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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

10 Vital (and Simple) Points in Preventing Fire from Devastating Your Business

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage can devastate your business. The majority of business fires are avoidable, or at the very least, can be minimised, but only if the proper precautions are taken. These simple steps will help significantly reduce the likelihood of fire devastation in your business. Our goal with this blog post is for your business in Parkersburg, Vienna or anywhere else in West Virginia, to not need us. Yes, our business is to help restore damage, but we do not wish that upon anyone. And if it can be avoided, we will strive to help you. Anyway here are the tips:

Remove ALL Fire Hazards

Yep, this sounds obvious, but it is surprising how easy it is for business owners and staff to "move it later". This is where problems may arise. This includes any combustibles, overloaded power outlets (a very common one) or even flammable items near windows (believe it or not, the "magnify glass effect" can happen.

Fire Extinguishing Equipment

Most companies have these, but where they fall down is with not having the right fire prevention systems in place. These are vital because you want your fire extinguisher and/or sprinkle system working when they're needed.

  1. Replace the fire extinguisher annually
  2. Have it mounted properly, highly visible and without any obstructions (this is another example of staff putting something in front of it and "they'll move it later")
  3. Do not have any obstructions within 18 inches of the sprinklers.
  4. Have a strict fire safety and fire equipment inspection every 6 months

Staff Training

Staff need to know what to do in fire emergencies. Where to go, how to evacuate, where the fire extinguishers are etc. Below is a checklist for you to use with the bare minimums of your staff training. These steps will ensure proper execution of tasks in the event of a fire, small or large.

  1. New staff are taught about the fire safety measures within 48 hours of beginning.
  2. All staff are re-trained or reminded of the safety measures every 6 months. This is a simple training that may only take as little as 30 minutes (only 1 hour per year!) but will potentially save you thousands or tens of thousands if fire strikes.
  3. Weekly checking that there are no fire hazards or fire obstructions: this one is very important. Have someone spend 20-30 minutes at the beginning and end of the week checking. Make it their role. When your team is always checking, they are always conscious of fire safety during the remainder of the week (it's subconscious training that can save you a lot of money).

Other Important Steps for Your Business

  • Always remove or cover exposed electrical wires
  • If extension cords are not being used, disconnect them. These should only be temporary uses because of their danger of creating fires at the connections.
  • Keep all items and "clutter" more than 36 inches away from electric panels
  • No trash or clutter in hallways. This is for your staff safety as well. If evacuation is needed, a clear pathway can be the difference between life or ... worse. Dramatic? Yeah maybe, but your safety and the safety of your staff is primary.

There's an important saying, "When the times are good, we forget they can get bad. When the times are bad, we forget they can get good." Fire safety protocol and precautions are so important. Especially when the times are going good. It takes only a second for things to change. And if this disaster does happen, do not feel too helpless. Our team will help. You will over come it.

Please share this blog post on your Facebook, Instagram or wherever you can, so that others can be better equipped. A few seconds of your time may help someone prevent a fire in their business (or even home!).

From the team at SERVPRO of Wood, Ritchie & Pleasants Counties

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