Advice on How to  Reduce Fire Damage for Businesses

Knowing the risks for commercial properties is a must to stop fire damage. However, when it comes to identifying the specific hazards in a commercial setting (e.g., kitchens, electrical systems, & storage areas), careful assessments must be done as part of a comprehensive safety plan.

Therefore, you know what to fix in order to mitigate in case there is a future incident. This article will delve into the various hazards commonly found in commercial properties & provide insights into how businesses can address them to enhance their safety.

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Fire damage cleanup and restoration

Implementing Fire Prevention Measures

Planning things out is not enough. You have to take action on your plans. This seems kind of cliche, but it certainly applies to fire-proofing commercial buildings against damage. Make sure your property has reliable detection and alarm systems. Regularly inspect these systems to ensure their functionality. If you do not know how to do that, research it or have an expert come in to show you. The last thing you want to be is ignorant of what your building has or does not have when disaster strikes. You want to have a plan if and when something bad occurs.

Additionally, don’t hesitate to provide comprehensive training for employees on how to use fire extinguishers and familiarize themselves with evacuation plans. This applies even to hybrid staff who aren’t in on a daily basis. After all, they are in the building at times too.

Having well-defined evacuation routes and procedures in place can make a significant difference when considering everyone’s safety in the building during an emergency. Drills can also help reinforce these protocols.

Conducting Risk Assessments

Conducting a thorough risk assessment is a step you cannot forgo. Firstly, you have to assess the layout and structure of the building to identify areas where risks are present. It may come as no surprise that wooden structures tend to succumb more easily when the property is ablaze; however, there are often cases where wooden structures can withstand flames better than other common building materials.

You do not need to be an expert on this, but it would help you become acutely aware of such nuances. That way, you do not spend more money than you need to, as that is a commonality for most. Be mindful of where your higher-risk spaces are. Whether they are kitchens, storage areas, or electrical rooms, always evaluate the effectiveness of the prevention measures already put in place.

Keep refining your emergency response plans or even ask a professional to full-proof them even when you feel most confident. Make monthly walkthroughs of the premises to identify potential ignition sources, combustible materials, or inadequate suppression systems that could pose a hazard.

If you don’t own the building or complex, get key stakeholders involved in this assessment process, including building managers, safety officers, and employees.

Enhancing Building Safety

Although we have discussed improving building safety before, there have not been many concrete examples of how to go about it when the place goes ablaze. It is not as simple as one may think. As a matter of fact, it involves a multifaceted approach that includes both procedural and structural measures. Rather than just evaluating the building’s design and construction materials to ensure they meet fire safety standards, have technicians come in to give their input.

If the materials are not meeting certain benchmarks (e.g., having certain containers for disposed flammable material), have contractors come in to fix it ASAP. Installing multiple layers of building material could work if it is too costly or impractical to replace building material (i.e., log cabin-designed commercial buildings or structures over 50 years old are meant to showcase them as historical). Start by adding or replacing fire-resistant materials. Maybe even add fire-rated walls and doors to classify the structure, thereby preventing the spread of the flames and smoke.

Never forget to maintain safety systems, fire alarms, sprinklers, and emergency lighting regularly. In addition, establish clear safety protocols, such as evacuation plans and designated assembly points as we discussed about employees. Proper employee training can go a long way. Fire safety practices and regular drills can help reinforce these protocols &, thus, facilitate a swift and organized response.

Educating Employees on Safety

Educating employees may seem trivial to many, but it is often overlooked. As we mentioned, implementing this goes a long way because it shows that you care about your staff or people in the building and creates a safe work environment. At The Fire Restoration Team, we do all sorts of training for businesses.

First, we provide comprehensive training covering fire prevention, emergency procedures, and the proper use of firefighting equipment. We actually teamed up with a local fire department to have one of their seasoned staff come in during the training.

Things such as understanding the location and operation of fire extinguishers, fire alarms, and emergency exits are just a few things we try to nail down before the training is completed. We make sure that everyone is proactive during the training.

Lastly, try having other fire safety experts inspect your building and train your staff. Diversity of roles can only help to provide more insights that firefighters and restoration contractors like us do not necessarily have. Code enforcers, fire protection engineers, officers, marshals, inspectors, consultants, loss control specialists, and facility managers alike can all offer valuable insights and resources to improve fire safety. They may briefly talk to you about specific codes in standards such as the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 90.A that discusses exclusively about large buildings such as commercial office buildings.

TFRT is Here for Your Business

If you’re seeking comprehensive damage solutions for your commercial property, we’re here to help. Check out our service page, as we have a team that specializes in fire damage restoration for commercial properties such as strip malls, corporate offices, and restaurants, to name a few.
Whether you’re looking to enhance your fire prevention measures, conduct a fire risk assessment, or need assistance with fire damage restoration, our experienced professionals are ready to assist you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you minimize fire damage risks and ensure the safety and resilience of your commercial property.
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