For any building, fire is one of the most serious emergencies that can occur. To help ensure that your employees can escape quickly in the event of a fire, it’s vital that you regularly update your office to keep it in compliance with the latest fire codes. Given the interconnected nature of a building’s systems, the areas you need to check may not always be obvious. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a checklist to ensure that you don’t miss anything.
If a fire occurs, your building’s exits will go from a mere convenience to an absolute necessity. Therefore, all of your building’s exits must comply with your city’s fire codes. Everything from the number of exits to how the exit doors are constructed is regulated to provide maximum safety for your building’s occupants. Of course, completing simple tasks like removing obstructions from around exits is an important part of this process, as well.
During a fire, your last line of defense is your building’s sprinkler system. Although these systems can make a mess with the large volume of water they release, it certainly beats the alternative. It’s important to have fire protection engineers take a look at your sprinkler system setup to see if there are aspects of the system that could be improved to provide better protection in the event of a fire.
To prevent a fire from spreading out of control, fire extinguishers are an important first line of defense. That is why annual inspections of your facility’s fire extinguishers are an absolute must. In addition, if you make any changes or additions to your facility, it’s a good idea to check with your local fire marshall to determine if you need to add any extra fire extinguishers to stay in compliance with local fire codes.
For the most part, the maximum approved capacity of a room won’t change much over time. However, when changes occur, it’s always a good idea to have the capacity reassessed. Plus, as fire codes are revised, these changes can sometimes translate into revised room capacities that you’ll need to be aware of. Above all, it’s vital to post the maximum capacity placard in a prominent place so that everyone abides by it at all times.
Although fire codes can be burdensome, they are in place to limit the loss of life that occurs if a fire breaks out in your building. Therefore, even if your building was in compliance in the past, you shouldn’t make assumptions that it is still in compliance in the present. Staying on top of fire code regulations is a great way to show your employees that you care about their safety, meaning you gain multiple benefits from putting in the work to stay in compliance.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. You can connect with Anica on Twitter @AnicaOaks.