One of the most pressing issues facing commercial property manages continues to be fire suppression system maintenance. Although the overall rate of commercial fires in warehouses has decreased significantly in the last few decades, fires in hotels still cause over $75 million in property damage every year.
Fire sprinkler systems in commercial properties must be in good repair and need to be regularly maintained by a professional contractor. Fire alarm system maintenance can allow growing fires to be detected earlier, minimizing property loss and potential safety hazards for workers.
Fire sprinkler inspections are increasing, with experts reporting a successful sprinkler response in nine out of every 10 fires. Effective sprinkler systems can actually minimize potential water damage, controlling fires with approximately one-fifth of the water used by a fire company.
Fire alarm system maintenance contractors can also do a comprehensive survey of commercial properties, pointing out weaknesses and potential vulnerabilities in a property’s fire suppression systems. Many contractors can also inform property owners whether their systems are up-to-date; fire safety professionals may be aware of new technology well in advance of the general public.
Yearly fire sprinkler and overall fire alarm system inspection and maintenance should be coupled with general evacuation plans and drills involving all staff members. Unscheduled fire drills can also demonstrate strengths and potential weaknesses to property owners: what is essential is that all staff are made aware of what to do in case of an emergency and who they should contact in an emergency situation.
Overall, new fire suppression technology seems to be more efficient at extinguishing commercial fires. Regular system maintenance and repair, coupled with a determination to correct weak or unprotected areas, seems to be an essential component of staff and client safety in any commercial environment. Property managers are often tasked with saving money, but contracting for fire suppression services could save lives.