The Disaster Recovery Handbook: A Step-by-Step Plan to Ensure Business Continuity and Protect Vital Operations, Facilities, and Assets

By Michael Wallace; Lawrence Webber | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 21
FIRE
Burning Down the House

Books have the same enemies as people:
fire, humidity, animals, weather, and their own content
.

Paul Valéry


INTRODUCTION
A fire can severely damage a business in many ways. The extent of the damage is determined by the fire’s location, timing, and size. Fires damage a business’s property through heat, smoke damage, and damage caused when putting it out. (Did you ever see the gusto with which a volunteer firefighter swings a fire ax?) Stolen objects can be recovered and returned. Water-damaged objects can be cleaned and restored. But burnt objects and documents are destroyed forever.A fire can have far-reaching impact on a company’s profitability. Depending on the size and location of the fire, the damage may include:
Structural Damage. A fire can destroy or weaken walls, floors, ceiling/roof assemblies, and structural supports. Smoldering fires often make a home within walls, which must be opened so the fire can be suppressed.
Loss of Valuable Documents and Information. Financial records, personnel files, and a wide range of vital company records can disappear in a fire. Some of these documents can be reconstructed from other information sources; some of this information can never be recovered.
Injury or Death. Fire threatens the lives of your employees. Some of the physical injuries will take a long time to heal, and the mental injuries can take even longer.
Customer Relations. Your customers are expecting that the goods they have ordered will be delivered on time. A delay due to a fire will lessen their confidence in your reliability and may cost them lost profits.

-365-

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