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6 Most Common Sources of Fire in Commercial Buildings

January 31, 2014
Each year, California experiences thousands of commercial fires. Those fires result in millions of dollars in property damage, numerous injuries and sometimes even death. All commercial buildings should have a commercial alarm monitoring system in place, but such a system isn’t a panacea. Regularly checking for fire hazards and practicing fire evacuation procedures can help businesses reduce losses and casualties in the event of a fire.
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Most common causes of commercial fires and how to safeguard against them:

1. Cooking

Cooking is the most common cause of both residential and commercial fires. In the commercial arena, we tend to associate cooking fires with restaurants, but the problem extends to office kitchens as well. Treat all kitchens the same, wherever they are. A kitchen should have a smoke detector, a well-conditioned fire extinguisher and strict safety protocols, including no unmanned appliances.

2. Electrical

When it comes to electrical fires, the problem is twofold: user error and electrical system malfunctions. In the realm of user error, the big issues are frayed power cords, misused extension cords and overloaded and daisy-chained surge protectors. When it comes to a system malfunction, the biggest problem is faulty wiring, which is why it’s essential that all commercial buildings have their electrical systems regularly serviced by a professional.

3. Heating

Fires caused by heating are similar to those caused by electrical factors in that they’re caused by both user error and system malfunction. The most common form of user error is misuse of space heaters. Commercial spaces often have cold spots, and space heaters are a great way to alleviate that. Space heaters are also quite dangerous if users don’t respect a three-foot or greater safety zone around the unit. As for system malfunctions, fires often occur due to dust buildup and ventilation blockage, so be sure to have your heating system checked regularly.

4. Arson

Arson is much more common than you might realize. Although it often occurs at abandoned commercial structures, arson fires that occur at occupied buildings can be devastating. In addition to monitored fire detection and fire suppression measures, security cameras are an essential defense.

5. Smoking

Smoking was once a leading cause of commercial fires. This has been alleviated greatly through better security systems for business use and stricter protocols. Even in smoke-free buildings, however, cigarettes can and do lead to fire. Prevention starts with commercial alarm monitoring, but it also requires proper receptacles and fire-retardant furniture.

6. Combustibles

Most commercial buildings, including basic offices, must have combustible materials on hand. The real danger with such materials comes when they’re stored improperly, and this is a common occurrence because the materials are often being managed by people who aren’t trained in proper use. Therefore, it’s crucial to have safe storage space available, but it’s also essential that the business trains employees in the use of such materials and continues to refresh that education.

Commercial Safety

When it comes to fire and other risks to a commercial enterprise, it’s best to be proactive. Contact a security company that specializes in commercial security systems. They can help you identify risk factors in your place of business and make recommendations to help protect your enterprise against fire-related catastrophes.

Most Costly Security Issues for Businesses

January 30, 2014
Security threats can be a big headache for businesses today. Not only are companies contending with the age-old problems of employee and external theft, but new cyber threats have the potential to cost organizations millions in lost revenue and reputation. Creating a plan to stop trouble before it happens is the most effective way to combat security risks, but the first step is understanding what those threats are:alarm companies Los Angeles

• Cyber threats.
• External theft.
• Employee theft.
• Workplace violence.
• Natural disasters.
• Terrorist acts.

Cyber Threats Today

Over the past few decades, cyber crimes have exploded in number and severity. When a company’s computer is attacked, the cost can wreck more than the bottom line. Cyber security and date safety go hand-in-hand with the company’s reputation and whether or not customers can place confidence in the organization’s ability to keep data safe.

Companies with at least 10 computers in use and a central server will need to update protection quickly when new threats are detected. Hackers and cyber thieves are incredibly quick to figure out how to break through new security measures. An employee dedicated to cyber security or the research of new threats is a valuable expenditure for modern businesses.

Violence, Threats and Physical Danger

In the late 1990s, security professionals agreed physical violence at the workplace was the most pressing security issue for modern businesses. Although recent surveys have seen concern for workplace violence fall to second place in importance, the need for updated commercial alarm systems remains vital for the safety of employees and the company's property.

Effective physical security devices have remained consistent over the past few decades. However, technology today is far more advanced. For example, an old surveillance system with a few cameras would provide the bare minimum of protection for issues like break-ins and theft. Today's cameras, on the other hand, come equipped with features like night vision and digital recording, as well as wireless technology.

"Acts of God" and Major Disasters

Even if a company sits right on the San Andreas Fault, it's common for business owners to forget about protecting the company against threats from earthquakes and other major disasters. Constructing secure facilities that would withstand the force of an earthquake is essential. However, the protection and backup of data would also be an important project for any company with important digital information.

The simplest way to ensure that an earthquake wouldn't eradicate the company's entire digital database would be locating backup data in a different geographic zone. For example, a company in Los Angeles might want to back up information each night to servers located in Chicago.

Companies that haven't updated their security system in many years should check for holes in their security protection in addition to replacing devices that are past their expiration date. Alarm companies in Los Angeles can provide an incredible variety of cutting-edge equipment in addition to 24/7 monitoring, which will ensure your business is prepared for modern-day security threats.

Fire Safety Tips for the Elderly

January 16, 2014
Nobody likes to admit they’re getting too old to do certain things anymore, and elderly people who want to live at home and remain safe are at high risk of injury or death from home fires. Just as infants and small children may need extra assistance during fires and other emergencies that require evacuation, the elderly are also in need of help to reduce the chance of harm.alarm company California

The U. S. Fire Administration, which is a government department that offers citizens advice on how to keep safe from accidental fire, reports around 3,400 people die in a fire every single year and that over 17,000 are injured in fires. Unfortunately, seniors are at increased risk of fire because of mobility issues and the effects age has on the mind. Although a senior citizen might have a spry and active mind, a fire could represent an insurmountable hurdle for safe evacuation.

Vital Methods for Preventing Fires

Preventing fires before they have a chance to start is essential for senior safety. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports adults above the age of 65 are twice as likely to be injured or killed by fire compared to the overall population. The NFPA offers the following fire safety tips for homes with elderly residents:

1. Sleep on the ground floor

Older adults who have mobility issues might take too long to get down the stairs if a fire starts. Sleeping on the ground floor makes evacuation easier. Older adults who live in multi-story homes might want to consider moving into a single story residence. If moving isn’t feasible, switching a downstairs activity room with an upstairs bedroom might be a solution to ensure safety during the night.

2. Install smoke detectors and security

Regular checks of current fire alarms and installation of new smoke detectors is important for seniors who are hard of hearing or have sight issues. New fire alarms have helpful features like bright lights and vibrating elements that are made for individuals with disabilities. Consult with a local alarm company in California for advice on the best spots to install smoke detectors and ensure that all areas of the home are protected.

3. Create an evacuation plan

Practicing an evacuation plan might seem like a project for elementary school children, but it’s also something families and elderly residents need to do. It’s important to create multiple escape routes, so if part of the home is inundated with fire it will be possible to use another route for escape. Practicing evacuation plans is also a great time to test the smoke detectors and ensure the batteries are working.

4. Remove barriers

In addition to creating an evacuation plan, it’s also necessary to remove impediments that might make it difficult for someone with reduced mobility to escape. Hallways should be clear of furniture and all of the windows and doors should be easy to open from the inside. Windows with bars on them should be equipped with an emergency release mechanism on every window.

5. Keep in touch

Elderly people often lead solitary lives and don’t get to socialize as much as they did when they were young. Anyone who has elderly parents or friends will want to keep in touch and call on a regular basis. Elderly people need to know that someone cares about their welfare. A simple phone call and a talk about fire safety may help save a life.