MEASURES TO EVALUATE FIRE SAFETY IN BUILDINGS

With growing awareness and innovation, fire safety is one of the crucial considerations in new generation building designs. Here is the checklist to evaluate how safe is your built environment from fire occurrences and incidents:

  1. Assessment from Local Fire Brigade – You can request the local fire department to come and inspect your building’s fire safety level. Some of the potential threats are old and unstable structures, absence of enough escape space, inappropriate electric installations etc. Fire departments allocate professionals, who come and assess the building and environment for a nominal fee, highlight the existing problems and suggest the appropriate solutions.

 

  1. Have Smoke Detection and Suppression Systems – The initial few minutes of fire outbreak are very critical. Smoke Detection systems with fire alarm can detect the heat and alert all at right time. Installed Fire Extinguishers should be checked regularly. In High Rise Buildings where evacuation and access is difficult, installing Automatic Sprinkler Systems should be considered.

 

  1. Using Fire Retardant material in construction – Using fire-retardant panels or FR panels, insulated metal composite panels, flame proof fabrics, fire resistant doors etc are all means to reduce/combat the worse during the event of fire. These help in increasing the much needed escape time for occupants. Also, with insulated doors and rooms, people can stay in safe till the help comes even though there is raging fire outside.

 

  1. Escape Space and Signs – Ensure that the corridors, staircases, exit spaces are well maintained, ventilated and there are no obstacles present. The open spaces in buildings are very important during the case of emergency; make sure the building design accommodates this requirement. Further being able to approach these spaces is as important; hence, appropriate signs and symbols to guide people on the right way. Make sure everyone has building plans handy with the safe zones and their ways marked.

 

  1. Conduct Fire Drills – Regularly conduct fire drills and ensure everyone actively participates. These drills familiarize people with procedures and evacuation methods, get them mentally trained for such situations and thus ensure there is no panic when they encounter real life occurrence.

 

Let us know if you have any more suggestions to add in this checklist. Prevention is always better than cure.

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