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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What to Do if Your Business Has a Fire

5/31/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial building fires are a serious disruption to any business. While product damage or service disruptions are inevitable, proper emergency preparation and response after the event can help to lower the impact a fire has on your business.


First and foremost, your best protection from the effects of a fire in your business is making sure that you take the proper safety precautions as well as have a plan for what should happen after the fact.

  • Regularly inspect your smoke detectors and fire suppression systems
    • These systems are your first line of defense when it comes to keeping your business safe for employees and customers, as well as helping to prevent even more damage to your property.
  • Have a plan in place in case of emergency and make sure that it is communicated to and understood by all of your employees
    • Consider having a safety meeting with your staff to discuss emergency preparedness. Your plan is only helpful if everyone knows what to do.
    • SERVPRO offers a free program for businesses called the Emergency Ready Profile that documents and puts all of the important contact information and need to know items such as your gas shut off and water main shut off locations in a single place for ease of access. If you would like to take advantage of this service, please reach out to us!
  • Take record via photo or video of your business’s assets for insurance purposes
    • The more detail you have in your documentation the easier it will be to make sure you get proper reimbursement for your insurance claims
    • It’s also important to keep accurate and regularly updated records of your product inventory
  • Regularly back up your important computer data
    • Having backups of your data offsite or in cloud backups can significantly decrease the amount of time it takes for your business to become operational again


  • After you’ve evacuated and the fire department has arrived, it’s important to make sure that no one enters the scene until firefighters have deemed it safe to do so.
    • Fires can cause significant damage to your businesses structure that can create unsafe conditions that may be hidden or otherwise unapparent.
    • On top of the safety issues, you should not move or touch anything inside until you’ve spoken with your insurance. It’s possible that disturbing the scene before consulting with your insurance can lead to you voiding parts of your claim or making it difficult to receive the full amount of the claim that is needed for the damage.
  • Contact your insurance company
    • Once everyone is safe you should call your insurance agency as soon as possible. They’ll be able to help you along and explain the steps you should take to protect your business in line with your policy. The faster you can get the claims process started the faster you’ll be able to get back to business as usual.
  • Contact a professional restoration company
    • Fire cleanup is no easy task. From structural damage to soot and smoke covered items, dealing with the after-effects of a fire requires professional help. We offer turn-key service from cleanup to repairs SERVPRO will be by your side every step of the way.
    • A restoration company will be able to help you decide which items are salvageable and what needs to be disposed of. You may be surprised as to what can potentially be saved, including important documents!
    • SERVPRO also offers professional board up services. Boarding up windows or tarping holes in the roof are crucial to preventing additional property damage whether it’s from theft/vandalism or protection from the weather.
  • Keep accurate records
    • It’s important to make sure that you keep accurate records of the entire process from start to finish. Not only is it important for your general record keeping, but also for your insurance claims, and other parties that may have been affected. Make note of all estimates, receipts, claims, and any other relevant written communications.
  • Notify any relevant third parties
    • Make sure that anyone affected by the fire or disruption in business is notified. This includes any employees, customers, investors, and even making sure the post office has the correct mail forwarding information for you until your property is back in business.

While sometimes a fire in your business can’t be prevented, taking these steps can help reduce the damage the fire does, and get your business up and running again faster. Here at SERVPRO of Chesterfield and SERVPRO of Tri-Cities, Plus we respond faster to any size disaster and our team is ready to take on anything you throw our way. Give us a call or fill out an online form and let us know what we can do for you!

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