Fire risk management is often considered the best starting point when trying to prevent fires. There are several reasons for carrying out fire risk management and some of the reasons can be categorized in the following 3 ways:
Moral considerations should be the prime reason for managing risk. Persons should not be exposed to intolerable risk while resorting to premises or in the employ of others. A moral code exists in most countries; therefore we expect employers or other responsible persons to treat the health and safety of occupiers of the premises as being of greater importance than financial profit.
Moral considerations are based on the concept of the ‘Responsible Person’ owing a duty of reasonable care to relevant ‘Persons’. A person does not expect to risk life or serious injury as a condition of resorting to a premises or whilst in employment.
Where a business is unfortunate enough to suffer a fire, there is a very strong possibility that it may never resume. Even a small fire can cause severe disruption. Apart from the physical and costly effects of smoke and heat, fire may also cause costly and lengthy interference to services such as electrical, telecommunications, heating etc. leading to a temporary shutdown of the facility and an immediate loss in revenue.
When a business is part of a supply chain, the loss of that particular business can have a knock on effect on other businesses reliant on the supply of products, leading to a wide spread financial loss. Even if a business is brought back into operation, it is quite conceivable that customers have moved their buying power to other suppliers. Unless the down time caused by a fire is minimal, skilled staff are quite likely to move to new positions elsewhere therefore leading to a skills\shortage on re-start.
The loss of a major employer can have a detrimental financial impact on the local community. The impact on an individual will be devastating, however the knock on effect caused by the loss of the individuals spending power will also affect other local businesses and services that in turn may have to downsize or could close altogether. This can lead to an economic downward spiral plunging an area in to social deprivation. In certain circumstances, the stigma associated with a fire ravaged premises can mean that it never fully recovers even after being rebuilt. There could be a strong negative effect on revenue when prospective clients would learn about a previous fire in a care home for example.
When a building suffers from a fire, it is almost guaranteed that insurance companies will increase insurance premiums and any excess on the policy. Additional safeguards will also be expected to avoid repetition.
When an establishment provides a unique or vital service, the loss of that provision can have a severe detrimental effect on the local community or in some cases a much wider area. The disruption caused to the public or service continuity when a hospital or a school is closed down for a few weeks can have severe consequences on the society’s health and wellbeing, both physical and mental stress. These events can lead to a lack of confidence in the society’s ability to manage itself, which would also have a negative effect on the society’s economic climate if people become more reluctant to use the services provided locally and travel elsewhere to fulfill their needs.