HOW TO PROPERLY PREPARE FOR A FIRE DISASTER

How to Properly Prepare for a Fire Disaster

Fire safety is important in the workplace– just like it is anywhere else. A well-developed and thought-out course of action can keep you and your peers safe.

Here are a few statistics from 2017-2019 gathered by the U.S. Fire Administration on nonresidential building fires: 

  • 108,5000 nonresidential building fires were reported to U.S. fire departments each year 
  • Nonresidential fires caused over $2.8 billion in property loss 
  • These fires occur mostly during the hours of 2 pm – 7 pm
  • The leading cause of nonresidential fires is cooking 
  • Now that you know why you should prepare for potential office fires, let’s discuss the fire preparation measures that can help. 

Let’s discuss how to properly prepare for a fire disaster. 

Why Do You Need to Prepare for Potential Office Fires?

Fire damage is considered one of the most destructive elements to your commercial building because it can cause: 

  • Disruption of business activities
  • Loss of business documents
  • Damage to property 
  • Liability claims
  • Injury 
  • And more

Fire Preparation Tips

In the wise words of Miguel De Cervantes, “To be prepared is half the victory.” 

Here are a few tips on how to prepare in the event of a fire. 

1. Take the proper precautions for your building.

Fire prevention programs and precautions are put in place to ensure your building remains safe in case something happens. No… we don’t mean lighting the door handles on fire or setting off smoke bombs throughout your office. 

Here are some precautions you can take today.

  • Control smoking materials and open flames 
  • Store flammable and combustible liquids safely 
  • Use electrical equipment correctly 
  • Perform housekeeping tasks regularly 
  • Purchase fire-safe furnishings and decor 
  • Maintain commercial kitchen exhaust systems 
  • Control special hazards 

2. Let’s Talk About Fire Safety Education

Fire prevention relies on people knowing what to do when an emergency occurs. Fear and ambiguity are not a recipe for success, however, knowledge and preparedness are.

3.Educate your staff on the proper procedure if a fire occurs.

Safety plans can be explained through training, sent via email, and be posted on walls. When building a fire safety education program, include: 

  • How to identify and correct fire hazards
  • A detailed office building evacuation plan
  • How to use fire extinguishers
  • Examples of recent fires to highlight the importance of fire safety
  • Details of how to put out various types of fires, and when they are likely to occur

Implement Fire Protection and Life Safety systems

Fire protection shouldn’t be improvised. Put systems in place that protect the building, people, and items from fire hazards. These systems include fire alarm systems, fire suppression systems, and other building measures. There are both active and passive fire protection systems.

Active Fire Protection Systems prepare for a fire the right way

Active fire protection systems require some amount of action or motion to work efficiently. These systems can be manually operated, like a fire extinguisher, or automatic, like sprinkler systems. 

Some of these systems include: 

  • Fire/smoke alarm systems
  • Sprinkler Systems
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Sprinkler Systems
  • Firefighters are also considered active fire protection  

Passive Fire Protection Systems

Passive fire protection systems compartmentalize buildings to help prevent the spread of fire and smoke from one room to another. These systems help limit the amount of damage done to a building and give the occupants more time to evacuate.

Some of these systems include:

  • Fire/smoke dampers
  • Fire doors
  • Firewalls/floors

Both active and passive fire protection systems can help keep your building and your employees safe from harm.

Keep Up with Inspection and Testing

Inspection and testing of fire suppression systems are crucial. To comply with NFPA 72 regulations, inspection, testing, and maintenance of your fire alarm system are required on a semi-annual basis. A well-maintained fire alarm system keeps residents and property safe.

What is a Fire System Inspection?

A fire inspection is a process in which the fire department inspects a building or property to identify and access potential fire safety hazards.

How Often Should Fire Systems Be Inspected?

According to the NFPA code, inspections of your fire and life safety systems are required to occur on a quarterly and annual basis.

A Final Word

Your building’s fire preparation plan should be well thought out and organized in advance. By doing so, you help further protect your staff, business materials, and the commercial building from the dangers of fire hazards. 

