An office is equally susceptible to fire damage as homes, making it important that you as the manager put in place a few fire safety procedures to ensure that in the event of a fire, everyone is educated in how to act and where to go. Below we have compiled just a few tips and tricks to take on board when ensuring a safe fire plan for your employees.
When it comes to fires, the main thing is not to panic. Panicking can often make us react in a way that could put our lives or the lives of others at risk. This means that it vital that you have a plan in place to prevent life-threatening behaviour.
As mentioned above, the first and possibly most important thing to have in place is a thought-out evacuation plan. This includes formulating the plan, educating each employee and continuing to practice the evacuation plan through monthly or bi-monthly fire drills. By doing so, it allows each employee some form of practice so that they are prepared if a real fire occurs. You should also post several plans around the building so that people can be reminded of the correct procedure.
As well as compiling an evacuation plan, you should also take note of the fire exits closest to each employee in case the fire becomes out of control. You should also keep an eye on obstacles in the way and think about how you can limit them to provide employees and yourself with an easy way out. It may also be worth counting the number of obstacles frequently so that you have an idea of what's in your path if the smoke becomes thick and limits your vision.
Exits and Stairways
You may have already heard about how you shouldn't use an elevator during a fire, making it important that you don't block the stairway. It's also vital that you keep the fire exits and possible exits clear of obstacles.
One of the most important features to have in your office is a fire alarm. By installing an alarm, you will be notified of excessive smoke before it's too late.
In the event of an emergency, in this case a fire, it's always recommended to phone 999 and someone will be on their way to help you. You should also:
- Feel every door handle using the back of your hand; if the handle and the bottom of the door are hot, it is strongly advised to try and find another exit as it may indicate that there is fire or smoke behind the door. If the door is cool, it is advised to open it very slowly.
- Close all of the doors behind you to restrict fire and smoke
- Stay low to the floor if there is a lot of heavy smoke
- Notify the emergency services if someone is trapped inside
- Stay away from the building once evacuated
Below are a few tips to follow if you can't evacuate or escape your building during a fire:
- Seal as many cracks as possible in order to restrict the amount of smoke entering the room. Do so by using wet clothing or materials
- Call 999 if you have a telephone at hand
- Try and wait by a window so that you can signal where you are in the building when the emergency services arrive. Also try to open a window to let the smoke out
- Try to stay calm and don't panic
These are just a few fire safety tips for before, during and after a fire emergency.