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A Building Manager’s Guide to Winter Fire Protection

In the freezing months, both residential and commercial buildings are at an increased risk for winter fires, leaving building managers in the position of educating their tenants about situations that pose significant fire risks as well as taking preventative action.

We’re here to help. Our team has put together these five tips to help you keep your tenants and your building safe this winter.

Test Your Building’s Fire Protection Equipment

Fire mitigation equipment is one of the best winter fire protection tools you can use to prevent building fires. Here’s a list of the equipment you’ll need to check:

Fire Sprinkler System

Beware of frozen sprinkler pipes when temperatures drop. Although antifreeze is added to water in fire sprinkler pipes, making their freezing point much lower, they can still freeze. During an inspection, a fire protection professional will take water samples to ensure proper antifreeze levels.

Fire Extinguishers

Check to ensure that every tenant in your building has access to properly pressurized fire extinguishers. If they’ve had to use their fire extinguisher, it should either be recharged or replaced.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Ensure the proper number of detectors is strategically installed and active throughout your property.

Distribute Your Building’s Fire Escape Plan

In the event of a fire, after the sprinklers have begun to extinguish the flames, thick smoke will still linger throughout the building. If tenants do not know the escape routes to evacuate the building, they might get trapped inside, breathing toxic smoke. Most fire-related deaths are caused by smoke inhalation.

As the building manager, you can mitigate this danger by distributing your building’s fire escape plan and organizing mandatory drills that walk tenants through all available fire escape routes.

Ban Space Heaters and Upgrade HVAC Heating Systems

Space heaters are effective, but they’re responsible for many heating fires every year. The decision to ban space heaters is up to you. If you do allow them, we suggest restricting their use. Space heaters should be kept 3 feet away from the wall and turned off before sleeping.

The safest, most effective way to stay warm in the wintertime is with an HVAC heating system. Annual heating maintenance and fast repairs ensure your tenants don’t have to rely on space heaters to get by.

Ask Tenants To Spread Out Plugged-In Appliances

Send a newsletter to tenants about the importance of avoiding extension cord overload. Overloaded extension cords become a serious winter fire hazard with holiday decorations and frequent guests.

Remind Tenants To Cook Safely

The winter season is full of opportunities to cook for guests or household members to celebrate the holidays. The number one cause of residential fires is a meal left unattended during preparation.

Ask tenants to stay vigilant while preparing food and make sure appliances are turned off before they sleep or leave the building.

Turn to Unifour Fire & Safety for Fire Protection Services in the Southeast

For fire protection services that keep you and your tenants safe from winter fire hazards, contact Unifour Fire & Safety.

Unifour has provided building managers throughout the Southeast with quality fire protection services for over 30 years, and we’re proud to be the fire protection company that business and property owners trust.

From fire alarm installation to sprinkler system testing and repair, you can depend on Unifour as your one-stop shop for fire protection services.

Schedule fire protection services with us today by calling 866-511-5540 or contacting us online. We proudly service clients in NC, SC, GA, VA, and TN!