If you own an office or a commercial building, then you’ll likely understand how important it is to have the correct fire safety measures in place. After all, if you fail to plan for a fire and your employees and/or customers aren’t prepared, someone may end up trapped inside.
Remember, even if you’re fully prepared, it only takes one faulty appliance or one piece of carelessness for a fire to start… and the consequences can be disastrous.
Thankfully, if you invest in the right commercial fire safety equipment and put the correct plans in place, you can make sure that everybody stays protected and safe, no matter what happens.
The basics of fire safety
In order to protect lives, you need both a strategy for dealing with a fire and an evacuation plan.
To start with, you need to consider your emergency exit routes. This way, if a problem arises, you can get everybody out before they suffer from either smoke inhalation or burns caused by scorching flames.
As part of this, you’ll need to plan an exit route that specifically caters for people with mobility issues, such as people who use a wheelchair, a crutches or a walker.
Once you’ve planned your routes, you then need to tell your staff about them and then run a few practice drills. Then, if anyone is ever faced with any danger, they’ll know exactly what to do.
After this, you’ll need to kit out your office or commercial building with the correct equipment. The exact pieces of equipment you’ll need will vary based on the business you’re running, but common examples include:
- Fire extinguishers that are strategically placed throughout the building
- Fire doors
- Smoke detectors
- Exit signs and marked paths for people who struggle to see in low-lit areas
- Sprinkler systems
- Fire alarms and way for a member of staff to manually raise the alarm
Added to this, you’ll also need an emergency plan that’s prepared well ahead of time. This should detail things such as:
- Who should evacuate first if there’s trouble
- Who evacuates the building via each route
- Where people go when they’ve evacuated the building
- Specialist plans for people who will need help evacuating the building
- Who is responsible for briefing the emergency services
- Who will make sure everyone has left the building
All of this may sound rather extreme and a lot of work, but you’re much better off being safe than sorry. Everyone hopes a fire will never occur and that there’ll never be an accident, but the reality remains that fires do happen. As a result, you need to take these steps to make sure that everyone has the best chance of surviving in case the very worst happens.
Once all of this is done, there’s no time to rest easy. Having a plan in place is great, but you need to make sure it’s continually reviewed, kept up-to-date and reflects any changes. Crucially, you also need to report these changes to staff members, so they know what to do when an alarm sounds or if there’s any sort of danger nearby.
Research has shown that staff members who are comfortable in their working environment and fully understand the procedures in place are less likely to panic if there’s a fire, so taking these steps can make sure that you stand the best chances of success in case a fire does break out.