Four Businesses Destroyed in Strip Mall Fire

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Purpose: To explain the importance of upgrading fire sprinklers in the tenant improvement process.


  • Four businesses were destroyed in a recent mall fire.
  • All four businesses housed chemicals, which caused the fire to grow rapidly.
  • Tenant improvement is the perfect opportunity to work with a AHJ on fire protection needs.

Sacramento, CA -- Four businesses were destroyed when a strip mall fire broke out at 2am.  By the time fire crews arrived, the fire was too far gone.

The four businesses that were destroyed were a trucking company, dry cleaner, nail salon, and a hair salon.


The fire likely grew so quickly because of the chemicals in the businesses.  It was not reported whether or not the businesses had fire sprinklers; however, if there were sprinklers, they would have needed to be designed specifically for the hazards for each business.

Each business had flammable chemicals

Businesses that store flammable liquids need to abide by NFPA 30.  With changing tenants, a fire sprinkler system alone is not good enough.  If the hazards in the building have changed with the tenant, the fire sprinkler design needs to be adjusted to meet the needs of the new hazard.  

NFPA 30 often refers to the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) as the authority on flammable liquid storage.  Landlords need to know 1) what hazards are being stored in the property and 2) who the AHJ of the their location is.  The AHJ can guide building owners in the proper direction to ensure that the right fire sprinkler solution is installed.


Tenant improvement fire sprinklers

When a commercial tenant gets a new lease, they will often renovate the space to fit their businesses needs.  This is called a tenant improvement.

One often overlooked improvement is fire sprinklers.  When a commercial tenant changes over, it is likely that the hazards in the space will change as well.

A JSA and fire sprinkler contractor will be able to assess if a fire sprinkler upgrade is needed for the building. 

To Close

When it's time for a tenant improvement, remember to keep fire sprinklers in mind.  When commodities change, so do the fire sprinkler needs.

No business wants to go through what the four Sacramento businesses did.  When 50% of businesses that experience a fire never re-open, fire protection should be a top priority.



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