Structural fires are not only dangerous for people, but they also cost businesses billions of dollars per year. These fires often break out in commercial buildings and manufacturing plants. A lot of property owners are very proactive in protecting their buildings and properties from commercial fires. However, some of them are not aware of the most common causes of structural fires as well as the fire safety risks. Knowing these causes and risks can go a long way in helping prevent these fires.
Non-operational or Missing Safety Equipment
Having the right safety equipment installed will not prevent fires from starting, but it can save your commercial property. Non-operational or missing equipment puts employees and the building at risk. All your fire safety equipment needs to be checked annually. You need to make sure that your sprinkler systems, fire alarms, smoke detectors, fire suppression systems, and other safety systems work as expected. It is also important to make fire extinguishers easily accessible because, otherwise, they will not be of any use to anyone.
Old or Outdated Electrical Wiring
Electrical fires are very dangerous and can be sparked by frayed wires, damaged cabling, faulty wiring, and more. If your building is older than 50 years, it is at a higher risk of electrical fires than more recent buildings. To prevent electrical fires, you should sign up for annual fire prevention inspections. These inspections should be carried out by companies that are certified in inspecting commercial buildings to identify fire hazards. Companies like lightingmaintenance.com have extensive checklists they use to check all parts of your electrical wiring and system to ensure your electrical wiring does not pose a fire hazard. This way, they help you remain proactive in not only protecting your property, but also your employees and anyone else using the building.
Misuse of Office Equipment
Employees misuse different types of equipment including kettles, space heaters, power cords, and more. Space heaters are particularly dangerous because they can cause a fire in an instant. Space heaters need to be placed in the right position, monitored, and used correctly to reduce the risk of a fire in the building.
For commercial buildings with offices that have kitchens, it is important to emphasize the importance of fire safety in these kitchens. A fire can break out in an office kitchen the same way it would be in a residential kitchen.
Lastly, ensure that employees of businesses in the building use power chords the right way. Each power cord should only be used to connect the maximum allowed number of devices without any daisy-chaining. Additionally, these cords should be checked to ensure they are not frayed and grounded at all times.
Blocked Sprinkler Heads
Fire sprinklers are usually your first line of defense when it comes to commercial fires. Your sprinkler heads are of no use to you if they are blocked. If there is equipment blocking the sprinkler head, it is important to relocate the equipment
To protect your commercial property, you should take fire safety seriously. Put measures in place to suppress and stop fires, have the building inspected to eliminate hazards, and ensure employees understand fire safety measures to keep everyone safe.