Fireproof Your Business

By: Denise Koslowsky

October is fire prevention month and we thought we would take advantage of the timing to offer some tips for our business clients to help protect the properties where they do business.

According to the FEMA 40% of businesses that experience a major fire are forced to close their doors forever.

We don’t want that to happen to you!
As any business owner that has suffered a loss will tell you, the damages can extend beyond physical repairs. It could mean weeks, or even months, of lost revenue while your property is restored making it difficult to bounce back.  So it’s important that you take steps to protect your business.

To Fireproof Your Business Consider:

  • Make sure that your business is in compliance with all local fire codes. Regulations are in place to help ensure your employees, customers and properties are safe.  We also recommend that you keep a record of compliance.
  • Install the proper safety equipment including smoke detectors, sprinklers, fire alarms, fire extinguishers and, if necessary, a specialized fire suppression system.  We highly recommend a monitored, central station fire alarm system so that the authorities are dispatched when a fire is detected rather than having to wait on someone to call 911.
  • Make sure that there is ample space around all heating equipment, space heaters or appliances to allow air to circulate, to prevent overheating and keep combustibles away to prevent a fire from starting.
  • Make sure all machines, equipment and HVAC equipment are clean and well maintained.  This includes all cords, and connectors which are often overlooked.
  • Properly store chemicals and other flammables in cabinets and away from any heat source.
  • Make sure your electrical system can support the needs of your business.  Be sure not to overload your wall outlets and if you use extension cords, use only one for each power outlet.
  • Create a safety plan and clearly communicate that with your staff.  It is also a great idea to provide training including fire drills, evacuation plans, and safety equipment “how-to” tips.

It is also important to sit with your agent to be sure your insurance is up to date.  If there have been any changes to your business, or if it has been a while since you’ve had an insurance review, we invite you to give us a call.  We would be happy to review your insurance, help you to assess any potential risks and offer a no obligation assessment of your current coverage.

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