A fire in any dwelling can be scary and chaotic. When it happens in a place of business with groups of strangers, chaos and confusion can become the leading emotions. A plan for evacuation is the best way to keep everyone safe and minimize damage to the interior and exterior of the building.
Creating a fire safety plan is simple if you follow the proper steps!
1. Imagine every different scenario and plan for each of them.
There are different ways and places in a business where a fire can occur. If you are creating the escape plan for fire safety, it is important to identify and consider each of them. Here are a few questions to think about.
Where could a fire break out? According to the National Fire Protection Association, in a five year period there is an average of 3,300 fires that occur in businesses each year. Most of these are caused by cooking mishaps, but intentional acts and electrical issues can also be to blame. Keep this in mind and look at high traffic areas like sever rooms, computer labs, kitchens, etc.
How would a fire start? Understanding how a fire could start is will help you identify any threats. If your building has a kitchen, is it a full-service kitchen with a working stove, toaster oven, etc? Do employees utilize space heaters or personal refrigerators that could cause an electrical fire?
2. Put rules and regulations in place for personal heater and appliance use.
Since cooking is the number one reason for business fires, forbidding certain high-risk items like hot plates, microwaves in offices or at desks, and other appliances like exposed toaster ovens is the start to preventing a fire caused by cooking.
3. Establish who will handle what part of the fire evacuation.
When a business fire breaks out, most employees will turn to leaders for instructions. Knowing who is clearly in charge is important! Consider putting the following in place:
Chief Fire Warden. This person is the one that is in charge of the entire event, including planning and preparing for the fire.
Assistant Fire Warden. This is the right hand of the Chief and alerts the employees to the fire using the mass alert system. They are also responsible for calling the fire department and gathering any important reports or paperwork.
Route guides. These are people that head up the front of the evacuation lines and ensure that all routes are clean and clear for the rest of the building. They are also responsible for keeping everyone calm and collected during evacuation.
Fire extinguishers. Some individuals may want to help with putting out the fire themselves. It is incredibly important that these individuals are trained on the proper use of a portable fire extinguisher, and the rules – if a fire cannot be brought under control in 30 seconds, it’s is imperative that they evacuate the building.
Floor monitors are the final individuals that leave the building. They are responsible for ensuring that the floors are cleared, and the building is evacuated.
4. Put a communication plan into place.
During a fire, the Assistant Fire Warden is responsible for contacting employees, customers, and emergency services. This person must be comfortable delivering the message regarding the fire at the business and should be reliable and have the ability to act quickly under pressure.
A communication plan should include where the fire originated and how to proceed with evacuation. The message needs to be redundant and broadcast through multiple channels.
5. Plan an escape route and map out each course.
Each fire evacuation plan requires a primary and secondary escape route, and all should be clearly marked. Large offices should have multiple plans posted in different areas, and all employees needs to be aware of the evacuation routes.
While fires are never something anyone wants to experience, if you are properly prepared for a fire at your business, you will keep everyone safe and sound. If you do experience any type of fire damage to the interior or exterior of your building due to fire damage, it is time to call in the professional restoration team at Water Out.
We know the stress of working with insurance companies, contractors, and restoration businesses and bring together all these things in one team. Our focus is to keep you moving forward and bringing your business back to normal as quickly as possible. Call us today and learn more about our fire restoration services for businesses in Fort Wayne, IN!