Top 5 Ways to Implement Proper Fire Codes Throughout Your Commercial Facility
Your business faces many challenges, but most of these concerns seem tiny compared to the devastation a fire can cause. Indeed, many businesses never fully recover from a serious fire, so proper prevention and protection are crucial. Businesses in the U.S. have to comply with certain fire codes anyway or risk being penalized by various regulatory bodies. But how do you make a fire protection plan that truly protects your people, assets, and interests? Let’s go over five ways to implement proper fire codes throughout your commercial facility.
Five Ways to Implement Proper Fire Codes Throughout Your Commercial Facility
1. Know the Relevant Codes and Regulations
There is a specific fire code for commercial buildings as outlined by regulatory bodies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), IFC (International Fire Code), and The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). However, different facilities don’t have to abide by the exact same code – these regulations differ based on multiple factors, including the municipality, facility size, occupancy, operations, type, age, and more. According to the NFPA, for instance, some facilities deemed “business occupancies” don’t require sprinkler systems while others do – it depends on whether or not a given area contains “high-hazard contents that exceed the maximum allowable quantities permitted by the code.” Knowing which rules your commercial facility must follow is essential not only for protecting your people and assets but also avoiding any legal penalties.
2. Thoroughly Train and Educate Your Staff
Your facility’s fire codes shouldn’t be some well-kept secret – on the contrary, every occupant should have access to this information. To get everyone on the same page, conduct periodic fire safety training and drills. Every employee should know how to safely respond in the event of a fire, and key personnel should be well-versed in fire prevention protocols (e.g., turning off certain systems after use, carefully monitoring gas and electric systems when in use, how to operate fire extinguishers, etc.).
3. Post Clear Signage Throughout Your Facility
Signage is an essential aspect of any fire safety program. Occupants should know when they’re near hazardous areas, where alarms and extinguishers are located, where and how to properly exit the building, etc. Even if a specific type of signage isn’t mandated by your facility’s fire code, you can never have too many indicators in place that keep your people safe and your assets protected. Consider the location, size, and clarity of these signs, so they’re clearly visible and digestible by anyone.
4. Update Fire Prevention and Protection Protocols, Methods, and Resources
Fire codes are often fairly rigid, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make periodic adjustments to increase safety and save money within these parameters. Fire prevention and protection technology are only improving, and relying on outdated systems can gradually put your facility at risk (and put your business at risk of falling out of compliance). Knowing this, don’t overlook key investments in modern sprinklers, alarms, extinguishers, fire stopping materials, fireproofing material, smart control devices, etc. This state-of-the-art technology will improve safety, compliance, and efficiency at your commercial facility.
5. Work Closely with Fire Protection Experts
No one said navigating fire codes and safety protocols was easy. Implementing the various methods mentioned above often requires the help of fire protection experts. At the very least, fireproofing providers can install, maintain and patch fireproofing paint in your facility – more comprehensive services can help you simplify your fire protection plans, educate your people, conduct regular inspections, and more. With over 100 years of combined experience of our fireproofing teams, we can help to answer many of the questions you may have regarding your fireproofing needs. At Kaloutas, we’re dedicated to keeping our clients safe and compliant when it comes to fires and other hazards in your commercial facility. . Read our blog, “How Working with a Fireproofing Contractor Will Ensure Your Safety and Compliance Requirements Are Met” to learn more.
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