How To Prepare Your Staff for a Fire Emergency

How To Prepare Your Staff for a Fire Emergency
  • Opening Intro -

    If you're a small business owner, you might not think about or have a plan in place for your employees in the case of a high-stress emergency like a natural disaster, fire, or burglary.

    However, you must have a plan in place for all these situations, or else an employee's panic might lead to them making a costly error that could put their lives at risk.

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Check this blog to learn how to prepare your staff for a fire emergency so they have the tools and knowledge to react to this scenario competently.

Build an Emergency Action Plan

The key to being ready for an emergency is an organized plan of action that sets clear guidelines and procedures that give your employees the tools to react efficiently in a time of crisis. Within your Emergency Action Plan, you’ll need to create a blueprint highlighting escape routes and establish your building’s procedures for handling a fire.

Emergency Exits and Escape Routes Blueprint

Using a blueprint of your building, make a diagram that highlights the building’s exits, location of fire extinguishers, fire alarm pulls, fire alarm controls, and standpipe stations.

Then, you’ll want to label the escape routes from every room in the building. This way, every employee can quickly identify the fastest way to exit the building during the fire.

Emergency Procedures for a Fire

Along with identifying escape routes, you’ll need to establish the specific safety procedures of your building to help avoid chaos during the emergency.

Your policies should cover where employees should go when evacuating, the particular roles of the leadership, how and when to use a fire extinguisher, and other pertinent information on what to do in the event of a fire.

If you’re unsure of what your procedures should be, reach out to a local fire marshal for recommendations.

Assign Leadership Roles

In the case of a fire, during the critical minutes when you need to quickly and safely evacuate the building, first responders will most likely still be on their way. So, you’ll want to select trusted volunteers within your staff that can efficiently lead the evacuation while taking the necessary preventive measures to slow down the fire.

They’ll need to receive safety training on their role and what to do during an emergency. This hierarchy system will help give your evacuation organization and structure, so there is no hesitation about who will step up and lead in the case of an emergency.

During the selection process, look for levelheaded people that don’t seem likely to leave the company soon, so you don’t have to pay to train someone else.

Train Your Employees

Once you have the core of your emergency response plan decided on and have selected leadership roles, you should train the volunteers. During their training, they will learn how to handle the emergency equipment, practice techniques for organizing a crowd during executions, and review your building-specific plan.

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Also, they must learn how to use a two-radio during an emergency effectively, so they speed up communication between one another when leading the evacuation. Situations can quickly get chaotic and disorganized during the panic of a fire, so it’s vital that the leaders learn effective forms of communication. This way, they can lead your other employees with confidence and the knowledge necessary to keep everyone safe.

After exploring how to prepare your staff for a fire emergency, you can begin the process of planning and training your staff on how to handle this situation. You’ll be running successful fire drills in no time!

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CFOne Business Management Reference:

GUIDE: forms/worksheets for business exit

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