Reducing Fire Risk

According to the National Fire Protection Association, every 24 seconds, a fire department in the United States responds to a fire somewhere in the nation. 

Some routine inspections around the office can help reduce the risk of fire.

  1. Never block fire sprinklers - A good recommendation is that objects should never be placed higher than 18 inches below sprinkler heads to allow a full range of coverage.

  2. Inspect space heaters - If employees use space heaters, verify the devices are approved for commercial use and have a switch that automatically shuts off the heater if the heater is tipped over.

Space Heaters in the Summer?

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Many workplaces end up with people using space heaters because the HVAC controls aren’t working correctly, the HVAC system isn’t zoned correctly, or isn’t properly sized for the present occupancy or use of the space. Research in the industry has indicated that HVAC control devices are not performing as intended within as little as 2 years. Night setbacks aren’t coordinated with Daylight Savings Time, power outages disrupt Building Management Schedules and often times result in systems returning to a default state on restart that does not reflect modifications made to suit the occupancy. Another cause is that often space layout and space use changes (walls get moved, room use changes, people are added or subtracted) with no consideration to the impact on the HVAC system. People adapt and one adaptation is the use of individual space heaters. If you’re noticing heaters in the summertime, you may have a performance issue. Our mechanical engineers can provide analysis of your system with particular attention to complaints in performance.


Bruce Bell, PE | Director, Mechanical and Plumbing Engineering