Workplace safety is essential for any business because it is a basic human desire to avoid pain and suffering and work in a protected environment. Whether you are a small or a big company, it’s your ethical and legal responsibility to maintain a safe workplace for your employees. Unfortunately, most business owners don’t follow fire safety laws as they don’t understand their significance to the fullest extent.
Statistics from 2016-17 reported over 15,000 accidents of a workplace fire. These massive figures represent how workplace fire is a major cause of accidents that can potentially take precious human lives.Besides, workplace accidents are extremely destructive to the business as they involve some severe penalties and fines, and can negatively affect your employees’ morale who have witnessed an accident involving a colleague and can lead to high turnover problems.
To lessen the risk, it’s critical to take preventive measures beforehand. Fire-rated doors are specially designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke and help reduce property and life loss. They are a legal requirement for nearly all commercial buildings and accommodation premises like dormitories and apartments.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of fire-rated doors and key fire safety laws for businesses.
Fire-rated Doors: An Introduction
Fire-rated doors are different from regular doors. They are constructed to resist fire and stop it from spreading to other areas. They are common in commercial settings and often installed in offices and public buildings to resist heat and flames penetration. Made of materials like gypsum or metal they are cumbersome and don’t allow the fire to pass through when closed. You might have noticed that fire doors in various buildings have signs on them, a blue circle with a white text that says, “Fire door keep shut “or “Mandatory Fire door closure”. These signs are mandatory to identify the fire doors.
How do They Resist Fire?
Fire-rated doors are specifically designed to resist fire for a certain period of time. The standard time ratings include 20-90 minutes and may vary depending upon the door’s quality. They can help slow down the fire and smoke from spreading. Most people overlook the significance of reducing smoke inhalation that’s responsible for the majority of deaths in any fire accidents. Fire-rated doors contain fire and smoke and provide people adequate time to exit the building and also protect property and valuable assets from burning while firefighters work to extinguish the fire.
Fire Safety Laws Businesses Must Follow
Here are some essential fire safety laws that all businesses, no matter big or small, should follow to protect the property, staff, and customers from the threat of fire or explosion.
Fire Prevention Planning Fire prevention planning can help you prevent many emergencies altogether. The safety protocols may vary depending on the kind of business you run. Restaurants, where flames are a daily occurrence, will follow a different and detailed set of guidelines than an office where most work is done on computers. Teach your employees proper fire prevention to ward off any dangers.
1. Building Fire Exits
Make sure your employees have a way to get out in a fire emergency. However, having all the staff running from the same exit is an open invitation to injury and disaster. Workplace buildings must have at least two fire exits clearly marked with lighted exit signs that can be used in case of fire. It can be a door, window, or any other space, and a person can crawl through and access the outdoors. The exits shouldn’t be located close to each other and should be free of any obstructions.
2. Install Fire Fighting Equipment
Every workplace is required to have firefighting equipment such as fire extinguishers, fire blankets, fire hydrants and sprinkler systems. The building with electrical fire hazards or a kitchen will need one in case of fire. All employees should be given proper fire safety training and must know how to use it.
3. Emergency Evacuation Plan
All employees should be provided a fire evacuation plan in case of emergency to ensure everyone knows the fire-rated exit doors and what emergency evacuation procedures are in place. The plan should be placed somewhere employees learn to be reviewed once a month. The plan must include steps to evacuate physically impaired employees quickly to safety.
4. Automatic Fire Suppression System
The workplace requires fire suppression systems such as water sprinklers. Sprinkler systems are among the most useful tools and can reduce property damage and deaths by more than 65%. When there is a fire or high heat, sprinkler systems automatically sense it and spray water and sound the alarm to alert people.
5. Regular Inspections
All fire suppression systems, fire rated doors and fire extinguishers need to be inspected regularly to ensure they are in good working condition. It’s not allowed to leave fire suppression systems or fire extinguishers unchecked. All businesses must follow the recommended inspection schedule from their extinguisher manufacturers or fire sprinkler companies.