Published with permission from Vero Insurance New Zealand.
Research from the NZ Fire Service shows 80% of commercial fires are extinguished in the early stages before firefighters arrive. Using fire extinguishers to put out fires is saving New Zealand $48.2 million dollars in reduced damage each year.
Does your business lack fire extinguishers?
The lack of appropriate or well-maintained fire extinguishers is a common problem in commercial premises.
Quite often businesses haven’t even thought of having a fire extinguisher or alternatively believe that because they are not required by New Zealand Building Code and they have a Building Warrant of Fitness, they’ve done enough to safeguard their property.
Many business owners, or their tenants, think compliance with their regulatory obligation is sufficient, but they could do more to protect their premises, stock, ability to trade and livelihood by having the right fire equipment.
Insurance only does so much
When a fire occurs, insurance can help businesses to recover much of what they’ve lost financially. But fires still cost time and productivity and insurance can’t replace everything that’s lost.
It’s a good idea for business owners to do what they can to prevent fire damage, or minimise fires if they start. Fire extinguishers are a relatively inexpensive tool and serves a valuable purpose preventing damage and protecting property and people.
With the right equipment, fires can often be safely minimised
The safety of building occupants and business owners is always the most important thing, and you should never try to put out a fire that’s out of control, or where doing so could prevent people from exiting the building safely.
Fires often start small and can be safely tackled with the correct fire equipment. It’s a good idea for building occupants to be trained in the use of fire extinguishers, to ensure the greatest chance of success and to keep others safe.
Fire extinguisher type, size and placement matters, as does accessing training on the safe use of extinguishers. Take action, and make a start today!
By Michael Dunning