English translation, article originally appearing in the Vision China Times, Melbourne (04 December 2015)
Your livelihood up in flames…
What would you do if you arrived at work one day, and your office – or your shop, factory, or warehouse – had been razed to the ground? Could you recover from the loss? Most businesses can’t, it’s often the case that many businesses affected by a major fire either never recover or close within two years of reopening. Even if the property can be rebuilt, you might lose market share and important customers while your business recovers, you could lose key staff while the business is unable to operate, or it could take a long time to obtain new permits or licenses.
Arson costs Australia over $1.6 billion a year. Arson can be motivated by many different things, such as revenge, juvenile boredom, terrorism, psychiatric problems, and business rivalry. Although there will always be things that cannot be predicted and are outside of your control, there are very effective security measures that you can implement to reduce the chance that your business is a target for arsonists.
Three top tips to prevent arson
TIP ONE: Arson often occurs at night, and improved security measures are most effective in preventing arson. The below recommendations can also reduce the cost of your yearly insurance premium:
TIP THREE: Conduct your business activities with care! Screen potential employees; carefully choose maintenance personnel who have unsupervised access to the business property, especially after normal working hours.
Insurance should undoubtedly also be part of every business’ risk management plan. Here’s a true story of how insurance helped one Melbourne business owner get back on his feet:
The business is a small professional services firm. The owner arrived on a winter’s morning to find his office completed gutted by fire. He contacted Great Wall Insurance Services immediately. Within day, a representative from the insurance company was on-site to inspect the damage. The insurance company organised an interim payment of $10,000 to help the business owner purchase things like printers, phone line and postal divisions, and computers, so that he could resume business as soon as possible. The insurance company also paid for the business to relocate to a nearby location while the office was being demolished and rebuilt. It took over three months before the business could move back into the office, but they were able to minimise losses by relocating systems and staff in the interim. All in all, the business’s insurance company assisted them to the value of more than $150,000 to help them get back on their feet.