Preventing Commercial Fire Damage: 4 Steps to Take Right Now
One of the worst things that can happen to your business is commercial fire damage. Your business will be closed for days or weeks. Fire damage restoration specialists will need to clean up soot, remove smoke odor and repair fire damaged areas. The lost revenue can be devastating.
You'll want to get your Los Angeles area business back up and running as soon as possible. And SERVPRO® of North Hollywood is here to help!
However, you're better off doing what you can to prevent a fire in the first place. Of course, it's impossible to plan for and prevent fires with 100% certainty. But there are many steps you can take to lower your risk of commercial fire damage. Here are a few to get you started.
Inspect Electrical Outlets and Devices
Wiring, lighting, cords and plugs are one of the leading causes of fire damage to both residential and commercial buildings. If you inspect your facility for workplace hazards, include a visual inspection of your electrical system.
Look for obvious problems like worn or frayed power cords, overloaded outlets or flickering lights. Listen for buzzing sounds when you flip on switches. If you spot discoloration near an outlet, carefully feel for warmth or dampness on the wall. And if you notice any burnt or smoky smells, call a trusted electrician right away.
It's also a good idea to have a professional electrician come and inspect your facility regularly. Depending on your business, a thorough inspection annually or every few years will ensure your electrical systems are up-to-date and working at peak efficiency.
Test Smoke Alarms and Fire Extinguishers
While inspection and diligence are your best first defense against fire damage to your business, smoke alarms and fire extinguishers come in a close second.
Just as you would in your home, test the smoke alarms in your business once a month. Change batteries as soon as alerted by a low battery warning or proactively once a year. And replace older smoke detectors every 10 years.
While homes may get by with a single, multipurpose fire extinguisher, your business may require multiple units that suit specific types of flammable material. Restaurants, for example, should have Class K fire extinguishers for fats and oils used in cooking. A factory might need Class D extinguishers for flammable metals.
Most importantly, you should check your fire extinguishers when you test your smoke alarms. Look for visible signs of age and verify the pressure level gauge remains above 185 psi (the green area on the gauge). Be sure you and your employees are also familiar with the PASS method of fire extinguisher use.
Prepare for Wildfires
Fire damage isn't solely an indoor concern. With wildfire season an annual worry across Los Angeles and Southern California, preparing your business for the threat is a wise investment.
The main thing you can do is to create a defensible perimeter around your facility. Clear leaves, branches and other flammable materials from the roof and gutters. Trim back brush and trees up to 100 feet (ca. 30 m) from your building.
For additional wildfire preparation tips for your business, go here.
Get READY with SERVPRO®
One purpose of a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile (ERP) is to mitigate damage and streamline the response to a water or fire damage disaster. But by developing a profile for your business, we can also help you prevent damage with no cost assessment of your facility.
As part of the ERP creation process, you can make an appointment to have our highly-trained and experienced restoration techs walk through your location. We'll gather information needed to complete your ERP. And we can look for problems areas and advise you on ways to prevent water, fire or mold damage to your business.
Commercial Fire Damage? Call SERVPRO®!
“Be prepared” isn't just the Boy Scouts motto. It's a mantra for every Los Angeles area business that wants to steer clear of a fire damage emergency. If disaster strikes, however, you can count on SERVPRO® of North Hollywood to be there with a fast response to any size commercial water, fire or mold damage problem. Call us at (800) 754-0050 to get your business back up and running “Like it never even happened.”