11 Facts About Business Fires (& Preventing Them!)
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, U.S. fire departments responded to about 3,300 office property fires per year between 2007 and 2011. Those fires resulted in about $112 million in property damage each year, and most were in business offices – and happened during business hours. However, the good news is the number of business fires was down a whopping 71 percent from 1980 to 2011.
When a fire happens in Cedar Rapids (or anywhere!!), it is key to move quickly into the restoration and rebuilding process to keep the damage from expanding or getting worse. Smoke can really penetrate materials within a building, as can the water dumped on the building by firefighters working to put out the fire. So, the quicker a restoration company like Challis Restoration gets into the building to get the cleanup process started, the better!
One of the best ways to prevent a fire at your business is to educate yourself. Here are some facts we learned from the National Fire Protection Association about business fires. Just like house fires, many are caused by simple accidents.
Time of Day
- The peak time of day for office fires is right around lunch time: Noon – 2 p.m. It’s as simple as something being forgotten in a microwave or toaster oven!
- 69% happened between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., while employees are in the office.
- The 31% that occurred between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. caused 67% of recorded property damage because they went undetected longer. This also highlights the need for automatic detection equipment and working sprinkler systems.
- 19% of fires happened on weekends.
Cause of the Business Fires
- 29% were caused by cooking equipment. However, just 6% of these fires caused actual property damage.
- Intentionally-set fires caused the most direct property damage – 21%.
- Electrical equipment is the second leading cause of office fires.
- Just 2% of office fires start in a concealed space like an attic, in the ceiling, or in another conceals space. However, these fires accounted for 13% of the direct property damage.
Containment & Putting it Out
- 4 out of 5 fires were confined to the room of origin.
- 90% of fires were large enough to activate sprinklers, which were effective 88% of the time.
- Deaths per 1,000 stores were 62% lower in offices equipped with sprinklers compared to those without.
Depending on the size of the fire, and the amount of damage, professional restoration companies have helped business reopen just days after the fire happened. Thanks to innovations in smoke odor removal, fire damage restoration, and cleaning in general, it is possible for crews to start work nearly immediately after the fire department clears the scene, and have things back up and running in no time. Although, again, that all depends on the severity of the fire. But no matter the severity, recovery is possible!
Take heart that your business can be restored and rebuilt after a fire, and Challis is here to help!