You Can Help Protect Your Business From Fires
You Can Help Protect Your Business From Fires | SERVPRO® of East Central Austin - SERVPRO of East Central Austin Blog
If you are a business owner, there are plenty of safety issues that must be considered regarding risks to your business, staff and visitors. One of those risks you need to work on is fire prevention.
Leading Causes of Commercial Structure Fires
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports 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
Three of those causes, intentional, exposure, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment, accounted for the most property damage with 20%, 18% and 15% respectively.
It was also reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that in 2007, fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities.
When you take 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 were the cause of an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.
You Can Protect Your Business
There are steps you can take to protect your business from the risk of fires. If you focus on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you will help reduce the chance of a fire breaking out.
First, make an assessment of your fire hazard risks. There are some local governments that provide the service of a fire marshal who can assess your risks and also provide guidance on your fire prevention plan.
You’ll want to make sure that the right fire protection equipment is in place. This includes an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.
Finally, you must consider the human element of your business, the employees. When you create a fire plan and review it on a regular basis with your staff, you’ll be ensuring that everyone is educated on what to do in the event of a fire. Conducting fire drills at least once a year will keep the fire safety protocol fresh, as will taking time to review evacuation plans and knowing where the first-aid kits are located.
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 East Central Austin is available to help make it "Like it never even happened."