In the event that a building fire breaks out, it’s important to have a combination of early warning systems and automatic sprinklers. When a fire alarm system combined with an automatic sprinkler system are both triggered, it is believed that injuries, fatalities, and property damage could be reduced by at least 50%.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), when completely sprinkled buildings have well-maintained operational systems, they have no record of more than two fatalities. Regular maintenance is obviously essential. Almost half, or 44%, of the dry and/or wet chemical system failures occurred due to these systems not being well-maintained.
When chemical systems are used to extinguish fires, most of the surface burning and open flaming should stop once the CO2 concentration in the surrounding air reaches 20% or less. In many instances, water damage can be greatly reduced when buildings have quick-response sprinklers. This is because fire hoses release 80 to 125 gallons of water per minute, while quick-response sprinklers release 24 gallons per minute.
In order to prevent injuries, fatalities, and property damage, it’s important for businesses to train personnel to detect and respond to fires. Should a fire break out, a quick response time can make a significant difference. When a fire is in its beginning, or incipient stage, then a portable fire extinguisher, hose, or another fire suppression method may be able to extinguish the fire before it spreads further. When these designated personnel contact the fire department within ten to 15 minutes prior to the end of the incipient stage, the fire department should be able to minimize damage.
It’s also important to have a well-rehearsed fire evacuation plan. A recent survey with 119 businesses showed that only 35% had any type of plan. Evacuation drills should be held on a regular basis so that everyone in a building knows how to respond. Escape routes and other relevant information should be clearly posted where staff, clients, and visitors can see it.
A recent study showed that when fires were large enough to activate the sprinkler system, these fire suppression devices operated in 91% of the fires. This does, however, exclude buildings that were under construction as well as those that didn’t have sprinklers in the area where the a fire had broken out.
To ensure that a building is in compliance with safety codes, this entails contacting a fire protection company to schedule regular fire alarm inspections. If it is determined that this system needs repairs, then these should be taken care of as soon as possible. If repairs aren’t possible, then a new fire alarm installation is the best course of action.
In the event that a building doesn’t have an early warning system, then a fire alarm installation would be required. Even though this fire alarm installation will provide an early warning system, it is also recommended that buildings have a complete sprinkler system. As previously stated, this combination can make a significant impact on the outcome of a fire.