Why Consider Fire Systems When Putting Up a Retail Business

Why Consider Fire Systems When Putting Up a Retail Business

As a store owner, you know it’s important to ensure that your retail business is safe and secure for both customers and employees. Things like exposed wire from lighting or computers, improper chemical storage in a back room or combustible materials left near a heat source are huge fire risks that could harm both customers and employees. There are a lot of fire hazards and risks in a typical retail store.

While these risks exist, building fire compliance and properly installed fire protection systems can prevent great damage or loss of life from a fire. Your retail business’s fire systems should include:

Fire Alarms

fire alarm at a retail store
Photo Credit: Ben Schumin

Retail stores are significantly bigger compared to a residence, therefore alarms are important for alerting your customers of the emergency. Keep the system well maintained so you know you can rely on it in getting customers and employees to safety in case a fire ignites.

Fire Extinguishers

fire extinguisher in a store
Photo Credit: Tripod

Using a portable fire extinguisher during the very first 2 minutes of a fire is the most economical defense against property damage from a fire. Distribute fire extinguishers around your store, making sure to place one near flammable items. ABE fire extinguishers are probably the most versatile because they put out fires caused by flammable liquids, electronic equipment, and burning paper or plastic.

Fire Sprinklers

fire sprinkler
Fire sprinklers are commonly regarded as the most effective method for preventing the spread of fire in its early stages, typically before they cause serious injury to people and massive damage to property. This is the first defense against a retail store fire. The fire sprinkler heads disperse water on the fire and keep them from spreading until the fire department arrives and takes complete command of the circumstances. Ideally, the fire sprinklers need to be in good working order, hence regular maintenance is a necessity.

Exit Signs and Emergency Lighting

Photo Credit: Jori Samonen

Emergency exit signs and emergency lighting fixtures are both required by law to ensure the safety of all building occupants. During emergency situations, exit signs and emergency lighting guide building occupants to the nearest outdoor exit. They are vital components of any business’s evacuation plan.

In order to ensure you’re prepared for any fires that may arise, always keep fire systems ready and make sure all employees are trained on how to use them. Schedule routine fire systems inspections to verify that they function properly to protect you against loss or damage to your business.

 

Fire & Safety in Australia: What Commercial Builders Should Consider Regarding Fire Protection

Fire & Safety in Australia: What Commercial Builders Should Consider Regarding Fire Protection

When constructing a building, commercial builders must consider not only public health and safety but also building fire safety. They must look at the property from all angles, From thinking about the fire safety on a construction site, materials used in their design to set up suitable flow and layout for rescue, commercial builders do a lot more than adding walls, ceiling, along with a roof to a building.

The commercial builders function in fire safety is vital. They should always consider safety, and it’s their professional obligation to develop a building which complies with all building codes. Commercial structures are required to comply with all building codes.

Fire poses risk in terms of safety to building occupants, building integrity, business interruption and the economic health of a community. Designing and building structures in compliance with building and fire code requirements with appropriate fire-fighting equipment, contributes to the reduction of fire losses.

3 Critical Building Issues Related to Fire Safety Commercial Builders Should Consider

 

1. Materials Used in Construction

 

construction site in australia
Image Credit: Pathway to Aus

The materials used in a building’s construction will significantly influence the fire safety of the property, but also the ease of access for first responders.

Avoid combustible materials. Commercial and residential building is best if it does not contain excessive amounts of combustible or high smoke producing materials. While these materials cannot be totally avoided, the commercial builders’ job, in conjunction with fire safety crews, is to determine which combinations are highly combustible or create toxic smoke combinations, so that they can reduce issues in the event of a fire.

2. The Layout and Flow of the Property

The layout and flow of a property can dictate how quickly fire crews can not only combat fires but rescue those that might be trapped within. This is achieved by working closely with fire experts and first responder teams.

Have fire experts review possible designs and provide feedback as to whether that design is friendly for rescue. Incorporate any suggestions from fire crews to improve safety or flow.

3. Fire Escape Routes  

 

construction fire
Image Credit: lhsfna.org

Building codes require emergency exit routes that are not only expertly planned, but easy to navigate in the event of a fire. Commercial builders must know all applicable fire codes but also work in close collaboration with fire safety engineers to establish fire safety systems, practical fire escape routes for commercial, residential, and multi-purpose buildings.

Buildings under construction have a greater potential for significant property damage from fire,  particularly prior to fire suppression systems are installed and operational. Thus, a new building constructed in Australia, must be built in accordance with the NCC as it provides extremely high levels of safety.

What Commercial Builders Should Know About Fire Protection

What Commercial Builders Should Know About Fire Protection

Buildings under construction present unique fire hazards that require special attention. Fires can result in major losses and long delays in the completion of a project. Fire safety can be ensured if flammable materials are kept away from heat and oxygen.

