One of the responsibilities of owning and operating a business is to ensure your employees labor in a safe environment. That means selecting and maintaining the right kind of fire protection equipment. Along with knowing what sort of fire extinguisher and fire alarm to choose, there are other equipment options you should consider closely. Here are four examples to keep in mind.
The purpose of safety guards focuses on keeping unauthorized personnel from getting into areas where they could create a fire hazard. Guards are also helpful for preventing accidents if the building needs to be evacuated because of a fire. There are barriers intended to block access to corners, outline escape routes, and delineate areas that should be avoided at all costs. An expert can help you choose the right guards for your business type and building layout.
While you may know what sort of fire extinguisher is right for your place of business, do you know how many you need to provide adequate protection? One general rule of thumb is to have at least two extinguishers strategically placed on each floor of the building. Depending on the number of employees working on each floor and the number of exits, more extinguishers would be a good idea. A professional can assess the layout and the number of employees to come up with the right number. That same professional can help you optimize the placement of each extinguisher.
Signs and Emergency Exit Lighting
Signs that can be clearly seen even if smoke is filling the space helps employees continue to the closest exits. Pair them with emergency exit lighting with a battery backup. Place those lights over the exits proper. Between the signage, the safety guards, and the exit lighting, all your employees have a better chance of getting out of the building without being injured.
Fire Sprinkler Systems
While you do want to pay close attention to fire extinguisher selection and placement, never see those extinguishers as replacements for an efficient fire sprinkler system. The right system detects heat as well as smoke. Once the detection is made, the system deploys sprinkler heads to release water or some sort of fire retarding agent to bring the blaze under control. The best systems include manual overrides that you can use if the automatic controls fail for any reason.
Slowing down the fire’s progress is crucial and that’s where the right type of sprinkler system makes a significant impact. When properly installed and maintained, the system provides more time for employees to reach the extinguishers and maintain a clear path to the nearest exits.
There are other kinds of fire protection and suppression equipment that should be part of your safety planning. Work with a professional to come up with a comprehensive plan that works well for your type of business operation. All it takes is one fire to realize how much of a difference the right choices make for you, your business, and for your employees.