Beat the Heat!
Summer Fire Safety in Your Mall
Shopping centers start to see an increase in shoppers through the summer months since school is out, but summer brings other challenges for facilities. Wildfires, overheating of air conditioners, generators, and other electrical wiring become a concern during warmer seasons. Be prepared this summer and offer a safe place for people to beat the heat with these fire safety and prevention tips.
Many visually pleasing plants are fire retardant, consider planting some of these around the outer perimeter of your mall. This is productive for not only wildfire prevention, but also a good preventative measure for arson, or even a lit cigarette catching fire near an access point. Here are some fire retardant plants you may consider planting:
- Rockrose (Cistaceae)
- Ice Plant ( Aizoaceae)
- Aloe (Aloe Vera)
- Fresh Lavender
Prevent overheating of things like air conditioners and generators by performing normal regular maintenance all year long. Routinely checking and changing oil is critical to reducing the likelihood of overheating. To ensure this is done on a regular schedule, keep a digital log of maintenance and any issues encountered. When a technician performs maintenance on equipment, they should sign off that it was completed with the date and time, any issues that were reported, and should schedule the next time it needs to be checked or changed. Don’t forget about air filters in all areas around your mall. They should be changed every 1-2 months.
Malls are interesting from a safety and security point of view because there are smaller businesses inside the larger facility’s infrastructure. Each individual store inside your mall has different wiring and in different places, making it difficult to keep completely up-to-date all of the time. However, this is a critical aspect to ensuring safety and reducing the risk of fire. If a business has an issue with wiring, such as outlets not working properly, immediately get a technician on the scene to begin repairs. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) estimates there are 47,800 electrical fires every year. This number can be greatly reduced if electrical equipment and wiring hazards are taken care of properly and in a timely manner.
Fire safety during the summer is not something malls always think about, but it is just as likely to happen during the summer months as it is at Christmas time with extra lights and flammable trees. Consider planting flame retardant plants around your mall’s perimeter to prevent the spread of fire and perform regular routine maintenance on a schedule to prevent overheating of large machinery. Finally, take wiring and electrical issues seriously and mitigate those risks in a timely manner to ensure the safety of your facility, businesses, and shoppers. Shoppers come to your mall to beat the summer heat, don’t let a preventable fire change that.