Ready to Have Your Systems Inspected? Consider LSM

LifeSafety Management has been providing fire protection and life safety services in South Florida for over 20 years—we are your resident life safety experts. LifeSafety is your single-source provider for any of your fire protection needs: fire alarms, sprinklers, fire suppression systems, security systems, and beyond. We can start from the very beginning to design and install your systems, then maintain and repair your systems as needed.

Learn more about us and our solutions here.

Why Facility Maintenance Matters During Hurricane Season

Building owners must take preventative measures such as facility maintenance and frequent inspections to protect people and commercial property.

Commercial building owners in Florida are no strangers to hurricanes. Why? More than 41% of hurricanes that hit the United States make some kind of landfall in the sunshine state.

Due to the frequency and severity of these storms, building owners must take preventative measures such as facility maintenance to protect their property during hurricane season.

Let’s discuss this further.

How to Prepare Your Facility for a Hurricane

Hurricanes are characterized by:

  • Strong, high-speed winds
  • Tornadoes
  • Torrential rains, and
  • Storm surges

Experts classified almost a third of hurricanes to hit Florida as Category 3 with winds ranging from 111 to 128 mph. This considered, building owners should prepare their commercial property to withstand these intense elements.

So, how can you prepare your facility for a hurricane? Commercial building owners can take the following steps:

  • Create a containment plan for any hazardous chemicals or on-site materials
  • Develop an emergency response plan
  • Invest in data backup servers and backup generators
  • Create an evacuation plan with multiple routes
  • Provide provisions for alternative communication systems
  • Make safety equipment accessible

In addition, commercial building owners should prioritize the maintenance of fire safety systems in their facilities to properly protect people and property.

Why Facility Maintenance is Crucial in a Hurricane

In the event of an emergency,  owners want to be sure the safety systems installed in their buildings work effectively. Why? These systems can make a difference in saving lives and property.

Saving Lives and Protecting Property

NFPA 1600 emphasizes the importance of assessing and addressing possible risks before a hurricane:

“5.4.1* The entity shall conduct a resource needs assessment based on the hazards identified in Section 5.2 and the business impact analysis in Section 5.3.

“A.5.4.1 Scenarios developed during the risk assessment and BIA should be used to identify resources needed by the program. Resources for emergency operations/response to protect life safety, stabilize the incident, and protect property should be identified.”

Additionally, NFPA 1600 discusses the necessity of automatic sprinkler systems. Since many natural catastrophes include a significant threat of fire, automatic sprinklers are essential.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests property owners have their automatic sprinkler systems inspected before hurricane season in case of such an emergency.

Insurance Purposes

Many insurance carriers require proof that property owners took reasonable measures to prevent damage before covering a claim. Building owners should keep in mind this can include both fire and flood property damage.

What Systems Should be Inspected Before a Hurricane?

Building owners can employ the help of an experienced technician to ensure other systems are properly installed, serviced, and maintained.

For example, these systems may include:

  • Fire alarm systems
  • Fire sprinkler systems
  • Backflow preventers
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Emergency and exit lighting
  • Fire pumps
  • Commercial kitchen fire suppression systems
  • Clean agent fire suppression systems
  • Access control
  • Intrusion systems
  • Fire hydrants
  • Foam systems, and
  • Elevator monitoring

How Often Should These Systems Be Inspected?

How often you service or inspect your fire protection services depends on the device. 

Some systems require inspections on a weekly, monthly, semi-annual, or annual  basis. However, all fire and life safety systems require at least an annual inspection.

Therefore, property owners do not need to wait before or during hurricane season to schedule an inspection for their safety systems. These systems should be checked year-round to ensure they will perform to the best of their ability at any time – hurricane season or not!

Ready to Have Your Systems Inspected? Consider LSM

LifeSafety Management has been providing fire protection and life safety services in South Florida for over 20 years—hence why, we’re your resident life safety experts. 

