Being fire safety ready in the studio is a year-round task, but it’s something that can require extra attention during the heating season. Here are some tips to help keep you and your studio safe from fire.
- Heaters – Place portable heaters at least three feet away from flammable materials.
- Combustion Sources – If there is any source of combustion in studio processes, make sure that there is an adequate supply of fresh air. Be aware that oily rags can spontaneously combust. Store and dispose of them properly.
- Electrical – Have an electrician verify that your electrical service and circuits are sufficient for the needs of your art practice. Check all your electrical cords. Are they abrasion-free and the plugs secure?
- Fire and CO2 Detection – Install detectors in appropriate locations. Test them regularly and, if not hard-wired, change the batteries twice a year.
- Fire Extinguishers and Sprinklers – Buy fire extinguishers today if you don’t have them. Test them regularly to make sure they are fully charged. If your studio has a fire sprinkler system, verify with the landlord the system functional. Otherwise, have professionals test the system.
- A Way Out – Establish the best exit from the studio building to a safe location in case of fire. Have alternative exits if possible. Keep the exit path clear at all times.
- Routine – Create a schedule that includes regular fire prevention and other studio safety tasks. Make sure to include a fire escape practice run as part of the schedule.
- Fire Insurance – Do you have insurance that includes your studio and contents? Most homeowners (and renters) insurance excludes almost all property used in a business from coverage. Having a separate business owners policy is often the best way to cover your art assets.