Businesses and public buildings are at particular risk of fire. Besides being targets for arson on much higher levels than private homes, commercial properties see higher traffic, higher use of electricity, and often greater exposure to fire hazards than residential buildings do. If your commercial building doesn’t have a fire sprinkler system installed, you’re taking a risk with your business.
There are over 100 fires in commercial properties throughout the U.K. each day, and insurance companies that insure commercial properties report that approximately half of their losses occur as a result of fire. Many companies don’t take the step of installing a commercial fire sprinkler system, and many don’t ever recover financially from a serious fire. As a business owner, here are a few things you should know about commercial fire sprinklers.
They could save you money. You’re likely to see significant reductions in property insurance if you install fire sprinkler systems in your facilities. Insurance companies encourage businesses to install fire sprinkler systems because they reduce the risk of fire damage—and the insurance company’s risk of a big payout down the road. You may see relaxations of certain restrictions in place for the sake of fire safety, as well—this could save you significant time and money when it comes to building new facilities.
They’re designed with you in mind. Residential fire sprinkler systems are typically one-size-fits-all. Commercial fire sprinkler systems, however, are much more complex—and they often have to be custom-designed to fit your facility. Buildings are typically classified for fire risk, and a fire sprinkler system designer will start with your building’s particular classification. The design of your sprinkler system will take into account the materials used in your building’s construction, the materials stored there, processes performed in the building, ceiling heights, and other factors. Once these are taken into account, a fire sprinkler system will be designed that can deliver the right amount of litres per minute to douse flames in the most at-risk areas of your building.
Water damage is a minimal risk. Some business owners avoid installing fire sprinkler systems because of a perceived risk of water damage if the fire sprinkler system activates when there is no fire. The truth is that water damage is the least of your problems if a fire breaks out in your building; many fires can be controlled with a single sprinkler head, and all sprinkler heads don’t activate automatically unless the system was deliberately designed to work this way. In addition, fire sprinklers are typically very difficult to sabotage and set off deliberately. Fire-related damage is often ten times worse without fire sprinklers installed.
Commercial fire sprinkler systems are more than a smart choice for business owners—they could save your business someday. If you look into installing a fire sprinkler system for your commercial property, It’s likely you’ll find that they cost less than you expect and result in significant insurance savings. But regardless of the cost, one thing is for sure—one fire, and your commercial fire sprinkler system is likely to prove its worth to your business.