How To Make Sure That Your Fire Protection Plan Is Up to Date
Every year, thousands of buildings across the country are damaged and lives are tragically lost as a result of poor fire protection planning. You hope a fire will never break out in your building, but are you prepared just in case emergency strikes? If it’s been awhile since you thought about your fire protection plan, make sure it’s up to date with these tips. It’s the smartest way to usher in the new year!
Create an Evacuation Plan
It’s important to plan ahead to ensure a smooth evacuation during an emergency. Make sure your evacuation strategy includes the following:
Create a written plan that outlines evacuation routes, crowd management techniques, and methods for notifying the fire department of the emergency.
Map out an evacuation diagram highlighting primary and secondary exit routes, accessible routes for those with disabilities, exterior gathering sites, manual fire alarm pull stations, fire extinguisher locations, standpipe stations, and fire alarm controls.
Map out an exterior site plan that shows where fire lanes, fire hydrants, and outdoor gathering sites are located.
Train Your Employees
Every team member should be familiar with your company’s fire protection plan and basic firefighting and fire prevention skills. Here are the types of training you should provide:
Fire extinguisher training: If you designate any of your employees to use fire extinguishers in an emergency, hands-on training is required. Confires offers OSHA-approved fire extinguisher training for businesses throughout New Jersey, Delaware, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. If no high-risk situations exist in your building, you may instruct your employees to evacuate immediately without using a fire extinguisher first. In this case, no training is required.
Evacuation training: Make sure your employees are familiar with the building’s evacuation routes and established exterior gathering sites. Assign employees specific duties, such as using a fire extinguisher or caring for others with special needs during an evacuation. Hold fire drills for practice.
Proper housekeeping techniques: By storing flammable items safely, keeping emergency exits clear, and disposing of cigarettes properly, your employees can help prevent fires.
Check Your Fire Extinguishers
Fire codes require you to perform monthly fire extinguisher inspections. You can assign anyone on your staff to complete this process with minimal training required. The most important parts of these checks are to make sure:
Each extinguisher is located in the right place.
Nothing is blocking access to the extinguisher.
The locking pin and tamper seal are intact.
The pressure gauge indicates a full charge.
The operating instructions are legible and facing forward.
The most recent professional inspection was less than a year ago.
The extinguisher isn’t expired.
Schedule Annual Inspections
A variety of fire protection systems require routine inspections and maintenance performed by a fire protection company. Be sure to call Confires if it’s been more than a year since any of the following systems were professionally inspected:
Fire pumps and hydrants
Kitchen fire suppression system
FM-200 fire suppression system
During an inspection of your fire protection systems, we’ll make sure every component is in proper working order. If repairs or replacements are required, we can handle the task. We can also recommend changes to your system to make it safer, more cost-effective, and code compliant. For instance, if you don’t already have fire alarm monitoring in place, we can set that up for you. And if you still use outdated Halon fire suppression, we can upgrade you to a newer, more environmentally-friendly clean agent system.