Your Essential Guide to Small Business Fire Safety Laws

Posted on February 17th, 2019

Whether you’re just beginning to get your small business off the ground or you’ve been managing your establishment for decades, it can never hurt to have a refresher on the basic rules and guidelines for commercial fire safety. Courtesy of AMC Fire Protection, your source for first-class fire protection services in Burlington County, NJ, and other local areas, we present our guide to help you make your operation safe, secure, and fire code compliant.

1. Have a plan for fire prevention and evacuation.

First and foremost, your business needs to have a plan for fire prevention. The exact legal requirements and practical recommendations will vary depending on what sort of establishment you run, as a restaurant, an office workspace, and an auto shop will all have different needs. For specific recommendations, NFPA has a list of fire prevention tips to help your business prevent any dangers common to your line of work.

However, some requirements are universal. For instance, OSHA requires that every workplace have two clearly-labeled, unobstructed emergency exits in the form of doors, windows, or other crawlable spaces.

Also, keep in mind that businesses with over ten employees must have a fire prevention plan in writing that is kept in the workplace and available to employees. Employers with ten employees or less may communicate the plan to employees orally. Either way, make sure that all of your employees are fluent with your establishment’s fire safety plan.

2. Check the occupancy rating.

Every building has an occupancy rating that spells out how many people can be inside at one time and how the space can be used. Complying with these rules is critical to proper fire safety. Also, remember that many buildings, such as eating establishments, may have “mixed occupancies” where different parts of the building come with separate requirements. The occupancy rating will also delineate the types of fire protection and fire-resistant construction legally required for your location.

3. Install the right fire protection system.

Your business’s size and type will determine the requirements for fire protection systems and extinguishers. Typically, you will need to have one fire extinguisher for every 3,000 sq. feet of area of your property. There are also various kinds of fire extinguishers for different fires, along with specific ratings that must be met. Your business will need a commercial fire sprinkler system as well, along with a fire alarm system, both of which must be appropriate for your particular operation.

4. Schedule regular inspections.

Last but not least, make sure to schedule regular inspections with a fire protection service you can trust. By law, your business will need to have regular professional inspections, with the time between intervals depending on your particular operation.


Are you looking for fire extinguisher services for your business in Atlantic County (or a neighboring county)? Give our team at AMC Fire Protection a call today at (856) 608-7878.