7 Steps to Take If There is a Commercial Fire
While fires in residential buildings are undoubtedly devastating, there are steps you can take to avoid further damage if your business suffers a fire. If you follow these seven steps to take if there's a commercial fire, you’ll be better prepared to deal with the aftermath and get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Step 1 - Call the Fire Department
Call 911 to report that your business is on fire as soon as possible. When calling, identify yourself by name and business address. Tell them what kind of business you are and if anyone is still inside. The dispatcher will then pass you over to either firefighters or an emergency medical service unit, depending on what has been reported at that time.
Step 2 - Move Guests and Employees
Get everyone out of harm’s way quickly, including any residents staying at your business and any employees on duty. Try to keep people calm, as panicking evacuations can lead to trampling and injury. When relocating guests or customers from your building, you must know where you are sending them and that they know where they need to go.
Step 3 - Put Out the Fire
Immediately put out fires with small extinguishers that can be easily carried from room to room if it is safe. Ensure that everyone in your office knows where these extinguishers are and what type of fire they should use them on (i.e., electrical or chemical).
Step 4 - Secure the Area
Once everyone has evacuated, it’s vital that no one enters or exits. It may seem obvious, but you want to prevent people from getting hurt and damage from spreading. Ensure that all customers and employees have left your business, then ensure that all doors are locked. Shut off electricity and gas in your office or building if safe to do so. Close windows or pull-down metal security shutters if there is any chance of a fire igniting outside; the smoke can travel through open spaces easily. Only do this if it is safe to do so.
Step 5 - Get Help From an Insurance Professional
After you’ve determined that you can safely exit, don’t go anywhere. After the fire event is under control, call your insurance agent and follow their instructions. Your insurer will be able to guide you through what happens next. Get an accurate accounting of what items were damaged or destroyed in the fire. Then document how much it will cost for repairs, collect receipts and find contractors who can fix your business.
Step 6 - File a Claim
This step could take some time. You will also need to file a claim with your local fire department so that they can do an investigation and make sure it is safe for you to re-enter your building. You will also want to call your landlord or other building authority and report what happened. It’s essential not just for liability reasons but also because they may need updates on safety, such as whether or not electrical wiring needs replaced.
Step 7 - Call SERVPRO of Manteca and Modesto for Restoration Services
Many business owners rely on nearby family and friends in an emergency. But when it comes to fire or water damage, you need expert commercial restoration service to minimize damages and ensure safety. Call us 24/7 at (209) 823-8877 and we’ll be there fast. Our team is here for you 24/7—no matter where your business is located in Modesto or Manteca.