When a fire threatens your business and employees, it creates chaos and confusion all around. If fires change direction or jump the containment efforts, the damage to physical structures can run into millions. Further, if your company is unprepared, you can imagine the level of disruption it may cause.
Therefore, it is crucial to have a good fire evacuation plan. Not only will it prepare your workplace for fires, but the plan also helps your employees survive any emergency, be it a natural disaster or a manmade hazard. Here is a six-step guide to help you create a fire preparedness plan for your business-
Imagine Different Scenarios
When you plan a fire safety plan, start with some basic questions to know what possible threats your business may face. Some of the examples are-
- Where may fire break out?
- How or why could they start?
- What would be your first step is something disastrous happens?
Take some time to think of various ways fires can harm your business. Make sure you understand the severity of the threats and plan how you would respond.
Create An Item Checklist
Your workplace should be updated on NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) codes and standards. Ask your landlord or building owner to ensure that all the fire fighting equipment complies with the safety standards. Fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, smoke alarms, etc. should be in good working condition.
Look for a reputable, professional fire extinguisher service to get all your fire fighting equipment checked regularly. They are responsible for making the fire fighting devices to meet the NFPA’s guidelines. Once you have got these systems checked, create a checklist to outline the date and time of the testing appliances.
Assign Roles And Responsibilities
When a fire strikes and your workplace must evacuate, employees will look to their seniors for guidance. Create a chain of command that clarifies who has the authority to order an evacuation. Some of the main roles are-
Chief Fire Warden
This employee is responsible for a fire event, including preparation and planning. She/he checks the bathrooms, makes sure that doors have been closed, and performs a backup at a safe location. They also call the fire department and alert the employees.
They help make sure that emergency routes are clear and evacuation takes place in order. However, it is essential to educate every employee about the escape routes so that they can save their lives, and guide others as well.
You don’t want to fight a fire that has left its source of origin. You may not be able to bring the fire under control. For such cases, keep a portable fire extinguisher handy so that you can fight the fire while commuting.
Identify The Potential Hazards
Recognizing the fire-prone products, flammable items, or hazardous situations is an important step in fire preparedness. It includes ovens, gasoline, stoves, fireplaces, etc. Put caution labels, warning labels, or instructions on the things that may cause serious fire threats.
Also, consider the location of your workplace. Is it in a dry and hot climate where wildfires are prevalent? By identifying these dangers, you can react or respond to fire in a better way.
Test The Equipment, No Matter What
You must have a professional to perform monthly fire equipment checks, ensuring the entire system is the best condition. If your workplace is located in a fire-prone area, fire extinguishers should be easily available. So, when is the last time you checked the fire equipment smoke alarm?
Rehearse An Evacuation Plan
Though it is necessary to inform the employees about the fire evacuation plan, your job doesn’t end there! Regardless of the position or seniority, every employee should be encouraged to practice the evacuation plan at least twice a year. It includes doors and stairwell procedures, calling the fire department, signaling for help, or posting the evacuation routes.
There is no better time to think about fire preparedness than now! These are some of the important things to keep in mind while preparing your business to fight against fire. It will help you create an effective fire safety plan and save your business and employees.