While it’s true that installing a fire protection system in your place of work shows a deep commitment on your part to the safety of your employees; regular, ongoing inspections are necessary in order to make sure that everything is working as it’s intended to.
When we say ‘working as intended to’ – we also mean that your system should be up to code. People get fined and zapped for a number of infractions and usually, it happens just because they haven’t kept up on their system as much as they should have. And truth be told, what they pay in maintenance or repairs oftentimes dwarfs the fine they receive.
All that being said – there are a few things that we notice people get dinged for more often than others and that’s what we’re going to share with you today. Let’s jump right in!
Dirty smoke detectors in your ductwork
A lot of times business owners are 100% aware of the smoke detectors inside their buildings that are in plain sight – but they often take for granted the ones that are actually inside their HVAC systems. I guess you could say it’s a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ It’s an honest mistake – but one that can be costly.
These smoke detectors are important because they police all the air circulating throughout your building and can often serve as the first line of defense against fires. Problems tend to arise though – when dust and dirt rapidly build up and hinders the detector from properly doing its job.
The best solution for this is that when you have your ductwork cleaned and that you also schedule your fire safety system maintenance checks, too. This way you’ll be able to make sure that the basic things like air filters being changed and smoke detectors being cleaned are being performed all at once.
Blocked fire exits
Every commercial building should have clear and wholly accessible fire exits to ensure public safety. Make sure your exits are clutter-free and that there’s a direct path to getting out of the building.
This is particularly important in businesses like restaurants – as you need to make sure that secondary exit doors in customer-accessible areas and employee workspaces are safe. Having clear access can save lives.
Blocked pull stations
Walk into almost any modern building nowadays and you’ll see pull stations. The problem is that sometimes people block these stations with everything from furniture, plans and other objects – and most of the time they don’t even realize they’re doing it.
Make sure that not only are those areas obstruction-free but that they also are clearly labeled so people can locate them quickly in the event of a fire. If the area is blocked, simply move the obstruction and remind people that those places need to remain open – even if they don’t serve as the most aesthetically pleasing spaces.
Air diffusers are regularly installed near smoke detectors. But having them too close can cause a lot of problems – specifically dust and dirt build-up on a smoke detector’s sensor. Clearly, this makes it more challenging for the smoke detector to read fires. On the other hand – increased contamination can also cause a detector to trip unnecessarily – and while we’re all about safety and practice here at Florida Fire Service – it’s also lost productivity.
So while it’s OK that air diffusers are near an alarm – make sure they’re not too close.
All of these issues, thankfully – are issues that can be resolved with little effort on your part. Make sure you take these tips to heart and ensure you’re not currently experiencing one of them in your workspace.
If you would like us to give you a free consultation on how you can improve the overall fire safety of your building, feel free to give us a call. Until then – good luck!