How Your Place of Worship Can Be Proactive Against Fires
3 Proven Ways to Help Diminish Fire Vulnerabilities
When I was younger, my grandfather was cooking chicken in our church for a meal and some grease hit the open flame of the gas stove and sparked a small fire. The fire alarms sounded and we all evacuated while my grandfather and the pastor used fire extinguishers to put it out before the fire department arrived. This could have turned in to a potential tragedy with great loss of property and possibly life, but because the situation was handled well, very little damage occurred. Part of the quick response was due to the church take a proactive stance against incidents by preparing for them before they happen.
Read more to learn three ways that places of worship can be proactive against fires and how those proactive steps could help fire first responders.
In my example, our church didn’t have a sprinkler system in place, but it could have further helped to extinguish the fire. Fire sprinklers are common in a number of facilities, including places of worship. Sprinkler systems help greatly by providing water before responders have arrived and have been proven to decrease the spread of fires and prevent more destructive outcomes. If your place of worship does not have a sprinkler system installed throughout, you may consider at least installing one in the kitchen area, where many fires start.
Smoke detectors are typically mandated by law in places of worship, but where they are located can differ significantly by state. It is wise to put one smoke detector in each room in your place of worship, including childcare rooms and rooms used for teaching. Also, the kitchen, hallways, areas near the restrooms, and in the sanctuary are suitable locations for smoke detectors. If you place of worship has multiple levels, ensure that you are installing detectors at each level, you never know where a fire might start. Smoke detectors are important and are one of the easiest ways to help respond quickly to fires and help your first responders.
Installing sprinkler systems can be hard on a safety budget, but fire extinguishers are cost efficient and portable. Fire extinguishers are highly effective and are recommended by almost every fire first responder. In my example, the individuals acted quickly and were well trained on how to use a fire extinguisher, because of that, the damage to our church was minimal compared to what it could have been. Fire extinguishers are one fire safety aspect that should not be overlooked for your place of worship. They should be placed in multiple areas throughout the facility and those in leadership positions should be trained on how to properly use it. Fire extinguishers also need to be maintenance periodically. There should be an inspection sticker that needs to be updated every time it is inspected, typically once a month. If the dial falls outside of the green on the indicator, the extinguisher needs to be recharged or replaced. Log these inspections and maintenances digitally and refer to it when questions arise.
Fires tend to happen unexpectedly and spread quickly but having fire safety assets in place prior to an emergency will lead to a more desired response with less damage. Fire sprinklers, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers are all proven to diminish fire vulnerabilities and help to aid in your fire first responders’ response.