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The roaring of an alarm sounds, the smell of smoke fills your nostrils, but where are you?
Fires can be devastating and if you aren’t prepared for them, even life-threatening. This is why for the safety of yourself and your employees, you need a fire evacuation plan for your company.
Having a carefully laid out plan not only prepares employees but give them a reference in emergencies. They should know when it’s time to abandon equipment, or where to go when they leave the building.
Haven’t put much thought into your plan? That’s okay, we know how you can put a plan together. Here are 8 tips for making a fire evacuation plan.
1. Think About All the Possible Scenarios
To begin your fire evacuation plan, you first want to consider all the ways a fire could break out and in what rooms. Take a clipboard and walk through your office building to write down everything that may go wrong.
You need to consider why a fire might break out, and every single scenario. Maybe you have an office kitchen or you’re located in an area that is notorious for forest fires.
2. Letting Everyone Know About the Risk
Next, you need to think about how you’re going to inform everyone that a fire has broken out. The most obvious way is with a well-placed fire alarm. If you’re not confident about how well your alarm operates, a company like A Total Solution will help you figure it out.
Another way you can inform everyone is by assigning one person to do the job. They will be responsible for contacting the fire department and letting all the workers know about the fire through some sort of communication system.
3. Where Are You Going to Evacuate
If a fire breaks out, your employees need to know the best way to get out of the building. It’s for this reason that your fire evacuation plan needs to include maps of the building.
These maps need to show the best ways to get out of the building. This means every single escape route needs to be highlighted. On top of escape routes, you also need to bring attention to all of the emergency exits.
You don’t have to post the entire evacuation plan to every wall, but you do need to post the maps where employees can see them.
4. The Safety Equipment
All fire safety equipment needs to be easily accessible. This includes fire extinguishers, hoses, hydrants, and blankets. Inspect your building every once in a while to make sure no safety device is being obstructed.
Note that equipment needs to match up the type of work that you do. For example, if an electrical fire breaks out in your building, it will take a special fire extinguisher to put it out — not just any tool will do the job.
5. Contact Info
You should have everyone’s contact information so you can let them know about the situation. Some companies choose to tell their employees about disasters via mass texts.
You should also keep a list of names of any employees or guests in the building so you can check them off as safe when you regroup. This ensures that nobody is left behind.
6. Operation Equipment
You should make a list of equipment that should be turned off in the event of a fire. Not only should it say what equipment should be shut down, but how as well.
This will help do away with a little confusion and chaos when the fire breaks out. Lastly, employees should be informed when they should abandon ship, leave equipment where it is, and hurry out. Their lives are more important than a few machines that can eventually be replaced.
7. Where’s Your Gathering Point
You need to plan a place where you, your employees, and guests can meet up once they have escaped the building. This should be a place that is fairly far away from the building itself.
Once it seems like everyone has escaped, you will take roll call to make sure everyone truly made it out of the building. Everyone should be made aware of this gathering point ahead of time.
8. Rehearse the Evacuation
You should plan to do a fire evacuation drill every quarter or annually. Practice makes perfect so this will ensure that no hiccups happen when a real emergency occurs. You should also do it if you hire new employees in mass. This way, they’ll get a feel of how the evacuation plan works.
Take note of anything that goes wrong during the evacuation and work out a way to fix it with everyone. Kids in grade school have to do these safety drills, adults should be no exception.
Steps for an Effective Fire Evacuation Plan
Nobody wants to think about a fire breaking out at the place where they work. It’s scary to face, but even scarier if you aren’t prepared. You need come up with an effective fire evacuation plan to ensure the safety of everyone in the building.
Don’t let disaster break out on your watch, be ready, and get everyone out as fast as possible.
Though safety is one of the most important aspects of running a business, it’s not the only one. Click here to check out more of our business articles.