No one wants to see their property engulfed in flames. But the reality is, fires happen every day across the country, causing millions of dollars worth of damage and sometimes even fatalities in their wake. Fire safety is a concern for any building owner, so they should guarantee the most effective fire safety measures.
It’s always essential to safeguard the well-being of your employees, but there is an even greater need for it in high-rise buildings such as office spaces and hotels.
By implementing good fire safety practices and installing a reliable fire protection system, you can dramatically reduce your risk of being affected by such an accident while also ensuring peace of mind.
In this article, we’ll look at some ways business owners can work to ensure excellent fire safety measures in their buildings and commercial property.
What is a Fire Protection System?
A fire protection system is the means of detecting and suppressing a fire in its early stages before it has a chance to spread and cause significant damage. Early detection and suppression can save lives, money, and property.
The fire protection system of a building can be either active or passive. During construction, your contractor will often integrate passives such as doorways with non-flammable materials. Active systems, on the other hand, react upon detection of a hazard. For example, sprinklers are activated when exposed to high heat levels during fires.
1. Passive Fire Protection
Fire-resistance-rated walls and floors and other passive protection elements such as doors or dampers can help categorise the building into “compartments” to prevent fire from spreading. Other standard features of this system include photoluminescent path markers, which assist evacuation by lighting stairs and making them visible even in the dark.
2. Active Fire Protection
Active fire protection focuses on taking action to stop fires before they can get out of hand. Some common types include sprinkler systems, while others may require more manual intervention, such as fire extinguishers. There are varieties of active protection, namely:
Fire Suppression System
A fire suppression system is one of the most critical aspects of fire safety and is there to repress fires quickly. This system’s notable feature is that it does not use water and instead relies on gases and chemicals.
For example, once occupants have been alerted, these systems radiate a substance, like carbon dioxide and dry and liquid chemical agents, that will effortlessly extinguish the flames.
A routine annual inspection is the best way to ensure an up-to-date suppression system. There are also services available for building owners and tenants who don’t have experience maintaining their own.
Fire Detection System
A fire detection system can help provide early warning of a fire, allowing you and your employees time to evacuate the premises.
It should have sensors located throughout the building, as well as a control panel that is easily accessible. The control panel should be near the exit, so you can quickly turn it on or off in the event of a fire. Other types of equipment involved are smoke detectors which detect the presence of smoke by using heat or flame sensing elements; audible alarms or flashing lights to signal danger, and sprinkler systems which use water spray to suppress or extinguish fires.
Fires cannot be entirely prevented, but they can be contained early if adequate fire detection measures are in place.
The Benefits of Fire Safety
Fire safety is essential to any business and should be taken seriously to avoid costly damages and injuries. An effective fire safety plan can help protect your employees, customers, and property from the dangers of fire.
Consider these things before investing in a fire protection system for your building:
- What type of fire may I encounter within my business?
- Where does it make sense to place fire suppression equipment?
- What fire protection system does the building require?
To help you further with evaluating such factors, speak with an expert like Hart Engineering Pte Ltd to supply the equipment you need best for your fire protection.
Fire Emergency Preparedness
As a business owner, you are responsible for the safety of your employees and customers. A fire emergency can happen at any time, so it is best to be prepared for fire emergencies in the workplace. Ensure all employees know the guidelines and are trained to handle emergencies before it’s too late.
Here are some preventive measures that can aid you in the long run:
Reduce Fire Hazards in Your Workplace
To reduce fire hazards in your workplace, start by identifying potential fire hazards, which may include electrical equipment, flammable liquids, paper waste, lighting fires indoors, smoking indoors without a proper ashtray or ventilation system, and using unsafe chemicals for cleaning or making repairs.
Once you’ve identified the hazards, take steps to eliminate them. Fire hazards are reduced with precautions such as:
- Fixing hazardous electrical equipment
- Using safety matches instead of lighters
- Not smoking indoors unless there is a designated place to do so
- Disposing all flammable liquids carefully and keeping only what is necessary for your workplace.
Distribution of Fire Extinguishers
Place fire extinguishers throughout your building to be easily accessible during a fire. They should also be in strategic locations, such as near exits and flammable materials. Having a fire extinguisher within arm’s reach can help you put out a small fire before it has a chance to spread.
Have An Evacuation Plan
In addition to having accessible fire extinguishers, it is also essential to have a plan for evacuating your building in the event of a fire. As part of this evacuation plan, designate a meeting point outside where all employees will gather once they’ve escaped from the building. Everyone must know this meeting point so that no one gets left behind in an emergency.
Other Tips for Reducing Fire In Your Workplace
- Keep things clean. A cluttered workplace can be a fire hazard.
- Don’t smoke indoors, and extinguish smoking materials properly.
- Be aware of electrical hazards.
- Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the building.
- Test your smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
- Keep flammable materials like lighters and matches in a secure place.
- If you use candles, ensure they are placed in sturdy holders and never leave them unattended.
With a thorough understanding of your needs when it comes to installation, we can customise options for YOUR building and ensure you follow the building code and possess the suitable equipment for fire protection.
Give us a call and learn more about how we can protect your property against fires.