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Consequences of Fire Damage in Shopping Malls
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Over the last forty years or so, shopping malls have become one of the hubs for social and commercial interaction in our society. They attract great numbers of people due in large part to the vast array of products that are offered in a wide variety of stores. The benefits they provide are numerous, from great deals to the amount of various products that can be found under one roof. Unfortunately, in the event of a disaster such as a fire, the consequences can be severe.
Shopping mall fires break out occasionally and for a number of reasons. If there is not a well organized plan in place to deal with the problem, then the damage left behind by these fires may be considerable.
Of course, the most obvious consequence of shopping mall fires is the damage done to the structure. Even if the fire is confined to one store or restaurant, the damage to walls, ceilings, and electrical and HVAC systems may be considerable. In many cases the structure may have been compromised to the point where it is unsafe to enter and professional restoration companies called in to stabilize the location.
How the Location of Fire Affects Consequences
If the fire was located in a retail establishment, then damage to or destruction of product or inventory is going to be a factor. Product is the lifeblood of any retail business and the loss of that product has financial repercussions that may take some time to fully recover from.
If the fire was the result of carelessness on the part of mall employees, and injuries or fatalities have occurred, then there remains the question of liability and insurance concerns. A retail establishment could be ruined by one or two successful lawsuits.
The location of the fire is not the only area that may be affected. Smoke damage may occur in locations quite a bit removed from the source of the fire since smoke can be carried through the HVAC systems and delivered elsewhere. Stores far away from the fire may find themselves dealing with smoke and soot problems.
Vital records and documents may also be lost if the fire damages or destroys computers or data storage systems. Many stores do not back up their information offsite, so the destruction of this information may means serious disruption of future business operations.
And lastly, the employees of the establishment will be affected. Unless they can be relocated to other locations, they may very well be out of work for a period of days or weeks, depending on how long is required to repair the damage. If the fire was severe enough, the store may simply decide to close up, which has a far reaching economical impact on a number of individuals and their families.
Shopping Mall Fire Damage Preparedness and Education
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