The cost of insurance for commercial buildings can become unmanageable if you don’t take steps to reduce risks. Some important risks to consider as building manager include break-ins and theft, property damage and destruction, and threat of fires—which can cause severe damage and destruction.
As a building manager, it’s your responsibility to not only ensure your commercial building has insurance that fully covers such potential damage but also to take precautions against these types of problems—which can often reduce the cost of being insured.
You may not have thought of all the potential hazards for fire in commercial buildings. Aside from general housekeeping risks, such as safely managing basic chemicals and industrial washing and drying, you could also run into:
The best way to prevent any of these from turning into a severe fire emergency is to invest in fire protection systems throughout your facility. With a number of different types of fire protection systems, you can choose to invest in sprinklers, fire alarms, and even a fire suppression system that is safe for delicate rooms like server rooms.
Knowing the local and state fire code requirements is essential to maintaining proper protection. To find out what is essential in terms of fire protection in your area, you can check with the NFPA, where all standard codes are available for your information. Also, know that, for many insurers, the more you go above and beyond meeting the minimal code requirements, the more your bill could be reduced.
Several factors weigh in on the cost of insurance for your commercial building. For example, the ISO (Insurance Services Office) rating can severely affect your insurance premiums. This rating refers to the ability of a fire department to service your building in the event of a fire. A higher rating means that you are less likely to avoid damage because your facility is not easily accessible by the fire department. Therefore, having a lower ISO rating can actually help reduce the cost of your insurance by 10 – 15 percent.
Investing in a fire protection system that is more than adequate and meets all the code requirements, both state-demanded and locally, is one of the most important steps to reducing the cost of insurance. By having working fire sprinkler, alarm, and even suppression system professionally installed, you have already added a ‘firewall’ that can help protect your building from damage. You can also assure that occupants have warning, should a fire occur, reducing the risk of human injury or death.
Also, it’s important to know about the rating of your building construction. For example, Construction Class 4 refers to masonry that is noncombustible, a rating which could help reduce insurance costs. Construction Class 6, fire resistive, likely will significantly impact your costs.
There are a number of different fire preventative operating systems that you can invest in for your commercial building that will help you better protect the property, the occupants, and the bottom line of what you’re spending on insurance.
If you are unsure of the right mix of fire prevention for your particular investment, contact a fire protection company like Kauffman Co., a B2B company that specializes in fire protection solutions in the Houston, Texas area. Our professionals can inspect your building and ensure that your property is protected from a fire emergency. Contact us today to schedule an inspection!
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