Prevent Fire from Damaging Your Commercial Property

One of the most devastating types of damage that your commercial property can experience is fire damage. And despite all of the building codes that are put into place to protect your commercial property, fires can still happen with a multitude of causes.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, non-residential structure fires accounted for 8% of all fires for the year with a reported number of 111,000. The result was an estimated $3.4 billion in direct property damage.

Any structural fire is devastating, but commercial properties have multiple factors at play. Not only are you affected as the owner, but your tenants are also affected. Depending on the types of tenants you have, this may mean damage to or loss of personal possessions, equipment, inventory, and materials necessary to operate a business.

That’s why creating a fire prevention plan is essential for you and your tenants.

Protecting Your Commercial Property

When it comes to fire safety and protecting your property, there is no room to cut corners. Fires can not only endanger your property, but it endangers the lives and property of all of your tenants.

Some things you can do to prevent a fire from devastating your property and tenants include:

1. Assess the Outside of your Building

There can be fire hazards lurking around the perimeter of your building that you haven’t even thought of. Start your prevention by removing outside fire hazards like paper, wood, trash, propane, or other types of fuel tanks. Make sure that your landscaping is not growing wild. Excessive weeds can be extremely flammable and feed a fire if one starts.

2. Assess the Inside of your Building

Look at what kind of items your tenants may be using in your building and create policies and procedures that can help reduce the number of fire hazards within. Some of these policies may include:

  • Require proper maintenance of equipment.
  • Require trained professionals to repair or install any equipment they need that is electrical
  • Limit or prohibit the use of burning candles or cigarette smoking
  • Require the proper storage of flammable materials

Educate your tenants on what fire hazards in their workspace may look like and create plans on how to mitigate them.

3. Install and Maintain All Necessary Safety Equipment

As a property owner, you are responsible for the installation and maintenance of equipment such as alarm systems, sprinklers, and the appropriate type and amount of fire extinguishers. Be sure to stay on top of inspections of all equipment to make sure they are all in working order in the event of a fire. Invite your local fire department to inspect your building for specific needs that may be individual to your property. Finally, educate your tenants on how to trigger fire alarms and work fire extinguishers should they be the first line of defense.

4. Create a Fire Safety Plan

In the moment, a fire in your building can be terrifying for all involved. You do not want to add to that terror by not having a plan of action in place. Create a fire response plan that includes:

  • Evacuation routes for all rooms and floors that show the nearest exits
  • Points of contact for emergency services and property owners to be alerted
  • Designated safety officers responsible for making sure all tenants are accounted for
  • How to assist people in the building with special needs

Fire drills weren’t just something you did when you were in school. Practice evacuation and safety procedures with your tenants to ensure they know exactly what to do in the event of an emergency.

As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That certainly applies to preventing fire damage to your commercial property. While fire drills, maintaining equipment, and establishing policies and procedures may seem time and energy-consuming, it’s worth it to prevent the loss of life and property of your tenants.

If your commercial property does suffer fire damage despite your best preventative measures, McMahon Services is here to help restore your property quickly and thoroughly so you can be up and running as soon as possible. From repairing structural damage to removing smoke odors, our restoration professionals can provide the remediation services you need.

If you are a commercial property owner in Chicago, Arlington Heights, Berwyn, Des Plaines, Evanston, Mount Prospect, Grayslake, Mundelein, Libertyville, Oak Park, Palatine, Wheaton, Naperville, Waukegan, Schaumburg, Skokie, and surrounding IL service areas, contact McMahon Services today about how we can help you recover quickly from fire damage.