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Small business fire safety

Small businesses need to have plans and procedures to prevent fires and to help their business recover should an unforeseen emergency occur.

Is your small business fire safe?

The fire services recommend this checklist to assist your small business in preventing damage that could be caused by fire:

  • Avoid storing or stockpiling flammable materials such as packaging materials or waste where they could be accessed by the public, including areas immediately outside your business premises.
  • Make sure all machinery is serviced as recommended by manufacturers and is kept clean. If possible, switch machinery off when the business is unattended.
  • Secure all doors, windows or other access points when the business is unattended, and make sure your business has adequate lighting to deter trespassers.
  • Ensure your business has an adequately serviced and functional fire alarm system that is suitable to your small business eg: Remote serviced alarm systems, sprinkler systems, thermal or smoke alarms etc.
  • If your business stores dangerous goods, ensure their storage and use adheres to legislative requirements.
  • Make sure your business has a written and practised fire escape plan that includes full staff lists and designated meeting points.

Damage reduction and disaster recovery checklist

The fire services recommend this checklist to assist your small business to reduce damage caused from fire and to assist in a speedy business recovery:
  • Ensure that all of your staff has sufficient training in what they should do if your small business is exposed to an unexpected fire.
  • Depending on your business this will mean at least knowing your evacuation point and the need to dial Triple Zero (000).
  • Make sure you know what information is important for your business continuity. This should include having contingency plans to protect and/or restore all important information (hard copy & IT) like supplier and client lists, business contracts and insurance details.
  • Consider having an off site secure location to store important information in your contingency plan.

Small business fire safety tips

  • Remember that smoke from a fire will make you confused and that you cannot see in smoke.
  • Always ensure your business has sufficient fire insurance.
  • If you feel your staff require training contact Commercial Fire Safety Training on 1800 SURVIVE (78 78 48).

For more information contact your local fire station.

Printable factsheet

Small business fire safety (PDF, 123Kb)

NSW Fire Brigades. Revised 28 January 2010.

In an Emergency Call Triple Zero (000)

A collaboration of the NSW Fire Brigades, NSW Rural Fire Service, ACT Fire Brigade and ACT Rural Fire Service