New businesses occupy existing buildings every day.Prospective tenants should pursue a lease the way they pursue any other business decisions they make – by doing their homework.
Buildings are designed for a specific type of activity to take place within them when they are originally constructed.Basic building height, area, and location on the property are limited by the planned activity to occur inside the building.If there is no identified use prior to a building being constructed, it is commonly built to certain specifications to allow a certain range of activities to take place inside.These are commonly called “spec” buildings.
Some activities require fire department permits, such as welding or high-piled combustible stock.Generally speaking, any activities that present a fuel hazard (e.g. high-piled combustible stock), an ignition hazard (e.g. grinding, welding, open flame), or a high life safety hazard (e.g. assembly use) require permits. Protect your business investment by ensuring that it is in compliance with Orange City Fire Department requirements. Do this by filling out the Prospective Business Statement of Intended Use. Remember to consult the questionnaire whenever you consider any changes in your business.
Some of these permitted activities can only take place in buildings equipped with certain fire sprinkler or fire alarm systems. There are different types of fire sprinkler systems required for different activities, all with different amounts of water to be sprayed on the anticipated fire loads.Some buildings without sprinklers will be fine if a new activity presents an equal or lesser hazard than the old use.On the other hand, sprinklers may be required to be retrofitted into an old existing building if a new activity is more hazardous than the old one.
Fire Safety Consultants
All of this is to say that a fire safety consultant is strongly recommended to any business moving into an existing building.Researching fire and life safety requirements before signing a lease can save businesses potentially tens of thousands of dollars.
The desire of the City of Orange Fire Department is to assist businesses in ensuring compliance with fire and environmental code requirements.Please call Fire Prevention at (714) 288-2541 between 7:00am and 6:00pm Monday through Thursday, with any questions you might have.