Did you know people feel safer in their own homes when there is a potential for fires than they do in a public or commercial building? This seems like a complete contradiction, compared to the facts.
A recent Society of Fire Protection Engineers survey found 65 percent of Americans believe they are safer at home from the chance of a fire compared 10 percent who felt they were safer in a commercial or public building. Also, 57 percent believe changes in materials used for home building supplies and furnishings made them feel safer.
According to data from the U.S. Fire Administration, however, facilities managers are doing something right. Non-residential buildings accounted for just 80 deaths and 1,100 injuries in 2011, compared to 2,450 fatalities and 13,900 injuries in residential building fires.
These statistics underscore the hard work and planning facilities managers invest in a comprehensive fire safety management plan that protects lives 24/7.
If you haven’t reviewed your fire safety management plan in a while, incorporating some of the suggestions below will keep your facility that much safer from the threat of fires.
- Invest the time to update or create an evacuation plan, then document and practice it regularly with your staff and building occupants.
- How often do you inspect fire alarm systems, sprinklers and fire doors to ensure they work properly? Again, investing the time is crucial.
- When in doubt about standards or practices, consult with the experts. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides free access to its extensive catalog of codes and standards.
- Be sure any fire safety management plan you create or update accounts for how people with disabilities, including less obvious ones like heart problems or asthma, will navigate your facility in the event of a fire.
- Consider web-based technologies that employ remote diagnostics to notify facilities managers when problems with fire alarms arise and to prevent nuisance alarms.
For more guidance on developing a fire safety management plan for your facility, contact Vanguard Resources.