As a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate. From keeping up with inventory to managing employees, there’s a lot to think about daily. However, one thing that you can’t afford to forget is fire safety.
While it may not be the first thing on your mind, making sure your business is up to code for fire safety is crucial. Not only could it save lives, but it could also protect your business from legal trouble down the road.
Here are a few fire safety laws that every small business owner should be aware of:
1. Exit Signs Must Be Visible and Functional
One of the most critical aspects of fire safety is making sure that people can quickly and easily find their way to the exits in case of an emergency. That’s why all businesses are required to have exit signs that are visible and working correctly.
If your exit sign isn’t visible from every part of the room or if it’s not lit up correctly, you could be fined or even shut down. So make sure to check your exit signs regularly to ensure they’re in good working order.
2. You Must Have an Emergency Evacuation Plan
In the event of a fire, it’s essential to have a plan in place so that everyone knows what to do. This includes having a designated meeting spot outside the building where everyone can regroup after evacuating.
Your emergency evacuation plan should be posted in a visible location and reviewed with all employees regularly. In addition, you should also conduct regular fire drills so that everyone is familiar with the procedure and knows what to do in case of an emergency.
3. Employees Must be Trained on Fire Safety Procedures
All employees should be properly trained on your business’s fire safety procedures. This includes knowing how to use a fire extinguisher, where the exits are located, and what to do in an emergency.
You can hold regular training sessions or include fire safety information in your new employee orientation process. Either way, all employees must be up-to-date on your company’s fire safety procedures.
4. Your Business Must Comply with Local Fire Codes
In addition to following state and federal fire codes, you must also comply with local codes. These codes can vary from city to city, so it’s essential to be familiar with the specific regulations in your area.
Your local fire department can provide you with a list of fire codes that your business must follow. Make sure to stay up-to-date on any changes or updates to these codes to keep your business in compliance. Hiring Fire Watch Guards is a great way to ensure your business is always compliant.
5. You Must Have Working Smoke Alarms
All businesses are required to have working smoke alarms installed on each building level. These alarms should be tested monthly and replaced every ten years.
In addition, you should also have a carbon monoxide detector in any areas where there is potential for exposure to the gas. This includes any room with a fuel-burning appliance or is attached to a garage.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly and replace them as needed to ensure they’re in good working order.
6. You May Need a Fire Permit
You may need to obtain a fire permit to operate your business in some cases. This is usually required for companies that use hazardous materials or have high occupancy rates.
If you’re not sure your business needs a fire permit, you can check with your local fire department. They will be able to tell you if you need one and help you through the application process if necessary.
Following these fire safety laws is crucial for any small business owner. By ensuring your business is up to code, you can help protect your employees, customers, and property in case of an emergency.