Protecting lives and property is everyone’s business. Whether you are a CEO or an apprentice, familiarity with fire protection systems and their functions is essential.
Simply put, fire protection is the practice of mitigating the unwanted effects of potentially destructive fires. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in 2017, over 1.3 million fires caused 3,400 deaths, over 14,000 injuries, and over $23 billion in damage
in the United States.
There are several simple ways to protect your business from fires. Ensure your overhead sprinklers are in working order, and that your fire extinguisher inspection is current. Be sure to keep paths clear in working areas, and post a clear, easy-to-read fire exit map for your employees.
According to FEMA, nearly 30% of nonresidential fires in 2016 were caused by cooking. Additionally, between 2007 and 2016, cooking was the leading cause of nonresidential building fires for the 10-year period. There was an 18 percent increase in nonresidential cooking fires in that time.
The best way to avoid a cooking fire is to always attend to the fire- never leave the kitchen when you are cooking. Always keep cooking appliances in good working order, and be sure to have them checked and serviced by a professional yearly. Additionally, ensure a working fire alarm is located near (but not in) the kitchen. This prevents the daily smoke and/or steam from triggering the alarm.
Another way to protect your business is to get a fire safety inspection on your property. The inspector can find areas of improvement and point you in the right direction. They will look to see if everything in your business is up to fire code.