The July 4th holiday is the biggest party of the summer, and it’s natural to forgo thinking about work as the holiday approaches (especially when it falls on a weekend).
Business owners shouldn’t overlook it, though, as it combines all the key elements of a serious safety issue — fireworks, cooking and alcohol!
What should businesses be thinking about ahead of Independence Day? The #1 issue of concern is the DIY fireworks displays. While the official fireworks spectacles put on by city governments are usually as safe as it gets, those are hardly the only shows in town.
Whether they are illegal in the area or not, people will often look for wide open areas that are out of the way to fire off their own pyrotechnics. Often those areas are near businesses, especially those that have big parking lots or cleared fields nearby.
The biggest danger is that these fireworks start a wildfire nearby that threatens to spread to structures. Nearly 20,000 wildfires are started by fireworks each year according to the NFPA. As July 4th approaches, use it as an opportunity to evaluate your facility’s susceptibility to wildfires and the defense measures you have in place. Are there adequate zones of “defensible space” around the facility? Has flammable vegetation been trimmed or removed? Are fire extinguishers and hydrants properly placed and in working order? Are walls, signs or wood around the building a fire risk?
Another important thing to be aware of is that July 4th is one of the busiest days of the year for false security and fire alarms. Nearby high-powered fireworks can rattle windows and set off glass-break sensors. You may want to turn these off for the night if you’re near a display. However, it’s important to make sure that other aspects of the system are working properly as you’re less likely to get a timely police response during the holiday.
A day full of explosions and fire should also be a good prompt to take a pass through the facility checking on the basic elements of fire safety. Ensure that fire alarms have full batteries, fire extinguishers are charged, and that flammable items have not been left out in the open.
We here at Millennium Fire hope you have a happy, fun and safe holiday. If you’re in need of assistance with installation or maintenance of a fire alarm system, please give us a call at 407.253.7373. We’re trained to service and install all the major brands and would be happy to answer any questions you might have.