Fire safety and alert protocols can avert a potential business disaster, keep employees and assets safe.

It’s fall, and around the country, people are raking leaves, building campfires, carving pumpkins and placing candles in them… it’s fire season for sure, and not just in California (where our authors are located).  The danger of fire increases from the start of the holiday season, around Halloween, and persists throughout the year until the warm weather returns and fireplaces are retired for the summer months.

For businesses, the risk of fire is a year-round concern.  And while Betty from accounting may decorate her desk with holiday lights from the 1980s and bring a pumpkin with a candle into the office, that’s not where the real danger lies.

History is destined to repeat itself if we don’t learn from it. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 is a perfect example of what can happen if you don’t have proper fire protection services in place. The Great Chicago Fire ran rampant throughout the city of Chicago for three days, destroyed thousands of buildings, and caused an estimated $200 million in damages.

Times have certainly changed, but the risk of damage from fire remains a top priority for businesses and a major concern for those in the manufacturing and warehousing / storage arenas.  With so much on the line it may be time to address your systems, refresh your fire safety and alert protocols and head into the holiday season with more than a “run like hell” fire plan!

Rethink your priorities!

One of the best reasons to invest in fire protection services is to keep your employees safe, not just your business assets. When your employees feel safe in their workplace, they will be more productive. Your business is their livelihood and protecting it is not just about protecting your assets, it’s about protecting the people who make the company run. According to OSHA, “businesses operate more efficiently when they implement effective safety and health management systems.” If you’re worried about fire, there’s no way you can concentrate, be creative and productive and perform at your best.

Fire bad

The Frankenstein character in Young Frankenstein had it right… Fire IS bad. Of the companies that experience a major fire, 70% of them do not reopen or, if they do, they fail within 3 years of the fire. This is largely due to the intensity of the business interruption fires cause. If you are well-equipped to handle a major fire, you will be better prepared to survive business interruption. How you prepare to continue running, fulfilling orders, attending appointments, and using undamaged equipment, can determine whether your company survives, or not. Creating an emergency plan is an important step businesses can take to prepare for the worst.  If COVID-19 has taught us anything it may be that we all need a plan B for disasters and mid-disaster is not the optimal time to create that plan.

Pennywise and pound foolish

Insurance companies assess your potential risk when they determine the cost of your coverage. The cost of fire safety is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of recovering from a fire and subsequent increases in insurance premiums. Therefore, it is important to have all the precautions in place to reduce any potential risk. Not to mention, the additional savings of keeping your business open and avoiding potential workers’ compensation payments. Document the steps you take to prevent and manage fires, you can submit those documents to your carrier to negotiate your rates down.  The savings can pay for a large part of the safety upgrades you make!

Liability is no laughing matter

Lastly, by investing in the right fire safety systems and monitoring,  you can avoid potential legal exposure. You already know that you need to ensure your building is up to code before it is safe to open. If you don’t comply with building regulations, you are opening yourself up to potential liability. Court cases can drain a business dry, between the legal fees and the damage to public perception, being compliant is far less expensive than being locked up in litigation for months or years.  .

As they say, better safe than sorry.

Reach out to a fire safety and security company.  In Orange County, CA VFS Fire and Security Services manages a nationwide team of professionals who can assess your safety needs and offer flexible and scalable systems to grow with you.

Safety is our top priority at VFS, it’s in our DNA.  We want to help protect your employees, your company, your assets, and your building from any potential fire risk. Contact us today to see how we can help.

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