There are a variety of steps any smart business owner or property manager can take to prevent a fire. However, even if your business works hard to prevent fires internally, wildfires can happen anywhere and at anytime.
With any type of fire, using automatic sprinklers and early warning systems in tandem could reduce injuries, death, and property damage by 50%. With wildfires in particular, both indoor and outdoor fire sprinklers can help ensure that your office, hotel, or hospital is minimally damaged should the flames approach.
What causes buildings to ignite?
During a wildfire, any building can begin to burn when exposed to:
Radiant Heat. A nearby fire increases the temperature of the air surrounding a combustible material. When the air becomes hot enough, the material can ignite. Radiant heat can also warm materials, called preheating, which makes them quicker to burn after direct flame contact.
Burning Debris and Embers. One of the most common causes of wildfire expansion, drifting hot embers can reach your building and start a fire long before the flames themselves are near.
Direct Contact with Flames. This occurs when fires reach the building itself or ignite other combustible materials nearby on the property.
How Sprinklers Can Protect Your Business
Outdoor Sprinkler Systems
Sprinklers can be installed on the roof and surrounding your building to saturate the exterior. Exterior sprinklers help extinguish flames before they cause significant damage. They can also cool burning debris that may land on the building.
Indoor Sprinkler Systems
Surprisingly, the interior of a building can ignite during a wildfire even if the exterior does not. Embers can drift in through open windows or vents, and radiant heat from the ground can raise the temperature of basements, which external sprinklers cannot protect. And, should the exterior of the building ignite in spite of outdoor sprinklers, indoor sprinkler systems can minimize property damage.
Installation and Maintenance
Industrial fire protection services can help you decide which systems would be best for your business and your budget. Be wary that some services may only offer indoor or outdoor systems. Furthermore, installation costs often vary, depending on if you plan to install sprinklers in existing buildings, or as part of a new building project.
Fire sprinklers can be rendered ineffective if not properly maintained. In other words, installing sprinklers is not enough! Work with a industrial fire protection service to schedule fire sprinkler inspections, maintenance, and repairs.