Four Fire Safety Terms Every Business Owner Should Know

Whenever you run a business there is a lot to learn – not just about your industry but about all the support systems that allow you to operate legally and safely. From insurance to legal-speak to safety codes, there’s a lot to take in and understand. When it comes to fire safety, it’s no different.

Don’t worry though, we’re here to help drill down some of the lingoes you should know and be aware of so that your workspace is safe and that you know what needs to be done and why it needs to be done. Here are four basic terms you should know when it comes to your businesses’ fire safety.

NFPA Standards

NFPA stands for National Fire Protection Association. and they are responsible for issuing industry standards for safety.

The major codes for fire protection are:

  • NFPA 10 (fire extinguishers)
  • NFPA 25 (sprinkler systems)
  • NFPA 72 (alarm system)

You don’t need to know these codes inside and out, but when you hear them brought up by an inspector or fire safety professional, that’s what they’re talking about.

Wet and Dry Pipe

Whenever you’re going to install or upgrade a sprinkler system, there are two main types of sprinklers – wet and dry pipes. They make up basically all of the sprinkler systems you’d see in a run of the mill commercial space.

Wet pipe systems are the most common and they draw off the water supply to spray water and the pressure at which the water is distributed is what will put out a fire. The pipes are like any water pipe – they’re always full of water and with that comes some good and some bad. If the pipes burst, you’ll have a water problem so, like any plumbing asset, it’s a good idea to make sure they’re inspected regularly.

Dry pipes draw off a water source that’s hooked up right next to the sprinkler valve. Those pipes aren’t full of water; instead, they’re full of compressed air. When the sprinkler head pops, the airflow opens up in the valve and out comes the water. If you work in a building with little heat, this is the type of system you’ll be most likely to encounter. You see a lot of them in parking garages and the like – and they basically exist to make sure that the pipes won’t burst in the cold temperature.

Clean Agents

Clean Agents is a fancy term to describe chemical suppression systems. Chemical suppression is used in places where you don’t want water to do a number on anything that might get destroyed by water. People use these in data centers, museums, or anyplace where there’s water-sensitive equipment.

Backflow Preventers

Backflow is basically what happens when a liquid, gas or solid back up into a water supply and contaminate your water. These are commonly used in wet pipe configurations so that bad stuff doesn’t get into the water. After all – a leaky pipe or fire is bad enough – you don’t need any other potential hazards contaminating your space in addition to all that!

If you have any questions about today’s topic or any other fire protection topic, please contact Protegis Fire & Safety. We will be happy to help.

The Scoop on Fire Inspections

As we discussed earlier in the week, we are going to continue educating you about important fire topics as we all face the changes currently happening in our world. Today’s topic is fire inspections.

Every year, fire safety pros conduct thousands upon thousands of safety inspections of homes, businesses, and facilities all over the country. The reason we do these inspections is to catch any potential fire hazards before they become catastrophes. Those catastrophes could be anything from the loss of property to the actual loss of life.

We know that every business and homeowner does what they can to make sure their facilities are up to code, but there’s always a learning curve for these kinds of things and always something to learn.

For those of you who are new to the process, here are some of the basics of fire inspections and what you can expect when it’s time for you to get one done. Let’s jump right in!

Preparation

In order to get ready for your inspection, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a checklist of all the things you need to have inline so you can rest assured that at least the basics are covered. It’ll help you stay on track of the maintenance you’ve already conducted as well as some of the things that you still need to do.

Also, annual fire inspections are random, sometimes unscheduled events. That means it’s important to be prepared at all times to make sure your building is safe.

Why inspections are good

Fire inspections are important because of what they do – but in many ways, they’re more important in terms of what they say: that you’re a responsible person who provides a safe working environment for employees, residents, and customers who will go to and from your building.

It’s also important to your security. Even if you’re the owner, the statistics on fires in small businesses is sobering. In fact, 80% of small businesses that experience even a small fire will never reopen. In addition, a building that is well maintained has better resale value and can help you save on insurance premiums.

The actual inspection

Inspectors will check a variety of things in your building to ensure they are working as they should. Access points to the building should be free and clear of any obstructions. Means of egress should be accessible and easy to see as well as in good, working order. Electrical components should be properly labeled and installed. Exit signs should be lit, you should have backup power in the event of a power outage and all your alarms need to be both maintained and easy to get to.

If you have any questions on this topic or any other fire protection topics, please feel free to contact Protegis Fire & Safety. Since we are an essential business, we can be here for you. We wish you and your families continued good health. Take care.