FIRE SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR OFFICE BUILDING September 29, 2021 | Investment , Management , Inspection | safety , exterior maintenance , interior maintenance , building renovation , office space The first week of October is recognized in the United States and Canada as Fire Prevention Week. Over 100,000 commercial fires occur each year, costing property owners nearly $2.4 billion. If you own a commercial office building and have a tenant that’s in the midst of a hiring spree, the added amount of people on board can elevate your worries. What can you do to help your tenants make the most of the layout they have and remain safe? Don’t start from scratch. An office overhaul doesn’t have to mean a complete reimagining with blueprints. It doesn’t even have to mean purchasing new furniture, which is considered a quick fix and won’t solve long-term space issues. Instead of opting for more desks or smaller desks, try first working with what you have. Examine the meeting rooms. Meeting rooms can be unnecessarily large, when on average, the number of people in attendance in any given meeting is two or three. Don’t operate under the assumption that your tenants’ meeting rooms are being utilized to their full potential. They may just make the perfect workspace for several new employees. Rent out a secondary location. You probably already thought of this one if the following situation describes you. If you have another vacant commercial property, consider offering it up to your tenant at a slightly better rate. Have a productive conversation with your tenants. You never want to lose a loyal tenant. It’s important to express your safety concerns, but also to be willing to collaborate on a solution that works for everyone. You might start the conversation with some basic questions. How do your tenant’s employees work? Do they tend to isolate themselves at their desks, or do they gather in groups? Are meeting rooms being fully utilized? Do people tend to step out of the building for lunch, or do they order in every day? While a solution may not be readily apparent for your tenant’s space issue, with the right mindset, you can both make it work. Ensure your building is up to code. For further peace of mind on the safety of your tenants, it’s best to check your building’s condition. Have your building’s wiring inspected for any loose connections or severed cables, and have them fixed quickly. You should also look at your detection and prevention systems like smoke alarms, sprinklers, extinguishers, and emergency lights to ensure they are working properly. Lastly, clear any obstructions from your building’s emergency exits. Provide resources to your tenants about emergency situations. In addition to making sure that your building is prepared, you should provide your tenants with information about what to do in an emergency. Give them flyers to hang around the office about where to go and what to do during a fire, and what they can do to prevent one. Keeping your tenants well informed means you won’t have to bring up the same issues constantly, and they’ll be able to run their business safely and effectively. Get your building inspected. Of course, the best thing you can do as a property manager is to have your building professionally inspected on an annual basis. Additional inspections from NPI show your tenants that you’re giving them the best in service and safety. Contact your local inspector and schedule a commercial property inspection today!