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Consequences of Fire Damage in Retail Stores
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
For any business owner, a fire is the worst possible nightmare. Many merchants work for years or even decades to build their business up into something profitable and a fire can wipe out every bit of that work in a matter of minutes. Fire can damage retail establishments on a number of levels, some of which may be almost impossible to recover from.
The consequences of a fire in a retail setting depends on the size of the blaze as well as the type of store involved and the materials that may be found in that store. A store specializing in cement patio pieces would be less susceptible to the ravages of fire than, say, a clothing store. Also figuring into the equation is the area of the store that is involved, whether the fire started from the usual means such as smoldering cigarettes or carelessly discarded matches, or if it is something more nefarious like an electrical fire or the result of chemical spills.
Of course, for any store owner, the most obvious and serious loss from fire is the damage or loss of inventory and product as well as the structure that houses the establishment. Fire damage is one of the most common causes of insurance claims in the country. In many cases, fire damaged goods can either no longer be sold, or in rare cases, have to be sold at substantially reduced rates (hence the term “fire sale”).
What Fire Means for a Business
Fire typically means that the establishment is going to be shut down for the amount of time it takes to fully repair everything and replace the product that was damaged or lost. As with any business, every day that the doors are closed means another day without revenue. While some businesses may be able to absorb some measure of financial loss, most do not have the capital or the resources to overcome an extended period offline. The lost revenue may require weeks or even months to fully recover from, and if the damage is severe enough, a full recovery may not be possible. More than one retail establishment has gone out of business simply due to damage inflicted by fire.
The consequences of a retail fire aren’t limited to the store itself, but also the livelihoods of every employee involved. Unless arrangements have been made otherwise, any employees of a fire damaged retail establishment will be out of work at least during much of the time required for repairs. This affects their ability to provide for their families, and in cases where the store is unable to recover financially, it may mean the beginning of some severe hardships.
Clearly, fire damage to retail outlets goes beyond the initial blaze, with long-term consequences that may be severe unless properly remediated.
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