October may be the time for candy and costumes but for businesses, it’s also Fire Safety Month! Every organization must take the threat of fire seriously, especially since studies show over 40% of businesses never recover after a disaster. Here are a few questions many owners may have about prevention and alarm monitoring when considering protecting their employees and assets from fire.
What is the best way to protect my business?
A company that has a plan will always have a better chance of success, and the same goes for business fire safety. Preventing disasters is always more cost-effective than rebuilding afterward. Take proactive steps that ensure work areas are clean and free of debris. Fire exits need to be easily accessible. Rags, paper, and fabrics may quickly become fuel when exposed to personal heaters or stray sparks. These easy steps can go a long way to keeping both staff and assets secure.
Smoke detectors should have their batteries checked around this time as well. The detectors themselves should be checked to verify they are less than 10 years old, and any that are should be replaced. Don’t assume if your building is less than 10 years old, your smoke detectors are!
Of course, most businesses are focused on being successful and not on the latest fire codes. Consultants or fire and security firms are excellent ways to get a professional opinion on the layout of your facilities. Not only can they determine if the areas meet specifications, but they may also recommend additional methods or alternate setups that will help solve future problems.
Where are the biggest risks at the office?
Any space can have fire hazards, and offices are no exception. Since paper is so ubiquitous in business, its combustibility poses a huge issue. Businesses with kitchens also need special attention thanks to the hazards that microwaves, ovens, and even unattended coffee pots can hold.
The manufacturing floor has its own issues with fire safety, and shop managers need to keep a close watch on this problem area. Computers and other electronics also need special care as well, with heat and electricity being primary concerns. Remote alarm monitoring is a great advantage in these situations since they allow businesses to know exactly where the problem is occurring. State-of-the-art fire alarm and detection systems allow for quick evacuation and early detection of potential disasters as well.
What is the best fire suppression system?
Having fire extinguishers on-hand is helpful, but only if the right kind are used in proper scenarios. There are times that shooting water or foam at some flames just isn’t going to do the job. Advanced fire suppression systems are used to ensure the best response depending on the location. Water, foam, and gas all have their place for business fire safety, and using the right product can save your assets.
- Clean Agent: These systems are designed for minimal impact on an area. The non-conductive and environmentally friendly material doesn’t require any cleanup and is perfect for server rooms, document storage, electronic manufacturing, and museum archives.
- Carbon Dioxide: This medium has been used in firefighting for over a century. By literally suffocating the flames, CO2 is great for keeping industrial locations safe.
- Dry Chemical and Foam: These barrier-based solutions cover the area with a material that cuts off a fire’s oxygen supply while also inhibiting further combustion. They are excellent when used in locations where flammable liquids are used or stored.
- Sprinklers and Atomized Water: The natural opposition to fire, water-based systems are some of the most reliable. Sprinklers are common in many environments already, and water-atomizing units increase effectiveness by spreading droplets over a wide area.
There is no single best method to keep fires under control, so make sure you properly assess your business to find out which ones work best for you.
Do server rooms and IT areas need special consideration?
The business world has been moving away from paper documents for some time. As the need for interconnectivity increases and technology is used more and more, locations dedicated to purely IT-related functions require additional consideration. A single damaged server can equal tremendous loss at the end of the day. To make matters worse, many buildings aren’t equipped to handle the different fire safety needs that these areas require.
Make sure that water-based solutions aren’t used in locations with a lot of electronic equipment. Instead, focus on dry, gas-based retardants that require less cleanup. These reduce loss by keeping moisture away from circuits that, even if not saturated, can lead to server failure months later. Heat radiating from fires in other rooms can play havoc on electronics as well, melting components if the temperature isn’t brought down to safe levels.
Don’t let your business suffer from a debilitating disaster. Fire prevention and suppression systems only work when employees are informed. Using systems like Bold Group’s suite of Alarm Monitoring Software allow organizations to quickly assess the danger and be prepared for a calamity before it happens and remain informed if things do go wrong. Choose treats over tricks this October and avoid jump scares with business fire safety!