According to the US Fire Administration, over 1.3 million fires have been reported all over the US just in 2015. Putting this into perspective, that means there are roughly 3,500 fire-related incidents happening every day in a year. Statistics show that fire incidents already decreased by 19% from 2006, but it’s still quite hard to warm up to the fact that these fires took at least 3,200 lives and left $14.3 billion worth of property damage in their ashes.
Put simply, fires are among the worst things to experience, and everyone is a possible victim. The question now is this: how ready are you when faced with this threat?
Fire risk is especially high in today’s age. Every establishment, be it residential, commercial or industrial, runs the risk of catching fire. Although risk levels vary, what differentiates those that might catch fire from those that actually do is often simply the resolve to prevent it in the first place.
Acknowledging that you’re susceptible to this disaster is the first step towards preventing it. Acting upon this knowledge is the next critical step. This can be done by identifying fire hazards at home or in the workplace. You should also take note of exits and escape routes you can use in the event your establishment does catch fire. And despite costing some money, it might be wise to acquire devices which can greatly bump up your chances of survival against an untimely blaze.
If you don’t know which equipment to get or which will even suit your needs, then you’ve come to the right place. Below is fire safety equipment you can consider investing in, along with some uses they serve.
A fire extinguisher is the most common piece of fire safety equipment. Films portray characters who immediately lunge at one when they get caught up in flaming situations.
Fire extinguishers are good for dousing fires at the source, particularly when they’re just starting. They come in different sizes, which dictate how large a fire they can tackle, and can be used more than once depending on how much foam and pressure is released each time. They should be kept in conspicuous locations where they’re easily accessible. As a nifty bonus, they make for great head bashing action in case of a zombie apocalypse!
Fire alarms alert people inside or near an establishment when a fire breaks out. These are found in almost all commercial buildings, more often in big ones with high consumer traffic. They can be triggered automatically or manually. Establishments with more critical risk usually opt for the automated system, which allows a swifter response in case of emergency. Some computerized alarm systems even alert nearby emergency response stations when triggered.
Smoke detection systems
Usually coupled with alarm systems, smoke detectors are critical in identifying the occurrence of fires as they start. These systems must be calibrated well to avoid undue circumstances like getting tripped for no reason and causing false alarms. According to the US National Fire Protection Association, homes with working smoke detectors are half as likely to suffer extensive fire damage as those without. Some smoke detection systems are also connected to sprinkler systems to provide seamless emergency response.
Properly-installed sprinkler systems incorporated with the water line suppress the rapid growth of fires when they occur. They help prevent spreading to nearby establishments, and increase the chance of survival for victims still trapped inside burning buildings. Like smoke detectors, these require proper maintenance and should be checked regularly to ensure they work properly.
Other fire safety equipment
In the event of fires, victims may be helped by equipment such as surveillance cameras to help identify fire starters, emergency lights in the case of a power outage, and exit signs to ease the evacuation of victims. Intercom systems also help dispel panic among people in large establishments experiencing manageable fire incidents.
Ill-working equipment is no better than no equipment at all, so whichever safety equipment you pick, it should be given regular maintenance. Seeking the help of professionals in identifying fire hazards in your establishment increases your safety further. The extra effort of implementing any of these safety precautions is worth every penny, especially when you risk losing so much more.
Knowledge of emergency protocol, regular inspection for fire safety, and maintenance of safety equipment on-hand ensure that the possibility of adding to fire statistics is minimized. With diligence and preparedness, the hazard that is fire becomes much less dangerous to tackle and your, along with your loved ones’, safety is assured.