Small business owners have a legal responsibility to keep employees, clients, and customers safe. Actively developing and following fire safety procedures at your company can help you remain in compliance with local fire safety ordinances.
However, business owners often do not have a thorough understanding of domestic fire safety laws. There are five essential fire safety practices every small business needs to follow to protect employees, customers, property, and assets from the dangers of fire.
Have Clearly Signed Fire Exits
In the event of a fire, employees, clients, and customers need to have signed exits from the building in multiple locations. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires at least two emergency exits in the building that are not near each other for use in fire emergencies.
OSHA regulations also require that emergency exits remain unblocked, except for alarm systems built into exit doors by design. All emergency exits must be marked with illuminated exit signs.
Install Fire Extinguishers
OSHA requires all employers to equip their workplace locations with fire extinguishers specific to the types of fire hazards on site. The regulation also includes supplying portable fire extinguishers where required.
Specialized fire safety methods include fire suppression systems for chemical facilities or fire suppression for electrical and computer systems, which have very different requirements. Employees need training on the correct operation of fire extinguishers and suppression systems, too.
Follow the manufacturer's recommended inspection and testing schedule for all fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems, and be sure to note when they occur.
Have an Emergency Evacuation Plan
Employers must have a written emergency evacuation plan. They also need to ensure employees are aware of all emergency exit routes and procedures they must follow during a fire emergency.
Management must account for all employees during an evacuation, and the emergency evacuation plan must be visible and available for employee review. Fire emergencies require an employer to prioritize quickly and safely evacuate any persons with disabilities on-site.
Employees should also receive training and conduct evacuation drills in advance of a fire emergency. Conduct periodic reviews every six to twelve months and retrain staff as necessary.
Teach Fire Prevention Practices
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that applies to fire safety, too. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides documentation on fire codes and standards to help small businesses avoid common fire hazards in the workplace. Customize your fire prevention plans for your specific type of business, and instruct your employees on these safety measures to help prevent fire emergencies.
Provide a Fire Suppression System
OSHA requires fire suppression systems in most places of business, including automatic sprinkler systems and alarms. These systems also require regular inspection and testing.
Fire Protection Systems and Services from Frontier Fire
Frontier Fire provides Colorado businesses and commercial properties with automatic sprinkler systems, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers. We also offer professional installation, so you know your business is OSHA compliant. Frontier Fire has served Colorado businesses since 1960.
Contact us online or call Frontier Fire today at 303-629-0221 to schedule an appointment with a professional installer.