Fire Safety for Retail Stores

Providing great customer service is vital to the success of any retail business and in this case, excellent customer service includes promoting their safety and well-being. Here are some of the things that any retail business owner – large or small – should be thinking about with regards to his or her businesses’ fire safety.

Protection Systems

For retail businesses, fires present a threat and danger to both customers and inventory. This makes it even more important for your business to be equipped to handle a fire. Here are the basics of what every store should have:

  • Alarms – Especially in bigger stores, alarms are important. They’ll alert customers in all parts of a store that there is a fire. Just as important – fire alarm monitoring can help make sure that you know when a fire breaks out in your store when no one is around. It’ll alert the fire department even if no one is on-site to call 911.
  • Sprinklers – Sprinklers help you do two, specific things. First and most obvious – they protect customers. Second, they prevent extensive damage to inventory. Retail stores can vary wildly in terms of the kinds of materials on hand so make sure you have a consistent suppression system ready to go is vital to your safety.
  • Extinguishers – Extinguishers should be located throughout your stores in easy-to-get-to places. This is especially true if you’re selling anything flammable. It’s important to keep in mind that fire extinguishers are not all the same in that they all spray different chemical compositions depending on what kind of fire they’re designed to fight. Make sure you discuss this with your fire safety pro. Also, make sure everyone on your staff knows and understands how to use extinguishers so they are prepared in the event of an accident.

Inspections and regular testing

Regular inspection and testing of your fire protection systems are not only essential but in some states, it’s even the law! A faulty or malfunctioning fire protection system can have devastating effects on your business and other people’s lives. Make sure that all of your equipment is fully functional and ready to be used in the worst-case scenario.

Remember, go by the book and leave nothing to chance! Good luck!

If you have a question about this or any other fire protection topic, please contact Protegis Fire & Safety.

Common Causes of Workplace Fires

There’s a lot that can be done to avoid workplace fires and the best defense is always prevention. But sometimes despite our best efforts, fires can still occur – causing injuries, damage, and countless other issues.

While fires can manifest themselves in a variety of ways, here are a few of the most common causes of workplace fires.

Electrical fires

A good portion of fires are electrical fires and they can happen from a whole range of things that could go wrong. Sometimes it’s an equipment malfunction, sometimes it’s a power overload, and sometimes it’s just a freak accident.

It’s important that every workplace has an electrical fire safety plan in place, specifically. They should know what extinguishers to use and what will work to fight the fire in the event they need to. You should also be sure that you’re inspecting wires, keeping up on your suppression system’s maintenance, and the like.

Flammable materials

There are literally thousands of chemicals that are used in workplaces all over the United States. Improper handling of these materials can cause a fire. Worse yet, when these liquids or compounds are spilled, they give off vapors that can be harmful to your lungs and the air around you. Those vapors can also ignite – making them doubly dangerous. Flammable liquid spills should be cleaned up immediately.

Be sure your employees are trained thoroughly on all OSHA guidelines when it comes to flammables.

Human error

Things happen and as humans, we’re not immune to error. Sometimes the water supply is turned off when there’s a fire. Sometimes people mishandle materials. Sometimes people don’t pay attention during safety training. Whatever it is – humans are a major cause of workplace fires.

The best you can do is to make sure your safety systems are in good, working condition and that you’re doing your best to make sure that your staff is prepared in the event a fire happens.

At the end of the day, fire prevention should be something that is considered part of everyone’s job. That means keeping workspaces clutter-free and safe from fire hazards. It means not plugging too many things into a wall. It means taking care of chemicals and flammable materials. As is the case with anything – the best prevention is education and training, so make sure that fire prevention is an integral part of what you do.

If you have questions about this or any other fire protection topic, please contact Protegis Fire & Safety.