As a property manager or owner of a commercial or residential building, protection against fires is not only paramount for the protection of your property, but for the safety of your tenants. Fire protection cannot be accomplished by relying fully on the fire department. Certain fire protection services and precautions must be made internally to prevent fires. If a fire does start, the proper preventative fire protection services can be made to ensure fires are extinguished before the loss of property value or more importantly, before any person is hurt. Preventing fires in apartment buildings presents some unique challenges due to the multi-unit nature of the building. The following tips will help you prevent fire in your apartment building.
One of the most straightforward ways to prevent fires in your building is to eliminate building hazards. Faulty heating and cooling systems can overheat and cause fires due to old components in these systems. Replace old or broken parts immediately. Gas leaks are also significant hazards. You can monitor your gas lines by installing a gas leak monitor and have them inspected regularly. Lastly, improper trash disposal also represents a hazard. Undisposed trash or improperly stored trash can become a pile of fuel waiting to ignite. Make sure to maintain timely and proper trash disposal.
Install Fire Protection
First and foremost, you must install effective fire protection throughout the building. The most common cause of apartment building fire, over 80 percent of fires, is caused by cooking. Every unit should have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and a smoke detector. If a unit has multiple levels, it is a good idea to provide a fire extinguisher on each floor. Fire extinguishers and smoke detectors should also be placed in common places like the laundry room and for employee-only rooms such as the control room. Although fire extinguishers are not the best for containing large fires, they are the first step to suppressing fires before they get out of control. More importantly, they are a tool available to use to help you and your residents get out safely. To prevent fires from growing, install a sprinkler system and/or a fire suppression system.
Create Resident Rules and Guidelines
A key to preventing apartment building fires is having informed and prepared residents. You are not able to be in every unit of your building or buildings every minute of the day. The best way to prevent fires is to create policies for residents that help them maintain their own safety. Start by creating stipulations to become a resident in your apartment building. People interested in renting a unit from you should be required to have renters insurance. Those living in your building should agree to a non-smoking policy and strict grilling guidelines or even grilling bans. For residents that sign a lease and live in your building, you should provide them with a fire safety protocol. Residents need to know the proper escape route if a fire should occur, how to report a fire, and how to report faulty fire extinguishers or smoke detectors. However, it may not be enough to have resident rules written down. You may consider hiring a fire safety officer for your building to verbally explain rules to residents and maintain fire safety for the building.
Keep System up to Code
Once you have the proper fire protection systems in place, you must maintain them. Keystone Fire Protection Co. provides fire protection services that comply with NFPA codes. The fire protection in your building needs to be maintained by regularly scheduled inspections as well. Keystone Fire can inspect your fire protection system on a yearly, quarterly, or monthly basis.
Contact Keystone Fire Protection Co. today to find out how you can better protect your residential property.