Under the US Government’s Department of Fire Administration, during 2019 there were approximately 100,000 commercial building fires in the United States causing an estimated 2 billion dollars in damages and resulting in more than 1,500 injuries and accounting for over 150 deaths. These alarming statistics reveal that at any given time a commercial structure faces a real and imminent fire threat to property, life, and limb, increased insurance rates, workers’ compensation claims, and loss of business revenue not to mention the devastating consequences to the business itself.
Municipalities all have their commercial fire and building codes established as a baseline of formal, documented procedures to be followed for the protection of all types of business entities, keeping employees, suppliers, customers, and principles safe.
But according to ESI, Emergency Systems Inc. Jacksonville’s premier commercial fire and security alarm company for over 40 years, oversite and periodic reviews are simply not enough to keep properties safe. Having a proactive and easy to implement strategy can be far more effective in preventing fire and smoke break-outs.
Let’s start with ESI’s common sense tips to follow in making the likelihood of a commercial fire alarm activation in your establishment less of a threat.
- Periodic Professional Maintenance of HVAC Systems: It’s true that in our Southern climate the heating elements of an HVAC system are only on during sporadic times of the year. But any elements of these systems are subject to overheating and improper functioning can cause a fire break-out. Routine, yearly cleanings, proper filter replacement and inspections by qualified technicians will reduce the possibility of malfunctioning systems.
- Electronic Wiring: Regular electrical system inspections, repairing, replacing damaged or frayed wiring is essential and according to statistics, more catastrophic fires are caused by electrical malfunctions than any other single system issue.
- Electrical Device Charging Stations: This is a relatively new issue with the advent of smartphones and tablets, portable electronic devices and charging stations for all kinds of uses including charging batteries, drills, really any kind of rechargeable product, should not be left plugged-in and unattended for any length of time. These products often times are not commercial grade and can overheat and cause a fire. It is a good practice to make everyone aware of the potential fire hazard looming literally at someone’s desk on an everyday basis.
ESI recommends businesses should consider designating specific areas in an office or building for chargers and charging stations to prevent explosions that can potentially lead to a fire break-out.
- Work Space and Equipment Cleaning: The accumulation of trash, scraps, debris and paper and the insufficient cleaning of surfaces are one of the other leading causes of fires in commercial buildings. Additionally, unproperly maintained machinery and proper disposal and storage of products also contribute to their fair share of fire code violations.
- Office and Common Area Building Space: If your facility has a kitchen or communal space where employees and suppliers can congregate and consume and prepare food, these areas have tremendous potential for creating a hazardous condition.
ESI again suggests that business owners and/or property managers designate someone to monitor all activities in these workplace areas especially after shifts or before workday closings.
- Designated Smoking Areas: Even though the Florida Clean Air Act prohibits smoking of any substance in commercial buildings and confined areas, designated smoking areas need to be monitored and reviewed on a consistent basis to ensure smoldering cigarette butts and ashes are properly extinguished. Regardless of where these areas are installed in or near your facility, the mere fact that an open flame exists can be cause for alarm and have the potential of starting a fire.
- Fire Protection Starts with You: Each one of us can take precautions to ensure we are all safe and secure from fire just by following a few, simple, common-sense procedures in our everyday commercial work life
Why Choose ESI, Emergency Systems Inc.
ESI is Jacksonville’s commercial leader in providing cost-effective, fire alarm and security protection to every kind of business operating in the North Florida Area. For over 40 years, we have specialized in Fire Protection Equipment of all types; commercial-grade products, designed and manufactured by world-leading security companies. From Fire Alarm equipment, interactive fire protection and monitoring devices, fire suppression and water sprinkler systems, integrated fire and smoke alarms detectors, to CCTV’s, video surveillance, and local monitoring central stations, we’ve got you covered.
We also have years of experience in designing and installing, repairing, and replacing fire protection equipment for all types of applications in restaurants, hotels, high rises, retail and commercial space, warehousing, industrial complexes, and municipal and government facilities.
Our professionally trained and experienced monitoring personnel, staff our unique central monitoring stations, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Potential for a Fire Breakout Never Sleep and Neither Do We. Give us a call for a free, no-obligation fire protection consultation today call 904-388-3975 and talk to one of our security technicians.