Keeping students, faculty, and visitors protected in the event of a fire involves fire protection systems and fire safety protocols. Well-maintained, fully operational fire protection systems can extinguish a fire, or in more serious cases, provide building occupants the time they need to evacuate safely. Fire safety protocols keep everyone informed and prepared so that they know what to do and where to go in the event of a fire.
Fire Protection Systems
Having appropriate and operational fire protection systems is a critical component of school and university fire safety. These systems should be inspected and tested at least once a year in accordance with fire codes to ensure that they are in good repair and working as intended.
Portable fire extinguishers should be located in accessible locations on every floor of each building. Staff should know where these are and how to operate them. Trained personnel can use fire extinguishers to quickly stop a small fire from spreading. This will mitigate damage and risk to building occupants.
Air Sampling Smoke Detectors
Air sampling smoke detectors are constantly testing for combustion particles in the air, making them the fastest detector available. They are a good option for schools and campuses because early detection gives everyone in the building the most time to evacuate. Early detection and notification also offer ample time to locate and extinguish a fire before it spreads.
Quick response fire sprinklers are the preferred system for facilities with high occupancies. These sprinklers activate faster than standard fire sprinklers in order to give occupants time to evacuate. Whether you install standard or quick response sprinklers, all educational facilities should be fully sprinklered.
Fire Safety Plans
Even with the best fire protection systems in place, it is important to have fire safety plans that are organized to provide quick and orderly evacuation in the event of a fire. These plans should be reviewed frequently and updated to reflect any building modifications or changes in occupancy.
Mass Notification System
A mass notification system allows building occupants to be promptly and clearly alerted to a variety of emergency situations. This includes fires, severe weather, active shooters, or any other emergency requiring immediate communication to many people. Internal speakers, outdoor blast speaker systems, mass text messages, and e-mails can all be utilized to alert everyone to the specific danger and provide instructions on how to remain safe.
Fire and Evacuation Drills
Fire and evacuation drills are the most important fire safety exercise you can do. Conduct drills on a regular basis to learn and maintain awareness of exit routes and best efficiency practices. This can be used as an opportunity to identify problem areas, and egress choke points and to ensure occupants understand any directions given by the fire alarm or mass notification system. Drills can be used to update plans as needed to account for new or renovated buildings, student growth, and other changes that might affect emergency egress.
College dormitories have sadly experienced serious fires that have injured or killed students. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), most campus fires happen in dormitories between the hours of 5-11 p.m. Of these incidents, 6 out of 7 are related to cooking. It is vital to have policies that limit or restrict the use of cooking devices in dormitories. It is vital to ensure that all dormitories are fully sprinklered, have an adequate and operable fire alarm system, including full smoke detection, and that these systems are inspected in accordance with local fire codes.
Fire Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting
people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.