LifeSafety is your single-source provider for any of your fire protection needs: Fire alarms, sprinklers, fire suppression systems, security systems, and beyond. We can start from the very beginning to design and install your systems, then maintain and repair your systems as needed.

Learn more about us and our solutions.

Understanding Inspections and Maintenance For Your Building

Some fire protection systems need to be maintained on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. Building owners can protect people and property through keeping up with inspections.

Did you know that the fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the nation every 24 seconds? The numbers of fires and fire deaths have decreased since the 1970s, largely due to advancements in fire technology and quickened response time. With this being said, it’s important that your fire protection systems remain up to inspection and testing standards provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Here at LSM,  we are the Inspector Gadget for your fire protection systems. We find what’s not working and we help fix it. Here are a few things you need to know as you look to ensure your fire protection systems remain up to date with their inspection and testing.

What Items Need to be Inspected and Maintained? How Often?

Quarterly Inspection and Maintenance

There are a few fire protection systems that require quarterly regular inspections—mainly fire sprinkler systems. Fire sprinkler systems need to be inspected and maintained on a quarterly basis. This inspection and maintenance includes inspection of water flow devices, wolves, valve components, low air pressure alarms, and other components of your fire sprinklers.

Semi-Annual Inspection and Maintenance

Twice a year, your kitchen suppression systems need to be inspected (that is, if your facility has a kitchen). In addition, if your facility uses magnetic door locks, these must be inspected twice a year to ensure they remain operating correctly in the event the fire alarm is activated. 

Annual Inspection and Maintenance

Most of your fire protection systems need to be inspected and maintained annually. These inspections will be your most comprehensive and intensive inspection periods for fire alarms, fire suppression, and bi-directional amplification systems. 

In this annual inspection, over 20 components of your fire alarm systems will be tested and inspected. The major components include:

  • Control panel and component inspections
  • Fuse, LEDs, and power supply inspections
  • Component battery replacement
  • Pull station inspection
  • Voice/alarm communication system inspection

Your fire sprinkler systems will also be inspected during this time. These inspections also include 20 major components of your sprinkler systems. The major components include:

  • Main drain
  • Antifreeze solutions
  • Hose valves
  • Pump system
  • Drain test

Long-Term Inspection and Maintenance

There are a few components and systems that require long-term maintenance and inspection. Some of these components include fire alarm audibility testing, which should be performed every three years. In addition, fire extinguishers are scheduled for replacement every six years. Hood suppression systems in kitchens have multiple components that will need to be replaced every 12 years.

Fire Safety Inspection Requirements

Requirements for fire safety inspections vary state-by-state. Therefore, business owners and property managers need to be familiar with individual state fire codes, ordinances, and standards, and how to comply with these requirements. In general, some specific industries require more frequent fire safety inspections. These facilities include places of public assembly; including theaters, nightclubs, hotels, and hospitals. High-rises also need to adhere to strict fire code requirements, as these buildings have high occupancy and complex exit plans.

Are You Prepared For Your Fire Safety inspections?

Preparing for your fire inspections is essential—especially if you’re in the industries that are subject to unscheduled inspections. In order to prepare properly, you need to know how inspectors evaluate your building.

Let’s start with what inspectors are evaluating as a whole

As inspectors go through your building, they look for a few key things; including:

 

  • The ways fire could start within your specific building.
  • Safety systems in place, like smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems. They ensure these systems are regularly maintained and in good working order. You should expect to be asked to see documentation on the regular maintenance of these systems.
  • Systems assisting in fire egress are working effectively, like lighted exit signs and exit doors. 
  • Lastly, inspectors ensure emergency personnel have easy, immediate access to the building. 

Ready to Have Your Systems Inspected? Consider LSM

LifeSafety Management has been providing fire protection and life safety services in South Florida for over 20 years—we are your resident life safety experts. LifeSafety is your single-source provider for any of your fire protection needs: fire alarms, sprinklers, fire suppression systems, security systems, and beyond. We can start from the very beginning to design and install your systems, then maintain and repair your systems as needed.

Learn more about us and our solutions here.

