All organizations would like to know they have a safe workplace for their employees, no matter how large or small they are. There are some basic areas that should be reviewed at least once a year if not two times a year.
1. Fire Safety & evacuation procedures
2. Entrance and exit safety
3. Parking lot safety
4. After hours safety
These are all areas that need full attention and should be reviewed on a regular basis. This series of articles each of these areas will be addressed. In this one Fire Safety & evacuation procedures will be reviewed.
Fire Safety is at the top of the list for areas that need to be reviewed by all companies. An inspection that all exits are properly marked and that there are enough exits to get out of the building in case of an emergency.
Accounting for all employees who are currently in the building, this process could be as simple as having a clipboard with each employees name on it and someone goes around and checks off who is present each day. In the case of a fire the clipboard is picked up by anyone close to it and taken out with them, so that all employees can be checked off once they have been evacuated.
Flags are important if you have a very large group than different color flags so that when people get outside they can identify their flag and team and ensure their name is checked off.
Bull horns, there should be at least two to four for large companies and at least one for smaller firms. Sometimes this is the best way to get the attention of employees.
Radio’s are needed as well in large companies so that each group can communicate with the Fire coordinator.
Instructions to the employees that they are to direct all media questions or phone calls to a person or phone number given to the employees. It is sensational news when fires happen and even more sensational when they can get employees to tell how terrible the fire was.
Security or fire marshals need to be facilitating getting all the employees out of the building, calling into bathrooms as they are passed requesting everyone to get out of the building.
Practice fire drills should be done a few times a year. Timing these drills should help with getting people out and back in quickly as well.
Plans need to be made for any employees with special needs. If these employees are on floors with elevators, there needs to be a way to get them down the stairs.
The best defense against tragedy with fires is to be prepared.