You are almost ready to open your doors. You have perfected your product, pushed marketing to your targeted customers, and picked a date for your opening event. The last thing to do is to ensure your property or storefront is safe for handling large volumes of people. A single incident can put a lot of negativity on your business. Additionally, failing to meet city codes or safety requirements can lead to a temporary, or permanent, close on your business.
Evaluate all city codes and permitting requirements
Before you ever open your doors to customers, you will want to double check that you have followed all city codes and permitting requirements. You can usually obtain this information from your city clerk?s office. Request detailed information about city rules and go over every rule. For example, for U.S. based small data centers, those that are below 2,500 square feet, the Early Warning Fire Detection (EWFD) system is required. It can also be helpful to schedule an inspector to come out and view your property. They will inform you of any needed changes before welcoming customers onto your public property.
Use only professional fire sprinkler installations companies
While most cities require safety precautions, such as different types of fire protection services, most do not require that you get your fire protection service from specific fire protection companies. However, it is best to go with a professional fire sprinkler services company to ensure they are installing it correctly. When you go with a professional company, you are more likely to pass your fire sprinkler inspection and avoid any opening delays. As you are scheduling your permit inspections, make sure you also schedule your fire sprinkler inspection.
Have clear exit signs
Having clear exit signs might be a city safety requirement. However, even if they are not, they are an important part of providing a safe environment to your customers and employees. Clear exit signs show people where to go in the event of an emergency. They should be large, lit up, and easy to read. It is even useful to have exit signs that are powered by a different source than your primary electrical source. If the power goes out, you will still want your customers to be able to see the exit signs. Most fire sprinkler systems still have power, even when a fire shuts down the primary power source. Exit systems should also be planned to provide an even flow of customers from each area of the business. This prevents panic and the inability to quickly exit the building.
Schedule practice alarms
Despite a warning to remain calm, it can be difficult to do so in the event of an emergency. Planning is key to a successful emergency evacuation. In addition to fire sprinkler inspections, you also want to give your employees the ability to test the exit. Schedule your fire sprinkler inspection on a day when your staff is also in the building. As the inspector is testing the alarm, you can give your staff the ability to practice their exit routes. In the event of an actual emergency, they are more likely to be calm and to be able to help other customers out.
Fires are a risk in any commercial building. In fact, the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department responded to 48,460 total calls in 2014, 531 of which were fire calls. Fires cause less damage and injuries when the building and the staff are prepared. As you plan to open your new business, it is important to check that you are following all city and state safety requirements. It can also be helpful to plan your fire sprinkler inspections around testing dates. In 2006 to 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 6,240 structure fires in or on health care properties per year. It doesn?t matter what type of business you are operating, safety prevention is important.