When disaster strikes we think of everything we should have thought of before the disaster and all to often, the best preparedness comes only in hindsight of that experience. But this isn’t exactly cost effective and you’d have to be fairly unlucky to have your business burn down twice. With modern techniques, you can protect not only your office from fire but also the viability of your business.

by Gavin via Flickr

1. Fireproof everything. Purchase fireproofed cabinets and a safe for your important documents. Replace your office furniture with fire retardant desks. You can also invest in retardant plasters and insulation. This measure will drastically reduce a fire’s chance of spreading. Fireproofing is an expensive procedure but necessary to protect your business.

2. Tech out. Install smoke detectors in every room. Use only alarms that are ionization sensing and photoelectric sensing. These alarms are optimized to detect both fast moving as well as smoldering fires. Consider also using a combination horn and strobe light alarm. Install fire sprinklers to keep a potential fire small.

3. Prepare your staff. Check your emergency exit lights and make sure that you have packed emergency kits that are easy to access. Take your employee through drills and ensure that they know the emergency procedures.

4. Record everything. Every little fixture, appliance and decorative napkin holder could be worth something after a fire if you have a record of it. Back up your hard drive and store that copy in a fireproof box. Backing up every record now could seem redundant but could pay off in a fire.

5. Hire an adjuster. If insurance brokers are doing their job they are trying to sell you something. Here’s the thing, they are not the only insurance experts out there. An adjuster will help you read the fine print to make sure that your insurance covers you. Make sure that your policy includes commonly overlooked items such as code upgrade coverage and business interruption insurance. Adjusters are usually the people you meet on the worst day of your life. Hire an adjuster before a disaster to look over your insurance and optimize your coverage.

In business we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Fire preparedness is no different. Caution may be expensive but always worth the trouble.

Matthew Sommer writes tips to help people get cheap insurance quotes.

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