It can happen to anyone
There are hundreds of items to consider before opening a new business, such as product and location. Business security should always be the top priority. With so many decisions to make, it can be easy to push aside the choosing of a fire alarm system. A working fire safety/suppression system is a major requirement. Fires which can occur during construction can be a wake-up call to this key consideration.
On Jan. 18, 2019, a fast-moving wildfire engulfed a McDonald’s restaurant in Aurora, Illinois, which caused it to close.
Construction workers were welding near the ceiling of the building and had some insulation catch on fire. According to local officials. Workers then fled the building after trying to extinguish the fire themselves. There were no injuries, but the damage estimate was $2 million. Pre-opening business fires are costly setbacks but imagine how much more devastating fire with several injuries — or deaths — would be.
Many businesses stock their backrooms or warehouses with inventory and files which are piled high and are flammable. A lunchtime cooking incident or even a lit cigarette can turn properties into ashes and put lives in jeopardy.
National Fire Protection Association
Reports issued by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) showed that on average, 1,210 fires occur in warehouses each year. Fires can result in an average cost of $155 million in property damages, at least three deaths, and 19 injuries. Intentional fires and those caused by the electrical distribution and lighting equipment are the leading causes of warehouse fires. (Study figures are from 2009 to 2013.)
Another NFPA report showed that from 2010 to 2014, there were an estimated 7,410 fires in eating and drinking establishments. Such fires caused $165 million in property damage, three deaths, and 110 injuries. In 61 percent of the incidents, cooking equipment was the leading cause of the fires.
The NFPA also has statistics for the manufacturing facilities. Research shows there are about 37,000 fires at industrial or manufacturing sites each year. These fires result in about 16 deaths, 273 injuries, and $1.2 billion in property damage. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment are the leading causes of structure fires in industrial properties. They have accounted for 24 percent of the total, and heating was the leading cause of structure fires in manufacturing facilities. (Figures are from 2011 to 2015).
Rules and Regulations
While burglary prevention may be first on the minds of new business owners, fire safety and suppression should be of equal concern. A fire can lead to severe injury or death of staff members and customers. It can also damage merchandise, records, equipment, and even put a company out of business.
Cities have fire safety codes that must be met and reviewed on a regular basis. Each city has different requirements, so it’s important to work with an alarm company that knows how to meet these requirements to ensure maximum business security.
Local regulations will establish how many exits a building must have, the number of occupants, and what types of activities are acceptable.
Staff safety training will ensure that in the event of a fire, each employee knows the procedure for an alarm activation, as well as how to escape. Staff should receive training on how to prevent electrical fires, as they are a leading cause of warehouse fires. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that employers have a written emergency escape plan.
Training not only reinforces knowledge and awareness of hazards; it also encourages workers to participate in creating and maintaining a safe work environment and overall business security.
Local fire departments, the National Fire Protection Association, and other fire training organizations, can help evaluate training needs. This will aid in the design and application of training programs.
Let ADS Help
Nobody wants to see their new business go up in flames. But it is a scenario that a company should consider to protect lives, property, and ensure peace of mind.
When it comes to fire, every second does count. Fire alarms go off when they detect smoke; however, they cannot see the flames. Systems that can see a fire happening before the alarms go off can call for help more quickly. It can be the difference between thousands, or even millions of dollars in property damage.
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc. (ADS), offers a wide selection of fire safety systems from leading manufacturers. ADS also provides expert staff to make sure that a new business stays protected from its grand opening and beyond.
- Fire alarm control panels
- Smoke Detectors
- Beam Smoke Detectors
- Heat detectors
- Wireless transmitters
- Pull stations
- Remote zone annunciators
- Warning horns, bells, alarms, & strobe lights
Our Commercial Consultants can assist you with your all your business alarm needs. Our security evaluations are always free. Call us at 630.844.6322.