Protect your Business from Arson

Arson attacks are on the increase, so it is no wonder that many business owners want to do everything possible to protect their business premises from becoming a target. What seems to be happening more than ever is that when a business suffers a break in, whether that be through an intentional planned burglary or via opportunist thieves breaking in, the criminals involved are deliberately setting fires to either cover their tracks or out of a twisted desire to cause the maximum damage possible.

No matter what the cause, arson remains as one of the biggest threats to UK businesses – even greater than accidental fires caused by electrical faults, smoking and faulty heaters put together. While most fires that break out on a business premised during the day time while there are staff around who can either tackle the blaze or alert the emergency services early, most arson attacks happen at night while the premises is empty, increasing the damage caused by the resulting fire.

Adequate fire detection equipment

Unless you have adequate fire detection equipment within your business premises, such as working fire alarms and smoke and heat detectors, a fire caused by arson can be left alone to easily and quickly spread and engulf the building. By the time it is noticed, by a passer by or neighbour for example, it may well be too late for the fire service to do anything other than contain the blaze to stop it spreading to other properties.

Invest in a monitored fire alarm system where your premises is protected 24/7. As soon as an alarm is triggered, the company will confirm a fire event and call out the fire service immediately, thus potentially saving your business from going up in flames while unoccupied.

Get your staff to work with you

Your staff that work in all areas of your premises can be made aware of the need to remain vigilant. Ask them to report any suspicious behaviour from strangers on or near the premises. Ask them to look out for anything that could make arson easier, such as a stack of gas bottles being stored outside the building, or a skip full of cardboard or other flammable materials that are building up between collections that could be used to start a fire. Get them to remove or safely lock away anything that could pose a risk. Ask keyholders to double check to ensure the building is empty before they leave and to make sure no unauthorised people have access to security codes or building keys. Change security codes frequently, especially after a member of staff leaves the company.

Fire-proof your building

Adding extra security measures such as external fire doors, and metal shutters for doors and windows can not only act as a deterrent for would-be burglars, they can also help to greatly reduce or even eliminate the risks from an arson attack. Even letterboxes that are an obvious arson target can be protected by fitting with a fire-proof metal container to catch and contain any arson attempts in this way.

Installing CCTV around your property is also another way to catch potential arsonists at work before they have a chance to carry out their crimes. As well as acting as visual deterrent, CCTV footage can be used as evidence by the police to help prosecute arsonists caught in the act.