The recent wildfires in Northern California were contained and died out in October, but now another active, brush wildfire is rapidly spreading through Southern California. The latest fire, dubbed the Thomas Fire, started near Santa Paula and has caused one death, thousands of acres of damage, and officials have declared a state of emergency, so far.
Thomas Fire is still considered out of control and officials are having a hard time reaching affected areas because of the intensity of the fire, which has spread so rapidly because of the Santa Ana winds. Mother Nature often determines whether or not firefighters are able to put out wildfires and the magnitude of destruction done, but there are still important measures you can take to protect your people and property.
How To Inspect And Test Your Fire Alarm System
When it comes to keeping your commercial building safe when it comes to fire, mistakes aren’t allowed and early detection is imperative in alerting you to fire and smoke while there is still time to evacuate. To ensure your building is properly covered, it’s important to invest in a comprehensive fire alarm system.
All fire alarms should be tested regularly. The U.S Fire Administration provides graphics and expert suggestions on testing your smoke detectors. They recommend that smoke detectors should be tested once a month, the batteries should be replaced at least once a year, and the alarm should be completely replaced every 10 years. A good rule of thumb in remembering to change or check on the batteries of your equipment is doing so during daylight saving time.
Evacuation plans are necessary as well. A fire alarm will alert you to any danger, but evacuation plans are also imperative in saving everyone in the building. We’ve made evacuations a little less stressful by narrowing it down to 3 steps. As with any emergency situation, evacuations for fires are important to train employees on and practice on a yearly basis, if not more.
How To Keep Your Office Fire-Hazard Free During The Holidays
Many businesses provide time-off during the holidays for much-needed rest and relaxation, but unfortunately, the winter months also come with an increased risk of fire. For your peace of mind while you’re off, keep these tips in mind to ensure your commercial building is safe and fire-hazard free:
- Unplug electronics. Electrical fires are a common cause of fires in commercial businesses and start with a spark. Turn off and unplug as many electronics as you can. If you have signs or other lights you want to leave on, try putting them on a timer and using LED lights, which don’t overheat. Space heaters that have accidentally been left on are the leading cause of fires in commercial buildings during the winter, so take one last walk-through of every room to ensure no space heaters are on or plugged in.
- Insulate pipes. Winter climates can lead to pipes freezing and bursting. This typically occurs at 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but if you aren’t careful and take proactive measures, the pipes that supply water to your sprinkler system could freeze. To protect vulnerable pipes, you should insulate them by wrapping them in insulation sleeves or other material that will protect the pipes from subfreezing temperatures.
- Check all fire protection equipment and systems. Leaving for the holidays is another opportune time to check and test all fire alarm equipment and systems to see that everything is working properly. In the event of a fire, while everyone is out, a fire alarm system can make all the difference in property damage.
We have been keeping up with all the news about the wildfires in California and are working to provide valuable information to keep your property and people safe. Catch up on our recent blog, 3 Facts About Commercial Building Fires.
When you work with us, we take all the labor out of maintaining a fire alarm system. We come to your property and install all equipment, which is then monitored 24/7 by our trained security personnel. Our Fire Alarm System provides for:
- Smoke and heat detection
- Water flow and sprinkler monitoring
- Temperature monitoring for temperature-sensitive areas such as freezers
- Elevator Recall
- Voice evacuation system
- Duct detection
Sonitrol can provide for all of your fire protection needs. Contact us today to see how we can keep your building safe from fire year-round.