CHAPTER 21FIREBurning Down the House

Books have the same enemies as people:fire, humidity, animals, weather, and their own content.—Paul Valéry

INTRODUCTION

A fire can severely damage a business in many ways. The extent of the damage is determined by the fire’s location, timing, and size. Fires damage a business’s property through heat, smoke damage, and damage caused when putting it out. (Did you ever see the gusto with which a volunteer firefighter swings a fire ax?) Stolen objects can be recovered and returned. Water-damaged objects can be cleaned and restored. But burnt objects and documents are destroyed forever.

A fire can have far-reaching impact on a company’s profitability. Depending on the size and location of the fire, the damage may ...

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