Commercial property fires happen every year. That is not news to anyone. What might be news is the amount of damage they actually cause each year. As one example of many, hotel and motel fires kill an average of 15 people and injure 150 more while causing an estimated $76 million in property loss every year. Other property types such as hospitals and nursing facilities, office buildings, and apartment complexes also live with the fear that some day a fire could reduce everything to rubble, killing or injuring all who are inside.
The results of a recent survey found that out of 119 businesses polled, only 35% of them had an evacuation plan in place in the case of a fire in the building. Escape route plans are an important part of keeping people safe in the event of a fire, but more needs to be done that just pointing people to the quickest exit. Fire protection companies will all tell you that fire protection systems, when properly installed and regularly inspected, can go a long way toward keeping people safe and even helping to save the property.
Sprinkler systems are a method of fire suppression that many people are familiar with. If you go into almost any public building these days and look up to the ceiling, you are likely to find sprinklers aimed to cover the area with water in the event that a fire should become large enough to activate them. In fact, in a recent study of fires, sprinklers activated 91% of the time they were triggered.
One of the most important keys to saving lives and even in saving buildings is not necessarily the suppression of the fire itself, although that is obviously important. What seems to be the key is how early a fire can be detected. Detecting a fire, warning the people inside and alerting the firefighters is where it all begins. Having early detection systems in place is an integral ingredient in fire safety and management.
Fire protection companies specialize in analyzing businesses and helping them prepare for the possibility of fires so that lives can be saved, injuries can be prevented as much as possible, and property damage can be minimized whenever possible. According to the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, any facilities that have telecommunications equipment in an area above 2,500 square feet are required to have very early detection warning systems. These systems are needing in the higher floors of buildings for obvious reasons. If a fire breaks out anywhere in the building, it is the top floors that need the warning as quickly as possible. In buildings such as hospitals, this is critical because evacuation procedures can take quite a bit of time.
If you have a business or a building that needs to have its fire plan evaluated, don’t hesitate. Fire protection companies are there to assist you in being prepared for anything. Give one a call today.