A few months ago we wrote a little bit about some of the essential do’s and don’t for small business owners and their fire safety plans. Today, we’re gong to discuss fire protection for retail stores. Retail fire safety revisits some of the themes we talked about before, but also throws in a different element – the customer – into the equation.
Providing great customer service is vital to the success of any retail business and in this case, excellent customer service includes promoting their safety and well-being. Here are some of the things that any retail business owner – large or small – should be thinking about with regards to his or her businesses’ fire safety. Let’s jump right in!
Retail businesses are unique in that not only do fires present a threat and danger to your customers, but to your inventory as well. That makes it twice as important that your business be equipped to handle a fire. Here are the basics of what every store should have:
- Alarms – Especially in bigger stores, alarms are important. They’ll alert customers in all parts of a store that there is a fire. Just as important – fire alarm monitoring can help make sure that you know when a fire breaks out in your store when no one is around. It’ll alert the fire department even if no one is on-site to call 911.
- Sprinklers – Sprinklers help you do two, specific things. First and most obvious – they protect customers. Second, they prevent extensive damage to inventory. Retail stores can vary wildly in terms of the kinds of materials on hand so making sure you have a consistent suppression system ready to go is vital to your safety.
- Extinguishers – Extinguishers should be located throughout your stores in easy-to-get-to places. This is especially true if you’re selling anything flammable. It’s important to keep in mind that fire extinguishers are not all the same in that they all spray different chemical compositions depending on what kind of fire they’re designed to fight. Make sure your discuss this with you fire safety pro. Also make sure everyone on your staff knows and understand how to use extinguishers so that they are prepared in the event of an accident.
Inspections and regular testing
Regular inspection and testing of your fire protection systems is not only essential; but in some states it’s even the law! A faulty or malfunctioning fire protection system can have devastating effects on your business and other people’s lives. Make sure that all of your equipment is fully functional and ready to be used in the worst-case scenario. Most protection companies will provide this service and can do so without much if any disruption to your business.
If you’re looking to have a fire suppression system installed at your new retail store or are thinking about investing in an upgrade, give us a call. Remember, go by the book and leave nothing to chance! Good luck!