While they may not seem like the best use of company time, you should never underestimate the importance of holding regular fire drills in the workplace. In fact, according to the Ontario Fire Code, they’re required by law. Fire drills must be conducted in most commercial buildings at least once every 12 months, and in others every 3 months.
This often leaves a lot of owners and managers wondering: why do we need to spend so much company time on something that isn’t likely to happen? Can’t we just go over this during regular employee training?
It may seem like a waste of time, but there are some real benefits to regularly running through these procedures with your employees. Keep reading to learn how fire drill procedures can improve your building’s safety.
If you want to be good at something you need to practice, and that’s exactly what you’re doing by holding regular fire drills. By having everyone in the building practice proper procedure in a simulated but safe environment, you can feel confident that they’ll know exactly what to do to keep themselves and others safe in a real emergency.
Now, it is true that some people may panic so much in a fire that their memories fly out the window, but you certainly can’t use that as an excuse to skip out on fire drills. Besides, by holding them regularly, you may be able to prevent some of that panic because people are so used to going through the procedures. It’s not just your confidence that increases with regular fire drills – it’s your employees’ too.
This is one of the most important things about holding regular fire drills: it allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your fire safety plan. Sometimes, something that sounds good in theory doesn’t work out in practice, and you certainly don’t want to take any chances when there’s an emergency.
Fire drills are a great chance to see your plan in action, and allow you to make changes to your procedures as necessary. A lot can happen in a building between yearly or quarterly fire drills that may throw off your plan, so you should use these drills as opportunities to catch these changes and make adjustments. There’s no use in having a fire safety plan and procedure if it’s not keeping everyone safe, so make sure you’re on top of everything.
A lot of fire safety plans assign certain responsibilities to certain employees, and it’s essential to know that they understand their assignments and will be able to carry them out in an emergency. You can’t have someone dropping the ball if they’re playing a major role in keeping everyone safe, so it’s important to see them in action during the drills.
For example, you may find out that one of your assigned employees can’t wield a fire extinguisher as well as they thought. You can then choose to assign that responsibility to someone else or invest in some fire safety training for that employee.
Want to learn more about fire extinguishers in the workplace? Contact Fire Alert today to see how we can help!