5 Ways to Prevent Fires at Your Store
Posted by Sarah B. on October 12, 2016 in Retail Focus

Fires cause around $600 million in direct property damage in stores and other mercantile properties each year. In 2015 alone, there were 13,570 structure fires in retail environments. The leading causes of fire are cooking materials, including food, followed by electrical wire or cable insulation.


No one wants to deal with a fire at their place of business. Here are some helpful tips to help you prevent fires:


  1. Don’t forget to turn off equipment. While making the rounds to lock up and turn off equipment at closing, don’t forget about the breakroom coffee maker, microwave, toaster, etc.
  2. Keep electrical panels clear. Remember that blocking electrical panels with product, shelving, cardboard, or other items is unsafe. Per OSHA and the National Electrical Code (NEC) regulations, there must be a 36” clear space maintained in front of electrical panels at all times. Storing materials against or on top of electrical panels is a fire hazard and interferes with access in emergencies.
  3. Take the trash out regularly. Be proactive about trash and recycling so it does not accumulate and take up space near doors or in aisles. Supporting and working to instill proactive habits in your employees will help you avoid issues, save time, and maybe even save money.
  4. Properly store flammable items. Remember that flammable liquids, such as cleaners, aerosol cans, nail polish remover, vanilla extract, etc., should be stored in a flammables cabinet or other proper protective storage when they are not in use. 
  5. Make fire training part of your new employee orientation. Conducting fire extinguisher training for employees is wise. This ensures they have direct experience using an extinguisher should the situation ever arise. If someone has never had to use an extinguisher before, it can be tricky to get it right in a crisis. Your local fire department may be willing to help with training and allow users to practice putting out a fire with expired extinguishers.


Ensure employees that they are not required to fight a fire, but give them the tools they need to use the extinguisher to get out of the building safely. It is also important to include training on how to activate any fire systems, such as the system over fryers and grills in food preparation areas.

Sarah B. is our Retail guru
Sarah B. came to Acuity this year with a background in retail. She studied Interior Architecture in college and completed an online business education program through Harvard Business School. She also has a wide range of commercial insurance experience and has earned her Associate in General Insurance (AINS), Associate in Insurance Services (AIS), and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designations. This made her the perfect addition to the Acuity Mercantile team. If she could travel anywhere in the world, she would return to Italy. She spent three weeks there during college studying architecture and design and has wanted to go back ever since.

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Posted By: Aaron S. on February 12, 2018 in Retail Focus
Retaining top talent is a challenge that every business continually faces. Having one of your best employees leave can be a very costly event. Not only are you forced to use valuable time to find and hire a new person, but your customers may also suffer due to a reduced experience since newer employees are typically less knowledgeable.