A fire can be a big blow your business and it’s operations. It can cause injury, death and extended downtime which may result in lost revenue. Even the smallest fires can result in high property damage costs. No matter the size of your business, a fire can be a big blow to your operation.
That is why it’s important to reduce the risks of fire and to take steps to reduce the damage if a fire does occur. Below are five measures you can take to protect your business from fire. While these aren’t every way to reduce the risk of a fire, they are a good starting point to prevent and suppress fires in your business.
1. Routine Service, Inspection and Training
Depending on the fire prevention equipment at your business, you may need routine service checks between every one month to every 6 years. Want to know how often your equipment should be serviced? Take a look at our handy list:
- Fire extinguishers – Every 6 months
- Fire alarms – Once per month
- Fire suppression blankets – Every 6 months
- Fire sprinklers – Four times per year
While servicing your fire prevention equipment is a must for every business, training your staff on how to be prepared in a fire is also vital to your fire safety plan. According to Veteran Fire Safety Limited, businesses should train their staff at least once per year by performing a safety course and fire drill.
Caught off-guard by a fire at your business? Take a look at our most recent blog post titled The Case For Hiring a Disaster Restoration Company here.
2. Fire Sprinkler and Fire Suppression Systems
According to a report from National Fire Protection Association, fire sprinklers were present in only 10% of reported structure fires in 2010-2014. Although a sprinkler system costs about $1-$2 per square foot of new construction, having a working sprinkler system during a fire can save your business tens of thousands of dollars. Not sure where to start? Local fire stations frequently can refer your business to a reputable installation company.
3. Create a Fire Plan
A fire plan can be as simple as a map with locations of fire suppression equipment and exit routes. Most of the time when people think of “plans” they think of long, complex processes, but a fire plan can be a simple document that can take just a couple hours to create. Although it will take time to develop and write, it can save lives in the event of a fire.
4. Easy-access Control Panels
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that electrical receptacles are involved in 5,300 fires every year, causing forty deaths and more than 100 consumer injuries. An easy way to help prevent electrical fires at your business is to have electrical control panels in easy-to-access locations. That way, when a potential electrical fire is identified you have immediate access to shutoff switches and panels.
5. Install Fire Alarms Properly
In addition to regularly servicing your fire alarms, it is equally as important to make sure your alarms are properly installed. When installing a fire alarm, make sure to follow these handy tips and tricks, courtesy of National Fire Protection Association:
- Smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 feet (3 meters) from a cooking appliance to minimize false alarms when cooking.
- Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings (remember, smoke rises). Wall-mounted alarms should be installed not more than 12 inches away from the ceiling (to the top of the alarm).
- If you have ceilings that are pitched, install the alarm within 3 feet of the peak but not within the apex of the peak (four inches down from the peak).
- Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation.
Don’t let fire damage be a burn to your business. Be prepared with professional support from Pro Service Builders. From negotiating with your insurance company to help you get the best settlement possible, to moving out your furniture, equipment and valuables to a secure storage facility; we offer complete disaster restoration so that you can get back to business in no time.