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Spring Fire Safety Checklist

Spring has nearly sprung – and along with spring cleaning, this is a great time to brush up on your fire safety.

Below, we’re sharing five tips to consider as we transition into warmer weather, to make sure your spring, summer and beyond stay safe for your people and property, at home and work.

1. Schedule HVAC (and other maintenance).

iStock-1472162809As the weather turns warmer, your heat will turn off for the season and your air conditioner will start to run. During this switch is the perfect time to schedule annual maintenance for your HVAC system, so you know that not only is everything functioning efficiently and effectively – but also that everything is operating safely.

A good HVAC unit is expected to last up to 10 years, but with routine maintenance, that lifespan can be extended to 15 years or more. That’s because regular maintenance keeps your AC fans clean, so they work less hard to do their job and last longer. Dirty AC units can also serve as a fire hazard, and if the AC goes out in the heat of summer, your family or employees could face health risks. Schedule a check at the start of the season for peace of mind and to save your budget long term through lower utility bills.

If you run a business or oversee a building or facility, make sure to schedule other maintenance as needed to. This could include maintenance on sprinkler systems, fire alarms, smoke detectors and more, based on the particular maintenance schedule.

2. Check your smoke detectors & fire extinguishers.

tmp20029_0188-1Whether at home or in the office, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers should ideally be checked once a month. Make sure that your smoke detectors are working, and replace the batteries if needed. Check your fire extinguishers to be sure they aren’t expired, that they’re full, and that the pressure gauge is in the proper range.

This is also a great time to make sure that you have enough of both smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Smoke detectors should be on every floor of a home and in every sleep area. Fire extinguisher requirements may vary based on the type of facility or building, so be sure to check with the codes related to your specific situation. Make sure that the extinguishers are accessible, and that proper signage is posted regarding where they are located, so everyone knows where they are if they are needed.

3. Dispose of yard waste properly.

Springtime inspires many to clean up their lawns and gardens at home. While this is important home maintenance, it’s essential to dispose of the yard waste properly so as not to create fire hazards.

All dead plants, sticks and other flammable materials should be removed from around your house, especially within the first five feet of space around the home. Make sure the gutters are clean and that dead leaves and pine needles are removed from the roof as well.

Wood piles and trash should all be kept at least 30 feet away from your house and any other buildings or sheds. These are all steps you can take to keep your home as fire safe as possible when it comes to yard waste.

4. Make sure your staff is prepared for severe weather and other emergencies.

Depending on where you live and work, spring can mean severe weather. March is a great time to make sure your staff – and family, at home – know what to do if bad weather strikes. Go over emergency plans and practice drills for tornadoes, earthquakes, fires and any other emergencies that could impact your employees. Make sure everyone knows what to do and where to go in case of various emergencies.

How often to do drills can vary, and OSHA simply states to do them as often as is deemed necessary. Twice a year minimum is a good rule of thumb, although more is always better. Your fire and life safety company can help advise you as to how often different drills should be done.

5. Check your emergency lighting.

iStock-1398688570If you live in a place prone to thunderstorms, you could lose power at any time during a storm. Because of this, spring is a great time to make sure your emergency lighting is functioning properly. This should be part of your maintenance anyway, but it’s something that can often be overlooked. Emergency lighting and exit signs should be checked at least once a month, according to fire codes. Make sure to replace any faulty lighting or replace any needed batteries, so you know your emergency lights will work if and when you need them to.

Spring will be here before we know it – and it’s a great time to make sure your home and business are fireproofed as best as they can be. The best way to protect your people and property? Work with an expert company like CertaSite. We’ll go beyond keeping you in compliance to make sure you have the best protection possible, giving you peace of mind and capacity to focus on your business.

Tags: preferred protection, weather safety