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Your Basic Business Fire Escape Plan
Having a reliable fire escape plan when things go terribly wrong could mean the difference between life or death – risking the lives of yourself and your employees. In case you don’t have a plan yet, consider the following tips to ensure that, in case of a fire breaking out, you know exactly what to do to get out alive:
Draw a basic floor plan of your company, allocating where all the fire extinguishers, outside meeting point, and escape doors are located. Make a few copies of this map and place them in visible spots around the office. Employees are most likely to look at them subconsciously if they’re located by the printers or water coolers.
The last thing you want is to go looking for the emergency numbers during an emergency. Chances are you’ll be panicked and may end up making a mistake by missing one digit or not even being able to find the number in time. This is something you have to do quickly, getting it right the first time.
This tip could potentially save more lives by giving individuals enough warning time in places where the fire hasn’t spread to yet. By installing a reliable fire system such as smoke detectors and fire sprinklers, it could give you time to evacuate the building while helping to fight the fire.
Investing in fire extinguishers is a must for all commercial properties according to the Fire Protection Act, published by the SABS SANS 10400: Part T - Fire Protection Act. Individuals must have an adequate means of access for fighting, controlling and detecting a fire.
Choose an appropriate outside meeting point for you and your employees to meet in case of a fire breaking out. Somewhere far enough away from the building. It’s the best way to determine who might still in the building, especially if you have a small business.
If you have security bars on the windows, ensure that you install emergency release devices – which will allow the bars to open, giving your employees outside access without compromising your daily safety.
Some individuals aren’t aware of the fact that you should never use an elevator in case of an emergency. Train your staff about the basics when it comes to fire safety and how to use fire protection devices. Rather be safe than sorry.
Practice makes perfect! Have regular fire drills to ensure your staff know exactly what to do in case of an emergency. The more they practice, the more natural it will come in a real case scenario.