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The 5 Step Guide to Creating A Fire Evacuation Plan For Your Business

One of the worst things about disasters is that they are usually completely unpredictable. They can happen anytime and anywhere and in most cases, people are not at all prepared for them. A workplace emergency is something every employer dreads, but luckily, there are ways to plan for that possibility. One of the best ways of protection is to expect the unexpected. However, developing a complex yet practical emergency plan may seem challenging. Having that in mind, we’ve created a 5-step guide to help you create a well-thought fire evacuation plan for your business.

1. Think ahead.

Get started with answering some basic questions like Where might the fire break out or How and why would it start? Recent research has shown that nearly 3,500 fires occur in offices per year in the USA only. Fires are caused by many different factors like electrical malfunctions or cooking equipment. By thinking about possible triggers, you’ll be able to provide some extra safety measures that can prevent disasters later on. One of the easiest ways to do that is to print a list of rules and put it in the office kitchen.

2. Map the escape routes.

Emergency situations can cause complete chaos among people. When the crisis hit, you can easily get into a state of mind where you forget even the most redundant things. Creating and mapping the escape routes can be a real game-changer in situations like those. Carefully plan and label the route all the way to the exit, making sure the clues are visible and clear. Pick an area where the employees will gather. Make sure that it’s easily reachable from all parts of the office building and that it’s big enough to accommodate everyone.

3. Do the evacuation drills.

One of the frightening statistics in Australia shows that less than 50 percent of employees know how to operate a fire extinguisher. The truth is that workplaces are underprepared for possible emergencies and employees are far from confident when it comes to following the procedures during the emergency. If you want to create a good fire evacuation plan for your business, you should start organizing regular fire drills. The best way to do that is to hire professionals. There are many good services like Sydney Rescue Consultants who will not only conduct complete fire drills but help you with your emergency management plan. By conducting evacuation exercises your employees will gain more confidence in handling emergency procedures.

4. Get the protective equipment.

If the emergency strikes, one of the essential things is to have the right equipment both for your office and your employees. The protective equipment will vary depending on the potential hazards in the workplace and should meet the health standards as well as be certified by the National Institute for Health and Safety. Some of the necessary items personal protective equipment should include are:

  • helmets and safety shoes
  • goggles and face shields
  • respirators
  • gloves, hoods or chemical suits
  • items for body protection against extreme temperatures
  • any other special equipment unique for your workplace

Other tools you need to keep up and running are fire extinguishers, fire alarms, emergency lighting, fire doors, and escape ladders.

5. Good communication is the key.

In emergency situations, employees tend to turn to their superiors for guidance. For that reason, it’s important to establish roles and responsibilities you’ll assign to the leaders. One of those roles should include spreading out information to everyone from staff members and clients to suppliers and government officials. When assigning this job, look for someone who is reliable, present and is able to react quickly. Fire can cause quite a chaotic atmosphere, so this person should be able to communicate efficiently through a multi-channel communication system like email, mobile app, phone, and text.

Conclusion

Yes, fire emergencies are a nightmare. They can cause serious damage to both workplaces and people. Although they are completely unpredictable, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can’t do to lessen the potential catastrophe. By following this 5-step guide, you’ll hopefully get clued up about all the necessary measures you need to take in order to create a fool-proof evacuation plan for your business and give your employees confidence and security they undoubtedly need.

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Written by Neil White

Neil White is a HR specialist from Sydney. He has worked in HR for over 10 years in multiple companies all over Australia. He has been interested in people his entire life and that is why the part of his job he particularly enjoys are employee relations.

He has learned a lot dealing with all kinds of people throughout his career and therefore he thinks his job is the best.

“Seeing your coworkers grow because of something you suggested them is brilliant. That is why I decided to spread my knowledge to every employee I could possible reach out to.”

 

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