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Business Safety Panel Recap

First Friday Coffee goers were joined in March by representatives from the Cape Girardeau police and fire departments for a conversation regarding business safety. In case you missed it, here's a brief recap of what Corporal Richard Couch and Fire Marshall Battalion Chief Greg Hecht shared!


For the full conversation, click here.


What are actions businesses can take to prevent shop lifting and internal theft in a business?

Excellent customer service is one of the best ways to prevent external theft. Be there to answer questions and show you are interested in what they are doing. For preventing internal theft, cameras are the best option. If employees know they are being watched and recorded, "9 times out of 10 you're not going to have any problems."


What steps do businesses need to take to fireproof their facility or make it easier for your teams if a fire should occur?

Some fire safety measures may already be built into your facility - for example, sprinkler systems and alarm systems. Additionally, general cleanliness of the facility and proper use of electrical outlets are critical. Do not overload an outlet! Regarding making it easier for the fire department on arrival, be sure your business address is easily identifiable from the street.


Can you expand on the number of fire extinguishers and their recommended locations for businesses?

The occupancy type of your building will determine how many fire extinguishers you are required to have. For example, in a business facility, one fire extinguisher can cover approximately 3,000 square feet, but even with that, you should be within a certain distance from a fire extinguisher from any location in the building.


What trainings are available to business owners and managers both for the evaluation of their facilities and how to handle certain situations?

The Cape Girardeau Police Department Community Service Officers provide crime prevention presentations such as how to protect yourself against identity theft and financial crimes to local organizations. Their Community Service Officers also provide training to businesses, service groups, citizens, and other organizations in the City of Cape Girardeau. Click here for more information

The Cape Girardeau Fire Department is committed to promoting safe environments and practices, as well as providing training, so businesses and residents can avoid needing emergency services when possible. The Department currently offers a number of educational programs to better prepare our community for emergency events. Many of these programs can be readily modified to adapt to the personal needs of a group, school, hospital or business. The programs currently offered are listed here with a description.


What are some easy ways for us to identify if bills are counterfeit? provides a 2-minute tutorial of how to pick up on counterfeit currency.


What do you wish all businesses knew about what you can and can’t do in your role?

Police: You have more authority, most times, than we do. For example, if you have people on your property you don't want there, ask them to leave. If they will not, call us and we will then handle it as it is then considered trespassing. And many more here.

Fire: You have the power to make a difference when it comes to fire safety. We are happy to come in and survey your facility and offer suggestions where we can.