Whether you're a lawyer, doctor, or retail store owner, you may have purchased a small office building to allow workers to get business done. Your company may be your focus most days, and the most you may do to reduce fire risks is to have an extinguisher on hand. However, protecting yourself and your customers, clients, or patients from fires is important. With these fire prevention actions, you can reduce the chance of a tragedy.
Get Regular Testing of Smoke Control Systems
Many commercial buildings are required to have some form of smoke control system. This applies of course to sprinkler systems and alarms, but the system also includes structural and electrical components. For instance, ductwork fans should have automatic shut-downs so that if a fire happens, smoke and flames aren't spread wider throughout the building. Smoke dampers should be installed to resist feeding any fires air. Ducts should be inspected for leakage.
You cannot perform all of those checks, but a certified inspector can. A quick call to set up a smoke control inspection will help you feel better about the condition of the building and its ability to help you avoid fire trouble. In fact, your state may have inspection requirements that dictate how often you need them.
Even if you have an extinguisher, it's not certain that it will protect your office. That's because you might have picked up one in a different class than you require. An extinguisher in your main office area where papers might catch flame, or electrical fires break out might not be as effective as one made to handle oil fires. Do some research before you place extinguishers around the building. Also, ensure that people know how such a tool works so that they're not confused when they need to use it.
Expiration dates should be known and watched for. Expired extinguishers may not fight fires as well as they're supposed to.
It may seem somewhat silly to drill your employees on how to exit or behave in a fire-related situation. However, adrenaline and fear can paralyze people or affect their thinking. For that reason, you need to drill your workers regularly about the best way for them to get outside and how to best notify the authorities. If they know the plan well, executing it in an emergency can be done.
With these fire tips, safety is more likely. Consult fire department officials, smoke control system testing inspectors and others who can help you be even more secure