For a small business, the property is usually its most valuable asset. Whether it is a warehouse or a set of offices, having a place to conduct business is a fundamental need. For small businesses, it can be devastating to suffer loss and damage due to a fire outbreak. In some cases, it can even wipe the business out altogether.
It is important, then, as a small business owner to be aware of some sources of ignition and understand some basic fire prevention tips to protect your business from fire damage. Here are some ways to help protect your business.
Use Sand for Smokers
If you have any staff that smokes, make sure that you use sand in the designated smoking areas. Never let staff put out smoking materials on the ground and don't use standing ashtrays. Both allow smoldering to take place. Always opt to use buckets of sands instead, as these physically put out a burning ember.
Adopt a Formal End-of-Shift Procedure
Many business fires actually start during the day, but smolder away slowly and are almost invisible. This smoldering continues until the office or business closes. It can then burst into flames, causing a real fire.
To combat against this, consider adopting a formal end-of-shift procedure that involves a member of staff carrying out a physical inspection of any places that a fire could start, for instance, sockets and extensions. This will significantly reduce the risk of an overnight fire.
Regularly Check Electrical Equipment
Many small business owners choose to ignore this as it can cost a bit of money to hire out a qualified professional to check the working condition of all your appliances. However, this should always be a priority for a business, of whatever size. Protecting your employees is obviously a top priority, but from a business point of view, having an actual place to work from forms the biggest priority.
You cannot work or employ staff if your premises has been burned down thanks to a faulty electrical appliance. If you don't already do so, elevate the task of getting your equipment certified to a top priority for your business.
Secure the Business
One last aspect to consider is fire from an outside source. A surprising number of businesses suffer willful fire damage from arsonists. If you have a warehouse in a quiet location or a set of offices in an out of town area, you should consider investing in arson deterrents. Fencing and security gates can be used or perhaps a security company could be hired to guard the premises at night.
With a little time and some investment, you can reduce the risk of fire damaging the premises of your small business.