Is Your Building Up to Code? Fire Safety Dos and Don'ts

The extent most employees know about fire safety in their buildings is likely just when they need to exit the facilities for some sort of drill. It can stop your employees from having any type of urgency, and then people can get complacent about fire safety. Don't let this happen when you create more awareness and follow the proper procedures.

Identify and Communicate


What's the most important thing about exiting your building when there's a fire? Is it that you can't clog the main exit? It is the most likely ways a fire can start? Is is talking to people about the way they handle equipment? Fires spread fast, and you can bet in an emergency, a scared coworker isn't going to be thinking about the last fire drill they had. When people panic, they make really unfortunate mistakes. Instead of scaring them, you just need to be sure that they know and that, more importantly, you know how it all works. Sometimes you have just a few precious minutes to ensure everyone is safe. Do you know how long it took to evacuate everyone last time, and how long it would take in an actual fire? If you don't think that your plan is currently very realistic (and chances are, it may not be), then you need to rethink it and let your employees know. They'll take their cues from you.

The Nuts and Bolts

Your fire plan must be in writing and visible to employees. The plan must have discuss the major hazards, the way to handle and store materials and how to control ignition sources and flammable waste materials. List the equipment best used to prevent the spread of fire for each type of hazard, and how to maintain your potentially dangerous equipment. Also give the names of who is responsible for preventing fires and those who handle the fuel sources as well. Again, while these should be easy to find, your employees should know the basics without having to reference the plan. They should know of at least two ways out of the building, and be aware of exactly where to meet. If you don't have a sprinkler system, you may want to consider investing in one. The chances of being hurt go down dramatically, and your employees will not be in a frenzied rush to get to the exit. You'll also want to have employees who are trained in using fire extinguishers and who know how to check the smoke alarms so that they're functioning correctly. You may have to contact your local fire department to get the advice on where and how to install them if you're a smaller business.
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