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Merchants Urged to Take Precautions During Holiday Season

Provided by Prince William Fire & Rescue

Nov. 24, 2017 is Black Friday,  the official kick-off of the Christmas Holiday shopping season. Many people will be out before dawn attempting to get the latest and greatest gifts at bargain prices. As this date draws near, merchants are stocking their warehouses and stores with large quantities of merchandise for an anticipated busy shopping period. Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee would like to remind merchants to take the following necessary precautions in protecting their patrons and merchandise during this holiday season:

Storing Merchandise

  • Keep all exits clear
  • Keep exit access, exits, and exit discharge clear of merchandise and other items to ensure safe egress from the building
  • Keep storage levels 18 inches from sprinkler heads
    • If there is no sprinkler system, keep merchandise two feet from ceiling and overhead support assembly

Customer Safety

  • Monitor the crowds to maintain the proper occupancy load so the possibility of overcrowding is eliminated
  • Do not block extinguishers or access to sprinkler system control valves
  • Limit decorations to ensure sprinkler system coverage is not reduced
  • Decorations may be required to be treated with a fire retardant
  • Provide awareness regarding No Parking in fire lanes
  • Provide awareness regarding Do Not Block fire department connections and hydrants

To ensure these hazards are reduced, the County’s Fire Marshals will conduct spot checks throughout the holiday shopping season to ensure a fire safe community. If you have any questions, please contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 703-792-6360.

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