A fire is a disastrous occurrence wherever it happens, and commercial properties are no less susceptible to them than any other properties. Once a fire spreads there is often no way to stop it, and in a large property, such as a commercial space, employees may only have as little as two minutes to get to safety according to research. This makes it all the more critical that businesses invest in measures to prevent fires as prevention is often far more efficient than trying to battle the flames once they have taken root.
So, what exactly should you do in the event of a fire?
Prevention Should Be Your First Port of Call
In modern buildings, commercial ones, in particular, automatic fire suppression systems are expected to come as standard with any structure as they save not only the building itself and any goods held inside but also protect human lives. In the event of a fire, the sprinklers in an automatic fire suppression system will activate, giving employees precious extra seconds to escape from the smoke and fire. Because of this, no matter how old your building is, your fire suppression system must be still fit for purpose; otherwise, the results could be catastrophic. To find the best fit for any commercial property, building owners and managers often work with a trusted party, like The CAD Room, to benefit from their years of experience.
If Possible, Extinguish the Fire Before It Spreads
Should the unlikely scenario of your automatic fire suppression system failing, and a fire spreading happen, your number one priority should be to extinguish it? But, before you rush for the nearest fire extinguisher, make sure that either yourself or someone else in the building call 999 to ensure that the fire service is on its way as soon as possible.
Should the fire itself still be small enough, unless the fires service advises against it, you can try and subdue it using the appropriate type of fire extinguisher. Keep in mind that this is not the time to be brave and if the fire is growing quickly and there is a lot of smoke around, wait for the professionals. Property damage is not worth risking your safety over.
Make Sure That There Is a Clear Escape Route
Everyone in the building should have a safe emergency exit route, no matter where they are. This requires plenty of planning on the part of the building management team, but it is worth the effort as it is nothing short of life-saving. Once you have a clear escape route, which can be followed from multiple starting points, make sure that there is plenty of signage around the building for individuals to follow and that you have carried out fire escape scenarios.