Business continuity covers a wide range of disasters that may affect your business but in this article we are covering the effects of a fire breaking out.
Statistics show that a significant number of businesses cease trading within 12 months of suffering a fire.
This is mainly down to inadequate insurance and continuity planning.
Therefore, it is important then when writing your businesses fire planning you also take time to consider the impact of fire on your business and what possible safeguards you can put into place.
The following are basic considerations for business continuity and you should always ensure that your plan is tailored to your business:
Ensure contract agreements are in place and up to date for restoration of premises after fire.
Has temporary accommodation been considered to allow your business activities to continue?
Are alternate service providers readily available to maintain customer relations?
Is adequate insurance cover in place and possible cover against loss of revenue and relocation of premises?
Keep important documentation in Fire Proof Cabinets / lockers.
Ensure computer systems are backed up and you can access your data from other locations.
Will you be able to carry on paying staff and if so for how long?
Individual roles of various staff should the plan need to be put into practice.
The aim of pre-planning is to ensure you can return to business as soon as practicably possible.
Why do I need to bother with a plan?
Loss of Trade
Loss of Customers
Loss of Staff
Irreparable damage to reputation and equipment
Ultimately the total loss of your business
By carrying out a full Fire Risk Assessment and ensuring you are protected as far as reasonably practicable you are minimising the risk to your business and premises.
Even with the most careful planning disasters can and do occur so it is extremely important that you carry out the prior planning rather than not and risk losing everything you have worked extremely hard for.