Owning and operating your own business can be a wonderful way to earn a good living and be your own boss, but you also have a lot to think about. Protecting your business and property is one of those important things. There are many things that can affect your business property, from natural disasters to extreme weather conditions like snowstorms or heavy winds.
Every day, businesses are paying millions of dollars due to damages to their building. Not only should you be protected by business property insurance, but there is now a program called FORTIFIED that further allows you to reduce damages made to a new light commercial building, thanks to improvements to durability and resilience to natural disasters.
What is Fortified?
Fortified is a program that was started by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS). It is a national, nonprofit organization that helps to reduce property damage and loss from various types of events.
When you sign up for Fortified, you can protect your business property on top of having business insurance. It is a code-based program that involves adhering to important building codes in the business property design and construction phase in order to provide better protection from hazards, both natural hazards and manmade ones.
What Fortified Provides
The FORTIFIED for Safer Business™ program ensures that commercial properties are built to a code-plus standard so that building owners can be protected against events like snowstorms and hail, freezing temperatures, heavy winds, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, water damage and fire damage. It works to strengthen your floors, roof, windows, doors and the ability to resist fire.
Many types of businesses can benefit from using the Fortified protection program, including medical offices, churches, grocery stores, retail outlets, movie theaters, banks, office buildings, strip malls, schools, self-storage facilities, and many more.
How to Get Started
The beginning of the Fortified program involves designing a building to fit the proper codes and specifications. The design team for Fortified works with contractors and the building’s owner to make sure it is the safest possible environment.
There are many people involved in this process, including the designer, builder, owner, plan reviewer, and plan inspector. Certain forms must be filled out, and the building remodels will follow all the standards provided by Fortified for a safer business.
The Risk of Property Damage
Severe property damage not only affects the building, but the contents inside — and, sometimes your ability to keep operating. You may need to close down until repairs are done, and lose customers or clients during this time. A lot of businesses never open their doors again after a severe disaster hits. Avoid this from happening by obtaining business insurance and becoming involved in the Fortified program.