A fire can cause severe damage to a business, destroying important equipment, materials, and structures. As a business owner, you should identify and control conditions that may increase the chance for fire and smoke damage, and train your staff appropriately to be alert.
Assess The Risk Of Fire Hazards
The National Fire Protection Association offers handbooks and other publications on the fire safety code in place for businesses. Calling in a fire marshal is a good idea and great step toward loss prevention. However, depending on your local government, it may not be possible to arrange a visit from a fire marshal for expert advice. In that case, request help from your building’s property manager to assess the risk of fire hazards in your workplace.
Have The Equipment
If you have an automatic sprinkler system in place, this will provide primary fire protection to keep your business property from being lost.
Standard fire safety practices call for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on every floor. Your best bet is multipurpose extinguishers, which will douse most small fires with ease, and not short out any of your electronics.
Protect Your People
Your most important assets as a business owner are your employees. The following tips will help prevent them from being injured in a fire.
- Fire Plans: Instruct your employees about what to do in the event of a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of the protocol.
- Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never incorporate the elevator in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs.
- First Aid: Familiarize your employees with the location of the first-aid kit. Place the first-aid kit where most possible hazards can occur – in the kitchen, for example.
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