Ideas for Protecting Your Business From Fire Hazards | SERVPRO® of West Bradenton/Anna Maria Island
Being a business owner has many responsibilities as well as plenty of safety factors that need to be taken into consideration regarding risks to your business, staff and visitors. Fire is a one of those risks and—as a business owner—you need to spend a little extra time on fire prevention.
Findings by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) indicate that the leading causes of structure fires in office properties from 2007–2011 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 caused 20% of property damage, with exposure and electrical distribution and lighting equipment following closed behind with property damage of 18% and 15%, respectively.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2007, fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities.
In taking a look at more recent numbers, 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.
There are many steps you can take to protect your business from the risk of fires. But by focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you will be taking positive steps to help reduce the chance of a fire breaking out.
First, walk through your facility, looking for any fire hazards. You might want to check with your local government to see if they offer the services of a fire marshal who will help identify these risks and provide guidance on your fire prevention plan.
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.
Last, and most important, you must make provisions for the human aspect of your business—your employees. Create a fire plan and review it regularly with your staff, thereby ensuring that everyone is aware of the procedures to follow in the event of a fire. By conducting fire drills at least once a year, you keep fire safety procedures fresh, and it will also afford you the opportunity to review evacuation plans and first-aid kit locations.
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 West Bradenton/Anna Maria Island is available to help make it like it never even happened.