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Preventing Fires at Your Dealership

Question: 

“I want to reduce the risk of a fire at my dealership, but there’s so much to consider. What are some areas I should focus on?”

Answer:

Fire prevention is a major issue for your industry, and the causes can be complicated. Rather than trying to tackle all fire prevention practices at once, let’s focus on the leading causes that can affect your facility:

- Electrical systems: Damaged or outdated electrical components are leading ignition sources. To reduce your risk, have a qualified electrician inspect and test your electrical systems every three to four years, and have recommended repairs completed by a professional electrician. Additionally, train employees to recognize signals, such as repeatedly tripped breakers, scorch patterns, or unreliable electricity in the building.

- Roll-in risks: The equipment you service introduces a range of threats – particularly if it has fuel, electrical, or hydraulic problems and is left indoors, unattended. Follow written procedures to identify and keep affected equipment outside until it’s serviced. If you can’t move equipment outside after hours, be sure to disconnect batteries. Avoid leaving chargers connected unless the battery is contained in an area where damage would be minimal if a fire started.

- Flammables: Train your employees to manage gas, diesel fuel, solvents and paints properly. Use appropriate containers and cabinets to store these materials and assess your shop for potential ignition sources. Provide ample self-closing, noncombustible receptacles throughout the shop for soiled rags.

- Sprinklers and fire extinguishers: Work with your local fire marshal or a specialist to inspect your sprinkler system annually. Inspect fire extinguishers monthly and pressure-test them annually.
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This list isn’t comprehensive. But by using this article as a starting point to thoroughly assess your dealership, you’re well on your way to preventing a building fire.

At Sentry, we want to help you protect your business by providing the information and resources you need to prevent losses before they happen. Our Safety Services specialists are ready to answer any of your questions or concerns. To learn more about fire prevention strategies, visit www.sentry.com, or give us a call today at 800-4SENTRY (800-473-6879).

As the endorsed P&C carrier for AED, Sentry Insurance offers great coverage options and services to meet your dealership needs. Eric Stiles is a lead account executive at Sentry, responsible for maintaining the AED/Sentry relationship.

This is a paid endorsement. Safety services are provided by a member of the Sentry Insurance Group, Stevens Point, WI. For a complete listing of companies, visit sentry.com. This document is made available by Sentry Insurance a Mutual Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively “SIAMCO”) with the understanding that SIAMCO is not engaged in the practice of law, nor is it rendering legal advice. The information contained in this document is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity, nor the best practices applicable to any particular individual or entity. Legal obligations may vary by state and locality, and best practices are unique to specific items and situations. No one should act on the information contained in this document without advice from a local professional with relevant expertise. 

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