Fire can devastate a business and this is why all business owners or retail managers are encouraged to reduce the chances of a fire breaking out in their store.
This is often done by putting fire prevention strategies that can be implemented easily and quickly in place. Here are some tips for retail stores looking to make their premises fire safe.
Remove fire hazards
The most obvious way to prevent a fire and keep safe is by removing hazards in the retail store. A common fire hazard is worn out electrical systems. All electrical systems should be tested at least once a year. If any issues are discovered, they should be rectified as soon as possible. It is also imperative that managers check their electrical outlets to ensure they are not overloading them as this is a common cause of electrical fires.
A fire risk assessment helps you find any issues in the store and helps you develop a plan in case a fire breaks out. This is in addition to letting you know of any fire hazards that exist.
Limit the number of people in the store
Fire codes set the limit of the number of people who can be in a certain space at one time. This is so that if a fire ever breaks out, people can get out of the space quickly without a stampede breaking out. This number also ensures the owner, manager or a member of the staff can get to the fire extinguisher as quickly as possible or let the fire department gain access to the store as easily as possible.
Neither of those things can happen if there are too many people in the store. A good way to ensure a fire does not get out of control, reduce the amount of damage to the store, as well as the number of people who could potentially get injured, is to keep the number of people in the store below that allowed by fire codes.
Because it is not possible to physically count everyone in a store, you should use a people counting system. A system such as the one developed by the First Response Group uses AI to count the number of people in a store and restricts access if this number is reached. This First Response Group’s system can be used in any retail setting in the UK and also helps with maintaining social distancing inside retail premises.
Check fire suppression systems
Fire suppression systems help control, suppress or put out fires. The most obvious of these systems include fire extinguishers and sprinklers. These should be checked regularly and any issues rectified.
Many people forget about fire doors. These doors are designed to contain a fire and smoke in one room or area to prevent it from spreading to other areas. It is important to ensure that these doors are not blocked so that they provide a means of escape during a fire and can be closed behind the last person who goes through them.
Ensuring your retail store is fire safe is often about finding areas where a fire can break out (hazards), providing the right means to put out a fire as quickly as possible, and containing the fire in one location so it does not do more damage.