Three ingredients of fire are fuel, oxygen, and source of ignition.  If any of them is removed no fire will occur. To ensure fire protection and safety, fire precautions during construction for commercial and residential should be planned before starting any construction work.

Fire Precautionary Measures During Construction

  • Less use of flammable materials like timber, bamboo, coal, paints etc.
  • Quantities of flammable materials should be kept to a minimum at work sites.
  • Flammable solids, liquids, and gases must be stored away from oxygen and oxidizing materials.  Smoking should be prohibited in fire risk areas of the work place.
  • Precautions must be taken in transporting, storing, handling and using flammable materials.
  • Electrical fires occur due to insulation failure, overloaded conductors, and poor connections. Hence, proper care must be taken.
  • Fire extinguishers should be kept at strategically convenient points. Personnel should be trained to use them.
  • Fire safety equipment should remain parked at site round the clock.
  • Adequate water should be available for fighting the fire.
  • Buckets filled with sand should be kept in appropriate places for smothering the fire.
  • Fire protection and detection equipment must be maintained during construction and demolition.

 

Photo Credit: St. Thomas Public Library

For fire safety, compliance builders and site supervisors need to ensure the required fire precautions are installed in the building while under construction, like installation of fire doors, suitable fire extinguishers on each storey of the building and fireproofing no matter what size or stage of the construction work.

Fire extinguishers must be located adjacent to each required exit or temporary stairway or exit. The site supervisors must draw up a construction phase plan and this should include the fire safety and emergency procedures for the site. The plan must include suitable and sufficient arrangements for dealing with any foreseeable emergency including:

fire extinguisher in construction site

Photo Credit: Matt Risinger
  • Sufficient number of suitable emergency routes and exits that must be kept clear and free from obstruction and, where necessary, provided with emergency lighting so that it may be used at any time as access routes.
  • Exit routes must be indicated by suitable signs
  • Where necessary suitable and sufficient fire safety equipment and fire detection and alarm systems must be installed
  • Workers must be instructed in the correct use of fire-fighting equipment

Fire precautions during construction are mandatory for any Class 2-9 building, with different requirements depending on the size and stage of the development or the type of performance solutions adopted.

Fire Extinguisher Types That Are Appropriate for Resorts

Fire Extinguisher Types That are Appropriate for Resorts

As a resort owner or manager, your primary concern is that your guests will love their safe stay. Besides offering first-rate services, this also involves ensuring optimum life safety. Fire safety in resorts is actually delicate: You have to protect various areas with various environmental factors and also you do not want the guests to see the fire detectors and fire panels.

Many resorts require fire pumps and products that easily identify the first hint of fire and direct guests safely out from the danger zone. At the same time, the fire protection system has to be highly efficient with fire extinguishers and clearly marked evacuation diagrams since nothing could be much worse than a fire that would rapidly become massive that would claim lives and property.

Resort owners are required to follow the very same fire safety laws as all business organizations. These establishments have to issue a fire safety policy for their workers and maintain compliance. The initial step in acquiring the objective is generally to figure out all products which are required and install them. Next, a fire safety system must be devised and acquire adequate training for resort staff on fire extinguisher types and how they can make use of the fire extinguishers.

Fire extinguisher compliance calls for the identification of the different fire extinguisher types and the types of fires most likely to occur in resorts. These types of fuels are in fact categorised into classes to be able to help you to identify the kind of material acting as fuel for the fire and its suppressing medium.

Four Kinds of Fires and Their Corresponding Fire Extinguisher Types:

Class A fire involving ordinary combustibles

Class A fire involving ordinary combustibles

Class A Fire Extinguishers are used for fires that involve paper products, fabrics of textiles, wood-based products, plastics, and rubber-based products. The type of class A extinguishers that fall into this category are Powder ABE, water, foam and wet chemicals

Class B fire involving flammable liquids

flammable liquid

Class B extinguishers are used to put out fires that started due to flammable or combustible liquids. In the work environment, this could include chemical-based cleaning products, electrical contact cleaner, and lubricants used for equipment. Class B extinguishes that address these materials include Powder ABE and BE, and foam.

Class C fire involving electrical equipment

Electrical Fire
Photo Credit: Chris Keene

Class C extinguishers are used for fires started by flammable gases. Circumstances in which these gases are used to operate machinery could lead to a fire or probable explosion. These extinguishers could put out the fire before pressure builds and produces further events. The type of class C extinguishers used for these fires are Powder ABE and BE.

Class F fire involving cooking oils and fat

Class F fire involving cooking oils and fat
Photo Credit: Paul Davis

Class F extinguishers manage fires caused by cooking oils and fat based products. They address fires that could occur in a kitchen setting of the workplace. Class F extinguishers include Powder BE and wet chemical.

