Fire safety is a big concern for good reason. In the event of a fire, smoke can quickly fill a room, making it hard to see and leading to panic, injury, and even death. Making your building fire safe is legally necessary, but it's also important for safety reasons. Here are three ways you can use exit devices to make your business more fire safe:
1. Install a rim device.
A rim device is a type of touch bar used to exit a building. In the event of a fire, it's easier for people to operate a rim device than a doorknob. All a person has to do is push anywhere on the long touch bar, and the door will open. These are typically installed on the inside of a building for easy exit, and the outside of the door will have a normal turning knob.
If you're concerned about break-ins, you can have a vertical rod installed on the inside of your door as well. This will keep your door from opening when the vertical rod is engaged. Be sure to only set the vertical rod into the locked position when no one is in the building since it can be a fire hazard at other times.
2. Add a fire alarm.
In the event of a fire, you may not have time to call the fire department while you're trying to evacuate yourself, your employees, and your customers. Every minute counts when there's a fire, since every minute that passes means more of your assets getting destroyed by fire. If you want the fire department notified as quickly as possible, you can attach a fire alarm to your emergency exit doors. The alarm will be triggered when someone opens the doors, sounding a loud alert which will notify everyone in the building. It will also call the fire department, who can be dispatched to your location immediately.
3. Utilize fire rated doors.
Fire rated doors can help contain a fire and limit the amount of damage caused. These doors are made of metal and fire-resistant glass, and they seal tightly to prevent smoke from getting through. Businesses such as restaurants and welding facilities can greatly benefit from the addition of fire rated doors. If you decide to have fire rated doors installed, make sure you also use fire rated exit devices. Panic devices are useful to provide egress, but they won't stand up to the heat of a blaze.