Ask Fitz: How Can I Prevent Theft and Fire at my Business?

 

Running a business is challenging. Owners expend much effort to keep customers happy, ensure operations run smoothly and maintain finances appropriately. Losses can occur in any business, but small business owners in particular can be susceptible to claims from either theft or fire. However, by taking a few proactive steps, business owners can protect their workplace from this type of loss.

 

  1. Access Control and Cameras – unfortunately, in order to protect a business from theft, owners must take preventive action by considering how someone could access the facility after hours or steal merchandise during operating hours. Minimize the number of people with keys or access afterhours and then use CCTV cameras to monitor the building access points as well as any other key ingress and egress points. This will serve as a deterrent and allows analysis as evidence for authorities if a theft does occur.
  1. Alarms – Central alarm stations are key to preventing theft and fire in a business. By using alarm systems, business owners can ensure someone is monitoring their property continuously. If someone breaks into the business or the system detects smoke, then the business owner can rest assured that the appropriate authorities will respond. 
  1. Fire Prevention – techniques for fire prevention vary depending on the type of business. However, below are a few common ways to improve fire prevention in the workplace.
  • Keep workspaces free of waste paper and other combustibles.
  • Replace damaged electrical cords.
  • Do not overload circuits.
  • Make sure flammable liquids are stored in a cabinet designed for flammable materials.
  • Uncoil an extension cord fully before use and ensure its use is on a temporary basis only (not as permanent wiring).
  • Use and maintain wiring, tools and equipment correctly.
  • Conduct monthly audits of the workplace keeping an eye out for potential fire hazards.
  1. Emergency Response Plan – every workplace needs an emergency response plan in the event of a fire or medical emergency. Below is a list of basic response actions; however, each business should consider the unique risks associated with your facility in order to ensure the plan is as comprehensive as possible.
  • Prepare for emergencies: Make sure you know who to call and where to go in an emergency.
  • Report fires and emergencies promptly: Pull the fire alarm and ensure someone alerts the authorities immediately.
  • Evacuate safely: ensure employees and customers evacuate promptly, but safely, using stairs instead of elevators.
  • Test the plan: Initiate a mock emergency on a periodic basis to ensure the response plan is accurate and up to date.

By considering the above tips, businesses can minimize their exposure to a loss from theft or fire. No matter how many preventive action steps owners take, claims may still occur. That is why we are here to help make sure you have the proper insurance to protect you and your business from a potential claim. As a Trusted Choice Independent Agency, the Oswego-based FitzGibbons Agency is here to collaborate with you in your review of your workplace. Give us a call and let us discuss your workplace and solutions for a less exposed business and potential claims.

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