Fire Evacuation Plans for Your Commercial Business
The importance of developing a plan
A fire evacuation plan is an important part of a business’s overall emergency action plan. The purpose of an emergency action plan is to assist employees with what actions should be taken during workplace emergencies. Organized plans and training will result in fewer injuries and less damage to the workplace during emergencies. A poorly prepared plan can result in a chaotic evacuation or a sub-optimal response from employees, which can result in misunderstanding, injury, and damage.
The following should be considered when developing a fire evacuation plan:
- A chain of command and appointment of a person in charge in the event of an evacuation. The designation of what some call an “evacuation warden” to assist others and to account for employees is recommended;
- Clear and well-defined procedures, such as routes and exits. These procedures should be posted where they are easily seen by all employees;
- Procedures for assisting people who are unable to follow the standard evacuation procedure (such as those with disabilities);
- A way to account for employees after an evacuation.
Your plan should also consider a way to alert employees to evacuate, how to report emergencies, and how to contact authorities if required. Remember, communication is key. This should include the following:
- Alarms should be available and recognized by all employees as a signal to evacuate the building;
- Make available an emergency communications system to notify employees of the emergency
- Have in place a system that will allow you to contact local law enforcement, the fire department, or others as needed; and
- Alarms must be able to be heard, seen, or otherwise perceived by everyone in the workplace.
A fire evacuation plan is essential to a business in helping keep employees safe, organized and accounted for in the event of a workplace fire and can help avoid confusion and injury.