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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Businesses Should Prepare for Fires | SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Fires can be devastating to any business. Be prepared so you know just what to do.

Businesses spend a lot of money and time towards many safety topics to help protect the work place. You can teach electrical fire safety at your place of business and put them practice, however accidents can still happen. When an electrical fire first ignites it can start small enough that you can extinguish with a blanket or a fire extinguisher. Be prepared and quick to determine if the fire you are dealing with is able to be put out quickly without risk of injury or damage. Remember that employee safety always comes first. If the fire is spreading quickly it can produces dangerous amounts of smoke it’s important to know smoke inhalation can be fatal. Smoke inhalation is the cause of death in home fires than the actual fire. Not to mention, smoke causes just as much damage to the business as the fire itself. Fire fighters say that if you cannot extinguish a fire within five seconds, call 911 and get out of the work place immediately. Be sure to have an updated evacuation place in place for all employees to follow. After the fire is put out and everyone is accounted for and safe, you can always count on your friendly neighborhood experts at SERVPRO of Madison/Goodlettsville to help you put your life back together.

Here are the requirements to know as a business owner that the fire marshal will check during an inspection:

Checklist Item #1: Clear Paths of Egress

Having multiple exits in the event of a fire will increase the likelihood that everyone is able to get out safely, and it is required by fire code. Yet, if your staff or customers can't reach these exits or open them once they do, they are of little value. So, make sure they are not obstructed in any way.

Checklist Item #2: Emergency Exit Lights
Not only are all paths of egress required to be unobstructed, they must be clearly marked as well. In the event of a fire, your facility may lose power or visibility may be severely reduced due to heavy smoke. For these reasons, all exit signs should have backup batteries, so they will still be clearly illuminated for a minimum of 90 minutes in the event of a fire or power outage. 

Checklist Item #3: Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are crucial in stopping a small fire before it grows larger, avoiding widespread damage to your business and injuries to your staff or customers. That is why fire marshals pay special attention to verify that they are in compliance.

Checklist Item #5: Fire Sprinklers
If your facility has a fire sprinkler system in place, this will be carefully inspected by the fire marshal. When preparing for an inspection, know that the fire marshal will check to see if there is adequate clearance around each sprinkler deflector.

Checklist Item #6: Fire Sprinkler System Water Supply
For this system to function correctly, not only must the sprinkler deflectors have the proper clearance, the water must flow as it should when called upon to extinguish a fire. The fire marshal will examine the critical components of the sprinkler system water supply, to determine that they are in good working order.

Checklist Item #7: Proper Storage of Combustible Liquids
Combustible materials and liquids represent a special fire hazard and must be treated accordingly. These will provide fuel to any fire and they pose a significant risk to your facility, including explosion potential, so proper measures must be taken at all times.

Checklist Item #8: Maximum Occupancy Limits
Your building has a maximum occupancy limit which has been put in place for a reason. If a fire were to occur, this is the number of people who could safely evacuate the premises in a timely fashion

Checklist Item #9: Overloading Electrical Sockets & Using Extension Cords Correctly

Plugging two or more extension cords together to extend the reach of the power in your facility, will also be cited during a fire marshal's inspection.

Checklist Item #10: Electrical Panels

Since electrical panels have live current running through them, any potentially flammable items (like cardboard boxes stored too close to the panel) make sure you can get to the panels without having to move anything. 

If you’ve been affected by a fire, know that SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville hits all the above qualifications and more. Contact us today to learn how we’re able to make it “Like it never even happened.”

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