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Health and fitness clubs tips for addressing fire exposures

Fire prevention considerations should address safety and protection of property.

Unfortunately, fire exposures can impact health and fitness clubs. Fires can result in minor cosmetic damages to complete destruction of property. Either of which can have a devastating impact on your business.

Fire prevention considerations should address safety and protection of property.

  • Request your local fire department complete a fire pre-incident plan. The fire department can inspect your business, develop a strategic response plan and offer insight on overall fire prevention strategies.
  • Check your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. If smoke detectors are battery operated, change batteries according to manufacturer guidelines. Maintain annually tagged, Class ABC fire extinguishers throughout the facility.
  • “American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) Health/Fitness Facility Standards and Guidelines” recommends health/fitness facilities consult with local fire departments and city authorities to ensure compliance with all fire safety and emergency signage. Signage needs to address:
    • Emergency exit signage
    • Emergency phone and fire extinguisher location signage
    • Facility occupancy load and certificate of occupancy
  • Discourage clientele from smoking inside and outside your facility. As added protection, provide a fire-proof cigarette receptacle outside your business.

If your club has a laundry, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers the following tips:

  • Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to ensure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
  • Do not operate the dryer without a lint filter. Clean the lint filter before and after each use. Remove accumulated lint around the drum and keep the surrounding area clean.
  • Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying.
  • Ensure the exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating.
  • Ensure the machine is connected properly to the correct plug and outlet.
  • Washing machines and dryers should be properly grounded.
  • Always review and follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions.

Tanning beds, small appliances, fans and cordless appliances should be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. If not working properly or overheating, stop using them immediately. Have them professionally serviced or dispose of them accordingly.

Routinely practice fire drills. Establish written plans and assign and practice staff accountabilities so everyone is clear on how to respond.

If your business is in or near a potential wildfire zone, review Markel’s risk navigator – Wildfire awareness tool kit or get additional guidance on reducing fire exposures.

Finally, report any fire related event you experience to Markel’s Claims department within 24-hours. Experienced claim professionals will assist you to help restore your business as soon as practicable.


  • National Fire Protection Association. Clothes Dryer Safety Tip Sheet ( ©NFPA 2018
  • Sanders, Mary. American College of Sports Medicine. ACSM’s Health/Facility Standards and Guidelines. 2019. Champaign, IL.