The True Cost of Fire at Your Business
You might think that it may not happen to you, but there are some 22,000 workplace fires every year in the UK.
And when you do have a fire at your business premises, it’s inevitably going to cause any number of serious issues, both in financial terms and with regard to the danger posed to anyone in the building at the time.
But the fire itself may only be the start of your problems, because there could well be several long-term effects you may not have thought about, but which could have a serious impact on the viability of your business. These could include lost income, lost reputation, lost contracts, and even the loss of trust by your own staff.
Considering all that, it’s amazing to think that anyone would treat fire safety at their business with anything other than utmost seriousness. In this article, we’re taking a look at some of the secondary costs a fire can have on a business and why you should take every possible step to protect everything and everyone in your business premises.
Putting things right
Depending on the amount of damage caused by the fire, you are going to have to repair, rebuild or replace your premises. That’s going to cost a fair bit on its own – and even if your insurance does cover a significant part of that cost, you’ll still be looking at much higher premiums in the future.
You might also need to replace stock, computers and all the other bits and pieces that together allow you to run your business effectively and competitively. It’s almost certainly going to be some time before you’ll be back where you were – and that’s if you can even get that far. It’s estimated that more than two thirds of small to medium-sized businesses won’t be able to reopen after a significant fire.
Even if you are able to get back on your feet eventually, depending on the nature of your business, a serious fire at your premises is almost certainly going to mean a period during which you’ll be unable to trade. Even if that’s only a few weeks, you’ll probably still be paying staff wages and have other expenses to meet while not having anything coming in.
That will represent a problem on its own, but what are your suppliers and customers going to do while you’re not open for business?
Many businesses rely on a reputation built up over years of trading. That could be your customers who depend on you for the things they need, or your suppliers who might have given you preferential rates because you’ve been a good customer yourself in the past.
They will almost certainly be sympathetic to your plight, but that sympathy probably won’t translate into hurting their own interests. In other words, all the goodwill you’ve gained over the years could be lost in an instant.
Losing the trust of your trading partners is bad enough, but losing the trust of your own staff could be far more damaging. After all, if there’s a feeling that you weren’t doing enough in terms of fire safety, they may blame you for their own loss of income or even for potentially putting their lives at risk. As a result, they may not feel safe returning to work for you, and may just find themselves another job.
Fines and legal issues
If it is found that you were not doing all you should have to prevent and manage the threat of fire at your premises, you might be subject to legal action that could result in large fines. If you’re already struggling financially with all the aspects we’ve already described, that could be the final straw.
Don’t take chances with fire safety at your business premises in London, Surrey and the South East of England. At Scutum London, we can help with everything from fire risk assessments to identify and manage the risk of fire, to bespoke fire alarm systems and appropriate fire extinguishers to manage and control the situation should a fire break out.
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About Scutum London
Scutum London is a leading expert in fire safety and security solutions for businesses and organisations located across South East England, including London and Surrey.
From fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire risk assessments to access control, CCTV and intruder alarm systems – and a lot more besides – we offer a comprehensive range of products and services designed to keep you, your business and your staff and visitors safe.
With decades of industry experience to call on, we’re proud to hold accreditations from leading trade associations and bodies such as British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE), the British Fire Consortium, the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).
If you’d like to find out more about Scutum London, get in touch with our friendly team or explore our products and services on our site.