100th Year of Fire Prevention Week

Since 1922, the National Fire Protection Association has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. Throughout the past century, fire prevention week consisted of children and adults learning how to stay safe in case of a fire.

Since 1922, the National Fire Protection Association has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. Throughout the past century, fire prevention week consisted of children and adults learning how to stay safe in case of a fire. Additionally, firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.

In this article, we’ll review the history of fire prevention week and reveal the 2022 campaign. Let’s dive in.

The History of Fire Prevention Week

In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance. This makes Fire Prevention Week the longest-running public health observance in the United States. 

Why FPW is the Week of October 9th

Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire. According to History.com, the Great Chicago Fire “burned from October 8 to October 10, 1871, and destroyed thousands of buildings, killed an estimated 300 people and caused an estimated $200 million in damages.”

Fire prevention week occurs during the same week each year to honor the lives lost in the Great Chicago Fire and make efforts to prevent similar events from happening in the future. 

The 2022 “Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape” Campaign 

 The campaign of the 2022 Fire Prevention Week™ (FPW) is “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape”™.  The campaign for 2022 strives to educate participants about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and others safe from home fires. Key focuses of this campaign include fire escape planning and practicing as well as alarms.

Why Fire Escape Plans Are so Important

According to NFPA, today’s homes burn faster than ever. In the event of a fire, you have about two minutes or less to safely escape from the time the alarm arounds. One’s ability to get out of the home during a fire depends on early warning from smoke alarms and advanced planning.

How to Start Creating a Fire Escape Plan

Every home is different and therefore, every fire escape plan will be different. Consider starting with these guidelines:

  • Draw your building floor plan using a grid.
  • Label all the rooms and identify the doors and windows.  
  • Plan two escape routes from every room.
  • Provide alternatives for anyone with a disability.
  • Agree on a meeting place where everyone will gather after you have escaped

Fire escape plans should consider everyone in the home or building. For example, children, older adults or people with disabilities may need additional assistance. Consider assigning someone to help them in the event of an emergency. 

While NFPA is focusing on home fires, these same concepts carry into commercial fires as well. An updated fire protection system and a practiced escape plan can save the lives of people in commercial buildings. Those working or owning commercial buildings can practice fire safety by ensuring their fire escape plan is well-known and practiced. 

Let’s Talk Fire and Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms sense smoke well before people can and should effectively alert people of danger. As a general rule, alarms should be:

  • In every bedroom
  • Outside of the sleeping areas (such as a hallway, for example)
  • On each level, including the basement 

Smoke alarms should not be installed over the stove or in bathroom shower areas. The heat from these areas may trigger the alarm. 

The requirements for commercial buildings differ from standards for homes. We urge owners of commercial buildings to research the requirements for their property. Find more information on NFPA 72, here.

For more information about NFPA’s Fire Protection Week, check out their website!

Sound and Communication in Healthcare Buildings

security solution in healtcare building

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities face a unique set of challenges in an emergency, such as mobility issues with patients, additional obstacles with emergency evacuation, and a large staff to inform of safety protocols.

This is why sound and communication systems in healthcare buildings are essential in protecting property and residents in the event of an emergency.

Sound and communication systems serve to protect property and residents as well as combat these challenges in the event of an emergency.

Let’s discuss a few sound and communication systems, how they work, and how they can be used for the safety of residents in healthcare facilities.

ERRCS and DAS

ERRCS stands for Emergency Responder Radio Communication Systems, also known as Bi-Directional Antenna Systems, or DAS.

ERRCS and DAS are similar; both systems are used within commercial and residential buildings to allow emergency responders to communicate with each other via two-way radio.

Why Are ERRCS and DAS Important?

During the September 11th attacks in New York City, emergency responders struggled to communicate with each other in rescue and recovery efforts. 

These difficulties, such as full radio communication failures, made the first responders inside buildings lose contact with dispatch and fire crews outside. Ultimately, these communication issues risked the lives of the first responders and hindered their rescue efforts.

