Fire Protection for Houston Area Churches
When you consider which types of commercial buildings are susceptible to fire, churches probably aren’t the first ones that come to mind. Still, according to the US Fire Administration, about 1,300 fires in church buildings are reported each year, resulting in $38 million in property damage annually. To help protect your building its occupants from fire, it’s vital to pursue fire protection for your Houston church today.
Fire Risks in Houston Churches
The US Fire Administration identifies the most common cause of church building fires as mechanical failure resulting from malfunctioning heaters or faulty wiring. This accounts for 30 percent of reported blazes. Arson is the next most common cause of church fires, accounting for 25 percent. Stoves in kitchen areas account for 9 percent of church fires.
Create a Fire Safety Plan for Your Houston Church
Many of the reported church fires each year could have been prevented or their impact lessened with the right fire safety plan. For example, 96 percent of churches that burn down each year had no sprinkler system and 65 percent had no smoke alarms. Make these an integral part of your church fire safety plan to better protect the building and those inside.
Install and Maintain Fire Protection Equipment
- Church kitchens need an adequate fire suppression system.
- Every room and hallway of the church should feature fire sprinklers and fire extinguishers in accordance with Houston fire codes.
- The church should feature a comprehensive fire alarm system, including smoke detectors, pull stations, strobe lights, sirens and more.
- Once important fire protection equipment is installed, you must schedule regular testing and inspections to ensure they function properly if ever you need them.
Perform Preventative Maintenance
Since faulty building equipment is the number one reason for church fires to start, create a maintenance program for electrical and mechanical systems now. Hire a licensed, insured electrician and HVAC technician to perform comprehensive inspections on your church’s wiring and heating equipment at least once a year.
Offer Fire Extinguisher Training
Church personnel and volunteers trained to use fire extinguishers can often quickly extinguish a small blaze before it spreads and causes significant damage. As a church leader, it’s up to you to decide whether to instruct personnel and volunteers to fight a small fire or simply evacuate the building. With proper fire extinguisher training, these church employees can use their best judgment when faced with tough, split-second decisions.
Establish an Evacuation Plan
Church employee training should include instructions regarding the building evacuation plan. Make sure all personnel and volunteers are aware of your plan, which should include the following steps in case of fire:
- Activate the nearest pull station to sound the alarm.
- Call the fire department and give them your name and the fire’s exact location. (If your system is monitored, the fire department will dispatch automatically and you can skip this step.)
- If the fire is small enough, you may attempt to put out the fire with the nearest extinguisher.
- If the blaze is already growing and spreading rapidly, don’t attempt to extinguish it. Instead, evacuate the room and close the door behind you to help contain the fire and slow its spread.
- Evacuate the building and let the sprinklers, suppression system and fire department do their job to extinguish the blaze.
The best way to prevent Houston church fires is to work with a fire protection company like Kauffman Co. We offer everything you need, from fire protection equipment installation and inspections to fire extinguisher training. To learn more, or to schedule services, please contact Kauffman Co. online or call us at (713) 893-1090.
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