What to Do if There's a Fire at Your Business

Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 3:24PM

What to Do if There's a Fire at Your Business

As you focus on the growth and prosperity of your business, it’s important not to overlook safeguards such as fire protection insurance.

Though there are times when loss from fire is unavoidable, you can take preventative steps to protect your business. Here’s what you need to know about workplace fires:

Plan Ahead

Every business owners hope the day will never come when they’ll be faced with a total loss from fire or other means. However, this has been the reality for countless entrepreneurs through the years.

That’s why it’s important to put in place an emergency plan complete with evacuation considerations. Make sure all employees know where fire extinguishers and other safety items are located. Communicate with your team a safe meeting spot where everyone can be accounted for following the incident.

It’s also wise to reach out for expert advice. For instance, the National Fire Protection Agency provides news, research, training, and other information and resources.

Assess the Damage

In the event of a blaze, firefighters will quickly work to minimize the spread of damage, and salvage what remains of your property. Once the fire is safely out, there will be an opportunity to inspect damage to exterior walls, doors, windows, roofs, and other areas of your business.

Do not attempt to make immediate onsite repairs, and always follow firefighter instructions. There will be ample time for a full assessment of damage. First, you should focus on making sure all utilities are shut off, including electricity and natural gas.

Next, you’ll need to contact all parties affected by the event, including employees, business partners, board members, and even customers. Make sure to fully communicate forced suspension of activities and programs.  

Rather than waiting until later, directly following the incident is the best time to contact your insurance company. This way, there will be ample opportunity for in-depth discussion and assessment.

Protect Remaining Assets

Don’t compound your troubles by leaving your damaged business exposed. Insurance won’t cover theft, damage, or vandalism caused by neglecting to secure the structure.

Once you’ve retrieved all valuables, board up window and door openings and place tarps over exposed roofs and other areas susceptible to leaks. Make sure to keep your receipts for these items, as they can be factored into your total loss figures.

You’ll also want to arrange for security in the wake of a disaster, to safeguard remaining property from theft and vandalism. Don’t count on law enforcement to protect your business. Hire private security, and don’t ever leave the structure unattended.

Discover Recovery Options

While you work with law enforcement to determine the parties and issues responsible for the event, and with your team on repair and restoration plans, we’re already working to provide you with the best recovery options available.

During this time, it’s important to have proper documentation readily on hand, most importantly, proof of claimed losses resulting from fire. This includes receipts, user manuals, credit card statements, and more. It’s also wise to take digital photos of the property as soon as possible following the incident.

It’s too late to get covered once an incident has occurred. That’s why you should secure proper protection now. We offer many kinds of insurance, from business, fire protection, church and school, bar and tavern, RV insurance, and more. Contact us today to learn about all the insurance options available to you and your business.

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