The winter months are upon us and while California may be exempt from the “bomb cyclone” that bombarded much of the East Coast with subfreezing temperatures and record amounts of snow, there are still winter threats that can cause damage to your building.
Even though it may not get nearly as cold as it does in other parts of the country during the winter, your employees might find temperatures below 60 degrees chilly enough to bring their space heaters to work. Whether you’re a property manager, facilities manager, or building owner it’s imperative to know the extra risk fires present in the winter months and how to prevent them.
6 Expert Tips To Protect Your Building From Fire This Winter
1. Communicate Threats Early
It’s everyone’s responsibility to take extra precautions during winter months in fire safety practices, but the tenants in your building can’t take action unless they are aware of the risks. There are several harmless scenarios that could turn fatal if proper precautions aren’t taken.
A large amount of protecting your building and tenants is communicating these dangers to them so that everyone can do their part in being safe. Begin communicating with them about winter threats as early as the fall. Keep the communication consistent as the winter months approach to ensure top of mind awareness.
2. Watch Extension Cord Use
Colder months mean more electronics will be used indoors like space heaters. Adding too many cords to one extension cord can cause danger from electrical shocks or fires.
OSHA has regulations as well when it comes to extension cord use, so if you’re using them improperly, you could be in danger of a fine or worse. Check out their guide for electrical safety to be aware of the risks and know how to prevent them.
3. Keep The Kitchen Clean
If your building has a kitchen inside, it is so important to prevent kitchen fires before they happen. While an entire Thanksgiving meal might not be prepared at the office, a kitchen is a kitchen and still has equipment that can cause irreparable damage if caught on fire.
To prevent a kitchen fire, remind your tenants to:
- Never leave cooking equipment unattended
- Clean appliances regularly
- Keep flammable material away from heat sources
- Check to make sure all appliances are off or even unplugged before everyone leaves for the day
4. Beware Of Space Heaters
Space heaters can quickly cause a fire if not used properly. The best way to prevent a space heater fire is to ban them completely, but if they are allowed be sure everyone knows how to use them safely. They should always be kept at least three feet away from other furniture and flammable materials.
5. Test Fire Protection Equipment
One of the best things property owners can do to prevent fires is to preemptively test and inspect fire protection equipment, which includes fire alarms, sprinklers, and extinguishers.
We recently wrote an in-depth blog about how to inspect and test your fire alarm system. You could save many lives by ensuring your equipment is in proper working order.
6. Invest In Sonitrol’s Fire Alarm System
Protecting your building from fire, or any other threat doesn’t have to be hard. When you partner with Sonitrol, we make it easy to protect your building from all threats. Our Fire Alarm System provides for smoke and heat detection, water flow and sprinkler monitoring, as well as temperature monitoring to name a few.
Our operators from our Central Station can monitor and verify signals from your building 24 hours a day. Contact us to see how our fire alarm system can help keep your building and tenants safe this winter.