4 Tips for Drawing Up an Office Fire Evacuation Plan

4 Tips for Drawing Up an Office Fire Evacuation Plan

In 2016, over 17,000 people worldwide died in fires.

That's a lot considering there are ways to prevent this.

If you are a business owner, you need to have a fire evacuation plan in place that will allow all of your employees to make it out safely.

Keep reading to learn four tips for drawing up an evacuation plan for your office.

1. Make an Evacuation Map

Exit signs and evacuation diagrams will guide people to safety during an emergency. They're also the first thing you need to do when creating an evacuation plan for your office.

General guidelines

  • Keep you diagram simple and only include the basic building layout
  • Include walls and doors
  • Make sure signs are easily seen even in limited visibility
  • Color the items in your diagram so they're easy to understand
  • Post maps in frequented areas

Consider including:

  • The location of fire extinguishers and manual fire alarm pull stations
  • An outdoor gathering area
  • The starting point with the words “You are here”
  • Braille or other languages as needed

During this planning phase, you'll also want to search for "fire watch services near me" to know who should be called in the event of a fire.

2. Assign Responsibilities

Your employees should be involved from the beginning of the creation of your fire evacuation plan. You shouldn't be the only one who acts in an emergency because you're not always going to be there.

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You also want to make sure that more than one person is taking care of every role. Once again, this is to ensure everything gets done no matter who is absent from the office that day.

Some Roles You Can Assign:

  • Alert Manager: calls 911 or the fire department
  • Evacuation Coordinator: ensures all procedures are followed
  • Head Checker: makes sure everyone is out of the building
  • Emergency First Aid Practitioner: office members that have first aid and emergency training

Survey employees to find out their priorities in emergencies. This will give you a better idea of who can be assigned to which role. Depending on how large your company is, you may want several people in each role per department.

3. Check Safety Equipment

When planning for a fire, consider investing in everything: fire extinguishers, flashlights, fire alarms, and fire sprinkler system. Go above and beyond what the law requires you to have.

More than just having these things on hand, you need to maintain them. After all, a sprinkler system that doesn't automatically come on during a fire won't do anyone any good.

There's so much security technology to choose from today that will help you protect your employees and business so there's no excuse not to use it.

4. Practice Your Fire Evacuation Plan

Training your stuff with fire drills is the key to a successful fire evacuation. Practicing your draft plan will also identify any errors and procedures that need improvements.

Do at least one fire drill per quarter. You may also want to do one per month when you first put the procedure in place to ensure everybody knows it. Once per year, have a surprise drill to simulate a real emergency.

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Don't Forget to Prepare a Survival Kit!

Now you know our four tips for creating an office fire evacuation plan. As you can see, it's essential to have one in place to avoid human tragedies.

If you want to be extra cautious with your plan, include a survival kit. Check out our article on seven essential items you need in your survival kit.

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