Dealing With a Commercial Property Fire

Big fire in the modern office building


You live in fear of that phone call. There is a fire at your property. According to the US Fire Administration, there were more than 99,000 fires in nonresidential buildings in 2014. The USFA estimate that these fires cost about $2.6 million in losses.

Unexpected fire damage to your property can derail both your tenants’ business and your own. Of course, there is also the danger of potential injury or loss of life. To state the obvious, fire is a deadly event that must be avoided at all costs. But when and if it does happen on your property, are you prepared? Do you have a plan to lessen risk, assess a situation, ensure tenant and customer safety, and restore the property to working condition as soon as possible? If not, here’s some steps to get you started.

Make a plan

First things first, you need a fire safety and response plan. When disasters like a fire strikes, the actions you and your staff take in the first few minutes are critical. With a timely response, you can literally save lives as well as reduce damage. It can make the difference between an expensive loss with a long restoration and a quick recovery.

Your fire safety and response plan should include:

  1. An emergency contact plan – This is a detailed strategy on who is contacted and in what order in the event of any fire. This should include emergency departments, property owners/management, security personnel, utility departments and neighboring businesses.
  2. Tactics to ensure that all tenants are safe and secure
  3. Procedures to minimize damage, such as closing doors and windows
  4. Strategies to secure the property
  5. Steps to restoring order and calm as soon as possible

This is a general overview of a fire safety plan. A typical commercial property safety plan is a detailed document that includes responsibilities and contact information for everyone involved as well as critical building schematics with exit plans. The document could also have procedures for fire drills and for maintaining fire systems. The fire safety and response plan should be available for review at any time and updated regularly. It’s worth the extra time spent on planning for disasters like a fire so that if it happens, you are prepared to protect your property and your business.

Everyone’s Safe, Now What?

Once the fire is out and everyone is secure, it’s time to shift into restoration mode. These steps should also be detailed in your fire safety and response plan. The days following a fire are critical. From assessing structural damage to reassuring tenants to cleaning up smoke and water damage, the list of things to do following a fire is daunting and overwhelming.

Before you do anything, you must ensure the property is safe. Do not allow anyone back on the premises until the local fire department says it is safe to do so.

Once it is safe, here are some things to do:

  • Thoroughly check for structural, smoke and water damage in affected areas
  • Board up or block off dangerous areas
  • Thoroughly inspect utilities and systems for damage
  • Make a list of necessary repairs and rebuilds in affected areas
  • Contact a local service like Team Cam to help you clean up and restore affected areas

Consulting a professional is important to keeping your property safe and ensuring that any damage is addressed properly. Team Cam will work with you to perform a thorough cleanout and sanitization of the property and will make sure all repairs and restorations are completed to your specifications. The team will map out the entire project with a detailed timeline and budget.

Every day you spend on fire restoration can mean dollars lost in revenue. With Team Cam, you can feel confident that your restoration will be completed on time and on budget.

For more information on Team Cam’s fire damage mitigation process, give us a call at 888-322-9691.

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