Fire Alarms and Hazards

Various hazards can threaten a public building and its contents and inhabitants, whether it be an office building, a warehouse, a hotel, or more. Floods can break down wood and ruin delicate items, very low temperatures can freeze water in pipes, tornadoes and hurricanes can simply blast buildings apart (or at least tear off their roofs), and fire ranks as among the most serious hazard. Fire can damage nearly anything through contact or the heat, and the smoke is a significant health hazard for anyone inside a burning building. Fortunately, modern safety and alarm systems are prepared to help minimize the threat of fire, and flames can be managed so human life is protected and property damage minimized through the use of fire protection services. Any commercial building owner or the management staff can keep up regular maintenance and inspection to ensure that their fire protection service is up to date.

Causes for Fire

Flames can damage or destroy a building, and many different things can set one off. In hospitals, to name one example, electrical malfunctions account for 19% of all non-confined fires, and this could happen in many other buildings, too. Frayed electrical cords and exposed wires can easily heat up and ignite carpets, drapes, and other surfaces, so damaged cords for lamps, computers, and anything else should always be repaired or replaced at once, and not used until replacements or repairs arrive. Sometimes, the use of cigarettes or pipes can also result in fire, since the lit tobacco can fall to the floor or touch drapes and set them on fire just the way electrical cords do, although strict laws about indoor smoking make this less and less likely. Careless use of open flames such as on matches or ovens or stoves (such as in a hotel kitchen) can also cause flames, as can leaking natural gas from faulty utilities. Unfortunately, people and pets may sometimes perish in accidental fires, either from the heat, smoke inhalation, or collapsing debris. As one example, it is estimated that motel and hotel fires cause 15 fatalities and 150 injuries per year.

Fire Protection

Any public building such as a hotel, hospital, restaurant, or office building should have proper fire protection services in place, and these systems should be inspected, repaired, or replaced as needed. If a business moves into an empty, used building, the new owners are strongly urged to have all fire suppression systems looked over and updated as needed, since older buildings may have been built with more lax or outdated safety standards. Fire alarm repairs are an easy way to make sure that any incident of fire is handled correctly and everyone can be evacuated safely, and fire alarm installation in an old building can quickly bring it up to modern safety codes, although an inspector will have to look it all over and give it approval. Fire alarm inspections could be carried out regularly, such as once a year, to make sure that any building’s fire protection services are up to code and are effective and functional. A short-circuited or disabled fire alarm does no good for anyone.

Fire sprinklers should also be ready for disaster. Having both functional sprinkler systems and early warning alarms in a building can reduce rates of property damage, injury, and death by nearly 50%, according to statistics, and it has been found that in a commercial area with large oven ranges, non-chemical fire suppression systems can do their job effectively 96% of the time, especially if routine inspection and replacement work is done as needed. Recent data shows that warehouses, for one, have become safer where fire hazards are concerned; rates of fires in warehouses have dropped from 4,700 in 1980 to 1,200 in the year 2011, a significant drop, probably due to bans on indoor smoking and tighter security regulations on handling flammable materials, open flames, and sparks. Modern fire protection services can often prove more effective than outdated ones. Any building’s management staff or owners can take the extra step of training their new employees about fire safety, especially in a place like a warehouse or kitchen where fires and flammable substances are more likely to be found. Safe workplace behavior can be the number one way to prevent fires.

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