Any commercial property will face a number of potential hazards during everyday operation, from potential break-in and theft to floods due to heavy rain to power outages, but one of the more common hazards facing commercial buildings today is simply fire, and having a fire alarm service in place will go a long way towards protecting human life and minimizing fire damage, as well as alerting local fire fighting crews to the blaze. Fire alarm installations and fire alarm maintenance is something that is fairly routine and mundane, but doing so can ensure that life and property will be properly alerted in case of fire, and if fire protection is not taken seriously, the consequences can be serious. Having routine fire sprinkler inspections, upgrading the fire alarm service in a public building, and more can ensure that safety is treated as the number one priority, as it always should.
On Fire Hazards
Numerous commercial buildings may face fire, and some are more prone to blazes than others based on the materials used in the building or the activities that take place inside. Recent statistics for public building fires have been compiled, and the data makes it clear that nearly any building could suffer a fire sooner or later, so any property manager or owner should take the right precautions with a fire alarm service and fire sprinklers. For example, hotels and motels may sometimes catch fire; every year, it is estimated that hotel and motel fores cause 15 deaths and 150 injuries, and even hospitals and schools may sometimes find themselves dealing with fire. The good news in all this is that warehouses have, in general, become safer where fire is concerned. Data shows that over the past 30 years, rates of fires in warehouse properties have gone way down. In 1980, 4,700 incidents took place, but later in 2011, only 1,200 took place instead, and this may be in part thanks to more modern and strict fire safety requirements in construction methods and employee training.
What causes these fires? Sometimes, frayed electrical cords are used, and these exposed wires may ignite nearby flammable material such as wood, fabric, or gas, and this can start a fire. Other times, a furnace, heating unit, or similar utility may be damaged and leak or break down, and other cases, a person’s lit cigarette or cigar may come into contact with these flammable materials. If a fire alarm service is not in place or functioning well, even a simple accident like that can jeopardize a entire building and everyone in it.
Preventing fires, or minimizing damage when one occurs, is a matter of inspection, repair, and testing of a fire alarm service and its sprinklers. For example, newer buildings under construction will be made according to modern, strict fire hazard codes as per state and federal laws. When a property manager or owner buys an older, used building, there is a risk that the fire alarm service inside is out of date, malfunctioning, or entirely absent, and this is a serious hazard as well as a safety violation. For this reason, the buyer of a used commercial building should bring in city-sanctioned inspectors who will look over the fire alarm service and the sprinklers and see if they are up to standard. If they are not, they can be repaired or replaced, and additional systems may be added if needed, and they can also be tested to make sure that everything is working as required. This also takes a burden off the property owner’s shoulders, since his or her building is up to code and there are no violations to be found. This can be especially important in hotels or motels, where flammable fabric is everywhere, and electrical cords for lamps or televisions may get worn out over time and become a substantial safety hazard. A kitchen is another place where fire hazards are likely, given all the ovens, stoves, and other open flames and gas-powered items, so getting a restaurant or hotel kitchen fire-proof is essential. If needed, a fire alarm service can be repaired nearly at a moment’s notice, and this also goes for sprinkler repair. Some sprinklers also use chemicals to suppress flame.