As a business owner, you need to comply with specific rules and regulations to maintain a safe environment for employees and visitors. Property managers are no different, and a well-rounded knowledge of fire safety standards and codes should be a top priority for anyone in the business. The National Fire Protection Association, otherwise known as the NFPA, is a global organization dedicated to reducing and eliminating injury, death, and property destruction through the development of standards and outreach. There are over 300 fire safety codes for business owners and property managers to comply with, including building design, rescue response, electrical regulations, and other safety concerns.
As documented by the NFPA, there were over 480,000 structure fires in 2019 alone, resulting in nearly 14,000 injuries and 3,000 deaths. So what exactly do property managers need to do to prevent the future loss of life and assets? The best way to ensure that your property meets all aspects of fire safety standards is to employ an outside service to manage everything for you. Commercial Fire and Communications (CFC) does just that, with services that include fire alarms, fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, and systems installation and monitoring. At CFC, we have extensive experience providing our customers with the best in the business, keeping people and property safe since 1980.
What Can You Do to Monitor and Manage Fire Safety on Your Own?
Fire safety codes require a licensed contractor to perform things like annual tests and inspections of fire alarm systems. However, property managers and owners can avoid many fire code violations with simple walk-throughs and self-inspections of your property and fire safety equipment. To do this, you should consult applicable NFPA standards based on property type to understand the signs of faulty fire protection systems and their components. They will help provide a checklist to ensure you complete a thorough and sufficient inspection on your own. There are five standard practices that property owners should follow to assess the fire risk on the property and make sure all systems are in working order.
- Risk Assessment: The first step is to carry out a fire risk assessment on the property. Do a walk-through of the property and identify all potential fire hazards as you see them. Make a list of each item and its location, and indicate where the closest fire monitoring and safety systems are. You should also ensure clear access to an exit from all walkways in the building.
- Install Smoke Detectors and Monitoring Systems as Required: If there are any areas in the building such as a room, floor, or stairwell that do not have working fire monitoring systems in place, repair or install one in the appropriate area.
- Implement a No-Smoking Policy: According to the NFPA, smoking is the leading cause of structure fires and deaths in the home.
- Create and Display a Clear Evacuation Plan: As a property manager, it is your responsibility to provide tenants and visitors a clearly stated evacuation plan in case of emergency.
- Complete Regular Maintenance on all Fire Safety Equipment: Consult with the applicable NFPA standard to gain a clear understanding of which fire safety systems need to be maintained, how to maintain them, and what to do if there is a problem.
As always, the team here at CFC is your partner in fire safety and security needs. With decades of experience protecting the Florida community, we’re here to help you keep your property safe. If you have questions or concerns about the NFPA standards – or any fire safety and security concerns – reach out to our team today.