Fire Safety Tips & Fire Evacuation Template
Fire Safety Tips & Fire Evacuation Template
Are you or your staff prepared for potential fires in your store or business? The consequences can be severe, including job loss, property damage, loss of vital services, and even death. Therefore, having a solid understanding of fire safety tips and a well-defined fire evacuation plan is paramount. Here, we'll delve into essential fire safety measures and provide a comprehensive fire evacuation template to help you prepare for such emergencies effectively.
Why Do You Need a Fire Safety Plan?
Most workplaces and businesses have some fireproofing due to current building construction and fire regulations. However, there are fire safety protocols that employees and employers should follow to avoid workplace fires, keep workers safe, and keep businesses running.
In 2021, the National Fire Protection Association reported that US fire departments responded to 1.35 million fires. That equates to a fire every 23 seconds, resulting in over $15.9 billion in property damage. Non-home structural fires were the most common, with 23,000 incidents resulting in 130 deaths and 1,100 injuries.
What Should a Fire Safety Plan Include?
A fire prevention plan must be in writing, kept in the workplace, reviewed annually, and made available to employees for review. However, an employer with 10 or fewer employees may communicate the plan orally to employees.
At a minimum, your fire prevention plan should:
- List of all major fire hazards, proper handling and storage procedures for hazardous materials, potential ignition sources and their control, and the type of fire protection equipment necessary to control each major hazard.
- Outline procedures to control accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials.
- Establish procedures for regular maintenance of safeguards installed on heat-producing equipment to prevent the accidental ignition of combustible materials.
- Name the employee/s or job title of employees responsible for maintaining equipment to prevent or control sources of ignition or fires.
- Name the employee or job title of the employees responsible for the control of fuel source hazards.
An employer must inform employees of the fire hazards to which they are exposed upon initial assignment to a job. They must also review those parts of the fire prevention plan necessary for self-protection with each employee.
Best Practices in Fire Prevention and Response
1. Fire Evacuation Plan and Maps
Businesses must have primary and secondary evacuation routes for each floor and section of the building, posted in visible locations and clearly marked with signs. Check-in or assembly points should be 500+ feet away from the building and even further if there are combustible risks like gas lines or dumpsters.
2. Designate Fire and Safety Leaders
Set up a hierarchy of safety leaders who can ensure a safe, orderly evacuation. There should be duplicate responsibilities across roles in case someone is missing or incapacitated to ensure all safety measures are in effect.
3. Communication Plans
Communication is key. Your safety leaders should be equipped with communication devices such as walkie-talkies or mobile phones to coordinate effectively during evacuation. By fostering clear communication channels, you can enhance the effectiveness of your fire safety plan and minimize confusion during emergencies.
Things to remember:
- Alert employees of the emergency and tell them to evacuate the building/facility.
- Remind them where the check-in points are located.
- Follow up with employees to make sure no one was injured.
- Make sure clients and/or customers are aware of the emergency and if it will impact deliveries or cause delays.
- Did the building or property sustain any damage? If so, make sure the owners are aware and set up repair work.
4. Know the Hazards
What are the hazards in your workplace? Think about high-risk areas and have a contingency plan ready. A few places to have plans for include:
Chemical or Highly Flammable Materials & Waste
- Ensure hazardous materials are stored properly and away from exits.
- Have fire suppression materials and systems in place.
- Inform all employees who handle or work near these materials of these hazards and how to avoid and or suppress them (if it is safe to do so).
Kitchen or Food Preparation Areas
- Have fire suppression materials and systems in place., i.e., fire extinguishers, fire blankets, and or sprinkler systems.
- Ensure all employees know what to do in the event of a grease or oil-based fire.
- Unplug or shut off any appliances (refrigerator, oven, toaster, air-fryer, microwaves) that are on fire, if it is safe to do so, and close all doors.
- If possible and it is safe to do so, shut off electricity to the area.
- Use properly rated fire extinguishers to extinguish fires.
- Space Heaters
- Kitchen Equipment
- Electric Equipment
- Smoking Areas
5. Document, Inspect, and Be Prepared
List all fire safety equipment, including alarms, extinguishers, and smoke detectors, and their locations. Regularly inspect them to ensure they are in good working order and within expiration dates. Ensure all extinguishers, exits, and alarms are clearly marked for quick use in emergencies.
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Thinking of creating a fire evacuation plan for your workplace but not sure where to start? Click HERE to download our Fire Evacuation Template!