Reducing The Risk of Fire in Business

Posted: Updated:

A fire can be devastating to a business in many ways. Not only can it cause injury and possibly death, but it can cause extended downtime resulting in a loss of revenue. Even the smallest fire can result in extensive property damage costs. In fact, depending on the type of facility, property damage costs can range from $8,000 to $128,000.

More than 75 percent of companies that experience a serious fire go out of business, either directly as a result of the fire or within 3 years of reopening. The damage that a fire can cause should not be underestimated. Follow these tips to reduce the risks of fire and take steps toward reducing property damage if a fire does occur:

1. Fire Prevention
Always be proactive when it comes to preventing a fire. Clean and reduce clutter in your office space by removing materials that could provide fuel for a fire. This could include stacks of paper, newspapers, rags or other combustible materials. Don’t allow employees to burn candles or use space heaters.

It’s also important to work with a life safety vendor to ensure that your facility is safe, protected and compliant. All businesses should have a certified professional perform a fire hazard analysis to asses the fire risks in your building and provide actionable solutions.

2. Fire Alarm & Extinguishers
If a fire does happen, a properly installed and working fire alarm system will quickly notify employees and the proper authorities. Make sure that these systems are inspected and maintained to ensure proper operation and compliance with fire codes. It’s also important to train your employees on how the fire alarm system works and how to manually activate it if ever necessary.

Fire extinguishers should be installed in accordance with local, state and national laws and regulations. Make sure they’re properly tagged and inspected to ensure that they’re in working condition should they need to be used. Fire extinguishers are no good if your employees don’t know how to use them, so make sure they are trained by a professional on how to operate the extinguisher.

3. Fire Sprinkler & Fire Suppression Systems
If a fire can’t be put out safely with a fire extinguisher, a fire sprinkler or fire suppression system is the next line of defense in a building’s fire system. If a fire should occur, a sprinkler or suppression system will begin to put out the fire until the authorities arrive. It’s important to follow all regulations in regard to not only installing sprinkler and suppression systems, but also inspecting them.

For sensitive environments where a wet fire sprinkler system could be damaging, like in a server room, a dry fire suppression system may suffice. A fire and life safety expert can help you determine which system is best for your business.

4. Routine Service, Inspection & Training
It’s important to ensure your fire and life safety systems are serviced and inspected for the wellbeing of your employees. A fire sprinkler system or fire extinguisher is only effective if it’s in proper working condition. If you’re unsure of local and state regulations, or don’t know if your systems have been properly maintained, contact a fire and life safety professional for a free onsite hazard analysis.

5. Do Your Research
Make sure you’ve partnered with a reputable life safety company. Not all life safety vendors are created equal, and when you’re counting on a business to protect your most valuable assets, you want to make sure you partner with the best. See below for some great questions to ask your vendor to ensure they are a reputable company capable of protecting your business from the devastation of fire and theft.

  • How long have you been in business?
  • What are your certifications?
  • Have you received hands-on training on the specific makes and models of equipment in my facility?
  • What are the steps you take when performing the various inspections?
  • Are your technicians fully insured and bonded?

It’s imperative to have a plan in place when it comes to protecting your business from a fire. Life safety experts can help you formulate that plan, and provide the necessary tools to carry out the plan if needed. No matter how small or large your business may be, a fire can be a huge blow to operations that will impact your bottom line.

Jeff Wyatt is president, Koorsen Fire & Security.

  • Perspectives

    • Process Optimization And The Art of Mapmaking - Two Case Studies

      Large or small, businesses contain processes that define how they work. Those processes may be simple or complex, and may or may not be documented and consistent across the organization. During growth and change, processes tend to become more complex in one of two ways: Like pioneers exploring uncharted territory, start-up organizations tend to build processes organically. These methods are rarely documented and evolve quickly with technology and business changes.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Colts Hire Campbell as VP of Communications

      The Indianapolis Colts have hired Steve Campbell as vice president of communications. He has more than 25 years of experience working at all levels of media, community programming and public service. Campbell currently is president of Campbell Strategies LLC, a local communications and strategy firm providing media counsel to business, nonprofit and public sector clients. He founded the firm in 2009.

    • Kinetrex Energy Adds to Team

      Kinetrex Energy has named Mark Gallo (pictured) director of sales and marketing. Also, Kristin Maguire (pictured) has been appointed senior customer solutions manager and will focus on marketing pipeline gas, LNG and RNG to the transportation sector. Anjuli Skirvin has been named customer solutions manager.

    • Colts Name Chief Sales & Marketing Officer

      The Indianapolis Colts have hired Roger VanDerSnick as chief sales and marketing officer. He is an Indiana native and graduate of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, VanDerSnick comes to the Colts with more than 30 years of experience in the sales and marketing field. He most recently served as chief sales and marketing officer of International Management Group College for six years.

    • Chamber Selects Goshen as Community of The Year

      The city of Goshen has been named the 2017 Indiana Chamber of Commerce Community of the Year. The Elkhart County city is being honored for what chamber President Kevin Brinegar calls a "tremendous" economic turnaround story. Goshen will be recognized November 7 during the Indiana Chamber's 28th Annual Awards Dinner at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Brinegar adds...

    • Planned Sport Resort in Jeopardy

      The fate of a planned $75 million Sport Resort in Porter County is unclear. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report two partners in the Catalyst Lifestyles LLC project have taken issues to court and little progress has been made at the 170-acre site since groundbreaking nearly a year-and-a-half ago. Plans include multi-purpose dome facilities for sports, entertainment and movie events, a cable wakeboarding lake, lodging space and outdoor athletic fields.