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Protect Your Small Business from Fire Damage

Protect Your Small Business from Fire Damage

On March 25, 1911, a fire killed 146 workers at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in lower Manhattan. To this day, the event stands as one of the most severe workplace tragedies in American history. Dangerous conditions in workplaces like these later led to workers' compensation laws and safety regulations.

Small businesses are still vulnerable to fires. Thankfully, basic fire prevention measures can protect companies and their employees.

Fire Prevention Tips for Businesses

  • Store flammable chemicals in approved storage cabinets.

  • Keep potential sources of fuel away from anything that emits heat.

  • Enforce a "clean–as–you–go" discipline to maintain a clutter–free environment.

  • Ensure that heat–emitters, including ovens, heavy machinery, and office equipment like printers or computers, are kept clear of flammable materials and turned off when the business is closed.

  • Inspect electrical components and cords on tools and machinery before use. Do not overload power strips or outlets, and do not run extension cords underneath rugs or mats.

  • At least once a month, visually check all fire emergency equipment (extinguishers, fire blankets, emergency exits, fire escapes, etc.). Maintain a log of each of these inspections. Immediately replace any missing, spent, or damaged fire extinguishers.

In Case of an Emergency

  • Label all exits and keep them unlocked and unblocked at all times.

  • Display fire evacuation plans in plain sight and include the plans in all employees' training. Ensure that employees know where emergency exits are.

  • Designate where employees should meet outside the building. A manager or member of the fire response team should attempt to account for each employee who should be present. No one should return to the building until a fire professional provides clearance.

Business owners should follow best practices to prevent fire damage and injury. More information about fire safety is available from the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Insurance Protection for Fire Damage

Even with safety protections in place, accidents can still happen. Consider these insurance products to protect your business from the financial effects of a fire:

  • ProEdge Businessowners Policy: Includes coverage for buildings and business property, such as furniture and equipment. Limited coverage is also available for damaged documents and records.

  • Commercial Auto: With comprehensive coverage, responds to fire damage to the company’s vehicles.

  • Workers’ Compensation: Provides for the medical treatment of employees injured on the job.

Loss prevention resources, including employee training materials, are available to all NJM Business Insurance policyholders. Contact your agent or call 1–800–232–6600 for more information on NJM's business insurance products.

The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only, should not be construed as professional advice and is not intended to replace official sources. Other resources linked from these pages are maintained by independent providers; therefore, NJM cannot guarantee their accuracy. Furthermore, this article is not an insurance policy, and does not, in any way, replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance policies. Terms and coverage availability may vary by state, and exclusions and deductibles may apply. Discounts also vary by state and may not be applied to all policy coverages. Coverage for an accident or loss is subject to the terms and conditions of the insurance policy applicable to a particular claim.