The communication failures on 9/11 raised awareness of the need for tools that would allow responders to communicate during an emergency. Since 9/11, ERRCS and DAS have become a critical priority for commercial building owners.

How Do ERRCS and DAS Work?

ERRCS and DAS are made of distributed antennas that are installed within a building to amplify particular radio and/or cellular signals ensuring the highest functioning communication for first responders.

These antennas receive external public safety radio signals and retransmit them within the building to ensure penetration in all areas of the building including stairwells, elevators, basements, and other heavily shielded areas.

As an amplification system, ERRCS amplifies the radio signals between first responders’ radios during an emergency. 

Read on to learn more about ERRCS and DAS and how they are crucial in protecting lives and your building.

Area of Refuge

Like an intercom system, an area of refuge two-way communication system ensures that healthcare buildings have a way for individuals to call for help in the instance of an emergency.

These systems are also used in schools, commercial buildings, and other public venues.

How Do Areas of Refuge Work?

Areas of refuge provide a location for building occupants to assemble by an exit and await assistance. These residents may require assistance for a variety of reasons, such as difficulty using stairs or other disabilities.

With these difficulties in mind, these systems were designed to provide hands-free, two-way communication with intelligible audio and visible signals to indicate communication has occurred. These features will allow patients and staff to more easily communicate and receive the assistance they need in the event of an emergency.

Voice Paging and Intercom

Voice paging and intercom systems allow for one-way communication with a larger audience. These systems allow users to announce information to others. This allows the called party to receive information without having to pick up a handset or radio.

How Do Video Paging and Intercom Systems Work?

The paging employee speaks into the telephone and the message is broadcast through a network of speakers to relay. Messages can also be prerecorded and broadcast at different times, depending on the needs of the facility.

Patient Wandering

These systems are essential to preventing patients from getting lost, injured, or exposing themselves to potentially life-threatening situations.

How Do Wander Management Systems Work?

Wander management systems consist of RFID-enabled technology that keeps track of patients within the set parameters of the system to guarantee their protection within the hospital, nursing home, or senior living home. 

Infant Protection Systems

Infants are some of the most vulnerable patients in a hospital. Ensuring infant security is critical not only to the reputation of your hospital but also to nursing staff and new moms.

How Do Infant Protection Systems Work?

These systems can vary depending on the wants and requirements of the hospital. Typically, hospital staff will put some form of location system on the infants, which will monitor their location throughout the building.

With these tracking systems, staff can monitor the location of the infants during an emergency as well as be notified if the infant is taken out of the secured area of the hospital. These systems allow the staff to better protect infants in the healthcare building.

The Bottom Line

These systems allow various teams to communicate with each other to optimize safety protocols and protect staff, patients, and other residents. Further, sound and communication systems can bring peace of mind to building owners as well as the staff and patients in the healthcare facility.

Learn more about our security solutions, here.

A Business Owner’s Guide to Building Security

security camera used to protect a business

As a business owner, building security is crucial to protecting your property and staff.  According to statistics provided by the FBI, 60% of burglaries occur outside of working hours. Why? Outside of working hours, your staff is typically less equipped to respond quickly and efficiently to the incident. In some cases, the staff may not even notice the incident is occurring.

Additionally, following the COVID-19 pandemic, more business owners are managing their business remotely. Not being at their building in person can cause business owners to feel concerned about the security of their business, but they don’t have to!

With the right protocols and systems in place, business owners can feel confident that their building is secure and safe, whether they are clocking in upstairs or from their living room.

Let’s dive into how to make this possible.

First, How Can Improved Security Benefit Your Business?

We understand–business owners have a lot on their plate and security may not always be the first priority. However, the right security can provide a host of benefits for your business. For example:

  • Improved customer confidence in shopping on the premises
  • Prevention of issues like break-ins, vandalism, or robbery
  • Heightened employee safety both during and outside of business hours

Let’s Talk about Integrated Security Systems

Integrated security systems provide a solution to many security challenges faced by business owners. Let’s discuss what integrated security systems are and how they can protect your building and business (even after business hours or from home!).

Intrusion and Detection Alarm Systems

Intrusion systems are designed to use your existing IT infrastructure to increase efficiency. These solutions are scalable, reliable systems used for a wide variety of applications. They can be utilized in spaces such as mixed-use commercial office complexes to high-risk facilities.

How do Intrusion and Detection Alarms Work?

State-of-the-art technologies in intrusion systems implement event notifications sent to mobile phones and remote system management. These technologies can keep you up-to-date with the status of your facility, even when you are not there.

Closed-Circut Television (CCTV)

Closed-circuit television, or CCTV,  is a television system in which signals are monitored for surveillance and security purposes. These signals are not publicly distributed.

How Does CCTV Work?

CCTV relies on the strategic placement of cameras as well as the consistent monitoring of the footage. CCTV cameras communicate with monitors and/or video recorders through private coaxial cable runs or wireless communication links. This allows the communication to be private and allows only the intended audience to be able to view the footage.

Access Control Systems

As the name implies, access control systems manage access. These systems control who enters the building or site and prevents unauthorized visitors from entering the facility. Access control systems are designed to maintain control over who comes into the building without impeding the work of those who are authorized.

How Do Access Control Systems Work?

While the details can vary depending on the types of access control and system the business owner selects, the main elements of an access control system are typically the same. These elements include:

  • The tag
  • Tag reader
  • Access control panel
  • Lock(s)

These elements cooperate to create an easy and simple experience for the user.

Further, these systems can be scaled from small businesses to multi-location companies with thousands of employees.

Video Monitoring Systems

Video monitoring systems provide an array of benefits for a business, such as improving employee safety and productivity.  Hybrid digital and analog camera systems deter theft by preventing unfounded lawsuits and reducing incidents of work-site harassment.

How Do Video Monitoring Systems Work?

Video Monitoring systems can be analog, digital or hybrid. Business owners can select which of these options works best for their business and their budget.

A digital video surveillance system is “a surveillance system capable of capturing images and videos that can be compressed, stored or sent over communication networks. Digital video surveillance systems can be used for nearly any environment.” Depending on the system, internet protocol (IP) cameras may be used. These cameras require only a local network.

Analog systems use traditional cameras you see in camera systems. These cameras record images to a video recorder and send them through a coaxial cable to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). Analog systems tend to be simpler than digital surveillance systems.

Need Help With Building Security For Your Business?

We got you covered. At LSM, offer comprehensive security systems to keep your business or property safe and secure. From intrusion detection, video surveillance, environmental monitoring, to system automation and access control, we want you to have all the systems in place to be sure your property is protected the way you need it to be.

Learn more about our security solutions, here.

What You Need to Know About Fire Suppression Systems

fire extinguishers in fire suppression systems

Your needs as a commercial real estate owner vary on the type of building you own. You’ve likely heard of many various fire protection systems, but do you know the key differences between a fire sprinkler system and a fire suppression system? It’s important to understand these differences.

Clean Agent Fire Suppression Systems

Clean agent fire suppression systems utilize environmentally-friendly chemical reagents to put out fires. These are typically found in sensitive areas, such as data centers. The chemicals used are water-free and safe for the environment. Once a clean agent system is activated, clean-up is minimal. 

Carbon Dioxide Fire Suppression Systems

Carbon dioxide systems use CO2 colorless, odorless gas to extinguish a fire. These systems are an incredibly efficient and cost-effective approach to fire protection. Clean-up following the activation of a carbon dioxide system is minimal.

These systems are currently being used by the U.S Navy in commercial shipping applications. It is common to find these systems in industries that handle steel and aluminum. 

Industrial Fire Suppression Systems

Industrial plants need extra attention when it comes to fire protection, as most of the areas are in high-hazard environments. The fires that occur in these areas typically involve some type of chemical, liquid fuel, or other hazardous materials, therefore proper fire protection systems are essential. These systems typically use dry chemicals to extinguish the fire. 

