Is yours one of the 70% of businesses that would fail after a fire?

This is one of the myths included in the general ‘80% continuity myth’. What is the 80% continuity myth? This is an oft reported statistic from those who offer disaster recovery solutions and is used to justify their services.

The 70% fire part states, “Over 70% of businesses involved in a major fire either do not reopen, or subsequently fail within 3 years of the fire.” Scary stuff! But is it true?

Mel Gosling and Andrew Hiles explored the roots of various often quoted business continuity statistics and published the report here on the Continuity Central website. It makes interesting reading.

What were their conclusions? The full conclusions are at the bottom of the report, which we urge you to read. So, do businesses really fail in such large numbers following a major disaster such as a fire? Perhaps not too surprisingly there is no hard and fast conclusion. The problem they found was pinning down the facts and statistics. Some of the major companies mentioned (like Chubb and Axa) struggled to verify the ‘facts’ given.

They found a lack of consistency and quoted sources were often missing. So the question they asked themselves was, is the 80% myth busted? They concluded that whilst their confidence in the myth had taken a knock, they still felt that there was enough secondary evidence to give it some weight. No smoke without fire....?

The bottom line is, why take the risk? Presumably your business is important to you, it provides a living (hopefully a good one), for everyone who works there. Safety Management (UK) working in conjunction with Blue Watch are keen to prevent fires both at work and in the home.

If you have questions about fire risk assessment, or for help on any aspect of fire safety, call us on 01524 784356 today.

Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.


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