Fire Prevention Tips for Offices

fire evacuation at business

We may think of an office as a safe work environment, especially when compared to job sites such as construction zones, mines and manufacturing plants. But offices pose a unique set of safety hazards, with fire among the biggest risks. According to National Fire Protection Association statistics, fire departments respond to an average of 3,340 office building fires each year, resulting in an annual average of $112 million in property damage.

If you own or operate an office or office building, implementing the following fire safety steps can substantially lower the risk of a fire on your business property:

  • Monitor cooking areas: Approximately 29 percent of office fires start in the kitchen area and are caused by unattended cooking or faulty equipment. Make sure your employees are following safe cooking practices and inspect the stove regularly to be certain it’s in good working order. Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand in the kitchen and provide training for your employees on how to use it properly.
  • Check your electrical, lighting and heating equipment: Occurrences such as frayed electrical cords, overloaded circuits and malfunctioning heating units account for about 23 percent of office fires. Be certain your equipment is in good condition and that you are not overburdening your electrical outlets, especially at workstations and in computer/data rooms.
  • Don’t allow trash and paper to accumulate: Trash, especially paper items, can pose a significant fire hazard in an office. Make sure you dispose of trash properly and do not allow it to pile up. Converting to a paperless office environment can help you cut down on the paper flow.
  • Police your smoking areas: If your office has a designated smoking area, make sure it is cleaned regularly and that your employees do not leave smoldering butts lying around. If your employees smoke outside, be certain they do so at a safe distance from your building.
  • Have a fire emergency plan in place: If a fire breaks out, your employees must know how to respond. Make sure they are familiar with the fastest, safest evacuation route based on their location in the building. Stage regular fire drills to ensure your workers are prepared for a fire emergency.

For further tips and assistance for your Phoenix-, Mesa-, or Tucson-based business, contact Titan Alarm today.

Learn More About Fire Extinguishers

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

Choosing a Hood Cleaning Service for Your Restaurant

keep new restaurant secure

Any restaurant owner understands the importance of regular range hood cleaning as part of the establishment’s maintenance program. Keeping the hood and connected ductwork clean is essential for staying compliant with all national, state and local safety standards — a dirty hood will undoubtedly attract some unwanted attention from your friendly neighborhood health inspector.

Dirty hoods that have accumulated layers of grease can also pose an additional fire hazard that you don’t need — you already have enough to worry about with the fire-related risks that come with cooking and food preparation. Regular cleaning will help to prevent grease fires and improve the air quality in your kitchen.

How Often Should You Clean Your Hood?

According to the National Fire Protection Association’s most recent guidelines for commercial cooking operations, the appropriate frequency of your restaurant’s hood cleaning depends on usage and the volume of cooking you do. They recommend:

  • Monthly: For range hood systems in solid fuel operations
  • Quarterly: For systems that serve high-volume restaurants, like 24/7 diners
  • Semi-annually: For systems in cooking operations with moderate-volume
  • Annually: For systems in low-volume operations

What to Look for in a Hood Cleaning Service

Using a qualified, experienced professional hood and duct cleaning service can ensure your hood system remains in peak operating condition and will also significantly reduce your fire risk. But not all hood services are created equal — to find a reputable company in your area, start by checking with some of your fellow restauranteurs for recommendations.

You should also seek satisfactory answers to the following questions:

  1. How long has the company been in business in the area? A local company will understand all applicable fire codes, safety requirements, etc.
  2. What professional certifications does the company have?
  3. What are some of the other restaurants in the area that the company serves?
  4. What documentation does the company provide? A reputable hood cleaning company will furnish a detailed service report after completing the job.

If it’s time for a restaurant hood upgrade in Phoenix, Mesa, or Tucson, AZ, Titan Alarm can provide a state-of-the-art system specifically designed for your establishment. Contact us to learn more today.

Learn More About Kitchen Hood Systems

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

Fire Alarm System Technologies

fire alarm security system

Fire alarms have come a long away in their 65+ years of existence. Today’s fire alarm and detection systems are better and more reliable than ever — they’re able to notify first responders more quickly and even provide guidance to individuals as they attempt to escape a burning building. Alarm products are also available that can detect threats other than smoke and fire.

Advanced technology is at the heart of the improvements in fire alarm system performance. Examples of some of the more recent technological innovations include:

  • Phone apps: Virtually everyone carries a smartphone these days. Many fire alarm systems now provide access to downloadable apps that deliver instant alerts whenever a potential fire emergency arises. Company owners or property managers no longer need to rush to a fire alarm panel — which could be a great distance away — to investigate the situation. If the threat turns out to be real, the individual can also notify first responders promptly.
  • Carbon monoxide detection: Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and potentially lethal gas that may be produced in harmful amounts from malfunctioning heating systems or appliances. CO is often referred to as the “silent killer” because its victims may not notice its effects until it’s too late. The latest fire alarm solutions now include carbon monoxide detectors that can alert building occupants regarding unsafe CO levels.
  • Voice evacuation units: Emergency voice alarm communication systems (EVACS) are now available that can deliver pre-recorded or manual voice messages during a fire. They provide vocal reminders to all occupants regarding the safest evacuation route to take in an emergency. These systems are especially beneficial in buildings with visually impaired occupants.
  • Aspiration detection: Aspiration detection systems represent the latest development in fire alarm technology. They can determine the existence of a potentially dangerous environment — they’re even sensitive enough to tell the difference between smoke and dust. Aspiration detection devices are typically used to protect areas containing mission-critical assets — examples include computer rooms and data centers.

Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. to learn more about how the most recent advancements in fire alarm technology can benefit your business.

Learn More About Commercial Fire Alarm Systems

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 2, 2018.

Fire Drill Tips for Schools

schools protect students

While many school systems these days are understandably focusing their safety training initiatives on how to respond to active shooter situations, fires still pose a significant risk. According to National Fire Protection Association statistics, fire departments in the United States responded to an average of nearly 5,000 structure fires per year in educational institutions from 2011-2015.

How to Prepare Your School for a Fire

Fire drills are an essential component of fire safety in schools. Regular drilling trains students and staff members on how to evacuate the building promptly during a fire emergency. Elements of an effective fire drill program include:

  • Consistent drilling. This is crucial for reinforcing the appropriate actions during a fire. According to NFPA guidelines, schools should stage drills once a month while school is in session. Schools located in areas with severe climates may drill less frequently based on the weather conditions.
  • Constant awareness. It is impossible to anticipate when a fire will break out. Thus, it is important to hold drills during different times of the day and under varying conditions to ensure students and staff members are prepared for every contingency.
  • Accessible plans of escape. Every room in the building should have a fire evacuation map posted in a visible location. The map should indicate two escape routes in case one path is blocked or inaccessible.
  • Calm procedures. Staff members should oversee the procession of students leaving the building and ensure they are moving in a quick, but orderly fashion. Rushing could cause a panic that leads to injuries.
  • Adequate staffing and planning. Students will special needs may need assistance during a fire drill. Designate a staff member or student “buddy” to be responsible for helping these individuals get out of the building safely.
  • School-wide participation. Everyone must leave the building during a fire drill — no exceptions. Use student rosters to account for every student.
  • Clear plans. Once the students have exited the building, make sure they remain at a predetermined location until they are cleared to go back inside.

Titan Alarm, Inc. can provide your Mesa-, Phoenix-, or Tucson-area school with a reliable fire alarm system that will enhance your safety efforts. Contact us for more information and to schedule a no-obligation fire safety consultation today.

Learn More About Commercial Fire Alarm Systems

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 2, 2018.

Seven House Fire Prevention Tips

You might think that it will never happen to you, but a house fire can break out when you least expect it. According to National Fire Protection Association statistics, the average homeowner will experience five residential fires in their lifetime. Even more alarming, there is about a 10 percent chance that you or someone you know will be injured in a home-related fire incident.

The following tips can help you reduce your odds of becoming another household fire victim:

  1. Never leave cooking unattended and teach your children to stay away from the stove. More fires occur in the kitchen than any other areas of a home. Keep a fire extinguisher within easy reach in the kitchen.
  2. Regularly inspect all electrical cords for wear or fraying and replace any that show signs of damage. Don’t cover cords with rugs or carpeting.
  3. Consider consulting with a professional electrician regarding the capacity of your home’s electrical circuits. The modern home contains a host of electronic gadgets that can overload the electrical system and potentially cause a fire.
  4. Try to smoke outside whenever possible and properly extinguish and dispose of butts and ashes. Careless smoking is another leading cause of house fires, especially when people fall asleep while smoking in bed.
  5. Carefully follow the instructions for installing your dryer’s ventilation system. A surprising number of fires result from clothes dryers. Remove the lint from the trap after each cycle, and periodically clean the area under and behind the dryer.
  6. Have your home’s heating system inspected by a professional during the fall, just before the cold weather arrives. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, including the regular changing of the unit’s filter.
  7. Avoid using older models of space heaters to supplement the main heating system. Many older models may not have all the safety features that are included with modern units. Keep the heater away from curtains, furniture, newspapers or other items that could easily ignite.

Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. for more fire prevention tips for your Phoenix, Mesa- or Tucson, AZ-area home. We can also assist you in upgrading your fire prevention systems.

Learn More About Fire Alarm Systems

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

Why You Need to Keep Fire Extinguishers in Your Home

fire extinguisher safety

If you’re like many homeowners, your fire defense setup consists of a few strategically placed smoke detectors and perhaps a fire alarm connected to a home security system. But when you consider that more house fires start in the kitchen than any other area (faulty equipment and unattended cooking are typical causes), it is also important to be able to stop a fire in the early stages. Many kitchen blazes are fueled by grease and can spread quickly. And as most of us learn at an early age, the last thing you should do is attempt to douse a grease fire with water.

