Fire is a risk in all workplaces. Some workplaces are at higher risk than others. However, regardless of the risk, employees need to know what to do in the event of a fire. Failure to have a fire safety plan in place could lead to increased damages, injuries, loss of inventory, and even fatality. To mitigate the risk, you must have an emergency response plan in place, provide training, run drills, and continually review and update your fire safety program.
Emergency Response Plans
An emergency response plan is a plan you hope you’ll never have to use. However, failure to plan is a plan to fail. Emergencies happen and having a sound plan in place will help ensure that your organization comes through it still thriving. All businesses should have an emergency response plan in place that covers the following emergencies:
- Electrical outages
- Structural damage
- Hazardous spills
- Natural events such as storms, or earthquakes
- Accidents, injuries
- Exposure to controlled chemicals
Fire safety is only one element of the emergency response plan, but it is extremely important. A fire safety plan protects your organization and your workforce from the risk and damage associated with fires. The fire safety plan should include:
- Emergency evacuation routes
- Specific procedures
- Facility maps outlining emergency routes, fire extinguisher locations, emergency exits, and meeting/gathering places
- Alarm system testing and maintenance schedules
- Training policies and programs
- Specific schedules and procedures for conducting fire drills
Fire drills are important because they ensure that in the event of an emergency, everyone is prepared to act safely, calmly, and quickly to reduce panic. Effective fire drills do require planning.
If your fire alarm system is connected to the fire department, you will need to notify them of the drill in advance. Be sure to hold your drills at different times throughout the day, or at busy times such as shift change or lunchtime. And of course, always document fire drills to show due diligence.
Evaluation and Review
Evaluating the effectiveness of your fire safety program is a key component in ensuring that it remains effective and relevant. Your program should be reviewed at least annually, or if a new machine, work process, or workspace is introduced.
A fire safety plan is no good if employees don’t know it exists or what it contains. Fire safety training should cover all elements of the fire safety program. Training should also include:
- How to use a fire extinguisher
- The various types of extinguishers
- Fire prevention
- What to do if you become trapped or injured in a fire
- Burn first aid
Best Safety Training Can Help
Best Safety Training offers a variety of online Fire Safety Training Courses for your safety and convenience, so employees can safely participate in training while maintaining a safe and healthy physical distance. Titles include: