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The True Cost of a Large Fire

Fireline Cost Large Fire

When a large fire occurs, it’s easy to understand how financially devastating that can be—but the ripple effect is often catastrophic.

In a recent article by the National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors (NAFED), the devastating costs of large fires in the United Kingdom (UK) were detailed. While many people immediately think about the financial devastation, the reality is that the costs go far beyond the immediate damage, while other effects are much more far-reaching.

Financial Loss

The first result of a large fire is the monetary loss, and it will be significant. Over 2/3 of small or medium-sized businesses will fail to reopen after a significant fire. The loss of property, assets, and inventory is a devastating blow even to large corporations. Larger companies typically have the resources to recover, but there are still effects, such as loss of market share, supply chain interruption, a damaged reputation, or layoffs. 


If a company fails due to a large fire, every employee will be out of a job. Even when the company manages to stay open, it is common for layoffs to occur due to extreme financial pressure. According to the NAFED article, a UK plastics factory was the victim of a large fire in November of 202.120 employees lost their jobs as a result of the fire. These are only the direct losses. It is not unusual for even more jobs to be lost along the supply chain as these businesses fail to fully recover.

Local Economy

When layoffs occur, it negatively affects the local economy, especially in smaller towns or cities. Layoffs are not the only problem. A local economy has now lost all or part of a business that generates revenue, and the recovery of such an event can negatively impact taxes and fees. From clearing the site, mitigation of any environmental issues, the costs can reach into the tens of millions of dollars. It can take a long time for a local economy to recover when a dependable and successful business suffers a large fire.


Aside from the stress on the local economy, a major fire also significantly impacts the people who live in the area. In the case of the UK plastics plant, the fire left a haze of dangerous smoke in the area that required some residents to evacuate their homes. Large fires in facilities that manufacture, or process hazardous materials have seriously injured or killed innocent residents who happened to live nearby. 


The other effect of large fires is the environmental impact. Major fires can send a lot of dangerous chemicals and other pollutants into the air or cause harmful runoff. This can cause a significant environmental impact that may take years to mitigate. Several “Super Fund” sites in the United States have been the result of large fires.

Fire Protection Services from Fireline

Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting

people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 9th, 2022 at 4:35 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.