Controlling Fire and Smoke Damage In Educational Institutions
Fires can cause devastation in any building, but educational buildings are particularly vulnerable. Even though the direct fire damage may be contained in a small area, super-heated smoke can carry contamination throughout the building, creating the need for prolonged clean-up as well as great expense before the building is safe to reoccupy.
What can you do to control the problem at your educational institution?
Prevention. Make every effort to prevent a fire from occurring in the first place.
Promote good housekeeping practices, ensure that mechanical equipment works properly and receives preventive maintenance, properly control flammable liquids, and ensure that the electrical system is in good condition and working properly.
Protect against fire and smoke spread. Evaluate your building(s) and take measures to contain heat and smoke should a fire occur.
Provide early detection. To successfully limit damage, it is important to detect the fire early and effectively transmit the fire signal to a central station alarm company that will in turn notify the fire department.
Begin by evaluating your detection system. If your detection system covers only a portion of the building, extend the system to provide 100% coverage because a fire can start anywhere. Also ensure that the fire alarm is in working condition and require staff members to check the annunciator panel daily. Consult with a qualified alarm service contractor to set up a schedule for weekly, monthly and semi-annual testing. In addition to heat/smoke detectors, make sure your testing regimen includes smoke doors, dampers and the HVAC interconnect. Always be sure to promptly correct system problems to help maintain system effectiveness!
The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes and should not be considered as all encompassing, suitable for all situations, in compliance with all laws and regulations or legal advice. Consult an attorney or other specialist to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.