At The Retail Mutual we are often asked what retailers can do to minimise the chance of a fire occurring, so we have put together these handy hints and tips to help steer you in the right direction.

  1. Ensure that your electrical system is tested at least once a year and any issues rectified immediately
  2. With many fires caused by poor maintenance of electrical items, it is vital to ensure that any that you use on your premises are regularly tested and well maintained
  3. With the move towards food to go and ready-to-consume convenience retail, shop owners are needing to install more and more heated and chilled display units. Overloading electrical sockets to accommodate them may be tempting but can prove to be a costly mistake
  4. Carry out a fire risk assessment to identify potential issues and develop an emergency plan to determine what should happen in the event that a fire breaks out in your store
  5. If you employ staff in your shop, make sure they receive fire safety training and are aware of your fire emergency plans
  6. Make sure you have effective fire detection systems in place. Depending on the size of your shop, you may also want to consider fitting a sprinkler system if appropriate
  7. Arson is one of the biggest causes of fire in commercial premises. To help discourage it, always keep bins and skips away from the property
  8. Good housekeeping is advisable generally in or around your shop to avoid the accumulation of rubbish, as this can also contribute to accidental fire
  9. Ensure fire evacuation routes are kept clear of stock or rubbish
  10. Avoid wedging fire doors open. It may be tempting to prop a door open, for example if the weather is hot or you are unloading stock, but fire doors exist for a reason: to prevent the spread of fire and smoke so the fire is easier to tackle and so that people can evacuate safely

Protecting your business against the impact of a fire

There are several types of insurance that could cover the cost of repair or replacement in the event of a fire.

  • Stock and Contents Cover – to help you recover the cost of any stock that is lost as a result of fire
  • Business Interruption Cover – to help keep your business afloat during the time it takes to process your claim
  • Buildings Cover – to protect your premises against fire damage. You may also want to consider including cover for your fixtures and fittings such as shelving and display cabinets

Insurance can vary widely from one provider to another. It is important to check your cover documents to understand what is included and that your cover limits are sufficient.

The Retail Mutual specialises in providing an alternative to traditional insurance for independent retailers, including hairdressers, opticians and bookshops. For a free, no-obligation quote call us 0333 2121 280 or start your quote online. We look forward to hearing from you.