Summer is on the way, however as the temperature rises so does the incidence of property crime.The effects of arson can range from a small garbage fire to total loss. While not all arson can be stopped, owners and employees can reduce the chances of arson at their business. In Canada, arson is categorized as type of property crime and is defined as an act that intentionally or recklessly causes damage by fire or explosion to property. Arson is often a crime of opportunity, making it important for businesses to take proactive steps to address areas of risk on their properties.
- Keep the property well lit at night.
- Check lighting around your business. Replace all burnt-out bulbs. Install lighting, including motion sensor lights, in dark and secluded areas.
- Trim shrubs and trees to eliminate potential hiding places.
- Secure all external ladders and stairways so unauthorized individuals do not have access to upper floors and roofs.
- Use good deadbolt locks on all doors and secure all windows.
- Install a monitored burglar and fire alarm system.
- Do a perimeter check of the building at closing to ensure all access points are secure.
- Erase graffiti and repair any minor vandalism as soon as possible. The more run-down your premises appear, the greater its chance of being attacked by vandals or arsonists.
- Report accumulated or abandoned refuse near your business to your local council or fire department.
Keep Combustibles Out Of Sight
- Dispose of all garbage properly. Ensure that garbage bins are kept at least 25 feet away from buildings and are emptied as soon as possible when full.
- Store combustible materials, wood pallets and empty cardboard cartons, away from all buildings.
- Store chemicals and other flammable liquids in their proper place, and restrict access to them by locking them up in a fire-resistant cabinet when not in use.
- Familiarize yourself with fire hazards inherent in common combustibles that your business may use, such as paper packaging, oils or building materials.
Practice Fire Safety
- Install smoke alarms as well as automatic and tamper-proof sprinklers and have them inspected and tested by a qualified contractor annually.
- Develop a proper fire safety plan and ensure designated people are aware of their responsibilities for fire safety.
- Do not leave any exit area cluttered. Make sure exit pathways are clear in case of an emergency
- Educate employees about arson prevention and fire safety.
For more information on how to protect your business from arson, please contact one of our risk management professionals. While risk management strategies can reduce your chances for loss, in the event of a loss it is important to ensure your business has the right level of insurance coverage. Visit our Commercial Insurance page to learn about our insurance options and how we can help protect your business.