Fire Evacuation Plan & procedures you need to know
Emergencies can happen at any time. With many people spending the majority of time at work, it is critical that employers plan for emergencies and communicate the plans to their employees.
Preparation is essential to cover as many potential emergencies as possible. Emergencies can include everything from a power outage to a flood, terror attack, explosion or fires.
If a fire emergency occurs and there is no plan that has been communicated, employees can easily panic, resulting in injuries and even fatalities. To keep your business and your employees safe every company should have fire evacuation plan and procedures established.
Some of the most important parts of your fire evacuation plan should include:
How to report a fire – this may include triggering a fire alarm or calling emergency services to respond, or a combination of both.
Equipment procedures – some operating machinery may need to be shut down quickly in a fire emergency, so the procedures should be noted for emergency shutdown steps.
First aid responsibilities – locations of first aid kits and any rescue or medical equipment should be noted.
Off Site safe areas – note the off site locations where key personnel can gather, account for employees, and assess the emergency from afar. This will allow emergency responders to address the fire unhindered and also have a place to take lost, injured or confused employees.
Communications system – note how employees or their families can communicate and get information on the incident. Consider that there could be a loss of power or phone service, so alternative methods should be listed as well as routine “mass messages” or social media posting.
Disability assistance – note persons who would be designated as responsible to help those with disabilities so they can exit safely from the building.
In addition to having a documented fire evacuation plan and procedures you should also routinely check all smoke detectors and fire alarm systems to make sure they are fully functional and can be clearly heard by everyone in the building. Take into consideration the operation of heavy machinery, forklifts, trucks or other equipment that could hinder the effectiveness of an alarm. Make sure the alarms are very audible and also have strobes and lighting that can indicate issues for those with hearing impairments.
To make sure your fire evacuation plan and procedures run smoothly you should have routine drills scheduled. The purpose of the drill is to help familiarize all personnel on how to respond in the event of an emergency. The drill can also help you to assess the effectiveness of your emergency plan and make adjustments before a true emergency does occur. With the right preparation your business can help to reduce the property damage, injury, and even fatalities from any fire that may happen at your facility.