No one likes to ask themselves these kinds of questions, but it pays to be prepared. Earlier this year a fire destroyed the South Oxfordshire District Council’s offices in Crowmarsh Gifford. As a direct result of this:
- the premises were heavily damaged and made uninhabitable
- important planning-related documentation was lost
- staff were displaced and forced to find other offices
- staff were inconvenienced and severely stressed
- widespread planning disruption followed
These stressful circumstances serve to remind business owners why fire safety precautions like fire exit doors and business insurance are so important.
Fortunately, a number of measures exist to help you prepare for and recover in the event of a business fire. The following advice exists in order to help you better prepare for the event of a business fire, and recover from one afterwards.
This gives remote access to your files, removing the threat of lost documentation as a result of fire damage. While securing your all-important work files, it also means you and your team can login and access them wherever you are, making your workforce much more adaptable and able to recover in the wake of a fire.
Fire rated doors.
These are steel security doors specifically designed to defend against fire damage. Industry-leading suppliers can provide doors with up to four hours of protection. Place fire rated doors outside areas of high importance to delay the reach and reduce the impact of fire damage.
These are doors fitted with panic escape features, to allow all employees and visitors to exit quickly and efficiently, reducing the chance of casualties.
Damages can reach astronomical heights in the aftermath of a business fire. Everything from destruction of stock and premises to relocation costs and inability to trade can increase costs. Many businesses fail to resume trading at all after a business fire; insurance is crucial to your effective recovery.
Business fires can be more dangerous than their domestic counterparts due to the higher volume of individuals they endanger. At home, risk is generally confined to your immediate family. At work, your whole staff is under threat. In multiple-office buildings, several businesses can be affected, including building administrators and cleaning teams.
Effective recovery from a business fire depends on the safety and wellbeing of your workforce. Does your building have fire exit doors? Are they properly signed, and are all occupants of the building aware of their locations?
Fire exit doors are the single most effective way of evacuating employees safely and quickly from a building in the event of a fire. Check that they are CE compliant and maintained using the O&M manual to ensure that they are fit for purpose and to the best ability.
Fire alarms, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers should also be standard practice. By taking proper precautions before a fire happens, you can hugely influence your business’ ability to recover in the event of one.