Restaurant Fire Suppression Systems

Kitchens require specific fire suppression systems. Kitchen fire suppression systems are designed to put out grease fires that would be worsened if you attempt to put them out with water. They typically utilize wet chemicals in a mist form to extinguish the fire quickly and effectively. 

Fire protection systems needed for high-hazard areas are among the most technical and specialized fire equipment systems. 

LifeSafety Management has a long history of protecting mission-critical equipment for all types of businesses. If you have a commercial kitchen, including those that are mobile, a pre-engineered system designed for such environments will be required. In addition, computer server rooms, paint spray booths, industrial machinery, aircraft hangers, fuel farms, and marine environments can be protected by specific suppression systems.

Learn more about our fire suppression systems, here.

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season in Florida

hurricane incoming for hurricane season

It is important for building owners in Florida to know what to do to prepare their facilities for a potentially devastating storm. Why? Florida has been hit by more hurricanes than any other state. In fact, Florida has been hit by more than twice as many hurricanes as the next closest hurricane-prone state, Texas. Wow! In addition to that, more than 41% of hurricanes that hit the United States make some kind of landfall in Florida.

This means that building owners need to make significant efforts to protect their property for hurricane season. When it comes to natural disasters, taking preventative measures is key for protecting your commercial property.

Let’s discuss some methods building owners can employ to protect their property during hurricane season in Florida.

Know The Risks

Hurricanes can cause severe damage to property. These storms are characterized by strong, high-speed winds, tornadoes, torrential rains, and storm surges. Further, hurricanes in Florida are more likely to be severe; experts classified almost a third of hurricanes to hit Florida as Category 3, with winds from 111 to 128 mph. Because of this, owners with buildings in Florida should prepare their facilities to withstand these elements at their strongest intensities.

Create a Plan

Based on the above factors, create an action plan for your commercial property. Ensure all employees understand this preventative plan thoroughly.

Some factors to consider for a hurricane plan include but are not limited to:

  • A shelter plan
  • Company-wide communication
  • Evacuation route
  • Emergency warnings and alerts.

Get Other Resources Ready

Additionally, building owners should consider:

  • Reminding your staff about guidelines and/or policies that should be implemented or followed in the event of a hurricane.  All employees should be aware of their specific responsibilities in an emergency.
  • Reviewing your insurance policy to ensure that your business facility is protected from the losses resulting from hurricanes or other natural disasters.
  • Checking that their emergency kit includes essential items such as generators and hand tools
  • Backing up and securing all important data.

Prepare Your Property

A small act of preparation might save your building. When walking through your commercial property, there are a few key steps to take:

  • Clear all gutters and drains
  • Install check valves in plumbing
  • Trim and remove trees close to your building
  • Add sandbags as necessary (water pumps can be covered by water insurance in some cases but is not guaranteed)
  • Financial Preparation
  • As a business owner, it is crucial to understand your insurance policies and exactly what is covered. For example, most property insurance policies have a surface water exclusion. Have a safety fund available in case of the worst-case scenario.

What to Do After the Hurricane

An emergency response team should assess the building before people are allowed back to the premises. The purpose of this assessment is to identify any structural damage or hazard that needs to be fixed before the building can be occupied again.

Building owners and staff should only access the building after authorities give clearance.

Marine Fire Safety

Some of the key points to remember with marine safety are properly managing your:

  • Certifications and Documents
  • Fire Safety Equipment
  • Hurricane Preparedness Equipment
  • Engine Room Maintenance
  • Deck Maintenance and Crew Readiness
  • Emergency Equipment

Unfortunately, there is a long list of natural disasters to prepare for, like fires. And news flash, fire suppression, and fire sprinklers are not the same thing!

Need a Little Help? Consider LSM

LifeSafety Management has been providing fire protection and life safety services in South Florida for over 20 years—we are your resident life safety experts. LifeSafety is your single-source provider for any of your fire protection needs: fire alarms, sprinklers, fire suppression systems, security systems, and beyond. We can start from the very beginning to design and install your systems, then maintain and repair your systems as needed.

Learn more about us and our solutions here.