Top 5 Fire Prevention Tips for Commercial Businesses

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Top 5 Fire Prevention Tips for Commercial Businesses

Published 11/01/2022 by General Security

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When was the last time you thought about—or revisited—your organization’s fire safety and evacuation plan?

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were 18,700 fires within offices and retail stores during 2019, incurring more than $740 million in direct property damage.

The NFPA determined cooking accidents are the most common cause of workplace fires, followed by electrical malfunctions, heating sources, appliances, and carelessness. 

These findings and associated injuries and deaths resulting from commercial fires warrant emergency planning. 

While business owners already face multitudes of concerns, such life-saving protocols should never be overlooked. It’s also paramount to install fire safety devices with accompanying smart technologies in the workplace.

Below we’ll discuss five fire prevention tips to protect your employees, assets, and property from safety hazards, including smoke inhalation and fire, carbon monoxide, and more.


1. Draft & Implement a Carefully Curated Evacuation Plan

Whether a multi-location commercial property with hundreds of employees, or small business with just a handful, drafting and implementing a comprehensive evacuation plan should be a top priority. Create an employee committee to lead your company’s emergency evacuation process, and pay careful consideration to disabled employees requiring special assistance.

In accordance with the federal “ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments,” pre-emergency planning should also be inclusive of disabled employees. While it’s important to test and modify evacuation processes, enlisting those with disabilities for suggestions and feedback will ensure all plan phases align with ADA requirements.

Clearly mark and illuminate quick exits, and post evacuation route maps within common areas, stairwells, and elevators. Employees must learn all appropriate exits.

According to the National Fire Protection Association , there were 18,700 fires within offices and retail stores during 2019, incurring more than $740 million in direct property damage.

2. Test & Inspect Fire Safety Devices

While common fire prevention and safety devices include smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, commercial businesses should also consider fire alarm systems, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems.

Regularly inspecting and testing these is just as important as ensuring functionality. A non-working fire safety device due to low batteries, electrical malfunction, and other issues could lead to injuries and loss of life, and escalate an emergency.

A reputable fire safety provider such as General Security will assist along every step of the way—from helping design and draft emergency plans to installing the optimal devices and technologies to ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations and conducting inspections, and maintenance. Prior to activation, final checks include ensuring all security alarm panels, batteries and fuses, input/output singlas, detectors, and other safety features are working properly.

It’s also prudent to add 24/7 Central Station Monitoring. Should an emergency occur, first responders will be dispatched to your location, whether you’re onsite or not. You’ll also receive real-time smart alerts through the Alarm.com app.

Properly maintained, cleaned, and inspected fire safety systems prevent false alarms, fines, and potential lawsuits. They can also garner insurance provider discounts. It’s best to ask your carrier representative for additional information.

 

3. Conduct Periodic Fire & Safety Drills

It’s important to develop and implement an emergency evacuation plan with designated employee leaders. Conducting fire drills and emergency event simulations can help identify any necessary plan modifications. So can testing fire safety devices, evacuation methods, and other safety measures. 

 

4. Watch for Electrical Hazards

While many fires are caused by accidents and faulty devices, it’s also important to inspect electrical equipment and wires. Overloading or overextending power cords could lead to surges and overheating. It’s never recommended to try and jam a two-prong plug into a three-prong outlet, or vice-versa. Avoid extension cords, which could be an open invitation for trips and falls.

Printers, copiers, computers, and other electrical office equipment should be kept away from water and heating sources to avoid electrical shocks and overheating. 


While common fire prevention and safety devices include smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, commercial businesses should also consider fire alarm systems, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems.

 

5. Establish Fire Safety Rules Within Kitchens
& Common Areas

With the NFPA deeming cooking accidents the leading cause of commercial fires, it’s important to switch off, unplug, and safely store appliances when not in use.

Areas should also be properly ventilated, especially when storing anything flammable. 

Indoor sprinklers, fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms, and other fire suppression equipment should be strategically placed near stoves and ovens. These appliances should also be regularly checked and maintained, to avoid accidental fires.

 

Keeping Your Employees & Business Safe & Sound

Safeguarding your employees, assets, and workplace from the dangers of smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide should always be at the forefront of any safety plan! A reputable fire safety device provider such as General Security can assist with the best technologies, integrations, and protective measures.


General Security provides various fire prevention and safety systems to businesses of all sizes and industries throughout the U.S. East Coast. Request a free quote from us today!


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