5 Biggest Fire Safety Risks in Your Building

Are you protecting your commercial building from the potential hazards of a fire?

There are five common fire safety risks that occur most often in commercial buildings and offices.

1. Non-operational or lack of safety equipment

If your fire safety equipment is in disrepair, has not been tested, or has not had routine maintenance performed recently, it can put you and everyone in your office at risk. Your fire safety equipment, including fire alarms, sprinkler systems, fire suppression systems, etc., need to be tested annually to ensure they are fully operational. Additionally, if fire safety equipment is not available, specifically operational fire extinguishers, then you are leaving your building at risk. Having easily accessible fire safety equipment (and instructing your employees on how to use it) is one of the best ways you can help reduce safety risks in your office.

2. Lack of safety training & emergency action plan

Installing an exceptional fire safety system will do very little if your employees don’t know what to do in the unlikely event of an emergency. Training your employees on how to use fire extinguishers and where to go during an emergency is crucial for complete safety. Additionally, it’s important to train your employees on what to do in the event of an emergency. Having an emergency action plan that details where to do, what to do, and who is in charge in the event of an emergency is vital and can be lifesaving.

3. Improperly designed & installed safety systems

Not only does your building need fire safety equipment, it needs to be installed properly and to the exact specifications and requirements of your building (while also meeting all local codes and regulations). Your fire protection needs may differ from one area of your building to the next—for instance, if you have a commercial kitchen in a hotel, the fire suppression system used in the kitchen would be different from the fire suppression system used in the guest rooms. An experienced fire safety company can explain all of the differences between various types of fire protection equipment and systems and help you make an educated decision.

4. Improper use of office equipment

There are many ways that people in your office will put themselves at risk, including misusing extension cords, using damaged power cords, and misusing space heaters. All of this equipment needs to be carefully monitored and used correctly to prevent the threat of fire and damage to personnel and the building.

Extension cords need to be properly approved by a certifying laboratory and only used to connect one device at a time. Power cords should be checked periodically for any damage or ungrounded cords. Personal space heaters must be plugged directly into an outlet and cannot be plugged into an extension cord or power strip.

5. Blocked sprinkler heads

Your fire sprinklers are an integral part of your fire safety equipment, but if tall equipment is blocking the sprinkler head directly or objects are obstructing the spray of the sprinkler, you could be putting your office at risk. Nothing should ever be placed within 18 inches of your fire sprinkler. If you are unsure whether or not you are using your fire safety equipment in the safest manner possible, it’s important to talk to a fire protection company to learn more about proper office fire safety.