What Stops a Fire from Spreading in a Building?
If a fire should ever break out in your building, be it a shop, office or warehouse, the severity of the damage will often come down to the fire defenses you have installed.
While fire can be one of the most devastating occurrences for any business owner, it doesn’t have to be the be-all and end-all. You can’t always fully prevent a fire from taking place, but you can make comprehensive preparation to minimise damage. In this article, we’re taking a look at the aspects which go into preventing a fire from spreading throughout your commercial premises.
Active fire protection
Once a fire has erupted, it is of the utmost importance to extinguish it as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible. Active fire protection comes in many forms, from fire extinguishers to fire alarms, sprinkler and suppression systems, fire blankets and more.
Your business should be equipped with various active fire protection systems throughout. This ensures the best possible chance of extinguishing different types of fire without putting lives at risk.
Passive fire protection
Passive fire protection focuses on the way in which fire can be prevented from spreading through your building without human intervention. Fire doors are a good example of this. Fire doors are designed to withstand the heat from fire in order to stagnate its spread and confine it in a localised area of the building. This buys you more time to evacuate the building and for the emergency services to arrive and begin putting out the blaze.
Passive fire protection should be a key focus when it comes to designing the layout of your business premises. Strategically-placed fire doors will create separate compartments throughout the buildings which can be automatically cut off from each other once the alarm sounds. This immediately helps to minimise potential fire damage and reduces the base level of risk. Stopping a fire starts with control, and this is the main aim of passive fire protection systems.
Staff training and awareness
For any business, training your staff and educating them about the fire risk associated with your property is a fundamental part of fire safety. Employees need to know the specific risks related to your building and their job roles. They should also be aware of the location of fire extinguishers, how to operate them, and the various evacuation routes through your building.
For industrial buildings, fuel or chemicals should be properly stored and contained so as to minimise the risk of ignition. Offices should take great care in reducing the amount of flammable materials present as far as possible, while making sure alarms are frequently tested and maintained. Regularly training your employees can be a major contributing factor to preventing a fire spreading in the first place.
Fire risk assessment
If you haven’t updated your fire safety systems for a while, your business could very well be at greater risk of fire than it once was. As your business changes and grows, you should be looking to stay on top of your fire safety protocols at all times. A fire risk assessment is one of the most effective preliminary steps if you want to stop a fire from spreading.
A fire risk assessment will identify vulnerable areas of your building and will give you a detailed overview of what can be done to improve fire safety in your premises.
Investing in methods of fire management can be the difference between your business requiring minor repairs to needing complete restoration or rebuilding. To stop fire from spreading through your building, you may require professional expertise to help you draw up a plan and make sure your entire operation is properly equipped and sufficiently prepared.
Target Fire Protection are dedicated to making sure your commercial premises is fully prepared for the outbreak of fire. We install and maintain fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems and fire alarms throughout Manchester, Rochdale, Bury and Oldham, and also provide comprehensive fire training and risk assessments. Whether you need your fire safety systems updating, or require modern fire protection products for existing fire doors, simply call our friendly team today. We are always happy to help.