Fire or flood damage can be devastating for any business. Fortunately, there are many measures you can take to help protect yourself and minimise damage. These can reduce the risk in the first place, as well as significantly increase the chances of your business both surviving and continuing to function in the event of such a disaster.
Planning and preparation are critical and can be achieved through prioritising your critical activities and implementing five simple steps.
- Is your insurance sufficient for fire and flood?
Check that you are not only insured but insured for all the most likely risks. It’s important to make sure you have sufficient cover as well, should the worst happen. Talk to your insurance company to make sure you have everything you need in place now.
- Action plan in case of a disaster
Every company has an evacuation drill to empty the premises as quickly as possible in an emergency when everyone is at work. You should also have an action plan to follow in case the emergency occurs when no one is at work, such as overnight or at the weekend for example.
If you are unable to get into your building, what would you do? Is there another location you could move all or part of your workforce to? How could you adapt your supply chain? What is absolutely critical to your business operation?
- Contacts are key for emergency planning
Keep a comprehensive list of key contacts that is always fully up to date. This should include details of your insurance company, your landlord if you don’t own the premises, your staff, your customers, your suppliers and utility companies. As well as keeping a hard copy in a safe place, make sure you can access it online from anywhere, in case you are unable to get physical access to your premises. Cloud storage is key for vital pieces of information like this.
- Limit the damage by fire and flood
If a flood is threatened, there are steps you can take to limit and minimise damage from water and flood proof as far as possible. You can sign up to receive flood warning alerts by phone, email or text message if your home or business is at risk of flooding. The Environment Agency provides guidance on devising a proper Flood Plan. Make sure you know how to turn off the power supply. It may be worth raising electrical sockets or using flood resistant materials. If you work with hazardous material make sure it is stored safely.
To minimise damage from fire, remove ignition sources or combustible items as far as you can. Make sure all your electrical equipment and wiring is regularly tested and all appropriate paperwork is up to date. Do you have appropriate safety equipment such as fire doors, fire extinguishers, fire blankets and smoke alarms?
- Making remote working work
Thanks to COVID-19, many of us now have remote working procedures in place. Can yours be improved upon? What channels do you use for communicating with not only your staff but your customers and suppliers? Now is the time to fine-tune them so they are as effective as possible and inspire confidence in everyone.
The Forshaw Group offers a full scope of restoration services to undertake all types of fire and flood damage emergencies. Forshaw has the expertise and experience to minimise damage by analyzing the situation on-site and implementing an action plan. We provide a 24-hour/ 7-day emergency call out service, which is available by calling our main office number on 0161 708 9624.