Fire is Number One Cause of Business Interruption
When you start a business, the possibility that it could be destroyed, or severely impacted by fire is not likely to be uppermost in your thoughts. And yet, planning for fire as a business interruption is a key component to future-proofing your company. Fire is the most common cause of business interruption, globally, and a failure to plan for business recovery after a fire or explosion could cost you your company.
In 2018 there were over 13,000 non-residential fires in the UK. Speaking during Business Safety Week 2019, Lee Shears, Head of Protection at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service warned:
“Fires can have a devastating effect on businesses and 80% of companies who do not recover in a month after, are likely to go out of business.”
The Damaging Impact on Business From Fire
Whilst the most devastating impact of fire that the risk to human life, there are also a number of other ways in which it can impact a business, and disrupt its ability to trade.
1. Loss of Premises
Fire can completely destroy your business premises, but even if the this isn’t the case they’re unlikely to be accessible for weeks or months after a fire. In a fire attended by 60+ fire fighters at the University of Nottingham, a £20 million lab was completely destroyed leading to ongoing disruption for students, and the loss of valuable research for the university.
2. Control Systems and Plant Destroyed
Even where businesses take out insurance to cover temporary interruption to business, the impact on production can be long-lasting. Often, new premises will have to found and acquired, and plant replaced, to recommence production. This leads to back-ups in the system and the need for huge amounts of overtime to make up the shortfall.
3. Loss of Reputation
Once news of a fire spreads through the business community other businesses assume a diminution of your normal levels of service and production. If this takes root it can be extremely damaging, even if you get up and running in new premises promptly. Businesses that have experienced fire report that they lost customers even if their service was only minimally disrupted.
4. Low Morale
The initial phase of clean up and recovery from a fire can boost the energy and teamwork of employees. If the after-effects continue for any length of time, however, morale drops as staff begin to think the business will never return to what it was.
5. Loss of Data and Archives
Most businesses now routinely back up their data because they’re aware of the catastrophe of losing it. But many businesses still keep paper files, and documents as well as digital records. The loss of archives can be disruptive, especially if there are no copies kept off site.
Passive Fire Protection for Your Business
The primary function of passive fire protection is to create structural safety for a building in the event of a fire, or explosion. Fire protection is achieved by compartmentalising business premises in order to contain the fire. Fire resisting materials are integrated into the structure of the building to ensure a safe evacuation for employees, and the maintenance of structural integrity for the building.
DunbarWallace Fire Protection works with companies to minimise the risk to business in the case of fire. We design bespoke fire protection that provides both a guaranteed period of time in which evacuation can occur, and the protection of vital plant components. We achieve this using DURASTEEL® barrier systems which protect both your people and your plant.