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Top 4 Fire Causes (and How to Prevent Them)

Fri, May 18, 2018 at 9:15AM

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For many business owners, there’s no such thing as a “small” fire. That’s because any fire incident can cause major damage. Then there are the non-property consequences. That includes fearful employees hesitant to return to a job site where a fire recently broke out, public judgment resulting from media coverage, and more.

Responsible business owners are focused on protecting the worksite from any potential threat. Still, it’s difficult to put accurate safeguards in place without knowing the main causes of workplace catastrophe. Use this advice to defend your business against the threat of fire damage:

1) Electrical Malfunction

According to the National Fire Safety Council, many workplace blazes can be traced back to faulty or damaged wiring. Since this is not a visible issue, many business owners remain unaware of the problem until disaster strikes.

Make sure to always hire licensed electricians for any work. Businesses in older buildings benefit from a checkup to ensure wiring is up to code.

It’s also wise to train employees, not to overload outlets, particularly with heat-producing appliances (space heaters, soldering irons). Maximum listed wattage on light fixtures should never be exceeded.

In addition to securing comprehensive fire protection insurance, immediately call an electrician if you notice damaged outlets, experience electrical smells, or are otherwise concerned something could be wrong.

2) Smoking

These days, most businesses have gone smoke-free. Many even ban smoking anywhere on the premises. Still, there are some companies that still allow employees to partake of outdoor cigarette breaks during the workday.

Ensure smoking areas are located a safe distance away from the building. This promotes safety and also reduces the chance your customers and clients will be subject to second-hand smoke as they visit your workplace.

In addition, many businesses have begun to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes inside. Recent news reports have uncovered the real threat of battery explosion, which could result in property damage and personal injury.

3) Confusion and Misunderstanding

When a fire breaks out, some people react with panic and distress. One way to counteract this natural tendency is through mandatory fire safety education. This helps ensure all employees are on the same page and know what to do in the case of emergency.

At the least, every member of your team should know where the fire extinguishers are located. It’s a good idea to post this information in prominent places around the office, in addition to detailed evacuation routes. Designate a meeting place where all employees can gather after the incident. This helps you know that each person is accounted for.

Next, couple education with comprehensive tavern insurance or coverage tailored to your individual business requirements. Doing so keeps you protected in the event of employee carelessness or confusion.

4) Other Considerations

Even if your business doesn’t have cooking facilities on site (stovetop, oven), the fact is fires can start from the use of a microwave, hot plate, space heater, and other appliances. As part of the earlier mentioned education plan, employees should be trained on the proper operation of workplace appliances. Prohibit other items as necessary. For instance, open flame candles should not be permitted in the office.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to secure fire protection insurance that can help safeguard your business assets. Our friendly and knowledgeable team members can help you create a plan tailored to your unique business needs.

For years, we’ve been proud to provide stellar coverage options at competitive prices. In addition to fire insurance, we offer a variety of other options including business insurance, church and school, bar and tavern, personal lines, and more. Contact us today to get started.


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