Emergencies, such as fires in the workplace, can strike unexpectedly. That’s why it’s important to have a fire emergency plan in place. This will ensure that all employees know the escape routes in your building and where to go once they have escaped. This will prevent further injury and can potentially prevent further damages and loss of revenue. It can also be very beneficial to train specific staff members to coordinate your fire emergency plan and contact 911 in the event of a fire. It is recommended that businesses do monthly fire drills.
- Activate Your Fire Alarm System + Call 911
If your business’ alarm didn’t go off automatically, the first thing you need to do is to activate your fire alarm system. Next, you or your designated staff person needs to call 911. If you or your employees have been trained to use fire equipment, you can use your discretion to put out a small fire, but only if it is safe to do so and if the fire extinguisher is located nearby. However, never use a fire extinguisher if you are unsure of how to use it. If you use the fire extinguisher and the fire is still going afterwards, that means the fire is too big for you to handle and you must leave the building immediately.
- Evacuate the Building
As soon as the alarm sounds, all employees should be told to calmly stop what they’re doing and leave the building. Remind them not to bring any personal belongings. Close doors and windows if possible. Employees should exit via the escape routes and meet at your designated meeting place. Never use an elevator in the event of a fire. If you cannot use one of your escape routes due to the fire, ensure that you shut all doors and windows to prevent the fire and flames from travelling any further. Pay special attention to any disabled employees.
- Do a Headcount
Once everyone has arrived at the designated meeting spot, have your trained staff do a headcount of all employees. In the event that someone is missing, do not enter the building again. In this time, wait for emergency services to arrive. Be sure to inform the fire department that people may still be in the building. Do not allow any employees, under any circumstances, to re-enter the building until it has been deemed safe by the appropriate emergency services.
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