Fire Protection System Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Fire Protection System Hurricane Preparedness Tips

The key to maintaining proper functioning life safety systems is Fire Protection System Hurricane Preparedness for each hurricane season.

The prime time for hurricanes to come ashore in the United States is September thru November. Over the last decade, warmer-than-usual ocean waters have created more intense hurricanes that are stronger and produce substantial amounts of rain.

Recovering from a storm offers new dangers to businesses that might have suffered damage to electrical systems or building integrity. Bring your commercial or industrial facility back online after a hurricane has passed is your top priority to maintain profitability. Fire Protection System Hurricane Preparedness is a critical stop for properties in the Texas Gulf Coast area.

Implement a Fire Protection System Hurricane Preparedness Plan

When a storm is heading your way or after a storm has hit, it is too late to begin to think about preparation. Due to the risk of this part of the country, it is imperative to create, implement, and maintain a plan for hurricane and tropical storms.

A hard and fast rule when dealing with tropical weather is: Hide From Wind, Run From Water. The intense winds of a hurricane can be devastating and deadly. However, floodwaters wreak havoc that has proved more destructive than storm winds. Storm surge can also push water inland to rivers, streams, and lakes to cause flooding fear near the coast.

The speed your facility will be back in business after hurricane-produced destruction will depend on your preparation plan and how close you follow that plan. NFPA 1600: Standard on Continuity, Emergency, and Crisis Management provide guidelines for emergency management programs to support business continuity during any type of emergency including fire, hurricanes, and acts of terrorism.

From the 2019 edition of NFPA 1600

5.4.1* The entity shall conduct a resource needs assessment based on the hazards identified in Section 5.2 and the business impact analysis in Section 5.3.

A.5.4.1 Scenarios developed during the risk assessment and BIA should be used to identify resources needed by the program. Resources for emergency operations/response to protect life safety, stabilize the incident, and protect property should be identified.

Fire Protection System Hurricane Preparedness plan must include your fire protection system. This system is what stands between your property and your business. Dangerous fires during a hurricane could prevent first responders from arriving in an efficient manner or fighting the fire to the best of their abilities. In addition, insurance companies will require proof of proper measures being in place to prevent fires during flooding prior to paying an insurance claim.

Fire Protection System Hurricane Preparedness: NFPA 1600 Prevention and Maintenance Provisions

From the 2019 edition, Section A.5.4.3 All program equipment should be checked and tested on a regularly scheduled basis to ensure it will function properly when required.

This requires businesses to keep their fire protection system in proper working order by keeping all equipment maintained and regularly tested.

Annex C (Figure C.1), of NFPA 1600 provides emergency management programs to include fire prevention and fire sprinkler systems.

Fire Prevention Program: Fires pose a considerable threat and are the most common hazard to business. Implementing a fire safety program will not only create hurricane preparedness, but it will provide a safer daily work environment.

Automatic Sprinkler Systems: The installation of a fire protection system that includes a sprinkler system will greatly reduce the potential of a catastrophic fire event. Many times natural weather events such as hurricanes can be compounded by fire.

Fire Protection System Hurricane Preparedness is Key

Hurricane preparedness of your fire protection system starts with proper maintenance. Keep your systems properly powered during a power loss event with backup power supplies, test the integrity of installed equipment, and test system sensors that will be key for your system to come back online after a storm. Evaluating and keeping your system up-to-date with a certified fire protection inspection contractor prior to hurricane season to confirm everything is in working order is smart.

In fact, the 2019 edition of the NFPA 1600 states A.5.4.3 All program equipment should be checked and tested on a regularly scheduled basis to ensure it will function properly when required.

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Fire Protection System Hurricane Preparedness