For most of us, fall means football, colorful foliage, and cooler temperatures. But for small businesses it’s a great time to focus on the common dangers of the season, such as heating fires. Heating fires can be caused by units that provide heat when temperatures cool, such as fireplaces, central heating units, portable heating units, heating stoves, water heaters and chimneys, and are a significant fall season risk factor.
Including the risk of fires, there are some things you should be aware of when it comes to the fall season, and the following fall season business reminders are of the most importance.
Heating Equipment Inspection – The first thing to be aware of in the fall is to ensure your facilities have a proper heating equipment inspection. The heating equipment in your building, including the chimneys, should be inspected once a year, preferably just before the cooler temperatures arrive. You should also have the chimney and heating equipment cleaned around the same time, as well as any furnace filters replaced. When purchasing new heating equipment for your business, pay attention to the label and only get equipment approved by a reputable testing laboratory. It’s also important to ensure you have adequate business insurance, in the event that a fire does occur in your facilities.
Seasonal Business Auto Maintenance – Auto maintenance is equally important when it comes to your business. If you use a vehicle used for business purposes, it should be properly maintained before temperatures in the fall start dropping. Check the owner’s manual to find out when it needs servicing — such as an oil change or tune-up. It’s also a great time to get your tired rotated, schedule a seasonal tune-up, and prepare your vehicle weather ready for colder temperatures.
Space Heater Reminders – If you have a space heater in your business building or office, you should keep some things in mind. When the fall season approaches, temperatures outside drop and you may begin to use the heater more often. Depending on the size of the space heater, you may need to move it for improved safety. It should be kept at least three feet away from anything that can potentially burn and cause a fire, including cords, papers, plastic, and other materials. The space heater should be plugged into the outlet directly, rather than a power strip or extension cord.
Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarms – fall is a good time to have your fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms inspected and maintained. Have them inspected to be sure they are working properly and put in new batteries as well. If you don’t have these alarms, now is the perfect time to get them.
Fall can be an exciting time for a business but you should also be careful to protect against the dangers that the season change and cooler temperatures bring.