Business Fire Risk
“The safest way to deal with fire is to prevent it”. It might seem like basic advice from the HSA.ie website, but sometimes common sense needs to be re-iterated. Fire poses a significant risk to businesses in Ireland. And, while avoiding harm to staff is paramount, damage to premises, equipment and stock is another concern, and can often render that business unable to continue its operations. In fact, in the United States, 25% of small businesses do not re-open after a disaster (Ref. SBA.gov)
Insurance Companies are Taking Steps
Insurance companies are now responding to this risk, and adopting a “prevent it” approach. In the last twelve months, insurance companies have designed a “Loss Prevention Programme” to help reduce the likelihood of electrical fires in businesses, and at the same time help businesses comply with Statutory Requirements as set out in the National Rules of Electrical Installation. The program centres around the requirement to get businesses to have their electrical installation checked by a competent electrician every 5 years. But it goes a step further. According to Insurance companies, failure to comply with the Loss Prevention Program may adversely affect insurance cover provided.
What is a Safe Electric Periodic Inspection Report?
A concerned insurance broker sent us a letter he received from one such insurance company. The broker was in the process of securing cover for a large client. The insurance company wrote to him confirming their visit to the site, and attaching the Loss Prevention Program which requested that a Safe Electric Periodic Inspection Report be provided to them. A Safe Electric Periodic Inspection Report is completed following the electrical examination and sets out observations and recommendations in relation to the inspection. A further stipulation is that the inspection is conducted by a “fire rated/ LPCB approved electrician”.
The Emotional & Financial Pain of Business Fires
Throughout my career, I have dealt with hundreds of business fires. I have met the owners, who have put their blood, sweat, tears and hard earned cash into building their successful business. And with the flick of an unfortunate spark, their business goes up in smoke. One of the services offered by ATR Group is to get that business back up and running after such a disaster, but it is undoubtedly a stressful time for the business owner. This stress does not abate until the doors re-open. The layer of black soot and water drenched equipment is a crushing sight for someone who has taken pride in overseeing the installation of each piece of machinery or furniture. ATR Group will get rid of the soot, dry out the machinery and equipment and erase the odour of smoke, but my advice is – Prevent it happening.
How Can ATR Group Electrical Help
Fire prevention is one of the reasons we set up ATR Group Electrical in 2019. We were delighted to welcome George Cooke and his fully LPCB-approved team of electricians. George now heads our electrical division. At the request of the insurance industry, we are able to offer Electrical Inspections to businesses, which result in the issuing of the required Safe Electric Periodic Inspection Report.
Business fires are preventable. Arrange to have a periodic inspection of your business electrics. As well as being a requirement of insurance companies, it is a smart move. ATR group does help businesses deal with the aftermath of such disasters on a day to day basis. But, my advice, after dealing with the consequences for many years? Prevent it happening in the first place.
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