A fire extinguisher is an inexpensive piece of home protection equipment that should be part of every household. You can purchase a small extinguisher designed for kitchens for as little as $10. Keeping one near the stove or cooking area enables you to react immediately and put out a fire before it can spread to walls or curtains.

Fire extinguishers are easy to use — you can even teach your children to operate them safely. With most models, you only need to pull the pin, point the nozzle toward the base of the flames while standing approximately eight feet away from the blaze, and squeeze the trigger while making sweeping motions with the nozzle.

Other Areas to Place Fire Extinguishers

While the kitchen is the most crucial location for an extinguisher, you should consider installing them in any areas that are prone to fires. These include near a furnace or heating unit and inside a garage (many garages serve as storage areas for products containing chemicals that could easily ignite). Other ideal spots include the hallway outside of the bedrooms and in any rooms where you or other members of your household might smoke. All homeowners should also have a fire evacuation plan — place an extinguisher along the escape route.

Contact Titan Alarm to Learn More

Titan Alarm, Inc. offers reliable extinguishers and other fire safety equipment as part of a comprehensive fire protection package for homeowners in Phoenix and Tucson, AZ. Contact us to learn more today.

Learn More About Fire Extinguishers

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

What to Look for in a Fire Protection Solutions Provider

Has the time come to upgrade your business’s fire protection system? Are you constructing a new building and need to install reliable, code-compliance equipment that you can trust to safeguard your investment — and your employees?

Given the importance of fire safety for any company, your choice of a provider is one of the most critical decisions you’ll need to make. Careful consideration of these factors can simplify the process:

  • Flexibility: No two businesses have the same fire protection requirements — a restaurant faces a much different set of risks than an office building, for example. A reputable fire protection company will work with you to design a customized solution that addresses your most daunting fire safety challenges, instead of trying to push a “one-size-fits-all” system that could leave your facility vulnerable.
  • Access to technology: Fire protection system technology continues to improve — the newest equipment on the market can detect fires earlier, which can minimize property damage and save lives. Select a provider that offers the latest advancements and knows how to apply them to meet your unique needs.
  • Response time: Suppose the recent results of a fire inspection have determined that you need to make some upgrades. You will typically have a short time frame to make the changes and get your building up to code — or risk having your facility shut down. Ask all prospective solutions providers about how quickly they can respond in these situations, as well as how many trained field technicians they employ in your area.
  • Reputation within the business community: Gauging the satisfaction level of other customers is invaluable when evaluating any company. Make inquiries to other business owners regarding their choice of fire protection solutions providers. This will help you determine which companies are likely to provide the best service — and which ones to avoid.

Titan Alarm, Inc. has been providing prompt, reliable commercial fire protection systems and services to all types of businesses in Phoenix and beyond for more than a decade. Contact us to learn more about our services and to schedule a no-obligation consultation today.

Learn More About Fire Protection

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

Tips for “Fireproofing” Your Business

Fire is a very real threat that can have devastating consequences for businesses. According to U.S. Fire Administration statistics, there were approximately 98,800 fires to nonresidential structures in the United States in 2016, resulting in 145 deaths, 1,550 injuries and more than $2 billion in property damage.

Adhering to all fire and building codes isn’t enough to keep your business property safe. You also need to take a proactive approach to fire prevention every day. Easy-to-implement fire protection tips include:

  • Keep all work areas and equipment clean: The U.S. Fire Administration points out that insufficient cleaning is the leading cause of workplace fires. Make sure that trash, paper, scrap and debris are properly stored or disposed of, and that all equipment and machinery is thoroughly cleaned and maintained.
  • Don’t neglect your heating system: Business owners in southern Arizona sometimes overlook heating unit care because the systems are not used as frequently as in colder climates. However, an improperly maintained system can overheat and cause a fire. Have your unit tuned up by a professional once a year, just before the colder weather arrives. Change the filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Keep the kitchen neat and organized: If yours is like many business facilities, several workers share a kitchen or breakroom. Appoint an employee to monitor the kitchen to make sure cooking appliances are being used safely and that everything is put away properly.
  • Check the wiring: Perform regular electrical system checks to find loose or frayed wiring, and perform replacements or upgrades as necessary.
  • Monitor smoking: Make sure that all smokers stay in the designated smoking areas in and around your facility and have someone monitor them for smoldering butts or ashes.
  • Limit the charging of electrical devices: Many employees these days charge their smartphones and tablets while they’re at work. You don’t have to prohibit this practice — provide designated areas for chargers to prevent explosions that can lead to fires.

Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. for more advice regarding how to fireproof your Phoenix, Mesa, or Tucson, AZ-area business establishment. We’ll also be happy to fire a no-obligation fire prevention consultation.

Learn More About Fire Protection

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.