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A fire is potentially devastating for any business. Even with the best insurance policy in the world and every backup system you can imagine in place to protect critical data, a fire still has the potential to close down your entire business for days or weeks, creating a mess that will take months to clean up.

Avoiding fire, then, should be a high priority for your company—and a few basic fire prevention tips can make that easier.

1. Invest in the right equipment.

An automatic sprinkler system is a great way to protect your business from fire. Having fire extinguishers in high-risk areas can also help create a layer of safety.

You’ll also want to be sure that you have a highly effective fire alarm system that is easy to recognize and understandable by all employees (including those who are deaf or blind).

It’s important to be sure that you maintain all of your equipment regularly so that if there is a fire, the equipment all works properly.

2. Develop a fire plan.

Do your employees know how to respond if a fire breaks out in the building? Make sure that you have an effective fire plan that will cover every area of response.

fire plan should include:

  • Who should report the fire and the appropriate numbers for fire reporting
  • An evacuation plan that covers how everyone in the building will get out in the event of a fire
  • The procedure for notifying employees of the emergency, with provisions for those who are disabled
  • Information about any employees who will respond to the emergency instead of merely evacuating, including those who must shut down critical equipment, those who will help operate fire extinguishers or other fire prevention methods, and those who will provide medical assistance in the event of a fire
  • Procedures for employees who remain behind

3. Examine the building regularly.

Effective fire prevention is about far more than knowing what to do if a fire breaks out. It also includes taking the necessary steps to prevent a fire in the first place.

  • Clean out the debris.Remove excess piles of paper and other debris that could ignite quickly in the event of a fire.
  • Check your circuits.It’s often tempting to plug in a second power strip to add just one more outlet in areas where several electronics need to be plugged in. Unfortunately, this process can create the potential for fires. Instead, limit yourself to a single power strip per outlet.
  • Turn off unnecessary appliances.This includes computers, heavy machinery, and other equipment that can conduct heat or sparks. Make a habit of starting things back up at the beginning of each day instead of leaving them on overnight to reduce the risk of fires when no one is in the building.
  • Keep adequate space around your machinery.If it produces heat, move things away from it to allow for airflow and prevent overheating. This includes the coffee machine and microwave in the break room as well as the heavy equipment, computers, copiers, and other machinery throughout the rest of the business.
  • Examine your cords.Once the protective coating on the outside of a cord becomes frayed or damaged, it presents a fire hazard and should be replaced as soon as possible.

Keeping your business up to fire safety standards is one critical step in ensuring that your entire business remains as safe as possible. Of course, even the most careful planning can’t prevent every emergency! To protect your business in the event of a fire and provide for all of your insurance needs, contact us today. We’ll ensure that even if there is a fire, your business will be back up and running as soon as possible.