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Three Tips for Fire Safety in Office Buildings

When you think of fire safety risks, you may not think of an office building – but according to the National Fire Protection Association, there were more than 54,400 fires in mercantile or business properties between 2018 and 2022. Knowing that, the risks may be more real than you’d think.  

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself in an office building environment. In this blog, we’ve compiled some of our top tips to keep you safe in the workplace.  

Stay Up to Date on Maintenance and Checks


One of the best things you can do to protect your people and property is make sure you keep up with all the required maintenance for your fire and life safety equipment. This can include fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, HVAC systems, emergency lighting and more.  

Depending on the equipment your building has, the maintenance schedule will vary. Some items such as extinguishers require weekly checks along with professional inspections, while other pieces of equipment may need evaluation only once a year or every few years.  

When you work with a professional fire and life safety company, they can keep track of all this for you, making sure that you’re always in compliance and as protected as possible. That way, you can focus on your business and know that in an emergency, the lifesaving equipment you need will work when you need it most.  

Know the Most Likely Fire Deficiencies and Hazards

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Along with staying on top of maintenance, it’s essential to know what to look for when it comes to fire and life safety hazards and violations 

Some of the most common deficiencies to find in office buildings can include:  

  • Extension cords used long term. Extension cords are meant to be a short-term solution, not a long-term situation. However, it can be easy to forget this and continue using them for weeks or months on end. 
  • Blocked exits. Exits need to always be kept clear in case an evacuation is needed. Don’t store things in front of exits or block them with signage or other materials; keep them fully accessible at all times. 
  • Faulty or insufficient emergency lighting. Lights and exit signs need to be fully illuminated – no burnt-out bulbs – and unobstructed at all times. 
  • Using fire pump rooms as storage. These rooms should never be used for storage, but it can be a tempting prospect. Make sure to always leave these rooms unobstructed and easily accessible. 
  • Blocked outdoor fire department connections and valves. If a fire breaks out, firefighters need to be able to access outdoor connections to water and more. Never block these structures. 
  • Missing or damaged fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers should be inspected monthly to make sure they’re in working shape. If they aren’t, they need to be fixed or replaced. You also need to make sure you have enough extinguishers throughout the building. 
  • Unmaintained systems and outdated records. This goes back to making sure you always schedule your maintenance – and update your records. A trusted fire and life safety company like CertaSite can do much of this for you, and it’s an essential part of your fire and life safety plan.

Make Sure Everyone Knows What To Do In An Emergency

Of course, all of the equipment in the world won’t be as helpful if people don’t know what to do or where to go in the event of an emergency.  

Employees should be well acquainted with where fire extinguishers and other emergency equipment are located, as well as where the exits are around the building. Emergency exit signage and maps should be posted in accordance with NFPA codes applicable to your particular building.  


Every business should practice fire drills, as well as severe weather drills if applicable for your area. Employees should know what the evacuation plan is, practice the plan, and know where to meet up in the case of an evacuation. There should be a pre-designated assembly point away from the building, as well as a dedicated chain of command regarding who will do a roll call to ensure everyone has safely left the building. That way you can be sure everyone is out or let emergency responders know if anyone is missing.  


Fire and life safety can be overwhelming, regardless of where you work. At CertaSite, we want to help you keep your people and property as safe as possible by handling all the work for you. Reach out to us today to schedule your own custom consultation.  


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