If You Own a Business You Need to Protect It from Fire
All businesses need to have some plan to protect the business from fire and to deal with fire should it happen. Commercial fire protection systems are critically important. Here are some things you can do to protect your business from fire.
1. Have a good fire protection system installed.
A good fire protection system includes both a fire alarm system and a fire suppression system. All businesses need to have a fire sprinkler system or other fire suppression system installed. This is especially important for restaurants but other businesses need them as well. Every year, fires in hotels and motels cause $76 million in damage, kill 15 people and injure another 150. There were 1,200 fired in hospitals in 2010, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Fire suppression services that do not use chemicals are effective at least 96% of the time when they are used in areas that have large oven ranges. In large structure fires, the sprinkler systems have a success rate that is about 91%.
The best fire protection systems are the ones that will go off on their own if they reach a set temperature. The reason this is so critical is that time is of the essence when you are trying to put out a fire. These are also important for fires that start when a business is closed.
Any fire protection system that has been installed needs to be checked often and maintained on a regular basis. A commercial fire protection system is no good unless it has been inspected per the rules and regulations for the region where the business is located. If it fails and has not been inspected on schedule, that will most likely invalidate the business insurance if there is a fire.
2. Have a plan.
Most companies know that they should have some kind of evacuation plan if there is a fire. The problem is that not all do. A mere 35% of respondents to a survey of 119 businesses had such a plan. It is important to work something out before a crisis, an fire or something else, happens. Your plan should go over an evacuation route, who to call and where to meet up outside. You need to make sure there are at least two ways out of the business and that these are clear at all times. If you own a business that has a lot of people in and out, you need to have a plan for how to evacuate the customers. The calmer your employees are during a fire, the calmer the customers will be and the less likely it will be that confusion causes injuries or worse.
Train everyone on the plan. Having a plan sounds good but if the people who work at the company do not know what it is or that there is a plan, that is the same as having no plan at all. When you first develop your plan, you should train everyone. When new people are hired, they should be trained. On a periodic basis, you should have refresher training so people know what to do. You need this to be something they do not have to think about when a crisis strikes.
3. The fire regulations exist for a reason.
It it crucial that your business complies with all of the relevant rules and regulations regarding fire protection and prevention. These rules exist for a reason. If you do not know what they are, find out. Sometimes businesses think the rules and regulations are there just to be annoying or to control business activity but they are there to protect everyone. If you do not comply with the fire codes and you do have a fire, you may end up on the hook for all of the damages you incur. This may invalidate your business insurance policy. Even if it does not, complying with these rules and regulations may prevent a fire so you should heed them.
It is important to note that your business can be impacted by fires in the businesses around you. If a fire breaks out next door, it can spread to your business so having a fire sprinkler system is important.