Securing business insurance that covers theft, natural disasters and fires is essential. However, there are steps you can take to prevent fires from happening in the first place, and better deal with a fire when it happens. In addition to securing an effective monitoring system, walk through your facility at least annually to ensure it is safe.
Fire safety tips
Use this checklist to determine whether your facility is as safe as it can be:
- Do you have fire extinguishers on the premises? Are they up-to-date, or less than a year old?
- Are extinguishers mounted in visible, accessible areas?
- Do you have enough extinguishers so that they are easily accessible if a fire starts?
- Does your facility have a sprinkler system? Be sure the area directly around the head is free of obstructions. Move any items that are stored within about a foot and a half from the sprinklers.
- If your facility features fire doors, be sure employees never block them.
- Do you regularly test fire doors that automatically shut in the event of a fire?
- If there’s a fire, will employees be able to see exits? Are these exits clearly defined and visible?
- Do you keep exits unlocked during business hours?
- Check for exposed wiring on outlets and switch plates.
- Enact guidelines for employees to follow so they don’t overload extension cords.
- Make sure electrical panels are accessible.
- Keep hallways and storage areas clear of garbage, or any other flammable items.
- Do you maintain clearly marked fire lanes in the parking area?
- If your business uses combustibles or flammable liquids, be sure they are safely stored away and kept far from heat sources.
The value of monitoring systems
In addition to smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, to maintain a safe business, you may also want to invest in a monitoring system. With a monitoring system, when a fire starts, the alarms will sound and alert the alarm company of the fire, so that local firefighters can quickly respond to it. While it can be costly to invest in a monitoring system, the payback comes when your business is saved from extensive fire damage by the quick response of the alarm monitoring system.
Keep your business up-to-date on fire safety regulations and practices, and regularly update your fire insurance with your local agent. For more information about business insurance needs, contact the Spreng-Smith Agency. We serve consumers, businesses and nonprofits in North Central Ohio.
Tell us: Do you have fire safety procedures in place, and do you regularly train employees on what to do in case of a fire?