What to Do During and After a Commercial Fire
Preparing for a home fire is a wise time investment, but how many of us prepare for a fire at work?
Below, the fire damage repair experts from Professional Restoration explain what to do during and after a commercial fire.
Safety Steps for Employers & Employees
Contrary to popular belief, fire alarm and fire sprinkler system are not directly connected. This means that when the fire alarm goes off, the sprinkler system will not necessarily activate at the same time. Moreover, some buildings don’t have a fire sprinkler system.
The fire alarm is your primary warning to evacuate the building. Don’t assume that because the sprinklers aren’t activated that no fire exits. Because commercial buildings lack the compartmented features of a house, the fire has the potential to grow much larger, much faster.
Once the alarm sounds, help inform others who may not hear the alarm. If you’re not working on the ground floor, do not attempt to use an elevator.
Look for the closest stairwell exit. Hold your hand to the door knob (don’t touch it), and check for heat. If the doorknob feels warm, there may be fire on the other side. If possible, find another exit.
Once outside, do not attempt to go back inside the building. If someone is missing, wait for emergency responders to arrive.
Some commercial fire alarm systems will contact emergency services automatically. Once it’s safe to do so, call 9-1-1 to ensure help is on the way. Inform first responders of anyone who might still be inside.
How to Handle Fire Cleanup
Burned or damaged buildings are vulnerable to break-ins and other offenses. Once the building has been cleared for re-entry, it’s critical that anything valuable is removed. This includes the personal belongings of employees as well as expensive business property.
Once valuables have been removed, damaged and destroyed property must be carefully documented. You’ll also need to contact your insurance company.
Business owners who want to be sure they’re getting the most out of their insurance policy trust Professional Restoration to document and negotiate with greedy insurance companies.
Plus, Professional Restoration can repair damage, clean, and sanitize a fire-damaged workspace and restore it to like-new condition—this includes expensive property contents like furniture, electronics, paper documents, and more.
Avoid the impulse to clean up the property before a thorough investigation has been completed. Insurance companies will want documentation of everything in your claim. If you clean up evidence, you could lose money in the claims process.
There are pros and cons to contacting a restoration company before speaking with the insurance company. Read more about this topic here.
Stay Informed; Be Prepared
Every minute counts when it comes to your business. One of the best ways to avoid further damage after a commercial fire is to stay informed and be prepared.
In addition to coordinating a fire safety plan with employees, knowing who to call and when can save you time and money on commercial cleaning and restoration.
Professional Restoration is available 24 hours day, 7 days a week throughout the Denver Metro are and nearby counties. We’ll be there when you need us, so you can get back to work faster after an unexpected disaster.