No matter what your business is it is important to keep yourself, employees and those working (inside and outside) your organization informed of safety issues.
We had a client come to us for help with a very large residential portfolio. Most of the buildings were located in New York and were garden style brick apartments. They had several very large losses that were prohibiting them from finding insurance coverage at a reasonable cost. One of the largest losses was a result of a Christmas tree fire. The fire took three lives as well as disrupting the lives of dozens of residents and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage. In addition to that, they had two other Christmas tree fire losses that took place in separate buildings — I would say that this was a problem!
Maybe these fires could have been prevented had the landlord informed the residents of the potential dangers related to Christmas tree fires. The landlord could have sent out a notification informing residents of Christmas tree safety and raise awareness with the tenants. Would this have totally prevented that particular fire from happening? Maybe, maybe not – but sometimes simple preventative actions can make an impact on outcomes.
Believe it or not, the larger devastating fire was a result of the tenant using “live” candles on the Christmas tree. The landlord did send out a notice to all residents that the use of real candles on Christmas trees was prohibited.
A major factor in reducing risk is awareness. Risk Management is all about awareness. Developing a risk management program geared toward awareness is essential. Organizations are busy conducting business everyday, it is difficult for them to concentrate on what they might consider to be extraneous issues. But once these issues are addressed business owners are generally thankful that they were brought to their attention. We all have a lot of different things on our minds everyday, however if we make an effort to draw attention to a particular issue – that is more than half the battle…especially ones that we might consider to be common sense.