Shopping centers are responsible for fire protection; however, there are certain boundaries and handing over the responsibilities that every shop owner or tenant must be aware about. For instance, if you enter the confines of an individual shop in a shopping mall, the fire protection is the responsibility of the shopowner.
As a shop owner, you can expect such scenarios and policies penciled down on your lease agreement, ensure to double-check the pertinent conditions before you put pen on paper. This post will feature some common things to be considered while ensuring fire protection in shopping centers.
Fire extinguisher maintenance
Fire extinguishers can vary from size to type. For instance, you have water, foam, powder and Co2 fire extinguishers. You need to talk to a specialist when choosing the right one for your retail shop as your selection should be based on the type of store, the storage commodity and more.
Service fire extinguishers on a regular basis and consider it mandatory to have them serviced annually to ensure that they are in compliance.
Fire alarm maintenance
Even though the shopping centers will have centrally controlled fire alarm systems, you are responsible for the ones that are within the confines of your shop.
Service and test these fire alarms as per your council’s requirements and ensure that you have the respective logbooks updated.
A fire and evacuation diagram can turn out to be a lifesaver. This together with other fire safety signage can be critical when the unexpected happens. Position the signage ideally to map out the escape routes for your customers, who might not have any idea about the compound layout in case of emergencies.
An ideal means to ensure that everything looks good is by checking whether you can see a fire exit sign wherever you are within your shop.
Emergency lighting is another important fire safety measure that should meet the compliance. A fire breakout can easily sabotage the lighting circuits. As precautionary measures, the fire safety officers tend to disconnect the electric supply to any property under fire. Foresee such scenarios and ensure that you have proper and efficient lighting within your property which can guide yourself and the emergency service team.
Fire training should be mandatory for staff in your outlet. Train yourself or at least one staff within your establishment about evacuation procedures and setups within the shop. Electing a fire warden can help you to alleviate stress and chaos in case of any emergencies.
Moreover, consider engaging in some fire mock drills to ensure that everything goes as planned in case of emergencies. You might be surprised to learn that most people are unaware of how to use a fire extinguisher in case of emergencies. Even with clear instructions marked on the product itself, the stress and the chaos that the situation creates can make it difficult for your function normally. This is where mock drills can come in handy.
Ensuring fire safety within your shop can be challenging and requires careful planning and thought processes. For practical assistance, consult with fire protection, inspection, and maintenance service.