Fire Safety Tips for Your Commercial Property | SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley
Have you ever stopped to think of the safety responsibilities you, as a business owner, have regarding risks to your business, staff and visitors? One of those risks you need to spend a little extra time planning for and working toward preventing is a fire.
Common Causes of Commercial Fires
Research conducted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) indicates that the leading causes of structure fires in office properties from 2007–2011 listed, in order, were:
- 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.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found 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. Those fires were responsible for an average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage, annually.
Watching Out for Fire Hazards
By focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you will be taking some of the steps to protect your business from the risk of fires. Let’s take a look at those three steps.
First, assess any fire hazard risks. In some areas, the local government may even offer a visit from a fire marshal 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, which should include an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers for each floor.
Finally, by creating a fire plan and regularly reviewing it with your staff, you’ll be making sure everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire. Conduct fire drills at least once a year to keep that fire safety protocol fresh, and take time to review evacuation plans and routes and the location of the 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 Santa Clarita Valley is available to help make it "Like it never even happened."