How to Prepare Your Business for a Fire.
How to Prepare Your Company for a Fire
A fire in your business can be devastating. There are many ways to minimize the damage and losses, but it is important to have a plan in place before a fire occurs.
Make Sure You are Insured
If your business is housed in a building, make sure it’s properly insured and that the coverage is up to date. Most buildings come with fire insurance as part of their mortgage payment, but this might not be sufficient for your needs. Make sure that you have enough protection to cover any damage caused by fires or other disasters. You should also keep up with changes in technology and industry standards as these could affect what kinds of services or products your business provides, which could change how much risk there is associated with them.
Develop an Evacuation and Emergency Action Plan for the Entire Business
The plan should include:
- a fire escape route for all employees to follow if there is a fire, including the safest way out of the building, what to do in an emergency, and where to meet after exiting the building.
- information on how to assist disabled employees or other people who may need help.
- plans for pets that may be left behind during an evacuation. This includes identifying where they will go while you are away from work, keeping them contained in certain areas of your business (such as inside cages) with food and water until you return home from work yourself, or having arrangements made with someone else outside of your business who can care for them while you are gone (a friend/family member).
Keep Your Building in Good Repair
Ensure that all exits are clear and unobstructed. Fire extinguishers should be readily available in areas where they are needed, such as near the kitchen and office area. All fire extinguishers should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are still working properly (they should be replaced every five years). Installing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors is also a good idea, as it will give you more time to evacuate your building if there is a fire. Be sure to have an emergency exit plan for everyone who works at the business!
Keep a fire blanket on hand just in case something does happen!
Store Flammable Liquids Away from Ignition Sources.
Close the lid on containers that contain flammable liquids and place them in a safe location where they will be secure from fire. Do not store flammable liquids near things that can ignite, such as lint or paper, because even minor sparks can ignite these substances. If you see heavy smoke coming from an area where you keep your flammable liquids, evacuate immediately. You may think that putting out the fire is easy but it could cost you your life if you get too close to it. Call 911 right away if there are flames or smoke coming out of any area of your building.
Use a fire extinguisher on small fires only when they start off as burning embers or sparks rather than flames so they won't spread quickly across large areas within seconds which would make them harder for other people who might not have experience using one before trying doing so themselves without knowing how else those types work properly; although there's always room for improvement here too since these situations tend not necessarily happen every time.
Keep Electrical Equipment in Good Working Order, Including Wiring and Outlets
Wiring should be regularly inspected for any signs of damage, such as loose connections or frayed insulation. If you have concerns about the safety of your wiring, contact a professional electrician to inspect it before using it again.
Outlets should be tested regularly with a non-contact voltage tester to ensure that no electrical current is leaking through them (a sign that they may have been damaged).
Being Prepared Can Significantly Reduce Damage if a Fire Occurs
If you're not sure where to start, here are some tips:
- Make sure you have the correct type and number of fire extinguishers for the building. In most cases, this will be either ABC or BC dry chemical extinguishers. You should also have a wet pipe or sprinkler system installed in your building.
- Leave detailed evacuation plans with your employees and make sure they know how to use them in case of emergency. The plan should include an exit map that shows all possible exits from every room in the building as well as any obstacles they may encounter on their way out, such as stairwells blocked by smoke or heat-related hazards like hot surfaces that could burn if touched; broken glass windows; inner doors with warped frames which cannot be opened by hand due to excessive heat buildup inside; etc.
Preparing your business for a fire can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. If you follow the steps above and make sure that your business is well prepared, you will decrease the risk of damage or injuries in case of an emergency.