How To Check Your Building's Fire Safety

Posted on: 27 September 2018

The best time to find out that your building's fire safety measures are inadequate is long before your life depends on it. Unfortunately, many people only realize that they live or work in buildings with poor fire safety measures after there has been a fire and they've suffered significant losses.

Even if your insurance covers the damage, the losses you suffer may be more than money can cover. Therefore, it's wise to do a safety check to see how well prepared your building is in case of a fire.

Do You Have the Right Extinguishers?

Fire extinguishers are the first line of defense in case of a fire. Extinguishers are designed to battle small fires that are still manageable. Once the fire spreads, they aren't as effective. It's important to have the right type of extinguishers in your building.

Depending on what combustible substances you have in the building, a water type extinguisher may be adequate. However, in an office building, extinguishers designed for electronics might prevent further damage. A supplier like Amerisafe can help you select the right type for your needs. 

Do You Have Adequate Exits?

There should be enough fire exits in your building, and they should be big enough to enable the occupants of the building to leave with ease. In places where building codes are not strict, people have died due to inadequate fire exits.

Another common problem with fire exits is that they may become obstructed in one way or another. Such an obstruction may not even be noticed until there is a need to put the exit to use in an emergency. This is not ideal.

Are There Firefighting Lifts and Staircases?

In very tall buildings, it may be necessary to have firefighting lifts. These lifts are built to very high standards and are designed such that they run on a separate power supply. In case of a fire, they can be used for evacuation of disabled people if necessary.

However, the standard is always to have fire staircases. These staircases are designed to be able to withstand fires for a certain number of hours. They are used for exit and also by firefighters.

Is There a Well-Maintained Sprinkler System?

Most residential buildings have smoke detectors and sprinkler systems in the right places. However, many of these systems may not be properly maintained. This means that the sprinkler system can easily fail when it is needed the most. Check whether the sprinkler system in your building is maintained on a regular basis.