April 13, 2024

Business Bib

Business & Finance Blog

How to Create a Reliable Fire Response Plan for Your Business

4 min read

Did you know that in the United States, around 200 people die in workplace fires and that injuries occur in a further 5,000? Of course, many of these injuries and deaths could be avoided if a fire plan was in place.

Nobody knows when a fire might happen, so it is essential that we’re always prepared. Whatever industry your business operates in, there will be risks inherent, and you must do everything you can to ensure you’re ready should the worst ever happen.

This means ensuring that you have the very best in fire safety equipment around your workplace and holding employee training sessions and regular fire evacuations.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to create a reliable fire evacuation plan for your business.

Why Is It Essential to Have a Fire Escape Plan?

In the event of a fire, the best way to protect your employees and visitors is to get them out of the building. To do that, you need a clear plan of action; otherwise, nobody will know where to go and what to do.

Having a fire emergency plan will help to reduce the panic and chaos that may ensue during an emergency.

Of course, a fire escape plan isn’t just useful for fires; it can be helpful in natural disasters and for terrorist attacks.

How You Can Keep Your Employees Safe

To keep your employees and visitors safe, you will need to look at several key areas. These should include:

  • The frequency at which you will test your fire alarms and check fire safety equipment
  • The frequency at which you have your equipment tested by an engineer
  • How often you will hold team training
  • How often you will carry out full evacuations

This helpful guide will let you know about how often you should have your equipment assessed by a fire safety engineer.

You should carry out weekly fire alarm checks yourself, and you should also check your emergency lighting frequently as well as your fire extinguishers.

Creating a Detailed Fire Plan 

You’ll need to create a detailed fire plan for your business. To do this, you should start by designating a rallying point at which everyone will meet in an emergency.

Think carefully about where this will be. It needs to be safely away from the building, but that can be easily reached in an emergency. In addition to this, it should be a large enough space to accommodate all evacuees, and it must not obstruct the emergency service’s access to the fire.

Walk all possible evacuation routes and plot the shortest and safest routes. Think about any areas where fires are likely and ensure exit routes avoid these areas if possible.

Think about where fire fighting equipment and fire alarms are located in the building.

Assign Responsibilities 

In the event of an emergency, who will take responsibility for ensuring everyone gets out safely? You need to assign the role of fire warden to a responsible member of your team. Once everyone has left the building, a roll call needs to be made to ensure everyone is safely out.

Whoever you assign the role to, ensure that you give them additional training and support and consider sending them on specialist training days.

You will also need to think about assigning responsibility for carrying our alarm tests and fire safety equipment checks.

Train Your Team

Once you have a fire evacuation plan created, then you should start to train your team. As new employees join, ensure that they are trained in full fire safety from day one and that they learn the fire escape route before anything else.

You should carry out training with your team on a regular basis. Fire safety should ideally be covered at least twice a year.

Whenever training or retraining anyone on the fire plan, walk the escape route with them and take them to the rallying point.

Document all training. This will be useful evidence of the measures you have in place if you’re ever inspected.

The full evacuation procedure should be clearly displayed throughout the building. Put this information up at key points such as near fire alarms.

Have a Set Evacuation Goal Time

Having a time set as your goal for evacuation is important as it will let you know how effective your training has been. You need your employees and visitors to get out of the building as quickly as possible.

Of course, the bigger the building and the more people there are in there, the longer an evacuation will take. Work out how long it should take to clear your building and set a goal to work to.

Whenever you carry out a fire drill, make sure that you time the evacuation and use the results to inform future training.

Conducting Fire Drills 

Whenever you conduct a fire drill, you should always hold it at random. Don’t let your employees know that there is a drill. Let your employees treat it as though it were a real evacuation.

You will need your employees and visitors to leave via the nearest exit and head straight out to the meeting point. Once there, the fire warden will check off a list of who is present.

After the fire drill, inform your team of the results and carry out any necessary follow up training. You should repeat this process at least twice a year.

Review Your Fire Plan 

Having a plan in place for how you will cope with an emergency is essential. It could save lives, and it will make your employees feel safer in the workplace.

Creating a fire plan is not the end of the matter. You should continually review your plan to ensure it is still applicable. If you make changes, inform your team.

For more useful articles, please check out the other articles on the site.