Unintentional Events Menu:
- How can fire affect my business?
- What are the types of fire hazards?
- What can I do to prevent and prepare for fires?
Fires can dramatically affect business revenue and the lives of their employees. Eighteen percent of all Virginia fires in 2002 were business fires, causing 32 deaths and 461 injuries and resulting in an estimated loss of more than $413 million.
Although arson, a deliverately set fire, is not an unintentional event, it can be a threat for many businesses because it is the major cause of deaths, injuries and revenue loss for businesses. Read more about arson on the Crimes page of this site.
Electrical fires claim the lives of more than 450 Americans each year and injure more than 2,300 more. Faulty electrical outlets and old or ill-repaired wiring cause most electrical fires. The misuse of electric cords results in many avoidable electrical fires.
Safety measures include:
- Replacing broken or frayed extension cords.
- Avoiding overloading electrical outlets.
- Routinely checking the wiring of machinery in your business.
- Purchasing products that meet the Underwriter’s Laboratory standard for safety.
- Checking electrical tools for signs of wear.
Natural Gas Hazards
Natural gas presents two types of hazards: an asphyxiant robbing the body of oxygen and an explosive easily igniting or ignited. To reduce natural gas hazards: install a natural gas detector in your business, and locate and label the gas shutoff valve so that during an emergency employees will know how to turn off the meter from the outside of the building.
Flammable Liquid Hazards
To reduce fire hazards, read flammable product labels to identify how to store them properly in your business. Limiting, isolating or eliminating flammable liquids will help safeguard your workplace and employees’ lives.
A business can prevent and prepare for fires by ensuring that working smoke alarms are located on all building levels so that employees can hear the alarm should an emergency arise. Also, be sure that all employees know fire escape routes and have communications plans in place. This pre-planning could make a huge difference between life and death.
Be ready. Be willing to help.
Virginia Disaster Relief Fund
How is the money distributed?
Fund proceeds will be distributed to local long-term recovery groups, members of the Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and other non-profit and faith-based organizations as a grant.
Many of these groups work directly with individuals and families following a disaster.
How else can I donate?
The Virginia Disaster Relief Fund benefits projects that include: repair or rebuilding of underinsured dwellings, transportation assistance, replacing essential household items, helping renters establish new rental residence, temporary living expenses while recovering from loss, and more.
How can I donate?
If you want to help, send checks made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia with “Virginia Disaster Relief Fund” noted in the memo line to:
P.O. Box 1971
Richmond, VA 23218-1971