Leading NYC fire extinguisher equipment sales and inspection companies, such as Brooklyn's Ace Fire Protection, are advising New York City businesses that the key to effective fire safety is planning and quick reaction times, a sentiment originating with the National Fire Protection Association, a nonprofit that writes codes and standards to educate the public about fire safety.
Generally, say representatives of these NYC and Brooklyn fire extinguisher inspection and sales organizations, people should evacuate a burning building if it is safe to do so, first by feeling doors before opening them, and leaving them closed while looking for another way out if they're hot to the touch. Business owners should also shut all doors behind them to prevent the spread of smoke and fire, and should make sure to take their keys with them in case they have to return to their store.
"In most high-rise buildings, the nearest stairwell is the emergency exit, but if it is filled with fire or smoke, we often recommend looking for another exit," states Jack Shammah, owner of Ace Fire Protection in Brooklyn, New York. "When it comes to businesses, if no exit is safe, owners should return to their business and shelter in place; trapped customers, along with owners, can open windows for fresh air or to signal firefighters, but they should not break the windows.
"This can allow smoke to pour in from outside, leaving them with no way to keep it out."
According to the NFPA, most fire deaths are not caused by burns, but rather by smoke inhalation. Businesses today tend to contain a lot of products made with synthetic fibers that burn at very high temperatures, helping fires spread rapidly, say experts like Shammah, while also generating toxic gases that can overcome people within moments. In a typical home or business fire, occupants may only have a few moments to escape safely by the time a smoke alarm sounds.
"Indeed, this is why we say preparation is the key," adds Shammah. "The basic principles are the same whether we're talking about a high-rise, detached single-family home or place of business - these all need good, working smoke detectors that are checked often, and both residents and business owners need to have an escape plan in place, and practice that plan regularly.
"It's especially important to know who will be responsible for making sure children or people with mobility challenges are safe."
Company: ACE Fire Extinguishers
Address: 666 Morgan Ave
Phone: (718) 608-6428
Days Open: Monday - Friday
Hours: Open 8am • Closes 8pm