The National Fire Protection Agency reports an estimated 20,090 annual commercial fires which occur in mercantile properties, office buildings, and high rises. It’s important to take precautionary measures to ensure your business doesn’t go up in flames
First step: check the perimeter of the building for:
- Flammable debris or liquids – This would include paper, wood, trash, propane, or other fuel tanks.
- Landscaping – Make sure your landscaping is well-maintained. Weeds grow and burn quickly, while mature shrubbery is pretty much fire-resistant.
Second step: check the inside of the building for:
- Flammable debris or liquids – It’s important to store combustibles like paper, cloth, rubber, and building materials in appropriate containers so they don’t fuel the fire. Flammable liquids should also be stored in sealed containers.
- Electrical equipment – Have qualified contractors install or repair wiring in your building. Extension cords and motorized equipment should also be well-maintained and used properly.
Step three: acquire the appropriate fire extinguisher for your building. It is necessary to have the correct extinguisher, because some do not work on all types of fires. Below is a list to help determine which is best for your business:
- Class “A” – Ordinary combustibles (wood, paper, cloth, rubber, etc.)
- Class “B” – Flammable liquids (fuel oil, gasoline, cooking grease, solvents, etc.)
- Class “C” – Energized electrical equipment (wiring, fuse box, electrical motors, etc.)
- Class “D” – Combustible metals (magnesium, sodium, zirconium, etc.)
Lastly, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and sprinklers should be checked at least twice a year. Take the time to learn how to use your fire extinguisher. Also, make sure you have enough coverage within your commercial insurance policy in the event a fire were to occur. If you have had your policy more than two years, it has likely increased.
For more information on the steps you can take to prevent commercial fires and to ensure you are protected in the event one occurs, you are always welcome to contact your BPJ associate.