“Only you can Prevent Corporate Fires” | Compliance

Among Benjamin Franklin’s many accomplishments is one you probably never heard about: the creation of Philadelphia’s first firefighting organization. The idea of a fire station serving a major metropolitan area—even a Colonial one—seems like a no-brainer, but Franklin actually had a hard time convincing the populace that it was a good idea.
Remember, this was an age when people filled their shovels with hot burning coals and walked them upstairs to their bed warmers, with embers inevitably falling into the cracks of the floorboards along the way. As such, Franklin was as interested in educating the public about the prevention of fires as he was in providing an effective means of response. Indeed, a little fire safety awareness would go a long way.
While campaigning for such readiness, he argued that the prevention of a catastrophic city-wide fire was far preferable to rebuilding a city from its ashes. It was actually in this context that Franklin coined the phrase, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That message seemed to do the trick, because shortly thereafter, in 1736, the Union Fire Company was formed.
The company’s “equipment” included leather buckets (the bucket brigade!), with strong bags and baskets, which were to be brought to every fire. The firemen met monthly to talk about fire prevention and fire-fighting methods, and homeowners were mandated to keep leather fire-fighting buckets in their homes. Archaic as it all sounds, the results were indisputable: Franklin’s organized prevention and response team transformed Philadelphia from an unsafe, fire-prone city to one of the safest in America.
If you haven’t guessed it already, we think this history has some interesting parallels with corporate compliance practice. In fact, we think it’s kinda obvious:
Prevention + response = an organization safe from disaster
It worked for Philadelphia, and it can certainly work for your organization’s corporate compliance strategy. What’s more, just as we’ve seen in Franklin’s case, education provides the foundation for the competencies needed to ensure that safety—at the levels of both the enterprise and the individual employee.
Are you ready to make your organization more secure, compliant, performant—and ultimately fire-safe? Contact us; we’ll be delighted to show you how. It’s easy. And you won’t even need a bucket.

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