Every year, there are thousands of fires in commercial business across the United States. The impact of a fire in a commercial business can be devastating, in terms of property damage and loss of business, not to mention the potential for loss of life. Most small businesses that experience a structure fire never re-open. Front Range Fire Rescue is here to help you take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety, the safety of your employees and customers, and hopefully help minimize the consequences, should an emergency impact your business.
The first thing any business owner/operator should do is to ensure that they have a written plan for dealing with any emergency that may occur in or near your building. Having these written plans, and practicing using them with your employees, will prepare you to respond to anything that may negatively impact your business. At the very least, every facility should develop and implement an emergency plan for protecting employees, visitors, contractors and anyone else in the facility. Click here to visit the Emergency Planning page at Ready.gov for lots of great planning tips.
Be prepared for emergencies by having a plan and practicing it. Smoke and fire can spread rapidly in any type of structure, quickly incapacitating or trapping occupants. Knowing your escape routes and having a pre-designated meeting place outside that all of the occupants of your building know about can save time and save lives during an emergency. Ensure that your business has an established emergency evacuation plan that includes pre-designated meeting places outside the building. Share the details of the plan with all employees and practice the plan on a regular basis. Please visit our Emergency Management page for more tips and information.
Continuity of Business Planning
When a business is disrupted by an emergency, it can result in lost revenues, extra expenses, and/or reduced profits. Oftentimes, insurance does not cover all costs after an emergency. Also, insurance cannot replace the customers that are lost to the competition when a business has to close to recover from an emergency. Having a Continuity of Business plan can help you be better prepared to continue business through an emergency. This plan may be essential to your business surviving short- and long-term closures because of emergencies. Please click here to visit the Ready.gov web page that provides lots of useful information about continuity of business planning.
Self-Inspection Fire Safety Checklist
Use our Business Self-Inspection form to assist you in identifying potential hazards in and around your business. This simple tool will help you to recognize and eliminate dangers and safety hazards in and around your building. If you need help completing the form, or if you would like a fire inspector to visit your business to answer questions, please feel free to call us at 970-587-4464.
Fire Alarm and Fire Sprinkler Systems
If your business has a fire alarm system, fire sprinkler system, or any other type of fire protection system, be sure that inspections, testing and maintenance are completed at least once every 12 months. This work must be performed by qualified technicians to ensure that the systems will work properly in the event they are needed. If you have questions about your building’s fire protection systems, please feel free to call us at 9970-587-4464.
Smoke and/or Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Lots of small businesses are not required to have automatic fire alarms systems or carbon monoxide alarms installed when the building was constructed. If your business does not have any of these types of alarms installed, adding some may help you increase the safety of your employees and customers. Visit your local retailer to buy the same kind of alarms that would be installed inside your home, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mounting them. After you’ve installed these alarm, please develop a plan to test them monthly and replace the batteries as recommended by the manufacturer. Please click here to download FEMA’s fact sheet on Smoke Alarms.
It’s always a good idea to have one or two portable fire extinguishers in your business, in case the unthinkable happens and you actually have a fire inside your building. Most businesses are required by the fire code to have portable extinguishers available and visibly mounted inside. Make sure they are ready for use by keeping them clearly visible and readily accessible. Also, fire extinguishers need to be serviced by a qualified technician at least once every 12 months. You can find many qualified technicians in the area by searching for “fire extinguishers” in the phone book or on the internet. It’s a good idea for you to visually check each extinguisher on a periodic basis to make sure it’s in good shape. Make sure you can quickly get to it. If it has a pressure gauge, make sure the arrow is pointing into the green section. Also, make sure the safety pin is still in place.
Finally, simply having extinguishers may not be enough. Take the time to make sure that each of your employees knows how to properly use a fire extinguisher, along with other important safety and emergency planning topics. If you need help training your employees, please feel free to give us a call at 970-587-4464. Please click here for valuable information on how to select and use a fire extinguishers.
PLEASE NOTE: Front Range Fire Rescue does not perform servicing of fire extinguishers, and we cannot accept your used or non-functional units.