When the average business owner thinks about fire safety, much of the focus is on the actual fire, or the flames. While a dangerous threat, when a fire breaks out, this is not the only threat waiting to attack the team members and customers that occupy the building. Smoke is also a huge threat that should not be ignored.
The Dangers Of Smoke
One of the greatest threats that smoke produces is declined visibility. When smoke from a blaze is not contained, it can completely obstruct the view of the occupants inside the building. This is especially dangerous because even if you have a sufficient number of exit points throughout the building, if occupants can't see how to get to them this is an issue. People can't safely escape when they can't see.
Another threat is smoke inhalation. There is a fairly common misconception that inhalation only occurs when there is thick or heavy smoke. However, even a small amount of smoke can create breathing problems, especially for an individual who already has a breathing concern. In some instances, inhalation can even be fatal and is considered a leading cause of death with indoor fires.
Long-Term Health Effects
Even when an occupant is able to avoid a visibility concern or inhalation, this does not mean they walk away safely. Long-term health effects can arise from smoke when any toxic or chemical agent is burned as part of the fire. When these agents burn, they emit gases into the air that when inhaled can cause disease and even attack the organs. It's also important to understand that these effects can wait years to surface.
What You Can Do
Understanding the dangers that come along with smoke during a fire is one thing, but taking measures to mitigate the risk is something entirely different. You can work on the latter by considering the professional installation of a smoke control system.
These systems are engineered to fit the specific configuration and fire risk associated with your building to help mitigate the transfer of smoke throughout the building in the event of a fire. These systems don't just help keep everyone in the building safer, but they can also help minimize smoke damage.
Make sure you are making an effort to ensure you are creating a safe and secure environment for your team members and your customers. Partnering with a fire protection professional, such as Zari Consulting Group, can help you accomplish this goal.