Protecting Your Business From Fire-Ideas to Assist
If you are a business owner, there are plenty of safety issues that must be considered regarding risks to your business, staff and visitors as well as the day-to-day running of your business. One of those issues you need to work on is fire prevention.
Leading Causes of Commercial Structure Fires
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that the leading causes of structure fires in office properties from 2007–2011 were (listed in order):
- Cooking equipment, 29% of fires
- Electrical distribution and lighting equipment, 12% of fires
- Heating equipment, 11% of fires
- Intentional, 10% of fires
- Smoking materials, 9% of fires
- Exposure, 4% of fires
- Electronic, office or entertainment equipment, 3% of fires
From that list of causes, intentional accounted for 20% of the most property damage, exposure accounted for 18%, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounted for 15%.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2007, fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities.
When you take a look at more recent numbers, the NFPA estimates that from 2007–2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties per year. Those fires were the cause of an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.
Ways to Protect Your Business
There are steps you can take to protect your business from the risk of fires. If you focus on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you will help reduce the chance of a fire breaking out.
First, you must assess the risk of fire hazards. In some areas, the local government may even offer a visit from a fire marshal to help identify these risks and provide guidance on your fire prevention plan.
Next, you’ll want to make sure that the right fire protection equipment is in place. This includes an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.
Finally, plan for the protection of your people, aka the employees. By creating a fire plan and reviewing it with your staff, you’ll be making sure everyone knows what to do in the case of a fire. Conduct fire drills at least once a year to keep the fire safety protocol fresh, and take time to review evacuation plans and first-aid kits locations.
Despite best efforts with fire prevention and safety tips, the worst could always happen at your business. If a fire has damaged your business, SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City is available to help make it "Like it never even happened." Call 702-564-8508