How To Keep Your Business Safe From Fires? Both Unintentional & Arson

In 2021, local fire departments reported a grand total of 1.4 million fires all over the US, and with rising crime and temperatures, this stat is only set to increase from here. This makes it absolutely essential for businesses to take extensive measures in regards to fire risk assessment and safety systems.

The National Fire Protection Association, the US Fire Administration, and OSHA, along with various state and local authorities provide a list of rules, codes, regulations, and best practices to help businesses deal with this growing epidemic of fires. 

In this article, we provide a brief primer on the same, to help businesses best prepare for all the risks and uncertainties posed by fire.

1. Use An Early Warning Fire Detection System 

Whether unintentional or a case of arson, an early warning fire detection system helps in raising an alarm, activating suppression systems, while alerting the staff and customers to safety. Even a scant amount of smoke can trip the alarm, allowing businesses to take quick action, and quell fires before they spread and cause more damage.

2. Install Security Cameras

Security cameras are key deterrents against most types of crimes, including arson. It is, however, essential that the cameras are placed in a way such that all points of entry are secured, and at a good height to provide a wide field of vision.

It isn’t necessary to constantly monitor the feed either, just recording it, and placing signs around your premises that it is being monitored, is often a strong deterrent in itself. 

3. Train Your Employees

Your employees are often the weakest link as well as the first line of defense in the case of spontaneous fires and arson. As such, it is essential to train on the various fire hazards, along with measures, and best practices to deal with situations in case there is a fire in the premises.

Conducting regular fire drills, at least once a quarter, with a full run through of the proper procedures for handling a fire, evacuation, and more. Employees can further be asked to stay on alert for any unscrupulous elements in or around the premises, especially in cases of arson.

4. Take Care of Electrical Hazards

Faulty wiring, appliances, and outlets cause a significant chunk of the total residential and commercial fires each year. This makes it essential to regularly check on your electrical systems, and rectify any issues or hazardous conditions right away.

This further extends to the regular oiling and maintenance of equipment to stop them from overheating, employees can also be instructed to report any instances of electrical malfunctioning, such as frayed wires, sparks, or anything else.

5. Properly Store & Dispose Flammable Materials

If you’re running a restaurant, or a business that involves dealing with hazardous materials, make sure to come up with an effective plan for their proper storage and regular disposal.

Most fires in kitchens are a result of accumulated grease, or improperly stored cooking oil, and as such, it is important to store such products in fireproof, or heat proof containers.

Even if they themselves don’t cause a fire, having accumulated grease in your kitchen will definitely fuel its spread, making it far more destructive and even life threatening.

Final Words

Fires are becoming an increasingly potent threat to businesses all across the country, already resulting in higher insurance premiums and more stringent terms. 

These risks are only set to compound from here, with global warming, heat waves, crime waves, and rising inequalities all in the fray, putting small brick-and-mortar businesses on the frontline of this broad upheaval in the coming years.