“Don’t let your dreams go up in smoke – practice fire safety.” Author Unknown
Wiser words were never written. For families, businesses and organizations alike, a fire can quickly wipe out everything. In 2016, there were over 1.3 million fires reported, and the highest number of fatalities due to fire since 2008.
Each October, the National Fire Prevention Agency (NFPA) launches a weeklong campaign designed to educate the public on fire safety. This year’s campaign stresses the importance of evacuation routes and preparedness. “Every Second Counts, Find 2 Ways Out!” is the slogan, and schools around the country will participate in educational activities designed to teach children fire prevention and safety.
While the focus of this particular event may be on children, the rest of the population should really be paying attention and learning as well. If recent events have taught us anything, it’s that preparedness and a sound fire prevention plan is important.
Fire prevention from a business or organization standpoint may come down to numbers. In 2016, fire damages amounted to $10.6 billion, with the wildfire in Gatlinburg, Tenn, causing $911 million in direct property damage. Can you afford that?
Here are 3 things to consider for your fire prevention plan:
1. Assess your risks
Utilize the tools available through the NFPA and CCS to look at the risks specific to your organization. By reviewing and adhering to proper fire codes and communicating with local resources, you can mitigate some risks. Be sure to develop a fire prevention plan as well.
2. Take additional precautions
Beyond the standard smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, there are some additional precautions your organization can implement. An automatic sprinkler system can help provide some additional fire protection. Automatic shut-offs and fire-proof boxes can also help limit the amount of damage.
3. Protect your people
As a leader, you know the biggest asset to your organization is the people who work with — and for — you. That’s why having a plan is the most important step to take. Fire drills and evacuation plans may seem childish, but they serve a purpose. People inside your area of operation need to know immediately what to do in the case of a fire.
You can’t blame the cow anymore.
One of the most detrimental fires in history began on October 8, 1971, and this is why Fire Prevention Week is celebrated from the Sunday through Saturday that spans October 9th. President Coolidge began this week of education and remembrance in 1925. During the Great Chicago Fire, over 250 people died, 17,400 structures were destroyed, and more than 2,000 acres were burned.
While the Great Chicago Fire may have been started by a cow, that excuse isn’t going to fly today. Fire prevention is serious and it is necessary. Take steps now to protect your organization. Contact us to help you get started.