Some businesses think that they only have to worry about fire protection and safety once – during installation – but you need to check on your system and maintain it regularly. If you neglect to do this, it could cause problems in the future like a system malfunction when you need it most. If you own or operate a business in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, or Maryland, you’ll find fire safety systems as an important part of building code requirements. But staying up to code involves much more than abiding by the law.
Remember that fire protection regulations and codes exist so you can keep people at your facility safe. This includes you, your workers and anyone else that comes to your facility. If it’s a school, you’re protecting students, parents, and faculty. If it’s a hospital, you’re protecting doctors, nurses, patients, and visitors. If it’s a manufacturing facility, you’re keeping workers and visiting customers or vendors safe.
You can always replace equipment or resources, but you can’t replace a life if something were to happen during an emergency.
Everyone’s safety should be your main priority when you run a facility, so you should do your best to maintain all fire protection systems, from individual detection devices to large sprinkler pipe networks. While it is key to have a certified fire protection company handle annual inspections and maintenance, it is also important to have your own staff check fire equipment monthly for damage.
Keep in mind that emergencies happen unexpectedly, so you need to make sure that everyone is prepared for those circumstances. This goes beyond regular fire drills to ensure everyone knows proper egress routes and outdoor meeting areas.
If you don’t have the right fire protection or protocols ready, then this could lead to panic in your facility. Panic itself can cause more injuries and problems for those trying to escape during a fire.
Training everyone on proper emergency evacuation is key. Ensure everyone knows what to do when the alarm system activates horns and strobes. In some facilities, different color strobes indicate specific events like a fire or lockdown situation, so it is important to know which is which. Train all employees on proper fire extinguisher use as tools to safely egress, not to stay and fight the fire.
The cost of not having a fire protection system is two-fold in the potential fire damage and in lawsuits. If someone gets injured in a fire because your system did not properly activate due to lack of proper maintenance, your company is at fault. Aside from facing an injury lawsuit and public scrutiny, your business could face hefty fines from OSHA while paying out workers compensation if you don’t adhere to building safety regulations.
In short, the cost of a well-maintained, code compliant fire protection system is far less expensive than not having one at all.
It’s important for you to stay up to code and provide the fire protection needed to keep everyone safe during an emergency. This includes checking your fire extinguishers, testing your fire alarm, inspecting your fire sprinkler and suppression systems, and other necessary steps to ensure that your facility is safe. Contact a trusted, longtime expert in fire protection. Call Marco today for fire protection services in Chester County.