Protect Your Business From Fires
As a business owner, you have plenty of safety factors to consider regarding risks to your business, staff and visitors. One area you need to spend a little extra time planning for is fire prevention.
<h4common-causes-of-commercial-structure-fires">Most Common Causes of Commercial Structure Fires
The leading causes of structure fires in office properties from 2007–2011, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) were, 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
Of those causes, intentional was 20% responsible, exposure was 18% responsible, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment was 15% responsible for the most property damage.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2007 fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities.
More recently, 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 resulted in an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.
<h4to-protect-your-business">Ways to Protect Your Business
Let’s take a look at a few of the many steps you can take to protect your business from the risk of fires. When placing an emphasis on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you will help reduce the chance of a fire breaking out in your facility.
First, assess your risk for fire hazards. You may be able to access the expertise of a fire marshal provided by the local government in some areas who can work with you to help identify these risks and provide guidance on your fire prevention plan.
You’ll want to make sure that the right fire protection equipment is in place. This should include an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.
Finally, consider the human aspect, the employees. By creating a fire plan and reviewing it with your staff, you’ll be making sure everyone is aware of the procedures to follow in the event 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 where the first-aid kits are.
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 Western Essex County is available to help make it "Like it never even happened."