Monday, August 22, 2011

Fire's Impact

When it comes to the issue of fire prevention, business owners fall into one of two categories.  There are the business owners who think that fire prevention/inspection/systems are unnecessary, a waste of money, and of little or no value ("after all we've been in business for ____ years, and never have had an incident"); and there are the business owners that desire the fire marshal's presence, they place a high value on fire/life safety processes/inspections/systems. 

What makes the difference? The bottom line is, education.  The accepting business owner knows that the following five fire impacts will cost much more later, than the cost of fire prevention now.

The 5 Impacts of Fire
  1. Economic Impact - higher insurance premiums, loss of jobs/income, loss of home/business, loss of investments, medical costs
  2. Organizational Impact - low employee morale (due to feelings of inadequacy, or that the company "just doesn't care"), recruitment/turnover (employees leave, hard to recruit new), cost
  3. Legal Impact - civil litigation (for monetary loss, injury, death, failur to comply with fire codes), substantial financial costs and lost time
  4. Psychological Impact - traumatic experience (for those injured, witnesses, family/friends, community-at-large)
  5. Political Impact - reduction in tax base, loss of property 'units', increase in insurance rates, abandoned buildings, derelict neighborhoods
Fire prevention is about a lot more than just an inspector showing up to get some money, or cost the business money, or go on a power trip.  Fire prevention is by and large in the business of ensuring the continued success and longevity of businesses in the community.

These 5 Fire Impacts provided by the United States Fire Administration.