October 16, 2013

Fire Safety in Your Nonprofit

Posted in Best Practices, Handy Tips, Life tagged , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Brian Barrick


Nonprofit fire safety is a crucial concern for those that own or operate a nonprofit and want to ensure that their organization is safe from property damage. You need to have the right policies in place as well as sufficient insurance to protect your nonprofit. Follow these steps to keep your staff and your building safe from fire damage:

Clearly Indicate Fire Safety Policies and Equipment

Make sure that everyone in your building understands what the policy is on items like candles, electronics, and other devices that could lead to a fire. They should also understand how to get to equipment like fire extinguishers and alarms in the event of a fire. You will want to periodically send out reminders to all staff, especially when you make changes in your fire safety policies. It is also smart to hold training sessions where you can practice fire drills and responses to other emergency situations.

Pick Proper Nonprofit Fire Safety Insurance

Although you may try your best to prevent it, fire damage may occur anyway. You need to be protected from the harm that a fire can cause by having a sufficient insurance policy in place. Most of the time, fire insurance will be found within a larger property insurance policy. Common things that you want to be sure that your property insurance policy covers are:

·Fixtures like lighting systems and windows

·Furniture in your space

·Electronic, janitorial, and office supplies

Also, pay close attention to what kind of compensation your policy provides. You want to find nonprofit fire safety insurance that will give you enough reimbursement to replace the items that were lost, instead of just paying you a market value that may be well below what it actually costs to get new products in your office. Of course, you also want to consider the cost of your insurance policy on a monthly basis and make sure that it fits into your budget.

A fire can cause catastrophic damage to your nonprofit, especially if you are not prepared for it. Although you can take proper fire safety steps to reduce the likelihood of a fire, it could still happen at your nonprofit. Pick the right insurance policy so that you do not risk suffering a crippling blow to your nonprofit because of a fire.

May 23, 2013

Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan – How to Survive

Posted in Best Practices tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:00 am by Brian Barrick

Your nonprofit organization ought to be prepared for the unexpected accidents that could occur without a warning. There should be a proper plan on how to prevent the recurrence of the accidents and reduce the shock they cause on you and your staff. It is therefore, imperative for accident preparedness to be an integral part of your nonprofit budget just to be safe and be able to resume your normal activities.


Enact a Safety Policy

It is impossible however, to allocate resources for supplies to be used in the event of an accident in your organization without a policy that identifies your nonprofit goals and priorities in matters pertaining to safety. Consequently, the first step toward accident preparedness should be making sure that your organization has an emergency policy.


Have an Emergency Plan

Once the policy is enacted, your emergency manager can then come up with a comprehensive emergency plan that will involve various departments in your organization, the staff and the community in which you operate. This will be a plan on how to respond, and recover from accidents caused by injuries at work, fire, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and landslides among others.  In order to come up with an effective emergency plan, cater for both the expected and unexpected. Include also communication and recovery plans, and list the people to be contacted.


Check your Emergency Budget

The fundamental component of a perfect plan is the budget, which ensures that money has been allocated for insurance covers and supplies for accident preparedness. There must be relevant insurance coverage for all the possible accidents that can occur in your organization, to the building, your data and staff. Insurance coverage must also be updated regularly so that in the event of an accident, your nonprofit organization may be compensated accordingly. Similarly, all the supplies should be included from the first aid kits, fire extinguishers, duct tapes, plastic sheeting for protecting areas with leaks to barricade tapes among others. These should a procedure for labeling, checking and replacing the supplies biannually.


Offer Drills to Staff Members

Do not assume that your staffs have training in first aids, CPR, fire extinguishing and making emergency calls. Through regular drills, you can realize the areas that need full training.


Daily Checks

Always ensure at the close of business that your power and air conditioning systems are switched off. Check also for open windows and faulty locks.



March 27, 2013

Fire Safety in Your Nonprofit

Posted in Best Practices, Life tagged , , , , , , at 3:51 pm by Brian Barrick

Nonprofit organizations, in most cases have to operate on a limited budget. This then dictates the things that management is willing to invest on and what it lets lie until some extra funding to spend. One of the things that most organizations list low in the priority list yet is very important is fire safety plans. Good news is there are economical ways of implementing fire safety in your organization.

The first step lies in getting an escape plan set out. The most important thing to do during a fire is to get the building occupants out of the building as fast as possible. This can be done through fire escapes or simply via the building corridors and stair cases. To boost on the effectiveness of this, ensure that things that can block such routes and reduce their efficiency stay out of the way.

Secondly, you have to look for a simple fire alarm system. The complexity of the system will definitely depend how expensive it will be to implement. Look for something that actually works without having to be fancy. Practicality is one of the core things that a nonprofit organization should be on the lookout for when purchasing a fire alarm system. In addition to this, consider the maintainability of the system to determine the much you will pay in maintaining the system in good working condition in its whole lifecycle.

Next in the cascade of fire safety ladder is looking for means of maintaining a fire. Many huge ragging infernos start from a small fire that a simple fire extinguisher would have handled. Ensure that you have functional fire extinguishers in the premises regardless of how much it might cost.

Most important of all is avoiding scenarios that create the risk of a fire. This can only be achieved by educating your employees on what is dangerous and can lead to a fire hazard. The best way to instill this knowledge into your nonprofit organization is by taking a friendly approach and cajoling the employees to adopt responsible lifestyle rather that force them to do the same.

Finally, do not forget to carry out frequent fire drills. Most countries have laws in place to ensure that companies and enterprises do this frequently. However, taking the task into your hand and carrying out frequent random drills might not only save and life but also property and time.

September 25, 2012

Fire Drills, Are they Important?

Posted in Insurance Topics tagged , , , , , , , at 10:20 pm by Brian Barrick

Although fires and emergencies can happen on a whim, we can prepare ahead of time to plan how to address the situation if it were to occur. The idea behind fire drills is to have the evacuation plan be second nature and instinctual when the alarm sounds. Clients may be flustered in the event of an emergency, so having trained staff will not only keep themselves safe, but also others visiting the facility. Practice makes perfect right? Having drills helps the fire department have an idea about how long it will take to evacuate the building, and what needs to be changed, if anything, to make sure the safest technique is used.

For more information on fire Safety, visit our online Nonprofit Research Center.

August 28, 2012

Fire Safety & Your Nonprofit

Posted in Best Practices tagged , , , , , , , , at 6:40 pm by Brian Barrick

A fire can destroy your building, injure your staff, and cause harm to your clients and the community you are trying to help. Although not all fires can be prevented, they can be anticipated and you can prepare for them. A fire suppression system can be installed throughout the Nonprofit Organization according to your fire code. Once the temperature hits a specific point or the system is activated manually, it releases chemicals that suppress the fire. Have an evacuation plan, but make sure all employees KNOW the plan. This should include all emergency exits (at least 2), and the number of steps to the exits incase of visibility problems. Policies and procedures for fire prevention should be established including, breathing space for electrical components, no bending of cords, unplug all unused appliances, and smoke in designated areas only. Be aware and knowledgeable about fire safety codes.


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