Fire accidents can be highly catastrophic. The consequence can be quite severe. Fire accidents do not only result in result in destruction of property, but can also cause loss of lives. Fire accidents can become worse if it occurs in a crowded area. People end up panicking, thus making it difficult to evacuate the area safely.
Shopping malls are some of the most crowded and busy places in the city. If a fire breaks out in these places, the results can be disastrous. Let’s take a look at some of the aspects that you would need to keep in mind for fire protection in shopping malls.
Common Fire Hazards in Shopping Malls
Most fire hazards in shopping malls are caused due to electrical malfunctions. Problems in electrical wiring in shopping malls may go unnoticed until a fire breaks out. This could turn out to be disastrous.
In addition to electrical fire, open flames in the kitchen of the restaurants can also cause fire. Even after exercising various fire prevention techniques, there can still be various sources of fire. There can be several hot surfaces. Sparks can also result in fire.
With a large crowd in the shopping mall, some may resort to smoking illegally inside the shopping mall. Additionally, employees in the shopping mall may also smoke, thus causing a fire hazard.
Apart from that, there are various combustible materials inside the shopping mall. For example, paper, wood, clothing materials, alcohol etc. can catch fire quickly. Entertainment options, eateries, clothing stores etc. use and store potential fire hazards. Therefore, a fire inside the shopping mall can spread quickly and turn out to be quite dangerous.
Usually, fire in the shopping malls is caused due to accidents. Therefore, it becomes important to conduct accident reconstruction to find out the source of the fire. If the shopping mall is located in Houston, Houston accident reconstruction services can help in this.
Equipping Shopping Malls With Fire Detection Systems
A shopping mall is a large area. If a fire starts in a particular store at a certain level, it may take quite some time to become conspicuous. Shoppers at one side of the shopping mall may not have any idea about a fire that may have started at the other end. Since early and quick evacuation helps in reducing the damage caused due to fire, it is important to alert everyone inside the shopping mall to ensure that everyone is safely evacuated.
All shopping malls should be equipped with fire detection systems. These include smoke detectors as well as fire alarms. Smoke detectors can help in signaling the impending disaster way before the effects are manifested, thus providing adequate time for quick evacuation. Fire alarms should be placed at all levels in the shopping mall and at various points.
Certain monitored systems are also used to send the alert to the fire authorities. This will speed up the process of sending personnel to the site, thus helping in controlling the damage to the property and lives. Also, emergency lighting systems should also be present in the shopping malls. These are battery-backed and, therefore, do not go out in the event of fire. These lights can direct the shoppers to the exit quickly and minimize panic.
Fire Extinguishing Systems
Usually, a catastrophic fire starts from a small fire. Therefore, it is important to equip shopping malls with fire extinguishers to keep such incidents in check. In addition to that, fire extinguishers should also be kept inside the restaurants and other eateries in the shopping mall. These fire extinguishers should be refilled or replaced after they have been used.
Also, security personnel should know how to use a fire extinguisher. People manning the stores and eateries should also have proper fire safety training so that they can assist the shoppers to exit the building safely and help in reducing panic.
In addition to fire extinguishers, shopping malls should also be equipped with fire sprinkler systems. There are various kinds of fire sprinkler systems that can be used. Additionally, proper measures should be taken in order to prevent the freezing of sprinkler pipes.
It is crucial to stay alert at all times and keep your eyes out for a fire hazard. Elevators should be avoided at those times. Proper precautions can help prevent fire accidents.