Commercial Real Estate Tenants: Improve Your Fire Safety

Fire safety is crucial for a business. A widespread fire can see damaged stock and displays, burned business records, unsalvageable computers, and ruined furniture. In addition to immediate losses suffered, a business that’s experienced a fire will need to shut down for an unlimited period while it regroups and recovers — resulting in a significant loss of income. 

When renting commercial real estate, building infrastructure is out of the business owner’s control, relatively speaking. However, there are some measures that owners can take to protect themselves, their team members, and their business from unrecoverable damage in the event of a fire.

Confirm Your Commercial Insurance Package

Most commercial insurance packages will cover your business in the event of a fire for both business contents and inventory. That said, if your business has changed, grown, or reduced in any way, your insurance might need to be altered to cover such adjustments. A quick call with your provider will guarantee you’re sufficiently covered in any eventuality.

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Invest in Fire Safety Tools

While it’s important to keep a business’s physical and tangible assets safe in the event of a fire, it’s crucial to keep your team members, customers and clients safe. While fire extinguishers, a sprinkler system and fire alarms are a given, there are lesser-discussed tools that should be given consideration and may be a legal obligation. 

These include a fire evacuation chair for properties with more than one level: this device guarantees the safe evacuation of those with impaired mobility, as well as elderly people, pregnant people, and injured or unconscious persons. It’s also smart to obtain a fire blanket, which is normally found in kitchens.

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Remember to check the types of fire extinguishers that you have on-site. Not all fire extinguishers are the same; their contents are devised to respond to different types of fire (e.g., a Class A extinguisher is suitable for paper, wood, and textiles).

Engage Your Team

While your building will have an evacuation plan in case of a disaster, it’s important that your team are onboard and fully involved in the strategy. In instances of an emergency, having a distressed and panicked team will only add to an already chaotic and stressful situation. 

Hosting bi-annual training sessions — be it in person or via internal communications — is an excellent way to highlight and showcase your emergency response plan while giving ample time for questions or concerns from the team.

Perform Regular Building Maintenance

Take a regular walk around the space and cast a critical eye for potential hazards. Exits and aisleways should be clear, garbage cans should be emptied every evening, and power outlets shouldn’t be crowded and overwhelmed with multiple power bars and extension cords. Highly combustible materials should be kept locked in a safe space away from vents, the furnace, or another heat source. 

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By maintaining regular due diligence, a disaster waiting to happen might be caught in time.

Consult with the Fire Marshal

Lastly, for any concerns, connect with your local fire marshal. In most cases, they’ll be happy to visit the site and advise or answer any questions you might have over the phone. 

Going above and beyond regarding fire safety will minimize the potential for disaster and bring peace of mind to you, your staff, customers, and clients.

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