Fire safety in resorts involves various challenges. Each resort area from the kitchen, restaurant and guest room to the spa area or parking has its own requirements and environmental conditions.

Fire Alarm Requirements in Hotels

Fire Alarm Requirements in Hotels

The transient nature of the hotel industry would mean it provides a likely greater risk for fires as guests are there to sleep, in new surroundings and might not be aware of the emergency fire procedures and evacuation routes.

Staff is generally working shifts as well as dealing with new customers each day. This could mean that instruction could be hard to set up and consistent levels of compliance with fire as well as security policies are difficult to achieve. Another risk element is actually that hotels include operating a fire as well as security protocol over several floors.

The last thing you want is a fire alarm to go off on a floor, leaving different residents blissfully ignorant of the risk and still sleeping in their room, or maybe the evacuation of the whole hotel due to a false security alarm activation.

This is exactly where it’s incredibly essential to use fire alarm systems which is actually effective at .pinpointing a trigger stage, which provides a mix of visual and audible alarm signals for fire detection in guest rooms for hotel fire safety, and staff members are actually taught to understand just how to contend with guests in a very stressful situation.

What fire safety equipment are Required in Hotels?

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Every commercial structure must have fire safety gear that meets or perhaps exceeds the needs of the law. It’s important hotel owners completely understand their obligations so that they could be certain they remain compliant and their development remains good for their guests and employees. With this particular info, hotel owners may be completely educated on what they have to do to stay compliant and just how they are able to maintain their equipment based on the law.

Hotel owners are actually required by law to offer a secure environment for their employees and their guest. It’s essential a hotel owner completely recognizes the law and what equipment types they are going to need to maximise guest safety.

The law not only requires for some kind of fire safety equipment to be put in place, employees should be completely trained on making use of the fire safety gear so they are going to be appropriately prepared should a fire break out in the building. With the correct equipment and security measures, employees and guests can be kept safer.

Types of Fire Safety Equipment Required in Buildings

Aside from Smoke Alarms, there are lots of different kinds of fire safety equipment readily available for hotels and other businesses. The kind and amount of gear required in a building will count on its size and also the amount of fire risk it’s classified as having. Some of the Fire safety equipment needed for your hotel includes:

  • Fire doors help to contain fires by helping to prevent the spread from one room to another. During a fire, these doors automatically shut or should be shut at all times. When a fire erupts the special seals, materials, and coatings help to prevent the fire from going through the door and spreading. They also help to keep smoke out.
  • Fire extinguishers are vital for every business building. Every building must have no less than one functioning fire extinguisher. Many buildings are going to require more than 1 extinguisher and style to be compliant with the law. For help with fire extinguishers for your Hotel, FCF National can supply, install and maintain fire safety equipment Australia wide. We ensure full fire safety compliance to the highest standard. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you, contact us today for a no obligation free quote.
  • Fire sprinkler systems are installed in the ceilings of a building and are activated by hand or automatically through smoke detection. These sprinklers can help to extinguish a fire so it does not spread and destroy an entire building.
  • Fire blankets can be used to extinguish small fires so they do not spread. The blankets need to be easily accessible so they can be thrown on a fire as quickly as possible.
  • Exit and emergency lighting Australian businesses are required to have emergency exit signs installed. This is to help staff and personnel safely exit in the case of a fire emergency. Australian Standards determine where Emergency lights should be placed within a building. We know where and how many emergency exit lights need to be installed in your building. These lights also need to be serviced and maintained periodically.
  • Fire alarm detection systems Fire alarm systems generally use smoke, heat or flame detectors to detect the outbreak of fire and to alert building occupants and the fire brigade. This is very important for fire detection in guest rooms. It is also important to do Alarm verification, fire detection and alarm system must be operating properly with no faults being indicated and must be kept maintained and have proper maintenance records.The number of unwanted alarm activations must be below the average. Fire alarm systems must be heard by the building occupants in all parts of the building.
  • Fire training The key is training, knowledge, and preventative measures. Risks to employees and guest can be reduced if your employees are aware of their responsibility to promptly report fire related hazards, and know what action to take if there is a fire. It’s important that hotel owners  implement fire safety programs and that all employees are involved.

Fire Safety Equipment Maintenance is a vital element of trying to keep a building secure and in compliance with the law. Some types of maintenance will need to be carried out as frequently as each month while others might just have to be tested each year, 2 years, or perhaps 5 years.

Photo credit: Cory Doctorow

It’s vital hotel owners make certain their equipment passes inspection based on the law. It’s also important they maintain accurate files of all upkeep and testing methods which are actually carried out. Here at FCF Fire and Electrical, our Cloud Based Fire Safety Maintenance Data system can ensure there is a complete record of Fire Safety Maintenance Procedures. All fire safety equipment in a building must be tagged after it is inspected with the date and name of the person or company who carried out the testing.