As the year draws to a close, it is natural that people start looking forward to the holidays. It is therefore quite easy to neglect to consider the damaging effect a fire could have on businesses during the annual shutdown. In light of the recent and tragic deaths of fire fighters in Johannesburg, AST’s advice is to ensure that while attention turns to the festive season, business owners should ensure that their premises have the necessary fire protection measures in place.
Routine checks before the annual shutdown
Routine service checks must be completed prior to the holidays, which should include servicing of fire extinguishers, fire detection systems, sprinkler systems, automatic fire extinguishing systems, fire sealing and room integrity testing, and so forth.
Those businesses that currently do not have any form of fire protection may want to consider the losses they could potentially incur. AST can assist with most fire risk requirements through its knowledgeable and friendly sales team who are always ready to assist.
In addition to the above, it is also advisable to check all electrical systems and make sure they are properly isolated if necessary. Any process that can lead to an ignition must be disabled if not being used during the festive season, and all materials and equipment must be stored away.
In case anything goes wrong, make sure your insurance policies are in order and that your building is fully compliant with the requirements of the National Building Regulations and the relevant fire engineering standards. Should you have Pyroshield Gaseous Fire Extinguishing cylinders, be sure that they are up-to-date on all OHSA:PER (2009) requirements, such as mandatory 10-year hydrostatic pressure testing. By not doing so, you could fall foul of the law, and indeed may void insurance policies.
AST has a full team of fire system inspectors and fire systems designers who are able to perform inspections and ensure compliance. For hydrostatic pressure testing, they can assist with rapid transport and quick fill solutions at no cost.
If the company will be running a skeleton staff during the holidays, ensure that they have been trained to respond to a fire alarm and understand and are capable of following the necessary procedures. They must know where the nearest fire brigade is and how to reach them. These small details can prevent a business going up in smoke.
If the business is being shut down completely, make sure there is an automatic means of sensing a fire and remote signalling an alarm to someone. If not, AST can assist with this.
An early alert, followed with a fire-fighting response, can mean the difference between a minor incident and the loss of property, or even worse, lives. Performing these routine checks before you shut down for the holidays will help to ensure that you are not greeted by an unpleasant surprise when you return. https://www.facebook.com/astafrica/?ref=settings
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