Creating a workplace fire evacuation plan is among the most important safety measures a company can undertake. More often than not – our customers get that but often struggle with where they should start with a plan. And when they don’t know where to start, well, they tend to not do it. And that can’t happen!
We’re here today to help you give you the basics of a solid fire evacuation plan so in the event you have to deal with a fire event – that you and your employees will be safe and prepared. Let’s jump right in!
Chart out escape routes
Make sure that you are meticulous in designing escape routes throughout your building and that people know where they’re supposed to go. What can appear to be the perfect plan on paper isn’t always the perfect plan in practice, so it’s important that your staff are well trained on what to do and where to go. Having ‘area leaders’ who are acutely well versed in the details of each fire plan is essential – as they can help provide guidance and instruction – thus better insuring everyone’s enhanced safety.
Have multiple ways to communicate your plan – even at a moment’s notice
Communication is key to anything and fire safety plans are no different. Make sure that you use things like text messages, your company website and employee portals to indicate the policies and procedures as to how your plans work. Then the next step is to obviously test your plan to make sure it’s useful – and that means fire drills.
And don’t just run drills for the sake of it. Have goals.
Drills shouldn’t purely be a workaround for HR regulations or just a means to say you did something. They should all have goals – and those goals should be communicated to your in-house fire marshals. Things like how quickly people get out of the building, how long evacuations take, how long it takes to report the drill and the like. Were entry and exit policies followed? Was essential equipment shut down before leaving? Did employees hesitate or become confused? How did your employee fire marshals perform? These are all things you will need to benchmark in order to make your evacuation plan as airtight as possible.
You should be conducting fire drills at least 3-4 times per year or even more if your schedule permits. That way you’ll be able to track progress, iron out kinks and compare results; making a good plan even better. You can never be too safe.
Communicate with your fire marshals
After the drill make sure you speak with your fire marshals about how the drill was handled, who didn’t take it seriously, where there may be problem areas and the like. Knowing these things will just help you to continually refine your evacuation plan and leave with the best possible shot at saving lives.
If you need help designing a fire evacuation plan for your business, call our pros today and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Good luck!