What Type of Fire Safety and Protection Equipment Do I Really Need?



Safety is essential if you’re going to operate a place of business. If a fire should break out, you want your employees to be able to get out of the building as quickly as possible. That means having HerbertWilliams fire protection equipment on hand that will help slow down the fire long enough for everyone to get out.

Along with employee safety, you also want to contain the damage as much as possible. Having the right equipment in place will go a long way toward ensuring this happens. To help you get started, here are some of the essentials that you want to have in place right this minute.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are easy to install and provide an excellent line of defense. Most designs also register unusual increases in heat. That’s good news, since the heat from a fire may reach the detector before the smoke gets all the way through the space.

Make sure you have a series of detectors found throughout the facility. Always go with designs that include a battery backup. If the main power source is down for any reason, the detectors will still do the job.

Fire Sprinkler System

Overhead sprinklers can do quite a bit to contain a fire. Many designs are heat and smoke sensitive, so they will deploy automatically. Some sprinkler systems make use of water while others utilize some type of fire retardant product. Depending on what type of work is done at your facility, one choice will be better than the other.

When not engaged, today’s systems are out of sight and out of mind. A professional can help you determine how many heads are needed for each square foot of the facility. Err on the side of caution and make sure the number of heads exceeds the minimum required by local laws. You’ll have slightly better coverage and provide more of a chance to avoid serious damage to the place.

Fire Extinguishers

Definitely have fire extinguishers mounted in spots that are easy to reach. Depending on how severe the fire happens to be, they may be helpful in containing the blaze or clearing a path so that employees can exit the building safely. An expert can help you determine how many extinguishers are needed and where to place them.

You do want to have a fire extinguisher service come in regularly and inspect each extinguisher. The goal it so make sure each one is fully charged, that the pins are in good shape, and that the unit will work perfectly if it’s ever needed.

Cases for the Extinguishers

There are wall mounts for fire extinguishers. You may find them to be sufficient in some areas, especially warehouses. In other locations, opting for some type of casing for the extinguishers is a better approach. They help to protect the devices until they need to be used. Do make sure that there’s an easy way to open the case in the event of an emergency. This provides the ideal balance between grabbing the extinguisher if a fire breaks out and preventing it from being tampered with the rest of the time.

Fire Escape Ladders

What would you do if the fire prevented access to the exterior doors? The only solution would be for employees to go out the windows. In order to make this safer, it makes sense to have fire escape ladders on hand.

Ladders of this type generally roll up for easy storage. When needed, they hook securely to the window casing and make it easier to get to the ground safely. Make sure to check the weight bearing limits on each ladder before making any purchases. Ideally, each ladder would support two or three people descending at any given time.

Fire Hoses and Racks

Fire hoses can also come in handy if a fire breaks out. As with the extinguishers, make sure the hoses are placed at strategic locations around the building. To ensure everything remains in order, racks that hold the hoses in position are essential. The right type of rack will make it easier to unroll the hose without any kinks or other problems.

Remember that fire hoses are not just for beating back flames. It may be advantageous to use the hose to wet down the immediate area. Doing so could slow the progress of a fire and buy more time for everyone to exit the building.

Emergency Exit Lighting

You definitely need emergency exit lighting in order to ensure the safety of the employees. Lights with battery backup should be mounted near every exit. Even if smoke is beginning to collect in the area, the light will provide a sense of where to go in order to get to the exit.

Along with the signage, running lights that are placed along the bottom part of a wall will also help guide people out of the building. They can be chasers that also tend to point in the direction of the exit, or remain on from the moment that the danger is detected. Either way, they provide one more means of directing people out of the building.

While there are other types of fire protection and safety equipment that you’ll need, these will help you get started. Seeking more information from a local fire marshal will also provide some input that ensures the business remains up to local codes and standards. Remember that all the equipment needs to be checked by a professional from time to time. Doing so ensures that everything remains in working order and will provide the support needed if a fire should break out.


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