5 New Year’s Resolutions for the Fire Safe Office


A new year brings always brings about motivation for new improvements in our personal lives. But what about improvements in our workplace? Everyone can take measures to help promote a safe work environment, and making sure your office is as fire safe as possible is of utmost importance.

There are many potential fire-starting situations that can be avoided in the workplace by making sure a few guidelines are implemented and that everyone in the office is on the same page. Let’s make our office a fire safe environment in 2015 by incorporating the following guidelines into our New Year’s resolutions.


Practice office-wide fire drills

Practice office-wide fire drills

Holding regular fire drills will ensure that employees know the proper evacuation routes and that they exit the building in a proper and timely fashion. Knowing where the exits are located and what to do in case of an emergency will give you and your employees peace of mind and will help them to keep calm in the event that a threatening situation were to occur. To properly conduct a fire drill, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: First create a safety committee with different team leaders from each department. Each team leader is responsible for making sure their team exits the building.

Step 2: Provide all employees with the evacuation routes and information. Different departments may have different evacuation paths, and it is important that everyone knows where to go in case of an emergency.

Step 3: Next, develop several fire drill scenarios to ensure everyone is prepared for different situations.

Step 4: For initial training, hold drills every two weeks, and then conduct them every three months is sufficient.


Make sure all employees know where fire alarm pull stations and extinguishers are located

Make sure all employees know where fire alarm pull stations and extinguishers are located

When returning from the holiday vacation, hold a meeting for all employees or have each safety committee team leader make sure that each employee knows where the fire alarms and extinguishers are located. Also, have a demonstration of how both are used. Make sure all extinguishers are in their place and are up-to-date.


Test the alarm system twice a year

Test the alarm system twice a year

Just like all other electronics and safety components, alarm systems can wear out, have glitches, or be compromised because of dust, dirt, or other contaminants. To ensure that your alarm system still operates and functions correctly, test it at least twice year. EC&M has summed up testing your alarm system in these five steps:

Step 1: Test and calibrate alarm sensors (flame and smoke detectors) per manufacturer specifications. This requires knowing about the different sensors and their testing requirements, failure modes, and re-installation requirements.

Step 2: Simulate inputs and test the annunciators. This requires specific knowledge of the system under test.

Step 3: Set sensitivity. This requires an understanding of the particular system, the specific application, and fire detection theory.

Step 4: Coordinate with fire department to test the input to their system.

Step 5: Check the battery for corrosion and expiration date, then take appropriate action, if necessary.


Inspect fire sprinkler systems regularly

Inspect fire sprinkler systems regularly

The leading cause of substantial fire damage in buildings with a fire sprinkler system is from the sprinkler control valves being turned off. Sprinkler control valves should be examined every so often to ensure that they are locked in the wide open position. Sometimes, a sprinkler control valve is shut off to conduct repairs or maintenance. After the repairs are done, be sure to turn the valve back on. The NFPA suggests that a weekly visual inspection be done on unsupervised valves and monthly visual inspections of locked or supervised valves. Also, look for any leaks or anything else that looks out of the ordinary.


Keep the office area clean and don’t allow trash and litter to accumulate unnecessarily.

Keep the office area clean and don’t allow trash and litter to accumulate unnecessarily.

A clean office isn’t just visually appealing and comfortable, but it also decreases the chances of fire. It has been proven that places that are unclean and have unnecessary clutter and litter are more of a fire hazard. Clean out old papers periodically, and make sure everyone is doing their job in keeping the office space clean, neat, and tidy.

If you have a dangerous situation that you are unsure how to correct, call S&S to help keep everyone safe. S&S is skilled in correcting dangerous work atmospheres, and making sure that businesses are as safe as possible right from the start.

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The Business Costs Of Disruption From Office Fires

S&S_workplace_fire_protectionWorkplace fire safety is incredibly important and often neglected by companies. Fire Protection and safety is not only required by law, but is also smart business sense. You and your management need to take the time to focus on saving lives, property, and preventing extended business disruption from fire damage.

The cost of extended business disruption from an office fire:

1.  S&S_fire_businessYour customers and clients have to go to other vendors if you are not up and running in a timely manner.


S&S_fire_employeelossYour workforce has to pay their bills. If you are not operational in a timely manner, your best employees – that you have invested in and trained – might be lost to your competitors.

3. S&S_fire_datalossCustomer sales, lead databases, payroll, & employee records. The information that drives your company could be lost forever or difficult to access.

Many businesses never entirely recover – losing orders, contracts, key employees or may go out of business resulting in lost jobs and services to the community. – Arson Prevention Bureau

While the real impact of fire is immense for most businesses, it is commonly catastrophic for smaller companies. Take a look at these facts:

S&S_fire_businessfail• 30% of all businesses that have a major fire go out of business within a year, and 70% fail within five years.
– Home Office Computing Magazine


S&S_fire_propertydamage• US fires consume $10 billion in property damage costs annually.
– Maine Municipal Association Risk Management Services (MMARMS)

Office and building fire protection has improved over the last 50 years. Unfortunately, they are still fairly common and are caused by the one thing almost all business have in their building.

S&S_fire_totalfires• 70-80,000 workplaces experience fire every year, causing disruption of business, a loss of valuable property.
– Maine Municipal Association Risk Management Services (MMARMS)

S&S_fire_employeecause• 85 percent of the fires that occur in commercial buildings are due to human error or intent.
– Maine Municipal Association Risk Management Services (MMARMS)

A sound business audits and analyzes sales, finances, and operational data on a regular basis. Have you reviewed your buildings fire protection system and plans in the last 12 to 18 months? Remember, the safety of your employees and the life of your business depends on how prepared you are for a fire and a business disruption.

At S&S we can help you with an inspection of your current fire safety equipment, plan, and needs. If you need any modifications or maintenance, we can help you with that. If you need a new fire protection design for your commercial building, we would be happy to give you a consultation, estimate, and plan to properly protect your business.

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For more information, a consultation, or an estimate request by phone call 1-800-443-5897.

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