Essential safety measures are building features that help reduce human suffering and property damage in case of a fire. In Australia, all commercial buildings are required to have essential safety measures. Read this guide to learn the various aspects of the most essential safety measures that you should invest in.
The building design should ease the fire response protocol. For instance, the building should have wide walkways, entrances and exits to prevent stampedes in case of a fire. Additionally, the building must have emergency exits, elevators and staircases. Window grilles could prevent people from escaping through the windows. Metal doors could become hot and expand. As such, they could lock occupants inside the building. The building should have high-quality ventilation systems to expel heat and smoke.
The building should have fire safety equipment such as:
- High-quality alarms that will inform the security team and firefighters the exact point that the fire breaks out
- Ionisation and photoelectric smoke detectors to activate water sprinklers during a fire
- Appropriate fire extinguishers
- An emergency warning system that alerts occupants of a fire and that has emergency lighting to direct occupants to the emergency exits
- An emergency water supply to be used during a fire
Proper training will ensure coordination during the fire response. For instance, occupants should know the location of emergency exits. Each floor should contain a map indicating the routes occupants should use during a fire. The building occupants should also know how to use the extinguishers. Encourage some of the occupants to enrol in fire warden training. These individuals will provide instant first aid and help in search and rescue before the fire department arrives.
Under Australian law, building owners are required to conduct annual inspections to ascertain the condition of fire safety equipment. It helps them identify defects that may affect fire response. For example, fire extinguishers could have tampered seals or gauges. Besides, the ventilation system could be clogged. A fire inspector will examine the essential safety measures and award a certificate. Typically, this certificate should be displayed at the entrance. Building owners who do not comply risk severe fines or prosecution.
Essential safety measures are beneficial to the building owner and occupants. They minimise property damage and injuries in case of a fire. Besides, having these measures could encourage clients to lease or rent space in your building because they will feel more protected.