How to Prepare Your Business for a Fire
How to Fire-Ready Your Company
This article might be a bit of a downer, but it's an important one. Fires happen every day, and if you don't know what to do during one, your business could be at risk. Additionally, there are people with disabilities who might need greater assistance due to limited mobility. Let's go over some steps you can take to prepare your business for fire—and why they're so important!
1. Know where all fire extinguishers are located and how to use them.
When you're in a building, it's important to know where all fire extinguishers are located. If there is a fire, you need to be able to use one as quickly as possible.
When you're in a building, it's also important to know how each type of fire extinguisher works. For example, there are different kinds of fires that require different types of extinguishers: electrical fires require CO2 (carbon dioxide) extinguishers; kitchen grease fires require ABC (alkaline) extinguishers; and combustible flammable liquids like gasoline or oil call for water-based foam.
2. Make sure each employee knows where the fire exits are and the different routes to the nearest exit.
- Know how to use emergency exit signs and know how to use fire sprinkler system, fire alarm system.
3. Have an established meeting area for employees during a fire emergency.
If you have employees, it's important that they know where to go in case of a fire emergency. This will ensure that everyone is accounted for and safe. The meeting place should be outside the building or near an exit, preferably on a wide-open street or driveway where there aren't any obstacles blocking people from exiting the building quickly. It should also be away from any windows or other areas that may catch fire if there is an explosion or other type of damage to your business building. A good idea would be to designate two meeting places—one inside and one outside of your building—and inform all employees about them so they can get out safely no matter what happens during the emergency at hand. It's also helpful if you have someone designated as "leader" who will make sure everyone knows how to get out safely before evacuating themselves; this person could help coordinate efforts among coworkers, so they don't end up lost while trying to evacuate.
4. Review safety procedures on a regular basis.
The final step in the process is to review safety procedures on a regular basis. This should be done at least quarterly, and ideally it will be conducted with all employees present so that everyone’s up to date with their responsibilities. It should also take place in a safe environment where people can express themselves freely (for example, you don’t want to do this during an emergency). While it might seem like a good idea for just managers or high-ranking staff members to conduct this review, we recommend including all employees from the get-go so that they have an opportunity to ask questions about what they need clarity on before an incident occurs.
In addition, make sure that safety procedures are updated regularly and reflect changes in technology as well as industry practices over time—this ensures that your company is prepared for any type of fire situation!
5. Implement a safe evacuation procedure, based on an analysis of your workplace.
A fire evacuation procedure is a set of instructions that allow you to evacuate your workplace safely and quickly. It should be based on an analysis of the layout of your business, including all exits (including stairwells and fire escapes), corridors, waiting areas, storage rooms and other areas that employees may need to use during an evacuation.
To create a safe evacuation procedure:
- Review the layout of your business using an architectural plan or floor plan drawings
- Identify all possible exits from every room in the building – this includes exit doors, windows and internal stairs/ladders leading from floor to floor; walkways outside; fire escapes; smoke doors or other escape routes
- Make sure everyone knows where these exits are located – you can use maps with different colored arrows clearly pointing out each exit point
- Ensure that all staff know what route they will take if there's ever an emergency at work
6. Make sure employees know how to sound the alarm and what alarms mean.
When the alarm sounds, your employees should know exactly what to do. If they don't, you could be in big trouble. A fire can spread quickly, and people need to know how to react when one breaks out.
The first thing your employees should do is make sure everyone else knows about the fire as well. The best way to do this is by using an intercom system or alarm. This will ensure that everyone hears about it before anything else happens.
7. Ensure that employees with physical disabilities are not excluded from your fire emergency plan
You may have already started to think about your fire safety plan and the steps you would take in case of a fire. If not, now's the time to do it.
Fire safety is important for everyone, but if you have employees with physical disabilities, you will need to make sure that they are included in your emergency plans, so they are prepared in case of an emergency. This means making sure that your plan covers all possible situations, such as an evacuation route (or multiple evacuation routes) and specific accommodations for those who use mobility devices or other assistive technologies.
In addition to this, employers should make sure there are adequate resources available on-site during an emergency so that people with disabilities can evacuate safely with their colleagues. If possible, include a section on how staff members should communicate effectively with their coworkers who use sign language or another form of communication which requires additional support from coworkers when needed during an emergency.
Takeaway: Have a game plan before disaster hits.
The first step to ensuring your business continuity is to have a plan in place. While it may seem like common sense, it's so important that it bears repeating: you need to create a fire evacuation plan for your employees and any visitors. If you don't have one, speak with your insurance agent about what steps you can take now to get started on one.
Once you’ve created the plan, practice it regularly and make sure everyone knows what they're supposed to do if there's an emergency. There are many times when businesses prepare as much as possible but still find themselves unprepared during an actual crisis because they couldn’t adequately train staff members once the time came.
Finally, remain vigilant about maintaining compliance with all local rules and regulations regarding smoke alarms—no matter where in the world your building is located or how old the building may be!
The last thing you want to worry about during a fire emergency is whether your employees know what to do and how to do it. The best thing you can do is create an emergency plan with your team, and make sure everyone knows their role in the event of an emergency. It’s also important to have drills so that everyone knows exactly what they’re supposed to do when something goes wrong in your business or home.