A growing business is a cause for celebration. Your hard work is finally paying off, and you’re looking forward to opening a new location; maybe it’s larger than your old space, allowing you to make your home business “official,” letting you hire more people, or helping you serve a new area altogether. It’s a big step, and it comes with some apprehension. Set your mind at ease — and protect your investment — by making sure your new brick-and-mortar business has fully-functioning commercial fire alarm equipment.
Business Fires: Some Fast Facts and Statistics
A quick glance at the most recent statistics from the NFPA is a stark reminder of the need for fire alarms in your business, no matter what size or shape your new location takes. Fire departments responded to structure fires once every 63 seconds in 2018. 27% of those fires took place in businesses, and accounted for 3.1 billion dollars in property loss. Account for injuries, higher insurance premiums, and the many other costs that follow in the wake of a fire and the number is likely much higher still, underscoring the need to protect your business.
Fire Alarm Inspections
Your business, like your home, requires a certificate of occupancy before you can move in. There are certain industry-specific and area-specific inspections that can vary from one business to the next, but broadly speaking, each business will need to pass three inspections before that certificate is issued.
The board of health will inspect to make sure your septic/sewer systems are shipshape, and will inspect other aspects of your business (storage systems, food handling, and the like) where appropriate.
A general inspector or code compliance officer will be examining the structure, plumbing, and wiring to ensure that everything is up to code; if violations or deficiencies are found, they’ll need to be addressed before you’re allowed to open. Take these seriously, since some items (especially plumbing and electrical) have significant overlap with fire safety.
The fire marshal will be going over your property with a fine-tooth comb. Fire inspection criteria include, but are not limited to:
- Smoke and fire detection systems are present and in working order
- Occupancy limits are known and adhered to
- Fire exits are clearly labeled, unobstructed, and easy to open
- Emergency lighting is bright and fully functioning, especially at exits
- Proper function of fire doors, where applicable
- The presence of, and easy access to, fire extinguishers
- A clear evacuation plan
- Clear labeling on junction boxes and circuit panels, with each left clear of obstructions
- Use of commercial surge protectors
- Working fire suppression equipment, such as sprinkler systems, where applicable
Fire Protection and Inspections for Southeast Michigan Businesses
Luckily for Southeast Michigan business owners, help with fire detection and smoke alarm inspections is close at hand. Vigilante Security protects businesses of all shapes and sizes with a range of commercial alarm solutions that includes fire and smoke detection, environmental monitoring, video surveillance, and much more. Over the course of our on-site consultation, we can evaluate your business’s existing systems, identify shortcomings in your protection, and pave the way for a comprehensive security suite that leaves your business in capable hands, backed by 24/7 alarm monitoring in Michigan. Get in touch today!