McCurdy Group - Insurance and Financial Consultants

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Preventing Fire Losses

When is the last time you did a fire safety check at your business? Fire safety is important business. Experts have identified the most frequent causes of loss and how to reduce the extent of damage when accidents occur. Below are questions designed to help you decide whether you need to take additional precautions to control the risk of fire.

§ Are employees trained in fire safety?
o   Do they know exactly what to do if a fire starts?
o   Is extra training given to those responsible for storage areas, housekeeping, maintenance and operations where there are open flames or flammable substances are used or stored?
§ Do you have the right type, size and number of fire extinguishers? Your fire department or fire protection equipment supplier can best advise you.

§ Are the fire extinguishers serviced and tagged annually?
o   Do you review with employees at least once a year where the fire extinguishers are and how to use them?

§ If needed, have you modernized your electrical system? Faulty wiring causes a large percentage of nonresidential fires.
o   Are electrical panels accessible, with at least three feet of clearance and labeled? Except for temporary use (or surge protection for sensitive electronics such as computers) electrical equipment should be plugged directly into an outlet, rather than into extension cords.

§ Do you regularly check your heating system?

§ Does your building have a fire alarm system connected to the local fire department or an alarm company?

§ Have smoke detectors been installed, and are they regularly tested?
§ Does your building have a sprinkler system to douse fires?
o   If so, is it serviced, including a main drain test, at least annually?
o   Is your sprinkler system the right one for your kind of building and the materials used in your business? Different types of buildings and contents require different types of fire suppression systems. Your insurance carrier, alarm company or local fire department can assist you in choosing the most appropriate type of system.

§ Have you posted "No Smoking" signs?
o   Do you enforce the rule?
o   Is there evidence of smoking?

And while I have you thinking about fire safety, think about your business interruption coverage too. Fire is one of the costliest perils that affect businesses. And while business interruption insurance is often a part of the overall property insurance coverage for a commercial property, you want to ensure that you are covered for many of the costs of shutting down your business and restoring operations—in addition to the separate coverage for direct property losses provided in your standard fire insurance policy.

Unsure as to all that your policy covers? Give us a call at 508-347-9343 and we’ll review your policy with you. Remember, the best insurance is prevention.
 (Source: Insurance Information Institute