5 Fire Prevention Strategies Supported by NFPA

Interior Maintenance Company is committed to our customers’ well-being, and that goes above and beyond just cleaning. Along with our commercial cleaning services, we take a keen interest in fire safety. Closely following the guidelines of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and other code enforcement bodies, we take overall facility safety and efficiency to heart on each and every job we take on.

The following are five essential steps you can take to maximize your fire safety guidelines at your business or commercial facility.

Learning and Implementing NFPA Codes and Standards

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5 Fire Prevention Strategies

There are numerous NFPA codes with which building managers and their staff must comply. This requires training to implement the company’s fire prevention strategy and maintain emergency preparedness. Doing so is vital to prevent fires from destroying your business or endangering people.

It’s important to ensure everybody knows about the NFPA codes affecting your building by staying apprised of all code and compliance updates. For example, commercial kitchens or other cooking operations should prioritize the following measures to ensure effective ventilation and fire prevention:

  • Regular cleaning of exhaust systems
  • Schedule regular inspections for grease buildup
  • Cooking equipment maintenance

Also, frequently review your strategy with staff to ensure everything is in order and that you are prepared.

Keep Your Staff Informed

Businesses are responsible for keeping staff informed of the latest code compliance changes affecting their jobs. That’s because the business owner’s ultimate responsibility is keeping employees, customers, and their surroundings safe.

Proper training and fire prevention strategies are the most important aspects of reducing commercial building fires. The NFPA provides free resources, including training services, to improve fire safety for as many businesses as possible.

Be Prepared

Fire preparedness is essential to any safety plan. Become familiar with the best fire prevention methods, and commit to learning, planning, and teaching your fire prevention strategy to your staff through organized trainings. Also, keep your fire prevention and emergency plan clearly visible at every exit in your facility.

Be sure your escape routes and areas with emergency equipment are always free of clutter, slip hazards, or obstacles. Just as it’s important to never block fire exits, look at the building’s entire escape routes with the same consideration. Above all, be sure everyone is prepared and taking the need for fire prevention seriously.

Fire Prevention Strategy & Messaging

Good fire prevention strategies require fully effective communication. Above all, emphasize that fire prevention and preparedness are crucial to mitigate property damage or loss of life in the event of fire. Use the following to develop your own custom fire prevention strategy and messaging system:

  • Identify your audience(s): Whether it’s as straightforward as all building residents/staff, or a more targeted demographic, such as children, the elderly, non-native English speakers, etc., a comprehensive plan for each audience is important.
  • Conduct a risk assessment: Learn and explain the most likely fire risks for your business, such as faulty wiring, designated smoking areas, kitchens, machines with high operating temperatures, etc.
  • Keep it clear and concise: It’s essential that your messages be easy to understand and remember. Use plain language and interesting visuals to keep your audience engaged and make key points memorable.
  • Encourage proactivity and prevention: Give your audience tasks they can do to actively mitigate fire risks. These might include installing and checking smoke detectors, reporting electrical system errors, practicing safe kitchen habits, etc.
  • Use multiple communication channels: This ensures your fire prevention message reaches everyone in your audience and rises above the static. Optimize your fire prevention messages for each platform/format, and consider any of the following mediums:
    • Social media
    • Websites
    • Brochures, posters, and other printed materials
    • Live community events
    • Local media outlets

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, however; NFPA has a range of public education content you can use for free.

Keep Your Priorities Clear

Fire safety should be at the top of every commercial building owner’s list. Keeping it there requires a strong commitment to complying with NFPA standards, and then communicating the best fire prevention methods to your staff. Training in your fire prevention strategy should be mandatory and tailored to the most likely fire hazards at your commercial site.

Fire Hazards

To ensure your fire prevention strategy is effective, it is crucial to be aware of the areas, systems, and components that present an elevated risk of fire. Some of the most common fire hazards in commercial facilities include the following:

  • Laundry Dryer Exhaust: The exhaust systems in both commercial and residential laundry facilities can accumulate lint and debris over time. If not properly cleaned and maintained, this buildup can become a significant fire hazard, as lint is highly flammable.
  • Kitchen Exhaust Hood Systems: Within commercial kitchens, the exhaust hood systems play a crucial role in ventilation. However, over time, grease and other flammable substances can accumulate in these systems. Without regular cleaning and maintenance, this grease buildup becomes a substantial fire hazard.
  • Combustible Dust in Manufacturing and Production Facilities: In manufacturing and production facilities, processes often generate fine particles of combustible material, such as wood, metal, or chemicals. When these particles become suspended in the air, they can form an explosive mixture. Ignition sources, even sparks or static electricity, can lead to a potentially catastrophic explosion or fire. It is crucial to manage and mitigate the risk associated with combustible dust through regular cleaning, ventilation, and explosion prevention measures.

Fire Prevention Strategies From Interior Maintenance Co.

In addition to safe and efficient commercial cleaning services, Interior Maintenance specializes in optimizing, or developing new, fire safety strategies for our clients in numerous industries. We know NFPA and related standards inside and out and are highly experienced in cleaning combustible dust as well as commercial kitchens.

If you can’t point to your fire prevention strategy right now, chances are, it needs work. Contact us or request a quote, and tell our experienced fire-safe cleaning professionals about your company’s fire prevention needs.

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