The winter months bring an increased risk of fire for your residential or commercial property. As a property owner, you know the importance of fire protection services. The right fire safety precautions can prevent a dangerous scenario for your building’s residents or employees and also protect your property from costly damages. Keep reading to learn more about the specific fire hazards for your property in the winter months and how you, your employees or your residents can prevent these hazards from causing a fire.
What are the Common Causes of Winter Fires in Commercial Buildings?
As winter progresses, temperatures creep downward and the building’s heating system will start to be utilized. One of the leading causes of winter fires is heating including space heaters, water heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves. These heating methods can cause fires when objects are placed on or near them or if the heating system gets too hot.
Electrical fires are always a risk, but the risk is greater in the winter months because of increased use. Lights are used longer due to shorter days and, overall, people spend more time indoors. More time spent indoors leads to more electrical equipment used, potentially resulting in overloaded power outlets and sparks.
With the winter season comes the holiday season! You may decorate your property for the holidays or your tenants may decide to decorate. Decorations include tinsel, trees, stockings, and more. Most of these holiday decorations are flammable. Not only that, but many people light candles during this time of the year. While candles look beautiful under wreaths or on top of table cloths, they are open flames. Increased flammable materials in your property do not necessarily raise the risk of fire but increase the potential of fire to do extensive damage to the property.
The cold winter temperatures drive people indoors, including smokers. Smoking indoors increases the chances of a fire in your property because cigarettes can act as matches. If cigarettes are not fully extinguished, they can ignite flammable material in the property.
How can you Protect your Employees or Residents?
Fire protection services and Equipment
You can protect your property and those who live or work in it by designing and installing a fire protection system. Your system should include fire protection equipment like fire extinguishers, fire sprinkler systems, and smoke detectors. Updated fire protection in your property is crucial to alerting you to the presence of a fire before it becomes uncontrollable and reducing the damage from a fire. You will need to pay close attention to your fire sprinkler system because in the cold winter months pipes can freeze. A frozen pipe cannot deliver the needed water to extinguish a fire. Fire extinguishers should be strategically placed so they are readily available for tenants or employees. According to the Nation Fire Protection Association, fire extinguishers should be checked every 30 days. You can contact Keystone Fire Protection Co for fire extinguisher inspections and testing. You should have smoke alarms installed on every level of your building and in every sleeping area including bedrooms. An experienced technician from Keystone Fire Protection Co can provide fire protection services like inspection and maintenance, as well as equipment installations.
Training and Education
Although fire protection systems can reduce the damage a fire can cause to your property, they do not necessarily prevent a fire from starting. To reduce the chances a fire starts on your property, training staff and educating residents is vitally important. You should review the common causes of winter fires found in this blog post and explain how fires can be avoided. Some of the most important precautions residents should take are:
- Keeping a three-foot safety barrier around any heating equipment
- Turning off heating equipment at night
- Ban smoking indoors and on balconies
- Warn against the use of extension cords and overloading outlets
- Warn against the use of candles
Call an Expert
If you are unsure of how to best protect your commercial property this winter, you should contact an experienced fire protection service company like Keystone Fire Protection Co. Keystone offers a wide range of fire protection services including design and installation of fire protection services, fire detection and early warning systems, suppression systems, and more. Keystone also provides inspection, testing, and repair services for all fire protection equipment already installed at your property from fire pump to emergency lighting and everything in between. Contact Keystone Fire Protection Co. today to find out more about how you can protect your property from fire this winter.