Business Owners

Helping Businesses
There are over 3,500 existing businesses in the City of Lafayette. Our fire inspectors have the responsibility to inspect these "existing businesses" on a frequent basis to insure the building meets minimum fire and life safety requirements. The following information is provided to answer some of the most commonly received questions we frequently encounter, as well as provide you with useful information to help insure your business is in compliance with applicable code requirements.

Business Fire Safety
Businesses need to have plans and procedures to prevent fires and to help their business recover should an unforeseen emergency occur.

Owner Responsibility
Is your business fire safe? It is the business owner/operator's responsibility to ensure a safe environment for employees and the public. Waiting for a Code Compliance Officer to identify and enforce Life Safety code issues is not a recommended practice.

Fire Safe Checklist
The fire services recommend this checklist to assist your business in preventing damage/injury that could be caused by fire:
  • Avoid storing or stockpiling flammable materials such as packaging materials or waste where they could be accessed by the public, including areas immediately outside your business premises.
  • Make sure all machinery is serviced as recommended by manufacturers and is kept clean. If possible, switch machinery off when the business is unattended.
  • Secure all doors, windows or other access points when the business is unattended, and make sure your business has adequate lighting to deter trespassers.
  • Ensure your business has an adequately serviced and functional fire protection systems that are suitable to your business (e.g., remote serviced alarm systems, sprinkler systems, thermal or smoke alarms etc.)
  • If your business stores dangerous goods, ensure their storage and use adheres to legislative requirements and applicable codes.
  • Make sure your business has a written and practiced fire escape plan that includes full staff lists and designated meeting points.
Damage/Injury Reduction & Disaster Recovery Checklist
The fire services recommend this checklist to assist your business to reduce damage caused from fire and to assist in a speedy business recovery:
  • Ensure that all of your staff has sufficient training in what they should do if your business is exposed to an unexpected fire.
  • Depending on your business this will mean at least knowing your evacuation point and the need to dial 911.
  • Make sure you know what information is important for your business continuity. This should include having contingency plans to protect and/or restore all important information (hard copy and IT) like supplier and client lists, business contracts and insurance details.
  • Consider having an offsite secure location to store important information in your contingency plan.
Business Fire Safety Tips
  • Remember that smoke from a fire will make you confused and that you cannot see in smoke.
  • Always ensure your business has sufficient fire insurance.
  • Develop and practice emergency plans and drills. Knowing what to do before an incident occurs is essential for life and property preservation.
  • Email the Lafayette Fire Prevention Bureau or call 765-807-1600 for more information.
Hazardous Materials at Work
In case of spills or leaks of hazardous materials at work, remain calm  and remember R.A.C.E.
  • Rescue - Rescue any people in immediate danger (only if it safe to do so).
  • Alarm - Raise the alarm.
    • Call 911.
    • Notify your switchboard.
    • Notify the staff member in charge.
  • Contain - If you are trained and it is safe to do so, then:
    • Contain the danger area.
    • Attend to the emergency (e.g., contain spill or leak, isolate gas and electricity etc.).
  • Evacuate - Evacuate staff/visitors to a safe assembly area.
For more information, see our Evacuation page.

More Information

If you have any specific questions not found in these pages, please feel free to send us an email or contact us by phone at 765-807-1600 and we will be happy to answer your questions.