and a map of your building near the panel so that it can be used by anyone, including emergency first responders.
7.Ensure You Have an Adequate Restaurant Fire Suppression System Installed
If you run a restaurant, you are no stranger to the dangers of fire. A fire suppression system can protect the quality of your food, and keep your staff, customers, and equipment safe in case a kitchen fire does get out of hand. Fire suppression in a commercial kitchen starts with the ventilation system. Your HVAC system and vent hood components should be checked for grease overflows and cleaned and emptied as needed. Empty your grease traps while you are at it. Doing this regular cleaning will keep the risk of fire to an absolute minimum.
Having fire suppression equipment under key appliance hoods, like grillers and fryers, is another excellent move. These components put out fire quickly without harming nearby equipment or putting your staff at risk. The chemical compounds used to extinguish grease fires become like a soap when all is said and done, which means the sludge can be wiped away, and your equipment will be cleaner for it.
8.Select Professional Fire Safety Equipment Installers
If you don’t have a fire plan in place and wish to implement one, you may not know where to begin. The process begins by choosing a company that specializes in fire suppression equipment and fire alarm services. These companies make their livings helping business owners like you plan for the worst tragedies. Fire is no joke, and these professionals make it their job to inform you on the best ways to keep your business and people safe. Whether you are forming an evacuation plan or you want to know how to protect your inventory if fire were to ever break out in your warehouse, or any other business application, a fire protection services company can give you the tools and training to avoid the risk of fire.
9.Look for a Fire Suppression Services Company You Can Trust
When assessing companies to install your fire alarm and all the associated components, you should look for the following qualities, which all experienced professionals should possess.
A professional who knows the ins and outs of fire protection can advise you on which components to install and how to calibrate them properly for precise fire protection.
The professional you work with should be able to answer all of your questions regarding the creation of a fire plan and what fire safety components to add to that plan while keeping to your schedule and budget.
Schedule and Budget Friendly:
When searching for an equipment installer, make sure your fire plan and all equipment can be installed and ready to go by the time you want. Most companies offer free estimates, which can include time estimates for installation and training of your staff. Ask these types of pertinent questions and it will soon become apparent which fire alarm installation companies you should work with.
10.Call Now for a Free Estimate for Ultimate Fire Safety
Do you have a fire plan in place? Now that you know why it is important to have a fire plan, it is time to put one into action. Call Nationwide Fire Protection, where we proudly serve businesses owners like you with effective fire safety equipment and training. Call now for a free estimate and let’s discuss your future plan for fire breakout and how to keep you and yours absolutely safe.