Fire prevention and emergency preparedness are important parts of running your business. No matter if you’re just starting out with your own retail shop, or you’ve been managing a clothing shop in a mall for years: fire safety at work is a crucial part of your job. The best emergency preparedness plan starts with prevention. If you ensure you’re working in accordance with your local bylaws and regulations, you’re already ahead of the game.
SmallBizTrends.com makes the important point to “Stay on Top of Fire Code Changes”
“Chances are your local municipality has updated information on how to keep your business safe from a fire. Staying on top of the fire code changes in your area will give you good cutting-edge information.”
Regulations change over time as new technology and new regulations are introduced. If you’ve been in the same building for a few years, or you’re moving to a new one – take a look at what’s changed since you first developed your fire safety plan. You might be surprised at what’s changed.
StateFarm.com shares some helpful tips to follow when setting up your fire prevention plan:
Fire Plan. Make sure your employees know what to do if there’s a fire. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol.
Have a Safety Officer. Designate a person as your office’s fire prevention officer. Their duties will include composing escape routes and meeting points for employees, as well as keeping all of your safety plans, equipment, and information updated.
Evacuation Plan. In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace.
First Aid. In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most, such as in the kitchen.
Now that you know the rules and regulations in your area, it’s time to make a fire safety plan and communicate it clearly to all of your employees. It’s important to host fire drills at least once per year so employees can physically walk the route to the meeting point. It is usually easier for a person to remember something they’ve actually done rather than written instructions or a map.
TrustSheildInsurance.ca provides some great tips for customizing your fire prevention plan:
Make it obvious: Every exit point should have a sign alerting people to the evacuation route for that particular area.
Keep everyone in the loop: If you update, modify or remove any fire evacuation routes, you must let your employees know.
Stay organized: Create a list of all your employees, and take note of those who are pregnant, have recently undergone an operation or have disabilities, as they may need assistance during the evacuation process.
Special events: If there’s an event taking place in your business’ neighbourhood that requires streets to close, or increases foot traffic (such as a parade or marathon), be sure to re-evaluate your assembly points and evacuation procedures.
If your business is on a main road or in a busy mall, remember that seasonal activities like parades, sporting events, and others can drastically change your fire prevention plan. Also take note of special decorations and signage you may be using during different times of the year: is your Christmas tree unplugged every night? Are the Sale banners hanging too close to the overhead lighting? It’s important to consider your fire safety plan at all times of the year and with every change you make to your decor.
Now that you know how to create or maintain your fire safety plan, check out how we can help with fire extinguisher inspections, recharges, and many other mobile services to keep you and your business safe.