11 Apr FIRE DAMAGE RECOVERY CHECKLIST FOR BUSINESSES
Sydney Extinguishers recommends the following checklist to assist you with reducing damage to your business in the aftermath of a fire and guiding you towards a speedy business recovery:
- Ensure that all of your staff has sufficient training in what they should do if your small business were to be exposed to an unexpected fire.
- Depending on your business, this will mean at least knowing your evacuation plan and the need to dial Triple Zero (000).
- Make sure you know what information is important for your business continuity. This should include having contingency plans to protect and/or restore all important information (hard copies and electronic backup files), such as supplier and client lists, business contracts and insurance details.
- Consider having an off-site secure location to store important information as a part of your recovery plan.
Sydney Extinguishers has found that in the event of a fire, most businesses are primarily concerned about loss of life. It is surprising, however, that many businesses actually underestimate the impact a fire can have on their regular operations. A recently conducted survey found that only 50 per cent of businesses surveyed showed concern for damage to property, 31 per cent were concerned about loss of data or equipment and just 16 per cent are concerned about downtime while repairs and rebuilding take place.
As a business owner or manager, consider the impact a serious fire could have on your business. The results could be disastrous, and for some small businesses, the damage could be irreparable. Careful consideration given to fire protection is vital to help minimise the impact a fire could have on your customers, employees, property and business operations. Every business will have specific associated risks. In the study mentioned above it was found that of the businesses that had experienced a fire, 33 per cent were caused by electrical hazards and 32 per cent were caused by machinery. Both electrical and machinery fires commonly occurred when a premises was vacant.
Carrying out a building’s risk assessment will help identify potential fire hazards. A risk assessment will assist in determining the fire protection solutions required: whether it is a basic fire extinguisher, more readily available fire hose reels, a passive fire solution or a more advanced fire detection and suppression system.
Portable fire equipment, such as fire extinguishers, fire blankets and fire hose reels, are essential fire protection equipment for fighting fires, but to successfully operate the equipment, someone who is properly trained must physically be on the premises. As fire can spread out of control very quickly, particularly in large facilities, some building managers may choose to install an automatic fire suppression system such as an automatic fire sprinkler system. Fire suppression systems can be linked to a facility’s fire or smoke detection system. Once activated, they automatically release water to quickly suppress and control the spread of a fire. Sprinkler systems can help minimise damage to property and by controlling fire, thereby giving building occupants extra time to safely evacuate.
Consultation with a fire protection specialist like Sydney Extinguishers will ensure that the most appropriate fire protection solutions are provided to protect you, your employees and customers and your business. It is important that the best available fire protection solution is in place, that adequate emergency signage is provided and that portable fire protection equipment is correctly positioned.
Take, for example, a fire extinguisher, did you know that a water-based fire extinguisher should never be used on electrical equipment and electrical fires? These fires are best treated with a dry chemical fire extinguisher or a CO2 fire extinguisher.
Staff should receive the necessary and specific fire safety training applicable to your business with portable fire extinguishers. This training will educate your staff on the types of fire extinguishers available and will provide practical training on which fire extinguisher to use and how to use it correctly.
Planning for fire protection is important. Fire Safety Certification is important! Sydney Extinguishers has put this guide together to help businesses learn more about and prepare for fire protection. Please feel free to contact us today for more information about your buildings fire safety certification.