Merchants Urged to Take Precautions During Holiday Shopping Season

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Provided by Prince William Fire & Rescue

It’s time for the Christmas shopping season to begin. Merchants are stocking their warehouses and stores with large quantities of merchandise. Prince William County Fire and Rescue System Chief Tim Keen reminds merchants to take the following precautions to protect 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.

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


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