The latest in simple, cost-effective fire prevention and control equipment for your small business.

Smart alarms and detectors

Traditional smoke alarms will certainly give you a jolt if they go off in your vicinity, but what about when you've shut up shop for the night? 

Smart smoke alarms can send real-time alerts to you – wherever you are – via your smartphone. 

With the help of additional built-in measurement technology – including video, carbon monoxide detection, and occupancy, heat and humidity sensors – some smart alarms can even distinguish between different types of fires.

They can then activate or deactivate other on-site Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled devices to fight fires, whether your goods are housed on your commercial premises or offsite at a warehouse.

Starting at around $170, these devices aren't as cheap as your traditional alarms, but they could save you thousands in smoke or fire damage and prove priceless in terms of peace of mind. 

Of course, fire is one of the biggest dangers all businesses face, which is why you need to ensure you have the right insurance for your business to help protect against it.

“Fire is one of the biggest dangers all businesses face, which is why you need to ensure you have the right insurance for your business to help protect against it”

Smart devices, plugs or outlets

Just pulled up at home and hit by a nagging feeling that you've left something on at work? 

Rather than driving back to your business, or spending a sleepless night of worrying if the appliance will spark a fire, if it's connected to the IoT, you'll be able to switch it off or reprogram it remotely using your smartphone. 

For older devices, and those not connected to the IoT, you can purchase smart plugs or outlets that allow you to turn power off and on remotely. 

If you're unfortunate enough to have a fire start on your premises, you may benefit from the traditional fire extinguishing methods now optimised through the IoT. 

For example, traditional sprinklers can certainly help control fires, but they can also cause significant water damage.

Today, there are smart sprinklers available which can deploy an appropriate extinguisher – be it mist, gases or chemicals – in a targeted area, based on sensor data. 

Passive fire protection materials

Passive fire protection systems are designed to contain and limit the spread of fire. 
The Building Code of Australia and other Australian Standards call for minimum levels of passive fire protection, but there is always more you can do to protect your business.

When it comes time for maintenance or renovations, explore how you can incorporate the latest in products like intumescent coatings and sealants, fire retardant paint, vermiculite sprays, fire collars, fire-resistant cable technology and fire-rated ducts and doors.

The final word

Despite spending a lot of time and energy trying to control fire, sometimes we fail. 

And other times, in the process of controlling a fire, businesses still sustain significant smoke and water damage. 

That can mean not only property damage but also business interruption with loss of profits.

To help ensure a fire doesn't cripple your business, you should consider transferring any remaining fire risk after the technology above to the insurance market by taking out Business Insurance and Business Interruption Insurance

As we all know, technology does not always work.

And because this new technology depends on the IoT, you should also consider Cyber Insurance as well.

For expert advice on the best insurance solutions for your business, talk to your Steadfast broker now.

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The views expressed are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect those of Steadfast.

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