Fire Safety Rules In Empty Buildings

Fire Safety Rules In Empty Buildings
Photo by imustbedead:

WorldExecutivesDigest | Fire Safety Rules In Empty Buildings | Fire safety isn’t only important in buildings that are occupied. Unoccupied buildings can also catch on fire and even though people may not be present inside an unoccupied burning building, it can present a danger to the general area surrounding the building.

Let’s take a look at fire safety rules for empty buildings. Fire safety and fire protection services from fire protection companies apply to both occupied and unoccupied buildings.

Fire Safety Inspections and Maintenance Schedules Are Still Required

The rules for this in Australia can differ from state to state but generally speaking, building owners of unoccupied buildings are still responsible when it comes to having the right fire safety and suppression equipment installed, along with having the building’s fire safety system periodically inspected and equipment maintained by qualified fire protection companies.

For example, Queensland legislation requires building owners to file an annual “occupier’s statement” that verifies fire safety equipment has been maintained to the standards set by the relevant building codes.

Be sure to check the specific regulations for your state regarding this.

Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment

Have a representative from a fire safety company visit the building to conduct a fire risk assessment. This will include checking over the existing fire safety equipment as well as determining if more equipment is required.

Other things that will be assessed are any potential hazards found within or outside the building that could result in (or feed) a fire.

Having a fire risk assessment conducted periodically in an unoccupied building can potentially save you a lot of money and headaches if it prevents a fire from ever breaking out.

The Building Should Be Equipped With a Fire Sprinkler System

Fire sprinkler suppression systems are one of the first lines of defense when it comes to fire safety and protection. Not only can sprinkler systems help to prevent damage to the entire building, but they also have the capacity to contain a fire to just one or two rooms.

Sprinkler valves will only be activated in rooms that reach a temperature that’s high enough to burst a small glass capsule in the sprinkler. This helps prevent water damage to areas of a building where no fire is present. If a fire breaks out in one room in the vacant building, the sprinkler system may be enough to extinguish the flames and contain the blaze to just that one room.

Of course, a sprinkler system is only going to be effective in fighting a fire if it’s maintained professionally by fire protection companies, so the suppression system is in excellent working order.

Defective Fire Safety Equipment Must Be Repaired or Replaced

It doesn’t matter whether the building is currently sitting empty, a fire is a hazard and causes mass destruction no matter what.

If upon inspection, any of your current fire safety and suppression equipment in the building is found to be defective or ineffective, it needs to either be repaired by an expert or replaced with brand new equipment.

Likewise, fire extinguishers should be full of fluid and in top working condition. A working fire extinguisher that is empty or almost empty isn’t going to be of much use in combating a fire.

Ensure Fire Alarms Are Installed and In Perfect Working Order

Buildings in Australia are required, by law, to be equipped with an adequate number of fire alarms that comply with Australian standards. This rule applies just as much to unoccupied buildings as it does to buildings that are not vacant.

Even an unoccupied building may have someone present at certain times and if a fire breaks out when someone does happen to be inside the building, a fire alarm will sound a warning and that person will get the signal to evacuate.

Unoccupied Buildings Need Fire Hoses and Hydrants

If an unoccupied building catches on fire, the fire department will need access to as much firefighting equipment as possible. Therefore, having fire hose reels and fire hydrants in and around the building are essential in combating a blaze.

The Takeaway

Fire rules and safety regulations apply to unoccupied buildings and it’s the responsibility of building owners or building managers to ensure an unoccupied building is compliant with the law.

Photo by imustbedead: