When you are a property manager there are many factors to consider regarding safety management in your building. This is especially important when dealing with an unoccupied building.
What are the Risks?
With an unoccupied property, risks are high for the possibility of a fire breakout. Several key factors play into this risk including being an easy target for arson, vandalism, trespassing, and burglary.
Empty buildings are often overlooked by maintenance staff and can go days or weeks without being checked. Between 2003 and 2006 the US Fire Administration estimated that there was an average of 31,000 structure fires in vacant buildings.
43% of these reported fires were arson cases. These types of buildings appeal to arsonists as they are easy to enter and unmonitored.
Vandalism and theft are the next threats to vacant buildings. Vandals can deface and damage property, including starting a fire.
Bad weather conditions can also damage vacant buildings. For example, a vacant building that succumbs to a collapsed roof can cause issues with power lines, potentially leading to a fire that goes unnoticed until it is too late.
The best way to protect a vacant building against a fire is to have preventive measures in place. The most effective way to prevent a fire is automatic sprinkler systems. Sprinkler systems must be maintained and in good working order, which means checking on them regularly while the building is vacant. Keep the temperature in the building to a minimum of 40 degrees to keep water and pipes from freezing.
- Without a water supply system, sprinklers won’t function properly. Keep the valves locked in open positions.
- Keep any flammable materials out of vacant buildings, as well as ignition sources. Any fire doors should be closed to help prevent the spread of flames should a fire break out.
- Smoke and fire detectors should be checked and maintained regularly. This means water flow, valve tamper, smoke detectors, heat detectors, and fire pump alarms should be in service.
- Hydrants must be in good working order.
- Alarm companies should regularly test alarms and signals.
Commercial Fire Damage Restoration Services
At Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration, if your vacant building is damaged by a fire, we have a fire restoration team in place and ready to respond at a moment’s notice. We provide an immediate response to fire and smoke emergencies and services include:
- Contents restoration
- Emergency board-up
- Damage assessment
- Demolition of fire-damaged materials
- Smoke odor removal
Call us today for more information and to schedule an appointment for a walkthrough!