Businesses underestimate the impact of Fire- Wormald report

Businesses underestimate the impact of Fire- Wormald report from Wormald

By: Wormald  04-Apr-2013
Keywords: Fire Protection, Fire Safety

Sydney, AUSTRALIA, February 2013: New research by fire protection specialist Wormald has found that 83 per cent of Australian businesses show no concern for the downtime that could occur if their business was to experience a fire. The research also found that 70 per cent of businesses are not worried about resulting loss of data. In compiling the ‘Business Fire Safety Report’, Wormald surveyed 320 Australian business owners and managers about their approach to fire safety. While loss of life in the event of a fire is the main worry for 97 per cent of respondents, only 40 per cent cited damage to property and 33 per cent cited loss of plant, stock or equipment as concerns. Wormald Managing Director, Mark Gowans says that while protecting people should be the number one consideration, business owners cannot be complacent about protecting their livelihood. “Protecting people should always be the number one consideration for businesses in order to minimise injury and prevent fatality in the event of a fire. However, any business that has experienced a fire knows that the aftermath can take far longer to battle through than the fire itself. “Fire can have devastating consequences and the damage can sometimes be irreparable. Property loss and damage can result in lengthy downtime while repairs and rebuilding take place and expensive equipment and important data can be destroyed. When planning for fire protection, business managers should develop a crisis management plan, giving careful consideration to how critical data is backed up and how they would operate if their premises were affected by fire.” Most of the businesses surveyed have fire extinguishers (99 per cent) and fire detection systems (83 per cent) in place, but half do not have automatic sprinkler systems installed. “Portable fire equipment such as fire extinguishers, fire blankets and fire hose reels are an essential line of defence and are vital for fighting small fires. However, to operate the equipment someone must be physically on the premises,” says Gowans. “Fire can spread out of control very quickly, particularly within large businesses and facilities. One option is to install an automatic fire suppression system such as an automatic fire sprinkler system which can help minimise damage to property. Sprinkler systems can be linked to a facility’s fire or smoke detection system and, once activated, automatically release water to quickly suppress and control the spread of a fire. Other fire suppression systems are available which, when activated, suppress the fire using inert gaseous agents such as Inergen and Sapphire systems. Of those respondents that have experienced a fire, electrical hazards (29 per cent) and machinery (27 per cent) were the main causes, both of which commonly occur when a premises is vacant. “When it comes to fire safety, careful planning is required and all fire hazards and risks should be assessed in order for the most appropriate fire protection system to be recommended and installed”, Gowans continues. “Business managers must realise the impact that a fire can have on their business’ day to day operations and, subsequently its bottom line.” To assist businesses in preparing for fire protection, Wormald has developed a business fire safety ‘checklist’ which is downloadable at http://www.wormald.com.au/resourcecentre/ business-fire-safety-checklist

Keywords: Fire Protection, Fire Safety

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