There’s a good chance that you participated in a few fire drills when you were a student. But while schools are legally required to hold regular fire drills, office buildings are not. Since hundreds of office building fires occur every year in the U.S., it’s wise for every company to hold fire drills on a regular basis. Here are a few tips to help you organize them.
Plan the evacuation routes.
The evacuation routes are where your employees will go to get out of the building safely. Typically, the best evacuation route is the shortest distance between a work area and an exterior door. However, you’ll also want to consider areas in which a fire is most likely to start—such as the staff kitchen. It’s a good idea to have a backup evacuation route in place, just in case the original one leads staff members into a dangerous area.
Teach the evacuation routes.
Before you can hold a fire drill, you’ll need to make sure every employee understands the evacuation route they should take. Hold department-wide meetings to go over the planned routes together. After the meeting, have everyone in the department walk the route to reinforce it in their minds. You should also post a map of the building with the evacuation route in each department.
Designate the rally point.
The rally point is where the employees will gather once they are evacuated. It should be well away from the building, and in a location where a large group of people will not block the entry of emergency vehicles.
Execute the fire drill.
Tell your employees the designated day for the fire drill, but don’t tell them the time. During the first fire drill, allow everything to proceed as planned. During subsequent fire drills, you may want to make the situation more realistic by adding challenges, such as a simulated blocked stairwell or a door that won’t open. This will help your employees be better prepared for the chaos of an actual fire emergency.
Fire drills are important, but so are functioning fire suppression systems. To have your fire suppression system maintained or repaired, call Kazal Fire Protection, Inc. at (520) 323-1518. We proudly serve individuals and businesses in Tucson and throughout Southern Arizona.