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Know The Facts About Business Fires

By Kustom Disaster Restoration
Posted September 28, 2022

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, as many as one in four businesses that suffer a major disaster do not reopen afterward. While it’s true that overcoming a major loss is extremely difficult, with the right restoration team on your side—working hand in hand with your insurance company—the chances of your company surviving are far higher.

Some businesses that have come to Kustom for help were able to reopen just days after the fire. Thanks to innovations in smoke odor removal, fire damage restoration, and cleaning in general, it is possible for crews to start work almost immediately after the fire department clears the scene, getting things back up and running in no time. Specific results will of course depend on the severity of the fire and the amount of damage. But no matter the severity, recovery is possible!

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, U.S. fire departments responded to about 3,300 office property fires per year between 2007 and 2011. Those fires resulted in about $112 million in property damage each year. Most occurred in business offices—during business hours. The good news is, the number of business fires decreased by a whopping 71 percent from 1980 to 2011.

Here are some other stats from the NFPA:

Time of Day

  • Peak time of day for office fires: noon – 2 p.m. (a.k.a. lunchtime!)
  • 69% of fires occurred between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • The remaining 31% that occurred between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. caused 67% of recorded property damage because they went undetected longer. (This finding highlights the need for automatic detection equipment and working sprinkler systems.)
  • 19% of fires broke out on weekends.

Causes of Business Fires

  • 29% were caused by cooking equipment. However, just 6% of these fires caused actual property damage.
  • Intentionally set fires caused the most direct property damage – 21%.
  • Electrical equipment is the second leading cause of office fires.
  • Just 2% of office fires start in a concealed space like an attic, in the ceiling, or in another concealed space. However, these fires accounted for 13% of direct property damage.

Containment & Extinguishment

  • 4 out of 5 fires remained confined to the room of origin.
  • 90% of fires were large enough to activate sprinklers, which were effective 88% of the time.
  • Deaths per 1,000 stores were 62% lower in offices equipped with sprinklers compared to those without.

Industrial/Manufacturing Facility Fires

The NFPA also has statistics specific to manufacturing facilities. According to their research, there are about 37,000 fires at industrial or manufacturing facilities each year, resulting in 18 deaths, 279 injuries, and $1 billion in property damage. Heating equipment and stop tools were the leading cause, sparking 28% of the fires. Mechanical failure or malfunction caused 24% of the fires.

Planning for the Worst

As part of your emergency preparation plan, be sure to have a local, reputable restoration company like Kustom on speed dial. The sooner you get the professionals in to clean up after a disaster, the sooner you can get back to business.

Need a fire damage expert? Learn more about Kustom’s approach to fire restoration. 

Let us restore your property, prosperity, and peace of mind.

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