Wednesday, July 27, 2011

High Cost of Non-Compliance

I jokingly tell people that the reason I got into fire prevention is because I don't need any more friends. Everyone seems to hate it when the fire inspector comes around. People seem to be most afraid of the potential cost to correct any fire code violations that the inspector may find.  However, as fire inspectors our responsibilities in code enforcement are to, not only protect ourselves, but also the business owner.

We protect the business owner by identifying fire hazards in their business.  By identifying and correcting these hazards loss of a business property, time, and lives can be avoided.  However, fire inspections also protect the business owner, by ensuring that if an incident does occur the businesses insurance company will make any necessary payments.  Often times, insurance companies try to find a way not to pay, and if the facilities are not up to current fire codes then it is easy for the insurance company to deny the claims.

The Insurance Journal recently reported that a fire destroyed, restaurant in Massachusetts was recently denied it's insurance claim, and court ordered to repay a $15,000 insurance advance. The judge based his ruling on the fact that the restaurant had been operating with an out of date fire suppression system. You can read the entire article here, Massachusetts Judge: Obsolete Fire-Suppression Means No Claims Paid.

As fire prevention professionals it is our responsibility to educate business and industry representatives on the fact that we are not just there to hurt them, fight against them, or shut down their business, but that we are there to partner with them to ensure the continued success and longevity of there enterprise.