Back to all

Top 5 Most Common Fire Deficiencies in Office Buildings

Fire Deficiencies in Office Buildings (300 × 200 px)

When it comes to going to work at an office building, fire safety may be the last thing on your mind. But according to the National Fire Protection Association, 3,340 fires happen on office properties every year – that’s more than nine fires a day, on average. With numbers like that, it’s a problem worth paying attention to.

One of the best things to do to prevent fires is make sure to follow all the correct safety measures in the workplace. In this blog, we’re talking about five of the most common fire and life safety deficiencies that we see in office environments.

Blocked Exits

This one is an easy one to remember – all exits need to be absolutely clear of any blockages, all of the time, in case a fire breaks out. However, it can be easy to forget when work gets busy.

Take care not to let boxes, supplies, tables or any other debris block any exits in your office. Even if you plan to just leave something there for a few hours, that choice can be deadly if an emergency requires quick evacuation. The risk isn’t worth it – keep exits clear 100% of the time.

Improper Use of Extension Cords

iStock-1219423936Extension cords are common to find in the office, but did you know they’re only meant to be temporary measures?

They can become huge fire risks when used incorrectly, and doing so is an easy mistake to make. Extension cords should never be attached to permanent fixtures, or to each other, and they also shouldn’t be passed through holes in the wall. A better – and correct – solution is to ditch the extension cords altogether and instead install more outlets.

Insufficient or Poor Fire Safety Lighting

Office buildings are required to have lit, unblocked emergency exit signs, and most are required to also have emergency lights that will remain lit for some time even if the power goes out.

If you’ve noticed an EXIT sign that’s not fully illuminated – or that’s blocked by debris – then your building is not in compliance. Code dictates that these elements be checked at least monthly, so that issues can be addressed as soon as they happen. The last thing you want in an emergency is to not be able to find the exit.

Missing or Damaged Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are an essential part of fire safety, and they can be incredibly helpful in the case of a small fire – assuming you can quickly get to one and it works.

Fire code will dictate where to place extinguishers, what type, and how many you need, but all fire extinguishers should be inspected at least annually to ensure they’re in working order. They must be kept clear of debris, and if one is used, it must be fully recharged or replaced, depending on the type that you have.

Unmaintained Systems or Outdated Records

There are so many different elements – and records – for any fire and life safety system, and it can be difficult to stay on top of it all. Especially if you work with various companies, it can be easy to let records remain out of date or systems unmaintained. However, that choice can be deadly if a fire emergency happens at your office.

When you work with professionals like those at CertaSite, we do all of that work for you. We’ll make sure your records are kept up to date, and we’ll put together an inspection schedule that keeps you completely in compliance year-round.

At CertaSite, we want to keep your people and property as safe as possible, and make sure your office is completely up to code.

Tags: preferred protection, fire safety, deficiency, building safety, education