Does Your Business Have a Fire Evacuation Plan?
Workplace fires may not seem like a common occurrence, but they are something that any business owner is wise to prepare for. Not only are commercial fires more commonplace than many people realize, but they can also be rather dangerous—especially when they occur at businesses that do not have a proper fire evacuation plan in place.
Not only is having an emergency action plan an OSHA-mandated requirement for many businesses, but it is also a smart choice for keeping you and your staff safe in the event of a fire breaking out. Fires can be a frightening occurrence, and without a clear course of action, panic can quickly derail the scenario and prohibit people from acting rationally.
Elements to Consider When Drafting Your Workplace Fire Evacuation Plan
- Consider Where a Fire is Likely to Break Out -
- Fires can break out for a variety of reasons—issues in the office kitchen, overloaded electrical outlets or equipment malfunctions are all common sources of commercial fires, and these all have very different origin spots. It is important to consider where a fire is likely to break out in your space and draft plans that account for all possible scenarios so everyone can escape a fire of any kind.
- Consider Your Exits -
- Every area of your commercial space should have two exits at minimum so that people can get to safety even if one exit becomes blocked. If you are not on the ground floor, this may require purchasing safety ladders that can be routed outside of windows. Make sure that every area has at least two exits that are clear from debris and remain passable at all times.
- Consider Your Communication Plan -
- It is important that you communicate with staff as well as emergency officials in the event of a fire. Designate a person on your staff to be in charge of calling 911, and designate another member to be in charge of communicating with employees and relaying instructions. That way there will be no confusion, and everyone will know what their role is in the scenario.