Commercial fire protection is extremely important. Hotel and motel fires cause an estimated 15 deaths and 150 injuries every year, and as a property manager, you have an obligation to keep your guests safe and comfortable at all times. There are many options for commercial fire protection that are worth exploring to ensure the safety needs of your guests are being fulfilled.
Every year, hotel and motel fires result in $76 million in property loss. That amount could be drastically reduced by installing and utilizing the proper systems for commercial fire protection as required by law.
First, if a renovation project results in the fire alarm or sprinkler system being disabled for more than a limited number of hours in a 24-hour period, the local fire department must be notified and the hospital must establish a fire watch. This isn’t a very well-known rule, but it’s definitely important to remember. Anything could happen if the commercial fire alarm or sprinkler is disabled for even a few short hours. It’s simply not worth the risk.
According to the new NFPA 75 and 76 codes, facilities with telecommunication equipment in an area above 2,500 square feet (such as data centers) require Very Early Warning Fire Detection (VEWFD) detection systems to be used. For rooms below 2,500 square feet — small data centers — the Early Warning Fire Detection (EWFD) system is required. While these codes may seem tedious and unnecessary, it is the job of the NFPA to assess commercial risks and reduce them. Make sure to be aware of the size of your commercial facility and install the proper fire detection system.
Another major aspect of commercial fire protection is keeping up-to-date with routine maintenance checks, such as a fire alarm inspections. Nearly half of dry (or possibly wet) chemical system failures (44%) were due to lack of maintenance. Another part of this includes keeping an updated evacuation plan. In a survey of 119 businesses, only 35% had any kind of fire evacuation plan. This is just as important as any other commercial fire prevention technique because it has the potential to save lives.
Overall, commercial fire protection is extremely important. But remember, timing is everything. Regardless of suppression system activation or location of the fire, if detection is able to provide a warning 10 to 15 minutes before the end of the incipient stage, the fire department should be able to limit damage. Make sure to keep up with routine maintenance checks and emergency evacuation plans. Safety comes first.