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To run a successful business, you need to prioritize the safety of your employees. Part of keeping your employees safe is putting protocols in place for emergencies, such as fires and tornadoes, with a well-thought-out evacuation action plan. To help you learn how to put plans like this in place, we’ll specifically go through the process of how to make a fire evacuation plan for your office.
Plan for Every Scenario
First thing’s first, assess all of the potential fire hazards in your facility. These fire hazards may include combustible material handled within the facility or even something as simple as an oven in the kitchen. Once you do this, plan for every possible scenario in which a fire can occur due to that hazard so that you can properly structure escape routes around them. You should also consider potential outdoor hazards—for example, if your facility is in an area that is susceptible to wildfires.
Create a Clear Chain of Command
To avoid chaos breaking out during fires, you’ll need a clear chain of command for such situations. To create this, you need to assign roles such as the fire warden, who will oversee the whole event and ensure doors are closed, the building is empty, and all employees are present after reaching the assembly area.
You should also choose an assistant fire warden (who will promptly alert employees and authorities if a fire erupts), floor monitors (who will make sure their designated area is clear of pedestrians once an evacuation is in place), route leaders (who will ensure escape routes are clear and calmly escort employees along them), and designated fire extinguisher experts.
It’s important that the employees chosen for these roles receive proper training to ensure they carry out responsibilities correctly during an actual emergency. For instance, it’s great to have a fire extinguisher expert to put out small fires. However, they should understand when it’s safer for them to evacuate with everyone else instead of recklessly trying to put out a raging fire with a single extinguisher.
Map Out and Display Escape Routes
Once you have the chain of command in place, as well as every possible fire escape route, it’s time to put together a map that will guide employees during relevant emergencies. These evacuation maps should be visible throughout the building and prominently feature multiple escape paths, all exits, and safe assembly zones away from the premises so that employees can gather for headcounts and reports.
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when you’re first learning how to make a fire evacuation plan for your office. Plus, even when you do that, there are still plenty of other fire safety measures to take, such as installing and regularly inspecting fire alarm systems. It might be a lot to take in, but if an emergency does break out, and if you do manage to get everyone out safely, you’ll be very happy you took evacuation planning so seriously.