Protecting Your Business From Fire Risks | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz
Safety for your employees and visitors is just one of the factors business owners need to consider. If you are a business owner, one risk you will need to spend some time planning for and working toward preventing is a fire.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 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, exposure, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounted for the most property damage with 20%, 18% and 15% respectively.
It was reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that in 2007, fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities.
Looking 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, which resulted in an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.
By focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, there are steps you can take to protect your business and help reduce the chance of a fire breaking out.
First, make an assessment of any fire hazard risks in your facility. In some locations, your local government may have a fire marshal that can visit your establishment to help identify these risks and 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 safety of your employees and visitors. By creating a fire plan and regularly reviewing it with your staff, you’ll ensure that everyone knows what to do in the case of a fire. To keep fire safety procedures fresh in everyone’s mind, conduct fire drills at least once a year, and take time to review evacuation routes and the locations of your first-aid kits.
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 Kingston/New Paltz is available to help make it "Like it never even happened." Store our number in your phone, 845-255-4334.