How do you establish the appropriate amount of safety and fire control for a commercial building? Most states have specific regulations for things like how many fire alarms are needed in a specific sized building. How can you be sure, though, that this number is sufficient for your safety needs? There are many factors to consider and choose between when creating a fire alarm design for your commercial building.
Size of building
The size of the building is perhaps the most important factor when establishing how much commercial fire protection is appropriate. Very large commercial buildings will usually require multiple alarms and sensors in every room. You will also need to have numerous fire exits, as well as a listed fire evacuation plan in every single room. This allows guests to quickly locate the fire exit plan and to understand the best way to get out from their current location. The increased number of commercial fire alarms is to ensure that anyone in the building, regardless of their location, can hear the sirens and exit to safety.
Type of business
The type of commercial business also plays an important factor in deciding what type and how much commercial fire protection is needed. For example, larger department stores may not require the same amount of fire alarms or sprinklers as a hotel does. Department stores are more of an open layout plan and are easier to exit from. A hotel is made up of many individual rooms, making it important to identify the fire as soon as it is detected. Also, individuals who are in a hotel room may not be as easily notified of a fire alarm. Every year, hotel and motel fires result in $76 million in property loss.
Some businesses, such as restaurants require advanced commercial fire sprinkler systems. They also require regular fire alarm inspections. Restaurants get very hot in the kitchen and are constantly using fire producing appliances, such as stoves and ovens. The buildup of grease in these areas also accounts for higher rates of fires. Another higher risk type of commercial building is in industrial warehouses. Warehouse fires are associated with higher average property losses per fire than most other occupancies, but they also have a lower than average rates of injury per 1,000 fires.
Location of business
You may be surprised that the location of your business will factor into your need for additional fire protection. Commercial businesses that are located in relatively dry climates are more prone to fires. This is especially true if they are located directly in the line of common wild fire areas. In fact, you may even pay additional property insurance on these types of businesses. Regular fire alarm inspections are also especially important in these areas, as it is crucial that a fire be controlled early on here.
Types of business materials used
Some business materials, like hazardous materials, can cause extremely damaging outcomes if they catch on fire. These types of materials need to be stored into non flammable containers and have extra fire prevention surrounding them. You may also be required to increase the number of fire alarm inspection on your building, to ensure that these areas are kept up to code and city and state regulations.
With proper planning and regular fire alarm inspections, you can limit the risk of fire to your commercial building. You can risk both the amount of damage financially and the person sustained injuries. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has no record of a fire killing more than two people in a completely sprinklered building where the system was properly operating. To ensure that your building is prepared for fire risks, properly and fully evaluate all parts of your business. Consider the size of your business, the type of business and the type of business machines used, and the location of your business for the best possible fire protection.