Did you know that during the winter, the risk of indoor fires goes up substantially? Heating, a dry interior, slowed emergency response times, and even holiday decorations create an environment in which your building is at greater risk of fire than any other time of the year.
As a business owner, facility manager, or property manager, it’s important to recognize the increased fire risk in winter and minimize it through careful planning and a few simple changes.
Overloaded extension cords become more common in the winter, which increases the risk of electrical fires from overworked circuits.
Of course, this isn’t just a fire risk, as it also introduces the risk of electric shock. Keep common areas and walkways clear to avoid tripping on extension cords as well.
If you have a fire break out in your building, it’s vital that your sprinkler system operates as intended. Schedule a fire sprinkler inspection in the winter to ensure they’re working properly and be wary of frozen pipes.
Cooking surfaces need to be watched more closely than ever in the winter months as a minor fire can get out of hand quickly.
Tenants and employees should keep kitchens clean in private and common spaces. Emphasize that stovetops and ovens should be monitored closely and never used for supplemental heat.
Space heaters are an exceptionally dangerous way to heat a property and are rarely worth the many risks they introduce. Not only do they contribute to the extension cord problem mentioned earlier, but they can also ignite flammable surfaces.
Combustion-based models can even generate dangerous carbon monoxide without adequate ventilation. Ensure you’re providing tenants and employees with reliable central heat they can trust, so they don’t have to resort to space heaters.
Smoke detectors allow fires to be snuffed out before they get started and ensure small fires stay small, especially in combination with properly maintained and positioned extinguishers.
You should meet state and local codes for your building at a minimum, and a skilled fire protection team can ensure that you are.
In the winter, people are far more likely to violate existing rules against smoking indoors due to the cold.
Smoking is a significant risk factor for fires even under the best of circumstances, so it’s important to make sure employees and tenants aren’t smoking under the radar.
Set designated smoking areas away from the main building and, if possible, offer coverage that shields smokers from the winter wind to make the space more tolerable.
Candles expose any building to an unreasonable level of risk, disproportionate to their usefulness in most cases.
It’s better to have alternate emergency lighting and heating solutions in place, so occupants don’t have to rely on candles in the event of a storm-induced power outage.
Want to know more about the steps you can take to safeguard your building against winter fires or need help implementing fire protection measures? Contact the experts at Kauffman Co. for assistance in the greater Houston area.
Call 713-893-1090 or reach out to us online, and we’ll be happy to help ensure you’re doing everything you can to keep your commercial property fire safe.
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Did you know that during the winter, the risk of indoor fires goes up substantially? Heating, a dry interior, slowed…