Prevent a Fire at Your Small Business
In the hot and dry summertime, many business owners have good reason to be concerned about the risk of wildfires. The truth is, though, that a fire of any size or origin can interrupt your business, and if not caught and extinguished quickly, can be devastating not just to your property, but to the survival of your business.
According to a 2018 report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), nonresidential buildings have experienced a 5% increase in fires over the last decade, resulting in a 36% growth in claims.
Call SERVPRO of Van Nuys North, a professional disaster recovery company, to help you recover quickly and completely if a fire strikes your small business. We also are experts in remediating the water and smoke damage that often accompanies a fire.
Fire Prevention 101
Follow these basic fire prevention steps, just as you would at your home.
- Equip your building with smoke detectors and fire extinguishers as required by local and state regulations.
- Test detectors and extinguishers regularly, change batteries annually and replace equipment if it is defective or approaching its end of life.
- Set up evacuation procedures, communicate them and hold regular emergency drills.
Why and Where Do Small Business Fires Start?
According to the National Fire Protection Association, these are the most common sources of commercial property fires—and steps you can take to help prevent them.
Cooking Equipment (29%)
- Clean office kitchen areas daily.
- Prohibit the use of hot plates.
- Have stoves, ovens and other cooking equipment serviced at least annually by a qualified technician.
Electrical Equipment (12%)
- Move combustible materials, such as trash cans, paper and cardboard boxes, away from outlets, panel boxes or other heat-producing electrical equipment.
- Regularly inspect appliance cords and check light fixtures, bulbs and displays for visible signs for damage.
- Do not use extension cords unless absolutely necessary.
Heating Equipment (11%)
- Have heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment serviced by a qualified technician at least annually and before each seasonal startup.
- Never use portable space heaters.
- Keep combustible materials at least three feet from boilers, furnaces and other heating units.
- Establish a security program that controls access to your building. Add regular guard tours if appropriate for your facility.
- Adequately light all areas of the property, including parking lots and garages.
- Prohibit smoking in the building.
- Place non-combustible containers outside entranceways for disposal of smoking materials.
- Install smoke detection equipment in areas that may be used for unauthorized smoking, such as bathrooms and closets.
If your business is hit by a natural disaster, like a flood, wind storm or wildfire, call SERVPRO of Van Nuys North at 818.951.6780