Shopping mall fire code violations resulted in the death of 64 people at a Russian mall.
Mall fire protection is complex. Each store has its own fire hazards, and it takes a real pro to know how to protect it correctly (plus, keep that protection maintained). The stories below show case malls that not only adequately protected their property and maintained their fire sprinkler and alarm systems, but inadvertently tested the systems with real life fires.
Installing fire sprinkler systems is only the first step to protecting malls. You need to inspect them and maintain them as well. F.E. Moran Fire Protection has a VIP program for malls. Malls get FREE inspections, and F.E. Moran Fire Protection does all the maintenance. Simple solution to malls' fire protection needs.
Fire crews found a fire in a restaurant storage closet at Eastridge Mall.
Before firefighters arrived, a single fire sprinkler head in the building activated. This sprinkler controlled the fire until firefighters could arrive and extinguish it completely.
In an official statement, the fire department said that the fire was contained to that small storage area and the damage was minimal. The exact cost of the damage has not yet been determined. In addition, no one was injured.
"The presence of the system in this case limited spread of the fire to other areas of the structure. What could have been a well-developed and growing fire was controlled in the area of origin until arrival of firefighters. These systems represent an important life safety and property protection component of modern structures," said Casper Fire-EMS.
A fire was reported at 9:17pm at an electronic store at Irving Mall. Heavy smoke was reported; however, when firefighters arrived, the mall's fire sprinkler had already activated. By 10:20pm, the fire was under control.
The fire was contained in the room it originated. There was heavy smoke, but firefighters used fans to vent the smoke out of the building.
A fire at Concord Mills started at 9:15am in the bathroom of an FYE store. Concord Fire Chief Ray Allen reported that the sprinkler system kicked on and helped put out the fire. The stores were able to re-open within two hours of the fire.
Fairfax County fire investigators said that an exhaust fan started a 2-alarm fire at the Tysons Corner Center mall. When firefighters arrived, they reported smoke coming from the roof, and they were quickly able to put out the fire.
The fire was started by an overheated exhaust fan motor that came in contact with paper towel rolls. The fire was in the storage closet of a kiosk. A fire sprinkler ignited and contained the fire until firefighters arrived to extinguish it.
In total, there was about $30,000 in damages and no injuries.
Fire crews responded to a fire in the kitchen of a restaurant at Mill Woods Mall. The fire was contained by an activated fire sprinkler until firefighters could extinguish it.
Subscribe: Get our blog in your inbox!
A struggling American economy forced businesses into a less than desired approach to fire protection inspections, potentially putting the safety of themselves and the public at risk. F.E. Moran, Inc. Fire Protection liberated these malls and shopping centers from their reluctant inaction toward fire protection solution maintenance with the Very Important Partners (VIP) program.
The Great Recession
According to the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research, the Great Recession began in December, 2007. Since then, many malls found it infeasible to maintain their fire sprinkler inspection schedule. One mall, located in Chicago Ridge, IL was among the malls striving to continue their proper fire sprinkler inspection schedule. Since 1981, this mall has been providing a home for over 120 retailers in the Midwest. While malls and shopping centers throughout Illinois were faced with diminishing fire protection budgets, this retailer hub chose to partner with F.E. Moran Fire Protection for an innovative solution.
Mall Fire Protection Budgets Slashed
Beginning in 2008, shoppers were disappearing. The once bustling malls of America were now sparse. Malls and shopping centers were cash strapped. This caused a snowball effect; proper fire protection inspection schedules were no longer feasible. Proper quarterly inspections became once every six months or even once every year. Issues found during the rare inspections were improperly remedied instead of rehabilitated by a professional.
Ignoring or patching a fire sprinkler issue can lead to failure. In June, 2012, a Napa Valley shopping center went up in flames, destroying six businesses. The fire began in a restaurant without working fire sprinklers. It was noted that no businesses within the shopping center had working fire protection equipment at the time of the fire. If this building had fire suppression equipment and fire walls to prevent the fire from spreading business to business, this tragedy would not have happened.
Another issue malls and shopping centers were facing was a bombardment of contractors. When it came time for a mall or shopping center to build out or replace their fire protection system, they were confronted by 5-10 sprinkler contractors who were unfamiliar with the facility. In the event of a build out, the still cash-poor malls would choose the lowest bid general contractor. In turn, the general contractor would choose the lowest bid sprinkler contractor, whether they were qualified or not.
F.E. Moran Fire Protection's VIP Facilities
In 2009, F.E. Moran Fire Protection found the solution: The Very Important Partners (VIP) program. The VIP program offers free inspections; ensuring malls and shopping centers are code compliant. In exchange for free inspections, malls and shopping centers utilize F.E. Moran Fire Protection as their required fire sprinkler contractor.
One of the first malls to take advantage of this innovative solution was a Chicago Ridge, IL mall. They experienced enormous benefits from the VIP program. Not only were they guaranteed timely sprinkler and fire pump inspections, they no longer had to concern themselves with numerous sprinkler contractors. Without knowledge of the fire sprinkler contractors' expertise or reputation, facilities only had price to determine their course of action. With the VIP program, general contractors no longer need to wade through quotes, and malls and shopping centers have the peace of mind knowing that their sprinkler contractor has in-depth knowledge of their facility and are invested in ensuring superior fire protection systems.
Satisfied Facilities and General Contractors
The VIP Program has now been in effect for three years and has a 100% rate of contract renewal from malls and shopping centers. Facilities have seen the benefits of having a relationship with F.E. Moran Fire Protection; they know that they have one, trustworthy fire sprinkler company to work with. Through the inspection process, F.E. Moran Fire Protection becomes an expert on the individual site's standards, and relationships are built with the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). Facilities save an average of $10,000 a year on inspections. Additionally, general contractors appreciate that they no longer need to analyze 5-10 bids for fire sprinkler contractors; now they have one fire protection contractor who is invested in the facility. F.E. Moran Fire Protection's personal investment in their VIP program facilities provides assurance to the general contractor that they will have a seamless working experience.
F.E. Moran Fire Protection has been providing fire protection services to the retail, residential, commercial, manufacturing, storage occupancy, education, and healthcare facility markets since 1970. With over forty years of experience, F.E. Moran Fire Protection has the expertise to provide paramount fire protection and customer service.